Posts Tagged ‘Pat Martin’

WMOM Radio – Always Listen To Your Mom!

June 15, 2014

Saturday June 14th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

Here is the first of several posts I made on Facebook in the last week or so. I am posting them here for those that aren’t Facebook friends, so please forgive me if you are and it’s a duplicate. I am just trying to get everyone on the same page, and a lot of things have happened of late.

This is one about my radio mentor, and being able to pay back someone who really helped me:

* * *

Everybody has mentors, and my biggest one in radio without question is the great Patrick Lopeman aka Pat Martin. He helped me get my first job at WMMQ in Lansing, MI in 1990. What a thrill it is to get one’s first morning show, and I won’t forget it.

Since then I’ve bounced around and have worked all over the country. It’s an insane business, with ZERO stability – but I still learned a lot about life and had fun doing it. Not only that I met a ton of really creative and wonderful people.

Management at most radio stations are apes, but the rest of the people are almost always great. There isn’t a station I’ve ever worked at where I am not in touch with someone to this day.

This past weekend, Pat hired me to consult his morning show on the station he owns in Ludington, MI. It’s called WMOM or ‘Mom’. They have a GREAT catch phrase in “Always listen to your Mom”. They were are the age now I was when I started, and it was fulfilling to be able to come back for a day and pass on some of the hard earned knowledge I have gotten in my travels – and from Pat.

Pat is in a word brilliant and is still as passionate about radio today as when I met him decades ago. He’s a fantastic mentor, loyal friend and goes out of his way to help others. That’s probably why you may not have heard of him before. Nice people rarely get the recognition they deserve, and I want to do what I can to change that. If you are a fan of CHR radio, listen to WMOM.

It sounds as good or better than any other new music station in the biggest markets, and there’s only one reason for it – the great Patrick Lopeman. Thanks Pat! I appreciate you very much. Your kindness lives on in many – including and especially me.

* * *

I wanted to write this mainly because it’s all true, but I also wanted Pat’s friends and family to see it in print. I know it’s only the internet, but these days that’s as good as what it used to mean to get something in the newspaper or a magazine. I’m not a major publication, but I wanted Pat’s inner circle to see this and it totally worked. I know he did too, and he called to thank me for it.

People like Pat are WAY undervalued in my opinion. He’s considered a borderline wacko by a segment of the radio fraternity because he does things his own way. What they fail to give credit for is that his way WORKS. The guy is a brilliant radio mind, and lives and breathes it each day.

I am in that same category with some as well, so I go out of my way to toot the horn of the Pat Martins of the world. May he continue to live his dream, and I will support him any way I can.

WMOM is a radio station in Ludington, MI that sounds as good as any CHR radio station in America.

WMOM is a radio station in Ludington, MI that sounds as good as any CHR radio station in America.


Hail To The Mentors

May 16, 2013

Tuesday May 14th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI

   Hooray for the mentors of the world. They provide insight and wisdom to those climbing up an invisible and often difficult ladder, and all too often their unselfish efforts go underappreciated or worse yet not appreciated at all. I for one have always been grateful to my mentors, and still am.

   In the radio business, my main mentor when I started was Pat Martin. Pat is a radio lifer who is just as passionate about the business today as he was when I met him in the late ‘80s. He’s spent his life learning his craft like I’ve spent mine in comedy, and he knows what he’s talking about.

   I can’t thank Pat enough for all he’s done for me through the years. He was the first to suggest I give morning radio a shot, as he thought I had the natural ability to do it well. He lent me a tape program he recorded about getting into the radio business, and it was very nice of him to do that.

   We kept in contact, and eventually Pat turned me on to my first job in Lansing, MI at WMMQ in 1990. Another contact of his was Dan Balla. He was the Program Director there who needed a morning show in a hurry after his last guy had some personal problems and needed some rehab.

   Pat was doing us both a favor, and I ended up getting the job. It was shaky to say the least, and then Dan ended up moving on to another gig in Oklahoma City and left me in Lansing in a rotten situation. That station was as dysfunctional as radio gets – and that says a lot. It was an education of the highest order, but after six tumultuous months I’d had enough. I quit to return to comedy.

   I don’t blame Pat for the situation in Lansing, even though I still tease him about it. He wanted to see me get a morning gig, and I did. I didn’t get fired, and in fact they wanted to sign me for a new contract. I didn’t do it, and Pat was my main source for advice at that time. He really helped.

   Through all my roller coaster radio adventures, Pat was the one person I could count on to give me an honest assessment of what was going on. He was always proud of me for landing jobs, and told many people that I was a ‘comedic genius’. Hearing that from a third party is very flattering.

   One year when I was really down and out and between jobs, Pat and his wife Jennifer made it a point to invite me over for Thanksgiving and I’ll never forget it. Pat insisted we watch the movie ‘The Party’ starring Peter Sellers, which remains one of my favorite comedy moves to this day.

   I also have to admit that it was Pat that suggested I use ‘Mr. Lucky’ as my comedy persona. He was always making suggestions, and even though I didn’t always agree I appreciated him taking the time to do it. I knew he was always in my corner, and he was only trying to help me advance.

   Today is Pat’s birthday, and it was this day years ago when the Mr. Lucky incident happened. I took him out for a birthday lunch, and the waitress got my order completely wrong while getting Pat’s order – which was a lot more complicated – absolutely perfect. The more that went wrong, the more Pat laughed. He said “There’s your persona. You’re Mr. Lucky.” I knew he was right.

   I had a ton of other things to do today, but I couldn’t let Pat’s birthday pass without taking him out for another lunch. I drove to Milwaukee to hang out with him, and I was disappointed that he didn’t have a line of his disciples waiting to do the same. I’m by far not the only one he’s helped, but that’s par for the course with great mentors. They’re rarely appreciated enough, even though they’re constantly of a giving nature. If nobody else is grateful for Pat’s kindness, I certainly am.

Pounding The Pavement

April 13, 2013

Friday April 12th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI/Rosemont, IL

   I’ve got places to be, baby! It might not be New York or L.A., but that’s fine by me. Chicago is a gargantuan city and Milwaukee is my home town, so that will do for today. Milwaukee was the first place I needed to be to meet with some radio friends for lunch. That’s always worth the trip.

   Pat Martin has been a mentor to all kinds of radio people, and he was to me too. He helped me get my first job in Lansing, MI and I don’t know whether to hug him or punch him for that. He’s a great guy though, and deserves much respect and gratitude. He’s always been a big supporter.

   Kipper McGee is another radio icon I love and respect, and he was there too. Kipper and Pat’s influence have been shining beacons in my radio experience, which has been a lumpy ride at the very least. When I’ve really needed a friend, both those guys have been there and I’m grateful.

   Mitch Morgan is a very talented radio name I hadn’t had the pleasure of meeting, and he was in the mix too. He’s what radio people call ‘on the beach’, which is between gigs. He got blown out by those fine humanitarians at Clear Channel who are always known for their extreme warmth to talented people who have sacrificed their lives to attain a high level of professional competence.

    Also part of the group was Mark Helaniak. Mark is president of the Milwaukee Broadcaster’s Club, and also someone I’m hiring to put sound effects together for ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows. I want to get old radio and TV jingles and commercials to play before shows as people walk in the theatre so it takes them back in time and puts them in the right mood before the show even starts.

   Mark was the one who did the final mix on my most recent CD ‘Hard Luck Jollies’, and he’s a pro that’s been around the area for decades. I’d never actually met him in person before, but he’s a very nice guy and we all had a blast at lunch exchanging radio stories. We are all ‘radio lifers’.

   Unfortunately, Mark’s computer system has been giving him fits of late, and we were not able to finish the original job. He asked if I could come back tomorrow, and I’m fine with that but I’m hoping we can get it done in time for the shows. I was looking forward to adding it for this week.

   There’s nothing I can do about it, so I left Mark’s house and headed to Zanies in Rosemont, IL for two more shows. I would have loved to take some time to relax, but that’s just not in the plan right now. I have to keep showing up where I’m expected, and I barely had time to make it there by show time. By the time I get gas for the car and stop for a quick meal it’s time to work again.

   I kept up what I started yesterday and worked on my act both shows. The first show was a full house, and I used that opportunity to go through my ‘A’ set. I closed with the closer I usually do, which I did early in the set last night. I haven’t been doing it of late, and I don’t do it at all in the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ show so I wanted to give it a run through in front of a full house to polish it.

   I have also used these last few shows to work on my offstage business as well. James Gregory was kind enough to give me an afternoon of his time when I was in Atlanta, and he explained to me how important it is to have a nice display of merchandise and an onstage sales pitch to sell it.

   I respect him unconditionally, and made it a point to do all of what he said every show. It was a conscious effort, and I sold out of all my merchandise by the end of tonight’s first show. I’ve not been the greatest at merchandising, but this week I showed major improvement. Thanks James!