Good day all,
Whatever happened to FM radio? I remember back in my youth it was what you would listen to all of the time. If you didn’t have a cassette tape in the boom box then you were listening to your local FM radio station because they actually played the music that you wanted to hear. In the past 10 years or so I have listened to very little FM radio but when I did it was sad to see what has become of it. When there was a time when radio stations would try something new and play music you wanted to hear (ie heavy metal) they would soon change formats and the music would be gone. I get that the economy and technology have played a part in the disappearance of the good FM radio station but why do the powers that be in the radio business not give these stations a chance?
Most of the radio stations around the country are owned by mega corporations that have a set format and they do not deviate from said format because a computer program told them that that is what people like. I think that is true when it comes to pop music because it is just recycled beats and music that is dumbed down enough that people with no real musical taste can relate to, and I don’t mean that in a mean-spirited way. I think a majority of people who listen to pop music listen to it just to enjoy the music as a distraction and not in a critical thought sort of way. I think people who listen to hard rock/heavy metal are different. For us it is a lifestyle and what we desire in our lives as our distraction and entertainment and we are serious about it and that, I guess is the real problem with what has happened to FM radio, we are passionate about our music but the guys in the suits on the 80th floor don’t care. Whatever makes the money is what is in demand to them and that is fine, they spent the money on the radio station and they have people to answer to as well but it kind of leaves those of us into the heavier side of music out in the cold.
I once thought satellite radio would be our saving grace and revamp the sound of radio as we know it but again I was wrong and the choice of music being played on the stations hasn’t change my overall perception of the people in charge of these communications organizations. When Sirius satellite Radio was introduced to me and they had stations specifically catering to me and my need for a metal fix I was absolutely excited. I mean how could you go wrong with stations like Hair Nation, Boneyard, Octane and Liquid Metal (it actually has Metal in the name!), but alas, I was once again snookerd by the decision makers. Sure for a couple of years it was cool having a bunch of metal stations to listen to all of the time, in my car, on my computer, and if I had the ambition even in my house but like FM radio before it the programming took a turn for the repetitive, the strange and the mundane. First it was the repetition that started on Hair Nation, I mean I love hair metal as much as the next guy but there was more to it than Poison, Ratt and Motley Crue! Then the Boneyard went through a couple of weird changes, first they started playing music way outside of what was their original format like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Skynyrd… Sure they have a bit of a hard edge to them but they also had four or five other stations that played these groups regularly like Classic Rewind. Then there was the weirdest of all of the Boneyard changes and that is when it became Ozzy’s Boneyard. The only reaction I had to that was WTF? Seriously they allowed Ozzy (Read Sharon) “program” his own station and in between songs they would do these odd expose’s about Ozzy told by friends and family. But the crushing point for me was when they would have Ozzy’s kids on there talking about their experiences and thoughts and recommendations. Personally I couldn’t have cared less what Jack Osbourne thought of a particular song or band, I mean seriously what was that and who made that stupid decision. Additionally, because Ozzy and Sharon have some sort of issue with Eddie Trunk they took his one night a week show off and moved it to Hair Nation. I like Eddie Trunk and I think as a radio personality he has some really interesting stories and knows how to get people in for interviews and his show was really the only think that was left that was interesting on the Boneyard. So needless to say I have since ended my subscriptions with Sirius and relegated myself to streaming music, buy and downloading to my MP3 player and just giving up on radio all together.
About a year ago I had to drive a U-Haul truck to move some furniture and the only type of radio the truck had in it was an AM/FM, no cassette player, no disc player, so I was forced to listen to DC 101 here in the Washington DC area. Now up to that point I had not listened to DC 101 for about 8 or 9 years and when I turned it on I was shocked to hear that they were playing the EXACT same songs from when I stopped listening 8 or 9 years before! It was amazing, it was like I had gone through a time warp and no new music had been released since the last time I listened to this station, that is just sad. FM radio has not advanced in its format or music choices in almost 10 years, that is why it fails and why advertisers are hard to come by, sure like I said before people have a whole lot more choices now a days but living in the past is not going to help gain any new listeners. It is too bad to because when I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh 102.5 WDVE was church for me and the music that came out of those speakers from that radio station was my gospel.
Until Later, Peace!