An Interview with Veteran Broadcaster John Beaudin

John Beaudin
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Almost 39 Years And Still . . . “Lovin’ Every Minute Of It.” An Interview with John Beaudin

You know that voice.

It’s the one attached to your alarm in the morning that helps you through your work day or your ride home.

This voice is familiar for listeners from Vancouver to Calgary to Edmonton and at one point across Canada. This voice is that of veteran radio broadcaster, John Beaudin.

Beaudin is in his 39th year on air and as the band Loverboy sings, he is still “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”!

Through the years, he’s experienced a multitude of musical genres, Radio call letters, music fads, and the good, the bad and the ugly of the music broadcast industry.

A self-described music lover, Beaudin’s longevity in radio is a rarity by today’s standards, but it’s the fact that he is still very much an enthusiastic open-minded curious fan that reels you into these interviews.

Off-air Beaudin started two successful YouTube channels — Rock History and Rock History Book

I highly recommend both channels as you will find compelling interviews that no one else has, with bands such as: Scorpions, Chicago, Tower of Power, Rascals, Boston, Supertramp, Eagles, Jethro Tull, Colin James, Triumph, Eddie Money, Elton John Band, Toto, and Genesis.

Have a burning question about a band, an album, an artist? Tune into John Beaudin’s Let’s Talk Rock on Friday Night Live, co-hosted by his wife Shannon Edwards-Beaudin. As I mentioned, he has almost 39 years of answers!

After all these years of interviews its Beaudin’s long-trusted relationships with these artists that bring out the real stories on those channels.

To be clear, these are NOT gossip sites. These musicians are no longer tethered by record labels, lawyers, management or public views and the familiarity and ease, with whichhedrives the entire process, brings out some startling revelations.

One-on-one interviews go deep on sound, producers, musicianship, gear, song writing, changes in direction musically and the business of the music industry from the people who were there.

John Beaudin prides himself on producing “music news” on the channels as it happens from the announcement of tours, re-mastered albums, biographies and deaths.

Recently, I had to chance to catch up with him from his new home in Moncton, New Brunswick, about all things radio.

Biz X: How do you approach an interview with touring Classic Rock acts knowing the audience, while sold out, is coming to hear the hits from 40 years ago, when there is no radio to support their new music?

Beaudin: They all know that radio would not support their new music, yet they’re still creating some. I start the interview by telling the artist you know how this works. For example, if it’s Journey, I say I’m going to talk about the Escape album then we’re going to talk about the tour and then go into the new music. Here’s the thing, they still want to write music. They still have the muse to do it. They survive playing the same songs, by throwing something new in the mix. Bruce Hornsby, for instance, never plays the same song the same way twice. You can go to YouTube and see there are 50 different versions of it. That’s how they keep it fresh.

Biz X: Do you think Rock Radio will come back?

Beaudin: I don’t think Rock could ever die. It’s just a new breed now. Prog Rock for instance is moving a little more metallish because Metal will always be around, you’ll always have that. It’s not so sub-culture anymore and has moved more mainstream.

Biz X: How many different genres have you worked through?

Beaudin: AC (Adult Contemporary) was the first one. A K light (Easy Listening) in ‘83. Gold (Oldies) format at CFR (AM), then CKX (AM). It was an A “Beautiful Music” format audience where they discovered the listeners were aging out, meaning they were literally dying. While in Edmonton I turned the show into AC during the day and New Age Music in the evening. I ended up getting better ratings in the evening than the morning show! It was there I found my radio voice. I was getting hundreds of calls. It was like Wolfman Jack (first rock radio DJ) working alone in the ’50s. At 14 CFUN in Vancouver, I worked for a smooth jazz station in Calgary at the same time, different shifts.

I also worked at California 103 out of Calgary. We got a lot of calls about why would you call it California if it was out of Calgary? Of course, to get people talking about it, and later it was abbreviated to CAL 103 which was the plan all along, it worked really well. I also did a music syndicated show across Canada called, The Cross Canada Report, from the mid ’80s to the late 80s.

Biz X: It’s a family affair on your Let’s Talk Rock, Friday Night Live ask-me-anything YouTube show. Your son Chase Edwards-Beaudin has joined you in production and your wife Shannon is co-hosting and also writing shows. Tell us about that?

Beaudin: Look up on the Internet “Chase Toto Rosana” and “Chase Tom Sawyer Rush” (video below) and you’ll see a nine year old kid doing a pretty damn good job on an electric kit. Chase was in the Top 10 for Long & McQuade’s head-to-head contest for Tom Sawyer (Rush song), which Neil Peart saw and that’s how Chase got Neil Peart sticks. He had a taste of YouTube before I did and at 12, he started to get a following, but didn’t like the attention or the pressure of having to put a video up all the time. While he kept drumming and teaching (sometimes teaching kids much older than himself), he developed his skills and then came back to work with me on editing and producing the YouTube channels. As for Shannon it started with helping me out. Then she started writing shows and from there she started to co-host the Friday night live shows. It’s just fun all the way around.

Rock lovers, aficionados and pure rock enthusiasts can rest easy knowing people like John Beaudin are on the job. Like the lyrics in Cheap Trick’s famous song state: “I will be the flame” and John — to quote AC/DC — “We Salute You”!

Find out more about this talented broadcaster on: JohnBeaudin.com.

Lori Baldassi has been involved in the music industry for many years on a number of professional levels from back stage production to being on the air. She has spoken in front of the CRTC a number of times, holds a certificate in Adjudication from York University Toronto, and is a graduate of St. Clair College’s Media Convergence program. Currently she is a teacher/coordinator at the Windsor Centre for Film, Digital Media & the Creative Arts and hosts a Podcast entitled Seniors’ Views.

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From backstage to the airwaves or leading the organizing committee Lori Baldassi has been in and around the music industry for over 20 years. Lori has sat on a number of boards of directors and focused on charity/non-profit committees for concerts/festivals bringing in name acts. She has also spoken in front of the CRTC. If you have any questions for her please email her at [email protected]