I just discovered that the first "progressive rock" station I ever heard was actually WXEN, later WZAK, in Cleveland in 1967. I have vivid memories of lying in bed all night long listening to this station. Doc Nemo was one of the jocks, and this was the opening song for his show! If anyone knows anything more about this station, I'd love to hear about it! I'm especially interested in the music they played. I remember hearing some really eclectic stuff, like Suzanne by Leonard Cohen, and Pleasures Of The Harbor by Phil Ochs. What other songs did this station play??? I must know more...
This also reminds me of the time I went to see Jimi Hendrix in Cleveland and had to leave the place because the music was so loud it hurt my ears. Can you believe I did something that stupid? I was probably around 15 at the time. I remember hearing that Jimi Hendrix was hanging out with the jocks at WXEN, and that he even bought a Corvette at a Cleveland dealership, paying for it in cash.
I wonder whatever happened to Doc Nemo, aka Steve Nemeth, and also his co-host, Barry Weingart? In the book Radio Daze by Mike Olszewski, the opening chapter talks about WXEN and Doc Nemo. I found my copy this morning and it actually has a photo of Doc Nemo! Apparently he was a drummer for The Rivingtons and an avid biker. I have another book about Cleveland radio called Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories by Carlo Wolff. That book credits the roots of Progressive Rock in Cleveland to Martin Perlich and his Perlich Project, which I think was actually on the Classical station, WCLV. I remember that show, too. But for me it was Doc Nemo who really turned the genre into a radio format in Cleveland.
Here's a short aircheck of Doc Nemo's show in Cleveland.