Pete Griffin From Pete and Geets, Dead at 81

In MemoriumPete Griffin was 81. He and David Haydu formed the comedy duo Pete & Geets, hosting a morning-drive radio show on CHUM-FM in the early 1970s that was later revived between 1982-1987 on CFNY.

Here's some great audio of Pete and Geets, originally shared here.





I once interviewed my buddy Freddie P about the Pete and Geets show, and asked him what it was like to be a part of it all. Here's what he told me:

Pete and Geets were fantastic. They were Canada's pioneer FM morning show, and here's what I mean by that. In the early days of CHUM-FM they changed the way morning radio was done.

Less music, more talk, irreverent instead of corny and they didn't yell at you like the am morning shows did. When they came to CFNY in 1980, it got even better.

I often find it amusing how much credit Howard Stern gets for bringing a different style of morning show to radio, but his "style" was being established by Pete and Geets before Stern was even out of college. But without the tits and ass.

And of course, Pete and Geets never got the credit they deserved, mainly because they never had huge ratings. But as we've learned over the years, ratings doesn't mean quality.

The current ratings system is a joke and has robbed Toronto of a lot of good radio over the years.

It sounds like I missed something special. Glove tap to @mondoville for letting me know about this loss and helping me verify his age.


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Comments (22)

Ryan G

sad news. my high school mornings were shaped by P&G, and i remember often calling cfny to request a song which 8 times out of 10 i'd hear on air within the hour.

they were innovators at an innovative station, which sadly is also long gone.

May 24, 2011 / 13:10

Quinny.

sad news indeed. Geets was on air with David Marsden a couple of weeks ago and indicated then that Pete was in bad shape.

Pete along with Geets were pioneers and innovators in broadcasting in the FM space.

I listened from the beginning on CHUM- FM and i miss the comedy which was subtle and witty - so far-removed from the "morning zoo" and Howard Stern imitators we're subjected to now.

May 24, 2011 / 13:37

Cheryl

Sad news indeed. I didn't listen to CFNY though, but listened to CHUM FM in the mornings and heard Pete and Geets there.

May 24, 2011 / 18:20

Pat

81?? I'm feeling old.

Peace, Pete.

May 24, 2011 / 18:22

J9

The first morning show that I really appreciated. Turned me on to the Spirit of Radio in my youth.
RIP Pete thanks for the memories.

May 24, 2011 / 18:47

Sammi

Pete and Geets started it all for me with The Spirit of Radio. RIP Pete.

May 24, 2011 / 19:36

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

With a little help, I read two archived articles about Peter Griffin in the Toronto Star. They each gave his age at the time the article was published, and based on that I figured out his age at the time of his passing.

One article would have him 81 today, the other would have him 84. I originally went with 84 before changing it to 81. Once I learn which is correct from a MSM write-up, I'll update this page.

May 24, 2011 / 20:50

David

A great broadcaster, but an even better person. I was lucky enough to have him as an instructor for Radio @ Humber. He had some incredible stories and never seemed to get tired of asking us to hear more.

RIP Pete.

May 24, 2011 / 21:43

Hector

So sad. When I first moved to Toronto...Pete and Geets was the first radio show I listened to and I was hooked.

RIP Pete.

May 25, 2011 / 09:50

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Just received this nice email.

I was appointed VP & GM of CFNY & CHIC in 1980 by Ed Prevost then President of Radio Mutual who had just purchased the two stations.

David Heydo (Geetz) was at CFNY. He told me that Pete was willing to come to CFNY to put them back together as the Pete & Geetz morning show.

Ed Prevost and l arranged to meet with them at the Harbour Castle Hilton in Toronto to propose a deal.
We did not expect to meet other members of the radio industry, but as fate would have it, we did.

The grape vine being what it is, they put two and two together and the news was on the street within 24 hrs.

It was "Happy Days" at CFNY from 1980 to 1985 when l retired for the first time during my 50 year radio career.Pete was a delight with his winning grin and funny infectious laugh.

He made radio history with Geetz and entertained thousands every morning. Listeners waold say at the office, "did you hear what Pete and Geetz said this morning?

He brought us laughter when we needed it. He will be and is missed by many many listeners and friends.

Patrick Hurley

May 25, 2011 / 14:18

Mike from Lowville

RIP Peter. You will be missed.

May 25, 2011 / 17:06

Paul

Hard to believe, and very sad indeed. The straightest of the straightmen. I remember when I first heard P&G on CHUM-FM in the mid-70's. Funniest shit I'd ever heard. One of the main reasons I got into radio myself. Actually used to set the alarm earlier than I needed to for school just to hear them. As I got older & CHUM-FM started to suck more & more musically, it was a relief to discover the original CFNY. And when Pete & Geets were picked up for their morning show it was the icing on the cake. Back & better than ever. The names & places they would come up with for their little skits were morning magic. Even their commercials for Fairview Electronics were always good for a laugh. My only regret was that by the time I started working at the station in the final days out at Kennedy Rd, P&G were no longer doing their show. No offence to Humble, but things were never the same. Rest in Peace, Petey.

May 25, 2011 / 21:20

JP

I always get sad reading about the glory days of CFNY. I'm in my late 20s, and didn't really start listening to CFNY until the mid 90s. I wish I caught the early days.

It'd be nice if there was something on the air now that captured that indie/edgy/quirky vibe.

I've had some hopes that CBC Radio 2 might go in that direction, but it has a long way to go.

May 26, 2011 / 01:59

Quinny.

JP - David Marsden has a show on Saturday and Sunday nights
on 94.9 the Rock FM out of Oshawa.

Podcasts of the shows are also available @ MarsdenGlobal.

May 26, 2011 / 10:33

Sammi

Is CFNY doing any sort of tribute?

May 26, 2011 / 10:41

Irvine

@Sammi: I don't think CFNY would do a tribute nor should it be expected. Pete & Geets' final show was in 1987 (aside from that short fill in for Blundell). The vast majority of 102.1's audience wasn't even born.

May 26, 2011 / 17:28

Evan Hale

i listened to pete and geets every morning from 1984 till1987 the 3 years i lived in toronto. loved them.

May 30, 2011 / 00:20

Roger Roadshow

My thoughts go out to Pete's family and especially all of those that he worked with and touched throughout the years with his warmth and friendship as he had that rare thing about him that you felt he was a kindred spirit as soon as you met him. You will be missed. That's right Pete'y.

May 30, 2011 / 20:38

Anonymous

Pete & Geets are OK, I never really cared for them much (like most other morning radio), I honestly really don't care for traditional morning radio, everyone's too silly and sometimes act like jerks, play some good music and I'm happy.

May 30, 2011 / 21:16

DM

Sunday evening I presented a one hour Tribute to Peter Griffin. It will sit inside my PodCasts for one week.

Go to http://www.marsdenglobal.com and click on the PodCast button for the Sunday Show.

It's about 90 minutes into the show and comes right after Jackie Shane's song Any Other Way. It runs one full hour. On WinAmp it's about 109.

Enjoy and please pause for a moment and remember Peter Griffin.

May 31, 2011 / 01:03

Jaybird

Just hearing this bad news now,Pete and Geets were hilarious, and I seem to recall they did it without resorting to smut. I was told that after CHUM FM let Geets go, Geets donned a sandwich board and paraded in front of the office, the sign read "NOMO ROMO" can anyone confirm this? Trend setters for sure, radio needs people like this today, badly. RIP Pete and thanks for brightening my mornings all those years ago

November 12, 2013 / 00:41

KS

Remember P&G from the old CHUM FM days. They were the best Toronto morning show in the early 70's and got even better at NY in the 80's. Pete had the wit and soft sarcasm which guided the zany Geets and his cast of characters.Never been a better radio duo in this country. I miss Pete's voice and think about their show often.

August 7, 2014 / 11:13

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