I’ve had some very exciting and memorable years but so far, none compare to the year of 1964.
I married my childhood sweetheart, saw the Beatles, cut a record, signed a recording contract, and began my radio career.
However, before any of that happened, I was still living at home and made money by playing with The Phantoms.
Unfortunately though, as my father always said to me, “Son, the Johns men don’t play guitar for a living, we work.”
I could never find any work so my Dad found most of my jobs for me because he didn’t care if I liked the work or not.
This resulted in my being involved in various industries which included my becoming the Assistant Manager of a bowling alley.
Now what made this endeavor so unusual was that I really didn’t know anything about bowling.
Then one day when I spotted them building a new bowling alley I decided to check out how strong my title was by applying for the GM’s job.
The new place was called Chateau Lanes and what made it so appealing was that it was also going to have a pool room.
As I said, I didn’t know squat about bowling, but pool I knew after having been educated at a poolroom on my way home from school every day.
My interview with the brass went very well, but they said that before they could consider me, I needed to be a certified bowling instructor.
So it’s off to bowling school I go where I crushed the course and got certified. (see below and on top)
Unfortunately, because the building wasn’t finished yet, it would be a while before I knew if I got the job or not.
As I said, I wasn’t hurting for money, and because my folks were off my back about finding a job, I was loving life.
Early on one of the things that I learned was that fame usually leads to fortune.
So with that in mind, I’d always suggest to whoever booked us that they should also hire a dee-jay from CKY.
Doing so resulted in our getting an enormous amount of on-air publicity which in turn also made the event much larger.
The dee-jays would kick off the evening by first throwing out a bunch of records, and then after introducing us they’d be gone before we finished our first tune. Every Monday my job was to deliver the Dee-Jays their appearance fee and on this particular life-changing Monday, I was at CKY to give Mark Parr his. (Mark pictured above)
When I arrived at the station, Embree McDermid who was at the front desk told me that Mark was waiting for me in the FM studio.
Mark who was reluctantly filling in for the FM board op asked if I’d ever run a radio board before.
When I told him no, he sat me in the chair and proceeded to show me how it all worked.
It seemed simple enough and was going well until he spotted Deno Corrie in the production studio two studios away and said, “I’ll be right back.”
Can you spell P-A-N-I-C? Damn! Everything was running at once.
There I was frantically waving at Mark, who was too busy yucking it up with Deno to notice.
Then to make matters worse, several “suits” walk into the studio. I was told later that one of them was the owner, Lloyd Moffit who was showing off his brand new 360,000-watt radio station to all his old cronies.
Hey, I bet he would have freaked out had he known that the kid piloting his new flame thrower only had about ten minutes of radio experience?
When they finally left, I took a deep breath and began sorting things out, and by the time Mark finally got back, all was good and all he had to say was, “See, I knew you wouldn’t have any problems kid; you’re a natural.”
I’m forever grateful to Mark because soon after that he pestered everybody until they finally hired me part-time.
It didn’t pay diddly, but who cared? I also had no idea that I’d be doing this for the rest of my life. As excited as I was about getting into radio, it wasn’t at all exciting to my Mom.
She actually cried when she overheard me on the phone telling the Chateau Lanes owners “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m a radio guy now.” (Me pictured below at CKY-FM)
If you don’t stop and smell the roses pretty soon you won’t be able to smell the funeral flowers either.
Regrets, yes, I have a few: I wish I didn’t get divorced, I wish I’d spent more time with my kids and I wish that I’d told fewer people to fuck off.
Speaking of fuck off, those are the only words I have for the far right and the extreme left. Updates when they become politically correct.
Every man’s “Achilles Heel” is the woman he loves.
One thing Technology can’t do is make a bad song better.
Wow, the worst tickets for the Paul McCartney concert at the Hardrock Casino in Ft. Lauderdale next week are $400.00, the best, $7000.00.
Silver spoon girls do much better than silver spoon guys.
I wonder how many Ukrainians give a shit about climate control?
Hey ladies, when you’re pretty, large breasts are just a waste; save your money.
It seems to me that Hitler was much more popular in his day than Putin is today.
Creating anything worthy is never convenient.
Why is the equipment and the service on Amtrak better in the west?
If I were the Ukrainians, I’d sneak some black ops guys into Moscow and blow up a few buildings. That should scare the shit out of them.
Does anybody believe the word free anymore?
So if you’re reluctant to go into a black neighborhood at night, does that make you racist?
There are not many win-win solutions, so it’s much more productive to figure out the winning side.
I find it amazing that the world’s greatest hockey players still come out of little towns in Canada.
Joe Biden sure picked the wrong time to be President. Nevertheless, his party will have to pay for it come November because, as Bill Clinton used to say, “It’s about the economy, stupid.”
Discussing that supposedly, God created the World in 6 days with my brother Reg, I couldn’t help but wonder, “How long is a God Day?”
How many final notices do you have to get before you get the final warning?
Asking a psychologist if it’s nature or nurturing is like asking a general if it’s the welfare of the troops or the mission. Unfortunately, they both have to lie.
So great to see all the tributes to hockey great Guy Lafleur, but it’s too bad he wasn’t around to see them.
Hey Meghan, unfortunately, a former Prince is not a Prince. Good luck! Nothing has changed,
“He who controls the language controls the budget.
“Unlike a kind word, wise sayings are soon forgotten.
Have you ever noticed that there are no critics, businessmen, or committee statues?
Saying negative things out loud is bad but writing them down is disastrous.
So, would whoever is on Putin’s side please stand up. (crickets)
The best part about our parents thinking that my brother Reg and I would never amount anything was … They were wrong!
Bill Gardner: Great “Dick” Fairbanks story! Thank you.
One of my favorites that I heard over my years with the company was that Mr. Fairbanks wanted TWO lists every year. On the first list was every employee in the company who made over $25,000 per year. And the second list, why!
Proud to be on both lists back in the 1970s and to work for the two real heroes of Fairbanks Broadcasting, you and Jim Hilliard. (Fairbanks)
Geo: Fairbanks was ok with the talent and salespeople making over 25K; it was the rest of us that Jim had to justify. He handled it by paying us a 25K base and then the rest in bonuses twice a year. Those bonus checks were a thing of beauty, Bill.
Buzzaroni: Hey, Radio Geo! Screw all the ass-kissers, rhymers & schmoozers on Your brilliant blog … I wanna read more from Ken LeMann!!! (Ask The Pastor)
Geo: I love his stuff, Buzz.
Doug Erickson: “Encouragement works much better than criticism.”
You are a wise man, George. I wish I’d known you earlier in my career. (The Misfits)
Geo: Me too, Doug.
Geo: As always, thanks for the read, Reid.
Geo. And, thank you for the kind words and also the read, W.T.
For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs, or to see some that you may have missed, go to Geo’s Media Blog @ GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio.
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