Sunday, December 30, 2018


Sometimes it was great. Sometimes, it wasn't. But as 2018 ends, I choose to bring to mind these events that were my mountaintop experiences. I tried to narrow it all down to a Top 10 list, but I couldn't. I suppose that's a good thing!

Somewhere near the top of the list is the most recent event - a trip to Columbus OH to
see House Of Heroes, perform their first show in 2.5 years, to a hometown crowd. And, 
it was their third album "The End Is not The End" start to finish. I attended with 
my friend Billy Chase. The 2-day get away was one of 2018's best moments.

Recording Tom Roe's album "Are You Ready" with
Andy Horrocks in Kitchener. Tom wrote all the songs and every song is great!  I played
shakers and tambourine on several tracks. It was pretty cool to oversee this record with
Andy and moreso, fun to watch Tom grow as a performer.

I am blessed to have a wife who is still with me after 37 years of marriage. We love to travel, see concerts, cruise,
walk our dog, relax and so many things.  This is the best photo of Janice in recent memory and it reminds me
of the happy times with Janice.

Although I've worked out all of my adult life, this year I was a bit more aggressive and it's been very fulfilling nearly every day. I'm pretty fortunate to be in this shape at age 61 - every day I feel lucky.

Another recording session - this time a modified version of "Your Daddy Don't Know" with Jackie Smith who was the leader singer of Little Sister - my first band. Davey Hooper and GI Holm of Anthem For Today played guitars.
Producer Andy Horrocks on the left.

Any time I get to go biking in Ottawa is a great event. In June, Andrew Haverson joined me. This guy blesses me frequently.

Here I am playing percussion for Ian Holm, leading worship at Gateway Worship Centre in Gravenhurst. My relationship with Ian goes back to Anthem For Today. I wasn't expecting him to play with exhilarating passion on a Sunday morning. It was the best Sunday all year!

Biking - I rode more in 2018 than previous years, which wasn't easy considering the number of gigs I was performing. I discovered a new route from Midland to Waubaushene along the water. I rode is several times.

January in Edmonton during GMA Week. I booked Luke Langman to perform at the Breakforth Convention at the Shaw Centre. He invited me to play percussion with him. It was a big venue with an A-level production crew. Ahhhh yes.
My 15 minutes of fame.

Playing percussion at Catch The Fire church in Barrie. I only played oncebut my bandmates were pro musicians and it was electrifying to play beside them. Every once in a while God tosses me a gift, like this.

Another GMA Edmonton experience. Steve Bell and I have known each other for many years, but only via email. Finally, we met, one on one for an hour, sharing ideas and experiences. It was one of the best hours all year.

A bike ride from Peterborough to Lakefield. My favourite location with my favourite people - Todd Gale, Tom Roe and Andrew Haverson.

Together again!  I never thought this would happen. It was an Anthem For Today reunion in my house. The four boys came over to hang out for an evening before Pip Lucas departed for a new life in Calgary.

I have a great life. I am blessed to travel and meet people and participate in many activities and one of the biggest reasons is that I have a great staff at LIFE 100.3 in Barrie to look after things. Talented. Reliable. Happy. This is the best staff - ever!

Luke Langman and his band performed in my living room. What makes this one of the highlights of 2018 was because of two songs. Luke performed "La La Land" by All Star United. And blew the audience away with his version of
"A Hard Days Night".

Nashville. Recording at The Holiday Ian. Me, producer Ian Eskelin and Luke Langman, working on "Let's Go Christmas Caroling" which we released in time for Christmas. How does it go from buying records by your favourite band and end up going to his house - to work?

Several times this year I played percussion at Simcoside Lifepointe Church in Orillia. What  makes this church music fun to play is the format, which Icall "rockin' worship", led by Matt Fox. The monitors are loud and they never feed back!

June 10 at Wasaga Beach United Church we held the "CD Release Party" for Tom Roe's album "Are You Ready". All of my experience with bands and radio gave me the creativity to produce this event and bless Tom with what is probably a milestone moment for him. We brought in sound and lights and backing musicians to fill it out.

A brilliant music medley arranged by Luke Langman was turned into a music video. Luke asked us to dress like hoe-downers as Terry Molinaro directed and produced "The Gospel Medley" video. Shot in Phelpston in a barn.
We did about 40 takes from different angles.

I am very fortunate to live along Lake Simcoe, with amazing more sunrises and beautiful summer nights. Here, Janice and I and Summer spend a quiet summer night together. One of my favourite things to do.

No question. This was the number one event for me in 2018. Visiting the venue of the last performance by Buddy Holly in Clear Lake Iowa and the location of where his plane crashed near Mason City on February 3, 1959. Below, the location of the crashsite.
It was a 2-day adventure I have waited decades to do. Upon returning home, I suddenly felt changed. Sort of like I now knew something special or secret that nobody else knows. Maybe that's an exaggeration but one thing I can tell you. I've been as close to Buddy Holly as anyone can be - in 2018.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Aside from the music, I like his business drive.

In 2016, when he was 73, he led the Rolling Stones on a tour of Latin America. 12 shows, grossing 90.9 million dollars.

The tour ended with a free concert in Cuba, bringing an end to the ban of rock music. Then he made a movie out of show, called “Havana Moon”.

Then, he made a second movie - a documentary, that showed life in Latin America with the unnoticed Rolling Stones meeting people, jamming in the street, eat with locals and caring for them. The movie is “Ole Ole Ole”.

Then, he created a Rolling Stones museum, called “Exhibitionism” that is actually on tour. The exhibit has stage clothes, stage gear, a mini recording studio, guitars and other memorabilia.

A tour, two movies and a museum all in one year!  Not bad for a man, then aged 73.

At a typical Rolling Stones show, he performs on a stage 300 feet across, and still runs from side to side. The show is 2.5 hours in which Mick takes a ten minute break.

The band just played a 12-date U.K. tour. They don't stop. They must love it. They can't be in it for the money. By the way, Mick's net worth is $360 million dollars.

Mick isn't a saint. He's made mistakes and I know he isn't the best role model. What I love is his energy, both on stage and off. In his senior years, he could never be called a slacker. I find him motivating.

When people say, “he’s old, he should quit”, I think - if he still sells out 80,000 seats at a show and people are paying $300 a ticket, and buying $50 t-shirts - why quit?

Of all the bands in rock and roll, and considering all the baggage and wear and tear on this band, who would have thought, they'd outlast everyone else, and still sell out shows!

The last item on my bucket list is to say “hi Mick” face to face. (I’ll also accept a phone call.)  But, it'll never happen.

I thought as he got older, and less busy and less in demand, it would be easier for me to access him, but it seems that the Rolling Stones are just as popular now, as they were 50 years ago. I can't get near him.

Happy birthday, Mick!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Tom Roe was booked to lead worship at Southport Church in Southampton on the weekend.  On behalf of LIFE 100.3, I gave the morning message.

Knowing about the bike paths along Lake Huron, we took our bikes along for an afternoon ride.

Worship was solid. Tom led the congregation through a set of familiar songs and a couple of new original praise songs he wrote, including "I Will Give You Praise", which is catchy enough to singalong with after one listen.

Pastor David Baker was super hospitable - hoping for a return show this summer.

After our roadie Andrew Haverson packed us up, we got a late check-out from our hotel.

 After a quick bite at Mary Browns, we took our bikes to the paved path on the south end of the route in Port Elgin. The path is only about 5k, so we continued down the streets until we landed in Southampton.

Tom's "go to" food is ice cream. Anywhere, anytime. Always midway through a bike ride!

We stopped for ice cream, and to pick up bandanas to block the cold wind.

And we saw some interesting sights along the way!

Music, biking, ice cream! What a weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Remember the expression "stop and smell the roses?"  It means we need to take time out of our busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life. 

This is easier for me to do at this stage in my life. My business is established. My career is built - I'm not trying to climb the ladder of success. I'm an empty nester. My schedule is crammed with stuff.

Some of my friends are so busy being busy that they don't have time to stop and smell the roses. More so, life is controlling them, not them controlling their busy lives.

I've noticed some people with kids are controlled by their kids. They don't go to movies, or hang out with friends because they "have kids".  It looks to me like their kids are running the show.  (Now, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular so don't think I'm trying to speak to you, specifically, through this blog.)

Other people are so used to being in a routine that they don't venture out of the house. No dates with their spouse, no going to the theatre, or a party, or a concert - they just stay home. It's just easier to stay home, in a boring routine, than doing something. No exercise - just lame TV shows washing over them on the couch.

I hear "We can't get a baby-sitter". Maybe your circle of friends is small?  Maybe, (I'm shouting) because you don't go out of the house and meet people!

To each his own. Maybe staying home brings you joy, in some bizarre, sedimentary kind of way.

I'm in a very fortunate position to be at the top of the food chain in my business - I get to run the show. I have a great staff (that I hired) and a house that's paid for.  Ya, and my kids have a great family, and like Janice and I, God is first in the lives of our kids.

Smart people I met told me when I was younger, to burn. I worked bloody hard, learned lots, met smart people and built a life and career so that at this stage in my life, I don't have to work so hard. I have time to stop and smell the roses.

The roses for me are sometimes social, but mostly meditative.

It's being thankful for the life I have.  Call it luck, or hard work - either. Maybe both. But I'm grateful that I take time to take it all in, like inhaling a huge lung of appreciation.

My message is this: get a babysitter. Go out. Enjoy the life you've built. Get off the treadmill of being busy. You're only busy because you've made it like that.

Friday, April 6, 2018


 As the guy on the radio, once a week anyway, me and my listeners used to have a one-way relationship. I talk, they listen.  But that's changed a bit with social media. I've met many people who have messaged me online and in some cases become we've more than virtual friends. Because of social media, you can now have a relationship with public people.

Here are a few questions, I'm commonly asked.

What was your first job?
I worked at Sam The Record Man in Toronto for five years.  It was the second location after the downtown Yonge Street location - at Towne And Country Square in North York.

What was your first radio job?
I worked part-time for two summers at CHEX in Peterborough, in the studio, but not on air.  My first on-air job was at CKLC in Kingston.

Why Christian music?
My answer is the same as everyone's - it's the lyrics. They remind me of my faith. They remind me of the guy God wants me to be. It re-focuses me when I get distracted.

What do you do when you're not doing radio?
I manage two national recording artists - Luke Langman - a pop/worship artist; and Tom Roe - a country/gospel artist. I also play percussion in Tom's band.

What's something most people don't know about you?
I did professional modelling a few years ago through the Orange Modelling Agency, but the work was sparse for my age group. I learned a lot of visual stuff that I've been able to transfer to LIFE.

CKLC Kingston, about 1983.
Do you miss secular radio?
No. Maybe because I'm still active with a pre-recorded weekly show on CJAI near Kingston where I manage to weave in a few Christian tunes between Supertramp and Alice Cooper.

You wrote a book?
Ya, it's called "Herding Kittens". It's my story of my journey with the Christian rock band Anthem For Today.  We did nearly 150 shows together. I have fabulous memories, an award, videos, number one songs and a tattoo.  I also wrote "Good To Great - The Christian Radio Version". I was written to motivate and teach new radio people how to do radio.

Are you a gym rat?
No, I just work out a lot.

Is there something you'd like to see?
Ya, I'd like to walk across the crosswalk at Abbey Road.

Is there someone in Christian music you'd like to meet?
I've met just about everyone. The one who I never got to meet is Keith Green. That would have been great.

Thanks for asking!

Friday, March 23, 2018


I love Sharathon!  None of us at LIFE are working our usual jobs - we're all focused on Sharathon and  our special visitors.

  • Visitors - volunteers on shifts to take pledges at phone central.
  • Artists - performing live in the studio
  • Pastors - offering encouragement and challenges
  • Listeners - on tour, dropping off donations.

Behind the scenes - here's what we do:

The actual planning committee begins in November with weekly meetings. Our core staff have done this many times so, while it is very detailed, it tends to run with a bullet-proof checklist. This year we had four new employees, experiencing their first Sharathon.

  1. Volunteers - the only time of the year we bring in outside unpaid help.
  2. Bookkeeping - keeping all the money organized, during Sharathon and follow-up
  3. Promotions - keeping facebook fresh, updating the totals
  4. Production - listener testimony, artist greetings and all the features you hear between the songs
  5. FOH - our front of house engineer, mixing the live performances
  6. Hospitality - welcoming guests, feeding them, keeping them coralled
  7. Video - recording guest greetings and producing
  8. Programming - overseeing all on-air shifts and elements
  9. Ministry Relations - booking Pastor's for specific shifts
  10. Artist Relations - booking artists for their performances
  11. Runner - keeping the pledge cards moving from one place to the next
  12. IT - Computer Elite, on location and on stand-by to keep phone central fully operational
  13. Street Team - helping decorate, answer phones, sell merch, meet & greet
  14. Food Coordinator - managing snacks, meals and healthy stuff so we don't have to leave 
  15. After Party - when all is said and done, we have a staff party nearby, but not too late  

Now, the best of photo collection

Me, watching the new totals being posted at the end of Sharathon

The After Party - at Todd Gale's house.

Allen Schenk, principal of Unity Christian High School in Barrie

The finale - everyone. L-R - Jake Stanley (Part-time DJ), Steve Bradley (morning co-host), Mike Poirier (morning news)
Steve Jones (Operations Manager), Deborah Pinder (Street Team), Crystal Martin (Promotions Manager)
Janice Baird (Bookkeeper), Andrew Haverson (Runner), Scott Jackson (Founder), Todd Gale (Morning Personality), Marliene Cathline (Receptionist), Cody Marshall (Part-time DJ) Terry Molinaro (evening personality),
Nathasha Drummond  (Production Manager) and Marilyn Bryson (Receptionist).

Me with Brooke Nicholls and Steve Lensink

Steve and Brooke looking at Air Raid memories.

David Mann, Pastor Rick Buck from Emmanuel Barrie and Steve Jones.

Steve Jones and Crystal Martin

A bunch of us with Pastor Jenn Wager from Barrie Free Methodist Church
Matthew Fox with Bob Hawkins and Ron Hill

Sky Terminal lead singer Marcel Preston with Steve Jones.

Steve Jones and me.

Phone Central volunteers

Me, Steve and Todd.

Todd Dugard lead pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, and me.

me, with the Tom Roe Orchestra.

Paul Turner from Emmanuel Barrie and Steve Jones.