Thursday, March 05, 2009
I don't have to do a regular show to hear myself. I joined the station when its existence wasn't yet in danger through the demise of Upsala College, but its free form future then was far from a sure thing. My first few years there, I expected the college to come in at any time, throw all of us out, & use it to train Marv Albert clones & dimwit morning zoo hosts. I'm very proud of being part of a group of DJs that fully reestablished WFMU as a free form radio station. Many of those DJs from the 70s & 80s are still with the station, one is the general manager, & what we all had in common was that free form was the only kind of radio we wanted to do, & most of us would've walked away if we couldn't do it.
I was never a spotlight DJ. But for 18 years, I always had a show somewhere on the schedule when I wasn't taking a sabbatical. I'm a long thread in the station's fabric, if not a colorful one. I was shy, I stuttered, I could feel invisible & even a bit intimidated by others on the staff. But underneath I was an erudite artist, stubbornly creative, had a knotty ego, & I regarded my air time with the same sense of an open field as a blank piece of paper (or PC screen). There are always DJs like me at WFMU. Some of them don't know me - I can tell because they look at me quizzically in the music library when I walk in & make myself at home, as I've done for three decades. But I know them from their shows, & I root for them all the time, especially during the Marathon. Not that they raise a lot of money - they may or may not, & some other DJs will always raise much, much more. I want them to enjoy the two weeks, which are a great time at the station, & not be too anxious, then get on with their regular shows.