Jonny remembers:

A favorite radio story involves the Michael Jackson flu parody spot I did which is still my all time favorite creation.

I was working part time at 3 radio stations simultaneously in Portland, Oregon, going by Jon Scot, trying to break into the market fulltime (KKRZ for weekends and fill-in, sister station KEX as production 'dubber', and KCYX in McMinnville as a 30 hour a week Production Director). It was extremely tough as an 'outsider' coming into that 'hometown' market on your own, unlike than the BIGGIES who were BROUGHT in to be big stars...

Anyway, I was working a Sunday night airshift on Z100 and it was a few days away from the Michael Jackson Concert at the Tacoma Dome in Seattle for Halloween Night. We promoted the hell out of it and I actually bought tickets to it. About 8:30pm I got this call from some guy who said his wife worked in the concessions office of the Tacoma Dome who found out Michael Jackson was cancelling the concert due to the 'Flu'. NO ONE knew this and I didn't announce it, of course, because it wasn't verifiable ANYWHERE.

I started to get some ideas and wrote up some concepts for a parody spot. I called up the Morning Zoo's Dan Clark at about 10pm to tell him what I had 'heard' and the ideas I had to produce the spot.."Yah, sure, go ahead," he said. At that time, the ZOO were GODS and none of the members really ever spoke to me, so calling Dan Clark was like "who is this geek bothering me at 10pm on a Sunday night?"

I had NEVER used a multi-track before in my life and we had a 1/2" Sony 5050 as I recall. I had no idea how to use any of the equipment, because there was this tremendous 'shroud of secrecy' from EVERYBODY who produced anything in that room. I could never get anyone to show me anything more than 'dubbing' spots, since I had to do that from time to time. As in many stations, 'nobodies' didn't get the time of day. Anyway, we had a few instrumental tracks of some Jackson songs, "Bad", "Dirty Diana", and "The Way You Make Me Feel", so while I was still on the air (until Midnight), I was running back and forth between the Prod room and Studio getting the music ready.

I ended up spending the night in the Production Room writing lyrics, learning what buttons did what, and trying to 'sing' Jackson style - I literally about blew my balls off trying to sing that high. There were 16 vocals in it accomplished from singing lead and background tracks and overdubbing my brains out between the 4 track and the two 2-tracks. By the time Dan Clark came in at 4:30am, I was almost finished and I played it for him. I'll never forget how blown away he was asking me, "How the fuck did you do this?" This, from a guy who previously wouldn't even speak to me much less show me how he ever produced anything. I didn't care and told him my 'secret' (ooh) techniques.

We still didn't know if the 'rumor' of the cancellation was true and I went home about 6:15am. The official announcement of the cancellation came over the news about 6:30am and I heard them build up the bit and play it RIGHT out of the story.

I couldn't believe it! I was a hero! They played it 4 times that morning and Dan-O Fed Exed it to Rick Dees at KIIS (I didn't know it), who received at about 8:30am the next morning. He called Dan-O at Z100 3 times in 45 minutes saying it was the greatest parody he'd ever heard! I had 'arrived'. Dees even paid me for the bit - VERY well! From that moment on, I got to be the voice for many of the ZOO's parody songs and ended up doing many more songs and bits for DEES and others. It was the greatest thrill of my career!

Jonny Ozone aka Jon Scot


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