by Kyle Swenson
Sad news coming in from Case Western Reserve University’s campus radio station WRUW.
91.1 officials have confirmed that one of the station’s longtime DJs passed away this week. Stella Magee (real name Stella Salamone), one half of the political-punk cocktail Domestic Decay, died unexpectedly on October 27th. No word yet on the cause. She was 44.
Along with husband and partner in crime A.P. (real name Mike Salamone), Stella made a name for herself with a number of shows on WRUW that blended aggressive musical stylings with political commentary from far right field. The pair’s latest show, Domestic Decay, was featured on Wednesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
WRUW station manager Adam Spektor tells Scene he got a phone call earlier in the week that Stella had collapsed and been taken to the hospital. She’d had health issues in the past, says Spektor, but nothing that seemed to be life threatening.
“The whole thing happened within a 48 hour period, so it’s pretty shocking to all of us,” he says. “She was just a great person and she was always very supportive.”
Stella’s death is the second to strike the WRUW DJ ranks recently. Longtime on-air presence “Cuzin” Dave Wilson, host of “When the Roses Bloom Again,” was hospitalized and died earlier this fall.
WRUW DJ Roger Ganley tells Scene the authorities are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine a cause of death.
“I knew Stella for the last 25 years, and she’s definitely going to be missed in the metal community,” he adds.
Services will be held on November 5 at the Northfield Moose Lodge from 4 -9 p.m. The next day they’ll be a benefit concert at the Beachland Ballroom from 11 — 4 p.m., featuring Destructor, Breaker, The Plague, Mudercoaster and Red Giant. More details are available on the Domestic Decay Facebook profile.
Stella was the subject of a 2002 profile in the Plain Dealer’s Sunday Magazine. In the piece, she describes what first attracted her to college radio:
There was a show, Metal on Metal, that I really liked on WJCU out of John Carroll University. They had this contest and I won an hour of free air time. I went down and did the show and I loved it. I loved the whole thing about being able to control the music. I hate commercial radio because they just force-feed all these songs down your throat. I love being able to play whatever I want.
Despite the open-to-all ethos, college radio can get pretty formulaic sometimes — you get the world beat guy, the reggae hour, the Greatful Dead time slot. Domestic Decay, however, was a refreshing and unique change of pace in the programming schedule, even if you didn’t always agree with the hosts’ libertarian leanings.
Our best to Stella’s family and friends during this tough time.