Joseph Fitzgerald Biography:
In the fall of 1991, in Miami, Florida; Fitz, a club disk jockey who was studying broadcasting, worked at the campus’ radio station for a semester; this was the seed that later became Radio Jungla. The experience he had for that semester was very basic but it was the starting point to other experiences that followed.
As he became notorious in Miami ‘s DJ scene he was invited to do shows at clubs and radio stations acquiring more experience at broadcasting. The style of music he played was hardly heard of in Miami , therefore, radio play was minimal. Only Friday night shows would feature something similar to what he played. One day a friend told him about this pirate radio station that was playing music very similar to the music he played. Something clicked inside of him. “This is it. This is true underground, the only place where exclusive stays exclusive.” He listened to the radio station hopeful to hear a phone number to call until finally a phone number was announced. He met the owners of the radio station and quickly became partners promoting parties and spinning both at the station and at the parties. One day, the radio station was shut down by the FCC, but this was bound to happen since it did not have a license. This event did not stopped the owners of the radio station it merely delayed them. While the owners of the radio station worked on a new location to put the radio station Fitz worked on some original electronic music with other DJ’s in the Miami scene. By the time the Winter Music Conference of 1996 was on the way the now single owner of the radio station had already reopened the station at a new location closer to the Down Town area of Miami . He gave Fitz full partnership of the radio station allowing him artistic freedom and a show all day Saturdays. Fitz’s show was helped by Ambient Junkie and Protejaelambiente who in turn invited many artists to express themselves especially at the time when the Miami Winter Music Conference was happening and all the different artists from all over the world came to learn from each other.
After the conference, things where doing real good at the radio station, but the station owner had not shown to check the station. It was Fitz and Ambient Junkie who constantly checked on it. On one of those check ups Ambient Junkie saw a letter of eviction hidden underneath the turntables. The Owner of the station had not paid the landlord of the building for the rented space. They had very little time to do things since it was a Friday and the deadline of eviction was the next Monday Fitz and Ambient Junkie called the owner who also owed them some money to tell him they had to move everything out of there or else he would loose it all. He said ok but he didn’t go to help them move. They took the stations equipment to Ambient Junkie’s who lived close by and started transmitting from there. By this time the owner of the station’s equipment was not even calling in to check. One day he called them asking for the equipment back but since he owed them some money they decided to buy him out of the equipment by trading some instruments plus the amount he owed. He accepted the deal and then part of the station was owned by Ambient Junkie and the other part by Fitz. They continued playing at Ambient Junkie’s place until one day another low power “pirate” radio station opened in the South Beach area playing similar format. Fitz did not want competition and also thought Miami was big enough for both stations to exist without competing with each other. It was decided to move the station to West Kendall which was very far from South Beach . The station became Radio Bajotierra (Underground Radio) WTHC 101.1.
Radio Bajotierra was run from a room in Fitz’s apartment. There, with help from P.J. AKA DJ Diesel the antenna was set up on the roof of the building during the night. For his help DJ Diesel got his own show featuring the sounds of Miami Bass, Hip Hop, and a very steamy talk show on weekday afternoons. The shows had lots of variety, with lots of special guests. Some of the most common DJs and or artists that would perform on a regular basis were Protejaelambiente, Claudia, Abhaia, Servo Natura, Jah Nai, Fitz and more. There they would also broadcast parties straight from the apartment where DJ’s and artists would play at he same time forming an improvised ensemble unique in all aspects and genres.
Radio Bajotierra lasted for about a year until Fitz moved to Puerto Rico where it became Radio Jungla. In Puerto Rico Fitz met with Nolo who had been living there for a few years already. During the time Radio Jungla was on the air it became so popular in its locality that the ratings for that area in commercial stations went down. This gave a sense of curiosity among the other radio stations managers; so much that they wrote emails trying to contact the people responsible for Radio Jungla. Finally Fitz called one of the people of the other radio stations and he was told about a Monday night talk show and that it would be about Radio Jungla. Fitz & Nolo with some higher power help appeared on the talk show that night and not revealing their names or any information that was not needed. The station lasted about four months until the FCC found out about it making it cease operations. However, that is not the end of Radio Jungla.
These days the radio station is waiting for the new rule making from the FCC that will make small community radio stations like Radio Jungla legal. Let’s hope for the best.
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Other Side Projects:
Anamourphous Impressions Unlimited, Elemento, aiu, DJ Fitz, Joseph Fitzgerald