Billy Don’t Be a Hero: Satellite Radio has the right idea, but the programmers need to understand their genres a little better, and that means losing a couple of Billy’s
Imagine — Driving to work in morning rush hour traffic, and NOT having to listen to commercial after commercial.
Imagine — Driving to work and not having to listen to crude, idiotic d.j.’s playing pranks on moronic listeners.
Imagine — Driving to work while listening to commercial-free music, with all the songs being YOUR kind of music.
You don’t have to imagine any of this any more. Now that Sirius/XM Satellite Radio is available, there is no longer any need to tolerate the drivel that has been spewing out at L.A. drivers for the past couple of decades.
That means no more Mark and Brian hokey, pre-arranged set-ups where they try to embarass their own fans in front of all their other fans, and no more commercial-inundated Jack-FM with their bogus, tape-recorded dj playback with stupid attempts at being clever, all while actually insulting their listeners. The Sound, 100.3 FM was the closest thing to listenable music in the a.m., but their eclectic repetoire just does not do it for classic rock and hard rock fans.
So it was up to Satellite radio to fill the void. And for $12.95 a month, they delivered. Not only are there two commercial-free classic rock stations, but they are broken up into 60’s and 70’s rock, and 70’s and 80’s rock. For people aound 40-ish, that means one station for all the classic rock songs that were recorded BEFORE you were aware of rock, and one station for all the songs that you liked as they came out. Between these two stations, most classic rock fans will find something they like within their first two clicks.
The beauty of these two ROCK stations is that they have already removed all the sappy POP music from the rotation… with ONE notable exception: Billy Joel. Why the F*** do these stations continue to forcefeed the former Mr. Brinkley to Rock fans? No self-respecting Rock fan would leave it on for more than 6 seconds… Because, they can Name That Crap in 6 notes. Every time “Piano Man” comes on, it must make thousands of listeners want to drive headfirst right into a tree.
Satellite has POP stations. Billy Joel belongs THERE, not on the rock stations. Having BJ on the rock stations is like having a 3-minute commercial. It forces you to change the station, if you want to actually hear what you have paid for, and tuned in to hear.
And Billy Joel isn’t the only Billy that is being misused. Sirius has a classic HARD rock station called “The Boneyard,” which features bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, the Scorpions, and for some unknown reason, BILLY SQUIER.
Hence, my bone to pick with The Boneyard. WHY? Don’t they get it? The whole point of the Boneyard is playing music that is NOT wimpy. If you put a Squier LP in a stack of Mettalica discs, the Squier vinyl would melt into a pool of black sludge. The Boneyard is supposed to PROTECT us from crap. I’m not talking about Speed Metal, just Metal, and Classic Metal at that. It is okay to have melody. But the Pop-Metal bands do NOT belong. Sirius actually took care of this problem in the PLANNING stage, by creating a station called “Hair Nation,” but they are not sticking to their guns. Hair Nation was where the Poisons, and Warrants, and Wingers were supposed to end up. So why isn’t Squier sequestered there? Hair Nation actually crosses over and plays a LITTLE legitimate hard rock, like Guns n’ Roses, but usually, they appeal to the glam rock fans — i.e. chicks — who don’t know the difference between real guitar licks and studio-produced keyboard tracks masquerading as Metal.
The Boneyard COULD have been absolute paradise for Metal maniacs, but there is still some fine-tuning to be done. Not only Billy Squier, but a few other bands are getting into heavy rotation who don’t deserve it. There is nothing wrong with The Cult or The Black Crowes, but they just don’t fit in with the atmosphere that The Boneyard SHOULD be creating. Even ZZ Top shouldn’t be played as frequently, with “Touch” and “Under Pressure” as exceptions. Another problem stems from their love of the greatest singer ever, Robert Plant.
While Led Zeppelin does indeed RULE, not all of their songs belong on The Boneyard. Their legacy aside, a soft love ballad does not meld with the rest of the playlist. They keep on playing ultra-soft songs from Plant’s solo career, which may be “good songs,” but are nowhere NEAR hard rock. With all due respect to The Master, these tunes belong on the classic rock stations, NOT the classic HARD rock station.
Now, if the geniuses at Sirius could just make these few, minor adjustments, they may just have something… that’s REALLY worth the $12.95 a month.
And speaking of “worth it,” here’s some more “new” Dance Team pics from a few years ago, today featuring the lovely Elise. Rock on (but Pop, off).