David “Del” Gaudio has been behind the mic at Montclair State University’s underground radio station, WMSC, for almost 10 years, bringing British music to his listeners as far away as London through his show, Mind the Gap.
Guadio, 52, the self-proclaimed first disc jockey to have played Adele on American airwaves and one of the first to have played Amy Winehouse, has been at WMSC since 2006. His show, Mind the Gap, which played for eight years on Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., is now played on Sunday nights from 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. Listeners have the option to listen to Guadio’s show not only on the radio station, but through live365.com, tunein.com and their supplemental apps. Because of this, Guadio has developed a substantial following overseas, especially in London, England. Guadio said the wonderful thing about being able to broadcast on the web is that ”it’s always drive-time somewhere.”
Guadio is no longer able to count the amount of listeners his shows, but has recollected that at one point, there were hundreds, even thousands, of Londoners tuning in.
According to Craig Gorbunoff, Television and Digital Media senior and the Engineering Director at WMSC, Guadio had the most listened to show on the station at one point. He admitted that he had more feedback when his show was at an earlier time, but he knows that he still has fans listening in.
Most of his feedback comes through social media, mostly on the Twitter account @mindthegapwmsc, where he connects primarily with bands he has played and their fans.
“Social Media, that’s what he’s always told me to use to gain an audience,” said Juan Contla, senior English major and Assistant News Director at WMSC. Contla used to sit in on Guadio’s shows when he was starting out his career as a DJ and was able to develop a small following for his own show in the Miami area through Twitter because of Guadio’s advice.
The Actions, a band based in London, is just one of the many bands that Guadio gets on the air during his show. According to co-founder of the band Mo Stellato, Guadio has been playing the band’s music on his show since the release of their latest EP, Indefensible, in April 2015. Stellato had nothing but good things to say about Guadio’s repeated play of their music.
“Every time people dig your songs and play them puts you a step forward,” Stellato said. “It isn’t the first time [our] music has been on U.S. airwaves or even television. [Our] song ‘The Real Thing’ was played in the American movie My Super Psycho Sweet 16, but the constant amount of airplays The Actions are receiving on [the] Mind The Gap radio show is something remarkable and exciting,” Stellato said.
Guadio, an alumnus of Seton Hall, found his passion for British music during the punk rock era of the late 1970s when he was a teenager. Ever since, he has always liked the rebel sounds of British music better than any American music. He laughed as he spoke of the 5,000 pieces of vinyl hanging in his dining room.
Once he found his passion, he began disc jockeying in New York City clubs such as Webster Hall and Studio 55. It was in one of these clubs, the Luxe Lounge, that a WMSC Program director asked him if he wanted to take his program to the air. Thus, he began training and hasn’t left since.
Guadio is not the only DJ at WMSC who’s not a student at Montclair State. According to Silas Kezengwa, Television and Digital Media major and the Student Station Manager, the makeup of DJs at the station is primarily students or alumni. “Our community volunteer pool is small and therefore, our DJ requests from those who haven’t attended Montclair State are rare,” Kezengwa said. However, there are currently three non-Montclair State alumni DJs at WMSC, one being Guadio.
Guadio tends to follow the same protocol with his show every week. He plays a few songs and then makes sure to give a brief history of the bands and/or their twitter handles. Guadio insisted that there’s never a case where he won’t talk about a band for his listeners so that, if they liked a song, they can have the information about it. He does all this without trying to “babble” because, to him, it’s all about the music.
Guadio said he finds all his songs on Twitter, blogs and YouTube. He starts looking for new material as soon as his show is finished. Guadio will play songs that are extremely current, some being only a day old.
“There’s a story of him getting an email telling him to listen to this singer-songwriter from the UK around 2008. He thought she was great and he got her [song] on air,” Contla said. This artist was Adele and Guadio truly believes he was the first to play her. “I do, too, because only he would dive deep into the UK singer-songwriter genre.”
He calls these songs his “secret little gems” or songs that everyone should hear but he knows they never will, so he plays them. In his opinion, college radio is a great platform for bands that should be played but just don’t get the recognition. One of the things he loves about WMSC is that they give him complete artistic freedom. There are no ramifications to his show. “No one tells me what to play. If you told me what to play, the show couldn’t be the show,” Guadio said.
In the past 10 years, Guadio has put on some 500 shows, only missing maybe 15 weeks. He has traveled from Belleville, N.J. in five inches of snow and also has come in 96-degrees-Fahrenheit heat. “He demonstrates a level of preparedness and dedication that I feel more DJs at the station should strive to achieve,” Gorbunoff said.
Guadio came to WMSC in the beginning because of its proximity to his home, but he explained how the station is now more state-of-the art than some in New York City.
Overall, Guadio has made a name for himself all over the world, playing music from bands on the other side of the globe. Guadio considers himself broadcasting on the “cozy end of the dial,” a place where his listeners can go to hear something they’ll never hear anywhere else. As Guadio said, “If America spoon-fed this music to you, you’d love it. The problem is, it’s not being spoon-fed.” He considers himself the “alternative to the alternative” as the man who gets to show the music to America.