Ten Questions with Gavin Miller

Gold104.3’s Gavin Miller is fast approaching an enviable milestone in radio. Next year, he racks up 30 years in an industry that he clearly loves.

One of the quickest wits on air at the moment, Gavin’s radio journey began in 1988 when he walked through the doors of 2BS in Bathurst as a 16-year-old. From there he trekked around the country, with stints in Cairns, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.

Where did it all begin for you and what led you to radio?

I was one of those nerdy kids, who used to record pretend radio shows on cassette! Thankfully, those tapes have long since disappeared, as I’m quite sure they’d give me serious ‘douche chills’ if I heard any of them now!

Was here one person that inspired you or inspires you now?

That’s an easy one. Doug Mulray. Growing up in Bathurst, it wasn’t always easy to pick up Triple M’s signal. But I listened to his show whenever I could. Years later, I got to work with him at 2SM, which I still can’t quite believe ever happened.

From your experience, how has radio changed over the years?

I love how the technology has evolved. I don’t miss pulling CDs before a shift or putting carts away afterwards.

What is it that drives you?

I really like to talk to the people who made the music I love. I find the stories behind those songs genuinely fascinating.  So when an interview goes well, it’s a real buzz.

What do you want to be ‘when you grow up’?

I’m not planning on growing up anytime soon! But even if I did, I wouldn’t want to change professions. I consider myself incredibly lucky to get to do what I do for a living.

I have friends who actually have to work in a ‘normal’ job and, quite frankly, it sounds horrendous.

What is your passion?

I love writing. It’s such a pure and personal form of communication, even more than radio.  So far, I’ve finished a couple of books; a collection of coming-out stories called Don’t Tell Your Father, and the biography of Kevin Bloody Wilson, which Kev and I wrote together in 2010.

There are other ideas that I’m working on in my spare time. I get up every morning and write freeform stuff, just to see what comes up.

It’s a habit (known as ‘morning pages) that I got into in 2001 after reading a book called The Artists Way by Julia Cameron.  And I’m still doing it 16 years later.

If you’re an aspiring writer/painter/whatever, you should grab a copy of that book ASAP.  It changed my life.

Has there been that ‘one moment’ where you thought ‘it can’t get better than this’?

In about 2007, when I was working at 96fm in Perth, I got to see The Who do a soundcheck.

There were only about 10 people in the stadium when Pete Townsend strolled on stage, grabbed his guitar and casually launched into the “Who Are You” riff.

Every single time I hear that song; I’m transported back to that moment.

What is it that you enjoy about this radio caper?

I’m so grateful that I no longer have to tie my hanky to a stick and move to a new town every six months like I did when I was starting out.

But the upside was that in those early years of my career, I got to see more of Australia than some people do in a lifetime.

And I’ve met a bunch of truly amazing radio mates, who are scattered all over the planet.

Go on, celebrity name drop. Who has been the one who left you gobsmacked and a little bit ‘fan boy’?

I shat my pants severely when I met Michael Hutchence. I was 20 years old, working at what was then called PMFM in Perth and I was a sweaty mess, who could barely string a sentence together. (Many would argue that not much has changed…).

I totally bitched the interview, and Michael knew it, but he was still really nice about it.

Any advice for those wanting to pursue radio as a career?

Learn as many different facets of the business as you possibly can. Just being a guy or girl, who introduces Supertramp songs on the wireless, no matter how well you do it, doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to multi-skill.

Gavin Miller can be heard on Gold104.3 from 1-6pm weekdays. He also hosts a weekend show called This Week in Music and a Sunday morning show for 96fm in Perth called The Café.

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