Live Blogging 97.3 EZ Rock's Morning Show
I've made my way to Yonge and St. Clair. I'm sitting beside Humble, watching the action. I actually couldn't tap into this highly encrypted EZ Rock WiFi, but Humble has given me access to his PC. What a sweetie...
5:54 - They just played Johnny Nash. Apparently that happens a lot. By the way, before I forget... I heard Kid Rock on EZ Rock this morning. No foolin'...
The room is smaller than I expected. Heather and Andy are on one side of the desk and I'm on the side with Colleen, Kim and Humble. Humble is showing me the sheets of paper he has that tell him the name of the songs with the seconds before the lyrics kick in and lots of other neat info, like the year it was released, the length, etc.
6:02 - I've asked everyone the first question of the morning. I asked them what time their alarms go off in the morning. I can tell you mine went off at 4:40 and I'm exhausted. Kim's alarm goes off at 3:50, she hits the snooze button once or twice, than it goes off again at 4. Colleen's goes off at 3:45 and Humble's at 3:30. Andy, the producer, gets up at 3. He also just showed me a sweet pic of him and Kid Rock at the Kool Haus.
6:14 - 6am is a big deal around here. That's when Starbucks opens. I sure sounded like a dolt asking Heather for a double-double.
6:18 - There's definitely a little prep action while the tunes play. They discuss who will start, they divvy up the tasks and then it all goes down live. It's not too scripted, except for the "3 things to make your life better" bit they're doing right now. That's pre-written and printed on paper before them. Coffee's here!
6:24 - Colleen Rusholme just told me I look like Chris O'Donnell.
6:30 - This screen Andy has is pretty cool. The ads are queued up with a countdown clock, the songs are above also queued up, he gives the "talent" a head's up when there's one minute left then they watch the clock tick down the last ten seconds. There's a red light right above my head that tells me when to shut up.
6:33 - Colleen does the world's worst Don Cherry impersonation. Rick Hodge just walked in. Hey Ma, I just shook hands with Hodgy! They're all going debate the new CBC anthem thing. In all honesty, I haven't been following this contest as I'm still bitter about the CBC losing the rights to the anthem we all know and love. Rick hasn't heard these tunes either, so we're both getting our first listen in minutes. First, Soft Cell.
6:37 - I'm hearing these potential anthems and all I'm thinking is that they should have gone with The Hip's "Lonely End of the Rink".
6:44 - I just had a nice chat with Colleen. She's really sweet. I asked her about adjustments she had to make going from a two person show to a four person show. She was honest with me, telling me that it was tough at first. With four personalities in the room, there was lots of talk during breaks about who would pipe in when, but now that they've been together as a team for a couple of months, they're much better at anticipating who speaks when. In other words, practise makes perfect.
6:53 - I have seen the future. Coming up, Amy Sky, Train and Madonna.
6:55 - Colleen and Kim do like to sing some of these tunes. They love this Amy Sky song, "Love Pain and the Whole Damn Thing". They actually sound really good together. They're singing right now.
7:01 - Until right now, these folks hadn't seen anything I've written. Andy and Colleen just visited torontomike.com on their respective computers and they were excited to read the four comments. So comment, they're reading what you write.
I've asked everybody if they nap in the afternoons. They all do. Humble tells me that back in the Humble & Fred days he didn't nap, but he went to bed at 9. Now he stays up later to hang with his kids, and he naps every afternoon. They're prepping for the Brent Butt thing right now.
7:07 - If you haven't heard, it's going to be a sunny and warm weekend. I've been here for 90 minutes and I've heard that now about 132 times.
7:09 - Finally, Humble has told EZ Rock's listeners that this is happening. He also thrust the microphone in my face and I went on the air. I'm no Venus Flytrap... Welcome EZ Rock listeners. Enjoy your stay at torontomike.com and check out the archives to catch up on the past 6 years.
7:16 - I just asked Kim and Colleen about their most embarrassing on-air moments. Kim's happened recently when she was interviewing Jeanne Beker. She mentioned to Jeanne that she loved performing "Jerk" on stage with her at a Magna event. Jeanne had absolutely no recollection of this event.
Colleen was interviewing Jane Seymour and mentioned to Jane that she loved her in Queenie. Jane politely told Colleen that she wasn't in Queenie. Colleen replied with "yes you were!".
Humble blew up a $175,000 client. I'm going to get the details on that one later...
7:23 - They're prepping right now about who's saying what and when with regards to the "what do you have to have at Thanksgiving dinner" question. The Longos guy was just in the studio and I wanted to ask him if turkeys can fly.
7:28 - I asked Kim and Colleen about the post-show ritual. At 9 they leave our airwaves, but when does their work day end? After each show, they record promos for the next days show. Then, they prep for the next days show. Their typical day ends at any time between 10:30 and 1:00.
7:33 - Ok, you had to be here for that big slice of funny we just shared. What do you have in your sauce? The raw footage, edited before aired, was hilarious.
7:36 - Rick Hodge is back. Hear that, mom! I just asked him who is his favourite interview was. He said it's Bill "Spaceman" Lee and Weird Al Yankovic.
Humble says it's Kevin Smith, but he also loved interviewing John Cusack and John Hurt.
Colleen loved interviewing Bill Cosby and Roseanne Cash. I'd like to interview one of Cosby's sweaters.
7:41 - Driving here this morning, I heard John Tesh on EZ Rock. When I got here, I tried to hunt him down. That guy must blow outta here seconds after his show ends at 5:30!
7:45 - I just snapped some pictures I'll post later today. I had Colleen take a picture of me with Hodgy. And yes, I'll still be posting a Leafs update the morning after each game... I've just been a little busy this morning.
7:53 - I'm starting to get comfy here... I'm thinking EZ Mornings with Humble, Kim, Colleen, Rick and Toronto Mike has a nice ring to it.
I just asked Humble about what adjustments he's had to make going from a two-man booth to a four-person booth. He tells me the hardest adjustment he's had to make is getting used to working with three attractive young women.
7:57 - I just found out that Colleen and I are the same age. She and Howard both change their sleeping patterns on the weekends, and no, they don't sleep together. Colleen will sleep until 10am if possible on a Saturday or Sunday. Humble gets up between 6 and 7.
8:04 - Tesh alert! Tesh alert!
8:10 - Kim just sang a little 12 Years Old for us - that's a great tune I remember from MuchMusic back in the day. We're talking live to John Tesh right now. Humble promises to remind the EZ Rock listeners that this is happening, so stay tuned for another Toronto Mike promo.
8:14 - I've once again seen the future, and it's full of Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Bryan Adams, Leona Lewis and John Mayer.
8:17 - I've been hanging here, watching the action for almost three hours now, and it's a lot of fun. Everyone is sweet, they are truly having a blast, and it all just sort of comes together. As a guy who fell in love with radio watching WKRP, this is like that without the turntable and tape where walls would be if there were walls. This is just too much fun to be work.
8:20 - I've asked everyone one of the questions asked in the comments. I asked what they would change about their jobs, other than the salary. Unanimously, everyone would change the hours. In other words, hosting the morning show is awesome except for the fact it happens to take place in the morning.
8:25 - They just gave away a trip to Sea World. They actually tape the call with the winner and then play it from the tape about a minute later. I'm guessing that's in case the winner swears. Actually, Howard tells me it's to shorten it so it fits with the song and everything. Humble's Shamu impersonation is a big hit in this room.
8:29 - Humble promises the Toronto Mike promo is happening next. Colleen just did this neat gambling thing that's hard to explain. She gauged my luck with this finger trick. Yeah, you have to see it to know what I'm talking about.
Rick is back. He walks over from the CFRB broadcast room down the hall and now he's going to talk about the Jimmy Fallon "every song from the 80s can be sung to MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This". I actually posted that song on this blog earlier in the week when sharing the literal version of A-Ha's "Take On Me".
8:37 - The girls are singing along to Crowded House. I saw that this song was highlighted on Howard's song cheat sheet. It turns out the highlighting was to tell him this is the song of the day. It's a great song.
8:43 - I just dropped some Maestro Fresh Wes on these guys. Seriously, I hit 'em up with some "Let Your Backbone Slide".
I just got my 2nd promo of the show and my 2nd on-air shot. This time, I actually felt more comfortable. I'd consider a career in radio, except for the weak-ass voice and face for television and, in all honesty, I can't afford the pay cut.
8:56 - We've wrapped up here... it's been fun and the show flew by. It felt like 20 minutes...
I'll chime in with some final thoughts later, right now I'm getting booted off this PC!
11:17 - After the show I joined Humble, Kim and Colleen in another studio where they recorded promos for Tuesdays show. I also got a pic with Colleen and met Jessica Baker and Jim Richards. Jim actually recognized me from when we met almost two years ago which was pretty cool.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer them there.
Only 21 comments? C'mon, we can do better... Leave a comment above and let's keep this conversation going!