Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cara Carriveau

UPDATED November 25, 2008

Cara Caravieu
I originally interviewed Cara back in February of 2007 and updated her status in May of this year, but just a few months after I did so, she got a brand new gig--midday host at WTMX. I asked her how things were going in the new job...

Cara: The old saying "when one door closes, another opens" is so true! I am so happy working for Bonneville hosting middays at WTMX. I love coming on after Eric & Kathy, a morning show I've long listened to and admire even more strongly now that I've witnessed first hand the mass amount of work that goes into it. And to be back working for Bonneville, the best company in the broadcasting industry, is awesome!

I worked really hard to earn this position - unlike other radio stations that claim they are doing a nationwide search but ultimately promote from within rather quickly, WTMX truly did take months deciding on who would fill the midday slot because they really were looking all over the country. Since I was competing with a nationwide search I put together quite a unique demo package and even designed a specific website just for the job including a power-point presentation about why they should hire me (taking the time to learn HTML really paid off). When the position was finally offered to me, I was absolutely thrilled. My bosses didn't choose me just for my on air presence - they also recognize my ability to harness the internet and are also utilizing my talents in many ways in that arena, which I truly enjoy. Check out my Mix web page "Cara's Connection" for a constantly growing amount of content.

Besides hosting middays at WTMX, I continue to host my Cara's Basement podcast, provide artist interviews for The Chicago Music Guide, supply content for the NBC Chicago website, and co-host a podcast with my husband Bill Busch called Fitness From The Inside Out. I'm really busy but I enjoy everything I'm doing so it's a pleasure.

Life is very good right now and I'm thankful every day for not only having a full-time job but having one that I love so much. Especially in this crazy economy. I'm well aware of the many talented broadcasters who are currently "on the beach" and my advice to them is to take this opportunity to learn something new and enjoy some much needed R&R while you have the chance. I consider my time in between gigs a blessing.

UPDATED 5/31/08

Cara Carriveau is a personality on WTMX Radio, but she does so much more than that. When I interviewed her last year, she was just getting her Cara's Basement podcast started. I even appeared as a guest on that show last summer (photo). I recently caught up with her and asked her if she would mind updating her Chicago Radio Spotlight interview...

Cara: First, thanks for the original interview. It's always fun to chat with you.

At the time of that interview I had just begun to work part time at 101.9 WTMX in Chicago. You can hear me on The Mix quite bit - view my on-air schedule at

I had just started my podcast Cara's Basement when we last spoke - wow, has it grown! I've interviewed Linkin Park, JY from Styx, Rik Emmett from Triumph, Stephen Pearcy from RATT, Mick Jones from Foreigner and many other fascinating entertainers (including an author named Rick Kaempfer). Some big names are on tap for future episodes and I'm also interviewing up & coming artists because I think it's fun to talk with people working towards their dreams and it's great exposure for them. Cara's Basement is now featured on, a popular music portal online. I also do artist interviews for The Chicago Music Guide - I've interviewed Alanis Morissette, Against Me!, Ankla, Taylor Dayne and many others for them.

Besides my own podcast, I also co-host my husband Bill Busch's podcast Fitness From The Inside Out. My voiceover business Cara Communications is keeping me busy - besides voicing a ton of phone systems worldwide, commercials & narrations I now do radio station imaging including rocker WIHN in Bloomington, Illinois. I'm a member of the NBC5 Street Team, a select group of bloggers/podcasters in Chicago. I've definitely embraced new media - you can find me all over the internet - youtube, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc. and I've taught myself html so I'm doing all of my own websites. You can often find me emceeing charity concerts throughout Chicago - I have one coming up at the Double Door July 5. A few other broadcasting projects are in the works that I can't divulge details about yet, but I will say that I'm very excited!

The biggest accomplishment in the past few years, though, has been the remarkable experience of raising my kids. I've been able to chaperone school events for my daughter which I never could do when I worked fulltime. My son Sam is now 3 and is such a joy to be around. As busy as I am with my own projects, my husband and children are by far my top priority.


Now here is the original interview...

Cara Carriveau
rose to fame in Chicago on the legendary rock station: The Loop. She recently moved down the radio dial to 101.9 FM, The Mix.

I got my first full-time radio job in 1986 at 95.3 WCFX/Clare, Michigan, working nights while a college student at CMU. I moved to Chicago in 1989 to host Overnights at 103.9 WABT "The Wabbit"/Dundee. I quickly moved up to Evenings, then Middays and eventually became Program Director 1991-1995. I made my first jump to 97.9 WLUP "The Loop"/Chicago in 1995 as News Anchor/Sidekick/Traffic Reporter with Kevin Matthews. I was actually employed by Shadow Traffic at the time as Program Director/Traffic & News Reporter - and I wound up doing news or traffic reports on practically every Chicagoland radio frequency. I was Morning News Anchor/Sidekick, Midday Host, and Promotion Director (yes, all at the same time!) at 95.1 WIIL "95 Will Rock"/Kenosha 1995-1996. I was an On Air Personality at 103.5 WRCX "Rock 103.5"/Chicago 1996-1998, then after they changed formats I filled in Middays & Afternoons at 101.9 WTMX "The Mix"/Chicago for a few weeks in December, 1998. I returned to 97.9 WLUP "The Loop"/Chicago in January, 1999 hosting Evenings, then promoted to Middays in 2000. I remained at WLUP until October, 2006. I've been back on air at 101.9 WTMX "The Mix" since November, 2006.

I have also been the "phone voice" for the Rosemont Theatre and Allstate Arena since 1995, and if you ever go to a show at the Rosemont Theatre you'll hear my voice welcoming you in the lobby. I am very excited about my new podcast, Cara's Basement, featuring interviews with all kinds of people but focusing on performance artists. (My first guest is comedian/radio personality Dobie Maxwell.)

I also do independent voice-work from my home studio for my own company, Cara Communications. Anyone who would like to keep track of where & when to hear me on the radio or online should become my MySpace friend at: and

Rick: Recently you were in the middle of a media controversy because of a letter you sent to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Feder lamenting the unemployment of great radio stars. The Loop fired you for writing that letter. What did you learn about yourself and/or the business from that experience?

Cara: I lamented the unemployment of radio personalities even more when I suddenly became one! The first thing I learned was how printed words can easily be misinterpreted. It's another reason I love radio, because being able to add inflection certainly helps convey your intended message much more clearly. I also learned that what I wrote couldn't be any more true. My letter and subsequent termination got national coverage and I received several hundred messages from radio listeners & non-listeners, friends, colleagues and even radio industry employees I've never met. The letter certainly struck a chord with many disenchanted radio listeners. The vast outpouring of support was touching and the opinions expressed to me could very well be priceless information for Program Directors who want to know what's going on inside peoples head's regarding their relationship to the voices they hear on the radio. And I learned that it's important not to define myself by my job. My family is so much more important to me than any gig and having the opportunity to spend more time with my young son (he's not even 2 yet) has been a blessing...even if it wasn't by choice.

Rick: You have been a Chicago radio fixture for years now. Looking back on all those years, what are some of the moments that you remember most fondly?

Cara: It was a honor working with the legendary Jonathon Brandmeier. That was my radio dream since I first heard The Loop in 1986: Working there, middays after Brandmeier. Actually living that dream was awesome. I admire a lot of great radio personalities I have worked with over the years - but I'm not going to list any more names since I'll probably inadvertently miss somebody. Meeting John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page was a thrill of a lifetime for me since I am a huge Zep fan.

A very surreal moment occurred at a record store appearance a couple of years ago with Styx, when tons of people asked Tommy Shaw, JY and the rest of the band for their autograph and then asked me for mine...that was just plain weird! Speaking of Styx, Dennis DeYoung once sat in on the "Rock & Roll Diner" with me and I had the most amazing experience of being alone in a room with him while he sang "Come Sail Away" live on the air.

Also, becoming a fan of Chicago's Marty Casey on Rockstar INXS and eventually striking up a friendship with him and (his band) The Lovehammers is very cool. Best of all, I've truly enjoyed every job I have ever had which is not something a lot of people can say. I also have amazing listeners who have followed me around for a long time (some for decades) - every time I'm on the air at The Mix I get several "not-so-Loyal-Loopers" checking in.

Rick: How do you like working for the Mix? How does it compare to the other places you've worked?

Cara: I love working at The Mix. I have fun on the air and I really appreciate working with stellar people, many who I used to work with at WLUP before there was an ownership change a few years ago. It sounds like I'm shmoozing but it's true: Bonneville is a spectacular company to work for. They truly care about their employees, treating us with tremendous respect and loyalty. The great success of WTMX's ratings and revenue also makes me very proud. At this stage in my career I care much more about my working environment then anything else and I couldn't be happier at The Mix. One thing I can't stand is being lied to, whether it's personal or business. Unfortunately, a few past employers have mislead or broken promises to me. But I've worked for Bonneville for many years without a single incident of deception. Plus, for the first time in my radio career, I can finally play Prince...woo-hoo!

Rick: Not many people know that your brother runs the Rosemont Theater. There must have been a few perks over the years. What are some of the most memorable?

Cara: I took my daughter to see Roger Waters at The Rosemont Theater when she was just three years old. She was the only kid there, dancing in the isles to the amusement of everybody around us. I was backstage at a Sammy Hagar show and got to see the frightening sight of one of his "hot waitresses" from his concert take off her wig and was an unbelievably scary transformation. My brother Ron also works on other big shows like Farm Aid - I've got lots of fond memories from several Farm Aids, like the time Roger Clinton (the former President's brother) told me a bunch of really funny dirty jokes backstage. I kept thinking, "your brother is the president - maybe you should watch your mouth!".

Rick: Anyone that has listened to you over the years knows how much you love music. If we looked into Cara's iPod today, who would we find there?

Cara: You'd find about 5,000 songs including plenty of Lovehammers, Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, U2, Prince and everything ever recorded by The Monkees! I copied much of my husband's library so there's plenty of Ramones & Sex Pistols, too. I also have a few airchecks & voiceover recordings in it so that I can critique myself. And most importantly I have lots of pictures of my family in my iPod.

(Thanks so much to Robert Feder of the Sun-Times who called this blog, "One of the best new radio blogs around." It's the last item of his column. He also mentions my media blog--Media Notebook)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Charlie Meyerson

UPDATED January 2012


Rick: When we last spoke the new WGN program director Bill White had just replaced you as the news director of WGN (with himself), but you weren't out of a job for very long. How are you liking this new station?

Charlie: In my job as Chicago Bureau Chief for FM News Chicago, it’s been a joy to get back to reporting the news. My main role is to explain politics and policy, giving me a daily ringside seat to the unfolding of Rahm Emanuel’s administration. But I also have freedom to cover stories about consumerism, tech, the arts, lifestyles, human interest -- anything that makes great radio. I’ve been encouraged to break out of the connect-the-dots reporting routine. I’m having fun, every day -- something I hope comes through in our coverage, including a series I've called "Who’s Mayor Emanuel Ridiculing Now?"

Rick: This has been a little different experience than WGN, hasn't it?

Charlie: FM News is a work in progress. But, boy, that startup mindset's exciting. This organization is fulfilling a prediction I made in 1998: "There's a real place on the FM dial for an all-news format station that presents a hipper, more intelligent, more innovative approach to news."

We have a talented and energetic team, encouraged every day to try doing things differently. That prompted three hours of commercial-free discussion and analysis when Blagojevich was sentenced, and more than an hour talking about Steve Jobs the night he died.

We want to hear how listeners think we're doing. I hope people will share story ideas, suggestions and criticism. I'm at, and tips or feedback for the whole station are welcome at our Web site or by email at

Updated 8/29/09


I previously interviewed Charlie two years ago when he was the editor of Daywatch, but this summer he was named WGN News Director. I got in touch with him the other day to ask the question I've been wondering about...

Rick: What are your plans for the WGN News department?

Charlie: Radio news in the 21st Century faces many of the same issues confronting newspapers and other established media. For instance: In an age when the latest headlines are (or can be) at anyone's fingertips on demand via smartphone or netbook, why does anyone need a half-hourly newscast? How can we make each of those broadcasts unique, "must-hear" events?

The challenges are particularly acute right now for low-fi AM radio in a hi-fi/hi-def landscape. But the good news is that in the world ahead -- when all radio will be available via the Web and WiFi and WiMax -- an audio stream will be an audio stream will be an audio stream. The playing field will have been leveled, and the best and most compelling programming will win.

I would love to get others' thoughts on these matters, and one of the first things I did after taking the job was to establish a page to do that:

I'm not sure how to solve the puzzles on the table, but I hope the quest will prove fun and rewarding -- for us and our audience.

The original interview follows...

(photo credit unknown for young Charlie photo on the left, not quite as young Charlie photo by Charlie Young)

Professional highlights:
=1977-1979: News director, WMRO-AM 1280 / WAUR-FM 107.9, Aurora
=1979-1989: Morning news anchor, City Hall reporter, WXRT-FM 93.1, Chicago
=1989-1998: News and public affairs director, WNUA-FM 95.5, Chicago
=1998-present: Columnist, editor and senior producer at

And in my spare time:
1982-1986: News writing instructor, Columbia College
1991-1993: Columnist, Wednesday Journal, Oak Park

From left to right: Charlie Meyerson, Dave Thomas, Rick Moranis, Terri Hemmert

Rick: People who follow your radio career might not realize how actively involved you are with the Internet, too. Could you tell us a little bit more about your work with the Chicago Tribune Internet edition, and Daywatch?

(Photo by Jean Lachat LiVigni)

Charlie: People who hear my reports on WGN may not know my primary job is helping a talented and dedicated team of journalists make sure is fresh and relevant and engaging and lively every minute of the day, with news, photos, audio, video and interactive features. On Jan. 28, our team and our print-side colleagues on the Chicago Tribune received one of the newspaper industry's top honors, the Digital Edge Award, for most innovative multimedia storytelling. The award honors two special reports in which our team played a significant role, "A tank of gas, a world of trouble" and "Did this man die ... for this man's crime?"

My job also includes overseeing the Tribune’s free, daily e-mail news briefing, Daywatch, whose style and content I think will seem familiar to those who remember those 'XRT and WNUA newscasts.

The Internet is a demanding creature, so I’m not able to contribute to WGN as often as I’d like. But it’s great to know that the door to what's historically been Chicago's No. 1 radio station is always open for my reports.

A footnote: In some ways, my present job brings me full circle. When I graduated from the University of Illinois in 1977 -- this August marks my 30th year in Chicago-area radio news -- my partners at WMRO/WAUR included Dean Richards and Johnnie Putman, both pillars of WGN’s programming today. And my first on-air partner at 'XRT was Garry Lee Wright, also now on WGN. Even one of my bosses, Chicago Tribune Vice President Alison Scholly, was once an 'XRT intern. Which just goes to show you, kids, why you should be nice to everyone all the time.

Rick: By the way, those two award-winning reports were pretty darn impressive.

Charlie: Yes, they were, and I'm delighted to have played even just the smallest role in their creation. The essential work, of course, was done by the newspaper's great reporters. Most of the presentation work was done by others, notably my fellow senior producer, Danielle Gordon, working with talented print and Web designers. My role was limited mainly to kibitzing on how best to present these reports on their own introductory pages and on the front page to maximize their audience. That's one of the true joys of my job: Finding new and more effective ways of connecting Tribune journalism with people -- particularly with people who might otherwise think they have no interest in "serious journalism."

Rick: You've always been a journalist, but you've worked in some very different radio formats. How has your style changed and adapted with each format change?

Charlie: Each successive job has opened my eyes wider to just how hard it is to get and keep people’s attention -- and what a gift it is when they give it to you. At WMRO, our noon newscast was 12 minutes long. At WNUA, by the end, my newscasts were 95 seconds. At WGN, my reports fall under a 35-second limit. So, by necessity, I've learned to obey one of the fundamental rules of Strunk and White's inspiring book on writing, "The Elements of Style": "Omit needless words."

Keeping things to the point -- always bearing in mind the fundamentally selfish nature of an audience -- makes for better, more compelling and ultimately more effective journalism.

Rick: Along those lines, since the radio stations were so different, could you give us one highlight from each of them? (The one moment that pops into your mind when someone asks you about your time there.)

Charlie: WMRO/WAUR: Elvis Presley died at the end of my first week on the job. I learned the hard way that "mausoleum" is not pronounced "muh-ZOLE-ee-um."

'XRT: The greatest perk of journalism is that it empowers you to seek an interview with anyone. At 'XRT, this meant long conversations with Apollo 11 astronaut Jim Lovell, "Rocky and Bullwinkle" stars June Foray and Bill Scott, and a much younger (and not yet mayor) Richard M. Daley on the anniversary of his father's death. I am deeply grateful for the intimate knowledge of Chicago I gained crisscrossing the city covering the 1989 mayoral campaign. Oh, and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull played my flute.

WNUA: Again, memorable interviews: Pulitzer winners Dave Barry and Anna Quindlen, the late Douglas Adams ("Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), the late Joe Barbera (Hanna-Barbera cartoons); Stan Lee (Marvel Comics).

And, thanks to the man who hired me, John Gehron -- the only boss ever to tell me to make a newscast longer! -- WNUA proved a wonderful lab for some pioneering work melding radio and computers. We may have been the first Chicago newsroom to invite listeners' e-mail, and we almost certainly were the first to offer updates via e-mail.

Rick: I have to ask you this, because I love the answers I've been getting. What is the worst advice radio management has ever given you?

Charlie: You know, I really can't think of any. Maybe it's because all my bosses were, like those kids in Lake Wobegon, above average. But even when managers told me -- sometimes with a measly raise, sometimes more clearly -- that it was time for a change, they were probably right, and they in essence propelled me to more rewarding work. I snickered at the concept of 95-second newscasts, but learning to write those things -- figuring out how to wring every unnecessary word from every sentence -- proved invaluable preparation for working on the Internet, where persuading a Web-surfing, time-pressed reader to stick around for 95 seconds is something to celebrate.

Rick: Radio journalism has changed dramatically since you began thirty years ago. Many stations, even here in Chicago, have eliminated radio news altogether. What would you tell someone getting into the business today?

(Photo by Jean Lachat LiVigni)

Charlie: Hard though some journalists may find it to believe, I think this is the best time in history to become a journalist. Yes, times are tough for some media companies. But, as I told students at the University of Illinois last fall, we are closer now than ever to the ideal advanced by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said, "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market." These days, if you have something true to say -- and I mean "true" here broadly: not just "truthful" or "factual," but also "truly funny," or "truly moving," or "truly beautiful" -- this new digital world empowers you to communicate it to anyone, anywhere, regardless of medium. You don't need a printing press. You don't need an antenna. All you need is a way with words or sound or pictures and a library card to use a computer.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Steve Edwards

Steve Edwards is the host of “848”, which airs weekdays from 9am-10am on WBEZ 91.5 FM (Chicago Public Radio). His local news magazine show derives its name from the street address of Chicago Public Radio’s studios on Navy Pier.


WAMH –(in Massachusetts). College radio station. I was the news director.
KBEA – 1480 AM (in Kansas City). That’s my hometown.
WTTT- (in Western Massachusetts). Afternoon news anchor
Then I worked at Leo Burnett in Chicago for two years, before returning to the business.
WDCB- 90.9FM in Chicago.
And since 1999, I’ve been at WBEZ.

Rick: How did you get started in this business?

Steve: I got the radio/TV bug in high school in my TV/radio class. My friend and I produced a quarterly TV public access show, and we followed the presidential campaign of 1988 (Bush/Quayle vs. Dukakis/Bentsen). We got secret service clearance and stood side-by-side with people like Sam Donaldson. After that, I knew I had to get in this business.

Rick: As a former radio producer myself, I know that it must take quite a few people to put your show together every day. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, “It takes a city”, doesn’t it?

Steve: Absolutely. We have four producers (Gianofer Fields, Joe DeCeault, Kristin Moo & Matt Cunningham), a director (Jason Marck), and a senior producer (Aurora Aguilar). We also have a long list of regular contributors like Studio 312’s Jimmy Carrane, Dueling Critics (Friday theater reviews) Jonathan Abarbanel & Kelly Kleiman, Jonathan Miller on film, Ed Keegan on Architecture, Cheryl Raye Stout on sports, Gianofer Fields (Outta my way), Lucia Mauro on dance, David Greising on business, and our Resident Philosopher Al Gini.

Rick: “848” is such a Chicago show. What Chicago topics interest you the most?

Steve: I just love it all. Everyday is different. That, for me, is what makes it interesting to do this show. It’s like being paid to go to school. That being said, I’m a sucker for politics, particularly Chicago politics. There are so many stories that shock or surprise. I also love talking about Chicago architecture and culture, particularly those neighborhood stories that might not make it to page one. We have the opportunity to give those stories more attention on our show, stories that are steeped in Chicago. Last year we did a feature called “Should I stay or should I go” about artists that chose to stay and live in Chicago. That was one of my favorites.

Rick: Other than “Should I stay or should I go” what other moments over your years at 848 really stand out to you?

Steve: Our first broadcast in front of a live audience. We did a show at UIC in front of 500-700 people who attended a conference about the future of cities in America, and had a really great discussion about the future of Chicago with participants from that conference. It’s funny, but every day you have so many more people listening to your show than you have in a live audience, but it makes you concentrate more, makes you worry more about screwing up. I’m also really proud of our award winning coverage of city and state elections, and for that matter, the presidential election of 2000. We threw out our prepared show that next day, and went totally live, covering the biggest story in the country. I’m also very proud of our show on the first anniversary of 9/11, and the one we did last September on the fifth anniversary. We got a great response on both of those shows. As for interviews, probably my one-on-one interviews with Mayor Daley.

Rick: If someone put a gun to your head and said you had to listen to a commercial radio show in this town, who would you listen to?

Steve: I actually listen to quite a few. I peck around the dial. I think the shows at WGN do a tremendous job—Spike O’Dell, John Williams, Steve Cochran. I also listen to Mike Mulligan and Boers & Bernstein at the Score. As far as music goes, I like WDCB’s jazz. I spend quite a bit of time at the lower end of the dial, listening to the college radio stations from Loyola, U of C, Columbia College, and Northwestern, just to hear what’s new and interesting.

Rick: You may be able to speak more freely about this than someone in commercial radio. I was curious about your take on media consolidation, particularly its effect on radio.

Steve: I think it has had a serious and troubling effect. The diversity of formats isn’t even what it was when I came to town ten or twelve years ago. There used to be two all-news stations, and now there is one. The music stations sound the same as music stations in any other town. News is often outsourced to the Shadow Traffic’s of the world. We’re the third largest city in America—and our radio dial should be awash in musical styles and diversity of opinion, but it isn’t. The one thing that Chicago has going for it that some other markets don’t is the loyalty and dedication to the local radio personalities like Steve Dahl, John Landecker, et al. But I’m afraid they may be the last generation that inspires that kind of loyalty.

Thanks to Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune for mentioning this blog in his column: Eric Zorn's "Land of Linkin"

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Roman Sawczak

Roman Sawczak is probably best known for his connection to the Steve & Garry show. He was their producer at the Loop, but he was also the musical director of Steve's band "Teenage Radiation." (That's Roman in the mid-80s with wild man comedian Sam Kinison.)

Roman's full Radio-ography

Radio Stations: WLS AM - WLUP FM - AM1000 - WJOB
Morning Host and Program Director WJOB
Host of The Best of Steve and Garry Saturday and Sunday afternoons
Co-Host of The Steve and Garry Show with Celebrity Guest-Hosts including:
Joe Walsh (Eagles)
Richard Lewis (comedian/actor)
Richard Belzer (comedian/actor)
Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel (film critics)
Harry Shearer (comedian/actor)
and many more...
Entertainment Reporter for The Steve and Garry Show WLS AM
Executive Producer: Steve & Garry AM 1000

Roman's Disc-ography

Steve Dahl and Teenage Radiation
Musical Director/Guitarist
Biggest Hit: "Do Ya Think I'm Disco" (sold over 500,000 copies, #42 on Billboard)
The Dancing Noodles
Wrote, produced, and recorded theme song for two-time National Soccer Champions the Chicago Sting

Rick: Tell the story of how you met Steve & Garry.

Roman: The top 40 band I was playing in was booked to play at a "Disco Takeover" party at a big disco club the Pointe East on June 2nd 1979. The LOOP sponsored the event with Steve as the Commander. He was doing a version of "Do Ya Think I'm Disco" on his show singing over the Rod Stewart lyrics. We decided to surprise him and learn the song to perform it live that night. He liked the idea. The night ended prematurely as around 3500 people showed up to a club that held around 1200. Lots of law enforcement wearing riot helmets chasing people out. Pretty scary. Of course, several weeks later (July 12th 1979) the whole country was introduced to Steve with Disco Demolition.

Rick: You were there for some of the heady days of Steve & Garry. Do you have a favorite Steve & Garry radio memory? A most memorable moment playing in their band?

Roman: It's hard to pick a favorite moment over an 11 year time span because there really were many. A lot of celebrities came through the studio but I will never forget Warren Zevon. He was the only person ever allowed by Steve and Garry to smoke in the studio. That's how much they respected and were in awe of his visit. I had the honor of co-hosting when the boys were on hiatus with people like Joe Walsh, Richard Belzer, Richard Lewis and many others. Of course there's the time Janet was out of town and entrusted me to stay at the house with Steve. We ended up staying out all night and Steve could not make it to the station for the show. He called Garry and did segements over the phone. Garry was not a happy man.
As for the band, playing in Teenage Radiation was memorable, educational, and pretty darn fun. (That's Roman jamming with Joe Walsh in the photo) Within several weeks I went from playing in a top 40 club band to playing in front of around 50,000 people at the County Fairgrounds in Rockford. We shared the bill with Cheap Trick, The Baby's, Molly Hatchet, and AC DC. I remember playing LOOPFest at the Amphitheatre doing Ayahtollah and having the singer and guitarist from The Knack joining us on stage. Or a super wild 5-show weekend where we played two shows at the Park West on Friday and two on Saturday night and wrapped up Sunday night at Navy Pier for Chicagofest. Here's another memory, playing the Park West and having Jim Belushi jello-wrestle Andy Kauffman. I can go on and on.

Rick: How would you describe your relationship with Steve & Garry during those years? Are you still in contact with either of them?

Roman: The only contact I have with Steve is occasional emails. I spoke to Garry last year, I believe. I intentionally have avoided being a pest. And besides what do two millionaires have to talk about with a guy like me?

Rick: You were away from the business for quite awhile. What were you up to during those years?

Roman: I took a break from radio and music. I needed to work on some priorities namely starting a family. For myself, I felt I needed to get out of the lifestyle I was in. I am married 16 years and am blessed with four beautiful children. I have been a Real Estate Broker in Northwest Indiana for 15 years.

Rick: You recently hosted the morning show at WJOB in Hammond. Was that a good experience for you?

Roman: Through the years I never had the urge to go back downtown into radio. But that changed over the past couple of years when Chicago radio veteran Ric Federighi became part owner of WJOB in Hammond Indiana. I thought it might be fun to dabble in broadcasting again on a local level. I had no idea how much I missed being a part of broadcasting until I started hosting a show. After the initial rust loosened up I felt right at home. I did have an advantage, I got to learn from some of the best in the business. Unfortunately following a split in ownership which included Federighi leaving, the current owner decided to play satellite music. Rats ! So at this moment I am not on the air but am definitely interested in continuing in broadcasting. Hint Hint