‘So loveable’: WXRT remembers Lin Brehmer with special broadcast


CHICAGO — To remember Chicago’s “best friend in the whole world,” WXRT hosted a special broadcast Monday to honor Lin Brehmer.

Brehmer, 68, passed away Sunday morning following a battle with prostate cancer.

The Chicago radio legend returned to the airwaves in November after taking a leave of absence in the summer.

Longtime co-worker and friend Terri Hemmert had to give the difficult news to listeners Sunday who felt close a man they may have never met through his love of air guitaring, his poetic essays through “Lin’s Bin,” watching the Cubs close out a day game and eating great Chicago food.

Hemmert was on hand Monday morning at 10 a.m. along with several other WXRT DJs to host a special broadcast remembering Brehmer.

“A true renaissance man, he could talk to anybody about anything and he was brilliant — he was just so loveable,” Hemmert said.

Hemmert shared that when he was sick, she didn’t want to get too close to him because of COVID-19. But when he was recently back in studio, she gave him a kiss on his back and he smiled.

Two of his most beloved institutions in the city, the Metro and Wrigley Field, honored him with tributes on their marquees.

The founder of the Metro, Joe Shanahan, joined Terri Hemmert to tell multiple great stories about Brehmer.

As previously mentioned, every live music lover could see themselves in Lin and Shanahan said he had to tell “The Jack White story,” following a Lollapalooza aftershow in 2018.

“That night, I started acting like a 16-year-old kid. Who is jumping up and down next to me? Lin Brehmer,” Shanahan said. “I remember these stories and moments because the man meant so much to our community.”

Some of the bands Shanahan would book back then gained exposure because Brehmer, who was music director at WXRT before DJing the morning show in 1991, “was first.”

“He was first on a record, first coming to shows that were under the radar, the first getting the touch of ‘XRT love,” Shanahan said.

While Brehmer wasn’t born in Chicago, the city was made for him.

“Chicago had everything he wanted; music, live music, baseball, pizza,” longtime WXRT DJ and friend Johnny Mars said.

In addition to a great playlist, WXRT featured numerous clips of Brehmer — from tear-jerking recordings of his iconic “Lin’s Bin” (“Where Does The Time Go?” was featured Monday) to him accidently mispronouncing Bono’s name in 1981 when he was a young DJ at WQBK.

The crazed-Cubs fan sang the 7th inning stretch at games, was a season ticket holder down the right field line and helped out WGN for our final season broadcasting the team.

He narrated multiple videos about his beloved Cubs, including one about “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks.

Rest In Peace Lin.

A portion of WXRT’s tribute playlist is below, from 10 a.m. through 2:45 p.m. Listen here.

  • Led Zeppelin –  Hey Hey What Can I do
  • The Record Company – Off the Ground
  • Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
  • The Who – Blue, Red and Grey
  • Echo and the Bunnymen – Sugar Kisses
  • Storyville –  Good Day for the Blues
  • Steve Earle – Someday
  • The Roundabouts (Lin’s high school band) – Steppin’ Stone (Monkees cover)
  • Lowen and Navarro – Walking on a Wire
  • Garland Jeffreys – R.O.C.K.
  • The Beatles – In My Life
  • John Prine, Kurt Vile – How Lucky
  • Peter Gabriel – That Voice Again
  • Eddie Vedder – All The Way
  • Suzanne Vega – Marlene On The Wall
  • Gomez – See The World
  • Joan Baez – They Drove Old Dixie Down
  • Richard Thompson, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
  • Led Zeppelin – Friends
  • Tuff Darts- All for the Love of Rock and Roll
  • Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
  • The Smashing Pumpkins – Cherub Rock
  • Cheap Trick – On The Radio
  • Warren Zevon – Mohammed’s Radio
  • The Rolling Stones – Loving Cup
  • The Godfathers – Birth, School, Work, Death
  • World Party – Put The Message In The Box
  • The Avett Brothers – No Hard Feeling
  • Grateful Dead – Music Never Stopped
  • Mike Doughty – Light Will Keep Your Heart beating
  • James McMurtry – Candyland
  • Guster – Careful
  • U2 – Satellite of Love
  • Little Feat – Time Loves a Hero
  • Steve Earle – Hard Core Troubadour
  • The Staple Sisters – I’ll Take You There
  • Warren Zevon – Keep Me in Your Heart
  • George Harrison – All things Must Pass
  • Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
  • Poi Dog Pondering – Complicated
  • The White Stripes – We’re Gonna Be Friends
  • Queen – You’re My Best Friend
  • Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days

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