February 15, 2005
A little while back, I got out all 10 fingers and all 11 toes and tried to figure out exactly how many shows I’d done on Sunday afternoons. According to my always questionable accounting, on March 20 of this year, I will be airing my 100th Sunday afternoon broadcast. That’s roughly equivalent to 250 hours (I often have an extra hour or more), and that’s just on Sunday afternoons. I do it for plenty of reasons, including the selfish ego stroke and it gives me a reason to spend so much freakin’ money on CDs, but I also like to think that I do it for you. There’s so much great music out there that people just aren’t finding out about, and if I can do my part to introduce folks to some of that great talent, then I’m a happy man. Every time someone tunes in to my show and hears someone like David Francey, JP Hoe, Stephen Fearing, or Willie P Bennett for the first time, I know I’ve done a good thing. Even if nobody listened and nobody cared, I’d still do it for my own selfish reasons. But I’m lucky enough that I’ve had wonderful support from the listeners over the past few years, and I really do appreciate that.
One of the main reasons that I started to do this show is because of my old pal Stu Reid at CKUW. I used to listen to his show long before I had mine, and I wondered where he was getting such great music from, and how come I hadn’t heard it anywhere else. I also really got to like his personality and on-air style, and I used to secretly wish that we could be friends, because I knew I could sit and talk music for hours on end with him, and I didn’t know many people who’d let me do that at the time. Well, call it fate if you will, but eventually I lucked into a volunteer gig at UMFM where I could share my music, and soon after, I got to meet Stu, and am lucky enough to consider him a friend. I still listen to his shows every chance I get, and most of my good ideas are stolen from Stu, or designed in some idiotic testosterone fuelled way to impress or one-up him. But it’s good natured competition and thievery, and I try to give him credit once in a while (even though he loooooves to take shots at me. Have you seen page 5 of the new Stylus Magazine? I’ll have him know that I own far more Bob Dylan records than there are David Lee Roth solo albums (although I don’t listen to Dylan much and don’t give a hoot), although I own no Woody Guthrie, and if you factored in Van Halen, well…) My point is that if you like my show at all (thank you!), you will naturally love Stu’s TwangTrust, which airs Wednesdays 6-8pm on CKUW 95.9 fm (www.ckuw.ca).
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons that I love CKUW, including the amazing Tuesday night line-up of bluegrass, alt.country, and great blues, there’s people like Tawny the Brave and Mike Furnish who do great shows, there’s great talk, pop, and even kids’ programs, and more. CKUW has a great sense of community, which is sadly lacking at UMFM for the most part. I get asked all the time why I don’t do a show at CKUW and stop going all the way to the U of M twice a week (even CKUW staffers ask me that and say that they’d love to have me, which is very kind.) Well, there are plenty of reasons that I stick with UMFM, including the awesome toys and the absolutely invaluable support and assistance that our Assistant Station Manager/Program Director/Music Director/Good Friend/Do Gooder Jared McKetiak gives. I wouldn’t trade those for anything.
But one of the best reasons for me is that I don’t have to ask you for money every year. We at UMFM are lucky enough to not have to do a FunDrive, and I am always thankful for that, because I HATE asking people for money. But somehow I end up doing it every year anyway… How does that work? The only difference is that I don’t have to devote a whole show to it, I can send this one little email and hope that you might do the right thing and show your support.
On now until Friday February 18 is CKUW’s Fundrive on 95.9 fm (www.ckuw.ca on the web) Tune in and see what mayhem and madness it’s all about, and check out the great prizes and incentives at their website. Know that your support is bringing great music and ideas to the radio, and that without CKUW, my life would be meaningless, because I wouldn’t have this opportunity to be so self-indulgent. I will never believe that there is a competition between UMFM and CKUW. Having both stations is a blessing. Your support of CKUW, I believe, shows support for campus/community radio everywhere. Every dollar raised at CKUW shows that shows like Stu’s and mine are important to people, and it encourages us to keep doing what we do. Support them if you can. If not, just tune in and hear Stu’s fine program some time.
Of course, that does not mean in any way that you should stop supporting UMFM. We’re still better, because we’ve got golden microphones, and those make better radio. Plus: natural sunlight!
Oh yeah, here’s Stu’s email:
—– Original Message —–
From: “Stu Reid”
To: “Stu Reid”
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2005 9:42 AM
Subject: I’m baaaaack
Well, it’s that time of year again, but I have to say, I’m considerably more sheepish this year than I have been over the last five years. Thusly, I’ll keep this as short as I can. Yes, once again it is CKUW FunDrive time. The time when I try to persuade friends and family to donate a few bucks via my Wednesday night radio show to a non-profit radio station that means the world to me. Hopefully it does to you too. If not directly, then on some spiritual level, anyway.
The uniqueness of the programming and what CKUW stands for in it’s community is something that can’t be denied, regardless of whether or not you want to hear me play the Beat Farmers singing their Led Zepplin medley for the umpteenth time. Generally speaking, CKUW speaks to and for an element of our community that has been deemed ‘fringe’ by the powers that be. We could debate that whole concept forever, but we don’t need to get into that now. Suffice to say, CKUW has no political strings to pull or sleezy plans that ultimately make the public responsible for it’s bills. Close to half the annual budget comes from this perrenial fundrive and any growth the station makes comes via the degree of generosity of it’s supporters each February.
Of course, there are a couple of causes out there at the moment that any good hearted soul would rightfully deem more important than supporting a bunch of music geeks need to hoist their obsession onto the public. And this year, the growing Reid family has managed to be one of those causes. The generosity of so many great friends and family members has been overwhelming since Kathy and I have adopted little Brittany Magnolia. I know that for me to outright ask for a few more bucks for my little obsession so soon after you’ve already shown me your love and support, is more than a little obnoxiously bold. But of course the realities of keeping the world turning still exist. So I ask. And remember – I can’t host The TwangTrust forever. Someday I’ll have to pass the torch on to Brittany, so we need to make sure that fire is still burning for that far-off day!
As always, The TwangTrust airs tomorrow – Wednesday evening – from 6:00-8:00pm (central). Tune in to 95.9 FM (or on the internet at www.ckuw.ca) to hear me go on about all this even more. In the midst of playing all your favourite Roger Miller and Gurf Morlix songs, of course! And who knows what other FunDrive mayhem will occur this year! Will we phone Bruce Springsteen live on-air? Will celebrity guests phone or stop by? Who knows!? The TwangTrust has been CKUW’s #1 pledged show for the last three years during FunDrive and hopefully we can keep that record going. If you do want to offer support and donate, but can’t be around Wednesday evening to call in, let me know in advance and I’ll hang on to your pledge and announce it during the show, so it counts towards my grand total.
Any donation, no matter how small or large, is very much appreciatted. But as always, the more you give, the more you receive, and we have an embarrasement of musical riches to give away this year : CD packs of 5 or more discs including the likes of: Chuck Prophet, Johnny Dowd, Peter Case, Elliott Brood, Carolyn Mark, and the local Guess Who Tribute CD among many others… DVDs of Steve Earle, The Flatlanders and Jackie Green… the annual Neko Case prize pack including her most recent live album, a t-shirt and much more… a special pack of TwangTrust mystery discs… and the big grand prize – the special interactive Simpsons playset (still mint-in-box!) featuring Colonel Homer and country music superstar, Lurleen Lumpkin! Also, tickets to the Guess Who Tribute Weekend in March at the Pyramid Cabaret and much, much more! (CKUW office staff hates me, by the way).
T-shirts for all at the $60 level – not designed by me this year, but I did colour it! And I haven’t even mentioned this year’s official TwangTrust FunDrive Art Print yet! This year featuring a rare photo (autographed, of course, as autographed posters look better) of 2 of our most oft-played artists – check it out here: http://www.ckuw.ca/fundrive/TwangTrust_2005.jpg It is available (with bonus wool cap!) only at the premium $90 level, which if you go on the special monthly automatic-withdrawl payment plan, only amounts to $7.50 a month. That’s $1.70 per TwangTrust episode! And anyone who regularly listens to the show and doesn’t think it’s worth $1.70… well… I love you, so we won’t go there…
Your old pal,