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I just checked my blog stats and it appears yesterday’s reference to the old days led to a string of searches for robin plan + woxy. I don’t know if they were looking for perspective from the lone embittered exile but WOXY has been dead to me for years with nothing to remember them by but one more boring example of everything wrong in America, where revolutions are fleeting and happen only by mistake before they are summarily — not actually quashed — that would be too honest — but reconstituted into some sort of sour owl shit you’re supposed to be grateful for living in because what we do is so awesome and revolutionary. “Everything in the United States is coated with a fine layer of fraud,” Paul Fussell once wrote, there’s the overarching unifying reality principle right there, WOXY is NAMI, same shit, different shareholders.
I’m as fucking old as the last time this came up, when the liberal blogosphere campaigned to save WOXY.com. I’ll say this for future reference: Anyone who types a search as robin plan + woxy knows my history (which I see has been scrubbed from the party line), and that’s what I’m speaking to, WOXY terrafirma, I had no dealings with the still solvent WOXY dot com, so cherish it, I could give a shit, but any college hipster wants to lay into me for talking smack against the temple of indie rock will do me a favor to imagine life before the Internet.
May 4th 1984 I was hired as an open freak and til May 4th 1989 I held up my end of that arrangement, wasn’t me who changed the rules in the middle of the game but comes the day I’m expected to walk into the station and leave punk rock at the door? Take punk rock off like a jacket, put it on and take it off, straight from the rack, yah, that’s the genuine article, all right, tell me whatever became of Kajagoogoo? Guess they can’t all be gems. Who in their right mind could make such ludicrous demands but the poseur so completely devoid of culture he sees no reason for you not to sellout your own. It is to laugh We’re making some changes around this place, tweaking the format to be mainstream alternative. Tell me I didn’t hear that right, mainstream alternative, my ruling nightmare for 460 some days, mainstream alternative, and I’m a flawed plan, fuck your gutless incoherence, we mean it maaaan. It’s the lie of it. If we’re going tits up, own it, say that, it’s over, we have no more right to call WOXY an indie rock station than Rod McKuen has going by “poet”, doesn’t MATTER if the average person thinks Rod McKuen is the greatest American poet ever, we know that, right? That’s why we’re here, not to turn into the thing we hate, no, it’s a charade, don’t think our listeners won’t see through it! Where they gonna go? So it’s like that, BAM I’m off Planet X, moved to middays, one vintage Pistols at the top of the hour, and Ever Fallen in Love is now the only song the Buzzcocks ever recorded, in rotation every 5 days on a 30 minute clock, one song from the Buzzcocks because your choices are threatening which means tested and found capable of making people feel. But hey, don’t touch that dial, we’re a cultural cattleprod the future of rock-n-roll, small enough to know the score and big enough to settle it! Sometimes the only recourse is to fuck shit up, to preserve it, take away the good thing go all out anti, make the contrast explicit. That’s a thin line, God knows I crossed it going in drunk, sarcasm spilling out over the airwaves, daring them to fire my ass and so I made them do it. Because it’s easier to be pushed away than walk out, you put in your time, it’s hard to let go.
I think it was this penetrating artist who said something like “I know the baggage is fascinating, but you can still put it down.” Today is the calmest and most forgiving I’ve felt toward 97X in like, ever, but still feels like it’s not finished. I read some threads today, this particular adieu spoke to me:
The (annual Modern Rock) 500, the 97Xposure (Local Band of the Year contest), the hands-on recruiting of fringe acts to come play to a musical scorched earth (southern Ohio), was an inspired display of gallantry. The inevitability of this happening to such a righteous wild card saddens and angers me. But the age of innocence is as fleeting as true love, and it was better to have 97X for as long as we did than to not have had it at all. So, viva WOXY. You messed me up good.
Danny Crash Robin Plan Julie Maxwell Mr K Bakerman Phil Manning Todd Allen Janine these people and the rest of 97X built the music of our generation.
(((Thank you (((whoever))) you are.))) And Stephen Daedalus, above all he made it what it is today and the best it ever was. 1984, the crew he assembled, we all had the same vision, we all knew what we were doing and we wanted to make the same thing. How many times does that happen in a lifetime, all your collaborators reading from the same page, building on each others ideas, risking it all and trusting one another in the uncertainty? We thought we were untouchable, putting up with the station owner, the way you roll your eyes at the annoying kid brother who has to tag along though all he’ll do is get in the way and slow everyone down. A pest, an inconvenience, until he put us all into the cornfield. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. Let it finish.
Now then, anyone want something to remember me by,
No, become the radio.
It’s 4 o’clock in the morning, somewhere the GERMS are playing in America.