Live 105, a.k.a. 105.3 FM, was for decades the radio-dial home of the likes of Radiohead, New Order, Green Day, and Nirvana. And in some good news especially for older Millennials and Gen Xers who still listen to FM radio, the station is dropping the 105.3 Dave FM "random" format its had the last couple of years, and going back to the original.
Look for personalities like Party Ben and Miles the DJ to return to the airwaves, as radio station owner Audacy has decided to listen to fans and not mess the old, heavily 90s-rock formula.
"The people have spoken, and we are excited to answer the call,” says Stacey Kauffman, regional vice president and market manager for Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento, in a statement. “We are proud to bring back this local favorite that gives our loyal listeners and favorite alternative artists from the ’90s to today a place to call home again, right here in the Bay Area.”
And, per a press release, Live 105 returns today (June 5) with "music from every era of its history as the ‘Bay Area’s Alternative'” with the core list of artists including "Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, The Killers, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode, the Cure and more."
As Bay Area News Group reports, you'll mostly just be hearing music to start on the revamped Live 105, with the on-air personalities returning later on.
"The first priority is to re-establish that the Live 105 music is back on the radio," says brand manager John Allers, per the news group. "We will continue to honor Live 105’s rich history and legacy by bringing back brand mainstays such as ‘Soundcheck’ with Aaron Axelsen and other familiar voices while collaborating with Live 105 alumnus ‘Miles the DJ’ in guiding the evolution of Live 105 into the future," Allers adds.
The rebranding to "Dave FM: Totally Random Radio" happened in 2021, several years after the formation of Audacy, which followed a merger between CBS Radio and Entercom. The station had previously undergone a December 2017 rebranding as Alt 105.3.
Some surveying of fans in the last two years told the company that most of them just wanted the old Live 105 back.
Live 105 dates back to 1986, and was always the region's more alternative and rock-centric option beside the popular and more pop-y Alice 97.3 — which is also now owned by Audacy. As the Chronicle reports, veteran Alice music director Jayn will also be music-directing the new Live 105.
Starting in the 90s, Live 105 began doing popular summer and holiday-season festival-type shows — their annual BFD shows in June at Shoreline Amphitheater, and December concerts at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and later the Oakland Arena called Live 105's Not-So-Silent Night, which ran through December 2017 and were an important rite of passage for a certain segment of Bay Area teens.
The station won't be only backwards-looking in terms of artists, despite the above-mentioned list. Allers tells the Chronicle that there will be new tracks as well, and "Live 105 will represent the past, present and future of alternative music."
Listeners can find Live 105 on regular old terrestrial radio, or on the Audacy app.
Top image: Perry Farrell and Jane's Addiction performing at "Live 105's Not So Silent Night" at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on December 12, 2003 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)