Background: I’ve been working for nearly two years on a project documenting, first, the history of UK’s 20 year old student radio station, WRFL-FM, and second, the collected voices and history of Lexington’s underground music scene, particularly the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s been such a rewarding project, and I’ve gotten to talk to so many great people.
And today was so freakishly deep in this vein that it’s downright eery.
First, I interviewed a guy at UK who I expected to have tertiary remarks about the history of these things, who instead was something of an encyclopedia, both of embryonic WRFL, and of my growing project about the Lexington underground. After that delightful hour, I sat down near the statue of James Patterson, feeling charged, making notes, arranging interviews, and looking for connections.
From the courtyard of the Patterson Office Tower, I watched a weirdly ambivalent sky fling giant raindrops down, but not enough to move me off my bench or out of my thoughts; not enough to soak the sidewalks or this reverie. Enough to sit and breathe.
Biking downtown, towards home, I came across an old friend and Lexington legend who I hadn’t seen in a long time. Connection. He told me of a couple of people who had recently moved back to town that I should talk to. Connection. We agreed to talk more soon.
As I pedaled onward, I felt entirely right about a bite to eat at the semi-new downtown jernt, the Sidebar Grill, which has a growing reputation as a kind of tattooed, punk version of Cheers (my claim, anyway). Great food, casual crowd with a high average of piercings and tats. Nice people.
Before I can leave, after overhearing a conversation or two, I become aware that the owners are historians in their own right, of that era. The exact era that has been on my mind. The exact section of that era that I’m finding increasingly murky and increasing enchanting. They enthusiastically agree to talk more and show me their collection of ancient local recordings and fliers.
I am blessed.
Tomorrow, I’m scheduled to interview a legendary and beloved UK administrator who I’ve been trying to get together with for over a year. Over a year.
So: If you want to talk to me about Lexington Punk, please do. I love you. I’ve conducted approaching a hundred interviews with people involved in Lexington’s outstanding music history, and I ain’t nearly done. What wonderful thing(s) might you share that I haven’t heard?