One of the first things I learned about WMPG community radio in Portland, Maine when I started my little 80s radio program, STUCK IN THE 80s, there in 1996 was the Begathon. WMPG gets approximately 1/3 of its funding from the University of Southern Maine, approximately 1/3 from underwriting, and approximately 1/3 from listener donations. A large chunk of the latter comes from the Begathon. What started out as a 2-week pledge drive in which volunteer radio hosts would “beg” to raise money for the station is now split up into two 1-week pledge drives, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. It’s come a long way since my first Begathon in the Fall of 1996. My very last Begathon for WMPG will be on Sunday, 9.25.2016.
One of the most-requested “money” songs around Begathon time on STUCK IN THE 80s is this Psychedelic Furs gem from their 1988 compilation, ALL OF THIS AND NOTHING, which features favorites like “Love My Way,” “Pretty In Pink,” “Heartbreak Beat,” “The Ghost In You,” “Heaven” and “President Gas.” “All That Money Wants’ was recorded specifically for this compilation.
“All That Money Wants” was a huge hit at college radio and was the third song to reach No. 1 on BILLBOARD’s then-new Modern Rock chart (following “Peek-A-Boo” by Siouxsie & The Banshees and “Just Play Music” by Big Audio Dynamite), spending three weeks on top in October 1988.
In a 2010 AllMusic review by Michael Sutton, he says “All That Money Wants” was “seen as a return to the Furs of old when it was included as a new track on ALL OF THIS OR NOTHING. It’s not. The tune merely combines the dissonance of their first full-length with their stronger melodic sensibilities in the mid-‘80s.”
Well, I agree with part of that review, though I don’t know if I’d refer to “All That Money Wants” as “merely” anything, but, what I do know is that it is one the songs my listeners want around this time of year, for whatever meaning it has for them, if anything. Money doesn’t actually have to be involved, but for those folks who can afford to pledge to WMPG this time of year, “All That Money Wants” could turn into “All That ‘MPG Wants,” which is to get enough funding to keep on keepin’ on for another six months…