In April 1985, I got a phone call from Dan Williams, my collaborator in the group 11,000 Switches. He said, “Man, turn the radio to WAIF, I’m doing a show.”
I found my radio speaking with a new voice. At its most challenging, it had previously palpitated with the soothing strains of O.T., WGUC’s echt-serious Music of Our Time, New Wave with Michael Riley, T-Bone, Greg Doll, Craig Kelley and others on WAIF and Free Jazz on Miles Ingram’s No More White Gloves. But here was something that incorporated all of that yet added silly novelty numbers, Progressive Rock, Zappa, homemade electronic music, No Wave and Industrial.
After Dan left in 1987, I continued as sole host through 1990 when I was able to bring in Chris Lockhart, Mark Milano and Iovae to provide relief in the long, late-night time slot.
I have no idea how we were able to build a following at such an hour, but Art Damage thrived. The homemade tape cutup aspect of the show garnered a lot of interest; we began to receive pieces from listeners ranging from James Robbins (now an editor at The Washington Times) to CAF Gallahad, then a college freshman whom today, as Nebulagirl, serves as the queen bee around which much experimental media activity in Cincinnati continues to buzz. As far as I know, it was the only radio show where you could hear President Reagan talking about poisoned meat, Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” played backwards, Ricardo Montalban warning against marijuana use, Cabaret Voltaire and Bob Braun in the same 10-minute brace.
Art Damage presents the last shows at Northside’s Art Damage Lodge Friday and Saturday, featuring performers like Wolf Eyes side-project Stare Case, Drainolith, Hearts of Palm, Ryan Jewell, The Gospel of Luthor the Geek and many others.
Go here for Uncle Dave Lewis' full feature story on Art Damage and its spinoff creations, plus details on the weekend's shows.