Good-bye Q101

News came down Tuesday that two of my hometown radio stations were being sold. As the day progressed, the news was not only were they being sold, but there was a format change in store for Q101.

I have a love/hate relationship with Q101. I hit high school the same year that Nirvana‘s Nevermind was big. And Q101 was the place to turn for all things alternative. So they certainly shaped the type of music I listened to. Before that I was rocking out with Dick Biondi on Oldies 104.3.

There I was introduced to the likes of Juliana Hatfield’s “Spin the Bottle” and Pearl Jam’s “Alive”. It’s where I heard the Pixies for the first time, even if it wasn’t until years later that I fully appreciated them. In the early oughts, I heard Superdrag being played and was stoked to hear one of my favorites on a local station.

Over the years, it became a place where music that did not appeal to me became more frequent. And sadly, the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins (and all it’s variations over the years) never left the airways. There was no way for me to miss them because they never went away. Especially Smashing Pumpkins because they were from Chicago.

When I went away to college, I obviously stopped listening. But when I’d come back during breaks or after I moved back in the area post-graduation, I’d flip on Q101 and be disappointed with what I heard. There were pockets of awesome (Local 101 and such) but for the most part I was disappointed. I listened more for people I knew in some way in real life (Ryan Manno or Tim Pogo) but I rarely listened for the music any more.

That said, I’m saddened to hear that something that shaped so much of my youth is being changed over to an all-talk format. I can’t quite put my finger on why it bothers me so considering I no longer live in the listening area and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t listen to it most of the time.

But it’s still disappointing to see something that had such an impact on me and so many others be reduced to on-air chatter.

UPDATE: apparently Q101 will live on via a la WOXY. I’ve been listening to the last few hours streaming online and it’s been an amazing combination of the stuff that drew me to it in the first place. But there’s been no mention that any of the on air personalities are headed to the online-only version. It’ll be interesting to see what format it takes and if it’ll be successful. But for tonight, I’m going to enjoy some Ramones followed by the Smoking Popes with a little They Might Be Giants and Jeff Buckley mixed in.


About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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5 Responses to Good-bye Q101

  1. Pingback: My most popular post | the indie librarian

  2. Dana says:

    I’m a Chicagoan myself, never left, also a 30-something, and while I don’t branch out much for music, I don’t know where I’m going to get my alternative rock anymore. I dislike nationalized radio, it takes the fun out of all the local humor and love. Similar to you, when I hit my 101.1 button in the car, I’ll keep the station about 50% of the time, but still, when I do, it’s worth it. XOXO Q101.

    • I’m listening now to Pogo do his top 9 that changed his musical history. Man, I wish I heard more of this awesomeness over the last few years. Pixies, Pulp, Clash. But then again, that dates me (us) and isn’t playing anything new at all.

      but damn if it isn’t great music.

  3. Billy D says:

    I remember listening to Q101 on the school bus on the way to junior high and high school in the 90s… Ahhh those were certainly the days!!! Naperville North Class of ’99!!!

    We all remmeber Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins, STP, NIN, etc, etc

    But what about –

    Gin Blossoms – Veruca Salt – PJ Harvey – Poe – and local stars Lucky Boys Confusion & Local H!

    • I was never a Gin Blossoms fan, really. Veruca Salt, sure. and miss Polly Jean. Last night I heard Belly’s “Feed the Tree” and was feeling CRAZY nostalgic. I do believe I’m going to spend the weekend rewatching My So-Called Life and sighing loudly.

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