Monk Remembers His First Ever Live Radio Shift
I've been in radio for the past 27 years and I cannot begin to tell you how differently the industry is and how far technology has come since that day.
Growing up I had older cousins who introduced me to a ton of music that changed my life. Bands like KISS, Rush, Van Halen, and Sex Pistols to name just a few. They'd be playing their records when I went over to their house and I'd leave with a cassette tape full of these rock n' roll giants. I'd go home and couldn't wait until a friend to stop by so I could turn them on to what I'd heard. I'd sit and go through tapes for hours!
The majority of people I've worked with over the years have wanted to do radio as far back as they can remember, not me. I loved letting friends hear new music but never considered a job as an on-air jock. I listened to a lot of radio growing up and would religiously listen to the syndicated Dr. Demento Show on Sunday night's growing up but never once thought about getting into this line of work.
Well, until the one day in 1989 when my friend Scott, who was a year or two older than me, started working the Saturday morning shift on our hometown college radio station WMUW. He said to me one day, "Hey, would you like to come sit with me on my show this Saturday?" Of course I said yes but never imagined what that day would mean to me later in life.
I walked into the station early that morning expecting to see Scott and just sit and watch him work. Instead, I opened the door and was greeted by a long-haired dude wearing no deodorant who looked at me and said, "Scott called in sick and he wants me to show you what to do." He showed me how to work the turntables, where the volume controls were and left the room. That was it.
I hadn't even seen the inside of radio station before that day and here I was about to do a radio show. Just me, two turntables, a wall full of vinyl records and five minutes of training. I was officially "on-air."
It was probably an hour and forty five minutes before I ever opened the mic but I knew exactly what to say because I listened to the station all the time. It probably sounded horrible but I made it through and have been potting up the mic ever since that day.
So, wherever you are in this world Scott Blount, thank you for not showing up that day. Because of you, I don't make as much money as most people think I do but I've had some killer times doing my radio thing for the last 27 years.