Angel’s Last Week — The Logos
The Blaze logo has gone through several changes since the station’s inception in March of 2000. When I heard there was finally a rock station in my hometown, I left my job at 94.7 KNRK in Portland and came home to make damn sure I could get on the air at this new station. I began stalking the staff at the company who owned KBAZ at the time. I had a million questions. I phoned their front desk woman, Dana, daily and promised not to quit until they let me in the loop.
There was really nobody running the station at the time, it was kind of just, well…running. Kevin, their engineer at the time, signed the station on, so I tracked him down. He said they were bringing some guy from Denver in to run it, which I was fine with because I didn’t want to run it, I just wanted to be on it.
That guy was Erik, the first Program Director of 96.3 The Blaze. He told me I was fully qualified and they’d love to put me on the air but had no budget for employees. Naturally I said I’d volunteer, even suggested they hire me as the janitor and I’d slip in an on air shift. Erik said to chill out and wait for his call. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And harassed the Hell out of him.
He finally called me that winter to see if I wanted to volunteer at the 311 show at the Adams Center. So I go to the station and he’s wearing what may very well be the most hideous station t-shirt I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was chartreuse. Do you know what chartreuse is? It’s bright lime green barf.
As if the color weren’t bad enough, here’s what the logo on the shirt looked like.
And then I waited some more.
Finally Erik & the legendary Denny Bedard called me in January of 2001 saying that the new year meant new budget money for the station, and they offered me part time minimum wage to do 6 hours on the air each weekday afternoon. I was ecstatic.
By then the barf green logo was gone and they had switched it up to this mixture of Charlie Brown’s shirt, a shark mouth and a shitty font. And it was doo doo and potty colors. Brown and yellow. Yuck.
Hideous, right? I would be willing to bet a few of you still have that shirt.
One day, I come to the station and the company is working on a logo to replace the poop/pee one. Now keep in mind this was before typical every day Americans were proficient in Photoshop and other programs. So they show me, and I wanted to vomit on the computer screen. But I was just happy to be on the station so I said yeah, that looks cool. (People still said ‘cool’ in 2001.)
That logo actually stuck around for quite a while, however Erik did not. This big dude from Billings, who was originally hired to be on the country station, took over. Tony. I just heard from him yesterday. Anyway, Tony tries his hand at programming the Blaze and doing the morning show. It was clearly not a great fit (all due respect Tony, I know you’re reading this) so I says to Denny, I says “I can totally rock this job, let me try”. I was still the sometimes blue haired, sometimes pink haired, sometimes purple haired standoffish freak who said all those naughty things on the new station, so he was hesitant. As was I, I had little idea how to program a radio station. But Denny’s a smart dude, he could see I had a solid relationship with my audience, he could see that I knew you guys and understood you guys, so he gave me shot.
And I rocked the f**k out of it.
It took me a few years to figure out what the Hell I was doing, so the boring, grey logo stuck around until 2005. We had moved into the new building on Reserve street and I was doing my show one day and glanced up at the grey logo on the wall. I thought to myself ‘god that’s boring’. So I reached out to a few people I knew, Blaze listeners of course, and Jeremy at Initial Impression said his buddy Travis could do graphics. So we put him to work.
Here are a few of the preliminary creations.
After several meetings and many tries, the result was this.
So we underpaid Travis for his logo and I never heard from him again, but often wonder if he still listens to The Blaze.
And that my friends, is the history of The Blaze logo. You’ve had it on your back, your front, your head, your bumper. You’ve spilled beer on it. You’ve gotten blood on it. You’ve slept with it, your friends have stolen it. You’ve had it tattooed on, in both temporary form and for real. You’ve seen Korn, Black Label Society, Foo Fighters, Sevendust, Mudvayne, Drowning Pool, Nine Inch Nails and Five Finger Death Punch in it. It has been your, and my faithful companion for 7 years.
And for that, I salute you current Blaze logo.