Saturday, November 06, 2010

What’s the big deal about the dying of NU107?

So, tomorrow will be the last day NU107 hits the airwaves. And i am not affected. Not really. But i am sad. Let me tell you why by way of a story...

Sometime back (waaaaay back), i told myself that i would always like what wasn’t necessarily popular or “cool.” I would define “cool” for myself until it became cool simply because it was there for far too long to not be.

This led to my willingness to expose my sucker-ness for all things mushy. Strongly manifested by what was then called “the Mellow Touch.” It was 94.7 on FM radio. It played old, country music and mushy, corny love songs. Something most “boys” wouldn’t be caught dead listening to. But i didn’t mind. It set me apart, and the music really is nice.

And then there were the old people who tuned in to 104-point-something for old piano music and geriatric stuff... there was “cooler” stuff out in 99.5RT (there still is), RJ’s retro station, the jazz stations, and then there was the rock station NU107. Back when radios had rotary dials for station tuning (with higher-end sets even boasting an extra “fine-tune” knob, it was amusing how colourful and varied the stations one squeeked through were. So many different personalities and voices, both literally and figuratively.

The mid to late 90’s saw the proliferation of jazz/r&b/new age stations. Cool (there’s that word again) music to chill out and have a drink to. There were unapologetically pop stations with a bit of talk-show thrown in like Monster RX93 and the now-legendary circa Little David (a.k.a. Adel Gabot) 103.5 K-Lite. Most others have reformatted, but through all that, there was NU107. And though i never listened to it, i knew it was there, and it stood as somewhat physical proof of the existence of people who were not like me, but somehow were in that they refused to change.

But NU107 signs off tomorrow. So now what?

I wish i could say “i don’t know,” because that would mean that radio would still surprise me and through the sea of now-generic MOR music, there was still going to be a fun little monkey-wrench playing something crazy and different at the end of dial. (oh, i forget... there are no more dials) But no, i won’t pretentiously miss NU107 like its honest-to-goodness fanatics just to seem “cool” (dammit, there’s that word AGAIN!). Hell, i don’t tune into 107. But i wish i could say i couldn’t care less.

Thing is, i hate conformity.  Now, almost everything on radio is going to sound like my old iPod. And one last thing... One strong memory i have of NU107 was when i hitched with my best friend over 15 years ago, and heard my first strains of Cake’s version of “I Will Survive,” which i promptly turned into the party anthem of DQA (Duane Quintal Associates) back in 1995. So yeah, thanks for that one song at least, NU.

‘catch you later.

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