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Best Radio DJ

Kidd Squidd
KXCI-93.1 FM

READERS' AND STAFF PICK: Have you ever wondered what that frantic sound of clattering plastic is at 1:56 p.m. on Saturday? It's listeners all over town cramming cassette tapes into their stereos so they can record Rock Roots With Kidd Squidd. The Readers' Pick for Best D.J. for eight years running, Kidd Squidd puts together theme shows that Merv Griffin himself would envy. Where else can you tune into a three-hour weekly radio program that features blues, soul, blue-eyed soul, rockabilly, hillbilly, psychobilly, glam rock, roots rock, punk rock, county rock, cock rock, and all of the other genres and sub-genres that make up rock music? Kidd Squidd (whose nickname stuck at age 10) plays this most enthralling and entertaining mix with the same kind of passion and enthusiasm that possesses the recording artists he plays. He also gives an affectionate nod to many of our local supertalents. His absolute love for what he does best is obviously reflected back at him by the herd of loyal fans that put him on the ballot year after year. For the uninitiated, Roots Rock with Kidd Squidd airs from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on KXCI, 91.3 F.M. As the Squiddmeister himself says, "It's a natural ball, baby!"

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: We know she has a dog she sometimes calls Mr. Bobo and that she loves The X-Files. We also know she's going to get a Susan Lucci complex if ya'll don't band together and vote her into the winner's circle sometime in the next decade. So let us just say, Suz, second best ain't anything to scoff at when you're the reigning queen of the alternative airwaves. You know we're talking about Suzi Dunn, fledgling KFMA's program director, whose candid chatter is a happy change from the obnoxious shock jocks and conservative blowhards stinking up the air waves. Dunn's easy-going style and infectious laughter belie the determined professional who helped pave the way for alternative radio in Tucson. Possessing an endless supply of energy, Dunn can frequently be found doing remote broadcasts from various points in Tucson, from music-related venues to the Humane Society, proving that she not only sounds like a friend, she is one. Regular listeners know (from said candor) she's had a rough year, leaving us to wonder what superhuman source she's tapping to make it all seem so easy. Somebody fax Scully and Mulder.

A PERFECT 10: Our warmest wishes go out to Ted Stryker, who spun around the alternative radio control room for the last time just a few short weeks ago. We never got tired of his show, which is not something we can say of the rest of the KFMA staff, who at times more closely resemble The Breakfast Club cast than a professional radio crew. Sorry, kids, we just don't think your inside jokes are as entertaining as the music you play. More music, please, and less "Oh my God, I can't believe I just did that!" As one of you is so fond of saying, "Hello, McFly!"

As purveyors of juvenile behavior ourselves, we celebrate the fact those KFMA mavericks can get away with their off-key antics. It makes us appreciate all the more the polished fluidity of Stryker's on-air persona. Maybe it's because he seemed to put more genuine effort into his multi-media broadcasts (we especially liked the Airplane sound bites). Or perhaps his shows, though they used the same play lists as the other guys', nonetheless maintained that eclectic feel. At least, when Stryker was on, we never found ourselves counting the number of times "Machinehead" grated across the airwaves before the urge to drive into the oncoming traffic became unbearable. Or maybe it's simply because of some of our staff members' deep-seated need to root for the underdog, but we feel for Stryker, who seemed to struggle endlessly for a second-string spot on KFMA after the prophetically named maverick AM-alternarock station, The End, went belly up.

It's not that Ted's dead. No great tragedy has befallen the hapless daytime DJ. It's just that he's leaving us for the cooler climes of central California...which, come to think of it, may be a fate worse than death. But at least he'll be calling the shots, as program director on some other alternative station. We'll miss ya, Ted. Best of luck.

Case History

1998 Winner: Chuck Roast
1997 Winner: Spyder Rhodes
1995 Winner: Kidd Squidd

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