Some years ago, I had a radio colleague who was offended when the organizers of a charity golf tournament wouldn’t let him play for free.

He was a radio celebrity. He did not have to pay because…well…it kind of defeated the idea of raising money for the worthy cause…but, “Do you know who I am?”

The video is an animated  version of Eddie Izzard’s stand up comedy bit, the Death Star Canteen, during which Darth Vader wanders into the cafeteria and can’t believe the food server doesn’t know who he is, and has the nerve to suggest Lord Vader needs a tray. Vader can kill with a tray!

Go back 20 years or so and I was a radio copywriter participating in a charity skate in Port Elgin. I walked through the lobby and was greeted by a cheery lady with an English accent.


No. A radio station employee? Yes. But that pseudo-celebrity status meant a separate dressing room for me and my CFOS-CFPS co-workers.

This was decades before the launch of Johnny Maraca’s Rock and Roll Riot. I was strictly behind the scenes, not on the air. I haven’t been paid to play a particular song, unlike the patron saint of my show, Alan Freed. Many other deejays took payola back in the ’50s and ’60s but Freed was “Mister Rock and Roll” and, as such, the main target of the feds.

Dick Clark managed to avoid investigation and went on to greater fame, unlike Freed, whose career was destroyed.


Having said that, Johnny Maraca has been given the royal treatment many times over the past ten years. Thanks to Evita, Kahlil, Nelson, Danny, B Rye, Fred, Enzo, Frank and anyone I may have missed, for the free drinks and food.

Unlike the fellow I mentioned off the top, I have never expected freebies due to being a local radio guy. I’m always willing to pay full price. If that beer or burger is on the house, I am truly grateful. Loyalty goes a long way, and works both the ways.

But…if anyone from Wolf Blass is reading this, hello, I’m radio celebrity Johnny Maraca and I love your wines!


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