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Stony Brook University
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Main Title:
Turmoil Radio Collection

Type of Material: Correspondence, business files, sound recordings, magazines, fanzines, posters, broadsides, ephemera, textiles, and artifacts.
Personal Name:
Collection ID: Collection 440
Creator: Steven Kreitzer
Extent: 114 linear ft.
Span Dates: 1980-2004

Turmoil Radio Collection
Collection 440

Collection Description

The Turmoil Radio Collection is the archive of the world's longest running punk rock and hardcore music radio program. Founded by Steven Kreitzer, it aired on Stony Brook University's campus radio station, WUSB (90.1 FM) on Wednesday evenings (8 to 10 p.m.) from December 1980 through May 29, 2004. The collection is comprised of approximately 100 cubic feet of items that document the Turmoil radio program; contents include correspondence, business files, sound recordings, magazines, fanzines, posters, broadsides, ephemera, textiles, and artifacts.

Provenance: Steven Kreitzer, founder of Turmoil, donated the collection to the University Libraries in 2008. A second accession of Turmoil Radio programs was received in December 2011 and March 2012.

The Turmoil Radio Collection was processed from 2008 through 2010 by Stephen Lee and F. Berenice Baez-Revueltas, graduate student assistants; Edimael Aponte, University Libraries; Elton Chan, undergraduate student assistant; and F. Jason Torre, Special Collections and University Archives. The second accession was inventoried by Frank Fiorino, student assistant, in March 2012.

Online finding aid by Kristen J. Nyitray, Head of Special Collections and University Archives/University Archivist.
Finding aid updated May 2016.

Scope and Content Note
History of Turmoil
Access and Citation Information
Series Outline and Box List


The Turmoil Radio Collection is a one-of-a-kind archive that documents the 24-year run of Steve Kreitzer's Turmoil radio program on WUSB-FM; it is the world's longest running punk rock radio show. Beginning in 1980, the show became a vital part of the Long Island punk and hardcore community, and it remarkably gained renown internationally, long before internet radio streams made worldwide radio broadcasting possible. Turmoil playlists and interviews were printed in punk magazines ("zines"). As a result, bands and music labels from around the world sent recordings and other promotional materials to Turmoil. Although some of these bands have become well-known, others remain virtually unrecognized in the U.S., so many items in the Turmoil Collection are extremely rare.

Scope and Content Note

The archive offers a firsthand account at one of punk's unofficial mottos: D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself). The underground nature of punk, particularly in the 1980s, meant that the scope of punk music was not on the radar of major record labels. Furthermore, many in the punk community were opposed to large, corporate labels for ethical reasons. It was therefore up to the bands themselves, as well as small, bedroom music labels, to distribute recordings and generate publicity. The cassette tape became the preferred medium for recordings, and basic copy machines were utilized for printing posters and zines. Many punk labels emerged, but eventually major labels began to sign more bands as the genre became more accepted by the mainstream. The D.I.Y. ideal remained strong, however, and many bands began to distribute their music on CDs instead of cassettes. Thus, the Turmoil Collection showcases a wide range of media as well as varying degrees of D.I.Y.

In addition to recordings, the Turmoil Collection includes letters from bands, promotional materials, news clippings, punk and political zines, and posters. It provides researchers with access to primary source material that details the history of punk and hardcore music, as told by the bands, labels, and supporters who were instrumental in the movement. Through its twenty-four year span, the collection shows the evolution of punk from a primarily underground genre to a more mainstream one. Many items in the collection, particularly the correspondence, are unique and chronicle elements of music history that may otherwise have been forgotten.

Books that were included as part of the collection have been cataloged and added to the holdings of the Music Library. They can be located in STARS, the library's online catalog, by entering the phrase "turmoil radio" in the "keywords anywhere" search bar.

History of Turmoil
(excerpted from Turmoil's official website)


Turmoil began as part of Steve Kreitzer's regularly scheduled Wednesday night air slot on WUSB-FM in December 1980. Although unnamed at the time, Steve a.k.a. Steve Kaye, a.k.a. Steve K., was mixing punk and hardcore along with the new music of the day. It was not until 1983 that he dedicated his show to the playing of punk and hardcore from around the world, eventually calling the program Turmoil.

The show aired on Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. on a 4,000 Watt non-commercial radio station broadcast from Stony Brook University. The program operated independently of WUSB, receiving no financial support. It maintained its own separate library, conducted its own interviews, and originally mailed out over 100 playlists monthly to each band that played on the program.


Turmoil aimed to provide exposure to the latest and newest punk/hardcore releases from around the world, whether on record, tape or CD. When possible, interviews were conducted with touring bands. Some of the performers interviewed on Turmoil included: Black Flag, Nihilistics, The Mob, Stark Raving Mad, Mydolls, Corrosion of Conformity, Raw Power, Ludichrist, Verbal Assault, Instigators, KGB, Shaved Pigs, Dag Nasty, DOA, Nomeansno, Zero Boys, Exploited, Youth Of Today, MDC, 7 Seconds, Scream, DRI, Warzone, Sick Of It All, Leeway, Fugazi, Jello Biafra, Rhythm Collision, and Strung Out. Spoken word artists were also featured and included live, in-studio readings from Nick Toczek and Seething Wells from England and Rhythm Activism of Canada.

Steven Kreitzer, Founder of Turmoil

Mr. Kreitzer was a contributor to Maximum Rock'N'Roll fanzine from 1983 to 1984. As manager of Slob Records, he was involved in the release, distribution, publicity, and mail-orders of Stark Raving Mads' first LP (1983-1985). Additional professional experiences include: writer for Task fanzine (1984-1985); coordinator of the first U.S. tour by England's Instigators and Nick Toczek (1987); producer of Jello Biafra's spoken word performance at Stony Brook University (1987); assisting Germany's KGB with their second U.S. tour (1988); assisting Canada's Rhythm Activism with their east coast tour (1988); speaking at Intercollegiate Broadcasting System conventions on the topic of alternative music (1988-1989); and producing benefit concerts with Citizen Fish, Cringer, Yuppicide, Norman Bates and the Showerheads, Seizure, and Lie Detectors. Turmoil interviews have been printed in No-Profit fanzine, in university newspapers, and heard on the Roadrunner Punk Radio Show in Australia. Photographs taken by Mr. Kreitzer have appeared on albums by 7 Seconds to Toxic Reasons and have been printed in various fanzines. He is currently operations manager of Stony Brook University's student television station, SBU-TV.

Access and Citation Information
The collection is open to researchers by appointment and subject to all copyright laws. All inquires should be directed to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.

[Item], [Box], Turmoil Radio Collection, Special Collections, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Series Outline and Box List

Sub-group I: Turmoil radio program (boxes 1 to 8; 192 to 194)

Series 1: Turmoil business records

Series 2: Correspondence
Series 3: Playlists

Series 4: Concerts

Sub-group II: Music industry (boxes 8 to 64)

Series 1: Subject files
Series 2: Public relations
Series 3: Record labels
Series 4: Bands and performers
Series 5: Magazines and fanzines
Series 6: Broadsides
Series 7: Broadsides (oversized)

Sub-group III: Audio and visual material (boxes 65 to 182)

Series 1: LP recordings – 45 rpm
Series 2: LP recordings – 33 1/3 rpm
Series 3: Cassette tapes
Series 4: Compact discs
Series 5: Reel to reel recordings
Series 6: DVDs and VHS tapes

Sub-group IV: Textiles
(boxes 183 to 189)

Sub-group V: Artifacts
(boxes 190 to 191)

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