Someone sent me a note this weekend that Saturday was "National DJ Day". Ummmm, okayyyyyyy - so?
I mean, it was probably also National Koala Bear Day, or Red Licorice Day, or maybe even Cow Inseminators Professionals Day - I have no idea!
But then I came across this photo -
Me, in 1983 doing a show at WUNH, my college radio station.
And that's when it came flooding back.
Clearly, I was a fashion leader with my "Garanimals" shirt (you have to be REALLY old to get that reference), and my Gabe Kotter fro and Grizzly Adams beard. My on air name should have been FRO J SIMPSON! I was crushing it!!!
I loved that time, though. Me and a fun group of music lovers controlling a radio station that let you play whatever the hell you wanted (although- "New Wave" music was encouraged).
That was 41 years ago. Forty one.
Holy crap Im old!! haha-
Still- I made lifelong friends there and it only further cemented my desire to choose radio as a career.
There was never anything else for me. Ever since I was a kid listening to an AM transistor radio (for those who don't know what the hell that is - it was a small radio that only got AM stations) I knew I wanted to be the person playing tunes on the radio. Artists, song and album titles were something that I memorized without even trying. Who did "Red Rubber Ball"? Easy. The Cyrkle. "Badge"? Get outta here! Cream, of course. That stuff came easily to me.
Talking on the radio, though? Not so much.
Like anyone who looks back on their early work- it's certainly cringe-worthy to me. Don't get me wrong- I was ok, but I was nowhere near comfortable and I was more concerned about who they wanted me to be - than who I actually was.
That took time. And I didn't start to get comfortable with being me on the air for quite some time. And the more I stopped trying to be what someone else (mainly a program director) wanted me to be, the better off I was. Making that transition though- putting the real you on the air - isn't easy. That's because now - if people don't like you - it's YOU they don't like- and not some character dj you're playing on the air. And that can sting.
I gave it 5 years, and figured I'd get canned like most radio folks. I think the paperwork must have got lost and they havent found it yet because Im still hear. I'll probably get shitcanned tomorrow after they realize "Holy ****! He's still HERE!!!!" haha-
But back to the college days for a second- a listener posted this on my Facebook page. Its the schedule for WUNH -
And there I am - Saturdays between 12 noon and 3pm, leading in for my buddy Russ Dumont. It was legit - I was on the radio.
And I've never looked back. Alright, that's bulls***. I look back all the time. It's good to remember where you're from so you can appreciate where you are. But since I'm reminiscing -
Here's a few other shots from "back in the day" - probably from the early 1900's....
Recognize anyone in that pic above?
Two radio geeks, Chris Garrett, the Doctor of Rock and I, riding elephants down Market Street in Portsmouth in the middle of the day. True story
John Cougar Mellencamp - as he was known then- was THRILLED to meet the idiot in the red satin radio station jacket!
*ps. pretty sure one of us was stoned off his ass.
And last but not least- UNH Senior Picture, 1984.
Those were days, indeed.
Never in a million years did i think I'd be doing this 40+ years later, I can tell you that.
But I'm glad I am.
And I'm glad I'm doing it here. At home.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.