I Wish Hard Rock Stations Had More Class

by Bill Brenner on October 22, 2012

It’s not easy being a rock ’n’ roll fanatic some days, especially when it comes to the choices I have on the radio dial. Oh, don’t get me wrong: The Boston area has plenty of great stations, especially RadioBDC and Rock 101 in Southern New Hampshire.

But some radio stations, in the Boston market and beyond, that play my kind of music have to ruin it by appealing to the lowest common denominator.

Mood music:

[spotify:track:0pbEg5765Mvvalwn5E6ZWN]

It’s always been this way, of course, and once upon a time I didn’t mind. One of my local stations, WAAF, has cranked up a humor based on sexual crassness for as long as I can remember. Hell, this is the station that brought us shock jocks Opie and Anthony. They shocked Boston until April 1998 they told their listeners as an April Fools’ prank that Boston Mayor Tom Menino was killed in a car accident while transporting a young female Haitian prostitute. In more recent years, I’ve tuned in to hear women on the morning show being asked about the shape of their vaginas.

As a 20 year old, I loved this stuff. But somewhere along the way I grew up, and my radio stations didn’t. (The RadioBDC DJs, formerly of WFNX, have always been more mature in this regard.)

It’s a drag for two reasons:

  • I can’t listen when my kids are in the car, which is most of the time.
  • Thanks to the Internet and, more specifically, Facebook, I have to see a lot of meathead comments from WAAF and its followers. This morning, for example, WAAF posted these comments above pictures of the women they talk about:
    • “Here’s math teacher Iowa Ashley Nicole Anderson who allegedly had relationships with FOUR different students! Would you??”
    • “Here’s Mandy Caruso, the cosplayer dressed as “Black Cat” who was upset about being sexually harrassed at NY ComicCon.”

The comments to the latter post have a few mature comments, but most of them are abusive name-calling. One jerk calls her a “cumdumpster” and someone else asks, “What does she expect when she looks like that?” Forget that these women are human beings, prone to all the mistakes we’re all prone to. The woman in the latter case did nothing wrong. She was at a comic book convention and was in costume. That doesn’t give some asshat the right to ask about her cup size.

I’m no prude. I do come from Revere, after all, and have been known to swear like a sailor. When my sons let the bathroom humor flow, I admit I laugh inside even as I’m scolding them.

But there are lines I’ve decided not to cross anymore. I want my rock ’n’ roll delivered to me by DJs whose thinking and sense of humor are something above the Stone Age stuff.

I’ve unliked the WAAF Facebook page and don’t plan to listen to the station again anytime soon.

Thankfully, I have RadioBDC and, when I want to cut out all the talking, Spotify.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eli October 22, 2012 at 11:20 am

I read an interview with Josh from QOTSA
Where he talked about how depressing it was that a lot of his hard rock peers were meatheads. It is embarrassing sometimes!

Rachel October 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I actually used to listen to Greg and the Morning Buzz on HEB when I lived in N.H. Over time, I started to realize that misogyny and brainlessness were the norm. It felt like a constant merry-go-round of “T*TTIES AND BEER… SPORTS… T*TTIES AND BEER… ROCK!… T*TTIES AND BEER!” repeat, and the meathead persona was really glorified. I think they are appealing to the lowest common denominator and probably alienate a lot of female and non-meathead rock and roll fans. I especially despised the call-in segment called “What’s Your Point?” which was pretty much dominated by these aggressively ignorant rednecks b*tching about EVERY LAST THING, and insulting the hosts of the show. The encouragement of such low-class, braindead garbage eventually became too one-note for me, and I quit the morning show all-together. I think, in retrospect, and actually now being familiar with AZ morning shows on rock stations, that drivetime shows tend to be a combo of all the worst qualities of rock stations. Ironically, I couldn’t remember the name of the morning show and I went to HEB’s website and as soon as you cue it up there’s a cleavage-bearing girl in a black dress and it’s captioned, “Now there’s a rack!”

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