As I write this blog, millions of Filipino rock fanatics may have already known what happens after 12:00 midnight tonight. The only surviving station that caters to the rock genre will, sadly, be closing down and permanently signing off tonight. The news came to late to enjoy every second of what is left. The sad news came to me the last week of October. Being a follower of the station, I never believed it at first. But online resources would say the station really is nearing its demise. With several minutes to go, it will be dead air.
NU has been one of the greatest influence to whatever musical inclination I have right now. I grew up in a province where there exist around 3 to 5 FM stations playing mostly sell out songs (pop) . High school was the start of my musical journey. Started with the slow rock genre (e.g. Guns and Roses , Bon Jovi) and shifted to heavy metal genre then eventually to grunge and pinoy alternative. Internet was not yet a source for any music resources before. We have to invest on buying cassette tapes and song hits to keep up on whats hot and not in the music scene. I never had the chance to listen to NU during High School, but reading some articles and promotional ads made me think it was indeed the FM station that I’m missing all those years. Unfortunately, aside from some short stint in the metro where I get to listen to it, it has to wait more than 10 years more before I finally got the luxury to listen to it anytime I wanted to. But I guess, the signing off is too early to make up for the lost years.
NU, despite of all the unending changes that came in the music industry, remained true to its name as the only station that rocks the nation. There was no let ups to move to a more mainstream pop station. But this may spelled the doom for the business. And as Kurt Cobain will say, its better to burn out than to fade away! Nobody wants to hear NU playing some stupid Lady Gaga songs ayt!
Aside from giving the listeners a never ending dose of rock songs from all generations, one of the things that made it stand out is the attitude it tries to project. Listening to their talk shows will give you an idea that they are not mediocre as other stations are. They handle issues or topics that others may not want to talk about. NU was different and it will always be.
The best legacy that NU can leave is its commitment to help upcoming talented bands to break into the music industry. Without NU, the pinoy alternative scene in the 90s would not have been that grand! Without NU, I don’t think songs from other pinoy bands would have made it to radio. Think of Razorback, Wolfgang, Slapshock, Queso, Itchyworms and all the underground bands that came by. NU was the longest running FM station that serves as the breeding ground of pinoy rock and no other station came close to it.
As the curtain closes down on its era, let us hope that its legacy will survive. FM stations come and go but rock music will never fade. I hope all pinoy bands continue to make music and we will continue to support you. Remember, it was rock music that created NU and kept it alive for 23 long rocking years. Till a new rock station comes to view, NU 107.5 will remain to be the only station that rocked the nation. Rock on !