Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"Why?! Why don't you like me!?"

WWSU Playlist
27 December, 1988
Tuesday, 9 p.m.-midnight

Ministry – “Stigmata”
H Clive Greggson – “Not a Day Passes”
TOTW Marty Willson-Piper – “On the Tip of My Tongue”
H Skinny Puppy – “Human Disease”
DC Neon Judgement – “I Stood In Between”
M Thinking Plague – “Etude 4 Combo”
H Living Colour – “Broken Hearts”
PM REC Violent Femmes – “I Held Her in My Arms”
H Waterboys – “Fisherman’s Blues”
H Dinosaur Jr. – “Don’t”
H Richard Thompson – “Gypsy Songs”

K Hula – “VC1” (Voodoo Chile 1)
H KMFDM – “King Kong Dub Rubber Mix”
TOTW Laibach – “Sympathy For the Devil”
M Contoocook Line – “Goliath”
DC The Residents – “God in 3 Persons”
H Sharkbait – “Car Crash”
K REM – “South Central Rain”
PM REC Scott Goddard – “Two Triple Cheese”
H Alice Donut – “Lisa’s Father”
M Ben Vaughn – “Darlene”
DC Pop Will Eat Itself – “U.B.L.U.D.”
M Billy Bragg – “The Price I Pay”
H Tater Totz – “Bhartha’s Boogie”

The Ramones – “The KKK Took my Baby Away”
H Soundgarden – “All Your Lies”
TOTW New Order – “Fine Time” (silk mix)
DC The Jesus & Mary Chain – “Something’s Wrong”
H Lead Into Gold – “Hatred”
M A Split Second – “Scandinavian Belly Dance”
H Rapeman – “Radar Love Lizard”
PM REC Bongwater – “Dazed & Chinese”
K The Pogues – “Sally MacLennane”
H Diamanda Galas – “The Lord is My Shepherd”
K Laurie Anderson – “O Superman”
H Big Stick – “Crack Attack”
H Front 242 – “Headhunter”

Dinosaur Jr.’s Bug was the crescendo of my love affair with the band. Now the album itself I liked, in particular the raw emotion of “Don’t” which I used to put on loads of mix tapes.
Bug, while not quite as good as You’re Living All Over Me – which I still think is one of the best album titles EVER – had it’s share of would-be hits with “Freak Scene,” “No Bones” and “Budge” and probably would have been massive had it been released a few years later when grunge exploded. And this is the last album with the original line-up, before Lou Barlow left for the greener pastures of Sebadoh.

In 1988 I was the station’s music director and spoke with label folks on a regular basis. Usually it was the bastard offspring of the majors who rang (Warner Brother’s subsidiary Slash Records, for example), as well as indie distributors like Caroline. Dinosaur Jr.’s label at the time, SST, was one of the few indies with the resources to maintain weekly contact with tiny little college radio stations like WWSU, and as such friendships developed over time as they rang to chat about new releases, gossip about the acts, and find out how well the album was being received by staff and listeners.

I’m really not sure anymore how the conversation came about, but somewhere during the course of a chat with one of the peeps at SST, I was offered the opportunity to do a phone interview with J Mascis. Naturally I jumped at the chance. The SST told me to call at 3 p.m. on a certain date and gave me J’s HOME PHONE number! I got a crash course in how to patch the phone to the reel-to-reel so that I could get him to do a couple of station I.D.s, and a few hours before I was scheduled to ring him up the SST rep phoned to make sure I was still raring to go. Of course I was!

J, on the other hand, obviously wasn’t. When I phoned at the allotted time his father Joseph informed me that J had left the house about fifteen minutes previous. He apologized several times during our conversation for his son’s inability to handle the level of fame he had achieved, and he was so sweet about it and such a wonderful character to talk to that I ended up conducting my interview with him instead. He was a dentist with lots of interesting anecdotes about the profession, Amherst, and his family – a real charmer with a great sense of humor.

Naturally I was disappointed that I hadn’t gotten to speak to J, but his dad was so awesome that it made up for it. The SST rep was perplexed and somewhat pissed off when he learned that J had bailed on the interview (it wasn’t the first time, nor would it be the last) but there was little he could do about it. When I broached the subject of interviewing one of the other Dino members I was told that it was J’s band, and that he was the official spokesperson. Um…oh-kaaaaaay.

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