2016-2018: The story of my life on the radio

The rise and fall of my AM radio career.

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“I’ll be back, in some form, but for the time being, goodnight St. Louis.”

On Friday, I signed off my weekly radio show, “A Dose of St. Louis”, for the final time. After just over three months and 14 shows, it was time to call it. Deciding to stop doing something that gives you pleasure is about as easy as saying no to fresh French fries at McDonald’s, but sometimes, it’s the wiser decision.

Why cut something so short? The answer is simple: AM radio is a brutal business to survive in. A place where making a buck and putting on a good show usually don’t run hand in hand. Like most true stories, going back to the beginning is important in grasping the entire scope of the story.

Jan. 12, 2016. A good man named Chris Denman messaged me on Facebook about coming on his CBS Sports radio show, “We Are Live”, to discuss the Rams departure from St. Louis as well as movies and the Cardinals/Blues. I was following comedian and actor Jay Mohr, and I had no idea what to expect. Why did he want me? Is this a joke? It all swirled around up there before I went on a little after 8 p.m. while I sat in my apartment in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

When I was done, I felt good, but as nervous as a visiting Giants fan in an Eagles bathroom. I chugged a beer, tried to sit down, and immediately threw on some music and paced around my apartment like an artist who just found a new audience, but didn’t know when his next show would be.

I was suddenly passionate about the radio-and I didn’t know how to handle it.

Up until then, I had done a handful of appearances on Rob Butler’s Jonesboro morning radio show, a few Cardinals podcasts, and a couple hits on ESPN’s Columbia, MO radio station, KTGR. In a way, I was everywhere except St. Louis, my hometown.  Continue reading “2016-2018: The story of my life on the radio”

Here’s What I Know, Volume #13: Stanton arousal, “lit” issues, Mel Gibson comeback, and the need for cold weather

All the fucks that are fit to print.

Hello there, folks. While the regular writing gigs allow me to distribute opinions far and wide, I do feel the slight urge of restriction when I type. The trigger finger denial. As in, being unable to say certain things in a certain manner. So I come here, and release some hot air.

Shall we dance? Hit the fucking button. Let this bullet round of H.W.I.K. Volume #13 commence! 1,000 words or less, here we go.

  • People say “lit” too much. Like way too much. I know Tony X, the late to the party Blues fan, started this a couple years ago, but can we please kill it? During a conversation that took place in my backseat, a couple women said it ten times in an eight minute ride. TEN! It’s lazy. Get a better word. I’ll file this in the “bruh” category of nonsense.
  • What isn’t lazy? The well-timed usage of the word “fuck”. It can’t be printed on certain news websites or said on AM radio air, but damn it, the word isn’t useless or indicative of a lesser mind. Some of the wisest minds I’ve been around slung this word like it was released from the jaws of Poe, Hemingway, and Franklin. You can’t overuse it, but please feel free to unleash it when needed. Anybody who thinks it’s lazy or inappropriate needs to lighten the fuck up.
  • Uber Driver update: Four months in and I like my job, but there’s one sad confession. St. Louis city is dead as a fucking (see what I mean) door nail when there’s no sporting event downtown. I mean nothing. When the Cardinals were playing, I averaged up to 500 dollars a week. Now, it dips down to 300 dollars. Maybe it is due to the fact that our city is the second most dangerous city in the country. A few of my riders have taken four dollar Uber rides right across downtown because of a fear of getting mugged. I can’t blame them.
  • In case you didn’t notice or couldn’t care less, I’m back on the air. Every Friday WGNU from 6-8 in the evening and every Tuesday at four in the afternoon on 590 The Fan. Slowly, but surely, I am doing what I want to do and getting paid for it. I don’t crack the bank in half with my earnings, but I’m pecking away. It feels good. I worked in hot ass warehouses for close to eight years. Have you worked in a warehouse? It’s far from glamorous and a rough way to make a living. I don’t miss it at all, and every time work without dirt covering my face and soreness in my knees, I smile.
  • This is the first year that the NFL is losing relevance. I don’t hear as much about it as usual and fans are walking away. The recklessness of the league, danger of the game, or the straight outta assholeville workings of Roger Goodell are all fine reasons, but I think it’s just losing excitement. How about those Rams? You can’t tell me Stan Kroenke told Jeff Fisher to tank those games. That team didn’t change that much from last year or the years before. They went from average to pretty good in a short period. Crooked bullshit. No thanks. I haven’t watched a single quarter this year, and I used to watch from noon to sundown.
  • Giancarlo Stanton is a once in a lifetime talent. Marketable superstar and mayor of studville. Do what you have to do in order to get him. If it costs Alex Reyes, so be it. I’ve crossed that bridge. You are giving yourself at least 5-8 extra wins for one player over the next three years. Reward comes with risk. The Cardinals and John Mozeliak must be bold this winter. 

  • The Blues are playing good hockey, but there are some cracks in their facade. Back to back losses have made them a less than white hot shit 13-5-1. However, they are still first in the Western Conference and set up well to finish the month. Their special teams are shit and Jake Allen isn’t an elite goaltender. If they don’t fix these areas, you can kiss the second round of playoffs goodbye.
  • It’s Hot Stove season in the MLB, folks. Remember, don’t believe a fucking thing you hear before it’s a reality. Rumors, sources, and reported statements are like itchy assholes in dry cold weather. If you scratch it, the area will only inflame and get worse.
  • Frank Grillo and Mel Gibson are making a movie together next year, and I have no problem with it. Is Gibson a good person? Probably not. Did he say some demonic shit once upon a time (or back in 2013)? Yes. But he didn’t molest or sexually abuse a 14 year old kid, so let’s keep him out of Spacey-ville. He’s said a lot in his life, paid for it with years of his career lost, but he’s making a comeback. I am all for it. He’s a valuable player in Hollywood, proven by his Hacksaw Ridge Oscar showing. He’s not perfect, but compared to the new shit in Hollywood, he’s far from the worst.
  • How far and fast can one person fall? Look at Louis C.K. A week ago, he had a film set for distribution, HBO deal, FX deal, and a publicist. Today, he has none of those. All for beating off in front of five women, which I am not condoning at all. He had a cup of coffee with the heat and paid the price. BUT…he will work again. He took the hit, fell down, but unlike Spacey and Weinstein, will be back.
  • I interviewed Wheelman director Jeremy Rush today, and among the juicy things discussed over the 30 minute chat, was about the need for original films in today’s cinema landscape. No superheroes, reboots, or remakes. Just proudly made original stories like Wheelman and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Writer/director jobs that feel personal, different, and say something. We need more of those. Stop going for the easy cash, make-believe bastards. Be better.
  • For fucks sake, can we please get COLD weather in the Midwest? The temperatures go down, sneak back up, and then trickle down. This makes the human body feel like absolute dogshit. Make up your mind, mother nature. Give me the cold weather. I like it. I love it. I want some more of it…now. Thanks.

1,100 words. Close enough.

I appreciate the time. Be good.

-DLB

590 The Fan: From warehouse to radio

It’s okay to do what you want to do until it’s time to do what you need to do. What if those two things merged, though?

Working in a warehouse isn’t for everybody, but I did it for seven years. Five different warehouses over those years but the one constant that connected them all. No air conditioning. Yes. The odor I projected after a 10-12 hour day of lifting, shipping, and receiving rivaled the pandas at the neighborhood Zoo. Sweaty days with a large fan blowing hot air around the dock area is not a way to live if you have a passion to do something else. You do it though to provide for a home and hope something better exists.

I’m not a fool. I don’t have a college degree. I took three swings at MU and Forest Park Community College and struck out everywhere but leaving others and myself in debt. After working in the movie theater and a warehouse briefly out in Hazelwood, I worked for Whelan Security and wore an outfit that would make Paul Blart blush.

In 2007, I joined the team at Senoret Chemical and worked there until 2012. Afterwards, it was unemployment. It’s not easy from making 15.50 an hour with quarterly bonuses and benefits to accepting 9-10 dollars an hour. I don’t care what kind of person you are. It’s bad. I had cups of coffee with Bommarito Wines, Conway Freight, and more time with Ronnoco Coffee before moving to Arkansas and becoming a stay at home parent/writer.  Continue reading “590 The Fan: From warehouse to radio”

We Are Live and Carolla: Good Radio Meets Hard Work

When hard work and good radio met, We Are Live was formed.

Hard work leads to good things, right?

The old adage is that if you stick your feet in the ground and take a true shot at something, goals can be attained. Or so people said as I was growing up, reading and writing whatever sports and film commentary I could get my hands on. When I started this thing five years ago, I wanted to get my voice out to the masses or the 10-15 people who actually read this blog. A way to calm the noise in the head or the need to impose my will. So when I see a couple hard driving scrappers like Chris Denman and Travis Terrell take an evening radio show and turn it into a date on a stage with Adam Carolla, I salute them.

Denman and Terrell are the epitome of hard work and passion. A little while ago, they wanted to start a podcast and much to their luck and timing, Tim McKernan at Inside STL threw them the evening slot on CBS 920 AM. They didn’t waste their chance and turned it into a show that touches on a number of topics. They can go from Donald Trump blasting to Gas Pump Confessions to MMA to Movies and then take a U-Turn to sports. It’s a truly unique show where nothing is out of bounds. Listeners get a variety and it’s not called 106.5. Continue reading “We Are Live and Carolla: Good Radio Meets Hard Work”

Bernie Miklasz “changed things” at the Post Dispatch

For 26 years, Bernie Miklasz dealt us his take at the St. Louis Post Dispatch. A career change had me reflecting on his impact on me at a young age.

bernieBack when I was a kid, I appreciated the more simple things in life. For me, it was getting up and sprinting to the nearest St. Louis Post Dispatch machine and getting the paper. I went to the machine near Tholozan and Kingshighway. Most days I actually got fully clothed but others I just ran out in what I was in at the time. If they would have timed me on one of my pursuits, I may have challenged a college draft pick for the 40 yard dash.

I needed the paper because I needed to know what local scribe Bernie Miklasz thought about a game, player or upcoming event. As a St. Louis sports fan and prospective writer, he was the guy I looked up to. Every fan has their selective voice and for me, Miklasz was it.

Bernie Miklasz is leaving the Post Dispatch after 26 years of writing print columns, blogging for their STL Today website and producing many podcasts, including Breakfast With Bernie and Best Podcast in Baseball with Cards reporter Derrick Goold. To me, he is the epitome of “tell it like it is and don’t care what others think”. Bernie doesn’t sip the koolaid(unless you put it next to a fine cigar) and prefers to think against type on certain topics. He is a blunt instrument in a world of talking head sports types that are afraid to challenge the status quo. Continue reading “Bernie Miklasz “changed things” at the Post Dispatch”