Hey Mr. DJ

In his awesome new book, Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life, Steve Almond describes a particular brand of music fan: the Drooling Fanatic. Among the identifying characteristics:

We were DJs in college and had a show with a name so stupid we are vaguely embarrassed to mention it now, though we are quite happy to mention that we were DJs in college.

Yes, I was a DJ in college. And the name of my show was Vinyl Jungle.

Playing music and getting free records was great, but by far, the most exciting part of being a college radio DJ was when people would call up and threaten to kill me. It really lent a certain air of excitement to the evening.

Once someone said they would blow up the radio station, which seemed highly unlikely, even though Plattsburgh Air Force Base was nearby and those guys could probably get explosives.

Another caller claimed he could see me walking around inside the radio station and was going to shoot me through the window with a hunting rifle. That spooked me. I spent the rest of the night crawling on the floor back and forth to the music library, rather than walking past the windows. Later, I snuck out the back door of the dorm where WPLT was headquartered.

In a way, it felt good that the music I was playing made people react so strongly. There were never calls telling me my segues were brilliant or thanking me for playing the entire side five of The Clash’s Sandinista. What I really wanted was for girls to call up and tell me they loved the Violent Femmes and that I was brilliant. But making people complain was certainly better than nothing.

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