My radio adventure began in 1977 at Eastern Illinois University. WEIU was a low powered student outlet with even lower listenership. But with a turntable, a microphone, and a stack of plastic protected albums from the likes of the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello, I thought, if I could make a living at this, I was all in.
Upon graduation, and after spending my last 20 bucks on a Rolling Stones concert, I talked my way into my first paying gig at WLRW in Champaign, Illinois. With an actual title of DJ, I cued up 45s and album cuts and tried to string words together that might be audibly intelligent or clever, and on a good day, both.
I couldn’t believe I was getting paid for this.
That led to WYMG, a rock and roll station in Springfield, Illinois, where I honed my skills as an afternoon personality and enjoyed loud music, late mornings, and even later nights. But after nine hedonistic years, I grew bored with the music, the station, and my lifestyle.
It was time to take my career to the next level.
I wanted to find an outlet that matched my personal taste in music and that was KBXR in Columbia Missouri, where playing Uncle Tupelo next to the Velvet Underground was common place. But KBCO was always my dream. My only knowledge of the station came from amazing stories in trade magazines and the ravings of friends who had travelled west, returning with smuggled cases of Coors and raving about a radio station that musically defied conventional wisdom.
I had a plan -- sort of.I informed the station I was moving to Colorado. I would arrive on a Thursday and be ready to work the following day. Oddly enough, KBCO didn't take out a restraining order, but said "OK, come on by and we'll work something out."I started working at KBCO in August of 1999.
Being on-air at one of the most respected radio stations in the country, setting up Studio C recordings for some of the most prolific musicians in the industry, and working alongside some of the most creative, professional, and hardworking people I have ever encountered, I was truly living my dream.
But then the dream went sideways. Hey, life happens. And now after five years, I’m returning to KBCO. And it feels like home.