Bob Coburn has passed away #BCingyou

2016 has been a rough year for celebrity deaths, so perhaps this one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

But it still does.

Last night, I noticed someone made an edit to the Rockline article on Wikipedia with the note “death of bob coburn.”  I did some verification, and sure enough, Bob Coburn had passed away:

Bob Coburn, legendary L.A. DJ and longtime host of the syndicated show Rockline, has passed away at the age of 68. He had been fighting stage four lung cancer.

I’ve already written about my personal history with Rockline, so there’s no need to repeat it in this post.

BC was part of the old guard, when the DJ’s voice would make you stop what you were doing and pay attention.  For myself, and many rock music fans, Rockline was required listening.  It was “appointment radio,” and Bob really helped make it that way.  You will be missed, Bob.  Thanks for all you’ve done.

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Rockline Hangs It Up

Me and my Rockline t-shirt, circa 1990.
Me and my Rockline t-shirt, circa 1990.

It’s been many years since I’ve listened to Rockline.  It’s been even longer since I worked on their AOL presence (and unofficial web site).  Recently, I found out that Rockline will be ending its run after 33 1/2 years:

[Bob] Coburn, longtime Rockline host as well as owner of the show, stated “The world has changed from an innovative, unique idea back in 1981 to a one of near constant exposure for artists in 2014. With the Internet, Twitter accounts, hundreds of television channels and a more sophisticated press, artists are now literally at the fingertips of their fans. Rockline is no longer the invaluable tool to connect fans with their Rock & Roll heroes, it has become but one of many.”

The last shows will be broadcast on Wednesday, December 17 for the classic rock edition, and Monday, December 22 for the active rock edition.  33 1/2 years is a long time (some might call it an eternity), but I guess all good things do come to an end.

Back in 1981, there was a greater “distance” between performer and audience.  While it is true that social networks and other present day media (both social and traditional) have shortened that distance through speedy communication, there’s still something special about actually talking to an artist you admire.  It’s one thing to read what Alice Cooper has to say on Twitter, and it’s another to ask him what inspired him to write “Billion Dollar Babies” and hear his answer in his own voice.

I never got through the phones successfully, but I still have happy memories of listening to the show throughout the years.  You didn’t have access to everybody’s personal news feed back then, so it really was essential listening.

Good night and good luck, Rockline, wherever you may go.