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