In a sense we’ve come to our banks to deposit a check as well as to turn on the radio to listen to dementia music. When the architects of our nation wrote the words to the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all sexualities, colors, creeds, races, cultures, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and to freely listen to demented music on their radios whenever they want. It is obvious today that America's corporate radio companies have defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of fans of dementia music are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Lincoln Financial, Radio One, Disney, Cumulus, Cox, Finest City Broadcasting, Compass Broadcasting, Salem, and other powerful radio conglomerates, have given the demented music fan a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of what American culture is about: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that demented music is created as equally as boring music and that they deserve to be given as much exposure on the radio as boring music is today..
I have a dream that one day in the vast wastelands of the big metropoloisses, the children and grandchildren of their ascendents will be able to turn on their terrestrial radios and listen to at least sixty minutes of demented music on the free radio every day on at least a quarter of the commercial broadcasters.
I have a dream that our little children will one day live in a nation where where they will regularily be exposed to funny and demented music on the radio and television while they grow up. They will find that they can want to learn about music if music is made to be fun in the first place.
Let dementia music sing, and when this happens, and when we allow dementia music to sing - when we let it sing from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of the people: geek and cool people - musicologists and pop music fans - computors and high school dropouts - comedy song and love song fans - Star Trekkies and Grey's Anatomists - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Dr. Demento spiritual: Demented at last! Demented at last! Demented at last! Thank God Almighty, we are demented at last!
"Instead of continuing to fade away into the lost landscape of past pop culture, I think the Good Doctor should offer classic Dr. Demento for 128K download, a quality high enough for fans to burn the shows to CD or transfer to an mp3 player for personal use. I suggest only classic shows as a means of "protecting" the current run of shows for terrestrial radio.
"Shows could be made available one at a time, for a week at a time... which would limit the number of shows being offered for download. However, it would allow for much better exposure than the current low quality 40Kbps one-play-only streaming method, which seems to be wrought with problems.
"I will always support The Dr. Demento Show. It's the benchmark by which all others are measured. I have to also say that when it comes to passion for the music, high-quality music selection, and widespread availability, there's nothing that even comes close to The Mad Music Show.
"For the true fan of mad music and crazy comedy, there's something special about having your own personal archive of the weekly program. I have every one of the Mad Music Shows. Would I purchase CD-quality downloads of The Dr. Demento Show? ABSOLUTELY... IF I could burn them to CD for my personal collection.
"It's not likely to happen, but my ultimate wish would be for the radio industry to be RE-REGULATED. More regulation? Yes, more regulation... especially when it comes to ownership. Radio was destroyed by de-regulation! Let me explain...
"When ownership limits were lifted, companies like Clear Channel (and my personal nemesis New Northwest Broadcasters) eagerly bought more and more stations in each market. Local ownership has all but disappeared in most medium and many small markets. These corporate mega-broadcasters now own up to HALF of all radio stations in some markets. They came in, fired complete radio staffs, combined operations, dictated tiny music playlists (my station went from a 2800-song rotation to just 600 songs playing over and over again) from their corporate headquarters hundreds or thousands of miles away from the market. Essentially, corporate radio swooped down and forced local broadcasters to sell out or be run out of business. They took a thriving industry made up of thousands of local broadcasters -- who employed tens of thousands of local talent -- and turned it into an uninteresting, format factory that employed the fewest number of people (not talent) as possible.
"Here in Klamath Falls, New Northwest Broadcasters bought up five radio stations -- HALF of the local radio market -- and fired two full staffs. Five radio stations (KAGO-AM, KAGO-FM, KKJX-AM, KLAD-FM and KYSF-FM), which used to employ anywhere from 35 to 50 people, now operate with a staff of about 10. There's only 5 "announcer" voices that rotate pre-recorded shifts on three of the five stations. The other two are 24/7 syndicated talk and Spanish. Local news? The stations don't do ANY real reporting. EVERYTHING is gathered from yesterday's newspaper and from fax'd news releases from state agencies. It's absolutely pathetic. The enthusiastically-programmed local country and rock formats that existed in the '80s and '90s are both a fraction of what they once were. Gone is the excitement of hearing live personalities, replaced with the country morning guy voice tracking an afternoon shift on the rock station and voice tracking an evening shift on the hip-hop station; the voice-tracked rock evening guy doing afternoon voice tracks on the country station and morning voice tracks on the hip hop station. Almost nothing is "live" anymore. It's so boring, it's completely unlistenable.
"Why all the harping about corporate radio? Well, up until June 30, 1999, I was happily enjoying a 20-year career in small- and medium-market radio. For nearly a decade, I arranged for and engineered the weekly broadcast of The Dr. Demento Show. The FIRST programming move after New Northwest Broadcasting took over the radio station was the cancellation of The Dr. Demento Show. Even though we're in Southern Oregon, someone at the Seattle corporate office didn't like Dr. Demento's show, so it was cancelled.
"Local radio: RIP
"Dr. Demento: let the internet help you thrive - reward your loyal fans with high-quality audio.
"J.D. Zack: local politics continue to blacklist me from local radio stations; some people say that my passion for REAL live, fun, family-friendly LOCAL radio made the other "jocks" sound bored and uninterested, so get rid of the oasis of energy so no one else has to live up to it.
"Captain Wayne: keep up the great work! Now, you're the oasis of passion in a sea of banality."
"I found Demento again through streaming 12 years after his show was abruptly canceled here. Then I found this site a couple months after Wayne started it and I thought- Great! I can catch up on everything I missed. Fill in that big empty space in my collection. Then all the 'you know what' happened. Oh, well. Paranoia and greed are powerful forces. Or perhaps that top hat's a little too tight..."
This is David Tanny. Captain Wayne hosts his weekly podcast of The Mad Music Show, a two-hour show of dementia music like Dr. Demento, except that Wayne offers his show for free on terrestrial radio stations and high quality mp3 streams for Internet listeners. Mad Music is an ASCAP/BMI/SESAC licensed website offering Mad Music, plus podcasts of Manic Mondays hosted by Tom Rockwell. This is a model Dr. Demento should be using instead of restricting his show to paying members for substandard quality streams. To beat the San Diego morning radio show blues, listen to the funny music podcasts and you'll hear for yourself that funny radio shows still exist for you to enjoy without all the bloated egos of Mikey, Stacy Taylor, Rick Roberts, Dave Rickards, Monique, Danny Bonaduce, and A.J. trying to entertain but bore people to work. For more information about the Mad Music Show, visit The Mad Music Archive.