August 11, 2009 will be the last day of WBCN, The Rock of Boston, 104.1 on the FM dial. Of course, I must say that it hasn't actually been a station I've listened to in 15 years, but back then it was everything. The station defined cool. It lead me to bands and music I'd never heard before. It swaggered around Boston in its' tight jeans and black boots. It hosted lunchtime rock band parties at local clubs where the bars were open and serving and everyone left with a happy beer buzz. The Rock 'n Roll Rumble was a chance to see bands compete against each other for a week or two until the champion was crowned and sent off to record their magic. Mission of Burma, Til' Tuesday, Treat Her Right and Me and The Boys (hi Brian!) all part of the soundtrack.
But we loved the Del Fuegos. They were "our guys". We followed them to every watering hole from Boston to Connecticut. Their 8x10 glossies were on our walls, we knew every word to their songs.
"and I don't want anybody
who don't want me
I'm sick and tired of running' round
tryin' to figure out how it should be"
We loved that those boys rode around in their worn out van from gig to gig. So bohemian! When will they ask us along???
For me and my happy group of friends, the city was our oyster. I lived in what can only be described as a mad, wonderful, revolving door of an apartment in Somerville. A futon for a couch and a television set that was rented by the month. I worked at a radio station, one roommate an advertising agency, another a magazine. Catering jobs were taken as second jobs and there was always some leftover function food in the fridge and plenty of bottles of wine. Another friend booked talent at a club. There would be vistors from Ireland, sailors from the stormy sea, poets and bartenders; guys we wished were boyfriends and guys we'd never see again! We were at any moment, "6 degrees of separation" from any one in Boston. We went to all the shows, we followed all of the bands. We wore white shirts with tight blue jeans and bolo ties. The uniform.
Life is full of transition. Those fabulous days in our early twenties were left for marriages, children and more important jobs. Before we knew it we were 30. Our digs got a little more upscale, i.e. we actually bought our own tv's! But now, as I tell my teenaged boys about all of
this I can't believe how nostalgic I get for those heady days of Boston Rock where seeing Peter Wolf on the street would be talked about for days and where DJ's like Charles Laquidera and Mark Parenteau were total celebrities. Long gone is The Channel, this gal's most frequented nightspot on Friday and Saturday nights. This patchwork of nightclub where the "farthest" bar room in the back looked out over Boston Harbor was the epitome of those times, a little grunge, a little country, a lot of rock.
Was I ever cool enough for 'BCN? I don't know. I never actually owned a pair of Doc Martin's. But maybe that's the way it should be left. As this great place; the holder of the backstage pass; the coolest kid in town.