Bob’s Marginally Magnificent Magical Musical Mystical Scrapbook of Woot Worthy Minutia
In preparing The Portable Bob for publication in the near distant future, I find myself digging through boxes and boxes of detritus; Flotsam And Jetsam from a life well lived, badly abused, and singularly unique in it’s constantly shifting course, over which I had little or no control.
Today we share old photos, answer unanswered (and sometimes unasked) questions, set the record straight, and confuse the issues, bite the bullet, and shiver some timbers.
This are some of that….
Yes, I was born in San Francisco….
A Cable Car climbs Powell Street August 28th 1945 while I was being born not far away, in a hospital, not the backseat of a cab
My real name was/is Raymond Botto. Spent years trying to contact my birth parents, but they never returned my calls. I am from what is now a family of lawyers. They probably think I want money.
…but not from them.
At age 10 months, after being adopted 4 months earlier, I reveal my desire to sit in the freezing cold water of the Merced River while it wends itself through Yosemite Valley, a penchant that continues to this day.
…and on to 13 years of bed wetting….
A scant 2 years later and Mom has me tap dancing at recitals and County Fairs. Oh, the horror….
Here I am getting out of my Limousine at the San Joaquin County Fair, Tractor Pull, and Cow Petting Competition, July 1948. I opened for Sal the Saw Player and his Spoon Playing Patriots
My Dad, who thought dancing was for the Ziegfeld Girls and Carmen Miranda, took me aside when I was 5 and strapped a 12-bass starter accordion on me and made me practice every day until I could graduate to the 128-bass model. He also mentioned that if the bottom ever dropped out of the grocery business, I was his backup plan, because, you know, accordion players were always in demand in Vegas, ritzy nightclubs, and motion pictures.
Playing Lady of Spain for the Annual Lawn Jockey and Tea Biscuit Garden Party at the Women’s Auxiliary for the Preservation of Fox Stoles and Muffs June 15th 1951
After countless appearances after dinner parties, at Grandma’s house, in restaurants my dad liked to have me play during dessert, and for my aunts and uncles, My Uncle Elbert bought me first a ukulele, then a Student Prince guitar, which I tore 2 strings off of so I could play it like a uke, I wrote a couple of songs, and at the ripe old age of 13, recorded a couple of them. This is the one I thought had a chance….
Unfortunately, my backup singing group couldn’t do the session. Gary had pink eye, Larry had Infantigo, and Fonzell caught the mumps from his stupid girlfriend.
My best friend Glenn Gallup and I on our way to a show in Sacramento with Ray Charles and the Raylettes, and James Brown and his Famous Flames, all for 2 dollars at the door. Cardigan sweaters were all the rage. I was 16…what did I know?
We’ll get to the rock band stuff and maybe some more childhood stuff at a later date, but it will all be in The Portable Bob.
In the meantime, Radio Legend and stalwart fan of music, Warren Cosford tells the story of how I became radio’s The Iceman. I remember that when he first called me to do this with him, I hung up on him because I thought I was being pranked.
So without further ado….
Warren Cosford answers this musical question!
How on Earth did I get into radio?
This are how…
THE ICEMAN KEEPS ON COMIN’
The Ice at CHUM
It was 1981. The Morning Shows on both CHUM and CHUM-FM sucked. Q-107 was The Hot Rocker in town. CFNY was The Hip Rocker. The CHUMs were living on Heritage. We needed to shake things up.
My Boss….J. Robert Wood….asked me to conduct “the most extensive Talent Search in The History of Radio”.
You think I’m joking?
We put a kid from The CHUM Newsroom into a CHUM news cruiser sent him off to tape every Pop Music Station in North America from Boston in the East, to Minneapolis in the West and Nashville in the South. He was gone for three months. And came back with many miles of aircheck tapes.
While he was doing that, I got on the phone and called Everywhere Else. A Simple Ploy. I asked the PD of Radio Station A who they would like to get out of town. Then I called Radio Station B and asked the same question. Both sent me airchecks.
But might there be Someone Local? I already had some success recruiting Kelly Jay of Crowbar fame for all nights and Jim McKenny of Maple Leafs Hockey fame for sports. Who else?
And then I thought of Segarini.
Bob Segarini was an American from California who had adopted Canada. (Although I always suspected he was “wanted” back in Stockton). Over the years he had been in bands that always had a “buzz” but rarely any hits. As a solo act, we had produced a CHUM-FM/City-TV Simulcast with him which was one of my favourites because it contained the First Music Video any of us at CHUM/City had seen.
“Don’t Believe a Word I Say” was a single from his “Gotta Have Pop” album. It is an hilarious song about picking up girls in a bar. In the Video Bob is standing at a bar singing pickup lines to an attractive woman. And then he turns to The Camera and says what he’s really thinking.
I thought…..Toronto Radio needs someone with that kind of creativity. So Bob and I had a drink. In fact we had many drinks. I seem to recall it became a Scotch Tasting Party.
At The End of The Night we had The Plan.
Using the name The Iceman, Bob would send audition tapes to CHUM-FM hoping to become an announcer. Of course we would send letters of rejection. I would tell people at the station about “this crazy kid from Scarboro” who won’t take “no” for an answer. Bob would then call The Control Room and pester the evening announcer….Larry Wilson. In fact “pester” enough so that Wilson would remember him.
Then one weeknight at midnight following a suitable amount of static interference, Larry Wilson’s Show on CHUM-FM would be “interrupted” by a voice claiming to be “broadcasting” from Scarboro and technically able to intercept CHUM-FM’s signal from studio to transmitter and replace it with his own.
The Iceman Cometh.
“Ice” would then explain that this was his way of “auditioning” for a job at CHUM-FM despite having been rejected many times because he had “no experience”. Unfortunately he was only capable of “intercepting” CHUM-FM’s signal for an hour at a time, but he planned to continue to “audition” each night at midnight until he had “the experience” he needed to be hired.
The next morning, CHUM-FM Chief Engineer Bruce Carnegie would be interviewed on The Morning Show explaining that what had happened was “technically impossible” and “without precedence” and that he would be personally standing by at the CHUM-FM transmitter to make sure that The Iceman would not be successful again.
Of course “Ice” would continue to Cometh.
After that, The Plan was to play things by ear and take our cues from The Audience. We had lots of ideas. For example, Ice could take requests by calling various phone booths throughout Toronto which he would identify beforehand on the air.
The key to The Stunt was that only Allen Waters, J. Robert Wood, Bruce Carnegie, Segarini and I would know what was REALLY going on. Everything would be pre-taped outside the station earlier in the day and played back from a tape machine at the CHUM-FM transmitter.
Would The Audience have bought it? I think so. A few years earlier I produced a Jay Nelson character on the 1050 CHUM Morning show named Shredney Vashtar jumping over The Niagara Gorge on a 10 Speed Bicycle on a Sunday Morning. Much to our surprise, a few hundred people showed up in Niagara.
The Iceman Stunt was far more believable.
Alas, management wouldn’t go for it. But we did hire Bob Segarini as The Iceman. Later in The 80s he would work at Q-107. And as I write this The Iceman is Backeth on the air at Sirius Satellite Radio.
The Ice at Q107. Thanks, Warren.
Segarini’s regular columns appear here whenever the cow jumps over the moon
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.