Toronto Mike

Musings on The Edge 102 by Cool Steve


I got a long email from Cool Steve this evening, so I thought I'd share it.

Cool Steve is a reader of this blog who had some things to get off his chest.

I know I’m slowpoking on this, but I was on vacation when it happened. I was pretty surprised Jason Barr was canned after almost ten years on that morning show. With many it was the final nail in the coffin (so many nails), and personally I always thought they had a good morning show and I can’t believe they messed with the formula. I know some don’t like their form of comedy, I do. The Edge is nothing like it was; they moved from the old long-time building they were at previous to a new location, which to me feels like another change to erase the past. I always feel since Alan Cross left, it’s been going to hell. Of course people older than me will tell me it was crap long before Alan came into power, but even at 25 I can see a slippery slope of how The Edge has been performing since I started tuning in around 2003. Nothing but overplayed music, too much of the same 90s shit, awkward indie type stuff, the same CanCon artists and songs to fill its daily intake, and a splash of hair metal and classic rock here and there (save it for Y108).

We lost and really lost Barry Taylor and Martin Streek but gained Fucked Up Fred, who I still can’t stand. I tried again recently, but nope – he still fumbles and mumbles his way through his bits on air. He even hosts the adult cartoon block on Teletoon now as well! I’m big on animation, and to not only have him invade my radio but my TV as well…it’s a friggin nightmare. I guess he fits in well hosting that block because the “adult” cartoons Teletoon plays these days are just as watered down as the music The Edge plays these days. I still feel Bookie will be next on the chopping block. Didn’t Darryl Spring leave as well? They fire all the best people. No more Punkorama, or live to air shows either (I think). But we get Loveline?! I only wish I had been born some years earlier to experience the real spirit of The Edge. Today, there is no true alternative in Toronto. Not even in the GTA. Local college stations don’t have enough power to play with the big boys. I strongly feel a new alternative station needs to be produced to give The Edge a run for its money. Play old and new stuff, and really dig deep into the music vaults and dust off stuff The Edge hasn’t played in 15-25 years. Figure out a way to get people to listen and stay tuned in. We have more than enough current pop/hip-hop, classic rock, classic/new rock, mixed old/new variety and easily listening stations than we know what to do with around here. The alternative format is left without a good home to represent it. Ross Winters should be punched in the face with his Top 40 “alternative” radio play, the same 30 songs over and over old and new. I want to kick in my radio every time I hear the spastic intro of that current Broken Bells song. I read the whole piece on what Taylor had to say about Winters. All about money, as usual.

I do like Adam however, always have, and if he were to come on board the show, I’d see no issue with it. But I see they picked the blind movie reviewer. I’ve read a lot of comments and I’m not too sure what happened with Jason and why he was let go, but I wish him well. The Edge’s way of dealing with someone leaving (i.e. wiping out their entire existence from the website) is downright cold. I can’t stand Josie Dye anymore. I could years ago, but everyday she seems more and more like a blithering idiot. And even over a year later, Streek’s death still bothers me. I didn’t know the guy, and I caught on too late to what he did at (and meant to) The Edge. And yet this past July for whatever reason he popped into my thoughts again, I started reading the articles and comments following his death and listening to his tribute shows. I’m sure other people have moved on by now but his passing still bugs my ass. Probably because as my music tastes have changed and matured, I really would have liked to known more about his music tastes and to hear his current opinions on new and old stuff. He had a great mind and enthusiasm for music, I respect that. I feel as if I missed a scene I could have easily fit into now and been a part of, and it has now long past. It’s frustrating knowing he could still be here now, as we are always left to wonder what he could have still offered to our hungry ears.

I tried to find this answer via The Wayback Machine and the old Edge site, but where/when were all the old live-to-air’s The Edge had? Was it Sound Academy on Saturday nights with new alt/industrial and The Velvet Underground on Sundays with retro and new wave? There was also The Phoenix…were those Fridays? Were these all hosted by Streek? Because I thought they didn’t do live-to-airs anymore, but the current Edge site says Lori-Ann was doing some (and club websites are never kept current it seems). I was in Toronto on vacation in September and went to the Velvet Underground on Sunday night and it was dead. I liked the music, but it was dead. Some people playing pool and some people sitting down on the couches. Maybe because it’s on a Sunday? Or just because “the spirit” had flown?

Also, I’m really sorry to hear about Mark Dailey. As soon as I remembered his CityTV line and his movie intros, I was like “Aw man, that’s the guy!”. Its funny the stuff you remember even when you were just a kid…some things stick in your memory, like that analog clock they’d display on the screen. Nostalgia! And those 80s action news openings are over the top, haha! Sometimes, a small piece of me wishes I grew up and lived in Toronto. I bet it would be awesome back years ago. But then I think it’s just nice to visit and then go back to Kitchener. I also had no idea Dailey he was on The Ripping Friends either until I read your blog, as I watched that show all the time.

- Cool Steve
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