Fighting The Power 

Upstart rap station Power 92.7 had its eyes on big, bad KMEL, but didn't watch its back.

Page 6 of 6

As the chuckles died down, Tom Gammon, who brokered the deal for the Fun Boys, spoke up and tried to put a more beneficent spin on the deal. "People in Berkeley and Oakland don't understand when you say 'flip,' how they've benefited from the work we put into the station," he said. Noting that Power's signal will soon be improved as a result of their work, he concluded, "We take stations and make them serve the community, serve the people."

Well, that's commercial radio for you. In the end, East Bay rap fans listened to five months of false promises that here, finally, was a radio station that considered Oakland its target audience, rather than just the low-rent part of town. Skip Dillard and Trevor Simpson must have known that some portion of their "authenticity" angle was just marketing hype. But another part of them believed it, too. After all, just five brief months of competition forced KMEL to play local acts it might never otherwise have considered. But in the end, the Fun Boys played Power's young idealists and listeners for a bunch of Grade-A chumps. The real playas had spoken. Or as one true believer put it, "I've worked at three radio stations, and I've been lied to by every person in a suit I've ever met."


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