A Classic Alternative Rock Station

Dare To Be Different

IIt was a long hard road, seven years from idea to fruition, but director Ellen Goldfarb and producer Roger Senders took their fandom of one radio station and turned it into a movie.  The film, a documentary originally named "Dare To Be Different" tells the story of radio station WLIR, one of the first groundbreaking stations in America to exclusively play new wave in the 1980's, effectively opening up this country to a second British invasion of music, fasion and culture.

So how does this all tie-in to Double X you ask?  WLIR was owned by Phoenix Media, the owners of WXXP in Pittsburgh.  Double X owes its sound, format structure, specialty shows and even some of the deejays to WLIR as well.  WLIR Program Director Denis McNamara was also the PD of WXXP and brought the great experiment of a new wave station in the heart of the steel belt.  Could it be done?

Ultimately, Pittsburgh was not ready for it.  The WLIR story parallels WXXP in how one station however small, can change the musical landscape and culture of a city.  Even today WXXP reunion concerts draw thousands of fans, united in song.  This film is the story of Denis McNamara and his vision of radio.  Former WLIR/WXXP deejays Darrin Smith and DJ Bird make appearances in the film.  Scenes were filmed for the movie about the story of WXXP as well featuring WXXP DJ Paul Cramer.  Length and importance however prevented those scenes from making  the final cut.  Maybe the filmmakers will throw it on the DVD release as an extra?  We can only hope!  

Photos from XX Shooting Day for the film
"Dare To Be Different"

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