Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Slipping' On By On LSD

Dr. Johnny FeverWhen I was growing up in the early 70's, the pop stations would play custom versions of some songs where the radio station call letters were inserted into the lyrics. (This probably started much earlier than that - before my time.) One song that comes to mind is "Lake Shore Drive" by Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah.
And there ain't no road just like it
Anywhere I found
Running south on Lake Shore Drive
heading into town
Just slippin' on by on WLS,
Friday night trouble bound

When I switched to WDAI - the album rock station - I would hear rock artists doing the station ID. "This is Joe Walsh and you're listening to WDAI in Chicago." Even though we knew that Joe probably sat in a recording studio one day and recorded 200 of these, we thought it was pretty cool.

Yesterday, I was listening to the local "classic rock" station (motto: nothing recorded after 1982 is worth shit!) and heard a weird one.

"Hi, this is Pete Townsend ... this is Angus Young ... I'm Paul Rogers ... Steve Perry ... this is Ted Nugent, and you're listening to ... [insert call letters here].

It is painfully obvious that they couldn't even get any of these aging rockers to record a spot for their station. Instead, some lackey at the Program Consultant company spliced together a bunch of the 70's era recordings and tacked on the cheesy local jingle. It doesn't exactly make me feel like the station holds any sort of importance in the music business. They're just going through the motions.

Back in the day, the Chicago version of the Pointer Sisters' remake of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" replaced:

"I'm riding in your car, you turn on the radio."


"I'm riding in your car, you turn on WLS."
and back in my days in radio during the 80's, i was the production guy who spliced much of that crap together. we used to take portable tape units backstage during shows, for a quick interview and a station ID. i had three different tags written up on a file card that i could hand to the rocker and have him read back to me into the mic. most of the time they were too drunk or high to get it right the first (or second) time. :)

At least you recorded the artist for your own station. These new spots are close to plagiarism.

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