Now that I'm the regular afternoon guy on Magic, one of the things I get to do is fill in for Pat on the morning show when he's away, as he will be next week. Morning radio is something I've done on and off over the years in various places. When I was in college, I worked regularly on Sunday mornings. I used to stop at Country Kitchen on the way to the station sometimes, where I would run into people who hadn't gone home yet from the night before. Once, a guy at the counter asked me if I knew where the after-bar party was. When I said, "Hey, I'm up for today," it seemed to take him a long time to process the idea, like I had told him I was from Mars. (To tell the truth, being up so early was a bit foreign to me at the time, too.)
For a year in the mid 80s, I was the regular morning guy on a top 40 station in Illinois. I lived less than five minutes from the station, so I could sleep relatively late--I set my alarm for 4:17AM, because 4:15 was just too early. My partner and I tried to be funny, but mostly I think we were probably just stupid. This was about the time "Miami Vice" was a big hit on TV and the Miami Sound Machine was scoring their first big hits. So we decided that the key to being cool was to be all about Miami. So for several days--or maybe a week, or maybe two--we were Miami Jim and Miami Mitch, and we read the forecast for Miami every morning.
See what I mean about stupid?
After getting up at 4:17 for a few months, it didn't feel any worse than getting up at any other, later hour. It did mean, however, that if I was out after 9:00 at night, I was howling at the moon. Ann used to kid me about being a remarkably cheap date back then--one beer and I'd be falling asleep. Similarly, "sleeping in" became getting up at 6AM. On vacation that year, we saw more than we'd ever seen on a vacation before because we weren't sleeping half the day away.
At another station in later years, I had a long drive to get to work, so when I was on the morning show, my alarm would go off at 3:15. On the list of the worst things in life, a 3:15 alarm is up near the top, particularly on cold winter mornings. So next week, I'll be setting it a little later. Maybe 4:17 or so. For a morning guy, that's sleeping in and livin' large.