My name is Mark and I grew up in Bristol, Connecticut. I remember the AM radio being on all the time in the kitchen. Every morning started with Bob Steele. This is where my love of radio began. No one did radio like Bob Steele. The music, the word of the day, the marches, his personality on the air that was all so uniquely wonderful. Later on in the day, Mom turned the dial to the country music station. I liked the sound of the acoustic guitar and loved pedal steel. My Mom's favorites are Hank Snow, Johnny Cash and Texas Swing. My Dad played the trumpet in his younger days, but most of the time he played harmonica and he was very good. His favorite LP was a recording of Ravel's Bolero.
My parents owned a Santo & Johnny LP and that captured my imagination... it took me away. Listening to music was always an adventure. I watched my Mom put records on the HiFi. It was a ritual.... opening the top of the record player, removing the record carefully from the jacket and then positiong it on the spindle. She's swing the arm over, lock it in and turn the switch to Play. The turn table started to spin, the arm would lift and the record fell into place. I can hear the sounds of the record player's mechanism clicking and the sound of the disk falling onto the turntable mat and the needle dropped to find the groove. The music began and I would close my eyes and listen... trying to imagine the place where this magical music came from...
45's and LP's:
My Mom picked me up after school on Friday. Sometimes we would go to Rockwell Park, then to Carvel and out to visit my Aunt Jen and all my cousins on the farm in Burlington. Other times it was grocery shopping. We began at The First National, then to Walston's Market and Macaluso's Market . We always ended up at the snack bar in either W.T. Grants or Woolworth's and a vist to the record department. I was allowed to buy 2 45 singles. I would look at the Top 20 Hits list and choose my singles for the week while we were eating. WDRC and WPOP (both AM) were Hartford's rock radio stations at the time and you could find the stations Top 40 list near the record department. Man, I wish I never sold that box of 45's!
On my 16th birthday Mom surprised me and said I could get 3 LP's (Long Playing Albums). I wanted something new and different, so I went straight to Ken Benton, the cool record department manager at Bradlees. I asked for suggestions. He said "Go shop with Mom and come back before you leave...When I returned he had selected 3 titles that changed my musical life... (1) The Moody Blues, In Search of the Lost Chord, (2) King Crimson, In the Court of the Crimson King and (3) The Blues Magoos, Basic Blues Magoos. Sgt. Pepper and everything the Beatles did as well as Beethoven. Music became a magical adventure.
Listening & Sharing:
Now that I had discovered the beautiful sounds of the Mellotron, I followed the Psycehedelic and Hard Rock paths. I also immersed myself in Jazz ,thanks to my brother Bryan who bought me a Dave Brubeck LP "Time Out" and said "Listen to this, it will change your life". My friend Mike Ravita turned me on to classical music and together we discovered Jazz Fusion with The Mahavishnu Orchestra. In the late 1960's I started playing guitar, organ and bass. My buddy Steve Danis and I used to play "needle drops" over the phone for hours trying to identify the tunes. Through high school "Rav", Bobreau, Bob (Bunny) Graham, Jim Miccucci, Dave Joslyn and my close friend Jackie Kilby would get lost listening for hours. We all enjoyed turning each other on to new musical discoveries. We made weekly trips to area record shops and listened to WDRC, WPOP, WHCN, WPLR and then discovered the great alternative stations from Hartford like WWUH and WRTC. We listened and explored all kinds of new music (to us) from around the world. Rock, jazz, classical, electronic, folk, blues and more. It was fun and exciting. Most of us were musicians or artists in one way or another. We shared our discoveries and excitement with each other. Music became a grand adventure.
70's and 80's (a musical blur):
My friend "Jet" and I hung out and each got the HiFi bug. Sound Unlimited in Bristol was where we got our fix for HiFi gear. The stereo system was now the center of the universe and listening became even more enjoyable as we shared excitement of discovery. Concerts, recording with local artists, working in record shops like Looney Tunes and the famous Caitol Record Shop in Hartford. Discovering WWUH and WRTC. Progressive and "Alien Rock". Capitol Record Shop was a specialty record store that was a cultural center for area musicians, music lovers and collectors. I met Susan Mullis there and we instantly became friends as we shared a love of electronic and psychedelic music. She got me involved here at WWUH. Jeff, Susan and I developed the concepts of Teltan while experiencing the Gong Trilogy and all kinds of music. Marky Music and my studio was created. I worked on recorded projects with area musicians The Broken Hearts, The Bud Collins Trio, The Private Life, my own band and many others.
On The Air:
In 1982 I joined the staff of WWUH. My first seat was Morning Jazz, then Synthesis and eventually The Greatest Show From Earth. In my studio I experimented with video and became more active as a photographer. Susan was hosting Ambience on Sunday morning and I was hosting TGSFE on Sunday nights. Space was the place on Sunday's at WWUH. Together, we interviewed many bands (i.e. Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Ozric Tentacles, Dream Theater, Devin Townsend, Wrenchneck and Mile Marker Zero to name a few). Playing records for my friends had moved from the stereo in the living room to behind the mic at WWUH. Still sharing the adventure with friends one to one and also listeners from the area and now around the world.
So now on Sunday evening at 9:00 pm, I take my listeners on a journey through inner space playing long sets of music to get lost in on the end of the weekend. I have always had an open mind to music and enjoy mixing musics that do not traditionally go together, but make the show interesting and expose the listener to musical ideas they may never would have the opportunity to hear otherwise. Today, nearly 29 years later, I still enjoy the pleasure of hosting the Greatest Show From Earth om WWUH. On the first calendar Sunday of every month I share the seat with The Microwave Brain of Gary Levin.
At home, my family and I enjoy listening to music, going to shows and meeting artists from around the world. To the left is a photo of my wife Cyndie and I with members of Porcupine Tree (or favorite band) taken by Bob Bunny (Richard Barbieri was called off to the side as soon as this picture was taken). Pretty cool seeing that we were on vacation at athe time.
My wife's voice can be heard on many Teltan ID's. Our sons are active in music and can often be heard on the air from time to time. Charlie and I are avid concert goers supporting the local music scene. Life does not get much cooler than this for the Teltan Man.
2012 & The Local Scene:
The local music scene is where it is at. Over the past few years I have grown to be an even bigger supporter of local music. There are so many talented bands and not enough venues to support them. The closest major venue to our radio station supporting local music is The Webster Theater in Hartford. They lean more towards the metal side musically. As you move south in the state things get more progressive and fusion oriented, although still heavy. Make your way north through Springfield, Worcester and Boston and the scene gets heavier. The Palladium in Worcester is ground zero for metal in Massachusetts. Greenfield and Turners Falls MA is also an epicenter for many talented artists. Mark (TVoD)