Carter Alan remembers the first song he played on WBCN, “I’ve Had Enough” by The Who, from “Quadrophenia.” The former ’BCN DJ and current midday man and music director at WZLX remembers much more in his recently released and thoroughly engrossing chronicle, “Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN.” We asked Alan to recount five of his favorite experiences during his 19 years at the pioneering Boston rock station.
1. Flying Pink Floyd’s Blimp over Foxboro Stadium “It rained like hell,” Alan recalls. When he announced he had some flight time under his belt, the pilot turned to him and said, “You want to fly this thing?” “We were wired for sound [broadcasting live]; it was pretty wild.”
2. Flying on Aerosmith’s private jet The Boston rockers flew Alan and a few other DJs to a show on the “Permanent Vacation” tour. Alan recalls ’BCN jock Oedipus goading the pilots into doing tricks on the return flight after midnight. “I think he did a negative 1 G,” says Alan.
3. Eating lunch with U2 in 1982 at the McDonald’s across from
WBCN “I have one image in my mind of the Edge walking toward me with his little orange tray,” says Alan with a laugh.
4. Interviewing Roger Waters at Abbey Road Studios The interview was broadcast to over 100 stations and aired at 3 a.m. UK time to accommodate US audiences. Alan recalls a generous Abbey Road employee. “He gave us a guided tour of the whole place. We saw all the studios where the Beatles played and where ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ was recorded.”
5. His first on-air shift in 1979 when the studio was still at the top of the Prudential Center “I was so nervous I couldn’t talk for six songs.”