Dicky Barrett’s firing and a letter from a fan
As mentioned over at Blogging.la this week, Indie 103.1 morning show personality and frontman for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dicky Barrett, was fired from his hosting gig this week, for a variety of reasons. LA Voice has a copy of Dicky’s press release on the situation.
I hate hearing about things like this, both as a fan of LA radio and someone who had his own show (in another radio market) for two years. It’s the business, but it still sucks. My friend and co-host on my radio show, Beth, has drafted the following to Michael Steele, Indie’s Program Director. If this is something you care about, we encourage you to write something similar to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Mr. Steele,
I don’t often feel moved enough to write a complaint to the media, but I have become so upset and disappointed with Indie as of late, that I had to voice my feelings to you. Dicky Barrett’s firing is a travesty. I was a faithful listener to Indie 103.1 since it first appeared on the dial, and I looked forward to the Punk Rock Minute and Mighty Morning Show every day. My day just didn’t feel right if I didn’t get a dose of random 70’s singer/song writers or an update on my favorite punk band each morning. Although I am a subscriber to commercial-free satellite radio, nothing could keep me from listening to Dicky every day, even though I was often annoyed with the non-stop Jonesy commercials for Toyota of Huntington Beach. I converted many friends to Indie listeners, even pulling a few away from Kevin and Bean, Adam Corolla, and satellite radio.
Dicky was a real radio personality – he gave his opinions, he played his music, and he even let his charismatic mom play a role in his morning show. Who wants another cookie cutter morning show that has been filtered and homogenized? Not this listener. His political opinions, although not shared by all, were smart and well defended. He often allowed listeners with opposing views to be heard on the show, and was always fair in his debates. I would often arrive at work in the morning and Dicky’s show would be a topic of conversation most of the day. It was refreshing to have intelligent conversation with co-workers about something meaningful rather than blankly discuss Lost or American Idol – Dicky opened that up to his audience. Dicky was compelling and thoughtful in his commentary, making people think for just a little while about something other than themselves. If his comments on abortion had anything to do with his firing, as the LA papers claim, I think it is a sad day for Indie. I feel that Indie has lost all of its independent nature and now is nothing more than a KIIS fm for poser punks and teenie-boppers who love Good Charlotte. Dicky allowed his audience to experience punk and ska through the eyes of a true fan – a fan who wasn’t afraid to admit his love for Burt Bacharach and Madness in the same sentence. Your decision to fire him has left a void in LA and OC’s cultural climate.
I have to say, my mornings basically suck now. Your efforts to put random people on the air in Dicky’s place are horrible and pathetic. I will no longer listen to Indie, and will now switch fulltime to my satellite radio, where I sadly will get the music but not the personality I have come to look forward to each morning. I have never been an avid listener of any morning show until Dicky came along, and doubt I will again. You have made a big mistake in firing Dicky Barrett and I hope your listeners express their unhappiness with you by tuning out Indie 103.1.