X-15 and Boris

I was looking through an old box of papers, my Andy Worhol time capsules, and found this picture in local rock rag 'Rock Flash' from September 1989. They did a special about Russian rock with two articles, and this picture was at the end. I had to show this to my friend Ric from Cleveland, doubly so, as he's a fan of Randy California and Spirit.

X-15 Crew With Russian Rocker.jpg
AM 1510 Pittsburgh radio folk with Boris Grebenshikov

X-15 was a 'new rock' radio station from Monroeville PA at AM 1510. They were hampered from full city coverage by a 250 watt signal and an old transmitter, but reached East Pittsburgh pretty well. I remember their sound having a 'mushy' tonal quality to it. They only broadcast during the daylight hours.

Originally, we had a new wave / 'new music' station in early-to-mid-1980s at 100.7 FM. For the time it was surprisingly underground for a station in the commercial band, playing vintage punk rock, and were the first to play groups like the Pet Shop Boys when they had just come on the scene. 100.7 never had big ratings, but developed a 'cult following'. Were they the inmates from the asylum who were released and found their way to a radio station? That's what some people joked at the time, and it was a cool station.

When 100.7 changed format, there were a lot of dedicated listeners who had lost their music, so the owner of 1510 AM asked new music expert Bree 'Cheese' Freeman come in as program director and bring 100.7s format to AM, calling it WXVX, where new rock lasted for a few years, at least until the early 1990s, when the Seattle sound happened. Bree was a media teacher at Point Park College, so the 'gang at X-15' is probably all student DJs.

This all from my memory, but should be pretty much right. This was the last time punk DJs and an underground rock format was on commercial radio in Pittsburgh.

Boomer