‘You Never Achieve Greatness If You Don’t Try Stuff’

T Radio is dead, and we couldn’t be happier. But the South End News feels some remorse since locally-based Pyramid Radio, the company the MBTA paired with to torture riders, lost out on business. Pyramid Radio Executive Director Rich Balsbaugh sat down with the paper to talk about his ideas of greatness and what went wrong.

The company, which has made a business out of robbing us of our thoughts in public spaces, says it’s mission is to create, “customized audio entertainment designed to entertain your customers and drive sales in your store.” While they continue to advertise its services for subways, a quick Google search shows no other city has taken them up on it.

Thus, Balsbaugh’s lofty shot at greatness was destroyed.

Rich Balsbaugh. . . said he was disappointed with the decision by the MBTA to silence Pyramid Radio. “I don’t know if it’s something that will get off the ground again,” Balsbaugh said. “You never achieve greatness if you don’t try stuff. So we tried.”

Indeed. Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church and sparked the Reformation. Christoper Columbus sailed off the edge of the Earth and discovered America. And right up there with them are the former owner of KISS 108 and a debt-strapped transit agency uniting to make a few bucks off the misery of commuters.

Balsbaugh blames tensions between buskers and the MBTA for the shutdown, and claims that the polling of riders done by Emerson College students got overwhelmingly positive feedback.

“It was like the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s and we got in the middle,” said Balsbaugh. “We’re trying to do something good and I don’t want to be perceived as negative. We don’t want to hurt their livelihood.”

Balsbaugh said Pyramid had hoped to work with buskers to promote their music and provide quiet places in T stations for buskers to perform. The stormy history of the buskers and the T made this virtually impossible, according to Balsbaugh.

It’s not about the buskers. T riders don’t want a barrage of noise interfering with their thoughts. It would have been cruel to have announcements, T Radio, buskers, and ambient conversation competing to be heard in one small space. You’ve already got our Shaw’s and our McDonalds’. Leave us our train platforms.