Category: Eric’s 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!

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0BLKudnyNo

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.

Verse

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)

Chorus
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?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69fPof-ZTnU

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”!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baaQpwDGy6M

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.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4ceZWAjaAs

Why isn’t there a holiday for the Pioneer’s?

comic_011We just got done celebrating Memorial Day… a day in which we honor those brave Men and Woman who lost their lives to protect us!  I am sincerely thankful for our fallen hero’s along with all veterans and members of the armed forces (along with Emergency Service personnel) who do a job I couldn’t and I feel that with all of the “made up” holidays, we definitely need a Memorial Day.  With all of this being said, I offer the following…

A week ago I left the radio station after work.  I was in a decent mood.  It was Thursday, we had had a good show, the weekend was around the corner and I was heading home!  What more could you ask for?  The sun was shining, it was pleasantly warm and the humidity was lower because of a recent storm system.  As I turned to head south on Hwy 98 I thought I’d flip on the AC as it was getting a little warm in my car.  My car with BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR.  (Who in their right mind would buy a car in FLORIDA with BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR??? (with both thumbs pointing towards my chest) THIS GUY that’s who! I digress…) I turn on my AC… it the cool air starts blowing and then… silence.

thermometer-clip-art-3“What’s this”, I say in startled disarray, “why is it so quiet here in my car?” as sweat begins to build on my forehead.  I hit a couple of buttons on the AC… nothing.  I then push the fan speed thingie higher… nothing.  Sweat is beginning to roll… windows coming down… and as I sit at the traffic light at 98 and Edgewood, I start hitting every button and switch associated with my AC and still… nothing.

In the interest of keeping my blog “Hall Communications” “Family Friendly”, the next few words out of my mouth will not be printed, however I did exclaim my frustration as I realized my AC (one of the most expensive parts of your car) is out!

fanHours without my AC turned into days and now unfortunately week(s)… (I say weeks because as I write this I’m waiting on a call from the mechanic, hopefully with news about my part that we need!)… with no AC in the car.  This got me wondering… How did the pioneers of our country, do it?

These people, with wool pants and cotton shirts… long skirts and dresses… no electricity… ice… deodorant… running water… NOTHING!!! HOW DID THEY SURVIVE?  Do this… take the comforter off your bed… wrapped it around you… walk outside any afternoon in July and walk around and mow all of the grass at Lake Parker.  THEN, when evening comes handcarts.03and there is zero wind, try to sleep… with the bugs, humidity and stagnate air.  Your body sweating like your sauna.  The sheets sticking to you. No comfort, no relief, no bueno!  But yet, THAT’S WHAT THESE PEOPLE DID!!!! We have grown so soft, this great nation of ours.  Oh trust me, I’m as “First World” as any selfie taking teenager… I mean I panic when the “Hot Now” light goes out at Krispy Kreme.  But after a week(s) of no AC in my car, I truly believe our founding fathers… the brave men and woman of Florida and the United States… are hero’s. They fought off attacks, lawlessness, wild animals, sickness, heat, bugs, stinky arm pits for us!  Don’t they deserve a National Holiday? I say, “WOO YAY”!!!!GopherYayDance.gif~c200

Launch of the NEW Max 983fm dot com!!!

www

 

Well here it is!!! The brand new, redesigned, updated, slick and spiffy MAX 983 FM dot COM website!  Isn’t it grand??? Have you poked around to it’s new features?  Have you checked out all of the cool things it can do?  You must’ve looked around a little because you found this blog!!!!

Take a look… and long look… and let me know what you think.  I’m excited and look forward to updating the blogs as often as possible!!!

Lake Hollingsworth… is it “worth” it?

Sign_Roundabout

Just the other day I was driving around Lake Hollingsworth here in Lakeland.  The traffic, bikers, joggers, mommy/baby walkers, dog lovers, fishing folks, ducks, Florida Southerners, all vying for space… all attempting to cross the street.  Then it came to me… an idea that I feel could solve many of the issues.  Create the entire Lake Hollingsworth Dr. into a Roundabout!

Imagine:  Traffic on LHD would rotate around the lake in a clockwise direction. Every left hand turn being easily accomplished with no waiting. The only RIGHT hand turn would be into the Yacht Club and that would at the traffic light at Cleveland Heights Blvd.

Additionally, if Eric was King for a day and could make these changes, I would convert the current both lanes of traffic into one oversized for auto traffic and use the remaining room of the old road, to be used by bikers and skaters, leaving the existing sidewalk for joggers and walkers.

Think about how much easier it would be to cross the street?  You only have to worry about traffic in one direction… It would be safer to walkers, bikers and most importantly, DUCKS to cross.

Of course this is only only boys lowly opinion.

Could we go undefeated?

CUBBIE FLAG

The Chicago Cubs started off the 2016 Major League Baseball Season with a shut out win over the California Angles.  We are starting the season off with a win!  What are the chances of the Chicago Cubs (or ANY MLB team) going UNDEFEATED?  Over the length of the a 162 season the chances seem rather slim don’t they?

Well the Chicago Cubs do own the best winning percentage of any team in the 100+ year seasons of MLB, of 76.3%.  Fairly remarkable for a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908!  The current modern day record winning percentage is held by the 2001 Seattle Mariners at 71.6%.

So what are the odds of one team, be it the Cubs or anyone else, going undefeated for the entire 162 game season?  Approximately .0000000000036%… So barring some sort of corruption or every team contracting the flu at the same time, the chances are rather long!

I think you and I would be better off to buy a lottery ticket!

And that’s my take!

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