Here’s the latest update on the production of the CFNY Spirit of Radio documentary.

In case you haven’t heard, there’s finally going to be a definitive big-budget documentary about CFNY/Toronto’s Spirit of Radio years (1978-1992). A group of us–including some former staffers along with some high-powered (an in one case, Emmy-winning) producers.

I’m writing this on an Air Canada flight back from the UK where me and the crew just finished a whirlwind tour of the UK interviewing some of the artists whose music was instrumental to the station back in the day.

We spent a full day shooting in one of the studios at Abbey Road. We spoke with Richard Barbieri of Japan…

…Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks…

…Gang of Four singer John King…

…and author Daniel Richler (who was a CFNY announcer for about 18 months in the early 80s).

From there, we took the train to Glasgow where we spoke to Jim Kerr of Simple Minds at a studio called Gloworm…

…and then down to Liverpool for a chat with OMD’s Andy McClusky at a brilliant studio called Soundhouse…

…and finally to the Manchester home of Peter Hook (Joy Division/New Order). We met with him in his garden rehearsal room.

It was an insane five days. Now Matt, the director, has to go through more than 20 TB of 6K video before we start up again with the next round of interviews. That will include:

  • Geets
  • Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee (Rush)
  • Martin Gore and Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode. (Fingers crossed)
  • Richard Butler of Psychedelic Furs (TBA, but we’re hopeful)
  • Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies)
  • More CFNY alumni
  • Plus a few more big names that we’re trying to pin down.

We need to have things edited and handed in by November 3. Expect a premier in early 2024. I’ll keep you posted. Questions, comments, or suggestions? Send them to me through [email protected].

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38340 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

9 thoughts on “Here’s the latest update on the production of the CFNY Spirit of Radio documentary.

  • Sounds interesting
    Can’t wait to see it

    If you haven’t done it yet, don’t forget to interview Kevin O’Leary (not the Shark Tank guy)
    He always has some interesting stories

  • Can’t wait for this doc. Back in the day my radio didn’t leave 102.1 for years and years. True innovators. No station has come close since.

  • I wondered what happened to Daniel Richler. I loved his too brief stay at NY. After that, I would see him at Yonge and Eglinton when he was at TVO (I was briefly in IT at Canadian Tire in the same building). That was 88-89, so long time.

  • Can’t wait to see the finished product Alan! I was on staff at the downtown sales office from about 1984 to 1991! An amazing experience!

  • Am I dreaming or was there not a morning personality called “The Tominator”? I swear I used to listen to him and laugh out loud in the morning driving to work. I haven’t heard or seen his name referenced anywhere.

    Am I mistaking? Am I dreaming?

    • The Tominator was at Energy 108 and Hot 103.5

      • Thanks Juice. How strange, All along I thought it was CFNY. I appreciate you clearing this up and solving this nagging question I’ve had.

      • How odd.. can’t find any online references at all on The Tominator… as if he vanished from the earth lol

  • I can’t wait to see the documentary Alan I grew up on cfny 1983 to 1992.


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