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Inside a Radio Promo tour for a book

I just flew in from Canada and a few dozen other cities, and boy, are my ears tired.

Let me explain: It was a radio tour, as it’s called, for my new book, Eagles: Taking It to the Limit. The publisher, Running Press, set up 20 stops – mostly morning shows from coast to coast – from 5 to 8:20 a.m. – all from my phone at home.

            By 6:30, half way through, my left ear was feeling it. Before then, I’d also gone through a couple of technical glitches. My cordless phone ran out of juice, and I had to run (quietly) from my office to the kitchen upstairs. And my recorder malfunctioned.

But it was still better than going to 20 bookstores in 20 cities. The Canada call – from Astral Radio – reached 83 stations in 40-something cities.

            And I met a wide range of broadcasters, from DJs in smaller towns like Lima, Ohio to news talk anchors in Atlanta and St. Louis, to Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella and rock artist turned morning jock Greg Kihn, himself an author. He's on "KFOX," and he knows all about getting up at 4 a.m. to be on the radio. Of course, he does it five days a week. One a book is plenty enough for me.

            I had 19 chats ranging from five to ten minutes, the last being with Premiere Networks, which itself services 60 stations with show prep material. The only flake-out was a station in Norfolk, Nebraska, scheduled near the end. My ear was grateful.

            But I did want to chat with the DJ, Mookie. (This is  how DJ’s are named these days. There were "Wags" in Columbus, "Wrecker" in Lima, and Uncle Cliff in Fort Wayne, Indiana, too.) Anyway, on KNEN’s web site, Mookie offered advice to future guests. The seven tips are tongue-in-cheek, but contain some good thoughts. Well, maybe not the first one, which goes:

            Never call a DJ by his/her name. Because you celebrity guests deal with so many DJs over such a condensed period of time, you might think you’re talking to “Gator” when in fact you’re talking to “The Bug.” Avoid this uncomfortable scenario by simply avoiding first names altogether; if you must call us anything, I suggest  “Captain Awesome.” We like that.

            There you go. Google WNEN and, of course, Mookie, for more.

            The Eagles book is one of two I have out right now. University of California Press just published an expanded and updated version of my 1994 memoirs, The Rice Room. No radio tour, thank god. But on Friday, Oct. 28, I’m doing an event in Oakland, in Chinatown, where the story begins. Check my calendar and act fast. It’s Friday!

3 Comment count
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But Ben, we must know...

Did you do anything in Winslow Arizona?

Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room

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what a fine sight to see...

Jennifer...Good question, but no; closest was KLPX in Tucson. I made a note about Winslow in my prep, but the DJ, Frank, never brought it up. He did send me a nice T-shirt, though...

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Shame on DJ Frank!

They missed the girl, my Lord!

Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room