October 2014 SanDiegoRadio Spotlight

By Joe Nelson

   The October 2014 edition of the SanDiegoRadio Spotlight features Dave Rickards!
   I had the pleasure of being invited to 100.7 JACK FM's Dave Rickards' home to interview him for this Spotlight Feature. 

   I arrived and was welcomed at the door by Dave and was instantly warned of his ferocious canine, Frankie. After Frankie thoroughly checked me out, I assumed he and I were cool. A very sweet dog! We cut through the house and headed to the back patio and perched ourselves on the couches with the incredible view of the valley to the left and right of us. As the cigar smoke filled the air, Dave patiently answered every question I threw at him, in full detail and great clarity. 

   The talk started out getting to know each other, our personal lives and where life finds us both these days.

   The conversation moved on to former DSC cast member Elaina Dore Smith, how great it is that she went from fill-in work while Shelly was out, to Florida and now co-hosting 'Nash Nights Live' with Shawn Parr. We are all so proud of Elaina and her great radio success story!

The discussion:

   Joe: Dave, With all the great charity work the DSC has done in San Diego, do any stories stand out in your mind?
   Dave: "Back in 2003 or 2004, we sent shows overseas to the troops for the holidays. We ended up getting a call from a guy who heard it, contacted the show, gave casualty numbers for that day alone. It was very moving, certainly startling and gave you pause. When entertainers can go oversees and visit those troops, I've always had jealousy and envy for those performers. It made an impact on me very deeply."

   JN: After two and a half decades in San Diego, do you have any memories that really stand out?
   DR: "It was 1998, Padres were in the playoffs, Game 3 or 4, against the Houston Astros, my boss, Jack Silver gave me tickets to that game after I simply mentioned it would be 'cool to go'. Padres beat the Astros that series and advanced to Atlanta where they finished the Braves off and marched into the World Series against the NY Yankees. Kevin Brown was dominant in that series"
Kevin Brown
   Continued: "Some more great memories would have to be Comic-Con, Sky Show, and The Miramar Follies. It had to be 1990 or 1991, Chainsaw and I were invited to go to Miramar and judge their Squadron Skit. One of the men, much like Iceman, or Maverick from Top Gun, approached me and said I should joke about the Navy men. So I joked around, making heroes out of Marines, and goats out of the Navy. Next thing I knew, they put me on a chair, lifted me up, carried me like a king, but dumped me into the pool. I climbed out, but they threw me in again." 
   "Two more stories, and both involve Bromo... It was Thursday, that meant free golfing. We were at the North Island Golf Course. As we were entering the Officer's Club, we were told to remove our hats. Of course we did, but I told them not to tell Bromo. If someone wears a hat inside, they have to buy drinks for everyone. Well, here comes Abromowitz strutting into the door, he set no more than one foot inside and off go the bells, alarms, and the Officers yelling 'You take your hat off!'. Followed shortly by drinks being served."  
   "Last story, it was my 40th birthday, I told everyone not to do anything for me, I do not like surprises, I control the show for a reason. We were about three quarter of the way through the show and here comes a huge birthday cake, out pops Bromo from the top. He was wearing Marilyn Monroe type gloves and of course a thong. He proceeds to fall out of the cake and onto the concrete. He seemed mostly OK, but his eyes were a bit glassy. We wrapped up the show and hit the golf course. By the 3rd hole we could tell something just was not right, he was hurting. We took him to the emergency room. Once in there the doctors asked what happened. We had to explain why he was in a cake, dressed like Marilyn Monroe in a thong. Bromo ended up being diagnosed with a concussion. I called Shelly and told her that's why I said no surprises, I am in control! Bromo and I ended up being interviewed by Ahmad Rashad and was one of the most played videos of all time on his RealTV show."
The Birthday Surprise Video is below   

   JN: Dave, what gives the DSC their staying power?
   DR: "Our loyal audience, they are like comfortable underwear"

   JN: Dave, who were your radio icons early on?
   DR: "My dad, Chicago's Steve Dahl and Gary Meier, Jonathon Brandmeier, Larry Lujack, and Fred Winston."

   JN: What personalities do you admire today?
   DR: "Howard Stern, Jeff & Jer, of course with Tommy and Laura. Then from our days in the CC cluster, there is AJ Machado, Chris Cantore, Tony & Kris, the group at 105.3 (Mikey and crew), Steve West, I also had the chance to meet the folks over at KSON, John and Tammy. Then there is Jeff Prescott, who went from funny morning guy, to a legitimate news man on KOGO"

   JN: Are you still having fun?
   DR: "Oh yeah! I am one of those people who really looks forward to Mondays. I love my schedule. Getting up at 3:30 is not that bad"

   JN: How do you prepare for a show these days, with having internet and social media?
   DR: "I have recently joined Twitter, I watch a lot of CNN, even my daughter gave me an idea, she heard I'd be interviewing Katharine McPhee, so I played it off on the air that I was interviewing Nanny McPhee. I have a great app on my phone (Dave pulls out his phone and shows me this great app) I can put anything on this app called 'DAD', and it shoots the contend straight over to my studio computer at KFMB so it's all set to go for the show."

   JN: Dave, how important is chemistry to a morning radio show, especially given the size of crew you have?
   DR: "It was 1990-1992, we had no chemistry, we fumbled with each other, there were clumsy steps. That lasted about two years. Chemistry is critical, you cannot fake it. It is paramount, it is everything. You need to find a comfort zone. Everyone is unique. They need their own private areas, or studios."
   JN: Tell me about getting signed on at KFMB.
   DR: "Anyone who shows interest in our show, we listened. I was pleased people were still interested in the DSC. I was appreciative of how straightforward KFMB was with their approach."

   JN: Can you describe how you came up with the idea for the infamous shuttle landing hoax? (April 1993)
   DR: "Years back, two other radio guys (who happened to be my dad and brother), we were all trying to come up with an original Apr.1 prank. Me, being a huge fan of the space program, thought it was just preposterous enough to work in San Diego. And the airport? Montgomery Field of course. It's not even close to being big enough, shuttles land in the desert. It was perfect."

Click below for the audio clip of the Space Shuttle Landing

Fun fact: "Producer Rich", as referenced in the audio is Rich from the Johnjay & Rich Show, also now on 100.7 JACK FM

    JN: What are your thoughts on radio and its future?
   DR: "We (radio) are no longer the only game in town. With satellite radio, iPods, etc, radio is no longer the only choice. But terrestrial radio is still the best product. There you have the most talented personalities, and best of all it's free. Radios still come in every car, a listener can get vital information as it happens. A perfect example is on 9/11, we were on the air as it unfolded. It was important to relay all the information as it became available."

   JN: Random question, you always talk of watching 'The Old Man Channel". If you could pick any era to live in, maybe just for a little while, what would you choose?
   DR: "That's easy, the 40's." 

   JN: Dave, what is your favorite memory, in life?
   DR: "It has to be waiting for my father to come home after work (AM Radio). He never had holidays off. He would come home on his lunch breaks at Christmas, just to open gifts. Then back to work he went"

   JN: Do you have any interviews through the years that stand out in your mind?
   DR: "Having Alan Shepard in studio. He was the first American in space, he landed on the moon! However we were preparing to have Buzz Aldrin on the air on the 30th anniversary of the moon landing. I had 'Rocket' by Def Leppard all cued up. The last minute of the song, there was a drum solo. We had audio clips of the lunar module flying across the landscape. Apollo 11 was seconds away from aborting. They were 100 feet away from the surface and out of fuel. The set-up was perfect for introducing Buzz.... As soon as the song was over, he says "I wish everyone would stop making such a big deal out of that landing!!'......"
   Ruth 66, Shelly & Dave at the recent celebration for DSC 25 Years

   I asked Dave if there was anything else he'd like to share. He was kind enough to offer this "Starting with Chris Carmichael (my predecessor) and now you, Joe... SanDiegoRadio.org is the only place to read about radio. It's the only reliable source to go to."

Thanks Dave, thank you for your time, welcoming me into your home, and sharing these great memories. Love your show!

**Editor's Note** When the DSC Podcasts went to a subscription plan, I received countless emails asking how, why, what and where?? There were some pretty upset people. I am here to again tell you why, like I am, you should be a subscriber for the podcasts. Aside from the technical radio reasoning for the change, the fact that the subscriptions help fund one of the best radio charity events in San Diego, "The 12 Days of Christmas". The DSC Podcast Page



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