The Rock of New York, ALT 92.3’s Cane
Being from Northern New Jersey, there was only place to go for the best rock radio – that stop on the dial was 92.3 K-Rock. Broadcasting from the middle of Manhattan and serving as the flagship for The Howard Stern Show, K-Rock offered an enthralling mix of new rock music and more modern classics. Furthermore, K-Rock was a community. The station constantly engaged with the masses in the form of events like the Dysfunctional Family Picnic, Red Hot Chili Peppers on Ellis Island, Fuel aboard the Intrepid and Claus Fest.
It’s here where I first met on-air talent, Cane. In New York City, Cane is synonymous with Rock n’ Roll radio. His 2-6pm weekday spot as “The Cane and Cabbie show” on K-Rock was a staple in my every day. Quite simply, in addition to the humor and down-to-earth rock personality, the songs just sounded better when played during Cane’s show. As a listener, Cane has always had an instinctive way to represent the music on his program while at the same time being a voice that’s a companion of the artist – the perfect bridge between musician and listener.
Alt rock radio would eventually hit some dead-air in New York, and Cane returned to his hometown of Minneapolis for a stretch. Then, after a six-year hiatus, 92.3 returned, now as ALT 92.3 – and who happens to be rockin’ the morning show (from 6 – 10am)? Well, that would be Cane.
Without further ado, it’s with much excitement that we have Cane as our next “My Journey in Radio” feature:
I’m from Minneapolis, but I got the hell outta there when I was 18 after broadcasting school – a place called Brown Institute, which no longer exists. I really only went because I wanted to do sports play-by-play…more specifically, I wanted to be the voice of the Minnesota Twins one day. That was the dream. Kids are stupid. I did end up doing three innings of a Twins spring training game back in 2014, though.
MN radio to NY to MN to NY:
I came to 92.3 K-Rock/NY in 1997 after a brief stint at Z100. I was there for eight years before getting canned and going to SiriusXm until 2013. That’s when I moved back to Minneapolis for a morning show gig…the station was the home of the Twins, so the job was appealing. The city is not, however, so I got the hell out of there again in 2014 and came back to NYC jobless. Jim Ryan pulled me from the rubble and I started at Fresh 102.7 in July of that year. In July of 2018, I moved over to Alt 92.3….back on the frequency that started it all, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Coming full circle from 92.3 to the new 92.3 – has been a blessing, and a total dream come true. I really pinch myself every day. Program Director, Mike Kaplan is the absolute man…everything you hear about him is true. Coolest guy ever. After my first week on the air, he goes, “Yeeeeah…I’m gonna need you to be more snarky and sarcastic.” I LOL’d….”uh, I believe I can do that, boss.”
Why the Alternative Rock Genre?:
This format (alternative) truly allows me to be me. I don’t have to pretend to care about celebs or awards shows, and if I do mention that stuff it’s because I’m taking the piss out of it. (one of the few British sayings I like)
Favorite Interviews I’ve Done:
Scott Weiland, Marilyn Manson, Trent Reznor, Dave Grohl come to mind, but I’ll tell you about one with Chris Cornell.
Cornell was a legend in so many ways, but the thing I remember most about him is just what a great person he was. I had the opportunity to interview him multiple times over the years, and he was always quick with a disarming smile, and he always remembered my name.
The most memorable chat with him took place in a gym. A completely empty basketball court, except for two stools in the center for Chris and I, and a guy shooting video. I’d love to know where that video is, btw…..anyway…it’s just Chris and I, sitting side by side on those stools, our conversation echoing off the walls. I was pretty intimidated at first, but once you started talking to Chris, you forgot about everything else. He made it easy. I was just sitting there with a buddy.
After about thirty minutes that seemed like three, we were done with the interview part. He was going to play acoustic next, so I got up to leave the gym and he goes, “Where you goin’?” I said, “well, you’re playing…I don’t think you want me sitting right there.” He smiled and said, “sit down.”
So, I did. And…..
Chris motherfucking Cornell starts playing, and singing, a literal FOOT away from me. I wasn’t sure what to do with my eyes. Do I look at him? I don’t wanna make him feel weird, but if I don’t look at him, is that rude? Like, I don’t want to look all disinterested, either. Didn’t matter, as I had no choice but to stare at him. He looked back at me from time to time, too. Our knees even touched a few times as he sang, that’s how close we were.
I was in awe that this was happening.
Too soon it was over, the guy from the sound booth comes out and tells us we’re clear, I tell Chris how amazing that was, and he smiles and says a quiet “thank you.” We hug, say goodbye, and I left the gym to go back to my normal, boring life. That was the last time I got to see him.
Thanks for the memories, man.
Favorite Radio Moments:
Most of them involve partying in one form or another, but one that ALWAYS jumps out first is Incubus at Hammerstein Ballroom, September 15th, 2001. Four days after 9/11. It was the first show anyone played in the city since that day. The energy in that packed room was like nothing I’d ever felt before or since. My God…it was like we were on a mission. Everybody randomly high-fiving each other, for no real reason other than to say, “we’re here, we’re one, let’s go fuck shit up.” Cabbie, my partner at the time, and I go on stage to intro Incubus and it was like we were war heroes returning home. Cabbie had an American flag draped over his shoulders like a cape, and was running back and forth across the stage, whipping the crowd up even more. I don’t remember what I said, exactly, but I’ve never heard the “USA, USA, USA!” chant any louder or more heartfelt than that night. I went backstage and bawled pretty hard.
My Key to Overcoming Obstacles:
God. There is NO other answer. EVERY time things look bad…bleak…what’s next, He’s always there with the answer. Faith, man. I worry about nothing anymore. NOTHING. That would be insulting to Him.
Advice to Those Starting in Radio:
Man, I never really know how to answer this, because there are so many different ways to get to where you want to be, especially now with podcasting. But you got to make sure you LOVE what you do. Nothing is worth doing if you don’t, and you’re never going to work as hard as you should. Believe in yourself and stay the fuck off Twitter! #TrollHole
Top 5 Favorite Artists:
…..and Pet Shop Boys, just for fun.