I’ve been very blessed over my career to meet some of the biggest names in the industry. Saturday night, April 8th was a very special night I will remember for a long time.
It started off at The Goodlife Festival at Encanterra in San Tan Valley. I have been out to many of the shows there for the past few years and I have seen some incredible shows! Saturday, April 8th was Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. Are you kidding me? Two huge stars on the same stage. Two performers who have influenced music in not only their own careers, but in the careers of so many other musicians.
After the show was finished, it was back into the car to take a drive further south for one more gig. Our sister station KMLE at 107.9 is a part of a HUGE country music festival called “Country Thunder“. The biggest of the big perform. Thousands camp out in Florence, Arizona for 4 nights of Country music. I have been there many times and let me tell you, it is an experience for anyone’s “bucket list”! So what in the heck am I doing at Country Thunder on a Saturday night? Oh, and by the way, the second gig here does not start until 11:30pm! On top of that, it is a private performance. Backstage in a VIP tent, set up for a fundraiser for the T.J. Martell Foundation. There may have been 75-100 people, so VERY private. I am co-hosting with Chad from the “Maria & Chad Show“. We are there to introduce Robin Zander, the lead singer from Cheap Trick. Robin has been a long time supporter of many charities, and when he was asked to come out and perform, it was a no-brainer. He brought his son with him. His name is Robin as well.
Chad and I introduced Robin on stage, and he brought up his son. They played Cheap Trick songs both old and new, and Robin then left the stage for his son to perform 3 of his own songs from his band. During the show, there were folks making donations to the T.J. Martell Foundation not only with their cocktail purchases, but at the donation desk. At the end of the night, it was a 80’s classic hit he rounded out the show with. “The Flame”. A song that came out when I was about 3 years in the business. A baby DJ in good old La Crosse, Wisconsin. An amazing song and an amazing performance. I recorded it on my cell phone. This is the video.
After the show, Robin spent time with some folks who wanted a picture and an autograph. I spent some time after as well, but let the folks get their time with Robin. I wait until last. Robin is awesome. He spends a good amount of time with everyone and takes pictures and signs autographs. I was told that we were supposed to go back by his trailer and we would meet up there. A few minutes later, Robin came back, and we were introduced. I said who I was and that I worked at 94.5 KOOL-FM and it was great to meet him. He smiled and thanked US for playing their music and for the next 10 minutes, I had a very casual conversation with Robin. It seemed surreal. Almost slow motion. We snapped a picture, I thanked him for his time, and he said “Nice meeting you Charlie.”. As I walked away, I kept saying to myself, “I just had a 10 minute conversation with a legend. A Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame legend!”. I’m still in awe.
As we walked around the corner, we ran into a family who was also at the private show. Turns out he donated $10,000 dollars. Yeah, ten grand! What a great guy. I won’t say his name, only that he had a big heart, and he was so happy to donate.