What I’ve Learned

Sept. 17th, 1999

There was a time when I was the youngest programmer in the business.  All of my peers were older.  I was the boy wonder.  Time has a way of changing things…particularly boy wonders. Now I’m wiser, though I feel no older.  The passage of time brings with it experiences that can be passed along to those who are younger in age…though not necessarily in spirit.

It is in the spirit that I take this moment to share a few things I’ve learned about life and the record and radio industry that shape our lives.

I’ve learned that no matter what kind of spin you put on the phrase, “it looks good for next week,” this statement invariably means your record doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being added.

I’ve learned that no matter what you do for a programmer in advance, when it comes time for the payback, the same PD is either sick, on vacation or the list is frozen that week.

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you, no matter how hard you try.  All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, how much time I spend trying to develop a relationship, no matter how nice I am, some people are just assholes.

I’ve learned that describing a new group as a cross between Pearl Jam and The Backstreet Boys with the energy of Sugar Ray invariably means the record is a stiff.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm and personality for about 15 minutes.  After that, you need a big unit or huge boobs.

I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust and a minute of suspicion to destroy it.

I’ve learned that no GM will fire a PD because of an Arbitron rating…unless it’s a bad one.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others.  They’re usually more screwed up than you think.

I’ve learned that laughing at yourself is much healthier than making fun of others.

I’ve learned that no matter how many times others claim it won’t matter, loaning or borrowing money is the quickest way to end a friendship.

I’ve learned that you can throw away your answering machine when you lose your job.  You won’t be getting any calls.

I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or you will be offered medication.

I’ve learned that those in our business with the biggest egos have the smallest dicks.

I’ve learned that good looking promotion people usually get more adds.

I’ve learned that there aren’t any good looking programmers…at least not since I got out of radio.

I’ve learned, unfortunately, that in the music business, money is a great substitute for character.

I’ve learned that finally, qualified women are gaining their due in our industry and when in positions of power, they’re usually better than men.

I’ve learned that if you can forgive temporary weight gain due to water retention and the emotional roller coaster that is usually present at the same time, your love life will be much better.

I’ve learned that worrying is the biggest waste of time.

I’ve learned that believing compliments about my “sterling” Editorials is like a dee jay believing all request line callers are 19, single, beautiful and available.

I’ve learned that no matter how much they protest otherwise, men lie.

I’ve also learned that no mater how much they protest otherwise, women manipulate.

I’ve learned that no mater what they say coming in, consultants will eventually bury you.

I’ve learned that if it’s bad, say it.  If it’s good, put it in writing.

I’ve learned that the secret to success is controlling your ego.

I’ve learned that if you think you have more than five good friends, you’re kidding yourself.

I’ve learned that a promotion person is your close, personal friend and will do anything for you…as long as you keep your gig.

I’ve learned that honesty in our business is more elusive than a hit record.

I’ve learned that PDs with good ears are the ones who win consistently.

I’ve learned that research is better used as an excuse for not adding a record than as a tool for successful programming.

I’ve learned that programmers who are constantly complimented invariably believe the bullshit.

I’ve learned that having dysfunctional friends can make us feel better about ourselves.

I’ve learned that it’s all about marketing…until Tuesday.

Most of all, I’ve learned that it can be the next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it’s still rock “n” roll to me.

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