Alo Baker

Reflections of a not so deep thinker

Like any story worth telling this one involves a girl.

Ha! Not really – actually it involves the toilet. Because honestly, that’s where it all began. I was perched unsuspectingly when the heavens opened… err… I’m talking about the divine melody that came from my pocket-kinda-heavens.

I wasn’t going to miss that call for anything.

It was the guy from the radio: Will Willoughby from StarFM, Dubbo. After all, working in radio had been my dream career ever since I’d converted an old FM baby monitor into a homemade radio station when I was 13.

As of this month it’s been eight years since the day I got that call. Where’d all that time go?

In my childhood years anything radio was “larger than life”. I actually thought radio station promotional vehicles were something out of this world. Almost as if they were a 007 James Bond car with secret capabilities. I’d soon learn that it was what we in the biz call “smoke and mirrors”.

I look back fondly on my early days in Dubbo; I wasn’t concerned about getting the next big job because, honestly, I was already doing the best job on the planet. Within weeks I was not just the new cruiser guy, but I was also pre-recording an afternoon music shift that would air when I was working my other jobs. At night I’d manage a local pizza restaurant and during the day I’d work part-time for a local Optus shop. My hours were 5am-10pm 6 days-a-week. And I didn’t care; they got local content and I got experience in the industry. We were scratching each other’s backs and loving it.

I feel blasphemous to even suggest there have been times I’ve wanted to walk away from the industry. Like any career radio it’s had its ups and downs. I’ve worked for/with some great people and some not-so-great people. I didn’t volunteer 18 months of my life to the company to have someone new in a role of management less than a year later grill me about my commitment to the industry. Or my own personal favourite: the ones that are all about The Next Gig, almost like I should be ashamed for enjoying a market I’m working in because it’s not a metro station.

Regardless of their intentions, the truth is that these people keep you grounded and remind you of why you do what you do, whether you agree with them or not. I’m not naturally one who likes to sell myself but it’s so important in this industry and I’m not ashamed to admit that I need to work on this.

There’s something that resonates deep within my soul when it comes to radio. There is nothing else like it. After eight years it’s easy to forget how amazing my job is. Sure, it helps to be positive when I get to do a job that I love while living on the Gold Coast, but the truth is that I’ve always enjoyed myself wherever the industry has taken me. I get to share my life with thousands of people across Australia every day and I wouldn’t swap that for anything!

Expect maybe a pizza. I LOOOVE pizza.

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