Chapter Three: Things Change

Chapter Three: Things Change

Postby Tom Jeffries » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:31 pm

I was kind of dreading sitting in front of the IMac and writing any of this.

What it is, quite frankly comes on a bit like an obituary, and I am not happy about it.

The first rule of life – things change.

Radio for me at least, has changed.

Music has changed.

The shift is in, and now, I am of the ‘older generation’, and I find myself trying not being judgmental.

Then I am sitting writing my judgment call and swansong to something that was over 40 years of my life and holds many lovely and some not so lovely, life experiences. I don’t like calling them memories too much.

We have life experiences. Bruce Allen introduced me to BTO, in Ottawa in 1975. To him it was another deejay and an idiot at that – but for him it was the same thing – but a different, life experience. You catch my meaning.

Randy Bachman was a prankster and the band was kind of sick of deejays and schmendricks like us radio clowns and so they had buttons made up called ‘flugen’. WELL> us jocks were in on the joke but we all wanted one of the pins. Bruce and I have known each other for all these years and I bet he won’t remember – but I sure did.

I sure remember the first night I ever heard “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

Heck, once I sat and had a beer with Wolfman Jack.

I met Boston, when their song was so hot it was on fire and they were just nice guys. (*God*Bless Brad Delp – their lead singer was very kind, and we lost him a few years ago).

I introduced Fleetwood Mac to 85,000 people.

I was lucky enough to play “The Rolling Stones”, “The Spoonful”, “”Cream”, “Zep”, “Janis”, “The Kinks” – and I didn’t even got to Marvin Gaye, yet.

I have noticed a trend. The new Music is dross, compared to the work of the above. I watch the bands on Lettermen, like -’The Kings of Leon”- and I challenge anyone to hum the song the guy just sang. The music is all the same. If you want to get noticed, you have to get naked and swing a Wrecking ball, like that wee tweaker. It isn’t artistry; it’s SELFIE era time.

Absorbed people walking the streets with their head in their Iphone, texting – instead of talking with someone as you stroll - Eye contact, everything, it’s NOT the same. It’s all changed. The Internet. That’s what started this tumult. I was early adopter. I have all the toys, and I love being connected – but – you have to balance that with talking to and LOVING humans. That just seems obvious.

I was shocked reading an article recently, about the percentage of Sociopathic people there are among us. It’s just about double digits. Truly:

just about one in ten people, you know, has no conscience, no empathy, nothing, and think they are God.

Now add technology. The big Companies and the Government know a LOT about you. Do you use a Safeway card? Do you use a Credit Card? (or worse)-stupidly talk to those boiler room callers from India? Walk on street? Take a cab?

It’s all being saved and stored. I got iris scanned leaving the States and they took all foreigners prints. Times have, here it is again, changed.

The lack of privacy, and some of the other issues of the day make Radio seem, well, old fashioned. ‘This stat will give programmers of New music stations the willies…- 40% of music sold is ‘out of catalog’. In other words – older, well, beats the new crap with a stick.

That being said – making your memories – and how you do them NOW is a lot more complex.

I remember songs from wee radios – I had a six transistor! “Oh man, you have an eight?” Now? You have Beat headphones, or Bose Killers, can buy any song, or steal it 24//7 = and TV shows come and go so fast, a modest hit looks like ‘Gone with the Wind.’

The days of having radio stars are over. NO one cares. Give me the traffic and a song with a modicum of harmony and the news of the day – but do it fast though – because I have the attention span of a gnat. Look at the choices we have! I have 7 computer devices, including our I phones. I have 4000 songs in thrilling stereo on my various boxes and pads. I don’t have to hear a woman try and pronounce Vancouver properly. I don’t care.

It is ridiculous – how fast Radio lost its pot of gold status. I worked with sales folks that had to be magicians with the ratings numbers, to sell anything. Now? There are nice cume numbers, but the dial hop means the commercial folks (a sector that is getting massacred in the Newspaper and TV collapse) are feeling the pinch and so they are picky and now, really hard to please. I have always admired sales people (*if ethical, of course).

It is an art few master.

That being said – sales now is a whole new ball game and you aren’t using Power point anymore. That gets back to my ‘change mantra’, and why I am comfortable that I was an Industry that has changed. I still hurt deeply when I realize, for all intents and purposes it ceased to be relevant, and so, faces the end the end of it’s run, the way I knew it. That’s important. It’s how an insider feels, as your platform is removed and you see it change. I hope that current radio folks are having some fun. This is and never was a generational griping match. I accept the change.

I leaned the ‘art’, and an art it is. The art of broadcasting, I learned by doing it. I didn’t take a class at BCIT or get a diploma. I was and always have been a ‘learn by use method’. I learned to semi play the drums, by driving my parents mad, and watching Ringo Star and a few others. It is the same with me in anything in life. I am so stupid; I have to have stuff shoved in my face, before I get the message.

Alcoholism. It is right there in your hand, and you LIE like a son of a bitch, that there isn’t a thing wrong. It is the same with life lessons for me.

Like my recent experience with the brilliant doctors at St. Paul’s – a combo of medication that I took blindly from my Doctor, no questions asked (more on that later) and NOT drinking enough water, had me have to face a battery of tests and other fun stuff and stress and heartache for my dear wife, and I was so freaked, I just sat and did what I was told. I learned the life lesson of staying rested and hydrated, but I had to wind up in Hospital to find out that I have never taken on enough water and was taking a prescribed medication, that was causing havoc and worse, it was totally needless. The Specialist told me to throw the ‘garbage’ away. I trusted my Doctor for twenty years. I can’t say anymore, because lawyers love this stuff – but let me tell you – as alluded to above – I need it crammed in my ear, or I just don’t get it. I hope it comes easier for you.


You have to be your own health advocate. Ask questions. Don’t take a damn thing, until you know what the hell it does and what are the expected side effects.

Watch CNN and the ads for the meds they push on the suckers. Then listen to the side effects.

I am still waiting for some guy to intone – ‘if you grow a new arm, call your Doctor immediately’.
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Re: Chapter Three: Things Change

Postby tuned » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:22 pm

Meh Tom it's not so bad. Do you have any kids? I've got three of 'em. They are the future and from where I sit it looks pretty damn good. All those sociopaths you're talking about? They're not kids. They are from a generation not too far removed from the one we're part of. There are some exciting things happening in "radio" online. Great radio. I loved the "old days" but try to embrace today with the same enthusiasm and you'll find lots to like.
Music? You telling me that Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods was good stuff? Sweet Love Bandit by the Stampeders? How many times did you spin that turkey? Speaking of turkey. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays to you and yours. Look after yourself. Eat right and get some exercise. Forget the pills...or the booze. Still have a turntable? Records are coming back...spin some old favorites.
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Re: Chapter Three: Things Change

Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:48 am

A lot of what you say Tom is true but the next generation is doing fine.

Often as adults when something goes wrong - vandalism, crime etc. we say "darn kids"

I have been attending court lately and see that for every bad kid (few) there is a bad adult.

The percent of people in our court system is less than 1% - the rest both adult and child living productive lives.

As our society changes and population grows we will see more "one offs" - a guy eating a victim on a bus, a coquitlam pig farmer who liked
girls of the night, random acts of stupidity etc.

I too think radio, newspapers even TV is dead or dieing but many continue with habits learned a long time ago. If some youth like the music stations
(rip John) so be it...but that is no reason for me to do that when I can opine on my blog or on a message board or hustle about in my world.

I will be 70 before I know it so there is at least 3 generations behind me that will carve out their lives and fun stuff.

I am not dead..just different and the days of Pat Burns, Jack Webster, Warren Barker, Frosty, B. Hennessey and Monty are gone for me. Maybe a good thing too.

:merryx: Fred
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Jack Bennest
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Re: Chapter Three: Things Change

Postby Tom Jeffries » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:31 pm

Points taken.

I just believe the whole way of thinking of the verbal platform has changed.

I like competition.

There are many talented broadcasters....that also learned a lot of great skills, while working at radio stations. This can help, if change comes to YOUR door.
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