Tuesday, March 13, 2007

For Big Papa....Ken O'Brien

Yesterday...I lost a friend that was near and dear to my heart. On Air, he was Ken O'Brien...any other time, I'd nicknamed him BIG PAPA! He gave my first real radio gig. He used to work for the Rock station here. He loved RADIO! He loved to ROCK OUT! Hell, he taught me. He was the sweetest guy you'd ever want to meet. He never told people NO!..even if they were asking too much of him. He had terrible taste in movies, crazy sense of humor, quick wit, and loved Steppenwolf and OZZY like nobody's business. He used to call me DIVALICIOUS! He could never get a break in radio. He busted his ass to please so many people and the minute he needed them...they turned their backs on him. His "so-called" friends...the Industry,...EVERYONE! Wounded, he still dropped everything when either of them called on him. As you can tell...I'M PISSED! The love of his life "RADIO"...shitted on him constantly through format changes, budget cuts, management changes, you name it. He always got the short end of the stick,...still....he loved RADIO! Well, in the end...he gave radio over 25 years of his life and for that he got....no money, no health insurance, no burial fund, NOTHING! Just heart break after heart break. My dear friend passed away yesterday but died a long time ago from a broken heart. He deserverd so much more than he got in life. I only hope that the good Lord hooks him up big time in Heaven. My mom used to say...LOVE THOSE THAT LOVE YOU! He loved Radio and Radio didn't love him back. Lately, I've been feeling the same way about my relationship with radio. I think it may be time for me to walk away. I don't like what this industry does to people that love it so passionately. These are people that devote their lives to 14hr days, no free weekends, no free holidays, few benefits and very little pay. The payoff? The listeners. The music. The community. You make the listeners happy, you play the music you love and you get to give back to the community. Well,...that's why we all used to do it or why we want to do it. You get sucked in, you fall in love, you get fucked, you get stuck and the next thing you know,...you are living on borrowed paycheck to borrowed paycheck. You only make money in the big cities...the top 100 most populated cities. You only make money if you are insulting or controversial in some way. Ok, there is John Tesh and Ryan Seacrest but of course...they blew up from their TV gigs.

Let me tell you about this guy. I was working with a company that replaced me on the air but wanted to keep me on payroll so the competition wouldn't snatch me up. I was unhappy and low and behold....Ken walked into my life and offered me a job with a station that would be perfect for me. A station that was the marrage of 2 worlds....r&b and pop. It was amazing. He became my boss and my guardian angel. I gave hime the name BIG PaPa because he always looked out for me. I drove this crappy car that we called The Thunder Buzzard. It was no longer a beautiful bird...it was a buzzard. He got in touch with corporate and the powers that be and told them that I had been a good employee and I needed a car. He approached me about it and I told him that I had been dating the anti-christ. A person that claimed to love me and robbed me blind. I was still trying to recover financially. He said...No Worries! I've worked a little something out for you. I had a NEW used car that I loved dearly. It was due to him. I hadn't asked...he saw a need and offered. Isn't that crazy? Who does shit like that? Big Papa. That was the fun of old school. Bosses looked out for their employees and companies rewarded loyalty.

Now, with the new wave of things,...people are turning on eachother, scheming against one another and brown-nosing...just to keep that "already spent" paycheck coming in. Companies are rewarding the highest paid that get at least 6 figures plus and laying off the people that actually got their hands dirty to make these companies the powerhouses that they are. I hate what this industry does to people now. It turns them into ruthless fake shallow impostors that will stop at nothing to step on others, keep them down and flex power.

I watch them as they fire their old friends, kiss the ass of the people that demanded they do it without a fight and morph into corporate do-boys. It sucks. I hate it and it hurts.

I want to vent more but the more I do, the more tears I shed and my head is killing me. I don't really need any comments, I just needed to get it out. Goodnight guys.

I love you forever Big Papa! Jazzy