It was 20 years ago this weekend when I packed all the hand-me-down furniture I could scavenge from my parent’s home into a panel van for the 5 hour drive from Vancouver to Vernon to start a career in radio.
It was the second time I’d moved away from home (18 months earlier I last 10 weeks in my fraternity house) and the first time I’d left my hometown without my parents.
I was to be the evening/weekend announced on 94 CJIB. (that picture at the left hung in the lobby)
I shared a 3 bedroom townhouse with one other roommate. My share of the rent was $265 a month. I didnt own a car, I rode my bike to work. I made $1050 a month, my monthly net was less than $800 a month.
20 years later I find myself once again away from my hometown, starting from scratch in a new city.
Once again I’m in a 3 bedroom home, and this time I have 3 roommates (a wife and 2 kids) instead of one. The mortgage payment is higher than the rent, there are two cars in the driveway and the paycheques are big enough that I dont need Mom and Dad to send Safeway gift cards like they did 20 years ago.
It’s like everything has come full circle to launch another 20 year cycle in the industry.
I’ve interviewed just about every big act that you’ve heard on air over the past 20 years.
Janet Jackson. Puff Daddy. Britney Spears. Avril Lavigne. Gwen Stefani. Green Day. Matchbox 20. Alanis Morissette. Backstreet Boys. Sarah McLachlan. Destiny’s Child. Robbie Williams. Nickelback. Christina Aguilera. Lady Gaga.
It’s an amazing history to look back on. I kind of stumbled into radio. I was interested in it in high school, hung out at CiTR at UBC, but it wasn’t until I was failing out of University and needed a career out that my brother came home with a radio school audition package from his high school career day.
I won’t go all “back when I was young” on you, but 1990 was 6 years before I even owned a home computer. Back then I played songs on record players, now everything is on a hard drive.
One thing has stayed the same in 20 years of radio: personality. I’ve gone from New Kids to BSB to Britney to JoBros to Bieber and one thing remained the same – that magical 15 seconds between the songs.
Radio is about to undergo some more serious reinventions in the next 20 years, but personality will always be a part of it.
Thanks for listening. Without you out there, there wouldn’t be a me in here.
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