I am, frequently, asked about my former FOX FM cohort, Alex White, who was the main morning man on 94.1 from day one when the station signed on in July 2001 right up until 2005 when he departed for a sales position in Prince Albert. Alex still lives in Prince Albert with his common-law wife and is doing very well (although he’s no longer working in broadcasting). We have hooked up for social visits a few times since his departure from Yorkton and, most recently, it was last week for the Foreigner concert at the Saskatoon Exhibition. We had an uncanny sense of chemistry on the air and our friendship off the air was also pretty tight. He’s one of those guys you can lose contact with for a year or more and then when you get back together it’s like you never missed a day. We had one of those Alex and Mikey moments just minutes after we met at the Grandstand on Tuesday. I spotted a 30-plus year-old guy who thought he was pretty cool wearing one of those ‘Where To Call If I’m Lost’ stickers. I pointed him out to Alex and, quick as a rabbit, he says, “He should keep that sticker forever. He looks totally clueless.”
As we went down memory lane a few times, Alex says his favorite ‘Alex and Mikey’ moment was when I made a big issue about former Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley being dead in his apartment for several weeks before anyone noticed he hadn’t been around. You are a lead singer of a pretty famous rock band and nobody has seen you for about a month, and yet no alarm bells are going off. And, I guess his apartment always had a foul smell coming from it, so that was no big deal either? I don’t remember, but Alex says one very irate Alice in Chains fan called us and really let me have it good about not having a caring heart for this poor man.
A close second for me was the day we talked about who we should and shouldn’t tip. Always eager to take the bad-guy side, I claimed that whenever I eat at a restaurant I never tip the server. I figured I was so far over the top talking about it that nobody believed it. Yet, I got some pretty bad service for awhile because the waiters and waitresses all thought I was a cheapo.
Then there was the two-year long running gag that I weighed 312 pounds. That was fun. You should have seen some of the looks I got when people saw me for the first time. “Aren’t you the guy that weighs 312 pounds?” Mouths would drop when I said, confidently, “Yes, I just carry it really well.” Then one day I claimed that I went on a massive weight loss program and dropped over 70 pounds during Christmas Holidays. The girl who cut my hair at the time congratulated me like crazy on it (she saw me once a month for two years and always thought I really did weigh 312). My real weight was about 235.
Oh, and Mike loves Elvis. I used that from the first day of work right up until the day Alex quit. Truthfully, I never understood how people could be so head over a heels about this guy. Yet, I couldn’t tell you how many times I was offered Elvis souvenirs from people willing to part with special items.
One of my favorite bits was an April Fools Day show where former mayor Phil DeVos came on and talked about a municipal pet tax. Phil’s a natural and needed no prep whatsoever for the show. The three of us winged it for a solid three hours. I’ve also been asked how much prep Alex and I did on a daily basis after each show. The answer is none. We felt our best work was done improvising.
I thought we were a pretty entertaining team and, for awhile, I thought we may end up moving on to bigger and better things together. I liked being the second fiddle on the air, he liked being the second fiddle when we were out in the public. It worked well. Unfortunately, I liked Yorkton a little too much to ever leave and I’m still here in 2012. Oddly, neither of us are working in the industry anymore, which I think says more about radio broadcasting than it does about us.
I was the first voice heard on FOX FM in 2001, yet I was the last person hired. I remember seeing the ad for a morning co-host on a website and I emailed a sample of my work. Alex was the Program Director and he called right away and asked to see me. He was straight up about the fact a woman co-host had been sought to work alongside him but the search wasn’t going well. So they decided to be a little more open minded about using another man in the co-host chair and after our meeting, I was hired June 6, 2001. I remember the date well, because we put our house in Brandon up for sale on June 7, and Matthew (our oldest) was born on June 8.
RIP... Alex and Mikey.