I live and breathe podcasts these days. If I'm not prepping for and recording an episode of my podcast Toronto Mike'd, I'm recording with a client. The content is pumped out at a dizzying rate, so once in a while, usually on a Saturday morning, I like to sip my coffee and review what's happened.
Let's focus on May 2023, a month that is now twenty days old. I've dropped 11 episodes of Toronto Mike'd thus far, and a few have resulted in quite a bit of engagement.
The episode that has resulted in the most feedback and engagement is Mike Stafford's visit on May 4th. Many feel sorry for Staff and are convinced he was done dirty by Corus. Others deem the undoing of Stafford at 640 as completely self-inflicted and therefore not worthy of our sympathy. And then there are the conflicted... many have written me to say that they can go either way with this one. I doubt I'll record another episode this month that could act as such a potent conversation starter. Love him or hate him, it's objectively an interesting story.
Another episode that has resulted in some interesting feedback, particularly from regular listeners, was Sandra Plagakis's debut earlier this week. Many have reached out to tell me that they laughed out loud several times and loved Sandra taking the piss out of me. But others were taken aback by how aggressive she was, particularly considering this was the very first time we've met. Personally, I dug it, and found her funny. And she spilled a lot of tea.
Alan Frew from Glass Tiger finally made his debut, and it was in-person. This is a key detail. It's important to me that the majority of guests record with me in-person, although I will make an exception for certain geographically challenged people like Mary Jo Eustace and the aforementiond Sandra Plagakis. But for Alan, who lives in Toronto, I was literally willing to wait 11 years to get him in the basement. The list of names who are willing to chat with me remotely but I've taken a pass in favour of waiting for them to be in town and available for an in-person chat would blow your mind. Alan was on that list, and because of that, he won't forget me now that he's gone.
On the emotional front, it doesn't get much better than my phone call with Dave Hodge about the passing of his friend Gordon Lightfoot. I tried to stay out of the way and let him share. The heartache was palpable.
A key guest as I continue to flesh out this city's musical history was Kurt Swinghammer. The man checks all the boxes:
- Sam the Record Man
- Maestro Fresh Wes
- Toronto-based musicians galore
He was as-advertised, a missing link who won my heart by biking over on a lovely Monday afternoon.
Speaking of sad jams, I played ten great Hip jams for this May 2-4 long weekend and loved it, but couldn't help but feel sad that I'll never hear those songs live again with Gord Downie delivering the vocals. Gord passed away almost seven years ago, but in many ways, the reality is only now sinking in. What a bitter-sweet 90 minutes with Jamie Dew and Tyler Campbell. I hope you listen.