An additional year of the WUSB radio show "Brain Damage" is now available for downloading or streaming here. These episodes (38 in all) are from 1990.
As is mentioned throughout these programs, these were really interesting times. Episodes of "Moscow Mailbag" and other Soviet programs chronicle the historic events inside the Soviet Union while "Germany Today" documents the reunification of Germany. Meanwhile, fights for independence were underway in such places as Lithuania and Latvia while, closer to home, Canada faced losing at least one of its provinces. And there was always Albania, which for the first time, became accessible over the phone from the United States. Dramatic as all this was, they comprised but a small part of the 1990 editions of "Brain Damage." In addition to the first episodes of "The Tripod Family" (rebroadcast from 1981), the debut of the "What's For Lunch?" series, and the continuing quest to "Confuse The Operator," subject matter of all sorts was explored in the weekly two hour talk show. The 1990's had begun and everything seemed to be in a state of flux. WUSB got a new transmitter and turned to activism to keep the FCC from diminishing its future signal strength. Controversy swirled over everything from racial issues (Bensonhurst) to censorship (Mapplethorpe, 2 Live Crew, Public Enemy), and, of course, the Gulf Crisis, which began in August and would eventually lead to the Gulf War in 1991. Shows were devoted to such diverse topics as flag burning, the PMRC, Twin Peaks, and the battle to stop a mall from being built on eastern Long Island. There is also a special on John Lennon, ten years to the day after his death which features clips from another special recorded way back in 1979. As always, a great deal of time is spent playing with phones and experimenting with everything from human operators to voicemail systems.
In addition to these episodes of "Brain Damage," we've recovered missing audio from the end of the annual fundraiser on March 30, 1991.