The Last Exit for the Lost started out as Rockin' the Night Away way back in September of 1985 and was hosted for years by Jon Lovely. In August of 2015, Seriah had Jon, or JRRBL as he was known on air, join him for a Dealer's Choice show and they discuss the beginning of the show and he tells some stories from those days. You can find that in the Dealer's Choice Section of the Archive. Jon eventually left and it changed hands here and there, first to Chris Thompkins, then to Mary Ramirez, who changed the name to The Metal Cage, and eventually ended up in the possession of Seriah Azkath. His first show was June 3, 1994, and he has been doing it ever since. (Prior to this, he published a music zine called The Web: A Literary Journal of Extremes in Music and Entertainment, which pretty directly lead to him taking over the radio show. The zine ending it's existence in Spring of 1998 after 15 thick issues.)
On January 20, 1996 Seriah moved the show from Friday to Saturday (so it no longer conflicted with The Metallic Onslaught out of Geneva) and then he changed the name to The Last Exit for the Lost (named after one of Seriah's favorite Field's of the Nephilim songs). The change was made due to his wanting to include more than just Metal on the show, although it has never lost it's Metal core. "I wanted to have a radio show where you could hear, regularly, everything from classic Mercyful Fate, to Laibach, to Fields of the Nephilim, to Overkill.", stated Seriah about the goal of the show. The shows' musical diversity is currently way beyond that, playing all kinds of Metal, new and old, Goth, Industrial, Punk, Hardcore, Comedy, Indie Rock, and some things that defy categorization completely. The Last Exit for the Lost is one of the longest running Metal shows on the air, has one of the biggest catalogs of music to draw from anywhere, and is unique in many ways due not only to the diversity of music, but because of the strangeness in between.
There have been MANY co-hosts during the years, but the first ones that really took the show in the direction it has gone would be two who went by the names Sloth of the Apocalypse, and The Almighty Monkey. Since then, there have been many characters and co-hosts that have come and gone, some there only briefly, some have stayed for some time. The 'People on the Show' section of this site has the current crop of hosts, co-hosts, and special guests. You can also find early material from the show in the Media section on Best of DVD's, the Retro DVD's, which are all free, are three volumes of early material on the show and it's history.
In May and June of 2000, the station moved from College Town in Ithaca up to East Hill. At the time, this was not a welcome change, as the huge, spacious building in College Town was quite simply awesome, and the new building was small and in the middle of nowhere. This however, did change the show in many ways. Silly things that often happened in other rooms of the big building, were now happening on the air. Characters were sent on adventures around the area, something that was never thought of in the more convenient College Town location. In the end, the East Hill location was a good thing for The Last Exit and it's creativity.
The Last Exit for the Lost regularly plays host to bands, who often perform live in studio, both acoustic and electric. The playlist of the show, often consists of more unsigned bands from around the world than larger, more well known bands. The show has always been about bringing out the best and most interesting music, not following the crowd. Oftentimes you will hear stuff here first, and when that is said, it is actually true. It is a unique listening experience in every way. You will also hear plenty of awesome music you WILL NOT hear anywhere else.
The Last Exit, in the past, would also host regular local shows and puts out various DVD series. You can check out our first DVD series, Xtreme Soundscapes, on Vimeo, as well as The Dave and Joe Show. You can also watch shows we booked on our YouTube Performance channel, which is a mix of current bands, and older stuff, as we slowly archive all the shows we filmed.
Many of the shows from the last few years are archived on this site. You can listen to them in their entirety at any time, see pictures, video recaps, etc. The Last Exit for the Lost has always been on the cutting edge of using the internet, from having a live internet stream WAY before most stations, to utilizing e-mail lists, chat rooms, a webcam, various social networking sites at their inceptions... The Last Exit always strives to be as interactive as possible and stay on the cutting edge of what technology offers.
There used to be a lot of regularly themed shows, but over time, many of them have gone by the wayside. Some are likely to stay around. The 'We Love Satan' show, which was created mocking those who think that people who listen to Heavy Metal by default worship Satan (and actually created in direct response to such a comment) now airs twice a year, once on Easter, and once on the closest Sunday to Xmas. Often it is a bizarre and mocking type of show. The Pre-Anniversary End of the World show had been going on since around 2002 (Now occasionally a Post Apocalypse version), and celebrated the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. Now this is a common known thing, but back then, it was not, and once again, The Last Exit was way ahead of the curve in it's strange, often mocking, way.
In recent years we have added in Russian Roulette shows, Birthday Olympics and other oddities. Some work and evolve, others die a merciful death. In the end, it is all about good music, entertainment, and fun.
On March 16, 2014 we moved into our new building at 604 East Buffalo St in Ithaca, down in college town again. This huge new building has allowed us to have bands perform full out, as well as lead to much more innovation in what we can do on the air.
In March 2020, a week before Lockdown, the Last Exit was forced to move to a pre-recorded format. This allowed us to expand our guests on the show, since having a show length musical guest via Skype was now far more feasible. The show continues in a slightly more produced format as a pre-recorded weekly show. Occasional live shows may happen in the future.
In 2021, with WVBR still basically Locked Down, we constructed our own performance space for bands, with a better setup, lighting, and sound. This will also double as an affordable recording studio as well in the future. More info on the space and how to get your band booked can be found here.
As of 2023, the show continues to evolve on a regular basis. Most weeks there are themes to the shows, as well as plenty of new music mixed with the old.