Yes, Music Has Lost Something
Often, I wake up with a song playing in my mind. It is probably because I’ve been a DJ for years and music is a part of me. The internal songs are sometimes a message from my subconscious. They can be a reminder of things to think about, hinting at paths to follow. I wrote about one of those reminders awhile back.
Recently, my morning soundtrack was the song “The Spirit of Radio” by Rush. It probably appeared because I have been thinking about the state of radio given that I am in the middle of the annual fundraiser for my radio station, WorldFusionRadio.com. I keep fighting the good fight for independent radio and my small (by industry standards) but devoted listeners. Rush, despite being a hugely popular band, fought that same fight with “The Spirit of Radio.”
Rush is the most philosophical artist in rock music, and on their 1980 album Permanent Waves they asserted the importance of free will, of bridging division between people, and of the magic of radio. Their philosopher lyricist, Neil Peart, died recently, and the group produced this wonderful video in tribute to Peart. Take a look, it’s a beautiful work of art both visually and musically.
Of course, the song and video are also celebrations of the joys of music and the radio that brings it to us. Of course, being philosophers, they are not shy about delivering a deeper message.
The imagery in the video hearkens back to the 1970s and it is an homage to that era, in particular to the DJs who helped break Rush as an artist. That era was before my time, but I understand what the video is saying, especially about the DJs.
I understand because I got my break into radio in the late 1990s at KALA-FM. I still have the call sign memorized: “This is KALA-FM, 88.5 and 105.5; where the jazz is and the blues are.” Dave, the operations manager, wanted someone familiar with world music and found me. I had a weekly show on KALA for over four years. I learned so much about radio and music…