Free-form Classic Rock Radio Lives! WNEW & WPLJ return for two nights or Prisoners of 2nd Avenue @ Bowery Electric, April 1 – 2
If you grew up in the New York Metro area from the late ’60s all the way up until the late ’80s listening to what we pathetically now call “terrestrial radio,” then the following list will put a smile on your face:
Get The Led Out
On This Rock
If you weren’t into Top 40, jazz or disco, then you tuned in to WNEW-FM “Where Rock Lives” or WPLJ-FM for “New York’s Best Rock” to listen to the people who shaped the world of what we now call classic rock. Most people today don’t know who Scott Muni, Pete Fornatele, Jim Kerr, Pat St. John, Dave Herman, Jimmy Fink, Richard Neer, Dan Neer, Jim Monaghan, Carol Miller, Tony Pigg, Vin Scelsa, John Zacherle, Jonathan Schwartz and Allison Steele are (and in some cases were). But for those of us who lived and breathed by Scott Muni starting his show off every single day with a Beatles or John Lennon song, or who tuned in to PLJ every night in order to hear Carol Miller play a block of Zeppelin, it was all so simple.
The idea of rock and roll not just being the latest single, but being the sum of the whole album which the artists worked so hard to put out meant that we understood rock as an art form. And this meant that the creators of this music – as well as the “shepherds” of the radio waves – truly were ARTISTS. And this wasn’t unique to New York City. There was KLOS in L.A. and WRIF in Detroit amongst the many.
Today, all of this is gone. Ray Davies forecasted it in 1982 with Around The Dial. Nobody puts out an album with six to ten songs that comes in at less than 44 minutes. No longer can we savor the moment when we walk into the RECORD store to buy the latest releases and smell all all that vinyl. No child today (unless he’s hip enough to own a turntable and willing to overpay for an outdated source product) will ever know the feeling that Cameron Crowe perfectly recreated in the scene from Almost Famous when William pulls out his sister’s albums from under his bed and drops the needle onto The Who’s Tommy for the first time. And NOBODY will ever again hear the type of radio that made us all fall in love with the music to begin with. Because make no mistake about it: the channels on Sirius/XM satellite radio that play old rock and roll are formula driven. There is no spontaneity. There is no whim of the DJ. No matter whose show it is today, it has all been constrained within the realm of the number …