The History of Great April Fools’ Day Hoaxes On Portland’s WBLM-FM
Happy April Fools' Day! The Rock and Roll Blimp has lead the way in Maine over the best six decades with epic April Fools Day hoaxes. We have literally stopped the state in its tracks with our capers over the years. What makes them more fantastic, is that most of these pranks were done before the age of social media, so the fact that we were able to fool an entire state for the day made it that more fun for us and hopefully for you,
Here are the Greatest April Fools' Day Pranks in WBLM History
On one April 1st, we announced that all the WBLM DJs had been replaced with a computer. His name was TOOL and he lived up to his name. We had the computer hooked up to the air board and used the old-fashioned AT&T Speech Translator website. You could type in anything and the odd computer voice would say it. We made TOOL the rudest, crudest computer DJ in history who railed on everything from Maine weather to how sucky Hootie and Blowfish were. People fell for it and called in to give TOOL an earful. And TOOL gave it right back. Little did we know that AI would be taking over the world in a decade.
THE ROLLING STONES PLAY PORTLAND?
Maybe our greatest caper of all time. We put out reports that Keith Richards had been seen at LL Bean. Interestingly, people called in and said that they had ALSO seen Keith. Either they were playing along or there are just a lot of Mainers who look like Keith. Anyway, a few days later were reported that the band at the old Raoul's Roadside Attraction had been canceled and that a band called "The Tremendous Richards" was playing instead. We started playing nothing but Rolling Stones on WBLM, and by 10 am on April 1, the parking lot at Raoul's was full and there was a traffic jam on Forest Avenue. We got everyone to play along, including Portland's Police Chief at the time, the legendary Mike Chitwood. Everyone was convinced the Stones were going to play. Instead, at around 5 pm, they got the WBLM Band, doing Stones covers. But since everyone had been there drinking since 10 am, no one cared and it turned into one of the greatest parties Maine has ever seen.
THE BLIMP GOES COUNTRY WITH THE MORNING SHOW SWAP
This was super fun. We swapped the WBLM Morning Show with the WPOR Morning Show. We went to their place and played country all morning, while the legendary Bud Sawyer, came to the Blimp and rocked out on Ozzy and Aerosmith. This was hard to pull off because the stations were and are owned by different companies, so it took a while for management to get comfortable with the idea. It was like a Soviet-US detente negotiation but it was well worth it as both audiences loved the spoof. All went well until the Captain was on WPOR telling people that they would be giving away free cars. The morning show was then politely escorted out of the building. But Maine Radio History had been made.
THE LEGEND OF "THE GENERAL"
For an April Fools' Day in the '90s, we made up a mythical giant fish that lived in Sebago Lake. Purportedly, people had seen this fish for decades but no one had ever caught it. So, we decided to do an underwater broadcast from the bottom of Sebago Lake. We basically used sound effects to make it sound like we were underwater. The show even included a live underwater concert from Portland's legendary band, Twisted Roots.
To make it look like we were underwater, we brought the Blimp Van to Raymond Beach attacked a long mike cord to the van, and tied the other end to a concrete block which we threw into the lake. HUNDREDS of people showed up on the banks of the Sebago to see if the Blimp DJs could catch The General.
Other WBLM April Fools' Day pranks of note include when we broadcast the entire day in Spanish and when we stayed on the air for 30 hours playing all kinds of crazy requests to raise money for a kids camp that had just had a fire. We took it easy on you this year, Blimpville, but be prepared for 2022!!
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