Growing Up FMX
When I say 94.5 FMX has been a part of my life, my entire life, I am absolutely not exaggerating.
My dad worked at FMX before I was born, and save for some brief sojourns to Austin and Spokane, FMX has been a constant in my life. And I am grateful. Even if it can be a weird and wild ride, it's mostly just a wonderful one.
Growing up, it singled me out a bit to be a DJ's kid. Once, when I had been hospitalized for two weeks, a teacher made the other kids make me their most half-assed construction paper cards. I was sick a lot, so they all mostly saw me as chronically contaminated, weird, and gross.
In spite of that, I read them all. The only one I remember, and I remember it as if I was holding it right now, was a kid who used the opportunity to ask for a free FMX keychain. OK.
There were many choir concerts and dance recitals where I was chauffeured in the FMX truck, which through most of my childhood had zebra stripes. I really miss that look. Hopefully, we can bring it back someday.
As I got older, I got into my own music and look. I started listening to goth and industrial music in earnest and they're still my favorite. But FMX plays Rammstein now, so there's hardly a conflict there anymore. I was called 'Marilyn Manson Girl' in junior high.
In high school, a friend thought it would be funny to spread a rumor that I went around stabbing people, so I was largely left alone. I fell into and out of college, I moved away briefly, I started a family. But FMX was always there, even if just on a background radio as I drove whatever crappy car I had to whatever crappy job.
I never thought I'd actually become an FMX DJ. It seemed too sacred, too off-limits, reserved for the ultra-hip and knowledgeable. Regardless of that seemingly impossible goal, I paid my dues anyway. I've worked here off and on in various positions since I was about 15.
I began by doing simple audio edits, saving old comedy bits off of reel tape, and other random chores. Shortly after high school, I graduated to board op, running the Big D and Bubba show on what was then 99.5 The Bear (now Lonestar 99.5, and still our sister station). I delivered sandwiches to winning offices that were significantly longer than I am tall, and actually wearing The Bear costume. (The Bear costume was like being entombed in an actual bear carcass. It was extremely hot and, by the grace of God, I narrowly avoided barfing inside the large, unbalanced bear head.)
As I got older, I had many different jobs, but always came back. I was the receptionist. I did accounts payable. I did the billing. About five years ago, I was working quite unhappily doing billing for a law office when I got the call to apply for the radio station's production director. I probably would not get the job, but it was worth a shot. I applied under a pseudonym, made no reference to my dad, and used references from other jobs.
I got the interview. I got the job. But I still wasn't on FMX. I was on 102.5 KISS FM, which I really enjoyed, but it still wasn't quite that holy grail.
When I got the news that I was going to be switched over to FMX, I nearly panicked. I was so afraid to fail. The first few air shifts left me literally breathless. I had to practice every break multiple times so my voice wouldn't crack out of sheer terror.
Now, I know that every time I turn on that mic, I'm talking to a dear friend. And that dear friend is you. I could not do what I do without you, and I am so honored and blessed by our bond.
Happy birthday, FMX. Here's to 40 more years. You were here before me, I sincerely hope you are here after I'm gone.
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