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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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Studio B Photos

WRQR Rock 104.5 Wilmington, North Carolina

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Backstage with Jon Bon Jovi at The Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, 1989. The band filmed the video for "Lay Your Hands On Me" that night. This was their first gig after Jon got married the previous weekend. We drove up from KPRQ Price where I was the morning guy/Music Director. Also pictured are Program Director Dave Roberts and perpetually late mid-day chick Krista Weldon. I think our winner "Wacky Jackie" is also in there. Theres a story for another time.

 

 

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Okay, so it took about 3 1/2 years to get the bad taste of the last gig out of my mouth. I know I said I'd never do it again, but here I am; back behind a microphone once more. This was my longest hiatus from "this thing of ours", but after my first couple of breaks, I felt like I'd never left. My buddy Matt Wilson said it best, "Being in radio is like being a heroin addict; you know no good will come of it, but you just cant help yourself".

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Fall 1989 Indiana State University Homecoming parade in Terre Haute, Indiana. l-r: Dave North, Sue Banach, Dave Sabaini, John Baughman, Bob Arnett, Chris Newton, John Lawson in the 2nd pic. Dave North, Bob Arnett, Chris Newton, John Lawson in the 1st. Our GM thought it would be a great idea if we marched in the parade with a horse and buggy. Never did figure out what message he was trying to send. On the upside, the parade ended at a bar.

The two pics at the bottom were taken at one of the endless number of parades we attended all over Southern Indiana. The red vehicle is the Thunder Truck. With 15,000 watts of power, it was kind of like a stereo that had a truck built around it.

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They went by lots of names; Boogie Bus, Party Wagon, Country Cruiser. Most of the time we just called it "the van". At some stations, our vehicle was as much a part of the staff as the personalities. Anyone who spent even a little bit of time in radio has a van story. A lot of these were from stations where I worked over the years. Some are just vehicles I like. If you want details on any of the pics, leave a comment and I'll tell ya what I know.

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I had an old butcher block table that I let my son Steve use in his room. The finish was already in bad shape, so I knew the boy couldnt do a whole lot of damage to it. He sure tried though. After he moved out, I moved the table into the studio. Thought I'd get all handy and refinish it. Yeah, that idea lasted about 15 minutes when I started sanding it. Way too much work. I spied a stack of Rock 106.1 bumper stickers that I always kept handy and thought they would make an interesting cover. I put down a layer that covered the entire tabletop. Liked the way it looked and thought I'd start adding more stickers. My buddy John Rabold loved the idea and sent me his entire collection of radio bumper stickers. Over the years many other friends have contributed to the sticker table. Many thanks to everyone!

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The oldest radio station in Wilmington, North Carolina, WMFD-AM signed on the air in the summer of 1941. Its had the same call letters and dial position for almost 70 years.

Below are a couple of shots of the Miljo Drive In Resturant from 1957. Notice the broadcast booth for WMFD-AM 630. The station used to broadcast nightly from the Miljo.

By the time I arrived in 2006, the station had switched to an all sports format.

Heres what the studio looked like in 2007 before and after remodeling:

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This was the crew I worked with at Clear Channel in Gallup, New Mexico. I never worked with a better bunch of folks. The stories I could tell. Maybe someday I will.....

These pics were taken during parade coverage in beautiful Downtown Gallup. Also pictured are Fernando Otero (Fernie O), Danny Sandoval (Johnny Blaze), Chief Engineer & Master of The Universe Ted Foster, General Manager Maryanne Armijo, and Blas Saucedo.

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Dont have many pictures of my tour in Kokomo. Too bad. I had a lot of fun there. The news car pictured here never ran the entire time I worked there. It never moved at all until we paid someone to haul it away. The studio wasnt much to look at, but everything worked and it was well laid out. I loved that board. It was the only studio I ever heard of with a bomb shelter attatched. Someday I'll have to share the story of the jock who stashed something in there and forgot about it (it wasnt me!) To this day its one of my favorite studios I've ever worked in.

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Matt Carter and I spent our first Christmas in North Carolina in 2006. We thought it would be fun to drag a Christmas tree down to the beach and take a few pics for our families and friends in the frozen parts of the country.

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These were taken sometime after January 1987, when we rebuilt the WAZY studio. Seemed like it took forever. It was worth the wait though. That board was state of the art at the time. A real workhorse too; I understand its still in use in the WSHP studio. Also pictured are Steve Louizos, Kevin Morton, and Chip Ramsey. The first pic is from backstage at the .38 Special concert at Purdue in February 1987.

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I got my first real experience with voicetracking when I worked for CC. I know "real" radio people are supposed to think voicetracking helped kill radio, but I disagree. I'd spent the first 20 years of my career doing 100% live radio, so the novelty had pretty much worn off. With voicetracking, I could do an entire show in 30 minutes. I loved it. If I didnt like how a break came out, I could do it over until it was exactly the way I wanted. On the downside, I didnt get to connect as well with the listeners, but I always felt my "tracked" shows were better than most of the stuff I did live. Plus, I could come in after hours and have the place to myself. My wife Stacie took these pictures in 2005.

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It always seemed that when I'd send out packages looking for a new gig, the best offer was always from the station that was furthest away. The first time I loaded up and headed across the country was to do overnights at KIXY-FM in San Angelo, Texas. I wasnt quite sure what to expect, especially after they told me the station was in a building that had previously been a funeral home.

I rolled into town with less than $10 in my pocket. The station put me up in a hotel, so at least I had that covered. One of my overnight callers was a manager at a convenience store down the street. She brought me bags of groceries every morning for awhile there. I was too hungry to be proud. To quote my old buddy Don Payne, "The shit we put up with for radio, eh?" The PD was Marvelous Mark Franklin. About a month after I got there, Mark quit and went back to Tennessee and I found myself promoted to afternoons. I wasnt anywhere near ready for prime time, so after awhile I got bumped back to nights. A year later I headed across the country again. I spent the next 20 years doing that...

 

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I was the Afternoon jock on KXTC in Gallup, New Mexico from 2001 to 2006. Thanks to the station being well programmed first by The Real Bill Lee and then by my good friend Fernie Otero, I was always #1 in my time slot. We were a rhythmic-leaning Top 40 station and we owned the airwaves in the region. I was never crazy about the town, but I never worked with a better bunch of folks than my crew at 'XTC. These pics were featured on the Airstaff page of our website.

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Party Patrol and Street Team

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Heres a February 2009 pic from Studio B in Wilmington, North Carolina. Could it be more obvious that I love living at the beach?

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This is where it all happens. This is my studio that I built in a spare bedroom.

 So how did it come to be called "Studio B"? Well, after my buddy Matt & I got fired on the same day, we decided to combine households to save money while we looked for the next gig. His studio was already set up in the garage, so I took the extra bedroom for mine. Even though we were less than 30 feet apart, we still Instant Messaged each other rather than walk the few feet between studios. My wife Stacie joked that it was too far to walk from "Studio A' to "Studio B" and the name stuck. 

 

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I was listening to Bruce Springsteens "The Rising" late one night and this line struck home:

"Wearing the cross of my calling, On wheels of fire I come rolling down here...."

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