It was pretty early in my tenure here at WOKQ.  1996 to be more precise, and Garth Brooks was bringing his huge concert show to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.

It was a big deal then, and his just-announced world tour will be a big deal now.  He made the announcement Monday morning on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" while talking to Robin Roberts about his oh-so-successful "Blame It All On My Roots" DVD/CD box set that's burning up the charts and only available at Wal-Mart.  Nothing against Wal-Mart, but the fact that this thing is only available at one place and is out-selling othe music products from all formats that are available anywhere is pretty amazing.

Back to 1996... I had recently taken the reins of WOKQ from Cliff Blake who left radio to be part of the music business at the record label level, something he still does today.  You also know him as the voice of New Hampshire Public Television.  To para-phrase Ron Burgundy; WOKQ is kind of a big deal.  I was still worried about not screwing anything up, let alone doing anything to tick off the biggest superstar in our business!  Several of us had backstage passes to meet Garth as did some folks from other radio stations in Northern New England.  The station that was visiting with Garth ahead of us stayed with him a bit longer than the time limit that all the stations were told we had to adhere to.  As a result I was trying to hustle the whole meet-and-greet-and-grab-an-autograph thing along.  Garth realized I was pushing people through and pulled me aside and asked what the deal was. I explained that I was just trying to stick to the schedule I was given and Garth wanted me to know that he didn't want to rush any of his fans and assured me that "they've never started one of these shows without me" so he wasn't concerned about the time.  Garth is just... Garth.

I've had the opportunity to chat with him a few more times over the years and it really is one of those "what you see is what you get" situations with him.  It's all pretty genuine.  In fact, you may have read that he wasn't really intending on announcing the world tour on GMA, it just sort of came out.  Long-time listeners know that our Studio Big is a pretty high-tech place and we have multiple TV monitors running during the show.  We caught the GMA announcement and as soon as Nashville opened for business I was on the phone to Garth's management firm (he's used the same folks for many years, he's pretty loyal that way).  I started with "So, Garth's going on a world tour eh?"  The response I got was a coy "Well with Garth you never know."  I explained that he'd just announced it on live TV and was told that they would have to call me back.  Yup!  Garth made the announcement without his own people being in the loop and apparently they found out about it from me! The details are now being put into place and since it's Garth, it should come together pretty quickly.  Keep your eyes and ears glued to WOKQ for the latest!