Last night, on the way home from a short grocery trip, I was listening to 93.7 K-Rock, "The Rock of Pittsburgh", via my car's radio. For about twenty years, this station was called B-94, and was a prime example of corporate pop music radio. Everyone I knew hated it -- except for chicks. Chicks dug it. You knew a guy was in love if he started listening to B-94. He had lost his independence, because he was listening to "chick music".
But times change, and while other stations in the Pittsburgh market have taken over the "Top 40" format's audience, B-94 faded away. After a brief period of trying to find a new niche, 93.7 (now CBS owned) settled on a hard rock format. During B-94's heyday, 102.5 WDVE was the rock station in town, but eventually stopped playing most new music and is now the region's top classic rock station. In other words, they still play the same music that they were playing twenty years ago. All things return.
I've been a bit cynical about K-Rock's chances for success in this market. Every time a decent hard rock/heavy metal station comes along, it fizzles out and changes format in a few months. WXDX, Pittsburgh's "Alternative Rock" station, started out metal but couldn't make it that way in the grunge era of the early 1990s, so changed format accordingly. That was a disappointment; I liked a station where I could hear "Rainbow In The Dark" five times a day.
K-Rock seems like it has a better chance to last, due to two things:
- The resurgence of heavy metal music after years of grunge and alternative crap; and
- Corporate ownership (CBS) with national hosts to draw attention to the station.
The few times I have listened to the station, I was pleased with what I heard, but I wasn't convinced to become a dedicated listener. That changed last night, when I heard this on the ride home:
The K-Rock disc jockey said that he played it "for Halloween". And how appropriate. Everything in that video is so hokey, it looks more like a goofy masquerade party than a serious satanic ritual. It's also one of my favorite videos from the days of my adolescence. I especially like the part where the flying hammer makes the goat man explode. BOOM!
You just can't get that kind of quality entertainment nowadays.
Here's hoping to hear more early 1980s style HR/HM on local radio, and not just for Halloween. Have a safe and happy Halloween. Be nice to your trick-or-treaters, and they will be nice to you. Up the Irons!