Edge 102 ~ CFNY
This past weekend, CFNY / Edge 102 aired what they deem to be the top 200 songs from the 1990s.
They did the same thing last year. This year's top 200 is below.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Under The Bridge
- Nirvana · All Apologies
- House of Pain · Jump Around
- Nirvana · Smells Like Teen Spirit!
- The Tragically Hip · New Orleans is Sinking
- Pearl Jam · Jeremy
- Oasis · Wonderwall
- Nirvana · Come As You Are
- Radiohead · Creep
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Give it Away
- Our Lady Peace · Is Anybody Home?
- Nirvana · In Bloom
- Beastie Boys · Sabotage
- Green Day · Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)
- Cypress Hill · Insane in the Brain/Loco En El Coco
- Nine Inch Nails · Closer
- Nirvana · Dumb
- The Smashing Pumpkins · 1979
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Californication
- Stone Temple Pilots · Plush
- Oasis · Champagne Supernova
- Tool · Sober
- The Tragically Hip · At the Hundredth Meridian
- Nirvana · Heart-Shaped Box
- Pearl Jam · Alive
- The Offspring · Self-Esteem
- Our Lady Peace · Naveed
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Bullet With Butterfly Wings
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Scar Tissue
- The Tragically Hip · Ahead by a Century
- Pearl Jam · Better Man
- Beastie Boys · Intergalactic
- Nirvana · Lithium
- Soundgarden · Black Hole Sun
- Radiohead · Karma Police
- Beck · Loser
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Soul to Squeeze
- Weezer · Say it Ain't So
- Oasis · Don't Look Back in Anger
- Our Lady Peace · Superman's Dead
- Nirvana · The Man Who Sold the World
- Rage Against the Machine · Killing In The Name
- The Tragically Hip · Bobcaygeon
- Blur · Song 2
- Green Day · When I Come Around
- Stone Temple Pilots · Interstate Love Song
- Metallica · The Unforgiven
- Nirvana · Rape Me
- Finger Eleven · Above
- The Chemical Brothers · Block Rockin' Beats
- Blind Melon · No Rain
- Stone Temple Pilots · Creep
- Nirvana · Polly
- The Tragically Hip · Poets
- Oasis · (Whats the Story) Morning Glory?
- Big Wreck · That Song
- Rage Against the Machine · Testify
- The Matthew Good Band · Hello Time Bomb
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Today
- Tool · Stinkfist
- Green Day · Brain Stew
- Pearl Jam · Black
- The Tragically Hip · Courage
- Weezer · Buddy Holly
- Our Lady Peace · Clumsy
- Nirvana · On A Plain
- Sloan · The Good in Everyone
- Metallica · Nothing Else Matters
- The Tragically Hip · Fifty Mission Cap
- Rage Against the Machine · Guerilla Radio
- Our Lady Peace · One Man Army
- Pearl Jam · Even Flow
- The Tragically Hip · Little Bones
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Disarm
- Sloan · Everything You've Done Wrong
- The Verve · Bittersweet Symphony
- Green Day · Basket Case
- The Matthew Good Band · Apparitions
- Sublime · Santeria
- Bush · Machinehead
- The Tragically Hip · Locked In the Trunk of a Car
- Green Day · She
- Stone Temple Pilots · Big Empty
- Treble Charger · Red
- Pearl Jam · Daughter
- Our Lady Peace · Starseed
- Alice in Chains · Man in the Box
- R.E.M. · Losing My Religion
- The Offspring · Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)
- Foo Fighters · Learn to Fly
- Stone Temple Pilots · Vasoline
- Radiohead · High and Dry
- Big Wreck · The Oaf (My Luck is Wasted)
- Foo Fighters · My Hero
- I Mother Earth · Used to Be Alright
- Soundgarden · Spoonman
- Tool · Forty Six & Two
- The Tragically Hip · Looking for a Place to Happen
- Sublime · What I Got
- Rage Against the Machine · Bulls on Parade
- Sloan · Money City Maniacs
- Pearl Jam · Yellow Ledbetter
- Econoline Crush · All that You Are
- Bush · Comedown
- Temple of the Dog · Hunger Strike
- Sloan · Coax Me
- The Offspring · Gotta Get Away
- Metallica · Until it Sleeps
- The Matthew Good Band · Load Me Up
- U2 · Mysterious Ways
- Nine Inch Nails · Hurt
- The Tragically Hip · Fully Completely
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Cherub Rock
- Metallica · Enter Sandman
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Suck My Kiss
- Green Day · Hitchin' A Ride
- The Matthew Good Band · Indestructible
- Soundgarden · Fell on Black Days
- The Offspring · The Kids Aren't Alright
- Big Wreck · Blown Wide Open
- Foo Fighters · Monkey Wrench
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Thirty-Three
- Sloan · Losing California
- Green Day · Longview
- I Mother Earth · One More Astronaut
- Depeche Mode · Enjoy the Silence
- The Tragically Hip · Twist My Arm
- No Doubt · Just a Girl
- Sloan · Underwhelmed
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Around the World
- Econoline Crush · You Don't Know What It's Like
- Foo Fighters · Everlong
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Zero
- Odds · Heterosexual Man
- The Matthew Good Band · Everything is Automatic
- Alice in Chains · Rooster
- Bush · Glycerine
- Econoline Crush · Sparkle and Shine
- Pearl Jam · Last Kiss
- Odds · It Falls Apart
- Rage Against the Machine · Sleep Now in the Fire
- The Tragically Hip · 700 ft. Ceiling
- The Smashing Pumpkins · Tonight Tonight
- Odds · Eat My Brain
- Soundgarden · Burden In My Hand
- The Tea Party · Temptation
- The Offspring · Gone Away
- The Tragically Hip · Fireworks
- Foo Fighters · Big Me
- The Matthew Good Band · Strange Days
- The Chemical Brothers · Let Forever Be
- 54.40 · Ocean Pearl
- Silverchair · Tomorrow
- The Tragically Hip · Nautical Disaster
- Pearl Jam · Dissident
- Big Sugar · Diggin' a Hole
- Stone Temple Pilots · Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart
- Moist · Silver
- Hole · Doll Parts
- Big Sugar · Turn the Lights On
- Weezer · Undone (The Sweater Song)
- The Tragically Hip · So Hard Done By
- Sublime · Smoke Two Joints
- 54.40 · Love You All
- Depeche Mode · Personal Jesus
- The Tragically Hip · Wheat Kings
- Radiohead · Just
- The Age of Electric · Remote Control
- Stone Temple Pilots · Sex Type Thing
- Nirvana · Breed
- Nickelback · Leader of Men
- 54.40 · Nice to Luv You
- Soundgarden · Outshined
- Alice in Chains · No Excuses
- I Mother Earth · So Gently We Go
- Red Hot Chili Peppers · Breaking the Girl
- The Tea Party · The Messenger
- Filter · Hey Man Nice Shot
- Nickelback · Old Enough
- Alice in Chains · Heaven Beside You
- Killjoys · Today I Hate Everyone
- Green Day · Welcome to Paradise
- The Tragically Hip · Gift Shop
- Alice in Chains · Would?
- Nickelback · Breathe
- Tool · Prison Sex
- Sloan · People of the Sky
- Stone Temple Pilots · Big Bang Baby
- Moist · Push
- Jane's Addiction · Been Caught Stealing
- Sloan · All Used Up
- Fatboy Slim · Praise You
- I Mother Earth · Not Quite Sonic
- Nine Inch Nails · Down in It
- Pure · Anna is a Speed Freak
- Weezer · El Scorcho
- Bif Naked · Spaceman
- Stone Temple Pilots · Lady Picture Show
- Edwin · Trippin'
- Sublime · Wrong Way
Ryan B. wrote me the following email on the subject of CFNY / Edge 102 and their Top 200 Songs Of The 90's.
I've been reading your blog on and off over the years, especially as a source of news about CFNY. After turning on the radio this weekend and hearing "Inane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill come in as #16 on the top 200 songs of the 90's, when I don't ever recall hearing it on CFNY back then, I had to check for the final list and see how offended I'd be :) I'll confess that I'm shocked that Smells Like Teen Spirit was not #1 but was in fact #4 behind RHCP's Under the Bridge, Nirvana's All Apologies (If anything, I would have guessed Come As You Are), and, wait, I'm sorry, does this say "House of Pain - Jump Around" at number 3?
Anyway, if you're interested, I put together a spreadsheet comparing this list to the "Top 1002 of All Time" posted at The Spirit of Radio - http://www.spiritofradio.ca/Top1002.asp. 41 songs were on this weekend's list that didn't appear back in 1999, including #3 Jump Around. A couple of them were borderline, as the album may have come out in late 1999, but the single wasn't officially released until 2000. Then there's #191, All Used Up by Sloan, which came out in umm, 2005? I'm not even sure why I try or care. It's just one of the 12 presets I hop between when driving. Anyways, if you're interested, feel free to use the data for a post on your blog, otherwise, you can just shake your head like I am.
Thanks for the blog,
It really was a meteoric rise for House of Pain's "Jump Around", which was 90th one year ago, and now sits at #3. And yes, it's a song CFNY wouldn't touch when it was released.
Things certainly are different over there...
It's been a week since Jason Barr was let go from Edge 102. Jason was 1/3 of The Dean Blundell Show, a very popular Toronto morning radio show, especially amongst teens and those in their 20s.
This trio has been together since they took over for Humble and Fred on 102.1 back in 2001. Humble and Fred, you may recall, left for Mojo 640 and their "Talk Radio for Guys" format. Before The Dean Blundell Show, Jason Barr was Danger Boy on Humble and Fred, a part of that show since the mid 90s. That's a long time he was on Edge 102 in the mornings.
It's been a week since he was fired, and I'm surprised at the complete lack of coverage. I haven't found a word about it in the MSM. It's on a few message boards and blogs, but surprisingly few. It's possible nobody knows about it, but isn't the MSM supposed to break such news to the masses? Hell, I had the story a week ago. Is it deemed such an insignificant event it's completely unworthy of coverage?
My entry about Jason being fired is getting some traffic from people Googling for more information, but not a heck of a lot. Perhaps the average CFNY listener won't have a clue things are different until after Labour Day.
Here's the results from Google when you search for Jason Barr Fired. The highlighted results are from me, whether I'm hosting them or not.
Edge 102 (or CFNY if you're an old guy like me) has removed all traces of Jason Barr from their website.
Also, The Dean Blundell Show is now being promoted as a duo: Dean Blundell and Todd Shapiro. Jason Barr isn't part of the team, despite being a holdover from the Humble and Fred show (Danger Boy, anyone?) and a founding member of DBS on Edge 102.
I liked Jason, not just because he was a holdover from my Humble and Fred Show, but because he hooked me up with CASBY and Edgefest tickets.
I honestly don't know if he was fired, but it wouldn't surprise me. You can visit my Edge 102 ~ CFNY category page to relive the rapid decline of this once stellar station.
Jason, I hope you've landed on your feet. Let us know how you're doing when you get a chance. An uninterrupted decade doing mornings in Toronto is no small feat.
Update: I've confirmed it with a credible source. Jason Barr was indeed let go by Corus earlier today.
Yesterday, in my entry about the one year anniversary of Martin Streek's passing, I shared all five hours of David Marsden's tribute to Martin. In the comments of that entry, someone asked if I had the three hours of Edge 102's tribute to Martin that aired on July 19, 2009.
I did have those MP3s, and now I'm pleased to share them with you.
Here's the entry I wrote immediately after listening to this tribute on CFNY / The Edge 102.1.
One year ago today, I wrote the toughest entry I've ever had to write. It was about Martin Streek.
I'm not sure how to write this one, so I'm just going to tell you what I know.
As a long time fan of CFNY / Edge 102, I was sad to learn recently that Martin Streek had been fired after over 20 years of service. As of this writing, that entry had 88 comments from others who wanted to wish Martin well. Soon enough, Martin Streek himself chimed in to say thanks.
Thank to those of you who made comments, both good and bad...either way, it's proof that you listened and/or cared about the scene I/we were part of...
Earlier today, Martin Streek updated his Facebook status message with words that sound so ominous now. This, it turns out, is Martin's farewell to the world.
So...I guess that's it...thanks everyone...I'm sorry to those I should be sorry to, I love you to those that I love, and I will see you all again soon (not too soon though)... Let the stories begin.
My entry about Martin Streek leaving CFNY / Edge102 is #1 when you Google his name, and Steve did just that an hour ago.
I just heard that Martin has passed away... very sad to hear.... (I was a cfny staffer back in the 80s and just heard this from Earl J.)
At first, I thought it was a cruel joke. Martin Streek seemed so vibrant, so full of life. But after chatting with Steve, and seeing the Facebook status message, I'm afraid it's true.
Martin Streek has taken his own life.
Martin's death hit me hard. I know I wasn't alone, because I heard from hundreds and hundreds of Martin's friends and fans over the weeks that followed. This black cloud eventually took the form of an entry I wrote entitled "Thoughts on 102.1 Tribute to Martin Streek, Shitty Facts, Closure Sought."
As insinuated in this excellent Globe and Mail piece by Bert Archer (in which I'm quoted), Martin's death also acted as a tragic final nail in the coffin of what was "the spirit of radio". CFNY / Edge 102 was my go-to station for as long as I can remember, but I hardly listened this past year. Martin epitomized passion for music, was a rare link to the David Marsden era, and literally had the spirit of radio logo tattooed on his ass. When he was let go six weeks prior to his suicide, it marked more than the loss of an energetic, knowledgeable and beloved local deejay. It marked the end of an era.
I've put all my Martin Streek entries in a new Martin Streek Remembered category, so if you want to read more I've made it easy for you. At the end of this entry, I'm posting all five hours of David Marsden's excellent tribute to Martin that aired on 94.9 The Rock out of Oshawa.
We lost Martin one year ago today, but we'll never forget him. His spirit lives on.
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 1
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 2
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 3
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 4
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 5
You know that dead horse we like to beat over here? No, not that one, the other one. Yeah, I'm talking about CFNY a.k.a. Edge 102.
I just got this message from Brendan:
Brendan here - I just emailed Loriann from 102.1 The Edge to confirm but the edge has added KROQ's Loveline with Dr. Drew to their weekly line up Sunday to Thursday at 10 pm - 12 am. The big deal I had is that this removes The Spirit of the Edge (retro show) from the Sunday Night line-up. She did confirm that they will still do the show from the Velvet Underground on Long Weekends with DJ Hannah spinning retro. But no more weekly studio show featuring retro and classic alternative. Looks like they are one step closer to becoming their dream KROQ rip-off station.
It's far from surprising that Edge 102 would cancel their The Spirit of the Edge program to replace it with KROQ's Loveline with Dr. Drew. They cancelled Punkorama earlier this year, lost The Strombo Show to CBC Radio 2, and... aw heck, if you want to read the real-time account of the demise of this once great station, it's recorded in reverse chronological order right here.
Farewell, The Spirit of the Edge retro show. Hello Dr. Drew Pinsky.
I've listened to less CFNY this past year than I have in any 12 month period since becoming a teenager. I'll tune in periodically in my car for the tunes, but it's no longer my go-to station. I haven't felt comfortable listening to Edge 102 since they fired Martin Streek and Barry Taylor.
I honestly don't know how Fearless Fred got this gig. Without a hint of bias, I sincerely think he's horrible. He aims for the slacker persona, pretending not to care about much, and it's not informative nor entertaining. What gets me is they fired a guy who played that same card. Fearless Fred is Barry Taylor, only Barry was a great deal funnier.
This is when I'm convinced I really don't know shit about radio or being a program director. You see, I'd have kept Barry Taylor. Of course, I'd have also kept Martin Streek, a guy who clearly knew his music and loved talking about it. Then again, I wouldn't have turned a once legendary station into top 40 with grunge.
I'm not one of those old guys who hearkens for the CFNY of the 80s when David Marsden was calling the shots. I'm not greedy. I'd be very happy with the CFNY of the 90s that played The Clash, REM, The Pixies, and The Smiths alongside their Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana. I just don't need to hear "1979" and "Black" every single day.
Now we're stuck with a station almost completely void of personality. I can't stand the morning show, I can't stand the afternoon drive show and I can't stand the program director.
I clearly don't know shit.
Dani Stover is no longer producer of the Dean Blundell Show on 102.1 The Edge. She's still on the air, however, on The Wolf 101.5 in Peterborough, another Corus owned station.
You're likely familiar with The Wolf 101.5's program director. He's a fellow we call Freddie P from the Humble and Fred show who blogs at Canadian Thinker. Just last year, he wrote about Dani's courage. Dani spoke openly and eloquently about her battles with depression. Here's a bit of what Dani had to say.
The reason I feel the need to be open about this condition is because, with clinical depression comes a lot of stigma. And there's no need for it. One in five people suffer from some sort of depression. And I'm not talking about occasional sadness or periods of feeling distressed or miserable. I'm talking about feeling day-to-day sadness, anxiety, pessimism and helplessness.
I'm glad Dani wrote about her condition. She wanted to "reduce the stigma behind depression" and I'm all for that. Clinical depression is not a defect, it's an illness, and deserves the same sympathy and support that we give those with other diseases.
In her Wolf bio she states that she always "wanted to be a radio star". That journey has now taken her to Peterborough where I'll be rooting for her.
I remember listening to Punkorama on Edge 102.1 back in the day when it was hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. The hard aggressive sounds of Punkorama will no longer be heard each Tuesday night on CFNY as the last episode of Punkorama aired two nights ago.
Here's the playlist from the last show.
FACE TO FACE – It’s Not Over
NOFX – Don’t Call Me White
CARPENTER – You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down
TITUS ANDRONICUS – Titus Andronicus
HUSKER DU – New Day Rising
FLATLINERS – Filthy Habits
…TRAIL OF DEAD – Days Of Being Wild
IGGY POP & THE STOOGES – I Wanna Be Your Dog
EVERY TIME I DIE – Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Battery
RANCID – The Wars End
DILLINGER FOUR – A Floater Left With Pleasure In The Executive Washroom
SNUFF – All Over Now
SOCIAL DISTORTION – I Was Wrong
THE RIOT BEFORE – We Are Wild Stallions
GASLIGHT ANTHEM – Angry Johnny And The Radio
THE REPLACEMENTS - Unsatisfied
I don't know Stephen from Kitchener, but he just sent me a long but heartfelt and passionate email about his disdain for corporate radio and his disappointment in 102.1 The Edge.
It seems he did some Googling and came across my Edge 102 ~ CFNY category page. I think he read all 130 entries there.
Here are Stephen's thoughts. It's a fascinating read if you have 30 minutes.
Going to be somewhat of a long e-mail here. Name's Stephen, 24, from Kitchener. I've listened to radio for years, and while I would like to call myself a long time listener of The Edge, I really can't back that up. Sad to say my good musical tastes grew too late and by the time I started tuning in to CFNY, around 2003, its glory years were long past. Although one thing I can mention through reading your various articles and reading the Wikipedia page on the station – is that there are many generations of fans that "abandoned" the station every couple years to changes, etc. Everyone has a time when CFNY meant something to them, and then hated where it went, and gave up on it. However I feel I have come of the heels of the final "nail in the coffin" pertaining to CFNY's hey-days. I'm the generation that grew up with Bundell, Dye, and Bookie. I can never really call myself a big fan or listener of the station, because most of the time when I was 18/19 I listened to then new (in my area) DaveFM (which I have now grown to hate) and other stations. In recent years I've switched more to my own personal collection through an mp3 player. What radio used to have was a sense of community; everyone listening to a song at the same time around an entire city, and enjoying it. That is now lost on the iPod generation. It's good and bad in its own right. It was creepy last time I was in Toronto, I was stopped at a light and casually looking out my window to see an epidemic – almost every person that walked by on the sidewalk had earbuds. All tuned out in their own world with their own personal music tastes and playlists. This will be the death of radio in coming years, and I say that's fine with me.
Anyway, every year I usually check out The Edge's Top countdown for the year (in this case the Top 200 Songs of the Decade), and for whatever reason Martin Streek's death popped into my head again. I went to see if their memorial page was still up on the station's website, and it was. At least they didn't erase him that fast this time. I first heard of his death on the Dean Bundell show, and was pretty shocked. Of course as soon as I heard he was let go, I put two and two together quickly, although that will forever be up for debate (as to why he did it). I was too young to really experience anything relating to him (never really listened to his live shows), and also never lived in Toronto, but I did notice right away a different voice on the radio on Thursdays nights, and no 4:20 thought when Barry was supposed to be on. It would be wrong for me to say I listened to Streek a great deal, but today I really realized than damn, we lost a great personality.
So yesterday, I got largely derailed from other projects and spent a good six hours going through video clips, Wikipedia entries, news articles, and a lot of blog entries covering the subject. I originally found your Streek bits when he died, but today I found there was a lot more written about him and the Edge in general, so I got to reading. I found out a lot more today about him, the station, and also browsed other articles about the death of MuchMusic and TheNewMusic program (you know how one link always leads to another!), a show I vaguely remember being aired by MuchMoreMusic. I know I'm only 24, but my love for retro music started very early, moreover for Canadian artists that outside of Canada, are virtually unknown anywhere else. It really ticks me off more people don't know more about our music, because in this internet era bands get picked up on fast. Back in the 80s, this wasn't possible for bands like Rough Trade or Pukka Orchestra or Chalk Circle or Martha & The Muffins.
I read somewhere in the comments in one article that radio DJ's are never supposed to air the stations dirty laundry when it comes to the letting go of other DJ's. Like they are helpless, and can't say anything on the phone or in passing conversation to anyone. What tripe. There has been many times when I have suddenly discovered a morning show or people gone missing, and suddenly it's like they never existed! No one talks about it, no one replies, why can't radio just be honest? Talk about the departures. The Edge did celebrate Streek, but there was no reference that they fired him, and the casual radio listener would never know that. It really ticks me off because they kissed his ass on air, but did they actually defend him when they found out he got canned? Or did the other staff just brush it off as "business" not caring he was the last link to the old days? It's a farce, because if you as a DJ gain a fanbase in your area, people want to know what happened to you if you left. I say good luck in trying to keep peoples mouths shut now, in the age of Twitter and Facebook. I loved the juicy article on Barry Taylor's MySpace page (I miss him too). Man if there is one thing I hate, its how corporate radio has become. It's all about the mighty buck. I could rant on and on about this, but its true. I may have not even been alive when radio was actually "radio" and formats were free and it was about "the music", but I do know for sure there was such a time – when DJ's had a lot more say and stations weren't so geared to play "what was popular" or "run more ads" just to make some revenue. I don't know where my mails are, but I appreciate Alan Cross for being the only person at CFNY at the time to actually reply to my e-mails. He was Program Director back then, and I even bitched at him when the 102.1 The Edge's website got a major revamp and looked like every other radio site out there! It was days before I discovered pretty much every station around K-W, etc, is owned by the same damn company, Chorus, and it makes me sick because there is no individuality anymore. All stations have the same working and looking website, and I noticed each station boasted the same "back in two minutes" branding with their ads (which got so annoying after a while I just wish the DJ would stfu about it). It was enough to make me sick. Where do you run and hide when every station is controlled by the same higher power? If I ever do find those e-mails I'll forward them to you, as you seem to be the guy interested in such stuff.
I noticed the change when Winters came in. Oh man, you know how annoying it is when I drive to work, listen at work, drive home, drive to the mall, drive to bowling, etc, and I hear the same damn song all the time in one day! I remember days in a row where I would here the exact same promo featuring like five songs in three second segments (one of which would be the song they play next), and I always bet right what song that would play next. I grew to hate MGMT's "Kids" this way (they still overplay it!). I hated "Civil Twilight", and that new City & Color song, and several Linkin Park and Foo Fighter songs. I liked "Check My Brain" from Alice In Chains until they killed it. They completely left the first single, "A Looking In View" in the dust (7 mins long), and the third single is having a hard time because they keep playing "Check My Brain". Don't get me wrong, I like some new stuff and listen to The Edge in hopes of hearing something new I'll like (like the new 30 Seconds To Mars "Kings And Queens"), but at its peak, "Sex On Fire" from Kings Of Leon was being played more than seven times a day, and I e-mailed the Edge on it. I've mailed them several times about their playlists, never got a reply. When they made it "the 90s nooner", I thought this was a chance for them to play really "out there" stuff we hardly ever here – its almost the same damn songs I hear every two weeks! Much like the "oldschool lunch" on 91.5 The Beat, they repeat the same rap, r&b and disco tunes. Playlists are too skimpy these days (all stations), with older songs always being erased. And if your song wasn't a big "chart" topper it when it was big, chances are you'll never hear it again on radio (save for some exceptions). When I look at the old year end music lists from the 90s, some of the stuff you never heard anymore on The Edge! 1980's stuff these days on The Edge? Forgetaboutit. (Last time they played old stuff was when they did a Top something Canadian countdown). There was a time when that stuff was new and "the now", but now you hear some of that really old stuff on variety stations and such, deemed for much older audiences. A song like "High School Confidential" or "Echo Beach" or "Nova Heart" has a greater meaning and value being played on The Edge…when you hear it on some retro mix station with "softer" or more "mainstream" hits, it doesn't make the song even sound as edgy as it used to, compared to the rest of that other station's playlist. It loses its meaning. I hope you know what I mean. Some of The Edge's classic playlist is considered "retro 80s oldschool" for parties and such, not "ground breaking" and "new" like it was. And even now, those retro stations like DaveFM (who changed their format to all rock now, like we need another 35-55 demo rock station in these parts), don't even play a lot of 70s/80s Canadian songs anymore (because they aren't "rock")! There was an entire period from 2003 till 2008 when a lot of older Canadian stuff still got airplay (on a lot of stations not just DaveFM), and now I find the dates on some of my Canadian mp3's to be from a time when radio played (and I discovered) a lot of good music, because when I look at these files names, I realize NO station ANYWHERE is playing this stuff anymore. Its long forgotten, save for Youtube.
I laughed when I read Barry got in shit for "talking too much about music". Are you serious? It's a radio station! And of course I was appalled to see "Top 40 with Grunge" mentioned. As if The Edge only ever played stuff past 1990…well now I guess that is true…as they almost never play stuff from the 1980s. By 2010 standards the 80s are as ancient as the 70s, leaving the 90s and early 00s to nostalgia over. The same thing happened to 91.5 The Beat here. It started off as a real R&B rap station, but after that "didn't work", they went to Top 40 shit. I really wonder who is to blame. The corporate companies, or the brain dead young kids these days that really don't know shit about GOOD music. I'm so glad I strayed from the "pack" at an early age…then again, I still think pop music from my day was better then the auto-tune no talent hacks of today. The Edge has lost its identity, and the current company is succeeding in making it another mindless station that will please "casual" fans of radio. It is conforming to "the system" it once rebelled against. I wtf'ed when I first heard AC/DC and Guns N Roses for the first time earlier last year. Seriously? Old rock and hair metal? This isn't 107.9. And even IF The Edge plays a lot of Canadian talent, its overshadowed by mega popular bands like Green Day, Linkin Park, and Foo Fighters. We will hear these bands forever until the day we die, lets hear something else! I keep finding old CFNY CD's from the 90s at Value Village, I wonder if I should have picked them up now! So I can learn more about what the station was back then.
When Fearless Fred came in and I saw Bookie get bumped to late nights, and considering how long Bookie has been there, I would not be surprised if he was handed an envelop too. Such a cold way of doing it, too. Like for Streek – 25 years, no goodbye party, just "fuck you", you're on your own. I can't stand Fearless Fred's voice. He sounds scatterbrained, cocky, childish and I agree with people calling him the poster boy for the literal and figurative death of quality radio. I had a good laugh that you and I shared the exact same mind on who he sounded like – the stoner/slacker character Jude from 6Teen. I sometimes forget its Fred and think it's that character's voice actor. Fred himself does not have a good voice for radio. Some are made for this profession, others are not. I cringe listening to him, but I have no other good radio anywhere else, save for Conestoga College 88.3, but for a year now their reception has been garbage even in local areas and I don't know why. To quote someone in the comments, "Terrestrial radio in North America (and maybe elsewhere too) has for decades been on a path to commercialization, homogenization, calcification, whatever descriptor you like." That is so terribly depressing. Radio once meant so much to one generation, and now it just means "sell-sell-sell" more products. 102.1 The Edge really needs a spin-off station for its older fans. I believe something of that nature would do well considering the large CFNY fanbase.
Mr. Taylor says that he and Mr. Streek made it clear around the office and on the air that they were not happy with the decreasing diversity of the music they were being asked to play. It was a long way from the mid-eighties, when, under Mr. Marsden, listeners were promised $1,002 if they noticed the same song being played more than once in 24 hours. The official limit now is 7 times in 24 hours.
Wow, compared to how it is now, this seems so unreal. Back in the days before online listings too!
From what I've gathered on Streek, he was very passionate about his work and I'm sure thought he would spend all of his days at The Edge. I could not believe he got a tattoo of them on his glute. Some people may deny the fact his taking his own life was solely related to his job, but damnit, I believe a good portion of it was. Could you imagine, during a worldwide recession, at a job you had for 25 years where you thought you had job security and were "up in the totem pole", you get let go just like that? Not even a heartfelt goodbye, just gone. Erased from the website and memory and kicked in the ass. "We got what we wanted out of you for 25 years, now you don't fit the bill for the current times, see ya!" *door slam*. I bet he file horrible, like no one even cared or acknowledged his years of service, a job he had right out of high school. Suddenly at 45 you are left without an income.
"You're the only person who ever interviewed me for a job," he said. "I don't know how to interview for a job."
Poor guy. And he was still active, even up to the point of his "demo". I wish I knew what went on in his head in those two months. As you stated, "his state of mind had him convinced he'd be better off dead. At the end of the day, this is the shittiest fact of all." Too true.
In closing, I'd like to mention after reading all of what I read, I have a real dislike for Ross Winters. And I was actually surprised he replied back to me in July when I ranted a long e-mail to him about Steeks death. I went on to say I was pissed they let go two great DJ's, and straight out said he took his own life because he got canned, and asked if he meant anything to "you people". I told him you should feel ashamed, and honestly said with the downfall of terrestrial radio, I only listened to the Edge for its morning show. It is true, after getting fed up with local stations and this station, since April 2009 the shop I work in has switched over to my iPod, and its a lot more satisfying making a playlist for the shop putting on songs people want to hear (uncut and uncensored too). I stated I wouldn't listen anymore after Streeks suicide, but I admit I still do, but hardly as much as I used to. I stated the quality of the station had been going down for years, and went worst when Cross left. I also mentioned he was getting rid of DJ's because they were too old and said I bet Bookie is next, but I could be wrong on that one. I said I may have considered a career in radio but after seeing the bullshit The Edge became, I'd reconsider. It's all about turning a profit, not about the music, etc. And after these events, seeing your station as a cold, heartless place that does not give two shits about their important employees. What he said:
Hi Steve, thanks for your email, you make a lot of comments on things that you really don't know about, and unfortunately I can't comment on everything. This is a very tough week at the edge. You can bet that the edge cares deeply about its people.
I don't know how much of that he made up, or how much is heartfelt, after reading everything I have read. Keep up the great work on your blog!
If you have something you want to get off your chest, send it to me at mike (at) torontomike.com and with your permission I'll post it on your behalf... assuming it's from the heart. Thanks, Stephen, for sharing.
Discuss "A Long, Heartfelt, Passionate Email from a Former 102.1 The Edge Listener" (20 comments so far)
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