fan page testimonials

Selected stories from fans and employees

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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

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


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