Barstool Rockers

A Music Conversation

Barstool Rockers is a podcast about music.  Hosted by two life-long rock fans, it aims to inform and hopefully entertain.

We're doing this why?

Monday, in an effort on my day off to avoid thinking about going to the eye-doctor, I got thinking about why we're doing the podcast.  Is it to share music with people?  Well, yeah.  Is it to tell people the stories that are going on?  Sure.  But there's more to it in my mind.  Rock, being allegedly dead, needs a bit of a nudge back into people's lives and if we can help in a small way, it's worth it to me.

As we talked during the first episode, the name Barstool Rockers isn't necessarily a drinking reference.  It's more of a frame of mind when it comes to how we communicate.  When I was at KGGO in Des Moines, IA, a guy named Phil Wilson was my Program Director.  We also had a phenomenal and legendary afternoon host named Jack Emerson.  They BOTH shared a philosophy on talking to the audience that was very simple: "Talk to them like you're talking to a buddy sitting next to you at a bar."  That really stuck with me, but not until I had some time to gain perspective.  It took some successes, failures, the death of my parents and more.

It also took realizing the words of a former co-worker, Bill Chase.  We worked together during my early years of living in the market I now reside in.  He previously worked at WKTI where one of his mentors educated him in the 7 stages of being on the air in radio.  I don't remember ALL of them but the progression goes something like this: "You start out as a board-op, then you become a disc-jockey, then an announcer, a personality, (some steps I forget) and then you finally arrive at being a human being (again)."

So, fast forward to today.  I've been a radio guy for 32 years.  Sure, I left in '92-ish to relocate because I was pissed off.  I moved and was back in radio in under a year.  Then I walked away in 2013 for a 'career change' but radio never really left my system.  The business has always been described as a mistress: You can't live with it but you can't live without it.  Almost like destiny, the job I left for in 2013 closed its doors last year, I was out on my own and radio called.  Funny thing is, the place I spent 20 years at prior to that is the same place I'm at again.  And hopefully, after a break, I'm a human being now.

Back to the why.  There was a time when we were encouraged to tell the audience more.  To educate them.  To tell them things to help them connect with the music (and the station/us).  These days, that's not the case at all.  Talking on air for more than 30 seconds is considered a liability.  But there are stories to be told.  Good stories.  There's music being made that isn't getting heard.  There are people making news for good reasons that never get their stories told.  Hopefully we can cover some of those. 

Rock music has become very splintered over the past decade.  What used to fit neatly into one container has now been upended and tossed into several smaller containers.  While you may be hearing about the newest song from Metallica, you may not know that Deep Purple has a new album coming out.  While the Kardashians get their every move covered in the media, you may not hear about the good things a guy like Casey McPherson (Flying Colors/Alpha Rev) is doing or that Tom Peterson (Cheap Trick) has a program called Rock Your Speech to help children overcome speech difficulties associated with autism.

To the mainstream, the loud and flashy make the news.  The celebs who ignite social media frenzies are considered the successful ones.  But there's more to it.  I hope we can move some obstructions and help you see and hear some of the music and stories that are worth telling.

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