Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Martin Streek RIP

This a piece that is a little sentimental and for a lot of you out there, you won't have much of an idea who I'm talking about.

I'm kind of weird in the fact that I usually connect with voices.

I love radio when it's good, audio books, cartoon voice overs, singers with good voices, singers with unique voices, you name it, I am drawn to voices.

Which is why it pained me when I woke up this morning to find a half a dozen posts and messages from people letting me know that Martin Streek had killed himself.

Now for those of you who aren't in the Toronto area, Martin was one of the main stay voices at local radio station CFNY 102.1 until he had been let go in May.

Despite the fact that we had never had a chance to meet, Martin was one of the reasons I do this show in a lot of ways.

The first time I heard him was in the car on the way back from the movies in Newmarket. It was a Friday night, I was in grade nine. My buddy Dave's older sister had given us a lift and she had The Edge playing as we discussed the movie.

From this real ancient stereo in this old beat up oldsmobile came a low rumbling voice that was joking around but introducing bands like Pop Will Eat Itself and Tool and Ministry.

I had already been a fan of these bands but now I discovered a radio station where I could actually hear them. Keep in mind guys, the internet barely existed at this point. No wikipedia, no streaming music, no downloading mp3's. CD's for bands that didn't sell much were also expensive when you didn't have a job.

It was a live to air from a club (I'm thinking it may have been NRG but I'm not sure) and Martin Streek was the man hosting.

I became a faithful listener on weekends. I can remember thinking at various times "Fuck yeah! They're playing Bauhaus!" or "Yay! New TOOL!" All accompanied by Martin's voice. The music was awesome, Martin appeared to be having fun and seemed to love the music that he was announcing.

And at some point during grade 10 I began thinking... "Ya know...I could maybe do that."

Martin's live to airs also introduced me to the station itself. From a decent morning show to listen to when I got out of bed before the grind of high school to some dude named Alan on Sunday nights who apparently had the same love for obscure musical knowledge that I did.

So it probably shouldn't be a surprise that after high school, I ended up going to college for radio broadcasting. If I ever post up some of my original voice work from school, you'll notice I'm doing a real bad Martin Streek impression. I later moved to a bad Alan Cross impression and finally I found a kind of my own groove doing production.

I don't listen to The Edge anymore.

It's not the station's fault entirely. I got older and I'm not in their key demographic so the music they play tends not to be to my tastes. That's why it came to me as a surprise that Martin hadn't been with CFNY since May. I had noticed on a few Friday and Saturday nights that I tuned in that he wasn't there but I figured he was out somewhere snowboarding. I guess the powers that be figured his time at the station was over.

I didn't end up in the radio business for a variety of reasons but I still do this podcast due to my love of speaking to an audience and due to a love of radio.

I love doing this show.

And part of that is due to Martin Streek.

I don't know what demons drove you to your end Martin, but I hope you are at peace.



B Chittenden said...

I apologize to those who read this article the first round. Spell check for whatever reason did not catch Martin's last name spelling and changed it on me.

It has since been corrected.

gendo666 said...

He will be missed.
Even the "live from club 102"
is said in my head with his voice.
He, Alan Cross and (further back, waaaay back) David Marsden were the station to me in many ways.

Anonymous said...

I now live in Orlando FL. But i grew up in Niagara Falls NY and Listened to CFNY ALL the time, Martin's times on air were always a sorce of new music and even a reason i started going to THE PHOENIX just to have a good time ( dispite the drive from the states ). I always looked forward to being back home and hearing what he was playing year to year when i went to see Family. My Thoughts go out to his loved ones , Both Family and other Listeners. Say Hello To Heaven Martin, Peace, Stone