RICK BECKETT died last week. Rick was the anchor for 'THE RICK, DARLA & SCOTT SHOW" at WGRD in Grand Rapids, Michigan when I was there in 1996-97. He was only 54 years old when he died of a heart attack.
Rick was funny, sarcastic, tough, honest, real and was dominant on the radio in the morning. He had plenty of issues with his health and drinking and would often make his struggles part of the show. Through it all, he managed to stay on top of the market and make the people around him successful. He is one of a handful of people in this business who truly made me laugh.
As Rick's program director and afternoon guy, I owe a lot to him. He was instrumental in my success at 'GRD. He had huge ratings and put the radio station and my career on the map. His success built a strong foundation for the radio station and enabled me to get my first big break at The POINT in St. Louis.
I enjoyed my time working with Rick. Yes, it was difficult for me and others at times to deal with some of his off air struggles, but overall he was loved, admired and he delivered when it came to his craft. Over the years, I have missed those magical times. Even today, he has an influence on my show. His raw chemistry on air with his co-hosts, Darla & Scott, is something I strive for each morning.
It's sad to think he has passed at such a young age. But rather than be down, I am chosing to remember a wonderful time in my life. A time where Rick was the ringleader of the best time in my career so far.
I have so many great memories of Rick. From the crazy stunts he would pull with "RALPHIE" on the air to his on and off air arguments with Darla. His endless appreciation (every morning) for HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH when they weren't as cool as they once were. To his love for my friend ANDY's band DOMESTIC PROBLEMS. There was plenty of drama at Sluggo's Down Under. It was real, it was raw..it was how he rolled.
I know that whoever has the number one-rated show in HEAVEN this past ratings period better look out...