Last Song People! (For the year that is)

This will be my last blog of 2018 as I look towards some fun things to happen in the New Year.

Come 2019 I will be self-publishing my media memoir “Raised on the Radio.”  Yeah, yeah, you all have heard this from me before but I can safely say the entire manuscript (all 81,000 plus words) is finally completed to my satisfaction. During this past summer I realized what was missing was the tone of the book. It needed to be amped up to express how much fun I had when in radio.  To put it bluntly, as I wrote in it, “Working in big city radio was a fucking blast!”  During the month of November I tuned up that tone to where it belonged and finished the final edit.

While writing “Raised on the Radio’ I adopted the late Glenn Frey’s mantra,‘Perfection is not an accident.’  The book is now as perfect as I can make it and once formatted for download and an online cover is made, it’ll be on sale. Look for it to be out this coming spring and you’ll be able to buy it from Amazon.

Just so you know I have other books to write too.  My next project will be a trilogy of fictional short stories that center on York High school in contemporary times.  I think this set of tales will happen much faster because I have a laser-like focus on what’s going to happen in those stories.

Speaking of York High School, later in 2019 I will be going to my 40th (yes, you read that right) my 40th York High School Reunion!   I feel like it was just yesterday when the York administration handed me a diploma and ‘participation trophy.’  The only reunion I missed was our 10th,because it seemed like we were barely out of college and since I still saw many of my former classmates during that time, a reunion felt premature. Sometimes I joke that going to class reunions results in glasses of booze being thrown in my face from the former high school girlfriends whose hearts I broke.  In reality, that’s not true! I’ll write more about the 40th reunion of the class of 1979 in the coming months.

The York High School Class of 1979 will have a 40th reunion this year.

In the New Year I’d like to hit up some karaoke nights and want to check out the places that host house bands that play live to whatever song you want to sing. I’m also culling personal writings & jokes that I’d like to try out at an open mike for comedy.  I could picture my stand-up special being called “No Bare Feet Allowed!”

Yeah, my barefoot phobia has yet to subside but I will be making my regular rounds to East End Pool in the summer.  Come March I’ll order my new swim pass and a short couple months later I’ll be reunited with swim pals like Miriam, Barb, Jim, Melissa, Connie, Desiree her husband Steve and others.

 I’m looking forward to another summer at East End Pool.

Come 2019 while not making specific resolutions I do want to treat myself better.  There are times my closet could do with some new clothes, nicer shoes, etc.  I often put things like that off but it’s time to enjoy some extras, because if not now, then when?  I do for others whenever possible but too often doing for my own self takes a backseat and that should change. Also, I may be looking to buy a new car (my first in many years) and I’m making a vow to take better care of my yard. More frequent lawn trims and tending to the flowers beds and such.

One thing  I’d like to change is my cell-phone. I hate having a complex android phone and want to switch it out for a simple Cricket flip phone that takes calls and allows me to text.  That’s all I want!  I don’t need all that other stuff so if anyone wants to put a simple bid for a Samsung Galaxy 3 phone, let me know!

Thanks to the perks of my radio career, for over 20 years I saw countless concerts, most of them for free.  That left me kind of‘live showed out’ for a long time.  Now I want to get out and see live music again. I’ll just have to brace for the fact that I now have to pay to get in.  The first show I want to see is Elton John in February.  The Allstate Arena is a 15 minute drive from my house and there’s no reason to not see one of my all time favorite performers.

I want to get out to see Elton John in concert at the Allstate Arena in February of 2019.

So now we wind down these last couple of weeks of 2018. I’m going to be seeing several new films in theaters which I’ll give mini-reviews on my Facebook page. Of course there’s Christmas to celebrate and then we move on to a New Year. So until I start new blogging, I want to wish all of you who read my silly ramblings the best holidays possible and to have a healthy and Happy New Year!


Richard Speck is Dead! (Burp!)

Here is an excerpt from my memoir “Raised on the Radio” which will be released in the spring of 2019.

This story takes place when I was the Executive Producer for the Murphy in the Morning Show at WKQX FM, Q-101.  Lots of fun things happened with Murf and this is just one example of that.

(Robert Murphy, the host and overseer of on-air boozing)

In early December of 1991, our program director Bill Gamble suggested the Murphy in the Morning Show do a “Drink and Drive” public safety bit on the air.  It’s a standard radio thing where one or two show members drink alcohol all morning live on the air and keep getting measured for their blood alcohol content with a breathalyzer device.  It’s part stunt and part public service.

I called the Illinois State police and arranged for a uniformed trooper to come to the radio station with a breathalyzer machine. Promotions hired a bartender to mix the drinks from a portable bar cart that was set up in the studio.  It was agreed that Danger Dan Walker and newsman Dave Mc Bride would do the boozing, keeping track of how much  alcohol they downed. Murf would stay cocktail free to keep the radio ship from running into the rocks and shallows.  Eleanor Mondale was noncommittal on whether she’d be drinking.

The day before this drinking show, Gamble told Mc Bride and I that if some serious story like a plane crash or a deadly mudslide crossed the newswires, I was to take over the reading of the news.  We didn’t need a normally straight arrow newsman, half in the bag and slurring through information on a fire at a nursery school.  A sober person would need to handle that kind of news.

(Day Drinking commences. L-R Robert Murphy, Eleanor Mondale and Danger Dan Walker)

So on the morning of the cocktail consuming, Dave McBride started with an Old Fashioned, Dan Walker had some Gin or Vodka concoction and Eleanor was drinking lemonade.  As Dave and Dan kept downing drinks, the state trooper measured their blood alcohol levels on the breathalyzer. He also answered Murphy’s questions on the testing procedure.

(Did Q-101 Newsman Dave McBride down too many ‘Old Fashioned’ cocktails?)

About halfway through the show Dave spotted breaking news that famed spree killer Richard Speck just died of a heart attack in Illinois’ Stateville Prison.  Back in 1966, during one horrific night Speck killed eight student nurses in a Chicago apartment. He spared one woman who hid under a bed and it was speculated he lost count of how many people were in the apartment.  Richard Speck was sentenced to death but that eventually got reduced to life in prison.

(Spree killer Richard Speck at the time of his arrest in 1966)

Dave McBride was pretty buzzed and wanted me to handle the news on Speck’s death.  “Why?” I asked.  Dave noted because this is what Bill Gamble said about serious news, that a sober person should read the bulletin.  I laughed and said everyone is going to be thrilled that Speck’s dead!  Outside of mass murderer John Wayne Gacy, he’s the most hated man in Illinois. I told Dave not to worry about it and have fun delivering the news on the dead killer.

So on his next newscast Dave McBride, sounding quite wobbly, reported “Richard Speck is dead.  (Pause) And I’m feeling pretty good about that!”  The whole show busted out laughing. He shared some of the details but we were all lost in the delivery of this story.  The next newscast Dave reported “Richard Speck died today.” Then clinking the ice in his glass by the microphone he said, “That calls for another!” Another round of loud laughs followed.  I think his last comment on the Speck death was, “Anyone feel bad about this? Because I don’t!” More belly laughs were heard.  This was classic Dave McBride.  The booze loosened him up enough to take a heinous dead criminal story and make it something hilarious.

(Even co-host Eleanor Mondale was asked to blow into the breathalyzer)

Near the end of the show after tallying up the cocktails, Mc Bride and Danger Dan Walker were found to be legally drunk. They easily blew past .10 on the breathalyzer which at the time was the legal limit for blood alcohol content while driving.  Also, our bartender covertly slipped vodka in the lemonades Eleanor drank and she crossed the .10 line without realizing it.  Dave and Eleanor both lived in the city so they took cab rides home after that show.  Danger Dan was driven home by engineer Captain Jim but not before throwing up in Jim’s car.

(Still buzzed after the show. L-R Dave Mc Bride, Danger Dan Walker and our friendly Illinois State Trooper who deemed both of these guys to drunk to drive)

Ever since that drunken morning show, anytime I hear news of a famous killer dying in prison, like when Charles Manson took the dirt nap, I think of Dave McBride’s comments on Richard Speck and say, “And I’m feeling pretty good about that!”