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April 5, 2018


dare to be different
WLIR was a litmus test for friendship when I was
a misfit high school freshman. I was the new kid,
subject to various and conflicting influences: my
Princeton-attending sister was trying to turn me
into a prep while I was b-boying to assimilate in
my majority POC neighborhood. Much changed
when I was spinning the dial and The Clash burst
out of handmedown pink Sony alarm clock radio.
I'd never heard anything like it and I was instantly
hooked on new wave and punk. Few classmates
listened to 'LIR but those of us who did formed a
small but durable tribe that dressed gaudily and
got into dance clubs with home-made fake IDs.
My girlfriend's cousin worked at the station and
I bought a $65 crate of rejected promo records.
I made back over $1K selling them bit by bit,
but I kept this one -- pre-Beasties! --
and still have a bunch of stickers.