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Turmoil Radio Collection

Collection Number
Collection 440

OCLC Number


Steve Kreitzer, founder of Turmoil, donated the collection in a series of accessions between 2008 and 2016. 

Extent, Scope, and Content Note
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 (90.1 FM); it was 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 United States, and consequently many items in the Turmoil Radio Collection are extremely rare.

Turmoil aired on Stony Brook University's radio station, WUSB (90.1 FM) on Wednesday evenings from 8pm to 10 pm from December 1980 through May 29, 2004. The collection is comprised of approximately 114 linear ft. of source material documenting the full scope of the Turmoil radio program including correspondence, business files, sound recordings, magazines, fanzines, posters, broadsides, ephemera, textiles, and artifacts.

The collection provides 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 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 Radio Collection showcases a wide range of media as well as varying degrees of D.I.Y.

In addition to recordings, the Turmoil Radio 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 24-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 were also received as part of the collection. They have been cataloged and can be located in library's online catalog by entering the phrase "turmoil radio" in quotes in the search bar.

Arrangement and Processing Note
Finding aid revised and updated by Kristen J. Nyitray in January 2020.

Series 1: Turmoil Radio Program (boxes 1 to 8; 192 to 194)
Sub-series 1: Turmoil Business Records
Sub-series 2: Correspondence
Sub-series 3: Playlists
Sub-series 4: Concerts

Series 2: Music Industry (boxes 8 to 64)
Sub-series 1: Subject Files
Sub-series 2: Public Relations
Sub-series 3: Record Labels
Sub-series 4: Bands and Performers
Sub-series 5: Magazines and Fanzines
Sub-series 6: Broadsides
Sub-series 7: Broadsides (oversized)

Series 3: Audio and Visual Materials (boxes 65 to 182, 195-218)
Sub-series 1: LP Recordings – 45 rpm
Sub-series 2: LP Recordings – 33 1/3 rpm
Sub-series 3: Cassette Tapes
Sub-series 4: Compact Discs
Sub-series 5: Reel to Reel Recordings
Sub-series 6: DVDs and VHS tapes

Series 4: Textiles  (boxes 183 to 189)
Series 5: Artifacts (boxes 190 to 191, 218)


Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access 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 and University Libraries, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note

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 p.m. 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.

Turmoil (Radio program)
WUSB-FM (Radio station : Stony Brook, N.Y.)
Kreitzer, Steven.
College radio stations -- New York (State) -- Stony Brook.
Punk rock music.
Hardcore (Music)
College radio stations.
New York (State) -- Stony Brook.