Worth watching: documentary about rebel radio

New Wave: Dare To Be Different

seen on basic cable (MTVClassic?)

This documentary tells the story of renegade radio station WLIR of New York. They were one of the first radio stations in the US to play many of the most important bands of the late twentieth century. According to Wikipedia, station personnel drove to the airport to get new albums shipped in from London. U2, Elvis Costello, the Ramones, the Clash, the Police, Talking Heads, the B52’s and Blondie were some of the bands introduced to American listeners by WLIR. Ellen Goldfarb directed this very watchable documentary. It features interviews with Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, Billy Idol and other artists, as well as many WLIR personnel. I remember this time period and its music. The documentary captures the spirit of the time; the sense of possibility.  People were trying to upend the social order through music.  WLIR broadcast interviews with famous musicians from a scruffy warren secured with a clothes hanger. There was a sense that a small group of people could change the world.


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