Last month, Billy Jam had asked me to help him with a remote broadcast on September 10th, to which I obliged happily, not entirely taking note where it was going to be. I put the date/time in my schedule and was going to get the details closer to the broadcast. I got directions emailed to me a day before the remote and the descriptions "treacherous", "fire trap", "sketchy", "caution", "down the cliff", and "deadly", were all within the body of this email. As was "X Ray Burns"... I thought to myself "this is either going to be a blast, or it'll be the last day of my life!" I packed my bathing suit and went headfirst into the broadcast that Billy titled "Dirty Jersey: Throw the Needle in the River": featuring Bill Rapp, Wheeler Antabanez, The Two Maks (Weird NJ), X-Ray Burns, Diane Kamikaze, DEMER, & Gentrified. All NJ aficionados, homeboys, homebodies, historians, hooligans or devotees, in their own way. If you haven't checked out the archive of the show, check this minute long YouTube blast for a taste of how the entire 3 hours went down - and literally almost washed down the river if it weren't for some quick troubleshooting by Liz Berg back at the compound.
All the descriptives in that email could have been true; the terrain at Bill Rapp's Boat Yard in Kearny, NJ, could have been trickier to navigate had the tide not gone out just before we arrived to set up the gear. In a nutshell, in a 3-hour period, Billy talked to Wheeler Antabanez, who put together a special issue of Weird NJ called "Nightshade on the Passaic", that chronicles his voyages on the Passaic River in his own canoe, and is currently working on several projects in film and print about his journeys and Passaic travels diaries. Both Marks from Weird NJ were in the house, and on the dock for the duration of the show, as was Kearny native X Ray Burns, who had stories that could fill a month's worth of radio broadcasts just about Kearny NJ and the Passaic River alone. The tide stayed out, the stories flowed, and he squeezed in time to talk to DemeRock and Gentrified about their exploits in NJ in the world of graffiti, art and photography and the Jersey Burns graffiti video. Bill Rapp, our gracious host, and Passaic River lifer, didn't need to say much, but joined in the version of Dirty Water that everyone broke into at the close of the program... Thanks to Mike Di N for the great BW group shot! Other photos below: The Passaic and the special issue of Weird NJ written by Wheeler Antabanez, sign on the premises of Rapp's, Wheeler and Billy Jam at the remote, the banks of the river itself, X-Ray Burns and Wheeler Antabanez interview each other...
(BW) The Passaic River Crew: XRay Burns, Mark S., Wheeler, Sara, Billy, Mark M, Chad, Bill Rapp, Diane
Wheeler and Billy Jam interview