Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Revolution Rock: Tales Of A Late Night DJ & Show # 500

This week marked the 500th episode of Revolution Rock to air on CJAM FM’s airwaves in the Windsor/Detroit area. When I originally started the program back in June of 2004, I always wondered if I would make it to 500 episodes, well I suppose that now I have. When Revolution Rock started as a radio program back in 2004 CJAM was still located on 91.5 FM on the FM dial and the show focused specifically on 70s Punk and New Wave music. For approximately two years the show played that genre, rarely venturing outside of the world of the music created during that time period. At the time I created the program, CJAM had many “Punk” programs, but none of them for the most part really featured any music from the late 70s Punk scene specifically, whether in the UK or otherwise. The very first week that I was to be on the air, I recall going to CJAM FM located in the basement of the University of Windsor CAW Centre. I had been given the late night or graveyard shift from Midnight until 2 AM on Thursdays, a position I held for a few years. The very first time I was supposed to be on CJAM, I wasn’t able to get in the building. I told a bunch of my friends that I would be on the radio and they said they would be tuning in that night to hear my program, I was not aware at the time that University was locked on some occasions during late night hours. The next day at the University, some friends told me they heard my radio show, but “didn’t hear much talking from me”. Since I wasn’t there to do my program a CD was put on repeat for the night. It was rather fitting to know that being a radio DJ could be done by a CD player on repeat, but that was a rather short sighted point of view at the time, something that would change with time. This was also before the world of mp3/music playlists could be fully utilized by computers.

The following week I was able to get into the building and actually be on the air. I was extremely nervous to be on the radio live for the first time and when I walked into the studio, some friends of mine from the University's Communication Studies program were hosting their show. One of my colleagues was shirtless and for some reason sweaty and perhaps there were also some outside influences were at play that night. When I asked my colleague why he wasn’t wearing a shirt his reply was “It makes me perform better”. This was my first real introduction to the world of campus/community radio.

During the late night hours at CJAM FM, I explored the 70s Punk and New Wave genres, the music that influenced those genres in great detail and sometimes newer music. But at the time I was still a bit influenced by the mainstream media and way of thinking. Each week on Thursday night or Friday morning for that matter, I delved deeper into this world and in combination with my education at the University's Communication Studies program and the CJAM FM community, I began to think differently. I also learned a few valuable things from my experiences. On Thursday nights, the University had “Pub Night” and often confused drunk University students would wander into the lobby of CJAM FM, not located too far away from the bathrooms and the University Pub. They would at times yell out loud both profane and incoherent thoughts while I was talking on air during my program. This is where I learned, lock the door to CJAM when you are programming late at night. You never know who might wander in.

Then there were the late night callers. They would not be unlike the drunken University student wandering in from the Pub, sometimes starting phone calls either as prank calls where no one got the joke, or just to comment on the fact that they really hated what they were hearing. I recall one very specific instance when a caller phoned in, picking up the phone the anonymous caller on the other end said “Why aren’t you playing Techno music?” When I explained that my program focused on 70s Punk Rock they replied with “This makes me want to smash my head against a brick wall. It sucks!” then promptly hung up. As cruel as that sounds, there were also loyal callers that called in to make requests that were sometimes very obscure or just to tell me they liked what they were hearing in general. Some of those loyal listeners followed me when Revolution Rock switched time slots, which it did twice. For another few years, Revolution Rock aired Wednesday nights from 9-10:30 PM, I was followed by the Electronic program The Rhythm Gallery. It was also around this time in 2006, that I created this blog. It was created as a place to profile bands that were featured on the program and as a way to share my program online with a wider, more international audience.

In September of 2008, Revolution Rock moved to its current time slot Tuesday mornings from 10:30 AM – 12 PM. Since those early days in 2004, the program has evolved greatly in terms of content. Revolution Rock grew to incorporate Garage Rock, Surf, Alternative, Indie and many other related sub-genres into the shows format, but still keeping true to the 70s Punk and New Wave attitude and ethos that the genre helped to create. With the 500th, episode of Revolution Rock now over with I can’t help but think back to my first program in June of 2004. My sweaty shirtless friend introduced me to a world that I had not yet been exposed to. The shirt has now been taken off so to speak and I am no longer trapped between the confines of the mainstream way of thinking and the beginnings of my University education. In essence, I now perform better as a programmer with my metaphorical shirt off. I mean after almost ten years and 500 episodes, you would have to be right?

(NOTE: Revolution Rock switched time slots on May 24th, 2014. It can now be heard Saturday's from 7-9 PM on CJAM 99.1 FM)

The Play List:

1. Sun Stone Revolvers - Elmore's Surf
2. Action Makes - Nothing For Money
3. Simply Saucer - Get My Thrills
4. 63 Monroe - Twist My Wrist
5. The Victims - Open Your Eyes
6. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - The Glow
7. Holy Wave - How Do You Feel?
8. Them - You Just Can’t Win
9. Thee Oh Sees - Wait Let’s Go
10. Link Wray - Raunchy
11. Paul Jacobs - I Got It
12. No Fun - I Ain’t Got No Face
13. Carbonas - Hate You
14. Pointed Sticks - I’m Numb
15. The Scabs - Don’t Just Sit There
16. Ruefrex - Cross The Line
17. Slow - Have No Been The Same
18. The Replacements - Left Of The Dial
19. The Kinks - Powerman
20. Guided By Voices - A Good Flying Bird
21. The Clash - Deny
22. Ty Segall - Femme Fatale (Velvet Underground Cover)
23. The Black Lips - My Struggle
24. The Velvet Underground - Beginning To See The Light (Early Version)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for March 18. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.


whatwave dave said...

Congrats on 500 shows and 10 years!! It takes a lot of work and dedication to make it for a decade!!

Dave said...

Thanks Dave!!

Cowboys And Indies Radio Program said...

Congrats on 10 years and 500+ shows!

Dave said...

Thanks Marc!