Some people are just stubborn. Imagine a guy who doesn’t like to wake up until the sun is warm, and now imagine him getting up in the dark most days for 25 YEARS. That’s Lin Brehmer. I may be a little stubborn, too. I’ve left XRT a few times and yet I always return to this:
I started working as XRT’s street reporter just a few weeks before Lin took over the morning show. Everyone assured me what a great guy he was. My first impression was that he was loud. Very loud. Within a few years, I was on the morning shift and it was clear that this would not be, strictly speaking, a straight news gig.
We broadcast the show in an alley when the heat started blasting on the hottest day of a 1990s summer at Belmont and Cicero … drank beer and ate crawfish in said alley one morning around 10 … witnessed the birth of the mighty Score, our brother sports station across the hall, and the attendant tensions between XRT’s gentle rockers and the Score’s brasher Zubaz-wearing talkers. We saw landmark concerts by Radiohead, Wilco, and Mavis Staples. We celebrated and then mourned some of our favorite artists, including David Bowie.
It should be noted that not every DJ will allow his colleagues to paint his face like Aladdin Sane, but Lin has become the big brother I never had and as such does pretty much what I tell him to do.
We have shared some of the worst days with the best listeners in the world. We have slogged through a bunch of bleak Cubs home openers, and were rewarded with a halcyon season and the promise of more to come.
On balance, I’d say it’s great to be alive — except that’s someone else’s job.