Radio Radio

The running joke on my campus was the college radio station, WRPI and the "whale music" they played. WRPI, like most college radio station, was an alternative music station. But this was before "alternative" meant "Rock Band that doesn't bathe." So they played folk, jazz, blues, noise, death metal and other music you wouldn't hear anywhere else. But all we knew was "whale music." I knew someone who worked at the station so in my sophomore year, I set out to teach them about good music and turn the station around. (Damn, I was arrogant.)

The staff at WRPI trained me on how to use the equipment, FCC laws and the station format (which was pretty loose as I look at it in hindsite). They put me on the air and I got my license to operate a radio station (you didn't need one to be a disk jockey, just to be the operator, now that's not even true). WRPI I got mine during a short stint where they weren't doing free one-year licenses for college stations. So I had to pay for mine, but it's mine for life. Two years later they changed their minds again and anyone who got their license the year before could get a refund and their license could be a free-one year license. I was ineligible. For three years I broadcast at WRPI. I acted as an assistant music director, music director and program director. My fourth year, I joined the hockey broadcast team. In hindsite, I was awful. I did not know how to be entertaining. I knew shit about hockey. What was I thinking?

I was thinking, "I want to be a disc jockey." I had wanted to be a stand-up comedian or a disc jockey since I was in high school. I figured this was my chance. As fate would have it, a local station was looking for interns as I departed from my fourth year of college (without graduating). I didn't get the job but I had made up my mind to take time off from college and be a disc jockey.

Life as an Intern