Musically speaking, it was a brutal September. The quality locals were apparently spending their time putting together the perfect Halloween costume, and I couldn’t get a sitter to go see George Clinton. According to, on September 19th some guy named Ben Davis, Jr. played a show in some place called Chillicothe. Which sounds about right.

  Otherwise bored, one Saturday I decided to head up to the Dublin Chiller and play some drop-in hockey. While fussing with the radio, I heard the opening riff from ZZ Top’s “La Grange.” Excellent, I thought and turned the volume up. As the last magnificent pinch harmonic faded out, I heard station identification for QFM96. Wow, I said to myself, it has been about a decade since I listened to these guys.
  ZZ Top was to be expected, but I was surprised when the next track was Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” Goodness me, Classic Rock now encompasses the grunge era! Intrigued, I kept the station on for the rest of the half-hour drive. When I got to the rink, I grabbed a notepad and tried to recreate the experience in something approaching chronological order:

  • Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall Part II.” Something about pudding.

  • Germain Nissan advertisement, because my whole life I’ve wanted to own a Nissan.

  • Something endorsed by Ohio State Athletics.

  • Bad Company’s “Bad Company” -- or maybe it was Free’s “All Right Now.” Slipped my mind.

  • The Cars’ “Just What I Needed.” Indeed.

  • Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” A great cover of a Willie Dixon song. Almost as good as their covers of Jake Holmes’ “Dazed and Confused” and Spirit’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

  • Pink Floyd Teaser. Station plays bits of “Young Lust” and “Another Brick in the Wall Part II.”

  • Dick Masheter Ford is closed Sunday because it’s the right thing to do.

  • Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone.” How did I forget this awesome paranoid song?

  • Rush’s “Working Man.” The lyrics to this song are as awkward as they are dumb; this turd ought to be dragged out in the street and shot.

  • Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” Hey wait a minute now, didn’t you assholes just play Pink Floyd? And from the same album?

  • Rick Germain again. Great deals on Nissans are still available...

  • AC/DC’s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (if You Want to Rock ‘n Roll).” Long live Bon Scott!

  My original plan was to do a more in depth QFM96 review, with more songs and more snarky comments. As I worked on it though, I had a nagging concern about Pink Floyd songs from the same album being played so close together, each time followed by a Germain Nissan plug. I couldn’t quite place it, so I began to listen to QFM96 every chance I could.
  Sure enough, twice an hour a song from that album is played, followed by the terrifying voice of Rick Germain. “Comfortably Numb” (Nissan Sentra), “Another Brick” (Nissan Altima), “Hey You” (Nissan Versa), “Mother” (Nissan Maxima), and “Run Like Hell” (gently used Nissan 200SX Hatchback) like little tin soldiers of doom. It’s uncanny.
  Pink Floyd is a good band, and has some great singles: “Pigs,” “Time,” hell, even “Learning to Fly.” You won’t find any of them, however, on “The Wall.” This 1979 double album is Floyd’s worst release by a wide margin. It is essentially a Roger Waters solo record, in which the 37 (!) year old bassist cries ad nauseam about his personal issues while David Gilmour phones in guitar work.
  In contrast, Rick Germain is a cheap little Nissan salesman who stuffs his bloated face, weird moustache and creepy voice into every conceivable advertising format with the intent of destroying the public’s quality of life. He was recently voted the Franklin County Resident Least Likely to Have Progressive Politics, and makes us all long for a brief reinstatement of the ancient Greek custom of ostracism – his ass would be on the first ostra-bus out of town.
  But what is the correlation? What does Columbus’ biggest douche have to do with Waters’ inability to come to terms with his elementary schoolteachers? What do sizzling deals on impotence inducing automobiles have to do with David Gilmour’s identical solos in “Mother” and “Comfortably Numb?”
  A google search of “QFM96 Germain” reveals a page cryptically referring to a “FREE gas giveaway.” Calls to QFM produced a referral to Clear Channel, and calls to Germain a reference to a restraining order. The American Psychological Society offered no solution, but did express a willingness to speak to Mr. Waters.
  The intentional purchase of a Nissan indicates a crushed spirit, which perhaps can be mitigated by lame adolescent rebellion fantasies. Or perhaps Germain is signaling his alien overlords. Regardless, I will not rest until I have solved this puzzle, exposed the conspiracy, and punished the guilty.

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