KISW 99.9, The ROCK of Seattle
Sitting in on the BJ and MIGS morning show!
As I sit in my red, vinyl bean bag chair, headsets on, cord attached to the turntable…
I drop the needle…Headsets are thrown off, volume is cranked up, it's time to ROCK!
ZZ Topp, AC/DC, KISS, Aerosmith, Heart, Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, The WHO, Elton John,
Journey, Queen, Van Halen, Nazareth, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Boston …. those are just a few of my favorite 1970’s classic rock bands. I Loved that music, and still do! Since I lived in Eastern Washington, the radio station I listened to was KJRB. However, when I moved to Seattle, my ears were introduced to KISW, The Rock of Seattle.
Our work office was having a silent auction for charity. One of the auction items available was sitting in on the BJ and MIGS Morning Show at KISW. I was in stiff competition with a fellow Rock Sister, Kathy. She ended up winning, which was fine. I knew she would appreciate this as much as I would! Kathy, also a flight attendant, had been following AC/CD on their European and American Tour. That’s dedication to Rock! And we had also seen Lynryd Skynyrd together, the previous summer. I was thrilled when she asked me to accompany her to KISW. How exciting! Neither one of us had ever sat in on a radio show. This was going to be cool!
Once again, I hopped on a bus into Seattle. Why do I always ride a bus into Seattle? Because traffic SUCKS here! It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, the roads are packed. Kathy, unfortunately, did not have the easy option of riding a bus. Sure enough, she got stuck in a traffic jam. I was waiting for her at KISW, while she was stressed out stuck on I5 North. I was let into the KISW offices (16th floor of the West Tower of Metropolitan Park) and sat in the outer studio of the BJ and Migs morning show and waited for her there. It was cool to look through the glass windows and watch and listen to their radio show. BJ’s kids, Sara and Joey, also work there and were the ones I was sitting with in the outer studio. Super nice! Finally, Kathy arrived and we were escorted into the actual radio broadcast room. We met Bj, Migs, Vicky and their radio show producer Danny. Once again, SO warm and friendly. We were given headsets, seats and it was time for them to go back on air.
We had a blast sitting in on the show! To watch all their personal dynamics added a whole new dimension to the show. All the computers and technology being used to interact and keep up to date on current situations. In the ‘old days’ it was just listeners calling in on the phone. Now they also use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And the bantering was hysterical! Where do they come up with this stuff? We were laughing the whole time. Of course, there is a certain amount of time allowed in the show for talking, and then they go to their music set list. It was funny to watch Danny give the ‘wind it up sign’ but BJ and Migs would just ignore him, and keep bantering. They are such quick-witted people. During the music sets, we would take off our headsets and get a tour of the radio studio. It was interesting to learn what topics they choose to talk about, their music and the whole operation. Then it was time to go back on air, so we donned our headsets and listened in. We had so much fun!
When the show was over, they gave us some KISW t-shirts and other merchandise. Then BJ gave us a tour of the radio station. The walls were covered with records and pictures of rock legends throughout the years. KISW began in 1950, and is the oldest rock station in the United States. They were inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in the “Heritage Rock Radio Stations-Still Rocking” in 2014. What a special experience, in a legendary radio station!
What surprised me, was how small of area the radio station encompasses. And they share a floor with two other radio stations. Very modern. In my mind, I always think back to DJ Wolfman Jack. That legendary voice that every teenager and young adult recognized. With the onset of satellite radio and streaming stations like Pandora and Sportify, listening to a radio station sometimes can seem obsolete. But what makes them so important is the human factor. A voice we recognize, the interaction, and the community created in radio listeners. Yes, it’s easy to use streaming programs and create your own set lists. But what happened to the excitement of waiting by your radio to hear your favorite band’s new song? Or calling in a request and dedicating it to your secret crush. The romance and mystery of radio. Those are great memories.
The next morning, I tuned into KISW on my SONOS speakers, and it was SO fun to listen to the BJ and Migs show! I could totally visualize where they were, and who was there with them. It added a whole new level to my listening.
About a month later, I was down at Louie G’s in Fife for a show. Beforehand was the 17th Anniversary Party of the BJ and Migs show. It was great to run into Sara and gang again! They have a community of dedicated listeners. If you get an opportunity to sit in on a radio show, do it. That’s one thing I love about Seattle; there is always something cool to experience in the music world. The traffic sucks, but the music is great!
Thanks for ROCKIN’ Seattle KISW!
SUSAN IN SEATTLE
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