As we were hitting Episode 200 and about to review the new Lamb of God (a band first heard about back in the radio show days) for Episode 201, it got me thinking about the effect this show has had on my life…
As many of you know, this podcast is the evolution of a radio show I started way back in 2003 at 98.1 WQAQ, then just “The Sideshow.” It was a rough start for me (you should hear that first show…oi!), but, specifically because of said rough start, I met Nick, he soon joined, and we picked up steam. When I graduated, I passed the show to Nick; when he graduated, he passed it to Kyle (aka The ROCK(Jock)). When Kyle graduated, he passed it down. Last I knew, The Sideshow was the longest running show in WQAQ history.
That show was priority for Nick and I when we were in school, many times to a fault. We spent far too much time meticulously plotting every show and building the brand. To be honest, it was just more fun than school work. It paid off, though…everybody who remotely cared about WQAQ (actually involved or not) knew who we were. Even if they didn’t care, they saw the 5 foot chaos logo banner hanging in the cafe at various times.
The radio show was more than just fun, though. It actually changed my life, and had a lasting impact. It helped me become the Metal fan I am today, coming in at a time where I was ready to grow, musically speaking, introducing me to countless bands I may not have known otherwise. (Some of that was through Nick too.) I mean, ask anybody – I dove in as deep as I could and never came out. Arguably, I became obsessed…and still am. In turn, my lifestyle evolved to go with it all.
Most importantly, though, almost every friend I still have from college I have because of The Sideshow. Some I just keep up with mostly on social media, some I meet at shows, others I only get to see only a few times a year, and a few are some of my closest friends. (You all know who you are!) Without that show, I may not have met any of those people and have the relationships I do now. It seems weird to even think about that…
Also, that’s not to mention the people I didn’t keep in touch with who were part of my life then. Whether it was having psuedo-philosophical discussions in the station lobby (where I spent a lot of time), going to Hartford or New Haven for a show (or that one time at the Elks Lodge in Hamden), or any other shenanigans that went down, these awesome radio people touched my life.
Even when I stopped doing the show after graduation (to which I did make one more appearance), it was still happening “underground” between Nick, Kyle and I via email. The podcast just brought it to the surface again. Like the radio show, this podcast is a labor of love to which we happily dedicate our time, working it in around full-time jobs, relationships, and the rest of our lives. We do it for the love of the music. We do it to keep the legacy alive…the legacy that forever impacted my life.*
So, to anybody who has ever listened to an episode, any band that has sent us their music, anybody who has taken the time out of their schedule to be on the show, everybody who has left a comment, liked s on Facebook, reviewed us on iTunes, said hi at a show…whatever you contributed, in any form…I sincerely thank you. It means the world.