Sunday, April 01, 2007

Radio Champions Eddie Trunk and Greg Stone

I wanted to post something about New York hard rock DJ Eddie Trunk. While I am not huge fan of 80s era hair metal (and he is), Trunk does a LOT to keep the whole hard rock genre alive. He is one of the last DJs who actually plays what he wants to play (instead of some corporate shill telling him what to play), and he has a great relationship with most of hard rock and metal's top tier. His Web site boasts tons of podcasts and interviews with everyone from Dio to David Coverdale to Lars Ulrich.

Trunk's show runs weekly in New York and Boston, but it's available online too, and he also has a weekly show on XM Satellite Radio channel 41. He's also seen a lot on VH1 Classic, running features and interviewing hard rockers. Every Christmas he has his radio "Kissmas" program where he plays KISS tunes all day and interviews any Kiss member who will make themselves available (and most of them do). There is a great recent interview with Trunk here, which reminded me to post on him after I read it.

Then there is Greg Stone. Stone is a DJ for the Bay Area's 98.5 KFOX. When I was a kid, the station was called KOME and every Sunday night Stone had a two hour radio show called "Stone Trek." He played nothing but progressive rock and it is there that I first heard Marillion, Camel and many obscure Pink Floyd, Genesis, ELP and Yes tunes that don't get played anywhere else. For example, he would play ELP's "Take A Pebble" or Floyd's "Echoes."

It was my generation's version of "Radio Caroline," the pirate radio station that operated off the coast of Britain in the 60s that brought music to the masses that the government sponsored stations couldn't (or wouldn't) touch.

Anyway, as with everything else from my childhood in the Bay Area, Stone Trek was long gone and sorely missed (by me at least). Imagine my shock, then, on a trip last year to the Bay when I got my rental car on a Sunday night, programmed the handful of English speaking stations I can still tolerate, and heard some weird Marillion song, followed by some Kansas track I had never heard before. "What in the hell is going on," I thought.

Well, Stone Trek was back. And for reasons I can't comprehend, he is now actually on Monday through Friday 10 PM to midnight, spinning the same killer prog rock. The San Jose Mercury News' Brad Kava blogged about Stone's return and I could not put it any better:

Every weeknight and Sunday at 10 p.m. KUFX becomes the best station on the air anywhere for fans of adventurous rock music.

And that includes non commercial radio, satellite, college...you name it.

That's when deejay Greg Stone is given free reign, and the results are startling good. I have to remember I'm listening to a commercial station owned by Clear Channel, and I have to remind myself to turn it on, because I'm not used to going to the commercial dial to hear new music anymore.

That's right. New....Because Stone's library is so deep that he is constantly turning me onto rock I didn't know, and I have a library of over 10,000 discs.

It's a wonderful experience. What radio is supposed to be. Stone talks about the music with encyclopedic knowledge. I'm always learning new tidbits. And he plays progressive and bizarre rock, as well as plenty of more easy to take stuff.

This reminds me of why we thought rock was a great art form, not just easy listening music between the commercials.


Dare I say that there may be hope for radio?

1 comment:

budd said...

Eddie did a cool interview with Heaven and Hell on VH1 Classic the other night which was very cool. Classic live footage of Die Young and Neon Nights were the highlights for me.

bass player out......