Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women (I’ve lived Everywhere Man) Chapter LIII 2/22/20 Under Construction

Not done yet
got a couple of chapters to go
About magical people
I was lucky to know
As these ramblings draw to a close, I’m just beginning to realize how good radio has been to me. I’ve met some brilliant people, traveled all over the world, and lived in a variety of cities.
Some of the cities were better than others, but all of them taught me something.

While growing up in Transcona, I learned that it didn’t matter if you came from a small town, you could still make it. Then when I began working in Winnipeg, I figured out that if I opened my ears and shut my mouth, maybe I could make a living doing this radio thing.

I found out in Saskatoon, no matter what management says, they much prefer evolution to revolution. Sudbury taught me never to be intimidated by anyone ever again. Ottawa was where I discovered in a toxic situation that you only needed to be surrounded by five to seven like-minded people to become successful.

In Toronto, when they made me the station manager, I learned that you’re whoever the guy who signs your check says you are. In Indy, I figured out how to get the sales department to pay for most of the big promotions.

While living in San Diego (pictured above) I learned how to do a multitude of radio stations at the same time and have fun doing it. In Austin, I found out that if you bring major league talent to a minor league town, you can quickly overthrow it. Boston taught me how to do country for a city that didn’t want it, and in West Palm Beach I learned how to be a better Dad.

As I look back on my career, what I enjoyed the most was creating promotions that stirred the town up.

For those promotions that caused a lot of havoc, we printed all the GMs “Get Out Of Jail Free Cards”. Printed on the back card were, “We never imagined, nor did we anticipate, that our listeners would overreact as they did to our fun promotion and on behalf of all of them we apologize.”

We suggested that maybe the GMs might want to consider memorizing the words so when all the TV cameras showed up on their doorstep, they could say them convincingly.

Of all the promotions we did at WNAP in Indianapolis, like the Raft Race and 2093, one of my favorites was Fantasy Park.
Even though Fantasy Park was only a make-believe concert featuring live cuts from dead artists, 100’s of people drove around trying to find it.

Meanwhile, across the hall, at WIBC, we were claiming that in the new year, the feds were going to print new money so we started auctioning off the old stuff. We finally had to shut it down, though, because we couldn’t get the folks to stop bidding more than the money was worth.

While doing the first-ever Prize Catalog at KOGO in San Diego, Don Walker (pictured above) needed a promotion that he owed the DoubleTree Hotel. I suggested that maybe we could wrap up the Prize Catalog with a drop off party.

The way it worked was, we told the listeners that, “For a final shot at a fantastic prize, simply mark your name and number on your catalog and then drop it off at the DoubleTree, Friday on your way home from work.

We were only hoping for a little foot traffic, but what we got instead was, by 4:15, the DoubleTree’s parking lot was slammed, their lobby and the bars were overflowing and according to the TV news choppers, Highway 8 looked more like a parking lot than a highway.
Don definitely needed one of those, get out of jail free cards.

Across the hall from KOGO, at KPRI, after bringing in Buster Bodine as the new PD, (pictured above) we came up with what we thought was a brilliant TV spot.
The video featured a beautiful blonde model named Peggy, dressed in skin-tight orange shorts and a yellow sweatshirt that had huge red call letters printed on the front.

As the camera zoomed in, Peggy said, “Whenever I hear the music on KPRI, it just makes me wanna dance.” Bam, then the music started, and so did Peggy, Whew!
When she became so frenzied that she started stripping her shirt off, we did a freeze-frame on the call letters just before her nipples became exposed.
The crawler running underneath it read, “Next week, Peggy takes the shirt off.”

What a great TV campaign, but there was only one problem, none of the San Diego TV stations would run it. They claimed that it was too risque, but when their news departments heard about the ban, they all ran it in their newscasts. Hell, even the newspapers wrote about it and showed a few pictures of Peggy at the freeze-frame part of the video.

Don Walker and his crew quickly took advantage of the controversy and sold “Peggy Watch Parties.” They’d load up a trailer with a giant screen plus a bunch of giveaways and hit the bars with Peggy.
The promos we ran for the promotion said, “It should be the public who decides what’s too risque and you can determine that tonight at so and so’s, sports bar.

Hey, maybe Peggy took the shirt off at those parties, I don’t know because when my wife saw my copy of the TV spot, she wouldn’t let me go.


1 thought on “Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women (I’ve lived Everywhere Man) Chapter LIII 2/22/20 Under Construction

  1. re: “It should be the public who decides what’s too risqué”:

    I totally agree. We Americans are so fickle: the 9/16th of a second “wardrobe malfunction” at Super B*wl XXXVIII between Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson was missed by most viewers while their heads were buried in beers, chips & onion dip, yet they later heard about the ‘nip slip’ and felt compelled to search “Janet Jackson”, basically launching Google and Facebook into overdrive as a result of the record-breaking internet traffic.
    While the resulting controversy forced widespread reforms in US TV and radio in order to avoid the FCC’s crackdown on indecency, Janet Jackson’s career came to a screeching halt, but NOT Justin’s.

    Fast cue to 2020: without a TV PG warning, 103 million viewers of Super B*wl LIV’s half-time show saw Shakira’s scantily clad body and J-Lo’s pole dancing in flesh-revealing outfits while reggaeton rapper J Balvin slapped her bare booty as he humped her ahead of a children’s choir led by J-Lo’s daughter. Not exactly the family-friendly show the NFL claims they want. Conservatives condemned the ‘sexualized gestures’ and ‘soft core porn’ yet no formal indecency complaints have come from these performances. Go figure…

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