Radio giant Jackie ‘O’ Henderson has requested a welfare check for a listener after receiving a distressing phone call on The Kyle and Jackie O show.
The caller, Michael, who made it on air at about 6:30 am during the First Calls segment on the show, proceeded to sing a song about suicide, blindsiding the presenters.
The song was Fade to Black by U.S heavy metal band Metallica, from their 1984 album Ride the Lightning. The bleak track is about wondering if life is worth living and wishing for death.
Michael did not advise the hosts that he would be singing the song, and had told producer ‘Intern Pete’ Deppeler off air that he was a ‘comedian’ and ‘had a few jokes to tell’.
Henderson seemed concerned and asked the team to make sure the listener was okay.
The dismal segment started soon after an ad break, with host Kyle Sandilands asking, “You want to ring up for anything? First Calls, 13 10 65 will get you through. Michael has called in. Hey, Michael.”
“Hello,” Michael responded, sounding dismal, which the hosts recognised was off as Sandilands was quick to mimic ‘hello’ back.
Sandilands asked how the listener was doing, to which Michael replied, “Oh, not bad. I [inaudible] have a quick ten-second song I’d like to… sing for you.”
‘What, sorry? A song?’ Henderson asked.
“It goes like this,” Michael said, before singing the lyrics to Fade to Black, “.. lost the will to live / Simply nothing more to give / There is nothing more for me / Need the end to set me free.”
Michael put his own spin on the song, singing lyrics that don’t appear on the track, “Never cared for no one else” before quickly hanging up.
“Don’t be like that…”, a baffled Sandilands said after Michael abruptly ended the call.
Henderson feared the worst, immediately asking producers, “Is he alright? That didn’t sound good, guys. What were you getting off air? Because that sounded like a goodbye song to me.”
Sandilands tried to reassure Henderson, saying “He seems fine. He seems fine.”
Deppeler, who had spoken to Michael during the ad break and briefed him on what would be discussed on air said, “He was normal to me,”
When Henderson asked what they’d spoken about during the ad break, Deppeler told the presenter, “He said, ‘I’m a comedian, I’ve got a few jokes to tell, I’ve got a new song.’”
“So he went rogue on you?’ Henderson asked, with Deppeler replying, “A little bit rogue, yeah”.
Henderson asked Deppeler to “call him back and check he’s okay,” adding, “He just hung up and said this is the end for me. Just check he’s alright, that guy.”
She awkwardly laughed as she and Sandilands scolded Deppeler for having such a grim listener as the first caller following a two-week break.
The presenters then moved on to the second caller, A woman called Debbie.
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This article first appeared on Over60.