June 20, 2011. 1:44 pm
Sonic 102.9 FM and listeners are mourning the death of the modern rock station’s weekend host, Graham Scott.
“We got word late Saturday night that Graham Scott, the guy with the ‘crazy’ British accent that you and I have enjoyed for the past 5 years on Saturday and Sunday afternoons here on Sonic, died suddenly in his home,” writes his friend and colleague, Garner Andrews, on the station’s website.
“Like everyone that got that phone call early Sunday morning, I was deeply rattled. Graham was very much an integral part of the Sonic fabric. He was as passionate about music as he was about sharing it with listeners but what set Graham apart was the fact that he was not only a fan of music but he could also spin a really good story. I don’t know how many times I sat in my car when I had somewhere to be because I was absolutely riveted by his stories and his passion for the music. Any kind of music.”
Fans are expressing their condolences via Sonic’s site, Facebook and Twitter. “Saddened by the passing of Graham Scott. Will miss his off the cuff, who cares about the rules of radio style that made him so interesting,” tweets @QBone9. “#yeg loses a great voice in modern music,” writes @AmberNiemeier.
One of the most touching comments comes from a listener and budding broadcaster, Steve, who left this message on Sonic’s site:
“I recently graduated Broadcasting school in Vancouver, and being from Edmonton, I had the privilege of listening to Graham every weekend up until I moved. I always admired his style, his musical intelligence and his way of making you feel like you were a part of the music in-crowd. He had a distinct way of sharing all of this incredible musical knowledge without sounding like a snob or an elitist, and to me, that is what was his greatest skill. He was an educator, not a belittler, and that is what set him apart from a lot of on-air personalities. It’s a skill that I hope I can bring to my career.
“During my studies, I would contact Graham on a pretty regular basis to receive advice, or words of encouragement. We’ve never met in person, but that didn’t stop him from helping someone out. His heart truly was made of gold.
Be well, Graham.”
Let me introduce myself, raise your beers.
I’ve been delivering the goods for over twenty years!
That’s right kids, old man Scott here, so gather round & grab a knee while I tell you of my adventures.
When I got into this business it was a whole different era. A simpler time when people trusted each other. Not like today when every little sound that goes out over the radio is recorded & catalogued. Back then you just filled out a sheet saying what you played, and people took your word for it. I could pretty much get away with murder on those late shows.
When Pearl Jam was a brand new band it was highly illegal to slide “Alive” and “Even Flow” into the mix. I did it anyway cos I’m a rebel. I also co-hosted a weekly one hour show heard Mondays at midnight. They had to give us the least listened to time slot because of the crazy music we played. Bands that had no place on regular mainstream radio like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, The Offspring… it was madness.
I also remember when the internet was invented. Computers were the size of cars, and to log on you had to wind a big crank on the side until the metal parts locked into place with a loud crash. Late night porn surfing was a noisy business, but then each image would take up to 2 days to download so you really had to plan ahead.
Well I’m bored of writing this and I think I’ve met my word quota, so that should cover everything that’s happened over the last two decades.
Thank you for reading my epic story. I’m sure you enjoyed it.
Sonic 102.9/Edmonton Host Graham Scott Dies
June 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM
Condolences to family and friends of ROGERS Alternative CHDI (SONIC 102.9)/EDMONTON weekend host GRAHAM SCOTT, who died SATURDAY at his home in EDMONTON at 38.
The ENGLAND native moved to CANADA and joined CFOX/VANCOUVER after dropping out of high school. He briefly hosted mornings at SONIC’s sister station Ethnic CKER (101.7 WORLD FM) in 2007.
The Graham Scott Story
I wrote this story back in May of 2009 about Graham Scott, a radio DJ for Sonic 102.9 FM in Edmonton. It was never published, and is now up here for all to enjoy!
When Roger Scott lost his battle with throat cancer, his son Graham, then 16, wasn’t sure exactly how to feel about a man he knew so little about.
Graham Scott’s mother had died when he was three; it was a car accident and his mother was intoxicated at the time – something that Graham suggests may have been related to an affair that her husband Roger Scott had been having with another woman, a woman that he later married and had a child with.
The year was 1988 and as he was heading west towards Canada from his long-time home in London, England, Graham Scott says that he felt confused, depressed, and guilty.
“(My father and I) didn’t get along that well a lot of the time, or at least as much as we should of,” says Scott, who admits that he sometimes blamed his father for his mother’s death when he was younger.
Scott was moving to Vancouver to live with his grandparents from his mother’s side, leaving behind his step-mother and step-brother in London.
Attending high school in Canada was not a pleasant experience for Scott as he felt he “stuck out like a sore thumb”, so he soon dropped out.
After dropping out Scott had an epiphany; he would pursue a career in radio.
“I was really very depressed and I didn’t really see any purpose in life in general and I thought, ‘you know what I’ve got nothing to lose’… I didn’t think anything would come of it.”
But despite his gloomy outlook his passion soon took hold. “As soon as that idea entered my head it had every bit of me,” explains Scott who said that nothing else mattered except getting into the industry.
He didn’t know why this seemed like the best choice, but he asked a friendly Vancouverite to tell him which radio station in the area was the coolest.
The answer was a station called CFOX so Scott volunteered to help the late night DJ, Craig Thullner, in exchange for training which would later prove to be the only education Scott would need to enter the business as he has never pursued any formal radio education.
But it was during that time at CFOX in Vancouver when things began to happen that even to this day baffle the now 36-year-old disc jockey.
“I was still just learning to mix the board and (Craig Thullner) would leave me upstairs to do a set and go downstairs and go through the record archives because he sometimes found some gems down there… He comes up and he looks like he has seen a ghost,” says Scott, who explains that his mentor was putting a record back when a reel-to-reel tape fell on his head.
What they found on that reel-to-reel was an hour-long portion of an interview his father had performed with Bruce Springsteen while working for CFOX in Montreal. It was during his time at this station that Scott’s father met his mother who also worked there.
Since then the station had moved to Vancouver and brought with it archives of its time in Montreal, and the discovery was startling to Scott who later learned that Roger Scott was recognized as being a key component for bringing Springsteen to stardom in the UK and is even mentioned in Springsteen biographies.
“I got to know him better after he died than I did when he was alive,” says Scott, who recalls that once he was officially hired at C-FOX he then received calls from listeners who assumed that when he announced his last name on the air that he was paying homage to the late Roger Scott, not that he was actually his son.
By 1994 Scott and his friend Steve Lamble began developing a radio show that he hoped would be his big break. His idea was to interview album producers about their work while playing the entire record on the air.
Little did he know he wasn’t the first person to come up with such a concept.
“We would get into arguments over (the show) because we were so into it,” explains Scott, who says that shortly after his friend stormed off and Scott began to worry that his project would become nothing without the partnership because his friend had all the connections to producers that could put them in touch with the musicians required to make the show.
After deciding that perhaps his partner would bail on him, Scott decided to venture to a bookstore to see what he could learn about producers in case he had to continue on without his friend.
“Looking in the music section I don’t see anything on producers but I see this book spine that says Classic Albums and pull it out and the whole thing is about this show that my dad did. I open it up and there is a picture of my dad staring me in the face and in the introduction (his dad’s partner wrote) ‘when Roger and I started this we had so many problems but boy are we glad we stuck it out’ and I am looking at this thing thinking ‘you got to be freaking kidding me!’”
The radio show “Classic Albums” was a syndicated program hosted by Roger Scott which was broadcast worldwide and featured the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Dire Straits, and many others.
As time in Vancouver passed things began to stop working out between Scott and the radio industry and soon enough he packed his bags and headed to Edmonton to work with his cousin doing home renovations.
It was at that point that Scott did something he hadn’t done in nearly 20 years, he asked his cousin what he thought was the coolest radio station in Edmonton.
“I got the itch,” says Scott.
Al Ford, the program director at Sonic 102.9 FM had heard Scott’s previous work from his days at C-FOX in Vancouver and was excited when he heard his demo and soon gave him a job working part-time for the station.
“I think he’s a great guy, he’s very knowledgeable and passionate about radio and it is very hard to find (people like that),” says Al Ford.
Scott still works with his cousin, opting to simply do radio on the weekends as it gives him more time to prepare better material. The radio business is still his main focus, and he continues to feel proud of the work his father did.
“All the ideals he held and his philosophies are what I try to live up to,” says Scott.
“He’s very, very, comfortable on the air and that is a hard thing to find in any announcer,” says Al Ford of Graham Scott, adding that “Graham’s not afraid when that microphone gets cracked to just be Graham if you meet Graham on the street or listen to him on the radio that is Graham through and through.”
Scott’s show can be heard on Sonic 102.9 FM from noon until 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays 10 AM to 2 PM.
March 20, 2011
Mike Sciarpelletti is a writer and photographer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He graduated from Grant MacEwan College in 2009 with a diploma in Journalism. Now residing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mike writes for the Oilverse, an Oilers blog, and is available for freelance writing and photography (CONTACT).
Our Friend, Graham Scott
Posted by Garner Andrews
June 20, 2011 1:00 pm
I don’t know that many of us here at Sonic have ever cried at work, but today was that day.
We got word late Saturday night that Graham Scott, the guy with the “crazy” British accent that you and I have enjoyed for the past 5 years on Saturday and Sunday afternoons here on Sonic, died suddenly in his home. Like everyone that got that phone call early Sunday morning, I was deeply rattled. Graham was very much an integral part of the Sonic fabric. He was as passionate about music as he was about sharing it with listeners but what set Graham apart was the fact that he was not only a fan of music but he could also spin a really good story. I don’t know how many times I sat in my car when I had somewhere to be because I was absolutely riveted by his stories and his passion for the music. Any kind of music.
For a brief period of time, Graham and I worked across the hallway from each other on “competing” morning shows when our sister station, World FM, tried out a short-lived world music format morning show and hired Graham as the host. I remember him throwing himself head first into learning everything he could about that music and being blown away by his willingness to explore, embrace and be genuinely excited about almost any musical style.
Not long ago I was talking to him through the intercom while I was on location somewhere and he was back in the studio operating. We were just making small talk before I went back on air when he paid me a compliment about something I had done on my show. I was truly flattered because it was coming from the guy that possessed the gift that all radio guys (myself included) wish for: the ability to keep people in their cars—hold them captive—with nothing more than words. I thanked him for his kind words but wish now that I would have told him what that compliment had meant to me.
Radio guys like Graham don’t come along very often and, sadly, there are so few of them left. In a way he was a bit of a radio throwback but, at the same time, was very progressive as well. He was a radio personality that had something substantial to say but could do it in an entertaining, friendly and personable manner.
Behind the scenes I knew Graham as the happy-go-lucky, soft drink and energy drink-guzzling, hyper guy that never stood still. But like many of you, I knew Graham Scott as a larger-than-life radio personality and can honestly say that I was a fan.
RIP Sonic 102.9’s Graham Scott
by New Music Michael on June 20 2011
I was driving back into work after lunch when I heard the terribly tragic news that will undoubtedly shock the Edmonton radio and music scene to its very core, that Sonic 102.9 announcer Graham Scott passed away on the weekend.
I’d never met Graham personally, but as the weekend afternoon guy on Sonic for the past five years, he became part of my life, and Edmonton’s in general. His knowledge of music was second to none. I often think that the combined knowledge of our little #yegmusicclub is vast and phenomenal – and yet Graham could probably have run rings around all of us put together.
It was a common occurrence driving around the city doing errands on the weekend, to not be able to leave the car right away upon arriving at our destination, because Graham was in the middle of a tale, or passing along some musical wisdom that left you stunned. I’m sure many an employee at the stores I visited were left wondering why I was shaking my head as I walked in, marveling how anyone can become so knowledgeable and in tune with the music world.
My sincerest and heartfelt condolences to Graham’s family, friends, and the entire staff at Sonic. I know my weekend will likely never be the same, and I’m sure the same can be said of almost every one of Graham’s listeners. Rest in peace, Graham.