CHOM 97.7 Why Radio is Dying…

Radio is dying and there’s no one qualified to save it. Not in Montreal or in the Astral Media family, it would seem. I have been a CHOM fan since its inception, since the days of Doug Pringle but to everything there is an end and CHOM has pushed me to mine.

CHOM used to be cutting edge. It used to be THE place to hear great rock, to be introduced to the new faces and sounds of music but something has happened. Something or someone nefarious has been put in control of station. Someone with no taste or knowledge of what constitutes rock, let alone cutting edge rock.

Rarely do I bother with CHOM anymore; I simply plug in my ear buds and listen to my own programming line-up however, sometimes, when hope springs eternal, I’ll flip on the radio while getting ready for work.

Note: It is virtually impossible to blow dry your hair with ear buds – their wire gets caught up in the dryer wire or worse…sucked into the blow dryer’s internals – not a pleasant experience, particularly on a Monday morning.

CHOM is dying a long, slow and embarrassing death. The symptoms seem to have begun back when Terry Dimonte was morning man. The Beatles were suddenly and inexplicably a staple….on a rock station!! The Beatles were never rock. The Beatles were and will always be pop. Had I been exposed to Norwegian Wood one more time due to Dimonte’s tenure? I was going to boycott Norway, just on principle. I ceased listening to radio at that point. I started to throw CD’s on my bedroom system. Then Dimonte left and I thought that a light may be at the end of the musical drought of Montreal radio. Nope. In came Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi and for some bizarre reason, Wings. This morning, for example? Band on the Run…followed by Jimi Hendrix. Who, the hell, is doing the programming? Bonzo, the Chimp?

There are so many incredibly talented and ACTUAL rock bands out there; one would assume that CHOM, a station that advertises itself as the “Spirit of Rock” might play one or two. You would be wrong. You would be so wrong. CHOM isn’t the Spirit of Rock – CHOM is the very pale ghost of rock past.

The band Disturbed, a band where the members are not monitoring their RRSP’s and considering when to RRIF them, does an amazing cover of Land of Confusion. It is grittier than Phil Collins, it has heart and spirit to it; you would think a station claiming to be the Spirit of Rock would play it but again, wrong-o. Instead? You are subjected to the pasteurized, milquetoast Collins version, in between Bryan Adams tracks and some insipid Bon Jovi teen-bop.

Oh, I think a few months ago, I heard The Immigrant Song and had to check my radio readout to make sure I had the right station. What about Alice in Chains, something other than Your Decision, Nine Inch Nails, Staind and how about Rammstein. The band played in Montreal on Sunday night, and not a peep on CHOM. Instead, some stupid hype about bull riding or some such nonsense.

Rammstein. A band that is adored in Montreal. Not a single track could you hear, instead we get Band on the Run. Or Sam Roberts. Well gee, fellas – while you’re at it, how about some Fleetwood Mac? Or hey, right up there with McCartney and Wings, how about some Yanni?!

Anybody at Astral or CHOM heard of a musician called Rob Zombie? He has a wee following, I believe. If CHOM needs retro, how about Soundgarden? Ozzy and believe it or not CHOM/Astral, he has put out more songs than just Crazy Train. A little Judas Priest wouldn’t be amiss in the retro column. Granted, with a few exceptions, the new millennium hasn’t been, exactly, a rock bonanza but with a little research, just a little, some of the newer talents would fill the bill; A Perfect Circle, Staind, Stone Sour, and as mentioned, Disturbed, what about Korn? You’re supposed to be a rock station, CHOM, no? Well, how about some actual rock. Please, someone tell Too Tall, enough with the Doobie Brothers.

And while I’m in here, blowing off some steam about the death of English Rock radio in Quebec? What, the bloody hell, happened to Merv Williams? He was one of the only reasons I listened to CHOM in the morning. The quality of the “talk” in the morning now? Might as well put on my support hose and listen to CJAD.

I realize radio has gone corporate but isn’t there someone on the Astral board who actually knows what constitutes rock? If not? Go down to the mailroom and talk to someone not born in the Boomer years.

CHOM, you are writing and playing your own swan songs. I left during the Dimonte debacle and I’m leaving again. I’ll upgrade my CD player and cut you out altogether. I can get my news off the internet.

Good bye CHOM; I would rather not have to listen to your swan song, it would probably be written by Justin Bieber. Spirit of Rock? Is that because CHOM has already died?


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