Jim Quinn: Along For The (Boat) Ride As A Barnacle
By Edward L. Blank
Press TV-Radio Writer
| Jim Quinn,
who is known variously as "your leader" and "the screamer" lives a contradictory
He to attend Kiski Prep School.
He explains it; he even seems to understand it. But he doesn't discontinue it.
He has tasted the fruits of the "establishment," acknowledges a liking for them, and partakes in them to a lesser degree (financially) than most people his age.
But he won't admit being part of "the establishment." Compromising in order to sustain his other tastes is the frustration of being Jim Quinn.
Heard on KQV from 6 to 10 p.m. weeknights and from 2 to 7 p.m. Sundays, Quinn, 24, is a native of Red Bank, N.J., who attended John Carroll University for two years before dropping out and entering the broadcasting business.
After brief stints at a few Ohio radio stations, he came here in August, 1967.
Like all persons in the public eye, he receives some unfavorable response. A recent example, he said, was a letter from a girl who attended a school which had recently lost a sporting event.
Quinn had congratulated the winning team and failed to console or congratulate the losers.
"So that's the only bad letter I've gotten in a long time," he said. "I'm a little worried about that in a way. It tells me I'm not saying as much as I used to say. But I'm not allowed to say the things I used to say. I used to do social comments.
"Unfortunately, I'm not in a position where I can go down to the courthouse and picket, because if the thing turns into a rock - throwing incident, I'm not 'Joe Schmo' from the gas station. I'm Jim Quinn of KQV, and then KQV's in trouble."
He would not be surprised, he said, to see an increased rebellion against "the establishment" by students and members of minority groups.
"Even in view of this, there's a lot of kids, you know, like parents point to this kid and say: "Now there's an all - American boy. His hair is short and he believes in God, home and country and all that stuff."
"Yeah, there's even a lot of kids left who have "the establishment" or parental point of view, and they hang onto it because it's an easy point of view
"You don't create any anxieties within your mind. In other words, you feel: 'Now I've got the answers, now I can live my life.' Many of us can't accept that. My philosophies are shades of gray as opposed to blacks and whites."
As displeased as he is with the way things are run at "the top," he said there should be a state - controlled means of allowing persons over 21 to have and, presumably, use marijuana.
"As far as speed and the other drugs are concerned, they're all killers. If they're not killers, they're terribly dangerous. It really tears me up when I see a kids tearing himself up with speed."
An apartment - resident of Rosslyn Farms, he is opposed to U.S. participation in the Vietnam War, and the busing of school children as a means of achieving integration.
"I'll probably be misunderstood," he said "because you can only print 'x amount' of it, and some people will take whatever you print, and they won't have the rest of it, so they'll think . . ."
He is a disk jockey now, but has other ambitions.
"I'd love to have an all - talk show," he said, "but unfortunately the people who need to be talked to wouldn't listen to it. The people who need to be informed, who need to have their minds changed about things would all say: "Eh, play another record."
So how does he get across his philosophy to his listeners meanwhile ?
"Maybe a little political satire between records. it doesn't do all you want it to, but it's all you can do."
And eventually ?
"I want to be a program director of a radio station, because I have some ideas of my own I want to try.
can't have free thought on the radio anymore, because every idiot who writes
a letter (of complaint) to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
now has to get a gigundus, extensive , legally - advised answer.
"And so, consequently, the stations just throw up their hands and say: 'Hey! No more controversy. No more editorial opinion. Play the music and shut up. We're losing too much money to get involved in all this stuff."
Ideally, he said, he'd like to be the program director of the only "rock" station in a town.
"You can bet your burg (berg?) we'd do a lot of heavy things, Man, cause then we'd be getting to those people who wouldn't listen to a talk show.
"We'd have the only rock station in town, and they've got to listen to you. So when you say something, they can't turn you off because there's no place else to go."
How does Quinn reconcile working for "the establishment?"
"I won't deny that I enjoy getting a big, fat paycheck," he said. "I do. Because I like cars, motorcycles . . . I like astronomy, electronics and a number of things which are ultimately expensive to indulge in.
"I won't deny that I enjoy getting the money, and I spend it, and it's one of the things I like, but I do not feel at this point . . ." He did not complete the sentence.
"Now my boss says to me: 'You don't like "the establishment" but you're working for it, and you're in it whether you like it or not.' I think misery loves company.
"I think he wants me to be in it. I don't really think I am. I'm on the periphery of it. I'm as the barnacle of the boat: I go where it goes. But I ain't part of the boat.
"I have something that "the establishment" can make money with. I have a talent that they need. They need it today: tomorrow they may not need it.
"I sell them this product. It does not mean that I have to participate. It means I am brought under various sanctions. As long as I'm under their roof, I have to do certain things. But I really don't consider myself a real believer in 'the establishment' as it stands.
"I don't hate 'the establishment.' I just disagree with it."