NPR, Robin Rogers, 98 Rock & Pay To Play

Back in the mid 1990′s I produced and engineered three tracks for a cousin’s rock band. The tunes, aided in large part by the production, were good enough to get the band featured on a radio show on WRFX (Charlotte, NC) called “Local Licks”. What followed was, for me, an education in marketing, self-delusion and human psychology that I would never forget.

Long story short, another cousin, whose band I had been scheduled to record first but who hadn’t been ready when the time came, took exception to the fact that this other band had been recorded first and was already getting radio airplay (even if it was a one-shot deal on a show featuring local music). What followed was a competition, in which this other cousin’s band worked feverishly to get one of their pre-recorded tunes on the radio before the other band. They managed to do so, getting some of their music played on a rival radio station. But a lot of bad blood was created by that childish jealousy. A lot of relationships were permanently damaged. And all for what? So someone could brag about their music being played once or twice on a local radio station?

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