Time and time again, I write about how I love this season because of KTCL 93.3′s Hometown for the Holidays. When listening to the Top 10, Nerf reminded me that this is the 10 year anniversary of this great contest and concert. I know I’ve been a longtime fan and supporter of this contest, but it wasn’t until I chatted with my parents that we figured out we’ve been listening and attending Hometown since the start in 2006. How was that 10 years ago already???
As we were talking, we realized we all had much different memories of KTCL’s first Hometown for the Holidays. Since we had all attended the event in 2006, I thought it would be great to have each of us write our memories of that year to share before the 10th Anniversary event.
Read below to see what each of us remember about Hometown for the Holidays and why.
Stefan – My Brother and Drummer for Tickle Me Pink
I really can’t believe this was 10 years ago. I don’t recall many details from the show itself, aside from the epic snowstorm that prevented any significant turnout.
At that point in time, Tickle Me Pink had just become a trio and recorded our 3rd EP. We never released it, but it sounded great so we submitted one song to Hometown called ‘We Still Dance’. It was sort of a departure from our other material. Johnny had written the main riff, and Sean played bass. We called the song ‘Switch’ at first because they traded instruments. I still have old set lists that start off with ‘Switch’.
Hometown For The Holidays back then wasn’t the monumental music scene Christmas party that it has become, but it absolutely transformed our trajectory as a band. We were just kids (18 and 19 years old) and our song was somehow now on the radio…in rotation… I vividly remember a surreal moment driving around in my car, listening to ‘We Still Dance’ on 93.3 thinking about all of the other thousands of cars that probably also had our song playing in the background. For the first time in our ‘career’, it felt like we had really accomplished something. Not to mention, it sounded great. Johnny reminded me every time he heard it how much better it sounded than all the other “shit” (his words).
We didn’t win that year, but I think it set into motion reaching this grand goal of writing songs that were likable and catchy. I don’t think the record ‘Madeline’ would’ve been the same had we not had our first taste of radio play.
Oh, and here’s dads video from that night:
For the families of this young band, it was very exciting to hear Tickle Me Pink playing on KTCL. The radio was on in our home all day long to be sure to catch hearing “We Still Dance.” I’m embarrassed to admit now that I actually called the station one day when I was sure they had omitted playing TMP’s song. I was hoping to leave an anonymous message, but then Goodman answered the phone and asked “Is this a Mom??”
I was mortified when he played our conversation on the radio.
I remember exactly when Tickle Me Pink found out they were in the top 10 for the inaugural Home Town For the Holidays program. We had 93.3 blasting in our house when the top bands were announced, all 3 band members were here listening intently. I remember the controlled excitement of the band to hear they had made the cut – they still needed to maintain some level of coolness and not jump for joy. The next few days of hearing them being played in rotation on the radio was exciting and surreal. Before HTFTH, no local bands were played in rotation on the radio except for the Locals Only segment on Sunday night. I also remember the real angst of the band as we waited to hear the top 3 finalists at the end of the radio airplay – and the overwhelming excitement that they would be playing a live show at the Gothic!
We had already planned a holiday vacation in Mexico and 2 of Stefan’s cousins were going to join us. They arranged flights to fly into Denver early to catch the Hometown show and would then fly out the next morning. The monster snow storm that day put a major kink in those plans and none of the out of town travelers made it to the show. Not only that, most fans from the area did not make it to the show either. The band got stuck in the driveway as they loaded their gear – a half hour of shoveling snow got them on their way. Stefan texted us that they were going on second as we were on our way to the venue. At that time, this meant that they were not the overall winner, as the bands played in order of online votes. This was only a small disappointment as they already had achieved more than they thought possible. The crowd at the Gothic was very small due to the inclement weather, but the band played as if it were a sold out crowd. You could tell they were happy to be there and excited to play in the first HTFTH show. I believe the Hometown radio campaign played a significant role in making Tickle Me Pink successful and was instrumental in getting them signed to Wind Up records the following year.
Such great memories combined with anxious moments – KTCL has created an awesome avenue to showcase local talent. Ten years later, they still generate buzz and excitement from the fans and bands alike. What a great way to pump up the volume on our great local music scene.
I still have vivid memories of this year. I was living in Boulder, working at an ecommerce startup and living with my good friend, and co-worker, Christina. This was one of the most hellish Christmas seasons I remember. Our company had recently decided to open a warehouse to ship products out directly, however, we had been hit with multiple winter storms this season and customers were unruly, products weren’t being delivered and employees couldn’t get to work in the snow.
Christina and I lived closest to work and the warehouse, which meant we were sometimes the only ones there working 13+ hour days as we picked, packed and shipped during the day, and answered customer support emails at night. However, I remember loving working in the warehouse because we listened to music all day and I picked the radio station we listened to, which meant listening to KTCL 93.3 all day in the hopes of catching the Hometown for the Holiday bands on the radio. It was especially important to me because my brother’s band, Tickle Me Pink, made it into the top 10 and were being played in rotation. I remember screaming and dancing my ass off in that warehouse every time “We Still Dance” was played on the radio. This was the first time I’d heard my brother’s band on the radio, but I knew it wouldn’t be the last.
I also remember attending the show of the top 3 bands that played at the Gothic Theatre that year. Tickle Me Pink made the top 3, and we were so excited to see who won. That year the snow storm kept a lot of people away from the show, but it gave my family an opportunity to meet the DJ’s at KTCL and I can say that to this day, I still consider Nerf (and Goodman, even though he left us) to be good friends.
I can’t wait to celebrate what Hometown for the Holidays has become with everyone on 12/19 at Summit Music Hall!
This is a great video that features Nerf talking about Hometown and how it helped Tickle Me Pink back in 2006 (Nerf’s interview starts at :50 seconds in):