When Colby College Let 10th Graders Take Over Their Radio Station

Also known as our time without Pearl Jam


Kristina and I at just about the same age and maturity level that we had when someone decided it was fine to let us take over the local airwaves in Waterville, Maine for hours a week for many months. It was a magical time.
WMHB, Mayflower Broadcasting, Waterville, Maine

10. Jeremy – Pearl Jam (Ten, 1991, Epic) From the album Ten – do you think Apple did that on purpose?

For a handful of years in the mid-1990s, the good people at Colby College in Waterville, Maine thought it fit to give me and my best friend Kristina access to the airwaves for far more weekly hours than was probably prudent. We gladly snapped up all kinds of hours they couldn’t otherwise find college students willing to sober up for. It helped that Kristina lived right next to the college, and we could arrive after a less than 5 minute walk given I do not believe either of us drove yet.

The summer before our junior year in high school, I believe we had two separate radio shows (during daytime hours even!). One was called Rasputin’s Diner and the other was The Mike the Bird Show (the back story to that title is long and tedious, so don’t worry about it).

Both shows instituted a strictly enforced no-Pearl-Jam policy with pretty much the sole intention of pissing off college students. I mean, you can imagine the student body in the mid-90s, yes? A very crunchy, largely white, liberal arts school in the middle of Central Maine. You can imagine how that went over, yes? [ed. I need to make it clearer that we also wrote this into the promos for our show. As all shows had to promote each other during their own segments, such promos had to be read by other DJs, probably several times a day, for many, many, many weeks. I am sure it greatly increased our listener base].

I am sure I will tell more tales of our radio shows as I get further into this playlist, but for now, let me just put out a blanket apology to anyone who was employed at the Colby College bookstore, or anywhere else on campus that that was hardwired into the station at all hours of the day, and you were forced to listen to us while attempting to earn a living. I mean we usually played good music I think, but we also spent a great deal of airtime making pithy skits such as fake interviews with Jesus Jones, and one Saturday we played the 1:21 second song I’m Gay from the Kids in the Hall Braincandy soundtrack like no joke 30 times in a row until we probably peed our pants laughing (it happened sometimes). Actually, I am completely alone while I write this, and I am still laughing about it.

Anyway, so we largely resented Pearl Jam fans and the whole concept of making a culture change around a single city none of us have ever been to and don’t plan to go to that had nothing really to do with the band itself. I don’t believe Kristina liked them very much. I thought this album was good but never pursued the interest beyond this one. It’s starting to sound insincere, but I never liked this song. I do like the song Alive though, it is on some of my current playlists even.

Final Verdict: Sorry, this one is a no.

Instead: We All Die – Cat Power (Myra Lee, 1996, Smells Like Records)

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4 responses to “When Colby College Let 10th Graders Take Over Their Radio Station”

  1. Confessions, I LOVED this song in 9th grade and was crushing on the Jeremy kid from the video. Yes, that’s right, the one who kills himself in class. Sure, he had some severe mental health problems, but who cares when he’s got such a pretty face. I also wanted to run off to Seattle where all things were cool. Flash forward two years later and I completely disowned them and their city. Though I do still really like the song Black. And I don’t even mind the song Alive. Evidently Eddy Vedder released an album where all the songs feature the ukulele. You’ll be astonished to hear that the album is called “Ukulele Songs.”

    • I guess I do remember this crush of yours, so I am not as floored as I might be. Oh you and your crushed dreams. You didn’t get to meet and marry MM either, but I think you probably dodged a bullet there. Was it you who also lurved the kid from that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie that I am too lazy to look up the title for right now?
      Yeah, in the end, this band probably did not deserve being handed all of the contempt of a couple of misfit Central Maine teen girls that was actually about all of the problems with their stupid teenage boy fans, but I think they came out unscathed in the end. Snorts.
      Also, oh the power when Kasi would call and beg us to play Don’t Call Me Daughter. What little shits we were.
      “Oh hi best friend of ours who is faithfully listening to our stupid radio show. Oh, you want us to play a song you really like and would make you happy to hear on the airwaves this fine summer morning? No, sorry!”

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