Well, it's over. My love affair with the Oshawa (Ontario) radio station The Rock (www.therock.fm), after a really bad year, has finally come to an end.
When i first discovered them, four (?) years ago, i thought that they were the best radio station i had heard since the glory days of CFNY (The Spirit Of Radio) back in the 80's. They were innovative (the very first day i listened they played some Cheech & Chong, and how often do you hear them on commercial radio?), they played music i hadn't heard in ages but also played cutting-edge stuff. They were the first place i ever heard The Arkells, Seether, and Big Wreck, for example.
I listened mostly in the mornings -- the Craig (Robertson) & Rita (MacInally) show, and they were hilarious, obviously having heaps of fun and it was great. But there were other deejays i liked, too: Rockin' Rod and Vanessa Murphy were both friendly voices, i enjoyed their shows immensely, mostly because of their personalities.
But, at the beginning of 2012 Vanessa went on maternity leave and then something else happened: Rockin' Rod was let go. I have no idea why -- i thought he was one of their most popular jocks. (He now works at http://www.977thebeach.ca/ -- it's what i call music for dentists' offices: safe and inoffensive. I rarely listen.)
Then Rita disappeared. No idea what happened to her. I saw a couple of her posts on Twitter in which she said things like, oh, well that's the radio biz, but i have no idea where she is now.
It gets worse. At one time, one of their slogans was, "I haven't heard that song since...." -- suggestive of the fact that they played a lot of fairly obscure music. It changed. The new slogan should have been, "I haven't heard that song since ... two hours ago." The playlist shrank drastically.
I fled. I started listening to a lot of different stations, including http://www.hauraki.co.nz/ from Auckland New Zealand, http://www.kociradio.com/ from California -- both great stations but neither one very good for local news and weather. I even listened (for a while) to a Stratford station: http://www.cjcsradio.com/ and they play some decent music but the on-air personalities are complete yawns.
And, slowly, i went back to The Rock.
Craig Robertson had a new morning show host, Wendy Boomer, and she was great! The music wasn't as varied as it once had been, but i decided to stick with them. I downloaded their app to my smartphone and all was okay. Not great, but okay.
My contentment was short-lived. Craig quit on Dec. 21st, to pursue his dream of a career as a musician. Good on you, Craig, my friend, i wish you well.
Vanessa Murphy returned but left after a week. I only was able to listen to her once, and i believe that she now works here: http://www.boom973.com/index.aspx -- more music for dentists' offices. And then Wendy Boomer quit, to return to her home town of Kingston, where she's now at http://www.krock1057.ca/bigkrisboomershow/
This morning, i listened to The Rock's new morning show -- and it'll probably be the last time i ever do. The new guys, Craig Venn & Mike Luck, are humourless and the music is just the same ole stuff they were playing the last time i listened.
So, my routine has become: http://www.kshe95.com/ first thing in the morning. A great classic rock station, they really do play a load of great music that i haven't heard in yonks, but as they're from St Louis, Missouri, they're no good for local news and weather. So i switch to http://www.krock1057.ca/ OK, Kingston is nearly 400 kilometres east of me, but it's closer than St Louis!
But, i write sadly, it's the end of an era. Bye, bye, The Rock. I have removed their app from my fondleslab (but added K-SHE's!)
And here's my recent playlist:
Ten Years After - Essential
Kansas - Song For America
Wishbone Ash -- Live At The Glasgow Apollo
Rival Sons -- Head Down
The Pasadena Roof Orchestra -- A Talking Picture
Quintessence - Dive Deep
Van der Graaf Generator - Vital