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25 Years With This Guy?

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:

Photo: Chris Cwiak

Photo: Chris Cwiak

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.

Photo: Cwiak

Photo: Cwiak

Photo: Dixon

Photo: Dixon

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.

Photo: Ron Coomer

Photo: Ron Coomer

On balance, I’d say it’s great to be alive — except that’s someone else’s job.

More from Mary Dixon
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