Last Thursday night at Rhode Island's Twin River, I was honored to be inducted into the Rhode Island Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
It was a tremendous honor to be recognized from my peers and to have my Beasley Broadcasting Boston boss, (pictured) the amazing Mary Menna sitting at my table.
With me going up last to speak as the fifth inductee, I felt I should share a memorable, raw and short personal story.
I called it: "THE MISTAKE OF MY CAREER."
I was 18 years old and SIX months in to my over night show on JB-105 FM. I did not know anyone in town yet. One night, a young lovely female voice calls me on the request line to start a conversation. She was a Biltmore Hotel operator. After about two weeks of nightly calls, she asks ME out for a drink. "Hey lets meet she says....how does this Friday sound?"
I thought, hey...I'm alone in a new town, first job, a strange woman off the request line asks me for a drink before before my JOB at 2 am.....WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
So we meet. Three beers, two shots, a glass of wine on an empty stomach LATER, IT'S 2 am, TIME TO GO ON THE AIR. Trying to get sober, the extra large DD coffee did not help. Now I'm struggling through my first hour. Around 3 am, I start to feel better, when the inside HOTLINE RINGS. That's the phone that ONLY THE BOSS HAS. It was my boss, ASSISTANT PROGRAM DIRECTOR MIKE WAITE
"Jay.....? " he said...in his deep authoritative voice.......
'YES....MIKE...." I SAID.
"WHAT HAPPENED?"....MIKE SAID.....
I, now petrified.......feeling I'm about to be fired, I BEGIN TO EXPLAIN..........THEN....
MIKE STOPS ME..........and says...
"Jay...let me say this..........YOU ARE SOUNDING GREAT!!! WHAT DID YOU DO...?
Now I'm shocked, still petrified, I stumble for a response:
'WELL......BEFORE MY SHOW I.........RELAXED...."
MIKE THEN SAYS....
WELL JAY.........WHAT EVER YOU DID........I WANT YOU TO DO THAT.... EVERY NIGHT FROM NOW ON....." GOODNIGHT!
That night, I made a decision: it was the last time I ever had even one drink before a radio show again. Sadly, I continued to suck for the next two years.