07:39:56 pm on
Thursday 25 Jul 2024

Tri-annual Radio Party 2017
Matt Seinberg

Ken Gilbert, Kara Reifert and Matt Seinberg.

I last wrote about my friend Bob Gilmore's party in 2014, which you can find here. This year, my kids weren't going, as they would be bored. My wife has no interest in anything related to radio or air checks. At the last minute, my friend Kara Reifert, from WKJY-FM and WALK-FM, on Long Island, decided to go; she joined me on the ride to Connecticut.

I played an air check of me on WEBE-FM.

Kara never had the pleasure of hearing me on the air, so I played her an air check of me, from 2005, on WEBE-FM 108, in Westport CT. She liked my style and amused by my wit and humour. I asked if she could get me a part time gig at WALK-FM, but since this air check is very personality oriented, I'd have to record something new to submit.

As it turns out, Kara and I share many mutual friends, acquaintances and Facebook friends that are going to be at this party. I promised her I would introduce her to people I knew, as she would be a stranger in a strange land.

Don't you think that fifteen years is a long time to know somebody, but never had a chance to meet him or her face to face? That happened with three fellows whose names should be familiar to any radio nerd. I finally met Mike Erickson, Scott Fybush and Lance Venta.

Mike Erickson used to be the Chief Engineer for WCBS-FM and he now works for Wheatstone, which manufactures many products for radio and television. Scott Fybush is the publisher of fybush.com and the annual Radio Tower calendar. Lance Venta is the publisher of Radio Insight and a web designer for hire; he specialises in radio station sites. I asked him if would redesign my site and he said he would after he finishes a nine station project. That's something to look forward to next year.

My old friend Steve West, of Airchexx.com, was there, too. If you leave us alone for any amount of time, trouble will ensue, which it did when we were on the air in Bob's basement via WRMI, a short-wave station and an on-line radio station specialising in must from the 1970s. We all a station break or two; it was a blast. I still have the chops for personality radio!

Russ DiBello, aka Famous Amos was at the Tri-annual Radio Party 2017, with his partner in crime Anita Bonita. This one is for you my friend ..."NINE!"

I met Russ, quite by accident, some years ago when he was the night DJ on New York's WTJM Jammin' 105. My old friend, Sue O'Neal, was doing afternoons on that station, at the time. I always called the station after I finished work, and sometimes talked with her; sometimes I got Russ. Because of that, he and I became fast friends. It's always an experience to hang out with Russ; he's certainly a one of a kind fellow.

The party food was great.

Oh, I have to mention the food: hamburgers, kielbasa, sausage, ribs, chicken, macaroni salad and a great many other foods and drinks to try. There were plenty of desserts, too, but I only had a couple of things. This was a BBQ after all.

My old friend Tracy Carman was there with his two kids. I can't believe how grown up they are from three years ago! Then they were just kids, now they're practically real people! I told Tracy that kids are like kittens, they grow up to be cats.

In a conversation, the night before, I told Tracy to bring an external hard drive, so I can start copying my extensive air check collection for him. He runs the Media Preservation Society; there is no better place to keep this historic audio.

Another fellow I hadn't seen in ages is WINS-AM Production Director Dave Plotkin. I used to hang out at least once a month with Dave and his friend, Bill, back when. Then Bill got married and Dave moved to Kew Gardens, Queens. Now that we're reconnected, we can go about our air check business once again.

My oldest radio friend, Greg Monti, was at the Tri-annual Radio Party 2017, too. I gave him a hard time about never calling me. If I want to talk to him, I always have to make the call. It's funny how, when he lived in Dallas we talked more then than we do now. Come on Greg; pick up the damn phone!

Another radio fellow that I'm glad showed up was Brian Bannon, the afternoon DJ and Program Director of WLNG-FM in Sag Harbor, New York. He and Mike Erickson are close friends and whenever Mike is on Long Island, he manages to do a shift on the station.

I asked Brian if I made a road trip out to Sag Harbor, could I do a shift, too. He said sure, it would be an on air audition. I'm certainly okay with that! To be on a legendary station like WLNG-FM would be an honor for me! Kara may even take the trip as well.

The highlight of the party for me was meeting Gary Theroux, the legendary producer of "The History of Rock and Roll" that aired in the 1978 on many radio stations, including the illustrious KHJ-AM in Boss Angeles. He told me that both his cassette and reel-to-reel players are kaput, so I of course offered to convert his air checks. I can only imagine the treasure trove of history he must have!

Gary Theroux worked for Bill Drake.

I brought Steve West over to meet Gary, as well, and Steve was as much in awe of meeting him as I was. It's not often you get to meet someone that, in fact, worked with Bill Drake and the amazing DJs he hired. Check him out on Wikipedia and be as impressed as were we.

Thanks for a great party, Bob!


Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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