Wil Dunlop first met Martin Streek in the late ’90s, while hustling for music video production work outside CFNY’s former street level studios at 228 Yonge Street.
After graduating from Confederation College in Thunder Bay, where Dunlop had a short stint doing overnights on Rock 94 (CJSD-FM), the freelance video editor would often hang out outside CFNY while Kim Hughes hosted her nightly magazine show, introduce himself to visiting bands, and pass them his demo reel on VHS.
“Marty would host the Thursday 30 Countdown…and had seen me there and we started chatting. We’d chat about music, Hunter S. Thompson, and just kind of hang out, so I knew him for a decade that way and was a fan of his work as a DJ and his love for music and enjoyed his company,” Dunlop told Broadcast Dialogue.
Dunlop calls Streek “one of the last rockstar DJs.”
“He was just genuine. He had this ability to make anybody feel welcome. At the street level studio, especially, fans of all ages would come and he always seemed happy and generally happy to see them and talk to them. He was confident without being cocky at the same time,” said Dunlop. “He was one of the last rockstar DJs where you would find new music through them. He would find new hits and be ahead of the curve…for a lot of people, the first time they heard Metric or The Arkells was through Martin. He was like your cool older brother or your cool neighbour that would say ‘hey kid, listen to this’ and they’d give you a mix tape…that’s what Martin was.”
Dunlop, who operates a small post-production company in Orillia, had thought over the years about trying to tell Streek’s story, particularly around the fifth anniversary of his death when former CFNY program director David Marsden, and podcaster Toronto Mike compiled tribute shows.
“It got me thinking about it and I was talking about it on another project with some of the older crew members and one of the younger crew members asked who Martin Streek was and I said ‘maybe it’s time for the story to be told.'”
Dunlop says the history of CFNY will play prominently in the documentary, looking at the station’s evolution through Streek’s eyes. Streek joined the station as a volunteer in his last year of high school and was part of its travelling video road show, hauling equipment and helping set up and tear down. He worked on the road show alongside CFNY personalities Alan Cross, who picked up crew shifts for extra cash, and new Humber College grad Neil Morrison (aka Brother Bill), before Streek got a shot on-air when he took over the Club 102 Saturday night show in 1992 from Chris Sheppard.
Dunlop says the last part of the documentary will touch on the period from 2005, up until 2009 when Streek took his own life, two months after getting let go from the station after a 25-year run with CFNY.
“It will focus on his life, not his death,” said Dunlop, who expects to finish production on the doc, entitled “Keep it Locked & Cranked” – one of Streek’s catch phrases, next year.
Dunlop has interviewed about two dozen people so far – from former colleagues Cross, Scot Turner, Darryl Spring, Pina Crispo and Pete Fowler, to Streek’s high school friends.
Dunlop has put out a call for any visuals or audio that fans or former colleagues may have, like tapes of old shows, airchecks, video road show footage, or photos from the club nights Streek hosted over the years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I look forward to telling the story of someone who was always a friend to me. I always enjoyed time with him, even though I didn’t know him as long or as well as some people,” said Dunlop.
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