● By Billy Pilgrim
Q97 - Billy and Patrick's Snap Shot
By Billy Pilgrim
Dave Tappan has been entertaining radio audiences from Palm Springs to Eugene for 35 years, painting word pictures and passionately filling the airwaves with humor, empathy and a no-holds-barred commitment to food, humanity and the San Francisco Giants. We go way back in our careers together, and still spend lots of time with one another. He’s my best buddy, and is one of the greatest radio talents in our business. He can jump right through your speakers and make you feel like he is sitting next to you in the passenger seat. He gets it.
Q - Let’s start at the beginning. Why the name Dave?
A - Well, actually, when my Mom was in labor at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, they wouldn’t let prospective dads in the delivery room. So Tap was in the waiting room, reading the story of David and Goliath. He thought David would be a good name for me.
Q - Gosh, he could have named you Goliath. That would have been cool. Didn’t you once live across the street from Johnny Cash?
A - I did. It was in Ventura. I think I played with Roseanne Cash. She taught me to sing “Ring of Fire”! Actually, I was very young, and I don’t remember much..
Q - I know you love to bowl with The Five Card Studs. What is
A - 176. The lowest it’s been in years.
Q - You have so many years invested in radio. What are your favorite memories?
A - I was on the air at KRDG, then above the Cascade Theatre. It was 10:20 at night, and I heard a terrible crash down the hall. I ran to investigate and saw police and someone lying on the floor covered in plaster dust. Apparently he had been robbing businesses downtown and storing his loot in the crawl space above the studio. He had also been living there. There was ceiling tile everywhere. Another time I was playing Olivia Newton John’s song “Physical.” The owner of KRDG, Howard Martineau, picked up the tone arm on on the turntable and said, “I don’t think we’ll be playing this!”
Q - Do you remember the day I got fired at KEED in Eugene?
A - Yes! I wrecked my car, and someone fired a gun at Bwana Johnny’s house, the guy who got you fired.
Q - Where did we end up that night?
A - We went bowling at the Springfield Bowl. You bowled a 239.
Q - What would you be doing if you weren’t doing radio?
A - I’d be a chef! I’d be in the restaurant business. I love to cook and I like wearing those funny hats. And I’d have a bar, too.
Q - What’s for dinner tonight?
A - Apple honey drumsticks with a vegetable ragout.
Q - You play classic rock on your show, who’s your favorite dead rock star?
A - Stevie Ray Vaughn. I just love his music - that fusion of Texas rock and blues.
Q - Who’s your radio hero?
A - The late great Doctor Don Rose from KFRC, San Francisco. That man was brilliant!
Q - What is your wish for the future?
A - My dad said, “If you love what you do, you will have a great deal of your life figured out.” My hope is for everyone to enjoy their lives, and live life to the fullest. I remain eternally optimistic about the future.
Hear Dave Tappan every weekday morning from 6 to 10 am on
Red 103.1 and 93.3.