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Be at WingBowl 23 early when I deliver the ceremonial first chicken in a thong!!!

Then join me for the Superbowl at PJ’s in Blue Bell!!!

2fpgTWO FUNNY PHILLY GUYS

Starring Joe Conklin & Big Daddy Graham, plus Spins Nitely at Pitman NJ's Broadway Theatre on Feb 14th. Go to http://THEBROADWAYTHEATRE.ORG for tix...

Then we come to Phoenixville's Colonial Theatre on March 28th. Click here for tix...

 

shamrockDebbie and I going to Ireland on June 4th and I would love you to join us.  It's a 12 day trip and we're hitting Dublin, Galway, Killarney, the Blarney Castle, Connemara, Belfast and plenty of other spots.  I've been there before and it's just magnificent.  Ask anyone who went to Alaska or Hawaii with me and they'll tell you what a great time we had.  Call YMT vacations for all the info at 800 622 7220!

 

THIS WEEKS TRIVIA QUESTION, good for a pair of tix to the Pitman show, will go to the first person to email me with the correct answer...

What is the most used color as a password?


Click here to play in a cool Super Bowl Showdown to help raise money for Alzheimers's.

BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN

throwdown thursIf you are a music lover and you haven't been listening to BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN with Spins Nitely, then check it out!

Every THURSDAY at 8 PM. Watch and listen live at http://wildfireradio.com/big-daddy-graham. By the way, all you have to do is click on that wildfire blue line and the most current show will AUTOMATICALLY begin to play,  Just give it a moment

This week on BIG DADDY'S CLASSIC ROCK THROWDOWN? THE 10 BEST JIMI HENDRIX SONGS! With Special Guest... Dave Rogers!

Check out last weeks 10 BEST U2 SONGS with special guest DAVE "SUDSY" KAYE!  BTW, you'll be able to call in to the podcast when you watch or listen live and I encourage you to do so. Don't miss!


avagrahamhoursm

 

Check out Ava's podcast THE AVA GRAHAM HOUR on Wildfire Radio live every Thursday at 530 PM.  It's really funny and of course being a podcast you can listen to it anytime you want.  Just click here to check it out

 

 

 

Check out Spin Nitely's incredible version of "Creep."

Click here to hear Spins singing "She's Getting Stoned Again.”

And now here’s Spins & Big Daddy singing Lowell George's "Willin'."

Click here to hear Joe Conklin completely nailing Elvis Costello's "Allison" with Spins Nitely on guitar
and some harmony help from the boys of Wildfireradio.

Check out the hilarious Sudsy (as B52 Fred Schneider) take on the Stones "Happy" with Spins on guitar.


TRIVIA AND QUIZZO...

tunes logoWEDNESDAY ~ Champps in KOP from 6 PM to 8:30.

AVA QUIZZO

My daughter Ava is running a Quizzo nite every every Monday at 7:30pm at ROCCO'S in Wilmington!   And now at CHICKIE & PETE'S in Drexel Hill every Tuesday at 7 PM! Plus every Wednesday night at 8PM at PJ WHELIHANS in Haddonfield. Don't forget Thursday night at 7pm at CHICKIE & PETE'S in South Philly! That's a busy schedule!

 


THE TWENTY GREATEST MUSIC CONCERTS I'VE EVER SEEN

OMG, I have seen so many concerts.  Here's what I'm doing.  I go through my IPod in iPod alphabetical order.  When I see a recording artist that I've seen live, I will post that artist.  Remember, this is just the nomination process.  If you see "****" in front of the concert, then that is one I am nominating.  When I can,  I will post the year and venue that I saw that show.  But don't write me and say "BDG, the Knuckleheads NEVER played the Spectrum" or anything like that because I'll admit my memory isn't always sharp..  There will be artists that I have seen in concert MANY times, but if they are getting nominated, I will pick just ONE show.  Here's what we have so far...
 

AC/DC...

Seen them many times, most notable at the Specrum around '90 where I got backstage but never got to meet them.

AL GREEN...

Valley Forge Music Fair.  Never saw women go so mad.

AL STEWART...

Main Point. Year of the Cat tour.

ALAN PRICE...

Bijou Cafe. Touring behind "Between Today and Yesterday" with a band so large they had to sit offstage.

**** ALICE COOPER...

Spectrum.  The "Killer" tour.  Would pay major bucks to relive that one.

ARETHA FRANKLIN...

Greatest female soul singer ever and I've seen her many times. Usually fantastic, but the last time I saw her she was just awful.

ARGENT...

Saw them open up for somebody at the Spectrum.

ARTHUR BROWN...

Actually opened for him at the Trump Plaza on one of those live Morning Zoo shows (where he was backed by the Flaming Caucasions) and he was completely out of his mind.

THE ASSOCIATION...

VFMF. I have no idea who was in the band, except I know that Terry Kirkman wasn't.  Terry wrote "Cherish" and I got to hang with him for an entire day in LA.

AVERAGE WHITE BAND...

Spectrum. I believe opening for the Beach Boys.

B52'S...

Club Artemis. With about 20 people.

BAD COMPANY...

Spectrum around '76.   Paul Rodgers...  What an underrated singer.

**** THE BAND...

Academy of Music '69.  They were touring in support of their second album entitled "The Band" (one of my favorite albums of all time) and just being in there was so damn exciting.

BARB JUNGR...

Metropolitan Room in NYC... One woman Dylan show~excellent!

BARBRA STRIESAND...

Wells Fargo Center: 2009? Was still in amazing voice...

BEACH BOYS...

Wildwood Beach '91... So cool to see them in the sand!

BEASTIE BOYS...

Spectrum... '95?  First rap show ever.  In the round.  A lot of fun.

BEN FOLDS FIVE...

TLA... Somewhere around '97.  Played two grand piano's at once.  Great live act.

BETTE MIDLER...

Bijou...  '72?  Barry Manilow (not that I give a shit) was her piano player and Melissa Manchester was one of her backup singers.  I saw her many times with my Mother who loved her.  Because she's so schticky she goes underrated as a singer.

BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY...

Miami.  Super Bowl 33.  Elway's last game and through Craig Shoemaker I got invited to a party at the SCARFACE house!  Yes, the house with the elevator that Michelle Pfeiffer comes down. They had a big tent set up outside and Voodoo Daddy was the band.  There were amazing women and I stood in line to get some ice cream behind Sammy Sosa.  Here's where the story gets really nuts.  I was there with Mike Goldberg, a friend of Craig's,  who wrote COOL RUNNINGS who is also from Philly.  I see Pete Ciarrocchi from Chickie & Pete's and I introduce him to Mike and the two of them look at each other aghast because they were childhood buddies who hadn't seen each other in years.  It was a terrific reunion for them both.  Now the story gets totally weird.  I am writing this on October 7th and I went to IMDB to make sure that Mike hasn't written something even cooler than RUNNINGS and it turns out Mike Goldberg passed away 5 days ago on the 2nd from cancer.  So sad.  A very nice guy he was.  R.I. P.

BILLY JOEL...

Wells Fargo (or whatever they were calling it then.)... 2000?  He was with Elton John.  I have never been a big Joel fan, but they were free tickets,  and I really enjoyed the show.

BILLY PAUL...

VFMF. '80? Opening for Gladys Knight & the Pips.  My Mother loved Knight and we saw her a couple times together.  Paul had two backup singers who's hair got stuck together!

BLACK CROWES...

At an outdoor stage outside Super Bowl XXXIII.  I was right up front and right before Jerry Glanville introduced them, he turned to the band and said "What's your name again?" and the Crowes drummer muttered "fucking asshole."  What a great American band.

BLACK SABBATH...

July 9th, 1972... Wildwood Convention Hall... with Black Oak Arkansas supporting. The second loudest show I was ever at. WCH was a terrific venue.

BLONDIE...

Walnut Street Theatre. November 78...  I saw Blondie many times.  Most of the time by accident.  (With Squeeze, Rockpile)  They were not a great live band, but I didn't know that yet when I saw them this night.  Harry was so sexy and PARALLEL LINES had just been released, so there was a real buzz in the air.  This was the only show I ever saw at this classic venue and as far as I know thee has never been another show there.  Guess who opened?  BABY GRAND, with Eric & Robby who ended up becoming the Hooters.

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS...

VFMF... Sometime in the late 70's.  There weren't many original members, but Clayton-Thomas was singing.

BLUE OYSTER CULT...

Spectrum around 78.  Nothing memorable.

BLUES BROTHERS...

Mann Music Center,  Summer of '80.  My seats were horrible, but the great Steve Cropper was leading that awesome band and Belushi was doing his cartwheel thing and it's cool to say I saw them!  Pretty sure this was the only time they ever came to Philly.

**** BOB DYLAN...

1974...  Spectrum with the original BAND lineup.  An afternoon show.  They used to have those.  My older brother raised me on Dylan from the time I was 9 years old.  He was (and is) one of my true musical heroes and I will never forget that concert.  I was also a huge fan of THE BAND,  so seeing both was ridiculous.  However, I was so swept up in the emotion of it all that I didn't notice that Dylan is an awful live act who doesn't give a flying fuck if you are even out there or not.  It took me about 3 more times to understand this and I eventually stopped seeing him after a show at the Tower with G.E. Smith a million years ago.

**** BOB MARLEY...

Tower April 23rd, 1976... Wow!  It was my first ever reggae show and I was just blown away.  So exciting!

BOBBY RYDELL...

I think it was Resorts.   About 5 years ago  I opened up for him.  Nice guy and was still in terrific voice.

BOBBY SHERMAN...

Philadelphia Convention Hall    I was about 14, 15 and I would sell popcorn in the stands and I did so for Sherman.  I remember he divided all the teenage girls into sections to see who could scream louder and even at that age I thought that was hokey.  Then years later I saw Green Day do the same thing.

BONNIE RAITT...

Main Point... Dec. 11th, 1973... Saw her a couple more times, but seeing her that night when she was so young and at the beginning of her career is a great memory.

BOOKER T & THE MGs...

Resorts... Somewhere in the late 80's early 90's... The one time I saw them was so strange.  It was a Tuesday show at 5 PM.  Huh?  The room was half empty and the people who were there didn't give a shit about them.  Backstage I got to talk to the legendary Steve Cropper for about a half hour.  When I asked him who he loved backing up there most (and Steve has backed up everybody) he replied without hesitation, John Belushi.

BOZ SCAGGS...

Tower Theatre... Late '76...  He was touring behind the just released SILK DEGREES.  Awesome show!

BRENDA LEE...

Bloomsburg State Fair... '81? The state fair was in my sister's backyard and I went with her and to see that big voice come out of that tiny woman was cool.

BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA...

EFC... Late '98 or early '99... Larry Magid, who saw my wife and I in the back of the room, escorted us into the sound booth which hung over the stage and that was a really cool vantage point to watch this exciting show with the Orchestra.

**** BRIAN WILSON...

Tower Theatre... '89? '90?  I have been a Beach Boy fan as long as I have been alive.  The first 45 I ever bought with my own money was "I Get Around."  But as often as I had seen the Boys, this was the first time I was getting a chance to see Brian.  With all his illnesses, I was expected the worse and the show was magnificent.  Just to be in the same room was enough for me.

**** BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN...

Spectrum... September 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 & 18, 1984... All 6 shows.  Factoring in longevity, the two greatest front men in the history of rock are Jagger and Bruce. I have seen him in too many different venues to list starting with the Main Point in April 4th, 1973 and ending with the Mohecan Sun in Connecticut on May 17th, 2014. The "Born In The USA" shows of '84 were the pinnacle for me. Not that he wasn't awesome all the way up to that last date at the Mohican Sun. Or I wouldn't keep going again and again and again.

THE BUCKINGHAMS...

Scottish Rite Auditorium...  2008?   Collingswood NJ. If you ever get a chance to go to this amazing venue, go for it.

BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO...

Revival (at least that's what I think it was called then)1990? It's now National Mechanics on 3rd St. Great show.

BUDDY MILES...

Spectrum... 1972.  Not sure if I had seen lead singing drummer before.

CANNED HEAT...

Electric Factory... March 1969. Awesome band live.

****CAPTAIN BEEFHART...

Bijou Cafe... Nov. 22 1978. Actually he was there two nights and I went to both.  The last time he was truly great.  He was touring behind "Shiny Beast" and his band was amazing, trombone player and all.  He also did all the right selections from "Clear Spot" one of my favorite albums of all-time.  Wish I was walking into that basement club right now to experience it all again. 

CARELNE CARTER...

Bijou... '79?  The daughter of June Carter and her first husband (not Johnny Cash), Carlene was hot at the time due to her marriage to Nick Lowe.  As a matter of fact, her backing band that night was Graham Parker's band, The Rumour.

CARLY SIMON...

Borgata Event Center... Nov. 25th, 2005    Carly has spent most her life not touring because of stage fright, but you would not have known it that night.  At 60, she looked sexy as hell and was in terrific voice.  Good show.

CAROLE KING & CAT STEVENS...

Academy Of Music... '72?   How weird is it that Cat follows Carole in iPod alphabetical order and that I saw them both together that night?

**** CHAMBERS BROTHERS...

Spectrum... Dec. 5th 1970. One of the great live acts ever.  I saw them countless times at many different venues, but how do you top this show when they shared the bill with the Kinks and Spirit?

CHARLIE GRACIE...

Moore's Inlet... Counts Paul McCartney and Van Morrison as a few of his biggest fans and I  saw many, many sets at this classic long gone North Wildwood club.

CHEAP TRICK...

Current EFC... 2000?     What a great American band.

**** CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY...

Electric Factory... February 7, 1969. That's what they were called then and what I wouldn't pay to be walking through those doors right now. They were electric and so innovative. I saw them many, many times while Terry Kath was still alive.

CHIEFTAINS...

Valley Forge Music Fair... 90?   So much fun and not one electric instrument.

CHRISTINA  AGUILERA... 

Wachovia... April 3rd 2007. This chick's voice is the real deal.  Great show with a half empty house.

CHUBBY CHECKER...

Cooper River, Camden... '93? I was the opening act. Outdoor show. Beautiful night. Never talked to Chubby, but I knew his bassist and sax player.

CHUCK BERRY...

VFMF... 3/21/75. Awful show with a pickup band that he probably never met till he walked out on stage.   No one knew how to end the show.

****THE CLASH...

Penn Ice Skating Rink... Sept. 25th 1982. Yeah, you're reading this right.  An ice skating rink!  Penn used to have shows there.  This was the Clash in all their glory.  So freakin' loud your ears bled.  An amazing energy life force.  Will never forget it.

THE COASTERS...

Kutztown University  '89?  Opened up for them at a big musical festival with a lot of other oldies acts.  Carl Gardner was the only original member in the band at the time.

COLDPLAY...

April 2008... Wachovia Center... Terrific show.

COMMANDER CODY & THE LOST PLANET AIRMEN...

January 15th, 1972... Spectrum... On the same bill with the Alice Cooper and the Chambers Brothers.  What an eclectic bill!

THE COMMITTMENTS...

March 2005?    Keswick Theatre... I opened up for them.  The only original cast member from my favorite movie EVER about music was their bass player.  A little disappointing.

COUNT BASIE...

Resorts, AC... August 1979... Opened up for Tony Bennett and then stayed out there to back Tony up. I was just getting into this bag.  Wish I had this one back so I could appreciate it more.

CROSBY STILLS NASH & YOUNG...

Spectrum... June 19th 1970... Never a big fan of CS&N.  Only went for Neil and he did not disappoint.

THE CURE...

Spectrum... July 10, 1996... Very stiff.  Disappointing live.

****DAN HICKS & HIS HOT LICKS...

Irvine Auditorium... 1971? What a great venue!  Do they still have concerts there?  Great show with  Martin Mull opening.  Loved both acts and still play their music.

****DARLENE LOVE...

Joe's Pub, NY... 2005? I've seen her many times, but this was the first and Joe's Pub is such a fantastic small venue that seats about 250.  She was doing a Christmas show but she mixed in great tunes like "River Deep Mountain High with an dynamite band."

DAVE MASON...

Tower... June 14, 1972... I was only a mild Dave Mason fan but the excitement was in the air over this cool new venue.

****DAVID BOWIE...

Spectrum... July 18, 19 & 21, 1983... The serious Moonlight tour.  It opened up on Monday and that was the show I had tickets for.  The show so blew me away that I managed to go to two more shows even though I have no idea how I could have come up with the scratch.   I only didn't go on Wednesday because my comedy career had begun and I was booked that night.  That's how huge he was.  Four straight Spectrum nights.

DAVID BROMBERG...

Main Point... May 19th 1973... Eclectic artist and brilliant guitar player,  Lives in Wilmington DE now making violins.

DAVID JOHANSEN...

Paradise... Boston... Fall 1978... I can't tell you how great this show was.  I thought he was on his way towards rock stardom then the weird, sometimes cool, career he ended up having.

DAVID SANBORN...

Keswick Theatre... 2005? One of the great sax players alive (Check out Bowie's "Somebody Up There Likes Me").  I was his opening act and I really wanted to meet him, but he was nowhere to be found. Turned out he was 10 feet away from me asleep on a couch and was awoken just two minutes before he had to go on stage. Got to hang with him a bit after his set.

 

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RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/05

Here's my latest article from South Jersey Magazine...

One Of Our Own!

carmen_gerald_2015I’ve known Sicklerville native Gerald Webb for over twenty years.  I first met him when he was the DJ at the long gone Shark Club in Vineland.  I had just finished a comedy show there and there was a really cool song now rocking the room.  I was not familiar with the cut.  So, as I often do, I wandered over to the booth and asked the DJ what the song was.  Thus started a two-decade friendship that is still going strong today. (The song was “Loser” by Beck by the way)

So imagine the thrill I got when two decades later I turned on the movie “On Angel’s Wings” on my tube and Gerald’s name was the fourth actor listed in the opening credits! And it wasn’t like he was in a flick with a bunch of unknowns.  Robin Givens headed up a pretty decent well-known cast.  Not only was Gerald terrific as “Pastor Johnson,” it was his most screen time to date and he scores Ms. Givens at the end of the movie!  (I realize that’s two exclamation points in one paragraph, but sue me.)

I can imagine what you’re thinking.  South Jersey has delivered us Bruce Willis and Ali Lauter.  They’re big time stars.  Why should I get all excited over an actor that I have never heard of just because he’s from South Jersey?  Because his story is so cool and I guarantee many of you reading this would love to be in his shows after your hear it.

Gerald was born in raised in Sicklerville, a product of Winslow Township #3 Elementary and Paul VI and Edgewood the 6th (now Edgewood Winslow High).  He ran track and played on the basketball teams, but when his mMother, ‘Mommy’” Webb, and his Dad, Bill, bought him a reel to reel with a tinny microphone, Gerald found his true calling.  “I just loved talking in that mic and recording stuff.  Pretending I was a DJ or delivering the news.  I had read a book about Walter Cronkite and loved Alex Trebek,  and in my gut I knew that whatever I was going to do with my life it was going to be with a microphone.“

After buying his first record at the Berlin Farmer’s Market (where else?), Gerald’s life forever changed.  That record was “The Breaks“ by Kurtis Blow.  Rap and Hip-Hop were exploding and Gerald not only was the kid with the music taste that was always a step ahead, the beat also led to him becoming a break dancer.  “It attracted attention and it was a ticket to hanging with the cool people” laughs Gerald.

College “wasn’t challenging enough” and he drops out.  He works as a movie usher at the Atco Multiplex till he saves up enough money to get the proper equipment to turn his true passion into a business., “Partytime,” a company that supplies DJ’s for weddings, parties of all sorts, and nightclubs.  “It wasn’t really supposed to be a company.  I was just looking for work for myself (his first DJ job was at a club called Shannons the Stern Light Inn in Atco), but I got an account with Shannon’s Catering, a multi-room catering hall in Atcolub  that turned into a chain, and when they asked me if I could supply DJ’s for the other locations, I lied and said “sure.”

This proved to be so successful that “Partytime” needed an office and that’s where one of his Dad’s old TV repair shops came in handy.  Gerald picked up on his Dad’s electronic tinkering and invented a method where one could “scratch” a compact disc which was not being done at the time.  When he entered  a DJ competition in Atlantic City this new method of “scratching” so impressed one of the judges that it led to a five year deal with Pioneer.  (Though, ironically, he lost the contest)  This deal with Pioneer leads to Gerald touring the country representing the electronic giant at trade shows.  All this and he’s only 24.

On one of these road shows, Adam Gerald meets Jam Master Jay of Run-DMC fame.  Jaym takes a liking to Gerald and his talents and takes him under his wing.  We’re talking about a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here.  They get so tight that when Jaym  gets involved in a TV pilot he brings Gerald on to the set.  One thing leads to another and Gerald ends up with a sizable part in the pilot even though he has never acted before.  The show never airs, but the seed of the acting bug takes hold.  Tragically, Jam Master Jay is murdered in the autumn of 2002.  “A day doesn’t go by where I don’t think about him” mourns Gerald.

 Gerald lands a gig spinning at the Susquehanna Center (or whatever it was called then) in Camden  providing the music for the pre-concert and after party for Sammy Hagar.  Here we go again as Hagar so takes such a liking to Gerald’s talents he takes him on tour with him.  You gotta love this story!

A yearThree months later the tour comes to a close and dumps Gerald in Los Angeles.  “I felt like I had taken the whole DJ thing as far as I wanted to take it.  I had won thea North American DJ Association Night Club DJ of the Year award and, Seriously, I had just gone on a world tour with a rock star.  Seriously, hHow much better was it going to get?  I remembered how much fun I had acting and I figured, what the heck I’m already out here.”
As with everything else he has done, he goes into it full-tilt studying with the absolute best and soon he’s landing small parts in a lot of B Horror films and police TV shows.  “I was often the second cop who showed up at the door standing behind the other cop asking the questions.”

But the parts kept getting bigger and slowly but surely he started getting more lines in more well-known TV shows.  How well known?  How about “True Blood” “Law and Order” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to name a few.

He’s appeared on the big and small screens with Burt ReynoldsMalcolm McDowell, Danny DeVito, Anna Paquin, Ving Rhames, Shannon Elizabeth, Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, Jamie KennedySean Astin, Tara Reid, Dennis Haysbert, among many others.  Now while no one would confuse Carmen Electra with a great thespian, you wouldn’t mind working with her, would you guys?

Gerald is a regular caller into my 94WIP radio show.  He misses Philly and bleeds Eagle green.  He was a Sixer season ticket holder during the Allen Iverson years.  In fact, his seats were directly behind A.I’s Mom, Ann.  “Half the time I couldn’t see the game because she wouldn’t sit down and was always waving some giant sign.  I actually had to ask the Sixers to move my seats” laughs Gerald.

I always ask Gerald on the air to tell us what show he’s appearing in next and I DVR the show when I get home.  When “On Angels Wings” aired and saw how terrific of an actor he had become I could have just bust I was so proud.  I love when one of our own is on display.  (Follow him on Twitter @Geraldwebb and you will always know what show he’s going to be in next)

Now Gerald is branching out.  He’s the executive responsible for casting  the Syfy network’s phenom helped cast the cable phenomena  “Sharknado” franchise and produced and starred in the horror film “A House Is Not A Home.” Which has won a bunch of film festival and indie awards.    He has formed his own production company, Deinstitutionalized Films, so who knows where he’s headed next? 

From Sicklerville to Hollywood, my man, and one of our very own, Gerald Webb!

 

RAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 1/01

kingston-wells-bb cover smHere are just a few of my holiday album covers on display.  I change them from time to time and by the way I am always looking for more.  That's Darlene Love's autograph to my wife on the cover of the Phil Spector Christmas record. (click on each photo for larger image)

smith-mathis elvis cover sm  spector cover sm  lee-rawls cover smgleason cover smradio city cover sm

 

 

Dr DonnRAVINGS FROM A MAN WHO NEVER SLEEPS... 11/11

Here's the November issue of South Jersey Magazine...

Big Words: Thanks, Doc!

The tone of this article will surprise some. It’ll even infuriate others. But I want to spend this Thanksgiving article thanking doctors. That’s right. Thanking doctors. How often do you hear that?

I know we love to complain about them. How they keep us waiting long past the scheduled time, then after sitting for more than an hour in the main waiting room with seven kids coughing all over you, the door will open and the nurse will exclaim “Mr. Graham? The doctor is ready to see you now.” No, he’s not! They are only ready to sit you in the “other room”— the one with the blue cot and that thin piece of white paper on it.

You could arrive at an emergency room bleeding from head to toe, your right arm somewhere out on Route 70, and the first thing the admitting clerk will say to you is “Insurance card, please.” Are you then allowed to reply, “I’m sorry, my card was in my right stinkin’ hand!”

Truth be told, it’s all that paperwork crap that angers us the most about the medical scene to begin with. It’s not actually the doctors themselves. The endless automated voice menus when you’re trying to make an appointment. “Push 17 if you are calling drunk from a payphone.” The prescription that was not called in or the fact that it’s not on your co-pay. The electronic referral that’s gone missing. How about the dental assistant who will ask you how your kids are doing when there’s an erector set inside your mouth?

Key_to_the_CityHere’s one I love. “Describe your pain today on a scale from one to 10?” How about, “It really %$#% hurts.” How’s that for a number? And what’s up with getting weighed all the time?! I never want to be weighed. (It used to puzzle me why Tony Soprano was constantly weighing himself. Check it out the next time you watch an old Sopranos episode and he’s in a doctor’s office. It never seemed to stop him from eating! He got bigger with every season.)

I know they are highly trained and well paid. And geez, could you even begin to do what they do? I’ve had three back surgeries; and now I’m delighted to say that my back has been terrific for four and a half years and although I’m not going to be running any marathons soon, I now easily walk around Sea Isle City bouncing from bar to bar. (OK, I guess “stumbling” might be more like it.)

But here’s my point. On a cold, rainy Tuesday afternoon in November of 1989, I walked into Dr. Greg Herman’s office and told him that there was a severe pain running down my leg and that my left foot was falling asleep if I walked into a mall. Any kind of big store, really.

Now here I am, a 6-3, 235-pound dude standing in his office, dripping wet, and somehow he has to figure out what is causing all of this. And I think we take all of that for granted. Geez, it’s difficult enough describing the pain you’re in. So imagine how exhausting it is when you’re a doctor listening to us?

“I hear a ringing in my ears when I come to a red light.” “When I reach up with my left hand to grab a plate out of the pantry I get a weird twinge in my left big toe.” “I think there’s something wrong with my earlobe.” “Hey, my friend wants me to ask you about this blue pill, Doc. Mind you, it’s not for me.”

I worked in a music store one Christmas and I used to get a kick out of the grandmas and uncles who would come in and say, “I’m looking for a song for my little Biffy and it goes like this.” And then they would hum or actually sing a tune and I would have to figure out what song they were describing. (It would always turn out to be “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath.) Impossible!

Doctors and dentists go through the same thing, only the stakes are so much higher, even life threatening. It would have been survivable if I would have given mommy Adele instead of Lily Allen, but the wrong diagnosis from a doctor? The pressure to be right is enormous.

I have been seeing Dr. Greg Herman in Woodbury for almost 20 years and he must roll his eyes when I start whatever pain rap I am attempting to relay. But he has gotten the job done for me for years and before you say “Well, you’re a radio personality, of course he’s going to treat you with kid gloves.” Well, that would be wrong because I wasn’t even on the air at all when I started seeing him and he treated me the same back then as he does today—like he does all his patients, with courtesy and respect.

hawaii 2014 smAnd I would like to say the same about my dentist. When my radiation and chemo ended when I had throat cancer a few years ago, the real trouble arose after I was in remission. (By the way, my chemo involved me sitting in a recliner, with a remote and a TV, while I got filled up full of drugs. Heck, I’ve been doing that at home for fun for years).

The 33 radiation treatments I had destroyed some saliva gland or something, and my teeth started falling out. My dentist, Dr. Craig Donn of Cherry Hill, worked miracles, putting my teeth back in and keeping them straight; and today, my smile looks better than ever. And there’s nothing I can’t eat. It took him two years to do this and the entire time he was working on me he was openly admitting to me that “I hope this is gonna work” because he had no idea how much damage the after effects of the radiation were going to continue to affect me. And somehow he did it.

Then there was Dr. David Cognetti at Jefferson, who kept me alive to begin with. Every time I see him I say “Doc, if it wasn’t for you I might not have been around to see my daughter Keely get married. Then again, if it wasn’t for you, I would not have been around to pay for my daughter’s wedding.”

surfboardListen, I’m the guy who has trouble screwing in a light bulb, so I have no idea how they do what they do. I know we like to complain about ObamaCare and the insurance and drug companies. I know there’s a handful of countries that have this health care thing down better than we do.

But not by much. Every time I look up in the sky and I see a helicopter medevac’ing some poor soul to the hospital, I thank my lucky stars that we live in a country that can get that done.

So I thought I would take this November Thanksgiving column to wish all the doctors and dentists out there a Happy Thanksgiving and please, continue to be there for us!


HEY! I'M LOOKING FOR ALBUM COVERS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONDITION OF THE VINYL...

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