Rocking Jock: An Interview With Scorch
He got his pugnacious interview style from his years in the wrestling ring. He got his monosyllabic name from Merv Griffin. You might say he broke into radio when he busted his kneecap into six pieces two weeks before Wrestlemania, cutting short a promising future as a disciple of wrestling king Killer Kowalski.But Scorch has made a career turning lemons into Scorch soda. His afternoon drive show on Rock 101 WGIR is consistently rated at or near the top of the charts and he’s a two-time winner of the N.H. Association of Broadcasters “Personality of the Year” award. Now he’s being unleashed on Scorch TV, producing New England’s “first late-night rock and roll talk show” for the major markets of WMFP Ch. 62, Boston and WTVH Ch. 5, New York. Check out www.myscorchtv.com for details.The only other “Scorch” I know is a Beanie Baby toy. Where did you get your name?
Got my name from Merv Griffin (yes, THAT Merv Griffin) when I worked for a station he owned in Albany, New York (PYX 106). I throw fire as a gimmick in Pro Wrestling, which I’ll talk about soon, and they wanted a one word name that people would remember. I have to be honest, since I became “SCORCH,” my career has benefited!So are these the best of times or the worst of times for radio jocks like yourself?
Radio has ALWAYS been an unsteady career to say the least. I’d say at this point, it’s a bad time, because many companies are downsizing and getting out of market talent to Voice Track shows. But it’s a good time because I’ve had ratings success and still have a job!You know, they always talk about having a “face made for radio.” I guess your face is ready for multimedia?
I do have a face for radio, but how could I not spread these good looks around to millions of households on TV too?You seem to be taking a Do It Yourself path to fame. Any suggestions for others wanting to become TV personalities?
I’d say do whatever it takes to live your dream…be prepared to be stomped on, spit on, stepped on, belittled, etc. Then, if you can get past that, you’ll be on your way!Who are some of your role models in the late-night TV world?
I have always liked David Letterman. Johnny Carson was the man in his day, and believe it or not, I really liked the format of the “George Lopez Show!”Ever watch the old Dick Cavett show when he’d interview Janis Joplin or Sly Stone? Do you have any memories of great interviews with musicians?
I’ve done many interviews with some of the greats, some of whom are no longer with us. Frank Zappa would be one that is no longer with us. Telling Roger Earl from Foghat that his best friend and fellow performer Paul Butterfield was found dead on his (Roger’s) living room floor from an overdose was some of the most intriguing live stuff ever! He had no idea, because they were touring! Also, I had Christa McAuliffe in the studio with me just a couple of days prior to the Challenger tragedy!What are you going to bring to the game? Describe your interview style?
“Scorch TV” (at myscorchtv.com) is the very first, locally produced, late night entertainment show, which will feature both local and national guests! It is a very laid back show. As far as my interview style, I don’t really ask questions, I bring up points and let the guests talk about them.Who are some of the musical guests you most want to have on your new show?
On the old show “Scorch’s PFG-TV,” I had Greg Hawkes of the Cars announcing the Cars reunion, I had Charlie Farren and Jon Butcher debut their new band FBI AND play together for the first time on TV! So far on “Scorch TV,” I’ve had Candelbox and Saving Abel, and I’ve got many more big names in store (Judas Priest, Black Label Society, Johnathan Tyler and Northern Lights, Chris Robinson (Black Crowes fame) and others I can’t talk about yet!You started out shooting your TV show in a Chinese restaurant. Did anything funny happen there?
While taping at the Chinese restaurant did anything funny happen? YES! They made it through the board of health inspection!