Post #27: Watch Over Yourself.

Exactly seven years ago TODAY was my first solo experience on the radio with my own show. Prior to that afternoon my only background was being a punching bag on a morning show in between uploading audio segments to servers, checking that commercials aired on time, & making coffee runs to Starbucks. I was really only required/asked to drop a funny line once or twice per show to feel like my day was a successful one. "I'm so ready for my own show," I'd tell my friends. I can totally do this. 

Then it happened. 

Day 1 @ KFNK: 2/25/08

Day 1 @ KFNK: 2/25/08

Monday February 25, 2008 feels like yesterday. Since my hire date of January 8, 2008, I spent every afternoon preparing for my first show on The Funky Monkey 104.9 which was scheduled for ~six weeks later. And by 'preparing,' I mean that I stared at Elliott Bay from my desk while I tried to convince myself & new co-workers that I knew what I was doing (I didn't even know how to change the outgoing voicemail on my office phone, but yeah I'm totally ready to go get ratings!). 

I somehow managed to trick Shellie Hart into hiring me only a month before, yet I was all but certain that my tenure would only last a couple weeks before I would be politely asked to turn off my microphone, turn in my key card, and escorted out of the building. I was more terrified that Monday morning than I had ever been in my entire life. I legitimately considered calling in sick, but knew that wasn't an option. There were people out there waiting for me to fail and I can't let them down! Hopefully they'll let me keep the jacket.

Here goes nothing.

Paul (& his emo haircut) visiting me in-studio to calm the nerves. March, 2008.  

Paul (& his emo haircut) visiting me in-studio to calm the nerves. March, 2008.  

“It’s Monkey-1049-dot-com”
— Rookie Radio

Those were the first words that came out of my mouth when I cracked the mic at 3:08pm PST as I talked out of the ending lyrics to "Watch Over You" by Alter Bridge. Those were not the words that I intended to say (who just throws out a random web address their first time on the radio, and an incorrect web address at that!?), but that's what happened. My radio career started with a mistake and I was positive it would be my last. "Shellie will be in here any minute to fire you," I thought (and believed) to myself. I even went as far as to send her an email apologizing for how bad that I thought I was doing, hoping that she would reply with something to the effect of "You're right, maybe this isn't for you. Good effort, kid" and I'd be let off the hook for something I knew I wasn't ready for.

But she never did. In fact, she did the opposite by replying to my email with encouragement and a note telling me that she "was going to save this email & share it with me some day when I became a pro." I'm paraphrasing, but that was her point.

(I'm also realizing that might be the reason that she still hasn't shared it with me... hmm.) 


I never really liked this song when we played it back then, but only because it reminded me of that terrible, low, sinking feeling every time I listened to it. I'm happy to say that today, seven years later - I'm giving it another chance.

My tenure on KFNK lasted exactly 2 3/4 years longer than I predicted it would, and if you're reading this now I will assume that means you probably know that I've been working as the night guy on MOViN 92.5 for the past 4 1/4 years. It's been a fun job, but as of Monday morning I will no longer be allowed to sleep in. 

I signed a new contract this afternoon which will move me from nights to middays (10am-2pm) on MOViN 92.5, and ironically - it happened exactly years to the day after my first radio show on KFNK. There is no guarantee that I won't mess up my first break on Monday, but I hope you'll be there to hear it if I do. 

Onwards,
--Justin