Duff McKagan: Highs and lows of radio drive time

Wed, Aug 31

So last weekend, my band, Loaded, continued our rock tour -- the same one that almost put us behind bars in Guantanamo two weeks ago for the un-American act of trying to cross a border with (gasp) guitars and tattoos. Ah, but during this past week, we were in the simpler confines of the Northwest, home to this band and home to fans who are familiar with Loaded. Two good things, indeed.

The first gig was a rock-radio affair up near Seattle. You know the kind: Your local FM rock radio station more than likely has one of these per year. A five-band bill, lots of booze, "calendar girls," heat and a fair share of drunken knuckleheads (I used to be one of those latter-mentioned drunken knuckleheads, but now I just prefer to think of myself as a tea-totaling buffoon).

The gig the following day was another rock-radio "summerfest" outside of Portland, Ore. The difference with the Portland show, though, was the blaring fact that Portland's rock station no longer exists. Yes, like the drying up of some of the larger newspapers in this country, advertisement revenue has been wreaking havoc on some of our last great independent radio stations.

Sports radio in major cities with major league teams have been able to stay relatively strong, and many have remained independent too (KJR sports radio in Seattle is a great and shining example, even after 710 ESPN radio started up in the same town). But I am a fan of sports radio and will always try to find whatever I can, wherever in this country I might be.

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