A few weeks ago, my husband Dennis and I ran into WMFU DJ Glen Jones and his girlfriend Gina at the Glen Campbell concert. About a week later I called my friend Diane (in the picture above) just to chit-chat and see if we could get together over the summer.
Diane immediately said, “Mare, before you say anything, Glen Jones mentioned that he saw you and Dennis on the radio. And I just knew that it was my Dennis and Maryanne! Did you guys see him last week?”
I laughed and said, “Yeah, we saw him and Gina at the Glen Campbell show!”
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that we were mentioned on the show, so when we had a free night, Dennis and I listened to that particular show on the internet (all shows are archived) to not only hear our names, but to hear what he had to say about Glen Campbell.
During the three hour program, we reminisced about all the fun we’ve had listening to the Glen Jones radio show over the years we knew each other. And I shared stories about fun times I had in prior years.
I was a big WFMU fan for as long as I could remember. It was the only radio station I listened to, but eventually the Glen Jones radio show, featuring X-Ray Burns (http://wfmu.org/jones/) became my favorite.
I love this show because Jones plays all the AM Gold hits from the 1970s that you grew up with. Whenever I listen I know I’ll hear something fun that I haven’t heard in over 20 years, like, “Life is a Rock, But the Radio Rolls Me.” But he’ll also play glam rock, classic rock, new wave punk — and Frank Sinatra. He’ll play anything prior to the turn of the century, so it’s always a “listen” down memory lane — for the generation that came after the baby boomers.
The highlight of the show is the banter between Jones and Burns. They are funny as hell, especially when talking about the good old days — as New Jersey truly was, not what you see on television, a charm no one would understand unless you grew up here yourself. And nostalgia of growing up in the 1960s and 1970s — department stores that are no longer around, Taylor Ham sandwiches (which I ate before becoming a vegetarian) and a definite respect for old school stuff like good television (i.e. “The Honeymooners”). Occasionally I’ll hear them tell a funny story about the long defunct Aldo’s Hideaway, my new wave stomping ground in the 1980s and it always brings a smile to my face — as I have many Aldo’s stories myself.
In 1996, my friend Jon invited me to a WFMU party and that’s where I first met Glen Jones.
Since then my friend Diane and I followed Jones and X-Ray around when they held live broadcasts of the show, usually at the WFMU record fairs in NYC. But one time there was a live show in Asbury Park, right on the boardwalk in an old Howard Johnson’s. It was so much fun listening to great music while swimming in the ocean. Diane and I had a blast that day. One time I even ventured out to Coney Island to see a live broadcast.
But the most memorable time I ever had at a Glen Jones show was the weekend he played songs for over 100 hours straight, which got him into the Guinness World Book of Records for the longest DJ shift.
It was thrilling to witness a part of history! Some fans even camped out, cheering Glen on!
When I first met my husband and we started spending entire weekends together going on long road trips throughout New Jersey, I told him to put WFMU on — that Glen Jones plays great music.
The Glen Jones radio show provided the soundtrack for many, many, many of our Sunday drives — until, depending on where we’re going, we lose the frequency. And lots of laughs with Jones and X-Ray — as we relate with so many things they talk and joke about.
Sometimes there will be a moment when Jones will play a song we especially connect with, during our carefree Sunday outings.
Whether it’s Glen Campbell or an old Bee Gees tune, we’ll look at each other and I’ll say to my husband:
“I love our life!”