I consider myself very fortunate, not only as a writer and a musician but also as a radio show host. Over the last five and one half years I have been part of a musical revolution of sorts; an explosion of what's right with music and sadly what is also wrong as well.
This week, I am going to give you a little background on myself, my radio career and my love of writing for which I am eternally grateful to this publication and its owner/editor and one of the finest journalists around; Mr. Gary Wien.
I grew up in Hamilton Township, New Jersey; a product of the Hamilton public school system. When I was in the fourth grade, my class was given a creative writing assignment; my story was titled "Snow in July" and it was chosen by the teacher to be read to the class. Once she read it, she pulled me aside and said, "Very good Danny; one day you're going to be a writer."
I always enjoyed writing over the years but nothing much ever came of it, until back in 2001 when I reunited with two old band mates as their percussion accompaniment and the charge of writing the group newsletter fell on my shoulders. I would do it as a monthly piece, discussing gigs both past and upcoming as well as thanking those who attended and mentioning highlights; or in some cases lowlights. A funny thing happened from these monthly musings; people began to enjoy them and looked forward to reading them. Yes, that monthly newsletter was the shot in the arm that I needed to begin writing again; this time with a purpose.
Fast forward to January of 2009, a day that literally changed my life forever. I awoke that morning at 7 a.m. as I did every work day and prepared to go to my job as a Package Car Driver for United Parcel Service; toiling in the streets of Trenton, NJ. Being a "UPS Guy" never allowed much time for anything, nor a normal life schedule, as the hours were long, unpredictable and physically demanding. Now, if you are a UPS driver, you learn to deal with a rash of aches and pains but on this particular day they didn't dissipate with the morning shower which usually would wash them away. After painstakingly getting dressed, I managed to make it to my driveway, when suddenly I collapsed in intense pain. Twenty years of pounding pavement in the state capital took their toll in the form of four herniated discs and blood in my spinal chord. I spent the next five days immobile and wondering where my fortunes lie beyond the bed that I found myself confined to. The answer came in the form of a sobering phone call from an attorney who said, "Danny boy; I'd prepare for a career after UPS if I were you."
Hello Craigslist! Suddenly, this twenty year employee of the largest trucking company in the world was faced with the reality of reinventing himself. I began to peruse on line job boards and yes, Craigslist. It was here that I came across an ad for an AM radio station which read, "Seeking radio show hosts and/or ideas." I called the number immediately and made an appointment to speak with the program director of WIFI Radio 1460 AM; a former gospel station located in a remote church compound buried in the woods of Burlington County. Upon sitting down and after initial pleasantries, I made my pitch for what would become my weekly radio program. Management fell in love with the idea and "Rock On Radio" was born.
I set out to give bands, solo artists and entertainers a venue to be heard, a platform for their talents and being since the program was simulcast on the internet; they would be exposed to the world. My first affiliate was the program's current broadcast location of Hamilton Radio, my second was The Penguin Rocks; beginning my working relationship with the aforementioned Gary Wien. The live program is now currently carried on four internet outlets and re-aired on ten additional in the US, the UK and Canada throughout the week.
From these humble beginnings I've become a truly blessed musician, writer and radio show host. I picked up my first writing job when I was hired as a freelance contributor for the Trentonian newspaper. My weekly column featured local bands and venue listings along with a featured piece on a local or national act. Through this one page, I was able to reach out and speak with Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Famers, local acts, movie stars, comics and even Broadway actors. My coverage of the local music scene and beyond afforded me large networking opportunities, leading to music openings and a continuous flow of radio show guests.
I eventually left WIFI 1460 Radio for the confines of Hamilton Radio and through the wonder that is the internet I have been able to fulfill my desire to support live and/or original music. Currently I also have a space as the co-host of the "Two Men One Mind Travelling Road Show," on yet another internet radio station; 40 Foot Hole Studio. My partner Dave McMahon and I travel the state broadcasting live original music events while Billie Jo (The Mind) stays in the studio interacting with our chat room and listeners. Recently we have had the good fortune of being able to broadcast Smithereens guitarist/songwriter Pat DiNizio's "Confessions of a Rockstar" show as he performs live every Thursday from Asbury Park, NJ. The show has two dates in December and has been extended through the entire month of January 2015. Dave and I will be there broadcasting live and continuing to forge our partnership with Pat and Sammy Boyd Productions.
The Penguin Rocks is yet another great indie friendly outlet for original artists. Gary is a huge supporter of the genre and has his pulse firmly on the Jersey Shore music scene. A well published author and entrepreneur; Gary has brought new and local music to the masses through his internet station for quite some time. There are other personalities like Brookdale C.C. radio guru Jeff Raspe or Stu Coogan who have been anchors in the music community of the shore area for years.
All of these people, places and musical happenings have enriched my life, picked me up when down, allowed for amazing interactions and meetings and also have allowed me to do things I could only dream of as a child. Yes, I am a writer and a radio program host but first and foremost, I am a musician. I arrive early and go home late. I have literally played for my supper at times. I also wouldn't change it for the world; nor would any other true musician which I know.
The face of radio is changing my friends. Much like newspapers and print publications; terrestrial radio is struggling to stay afloat. Former NJ 101.5 personality Mary Walter once said to me, "Danny, getting into (terrestrial)radio now is like being a candle maker when electricity was being brought into homes..." I think she may have been onto something. I left terrestrial radio because nobody was listening to me on the AM dial; my listeners all "Tuned in" on line from the comforts of home. Now with phone apps and even some car manufacturers installing wifi stereo systems; the internet is everywhere and so too is the world at our fingertips. A world which is full of talented songwriters and performers, a world which I intend on trying to expose to as many people as possible.
Earlier this month I was told that I am viewed as successful by multiple people; many of whom I don't even know. I find this to be quite humbling, very flattering and I am so grateful for these compliments but I usually have no response for statements such as these as I realize that success is perceived so differently by everyone and like perspective depends on the person. Should success be measured by wealth? By the amount of friends one has? How about by Facebook followers? Because if so, two out of three do not apply to me. I am blessed with many friends and despite some current hardships I feel quite happy. I write, broadcast and perform with regularity. I attempt to broaden my own and all of your horizons with the stories of the people I meet and/or talk with. With the bands and local talents who have graced me by appearing on my radio program; many bearing their very souls as they perform live on air and open up their lives to faceless listeners. Success, like anything else is how one perceives it; respect is garnered and earned through the eyes of others and based solely on how ones actions effect others. Myself, I'd rather be respected than perceived successful.
We here at Rock On Radio want to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving holiday and I am personally extremely thankful for your continued support of myself and my program. Thank you all as I admire all of you and your talents and the world is a much richer place because of you and them.
Hey, my affiliates are www.hamiltonradio.net, www.thepenguinrocks.com, www.gashouseradio.com and www.z108.net. These air Rock On Radio live on Sunday evenings. the Two men One Mind Travelling Road Show can be found at www.40footholestudio.com. Rock On Radio can be found at www.facebook.com/Dannycolemansrockonradio2 .
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
THIS WEEKS CALENDAR LISTINGS
Alchemist & Barrister
28 Witherspoon Street Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Arnie Baird
Sun. 9 p.m. Kenny Cunningham
Wed. 10 p.m. Open mic. night
All shows 21+
Amarones Windsor Inn
29 Church St. Windsor
Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Scott Gager & Debbie
Fri. 8 p.m. Larry D
Sat. 8 p.m. Tony Malandro
Tues. 7:30 p.m. Texas Hold'em
Wed. 7 p.m. DJ John Rossi
Big Shots Bar and Grill/Hebe Music Lounge
835 E Rte. 130 South, Burlington
Fri. 7 p.m. Daniel James and the Loveless, One Punch Mickey, Sinister Sons, Jack and OUR Now
Sat. 7 p.m. Soundbots, Motif, Major Front
Wed. 7 p.m. Charles Laurita & The Mischief, Rooftop, (TBA).
Blend Bar & Bistro
911 Highway 33, Hamilton
Fri. 6 p.m. Happy Hour w/ Rich Schneider, Tom Schneider, Tom Peraino
Tues. 8 p.m. Triviajam
The Backstage at Championship Bar
931 Chambers St. Trenton
Fri. 7 p.m. Angels 8 Riot, Zymotic Youth, Red Rising, Threatpoint, (TBA). All ages, $10.
Sat. 5 p.m. Cut The Act (EP Release Show), Results Not Typical, Deuteronomy, Autocracy East, Ingdorf, As Astronauts, Brock Landers. All ages, $10
24 Passaic St. Trenton
Sat. 3 p.m. Gregg Riley Quartet.. (No cover-$10 minimum)
Chickie's & Pete's
183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown
Tues. 8 p.m. Acoustic Music Night feat. The Dawgs
Dubh Linn Square
167 Rte. 130 North Bordentown
Sun. 4 p.m.Billy O'neal
Tues. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night hosted by Shaun Ruymen
Wed. 9 p.m. Trivia Night
116 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
Mon. 8 p.m. Open Mic Blues Jam hosted by Jimmy Pritchard
All shows 21+
Havana New Hope
105 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 10 p.m. Beat The Clock College Night Dance Party
Fri. 8 p.m. "Start Making Sense" A Talking Heads Tribute. Doors at 6 p.m., $15
Sat. 8 p.m. Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy. Doors at 6 p.m., $75
Sun. 7 p.m. Jon Herington. Doors at 5 p.m., $20
Mon. 10 p.m. Karaoke in the Bar w/ DJ Ron Sherr and Bridget
Tues. 8 p.m. Pat Foran / Heather Heather
Wed. 9:30 p.m. DJ Dance Party
All shows 21+
3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton
Fri. 10 p.m. Kindred Spirit
Sat. 10 p.m. El Ka Bong
Wed. 9:30 p.m. Tangled
All shows 21+
John & Peter's
96 S. Main St. New Hope, Pa.
Thurs. 9 p.m. Adam Kowalczyk
Fri. 9 p.m. Hot 4 Robot / Explorers
Sat. (3 p.m.) Mr. Chris and The Alley Band (9 p.m.) Gamma Ray
Sun. (3 p.m.) Jamie Salvatore (9 p.m.) J & P's Comedy Night Hosted by Mike DiAlto
Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic. Night
Tues. 9 p.m. Dance Party w/ DJ Aggreschen
Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational & Mixxtape Thanksgiving Eve Bash
All shows 21+
2677 Nottingham Way Hamilton
Wed. 10 p.m. Karaoke
Palermo's Of Hamilton
310 Klockner Rd. Hamilton
Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke
All shows 21+
1339 River Rd. Titusville
Fri. 7:30 p.m. Soul Kitchen
Sat. 7:30 p.m. Kevin Toft and The All Star Band
Pete's Steak House
523 Whitehorse Ave. Hamilton
Fri. 9:30 p.m. Ernie White & Tom Reock
Sat. 9:30 p.m. Kindred Spirit
50 Riverview Plaza Trenton
Thurs. 9 p.m. College Night w/ DJ Paul Desisto
Fri. (4:30 p.m.) Happy Hour (8:30 p.m.) The Good Company Band
Sat. 10 p.m. Pre-Holiday Dance Event w/ DJ Kevin McCallister. $20 (advance) $25 (door)
All Shows 21+
Sunsets at Cream Ridge
181 Rte. 539 Cream Ridge
Fri. 9:30 p.m. John Patrick Bastiani
Sat. 9:30 p.m. The Breeze
Tavern On The Lake
101 Main St. Hightstown
Fri. 9 p.m. Far Cry
Sat. 9 p.m. Blues Tattoo
Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke Night / Steve The Band
The Ivy Inn
248 Nassau St. Princeton
Thurs. 10 p.m. Karaoke w/ Ron Sherr
Fri. 10 p.m. DJ Darius
Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Fatha Ramzee
Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv
Wed. 10 p.m. Theme Night w/ DJ Rockin' Ron
The HOB Tavern
146 Second Street
Fri. 9 p.m. DJ A3RO
Sat. 9 p.m. Karaoke
The Millhill Saloon
300 South Broad St Trenton
Sat. 10p.m. "Banging In The Basement 6" feat. DJ Cutlery, Carl Kavorkian, Wade Wilson, Jay Math, Jonathan RoebusOne Watson. Ages 21+, $5
The Record Collector
358 Farnsworth Ave. Bordentown
Fri. 8 p.m. Richard X. Heyman & the Owls. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $12 (advance)
Sat 8 p.m. Alexis P. Suter Band (CD Release Party) / Frank Viele Band. All ages, doors at 7:30 p.m., $20 (advance)
The Sun National Bank Center
81 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Check web site for upcoming events
Tir Na Nog
1324 Hamilton Ave. Trenton
Fri. 9 p.m. Mike Nabinger
Sat. 9 p.m. Bill Donahue & the Derry Brigade
Sun. 6 p.m. Mary Courtney
Wed. 9 p.m. Mike Brill
All shows 21+
449 South Broad Street Trenton
Thurs. 8 p.m. Cinema Thursdays Presents: "The Joke's On You"
Fri. 10 p.m. Friday night w/ Jay Kountree & Jaxx
Mon. 10 p.m. Service Industry Night w/ DJ-Jay Kountree
Triumph Brewing Company (New Hope, Pa. Location)
400 Union Square New Hope, Pa.
Fri. 10 p.m. Steal Your Face. ($5 cover charge)
Sat. 10 p.m. Up The Chain. $5 (cover charge)
Sun. 7 p.m. Open Jam Night
Mon. 9 p.m. The Hazbins
Tues. 9 p.m. Acoustic Grateful Dead feat. members of Splintered Sunlight
Wed. 10 p.m. DJ Trubblemaker
All shows 21+
2572 Pennington Rd. Pennington