Sad news in the world of NYC radio: legendary rock DJ Pete Fornatale passed away the other day.
Back when rock ruled the airways and DJs were stars who educated their audiences about music, Pete Fornatale was one the best. Listening to him, you could hear his love and encyclopedic knowledge of rock'n'roll in his every word. It burst through the radio and infected his listeners.
Along with the late Allison Steele, Pete Fornatale was one of the last great rock DJs in NYC.
Pete had a long career in NYC radio. He bounced around the dial, from the old WNEW, K-ROCK, WFUV and others. He was on the air at the time when rock was redefining itself constantly, and Pete one of the people who redefined radio in the 1960s and 70's by introducing audiences to the gods of rock: Bob Dylan, Elton John, Buffallo Springfriend, and so many more. For Pete, rock wasn't just the music he played to collect a paycheck, it was his life.
I became familiar with Pete Fornatale in the early 1990s when he was on K-Rock, still a classic rock station then. He was on during mid days (after Howard Stern) and sometimes I would listen to him during my free periods in high school on my old-school Walkman. Pete Fornatale, along with Stern and Allison Steele and Dave Herman and Maria Molito, made K-Rock easily the best station in NYC at that time: great music with great hosts. It was a tiny golden age in NYC radio that is, sadly, long gone.
So here's to Pete Fornatale. Your legacy will always be remembered, and your love of music will live on.