THE LEGENDARY 104.1 WBCN THE ROCK OF BOSTON IS NO MORE: PICTURES FROM MY TIME THERE

Today the radio world was rocked by the announcement that in a convoluted swapping of frequencies, formats & call letters, the legendary rock station where I got my start, WBCN, Boston, is no more. As of next month, the station will exist online only.

THE STORY:

WBCN 104.1 FM, the long-celebrated Boston radio station credited with leading the progressive rock ‘n roll radio movement from the 1960s to the modern day, will no longer rock the airwaves.

Owner CBS Radio Boston said today that the legendary station is going off the air in a complicated shuffle intended to make room for a new sports/talk format.

On August 13, 98.5 The Sports Hub will replace the music station WBMX, or Mix 98.5, which will move to WBCN’s slot on the dial. WBCN will become a Web-only operation available at http://www.wbcn.com.

The Sports Hub will air New England Patriots and Boston Bruins games, according to a release from the station. Local personalities Toucher and Rich will anchor the morning drive hours. The station will take the call letters WBZ-FM, pending FCC approval.

CBS Radio Inc. (the former Infinity Broadcasting Inc.) is making a similar move in Washington, D.C., where on Monday, its talk station WJFK FM will become “106.7 The Fan,” with sports talk and broadcasts of Washington Wizards games.

As for WBCN, it will “say goodbye to Boston listeners after 41 years on the air with unique programming and stories celebrating the history and heritage of the station,” according to the release.

For decades, WBCN carried a reputation as perhaps the most progressive commercial rock station in the country, featuring such well-known air personalities as Charles Laquidara, with his “The Big Mattress” morning show, Danny Schechter the News Dissector, and J. Geils Band lead singer Peter Wolf, who worked as a DJ there. Musically adventurous and politically active, the station informed popular tastes both regionally and nationally, in its glory days helping to break such artists as U2, Elvis Costello, and The Cars. COURTESY OF THE BOSTON GLOBE

From 1992 to 2001, I was fortunate enough to get my start, arriving there when I was just a college intern. It was through WBCN that I met and am grateful to have worked for two of the all-time greatest radio DJs ever, Charles Laquidara and Mark Parenteau. It goes without saying I am very proud to have worked there and grown so much under the direction of the great Oedipus, Carter Alan, Steven Strick, John Reily, Tony Berardini, Cha Chi Loprette, and others.

Here are a handful of photos of my time at WBCN from my Dave’s Photo History: A Rock Timeline page:

Woodstock 1994

Johnny Cash & I around the corner from WBCN at Avalon Winter 1996; note the classic ‘BCN shirt, too

Kiss frontman Paul Stanley & I at the Fleet Center, Boston; photo taken by WBCN legend Mark Parenteau:

Alice Cooper & I in the WBCN air studio, Halloween 1996 – taken by Mark Parenteau:

Metallica’s James Hetfield, Mark Parenteau & I in the WBCN air studio, winter 1997

Metallica’s James Hetfield & I talking in the WBCN air studio, winter 1997 – one of my favorite ‘BCN pics:

Snoop Doggy Dogg & I at the Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA during our WBCN broadcast at Lollapalooza, July 1997- taken by Cha Chi Loprette:

Funk Mobster George Clinton, my buddy Nancy Richmond & I, on George’s bus in Providence, RI, on a field-trip arranged by ‘BCN, October 1999- one of my all-time favorite moments, as we sang “Mommy, Whose A Funkadelic?” together. Singing with George Clinton, courtesy of the great WBCN. Thanks to Steven Strick, who set that memorable night up for me. LOL

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Styx Celebrated With New & Classic Interviews For October

Styx Legends Tommy Shaw & James JY Young Speak With Dave Lawrence In  Exclusive Interview Podcasts During The Month They Rock Hawaii

Styx are back in Hawaii in October for their first shows in decades! Oct. 9 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu (ticketmaster.com), Oct. 10 at the MACC in Kahului (mauiarts.org), and Oct. 11 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island (hiltonwaikoloavillage.com). I’m celebrating with new and classic Styx interviews you don’t want to miss. Founding guitarist and vocalist James JY Young returns for a new interview — listen now in the DAVE REPORT. This one is a monster, nearly 30 minutes long, an in-depth conversation with highlights including extensive details on the separation from vocalist Dennis DeYoungand like you’ve never heard before, with the perspective of hindsight, from an original member of Styx. Plus, even more special: JY’s pilgrimage to meet rock icon Bo Diddley just weeks before he passed away. Authentic moments, personal reflections, and revealing dialogue.

To help make their rare appearance in Hawaii even more festive, for the month of October, we’ll also dig into the archives, and feature Styx guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw. I’ve been lucky to interview Tommy four times, and in the Classic Interview Player. all month, check out a spring 2005 conversation you’ll really enjoy… Hear touching details of Styx working with Chuck Berry’s legendary keyboardist Johnny Johnson, who passed away not long after recording with Styx. He tells the famous story of his “fuzzy” time in Kona with the female cabbie… Also, hear how Glen Campbell introduced Tommy to James Brown on American Bandstand with Dick Clark. Quality stories that I bet you’ll enjoy hearing, the October feature in the Classic Interview Player.

Listen and be part of this unique moment as Styx return to the Aloha State, and hear interviews with both James JY Young and Tommy Shaw.