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Morning Shows? Good riddance!

Morning Shows Bite the Dust (finally…)

Story by Kent Manthie

In this morning’s San Diego Union~Tribune (1/5) there was an interesting article that started on page A-1, below the fold. It told the (sad, sad) story of how some venerable old morning shows were getting the axe and in general that the whole morning show shtick as well as radio, in general are getting to be a bit anachronistic in these days of the personal music system – the I-PODS, MP3 players and other programmable devices – hooked up to cell phones, and other new technical wizardry can now hold pretty much your entire music collection, all on one little gadget.

Ostensibly, the article was about the demise of long-time KGB, 101.5 FM morning show, featuring these three “wacky” DJs – “Dave, Shelley and “Chainsaw”. For about 20 years their five + hour rambling banter (that’s pretty long for an average morning show!) has been a constant at the home of classic rock & roll. Actually, the station only ventures so far into that style of rock- I mean, come on – just like every other “classic rock” station in the country, they play only a small sliver of what was made between, say, 1967 and 1984 (when I was growing up, classic rock meant music that went from the late 50s up to the early-to-middle 70s), and when I was really young, the 70s rock was “new” rock, so now I feel old to hear these lame songs that were top forty, heavy-rotation hits in the 80s now classified as “classic rock”!

Anyway, the thing of the story this morning was that “Dave, Shelley & “Chainsaw”” were just given the ol’ axe as of yesterday and this morning all kinds of beer-drinking, USA-loving, ball-cap wearing dudes were probably left puzzled as hell in their hangovers and whatnot – what with just plain classic rock playing on a classic rock station, which means KGB FM was finally doing their job!

I don’t know if you’ve ever had the opportunity to hear this show, but let me tell you: if you’re anything like me in the mornings – worthless until I get my first cup or two of coffee and I can’t even stand talking to or listening to way too happy people in real life, much less on the radio. I’d much rather wake up listening to music. Just about any kind, except “scream-o” metal yuck or top 40 bubblegum slop. But there’s no way I can take listening to a bunch of sophomoric adults who try to act like teenagers and babble about and talk and talk, using all these inside jokes trying to have a “clubby” kind of atmosphere like some kind of radio clique. It’s insipid.

Then there was the Mikey show, on “ROCK” 105.3 FM, Mike Esparza, the goofball morning show host with his own sidekicks/sycophants, were on the airwaves on San Diego’s last of a dying breed radio station- the hard rock/metal station, catering to high school losers and headbangers and 34 year -olds who still go to kiddie clubs to find little girls to get laid. If you lived in San Francisco or San Jose in the 90s, you’ll remember this guy from his gig at the only metal station in the Bay Area – KSJO – it was originally broadcasting from San Jose, but you could get a weak signal up in the City, and I guess metalheads up there sought it out more and the demand got higher so they split KSJO into 3 stations, or rather, 3 frequencies: 92.1, 92.3 and 92.5 one for San Jose, one for the mid section between the two cities and one for San Francisco. It was weird that after living in San Fran for 5 years in the 90s, then LA for 2000-2002 then coming to this wretched town (San Diego), I found, through flippin’ through the dials that Mikey followed me down here and got a job in a city where there is also only one metal/hard rock station. Or is it like that in every major market – just one, if any, metal station, I mean, who the hell listens to crap like Slayer or Winger or Poison or Metallica anymore? No one, that’s who. So, what’d they do, they started jumping on Modern Rock’s bandwagon, throwing in some Alice in Chains, Nirvana and Pearl Jam along with the Judas Priest and Mudvayne and the idiotic Slipknot – yeah- they dress like clowns because they are clowns, with no talent. Well, The Mikey Show is history. I can’t say what the future holds for “The ROCK” 105.3 FM, but, you know how money talks – as long as some long haired, mullet wearing, old-pickup drivers are out there banging there head as they barely avoid hitting you on the interstate, “The ROCK” will probably hang around for a while.

Then the newspaper story went on to talk about some other nobodies that also just recently got axed – Jeff & Jerry was one show that I remember reading about that had just become another victim of those pesky ratings and the money and advertising game.

Well pooh-pooh. What do you expect? I mean, if you want to hear about the latest sports scores and/or how your team did last night you can tune into one of those all-sports stations on AM radio and if you want just straight-up news, there are plenty of those too – in fact, you can even pick up Los Angeles’s right-of-center KFI AM.

If you do want to hear some intelligent talk in the morning I’d suggest you find a way to pick up Amy Goodman’s excellent daily morning show, “Democracy NOW!”, a brilliant broadcaster and reporter, Ms. Goodman has been all over the world covering little known places (to Americans, that is), like East Timor and other parts of that tumultuous part of the world. She also has exposed many straight up lies that were put forth by the now-gone (but not missed) Bushies. Her and her cohorts have reported from dangerous war zones from all over the globe and have won awards and much praise from people who really know. She’s pals with such luminaries as Noam Chomsky and many more who are unknown in the fight against corporate fascism and the rape of the resources of one poor country in order to benefit big hegemons like the US, the EU, China, etc.

But back to the story at hand: with all these morning shows finding themselves in trouble – even Howard Stern had to move to satellite radio and face it – that guy’s getting old and so is his worn out shtick, it is so juvenile and the ironic thing is that the guy is really nothing but a hypocrite – he’s Republican, lives in Long Island, was a big supporter of George Pataki, etc. So, this big “shock jock” thing is as phony as that big fat doctor shopping-junkie, Rush Limbaugh, who will pick up stories with no fact checking, no extra sourcing and run it as news, only to be laughed at and humiliated when it comes out that it was a hoax or that his facts were all wrong or skewed. A big fat idiot, indeed.

What do we really need the radio, as it is broadcast today for anyway? All the music radio does is just advertise the bands they play by making it seem “cool” or “hip” to listen to them and thus go buy their albums to increase the shareholders’ revenue at Time Warner, EMI or Bertelsmann.

That is one reason I just don’t listen to the radio and haven’t now for about 8 years. What’s the point, when I have most of the music I want to hear and am constantly getting more and more of it. I sure as hell don’t need some 23 year old DJ telling me what’s cool, no I’ve been around a bit and I know what I like and I know what is just plain manure.

So, listen up corporate schlock radio: there once was a time when you may have played a part in informing the society of what was going on in the world, be it music, news or whatnot, but now you’re all anachronistic. If you want to survive you’d better do something VERY quickly or else you’ll be the next victim of the waves of the future, not

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