My Facebook Thoughts

Friday, September 28, 2007

When Idols Die or Just Get Old.

I remember growing up and listening to the radio. I would spend hours listening to music whilst (yeah, I used whilst) our parents listened to boring talk radio. But then a new kind of talk radio hit Chicago in the late 70's, Steve Dahl & Garry Meier.

Steve & Garry were funny and often got into trouble for the things they said and did on the radio. Our parents hated them, which was even cooler. Every class clown and smartass wanted to be the next Steve & Garry, including yours truly.

Growing up disabled my career choices were limited. I knew I wasn't going to be a baseball player, a football player, or a champion ballroom dancer, um, I mean champion bull rider. I had two good options, radio or computers. I loved computers, even in their infancy. And since I was the class clown and smartass, radio had a certain attraction to me. People would often say to me, "You should be on the radio."

I learned about radio in high school, Homewood-Flossmoor High School. We had our own radio station, WHFH, 88.5 FM. This was going to my springboard to stardom, I was going to be the next Steve Dahl. Funny thing about education, you learn things. Aside from learning that it's Sophia and not Sophie Loren, I learned that radio DJ's often have to "pay their dues" all over the country working for small radio stations in small towns. Not being able to live independently or drive I slowly awoke from my radio dream. Computers were mine.

Over the years I continued to listen to the radio icon of my youth. But then I started realizing something.

Steve Dahl was boring.

Everyday was the same thing. Dahl was always complaining about something. His wife, his kids, radio management, ex-partners, ex-friends, a static hum only he could hear. His songs were tired and monotonous. My old idol was a grump, and not a funny grump either.

Here this guy was living my dream and all he could do was complain.

I turned the dial.

Over the years I would give him another try only to find the same show from 15 years earlier. Even yesterday Steve & Garry were on WGN-TV promoting their "reunion". And there was Dahl, it's too early, traffic sucks, this is our umpteenth reunion, blah, blah, blah.

I don't believe in idols. I do, however, have tons of respect for people who get to make a wonderful living doing something I once dreamed of doing. Steve Dahl didn't steal my dream, but he also doesn't honor those who weren't as fortunate as him to live the dream.


D. Wielgus said...

How sad that you are missing the irony and joy in everyday 'real' situations. Steve Dahl has always been the most real person on the radio and he continues to point out the absurdities in real life. The things we all deal with and struggle with, he brings a lighter side to it all.

May you continue you to find your own joy, and leave us to enjoy ours!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Gosh, I couldn't disagree with you more regarding Steve Dahl. Did you ever really listen? I've listened more on than off for over 20 years and not only has the show changed but Steve has changed. He's grown up, his kids have grown up, he's sobered up and his parenting skills have improved. I find him funny and real. Steve is himself and I appreciate someone calling it like it is and saying how he feels even if it is not politically correct or inspiring. There are enough of those people out there, as a matter of fact they are a dime a dozen. Steve is an original and some of the only interesting radio left out there.

Anonymous said...

Stick to computers

Anonymous said...

Steve Dahl is a Chicago treasure! What was it that you do nowadays? (other than complain?)

FLASHABC said...


FLASHABC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

You obviously still care about Steve and his opinion. Why else would you e-mail him and ask him to read your BLOG?

Steve's done you a service today as he's pointed his fans in your general direction. Perhaps you'll be able to convince us with a future post that you have something intelligent to say.

Anonymous said...

Steve has "successfully" been doing something for over 30 years that you dreamed of doing. You are typing on you computer-- dare I type--"complaining" about him and his achievments. Jealous?

Steve is awesome, I have listened to him for 28 years now and will continue to listen to him as long as I am able to do so. His show has matured, as have his audience. You want 20-something radio stunts? Go hunt down Manqueer.
Oh, and.."Go Bears!"

Anonymous said...

I actually took the time to read a couple of your other posts. I don't know if schizophrenia is another one of your afflictions, but you should re-read the one from the other day where you point out that too many people are critics, and you suggest that some filters need to be in place. Then think again about what you wrote about Dahl.

The chronology you provide of yourself means you should also be aware of the time when Steve Martin was a comedian who put albums (on vynyl) out. On one of them, he gave some very sage advice. It was that not everything you do creates an anecdote that everyone else cares about. He also said that when speaking (and in today's world, blogging) "to have a point".

Opinions are like sphincters...everyone has one. Remember, your opinion, plus $2, gets you a ride on the PACE bus.

Luke said...

Good luck, Mark. You're in for it now.

I'm looking for the part where you say "unbelievably mean" things, but you must have taken it down. All you say is that he's boring and whiny, which doesn't seem mean to me.

Strange that so many posts here are anonymous. Guess if I were a fan I'd want to remain anonymous too.

Anonymous said...

In response to Luke.....

They tell me I need to have a BLOG in order not to be anonymous. Sorry, I'm not going to sign-up today. But if it helps you, my name is Steve (not Dahl). My post was made at 3:13pm and starts off "you obviously". Hope that helps.

And Luke... I noticed you put quote marks around "unbelievably mean". Can you tell me who your quoting? Cause I don't see anyone in here using that term and I know Stave Dahl didn't.

Mark... If your wish was to have more people come and see your little BLOG, mission accomplished. Of course, you can thank Mr. Dahl for that. I wonder how Luke got here? He's not a fan of Dahl's so he wouldn't be checking out his daily BLOG????

AJ said...

I agree that Steve can be whiny and rude on occasion. I know he is a whiner, but I get a kick out of his whining. He is a whiny, witty broadcaster and I enjoy listening to him every afternoon. It is too bad you can not appreciate his humor.

Luke said...

Steve: I'm pretty sure people can leave their name by click the "other" button, but fair enough.

I'm one of the cyclists that hog the roads that I apparently have no rights to, so I've been following Dahl's radio log this week. In today's show the log says "Steve's going to keep rolling with the emails because he's got another one that's unbelievably mean."

Maybe it was the e-mail that was mean, not Mark's blog. In either case, Mark's critical, maybe even mean. But "unbelievably mean"? Guess it's not just the cyclists who need to toughen up and get a sense of humor.

Bill F. said...

You don't like the show, so don't listen. He's still a top draw in the 25 - 54 male category. That would be the money category. Too bad, because he's as funny today as he was when he was partnered with Garry. And that was pretty damn funny. At one time your comments might have rung true, the year he gave up drinking and had a radio show go out from under him was not exactly radio gold, but you know what, I listened and was entertained as he struggled to make something out of nothing each day. This is what happens when radio management stabs you in the back and saddles you with show wreckers. He had the cajones to quit and take his business elsewhere, those were big fat cajones when you consider all that was going on. And he paid his dues and came up via the sticks. Perhaps if you weren't such a wanna-be and jealous of his success your comments would be valid. No one's making you listen, go start a podcast and talk to no one. You are almost as big of a complainer as that bike idiot. Who cut off comments on his blog. Things were not going so well I'll guess.

Anonymous said...


Say no more.

I don't even agree with Dahl on everything he says. But I do with the whole Bicycle thing.

You nimrods need to find bike paths in public parks. Your a danger to yourselves and more importantly to drivers on the road. Ever since Lance Armstrong doped up and won those goofy races in France I have to put up with guys like you who think they are on the USPS Delivery Bike team. I think it's funny when a guy wear's a football jersey with Urlacher on it. But you guys take the cake with your little spandex get ups.

The road is for automobiles. Please don't quote laws telling me that I need to share it with a bike. Your taking your life in your own hands when you get on one.


Mark Plocharczyk said...

Hey guys!
I must say I'm honored to have been read by Steve Dahl. I know his fans are loyal and I should expect to be criticized. That's OK, I can handle it. You have all read my opinion. Keyword, opinion.
In all do respect to Mr. Dahl, I don't believe I was being mean. Maybe I just hit a nerve.
Thank you all for coming.

Scott Ploch said...

Bro you look a little off on this topic. I haven't listened to the man in a long time so I can't comment but his occasional column in the Tribune is funny.

Mike said...

Radio is a strange land of over priced stations and suspect ratings. Dahl has been one of the strange ones on it. I always found Steve's humor bland and his words drawn out. With that said, you do have to give him credit for lasting 30 years and changing with the times. To say he's a top draw in the male 25-54 category as Bill F. says is a stretch but ratings are another story.

Amnesty said...

Oh my. You've upset the masses....
I have no idea who Steve Dahl is, but you sure touched a nerve with that post!
Must be nice to be so popular, lol.

FLASHABC said...

THE POINT is for all of us is to have some courtesy on an already crowed roads.

Jim said...

You are truly, "wheelchair mean", a quote from Steve Dahl's show which made me laugh. Not sure what it means, but I chuckled!