It’s been a week since I first heard the news–after 28 years on the air, mostly without incident, the CRTC revoked CKLN’s broadcasting licence effective February 12th, end of broadcast day. Having been a part of the station since 2005, this news did not sit well with me. Hell, it still doesn’t. If the ruling is upheld, I’d officially be the first DJ to go off the air.
According to the CRTC, a “broadcast day” ends at midnite. And if you’ve ever tuned in early for Smokin’ Green, you’d hear some pre-recorded techno music from 12 to 1–while that hour is officially titled “Bass is the Place,” it doesn’t have any on-air personnel. So the onus falls on me. It’s not as sexy as doing the final sign-off, but it’s a dubious dishonour, nonetheless.
I’ve been through some bad times with the station before. The last time we went off the air, for a seven-month period in 2009, I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I played a mere 14 songs on said episode, leading off with some then-brand new tunes from Zoroaster’s Voice of Saturn, followed by a buncha local bands I haven’t seen or heard from in a while (Nice Cat, The Womb, The Jet Trio) and some 12-minute-plus epics from Mammatus, Earthless and Queen Elephantine. Man, I don’t remember that episode at all, actually. What I do remember is going in to grab it from the archives the following Saturday, only to find that all the doors were locked, and my key card wouldn’t open them. I lived a block away from the station at the time, and I stopped by every couple hours that day, thinking the problem was just temporary. Little did I know…
Alas, despite attending every single meeting dedicated to getting the station back on the air, when programming finally resumed in September, I was left out in the cold, my application form mysteriously misplaced by management. I was the very first person to sign the new volunteer agreement–another first–but it felt awfully hollow when I found out I hadn’t been assigned a timeslot. I can still remember the sinking feeling when I left the station. Not one of my proudest moments, that’s for sure.
Fortunately, I was only off the air for a couple months. I made my return in November ’09, thanks to a big hand from Satan–well, Satan Takes A Holiday host Miss Barbrafisch, anyways. Been going slow ‘n steady on Saturdays ever since. As I mentioned the other week, I’ve gotten used to leaving a lotta local shows early.
But it all ends tonite. Well, maybe. The station is doing all it can to fight the ruling, and there’s a decent possibility that we’ll remain on the air in the meantime. That will all be determined in the days to come. As it stands right now, I’m attacking this thing like a prizefighter getting into the ring one last time–which means that I’ll be playing a whole buncha tunes from some of my favourite bands on Smokin’ Green tonite. Be sure to tune in from 1 till 3 am at 88.1 fm on yer radio, channel 947 on yer TV or www.ckln.fm on yer computer. Playlist and podcast posted over here afterwards.