Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 'FUV is 25???

I will write something about this later - well expand this later. I can not believe it CFUV is 25. I did my years there from 1984 to 1990. I was there for the grand opening, one of about 25 people. I worked for the Chan Man.

I will continue this now.
My years with CFUV were exciting and fun. I am very glad to have had the chance to take part in station, it was one of best experiences of my early 20s. My core years there were from June 1986 to January 1990. Only three half years, which seems so short now, but felt like several lifetimes then.

My first exposure was through joining some friends for their radio shows in 1983 when the station was still closed circuit in the SUB.

I tuned in over the airwaves a few weeks before the station was air - I knew that the frequency was to be and knew that they were testing the transmittter. I called into the station and told the DJs (the two chinese guys and Tim Chan and Bob Wong called their show) - they were excited to have some hearing over the air. They passed me over to Steve Lebitshnig, the Station Manager, who was excited to know where I was listening from and how the signal was. I lived on Toquay in Gordon Head at the time.

I came to the official opening of the station in early 1984. kd lang officially opened the station - this was before she was 'someone'. I can still see her in her cow punk look and at the ribbon at the top of the stairs. She had siccors in her hand and cut part way into the ribbon and then went sideways along the ribbon. There were no more than 20 of us there to see the official opening.

In 1984 I often joined in on the Dave Bos radio show, broadcast for midnight to 3 am on Saturday night.

When I returned from Europa and Africa in early 1986, I get seriously involved with the station. I jointly did a classical music show and got the Friday morning folk slot.

I did Friday's Folk from 1986 to early 1990. Thursdays were sub pub night, so many a Friday morning I was rather hung over. I became know as the borrowed but informed voice - best I could do with a pounding head.

With Phil Hoover and Steve Holland, I did a semi-regular late night radio program called the Anarchist Teaparty. It was our quasi homage to the Dave Bos radio show. We did some crazy things on the show, we called the Whitehouse, we investigated the 'tea use' problem at the Oak Bay Teaparty, we faked a rebroadcast of program from CKLR - the first attempt at a radio station at UVic in the 1960s, we held a coup d'etat sweepstakes - guess the country to have a coup in the next month, and so much more. We had a great time with it all. Rob Passingham made us amazing posters for the program, actually they were better than the show.

I worked at the station from 1988 to 1990 for almost no money, but it was even more fun to be paid to be there almost all the time. I got to deal with every imaginable crisis of the moment. Broken mike? I sautered it. No jazz DJ? I suddenly had a three hour jazz show to do.

I had a chance to produce a number of radio plays. I recorded and produced several demos for bands and singers. I made a number of hour long documentaries.

Working with Tim Chan was an amazing riot, there are few people that a drier sense of humour than him. Tim was the station manager for much of the time I was employed there. I was not happy with how the Board of Directors treated him at the end.

Jack Tieleman (brother of Bill) was the music director there for a time in the 1980s. Tieleman was perfectly portrayed in a film by Jack Black in High Fidelity. First time I saw the movie I said "Oh my god, it is Tieleman". I loved how he dealt with the LPs that came into the station. The bad and commercial stuff was normally sold off to somewhere like Lyle's, but sometimes the vinyl needed to be dealt with. Jack would lean out of his office at the end of the hall and yell "Heads up!" and fire the record down 30 feet of hall to smash against the wall.

I remember one great road trip from the station. Ellen Oertzen, Magnus Tyvold, Tereus Scott and I drove to Oakland for an American community radio conference. Some good bands in the bay area, interesting people in the Bay Area, a long non-stop drive in the car I borrowed from my parents while they were in Europe, and a chance to see a protest and set of arrests at People's Park in Berkley.

I met so many bands and artists, most of which I can no longer remember who they were. I met Yothu Yindi and some tall bald Australian guy with a band called Midnight Oil, but because I was so deeply into the alternative music scene, anyone getting mainstream airplay could not be interesting. So many Seattle grunge people came through there that I have no idea who I had met and who I had seen play - ok drugs and alcohol played a part in that. It took me till 2005 to figure out that I had not seen Nirvana in the 1980s - I have had contact with Krist Novoselic because of electoral reform.

I interviewed Don Ross the guitarist with less than a five minute warning - his agent called the station looking for him to talk to him before he went on the air. No one told me he had been booked to be on my show and the call was my first warning he was coming, it gave seconds to get ready.

It was at CFUV that I really got to know Catherine Novak, we shared one fulltime job between us. The day I asked her to marry me, it made the top of the newscast. Catherine and I were married for 16 years, we share three kids and remain good friends.

I helped numerous people get their start in radio. Training new volunteers and helping them on their first shows was part of my job. I was very proud to have helped Larry Bird get the first aboriginal program on the airwaves.

There was a time I called a finance minster a liar on air.

I had a looped tape of Bill Vander Zalm saying "Garbage, garbage, garage, more NDP socialist garbage."

I interviewed David Suzuki in 1988 and it is the only interview that scared me.

I interviewed Claude Richmond and discovered that Socreds were not evil incarnate, in fact they wanted the same things I did.

I was surprised at the large donations the Fundrive recieved each year from PC MP Pat Crofton, and they did not end when he was defeated in 1988. I have gotten to know him slightly through Conservatives circles in the last few years and he is truly a wonderful man.

I sat in on an interview with a holocaust survivor and saw his tatoo, the host of the show and I could say nothing.

I loved all the international progams we recieved, exspecially Moscow Mailbag. The Soviets meant it as something serious, but it was the most maazing ironic and sarcastic take on the Soviet Union.

I remember the 1989 San Francisco earthquake which hit Oakland so badly shortly after I had been there for the radio conference, we connected with the Pacifica station to know what was happening.

I learned more about music from Let the Good Times Roll, Eric Leblanc's show, than anything else in this life. I had to dub the show so that it could be broadcast on some stations elsewhere in Canada.

I learned how to remain calm and relaxed when a crisis happens.

I learned to remove um and ah form speech.

I loved that the station was a campus and community station, that we straddled town and gown.

There were some amazing people at the station in those days: Tereus Scott, Colin Macrae, Jack Showers, Guy Macpherson, Mike Gower, Christina Nyers, Sondra Showers, Barry Link, Tara Todd-Macdonald, Brian Webster, Jim Andrews, Scott Lewis, Shaukat Hussain, Lauri Nerman, and so many more.

There is a lot more I could add, but this is enough for now.

CFUV - an amazing asset in this city and an amazing part of my life.
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