Well, here I am, the end of week one on the radio. And what a week it has been. My head is still spinning a bit from it all, and I am finally getting comfortable with using the title "The Jeff Messer Show" so many times each and every day.
I was reluctant at first. Man, what an ego, right? I kept making jokes about how it must have been for the other 4 guys in the Dave Matthews Band the first time they were introduced as such. I imagined 4 guys all turning to Dave and saying, "It's called the what now?" Then proceeding to play off key the whole show and hurl drum sticks at his head while he sang.
But, I am settling into it, and Jim - the Mr Sulu and Mr Checkov all roled into one, at the Producer helm - seems fine with me taking the credit (and/or blame) firmly on my shoulders.
The week has been great from a lot of standpoints. I've been hard on myself some days, knowing that I didn't quite hit all the right notes I wanted to hit as smoothly and gracefully as I had wished. But I can say that I felt great more often than not this week.
Brian Hall has been a great mentor in getting me tuned into the whole radio frequency of things, and has put a lot of faith in me, that I can take the reigns and get this show up to full gallop quickly.
Highlights of the week:
We were ahead of the curve on the Water issue, having Barry Summers on the show Monday, then breaking some news on Tuesday about brown water and pipe testing in Asheville that coincided with the GOP Water grab scheme in Raleigh. Callers were passionate, and that first hour on Tuesday was a real rush for me.
Guests have been great too - from Water "Crank" (a name I gave him live in studio on Monday) Barry Summers, to Jon Menick and the Asheville Screen Artist Co-Op sharing the vision and plans for the future of Ashevilles film industry. We also had a great performance from singer, songwriter, band leader Jim Arrendell and a nice visit from Dr Kelley Wolfe. And Leslie Boyd stopped in to co-pilot us through Wednesday.
Thursday brought us my first full scale rant, where I torn into the whole gun debate for the first time. And that magic feeling came back to me, as the phone lines lit up and people responded in ways that were satisfying and inspiring to me. 880 has some of the best, and brightest listeners and callers out there, Bar none.
I've tried to infuse some new things of my own into the show, including some themed music selections, a "this day in history" segment, some jokes, and a perspective that is - I hope - reassuring, inspiring and inviting to those listening. Emails, comments and responses have been overwhelmingly supportive and possitive.
So, here we are, an hour before showtime on Friday. Big surprises in store today (I hope) and a nice cap to a fun first week. It has all happened so rapidly that I have not really had time to stop and fully realize where I am and how amazing this all is. It just sort of happened, the theme music played and Jim pointed at me to start talking. And I got to start putting that Trivial Pursuit brain and Energizer Bunny mouth to work.
What's next? Who knows? But I promise you this - it will always be interesting and I will always be having fun doing it.