Tony Pasquale has his own brand of music. “Okay,” he says when pressed to describe what he plays at WOMR, “it’s garagophonic surfadelic primitive chunk-chunk-a-power pop punk.”
He’s been doing that at WOMR for eighteen years now, starting on the midnight-to-three, presenting the Squidjiggers Ball, which morphed in a different time slot into the Squidjigger’s Blend (now also a coffee blend from Beanstock Coffee Roasters). “There’s a great music scene here on the Cape,” Pasquale says. “The Incredible Casuals, Steve “Woo-Woo” Wood and the Greenheads, the Catbirds, the Ticks, Sarah Swain… I could go on and on. So I feature them, mix it in with some old garage, lots of surf music and other random madness.”
He likes working with community radio. “They let you have the freedom to do whatever you want.” He laughs. “As an obsessive music geek, this probably takes a lot of strain off anyone coming to my house! Just being able to play whatever I want, with no playlist, to produce own shows and engineer them, that’s pretty remarkable.”
He was pleased when his show was moved to a different time slot, six to nine o’clock in the morning. “Now we actually speak to each other. Nobody ever called in when you’re on the midnight to three shift—and if they do, you don’t really want those calls! Now we have regular callers, and I have some fun with that. What the Swains had For Breakfast. I get tons of requests, and some of them actually listen to the show. There’s a special response during the Matty Dread Request Segment, with his passion for Huey Lewis and the News and the later works of Rod Stewart.” Okay, there’s an in-joke there; you’ll have to ask one of them about it!
Pasquale also works part-time for the station, signing on companies to underwrite. “It’s actually interesting to see who supports the station, and why,” he says. “A lot of the same businesses also become sustaining members on various random shows. It shows that people are actually listening in the winter, and they come around to give us year-round support.”
When he’s not behind the microphone, Tony Pasquale can be found at Terra Luna, the North Truro restaurant he owns and for which he is head chef. After his description of his music, one hesitates to ask him to describe his fare at Terra Luna. “Neo-pagan food,” he says, laughing. “I like the freedom to create, the creativity, always liked when I was a line cook that I finished something at the end of the day. Even if you start again in the morning.”
Fellow WOMR DJs Matty Dunn and Justine Alten work at Terra Luna, and Justine does the restaurant’s graphics. “And Luke has full rein at the bar,” Pasquale adds. “Everybody gets to do their thing. We’re the ultimate dysfunctional family.”
And WOMR? “I just love it,” Pasquale says. “I’ll keep doing it until they drag me off the air.”