Sep 26, 2023, 06:28AM

Snowy Night at 1010 WINS

Veronica Morgan broadcasts in an empty building in Soho, January 1996.

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“…and skies appear gray… when trouble is near… I think that’s what it said… in any case, I’ve received very little listener mail that’s worth reading at all. A woman in Queens asked if she should put her car’s windshield wipers up before the storm; another woman in Brooklyn asked if her running water was going to be cut off; and a man in Manhattan wanted to know why a young woman has a non-news show on 1010 WINS, especially during this special event…”

Veronica threw the piece of paper into the trash. Her desk was overflowing with Coke cans and crushed packs of Marlboro Lights; an ashtray sat just below her mic. She could smoke inside all weekend.

“…well, I do have an answer for this gentleman: 1010 WINS has been pretty boring for the past…however many years we’ve been on this signal… I don’t believe in legacy, it’s too hard to predict who’s gonna make it and who won’t… it’s a major problem… you don’t think this show is special, but look at what happened after Kurt Cobain killed himself. Millions of kids, young adults, crying in the street, beside themselves. John Lennon, yeah man, he was washed up, and he didn’t wanna die—but Kurt? Kurt? That was tough.”

She lit another Marlboro Light.

“So I take it a bit personally when men—it’s always men—complain about my having a show at all. It aggravates them. I understand it’s an unprecedented situation, but 1010 WINS isn’t interested in getting publicity for diversity… and if they are, well, maybe they should’ve found someone a bit more obsequious… I have the station to myself tonight and we’re going to be listening to whatever I want to hear… I will not be taking requests… not until the sun comes up…”

She pulled a double-CD from the spinner rack next to her console and put it in the machine.

“So now we’re going to listen to the new single by one of my favorite bands, fronted by one man I really hope doesn’t die on us anytime soon—take it in, this is The Smashing Pumpkins with ‘1979.’” The song played and Veronica smoked another cigarette. She thought about Kurt, Billy Corgan, Courtney Love, and how good that last Hole record was. As much as she loathed misogynists disguised as amateur sleuths, she wondered how much of that record Courtney really wrote. She knew about the bootlegs from 1991, with Live Through This songs, recorded before they ever got together. But what about Billy? Hole’s “Plump” was nothing more than a variation on “Hello Kitty Kat” and “I Am One.” It’s the same chord…

She barely caught the tail end of “1979,” but she hit the post with, “…we’ll be right back with more from the alternative nation after a few words from our sponsors…” She looked down at her desk and remembered that she had comped tickets to their show at the Academy the following night, but she shut it, convinced the show would be cancelled. She never went.

—Follow Rooster Quibbits on Twitter: @RoosterQuibbits


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