El Paso Music Scene

Jack Lutz Interview

2/19/09
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EPMS: Where do you work right now?

Jack Lutz: Right now, currently at 101 Gold and The Rocket 99.5 in Las Cruces. Two different stations within the same company. 101 Gold is the oldies station, and The Rocket is the rock station up in Las Cruces.

EPMS: How does The Rocket differ from KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: There's a lot of difference between the two. For one, there are no DJs; there are no disk jockeys. As a matter of fact, I'm the closest thing to a DJ that The Rocket has. None whatsoever. Whenever we have a live event, they'll throw me out there, and I'll be live on location. Really, Charles, whenever there's an event, I'm the guy that's out there, always broadcasting live. I really do hope The Rocket gets DJs in the near future. I really do.

But music-wise, KLAQ is really adult album-oriented rock and roll. It's an AOR station. They'll play all the classic hits. They'll play the new hits. Really, they've always done a good job of having a good balance, of what's old and what's new. Now, with The Rocket, it's an active rock station. We'll play a lot of newer stuff, newer stuff, not necessarily... We won't play an A-side, we won't even play a B-side, from time to time. We'll go in there, we'll probably play something so out of the ordinary, and see if it becomes a hit. We like to experiment a little bit more with our music, but we like to maintain that top-forty attitude, ya know?

EPMS: Do you play a lot of unknown bands?

Jack Lutz: Yes, yes, we have a band out there that was really hot on myspace, called Hollywood Undead. There are a lot of times I can't stand rap and rock put together, but these guys make it work so well. These guys make it work really well. So, we like to go out there and find a lot of bands that could be popular, that we feel are going to become popular, that'll climb up those charts, you know?

EPMS: So, how would you describe kind of music on that station?

Jack Lutz: You really can't pinpoint that station down, because you will hear Metallica on one side, and then you'll hear Three Eleven. Then, you'll hear Killswitch Engage. Then, you'll hear really, a wide variety of music that you hear today, and that you've heard in the past, ten, fifteen, even twenty years ago. So, to answer your question, we do play alternative music, we also play heavy music. We also play yuppie music, we also play emo music, we play it all, baby.

EPMS: What do you actually do for your stations?

Jack Lutz: Right now, I'm a marketing consultant for Bravo Mic Communications, the company that owns 101 Gold and The Rocket 99.5. We also have two other stations: KOBE, it's an AM station, and Magic 105, kind of like an amalgam of Sunny 99.9 and KISS-FM, mixed together with 80s music, 90s music, and music today. We're really hitting a lot of different audiences with these different stations. I'm actually very proud to work with these guys.

Basically, I'm on the sales side as well. I'm going out there and making those stations money, selling advertising. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be on the other side of the building, selling ads.

It's weird, because I'll be driving down a street, and I'll be thinking to myself, "Are these guys advertising with us? Are they on the radio? Are they doing ads?" I never thought I'd be doing that, Charles, never.

Addition by Jack, as the interview was coming to "press:" I wanted to mention that just recently I'm doing midays on 101 Gold now from 10am-2pm......

EPMS: From a marketing standpoint, doesn't being all over the board make it hard to find an audience?

Jack Lutz: Not really. I think it's better. I think, the bigger range you have, the more people you're able to pull in. I really think so. I see you lifting up your eyebrows... I had a meeting with the business owner, and he was trying to grab eighteen-year-olds, he was trying to grab forty-year-olds. Let's be honest, eighteen-year-olds don't necessarily listen to the same music as a forty-four-year-old, but, on the other hand, we do like to play that taste of music that appeals to everybody, whether it be AC/DC, whether it be Metallica, whether it be Ramjam. Gosh, the list could go on and on. There's a station called JACK-FM, I don't know if you've heard of them. It started up in Chicago. Huge. It started to die down when it came down here to the southwest. JACK-FM started annihilating, annihilating radio markets, by playing whatever music they feel. All types of requests, and this pulled in so many people. The idea of them playing, I don't know, let's go with King Crimson. Playing King Crimson, then all of a sudden you hear Rage Against The Machine. To go that far out there in the musical spectrum... That does, in my opinion, gather up a lot of listeners. It could have a very positive effect. Charles, I will agree with you. It could have a negative effect, too, but I think, where we are right now has a great effect on our listener base.

EPMS: Another problem caused by doing it that way, is you get a mixed demographic base.

Jack Lutz: But that's the good thing. Why can't it be everybody? Why can't you sell to the sofa shop, and on the other hand, to the bowling alley, or maybe a linen store, you know, like a store like Hot Topix, or something like that? What's wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with that.

EPMS: Well, if you look in the sports section, that's where you see the strip clubs advertised.

Jack Lutz: Sure, right next to the movie section some times. I'm familiar. LOL.

EPMS: Why do you think they do that?

Jack Lutz: I know what you're getting at, I really do, because they know that guys, hormonal guys that watch sports, are going to be looking, "Oh man, Denver just won this game. Oh, look who's dancing at the Red Parrot!" I know what you're getting at. It's targeted at certain people. I know exactly what you're getting at. Why can't it be that mom and pop company, too? Why can't it be the movie theater, the bowling alley... I think in radio, there's no such thing as spreading yourself too thin when it comes to advertising, because it's all about making money at the end of the day.

EPMS: Tell me about these live events.

Jack Lutz: We're live right now, every Friday at Q Time, which is a bar right next to the bowling alley in Las Cruces. We've been there the past month or so, giving away concert tickets. The last time we were doing Disturbed concert tickets. This time, we're doing Slipknot concert tickets, and we want to get a lot of people down there, because it's a good time. We want those live events to be a party. A party with The Rocket crew, and I want a lot of people to feel welcome. I'll be live down there, and I'll say, "You want to hear something? Throw it at me. I'll catch it, I'll play it." I'll speak to the other person on the other end of the phone, and I'll say, "Play this song." We will be that jukebox inside that bar. There are times, we finished with the remote, and the owner said, "Can you keep playing? This is going good," and we'll stay, we honestly, at the end of the day, we want to have a good time, Charles.

EPMS: Do you sponsor live shows? Like you said, The Disturbed... Do you show up in an official capacity?

Jack Lutz: Yes, yes. with The Disturbed concert, we did a giveaway, a prize package, where the winner of the grand prize will get dinner at Risotos, they'll get a meet-and-greet with the band, and they get to go down from Las Cruces to El Paso in a limo, in style, and that's part of what we offer, and I get to go with these people to the concert. And we're going to do that again with Slipknot.

EPMS: Do you get in on the same shows with KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: We like to get in as much shows as possible. If it's something that's currently playing on the radio that we play, if it's something that's popular, we'd love to attach our name on that.

waitress talk

Jack Lutz: I've got to tell you, when I was at KLAQ, I didn't drink. I didn't drink at all. It's a common misconception. I hated the taste of alcohol, I really did, and I honestly, I guess, I really looked down on people that drink. In the business, especially, people that work with me, and I'm sitting here going, "Man, who am I? How am I any better than so-and-so that's drinking this or drinking that, you know?" And I guess, when they let me go down there, man... That's a story you 've got to hear. When they let me go, I guess I learned how to loosen up a little bit, I learned how to live a little bit more, you know?

EPMS: Why did KLAQ let you go?

Jack Lutz: Well, they fired me. They fired me. I mean, Charles, I was a young punk. I was a punk. I was a punk kid that, when I first got into radio, all I cared about was meeting girls and being locally famous. That's all I cared about, you know? Speaking on the radio came secondary, it really did, and I think toward the latter part, when I was at KLAQ, I started to realize that, but it really was too late, because, I think that having Courtney Nelson and Brad fire me was the best thing they could have ever done. At the end of the day, it was the best thing they could have ever done. I hated taking orders from people I hated taking direction, you know? I really thought that my way was going to get results, and, LOL, ultimately it didn't, and it ended up with them letting me go. I guess, it took me - I must have been twenty-two at the time - it took me three years to find humility, three years to find out, to try and find, I don't know, certain virtues that would balance me out, you know, and humility was one of them.

And, I just really didn't get along with my co-workers. They were great guys to work with. At the end of the day, these were some guys, that, they knew what they were doing. They had good heads on their shoulders, and I just didn't see things their way. I just didn't see things from their point of view. It's a huge regret that I have.

EPMS: They fired you for being a pain in the ass?

Jack Lutz: They fired me for being a pain in the ass. They fired me for a number of reasons, really, for not working well with others, for, you know, legal paperwork, logs and stuff like that. FCC logs, stuff that I would think was secondary, and one of the biggest reasons, too, was, I would look at it as a party. There would be people in the studio with me, and that's a big no-no. You can't have anybody outside in the studio, and Courtney would come in, and he'd see people in the studio, and he'd say, "What the hell's going on?" And I can't blame him for being vicious, you know, because anything could happen. Honestly, anything can happen, anything has happened in that studio, not only when I was there, but with past people, too.

EPMS: Like what?

Jack Lutz: Oh, I mean, parties and such. I don't want to get too much into it, but well, I guess I could get a little into it, LOL. I mean, there would be parties in there. people would abuse...

EPMS: While you're working?

Jack Lutz: Yeah, people would abuse, myself included, the studio... Again, because, I said, you know what, I'm on the radio, this has to be a party. I don't want to be in this booth by myself. Boy, let me tell you, that was a slap of reality, it was a great slap of reality in the face when they fired me, you know? And, I didn't get back into radio for three years, Charlie, three years.

EPMS: What did you do for the three years?

Jack Lutz: The only other thing that I knew how to do, at the time, was gamble. that's the only thing I knew how to do.

EPMS: Did you make money at it?

Jack Lutz: I made money for three years at it. Let me get into that. My father was a gambler, was a poker player. So was my mother, and my two sisters as well. I came from a family of gamblers. and that was really the only thing I knew how to do. When I was sixteen years old, I was counting cards before counting cards became popular in mainstream culture. and so, I went out there, really threw caution to the wind and I didn't care where I ended up. I would go from game to game in my car. I would try to find games, not just here in El Paso, but games elsewhere. I'd be a road gambler. There'd be times where you'd go from feast or famine.

EPMS: You're not talking about Las Vegas, you talking about games where there's a guy with a shotgun at the door, right?

Jack Lutz: Basically, yeah. Those types of games where you play with a bunch of shady people.

EPMS: Did you ever get in trouble, get beat up?

Jack Lutz: Oh, yeah. Not a bunch of times. Let's just say, when you win so many times, people call that into question, want to know, why is this guy doing this? why is he doing that? Why is his lucky streak continuing and continuing? Yeah, I did get my ass kicked, but you know what, I needed that. I was, believe me...

Do I regret that part of my life? No. I don't regret that, it toughened me up. I saw a lot of things I wish I'd never seen. I saw a lot of things that I'm glad that I did see, because, it took one night where I had lost a lot of money, and I had a breakdown. I broke down. I didn't have any place to go, I mean, I was traveling a lot in my car, the same old beat-up Cavalier that I got today, and there'd be times I'd be sleeping in my car, I'd be sleeping in my car. I wouldn't have a place to stay. I didn't know if I'd be able to make rent, you know? Here I am, sleeping in my car, waking up, getting ready for this game that I was going to do well in or not. Didn't know if I was going to make money or not, and you know what, at the time, I didn't care. I wanted to see so many different things, and I wanted to... This may sound bad... I wanted to get knocked down. I wanted to get knocked down, I wanted to... my whole life. I thought that life didn't really hit me hard. It didn't hit me, and I wanted to get hit, I wanted to feel certain pain that other people went through, and I wanted to feel what it was like to truly be out on your own, you know? And it was tough, believe me it was tough. Waking up in your car, some place foreign that you don't know about, and one night I'd lost a lot of money, and I had a breakdown.

And, I'm not a religious person, but I started praying to God, and I said, "Lord, this is not what I want to do with myself. I'm not my father. I'm not my mother. Give me something, give me something," you know, "Show me some thing, and I'll take it, I'll run with it. Anything at all, just a nibble, and I'll bite onto it.

And about a year and some change ago, I met another ex-KLAQ DJ, named Lisa Marie, at a bar, at Aaron's Bar, and we became close, and we were talking, and she introduced me to a friend of hers in radio, K.C. Counts. K.C. Counts. She was a reporter here in El Paso, and she did radio for The Fox, and now she's the program director for all four stations up in Las Cruces. For 101 Gold, The Rocket, KOBE, and Magic, and she hosts the morning show with Mike McKay on 101 Gold. So, she introduced me, and I 've got to tell you, I was so nervous meeting her, I didn't know if I could still do radio any more, it was three years since I haven't done radio and, at the time, before then, I had so much venom in my body...

I had so much venom in my body for KLAQ firing me. I blamed so many other people when I should have blamed myself, you know? At the end of the day, I should have blamed myself. And I did blame myself, and, I figured, if I get this chance, I'm going to play this game so much differently. If I get back into radio, this is going to be played so much differently. I'm going to have a different approach.

So, I'm so, so nervous when I met her. We went out, and we had a good time, and she's talking to me: "What if, what if, you come work with us... If you do, when, when you start working with us." The conversation started shifting, "When you start working with us." I'm thinking, "Oh, my God, I'm in." She brings me up one day to meet everybody at the station, LOL. And I've got to tell you, I've never met so many cool people in my life.

She brings me up there, and she introduces me to everybody. She pulls me in her office. She says, "Well, we don't have anything for you right now." I'm thinking to myself, "Son of a bitch, why'd you bring me up here?" I just wasted four gallons of gas, back and forth... So I'm thinking to myself, "Man, why'd you bring me up here?" So, she said she'd call me if something freed up, if something came up. So I said, "Nice to see you again," and I'm thinking, "God, I hope I hear from her again."

And, around in November, I went up to Sandia, the casino in Albuquerque, around Thanksgiving. My mom and I went up there, we went to play cards, and I remember doing really well, really well, and I haven't touched a card game in a while, at that point, and I was doing really well, made a bit of money. My mom made a bit of money, it was a really good little vacation. Thanksgiving, and I remember, I went back to my room, feeling unfulfilled. It didn't do it for me anymore. That fix, that gambling fix, just didn't work for me any more, and I realized that radio is what I loved.

It's what I missed, and what I was telling you, the first reason I got into radio was, I wanted to meet girls, I wanted to be locally famous, and I remember seeing American Graffiti on TV, up at the resort. And, I remember seeing Richard Dreyfuss driving back in the car, hearing Wolfman Jack's radio in the background. "All right everybody, this is the Wolfman, coming to you, blah blah blah," , you know? And these guys are driving, and they're having a great time, and the whole movie's based around them driving, and the radio's in the background. They're having such a good time, and I'm sitting here going, "I want to be that guy. I want to be that guy on the radio, supplying that good time."

To be giving that good time, that guy that people are listening to in their car at home now, and my attitude, Charles, just.. And it changed, I guess. The man I was, and the man that I wanted to be met at that point, and I'll tell you who won out. It was the man that I currently am right now, you know? It was around September. No, December, when K.C. called me up. She said that she would like for me to come in and work for them, so, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to K.C. Counts.

EPMS: Who is the man that you are now?

Jack Lutz: I think, the guy that I am now is the guy that's very grateful. Very grateful for what I have now, very grateful for where I'm working at. I'm grateful that you're sitting down talking to me, you know? I honestly am, Charles. I think the man that I am now, is still the Jack that likes to have a good time, but the Jack that, you know, knows when to get serious, knows when to work, and knows what needs to be done in order for the job to be done well and right and perfect, in my opinion.

EPMS: Are you religious now?

Jack Lutz: A little bit more now than I was back then, because there has to be a divine plan for me, for you, for all of us you know? This universe isn't a blind... it's not a blind and impassionate, meaningless universe. It's not, and I have to get used to that.

EPMS: Are you, then, slightly religious?

Jack Lutz: Slightly. LOL. Yeah.

EPMS: When you were gambling, did you cheat?

Jack Lutz: Why, what have you heard? Who have you played cards with? LOL.

I gave myself an edge. I gave myself a huge edge. Whenever I was playing... I gave myself a huge edge. I hated losing, and there were times, when I first started gambling, when I first started out, I would do, honestly, not blatantly, but I didn't like losing, and I wanted to give myself an edge. During the latter part of my gambling career, I became a purist. You know, I used whatever skills that I learned to give myself an edge. I used that to beat people that were doing what I did, you know? And I guess that was just me growing up. You know, I was trying to clean myself up, clean my image up, and like I said, it was the only thing I knew, the only thing I knew how to do. I didn't want to be known as Jack Lutz, the Cheat. I wanted to be known at the time, which was stupid, as Jack, the Gambler. The guy, the risk-taker, the Gambler.

EPMS: Could you go to Las Vegas right now and make money?

Jack Lutz: Yeah. I have done it. I have.

EPMS: Playing what game?

Jack Lutz: Playing Deuce to Seven Lowball. Deuces and lowball is like Five Card Draw. It's where the worst hand in poker wins. Have you heard of that game? It's the worst hand in poker.

EPMS: You play it aginst other people?

Jack Lutz: Other people, yeah. When you're playing poker, it's against other people.

EPMS: I looked into this, years ago, and I had read that it's impossible to make money playing poker in Las Vegas without hustling people, because the casino takes, over about an hour, one hundred percent of the pot out.

Jack Lutz: No, oh, no. The house would take a rake, it's called a rake, and they would take a percentage out of each pot that exceeded a certain amount, usually ten percent. I know what you're saying. If you're not in it, if you're not in the pot, then you don't lose any money. It's plain and simple. If you're not in it, you won't lose. Folding is winning, contrary to popular belief. If you're not in the pot, you're not losing any money. If you're in it and you win, they take a small, minuscule percentage.

EPMS: I had looked into being a professional gambler, many years ago, but it's too late to do that, now.

Jack Lutz: It's never too late.

EPMS: Well, you get a little older, your memory isn't what it used to be.

Jack Lutz: Well, it's very skill-based (poker), it really is. You're not playing your cards, you're playing against the player. Don't get me wrong, I'll be sitting there playing blackjack, that's all I'd do, if I was in the mood.

EPMS: Did you see the movie, "21"?

Jack Lutz: I did, I did. The movie is such an exaggeration of the book, "Taking Down the House." You've got to read Taking Down the House.


EPMS: What's it like being a celebrity?

Jack Lutz: Charles, I don't consider myself a celebrity, man. LOL. I really don't think I'm a celebrity. I think that what I do is therapeutic, you know? I think that, if I can come across as somebody and maybe brighten their day over the radio, and make them feel better, that's also therapeutic to me too. For me to be thinking, "Oh,I'm a celebrity now," that style of thinking, for me is really... It's really been checked, been checked out the door. And I think, right now, celebrities are, you know, Don Haskins, God rest his soul, the mayor of El Paso. I consider doctors, and the lawyers who get you out of trouble, to be celebrities. For me, man, at the end of the day, I'm just a guy that plays music.

EPMS: Do you ever DJ in clubs?

Jack Lutz: No, no, no. That's a whole different thing. Those guys are great, too.

EPMS: What skills do you wish you had, that you don't?

Jack Lutz: Well, a lot of things. I wish I had the skill to be more understanding of other people. I wish I could have the skill to understand myself most of the time, when I'm angry, or whenever I feel a certain way. I wish I had the skill to buy that girl down there a drink, which I'm probably going to do. Just watch, I will. It's a very good question to ask, Charles. Certain skills that I wish I had? The skills that I aspire to have, I think I can still achieve to have. The virtues, that's a different thing. I wish I could be more patient. I wish I could be more giving. I wish I could be... I wish I could be more virtuous. I wish I could be a more virtuous person.

EPMS: Why aren't you religious?

Jack Lutz: I think that...

EPMS: You're trying to be religious, without being religious.

Jack Lutz: Maybe I am. I think my belief is, not to have a belief. This is what I was trying to tell you. To find humility... I don't want to be that overbearing bible-thumper. I don't want to be that guy. That's an annoying guy.

This is going to blow your mind: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." That's Proverbs 27:14. I could quote the Bible to you. You know, I could. Growing up, my grandmother had an open bible in her house, and that's where my mom and I lived when I was in high school. I did go to church, but I guess you could say when I started in my career, when I started in radio, gambling, back into radio, I didn't have any direction in my life, and I had to have some sort of direction, and I think that trying to be the best person I can, to be the most virtuous person I can, to find myself, and to put belief in myself first, was my number one priority, and not to be condescending toward other people, because shit, man, I'm no better than you, you're no better than me who am I to preach, "This is who I am now, this is who you should be." I think we all, at certain times, need to take a look at ourselves, and try and fix ourselves, whether it's for the best or for the worst. I don't know. Am I blowing your mind? LOL.

I think that I owe God a debt of gratitude, a huge debt of gratitude. like I said, I hate to come across as religious, but I do owe a whole lot to God, I really do, because he's the one that put me on my path that i'm on right now. At the end of the day, he's the one that's put me on my path. I'm thankful for so many reasons. I'm thankful for working where I'm at. I'm thankful for being a better person, for trying to become a better person.

Some women that Jack had been paying attention to leave the bar.

These girls are leaving... I won't be able to buy them a drink...

EPMS: Are you a ladies man?

Jack Lutz: I would not consider myself a ladies' man, because a ladies man would have girls around, and girls on his cell phone calling him up. He'd meet with a different girl evey night. I wouldn't say that I'm like that. I date around, I love to date, I love women. When I was younger, I loved women a lot, and I do date around. I'm very old-fashioned when it comes to dating. I believe, as a man, as a male, you should go out there, and... This is what I do. I go out there, and I date different girls, and if I become serious with one of them, it's just her. She's the only one.

EPMS: Have you ever been married?

Jack Lutz: A long time ago. A little while back. We actually had something annulled. Charles, I don't know if that should count, I don't know if that counts.

EPMS: Do you wish you could do something different in that situation?

Jack Lutz: That's the one regret that I have in my life. Let's just say that the knot's been tied with somebody else. That's the one regret that I do have.

EPMS: Tell me about your co-workers.

Jack Lutz: I'm glad you asked me that, it's a great question. I work with a great group of people. First off, K.C. Counts, and K.C. doesn't like to hear this...

K.C. doesn't like to hear this, but I think K.C. saved my life. I think she did. She's the one that went out on a limb and hired me. She's the one that stuck her neck out and decided to bring me in. I know she doesn't like to hear that, but I'm saying it right now. K.C. Counts saved my life, because, who knows what I'd be doing right now, how in deep in my old lifestyle I'd be. If K.C. Counts asked me to crawl across a floor full of broken glass, I'd say, "How far do you want me to crawl." I love that woman, she's the best.

But, I also work with Mike McKay. Mike McKay is the vice-president of Bravo Mic Communications, and he's the co-host of 101 Gold. And, I've learned more from Mike, in the first month I was working there, than I ever did when I was in radio. He taught me how to really just conduct myself on-air. Those two, I can't say enough about them.

I also work with a gentleman by the name of Shannon Ellis, who I think has got a great head on his shoulders. He's one of the best production guys I've ever worked with Shannon's one of the best production guys I've ever worked with.

Magic Mike, up in Las Cruces, the guy can do anything. The guy is one of the best DJs I've heard, he basically does the morning show on Magic 105 by himself.

The sales staff, those guys are great. I can honestly tell you, I haven't gotten into a fight with one single person there.

Hell, the GM and I even get along. Mike Smith. I've never had a relationship the way I've had with Mike Smith. You would think we're having a fight, if you walked in on a conversation that we're having, you'd think we're having a fight, but I respect that man more than any other boss that I've ever worked with. That's who I work with.

EPMS: What were your co-workers at KLAQ like?

Jack Lutz: You know, I 've got to tell you, I fucked up when I was working there. I really did. I fucked up. Those guys are a great group of guys, let me tell you, as eccentric and as weird as they may seem from time to time, you know? Looking back, I had so much venom, but I 've got to tell you, Charles, they were good people, they still are good people.

I was on KLAQ's web site, and I'm checking out this erotic ball that they have. I'm looking, and it seemed like everybody was there. Courtney was there. I always pegged Courtney as the type of guy, that, when he became the boss, I always pegged him as tht type of guy that really didn't know how to have a good time, and I was looking at these photos and I'm shocked. I'm dumb-founded, and I'm wowed at these photos, how good of a time Courtney's having. How good of a time Ricky's having, you know?

Rick Mardi Gras, who's doing seven, I believe, until eleven. I've known him since like the 3rd grade, and I think that guy has an obscene amount of talent. I think that guy is the future, if he keeps doing what he's doing. He's the future of that radio station, and, you know, overall, I'd have to say, the guy that I respected the most, and I still respect the most, would have to be Courtney. Like I said, it was the smartest thing for him to ever do at that time, the smartest thing he ever did, was to fire me. And if I could go back, I'd say, you know, you did the right thing.

EPMS: Do you hang out with any of those guys at KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: No, it was like, it kind of sucked because Mando and I were really close. Mando, the monster, that guy was like a brother to me. That was the one guy that I confided with, the one guy that I thought that, if we would ever get out of this town, we would do radio together. Do a morning show together, something like that. I considered him my brother, and when I was fired from there, it was like getting kicked off the football team, you know, that old feeling where you get kicked off the team? No one talks to you after that? No one talked to me. And you know what, I can't blame them. For doing what they did, for not talking to me. It kind of hurt me, not hearing from Mando and all. I still haven't heard from him

EPMS: It sounds like it still hurts.

Jack Lutz: You know, it kind of does, because I loved that guy. I still do. I don't want to make it sound all brokeback-y-ish, that was the one guy, I figured, that this was a true friend of mine. I guess it didn't work out that way.

EPMS: What was it like when you first got hired at KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: I felt like, you know, I'm going to be the popular kid now, you know? People are going to hear me now. I'm going to be known now. It was a huge ego thing. I know that this happens to a lot of people. I handled it very poorly. When you first get into radio, you feel like you are that celebrity. You're untouchable, you can do anything for your friends. I felt like I was bulletproof.

EPMS: How was it that you got into KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: I was doing some announcing when I was in high school. I was doing Football Friday Nights, and I was announcing every Friday, the home games at Coronado High School, the PA announcing, and I bumped into a guy named Jaime Chavez, who worked for KROD 600 doing Football Friday Nights. And Jaime Chavez said, "Well, why don't you join us? We're going to TGI Fridays." Remember TGI Fridays here in town? It was open back then, to show you what's changed. Anyway, we went to TGI Fridays. Jaime Chavez introduced me to Steve Kaplowitz, and I was about to get up and leave, and Steve said, "Why don't you do some Football Friday Night radio with us? OK! That's where it all started. Man, that's where it all started.


EPMS: How long have you been at your current job?

Jack Lutz: About a year and two months... Year and three months.

EPMS: You did Q Connected when it started, right?

Jack Lutz: I was the first host of Q Connected. That was our baby, that was me, Glenn and Courtney's baby. We sat and figured, what could we do to bring local bands, to bring new music together. More so Courtney, Courtney deserves the lion's share of that project.

EPMS: You don't have any bad feelings toward KLAQ?

Jack Lutz: None whatsoevever. I wish I could tell you I do, but no, I mean, like I said, I can't blame them for feeling the way they did about me at the time, I can't blame them at all.


EPMS: What was your most memorable on-air accident?

Jack Lutz: LOL. On-air accidents? LOL. I'd have to say, hosting Sports Talk with Steve Kapolowitz one night, and he was live over at Hudson's, and something happened. We went to break, and I hit the button to go to break. I couldn't hear anything, and I kept saying, "What the fuck? What the fuck's going on? I can't hear myself!"

And, my microphone was on. Needless to say, I was written up.

Another happy litle accident was my first ever on-air gig on KLAQ. I went in right after Scott Ronson, and I was doing an overnight, and Scott left all this beef jerky in the studio. I've never eaten beef jerky in my life, that's the God's-honest truth. And I'm sitting here, and I'm eating.

I'm going from, I don't know, midnight until six in the morning, eleven until six in the morning?

All I had in the studio was like, ten pounds of beef jerky, so I'm eating this beef jerky. I come on and I say, "All right, crank this one up, this is Nirvana..."

BLECCH!

I vomited on the air.

EPMS: Anything else?

Jack Lutz: Oh, yeah. We're live at Hooters. We're live at Hooters, and I said, "OK, we're giving away concert tickets to the first person that buys me a beer, LOL. I'm going to give you concert tickets." And I'm drinking a beer on the air, and I'm sitting, "Oh, wait, I can't do that? What kind of world are we living in?"

Nothing really major, that's about the worst I could give you.

We've been at live events where, let's say we're at Pool Tech Plus. I was at Pool Tech Plus once, it was really cold outside, and I said, "You know what, whoever's going to come up here and tell me '101 Gold is my favorite radio station,' I'm going to jump into this pool outside. I don't care how hot or cold it is."

People started showing up. I had to jump into the pool. Next thing you know, it became a pool party. We had a wet T-Shirt contest. This place where kids are showing up, I'm going, "Oh, no, we 've got to keep this family-oriented. This is an oldies station."


EPMS: Does it seem to you that there's a lot of satanism in metal today?

Jack Lutz: I hate to play devil's advocate here, Satan's always been a part of music, ever since the birth of metal, the birth of the evil chord, the devil's chord, you know? I think that it's a little bit more, more known now It's like bands are almost shoving down our throat, Satan this, Satan that, we worship him this, we worship him that. But it's also getting scary, to the point that, they're taking this thing to a whole other level. You'll hear stuff that happens overseas. Churches will burn down, and you'll have ritualistic burnings of people, all in the name of Satan, and they'll put this in music, and its endorsed by certain bands, and I think that today, I think you should have the right to have that release in music. You should have that right to express yourself, but I think that we as the listener still ultimately have control over what we want to listen to, What we should listen to. What our kids listen to. It'll be bad, trust me, if Michael Buble starts singing about Satan. It'll start getting really bad when Mariah Carey starts wearing an upside down cross. It kills me to say it, because I don't like talking about mainstream stuff. If it's away from the eyes of of the pop culture, then I think that we're OK.


EPMS: Tell me who, what national bands that nobody knows, that you think are great.

Jack Lutz: Five Finger Death Punch, I think those guys are phenomenal. Also, The Harlem Shakes, Volbeat, and the Cold War Kids. Basically, we all salivate when the Warped Tour happens; that's when we love to see bands that are flying just below the radar that are so talented and deserve a bit of air play.

EPMS: How about your favorite major live shows?

Jack Lutz: Oh, Beck. Slipknot. That's without a doubt, top five. Metallica will always be number one for me. Also something that's in my top five... These guys were the first band that I saw when I was a kid, and I saw them again, was a band named Gwar. Let me tell you, being nine years old, and seeing a floating penis onstage, and a swallowing vagina, seeing Oderus Urungus dressed up as the devil, that fucks you up as a kid. LOL.

EPMS: What artists can you not stand?

Jack Lutz: I'm actually thinking about this.

EPMS: You mentioned Mariah Carey.

Jack Lutz: I love Mariah Carey. No, I think she's hot. She's a great singer. No, I love her.

EPMS: Madonna...

Jack Lutz: I like Madonna. I like Michael. On my way over here, I was jamming to Rockwell, "Somebody's Watching Me." Michael Jackson singing in the background. I listen to Michael all the time.

EPMS: So, who can't you stand?

Jack Lutz: Someone I can't stand... I know I got somebody, I know I do... Whenever I'm in the studio, I'm like, I can't stand these bastards! I could never stand Jet. I could never get into The Strokes.

EPMS: Who are your favorite live local bands?

Jack Lutz: Favorite live shows. I'd still have to say, Abnik. Local band here in town. Abnik. Jeremy. I'd have to say, Eufonico Fringe. I'd have to say...

EPMS: You like them as bands or as people?

Jack Lutz: I like them both as people and as bands. Let's also throw out, Zechs Marquise, out there. I like a lot of local bands, and as bad as I think the local music scene is really suffering, there's a lot of good local bands out there. That's a can of worms all in itself.

EPMS: So, what's wrong with the local music scene?

Jack Lutz: The last time you and I spoke, which was four years ago, look at all the places that have closed down. The HORR bar. T-Time. The list could go on and on. Surges. The list could go on and on, about clubs that have closed down that handled live music, you know? I really think that the music scene here is very biased. You have your club owners... I know you know who I'm talking about. You have your club owners, and your bar owners, and their friends, and friends of their friends, that will only sign big bands, you know?

EPMS: I think almost all of the venue people suck.

Jack Lutz: Well, you were dissing on Joe Dorgan... Like I said, it's very biased. You don't really have an open market for a lot of bands that are out there, a lot of musicians that are out there.

EPMS: What needs to change?

Jack Lutz: I think that it's a couple of things. I mean, I think that some more venues have to be opened up. I think that this place has always been a powderkeg for music you have everything here, you go R&B. You've got rap, you got hip-hop, metal, rock and roll. You got all forms of music, and you got people that are into it all. I just don't think that they're being displayed, that they're being showcased at all here, and I think that's wrong. And, I'm sick and tired of seeing these places, and I know that these people know who they are, for only bringing in bands like The Mars Volta, like Sparta. I'm sick and tired of that sound.

I'm not dissing on Mars Volta or Sparta, but I'm so sick and tired of these bands that try and copycat them. That's always... not always, but for the past couple of years, that's been the popular thing to do, to sound punkish, emo-ish, to try and be a carbon copy of those two bands. I'm really happy to see bands like Lylah have gone out there and have made themselves known. I'm glad that they've had some recognition, because it's hard to be recognized here in town, and it's so stupid, because it shouldn't be like that.

I've been listening to KLAQ, and I'm listening to Q Connected, and I'm also listening to that Sunday show with Dorgan and Alfrank, have you listened to that? These guys , it seems like, they're doing what they're doing. They're doing the best that they can, as much as they can, to help the local scene, but it just can't be radio, we can throw your names out there, we can bring you in for an interview, but at the end of the day, who's going to play you? Who's going to play you in a club? Who's going to be that guy, to sign you in a club, you know? There's so much potential that can be tapped. I think it's only getting worse. Ultimately, you're going to have to get the hell out of here to get signed.

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