Before I begin my review, here’s a brief history of the 97.1 radio station and I …
97.1 and Me
I am an avid talk radio fan (more FM talk than AM talk) and have been listening to the local Southern California FM talk station 97.1 Free FM for years (way before the new Danny Bonaduce radio show was even an idea in Jack Silver’s head). I’ve listened to the station change quite a bit, from Howard Stern to Adam Carolla and Jonathan Brandmeier to Frosty, Heidi, and Frank. Through all the changes, I’ve remained a loyal fan (although my tendencies are more for Howard Stern and I’ll always have a place in my heart for Johnny B).
What??? More Station Changes?? (more station history)
The most current (and unexpected) change that happened on 97.1 Free FM was the introduction of Danny Bonaduce (of Partridge Family fame) into the Adam Carolla Show and then the sudden exit of Mr. Bonaduce from the Carolla show and the creation of his very own 1 hour radio show smacked right between Frosty, Heidi, and Frank and Tom Leykis. Previously this hour was simply a rebroadcast of the first hour of the FHF show so creating a new, original, live show for this hour isn’t a bad idea. However, for those of you who are old fans of the station (back with it was simply 97.1 FM Talk), there was an hour (or less – depending on how much Howard Stern wanted to talk) between the Howard Stern show and the Frosty, Heidi, and Frank show where KTLA Morning News entertainment reporter Sam Rubin had his own show. In my opinion, it wasn’t very good. And I must not have been the only one who had this opinion because it’s no longer on the station. But you can’t blame it all on Sam Rubin. Following Howard Stern is a very tough job. In any regard, this negative stigma is still connected in my mind with 1 hour transition shows on this station. So when I first heard of this new Danny Bonaduce radio show, I was a bit skeptical.
Before for my review, here’s my opinion of Mr. Bonaduce
I’m sure most of you already know who Danny Bonaduce is but none of you know my opinion about him. My opinion is this: I don’t really have one – yet. I’m not an avid Adam Carolla listener so I didn’t really get a feel for how he is as a radio DJ, but I do know he has had previous radio show gigs so he can’t be that bad. Aside from his prior stint on the Carolla show and child actor status as part of The Partridge Family, the only other things I knew about him were what the tabloid press painted him as – which was the picture of a pretty outrageous guy and a man’s man (which is OK in my book). So based on all of this, and the sudden introduction of this new show, I decided to listen to the new Danny Bonaduce radio show and see what he has to say.
My Review of the Danny Bonaduce Radio Show – Broadcasting Bonaduce (finally!!!!)
I listened to the hour show on Friday, 1/4/08. DISCLAIMER: Now I wasn’t able to dedicate my full attention to his show since I was listening to his show at work through the 97.1 Free FM online stream (and was actually working) but I was able to listen to solid portions of his show. And besides, I think most radio listeners only listen or consciously tune into radio shows for a portion of the time. And I am a fan of FM talk. So basically I’m the perfect “typical listener” to review such a show.
Can we get to the actually review now?????
OK, OK. Here’s my review in one sentence: The Danny Bonaduce Radio Show (Broadcasting Bonaduce) is a high-energy roller coaster ride of sharp topics and unexpected tangents that gets your adrenaline pumping yet leaves your brain wondering “what the hell just happened” once the 1-hour ride is over.
Translation: Basically Danny Bonaduce isn’t afraid to talk about anything, has a bunch of edgy stories to tell, yet is somewhat spastic and goes off on mini tangents quite often. He is actually a pretty good fit for the hour between Frosty, Heidi, and Frank and Tom Leykis as his topics could fit in either radio program.
Will I listen Again?
The answer to this question is YES. However, I’m probably not going to rearrange my schedule just to catch his show. But that doesn’t mean I’ll completely avoid his show if I find myself in my car or with time to spare at work between the hours of 2pm and 3pm (PST).
I am a subscriber to Sirius satellite radio – and I enjoy it very much. I originally signed up just to listen to Howard Stern but also enjoy a number of their other music stations. They have a great straight-ahead jazz channel, great garage rock shows, and a slew of other talk, rock, and jock (sports) programming. You can even listen online! I am a very satisfied customer.
However, there are a few things about Sirius satellite radio that future members might want to know before they sign up. They took me a little by surprise but they’re nothing really to discourage you from getting the satellite based radio service. They’re just minor details that are good to know before you sign up.
Here are 3 Things I Think You Should Know about Sirius Satellite Radio
1) The FM Transmitter Isn’t Perfect
As is the case with any device you try to transmit a signal via your car radio, the Sirius satellite radio FM transmitter has some minor static issues. It’s the same issue many of you probably have with your iTrip transmitter for your iPod. I’ve been told that the FCC actually required Sirius to downgrade the intensity of its built in transmitters and that older models tend to transmit clearer than newer ones (this is actually what I was told by a Sirius satellite radio customer service rep).
However, there are some solutions to the static:
a - Hard wire your Sirius satellite radio into your car (they offer kits to do so)
b - Take off your antenna (this is what I did. It eliminates the external interference from other radio signals. I have a 2001 Volkswagen Golf and you can actually unscrew the radio antenna from the back. It provided a static-free listening experience for both my Sirius satellite radio AND my iPod transmitter).
2) Not All Sirius Satellite Radios Work with All Accessories
The bottom line is there are different types of Sirius radio units available. There’s the Sportster (which have various models), the Stiletto, the Stratus, and the Starmate. Within each type, there are different models (old and new). I have a SportsterR which is 1 radio back from the newest Sportster model. To receive a signal, it doesn’t really matter which radio model you have. Each one offers a few varying features (the Stiletto offering the most advanced). However, when it comes to accessories, you need to stick very close to your exact make and model.
For example, like I said, I own the SportsterR which really isn’t that old. I actually got it for 50% off at the local Radio Shack because they were getting rid of the older models and making way for the newer ones. However, looking back, this might not have been the case. That’s because recently I tried to get a boombox for my Sirius radio. However, all accessories they sold for my model are no longer available in stores.
However, there are some solutions to getting accessories for older model Sirius Radios:
a – You can get them at varied online stores that still have older accessories in stock
b – You can check Craigslist for used accessories (this is what I did. There was someone in the local area selling one so I opted to go with used over new old stock).
3) Their Lifetime Plan Technically isn’t “Lifetime”
Sirius satellite radio offers a lifetime subscription plan for around $500 or so. Based on the name of the plan, you’d think you’d be able to listen to Sirius satellite radio as long as you. Well, technically it’s not as long as you live but as long as your radio lives. And it’s not really that bad. Basically the Sirius satellite radio Lifetime subscription plan lasts as long as 3 radio units. This means that you can transfer your Lifetime subscription 3 times. In other words, if you want to upgrade your radio or after a number of years your radio dies and you need to get a new one, you just need to purchase a new radio, call up and they’ll transfer your subscription to the new radio. However, this means you’re 1 down and 3 to go. So depending on how much you abuse your radio unit or want to upgrade to the latest model, your Sirius satellite radio Lifetime subscription might just last you a lifetime (or it could last you 3 years if you have constant road rage and your fist likes your Sirius radio unit.
However, there are a few ways to make your Sirius satellite radio subscription last a true lifetime
a - Take good care of your radio units
b – Only upgrade your radio when you need to or really, really, really want to
c – Simply settle for listening to Sirius satellite radio online (If your 3rd radio dies, just listen online for the rest of your life. It’s not like your subscription will automatically end the second your 3rd radio dies. Now if you wanted to listen in your car, you’d have to resign with a new plan.)
Like I said previously, I am very satisfied with my Sirius satellite radio service. I listen daily in the car and online. I am lucky enough to have a car that allows me to improve the FM transmitter signal by removing the antenna and am not the type to sacrifice 1 of my 3 Sirius satellite radio lives just to have the latest radio unit – so I should have years and years and years of enjoyment listening to Howard Stern (as long as he resigns every 5 years) and other great programming.
I hope these 3 details have helped you get a better picture of Sirius radio. They’re not huge issues, but they are details I think consumers should be aware of.