Feel free to roam around, and check out tons of audio from the stations I’ve been a part of over the years. Or, and I use the term loosely, enjoy Neanderpaul TV! A collection of videos from the show.Read More
Category Well…Hello There!
That’s how long it’s taken me to get here. And last night, I had a moment that reminds me why I do this.
I have to set it up…
In 1985, I was in attendance at the WBCN Rock n’ Roll Expo @ the Bayside Exposition Center in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. This was a sort of trade show that masked itself as a cool event where one could go and see a bunch of concerts and buy records. Now that I’m older, I understand that it was a client “job fair” where they could try to sell their gear. The programming folks at WBCN knew they needed to get some bands in there to get listeners to come. I had no clue who any of them were at the time. I was just happy to see my favorite Rock station in my neighborhood. It was close enough that we could walk there.
So, I go.
I walked around the center, and saw the car stereo people, and guitar shops, and smoke shops, and poster hawkers, and there were two stages and I got to see two bands that I still dig to this day; Angel City & Keel.
Neither band are household names. Angel City are actually known outside of America as “The Angels.” Due to an American band owning the name in the US…they make an adjustment here. Keel are one of those Hard Rock/Metal bands that never really got their due. They wrote great songs, had a decent show, and a good following. For a while, they got on MTV with a few videos. Most notably, “The Right To Rock,” “Tears Of Fire” & their cover of both Rose Tattoo’s “Rock n Roll Outlaw” & Patti Smith’s (Bruce Springsteen) “Because The Night.”
When I saw them back in Boston, I had one of those cool moments when you’re a kid, that sets you on a certain path. During the set, the required “throwing out of drumsticks” resulted in yours-truly ending up with Keel drummer, Dwain Miller’s stick. (Cue: Jack Black moment) It was as if I were being selected by the Rock gods, to take that stick forward and preach the gospel of Keel.
And preach it I did.
For the better part of the next 5 years, Keel were my favorite “band nobody’s ever heard of.” That’s not meant to be a slight. But, in the world of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Warrant, Guns n’ Roses etc, Keel weren’t exactly someone everyone name-dropped. Those that knew, liked ‘em. Those that didn’t, just didn’t pay attention. The band released a string of records. Solid, but no breakout record like Whitesnake. Just a band, working hard to make it. I had several opportunities to meet the band during that time. The stories are fun to us. But, more than likely, uninteresting to you.
Years passed, and the band splintered. Members went their separate ways. You saw their guitarist in both “Wayne’s World” movies. And a few years ago, heard their song “Speed Demon” during the scene with Biz Markie in the mailroom in “Men In Black II.”
Despite being featured as a former heavy metal singer, gone country, occasionally the band would pop up on Metal-related websites and all.
Which brings me to about a month ago…
We got a call from a local promoter asking us if we wanted to feature Queensryche, Great White & Keel as our station Halloween show. We could promote the return of Queensryche to the Valley, and Jani Lane from Warrant was singing for Great White. And as a bonus, Keel were celebrating their 25th Anniversary. It worked out well, and we decided to do the show.
As it turns out, one of the women at the station gets an e-mail from Ron Keel. Oh, did I mention they’re actually a Phoenix band? Yeah. How funny is that? Anyway, Ron Keel says to this woman that he’d love to come by the station. It’s the one he grew up listening to in Phoenix. (insert blatant plug for KDKB here)
So, of course I tell her to ask for his e-mail address, and invite him to hang with me on-air.
Ron, Dwain, and Geno (Keel bassist) come by the station and we spend the better part of an hour promoting the gig, and new record (blatant plug for Keel’s website, here). Some of those aforementioned stories are told, and we had a good time.
Halloween Night comes, and I draw the duty to bring the band onstage. When I get there, Ron Keel hands me a pair of autographed drumsticks from the band. The circle is almost complete (something, something Dark Side!).
Anyway, Ron tells me they have a huge intro tape and he’ll give me the cue to go. I’m standing onstage and waiting. Suddenly AC/DC starts going over the PA, and the stage manager is all up on me to “Go! Go! Go!” So, I’m looking for Ron for my cue. I look down and see Geno Arce (Keel bassist) and he yells up “I guess we have a new intro tape!”
So, I go out and do my thing. I pump the hell out of the band… (blahblahblahblah KEEEEEEL!!!)
Then I run offstage…and into Ron.
“What are ya doin??”
“I was told to go.”
“Well…the stage manager and Geno. I couldn’t find you.”
“Geno’s the bass player man!…We have like a 2 minute intro tape. You gotta do it again!”
“You gotta do it again.”
“OK…you let me know what’s up.”
At this time, one of the promoter’s people steps up to the band. Ron asks “Have we been paid?” The promoter-guy says; “I’m working on that.”
“Oh no…I need (amount edited out of professional courtesy) in my hand right now, or we’re not going onstage!”
…meanwhile, the AC/DC song is coming to an end rapidly.
During this time, I’m telling (Keel guitarist) Bryan Jay, that I’m about to go on stage and relay the events we’re witnessing to the entire crowd as a cover for my fuckup. He says, “Don’t tell anyone I said it was OK!”
Money exchanges hands, and the band is a go!
I’ve got about 20 seconds to tell Ron Keel that I’m telling that story. He’s just looking at me with a stare and a smile like “You wouldn’t!”
I jumped up on stage and said “You are never going to believe this…I just witnessed a moment right out of “Oceans 11.” I stood backstage and watched Ron Keel say to the promoter those four magic words; Pay. Me. My. Money!”
Crowd roars their approval.
“Well…as you can see they’re taking the stage! Someone got paid! Let’s make ‘em feel appreciated now! Please welcome home; KEEEEEL!”
And off they went…
It was a great set. I could have easily spent the entire time standing on stage, and watching. But, just as it was 25 years ago…I went down to the front, and remembered why I do what I do . Because I love music.
There are moments that you always remember. This is not one of those surreal, “I met a legend” moments. This was a real moment. With a real band. Afterward, I officially met Ron’s lovely wife, Renee’. We spoke of insider industry crap that wouldn’t interest you. But, it was the capper on a fun night, with a band that still isn’t a household name. But, I couldn’t care less.
I had a great time! If you were there, I hope you did too. If you weren’t, I’m sure we’ll have pictures up at the station website, or you can hit our Facebook page. I’ll also drop some on my FB page as well…and get the audio uploaded here so you can hear the interview if you’re interested.
One of the jokes of my radio career has been how I never wanted the responsibility of having people’s professional lives to be subject to my scrutiny. I’ve never had any interest in being the guy who had to decide who gets to eat and who doesn’t.
In my new position as Program Director for a 100,000 watt Rock station in America’s 5th largest city, I have come to truly understand the term “You never know who’s listening.” I’ve received calls from the widest variety of people, with the widest tastes in music that I’ve ever known. I’ve also had to, by definition of my job, monitor and keep cognizant of anything we may broadcast that could be in violation of FCC, community, or company standards. I am ultimately responsible for everything that comes out of the speakers of our station.
I’ve also come to realize…when one of our staff members broadcasts something that could possibly cost the company tens-to-hundreds of thousands of dollars, I have to make a decision. Depending on the severity of the infraction, I may have to cap them immediately. It’s not something I relish having to do.
However, I did have to do it this weekend. I won’t get in to the details. But, it came down to this: By their poor decision, this person was jeopardizing not only their job…but the jobs of everyone at the station. Once this fact made itself clear to me…I had no problem making the decision. I love my gig. I have a lot of other people to account for. When one intentionally screws with the lives of many, they have to go. It’s that simple.
Running a radio station is not an easy job. I’m not bitchin’ I think it’s a blast! I’m just sayin’…It’s so much more than just picking music and giving away prizes. I am learning new things and it has opened my eyes to things I never knew. For all of the former bosses I owe a huge “fuck you” to…I owe an equal # of “thank you/I’m sorrys” to the others.
I don’t regret doing what I did. I now know that sometimes you have to make a shit decision for the greater good.
Good Luck Kid…You’re someone else’s blog-fodder now.Read More
Welcome to the blagh part of the site. I have been so slammed with KDKB stuff, that quite frankly, I’ve slacked on keeping you in the loop on my own site. Priorities. They can be a bitch.
As you may, or may not know, I’ve been hired to be the Program Director for 93.3 KDKB in Phoenix, Arizona.
It’s a pretty amazing opportunity, and the focus that I’ve been applying to the station over the past ten weeks, has really begun to pay off. We took a real close look at what the station has been historically, and what the listeners of Phoenix Rock radio expected from us, and have now put together what we hope is what Phoenix wants to hear.
To give you a bit of background…Imagine the Rock station where you live. Is it new? Or, has it been there since before you were born? KDKB has been here in Phoenix since the beginning of what’s called Album Oriented Rock. Basically, back in the day, you had those Be-Bop stations that played all the Top-40 music of the time. And then in 1967 or so, a group of music fans decided that Radio was out of touch with what’s really going on in their world (sound familiar?). So, they put these stations on in cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, and yes…Phoenix.
Each big city had their version of the “cool Rock station,” that played real music that real music fans wanted to hear. The syrupy shit that was passing for “Rock n’ Roll” wasn’t really indicative of the people who really loved the music. It was the flavor-of-the-month stuff that could be packaged and sold to teeny-boppers. Think “Idol”…
Well here in Phoenix…KDKB was that station. Over the years, it’s gone through a lot of shifts and swings. Basically, leaving it in a place where it had lost any real identity. Like that CD that sits on the rack that you loved at one time, but now…never listen to. It was just…here.
When I took the job in July, the owners laid out a plan. They told me what they wanted to do with KDKB and asked what needed to be done. I told them what I saw and what I thought we could do to restore KDKB to its rightful place at the top. Ten weeks later, KDKB is very different sounding radio station than when I got here. When you tune in now, it sounds like it is meant to sound. If you’re tired of listening to the “Cookie Monster” screaming at you all day, and not quite old enough to take a nap with Fleetwood Mac on in the background. Then KDKB is your station.
The challenge has been met so far.
We have a great staff of personalities. No fake radio clowns who talk like they’re badasses (but in reality haven’t been to a show, or couldn’t tell you anything about the music we play, or football, or anything related to real life because they’re completely out of touch…. unless their producer looks it up for them). We don’t think we’re that cool. In fact…we know we aren’t. We’re just KDKB. I invite you to tune in and give us a listen for a bit. I think you’ll like the station.
Of course all of that means I haven’t been updating this page that often. It’s been a ton of work fixing a radio station. So, I apologize for being out of touch for a bit.
In case you missed it, I’m also back on the air. Weekday afternoons from 3-7 (AZ time) you can find me. All the stupidity you’ve come to expect over the past 25 years, now packaged for the Valley Of The Sun!
Of course, nothing in my world goes exactly as planned. Within two weeks of moving to Phoenix, the great “katana incident” happened where I almost lost my right hand. If you’re really interested…there are pictures on my Facebook page. Those who know me well, also know I’m heavily armed (Hey! That’s a pun!). I’ve had weapons my whole life and I’m proficient in their use. However…accidents happen. And, in all of the years I’ve owned this razor-sharp Japanese sword, I’ve never experienced the working effects. Until recently.
The sword is housed in a sheath (tsuba). It is to be drawn specifically, and the blade is sharp enough to bi-sect you should I choose to do so. However, in this instance, it was being stored atop a 6′ shelf, in the tsuba, and really just on display. What I didn’t plan for, was the tsuba to be protruding over the edge of the shelf to the point where the door to the room could potentially knock the tip (just the tip…just for a moment…just to see how it feels…it does not feel good!) causing the katana to spin sideways and drop toward the floor.
Now…there’s good news, and there’s bad news. The good news is…the tsuba hit my right wrist square on the bone. It hurt like hell! The bad news…the blade was extended about 3″ from the housing, and almost fileted my right hand. Yes…it was wide open and I now know what the inner workings of the hand look like. It’s a lot like what you saw in “the Terminator.” Thankfully, gravity chose not to take my hand, or any of my fingers. In fact, a month or so later…I have full use of the limb. Didn’t sever any arteries or nerve endings. I got very lucky. But I know two things…I heal quickly, and that katana will end you if held in the right hands (no pun intended).
In more positive news…I have the bike up n’ running again. I took it off the road when I was sans job/insurance. Arizona might be the best place to ride that I’ve ever lived. NoCal was beautiful as well…But the mountains here are…different. Anyone who’s ridden here will tell ya as much. I’m looking forward to rolling all Winter while all of my friends back east have to put ‘em away.
Raiders football is back. They certainly started out like shit. We’ll see if they can get it together. Funny, when I was a season-ticket holder, they went to the Superbowl…I left the Bay Area, and they got bad. Moved to the Midwest and their football team went through the worst collapse in history. I left the Midwest and their team is getting better…I’m closer to the Black Hole again. Perhaps some karma would be in order? It’d be nice to have them winning.
The dogs are adjusting nicely to the desert. I take that back. More accurately, the dogs love air conditioning.
I’ll start collecting new audio soon so that we can add a Phoenix section to the audio section. I still have a lot of archive stuff to upload as well. So, it will get fun again here on the page soon. Meanwhile, feel free to check out my Facebook & Myspace (Really?) pages if ya want. You can also follow me on Twitter! Or…just e-mail me at work: email@example.com or here on my page. And of course, you can listen every weekday afternoon from 3-7pm on the station webpage.
That’s it for now. As always, thank you for all the e-mail and for the years of support. I’ll talk to you soon!
Been a bit since I’ve updated you. Why not now?
So far, life in the Valley couldn’t be finer! I love Phoenix! It is truly beautiful. Palm trees n’ cacti everywhere, and I haven’t seen a cloudy day since the drive here. Yeah…we get the occasional sudden thunderstorm. Here they’re referred to as “monsoons.” But they’re not like the ones you see in the Philippines. I have yet to experience my first “haboob.” Go ahead and Google it. Apparently they happen only in the Mideast, and desert Southwest. And yeah…it IS a dry heat.
Before you dismiss that as something to be minimized, I’d like you to do an experiment for me. Right now…get up and go to your oven and set it at 110 degrees. I’ll wait.
…ok while we wait for the oven to preheat, I gotta tell you, life at KDKB is a blast so far. I’ve never thought of myself as a “boss.” I just don’t like the nonsense egotism that comes with titles. Here, I’m sort of a coach. We all know the roles we occupy. We all want to do everything we can to contribute to KDKB’s successes, and it’s truly been rewarding so far. I’ve had to make some decisions regarding the programming staff, but I think we all know why they had to be made, and we all believe in the vision for the station. It was the one moment of discomfort I’ve felt. But…with every new experience, comes adjustment. I’d like to think I handled it the best I could for all involved. I’m surrounded by talented, motivated individuals. Each one committed to our combined goal. I can’t say that’s always been the case everywhere I’ve worked. Is that a shot at some people I’ve worked with over the years? Yes. Yes it is. They know who they are. If any of you are reading this, and you feel a little twinge inside, everyone knows. Don’t kid yourselves anymore. That’s not meant to be bitter. And I know it comes off as such. It’s just a realization, and acknowledgment of my appreciation for where I am right now. To anyone I work alongside…Thanks. We’re just getting started.
OK…get up now. Walk to the oven. Open it. Now stick your head inside. Feel that? That’s your “dry heat.” The difference is…you can remove your head from the oven. We, have air conditioning. Dry heat…is still hot. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not every bit as oppressive to some as humidity is. Me? I have a pool! Ohhhh yea!
I will say it now; You were right! I got a call a couple of weeks ago from someone above, asking when I could be ready to go back on the air. Of course, I said “immediately!” And so…Neanderpaul’s back in afternoons. I’m having a blast and appreciate all the e-mails. Lots of people listening around the world. It’s good to be back…doing what I do. And I had no idea so many from Memphis, New Orleans, Columbus, Sacramento, Boston, and KC have tuned in!! Not to mention the people from those places that have relocated to other parts of the world and are checking in daily. The internet is at once the best, and worst tool of our lifetime. I’m appreciative of the kind words. Thanks!!
And again…words will never quite express how thankful we are for all of your support during the “beach time.” Life is good.
If you wanna find me, my station e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org and you know you can always e-mail me here!