Saturday, February 18, 2012
Good times with Humble & Fred 2.0
I was invited to be a guest Friday on Humble & Fred.Radio.com, the latest venture of Toronto radio dudes "Humble" Howard Glassman and Brampton's own Fred Patterson. You can listen to the entire hour-long podcast here.
Glassman and Patterson have a solid fan base among Torontonians who enjoyed them for years on CFNY-FM, 102.1 The Edge, Mix 99.9 (now Virgin Radio) and briefly on short-lived MOJO AM Radio. The two have worked separate radio and TV gigs over the years but it is Humble & Fred who fans want, and it is Humble & Fred who they get on these free and easy new podcasts, which can be listened to weekdays and have been up and running for several months.
Their studio is in south Etobicoke, a few blocks from a few stealth studios where TV shows such as Showcase's new drama King shoot. It must be the proximity to Apache Burger but something interesting is happening in the old Mimico/New Toronto 'hood.
Hidden deep within a nondescript office building, the studio looks like any other radio set up, except without the '70s carpeting and cranky receptionist. Humble and Fred have slipped back behind these mikes like they never left, stepping into their roles as if they were stepping into a pair of old hippie sandals.
I got there early, and watched while Kitchener radio man and former colleague Carlos Benevides pal-ed around with the duo. It was cool to see how jazzed these guys are to be back doing what they do best. They were energized and happy; listening to the show is like eavesdropping on people having a really good time.
It hasn't taken long for Humble & Fred Radio.com to work into the Toronto media scene. Former Ontario premiere Mike Harris is guesting in a month. The Arkells perform in studio next Thursday, Feb. 23. Alex Lifeson and Frank Sinatra, Jr., have already dropped by the makeshift studio.
Nice to see a couple of contemporaries make an end run around the establishment. The whole venture reminded me a little of the newspaper business, and how friends and colleagues have been dealing with downsizing and "efficiencies." Re-inventing themselves as a dot-com duo seems like the perfect segue for these two, who found themselves frozen out of the Toronto radio scene. As they proclaim on their site, "We ruined radio. Now we're going to wreck the Internet." They have the freedom to be all of who they are, albeit, at this point, at a reduced rate of return.
Hopefully that's changing. Humble & Fred.com is sponsored by Rogers (you can listen to their show on iTunes through a Rogers app) as well as their old bosses over at Slaight Music. Other sponsors are on board. They're building a following on Facebook.
Nobody's getting rich at this point, but, like blogging, you do what you do and keep one foot in old media while you watch the world change. Better to be in on the trip, I say, and good on Humble & Fred for showing that getting there can be this much fun.