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'Dare To Be Different' The WLIR Documentary

New Wave/Punk music, culture, genres, memories. '80s revivalism and other relevant topics.

'Dare To Be Different' The WLIR Documentary

Postby Retro_NRG » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:45 am

For the past year & a half I've been actively involved in a FB group devoted to keeping the memory of WLIR 92.7 alive. In the time since the group was established we have managed to garner a significant following (including some notable WLIR Airstaffers and artists) Enough interest has been generated that a documentary film chronicling the seminal radio format change that occurred 30 years ago this August is now in production. I AM SOO PSYCHED..[8D][8D][8D]

Here is the plot synopsis and info about the production:
(PLEASE FEEL FREE TO JOIN THE FANPAGE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENDEAVOUR)

"Dare To Be Different: How a small Long Island radio station became the "voice of a generation"
August 1982. Bands like the Ramones, the Clash, U2, the Smiths, the Cars, the Police, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Blondie, Tears For Fears, Elvis Costello, Duran Duran, and the Cure are redefining a fresh new music scene. But to the disenfranchised youth weaned on bland Top 40 and corporate rock, these artists might have escaped notice were it not for a small, independent radio station broadcasting from Long Island, NY.
This was WLIR.
For a brief, but startling, five year period, this wildly influential station battled the FCC, faced financial struggles, competed with signals far stronger than theirs and faced shutdown at a moment’s notice. But none of that stopped ‘LIR from doing what no other station would or could. It spotted musical trends from Europe, discovered new and intriguing artists and was responsible for breaking many of these bands in America. ‘LIR nurtured a local club scene and created a heritage that’s since spawned hundreds of tribute sites and message boards. Curated by a staff of like-minded and adventurous personalities, ‘LIR spoke a new language to its audience. It was the social network of its day and its fans quickly became family.
Jomyra Productions, Inc.
11500 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Ellen Goldfarb, Producer
info@dtbdthemovie.com
310-408-1770
www.daretobedifferentthemovie.com
Now, for the first time, comes Dare To Be Different, the full story of WLIR and the 80’s alternative scene, as told by that decade’s most cutting edge artists and the radio DJ’s that helped make them famous.
and more…
Featuring the biggest superstars of the 80’s:
Howard Jones – Tears For Fears – Blondie-The B-52's-The Talking Heads-
and many more…
And the world famous WLIR personalities:
Denis McNamara – Larry the Duck
Donna Donna – Ben Manila – Malibu Sue
Jeff Beck – The Mighty Maxximizer
Nancy Abramson – Bob Waugh
In the 1980’s it was a slogan: 92.7 WLIR -- the station that Dares to be Different.
Today it’s a legacy.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/65696645" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


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Postby wormster » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:30 am

nice.. I really do miss that station.It was such an important part of my life growing up ..I can say I dared to be different in my teenage life.So many 1 hit wonders and great bands came out of that station..
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Postby Crocodiles » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:39 am

[quote]It was the social network of its day [/quote]
That is a great way of putting it and it is also very true.

Attending college at Nassau Community at the time, WLIR was the central nerve for all activities. There were so many LIR sponsored events at Long Island clubs where you'd go and see just about everyone from your college classes there. Days spent at TOBAY Beach where every radio was tuned to 92.7 were also just another social gathering of LIR listeners. School, beach, and going to clubs at night (man, what a life) were all centered around this one radio station. And if you did have a little part time job, you made sure the radio was tuned to LIR.

That radio station really did set our nighttime agenda for much of the time. Concerts, club nights, silly contests (I remember one at Roosevelt Field where a guy sung like Ethel Merman in a shower to win U2 tickets), movie premiers (the one for "Pet Sematary" was a howl), even ski trips...WLIR was central to providing great music and great fun to its audience.

Oh, and did I mention I also met a ton of great girls because of LIR.
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Postby flashbackalternatives » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:24 pm

Really looking forward to this documentary.

I remember creating all kinds of contraptions just to pick up the WLIR signal on my Boombox in my apartment in Brooklyn and routing it to my stereo system. I always had more success picking up the station with manual tuners than with digital.

WLIR was the soundtrack to my high school and college years.

It was the last great radio station.



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Postby f650gsd » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:19 am

GOOD LORD! It is a story that must be told! AWESOME!!!!
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Postby q89747 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:15 am

[quote]Originally posted by Retro_NRG
[br]For the past year & a half I've been actively involved in a FB group devoted to keeping the memory of WLIR 92.7 alive. In the time since the group was established we have managed to garner a significant following (including some notable WLIR Airstaffers and artists) Enough interest has been generated that a documentary film chronicling the seminal radio format change that occurred 30 years ago this August is now in production. I AM SOO PSYCHED..[8D][8D][8D]

And the world famous WLIR personalities:
Donna Donna – Ben Manila – Malibu Sue
[/quote]
Please excuse my ignorance (I don't know from NY radio) but wasn't Malibu Sue on 'DRE?
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Postby f650gsd » Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:27 am

Yes, LIR became DRE overnight at some point, but kept most of the staff and format ... was mainly just a change of call letters.

I do remember it being made a big deal of though, as though they were going away when they really weren't.
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Postby DougMash » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:59 am

Oh man, I can't wait! At a street fair in front of my store last month, I was telling the interns manning the "KJOY" (Long Island Easy/Top 40 station) van a few of my stories of being a WLIR "Airliner." I'm not sure some of the things I did as a WLIR Intern would be LEGAL for a radio station intern to do today!
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Postby Jim2 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:09 pm

Pittsburgh's "Alternative" radio station, WXXP, also had that "Dare To Be Different" catch phrase too. Sadly it didn't start until 1986 and died in August of 1988. The owners couldn't make any money playing bands like OMD, Smith's, Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode, New Order, Cure and the like. DJ Bird came to WXXP (also known as Double X) from WLIR I believe. Similar radio programming was still rampant in Pittsburgh at 91.3 WYEP, the community funded station that played some New Wave in the wee hours. WDUQ (don't recall their number) had a great Friday night block of hours devoted to Alternative music. At the lower part of the FM dial at 88.3 WRCT, Carnegie Mellon's radio station where I DJ'd from early 1982 until October 1986, had each DJ playing whatever they fancied, they just had to play at least 3 BIN cuts (New Releases) per hour.
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Postby kspencer63 » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:24 am

Here we are 30 years later, and the station still has a legion of fans, incredible. I started listening in Sept 1982. Friend of mine said "You gotta check this out". Was hooked and listened for the next 21 years. Miss it a lot.
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Postby Blaster » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:28 am

This Documentary is great news..
To the OP:
What are the preliminary plans for distribution?
Is the plan to get it to HBO/Showtime, or MTV/VH1, PBS?

[i]I hpoe some of these topics will be touched on in the film:[/i]
* I remember reading how the MTV VJ's & staff often listened to 'LIR to decide what "new Videos" to air, during it's 1st few years, much of the early 80's New Wave that MTV was credited with introducing to the music scene actually was rooted in WLIR ... ...
* It was also Amazing how the station also had Advertizers fairly deep into NJ & CT, Clubs such as the MeadowBrook in Cedar Grove, NJ, a fringe area where WLIR didn't even essentially have reception in their area ...
* Bono apparently crediting WLIR for U2's inital sucess, & his sadness to hear the station was gone ..

[b]** [/b][i]I hope many of us original NY/NJ listers here on this board will be given the oppertunity to attend the almost certian NYC Premeir of this film[/i] [:)][:)]
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Postby Jim2 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:47 am

[quote][i]Originally posted by Blaster[/i]
<br>
* I remember reading how the MTV VJ's & staff often listened to 'LIR to decide what "new Videos" to air, during it's 1st few years, much of the early 80's New Wave that MTV was credited with introducing to the music scene actually was rooted in WLIR ...
[/quote]

That may be true, but college radio broke those "MTV Hits" before MTV too.
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Postby WLIR99 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:31 pm

Some 'LIR notes:

WXXP was actually owned by Elton Spitzer and Denis Mcnamara.

John Debella was "exciled" to WXXP for about a year before returning to WLIR for the "Debella Travisty"

WDRE was not just an overnight change in calls. It was the end of the 15 year battle (to be chronicled as mentioned) whereby original owner John Reiger turned over operations of the station to an outsider without FFC approval and was stipped of the license. Elton Spitzer's Phoenix Media Corp was the interim operator and was not permitted to bid on the license. Jarad was awarded the license and changed the calls to WDRE. Core dj's Larry (the Duck) Dunn and Donna Donna did not rejoin the station for several years there after.

If you want more details, visit the Wikipedia page for details and updated list of "where are they now" as well as Bob Wilson's excellent WLIR 2012 website at www.wlir.fm.
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Postby Retro_NRG » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:52 pm

*Bump*

FYI: In October, they will be back in NY to do some more interviews..

:: Stay Tuned ::
[;)]

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Postby Retro_NRG » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:01 pm

[quote][i]Originally posted by Crocodiles[/i]
<br>[quote]It was the social network of its day [/quote]
That is a great way of putting it and it is also very true.

Attending college at Nassau Community at the time, WLIR was the central nerve for all activities. There were so many LIR sponsored events at Long Island clubs where you'd go and see just about everyone from your college classes there. Days spent at TOBAY Beach where every radio was tuned to 92.7 were also just another social gathering of LIR listeners. School, beach, and going to clubs at night (man, what a life) were all centered around this one radio station. And if you did have a little part time job, you made sure the radio was tuned to LIR.

That radio station really did set our nighttime agenda for much of the time. Concerts, club nights, silly contests (I remember one at Roosevelt Field where a guy sung like Ethel Merman in a shower to win U2 tickets), movie premiers (the one for "Pet Sematary" was a howl), even ski trips...WLIR was central to providing great music and great fun to its audience.

Oh, and did I mention I also met a ton of great girls because of LIR.


[/quote]

Indeed, SPOT ON!..[8D]

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