My swan song for the final issue of [X]Press Magazine. It’s a bittersweet experience and I’m happy to write about the loss of radio station, Energy 92.7. Also check out the other engaging stories from the other writer’s especially the cover story on HXC dancing and the Twilight mania to the Sugarbaby story. But please check out mine first. =)
THE LAST DANCE
writers: Chris Huqueriza and Jasmine Pacis
With the loss of San Francisco’s prime dance music station, Energy 92.7 leaves a gaping hole for Bay Area dance listeners.
Dance music died on a bleak Thursday morning. On the day before the eighth anniversary of 9/11, Energy 92.7 revolved into a “top 40-mainstream” music format. It is now called the “Revolution,” or “the Rev.”
“There’s nothing like [92.7] in the radio,” says Keri Vaca, a photographer at Small Miracles Photography for the pregnancy niche. “It was the only pure dance music station that gave a voice for the gay community. It brought the straights and the gays together.”
The popular Energy 92.7 fulfilled a dance niche for San Francisco listeners. Since 2002, the station was a visible pillar for the LGBT community and its sponsors promoted gay events and gay-friendly businesses.
Fernando Ventura and Greg Sherrell, radio personalities for their popular morning show, made a “seamless and conscious decision” to stay together after moving from 92.7 to 99.7 on Thursday, November 12. They sit on separate solo black leather couches after their morning show at 10 a.m. in MOViN’s lounge area outside of their studio. “ [92.7] was purchased by someone new,” says Fernando Ventura as he fidgets with his Diet Coke in his hands. “It’s sad because Energy was unique. It was a place for dance music.” Greg Sherrell shortly made the comment, “it didn’t make sense to change the [dance] format.”
Keri Vaca can describe the move with “complete disbelief.” She proclaims herself as a “true, true fan of dance music.” She spent most of her days inside her car consumed by Energy 92.7. As she listened to Ventura and Sherrell, she would drop off her kids and complete her daily tasks. She would listen to Cardio Radio as she pumped herself up for yoga classes or for on-location photo shoots. Her day kicked it up a notch with the Mix at Six while her Sundays unwound with lounge dance with Below Zero. Now with the absence of 92.7, she will listen to old Energy 92.7 CDs, or listen to nothing as she drives around San Francisco.
Aku Jay, 21, is also a former Energy 92.7 listener. Dressed in army fatigue pants and a green modified BCD shirt, he fondly remembers listening to Ventura and Sherrell every morning since 2002. He laughs about how he left the radio on from 10 p.m., waiting for their morning talk show. “92.7 served something different as it featured new perspectives on the gay community,” says Jay. “They were very local like myself, and talked about the gay issues with respect instead of mocking it like the other music stations.”
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, authorized by Supervisor Bevan Dufty, urged a resolution to return the distinctive San Francisco-esque LGBT/Dance music format on September 22. Ventura and Sherrell have been impressed by the positive fan reaction from the Board of Supervisors to the “Save the Energy” Facebook coalition, which has gained approximately eleven thousand supporters. “[We’ve] been surprised by the emotional outcry of the station.”
According to Jay, the format has not changed, as he states, “we’d cater back to you, but not immediately.” He has not sent any emails or calls because he would get the same generic response. “Corporate guy in a formal suit coming in with a suitcase filled with shit and then spewing it all over your face. That’s how it feels right now,” Jay says as he meticulously jots down Energy 92.7’s former schedule in military time, including Ajaxx’s mix at 1200 to 1300 hours to Ventura’s and Sherrell’s timeslot from 600 to 1000 hours.
“[99.7] is a different station with more realistic goals and a stronger signal,” Ventura and Sherrell say as they finish each other sentences. “We miss the dance music, but we can’t bring it the way it used to be.” They later comment that dance music is more of a crossover with such artists like Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce. “Be happy that we’re not country.”
As an alternative means to fulfill dance music, 99.7 has Pulse Radio in high definition format. It is also available online at 99.7’s website. “It’s so unique, they streamline it in Texas or in Washing- ton, and you know it is San Francisco,” says Vaca, the wavy-haired blonde forty-year-old mother of two. “It’s best described as fun and tolerant. It’s very San Francisco.”
Jerry Ikemoto, who moved to San Francisco in 2008 from Hawaii, used to stream 92.7 and would tell his deejay friends to look them up on the Internet. “When I first moved here, that was the only station I’d listen to, ‘if I wanted to listen to what 92.7 has to offer now, I would listen to any of the other radio stations.”
Vaca adds that she got to know the lives of the radio deejays. She mentions the mix of great dance music, captivating radio personalities, and a voice for the gay community was what made 92.7 special. “You could buy CDs or stream on your podcast, but then you don’t have the connection with the radio personalities,” Vaca states.
On October 12, 92.7 returned Elvis and the Dog House to San Francisco but airing from their Las Vegas home station. They have already struck controversy with homophobic remarks during a prank phone call referring to the subject as a “butt-sniffer” and a “fag.”
Ventura and Sherrell jokingly forget Elvis’ name. “It is foolish and disrespectful knowing the history of the station and San Francisco,” Ventura comments as many radio stations would take shots at gay people. “It shows his lack of originality and talent. He’s taking what he did ten years ago and he needs to get new material.”
Ikemoto comments on the subject with disgust. “That type of language should not be on the radio,” he says.
Fans are still mourning the death of the only dance music station in the Bay Area. Vaca slumps over while reeling from the aftermath. “It’s very personal for us. After four months, we’re still shocked. I still have hope. They have to come back, but it will take time.” [X]
Chris Huqueriza & Jasmine Pacis have a hitlist of celebrities they need to interview: Taylor Lautner, Kellan Lutz, Zac Efron, Chris Pine, Ed Westwick, Sebastian Stan, and the pack of wolves from New Moon. We have the same taste in men. contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com