"It was all so honest, before the end of our collective innocence. Top-40 jocks screamed and yelled and sounded mightier than God on millions of transistor radios. But on FM radio it was all spun out for only you. On a golden web by a master weaver driven by 50,000 magical watts of crystal clear power...before the days of trashy, hedonistic dumbspeak and disposable three-minute ditties...in the days where rock lived at many addresses in many cities." (from FM)
As a young man, Richard Neer dreamed of landing a job at WNEW in New York - one of the revolutionary FM stations across the country that were changing the face of radio by rejecting strict formatting and letting disc jockeys play whatever they wanted. He felt that when he got there, he’d have made the big time. Little did he know he’d have shaped rock history as well.
FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio chronicles the birth, growth, and death of free-form rock-and-roll radio through the stories of the movement’s flagship stations. In the late '60s and early seventies - at stations like KSAN in San Francisco, WBCN in Boston, WMMR in Philadelphia, KMET in Los Angeles, WNEW, and others - disc jockeys became the gatekeepers, critics, and gurus of new music. Jocks like Scott Muni, Vin Scelsa, Jonathan Schwartz, and Neer developed loyal followings and had incredible influence on their listeners and on the early careers of artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Genesis, the Cars, and many others.
Full of fascinating firsthand stories, FM documents the commodification of an iconoclastic phenomenon, revealing how counterculture was coopted and consumed by the mainstream. Richard Neer was an eyewitness to, and participant in, this history. FM is the tale of his exhilarating ride.
What members say
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- Deb Mone
Voice pro doesn't narrate his own book?
What did you like best about FM? What did you like least?
Liked the history and stories about the heyday of WNEW-FM and other rock stations around the country. The first few chapters are tedious - the book picks up once Richard is working full time at WNEW. Also, Richard's petty mudslinging gets tedious.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
Edit out the first few chapters.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Why doesn't Richard narrate his own book? You would think a radio personality would read his own book. The narrator sounds like he's acting instead of telling his life story.