- I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org). As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton. I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times. I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me? My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored. Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO Fun Facts
Yeah, we're pretty jazzed that This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl will hit show # 850 this coming Sunday, December 4th. It'll be a fitting tribute to whatever the hell it is that Dana and I do--a Shindig!, Hullabaloo, Bandstand, and Where The Action Is!, too--and it streams live this Sunday from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org
With TIRnRR # 850 now looming large in our legend, here's a passel o' fun facts about how we got here:
FIRST EPISODE: TIRnRR # 1 aired on WXXE-FM Fenner/Syracuse on December 27th, 1998. We have been in that same Sunday night 9 to Midnight slot ever since (though we've missed a few of 'em along the way).
FIRST SONG WE EVER PLAYED: "I Won't Let You Let Me Go" by The Poptarts.
SECOND SONG: "Daydream Believer" by Shonen Knife.
THIRD SONG: "Regional Girl" by The Monkees. Now, let's move on from that first show....
ALL-TIME MOST-PLAYED ACT: The Beatles, by far.
ALL-TIME MOST-PLAYED SONG: "September Gurls" by Big Star, which just this year edged past our perennial # 1, "Why" by The Stallions.
MOST FREQUENT FEATURED ACT: The Monkees, hands down. The Monkees have been a TIRnRR Featured Act eight times, and that's not counting the times we featured Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, or Peter Tork. I guess we owe Micky Dolenz a turn. The Flashcubes are second with 6 times, and John Lennon is third with 5 times, then Paul McCartney with 4. The Beatles, The Dave Clark Five, George Harrison, The Kinks, and KISS have each been featured three times. The Kinks remain the only act to ever take over an entire TIRnRR, and they've done so twice. We have devoted entire shows to The Beatles, The Flashcubes, and The Monkees, but each of those shows also included relevant tracks by other artists.
THEME SHOWS: We're Your Friends For Now, the 1992 predecessor of TIRnRR, used to specialize in theme shows, but TIRnRR has also done a number of theme shows, too. Without checking the archives, my memory tells me we did TIRnRR theme shows centered on covers, tribute albums, Nuggets and '60s garage punk psychedelia, Ken Sharp's power pop books Play On!, B-sides, 1965, rock 'n' roll soundtrack music, live recordings, Virtual Ticket Stub Gallery (acts that Dana or I saw live), female singers, comic books, the music of Syracuse and Central New York, and a series of decade-specific theme shows celebrating the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, and the '00s. In addition, Dana's Funky Soul Pit and the Christmas show are annual traditions on TIRnRR. And Dana has a terrific idea for a new theme show, which we'll try to execute in early 2017.
FIRST WEBCAST SONG: "Sound Of The Radio" by Screen Test.
LAST SONG PLAYED ON THE OLD SYRACUSE COMMUNITY RADIO WEBCAST: I can't tell you what it was, but believe me: it was rude and angry.
FIRST SONG PLAYED ON WESTCOTT RADIO: "Saying Goodbye" by The Muffs, dedicated to Syracuse Community Radio. Our split from SCR in 2007 was not amicable, and I was pissed. We later kissed and made up, and became friends with benefits--appropriate, because they certainly screwed us. We repaid the favor by quietly taking over the outfit. "They" have become "We," and we have no intention of ever again kicking ourselves to the curb.
THE SHOWS THAT DIDN'T COUNT: Sure, Sunday is TIRnRR # 850, but we've also done a bunch of shows that don't figure into that number. The first such show was our sixth-month anniversary celebration, which we counted separately (purely for accounting purposes). Dana occasionally does a solo show in between our Christmas and Countdown shows; since those aren't included in the year-end tally, we call 'em The Many Moods Of Dana Bonn and consider them separate from TIRnRR. Similarly, I did one solo show called CC's Time Machine, and Dana co-hosted The Night Before Boxing Day with my daughter Meghan one year; neither of those count as an episode of TIRnRR, either. Finally, our live webcast with John Wicks and Paul Collins was a special edition, and not one of the 849 TIRnRRs to date.
GUEST HOSTS: Our Who Needs Dana & Carl? Guest Host promotion, wherein generous folks who donate at least $100 to Spark Syracuse earn the opportunity to program the music for an episode of TIRnRR, has been an enormous success. Our very first Guest Host preferred to remain anonymous, and we've had a number of other friends and listeners serve as able Guest Hosts since then.
THE SHOW'S ORIGINAL TITLE: As we were on our way to the studio for that first show on 12/27/98, the show was to be called The Kids Are Alright, and had been announced as such by Eric Strattman, whose own show Unsupervised, I Hit My Head preceded ours. Our intended theme song was a cover of The Who's titular power pop classic, performed by The Pleasers. BUT! I only had that song on a 45, and Dana informed me en route that the studio's turntable wasn't functional. So, a sudden switch to a Ramones CD for our theme song, and This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio was born.
NOTABLE REASONS FOR CANCELLING SHOWS: Technical issues are a frequent hobgoblin for the delicate little flower that is Westcott Radio; these have included frazzled razzafrazzin' equipment at the studio, and webcast cooties downtown. Inclement weather--it snows a little bit in Syracuse, every once in a while--have forced us to forego the show only a handful of times. We took one Sunday night off in 2012 to go see The Monkees; we regret nothing. When one of us is ill or has a scheduling conflict, the other one usually does the show solo; Dana's done more solo shows than I have, but I've done my share, too. But the most notable cause for killing a week's scheduled show was one Sunday night in...2005, I think? Another car slammed into us at an intersection on Westcott Street, and kept right on going. The miscreant driver didn't stop to leave his card, but he did leave his license plate laying in the street; we were happy to turn that plate over to a nice police officer, secure in the knowledge it could be reunited with its rightful owner.
TIRnRR CDs: We did three of them! The first two were released by JAM Recordings, while Kool Kat Musik took over for Volume 3. They remain among our proudest achievements in doing this little mutant radio show. Will there ever be a Volume 4? Keep watching the skies. And keep listening to these guys: this is what rock 'n' roll radio sounds like on Sunday nights in Syracuse each week.
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