am alive and well in Cresskill, NJ and own my own company called
"The Spin Doctor, Inc". It's an airplay consultancy
for the record labels and is doing quite well. While at Arista,
I did weekends and fill in at Z100/NY for about 6-7 years and
then did some work at Jammin Oldies before it turned Urban.
I still get the bug once in a while....and always seem to run
into people that grew up listening to me.
occasionally take some time and go to this site and sooooo many
memories come flooding back. Many people don't appreciate what
they've got in living day to day...whether it be a great soul
mate or a great radio station.
On What Made WPGC Great:
was a GREAT station and so far ahead of its time in that we
were one of the first successful FM stations (due to the heavy
penetration of FM in the DC market).
was part of people's lives...they came to us to be with friends
, to hear new music, to be entertained and to win great prizes
(and a lot of cash)....and the loyalty of the listener was reciprocated
by on air personalities that really cared about the station,
the community and each other.
On the 'WPGC Rocks' Album:
far as the 'WPGC Rocks' LP,
the songs were definitely my era at WPGC...but I'll be damned
if I can remember ever seeing it. WPGC was such a powerhouse
back then we would never have given anything away that had such
a glaring error. We probably just put them in a dumpster and
someone got hold of a copy.....a true mid 70's rarity.
On Never Having A
Contract At WPGC:
was owned by the Marriotts....They never believed in personal
contracts for talent. After I was offered afternoons at WLS,
Giddens came to me with a piece of paper with a few things
scribbled on it by hand....not exactly what we were looking
for. I think Charles
may have realized he needed to do better, but knew 'the powers
that be' wouldn't approve.
Turning Down ABC's Offer To Go To WLS:
very difficult decision and many sleepless nights. Number of
factors involved.....1) always felt the opportunity at WLS was
as much a ploy by ABC to get me out of DC as it was to go to
Chicago. 2) While I always felt I was a really good jock on
my own, the chemistry between Scott
and myself was readily apparent on a daily basis. We had caught
'lightning in a bottle' and the sum was better than the parts.
3) loved the DC area and WPGC was in my blood. 4) AM radio was
dying and I knew that a move to Chicago would have been for
short term profit and I had so much invested in DC, the station,
future wife, etc.
On Going To A Union Shop Like Q107:
Union was the major stumbling block to the deal. Of course,
having crossed the line during the Great
Strike That Struck Out in 1977 resulted in my being
tossed from the Union. They brought me up on charges and I had
the head of the National Right to Work Foundation as my attorney.
Let's remember that the union used the jocks in 1977 as sacrificial
lambs to protect their own interests....AFTRA never gave a shit
about the folks at the 'little station in Bladensburg' as Evelyn
Freeman spent much of her time (and gained her power) by dealing
with the three network O+O's. I was shop steward at WPGC and
the Marriotts actually offered us more money that we asked Evelyn
to get us...and she said we could never get what we asked for!!
She scared the rest of the crew and they supported her. Could
go on for hours on that one...but let's move on.
wanted us, I brought up the Union situation and made ABC attorneys
write up the deal so that if I couldn't work due to the Union,
ABC would have to pay off the 5 year contract. Lawyers were
1000% certain the Union could not keep me from working. I just
had to follow procedure, re-apply to AFTRA and, if they said
"no"...they could not stop me from working. Only stipulation
was that, if there was a strike at Q107,
I would have had to work. Luckily, that never came about. Wasn't
any fun going back asking Evelyn if I could rejoin....but after
a number of choice words, she knew she couldn't stop me.
On Harden & Weaver At WMAL:
Weaver was just a great guy and always was positive towards
us. Frank Harden was a different issue as he was a big union
guy and actually sat in judgment of me at my Union trial...never
will forget my lawyer standing up and saying "Mr. Harden,
I've listened to you for years, but you are wrong here".
More than $$$, I think what pissed Frank off more than anything
was that those guys were kingpins of DC for 30 years and still
were working 6 days a week. Scott
and I go there on a 5 day week....wasn't long before Harden
& Weaver also were 5 days.
On WPGC's Reaction When They Gave Notice:
gave notice to PD,
about a tough situation. Here was a guy that always was in our
corner and had done an incredible job taking WPGC back up to
#1 after we were beaten by Q107.
also got me back into doing the music and trusted me, especially
when deals had to be cut to insure top line talent appeared
for Tots concert. It was a well oiled machine and here we
were, walking in at the Xmas Holidays to say bye-bye.
And look how well Steve's
career went when he left.....so proud of his accomplishments...truly
an honor having worked for him and to still call him a friend
to this day. Quick story here....by 1986, Steve
at B104 in Baltimore....my cocaine addiction by that time had
reached the point where I had ruined the "E&W"
brand and sound. When I was at my second rehab, he called and
offered me part time all nights to at least give me a stage
and show the industry the comeback had begun. After we had walked
out on him, the man stood by me years later.....let's say 'forever
grateful' doesn't go far enough.
On Management At Q107 Interfering With The Show:
let us know rather quickly that we were the hired hands. Just
a totally different corporate mentality. Remember that at WPGC,
we really had (almost free) reign and that since I was also
the Music Director I had control of the music on our show and
could also play anything that might fit a bit that we were doing,
etc. Off we go to Q107
where they told me what to play and we had to have a Union tech
turning the tape on and off as well as doing the editing. Took
plenty of time to have to step away from the control room and
sit with the tech editing tape. Some of the flashes of great
radio were still there, but frustration was setting in...both
on our part and with management. The cocaine abuse certainly
On Regrets About Going To Q107:
was a mess. My marriage was falling apart, I was late to work
more and more...Scott
certainly was holding up his end but it had to be tough being
part of the team and half was literally not there. Regrets...many......but
more in the way my behavior hurt people I loved. Professionally,
I think we all take a shot and live with our decisions....WPGC
was changing at that time and who is to say our staying would
have postponed "Classy 95"....Q107
was not the right situation for us and even if I was mentally
"there" the whole time, the corporate shackles made
it tough. Many of the people there were wonderful...Alan Burns,
Ernie Fears (God rest his soul), Tony Renaud, etc...but the
'family' feeling we had at WPGC just was not there.
On Would He Do It All Again?:
am blessed with a great wife, 2 wonderful kids, a career in
the music industry that I never dreamed I would have (Thank
you Jonas Cash, Rick Bisciglia, Richard Palmese, Clive Davis)....Would
I do it all again?...Who knows? Everything happens for a reason.