I don’t know how to say this but, well… I love you. I have loved since first I laid ears on you just short of a decade ago and I love to this, your last day. I have fallen in love with many (okay, most) of your female DJs sight unseen, and have considered your male DJs to be firm friends – though this has led to a few awkward social situations for me. I have, obviously, loved your music. I love how you have helped me become the person I now am.
When you came into my life on that day in 2006 – I tuned in to hear your first song Today by the Smashing Pumpkins – I was an awkward, nervous 21 year old. I was fresh out of college but felt more lost then than I had been leaving school. I didn’t really know who I was, what I wanted to be or if there were many others like me in the world. I was a less a black sheep than a black lamb. Hell, I didn’t of know about the pirate Phantom until it was too late.
Your first forays over the legitimate airwaves set me at ease. For the first time, I knew there were people like me in the world. Your DJs sounded like me, had interests like mine, laughed along to my texts/emails and played the songs that I wanted to hear. 105.2FM on my radio is where I felt at home.
You opened my eyes to new music, new places – why the hell had I not been to Whelan’s when I was in college? – and new people.
I fell in love (and fell hard) for the first, and so far only, time with a girl I met after a gig by Fight Likes Apes; a band I had only heard of because of you. We kissed for the first time outside of a Phantom First Friday gig, sent each other vaguely coded messages via texts you read out on air and, by the time she got me to steal a Phantom poster for her, she had stolen my heart.
You were there for me a few months later when it ended and helped me put my shattered heart back together.
You have helped me through some bad times where I didn’t feel there was anyone I could talk to and have been the constant soundtrack to all of the better times that followed.
You were there when my granddad died, almost literally. As I walked down the corridor of the hospital the last time I was to see him alive, I heard you coming over the radio in the nurses station. Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the song playing, is now something that will always remind me of him, even though I know he would have dismissed that song with a “What is this shite?” or something similar.
You were there to help me get up in the morning to face the dead-end job that I hated. You inspired me to leave that job in search of something better, the best decision I ever made. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that it led me to pursue a career as a rock critic (or whatever it is I do at Goldenplec).
I don’t write full time anymore – the realisation that you need money to live is a tough one – but you, even in your somewhat depleted TXFM years, have helped me through the tough transition back to the 9-5 world.
Today, I am a mostly confident, happy, somewhat useful man. It’s a stark contrast from the frightened boy I was when we met all those years ago. Many people have helped me with this transition but never, for one moment, doubt your contribution to it.
As I type these final words on my tear-stained keyboard, I just want to thank you. Thank you for the music (obviously). Thank you for the friendship and camaraderie. Thank you for being there. Thank you for helping me to become who I am today.
Even now you are here with me, making things easier. You will be forever in my heart. I will always miss you.