I had the extreme pleasure of being interviewed by Dee Perry a few months back supporting the Happy Dog Vinyl Swap. I reached out a couple weeks back to see if I could get back on the show and heard the sad news that Dee was retiring. Dee was a staple on my car radio during breaks from work. She interviewed the movers, shakers and just everyday people like me.
I caught Dee live one day while I was visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library. She was doing an interview with the staff. Terry Stewart was there along with famed Patti Smith guitarist (and vinyl collector) Lenny Kaye. It was the triple threat of shock and awe. I got to meet Dee, talk vinyl with Terry Stewart, and have a conversation with Lenny Kaye. Talk about the trifecta. I picked the right day to visit the Library.
To me, Dee was larger than life. She wasn’t just some local radio talent. I always felt she was broadcasting to the world and not just the little bubble of Cleveland. She was articulate. She actually researched what she was talking about. She asked real questions from the heart with absolute knowledge of her subjects. It was uncanny the depth of her knowledge of the people she would interview.
When I got called up to the big leagues (with much help from Brent Kirby and Dee’s producer Dave DeOreo) I was nervous to say the least. Dee was an idol. You have no idea how much I loved her show. I was going to sit in that seat across from her and tell my story. I was freaking out.
I arrived super early for my interview. Took the day off work even. Dave met me in the lobby of the downtown studios where he took me down the flight of stairs, down the corridor to the studio. Dee was there, sitting smiling, introducing herself to me. I didn’t need an introduction. I have known Dee half of my entire life listening to her amazing interviews. Dee in turn treated me like a friend, not a topic, not an interview subject.
There was some chitchat before the interview and the next thing I knew the headphones were on and we were live. She researched me, and what I was doing from emails between me and Dave. She asked all the right questions and wanted to hear the answers even though she already read some of them. It was like talking to an old friend in a cafe over coffee. I never felt more at ease in my entire life. I was talking to a friend about something I cared about. She is turn truly was interested in what I was doing, in my story, in what I wanted to do. We talked for at least a half hour, and it felt like 5 minutes. I rambled, we laughed, she brought me back in, we did it all in one take and I thought it was awesome. I shared it with everyone I knew, but I don’t think many got the true vibe of how totally geeked out I was that I was not only on the radio but I was on the radio with Dee Perry.
Dee is hanging up her microphone this Friday at 1pm on The Sound of Applause and I am actually misty as I type this to say goodbye to an old friend. To quote Nicholas Sparks in Message in a Bottle “This is not a goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you.”