If you’ve ever been forced to interview someone for a segment or an article, you know pretty quickly when it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Joe Pags answered my initial questions as freely as Ebeneezer Scrooge distributed Krugerrands. Teeth were removed from the human head with greater ease. It just wasn’t happening.
After a few minutes, I think I grew on him.
I discovered that we actually had a few things in common; we both lived in Lake Worth, Florida, we knew a lot of the same places and the same faces, and we both understood that the summer heat in Florida is like purgatory.
However, Pags and I will both have an affectionate devotion to The Noid. We will always share the memories of being a manager at Domino’s Pizza.
“I’ve worked at Domino’s when the pizzas were delivered to your door within 30 minutes, or it was free,” Pags said. “After a while they went 30 minutes or three dollars off the price. Too many people got into accidents trying to beat time. »
What Pags didn’t mention is that even when you legitimately got it done in under 30 minutes, you had people questioning your delivery time. I guess it’s human nature.
Soon pizza was just for eating, not for working; Pags began his radio career in 1989 in Palm Beach County, Florida.
After that, it was a stint as a television presenter from 1994 to 2005 in Saginaw, Michigan, then Albany, New York. From there he was called back to radio and landed at the Clear Channel Talk Flagship, WOAI, in 2005. The Joe Pags Show has been a fan favorite since its debut in 2007.
For Pags, the media dream started very early.
“I grew up listening to talk radio at a very young age and was determined to make a living doing it one day,” says Pags. “I actually have a tape somewhere where I erased the DJ’s vocals and recorded my own over the songs.”
Pags is probably glad the tape never aired.
Years later, he found he could pay the bills doing something he loved. “I’m lucky to work with great people on both local and national radio and television,” Pags explained.
“I also remember Steve Cain, Rick and Suds on that station,” Pags said. “It was a lot of talk radio, but it was fun. It was entertainment. Rush Limbaugh was in politics at the time.
Pags knew a career in the media was for him since he was ten years old, even before his vocal cords did.
“When my voice changed at 13, I developed a deeper tone; I knew I was on my way. I had a New York accent and I had to get rid of it.
Before embarking on a career in radio, his music career was going well. Pags played French horn and saxophone; apparently he was pretty good.
He gave concerts at the prestigious Breakers Hotel, among many others. “I used to play in the Backstage Lounge adjacent to the old Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter,” Pags said.
It’s unclear if Reynolds has ever caught Pags live or not.
As a child, he played baseball. Pags said he was pretty good. What took center stage for Pags was the music. It was the French horn and the saxophone that captured his heart.
“I played professionally on the Empress Dinner Cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway,” Pags said. “I also did gigs at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach. We made a lot of money.”
Before Domino’s, radio and music, it all started with a strong desire to succeed. This often comes from the trust your family has in you. Sometimes it’s not there.
“I knew if I worked hard enough, if I showed love for the work I was doing, then I would be successful,” Pags said.
His family lived in Lake Worth, Florida from 1973 to 1974, and Pags returned from time to time. “I went back to Florida recently when I went to Mara Lago and watched 2,000 mules.”
San Antonio has been home to Pags and his family for 17 years. “I’ve been here at WOAI. I have my own studio in a great neighborhood. His daughter Sam is his executive producer. I asked Pags if there was any nepotism when it came to hiring Sam.
“It’s true, there is nepotism,” he said. “It’s Joe Pags media. I can hire whoever I want,” he joked. “Sam has always loved broadcasting. When I joined this company, I told him I trusted him more than anyone I knew and asked him to produce my show.
The other day I spoke with Cain for a piece. He told me that if I visited Austin, I should also see Texas. So I asked Pags what Cain was trying to say. “He means Austin is a city like Portland; only it’s in Texas. There is a lot of homelessness in Austin. Lots of crime. The University of Texas at Austin goes far left.
Where does Pags’ tough behavior come from?
“My father was 100% Italian. We ate great pasta dishes at our house with my grandparents,” Pags explained. “We didn’t have a good bakery in Lake Worth, so I remember my mom and aunts bringing great bread recipes from home.”
Pags has always been interested in what happens on the periphery, not just at the heart of things. He did many things throughout his life. This experience helped shape his radio show. Pags said his show tended to be white-collar, but he grew up as a blue-collar.
“I liked Superman movies. I enjoyed Rocky,” Pags explained. “As a car lover, I loved Burt Reynolds movies with Smokey and the bandit. Stuff like that.”
Lake Worth, like many other areas of Florida, is known to be a bit rough and tumble. just look Cops for a week if you don’t believe me.
Pags said that other than a little scramble at the bus stop, he didn’t encounter a lot of rough stuff. “I was a musician, I was not in this mix. Maybe a little league fight.
When he was a teenager, he thought music would be that. “I had played with a few heavy hitters back then, like The Coasters,” Pags said.
“Career opportunities in music haven’t really turned out the way I hoped. In some ways, people in the industry were full of it. I still did freelance work on the saxophone.
Pags said he was always willing to work for what he had. “I served coffee and ran errands for $4 an hour,” Pags said. “I had my car repossessed and I was evicted from my apartment. I still stuck to it. I was never deterred from what I wanted. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t really expect things to turn out the way they did.
Pags said if a young person asked how to be what Pags is today, their answer was succinct. “Pour coffee, run errands, whatever you have to do.”
I asked Pags what he does in his spare time? Let’s say he’s not racing at the 7:00 start with the guys at the club on his day off.
“I’m a national sports car guy,” he says proudly. “I have three Corvettes, a Camaro Super Sport. My Camaro was a 1967, red with white stripes. I sold this car so we could adopt our daughter. I got the most out of this deal.
He doesn’t race weekends at local tracks like other aging Indy contenders. “I love watching these cars in the garage,” Pags said. “My dad was a big car lover. My dad is probably the reason I was successful in my life and my career. Not for the reasons you think.
Pags’ relationship with his father had its typical ups and downs. As is the case with most men.
“My dad didn’t think I would stand for anything and had no problem telling me this,” Pags said. “Conversely, my mother was always extremely supportive of my interests and goals. I knew that if you were good at what you did, people would notice.
Pags said his father excelled at being an opponent. A glass is a half-empty type.
“He was so negative. He thought I would never achieve anything,” Pags explained. “I was out of the house at 17 and determined to become something. To prove him wrong.
Before his father died, Pags thinks his father realized a lot.
“A light went on in his head, and he was so surprised that I could make a living doing what I was doing,” says Pags. “When I became quite successful, he recognized my drive and determination. I still don’t know if he was tough on me because he thought it would help me in the end. Whatever his reasoning, it gave me the motivation and the determination to go all the way.
Pags’ father became so proud of his son that he told his friends Joe was going to be on Fox News and how they should tune in.
“It was my mother, with her ultimate support, who really inspired me to succeed. For her,” Pags explained.
“I learned that if someone puts you down or makes you feel small, you have a choice. You can go into a shell and take it. Believe what people say. Or you can go out and knock down doors. If you want me to do something, tell me I can’t do it. Soon I’ll be unionized on 200 stations. This all came from believing in me. I’m going to prove it to iHeart. To other broadcasters.
Pags once said; you need to find some sort of edge.
“I knew I was not going to agree with what my father believed and said, just to shut him up. I had to defend my own convictions.
I can relate to a guy like Pags. It has a hard exterior, not easy to break. But like me, I know that at the center is a soft, creamy nougat.