We’re All Responsible For Radio’s Downfall

101 CFMI in better days. Till about 89-90, it was a fun radio station to listen to, with on-air people with actual personality.  And: ‘Discumentary’, which actually educated you about music.

Coast’s first logo back in late 1990. For 3 short years, Vancouver radio was worth listening to again. Coast including radio vets JB Shayne & Long John Tanner and offered the kind of music programming that seems impossible to offer now. 

______-We’re All Responsible For Radio’s Downfall-______

If there’s one thing that I find completely futile, it’s people’s constant theory that big corporations and musically challenged hacks are the sole reason for radio’s downfall.

Yes, Vancouver radio is pretty much based on programming put together by a bunch of musically-challenged jackasses, with a very LIMITED SCOPE and REFERENCE POINT of where music comes from, from corporate America, forcing the dullest of the lot on our airwaves.

Music radio, at one time, was about appreciating , enjoying and learning about music, not feeding your own selfish ego, and satisfying only the corporate agenda.

All we add to this musical ‘tunnel vision’,  is to throw in the odd third rate Canadian artist to satisfy the CRTC’s ‘Canadian Content’ legislation. Yet another ego driven, musically ignorant entity. Legislated mediocrity.

But guess what? They’re not the only ones responsible for radio being the non-creative, musical wasteland it’s been since the mid 80’s.

The public is too. They’ve became lazy, and have left all the responsibility of finding new music on the dial, to the corporations,  a bunch of accountants, and dollar pinching cretins, whose passion for music is the equivalent of buying a pair of shoes.

A pathetic attitude like this is the sole reason radio has sucked for decades in Vancouver.

People seem to want to be spoon-fed a limited number of ditties, which the corporations then tie to crappy products that are not worth wasting money on.

The people that run the airwaves, don’t give a damn about you, Joe and Jill public. As a matter of fact, they’re laughing at you.

They revel in the fact they have you so easily hooked on the worse music and products available.

Do you really think EVERYBODY thinks a musically instrument is no longer relevant?

Do you really think all new music has to be CRAP?

There is good music out there. Or ,at least, music that doesn’t follow the same ‘cookie-cutter’ formula the regular radio stations pummel you with.

There has been ever since radio decided to erase practically all level of musical taste, and/or any semblance of creative, intelligent, meaningful or useful programming.

I am extremely disappointed at taking an overpriced radio course, ( the company that offered it is long gone, as is the head crook ), and having to participate in an era of radio that’s at an all time low.

—-I don’t find it inspiring, when all that matters is selling an inferior product.—-

Good music ,or music that offers something more satisfying, has long since been tossed on the scrapheap, and people just sit idly by, letting it happen.

Gadgets like the i-phones, smart-phones, i-pads, and whatever other inferior toys the big corporations can offer to distract the public, have blurred people’s judgement and musical taste to some extent.

I ,for one, have been very critical of the big stations and the industry in general, and have let them know about it for years.

The insipid QM-FM for instance. They PAY business to have their crappy station blaring in their establishments.

Don’t get me started on the painfully unimaginative, limited and dim view of new music presented by both The Beat & Sonic.  Absolute SLAVES to corporate American ‘cookie cutter crap’.

I still think the last time Vancouver had a new music radio station to brag about was in the early 90’s with Coast 800 and 1040.

Unlike any other radio station ,before or since, they supported the local music scene, and played a much wider variety from it.

Ever since Coast’s demise, regular radio station listeners have nowhere near the knowledge of what’s happening in the local music scene.

And yes, there still IS one.

Co-op radio is there ,but, they fail in not having the audience numbers needed ,for their local music shows, to be anywhere near effective as Coast was.

It’s difficult to say whether the swap with The Peak in early-September will change the situation for the better ,but, one can hope.

What made Coast all the most extraordinary, was the fact that it was the most musically savvy radio station, and it was on AM.

The FM stations had long since gone down the toilet since the mid 80’s, with one exception just before Coast: CFMI.

CFMI was Vancouver’s first “Adult Alternative Station’ in the 80’s.

It was a very entertaining station to listen to till about 89-90, when it stupidly switched to a more limited play-list with the ‘Classic Rock’ format.

I like older music as well. Just not the same limited number of tunes over and over again each day. A constant annoyance people seem so willing to swallow even decades later.

People have been gently brainwashed into thinking: “This is the way radio should be. This is the way music should sound. It’s been like this for decades, so it’s the way to do it.”

I beg to differ. I think more listeners should too. It’s time more people got on their radio stations and their sponsors and demanded better radio.

****The best music station on the planet! Bar None!**** A station where you can still learn something about music: new and old!

I think the fact Vancouver can’t have a radio station anywhere near what BBC 6 Music is, is a crime.

***Radio in Vancouver has gone over the same tired ground long enough to not think something like a 6 Music type station on the regular dial would work.***

The only way it wouldn’t work would be the fact that any self-respecting music fan goes on-line to hear music, as regular radio has been insipid for so long.

The Peak and The Shore seemed like a slight change from the regular, boring routine of Vancouver radio, but, compared with BBC 6, they’re not in the same league at all.

I know you have to worry about ‘Canadian Content’. That’s not the issue here.

The issue is offering music radio that excites the listener, and gives them much more choice than is usually offered on the regular dial in Vancouver.

And that choice is extremely narrow. It’s time it was widened. It’s time people realize they have just as much influence on radio as the corporations do.

Don’t be apathetic and don’t accept the inferior programming offered to you by  people who don’t care about music….or you.



~ by bandcouver on May 29, 2012.

5 Responses to “We’re All Responsible For Radio’s Downfall”

  1. Well put Mark, good on ya’. I miss Coast 800 and 1040 so, so much. I was told that Shore 104 was gonna’ be the next Coast Radio. You think they’ve lived up to that “campaign promise”??

    • I don’t think The Shore has lived up to their campaign promise to be the next Coast. They don’t play anywhere near the volume or variety of local/indie acts to start making such a claim. People who think the same of The Peak are fooling themselves. When I’m not hearing any of the more daring bands that Coast sired, I’m not sold. I have listened and have hear some things I’ve liked ,but, online stations like BBC’s 6 Music blow them away. They play fantastic music: New and old. They also still know who Inspiral Carpets, Public Image Limited, Buzzcocks, Curve, Lush, The Pogues and many other UK acts are. Acts who have been dumped by Vancouver radio ever since Coast’s demise. The problem with offering radio such as Coast is the listening public, as well as the corporate folk, who still listen to regular radio, seem so damned afraid of trying anything different, even though what has already been aired, has been aired to death, and they KNOW IT. I can’t see commercial radio in Vancouver airing such acts as say Howlin’ Wolf, Captain Beefheart, Francois Hardy, vintage Ska from the 60’s, Country music from the 50’s-the 70’s, Folk music by Sandy Denny, spoken word by the likes of Vivian Stanshall, movie soundtrack music,( as just a few examples ) in the regular playlist, if this childish and narrow-minded attitude persists. Co-op Radio can be helpful to a point ,but, what frustrates me about it is when they do get an opportunity to promote the station, the last thing they mention is the fact they have shows that support the local music scene, and the kind of ‘non-traditional’ music the commercial stations aren’t playing.

      • I agree with you re: the public. Don’t have an answer for the problem either. As for Shore, disappointing… I expected more for local talent than what’s being delivered, to be sure. Definitely not the next Coast. As for Co-op, does seem odd that they wouldn’t promote the local aspect heartily. Strikes me that if they did they might just steal some listeners away from faux-local stations… Keep on doing that thing you do to help promote real local talent Mark. xo g

  2. I am glad I worked at CFMI in the early to mid80’s when a lot of thought and effort went into the music programming (thanks Dale Buote…hope I spelled your name right). We knew playing “Classic Rock” would be a easy but also lazy way to program 101.

  3. Welcome aboard, Jim. I remember you well with Doc, Pam and Rosie back in the day. A funny and eclectic morning music show. I remember you calling the Edmonton Oilers “The Snotty Oilers and reveled in the fact Calgary knocked them out of the playoffs, and wiped the sappy smirk right off of coach Glen Sather’s face.” hahahaha I also remember Doc telling me how he got fired from CFMI, when a hot cup of coffee fell off the top of the mixing board, hit the on-air mic button, and fell right in his lap and he yelled “F**k,! Shit! Piss!”. hahahahaha CFMI was such a great station in its prime. Also love “Discumentray” with Dave McCormick, and the new music release show “Off The Wall” with Robert O. Smith. I still have The Yardbirds Discumentaryon cassette btw.

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