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Five Questions with… Mark Lynch

Written by on March 29, 2021

What brought you to hosting a show on WICN? Why do you love being on the air?
A roommate of mine, who was at WPI at the time, told me about this new station on campus (WICN) and convinced me to get involved. Production was a small room not much bigger than a phone booth. I began with Momento Mori (a weird pause in your otherwise normal) and Put Your Head on my Shoulder,” a not-ready-for-prime-time advice for the lovelorn show, circa 1973.

What is your favorite WICN memory?
When the Stray Cats partied (Sheila made them lasagna and they thanked her from the stage) down the station; we have some great photos; when on Positive Noise, Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks spent the evening with me previewing his new record; when the entire rock staff went to see Eraserhead en masse; when I got to introduce Joey Shithead of the West Coast band D.O.A. to Glenda Reiss, head of WICN’s Classical Music Department. There are way too many memories from doing Inquiry, but one of the wildest was having Dr. James Watson (of DNA: Watson/Crick) confess that he had a thing for Renee Zellweger; interviewing famed novelist Douglas Copeland (coined Gen X) by phone and realizing that he was way on drugs (I have to do the impression on purpose) and tell me he started an Internet rumor that Jennifer Aniston had “nipple fatigue:” and the many people I have gotten to talk with over the decades like Tommy Smothers, Neal DeGrasse Tyson (who did the interview from a pen/stationary store because he was running late and just walked into the store cold and asked if he could do the interview) he was the coolest/smartest; interviewing Daniel Handler (author of Lemony Snicket) and he ended up interviewing me; Patti Boyd, former wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton; I have done interviews with guests who were: walking down the streets of NYC; on a train; while speeding down a highway; while fixing and eating breakfast; while in bed; and while having sex (once); yes, I did interview Christopher Plummer and he was extremely generous and funny: he referred to The Sound of Music as “S&M” because he HATED the experience. My list of WICN memories is endless!

FILL IN THE BLANK: The best concert I ever saw was ______________?
Many, many concerts: Captain Beefheart ; Zappa and the Mothers (brilliant); Janis Joplin; The Who (doing Tommy); Nash the Slash; Flipper; The Replacements (who did a money-raising concert for the station for a case of beer); The Stray Cats; Iggy Pop and the Pretenders (Pop opened up for The Pretenders); The Tubes in a small theatre before anyone knew who they were (White Punks on Dope was INSANE); The Au Pairs; X; The B-52s in Worcester (my son’s first concert); children’s author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka had written a great kid’s book called Punk Farm and we assembled a band that pretended they were the farm animals from the book and they played live at WICN and I interviewed Jarrett in between with my granddaughter; Darlene Love…I could go on.

Many listeners don’t know that the majority of our hosts are volunteers that do this out of a personal passion. What do you/did you do professionally off the air?
For 40 years I taught art classes at the Worcester Art Museum (including classes on modern and contemporary art; animation; comics; and lectures on how to use art museums as resources in natural history); I am a teacher and lead local trips on birds and natural history at Broadmeadow Brook MAS; I am a book reviewer for the journal Bird Observer.

Who are your favorite artists and/or albums of all time?
The list changes daily! Elvis Costello/My Aim is True; Sex Pistols/Never Mind The Bollocks; The Rolling Stones, 12 X 5; Public Enemy/Fear of a Black Planet; Beastie Boys/License to Ill; everything by Marvin Gaye; Ivy/Apartment Life; Portishead/Dummy; everything by Joy Division and New Order; Stereolab/Dots and Loops; LCD Soundsystem/This is Happening; Captain Beefheart/Trout Mask Replica; Lene Lovich/Stateless...I have to stop now.

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