It’s the unattainable dream: a one-stop shop for all the best cuts from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, with no obnoxious chatter from zany radio hosts. Classic rock without all the talk? That’s the stuff of science fiction, right? The arrangement has always been the same: If you want to relive the glory days of American rock ‘n’ roll, you have to put up with the morning zoo crew’s antics.
One groundbreaking station serving the Twin Cities is on a mission to change everything you thought you knew about classic rock, delivering all the tuneskies you crave, with none of the shock jock blather and hardly any commercials. Broadcasting out of Saint Paul, 101.3 The Zoom gives listeners what they want, when they want it, airing uninterrupted, hour-long rock blocks four times a day.
Was this some kind of hoax? We tuned in to the Afternoon Power Hour with Z-Bone and Cheeseboy to debunk what sounded like a brazen lie. What we heard would silence any skeptic who wrote off more rock and less talk as a pipe dream.
It was all our favorite hits, all the time.
Utterly implausible as it seems, the hour somehow kicked off hard with a back-to-back-to-back-to-back shred-time explosion featuring heavy hitters such as AC/DC, Rush, The Mighty Van Halen, and Mötley Crüe. Then they unleashed consecutive fist-pumpers from the likes of the Boss, the Stones, ELO, and Three Dog Night before closing out the hour with a string of timeless soul-searchers: Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, a slower Doobie jam, and, crucially, “Maybe I’m Amazed.”
That’s when it hit home: This was really happening. Per the DJ’s instruction, we didn’t dare touch our dial, because another long set of classic hits was coming our way. And come they did. “Any Way You Want It,” “Danger Zone,” “Carry On Wayward Son,” some live Frampton—a ceaseless tidal wave of tunes with minimal commercial interruption that ruled harder than anything we’d previously imagined.
So believe it: Classic rock without all the talk is real. Welcome to the future.