Music from “The Professor” is what you’ll hear when you tune into WMSE on Tuesdays from 3am – 6am. Get schooled.
How do you spend your days and nights when not hosting your radio show?
From September through May I teach math for “the landlord”. Whenever the opportunity arises, I do lighting and try to make our musical guests feel at home on-stage for WMSE events at the Todd Wehr Conference Center and Kern Center. During the summer I write schedules for and maintain the grounds for a local Little League; and my wife and I plant stuff in the yard. And at all times doing what I love the most: being a husband and dad.
Do you remember which experiences took you from being a casual music listener to a passionate music lover? Freshman year in college: I was already a prog fan – ELP, Genesis, Zappa, Pink Floyd, Yes, etc. (and my roommate had turned me on to Parliament and Funkadelic) when “Peyote Joe” played Lark’s Tongue in Aspic Part 1 on his dorm-blaster stereo system (some would call it a PA System) at a “healthy” decibel level. I was blown away by the weirdness and complexity combined with the proficiency of the musicians. This completely opened my mind as to what it means to be music. Unfortunately, I took it too far and became pretty much of a “Prog Snob” for some time. Then I saw Todd Rundgren (with the Utopia line-up) live and he reminded me that good ol’ in-your-face rock’n’roll can be a ton of fun. In the 80’s I did lights (32 PAR64 fixtures in small clubs LOL) for a hard-rock band and found that this genre allowed me a lot of creativity. Recently, my son introduced me to metal. Now, I’m still a Progger deep down inside and King Crimson will always be my gold standard, but there’s not a whole lot in the musical universe that I’m not at least tolerant of.
Which bands inspired you to come out of “retirement” and become a WMSE DJ?
I cannot put my finger on any one particular band – there are too many. All of the acts that I’ve had the pleasure to work with at the Todd Wehr Conference Center. All the Pretty Horses, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Cheer-Accident and World Without Sundays stand out. Lately, it has been a pleasure working for Local Live with all of the fresh local talent. The support of local talent is one of the main reasons that I joined the WMSE “family”. I guess out of the acts we’ve had in the past half-year or so, The Extra Crispy Brass Band and The Five Card Studs were particularly enjoyable.
P.S. I was a DJ in college and took a 35-year sabbatical. Thank you WMSE for allowing me the opportunity to “un-retire”.
Who are/were your favorite WMSE DJs and why?
Seriously? I have to choose? I don’t get to hear everybody, so this is not totally fair. I appreciate the educational aspect of Radio Drill Time and Mondo Radio. I have enjoyed the mind-opening experience of the Jing Jong Triple Play since Mister Nink was a student in my calc class. Tom Wanderer cracks me up with his off-the-cuff commentary and at-ease-with-the-universe style. Marty is a ton of fun. Rich Mars inspires me with his vocal cadence – one of the best I’ve ever heard. Terry’s professionalism and Sonia’s depth of knowledge on the Blues Drive set the standards. I love Crawford’s promos: WMSE Cafe and SMARTS are destined to be classics that are up there with Bob Betts’ Keith Richards “interview”. And let’s not forget the late Jasper Toast for the greatest selection of intro music EVER (tied with Chicken Shack).
What do you want to be when you grow up?
If that ever happens: old on the outside and young on the inside.