My first year of college I worked at the school radio station.
I don’t know that you could really call it a full-fledged radio station.
We broadcast for an hour every night on a local “legitimate” radio station…WHKP from what I remember. Anything we did in our basement studio on the campus was sent to the little AM station over the phone lines.
It was kind of crude…but it was kind of cool, too.
I remember they had our “feed” pumped into the lunch room for a while…give us broader exposure, I guess.
Before the first show that Marc Farley and I did together….our big “lunchroom debut”…I snuck into the back control room and turned up the volume in the cafeteria.
We were going to really rock out. The lunchroom would be rocking soon.
I had a copy of Be Bop Deluxe’s live album “Live in the Air Age”…and decided that this song would be the perfect dramatic opener. (This is a pretty good cover band playing the song…I couldn’t get any other YouTube videos to load on the blog.)
They wouldn’t know what hit them. The opening sounds of the song…the crazy phased percussion…big dramatic guitars…it was all going to be so crazy and wild.
I imagined a true rock and roll moment…as much of a moment as a young freshman could have at a southern Lutheran private college.
I still remember the anarchic excitement we felt as we broadcast the set heard round the world. It was entertaining…it was exciting…it was fresh. It was the perfect expression of what it meant to be young with your whole rock and roll infused life stretched out before you.
We rocked like no human being ever got close to rocking. We rocked steady and hard…and when we came up for air after our hour-long set, we knew that we’d created something that had gone beyond what the music world had known before.
We were looking at the future of rock and roll coming out of a little basement studio on the campus of Newberry College.
I imagined a lunch room like the one in the Fame movie…all the kids up on the tables dancing. How could they help but move in the face of the jams that we were pumping out?
I found out later that the lunch ladies had turned us off after the first 20 seconds of the opening song.
The lunch ladies couldn’t hang.