George, Dr. Cosmo…was one of a kind…he was a mentor to me and I'm proud to call a friend. The things he could do with radio, with the media, it blew my mind…I had the show leading into his for about two and a half years, it was a fascinating apprenticeship in audio wizardry…the sorts of things he could do.

He would put a record on a turntable, take it off the spindle so it would spin crazily and be held down by the tonearm and form these unstable loops…is fascinating. what he could do when he had two duplicate records…something like Pigpot or the Blue Danube…he would take them, play them, bring them into sync…and slowly bring them in and out of phase.

That's a minimalist composition technique that…Steve Reich used for It's Gonna Rain but, the thing was, he was above and beyond what you'd imaging a radio host would do Most of the time you'd have these CD players…a couple of turntables…the instant replay machines and youíd think of those things as objects of reproduction…youíre reproducing the sound, the music, the art of others. Perhaps you're arranging it in a tasteful way but…too many people when they initially came in thought that was all they could do…and he showed me there was so much more, just in the way you could mix things and layer things, make things go backwards and forwards and down and around and loop the loops.

The way he could take tact and spin these tales, it was amazing to me. I remember asking him at one point “How do you maintain that kind presence in his voice and continuous flow of words?”
He said to me “Look to a piece of text in a book and start taking words completely out of context and then combine them in unexpected ways and make your brain fit them together. That's good training.”

That's something I hadnít thought of doing. I Think The best tribute that any of us can give him is to live our lives as courageously and creatively as possible. I remember he was telling me when he was a young man he was working at the Mount Palomar Observatory and one of these great scientists said to him “George, George, this is nonsense! You must follow your dreams!” and that set him off and down that road through audio engineering, working at K-ROCK, KPSA, working in films in the Philippines…and this is a story he told me. He was briefly the provincial governor of some…province in the Philippines.

When Marcos was overthrown in the 1980s, they were selecting people (they needed to run the government) and a friend just said to him “hold down everything while we sort things out.” and he was the governor of. . .but nobody listened to him because he was declaring free beer day and other such proclamations…but I think it's a true story of the kind of life he lived and I want to live a life like that.

Jon Solomon

I first met Dr. Cosmo (George E. Mahlberg) in the summer of 1991. George's wife was teaching at Princeton University or was attending graduate school. She was friends with a few other grad students who were DJs at the time and they all met at a dinner party, George found out that there was a radio station at Princeton and decided that since he had some spare time, he wanted to check it out and see what these kids were up to.

I remember that George was just this infectious force that you couldnít help but get caught up in this whirlwind of enthusiasm…and hearing some of the things he would do on the radio, but the way he pushed a lot of us and you to…challenge you to be more creative with what you were doing with your show.

If you are playing records two at a time, then play records three at a time and if you were playing only records forward why donít you try playing one backwards for a spell…it had a big impact on me.

Michael Hunter:

Make it different every time and…if you donít like what youíre doing then stop doing it he had this infectious passion for everything that he did, whether it was astronomy or music or whatever…it was enthusiastic…we spent a lot of time over the years to acquire that same enthusiasm and passion.


One thing that I said when I was doing my show last Wednesday night was Iím not a…spiritual guy but, this really stuck with me the fact that George is gone but I donít think Doctor Cosmo is gone. Doctor Cosmo will live on through these archive recordings he's broadcast and a whole wall of CDs on the back shelves and though creative challenging, intelligent, programming done by the people who loved him that are still here It breaks all of our hearts that George is no longer with us but in a lot of ways Dr. Cosmo still is and a way that Cosmo is going to remain with WPRB.

On the Sunday night after I found out that he passed away, I had this idea and I ran it past the WPRB board of trustees and the student board and they all enthusiastically agreed that the production studio will now be known as the Dr. Cosmo Production Studio.

So, at some point I will need to get a plaque made but it will read the Dr. Cosmo Production Studio, 20th Floor, WPRB Communication Complex in memory of George Mahlberg.

I wanted to let you know about that tonight. Now I have to start researching companies that make plaques in central New Jersey.

And just to let some of the former DJs that have sent e-mails about calling and maybe saying a couple of words on the air, the ability to call in and say a couple of words on the air exists tonight. Contact me (by the) back channel and we'll make that happen.

That's one of the most exciting things about tonight…I donít know what's going to happen next at any point.


I was lucky enough to be sent a CD from Cain by FedEx that Dr. Cosmo had recorded to bring to Mexico for the broadcast that he planned on doing last Friday which he…was too ill to do. He was in Mexico and a lot of this music was connected in only a way that the good doctor could do it

DJ TM5 Tue/Wed April 12/13

I came on the mic and started laughing like a nut, because that's really what I am. I've never did anything like this before and actually, Melissa brought up a point, there's nothing funny about this but she said it reminded her of what Doctor Cosmos (sic) would do on occasion and…some of you already know he unfortunately passed away a week an a half ago. Doctor Cosmos (sic) had been here at the station for 21 years. He's a legacy.

He did a show Friday nights…started at 8 or 10 o'clock, I forget the name of it…but he was incredible. He was a great person. He moved out to California or Seattle and…his shows were still patched over the phone lines.

DJ Mike Hunter who does Music From Space actually would engineer the board and…but…Doctor Cosmos (sic) passed away but he will be missed and he will be…but he's a legacy.

It was interesting that Melissa pointed out that it…reminded her of Doctor Cosmos (sic) how he would do the mash-ups and…a caller had called in earlier…she wanted to make a pledge on his behalf. She started crying and I was upset and…for my friend Melissa to call up and mention Doctor Cosmos was really interesting, because it's true…what I did was…a mash-up thing which he has done in the past.

Tony Geballe

We drove out of the city. It seemed to take hours. Most of our trips out there became stories in themselves. And by the time we arrived it was dark and rainy. We found our way to the dank basement and were greeted by Mike and introduced to Doctor Cosmo.

Doctor Cosmo seemed simultaneously a throwback to the psychedelic days of late-night radio and ahead of his time. Over the next several years I came back several more times with Sun Palace, by myself, did some shows with the Hellboys including the Helloween special, the Christmas show whose name will remain unspoken, with Kelly Rae Powell and Joe Williamson and with the West New Jersey Guitar Extravaganza.

Doctor Cosmo became a champion of the music produced by students of Guitar Craft, highlighting recordings his audience undoubtedly would never have heard otherwise. In fact, he became so interested he attended an introductory course. His unwavering commitment to presenting live and alternative music on the radio, almost unheard of nowadays, gives so much of us an opportunity to reach a wider audience and have fun in a different way than regular performances and recordings. Not the least to Doctor Cosmo's positive and unpredictable influence on the proceedings.

But he was always a first-class professional, even in the sometimes dubious circumstances of college radio. Always gracious and considerate of his guests, always doing everything he could to make us comfortable and relaxed and have a good time and have fun.

On the drive home, we would listen to the rest of his show, now it was midnight or later. We would be amazed, surprised and delighted of his choice of music, at the mash-ups and hearing our own voices and music wafting in and out of the mix along with the ducks, forwards, backwards, shifted up or down in the pitch, the perfect accompaniment to the long, late, already somewhat psychedelic trip back to the city.

In Doctor Cosmo, we saw and were inspired by a wonderful fearlessness: he was unafraid of any situation. Bring it on and letís see what happens.

He was always willing to take a chance and he was always willing to be himself and to let others be themselves. In fact, he encouraged us to explore our potential without fear.

Doctor Cosmo was also always excited to find new things that he had not yet discovered, whether food, books astronomical and scientific findings or, of course, music. I remember how thrilled he was to hear the weird music of Johnny Dowd and how gleefully he played the very disturbing song God Created Woman over the air.

Similarly, his introduction to Kelly Rae Powell simply by my telling him about her and that she should be on the who, before hearing any of her music, he was ready to book her.

Because of Doctor Cosmo's sense of adventure, my friend Kurt Golden. who turned a Nocturnal Transmission show into a live performance challenge for an introductory guitar course featuring about 15 unsuspecting guitarists, two Alexander Technique teachers, perhaps the only time that an Alexander Technique lesson has been broadcast on the radio, and the course's kitchen and house team.

It was Doctor Cosmo's great love of music, music of all kinds, sometimes all at once, that always shown through. He had a great heart and an inimitable and irreplaceable presence. He exuded a wealth of support and encouragement and an always a curious and adventuresome spirit.

George, may we honor you by offering to others even a small part of what you offered to us.