reunion articles: chartattack, november 11, 2003

From ChartAttack, November 11, 2003:

CFNY’s David Marsden Organizes A Spirited Reunion

Tuesday November 11, 2003 @ 03:00 PM
By: Staff

A couple of years ago there was a documentary on the music and art culture that developed on Toronto’s Queen Street West during the late ‘70s. At the same time that scene was developing, out in a small yellow house in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, a FM station with a poor signal and no money began broadcasting popular music. Both the Queen Street scene and the fledgling radio station would have an indelible impact on the current music scene in Toronto. The station, CFNY, became known for its maverick content and passionate slogan, The Spirit Of Radio. Led by velvet-voiced radio veteran, David Marsden - the station's program director from 1978 to 1988 - CFNY grew out of its humble beginnings into the powerful new music station now known as The Edge 102. 

This Wednesday, November 12, Marsden, along with former CFNY employees Don Berns and Steve MacCaulay have a organized a massive reunion of The Spirit Of Radio at the Kool Haus and Guvernment in Toronto. The evening will feature two parallel events as live music will be performed by Canadian ‘80s mainstays The Spoons, Images In Vogue, The Extras, The Pukka Orchestra, Carole Pope and Kevan Staples of Rough Trade and former Parachute Club singer, Lorraine Segato. All bands will be performing at the Kool Haus. A long list of former CFNY personalities including Earl Jive, Skot Turner, Lee Carter, Alan Cross and The New Music's George Stroumboulopoulos will be re-staging the CFNY road show in the Guvernment next door. 

"What we are going to have on that night is a lot of magic," Marsden predicts. "There's going to be a lot of things that happen just because they are there together." The "they" Marsden refers to are the musical acts that are reuniting for this night, some playing together for the first time in over a decade. "[Former Spoons keyboardist] Rob Preuss is flying in from New York to play with The Spoons. He lives in New York now where he is the musical director of Mamma Mia. The reunion interested him sufficiently that he advised Gordon Depp, [the group's guitarist/co-leader] that he wanted to a part of the reunion." 

The idea for The Spirit Of Radio Reunion began over a coffee date between Marsden and Berns, when the two old friends began wondering what had happened to some of their former colleagues. 

"We went to, a web site created and maintained by people who loved the radio station, Marsden says. "The first thing that we came across was a string of comments wanting to have a reunion. Leslie Kross, who was my assistant at CFNY at the time, had written in a single email that said ‘Hey everybody, let's have a reunion’ and that began a long string from many people enthusiastic about the idea." 

Marsden learned the importance of creating a bond between the station and the listeners early in his time at CFNY, beginning with his Save The Spirit Of Radio campaign in 1978. "For the entire time I was [at CFNY] we never did anything without involving the audience. Our Christmas parties involved the audience," Marsden happily admits. "So for us to do a reunion and to do this properly would involve the audience, those who supported everything that we did and that are how it turned into the show that it is now. Because once we launched into that we had to have the musicians and so on. "

-Chris Burland

Tune in to ChartAttack tomorrow for the second half of Chris Burland’s conversation with David Marsden in which Marsden reminisces about the good old days of CFNY.

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