Music. At some point in each of our lives we stumble upon a sound that resonates deeply with each one of us. That sound, our first musical love, helps to shape the person we become, it can influence our lifestyle choices, our morals, our opinions and our ideals. As people grow and mature their musical taste may change but some small part of their first love will always remain.
Like a lot of Chicagoland alternative/punk/rock music fans in their mid-20s I have listened to Q101 since I was in middle school. For the son of a truck driver (who listened to solely country music) finding Q101 on the dial was life changing. After years of not really knowing or loving music I discovered a sound that was my own. I’d found the music that would help shape the person I would become, my first love.
For the 13 year old me it felt like uncovering some secret club. A club that understood who I was and what I wanted to listen to. A club that all my friends could and did join. The music we heard helped us to build friendships and relationships. It gave us hopes for the future and gave us causes to rally around.
When we were growing up music built our social network and Q101 was our Facebook.
I’m much older now. Music doesn’t play the same role in my life that it used to. But as Q101 closes up shop it dawns on me just how much of my adolescent experiences were influenced by it and by the music it played. With that being said here is a very less than complete list of memories I owe, at least in part, to Q101:
- My first concert ever. April 20th 1999 – Sponsored by Q101. (Marilyn Manson @ Allstate Arena)
- Standing in line overnight to get secret show wrist bands. (Limp Bizkit w/ Cypress Hill)
- Hearing bands that I have grown to love for the first time. Honestly I could go on forever with this list but it’s safe to say at least 75% of the music I listen, count on or care about I found from Q101 at one point or another. Here’s a full list: http://www.last.fm/user/sublimeruin/library#p1 (Bands like Green Day, Offspring, Foo Fighters, Bad Religion, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Korn, Weezer, Tool, NIN, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, MxPx, Blink-182, Rancid, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Linkin Park, Goldfinger, NOFX, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, New Found Glory, The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio, Barenaked Ladies, Bowling for Soup, LBC, 311, CAKE, The Vandals, Incubus, Everclear, Slipknot, Third Eye Blind, Beck, Ben Folds, Catch 22, Pennywise, Billy Talent, Blue Meanies, STP, Eminem, Bush, Live… )
- Hearing songs that helped a younger me to define and make sense of the world for the first time.
- Staying up late against my parents knowledge to listen to Loveline.
- Attending Warped Tour 10 years in a row. (1999 – 2009)
- Buying my first comedy/sketch CD. (Mancow’s White Cotton Panties – I know, I’m slightly embarrassed.)
- Having a chance to discover Chicago’s amazing venues. (Metro, The Vic, Congress Theatre, Aragon Ballroom (Brawlroom), New World Music Theatre, House of Blues, etc…
- My First show at the Metro. (Catch 22 and Bowling for Soup) (2000)
- My First show at The Vic (MxPx) (2000)
- Seeing the band that would grow to become my favorite of all: Bad Religion in person for the first time at The Vic.
- Attending my first show ever with my future wife, Joslyn. 2001 – Green Day at the Aragon Ballroom.
- Getting lost with Joslyn (@jusjoz) trying to make it to the Congress Theatre on time to catch Goldfinger with Bosstones and Sum 41. (2004)
- Spending 20 minutes throwing garbage with Jeff (@ziggee38) at Jamboree 99 after the Offspring asked the crowd to “clean up the place” by throwing the trash on stage at the New World Music Theatre.
- Countless other concerts. (Literally, 100’s of them…)
- Driving around for hours with my best friends (@thetoasterking and@tehbigcarp) during late summer nights.
- Being introduced to countless new bands and new music.
- Frantically texting (And 10 years ago – calling) to try and win concert tickets.
- Spending my middle 2 years of High School thinking I wanted to be a DJ because JVO (@jamesvanosdol) made it sound so cool.
- Being jealous of friends who got to meet Q101 DJs.
- Listening religiously to Local 101 (@local101) hoping to hear my band make the cut. And then once I grew up a little realized my band sucked – Listening because I loved Chicago and local music.
- Going to see Less Than Jake in Rockford with Danny (@waskonator) and Joslyn After Waid (@thetoasterking) stormed off angry right before we left for the show.
- Hanging out with Billy Spunke from the Blue Meanies after watching them play The Vic with Flogging Molly and having Billy Spunke call 17 year old me “The Man of the Hour” for wearing a Napster shirt to the show.
- Enjoying hours of free music that I love on countless drives to and from work, camping trips, BBQs, and long days working in the garage.
- Fighting with my Dad over the radio station on road trips.
- Joslyn and I moving into our first house. The first few days we had nothing but an old radio to listen to. We tuned it to Q101 and it’s been there ever since.
With that I say goodbye to Q101. Thanks for the memories.