The sincerest form of flattery

A few weeks ago, I played the Rolling Stones tune The Under Assistant West Coast Promotions Man on my show, The Rock and Roll Riot.

The B-side to Satisfaction.

Followed by the story behind the song. Mick and Keith wrote it about the record company exec who accompanied the Stones on their first American tour.

Last week, the Underground Garage spun the same song, followed by the same background tale, and it sounded quite a bit like what I had voiced on my show.


Now…it could be a coincidence.

Thanks to the internet, everyone has access to the same information and, during my research, I often find stories online, in addition to what I unearth from the dozens of music biographies in my collection. Like this excellent autobiography by Bill Wyman.

Okay, some history.

I’ve been a Sirius/XM subscriber for a decade and the UG is my favorite channel. I’m very familiar with the playlist and, truth be told, The Rock and Roll Riot’s then-and-now approach was influenced by Little Steven’s channel.

Mostly for Canadian content reasons, so I could give a boost to modern-day rockabilly bands like Toronto’s  Royal Crowns and my good friends from London, Ontario, The Black Holes. There were no Canadian equivalents to Elvis Presley and I can only schedule The Diamonds so many times.

During the past five years or so, I’ve connected with several of the UG’s personalities on Facebook and Twitter. Michael Des Barres follows me on the latter, and I’ve had some lively exchanges with former Garage DJ Andrew Loog Oldham (he managed The Stones).


I’ve also traded messages with Handsome Dick Manitoba. He read one of my emails on the air because, as John O’Mara, I had written about how cool it was that Dick named his son Koufax, after arguably the greatest pitcher of all time (if you go with quality over longevity). I also mentioned my favorite, Vida Blue.

Dick is a very cool guy and we share many of the same opinions, including how winter sucks and summer rules.

Anyway, a few years back I blogged about jocks like HDM being your radio friends on those drives home in the dark, on unlit rural highways.

I tweeted the link to Maureen Van Zandt, Little Steven’s much better half. She has been very gracious in replying to my tweets. You rock, MVZ!

She retweeted to Mister Manitoba and a few weeks later, on the air, he called himself “your radio friend.” Dick has done that many times since.



I would love to get my show on the Garage but Steven prefers celebrity deejays and who am I compared with HDM, Oldham or former UG personalities Joan Jett and Kim Fowley?  Nobody. And if I’m him, would I add  me to the lineup? Probably not.

Sirius/XM has over 30 million subscribers. Mostly due to Howard Stern.


I’m on a 700-watt station in Wasaga Beach, and a 900-watt high school station in Middlebourne, West Virginia. The Riot has also been on several internet stations over the years.

So I’m not a big deal. I get that. I receive plenty of great feedback on a local level and that is always gratifying.

I’m not the least bit unhappy about the possibility that my humble little program has influenced a satellite radio channel. I’m flattered. I’m not pissed off, and I don’t want to piss anyone off.


I don’t want this Johnny to show up at my door.


By the way, Lilyhammer is a great show. The subtitles can be distracting at times but it’s worth checking out.

If anyone from Sirius/XM or the Garage is reading this, you know what I would like?

Some kind of recommendation or boost. Follow me on Twitter. Give me an on-air shoutout. Just something that says, “Hey, if you enjoy the Underground Garage, check out this show from one of our longtime supporters, and our radio friend, Johnny Maraca.”


About johnnymaraca

sole proprietor of Maraca Media, former radio host (Johnny Maraca's Rock & Roll Riot), copywriter and producer and a print journalism grad.
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