Friday, January 15, 2016

New Radio DJs Movie

I am What I Play

The latest rock radio movie is a feature length documentary that runs for 105 minutes and had its 'world premier' in Paris last weekend. 

The movie combines material shot on location in the four cities (Seattle, Boston, New York and Toronto) with rarely seen archival footage of the disc jockeys. It also includes shots of the radio stations they are well known for their work at, and many of the well-known rock performers. The dialogue in the movie is complemented by a soundtrack that features many great rock songs of the era.

 "I am What I Play" profiles four legendary radio DJS from four US cities: Dave Marsden from Boston, WBCN's Charles Laquidara, Pat O'Day from Seattle and the lovely Meg Griffin from New York. They could be described as four of the best radio jocks from the world of 'freeform radio'.  Each of them always insisted playing what THEY wanted and turned down huge audiences to continue to live the life of a rock'n'roll radio jock. 

The movie has been available in some parts of the US for a few weeks and has had rave reviews in some trade press.It is Produced and Directed by Roger King.  The rock radio DJ once played a hugely important role in the rock music world. I Am What I Play profiles four DJs in major markets. The documentary examines their programming techniques, their politics, and their deep connections with musicians and fans in the heyday of rock radio. 

  • Where are those disc jockeys now and what are they doing?
  • And how did the DJS each re-invent themselves as the medium changed?

A closer look at the stars of I am What I Play

Meg Griffin is a rock radio legend, having spent almost 40 years on New York airwaves.  Her early stint at WRNW lead to a lifelong friendship with colleague Howard Stern. Later, at the incomparable WNEW, she played a major role in championing the punk and new wave scene of the late 70s and early 80s, introducing listeners to the music of Patti Smith, The Ramones, Talking Heads and many others. Griffin has been honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and continues her groundbreaking free-form radio work on three different Sirius XM satellite radio channels.
David Marsden first ruled the Toronto airwaves as David Mickie, a motor-mouthed DJ who hosted two television shows and was featured in Marshall McLuhan's book “Understanding Media”.  Later he would carve out his own identity on powerhouse CHUM-FM in the early 1970s and then as program director of one of North America’s first alternative rock stations, CFNY, known as “The Spirit of Radio.”  He is the subject of an exhibit at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and was recently given a lifetime achievement award by the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.
Charles Laquidara was the morning man for pioneering free form station WBCN in Boston for over 25 years and was among the highest paid radio personalities in the U.S.  He was one of the first morning show hosts to have a staff of writers and a cast of comic characters but was also known for using his show “The Big Mattress” to take on major issues like the Vietnam War and Apartheid in South Africa.  Laquidara was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009.

Pat O’Day was a DJ and Program Director at legendary Seattle station KJR for the better part of 15 years. His dance and concert promotion business eventually became Concerts West which at its peak represented big names such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and Elvis Presley.  O’Day is credited with putting the Seattle music scene on the map and is a part of a permanent exhibit at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

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