Like most kids, I grew up in the custody of my parents. I call it custody because wherever they went I was mostly obliged to follow. After several attempts to escape at ages 1 and 2, I accepted the fact that I would be held hostage until at least the age of 18. Please don’t misunderstand. My parents were extremely good and caring people, and I was never abused in any way, but we traveled a lot. I have often joked I was not sure if we were government or mafia. Now I’m not sure there is much of a difference, but my dad was government.
Traveling can be a great learning experience and I am so grateful for all the places I got to see, but here is the issue. You settle down in one place with one school, some friends, and most of all your favorite radio station. Then whack, wham, it’s time to travel on. You find a new school and make new friends, but half way around the world, where is your favorite AM station playing all the hits of today?
In those days it was all AM and stayed that way until that wonderful underground purveyor of songs longer than three minutes, FM, came along. FM radio killed AM radio, at least for me, and in 1979, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Like all the other tracks on that Buggles LP, the theme was promotion of technology while worrying about its effects. I have a love-hate relationship with technology and still worry about technology and its effects on us.
In some cases, technology can be a good thing, and this is one of them. Now if you find you have become a gypsy, there are no worries about losing your favorite radio station, and I do mean radio. Say you left New York headed for L.A. In the middle of the New Mexico desert you can still hear your favorite station live on the radio from the Big Apple. Internet radio and podcasting have been around for a while, but now it’s going to be in your car wherever you go. Radio is no longer local. It is truly worldwide. The Internet is the future of broadcasting.
More about this and other musical high notes, including thoughts on a great movie, 20 Feet from Stardom, in the podcast. Come ashore and give a listen.