Thursday, June 2, 2011

92.7 FM WLIR - Dare to be Different...

WLIR, Long Island Radio. It was like having a cool, older sister. She knew where to go, what to do, who to listen to, and how to dance. She danced a Fierce Fucking Dance.

Her reception was high maintenance and required dedicated commitment to constant radio dial repositioning and the reforming of pony tails of tin foil to her antennae, but I'd do it all over again for another chance to hear what she had say.

Her New Music First format came about during the summer before my Freshman year of high school, and it was my soundtrack for those four years. Sadly, she is gone now. After I graduated, a lawsuit of some sort forced her to change her call letters to WDRE. Her format changed, and after that she continued to change her style again and again until she was no more. I was lucky to have had access to her Glory Days while I was the right age to appreciate them.

She wasn't everybody's cup of tea, so her voice was very underground in The States. That just made her cooler. Those of us who looked up to her heard singles and bands months or years before they hit mainstream stations like WPLJ or Z100, her dorky cousins. Blech. I'm still feeling Bragging Rights for having known her. And if you were in a room full of strangers but met others who knew her, you had instant friends. Your common interests were immediately clear, and you knew you shared uncommon knowledge. You also knew they hated her cousins just as much as you did.

Over the years I have tried to track down songs she played for me. I never lost Duran Duran, The Clash, or David Bowie, but songs from Translator and Wide Boy Awake were only available on compilation CDs in the 90s. The singles that she, and only she played during that brief time in the 80s were much harder to find, and I have spent years hunting them down like they owed me money. Thanks to Napster and eBay, I was able to acquire just about everything I'd been looking for.

Today I'm shocked to be able to find most of them on the Blip.Fm search engine. It's been twenty five years since I tuned in to her crew of DJs  - Denis McNamara, Bob Waugh, Malibu Sue, Ben Manilla, Donna Donna The Prima Donna, and Larry the Duck - but I still play their music. Her music. And by the looks of the search results on Blip, some of you do too...

Runaway Boys
What's He Got
Messed Around
Cat People
Everywhere That I'm Not
Make a Circuit with Me
Kiss Me
Doot Doot
Echo Beach
Run Me Down
Wolfman Tap (I can't post this on anymore but I do have the MP3. Anyone care to let me know how to share it here?)
Red Guitar
Pills and Soap
Way of Life
The Killing Moon
To Look at You
Shoot You Down
Love & Pride
Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick
Cooky Pus
Taste of Your Tears
Jesus on the Payroll

And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music

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