This is what happens when you cross the streams, when the pull of gravity draws mighty bodies closer, until independent life forms occupy the same space at the same time. Legends are born; get wasted listening to the latest promo albums, crash on each other's floor and wake up just in time for their shift on the air.
They were created from a primordial rock and roll stew; each sharing the basic elements in raw form. Some glowed red hot, others turned out cooler; all revolved at the same constant velocity, pulling in followers with each trip across the ever-expanding universe.
We all had a front row seat and stared at the singularity; that moment just before the bang, when there was no "before." We witnessed that first note dividing and new musical life being born.
That was the mystique surrounding the Progressive DJs at the hippest radio station in town. They didn't have jobs, they were on the radio. They knew all the bands, owned all the records, saw all the shows, sampled all the substances and lived to tell the tale in four hour blocks each day.
It was magic, chemistry, enlightenment and discovery; for them and for us - and we could feel it. It was real, as real as it gets. It was honest. It was happening. It was THE happening.
Was it as dramatic as all that? More than we can imagine. And it's the stuff of legend now.
Where did it go? Why did it have to end? Do we blame a cataclysmic corporate comet or the seductive sounds of salesman? Was it Nixon? It would be convenient, but no.
As deeply as we long for a return to those days, the bittersweet truth is: Our knights of the round turntable actually accomplished what they set out to do. They changed the world.
I was inspired to write this by what happened this past weekend. KSWD-FM, 100.3 The Sound in LA, held an on-air reunion of some of those Progressive DJs from the legendary (and long-gone) Progressive Los Angeles radio station, 94.7 KMET. It was glorious.