UPDATE: The last song East Village Radio played was Johnny Thunders’ “You Can’t Put Your Arm Around a Memory,” according to the station’s Twitter feed.
The radio station that gave a voice to the punk East Village will soon be no more.
East Village Radio, a commercial-free online radio station broadcast from First Avenue, will sign off for good on Friday night, after a four-hour final broadcast featuring many of the long-time DJs.
The station held a nominating contest from listeners for what the final song would be, which will broadcast between 11pm and midnight.
The station announced earlier this month they would be closing. The response from listeners, general manager Peter Ferraro, has been “incredible.”
“It’s definitely sad –we’ve been very proud of what we’ve been doing here for all this time,” Ferraro said. “We not only provided something the neighborhood could be proud of, but in a taste standpoint, it was very much keeping in with the punk standpoint of the East Village and we were very happy we could export the East Village to the world.”
East Village Radio was founded by Lil’ Frankie owner Frank Prisinzano in 2003 as a pirate radio station, but it then became one of the Internet’s first radio stations, and was broadcast in the dining area of the pizzeria. But 11 years later, rising costs of staying in the neighborhood and licensing fees for broadcasting music became too much for the station.
“The neighborhood his changing — I mean, you have a TD Bank opening where Mars Bar was, around the corner,” Prisinzano told The New York Times.
Mark Ronson was a DJ there while also a producer, and he told Billboard that many of the people he worked with in the studio would come by and do a show, including Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Daniel Merriweather, and Q-Tip. “I’m shocked it’s closing,” Ronson told Billboard.
Fans were also shocked. On East Village Radio’s Facebook page, one person commented “Pinero, when I die, I want my ashes scattered on the Lower East Side” and another commented on the post for final song suggestions “I don’t wanna … it’s such bs that you guys are closing down.”
“We always got feedback that [listeners] felt like they were here, and I think that’s one of the most special things we will take away from this,” Ferraro said.
Ferraro said Friday night’s broadcast will be “sort of a big four-hour reminiscing.”