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 msteele@entravision.com.

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.

Sincerely,
Beth VanderYacht
beth@michris.com

5 Comments so far

  1. Greg (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 9:02 am

    I agree with Beth’s sentiments and tried the past two days to listen to what now stands in as the morning show. It just wasn’t the same. I missed listening to Dicky interrupt the morning news just to mess with Liz, his comments which made me crack up to the point of tears sometimes, and his presence on the air. His points of view on topics were definitely some of the more intelligent and well-backed-up on a morning radio show.

    I used to wake up to the Mighty Morning Show. Now, it’s like listening to a schoolmarm drag her nails across a blackboard to get her unruly class’s attention, and the music doesn’t seem as independent as it once was. (And, yes, I was sick of hearing that Morrissey song over and over and over, as well.)

    Indie is no longer Indie.


  2. Michael Doss (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 9:13 am

    Well, Indie never really was Indie, but it played the part well. I’ve pretty much migrated full time to satellite radio, and it’s unlikely I’m going to go back.


  3. Rick mittwer (unregistered) on March 31st, 2006 @ 11:34 am

    I too was a faithful MMS listener. I’m devestated that I can no longer hear my buddy Dicky on the air. No I don’t know him personally but to all those who listened to his show will know what I mean. Dicky made you feel that you were his friend and part of the show. He had a charm that no one else could emit through the airwaves. Form the opening WAKE UP!!! YOU LAZY *!@$ till the end of the show, you really felt a part of it. His mix of songs and not playing from a set playlist was so refreshing. One any givien day could hear The Dropkick Murphys The Nekromantix, then some Frank Sinatra or Burt Bacharach! There was no other show like it! Now my weekday mornings totally suck! I tried giving a listen to the new “improved?” morning show and it is so sad to hear what it has become, your typical contrived morning show complete with stupid sound effects! Welll Indie, if you wanted to become another KROQ you’re well on your way. Ah yes, just what we need more Kevin and Bean ( whiny asswipes)shtick! Michael Steele dropped the ball big time and in the process will lose a ton of loyal Indie listeners…trust me. Guess it’s back to satellite in the morning.


  4. Cindy Wechsung (unregistered) on April 6th, 2006 @ 12:19 am

    I am disgusted that you have taken Dickie Barrett off of the air. The MAIN REASON I started listening to Indie is because it promised to be INDEPENDENT… which means “free”. If I wanted something different I would have continued listening to KROQ and HATING it. Dickie Barrett was FRESH, FUNNY, and knew good music and PLAYED good music. He didn’t just hit the automatic play list. When he was on the air, I felt like I was sitting on a couch, watching Dickie look at his records on the shelf, decide upon one, slide the record carefully out of it’s slip, take the paper off, carefully place it on the turn table, place the needle on JUST THE SONG in which he felt WE were in mood. That’s how lovingly he chose to play a Ramones, Sex Pistols, Neil Diamond or Stiff Little Fingers song. And YOU, you ripped him off of the air. YOU RIPPED US OFF! A while ago, I took KROQ OFF of my programed radio in my car. I finally believed that I found my INDIE radio station. I also gave away a $40 gift certificate I received to Star Bucks. You have begun the process of turning my FAVORITE radio station into a corporate giant that thinks with his bank account. I don’t listen to the morning show anymore. I miss CHUCK, LIZ, and party girl STACEY. Yes, Liz and Stacey are still on but it’s not the same. Until you bring Dickie back, (unfortunately, you ignored his talent: “Dicky is a true talent and a radio star” and ”it’s a great Morning Show”) I will NOT LISTEN TO INDIE and I will not go to Carl’s Junior. Just so you know, I am emailing them next.
    BRING DICKIE BACK!
    Cindy Wechsung


  5. LATaurus (unregistered) on April 8th, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

    Blue C Communications Press Release

    Please note that Blue C has stopped advertising with Indie…. Please write to Indie’s sponsors and tell them how much you miss the Mighty Morning Show!!

    List of sponsors here:

    http://indie1031.musirc.com/viewtopic.php?t=1603

    Press release

    http://bluecusa.com/press/article.php?id=000023

    Press release text:

    Blue C Bids Farewell To Dicky Barrett On INDIE 103.1FM

    By Lauren Youman
    04/07/2006

    As of March 24th, 2006, a true friend to the Blue C family as well as to those who embody the independent ethos, Dicky Barrett, was released from the Los Angeles radio station Indie 103.1FM. Dicky known also as the lead singer and frontman for the legendary Mighty Mighty Bostones and also from the Jimmy Kimmel Show led the revolution of Independent music for what it should be.

    Since taking over the morning airwaves in Los Angeles, Dicky Barrett has been a major proponent of quality radio programming, exposing hungry listening audiences to local incredible artists whom would never find rotation on major market radio stations. Truly a unique voice amongst his peers, Dicky was extremely supportive of the people of Los Angeles, so much so that he was kind enough to have us in the studio with him on more than one occasion to show his own support for the ever-growing off-road lifestyle.

    We received this from Dicky recently and would like to pass it on.

    Some people choose to just wave flags, and that’s enough for them, while others go through life with what they believe in running through their veins. I’m the latter.
    The best Mighty Morning Shows had guests on the show that were passionate, and truly believed in what it is they were doing with their lives. Whether it was music, sports, art, making movies, writing books, cooking food, painting houses, it doesn’t matter, if they were passionate, and true, they were my kind of guest. Nothing could bog a Morning Radio Show down faster, or kill a good thing quicker, then a part timer or a flag waver.

    – Dicky Barrett via email to Blue C

    We at Blue C would like to personally thank Dicky Barrett for his unflinching support of the independent spirit that resides in all of us; a spirit which he himself shines as a positive example of. He will truly be missed.



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