Memories of John Garabedian and V-66...

Jon Maguire
Wed Jun 13 13:08:13 EDT 2007

Hi Mark, very interesting!! I worked at the WMEX transmitter site 
'68-'69, weekends,  while attending Grahm Jr College. Lots of fun with 
Mac Richmond calling when there was a 1 ms outage. I can picture every 
bit of that building!! I also talked to John H Garabedian who would ask 
for audio patches thru various pieced of equipment.

Jon, W1MNK, Brandon FL USA wrote:
> <<
> The WGTR calls probably came from WPTR or they were intended as a
> resurrection of the original WGTR, which I believe was the earliest
> incarnation of what is now WAAF.  Donna, help us out here!
> -Doug
> GT (in car-speak Gran Turismo, so therefore cool-sounding) + WPTR 
> could be one explanation.  Also GTR is musician's shorthand for 
> 'guitar' and quite likely what suggested John's callsign pick (and 
> that of proto-WAAF perhaps).  Later on there was an '80s band GTR that 
> had a couple of hits.
> I thought WAAB-FM went straight to the WAAF calls sometime in the 
> '70s. What was WAAB-AM is now WVEI-1440 Worcester.
> WGTR-1060 had a fair signal into Arlington in the mid '70s but could 
> be slopped by WBZ and WILD on "broader" radios.  It took a lot of 
> nosedives going under powerlines so it wasn't suitable for in-car 
> entertainment.
> John used several sign-off songs (yes, WGTR was a daytimer) including 
> "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin and "Feel the Benefit" by 10cc.  
> Humor, sometimes risque, was part of the overall entertainment plan.  
> Both WGTR and later V-66 played a decent amount of local talent, as 
> did WBCN's Maxanne Sartori.  I remember Reddy Teddy among other local 
> bands in the '70s.  One of my work friends Mark Hallberg managed a 
> band October which got airplay in the '80s on WBCN, WFNX, and maybe 
> V-66 TV as well.  These were kids from the Burlington-Woburn area who 
> met at UMass Amherst.  There were (/ are) many such bands around 
> metro-Boston going way back to the '60s days of Teddy & the Pandas, 
> Barbarians, et al.  A few were discovered but most just wound up 
> keeping their "day jobs" and entertaining their friends at local bars, 
> backyard parties, and - yes - garages.  The talent level of 
> undiscovered bands frequently surpassed that of bands that did have hits.
> John H. Garabedian's WMEX days were memorable.  I think this was 
> approximately 1969-1972.  In the summer of '70, three college-age 
> friends of mine (Chuck O'Neal, Chris Leary, and Tim Smith) worked at 
> the WMEX transmitter site in North Quincy.  I'd visit there sometimes 
> during Garabedian's show and during a show put on by someone named 
> "Cousin Duffy".  Both of these guys played a lot of album cuts, 
> progressive rock, and hard rock within the confines of what a Top 40 
> station like WMEX would dare to play.  Obviously 'BCN had a lot more 
> latitude, but WMEX was quite forward-thinking and experimental 
> compared to its main AM competition over at WRKO.  By this time, you 
> may recall that WBZ had bailed out of serving up rock music.  Their 
> halcyon days of experimentation were the mid '60s when Dick Summer, 
> Jefferson Kaye, and Bruce Bradley introduced folk-rock (Dylan, Baez, 
> Richard & Mimi Farina), blues (Paul Butterfield), and acid-rock to 
> Boston radio when WBCN was still a classical station.  A handful of 
> low-powered college stations were the only other places progressive 
> rock could be heard.
> Mark Connelly, WA1ION - Billerica, MA
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