TFG1Mike the Podcast Machine
TFG1Mike recounts his adventures in listening to Radio, his inspirations of becoming a podcaster, and so much more. So get ready for some insight to the GCRN Co-Founder that you may not know about. As of June 4, 2018 TFG1Mike has been in approximately 2,011 GCRN Podcast episodes.
(SINCE THAT TIME……. IT’S PROBABLY AROUND THE 5,000 PODCASTS MARK…. also Mike has beeen trying to finish this since 2018!!!!)
EXPLICIT CONTENT: While I most likely do not curse in this memoir, the podcasts I create, produce, and publish do include EXPLICIT CONTENT Advisories. When I started out in the podcasting genre, I said that I did not, and was not making podcasts for children. I was making them for likeminded adults, who had the same interests as me. I also see using the EXPLICIT CONTENT warning label for innuendos and innuendon’ts as well! You have been warned, if you listen to any of the content I produce.
DISCLAIMER: If I leave any people out of this, please keep in mind that trying to effectively write about the last thirteen years of my life… well things might get left out.
The 1980s… A Decade that shall live on in infamy, for the music, for the fashion, for the TV shows, movies, and more. This was the decade I was born into. February 9, 1980, yup that’s my birthday. To me as a kid everything in the 80s was magical. Even now looking back on my childhood there are so many fond memories. From the cartoons, movies, and TV shows I watched…. to the music I listened to… I was and still am one of the ULTIMATE 80s kids. Morning Radio Shows were my favorite thing back then. I was born in Stoughton, Massachusetts, and lived in Kingston until I was 13. Growing up in Massachusetts it was a very unique culture. The New England accent and the way we talked was a thing of beauty. AND YES…. I CAN STILL…..
“PAAAHHHHKKK THE CAHHH IN HHAVVAAHHDD YAAHHHDDD”
Every morning before school I’d be listening to Loren & Wally on WVBF 105.7 Boston! Since I was a kid the 105.7 station has gone through several changes, but Loren & Wally have always been a constant. The station’s call sign now is WROR! In the 80s Loren & Wally and the music then WVBF played basically shaped what I liked in my musical tastes as a kid. They also helped shaped my now warped sense of humor. During this time Delilah After Dark was on from 7pm to 12am. She was based out of Boston at this time. I remember sending her a letter, and she sent me one back. I wish I still had that letter today. So from as far back as I can remember until I left Massachusetts in 1993 it was Loren & Wally in the morning and Delilah at night. Sure there were other Boston Radio Stations I listened to, but WVBF 105.7 was the main one. I remember even as a teenager… I didn’t even CARE if I got paid or not, I just wanted a job in Radio. ANYTHING it didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to be in the presence of the DJs and people I grew up listening to.
Then 1993 came, the year my whole life had to change. To shorten this story, and not divulge all the details… my Mom signed custody of me over to my Dad. At the time Dad was remarried, and living in Simpsonville, KY. Dad and my then step mother Beth had actually moved to KY in 1988 or 1989… I can’t remember at this moment, but they had already been there. I visited in 1990. Right around the time the Simpsons was hitting it big. As a 10 year old I thought the FOX animated family actually lived in Simpsonville! (CRAZY I know!), but I was only 10!, in KY on my visit… I discovered country music. Again I was 10, so you’ll have to forgive the next few lines….. At the time stayed with my Dad and then Stepmother… they listened to 97.5 WAMZ… one of the major Country music stations in Louisville, KY. THAT’S ALL THEY LISTENED TO!!!! Or that’s the way I remember it. The crazy thing was I got into the Country Music scene so heavily… I thought that was the only radio station in the city!!! I had thought hey this is Kentucky… they don’t have rock or pop just country. OBVIOUSLY I was wrong, but as I said before I was 10!!! I eventually did change the station and found the music I loved listening to when I was at home in Massachusetts. The CRAZY thing is I adapted to the country music very well. I learned to and really love Garth Brooks, Reba, Brooks & Dunn, and so many more. In 1998 I would even see Garth LIVE at Lexington’s Rupp Arena!
I’ve said this on Social Media, so I’m not revealing any secrets here. From 1995 to 1999 I was a ward of the state of Kentucky. I’m not going to go into any details about that, but I figured you as the reader should know my situation, and how this time in my life Radio played a big part. I was one of the lucky kids in State’s Custody. I only had 15 placements in 5 years. And the final one Father Maloney’s Boys Haven was my last one. I was there from 1997-1999. I think that was the longest placement I’d ever been at back then. I bet you are reading this asking yourself… what does this have to do with the Radio and podcasting. Well as it turns out everything. In 1993 at age 13, I didn’t WANT to leave my home in Massachusetts. I have no idea where I got this sense, but I’ve always hated major change. Even when we moved from the apartment we were living in to our house… as a kid I hated that. Obviously I learned to love the house, but I was now being taken from there too.
So in my off and on 25 years of living in KY… I’ve come to think that I’ve grown in my musical tastes, while at the same time retaining all the favorites I had as a kid. I’ve always tried to get in “good” with my favorite DJs from whatever Radio Station I loved. So throughout this time in KY I got to know and was able to chat with Morning show host Peter B. on 99.7 WDJX! As I said before I was always a Morning Show fan. Peter B. was hilarious, and I enjoyed every morning show he did. I even got to be in studio a few times when he was on, and just being there… watching him and his then co host… Shelly I believe her name was…. that experience was just awesome, and it really put the idea in my brain that I wanted to be in Radio. Peter B would go on to have other co hosts, the main one I remember being their up until his radio retirement was Kelly K. 99.7 DJX ruled at the time.
The next stop on my radio listening journey was 97.9 WCPR in Biloxi Mississippi. I lived there from December 2000 to March 2001, and again from April to June 2003. The first time I lived in Mississippi…. I found 97.9 WCPR the local Rock station!!! The morning show at the time there was Cruise & Rebecca! This team was awesome. They had all kinds of niknames for their listeners. There was 6:30 girl, because without fail she’d always call in at 6:30am. I was CP Man, because of my Cerebral Palsy. It was finally a name that celebrated me, without making fun of me. Sadly Cruise passed away in 2018.
As I’m writing this I had forgotten that I was back in Massachusetts for three years. From March 2001 to April 2003. During that time it was back to listening to Loren and Wally! However I wasn’t just listening to 105.7. Even though that was my Morning Show of choice, I also found 104.1 WBCN and 107.3 WAAF. I remember in the Summer of 2001, before the 9-11 attacks… WBCN had some sort of festival going on. Think of OzzFest, but it wasn’t called that. They were broadcasting it on the station, and I recorded it on a cassette tape at the time. It was truly the first time I recognized the band LIVE for who they were, and I’d then go through their catalog of albums, finding songs that spoke to me.
So after the Mississippi, Massachusetts, Mississippi stints I was back in Louisville, KY from 2003 until 2017. During that time my radio listening journey was a slow fizzle. What I mean is that at one point I think around 2007 or 2008 I stopped listening to the radio altogether. When I moved back from Mississippi in 2002 or 2003… I found NEW ROCK 105.1 WLRS. I know, I know…. Most Kentuckians know LRS was 102, and it was. However when I found the station, it was Mudd in the Mornings and AnnRae in the midday or afternoons. I can’t remember. I listened to that and LITE 106.9 for the longest time. I even checked in with 107.7 WSFR a few times during those years. Around late 2006 early 2007 I found podcasts on iTunes. I started listening to those more than anything on the radio.
RADIO AND PODCAST POWERS COMBINE!
From 2006 to 2015 I barely listened to the radio. At this time I was heavy into podcast listening, and then creating my own shows! I had decided to check in on 106.9 and 107.7 though, and I found the then Jeff and MJ morning show on LITE 106.9, and The Carter Mann Program on 107.7 WSFR, which was now The Eagle! I listened to Jeff and MJ off and on, it was more of a quick turn of the dial each morning to see what they were talking about. However I never stayed listening to them. (Sorry MJ)! The Carter Mann Program however, was something I interacted with on almost a daily basis, and I was listening every morning for all 4-5 hours of the morning show. Carter Mann and Laura Hardy were hilarious! I loved their characters Ernest & Edna, and I will say that was probably the number one segment I called into the show for.
Somewhere, between late 2015 and 2016… LITE106.9 became 106.9 Play, and Jeff was gone. Instead it was now Jesse and MJ. I listened to both 107.7, and 106.9 each morning, and interacting with both shows. Still to this day I love re listening to the old Carter Mann Program stuff, you can find some classic moments on YouTube HERE! I’ve had Jesse on several podcasts since that time. You can Catch Jesse’s Comic Origins Story HERE! Then he appeared on a HOT CAR AWARENESS episode, which can be found HERE! Jesse’s final appearance was a Comics Reaction episode of The Pull Bag, which that can be found HERE! Through 2016 and 2017 The Carter Mann Program was gone from The Eagle, but Laura remained and now gives you The Morning Soundcheck every weekday morning. All of the antics Carter and Laura would pull on each other, and their “Boss Jordan”. Plus the stuff Jesse and MJ were doing it was all just so damn funny to me. I needed that at the time in 2015, as that was the year my Mom died. Thank you to the 4 radio personalities that gave me joy during that time. Carter, Laura, Jesse, and MJ… you made my mornings brighter.
“SURRENDER YOUR LISTERNERSHIP!”
When it came to podcast listening… I was a huge fan of the DC Animated Universe cartoons. I found a podcast in 2007 called World’s Finest Podcast. I thought at the time that it was Bruce Timm and his team talking about making the various DCAU cartoons. Nope that was not the case. What it turned out to be was two regular guys sitting down, and recording their thoughts on EVERY episode within the DCAU. So they were covering 5 cartoons per podcast, for 100 episodes. This is where I got my whole thing of hey a podcast that is reviewing a piece of media, especially an animated series should be 100 podcast episodes. They reviewed BTAS, STAS, BatBeyond, Zeta Project, Teen Titans (even though it’s NOT IN CONTINUITY!, Justice League, and JLU! Michael David Sims and James Deaux were the first two podcast hosts I’d heard, and I thank Mike for the how to start a podcast emails he sent back to me at the time. Their shows normally lasted from one to three hours, and there were a few times when I’d listen to a whole episode in one sitting. During this time the job I had with Boys’ Haven was as a live in resident… I’d work nights, but my days were free to do as I pleased. I listened to other podcasts from Mike and James at Earth-2.net. You should check out Earth-2.net and all of their podcasts as well. Pretty much half my time I was listening to podcasts, 2007 was also when I found This Week in Geek. Back then they were on 90.1 The New Heat CRNC! I’d added them into my listening rotation as well as TFWIRE with Jesse, Spada, and Ryan. TFWIRE had other hosts with Jesse being the creator, but I can only remember Awa64 and Pirated TV Pro… if there were more, they have faded from my memory. TFWIRE was the first Transformers based podcast I listened to. I’d go on to actually podcast with Jesse, Spada, and Ryan over the years on other shows that I created.
Mike Steve, Steve Mike… or have ya met?
GREAT! What’d they used to call it STEREO?
I wanna say it was around April or May of 2008 when @SCP21 and I met online. Steve was looking for other Transformers fans, and shot me a message. Steve and I started talking through twitter, and eventually on Skype. We bounced ideas off of each other, talked Transformers, and a bunch of other stuff. I was a guest on Steve’s All Things Transformers Episode 09, just as The TFG1 Podcast Episode 01 had launched my first podcast!
When 2008 was coming to a close The TFG1 Podcast was in full swing, and we started thinking… hey we wanna do other stuff as well. We didn’t wanna just be known as those guys who do Transformers podcasts, although we would end up having 4 TF podcasts before it was all said and done! With this branching out idea, we wanted to create one central “network” for all the content. I don’t remember which one of us came up with the name we would eventually call it. However through the end of 2008 and into the beginning of 2009 we were gearing up for the launch of THE GEEKCAST RADIO NETWORK!
CO-HOSTS OR COHORTS!?!
PecanCtMichael Wilson, Kevin OptimusSolo Thompson, and later MovieRevolt Dan Clark aka the Comic Concierge round out the FEARSOME FIVE of The GCRN Core Staff. Steve and I might have created the network, but without these other friends… we wouldn’t have built GCRN into what it is today. If you get any of us, in any combination on a podcast the hilarity ensues! Seriously between Michael, Steve, Kevin, and I on Transformers podcast episodes… the DARK HUMOR really comes out. In 13 years of me being a podcaster, and 12 and a half of the network being online… I’ve worked with a lot of cohosts. Almost all the experiences have been wonderful. The reason for this is that I surround myself not only with people that share my interests, but we have great chemistry on the shows together. The one co host that didn’t gel with any of us at the time was GeekofTodd. I have no idea where he went after he was on ToonCast Episode 01: The Nintendo Cartoons. It just felt as if he didn’t fit in with what OptimusSolo and I were doing with the podcast. Plus I think he was a bit too young at the time. Hope he’s doing well these days.
OptimusSolo and I used to spend all night planning and plotting the future of ToonCast at the time, and his new TV review show The TeleCast as well. OptimusSolo and I would go on to do other podcasts like M.A.S.K.E.D. M.A.Y.H.E.M. and the Powers Of Grayskull Series (POGS)! Having two 80s cartoon review podcasts at the same time was a bit much. We were giving our listeners great content, but producing those shows… well let’s just say the art of podcasting is not just sit down, record a show, edit it quickly, and then post and promote it. The craft takes time. The M.A.S.K. review show after 14 episodes was too much for Kev. Well I should say that watching the cartoon was too much for him. So from Ep 15-30 I brought in long time listener, friend, and fan ToonMaster Tim Silvers. We finished off M.A.S.K.E.D. M.A.Y.H.E.M., and OptimusSolo returned for the final episode of the podcast. The Powers Of Grayskull Series has been going on for over 10 years now. We are two podcast episode releases away from finishing all 130 episodes, that we envisioned back in 2011. After EP 130, POGS will take on a whole new level of coverage, plus more! Kev and I have also done Transformers talk, movies, TV, and more.
Michael Wilson and I just need to keep the recorder on, because half the time we wanna podcast, we end up talking for an hour before we start the show! From the Transformers podcasts we have done to the Phineas & Ferb review show… POWCA! We certainly run the gambit of what we wanna podcast about.
Whomever I start a podcast with, or I want THAT person on a series of episodes… That’s what I want. I finish the stuff we start together. I cater podcast episodes to have the co hosts that want to be on said episodes. I can’t write this section without talking about TEAM ANGEL! LadyWreck, BeatlesDiva, HaHee Prime, and I have had a ton of fun over the years. LadyWreck and BeatlesDiva were my Misfits in the Jem cartoon and comic review podcast ShowTime Synergy. The four of us all worked on the Transformers Windblade character coverage inside The Pull Bag. It wasn’t until I met my future wife Karen in 2017… that I had not laughed as much as when I’m with Aimee “LadyWreck”, Nicole BeatlesDiva, and Heather HaHee Prime. Even though I’m an only child, they are effectively my sisters. We all give each other crap, but we can all have fun together. I’ll forever be their “Charlie”.
Sadly since starting to write this post back in 2010, not only did I meet, marry, and have to divorce Karen… she also passed away November 6, 2021…. UGH!
Michael Powers gave me the name for the comic podcast I’d eventually launch. The Pull Bag in part is all thanks to him.
Steve, Michael, and I finally met in person after 9 years, and that was at my wedding. If Kevin was there… oh boy what trouble we would have gotten into.
There have been many others that I’ve podcasted with, and I’d be here all day if I talked about each person. I just hope they know that whether we are still podcasting these days or not… I thank them for the friendship, and time spent on this “silly hobby”
Over the years the friendships I’ve made with people like Mike The Birdman, Alex Ricci, JT from Saskatoon, Ender, Ryan the UnEvenFlow, and more really mean the world to me. Through podcasting we can hang out, and talk about the stuff we love.
“UNLEASHING THE GEEK IN ALL OF US!”
June 1, 2009 The GCRN launched with returning shows All Things Transformers and The TFG1 Podcast, plus new shows ToonCast and GeekCast Radio. June 11, 2009 we launched ToyCast aka Transformers ToyCast. I started this with Gary Clark aka Optimus_Scourge and The GD Protoman! ToyCast would go from 2009 through 2011, and then sadly Optimus_Scourge passed away. I kept ToyCast going until 2014, and then it just stopped feeling like I should be doing the show without Gary. ToyCast did make a return in 2021, and is back now…..!!
On July 11, 2009 was the debut of the MWIRE… Movie Week In Review. We had a core set of shows that covered nearly everything in geek culture. GeekCast Radio was for the big stuff, the wider topics. ToonCast and MWIRE were for film and cartoon reviews, and the Transformers podcasts should speak for themselves.
13 YEARS of TFG1Mike!
“Just a buncha fuckin’ repaints.” – TFG1Mike December 8, 2008
“I might as well talk about myself, because no one else is.” –TFG1Mike December 10, 2018
13 Years ago on December 12th I began my “career” as a podcaster. It has been a long and winding road with highs and lows. In 13 years I have learned and grown a lot in my craft. I have talked with people that I never thought I would. It has been a fun ride, with 2020 being a huge hurdle…. My Computer and stuff was in storage most of the year, so in 2020 it was the least amount of podcasts I’ve ever done.
Since The GCRN’s inception we have done 99 interviews, and I’ve been on 90 outta 99 of them. I never thought in a million years we would get to talk with the people that shaped our childhoods. Larry Kenney was the first voice actor that we had interviewed back on September 7, 2009. Yes that’s right LORD LION-O from the 1985 Thundercats series.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED AND ADAPTED TO WITH PODCASTING SINCE 2008:
Back in 2018 I had the opportunity to read and listen to Neil Ross’s book Vocal Recall – A Life in Radio and VoiceOvers. I even released a new interview with Mr. Ross to promote the book, you can find that HERE! The reason why I bring this up is that there’s a quote in the book…
“The joy for me is in the performance, not the playback.” – Neil Ross
That really spoke to me, because since I started podcasting in 2008… I cared more about the recording of the podcast rather than what I sounded like after the fact. To this day that is somewhat still true, but there have been changes that I’ve tried to make, in order to sound better.
When I started The TFG1 Podcast, I had a crappy headset mic… literally one of the cheap wal-mart ones. It only took me 2 years to find and get a CAD U37 Condenser Microphone. After that it was 2014 when I got my JVC Headphones. I haven’t looked back since then. I had thought about getting a mixing board, and all of that jazz, but at the time I had been moving around a bit. So getting all that wasn’t gonna work right away. 10 years in I still don’t use any mixing board. Great headphones, and a microphone that has lasted longer than any computer I’ve had works for me!
Since starting this post, I’ve tried my best to adapt my podcasting style. After 13-14 years, I’m tired of review shows… as much as I love them, I need something else. Hence why I created the GCRN Origins. Originally it was just on The Pull Bag, getting people’s comic book reading stories, but now I’ve expanded it to toy collecting, cartoon watching, and even podcasting! Check out The GCRN Origins HERE! Hard to believe everything has happened since 2008….. UNLEASH THE GEEK IN YOU, and listen to podcasts!