Sitting in a doctor's surgery recently and I happened to catch an hour or so of SmoothFM.
Interesting! Very professional programme, allowing the listener to make the decision on whether they want to really pay attention or alternately whether they want it to be just in the background (professionals used to call that "lift music"). But certainly a quality product with good promo/ad "seaming" through the hour. (A close colleague, Geoff Brown - who specialised in the "folding technique" - incorporating the ads and promo content into the hour clock - would really enjoy the Smooth style). And then it got to the top of the hour and I'm listening all of a sudden to one of the most professional readers of my era... (actually ANY era)... the supremely admired Steve Blanda.
I'd forgotten that Blands had moved on to FM after the implosion of UE NEWS a couple of years ago. Oh man... I think he's actually better than back in the 80's. Is that possible? I got to hear two bulletins and they were essentially perfect. Is it appropriate for me to ask How Old is Steve?
I mean I know he's a veteran, but how much of a veteran?
Incidentally, the latest Survey up here shows SMOOTH taking over the market as FM No. 1, with a rise of around 1.5%. The battle of the old timers continues with CH up solidly to be just-under 4 and UE, now doing Lifestyle, hanging on at 4.5%. GB lifted fractionally to dominate overall as usual.
You might remember my dire warning last time of a return to the 1929 "crash", a sort of economic variation on Dante's "Inferno". I suggested the Australian property market would collapse triggering our version downunder of the GFC – the Great Financial Crisis. Imagine my shock when two days after my post hit the internet to see a front page in The Australian, suggesting the bursting of the property bubble, leading to a severe economic downturn. Within the week the Reserve Bank was out there warning of the exposure by thousands of new home owners who had little financial reserves left after meeting their mortgage obligations, suggesting this could threaten the basic economy if things were to go pear-shaped in the next couple of years... "Blimey," I thought, "what's happening here, am I channelling Milton Friedman?"
Further, if Bob Dylan can win a Nobel Prize for Literature maybe it's not too late for me to grab the big prize in Economics? Three days later, in another major paper, I discover an in-depth analysis of the housing market, arguing that it can't continue and posing the question: could it drag down the whole economy? Wow... I'm on a roll here folks. As I said earlier let's assess the situation over the next 18-24 months and cross our fingers for a soft landing. I note the IMF is saying Australia's economy is watertight at the moment... No problems apparently.
PS Late mail. The Financial Press this morning had the story of a leading national home lender reporting "a significant" increase in loan defaults. Ooh... oooh!
On the controversial issue of a rock ' roller winning the Nobel Prize for Literature let me remind you of some of the lyrics that won the Award for Mr Dylan.
From 1962 people.
"How many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man?
Yes, 'n how many seas must a white dove sail, before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n how many times must the cannonballs fly, before they're forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowing' in the wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind."
Saw Peter, Paul and Mary do that one LIVE. Now... there's a memory!
Now a little light relief after all this deep analysis, two pics below showing the author in the iconic 2MMM jumper, circa 1980, and next to it an even more ancient artefact, a 3MP jumper which is now 41-years old.
You know what I miss from the old days? Joe the Gadget man. No trip to the city was complete back in the 50's and 60's without a visit to Nock and Kirby's, to see Joe, one of the most celebrated characters of the post-war era. Whatever happened to Nock and Kirby's? What happened to Mark Foy's?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind, the answer is blowin' in the wind.