12/29/2010

I’d like to go ahead and make an informal complaint against the radio station 103.5 WIMZ in Knoxville, TN.

I was raised in a goofy town not far from here, the world renowned (?) Kingsport, TN. A town that didn’t get it’s first “modern” rock radio station until I was in high school – heck a town that didn’t even get a modern pop station until I was in middle school – so if there was anything the Tri-Cities had going for them, it was the classics, am I right? Well, sort of. I only heard what was on the oldies station when I stayed with my grandparents, and I didn’t even start listening to that type of music myself until I was in college, which was long after the oldies station hit the bin. The only thing the Tri-Cities had going for them on the radio was 101.5 WQUT, a classic rock radio station that played all the music I grew up on: classic rock from the 60s-80s. The music didn’t mean a lot to me because I actually grew up in the 60s-70s (and, well, half of the 80s) but because that was the music my folks brought me up on. Thanks to this radio station, I was able to branch out from my love of only AC/DC and gather a wider taste of music, such as Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith.

And then…I realized we sometimes could pick up Knoxville’s classic rock station, 103.5 WIMZ. I couldn’t quite figure it out, but for some reason, WIMZ played better classic rock. Around this time, I got sick of WQUT because they got obsessed with the Marshall Tucker Band, the Allman Brothers Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section and the annoying Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, such as “Sweet Home Alabama.” They went southern rock crazy – but not in a good way, the good way being like playing some Ram Jam, Ted Nugent, the Reverend Horton Heat or good Lynyrd Skynyrd songs like “Call Me the Breeze.”

With that, I was forced to turn to the pop station, which I hated, so when the modern rock station came along, I checked it out – then it turned into a Nickleback and Creed haven, so I just quit listening to the radio all together.

Then we moved to Knoxville. Finally, I could get 103.5 no matter what part of town I was in and it was beautiful. They bust out some killer Van Halen, AC/DC, the GOOD Lynyrd Skynyrd, Motley Crue and Poison just to name a few. I do have one complaint, however, and it isn’t the annoying amount of airtime Bad Company’s “Feel Like Making Love” gets.

No, my issue lies with their treatment of Whitesnake. I’ll have to say that with the popularity of Guitar Hero and the ever shortening of today’s youth’s attention spans and entertainment value standards, it’s no wonder kids aren’t educated on real musicians who played real music and prefer the Jonas Brothers to Black Sabbath because of it. In fact, the kids should consider themselves blessed to have gotten to hear at least 1 Sabbath or Rolling Stones song while playing their video games, even though many of them probably assume their either a new band or a one-hit-wonder from the 40s. Classic rock radio, including 103.5 WIMZ is doing the same thing with Whitesnake.

I went on this rant earlier and named off several other Whitesnakes songs for my wife, who wasn’t able to identify any of them. Now she doesn’t have the same rock’n’roll background I do, but she’s been a devoted listener of 103.5 since the day we moved here, and she’s familiar with a TON more rock’n’roll than she was (I’m so proud!). Why doesn’t she know those songs? Because the radio doesn’t play ANY Whitesnake song except “Here I Go Again.” True, that’s a hugely popular song, subject of many a spoof, parody and tribute, but are you really going to force Whitesnake to become a one-hit-wonder?

Newsflash: they aren’t…

…But Lord knows the DJs at WIMZ nearly dump their drawers when one of them accidentally plays “Here I Go Again” on a 2 For Tuesday.

Here are some examples, educate yourselves – this includes you, WIMZ:

Enjoy today’s haiku:

Sick twice in one month
And I’ve not watched “Out to Sea”
Going to fix that!

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