To mark the occasion of Philadelphia DJ and WMMR alum John DeBella retiring from the airwaves, Pierre Robert invited him onto his show for a last hurrah. What began as an hour in the Workforce Blocks bled well into the rest of the show that day, staying true to the habit of running on “Pierre Standard Time.”
Kevin Gunn, also known as “The Professor” in our studio halls, worked with both Pierre and DeBella at different times. He explains how these opposites attract: “Each weekday (in the 1980s), as John brought The Morning Zoo to a screeching, crashing halt, Pierre would arrive to survey the damage, and proceed to restore order. It was like a salad dressing, with two divergent ingredients combining for an unlikely flavor. John, who ran his show like a Swiss timepiece, would often lose patience waiting for his ‘ever-so-slightly-behind’ relief to arrive at 10AM… To make his point, John would often play a song from one of Pierre’s all-time favorite bands, The Kink’s called ‘So Tired Of Waiting For You’… But the whole ‘opposites attract’ dynamic worked well, and a strong brotherhood emerged. As a result, some of Philly’s best radio happened at ‘The Crossover.'”
DeBella has since gone on to do a two-decade tour of duty at WMMR’s sister station WMGK, but he returned to his original Philly home for a trip back in time with Pierre. They discuss John’s start in the City of Brotherly Love, epic live broadcasts from London and Atlantic City, the legendary Louie Louie Parade, and how Pierre still hasn’t mastered the art of punctuality. They also dug into the MMaRchives for some special musical cuts from that era.