The reason I’m piss poor is because of cars so I guess better said, I’ve been car-poor my whole life. In fact, every time I got a raise, I got a new car, but it all ends now.
No more paying for parking, no DUIs, no rising insurance costs, no license fees, no gas or oil, new tires, or all the maintenance bullshit.
My addiction to cars began when I sat on my Dad’s lap so I could reach the steering wheel.
Then, when I was around seventeen, I’d saved up enough money pumping gas to buy a 1948 Pontiac straight eight rag top. (See above)
Man, was I excited as I drove out of the used car lot, but unfortunately, I only got about three blocks before the car conked out.
And, of course, all the car dealer said to me was, “Hey kid, you bought it as is,” so my dad had to come and tow me home.
Even though we rebuilt the engine (I handed my dad the tools), there was no saving it, so I moved on.
Now, I’m in a band called The Phantoms, which later became The Jury, and because I needed some room to schlep band stuff, I bought a big old 4-door Oldsmobile. (See above)
Oh, and it was in this very car that Randy Bachman, later of the Guess Who and BTO fame, said to me when he filled in one night for our lead guitar player, “Hey, “George, if you’re up for a change, I’d love to play with you guys; you’re a fun band.”
Hey Randy, if you need a rhythm guitar player, I’m standing by to stand by, and I’m still a fun guy.:-)When we finally got a trailer to haul all our equipment (The amps kept getting bigger and bigger), I bought a light-yellow colored Ford Galaxie Sunliner convertible. (See above.)A couple of years later, I bought a very fun car; it was a snow-white Cyclone GT ragtop with a red leather interior, a chrome tach on the floor, and red racing stripes down each side.
I had no idea it was a muscle car; I didn’t even know what a muscle car was, but that puppy could boogie! (See above)I loved my GT, but my mentor, Jimmy Darin, drove a T-Bird, so I had to have one of those. I think maybe It was like the kids who buy shoes their favorite superstar wears, thinking they will make them perform better. (See above)
When I made the big time in Toronto, my deal included my choice of cars, so I picked out a loaded grey and black Pontiac Grand Prix with a dynamite stereo system that changed my career. (See it above)
I created a new format on CFTR in Toronto, which I knew would sound better on FM, but the CRTC wouldn’t allow it, so I took it to the States.
When I arrived in Indianapolis as Fairbanks Broadcasting’s National Program Director, I got back in the car game big time. During my first weekend in Indy, I bought a wine-colored Cadillac Eldorado.
Hey, and as my boss Jim Hilliard said, “George, not only do you deserve it, the Feds are gonna help you pay for it. (Unlike Canada, the IRS allowed you to deduct the interest from your car loan.) Obviously, I had become Americanized rather quickly. (See the Eldo above)
Unfortunately, the Caddy ended up in my wife Lana’s hands, and I was back in my beat-up old T-Bird, but that’s a story for another time.
Fortunately, one of the Buzzard Boys got religion (He probably got caught dating an underage chick that he met on the hit line).
Anyway, I talked him into selling me his silver ’69 350-350 Corvette for a reasonable number because, as I said to him, “Billy, I don’t think driving a Corvette is very Jesus-like.” (See the Vette above)I gave the T-Bird to my dad and then traded in the wine-colored Eldo for a new chocolate brown one.
I loved my silver Vette, but it was starting to act up, so I got a newer white one. (See above)
A couple of months later, while driving to work, I spotted a year-old 450 SL Mercedes in a car lot in the days when there were no used Benz’s for sale. It was tough to get a new one, and if you did get one, it went up in value as you left the showroom.
I made an immediate U-turn, and an hour later, I arrived at work in a blue on blue on blue, very cool Benz with the top down. (See above)Man, I loved that car! (Unfortunately, much later in California, when my wife and I split up, she sold it. Now, how the hell did she get to do that when it was in my name?) Meanwhile, back in Indy, we bought our first 4-door Cadillac, which we drove right off the showroom floor.
It was silver grey with matching grey leather, but the part I loved most was the kids had their own door.
With the mid-life crazies bearing down on me, I left a great job after living in Indy for eight years (I’m still hooked on the Indy 500) and headed to California in my Benz to start my own Radio Consulting business.
Once there, I bought an old house in Coranado and transformed it into a Spanish Villa,
Time to bring the family to California and do the Route 66 trek in style, we bought a brand-new Jaguar sedan. (see above)
Damn, that car was comfortable, but I later learned that you should never own a Jaguar longer than its warranty.
Okay, things are going really well, and my new company is banging.
It was time to step it up, so I bought the ultimate car, a Rolls Royce Cornish Convertible. It was silver sand in color with chocolate leather inside. (See on top in front of my Villa.)
My favorite Roller moment was when I was stopped at a red light when a guy in a fire-red Ferrari pulled up beside me, and before blasting away when the light changed, he gave me a thumbs up. Very cool.
Next, after doing a big radio promotion with a local car dealer, he was so happy he spiffed me with a Pontiac Firebird.
Around the same time, my Daughter Candis’s sixteenth birthday was coming up, so I got her a white on white-on-white Volkswagen Cabriolet. (See the Cabriolet above and the Firebird below.)
Can you picture this? A Pontiac Fire Bird, a 450 SL Mercedes, a Jaguar Sedan, a Rolls Royce Cornish, and a Volkswagen Cabriolet are all parked in front of my Villa. No wonder my dad thought I’d gone crazy.
Someone once asked, “Hey, Man, how do you decide what to drive every day?” “That’s easy I responded” “the one with gas!”
Things weren’t going well on the home front, so my wife and I finally split up, and I moved to a place on the water in Mission Beach.
Around that same time, my brother Reg and I, with finance guy Bill Yde, formed a company called Fairwest and started buying radio stations.
I had already replaced my blue Benze with a Salman-colored one (pictured above), but somehow, a shiny new black one also appeared in my garage. (Pictured below)
Then, because our partner Bill filed a tax form one day late, the IRS notified me that I owed them two hundred thousand dollars, and they wanted it now.
It was time to downsize, so I sold the villa in Coronado, bought my wife a condo in Solana Beach, got rid of all the fancy cars, and bought a couple of low-key 3-series BMWs.(See one of them below.)
Then, I moved to an apartment in La Jolla, where I got a call from Jim Hilliard asking if I could pick him up at the airport and take him to a meeting.
When he got in the silver BMW sedan, he said, “Wow, Johns, this is the first time I’ve seen you in something that you can’t make the top go down.”That afternoon, when I picked him up from his meeting, I was driving a bright red Beemer rag top with tan leather, and he said, “Now we’re talkin’ buddy.” (See the tail end of it and the silver sedan peeking out of the garage in Solana Beach.”
You would think that the IRS hounding me was trouble enough, but after buying a few radio stations and trying to merge with another radio group that would make everything much, much bigger, instead, it all started to come undone.
I stored the Red BMW at my wife’s place, got her a new one, gave her old one to my son, and moved to Boston.
Jim Hilliard had talked me into coming to Beantown to help him with a radio project.
He’d gotten me a super apartment in the Back Bay, and because I was now into racing, it was fun training on the Charles.
Wouldn’t you know it, the guy who gave me the Firebird back in San Diego is running a BMW dealership in Boston, so he makes me a hell of a deal on a brand new 6-series convertible?
Unfortunately, I hardly ever drove it because it was easier to take the T, and because leasing a parking spot in Boston was like buying a house, I turned the Beemer back in. (Pictured above)
The project in Boston went longer than expected, and because I still did some consulting work in Florida, I fell in love with a beautiful Psychologist. I know, what was I thinking?
I took the little General’s advice and moved down to West Palm Beach, where I leased a Black Toyota convertible with black leather.(See the love of my life, RIP, and a little of the Toyota right above),
After the lease ran out on the Toyota, I bought a Forest green C E-series Mercedes convertible with saddle leather and filled in my other parking spot with a wine-colored Ford Explorer (The Benz is right above, and the SUV a couple of pictures down)After almost driving the Benz into the ground, I traded it for a Nissan Z, which I I did because my new love was into Fast cars, Crown Royal straight from the bottle, Classic Rock Up Loud and a Lot of NaughtyTalk. (See them both right above.)
After she was gone, I decided to downsize again and got rid of both the Ford SUV and the Z car and got myself a gas-efficient Volkswagen EOS.
The EOS was wonderful; I could put the top down with the radio up and let the breeze blow through my hair as I blew by hundreds of gas stations.( EOS Shown below)
Then, for some unknown reason, the electronics got all fucked up, so I could no longer put the top down or get into the trunk.
So the other day, while driving home from the store, I got a flat tire, but as I said, I had no way of getting into the trunk to get at the jack and the spare tire..
However, this rather dismal experience has turned a pleasant one because, for the past few weeks, I’ve been riding around with Lyft and Uber and lovin’ it.
In fact, I love having a driver so much I’m getting out of the car game.
Although I must admit that I’m kind pissed at Lyft at the moment.
My GP and Cardiologist both work out of a medical center, and whenever I have an appointment with either of them, they send Lyft for me.
A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment with my GP who requires me to bring all my medications with me.
I was riding with my Lyft driver, Ivan in a Lexus and when we arrived at the Medical Center, like a fool I forgot my bag of medications in Ivan’s Lexus. (I wanna make this ass-hole famous and his Lyft ID is Ivan in a Lexus)
When I discovered that I had left my medications behind, Iven was long gone.
However, the receptionist told me not to worry because they’d get a hold of Lyft and by the time, I finished my appointment they’d probably heave my medications back.
Unfortunately, when I finished up about a half hour later, the girls out front said they were unable to get a response from Lyft.
When I got home, I finally figured out how to contact Lyft by email and they gave me Ivan’s phone number.
I spent the next three days calling and texting Ivan the terrible to no avail.
When I told Lyft that I couldn’t get a response from Ivan and asked what I should do now, they said, “I’m sorry, but you’re past our 72-hour limit for things of this nature; we can no longer help you. What!
On the other hand, a few days later, while riding with Uber, my car keys unknowingly slipped out of my pocket. (I thought the legs were supposed to go first)
The following morning, the front desk called and said, “Mr. Johns, your Uber Driver from last night just dropped off your keys.”
Wow, I didn’t even know they were missing, but unlike Lyft, I was able to get ahold of Uber, so I managed to leave a much better tip and was able to get in touch with my driver to thank him.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember my good Samaritan’s name, but I sure remember Ivan in the Lexus. Hey, Iven, if you’re if you’re an illegal, start packing, Buddy ’cause I’m hunting you down.
Oh, and Lyft, Fuck You Too!
Radio Geo’s Media Blog is a politically incorrect inside look at Radio, TV, Music, Movies, Books, Social Media, Politics, and Religion, but mostly about Life, primarily written with men in mind.
For a peek at upcoming Blogs or to see some you may have missed, go to GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.
If you’d like to subscribe, email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org.