Dave Nolan, radio host, audio engineer and the very first employee hired at Wetlands Preserve passed away yesterday from a heart attack. Nolan met Wetlands founder Larry Bloch in 1988, while serving as a DJ during a Grateful Dead Night elsewhere in the city. He remained with the club throughout its history, spinning music, archiving live tapes and even working behind the lighting board on occasion.
Longtime Wetlands employee Jake Szufnarowski remembers, “Disco Dave Nolan was one of the first people I met when I moved to NYC and absolutely the kindest. He taught me how to run lights at Wetlands, taught me so much about the Dead, but most importantly he taught me about love and kindness – his two specialties!”
Nolan’s career reflected his deep interest in the broadcast and archival realms. He began his career as a broadcast engineer at WNYC in 1985, a position he held for well over two decades. In addition, he was a staple at WBAI, starting in the mid-80s, hosting the Dead Air radio program and later the Live Air show. He later served as the technical producer for Newsweek On Air. In 2005, he became audio archivist and new media producer for the 92nd Street Y. Nolan also was the founder of the New York chapter of ARSC, the Association for Recorded Sound Collections. His shows featured the first known radio broadcasts of live music by such bands as Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Joan Osborne and Dave Matthews Band.
Larry Bloch remembers Nolan as “Close friend…Good friend to so many…Devoted father, husband, community activist…He had a sweet, psychedelic soul…He stoked the flames that kept the scene burning bright…He was always kind and gentle…He rocked all night…He shook peoples’ bones…He was the very first Wetlands family member and gave of himself from the first day to the last…He will be deeply missed…But I will smile every single time I think of him…He will always fill my heart with the joy he created.”
Dave Nolan is survived by his wife Joy Linscheid and daughter Alison.