Well, thank God that’s over. All the awful music, the inane blather, the uninteresting guests, the sheer discomfort of the whole drawn out affair. Nope, not the Big Day Out which, if a little short on happy surprises, was it’s customary mix of the terrific (Magic Numbers), the hilarious (Iggy), and the indifferent (White Stripes).
No, what I am talking about is something called Matinee Idle which National Radio inflicted on us over the summer weeks.
Abandoning any notion of quality radio NatRad simply handed over the weekday afternoons to a couple of guys who seemed to bring with them every lousy part of commercial radio (jocks with “personalities”), guests who all seemed to be mates and pretty good blokes, and then filled the hours with inane and occasionally inaudible comments and opinions.
To be honest after a while I tuned in rarely because it was so bereft of intelligence, or anything remotely interesting by way of interviews and music. I have the car radio tuned to NatRad but quickly discovered Radio Live next down the dial by pushing the scan button.
Michael Laws’ talkback is so desperate to be provocative that is weirdly compelling, and the Willie Jackson/John Tamihere pairing is hilariously unvarnished radio.
But when I did trawl back to NatRad’s Matinee Idle it was more of the same.
Okay, I am going to make this next bit up, but believe me, this is the kind of thing you could have heard. I’m not going to name the two people involved. Naming and shaming can come if they are ever brought back.
Host #1: And it’s 2.10 here on Matinee Idle and that was the Eagles with Peaceful Easy Feeling. Great song, and a great band.
Host #2: (off mike) Bimmffle adhh ana dwaaahm hheme . Ha ha ha.
#1: You can’t say that on radio!
#2: Summfillma ahd nend hamma dloop. Ha ha ha.
#1: Ha ha ha. Yeah, right. But they were a great band.
#2: Yeah, I met one of them after a show in Sydney a few years ago. Nice guy actually.
#1: Which one was that?
#2: Glenn, Glenn Frey.
#1: Oh, Glenn Frey. Great singer.
#2: Yeah, and a great guy. He was in Miami Vice once.
#1: I know, I saw that. He wrote the song Smugglers Blues for that show I think. You don’t hear bands like the Eagles anymore.
#2: That’s true. Great songs.
#1: The Little River Band.
#1: The Little River Band, they sound a bit like the Eagles. All those great harmonies and good songs. The Aussie band the Little River Band. We should get one of those guys in as a guest, he’d be good.
#2: Oh, that’s who it was. The guy from the Little River Band, that’s who I met backstage in Sydney. Glenn someone I think, it wasn’t Glenn Frey from the Eagles. I’ve remembered now.
#1: Ha ha ha ha.
#2: Yeah, it was him. Ha ha ha.
#1: Let’s see if we can find some Little River Band to play later on. Right now it’s 2.15 on Matinee Idle and coming up another in our classic concert series, this time Van Morrison’s It’s Too Late to Stop Now.
#2: Van the Man.
#1: Van the Man for sure. Some say he’s a grumpy guy, others say he’s a genius. We’ll see later on this afternoon, that’ll be coming up after 3, and before then we’re going to be talking to Steve Wainwright.
#2: Oh, he’s a great guy.
#1: Yeah, Steve works in ad agency here in capital writing jingles but he’s also been writing his own songs and the other night I heard one of them and I thought it was just terrific. So we’ve got Steve coming in to talk about New Zealand music and song writing. But right now let’s play some more music.
#1: Right, here’s some one we haven’t heard from in a while. Cat Stevens’ with Father and Son.
#2: Great song.
#1: Yeah and a great guy too. Went Muslim of course. Have you met him?
#2: Ha ha ha.
#1: Cat Stevens’ Father and Son here on Matinee Idle . . . .
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