Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lost Hits of the New Wave #31

Remember Karin Begin? I do. I was unaware of her local, and then much later real, demise however. This blog entry started off as one about Beat Planet, a local WXPN radio show that was influential to me back in the day. I may get to it at some point in the future, but in researching it, I came upon the sordid tale of Karin Begin.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s I loved WXPN, the radio station of the University of Pennsylvania. They were the successful adult version of what passes for most college radio. They were not just different and sophisticated, but they were cool too. Hell, they were the coolest. They had wonderful specialized music programs like Amazon Country, Joe Frank, Gay Dreams, Star's End, Sleepy Hollow, Yesterday's Now Music Today, and the aforementioned Beat Planet. And they also had regular deejays as well.

Afternoon drive was where I discovered Karin Begin on XPN. She was quirky, edgy, fun, and played great music. And she was a redhead, and I've always had a thing for redheads. I always enjoyed listening to her. But music was changing, and around then new wave was becoming alternative, and alternative was becoming mainstream. A shiny new station called WDRE caught my attention for a couple years, and I missed what happened to poor Karin Begin.

Karin Begin became so hot, a Philadelphia magazine did a story on her, one that went from feature to expose when her background turned out to be falsified. When it further came out her entire resume was made up, XPN fired her. Upon reading about it, I did remember some of the details. She intimated she and Kiefer Sutherland had been an item, and was in his movie The Bay Boy. I remember renting it to see her, but couldn't find her.

While I cheated on XPN with DRE, Karin moved to one of my favorite radio stations, Z Rock in Baltimore, as Shannon Rock. There she was interviewed for "48 Hours" for an episode about lying, which resulted in her dismissal there. Does anyone check resumes any more?

Karin next resurfaced in San Francisco as Darian O'Toole doing mornings and competing with the syndicated Howard Stern with her own brand of talk, rock, and raunch. She did well for a while with her 'ovaries with attitude' identity there, and her propensity for untruth continued to be part of her repertoire as well. Eventually she list that job too.

In 2008, at the age of 40, Karen Begin died of respiratory failure, complications from, believe it or not, a broken leg. A real shame. She might have been a compulsive liar, but from what I remember, and what I read, a very cool and resourceful lady. Perhaps, in her own way, she was another lost hit of the new wave.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, but very sad. I can't believe I remember that 48 Hours, but I do!