Radio People: Have You Ever Had “The Radio Dream?”

I first had The Radio Dream a day or two after I started doing the evening shift at KX-96 in Brandon, Manitoba. Records kept running out. I couldn’t find the next record. I somehow got locked out of the studio. The wrong commercials were running. In short, everything that could go wrong for an announcer when wrong for me in my dream. Variations of this dream haunt me regularly to this day.

And I’m not alone. My wife, who worked as a newscaster for years, has the same dreams. She can’t get to the news booth in time. She looks at her copy and realizes she printed out the wrong scripts. The microphone won’t work. And so on. I’ve talked to other people who suffer the same recurring nightmares.

I was (unnecessarily) reminded of The Radio Dream by this column by Jacobs Media Strategies.

In my version of this dream, there’s floor to ceiling albums against the back wall of the studio, the record is running down, and I somehow can’t put my hands on the album I want to play next.

I wonder if today’s version of the nightmare is a blue screen on the main computer in the studio.  Or is it a mouse that somehow won’t work?  Or some kind of software glitch?

The weird thing is that my time as a DJ was limited to campus radio and a few odd shifts here and there, filling in for my airstaff.  And yet, I have “the dream” every couple of years or so.

Based on Kelly’s post and anecdotal conversations with radio people, I’m betting that many of you do, too.  And if that’s the case, can we surmise that anyone who’s been on the air at a music station for any length of time has had “the dream?” And maybe it keeps recurring for all of us in some form of weird dream rotation (hopefully, it’s not a “power”).

And that would also mean that Bob Pittman has “the dream.”  And Scott Shannon,  And Jarl Mohn.  Whether you’re a corporate exec in New York or a weekender in Anchorage, chances are the one thing we all have in common in radio is “the dream.”  It’s a strange and unusual bond to be sure, but I’m thinking it’s shared by thousands of former and current radio people.

The whole article can be found here. Are you (or have been) in radio and plagued with The Radio Dream? What’s yours?

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 38162 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Radio People: Have You Ever Had “The Radio Dream?”

  • Of course! Back when I was working for my college’s radio, I was constantly dreaming that my studio was getting larger to the point that I wasn’t able to reach my cds so I couldn’t put anything the air and was subsequently forced to keep talking while all my equipment was drifting farther and farther apart. Live.

    Although it was a nightmare, writing this just brought me good memories about DJing at my old college station. I’m also glad to see I’m not the only one who had those dreams.


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