Chaz Talks About His Most Memorable Moments in Radio
I've been in radio for about 17 years now. And, even with some ups and downs, I feel very fortunate to be doing what I love for as long as I have. With all of those years comes a lot of memories. Some are good and some are bad. Either way, because I'm feeling a little nostalgic today, here are some of my most memorable moments in radio.
I got my start in radio working for Rock 108 and was sort of splitting overnight hours with Frank Pain who was transitioning into doing a morning show with Randy Jones. So, I get a call from Pain asking if I could work his shift that night because there were some issues. I gladly accepted and went off to work. It wasn't until after I got there when they told me exactly why they needed me. Apparently, some dude had literally taken a shot at Pain the night before. If I remember correctly, there were several gunshot holes in different places around the station (at this time we were located on North 1st street) including in the door that we used to go out of to smoke. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous on that overnight shift even with routine police patrols. I don't think they ever figured out who did it. But, I'm glad that "soul stealing ginger" is still with us today.
I think it was either around 2006 or 2007 when a band called Wicked Wisdom came to Abilene to play. The band is fronted by Jada Pinkett Smith who is Will Smith's main squeeze. I have to say, I was pretty dang nervous at the thought of meeting Will Smith, but, he and Jada were so down to earth that my nerves never really showed up. I was lucky enough to be able to hang with Will while Jada was doing their set. I can't tell you how many times I had to bite my lip so I wouldn't sing the 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' song. The dude was cool and humble and definitely made a very memorable moment.
I have been lucky enough to be able to go check out several Ozzfest concerts over the years. One of my favorites, of course, has got to be in 2000 when Pantera played. But, my most memorable one is Ozzfest 2004 where Black Sabbath, Slayer, Devil Driver, Slipknot and more played. The reason why is because that year I was able to set up a few interviews and, sort of, go behind the scenes. In one of those interviews, I was lucky enough to meet Slipknot's Joey Jordison without his mask on. The dude was a lot shorter than I imagined, but he was way cool. I remember when we took the picture, he said "I'm just going to give you a hug cause you're cool" and it totally threw me off as I tried to make a 'metal face'.
As I said before, I've had some good and bad moments in radio. This is one of those bad moments. You would have a hard time finding anyone who doesn't remember that fateful day when our country was attacked by terrorists. I was working for a different radio station in our group and had to come in and work the morning show. As I was working, I saw the reports on TV and we dumped out of programming to give live 24/7 coverage. Even as I type this, I still feel very sad about it. But, I truly think it's OK to look back because we should always remember.
In 2008, Billy Bob Thornton came to Abilene to play with his band The Boxmasters at Midnight Rodeo 3. I never even knew the dude played music to be honest. But, it was cool to meet someone who had shagged Angelina Jolie. He was cool and humble and even hinted to me that he wanted to do a sequel to 'Bad Santa', which is one of my favorite movies from him. So far, there is no sequel, which sucks. But, it was cool to meet the guy and I was definitely star struck that night.
I've worked with The Painman since the start of my radio career. And no walk down memory lane would be complete without mentioning all the pranks the dude has pulled on me over the years. The one that stands out in my mind though is the one where he got me arrested. Basically, he had a cop buddy of his come in with a bogus story and off to jail I went. It wasn't until after I was being lead to the police car when I heard the snickering and laughing from behind me as Pain snapped away on the camera. What a jackass.
In 2009, I married my longtime stalker. I kid! Obviously this should be a memorable moment anyway - and it is. But, what makes this a memorable moment in radio, is that on the day my lovely wife and I got married, October 23rd, Rock 108 had a concert at Midnight Rodeo 3. I didn't go to the show, obviously, but I did get to hear some of it because we got married at The Grace Museum, which was right across from MR3. So while the preacher was doing his thing, every once in a while, I would hear loud rock and the familiar sound of Frank Pain belting out "Hello Abilene!".