WHUS Alumni Association

Former UConn Radio People Cyber Group

INBOX

Thumbs Up From UConn Alumni Association

From UConn Alumni Association uaa@uconn.edu , 4/3/02

Your WHUS site is great!  Hopefully, you will be able to get in touch with many alumni who have 'graced the airwaves' over the years.  I will certainly include your copy in our next Husk-E-News e-newsletter, and I will add your link to our website.  If you haven't already subscribed to the e-newsletter feel free to sign up at http://www.uconnalumni.com/enewsletter/index.cfm . Thanks for dropping us a line and Go Huskies!

Fan Mail From A Freshman

From Zach Singer, 2/6/03

Hey Robert J. Wonderful website you have here. I just wanted to take this time to let all of you alumni know how things are going right now at WHUS, specifically in the Sports department.

First off, I'm a second-semester freshman at UConn. I can't tell you how nervous and excited I was the first time I went on the air, October 9, 2002, alongside the legend himself, John Tuite. I saw a message on the website asking if he was still at the station. Not only is he here, but he is one of the true pillars in college sports broadcasting. He had a very nice write up in this year's Men's Soccer media guide, as he has been broadcasting the sport for WHUS for 19 years, receiving numerous awards from the Associated Press and the New England Collegiate Soccer Association. His work has helped keep WHUS #1, i.e. the oldest soccer broadcasting station in the nation. Let me put it simply. Without John Tuite, WHUS has no sports department. But he isn't alone. I'm privileged to work with several fine undergrads in the sports department, including current sports director Mike Frank.

We just saw the new plans for the new Student Union station, and the first thing I thought of is how it's all thanks to you alumni, who kept the place going strong. I wouldn't be here...WHUS wouldn't be here, without you.


PROFILES AND MEMORIES OF WHUS PEOPLE OF THE '80s & '90s

From Len West:

WHUS air shifts were convenient gigs because I lived next door in the grad dorm and was a teaching assistant studying for a Ph.D. in education. In addition, I worked as a university photographer until I posed one of the local ducks inside a campus art gallery. Unfortunately the duck didn’t realize it was on new wall-to-wall carpeting. Subsequently, the duck and I were banned for life after being identified from the photograph and byline in the newspaper. 

Being on the radio was an adventure, often in ways that I never anticipated but still recall. One day the air studio filled up with firefighters when smoke started pouring out of an electrical fixture during my show. When a winter ice storm caused the station transmitter to shut down, a caller was annoyed because I wasn’t announcing that WHUS was off the air. I told her the only way I could do that would be to run outdoors and yell loudly. Right in the middle of another program the studio air conditioner fell out the window and crashed to the ground two stories below. As I was signing off my last live talk show before moving back to Rhode Island, one of the on-air guests stood up and mooned me; a rather ignominious end (no pun intended) to many enjoyable broadcasting experiences with a lot of nice people.

From Chris Senecal, 7/29/02:

I am a former WHUS DJ - I was on from 1989-1996 (did mostly morning rock and a few afternoon and late night shifts). Being part of WHUS was one of the most enjoyable things I've ever done and provided me with some amazing experiences. In fact if it weren't for WHUS, I probably wouldn't be doing what I currently do for a living. One of my first jobs out of college was working as a press secretary in the State Capitol in Hartford - ironically I spent a great deal of time sucking up to WHUS alumnus Steve Kotchko of CRN. Later I joined a small public relations firm - Impact Strategies, Inc. - where I serve as communications director (and I still have occasion to suck up to Mr. Kotchko).

I think this website provides a wonderful opportunity to link past WHUS alumni with one another - I know that the site focuses on predominantly on personalities from the 60's but as you continue, I hope you branch out to the people from my era eg: Pablo Malavenda, The Pseudo Iquanas (Brian and Andy), Mark and Dave, Helen (who still does a show), Perilous Cheryl and Joey Zone (who continue to be heard on the station). It would be great to have a reunion at some point where we could get all former WHUSers together to catch up with one another. Please keep up the good work!

 

From Helen Scanlon, 8/1/02:

What a great site! What a trip to discover the history of my favorite radio station. I have been with WHUS since 1987, and I am still there doing a monthly pet care show, "Pet Time." Doing radio at WHUS is STILL fun-- after all these years. WHUS has served many purposes in my life, both as a UConn student and community member.

Here are some of my favorite memories: 1. Falling asleep in the "purple chair" (RIP) between classes. 2. The parties at Brian and Bobo's. 3. Laurin dressed up as James Brown. 3. Doing "Smeg O Rama' with my partner in radio crime, Perilous Cheryl. (well, since you asked-- it was a disco, 70s, 8 track oriented show--- before the revival in the nineties. We played everything from our personal collection of 45s, K-Tel albums, and yes, 8 tracks-- thanks to Laurin Killian and his patching genius) 4. Bob Butler and Dave Estell beating each other up in the air studio. 5. Meredith and I with "That time of the Month".... Wow. 6. Kevin Kraynick's "Worst DJ on WHUS" contest. Do we remember who won? 7. Bruce Carver on too much caffeine, no sleep and no food--- with a live mic. 8. Chris Senecal. The KING of smarm. Okay, he's tied with Kevin K. 9. Bud Collins trying to fit into the studio for a live performance. 10. Bliss Family Jive trying to fit into the studio for a live performance.

11. Julie Medwin playing Cheryl Lynn on her jazz show. BRILLIANT. 12. ... REM... What a great new band... 13. Jay Forklift... Need I say more? Many have tried to imitate him-- but he called them and told them to get their own schtick. 14. The Mark and Dave show! 15. Michelle Make-up! 16. The rule: You MUST play at least three Ramones songs in a row. One does not get the full message across. 17. Doc 9 playing rap way before it was "cool" ... He was the innovator. 18. Dana and dance a rama....another innovator. 19. Pablo in the morning. Way better than caffeine. 20. The whole Mediavictim crew. You guys were great....

21. Abe's smelly sneakers. 22. Joey Zone announcing Terry McO'Nolan's Irish show... 23. Bob's screaming weatherman... 24. Dan Tedesco and beeeatch..... 25. Waiting for Haeger 26. Karen Bard-- the best radio voice ever. Okay, she's tied with Susan Forbes Hansen. 27. Robin Micket's surprise party at the dude ranch. Hey, Tuite, what are you doing on my lawn????? 28. Scary Terry and her fried egg t-shirt... 27. The people-- so many. Murph, Barb, Scotty G., Shawn, Beef Stew, GKIV, rockin' Robert John, Dean Farrell, Prudence, Jake, John B., Joe Barber (WHUS' own adopted son), and so many more.... Sigh.

Let's hear from some of the DJs who defined the 80s and 90s for WHUS.... all of you were GREAT. Thanks for the memories, the friendships, and free tickets and backstage passes. How the hell else could a starving student get to see so many great performers? Get on the Love Train, Helen

From Terry Kostic, 1/20/03:

Hi there! What a great web site. Scary T's in the house walking down WHUS memory lane. I was a DJ from 1984 through 1994. My first memory of WHUS I was 14 years old listening to David Ponack's electronic music show. He played a lot of Japanese pop which ultimately got me into to the band Chrome.

Who could forget the Mike and Kevin show? Every show was amazing. I remember Cheryl calling up. And the General(Kevin) would sometimes pay a visit to the station. Oopps did I give it away Kevin? Some guy would collect pieces from the houses of Connecticut political party members. That is where I first heard Pop Moretti singing his Moretti magic. I never did understand why Kevin would do "Night Music shows". Maybe he?s a sucker for those slow jams?. Some guests on the show would be Dead Bob and his bleeding anus, Miscellaneous Fragments John, the video games guy, Jake, Bruce, and in the background their girlfriends at the time. Towards the end of their many years of the show some guy would come on the air and complain about the show and would say he loved watching PBS. To this day I never figured out who that was. Was that you Kevin also? Maybe it was Captain Beefheart. Oh by the way. I was at the very last Mike and Kevin show. It was very sad to see it go, but I did very much enjoy how Kevin's mom ate an entire chicken that I had brought, even though I was a vegetarian at the time.

WHUS had some 48 hour music fest where DJ's would do their show live in the Student Union. That is when at the age of 15 I joined, being the youngest member of the staff. I couldn't get my license until I was 16. My first show was with a friend of mine Karen Pitts. So we called our show "The Caustic Pitts Radio Dinner Theater". It didn't last long because Karen liked dance music and I liked to play Ethel Merman and The X-Ray Spex. Then I had a show on Saturday afternoon called "Water on the Brain". I would play a mix of music along with really bad Psych-bands from the 80s. My next show was called "Reality Asylum". At that time I was still listening to Chrome and played many bands from RRR records. Sometimes Josh Burkett would DJ and we would eat lots of Funions out of the bag. I also remember playing a whole side of a Residents album so I could visit with Mark Scwartz and John Hocevar at their dorm. Youth was bliss! My next show was called "Better than Velveeta". Named after being really poor and eating mac and cheese for an entire year. That is where I met my future husband to be..Tom Leonard.

Tom helped me out during radiothon. The rest is history. Then finally my last show with Tom was called "Sex Drugs and Romper Room" At midnight I would play stories from really old childrens records. And then play music/spoken word simultaneously from every outlet available. I even played the cart machines. It was great fun.

What I also remember from the station (in no particular order): Helen and Cheryl's Smeg O rama shows. Laurin Killian's laugh, and going through all the records with him, the purple chair, having Fishbone on my show trying to get me to have sex with women, Bruce Carver's reggae show, calling John Curotto late at night during his show, having Dean Lapenta make fun of me at the end of our station meetings, because I had to wait for my dad to pick me up (I was too young to drive), pizza at the meetings, Having Joe Gannon go over the entire alphabet at one of the meetings so we could file records correctly, Mark Schwartz rubbing his head a lot and eating ice cream, Dave Lynch humping Mark Schwartz, Listening to the "FCC's moms favorite Show" by John Hocevar. Giving Johnny Zoom a coat so he wouldn't be cold, Rich's Big Blank, don't feed the fish, Seeing tons of KDJ all over the records. Tom Leonards remarks on the records. Wayne Rogers fantasic show. He played everything I ever wanted to but couldn't, The Dept Store Santas, going to the WHUS Student Union 282 shows, Rock for Rice, Seeing the Ramones at UConn, Jazz Officer Spock's frickin yogurt, fighting for freedom of speech, Karly complaining a lot, Joey Zone visiting me when I was a prisoner at the Card Gallery, Kate fighting with Tom over the air, Stud Brian Albright and his fast car and free food, very sweet Dana, the bulk tape eraser, King George, having Tom tell me how to use a CD player during one of my shows, Kevin and Bob's Captain Beefheart shows, Becca's hardcore show, just hanging out my window.

Clearly the station had big impact on my life. Most of my friends and crushes came from there. I have missed my family very much. May 8th 2004 Tom and I are going to get married. It's about frickin (can I say that) time. I hope to invite all those at the station that I loved and cared for very much. It's been a great trip!

From "Perilous Cheryl" LeBeau, 8/7/02

My first introduction to WHUS was the Mike & Kevin Show back in 1986, an all-talk show with Mike and Kevin the Bag.  Unlike today’s Talk shows, this one was spontaneous and actually funny!  These Guys had the most dead-pan and outrageous humor.  My favorite Episode was when Kevin the Bag threw obnoxious Physic Phil out of The studio.  You could hear chairs being over-turned, Phil Screaming, and doors slamming...what a hoot!

I started out at WHUS in 1986 doing heavy metal.  Tim Yasuwi (sp?) was the Metal Director at the time.  He had quite a reputation in the metal underground and was well known in CT as a promoter as well as the drummer for local metal band, Voyeur. (Tim later went On to drum for such bands as London and Spiders & Snakes.  Last Time I spoke with him, he was in California working for Century Media.)

I wanted, so badly, to be part of the then fast-rising metal scene, But Tim didn’t quite take me seriously because I was a girl (a big No-no in the metal scene those days...girls were suppose to stay on The sidelines and look pretty).  I think he changed his mind when I Took an over a crappy over-night slot (Fridays 2-6am) and turned it Into one of the more popular shows at WHUS, “The Perils of Cheryl Show” playing nothing but speed metal, hardcore, death metal and Thrash.  My on-air (and off!) Personality was loud, aggressive and Fun-loving.  Would be Bevis & Buttheads everywhere tuned in every Week, and I stay in that time slot for almost 2 years.  When Tim Left the station, I took over as Metal Director along with my metal Partner-in-crime, Jim Heneghan (who now is a underground film maker In NYC, last I heard).

WHUS is special because I also met my husband there.  The Joey Zone Is an artist who got dragged on the air by yours truly and ended up Doing a very eclectic show (known as - what else - “The joey Zone” Complete with Twilight Zone theme music) for two years in the late 80s.  My first introduction to Joey was when he stopped by to Discuss t-shirts designs with Kevin the Bag (Joey worked for a Local t-shirt company at the time).  As they were standing in the Hallway, Joey spotted me in the office.  He turned to Kevin and Said, “Who’s that?” Kevin replied, “Oh, that’s Cheryl.  Stay away From her...she’s evil.”  I was a loud, aggressive, very assertive Female, and some people didn’t know what to make of me at the time.  But The joey Zone accepted me right from the beginning.  We’ve Been together for 14 years, and happily married for over 11 of Those years.

Joey and I are still an active couple in the music scene, always Being seen at rockabilly/hot rods shows, goth clubs, punk concerts And various Misfits-related shows.  However, we rarely did radio Shows together because our on-air styles were so different.  But One of the most notoriuous radio shows we did do together was 1988’s Anti-Xmas Show.  After agreeing to a midnight fill-in for Someone on Christmas eve that year, I came down with a bad cold (which later turned to the flu).  I could not get a fill-in for me On such last minute’s notice, so Joey tagged along to keep me Company on the air.  We were both in a foul mood and it turned into One of the most cutting and cynical shows on the holiday season Ever, complete with Joey’s altered version of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” (with surprise grim ending).  I have heard that a copy Of the show is still floating around among tape traders.

I liked to bring in local bands and celebrity guests on my show Back then, and still do it now.  One band I knew back in the metal Days, was called Avant Garde from local E.O. Smith High School.  They were a bunch of real nice kids who were good musicians and Played melodic metal ala Fates Warning.  They were frequent guests On my show and I even hired them to do WHUS sponsored concerts.  Their guitarist was named Pete Cuomo...he was a sweetheart and a Real cutey with a haystack hair-do like Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.  Pete left the area when his family moved to California.  His real Name is Rivers.  He now is a big rock star in the band Weezer.

WHUS had a lot of djs who wanted to be rock stars.  It was often Said that djs were frustrated musicians.  There were tons of djs Who played in local bands.  Kevin the Bag, Jake Glanz, Andy “The Waz” Wazniack (sp?), and a few others who names I can’t recall, all Played in the notorious junk band Woodchipper.  Rich Germaine and George Hakkala played in 6 Feet Under (a ska band...not the current Popular metal band).  George and fellow DJ Mary Lawrence later Played in the pre-emo band Hamsteak.  Kate “Kat-a-Bagga” Bigger and Wayne Rogers were in the progressive Crystallized Movements.  Laurin Killian is still active in the seminal punk group Flesh Hammer.  Bob Butler’s metal band was Senslis Killin which later Morphed into Brain Police.  Luke Karosi currently is the drummer For the rockabilly group, The Gamma Rays.  Helen Scanlon and I were Members of the goofy group, Mushbum, and later I formed a hard rock Band with former WHUS DJ, Denise Dixson, called Mad Cow Disease.  Denise later became a member of the popular surf band, 9th Wave. 

I left WHUS in 1992 after some personal and professional Disappointments.  I had become disenchanted with the changing metal Scene and decided to take a break from broadcasting and concentrate On a college education, but returned in 1996 when a hip-hop DJ Named “Uncle Chocolate” talked me into returning as a fill-in Because they were short of djs that summer.  I made the conscience Effort NOT to play metal, but instead went back to the music I grew Up with: oldies, hard rock and old twangy country.  The staff had Changed completely then and I recognized few people, but I made a Whole bunch of new friends.

Mark & Dave were students and a couple of real characters who had a Very funny morning show.  So did the Pseudo Iguanas, Brian and Andy (aka “Bobo”), who also had a very odd sense of humor.  Chris Senecal was another lovable nutcase who liked to dig at the UCONN Administration, making fun of the badly built and falling-down Library that was wrapped in plastic for years (“Is that plastic Really keeping all those books fresh like it should?”)  Matt Dwyer Made the best and funniest psas (public service announcements) Around and still has one in rotation (“The Anti-PSA”) long after He’s been gone (first he went to WILI, then to WNPR, and is now a Newscaster at WTIC).

One memory that stands out was the Willimantic Boom Box Parade.  Willimantic is a small town that lacks a marching band for July 4th Holiday parades.  Someone came up with the bright idea to have People carry boomboxes instead, tuned to the local AM station that Played patriotic music.  Anyone can be in the parade, just Dress-up, make a float, and carry a boombox.  This has been going On for years.  WHUS decided to enter our own float, but instead of Tuning to the AM station, we broadcasted our own version of Patriotic music...namely the Residents’ “John Phillip Sousa” LP.

Using Dana’s pick-up truck, The joey Zone and I made a big Cardboard boombox and stuck radio speakers in it (tuned to WHUS, of Course).  Joey got dressed up as a Resident (complete with eye-ball Head, tophat and tux), I dressed as a dominitrix (threatening the Crowd into submission, demanding they listen to WHUS), Laurin Killian went as a surfer to “truck-surf” on the truck, and Jazz Officer Spaak dressed as Uncle Sam wearing a poverty barrel.  The Other djs walked along with the float handing out candy, bumper Stickers, program guides and generally harassing the crowd on the Parade route.  We got some really strange looks.  In later years, We used Bruce Carver’s truck, Helen donned the Resident suit, and Bobo dressed as “WHUS Man” complete with cowl and cape.  Again, we Got some really strange looks.

WHUS holds a special place in my heart for me.  I met some great People who I’m still good friends with after all these years: Helen Scanlon, Bruce Carver, Laurin Killian, Stephanie Johnson, Robin Mickett, Meredith Andrews, George King IV, Doug mcneil, Luke Karosi, Dean Fiora and many more.  Although some of these people Have not been active members for a while, we still see each other Socially and have stayed friends.

I’m really glad to have been a member of WHUS all these years.  It’s been a blast!  It’s nice to be able to take this time and look Back at the years i’ve been involved, especially since I’m about to Take another self-imposed hiatus to continue with my education.  But i’ll probably be back...they can’t get rid of me that easily!