The year was 2012. There I was in my townhouse, located in southwest Houston Texas, USA. It’s early in the morning. I have awoken and was now in my daily routine of drinking coffee and spending time on the Internet. Wearing briefs and not boxers. On Facebook, I was still a newbie. A large reason why I signed on the mega popular website was due to a half brother. From another mother, and a whole decade older than yours truly. A cool cat or so I thought. And a tale I’ll elaborate more on, at another time. Meanwhile, I’ll tell the story about how I met UK’s radio personality, Jon Kirkman aka ‘Mister Classic Rock Radio’. The title has a nice ring to it, I think. Not that anyone calls him that to my knowledge.
Back in the last part of the 20th century, in my spare time, I was helping a few professional musicians with their world wide web social media; Yahoo Groups. Jon Kirkman signed on to both the one I was coordinating for Michael Bruce (original member of the Alice Cooper Band) and one I was doing for Peter Banks (original member of Yes). Through private emails, and instant messages Jon and I got to know each other. The results were that we became very good friends. Having the love of prog-rock in common, we ended up doing a few snail mail trades. Cassette or on recordable CDs. I bet in my storage unit located a thousand miles away, that I still have everything Jon sent my way. In their original mailing envelopes. And I kept my promise to this day of not doing trades with certain items; interviews that Jon conducted.
With all the communicating Jon and I did back and forth, it came out that not only was I an Internet music trader (motivated by Michael Bruce) but that I was into acquiring radio ‘interviews’ as well. In the real world, I routinely worked my ass off. A full (40 hours) and a part-time job (20 hours) when needed. I’ve kept employed being available seven days a week. Team player (insert the sound of laughter). Plus my eyes were always open to making money on the side. The collecting I always considered a hobby. Healthier for me than doing pints, sitting in a pub all night. And much cheaper.
Now, remember, when Jon subscribed to Yahoo Groups that I was the administrator of, he didn’t say anything about being a radio DJ (disc jockey). Or that he did projects outside of that, such as authoring music reviews or CD liner notes. Having mutual friends as well, I remember when finding out all that, thinking it was pretty cool. Interesting way to make a living. I knew a few others in radio. Later on came Jon’s MC gig doing cruises that focused on classic rock acts such as Yes, or The Moody Blues. Not ever able to go myself, Jon in the past, has brought me back some items that he knew I’d like. Always appreciated! To this day we have a very solid friendship. No need to communicate with each other every day. We’ll an email or phone call away. Both of us admitted musicaholics. No getting away from it, and why would we if we could?
Classic Rock Vaults
Besides listening to music on the radio in the 1960’s and 70’s as a youngin growing up on the New Jersey Shore (USA), I also listened to the news, radio theater, and interviews with people I liked or interested me. Or believe it or not, sometimes to people I absolutely hated, just to get into their mindset some. Nowadays, someone like the retired entertainer David Letterman comes to mind. Out there talking downright shit to anyone who will listen. Others similar to him; Roger Waters. Usually political and somehow interested/involved in America’s political system. Strongly disagreeing with the words I may hear, I still intently listen to their message and respect others point of view. I do this also to question my own instincts. Check to see if mentally I am on the right path.
Back then I was very inquisitive. What I heard out of those crappy speakers that I reluctantly called my own, helped satisfy that natural desire as a youth to learn. And what do you know, I just so carried that over to adulthood. To this day I’m still curious if the carpet matches the drapes, and love with a passion, the old and 21st century radio presentation. Music-wise and or intellectually. Just as good, yet another behind the scenes story about how the members of my favorite band Yes, all hate one another. Check it out. There are TWO Yes’ now. Divorce wiped me out. I can’t afford to see one. That can change. My choices; Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman on their next tour? Or Yes featuring Steve Howe and Alan White is touring this summer with Carl Palmer (playing the hits of ELP dedicated to Greg and Keith), and some Todd dude who hates Republicans and requests that none go to the concert. Cracks me up! Hopefully, he’ll rescind that, forget the politics, and play the music he’s known for. Entertain the masses. Better for business.
Back to the subject at hand, now with the Internet, there are no limitations to what you can find. Including, if you poke around right on this very website, a Keith Emerson interview from 2002, archived and presented by the man who conducted it. For a Classic Rock Radio (UK) listener, a new choice that perfectly compliments the experience one gets when tuning in, and spending time digging around our shit (said in a complementary way … of course).
If not for being a contributor to Classic Rock Radio (UK), and getting a free membership to our new Classic Rock Vaults, I would bend over backward to join. Well, being older now that might not be physically possible for me to do anymore. The cost is mere pennies a day. New stuff being added all the time, hand picked by Jon and the crew. It’s my kind of thing. Interesting interviews with musicians who make the music I like listening to the best. And Mr. Kirkman … this guy could easily win any classic rock trivia contest. The man does his homework. One can easily tell by just kicking back (careful not to fall out of the chair), turning up the volume, and enjoying all that is located in the Classic Rock Vaults of Classic Rock Radio (UK).
Uncle G’s Picks
In the fifth, I’ll take ‘Undignified’ … only joking!
PLAYING NOW (Classic Rock Vaults)
Jay Schellen: Jon interviewed him very recently; Cruise To The Edge 2017. What a cool guy! To replace Alan White (drummer for John Lennon_Yes) you gotta be good. And that Jay is. Seasoned professional. I have been following Jay’s career for some time now. In my opinion, Jay Schellen is; the real deal!
Billy Sherwood: Again, filmed on the last ‘Cruise to The Edge’ … tickets for the 2018 Cruise To The Edge ON SALE NOW … just sayin’. Billy chats to Jon about a tour he did with original Yes keys player Tony Kaye a few years back, his career in general which includes being a member in Yes and Asia, and an up and coming tribute album to his dearly departed friend, bass player and also an original member of Yes, Chris Squire. Filled with information fans would dig knowing.
Ian Anderson: Chats with Jon just last year about a re-issued Jethro Tull album from way back called; Jethro Tull – Stand Up (1969). The band’s second release, and their first with guitarist Martin Barre, who stayed with the group up until a few years ago. I saw Jethro Tull twice in concert; 1977 and 1993. Superior musicians. Fun music! The ‘Stand Up’ reissue is a ‘Steven Wilson’ project. What a musical genius he is! If unaware, check out a band he was in called; Porcupine Tree. Again, Jon Kirkman conducts a perfect conversation, making for a very informative and entertaining presentation. What one expects if aware of Jon’s work.
Wrapping this up, I feel ‘Classic Rock Vaults’ is a wonderful premium addition for our loyal listeners, that is certainly worth every penny charged. A couple pounds a month … a few bucks a month. Helps support the station (example; maintenance fees), and opens the door to conversations you just haven’t heard yet. So what are you waiting for?
Oh, if we could get a favor out of you? Please pass on, and tell your friends! Classic Rock Vaults … a new feature here at Classic Rock Radio (UK). Updated frequently. So keep tuning in … and on behalf of myself and the wonderful people here at Classic Rock Radio (UK) and Classic Rock Vaults … THANKS! Hope y’all enjoy … feel free to give feedback or suggestions to anyone on the staff.