I discovered something new yesterday that I want to share! I was reading through my Twitter timeline, and saw @roqofthe80s had liked one of my posts. Remembering that was a tagline for my favorite radio station back in the 80s and 90s, I clicked to investigate.
During the 1980s, there several “reasonably good” radio stations here in the local Los Angeles market, but KROQ rose above them all. They seemed to identify with most kids in my age range, playing music that no one else bothered to play. The DJs were funny, sometimes even a bit corny, but they knew their stuff and I appreciated that. Richard Blade, likely the most popular of KROQ DJ’s, was a god to most teenagers here in Los Angeles. His career at KROQ is one of the shining memories of my teen years and early 20s. While Duran Duran may have been the soundtrack to my memories, Richard was the one spinning the tunes.
The KROQ I once knew wasn’t afraid to play brand new music, and although I had no idea at the time – they weren’t a big budget station at all. Naturally, tastes change, management changes, as does music. Through the decades since I graduated from high school in 1988, the format at KROQ changed as well, and while I don’t listen nearly as often, it is still one of my presets.
So imagine my surprise (and initial skepticism) when I saw that KROQ – my KROQ – was back! Oddly, I’ve never been into much internet radio, preferring just to stream Spotify. Among many other types of music, I enjoy finding a good New Wave playlist with songs I haven’t heard much in the past 20 years unless I’m digging through my own collection. I didn’t ever bother with iHeart Radio or even radio.com, until yesterday.
I figured I’d give it a quick listen, and my expectations were pretty low. It turns that if you’re lucky enough to own a vehicle with an HD radio, you can even tune in at 106.7 HD2. At this moment, there are only two DJs (and if you’re not from LA you won’t recognize the names) – Freddy Snakeskin and Tami Heidi. To my memory, Tami started at KROQ fairly late in the new wave game. Freddy is far more recognizable to me and it was comforting to hear him. Right now, they seem to be playing a recorded countdown of the top 500 New Wave songs of the 80s on repeat, but given that the station only started on September 4th, I’m hopeful they expand beyond that format to something more live-ish. In the meantime, I’m going to keep listening!
Check it out for yourself KROQ2 roqofthe80s on radio.com