I missed Scott Alexander’s phone call this afternoon. His voice on the message was somber and monotone. “Big Al,” he cracked. “The legend is gone. Scott Muni is dead.”
Growing up in a small Connecticut suburb of New York City I spent hours and hours listening to Scott Muni on WNEW-FM. The low rumble and deep timbre of his voice flowed through my headphones as I learned and listened about the Rolling STones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead and many more rock legends of the 70’s and 80’s.
Scott Muni died today. He was 74.
You might call Scott the founding father of alternative radio. There’s no question that WNEW-FM was responsible for creating a new format, a new genre of radio with Scott Muni its leader and icon. It was Scott who moved many of us from the top-40 bubble gum jingle of AM radio to the underground. The ethereal and mystic sounds of FM.
My adolescent affinity and passion for music never faded. I can still hear Scott’s’s voice today. I later worked as a DJ in Hartford, Connecticut and Syracuse, New York. His cadence, casualness and immense knowledge of music influenced me and fueled my desire to learn about music and to fulfill my dream of being an FM DJ.
It’s sad that the days of DJs like Scott seem to be past us. Now we’re pumped generic and homogenized payola pop courtesy of ClearChannel. Or, numb to the sterile corporate rock we turn to Internet Radio or satellite services like XM or Sirius.
I do have hope. And maybe we’ll see Scott’s influence rise in these alternatives to broadcast radio.
I’ll miss you Scott. But your voice is in my ears forever.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Listen to Scott at Live Aid in 1985 – here.