Clifford is my middle name.
I know you now have a Big Red Dog running through your head.
Nevertheless, it’s my middle name. It’s fine.
Going into Freshman year at JMU I knew I wanted to be part of college radio, so I joined at the onset. It just so happened Fall 1990 is when WXJM went 88.7 FM (vs piped into campus buildings). I happened to get in on the ground floor. There was a “metal dude” there, I forgot his name but he was cool and more like a rock-and-roll dude than 🤘 METAL 🤘 – but to be fair, he broke the ice and I’m grateful he allowed me to take over as Metal Director.
Fall 1990 I got a show slot: 9-11 Saturday morning. What a fuckin’ slot, but we all start at the bottom. I remember a write-up in a newspaper which talked about the “Saturday morning metal” – obviously that was me, and I thought that shout out was pretty cool at the time (they didn’t pick any of the snooty alterna-rock shows!). Eventually I did get late night slots (the dude who did the 0100-0300 show after mine, “Garden of Edna”, was pretty cool). We became a staple of the area because metal – or “loud rock” as it was genre-fied – makes for good party tunes.
Anyways, back in early Fall 1990 – freshman year – I got the slot. I needed a name. I was living in Eagle Hall, 3rd floor B wing (we commissioned a “Milwaukee’s Best” logo on the back wall of the hallway). Across the hall neighbors; we had our doors open and just shooting the shit. I knew I didn’t want to use my real name, and of course Cliff Burton is cool as fuck (Cliff ’em all!). So… Cliff.
Then my neighbor just blurted out something like: “You’re going over the edge, with Cliff!”
AC/DC has their Razor’s Edge album, Over the Edge. I been to the edge, and then I stood and looked down. Edge of a broken heart. Livin’ on the edge. Edge is… edgy. 😄 It’s cool.
And, it’s corny. Over the edge, Cliff. Har har! Get it? (nudge nudge)
It was a good time. I got to interview a lot of people and bands. I saw a lot of shows. Played a lot of music. Was a local icon (“CLIIIIIIIIIIIIIFFF!!!”). Got laid. Got drunk. Got high. It was college and a good time.