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The Reinvention Begins

Updated: Feb 10

Rock radio disc jockey for 32 years and the stories are numerous.

Reinventing a career while in his fifties has numerous stories also.

2013 The Reinvention Begins

The radio industry had changed so much, there was no place in Raleigh NC for me where I had spent almost thirty years, minus the not-even-a year I spent in the Bay Area 1989.

But that "not-even-a-year" was the greatest thing I ever did. It was the only job I could find in the USA that was better than the gig I had in Raleigh. That “gig” almost cost me my life. It was bad...and incredible.


We never use the word job. Gig is the word we use for any paying opportunity in the radio industry.

But I came back to Raleigh in 1991 for the night gig and had a show called the RDU Nightflight which was airplane themed with a sexy flight attendant voice done by Carla Hollis, she was a sales rep at the time and she would come back from one of those days out on the town “schlepping spots” as we said in the control room...” creating million-dollar marketing campaigns” as they said down the hall...and I’d drag her fighting kicking and scratching into the control room to say things like;

“Welcome aboard passengers, please fasten your seat belts and prepare for major turbulence” in this sexy voice.

Things like that.

But it was the night-shift that I loved so much because everything is more fun at night.

Phil Zachary the General manager for the longest time, would say I was the markets “social director”.

Phil Zachary and Blade 1987 WRDU Christmas Party

I would always call the bars and concert halls and sports stadiums on the air to see what was happening that night. And wherever I said I was going when I got off the air that night, there would be a large crowd.

But as I was saying, I left Raleigh in 2013

I wanted to try being a regular Joe, start this baby all over, so I took my last 4,000 dollars that I got by selling my most prized possession in life, "Beatnick" (named after The Who) my 1993 #JeepWranger and I used that to move to Phoenix Arizona because I love the desert. LOVE it.

What will I do for work? I'll do anything.

Through my upbringing, my father was a #UnitedStatesAirForce Major and we moved basically every year or two until I was 13, he retired in 1978, and then became mentally ill and died at 46. He never made the adjustment very well into civilian life. We had lived in El Salvador, Central America, and also a few years in Madrid, Spain, so I had a fairly fluent Spanish language in me.

I thought.

My first job interview was as an interpreter for a job finding company, there are a ton of Mexican Americans here, and frankly, just plain Mexicans who needed work. I would translate for them in their interviews for work.

"Let's have a short easy conversation" the girl said in English over the phone.

She spoke about three sentences in Spanish and I didn't understand even a word.


My second interview was with a dental school as a videographer for their training videos.

Over the phone, the questions from HR came:

1.       What makes you think you could be great for Spears Dental School?

"I am an ok videographer and editor"

2.       Identify a major issue you’ve had with your business history, how you solved it, and how it’s made your business better.

"I figured out how to do closed captions quickly.

3.       What are your career ambitions and how have you set your goals?

"I just want to make a buck"


I was hoping I could make it through a few corporate interviews, knowing full well I would never make it through an entire interview, and I never did.

Working for the man. Thumbs down.

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