WBCN‘s final farewell party was held last night at the Paradise Rock Club on Commonwealth Avenue in Downtown Boston, culminating at least a month and a half of various and sundry farewell parties that have been held by numerous parties since CBS Radio announced the station’s closing back in July. Meaning that I have seen these people almost as much in the past two months as I did when I was working there, and I have been embarassingly, staggeringly drunk around them, well, at a pretty much one-to-one ratio.
This, however, was the big one: all the legends from when the station was huge and legendary were there, from Charles Laquidara to Mark Parenteau to Ken Shelton… and based on how they look today, apparently the station was huge and legendary a lot longer ago than I thought.
It was interesting to meet some of those guys who were there when WBCN was one of the biggest radio stations in the world because every single one of them felt as proud to be a part of that history as I did, and more importantly: every single one of them was a shitfaced as I was. I spent a few beers and cigarettes with a producer from the old morning show formulating a scheme to glorify the memory of WBCN by promoting the new “Freeform WBCN” streaming radio station with a free liquor and marijuana WBCN cruise in international waters for 2 grand a head. We actually spent ten minutes pitching this idea to Sam Kopper – WBCN’s original program director and current PD of the streaming station – before being kindly told that we should set out sights a little lower. So we spent fifteen seconds formulating a new plan to glorify the memory of WBCN by setting Dan Mason on fire… and gave up after spending five minutes failing to find either of our car keys.
In short, it was a good time, but it’s over now. Really over. And I don’t have a hell of a lot more to say about it; the guts of my original feelings about the station closing are already set in pixels, and if you happen to give a fuck, there’s pictures of the event in The American Jerk Photo Dump with shitty cell phone videos to appear on The American Jerk Video Dump on Monday or when I can figure out how to rip them out of the Googlephone, whichever comes first.
And after that, there’s just no point in beating the thing to death. In the end, the story of WBCN was a typical American story: a few dedicated misfits built something unique and magnificent, and then sold out to corporate America, who wanted to keep everything exactly the way it was except for just a few tweaks to make things a little more profitable. And four million tweaks later, the suits said, “Huh. Worked when we plugged it into the spreadsheet. Oh well, fuck it. Got an idea: what Boston really needs is another station where overly obsessed misfits can call and bitch about Tom Brady as if he gave a fuck or could even hear them past Giselle’s legs clamped around his ears.”
In the end, that’s the only lesson that matters: every media that thrives on creativity and originality that can possibly make a dime will be ruined and destroyed once corporate America gets their hooks into it. Remember that when your Internet provider starts muttering about traffic shaping for preferred providers… which I am not. After all, outside of Oklahoma, there is no money in horsefucking jokes.
That said, I’m Rob Reuter, and I’m about done for today. I’d love to hang out, but I’ve gotta head home; I’ve got a bottle of Jack Daniels that isn’t gonna drink itself. In the meantime, here’s some Elvis Costello, and some Steve Earle. You’re tuned to The American Jerk, broadcasting twenty-four hours a day on theamericanjerk.com in crystal clear HTTP.