It took me a long time to find decent radio stations when I was living in Barcelona. There were many Spanish language-only stations which I just could not abide because Spanish pop music is some of the worst stuff I’ve ever heard. After a few years (it honestly took that long), I found enough to fill out the five preset buttons on my radio.
One thing I noticed almost immediately was the amount of British bands that they played, which wasn’t that surprising, but what was weird for me was the amount of Queen songs they played. I’d say that, conservatively, among the five stations I listened to most frequently, at least one of them would play a Queen song every hour, sometimes simultaneously.
Initially, I wasn’t that bothered since I liked Wayne’s World as much as the next 80s kid, but slowly, I started to get really annoyed. Queen songs are incredibly long and so many of them are just nonsense and all the operatic flourishes aren’t really my thing and they were on all the damn time.
This situation came to a head on November 23, 2009 when I was walking home after another long day of teaching. I was rambling down Carrer d’Enric Granados, passing my favorite Italian place and lamenting that they were closed on Mondays when I said to myself, “I don’t like Queen. It’s that simple.” I decided that when I got home a few minutes later, I was going to delete all Queen from my iTunes ’cause just the thought of it maybe coming up on shuffle was unpleasant.
As I was settling in for the evening, I happened to check in with the Muppets’ channel which I do periodically since I lurve the Muppets, and there they were, singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” and somehow it was one of the best things of all time.
I was conflicted for a long time, but finally settled on Muppets version = okay, real Queen = not okay and I’ve been happily living a Queen-free life since then… until the Internet started telling me over and over and over to watch some drunk guy in a cop car singing the same tired ballad and I gave in.
What’s my point? The only Spanish radio worth a damn is actually a show that you can listen to online or download as a podcast. It’s called 180 Grados and one of the many things that’s great about it is that they broadcast on the Spanish calendar which means never on holidays (there are 14 in Spain), not during Winter Break (two or three weeks depending on how dates fall on a calendar) and not at all during August.