Alright, I admit I’m old. Way back in the day, during high school, my Very First Job was in a radio station.
Doesn't seem that cool? Well, back then, AM Radio Ruled – but it was comprised of tinny songs around two minutes long. And lots of spots. For local things. Because radio was really local back then.
FM Stereo was gaining ground. People were buying very cool home equipment, but it was really expensive to put it in your car, and at that time, 4-Track Stereos were The Thing. 8-tracks followed shortly – progress!
Because life was so amazing, we’d drive around at night looking for things to do – as we switched back-and-forth from station-to-station to find a good song – and take in that two-minute version with all the guitar leads cut out so it fit on a 45 record.
So at my Very First Job after school, I worked at the first FM Stereo, Album Format Rock & Roll station in Portland. The music was safe during the day. But after 9pm, the DJs played the long versions of everything. Which, in those days was about 17 minutes. Extended versions. With all the guitar leads. Do you know what the two-minute-version of the Allman Brothers’ Whippin’ Post sounds like? Neither do I.
That. Was. Awesome.
To complete the picture, I had a ’63 VW bug with a safari top. Adorned myself in Indian print shirts and Sea Farers. Got free tickets to concerts, and I hung out with people who were a lot older than me. It all fit so well.
It was a cool job for a teenager.
In the world, we had a war to protest, bras to burn, consciousness to raise, and music that defined a generation. I’ve heard it said that music is the soundtrack for your generation. It was true for me.
I still love the old music, hear it sampled here and there – and resurrected in a TV spot or two.
I was ‘too young’ to participate in Beer Fridays, but we had plenty of them. We were creative, hard-working and had a lot of fun – and the DJs knew how to put a set together.
The music always got us in the mood for the weekend. Glad I was there.
Happy Beer Friday! And what are you listening to?