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I have posted before about being on the focus group for our local '80s radio station, 93.1 (remember the horrendous ad that I did, where I didn't recognize my own voice?) Well, tonight, we had a meeting to toss around ideas and such. It was so. much. fun. There were about 20 of us, mostly in the 35-45 age range (no surprise there, who else would be THAT interested in '80s music?) I met another rabid Duranie, so we had a blast sharing memories of high school music geekery. She actually knew where my username came from, without my having to explain it. :-) And there were the two hair metal chicks, who still look as if they'd just stepped out of a Motley Crue video. But all in all, it was really fun, a good opportunity to meet people with somewhat common interests, and nice to feel that my opinion is being heard.

We had a "rate the band" exercise, where we rated artists that they currently play on a scale of 1-5. Then they brought out some artists that they're considering playing, and several of them were ones I'd suggested (Pet Shop Boys, for the win!) We also were asked for ideas for themes. For instance, one weekend they did an A-Z thing, where they went through the entire alphabet of artists. I suggested One Hit Wonders and "Through the Years", where one year is showcased, and only songs from that year are played for a day at a time, or whatever. One girl (one of the Motley Crue chicks) suggested '80s movie soundtrack songs, which I also thought was a fabulous idea.

So, lots of good stuff. I also got to share my disdain for the fact that they apparently MUST play John Cougar Mellencamp every friggin' hour. Thankfully, I was not alone in my issues with that. Everyone's suggestion was "more variety." As I pointed out, rock in the '80s encompassed SO many different genres from the most electronic synthpop, to hard rock, to R&B, to hair metal, to power ballads, to the beginnings of hiphop. Now, they mainly concentrate on very mainstream rock. The aforementioned John Cougar Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Def Leppard, etc. And while it's nice to hear that stuff sometimes, I'd love some Human League or Howard Jones or Flock of Seagulls thrown in. And apparently, that will happen.

Before the meeting, we got a tour of the station. We met the DJs, got to go in the programming booth and play with the equipment, and see basically how a radio station works (which was fun for those of us who have never done that before.) And then we had pizza, which is always a good thing. So, it was a very satisfying night. I exchanged e-mail addresses with a few of the people there, so it was nice to make some new friends.

Oh, and back to mainstream '80s rock, I'm going to see Eddie Money tomorrow night. :-) He wasn't one of my favorites, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do still remember some of his songs very fondly. And as I've said before, I'm trying to see as many of my '80s icons as I can while they're still breathing. So, Eddie Money, tomorrow. Take me home tonight, indeed!

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