By Timm Carney

Ah radio! I forgot how much I love you. For years I lived without a car and with no radio receiver in my apartment. I was radio deprived. At home, I only had an amp, CD player and turntable there was no radio. I rode the subway and listened to a walkman. I went to bars and clubs and heard music but no radio. Then I started to drive a car again. The car I drive is old not an antique or anything just old. It has a tape deck/radio but no CD player. I need to hear music when I driving alone so I turned on the radio. It was more out of desperation than desire. Not only was I driving again I was living in a new city.

I didn’t know the radio stations. They were all a mystery to me. I played around with the search button. That was when I discovered that the search button only picks up the strongest signals in whatever area you happen to be in. Not surprisingly the strongest signals are from the crappiest stations. Sure I love to hear a little old stuff here and again but where was the new stuff that wasn’t crap? I started to look at ads. There again I found the ads were only for the stations I was already starting to hate. Doomed!

Then one day I was at a traffic light and just couldn’t listen to one more play of Counting Crows. I pushed the search button steeling myself, ready for what ever came up; as long as it wasn’t Counting Crows I’d be happy. The light changed and I was sort of distracted by the act of driving for a moment and then I realized I was listening to something and I didn’t hate it. It was The Butthole Surfers! I practically had to pull over I was so happy. “It must be a fluke”, I thought or maybe a hallucination. No it was the Buttholes and it was followed by a Green Day song from an early album! What was this station? Hey there weren’t any commercials. I must be in another dimension! I looked at the radio and it said 92.9. The Station announced it was WBOS. I must admit I was disappointed when I heard the first commercial. Eventually I found out that they play very few commercials and hey someone’s gotta pay the bills right. Finally I had found a station!

Encouraged by this success I spent a little more quality time looking around and found a couple of local college stations. I was set. I could finally get into the car and not fret. This is when I realized how much I missed radio. When I lived in the Haight in San Francisco I listened to KUSF all day long. I didn’t have much choice as I lived to close to the transmitter and that was really the only station I could get. I would wake up to the Germ and listen all day until Chinese Hour when I would turn it off as I can’t understand and apparently tolerate Cantonese. Now I was suddenly a radio listen again thanks to an old Honda. New music was entering my life through the car. I am hearing bands I’ve read about but never heard. I was getting excited again when I heard a song. I was getting annoyed by bands that got a lot of play but sucked. Ah radio! I really have missed you!  

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