In My Day, a DoR Degree Meant Something

Pardon my disgust, but I just heard a DJ for KSHE 95, “Real Rock Radio”, identify Guns N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” as “the title track” to an album. Johnkin’ J!

For you damn kids, “Welcome to the Jungle” was the first track (on side 1, before we had CDs–and we liked it that way) of Appetite for Destruction. But this DJ didn’t know that. Back in the idealized-and-probably-inexistent old days, disk jockeys (back when the discs were bigger than dinner plates, dammit!) knew their music. But now, the Doctors of Rockology don’t know much.

I don’t so much blame public education as I do for the consolidated inifinitization of radio stations, wherein the disk jockeys are all utility infielders, plugged into whatever genre of music the home office determines needs a “resource.” This explains why drive time guys from the light hits stations suddenly find himself running the morning shows on country and western stations–no knowledge of Kenny Rogers or Hank Williams required!

Sorry, but it irks me. These guys dispense asides and information about what you hear on the radio, and they don’t necessarily know the truth, nor how the particular work or individual talent fits into the tradition of the style of music. And they don’t care to learn, because it’s not important. Not as important as their careers, which will soon take them out of this mid-sized market, and if they’re lucky, will land them in the overnights in a major market, regardless of whether they know or even like the damn music they play. It’s just a job, and where their enthusiasm and knowledge of the music leaves off, their knowledge of established sophomoric radio tricks, such as the novel prank phone call, takes up.

Welcome to the jungle, indeed.

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