Rock my world - By Cindi Myers
“I TELL YOU, NICK, this is gonna be great. The whole city will be talking about this one.”
Erica Gibson froze outside the office of the station manager of radio station KROK, her arms full of demo CDs, press packets, contest entries and miscellaneous envelopes that had arrived in the day’s mail. Six months of working as an intern/assistant/general flunky at the station had taught her that these were dangerous words. Station manager Carl Husack was forever hatching wild schemes to promote KROK (pronounced kay-rock, not crock he had warned her, her first day on the job. This despite the cartoon drawing of a dancing crocodile that appeared in almost every advertisement for the station.) Staff didn’t want to get too close to Carl when he was in full gonzo promo mood or they’d find themselves dressed like chickens passing out flyers in the parking lot at a Broncos game or hurtling down a ski slope wearing nothing but flesh-colored bikinis and strategically placed KROK stickers—both stunts to which previous interns had been subjected.
“Tell me again, because I can’t believe I heard you right.” Morning show host “Naughty” Nick Cassidy sprawled on the leather sofa across from Carl’s desk. Erica could just make out the silver-tipped toes of his black alligator boots.
“A bed-in,” Carl said. “You broadcast for seventy-five hours from a king-size bed in the main showroom of Mattress Max’s Furniture Gallery.”
Erica made a face. Mattress Max was the station’s biggest advertiser, known for his in-your-face, used-car-salesman approach to selling furniture. “You can’t beat a Mattress Max deal!” he screamed in commercials that aired on KROK twenty times a day.
“A bed-in.” Nick’s trademark sultry drawl tended to sound more like a croaking frog when he wasn’t “on.” “What’s so fascinating about me sitting in bed cuing up CDs?”
“You don’t just cue up CDs. We’ll make it a fund-raiser. People come by and donate money for the new homeless shelter the Salvation Army is building in Aurora. Get it—a bed-in to raise money for more beds for the homeless?”
The more Carl talked, the more he sounded like Mattress Max, with that same frantic quality.
“I don’t know, Carl. It sounds boring as hell.”
“Not boring. Not boring at all. It wouldn’t just be you in the bed. We’d put one of the female jocks with you. The public will love it.”
Nick leaned forward. Now Erica could see the wave of ink-black hair that dipped over his forehead, and the end of his nose jutting out like the prow of a ship. He had, as Carl himself said, “A face only radio could love,” but that didn’t stop him from making time with every female who crossed his path. In fact, the whole Naughty Nick show was based on the premise that he was the biggest player in Denver. And as of last month, it was the top-rated morning drive-time show among the coveted demographic of twenty-four to fifty-four-year-olds.
“Now I’m getting interested,” Nick said. “Who’s the lucky lady?”
“I don’t know yet. It’s not like we’ve got a lot to choose from. There’s Audra Benson, the late-night gal.”
“She’s seven months pregnant!”
Erica stifled a laugh at the horror in Nick’s voice.
“What about Bombshell Bonnie? She’s hot.”
“Bombshell” Bonnie Remington was the station’s weather and traffic “girl,” a bleached blonde whose main claim to fame was once having posed for a Playboy feature on “Wild Women of Rock Radio” and her short-lived affair with afternoon drive-time jock Adam “the Hawk” Hawkins. Right before Erica came on staff Bonnie and Adam had apparently had a very public bust-up and in the months since the chill between them could have air-conditioned the building.
“Bonnie’ll never do it,” Nick said.
“Why not? She’s always whining about wanting more airtime. And she’s already proved she’s an exhibitionist.”
“Let me put it another way—I won’t do it with Bonnie.”
“Why not? She’s a knockout. The two of you will go over great together.”
“No way. The woman’s a ball breaker. You heard how she raked the Hawk over the coals when they called it quits.”
“We won’t have any more problems like that. You know the rules.”
“If you think forbidding dating among the on-air staff is going to solve all your problems, you don’t know Bonnie. I tried flirting with her once and she ripped me a new one before the commercial break was over. I don’t want anything to do with her.”
“Then who? It ain’t like we’ve got two dozen females hanging around the station who aren’t going to freeze up in front of a microphone.”
“What about that intern—Erline