Monday, August 21, 2006

Life in Grand Rapids-Radio Void Vol. V (Of Censorship and Repression)


While we all accepted that WCAL was a cable only station, thus rendering it useless, what was unacceptable was the censorship that occurred at the station. Each and every album that came into the station was reviewed for objectionable material. OK, so no station can air the seven dirty words, but this went quite a bit beyond that. Granted, this was a Christian school, it still seemed extreme. We had to censor anything that might be deemed objectionable material to the Calvin population. Let's just say that we couldn't even announce The Jesus and Mary Chain. We had to call them JMC. Blasphemy!

In addition to lyric censorship, we had to rate each track on the album with a 1-4 rating for the *heaviness* of the song. For instance, Amy Grant might be a 1, but Einsturzende Neubauten was most definitely a 4. 4's were not allowed to be played during meal times. Yes, you heard it right. The station was broadcast into the cafetrias on campus and apparently we might have caused some indigestion.

Did any of this stop me? Why no. It only prodded me on to be as maverick as possible. I rather enjoyed playing "The Only Good Christian is a Dead Christian" by Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel during dinner hour. No one paid attention anyway. I was never removed from the air, but I did leave Calvin after three years in large part because I wanted to spread my little DJ wings and fly. I transferred to WUSC, I mean the University of South Carolina. They had one of the top ten college radio stations in the country at the time. See, I had my priorities straight.

12 comments:

lulu said...

Didn't you also broadcast some Jim Carroll spoken word piece involving repeated F-bombs on Easter Sunday?

Tenacious S said...

Uh, that would be in South Carolina in the middle of the Bible Belt with 2,500 watts of power behind me and about a 30-mile radius of reception, which pretty much covered the entire population of the capital of South Carolina. Ooops.

Tenacious S said...

Sorry, I mean capitol of South Carolina.

Echo said...

Did anyone even understand Einsturzende Neubauten in either location? Although, I must say that Futter Mein Ego (Yu Gung[?]) explains "the burning at Echo's"... a sample translation:

Let’s get more vodka and Russian vitamins
I think we’ll have to go back there
I think he’s already gone to bed
Definitely! Never! Draw! Never sleep! All lies!


Am I pretty close to the truth, Lu & T?

Tenacious S said...

My roommate at Calvin spoke fluent German as does the lovely Sonja. I, on the other hand, barely passed German on the third try. I'm still blaming Popov for all of my failures. As for the general population of Calvin, they were much more likely to have understood something in Dutch.

lulu said...

You know, I pretty much spent the 80s dancing to Wham, I have no idea what you two are talking about.

Echo said...

Okay. Second guilty pleasure of mine... never mind... too embarassing...

Echo said...

It's true... I've been known to pick up my guitar and play a few cool tunes... and then roll right into...wait for it... "Faith"... Dammit, I feel dirty....

Sonja said...

I remember that "Drive" by the Cars was banned from a campus dance because it was deemed...nihilistic.

Tenacious S said...

George Michael is a misunderstood musical genius.

Sonja said...

Did anyone ever figure out what Andrew Ridgely did on that album? Where is he now?

And, as long as we're looking, what happened to Philip Michael Thomas?

My People-addled brain needs to know.

Tenacious S said...

Sonja, I'm not so sure that it's what Andrew did on the album that matters...........