Saturday, January 20, 2024

Reviews for The Loop Files


I hadn't checked in on Amazon and GoodReads in a few weeks. Surprised to see almost 100 reviews/ratings for The Loop Files. It has a 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon, and 4.7 out of 5 on GoodReads. Thought I'd share a handful...

Five Stars/TG Nelson/GoodReads

This has been my favorite read of 2023. There was a good 20 year stretch of my life where the only radio stations I listened to were the AM & FM Loop stations. Kevin Mathews, Steve & Garry, Brandmeier, and all their co-hosts and hanger ons lived rent free in my head. This book, written by a former producer, is an intimate oral history from the mouths of the people who worked there from 1977 until 1998. Its not just a nostalgia trip but a chronicle of the radio industry going from an anything goes Wild West atmosphere to the current sanitized corporate product terrestrial radio has become. I can’t recommend it enough.

Five Stars/Marco G./GoodReads

I could not put this book down. I read it in less than 48 hours possibly? I was humongous fan this radio station including Kevin Matthews Jonathan brandmeier, Steve and Garry , chet coppock, the list goes on and on. In 1991 approximately I was working at a gas station and I remember during that time I would have the loop on literally all day from 5:00 in the morning then I would continue to listen it on my way home, leave it on until 10:00 11:00 at night. It was amazing lineup of talent and it kept me company for enormous parts of the day. I will never forget how much I enjoyed listening to that lineup. It was truly a unique time in Chicago radio. This book does a decent job putting together a history of the radio stations on the am and FM dial. It was a truly enjoyable experience reading these collections of history, and my one complaint is I just wish it was longer. I am sure there were many other stories that were left out. I have so much fondness for the people in this book, I genuinely hope they are all doing well. I hope this book does well too, as it's a love letter to a radio station that was mythical in it's lineup of personalities. And as the author writes at the end it's a salute to the fans who supported the radio station through the years. That was heartening to read. It's a good breezy book, you can read it in a day or two if the history of this radio station is relevant to you.

Five Stars/Matthew Krecun/GoodReads

What a great trip down memory lane. I grew up listening to the Loop and if you did as well, then you’ll love this one. The author interviews most of the personalities from that era and gets their take on the station and what was going on during the heyday. He even digs up old interviews to put some perspective on what they were saying to the media back then. It’s a fun, quick-read with great photos from the era. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Five Stars/Brian Fuss/GoodReads

As an avid listener to The Loop in high school and when back home during college, this book really took me back. So many hours listening to the on air talent, this gave a peak into the studios and lets the reader in on the behind the scenes shenanigans and stories that made The Loop such great listening. Highly recommended to anyone who made The Loop part of their lives and let them provide a soundtrack to it.

Five Stars/Eric/GoodReads

This is a very special book about a very special radio station in a very special place during a very special period of time. The story of the Loop from everyone who was there.

Five Stars/John Demus/amazon

Fantastic book about one of the most influential and often imitated Chicago radio stations by a long time Producer/insider. A must read!

Five Stars/Christine/Amazon

I'm a boomer and of course this brought back those memories. Generation X was just getting into it. This book was so interesting and it tells you so much about RADIO - what an invention radio was and this digs into it very deep. Thanks to the author.

Five Stars/Marcus C/Amazon

Growing up as a teenager in Chicago during the 80s, "The Loop" was not just a radio station; it was the soundtrack of our lives. The memories of tuning into WLUP 97.9, with its incredible cast of on-air personalities like Steve Dahl, Garry Meier, Johnny B, and Kevin Matthews, still resonate deeply with me. To call them "DJ's" was a fundamental misunderstanding of what was being broadcast. Their unique blend of rock-n-roll, humor, and pop culture was the pulse of the city, and Rick Kaempfer's "The Loop Files" captures this essence perfectly.

Rick's first-hand experience as a producer and on-air host at The Loop, brings an authentic and vivid portrayal of the station's heyday. His interviews and stories, told by those who were right in the thick of it, reveal the wild, innovative spirit that made The Loop a cultural icon. As someone who experienced the manic energy, talent, and pure rock & roll decadence of Chicago radio in that era, reading "The Loop Files" felt like a reunion with old friends.

The book is a time capsule, taking us back to an era where radio wasn't just background noise but an influential part of our daily lives. It wasn't just about the music; The Loop was a community, a movement. Attending their free concerts and events, even if it were at a car dealership, was like being part of an exclusive club. Kaempfer's narrative is fast-paced, fun, and filled with the kind of insider knowledge that only someone who lived through it could provide.

For anyone who grew up in Chicago during the 70s and 80s, "The Loop Files" is a must-read. It's more than just a chronicle of a radio station; it's a love letter to a bygone era, a tribute to the power of music and radio in shaping our youth. Every page is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, reminding us of the time when The Loop was the king of Chicago's airwaves.

Five stars/Chris Coleman/amazon

Read this cover to cover in one sitting. Relived the glory days of radio, *our* glory days. We the fans, were a part of the glory that was The Loop. Growing up in the suburbs, everyone was glued to the station. Times we would get to our home, school or work and have to sit outside in the car waiting to hear the next outrageous vector. They created the mold for others to see, then smashed it, over and over. As I’m reading, I’m laughing so hard my wife is asking if the book is supposed to be funny. Not really, but reading about the bits, the interviews, the characters, it brings me back to those moments and reminds me of how hard I laughed back then. She wasn’t a listener but those who were will love the inside scoops, the back stories, people behind the scenes and the interplay between them all. Tune in and rip the knob off!

Five stars/Austen fan/amazon

Rick Kaempfer's book, The Loop Files, is a treasure. Many people talk about the first generation of rock radio in Chicago with WLS and WCFL. It was the Loop that eventually deposed WLS to become a legend itself. The Loop Files explains the alchemy that made the station work.

Rick uses quotes from hundreds of interviews with the people who were there making it happen. The insights make clear that the Loop was a once in a lifetime occurrence. Part brilliant radio strategy, part great timing, part happenstance, and a lot great talent, the Loop AM and FM were must-listen appointments for close to two decades. You won't really know how it happened until you read this book. Highly recommended.