Sentimentality has set in.
16.5 years ago, I set out on a course up the radio ladder. In truth, it began at the end of the summer of 1993. Or at least the inspiration did.
With WKQX-FM (101.1) in Chicago.
After a scary bout with food poisoning (thanks Elkhart Bob Evans), my folks drove me to the public beach in Michigan City, Indiana. I heard the “New Music Show” and “Local Music Showcase” on Q101 (hosted by Robert Chase and James Van Osdol respectively). That night changed my life forever.
I was blown away – I had never heard alternative music played on the radio. Over the next year, I would listen to the station every time we went near Chicago. There was a DJ at the time named Samantha James – she was British and she knew her shit! Her music knowledge was mind-blowing. Listening to her wax poetic about New Order in late 1994 made me want to go on the radio.
I was lucky enough to spend summer at Q101 as an intern (1997). It was one of my favorite career experiences – Robert Chase and James Van Osdol, radio heroes of mine, let me answer the request lines and help pick music. I even got to meet Peter Hook of New Order (ironically).
As of Friday, the frequency will (again ironically) switch over to news/talk. The format I am in these days (and have been since late 1998).
Q101 has been a big part of my life. Yes, I am aware it’s just a radio station. For me, it’s much more than that – it’s a part of what made me who I am today.
With that, I give you my favorite tracks Q101 played me:
1. Smashing Pumpkins “Never Let Me Down Again” (number one because it was originally on the B-Side of the “Rocket” import, was played off a cart, and we’d get a bunch of phone calls about it when I was an intern)
2. The Church “Under the Milky Way” (my favorite song of all time – heard routinely on the “Retro Brunch”)
3. New Order “Blue Monday” (I heard this song the morning my high school English class saw “Les Miserables” in December 1994 – I would come home that night and tell my Mom I wanted to go into radio)
4. The Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun” (my Dad was the one to inform me about the topic of the lyrics when I was 15 – thus I was scarred for life)
5. Sincola “Bitch” (summer of 1995 – don’t know what happened to this band, but it was a great riot grrl track)
All good things must come to an end I s’pose.