[By Bill Rosenblatt]
When I first showed up at WPRB in the Fall of 1979, the station’s musical center of gravity was shifting from progressive rock to punk and new wave. I was a prog fanatic – thanks in part to listening to WPRB during my senior year of high school in Philadelphia, especially late at night when the signal was stronger (this was before the early 1990s power increase) and DJs were more likely to play 10-minute epic prog tracks. But by the time I had gone through DJ training, I was one of the few remaining people who was still into prog. So I started a specialty show called “The Musical Box”, named after an early Genesis tune, which focused on prog rock as well as jazz-rock fusion. I believe I did the show from 1980 through 1982. Later on, Kevin Boyce ’83 joined me as cohost.
LISTEN: Musical Box Promo #1 (featuring stylish use of “Heart of the Sunrise” by Yes.)
LISTEN: Musical Box promo #2 (with great re-purposing of “California Über Alles ” by the Dead Kennedys”
We had an on-air “rivalry” between Mark Dickinson ’84 and myself. Mark was the resident expert on hardcore punk; he did a specialty show on it called “Decline and Fall”. The rivalry was “Punk is not music, the musicians can’t even play their instruments” vs. “Prog is pretentious, self-indulgent dinosaur music that isn’t real rock ‘n’ roll.” It was nothing personal; I had great respect for Mark, and he even got me to fill in for his show once.