Indie 103.1 logo from the now shuttered, favorite radio station in Los Angeles
It was a very sad day in Los Angeles, Friday the 16th when a press release went out to music media stating that Steve Jones, formerly from the Sex Pistols, and his extremely popular noon 2-hour show was done, as LA’s favorite indie radio station, Indie 103.1 had ceased broadcasting. Within about 4 hours by our calculations (because we tend to listen to it all the time) Indie 103.1 had turned into another LA Spanish-speaking station.
Jonesy’s Jukebox, including its popular website, which thankfully is still up and running, was known to break new artists and bring together a variety of carefully edited music programs. His interviews such as the now epic classic with Robert Plant, to David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Gary Oldman, The New York Dolls, The Strokes, Richard Branson, Scott Weiland, Sonic Youth, and Shepard Fairey, among others, often made for excellent conversation among music lovers in Southern California. Not only did listeners love his offbeat style and depth of knowledge about music, but many artists often commented that being on Jonesy’s Jukebox was the best experience of their lives.
Street artist Shepard Fairey, who’s now finally consider somewhat “legit” thanks to his iconic Obama Hope poster (see corresponding story), actually created the logo for Indie 103.1 which gave the station it’s street style. Other programs on Indie 103.1 included a show hosted by Henry Rollins, Barely Legal Radio hosted by Joe Escalante who became a lawyer while still rockin’ it in his band The Vandals, offered up free advice on music contracts, publishing, etc. to call-in listeners, and on Saturday morning, the highly anticipated Passport Approved with Sat Bisla which was the best location for discovering latest international indie music finds.
Indie 103.1 going under, and so fast, brings to question what’s going to happen to great radio stations given the current economic climate? Clear Channel, the largest owner of radio stations announced on Tuesday, Inauguration Day, that it was laying off 1,850 people which comes with ceasing broadcasting for many of the coolest indie stations. What this could mean is a sudden lack of diversity -a diversity that unfortunately was based on the old-school business model of advertising. It also marks another push towards moving things online, which of course, many top music-related sites are still trying to make happen based on business models off a tired advertising system. Eventually, things will have to go towards paying subscribers.
For LA music lovers, Indie 103.1 will be sorely missed, especially Jonesy’s Jukebox. It was the show that changed the style and format of radio not heard in decades. “It was an experience I truly enjoyed and the support I got from my fans and artists who came on the show was just incredible,” explained Steve Jones in his final statement. “I’d like to think we broke some rules and that everyone had a bloody good time. Thanks for listening.”