An Interview with Radio Personality, Commentator, Drummer, Rick Lewis

Rick and I became friends some years back through a mutual acquaintance and our friendship has grown more and more over the years. We have a deep respect for each other, our drive and our accomplishments.

We share a kinship in that we’re both drummers and love to watch each other perform and share our experiences on and off the stage.

Rick takes us all the way back to his early childhood where we learn how his path and his outlook on life, was created at a young age both musically and personally.

You will hear him say throughout this interview, the words “No Fear!” and you’ll see why he has accomplished so much in his life up to date and why he continues to push himself and grow even more.


Rick Lewis:

Radio Personality

Color Commentator for the Denver Broncos

Drummer for The Rick Lewis Project

*iHeartRadio Shows*

Rick’s Links:





Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: “Out and About“, Song: “Chicken & Scotch” 2014

Andy’s Links:


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Rick Lewis Interview:

Rick Lewis Interview

Joe: Hey, Rick Lewis, man. How you doing? Glad you

Rick: Well,

Joe: Could join me.

Rick: Good to see you, too, Joe. As you can tell, as we were setting this up, I’m a borderline moron when it comes to this type of technology, so I’m trying my best.

Joe: Hey, that’s what happens when you’re a big shot and they have everybody around you taking care of the technology. You just sit back and put the

Rick: Yeah I need an I.T. guy at my house

Joe: Headphones on and start talking

Joe: [laughter] All right, cool. So I just wanted to start from the beginning. We’re gonna just do a quick overview of where you started out and so let’s just dig into it, man. Everyone’s going to know by the time we start talking, at least your bio and everything else. But, you know, I want to start from the very beginning and get a quick synopsis of where you grew up, where you were born, where you grew up. Start from there.

Rick: Yeah. So I was. I was born outside of Detroit, Michigan, in a steel town, blue collar steel town. Great place to grow up. Just, you know, really, really good childhood. A lot of great memories. My dad worked for a chemical company there and we lived there from the time I was born till 6th grade. And then my dad started moving around the country because he was kind of moving up, up the ladder in his company. My dad was the first guy in our family to ever get a college degree. And so he kind of broke the mold of, you know, generations of the family. And I really admire him for doing that because he had five kids. He was going to night school to get a degree. I don’t know how he did that, but he did it. And once he got his degree, he started kind of moving up in the corporate world a bit. So middle of 6th grade, I moved from Detroit to Columbus, Ohio, middle of 9th grade, I moved from Columbus, Ohio, to Naperville, Illinois, which is right outside Chicago. And then just before my senior year, we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. So we moved around quite a bit. I went to I think it was four different high schools, in two different states. And I think that…you know, what the time was was a little bit traumatizing because you’re always the new kid. But looking back on it now, I realize that it it there were some good things about it that kind of molded me into who I am today.

Joe: Right and from what I know, you and I are friends and I know you a fair amount, but I have a feeling that you are really good athlete, right?

Rick: I was a really good athlete. Yeah. You know, growing up, I always thought I wanted to be a pro athlete. And that was my dream and that was my dream until I got into college, and then once you get into college with with better competition, you know that that dream was quickly shattered and I realized that that wasn’t going to come to fruition. But so that was about until I was about 19 years old, until I realized that, yeah, I’m a good athlete, but there’s a lot better athletes than me out there and it just wasn’t in the cards for me. But yeah, growing up, we played every sport in Detroit. You know, every sport throughout the season, hockey, baseball, basketball, football and very, very competitive. We played we played a lot of sandlot games back there that were very competitive with some really good players and it was it was really cool to be in that type of competition where you have a real sense of pride for your street or your neighborhood and you’re playing against all these other neighborhoods. And it got, it got to the point where there’d be fights. You know, there’d be a lot of, a lot of people that held grudges, you know, and that type of thing and ah like I said, it was kind of a tough part of of the country with all like blue collar, you know, people’s kids that were really grinder’s and just really gave everything they did…100% percent effort.

Joe: Right!

Rick: And I was one of those guys.

Joe: I know, I know from your mentality that you weren’t going to take any shit from anybody, so, so so how did you get to NAU in Flagstaff?

Rick: Ok.

Joe: How’d you pick that school out of out of

Rick: Yeah,

Joe: Everything? You know

Rick: Well, like I said, we moved around a lot, so I was a good football player. And the fact that we moved right before my senior year was not good for somebody that was hoping to move on and play college football and get recruited and get it to a good football program because, you know, it’s hard to follow somebody, especially back then, not today with social media. You know, it’s a lot easier to get your profile out there to, you know, college recruiters and coaches. But back then, it wasn’t. So the fact that I moved right before my senior year was a bit of a handicap for me. But I had a good senior year and I was getting recruited throughout the state of Ohio and Indiana and Kentucky and places like that. That I wasn’t really that interested in going to, you know, a lot of smaller schools, a few mid-level schools. I did get letters from some other schools around the country, too, that were bigger. But I didn’t have the confidence at that point to one up, you know, leave, leave or leave home and go halfway across the country to try to play at a at a bigger school. But anyway, NAU one of the schools that that did recruit me back then, I never even heard it in a year in Ohio. I mean, I had never heard of that. I heard the name before. So I ended up going to actually went to Miami University, Miami of Ohio, which was about an hour, maybe an hour and a half from my house. And the reason I did that is because at a high school girlfriend that I thought for me it was more important that I stay close to home so I could be around this high school girlfriend and Miami of Ohio had a really good football team at the time.

Rick: They didn’t recruit me. So I just went there so I could be closer to my girlfriend. Three weeks since you broke up with me and, you know, the typical freshman story. And so I couldn’t wait to get out of that school. I mean, I just kind of I waited one quarter and I quit and I came back home and try to figure out what I was going to do next. And it was at that point that I really I think is when I would say I became a man at that point, because I had a I had a bit of, I guess you’d call it an awakening or epiphany back then as I was going through all of this pain, you know, this is high school heartbreak. And I realized that ah, that I had, I was I was blessed with a lot of things. I was I was born at the right time, you know, born in the United States. You know, I was athletic. I had had some intelligence. I had some musical ability. And I realized that I had all of these skills that were already given to me and that it was my job at that point to take all of these gifts and then try to make them better, you know, try to enhance myself in every way and become a better person all around. And so once I had that epiphany, I decided that it was time to launch. And I remember that NAU had recruited me and I like I said, I’d never even heard of you before but Arizona seemed like a really exotic place to be, especially for a kid from Ohio. And so I decided that’s where I was going to go.

Joe: And what did you. Yeah. So what did you go there to do? Cause it it wasn’t getting go there for football, right.

Rick: Yeah,

Joe: What was your major.

Rick: I did.

Joe: Oh you did.

Rick: Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Joe: Oh, cool.

Rick: And I had no major in mind at that point. I was I was on a different kind of mission. I wasn’t going there to learn or be educated out of a book. I was going there to experience life. And so the school part of it wasn’t all that important to me. I had something else in mind and that was just, you know, finding out who I was, what I was fully capable of doing, challenging myself and at that point, I would say I had no fear. I had no fear of failure. I had, I didn’t even have a second thought that whatever I did wasn’t going to work, that I would find a way to make it work. And I would find a way to be successful and I just…I could have I could have done anything at that point. I literally could have done anything. But I didn’t know what it was yet. But I had a feeling whatever I did, it was going to be great! It which change this belief, just this faith that I had. So I went out there, you know, the football was a part of the package, but it was really just to find myself in the football part of it ended up becoming becoming a very minor part of the experience out there, because I learned so much about myself and what I was capable of doing. And I had several majors when I was there. I just you know, I could never find anything that really interested me enough in school until one day at the gym, a guy told me that he had a show on the campus radio station and he said, you should come down tonight to them on my radio show. I’d never even thought of it. And I said, “OK, that sounds cool, I’ll do that”. So I went in there that night and I really liked it. He put me on the air. I ended up getting my own show. I’d found my thing, basically. So when I went out there for with complete confidence that I would find but not knowing what it was at the time, I did find it. It’s…

Joe: How far was that into into that college year or like was it the first year, second year?

Rick: I want to say it was year two. And I was only there for two and a half years, so I would say probably right after my first year I discovered that. And then I switched my major to radio TV. Like I said, I got my own show on the campus station. I, I knew I was…I knew I was good at it right away. You know, I just found my thing just like you when you found that you could play drumms, right? You knew

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: What your thing is. So I knew what my thing was. And so I also got I was doing ah…I was like a club deejay. They had nightclubs and stuff like that, you know like disco kind of thing. I became a disco deejay and that was really fun, I really enjoyed that. And just once again, just developing my craft, basically learning how to talk in front of people, learning how to put on a show, learning how to present. And that just was just giving me more and more experience for my radio TV career that follow. So after, after a year or so of doing that, you know, a lot of people were telling me, you know, a lot of people in Flagstaff were telling me right now my, my group of people [laughter]

Joe: Right.

Rick: Would be, you know, they were saying, you know, “Rick, you’re really good at this man. You should go to Hollywood. You should you should try to get into movies in Hollywood”. And I was thinking, yeah, you know what? I should probably try that. And so once again, going back to the no fear thing, that’s what I did, I ended up quitting NAU after two and a half years. This was this because after like right after the fall semester. So going in to the spring, some guy that was driving to California for a job and I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have any money, I literally five bucks, that’s all I had. So I had no car, I had five dollars to my name, everything I owned a pillowcase. I did, I didn’t have any, anywhere to go up there, I had no place to stay…nothing. Well, there’s this guy that I was driving out with, had a van, so I thought, well, you know, if I get desperate, I could maybe sleep in this guy’s van. So I went out there and I quickly got hired at a club about there in Orange County as a deejay. And not only did I get a job, they gave me room and board at a at this nice hotel because the club was at a hotel. So I got a job, room and board at the hotel, I got a company car, all my, all my meals paid for and all my laundry and dry cleaned.

Joe: Geez.

Rick: So it was like I hit the lotto, you know? And I remember I called my dad up when I got out there because he was really mad at quit school. And I called my dad up when I got out there and he ah…he goes, “So what are you really doing out there, son?” He goes “Are you in the Mafia or something?” He goes, “He said, no…nobody gives a 21 year old kid a company car”. I said, yeah, I know, Dad, but they did and so I had that, you know, so that gave me some stability and some income. And I went out and got an agent and this agent sent me out on my first, like very first audition was a movie called “Fast Break”, which was a basketball movie, Gabe Kaplan was the star of it. And um,  I tried out for it was a very minor role in the movie. Basically just had to play basketball. So once again, going back to the athletic ability that I had. Right. So that was my tryout and they went, OK, good, you got the part. So I ended up I work six weeks on this film every day for six weeks, and it didn’t pay that much.

Rick: I still remember when paid it paid seventy five bucks a day. And at that point, I’d had a motorcycle. Um, I rode the motorcycle to the set every day in L.A. for six weeks…it never rained one time. Lucky because at that point I didn’t have the car anymore because when I got this job, I had to quit the the deejay job. And so that I had to get a motorcycle, somebody loaned me money to get the motorcycle. Some guy just said, you know, “Let me buy that for you”. So once again, it’s just like it’s like everything was just meant to be for me. And so that kind of got me started down the path of trying to be an actor. The movie was a was a big hit for those of you watching this now, you could still find that movie. It pops up like on, on TBS, like once a year they play it. At the time, it was one of the biggest movies of the year that came out because Gabe Kaplan was a big star back. He was coming from Welcome Back Kotter to that. And so.

Joe: I’ll have to rent it now so that I can and I have to figure out if I can find you somewhere in the film before we get past this point, though, I want to ask you, what gave you the foresight to to actually go and get an agent? How did that come to your brain to go, wow. I need to go get an agent.

Rick: Why just knew I just knew if you’re going to be if you want to try to get some TV or movies, you needed an agent. And so this guy this guy got me in quite a few things, mostly, mostly extra roles but I did pick up ah, I got a couple of national TV commercials, I got a Budweiser commercial, I got a Marantz stereo commercial. I was an ABC sitcom called “Makin’ It” with David Naughton. You know, just a minor role…I beat him up in the show. I was like a tough guy and, and they and they you up, they didn’t think I looked tough enough and I had, I had blond hair, kind of surfer guy look and so they sprayed my hair black with, with a

Joe: Oh Gosh…

Rick: spray paint out of the can. They sprayed my hair black to make, it look like me. So I was kind of disappointed in that because if you watched it and knew me, you wouldn’t even know it was me.

Joe: Oh Wow!

Rick: But a lot, a lot, a lot of cool experiences along the way.

Joe: That’s really cool, and it’s funny because you started out doing the radio thing, which is not in front of a camera to being fully in front of a camera and then come where we are today, now you’re well, actually you do both now. So it’s kind of cool. You got the experience, so you’re comfortable in both situations.

Rick: Yeah. And the way I got decided to go back into get into radio is, this is, this is really was a turning point in my life. I was working at a liquor store, like all actors do. You’re either a wait, you know, a waiter or you work at a liquor store or something like that. Something that gave you the freedom to be able to go out in an audition and do whatever you needed to do. So as working at a liquor store in Anaheim, right down the street from Disneyland. And it was a Friday night and that night a show that I was on was on TV. So I brought a TV in to the liquor store because I wanted to…you know, I obviously wanted to watch myself on TV. And in effect, it was that show “Makin’ It” that I just mentioned, the ABC sitcom. And so I brought to TV in and I had it on the counter and it was a Friday night on Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim, right down the street from Disney. And a couple of guys came in and, you know, put a 12 pack on on the counter and and I’m busy looking at the TV over here and I turned around I said, “You want anything else?” They went “Yeah, I think we’ll go get another 12 pack. I said, “Yeah, that’s great!” And so I go back, I’m looking at the TV, one guy comes around behind me and the guy in front of me puts a gun to my head. So they’re obviously holding me up. Yeah,

Joe: Yeah, man…

Rick: It’s so.

Rick: You know, it’s you don’t know how you’re going to react in a situation like that, until that happens and everything for me just slowed way down almost like slow motion. And I didn’t panic, I was, I was really calm. I gave him the money out of the um, the cash register, but I knew that they had some marked bills in there. If you pulled these marked bills, that triggers a silent alarm and the Anaheim PD comes because if you’re getting robbed, that’s what you did. I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t want to give him those bills because I knew that the alarm would would trigger the police to come and I thought if the police came, these guys would either hold me hostage or kill me. So you could see how how clear I was thinking. So I didn’t give the bills and they said, you know, “Give us all the bills you M’efer”. And so I pull them out, I threw them in the bag. Now, I knew that the cops had been alerted. So they’re trying to get me to open the safe. I couldn’t open that, I said, “Hey, man, I just work here, I don’t have the combination”. And they said, “Open the safe!!”. and I said, “I can’t man, I just work here”. So they said, “Get in the back room, hands over your heads!!” I’m walking back like this. And that’s when I thought, well, I might be in trouble now and then it’s the same time, I’m still thinking, man, I hope nobody comes in that front door because they’ll probably kill me.

Rick: Even the cops were there, if the cops come they’ll hold me hostage, if somebody else walks in, they’ll probably kill me. This is a Friday night and then nobody comes in. So then they told me to lay on the floor, hands over my head, you know, like execution style…I’m doing that. And they’re still trying, they find a crowbar. They’re trying to open the safe, and so they, they couldn’t get it open and they finally realized they’re going to get out of there. And they told me to count to 100 before I got up. They had to step right over me to get out. And I’m thinking they’re either going to kick me in the head, shoot me in the back of the head, you know, who knows what they’re doing? Well, they didn’t you know, they stepped over me and ran out the door. I counted to three and I ran up the door because I wanted to see if I could catch a license plate. But they were on foot. So they got away. It is up standing in the parking lot, five cop cars pulled up and at first they thought that I robbed a liquor store. And I quickly explained to them what had happened. And so, anyway, long story short, they never caught the guys but the next day I got called into the corporate office. It was a U-Tote’Em, I know if you remember you U-Tote’Em

Joe: Ok…

Rick: Became they became Circle K’s

Joe: Ok.

Rick: Yeah, so a corporate liquor store.

Joe: Mm…hmmmm

Rick: And I got called in to the corporate office and the guy sat me down and he goes, “Well, you got robbed last night!”, I said, “Yeah, yeah!”. He goes, “Well, you know what? They got a lot of money!!” I was like? “Yeah!?”, he goes “No, they got like $227 dollars. I said “Ah ha!” and he goes, he goes, “That’s a lot of money!” And and I said it, and I was, I was probably twenty three years old, twenty two, you know, still just a kid and this guy’s got his suit on and everything. And I said, I said, “Have you ever had a gun pointed at your head!?” And he said, “No, I haven’t”. And I said, “Listen, man”…I said, “I would’ve carried the safe to my fuckin’ car!!”. If I…that’s a quote, you know, quote unquote. I told them that, he goes, “Oh, no, no, I understand,you know, I totally get that”, but he goes, “We’re going to have to let you go!”. I,

Joe: Oh,

Rick: I got fired…

Joe: Gosh…

Rick: for being held up, and so I said, I said, “Why would I give up my life for a minimum wage job?” I said “I would get I wouldn’t give them anything they wanted”. He goes, “No and I get that we can have you work here anymore”. I don’t know, I still don’t know what that was about. But I ended up realizing that I should probably get into radio. You know, that’s really what I was born to do. Now, the acting thing wasn’t my thing and so I ended up going back to school at Long Beach State because they had a really good radio program there. And I had a year and a half to go to get my degree and I got a degree at Long Beach State. They had two broadcast stations on campus, broadcasting into Long Beach. It was great experience…I did everything from a deejay shift to a sports talk show, to a news, I was a news anchor and I did play by play for the Long Beach State football, baseball, basketball team. And so I got a ton a great experience. Yeah, it turned out to be really, really good.

Joe: That’s amazing because I got on the radio at my college and I got the shitty 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. slot or something like that, because like it was only drunks calling in and telling me to play this and that and I’d get in trouble with it. I wouldn’t stick to the playlist that the program director gave me, so. Yeah. So yeah, that’s

Rick: Oh,

Joe: Good.

Rick: I didn’t know you do that.

Joe: Oh yeah. It was it was a disaster.

Rick: Yeah, I got to do everything, but keep in mind now I’m a little older, so I’m probably twenty three, where everybody else there is 18 and 19. So I was more experienced, I’ve been around. And so I really don’t want to say I was the best guy there, but I probably was, you know. And so they want it, so they utilize me any way they could. And it just turned out to be great in fact I’m not bragging, but I got nominated as outstanding graduate the program. And this is

Joe: Oh cool!

Rick: it and me, a guy who never cared about school. I mean, I could care less about what I could learn at school or at least a classroom part of it but once I got into radio, it was just my thing. I got straight A’s, I got a 4.0. my last year and a half with, without really even trying. And when that happens, you know, you found, your thing, you found.

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: You’re supposed to be doing, you know, just

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Like I mentioned earlier with you playing drums. Same thing.

Joe: So now, now you’re, you found it! You found what you love, you got your degree, you excelled in it. How you know, if we can just cover quickly the, the the brief stop offs at the different stations around the country that you, you got work at and then finally landing in Colorado.

Rick: So, yeah, I graduated in June. I sent out tapes for, I sent out tapes for, you know, to be a deejay and I also sent out sports tapes to do sports talk or be a sports reporter because I like both. And and I didn’t, you know, I thought I’d end up in sports, honestly, like to be a sportscaster but I didn’t want to limit myself, so I set up both and I got hired in August. Two months later, I got hired at a radio station in San Clemente. So in the market still right on the beach, it was it was pretty cool. The money wasn’t very good. I still remember what I was making back then, it was twelve hundred a month to do mornings at this station in San Clemente, but I wasn’t in it for the money. I had, I knew, I knew what the goal was, I knew that the money would come at some point. This was just all about getting getting you getting reps, as they say in football, you know, building up my chops. I knew I had to build up my chops. I didn’t come out of college, you know, a good broadcaster. I came out of college a you know, a green professional broadcaster with a lot of potential. So I totally saw the big picture and I knew I just had to get reps in and every day, you get better and better and better. Just like playing an instrument, you just got play. And, you know, anybody can crack open a mike and talk on the radio but it’s the years of experience that really, you know, fine tunes, what you can do, just like playing drums or playing any other instrument. So, so San Clemente, I was there for a year and a half and I started getting noticed by some of the bigger markets like San Diego, they had me working weekends and say Diego at a radio station down there. In fact, they offered me the morning show down there and that’s a whole another story, I kind of blew that one. Well, I don’t know how much time we have. But

Joe: It’s

Rick: Yeah.

Joe: Up to you. Listen, I. I will stay here as long as, I have a lot I want to cover.

Rick: Yeah. Yeah.

Joe: But if

Rick: Well,

Joe: If this is

Rick: Ok.

Joe: A great but if this is a great story, because the story with the five dollars and the pillow

Rick: Yeah.

Joe: Case,

Rick: Yeah well anyway…

Joe: I had never I had never heard. So that was a great story.

Rick: Yeah. Well, anyway, it was a, I learned a lesson talking to fans that would call the show, you know, a lot of times when records are playing, you’ll kill time talking to people on the phone. And I happened to mention it to somebody, who happened to call down the morning show guy at the station in San Diego and tell them, “Oh, by the way, I heard this guy in San Clemente, Rick Lewis, is taking your job!” This guy’s “What!!?” He went to the boss, told the boss, the boss called me. “Who? Who did you tell, you had the morning show here at the radio station!!?” And said, He said, “I can’t hire you!” He said, “I had to deny it, I’m not going to be able to hire you”. Anyway, that’s the short version of the story, but still from there, from San Clemente, I ended up getting hired at a radio station in Anaheim. After about a year and a half in it, it was quite a big step up. It was a union station. The money was really good. I had probably more than tripled or quadrupled what I was making, you know, so I was there for just a week and they changed the format. I got fired a week into the week into this job and it was, you know, like I said, it was.

Rick: It was a pretty good step up. And like I was thinking, how did they not know that they were gonna change the format a week ago when they hired me? It was pretty devastated. And so once again, I’m starting over I ended up sending tapes out. This time I’m certainly tapes out of the L.A. Three months later, I got hired at the biggest rock station in L.A. and probably the biggest rock station in the country. Some of you may remember KMET The Mighty Met, those of you from from L.A. certainly remember KMET. So, so one door closes, another one opens. I ended up like just jump, jumpin’ over the mid-market, you know, radio station, right up to the very top. So in a year and a half out of college, I’m working at the top radio, top rock radio station in the country. It was named Billboard Magazine’s Major Market AOR Radio Station. And so this was like a dream. It’s unbelievable! I was the youngest guy there, they had legendary radio personalities there and just just a blessing for me. You know, I’m not the most patient guy anyway. Yeah, I don’t think I was ready for it, to be honest, I still had a lot of a lot of growing to do as a radio personality, but that’s certainly accelerated it.

Rick: And then once again, the pay was two or three times more than what it was gonna be an Anaheim so in a year and a half, I just like I shot right to the top of my field. And, you know, you’re probably thinking, well, you didn’t pay your dues, you know. I guess maybe you could look at it that way, like I didn’t have to go to a lot of shitty markets and you know, grind it out for 10 years before I got the opportunity but that’s just how it happened for me. But I never took it for granted. I never took it for granted because going back to my blue collar roots, I would call myself a grinder with talent. The talent a blessing, the grind part, that’s on me. I had nothing to do with the talent. But the grind part’s on me, and I always thought that a grinder with talent, is the, the person you would want to hire because that person is going to take what they got and they’re going to outwork everybody and they’re just going to get better and better and better. And so that’s kind of how it happened with me. So there I was LA, now you want to know how I got to Denver. OK. So.

Joe: Yeah. Now, I wanted to how cause, like cause, that’s where we’re going to get into more of this other stuff. So…

Rick: Yeah, so I worked in LA for…see, I started in 81′ at San Clemente and I worked in LA till 1990 so nine years. I also worked at Power 106 in LA, which is still a big powerhouse radio station in L.A. because I ended up getting fired from KMET twice, um yeah, two times. Yeah, one time I just signed a three year deal and this fired me three months later. They pulled the plug on the whole radio station, this was in 1987. They, they became the first smooth jazz radio station in the country. They just pulled the plug on one of the greatest, if not the greatest rock radio station ever! Turn it into smooth jazz, fired us all. So that’s the third time I’ve been fired now since 1981. So I went to…I realized then that I, to make the really big money and the biggest impact in the business, you got to do morning drive radio. So I stepped back down to that radio station Anaheim, that I was that early on in my career and started doing mornings there and I did mornings there for three three years and I got fired…again. So for no reason, you get fired in radio, not for doing anything wrong, it’s usually a turnover of, you know, upper management, middle management, format changes, that kind of thing. So, so now I’ve been fired four times, since I started in 1981 and it’s really hard to get a job in radio. Every time you get fired, you think I’m probably never going to get hired again.

Rick: You know, because it’s it’s it’s really hard to do. And I had, I had so many chances along the way there in LA where I almost hit like the big time. Like I got asked to guest host PM Magazine and I crushed it! And I killed it!. They call me later, they said “Hey, we want to, we’re thinking about making you the national PM Magazine host” and I was probably, I was probably about twenty six years old, twenty seven, and they were like “I was like, cool!” So they said, we got to, get we got to get a reel, gotta to get something more than this to show people nationally, come on down, we’ll do some test and test rule. And that day I got stuck in traffic driving from Orange County to Hollywood, took me two and a half hours. I didn’t know then, that I’m hypoglycemic, so my blood sugar just tanked on the way down there. So I got there, I did the audition and I was flat, totally flat. And I knew it was not a good audition. And the guy pulled me aside, he goes, “Rick, what happened man, you crushed it when you guest hosted the show, the just wasn’t very good!” “Yeah man,I know”, I said “I’m just not feel “in it today. He goes, “I can’t show anybody this!”. “Well, can we try it again?” He goes, “No”. So anyway, I blew that one. Dick Clark called the radio station in LA that I was working at, some, somehow he had seen me somewhere and he said, “Hey, I want to meet this guy, Rick Lewis, one of your radio people”.

Rick: They gave me the message, I call back, they set up a meeting with me. I go to Dick Clark’s Studios in Burbank and I never met Dick, but I met his right hand man. We had about a 90 minute meeting. And he told me that they were going to develop a bunch of shows around me. And so of course, at this point I realized not to get your hopes up in Hollywood or in show business because a lot of times it just never happens. So I was feeling good about it, but I didn’t get my hopes up at that point and I’m maybe twenty seven years old, twenty eight, I already knew better than to get my hopes up. So we had some conversations on the phone after that about different shows and different show ideas for about three, four months and then they went dark on me. Nothing, nothing ever happened again, I never heard from him again. So anyway, I had all these near misses or near hits along the way. And so at 1990, a radio guy in L.A. named Frazer Smith, and once again, anybody from LA would know that name, he was, he’s one of the legendary guys out there. He was from Detroit and he told me, he said “Hey man!”, he goes “I just got offered a half a million dollars to do mornings in Detroit” and this was in the 80s, so translate that into today’s money. That’s a lot of money!

Joe: Right.

Rick: He said big money

Joe: That’s a lot of money.

Rick: You can make big money in some of these Midwest towns doing mornings. I went “Really!!? OK, it’s good to know”. So I contacted a guy that I knew in our company that I still work for and they offered me an afternoon show back in Cincinnati, which is where I used to live. I thought that was too big of a step down in market size, I turned it down. A show, a station in Detroit, told me that they were very interested in hiring me to do a show there and so I went back and interviewed. I took my life back, we were looking at houses and neighborhoods, never happened! And anybody that’s in show business,  you know, Joe, you’ve been you’ve been in the entertainment business a long time, you know that this is just how it goes. All of these big things get dangled in that most of time they don’t happen. But, I knew at that point that I’m ready to leave the market if the right opportunity came along. So the guy who offered me the job at Cincinnati got back to me and he named off about three or four other markets that they were willing to hire in and Denver was one them. And I’d never really been to Denver before. And he said, hey, we got this comedian named Floorwax, he’s really funny, but he doesn’t get the radio business, he doesn’t understand it. He needs a really good partner to make it work. He’d already, he’d already had a show here in Denver. He was on the air with another guy and he said the station is losing money.

Rick: They’re they’re not right even in the top 20, but he said, if you can go there, turn it around, he said you can write your own ticket. And I kept thinking back to what Frazer Smith told me about how this could all work out financially. So my wife and I flew out and we liked the city. I thought it was worth taking a chance for a year. Once again, back to no fear. I left the L.A. market and I by the way, I did get after getting fired there, I did have another radio show, another radio station I was working for back there, so it wasn’t like I was unemployed, but I, I told my wife, I said, even if this only last year with Floorwax, we’ll go somewhere else, meaning me and Floorwax will keep going somewhere till it hits. Because I knew I knew that what we had, was really special. And it ended up here we are 30 years later, I’m still doing the same radio’s unbelievable. And it’s been just an incredible run and I’d never take it for granted because of how I started my career, getting fired four times in the first nine years. I wake up every day just counting my blessings. And I also realize it didn’t matter how good you are, how big you are, how much money you make, they could fire you in a second and I’ve never taken that for granted.

Joe: I know that about you, I know that you’re grateful every day for what you have and what you’ve accomplished and that’s why this is a special interview for me, because we we think along the same lines and in, you know, that’s what they say, right? You said you are, what is it? The quote is something like, “You are the sum of the five people that you associate yourself with” or hang around whether or whatever. So,

Rick: Yeah,

Joe: Yeah, I get

Rick: We all

Joe: Yeah

Rick: Attract,

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: You know, the energy we put out. We named Energy. And so

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: That’s how you and I became friends. You know, you

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Kind of attract who you are or what you what you put out there. Yeah.

Joe: Yup. So you get to Denver and they get rid of this other guy that Floorwax is with and you step in and you guys create this this Lewis and Floorwax show that was on the air for how many years?

Rick: Well, Floorwax and I did twenty three years together. And then

Joe: Ok.

Rick: Unfortunately for floor wax, he ended up quitting the show and he’s been gone ever since. So he’s been gone for seven years now. And the show continues to go on. The show is still very successful. You know, big revenue maker, big ratings. It’s amazing. I can’t believe it’s lasted this long. I really can’t.

Joe: Yup, yeah, and there must have been a lot of pressure, right, when that whole thing happened where Floorwax was going away, you were still handed the show to say, let’s keep it going and make the best of it. And I’m sure at that point everybody’s eyes were on you going, ok, can he pull this off without having the secondary person with him on the air to exchange that banter with and all that other stuff? And I know listening to it after that, that it just it just kept shooting upward. It just was amazing!

Rick: Yeah, I kind of thought

Joe: And still is so…

Rick: Maybe it was over here in Denver when he had left. In fact, I hired an agent outside. You know, the more I had a New York agent, you know, a national agent thinking that I would probably be looking for another job. And I looked at it once again as an opportunity. You know, like, all right, this is the universe telling me, hey, it’s time to move on. Floorwax left in January and by that summer, the radio show was number one in the morning. And so then they the company was coming back to me talking about a new contract. And so it ended up working out where they signed me to a new contract. I don’t think they thought it was going to work. I thought, I think they thought the show was over, you know, and this will be it. I think everybody was surprised, including myself. I ended up retooling the show, kind of reinventing it, reinventing myself. I looked at it as an opportunity to just get better. You know, I had a band with Floorwax as well, that was real successful. I looked at that as an opportunity to, as kind of a rebirth. And, and the approach that I took and it took a lot of work, it was a lot of work with the radio show and the band, to get it actually to the level we were before and in some cases even better.

Joe: Right. So the timeline is you start with Floorwax. What year?

Rick: 1990.

Joe: And then it ends January of what year?

Rick: Well, twenty three years later. So that would be 2013. Is what you

Joe: Got

Rick: Walked

Joe: It.

Rick: Off? Yeah.

Joe: Ok. OK. And you picked up and you just just it was it’s amazing. So I know that the list could be huge, but let’s just for the sake of keeping it condensed. I know just a few times you invited me into the studio and I’ve been in town or I’ve listened to it from being in Arizona. What’s the top five most famous people you either interviewed live in the studio or remotely on like call-ins over the phone? I know it’s ridiculous because the list is probably hundreds.

Rick: You know what it is, it’s a really hard question to answer.

Joe: Did any of them make you nervous? How’s that? Maybe that would pinpoint them somebody like being really over the top. Well known.

Rick: I literally interviewed almost everybody you can think of joke. You know, if even when I was in L.A., I worked for Westwood One and my job was to go get, to do probably seven to 10 interviews a week of either movie stars or rock ah, you know, rock stars, singer songwriters. So I was interviewing seven to 10 people a week for a couple of years out there. I interviewed everybody. When somebody is new album would come out, I got to meet them at a hotel in their hotel room, you know, and interview them. So it’s all kind of a blur, to be honest

Joe: Yeah, I’m

Rick: With

Joe: Sure.

Rick: You. You started naming names. I could I could tell you. Oh, yeah.

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: I could tell you a story about

Joe: Yep.

Rick: That Westwood One gig did make me a really good interviewer or me, you know, it made me really know how to interview people and how to how to listen to people instead of, instead of having a list of questions in your ask, that you ask, you know, question number seven off your list, while they’re talking, you’re already looking at question number eight. You’re just like, you’ve just got to let it flow, you know, and it just go with the conversation because a lot of these people, they, they, they’re not that comfortable being interviewed. It’s not their thing, though, some of them are great, like David Lee Roth. That’s a guy I’ve interviewed many times. All you gotta do is turn the mic on and let em’ go and just try to guide it, you know and try to, hopefully you get from point A to point B to point C without losing your license. You know, guys like that, Ted Nugent,

Joe: Right.

Rick: Ted Nugent, you just let him go. But you try to guide them, you know, along the way to try to get what you want out of them. Guys like that are real easy, but a lot of them, they really have very little to say. A lot of a lot of these rock stars are somewhat introverted, movie stars, really a introverted.  Movie stars, you take away a script, they don’t have a whole lot to say. You know, they’re always you know, they’re going off, everything they do is off a script. You’ve seen some of these guys on the talk shows. You know, it takes a really good interviewer, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman guys like that, to bring them out. And so you learn how to do that. I like I have so many. I really.

Joe: I know, I know it’s it’s it’s

Rick: We

Joe: A bad

Rick: Wear

Joe: Question.

Rick: This watch. We can do this for hours

Joe: I know,

Rick: A day

Joe: I

Rick: For.

Joe: Know. All right. So now you are currently on the Fox, 1.3, 103.5

Rick: Yeah.

Joe: On weekdays. And you’ve been doing that alone since the spring of 2013. Correct. January 2013, that’s

Rick: Since

Joe: When four

Rick: January

Joe: Weeks

Rick: Of

Joe: Left.

Rick: 2013.

Joe: Ok. So on top of that, you recently. I don’t, I say recently only because in this industry, you know, a couple of years is still recent. But you, is it true that you’re the color commentator for the Denver Broncos? I just didn’t want

Rick: This

Joe: To get

Rick: Is true,

Joe: It wrong. I don’t

Rick: Joe.

Joe: Want to say.

Rick: Yes, it

Joe: And

Rick: Is.

Joe: Just for

Rick: Yes,

Joe: The audience

Rick: It is a.

Joe: Sake, because I didn’t even though I watch a shit ton of football, I didn’t really understand what color color commentator was. So if you can quickly, you know, explain what that means, because I don’t want to I don’t want to give it the wrong description.

Rick: Ok, I, I’ve been doing play by play, which is a different role for a long time, going back to when I was in college, I’d been doing play by play of high school and college games for, I got back into it at least 10, maybe 12 years ago, and I was working for Comcast here in Denver doing games play by play. So it wasn’t like this whole thing of being at the booth was foreign to me. So four years ago. Ed McCaffrey was the color commentator on the radio on the Broncos flagship station. Ed McCaffrey, great football player, Denver Bronco legend. And he for some reason had to miss a game and so my boss called me like on a Tuesday and he said, “Hey, Ed can’t do the game Sunday in Jacksonville, what do you think? You think you can do it?” I was like, yeah, yeah, I can do it. No fear, right?. I’d never been a color commentator before, but I understood the role because I’ve done play-by-play so much, so I prepped for it really hard and did the game and it went really, really well. And so much so that I thought, you know, you know if Ed ever decides he doesn’t want to do this anymore, I’m going to throw my hat in the ring and see if I can get that job. And it happened the following spring. Ed McCaffrey decided that he wanted to spend more time with his kids. He’s got at the time, I think he had two kids in the NFL and one in college. Christian McCaffrey, his son, is one of the best running backs in the NFL. So he, he decided he wanted to watch him play more and didn’t have time to do this.

Rick: So, I did get the job and so the color commentator is a is a different role than play by play. The color commentator has a very short window to try to color up the broadcast, keep in mind, this is radio, not TV. It’s different on TV, on TV, you don’t have to explain what happened because everybody can see it. On the radio, you have to paint the picture. And so the play by play guy will tell what happened on the play and in some cases even break it down. And then I have about maybe 10 seconds in between plays to say something that he didn’t already say that actually add something to the broadcast and moves it forward and kind of resets the next play and so, it’s a real challenge. It’s a real challenge. I always thought play by play was easier, I still do, I think for me, play by play is easier to do than the color roll. So it was a bit of a learning curve on it. But I really, really enjoy it because it’s challenged me for the first time in a long time, not only with the prep that’s involved, that it’s a lot of prep, but the speed of the broadcast is, is such that, you really got to be on your game because it’s moving really fast and you got one shot. So it’s like you’re a Nik Wallenda, you know, when you’re on a tight rope walking across the canyon, there’s no safety net. You’ve got to be on your game. You’ve got to be super focused.

Joe: Yeah, and it has to be

Rick: And

Joe: This

Rick: That’s

Joe: Super

Rick: What I like about

Joe: Delicate

Rick: It.

Joe: Balance between knowing when he’s actually done saying what he’s going to say in the play by play and where you guys aren’t constantly stepping on on top of each other and then there’s room for the next play to come in or whatever. I hear it, I just I, I’m baffled at how it gets done so cleanly.

Rick: Yeah. And my partner, Dave Logan is one of the best in the business. He is up in the upper elite 1 percent of play by play guys in the world and so the fact that he’s so good, of course he could cover up any mistake that I might make or if I if I, you know, stub my toe a little bit, he can completely cover it up in a very smooth way, which I’m sure he’s done for me many times, you know, to make the broadcast on good. You know, the fact that I’ve been in broadcasting so long, well over 30 years, what, 39 years, you know that I’m able to make a broadcast sound good.

Joe: No.

Rick: Let’s figure out a way

Joe: Go

Rick: To make

Joe: Ahead.

Rick: It something.

Joe: Yeah. So

Rick: And

Joe: I

Rick: So

Joe: Just it just as we’re talking

Rick: That’s

Joe: About

Rick: What I

Joe: This

Rick: Do.

Joe: See how I stepped

Rick: Yeah.

Joe: Right on top. Yeah, that’s right. So is it true? I don’t know if if where I heard this, but is it true that you are the only broadcast person doing these NFL games that is not and an ex NFL player.

Rick: Yeah, on TV, I don’t think there’s anybody certainly on ah,  I don’t anybody doing NFL games on TV that wasn’t a player. There may be one on the radio, but I don’t know who that would be. There’s only 32 teams. So you got 32 broadcast teams doing it on radio. I don’t think there is a guy doing color that didn’t play in the NFL. Most of the play by play guys or guys like me that are broadcast, you know, guys, you know, experience broadcast guys. We kind of flipped the formula in our broadcast because Dave Logan played 10 years in the NFL. So you’ve got to play by play guy that played 10 years in the NFL. And then me being a broadcaster that I know the game, I understand the game, I played a little bit of football myself, so I totally get it. But it is pretty unique.

Joe: And you’re having to do what is an eight away and eight home?

Rick: Yeah, eight home/away and then four preseason games, so 20 games a year. Last year we did twenty one because we had the Hall of Fame game.

Joe: Right. And what’s the most grueling conflict with the rad… that, you know, the morning drive time show now with you having to do the football games, what what days are the hardest for you? Is it Mondays because of the Sunday game or?

Rick: Well, if we play a game like on a Sunday night or Monday night or Thursday night on the road, I don’t work the next morning on the radio because we will get into 4:00 o’clock in the morning, sometimes 05:00 in the morning. So I take the morning show off. I do two radio shows a day, I don’t know, I don’t think you’re even aware of it. But I’m do two live radio shows a day. So I do the morning show on the Fox actually from 6 to 9 a.m. from 9 to noon, I do a talk show on K.O.A., which is the Broncos flagship station with Dave Logan and Kathie Lee, who’s on with me on the Fox show. So I’m doing six hours of my radio in a day.

Joe: I had no idea.

Rick: That also also pretty, pretty unheard up in a major market.

Joe: Yeah, I had no idea that you were doing that extra stuff, I had only known about the

Rick: Yeah.

Joe: The Morning show so well.

Rick: Well, this is why you don’t hear from me much anymore. [laughter]

Joe: I don’t that’s why I’m excited that I have you right now and I can’t let you go until I get through

Rick: Yes.

Joe: A lot of this stuff. So let’s let’s bounce over to, you know, you and I have this mutual kinship and in playing drums. So when did you start playing? And then we skipped over it a little bit, when you’re talking about you and Floorwax and having your band, which was the Groove Hawgs and now you have The Rick Lewis Project and you run the band and, and you and I had this same sort of leadership role in our bands. But when did you start playing drums?

Rick: Yeah, I started playing drums at 17, I believe. I played piano when I was a little kid. Ah like classically trained, you know, lessons, piano recitals, all of that. I probably played piano for about three and a half years, I never liked it, but my mom was kind of forcing it on me. I would have much rather been outside playing football or baseball or whatever. So that was always the dilemma for me and I was pretty good. I picked it up pretty quick, I could read music and all of that. And then she finally, she, she gave up and said, “Ok, you can quit piano and do whatever you want.” You know, I’d always wanted to play drums, I was always interested in drums but my mom and dad would never get me even a snare drum up. You know, we had five kids in the family, we didn’t know we didn’t have enough money for, to go out and buy me a drum kit. So I just kind of put that on the back burner, but at 17, somehow my younger brother got a drum kit. I don’t know, I don’t remember how it happened. Maybe my mom or dad gave it to him for a Christmas gift or whatever, and I started playing drums at 17 and I realized right away, like, you know, I can I can kind of play these. And, so I really took a great interest in it, and I played a lot of self-taught, as you know, played along to records, you know, put headphones on and just play the songs. And so I learned how to play, I think I learned how to play musically, you know, I never took any lessons and so for me, I play like the record because that’s how I learned how to play. And like I say, I was so people I don’t have chops, I have a chop, I got one. You know, I can play a song, I can play a groove, right? That’s all I got, I can play a groove, but

Joe: You have more than that, trust me, I’ve seen you play.

Rick: Well, I don’t. But I, I played until I was twenty one, when I went to NAU we’d go to the music room, me and a bunch of guys, you know, and we would jam in the music room. Remember I played once in a country bar in Flagstaff. You know, it took a lot of beer to

Joe: Yes.

Rick: Get up there to do that. And I did it and I just I just loved it. But then when I moved to LA to be an actor, I quit playing drums and I didn’t pick up a pair of drumsticks again until I was probably 40 years old, so almost a 20 year span of not

Joe: Well.

Rick: Playing drums. And then when I was 40, I got it, I got interested again and I bought myself a drum kit and started to try to get up to speed and we formed a band pretty soon after that. That was the Groove Hawgs Band and with the connections I have here in town, I was able to hire the best musicians around here and it was it was a pretty good band. It because of who we were on the radio and Floorwax was in the band too. Because of who we were on the radio and the high profile that we had, we were getting really good gigs. The first gig we ever played was at Red Rocks…sorry, Joe.

Joe: I know, it’s like man!

Rick: Yeah, we opened for the Doobie Brothers and CCR at Red Rocks and it was just amazing! And I was working as hard as I could to get back up to speed. You know, just practicing every day and having had no formal training, you know, was strictly just instinctive, you know, trying to get better and once again, just play the music, just trying to play songs. You know, for some reason, I got a really good natural feel for song structure. So that that, that’s a gift. And being able to play drums is probably, it might be my favorite thing I do right now is maybe playing music, which is saying a lot because I do a lot of really cool things. The Groove Hawgs got to play big shows and we played, we opened up for ZZ Top and James Brown and Leonard Skinner and Ted Nugent to Def Leppard. We got to open probably seven shows at Red Rocks.

Joe: That’s amazing!

Rick: We opened for The Who at the Pepsi Center…that was amazing! Back in 2007 or 8, there was The Who and The Pretenders at The Pepsi Center. So we played some really

Joe: And you do it right, too, because you have a drum tech and I don’t

Rick: Good gigs

Joe: So you just rollup, with your stick bag on your shoulder and you’re like, oh, here.

Rick: Yeah, yeah. The whole breaking down

Joe: Oh,

Rick: The drum kit,

Joe: God.

Rick: They…love…about it…that’s one that’s the big downside of playing drums. But luckily for us, you know, we the band gets paid pretty good for doing these gigs and so I can afford to pay my band

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Members really well. You

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Know, I told you they get paid really well and so I can also afford to have a

Joe: Yep.

Rick: Drum tech who can do all of that

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: For me as well. So I’m not in it for the money.

Joe: No,

Rick: Believe me,

Joe: I

Rick: This has nothing to do with money for me, just playing music.

Joe: Know, I know. And it’s too bad. I know right now it’s like a kind of a tough question, but you guys are still doing local gigs around town. Like when things get on the other side of what’s happening now with COVID-19, you guys will be out doing your normal festivals that, you normally just play like festivals and things, right? You’re not.

Rick: Yeah, we have a new band, The Rick Lewis Project started in 2013. So seven years in already and once again hired the best musicians around here. We played some big gigs too, which we’ve opened for Leonard Skinner and you know, many other people like that. We did a show with Ziggy Marley, I mean, we were the only non reggae band on the lineup and pulled it off. We ended up switching like four or five of our songs into reggae songs. I never played reggae before and we pulled it off. So it’s it’s really, really cool. But yeah, we have a residency at a casino here so that we can play anytime we want, pretty much so we play there about every six weeks. In the summer, we play a lot of festivals and we do still support some big acts. We’ve got a show in August with Government Mule on the books. Hopefully we’ll be able to play it. You know, that type of thing. And others were I mean, we were just in the process of really rounding out our schedule for 2020 when all of this Coronavirus

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Hit. Hopefully we can come out of it. You

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Know, who knows? I think I think we will. I think by at least July, I would think, we’ll be able to start playing live shows again and people will be able to start going to concerts again…I’m optimistic

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: About that. But

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Who knows?

Joe: Yeah, it’s crazy. So this is something I don’t know if I’ve ever asked you or we talked about and I’ll have a few more things, so I’m not going to keep you much longer. But if you had the opportunity with all you know about music and all the musicians you’ve made and all of the conversations that you’ve heard, if you had ever had the chance to become a professional touring drummer over being the, you know, the radio personality that you are and all of that, would you ever have chosen that, that lifestyle?

Rick: Well, that’s a good question!

Joe: I know you love performing in front of people. When I watch you play, I’m like, you know, you are so in your element doing it and and you’re a great frontman when, when you know, anytime that I’ve jumped in behind the drums and you’ve run up to the front of the stage and like, you know, you’re a great front man as well. So I just was like, man I wonder if he ever goes God, if I had only started that earlier and, and my path taking me in that direction.

Rick: That’s a great question! I have no regrets but I do think that looking back on it now, I wish I would have focused more on music than sports because, sports was my whole world back then and now I realize that for most people, your athletic career is over and after high school and if you’re lucky, after college. Very, very few get to play professionally or make a living out of playing sports. Looking back on it now, I wish I would have stuck to the piano. You know, I told my mom that recently. I said, I wish you would have forced me to continue to play, just to establish, you know, that side of me. I wish, you know what I did? I did discover drums young enough at 17 that I could have been probably a pretty darn good drummer by now, good enough to tour with a big band. I don’t know if I put enough work into it to be that good. I think, I have, I have whats inside of me to be that good but I haven’t put in the work you know, because of everything else I do. You know, I wasn’t a guy that could sit down and play drums for 10 hours a day, which a lot of guys do it, you might have been one of them. I was a guy who could sit down and play drums for an hour a day. And so that’s what I did, you know, for 20 plus years, I would play for an hour a day. That’s all I had time for,you know, with a family and an established radio show and everything else that I was doing. But boy, you know what? If I could, I sometimes say, man, if if like Earth, Wind & Fire would hire me to go on a tour, because I love playing funk music, that’s my thing. If I could be the drummer and Earth, Wind & Fire on one tour,

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: that would be hard to turn that down, the really hard to turn that down. But, but, you know, a lot of musicians, a lot of these successful musicians that we all know and love, they’ve had a lot of hardships along the way and a lot of it’s drugs and alcohol. Almost every one of these successful bands goes through that. You know what? I don’t know, man, I don’t think I’d change anything. You know look look, you know, my friend Danny Seraphine, who is the drummer from Chicago…longtime drummer from Chicago. I just watched a documentary on the band and I think it was on Netflix and drugs and alcohol once again, you know, Terry Kath’s ends up killing himself. Maybe accidentally, maybe not. But you watch every documentary on Netflix about a successful rock bands, it’s drugs and alcohol that takes them, almost all of them down. I don’t know if it would be worth it to have to go through that type of thing but I did take one lesson on drums and that was Danny Seraphine. I told you that, right?

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Yeah. Danny, Danny Seraphine came this my basement

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Right here that we’re sitting in.

Joe: He’s a sweetheart.

Rick: Danny Seraphine came over and spent a weekend, I think, or two or three nights at my house and I got to drum kits set up in my house and he goes, “Hey man, let’s get out a jam a little bit.” He goes, “I want to see if I can help you.” And I was pretty intimidated, but once again, no fear. So we sat down and we played together for like 90 minutes together, side by side. You know, he’d play a lick and I’d try to copy it. You know, that he’d play a groove and I jump in on it. And then he showed me a couple of things and after about 90 minutes, we stopped. He said, said, “You’re a good player” and this is a long time ago, this is probably almost 15 years ago, he said, he said, “You’re a good player,” he goes, “but I can tell you don’t have you.” He said, “I can tell you you don’t think you’re a good player.” He goes, “You should know you’re a good player” and he goes, You have good time”, he said “You have a great sense of time, great feel, a great groove.” And he said, “Take that with you every time you play and realize that every musician wants a drummer that has those three things, time, feel groove..You said you got it.” He says believe me. “That’s what all these guitar players want is a drummer like that,” he said “they don’t want drummers that are playing all over the song and doing drum fills, you know, every break,” And he said, “Take that and be confident that you have that.” And that really helped me a lot. So that one lesson from Danny Seraphine really meant a lot to me and it gave me the confidence to, you know, be myself in play and play like I do, which is my one chop, I’ve got the one, I got the one

Joe: Yeah.

Rick: Here.

Joe: Doesn’t matter a grooves, it feels great. That’s all right, man. All right, so what’s next for Rick Lewis? What’s…anything that is a super exciting that you can talk about or you know, I know you got a shit ton on your plate, I don’t even know how you sleep. But just wondered if there’s anything new you wanted to talk about before I let you go.

Rick: I’ve gotten really good at living in the moment and living in the now.

Joe: Get.

Rick: I really don’t think that far down the road. I don’t live in the future very much. So I really just take it day to day and especially what we’re going through right now in the world. It doesn’t, I mean, we can only just live right now. You know what I have right now, I have everything I need right now. Everything is good right now. If you start thinking too far down the future, too far down the road, it gives you anxiety, because you because you can’t control it. You know, fear anxiety is fear based and so I’ve got a very, very busy schedule. I’m right on the front lines here being on the radio, doing two shows a day, talking about COVID-19. Trying to give people, you know, a feeling of hope and optimism, a diversion, a form of entertainment, that can take their mind away from all the bad news and just trying to do the right thing. You know, like I said earlier, this is what I was born to do and I’m doing it at a very tough time in history right now. I’m optimistic it will get better and I truly believe it will. As far as me personally, I just want to stay healthy.

Rick: I want my family to stay healthy and keep doing good work no matter what it is. I’m blessed to be able to do a lot of things at a very high level, from playing music to doing two radio shows a day to calling the Denver Broncos games with a legend like Dave Logan and just trying to be a better person. You know the way I’m looking at this, this situation that we have right now is we’re being called to, to use this to be better people. You know, there’s a portal that we’re gonna go through right now, we’re all going through it together and we need to rise and shine. We need to be better. So when we come out the other side, we’re better people and the world is better. And that’s what I’m focused on right now, just trying to be the best I can be every day. And as hard as this is, I want to make sure that I’m a better person, when we get to the other side of it. So that’s what’s in the future for Rick Lewis, just being a better person.

Joe: That’s awesome, man. I really appreciate you doing this. It’s an honor to have you on the show. I know you’re busy as hell. Can you just once again give the two shows that you do in the times so that everyone knows?

Rick: Yeah, for anybody, anybody interested, you can listen outside of Denver on the iHeartRadio app, which is free. I do a morning show 6-9am Denver time on 103.5, the Fox. That’s kind of a more of a raucous entertainment based music show. And then from 9am to noon, I’m on KOA, which is a big giant AM radio station, that’s the home of the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies and it’s a more of a news talk format. We do kind of a lifestyle show, not during this coronavirus thing, pretty much all we’re talking about right now, I do that 6 to noon. Denver Broncos games are on the Denver Broncos Radio Network, they’re on hundreds of radio stations once the season starts. Also on Sirius XM, as you can hear the games on there. My band, I’ve got a band Facebook page, it’s The Rick Lewis Project. So go, go to Facebook and look up The Rick Lewis Project. I’ve got a whole slew of performance videos up there from shows going back years. You’ll get a good idea what the band is all about. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at 1, the number one, Rick Lewis, if you’re interested in and right back at you, Joe, you know, you’ve always been a source of inspiration for me, too. You know, you’re a great drummer! I’m just a decent drummer. But, you know, I wish I could play like you. And I look up to you not only as a drummer, but as a man. I see what you’re doing, I, I follow you on social media, I see what you’re trying to accomplish. We’re a lot of like in many ways. And you are a grinder with talent, just keep doing what you do.

Joe: Thank you so much, man, I really appreciate you, I love you and stay healthy and we will talk soon.

Rick: Love you too Joe

Joe: All right brother!

Rick: Thank you…thanks!

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