If Only Monica Had Kept Bill Busier !

Just when you thought Radio didn’t have anymore to give over 200 people were let go this week. I wonder if Bill Clinton had any idea back in 1996 what a mess he was generating when he hastily signed the Telecom Act into law. I presume he was trying to prevent Ma Bell from staying the monopoly it was but all he accomplished was turning Radio and the FCC into a joke. Oh and have you noticed your phone bill lately. I for one wish Bill had spent a little more quality time with Monica.

Speaking of Monica, what ever happened to her BFF Linda Tripp.

How about them Come Back Cards!

If it’s snowing in New York what the hell is it doing in Winnipeg.

I wonder why they call it Satellite Radio there’s nothing Radio about it. It’s simply audio for rent.

The only people who read USA Today are out of towners and Dee Jays.

My Mother always told me I shouldn’t spend too much time alone because I tend to have Hermit tendencies. HELLO, HELLO, is anybody here ???

I don’t think Republicans nor Democrats can fix the mess they both created. They are all so old school and yesterday it’s got be time for something new. I don’t see any of them coming up with the answers we need. I don’t think any of these guys could even get an interview let alone a job with Apple as their new CEO.

I find it interesting in Canada that the Quebec government pays for special treatments so women can become pregnant but neighboring Ontario does not. I have my theories on why of course but they would not be politically correct.

I wonder why the governments in America and Canada think they have the right to give away our money to other countries even though both are near bankruptcy. How many politicians do you suppose we will have to blow out before they’ll stop.

Now that most of us all have computers wouldn’t it be fun if the government sent us a list of everything they spend money on and let us make the cuts. No lobbyists could afford to get to all of us so we would have the budget balanced in no time.

How long do you suppose it will be until when I google my name I wont see … Did you mean:  George Jones

How would you ever field a radio station baseball team these days. Who the hell would come out to watch a bunch of sales folks play ball.

I hear production on the movie The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp as Tonto has been halted due to it being a way over budget. I mean how much could it cost to have a couple of guys riding around on horses for 90 minutes. Maybe they should use fake silver bullets.

Spell check wont give up. It still claims I’m spelling Cami & Candis incorrectly.

There isn’t a Recording Artist alive who doesn’t remember hearing their record on the radio for the first time. You Tube doesn’t even come close to supplying that kind of excitement.

If you wonder why the people who overpaid for radio stations and also overpay themselves are now firing everybody. It’s for the same reason dogs lick their !!!!

After leaving school and working for a while I decided I was no longer interested in listening to anybody telling me what to do or when and how to do it. That decision cost me millions but I’m happy guy and can sleep at night. Now I’m starting to re think  the whole thing though because I need some more cool stuff. Hey happiness ain’t everything and sleep is way over rated.

Steve Jobs told the students at Stanford University a few years ago that seeing as you are going to spend most of your life working you better find something you like to do.

Very seldom have I ever had an on air talent tell me how good they think another air talent is. I hear quite the opposite though.

Once again I ask … So the good thing about consolidation is ???

Moto says the real problem in America is 50% of Congress are Millionaires and 99% of America is not.

Joe Amaturo finally must be a happy man. His favorite word is “specificity” and if Radio is anything today it is sure that. But the quest for specifics takes a lot of meetings and at those meetings a lot of systems are created in order to implement those specifics. When the systems don’t work out as well as they did on paper and they never do, its back to the old drawing board and of course back to more meetings in order to come up with more and more specifics. Its never ending! Radio has forgotten how to dream and it sure sounds like it.

To be truly happy one must be balanced Financially, Spiritually, Physically and Intellectually equally. But I will tell you this, if someone in the family isn’t out of balance and a little obsessive about the financial side you can just forget about good schools for the kids, eating out in fancy restaurants, fine wines, big homes, exotic vacations and very sexy fast cars. Hey everybody in the family doesn’t need to be happy right!

In the past the slogan used to be … Better Dead Than Red! I wonder what they are using now to keep us from starting a brand new revolution.

Are Lew Dan & Bob Really A Lot Smarter Than Socrates Disney & Jobs ?

How about that Tebow!

In 1965 CEOs made 24 times as much as the average worker. Today its 262 times. I wonder if they are really surprised by all the people who are camped out on Wall Street. They should start worrying about whether or not the campers are going to head to their building.

I’m old enough to remember when GMs actually worked in Radio before they became GM’s.

The strangest Birthday party ever has to be the one Brent Farris threw for himself. He did it at a Funeral Home because he wanted to hear all the good s**t they were going to say about him while he was still alive.

Steve Jobs said Apple never worried about the numbers in the market place they preferred to always keep the spotlight fully focused on the product.

Speaking of Steve Jobs he recently completed writing a book which he wrote for his children so they would know what he was doing all the times he wasn’t with them. I find that rather sad.

Why do I have the scary feeling that when Obama says he is going to raise the taxes on the Rich he is really talking about us. Even we look rich to the poor folk.

The inside word coming out of Dallas is Billy Bob Harris is working on a very exciting new project.

Socrates, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs all believed that what was above the bottom line that created the bottom line. Do today’s radio executives actually think they are smarter than those guys.

I think most Jocks do their shows for other Jocks as Football Coaches must do it for other Coaches. I was at a Sports bar called Duffy’s watching the unranked Vanderbilt playing 2 nd ranked Bama. Mimi (pictured above) had the heavy pour on so so far I was pretty happy. In the early going Vanderbilt was in the red zone twice but just tried two field goals. I remember thinking to myself … Does this fool think he is going to beat Alabama with field goals. Mimi I think I’ll switch to Whisky!

Speaking of Duffy’s I eat there a lot. At 3 of their locations the ladies behind the bar all know my name, what red wine I like to drink and how I like my Turkey Burger prepared which probably doesn’t speak well of my somewhat narrow life style. The upside though is because I am there so often they rewarded me with some great seats to see the Winnipeg Jets play the Florida Panthers I’m even thinking of getting a Jets Jersey or would that be too dangerous. It’s lucky I live in Florida because in Winnipeg you can’t even buy a ticket.

I think Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are the classiest guys playing in the NFL right now.

While we’re talkin’ football, did the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders get their identical looking decolletage from the same surgeon.

Isn’t weird when you read that somebody has resigned from a radio station but they still claim they love the Management and Staff they are leaving behind. The Management and Staff also say they love them too. It is all so touching it almost makes me weep. I for one yearn for the real story.

At my recent birthday party I got caught up with my old friend Gary Russell. Gary was the first air talent I ever hired and when Management used to ask me why I tolerated his hair being so long I told them it was because it made him sound better.

I once asked Mark Hubbard why he never hired Hank Williams Jr. when he was running Jamboree In The Hills. He said because Hank’s fans come with guns and knives.

The big difference between raising Cami than Candis is when Candis and her Mom were fighting I never knew about it. When Cami and her Mom fight I’m drawn into it. The only way I know when the fight is over is when they both get mad at me for interfering.

If our leaders in industry and government had to down size their personal life style in any way they would fix the economy because their family’s wouldn’t tolerate it.

The only people who like good byes are Dee Jays.

What I cant figure out is why the Republicans are huge supporters of Israel when the Jews in America don’t even vote for them.

I think every young female should see the movie “Taken” so they realize their Father’s are probably not ex CIA agents. It’s scary out there

The wonderful thing about daughters is that as feminine as they may be I think they would tear the throat out of anyone who dared say something bad about their Dads.

Are you good at something because it’s easy for you to do or do you become good at it because you like doing it.

I don’t think good content can save a bad talent but a good talent can save bad content.

Why don’t women think other women are very precious. Do they know something we don’t.

Why do guys wearing leather and riding a Harley always appear happier than you.

I wonder in the NFL if there would be fewer injuries if when you came off the field you had to stay out the whole game.

Nobody in America cares much about what the people in Palm Beach Florida think but unfortunately all of our past present and future Presidents sure do.

It is real tough to stay positive when the only thing that is newsworthy are negatives.

Dan Patrick is much better on the radio than he is on TV.

If you’re an older Dude hitting on younger women you better be able to dance like you’re a Boy Toy.

 

Depression Didn’t Get Rick Hallson, Cigarettes Did!

A while back I published what some may have considered to be a somewhat controversial Blog which was about 3 friends of mine who it turned out suffered from depression. Most people though claimed it was one of my more sensitive Blogs and very unlike most of my usual egotistical rants but either way I received more comments about this Blog than any other I have ever written. Also I received a surprise e mail which inspired me to revisit the subject.
Up until a few years ago I’d only heard rumors about the existence of depression because of it being so well hidden. I was surprised by a few comments like the one that came from my good friend Gary Russell. Gary’s Father was a very successful businessman but according to Gary suffered from depression for most of his career and finally had to retire at an early age. Some how though found the strength to fight his way through it and even started a whole new career again when he moved to British Columbia. Gary’s story made me think back about what it was like growing up around my Father and I never realized until now that he too may have been suffering from depression. Back then whatever he had was referred to as some kind of nervous disorder that was treated with something called nerve pills. All I know is that whatever he had caused a lot of fun plans to be cancelled because he would be too sick to participate in them. The memories I have of my Father are unfortunately mostly ones of disappointment like proudly flying home for Christmas one year shortly after becoming a Program Director for the first time and very excited about the fact that my Dad was picking me up and I could share with him the good news that I had recieved my first raise already. When we landed there to greet me was my brother in law Ronnie who explained my Dad was once again not feeling well so he couldn’t pick me up. Those kinds of things happened so often that still to this day I don’t have much sympathy for sickness of any kind but I wish I had known back then what he was going through because maybe we would have had a much better relationship. My Mother used to tell us that Dad would be feeling much.
My Father lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence which my Brother Reg claimed became even worse after I had left home. My friend Jim Quail would often say to me,”It must be great living at your place” because out in public Sandy Johns (pictured) had him and others rolling in the aisles with all the jokes he used to tell. My answer to Jim was … Yeah Right!
Jed Duval commented that our long time production whiz at WIBC TJ Byers also suffered from depression for most of his life and eventually took his own life. After reading many sad comments like that I’ve figured out that maybe a lot of our radio brothers who we thought of as strange at the time, may have been in fact suffering from depression and I believe the more we talk about it, write about it, and bring it out into the open, the more chances there may be that some skilled and qualified people will find a better way to deal with it.

My original Blog was about 3 guys from Winnipeg, Rick Hallson, Bill Wakeman and Billie Gorrie whom I had no idea were suffering from depression. They like my Father hid it well in public. I recieived an e mail from Rick Hallson who at the time was the only survivor of the three about depression, but even though depression didn’t succeed in getting him, cigarettes did. Rick told me that when he worked at CHUM a mutual friend of ours, J Robert Wood used to drive him home and every time he would light a cigarette up J Bob would tell him that those things are gonna kill you. He said that J Robert turned out to be right because in fact he was dying and now I am sad to report he is gone. RIP Rick and in your honor I reprint your e mail about your first hand experience with depression.

 

Hello George,

I think the last time we talked was 1963 when Sandy Koufax won the MVP award in that years’ World Series. Maybe that’s going back a little far but it’s in the ballpark.I was directed to your website last night by Ken Porteous, an old CHUMer and lifelong friend. He found news of the death of Bill Gorrie. I am shocked and saddened to hear about Bill’s demise by suicide. Bill, Ken, and I were just three on a long list of Silver Heights Collegiate grads who were drawn to radio in the early sixties, primarily by the dynamic CKY talent with jocks such as Jimmy Darrin, J. Robert Wood, Chuck Dann and the amazing on-air execution. ‘KY was huge and working at the station for me, being barely 17, was a gift.

Bill Gorrie was kind, gentle, supportive, humorous, upbeat, flexible, honest, to name a few. That was my experience with him during the time I worked at CKRC. I guess that’s why I was so shocked at leaning about his suicide. That just doesn’t fit with what I knew of him, his character, his comfortable drive and his kindness toward others. But then, someone who lives with chronic depression lives two lives. One is hidden deep within while the other part struggles to live with a sense of normalcy. I know because I have lived that. I attempted suicide three years ago. I don’t know what Bill’s issues were but in my case, I carried my issues as far as I could–until August 28, 2008. My demons had won. I was completely surprised when I woke up 26 hours later and it was shortly after waking up, when I became somewhat lucid that I realized I was getting a second chance at life. Since then, I have used my experience and skills as a two-decade professional speaker to advocate for mental wellness and the rights of those who are affected by mental illness. (That’s a long way from executing a dynamic intro sitting on the edge of the jock chair in front of a mic in the control room.)

Could Bill have been swayed in the parking lot the night of the CKRC reunion party? No one will ever know. A couple of months after my suicide attempt and release from the psych ward, I became certified in suicide intervention so that I could better understand suicide and perhaps help others in crisis. One who deals with chronic depression feels shame and a sense of hopelessness, every day. It never leaves. There is no relief. Stigma is a huge issue. Stigma is embedded in our health care system—even within the silo of mental health. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. It’s there in all its ugliness. Bill’s pain is gone. May he rest in peace. What a shame. What a loss.

I did write a book about my experience with my suicide attempt. It sits in a folder on my computer. I’ve never sent it to a publisher for consideration. I’m not sure why but I had to write it for the sake of writing it. Please let me share a few lines from the book with you and your readers. “Within weeks of my release from the hospital after my suicide attempt, I attended a suicide survivors gathering. It’s an annual event staged for family and friends who have lost a loved one to suicide. Speakers addressed an audience of about 150, relating their personal stories: anguish, guilt, fear, hurt, anger, frustration, pain; stories that rang so loud it was deafening; Oh how they wish they could turn back the clock and perhaps change an outcome. As the ceremony continued, I became so profoundly aware of what I had done, as never before, and even in my survival, how I had hurt the people who loved and cared for me. I stood in a back corner of the room watching and listening to the stories one after another, trying to keep my crumbling composure in check. It was so hard to be there. As I walked away after the final prayer from the podium, I came to a decision to write my book. I need to write it for my own sake: fifty years of dealing with my personal demons had almost cost me my existence. It had to end. If telling my story helps even a single human being from taking that final step—suicide, then it is worth every word.”

Like so many others, I will remember Bill Gorrie.

Take care George.

Rick Hallson htp://www.richardhallson.net

Winnipeg

Geo’s Media Blog (Toast & Roast) 10/07/21

My birthday week continues with the memory of my 70th which my daughters, Candis and Cami threw for me in my favorite city, San Diego.
The theme of the birthday party was a “Toast & Roast” which meant that all the guests got to do either.
When Candis sent out the invites we had no idea how many folks from all over the country would be able to show up. However, when her e mail stated that it was going to be a “Toast & Roast,” it brought some very enthusiastic responses. Unfortunately, I think most of the attendees were leaning towards the roast part.
The party was held at the Hilton Hotel and Candis talked Ron Chapman into being the MC.
Ron has done a lot of MC work over the years, hell he even stood at the lectrun and introduced Ronald Reagan when he announced that he was running for a second term.
However, surprisingly, Ron was very nervous as he said to me as the Toast & Roast part got under way, “George there’s nothing bit legends here.” Much later at the “Toast & Rost”Betsy looking as stunning as ever at the “Toast Roast” told the gathered guests that when we first met she eventually had to ask because she was definitely not used to it me why I ignored her most of the time. She claimed I responded with “It’s just my way of hitting on you baby”. Her Husband Barry Smith remarked that after meeting me a few times he definitely knew I was going to be an acquired taste.
Candis early on had wisely decided what with most of attendees coming from out of town and the subsequent wine consumption the party needed to be at a place close to the San Diego Airport and thought the Hilton on Harbor Island right across from Coranado where we used to live would be perfect so she contacted Charles Wolford Conference Service Manager at the Hilton who immediately said … I’m used to Super Stars bring ’em on!

What a great party it turned out to be and a lot of folks from far away places honored me by showing up such as Canadian Radio Hall Of Famers Gary Russell(pictured below) from Vancouver and Chuck McCoy from Toronto. Gary was my first hire in Saskatoon when I became a PD for the first time and had even interrupted his Honeymoon with his new Bride young Joan to attend my party.
Gary’s brother Chuck recalled the day we sat around my office at CKY many years ago trying to think up a new name for him because he was headed to Regina to become a Rock Jock. Luckily for him The McCoys had a hit at the time and a couple of Chucks were our favorite Jocks.
Another Canadian who made the trek to san Diego from the frozen tundra of Canada was former Group Head of Rogers Radio Gary Miles. Gary graciously brought me an old RCA mic which was a very special gift as I’m sure he knew it would be. He recalled bringing me to Toronto to speak to his group to talk about how to handle talent. After my talk he told me that even though he didn’t pay me for my talk he still felt like he had overpaid me.
Candis and Cami managed to talk Radio Hall Of Fame member Ron Chapman from Dallas into MCing the whole affair. Ron was the perfect choice and spoke about meeting me for the first time at KVIL. He remembered thinking to himself at the time … This quiet unassuming guy from Canada is our ratings saviour you’ve got to be kidding! Ron and his bride the ever lovely and humorous Nance unbelievably made it to the party even though she was having back surgery in Dallas the following Monday. ( pictured above)
Jeff and Jer who had sent a “Hell Yes” response to the invite along with Delilah who commented “I’ve been waiting my whole career to roast George Johns” had last minute complications and were unable to attend.
A few great GMs showed up like Tom Hoyt and Roy Laughlin along with Roy’s famous and beautiful wife Ellen K from KISS in LA and their son Calvin who managed somehow to have a shark float around the room. Tom Hoyt brought my favorite wine with him and thankfully left out the best part of his story.
Bob Christy who had actually seen The Jury perform in Grand Forks long before we ever worked together in radio made a very welcome appearance with his scrumptious wife Jan who gave me one of those full body hugs I love so much instead of what I call the Tee Pee hugs you give to Daughters.
I don’t for the life of me know what happened to all the sales folks I guess they were too busy selling to attend. I’ve always as I’ve said love hanging out with the sales types, I just don’t enjoy working with them. David Wolfe was as close to a sales type as we had there and seeing as he brought with him a nice bottle of Champagne I didn’t feel the need to bring up how all the races we ran in together all finished up. Nor did I mention how he lost my Brother’s brand new Mercedes at one of the races when he left the keys on the front tire.
Jim Hilliard my lifetime mentor was present and accounted for. He reminisced about our long radio journey together that started in 1963 and I think even spent a moment or two talking about the day I screwed him when I went into business for myself. Jim brings this up everyday so why not at my Birthday party too. We first met in 1963 but his telling of all our adventures didn’t sound as huge as I kinda remembered them being maybe he was just trying to be humble for the both of us. Jim’s gorgeous wife Barbara who long ago decided long ago she was my adopted sister continued her lifetime of scolding me for my choice in Woman during her mic time.
My old Radio partner Bill Yde who recently sold his company for big enough dollars that I now spend most of my waking hours looking for documents that still link us together was also in attendance.
Gordon Zlot who has always treated me like family was kind enough to come and brought along Bobby Cole and Brent Farris down from Santa Rosa in his Personal Jet.
Bobby Cole had three great stories ready to go but they were rejected by Ron I hear as not being appropriate for some of the tender ears in the room (my Daughters) Thanks Ron!
Brent Farris Morning Man Supreme brought along several bottles of Sonoma County’s finest with him so he definitely got to speak. Hey surprise surprise even the reclusive radio legend Jack McCoy (pictured below) showed and was in brown and not black for the first time. He wondered out loud if anybody noticed what day it was that I had gone from being a very quiet unassuming guy he used to deal with since 1971 to the obnoxious angry person I am today.
My good friend Reid Reker wisely declined to speak at the affair out of fear of retaliation. I’m sure you can only imagine the many novels worth of stories I have about him ready to go if he should ever talk out of school. Reid of course is the only person in the world not telling me I should write a book.
Candis explained during her time on the mic that one of the early lessons in life she had learned was to never use the words her Dad told her she should use even though they sounded perfect for the situation. Every time she had tried it always turned out badly for her an claimed she was still in therapy for having done so. Reid told her later that he had complete sympathy for her because not only did using the words I told him he should use turn out badly for him too but people even started hitting him.
The party was wonderful and thankfully the Roast I was expecting turned into mostly a Toast because of my Daughters and Niece being there I would suspect which was probably too bad because there were some very funny people in attendance.
Cadis and Cami’s presence at the party finally showed what I have always said which is there are two George Johns’ The one they know and the one my Daughters know. The wimp Candis and Cami know was the one who showed up for the party.
My Brother Reg had brought along a few of his peeps like his computer genius partner Hamid Badiozamani plus his CFO Barb Lovenguth along with Sam James. When Reg spoke he simply leaned into the mic and asked if the person who taught his brother to e mail please raise their hand because he would like to kill him.
I understand the party wrapped around 3 am but I was done at 1.

A lot of very kind things were said about me at the party that night and I felt the love in the room but then again these guys are all professional actors so I’m not turning my back. I wont go into all the drama about when making our way to San Diego Cami had to be taken off the plane in Dallas by 5 paramedics. Oh and did I mention we all went to San Diego a few days early so Daddy could hang out by the pool and relax during his birthday week. Instead spent the whole time shopping with the above pictured beauties.
But all’s well that ends well and it ended very well at Auntie Savvy’s beautiful home the next day for brunch. We hooked up with more family and friends which including Keith James and dined on some fresh Salmon and a lot of other culinary delights which I understand Gary Miles who loves to cook had a hand in preparing.
My Daughters threw a hell of a party and I want to thank them for doing so. It’s the best party I’ve ever been at but I’m getting tired of celebrating Birthdays they just make you older. What I never tire of is hanging out with family and all my good friends. I’m ready to do so again anytime anywhere but at someone else’s Birthday. I’m done!

It Ain’t Disney Baby!

 

 

Wow what a Birthday party my daughters Candis and Cami threw for me in San Diego. 40 good friends from all over North America showed up to roast the s**t out of me. I was wise enough to have both my daughters and my niece Christina by my side though so I only got a slight sunburn.

Speaking of my “Toast & Roast” Ron Chapman who was the perfect MC for the evening’s festivities said if Barbara Hilliard speaks we are going to need to book the room for another full day.

So a few weeks ago I headed for San Francisco and just grabbed 3 – T-shirts from the hundreds I have to run in. I put one on and went running each day. On my final day I got my last T- shirt out of my bag and headed out the door. As I was running in the cool California sunshine I looked down at my Tee and discovered I had unknowingly put on an old WRMF 9/11 shirt. The weird part was it was Sunday Sept 11 the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Very strange but very appropriate.

I would think the 6 field goals the Cowboys got against the Redskins instead of touchdowns has a lot more to do with wimpy play calling than athletic ability.

Here are my 4 questions of the week … Is a Black Man ever a racist, a Woman ever a sexist, a Jew ever prejudice or do I become all three by just asking.

OK OK so maybe Shakespeare wasn’t right and the plays not the thing and Charlie Sheen is the real thing.

The thing is if it’s raining I don’t like to go out and run, if it starts raining when I’m already out there I love it.

Speaking about running, the thing of it is the more you run the stronger you get, the fitter you get, and the lighter you get which all leads to what you really need. Speed!

If I owned the Indianapolis Colts I’d call a meeting to find out what the hell all the rest of the players do that costs me so much.

Love is conditional for everyone but family. Like is conditional for everyone.

Most parents believe we need better teachers and I believe we would all be willing to pay those better teachers a lot more money if school went all year. The way they do it now costs us a way too much for them not to go.

When a restaurant comes out with a new menu it only means one thing to me … The prices have gone up.

A few months ago all we heard was “It’s All Good” Now we over hear “It Is What It Is”

Is being able to take advantage of who and what you are a bad thing?

All the spam comments I get claim they love my Blog but they still want me to buy a bunch of stuff too.

Walt believed that you take care of the customer first, your employees next, and the company last. Most American businesses and our Government do it exactly the opposite.

Why do Dee Jays make such a big deal out of good bye at the end of their show and over promoting the days when they are not going to be on the air. They may like saying it but we sure don’t like hearing it,

I think Indy and Miami are just chasing the # 1 pick in the NFL draft.