For 15 years, the biggest names in modern rock have come together for KROQ's "Almost Acoustic Christmas." This weekend, System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Depeche Mode, Coldplay, the White Stripes, Jack Johnson, and others will play for the L.A. radio station.
So, how come San Diego's modern-rock stations don't bring in big names for Christmas concerts?
Says 94/9 program director Garret Michaels, "We try and do a New Year's Eve show instead." Michaels says San Diego stations don't have the pull of KROQ, the biggest rock station in the U.S. "They are the 900-pound gorilla.... They can get bands to play for free."
On December 12, 91X will host a concert at Copley Symphony Hall that features Bauhaus, the Bravery, Louis XIV, and a reconstituted Germs (back together in spite of the fact that front man Darby Crash died of an overdose 25 years ago).
Kevin Stapleford, in charge of 91X since August, says, "Basically, 91X is starting from scratch." He says the station will do a dark-themed "Nightmare Before X-Mas" show. Stapleford rejects the idea that bringing back the Germs is like bringing back the Ramones without Joey, DeeDee, or Johnny.
"I don't think [Germs guitarist] Pat Smear would do anything that would make him look stupid." The new Germs is fronted by the singer/actor who portrays Crash in an upcoming band biopic.