Growing up with divorced parents, my older brother and I spent summers in Chula Vista, California with dad, and school in Tucson, Arizona with mom. This is where my love for hip hop started, I remember the first time I heard Ice cubes lethal injection on my brothers Walkman while walking my dog. In Tucson, I struggled to stay out of trouble, so when I was 15 my mom sent me to live with my dad in Hood River. HRVHS was completely different than anything I had ever experienced, kids actually wanted to learn and were “cool” for it. My best friend Nathan Helseth and I, Nate Gross, were the closest of friends from a huge group. We did everything together, which was mostly cruising for girls in the Caddie and bumping tunes. We used to throw Double Impact dance parties here in Hood River in 98-2000, when I was 17-19 years old.
I moved away from the area in 1999 after high school graduation, after trading my pride and joy – the baby blue 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood – to Nathan, I took all the DJ equipment with me. Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona was a PARTY on another level, and I was the DJ for all the parties that my fraternity, Delta Chi, had… and we had a lot of them. DJing these parties is how I paid my fraternity dues. Formals in Lake Havasu on top of house boats, pool parties in Laughlin, Nevada hotels, and house parties at the only fraternity at NAU with an off campus house, which was us, Delta Chi. I quickly picked up DJ gigs for the NAU Sorority formals and parties too. My NAU studies were difficult to fit into my party schedule but I did find a subject that I enjoyed and flourished at, communications.
At “The School of Com”, as it was called, I found advertising and marketing intriguing and filled with beautiful girls, but my major was in Electronic Media. The Electronic Media major allowed me to explore the fields and business of Radio, Television, and Newspaper. I, of course, excelled at the Electronic Media Radio courses, and even had my own hip hop radio show on KJACK 1680AM. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science Electronic Media Communications Degree, with a business minor and focus area of advertising, I was off and running. In fact, I worked for a local broadcast radio group called Rocket Radio while I was in my last semester of college, and then Rocket Radio was sold, and I was without a career. This was tough. I was lucky to have an older brother who quickly got me a career with his company, Southern Wine and Spirits. SWS was a blast with endless amounts of free wine and liquor samples, swag, and cool trips to wineries that were always out of state, since wine doesn’t really grow in AZ. After a decade in this career, I moved to Seattle for a year, and then Bend for 2 more years with a radio group, after which I returned home to Hood River in April of 2016 with Gorge Radio!
And now I am bringing all this past experiences, all the music I love from wayback when, back to Hood River, this time on the Radio, with D.I. LIVE on 105.5 WAYBACK Wednesdayz.