Family, friends and fans of the late Bruce Van Dyke gathered at the Nevada Museum of Art on Dec. 1 to celebrate his life, well lived.
Van Dyke, 69, who died Sept. 16, was a popular Reno disc jockey whose stints at various Reno radio stations provided soundtracks for thousands of Nevadans’ lives. BVD, as he was known, also was the author of the “Notes From the Neon Babylon” column in the Reno News & Review for 25 years. He anchored shows on the Reno airwaves from 1978 to 1986, and returned to Nevada in 1990 to work at KTHX, known as “The X.” Fans kept the often beleaguered station alive several times with phone calls and letter-writing campaigns and followed it through two frequency changes on their radio dials.
At the Nevada Museum of Art event, BVD’s friend, Steve Funk, set up a video station for folks to record their feelings and memories of Van Dyke. Those clips can be viewed on Funk’s YouTube Channel.
BVD left The X (and Reno) for California in 2005, but it wasn’t a full retirement. His last gig was on internet-based JiveRadio, which is keeping his voice and music selections alive by streaming a virtual station with the call letters KBVD. That stream is a compilation of Van Dyke’s JiveRadio “Big Bucket o’ Tunes” (a collection of more than 4,000 tunes he curated from 2014-2022), old and current station IDs and blurbs, and “outtakes” from his morning show on KTHX in the 1990s.
In an interview with the RN&R in 2021, BVD noted all the changes in the radio industry during his career, but said that “even so, terrestrial radio is never going to go away. It’s a perfect thing, a perfect entity. You get in the car, turn on the radio, and get your favorite station as you drive around town. It’s a wonderful thing.”
The same can be said of William Bruce Van Dyke.