When my daughter Candis was born, it put me through some major changes. Even though we had records out, deep down I knew that I wasn’t a good enough musician to support a family. So when Bill Grogan (pictured between Vic Edwards and Frank Roberts) offered me a full-time job as the Music Director of CKY, I left the Jury.
Leaving the Jury was tough, it meant giving up on the dream that Rolly Blacquiere and I had when we were kids. Surprisingly, when Randy Bachman heard that I’d left the Jury, he tried to recruit me for the Guess Who. When I told Randy that I wasn’t near good enough to play with them, he said, “I can teach you the music, it’s all that other stuff you do that The Guess Who needs.” Although I was very flattered I’d already made my decision to give radio a shot.
Luckily, I turned out to be a hell of a lot better at radio than I was at guitar but unfortunately just as I was starting my radio career, all the Americans left the station. Now, it wasn’t as much fun, but it still beats working for a living and the only good times were when John Wells and I would go up to Chan’s Moon Room to drink somebody goodbye. These going away parties were very fun and I loved flirting with the receptionist Embree McDermid who was neither a wild woman nor a “bad girl,” but she was definitely a MILF. (pictured below)
Bumping along at CKY I surprisingly received a phone call from my old boss Jim Hilliard the man who got me interested in radio in the first place. (pictured today with his wife Barb) Jim was now the new program director of WFIL in Philly and he wanted me to jump on a plane so we could talk about the possibility of my moving to Philadelphia. He wanted to hire me so that I could produce the same kind of promos that I used to do for him when he was the Program Director of CKY and I was a part-time board op.After arriving in Philadelphia and filling out all the necessary paperwork at the radio station, we then jumped into Jims candy apple red Caddy convertible and headed out for dinner with his wife, Barbara. The place they had chosen to eat was called Bookbinders and the place was just jumpin’ with lawyers who were all wearing their official uniforms. You know, navy blue pin-striped suits, matching vests, yellow or red striped power ties, and of course the regulatory red suspenders. However, they were no match for our table. Jim was wearing a maroon colored Nehru suit and had a huge gold medallion dangling from his neck and his wife Barb was decked out in what can best be described as a toga which was snow white and trimmed in gold. On her feet were white Roman sandals with straps that crisscrossed their way up to her knees. The baubles on her fingers were all gold as were the bracelets that snaked their way from her wrists to her elbows. Her golden hair which was piled high on her head was crowned with a gold tiara.
We spent most of the time catching up on all that had transpired since we last hung out together in Winnipeg which included the fact that my wife Lana was pregnant. At some point during dinner, I began to notice that we were being stared at and when I mentioned it to Jim he said, “They’re just pissed ’cause I make more money than they do.”
I was very excited about maybe joining Jim in Philly, but unfortunately, we soon found out that unlike today, you can’t just wander across the border. What you needed back then was a work permit, and the way you got one of those was by starting out in the back of a very long line. When my name went on that immigration list, I was a Board Op in Winnipeg, and Jim was a Program Director in Philly. By the time I was notified that my name had finally risen to the top of the list, Jim was the CEO of a radio group out of Indy, and I was a Station Manager in Toronto.
Meanwhile, back at CKY, I was growing more and more restless with each passing day. Realizing that rising to the top of that list was going to take some time, and not knowing what to do about it, fate intervened. One day I just happened to overhear George Dawes (pictured above) telling someone on the phone, “Thanks but no thanks.” When I queried him about the phone call, he said that CKOM in Saskatoon was looking for a Program Director. When I mentioned to him that I was interested in becoming a program director, he called them back for me. The next thing I knew I was on an airplane bound for Saskatoon where I became their new Program Director. As exciting as this all was to me, I do have to admit that it did have a little hair on it. I was taking the first grandchild away from the doting grandparents, my wife Lana wasn’t excited, and I knew nothing about programming.