(Above: the 45 sleeve. Remember those?)
Now that summer school has ended and the grades are posted (hooray!) I can get back to doing some research. A project that I am very excited about is the WLRA History Project that I began in May. The 50th anniversary of the launch of my college radio station is approaching, and to date there’s been no definitive history written about it, save an extensive Wikipedia entry and a few things here and there. My 30th anniversary of starting at the station hits in September, so the timing was right, I thought, to start the work. In testing the waters for interest in the project I created a Facebook page for alums of the station, and in just over a month over 250 former disk jockeys have joined it. I’m looking forward to getting it together in book form (and no doubt will be hitting you up to buy one when it’s done).
As a part of the project, I’ve been going through more old airchecks. In the past I have shared a few of my college morning shows on this blog (morning shows from October, November, and December of 1988 from WLRA have been featured). The really painful stuff to listen to comes from my first semester on the air. I was an 18-year-old freshman who hadn’t lost his Sout-Side “over by dere” Chicago accent, certainly hadn’t grown into his voice (another voice change would hit at about 22), and really didn’t know what to do on the radio except play it safe and crack a few jokes. By my second semester I got more comfortable, and my third semester was the morning show run/getting hired by a commercial station in Joliet. But these first semester shows? Ugh. Of course, I saved ’em all, and – from a musical standpoint, I’m glad I did, for some surprises lurk within.
Such is this record. I remember that I loved it when it came out, and played the tar out of it – but haven’t heard it much since. Mick Jagger dabbled as a solo artist in 1987, releasing an LP called Primitive Cool. The first single from the LP, “Let’s Work,” barely dented the Top 40, resting at #39 – largely on the fact that it was a Mick Jagger record. (It should have been penalized a few places for the terrible video effects.) The second tune, “Throwaway,” was a much, much better record. It sounded like it could be a Stones song, for cryin’ out loud. And, of course, the charts weren’t kind to it. It stalled out at #67 in December of 1987. But if I were programming today – heck, if I get back on the air in some form in the fall – I’d be playing this record, chart position be damned.
You can see the video for the official single release here. I much preferred the 12″ mix, which had really cool stereo separation in the beginning. It was also, at seven minutes in length, an excellent bathroom record, except for wanting to actually hear it.