Monday, January 11, 2010

Post 1073 – Interview with Q104’s Tom Bedell

October 7, 2009

It was raining like a son of a gun on October 7 as I drove to the amazing new Newcap studios. I arrived in plenty of time to hear Tom Bedell complete his Requesta Fiesta. A couple of minutes later, he ushered me into DSCF3505 the building. A brief studio tour later, we sat down and started to talk.

1. We have a few questions to get through, and you probably want to go home and watch "Glee". How did you get your start in radio?

Tom Bedell: The genesis was probably when I was in Grade 6. My class had a debate team. My voice seemed to change before anybody else's. I would have been around 10 years old. It probably hasn't changed one bit since then! I think it was right then that I had something. My voice was a little deeper. I would speak in church and stuff like that. I have this vivid memory of this guy sitting there in the second or third row of pews. When I started to speak, he was starting to doze off. He came to a start after I read a couple sentences, and I thought, "Niiiiiice".

I put it out of my mind for a few years, DSCF3507 although I do have a vivid memory of being in my grandfather's house in Fredericton. [It was] a really cold, winter night, and listening to this antique radio, picking up ... it may have been WABC in New York.

Bevboy: 770 AM!

TB: That's right. It was The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun". Coming from this faint station, I thought, "This is cool". I would do that quite a bit: I would DX a little bit, and I would hear all these stations. I really formed a bond with radio then.

I put it out of my mind until probably Grade 10. [It was] Parent-Teacher Day at Simonds High School in Saint John. My mom went in, and Mrs McLain (my English teacher) asked, "Well, what does young Tom want to do?" Mom said, "He may want to try to get into radio." Just so happened Mrs. McLain's husband was Brian McLain, who was News Director of CFBC. He just left a few weeks ago, apparently. Great news guy. She just said basically, "You should give him a call some time".

Sure enough, I gave him a call. He said, "Come into the radio station”, and that was the first time I went into the radio station…around '82 or '83 in Saint John. I went in for 6 or 7 o'clock. They must have been having a jock meeting or something because every single announcer that I had grown up listening to, like Donnie Robertson; Mark Lee; the late, great Lee Beach; Tom Young, Ingham Palmer; were all there, just kind of hanging around and talking. The one thing that jumped out at me: I had never heard profanity like that in my life. It was just absolutely incredible. Immediately, I was hooked.

Then, Brian came and gave me a tour around. For a couple of years, in Grade 10, 11, even part of Grade 12, I would go into CFBC every Saturday morning and hang around in the news department and type copy and record little things here and there. I'd stay out of everybody's way. That was when CFBC was in an old house on Carlton Street in Saint John. This beautiful old house: All these nooks and crannies. There was a ghost in there, called The Senator. It was just a terrific place.

This was in Grade 10, 11, and 12. Eventually, I said to Brian that I’d like to get a job doing radio. A few years earlier, Steve Murphy had worked at CFBC while he was at Saint John High, but I’d have to take a more indirect route. A couple years later, I was going to The University of New Brunswick in Saint John, trying for a BA, and it wasn't really going anywhere. CFBC used to run a broadcasting course with Mark Lee. He was the Operations Manager, and he owned part of the station. [He] would run this broadcasting course, too, a couple of times a year. Six months course; you go in once a week. At the end of it, if you're any good, you have a job. Kelli Rickard took that course a year or two before me…a good number of Saint John jocks from that era took it as well.

I went in with about 20 guys. We came out, and I think 2 of us had jobs. I was one of the guys. That was 1987. I still have the first shift schedule with my name on it. "Donnie Robertson. Lee Beach. Dave Cochrane. Dan Reid. Tom Bedell". I thought, "Man, this is cool". That was 1987, and it's been downhill ever since.

BB: What time of year did you go on the air?

TB: It was the Spring. It was just coming up to the Summer, and people would be going on vacation, so there was a lot more opportunity to get shifts. The first job that came up was a jock shift. If it had been a news shift, or a sports shift or something like that, I would probably still be doing news or sports today. I had a real strong interest in sports and I could have gone in that direction. This is the first thing that came up.
When they first put you in there on CFBC, it was on the all night show. I'm really proud of the fact that I'm the last generation of announcer to get to do the all night show because it was so incredible.

BB: What a shame that we've lost that over the years.

TB: I know. But, just some of the people that would call, some of the weirdness that would go on. Sleep deprivation and the way that kicks in, it just has a surreal quality to it sometimes.

BB: And lonely people, too, I'd imagine.

TB: Oh, yes. And that's not even counting the people that work [in radio]! But, the first time I went on the air, at CFBC between 3 and 4 am, they would just run solid music. There would be no talk at all. It would just be Oldies. If they have a rookie coming in, they'd say, "We'll get you to go on between 3 and 4 and talk." I still remember that; I don't have a tape or anything like that. It's still probably flying out towards Pluto now. The guy who was on that name, Stuart Howe ( former CFBC jock, now a successful opera singer, of all things), came in afterward and said, "Man, you have a great voice". I felt really good about that, but still had so much to learn. I'm still learning more, every day. It's just interesting to think back to where it actually started.

2. You were part of a round of layoffs in 1998 at Q104. After that, you went to work for Magic 97 in the Valley as music director. Tell me about some of the changes you made at that station. BTW, I loved "Rare Air"!

TB: I think we first automated in '93; I think that was when Q104 was still in Queen's Square [Dartmouth]. We were one of the first stations ever to do that. We brought in a system. There was a big bunch of layoffs then, but I ended up hanging around a bit. It was kind of a weird time because ... [quoting management] "You're going to be gone by the end of June". "Well, the new system isn't working as well as we'd like to think, it's going to be the end of August." DSCF3512 By mid-August, you'd get another [memo]: "Well, we're going into ratings, so we don't want to make any changes then".

This went on for about a year and a half. I've still got a stack of all these papers saying, "We're going to keep you on for another six months". That was really maddening. On one hand, it's nice that you still have a job. On the other hand, it's just, "Let's just end this. Tell me where I stand here".

BB: So you can find something else. Get a package.

TB: Yes. That's right. It was kind of strange because there weren't nearly as many stations. You've got a ton of stations here now; there weren't that many places for you to land.

BB: And one was announced today [Evanov was awarded a license for a AAA-format radio station, to go on the air sometime within 18 months or so].

TB: I know. HFX? Who's that?

BB: They own Z103.

TB: Oh, Evanov.

So, that was '93, '94. I think I actually left in early '96. That's when I went to Magic. That was great. That's when Neil MacMullen was running the place. It seems like so long ago now, but we live in a time when it's big companies that own the stations. You don't have many local owners any more. He was just the last of a dying breed. I worked for Charlie Russell at CJCJ in Woodstock years ago. Local guy. And Neil MacMullen was just absolutely incredible. I think Morrissey Dunn told you a few stories about Neil and Darrin Harvey did, too. And, Dave Bannerman was another guy. There were so many great stories. His attitude was "If you want to do this, then just go do it". If you were on his good side, it was great. If you pissed him off.... look out! 
With me, he was nothing but encouraging. Big, blustery guy: Always had a joke for you. I was just so blessed to have worked with him.

You mentioned "Rare Air". I was music director there. I wanted to get into the programming side of things. I got into it a bit there with Mike Mitchell. Darrin Harvey was doing mornings. Angela Quinn was doing mid-day. I remember Hunter Brule was there as well. He was doing mornings there for a time after Darrin left.

BB: He's still there.

TB: That's right. Len Hawley is another guy.

I think they just had a taped show running. It was like easy listening or instrumental or something like that, between six and seven a.m… before they went into the religious programming. They ran it again on Sunday night. There was nothing to it. I thought, "It would be cool to go in and record [this show]. I'd play John Prine every once in a while: B-Sides and live stuff. People liked it. Sunday night, Blaine Morrison's Blues program [The Blue's Own] was on, too. The two shows sounded great back-to-back.

I've been fortunate that I've been able to develop shows in places that I've gone. Like, the Requesta Fiesta. I started doing that, I think, in '94.

BB: You coined the name for it, did you not?

TB: Yes. Just kind of by accident. It was just "The All Request Hour". We didn't have a name for it. It was on from 9 until 10. It was pretty intense: getting a whole hour's worth of calls. You'd start taking them early and record the calls and you'd go source all the music. A lot of times, I'd put a long record on, or CD, or whatever we were playing at the time; and I'd jump in an elevator, go down stairs a couple of floors into the record library to make sure we had it.

I still remember the first night I did that. Eric Stafford, who was the program director at the time (he was the program director at Rock 103 for a time, and I think he developed a program called "Desert Island Discs")...

BB: I remember that show well.

TB: Same show, basically. He said to me one afternoon, "Take a couple of requests tonight, between 9 and 10. Record the requests and put the songs [on the air]". It just instantly took off. We didn't really have a name for it. I wrote on one of our fault reports (where you write if something goes awry, you want one of the other departments to know about it), "On the 'Requesta Fiesta' last night"... .

Then, Bob Powers said, "Geez, you should start calling it that. That sounds really good".

BB: How did you find the bumper music for Requesta Fiesta, that Mexican hatdance stuff?

TB: I don't know. There was always a Mexican restaurant opening up, and you have to have that [type of music] just in case.

But, I've been lucky with the Requesta Fiesta and Rare Air, and Route 104 is another thing that J.C. and I we started in 2000. I'm very proud of the fact that I've taken these new ideas and got them on the air.

BB: How did you come up with the name "Route 104"? I realize it's the frequency of the radio station. But, why the "Route" part?

TB: Well, that's the Trans Canada. I'm driving in, and I see the big [sign] with "104" on it. I don't think you could do that in Calgary, could you? It gives it a sense of place. And I think we had a logo with the old 104 in it, too.

3. What have you not done in radio, that you would like to do?

TB: Absolute top-of-the-heap, dream-fantasy job would be something that I've wanted to do ever since I was about 10, and that would be a baseball play-by-play guy. I would love to do that. In St. John, what I would do [was], I had the crappy old tape recorder and the old Woolco cassettes...

BB: [Chuckles] Six for a dollar!

TB: Six for a dollar. Worth every penny! I'd hit play and record while the Red Sox game would be on. I'd turn the sound down and I'd do the play-by-play. [I'd] do that while the folks were out, because they'd think I was nuts if I was doing it [in front of them]. Also, back when we had the news channel -- the BN news that would run the news reeeeeeally slow on the tv. -- I would read that. I was a lonely child.

But, yes, baseball play-by-play would be cool. Hockey play-by-play would be neat. I've only really done that once, and that was for the Juno Cup when that was here. You had Paul Coffey and Kirk Muller and all these ex-NHL'ers. Bobby Mac and I up on the gondola at the Halifax Forum; JC Douglas down on the ice. Doing that for 2 hours; we were just screwing around the whole time. "Coffey, over to Anderson….he scores!" 
Bobby would break down the play on the telestrator, even though we were on the radio… That was really cool. I'm glad I at least got to do that once. Probably the only time!

I've got a friend, Len Hawley, in Kentville. I don't know if he still does them or not, but [he did the play-by-play for] the Acadia Axemen games for years and years.

BB: I think they still do those.

TB: Is that right? I've always been a sports guy. DSCF3519 Man, I'd love to do that sometime.

BB: Are you a little envious of John Moore for doing play-by-play for the Mooseheads?

TB: I'm envious of him doing the job. I'm not envious of having to drive to Rouyn-Noranda and Val d’Or in the middle of February.

BB: He's on the bus with the rest of the team, isn't he?

TB: I think so, yes. A lot of running around. At the same time, though, just the time you're there broadcasting the [games]... I would just absolutely love to be doing that.
I wouldn't mind doing a talk show. I have a hard time getting angry enough about things. There's just so much anger on talk radio these days. I don't know if I could really do that. I've filled in with Harv Stewart on Harv's Sportsland a few times over the years. That's really fun. I don't know as much about sports as he or Cecil do a lot of the time. But, I love talking sports; I wouldn't mind doing a talk show somewhere along the line.

BB: You have a semi-talk show on Route 104. There's a lot of spoken word content there.

TB: Yes. I was just thinking about that the other day. We started Route 104 in 2000. DSCF3526 That's 9 years now that it has been on. 50 weeks a year. 50 interviews a year. That's 450 interviews that I've done with East Coast artists. Every time I go into the lobby to meet somebody, I still get nervous. It's like, "You've done this 500 times; 5, 6, 700 people over the years." You start looking as the years start to pile up, it takes on a bit of a different perspective.

But, I like the interaction. There's nothing cooler than being in the studio and Roger Hodgson is sitting our distance away. He's sitting there and playing, "Give a Little Bit", and "Even in the Quietest Moments". That was a true highlight right there. There have been a million of those over the years. You think back on it and go, "Wow".

BB: You've got a cool job.

TB: It's pretty cool, yes. Even using the word "job": You have to use that kind of loosely. But, you have to show up. You have to be sober. You have to be here on time. You have to be nice to people.

BB: You have to stay in format.

TB: Yes. Exactly. But yes: It's pretty awesome.

4. What is the best piece of professional advice you have ever received, and who provided it?

TB: I think back to an early one from Mark Lee. Mark was the Operations Manager in Saint John, at CFBC. I remember having an air check with Dave Cochrane, the PD. I'd been in radio for maybe a year, and I was doing a Saturday morning shift. Mark walks through, and [asks], "Were you on the air on Saturday morning?"
"Yes, I was!"….waiting for the compliment that was sure to arrive.

"You've got to shut the fuck up! You talk too much!" Oh well. It's not exactly Walt Whitman kind of stuff, but it kind of stuck with me. It made me realize that, and I've realized a lot over the years: Talking isn't the hard part. The hard part DSCF3537 is stopping the talking. Brevity. No matter what kind of format you're in, the more economical you can be with your words. That's key right there.

BB: That's coming up in question 6, but ...

TB: The "shut the fuck up thing"?

BB: When I was at Seaside FM, there was a big note next to one of the pc's saying, "Say what you need to say with as few words as possible". [This policy] seems to be all pervasive in radio.

TB: Yes. That's right. That's something I've always tried to carry with me. And, just be yourself. If you're funny, be funny. If you're not funny, don't be funny. Just look at what you can do. You've got 2 minutes left on a record. "Am I going to be funny? OK. I can't be funny. I've got to say something informative. I've got to give some information." Give the company a reason not to automate your shift!

There are a bunch of different things you can do. But be yourself. There's nothing more painful than somebody who doesn't have anything to say, still saying stuff. Trying to be funny, but it's just not happening. Just stretching. God knows I've been there enough times over the years.

Just be yourself. I've seen a lot of people say it on your blog [interviews], but I've never once had a program director tell me to not be funny, to not be a personality. That's something I've always been very fortunate with. You just have to be quick.

Also, I worked with a guy named Chris ‘Bud’ Reiser, while I was CHNS about a century ago, who told me that I should ‘Get in the radio’. It’s tough to explain, but just imagine you’re actually ‘in the radio’, mixed with the music. Put yourself in the workplace with the listener, or at the beach, whatever…Chris is one of the best jocks I’ve worked with…always had some great advice. That’s one of his best bits, right there, even though I’ve done a crap job at explaining it.

5. I will list the names of people you know and have worked with. Please say something about them.

a. J.C. Douglas

TB: The first time I met J.C. would have been at a Halifax Citadels game, probably in 1991. The Citadels used to have a V.I.P. lounge, where you could suck back free beer during intermissions. Actually, I was a big fan of J.C. long before I worked at Q, even before I lived in Halifax. My girlfriend (now wife) and I would come to Halifax every once in a while in the late '80's. This was when I was working at CFBC. I'd turn on Q104, and it was J.C. Douglas and Andrew Gillis. It was absolutely magic, listening to these guys. It was funny, and it was like listening to a morning show in the afternoon. I just knew immediately: That's the kind of radio I want to be doing. So, I was a big fan of J.C's before I met him.
When I left CHNS in 1991, I came over to work at CFDR, which was in the same building as Q104.

BB: That was before the move to 780 KIXX.

TB: That's right. It was the Vanilla Ice and New Kids on the Block and whatnot. Secretly, I wanted to work at Q104. Playing the first incarnation of Paula Abdul, was just miserable. But at the same time, I was that much closer to Q104. I would hang out with J.C. and Andrew every once in a while, and thought, "Oh, this is awesome!".

We've taken a few road trips together. We both love music, and sports and stuff like that. He's a Bruins fan; I'm a Habs fan. Despite that, we get along great. I've never met anybody as driven as J.C. The attention to detail! It's one thing to have the spark of an idea. Not everybody can follow it right to the end of the earth. [For example], he'll tell me, "I just got a promotion idea". I think for a second, "That's never going to happen. I'd like to see you try and pull that off". And, sure enough, a day later, he's made it happen.
You look at how we put the 25th Anniversary Weekend together.

BB: That was amazing!

TB: The whole thing, not only the on air portion of it, but the concert at the Cunard Centre, getting all the jocks flown in from all over the country, spearheading that, it was absolutely amazing to watch. The attention to detail, and the passion that he has for this stuff... I have nothing but admiration for him. He's a great friend, a great guy. I'm just trying to keep up. That's all I'm trying to do every day.

BB: You guys must have blown your promotions budget last November!

TB: I don't know. We all went to the Neil Young concert the night after. It was insane. I think that Bob Powers was talking about this in his [interview with Bev]: It was just surreal. You look at [stations like] WLS and CKLW and these huge stations that have these jock reunion weekend things. But there aren't that many that have the reverence for the history and the connection. I’ve talked with so many people who know where they were exactly the second Q104 signed on. And they've been with us ever since.

BB: I listened since Day 2. I wasn't sure when you guys came on. I missed the very beginning.

TB: And the loyalty that the people have, the loyalty that the announcers have with the community. [If] you go the bigger stations in Canada, I can't see any other station of our stature that would have that sort of relationship. It's something we take very seriously, and J.C. takes extremely seriously. You just have to have that connection; you've got to have that relationship. He's just so good in keeping that intact.

BB: You mentioned his passion, his attention to detail. I have to think that that came into play this Summer when CFDR went off the air, because that last morning he had Frank Lowe talking to people from all over who knew him. They had Arnie Patterson in talking about the history of the radio station. I can't help but think that J.C. played a role in helping that stuff happen.

TB: Yes. Absolutely. He's a radio historian. I'm so glad that somebody did that. So glad, because (I hate to say it) but if it was somebody else running the show, they would have been just turned the switch.

BB: That's what happened with CJCH last year. It was just really sad.

TB: Well, CHNS. Did they do anything on CHNS?

BB: That last morning, they had a morning show and they had the countdown, and it became Hal FM. That was it.

TB: That's it.

BB: There was no reverence or respect for what CHNS [had been]. It was sad.

TB: It's terrible. I mean, time marches on and everything... But, that's J.C.: Just the passion, and the respect that he has for the audience. There are a lot of people that were really saddened by [the loss of 780 KIXX/CFDR], and somebody captured the moment. That's what he did.

BB: I mean, if Q104 should ever happen to change format to who knows what, I would like to think that J.C. would help the station go out with dignity.

TB: I don't even want to think about it.

BB: I don't want to think about it either. It'll never happen.

TB: One of my all-time favourite stations [is] WBCN in Boston. They just went off. They're an online station now. One of the all-time great rock stations. [There was] a great corporate shuffle, and now they're just [online]. So, nothing lasts forever. The whole thing could be turned into a Save Easy. You wouldn't know.

b. Bobby Mac

TB: I remember the first time that Bobby Mac set foot in Q104. This would have been when he was going to Alex J. Walling's charm school. I think it may have been ABI [Atlantic Broadcast Institute] at the time.

BB: It became AMI [Atlantic Media Institute] after that?
TB: I think so. But he came in the mid '90's just to do overnights. Crazy as a craphouse rat. I just knew immediately: We have a character here. It is just a matter of harnessing this, and kind of compressing it, getting it on the air. I wouldn't say "toning it down", just taking what he had and harnessing.

He was around for a couple of years right off the bat. I think [Bob] Powers mentioned he was knocked out in the first bit of layoffs.

BB: Yes. He did a live show on a Saturday night and ...

TB: Yeah, not a wise programming decision there! I remember that. I remember JC and I were in the car listening to him. "Coming up next: The Eagles…(sigh) AGAIN!" Of course, we were giggling. I thought, "Well, this isn't going well at all."

But, I hadn't seen Bobby for maybe 10 years after that. We had a mini Q reunion at Peddler's Pub one day. Bobby was there. I thought, "Geez, I haven't seen him in a long time." I think that kind of planted the seed of him wanting to come back. I remember just kind of hanging out with Bob at a party. I don't remember ever seeing somebody who was just as naturally funny, just cracking people up. You didn't hear a whole lot of that on the air. I thought, "This is great. He wants to come back. If we had somebody who could rein him in, this would be awesome". I think that's a great testament to B.J. Burke. B.J. was on, and Bobby was just doing some part-time shifts or something like that. [He] got him in to do the morning show, and it just took off.

If I could talk about B.J. for just a second: He's just a terrific ringmaster. "Your turn." He's got the right mix of people, whether it's Eddie Pepperoni, whether it's Bobcat from the Valley, whether it's Rachel Dodds, whether it's Maureen from Toronto. Just being able to find the right spot for everybody.

And Bobby, in that spot, is absolutely perfect. He's carved out such a niche for himself. You see him at the Mooseheads games. That's incredible. The car commercials he's doing now. He's found a way to work with it. He's a Halifax guy...knows everybody. He's just the natural clown. He's just got the right touch when it comes to that. Not everybody can do it. Not everybody has the right personality for that, but he definitely does.

c. Darrin Harvey. I'm transcribing an interview with him now. I know you're buds, and you have gone to shows together. You went to see the Rolling Stones together, in Montreal.

TB: Yes. That's right. Oh, my God. It's like talking with Brian Linehan.

BB: James Lipton.

TB: [Chuckles]. Yeah. Darrin. God. When I worked at Magic 97, he was probably the first person I had met. He was doing mornings. I just kind of cruised in. "Hi. How are you doing?" He put me on the air. We went on the air for like 3 hours. I hadn't even signed the papers to work there yet.

We hit it off. We’ve been on a few epic road trips. He's just an absolute afficionado. He plays music. He knows music like you wouldn't believe. Just the natural charisma. I talked about Bobby Mac and the natural ability he has to draw people to him; Darrin has the same thing.

BB: He's a great guy.

TB: Great guy. Funny as Hell. Smart as Hell. Very generous. You just need people like that. He's a born salesman, but it's not in a smarmy kind of way. It's natural. He's always just been one of my favourite people.

BB: I just met him for the first time a few weeks ago. I had heard him on the radio forever. It was as if I had known him for 15 years. He's a very friendly guy.

TB: Exactly. He left for a couple of years, after he left Magic 97, Magic 94.9, whatever the Hell it was at the time. He went to sell furniture. I talked to him quite a bit during that time. He just wanted to get back on the radio so badly. When K-Rock announced, he talked to me a couple of times. I said, "I'd love to see you back on there." It was great. I talked to a couple of people. I hope that that helped out because you have to have somebody like that. Somebody who's plugged into the community. Radio needs these people. Radio needs Darrin Harvey. They know the music. They know the community.

BB: I didn't realize that you had helped finesse that deal.

TB: I don't know if I played as much of a role as I'd like to think… but I just knew that he wanted to get back into radio in the worst way. And I felt bound to do whatever I could to help would be great. I'm so glad he's back on the radio.

BB: Yeah, me too. It's great to hear him. When I'm down in the Valley, I do tune into K-Rock. I listen to it as much as I can. And it's the same company as you guy.

TB: Yes. That helps

d. Gary Tredwell

TB: I first met Gary, it would have been CHNS. Gary would have been at Sun FM. I think he was doing evenings.

BB: He was doing a Big Band show.
TB: Yes. Can you picture that? He was DSCF1866 a production guy. I met him through there a little bit. Eventually, I worked with him at Q. He would have been doing production at Newcap when we were all under the same umbrella with CHUM.

He always seemed like a really funny guy, an incredibly funny guy. But playing big bands and reading commercials and stuff like that ... there was just something inside of him that had to come out.

I've talked about this a million times, but Q104 had this STP promotion during the afternoon. Some kind of car tips or something like that. People sent in their car tips. It sounds really lame. I tried to read it, and it went nowhere.

I was just hanging around with Gary a little bit. Hearing Gary do that voice, I thought, "Well, why don't we get him to do the car tips in that voice? We should try to get that on the radio somehow."

It was hysterical. We did that for a week, and the STP people absolutely loved it. That took off, and STP bought another campaign with us, doing the same thing. We just kind of let that sit for a little bit. Then, B.J. [Burke] came to do mornings. That's when he heard it and said, "We should try to get him on the air!" It took off from there. But I'm going to take credit until the day I die...

BB: He gives you that credit. There's an unpublished Gary Tredwell interview. You'll see it soon.

TB: O.K. Good. [Chuckles]

e. Rick Howe

TB: The first time we met would probably have been the late '80's. He had worked at CFBC back in the late '70's. I was still working at CFBC; I just kind of met him a couple of times. We used to do these kinds of things once in a while at CFBC:  All of the Rick Howe and Bev Keddyold school sales guys... If you ever watch "Mad Men", you can picture these Mad Men guys 20 years later, and that's who they were.

BB: Still smoking?
TB: Rick will remember these names. Dan MacIsaac, Wally Short, Hal Sampel (one of the all-time great old-school Saint John jocks who also did sales for a million years), Tom Christie, Stan Hooper…We'd get together on Friday afternoon at the end of ratings, or we just got the ratings in, or maybe the day before Christmas. The local breweries (Labatt and Moosehead) [would provide] tankloads of booze in the radio station. Rick would come up every once in a while, and we would see each on these Friday afternoon things.

Rick is just like an old school news guy. We need more people like that. He knows everybody. I loved listening to The Hotline. Rick is a pretty fiery guy, but the amount of patience that he showed with a lot of those callers I thought was absolutely incredible. Some of the wingnuts that would come on... [chuckles]. Rick would not hang up on people; he would just let them go. That's a true artist right there.

[On July 31 and August 1st, 2008] I cut my vacation short. I said, "Rick Howe? Really? Man, I'd like to do that!" We did it for a couple of days. I wish we did more. I'm not really a morning guy, although I've been doing mornings for 20 years, pretty much, as a fill-in guy at pretty much every station I've worked. We had a couple of days. You didn't really have enough time to build up any kind of chemistry. We would talk about baseball and stuff like that. That's when Moncton was getting some concerts instead of Halifax. He would talk about that on The Hotline, so I'd kind of bring that up with him…push his buttons a little bit. It was great.
I like Rick. We still have lunch every once in a while.

BB: Well, tell him I want to interview him.

TB: I hope you have six hours!

BB: I can talk to him as long as he wants to talk.

f. Lisa Blackburn

TB: I've known Lisa since 1991, when I worked at CFDR. We'd do weekend mornings at CFDR. A couple months earlier, I was playing basketball, and I had broken both my wrists. It happened in October. A job came up. I needed a full-time gig; I was just part-time at the time. [The job was] a swing announcer on Q104. It's full-time. "OK, can you wait six months [until I'm healed]?"

"No, we can't. You have to come to work."
So, I came to work every day like this, with the two casts. Lisa was doing weekend news when I was there. Just immediately, I thought, "She knows what she's doing". Just absolutely spot on. I've never met a kinder or generous person. She's just terrific. We've never really been out of touch. I'veLisa Blackburn 1994 just got the utmost respect for her. A lot of times after those Saturday and Sunday mornings shifts, for a while, we'd go to Jerry's Pub. We'd knock back some nachos.

BB: On Brunswick Street?

TB: That's right. Yeah, right next to The Palace. It's The Alehouse now.

BB: I broke my foot heading out to Jerry's Pub one night. It was a friend's stag party. I was liquored up. My foot turned, and I broke it. I didn't know until the next day. I walked around on a broken foot all night.

TB: Memories!

BB: Beautiful times.

TB: But she's breaking some new ground here. God bless her for pushing the envelope. To have such a really good run on Q104: Good, steady, solid gig. To go out on the thin ice. To do that, I think takes a lot of balls. I wish her the best of luck.

BB: Well, she's going from the Number one station in the market to one that hasn't even rated yet. We don't know where it's going to end up.

TB: It's going to be interesting. [She'll be] with her husband, too. My wife and I: I think we'd make it to the first commercial break, and the lawyers would be there. But, Jamie's terrific. And, they're such a terrific couple together. It's been done in a few other places, the husband and wife thing. But it's never been done here.

BB: Well, I'll certainly sample it. I've tuned into the station. Their music really isn't to my taste, but I'll certainly tune in and see what they do.

TB: Shelly Fraser sounds great.

BB: She does sound great.

TB: She sounds right in her element.

BB: She worked here at the Q at some point, didn't she?

TB: She worked at Kool. She worked at Calgary and Toronto and came here to work with Griff after Donna Saker left.

BB: I remember now! Donna left for whatever reason...

TB: She went to Australia, now she’s in Montreal.

BB: That's where I heard [Shelly's] name before. I couldn't put it together.

Griff and Shelly did the commercial on tv together, where they were dressed up as various artists that they were playing on the station.

TB: That's right. I haven't had to do that yet. I'm kind of thankful.

Yes, Shelly sounds terrific. My God, the landscape has changed so much. All these radio stations.

BB: And, now this new one is coming up: Halifax Broadcasting [Evanov]. It will be a AAA format.

TB: That's what they say now. But, who knows? I don't see why somebody doesn't put out another Country station. You can promise all kinds of things when you first get the license, but you never really know.
When Hal FM first signed on, we thought that was going to be Easy Listening. It was supposed to be Adult Contemporary. Right up to the last second, Anna [Zee], J.C. and I were sitting around the radio. Lo and behold, their first song is 'Brown Sugar' by the Stones. It's a rock station. It's on. We've got competition here." So, once again, you never know what it's going to be.

BB: They say they'll have 17 hours a week of spoken word content, which is a lot of spoken word content for a music-driven station.

TB: That's a lot of yakking.

BB: We'll see what they do.

You want to talk about Lisa Blackburn, and the time she did television with you.

TB: For a bit, five of six years ago, Nelson Hansen [the entertainment reporter] and I did a thing at Global Noon every Friday called The Buzz. Duane Lowe, Nelson and I would talk about entertainment. He left after a couple of years, so Lisa and I actually got to do that. It was just great. We met Ellen Page there once; she was just on her way up.

It was really interesting doing television for a while. She really took to that naturally. She filled in for Duane, doing the show on a few occasions. [Lisa's] very, very talented. The television thing could have worked out for her, too.

BB: Why did they cancel that show on Global? Just to save a few bucks?

TB: Yes, I think so. I think that's what it was. Global was going through a whole nation-wide thing. There was a few people they knocked out there. I really enjoyed that. My mom always got to watch me in Saint John, and all the girls that dumped me in high school.

BB: [Chuckles] What's Duane Lowe doing now?

TB: I really don't know. I'd hate to say. I'm friends with her on Facebook, but I really haven't spoken to her in a while. She was great to work with.

6. You are expected to play long stretches of music and not talk much. How difficult can it be to inject your personality during a broadcast shift, given that constraint?

TB: Well, I think it just comes back to what I said earlier about just being quick. I've got a free ride that starts roughly at 4:30 and goes to 5:30. You've got solid music that whole time. You've got traffic. You've got other stuff that's going on in the world that you have to talk about. You've got to do it over a 10 second intro to a song sometimes. If the Windsor Street exchange is snagged up, you've got to give that information; you've got to be quick. If you've got something funny to say, you've got to be quick. And all good drive jocks that I've listened to over the years like Larry Lujack, and Dale Dorman in Boston and all these guys are just really quick. If you have to pass along info, it's got to be quick.

It's a pretty busy time of day. You just have to be as brief and as succinct as possible. And, once again, I've never had a program director ever tell me, "Don't be funny. Don't put your own personality in there. Just be quick about it, that's all".

BB: But, if you have something going on at the Windsor Street exchange that's really important, surely to God no one's going to fire you if you take 20 seconds to talk about it, or 30. You must have some latitude.

TB: You do. I've never used it. I can't remember ever really stopping in a long stretch of music. Just be quick. You can change the world in 10 seconds if you wanted to.

BB: But one could do that if he had to.

TB: Oh, God. Absolutely. If the O.J. Simpson verdict or something is coming down, or some other major thing. You would have to present that. You have to identify with the listener. You have to put yourself in the mind of the listener. If that's something they're going to want to know, you have to tell them. You do have a bit of latitude.

7. What is your opinion of CBC radio?

TB:. We have a big country; and it's good to have something that kind of brings it all together. Driving from Vancouver to Whistler a few years ago, I was listening to the CBC. I was listening to "Definitely Not The Opera". Saturday afternoon, driving between Calgary and Edmonton. Driving through Quebec and listening to the CBC. It's a big country; and it's nice to have something that unites the whole thing.

They have shows like "Definitely Not The Opera". I liked it a lot better with Nora Young when she did it. I love "The Vinyl Cafe". My girls love it, too.

BB: Oh, I love that show.

TB: I love that stuff. Coming back from playing softball on Sundays, and that's always on. "Vinyl Tap" with Randy Bachman: I love listening to that, too. There's a lot of good stuff on there. It's pretty even handed when it comes to a lot of political issues and things like that.

BB: What do you think of Stan Carew's show on weekends?

TB: I'm glad you mentioned that. I love it. That's some of the best radio in Halifax right there. I worked with Stan when he was here, up until his glorious departure [Stan walked off the air at Q104 in 1995 shortly before he would have been laid off by the station]. Stan Carew One I was in Toronto; I was on vacation. I was doing the evenings on Q104. In Toronto, you can find the Chronicle Herald up there. I had been in the States driving around with my wife; I stopped at my cousin's place. I picked up the Chronicle Herald. "Q104 cuts jobs. Are you kidding me?" I called JC, who was putting the schedules together at the time. "When am I working next?" JC: "Yeah. About that..." I was on vacation when I found out I had been cut.

What the Hell was I talking about? Oh, Stan! That was the same day that Stan had melted down.  I still haven't heard it. Nobody's got a tape of it. I don't know if Stan has a tape of it or what, but I would have loved to have heard it.

I can't think of anybody else who would have the same type of resume as Stan. Making his way through all the stations in the Maritimes as a program diStan Carew One (2)rector and as a great jock. A 60's jock on CHNS. The CBC stuff, like interviewing Richard Branson, Chrissie Hynde in London; all these people. I'd kill for that!

BB: Harlan Ellison. You've never heard of him, but I have. But [Stan's] had a very varied, rich career.

TB: The last time I talked to him; it was the first time in a while. It was at the Q104 25th anniversary weekend. We sat at the Neil Young concert. We just talked the whole time. He's a music guy too. He's got a band. I started a band a while ago.

BB: The Magpies.

TB: Yes. I just love talking to him. He's a good guy. Total pro. I think it's great what he and Doug [Barron] do on the weekends. It's hokey. You've got sound effects. You've got all this goofy stuff that people love. I'm so glad that they have the latitude to be able to do that.

BB: Why is his show so popular? They say that four of ten radios in the Maritime provinces are tuned into his show.

TB: Well, there's no format. It's just so far outside the box. They don't have advertisers that they have to please. They don't have to please anybody really. They can play Maritime music twenty-four hours a day if they want. It's their mandate.

He doesn't have the restriction. He can play the weird old stuff. He can play some rock stuff if he wants to. I remember a few years ago listening to him playing a Bob Dylan song off a Hank Williams tribute album that just came out. I thought, "You're kidding me. That's fantastic." I love stuff that's way out.

And, there's other stuff that's, "Oh, God. You're playing that?" But people like that stuff. It just taps into that vein.

BB: Would his show even be permitted to happen in private radio?

TB: Oh, I can't see it. I can't see that at all. There's a lot of older people who listen; that's a market that's underserved when it comes to commercial radio. "Sitting there havin' my tea, and I want to hear some Wilf Carter". You're not going to be hearing that on Z103 any time soon. It's just so free to just do that, and cross so many boundaries. I think it's terrific. The humour, and the way he taps into that Maritime thing and captures the mood and the whole Maritime thing is just amazing.

BB: I do listen, and I have won the Mystery Vocalist contest a few times.

TB: Did you?

BB: Yes, I have. I've got the CBC hats to prove it!

TB: [Chuckles] You paid for those hats, you know!

8. What was it like to leave Q104? What was it like to return?

TB: It was miserable to leave Q104. Just miserable. I was down to part-time. We were over in Sun Tower, crappy little studio. It was still a period of transiton, but the station was really on the rise. Any time I drive past that, I was just on my way out the whole time we were in Sun Tower. I knew it was eventually going to happen. It just wasn't pleasant. Q104 is where my heart is. But, at the same time, I wanted to work in radio full-time, and I got a chance to. I had always heard about Neil MacMullen and great things about the Valley and thought, "You have to experience this."

I went up there for a couple of years and [it] was great. I met some great people. I met Darrin and a bunch of other people?

BB: Terry Thomas?

TB: Terry Thomas! Yes. The late Terry Thomas. Before he came to the Maritimes, he worked in TV and radio all through Ontario. One day, he was doing the 5:55 news. He would be in another studio. He would hit the cough button, and you would hear [a very loud, thunderous cough]. It was like, "Jesus, what was that? It sounded like a dump truck driving by " He came out a minute later, and he said, "My chest feels a little tight". I said, "Are you all right? You should probably go get it checked out". He said, "Ah, I'll go have a cigarette, and I'll head out."

BB: He was a smoker, was he?

TB: Oh sure…just about everybody from that era was. You see pictures of the studios and newsrooms, with ashtrays overflowing with butts. And sure enough, he was having a heart ‘episode’. I think that was his fourth. I think he ended up having 5. That’s hard-core! Grizzled old veteran, hosted the talk show on AVR for years, one-of-a-kind.

[Working in the Valley] was a great experience. I think it was '98 when MBS bought AVR from Neil. Neil was getting out of it, and I had worked for MBS before. I saw what was coming. Right around the time my wife, Jennifer, was pregnant, too. We lived in Mount Uniacke, and I was driving up there every morning, a 45 minute drive to do mornings a lot of days. I drove through the ice storm in '98.

BB: What time would you leave the house?

TB: About quarter after 4, usually. It was just ridiculous. I thought, "My God, if I'm going to have a baby, I'm going to be up all night anyway, but this is just too much." I remember that JC [Douglas] got the job on Breakfast Television in November ‘98, and I thought, "Interesting". Then, I started hearing all these rumours that I was The Guy. People that I barely knew [were saying], "They want to bring you back." I go, "Really? You're kidding me!"

And, sure enough. Terry Williams was the program director of Q at the time. I got into work one afternoon, and I see this little pink "While You Were Out" slip. It said, "Terry", and his number was underneath it. I call him. He said, "Yep. I want to talk to you".

The timing could not have been better. I still remember getting the job on Q104. We're in the Delivery Room, and I'm talking to Terry. I say, "Can I call you back?" Julia, my first daughter, was born pretty much the same day I came back to Q104. It was one of these jobs that you never thought would ever come up. I thought JC would be doing it forever because he was so good at it. But he got a good opportunity.

BB: I didn't realize it was his departure that paved the way for you to come back. That's ironic, a little bit.

TB: It really is. And then, a year and a half later, after BT, he came back to be Program Director. I talked about JC earlier, but even when he was a Drive jock, and I was doing Evenings a few years earlier, you just knew he had it going on….terrific vision. They announced that JC was going to be the Program Director. Perfect! I could have seen this years ago. That certainly panned out.

Yes, it was just great coming back. Every day I show up, and my key works to get in, I'm happy. I'm the happiest guy in the world.

9. You are the president of your union local. How has that role affected your work life?

TB: Well, it's given me a new perspective on how decisions get made. It really has. The union's been good to me. It's been good to a lot of people around here. We're very fortunate that we've got a good relationship between the company and the union.

It hasn't always been that way. If you go back to the '80's, things were not what they are today. But it's a very good relationship between the company [and the unionized staff]. You see how difficult decisions are made. You have to look at it from both perspectives. You don't always agree, but you understand where things are coming from. There are things you have to fight for and things I've been involved with that really haven't been pleasant, but you're dealing with people who genuinely want to do what's right.

I go to conferences, and see other unions and other industries. You realize how good we have it, and how harmonious things are in comparison with other places. It would make your head spin.

BB: Let's give a plug for your union.   Which union is it?

TB: CEP: Communications, Electronics, and Paper Workers, [local] 920-M.

BB: 920? I was wondering about that, because I thought it might be "920" because of [the frequency of] CJCH.

TB: Yes. Before Newcap and CHUM merged in 1997 they were different locals, but when they came together, it was 920M. Now, we're different buildings, and working around that.

10. You have met many celebrities and had an opportunity to interview them. Tell me about one person who greatly impressed you. Tell me about one person you thought was a complete jerk.

TB: Well, it's always been that the best stories have been the ones about the complete jerks. I really haven't met that many. Most people that you meet, they realize why they're there. They realize that you're there to talk about the new album. 99.9% of the people I've meet have been terrific like that. Rik Emmett from Triumph is one of the first big interviews that I did when I started to work at Q104. He was fantastic!

BB: He comes across as a great guy. When I've read him; when I've seen him on television, he seems like a great fellow. I'd love to meet Rik Emmett.

TB: I've interviewed him a number of times over the years. I think the last time, he was doing a solo show. I was on the air, and [I say}, "Rik Emmett's going to be here in about 5 minutes". My private line rings. It's Mike Smith [Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys]. "Oh, Rik Emmett's coming up, is he? Dude, can I come up?"

So, he comes up, and Rik Emmett's talking; he's playing guitar. I think he's playing "Magic Power" on his acoustic guitar. It was a great interview. Mike Smith is standing at the back. Toward the end of it, he asks, "Mind if I get a picture?" So, me, Rik, and "Bubbles" (he has the glasses), and J.C. are in the picture. This is a few years ago, and Rik didn't know who he was; The Trailer Park Boys hadn't really taken off at that point. Eventually, we got a note back from Rik's manager. Rik's kids went, "Bubbles! That's Bubbles, for God's sake!" Now, he's all impressed. There was this great meeting of the minds: Rik Emmett and Bubbles.

Aerosmith were fantastic.

BB: Really?

TB: Yeah, really good. That was one of my all-time favourite backstage stories, actually, was meeting them when they were here in '93 or '94. The concert was at 7 o'clock. The opening act comes on at 7; Aerosmith came on at 8. The plane's going to come in; they're going to land in Halifax. It was foggy getting out of Boston, apparently. They were a little bit late getting in. We thought, "Oh, they're going to blow it off and just go on stage". We were at the Trade and Convention Centre: A bunch of radio people. John Biggs was there. I remember meeting John. Kelli Rickard [was there], whom I'd actually worked with at CFBC and C98 in 1987.

BB: I hadn't realized you had worked together.

TB: So, Aerosmith came in, and they talked to everybody. They were the friendliest guys. They got pictures with everybody. They made all kinds of time for people; they were just absolutely great.

BB: Kelli Rickard gave a scarf to Steve Tyler, and he kissed her. She said that on the air?

TB: Is that right? It wouldn't surprise me.

Darrin [Harvey] and I met Neil Young in 1996. Talked a bit of hockey…he goes to a lot of San Jose Sharks games when he’s home. Met The Rolling Stones. Got a picture [with them]. That's replaced my wedding picture, actually, in the living room. Me, holding on to Mick Jagger.

I've interviewed a million people over the years. Ted Nugent I thought was going to be a bit of a wacko. Of course, he was! He's just one of these people [to whom I say], "Hi, Ted. How are you doing?" And then you don't have to say another word for about 5 minutes. And, by the end of the interview, I was ready to go out and shoot something.

But, that's the absolute best part of the job is being able to talk to these people.

BB: How old do The Rolling Stones look up close and personal?

TB: Charlie Watts, I'm convinced, has been dead since about 1975. He's gray, and ...

BB: He had cancer at one point.

TB: He did, yes. They thought they were going to lose him before the last album. But, he just holds out his hand like this [weakly], and you just look into his eyes. "Is there anything there at all?" He was very nice. But, if you talked to him in 1964, he would have been the same way. But, it was just such a cool experience, meeting them.

BB: Mick and "Keef": What were they like?

TB: It was really quick. "How are ya?", from Keith, who had the sunglasses on. I managed to have a bit of an exchange with Ronnie [Wood], who was completely unintelligible, just exactly the way you wanted him to be.

BB: Just the way Mike Myers used to do him [on Saturday Night Live].

TB: When we were snapping the picture, you can see me with my hands on Mick Jagger's jacket on his shoulder. I was at the back, and I thought this was going to be like every other junior high picture I was ever in. "I'm going to be in the back, and you're not going to be able to see me. I'm getting one shot at this, and I'm not going to let this happen. So, whoever's in front of me, I'm just going to grab and lunge forward and make sure I'm in the pictures."

So, grab! Lunge! Snap! "Oh, shit! Whom did I just grab?" And it's Mick. It's Mick friggin' Jagger. He turns. "Oh, hi. How are you?"

"Welcome to Halifax."

Mick: "Oh, thank you very much."

In whole, this was probably the quickest meet and greet kind of thing in the history of meets and greets. It was great: I got this picture forever of me talking with The Stones. [Jamie] Patterson, Anna Z, J.C. were in the picture as well. It was just absolutely awesome.

And, really, it gets no bigger than that. It really doesn't.

Paul McCartney would have been cool...

BB: I can imagine that when J.C. talked to McCartney back on July 2nd, it must have been a career highlight for [him].

TB: Yes. He said it was one of the two top or three. It was a great interview; he did such a great job with it. "What are you eating?"

McCartney: "Oh, I'm just having some toast".

But, Springsteen would probably be the big one for me. But, he stopped doing those radio interviews 25 years ago. But, I've talked to pretty much everybody else in his band, so I'm getting close.

I've been to 11 Springsteen concerts now, and I always talk to Steve vanZant: "Little Steven". Possibly the nicest human being I've talked to in my entire life. Just a musicologist of the highest degree. I've tried to convince him [to come to Halifax]. This last time, he was asking a lot of questions about Halifax. "The Halifax Commons? How many people can you get there?"

"You can get about 50 000 there."

"That sounds about right. We love playing new places. We'll remember that."

With Steve you can talk about music, The Sopranos, and stuff like that. Just the best interview. And Sammy Hagar is another one. Just a great interview. That's my favourite part of the job right there: Just getting to interview people.

BB: Did anybody disappoint you? In terms of what they said, or maybe you had them on a pedestal, and all of a sudden you realize, "This guy has bad breath".

TB: I don't know. I always think, "If I had a rotten experience with somebody, it was probably just me". I asked them the wrong question or something like that.

Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, I thought was going to be a bit better. Every interview I read or heard him, he was just such a gregarious guy. But, I think back to the early days of me doing interviews. It's not the easiest thing to do. It takes a while to get into it. I think that any of the ones that were unpleasant were just me learning the craft of it. I'm still learning. Every time I do an interview with somebody, I still [say], "Oh, crap! I should have asked him this."

BB: You sound like how I approach these interviews. You know what you're doing a Hell of a lot more than I know what I'm doing. I just learn from my mistakes and try to do better next time.

TB: And you just try to think, "I just want to find the one question that I'm not going to be driving home tonight thinking, 'I should have asked this.'" And, finally, you get something.

I helped break up the Matthew Good Band a few years ago, with Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar. For whatever reason, and whenever I've tried this before or since it just shit the bed, I said, "Let's go to the phones, and see what people have to say." And, not screen the calls or anything like that, which is usually a recipe for disaster.

So, I open the line… "Hi. How are you? Do you have a question for Gordie?" And the guy comes on and says, "What do you think of Matthew Good?" And, he went off for about a minute and a half about Matthew 
Good and what a jerk he was at the time. "He's bad to his fans, bandmates", etc. It went on for about 30 seconds

I say, "My God, you're actually saying this? You realize we're on the radio? "

This got picked up by The Toronto Sun. That was on a Friday. By Wednesday, you get this [news release]: The Matthew Good Band has broken up. I bumped again into Gordie Johnson at the ECMA's a few years ago and said, "You know, we were on the air talking about the Matthew Goode Band, and they broke up".

"Yeah, I know! I remember that." "You don't suppose we had something to do with that, do you?" He’d chuckle.

I talked to Matthew a bit after that, too. He was going through some weird stuff at the time, and did have that reputation. But, that was a little weird.

You never know. These magic things will come to you sometime. You have to be a good listener too. You can have as many questions as you want. Nine times out of ten, what's really going to be magic is just picking up on something and expanding on it. All the best interview moments I've had have come from these little sparks.

BB: Listening to everything people say. And sometimes, it's what they don't say as well.

TB: Yes. Absolutely. No question.

(In a follow up e-mail, Tom wrote the following)
I thought of something last were asking about the worst interview, and I didn't really come up with anything. I thought later that the hardest interviews I've done have been with comedians...Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd and Gilbert Gottfried have all seemed a bit cold. A lot of these guys want to talk about new projects (Short had the dreadful Jiminy Glick movie, Aykroyd had a line of wine), and I'm sure they'd been asked SCTV and SNL questions ad infinitum for years, and didn't really open up a whole lot.

Gottfried was just a very quiet, reserved guy offstage, totally unlike his onstage persona, so that took the wind out of my sails a bit.

Wrap Up:

BB: Tom Bedell, thank you so much for your time. You've given me the last couple hours of your life.

TB: Look at the time!

BB: You can go home and watch "Glee" and not worry about ...

TB: "Glee"! Again with the "Glee".

BB: I thank you very much for your time, and thank you for the tour of the studios and thanks for the interview.

TB: No problem. I really enjoy the blog. 104-487I really enjoyed Don Tremaine. I'm glad we got to the bottom of that Pearshape Riley stuff. I'm glad that somebody's started to tell the Pearshape Riley story.

BB: Well, I still plan to research the man. I'll go to the Archives at some point. Contemporaneous to being on the radio, CJCH, in the late '40's, he was also a movie theatre manager. I want to figure out how he got the job doing that and why he would be doing two jobs at one time. Plus, he had a record store on Spring Garden Road. He went on to manage Hank Snow, Gene Vincent, and Eddie Cochran. If you remember the story of Eddie Cochran, he died in a car crash…1960, thereabouts. Riley considered himself to be the manager of those guys at the time. There's a picture of Gene Vincent; off to the left hand corner is Norm Riley, grieving over Eddie Cochran.

TB: Grieving over the money not coming in any more, probably.

BB: Anyway, thank you for that, and keep reading the blog. Tell everybody you know about Bevboy's Blog.

TB: "Sons of Pearshape Riley", I think you should call that. The Bevboy thing is nice, but "Sons of Pearshape Riley". We need more characters like that, don't we?

BB: We do.

TB: Somebody from the States, "I'm moving up to Canada to open a record store. I managed Hank Snow for a while. Then, the heat came up; I had to go back". These shysters!

Thanks, man. That was fun. 



Unknown said...

Great interview!

Your going to have to hire staff to assist with the research & input/formatting of these blogs... it's a huge amount of work but worth the effort.

JB said...

Friendly, cerebral, and passionate about the gig - what more could you ask for in a radio guy? I have an Aerosmith picture from the show Tom mentioned here: but the only Tom in the shot is Tommy Hamilton, unfortunately. Never had the pleasure of working at the same station as Tom Bedell, but he's clearly a decent guy. Must be. He's a Habs fan.

Bevboy said...

Thanks, Les. I like to have full control of my blog; it would be hard to give that up. Having said that, if I could have someone source things like website url's and links to embedded videos, that would be very helpful.

John: Thank you, as always, for the kind words both here and on facebook. I am by no means done with these interviews.



Anonymous said...
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Clark said...

Bev, I work for Axia, the company that made Q104's mixers, and I would like to use one or two of your photos in my company's newsletter. Would you please contact me to discuss?


Bevboy said...

Hi, Clark.

Please contact me at radiointerviews AT bevboysblog DOT com
so we can discuss this.

Of course, remove the AT and the DOT.

Looking forward to hearing from you.