Pete Marier: Being Bad Pete
Updated: May 31
How did Pete Marier become Bad Pete? He tells us. I spent my teenage years listening to Pete Marier on my clock radio when he was at 980 CKGM and 95.9 CJFM. The next decade Pete was a co-worker and we've been friends since. We are not strangers to Winnipeg and Montreal radio, nor the task of raising three boys, So we always have lots of talk about. A lot of people don’t immediately associate Pete with being Bob-FM's first morning host when the format was launched back in 2002 in Winnipeg. He tells the story of how it he found himself in the middle of that and a whole lot of other radio fuckery that goes on.
In this episode, Pete and I settle in for a long talk about life, family life and radio life. This is a very candid and conversation about one of Montreal's most enduring radio figures. By the way, if you are listening to the episode expecting him to say something bad about someone - it doesn't happen.
Pete spoke of a messy ending to his time with Astral. That was covered in detail by Fagstein.
There's also about 10 other things we didn't know including that Pete was doing a rock show for Bell's Quebec City Radio station in French and that was did a stint on TV in 2012 for CTV Montreal.
You may already be hearing Pete on your radio now. Pete does a fair amount of voiceover work and radio imaging. Check out some of his work here.
We also talked about where Bad Pete got his nickname and he referenced the club at 1234 de la Montagne which went by the name Club l'Esprit and was as horrible as this TV ad indicates.
Amanda Logan (VO) 00:00:01
This is the podcast for broadcast. The Sound Off Podcast with Matt Cundill.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:00:08
Pete Marier is a lot of fun. When I was 22, I was doing all nights in Montreal and Pete Marier was the afternoon and host. There were some pretty wild moments. Most will not be divulged in this podcast episode. Even if you think you know Pete Marier, you might not know the rest of the stories. These are the ones he would tell you over lunch. And in Montreal, lunch is 3 hours with multiple courses and a nice bottle of wine. This episode is best listened to with a bottle of your favorite and if you can work in a Mimesso sub or Schwarz of smoked meat, maybe Joe Beef or Liverpool House, the place where Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau had dinner or whatever you would order at Lexpress. Pete Marier joins me from his living space in the St. Hari district of Montreal. What part of Montreal did you grow up in?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:01:01
Grew up in the West Island. I grew up in Pierrefault, Quebec for the first 13 years of my life and then moved. My old man worked for the government, dad worked for the coast guard. So we moved from Montreal to Quebec City. He ran the ice breakers are all based in Quebec City for the St. Lawrence Seaway right up until the Ontario border all the way down to Lazesque Bay. So I lived there from 13 to 16 and then we went right back to Montreal and this time we went to Dollard up the West Island.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:01:34
What was Montreal like back then?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:01:36
It was the greatest city in the country. It was the biggest city in the country. I can remember going downtown as a kid, going back to like Expo 67. I was seven years old and I remember I was probably my first experience remembering downtown. I went with my mom and I remember seeing the skyline coming in from the West Island. They had buses back then that drove you from the Fairview Shopping Center down to Expo. Probably cost $50 and seeing the skyline of mud for all as they came around. And then on one side the skyline was there and on the other side was Expo in the distance. And it was like that put month for you all on the map, but pretty well made it an Alpha city. It really did. It made Montfrill the world city. And then later on, as I got older, let's say when I came back to Montreal as a teenager, 1516 years old, we went right downtown just to walk around say Catherine Street or buzz around the Metro or hang around one of the malls downtown or whatever. And I remember it was bustling. Keep in mind this is the mid 70s, but it was the hub economically for Canada. You look at Dorvale Airport at the time, it had like 25 international carriers were coming in. In the meantime, Toronto was still Toronto and just over a million people. Montreal was way ahead of the game. And then something happened in 1976, in November, and it's called the PQ election. So when they got elected, then the city began to change radically. But I have very fond memories of Montreal. You know what, Matt, along the way, I was interested in radio. So Montreal was the place people came from everywhere in Canada, and people even came from the States to come and work in Montreal at either radio or TV, because like I said, it was also the media hub for the country. This was your next step. If you were wanting to be a big name in the business, you came to Montfree all back then. So it was great.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:03:49
Yeah. We talk a lot about Toronto being sort of the center, and I think a lot of people assume that it was always that way. But really, Montreal was the place between Expo and 1967, probably right up to about 1977.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:04:01
Sure. Right up until after the Olympics. Then, like I said, the peak here was elected in the fall of 76th, and the exodus out of here began right away. I remember I was at Dawson College, and I had a crush on a girl the day after the election. I think it was on a Thursday morning. We used to sit down and meet on the stairs of the Selby campus of Dasa every day like clockwork. And she said, well, we're moving to Mississauga next summer, and this is the day after the election. She said, yes, my father's company has already decided they're out of here. So there was a family of five who were gone by decks by the summer 77. They were gone. You know what I did in the summer of 77? I mowed lawns for a living, for a real estate company, for Royal Page. And what we did was we mowed lawns of all the houses that had been vacated in the executive homes in the West Islands of Beaconsfield Bay, Durfy, Kirkland, Settleville. That's what we did. And all these houses were gone. These are muntfree Allers who have been deeply rooted in the city, and they got the hell out of Dodge in a hurry and in big numbers. That was my job, is to keep their lawns clean, to give the house curb appeal. Yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:05:13
It's not some isolated incident to hear that a few friends moved away. It could be very well like half of or more of your graduating class went to Toronto.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:05:22
My graduating class, they came back to Montreal and graduated at a Pierre Pong Comprehensive High School. There were 450 grads. Okay. It was big school, big West Island Comprehensive High. And there were 450 of us graduation stuffed into the auditorium since that. Now I'm going back, what, 44 years? Now I run into maybe two of the people I graduated with. They were in a hurry to leave all of them. And the high school level website. You go look and our Facebook page. And everyone has gone to Toronto. Marko, Ontario, Mississauga, Ontario. Ottawa was also a big destination because the Crow flies. You can get there in about an hour and a half from the West Island. So technically, it's not quite as far as Toronto. And a lot of people out west, a lot of people went to calves. A lot of Edmonton went a peg out. A few of them. A few of them went to the peg. So, yeah, everyone just dispersed and spread out the wind like that. But that gives you a pretty good idea that puts it into perspective. Out of a class of 400 plus, I can bump into two of them here. Maybe three.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:06:36
Was your station, 980 CKGM it was.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:06:39
That was the station again. If you go back to keeping on the theme of Montreal back in the 70s, back TKGM was the station. They had the greatest morning man in the city and probably arguably in the city's history. Ralph Lockwood, who just died, actually a couple of months back. Rest of Seoul, you go in the backyard or in the front yard. People would be washing their cars, hanging around the pool, and you would hear CKGM Am music station in Montreal now blasting from everyone's backyard as they were doing their activities around the house. You'd hear it echoing through the neighborhood almost. That's how big it was. It's crazy.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:18
And you were talking about Americans who came north. He was one of them.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:07:21
Ralph Lockwood was Yup. You know what I found out? That he started his career. It's kind of funny. He started his career in radio, working at an American Air Force base in Turkey after the war and came back to, I think I'm going to say, somewhere in the area of Allentown, Pennsylvania. York.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:07:43
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:07:44
There you go. And then made his way up to see Fox, the original CFOX, 1470 a. M. In the West Island. And that's where it started for. And then CKGM jumped on him and the rest became history. Ralph was there for forever.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:00
So you're a West Island guy, but you didn't attach yourself to Seafox. You attached yourself to CKGM.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:08:06
Ckgm was a bigger station. It sounded better. There was more money there. Seafox still had a really good lineup, but there may have been a smaller signal in the West Island. Couldn't compare to 50,000 Watt blow torch up on top of Mount Royal. That really got the whole city together. Seafox was relevant in the West Island of Montreal, but it didn't mean anything beyond Cabin Dish Boulevard or going downtown. Forget about it. They couldn't even pick it up in the East End, probably. Yeah. Gm was the deal.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:45
How did you get started in radio? Was it John Abbott?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:08:49
No, I went Dawson. Dawson College was the best six years of my life.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:08:55
Matthew, you see here? I've already messed up the interview.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:08:59
Okay, well, whatever. Ask the question again. How did you get started?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:04
No, I'm fine with it. After Dawson College, though. Is this how you find your way to Timmons? Was it Timmons?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:09:10
Absolutely. Yes. It was 680 CKGB, the voice of Northern Ontario in Timmons, Ontario. And yes, I did meet Shaniah Twain. I interviewed her at the radio station when she was about 16 years old. Wow. She wanted to be a rock star.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:09:26
It turned out it happened.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:09:28
Did it ever? Yeah. So, yeah, that was the first job I went to Dawson, but I never went to class, I have to confess. And I'd been a pretty good student in high school, but I knew what I wanted to do. I got bit by the radio bug, actually getting a tour of Seafox Radio, the original CFOX, being given a tour there on a Saturday morning. And I remember dragging my ass off the radio station, saying, okay, let's go see what this is all about. And the door swung open in the control room. They were running a country format back then, so I really didn't care about the radio station. I was like 13. I was like, country what? The door swung open and Dean Hugo Piano, another legend of Montreal radio, was working on the Saturday morning shift. And he said, hey, hang on, kids, I got to go in the air. And he hit his mic switch and he started Disk jocking a record. And I was like, Shit, that's what I'm doing. There's no doubt about that. That's what I'm going to be doing for a living. No problem. That is great. I was bit by the bug right then and there.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:10:32
What kind of music were you playing when you got to Timmins?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:10:36
Full AC? It was 1980s. That's 40 years ago. Gosh. And it was a 10,000 watt-er from dust to dawn. And you had to lower your pattern at night. Good old AM radio. And the Jock was in charge of lowering the radius of the signal. And if you didn't, your signal could travel to Mississauga. It was on the same frequency as CFTR, 680. And we could be heard, like up in Northern Toronto on the fringe of the GTA. And the format was, oh, gosh, well, put it this way. The first record I played was Barry Manilow, I Don't Want To Walk Without You. It was a hit in April of 1980, and he was sort of hot again at that time. And I also walked on vocals first time I introduced it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:11:30
So you got off to a good-
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:11:33
680, CKGB. The voice of the James Bay Frontier. And here's Barry Manilow, and I Don't Want to Walk Without You. I Don't Want to Walk with- all over, just a massive three spire. But, yeah, a lot of Anne Murray, she was coming out with a lot of hits. The Monkees, Daydream Believer was a charge topper for her. Sheena Easton was an up and comer, would have played a lot of Kenny Rogers. It was a lot of crossover music. Lionel Ritchie was no longer a Commodore. His solo career was zooming, and it was starting around then. So you got stuff like that. Air Supply was huge, so it was a full on AC station. There was not too many toe tappers. I remember there weren't any guitar solos, basically, on any of the songs that played. And if a song did come out with a guitar solo, my bosses would edit it out and put the song on cart. We were playing 45s, too. No cart machines. This is ages before digital, right? So you're live in the studio and you're queuing up records, 45s, and jumping on the intro every three and a half minutes. So it was different back then, man.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:12:46
And how did you find your way out of Timmins?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:12:50
Steve Anthony, who was my best friend growing up. Steve and I have been friends since we were kids. Our fathers were in the Navy together. They were drinking buddies in the neighborhood. They knew each other, and Steve and I are the same age. Steve actually didn't even know what he wanted to do, but he came to see me at Dawson College when I was doing a radio show there, and he said, Shit, this is great, man. I got to do this for a living. And Stevie got on it quick, and he found a job in Timmons ahead of me by about a year. And then he called me up and said, Pete, there's an opening. I'm put in a good word for you, and I think you got the job. And sure enough, next day the phone ring program director offered me $575 a month to go up to Timmons and work a six hour ship, midnight to six and do it six days a week. I didn't have to do it on Sunday nights at midnight because the station signed off at midnight with the national anthem until sign on the next day. So that's it. I went for $575 a month, and it was pretty hard work for the first six months. But, God, did I learn things. I learned so much and so little time. I had pretty good bosses up there. And they were real part of the expression. They were real Ballbusters when it came time to air checking you. These guys were pretty good at their game. And my first boss that actually worked at Cfgo in Ottawa, he also passed away a couple of years back. Mike Paris was his name. He was a good boss. They were all pretty good bosses. So I was learning. You know what, Matt? When you're 20 years old, you're sharing an apartment with, like, say, the evening announcer. And he's 20 years old. He's fresh out of school and wherever some community College in Ontario, you don't care. It's all fun. You're having fun. You're a rock star in your own mind. And if you are bitten by the bug if you have the passion to do radio. And I certainly had it. I don't deny it's. Fun. Money really wasn't an object. You could live. I had an apartment. I think it was $130 a month up there. All right, I can do this. I've got a girlfriend and then press the sister.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:15:00
I want to say that Steve Anthony found his way to CKGM in 1981 or 1982. But where did you go?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:15:07
I stayed in Timmons, and after about six months, it's amazing how you can climb up the ladder fast. I became music director and assistant TD, and they moved me into a swing position. So no more overnights. All I had to do was fill in for, like, I had to go in every day. And they gave me administrative duties, becoming MD and scheduling, that type of thing. And there was also an FM station. It was television that owns CKGB, and they also own station called CFTI, the country station, Stereo 92. So I swing back and forth. I did everything, worked in the newsroom, production, gosh went out, met clients. It was a hell of a learning experience. And Steve left CKGB probably about, I don't know, six months after I got there. And he went to Chime 570 Chime down in Kitchener, which was a big, huge station for central Ontario back then. And Stevie was an incredibly successful evening announcer. Steve is a very bright guy. He was a really, oh, gosh almost fashioned himself after an Earl Jive type of an answer. Was pretty esoteric and off the beaten path. He was a real personality. Remember, this is the early 80s. He was different. He wasn't just a time tune and temp guy with a big voice. That's probably what I was going for. More Steve was more to get creative and tricky on his intros and on his extras. And this whole show had a lot of drops, a lot of Monty Python drops. He was highly creative. So he stayed at 575 for probably about a year and was an early 82 that CKGM got wind of him, actually. You know who hired him? A guy who works at Winnipeg. He's still on the air at Bob. It was Buster Bodeen that hired him. Funny how the world works, eh? And yeah, Buster Bodeen got a hold of Steve's tape. And when we're hiring this kid, and sure enough, he went up to Rob Braid and said, Hire him. And they jumped on Steve. And he had a great deal of success for the next four years at CKGM. And that was the end of Montreal for him. He went up to Q 107 in Toronto through Rob Brad's connections to Toronto, in particular, with Gary Slate. And they hired him in Q 107. And then he was introducing a movie. Steve is a cute guy, right? And Moses neighbor happened to be at the movie and at the movie premiere, intro and Steve came out a like I said, high energy was his other thing. Steve was wired. He was just bouncing off the walls and funny and cute. And Moses neighbor said, hey, Ken, how would you like to work on a new TV station I'm creating called Much Music? So Steve got really busy. He was doing 2107 and was part of the launch at Much Music. So he had a great career. And I owe Steve, he owes a bit to me for maybe me introducing him to radio, but he definitely had a lot to do, Matt, with me getting my first job up in Timmons, and then later on getting me back home to Montreal.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:28
Where was home for you on the radio in Montreal?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:18:31
Well, I came back to CKGM good. Steve was working there and he said, hey, I got this kid. He's up in Timmons. He's the muttreal. He's pretty good. He knows all the facets of radio. He's been working on a shitty little AC radio station up there. Let's get him back here to do top 40. And that was an answer to a prayer for me. And again, thanks to Steve. So I came back to CKGM, stayed there for three years, then crossed the street, went to FM 96.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:18:59
This is the part where I start to know who Pete Marier is because I think you were doing I want to say The Driver, the midday show.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:19:06
There I was on mid days.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:08
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:19:09
And loving it. It was great. And that was standard broadcasting and great. Great company to work for. Cjd, the powerhouse talk and news information station was down the hall, and on the other side of the building was us at FM 96. And again, that was back to an adult contemporary format. By this time, it's the music is getting a little dance here. You're starting to play Whitney Houston a bit more, but it was FM. I'd never really done FM, apart from a couple of ships on that country station in Timmons on a homemade console. So this was sort of like the big League FM for me and I'd love to change.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:19:50
Did you change your delivery?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:19:51
Did you change the way you did radio because it was FM ton toned it down a bit and jumping from Am to FM back then, Matt, in 87, we had something called regulations regs, and you had to do content. It was part of the radio station's promise of performance. It was the law. You had to do content once an hour, and it was divided into a bunch of different categories. Another word for it, some people probably remember is enrichment. So artist information, let's say, could qualify as enrichment. If you went on for more than 1 minute, it counted as enrichment, and you were adhering to your promise of performance. Or it could be like a bit God, you could give out a recipe on the radio and that counted as enrichment. Or you could talk about a Montreal landmark, the history of a Montreal landmark. That, too, counted as enrichment. So there was an adjustment as opposed to CKGM and reading liners. That's all it was. You could do that in your sleep. That format. All you needed was good pipes and a good, strong delivery and plenty of enthusiasm to sell top 40 music. But getting to FM, it was toning it down a bit. It was becoming a little more mature, I think. And that's the way I was groomed there. Speak into the mic and pour on the smoothness. Pete. I used to get told that all the time, like, mellow it out, talk to the girls, that type of thing. Okay, I'll do that on FM 96. Cj FM. Set your mind to music. It was that kind of format. It was fun, though.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:21:41
One day I'm listening to Show, and I think Chris Michaels is doing Afternoon Drive. Al Greval is doing mid days, and then those people weren't there anymore. And who's playing what in the background there?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:21:53
Sorry, Maddie. I'm walking through the kitchen here, boys. They've got some crazy rap music playing there. What are you listening to, boys? Kiddie. Who kiddie? Kiddie. Kid couldn't.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:09
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:22:10
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:22:10
So, like, one day I'm listening to Chris Michaels on Drive on Show. Algorithm is doing Midday, and then I think those guys are let go. And then you're brought in all of a sudden, and now you're my smooth, easy talking guy on FM 96. But now you're supposed to be the rocking guy on Shown. That jar is a 16 year old.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:22:28
Pete, I've sort of troubled you, but I couldn't resist the offer. And that's exactly how it happened. Matt, they replaced Al Ravale and Chris Michaels in one fell swoop. Ken Connors got the midday show. He replaced Al Gosh. That's 30 years ago, summer of 1990. And then they put me on Drive. And, yeah, that was the biggest move, I guess, that I made because it takes a little time for adjustment. I wasn't used to saying, hey, here's guns and roses on the spirit of rock. Shalm 97. I haven't done any of that radio yet, so there was some adjustment needed. But it was fun. Gosh. That's when it really kicked in. I think that's when I became a little more of a personality. It was at the ten year Mark in my career when Shown hired me. And up until then, I'd just been a pretty safe Jock, a good, steady, professional, smooth sounding announcer. But I also had a mullet and didn't listen to Sheena Easton or Lionel Richie records when I got home. I can assure you I've always been a rocker. I can appreciate other kinds of music. But Sean was like, that was okay. You're at Show now, and you can let the Formatt go a little bit. Get the call letters in there, Pete, but have some fun. And, oh, here's your partner's name is Andrew Carter. He's going to be your co host. Perfect. So we were doing all sorts of crazy shit. When I think back to it, pirate Peaks and quiz the Whiz radio dictionary, which was just stupid, but it was fun and people loved it. So that's when it really kicked into high gear for me, Matt right there. Yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:20
Well, the rock thing begins to really take off. Guns and Roses, I think back to 1992. Guns and Roses. They had the riot at Olympic Stadium.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:24:32
Anniversary just passed. That's right.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:24:34
Yeah. Show with Metallica. That never really happened. Anyway. There was so much rock and roll that was going on in that city and you and Andrew were just lighting it up on drive. Terry was doing mornings and it's around this time. First of all, I remember you being buried alive.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:24:53
Yeah, that's right. That was one of the stunts that we did. And we did stunts. I was almost a bit of a stunt man that was buried alive. I did that for Fairview Toyota and it was in conjunction with the promo, excuse me, with the Missing Children's Network of Canada, which was Terry's baby. Right. So it all fell into place, all the planets aligned, and that was massively successful. People still talk about that. Hey, weren't you buried alive back in 92? Yes, I was. It was an illusion. I'll let the cat out of the bag now, but I was encased in a chunk of ice. They had a large chunk of ice up on the stage behind some drapes. It was come and look at Pete Marier. He is frozen alive in ice. And people could look in this little hole and see me inside this ice Cube. Inside the ice Cube. I'll never forget it when it happened. I got TV coverage and the papers were there. It was kind of a big promo. Keep in mind, this is 1992. And I remember going on a day like today, it's sunny and beautiful here. And they said, here's the ice that Pete Marier is going to be jumping into it. He's spending 48 hours in here. Will he make it? While you're here, make sure you look at the new 1000 1993 models that are in for next year. And we're offering special rebates. So it became a sales pitch then. But I remember going into the ice Cube within the ice, there was basically something the size of a coffin, 3ft wide by 3ft high by 6ft long. So I was five foot seven. I still am five foot seven. And I would fit in it. And I said, well, get married and do it. And we'll give him a microphone and he can do a show out of there. It'll be great. Good radio bit, right. And I remember getting on stage here's, Pete Marier. And I remember getting into the ice Cube, putting my feet in and bending down and looking at it. And I came back up. And the guy was hosting it. A guy named Doctor Silkini. Who Terry de Monte was calling Doctor Zucchini on the air.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:27:00
No, he wasn't. He called him Dr. Dick Weenie.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:27:04
Oh, Dickie. I remember the good doctor. Yeah, right, doctor. I remember him not being very happy about this. Who's your morning man got on the microphone. The intercom with me said, who's a crisis this morning? Matter. Come down here and get a beat his head. And it's like, okay. And I remember that putting my feet in and basically bending down and looking where I was going to be living for the next 48 hours. I came up and I whispered, I can't fucking do this. There's no way. He said, you listen to me. A little bastard. Get in there. There's 1000 people who want this to happen. Let's go. A lot of money involved. Get in and shut up. You'll be fine, okay? And I did. And I have to admit, I was claustrophobic a bit at first. And he actually spoke to me and said, look, relax. Here's the breathing technique. It's going to work. And then he also said to me, he says, you're going to go in here, kid. You'll get over your anxiety. And said, when you come out, you're going to be a star. I'm like, oh, I guess he's right. And it went off without a hitch. It was a lot of fun. And I stayed in there. You know what? I couldn't eat Matt. And I was told fast. Before I went in, they gave me a bunch of Gatorades and they gave me Baggies. I was one of the Baggies for. He said, Use your head kit. So that's basically how I relieved myself. It sounds gross, but that's how I pulled it off for 48 hours. I could pee in these baggage. Anyway, that was that.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:25
This is the era, though, when you start to get the nickname Bad Pete.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:28:29
That's right. Right around there. Bad Pete. Actually, the nickname came from Andrew Carter, my co host and the current morning mad on CJD 800 Montreal's news information leader. Andrew Carter and I hung around because we worked a lot. We became good friends on and off the air, and we had to host a Halloween bash. Remember the old 1234 Mountain Street? 1234 Mountain Street?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:28:54
Oh, yeah. They advertised on TV and everything.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:28:56
Oh, yeah. Huge place, right? It's like a dance club or whatever they invite. Andrew and I, come on down here, guys. Host our Halloween bash and get dressed up. So we put on our tuxedos and we went in as the dynamic duo and taxes or whatever the hell we were. And long story short, the party went a little later than announced. And Andrew and I remember we staggered back to his place at about 03:00 in the morning. He was living down in Point St. Charles, so we just got a late night bite at Kojax. Walked out to his place. I passed out on his couch, fully closed on tuxedo. And his daughter Michelle at the time was about two years old. And she knew me because I was hanging around the house. She knew my name was Pete. She was beginning to talk, right? She toddler. And the next morning at about 06:00 A.m., maybe 2 hours into sleep and pretty banged up, she's pulling on my sock and she's sort of pointing at me, going, Bad Pete, bad Pete. And Andrew's wife at the time, Cindy, heard that and just sort of picked up Michelle and let me sleep it off a few more hours. I'd forgotten about all this. And then we get to work and Andrew Carter goes on the air and he goes, hey, Bad Pete, what's up? I went Bad Pete. He said, yeah, that's your new nickname? My daughter Michelle named you Bad Pete and it's going to stick. Okay, so that's pretty. Well, you're right. That's when it all started.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:22
In just a second. Bad Pete is born, the musical chairs of morning radio starts and Pete heads to Winnipeg. He loves it, but he's also faced with some serious surgery. And by the way, if you're loving this podcast, do me a favor and leave me a five star review. See, I don't normally ask for them, but we're in a pandemic and I'm feeling a little lonely. A couple of things happened in 1993, aside from the Montreal Canadians winning Family Cup.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:30:55
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:30:56
Terry Damonte gets lured over to Mix 96 and then show them hires John Deringer to come in from Q 107. Did that hurt you a bit?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:31:05
Not at all. I didn't want it. I'd love to. Afternoon Drive. The only disappointment was that we're going to take Andrew and put it in with darringer. But I'd like the hours. Matt. Keep in mind, I was single. I was, whatever, 32. I was not ready to get up at 04:00 A.m. Or gosh 330 in the morning. Forget about it. I filled in on mornings for Terry and I'd done mornings before. I even did mornings up in Timmons for a spell, but I preferred Afternoon Driver. Are you kidding? Montfriend all working three to seven. It was the ideal hours and they gave me a new cohost. Her name was Sue Bell and sue and I became friends, too, and had a pretty good run there, too, you'll recall.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:31:44
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:31:45
Yeah. Bad Pete and Good Sue. People love Sue. Sue had this incredible sound and very fun, easygoing girl, and at the same time a pretty good journalist. She now works for CBC north and does docks for the most part for CBC north. And so it all worked out. Like I said, I lost Andrew, but he went to Mornings because it was going to be a big pay increase for him and just. Maddie, give me a second here. Sorry, Matt. You're going to work, son. Matt, you're going to work. All right. I'm doing a podcast here, so have a good shift. We'll see you tonight, maybe. Good, man. I'll see you next time. My son Matthew going off to work at Liverpool House.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:31
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:32:33
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:33
How long has he worked there for?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:32:35
A couple of years. He's been in Montreal with me for a couple of years and he goes to Concordia. He's 30 or Concordia now, so he's a Buster there, makes good money, and they're back in business now. They opened up about two months ago, I guess. Yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:52
By the way, it's Montreal. You got the Montreal Sounds of Summer there that I love.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:32:56
But Cop car backing up.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:32:58
Exactly. But I wanted to mention you and John Deringer, though. You guys were pals. You guys got along?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:33:04
Oh, absolutely. I saw Johnny about oh, gosh. I went to Toronto to catch a Habs Leafs game and he's got good seats, by the way, at the ACC Bastard. And he came into Montreal, I guess it was last fall. He came in last fall and went to a Habs game. John is busy. I don't know how Q is doing now. They've sort of gone down a bit. They've gone through a few changes there, but John keeps busy. He's got a wife and three daughters, too, so his time is precious. But we say Hi to each other whenever we can.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:33:45
It was a really tough year for John Deringer, being a Leafs fan and having to live in Montreal while they're picking up a Stanley Cup.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:33:51
Oh, gosh. And back then, John being John, he made no bones about it. He'd go out on the air on show and say, yeah, I'm a Leafs fan. Wrong thing, John. Don't say that, dude. But that was part of John's nature and his personality and lifelong Leaves fan. Yeah, it would have been tough on him.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:11
It was one of the listeners translated his name, John Darns, into French and called them Jean Dengue.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:34:17
Yeah, well, there you go. I remember that nickname, too. What does that mean? What are they saying about me? Nothing, John. It's all good. Don't worry about it. Steve Millerband is cool.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:34:28
And John goes back to Toronto and is that when you take over mornings at Sean?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:34:32
That's it. Yeah. And at that point, Terry was over at Mix 96, having left show him two and a half, three years earlier and he's killing it. The station is on fire and Sean at the same time is not catching up with the music. You'll recall all that seal is sort of lagging behind. Now, this is the Grunge move and it's kicked in big time. And I don't know if you remember this, but a listener actually brought down the Nirvana album and said, hey, here's an album that you guys should be playing. And the boss at the time said, no, this Grunge thing is a flash in the pan. It's not going to hold. It's not going to stick, so get lost. Well, anyway, the research came back from the consultants a couple of weeks later. He said, Where's that album that that kid brought in there from their vanilla? Let's play it. And that's when she started to, I think, lose its way, I think is a good way to put it. At the same time, remember the cross border radio station in Burlington, Vermont, used to be it still beams in here. 99 the buzz and their format was alternative and they began to kill it. So Sean was getting it from the buzz in Mix 96. Our big base of listeners followed Terry over to Mix 96 big time. So the numbers were starting to wane and I took over the morning show there. I had Andrew and sue with me, pizza and Andrew. And in hindsight, I should have taken the job a lot more seriously. I was up against some elements. Like I said, Sean's audience was waning. You could feel it. We weren't the station that people went to to find out what music was hip anymore. We lost that credibility, Matthew. We really did.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:36:26
If I could just point to one thing. The Grunge was in full gear. But Grunge music isn't something that sort of aggratiates itself to the Montreal sound. Is that fair?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:36:39
I wouldn't go that far, Matt. I don't know. There was a big ass movement. Look, I can remember just going around.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:36:48
Well, let me put it to you this way. Is it fair to say that showmes Past and the Grunge present at the time didn't really mix together? Well, you're right.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:37:00
There sounds would have been here's a good word, juxtaposed. Okay. Yeah. It was unfamiliar and it was rougher around the edges. Grunge was alternative was when it came out initially. And I could see the hesitation by management to say, no, let's keep our classic rockers here. Let's hang out of them. That's our niche, and let's not lose that. But Shown didn't do that. What they did when Grudge came in was they said at the same time, Matt, there was a lot of up and coming female artists. I think Atlantis Morris, Cheryl Crow was coming into her own. Sarah McLaughlin was huge back then. Fiona Apple. Now you classify that music as adult contemporary, but that's where Sean went. So in doing so, you're going, hang on. Look, there's a lot of chick bands here. What's happening. And we were really between a rock and a hard place. And the bands like, okay, Guns and Roses had dissolved. And then your old standby, like, say, Van Halen, they were doing ballads. Bon Jovi was now laden with ballads. These old hair bands were just falling off the radar and they were trying to adapt and trying to find a way. And they started going softer. So all of a sudden, Shown, at one point, if you go back to, like 1990, 719 98, show them is a pretty soft sounding station. We weren't playing Rush anymore. There's another example of a core audience or a core band that we sort of let go. So the station was really sort of twisting in the wind while Mix 96, the Top 40 music at the time, was flying. Grunge was really taking off. But yeah, what you're saying is there was a bit of hesitation on the part of management to play Grunge and go all out, balls to the walls. Grunge, you're right. There was hesitation. I think that's maybe where they were afraid to play the music. Well, they shouldn't have been in hindsight, hindsight is 2020 vision mine here. But we should have been on Nevada and we should have been on the Pearl Gem from day one. And we weren't we should have eased it into the audience and got it into our universe of songs, into our playlist. And we didn't do it properly. In my humble opinion, that's what happened. So we lost. We became on hip.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:39:25
And the big solution at that point, you throw the Hail Mary and shown brings in Howard Stern.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:39:31
That's right. And our numbers admittedly, our numbers are suffering. Which numbers are hurting across the board. There's no beating Terry over at Mix 96, it would seem, and there's no beating George Malcolm, the perennial muttre all number one morning then on CJD. So they say, what are we going to do? We're bleeding numbers now. What do we do? And they said, we're bringing in Howard Stern. He's syndicated and we'll get them. And they did. And it worked. The first book, the first BBM with Stern, he took over on Labor Day in 1919 was huge. He beat George Balkan. So a lot of people came in and kicked the can or kicked the tires on the truck, as the old saying, and listen to Howard Stern and filled out their ballots saying, yeah, we listen to Howard Stern. He's the greatest man in the world. He's the King of all media and he's on show. So it worked. But then it started to not work. And round about the time that the famous ice storm of 98 kicked in, people were needed their news and information. And we weren't providing that on the morning show. We certainly were not. We were Howard Stearns in there talking about T and A and doing his usual thing and not paying any attention to Montfriet all. So that began that. And apparently the story goes, Matthew, that Alan Waters, who was still CEO of Chum Group, that we were a Chum station, basically saw Howard Stern also went on TV that year and saw his TV show Late Night, I think it ran Saturday nights and basically phoned up his son the next day, Jimmy, and said, cancel that guy on my radio stations. I don't want him anymore. And that was that. So Stern made it to 51 weeks on show as the morning man. And that was it. And it was over. And when it was over, it pissed off a lot of listeners. But some people were like, okay, that's that revolt. Next, who are you going to bring in now?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:41:35
Yeah, but she'll always had a 70% Francophone listener base, and that's right. Then you've got a morning guy, Howard Stern, who's annoying them all. So this is not good business.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:41:45
Well, the first day went on, the area said, hey, we're broadcasting at a radio station now in Montreal. They're picking us up and Hello, Montfriend. There's a lot of French people up there. Wow, you people are like sheep. You bought to Hitler in just a matter of days in the Second World War, didn't you? Phones are ringing. They're off the hook. I don't know if you remember this, but we had all our cruisers, our cars, and all our signs and trucks were shown. Plastered all over them were vandalized, windows smashed, spray painted. About a week within hiring Howard Stern, that happened. So he really pissed off a lot of the fryer phones big time. So I'll never forget that. Actually, by the time he left Matt after 51 weeks, it was like, okay, let it go. And there was some people, there was some pushback from his very loyal fans, but that quickly faded. I remember that was gone in a matter of months. It was like, okay, well, but that still left Selm twisting in the wind. The station can't make up their mind. They're playing shitty music and they got rid of Howard Stern. And I'm trying to remember for the life of me, oh, they brought Steve Anthony in. That's right. Steve Anthony came to do mornings. He had left much music and was looking for work, and we rehired him. He came back to Montreal and Steve had some notoriety because he was a national TV face and still pretty good this jockey, but it still wasn't catching on. Those were some very lean years for showmefm. It was a wandering soul. Matthew didn't have anything going for it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:43:32
It's pretty amazing, though, that you've got your childhood friend who's doing the morning show and you're doing afternoon drive, is that right?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:43:39
Yes, I stayed on Drive. I stayed there up until the time I moved up to Winnipeg.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:43:45
Well, actually, I'm going to mention that because what happened to show them in the end as they wound up getting, you want to say sold, but I think they really sort of traded and flipped like a trading card was the way somebody put it to me.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:43:58
That's exactly what it was.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:43:59
So Shoe, which was part of Chum, got sent to Standard in exchange for a couple of radio stations in Winnipeg.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:44:07
It was one signal for one signal. Okay. Standard would pick up Shelm 97 seven, and Chum group would take over 99 nine in Winnipeg, which I got. I don't remember what they were doing. I don't remember what their call letters were, but we launched it as Bob, right?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:44:25
So they were called Magic 99. But you wound up being a part of the trade without really being a part of the trade because you left Montreal and you stayed with Chum and went to Winnipeg.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:44:35
Yes, I did. Well, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse, and it was very flattering at this point. I'd been at shown through all sorts of changes for twelve years. And Jimmy Waters phoned me, how do you feel about moving? And at this point, I had just had my third son and they were young and we were living in the West Island down in Point, where we had a good set up going. He said, I'm going to launch a radio station, and I think it's something you'd really be good at. It's going to be a Classic Hit station. I'm going, okay. He said, look, we're going to fly into winterg this weekend. Come and have a look. And that's where I met Howard Kruger, who was behind the whole Bob thing. That was his creation, and Christopher Brooke, who was going to be my direct program director. And they flew me out to Winnipeg, put me up at the Fairmount right there at the corners of Portugal, Maine. It was my first time at Winnipeg. It was February. It must have been -150,000 degrees. I remember Chris came to meet me at the hotel. They winded on me for the weekend, and he brought me a Winnipeg Blue Bombers Duke. And I hadn't worn a tuk since I was probably in grade school. He said, you're going to put this on? And when I'm done, I'm not wearing a Duke. Right. Especially with the Winnipeg logo. He said, yeah, you are. And boy, was he right. I hung on that thing like I never let it go. It was so cold, and I took the job. It was a great, great offer. Chum had been very good to me. And they said, Come out and do something different with your career. Come out to Winnipeg, give you the morning show. The station is going to be hot. It's going to hit the ground running guaranteed format. And it was it's still going today. So that's testament to how much of a good format it is. That format is stuck down for 18 years, right?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:46:27
By the way, a lot of people don't know that. That's the radio station where Classic Hit started. And so you're in the mix. You're doing mornings, you're the morning man on this radio station where Classic Hits launched. How excited were people to have this radio station?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:46:43
It was great. And part of their launch. This is kudos to Howard Kruger. They started teasing the launch. They knew what they were going to do. He pitched the ideas to upper management into Chum, and they said, sure, it works. We think it's going to be great. Now is the time to start playing 80s, 90s and whatever. Make it sound like it's a random station, but the music was actually pretty well researched and all that you couldn't miss with these tested songs. So what he did was carefully put together. A staff, myself included. A bunch of other people were part of the deal, too. And he began an ad campaign teasing the station with billboards and ads in the wintertime pre press. And it was Bob is coming. That's it. And that's all I would say. It was a half page ad and a big Billboard. And it just said with the same not showing the whole logo, just, Bob is coming. So people would see that go, what the hell is that? Bob? Who's Bob? What's Bob? And gradually leading up to the launch, more and more was starting to show on the billboards and in the ads, these teasers that they were running in print media. And then billboards started to reveal that, hey, it might be a radio station. And they showed this dude standing there. It was very working class. It looked like the cover of Born in the USA, Springsteen jeans and a white T shirt type of thing with a bit of a rock and roll edge to it. And by the time we launched the morning that we launched in March of 2002, the ads popped up. It was like, Bob is here and Bob is flowing in and he's going to rock Winnipeg with a format you've never heard before. And it worked. The ratings came out, I guess, two or three months later, you know, the BBM spring rating came out, and it was a station. I forget what the SharePoint was, but it was huge for a first book. It was like, this is going to be good. And like I said earlier, that's testament that they're still on the air today with the same logo and pretty much the same call sign, the same slogan says a lot about its success. Matt, there aren't too many stations that stick around for 18 years, especially classic hits. So Bob really did it. And then Howard Fugre eventually left Chum Group and now operates. I don't know. I haven't spoken to Howard in a little while, but I think he's got at least 25, if not more Bob's, and also a country version of Bob called Hank FM all over the States. He's always traveling and consulting these stations, and they've got them, and it's very successful. So good for him.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:49:39
Do you remember telling the Pinhead, who was working at Standard Radio that you were going to go to Winnipeg and not work for Standard the Pinhead? That was me.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:49:50
Yes, I did. Yes, I do. We were on the phone.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:49:53
No, we were having coffee. We were okay on Green Avenue. Yeah, green Avenue.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:50:00
And I said that I'm out of here or what? I don't remember that too well.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:50:04
Yeah, that's exactly what you said. I'm not sticking around for this.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:50:07
Yeah, well, the thing is what happened at the same time. So Chum has given me a pretty good opportunity to do something and start basically launch radio station. It's a nice feather to have in your cap, as they say. And at the same time, I was going to be staying with shown and going over to the standard building on Fort Street. But they were going to be cutting my pay and putting me on afternoon drive or keep me on drive. But there was a pay cut that came with it, and that's what I say. Chubb made me an offer I couldn't refuse. It was to pay hike. God, I got a golf membership, the Transcoda Golf Course. Maddie and I was also invited to play in other courses. There was a really nice course on the other side of the Centerboyne River over in St. James. What was it called? It's like Winnipeg's oldest course, St. Charles. That's it. Exactly. So I remember playing a couple of rounds over there. Look, they offered me the golf membership. Maybe it was just to pad the contract, but it was like, Shit, Hey, I'm going to get a golf membership here. The clubhouse in transcontinent, I think was a trailer home, but it was still fun. I had a lot of fun. I met a lot of great people out there, too, and a car. And they gave me a couple of trips a year. And it was like, I loved it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:51:21
Good on you for taking all that. I got a similar offer like that, too, that included the Winnipeg Winter Club. So to get you to Winnipeg, they give you some pretty nice perks to get you in the community here.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:51:34
The Winter Club. God, it rings a Bell. Yeah, sort of. Remember that. Okay, Peter. And corner. Thanks, Peter.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:51:41
I was a little concerned about the heart condition, though, you had in Winnipeg. You had some pretty serious surgery.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:51:46
Yeah, I did. That was the funny thing. Hand in hand with all these changes taking place, we get the Winnipeg now. We haven't launched yet. We're still getting ready for the launch. And I'm staying at the Holiday Inn on Pembada Highway, just up the street from the Chum Building on Pembada Highway. And I ordered supper in one night into the room. And all of a sudden I started choking on the food. I remember it was a cheeseburger, and I was washing it down with a coconut beer. And I remember going, wow, that's weird. I guess I bit off too much and I'm starting to choke now. And all of a sudden this pain sort of started shooting into my left arm. It was like, okay, I better sit down and take it easy. And it passed. And I went, wow, that was weird. I guess that's some sort of indigestion. I had no idea that it would have been a heart problem. And then it started to recur every so often. And at work in the middle of a shift. If I got really stressed or at home, if I was picking up my newborn baby and walking up the stairs, it would hit again. I get the shooting pain in my left arm. The attacks became a little more frequent and they intensified in pain. So I finally, about a year after this started, I said, well, maybe I should go get myself a doctor. Went over to my doctor and he said, don't worry about it, Pete. He said, It's just the stress of moving to Winnipeg with a young family and starting a job, and you're working hard at Bob and blah, blah, blah, don't worry about it. But we're going to take an EKG. I'll let you know. So off to the EKG. I go and, okay, we'll send the results to your doctor, and he'll get in contact with you if there's anything serious. By the time I got home, the doctor was insane changed. By the time I got home into Charles, the phone was ringing and he said, Get your ass back into my office right now. So I went in. That's when I knew the jig was up. I knew there was something more serious. He said, you haven't joined them. You're going to have a heart attack here. Get down to Health Sciences Center. We're sending you off to HSC here's a heart specialist. For the life of me, I can't remember his name, and I should because he basically saved my life. And he said, You've got two choices, Pete. He said, you have two clogged arteries on your heart muscle in the front veins of your heart. The two big arteries are clogged 80% each. He said, I can try to put stents in there, which is what Claude Julie, I think, just had the greatest coach in the world, man. And then he said, we could do that. He said, but it's really risky. So what I want to do is give you a bypass. I'm like, Jesus, I'm like 42 years old. What are you talking about? I've never even had stitches. He said, yeah, that way you can avoid any risk during start surgery. You'll pull out of it, you won't be at work for six months. I can guarantee you that. So I went ahead and had the heart surgery, went into HSC, and they did it. I was in and out of there in a matter of a couple of hours. Of course, I had to stay in the hospital for a month, not a month for a good week. But that's what cured me. That's what saved me. And that led to me eventually leaving. I knew I wasn't going to be doing mornings anymore. I had a doctor's note saying, no, my patient is not getting up at 330 in the morning to go do radio anymore. And I bailed on my contract. I had a three year contract with Chum, and I gave my six month out and I was left six months short of renewing my contract, and it was really too bad. I did go back to work at Bob, but they put me on Drive and I started to love Winnipeg. Then it was like I knew more people. I was comfortable in the city. I knew my way around the city really well. Very easy city to move around in. Had friends in the neighborhood, and it was kind of sad. I remember feeling kind of bad leaving there. I remember closing up the house, and there was a couple of guys that I worked with who lived right down in my neighborhood. So we hung head together. George Jason was one of my producers on Pebbles Highway at Cham, and he's a great guy. We're still friends today, and he just retired, actually, I think he was working at Drive. Is that possible?
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:56:03
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:56:08
I remember being fatted, but long story short, weapon was a hell of a life experience. It was great. It rejuvenated my health and it also kept my career going. It was fun. And there's another place where they stayed on top of their talent really well. We were air checked regularly. We had consultants that came in regularly, and they took their job very seriously. The other thing about Winnipeg is that it was a fantastic radio market, and I imagine it's still highly competitive. And you have to mind your pees and queues and you have to work your ass off to make a dent in that market. I remember that it was no cakewalk, and so it kept me on my toes. From a professional point of view. It was great. I really liked it. And I'll tell you what, about four or five years later, I did come back to Montreal and got rehired at Selm right away. There were times where I became very nostalgic about the peg and where I thought to myself, Geez, if I stayed there, I'd have a really good thing going. But my ex wife and I are families. Our big families are here, and they sort of wanted us back here. And so we made that tough decision to come back to Montreal. But I'll never forget when it picked it was a place that as the saying goes, man took a piece of my heart, actually, two clogged arteries is what they did.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:57:38
And when you moved back to Montreal, you don't move back to Montreal necessarily. You moved to Norton, which is about an hour outside of town. And then you came back and started working for us at show.
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:57:50
That's right. Yeah. And I had a lot of fun. I moved out to Dalton. Dalton is in the Eastern Townships. It's just up from the Vermont border. As the Crow flies. It's 100 km away. That's a pretty easy commute, actually. And plus, I was doing midday at the time that show when I got retired. So I was always against traffic. It was no problem, really. For me, it was a great place to live. I got the best of both worlds. My kids could go hunting and fishing and skiing and swimming in Broom Lake. And we could be downtown Montfrey all an hour later taking in a Habs game or grabbing a sandwich up at Schwarzs. So it was a really good way of life for quite a while. Yeah.
Matt Cundill (Host) 00:58:28
So carrying on through that era, what did you do back at Show Radio wise?
Pete Marier (Guest) 00:58:34
It was midday for a couple of months, maybe not even a year, as I recall. And then Afternoon Drive opened up again. Terry was back doing mornings and Terry and Ted Bird were heading the morning show along with Kim Rossi. And the station knew some pretty good success again. We finally readjusted the format and gone back to playing a lot of classic rock. It was Montreal's classic rocker, so it was a great place. It felt like coming back home. I remember getting right back on the air saying, oh, God, I guess this is where I really belong. This is great. This is my hometown. This is a station that I'm familiar with and people still remember me here. It was a lot of fun. And yeah, so did Middays and did Afternoon Drive. And then Terry left again. He went to work for Chorus out in what you would call it, Calgary. And they said, Mary, you want the morning show? And I went, well, okay, well, here's how much we're going to pay. Okay, I'll do it. And jumped in and then got myself an apartment downtown. I wasn't going to be making that 100 kilometer commute from the Eastern Townships, from the country into Montreal every morning. Forget about it. That's an hour of sleep time. So I got myself an apartment downtown. And in the meantime, while this is happening, Matt Standard is being gobbled up by our friends at Astral Media. So there came another change in the building. It was a change of culture. Standard was Standard. We all know how good it was working for the Slates, right? And then we started working for truly a mega company that Astral Media was. And there was a bunch of changes. They took me off of the morning show and we're getting ready for Terry's return. Terry was going to be coming back after what he spent four years out west. So Terry, it was an asset. Terry dementia is coming back. And they put me on Afternoon Drive. And with that came a pay cut that was just a bit too much for me. And that's when the problem started. I lawyered up at their advice. I said, well, get yourself a lawyer then, because we're cutting your pay by more than half. And I said, no, you're not. And that's when the shit hit the fan, so to speak. And that led to my leaving show. I quit. I did not get fired. I quit. I gave my resignation. I had my three months out and I got the hell out of there. And it wasn't because Terry was coming back. Terry and I are friends. That had nothing to do with it. I didn't mind going back to Afternoon Drive. My pride was not hurt. What was going to hurt was the big cut in pay. I was making pretty good bank. And remember, I've got a wife who doesn't work living out in the country. We got a country home. I got a place downtown. I got three kids who are heavily involved in sports. And I wasn't ready to absorb that pay cut. And I stood my ground and basically left and regretted it.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:01:44
But it wasn't too long after that that you wound up in Ottawa, right?
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:01:48
Yeah. And then actually, I went to work at the beach here in Montreal and I was able to work. After my no compete clause finished, I got hired by Kojako Nine Two Five. The Beat basically a Top 40 dance station. And I had no earthly business being there. I mean, hey, Pete, you're going to start playing Taylor Swift? I said, who's he? And you're going to start playing Bieber was really big. This was going back like 2012.
Amanda Logan (VO) 01:02:19
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:02:21
They were really nice. They hired me and I did a lot of commercial work. I was doing a lot of freelance, a lot of voice work, but I had no business being on a station like that. I remember my boss at the time, Leo, saying, yeah, we did a focus group and we asked, hey, is the name Pete Marier familiar? Just about every person in the room. Yeah, he's the guy on show. So it didn't exactly work out for me on The Beat. And then Cors hired me. They had Boom was where I went to work. 99 seven, boom, 80s, nine. What was their slogan? Best of the 80s and 90s? I think it was. Did mornings and drives there, too. And they were gobbled up or they merged, I think was Shaw. Is that the Shaw course merged?
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:03:13
I think Corus bought it from Astral.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:03:13
They began to reduce their staff. That always happens, right? Change of philosophy, management, change in culture. And one day I got a phone call. I was actually in Montreal on vacation having breakfast with my late mum. The phone rang and I went, of course, entertainment. I'm done. And sure enough, it was a couple of people, my program director and one of the chief consultants of the company, saying, thanks, Pete, but that's it. We're done. We're changing. And they got rid of ten of us that day in Ottawa. Three jocks, the ones who basically are making the most money, myself, Sandy Sharky and good old Murray Sheriffs, my Newsmax. So we were out and a bunch of sales reps, and that's when I found myself. That was the first time I'd ever been laid off in radio in my 35 year career. That was the first time that I was fired saying, sorry, but you're done. That's it. Good luck. See you later. Here's your package. Get out. So I came back to Montreal, and I had sort of burned my bridges a bit at show when I left. When you get lawyers and you sue, your name is kind of muddy. But Luckily I had made my amendments with the person with whom I had the fight. So we were back on speaking terms. And he said, Pete, he said, I can't get you in on the air yet. It shown, but we're going to give you a voicework. We've got five radio stations here. Come on and do TV for CTV and Montreal and do the four radio stations here's a couple of shifts a week. Just go and read script. And that was fine by me. And I could get by for a little while. And then that went on for a good year. And then finally they opened up the weekend shift. They made some scheduled changes, and that's when I got back. And that's where I've been ever since. That's over two years now and doing the swing show. And actually, I've been filling in for Terry for the last three weeks. He's on extended vacation now. You got the whole month of August off.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:05:29
He loves to take- and you should. In Montreal, you take summers off. That's kind of how it goes.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:05:35
Yeah. Well, if you look at the French side of the media, where Bell is, we share the building with two French stations and NFG and Rouge FM, and they're star players. In other words, their A teams, September through June, get the whole summer off, and they bring in a couple of B teams for their mornings or their drive shows. And so Terry sort of falls into that. Terry means highly respected, successful morning man. He's been on radio, he's probably amassed, I don't know, ten or twelve weeks of vacation here. So he says, look, I'm going to take all of August off. Plus, he's a newlywed, so he gets to spend time with his bride. And good for him. And I don't mind. I'm an essential service. And in the midst of all this coping shit, I'm glad to have work and AP come and do mornings for Terry for a month. No problem. Okay. Pleasure for me. So that's what's happening now. And now you're up to date, Matthew.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:06:38
Well, normally Terry is supposed to be coming out to Winnipeg because he's got some roots in Winnipeg as well. And this is the time of year when he would take a week and he'd stay at my place and he'd be in the swimming pool and we'd just be enjoying winter pig in the summer, which is a great place to spend summer.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:06:51
You're damn right it is. I loved it there in the summer. It's a great place. And I tell people here in Montreal, oh, winter pig. It's so cold. I said, yeah, it's one of the coldest places on Earth in winter. But I said, Conversely, in the summer, it's one of the hottest places. And I explained to them, I said every home that I visited in Winnipeg had air conditioning and a pool. And I was pretty right. And it's true. Everyone had AC. I remember that everyone had AC in their house. And because it became so unbelievably hot there in the summer and a good beat down heat, that good Prairie, dry sun. I had so much fun there, like I said after my surgery and that I started to feel great, and I'd love to take it. I'll tell you another thing about it, too. My kids were really young. They were toddlers when they moved out there. And every single weekend, oh, gosh, almost every single day of the week, especially in the summer, you could do something with the kids in Winnipeg. It was community minded, what it lacked in the big city Ness of Montreal and Toronto. It made up big time in community and community spirit. Winnipeg was unbelievable, better than Ottawa. Even in that Department, Ottawa does okay. But the place to raise kids, ideally, I think, was Winnipeg. There was something to do all the time over at Centerboin Park. We could go there and there was an activity and it was usually Matt, it was usually free and it was inexpensive and you could find parking for free. Good luck doing that. And not for you all. And the Zoo. We joined the zoo. I remember we had a membership at the Winnipeg Zoo, which is open 365 days a year, by the way, even on Christmas Day, and the kids Museum down at the Forks. I imagine that's still going absolutely. Back then, Matt, when I was there, like 18 years ago, we got a membership with the family, five of us, and I think it was $60 a year for unlimited use at those two facilities. So it was like it was great, man. It was fabulous.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:09:04
Well, Pete, I'm so glad to have heard you throughout the month of August on Show. I know I called you, or at least I sent you a note the other day saying, good to hear from you. And then you said, oh, are you in town? I'm like, no, you're actually showman's my smart speaker radio station of choice when I'm in the kitchen. So that's why.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:09:25
Okay, right on.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:09:26
Well, I mean, I get the instructions to tell my device to put on Ch o M on tuning. And there we go.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:09:34
Nice. Okay. Yeah, it's been good. It's been amidst all the chaos of COVID shown has done really well. A lot of people are tuning into radios. You will know your research is going to show you that matter. People are getting nostalgic and not much to a lot of time on their hands. Schedules have changed. So knock on woods scholar has done really well amidst all this and it's just a pleasure to be there, to be a part of it all and just rock it and it's really good. There's great interaction between the audience and us now. It's like the good old days. It really is. It's a lot of fun.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:10:13
Well, it sounds like when I listen to it and whether it's 19. 93, 20, 05, 20, 20 it's great to hear your voice on that station.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:10:23
Well, thanks man. That's very flattering. That's the nicest thing I think you've ever said to me in 30 years but.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:10:28
Well, I think back to that time when you said, I'm leaving. I'm going to Winnipeg. I don't have time for you, kid.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:10:36
Was that next door at the muffin shop? Must have been in the old post office next to green Avenue.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:10:41
Yeah, that's right. But now that you tell me about all the money involved I totally get it.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:10:46
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:10:47
Pete, thanks so much for doing this. Being candid, being honest and just chatting.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:10:53
Oh, it's my pleasure, man. It was fun, man. I mean you're an old friend and I can talk radio until the cows come home. So it's good to see you doing these podcasts too. Usually if I can, I follow them as much as I can. It sounded good.
Matt Cundill (Host) 01:11:05
Well, thanks. I mean I try to make them sound as strong as possible.
Pete Marier (Guest) 01:11:09
Yeah, well, you're a radio guy. We got that going for you.
Amanda Logan (VO) 01:11:12
Thanks for listening to the Sound Off Podcast. Find us online at soundoffpodcast.com, and connect with us wherever great social media is housed. The show is imaged using the sounds from Core Image Studios. Written and hosted by Matt Cundill. A production of the Soundoff Media Company.