It’s #WorldRadioDay, and you can blame Ace Frehley from KISS for me choosing radio as my career!
Yup, you read that correctly… let me take you back to when I was 11 years old… I listened to the radio ALL THE TIME… I entered contests… I won concert tickets, movie passes, and then, I heard about this contest where you could do a phone interview on New Year’s Eve with your favorite member of KISS.
I entered, and won… now, remember, I’m old AF… this is back before cell phones and caller ID… My parents were having some friends and family over for a NYE Party…I was told the phone would ring between 6 & 9pm… every time the phone rang, I screamed “I’LL GET IT” and when it wasn’t Ace, I rushed the person off the phone and said “JUST COME OVER BY 9PM FOR THE PARTY” and hung up!
There I was…sitting on the carpeted floor of my parents bedroom, waiting by the phone…New Year’s Eve… 1976… and then, at 8:42pm, the phone rang… the person on the other end confirmed it was me, asked if I had all my questions prepared, and told me Ace would pick up within a few minutes…
I was connected to him, introduced myself, told him I had just dressed as him for Halloween that year, and proceeded to start asking about his guitars, who his influences were, if the platform boots were comfortable to wear, and mid sentence, he cut me off and asked how old I was.
I excitedly told him “I’m 11, and I’ll be 12 in June!” He then yelled out “They gave me an effing kid to talk to!” I was crushed, but he then he said I asked him really good questions and HE thought I should embark on a career in music or radio, because I took such an interest in him and had good questions!
I thanked him, asked 2 more questions, including who his best friend in the band was (he said Peter Criss), wished him a Happy New Year, and hung up.
I was elated… I had just interviewed my favorite member of KISS, and HE told me I did a good job and should work in music or radio!
And, basically, that’s what I did. Started out as a Traffic Reporter, then worked for a station at the Jersey Shore, and, for the past 12 years, I’ve been working here at Magic 98.3!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I met Ace years later, and actually got to tell him the story. He didn’t remember any of it (Shocker… not!) but thanked me for still being a fan all these years later.
Funny how the thing I wanted to do as a kid became my career. The industry has changed so much, but at the end of the day, I’ve adapted, and still love what I do every day…
Oh, and Dave Grohl…if you’re reading this, I want to interview you before I hang up my headphones… just sayin’… 🙂