Graffiti Weekend! What an amazing time in my new home town! Those who grew up in the fertile Central Valley of California may not realize how the rest of the country idolizes the West Coast. It may happen in our home town, but it must be better in California! Graffiti Weekend doesn’t disappoint! From the classic cars to the feel of the heat of a late afternoon sun, putting on that last coat of wax, buffing it out, shining the chrome and fogging the mirrors for a last quick wipe, getting ready for the cruising parade is so cool! Even if your ride is only taking you to watch, it’s still a thrill! And the mix of music sets the perfect tone!
I was thrilled to be a part of the Graffiti Weekend on the station that was playing the music Modesto fell in love to. You can’t hear the classic sounds that made the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s without getting a smile, and a head full of memories of lost loves, tight jeans and people on parade.
For Djs, it brings back memories as well. Stacks of Wax, or piles of vinyl, taped together Carts, hastily stuck on notes about what machines and spots on the board were dead, reminders of special promos (promotions) to be read, contests to be pushed and a new client to welcome. And the phone calls! Every jock had their regulars who called to request, chat, swoon and tease, it was a magical place to be!
I knew things would be different in the studio, as time waits for no man. But wow! What a different world! Without the help of those who have stayed in the saddle for the ride to updated technology, I would never have made it to air! All of the familiar tools of the trade are now on a computer screen. The waggle of a mouse has replaced grabbing discs, slamming Carts and back-cuing cuts. It was amazing, what sense I could make of John Chappell's handy-work, how rag-tag bits and pieces of sound and music could weave together seamlessly for a finished product! Being able to record tracks in advance has completely revolutionized Radio!
But from this old DJ’s perspective, it comes with a price. Every jock knows the vibe of getting amped to the sounds we were playing. Some songs were great for dashing down the hall to the bathroom, grabbing a quick drink from the water cooler and waving at the receptionist down the hall…amazing what 3:50 can get you! But some songs were anthems of the time. Lights low, speakers set to “bleeding ears” levels and the music washing over you, transforming you. You came out of the song possessed by the spirit of it, and it lit you up for the rest of the hour! And the phone would be flashing with someone yelling “YEAH MAN! THAT’S what I’m TALKIN’ ABOUT!” It was magic.