fan page testimonials

Selected stories from fans and employees

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I'm just putting the finishing touches on a mini-documentary about The Spirit of Radio years at CFNY FM. It is a not-for-profit documentary intended for educational purposes. It includes interviews with David Marsden, Alan Cross, Dani Elwell, Scot Turner, Ivar Hamilton and Mark Gane of Martha and The Muffins, I am requesting permission to use pictures from this website of the personalities interviewed, CFNY buttons, logo for the documentary. When it is finished, I will send you a link to the finished product.
Thank you,
Karim Mosna

Karim Mosna - May, 2015

I lived in TO from '78 to '84 and was amazed by CFNY - 102.1, The Spirit of Radio - everything from Marsden's Friday night show to The Eclectic Spirit.

I just found your cool website after googling retro '80s songlists.

Thanks for the site and keep up the good work!


Jim Bonia - March, 2015


Just visited the site for the first time. Great memories of music and personalities that became part of our lives.

I worked the all night shift in a grocery store for 10 years. The radio was glued to 102.1 when working or not working.

As a radio buff since the age of 5, and a Marsden fan since 16, I was lucky to recognize the man's voice one evening searching for something worth listening to. This was a common exercise as it was hard to find something... anything worth listening to!

From there it was a privilege as a listener to be part of the Canadian Frequency New York development. During its time, we were all blessed.

The music remains, it always will.

Although I am aware of the passing of Peter Griffin at 81 years of age, I was surprised to not see his name on the board. One of the best straight men in radio.

Keep up the good work.

Martin J

Martin Jordan - January, 2015

Hi Everyone:
The year is 1979, and it is time to move on for college. My direction at the time, was Ottawa, while my best man to be, would head off to Toronto (York U). We would periodically meet up in Toronto, and this is when I was introduced to 102.1. It immediately reminded me of the radio stations would we would listen growing up as a teenager up north while camping (During the late hours, we could capture un-known radio stations, which played again unknown artists). This was great, and the start of “what would be carving or should I say Tuning my ears, for the rest of my life”. After 35, I’ve been listening to radio stations that most people don’t, and I’m not saying that CFNY doesn’t (or didn’t have) many viewers, but, there are other choices (types of music) out there to listen to.

for the past few years, I have gone back to get names of artists from your website, and managed to listen to old tunes that way, But there are some tunes that I recall listening, (not listed on your website) during those years (1979-1984), that I would like to get to look into.

Jean Filion - December, 2014


My name is Giancarlo Siciliano and I am simply delighted to have found your website.

Back in the 1980's, when I was living in Toronto, CFNY brought much joy through discoveries of great music...

By 1984 I had the opportunity to record an album with the indie band Rave Revues: the title track "Voices" got quite a bit of airplay.

Having lost my own vinyl copy of the album, I was wondering if I could ever get to hear it again - perhaps via a podcast.

If this song is somewhere in your archives, please let me know how I could hear it or download it. It would really mean a lot to me!

Thank you again for having written such an exciting chapter of my musical life!

With much gratitude,

Giancarlo Siciliano
guitarist/translator/independent ethnomusicologist

Giancarlo - December, 2014

Like a lot of you, I also remember hearing them, one night in 77/8. The Q was the other new station that year, but when I heard CFNY, music was new and exciting. I was a prog rock guy, but the first time I heard the Pistols or The Stranglers or even the jazz and orchestral music, mixed all together, I was hooked. Late night music was never like this. I couldn't keep my ears off the radio. One of my faves was All night Andrea. He also worked at Bay Bloor Radio and I even bought a pair of Advent speakers from him. I also remember visiting the little yellow house and noticing that on the center of their one phone was a picture of Frank Zappa. I'm a huge Zappa fan and that was the coolest thing. I remember one night when they played all of Shiek Yer Booty, by FZ. That was the night that he became my musical God. I've recorded a few shows from the 79 and the early 80's, and they never get stale. The commercials were great too. Remember Dave Marsden doing, "what is this Nuts and Bolts, bolts..bolts, bolts". Everything they did was great, until a few owner changes and I heard a Michael Jackson song. That was the end for me. They did get better later on, but nothing beats the early DJ's. You could tell that they played music that they wanted to hear and were excited about playing it for you. they maid it OK to fork out all that money for imports. Nowadays, the DJ's sound too much like every other rock DJ. Pushy and fast talking. And they're always trying to be your buddy. Doesn't anyone know how to relax and just play the music. Two of the many N American firsts played by them was, believe it or not, ACDC and The Motors. I have these on tape. Radio has never been the same. Long Live The Spirit of Radio.

Dominic - December, 2014

I "discovered" CFNY when I was in Grade 12, going to Port Credit Secondary School. It was like an entirely new world had opened up to me! I used to come home after school and phone the DJs with requests. My most fond memory was requesting Spandau Ballet's Paint Me Down (when it was released as an EP, not on Diamond!) after school.

I went off to the University of Waterloo in 1982 and at the time the signal from Brampton was pretty weak. I had to tune in VERY late at night, usually after cramming after an exam. But what a treat when I could get decent reception!

I had listened to endless ads for Ballingers in Cambridge so, being in Waterloo, we went there on a Thursday night when I was on campus in the summer. What a letdown! The place was empty. The vaunted Ballingers definitely didn't live up to expectations.

CFNY sponsored concerts I attended included OMD (Masonic Temple), Depeche Mode (Masonic Temple), Human League (Massey Hall) and Gary Numan (Maple Leaf Gardens). Probably some of the BEST times of my life.

Today, 102.1 under the ownership of Corus is an abomination. I've moved on to Indie 88 and while the DJs are a bit too "nice", the music is great! Give it a try! But you need to be in the GTA. Even in Burlington, it is tough to get a signal. Just like The Edge back in the early '80s!

Dave Thoma - December, 2013

What can I say. I owe everything to CFNY for introducing me to Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, Propaganda, Talk Talk, Howard Jones..all those bands from the new wave era!! Radio isn't the same today, even internet stations don't cut it. Thanx for the memories.. wish we could relive it all again. And wish music was being made the same as back then.

Rick - August, 2013

I went to LA to go to college in 1978 - all excited, that if the Toronto music (102.1) was so great, that the LA music would be AMAZING!!!!!! I was so, so , disappointed, that I had friends mail me tapes of The Spirit!!!!!!!!

It was PERFECT - and I still miss it - college radio has filled the musical gap in some respects, but not the spirit, the fun!! And the CFNY white water rafter blasters, which left from the Jolly Miller??!!! Out of control!!!!!!!!!
: ))) Thank you everyone - it was wonderful and magical!!!

DonLinda - July, 2013

Oh where do I start....

I was a listener pretty much from the start of the "cool" period - starting in the very late 1970's listening to Sex Pistols, U2, OMD, Romantics, Devo, Boomtown Rats, Elvis Costello, The Monks, Squeeze, etc, etc, etc. and then evolving into The The, Echo and the Bunnymen, Farmer Boys, Eddie Ten Pole Tudor, Fiat Lux, Blancmange, Thompson Twins... Man, the music was fun, fast-paced and a ton of fun to dance to. Thank God for YouTube because there is so much of all this on there.

Like others who have commented, I've got tapes full of songs that I recorded off the airwaves. I too remember the days of having the recorder set up, ready to go, waiting for that great song to start and then I'd run over and take off the pause button and record another great tune. I even have a bit of Pete and Geets' morning show. LOL - who can forget them playing "Duck and Cover" or Ivor Biggun "Has anybody seen my cock, my big Rhode Island Red...". And what ever happened to the guy who used to call in who called himself "Toddy Knickers"? My assistant swears she knows the guy but I don't believe her.

Of course what made listening even better was the great array of cool DJs. They were embedding in us their tastes and we were all the richer and 'cooler' for it. They didn't just play the main tracks - they would play so many different ones from any given album. And so many imports. I have a carton full of awesome EPs and albums that I wouldn't even know existed had it not been for their inspiration.

Today, some stations are dedicated to retro while others have their "80's dance parties" and they still don't get it. They play mainstream crap from the era and not the great sounds that we got to enjoy.

Two final memories:
The first is studying in the library in Hamilton on a Friday night and having my army buddies come get me out ten minutes before it closed, only to head off to Ballangers in Cambridge where they played all CFNY's cool tunes. You were able to dance with yourself in those days without drawing attention or, if you did turn into a group of girls, they would gladly let you join them. We were all free spirits there just as CFNY was the Spirit of Radio.

My favourite recollection was remembering Pete and Geets - rebelling against not being able to award the $102 in the "played it twice in a day" contest because they were the morning show - playing 'The Sloop John B', over and over and over again one morning.... hahaha... it was hilarious.

I've still got the Barenaked Ladies performing McDonald's Girl live and I thank everyone who was involved with the station for giving me a wonderful culture to hang my hat on.

For anyone NOT listening to CFNY these days, you are missing out. The music is once again very cool and fast paced and they have some hilarious DJs such as Fearless Fred. Enjoy!

Gerard H - April, 2013

I remember one day back in the 80's when we were bored with nothing to do, my best friend and I decided to drop in to CFNY and visit whichever DJ was on that evening. I roped in my brother to drive us to Brampton in the family Aspen, and off we went.

If I recall correctly, it was Ron Bruchal's shift. We couldn't believe it when he answered the door and welcomed us in. We had brought a few 45's from my friend's parents record collection which we thought were really cool and we hoped he'd play. One was a song called 'Do the Monkey' and another was called 'Shoe Shoe Twist,' which was sung in German or Austrian. Ron did play one on the air and loved it. We were thrilled to have contributed to the show.

This illustrates what was so great about CFNY back in the day. That would never have happened at any other station. I don't think there will ever be another CFNY, which is a real shame. It was the soundtrack to my youth and I remember it with great fondness.

weasie - March, 2013

I grew up in a small farming community across the lake in NY. Somehow in the early 80s I ran across CFNY. That and some college station in Buffalo were the only listenable things on the dial. Living in the sticks, CFNY opened a whole other world to me. The music revolution was underway, and I had a pipeline into it. My lifelong love of indie/alternative music was cultivated by these folks. Boy do I thank them!

I left the area in the late 80s. What a heartbreak it was to come home sometime later and find my cfny was long gone dead. Still sporting my cfny summer of 84 pin.

Tom W - March, 2013

Hello listeners to the OLD CFNY, I too miss the great music and personality that no one can deny had an indelible mark on your very soul!

I have downloaded and made several UTorrents of custom made music compilations with equally unique titles. I'd like very much to create a tribute of music related and sometimes unrelated to 'The Spirit Of Radio' and the loyal listener(s). I am extending my hand of friendship and fanship to everyone to enjoy the following UTorrents:

Angels And Souls, A.B.C.(G.I.D.S.)T, Ballyhoo - The Best Of Echo & The Bunnymen, The Best of U2 (1980-1984- everything is shit), Chilliwack - Segue(Seven Bonus Tracks), D.O.M. 20, Great Songs From 1979-81, Disc 1 & 2, Here Comes The Hustler(NIce 'N' Sleazy){Religion}, Irresistable Trax, Nothing Of Interest Hear(Few Belong Together)!, Plenty Of Gems & Untold Tales Volume 1 & 2, 2 Discs, Reggae's Peace Talk, Teendrop GabrielUbu, Test Pattern 18, The Gulden Age Of Misery, Triumph Classics(5 Bonus Tracks), Twenty - Five Great Punk Songs, Well Duck(more to be added soon)

I will never forget listening to Saga's 'It's Time' and the freedom that music gave me to dream beyond the static of conformity, insanity and stupidity... to see hope!

Steve S - February, 2013

Ah, the Spirit of Radio...

I found CFNY because of Pete and Geets. They'd just 'left' CHUM (The Bunker, as they called it) and had been hired on at CFNY when it was still in the house. I adored their routines, their characters, their sense of humour, and the feeling listeners got that we were in on the whole grand joke.

The Mighty Y's slightly anarchic atmosphere seemed to suit them them to a T. We were never quite sure what was going to happen when the guys got to work each morning, but in all the years they held the mic hostage I don't recall a single morning when I thought, 'Meh, that was kinda dull.'

A few specific memories salvaged from the neurochemical dumpster between my ears:
The first morning they played 'Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out' all the way through...
The day they barricaded themselves in the studio and wouldn't let the other DJs in...
The Amazing Romo's best magic act... (Hint: 'Repeat after me, "Help yourself!"')
The brick through the studio window, which I always thought was the final impetus to move to Kennedy Road... Playing 'Friggin' in the Riggin' by The Sex Pistols during morning drive time...
Their fans 'liberating' copies of the Toronto Sun and winning them Toronto's Best Morning Team by stuffing the ballot boxes...
Meeting them at a stereo store in Etobicoke, and Geets saying that if they lost their jobs at CFNY, the only job left in radio would be dispatching for Ace Taxi...
During one of the 'Catch us playing the same song twice' contests, playing 'Sloop John B' by The Beach Boys over, and over, and over, and over...

They're still the measure I use to judge other morning shows, and so far none have ever, ever measured up. When they 'left' CFNY a lot of the heart went out of the place - it's probably no co-incidence that that was at the time when the format started changing, for the worse in my opinion. Shortly afterwards I moved well outside their broadcast area, and since then I'm more likely to play a tape or a CD then listen to the radio. And it's funny how often the music is something I first heard on CFNY along with The Weather Fairy and the lovely Lardette.

Ah, yes, the MUSIC...

Blank Ron - July, 2012

I was working at a factory in Brampton in the early 80's, listening to either Chum-FM or Q107 when one of my co-workers suggested I try CFNY. I was hooked immediately. Nobody else was playing the great music that they were. I discovered fantastic groups like The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, not to mention great Canadian groups like Martha And The Muffins, Rough Trade and The Spoons. None of the other stations were playing these groups because they weren't considered TOP 40 radio. One Of the things I remember most about CFNY was that in the early 80's they had a policy of not playing the same song twice in a day. If you did hear a song twice and called in to the station you would win $102. If you wanted to hear some great new group or song first, you listened to 102.1 because you knew they'd play it long before any other station would. I remember listening to Chum-FM one day when the DJ introduced a brand new song from the group Boys Don't Cry "I Wanna Be A Cowboy". New to them maybe, but I'd been listening to the same song for over 6 months on CFNY. I was with 102.1 during the mid 80's when there was a format change and they started playing Top 40 songs from groups like Madonna. Fortunately that change didn't last and they went back to playing alternative rock. It's 30 years later and CFNY 102.1 The Edge is still the only radio station I listen to. Long live "The Spirit Of Radio".

John G. - April, 2012

I started listening to CFNY back in the late 70's when you could barely hear it in your car radio in Mississauga. I think you were broadcasting from some house in Brampton at the time before you moved to Toronto.
I recal hearing U@, The Cars, Devo and a multitude of music never heard on any other station. I was hooked from the start and listened for a decade.
My favourite Dj's were the Live Earl Jive and Beverly Hills and I would listen every evening to thier antics. I loved the stories of Duran Duran and the many other stars they talked about.

In the eighties I was twenty something and it was hip to listen to the "Spirit if Radio" I also remember when you went satellite your slogan was "One of the Two Great Radio Stations in the World" I never quite understood that statement but I beleive you were referring to Radio Luxemburg (the other sat station) Anyway you definitely started a trend and the hardest Hits albums...I own them all!

CFNY brought a lot of music to people like myself six months to a year before any other station thought of playing it and also made unknown acts mainstream. You guys were innovators and forward thinking.

I am saddened however that todays music does not have the punch or the social commentary of the 80's music. It all sounds generic and pumped out, kind of like sitting at the movie theatre before the show starts and they play unknown acts. I don't blsme CFNY but I do blame the new bands who are few and far between these days with interesting music.I think it was because new wave was synth or techno inspired and had a good beat like tears for Fears or Simple Minds which was good dance music and complex. Todays bands sadly aren't experimenting like bands did in the 80's.

Maybe I'm getting old??? I still love the sounds of the eighties and have fond memories of listening to CFNY as it was a big part of my life growing up.

Tom D - February, 2012

I started listening to CFNY in '82. I was in high school and all my friends thought I was weird to listen to anything other than what was being broadcast on CHUM or stations like that. Hell, most of them didn't even listen to radio, but I had a new stereo system and all I wanted to do was hear good music. I would just sit and listen with my fingers poised over the 'record' button on my tape deck to catch a great tune to play for my friends. When dinner was called, I would just hit the record button and let it go for 45 minutes and then listen to it later because I knew that there would be something that I had never heard before and would like, because I liked everything that was played by those insane DJ's, who were equally as alternative and entertaining as the music. Eventually, my friends came around to understand how 'cool' I was for knowing all this great music early on and they became fans too. Some of that music is hard to find today but I continue to search for it. Thanks for this site to bring back some of the memories, and resources! There never will be anything quite like CFNY - The Spirit Of Radio, ever again, but it represents one of the best times of my life.

Rob L - January, 2012

I remember the early days of CFNY when David Marsden would play jazz, classical, rock, pop, experimental - it was an amazing soundtrack. One of the songs he played with some regularity was Claude Debussy's Arabesque No. 1 - the coolest version I ever heard. If anyone knows whose version he was playing back then, I would love to find it. Email me at if you know the answer.

Warren V - January, 2012

I remember listening to CFNY in the late seventies and early eighties. It was the thing to do. It was the cool radio station of that time. I remember hearing certain bands for the first time on CFNY including a lot of local Ontario based bands. Most of which never made it. I bought an album by a band called "Drastic Measures" because of hearing it on CFNY. A few years ago I sold it in a yard sale. I remember signing a petition to save the station in a Hamilton independent record store. That would have been in 1980; I'm pretty sure. One night in the very early 80's I was listening to the station late at night while reading the paper. After awhile the station went dead but I left the radio on. After awhile longer it came back on. The female disc jockey explained that she had gone out to her car for some records and locked herself out of the station. This was in the days long before mobile phones so she had a hard time getting help to get back in considering it was very late at night. I remember driving past the station in Brampton and thinking it was all very deceptive that the station promoted itself as a Toronto radio station when in fact it was in suburbia of all places.

Anyway I was a CFNY fan and I had a small hand in saving it by signing the petition.

John Clark - December, 2011

My favorite CFNY moment? '79 or '80, Graham Parker and the Rumour (still one of the top 3 shows I've EVER seen, the Squeezing Out Sparks tour, even with recurring power problems that evening) at the El Mo, corner table stage left, I could see the sweat on Brinsley's brow. Presented and simulcast by CHUM - but all through the performance, the crowd was chanting 'CFNY, CFNY, CFNY' It was a beautiful night all around, lol.

Aside to Bonnie Bender: I was just recently informed (which is how I found this site, Googling Bruce Heyding) that Heyding died of a heart attack around 10 years ago.

Terry Gorman - December, 2011

The mid- and late 80s are the period that I will always think of as vintage CFNY. I really liked Pete and Geetz, and could not believe what they were playing in the mornings, compared to the bilge on the other stations. In the mid-80s, I was living and listening in St. Catharines, and from 1986 on, I was in Toronto, back at university. In my opinion, this was the era when CFNY was blowing the doors off. So honest, so open, so damn... real!

My favorite song of this era? An obscure song that you would never, ever hear anywhere else... "She's a Runaway", by the BoDeans. Why? Because, back then, I needed to be a runaway, too.

Thanks always for CFNY... a precious memory that I'll have all my life.

Brian Collinson - October, 2011


My friend in Hong Kong (he went to university in upstate New York in the early 80's and he thought we were the coolest station on the planet) turned me on to this site. (I've been working in Hong Kong TV since 1995)

I was a news reader at CFNY starting in 1981. Then the News Director at the time, Rick Charles, decided I'd be a better reporter. I took that as a kick in the face, but it turned out for the best. I left CFNY in 1986 to join CFRB, the "news voice". When I signed up I wanted to go back to using my real name, Alan Buchnea, but they said "No" we're hiring Alan Ericson, one of the best reporters in Toronto, well known as CFNY's main news reporter". So in 1989 I won the National Radio Award (radio version of a Juno) for Best Reporter/Investigative Journalist for private radio. Thank you Rick Charles/CFNY for turning me into a reporter at a station where many people thought news doesn't matter. It did! Too bad I had to go somewhere else to get the award.

My five years at CFNY were the best years of my professional career.

The baseball team, the NY Wankees, was awsome! Thanks Marg Fardella, for organising that.

Right now, I'm working in Hong Kong. After stints at CNBC and CNN, a local TV station, TVB offered me my own show, to be Executive Producer and host. Called Money Magazine. I did that for 10 years. Oh, and I won an Amnesty International Human Rights Award for a show I did in 2001.

Now I'm in charge of the Financial News at TVB. And still anchoring at the whizzened old age of 58.

Sorry for the long missive. Please let anyone interested that I can be contacted at this email, abuchnea {at}

Great site,

Alan Buc.. er... Ericson

Alan Ericson - August, 2011

Wow, the 80's was the best for up & coming groups & CFNY knew how to play them. The girlfriend & I, used to sneak off to Ottawa voyageur bus stop, end up at the Bond street hotel, listen to CFNY while getting ready to dance at a alternative club on right around the corner from the hotel.

Trying to remember what that club was called, anyhow we finally ended up moving together to Toronto, they were the days!!!. Found this site, while listening to Echo & Bunnymen, their playing may 16th,2011, wish I was still in Toronto.

Michael C - May, 2011

In 1977 I had the pleasure of participating in Bruce Heyding's Import Show and presented Polish Rock music, mostly by group called SBB. I still have the cassette which I uncovered amongst my old "stuff". While prerecording of the show for airing the following Sunday, Bruce and I drunk Heinekens and he liked SBB a lot so I got him his own LP's (2); I wonder what that tall, than long red haired man is doing now and if CFNY still has that particular show recording in the archives? I had a great time during the show.

George Lysakowski - February, 2011

I lived in western NY from 1989 to 2003 - I could pick up the station quite well over the lake. It was fabulous, so much better than anything we had on the US side. I was relatively young and single and I'd drive to T.O. for the music and bands and events, crash in a cheap motel on the west side somewhere, then tear down the QEW at 90 miles an hour at 6 in the morning to get to work on time. Those were the days.

I called in on the Humble and Fred show once, when the Jays were in the World Series and the idiots from the US honor guard carried the Canadian flag upside down during the opening national anthems. Got on the air and confirmed that if the Canadians did that to the U.S., we'd surely launch a nuclear strike against them....

When I got relocated, I listened on the web when I could - so sad all this greatness is gone. It was truly the best.

Albert Strausser - January, 2011

I was waxing nostalgiac over the Holidays and Googled "CFNY" and Lo!, I came upon this web page. Although there are no recent postings, I am compelled to contribute a little.

I was living in Toronto and driving tow trucks in the late '70's and early '80's. CFNY was always on my truck radio.

CFNY was SUCH a breath of fresh air. From Pete & Geets, to James Scott, Ivor Hamilton and all the other personalities whose names escape me, CFNY was the greatest station of all time.

I particularly remember that wet and snowy day in December of 1980 when John Lennon was murdered. I was devastated like everyone else. I remember being welled up with tears the whole day over it. But CFNY was there and we bonded as staff and listeners with reflections and tributes. It helped so very much.

You guys were the best and my god it would be so nice to revive a CFNY 2.0.

J Farrow - January, 2011

Hi all

Johnny Spadina recalling the fine old daze at 'NY. Dave Pritchard, Bruce Heyding, Eckley, Terry, Andre, Al Spring. Yes, radio was lovely back then

After the Allen's gave me the boot, Marsden moved in and did a nice job. I, meanwhile, went to Q107. Gary Slaight really understood R&R and those days at Q were very very terrific.


Johnny Spadina - December, 2010 station that defined my youth into my late teens and early adulthood...'89-91 was my zenith into the world of alternative music as it was called...I mean if it wasn't for Dani Elwel and The Alternative Bedtime Hour playing Tangerine Dream with her intoxicating voice would I ever graduated University I wonder? Thank you Chris Sheppard and Deadly Headly Jones "Live at the Lizard Lounge" for burning my portable radio batteries under my bed sheet covers to 6 AM on Saturday Night..Bookie, Josie Dye, etc- c'mon where else could you listen to Ministry, Bare Naked Ladies, Jane's Addiction, Cure, Violent Femmes all in a half hour drive from school?....Catherine Wheel "Black Metallic" - the one song that define CFNY and freezes me no matter where I am when I hear the intro.thank you for the dear memories and as one poster stated years back, for educating me to how music and life should live in balance.

A.D. - December, 2010

I started listening to the station after disco died and CHIC turned into CFNY. Fortunately I lived in Bramalea, close enough to the station in Brampton so I had no trouble picking it up even when the transmitter was only a few thousand watts. I remember seeing posters going up in my high-school (Bramalea Secondary School) in 1979 announcing that the station was upping the power to 100,000 watts so something good must have been happening.

The end of the 70's seemed to be a turning point in music when Punk and New Wave broke through and CFNY played it all. It was definitely different than what all other stations were playing.
In those days "cool" meant going with the flow... everyone wore jeans,tee-shirts and Adidas and listened to popular rock. I was a bit of an oddball among my friends for listening to "strange music" and having a weird haircut. (Quite a contrast to today where "different" is in and the weirder the music, the cooler you are.) I'm guilty of converting some of my friends and family over to the new sounds of CFNY.

I'm still a huge fan of all the music from back then (Urban Verbs, Cowboys International, and local acts like The Gov't, The Diodes, Nash the Slash etc..). I loved listening to Marsden in the night time and whacked out Earl and Beverly... what a pair ! I also enjoyed Liz Janik's more mellow stuff and Daddy Cool's blues & jazz on Sunday afternoons. The diversity was so unique.

I'm glad to have experienced the early days of CFNY and be entertained by the lineup of characters (hosts). CFNY is still unique in the Toronto market and I enjoy some of the new tunes that they play but "it ain't what it used to be". I doubt we will encounter anything like that again.

Hugh Duff - November, 2010

Back in the early-mid '70s I left Humber College to work at CHIC in Brampton...I started out as call screener for the day time talk folk,Larry Soloway,Rosie the Clown, {Vicky Gabereau} and Johnny Spadina..Then At night I monitored the Greek & Italian shows...Then did a Saturday show on 'NY up the street..At the time I called myself Dave Kelso..Such great memories for me...too bad I was histary by the time Dave Marsden came on board..I remember him as Dave Mickey at CHUM radio back in the day...

David V. Ervin - September, 2010

I started listening in the summer of'79 and never looked back. Those days were magic. Where else could you hear Hawkwind's Silver Machine back to back with early Ultravox. I still remember the live broadcast of The Government from the long gone Spats.

The station's had so many great personalities. I still remember watching Mike Stafford on Jeopardy deliberately giving the wrong answer on Final Jeopardy. How the times have changed.

Thanks for the memories.

Joe Restek - August, 2010

I started listening to CFNY quite by accident, Dave Marsden was on the air at the time and I was hooked. I started listening to the station almost all the time and my friends thought I was nuts, but I kept at it. At one time I was a constant caller to request songs especially on Liz Janik's show. The station got me through the the 70's and 80's. One question though does anyone remember the dj who was from Australia I loved his show and had met him a couple of times when he came into the bar I worked at.

Drew Cooper - July, 2010

"The Spirit". You were the best. I never experienced anything like it before or after. I didn't get much sleep back then listening every night with head phones on. I was intrigued when Rush dedicated a great song to the greatest radio station that had just begun. I made sure I always had you with me no matter where I was or where I was going. I'm now in my 50's and living in Shanghai. Still tune into David Marsden free from radio when I can.
Cheers to CFNY!
Jim G.

Jim Grummett - June, 2010

I want to say THANK YOU for setting up this site!! I stumbled across it and was thrilled you put it together. I am actually crying while reading some of the testimonials people have left. I can relate totally. I only lived in Guelph for a short time in the early 80s but the impact of the playlists you offered changed the way I even now, think of music. CFNY had fantastic music and thank you very much for those special memories. They transported me back then and reading these comments now is transporting me again.

Elsie - May, 2010

I lived in Guelph for almost a year Nov.81-June 82 and one of the highlights of that cold dismal winter was discovering CFNY. God that was an amazing station!! I loved the tunes - heard things I'd never heard before like Simple Minds, Boomtown Rats, Ultra Vox, Human League, etc. All that new wave stuff. It was refreshing after hearing MOR pop for so long on regular radio stations. I was in my mid 20's and it seemed groundbreaking at the time. Great memories, thanks CFNY!!!

Beth - May, 2010

Wow! CFNY.. what a station! I was a volunteer reporter/anchor with Maclean Hunter/Rogers Cable 10 on Wolfedale in Mississauga from 1984 - 1986. We had this great gig for a breakfast radio broadcast from our parking lot featuring CFNY and the inimatable Peter Griffen and Geets Romo. What a thrill to chat with those two radio pros that I would listen to in the car every morning and be part of such a unique broadcast. Heck, I even made commemorative sweatshirts for the event. Also on hand were Deborah Boland, Colleen Walsh, Greg Rogers, Bruce Matheson and a great crew of techs and staff. Great memory!

Kirk Titmuss - April, 2010

Best Radio station in the world! Listened to "The Spirit of Radio" from 84-87, no other station even came close to the programming; thanks for the memories. Cheers to CFNY!

Rick - February, 2010


Chris Pack here. I worked at CFNY for almost 10 years. (1990 - 1999). Martin Streek hired me to work on the Video Road Show until its demise. All the while I was fill-in producing the all-request shows. When the Road Show was over, Stuart Meyers teamed me up with Kim Hughes to Produce "Live in Toronto" which went on to become a hugely popular interview show filled with many "live" performances. These were the best times for me. I'll never forget interviewing the likes of Robert Smith, David Bowie, Radiohead and so many more to mention. I'll always remember how great it was to work there with all the wonderful staff. Good times! I left there and went on to work in TV for many years at The Weather Network and now I run my own renovation Cheers! Thanks for the memories.

Chris Pack - December, 2009

How can you possibly summarize what cfny meant to us who tuned in in the 80s in such few words? Waking up to Pete & Geets made getting up on those cold mornings much more bearable. The wondrous tunes which cam forth from Eddie Valliquette and Ivor Hamilton on Sunday afternoons and evenings - thanks to record stores like Record Peddler, Cheapies, and Music World in Toronto, we were able to get those sounds within days of being introduced to them. What a wonderful concept it was to purchase an import EP for about $6.99 or an import LP for $9.99.

The joy of listening to Earl Jive on week nights and of course the great Dave Marsden for the many shows in which hi entertained us with not only music, but his wisdom - who can ever forget his Christmas eve show ... always looked forward to it! What great times and what great people we were priviledged to be touched by!

Danny Piedra - August, 2009

Started listening in the late '70s when we lived in Welland. God knows how we got such reception but came through clear as a bell. Moved back to Brampton in '81 and continued listening until the dreadful day it died. Best DJ
James Baby Scott & Ron B. not to disrespect all the others, oh shit everyone was great. I guess I,m stuck in the wayback machine, but God knows there is nothing out that that can ever touch the SPIRIT OF RADIO. By the way I,m a senior and long for the house on Main Street.,

Joseph S. Battaglia - July, 2009

Back in the summer of '91 I was Stark Rovin' ... I'd travel the city and give away prizes and tickets and whatever we had on board the mobile cruiser or land yacht. Used to do the Barenaked Backyard BBQ--setting up some lucky winner's backyard and then watched the Ladies play a set. What a great gig--seeing them play before they got big. Andy Creegan was in the band then and could down the most hot dogs.

Worked with Capt. Phil, the Nonerator, Alan Cross, Don Berns and (toot-toot) the Duffer. Filled in for Freddy P. and interviewed the Crash Test Dummies at the CASBYs; forgot to turn on the tape recorder so I interviewed them all over again but with different questions. Played for the Wankees, (we were bad) ... was the ski reporter in 91-92 and then moved to Yellowknife to be Sports Director at CJCD, then got outta radio and moved to Nova Scotia to become a teacher.

But before all that I was a fan of CFNY: of Pete and Geets, the live Earl Jive, the Hight of Jazz, all amazing shows. I can still hear Geets's falsetto. Now that was a morning show.


Andy Stark - July, 2009

I came to your site from links while reading about Martin Streek.

I was a promo rep for Capitol Records in the mid-seventies and then worked for El Mocambo Records. I remember bringing McLean and McLean up to the little CFNY house in Brampton on a Sunday for a "live on-air" adventure in was Mothers' Day...... they performed a few of their greatest hits: Pubic Hair was a song about Shorty getting in his pick-up truck and driving to the fridge. Those guys were hilarious and the drive from TO to Brampton was wonderful. They loved CFNY and they enjoyed being on live radio, on a Sunday, and being themselves.......the true spirit of radio.

At the time, Bruce Heyding was the PD, and David Marsden had recently come on board. I'm curious as to where Bruce Heyding is these days. He's not mentioned on your site as an on-air guy. When I first started doing my "promo" rounds to CFNY for Capitol Records, Bruce was so excellent about not treating me like the rookie that I was.....and helped me avoid some of the industry sharks.

Bonnie Bender - July, 2009

Am I the only one who remembers Johnny Spadina and The Pink Flamingo Room? I was twenty when he introduced me to the Police's 'Ghost in the Machine' LP - yes, there was something called vinyl - back when buying your music was an event that took you to Sam's, A&A's, and / or Music World - but I digress. Radio had a personal dimension that's lacking today - now it's all about bigger, better, conglomerates, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Les R - June, 2009

I was already a fan due to the strange and cool new music, and David Marsden's crazed monologues and maniacal laughter, when i found myself in Brampton many many years ago. I remember an old (?) house near a railway trestle, and seeing a sign or something that identified this place as cfny. Mind blown, i walked in the front door! and the guy at the desk was one of the members of the band "Chicken". The slightly scraggly fellow was surprised as hell that I knew their album ("which came first"), gave me a tour and bummed a smoke. Amazing memory.

Steve Cox - May, 2009

I remember quite clearly finding The Spirit back in 79. In Niagara Falls, I would listen to 102.5. Back then radios had this thing called a dial. It was a crude device that you would turn slowly to bring in a radio station. One night I missed 102.5 and found 102.1...My life changed! The early 80's were some of the best years of my life, The Spirit was a large part of that. I still have my cfny room key tag, what I remember as there first T-shirt, available only from Le Château, and of course bumper stickers! Sadly by 85, the music was changing, and cfny was changing. While it was just a few short years, the "spirit" has left me with fond memories that will last me a life time! Thank you "the spirit of radio!"

John West - May, 2009

Hi everyone - I was Sports Director of CFNY (and sister station CHIC) back in its beginning in the late '70's. I still remember the July night we were going to go to 100,000 watts...we all stood around and thought, "This will be interesting as we ain't gonna change!".

Unknown to us the transmission tower was not tall enough for our signal to reach Toronto.

Undaunted - we did our gig as the best ever.

The people, the personalities, the shoddy conditions, the fan loyalty, the loopy management, the new-found talent and the seat-of-our-pants attitude combined to make it perhaps the most amazing broadcasting experience ever. CFNY truly was, "The Spirit of Radio". I was proud to be part of it. Truly special memories, and I'm glad to stumble upon this site to see it 'live on'.

Rick Muller - May, 2009

I grew up not to far from Brampton back in the day so to speak. I lived far enough that I had to buy a antenna booster from Radio Shack so I could get CFNY on my radio. I was always a big fan of college radio stations. I enjoyed the fact that when you listened you didn't know what you were going to hear next. I remember feeling the same way about CFNY when I listened to CFNY at night. That was always the best time to listen. There was more of a variety at night and you could tell that the announcers really loved the music and it came first. Dani, The Brother, Deadly Headly, Pete Fowler were favourites of mine growing up. I even had the opportunity to speak with some of them as I found it was easier to get ahold of CFNY staff at night back then. CFNY had really cool promotions back then too. I use to love getting free music from CFNY. I still have a Free At Last cd the Pete Fowler gave me at the Sounds of Summer concert in Waterloo, and a Casby hat that Martin Streek gave me. Some great memories. Thank you CFNY.

Andy Daniels - May, 2009

In December 1985, I was in a band called "Sons and Lovers" and we had just released an EP that was produced by Joe Vizvary of Images in Vogue. Images in Vogue happened to be doing a gig at York University and Joe invited us up as his guests. Earlier that day, while we were in Toronto, we stopped in to the CFNY studios to do an interview with Eddie Vallequette (sp?). Eddie was a big supporter of our group and extended the interview offer to us, even though were weren't signed to a major label.

Sal Iannello - May, 2009

I was 15 when cfny started ,lived in Bramalea in the d section.It was great having this station in your own backyard.We would often drive out to the house on 10 knock onthe back door and request songs,one night when we were there one of the DJs gave us buttons,it had the cn tower on it and said i want David on top.Times have changed but i feel lucky to have been a part of CFNY in the early 80s. Favourite DJ Ivor and the import show,remembering him intreducing new band called Magazine

Tim Withey - May, 2009

I just came across your site. Practically every musical group you played from 1980 to 1987I bought their album-I ended up with over 10,000 records in my basement... much to my wife's chagrin. I was at the CN Tower when Pete and Geets broadcast for the first time (champagne and OJ puts a nice buzz on the morning) and was interviewed by JR in 1985. I absolutely loved the station. It was part of my daily life.

These days, the music has passed me by but I relive my youth by checking out the "Best of" lists and then getting the mp3 or CD to rebuild my collection. I appreciate all your work in getting the history and this together. Long live CFNY-truly The Spirit of radio!

Sean Peake - March, 2009

There are no words to describe how wonderful it was to find your cfny site, several years ago.

I went through so many sound files and checked out the memorable posted pics.

Simply put, cfny fm 102.1 from 1977 to 1986 was my musical "Ground Zero" It changed everything for me.

On your site, I found it very emotional to read the amazing on-line comments from people from all over, who were touched by the formative years of cfny.

I now live in Victoria BC. Moved from Toronto in 1986.

The modern music station in Victoria is The Zone. They are a thinly veiled top-40 station. They play the same key tracks over and over and over.

They will play a hit from a CD. The same track constantly for a month or more. But if a loyal listener calls in to hear a different track, they frequently get shot down, and their request can’t be played. Then the dj says what about this track, which is the only one on "the list" and then they play that track instead. The same one that they play every day. What kind of station is this eh?

I never heard of a station doing that before. It’s such a shame.

I could see if they were requesting Glen Campbell on a modern rock station, but to alienate their listeners is so backwards. If they can play one Death Cab track, why not something else form their latest CD or from their older releases.

The corporate stations can’t seem to understand why they are facing a new generation of iPod users. I have never see anyone with a portable FM walkman. They just ignore the airwaves, and stick to their iTunes playlist.

Thank you so much for keeping the cfny site going. It is a precious gift to past fans.

Take care,

Wayne Woofer - February, 2009

CFNY - The Spirit of Radio - The Edge. Whatever it was called, it was good. It was too good to last for very long, I realized. But what a great run it had! When I left the area in 1982 to join the military, the local Buffalo stations played classic rock, which was OK at the time. But when I came back in 1986, they were still playing the same songs. Repulsed, I happened upon 102.1 on Christmas Eve 1986 and heard some wierd song by a band called Souixie & the Banshees doing a remake of the Beatles "Dear Prudence". Something new! I tuned in every day after to hear songs by bands like Joy Division, Ultravox, The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, Midnight Oil, New Order, The The, Big Audio Dynamite, Hunters & Collectors and the Happy Mondays, just to name a few. But Canada, in addition to the well known bands, offered lots of good obscure but enjoyable bands like the Thrashing Doves, FM, the Lucy Show and the Northern Pikes, just to name a few again. Hearing music by these bands made CFNY so unique. I always tuned into hear the Thursday Thirty; it was music gospel. But aside from the music, which saved me and changed me forever, there was the Toronto aspect too. Hearing all those Toronto streets named in the traffic report mystified the city even more to me. What is this Spadina Avenue, this Don Valley Parkway, the 401, Finch, Eglington? I went and I experience Toronto and loved it. What a great city. And I would not have been that interested in it if it were not for the great CFNY. The radio personalities were like friends to me and the commercials were memorable (Pizza Pizza; "Well, (sniff) it was a rainy day"). Cheers to CFNY and all that it is and was.

John Swigonski - February, 2009

Hi, as people keep asking me about CFNY and it's real history let me tell the truth behind the NY, it stands for New Youth, I was there, I built the new studios on Main st, and was part of the call sign decision making along with other staff members.

As I was there from 1973 to 1974 full time and worked part time in engineering from 1975 to 1979 with Mike Hargrave Pawson the chief engineer I saw the changes and I was also the AM 790 operator who spun the LP's on the back turn table after 7pm at night on CHIC FM. I experienced all with some great talent, and yes those Humber college grads who really made CFNY what it is today.

Canada's First New Youth.

Steve Martak - February, 2009

In December 1985, I was in a band called "Sons and Lovers" and we had just released an EP that was produced by Joe Vizvary of Images in Vogue. Images in Vogue happened to be doing a gig at York University and Joe invited us up as his guests. Earlier that day, while we were in Toronto, we stopped in to the CFNY studios to do an interview with Eddie Vallequette (sp?). Eddie was a big supporter of our group and extended the interview offer to us, even though were weren't signed to a major label. I would love to get a copy of the recording of that interview, if at all possible. Thanks, Sal

Sal Iannello - December, 2008

CFNY - my favourite radio station, the best I have ever listned to in my entire life so far. I moved to Australia in 2000 and you know what I missed the most, not my family, not my friends but my favourite Radio Station - it was just so much a part of me music lover that I am - I started listening to CFNY when I was fifteen, 1977 to be exact. I remember being at a party (that I probably should not have been at LOL) and CFNY radio was at that time based in an old house on Main Street in Brampton. My girlfriend and I went and knocked on the door and the night time DJ at that time let us in and we were so excited - he let us say a few words and choose a song - we felt oh so special. There were only a couple of years in all that time that I thought the music being played was not up to par but I still kept listening and then the music content improved again and I continued to be hooked. I have yet to find a music station in Australia that meets my expectations - although Triple JJJ comes close. CFNY I LOVED YOU AND I STILL MISS YOU GREATLY!

Laura Ramstadius - September, 2008

I listened to CFNY starting in about 1980 and steadily through the 80s and even into the 90s. The 80s were a good time in my life and CFNY was the soundtrack for that. I was enough to grab the best 85 of 85 air check from this site a few years back and I still listen to it.

Modern music lost its edge in the 90s (pun intended) and I lost interest. There is still good indy music to be found on CBC's R3 but it's only available on satellite, Net radio or podcasts.

Chris J. Paxton - August, 2008

I first heard CFNY the summer of 1979 growing up south of Buffalo. The song was the sex pistol's "Friggin in the Riggin"..what an introduction!!! I listened exclusively for years and what a relief from the stale music local radio played. Many friends were also turned on to it and to this day we all feel that it changed our life in regards to how we appreciate music. I have met May Potts(what a babe!!) talked to Freaky Deaky Chris Shepard. traveled to Toronto for road trips for CFNY events and once just to get a bumper sticker so I could proudly proclaim that I was a listener. A friend of mine and i even had a New Wave hour at a local community college radio station..LOL we were the ONLY ones who liked the music!! We also had the Continental Bar in Buffalo that was as authentic New Wave/Punk as it gets..johhny thunder, Billy Idol,the Forgotten Rebels all played there and we had a listened to a heavy dose of CFNY influenced music by the DJ on the dance floor. In the words of the promo heard during commercials... "CFNY"(in a robot voice)"the Spirit of Radio"!!!!!!!!

Willy - July, 2008

hello, love the cfny site, i have a story for you i remember it was 1977 and my cousin and i hung out at cfny dont know the location then for a week it was great, got a whole bunch of singles from them they said take them there yours i was in heaven i remember taking them home and played them first before any radio station. i remember it was an old house converted into a radio station and the stairs were steep fell a couple of times terry dont know his last name was on mornings i think and lee somebody sorry it was so long ago if only i had known what it would become i would have asked for a job. im on wed 1 to 230pm check it out. again thanks for the memories jb. ps anybody know where i can find don berns please and thanks.

Jim Birtch - March, 2008

Listening to the old CFNY broadcasts is like remembering a best friend who is no longer with us. The memories of youth, and the feeling of energy come flooding back like the warm sun on a breezy day. Maybe this IS the "Spirit" of radio.

In a driveway near Yorkdale Mall one wintery night in the late 1970s, my cousin and I played with the car radio as we waited for my uncle to return. As the light snow cascaded down, we locked onto the most perfect ambient sound and we were instantly transported away - we were on the Trans-Europe Express. For years to come, CFNY took me to the most fantastic real and imagined places.

As a result, I became a CFNY junkie and I proudly owned loads of CFNY paraphernalia. I still have a pristinely preserved black and white CFNY bumper sticker from the early 80s which I guard jealously. Courtesy of CFNY I attended dozens of shows, and my music collection contains cassette tapes I won for doing/saying some wacky things on air. And the CFNY Video Roadshows were moshpits of fun too.

I miss Lee Carter's London reports, I miss Mr. Goo Head, I miss not being talked down too and intelligent talk, I miss all of the fantastic DJ's, and the music that made you dream. If CFNY were around today (let's face it, today's 102.1 in NOT CFNY) it would be the most popular station listened to worldwide; on the web and on SIRIUS satellite radio. I'm just thankful I was in broadcast range when it mattered.

Long may the Spirit live!

Roberta - February, 2008

New Technology and CFNY The Spirit of Radio are not synonymous with me... yet a favourite 'MODE' is the not-so-popular Mini Disc or MD! I laugh at the antiquity that implies comparing it to the IPOD which quite frankly AUDIO quality sucks big time. Hell, a damn burned CD is a sh*t load better than the IPOD... anyways being an avid Audiohile as well as a Collector of GREAT MUSIC, CFNY was[and in my mind will forever when it didn't become so repetitive and boring] the pinnacle of AUDIO. There is NO station out there that even compares to the beauty of musical diversity that Dave Marsden had nurtured. So much of modern day radio stations are based on some Play List and the popularity of the bands and artists. When did the Ends justify the Means... when some yahoo in an office suddenly made some sort of decision/analysis that Money could be made through PROTESTING the Existing STATUS QUO. It is amazing listening to SHAM 69, THE CLASH openly accentuate the NEW WORLD ORDER and the very real issues that the UK had experienced in the late 70's early 80's. Canada didn't go through that to the extent the UK did but still marginalisation remained!

CFNY had brought out the anger, violence, brutality of the New World Order, misogynistic sh*t, poverty and desperation... that continues on with very little change. One just wanders down East Hastings in Vancouver, 97th ST in Edmonton, or the tremendous amount the Mustard Seed in Calgary or the masses all around the Core in Toronto and Montreal. Music can't change the world but it can certainly be a start to become aware of real issues that effect everyone in a worldly way... whether it is the poor in South Africa, Canada, Japan, England, Sweden, Iraq, Egypt or wherever.

Be informed, listen carefully and observe what is happening to your neighbours.

M. Yamamoto
Red Deer, AB

M. Yamamoto - February, 2008

I began listening to CFNY in the late 70s when I was in high school. I don't know how I found it because I was living on the escarpment near Hamilton but I could get a weak signal on a cold winter night, when the barometric pressure was high and I held my radio up to the heavens in a northeasterly direction while biting my lip. You get the picture.

My father walked in on me one night when I was hanging my radio, and half my body, out my bedroom window trying to find the signal. He was an engineer and, when he stopped yelling at me for heating the great outdoors, I somehow managed to convinced him that any station that put Japan and the Kinks on the same playlist was worth the effort and he rigged up some sort of antenna thing so I could receive the signal better, albeit slightly.

I was there through the first part of the 80s when the station was at its zenith. I quit the station around 1986-87 when it got too predictable for my liking.

I have long-since moved away from the area but whenever I find myself back there I tune into 102.1 in the hopes that I'll find a 21st century version of the spirit the station embodied 30 years ago. I'm still looking.

A bit of serendipity happened this week when I stumbled upon your site. I called my children (whose iPods include everything from Imogene Heap and Led Zeppelin to Bach) into the room so they could listen to Killing Joke on the JR show. While I won't admit that they've heard the whole CFNY story too many times, they asked, "Oh, is this the station that you used to get in high school on a cold winter night when the barometric pressure...?".

Enjoy your day! And thanks for the memories.

Carol - January, 2008

Remember the show "Listener's Choice"?

Back in the late 70's, a loyal listener was chosen to co-DJ one full hour with one of the DJs, using your own collection of music (that means vinyl!). Got to chat on air with Brad McNally and play your fave songs, brilliant!

I actually got to do it TWICE.


Dean Kelly - December, 2007

I can't believe that this website exists -- thank you for making it. I listened to CFNY exclusively throughout the entire 80s. It was the soundtrack for my life during high school and college. When I went to college in Massachusetts, I actually would record hours of CFNY to play during the next semester. Listening to your live feed of CFNY transports me back then, stripping away 20 years and making me feel like a kid again.

Dan Sroka - December, 2007

Commercial radio works on the premise of "give the people what they want", which becomes a case of lowest common denominator. CFNY was about educating the people as to what they SHOULD be listening to. I was an apt student.
At 14 years old, I was a typical kid listening to the usual crap. Then i found a tape and a note on the bus one day. It was from a girl to her boyfriend telling him to stop listening to such crappy music, and to listen to the tape. So I stuck the tape in my walkman and listened to the CFNY radio show she had recorded. Morrissey, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Depeche Mode... It changed my life. From then on, I listened to CFNY exclusively, and became a total music snob.

My favorite moment was listening to the radio in the car on an Easter Sunday evening. I think it was Lee Carter DJ-ing, and he played the Jesus and Mary Chain song "I want to Die Just Like Jesus Christ". It was so irreverent, so awesome! I think I went out that week and bought the CD just because of that moment.

That would never happen now.

Thanks CFNY for the education. I wish you were still around for my kids today.

Larry - December, 2007

Can't believe how great this site is! I was a faithful listener from the early 80's and well into the 90's. I thought that I'd end up as an on air personality one day but alas I ended up working in education. My CFNY years are my most fond memories of my teenage years. I did volunteer at the Kennedy rd. station for a little while and met some great people. I was looking at the reunion pictures and saw many familiar faces. Hey, Rob MacDonald do you remember the Woodbine centre, Humble Howard's burried alive stunt? Sleeping in the car?

I really miss the music. I remember how you never heard the same song twice in one day. Now you're lucky if you hear it only once in 30 minutes! What's with that? Thank god for MP3 players! Thanks to CFNY I have many vivid memories, Canada Day @ Molson Park in Barrie, The Roadshow, Friday Night High etc. Thanks for some great times and a better education than anything I received in the Ontario school system. Cheers!

Alison - October, 2007

started listening to CFNY way back in 1972. I was in Grade 10 at the time and not into regular music even then. My parents bought me a pretty good radio (for the times) and I used to stay up late at night searching for good music on the dial. CFNY was one of my favorites. The other one was WBUF out of Buffalo. ( I don't think they're even around anymore) The only music I can really remember hearing on CFNY at the time was Little Feat, The Sparks (Russ and Rael)and Genesis (with Gabriel). I mean it was SOooo long ago. In the mornings I would get up at the same time as Geets Romo was doing the Romo report and then he would do the traffic from the mobile telephone booth. Reporting on the "highways and biways of our lives". Of course there were also Geets other personalities, the most well known being Lardette.

Oh yeah, I just remembered that Don McLean had just released American Pie and they played it twice in a row because they wanted to make sure that the listeners had really heard the words. You won't see that happening now! And another late night (or early morning) David Marsden (who held that time slot) had his friends into the station and they were all completely stoned and playing fifties and sixties music and laughing their heads off!

Then as time went on, CFNY became more commercial and controlled. When I first heard that they were going to become "The Edge" I thought "how can that be????". "The Edge" was what we called Egertons which was one of the first punk venues in Toronto in the last '70s. As far as I was concerned, the title of "The Edge" was sacrosanct. But CFNY is now "The Edge" and few people even have heard of Egerton's anymore.

Wow. It's been great reminicing like this. What actually brought me to this site was, like one of the other authors here, I've been trying to find a copy of Nobby Clegg's "My Dad". They used to play that song and the "Toast Song" almost every morning in the mid '80s. I've tried a couple of times through CFNY and someone told me once that Alan Cross has a copy. I haven't had much success reaching him though. So I tried searching the net for it and it brought me to this site. I'm not giving up on the search. Someone somewhere has got to have a copy.

Well, as I said, it's been great taking this walk down memory lane. Those were good times!

Valli - September, 2007

In 1981 I was a Grade 12 student in Mississauga and addicted to CFNY. I would race home from school during the week to see if I could get requests played (around 3:30 on a weekday, you could always get through first try). That was back in the New Romantic days (Visage, John Foxx, Depeche Mode and so on) and I specifically remember requesting several days in a row the 12" import single "Paint Me Down" by Spandou Ballet. It was great because I was pretty sure I was talking directly to the DJ each time, not the producer (did those even exist at CFNY back in the day). I also remember taping, completely, the Top 81 of '81, Top 82 of '82 etc. It was a highlight of my Christmas holidays. Seeing CFNY-sponsored concerts at the Masonic Temple such as OMD and Depeche Mode (first time in Toronto) was pretty heady stuff for a suburban kid. I always wanted to thank somebody for my great CFNY memories and now I can thank you for keeping the Spirit of Radio alive (oh, and did I tell you I saw Geddy Lee at the Record Peddlar on Queen on cold Saturday morning?).

Dave Thomas - August, 2007

I used to go into the radio station in the small, yellow, brick house on the corner of Main and Elm? St. on my way home from high school. I'd sit in the room with the disc jockey while he was on the air. I remember once when he spilled his coffee on the record he was about to play. That was the fastest cleanup I've ever seen in my life. I'm working on the fellows name but it isn't coming right now.

Another announcer they had there for a short while was a bit weird. He asked me to baby-sit for him once. I did. He and his wife went out for the evening. They said they would be home around midnight. It was 3 a.m. when they got there. In the mean time, they had no TV, fridge, or furniture except in the kitchen. I never did find all four children. One of them was locked in the basement but I could here it crying and couldn't get to it. Two others slept on mattresses on the floor up stairs and the baby slept in a crib in the living room. That was all the furniture there was in that room. The milk was sour that I put in my coffee and there didn't seem to be much food in the house. When I was driven home he gave me a dollar and said he would pay me more when I went into the station the next time. A few days later I went in and he was gone.

The announcers would throw records at each other.

I rather enjoyed going in there.

That's my little story of the radio station in the small, yellow brick house. It eventually became a flower shop. I don't know what it is now as I don't come to Brampton much anymore. I left Brampton when the population was around 35,000.

Beryl Rutledge - May, 2007

i remember working at 83 kennedyrd s for a couple of years with alan and earl... bob noxious hired me to work as a producer, i put together the all-request nooner for alan, worked as a board op for maryellen's 102 magazine, produced friday night high with earl, board op'd for earl and bev on the weekend wake-up show and produced special projects for reiner. did lots of club work, spinning vinyl, with alan and hal harbour. i operated the live-to-air audio feed for one of the casbys, also did fill-ins on the overnights. i used to drive the land yacht! i think i was there from 89-91 ... when i started, joanne was at reception, when i left it was karen.

i was there for the BNL rise to fame. the dayglow hat giveway at the sting concert. the farm, big audio dynamite, the day don berns ate a whole phone off the wall... my first day as a board op, don berns barged into the studio and took out the CD is was playing on the air. shock. dead shock. that was don. i remember mark williams doing his show completely nude. i remember tony mantz nicking a great deal of CDs from the library... i returned them to the station. i remember liz janek rolling the chair over some rare records.

good times. wish i kept more t-shirts.

nicholas picholas
morning show host
kiss 98.5 wkse
buffalo ny

Nicholas Picholas - April, 2007

I have just finished reading through all these wonderful testemonials. Kudos to all of you for such well written nostalgia! And to the site-op, thank you X a million for doing what you do. I have been visiting for a while now checking back every few months primarily to read the board. What an amazing suprise to find that I can listen to the memories that forged my life from the age of 15 and for the next 8 years until "the machine" took over our station.

I am all grown up living in Peterborough with 4 children, 2 of which are teenagers, 2 of which who will be very soon, all of which are music fanatics. And with sadness I often sit here listening to the re-broadcasts thinking they will never experience what we all did. It has been written here over and over what The Spirit meant to us. The music and the memories. The passion for something long gone off modern radio but yet so alive in all of our hearts. And my kids have a crappy small town radio station owned by a corporation that owns many more just like it across Canada. On-air personalities that seem to be following a script in both what they say and what they play.

Driving down to the city to see family or friends and hitting memory 1 on the stereo only to hear music I do not reconize nor do I particularily like. Telling my kids about what radio was. But what makes it right is that they ask question upon question about "our" music. And now I smile because corporation and big business may have steam rolled it all over but the memories that painted the picture of our youth are simply passed along to the kids in one of dad's "retro CD's".

I encourage my kids to listen to all forms of music just as my parents did to me. We kick around (usually after dad has had a couple of glasses of wine) starting a pirate radio station broadcasting to the city limits. But not broadcasting my music but anything and everything just like the early days of CFNY. The true spirit of the radio.

Enough of serious Chris and time to share a memory.

My favourite is getting ready for a date, parents away on a business trip and warming up the house jamming in the background. Being young, awkward, excited and full of anticipation because this was true love. It is Saturday night and there are a million possibilities. Shep breaking in and whatever he lead with it was pure radio magic. My brother turning it up another notch on the parents expensive bass driven stereo. It seems like yesterday!

Another smile now because those Saturday nights of teenage grooming led to my girlfriend that became my wife that became the mother of my children. The wedding song? I'll Melt With You.

And to conclude my memory essay...passing along The Ramones to my children became Green Day which became (playing oh so softly downstairs) Rancid (yeah I know what came first the glam punk or the so-cal punk) anyway maybe the kids will be alright.

If you have read this far and you find yourself in the Kawarthas this summer scroll the dial and listen through the static because you just might might might hear the voice of a baritone voiced teenage boy playing Let's Shake and dedicating it to his old Da.

Thanks again to all of you for keeping the spirit alive and to our amazing sys-op for being the anchor.

Chris Williams - April, 2007

What a wonderful site! It's 1:30 a.m. as I write this, I'm tired and can barely keep my eyes open, and I should be asleep by now, but I just can't stop browsing through all the great content here.

This has brought back so many memories of my high school days, living across the lake from Toronto in the Niagara region, seeing the distant, glowing, seductive silhouette of the Toronto skyline across the water and imagining the "invisible airwaves" of CFNY beaming across the water to the cheap stereo in my room.

I relate so much to what Anglea Morden (Sept. 2005) said, as well as so many others. CFNY left lasting impressions and indelible images on me that no other radio station ever has. What a great time it was to live within the reach of its signal!

Two memories I will always have:

* calling to request a Pet Shop Boys song before almost anyone here had heard of them

* hearing someone on the air -- I can't remember who it was -- state that U2 had become too popular, and that he would therefore never, ever again play any of their songs!

Greg (Houston, Texas) - March, 2007

First heard CFNY on the car radio in the parking lot before an Illustration pub at Sheridan College (School of Visual Arts - now closed). Randomly turned the dial and tuned into Pscyho Killer by the Talking Heads. Unlike anything I had ever heard before and I was completely hooked from that point on.

At work I always had a boom box on stand-by - recorded all the imports onto cassette (still have in a dusty box full of tapes in the Garage - carefully catalogued. Abandoned now as I managed to find most of the 80s stuff, remixes and b-sides on mp3 through a few obscure UK sites, long since shut down).

Loved The Import Show with Ivar on Sunday night - taped that religously.

Even won the top 102 albums of the year in 82 (or 83?). Was lying on the couch New Years Day, hungover as hell, when James Scott broke away to call the winner of the draw (you sent in your list of top ten albums and one of the submissions was selected to win ALL of the top 102). My phone rang seconds after that, and when I picked it up could hear the promo spots through the phone. One of the highlights of my misspent youth. Trouble was, I had pretty well all the albums (having discovered The Peddler) and ended up giving most of them to my then girlfriend. But it was very cool.

As I was (and still am) a graphic designer, I did some freelance Video Road Show posters and artwork for Live Earl (after meeting him at an event). Very cool guy. Still have the original artwork of that and show it off whenever I get the chance.

Drank Carlsberg (the officialy CFNY beer) when hanging out at Nuts and Bolts and/or Domino (every thursday, friday and Saturday night for years). Actually looked at renting the Kennedy Road CFNY HQ (after they moved totally downtown) for my own offices (a little on the steep side rent wise though). When I went to see it with the real estate guy, I remember thinking - if only these walls could talk.

Found this site last night and listened to the streaming audio for a few hours. Man, did that bring back memories. Thanks for putting up such a great resource.

The Wife's always telling me that I'm stuck in the 80's.

She's probably right...

Dougler - March, 2007


First, let me say "thank you" for the incredible website. What a trip down memory lane. It's not an overstatement to say CFNY changed my life, from waiting around on Wednesdays for Lee Carter to phone in from London with the latest British chart action to the Sunday afternoons listening to the "Music Magazine", it was all a whole new world.

But having perused your "charts" page, I had to wonder if you recall when CFNY ran a "Best Damn Music of All-Time" countdown. I believe it was either the summer of '86 or '87. I remember actually writing down each cut in a notebook (long since gone), and I also remember being somewhat shocked that Genesis' "Supper's Ready" cracked the Top Ten, if not the Top Five.

Am I imagining things, or did they actually have such a countdown? If you could verify and/or enlighten, it would be much appreciated.

In the meantime, keep up the good work. It pains me to know my kids will never know firsthand a station quite like CFNY. Guess they'll just have to rely on the old man's stories of the glory days :)


Bran, Chicago, IL (but ex-Western New York) - January, 2007

One night in 1976(?) a friend phoned to tell me that David Marsden, one of our radio heros from the good old days of CHUM-FM, was on the air. He said I should spin my tuner over to about 102. I did, and that's where it remained for years to come.

There were a lot of contests back in those early days of CFNY, and it was easy to win tickets, t-shirts and albums. They'd ask for the third caller, and I would be callers 1, 2 and 3! I still have one of the old "CFNY-FM--The Only One" t-shirts. I wore it to an event in about '82 and I remember Marsden saying he'd completely forgotten about "The Only One" tag (which predated "the spirit of radio").

I remember winning tickets to a Be-Bop Delux gig in about 1977 (at Seneca College). I think it was the day before the show, so I had to go pick up the tix at the old yellow house in Brampton. Not only did I get tickets to a great show, but I got to hang out for a while with Bill Nelson (who was at the station for an interview).

Favorite DJs: Late Night Andre (as he called himself before he became the All-Night Andre); Brad McNally (who not only consistently put on great shows but also played Plastic Players tapes); Jim Reid; David Marsden (before his schtick became a bit goofy); and of course Pete and Geetz (also ex-CHUM-FMers).

Back in the late 1960s, FM radio in Canadian and American big cities was the wild frontier of experimentation and creativity. In Toronto, CHUM-FM was the trail-blazer with programmers like David Marsden and David Pritchard. But as so often happens, truly innovative expressions either become victims of their own success and become formulaic or they are diluted for 'broader appeal' so as to be more commercially viable. That's what happened to CHUM-FM in the early '70s, and it drove out folks like Marsden and Pritchard. It was really no surprise, then, to hear Marsden's voice a few years later on a low-wattage FM station broadcasting out of a little yellow house in Brampton. He was far from dried up, and CFNY was the perfect outlet.

Perhaps it was also inevitable that CFNY (which was, after all, a commercial enterprise) would eventually suffer the same fate as CHUM-FM. I'm sure there is no concensus on when that happened; for me it was by about the mid-'80s, for others maybe it was earlier or maybe it was later. But the creative buzz that characterized the early days of CFNY was gone, and I drifted toward college radio to fill the void.

The spirit of radio is dead. Long live 'The Only One'!

Doug Morrow - January, 2007

Thank you for this fantastic web site dedicated to preserving the memory of the greatest radio station, and collection of radio personalities ever assembled.

I moved to Buffalo from NYC to attend school in the early eighties. Before moving,I listened to WNEW-FM, 102.5,in NYC, well known for pioneering alternative music throughtout the seventies. Led by radio personalities "The Night Bird", Allison Steele, and Jonathon Schwartz, it was the favorite station of most college students in the tri-state area.

What was a welcome surprise to come upon CFNY. The station was far ahead of it's time in the music that was played, and the way it personalities presented the music.Although it was never a great time to live in Buffalo, the music of CFNY made it that much easier to survive there. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been witness to that era.

Lets start with the first thing I noticed when listening to the station- the "spaciousness" of the silence in the backround. It sounded like the announcers were sitting in a cathedral. It imparted a unique sense of sophistication that I have never come across again.

And speaking of sophistication, the on-air personalities never spoke down to their listeners; they talked as if they were simply addressing friends as they introduced them to the newest bands they felt were worth listening to. And were they worth it- I was introduced to bands from literally all over the world that I would have never heard listening to mainstream radio at that time. It is heard to explain it because as one earlier testimonial put it- they use the stuff now to market most everything. Back in the eighties, it wasn't played anywhere,(except small college stations, and John Peel in the UK).

The personalities I remember- of course Dave Marsden, Pete and Geets,the Live Earle Jive and Bev Hills,Liz Janik, Ivar,Chris Shepard(a God with those remixes on Saturday night!), Skot Turner- the list is too long - were part of a community that loved being part of the station and the city.

One of the most over looked features of the station was the great segues. Some of the announcers took great care in the selection of tunes and it showed.( Luckily my tapes of some shows remain-unluckily- I can't remember the names of the tunes or the bands!).

I loved the weekly features. "Sunday Magazine"," The streets of Toronto" was especially noteworthy for local "buzz bands" . "Live from London" with Lee Carter was another of my favorite shows (what a strange feeling to hear Lee's podcast, in fact when I heard The Spirit archives via streaming I literally froze for about ten minutes. A wave of deja-vu, nostalgia, I'm not sure what to call it- came over me and brought tears to my eyes. I felt as if I was in a time machine!Very Weird.)

Thank you again for this site. It has allowed me to recover some long lost memories. Long live CFNY- The Spirit of Radio. We will never hear or see its likes again.

Brad Crestol
Irvine, California

Brad Crestol - December, 2006

Hello from Central Florida, U.S.A. I first heard of CFNY when a friend who visited Toronto in 1985 brought me back a cassette tape of CFNY's best of 1985. However, living in Florida CFNY was certainly not available on FM in my area. Although after doing some research, I found that CFNY was doing some broadcasting via C-band satellite. As a result, I purchased a 12' satellite dish, installed it in my yard, and was then enjoying CFNY and Much Music in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Now years later, I find you streaming back-in-the-day CFNY on the WWW, and I am once again enjoying it. Keep up the good work.

Matt Allard - December, 2006

I remember many things from then, but I feel even more.

However, what makes this reflection strange is that I did not know how important those memories of CFNY would become.

For me it began as an isolated 14 year old who had just moved to Oakville in 78.

Alone in my room late at night, I would drift around the FM dial. Then I stumbled across that sound at 102, it left me mesmerized. I had no idea that I was listening to a phenomena.

To this day I keep as many of "those tunes" as I can find.

"Echo and the bunnymen", "Flying lizards", "Love and rockets", "Modern English" and many more.

My god times have changed. They are selling crakers with the song "I’ll melt with you" (Kill me... Please)

Back then I listened with a fuzzy sounding "Realistic" tuner and cheap Koss headphones.

Now I listen to "Tones on tail" across a home network that connects a terabyte server to a bank of power amplifiers and sound processors. But what hasn't changed is that it's always best to listen to those tunes late at night on headphones.

Of ourse I trashed the old Kosses, but who trashed CFNY?

David Clayton - October, 2006

Hi, it's Ron the cleaner. I used to clean the station as a teenager(grade 9) in the early eighties when it first moved to Kennedy rd. What an experience. I remember cleaning the dj booths and looking at all the albums on the wall and wondering who were these bands. At that time I was listning to Genesis,Styx,Saga and pretty much all the songs you would find on the worst songs list. Pretty soon I was hooked and would listen to the staion all day and night long. I usually cleaned the staion at the time Earl Jive was on (and Alternate earl) and sometimes Earl would ask me trivia questions or would let me read commercial spots on the radio. It was a great experience.

Ron The Cleaner - October, 2006

I fist discovered The Spirit Of Radio some time in 1981, I believe it was. I heard that Pete & Geets were on in the morning, after they had left CHUM-FM. I started listening in the morning, just to hear them, then would switch back to CHUM-FM at the end of their show. Soon I found that I was leaving CFNY on longer and longer, and was really starting to like the music.

Before long, I was hooked. The music was unbelievable, and the on-air personalities were a joy to listen to. 1982-85 was a golden era for alternative music ( in my opinion 83 and 84 were particularly staggering ). During this period, CFNY was the ONLY station on the dial for me, and when I was forced to listen to something else it grated on me. During the heyday, I just couldn't get enough. I literally hated to turn the radio off. It was magic, and I have many fond memories. I'm so glad that I was able to experience it, and I firmly believe that I'll never experience anything remotely like it again in my life.

Anyway, thanks for reading my comments.

Glenn Wagner - October, 2006

I have been listening to 102.1 since the summer of 1977. Who can remember the 'Disco Destruct Hour' where Marsden would rake the needle across the top Disco single? I think the outright glee Marsden took in that act said everything about the station's goal to highlight new and creative alternative music. It is pretty sad trying to explain to my 14 yr olds about why it is annoying that top singles now get played ad nauseum (hourly!) rather than once per day like in the 'good old days' so that more song choices could be played. It is even sadder that I am beginning to parallel 'new-to-old' CNFY with 'new-to-old' Saturday Night Live.........things just aren't the same anymore....anyone have a spare walker????

Richard Seaton - October, 2006

Ho boy, CFNY. What wonderful memories! I went to college in Buffalo NY from 79-83, and listened to CFNY every available moment. Laughing at Live Earl and Beverly, thinking he was the funniest thing I'd ever heard. Picturing him getting into the "little red sports car" and tooling off to a Teenage Head show somewhere. Thinking that Toronto was the most amazing city ever, using a trip to the city as a reward to justify studying hard. I still have the albums I bought from back then, and still listen to them. I've spent the last 23 years trying to find another station that was as good, and have failed. I've been all over the US listening up and down the dial, but nothing compares. Now, incredibly, I hear it coming over the computer, the same shows, somehow, that I used to listen to. Amazing. I ended up working in the US submarine force, and one day ended up in Puerto Rica at the same time a Canadian sub was there. Over drinks in the club I met one of the Canadians who was from Toronto, and we compared CFNY stories. And forget about how I wore out the tapes that I had recorded of the shows. I listened to them in Orlando Fl, in Newport RI, San Diego CA, Pearl Harbor HI, and all across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, over and over. I sure do miss the spirit of radio, and can't tell you how much that wonderful station meant to me. Thanks to everyone who was responsible for it, and who put this website together.

Bill Murray - October, 2006

Dave Marsden and the crew at CFNY back in the "Spirit of Radio" days have certainly left a legacy to be proud of. Look at this web site, for example. How many radio stations in the world have an audience so loyal and so inspired that, after 20+ years, they are STILL talking about it? Amazing.

I was surprised when I found this site by accident a few days ago. Back in 1984, when I first heard CFNY, it turned me into more of an avid music lover than I think I would have otherwise been. A few weeks after I first heard the music--the synth music was my favorite--I bought a synthesizer and I've been playing and recording off and on since that time. In the following years, I would be sure to record CFNY while I was in the city (I live in Ohio, but come to Ontario frequently). I've listened to those tapes so many times--and I still do--that I'm surprised that they're still in ok shape. While listening to those tapes for years, I always thought "I wonder what band plays THIS song?" I came to this site and found out that there is a whole community of people out there just like me! I thought I was the only one in the world who missed CFNY and who was going crazy trying to figure out who played the great-but-obscure songs on a stack of cassettes recorded 20+ years ago on an old boom box. Now I don't feel so alone anymore!

My thanks go to two different groups of people. First, to Dave Marsden and the great crew of the old CFNY back in the 80s. You brought a tremendous selection of little-known music from around the world to a North American audience who would otherwise have never heard it. Second, to the author or authors of this web site. Listening to the air checks and the old IDs bring back some great memories. Also, the Song ID section--the 21st century version of "Name that Tune." I've not found any songs yet that I know, but it's fun
listening. I might have some contributions soon from my own collection of 20-year-old boom box tapes!

Geoff - September, 2006

I have been going through a CFNY withdrawal over the past several weeks.. Going through my old CDs, finding old personalities. What really sparked me into this was seeing Freddie P's website and then finding out that Humble had been dismissed from those bastards at Mix 99....Thank god Humble ...I also saw the poll on Freddies site about if Humble and Fred went to satellite....Hell YES!....That would truly be awesome. I grew up on Buffalo radio....Kiss 98.5, 104.1 WNYS....Oh how wrong I almost went. I remember the morning I had on 102 by mistake....IT changed my life forever...I discovered what music should be. New, interesting and never over produced....I found my new radio though when I am home...Spirit Radio! Talk about memories...

Nice job with the website ...All you humble and fred fans check out Freddies Site good stuff...even has a link to Dan Durans site....One of my favourite of all time on the H&F show. Edge 2 is also cool listening to Alans stuff!
Out for now

Enjoy the cool stuff on this site

Mike - August, 2006

I lived in Alberta for 77/78 and early 79 but moved back to wonderful southern Ontario in Sept 79 to attend Brock U in St Kitts. I was elated at howe great cfny was! What a great station. I loved listerting to " the mars bar " (Marsden) and others. Ivor Hamilton's import show was also great. Wasn't it always called the 4-5 show, even when the time moved to another time slot? Too funny.

Best moring show ever: Pete and Geetz, by far. Lardette was a great! Bring back 1979!

CFNY will be in my heart forever!

Dave - January, 2006

Hey Gang! Just to say hello! : ) Remember when student toppled the transmission tower for CHUM AM. Hee hee.

The Spoons are still active - they were scheduled to play the New Year's Eve bash at Nathan Phillips. Presumably they put in a show.

I was trying to figure out who did "The Flat TIre Song" < zannier popular song - from our zany era. I'm confident it wasn't Trio - but I'm not getting much in the way of internet returns < surprisingly.

We all remember B.B. Gabor with Moscow Drug Club, Metropolitan Life and Soviet Jewellery. Soviet Jewellery is slang for hand-cuffs btw. Oh there's a long list of otherwise pretty obscure tunes...Good to have a handy reference - a play list with names and titles. Names often get corrupted in the various p2p download sites. Important to have a solid reference as the vinyl originals slowly disappear. Thanks for sharing in my morning rave. : )

Mikk in Toronto - January, 2006

I was an architectural student in Buffalo, NY from 1989 to 1995 and I can tell you the changes I saw in CFNY over those years! I LOVED CFNY for the unique format and music I was exposed to during that time. This has served to alter my perception of what that station should be broadcasting today.

Thanks to 102.1 the Edge for "edge" ucating me!

Daniel R. Long - December, 2005

My name is Tim Goodrich. I was turned onto cfny fairly early on, around 1981-82, by my best friend. I was stuck in the hair-band rut until I discovered Teenage Head at the After Dark Nightclub in Lockport ,NY. I never looked back, though I hung onto my KISS and STYX albums simply because I never throw anything out. Anyhow, CFNY filled a void that was not satisfied by any of the crap put out by Buffalo’s 97 Rock. Hell, they are still playing the same crap now. Dave Marsden was some kind of visionary. Everyone got a shot. The bad fell into oblivion and the good had me going to concerts in Ontario and eventually Buffalo when those bands got known. My favorite song of all time is ‘Favorite Page’ by the Spoons. I intend that to be the first song played when I get married in 2007. I have frequently moved from western Ny and had family send me tapes of CFNY programming to where I was at. I lived 60 miles from Portland and had to find out about Everclear from one of those tapes. The many changes in format were noted and irritated the shit out of me, but still was better than most alternatives. I do more channel surfing now, but CFNY is still the general winner. I will be moving to Washington State early next year, and will use CFNY online to keep up with the music trends that I have always gotten satisfaction from. I will buy a CD unheard if it is mentioned on CFNY mostly because the success rate as demonstrated by my music collection will testify to. However, I won’t miss the station like I used to. Dean Blondell is a pretty smart dude and his show is okay, but they could be any show in any market on the continent. The only uniquely truly funny moment was about three years ago when Re-Todd took the listener dressed in the rat suit and beat the hell out of him with a plastic bat on air in the background of one of Toronto’s morning television shows. That is pretty sad. The people that have owned CFNY over the years should have not put all their emphysis on the bottom line and maybe put Canada first. I know a lot of people down here in the states that used to be rabid CFNY fans. I love having Canada as a neighbor, and look to the Canadian market for music, as most of the US is extremely mired in the image of the bands and not the substance. Well I am starting to repeat myself. Good luck in the future. Pay Dani Elwell whatever it takes to get her back on the air with the Alternative Bedtime Hour. That was the FINEST bit of radio I have heard in my 45 years.

Later Neighbor,

Tim Goodrich - December, 2005

I have come across your website searching for a track that I had heard on CFNY years ago, but that I couldn't find anywhere. (It was '92 in the shade' by the West End Dance Project. Of course I didn't know that until I found your site). Though I live far away near Chatham now, I grew up on CFNY from when I was at Port Credit SS in 1978.

I can't tell you how happy I am to find your site. The quotes and info bring me back home, and make me sad at the same time, for the station that is now top 40 on a network.

It appears that this site was arranged for the reunion, but please keep it up. I know that many fans would love to read and be reminded. Some of the best memories of my youth are of this station, (I kid you not). I remember also when I was dating a girl from Michigan, she told me about when she was in Toronto years ago and "wanted to bring the station home", with her.

Anyway, in the least, I wanted to thank you for bringing back some great memories.

Warren E. Anglin - November, 2005


I stumbled upon your site and am so glad that I found you.

My name is Kori and I have listend to CFNY since I was thirteen (1982).

Back then I ws sporting a mowhawk and oxbleed docs, my parent were horrified.
I would listen to the station everyday and enjoyed sneaking in to the parties held by the station at The Concert Hall. Those were the days.

Now the thing is, the station is quite disappointing these days, boring, commercial, whiny boring, did I say boring?

Nickelback? (miserable soap opera) when I request The The or Shreikback it never gets played, The Demics (another one) do they not have these recodings anymore.

Am I the only who feels this way?

Thank you for the charts and lists, they will help me complete my collection.
Am I just getting old?

Kori - September, 2005

Ok, as goofy as this may sound, I am literally crying while reading all of these wonderful testimonials about our beloved CFNY!!! I miss it like crazy & *NEVER* listen to the radio anymore. I HATE the radio now because you really *can't* find anything half decent on! I *LIVED* with CFNY playing in the background of my life but the stations & music of today pale in comparison to "the Spirit". Today's extremely mainstream, repetetive programming has completely ruined my passion for radio & I know I'm not alone. God, I had SOOO many great times listening to Maie Pauts (my all-time FAVOURITE!!!), Humble & Fred, Chris Shepherd etc. I still feel old when the teenagers I know want to put on the "Edge" but, at the same time I sure feel lucky that I got to experience such a unique & amazing radio station! I can still remember the feeling (back in 1987) when Depeche Mode would be played in anticipation of the up-coming concert, or how excited I was to get to go into the station (in Brampton) & have Maie Pauts cue up the Tori Amos interview that I had missed. See, it's the little things like that that made CFNY the *BEST RADIO STATION EVER*!!! Just the fact that we were allowed to go in, get comfy & listen to the interview right there in the station was a thrill! :) I listened to Humble & Fred *EVERY* morning as I got ready for highschool and I can't help but smile when I think of "Snow Removal Machine" or "Circular Impression"!! Tee hee hee. Well, now that I'm all teary-eyed & once again back in the 80's (BEST time by the way)...I should go. Music has *always* been a HUGE part of my life & I sincerely believe that CFNY helped to make it that way. I've loved music since I was a young girl but, the music from my teens & 20's was honestly the *BEST* stuff ever!!! Thank you all for such amazing memories!!!!!!!

Angela Morden - September, 2005

Great site! Had been listening to Daddy Cool's show way back on Kitchener radio, then stumbled onto the weird & wonderful 'NY - my first exposure to a world which included Television, Japan, Graham Parker & the Diodes. A defining moment for me was hearing of the passing of Sandy Denny (ex-Fairports) in early '78 & wondering which other stations would have enough intuition to break the news to such an admittedly small number of concerned listeners. Next year, I was working at Records on Wheels in Guelph, the best store in town at the time for "New Music - First", with much help from your "playlists" (hey, we even backed a local Ramones gig). From Andre to the Jiver to the Marsbar & JR, the on-air talent was a gift to fans of Real Radio, at a time when only college formats came close to producing such a creative mix of current & classic music. My tuner stayed locked on 102.1, often with my tapedeck rolling, until the late 80's mainstream mess, followed by the early 90's grunge fest, when all things Nirvana seemed to be the new religion. By then, most of the old voices on which we relied so much to steer us thru the post-punk minefield were long gone, along with their inspired pirate-programming ideology. Thanks to all for so many years of sharing such an exciting broadcasting vision with your friends near & far. Who knew that we would have to resort to a nostagia site for a station that championed the Flying Lizards? Long live the Spirit!


Mark D. - August, 2005

Geez, here we go...

I really kind of gave up on 'NY after I learned that Daddy Cool was going to be canned due to "changes" while speaking with him on the phone one night (I owe him for George Thorogood's "Madison Blues" and later, the job I got in a record store once the owners played what I had asked them to order), but it still remained better than what CHUM-FM had become and the farce that was - and is now more so - Q 107.

I actually spent most of my time listening to a couple of wicked Buffalo radio stations (WBUF/WPHD, anybody?), then they bit it too, so back to 'NY.

My memories?

Hearing Andre open the studio and airwaves at around 6:00 p.m. when it was merely CHIC-FM ('74/'75), getting him on the phone and asking for a tune which, if he liked it or the band, might become an entire album side, because "no one was listening anyway" (my buddies and I knew better and we were ecstatic).

Brad McNally (a very cool and reassuring dude) throwing open the phones in the aftermath of John Lennon's murder because it was the right - and only - thing to do and building a supremely tasteful program around that. In fact, it was two days (being a Tuesday night) after the event itself and it hadn't sunk in with me yet, until the grief damn broke and I was finally able to properly mourn our loss.

Yes, he played my request (The Death of Rock & Roll; Todd Rundgren) and many others and it turned out to be the only way to comprehend the event.

Brad was followed by Headley Jones, who - although it was not a reggae-shaking event, certainly was one for music -didn't say a word about it.

I was incredulous but Jones, in his own discreet way, finally noted same by introducing a "Beatles song" and nothing more, slipping into Obla Di Obla Da to close the show. I had never considered it as reggae before and in his genius, Headley saved the day.

Keith Elshaw, who was always way too much - in a good way - playing "Needles & Pins" from the then-new Ramones l.p. while I was drifting off on the couch, then, "You want some more? Here's some more!", letting it slide right into the next song, "I'm Against It". Man, I was awake now and bought the album the next day (still have it, too).

Jim Reid playing nothing, it seemed, but "Free Man In Paris" (Joni Mitchell) and "Shake Some Action" (Flamin' Groovies). Jesus, Jim! I could set my watch by these, although I must say I found the Groovies' album later thanks to him and the rest of it is even better.

Meeting my long-time hero David Marsden in the "little yellow house" when finding myself in Brampton one evening and walking right in and upstairs to chat with him. We discussed my ambition re radio and even then he encouraged me to forget it, as he knew what I was about and that the art was gone; it was now going to be about demographics. Sadly true, but thanks, Dave.

Dispatching cabs while listening to Earl Jive and - wanting some stress relief - phoning him to ask for the Sex Pistol's "Bodies".

"That's the one with the swearing in it, right?", says he, whereas I countered with the fact that I wasn't looking for a juvenile, gratuitous giggle, I liked the fury of the song and besides, the "swearing" was gone before you'd catch it.

What does Jive do? He plays "Friggin' in the Riggin'".


More "swearing" per square inch of vinyl than most songs I've ever heard, more laid back than "Bodies" and now we do get the 'giggle factor'. Sigh.

Met him (but not really) years later at a Cheapie's Records in-store (my second record store gig), where he was too busy eyeballing his Porsche parked out front to actually greet his fans and earn his fee, then zoomed off. Lots of muttering from staff about "sell-out". Sorry.

Favourite D.J.?

Probably James Scott, of all people and I really can't pin down why.

Another cool guy and a semi-smart-ass at the same time, who made my cab-driving afternoon rush-hours a blast and nearly an in-joke (as in, my passengers didn't get it) at once.


Bill Turner - August, 2005

Wooo-hooooooo! Nice to see the gang from "The Spirit" most vivid memories of CFNY...Pete & Geets morning show, i almost drove off the road several times to the likes of various totally INSANE sound effects, or how about Ivor Biggun's famous song about a gentleman looking for his rooster (this inspired me to buy the album).

But then it was about the music, the culture, the people...things have unfortunately faded into obscurity in deference to product marketing (assholes)....

Thanks ladies and gentlemen of the Spirit of Radio....

Pete and Geets...if you guys read this, a heartfelt thanks for the great morning show. Miss you guys..

Michael N Hill - July, 2005

This is an incredible site!!! I don't have enough time to put down all the memories of my far too brief time at CFNY. I was a radio student at Mohawk College in Hamilton when I met James Scott at a CFNY Video Road Show (another CFNY first!) and asked if I could do my co-op term with him. That's how I got in the door in the spring of '84. The next nine months were pure heaven. I still remember having lunch with David Marsden when he asked me to come on board to help out in the music department with Ivar and Eddie. I was so green I didn't really know what an opportunity I'd been given. Working around David, Ivar, Liz, Eddie, Pete & Geets, Fred and all the rest was the most intense learning experience I've ever been through. It was like graduate school in Radio and every station I worked at after that was a pale comparison. Highlights include going to see Jane Sibbery at the Ex with Pete & Geets, going to see Frank Zappa with Pete, watching Skot Turner make the move down the hall from AM to FM and seeing his face reflect the same feeling I had. "I made it to CFNY!!!", hanging out with Skot in the CN Tower booth, having lunch at Earle and Beverly's house, meeting Bruce Cockburn when he guested with Liz Janik, having Liz chew me out for standing in front of her while the mic was on (she didn't like to be watched) and lot more I'm only starting to remember. The greatest moment came on a "Behind The Scenes" Saturday when I got to do a half hour all by myself. I still remember the three songs I played. Talk Talk - It's My Life, Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill and Rush - The Spirit Of Radio. I even "hit the Post" on that one!!! I was on top of the world!!!!!

I'm out of Radio now after doing some time at CKOC under Nevin Grant and nine years at 820 CHAM when Country was cool. I'm a computer geek now (seems like a lot of radio guys have gone that route) and making way more money but not having nearly as much fun.

The CFNY I worked at is long gone but will never be forgotten. Thanks for the memories.


Sean Vedell - July, 2005

Still miss you guys. I discovered CFNY by accident one night while twirling the FM dial in Buffalo, NY. I became a addict immediately. I loved Bruce Heydon's show, I was amazed how he would play "punk", 70's rock, and even classical all in the same set (I do that myself these days when on the air). Since I am from the UK orginally, I think many people miss the point that one major difference with CFNY was that it had a much wider British based play list than other North American stations.

I still play old cassette tapes of Marsden 's Xmas Eve show, every Christmas, including the one done the year USSR invaded Poland (he played "Road to Moscow" Al Stewart.

Favourite related story. I bought a TV-FM antenna from Radio Shack in an attempt to get rid of the annoying signal loss in the middle of taping my favourite songs. The station was in Brantford (sp?) and still low power compared to later years. I spent 4 hours installing the thing on a roof and almost broke my neck. I was elated when the signal strength meter on my stereo receiver went from a usual 1, to a 4 , on the 1-5 scale. I went to bed a happy man that night, dreaming of perfect signals everyday from CFNY. I awoke to signal strength of 1-2 the next morning, the pervious night had simply been an enhanced FM propagation night and nothing to do with my new antenna! Not many stations worth that kind of effort, and a station that stopped mosquitos from biting too!

How about someone persuading Marsden, Live Earl, and company to do some new shows for podcasting in this modern age?

Andy O'Brien - July, 2005

I cannot find a copy of nobby clegg, My old mans a joke---I lived in Lewiston NY during the very early start, I would have to keep one hand on the dial to modulate the signal down in the basement apartment---this was and will always be the most significant passionate radio-non-commodification artform ear popping mindblowing world expanding life enhancing cultural catalyst--that I have ever had the extreme pleasure to witness. I grieved the day I moved away from the signal.......returning years later to find the same space occupied by some pathetic mainstream nothing--sameoldshit--Dave Marsden--I lift my glass to you ........I can never repay the great times I enjoyed, big blessings-and hope that the magic is still available------somewhere-the spirit philosohy does live on---

E Mac - May, 2005

I was in high school when a group of us first started tuning in to Pete and Geets and CFNY, tried desparately to get our act together to get on listeners choice. Between Edgertons and CFNY my musical needs were looked after. Several years later I find myself working for the Police Force that looked after 83 Kennedy Road and its surrounding area. I was working night shift when we came across a red car parked on the front lawn of a semi detached in the old area of Heart Lake Road and Williams Parkway. Sprawled across the front seat and half out the drivers door was a male, the front door of the house was wide open lights on, inside the front door on the floor was a female lying on the ground and music blaring. What was first thought to be a crime scene was Earl and Beverley's house. We got Earl in the house and Beverley up and stood in amazement with his back room full of albums. After several drinks (coffee) We left with Earl's numbers and a great stories.

So one night later in the summer we are working the front desk of the old 21 division listening of course to CFNY and Earl, we called in a request from the Boys at 21 to the Boys at 52 Division, the Puka Orchestra, Cherry Beach Express and Earl of course obliged.

Great memories, great history, great music


Garry Robertson - April, 2005

Until I started U of G in 85, I was a always a Q107 type of guy (no mullet however), I wouldn't listen to that electronic crap. After dancing at the BullRing (U of G, DJ. J.David Akin, now on CTV), I changed my station presets and made CFNY my number one pick. I listened during those years when the morning shows were changing ( I heard Madonna and Michael Jackson on the morning shows)and I used to love listening to Don Berns play the Sisters of Mercy on Friday afternoons when I would drive home.

I still love Sunday nights with Martin Streek, playing "the true inovators of modern rock", Sunday mornings' Modern History of New Music, but alas I now seem to listen to Jack FM alot. Funny thing is, when I was in school, I used to make fun of those people who used to listen to music 10-20 years old (60's & 70's). Now I am one those people who listens constantly to music that is 20 years old (80's, CFNY style)

Thanks CFNY,

George Mancini - March, 2005

god I loved CFNY...I miss it so much. My favorite was laying out in the sun listening to the All Request Nooner...thank god for all the tapes I made of the stuff nobody plays anymore!

"CFNY...because we have a transmitter. And *you* don't."

Sue Slivan - March, 2005

I have a gas visiting the site and listening to the sounds, commercials and air checks, cfny 102.1 the spirit was the best and absolutely nothing compared to it then and definately not now. I'm sorry I missed the reunion but would like to have more of an up date on what Earl Jive, James Scott and Pete Griffin are doing in 2005, always enjoyed listening to these guys. Really miss those 54 hour Holiday Week-End Spectaculars! And Catch us if you can format!

Chris Miller - March, 2005

Its' just so great to hear the old voices again..................I was a HUGE cfny listener from '83 until around '90, when my listening became more sporadic since it lost some of its' groove then, but was still the only thing playing anything decent around(but a far cry from the '80s heydey!).

I have to admit, it brought a tear to my eye listening to all the old air checks...........those were great days, with exciting music and a community that CFNY represented and nourished. My band was in the finals of the Talent Search in '87 - that gives you some idea of how involved I was!

Bill Brunson - March, 2005

I CANNOT even begin to describe how fantastic this site is.

I am 36 years old, and live in Los Angeles. I grew up in Western New York listening to CFNY. I guess I probably listened around 1982-1986. I dunno for sure - I was just a high school kid listening to what I liked. You know: the kind that gets picked on for dressing in black and listening to anything that wasn't Asia or Van Halen back then....

So I got a job DJing at The Continental in Buffao, NY for about a decade and continuing to play the kinds of music that CFNY taught me to love.

Anyhow, I digress.....

I've been listening to Alan Cross for the last hour and absolutley LOVING the fact that you have quite a bit of material to download.



You rock.

God, I miss CFNY, and I feel very fortunate to have been there for something quite unique. I remember when the accountants took over in the late 80's (early 90's?) and I literally haven't listened to radio since.

what was the point?

why bother after the Spirit was gone?

Now in L.A. there's an independant station 103.1 that comes close. Everytime I listen to it, I think of the glory days of CFNY. Nina Blackwood (original MTV VJ) & Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) are among the DJ's.

It's really good, but not QUITE the same....

So anyway.... thank you for the site (have I said that yet?)

Ken Cox - February, 2005

I was from Niagara Falls New York and listened all the time during the late 70's and early 80's. Your format was great!!!!!! Music which the bone heads US would not play fueled me through out my years and I appreciate it THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I live in Texas and cannot receive your transmission and it has been years since I heard your station. I don't even know if it is still in existence. I LOVE THE LIST OF SONGS FROM 78' to 86'!!!!!!!

J Jank - January, 2005


Brings back memories.Now the music is Crap for the most part but mabey not as bad as the really crappy stuff the other radio stations played back in the day.

Music was the most important thing in my life back then thanks to the spirit of silly things like family ,job,consuming things are more important..

give me back 1983, live earl and the lovely and talented beverly Hills

Ian Crerar - January, 2005

I stumbled across David Marsden's radioshow on 94.9 FM, about a year or so ago.. I've become a habitual listener, ever since! It allows me to bathe once more in the warm, gooey nostalgia, of it all! Marsden's so good, he oughta be made illegal!

Anyways, I'd wanted to check out his website. But couldn't find the Web Address. And when I "googled" his name, I came across this fantastic website of yours! Again, it was great to revisit all those old memories of yesteryear...

I'm probably dating myself, here.. But I began High School in '78. And am actually old enough to recall Bruce Heyding as CFNY's Music Director; and the earliest incarnation of "The Import Show". Heyding predated Ivar Hamilton, as memory serves. And I was hoping that perhaps I'd find Heyding listed in your "Personalities" section.. I'd love to hear whatever happened to THAT dude!

I guess he did a decent job as Music Director. But I can recall being more mesmerized by his on-air radio "voice".. This guy sounded exactly like every Prog Rock/70's FM Radio "parody" impression, you've ever heard on a Comedy record!! hah He definitely put the _BACK_ into "laidback". And sounded seriously anachronistic, for a radio station purporting to be programming: 'Punk/NewWave'..

When Ivar took over that position,-- CFNY really began to soar, in my opinion!

My earliest memories of listening to CFNY, revolve around hearing David Marsden filling the Primetime slot. I can still vividly recall an evening where THE CARS' first album debuted. And Marsden spun the first 3 or 4 songs one Side One in succession. Then stopped when he found a tune to his particular liking.. Lifted the turntable needle, on-air. And set it back down, to play it again a 2nd time 'round! hah

He used to do that a fair bit, way back when. And it was always excitingly welcome & so unexpected. Particularly, in comparison to the way the rest of Toronto radio operated.. And, still do!

I guess my 2nd favorite on-air Personality was: "Live" Earl Jive..
I grew up in Scarborough. Or "Scarberia", as he liked to call it. Not exactly "Mister&Missus Auga". Which was much further West, I think? hah
Earl Jive seemed like a man MADE for radio. Just an extremely entertaining guy.. Perhaps less-interested in the music that he was playing. But the tunes were always excellent, so that didn't matter to me..

I remember "Live" Earl & Beverly Hills hosting a free TEENAGE HEAD concert once, out near where I lived. It was a weird record store called: "Zounds" on Eglinton Avenue, just east of McGowan. It's a Tire store now, I think.. The concert was great, I thought. But not terribly well attended. And I remember the drummer looking VERY drunk! heh

I was more shocked to actually see what Earl Jive, looked like. Hearing him on the radio every night, you begin to try and create a mental image. He turned out to be a really tiny older fellow. He looked more like an Accountant, actually. That's 'til he got a hold of a microphone.. and that amazing voice came thru!

I think I scored some kind of Event t-shirt at this show. But was too embarrassed to wear it around the house in front of my parents.. It read something like: "I NEED me some TEENAGE HEAD!!" haha

I can remember phoning in once, to play some radio "trivia" game on Earl Jive's show. I actually won! And when he informed me that my "prize" would be some kind of new 'Music Trivia' board game.. I responded on-air by saying: "BONUS!!!" A popular expression, at that time. I can recall he seemed amused by that! heh.

And though I think I only played the board game, once. I still have it downstairs, somewhere..

I actually won a fair amount of stuff from CFNY, looking back on it..
I know that I won at least 5 or 6 copies of THE CLASH's "London Calling" album. And this is with a museum-quality ROTARY DIAL phone!! hah
In hindsight, it seemed like they were giving away copies of that one, every hour. I kept the first copy. And gave the others away a

Rich Dannys - January, 2005

FABULOUS SITE! I used to live in Buffalo (up to 1994) and CFNY was my favorite station and, as a nightclub DJ, it certainly influenced what I spun in the clubs in Buffalo and Niagara Falls. CFNY actually made you WANT to listen to the radio again!

GREAT SITE! Have been searching for airchecks of CFNY for quite a while. Thanks for posting everything!

John Bisci - January, 2005

I used to listen to 'NY from the begining as a student in Toronto, on my return to home after two years there was a yearning for the music that I heard and a return to Toronto was in the making. After a few years grinding an existence in restaurants I moved out of the country and lost touch with "the music". When I returned to Canada-Vancouver I was amazed to find Dave Marsden on the radio doing it one more time. I called and asked what happened to 'NY and was told that the spirit died, alas after hearing "the Edge" I have to agree.

Bring back the old ways they were so much better, if I wanted to listen to Nickleback I would listen to LOIQ-old time listeners will remember Jive's stab at the otherguys.

Dave - December, 2004

Not a day goes by where I don't, in some small way, lament for the days where my friends and I would meet on a Saturday night and listen to Club102. Thanks be to Jack fm got giving Chris some airtime.

Thanks to CFNY I have a picture box full of bad hair and too much makeup (yes I wore eye makeup - all the girls wanted to be my friend, but the skins wanted to beat me up...familiar?).

I really miss my Lockey Jockey - not the black ones - the REAL white ones!. Anyone know where I can get another?

Remember comparing the numbers with your friends? Your number is too high you're not a real fan!

CFNY and the music it played absolutely defined who I am today. I wonder what would have happed if Crystal and "D" (Eastdale Oshawa Canada - remember the Masonic dances?) had not turned me onto (the) new music and the sprit.

I've really enjoyed the rush of memories this site has refreshed for me.

Perry McLeod - November, 2004

I am not sure who I am writing to but I listened to your station in the late 70's through the early 80's. in 1979 and I was in the hospital in N.F., N.Y. after a car accident and I listened to a Lindsay Gillespie who had a sort of talk show, with terrific music that followed the themes of the show, in the afternoon. I listened everyday. It gave me something to look forward to everyday. (I was in traction for 2months.) I now live in Hawaii and have a daughter who I named Lindsay. Why is she not named in your list of personalities? I know it was early in the history you are examining but you were playing cutting edge ---- at that time.


James Gillespie - October, 2004

I’ve been a cfny listener since 1983ish. I remember the day Live Earl Jive (Beverly wasn't there) came to my high school to sign the roadshow contract in his red Porsche 911 turbo; that was a very big deal then and many students from other schools showed up to check things out. When I refer to the station as "cfny", my younger friends tell me I’m dating myself, ba humbug!.. This station has profoundly influenced my life and although very different now, still has a uniqueness about it that doesn't appear on any other station anywhere. Thanks for being there and opening my eyes to all that's great about new music.

p.s. This was during the time John D. Roberts worked at CityTV not the Whitehouse!..;)


Paul Chan - October, 2004

Oh. My. God. How could I have missed this site?!!!

I was at Sheridan College in Brampton in 1983-85 and CFNY was our music of choice. My friend Ross Kuch and I tried to turn the school "radio station" (really, just a booth and ceiling speakers) into a mini-CFNY, because there was the amazing music we could not hear anywhere else.

The Spirit of Radio was and is still part of me. I wish I had found this website a couple of years ago. I stopped listening to radio frequently around the time of the 1988 CFNY format massacre.

Last spring I got a digital radio and turned it on to discover that other radio stations still aren't as great as CFNY was, and more-or-less abandoned general listening. (I do listen to certain specific programs though...)

As I posted on another message board:

Check out the highly relevant article in the October 2004 issue of Wired, "The Long Tail", about how the total volume of potential sales of non-hit music dwarfs that of the hits, but it's just thinly spread and hard to serve. If the record-companies could get their heads out of their short-sighted litigious butts and take a look around, they'd see that the networked world, and profits, are passing them by...

This would be the perfect time to create an Internet Spirit Of Radio.

Any chance there will be another Reunion?


Scott Robert Dawson - October, 2004


This site just recently came to my attention. It’s me the “Duffer”!

Had I known there was a reunion, I would have been there with bells on. But I guess Don beat me to that one! Right Don?

I have been out of radio for a decade now. For the last 10 years I have been a computer “geek”. I currently work for Hewlett-Packard as a Network Engineer in Detroit Michigan.

I still have fond memories of CFNY, like:

The Canada Day Parties at Molson Park (30,000 people chanting your name was awesome!)

Working with BNL at clubs in T.O. and in the studio (before they became huge stars)

Last but not least working afternoon drive with Don ”what the hell did we just play” Berns.

I can honestly say that during my 12 year radio career the years I spent at ‘NY were the most memorable and fun!

Keep the Spirit alive!!

P.S. My only complaint about your website is in the Air check section, there is no classic Berns & The Duffer! Ha!

Take care

Jim Duff
Lead Engineer
HP Services

Jim Duff - September, 2004

Here's a sob story for you. I have an old CFNY sticker- actually I had a couple. The old rectangular black and white bumper sticker. One is plastered permanently on the back of my guitar, and the other was on my lunch pail. Both have stood the test of time. Although the white has worn, the black endures and "CFNY the spirit of radio" is emblazoned forever for all the world to see. I love those stickers. Well this is the sad part. I work as an Educational Assistant for the Niagara Catholic school board. Last summer I neglected to bring home my lunch pail. So it sat in the staff room for weeks and weeks. The custodian kept wondering where all the fruit flies were coming from until one hot humid day, she found them coming from no place other than my lunch pail. She immediately pitched it. Out went my CFNY sticker. Along with my Rheostatics sticker, my NASA sticker and my "Mr. Nixon has cashed his cheque." by Hunter S. Thompson sticker. I was heartbroken when I found out. Those are rare! So I'm emailing you on bended knee wondering if you know where I can find myself some new stickers from the old CFNY. Pleeeeeeeeease help me!

Kees Kapteyn - September, 2004

I happen to be listening to Marsbar ex Oshawa @ 94.9 as I write this...
I came to Toronto in the fall of '78 [U of T] and came across CFNY. The reception was crappy downtown, but it never seemed to matter. I remember listening to Brad McNally & his Eclectic Spirit; Marsden; Pete & Geets, Jim Reid and many others. I saw the Spoons at the Xmas party at the Masonic Temple, and remember seeing the Fried Earl Jive pissed out of his gourd spinning discs at the UC Pub at U of T.

I have to say that the music I heard on CFNY from this period is still on my mind today.

Thanks for the memories.

Kevin - August, 2004

I called CHUM FM today to put in a request for Siouxsie & the Banshees on the Lost 80's Lunch. I talked to Maie Pauts for a while, and we talked a bit about her old stomping grounds, CFNY. I just wanted to know if it was she who portrayed "the story lady". As it turns out it was Beverly Hills who played that character. Who knew? Ok....I'm sure lots of you did! I used to have a pile of the story lady skits on tape until I loaned it to someone years ago who promptly misplaced it. If anybody has any of them, I'd love to get copies.

Well... Maie asked if I'm familiar with this site, so I thought I'd check it out. What a trip back in time. I listened to CFNY from about 1980 or 1981 when the airwaves were filled with the sweet sounds of my youth up until it was replaced by the acrid sounds of crap. Way to ruin my life Selkirk!

To this day I still live through the old tapes and vinyl (now cd and mp3) from that era. It makes me feel like I'm still living in that time. Total escapism. It was the soundtrack to some of the best years of my life. It's just amazing how listening to songs like "How soon is now?" or "Every day is Halloween" takes me back. I can recall minute details of things my friends and I did while these songs played way back then.

I like the idea of an annual CFNY Spirit of Radio reunion. I wish I knew about the one in November. I would have been there. Better yet, damn it, why not start up a whole new radio station and play the good old stuff???? OK, wishful thinking.

Just wanted to share a funny memory I have of Chris Sheppard. I think it was around 1987 or 1988 and I was working for a small indie upstart (now defunct) entertainment magazine, and I set out to do a feature on Shep. I had been a regular listener to his Saturday night show and had been to many club parties (RPM) before coming up with the idea. He brought me a stack of promo materials, photos, etc, and we set a time to do the interview. We hooked up in Welland one night before he started spinning at the Aqua Duck one Thursday night. Everything went very well, magazine article was well received and after it was published I went back to the Aqua Duck to drop a copy off for Shep to check out. My friends and I had a great time that night, and when Shep finished playing, he asked what we were up to later. Well, it was getting close to 2am, and we all had to work the next day, so....we decided to cross the border and party with Shep at the Continental nightclub in Buffalo. We stopped at a variety store and Shep ran in to use the phone. When he came back out, he told us to be sure we had CFNY on. Sure enough, a few minutes later, there was an announcement that the Sheppard Posse was crossing the river to party. Gotta say, that club had great music, but it was probably one of the scariest places I've ever seen. I made the mistake of walking into the bathroom where I promptly froze in place, turned on my heel and thought "I can hold it for a few hours until I get home". How the health department didn't order that place shut down and burned is beyond me.

We danced and partied until the wee hours when I poured my friends back into my little Chevy Sprint and made our way back home after dropping Shep's cousin off somewhere. It's amusing being sober and watching your drunk friends getting out of control. As I'm driving back home, my friend and co-worker Corey was sitting behind my friend Jennifer who was sitting shotgun. Corey starts making some distressing sounds and I tell Jen to roll the window down, which she promptly doesn't do! After asking her repeatedly and having her ask why, Corey throws up all over the back of her seat. The joys of a coupe. It was a very chilly fall evening, so we had to drive home with the windows down and the heat cranked. We took Corey home and threw him into bed, and the next stop was Jennifer's place where her parents were waiting up for her. After all, it was about 5 or 6 am at this point and she was their 19 year old daught

David Rose - August, 2004

What a great site! I wish that I would have found it years ago. I have many fond memories of CFNY as a listener prior to myself being hired at CFNY/Edge. I used to love listening to the evening and overnight shows. I would hear certain artists that I had never heard before, and then I would play those artists on my college/community radio show. 80% of the music that I love, I wouldn't have found out about, if it hadn't been for CFNY and the dj's that had been there before me. As an announcer, the best thing was the listeners. I know it sounds like a cliche, but I met some amazing listeners, many who I still remain friends with over the years. I also have CFNY to thank for, with regards to meeting the love of my life. If I didn't have the CFNY van, handing out sampler Polygram tapes at the Hillside festival in Guelph, I wouldn't have been there to meet my future wife. So, I have been very fortunate.

I would like to say hello to anyone that I spoke to on the phone, or who dropped by the studio, or sent a postcard, fax, or an email to myself on a regular or irregular basis. There are too many of you to mention. You folks made my time at CFNY more enjoyable. Cheers!

Thank-you CFNY.

Pete Fowler - August, 2004

I must tell you how grateful I am to have found this website, and also how fortunate for me, and others, that you have put so much time and effort into researching the history of what must have been one of the world's great radio stations.

I started listening in about 1978, after hearing so much about it from some friends. I still rememeber when they played punk and classical music back to back, and sometimes even showtunes. Andre Tilk was there late at night in my formative years, and i still recall the atmosphere of his radio show to this day. Can't believe he was so young back then. My one and only experience with psychic phenomena, and i don't really put much creedence into them at all, was with a song Liz Janik played once, "Five Miles Out" by Mike Oldfield i think it was.

I don't know your name (yet) but wish to thank you again for putting this site together and bringing back tonnes of memories.


Scott Lambert - August, 2004

CFNY was ground zero for many a Toronto band and I've gotta tip my hat to Peter Goodwin and Liz Janik for giving Bullseye Records their commercial radio debut for our acts Moving Targetz and Swedish Fish on 'Streets Of Toronto' starting in 1985. Bravo CFNY!

Jaimie Vernon,
Since 1985

Jaimie Vernon - July, 2004

Around the summer of 1982 or thereabouts I took over my sister's transistor radio and began to listen across the FM dial at night in bed. I also started to keep a journal pretty faithfully, and those two activities seemed to go together really well. I did everything under the covers using a huge square-battery flashlight. Doctor Demento on Sunday nights. Comedy. Theatre of the Mind and The Shadow serials.

Then I found this station called CFNY at 102.1 out of Brampton. They played new wave, a lot of it from England. The DJs were funny and unpretentious (although, some were pretentious). I had the radio on all the time. I used to come home from school at lunch time just to listen to the radio. (That familiar skip in the record of Depeche Mode's I Just Can't Get Enough -- near the end when it's just vocals and beats. CFNY's reception was really bad in the early 80s and my little camp friends from Kitchener-Waterloo and the Niagara region would lament that they could only get it on clear summer nights. And later, my husband and I used to make this stupid elitist joke about young people from the suburbs or like, Welland, coming to Toronto: "They came for the CFNY; They stayed for the jobs").

Betty - July, 2004

CFNY: What to say about it that has not been said already...It was by far the best staition to listen too...I always enjoyed calling in and talking to Shep! Always being tuned into the nooner.

I recall calling in this one day and requesting my favorite band Depeche Mode, any how. While asking him to play "Somebody" My friend was in the back ground bitching about my requesting the same song all the time.. Chris had a reply " Tell Your Friend To F**King Chill Out". That definately made my day.. I'll never forget that day....Thanks Chris!

Also loved Dani Elwell's Alternative Bed Time Hour... She kept me company meny night's that were sleepless.


Shane C. - July, 2004

Hey! I miss the "old CFNY" and i was pleasantly surprised to find your site. I'm not sure if i have anything to add, but maybe i do... i believe i was at least partly responsible for the Big Change that occurred in 1987. Pete & Geets, Live Earl Jive, Jim Reid and so on, suddenly gone... anyway, this is what happened (in a nutshell)...

I lived and breathed The Spirit back in those days. Played it at work, in the car and back home. Recorded it all night on my VCR (yes, it could be done) and played it back the next day, taping my favourite songs. I still have dozens of cassettes so those Friendly Voices are far from forgotten :o)

Well, there was this contest... kind of a WKRP thing (hint of foreshadowing Doom). Listen to the 7 snippets of songs, then guess the Artists and the Titles of said songs. The prize was a 10-piece Luxman stereo, to be presented by Pete & Geets themselves at the opening of the new "Tea Room" at Fairview Electronics! I knew right then, i was made to win this contest. This was IT.

The first time they played the seven songs i knew six of them right off, Artists AND Titles. Now what was the last one... it was either The Stranglers or Parachute Club. I phoned in at work one morning during the Jim Reid Show and actually got through! Named the songs and waited for JR's judgement... "you got the last one wrong, buddy!".

I could not believe it, he had given me the answer i needed to win the whole shebang.

A couple nights later, i'm in my apartment, listening to the radio and waiting for the Contest... it's the Live Earl Jive show. There it is, and there's my chance. I call in, get through, name the Songs and Artists and wait... Earl Veale needs a clarification on "Don't Forget About Me" by Simple Minds... i wasn't expecting this so i start saying anything and everything i could think of... "Theme from The Breakfast Club"...then i realize my error and shout "Don't YOU Forget About Me"!!!

And that was it, i had won! The Contest had been on less than a week. Wanted to jump up and scream and shout but i had already been warned by the Super about the loud music, and, i was actually stunned speechless. Yep, made for Great Radio, i know. The DJ's didn't seem that thrilled for me, either. I'm told to "hang on for the details" and Live Earl puts on the Simple Minds track (i have all this on tape, too). Earl Veale comes on the line, and says "Congratulations, you lucky pig". Hmm, not a happy camper, that one. "Lucky Pig"??
Next morning i hear Pete & Geets mentioning that someone won the Contest, Geets lets out a "WKRP" reference and Pete laughs nervously. Now i'm feeling kinda guilty!

About a week later, early on a Saturday morning, i go down to Fairview Electronics as instructed. The place isn't open yet, but Pete & Geets are there, looking uncomfortable in kimonos. They show me the Tea Room, it's not quite finished yet... now i get it, the Contest was won much earlier than it should have! I guess i ruined a lot of plans.

Pictures are taken of me with Pete & Geets, but i never was given any copies even though i asked a few times. They told me the 10-piece stereo would be delivered in a few days. It was, though i wondered by then if it would. GREAT system, my first CD player! (I still have the system, but a couple of the components have been upgraded). I went to a "record store" the next day, there were about 12 CDs there to choose from. Yes, those were the days!

Definitely a weird, bitter-sweet experience. Very shortly after that, there was a string of firings and the station was really never the same. So long Pete & Geets, bye bye JR, it was (in my view at least) the beginning of The End of the CFNY i loved so much. Coincidence? Maybe... but then it's been said that you always hurt the one you love. I knew CFNY would change eventually, or i would. The World moves on and that includes the world of music. I have CFNY on one of my car's pre-set buttons but i never listen to it. For me, the "new" CFNY i

Steve - July, 2004

Hi there, CFNY'ers that have moved away from the Toronto area and have settled in other distant places. I, myself had left T.O. for destinations in the WESTERN Canada proximity in July 1997. I am patiently waiting for my chance to learn how to do things at the University of Winnipeg Radio and eventually get a Show humbly entitled "The Ghosts Of CFNY" music that was has made an indelible mark on me. I hope to spread the wonders of CFNY to the EARS of Winnipeggers that missed out on the best music that was ever to grace mny heart. I have refused to become entrenched in the ever present genre labelling of music and the categorical imperatives of those who feel it necessary to make distinctions in the art of music. I find it appalling to see the push to belong and lose your heart along the way. My CD collection has many artists and they are categorically filed{not currently} without attention to the genre that may have been associated with...

Music, in my opinion was and still is to be enjoyed by the people who appreciate the ART, Sounds, Humour and History...

I look forward to sharing my perspectives and love of music to those who choose to listen to music than labelling it!

Mitch - July, 2004

I heard Rush's Spirit of Radio this morning on the way to work and wondered if the old story was true about it being written for CFNY. I typed 'Spirit of Radio' into Google and the first hit was this site. Wow...what a great site! It's almost time to go home and I've barely scratched the surface. The memories and good times provided by all the great people in the yellow brick house on Main St, and later the Kenndey Rd studio, made living in Brampton actually fun. It was much more than just a radio station. I worked down the street at The Keg in the late 70's and early 80's and the sounds of 'NY would fill the restaurant after hours courtesy of this fine station and my boombox. Ahhh, the good times we all had! Many thanks to all of the people who made this station work including The Live Earl Jive who would regularly welcome us to the studio. He even goofily signed a Spirit of Radio poster for us which I have kept to this day along with all the other stuff (nite lights, sunshields, beach balls, bumper stickers etc). Also, many thanks to the makers of this site for a place that I will definately spend many more hours and also for answering my Rush question! I can't wait to check out Marsbar on the radio again on 94.9 Thanks to Andrea in the tesimonials for that one.

Cheers all...long live the Spirit!

Chris Holtham - July, 2004

Hey CFNY'ers! A few people on here mention Nobby Clegg and The Civilians and our single "My Old Man." We've heard/read others wondering what happened to us. It was Brad McNally who took our demo tape and played it in 1979 --subsequently losing the cassette case and, with it, our phone number. He was playing 5 songs for about a month before a friend of ours asked us "Did you know they're playing your stuff on the radio?" We came in, did an interview with Brad, and met station manager Lindsay Gillespie, who was briefly OUR manager before borrowing $50 off us after a Larry's gig one night, after which we never saw him again. Ahhh, everything about it is appealing.

We used to play the Rock Palace, Larry's Hideaway, The Edge, the Spadina House, the Isabella, the Chooch (in Guelph), the Horseshoe, the Star Club in Oshawa... and one memorable night at the Kingston Bay Penitentiary, opening for The Poles. Hey, and 2 nights at the El Mocambo, opening for Ian "Deep Purple" Gillan where we very nearly got torn from the stage and defenestrated onto Spadina.

Our last gig as Nobby Clegg was 2 nights at Scuffers, in 1982, playing and hosting "poet-musicians," including Jane Sibbery and Robert Priest.

We moved to Los Angeles in 1983 and have been here ever since, writing for television. We were Johnny Carson's head writers from '86 up until we drove him to quit in '92, and since then we've been doing sitcoms and animation. We created "Ned's Newt" for Teletoon -- some Canadians know that show, but nobody here does. We stuck a Nobby Clegg reference into it once I think...

As a larf, when we created a drunken rock musician on the Showtime series we named him Nobby Clegg, and the part was given to Roger Daltry. We never told him he was basically playing Darrell, in a role that wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for CFNY in Toronto in the early 80s.

Our best to all of you -- this site is great fun mixed with sadness. L.A. radio sucks... but Nobby Clegg Lives.


Andrew Nicholls and Darrell Vickers (Nobby Clegg and The Civilians) - July, 2004

I started listening to CFNY in 1984 -'85 at the urging of my best friend's older cousin. From that first night I was hooked. What hooked me? #1-the music!- I'd never heard anything like it. It was wierd, and fasinating, and just incredible! #2 you guys played the long version of everything. Before CFNY I don't think I'd ever heard a song that lasted more than 3 minutes. I was just in awe of the fact that in most of the songs I heard on 'NY the lyrics didn't start untill 3 minutes into the track.(that was just so cool!)#3 the re were no count downs. You didn't rate the music you just played and let us decide for ourselves!

In the summer of 1986 though I would soon realise what the true value of the station was. My second oldest sister (16) drowned in June of that year and I didn't realize it at the time but CFNY was a huge part in my dealing with that situation. The radio became my retreat. No one in my family was talking very much, we were all dealing with it in our own way I guess. For me, I just threw myself into the music I heard on the radio. But looking back on it now it was the people playing the music that made the difference. You guys, all of you, were so genuine, just being yourselves,just being "real"- It made me realize that that is what life was trully about, finding one's own voice, finding what was important to me, finding out who I was and then just being that - being openly unabashedly ME. That's a prety cool thing to get when you're 14 years old and even cooler when it comes with such an awesome sound track.

Thank you, all of you: Mary Ellen, Don, Ron, Hal, Lee, Ivar, Earl, Beverly, Skot - everyone - You made what was one of the hardest times in my life one of the most treasured.

Charles DeSilva - June, 2004

I was fortunate to pick up the old CFNY, around the time I was 11 to 14 years old (1983-1986).It sprang out of a early radio search in Hickson Ontario (north of Woodstock), seeking the airwaves to find something more interesting.I wanted something different than the typical mundane norm.Because of my search I discovered three frequencies that delivered fresh music to my ears --rap and techno from a Detroit signal, the uncommercial styles of a college station in London, and the mostly modern rock/alternative sounds of CFNY! While there would be other radio discoverys, it was these three musical streams that would serve as the first primary shapers in my own music taste.

Back in those CFNY 80's, the spirit of radio impressed me with the likes of Joy Division's "Love will tear us apart", Neworder's "Blue Monday",Buzzcocks, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.Other goodies included Nash the Slash, Kraftwerk, Trans X,Moev,Skinny Puppy,The Psychedelic Furs,The Icicle Works,Vector,77's,The Smiths,The Cult and Grand Master Flash.One of their earlier rap-rock numbers was also played in that period:Time Zone's "World Destruction", a 1984 collaboration of Afrika Bambattaa, former Sex Pistol's John Lydon and Bill Laswell.A very cool sound! And believe it or not they also played the od rare track of the metal group Stryper (which I used to listen to).

Like others here I also enjoyed David Marsden's Christmas Eve special.In paticular I remember the one that was broadcast in either 1985 or 1986 (when I had relocated to Woodstock).Sitting on the living room floor with my ghetto blaster, extended antenna and Christmas tree lights, I heard the seasonal music intermingled with reports of Santa Claus.Some of the songs they played that night included Bandaid's "Do they know it's Christmas time?", The Yobes punk renditions of silver bells and little drummer boy and a gospel sounding soul track of Aretha Franklin.The very last song before midnight was a warped but appealing instrumental version of silent night, that had an electric violin sound in it.Not shure who it was by, but my mother actually liked it!

Final thoughts:

Unfortunately sometime in 1986 or shortly after, CFNY couldn't be recieved in Woodstock for some time, due to local radio interference.These days however the new version of CFNY called "Edge 102" comes in loud and clear on sattelite tv.I actually like alot of the grungy and post-grunge sounds the Edge plays (not including Nickleback),which might put me in some peoples "uncool list". But it would be more tastefull if they would diversify the music and multiply the number of songs.It truly does pale in comparison to the old Spirit format.

Perhaps not as inspiring as some of the other testimonials here, but thats some of my memories and thoughts.

Will Anderson - June, 2004

I stumbled on to this site while I should have been working and needless to say, it made me very nostalgic.

CFNY was a big part of my high school and college years. A resident of Buffalo, NY at the time, it was was sometimes a struggle to pick up, but it was worth the effort. I can tell you that my little SONY boombox always had a aluminum foil enhancement to improve my reception. My roommates and I would even live with a little static to listen to great music.

Today I live in New Mexico and long for the days when I could actually turn on the radio and hear some new and different music introduced by personalities who were fresh and interesting.

Very cool site

Caroline - June, 2004

I've spent all weekend thinking about this site and about CFNY in the late 70's through the early 90's.

CFNY taught me a lot about myself. My interests, my likes and dislikes, my humour all come somehow from CFNY. I started listening to CFNY in the late '70s when I heard that David Marsden had returned to the Toronto airwaves, and was broadcasting from a little radio station out in Brampton. I had lucked into David when he was on CHUM-FM, and was shocked and disappointed when he left them and disappeared. I was relieved and happy to hear he was back on the air, although it was a bit hard to actually enjoy his silver-tongue from the weak and varying signal from far away Brampton.

But persevere I did, and I never regretted it. David and his brown paper bag, and "Ralph from Guelph" talked to me. He played music for me and discorsed on great and mighty thoughts. He joked and laughed and taught me. It didn't matter that he didn't know any of this, and that he was talking and playing music for hundreds of thousands (if not millions, except for the weak signal) of others like me.

But MarsBars wasn't the only attraction. I heard music that I never would have found for myself. All-Night Andre' (later , Late Nite Andre', and finally Twilight Andre'), Liz Janek, Live Earl Jive, Deadly Headley Jones, and a host of others showed me a variety of music that you couldn't find anywhere else.

At work, on the midnight shift, I'd have the radio tuned to 102.1, listening to rock (and on Friday nights into Saturday mornings, classical music) and jazz and regae and punk and comedy albums (Ted W., where are you now?). In the mornings, it would be Pete and Geets (more CHUM-FM alumni that I had missed dreadfully). My morning started with CFNY and my night ended with it.

To all you who worked there and educated me, I thank you. To David Marsden, my greatest gratitude goes to you. I miss you all. I miss the music.

Some random memories...

David Marsden, late night... Pink Floyd's "Echoes", fade into Bowie's "Rocket Man", and back into "Echoes" ... what a marvellous combination

"David Marsbars, let me see your eyes" add from CHUM-FM, after DM left.

The 102.1 band "Working on the Radio" (... "and the punk girls tits"... ;-) and "Toast", two of my favourite ditties

David Pritchard playing "Teddy Bear's Picnic"

"Cool for Cats"

Gawd, I miss the radio.

Lew Pitcher - May, 2004

Hi All,just goofing around on the net and found the site. Told the rest of the guy's at The Beer Store. They all said to say HI. Kinda crapped about missing the reunion we would of been there. We were talking about beating you at baseball and going to the Office after for wings and bevy's. Sure do miss having a station around like the spirit.Saturday nights Chris puppy dog Sheppard and all the geat MUSIC.

Cheers All

The Beer Store Guys - May, 2004

Just happened upon this site and I just want to say how wonderful it is to know that I am not alone in having cherished, indeed formative memories of CFNY. Right now I'm a film professor living in Connecticut but I grew up in Toronto and I distinctly remember my whole life changing when a fellow high school student told me about CFNY back in...1978. That night I found 102.1 on my little clock radio (signal was pretty weak, and I lived in Downsview!)and basically that was it. Most of all I remember Dave M., both for defending non-playlist, listener-powered radio, and for insisting on trying to break 'odd' bands like Magazine, Japan (huge in Toronto for a time, solely because of Dave) and Interview. I left for the States in '86 and now I never listen to radio. Why bother? I just want to thank all those who were involved in CFNY in the early 80's for, literally, changing my life.

Greg Taylor - March, 2004

I don't know how I came across your site, but I'm here.

Like so many others CFNY literally changed the way I heard music. It prevented me from slipping into the mainstream rock circus of contemporary radio. I love the "guess the song" section.

Unless I'm missing it in the site (I haven't looked through that extensively), I haven't seen any posts about "Listener's Choice", the weekly program where listeners came down to play an hour of music with Dave/Brad/others.

I did the show while in high school. I have two friends who were also on the segment. We all went on to work in community/campus radio (no aspirations for the big time).

I'd be glad to start off a section in the bbs if nothing has been posted yet.

Glad to have found you

Myke Dyer - March, 2004

"What a great web site this is, as it brings back my youth".

I have been a CFNY fan since I was introduced to it in sometime around 1985 through my brother along with his friends. At this time I was just a young 7 yrs old kid and where we lived was in Orillia, an hour north of T.O. the reception up there was clear but needed the antenna hooked up for sure in order to get good clarity, as one of the old CFNY' slogan used to say," keep the frequency clear". I first got hooked on to CFNY when I heared the track "Blue Monday" by still my favouite band of all time NEW ORDER. I have always gotten to love the real so called Alternative music, new wave and modern rock during those times between 1977-1992 and for sure when rock music blended in with electronic sounds and synthesizers during those days. Now music will never be the same as it used to be and, I will never forget the time when cfny's format started to change around 1992 a time when music was becoming mainstream/commercial and that stupid Grunge music scene was fading in "oh boy, did I ever got mad and disliked the change happening then", so that was when I stopped being an avid listener back in 1992 because before that I used to have my radio on and tuned to NY' 24 hours a day.

In resect and God Bless the guru David Marsden for creating an atmosphere for what a real radio station should stand for. Not to forget I had such fond memories of listening to the various DJ'S on 102.1 like: chris sheppard, deadly headley jones, craig beeshack, don berns, alan cross, dani elwell, maie pauts, scott turner, terry kelly, humble and fred, pete and geets, visjna, martin streek, james scott, dr.i, lee carter, pamela blair,etc...
I fondly cherish the memories of listening to such broadcasted shows on air including: sheps friday and saturday night club 102; "warmin up the house"; live from london; the alternative bedtime hour; ; streetbeat; the late late show with deadly headley; new rock preview; ongoing history of music; etc.

In retrospect I would like to thank CFNY for inspiring me through my younger days, without experiencing it I don't think that i'd enjoy music as much and today I'd be lost without not knowing what the past has brought us, "TRUE GREAT SPIRIT OF MODERN ROCK RADIO".

Once again thanks for the memories and I will never forget the call letters CFNY, spirit of radio!

Cyril Quiambao - March, 2004

For any one interested. I was a long time listener of cfny from the beginning. I miss that era. I recorded many hours of music back then. A friend and I started a small rave type club and played and recorded many hours of broadcasts. Unfortunatly some one broke in and stole all our eqipment, records, but worst of all many of my tape recordings. I still however have something very special that still touches me in some way and play every year. I have recorded on VHS tapes David Marsden's Christmas Eve specials 1986,87,88,89. I had more but these are the only ones that were not stolen. Every year Chrismas eve at 8pm I play one of these tapes that takes you up to the midnight hour. The spirit of cfny, the spirit of chrismas is forever on these tapes. I randomly play these throuout christmas. Any one who would like a copy of these please let me know. They do something to you. Even more now, they not only make you feel wonderful but also seems to make you recognize and feel much of the emotional sadness in the world right in your heart. They also bring back the incredible memeries of cfny and of David Marsden. If anyone else has any recordings of earl, marsden or any of the DJ's let me know. I will send you copies .

In Love and Light, and in memory of "The Spirit of Radio"

Darren - March, 2004

First of all, Mr./Ms. Mystery Person, I want to commend you and thank you
very much for constructing such a comprehensive Web site. You've obviously
put an enormous amount of effort into it.

I have been to your site in the past but revisited it recently because I was
unable to attend the reunion (I was in Halifax) and wanted to get a blast
from the past. I also really enjoyed listening to your air checks. Good

Ben C - February, 2004

CFNY is a fond period of my life.

I don't know who is left at CFNY that I knew/know.

Thanks for your support, thanks for playing my tunes and thanks for pumping up cool music amongst the shiite back in the 70's and 80's.

Sorry, I haven't listened to much radio in the past decade, I'm sure your still fly.

Here's a blatant self-exalting plug:

I helped you guys get on the tower through the CRTC.

Bad taste eh? I'm glad I could help.

John Paul Young,
Thanks again and all the best, JPY.

John Paul Young - February, 2004

cfny102.1.....where do I start? What can I say that hasn't been said here before. I still have the 1958 Fisher tube tuner tweaked to receive one station I was in Lakefield in 1979 or could it have been popping into the little house whilst down in Brampton making conjugal visits to the lovely and talented (and wife of 18ys!) Joanie.(only three good things came out of that desolate suburbia - cfny 102.1, bricks and Joanie! ...hmmmm, should I switch their order?) Was it sitting with the guys from D.Mode over Spanky's, they awaiting a Live Mike Interview and I awaiting to talk to Berns about concerns us 'hardcore' listeners had....and Berns being magnanimous in listening and understanding. Was it Earl's irrepressable irreverence??, sunday afternoons with the beautiful and always interesting, Liz Janik?, was it listening to Twilight Jazz in summer's warm fading lights or eargerly anticipating what Christmas goodies the MarsBar was going toss our way ...or could it have been the wonderful, innovative 'narrow casting' the fruits of stringent CRTC regs...and cfny's committement to the spirit of those regulations, regulations so vehemently opposed by other stations yet embraced and expanded and exalted by cfny, the same CRTC that failed all of us, staffers and listeners in 1989.

It was all of that and showed us all that ethics and committement and success are not mutually exclusive qualities. It proved, yet again, bigger is seldom better and most importantly, if you hear a diffent drummer, consider marching to it.

We lost..Larry, Myself and thousands who signed the petitions. Eloquence, Passion and Commitment mean little in the face of Big Money...Everything Counts in Large Amounts.

Yes,we lost..the bands who never got heard..the music that never got played, the many who will never find their way to Fairview Electronics on Albion Rd!!.... and our faith that radio could still stir the soul.

I missed the reunion...was in West Africa at the time...lousy excuse, I know!

Pssss....Hey Larry, are you reading this? there's something new happening...something that might get you buying cds again....check out pay particular attention to some outfits such as Ursula 1000...or Nicola Conte...or Thievery Corporation...or Tarika.....
You'll catch on....if you haven't already!...Lounge is the New Romantic...but didn't Aztec Camera already know that?

Ross D Kuch - February, 2004

CFNY was the Spirit of Radio, thank goodness I can now listen to David Marsden on 94.9 fm Thursday and Friday nights.

My husband and I had listened to CFNY since the begining, when we had to climb onto the roof and string antenna about to get it in. And it was well worth it!!

In fact, it was our common love of the station and the music that it played that started us talking, so I guess you could say CFNY brought me the "Love of my Life" and the music of my life!

From Pete and Geets to the Eclectic Spirit CFNY was the sound track of my life. Each Christmas we gathered around the radio for the Marsden Christmas spectacular, and thank god we taped most of them!

David Marsden created a place where we the listener had a voice, this was the true Spirit of Radio.

My son now listens to the EDGE, we have tried to explain, what radio, REAL radio was, when a song was not played OVER AND OVER, when commercial dollars did NOT create the play list, when WE the listener created the play list.

Then we stumbled across David Marsden on the Rock, and he is playing it all, and is as wonderfully weird as ever!

My son came into the living room one Friday night recently, and stood there listening to Marsden, he sat down and quietly listened (quite the feat for a 13 year old) and as he listened, a smile spread across his face.

When a commercial came, and I turned down the volume, he looked at me and said.

"Now I understand what you mean, now I think I know a bit of what that must have been like back in the day when you and Dad were not so OLD..that David Marsden guy is insane, Insane AND a genius Mom."

And since that night he joins me for my weekly shot of Marsden, and hears music he would NEVER hear anywhere else, thank you once again David, for remembering "there are people out here with people ears!!" And for introducing my son to real radio, to the Spirit of Radio once again on the air!

Andrea - November, 2003

The Spirit reunion was better than my damn highschool one that's for sure! Great to see everyone, what a blast.

Thank you Don, David, Steve and everyone else.

Thanks to all the listeners too!


Ivar Hamilton - November, 2003

I didn't find out about the reunion until it was to late, but I have enjoyed reading the testimonials. If you're still checking the site from time to time Danny N. - I particularly liked your CFNY story.

I guess one of the highlights for me was when (as a kid out of broadcasting school) Bruce Heyding asked me if I wanted to M.C. the "Triumph" concert that weekend at the Acton Arena. It was a great experience. The guys in the band were really decent. They didn't seem to know much about CFNY at the time, so I filled them in. When I told them we were soon increasing our power to 100,000 watts they became even more attentive. Well, I got a Triumph t-shirt out of it anyway.

Gary Ryan - November, 2003

The reunion evening was awsome.

When I walked in at 6:20, the Spoons were on stage rehearsing Nova Heart. Whoa! Like Bill & Ted's excellent adventure - I was transported back 20 years in time and I got to stay there for almost 6 hours....

David, Don and Steve did the party up right. All the staff, all the memorabilia, all the Canadian acts....

If you were a fan of "The Spirit" and didn't make it out, please kick yourself 'cause you missed one sweet night.

Andy Palidwor - November, 2003

Sorry I couldn't make it to the Reunion - Hope you had a ball.

All the very Best

Graeme Williamson (Pukka Orchestra) - November, 2003

What a great way to spend our wedding the Spirit Reunion! Claire and I had a terrific time seeing old friends and such dedicated listeners. Lookin good gang. David Don and Steve deserve medals for putting this together. I'll speak with Adriene Clarkson here in Ottawa. Apparently she has a warehouse full of them. Let's have another reunion....tomorrow!

Pete Griffin - November, 2003

Just saw the pictures, they’re great!

Had a blast the other night. It was great to see everyone after all this time. Thanks David. Thanks Don. And everyone else who a hand in the reunion.

Don McDonald - November, 2003

The last twenty-four hours has brought back so many wonderful memories and recollections, after finding this web site and one other (Pete & Geets). Like so many others who have taken the time to express their deepest appreciation for CFNY, the staff, and their favorite DJ's, I too found a great deal of happiness listening in.

The "other" FM stations were so formal, correct, and dry in content. As I scan the band searching for that right "sound", in search of new talent, wave music, and suddenly I heard the CGNY "spot", followed with the Pete & Geet's morning shows ! Wow, these guys were talented, and FUNNY ! Even listening to the amazing creativity of some of the commercials (and there are some real classics!)and content, I soon knew I found "my" station to listen to.

Thank you for brightening my days, thank you for helping creative artists find a source, thank you for the loyalty to your fans, thank you for making the 1980's a better decade when most other stations were so "conservative" and tormenting to listen to ! Thank you for making Canada a more creative nation, and thank you for having the courage to pioneer new values, diversity, and equality.

Almost 25 years later, I still feel the best years of my life, were blessed with the days of listening to CFNY "The Spirit of Radio". The callsign; CFNY, as spoken, continues to command respect and admiration, and somewhere inside our hearts and our souls, as we near middle aged years, the knowledge of TRUTH, that your "visions" of providing a different kind of entertainment, truly did captured the essence of "the Spirit of Radio". We are blessed to have shared this transormation with you. Few today, in an age of multi-media, can say ... " I listened to CFNY" .. I HEARD and felt that "Spirit".

Thank you all, for your broadcasting genius. You truly shaped our lives, our ideals, and our appreciation of life.

Cynthia Cousens - November, 2003

I have fond memories of an evening sometime in late 1979 - from my former hometown in Brantford, Ont. - crouching close to my parents old Electrohome Console Stereo and barely catching a signal from somewhere in Brampton. The music was punk, something about "who killed Bambi". From that moment on, there were no other radio stations. Well, at least up to the point where Steve Anthony showed up.

The Marsbar broadcasts were a blast. Dave, what was really in those brown paper bags that you occasionally referred to during your late night shows?

Thanks for all that great music!

- yes, the signal did somehow manage to reach us!!

Mike LeMaitre - November, 2003

Luckily, I found this site over the Thanksgiving weekend (before the Reunion), and have been trying to think of what I wanted to say since then. I decided to wait until after the Reunion last night (WOW ­ what more can be said) to try and put it down on paper.

I started listening somewhere in 83/84 after coming back from visiting relatives in Europe. Up until then, I had not been a big music fan per se, but had heard some cool stuff while overseas on the radio. I came back, and tried to find something similar, and there it was … cfny. Suddenly, I felt I had been plugged into something special. The music had meaning, and had something important to say, to ask.

Growing up just north of TO, this station had a profound effect on me in what were my formative (high school/university) years. cfny helped me realize that it was OK to be my own person; that it should be celebrated. It helped me realize that we should accept diversity, not the cookie-cutter, to question the status quo. In many ways, I appreciate many more types of music by virtue of having listened to it than I would have otherwise ­ jazz, big band, classical, rock, whatever. If it speaks to you, go with it! (In fact, if you like jazz, Jazz FM 91.1 in Toronto ( is also trying to be something different from the rest, and is worth checking out).

As I walked around the reunion last night, I remembered the many ways cfny played a part in my life, especially in high school. I helped out at the school dances, and brought in Ministry "Every Day is Halloween" before many had heard it. I had Gazebo "I Like Chopin" played, along with Bauhaus "Bela Lugosi's Dead", at one dance.

Other favorite memories include cfny at the Ex, winning some contests, taping lots of music (my parents didn't have cable, so my stereo was near and dear to me) for my Walkman, falling asleep to the Alternative Bedtime Hour, the cfny roadshow playing at our school, concerts, trips to the Record Peddler, and more. Most important were the artists, who got played because they were good, not because someone said so. No wonder they were hard to catch playing something twice! The nice thing about this was that the CanCon (Canadian Content) was really good too. Some of my favorite songs to this day are Canadian artists because of cfny. (PS ­ last night's acts were amazing!).

Least favorite memory was tuning in one day in university and hearing Madonna, and knowing that something was very, very wrong. It was never the same again, and I rarely tune in anymore (since it does not deserve to be called cfny). Enough about that.

I have read, and keep reading, each and every testimonial, and now visit this site regularly to see what is going on. Clearly, the station meant, and still means, something to a lot of people, very likely in the extremely personal way it did to me. I can unequivocally state that I would not be the same person that I am today without having had cfny in my life. This music was the soundtrack to my life at the time, and I still listen to it now. My words are not enough to express what is in me, but if you read the other testimonials, some of what I wanted to say is there too.

Thank you to all the people who worked at the station to deliver such a quality experience, either on the air or off. Only people who love their jobs can communicate such a sense of excitement, fun and joy, and have it be infectious.

Thank you to the people who have contributed to this site, either with testimonials, memorabilia, or whatever.

Thank you, most importantly, to Scott Maclean, for putting this site together, and reminding us all why the spirit of radio lives on!

I could go on, and maybe a second testimonial will be in order. For now, let's remember that for a period in time, there was something special. Something that will always be with us, if we want it to be. Something that may not come again, but that can continue to influence us, if we remember t

Grant Kehrli - November, 2003

AMAZING!!! It was a blast last night at the reunion!! I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces...hairstyles have changed though...Kneale,Marty,Leslie etc. The music and performers were head was still throbbing this morning. Thank you to David,Don & Steve for making this all happen...another memorable CFNY event!!

How about a BBQ in the summer at Don's?

Diana - November, 2003

Was awesome!!! Thanks for making the effort, for getting it together, for giving us the gift. It was so great to see faces from the past, hearing the voices, catching up. I had a very brief stint in the promotions dept and enjoyed the reminiscing.

Good luck on the next effort...

p.s. I'm looking forward to seeing the pics that I'm hoping will be published on this site.

Katarina - November, 2003

I grew up in a small town in northern Ontario. I recall one of my brothers coming home for holidays from University and telling us about a new crop of bands with names like "The Flying Lizards", "The Cardboard Brains", and "The Sex Pistols". I thought that it sounded like a one-hit-wonder novelty but he assured me that it was a new style of music called 'new wave' that could only be heard at a station in Toronto called CFNY.

A couple of years later I recall turning the television channel to the community station to get the time. But the station had some kind of community programming - there was this strange music playing and the Robert Fripp album cover "Exposure" was on camera. A gentleman came on the air and announced the songs and identified himself only as "Hedley" and encouraged us listeners to call in with requests... I think that I can still remember the number... my friends and I started calling in to request the most obscure songs we could think of by The Jam or The Clash, which was pretty subversive for small town Ontario at the time.

Instead he would play another Kraftwerk tune, or something by the Danse Society or or early Killing Joke. This Hedley was not the Deadly Headly Jones that you have all come to know ad love, but just a guy who missed his favourtie Brampton radio station so much that he decided to start up a once-weekly Sat. night show on community TV. In his own way, he was recreating the idea in our small town, where the air was too thick for urban transmissions and MuchMusic was still a wild dream.

But the next summer Hedley announced that he was quitting his 'Exposure' show and returning to Brampton to work as a battery salesman. But he invited his audience to step up and take over the helm and continue the tradition, the "Spirit" if you will.

At about this time (~1981/1982?) I recall reading Liz Janik's "Streets Of Ontario" reviews in "Music Express" magazine. Her reviews always included a description of the band and a contact address. I had this idea that community television airtime should be equally interesting as radio air-time, and that maybe these bands would be interested to get played on TV...

I picked up the "Exposure" show with glee and started my letter writing campaign. At first bands were cautious to send any material. But a few were generous from the beginning - "The Singing Fools" and "Fifth Column" were amoung these. I noticed in the promo packs from the bands the use of Radio playlists to show evidence that they were receiving airplay. I started documenting my programs and generated a monthly 'Top 30' Playlist from the studio's of Exposure Community 6 Television Network... I then happily provided these in my invitation letters to bands to take part in the Exposure program.

Soon I had debut LPs from Canadian bands pouring in. Skinny Puppy, 54-40, Sturm Group, The Grapes of Wrath, Fifth Column, Slow and The Forgotten Rebels were just a few of the bands I was fortunate enough to receive material from. Eventually I even started to see my own "Exposure" playlists in band promotional packages.

At one point I received a phone call from a listener who was the sister of the guitarist in a thrash band from a nearby tiny town. She asked me why I wasn't playing any 'local' music and any punk in general. I dedicated the next show to an entire evening of punk and thrash - Youth Youth Youth, 7 Seconds, Better Youth Organization, and her brother's band "ATB".

The unique situation that the television format allowed was that visuals could be combined with the music being played. To this end, I collected thousands of 'visuals' related to bands, music, album covers and promotional diagrams. I even received videos from the aforementioned Skinny Puppies and Grapes of Wrath. As our studio camera work improved in skill, we were able to incorporate more visual edits with the 2 studio cameras at our disposal. Typically we had 4-5 images per song that provided a visually

Ben Pettit - November, 2003

I just found out about this Website and the reunion tomorrow night. If I had more notice, I would be there in a flash. CFNY played a huge part in my education to new music in the 80's after growing up on a steady diet of Detroit rock radio. I moved to TO in 1981 and some friends turned me on to CFNY. I still remember running my wire antenna on an angle across the room so I could pick up the signal. It changed my life and the way I listened to music. Then there was going out and dancing to CFNY music at places like Club Domino and Nuts & Bolts.

I went to all kinds of CFNY sponsored concerts and events. Who remembers The Police Picnic? I went to all three but the first one in Oakville was by far the best (the parts that I remember anyway). Then Talking Heads stole the show the second year (Thanks to "The Garys" for all the great concerts). At another CFNY event, I won $102 in a Live Earl Jive look alike contest by wearing a straw fedora and a Groucho Marx nose and glasses (it was all in good fun Earl).

I went on to host my own radio show at CHRW in London in 87/88 playing lots of cool stuff that I had heard on CFNY. Then I moved back to Toronto in the late Eighties and the day I heard Steve Anthony playing Def Leppard, I thought someone had changed the station in my car. I also still remember the night I heard Bruce Hornsby followed by Joy Division.

The early Nineties brought back some cool to CFNY with all the great indie music and programs like Live in Toronto and The Alternative Bedtime Hour with the lovely and charming Dani Elwell.

I am back in London and still host a show on CHRW from time to time. On October 31, I hosted a show called The All Hallowed Eighties. If it wasn't for CFNY, I may have never heard bands like Bauhaus, Ministry or Oingo Boingo.

Congratulations on the reunion. I wish I could be there.

Darin J. Addison - November, 2003

Glad to hear about the Spirit of Radio Reunion at the Guverment!

Ah yes, it will be good to "rub shoulders" with some of the people from one of the finest eras of radio. However, I didn't see Eddy Valiquette's name on the list of CFNY employees who will be at the reunion. That's too bad, because I for one would have liked to see him again. The last time I saw him was in Montreal at his sister's place shortly after he moved back there. Oh, well.

Music has changed these days and I find it difficult to find one radio station to listen too. My music tastes are too diverse to listen to one for more than a couple of hours at most. Being an avid Japan fan in the late 70's and early 80's, I am now an avid David Sylvian fan. Honestly, I haven't heard his latest release ‘Blemish' on any radio station.

I was also saddened to hear of the break up of Big Sugar. Hopefully, Gordie Johnston will still come out for the annual White Ribbon Campaign. In any case, I am looking forward to their big show on December 13th at the Kool Haus.

!Happy Reunion!

Lynn Latulippe - November, 2003

Hey there everybody I was the commercial traffic guru from 1980 until 1989. I am now the Traffic Manager for 3 radio stations in Owen Sound. I still love the personalities that choose radio for a career but it will never be quite the same as it was at CFNY in the 80"s. And Greta what about your other great roomate I can still remember finding you asleep under the desk when I would come to work as you tried to keep it all straight with your split shifts!

Can't wait to see everybody on the 12th!

Deb Barlow - November, 2003

Amazing time last night...make it an annual affair and next yer it will be packed.

Greg S - November, 2003

It was '83 and I was 15 when a friend of mine who was totally into Punk (Sex Pistol, Clash, etc.) told me about CFNY. She said, 'At first you're gonna hate it, but then later, it will be the only station you'll listen to'. So, for the first little while I forced myself to listen and she was right! I remember hearing the coolest song ever and wanting to know who it was but I didn't hear it again for days (I think it was The Art of Noise) which was a little frustrating, but at the same time, so awesome! I was a devoted listener from then on. I remember lying in bed listening to Lee Carter's 'Live from London', which inspired me to take a trip there in '87. I recall phoning into the station to Steve Anthony's morning show (during the sucky period) to ask why the hell he was playing Wilson Phillips?!? I was listening with teary eyes, in disbelief, the night Dani resigned on-air. Friends of mine were responsible for the banner that read "Dani 1, CFNY 0". I knew that that night would marked the end of an era.

Still hoping something close to 'The Spirit of Radio' will once again be launched in Toronto.

Thanks for the memories! Have a great reunion!

Tracy - November, 2003

Yes, from '77 / '78 until Selkirk took over were truly magical times. I remember Spirit fans on Yonge street getting people to sign petitions against the sale/takeover. CRTC were overwhelmed by the unprecedented public input and outcry. But they were still allowed to kill our station. " The airwaves are public property etc."

Yeah, riight.

There is hope and light and a little magic to be found at CKLN 88.1 (Ryerson ) and 89.5 ( UofT ). Download the program guides and enjoy some Spirit 2003. I think you'll like it.

Don Montgomery - November, 2003

Heard about the site from a fellow employee today and just HAD to check it out. I'll be posting quite a few things as I dig through my archive files...

For now, I'll share this... in August 1979 I scouted out the possibility of a job with CFNY. I remember going to the station at Main & Vodden (then the outskirts of Brampton)and meeting Bruce Heyding, bringing along an test pressing of Mike Batt's "Tarot Suite" LP that Mike had generously sent me in reply to my inquiries about his music. Don't know if Bruce played it on air prior to offical release but I do recall hearing it on 'NY once it had been released. They also played Mike's "Six Days In Berlin" LP when it came out a year or two later. I also brought along a large letter of support for CFNY in their CRTC hearings. Never followed up with a demo tape - got too self-critical at my attempts to produce one and never completed it. Later ended up in music retail at Sam The Record Man where I still am...

Pete & Geets may remember me as the nutter that sent them the Wombles LP and strange letter. (I was suffering from depression at the time, though I didn't know it at the time.) I also found copies of Stevedore Steve's "Lester The Lobster" and Sal Solo's "San Damiano" for customers who requested the songs. I bought the High Tide's "Dancing In My Mind" and Shannon's "Abergavenny" singles because of them.

Also bought the "Toronto Calling" LP for Nobby Clegg & The Civilians "Essay - Me Dad" (a.k.a. "My Old Man") - an old CFNY favorite. Have "Working On The Radio" by the 102.1 Band.

Remember Pete & Geets playing Nick Drake on their morning show - also Phil Ochs "Small Circle OF Friends".

I remember one Saturday morning in particular, finding myself not quite awake and not quite asleep but somewhere in between with this strange music that synched perfectly to my state of mind. It was only after I asked myself the question "am I dreaming this?" that I became aware that the sound was emanating from my clock radio. Turned out to be Meredith Monk's "Turtle Dreams" on Michael Compeau's Masters & Moderns classical show.

Oh yeah - Mike Hannafin was originally from CFRE Radio Erindale at Erindale College (now U of T MIssissauga), which is where I got my radio experience.

Recall one evening of Marsden High where Dave went an extraordinary long time without breaking in to announce. When he did he made an appeal to anyone listening that if they had a friend named ????? to check up and see if they were OK. Sounded like he had fielded a call from someone who was suicidal and had spent considerable time trying to encourage them to seek help.

Frederick (formerly Rick) Harrison - November, 2003

Hello all, It's going to be a blast from the past, that's for sure.
So many memories, not enough grey matter left. I was receptionist & accounting, in 1981 & 1982.

The days of The Spirit of Radio, were the best ever. There has never been another time for music, memories, first time concerts, first time bands, crazy antics (Kevin's mother's home made brownies, chalk bodies at the entrace way to the office, chain saws in reception and on and on)

Most memorable-Santa Gete's Christmas Party, David Bowie, Marianne Faithful & The Violent Femmes.....

Looking forward to seeing everyone.

Laura Hurley-Bull - November, 2003

Danny Nicholson mentioned it

Marsden confirmed it

sounds like a plan!!!

Spent five months at 'The Spirit' in the early 80's, read afternoon news for Marsden and Woloshyn.

I was in a production booth at CKMW on Ellen Street, they were up the street at CFNY's studios. Never knew when they might jump into the middle of a newscast but they did it often.

Nearly didn't make it in for the news one afternoon...the production guy (Cliff Dumas??) wouldn't leave.

Think I did the first Canadian interview with some guy from New York wanting to bring Strip-o-Grams to Canada for the Al Spring and Company show on Sunday mornings.

Left 'NY for Victoria, BC. Wound up back here in Barrie as News Director (CKBB) Then came home to Toronto to CFTR for four and half years before heading to Chum Fm and 1050 Chum where good gawd it's been 13 years!

Looking forward to the reunion!!

Dan Blakeley - November, 2003

I was about 13 or 14 when music actually started to have an impact on my life, this was also the first time I started to tune into cfny which would be around 89-90. I was listening to 680, and really hated the music they played, but got excited whenever they played The Cure and Depeche Mode, and U2, and then I discovered NY, they played more of what I really liked, and I was hooked, and never turned back.

I remember listening to CFNY while trying to fall asleep, while Dani E, spoke softly, and playing the weirdest music I ever heard, which was also so relaxing, as I slipped into dreamland.

I wish CFNY was still around today. You can only wish somebody would play the new Suede album now.

Is it just me or did the "edge" go downhill, or does music just suck today?

Vince W. - October, 2003

A's about time!! Thanks Steve for finding me. And thanks Brian Smuck for remembering us behind-the-scene people. Speaking of 'behind-the-scenes', anybody remember those "Behind-The-Scenes" weekends when all of us non-on-air people got the chance to shake in our boots behind a mike?!? David it was a brilliant idea! Susan Shannon here (formerly Susan Walach) I took care of those characters in the downtown sales office from 1983 to 1991 -sort of like their den-mother! The best 8 years of my working life - even those head butting sessions with Fred Skogland and Cliff Cohen! Liked it so much, I'm still in the business at The Peak in Collingwood.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on November 12th...

Susan Shannon (Walach) - October, 2003

I'm 26, and I grew up listening to CFNY - my parents used to have the radio on at all hours of the day, so it was the background music to my childhood.

There are too many fond memories to put down in print, but here are a few:

Hearing the premiers of 'Lovecats' and Bowie's 'Let's Dance'. Finally getting up enough courage (at age seven) to phone during Lee Carter's show with a request. Live Earle Jive's mother's on-air organ accompaniments, and the Christmas morning show that consisted of Bowie and Crosby's 'Little Drummer Boy' played over and over... The sudden break in programming with the announcement that the Challenger had exploded, followed by the Smith's 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want'.

Camping out in front of the Coca-Cola Boombox at every Lollapalooza, nursing a serious crush on Dani Elwell.

(And who could forget Chris Sheppard yelling about going out naked into the rain and sticking his dick in an open sewer grate so he could "make love to the city"?)

Radio has never been the same since the 'Spirit' was lost. It was something to be proud of - the originality of its programming, the approachability of its DJs and the sheer happy insanity of it all. It should be celebrated as often as possible, and never be forgotten.

Have a good reunion, guys.

P.S. Don Berns - did Al Jorgenson ever give you back your pants?

Casey - October, 2003

Greetings from the left coast!

This is an e-mail long your site, and what CFNY was! Like many from Mississauga of my age, 'NY (and campus radio) was my big musical awakening in the late '70's early '80's. It had been an absolute pleasure poring over the Spirit website, hearing familiar sounds and seeing old playlists.

Love the idea of the reunion, and wish I was going to be in the neighbourhood for it! One person I have seen on your list of attendees is David Hight...he gave me my start in campus/community radio back in 1981-82 at CKMS - University of Waterloo. He was the Program Manager there at the time, and really expanded my musical horizons. I used to do a Friday morning 6-10am jazz show there in fall '81, and an eclectic show from 2-5pm Thursdays from Jan-Apr '82. And yes, I do have a recording of "Me Dad" by Nobby Clegg and the Civilians...the only time I ever recorded myself on air, and that happens to be on it...a rarity! Please say hi to David if you would, or feel free to forward him this note...not sure if he would remember me, but I did want to let him know that I am back in campus/community radio and keeping the spirit alive.

I currently co-host a show called the "Impending Loom" on Radio Malaspina CHLY-FM, 101.7 in Nanaimo BC. We are on from 4-8pm Pacific time on Fridays and play an ever changing mix of funk, ska, acid jazz, punk, '80's alternative and whatever else we can pull out of the blender. You can listen to us online at

Another ex-CFNY'er I knew was Mike Hanafin. Mike and I played minor hockey together for a few years in Mississauga (he was a goalie...nicknamed "The Sieve"), and later worked together for a couple of summers as students with the City of Mississauga Recreation and Parks Department. If you hear from him or have a contact for him, please pass this note on to him.

Thanks for all your work with the Spirit of Radio site, the ol' mp3 site (a real shame you had to shut 'er down), and for keeping the sounds of 'NY alive!

Tom Delamere - October, 2003

Hi, Folks.

I finally came across this site in my role of webmaster of the official-by-default site for The Pursuit of Happiness. ( They're getting a lifetime achievement award from what's now the CASBYs, so I was trying to do some research, and found that 1987 program where they were first nominated (hey, does anyone know how many of those they won back then and in 1990?)

CFNY was a huge influence on me as a girl with a couple years of U.S. commercial radio on my scant teenage resume, heading to York U. in 1986 with dreams of living and working in Toronto. WMMS in Cleveland was a big deal to me, but CFNY was a revelation. My earliest memories were of Pete and Geets and Woloshyn. When I got the guts to get a show at Radio York, I studied up listening to Peter Goodwin and Liz Janik on weekend afternoons. Once, when I had to go back home for the summer, I taped an hour of Chris Sheppard to take with me, then played the crap out of it. And the motorcade sped on...

Shep was one of the last vestiges of radio where a personality created his own world and welcomed us into it with the most open of arms. Guys who did that elsewhere in the decades preceeding are now on the 3rd floor or so in the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame back home. It was something to aspire to as a radio person.

Then there was Steve Anthony. Say what you want about him, but he's my other radio hero, possibly from a more broadcasterly standpoint. Once, I wrote a letter from a fake friend asking him to make a birthday call to me, and sure enough he did. Hearing I was from the U.S. and wanted to stay in Canada, he offered to marry me. It would've made things way easier in some ways, but in others....:-)

In '92, I was back in the States having a terrible time trying to get a work visa to return to Canada. Fresh from Calgary, Stewart Meyers took an interest in my demo, and I made my one visit to the strip plaza in Brampton. It was like Mecca to me. He was thinking of me for a traffic reporter gig, and said he'd get the big-time (I think Maclean Hunter?) lawyers on the visa case. Not even they could crack it, and the deal fell through. When I finally landed a couple years later, I spoke to Stu a few more times when that traffic slot opened again, and even went up into the ivory tower at Dundas and Yonge, but they got someone with more news experience (I was a jock). Thus ended my possibility of getting my testimonial here in yellow. But maybe it's somehow just as well, because that time of CFNY was maybe the beginning of the end.

I lived by the radio sword and then died by it - first in the Newmarket station Skot Turner hatched where Don Berns ruled after my cup of coffee, and finally in the Oshawa airport where Marsden now keeps the Spirit alive, oddly enough. Along the way, I got to speak with Liz Janik about the station she gave birth to in Niagara Falls, which of course she warned me against after that baby was stolen and mutated. Eventually I joined that station to see if my love of radio was still alive in the current corporate environment, and found it wasn't. I told Alan Cross as much when I emailed my regards to him when he left for Hamilton, and he was gracious enough to reply that I could look him up if I ever changed my mind.

Somewhere around that time, I ducked into that trailer in back of the Eaton Centre - remember that? Before they moved into the storefront? - and hung out with two of the last to come close to "Spirit of Radio: the Next Generation": Brother Bill and George Stromboulopoulos. Both were more than sympathetic to my plight, but more consoling was the passion that they still had for what they were doing. Radio people are by their nature screwed-up. Some are screwed-up in a bad way, others in a good way. Even now when I see George around, I still think of him as a good radio guy.

When folks think of The Spirit of Radio, many may think about the music - Breeding Ground, Cabaret Voltaire, Mojo Nixon

Valerie Hunter - October, 2003

I notice that many of you mention All Night Andre. Might any of you know how to contact him? He's one of the few former employees that we have not been able to get a hold of for the reunion, and we definitely want to make sure he knows about it!

We're looking forward to Nov 12 big time...see you there!

Don -

Don Berns - October, 2003

Hey all,

Wow! Great web site, and I'm sorry to say I've never stumbled upon it before it was passed on to me today from a friend who had heard of the reunion. I worked at CFNY from the fall of 1988 to roughly the spring of 1994 in a couple of positions. I got my start working part time for records with Live Earl Jive in the music department at about the same time a guy known to be 'Brother Bill' started there too. Little did I know where he would end up today! I then moved on over to the Promotions department with the illustrious Phil Evans and Jamie Flynn. It was a great time in the promo department where I learned the finer points of all things promotions… apparently you have to say FREE at least three times before people will stop to chat! Great memories include: watching The Wankees crush all opponents at the Brampton baseball diamond, handing out Free at Last CD’s in the red box of doom (known as the CFNY BoomBox.), doing phoners from every known trade show, and working 4 amazing Edgefests (89-92) with the the 1990 lineup my favorite of all time…who could forget watching Gord Downie taking off his boots and dousing them in lighter fluid before setting them ablaze.

I think the best part of working at CFNY was all the great people I met and worked with (including my brother Doug who worked in sales for a few years) over the years. Special thanks to Earl for giving me a start, Phil, Jamie and Noni Raskin for letting me have fun with the Humble and Fred mobile, and especially Scott Turner who taught me that radio is all about the music. I’m currently working as an audio mixer for a Toronto TV station and stop by the street level studios to see Bill from time to time.

Thanks for all the great times CFNY… I truly miss those days.

Andrew "Audio Andy" Stoakley - October, 2003

Only just found your great web site. Only just been dragged kicking and screaming into cyberspace by my son. He put a computer together for me out of old volvo truck parts. CFNY brings back great memories..whitewater rafting in eastern ontario with the staff and listeners..the NY Wankies annual trip to N.Y. State (my kid got waterlogged in a hottub)...arriving at the Brampton studios early in the morning and gingerly stepping over an outline of a body that I later found Earl Jive had chalked...Mike Stafford arriving one morning with stick-on eyebrows after he had shaved them off (kept moving them around his forehead for every newscast)....watching a circus set up in a mall across from our studios, and sending Fred Patterson over with a wireless mike to ask the gypsies if they'd come to steal our wimin and kids...Kevin O'Leary putting a hockey puck in the cafeteria microwave to see what it would do (it stunk up the whole building)...and Geets Romo,the funniest guy I ever worked with, no script, as a matter of fact, half the time I never told him what I was going to ask him, but he always had an answer. And of course the Spirit's music..nothing like it before or after. Reunion..yes! Besides..I want to show off my new racing slicks on the aluminum walker.

Pete Griffin - October, 2003

Wow a CFNY reunion....can I direct traffic because I know it's gonna' be a major backlog at all intersections on the way to the party. I remember the days well...sharing an office with Fred Patterson....need I say more....and the things Mike Stafford and Freddy P. use to do to get me to crack up on air. Looking forward to the party. Wonder if I can fit into my little traffic girl outfit!! See you all soon!

Greta Culliford - September, 2003

Been checking the site regularly for a while now, and partly due to the wave of nostalgia brought on by Don Berns liners on WWKB AM when I last was up north, I thought I would add to the testimonials. CFNY was a big part of my teeen years in Western New York. I have to admit it took awhile to become accustomed to the new and different sounds eminating from across the lake, as I was deeply mired in the hair band/mullet rock purgatory that was Buffalo radio in the mid-eighties. (And heck, my brother liked that new-wave stuff, so there was the whole sibling-rivalry thing to conquer, too). I recognized there was something very special going on at the old CFNY. A playlist with never-ending possibilities, a format which encouraged listener participation, and personalities who not only embraced the music, but the audience as well. This is what made me (and no doubt scores of others) a loyal fan. Heck, my car was a rolling billboard for "The Spirit" back in the day...(bumper sticker, sunshield, license plate bracket, and of course a lockey jockey on the keyring, and probably a beach ball in the trunk). After missing out on friend and schoolmate John Heatherington's pilgrimage to the Brampton studios (see July 2003 testimonial below), I took one myself, and was also treated like an old friend. I later brought him and some other friends (Gordo & Dave?) along to a CFNY sponsored board game competition versus Q107 I was selected for at the CN Tower. (Still have the invitation letter and a complimentary Northern Pikes cassette...too bad Q107 won.) I doubt any radio station I have heard since would have inspired me to do the same. I even tried to soldier through the dark days of Paula Abdul and Milli Vanilli, but even after the "alternative" format returned, it seemed the soul was gone.

The old CFNY is what ultimately inspired me to pursue a career in broadcasting (although I ended up in TV.....go fig). My thanks go out to all who made "The Spirit Of Radio" such an influential (and irreplaceable) part of many lives. Special thanks to Ivor Hamilton, who was gracious enough to let me interview him for a college research paper in 1987...I got an "A"! Oh...and John H., I promise not to throw your Smiths tape out the window.....Shoplifters of the world....unite and take over!

Robert Moody - September, 2003

I just was informed of the re-union date of November 12th yesterday by Don Berns. Don asked me if I would like to do a guest DJ spot in the "Roadshow" room. I have already accepted and promise to play mind numbing music that hasn't been heard since back in the day and a ton of new stuff that isn't on the radio today. Feels like Hi Fidelity is going to happen for me and the listeners for real! Really looking forward to this. Currently, still at Universal Music as Marketing Director for Island Def Jam. We'll see everyone on November 12th!

Ivar Hamilton - September, 2003

It's amazing how a simple little radio station can become such an important part of your life. NY was with me always during some lonely teenage times. I'll never forget the spirit.

When I look back, the two memories that haunt me the most are Marsden's Christmas eve shows and the sound of Liz Janik's soothing voice drifting through the air in my bedroom, as I fall asleep on a frigid winter night.

Where do the years go?

Dave Bush - September, 2003

Wow, what a great site. I spent my 20's listening to CFNY back in the 80's. I live in a suburb of Buffalo and my friends and I would always drive to Toronto to see bands (Teardrop Explodes, Ultravox, Depeche Mode-at the Concert Hall, Cabaret Voltaire etc....) and visit the Record Peddler to get our import vinyl fix. None of this would have happened without CFNY feeding us the music and the info.

Dean - September, 2003

Guys !! What an amazing site !

I cannot tell you what memories reading the articles, and listening to the various mp3's, brought back to me.

Listening to Marsden's weekend shows, was always special, particularly when he "forgot" what he was doing (dead air, followed by much #@??!!!+***). To think that we would have to string a "special" antennae to get the signal from Brampton to Lorne Park (in Mississauga).

My brothers and I attended many concerts promoted by the station, as well as many of the remotes manned by Live Earl, Beverly, Pete & Geets.

I was deeply troubled when I heard of the format change, as I was no longer living in the area, but missed CFNY alot.

Long Live the SPIRIT of Radio !!!!

Chuck Barsony - September, 2003

Finding this site was like a revelation! Imagine all these people waxing nostalgic over one little radio station. I think CFNY in its current incarnation should take notice. Obviously there are many many out there who abhorr pre-programmed, pre-packaged pap. Listened to Marsden last night on 94.9 fm. WOW! It was like taking a time machine back to the good old days (earrrllly early 80s) of 'NY. I actually listened to his show for the FULL 5 hours just to hear what would happen next.(shouldn't it always be like that?) John Martyn, Roy Buchanan, Zappa, alongside the Fall, Depeche, Love and Rockets, Kinks, Kiss etc etc etc --- YIKES! Where has this kind of radio been hiding?! Haven't listened so transfixed since the days of All-nite/Twilight Andre, Brad McNally et al. Kind of makes me want to go out and buy some of that music ;-)

Particular memories of CFNY before the corporate stooges tried to make it "better"? Remember Marsden and Woloshyn at the CNE broadcasting from the top of the Bulova tower. My friend Roberta and I climbed up and pressed our faces against the glass and watched the broadcast - weird. Did a couple of shows at 'NY when I was in high school. some teacher who was at an alternative school came to our high school as he knew our history teacher. He had a show late-night on Sundays for a while (circa 1981). Can't remember the name (does anyone out there?!), but a bunch of us did a show on the Fool's Progress and another on I can't remember what. Got me into the little yellow house in the country and talked to Andre and McNally (who had candles going in the studio during his show!) - COOL! Remember listening in the dark with headphones in the basement of my parent's house religiously to the Eclectic Spirit on Sundays. Remember, remember, remember...the Tubes ("What do you Want from Life"), Phil Ochs ("Small Circle of Friends"), Cristina ("Is That All there Is?"), Buzzcocks ("I Believe"), Kinetic Ideals ("Animalistic") and on and on. Remember making mix tapes off the air to play in the car (even when the signal sometimes faded in and out even on the outskirts of the Mississauga/Etobioke border- what great stuff and NO ONE else was playing it. Radio like that changed my life, and reading all these testimonials makes me both sad (that those days are gone) and angry that media concentration has made pre-sold formats (put together in some office tower deep in Texas through focus groups) the norm. How sad for all those today who think CFNY is an alternative or on the Edge of anything.

Gail Wetton - September, 2003

I was a faithful NY listener from about 1981 on. It brings back memories of some of the best times and best music of my life. I used to think I was exaggerating the memories, that NY couldn't have been THAT special but the words on this page both from former employees and listeners prove that I wasn't imaging it. There has been nothing like the Spirit of Radio before or since!! Sorry Edge 102, it just ain't the same.

Chris J. Paxton - September, 2003

All Night Andre.

Used to take my requests late into the evening in the early 80's, the phone was never busy, and the man would talk to me for as long as I wanted to talk, sometimes slapping me on hold while he went on air and coming back when the needle dropped.

Righteous guy. Great tunes, and the only place in town that would play Kate Bush for the geek that I was.

Thanks for the memories.

M Nesbitt - August, 2003

I gotta tell you my man…thanks to day just got a hell of a lot better...i listened to a series of full air checks this afternoon and DAMN was it cool!

It was the one time I didn’t mind listening to commercials! Hearing the station as it really aired back then without the “mists of time” clouding my judgment and thinking it was purely nostalgia about the “good ‘ol cfny days”…nope, those air checks are proof positive that my passion for CFNY was and continues to be real. The old jocks, the id’s, and of course, the music, and not just the big hits, but the obscure stuff too..i heard some tracks I haven’t heard before and I thought they were great for the most, thanks again.

Ryan Greer - August, 2003

Several years ago I was looking for material on the Marsbar and ran across a reference to I cranked up the site, listened to the tunes they had to offer along with some vids to watch. One of the categories the iceberg has is called the Brat-Pack-Years. Well many of the tunes are CFNY like from the 80's. While listening to the Brat-Pack-Years Nick Hayward's "Whistle Down The Wind" came on, the memories were incredible, !@#$% felt like a lusting teenager again. At this point I searched for CFNY's top songs for the year lists. Well found this amazing site and here I am. Isn't this highway something else?

As with most you CFNY was religious part of everyday. I couldn't wait for the Import Show to start or to hear the Live Earl @6. It was my brother-in-law who turn me onto CFNY in the very early 80's, the Psychedelic Furs was my 1st album I had bought because of the CFNY mystic.(Sister Europe still rocks) The flack I took from my friends over my musical tastes. "Well you listen to the might Q and listen to the same tunes over and over, there is no progression" As a side note I now and have for many years listen to the Q on Sundays My musical dexterity grew to be enormous. I still to this day reference knowledge obtained from CFNY. I know of very few people with such credits, except for everyone of you.

I remember listening to JR one afternoon when he said "CFNY Plays Japan". The next song to be played was after Japan's Adolescent Sex was Marvin Gaye's what’s going on. I almost sh-- my paints, "I thought how do they get away with playing tunes like this"? Well in hindsight Innovation my friend’s innovation.

I plan on attending the reunion, and putting a face to many of the names we know oh so well.

Thank you for taking the time to create an excellent site, a place for the innovators of progressive rock to chill.

But most of all, Thank you CNFY

PS If I hear The Red Hot Chile Peppers one more time I will have to off myself.


Dwayne B - August, 2003

I used to work at a YMCA camp on Lake Ontario near Lockport, NY. We all used to have CFNY on at the pool, in the mess hall kitchen, in the craft lodge, in our cabins....CFNY was part of our lives.

Most of us were the kind of kids who didn't really "fit in" with other kids our age. We were considered the ood ones in high school. But at summer camp, we didn't have to worry about not fitting in, and one of the biggest things to bring us all together was CFNY.

Sometimes I'll hear a song I first heard on CFNY (like the Leslie Spit Treeo), and I'll get all sentimental for a happier time, when my friends and I really felt secure and happy.

For us across the big lake, Toronto was a dream--where people listened to better music and just seemed "cooler".

Thank you, CFNY

Chris Ranck - August, 2003

Stumbled across the website. Wow does this take me back. I used to live in Creemore.

I can remember rigging an antennae from the radio out my balcony window and attached to a tree. Even though the reception was poor I had never heard music like that and I was intoxicated. Then the day finally came when the signal was improved. I skipped school that day to listen to CFNY. I was hooked from then on.

It was the music that shaped my life. It was the station that was ahead of it's time.

Someday I'd like to write a movie about CFNY. It's a bitter sweet story. But one that is worth telling.

Mark Lewis - August, 2003

I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say thanks! Growing up in Western New York in the 1980's CFNY played a massive role in my musical upbringing, exposing me to artists I probably would never have heard of elsewhere. Of course, as you know, there was something more than just a play list -- there was a very real personality.

I was recently visiting my parents who still live in the same house I grew up on and happened upon a box of "junk" in my old room that contained my lockey jockey. This coveted piece of CFNY history was given to me when a bunch of friends and I made a pilgrimage to the CFNY studios en route to Toronto. I still remember the excitement of venturing into the office, being greeted like friends, given a tour - and a stack of great free stuff.

In any case, thanks so much for a great site!

John Hetherington - July, 2003

I used to listen to CFNY religiously back in the early 80's!

I remember living in a suburb of Buffalo( Dunkirk NY) with a special antenna to pick it up. I was at home then. Jotting down names of obscure bands that I'd heard, but not on the local college radio staion . (WCVF*89.3) I mean I was so into punk/new wave back then and I really enjoyed listening to the cuts played their out of Toronto. All my mainstream friends thought I was weird listening to that.

How clueless they were to know that it had to be the best broadcast of underground music on the globe.

Any other listeners email me !! Let's remininsce !!!

I want a CFNY T- Shirt! How?

Michelle Jackson - July, 2003

What a cool site you have. CFNY made living in Buffalo bearable and I so miss it. Thankfully I have tapes back from the 80s if I get nostalgic.

Anyway - why I'm writing -- I remember this song they always used to play in around the mid 80s. I swear they said it was by Johansen but they never said the name of it - something about Walking a Fine Line....

Do you have ANY idea what I'm talking about? I tried e-mailing the Edge a couple times when they were doing that All Request Nooner and playing retro stuff. Their response was something to the effect that they vaguely remembered it but couldn't tell me anymore - grrrr.

Anything you can come up with would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much

PJM - July, 2003

Yes CFNY was the very best radio station. Today radio has sputtered to an annoying screech of bad songs and POP attitude. You can hear the same songs on every station in Toronto. I think Radio in Torontoused to serve a broad mix it is homoginized just like the city. Everyone the same everything to look a like. It is so sad to hear the EDGE become a convergent radio station owned by the same company who owns Q107, Corner the market get listners make them think the station is different.......Tricks .....Can't fool us.....

Grant - June, 2003

To this day I continue to regurgitate CFNY music from out of my brain, and miraculously manage to find the mp3's.

As such, I've managed to reconstruct CD's containing just about every song I ever loved on CFNY.

CFNY made me hip and cool amongst all the "alternative" kids I met, and my musical knowledge has served me well even up until this day, and has made it possible for me to happily by-pass all the crap that the 90's and 00's have brought us (so far).

Forget the 60's; the 80's was the most prolific and most diverse era for music, in my opinion.

I still laugh when I find a song like "In the Year 2525" and think Ultravox did the original, only to find out that it's actually an old song (with the 80's version being a vast improvement IMHO).

Thanks CFNY for exposing me to all that great music.

David in Philadelphia (ex- of Toronto).

p.s. What's "Lee Carter" of "Live from London" fame doing now? He always got the best scoops and dish. It was a while before I learned that his oft-spoken "Midyoor" was actually two words: "Midge Ure". [such a talented guy, Midge Ure was/is too!] :-)))

David - June, 2003

I stumbled onto your site the other day. Wow! This site is incredible,
brings back so many memories of growing up in Brampton. By far the only good
thing about growing up in Brampton was CFNY. I'm not sure when I started
listening, but it was around 1980/1. I stopped in '92 when I moved out west,
and it was a real disappointment the last time I was back in T.O. to hear how
far the mighty NY had fallen.

Gord Broom - June, 2003

Wow, what a site. Bringing back way too many memories than I could write about at the moment. When I first moved to Niagara after spending a few years in Germany I found myself in a cultural wasteland. Then I discovered The Spirit of Radio. Thanks for steering me to the right places and finding the right clubs. Thanks for presenting bands like The Spoons, Blue Peter IIV and Skinny Puppy. And thanks to the Great Ontario Talent search I got to hear my first band (Techniques Berlin)on the radio for the very first time.

In the early 90's Craig Beezack and Don Berns were the only commercial DJ's to give our band !Bang Elektronika a chance on the air. Sadly they dissappeared from CFNY soon after.

Thanks so much for bringing back all the memories and also for making such a great site honouring the coolest radio station ever.

Andreas - June, 2003

Switching to CFNY in 1980 was definitely an eye-opening experience. Until I tuned in, I never realized how limited my musical tastes were. Bands like the Cocteau Twins, Style Council, M+M and the Spoons were unknown to me, but quickly became some of my favourites after I heard them on CFNY. Of course, the music was only one part of the listening experience. The on-air personalities were the other part. Whether it was the silliness of Pete and Geets in the morning or the soothing voice of Dani Elwell in the evening, I always enjoyed listening and tried to listen as much as possible.

In my opinion, CFNY was the best radio station in the Toronto market. It was a welcome alternative to CHUM-FM and Q107 and helped me expand my musical horizons. If only I could go back in time... At least the spirit of CFNY still lives on FRED, Channel 44 on my XM Satellite Radio.

Frank Polgar - June, 2003

Thank you, thank you a thousand times over -THANK YOU. I've been hanging around this site for a couple of days now as I can't get enough of the fine memories your website has provided me. I'm originally from Brampton currently living in Vancouver where I've resided for the past 16 years. I was formerly in radio and after a dozen years am reinvestigating it yet again - although there is nothing out there today that could even dreaming of being what the glorious ny once was. If I might share a memory, I remember listening in the early days to a really cool song with an interesting keyboard to it and a guy with a high pitched eerie kind of voice. Seeing as the song received the same consideration as all the others and was played no more than once a day, I heard it infrequently and never got the name of the artist or the song. One day I caught the tail of something that told me the song had something to do with the name Replicas. I remember going to the 'Yellow House' on Main St and knocking on the door for God knows how long until someone finally answered - I don't know who - and I asked about this Replicas I'd heard. Was it the name of the band, the album or the song? The guy informed me that it was The Tubeway Army (Gary Numan in North American terms), the song was Are Friends Electric and the album was Replicas. I bought it that Saturday from Sam's on Yonge and enjoyed both the album and my first acid trip at the same time. I have a cfny bumper sticker still intact which I've been meaning to get framed for sometime. Your site has inspired me to get moving on this. I think I can dig up my old license plate frame too if I get busy. Thanks again. You've done something that's truly in The Spirit Of Radio.

Paul M'Keown - June, 2003

Oh how sweet the memories of listening to Pete and Geetes in the mornings and then to Live Earl Jive and Beverly Hills on Friday nights. Going to Spankys on Sunday nights which was located on the first floor of the CFNY building. The wonderful 80's!!! When CFNY was the only radio station around to hear U2 or Images In Vogue... a time when radio was GREAT. Thank you CFNY for the memories.

Dean Chung - June, 2003

I can't say enough about CFNY and how much it affected my life through the years. The single most impportant musical influence in my life, without a doubt. This station broadened my horizons in music, like nothing ever did.

I still talk about the old days, and how, on "NY" you could hear a song once, and perhaps never hear it again. You had to pay attention, and the staff always seemed to make sure you did. I heard music that i could and would never hear anywhere else.

This influence guided me into so many different worlds of music, that now, even my 14 yr. old son, appreciates the diverse nature of rock, and is now also an avid listener of 102.1. Although the staff and formulas have changed over the years, the station still has the "cutting edge" of music in spirit and I have been loyal to that station, for over 25 years now.

This radio station holds a very fond place in my heart, and always will. This is a great site! Keep up the good work.

Ken Ballantyne - May, 2003

First let me say, you have done an AMAZING job of compiling the history of CFNY - I'm sure it has jogged fond memories in all who once graced it's hallways!

Speaking of which...let me introduce myself...

My name is Edd Scorpio, and more than a few CFNY staffers from 1983 may remember me (in fact I keep in touch with some still).

I was THE producer for CFNY and sister station CKMW (AM), which incidentally is where the very talented and helluvaniceguy Skot Turner came from.

At the time I was pumping out an average of 30 spots per day, plus all the station promos, IDs, and other miscellany. I did a series of voiceovers, most notably many of the Domino Club spots (one of my favourite production projects for which I created the very distinctive "audio logo"). I created the sound of "Stu's Tires" with "Precious", a funky instrumental track that was the 'B' side of The Jam's "A Town Called Malice" (James Scott did the v/o - Stu's bought a LOT of airtime).

I came to CFNY straight from the Humber College Radio Broadcasting Program (actually I had been teaching Production for the last semester)...and then a few years later I went back to Humber to teach Production and Announce Techniques (oddly enough, replacing Pete Griffin)...from whence came the next generation of CFNY prodigy - Brother Bill, All Nit Andre, Neale Mann...full circle (and a few other students who went to other radio gigs - most notably Tony Monaco last heard at Dance 88.5).

David Marsden was (and still is) a trip; you never know quite what to expect from him, but you know it'll be entertaining in one way or were most of the people I worked with (and since they were all required to do v/o I worked with them all)...I miss that team though I do stay in contact with Deadly Hedley and Don Berns - though Don & I worked together later at The Iceberg (and lived to tell the tale) where I was re-acquainted with David Marsden, David Haydu (who is now only "half-a-Geets" after losing an astonishing 100 lbs; I didn't recognize him!), Kevin O'Leary and one day Carole Pope.

In a strange twist, I discovered I had met "Daddy Cool" some years before coming to CFNY (I still have the original Daddy Cool T-Shirt, as well as the original CFNY Jacket, I'll take pictures)...but when I originally met him he was clean shaven with a pierced ear and a UK accent - and managing The Bop Cats (last time I saw lead singer Teddy Fury he was bartending at The Horseshoe in Toronto)...of course I was working with Teenage Head at the time, but that's another story.

I worked at 'NY for months before I discovered that David Haydu and Geets Romo were the same person! One day I had one of my three reel-to-reel machines go out (the equipment was old and tired even then, but we always managed to pull off small miracles with it) so I called David in the engineering department - well, I was surprised to see Geets walk in the door...with a hammer! Actually I think he kicked the machine and it was OK! All jokes aside (he really DID kick it), David is a brilliant engineer and kept what passed for technology humming along in those days.

Other bits...

I once produced a promo for Ivar's Import Show (man, was THAT ever a great show) with Liz Janik's young son (Tad) doing the voice over - ever try to get a 4 year old to say "Ham-il-ton"? 18 takes later I edited together bits of the 4 best and it was the most unique promo on the air!

Ron Bruchal was missing for a v/o shift one day so I left him a series of sound effect laden messages until he showed up (things like getting run over on the 401, abducted by aliens). When Ron did show up with a silly grin and a "did I forget something" he told me a funny story about Live Earl doing something similar - except Earl called every 5 minutes for an hour, each time from a different room in the house (Hi Ron? It's Earl. I'm in the bathroom now. Can you call me back? I'm on my way to the living ro

Edd Scorpio - May, 2003

Favorite memories include all of Pete and Geets humour, the day Kevin Oleary was attacked(sprayed) by a skunk, and on the dark side, an interview with JR and Fishbone that got real ugly. I still need a sunshade for my car!

Jeff Smith - May, 2003

Ahh the power of coincidence. Just last week I did something I have never done. I sent an e-mail to Brother Bill in fact....a couple of text conversations later and here I am - a place so familiar, like the best friend you haven't seen in years, but it still feels like yesterday. You always know long term listeners because we still refer to the station as CFNY...despite the funny looks we get. A listener since 1980, here are two of my favorite memories. Being on a transit bus having an argument over radio stations with 3 Platinum Blonde Look-a-Likes. When one of the pretty fellows asked me what radio station I listed to, and what band could possibly be better than Platinum Blonde. I replied "CFNY and U2". "You know nothing about good music" he replied, "CFNY sucks and U2 is a one-hit-wonder band that will be gone next year." Then there was the CASBY awards the year of its' renaming (formerly the UKnows). Singing in the lobby with Lisa Del bello, sharing a Scotch with Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue, ....If anyone remembers, Pete and Geets the next morning show mentioned the dinner roll tied to the helium balloon, floating from table to table...I confess - it was supposed to be a Spoon in recognition of the Spoons at the table next to us - but the cutlery was too heavy!

I will leave with one last comment. Throughout my youth, my peers struggled for self identity and self confidence within various cliques ...I never had that problem, and I believe that is largely due to 102.1 and the was better than OK to be unique.

Kimberly - May, 2003

I rememeber going to one of the first Edgefests with my pal Clarence in a wheelchair and Alan Cross allowed him backstage to meet the stars. I'll never forget how kind that was of him to give Clarence that big thrill. I also was able to take pics of the Spoons and Sass Jordon while they were on-stage. Just try bringing a camera to a show now-a-days.

There was no other channel like NY, and it lives on in our memories and our love of music. I miss the days when anything could and would be played, now they are just another top 40 industry station, ruled by consultants. I wish they'd play more of the pioneering old tunes instead of that limericks with a beat crapola (yah YOU MnM). Long Live The Spirit!


Andy Walker - May, 2003

As this day in the computer lab draws to a close... thoughts harken back to a time where CFNY 102.1 FM was a Beacon of Intelligent Music. I miss that time like a friend whom grew apart and those times are fondly Nostalgic. The ChameleonsUK do a song "NOSTALGIA" and man it makes me homesick for CFNY 102.1 FM the REAL Radio Station not the EDGE, living here in Winnipeg, MB hardly compares. Sorry 'Peggers, CFNY was the LIFELINE for truly Great Music and the Personalities that grew with the SPIRIT are but a memory. Alan Cross... You're Great A Man!


M. Shizamura - May, 2003

This site keeps getting better and better. What a treasure trove of happy memories and good times, not to mention the best damn music I've ever heard. Hearing Dani's on-air resignation again brought a lump to my throat; I was overwhelmed with memories of sitting glued to my radio for hours on end.

I got into radio in great part because of what I heard over the airwaves on 102.1 FM. What the station at that frequency has now become is a disgrace and a huge reason for why I got OUT of radio.

well done and thanks a BILLION times over.

Rachel - April, 2003

Hey there, I just wanted to say that this site is truely amazing. Unfortunately there is never going to be another station like the spirit. Yeah okay there are many spirit "wannabees" out there, however, lets face it. They still couldnt compare! When I lived in England, there was a station called KISS 100 that had some similarities to the spirit however, it still didnt measure up- not even close. There was another one that was okay called Millennium however, from what I hear now it no longer exists, hmmm. Whatever, anyway I still miss the spirit badly, it was DEFINITELY one of a kind, love the site! Keep up the good work and oh yeah, no one could pay me any amount of $$$ to listen to the Edge, uggh! What a total let down!

Antarctica - April, 2003

Thanks for the great website!

I remember the first time I heard CFNY, it was in the car on the way to UB (University of Buffalo) where I was in grad school. I had an analog radio tuner. It must have been 1981. It was like finding heaven on the dial.

Your website brought back great memories.

Thanks so much.

Jud Weiksnar - April, 2003

like the rest of you i miss the best radio station ever. I started to listenprobably around 78/79, and thought i'd died and gone to heaven, the neighbourhood older guys listened and went to Edgertons and the horseshoe to hear the punk bands. i started to listen and boy. fast forward to when pete and geets broke up, then it was sold and started to play mainstream crap. all was lost. in 92 i moved to vancouver and had hopes of listening to a similar station. nothing but one station per format. then on the am dial at 1040 coast radio!!! i cant remember which song was playing but it wasnt the usual crap. then dave marsden comes on and i was right at home transported back 5or6 years or more. i taped marsden's christmas special that christmas and just re-found it. sadly am1040 didn't cut the mustard at the crtc hearings and the new liscences went to some other stations, courtesy of the local top 40 stations, we play the same music they said. they were and still are full of beans. hey you cant go back, and the older we get we still had the best station staff and music. thanks for all you did.

John Cotterell - April, 2003

I was an avid listener of CFNY in the late 70s and early 80s. In the summer of 1978 I was a participant on the Listener's Choice program. Is there any way to E-Mail Brad McNalley or David Marsden? I have made numerous tapes, inspired by the Eclectic Spirit and Marsden's creative programming, that mixes stories and music. Perhaps they might be interested in receiving some of these tapes. Such programming is not done these days but they should be aware that at least one person was encouraged by their work.

Ray Fox - April, 2003

What can I say...I started listening to CFNY around 1996 long after the brilliant 80s were over. Yet, it is because of this radio station that I fell in love with Depeche Mode. For some reason this radio station seemed different than the others, the bands I love were actually getting airplay. In 1997 when Depeche Mode's "Ultra" album came out all kinds of things were happening...a world premiere for the album, preview shows, a live in toronto segment, airing of "the weird world of depeche mode" etc... I couldn't believe any of this was happening. Then when they released their single "Only when I lose myself" the station had a special preview of it. I was amazed to think that any radio station would promote my favourite band. However, all that ended. 102.1 became a different station, and I had no idea why...they started playing music that I didn't like, and started ignoring the music i love. I couldn't understand why this was happening, but now I do...thanks to this wonderful site! (i stumbled across this by accident, but it was very worth it) looking back at all the old charts makes me sad that in Toronto there is no station that takes care of the 'alternative' side of music anymore, especially electronic music. According to what's mainstream these days you'd think that half the bands formed in the 80s are dead!

Whiskey siagon has now been replaced with some other 80s club...but at least there's still some hint of good music...even if its not from the station directly. Also, i wish that the retro noon hour had never been replaced. I remember people requesting the coolest songs!

if CFNY could return to what it was, i'd truly be in heaven!

Crystal - April, 2003

This site was an amazing find. CFNY defined everything cool about Toronto in the halcyon days of the late 70's - mid 80's. You think of all the local bands that got heard here first - Martha and the Muffins through Lowest of the Low, Blue Peter, Boys Brigade and on and on. I have one radio station that spelled out my teen years loud and clear - The Spirit of Radio. Trying to pick up the signal clear in the early eighties .. desperately trying to listen to the now legendary bands that defined a new route of music - The Cure, Siouxsie, New Order, Smiths. 102.1 is now a tragedy of un-funny boors trying to be mook-lite.

Kudos to what you guys did - CFNY was the last "free" radio station in this city. Rest in peace and glory.

Steve Williams - April, 2003

I have to say that CFNY was the certainly the greatest and only radio station of it's kind in North America. Even Frank Zappa thought so.

This is a great site.

I am a professional musician in the Toronto area. I remember CFNY in 1977 when it started.

I was responsible for creating the station ID's and bumpers around 1985-86. They were produced by David Bendeth and Don Berns but it was my synth programming. I wish I could hear those again.

I was wondering if you anyone knows of the whereabouts of David Pritchard.

Next to Marsden, he was my all time favorite.

All the best,

Don Baird - March, 2003

Hello there,

What a way for me to spend my Sunday evening! I've been reading the content on the site. It's terrific! The comments from Don Berns, Alan Cross and all the rest are fantastic.

I ended up on your site as I was searching for album art for my collection of New Music Search CDs from the early 90s. I was pleasantly surprised to find your site even though I didn't find the album art I was looking for.

I operate an alumni site of my own. I know that it requires real work to keep the site up. Thank you for doing it. As we get older we get nostalgic and your site really fit that bill! Thank you for giving back!


John Robb - March, 2003

<< This is such an awesome site >>

It's wonderful to read all the old stories and memories everyone has. I started listening to CFNY around 1985. I remember being blown away by the sounds and bands i was hearing! It was sooo cool.

I have fond memories of all the July 1 parties up in Barrie, the Road Shows, and most importantly (to me!!), the bands who came through town thanks to CFNY.
I'd love to see The Edge do a "No Repeat Workday" !!! Geeezus, how many times can they play the same song over in a 12 hour span!!!!???? How annoying is THAT!

When Don Berns did the afternoon show weekdays i used to laugh my butt off at work, he was great. i can't remember how many times i won the trivia contests they used to have. I had stock piles of CFNY t-shirts, ball caps, stickers, key chains, beachballs, frizbee's, etc!! Plus all the free albums and cassettes, concert tickets....!! Oh those were the days :)

Some of my favorite tunes still: A Letter From Afar and Nowhere Girl - B Movie, End Games - First and Last and Always, The Abecedarians - Smiling Monarchs, Voice of America - The Story of Love, Comsat Angels - You Move Me, The Associates - Take Me to the Girl, Lords of the New Church - Dance With Me.. and many more classics. I remember "Warming Up the House" with Craig Beesack. That was the best music, i just recently (yes please smack me!!) threw out all my tapes of that show when i moved. Bad bad girl!! I remember when they tried to change the programming on Craig's show and he was forced to start playing Madonna and a bunch of crap like that. I started a petition and got over 102 signatures which i sent to the station programming director asking them to please let him play what he wants again! Shortly afterwards, Craig got his format back :) Did the petition help?? I dont know, but im happy i sent it in!

Something else that makes me smile now remembering.. hearing Ministry played in the middle of the day. No other station (including the Edge) would ever play them in the middle of the day, hardly ever even on the so called "all request" nooner. CFNY was all about playing and promoting bands, the Edge doesnt even play the bands they "bring to town". For example: Echo and the Bunnymen concert last year.. they never even play the Bunnymen anymore (except for the token tune on the day of the concert maybe). REAL NICE !!
Anyway, i dont want to harp on how badly the Edge sucks, since this is all about the good old days of the Spirit of Radio CFNY ;-) It was a great, fun trip while it lastest, radio will never be the same.

Cheers to all the fans of CFNY, always remember those memories!

SiOuX ! (Toronto) - March, 2003

Hi Everyone

Unlike most of the people in my high school, I listened to CFNY. It was the only station where one could hear music from The Smiths, The Cure, The Stranglers and even REM BEFORE they lost their religion! While rummaging through some old cassettes a few weeks ago, I came across something rather interesting. I used to record parts of the morning show while getting ready for school, and then I would listen to it during the hour and a half bus ride. Well, I ran across an old tape I had recorded in April 1987 with Pete and Geets while they where having the Bonethon between their producer, Kevin O’Leary and the evening announcer Scot Turner.

I miss the days when radio was about music and people. Nowadays it's hard to find a station that doesn't play computer oriented music space strategically between commercial plots.

What happened to "The Spirit"?

Marc - March, 2003

wow...what a blast...

what can i say, other than thanks for dedicating so much time and obviously passion, to a great site and a truly unique radio experience....

i'll keep watching from time to time, i can't believe its taken me this long to read it...


Dani Elwell - March, 2003

I miss Live Earl Jive and the lovely & talented Beverly Hills. I have never found a radio replacement like them. And only listen to CFNY on Sunday nights at 7 for the history of new music. He is a music smartie pants isn't he. I start listening to 102 when I was about 13/14, in 79/80. I had to wear headphones, the big klunky ones, and listen secrety for fear of big brother. Really my big brother used to beat me up for listening to "that music".

Anyway what ever happened to the time capsule saturday programme? Is it ever going to be played?

Matthew - March, 2003

Great site. Nice to think about the times when radio seemed original. I have one question though, why is Dr. I listed as a personality???????

I used to listen to him and Shep EVERY Friday and Saturday night. The nights they spent bantering back and forth in the studio sessions where some of my all time favourite radio moments. Give the guy some credit would ya.

The Dr. needs to be heard!!!!

Stephen Czetyrbok - March, 2003

I was listening to some rarities on CFNY on the way to my office tonight and heard an old colourfield song - so I looked up CFNY on the internet to see if they could show me how to find a copy on cd. They couldn't (at least I didn't see it on their site) but I did find this site. It brings back so many memories, just like listening to that old song.

I stumbled on CFNY when I was 16 yrs old, 22 years ago. I would put on the headphones and spin the dial on my stereo until 3 or 4 am. Living in Niagara, I heard lots of Toronto and Bufalo stations. Then I heard CFNY. My friends and I were "in" to cars back then and some of the music to go along with them, rock, Bruce Springsteen (some great songs about cars) and old Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, I think the first song I heard on CFNY was Nash the Slash Dead Mans Curve. I was hooked.

I have a vivid memory of heading home from my girlfrinds house very early one Sunday morning in the late summer. It was about 5:30 am, the sun was coming up and I turned up the radio for a great new song on Masters and Moderns. Then came this classical song with the stereo cranked - and it was great. I couldn't believe the power and emotion of that song. That began a love of classical music, and appreciation for all types of music. CFNY taught me that you should never judge any music. All types of music can have a powerful message for the listener.

Thanks for a great site. I stumbled on it and have read every bit - not what I intended to do tonight. Especially great are some of the old stories from the people who started it all. Their passion came through the radio and showed me that there were passionate people in the world. They helped me learn and grow - I wouldn't be the same person without CFNY. The stories and playlists have taken me back to a great time when I was much younger - what a great trip.

David Canham - March, 2003

...'you never know what you had till it's gone"..I maybe paraphrasing here a bit but in light of the topic at hand...thats OK. Can you imagine, in this day of '20 station presets' that you'd never change the station for days on end, you could tell who the Dj was...just by listening to the music that was playing, that you could call up and actually get your request played, where you'd find yourself at the studios, bumping into Depeche Mode! Imagine your saturday night, your camping trip, your ski vacation, your beer cooler, your mosquito repellent..all revolving around one crazy-assed station who stuffed the charts and did what was right. Myself and Larry Bates and many others fought hard against the CRTC to have CFNY's license revoked when management and the evil underlords of radio consultancey were conspiring to make CFNY into a mainsteam station. Poor old CFNY, it was about to betray its raison d'etre, its audience, the bands, the staff and sell out to the bean counters. "It has to can't remain viable given it's current market share" We were told. BS..taken to its logical conclusion then the only viable station is the #1 station..?!

I suspect CFNY's biggest mistake was going to the CN tower. This was very expensive, and contrary to the natter at the time, really didn't improve the signal much more than it would have been if a simple mast had been erected in Brampton and the signal upped to 50,000 Watts.

This move forced the station into an expensive microwave link and telemetry facilities as well as logistical problems.

As a very long time listener to the Spirit of Radio from its inception I have heaps of memories, my DynaLab Tuner, stacks of BetaHiFi tapes and paraphanalia!
Its was a great ride...I wouldn't of missed it for anything!

...does anyone remember 'twilight jazz'...still the coolest thing to have graced the airwaves and Liz J...Your still on heavy rotation in my car!....Earl...thanks for the lift, remember... in a turn, don't lift the throttle on a 911!

For those of you sonically lost for the last ten years or so...check out the burgeoning acid jazz movement (think Ursula 1000, Nicola Conte, Blue States, Thievery Corporation, Les name a few)

R.D Kuch - February, 2003

Great site! Man does this bring back memories. I was a CFNY listener between 1984 and 1992. In 1984 I moved from Ottawa and at first listened to CHUM and Q107 but quickly grew tired. An old friend from Ottawa told me that CFNY was sort of like CHEZ and I might like them better (this was before CHEZ went "Classic Rock"). He was right, CFNY was fresh, diverse, and international:

British groups like Simple Minds, Depeche Mode, and Ultravox.
Antipodean groups like Midhight Oil, The Fixx, and Crowded House.
Even Canadian groups like Rational Youth, Level 42, and Blue Peter.

American guitar rock didn't hold my interest and I changed from playing guitar to synthesizer. Needless to say, CFNY was right up my alley. It also reminded me a bit of the wonderful diversity of CKCU when I was at university.

Of course, the talent were great too:

Pete and Geets, Maie Pauts, Dani Elwell, Live Earl and Beverly, Ivar Hamilton, Liz Janik, and Lee Carter still stand out in my mind.

Despite CFNY's move to the mainstream, I really missed them upon moving back to Ottawa. Here we have more radio stations per capita than any other Canadian market; however, there is nothing like CFNY. Then again, the Edge isn't "The Spirit of Radio" either. Between the bean counters, programming consultants "and salesmen", it just might not be possible to have the free form programming of a university station and the 100 kW of a big city station anymore. CFNY was a special group of people, with a unique sound, at a special time. I am glad that I had a chance to experience it.


John Emond - February, 2003

Hey - just a quick note to say another Spirit of radio person has found this site. I got the link from a friend (he is one too) and I feel at home already. I was the last guest of Ivar Hamilton's 'Listener's Choice' and we played only Hawkwind. I think the best show of all was Brad McNally's Eclectic Spirit (I have 6 shows on tape still) but my most moving memeory was driving from Grimsby to Guelph late one night and listeneing to 102, the song was from Pink Floyd, Meddle and the announcer broke in to report the train disaster in Mississauga. I could see the glow in the sky from 40 miles away. That was a really intense feeling because the music of Pink Floyd kept playing and it was so much a part of the feeling.

I wish I could send a Hello to Ivar Hamilton because I did keep in touch with him a bit before I went of into the Northwest to fly helicopters. He and Kevin had some VERY interesting parties.

All the best for now.

Jim Henderson - February, 2003

Well! What a shock to find my "somewhat" younger mug on your fan site! I
loved working at CFNY back in the good old days of Toronto radio (basically
the 80's).

After T.O. my radio career took me to Parliament Hill (Selkirk News), CBC
in Montreal, the National Assembly in Quebec City (CJAD), 940 News in
Montreal. And I'm now very happily ensconced on the "dark side" working in
public relations and fundraising for the Lakeshore General Hospital

Along the way married Peter Ray (BN) and have two kids who hopefully won't
go into radio...



Pat Enborg - February, 2003

You’re probably tried of hearing of how great this site is. It is an honest to goodness real treat! Not given to big amounts of nostalgia, I have to say that I was transported away to younger days and met some dear old friends. My wife enjoyed much of the tunes of that time too but was from Québec City and so didn’t experience "the Spirit", now she can!

And I just wanted to send a heartfelt thank you soooo much...

Peace, Love and Grooviness

Keith [neo beatnik] Anderson - January, 2003

Was going over the list of old (no offence) staffers and wondered what the "support" people, ie those not on air or in the music department, have been doing for the last 20 years or so. What about the people from sales, creative, promotions, office staff and others, who were not on air but certainly felt, as I did, that we were part of something special.

While the majority of my time at CFNY was spent in the sales department, some of the best times of my entire career in the media business were the 2 years I spent right out of Humber College in that old house (the first one) on Main Street in Brampton doing the afternoon news shift Monday to Friday on CHIC-AM Radio and then playing DJ on Saturday nights playing Grank Funk Railroad, Ten Years After and The Moody Blues on CHIC-FM. Several years later the Allen brothers were gone, new owners were in place. David Marsden took over the programming and turned CHIC-FM into what we all now fondly remeber as The Spirit Of Radio. My on air career was brief. I switched to sales and for 4 years worked for General Sales Manager Pat Hurley along with the likes of Steve McCauley, Gary Pinter and a cast of characters that I would love to see again if this reunion thing comes to pass.

With the exception of a brief stint at Trans Ad in the late 80's, I continued to work in radio up until about 3 years ago when I joined the sales department at CBC Television here in Toronto.

Anyway, if there are any former CFNY staff that arn't profiled on this site and would like to be, I encourage you to e-mail your information to this site. It would be great to hear from you again.


Brian Smuck (Sales 1982-1986) - January, 2003

WOW! what a great site! could qualify as a public service. The playlists section is phenomenal.

This site sent me reeling back to the fall of 91 when I first moved to Toronto and suffered Q107 for a few weeks until that bloody nonsense about a Guns & Roses new release was being touted as the greatest thing ever, sent me on a search of the dial and I found Brother Billy's all night experience. (I think that's what it was called) anyway I still remember spinning down the dial until 'The Forgotten rebels', stopped me short and shortly after that a track by Mojo Nixon. For years I NEVER EVER listened to anything else (unless I was in Ottawa where the best community station CKCU 93.1 still provides welcome refuge from the refuse.)

Anyway, Thanks to you for the brilliant site and Brother if you're reading, Thanks to you as well. You've got my vote.

Mark M - January, 2003

I got "switched" on to CFNY sometime around late 84 early 85. I was a CHUM FM listener at night and Q107 in the morning and afternoon. I recall going to friends and listening to CFNY there but not knowing all the songs they played and them laughing because I was the guy that had all the records in our group of friends.

Anyway I was sick and tired of Platinum Blonde and Corey Hart and Whitney Houston and found myself listening more and more to 102.1. Soon after I became a huge Depeche Mode fan and Simple minds were also one of my faves. I guess my biggest CFNY memories are seeing Depeche Mode at the old Kennedy Rd studios when they were in town for the world premier of 101. I lived right around the corner from there when I went to Sheridan and accidentally stumbled on the bands arrival, I bolted class that afternoon and headed to the Uptown if I recall correctly and managed to blag a pass in to see it with my 15 year old cousin (his sis has still never forgiven me)

Chris Sheppard is the man who got me into Djing. I used to sit and listen to his "Premeditated mega mixes" on a freaky deaky saturday nite in the city of sin The Blue Monday mega mix I still have as well as the "MADCHESTER one full of the Stone Roses and Charlatans.

Who could ever forget listening and waiting for Endgames First last for Everything and waiting sometimes longer than an hour to tape it. Finally get a copy in late 1993 on vinyl and voila the Spirit of the Edge comes out on cd making my investment worthless ....for a few years

Still have many of the club 102 tapes and believe it or not were huge hits when I moved to Riyadh Saudi Arabia and used them as the tunes of many rooftop retro parties at villas

Sad to see the old 102 has gone the way of the Dodo bird but this site will definitely keep the memories of 102.1 CFNY


Dave L. - January, 2003

Great page.. I have been with you since 1979. you have brought a lot of enjoyment into my life.
All I have to say is educate the youth on what has happened in the past.
eg: The Damned, Stranglers, Japan, earlier stuff.
Thank you

Kirk Sutherland - January, 2003

...OK..that's what a CFNY is.. (was).. Those call letters keep popping up and I figured senility had finally taking over as I had no recall of a station with that sign from my days back East. Now that I find out CFNY is (was) CHIC in Brampton it brought back some very bizarre memories..Through the Allens.. who ran the BF theatres if I recall and counted Toby Robbins as part of their entourage, I had occasion to visit the station. John Fox was doing something or other there. Manager I think.. but what absolutely blew me sideways was a basso profundo by the name of Hal Scholtz (sp) sitting between two huge turntables ..One in front of him the other behind.. Both were playing records at the same time.. I had to ask.. Well it seems he was playing a country and western song on one turntable and a Mantovani or some such on the other.. He was jocking for both the AM and FM at the same time..The only way he could keep from getting confused was by the direction he was facing at the time.When time came to do an intro or commercial he would do so with the appropriate affectation.(C&W or GM) .The bleach blonde hair seemed to complete this bizarre picture.

I would later inherit Hal, replete with bleach blonde hair, cape and cane when taking over the helm at what was then known as CJOE in London..Yikes..

Russ Simpson - December, 2002

My wife and I were big fans of CFNY from when we first dated in 1982 through to the late 80's. One memory comes immediately to mind. We were visiting friends in Boulder, Colorado in the summer of 1986. Boulder is a college town (UC main campus.) We went out one night to a local bar called the Dark Horse, a popular student hangout. And what is being broadcast over the sound system? CFNY!! They picked it up via satellite. We discovered later that it was was THE most popular radio stations on the UC campus. I had (and still have!) one of the NY license plate brackets on my car. On another evening we went out to dinner and when we returned to the car someone must have noticed the rear plate and left a note tucked under the wiper. It read: CFNY!! OUTTA SIGHT!!!

Dave Perkins - December, 2002

Wow! What a fabulous site! Love it! Takes me back to some good ol' days! I remember in '77 when CFNY started up - I was in high school and went to the old yellow house to just look at where this fantastic music was coming from. I went on to study Broadcast Journalism and couldn't wait to do my internship at CFNY. That was back in '82 or '83. I was there with Pete and Geets, Kevin O'Leary, Freddy P, Rick Charles, Al Lutchin, Norah Fountain, Earl Jive, Beverly Hills, and many more! It was great fun! I remember Fred Patterson bringing his little daughter Melanie into the newsroom. SHe'll be a young lady by now! Anyway, thanks for the memories!

Wendy Cooke Lang - December, 2002

I was a high school exchange student from the Philippines in Buffalo NY for a year in 1985-86. I was instantly hooked to CFNY, and recorded several tapes' worth of songs which I listened to for a couple of years until they died. CFNY shaped my musical present musical tastes.

Fast forward 16 years, I'm on a business trip to Toronto. I try to look for CFNY on the radio in the hotel room and find commercial crap. I fire up my laptop and found this site.

<sigh> CFNY is like an old friend that's gone. I can't forget being mesmerized by some of the music they played...

Jason Cuadra - November, 2002

When I was in high school in Bracebridge (84-88) I used to tune in Friday and Saturday nights and record the Shep sessions. I would have to get up on my roof and fool with the antenna to get a good enough signal. I would then edit out the commercials and take it to school the following Monday. I had the cafeteria DJ'ing gig with a fellow student (hey Karen I KNOW you're reading this! :)) and we introduced ALOT of students to new wave, alternative, house, hip this day I love getting out my yearbook and reading comments like 'thanks for bringing true real music to the caf'. I still have these mix tapes and wouldn't part with them for the world.

Shep, you rock forever! Deadly Hedly, you the man!


Gabriel - November, 2002

College Buffalo, faithful listener from 1992-1997 when I moved to Boston for law school. Loved the alternative bedtime hour and thirty second live which would break up the monotony of studying. I was addicted to Alan Cross Radio program "Ongoing History" and would schedule my Sunday errands so I could be home to catch the show, and would copy it on cassette and listen on my headphones throughout the week. Used to wait all year for the 102 countdown on New Years. Miss the station horribly.

Came to Buffalo on New Years 2002 and was horribly disappointed that the 102 broadcast was discontinued, replaced by a top 10. Not the same.

Any fans of Alan Cross @ Ongoing Music please contact me. Thanks!

Sanjoy Paul - November, 2002

I haven't checked this site for a while, and was really impressed with some of the updates. I'm a lifelong 'NY fan, right from day one. The station was as instrumental in shaping my musical tastes thru the '80's as CHUM-FM was in the early '70's (hmmm, what could be the common denominator there? Can you say MARSDEN?!). Lee Carter, you were a particular favourite on-air guy. Glad to see you're still around (and thanks for BBC-6 suggestion). Liz J, Dani E, Daddy Cool, David M, Brad M, Ivar H, you are all MISSED!!!!!! Stafford, great to hear you on MOJO. I missed that acerbic wit!

Jon Marvin - November, 2002

When I was in high school - 1984-1989 - my brother used to send me CFNY mix tapes. Often he would just press record and let the tape run for 45 minutes, then flip it over. He was a student at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay and I lived in Sault Ste. Marie. This was how I was introduced to modern/alternative/new wave music, since there was obviously no radio station within a million miles of the Soo (it seemed) that played cool music, and the only bands that came to the city were AM radio-friendly ones. Usually he wouldn't list the tracks on the tapes, and it was up to me to find out artists and track titles. Alphaville, Violent Femmes, Rough Trade, New Order, that crazy Chris Sheppard mega-mix of "Blue Monday"(would love to get my hands on that), Waterboys, Boys Brigade, Shriekback, Blue Peter. Man, those tapes knocked me out, and they were massively influential in helping me form my musical tastes. My brother adored the old CFNY format back then, and so did I, even though I never once actually listened to a live broadcast until the 90s. Pretty neat, huh?

Tim Lawrence - October, 2002

I am so happy to have found this site. I had a great time reading the testimonials from staff and listeners alike… it made me long for the good old 'NY days….

I remember the first time I switched my radio dial to 102.1. It was in the Fall 1984, and my Brampton high school was getting the CFNY Video Roadshow for one of our school dances. A friend told me that this was a local radio station, so I started to listen to familiarize myself to the music. Skot Turner was the host and it was by far the best school dance ever.

Do you remember when djs would take a random call in the middle of their show to take a song request? I never laughed so hard when some poor young girl visiting from out east called up to request Corey Hart. She never did get to say his full name as she was quickly disconnected…

I spent many July 1st's up at Molson Park, fondest memory was the first year, especially watching the staffers play baseball with the various bands. Chris Sheppard in his Stephen Sprouse Yankee Doodle outfit…

I want to take this time to thank all the NY staff who put their heart and soul into their work . Your dedication was/is appreciated by us fans. It's a shame that the good times had to end. Long live the Spirit of Radio.


PS. Lee Carter -- thanks for turning me on to BBC 6. It's pretty cool. BTW, I loved Live From London.

Karen - October, 2002

Now-a-days we are inundated with what is touted to being good, memorable and eventually great. Mass marketing is a tragic mortality for all that defies diverse and unique. Massive changes to the [presently deceased CFNY 102.1 FM] meant the death to all that is great; like the Jazz hour late night, Hedley Jones{Reggae/Ska Hour} and the influence of David bowie on many artists that were on the old CFNY playlists. It is the ever talented Van Morrison's Moonlight Dance and many other artists of old like the Chieftains and then the Waterboys, World Party, Spirit of The West and many other bands that really turn me onto Celtic Music and other Unconventional like Japan, Mike Oldfield, Tangerine Dream and many, many others!

The times that music died is when "MACLEAN HUNTER" came in and broke up the Dave Marsden model of MUSIC SUCCESS and stole it's heart! Decent bands like The Charalatans UK and James until they left, Rancid, DOA are now on the scrap pile of existence... too bad really! What passes off as good music is truly mediocre and publicity generated garbage that really has no place in CFNY's play list and yet it is there like a Ghost Smell, Red Neck Politics. Music and Diversity is NO longer present in the Modern Rock Atrocity that emerged out of the Old and Great CFNY 102.1 FM sorry new listeners but CBC Radio is my station now! The Vinyl Cafe{Dave, Morley, Setphanie, Sam} by Stuart MacLean is fun to listen to and enjoy some 'Life is Like That' Moments and other sounds like the Howard Dick's Show is very entertaining for someone who knows little about Classical Music, Operetta, choral or Baroque! So enjoyed the old CFNY and can't stand the new crap there now, but as we grow old we open our hearts to new and exicting sounds.


Mitch Yamamoto - October, 2002

Thank you Don Berns for telling me about this website. Couldn't believe it when I read through these testimonials. It was so great looking at all the old (I mean former!) staffers who have written in. I worked at CFNY from 1980 to 1992......great memories. If there is a reunion, count me in.

Emi - October, 2002

If there's ever a reunion, count me in. From the moment I heard CFNY in the late 70s, I knew I wanted to work there. I became the 'traffic goddess' (James Scott's description, not mine) for one year - 83-84 (Leaving for CBC was a big mistake -- did anybody read that Dunford column??) I still have the t-shirt/poster and button when we started broadcasting from the CN tower, Nov. 29, 1984. I couldn't figure out which streets I was looking at from way up there..

I'll never forget trivial pursuit with Mike Stafford -- what a smart guy. And Kevin O'Leary regularly making me mess up on air when filling in for the amazing Warren Downs. My car, affectionately named Val (short for Valiant, the only car you could afford working for NY as a traffic reporter) even got fan mail sent to her! Playing "La Bats across the border' in Youngstown, NY was great as part of the Wankees. And the best part was when Marsden let all us staff spin discs..I think I opened with Johnny Strikes Up the Band, Warren Zevon, and closed with the Sex Pistols' was one of the finest hours of my life.

Best wishes to all former NYers and listeners..

Norah Fountain - October, 2002

Hi. I am a former CFNY fanatic, collector of '80s exxxxxxtended things and former employee of PolyGram Canada. I am now a librarian in Ohio (Dayton, to be precise) and I just got Roadrunner. Of course, I am casting about for MP3s of the kind I love (and can no longer buy.... at least I can now afford to buy the stuff I really want!) and stumbled into your page.

I remember stumbling into the CFNY fansite years ago and now I had another visit.... funny how many of these people I knew on the air and got to meet later in real life (I worked with Ivar for six years)... CFNY was such an important part of growing up to me that, um, where do I start? Maybe some other time. I first found it in fall 1981. It was a faithful companion when growing up in a small town (New Hamburg, west of Kitchener) -- it was often a challenge just pulling it in (even after the "boost"). I was a DJ at CKMS in Waterloo when I was 14 (Dave "Doc" Hight was music director!) and turned to writing about music later (in college) which got me a gig writing pr blurbs. And other stuff. It was fun but I am much happier as a librarian, really. I actually get to help people. My last two library jobs involved ordering music for the collection so I have fun, still!

Anyway, I found your work and your personal story very interesting so I wanted to write and thank you for doing what you do. I have a few (not as many) moldie oldies that are harder to get that I hope to share with people someday as well.

One of my greatest aggravations right now -- why can't I get any Guadalcanal Diary CDs for less than $80 per?

Cheers and best regards,

Gerry Vogel - October, 2002

Boy, do I miss the Spirit of Radio. The Edge, isn't the same.

I grew up in Fort Erie, listening the wasteland that is American Radio. CFNY or any other Toronto Radio station was very difficult to bring in.

It was back in the early 80's that quite accidently I happened to dial up 102.1 while driving my car along the QEW trying to find a local radio station to listen to. What intially caught my attention was the dj playing Micheal Jackson and destroying the record as it was being played. I thought "wow, someone else hates him too". Then I started hearing some of CFNY's playlist and was literally blown away.

Over the years, I became addicted to the music and very rarely watched TV. When I got transfered to North Bay, I went into withdrawl and started collecting as much CFNY playlist music as I could find. Some very expensive trips to Toronto and Buffalo were made. My Christmas lists were nightmares for anyone who wanted to give me a christmas present. I tried to convert anyone who would listen.

Then I started to listen to The Spirit when I found out that they were broadcasting on C-Band Satellite. I bought a system and listened until they pulled the plug a year or so later.

That was the first and only time that I called and complained like crazy.
At some point I gave up listening as they switched to a mostly watered down New Rock format and then the Edge.

I am very happy to find the site and especially the sound files.
Thanks very much for the memories, I will visit this site often and listen to some of my favorites.

Great Site.

Jeff Carter - October, 2002

I write to say that I've been blessed several times over by my affiliation with the EDGE.

It began as a scintillated listener in the late seventies. These were the days when CFNY was still in the "old house', when U2 was an unknown band, when Japan and the Stranglers were 'hip', when Patti Smith and Lou Reed were gods and Roxy Music, The Clash and Bob Geldoff were relevant. It was a delicious, dizzying and heady time.

In the eighties I was honoured to be a finalist in the "Great Ontario Talent Search" which was followed by an "EDGE Presents" concert at the old COPA. My band came in a distant 3rd to "Jim Witter" (who won)... and I'm proud to say he deserved every accolade. Now a "New Country" artist, (and off to Nashville), Jim remains one of the few 'genuine' people I've met in the music industry.

That year, we were introduced to the stage by James Scott... a man i'd been listening to for years. We were all in awe of him as a DJ... and quite impressed at how 'real' and grounded he was in person. He truly loved the music he played. Being a dj was more than just a job for him - it truly was his life.

The following year, we received a CASBY nomination for a music video (Modern Age) thanks to the incredible support and encouragement of CFNY DJ and CASBY organizer, Liz Janik. Liz was one of those rare folks who gave of herself unsparingly. Never once did she refuse my phonecalls, and she always parted with words of encouragement and warmth.

Later, when I became a television producer, I had the good fortune of meeting and working with the incredibly funny and exceptionally talented Don Berns (remember the "flimsy bernouse"?). After that, I welcomed the opportunity to join forces with Humble Howard and Fred Patterson. Howard and Fred regularly helped me out with spots on CFTO-TV's "Eye On Toronto" starring the effervescent and perpetually blonde Lin Eleoff. Howard and Fred always came fully prepared to make the audience laugh... and they always, always succeeded.

Ultimately, I was overjoyed to become Howard's field producer for all of his spots on the "Dini Petty" show. Howard always left me in hysterics... and I cannot understate his incredible professionalism.

October of 1994, in the moments before Howard's daughter 'Charlie' was born, He and I were to do a shoot near Niagara Falls (a 90 minute drive from home). His wife could have given birth at any moment. Even though I suggested he could "take a pass" on this one, (the devout professional that he is), Howard insisted that the "show must go on". The shoot was a long and somewhat arduous ordeal (it was also in the days before cell phones).
Though I could sense considerable fret and worry from his off-camera glances, he never let the viewer 'read' anything other than the usual lighthearted and comic "Humble" persona. I am amazed by him to this day.

Charlie, I expect, is now nearing her 8th birthday!

I was also happy to introduce Howard's longtime friend and colleague, Dan Duran, to the CFTO family as 'co-host' of the "Dini Petty" show. Hey Dan, thanks for the clock!

When I moved to the LIFE Network, I was proud to include Maie Pauts as one of my regular guests on REAL LIFE. Maie was a real treasure. Her sultry voice, ebullience and cherubic smile were a perfect combination for TV. Had she persued it, I believe she would have had a remarkable television career.

My three decade relationship with The EDGE has been a joyous, creative and fruitful one. Now that I have left both the media and Southern Ontario, I miss the wonderful connection with CFNY's extraodinary on-air talent and (most of all), its music.

God Bless Dave Marsden and his legacy. CFNY has been a testament to everything wild and beautiful that music (at its most creative), has to offer.

Long live 'The Edge'.

Bernard Frazer - former CFTO/Life Network Producer, The Ottawa Valley - October, 2002

I lived in Toronto and can clearly remember three radio stations going live in July of 1977. CILQ Q-107. CKO. The all news network. ( Where my Dad was morning news host ). And CFNY.

CFNY was hard to receive, but I sat there and listened with total amazement. There was no Bee Gees, or AC/DC. This music was fresh. And I was hooked. ( Not many of my friends knew what the hell bands i was talking about. But I did ).

Over the years with all good thing. Changes must happen. The worst being a CFTR clone ( 680AM, Toronto ), in the late 80's. My walkman cried out for CFNY to come back to life. And it did for the most part.

Then came the nineties and my move to St Thomas, Ontario. Located, 20 minutes southeast of London.

Was I ever in a music hell. There were lots of classic rock, oldies, top 40 and country. Where was CFNY? I had foolishly left it behind, back in Toronto. Lucky I found WENZ, 107.9 in Cleveland to feed some of my musical diversities.

Kinda. I still had my 2 cassette tapes of the original top 25 songs from CFNY's top 1,002 songs of all time. First broadcast Labour day weekend, 1991. With the sexy Dani Elwell at the mic.

CFNY, or Edge 102 is now back in my life. First came the live stream from the Internet. And now on my Dish.

Thanks for the awesome site with all the audio tracks. Wow, what a flashback. Keep it going.

Scott Taylor - September, 2002

Greetings to Spirit of Radio devotees.

Or should I say "Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen..."? It's a little hard to believe that I began each and every Live From London that way. It was all a bit tongue in cheek of course.

I resigned from CFNY in 1992 after freelancing my various offerings in a state of hopelessly idealistic gratitude for pathetically meagre rewards. And I did this for 11 years, without a lobotomy along the way. I was mostly reporting from London, but had latterly hosted a fun, rambling Sunday night show from Toronto, that surprisingly attracted good ratings. As I left in some disgust, I vowed never to look back and indeed have completely changed my radio wardrobe since then.

But I have to confess that in the last couple of years, since discovering this website, I have surreptitiously found myself clicking my mouse in its direction more than I'd care to admit. Generally I think nostalgia is one of life's most misguided emotions, but I like studying history, which is how I justify it anyway. I also think it's very important to have something out there that at least acknowledges an extraordinary era, at a wonderfully maverick radio station, which touched the lives of so many people; especially as the current incarnation of it has chosen to erase most of that history, cherry-picking only the bytes that are politically expedient for themselves.

I've also been grateful to this website for continuing to reprint my now rather dog-eared 10 year-old article from 'eye Weekly'. It was my equivalent of a resignation letter. Some of what I wrote I'm sure remains true today, some of it turned out to be spectacularly wrong. But at the very least we can all get a glimpse at a wonderful cartoon published by the Toronto Star 12 years previous to that (which took the 'eye' music editor days to find) which I have always felt captures the true ethos of the days of the old Brampton houses in the late 1970s.

In those days I was a high school student just off the boat from England, and largely ignored my studies to become absolutely fanatical about the music scene then and what was undoubtedly then the most adventurous, interesting music station in the world. My earliest brushes with 'NY personalities were with Keith Elshaw (who I interviewed for the high school newspaper and when I visited was playing Martha & The Muffins 'Echo Beach' from a demo tape) and Liz Janik. It was Ron Bruchal who finally allowed me on air however. (Anybody know how to get in touch with him?)

The eight years I spent in London reporting for CFNY (and some U.S. alternative stations such as WFNX in Boston and WLIR in New York) were certainly never dull. I saw one of The Pogues very first gigs and years later one of their very last with Shane as lead singer. I followed bands that were obscure and interesting, ( I still get people wanting to assault me for making them pay import prices at the Peddler for Half Man Half Biscuit) and the more well known, such as The Smiths. One of my favourite moments was clambering on a bus to Manchester to interview Morrissey. But there were plenty of depressing Spinal Tap moments too: Bands who never showed up to interviews, or I would be saddled with a booze-addled inarticulate drummer. I was even vomited on once during an interview. I was also as poor as a church mouse in the world's second most expensive city. At one time I was literally filing my live reports from a red British telephone box.

I came back to Toronto in 1990 but resigned two years later.

I had actually started freelancing reports to the BBC World Service while I was still working for CFNY and had also been freelancing for four years to a CBC Radio pop culture show called Prime Time. My second great interest had always been news and current affairs, especially documentary making so I was very fortunate to slip gracefully into it.

Today I am the eastern Canada correspondent for the BBC. I am also a freelance news producer for CBC radio wor

Lee Carter - August, 2002

I was stunned to find this site, especially since it meant that there are many people out there who miss the Spirit of Radio just as much as I do, possibly even more, judging by the heartfelt words all over.

I grew up in a small town north of Toronto, and CFNY was like a beacon of hope in the late 80's/early 90's. Just knowing that there were a lot of people out there who listened to great music made waiting to leave that small town more bearable.

Has Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio" ever had more meaning than right now? "the Edge" has become BS, remaining only slightly less so than the rest of Toronto radio. It's truly sickening. Let's hope that the true Spirit of Radio can return to the airwaves someday!

Bill Yetman - August, 2002

I discovered this site only a few weeks ago and I wish I'd found it much earlier. I too, grew up on early CFNY music. I stopped being faithful to them when they changed their format in the mid to late 80's. I have a couple of albums out of many, (still), that I have searched online for in the mp3 format. Since I don't have the means to record them onto my computer I was wondering if you could dig them up . Cowboys International and The Hitmen. I must be one of a handful in Ontario to have actually bought them since only 1 of my friends remembers them. I always listened to Ivar Hamilton's import show and when I could actually find what he played, purchased it.

Randy Mann - August, 2002

Seeing Danny Nicholson's story about the guy with the crowbar, reminds me of the time I was getting into my car after doing an all-night shift on CFNY's AM sister station. Some guy who was miffed that his Hendrix song wasn't played (on CFNY itself), tosses the head of a hammer into the news-booth window, shattering the outer layer of glass! Mike Stafford was on the other side of that window doing his news package, with Fred Patterson waiting his turn in an adjacent booth. Needless to say, Mike's package ended abruptly - and Pete & Geets went to commercial or something. Both Mike and Fred thought it was a gun-shot (the microphone was right next to the window, so just imagine the effect!). Once things calmed down a bit, the news pack was finished and Pete and Geets came back with the Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer".

Mac Lloyd - July, 2002

I love the site ! It brings back a lot of memories. I was looking through all the CFNY items. I still have the white lockey jockey (althought you can't read anything on it anymore), I have the nightlight, and the bottle cap pin.

One thing I noticed you didn't have on there were your glow in the dark Tshirt/sweatshirt. I think my sweatshirt is long gone after going through the wash and turning pink! I do still have the T-shirt.

Noreen - June, 2002

OMG this site brought me back so many memories. I always thought that CFNY was so unique and cool. I used to chat with Dani quite often, and I loved the bedtime hour. I am currently living in England however, when I come back to visit, I listen to the edge but it just isnt the same as it was like 10 or 12 years ago, sorry to say. What I find funny is that my soon to be 7 year old daughter loves the stuff that CFNY used to play and this stuff was like waaayyy before her time. She is a big depeche fan and just loves new order. I know, I used to listen to that stuff left centre and right when I was pregnant with her lol so perhaps that had something to do with it =-) On the other hand, I highly doubt it because how could anyone NOT like the stuff that CFNY once played! It just isnt the same anymore, what a shame..... ciao for now

Antarctica (yes that is my real name) - June, 2002

Count me among the many unfortunates trapped in the radio desert of Rochester NY who found CFNY a most welcome oasis of quality, tastefully programmed music and intelligently run radio during the mid-1980s. I was the founder and first owner of the alternative record shop Lakeshore Record Exchange in Rochester, and during 1984 and 1985 I ran a second location in Buffalo. It was during my thrice-weekly trips to Buffalo that I discovered the Live Earl Jive and 'The Lovely And Talented Beverly Hills' while scanning the dial for something listenable. It was not long after I opened the Buffalo location that I also learned of CFNY's strong influence in the Western New York area - dozens of people would come into the Buffalo shop looking for Martha & The Muffins, BB Gabor, Ryan Paris, Jane Siberry, Modern Romance, and all of the other CFNY musical mainstays from that time period. The Live Earl had the best taste of any program director I have ever heard on any station anywhere - you would hear the best stuff from the 1960s like 'I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better' by The Byrds played back to back with the newest great stuff from The Smiths - tasteful musical eclecticism at its finest! And it is impossible to describe the transcendent multi-sensory beauty of driving home to Rochester around Lake Ontario from a weekend in Toronto and getting around to the southern side of the lake at night, when you could see the lights of the Toronto skyline across the lake, with 'The Ghost In You' by The Psychedelic Furs playing on CFNY - this was truly 'The Spirit Of Radio' at its finest. Whenever the conversation turns to the subject of the best radio I have ever heard in over 40 years of listening in three different parts of North America, the call letters CFNY invariably come up. Almost 20 years later, and for me 'CFNY IS STILL TRACKING'!! Congratulations, Earl Jive and Beverly, on creating a lasting radio legacy that lives on in the memories of all of us who were lucky enough to hear it.

Ron Stein, Port St. Lucie, FL - June, 2002

Hey Gang! It's Pamela Blair checking in.

I have yet to file a recent photo and AM 740 has yet to get a website (these oldtimers are sooooooo slow at these things, but gotta love them nonetheless!)

I just read my profile and I wanted to add a few things and make a few adjustments as to what is posted. Yes, I went to Energy 108 following the death of what I'd call great alternative music at cfny in 1992! Got fed up with the shit from the management saying that despite the fact they fired the top alternative jocks at the only alternative station in the city, they were going to keep the format. Yikes!

Spent 6 years as the "Diva of the Dark" at the country's only dance music club music....real innovators! but we know all about this being cfny'ers and living "on the edge" of great sounds! Adored my years at Energy but in 1998 got canned by the new management and the next bunch of geeks to take over. Spent 3 years back in the news grind for both 680/CHFI...again Yikes! And in May of 2001 when I was ready to pack it all in, got hired by another independant radio station...AM 740.....we don't ROCK...we SWING! And I love it! It's refreshing to actually play music that isn't heard on EVERY OTHER RADIO STATION. So what that it's Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett, these guys are SWEET! and they know how to treat a lady!

I am no longer a newscaster. Don't want anything to do with those snarky, pessimistic bitches. I'm full-time SWING ANNOUNCER at AM 740.....and they tell me that I'm the next best thing to there!

On a personal note....I went back to school this past year to get certified to teach Secondary School Music and Drama and I will be a full-time Music Teacher in the fall in the Burlington area where I am currently living and yes, I will continue to try to balance both careers while I can. I am a single Mom of an amazing 7 year old boy who is the light and SPIRIT of my life!!


Pamela Blair - June, 2002

Wow! What memories, the more I read the more I can almost taste and hear the memories. Among my fondest memories of CFNY are Eddy V ("In the Grooves"), Live Earl and his countless appearances on air and off air with the Spoons. Dave marsden's Annual Christmas Eve Special, The top Countdown at the end of the year (I always remember 1983 Tears for Fears-The Hurting and New Order-Power Corruption and Lies were near the top (in fact TFF were #1). Other memories: The Road Show at Martingrove CI, and Chinguacousy SS, The Police Picnic 1 and 2 (don't know if #2 was a CFNY event), the countless concerts presented by NY, DD and Live Earl, Lardette, Endgames (First Last and Everything), B-Movie, New Order, Cabaret Voltaire, and many more that I can't remember. What a blast, too bad it's not around any longer in it's original form.

Dan Piedra - May, 2002

Having a dedicated person to keeping "The Spirit Of Radio" alive is a godsend. Sadly, I moved from Toronto in 1985 but continued listening to the station via Anik C1 satellite. The web site brings back the memories and old charts that have found a dwelling in a briefcase. No other city on this planet had the spirit that Toronto had during the 80's.

Being the sneaky cretin that I am, I bring the CFNY memories to the Memphis airwaves every Friday morning by playing many tunes not regularly heard on American radio. The spiritofradio site also is inspiring for me to continue broadcasting this music.

Thanks for the memories,

Darryl Torrell at - May, 2002

You can tell I'm still in the record business when my first instinct upon seeing the 102.1 Band on the site available for downloading was to freak out, but I got over that pretty fast!

Anybody remember the DynaFlow Radio Show, Sunday nights at midnight back in '79? That was me. Turned out that the morning guy never showed up to replace John Morris one morning, so I was called in and John handed the mic over to me. Then the PD, Bruce Heyding (now deceased, sadly) figured it might be fun to give me some airtime. And it was fun! At the time ('78-'79) I was production director. As an amateur photographer I probably have the best collection of 'NY photos around, especially of the personalities. Maybe I'll put a page of pics together.

I put the 102.1 Band "Working on the Radio" thing together with Jim, Brad and Ivar, and that lead to 13 years at a label, and now my own CD business.

Still see Marsden, Berns, Ivar, Headley, Norah Fountain, Jim Bird, and quite a few of the old guard now and again. Some of the musicians, too. In fact, Domenic Troiano, who played on the record, called me today.

Those were crazy days. I am sure that they will never be repeated. I am surprised some times that we survived them. When there is a reunion, the stories that we could tell...

Lindsay Gillespie - May, 2002

Wow! What an amazing site! My name is Eric Vonn and I too had the honour to work at CFNY in the mid-80's. I saw a message from Bob Lehman, producer extraordinaire, who gave me my first "in" at The Spirit. Thank you. The next 3 1/2 years there were without a doubt, the best in my nine years in the industry.

So nice to see a note from James Scott. I produced The Scott Show for awhile and boy did we have fun James!! Humble as alway, you shouldn't be surprised that people remember you and your work. I was a young kid in those days and you were my radio hero! After nine years in the business, having done the on-air thing, and having listened to a lot of radio over the years I can honestly say, you still are!

I see the list of names - Earl Jive, Bruchal, Pete and Geets, Woloshyn, Hamilton, O'Leary, Diana (oh my God!!), Berns, Marsden, Leslie Kross and on and on...

Nothing short of a reunion would be acceptable now!!

I would love to see you all and go back to a truly amazing time in my life and in radio. Days that are cherished and sadly, gone forever from broadcasting.

I wish you all the best. Thanks for this amazing site and for bringing back some incredible memories.

Eric Vonn - May, 2002

Wow! What memories. On so many nights The Alternative Bedtime Hour was my cozy companion and, as it seemed to me, a voice for me alone. Dani knew just what words went with the music she chose and, with that sultry voice of hers, she spun a web of imagination that shut the world outside. During those 60 minutes I loved to relax, take a solo drive or call in and talk to her. Man, how I miss those nights. Seeing your site has been like visiting the house I grew up in, empty now but not forgotten. Thaks for the effort.

Warren Friend - May, 2002

I stumbled across your site last week. I can't say enough about how amazing it is, and what great memories it brings back. I have TONS of CFNY memorabilia. When I have some time, I will photograph and scan some very rare stuff and send it to you. Under your personalities section you should include (the now famous) Daniel Richler. I'm sorry I can't give you more details about the period on which he was on CFNY. I'm guessing it was around 1983 ­ 1985. He was on for a very short time, and called himself "Boy Dan". Perhaps he can fill in the details (if you can get him to admit it was him!)...

Michael Guzak - April, 2002

Wow! Just came across your great site, and it all came tumbling back. I was a high school kid in a small town (Lewiston) in upstate New York. 102.1 was my ASSURANCE that Life was not going to begin and end with the pinheads around me. I had about 30 feet of antenna wire strung like a web throughout every corner of my room - that's how I combatted the Lake Ontario weather to pull in the signal. I left town in 1981, CFNY's heyday. Seeing your site really warmed my heart today.

Bill Metke - April, 2002

CFNY was just ever so cool... who else would play Propaganda and Uzeb? Remember those anyone? My older cousin listened to it and she was oh so cool and so I rigged up an antenna halfway across my room so I could get it clearly... shoutouts to George S. and Lobster-Boy. Nicholas Picholas works at Energy FM now.

Invite me if there's ever a reunion!!!!!!

Take care guys,

Lorraine - April, 2002

I'm afraid I'm a bit too young to remember the "little yellow house" days of good old CFNY; if my memory serves me correctly I began listening when 102.1 was located at Kennedy Road in Brampton where I once had the great pleasure of sitting in on an entire Humble and Fred Show for a grade 11 journalism project which ended up getting me an A+ I also recall getting "Stephen Segalled" by Humble, and receiving a "Leading Edge" shirt which I still have.

I haven't really come across any testimonials on here from people who appreciate the history they weren't around for. I mean, CFNY has one of the most fascinating histories ever. I have had the pleasure of meeting several CFNY personalities over the years including Humble and Fred, Pete Fowler, Alan Cross, Maie Pautts, Marla West, Danger Boy, Dan Duran, Martin Streek and a few others and each was a great experience.

The first time I met Humble and Fred at a National Sports promo, I decided I was getting into radio. Right then and there I knew it. As the years went on, I kept The Spirit and it's so nice to have a place where countless others have kept the Spirit alive and well.

This is a great site, and some of the testimonials bring tears to my eyes... I think it is important to remember that through all the format changes that the Spirit has never really died. I may be watered down quite a bit these days, but nothing can take away from the fact that the generations after us will always have the power to decide what good music really is, not guys in suits or shareholders.

Radio is very much alive and kicking! Maybe one day you'll hear me on it. Either way, thanks for the priceless memories, no matter where I go I will never forget CFNY.

Jason Meltzer - April, 2002

First off, thanx for having a page that remembers what alternative radio was and should be! I've told this story to numerous people over the years and they all love it, its not about Marsden's psycho-babble, or the bizarre format changes over the years, or even Pete and Geets ability to build anything with 3/4" plywood and a keyhole saw, this short story is what Earl Jive's show on the day the of the space shuttle disaster.

For those that remember Earl Jive, on the nights he was feeling out of sorts he took on the personality of "Alternate Earl". On that solemn night he took on that personality and did a musical tribute to the seven that lost their lives that day, not a lot of talk, just music with the theme of space, four hours of space music, it choked me up when i realised what he was doing since it wasn't announced. What a fitting tribute for those that were reaching to the stars.

Andy Ellerby - March, 2002

Please allow me a moment to say thank-you to Richard Messum and Randy Ross whose words were featured in the testimonials section of your great site.

It may be a stretch to think Rush had me in mind when they wrote "begin your day with a friendly voice" but it's sure fun to entertain the idea.

To Richard especially, it was listeners like you that made that whole era such a joy. And your right Richard, "Astral Mornings" by Steve Hackett was a great piece of music.

Although you may get an argument from some of the people I worked with, I was truly humbled by the talented and creative people at CFNY through the seventies and eighties, all of whose names have been mentioned on this site far more than mine.

Frankly I was surprised that anyone remembered!

By-the-way, I have an attic full of James "baby" Scott show cassette tapes suitable for balancing wobbly tables if anyone's interested.

In parting, thanks to all of you for a great time.

James Scott - March, 2002

My listening experiences with CFNY go back to 83 when I moved to Toronto to attend Rye high and do a BA in Radio and TV. I was so amped on the station, I actually hopped on the GO Bus and rode out to Brampton to get a tour of the station!

For my third year thesis, I had to log 100 hours of listening to a radio station and come up with about 100 pages of analysis. I was lucky enough to pick CFNY out of a hat. I can still remember back in 1986 the last song I logged (ABC's remix of Be Near Me on Saturday night with Shep).

Like many visitors to the site, I am driven to absolute nausea by the amount of repetition found on the Edge nowadays. There's heavy rotation...then there's super heavy rotation (Black Black Heart, anyone?) How I pine for the return of Catch Us if You Can!

But, like most things in life, you can never go back. CFNY was a station unlike any other. It helped define a generation. Congratulations on building such a wonderful site that helps us all remember just how good media could be...

"We shall never surrender!"
Winston Churchill

best wishes

Michael - March, 2002

CFNY was my fave station from the late seventies to the mid to late eighties. Once the corporate BS started to happen, the station was getting swallowed up and its "uniqueness" faded and I rarely listened anymore. I used to have some open reels of the Sunday Music Magazine, but only have one dubbed down to cassette :-( of the show. I believe Eddie Valiquette had a show on the same day back then playing alternate mixes of the rare tracks that "NY" played...

Douglas Giesel - March, 2002

Just found out about your website. I too had thought about a staff reunion this summer. Thought you'd be interested to know that I probably have the biggest set of history files and dozens of pictures on the station as I had planned on writing a book one day. I started there (and my radio career) on July 18, 1977, the day that the Allen Brothers launched the station at 100,000 watts. Up til that point it was an 875 watt station... before that it was CHIC-FM and the station was really just the third turntable in the AM studio. I started in the newsroom, then did some DJ stuff and finally moved to the sales department in '79. I left the station in '86 to sell for them on a national basis until the start of 1990. I am in touch with some previous staffers like Jim Fonger (management) and Mary Curtis on a semi-regular basis.

Just wondered who was behind this site. Nice idea. I'll have to do some digging and scanning!

Steve Mac - March, 2002

I just listened to the "Robotic" ID on your site. I used to hate it when it was current--it was just too annoying for my delicate, New Romantic sensibilities, I guess. But now it was really, really good to hear it!! Really enjoyed CFNY, and listened faithfully from 1979 through 1990. After 1989 though, it was just too painful to listen with much frequency, and I moved on to the not-for-profit stations (and now I live elsewhere, anyway). I don't imagine this will get posted in the testimonials, because not all my memories of CFNY are glowing tributes. I look back fondly on listening to CFNY and being turned on to so many bands, 20 something years ago, that I still listen to, in various incarnations, today. But I could never stand Chris Sheppard. He was such a poseur. Like, in which Scarborough neighbourhood did he pick up his 'soul brother' accent and delivery? Why no mention of "Warmin' Up The House", with the superior DJ Craig Beesack? I have to say, too, that Humble and Fred are far too conventional. It seems every station has the same formula of two morning show hosts who blabber constantly--just play some darned music, will ya? And Alan Cross is just way too condecending. Anyway, on with the good... I really liked the days of Marsden, James Scott, Earl and Beverly (sometimes), Dani Ellwell, Geets Romo (Who I remember as cohost of the Q107 morning show with Bob Saye before CFNY won my ears). Eddie V was good too, and so was (sorry I can't remember the name) the fellow who had the latenight pickup shifts through the early 90s--he did all the sunday and holiday overnighters. He would actually PLAY requests--album cuts, even. His was the last truly interesting show of CFNYs lifespan, and I wish him well. (ed: I think you're talking about Kneale Mann)

I look back on the 80s with fondness for much of the music I heard on CFNY--music which stands the test of time, and weathers the fickle winds of the listeners' ear. I don't remember such fondness for the music of the 90s. And, honestly, if you were going to do the Desert Island Test, who's CD would you rather have with you, The Clash's and Rough Trade's or The Farm's and the New Fast Automatic Daffodils'? I wonder how much my taste was partially shaped by the DJs I loved who spoke to me as an equal, not as a listener, and who never condescended or patronised...

I was so inspired by early CFNY and horrified by "The Edge", that I began illegal broadcasts in my hometown to continue "The Spirit of Radio" as I had learned it through the voices of early 'NY. I played 'NY classics, rare grooves, and the truly interesting music which was coming out in the mid '90s but wasn't getting airplay anywhere, not even CFNY. I got caught, but it was worth every minute! I first started listening to CFNY when I was about 12. I had returned from a summer vacation in the UK, which was in the height of the Punk Movement. Although Punk was rapidly imploding, there were so many bands taking the Punk aesthetic "one step beyond". Ultravox, the Police, The Pretenders, Ska, Simple Minds, Human League, Classix Neuveau, Way of the West, BB Gabor. I grew up in a small town just inside CFNY's broadcast range, and, there, amid the countless stations spinning Lynard Skynrd, Neil Young, Zeppelin, Heart, and the standard crop of 'classic rock' bands (previously the only 'youth' music I knew, the only music my friends listened to), there was a beacon of hope. Music for thinkers. Laurie Anderson. Pukka Orchestra. The Clash. Danse Society. KILLING JOKE (note the 'all caps'!)!

CFNY was such an extraordinary station. I miss it, and I'm really happy to have found this site--keep up the good work!!!!

Beale - March, 2002

I think it would be a blast to have a reunion. I worked at NY from 1985 until 1990. First, as receptionist then for the programming department for Don Berns. I would love to see some of you guys again. I spoke to Maie Pauts tonight and she mentioned the site. I have very fond memories working there...especially Ivar Hamilton spinning the tunes at my wedding. Take care!

Diana Degruijter - March, 2002

What a blast. I did a google search for David Marsden, and found your site. I went to U of T '74 through '78, and we would tune in to CFNY after a night out at the Bruns (which was pretty much every night). One of my favourite shows on the Edge was a late night (or was it early morning) reggae slot. I live on Vancouver Island now, but I'm a 70's T.O. boy at heart.

Long live the spirit of radio.

Peter Lutzmann - February, 2002

Loved the article! Did you know there were actually TWO little yellow houses? One, housed both stations until CFNY moved to an almost identical house a few blocks up the street (it's gone now). Once 'NY' got its own 'little yellow house', only their news and accounting came from the CHIC location. If you had that in the article, I missed it and apologize.

I was with CHIC/CFNY from 1978-1983 (with a 6 month interruption when Leslie Allan had me fired - randomly. Was hired back by the same PD that was ordered to fire me as soon as Leslie was 'taken away'). I had a blast with them and stayed around until Civitas put us up for sale. Most of my work was done on AM (which was to go multi-cultural) and I knew there was no room on NY, so I 'bailed'.

Well, enough chewing about the old days... Really just wanted to tell you how I enjoyed your article - and how it made me remember what is to this day, the happiest time in my working life.

P.S.: David Marsden and David Haydu (Geets Romo) are still two men I admire for their talents and people skills. People always know them for their on-air personas - but off-air, they are both gentlemen and always willing to smile... Even when 'taking a strip off you', as Marsden's had to do more than once, he'll end the conversation with a friendly smile, as if to say, "..There. That's done. Now, let's get the job done right and put it behind us, friend."

Jim Ramage (Mac Lloyd - back then *wink*) - February, 2002

I just found your site while I was listening to 2 Kool For Radio. It's a great site and brings back a lot of memories of putting on the radio and not knowing what you would hear, you knew that about 99% of the time it would be something good.

I have always wondered what the first song the station ever played was and what day they went on the air?

If you could let me know, that would be great

Arvin Kashyap - Editor/Publisher, The Spill Magazine - February, 2002

I used to know a guy named Paul Shultz, who was, to my recollection, the first "underground music" DJ at Chic FM. If I recall correctly, his show used to run from 6PM till midnight. I have a photo of him someplace, doing a remote gig at my former public school in Brampton. I spent many an evening in that old yellow house studio on Main Street, hanging out with Paul. I think Sundays was "ethnic programming day" and Paul would have to sit there and write down whenever a commercial would air. But most of the time he was playing James Gang, Free, Canned Heat, Deep Purple, New York Rock & Roll Ensemble, Hendrix, etc.

Love your site.

Mike Briant - February, 2002

I notice while reading these terrific letters that someone asked about Al Spring.

Al Spring was the original morning guy from the little yellow house in Brampton. He was a true free spirit who loved to party.

Unfortunately Al died at a very early age. Al had not been well and in fact left CFNY due to his poor health. At the time there were requests from his family to not make a fuss about his death. I respected those wishes.

While I can't remember the exact year it was soon after we moved to the studios above Spanky's.

David Marsden - February, 2002

I started to listen to CFNY in 1978/9 when I was trying to get the Buffalo station ROCK102. I didn't recognize any of the first! The played some pretty good stuff back then. When they got into that jam in 1980 or 81 with the CRTC, I did my part for the petition (not to change the station format) and got a couple of hundred signatures.

Well 83 I discovered campus radio and by 1984 I stopped listening regularly because it was just too commercial and I would only listen when the campus stations had talking or jazz.

But here's the station that got me into "underground" music scene. (Notice I didn't say "alternative"!)

Franco - February, 2002

Hey, I just stumbled across your CFNY site and the well-researched history of the station.

CFNY's disintegration and the general mediocrity of commercial radio prompted me to take matters into my own hands, and in 1994 and 1995, I operated a pirate station in St. Catherines (NFA Radio 100.3FM), featuring a huge selection of unheard bands from Ontario and throughout the world, and a huge selection of rare CFNY cuts which they just didn't play anymore (imagine another station being the only station playing "Workin' On The Radio", by the 102,1 Band--the irony!!).

I was caught by the engineer of 97.7 HTZ FM in St. Catherines, under orders from his superiors to locate me so they could have me prosecuted. Luckily, he was also an CFNY fan and gave me the opportunity to sign off before reporting that my signal was 'too weak to trace to its source' :).

I'm currently taking my old broadcasts and converting them to mp3s for nostalgia's sake. I haven't heard them in 8 years, and it's good to hear all those progressive CFNY-inspired sounds again, and imagine what might have been!

Keep up the good work!!!

Yours Nom-de-Plume-ly,

Howard Beale - February, 2002

Just checked out your site. What a treasure of memories of a time when music and radio meant more than just business.

I worked at CFNY in the newsroom for about 11 months in 1979 - David Marsden days. I was the co-author and singer on "Working on the Radio" (did my best Bruce Springsteen vocal imitation). F.Y.I. we did reunite the 102.1 Band including Teenage Head, Nash the Slash and Lindsay Gillespie for the Edgefest at Molson Park in '84 or '85. Any photos or recollections of that?

I remember starting off working for the AM half of CFNY, CHIC fresh and green from college. At the time CHIC was a dreadful disco station. Can't remember a damn thing about it, other than the fact that it ran on less than a shoestring.

I worked my way over to CFNY grinding out interviews to fill the 'foreground format' obligations for the station. My first on-air experience was getting thrown in front of a mike for a half-hour 5:00 p.m. newscast after most of the newsroom either quit or was fired earlier that same day.

I was given the freedom to do more or less what I wanted to fill the air time I was responsible for - mostly pre-recorded interviews on stuff I researched or was interested in. For a while a did a regular short feature on the visual arts - a peculiar choice for radio.

I still have my red silk CFNY jacket, a few 102.1 Band 45's, and a bunch of free records.

If I can find any dusty old photos I'll pass them on.

Love the site. Contact me any time.

Jim Bird (my on-air handle was James Bird) - February, 2002


I don't think in need to begin about all of the fond memories that i have about CFNY (I've been working at the station for three years now and can't bring myself to call it Edge102 outside of being on air).

Growing up in Toronto as a teenager to the "new wave" sounds and culture of CFNY is as much a part of me as the skin on my body. the site that you've compiled here with the incredible features within is a great time capsule to which we've all contributed to on every level, especially in the area of breaking hot new bands which have grown to becoming international supergroups such as U2 and New Order.

This is not to say that the radio station has endured its glory years; but, continues to redefine a standard of radio that is the envy of North America and the whole of the western hemisphere whether we like the changes and sounds of CFNY or not. That's what has given the station's identity is the audience's individuality and distinguished ear.

I've been the programmer/producer/dj succeding d.j. Paul Dhingra for the live-to-air programs (Edge@Kingdom, Club 102, Edge@Whiskey Saigon) for three years now and am in constant reminder from listeners past and present of the history these programs have created in defining the sound and culture that is CFNY. You have no idea how tough it can be. I'm sometimes torn between the grassroots understanding and passion that I have with the audience being a listener for over twenty years now and being in control of the strongest and historical radio programs there are, and the responsibility of having to produce shows that reach tens of thousands of listeners a night without alienating new listeners as well as old.

The greatest vehicle at my disposal to exercise my history as a listener of CFNY is the Edge@Whiskey Saigon program live-to-air Sunday nights. Some of you that listen may be quick to point out the growth of the program with the inclusion of some early nineties material is a dent on the "Retro" program. We're now in the 21st century and the music of the early nineties is a decade old and that that music was the natural progression and growth of New Wave/Alternative music. It's a great challenge formatting sets of music that illustrate the influences our music has had on itself and on popular music today. I always get a kick out of how easily some CFNY listeners are quick to embrace new musics such as electronic and crossover(rap-rock, remixes, cover versions) forgetting that it was the groundbreaking music of CFNY that layed the blueprint for ALL popular and new genres of music. Pat yourselves on the back.

I'll also confess that I don't like some of the music that has found its way onto the air but that's change for you. I'm constantly inundated with music and sometimes miss something that everyone is listening to except me so you can feel free to email with your music or any programming suggestions you may have to me at

Marking the tenth anniversary of Club 102 should prove exciting as i have a lot of ideas and surprises up my sleeve that i'm sure long-time listeners will enjoy. One hint is that I'm in the process of compiling and producing a 10th Anniversary cd for Club102 with succeding volumes which will reflect the musical history that the live-to-air programs have created. I'll do my best to make sure that it's as well rounded as can be. Your site is a testament to this history and i'm very proud to be a part of it.

I'd love to share some of my memories about hanging with Burns, Beesack, Shep, and Martin; but, it would take me forever to do so not to mention that some of them have melded into an intoxicated blur which those of you who have known and seen us in our environment would understand. The greatest memory that I can share with you is by keeping them all alive when I'm pumping out the live-to-airs.


djdwight - January, 2002

I just wanted to say I enjoyed the article on the history of CFNY and count myself as a supporter of that station. In order to appreciate any kind of music, one must be receptive of all musical tastes and styles. CFNY's open mindedness created that "spirit of radio". Let's give credit where credit it due.

Samantha Taylor (former music director of Q107) - January, 2002

I think this is the best thing that could have happened. This website is great. Great memories of the video roadshows. I was part of the organizing committee for 2 roadshows on Christie St. in the early 80's. The first one hosted by James Baby Scott and the second by Live Earl. Great time, great videos. I think that all you guys should have a reunion, you deserve it. Another great memory was sitting at my friends place, listening to Dave, and requesting "Homicide" by 999.

Walter - January, 2002

I know that the BEST MUSIC came from a tiny station located at one point in time on Kennedy Rd So in Brampton, ON. I am a nostalgic buff if music was palpable and diverse enough to embody many interesting sounds and trends{heh, heh, heh} not that trends mean a damn thing to me. I like the music that came out in this genre and it created a monster in me to go on and collect Kitaro, Enya, Miles Davis and many others.

I am a Bramptonian not by choice simply 'cause that's where I was born. I didn't like the area where I lived and felt that many there were paranoid and pathetic... they lacked any worldliness. This radio medium{light bulb} filled the gap, where my heart needed to beat and be free. Bands like: XTC, Stranglers, Diodes, DOA, Mental As Anything, Church, Silencers, Ramones, Television, X, Jam, Police, Iggy Pop, Pretenders, Pere Ubu, Madness, Beat and many more came to roost. They had a home where they could spread their angst filled wings and fly into the hearts of many that were also rejected by most of those who lived around them.

M. Yamamoto - January, 2002

We used to call it "Radio Free Toronto". Back in the early to mid 80's CFNY was our little secret. In Rochester you could barely hear it but I found this one perfect location on top Cobbs Hill park where the signal would would come in just right on my car stereo. The station was quite literally the inspiration for many of us jocks at the local college station.

I'm a Programmer in the States now and the best radio I ever heard was at 102.1 in the-mid 80's. In fact Toronto radio as a whole at that time was, and in many ways still is, the best radio on the planet. Whether it was tuning into CHUM-AM for the hits when I was a kid (very easy to pick up) or the struggle to DX CFNY when I grew up (very hard) the radio in TO was often amazing.

I've often felt aghast about how things could've possibly gone wrong at times with CFNY. It's the perfect example of a station that, programming wise, had everything going for it for the listener while the decision makers had no clue as to what the true product was.

Mark - January, 2002

Ah the memories flood in-

What I remember most was the sincere belief by the staff in what they were doing. It was a time and a space that is long gone, never to return. The NY audience was made to feel like they were a part of this magical entity, and indeed were. The announcers took the time to get to know their audiences.I recall spending 3 hours on the phone one night with Marsden, just talking about nothing. I also recall asking James Scott to play a specific request that NY did not have. When I offered up my copy of the track for him, he invited me to sit in while he did his show. By the way James, you never did return that record.... I remember the shitty signal, and I also remember a horrible Listeners' Choice that we won't talk about, And I remember Marsden's last show, wish someone had a copy or an air check. Thanks for a good time, and thanks for the memories, It was swell.....

Doug - January, 2002

Thanks for the wonderful memories this site invokes. I grew up across the lake from Toronto in Youngstown NY. I listened to 'NY as a teenager in the late 70's and early eighties- until about 1986. Then, I moved out of state.

CFNY was a true original and a huge part of my adolescence. It's clearly a labor of love for you to continue to post and update the rare MP3's - awesome BTW- on your other website.

Anyway, just a note to say thanks for the hard work. I have sent the link around to all my old friends. I'm sure they will get as much out of it as I did.

Alistair Sloan, Atlanta, GA - January, 2002

I've been checking this site for well over a year now, and I'm always amazed by the fan reaction...even 20 years later.

The neatest part for me is the spots & promos saves me the trouble of having to make a production demo reel...I'll just send prospective employers to the page! Thanks! David Marsden has a unique ability to gather together a group of people that not only do innovative things...but do them very well together. This was a very special time in the history of radio, and like Firesign Theatre, it holds up well. As for the reunion...bring it on....I would even extricate myself from the wilds of Mulmer Township and spend a night in Toronto for that! Hi to all my ex co-workers...and thanks for the site.

Bob Noxious - January, 2002

I nearly fell off my chair when I saw your site!

I was searching for am 80's band & bam there you guys showed up at Google!

I still listen to CFNY these days but it's real crap.

Alex - December, 2001

Hi. I have a CFNY story for you.

I went to school at the University of Rochester from 1986-1990, and Toronto was a 4-hour drive around the lake for us. That's where the good stuff was - Sam The Record Man, A&A, the rest of Yonge Street, and all 35% off because of the strong American dollar! I'd make the drive over the border about twice a year and load up the car with goodies you couldn't get in the US. Fun!

While driving around on one of the trips up there, somewhere around 1988, I heard CFNY's All-Request Nooner, which featured two songs I'd never heard before: "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag" by Pigbag, and "Circular Impression" by The Extras.

When I got back to Rochester, I was able to find the Pigbag song pretty easily, and I liked it enough to make it the theme song of my radio show for a few years. No problem.

The Extras track turned out to be much harder to find, as you might imagine. After a hunt that included a phone call to CFNY's music director (who told me basically, "Good luck trying to find THAT"), I put "Circular Impression" on the back burner, although I'd always check the "E" section at every record store I went into. For 12 years.

In late 2000, on a whim, it occurred to me that Dr. Demento might have it. (We used to run his show on our school radio station in Rochester - I've been a fan for years.) I got in touch with the good Dr., and we swapped some music. In exchange for Trip Shakespeare's "Lulu" album, I got "Bit Parts", the Extras' 1980 album with "Circular Impression". Joy!

We put it straight on the air on my radio show in Minneapolis ("Crap From The Past", heard on KFAI-FM and, and it quickly became one of the most-requested songs on the show. It also spread to other KFAI shows, like "Rocket Ship Ska Trip", and now has a permanent home on the Crap From The Past website as one of the finest novelty songs of all time.

Just thought you might want to know that "Circular Impression" has found a new audience here in Minneapolis, thanks to the genius of Extras' songwriter Denis Keldie (still living in Toronto), the generosity of Dr. Demento, and the astute programmers at CFNY in Toronto. For me, it's been the singular most difficult song to hunt down (12 years!), and for my listeners it's been a godsend.

Ron - December, 2001

Late-night surfing has always yielded some of the most interesting information and it becomes even more so when a simple search for lost friends turns up so many in one spot.

Had many great times on either side of the dial and fond memories of some pretty fun times. And I have videos to prove it!

It all started in 1982 - Marsden and me at the CNE when I shamelessly did promos for another station.

Sun, sand, me, Jive, exotic cars and large quantities of Bahamian alchohol.

The list goes on... Boat cruises, The U-Knows, Fast Cars, being one of the first to feature CD's on the air. Paris. It all seemed so long ago.

Still have my Pete & Geets bumper stickers, t-shirt from the CN Tower launch and other trinkets to remind me of days gone by. But most of all, I still have my memories.

The 80's... the Wonder Years... When the Spirit was born. Hope you all still have The Spirit.

Christopher Betamax - December, 2001

Hey - if Mobile Mike gets a mention... I was at the station part-time from 1985-87, doing live cut-ins from the CFNY Mobile Cruiser as Brad Driver. I started the same time Captain Phil did. Rode the Alpine Way at the CNE for 19 days or something ridiculous like that. I jumped from there over to sales at Global Television, and I'm still here today.

This web-site is great memory lane stuff.

Brad Kubota - December, 2001

Oh, it was a great time! Scott Merritt, Jane Siberry, Sugarcubes, Depeche, Siouxsie. That 'TO' town was big enough for all of us. Now if I can only remember who did that "a holla holla hey and holla holla ho" holiday song.

Gotta go...this wheel's on fire.


Leo, Vancouver BC - December, 2001

A friend of mine mentioned this web site a wow the memories came back. Two great stories come to mind.

First off Friday nights at RPM with Chis Sheppard on the decks, and Live Earl Jive working the Mic. We started to going to RPM from the very beginning, the first live to air, and I must say the crowd was sparse. Live Earl kept giving us passes to come back on next Friday free. Of course, this did not last long. Before long the place was packed, the music was great, and of course all the people we great.

Of course I cannot forget the CFNY Christmas party that was held and “The Copa”. That infamous club located in Yorkville. Anyone who grew up the 80’s surely remembers The Copa.. It was a great party, and I still have promo records the Live Earl Jive gave me. (REM, Superman and The Cult, 12” single of Sanctuary plus awack of other free stuff). It was a great party and I got meet and know many the personalities.

I thought I would just share those two stories, of corers there are many more, did any go to the CFNY ski party in Quebec City with Breakaway tours? That was a party as well.

CFNY lives on in my heart and in my music collection.

ML - December, 2001

There used to be this great radio station that played unsigned independent bands along side U2 and the other big boys as if it were just the normal thing to do. They had a "Non-Repeat Workday" where they wouldn't play the same song twice. I didn't always like what they played, but it was always interesting. I'd listen to it morning till night. And what variety!

Now in its place there is this station that has an "all-repeat-we-only-own-5-cds" workday and their idea of "independent" music is a band that is only signed to Sony. Completely un-listenable!

What ever happened to that great old station? So sad...

Phil - December, 2001

Surprised to stumble across this site, especially to see may picture. I worked at NY from 1981-1987.....started in the old house on Main Street, and then moved over to Kennedy Road....Also worked at Cfny as a student back in 1978, doing a student news program. Was at the station the day Dave Marsden was hired....To make way for Dave, they let Lee Eckley go (Lee was a classmate at Humber College, along with Ivar Hamilton) Lee ended up at still there....

My fondest memory....A Saturday morning news shift....I arrived at 5:00am, and was met by a weird man, armed with a crowbar...

He held the crowbar to my neck, and then told me he was going to smash all the equipment.....

Weighing the alternative, I suggested he proceed to smash...

He let me go, so I ran into the old AM studio...a guy by the name of Johnny Rogers was on the air....since he was talking on the air at the time, I headed for the FM control room, fearing Samatha Taylor was on he all-night shift...walking into the control room, I was relieved to find big Nick Charles behind the Mike.....we called the cops...Nick put on a long record, we grabbed a broomstick, and headed down the hall.....we were met by two Peel cops, guns drawn.

The culprit used the crowbar to smash the outside door.....great memory....

Someone on the site asked about Al Spring...I worked with Al in Oshawa, I think in 79 or 80...unfortunately, Al died shortly thereafter.

Re-union would be great....hi to all

Danny working in Public Affairs at the TTC - December, 2001

Hey I was lucky enough to stumble upon this site and its great to read what everyone says about our radio station. I started listening to cfny in 1993, much later the most who have visited this site. I still remember hab fan on Humble and Fred and it still makes me laugh. It's sad how the station is so crappy now, but we still have all the memories. Thanks for putting up this site, its appreciated by many.

Nathan Woodhouse - December, 2001

Hey I just had someone refer me to the site - what a blast from the blast.

Nickolas Pickolas (Nick Schemellpennick Van Der Oye) - He "invented" the nooner and was a great club DJ (I first met him at the Empire club when he was filling in for Kneale Mann or maybe it was Alan Cross). He's a morning guy in Buffalo now.

I put out the Canadian Alternative cd's that may interest you and your readers:

The site's old, so I should update it soon.

Thanks for the work on the site.

Dean Brown - December, 2001

First of all, let me say this. I'm lovin' the talk radio thing. It came along at the perfect time for Humble and I.

Cause we're old.. especially me.

Secondly, I love the idea of a reunion. There are so many great people I've worked with through the years, and I'd just love to see them again.

Thirdly, I went to Calypso Garden for some Carribean Chinese food on 16/11/2001. It's located in the strip plaza that used to house CFNY.

Whilst waiting for my food, I climbed the stairs to have a look at the old NY studios. For the most part, they're gone.

Nothing but cheezie lawyers offices and immigration hustlers.

But still there, somehow they survived, are the NY control room and production studio. There's no equipment of course, but the rooms are still intact. Stickers on the walls, nicotine on the roof and a lot of ghosts.

I stood there for a few minutes and my mind raced. I worked in that building for 15 years, and loved every stinkin goddamn minute of it. Yes, even when we played Madonna.


My point, if you're an old NYer, and you get the chance, check it out. Before its gone for good.

Loving Youuuuuu

Fred Patterson - November, 2001

I had posted this message in the BBS but it is better suited here in the testimonials. Sorry for the redundancy.

Thank you for putting up this site! It brings back many good memories. I started listening to CFNY in 1985 when I heard a radio station that my co-worker was listening to in the parking lot. This music was so unique and a refreshing change from "Top 40" and classic rock. When my co-worker came back from his break, I complimented him on his taste of music and I asked him what station that was. He replied "CFNY."

I couldn't wait to go home and listen to more tunes that I was quickly playing in my head afterward. Fortunately, a radio was conveniently placed in my new work area and it was tuned to CFNY too. A lot of people in my work area asked me to turn down that "terrible music" in their opinion but the cool people told me I had great taste in music.

My radio was fixed to "The Spirit of Radio" from 1985 until I stopped listening to it around 1992 when the format was too commercial. Even though Earl Jive, Beverly Hills and Don Berns came back for a bit after the exodus in 1987, alas I guess the saying is true "you can't go home again" as the spirit in the Spirit of Radio had died.

My best memories of the Spirit of Radio:

The zany non-revenue commercials.

Visiting the Scollard St. location and I was given memorabilia like bumper stickers and Lockey Jockeys. I even chatted with JR or James Scott, very down to earth people.

When CFNY was broadcasting from the CN Tower one evening a week in the mid-80's. The only time I went there in 1985 or 1986, I saw my favourite DJ, Live Earl Jive, spinning alternative tunes and announcing on-air on the other side of a window .. the guy sure was entertaining and humorous! He played a EP version of Danse Society's "Heaven Is Waiting" which will always remind me of my visit to that alternate studio high above Toronto.

Thanks for the memories and great music from Comsat Angels, Danse Society, Scary Thieves, Joy Division, The Box, The Spoons to name a few. In closing, many thanks to the personalities I remember - Live Earl Jive, Beverly Hills, Don Berns, Ron Bruchelle, Mike Stafford, JR, James Scott, Pete and Geets, Freddy P "I Wanna Win a Casby" and "Snow Remover Machine", Mike Hannafin and Kneale Mann who worked the overnight show when I finally got through on the phone to request a song .. we even chatted for a few minutes.

Glen - November, 2001

Hi there, just quickly noticed your website, and though I would quickly add my name to your list of "personalities"

I did sports at 'NY from 1984 to 88, afternoons and weekends, plus reporting.

Never had more fun in broadcasting in my life, especially when I filled in for Fred Patterson on the Pete and Geets show.

Also played for the "Wankees".

I went from CFNY to CFRB from 89-94 as a freelance sports reporter, then to TSN 95-01 as a writer/producer on Sportsdesk and Formula One broadcasts.

Mike Hanafin - November, 2001

I just stumbled on your site (thanks to Google) and it's great! Brings back a lot of memories. Your other testimonialist, Lee Carney, and I grew up together but haven't seen each other for years (10 at least). I was one of the friends he refers to in the infamous "Mothers Day Choir".

It doesn't surprise me that he left a testimonial. Lee was simply the biggest fan of CFNY that ever lived. In 1996 he sent to me in France a tape of the Live Earl Jive show as I was living there for 3 months and missed the Spirit (I still have it somewhere and I also have an old compilation tape put out by CFNY). Lee used to call the station and speak to Earl and Don Berns all the time to request songs or talk about new music. I was amazed that he could get through. I think Earl even gave him a tour of the studio once.

Of course one of the best things about CFNY was the Video Road Shows. Our gang, including Lee and I, lived at them.

As for the reunion, sign me up - hell, I'll organize it!

Warren Mucci - November, 2001

That's quite a site you have there. I was a loyal listener from almost the very beginning. The late 70's and early 80's were by far the best years of this station. There was nothing else like it then and probably never will be again. I suppose the musical environment of the time really helped. I really miss those days. I stopped listening to them a few of years ago. It's depressing now, a pale imitation of what it used to be when it was such a vibrant, creative, unpredictable radio station. I really enjoyed looking back at your archives. Long live the spirit of radio. Cheers.

Steve - November, 2001

What ever happened to Al Spring ?? wasn't he the morning man prior to Pete and Geets. Who had the late evening shift called the Nocturnal Emission @ late 70's ( I remember a contest @ Kate Bush ) and was there an morning show with David Pritchard.

Thanks great site..brings back a lot of great memories

JC Shaw - November, 2001

Hello folks...I'm not sure if its relevant, but might look good as a link on your site....

By the way, as a listener to CFNY-FM from its inception till the mid 80s, I think your site is wonderful and will stay in my favorites. Thanks for the memories.

Joe - November, 2001

I was on your site checking it out, what a great site, I worked at CFNY for many years first part time (at the CFNY store in the Carlesburg Building, then for 4 years on the road show), After college I started full time in engineering with Geets and Luis, after 7 years I went to Q107, which I left a few years ago...

Anyhow, I saw a photo on your site of Jeff, Martin and myself and wondered where you got it..

I'm putting together a bunch of stuff to send you...

Those were the days, when real radio existed and it wasn't ruled by salesmen.

Jim Veale - October, 2001

The Spirit...

Radio as an art form...what a concept! There was so much creative spirit that transmitted over the airwaves. Loads of challenging music and so many controversial, creative personalities. It was about entertainment not advertising.

What fantastic memories.


P.S. After 25 years...I still listen to 102.1!

Lynne - October, 2001

I think I checked this site out a few years ago at the library and printed a bunch of stuff off. Been on this for over an hour now, and I think this is GREAT! I'm 31 and fell into the whole 'ny scene around '86, started buying records &, buying more and more records and anything CFNY. Was always interested in the history of the station, especially after things started coming apart and reminiscing on my old favorite radio station and it's whole family atmosphere and creative programming (when personalities were personalities!) Over the years I've accumulated a library (way-too-many) of old CFNY staples and a few other tidbits. I was talking to Alan Cross about 9 years ago at a bar he was playing at. Anyway, I just added this to my fave list and I'll be checking in re. a 25'th reunion.

Nice work!

Kevin - October, 2001

I started listening to CFNY in grade 7......1984?? Man I'm feeling old. Hard to believe a radio station could have played such a big part in someone's "growing" up years. I remember thinking Marty Streek was the yummies thing going when he did the Roadshow at the local highschools along with Rob and Ivan...ahhh happy memories. I miss CFNY. I moved to Bermuda 4 years ago and have completely given up on radio.

Noeleen - October, 2001

Think the reunion July 2002 proposal from Ivar would be a great idea..

Would love to be apart of it..

Can I bring food ??


Nancy Ball - September, 2001

Wow. I can't believe I found this site! How wonderful! I started listening to CFNY in 1989 when I was 13 years old and it's been a constant presence ever since. The music and the djs were present for my first kiss, my first beer, my first day of highschool, my first grown-up many memories.

I still listen to 102.1 but it's just not the same...What the hell happened?

Lasha Laskowsky - September, 2001

Hi there, I am a 44 yr. old bar manager in the Brampton area and a huge fan of "the spirit of radio".

During the Brampton years I was employed by a major grocery store (Fred Patterson and his wife shopped there at the time) and in my night crew years the station would be booming throughout the store all night. All of us loved the station and the personalities associated with it. I think I was fortunate to have been able to listen in on a very special period in radio. I really haven't found anything quite like it, although the edge still has the freshest sound, it still seems more commercial than the spirit was.

Wayne Wicks - September, 2001

I love the sight - it's like a walk down memory lane. I grew up in Brampton and remember the house on Main Street very vividly. While still living in Brampton, I went to high school in Toronto and I remember being the envy of everyone who lived east of Yonge Street because the signal sometimes wouldn't reach them.

I remember Lockey Jockeys (mine broke about 10 years ago). I still have a Puff and Glow t-shirt and it still glows, I have a night light, a coffee mug, and a few summer of '84 bottle cap pins.

Thanks again for a great site.

Suzanne - September, 2001

Thank you so much for putting up this site. Listening to Chris Sheppard's voice again brought so MANY memories of back in the day. Just hearing those songs in the background gave me chills.

Once again, "Thank you."

Amer Q, Toronto - August, 2001

Terrific site! Brings back tons of great memories. I've got an old cassette kicking around somewhere of Pete and Geets doing a Stu's Tire commercial for me. A bunch of my friends and I were singing in a special choir for Mother's Day, and we used to do the "Stuuuuuuuuuu's Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrre" theme to have fun warming up. One morning we called up P&G and asked them to do a special version for us, and we managed to catch it on tape.


Lee Carney - August, 2001

How do I tell you that I've spent more time at your site than anywhere else of the web this past week without sounding like a has-been-loser with no life? But your site is wonderful! I've been listening to the sounds and remembering...

So many hung-over Sunday mornings listening to Earl & Bev... So many late nights with Deadly Hedley... So many evenings with Daddy Cool! So... someone besides me remembers! Yea!


Medea - August, 2001

Thanks for the work put into this site that has evoked a lot of great memories for me of the days of true alternative, edgy radio in Toronto. Somewhere I still have a CFNY bumper sticker that I never used, waiting for a "better car" to put it on (it's been 15 years now), as well as about 6-8 hours of broadcasting (taped sometime around 1984-85).

One interesting moment I remember being on the tape is someone (I don't know who it was) announcing that -- due to the group's newfound popularity with the "masses" and other, mainstream radio stations -- they would never again play a song by U2!

Thanks again for the memories and I hope the Reunion happens!

Greg Johnson, Houston, Texas - August, 2001

I was part of the roadshow for quite a few years. I have included a few pics I took when the we were in Kitchener/Waterloo. I'll give you what I know about the show.

1. First version was run by Ivar Hamilton.

2. Most memorable show @ Ontario Place following the Spoons concert at the Forum.

3. Second version show in picture was renovated to include some more Hi-tech SFX.

4. Crew members were Ivar Hamilton, Earl Veale, Martin Streak, Jimi Veale, Jumpin Geoff (Don't remember his last name), Rob "Bob-O" Pollioni, Billy Morrison, Chris Pack... That's all I can remember of the crew.

5. Sponsored by Milk

I'm sure I can think of more about it but not at 1:40 in the morning. If you would like any more pics or more info I would gladly send them to you. And as for the reunion I would love to see some of the fools I worked with at NY.


Rob "Bob-O" Pollioni - August, 2001

You folks have put together one amazing site!

What a trip to relive my formative years with CFNY.

I am going to send links to this site to all my old cronies as soon as I'm finished here.

One question though: What about Steve? I'm unsure of the spelling of his last name, but you seem to have overlooked him. I believe he was the principle daytime newsreader from about '89-'95. He was the most humorous newsreader the city has ever seen, yet when an item warranted seriousness he could bring you to tears with his empathy.

I believe he was headed to Cape Breton after 'NY but I can't remember for sure. He is probably the only important piece of this very cool puzzle you've put together that is missing.

Find it.

Many Thanks For Such a Hidden Gem.

Matt Kinapen - August, 2001

After Pete 'n' Geets, my favourite DJ on your station was James Scott. Before he took over the afternoon shift, he was the morning man (this would have been 1980 or so), and to this day I remember the magical musical moment of being awoken by my alarm clock radio and hearing him play "Astral Mornings" by Steve Hackett. In fact, I have a theory that, as "Spirit of Radio" by Rush was released around about that time and includes the line, "begin your day with a friendly voice...," the song was actually dedicated to James. Well... it's plausible.

P.S., I still have my copy of "Working on the Radio!"

Richard Messum - August, 2001

I am a long time listener and can only refer to the station as "CFNY". I started listening in the summer of 1979 at the ripe young age of 13 and never tuned out until about 1985/86 after hearing Michael Jackson played. Then listened again from about 1989 until Humble & Fred left.

Keep up the great work. I also have a picture of my first car - a 1978 Acadian - with one of the CFNY sun shields in it. When I find the pic I will scan it and send.

Peter Langlois - August, 2001

Oh my Gawd! I think I just added a few years to my hairline. I stumbled across CFNY back in the mid-70's while studying (that could be a stretch) at Ryerson. As a dedicated listener well into the 1990's, there were many times that seem almost naive in this day and age. Such as being able to call in to JR or James Scott and talk about the music they were playing at the time. Even get a request in AND played. Like back at Ryerson, I have once again stumbled across CFNY through this website. I've wondered what happened to many of the radio "friends" that were there through the parties, the drive to and from work, even through work if I could keep the music hushed. Great site! Now bookmarked by yet another old listener.

Randy Ross - July, 2001

I'll tell ya, it warms my heart to have found this site. I listened to CFNY from 79 - 90 and then moved to Halifax. Nothing here will ever come close to CFNY. Also does not surprise me in the least that Earl Jive is partying on in California...he was absolutely the best announcer the station ever had in my opinion..mega kudos buddy! All the rest were a close second for sure. What a time the 80's were musically and I can't believe how we can now download mp3's and burn our own disks! I hate to say it but I can't help myself. I'll never forget Dave Marsden pleading to us on the air to keep CFNY just have to love this man!!!!! Thank God I can listen to CFNY on the Net via windows media player. Long live CFNY!!!

Scott Oaks - July, 2001

A friend told me about your site and I wasted no time going there..I love it! As a former WZIR and WUWU jock, I would listen to 'The Spirit' for inspiration and the best music I ever heard. Sure, we played some good stuff, but CFNY was way ahead of anything I ever listened to. Let's not forget the entire Air Staff of CFNY for showing southern Ontario and Western New York how radio is done. Also, hearing some of the bites on your sight was a real treat. The Pete & Geets Fairview spot is great.

Thanks for great web site and walk back to the time when radio wasn't bland.

Bill Nichols - July, 2001

A friend mailed me the URL to this site. Boy does it bring back memories! I listened to CFNY religiously for years, starting when I first discovered it by accident and David Pritchard was on the air.

In the late '70s I was in New York City for a wedding, and had a chance to listen to what was supposedly the legendary WNEW. My thoughts after hearing it was "CFNY blows this away!".

I think to this day, the Spirit of Radio is still the best station I've ever had the privilege of listening to!

Steve Waltman - July, 2001

I think a reunion is a fantastic idea!

Now, if we could only find a RADIO STATION willing to broadcast it!

Earl Jive, Beverly Hills, CA - July, 2001

I was just talking to my friend Gary M and he told me about your site...

What a great idea for a great story in broadcasting .....the little station that grew ....I still remember the first time I stepped through the doors of the house on Main St. Brampton Ont....July 16 , 1977.....that's when it started..... and the guy with the original concept was David Pritchard

I worked at CFNY from July 1977 - Dec 1993...except for 2 years with Q107 (1981-1983)

Hedley Jones - July, 2001

I'm 28, and it seems that no-one knows what 'CFNY' means anymore. I remember being 12 or 13, and huddling over my radio at around 1 AM to listen to some of the most interesting and obscure music that the DJs could dig up. Of course, that was when alternative music meant something to the station. Now it seems that the only difference between 102.1 and a station like CHUM or MIX 99.9 is that 102.1 hasn't played any Celine Dion. Yet.

I would really like to see (hear?) the station go back to being a true alternative station -- they used to do it so well!!

Thanks for the great time in the 80's!!


Amy - July, 2001

I had a 67 Catalina in those days, and my buds and me would drive 20 miles from Niagara Falls New York to an abandoned apple orchard that was on the lakefront near Olcott NY just so we could swim, party, and most of all listen to CFNY better across the lake! We even went out there in the coldest winter nights as well. we were giant Rush fans and spent many nights discovering other new music. Thanks to that station we enlarged our musical awareness, and our tape boxes too!! Marsden used to blow our minds and myself I was a huge Daddy Cool fan. I am now 44 yrs old and let my son use the car the other day, he brought it back with CFNY tuned in. If he only knew....

Zeke - July, 2001

In 1980 I was a 15-year-old girl from Etobicoke who was perfectly content listening to the bloated sounds of Queen and Supertramp. Then I stumbled across CFNY and life was never the same. Nick Charles introduced me to Nick Drake, and All-Night Andre introduced me to Reckless Eric.

The 1981 Police Picnic, held at The Field (i.e., middle of nowhere located somewhere near Oakville), was our Woodstock. A bunch of keeners like me arrived the night before to camp out, though nobody had any idea where the concert was supposed to be. I remember that this was CFNY's first truly boffo concert presentation, featuring The Police, The Specials, Iggy Pop, Oingo Boingo, Nash the Slash,...

I remember many magical on-air moments. I think it was about 1982, when Mick Karn (bassist for the band Japan, as well as an amateur sculptor) was in Toronto to make a guest appearance at the "U-Know" Awards, and he dropped by the studio to chat and to gush about how much he thought CFNY was the coolest station he'd ever come across. Two giggly but earnest girls called in to profess their love for him, and to ask him if they could buy one of his sculptures with their allowance money. Surprised but gracious, Mick Karn agreed to ship them something, and went off-air to take down their names and addresses. I was awed by how CFNY brought musicians and fans together so effortlessly.

In 1986, around the time "Slegehammer" was about to catapult Peter Gabriel to superstardom, Live Earl Jive and "the lovely and talented Beverly Hills" interviewed him in his hotel room. The normally reserved Mr. Gabriel was uncharacteristically animated and zany, thanks to Earl and Beverly being their wacky selves, asking him silly questions and jumping around the hotel room in a fit of joy and nervousness. I thought to myself, "This would never happen on f**king CHUM-FM."

One morning towards the late Eighties, I tuned in for the morning show and heard some forced patter, some stupid-sounding new slogans, and a song by....Madonna. That format didn't last long, mercifully, but once all those ownership changes started happening, the near-anarchic and fiercely original musical mission of CFNY degenerated into formulaic dreck, competing for ratings alongside the other stations targeting the lucrative "young adult" market. But that's normal radio. And that's what makes the early, heady days of CFNY such a transcendent memory.

Linda - July, 2001

Awesome job guys !!! I feel like I'm 18 again.

You missed 1 person that I can remember over the years. Karen Horseman. I only remember her because she was on with Earl and Bev one morning around 1990 and Earl made some crack that invloved a play on words. It came out as "Karen Horseman knew her" (say it fast) I just about died laughing.

Thanks and keep up the good work.
A fan in spirit

Ken Allen - July, 2001

I am one of those people who refer to 102.1 as CFNY. Although I am only 25 years old, my friends have no idea what i am talking about. CFNY was the only station I listened to growing up and in doing so I became a huge new wave fan. I have over 200 80s CD's and about 5 milk crates full of 12" and full length albums. I am sure there is some music that i am missing in my collection and request your assistance in locating the great countdown that aired in December of 89..The top 102 of the 80s. I have checked your site but cannot seem to find it. Any information would be greatly appreciated. (All I remember was that The Smiths and The Cult were #1 and 2 respectfully).

Thank you for putting a great site together geared for die hard new wavers like myself. Thanks again.

P.S. The greatest songs ever played on CFNY.....
Depeche Mode - Get The Balance Right (Combination Mix)
Blue Peter - Don't Walk On Past

Dimitri Iordanoglou - June, 2001

Just a note to mention how much I enjoyed browsing your site. Started listening to CFNY in 1976 (I think) while I was in the eighth grade. Stopped listening in around '90 but still tune in every so often.

Was there a on air person named AL SPRING? I seem to remember him coming on after Pete and Geets before Jim Reid came along. I could be wrong but it rings a bell.

I really miss nights with Nick Charles. I remember many nights during the summers of 82 and 83 unwinding after a night of partying to Nick's mix of Pink Floyd, The Clash, Joan Armatrading, etc etc. (Your audio clip of him is great - it sounded exactly as I remembered him) Coolest thing that ever happened to me back then was meeting Ivar Hamilton in the parking lot of the old yellow house and having him give me a copy of Graham Parker's "Squeezin Out Sparks". Also won lots of stuff from Pete and Geets and called in regularly. I called in once because I had run into Mike Stafford at the Copa and he had shaven his eyebrows off (go figure). Pete, Geets and Fred ("Partial Score") Patterson rubbished him for a half an hour about it. Great radio. They also had a segment with "R. Monger" who would talk about local celebrities. More great radio. Another great moment of radio....1979, the evening of the Who concert in Toronto - Ivar Hamilton playing non stop request Who from 4pm onwards. I called in and requested "The Ox".

Keep up the great work - I still have my original copy of "Workin' On the Radio" given to me by Lindsay Gillespie.

Sean Welsh - June, 2001

I was just enjoying your website a lot and I could not find someone on your personalities page.

Marla (Wood? or something...) who used to do the traffic on the Humble and Fred show... She just vanished... I remember she went on a vacation to Israel and then never returned to the air.

I was a big fan of CNFY back in the days of Don Berns, Dani Elwell and I even lasted until around 1999, when I moved out of Canada. I am in Germany now and it is really fun to see what happened to all the people I listened to back in high School and university.

Fraser Anderson - June, 2001

Real name: Neil Morrison. Worked in the music department with Kneale Mann and Ivar Hamilton 1988-89. Worked the Roadshow with Martin Streek until going on air in 1990. Now does Live In Toronto and weeknight shifts.

From: Brother Bill, May 8, 2001:

The "new and improved" look of this site is nothing short of brilliant! Nice work.. one of the great things about looking/listening/reading back is the memories I've had both behind the scenes and growing up as a listener to 'the spirit'... listening to Shep's airchecks almost brought a tear to my eye! If it weren't for what was, I know I wouldn't be here......... thanks for giving listeners (and old staffers) something to remember!


p.s. I agree with LESLIE KROSS - REUNION!! 

June 2004: Brother Bill has moved to The Fox in Vancouver.

Brother Bill - June, 2001

Wow... this site has been really well done. I didn't realise how much I've been missing.

I can't say I've listened since the beginning, but it was Pete & Geets (& Freddie, of course) in the am that drew me in. The station surely has gone through its changes. Many highs and lows: one of the best memories I have was from the early '90s, playing outdoor volleyball summer weekends, drinking cheap American beer (our dollar was much more valuable then), and blasting the "102 Days of Summer". That riff will always be imprinted upstairs, but I'd love to be able to download it from this amazing site. I've already got a couple of station IDs and "Toast" loaded into iTunes for replay at a whim.

I, too, have a few valuable tapes from the good 'ole days, but would love to add to my collection. When we used to go out on Saturday nights, I'd plug in tapes to capture Club 102 with Chris Sheppard doing his thing. I've got some great stuff: "Here's the new song by Depeche Mode... Strangelove", and how he tripped out on NeoCitran one weekend during a cold. The Blue Monday Ivan Ivan MegaMix is a treasure. Please, please someone tell me where I can get some of these classics!!!

I've always referred to 102.1 as CFNY. I've stuck with it, but have certainly had some bittersweet memories of late. Ok, just bitter. First Alan Cross, then Maie, and of course, Humble & Fred. AM reception is mediocre, at best, in Cambridge. Danger will always be DangerBoy... and Sandra made us forget there was ever a Marla West (thankfully).

I'm still tuning in, but would give anything to have a couple of hours devoted to Classic NY. Bet that programming addition would make a lot of us tune in.

Thanks for the memories!

Cheryl Reid - May, 2001

Reunion! Reunion! Reunion!

Mike Stafford - May, 2001

Hey - great site. At the age of 42, I indeed remember the heydays of 102.1 before they 'jumped the shark'. Back in high school in Peterborough, getting the FM antenna aligned up to listen to Marsden was paramount. Memories? Listening to him rip on Ingrid Schumacher!!! I can hear his voice right now!. <<G>>

Michael Hum - May, 2001

Hi folks,

I can remember calling either CFNY or CHIC in 1975 and requesting a rock tune, the guy said "Sorry man, but Disco 'Til Dawn starts in five minutes! This was back when CHUM-FM was the only album rock station and it sucked even then.

I also remember a CHIC traffic guy getting into trouble for saying that he was buzzing Sonny's Hamburgers in his helicopter and stampeding the horses out back, Sonny's sued, and I'm pretty sure the guy lost his job. Marsden was the best, and I really miss Pete & Geets, I've heard they don't get along so well but they were brilliant!

Great Site!!

Dan Murray - May, 2001

Real name: Neil Morrison. Worked in the music department with Kneale Mann and Ivar Hamilton 1988-89. Worked the Roadshow with Martin Streek until going on air in 1990. Now does Live In Toronto and weeknight shifts.

From: Brother Bill, May 8, 2001:

The "new and improved" look of this site is nothing short of brilliant! Nice work.. one of the great things about looking/listening/reading back is the memories I've had both behind the scenes and growing up as a listener to 'the spirit'... listening to Shep's airchecks almost brought a tear to my eye! If it weren't for what was, I know I wouldn't be here......... thanks for giving listeners (and old staffers) something to remember!


p.s. I agree with LESLIE KROSS - REUNION!! 

June 2004: Brother Bill has moved to The Fox in Vancouver.

Brother Bill - May, 2001


I just got through viewing the site. Man did it bring back some great memories. That station is what shaped my musical interests today, and up until not too long ago it was the only station that I would tune in to.

Some of the names that are on the site, and bands, and lists that you have are great.

In 1981 I heard The Clash for the first time, and someone said that if you like them you would love this station from Toronto that was sometimes hard to get called CFNY. I tried to get it on my small clock radio in my bedroom, heard some of the other offerings and was hooked. I started DJ-ing playing the music I loved, that I heard from the station. It went very well and I got all my new music and info from the station. That is when I heard the ad for a bar in St. Catharine's for the first time called Gord's Place. I had been to But's and Bolts, Ballinger's, and other places like that but Gord's was to be my regular stomping ground. I spent many years on it's crowded dance floor, dancing to the music I heard only on CFNY.

The reason I am telling you this is I went on, maybe it was fate to work, then manage there (all the time DJing one or two nights a week) up until it closed in June of 1999. A true alternative till the end.

Dicky - May, 2001

Okay, you guys are going to hate me for this (you know who you are) but shouldn't we have a staff reunion while we all still have our own teeth?

(Sigh) Wasn't that a blast?

Loving you,


Leslie Kross - May, 2001

I was flying on Air Canada a couple of months ago, put on my headphones, and was shocked to find that I was listening to a long, lost CFNY classic, "I Want to be a Cowboy". I e-mailed the host of the in-flight program, Alan Cross, to see if he could tell me where I could find some old CFNY playlists and he sent me to this site. I couldn't believe how sentimental I felt reading about the former DJ's and looking at the playlists. I was a huge fan of CFNY in the eighties and like many of the other former listeners here, my music tastes were shaped and broadened by the station. What a great site. Thank you!

Craig - April, 2001

What a great site! I used to listen to CFNY in the early to late 80s whenever I had the chance. I used to buy blank tapes and put them into the tape deck to record "anything" for 90 minutes if couldn't be there to listen for myself or when I was sleeping or to listen later in the car or on my walkman!

Anybody remember the $102.10 for "the song you heard us play twice in 24 hours"?

Thanks for the memories!

Chad (St. Albert, Alberta) - April, 2001

Wow, what a great find your site is (thanks to! I used to listen to CFNY when I lived in Buffalo from 83-86 although I wasn't turned on to the station until late '85. I have lots of old tapes of the station in my basement. I remember driving to some place in Fort Erie or NF on Thursday nights when occasionally Earl Jive and Beverly would drive down from Toronto after their show. Earl was a bit wacked out and I always remember Beverly as a real sweetheart. I moved to Arizona in late '86 and missed CFNY terribly. The few times I would fly back to Buffalo I would always bring my walkman on the plane and try to pick up the station when we got into range. In late '88 I moved to Colorado. It was during that time the station was broadcasting (sometimes) via satellite. Lo and behold, my girlfriend and I rented a house with a satellite dish and I was often able to listen to the station this way. This was also the time when CFNY went through that terrible format change. Anyhow, My landlord lost the house to foreclosure, and when we moved I dug that dish out of the backyard and lugged it over to my new rental house. By that time, some semblance of decent programming had returned to CFNY. We listened a lot to Neil Mann, the night-time guy and occasionally got through on the request line (after hitting the speed dial about 75 times). I think Neil (or Kneale) got quite a rush out of hearing from us from so far away and always obliged our requests. Those were definitely the good old days...We have some good community radio here in Colorado, but CFNY was definitely an inspiration as to what good radio could really be.

Mark - March, 2001

I love your site. I miss the CFNY of the 1980's so much. I used to listen to it religiously via satellite. The top 102 or 19xx were probably my favorites. I can't wait until you get the full 6 hour recordings from December 1989 in MP3 for download. I am enjoying the announcers and news breaks for now.


M.J. (Daytona Beach - Florida, USA) - March, 2001

Hey. I'm 17 and from Buffalo NY and my dad has listened to 102.1 the edge/cfny/edge 102, or whatever you want to call it since it first came on almost. He has tapes and tapes of just stuff from 102.1. He even has them switching over from the towers. He's told me about the edge when it was in trouble. He's got thousands of hours of edge music edited commercials, cuz back then he was afraid all the good stations would go off air, and he wanted to be musically independent. I love your site, and I love the edge, good work

Rob - February, 2001

Well well, I thought I was the only CFNY freak around..guess not! First off, GREAT site..just looking at the old CFNY logo brings back memories of sitting in my friend's backyard many summers ago, drinking frosty beers and listening to songs by bands like The Smiths, The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Echo and The Bunnymen...stuff you can often hear on "mainstream" stations today..but The Spirit of Radio was the only station with the balls back then to spin those great tracks..truly this station shaped my musical tastes, and I still DJ part time and people go nuts when they hear the rare stuff (prime example: Endgames' First Last for Everything) that even a lot of the so called Retro 80's Clubs aren't playing. Does anyone remember The Abecedarians by the Smiling Monarchs??? Anyway, I managed to track down THE ONE, THE ONLY LIVE EARL JIVE the other day and we've emailed each other a few times. He too misses the old CFNY days, much like all us fans! He's living with Beverly Hills, in where else...Hollywood (close to Beverly hills!) and he says he still stays in touch with Don Berns and some members of The Spoons.

Anyhow, great site..keep it up and keep those Spirit of Radio memories alive!!!!!

Ryan Greer - January, 2001

Isn't the internet an amazing thing?

Sooooo happy to have found this site ... I'm doing research on a book about Toronto in the mid-80s and CFNY was a HUGE cultural force of the day.

I've lived all over the world and arguably, CFNY was the best radio station when it was still 'the spirit of radio' - now it;s just rubbish.

Thanks for this xx Chrissie.

Chrissie - January, 2001

The Spirit of Radio.....

That term brings back some memories. Years ago from a basement in Brampton, someone broadcast music and actually gave a sh** about what they played.

The Edge is nowhere near that these days. Commercial, commercial, commercial, song, commercial, commercial, etc. You get the idea. I really wish they would go back to the Spirit. Money talks these days, and no one gives a sh** about the music.

I miss that.

Mike - January, 2001

Incredible site guys....I am a original CFNY listener that gave up long ago on the "alternative" into electronica. Seeing that original "Spirit of Radio" sticker that covered that old 1979 VW Rabbit I had really brings back what an AMAZINGLY cool station it was. I really wish the current version of the station would recognize the listeners that built the station....and finally gave up when it sold out in the late 80's. Mail me if your an original listener.

Mark - December, 2000

My friend and I used to listen the Mars Bar's Christmas special every year...we used to do the family thing, then take off and drive around listening to it...going to nuts and bolts, twilight zone, domino...that's a time that's never going to come back...they always played the best music, and always took a chance...

I grew up on that stuff, and I have about 5,000 12" singles, mostly rare and obscure new wave, and most of them bought after hearing them on cfny...

In fact, I'm compiling a cd box set of rare new wave 12", and I'm up to volume 4...if anyone's interested in trading or helping me out let me know...

Long Live Lardette...


Dave - November, 2000

Gods, I started listening to CFNY way back when there was still a club called "The Edge", run by the "Two Garys", and, since it was the only station that played "so-called" New Wave music, it helped shape my musical taste(s), and DeeJays like MarsBars, All Night Andre, the guy who played the new "Imports", and, especially Lee Carter, who turned me on to some much new stuff that I always wanted to meet him, just to say THANKS DUDE !

Pete Fowler, who used to do the "All Request" weekend(s) was also a really great guy, who'd play my request(s) and dedication(s) at the drop of a hat, and I even went down to the station when they were near Bathurst to shoot the breeze with Pete, who was very personable.

I also liked the various newsbabes, who had really sexy voices, and made hearing about dopes like Mike Harris, and Bob Rae much more appealing.

Basically, more than half of the music that I still listen to to this day was shaped by CFNY. I still have my copy of "Workin' On The Radio", even !

CFNY was part of my growing up, and, as such, I'll always be in the debt of Marsden and the guys who started the station, and Lee Carter, wherever you are, thanks for the music, the news and the memories.

Sheldon - November, 2000


I couldn't even make it past the "personalities" list without tearing up a bit...


Thank you, kindly.

JS - November, 2000

Back in the mid 70s while checking for new music I came across CFNY.This station played the kind of music I was into and seemed more up to date than any other station. I mean you just did not hear groups like Joy Division or Depeche Mode on regular FM radio. A couple of years later they had a neat contest where you had to listen to clips and name the tunes to win, me and my buddy won a trip to the Bahamas!! What more could anyone ask for in a radio station??

Gary - November, 2000

Your site is fantastic! Thanks for investing the time and putting it all together.

I would never have imagined that a radio station would play a such a large part in my life as CFNY did in the early 1980s. I found there music that wasn't available elsewhere, packaged up in a terrific format with great people putting it out on the airwaves. The freshness and intensity of the music on 102.1 had a great influence on my life when I was in my early twenties, and it is really wonderful to come across this web site. It brings it all back. In fact, when I listened to the station id that's in your sound page I was moved to tears.


Owen - November, 2000


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