View Full Version : The Day the Music Died (a rant)

Hong Kong Cavalier
05-22-2010, 09:39 PM
I came to discover yet another thing today...yet another thing that was everyday and commonplace in my youth that has simply disappeared in the meanwhile during my progress to adulthood without my knowledge...

This sad story all begins earlirer in the week when during a conversation with a friend about how I'd purchased a copy of Mad Magazine Presents Up The Academy on DVD, and after re-watching it for the first time in 20 years, I was spurred to dig out my ancient copy of the film's soundtrack album and transfer it to mp3 and host it on my music sharing blog. I went on to say that I'm a HUGE fan of Sammy Hagar, and have been for years...and that Sammy's contribution to the OST, "Bad Reputation" was probably one of my two favorite songs of his from that era of his career (post-Montrose, pre-Van Halen solo stuff), the other being his original version of "I've Done Everything For You", a song he wrote and originally recorded that Rick Springfield later recorded and made famous ( Sammy used to perform it at live shows, and he announced to the crowd at a show I attended once that he wrote it, but someone prettier than him made it famous).

Well, the discussion then turned to whether I'd had heard any of Sammy's current stuff with his little "supergroup" Chickenfoot, and replied that I certainly had purchased the CD, and that one of the local "nu rawk" FM stations played the single from it in pretty heavy rotation...that is whenever they could fit it in between their painful blocks of Nickel-Creed-Theory of a-Linkin Park crap.

This led to a discussion about radio station formats....I made mention that there were a few decent new local FM stations that seemed to carry a listener-influenced "my Top 10" format that listeners submitted where you'd hear a little bit of anything, but most local rock stations were "nu rawk" crap...or were a shadow of their former selves and had a painfully repetitive rotating playlist where you were guaranteed to pretty much hear nothing harder that "Walk" by Pantera mixed with alot of the old standards of 70s and 80s hard rock (AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, etc.,..) with your hourly dose of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I then mentioned that I'd noticed something odd about the local stations....all the old hard rock stations were now promoting themselves as "Classic Rock", and hadn't really changed their playlists...they just hadn't updated them since around 1992. And all the old "Hot Wax" stations (stations whose format during my youth consisted of 1950s rockabilly and doo-wop, mixed with some 60s bubblegum and pop) had actually updated their playlists...playlists that now consist of 70s bubblegum and pop, as well as 1980s pop. It's like those stations had basically transformed into 1970s era AM rock stations. Yet...the old "Hot Wax" format doesn't seem to exist anymore...at least in this area.

For example, the two old Hot Wax stations of my youth growing up in the 1980s, WKRC 5500 AM and WGRR 103.5 FM, both of Cincinnati...well, "55 KRC" is now all talk-radio, all the time (with what seems to be about a 10 hour block of Rush Limbaugh....ugggh)...and WGRR is one of the oldies stations mentioned above that has switched up their playlists.

I used to love WKRC when I was a kid, because I have several found memories of being in a car at the local drive-in theatre awaiting the show listening to the old syndicated Wolfman Jack show on Friday nights.

What the hell happened to all the Hot Wax stations?

And why the hell is it that the Ramones couldn't get airplay during their career, but get pretty standard rotation now on all the "Classic Rock" FM? Somehow, it doesn't seem fair....

King of Podcasting
05-27-2010, 01:52 PM
The Hot Wax stations here in Boston, in retrospect, were AM Radio gold. Holy smokes. But I didn't realize it at the time, because it was what my parents listened to, so I didn't get the god-like power of Tony Orlando or the Shangri-Las until much later. Also in retrospect, the hard rock stations I was addicted to - WCOZ and WBCN - were basically free-form, with shows led by the personalities of the hosts, who were often as big as rock stars. Famously, one night in '79, BCN DJ played nothing but the Rotters' "Sit on My Face Stevie Nix" for four hours. Those were the days. The radio was a major component of life at that point. The whole city moved to it.

Now they just play Nickelback, 50 Cent, or Rush Limbaugh. It's like the only viable audience left are entrenched midwesterners, kids, and right-wing goofballs.


My I-pod is the balls, though.

05-28-2010, 10:11 AM
Great post Hong...

But not to worry us midwestern crazies will be sure to ruin your iPod soon also.
Or Movies About Girls Network will control everything.
Not sure which is first???

King of Podcasting
05-28-2010, 10:29 AM
That reminds me of the first Streakin' episode I ever heard.
"I'm sick of these people on the coasts. Why do they have to call them flyover states? Why can't you just drive through them?"

05-28-2010, 02:21 PM
See flyover states still have "Hot Wax" stations but you all are too busy about flying right over us.

Hong Kong Cavalier
06-04-2010, 02:21 AM
The local "submit your own playlist" station hates me, because I'm constantly requesting odd cover songs of pop tunes (like Sam & Dave's weird off-tempo cover of Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' "Don't Pull Your Love" or DEVO's version of "Secret Agent Man") or obscure novelty garage tunes (such as the Novas doin' "The Crusher")....