The unthinkable has happened: Clive Robertson is no longer a part of our morning wake-up ritual. The other day I directed my browser to “abc net au classic” (Clive’s way of saying the more correct “abc dot net dot au slash classic”) to see what the evening radio had in store for me, and decided to also check the Word of the Day. And what do I see at the top of this page? “Meet Paul Bevan, the new face of Classic FM Breakfast.”
Now I’m sure this Paul Bevan fellow will do his best, but I am sorry to say that he cannot replace our Clive. Only yesterday I spoke to a friend in Sydney (lamenting the Drive program’s “music” selection – more on that later) who asked if I had noticed Clive being rather more unflattering (than usual) when speaking about ABC management. Being the eternal pessimist, I can’t say that I noticed, because I looked forward to his daily grumbling (listening to the effervescent and inane chirping of Clive’s current replacement makes me wish for gladder times). I just hope that Clive wasn’t given the flick for speaking his mind, which was always in good fun (even if he really meant it :-)
ABC Classic FM is less a classical music station these days and more an inclusive, let’s-try-to-please-everybody, bubble and squeak. Station hopping in my car, trying to find Classic FM, is not as easy as you might think, because the number of times that I have pressed what I thought to be the correct button, and found the Beatles or Paul Kelly, is enough to make me truly wonder; what on earth are they up to at the ABC? Are admirers of classical music insufficient to justify the continued existence of such a station? This is probably a silly question, because, undoubtedly, the shelf space given to classical music in your typical record store is dwindling, but to allow Classic FM to die such a slow death is awful!
If Classic FM really must come to an end, then hurry up and be done with it! No more of this watered-down, hodge-podge. Just rename it to “Arts FM”, or something, and preserve the good name of classical music. I am embarrassed to say that I listen to this station because I have heard, sadly, much of the bizarre rubbish that gets played – such as the delightful “radiophonic” gems that offer themselves as unwanted nightcaps on weekdays, or the pop music around drive time. Could you imagine the complaints switchboard at Triple J if Beethoven and Mozart were interspersed with Britney Spears and Destiny’s Child?
Get your act together, Classic FM, or die the slow death that surely awaits. You know, there are products in development, if not on the market already, that will render the likes of you obsolete. I look forward to the day where I can listen to a real classical music radio station and discard my malnourished Sony clock radio. The future isn’t looking so bleak, after all :-)