Rock Radio Imaging Voice Overs
Even as a pre-teen, I was enamored with it. While I certainly enjoyed the sound of an acoustic guitar, somehow attaching an electrical pick-up to the bridge and sending its signal through a cord attached to an input mesmerized me. I might even go so far as to say that it aroused me.
When I first heard ‘Satisfaction’ from the Rolling Stones, I knew, then, that ‘rock ‘n roll’ was my go-to music genre. My head immediately bobbed up and down. I fashioned a guitar for myself out of thin air, and I pretended, at that moment, that I was Keith Richards. That I was Brian Jones.
Rock, to me, was about power. But Rock was also about intelligence, wit, clever writing, and a force that generated a unique amount of influence. But more on that later. I want to focus for a moment on ‘power’.
My earliest memories of actually buying music started with the ‘45 record. Yes, I was indoctrinated with Top 40 radio and Casey Kasem, but it was the ’45 that furthered my growth as a fan of Rock. Yet it was a garage sale…and the influence of one of my best friends…that established my adoration of the format. For a mere 4 dollars, I scooped up a copy of Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road. And those used albums, bought at a garage sale (much to the chagrin of my father) gave me first demonstration of the power of music.
But while I liked The Beatles and admired them immensely, it was my friend, Chris, who opened the next chapter in the Rock saga. He let me borrow his brother’s copy of Tommy from The Who. And all of a sudden, my life became a scene out of Almost Famous. Whole worlds opened up for me. The sheer explosive energy of brilliant word-play coupled with stacks of Hi Watt amplifiers created for me a magical experience. To this day, The Who remain my favorite band of all time.
This enlightened moment carried on throughout my whole life. From The Clash to the Sex Pistols, from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin, and from Pearl Jam to Bruce Springsteen, my outlook on life was, really, defined by what was either on the turntable or in the cassette-deck of my car.
This electric energy, this act of making a statement with a piece of wood plugged in to a voltage-regulated box, is what makes my involvement with radio stations that adopt a Rock format so critical. In my own unorthodox way, I get the format. I understand the format. And in all its permutations, I crave the format. Rock speaks to me on so many levels, because it has always spoken to me on so many levels. It’s as if I were tattooed upon exiting the womb, and that indoctrination in to one of the greatest expressions of music was never, ever going to change.
So, when I say to Brand Managers at radio stations, whether or not they’re practitioners of Classic Rock, Active Rock, Alternative Rock, or Adult Album Alternative, that I live this format, I mean it. Just hearing the opening riff of a song, or a 3-chord burst of a familiar refrain, my soul lights up and my antennae are honed in on what that song meant, what it stands for, and how it ranks within the pantheon of the great Rock songs.
You know, I’ve never claimed to anyone in the radio industry that “I have the best voice’, or that ‘I have the best approach’. In fact, I don’t claim to be the best at any one thing. But what I do claim to be is a person who has the desire to be the most versatile. This format that we have so much passion for implies ‘diversity’. It asks that the branding voice for a station be someone who can growl a bit when needed, who can sound believe-able, who can sell the benefits of the format, but who can display humor when needed, empathy when required, and, quite honestly, demonstrate an attitude of ‘fun’. Not necessarily ‘funny’, but someone who can reflect the rock ‘n roll lifestyle, which is, in short, FUN!
These artists that we enjoy and listen to, the artists who contribute the bulk of content for the radio stations we enjoy, are really, in a sense, icons. Their contributions to music and to the Rock format are some of the most prolific contributions that we will ever have. Whether it’s a lyric, a chord-progression, a studio-technique that appears on an album, or a live-performance that will never be duplicated, these icons that comprise our format are both famous and infamous! But I also feel that these icons deserve respect. So, not only do I continue to be in awe of this format, but I also have respect for it. Which means I have respect for the client-stations who adopt it.
Long live your commitment to this ‘amplification’, this format, this lifestyle. ‘Long Live Rock’!