Radio Mega-Blast -- October 28

OK, it's not an appearance on Leno, but it is a little publicity for the show, and if we're going to be that 'word-of-mouth,' slow-building, rookie surprise that we hope for, any and all publicity is crucial. Today that meant the Radio Mega-Blast.

The premise was that a radio station had sent its DJ out to Las Vegas to broadcast live from the heart of the Radio Music Awards, where everyone was gearing up for the big awards show the following night. The DJ would be on the air nabbing stars as they walked by for quick, impromptu live interviews. That's a much better way to present the day than saying that 20 or so DJs filled each of 5 or 6 format rooms and had the stars shuttled from table to table for a 4-hour window, and that about half of them were recording the interview to edit and playback on the air later as if it were live. But who am I to quibble over semantics?

I have been through this type of thing before. Back in our infancy, we did both the Press Tour and the Personality Interview Project, which were each one interview after another. The Press Tour even had a few radio interviews, which I remember being more fun than the on-camera ones. So I was a little nervous that I would be talking about myself for three hours, but underlying that was a sense that I could do a good job. And, I guess, underlying that was a sense that I couldn't ruin my career today. Any flub, no matter how major, would most likely only be heard by a pocket of listeners in southern Tennessee and nowhere else.

That said, the interviews went very well. I had a lot of fun. As I have experienced before, it hinges greatly on the personality of the interviewer, and these men and women DJs were chock full of personality. Lisa Cerasoli was also present and by my side for most of the interviews, and we played up her General Hospital star status. The questions were sometimes about the premise of the show, but we're finally moving past that a little because people have actually seen it. They also had my resume and bio and so we talked about anything from Space Jam to the Hasty Pudding. It was almost better not to talk about the show. A funny interview is worth more than the 100th description of 'three single guys share an apartment in Brooklyn...'

There were big names present. We were in one room with Garth Brooks and another with David Bowie. The celebrity roster skewed much more toward musicians than actors. When we arrived and scanned the list of 'talent' they were expecting, the first few names I saw were Taylor Dayne, Flexx G, and the Gas Giants. What was John Ducey doing on that list? Still, it's like, you know... had two actors there, as did WB shows Roswell & Popular.

The lowlight of the day was when we were sort of stranded in the 'Pop' room looking for someone to interview us. W had done at least ten interviews at this point and we were anxious to keep the ball rolling. We approached KYLD San Francisco. Seemed like a good market for a Ford interview. I asked if they wanted to do an interview.

"Who do you have?" they asked me.

"Well... me." I replied.

"Oh, sorry," came the matter-of-fact reply.

"I'm on a sitcom on ABC, Oh Grow Up." Perhaps they had heard of it.

"Thanks, but, you know, we're waiting for Ice T." Ouch. Guess not.

That was the one and only request we made. We let the organizers do the asking from then on so we wouldn't have to take the rejection right square in the face. It was easier to stomach when filtered through a middleman.

All told, I was making the rounds for about three hours. In that time, I interviewed with Adult Contemporary stations WLTS new Orleans, WMVX Cleveland, WPHH Pittsburgh, WVMX Cincinnati, KSD St. Louis, and WSSR Tampa Bay. In the Pop room I hit KSLZ St Louis, WHYL Miami, WFLZ Tampa, and WXKS Boston. Ending in the Alternative room, the last batch was KWOD Sacramento, KCXX Los Angeles (103.9), WPBZ West Palm Beach, KFRR Fresno, WTEG Albuquerque, KZON Phoenix, and WRZX Indianapolis, where I ended up doing a shot of Jagermeister with the DJ. (Anything for those Jager-girls.) There was also an on-air moment for either the WB or the local news, and an on-web interview for the Radio Awards website.

The day ended with live performances in the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay. Lisa and I were quickly escorted up to the third floor VIP area where we could overlook the stage and drink and relax the evening away. The final band was Smash Mouth and at first they played a number of songs I hadn't heard before. Then as their set was winding down, they played their two recent hits that have catapulted them into the public eye. I enjoyed both of those songs tremendously and felt it was the perfect band to watch at the end of the day. They, like I am, are just coming into their own. Sure, many people might not know them yet, but they have begun to catch on and are finding an audience. I like to think of that as a metaphor for our little show. And when they had played their final song, the lead singer pumped the crowd asking, "Do you want to hear one more?" As the cheers came up, he gave in to the pressure and confessed, "That's great, because I'm in a pretty good f---ing mood."

Yeah, me too.

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