Guest Post, Patrick O'Hara: A Music Geek Laments Radio.

I am a music nut, not a day passes when I have not listened to music.  I have a wide range of tastes, I like popular bands but love artists no one has heard of.

I began my music education listening to my dad’s LPs but a large part of my music taste was given to me by listening to the radio.  Oh how I loved the feeling that the DJ was talking only to me.  Telling me just how awesome The Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana are.  Yep, I hung on every word, waiting to discover my next new favorite band.

However, as I got older I grew hungry, I longed to discover music on my own and with my buddies Rick and Matt.  Radio changed, no longer did I feel a connection to it.  It became background noise as they would force feed the same band into my ears a couple of times every couple of hours.

Then I got into the business.  This was my dream as a kid, to bring that satisfaction to someone else.  Let them feel that same connection with me.  I quickly learned just how much of a business it was.  I am not a bitter radio veteran licking my wounds.  Not at all, in fact even with all of its flaws, I loved working radio.  I recorded my on air time, so sometimes I could tune in and hear myself.  I was a geek about it.

I remember I was told to keep my chatter to a minimum.  It was all about the music.  I am proud of all that I accomplished and treasure the people I met but I never go to connect with the listeners.  It is difficult when the most talk I was allowed was to let the area know what the weather was going to be like.

I am not here to foresee the demise of radio. I have already seen the demise of Q101 which was the audio version of a music bible for me growing up.  No I definitely think radio has its place.  Just not in my life.  When I listen it is to listen to talk shows, the news, traffic and weather updates so I can lament wearing long sleeves on a day that will not require it.

Music is something I still discover with friends.  We will let each other know about some band we are into and pass on YouTube links to clips.  I will never forget what radio has brought me. If it wasn’t for Q101 I would have probably grown up liking Insane Clown Posse or Snoop Dogg.  SO for that radio I love you and thank you but my iPod has taken your place when I need music on my night drive on a dark and lonely road.

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Tags: blog, Chicago, music, radio

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