10 Questions with ... Tim Hattrick & Willy D Loon
September 25, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Tim: Very first job was running the board for a radio reading service for the blind. My brothers used to tease me that I worked at a radio station for deaf people. I majored in communications at Northern Arizona University. While going to school I worked at KAFF Country and KZKZ (both am) and was also the weekend weatherman on KNAZ-TV. I took an internship in Phoenix at Rock Station- KDKB. That led to a spot on the morning show with John Giese.
Willy: Played music professionally since the age of 15, and started full time in radio in 1990. Tim & Willy In The Morning began at KRQQ Tucson. In 1993 we moved back to Phoenix to do Mornings at Camel Country 108. In 1996 we moved our families to Chicago for mornings at WKXK, formerly WLS FM. That lasted 9 mos. Moved back to Phoenix to work for Owens Broadcasting on a start up country station called Wild Country. After severe signal problems we moved to KNIX and were there for 10 years. After taking a year off in 2008 we came back to Camel Country in 2009 and have been here since.
1) Congrats on your longtime success at KMLE! Tell us how it all got started and how you guys decided to team up.
Tim: Glenn Beck and I had just split up on Y95 in Phoenix, when I met Willy at a dinner party. I found he was the infamous "Willy D Loon" from the Jonathan Brandemeir Show in town. We became golfing buddies and decided to do a radio show wherever we could.
Willy: I had written some parody songs for Jonathon Brandmeier in the early 80's so when Tim and I met at a dinner party 8 or 9 years later, Tim invited me to bring my guitar to Y-95 where he was doing mornings. We really hit it off and decided that we'd try putting a show together. We moved to Tucson about a year later and have worked together 21 years.
2) Tell us how you keep things fresh on the show each year. What's your secret to keeping the listeners involved?
Tim: I would say the simple answer is this: I love good radio shows! I love to listen to a great personality. Consequently, all we try to do is entertain ourselves and do a show that we wish we could listen to. Luckily it seems to work!
Willy: We just have fun every single morning. We treat listeners, no matter whether male or female as though we are all just sitting around a table in a bar or restaurant having some crazy conversation, but just as friends do, there is a lot of poking fun. I think our listeners truly feel like we are all friends just meeting every morning for coffee and a few laughs.
3) Congrats on your upcoming induction into the Arizona Broadcasters Association Foundation Hall Of Fame in October. What was your reaction when you found out about the honor?
Tim: Stunned! I looked at the lineup of those already inducted and I can't believe I'm getting mentioned alongside some of my heroes. I also thought about the many very talented and special people I've listened to or worked with or against who aren't in the hall and it's really quite humbling.
Willy: Tim heard about it first and was going to surprise me with the news but one of our bosses came up to me at a concert and said "Congratulations on your induction!" Tim couldn't stop him in time. It still hasn't sunk in. I am absolutely stunned and honored at the same time. There are so many legendary Arizona broadcasters and to have our names on the same list is exciting.
4) Between you, you have eight children and two grand kids. Are any of them working in the music industry or aspiring to be?
Tim: My son Daniel is a broadcasting major at Arizona State University's Walter Chronkite School. He's also a batboy for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's got the gift of gab and he's much funnier than me. My youngest daughter Rebecca is also a communications major at Grand Canyon University
Willy: Does my youngest son attending 50 Dave Matthew's concerts a year count? All of my boys love music and have participated in some bits we've done on the air but so far they've all chosen to go their own way.
5) The Tim and Willy Christmas Breakfast Show At Night sounds really entertaining. How did you come up with the idea to do the live variety show and are you already working on this year's performance?
Tim: We are always working on the next show! I'm a huge fan of A Prairie Home Companion. Our show is a "Tim and Willy" version of that show plus Saturday Night Live and Letterman! It always just about kills us to put it on the show and yet it's the most gratifying and fun thing we do all year.
Willy: Jonathon Brandmeier always did a live Christmas show in the mornings and we loved the idea. Doing it live and trying to manage guests while also getting to commercials, traffic, and news was chaos. We decided to do the show at night so people could stay and not have to rush off to work. This also made it possible to record the show and play it back a week or so later as we get closer to Christmas. If something goes horribly wrong it can be edited or repaired. More fun, less chaos.
6) You have also spent a lot of your time developing The Tim And Willy Kid's FunDation. Tell us why giving back is such a big thing for you and what is up next for the foundation.
Tim: It's simple. Who gets to do what we do? I know a lot of people who work so hard and never get the rewards or benefits of this magic job. There's no amount of paying back we could do that would ever justify the incredible blessings of this job.
Willy: We are already in the planning stages for the next Christmas show which is our biggest project for the year and raises the most money. Giving back is so important. I believe in the paradox that if you don't give it away you don't get to keep it, and we have been given so much. It's all about gratitude.
7) Willy, I know you are for hire as a wedding singer. Have you had listeners want you to play their wedding and what is your most requested song?
I have sung Lonestar's "Amazed" and Steven Curtis Chapman's "I Will Be Here."
8) Tim, you keep busy as a high school softball coach as well. How long have you been coaching and what keeps you coming back?
I first started coaching when my kids were little because, quite honestly, I saw a lot of coaches (parents) who horrified me! I had the greatest coaches growing up. I wanted my kids and their friends to know- this is supposed to be fun! As my kids grew up it became so fun to have the privilege to stay involved in their lives as something other than a parent. It's a total escape for me now. I'm not "Tim Hattrick- radio dj" on a softball field- I'm only Coach Tim. Plus- high school girls are hilarious! Quite entertaining!
9) I hear you have both sang or played on stage with some big names in Country music. Tell me about that!
Tim: We've sang and jammed with Keith Urban, Dierks Bently, Taylor Swift and Sara Evans. Steve Wariner wrote a song for us and we recorded it in his studio in Nashville! I got to do a duet with both Martina McBride and Wynonna! Are you kidding me? I have no right!
Willy: We have opened for Travis Tritt, Trace Atkins, and kicked off the Saturday of Country Thunder several times but probably the biggest thrill was getting a call from Steve Wariner to come to Nashville and record a song he wrote. Mind blowing.
10) After 20 years with KMLE, it may be hard to choose but what's the thing you are most proud of since you joined the station?
Tim: That we are both still really good friends. We both respect each other. We love our wives and our kids. We love working with Andrea. And we have over 100 friends on Facebook.
Willy: The day I got a phone call from my wife while we were on the air and she said "You are about 15 minutes away from being a grandpa. I rushed out of the station and got to the hospital with only about a minute to spare and was able to hear the first little cries from my grandson, Patrick.
1) Tell us where we must eat if we make it to Phoenix. What's the best meal in town?
Tim: Wow- tough question. Best steak: HandleBar J's. Best meal: Chelea's Kitchen. Best taco: Seirra Bonita. Best Pizza: La Grande Orange. Best Hot Dog: The Garage.
Willy: Espo's Mexican Restaurant on Ray Rd. in Chandler. Little old Mexican ladies working in a kitchen. It's the real deal.
2) Who has been your favorite artist to interview over the years and why?
Tim: Impossible! Keith Urban- so cool, nice, talented. Steve Wariner wrote a song for us to record. Taylor Swift was amazing from moment one. And- Garth has always been amazing.
Willy: This might seem cliché' but I'd have to say Garth Brooks. When you talk with Garth he makes it feel like the interview is as important to him as it is to you. He gets it.
3) What would be your fantasy job outside of the music industry?
Tim: Fighter Pilot, High School Math Teacher or Jack Bauer
Willy: If I couldn't do radio I would need to get a job having something to do with golf. I am not great but I am addicted.