KGOU and the trick of memory

Found this in my email in box today:

Hello, fellow KGOU alumni: In January, KGOU is celebrating its new studios and the 25th anniversary of becoming a public radio station. You and any significant others are invited to a reunion! When: Saturday, January 19, 2008 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Come and go) Where: KGOU’s new studios, Copeland Hall, Room 313, on the OU campus What: Free pizza and salad buffet There’s a place on our website to leave contact info, RSVP, take virtual tours of the old and new facilities, and share your memories: http://www.kgou.org/reunion.php I know some of you date back to the pre-public radio days (me, too!). Come swap stories and see what has become of KGOU! Laura Knoll Membership Director/Webkeeper KGOU

Here's my RSVP:

Hello Laura,

Though charmed as I am to be included, and genuinely surprised that you found me, I reckon you're not familiar with my tenure there at KGOU as host of "Roots, Rock, Reggae." Nor I guess are you aware with the circumstances of my swift dismissal there and acrimonious departure which would preclude my wanting to be feel even a tad positive, much less nostalgic about a reunion.
I am however cheered by the notion that the guy who gleefully fired me dropped dead soon after, so no chance running into him again any day soon. At least, I hope. Regardless, all the best and congratulations on the milestone, Mark

Oh dear, there are soooo many stories I could tell you about hosting alternative radio is a two-horse Midwestern college town. A lot of my musical life from 1981 up until they kicked me out in 1983 was wrapped up in co-hosting a weekly, 3 hour heavy manners Jamaican Reggae radio show. Back before the Wal-Mart like NPR uniformity was brought on, just like here in Austin today and everywhere everywhere else, there were a handful of pretty damn well programmed Alternative Radio shows in KGOU.

That is, until John Mooneyham played FEAR's "Fuck Christmas" one lovely Christmas Eve. I was actually there in the control room when a boozed up University booster, dragging along his equally inebriated trophy wife, stormed the station hurling epithets and then actually swing punches at the hapless DJ, while myself and a few other local punks mocked and laughed at them gleefully. In the aftermath, we were all one by one singled out and cashiered in the fallout, and when they finally succumbed to the NPR juggernaut, I lost my paying gig there as a Classical announcer, simply by dint of association.

Truth is, I was in that control room quite a bit, sampling the newest releases from the library in the production studio while John, or Kurt on "Fear Of Music" or some other local freak was playing the latest Bauhaus 12 inch dance mix at 2am. For me, it was a finishing school for the radio end of the music business and a genuine education. More than I ever got in the RTF department there I assure you.

It would be years later before I got a chance at the radio again, this time at KUT. But alas, nearly the same series of events occurred here as well, and no longer will you hear my programming on the radio. Trust me when I say I'm not too sad about it however, as anyone can see it's essentially a dying, if not already dead, medium.