NEW YORK PRESS - SEPTEMBER 27 - OCT. 3, 2000
BEST OF MANHATTAN 2000
"BEST MULTITASKING ON YOUR OFFICE PC"
The Glen Jones Radio Show Featuring X.Ray Burns
Archives at www.wfmu.org/jones
Shut Up! We're Busy! We swear to God if
the woman in the next cubicle does not turn down her VH1 at Work we're
going to put our black office pump though her monitor. One can only listen
to so much Matchbox 20. That's why all we listen to now at work is Jonesy.
That's rightthe best radio show in the Tri-State area, "The Glen Jones
Radio Show Featuring X-Ray Burns," heard live every Sunday from noon to
3 on WFMU is now archived on the Web. Which is good, because, we're ashamed
to say, we are often asleep noon to 3 on Sunday.
You need the free RealPlayer audio, but it's
worth the download. Now when Ms. Thirtysomething Office Drone kicks out
the jams to yet another Sheryl Crow joint, we can kick back to some magic
mix Jones, in his beer and cigarette haze, concocted to feed our Sinatra
and 80s technopop...jones. And we turn it waayyy up during the mics, just
to see the Drone fume at the banter between Glen and the Shakespearean
wise fool, X-Ray Burns. You can't have enough Jones, but the archives
only go back as far as February, so take it slow and savor each one, bay-bee.
Remember, you gotta be a fast Jones not to be the last Jones.
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THE AQUARIAN WEEKLY - SEPTEMBER 13-20, 2000
by Chris Uhl
SPOTLIGHT ON: 4 "Scores of the Week"
CRAZY 'FMU DJ AT IT AGAIN
You've heard about his antics on the radio (if
you're "cool" enough to tune into 91.1 WFMU), you've read about
his daredevil debauchery in fine weekly publications (that would be this),
now it's time to see for yourself the madness and the mayhem that is The
Fat Pack 2000 Summer Tour brought to you by The Glen Jones Radio Programme
featuring X.Ray Burns.
Positively insane by any rational measures, Glen
Jones, who has turned the passive experience of radio into a three-ring
free-for-all of Houdini-esque escapades, painstaking Jim Rose theatrics,
and simple outright lunacy, has marked The Beachcomber on the Seaside
Heights boardwalk (Sunday, Sept. 17, noon to 3p.m.) as his next target
for multimedia obliteration.
This live(ly) remote broadcast on 91.1 will conclude
this year's Fat Pack Tour, so you just know he's sure to go out with a
bang (and a thud, and perhaps even the blaring sirens of the local fire
department). This special broadcast will include all the Glen Jones staples
such as amusement rides, listener participation and prizes, death-defying
stunts, a flawless mix of Summer tunes, and a thick, throbbing slice of
pandemonium served in a dirty ashtray.
For those who need further convincing (or a second
look), photographs and tapes of the stunts of Jones and Burns are available
(The Beachcomber is located at 22 Boardwalk at
Dupont Street on the Atlantic Ocean in Seaside Heights, NJ).
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THE AQUARIAN WEEKLY - JULY 26-AUGUST 2, 2000
by Chris Uhl
SPOTLIGHT ON: 4 "Scores of the Week"
RADIO CHAOS IN ASBURY
Jersey's unofficial home of rock and roll, Asbury
Park, prepare to get burned. Hot on the heels of the blowout success of
the recent second leg of the Fat Pack 2000 Tour at the Loop Lounge, WFMU's
Glen Jones Radio Programme Featuring X.Ray Burns has packed their mobile
broadcast unit to head south for a scheduled three-hour date with radio
chaos in The Boss' old backyard on Sunday, July 30, from noon to 3 p.m.
Need convincing of the unbridled pandemonium sure
to ensue? Try this shit on for size: his '99 Asbury Park broadcast featured
the lowering of a tether-fastened Jones from the top of a two-story building,
suspended in mid-air as he successfully re-created the stunt that killed
pro wrestler Owen Hart. A live NYC broadcast featured the smashing of a
metal chair over the head of Jones by audience members---as per his request!
(He closed that day out with a mild concussion and severe black eye.)
Want more? Jones has been handcuffed and tossed
into the deep end of a swimming pool so as to re-create Houdini's famous
escape. Even outdoing himself in the "foolishly dangerous" department,
he recently set himself on fire (to assure those in attendance he won't
be hitting the shore for a measly tan.)
As usual, the freakish assortment of death-defying
stunts, listener participation and prizes, rowdy humor and cantankerous
camaraderie will all surface (with white stuff on its nose) to the jubilant
tones of the best summer soundtrack mix this side of Brian Wilson.
So come, absorb the pageantry as The Glen Jones
Radio Programme once again blows the restrictive boundaries of radio to
Glen Jones was named by New York Press as "Best
Non-Commercial DJ" in '95. Time Out New York and Paper Magazine
both cited The Glen Jones Radio Programme as "New York's Best Music
Radio Show" in '96, and Glen Jones and X.Ray Burns' live performances
at The Museum of Television and Radio and The Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame & Museum are permanently archived in their respective
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THE AQUARIAN WEEKLY - JUNE 21-28, 2000
by Chris Uhl
MATINEE ALERT: 'FMU LIVE FROM THE LOOP
It's Summer in June, where late weekend party
nights blur into early weekend party days, so what better place to keep
rollin' with a killer matinee than The Loop Lounge in Passaic Park? Dubbed
The Fat Pack 2000 Tour, Sunday, June 25 from noon to 3 p.m. marks the
return of 91.1 WFMU's New And Untouchable Glen Jones Radio Programme
Featuring X.Ray Burns. Coming off the inaugural Fat Pack event which
positively blew the roof off the sucker, this event promises to elude
the dreaded sophomore slump. For added insurance, the services of British-cum-Jersey
popsters Reno's Men and Irish party rockers The Skels were signed on to
guarantee joy. As if said live bands weren't enough, The Fat pack will
also serve up their usual on-air serving of death-defying stunts, raucous
humor, prizes and listener participation in one genre-busting, head-rolling
shindig to forever alter your perception of radio as you know it. In short,
the term "freeform" has never been so free and form-less. 'FMU,
voted by Rolling Stone as the Best Radio Station in the U.S.A.
for four year running, will air this special remote broadcast worldwide
via the internet at www.wfmu.org, as well as 90.1 WXHD in the Hudson
Valley and Northern Pennsylvania. But don't settle for the one-dimensional
mind's eye version--go to the Loop and tear it up firsthand. It's a party
you'll most definitely want to be in on.
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STEPPIN' OUT MAGAZINE - MAY 24-30, 2000
by Alan Tecchio - The Barfly
When I recall the reasons I would sneak into The
Loop Lounge in Passaic Park, NJ, way back in the dark ages of my youth,
it was mainly because the club had a very underground NYC vibe to it,
and I felt like I was walking into a place somewhat removed from the real
world. I'm glad to say that feeling has not changed over the years. I
was there recently...I caught Dramarama's John Easdale doing a few acoustic
songs before Holmes took the stage one Sunday afternoon. Yeah, Sunday
afternoon! The Loop in the light -- that was a trip in itself. John took
a bit to get wamed up, but by the time he did the title track to his new
cd, "Brightside," he was in great shape! The event was also
broadcast live on WFMU's Glen Jones Radio Show which made it even
more special, more confusing, and definitely more fun. True-blue beatnik
devotees, Holmes were groovier than ever and got the crowd very into their
brand of melodic retro-pop. Keep up the good work guys. Unfortunately,
Reno's Men did not play due to the passing of a close family member. Much
sympathy goes out to them and cheers to all the folks who attended.
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TIME OUT NEW YORK - JUNE 16, 1996
by L.A. Martin
The Glen Jones Radio Programme
Hosted by Glen Jones; WFMU-FM 91.1
Sometime around 1977, Glen Jones inhaled
a deep drag of popular music and, for three hours each Sunday,
you get to hear him cough it back up. Soaked in Sinatra, cut with rap
and classic rock and rolled in disco, The Glen Jones Radio Programme is
a weekend indulgence thats habit forming.
While on-mike foil and fellow Jersey guy
X. Ray Burns (a.k.a. Kenneth Green) rails against the worldfrom
"da dames" to the cowardly Vichy French Jonesy tilts at
the windmills of despair, counterpunching Burnss paranoia with incontrovertibly
uplifting song sets. Hes out to have a good time, not to suggest
how you might round out your ambient music collection. No buzz-kill recitation
of the playlist interrupts his party, and hes addled enough to invite
the Man of La Mancha, Iggy Pop, Hank Williams Jr., Coolio and Led Zeppelin.
Hardly a typical FMU guest list, but what do you expect from a chain-smoking
Red Dog-swilling guy from Kearny?
Weaned on AM radio, Jones first appeared
on the air at age 16, cohosting Wide World of Wrestling on the New Jersey
lease-time station WHBI. As sponsors dwindled, Jones commandeered the
time slot to broadcast disco. "I was dressed like a queer in the
Halloween parade," he recalls. Now 34, Jones is more likely to be
decked out in duds he got in exchange for Marlboro coupons.
Since joining FMU in 1986, Jones has played
records you could buy at Kmart, not overvenerated obscurities like Serge
Gainsbourg or the Shaggs. He knows some of his fellow FMU DJs bear a smidge
of antipathy toward his proletarian tastes: "I think theres
this sentiment that theyre trying so hard to be different, and this
jerkoff is playing Queen." Still, its not his love for the
Bee Gees, but his Neanderthal rants and occasional outbursts of profanity
that get him into trouble. Jones has been thrown off the air at every
station hes ever worked for; his most recent offense, slipping "fuck"
into a live performance last year, resulted in a one-month suspension
from FMU. Sure, Jones gets a little carried away. His fans expect nothing
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DAILY NEWS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1996
Free-for-all deejay bounced by free-form FMU
by David Hinckley
Things always sound different at free-form
WFMU (91.1FM), but theyre sounding a little more different this
weekend with the absence of The Hound, 3-6p.m. Saturday, and Glen Jones,
The Hound, who specializes in raw rock n
roll, is taking a break and is expected back after Christmas, says station
manager Ken Freedman. Jones, however, thinks hes gone for good.
Freedman says he has suspended Jones through
June, "because he had just become impossible to work with."
Jones was cursing and using racial epithets on the air, says Freedman,
as well as playing records with obscene language, trashing management
and violating a smoking ban."I tried everything to get him to stop,"
says Freedman. "This was the only step left. Its quite an achievement
to get thrown off FMU."
Jones was suspended a couple of years ago
for using the f-word on the air, but denies cursing since then. He also
says the other on-air things "are part of what I do on the radio,
and part of what Ive always done. I walk the line. My listeners
understand the context, and Ken in the past has complimented me."
Jones says its unlikely he will try
to come back. "Radio is my passion and I love WFMU," he says.
"But I think I have to put it in my past."
Jones plans a "farewell show"
on Dec. 8, the second night of WFMUs semi-annual record fair at
Mary Help of Christian Church.
As for the station, Freedman says its
"moving toward" its goal of buying its own building. Stereolab
will play a benefit show Nov. 13 at the Westbeth Theater, and WFMU is
beginning a simulcast on a station near Port Jervis.
For now, says Freedman, other hosts will
fill in for The Hound and Jones
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NEW YORK PRESS - SEPTEMBER 20-25, 1995
BEST OF MANHATTAN 95
Best Non-Commercial DJ
Glen Jones - Sunday, 12-3 p.m.
WFMU (91.1 FM)
Jonesing For Jonesy. Life can be a bit overwhelming;
we usually realize this during the sluggish, reluctant hangover fade-in
to Sunday. Its around noon, and there is no compelling reason to
get up and face the world. The weekend didnt exist already, and
Monday is approaching so quickly we dont want to think about it.
Theres two weeks of laundry sitting in the corner of the room. The
cat needs to be fed.
One hand reaches out, slaps on the radio,
91.1FM, and just like that were in the middle of a set that smoothly
manages to segue from Mel Torme to David Bowie to Naughty by Nature. Grumble,
grunt; we sit up, light a smoke and our mood begins to shift position
not exactly bright, mind you and we realize that Glen Jones
was out there last night, too.
For three hours every Sunday, Jonesy thoroughly
works a spontaneous demonstration of free-form mastery. A radio show the
way a radio show oughta be, a show the way Jones likes it, and bless him
for it. Its a trip through comfortably obvious sets of show tunes,
80s pop, catchy punk, lots of Frank and who knows. Hell get us every
time with a transition from Old Blue Eyes to Louis Armstrongs "Lets
Do It" to our favorite Psychedelic Furs song that almost makes us
wanna cry. Onto Becks "Loser" (he plays it weekly) into
Scarfaces smart rap on "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangster."
Jones spins them like a man with a heart of gold, a belly loaded with
beer and a mind filled with stale pain and empty rage. You listen up close
and youll hear a man whos been somewhere. And when he gets
down real deep and starts to talk about the Great "Sinatra bay-bee,"
we understand exactly what one mans love means.
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TIME OUT NEW YORK ARTICLE (FULL CONTENT)
SEPTEMBER 9-16, 1999
A Drunken Conversation With Glen Jones and X. Ray
by Michael Hogan
In August of 1999 I interviewed Glen Jones
and X. Ray Burns, hosts of WFMU's "The New and Untouchable Glen Jones
Radio Programme Featuring X. Ray Burns" at Manitoba's bar on Avenue
A. The ostensible purpose for this interview was an article which I had
been assigned to write by Time Out New York, but I really just wanted
to hang out with them 'cuz they're cool. And we had a long talk and several
beers, none of which was really reflected by the severely cut down Q&A
that got published in the magazine. So if anyone gives a shit, here is
the full transcript (pretty full, anyway) of my conversation with the
fattest, baddest, drunkest radio DJ duo in the land.
Q is me (Michael Hogan)
J is Glen Jones
B is X. Ray Burns
Q: How long have you guys known each other?
J: We actually met at the end of high school, early
college, let's say college, at a place where we all used to learn about
music and pot. It was like our party home. It was a funeral home.
B: Yeah, it was great. I happened to be engaged
in some sexual activity with the proprietor
and glen happened to
be involved with the corpses. No, Glen was a friend of a sibling of the
owner of the funeral home. And I immediately recognized that he was a
rare and unique individual. Right? Did I not?
B: And I said, we gotta hang out, and we both started
to go to Aldo's nightclub in Lyndhurst, and it's been a downward spiral
since then. How many years did we spend at Aldo's Jones, after we
B: Several, after we started hangin' out there.
We're talkin' like a decade. What do you mean several?
Q: Did you always want to do radio?
J: I did radio for the first time when I was like
16 and shit, and it was like a leasetime radio station. I would buy my
way on the air and in turn try to get advertisers. And I had a half-hour
show, weekly, and had years when I didn't have a show, but it was always
something that I like tried to do, and I met Burns in the early-80s, and
he taught me a lot about music and stuff. I was into like top 40 music
primarily and Burns opened up my eyes to a lot of other shit.
B: Yeah, but you were a weirdo and that's why I
recognized that cuz I was a weirdo too, so we hooked up. Everyone around
us was not weird like us.
J: Well, yes.
B: Well, we were operating on the fringe of society,
and he used to wear like leisure suits and stuff, and neckerchiefs
J: Polo shirts.
B: And he was cool, and I said this guy's whacked
J: And he took me to the new wave club and we instantaneously
became the best of friends. And from there, I don't know, lifelong buddies.
Q: What was the name of the station you started on?
J: WHBI. Which is now WNWK, 105.9 FM. And they had
a lot of reggae and foreign language programs. I did a disco show there.
I was like 16, my sister liked disco.
Q: What year was that?
Q: And how did you end up, what was the process of getting into FMU?
J: Can I backtrack a second. Actually, my mistake.
The first radio show I did was a professional wrestling show. I had called
up the host of the show and I wanted to get involved cuz I loved pro wrestling
and I got on their show and I became a correspondent with them. And I
branched out on my ownthe first show that belonged to me was the
Q: How did you end up getting involved at FMU and leading up to having
your own show.
B: The frog.
B: Or McDonagh.
B: One of our buddies
B: Scoop! Scoop got you listening to it.
J: My friend Scoop told me years ago that I should
get a show on FMU, and I wasn't into FMU. I started listening to it, and
I went down there one day and tried to sell myself as a DJ to the old
station manager back in the early-80s and I couldn't cut the mustard.
The music I liked was like top 40 and you know that's not what they did
back then, it was hippie society freeform radio. So I was turned down
and several years later I reapproached them in like 1986. I went to a
recording studio and met a guy from the station. He wanted to drum in
the studio I wanted to do a show, so we like became pals and he got me
a demo tape on the station. That was my first show on FMU, 1986.
It was Tuesday mornings 9 am to noon.
B: It was cool, I used to listen to that when I
was on the highway. Going to work on the highway.
Q: So your show has been running for 13 years. But it's changed over
J: Yeah, there 's a couple of periods when it was
off the air for a few months. I think I sat out one schedule change, and
then there was some periods when it was off due to other things that we'll
probably get into later.
Q: Can you describe the progression of it from then to now?
J: Uh, my demo tape had "kung-fu fighting"
and like a lot of hits like that.
B: "Staying Alive," "Eye of the Tiger."
J: They weren't on my demo tape.
B: Taking a wild stab.
J: "Kung Fu Fighting" was in fact on my
demo tape. Uh, Camper van Beethoven, you know, I was just doing the thing.
B: Big FMU band.
J: Big FMU band. Psychedelic Furs. It was like a
mixture of pop, but I kind of like played a little bit more of what I
might be expected to play.
Q: Like what?
J: Well, Camper van Beethoven. Like noise mixed
in with the music, you know. A lot more loose than it is now.
B: Wacko shit. Butthole Surfers.
J: Stuff that might make you change the station.
Q: You're one of the more accessible DJs on FMU. Now, do you get any
slack from the kind of Talmudic scholars of music who hang around, do
they give you any attitude or anything like that?
J: I hear things, and I have always believed that
other staff members looked down upon it. But you know, not to my face
so much. But I do hear shit.
B: Jones is a nomad there, and there are many there
that respect him and there are otherseverywhere where you have people
you have friction. But he is a bit of a nomad, and it isyou've gotta
be one of the most popular shows on the station aside from the big man,
Nachum Segal, who's on five days a week.
Q: Oh right, JM in the AM.
B: Yes. And that's a big show, and it's got a great
following. And Jones, other than that, Jones is gotta be the man. But
they do even me, and I'm not an official staff member, I just hang around
J: They gave him a locker this week.
B: They did give me a locker. But I contribute very
little to the station other than my marathon pledge and every now and
then I donate like something, you know, like piece of furniture or something.
And I try not to break anything when I'm there. But they've always frowned
on Jones even when they didn't know him because he did play like "Kung
Fu Fighting" and stuff. And yet they have to understand that your
cachet is different from their cachet. And that's the best thing about
the station is that everyone's doing their own thing. It's wacko, man,
it's wacko. You could listen for like two hours to Indonesian like bug
music and you flip over the next minute you got like Mississippi Blues
for a few hours and it's great. And there's nothing in this area that
comes close, even some of the pretenders. Well, they try, and freeform
is good even if you don't agree with the content. But they would kill
Jones in Albania. They would kill you for playing "Kung Fu Fighting."
J: The progression of the show is, started in like
86 and I'm playing music that I liked but I'm trying to like present something
that goes along with what the station presents. The progression of the
show is reaching the point now where, as I play what I want when I want,
and if you don't like an hour of Bruce Springsteen or Burt Bacharach,
tune back next week and see what happens. The progression of the show
is a matter of confidence, of playing what I want to hear like trying
to present a party as opposed to educate you musically. You're gonna know
all the songs I play, probably, if you're like astute.
B: You never hear a playlist. You never give a playlist.
J: There's a good reason for that. L.A. Martin once
said in a Time Out article that no playlist will stop Glen Jones's party.
I was so affected by that that I decided, well, he's right. I'll never
give a playlist. But the progression of the show is the addition of Burns
and the idea that like, you know, try to please yourself and hope that
your good time transcends into the audience.
B: Well, we were together in the beginning for a
Q: When did you [Burns] come onto the show?
B: In 1993.
Q: And is that what made the show New and Untouchable?
B: Nah, he was New and Untouchable.
J: But the name New and Untouchable appeared many
many many years later but Burns and I started doing the show togetherhe
started calling in on a regular basis
B: Cause I didn't want to leave. I liked to watch
golf. And he was working hard on the show and he kept telling me come
up every Sunday.
J: No, I said come up on Sundays. It evolved.
Q: What do you think are the components of a really good set of music?
J: Whatever I want to hear at that particular moment
in time that relates to my state of mind.
Q: It seems like there's discernible themes in your playlist. But how
do you come up with them?
J: They generally apply to whatever's going on in
our life at that moment. A little soundtrack, if you will.
Q: So if you're having a party, you play a lot of party songs.
J: Well, we are. We're having a party all summer.
Q: Who would you cite as your influences in radio and entertainment
B: Entertainment at large: Frank Sinatra, Don Rickles,
um, William F. Buckley, and Peter Sellers. And a wee bit of Jack Lemmon
on the side.
J: Only in a dress.
B: Yeah, but Jones would be Tony Curtis and I would
be Jack Lemmon.
J: Thats a tough question, because everything
I've ever loved is something I try to draw upon, whether it be Andy Kaufman
for his psychotic activities, Jackie Gleason for his sheer brilliance,
Dean Martin because he's such a lovable, charming drunk, Dan Ingram because
he's the greatest DJ that ever lived, Vin Scelsa because he knows what
freeform is all about which a lot of people don't understand, there's
so much. I go see the Stones and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
I saw Bruce Springsteen three times last month and now I wanna do the
gospel thing . Watch him when he introduces a song a lot of times he does
the whole like evangelistic thing. Robert Chilton who was a horrible evangelist
who got busted by like the media and is back again you know like watching
him I draw upon everything I've ever had any interest in whatsoever. Radiowise,
like, I guess you'd wanna say things like Wolfman Jack
B: Long John Knevel
J: And X. Ray likes Long John Knevel but I don't
B: Long John Knevel spelled with a K. Long John
was the coolest.
J: Larry King, I used to love his radio program.
B: You were stalking Larry King. He was stalking
Larry King, write about that.
J: That doesn't have anything to do with the question
Larry King's radio show was like freewheeling freeform. Larry King would
open up a radio telephone line and take calls and you didn't have to like
tell their screener what you were talking about. I used to call Larry
king and play things like Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes and he
would let the whole thing play and at the end he'd be like, "Secretariat.
My God. What a horse." You know, the guy knew how to play a microphone.
And you know, most people when you think of Larry King you think of CNN
Larry King. That's not what I'm talking about. But um, Imus was brilliant
in the early 70s.
Q: Howard Stern?
B: I like Stern
J: Stern I don't like.
B: He doesn't like Stern at all. And I never talk
to him about what Stern said because he hates Stern. But SternI
like talk radio all day long. Whether it's political or it's sports or
it's news I listen to it all day long and Stern makes me laugh.
Q: How many listeners do you have each week.
J: No idea. The show is, based on the marathons
we have, the most popular freeform show we have on WFMU. But I have no
idea how many listeners we actually have. I would say in the tens of thousands.
Based on the people I speak to and stuff it's like 50. Several people
at work came up to me, scared me, they said "You're Jones from FMU."
I would take a look at them and I'd be like, uh, yeah, thinking about
whatever I said on the show and how it was gonna affect my future at the
Q: It's revealing
J: It's revealing and it's also not the kind of
image you present aroundthat I present at work. I work at Court
TV and there I'm Glen. There are no
Q: What is the IBJ?
B: The International Brotherhood of Jones. Yes,
and Jones thought long and hard cuz we were looking for a moniker. Originally
I said something to him about the Glen Jones Radio Army of the Air, which
is corny, you know, that's too corny, and he was thinking very hard and
he had several ideas bouncing out of his gourd but he came up with the
IBJ and the people flocked behind it cuz it's easy to remember and it
sounds filthy. IBJ, You BJ, we all BJ.
J: I never thought about that. The thing is actually
I watch a lot of wrestling and there's a renegade group called the N.W.O.
which was popular about two years ago, New World Order, and I decided
okay I'll have it named after that. And then one afternoon I was watching
Hoffa, you know with Jack Nicholson, and there's a scene where they're
driving and he's in handcuffs in the back seat and every trucker everywhere
lined the streets honking their horns in support of Jimmy Hoffa and it
was the International Brotherhood of Teamsters so hence the idea. N.W.O.
+ Jimmy Hoffa - the federal criminal rap equals the IBJ.
B: Cuz we're no criminals Jones. Well, actually,
J: As a point I've repeated the letters IBJ over
and over again to drive it into the listener's head but I've only said
what it means maybe a half dozen times cuz then there'll be those select
few that are listening at that moment that are actually paying attention
who will feel like "I know what the IBJ is!"
Q: So it's the Fat Pack tour.
Q: And you've been doing it all summer long.
B: And Jones put it all together from fuckin' scratch.
J: On the skin of my teeth every show is planned
as the last show's ending and the whole idea was to take it from the beginning
of the summer to the end.
B: No one's ever done that before. Especially at
this station. No one's ever attempted a feat so large.
J: I think other stations do that kind of thing.
B: Not at this station.
J: No one at FMU has done that. But that doesn't
mean anything. Maybe they don't wanna. Or maybe they don't have enough
listeners that'll show up and support them. Maybe they can all kiss my
ass cause they all suck. After all these fucking years they've been telling
me that I shouldn't play the fuckin hits. Maybe that's what they should
B: And maybe they're smarter than us, Jones. Maybe
some have tried.
Q: Maybe some have tried and failed but it's going well.
B: No it's going well. He's been working his ass
off and I've never seen you work as hard at the show as you have this
year. It's been building and you've always worked hard because radio is
your life. But you fucking really were busting your balls this year.
Q: So it's been Asbury Park, Wildwood
B: Wildwood first.
J: I like to think it started at the New York State
Armory with all those chair shots on Mother's Day.
B: Mother's Day massacre.
J: Wildwood Memorial Day. Asbury Park like June
26 or something. Coney Island July 18.
B: Coney Island was great. We still owe them $35.
Because we fucked up their carpet. You know, they invited us there, and
we were nice to everyone, everything was fine, except we fucked up their
J: There are all sorts of problems you run into
trying to do these things. You're dealing with major businesses. Originally
last summer I told Atlantic City I wanted to do a Boardwalk show, all
my life I wanted to a Boardwalk show since I was a kid and saw Dj's doing
Boardwalk shows. Atlantic City told me to call Trump Towers. I called
them and their response was, okay we can give you the phone lines to do
your remote and the space. What are you gonna do for us, Glen? I found
myself dealing with big business and I'm just like a guy trying to do
something cool. There's nothing I can offer you. So we've had some problems
along the way.
B: If you have to promote something too much it
takes the edge off the fucking show. The show never promotes anybody except
like a close friend occasionally
J: Hardly even then.
B: Right, and even then he has quandaries and he
struggles with it. But Jones never promotes anything. You know, he never
got nothing free, he gets free stuff but he never promoted for it ever.
He's clean. Take it from me. No sell out. Glen Jones "No Sell Out"
baby, that was one of your signature tunes for many years. "No Sell
J: The next stop is Seaside. Probably the 12th.
B: On the Boardwalk.
J: One of the things I do I pick out the dates very
carefully. Like, you know, we did a whole summer tour, we're gonna be
stuck in the studio on Labor Day. It doesn't make sense to me. I should
do Seaside on Labor Day. But my instincts are telling me to do it after
Labor Day on the 12th.
B: Legistically it'll be superior.
J: And we'll hopefully continue after that. I have
a few other ideas for the fall. Originally it was gonna take us to Labor
Day, the end of the summer, early September and finish it. But now it's
been going well and now that the summer's over we can move indoors.
B: Yeah but the summer's gonna be going on till
like the middle of November.
J: But you can't depend on that
B: It will.
J: You can't depend on that
B: I have a sense.
J: when you're planning an outdoor show on
the beach, you can't depend on that.
B: I have a sense.
Q: Have you consciously been trying to go to places that are less fashionable
and upscale. Is there a sense that we're not going to the Hamptons, for
B: If they want us in the Hamptons then we'll go.
J: Asbury I wanted to get to because they're run
down. Last summer I walked down the boardwalk on Asbury Park and I was
like amazed at how it had fallen over the years.
B: Weird New Jersey had a great article about abandoned
Asbury Park with a photograph of right where we broadcast from. The guy
practically gave us the keys to the whole Howard Johnson's. Just like,
make sure everything's alright when you leave. But Jones did you or did
you not in fact recently turn down an offer to appear at the Chateau Marmont
Hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, in perhaps in the very same bungalow
in which John Belushi died.
B: Enough said.
Q: And for what reason?
J: Because the offer didn't come from Chateau Marmont,
The offer came from a third party.
B: It didn't meet Jones's standards. It didn't meet
Q: So the reaction to the tour has been good
J: Yeah, it was good.
Q: My mom listened to the party on Sunday.
B: You know what's sad. Jones's mom listened once
or twice and what did she say?
J: Um, she said it's kinda boring.
B: The first time my mom tuned in she heard me tell
the story of how I shot the beercan off of Jones's head with a .357 magnum.
It wasn't on the air but we were describing the event on the air. And
my mother called me up and she was crying and she's like, you really didn't
do that with your father's gun. And I said no. No. Even if I was stupid
enough to attempt something like that, what makes you think Jones would
be stupid enough to let me shoot a beer can off his head. In the meantime
I still got the beercan at home. We did cheat though because I was very
close and it was a tall boy.
Q: You didn't want to do a William Burroughs accident.
B: Oh, that would have been cool. Cause if I shot
Jones in the head then I woulda had to blow my own head off and we woulda
gone down in radio history. That was like what, four or five years ago.
J: Yeah, but we wouldn't have gone down in radio
history cause it had nothing to do with the radio. We did it off the air.
B: Nah but it woulda been a small blurb in the Jersey
Journal. Radio DJ Killed in Tragic Mishap. Drunken Individuals
Q: Do you guys long to go down in radio history?
J: Yes, absolutely. Radio is 75 years old, I'm 37
years old. I've been in radio since '77. So I've got like a good percentage
of the entire fucking history of radio under my belt and nobody does it
Q: Would you ever consider making the leap to commercial radio?
J: Of course. But the problem is, would commericial
radio ever consider making the leap to
Q: What would be the conditions?
J: The music is probably 80% of the show. I mean
Burns and I, some find us amusing, but the music is a huge part of it
and I think Burns and I are at the point where we could do commercial
radio, we're good enough, but would they, A, would they seek me out and
find me? No. B, would they let me play the music I want to play? No. I
mean that's a big part of the show.
B: And even if they let you, it's tough to succeed.
Even if they let you do what you wanted to do, because of the commercial
market, it's a whole different bag. Not the same clientele that listens
to FMU. You know, you get these jerkoffs in their cars and they tune us
in and they're either gonna not like something he's playin' or not like
something I'm sayin' and they'll change the station.
J: I maintain that if you put us on and let us do
what we do that we would have ratings that match the ratings that you'll
get on comparable programs.
B: If you put us on the big stations.
J: If you put us on a big station I maintain that
the ratings and the audience would be there, but would the station be
smart enough to let us do it, unfortunately not, especially these days
with radio stations mostly being run by giant syndication companies.
B: There was an article in the New York Post not
too long ago about how Karmazin and his CBS boys are looking for people
who cut their own path and have had run-ins and are disliked by their
station managers. They had a casting call out in other words for unusual
and ascerbic DJs.
J: And Burns told me about that and I maintain that
they lied. They say that that's what they want but do they really want
that? They don't really want that.
B: They make a good offer of money and then they say you'll behave after
you get the money.
B: I love radio as a fan and I listen to all kinds.
I listen to talk radio, I listen to shortwave, I listen to police scanners.
But radio is his blood. You know, I'm just a jerkoff, I'm a real estate
appraiser by trade and I fancy myself a comedian, but radio is what Jones
does and he's been wanting to be a broadcaster since I met him. And that's
the only thing he's ever done with any success actually, is radio. And
it really is in his blood.
J: I used to be a hell of a dancer, I don't know
why you say that.
B: And I have no doubt in my mind, as feeble as
it may be, that someday Jones will, even if he's not ultrasuccessful,
he'll die broadcasting. He is the king of FMU. There's nobody better,
who does a freeform show, than Jones.
Q: Can you give me a rundown of your most memorable stunts?
J: The best thing that we ever did, we were suspended
for like what? for like four weeks Burns? Told we weren't allowed in the
studio, we weren't allowed on mic on other people's programs. Burns says
to me I have this PA system that my dad used to
B: Well first of all the signs.
J: No, that's a different time. I'm talking about
B: That was the same time.
J: No it wasn't.
B: Okay, go on.
J: That was the banishment. I'm talking about the
B: I think it was the same time.
B: Okay, continue.
J: Okay, so we're suspended for four weeks from
Q: For doing what?
J: They said I said fuck on the air.
B: I didn't hear that Jones. I think it was a misunderstanding.
J: It was the only time I did it in like 21 years
which I guess is too many.
B: And it was several weeks after the fact.
J: It was at a live event and we were told we weren't
allowed to be on the air on anyone else's show. The third week when we
were coming back the next week we showed up at the parking lot of WFMU.
Burns put out like a giant soundsystem he had in his basement.
B: Big bullhorn speakers from like the 30s and tripods
like ten feet high.
J: Plugged in a microphone, and the second the DJ
went on the air that was on after my shift, the second he opened up his
mic we started screaming about how we'd be back next week, that we're
gonna like, Jones and Burns are back, there's nothing you can do about
it and we're gonna take over the world. That was my favorite.
B: And it was so loud that it could be heard through
the sound-insulated studio on the mic that the DJ was trying to speak
into. The neighbors enjoyed it especially. Another time Jones was suspended
allegedly for making death threats against the station manager
J: That was one of many charges.
B: Which have since been proven false. And all amends
have been made.
Q: Was it Ken Freedman?
B: Yes. There was a staff meeting like Jones was
suspended on a Sunday and he was missing that Sunday and Monday was a
staff meeting. So I made a sign that said "Who Killed Glen Jones?
The Truth is Out There." There was a dispute as to whether it was
legitimate that Glen had been suspended. And I went up there and I hammered
it into the ground in the driveway. So as all the staff members pulled
in to the meeting they saw the sign. And eventually the station manager
held it up at the meeting.
J: You do realize that to this day the station didn't
realize that we had made that sign.
B: I made that sign, they know it. They're not stupid.
J: And now they know that. Owen Hart dropped dead
falling from the sky on a tether tryingOwen Hart's a professional
wrestlerto drop into the ring. I went to Asbury Park to do a live
show there and I jumped off the roof of a building held by a couple of
ropes. It was actually quite safe, but it looked pretty cool. And it was
quite exciting jumping off a building.
Q: How do you like your new digs in J.C.?
J: I like East Orange, East Orange is the best town.
I'm a traditionalist. We're in a great studio. Jersey City is a beautiful
facility. However, I find it difficult to say goodbye to the past. I liked
it when we were in East Orange, New Jersey.
Q: What do you guys do in your free time?
J: I smoke a lot of pot, I go to see Bruce Springsteen
a lot, I work, sometimes I hang out in front of a drug store trying to
find a job, but I cannot find one so I smoke more pot and I drink a whole
lot. What else do I do in my spare time? I think about the show.
B: Jones does put a lot of time in, and more than
he used to man. These last few years he's concentrated it more and more.
J: I've always put time into the show.
B: Yeah no shit, I know that, but this year in particular
J: It's just nobody noticed. Now you notice.
B: No no Jones, there was a while there when I was
making like half the show on tape.
J: Let me ask you a question: what do you do in
your spare time?
B: I happen to be happily married and I live in
the fucking filthy suburb where I was born, Kearny, New Jersey.
J: It's not filthy.
B: No, it's a wonderful town and I have a wonderful
wife and two dogs and I just bought my first home like 7 months ago. And
I sit around and I drink and I smoke pot.
J: I listen to a lot of music too.
B: Oh yeah, me too. Me too, a lot of music.
J: When I'm smoking pot.
B: And I used to make tapes for the show. But Jones
got all whacked out last year. Jones really took a big leap musically
and I'm talking like within what, like 12 months.
J: I didn't take a leap. I went back to the basics.
B: Yeah but whatever, you made a serious concentrated
effort in the last year to fucking get a grip on the music, and you may
scrape some people the wrong way, man, but it's wild. And it fuckin usually
turns out brilliant. But you did, in the last year man, there's been a
distinct fucking improvement.
Q: Would you say that there's a distinctly Jersey quality to your broadcasts?
Q: And is that something that you strive for or does it just come naturally?
J: It comes naturally. But I would be upset if it
worked out any other way. I've lived in the city for several years
B: Several, man, you've lived here for almost a
J: Several to me means about six or seven and I've
lived here for seven years. And I'm born and bred in Jersey, it's in my
blood. As I've said before, the map of the Garden State Parkway runs through
B: And it also resembles the bulging veins on the
left side of your face. If you're ever lost come over and squeeze Jones's
J: Do you know that X-Ray has skin cancer?
B: Oh, I've gotwhat do you want to see? I've
been approached by several major tabloids to use this in a photo shoot
as like a map of things you should avoid. I've got like a thousand nipples
growing out of my head and my body. You laugh. come here, you wanna touch
this? Come here. I shaved it down for you.
Q: It's not skin cancer. It's just moles.
B: No, no, no skin cancer. Just giant brightly colored
everchanging lumps of flesh with hair coming out of them. Ten years, what's
today's date? August 12, 1999. Ten years from today, X-Ray Burns will
be dead. Yeah, funny. You listen to this ten years from now.
Q: FMU's reputation has been improving over the past few years with
Ken Friedman winning legal battles, getting listener support, moving the
station. Has that all affected the program do you think?
J: well we have to work a lot harder during marathon
time than we used to to raise funds for all this stuff. No, but if it
affected it any way it would be that because of our requirement to make
a lot of money I've gone over the top and having proven that we could
make a lot of money, Burns and I, we get away with a lot of things that
we might not otherwise get away with. I don't really think that's a direct
result of the problems we've had legally, but one of the effects of the
problems we've had legally is that we've had to like make enough money
to stay afloat. And Burns and I have risen to that occasion and make a
lot of money, and I think that gives me the confidence, A, to do what
we do, and also gives us a little leeway here and there in that we do
a very popular program. So I don't know. Has it affected it? No. But indirectly?
B: Overall I think the move to Jersey City's positive,
as a real estate appraiser. Downtown Jersey City Waterfront is hot. It's
a great location if you're thinking longterm, it's gonna be the center
of the world. Our new facilities are wonderful and it's exorbitantly expensive
so we do need the listener support, but in the longrun if we survive everything
should be okey dokey.
Q: What would you say is the guiding philosophy of the program?
J: Live like you wanna live, play what you want,
do what you want, and hope someone understands. Burns?
B: Speak the truth, defend the constitution, speak
the unspeakable, and live till you die.
Q: If you could instill one value into your listeners what would that
J: The first thing that came to mind is probably
the thing to say, but it's very corny. I was gonna say love life and shit.
Maybe I should change it to lust for life. Enjoy yourself.
B: Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
B: The values I would like to instill in the people,
even though I'm a jerkoff by tradeI fancy myself a comedian but
I'm not a comedian I'm just a jerkoffbut one thing you have to remember
is to love your family and remember that each day could be your last,
lvoe the lord, be nice to everybody, and stay home. They got all this
shit today they're just bringing it into your home out of the sky. There's
no reason to go out. And that's it.
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