email your best question to me at johnerickson@K103.com.
..and keep listening. Sometimes I'll use a question the next day after I get it..and sometimes it'll be months. Most of all..thanks for listening to us!
Click here for the latest question.
On the radio today we've been talking about our favorite teachers, and I recalled how a few years ago I was doing some random Googling, waiting for dinner to pop out of the oven, when I came upon this.
Thus I learned that my favorite teacher (though I may not have realized it at the time) through all of my years of school had died, and I never really properly thanked him. I graduated from high school and was glad to flee from it all, including his very tough choir class. Mr. Elbert Pankratz's performance standards were lofty and unrelenting, and his feedback could be caustic. No excuses were allowed, no flaws. Simon Cowell is a pushover compared to the exacting Mr. Pankratz.
Mysteriously and gruffly, he seemed to like me. And he gave me a big shove toward my future: when Arvada High School in in suburban Denver took on a production of the Broadway show "Camelot," with full orchestra and everything, he required me to audition for the lead role of King Arthur. I was shy and tended to hang way back, but I was too scared of Mr. Pankratz not to do as he instructed, and with his encouragement and instruction, I went for it. I won over the drama coach, who was skeptical of my lack of acting experience, and terrified though I was, grabbed that part for all I was worth.
The four nights of packed-house performances, singing with our school's excellent orchestra and trying to keep up with the school's actually talented theater people, turned out not only to be the high point of high school for me; the experience forced me to overcome any fear of being in front of a crowd. It pushed me forward into a career in which I appear before thousands of people on the radio, sometimes TV, and in person without ever breaking a sweat.
And when I do, I often think about, and thank, Mr. Elbert Pankratz.
If you get a chance, pick up the latest Rolling Stone for a very interesting interview with Bruno Mars...did you know he got his show business start as an Elvis impersonator at the age of two? What a brilliant artist with an unlimited future!
Having said that...why would he consent to being on the cover of the Rolling Stone with a coffin nail hanging off his lip? That went out with James Dean!
I don't know why this bugs me so much...I know kids realize that smoking is stupid (though many do it anyway)...and we don't automatically mimic the behavior of celebrities. Still, this artist is so impressive, so gifted..and the cancer stick doesn't make him look bad-ass...it makes him look just dumb. IMHO.
So here's what happened: I'm driving home on the narrow little road I live on, and suddenly I see two puppies belonging to a neighbor who never, ever lets her dogs run loose. So I pulled a U-turn to park, shepherded the pups to their house, and rang her doorbell to let her know. Then I hopped in the car and turned around to head home...and backed it into a ditch. It knocked the rear fender quarter-panel from its notches. So I implemented a quick duct tape repair, and will bring it into the shop tomorrow to see if any actual damage was done. Grr!