“I’m going out on top,” East Village Radio general manager Peter Ferraro said, ushering the final guests of the last broadcast into the booth with a friendly shove. “We’re going out our way… our way.”

After eleven years of free broadcasting, the station went off the air last night, with the rising rents and licensing fees to blame. Adjacent Lil’ Frankie’s owner and EVR founder Frank Prisinzano sat on a stool, arms folded, dripping, smoking, remaining cool through the high tide of emotions. Earlier this week, he launched an online contest to nominate the last song and brought back old DJs from back in the day to give them a chance to say goodbye.

“A lot of people worked really hard on this,” he said. “We’re a family. A dysfunctional, crazy, music family.” Despite the pouring rain and the long weekend, a decent-sized crowd stood on the First Avenue sidewalk. They were mostly long-time fans and friends of the station, throwing off their umbrellas, hugging and looking longingly through the glass as AndrewAndrew and other last minute guests signed off, before the main crew piled into the booth for the last hurrah.

EVR played its last song just before midnight. It was Johnny Thunders’ “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.” (Don’t try.)

(Photos: Marina Galperina/ANIMALNewYork)