"The last three songs found me," Chapman says. "I had no intention of going that route, but those three bubbled to the surface, and I felt they represented the overall WFNX experience. Death Cab was the new 'FNX, Dylan — that was so fucking apropos of the time, and for the old guard of 'FNX, where you'd hear the Cure into Bob Dylan in the '80s. And Buffalo Tom, 'Taillights Fade,' it's a song I hear and immediately think of the radio station. There's a lot of personal history there as well."
In his last segment, Chapman lamented the changes in the radio industry and how we consume music in general, and opined about his radio role in the era of Internet and iTunes. "I honestly don't know if in this day and age there's a need for a guy like me," he says. "Not to get too Death of a Salesman, but I'm looking at it from that perspective. There used to be milkmen, there was a guy who delivered ice. To me, it's strange to listen to a new song and not hear anyone tell you who it is."
Kramer's final show on Friday began with David Bowie's cover of the Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind," blasted through several hours of local hits, and closed with Jeff Buckley's "The Last Goodbye." "I didn't plan anything except my first song, and the last song, 'Last Goodbye,'" says Kramer. "I thought it was a fitting tune, it was a 'Last Goodbye' in so many ways. I thought it would hit home and resonate, and it was my last goodbye to my listeners. It's amazing to work 25 years in any profession, any job, especially a field that's particularly not very open to women, that's very transient, that's a constant revolving door. Going to your job thinking it's the best job ever — I was very blessed. I'm very lucky.'FNX was consistent about bringing music to people. In the beginning we were just people in a room playing records."
Those people were just as much a part of the station's legacy as the bands they spun. "I could go on about all the rock-star heroes I got to meet or shows like Nirvana playing the WFNX eighth birthday party at Axis," wrote former on-air host Kat Corbett in an e-mail to the Phoenix. "I could talk endlessly about the crappy bathrooms where Michael Stipe got trapped for a half hour and Gene Simmons once passed a kidney or gallstone and showed it to everyone. Those stories are endless but the reason WFNX was such a special place is because of the talented and gloriously insane people who worked there."
Adds McDonald: "I'm unbelievably proud of what we accomplished, and for the most part happy. Look at the talent that came through: Kurt St. Thomas, Liquid Todd, Kat Corbett, Adam 12, Boy Troy, and on and on, people who are all on major markets across the country, and all helped break so many bands. It was a constant battle, and had a lot of creative people around. It's a difficult proposition, not getting paid enough, working a lot of hours, but really it was an us-against-the-world philosophy."
Duane Bruce was with the station from 1987 to 1992, a five-year stretch in which he hosted the overnight Radio Free Boston and did everything from driving the van to jock spins to picking up bands at the airport and venues. "Friends would say 'My day sucked, I had to get the Jensen file in,' and I'd say, 'Well Lou Reed came into the studio today,' " Bruce says. "Everyday was like a plus-one, we all had our friends there with us. It was a weed station — we all hung out, and had great camaraderie."
Bruce recalls driving down from Maine to interview with the station, and as soon as the signal came in on his car stereo, the first song he heard was Revolting Cocks' "Attack Ships on Fire," followed by "Go!" by Tones on Tail. He knew he found a home. "The week I got there, the Replacements came in and brought switchblades and cut up the entire couch," Bruce says. "I had to drive the van out to go buy another one."