Punk Globe: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. How was your vacation?
Marvelous. We visited my pet wolf, Contessa, at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in New Mexico. (http://www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org/
) I had to place her there three years ago as I was spending half the year in Bangkok, my wife’s hometown.
Punk Globe: How old were you when you realized you wanted to be a Dee-Jay?
Oedipus: A mere boy, listening to my AM radio.
Punk Globe: Tell us about your first job?
Oedipus: In the mid-70’s, I became the head writer for the morning man at WBCN (a volunteer position), and the news director asked me for a weekly report about the various happenings around Boston. There was a nascent rock scene that was developing that eventually became punk rock. Not only did I report on this weekly for WBCN, I began playing the music on the MIT college radio station WTBS (now WMBR before the call letters were sold to Ted Turner). The show developed into the first punk show in the country.
Punk Globe: How did you get your job with WBCN?
Oedipus: Even though WTBS was only a 10-watt radio station, my show “The Demi-Monde” developed quite a following. The Program Director discovered that I was getting ratings at a college station, so he hired me to bring my brand of radio to the hippy-oriented, free-form WBCN.
Punk Globe: Do you remember where you were living when you first started at WBCN?
Oedipus: I was living in a 6-bedroom brownstone on Beacon Hill with various and sundry artistic roommates. Theater, musicians, and I myself a photographer. My rent was $62.50 a month plus utilities. $100 plus food stamps kept me afloat. The punk band DMZ formed in my basement. The Dead Boys, Mink de Ville and various touring bands crashed at my house. Stiv Bators slept in the bathtub.
Punk Globe: How long did it take you to become Program Director for the station?
Oedipus: I was hired as a DJ at WBCN in 1977, the token purple-haired punk rocker. I made the announcement while MCing a Ramones, Talking Heads, Eddie and the Hot Rods show. I became Program Director in 1981.
Punk Globe: Tell the readers some of the awards that you received from your work at WBCN?
Oedipus: Program Director of the Year from various music industry publications, like Billboard Magazine. Of little matter to me. It was always all about the music.
Punk Globe: I remember meeting you through Howie Klein who raved about you as a friend and also about your ability to being able to break new music... Can you remember when that was?
Oedipus: Howie Klein, an amazing music man. It had to be the late seventies when I crashed on his couch while visiting San Francisco. He took me to this fascinating North African restaurant where we ate everything with our hands. At the end of the meal they cleansed our fingers with rose water.
Punk Globe: I remember Joey Ramone telling me that you the Boston's answer to Rodney Bingenheimer. Any thoughts on that?
Oedipus: The Ramones did their very first radio interview with me at WTBS during their first venture outside of New York City. All four were present. Joey and I became fast friends. Over the years he would call very late at night. The conversations always began a bit awkwardly but became more animated as we talked music and zeroed in on bands that “were one of us.” It was generally near dawn when I finally told Joey that I had to get a couple of hours sleep before work.
Punk Globe: You were also a help to Clash weren't you? Any others who credit you?
Oedipus: One of my goals as PD was to break the Clash. We succeeded. “The only band that mattered”.
Numerous bands, local, national and international, received their first airplay on WBCN. Too many to name and no desire to boast. Passion for music, pure and simple.
Punk Globe: How many years were you at WBCN and was there any reason for you leaving the station?
Oedipus: About 30 years. Radio changed over that time span. What once was a spirited creative environment became a corporate audience-researched drudgery. Eventually even the music couldn’t overcome the fools in the boardroom. I did leave the station healthy though. It only took them 5 more years to destroy it and run it out of business.
Punk Globe: Are you still involved with The Boston Music Awards?
Oedipus: Yes. Worthy recognition of some of Boston’s finest.
Punk Globe: Any favorite memories from your days at WBCN?
Oedipus: Damn Ginger, where do I begin? A drunken Clash singing “YMCA”; being called a “cunt” by the Stranglers because I threatened to throw them out of the studio when they began throwing around my precious punk singles of bands they didn’t like; or the time that Johnny Rotten and PIL were so vulgar on my show that their scheduled late-night TV appearance was cancelled. So we partied at my apartment and John gave me an in-depth dissertation on how to raise my budgie. Too many stories for this interview. Every band of import passed through Boston and WBCN. Music was our life.
Punk Globe: Tell us about your current job?
Oedipus: I host my website, The Oedipus Project, (www.oedipus1.com) where I continue to champion new music.
Punk Globe: How long have you been there?
Oedipus: A couple of years.
Punk Globe: Where did you get married?
Oedipus: Bangkok. I rode in on an elephant dressed like the “King & I”.
Punk Globe: How did you meet your wife?
Oedipus: In the 80’s I had a syndicated countdown radio show called “Rockwatch” that was picked up by a radio station in Bangkok. I visited the country and fell in love with the people. I vacationed there frequently over the years and embraced Buddhism. After leaving CBS, I decided to immerse myself in Thai culture and enrolled at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to study Thai. I met my wife through fate in a restaurant. She’s a Thai attorney.
Punk Globe: Do you have any web addresses that you would like to give to the readers to get updates on you?
I can be reached easily through my website: www.oedipus1.com
“Oedipus Oedipus” on Facebook as they will not accept just one name. Oedipus1 on Twitter.
Punk Globe: What does the rest of 2011 hold in store for you?
Oedipus: Internet initiatives, travel and so much good new music.
Punk Globe: Any words of advice for young people wanting to work on the radio?
Oedipus: Let your passion guide you.
Punk Globe: Will you be doing the annual Boston Christmas celebration for 2011/2012?
Oedipus: The past couple of years WFNX has graciously allowed me to host my annual Christmas Eve broadcast that has become a Boston tradition for 30 some years. From my vast music library which includes a huge array of Christmas songs, I pride myself on not playing one of those holiday songs that if you heard one more time you would shoot the radio. 6 hours, commercial free, songs heard only once a year. Peace, love and understanding.
Punk Globe: Thank you so very much for the interview Oedipus... Any parting words for Punk Globe readers?