Dick Summer Connection

An honest take on Don Imus, from my book Staying Happy Healthy And Hot:

There are at least two Don Imus-es. One was the rowdy drunk and pothead who worked at WNBC. The other was the cowboy and political kingmaker you hear today. Fortunately for both, there is Charles McCord. It’s not true that Charles is the brain in the Imus machine. But he contributes much more than anybody realizes to the success of the guy you hear on the air. I like Charles a lot. He’s a gentleman and a very smart guy. I also like Imus—the Imus who dried out and got to work on time. Not that other guy. Don came as close as anybody I ever worked with to finding his teeth on the floor one morning when he wandered in more than an hour late. I had been on the air since my show started at 10:00 p.m. the night before. The 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. guy had been fired, and I was filling in until they hired someone else. So I was doing morning drive after being on the air for eight hours. Don’s technician wasn’t going to go out of his way to help anybody sound good doing Don’s show. Details aren’t important, but Don really got my Brooklyn juices boiling that morning. Imus did a take-off on my lovin touch stories pretty regularly, and I got a kick out of that. But he was a real pain in the tail before
Staying Happy, Healthy, and Hot
he dried out. A telling Imus quote was heard while the staff was having dinner at an Atlantic City remote: “It’s getting very tiring carrying the whole station on my shoulders.” The other Don Imus was a genuinely nice guy. He had a TV show for a while, and even after the bad blood almost got spilled between us, or maybe because of it, he invited me on to talk about and promote my hypnotherapy practice. Anybody who can recover from the alcohol/drug dependency that had Don in its grip has my admiration. The transformation of his show into a genuine political force is mind-boggling. But even more astonishing is the transformation from the foul-mouth roughneck to the good-guy husband and father he is today. Don’s a special guy, and I’m delighted at his success and wish him many more years at the top of his trade.

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