How did you become involved in the music business?
I started my career as a Pontins Bluecoat in Blackpool at the age of 16. That was really my apprenticeship into the world of entertainment, plus as a Blue all the girls wanted to bed you!
What was your first radio show?
Easter Monday 7pm. 1985 Signal Radio in Stoke. The show was called Mutha Knows Best. My first tracks were Judas Priest Electric Eye/Hellion, straight into Maiden Aces High.
You've landed the Breakfast Show on Planet Rock. What sort of show have you got planned and what in your view makes for a good breakfast show, seen as the flagship of radio stations?
Whereas most Radio Stations up and down the country will have Breakfast Shows with lots of 'in' chatter between the presenter and a million and one faceless studio contributors, at Planet Rock it's all about the important bit….The music.
There's also Under Cover in the first hour, where you have to suss out a rock cover from a kryptic klue, and a song from the original artist.
Hour 2, listeners get to choose 3 of their favourite tracks on the 'Full English', which on Friday's morphs into the 'Full Celtic'
In the final hour there's a competition called 'Hit The Breaks' where you have to identify lead guitar breaks from 3 different artists.
Also on a Friday it's 'Free Ticket Friday' giving away tickets to some of the biggest gigs around.
Which rock DJ's have been a influence on you ?
Before I started there was only really Tommy Vance and Alan Fluff Freeman playing Rock on the Radio. In those days you couldn't listen online to anything, that was it really.
You've done a rock show on Signal Radio back in the 80's. On a general commercial music station what for you makes a good rock show and has the internet/digital radio possibly seen the end of the rock show on mainstream commercial radio?
As I said before, if you haven't got the music you're fighting a losing battle really!
For me with any Rock Show, you can't fake it. Any Rock fan will rumble you straight away if you don't know your stuff! When I open the mic I like to think I talk with great passion and knowledge about each band, and share some of my stories from through the years. Content/interviews are also important but everything has to be slotted in at the right time of day to make it all work.
Unfortunately a lot of the local/regional Rock Shows have fallen by the wayside over the years, and unfortunately a lot of corporate Radio companies don't seem to back Rock in the same way they would other genres of music.
Who are your musical heroes, and why?
Thin Lizzy are my all time favourite band, but growing up I was also into Priest, Maiden, and early Genesis on the Prog side of things
Of the many people you have interviewed over the years, who have been the most fun/honour to interview and who were a bit of a nightmare? Anyone else you would still like to interview?
I have been very lucky over the last 27 plus years to interview just about everybody in the world of Rock, but I'd have to say still one of the most special was the late, great Phil Lynott. It was one of my very early one's which sadly turned out to be his last ever Radio interview.
As for nightmare interviews, I really could count them on one hand, and if you don't mind I'll save it for the book!! Ha ha
What have been the best bands you have seen live and why?
Lizzy obviously, with various line ups back in the day…. God there's so many. More recently is have to say Slash with Myles Kennedy, that line up is one of the tightest live bands I've seen in a long time.
Is rock music in a healthier state now than ten years ago? How important has it been to have specialist magazines – 'Classic Rock’, ‘Fireworks’, 'Power Play' – in the High Street stores raising the profile of the music?
Absolutely! The resurgence of 'Rock' and getting it out to an even bigger audience has grown massively in recent years. A lot of it, especially with the younger kids getting into it is largely down to the likes of games like Guitar Hero introducing the classics to them, and they then go on an even bigger voyage of discovery with the help of the Internet.
Mags like Classic Rock are basically doing on paper what we do on-air at Planet Rock, and are certainly the market leader in their field. When I started Kerrang was in its infancy as a Rock/Metal mag….. Oh how things change.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
There isn't one single person to be honest. Like loads of other people I always wanted to be a Rock Star but couldn't sing, and could only play Smoke On The Water on one string! For me this is the next best thing. It's not a job, every day is an absolute joy. As the saying goes I'm living the dream.
Any hints/tips for people keen to start out in rock radio?
Don't !!….. You'll put me out of work (only kiddin)
Unfortunately a lot of Radio companies are employing people that have degrees n stuff, and not people who have a genuine talent. If you have belief keep knocking on those doors, someone will eventually open it.
Heard any good music lately?
Lovin' the debut album from Red White & Blues at the moment, it's called Shine. The band was put together by former Jagged Edge/Skin guitarist Myke Gray and JE vocalist Matti Alfonzetti.
Also lovin' the new FM stuff that the guys are working on at the moment. It'll be the follow up to their comeback album Metropolis.
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Probably my former bosses decision to do a live interview with Bad News at Donington in 86. In those days you couldn't even say boo on air let alone discuss the likes of front bums, back bottoms, and the occasional knob gag!!
Any good rock `n' roll tales to tell?
As I said earlier it'll all be in the book
Anything else to add…
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
Power Plays w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)
Throughout December we are featuring Best of 2019 selections from the GRTR! Reviewers.
Featured Albums w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 Melodic Rock Featured Albums of 2019
12:00-13:00 Melodic Hard Rock Featured Albums of 2019
14:00-16:00 Singer Songwriter Featured Albums of 2019
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
A selection of albums featured in 2019
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