BJ Shea

 BJ Shea

BJ'S BLOG 10/12/15 "29 Years Ago, Just Yesterday"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

I'm not sure this is part of my scary October theme this year or not, but I find time a scary concept. I remember places and faces by songs that were hits at the time or that I just liked. The other day, I posted a song to Facebook, and my friend Larry Miller, the godfather of free-form radio, posted a song to match. When I told him what a great pick it was, Larry responded: "As you well know, Dan, old DJ's always have just the right song for any occasion," and that is the truth. Most of us have a cacophony of songs constantly playing in our heads, just waiting to be called to the surface.

On October 8, Billy Joe Royal's earthly trip came to an end. Most people know his 1965 hit "Down in the Boondocks" but not his first release for Atlantic Records in the mid-1980's, "Burned Like a Rocket," when he was poised for a comeback. The track was climbing the country singles chart when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, and "…radio dropped it like a hot potato," as Royal said in a 2010 interview with Billboard. Another friend, Brian Edwards, wrote on Facebook: "I remember at the old 97.7 FM, his 1986 comeback song "Burned Like a Rocket" was in the rotation the day the Challenger blew, and Michael Page told me not to play it. Because of that accident, Billy Joe never got the hit he should have with that great song." (As it happened, Dan Sanders was the highly-rated morning man at the time.)

A third friend, musician Asa Brebner, who has a list of band credits that includes some 30 groups, among them the Boomtown Rats, Journey, Jim Carroll, Hall and Oates, the Cars, and many more, mused one day: "I was reflecting on my recent past and then realized it was not so recent." When I think back to 1986, I have lived at least three different lives since then. But time collapses memories and makes years into minutes. My recent past is not so recent, either, and to borrow a song title from John Prine, I may have broken the "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness," and that scares the hell out of me.

The people who are present in my memory are much older now and some have left this earth, but in my mind that day in 1986 is as fresh as an hour ago. I played "Burned Like a Rocket" that morning before the disaster and left "Old 97.7" after my shift to interview for a job at a station now called "The River." When I went inside, everyone was huddled in the conference room watching the news. But I did get the job.

Twenty-nine years ago, I was the morning man, Asa was playing the hell out of a guitar, Larry was holding forth at some radio station or other, and Billy Joe Royal was making a comeback. If you're over 40, what where you doing twenty-nine years ago, just yesterday?

There's more on time and other things and as always a rock-and-roll timeline on the shores of Rambling Harbor. I hope you'll join me there.
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BJ'S BLOG 10/09/15 "Taking Off The Ring"

We appreciate your commitment to Group Therapy, but we totally understand if you don't want your friends to find out! Sometimes, I wish I could hide the fact that I'm associated with Steve…

Today's patient-in-need is Katie, who admits that she's reluctant to share…because she's afraid of my reaction. I'll do my best to be fair and balanced, as they say on the TV.

Katie has been married for three years, and she goes out with her single girlfriends every so often. When she hits the town with her girls, she has started taking off her wedding ring. She says she's certain she won't cheat, but she does like having the freedom to flirt. You see, she was finding that men would gravitate to her friends, leaving her alone…you know, as if she's MARRIED or something.

But wait…Katie says she knows where to draw the line with these flirtatious guys! She thinks it's healthy to go out and have fun once in a while, and she's definitely not cheating! Of course, if you listen to this obscure television personality named "Oprah", then Katie has already cheated on an emotional level.

I'm going to take a short walk right now, folks. I need to blow off some steam – totally unrelated to this, of course – and I'm leaving this in your capable hands. What do you think about this ring-a-ding-ding situation?
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BJ'S BLOG 10/08/15 "Regretful Pictures"

Is it time for Group Therapy AGAIN? You know it is, Rock-A-Holics!

Five years ago – in college – Marcia did something that seemed like no big deal at the time, but now she's afraid it might come back to haunt her: she sold some naked photos of herself to a guy who was building his own private collection. Marcia wasn't the only college student who bared herself on camera for this buyer, and doing it didn't really bother her at all; it was easy money at a time when she needed the extra income.

Here's the catch: Marcia's old photo collector associate is around again…as a co-worker at her new job! She spotted him during her first workplace walkthrough, and now she's a little worried about gaining a bad reputation if he spills the beans. He isn't aware of her presence yet, but it's a small office; their paths will cross eventually.

What advice do you have for Marcia, folks? If you were in this situation, how would you handle it?
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BJ'S BLOG 10/07/15 "Your New Girlfriend Is A..."

Welcome back to Group Therapy, where there's never a cover charge! We do, however, recommend a two-drink minimum. As always, we would like to remind you to keep your hands off the talent at all times, and don't forget to tip generously.

Today's Rock-A-Holic in need is Aaron, and he's worried about his buddy's new relationship. His friend has been seeing this girl for a while now, and he told Aaron that he thinks she might be "the one". The problem is this: Aaron's friend thinks his girlfriend is a waitress on the south end, but Aaron met her recently, and couldn't shake the feeling that he knows her from somewhere. After some reflection, Aaron remembers their previous meeting…two weeks ago, when she gave him a lap dance!

That's right: his friend's new girlfriend is a stripper. Aaron is feeling pretty awkward about it, and he's just not sure how to approach the subject, if at all.

We live in an interesting time, don't we? Even just ten years ago, a guy might try to conceal that he's dating a stripper, but we've knocked down a lot of social barriers since then. What if Aaron's friend knows, but he doesn't want to tell all of his friends that they can see his girlfriend naked on a regular basis? Alternately, what if he DOESN'T know? How would he react to that news?

This is a tough one. Have any of you been in this situation? If so, we'd like to hear your thoughts. We'd especially LOVE to hear from some strippers, and maybe hear about that relationship-work balance that they're dealing with! Bring it on, folks!

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BJ'S BLOG 10/06/15 "Meeting Her Kid"

Hello again, Rock-A-Holics! I'd like to start by saying that we love your contributions to Group Therapy, you can always email us at

Nelson emailed us… he has been dating a girl for the last three months, and he loves everything about the relationship so far. Things are pretty serious (they've said "I love you") but there's one nagging thing: the girlfriend shares custody of her six-year-old daughter, but she hasn't introduced the kid to Nelson yet. He's totally prepared for that to happen, but it's not happening as quickly as he would prefer.

Recently, Nelson said that he wanted to spend more time with his girlfriend AND her daughter, but she says she's not quite ready yet. Nelson can understand her protective nature, but he's starting to wonder if she feels as strongly about the relationship as he does.

Nelson…man, I guess I'm a little bit surprised by how quickly you're moving. Three months in, and you've already dropped the L-bomb? How can you be sure this soon? Maybe I'm just not the romantic type, but this seems a little quick for a grownup relationship.

Let's see if your fellow Rock-A-Holics feel differently. Give this man some advice about his "daughter dilemma", won't you?
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BJ'S BLOG 10/05/15 "New England, the Crow, the Cracker, and Me"

Today's blog comes from one of my mentors, Dan Sanders:

There is an angry beauty about New England in the fall. Rolling thunder bounces from dark cloud to darker cloud, and the Atlantic Ocean turns colder and more unsympathetic, whipped into frenzy with wind gusts that can make small people suddenly do their best Mary Poppins impression. The humpbacks begin their journey to the Caribbean, as the little town of Rambling Harbor becomes clogged with boats on trailers straining to make their way around roads barely wide enough for two cars to pass. It's Rambling Harbor getting ready for fall, the season of mysteries that always enshrouds old New England towns, especially villages on harbors and oceans.

There is folklore that crows are attracted to shiny objects. I say folklore because apparently crows are just plain attracted to things, and any thing that might glitter would catch their eye. Based on that legend, I lovingly called my wife Crow Woman, one of many nicknames, and this one loosely based on some Native American idea. If she were walking down the street, a $500 bill on the pavement would not catch her eye as quickly as a shiny bobble in a window. Price was never the point, shiny was.

I love Ritz Crackers. During the first spring after my wife died, I found myself standing in the backyard, very early one quiet, beautiful morning. This was not a place I usually went. I was taking care of my landlady's plants while she was away. Suddenly a crow landed on a nearby lawn chair, left an almost complete Ritz cracker on the arm, and flew away. I was stunned and when I regained some of my senses, I went inside to get my camera. It took me a couple of minutes, and I figured this thing-loving crow would have returned for his Ritz. It's that Ritz in the picture. The crow never returned.

Maybe it's the early darkness, the angry sky, and the raging ocean, or maybe it's just being in old New England that makes us so aware of the possibilities. What could be more perfect than a New England fall, bursting with color, spirits, and mystery?

There will be more stories of hauntings and mysteries and of course a rock-and-roll timeline on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Join me there.
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BJ'S BLOG 10/02/15 "Is It Cheating?”"

Hey there, Rock-A-Holics! Let's get into some Group Therapy before the weekend starts, shall we?

Mark plays on a coed soccer team, and he ended up having dinner with a female teammate after their game was canceled. He has a girlfriend, but she was out with her friends that night, so Mark decided to carry through with the dinner plan; after all, he is NOT attracted to this teammate, so he didn't see the harm in it.

Unfortunately, a friend of Mark's girlfriend secretly spotted the two soccer chums at dinner, and sent a picture of them eating to Mark's girlfriend. Naturally, the girlfriend was furious, and has now accused Mark of "emotional cheating" with this other woman.

Wow, this is some serious drama…and strangely enough, the females in this situation have generated it all. Hell, the chief architect of this nonsense isn't even "in this situation" – she's just a nosy friend who wanted to get in on some trouble. Just a reminder, folks: people are stupid. Give 'em a chance, they'll prove it every time.

Mark says he's innocent, but the girlfriend says that dinner with someone of the opposite sex is cheating, plain and simple. Do you subscribe to that notion, or do you side with Mark? Your opinions are welcome, so fire away…
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BJ'S BLOG 10/01/15 "Best Friends with the Ex"

It's time for Group Therapy, folks!

Alexis needs some help with her ex-boyfriend…because he is now her best friend. They have no interest in getting back together; in fact, the ex-boyfriend is now dating someone new.

Alexis wishes him well in his new relationship, but she's not too happy with his request that his relationship with Alexis remains a secret when she meets the new girl next week. He begged her to carry through with this deception, and even went so far as to ask her to rope their mutual friends in on the deal!

I realize I'm famous for my stance on women and men having post-relationship friendships (DON'T DO IT), so nothing I have to say about this will come as a surprise. That's why I'm turning it over to you, the Rock-A-Holics who offer up advice to their own. Should Alexis let her ex-boyfriend (and current best friend) drag her into a lie for the sake of his new relationship?
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BJ'S BLOG 09/30/15 "Wedding Money"

Do you hear wedding bells, gang? Maybe that’s the sound of a cash register. It’s so hard to tell sometimes…
A Rock-A-Holic named Will is trying to tell the difference between “bing-bong” and “ka-ching” at the moment, because he gave his daughter some money for her wedding, and she spent it…on something else. Did we mention that the amount he gave her was FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS? No? Well, now you know.
Will’s daughter was supposed to spend the money on a lavish wedding, but the happy couple has decided to elope. Now, the dough is financing a trip to Australia that was never part of the plan. Will and his wife disagree about the situation, with the wife defending the daughter and her husband-to-be; Will feels like he’s been the victim of a swerve, and he wants his money back!
This is a tough one, folks. I can really see both sides of the coin here, so let’s hear what you have to say! What would you do if this was YOUR hard-earned money?
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BJ'S BLOG 09/29/15 "Babysitter"

Hey-ho, Rock-A-Holics! Today’s session of Group Therapy almost feels like it should start with the classic line: “I can’t believe this happened to me…”
Needless to say: this one’s for the grownups…ironically.
We heard from Candace, a 19-year-old babysitter who recently had a concerning encounter with her customer. The couple she was sitting for came home from a wedding, exhausted and partied out. The wife passed out in bed immediately, leaving Candace to wrap up the transaction with the husband. Just as the man was about to pay her, he suddenly kissed her on the lips. Candace doesn’t deny that she kissed him back. He seemed to suddenly snap out of it, and then said “we’ll call you if we need you.”
Now, Candace feels bad about the whole thing. She usually deals with the wife in this couple, and now she feels like she can’t work for them again. The problem is having to explain exactly why she feels compelled to stay away, and she’s not sure how to handle that,
Candace, I suppose you’re okay in my book, especially because you admitted to kissing him back. There was alcohol involved on the man’s part, and this was certainly an uncomfortable event. You were sober, and you liked it, so there IS that aspect. Maybe staying away from that situation is the best idea. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth ruining the guy’s life over a stupid little kiss, but that’s just me.
Who has advice for this kissy-face babysitter?
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