Like most people west of the Rockies, Mike Wheaton Made up his mind, to make a new start...went to California with an achin' in his heart. Unlike the the golden rock god [a.k.a. Robert Plant], Wheaton was in search and achin' for more than just a girl with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair - although there was probably that too. He was in search of music. You see, Mike Wheaton believes in Rock and Roll. He believes that music can save your mortal soul. Which is why he left the vast flatlands of Texas for the golden coast of California to take a summer internship with KROQ. Once he got a taste of the radio DJ gig, it was can't stop, addicted to the shin-dig, as the Chili Peppers say. He returned to Texas to finish up his Bachelors in Radio/TV/Film Communications, and went from being a regular DJ at his college radio station, to becoming music director, all the way unto general manager of the whole station. He knows to some it's only rock n' roll, but he likes it - nay - loves it.
This love story continues with Wheaton taking a job at Radio & Records, an industry trade newspaper, and then landing his first pro radio programming gig with Digital Planet, a pioneering Cable Radio company that hosted 14 different channels and formats. Basically, Wheaton has been been a pioneering revolutionary, always on the cusp of music and new radio technology since the 80's. What's he got his fingers in these days? An amazing local radio show called Revolution Radio. You can find it on your radio dial at KOCI 101.5fm, the Costa Mesa based station.
Wheaton may have 30 years of music experience, but he's not stuck in the old. Holding fast to that old time rock n roll as Revolution Radio's firm foundation, Wheaton builds from there, adding everything from alternative, to indie rock, from electronica to new wave. Tune in to KOCI on any Thursday night between 7-10pm and you'll find Wheaton spinning Elvis Costello followed by the Strokes, the New Pornographers, the Local Natives, then Jeff Buckley, and the list goes on. Sounds like the ultimate mixed tape, doesn't it?
"I am a true music fan," Wheaton tells me. "I try to stay on top of the latest bands and releases in the music biz. That's the best part of my job - turning people on to new music on the radio." This eclectically rich variety found on the airwaves of Revolution Radio is why the show is so popular with such a wide spectrum of listeners. "Revolution Radio appeals to a broad audience of alternative music lovers - male, female, and anywhere from 18-44 years old."
Where does Wheaton see Revolution Radio in the future? "The program is constantly evolving and growing just like the music I play on it and the dynamic guests I have. That is part of the reason why I named my show 'Revolution Radio'; The sky is the limit." As long as there's new music to be found, Wheaton will smile and grin at the change all around him, and pick up his guitar and play, just like yesterday.
Move over Joan Jett - Mike Wheaton love's rock and roll too, and he's gonna love it till the heavens stop the rain.
On my iPod: [OC based] Lemon Sun's "Did You Say?"
Check out my mini Q&A with Mike Wheaton below. He talks about everything from why he loves O.C. to what he's listening to now.
I love music so much I really don't like to limit myself to picking one song. If I had to pick my favorite cd of the moment I would have to say The Broken Bells featuring James Mercer of the Shins and DJ Danger mouse.
The Weather, Lifestyle and the Beaches. Plus it is a lot easier to get parking lot space here than in L.A.
Music, cinema, art, culture, cuisine and beautiful women. I would also have to add to that list learning new things and creative people.
[Authors note: Can you find all the songs I used in this post? I dare you.]