I learned about the news like most did, I guess. Contacts from the social networks were linking to a blog post hinting at the almost sure news that NU107 will be reformatting. My initial sentiment was indifference, since I haven’t listen to the station for such a long time. After being exposed to people exclaiming their sadness about the station going off the air, and by actually tuning to that end of the FM dial three days before its demise, a lot of the old memories I don’t usually delve on came back. Eventually, I found it important to be physically there during the send-off.
Back in the 90s, people I know listened to 97.1 LS or LA 105.9 for rock music. The norm would be LS, and since I was pretty much ahead of most when it came to listening to new stuff, I’d be one of those kids to ask about this Ligaya single by a new act called The Eraserheads that was gaining airtime over Triggerman’s show. The edgier rockers were of course pro-LA, and would involve themselves in the then popular hip-hop bashing movement, which I didn’t participate in. I think I was the only rocker kid in high school who can safely hang around with any of the warring factions.
Listening then to NU107 that time is like partaking in something reserved for the elite. That’s how I saw it, since only a handful from my social circle ever did make that claim to be a listener. However, I’m that guy who started listening to jazz from 88.3 Citylite by himself in sixth grade, and that guy who also listened to the Top 40 fodder from 99.5 RT early high school, while no one from my family or from school listened to any music played on either of those stations. Obviously, I had a huge appetite for music, and labels never really mattered much to me.
I got into NU mainly for Myrene Academia’s Not Radio show. I used to record the show on blank tapes, or if I’m feeling sneaky, I would use my dad’s Paul Mauriat albums instead. That was a sacred hour back then, and sans internet or the budget to buy Spin or Rolling Stone, I was just hoping I could read more about the bands Myrene played on the latest issue of the then local rock bible, Rock N Rhythm. That show introduced me to Pavement, and when the song Unseen Power of the Picket Fence from the No Alternative record was played, I was just way too certain that I was never going to get into conversations such as which Guns N Roses album was the best anymore.
I’d assume to be a big NU107 listener during college, in my dorm room, on my mono-speaker radio-cassette player. This was already post-grunge, and LA105 was rotting badly by taking in and playing just about any band willing to submit a demo. Any rocker now listened to the station by default. On the campus front, just to give you an idea of what was happening then, I got to see the early incarnation of Parokya ni Edgar during the fair, and Yano during a protest gathering. Later on, the kupaw bands started to mushroom, and I got into a noise band with Tado.
Surprisingly, one of my most personal NU107 experiences wasn’t even music-related. I would always listen to Zach and Joey in the Morning, and eventually found myself participating in the morning show’s chatroom, which was the first thing I did at work at my first job. A fanclub slowly grew out of that. I went to the group’s EB’s, and got my hands code-dirty by producing an online forum for the group. I remember Joey toured a few of us when they transferred from Strata 200 to the new offices, and my buying a bouquet of roses for her birthday, delivering it myself, in behalf of the group. I was there during an anniversary or two, and I was also there when the show aired for the last time.
The Zach and Joey in the Morning fan club in 2002, with Joey and newscaster Rikki (Lana from Jam 88.3 now); me in brown
I was sure I would’ve regretted not going to the NU107 studios last Sunday. It was a photo-op, of course, but I intentionally only brought a small point-and-shoot with me to photo-document. I wanted to see Myrene, I wanted to see Zach, I wanted to see Francis, not as their musician-selves, but as music-influencers. I didn’t know any of the new jocks, but I’m sure the present generation looked up to them, like the older rockers did before. It must be said, too: the last batch of lady jocks were quite a pretty bunch.
Lastly, I’ll confess that I’ve always wanted to be an NU107 DJ, ever since a friend’s sister back in college referred to me as that boses-DJ guy who was calling her ate on the payphone. Hence, my irregular podcasting. Now how can anyone else have rock-jock dreams now?
To end this post, I’m sharing songs that defined my NU107 listening experience:
Catherine Wheel – Crank
Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – Stuck
Manic Street Preachers – Motorcycle Emptiness
The Sundays – You’re Not The Only One
Inquisition – Reta