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Sorry, a minutes indulgence....means a lot to me.

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When I was in high schol, around 1977-78, there was a local radio station in my city, it was calWBLY, they had both an AM staition and an FM, the FM, for a few years there in the late 1970's was the best radio station  have ever heard. TOTALLY freeform, the on-air personalities simply played what they wanted to play. No idiotic program directors, playlists, or anything else.....guys and gals good musical tastes played the stuff they liked and also what they thought needed to be introduced to the masses.....I've written about the famous WOXY and, to a lesser degree, KEXP, and in thier days, they were fine stations, but NO RADIO STATION could POSSIBLY (I really mean this) hold a dim candle to WBLY-FM in the late 1970's......


During, I think, the summer of 1977, they introduced a new man run the midnight-6 show.....he was great, just fantastic......back in the 70's it was HARD to loacate ANY music outside the maintream, we would read about all the punk/new wave band in Trouser Press or New York Rocker, read reviews, salivate over the mail-order ads which were the only place we could get to HEAR any of this stuff (at a steep price)......this new guy, the midnight guy, his name was Marshall Phillips, and he had a ridiculous amount of vinyl, and GOOD SHIT TOO, Pistols, Clash, Dictators......Buzzcock, Dead Boys, Stranglers.......Runaways, Blondie, Ramones.......not JUST the punk stuff, also CLASSIC shit, the New York Dolls, the MC5, the Velvet Undeground, The Stooges........as well, asawesome classic metal from Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Mott the Hoople.....simply, the GREATES music of the 60's and 70's.....on some nights he would play strictly by request, and his local following was so large and great there were NOT calls for "Free Bird" and "Slow Ride", which one could hear any hour of any day.......the requests were for SOMETHING DIFFERENT, and I was thrilled.....FINALLY, a radio personality with some TASTE, and with the balls enough to not play the latest cut from Foreigner ever fifteen minutes. When he'd announce a "strictly by request" block, he'd say, "But, please, let's stay away from stuff with a dead beat......after all, softrock is like skim milk".......truer words never spoken.

I called him up one night and explained to him that I had very similar tastes in music to his own......he
told me to come on down to the station, and, if I ddn't mind, could I pick him up a pack of Marlboros.......I was thrilled to death to do so, the station was only about 15 minutes from my home. We hit it off right away, and from then on he would, very generously, allow me to borrow albums from his collection, to take home and tape.......I had a few things HE didn't have, an it was exciting for me to hear, say, tracks from Love's "Forever Changes" ON THE RADIO?!?!? MY copy of it, no less! Great times those years were I'd visit him once a week or so and we'd swap albums to make knockoff copies, any baby right here want to say we were doing anything "wrong" is welcome to never visit this blog again.

Well, at some point,it happened......WBLY hired a program director, who, of course, had a "better" idea......which of course was for WBLY-FM to basically drop the rock format (for AOR/pop), and you could hear the total misery in Marshall's voice as he had to announce some other track from Linda Rondstadt.....Boston.....or God knows who else......I once heard him play (as he pointed out "STRICTY by request") "Le Freak" by Chic.......literally, you could hear his teeth gnash. He was miserable, and, also, myself and my friends were prohibbited from visiting him at the station......

Finally he was reprieved, moving to WTUE in Dayton, a long-established rock station, who still had pretty rigid playlists, LOTS of Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Stones, and "Classic Rock".....but evntually, it the acceptance of stuff like Nirvana and Smshing Pumpkins, he was onc again able to induge in some of the stuff he really did enjoy. We lost touch, for the most part, after he left the Sprinfield station (WBLY), I would still listen to him on occasion, still marveling at that mooth, made for radio voice, and occasionally calling in with a "request" for "It's Too Late" by the Jim Carroll Band or something......as soon as he'd hear that rquest, he'd sigh and say "How you been, Scott?"

My ultimate point is this: different people shape our tastes in music....perhaps wth this blog, I have
influenced one or two of you in some small way......in MY OWN lifetime, NOONE, and i DO MEAN NOONE, had a bigger influence on shaping my attitudes and tastes in music.....Marshall was the greatest, he LOVED (as I do) introducing others to sounds that they had not heard before, and (again, like me), it would simply make his day if somone would get back to him and tell him how much they enjoyed te album, or tape, or whatever, that was really the greatest gift one could give to him.

Besides this, he was a super-intlectual, a left leaning Democrat who would discuss politics with you for hours on end, never taking the condescending view so-many political debaters take, he simply loved and enjoyed taking about poltical issues and was extremely knowledgeable. On top of this, he was one of the nicest, politest, and just plain BEST human beings I have ever met.

Marshall Phillips, I thank you for a lifetime of musical wealth that you provided me......thank you for opening my ears to somthing NEW, something DIFFERENT, and makin me understand that there is more to life/music than "Stairway to Heaven" or "Purple Haze" five times a day......there was always music, GOD music, out there, that you jus had to look for.....

On Sunday 10/5/14, Marshall Phillips was found dead in his apartment in Piqua Ohio. He had been having some health issues the past couple years, cause of death: natural.......he was 58 years old....I just want to say I will miss him, an will always appeciate the influence he had on my musical tastes, not just WHAT to listen to, but HOW TO listen to it, and HOW TO appreciate the fact that EVERYONE won't share our love for this music and too each his own.

I've been through a LOT of deaths in my life, they all affect me in different ways. I am not doing well with this one, although we haven't been close for years, maybe it can be compared to the loss of a special teacher or military office who taught you a lot and helped make you what you are. Please rest in peace, and if possible, continue to rock it hard from the other side, we'll all wind up there eventually.......thank you for being a friend, and for all you did for me.....I will always miss you and think about the great times and all that I learned from you.......just thank you.....

I'm not doing well with his, sorry, I hope putting it in writing will help me to get a grip on things.....







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