One of the great rock & roll radio stations died yesterday – WBCN in Boston. I started listening to BCN when I was a wee lad in the 1960s. I used to tape the radio programs (on reel-to-reel!) and listen to them over and over, trying to get a handle on all these strange new sounds I was hearing. BCN led the charge into the 80s too, heavily promoting local music with their Rock & Roll rumble, which introduced great, great bands like The Neighborhoods, Mission of Burma, Pastiche, and ’til Tuesday to the world – or eastern Massachusetts
The DJ’s went on strike for awhile in the early 80s. During this period, BCN was purchased by a national broadcasting group, which fired some of the local talent and prompted the strike by the remaining DJs. The whole rock community got behind the strikers and we were able to defeat the evil corporation. Power to the people baby!
WBCN lost me in the 1990s when it transitioned from punk/alternative rock to the trashy modern/active rock like Godsmack, Korn, limp Biskit, and started syndicating Howard Stern, morphing itself into a testosterone fueled teenager and in the process, losing it’s aging rockers like me. But it was a huge part of my life from adolescence to young adulthood. Charles Laquidiera, JJ Jackson, Carter Alan, Albert O, Tami Heidi (I still have a crush on her), and Oedipus introduced Boston to some incredible music and for that, I thank them.
WBCN is going to become an on-line entity at wbcn.com later this month. Their 104.1 FM band will become a sports talk station, competing with the sports idiots at WEEI-AM. I’m a sports idiot too so I cant complain too loudly about that but still, it saddens me. Records stores close, print magazines fold, newspapers stop publishing and radio icons go away too. Times change, often for the better. WBCN is gone. Thank god for iPods.