As an MIT alum, I feel WMBR is a community that represents everything I love about MIT culture and is also a window outside of the MIT “bubble” into many of the things that I love about the greater Boston area. So any time I stuck my head out of the bubble and got to know one of our community DJs, it was an opportunity to learn. It took me a while to do that with Jeff — I learned of him almost immediately when I joined the station as a sophomore, but he seemed like such a giant, such an Important Boston Music Scene Figure, that I didn’t even think I was on his level.
As an aspiring DJ, I envied his effortless flow and booming voice on-air. It was only when the longtime Pipeline! sound engineer took a break from the weekly show, and Jeff recruited me and a few other engineers to fill the gap on a rotating basis, that I got up the courage to stop in and talk to him during breaks. I found he was instantly personable. He didn’t care about experience or background or being on this level or that, he was just consistently, confidently excited about his show, the music, the band playing, the Typewriter Orchestra, the microphone he’d developed for a particular typewriter performance.
Even in the context of WMBR, where I can easily expand my way of thinking and learn something new or make a new friend just by sitting on our couch for a few minutes, Jeff stood out as one of the best: one of the most hardworking DJs, one of the friendliest, most willing to help clean up the sound equipment, most excited to see you on a Tuesday night no matter what’s happened that day. Right now, none of us see each other in person, but even well in the future when we do return to our studios, I will feel that some very important part of WMBR is missing.
Listen to Brian’s one-hour tribute to Jeff on the Dec. 9, 2020 broadcast of “Transistor Radio.”