I just finished reading Howard Stern’s latest book. If you haven’t read it, I’ll send you my copy. Lee Leipsner gave me his. So I’ll send you his copy.
It’s a great book to read in the bathroom.
Howard’s book has no real point. He just lashes out at anything and everything that’s on his mind. Like this Editorial. There’s no specific topic, just a bunch of things I’ve had time to think about while traveling the past month.
So find a topic you like and spend time with it. Skip the rest.
1-800-MUSIC NOW will revolutionize the radio and record industries. The most obvious revolution will occur in record sales. Research shows an extraordinary number of people would purchase more music if they didn’t have to visit record stores. Being able to order music via telephone will have a dramatic effect on sales. Radio stations and record companies will have the ability to track immediate sales in specific areas. This could help programmers determine a record’s strength much earlier in the game. Just as important (more so for the participating radio stations), is the opportunity for radio to share in the profits of the product exposed. Forever, radio has bitched because it exposed music that ultimately makes money for record companies. This aspect of our business has always been a sore spot with radio. No longer, through 1-800-MUSIC NOW, radio stations share in the record sales generated by their playlists. It will be interesting to see how this changes our industry. The bet here is that it will change the way our business is conducted in a huge, positive way.
Every time I go to New York, I get lost. Each time I mention my plight to a New Yorker, I am ridiculed with the statement, “How can you get lost in New York? It’s the easiest city in the world to get around in.” Right. Don’t you hate it when people tell you to go west on 52nd Street? Can I ask a rather simplistic statement? If you are from out of town and the sun is down, how in the hell are you supposed to know which way west is? You can’t see the North Star because of all of the buildings. How do you know which way to go? And please, I don’t want to hear from any New Yorker about how ignorant I am. Let me take you to Jackson, Mississippi, drop you off at the reservoir and tell you find Capital Street by just heading South.
How smart you are depends on what part of the country you’re standing in when you make a statement. I left Andrea Ganis’ office and walked to meet Joe Ricitelli. She told me to go left on 52nd Street. It was the wrong way. I missed my appointment with Joey. I accused Andrea of giving me the wrong directions on purpose. They both called me a hillbilly. Of course, when I shared this story with my lifelong friend and fellow redneck, Mississippi-born Harry Nelson, he said, “Whut the hell you doin’ in New York, anyhow?”
Speaking of New York, the party that was held on the stage of Saturday Night Live to debut 1-800-MUSIC NOW could have been the show-stopper of the year. Everybody was there.
It is gratifying to know that the three cities most important to the record business, New York, Los Angeles and Nashville, have some of the best radio stations in the country.
Sean Ross, he of The Monitor, mentioned my name last week. I guess I shouldn’t bitch, since he spelled it right, but I will anyhow. In trying to obliquely justify The Monitor’s plans for realigning stations according to The Monitor’s rules, Sean attempted to point out the differences between radio stations that years ago leaned Urban and the Crossover stations of today. I wrote an Editorial a while back on the subject and pointed out how KFRC was more Crossover than Mainstream in the 1980s and Sean was out to prove me incorrect. Sean said, “Allegedly, KFRC…always leaned R&B to a degree that obscured the boundaries between the formats. That’s how some folks remember it. Let’s go to the tape.” Sean wanted to prove that KFRC didn’t play a lot or R&B music in the 1982. He cited some “tape” that “supposedly” duplicated an air shift of KFRC playing Kool & The Gang’s “Take My Heart,” Olivia Newton-John’s “Zanadu,” Devo’s “Beautiful World,” Allman Brothers’ “Ramblin’ Man,” Rod Stevwart’s “Passion,” Lindsey Buckingham’s “Trouble,” Carl Carlton’s “Bad Mama Jama” (what a great song), Diana Ross’ “Why Do Fools Fall In Love,” Quincy Jone’s “Just Once” and The Beach Boys’ “Come Go With Me.”
I don’t know where Sean got the tape…please send me a copy…but it must have been from Dr. Don Rose’s morning show after the Christmas party. (Rose generally played what he wanted to play.) If KFRC had played those records in that rotation, I would have (a) been taking all the payola some have accused me of and would be living in Maui and visiting Los Angeles today instead of the other around and (b) been proclaimed a programming genius to have the ratings we produced playing all of these stiffs. (Of course, Keith Naftaly was the AMD at the time and I do believe he was high on the Lindsey Buckingham…or was that in the alley?)
Not that it matters today, but in the 1980s, KFRC was leaning heavily R&B…and I do mean heavy. The station was programmed to Oakland. We had to be heavily R&B to win. Check out a playlist and then add another 25%. We kept the “White” superstars on the list longer to appease some nervous sales geeks. Sean also listed tapes from other Mainstream stations of their day to prove, I assume, that KMEL and WPGC aren’t Mainstream stations. Let me put to you in a way you’ll understand: Network 40 will continue to define radio stations based on the definitions supplied by the individual radio stations. In other words, let’s go to the tape and take the title of another Irving Azoff triple-bonus record of the 1990s by Jack Mack and the Heart Attack: “Call It What You Want…I Don’t Really Care.” Find me the tape of that one!
No mater what manager Arthur Spivak says, I still want a date with Tori Amos.
The working color for this fall is salmon.
Cigar smoking, almost dead in the 1970s and 1890s, has made a miraculous comeback. Today, it’s more important to know your cigars than your wine list.
I’ll have a Tampa Jewel.