3 January 2006

A Treat For You By Merle Haggard

Unlike many of you reading this I remember rock 'n' roll radio. When I was a teenager some of the disc jockeys (the very term brings us back to a time when horse racing was king) in town still had control over their play lists. That ended when the top local rock station's crew had a strike broken in the early '70s.

So when punk rock happened in the mid-'70s no radio station would touch it with a 10 foot pogo stick. Most people my age never heard punk rock music until hockey rinks started playing the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop." This was frustrating to those of us who had grown up with rock 'n' roll radio because we knew bands like the Vibrators, DOA, and the UK Subs could rock it as good or better than Led Zeppelin. And we were sick and tired of hippy shit like the Beatles.

So late at night when we were not working we would stay up really late phoning all the radio stations in town and request they play a Stranglers song.

"What do you mean you have no Stranglers' records? How about if we bring a Strangler's record down there for you? Will you play it then?"

We would phone and harass every radio station in town one by one no matter what their robotic format was. They would not play a Stranglers song if we had loaded a pick up truck full of coke and emptied it in their lobby.

"Well if you don't have any Stranglers," we would say, "how about if you play Okie From Muskokee?" For some reason every station in town had a copy of the Merle Haggard classic.

The deejay would come on the air, tired from our constant phone calls and drunken pleas, and say something like, "Now we have a treat for you by Merle Haggard. This is dedicated to the Sliverville Stranglers who are out there drinking their faces off tonight. NOW STOP PHONING ME!!!!"

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