How did inconstancy, trains and wartime espionage end up in the same song?

Beats me, but I still call “Shortwave Radio” one of my best, even 40-plus years after I wrote it. While it’s hardly mystical, it benefits from being more impressionistic than is usual for me and yet remains a vivid self-portrait.

Early and late, the song was a repertory pillar of my band the Fashion Jungle (1981–1989), and various FJ lineups can be heard performing it in 1981, 1982 (and 2023, in a reunion show excerpt). It also appeared in sets by the Boarders and even the supposedly country Cowlix.

But for the March 2024 Song of the Month! I present, instead, Howling Turbines playing “Shortwave” in 1998 — by which time drummer Ken Reynolds and I had been doing the song for many years, starting with the FJ. That long familiarity infused with the energy of Gretchen Schaefer’s bass make this one of the rockingest “Shortwaves” I have on tape. — by Doug Hubley

Hear “Shortwave Radio” by Howling Turbines: Doug Hubley, Gretchen Schaefer and Ken Reynolds. Buy it on Bandcamp! (“Shortwave Radio” copyright © 1981 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved. Photo above: Hallicrafters shortwave radio in an apartment in Portland, Maine, 1989. Below: Howling Turbines photographed by Jeff Stanton outside the Free Street Taverna on a hot day in 1999. From left: Ken Reynolds, Gretchen Schaefer, Doug Hubley. Additional Fashion Jungle personnel: 1981, bass by Mike Piscopo and organ by Jim Sullivan; 1982, bass by Steve Chapman)





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