Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Something as simple as rock n' roll would save us all"

It's true.  I drive around town, switching stations endlessly.  I can't find many songs I like, and what's worse - I have no where to go to hear real true alternative rock.  The death of WFNX, meant the end of an era for me.  The end of a connection to the past that I truly loved, but ultimately had to move on from. 

In 1996, during my senior year of HS, my friend Jessica and I hit up the 'FNX Best Music Poll Concert.  We saw live bands at the Orpheum and enjoyed a festival of amazing alt rock on Landsdowne Street.  It was amazing to me, even then, the power that radio stations and music truly had over people.  I loved being able to soak in the culture, hear sounds I had never heard before and meet other music enthusiasts.  Jessica and I were music junkies back then.  We loved all things alternative and really enjoyed getting to hear songs by new artists and see some of our favorites live. 

It was experiences like this one, that led me to enter a career path in the radio industry.  I loved the idea of connecting to people with music.  There is something magical about radio - or wait, there was something magical about radio at that time.  Stations were local, live and many were still independently owned.  It was a time when DJ's answered their own phones, music was not ALWAYS pre-programmed and phone calls weren't necessarily canned prior to airing.  It was a time before websites, podcasting, iTunes, 24/7 streaming.  You heard a song on the radio and actually went out to buy a CD.  Music was digested, savored even. 

The connection you felt to the DJ's actually meant something.  You let the DJ's into your bedroom, your car, your backyard BBQ.  You felt like you knew them.  It was more than just a person announcing the title of a song, being a DJ was important.  DJ's introduced us to new music.  They helped us find the song that would remind us of our favorite moments, make us cry and make us laugh.  DJ's were THE musical taste makers.  Now, just 16 years later, WFNX is gone.  The DJ's who inspired me to pursue my dreams have long since moved on and the station has been flipped to yet another pre-boxed, pre-imaged format that can be heard around the US.  Different call letters but same voice over talent, same "play anything" format that can be heard anywhere.

Part of being a good mom is exposing my children to a wide variety of arts - including music that will inspire them to be creative, bold and brave.  Music that will take them by surprise and ultimately create the soundtracks to their lives.  Music and radio changed me.  My life is better for having been inspired by it and more interesting for having worked in the thick of it.  I can only hope I can use my iPod and the internet to find ways to create that same inspiration and excitement for my O and B.  I can't in good conscience let them become Top 40/CHR fans, that would just be wrong :)! xoxo

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