When I was a teenager I lived the clichés, man. Lonely, awkward, bullied kid from a small town? Yeah, who wasn't? Nothing to do, nowhere to go, nobody to see. All I had was a radio.
Music was my life. This was before the internet, before you could have any music you wanted at a click, before custom-made radio on last.fm: I had Steve Lamacq and John Peel and that was it. Mind you that was all I needed: a litany of wonderful bands who would never sell a record and it didn't matter. Bands who were, in hindsight, sometimes thunderingly shit, but that wasn't the point. The point was discovering the good stuff. The point was feeling excited about it, feeling like those DJs were sharing something they were genuinely cockahoop about with you. Everything else in life was rubbish, but how many kids in small towns felt that bit better for those radio shows? No small number, I'll bet.
Now I don't want Radio 1 to go back to that. That isn't the point. This isn't some romanticised yearning to be 16 again as I would rather put my face in a blender. It is, however, a way of saying "look, radio matters." Therefore 6music matters, the BBC station they want to kill. The BBC station which is the spirit of my teenage evenings writ large. The BBC station which isn't about bullshit except when George Lamb is on: it's about (and there's a clue in the title) MUSIC.
And oh I know, just go on last.fm you pillock. And I frequently do. It's good but it isn't the same. There's no personal touch. There's no getting to hear the joy someone has about sharing something they're genuinely excited about with you. There's no live stuff, that's for damn sure.
I don't mean to be Indie Bore, when I could shut up and listen to some pop music instead of 10,000 jingly jangly indie schmindie bands. But dammit I LIKE jingly jangly indie schmindie. That and, as pointed out on popjustice.com, if 6music goes, Radio 1 is going to be forced into being all things to all people again. Which means less pop. Which means everyone loses.
I grew up with the radio on constantly. It was a lifeline to a seriously unhappy youngster. When I was a seriously unhappy adult and had the energy for nothing BUT listening to the radio, it was a lifeline again. Discovering a song you love for the first time is one of life's eternal pleasures. Not all of us can go to gigs and find things on our own.
Music matters. Radio matters. That's why BBC 6music matters. I suspect to more than just myself.
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