Remember when radio meant something
? When you knew all of the disc jockeys' names on your favorite station, and you had to stick around through the commercial break to see what song was going to be played next?
"Alternative" (or "modern rock") radio was one of the last radio formats in the 21st century to incite that level of passion with its listenership. When Chicago station Q101 (WKQX) decided to flip to an alternative format in July, 1992, their timing couldn't have been better.
Alternative music turned the music industry upside down in the early 1990s, thanks to star-making releases from bands like Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Pearl Jam. Though Q101 was slow to fully embrace all of alternative music's marquee players, once they did, the station became a dominant presence on the Windy City's FM band.
We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm tells the oral history of Q101, from 1992-2011, through the stories, memories, and recollections of the people who worked there both on the air and behind the scenes.
The resulting tale is a primer on modern radio: the good, the bad, the hilarious, and the ridiculous. We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm covers band feuds with heavyweights like the White Stripes and Pearl Jam, radio feuds with rival stations WRCX and WZZN, promotional failures like the "all you can drink" Brew & Block Party, a hail of garbage big enough to influence the name of the book, and the cultural impact of events like Kurt Cobain's death, 9/11, and Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl.
Over 75 former employees' thoughts and stories are featured, including syndicated host Mancow Muller, former MTV personalities Mark Goodman and Kevin Manno, Sludge, Electra, Robert Chase, Ryan Manno, Lance and Stoley, Wendy and Bill, Sherman and Tingle, and Zoltar.