My Scariest Studio Guest Ever – OC Weekly
In my career, I have probably interviewed over 10,000 people. Some interviews are memorable, some aren’t. Some are funny, some are serious and some are, in all honesty, just “filler”. A few stand out completely. The common theme to all of them is that you never know where they are going to go. This is what happened with the scariest interview I have ever done. There is a clear “winner” in this category for me. It was an interview with actor Danny Trejo. Our conversation started innocently enough and ended where Trejo almost screwed my face on the live radio. How did it happen? I have wondered the same thing many times over the years.
This incident happened in 1997 when I hosted the morning show on the late Groove Radio 103.1. The format on this station was EDM (electronic dance music). I think Groove was the first EDM station in the country. This happened through the combination of two small stations that had their frequencies on the same band on the radio dial, one with its antenna in Newport Beach and the other in Santa Monica. Both were at 103.1 on the dial. Groove’s largest area of coverage and the most enthusiastic audiences were in West Hollywood. The gay community loved Groove Radio and its electronic format. We even had a float in one of the first Gay Pride parades!
My morning show, Doctors of love with the poor, was an experiment to see if the Love line the format I had created for late nights at KROQ would also work early in the day. People would call with their love issues and get advice from the show host (me), a doctor, and a daily guest celebrity – the “Love Doctors”. Danny Trejo was booked as a Love Doctor guest celebrity, and that’s where all the trouble started, and that’s what they never did! Things just sped up in a way that no one could ever anticipate.
According to my former call screener Freddie Morales, the type of calls we would receive would involve topics like anal sex, herpes, and butt plugs. We were getting questions like “I have a wart on my left lump.” What should I do? ”And“ What happens if I swallow semen? ”Or“ Can I masturbate four times a day? ”And“ What if I swallow sperm? ”Or“ Can I masturbate four times a day? ”And“ What if I do I put something in my ass? ”Back then we didn’t have social media, so the only way people would get answers to those kinds of questions was through programs like my TV show. Usually, listeners would call the show and tell us about these types of issues. Then I would ask guest celebrity Love Doctor for her opinion on what the caller should do. “Unqualified” responses celebrities were always entertaining We would end the conversation by asking the doctor to give a qualified medical answer based on his expertise and resolve the health issue that arose.
Just so you understand who we were dealing with, you should know that Trejo had been in and out of jails and jails all over California, including San Quentin, where he became a boxing champion. He was a hardened criminal who, to his credit, changed his life once he got out of prison for good. He helped other former inmates readjust to the real world once they left the slammer. By helping people, he made his breakthrough in cinema by assisting an actor on a film set. He became the actor’s boxing instructor and from there the director introduced him as a hardcore villain. Trejo is definitely one of the scariest guys who’s probably ever been in movies. He has long stringy hair, tattoos all over his body, piercing eyes, and the terrifying, mad demeanor of a murderer (IMHO). By the time he came on my show, he had already played the role of a villain in Air conditioning, Blood coming in, blood coming out, Anaconda, Desperado and From dusk to dawn. He was a rising star playing the fiercest and most intimidating villains of all time.
On the day he was guest on Love Doctor, several gay men called the program, one after another, for advice. It wasn’t unusual considering our fan base. Unfortunately, Danny didn’t know the show or our audience. He was an emerging actor who just wanted publicity. I started asking him his opinion on each caller’s problem and giving him advice. As close as I can remember, on or around the third call, things started to go downhill dramatically. All of a sudden, Trejo was staring at me like one of the badass he was playing on screen. He literally looked like he was ready to jump over the console and screw me up. It was freezing cold.
The reason he was so upset? He thought I was implying he was gay. I mean, it’s completely crazy! He was a guy who spent years in the joint with the toughest of fellow inmates. According to Freddie, “We all thought you were dead, Poorman. I thought I was going to witness Poorman’s death on live radio. I heard Danny Trejo say live on the air, ‘Hey man! Did you just call me gay!?! This is not cool man! I’m gonna kick your ass, man! I was in the far corner and heard the operator of the board of directors Special Ed say to Danny “Settle down, calm down”.
At this point, I wasn’t going to take a break even though I needed to skip the commercials because I was worried Trejo was going to break my ass once we ran out of air. I remember telling the audience for several minutes that this guy was ready to hit me. It was beyond time.
Somehow, after reassuring him for about 10 minutes that I wasn’t calling him gay live, I managed to calm him down. To this day people still remember the situation more than anything I’ve done on Groove Radio. Many of them don’t even remember the details; all they remember is Danny Trejo wanted to kick my ass.
I saw him again about a decade later at the Van Nuys courthouse. I was doing a live radio report with Rick Dees in the morning on KIIS FM. I have no idea what he was doing there. We exchanged pleasantries, and it certainly seemed like Danny Trejo had no resentment towards me or any memory of the incident on Groove Radio. Maybe he has mellowed over the years. I certainly have it and wish him all the best.
Freddie Morales @Devotional The Depeche Mode Experience on Facebook
When Poorman has his feet in the sand, you can find him on the air Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. KOCI accommodation Poorman Morning Rush – The only morning driving show in Orange County. His show brings a lot of excitement, and of course, the aura of unpredictability of the Poorman – both good and bad – that defined his legend! Email Jim “Poorman” Trenton at [email protected] to request a song or submit music.