December 10th, 2013

New Tilley Hat

One Day As An Engineer at Fresh Air Radio

This story is for Bubo G. Gear. We were discussing Patti Smith's punk poetry and I mentioned the following incident, saying I probably shouldn't post it on Facebook. So here it is, in all its glory.

NSFW, so the naughty bits will be under an LJ cut (not that you'll notice from the link in FB).

One Day As An Engineer at Fresh Air Radio

In the early days, KFAI-FM was a small, 10-watt (at best) station that was, as I used to say, "exclusive to parts of South Minneapolis". The station began broadcasting in 1978, and I joined in 1979 for Shockwave Radio. Even though non-profit and (mostly) volunteer run, we were required to have 3rd Class Broadcasting licenses, meaning we could handle the studio controls.

One day, probably circa 1980 or so, I was asked to be the engineer for a remote broadcast. The Urban Guerillas, a local Mpls punk band, was giving a concert at nearby Powderhorn Park. I didn't have to do much, claimed the guy who recruited me, but the station needed someone in the studio for legal reasons and if anything happened to the tech during the concert. Okay, I thought, an easy gig for which I get volunteer credit.

I sit down in the studio, alone in the station on the weekend, scan the settings, and get a little bored. Punk rock isn't my kind of music, and I'm sort of half-listening while absorbing more of the equipment and any reading material on hand. The live concert is going well and I don't need to do much but adjust the pots (volume controls) now and again.

Suddenly, out of nowhere….Collapse )
The rest of the concert went smoothly, at least from a technical perspective. No one else called and no one said anything afterward. One of the many reasons I remain a volunteer at KFAI to this day.