My admiration for Canadian DJ David Marsden spans a very short period of time — back to April 2008. It was then that Ralphd who runs Marsbar Theatre over on Blogger (my former home) urged me to listen to David’s show. One night of musical bliss, and I was absolutely hooked. Where had this man been all my life?
David Marsden’s career (click for Wikipedia info) is a story of dedication, hard work, and selfless devotion to making fans of alternative and obscure music comfortable in their own skin. In the beginning, he created a radio station in a tiny yellow house called CFNY (the “Spirit of Radio” memorialized in Rush’s song of the same name). That this man has been inducted into the Hall of Fame underscores his impact on the radio world. He provided fond memories for countless Canadians and border-dwelling Americans who came of age during the late 70’s, 80’s and beyond.
He continues to reach out through his broadcasts from 94.9 The Rock (live over streaming Internet) and fold his listeners into his warm, nurturing embrace, making each and every one of us feel a sense of worth that perhaps we had never known before. Because our musical tastes never quite fit into the norm, a lot of Marsden’s listeners have found a safe-haven in his freestyle broadcasting and willingness to bring corporate-ignored talent into the fore.
Last night was something really special — magical, even. David gave us the gift of his annual Christmas Eve broadcast. It is a memorable occasion both for the selections of music he spins and the tales that he weaves. His voice is kind and reflective. The stories are funny, full of human foibles, and often poignant and emotionally-charged. I found myself reaching for a tissue several times over the course of the evening, whether to wipe tears from raucous laughter or from deeply held and stifled emotions suddenly uplifted and set free.
Ralphd and Soccerfan worked diligently to identify the songs that were played, publishing the list over at Marsbar Theatre, along with scores of other playlists carefully compiled over the years. Their hard work for and loyalty to this great man speaks volumes about the joy David has given to so many of us in so many different ways.
I couldn’t write about David without mentioning one other very important person that forms the nucleus of the weekly gatherings in the Marsden Theatre chatroom. Sistahmar is David’s roving ambassador of goodwill. She is the matriarch of the chatroom and a great friend to those who visit to relax, listen, and shoot the breeze with other friends from all over Canada, the U.S., and even the world. My appreciation for all that she does and all that she has been to me, knows no bounds.
Do yourself a favor; when David returns to his [edit:] Saturday and Sunday nights (7pm -midnight EST) on January 8, 2009, come listen. If you feel like having a bit of company, go to Marsden Global and click on the chatroom link. There, you will enjoy great music, fabulous people, and will even get a chance to speak to David himself. Sistahmar, soccerfan, and David have made sure that each person who enters feels welcome and comfortable.
David Marsden gave us all a most precious and priceless gift last night. Telling you about it is my gift to you. Merry Christmas.