10 Questions with ... Jonathan Clarke
June 19, 2012
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
On-air at WPDH/Poughkeepsie, NY, WDHA/North Jersey, WDRE-WLIR/ Long Island, NY, WAXQ/NYC, Sirius/XM, WLTW/NYC.
Pretty much just one: the late great Scott Muni.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
First air shift I ever did was an overnight I did on an AM Classic Country station in Burlington, VT. My buddy was the PD who claimed, after several adult beverages, that I had a good voice for radio. Of course I said, you mean the face, right? Anyway, I did the overnight shift on a dare, in a studio where the board had to be 50 years old. I'm talking Frankenstein movie-type dials and knobs. Loved playing George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, etc. and at the end of the night I said to myself, "Wow, that was pretty fun. People get paid for this?" I was bitten by the radio bug then and there.
3) You host "Out Of The Box" at WAXQ. What is the concept of the show's format?
The show's moniker is that "Out Of The Box" features the best in the new music from Classic Rock legends as well as newer bands/artists. Plus, the best local, unsigned and undiscovered bands/artists from the garages and basements of the tri-state area.
4) What has been your favorite guest so far this year and why?
I had Gotye on the show right when "Somebody That I Used To Know" was breaking big. Such a nice, normal, humble guy. Also very recently, Neil Young, which was surreal and kind of blew my mind. He was eccentric, yet very cool. I always wanted to ask him about "Cinammon Girl" and the fact that the guitar solo is only one note. He said, "True, but I played that note a lot of times!"
5) Who is your dream guest that you have yet to interview?
A few. Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Bono, The Edge, Angus Young
6) A unique aspect of the show is your attention to the local music scene. Has anyone broken out of your local scene due to exposure on you show? Is there someone that should?
Yes, to name just a few, I was the first to play on New York radio then-unsigned local band The Strokes, The Gaslight Anthem, Robert Randolph and a band from L.A. called Maroon 5. Right now liking a lot, local bands Electric Sun and Vintage Trouble
7) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now, what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Without a doubt.
8) Where do you see the industry and yourself five years from now?
I'm not sure if there will be more consolidation or not. But I'm very excited to have all of this new technology available; it's really changing radio and how people listen. I'm very lucky to work for Clear Channel, especially now with the advent of the new iHeartradio app, which has really broadened our audiences locally and nationally. It's free, with no commercials, and has 11 times the songs compared to Pandora. Listening to us now has never been easier. Not to be a company shill here, but, I gotta say it is pretty awesome, and free. And me in five years? Hopefully doing exactly what I am doing now.
9) What are your three favorite artists or songs of this year?
Right now loving The Hives "Go Right Ahead," Torche's "Letting Go" and Anders Osbourne's "Send Me A Friend."
10) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on-air with a guest or a segment ?
My very first live on air interview ever was on WDHA. I was notified on the hotline by my PD that I was to interview Rickie Lee Jones, and oh yeah, that "She will be there in 15 minutes." So in walks Rickie Lee, with the legendary publicist for Madonna, Liz Rosenberg. I hadn't even listened to the new album, because I didn't have it, and had done zero prep in advance of the interview. I was a bumbling fool on the air. But Rickie Lee was cool, she said to me on the air, "This is your first interview, isn't it?" I said yes, and she said, "Don't worry, you're doing fine." Which was nice, yet still kind of embarrassing.