It is with great sadness that I tell you that Citizen Kafka (a.k.a. Richie
Shulberg) passed away suddenly at home on Saturday. He was 61.
For those who are not familiar with Kafka's amazing body of work, he was a
long-time WBAI (99.5FM Pacifica Radio, NYC) producer who created some of the
funniest radio comedy bits in history on the Citizen Kafka Radio Hour with his
partners in crime Kenny Kosek (Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, amongst many others),
and actor John Goodman (just before his rise to fame).
He founded and led the Wretched Refuse String Band, which featured Kosek, Andy
Statman, and many other famed bluegrass players amongst its alumni, as well as
the harder-edged electric Citizen Kafka Band.
He was also an avid collector of just about everything from rare 78's to dried
armadillos and laboratory glassware (I once had the distinct privilege of
helping him to reorganize his storage area when it lived in a double-wide
tenement basement on W. 18th St. - before the collection became so large that it
had to move to an actual warehouse).
On both WBAI and WFMU (with co-producer Pat Conte), he produced a brilliant
program called Secret Museum of the Air, featuring many rare and obscure
recordings from the cylinder era, acoustic recordings, early ethnic music
releases, and many other odd audio collectors items.
He was a creative force, and more importantly, a complete mensch in every sense
of the word. Always giving of his time, knowledge, and basic human friendship -
he will be sorely missed...
Services are today (Monday) at 1:00pm at the I. J. Morris Funeral Home, 1895
Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.
92nd Street Y
Dave Nolan Audio
534 E. 11th St. #14
New York NY 10009-4623
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