Q959fm: My first favorite pirate station (2004)

posted in: Radio | 0

This is where it all started. The username. The radio madness. Everything.

I ran out to the dorm’s mailbox on a cold January afternoon. It had arrived! My Canakit Hi-Fi Stereo FM transmitter began a chapter of my college life and shifted my professional career forever.

Back in 2004, this was kind of like getting an iPhone. Except I had to assemble it myself. While walking uphill both in the snow ways without LTE coverage.

I’d been making fake radio broadcasts for a decade beforehand. But it was always to cassette and the only victim of my broadcasts were my siblings, who’d only listen if I physically pinned them down to listen. This cold morning in 2004 began a new era of broadcasting my crap to any radio within up to a quarter mile* from my computer.

I flipped through the city’s crowded FM dial, looking for an empty station. There was one at 95.9 FM … and Q959fm was born!

Origin of the Q959fm name

I picked the “Q” name because I could steal jingles off Napster from the (now defunct) Q95 Detroit. That made the station sound sharp, except for its terrible retro music selection. In retrospect, 2003 had some sweet, sweet jams. I should’ve gotten my playlist out of the 80s and enjoyed the good music while I had it. Oh well.

The station was the icon of that era of college. My buddy and I would do a weekly live show and get girls to call in and request songs. I’d sit for hours building imaging for the station, as my grades dropped to a 2.4 GPA. No regrets.

Expansion to other sites

I moved to the Pacific Northwest for awhile, so Q959fm went into a box.  It would later come back as Larry, Uncle Larry, and Biif, but it never had the same magic as the original pirate station.

When I was introduced to YTMND, I needed to pick a username that seemed fairly anonymous. Q959fm it was. And it’s become the branding I use for all my radio and non-radio content now.

Additional recordings

Coming soon


* Results may vary. Obstructions (like buildings) will stop FM broadcast signal. Consult manual.