Category: Morning Show Blog

Grab a golf cart and join us at Tee up for Tatas!

Golf Web Banner 2018

It’s that time, again! Eric, Mike, and Hannah are taking over the Cleveland Heights Golf Course on Monday, October 1st for the 2nd Annual ‘Tee Up for Tatas’ presented by Low Payment Kings!

Join us for an afternoon, filled with golf Max 98.3-style! Registration includes lunch, a round of golf, dinner, a pretty awesome swag bag, and more! You don’t need to actually play well…. there will be fun for everyone 🙂 Don’t have anyone to play with? No worries! We’ll match you up with other fun Max 98.3 fans. Friends for life, we say!

Click here and scroll down to register!

Jim Gaffigan: One of the Greats!

We got to talk to Jim Gaffigan this morning on our podcast. I have to admit I was a little starstruck. Not only is he arguably one of the best comedians in the biz right now, but before we were married, my wife bought us tickets to his show at the Hard Rock in Orlando as a birthday present. It was an amazing night. We laughed till we cried, and he closed the show out like a rock star playing an old favorite by doing his Hot Pocket bit. You know you’ve reached a whole new level of comedy fame when people are excited to hear you tell a joke they’ve already heard a million times. Just uttering the phrase “Hot Pocket”, Jim had the entire theater roaring with cheers and applause in anticipation of the last few minutes of his set. I say Jim is arguably one of the best comedians in the biz for two reasons: He works clean, and he gets a laugh every 8-10 seconds.

Working clean is one of the hardest things to do as a comedian. Especially in today’s world where everyone is so desensitized to everything. It seems to me nothing is off limits anymore. Comedians like Amy Schumer, Jim Norton and Jeff Ross are very dirty and people love them for it. Plus, it’s really easy to “go blue” when you first start out. I know I did, and still do sometimes. For me it’s just who I am. Cursing is in my vernacular, off the air of course, and my mind goes to dark places sometimes and I always find something humorous there. I do well not to go TOO dark, to the point of offending, but to say I “work clean” would be an outright lie. I’ll leave that to comics like Jim Gaffigan.

I’m posting a clip of one of Jim’s older sets here for you to enjoy. If you don’t believe me about him getting a laugh every 8-10 seconds, watch this clip. Then watch it again while watching the timer at the bottom of the screen. He’s a genius at it. Nearly every line gets a laugh, and it’s non stop for over an hour at every show, which by the way is a NEW hour of material for each tour. To me, this is what REALLY makes him the best. The goal for comics is to get a laugh every 20-30 seconds, and Jim Gaffigan CRUSHES that goal. Watch!


If you’d like to get more information on Jim Gaffigan performing right here in Florida, click here. You can also try out his new JimBot available on Messenger. Just search for Jim Gaffigan and try to send him a message. It’s a fun AI that will interact with you and of course, sell you tickets. LOL

Comedy Show at Iron Oak Post in Melbourne, FL

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I had an awesome time performing at Iron Oak Post in downtown Melbourne over the weekend. I don’t get to perform as often as I’d like with my hectic schedule, and this was a real treat. A big THANK YOU goes out to Shannon Hall and Kailyn Danyelle for booking me at this awesome venue, and to Angelo Cianfrocco, our headliner for the evening! Angelo is a hilarious comedian and great guy. You can get more information on his upcoming shows here. If you’re ever in Melbourne on a Saturday night check out for details on upcoming shows, and for more info on my upcoming shows, please follow me on twitter or facebook! See you at the show!

ERIC’S BLOG – Reconnecting with Mom and Dad one more time

If you’ve listened to the Big Max Morning Show for any length of time, you know that I’m older (I turn 53 on 9/14) and have a wide array of music taste and knowledge.  Do in part because radio has been my career and partly because of my family.

I am the youngest of 5 kids.  I was born very late in the mix.  Mother was 35 and Dad was 45 when I was born.  It was the mid-60’s… Mom and Dad would have cocktail parties and social gatherings.  We would head to the Elk’s Club once in a while for dinner and they’d enjoy some dancing, while I squirmed in my chair wanting to go home.  Not complaining mind you, because… well… kids just didn’t do that back then… we knew better! LOL  None the less, I was exposed to a ton of different varies of music.

My sisters loved Herman Hermits, Dusty Springfield and Lulu.  My brothers were more of the Beatles, Jefferson Airplane and Doors.  Mom loved Perry Como, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and Dad… Dad love Johnny Mathis! I was exposed to all of it.

In the early 80’s a solo female artist burst onto the American music scene and set records along the way.  Her smooth, soulful voice and funky rhythms took me back to the crooners my parents loved.  A style of music lost in the 80’s during the new wave and second British Invasion.  Her name; Helen Folasade Adu… or more commonly known as, Sade!

After a brief stint as a fashion designer and model, she began singing back up for a group named Pride.  Record labels quickly noticed her, not only for her looks but also she voice.  Epic Records signed her up and she, along with a few band mates from Pride, broke off to form their own group.

Surprisingly, Sade has only produced 6 albums, but ALL of them have gone at least GOLD!  They have sold over 50 Million copies to date and won 3 Grammy’s.

Sade is best known for hits like Smooth Operator, The Sweetest Taboo and No Ordinary Love (which is very sexy though the lyrics aren’t “happy”) but my favorite by far is Paradise!  It appeared on the studio album Stronger than Pride (1988) and peaked at #1 on the RnB Charts, #17 on Hot 100.

Her most recent tour was in 2011 and unfortunately I missed it!  Do you have a “Must See in Concert Bucket List”?  I do…and she’s on it! It’ll be a great way to reconnect with Mom and Dad.

Artist: Sade

Album: Stronger than Pride

Year: 1988

Song: Paradise

ERIC’S BLOG – It sounds dirty, but….

Artist: Billy Squire

Album: Don’t Say No

Year: 1980

Song: The Stroke

Ah… The Stroke by Billy Squire, what a song.  Young, dumb and full of (well you know the rest) I was convinced that this song was a teenage boys anthem!  A hard driving beat, killer guitar, firm and aggressive!!! “Yes Billy… Preach it!!! We are men!!! Raaaahhhh”.  LOL But not so fast there grasshopper… it’s not what you think.

At a young age, Billy took piano lessons… and, well, pretty much hated them.  He took lessons for 3 years and the third was only because his Grandfather bribed him!  Like many artists he bounced from band to band; 1969 Magic Terry and the Universe, 1972 Kicks, 1976 PiperPiper enjoyed some success they even opened for KISS in 1977 at Madison Square Garden.  By 1980, Squire signed with Capital Records.

After his first album Tail of the Tape, he was introduced to producer Reinhold Mack, by Brian May of Queen.  Together Mack and Squire put together Don’t Say No, which launched Squires big hits, In the Dark, My Kind of Lover and The Stroke.


The mire suggestion of the title can lead a person ( or a young, testosterone driven boy) to think what it has to do with… again you can connect the dots.  However, this song is far from that.  Squire said in a VH1 interview that song is an essay on the recording industry.  How they use you and then toss you out the next day.  Once you have this in mind you can simply read it in the lyrics.


Now everybody, have you heard, if you’re in the game (game is the music industry)
Then the stroke’s the word (playing the game)
Don’t take no rhythm, Don’t take no style
Gotta thirst for killin’, Grab your vial and (vial is for blood contract signing)

Put your right hand out, give a firm handshake (meeting/agreement/soul-selling)
Talk to me about that one big break (eager to do what they want)
Spread your ear pollution, both far and wide (this is what they want)
Keep your contributions by your side and (keep your own works to yourself, we own you now, here’s the plan/agenda)

Stroke me, stroke me
Could be a winner boy you move mighty well (checking him out to perform)
Stroke me, stroke me, stroke me, stroke me (doing good boy, keep going…)
You got your number down, stroke me, stroke me (we’ll contact you soon)
Say you’re a winner but babe, you’re just a sinner now (selling your soul)

Put your left foot out, keep it all in place
Work your way right into my face (they are always in your face, perhaps?)
First you try to bet me, you make my backbone slide (I think it’s “bed” not bet)
When you find you’ve bled me, slip on by, and (they got him, blood, he’s owned)


My, my read a little different now huh?  LOL Surprisingly the record label did NOT want this song to even be produced, much less on the album or be successful.  But it was and it he did and it is was!

The album Don’t Say No, spent 2 years on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over 4 Millions copies.  The song The Stroke went to #17, #3 on Top Tracks (Rock radio) and #2 in the UK.

BTW, that icon drum beat you hear?  It’s actually a snare drum hit played backward, synchronized with a snare hit in the song.  Cool, huh?

Winghouse Remote

We had a great time hanging out at the Winghouse on Friday! Big thanks to the entire staff for showing us a good time! If you haven’t heard, you can book your Fantasy Football draft party at Winghouse and get some pretty good stuff for doing it! They not only give you a complete draft kit, but the commissioner of your league gets a free T-shirt, some bounce back coupons, and a pretty sweet trophy for the last place finisher. They also have some great food (the wings were AMAZING!) and awesome happy hour specials: $2 drafts, $3 calls and $3 Jager and Fireball shots from 3pm-7pm Mon-Fri. Be sure to stop in at The Winghouse on S. Florida Ave. in Lakeland! Say hi to the girls, get some great food, grab a cold one, and tell them Mike sent you!

Winghouse Pick

Do you remember this guy?

Since beginning this trip down the path of music knowledge I began thinking about my early radio career. There are several songs that take me back to my first airshifts (7P – 10P, Mondays on 88Rock – my college station).  So for my next lesson I choose a song I’ve always been a fan of…

Artist: Gary Wright

Album: The Right Place

Year: 1981

Song: Really Want to Know You

 Gary Wright started his entertainment career at a young age.  He was a child actor, appearing in several commercials, television shows and even on Broadway in the hit musical Fanny.  When he got older he felt acting was “un-stable”… (not sure if that was him talking or the fact he wasn’t a cute kid any more and the gigs dried up! LOL)… so he left the industry and attended college where he studied medicine.

He got the opportunity to move to the UK and continue his studies.  It was there where Gary Wright joined a musical group called Spooky Tooth.  He was the groups principal song writer and lead the way two a few albums including 2 that received high praise; Spooky Two (1969) and You Broke My Heart so I Broke Your Jaw (1973).  Can you imagine a group producing an album by that name now a days?  Simply put, no. LOL

As a session musician and his skill on the keyboards, he started to get the attention of some industry giants.  The likes of George Harrison, B. B. King, Ringo Starr, Jerry Lee Lewis and Harry Nilsson all had Wright perform on various projects.

After bouncing from project to project, in 1975 he signed with Warner Bros. Records as a solo act and his first album Dream Weaver was born.  The album did well reaching #7 on the Billboard Album Charts and the title cut reached #2 on Billboards Hot 100.  The follow up single, Love is Alive, also reached #2.

Gary Wrights last chart success was in 1981.  Though the album “The Right Place” only reached #79, the single “Really Wanna Know You” had some modest success reaching #16 on the Billboards Hot 100.

As you take a listen to the song, try to imagine a young, nervous, wide-eyed, mid-western boy named Eric Michaels… sitting behind a radio station control board for the first time… thinking to himself, “Oh man… this is so cool”!

Thursday’s Conversation


On Thursday’s show we opened our phone lines to have a calm, peaceful, adult discussion about what the City of Lakeland should do with the Confederate statue in Munn Park. It all started because of an article in Ledger reported Commissioner Jim Malless has called for an open discussion on the issue. It was really great to have so many calls from people with strong opinions on both side of the issue without any name calling or hate speech. I’m posting a link to the article in the Ledger here as well as a link to our Clip of the Day from Thursday’s show. If you have time, please read and listen. I’d love to hear anything you have to add on the issue. And a HUGE thanks to everyone who called in to the show this morning. It’s important that we talk about these things openly and try to come to a peaceful solution so we can avoid violent incidents like the ones taking place around the country in recent news.


Here’s a link to the article in The Ledger.




And the link to the Clip of the Day.

Blog Away!

Greetings… I was recently reminded that I have a Blog on this site.  And when I say “reminded” you could infer it was more like a “gentle” reminder by management.  Truth be told, the conversation was very similar to a famous scene with Bill Murray and Annie Potts in Ghostbusters….

Dr. Venkman; “Any costumers?”


Janine Melnitz: “No Dr. Venkman”


Dr. Venkman; “Great Job, isn’t it?… (walking away) Type something,                       we’re paying for this stuff.”

 “Type Something, we’re paying for this stuff”… Yes, that would best represent the conversation between management and me!  So with this new found “inspiration” I take to the internet to Blog away!

But what should I Blog about?  The Weather, Sports, Finances, Recipes?  What do I know most about?  DUH!!! MUSIC!  After all I have been referred to as the Professor of Knowledge from the Rock and Roll College.

So let’s do this thing… I’m going to post background information… trivia… facts and urban legends about some of my favorite songs.  Hopefully you’ll find it entertaining and maybe just a little informative.  Who knows, you just might win a trivia game at your favorite local pub!

Steely Dan – Dirty Work

Written by: Donald Fagen and Walter Becker

Album:  Can’t Buy a Thrill

Released:  1972

Named after a strap on device for “doing the chores”, Steely Dan was formed by 2 college boys, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker.  They bounced around writing songs try to squeak out a living.  They even had one of their songs recorded by Barbra Streisand (I Mean to Shine).  Over the course of time they hooked up with many session musicians which they utilized as they went out of their own.  Fagen and Becker hand selected the best from the corral of musical contacts, to form a group which helps make their first album, Can’t Buy a Thrill.  The very LP that produced our feature song Dirty Work

Called a “song of self-loathing” the tune chronicles the life of a man and woman having an affair, all from the mans point of view.  When it was released, critics said it sounded more commercial than Steely Dan’s previous work yet had a very “smoothing, light sound”.  What little did the listener know that once you vocals arrive it’s a song filled with self-hate and despair.  By the end, I feel sorry for the guy singing the song.

The vocals were original provided by David Palmer, one of those session musicians we talked about earlier.  He “left” Steely Dan went out on his own.  The use of a session musician has come back to haunt SD.  To this day they perform the song in concert, however, neither Fagen nor Becker sing it as it’s not in their range.

It wasn’t released as a single but today it stands as one of Steely Dan’s “Classic” works.  Performed by their Backup Singers (a common practice by SD) in Charlotte NC in 2006… it’s Steely Dan and Dirty Work.

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