10 Questions with ... John Lisle
March 19, 2013
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
I did afternoons at a Christian AM in Raleigh. Hymns, Southern Gospel, Jesus Rock, news, weather and some VERY GOOD NEWS. No tongues, though. As far as influences, I loved to listen to whatever I could pick up at night on AM skip -- especially WLS.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
I was part of a high school radio station in 1974 when I was 15, which led to me getting my 3rd class license, which led to me joining an Explorer Post at now-defunct Durham Life Broadcasting, home of WQDR, Lee Abrams' first "Superstars" station. We learned about all aspects of radio and I met all sorts of great people there like Bill Hard, Mike Koste, Frank Laseter, Chris Miller and the late Dave Berry. My "this is it" moment happened when I moved to Texas at 24 to work at KISS. I was by myself in a state where I knew absolutely no one. I wouldn't have done that if I wasn't committed.
3) You and Steve Hahn worked successfully together for many years at KISS in San Antonio. When and how did you meet him and how did you ending up doing mornings together?
I met him in Sept. of '83 while he was literally gnawing on some chicken bones I had earlier thrown away in the station break area. He was News Director and I had just been hired to do nights. We hit it off and became friends. In Sept. '85, John Hiatt and Trip Reeb put us together on the morning show
4) After you and Hahn left KISS, you dabbled in Internet Radio. What did you do and how did you like that experience?
LA Lloyd (now KLBJ PD), Drew Bennett and I did a little something called "Beaver Cool Aid" mainly to keep the chops up a bit. I liked the free-form freedom, but we all had conflicting schedules, so didn't end up doing many shows.
5) How has the transition from having a longtime morning partner (Hahn) to doing a solo act been for you?
STRANGE. I do have a technical producer, so I'm not completely solo, but the timing and intimate knowledge you develop with someone after almost 30 years is tough to replicate. It's certainly different. But, I don't have to catch wild pitches anymore.
6) How has the response in the market been to your return to the airwaves in San Antonio? Have you heard from many of the old Lisle & Hahn fans?
I've heard from a fair amount, but I believe in soft openings, so the word is slowly leaking out. You have to remember, I'm sitting in the morning show chair of what was my nemesis for 30 years. It's like going from the Yankees to the Red Sox.
7) How much show prep do you do and what are some of the key benchmarks of your show?
I do much more prep now that I'm on my own, probably two to three hours a day, most of it reading. Benchmarks? Right now none, except for, perhaps, my "view." I'm very organic and this show is a work in progress.
8) Are there any other morning shows around the country that you pay attention to?
What about Howard Stern ... has he been any sort of influence in your career in mornings?
I can honestly say I don't pay attention to other shows and never really have. I wish I could interview like Howard, but the rest of his show has never done much for me.
9) Tell us one of the best morning show moments on KZEP since your March 4th debut?
After all these years, not slipping up and saying "99.5 KISS."
10) Where did you get the name Possumhead and what does it mean?
My uncle slapped that nickname on me when I was a kid. I have no idea what it means.
You talk for a living but give us the lowdown on your favorite music ... both artists and songs?
I like Todd Rundgren a lot, but mainly, I just listen to the wild, non-stop jukebox in my head.
What do you read in the bathroom?