Filming Bill Shapiro

By Matt Blume

I’ve always liked simple things that are expertly crafted. To me, you judge a pizza place by the way they prepare pepperoni or a narrative told through only a few detailed characters. In this way I became a fan of Cyprus Avenue, a weekly rock n’ roll radio show created and curated by Bill Shapiro. A show that has only improved over the last three and half decades (although admittedly, I have only been an avid listener since the late 90’s).

Bill has always kept is simple. He states the name of the program, he tells you why he has chosen what he spins and then he lets listeners enjoy the music. And it is easy to enjoy the music because although the types vary it is all great music. We started creating a small biographical piece about Bill in 2015. It was important to us to find time to visit with him, watch him create his program, and document his research. Along the way we have been introduced to magnificent speaker stacks in his midtown living room and learned about Bill from his production partner in the KCUR studios. We have seen first hand the impact he has had on music in Kansas City. It extends beyond an hour of good music on Saturday afternoons. The Folly Theatre in Downtown KC is thriving in large part due to Bill’s concert series. The room sounds great and always has and Bill knew that. It was his love for music that motivated him to donate his time to honor it. 

We have been following the story in earnest albeit sporadically. Like any labor of love, it is impossible to capture it in one fell swoop. Taking time to listen and then think and respond with how that story will sync is a question without an answer, for now. We know the completion is near but much like his program, crafting it in the light it deserves is anything but simple.