WJCU is thrilled to recognize, for the first time, TWO hosts for DJ of the Month honors. Join us in congratulating Doc and Razor, co-hosts of The Mixing Bored, as our September DJs of the month! Get to know more about Doc and Razor, how they ended up at WJCU, what inspired their love for music and more below.
Q: First off guys, congratulations! I speak for all of us at the station when I say we are thankful for both of your contributions to the station over the years and for your dedication to The Mixing Bored. With that said, let’s go back to the very beginning, What brought each of you to WJCU to host the show?
DOC: My Dad and I built a HEATHKIT, which is a radio that you can build by following a set of directions. I estimate I was seven years old at the time because when he got it all hooked up the first thing I heard was a song by Herman’s Hermit’s called “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” And that’s 65-66 is when that came out. That got me interested in radio.
But in 1969 my brother was one of the original DJs at John Carroll, he was one of the very first people who was on the air. He used to let me come up and visit him and sometimes pick tunes but he wouldn’t let me talk. So I was up there in the late 60s early 70s when I was 13, 14 years old and obviously you can hang around a radio station at that age, that’s pretty exciting.
RAZOR: What brought me to JCU was Doc. This is actually, I think the third version of The Mixing Bored, the second on WJCU. So the show has had a multi-year lifespan. At the end of 2012, when the slot opened up that we’re currently in, Doc had reached out to Mark Krieger and expressed interest in taking that spot again. When Doc was awarded the show, he approached me about being a co-host with him and I had never done radio before. However, it was on my bucket list.
It was one of the few things in college that I didn’t get done and that was my own fault. A could years had gone by since I’d been on campus as a student, so it was still on the list. Just so happened that Doc reached out to me to do it and I said ‘as long as I can do what I want, I’m in.’ He said ‘you’re on,’ that’s all the encouragement I needed. I had been a listener to WJCU for a long time and I knew what Doc was all about and I just thought we could add something to the airwaves in Cleveland.
Q: You guys have the unique set-up of being co-hosts, something we don’t see a ton of at our station. What brought you guys together and what’s it like working together and bouncing ideas off of each other as you share the show?
DOC: I saw his daughter sing once and I thought she had a real nice voice. So my old friend Doc Dreyfuss, who I recently did that tribute show for, Elise and I used to sing to the 4th graders over at Gesu. At the time she was 12, I was 45 and Doc was 70, so three people of different age groups were brought together by music. And that’s how I really got to know Razor. We lived around the corner but I didn’t know him that well, I knew who he was cause we had kids going to the same school but it was his daughter, she sang at both of my parent’s funerals a song I wrote for The Hail Mary. But she and I became friends and when she was about 13 or 14 she joined our band and Razor used to come off for the rehearsals in my basement. So it was his daughter who brought us together and that’s when I realized ‘hey this guy knows a lot about music!’
RAZOR: At the beginning, we had no choice but to work together cause I didn’t know anything (laughing). So it was good for me to see, not only in training but when you’re on air to actually see a show in the process live and have someone in there with me. That lasted about a month maybe and then Doc said ‘well you’ve got it.’ I was mortified for like my first several months on air. And to be honest, I never really anticipated what being in a booth and basically having a dialogue with yourself was really like, so that was an adjustment at first. Eventually, you understand and you move on and you conduct your show and it gets to be more normal.
In terms of direction, Doc had written our mission statement, freeform rock and roll and that’s really the glue of our show. We embraced the freedom of college radio. We’re both old enough that we’ve got a historical perspective on rock. We’ve been around, not quite when the rock began to roll in the 5os but we’ve been around for a lot of the ride. I think that’s a strength that we have a wide range of knowledge of the music and we’re not afraid to play rock from five, six decades. A couple of times of year we’ll collaborate. We’ll get on a special project like the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and things like that and then we try to support each other through Radiothon, which is, of course, is important for the whole station.
Q: I’m sure there are a number of artists you both love but is there one, in particular, that really piqued your interest in rock music? Also, is there a favorite show you’ve put together over the years?
DOC: You have to understand the impact The Beatles had on music. I sat there with my brothers and sisters and watched The Beatles play a few times on Ed Sullivan and if you were paying attention you couldn’t help but be moved. So The Beatles were the first and the strongest influence. I don’t see how you could have been my age and not have gotten caught up in Beatle-mania so The Beatles first and foremost for sure.
And then I was a classic rocker pretty much until I went to Europe, which was right before I came to John Carroll — I spent a year in Madrid. So when I came back from that, that just blew me wide open and I was into a lot of European bands. In fact, if you happen to listen to The Mixing Bored I play tons of European bands. And Razor by and large plays mostly American bands. And that’s just, I lived over there, I went to concerts over there. In the size of a state like Texas, you have like 10 different cultures and a lot of that rubs off on you when you travel.
[As far as a favorite show], I can’t answer it. I mean, I started The Mixing Bored in the late 70s for two years. Then seven years at John Carroll, four years in Indiana getting my MBA, and now I’m back on eight years here for a total of 21 years; I’ve just done too many shows. I mean my dad when he died, I guess the show I dedicated to my dad, because you can’t get any closer than dad, you know? But I’ve done so many.
RAZOR: When I was growing up, and I’ve talked about this not he show before, it was really during the British Invasion. So I was a small kid, I had older brothers and an older sister so we had a lot of 45s of The Beatles and Stones of course. The Dave Clark Five, a lot of the British bands. So they were kind of my early favorites if you will. But I think most people when you get a little bit older into your teen years that’s where the music really starts kicking in and it really becomes more of a soundtrack to your life if you will. You internalize it a little bit more.
And so those bands that kind of came of age when I did were the glam rockers like David Bowie, T Rex, Mott the Hoople. And then about that same time was also kind of the heyday of some of the progressive bands like: Yes, Genesis and Emerson Lake and Palmer, and those were all bands that I liked and still love. By the end of the 70s the Zeppelins, The Whos, the Stones were tapering off and in 76 you had the cannon shot that was punk rock. 77 was really when it was embraced in American airwaves. That was an exciting time. So I like all those timeframes but I get bored listening to the same thing all the time so I love the new bands as well. So if you ask me what my favorite show was, certainly one of my favorite shows was this January when I did a review of the new music that came out in 2019. There were some classic bands in there, but there was also a lot of new and local bands in that show. I was proud of the way the show came across but was also pinching myself at how much quality new music there was, which is really a buzz for me.
Q: What’s the best part about hosting a show on a college radio station?
DOC: Turning on people to new music or bands. I got a communication from the Cleveland Institute of Music and one of the musicians said that they love The Mixing Bored. Because it varies week-to-week and they always look forward to it. That’s pretty cool, that those folks are artists and musicians, and they’re looking to The Mixing Bored for inspiration.
RAZOR: The most gratifying part is when you meet somebody you didn’t know that knows of you and is down for the mission if they understand what you’re doing. We’re a show that you need to have an open mind to listen to, so if people have an open mind and approach their music and appreciate what we’re doing, that’s very gratifying. You know we follow Bill Peters (Metal on Metal) and he’s an institution with a massive following — which was also very daunting at the beginning (laughs). But we hear from a lot of his listeners who stay on and listen to the show and again it’s really gratifying.