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Tiny Tuners
At the risk of dignifying Michael Batty's Feb. 19 item in "Riff Raff" ("Gimme Indie Cred") with undeserved attention, and on behalf of everyone at Live 105, I'd like to say that I am astounded at the lack of professionalism shown in publishing unsubstantiated hearsay, which was confirmed to be false. How could a major-market magazine play into the hands of a Matador Records publicity hound's feeble attempts to get free publicity for a song that did not get attention on its own merit?

Simple facts are that Live 105 played the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion for 12 weeks. The single mentioned was the second single we played, and, incidentally, Live 105 was the first commercial radio station in the country to play it. When listeners showed no interest, Live 105 stopped playing that song. This is a fascinating story?

Live 105's general manager is neither "unspecified," as described by Batty, nor is he a hot-tempered musical dictator with nothing better to do than drive in and out of the parking lot with musical criticism. He, Patrick McNally, takes a regular and democratic part in Live 105's music programming, and it wouldn't take him 12 weeks to hear a song on the air. Had a call been placed to Live 105, a three-minute conversation with Pat is enough to assure you he's got bigger fish to fry than the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Lastly, even more than printing fiction as a rumor-substantiated fact, we're extremely curious to learn exactly what credentials qualify Batty to take shots at the radio station which the Bay Area turns to for new music. We've been around for 10 years, have half a million listeners, were alternative before the format even got that name, and we have "broken" hundreds of bands, from Green Day to Prodigy. And you are ...?

Gabrielle Medecki, Promotion Director
Live 105
San Francisco

We couldn't help but notice the gossip column blurb about Live 105 and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion ("Gimme Indie Cred"). While he credited a Matador publicist as a source, Michael Batty himself did not speak to anyone at Matador about the piece, and some clarification is in order. Live 105 had been playing the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in one form or another ("2 Kindsa Love" and "Wail") for a number of weeks.

It should be known that we have no ill will whatsoever toward Live 105. We count Live 105 as one of our biggest supporters in the world of commercial radio and appreciate its continued support of our artists. A quick scan of the spectrum of commercial radio in 1997 would demonstrate that Live 105 is continually one of the most adventurous "commercial alternative" stations in the country.

Kris Gillespie

Michael Batty responds: The "Riff Raff" item in question was nothing more than me poking fun at an attempted publicity stunt on the part of Matador Records. Sarcasm is apparently lost on Live 105. As for Matador, they were contacted for the item, though not by me. More entertaining than the radio station's gross overreaction, however, is the inescapable image of Gillespie (and Matador) planting a big wet one on Live 105's corporate rump.


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