I’m lying on the floor of my Allston student ghetto apartment, talking on the phone with a guy I’d met only weeks before. Someday, he’s going to be my husband, but that’s five years away. What’s important, right now, is that song on the radio.
That song. Darn it, the group is right on the tip of my tongue. Who sang…
And Steve, right off the bat, names the group. He names the song, the album, a trick he’ll do over and over for me through the next 20 years. Because he’s listening to the same station, of course. He’s in Beverly, I’m in Boston, but we both listen to WBCN because, of course, who doesn’t?
It’s the soundtrack to countless all-nighters. “I have to wrap up this paper, I just heard Chuck Laquidara,” I’d say to my equally frantic roommate. My Walkman mix tape included snippets of various ‘BCN DJs chattering away as they introduced a favorite song. A musician at my telemarketing job bragged that his band was in the running for the Rock n’ Roll Rumble.
After college, I’d drive home late at night from my job at the Boston Herald with WBCN keeping me awake on the long drive down the Mass Pike. Steve and I would travel together out of state and the reemergence of 104.1 on the radio dial would mean we were almost home. When I moved to Gardner, my weekend drives to see my boyfriend were always marked with the point where I could finally hear my station again and I’d tear down Rte. 2 with the windows open and the radio blaring full blast.
We had a stereo in the kitchen of our first home that was permanently set to WBCN. It was the soundtrack to housebreaking our puppy, to parties on the wobbly deck, to the late nights when I was up with our first baby. I was in the shower when they announced Kurt Cobain had shot himself. Where were you?
I don’t remember exactly when we changed the station. It may have been when Laquidara was sent to WZLX so they could bring in Howard Stern. It may have been because every time I turned on the radio, I was getting either an earful of stupid chatter or the same five songs. Our cars’ radio presets still carry 104.1, but it’s no longer the first button — and more often than not, it’s used on Sundays during football season to catch the Patriots game.
So it’s with a bit of sadness that I bid farewell to WBCN, which will fade into yet another station I don’t listen to with the change that was announced yesterday. Truth be told, for me it was gone a long time ago, well before I bought my first iPod car adapter and gave up having people talk at me on the radio.
But thanks for the memories…