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Peter Griffin Is Gone

May 24, 2011 @ 12:47

I've been regretting this day. I just got a call from Kevin O'Leary who got the call from Geets Romo, the great Peter Griffin has passed away.

I have to put the word great before his name because that's exactly how I feel about Peter Griffin, who through the 70's and 80's provided Toronto with some great morning radio.

I had the pleasure and good fortune of working on the Pete Geets Show from 1980-87 at CFNY.

They had made the move from CHUM-FM and put CFNY on the map. It just so happened that I had been hired to do sports on the Spirit the year before so it was the ultimate case of being in the right place at the right time.

And it was a great time.

I did sports, Mike Stafford did news and we worked with two pioneers who were the first real comedic FM morning men in Canada, if not North America.

Pete and Geets had a unique style that was brilliant. For the times, these guys really pushed the envelope but did it with class and a whole lot of clever. No poo poo, pee pee or naked chicks.

Howard Stern gets so much credit for his act, but believe me, long before there was Howard Stern, there was Pete and Geets revolutionizing morning radio and they did it when the rules were a lot tougher.

Pete Griffin's infectious laugh and irreverent sense of humour is something I'll never forget. He was the ultimate set-up man and his chemistry with Geets was wonderful.

Pete was quite the fella, he came to a new rock / alternative station when he was 50 but his brain was a lot younger than that. He fit right in and quickly became one of the guys, hangin' out with all of us 20-somethings.

He played on the station ball team, went on all the road trips and never missed a party. He was a very funny guy.

Over the next few days, I'll write more about Peter Griffin because I can honestly say I loved the man. I'm not in the best frame of mind right now because this news comes to me as a king sized bummer.

However, I can't help but smile when I think of something he used to say quite often when something pissed him off.

"Fuck it, soon we'll all be dead."

RIP my friend.

A couple of years ago, Mike Stafford wrote this about Peter Griffin on Canadian Thinker.

"Nobody has been able to make me laugh harder than this man in my radio career. He was the straight man of the duo but, with all due respect to Geets Romo, he was why everything about the two worked.

Pete was schooled in the fine art of television and radio comedy. A big fan of Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs and Bob and Ray. His laugh was as infectious as the bird flu. And he displayed a trait that is completely missing from today's morning radio format: he was willing to let other people be funny without trying to top it or carry a grudge.

If you wonder why current or recent morning shows display ill-tempered humour or appear dysfunctional, it's because they don't have a Peter Griffin. Although my relationship with the Pete and Geets show ended poorly because of incompetent management, I will always have Peter to thank for the best years of my radio life."


Category: Friends | Radio

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32 Responses to "Peter Griffin Is Gone"

May 24, 2011 / 13:08


Loved the Pete and Geets show

he was a good guy and a class act. RIP Pete

James Edgar
May 24, 2011 / 13:12

RIP Pete . Loved the show.

David Cohen
May 24, 2011 / 13:32

I was a faithful listener, Pete was really ahead of his time as a broadcaster, I still remeber the April fools show when Pete and Geets held 'NY hostage and were on air all day...his creativity, warmth and humour will be missed, hard to find many gems like Pete Griffin...with Geets Romo!

Thanks Fred, my condolences to you and all of his colleagues.

May 24, 2011 / 16:00

Well said Fred..a truly sad day..another great one gone...condolences to Claire and family.

Gary Parker
May 24, 2011 / 16:12

How very sad! I miss these guys. I miss their humour and class.
RIP Pete.

Tim Laing
May 24, 2011 / 17:39

It is indeed a sad day for we have lost a great radio pioneer.

I had the priviledge in the late 70's to sit across the microphone every morning with Pete and Rick Hodge on CHUM-FM.

Pete was the most generous performers I have ever known. He didn't have to have the last word. Whoever had the best line simply had the best line. He was the star but let everyone else shine.

I learned more about performance, radio and life in general sitting across from him than in any other job I've ever had.

Pete made me laugh my ass off every single morning. His humor never had a bite, but it had a lot of heart and tons of soul.

Pete was simply the best. I was lucky to have known him.

Tim Laing

Rory O'Shea
May 24, 2011 / 17:43

'I'd Rather Be Laughing With Pete & Geets' -

He leaves a legacy of laughter.

Thanks for sharing, Fred.

RIP, Pete.

May 24, 2011 / 18:32

Was sorry to hear about Pete.
I remember those days when Pete and Geets were at CFNY. Always
laughed my ass off. He will be missed.

May 24, 2011 / 21:55

VERY Sad to hear this news. I was lucky enough to have Pete as instructor for Radio @ Humber. You were a guest speaker for us at least once, Fred.
As great as he was on the air, he was even better in the flesh. Great storyteller (he had some beauties) and just a really, really nice man. I ran into him in Smiths Falls near the end of his career and he seemed genuinely happy to see that I'd found a job in another side of the biz.

RIP, Pete.

Mike Hanafin
May 25, 2011 / 01:18

Very sad day for anyone who ever had the pleasure of working with Pete, or just being around him. I was a relatively minor character at 'NY, but one of my biggest thrills in radio was when you (Fred) would take a vacation, and I would get to do sports on the Pete and Geets show. Pete's laugh was infectious, and he cracked me up all the time. When I managed to crack him up, I knew I had "made it". But as many have said, Pete was all about making everyone else sound great, and it always worked. He will be missed, and so many great memories came flooding back to me today. So lets celebrate this mans life, and career. A great broadcaster, and an even better man.

The other James
May 25, 2011 / 11:41

I remember Pete from back in his CHUM FM days. I remember when they went rock. I remember when Geets came aboard. What fun mornings where. Then came CFNY where they hit a home run. When the run ended at 'NY it was a sad day. Morning shows these days are only sad imitations of what Pete and Geets did. God bless you Pete, Rest in Peace. Look on the bright side Fred, you had the privilege to know and work with him. Like all things, the pain of loosing Pete will pass but the memories will last forever.

Joe Andrews
May 25, 2011 / 11:54

Pete was a true gentleman and ultimate professional.

Working on the other side of the building at CHIC/CKMW, Pete was always open to providing advice to those who where new to the industry and had the passion to succeed.

It was also a thrill to have him come to speak to our students @ Humber. He told the broadcast students what the industry was all about..and did so with genuine honesty.

I will miss his smile and laughter!!

May 25, 2011 / 14:49

Pete and Geets were seminal in my addiction to radio. Pete, the quintessential straight man.
A gracious gentleman whom I remember welcoming a bunch of unanounsed, rowdy twenty-somethings into his home on a hot Sunday afternoon. (Think I still have pictures of O'Leary doing cannonballs into his pool;-) Not a word of complaint about a swarm of hormonally-charged locusts disrupting his quiet Sunday afternoon.

A gentleman to be sure.

May 25, 2011 / 16:18

I'm sitting in an airport in South Carolina waiting for a delayed flight. Found a wi-fi conection and for the first time in a week I log on... only to see this very sad news.

RIP Pete Griffin... a great guy and will be missed.

Steve Macaulay
May 25, 2011 / 16:58

Bang on Fred! Saw Pat Hurley today who was the guy who brought Pete and Geets back together at NY back then. Geets had gone to Q for a bit, Peter still at CHUM-FM. We remember those days so fondly. I remember Pete telling me once, that all those years he worked at CHUM-FM, (from early 60s when it was a classical music station) he still never got a "staff parking" pass and had to pay each morning! What a great guy he was. He'll be truly missed. I caught the tail end of Stafford's words on his show today on Peter, wished I'd heard it all. PG touched us all who worked with him, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of his radio fans!

Matt Diamond
May 25, 2011 / 17:45

After reading most of your comments, and hearing some close personal encounters from friends and co-workers alike, I want to send my condolences to those close to Pete. The more I learn, the more I yearn to work with such amazing people. Luckily, I still have some very close friends here at The Rock who constantly remind me of what it was like to live and work in the "free form" days of radio. RIP to a well respected man. I'm sure he is in a better place, doing what he did best.

May 25, 2011 / 18:25

Sad news. Spent many mornings with Pete and Geets on 'NY and grew quite fond of them. My best memory of Pete Griffin was seeing him as The Narrator in a stage production of Rocky Horror at the Danforth Music Hall back in the 80s. Although he had to spend the whole show sitting at a desk stageside, he brought panache to the role.

May 25, 2011 / 20:14

A legend of radio who made a difference. He was a very special person and my only regret was I did not get to know him better and we did not get to have lunch in Las Vegas on the occasion of our kids wedding.

William Mewes
May 26, 2011 / 01:22

I never met Peter in person but I was a child in the early 1960s and grew up listening to him on the radio.
Over the last few years I have had the pleasure of chating with him in an online forum.
His humour will be missed.
My thoughts are with his family.

Marian Munro
May 26, 2011 / 09:49

I knew Pete as Cappi. He visited a chatboard on eBay. Sounds trite? He was larger than life to most of us who have been a part of that community for 10 years. And many of us didn't know him as radio personality! His compassion and unending humour lightenend many a dull day. He shared our births, our deaths, divorces and marriages. Cappi you will always be remembered and forever loved. My condolences to his family and friends.

Annice Magar
May 26, 2011 / 10:20

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Rick Creuzburg
May 26, 2011 / 16:49

One morning around 1978 my clock radio woke me just as Pete was doing a traffic report, 'and at Caledonia & Eglinton there's a major tie-up where a 50 foot tall praying mantis has a bus in his mouth and thousands of Japanese people are running for their lives'

When you hear something like that when barely awake, it really messes with your mind - now THAT'S RADIO! Pete, you were indeed a class radio act.

c j carr
May 26, 2011 / 17:11 were a class act, a true gentleman....kind, caring,and one of the funniest people I have ever had the pleasure to speak with. You were soooo VERY proud of your family and never too busy to share a little chat with a friend. The world is a poorer place with your loss but we are ALL so much richer for having had you in our lives. My sincere condolences to Claire and family.

May 27, 2011 / 07:19

Fred, thanks for sharing the sad news of Pete's passing. The number of postings and the accolades are a wonderful testament to a great guy.
There were many times when Pete & Geets had me laughing out loud. What a pair!!
I remember Pete doing TV ads for Mr. Transmission I think. He even made THAT look cool.
Farewell Pete!


Ivar Hamilton
May 29, 2011 / 08:46

Very sad to see Pete go. He was a great person to work with. One of the sharpest and funniest morning radio hosts I ever worked with. Outside of work too, he and his family were great friends to entire CFNY staff. You will always make me laugh Pete!

Peter McMullin
May 29, 2011 / 20:48

Very sad today. My life is better thanks to all the great memories of Pete Griffin. Broadcaster without peer. Farewell

May 29, 2011 / 22:45

I loved the Pete & Geets sketches. They set the 'bar' so high that no one has been able to raise it a notch.

I missed them when the show ended and always felt they were the best morning radio ever. About Pete.. everything you wrote hits a chord for me. He was a brilliant comedic mind, timing, set up and that laugh..

Thanks Pete!

Geoff S
May 29, 2011 / 22:53

I saw this in the Sun this week and was saddened by Pete's passing. He was a pioneer and an immense part of the Spirit of Radio.

May 30, 2011 / 17:28

Goodbye Yesterday.

We are left with memories of a time that can never be again. RIP my friend.

Walton Deiter
August 3, 2011 / 14:15

I'll try to be nice and help everyone out for some good karma, here is a link to something you guys will probably want

Sat-Elite Ltd
August 4, 2011 / 19:52

The basic Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was released to the UK today - Thursday - and good luck to them too but can it compete in today's market? By the time the variants that make it appealing for peeps (and I obviously don't just mean memory here) become available won't it have become a little old hat?

August 11, 2011 / 19:30

I see the youthful Peaches Geldof, changing tack a little here, has shed a startling amount of weight just lately. No-one seems concerned about this but I have to wonder, given her family history of perhaps over-indulgent behaviour, whether this likeable young lady is as healthy as she might be. I do hope she is.

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