Without a doubt, listening to KISW in the late 70’s and 80’s was my biggest influence. “Those Dudes” Langan and West, Gary Crow and Bob Hovaines, and Steve Slaton . . . The things they were getting away with on the radio sounded like a helluva party. A party that I wanted an invitation to. Amazingly, after an internship at crosstown KZOK, and a typical “First Gig” in Palm Springs, I somehow convinced Beau Phillips and Jon Robbins to not only let me in the door, but put me on the air – giving me the chance to work with a lot of my idols. It was ridiculously hard not to totally geek out the first few months. Moving around, I’ve worked directly with, and learned from, some amazing people . . . Sky Daniels, the great Steve Young, Dan Persigehl, Bob Neumann, Buddy Rizer, Joe Bevilaqua, Dan Michaels, Bill Cahill . . . all have influenced me in ways I can’t begin to describe, and I often find myself telling my staff the same things that they told me. Dammit! I’m turning into my “Radio Dads.”
- KISW / Seattle: 1987 – 1997 (Pretty much everything – started dong weekend overnights, finished in PM Drive)
KZZP / Phoenix: 1997 – 1998 (Mornings)
DC101 / Washington, DC: 1998 – 2006 (PM Drive)
WBIG / Washington, DC: 2006 – 2010 (Mornings)
WVRK / Columbus, GA: 2011 – 2013 (PD / PM Drive)
KKBZ / Fresno, CA: 2013 – Present (PD / PM Drive)I also wrote and performed comedy for the ABC Comedy Network in the 90s, before leaving Seattle.
1. What advice would you give a new PD in his/her first programming job?
That’s a tough one . . . My gut instinct is to say “Prepare to be disappointed.” If you’ve worked your way to Program Director, you’ve obviously got a passion for radio, and the work ethic to put you in “the chair.” Unfortunately, you’ll come across people who don’t share that passion, and don’t have a similar work ethic. For them, radio is just “a job.” And that’s okay . . . everyone has a different way of doing things. The good news is that there are people out there who have similar passion, and if you can surround yourselves with enough of them, the job becomes a lot easier and more fun. Also, be prepared, after a few months, to apologize to every single one of your previous PDs. There’s a reason their eyes looked like that.
2. If you were to start up your own radio station and could pick from anyone in the business to be your air-staff living or not who would your lineup be?
Holy crap, that’s nearly impossible . . . With apologies to every other morning guy I’ve ever worked with (or heard), I’d pick DC101’s Elliot Segal (and the class) for AM Drive. I’ve never met anyone better prepared, each and every day, for his show. In middays, I’d have Larry Lujack. I know his work, mostly from airchecks (and by older brother’s “fandom”), but c’mon, you can’t leave off the “SuperJock”. In PM Drive, I’d put the aforementioned “Those Dudes,” Langan and West. I still listen to their work in awe, and laugh my ass off. And at night, I’d put KISW’s Steve Slaton. He WAS rock radio in Seattle during my formative radio years. Honorable Mention: John Lisle, Cathy Faulkner, Dave Pratt, Scott Muni, Jim Ladd, Don and Mike, Bob Rivers, Kent Voss & Jimmy Kimmel (yes, he did radio), Robin & Maynard, B.J. Shea, and everyone else I’ve ever heard that made me say “Man . . . I wish I’d thought of that.”
3. Describe the good the bad and the ugly of your weekly music meeting?
The music meeting is mostly me, and occasionally a couple members of the airstaff, checking out the new releases. There’s not a whole lot of bickering, since we have a pretty unified vision of what it is we’re trying to do. I also like to get listener feedback, whenever possible. We’ve set up a text response for listeners so they can let us know whether they like the stuff in our new music features.
4. What are you listening to right now?
Recent favorites have been Ghost, Red Sun Rising, Volbeat, Citizen Zero, the Metallica re-issues, and Holy White Hounds. I try to sample everything that comes my way, but, personally, I’ve always been a “Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust” kind of guy.
5. Lets finish with the standard RadioContraband question….What are your three most Rock & Roll moments?
I sometimes refer to myself as the Forrest Gump of the Grunge era . . . I was in the room for a lot of amazing things, but mostly, my role was to drink beer and stay out of the way.
1. Splitting a bottle of Jack Daniels with Sebastian Bach backstage at a Guns n’ Roses show, in Tacoma. Skid Row opened, and I was killing time waiting for GnR to hit the stage. I didn’t make it to GnR. I also stopped drinking Jack Daniels after that.
2. Backstage at a DC101 Chili Cookoff, our sales manager introduced me to one of our biggest clients, the VP of marketing for a huge regional bank. She was an obviously affluent, cultured, classy woman . . . who promptly asked me to sign her ass.
3. Being asked by the manager of a club in Seattle if I’d be willing to give up my booth at an Alice in Chains show, because “Nelson” were coming by, and wanted to see the band. Yes . . . THAT “Nelson.”
Like I said . . . “Drink beer, and stay out of the way.”