Tonight on WLVU, Celebrate Where We Came From

Every epic tale has an origin story.

For Lehigh Valley Underground, it begins in rural New Jersey in August 2013.

There I was, still living at home, selling my soul to corporate America. I was growing restless by being a number in a giant corporate machine and, like any good Millennial, was dying to make an impact. I was free one weekend, and decided to take some downtime for myself (rare, even back then), catch up on a couple projects, and balance my mind out.

I had been thinking about podcasting for a little while to this point. I had done college radio, and missed doing the show — a very primitive, “shock jock”-esque version of The Quinn Spinn — and our small, but dedicated following. I had all of my old shows archived, and decided that weekend, with Saturday night winding down, to take a trip down memory lane

I got to The Quinn Spinn’s series finale at Moravian College, and remembered the feeling of that night being the last I’d ever, after seven semesters of broadcasting, step into the booth. I listened to the show, and to the appreciation being shown by those tuning in (as well as our live studio audience that night). That — in a small, liberal arts college way — was an impact. I wanted to create something like that, that meant something to somebody, again.

So, I got to work. Within 24 hours, I had a logo, a Wix site, a SoundCloud page, and had started building out on social media. I wanted to play music, and decided this time around to discover some on my own, taking to Twitter to find bands and ask if I could play their music. To my surprise, most agreed.

I did the first show — an awkward, much less refined 38-minute version of what you hear most Mondays now on WLVU — by myself. However, I needed someone to banter with. So, I started recruiting…

I did community theatre at the County College of Morris around that time, and had told my friend Adam (who would come to be known in Quinn Spinn lore as Scotty Rock) about the show. He was interested in coming on as a guest co-host. So, I brought him onto the second episode with another mutual friend, Brian, who would become recurring character “That Guy.” There was an immediate on-air chemistry. So, Scotty Rock would soon become an official cast member.

My friend Greg, who had been on the Moravian-era Quinn Spinn portraying a bizarre, out-of-touch tycoon known as The Man, came into the fold shortly thereafter. As time went on over the next several months, we’d add several other recurring guests and co-hosts, including (but not limited to) those you’ll hear on tonight’s reunion episode: L, Drunk Uncle Louis, and Big Daddy Del. Each “cast member” would have a recurring segment, and would add his or her own personality and energy to a dynamic that was unpredictable and entertaining in its own right. We’d interview musicians, we’d tackle hard issues, and we’d have a lot of laughs, on and off the air.

As time went on, we began to grow more ambitious. In June 2014, we put on an American Cancer Society benefit called Entertainment for a Cure at Camp Jefferson in Jefferson, NJ with a local film production company. The show featured six acts (one of whom — spoilers! — you’ll hear on tonight’s show) and, although an extreme challenge to pull off with limited funds and knowledge of how events work, went off brilliantly that day. We survived our first big challenge as a group, and had grown closer through it in a way that, ultimately, would transcend the show.

This run of The Quinn Spinn would last about another year until Memorial Day 2015, when myriad life changes and shifting priorities had taken us all into different directions. Specifically, it had taken me to Pennsylvania, where I had begun to see the potential in taking what I had learned to that point through The Quinn Spinn and building a community resource for the Lehigh Valley. Initially, we had agreed to simply take the summer off. However, after seeing how vastly different life now was for everyone involved, I was left with the difficult and unpopular decision to strike out on my own. More on that, of course, is to come tonight.

In the years since, Scotty and L have gotten married, and Drunk Uncle Louis and Big Daddy Del, in their own ways, have come into their own. Tonight, we come back to the table after three years. It’s important to us individually, because The Quinn Spinn represents a unique and challenging time in each of our lives. It is important to Lehigh Valley Underground and all that we do, because The Quinn Spinn is the very foundation on which our growing local music empire is built. Without question, bringing this era of the show into existence five years ago paved the way for LVU to have the impact it does today. The latter does not exist without the former.

So, I invite you to listen tonight at 6 p.m. ET at this link, to hear where we’ve come from, and to see how far we’ve come in the years since. Hey now!

 

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