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Behind the Scenes at Radio Valencia

Vintage Cassette Deck at Radio Valencia Photo by J. Waits

I’ve been sharing the progress of San Francisco’s newest community radio station, Radio Valencia, from inception to its launch in August; so was happy to see DJ Tony DuShane’s first-person account of what it was like for him to be at the station from the beginning. Currently an Internet-only station, there are rumors that Radio Valencia could be a pirate on the FM airwaves sometime soon due to the good graces of terrestrial-loving fans.

Tony, who I interviewed earlier this year about his radio addiction, chronicles his passion for radio and the thrill of being at a new community radio station in the early days in an article posted this week on The Bold Italic. Tony writes:

“The mixing board has 16 channels and handles everything going over the air, including the CD decks, turntables, and microphones. It doesn’t have a cue setting, so I can’t listen to one track while another is playing live without it going out over the air. I end up playing songs I didn’t want to play. On my first station break, I talk into the wrong microphone, and to calm myself down I crack open a couple of beers…

Sitting alone in a room full of DJ gear and microphones can be an odd feeling when you’re first starting out. At Radio Valencia I’m in my zone. My groove is back. I can talk about the most personal, embarrassing subjects to an anonymous audience, things that I get a little uncomfortable even telling my therapist about. The self-censor goes away here.”

Ah yes, the secret insight into why so many of us love to be on the air is revealed. It’s the thrill of revealing our inner thoughts and passion for music with strangers. If you’re a DJ, does that ring true for you?


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