They Called Me Bob Narley
2/6/2013 1:08:00 PM
To my family I’m simply Patrick, many of my friends enjoy calling me Patman, to business associates and some celebrities they like to refer to me as Mr. Capone, but to hundreds of thousands of other people around the country – They called me Bob Narley.
It was my first radio gig. I was at the super cool 98ROCK in Tampa Florida. I had lied to them saying I needed an internship to graduate. I wasn’t in college. I just wanted to work in radio. So I worked for free for a full year before the newsman known as “Wolfman” called the college with some questions. When the college denied ever knowing me, well, the shit hit the fan and I was called into a meeting where I was told it was my last day.
No big deal I thought, I’ve been here a year, I’ve made a demo, I know how to do a morning show, work the board, mission accomplished.
The morning show host I was interning for at the time was a super creative and amazingly talented surfer named Seabass. Love the guy. He heard it was my last day, ran into my studio as I was packing up my stuff and said “Stay right here.” He ran off and came back about 20 long awkward minutes later.
“Do you want to work in radio?” said Seabass as he poked his head quickly back into my studio again.
“Hell Yeah Brutha!” I quickly replied.
“Cool. Your now Bob Narley. I’ll be back in 10 minutes and we’ll go get some lunch and we’ll talk about your new job here.” Announced the Bassman. He told me we would spell it with an N, just to be different. I didn’t care. I was working in radio now. Woo Hoo!
That was the official beginning of my radio career, and it was all thanks to an incredible disc jockey named Seabass.
Over the years, people have called me all kinds of variations of the name. Gnarlz was the most popular for some reason. Gnarlyman, the Gnarly one, GaNarley for those in the mood to joke. I’m sure you can imagine all the crazy variations I have heard. Most of the time it was spelled with an N, but not always.
Now, the best time was when I was flown into Washington DC for the premier of Kingpin with Woody Harrelson. The studio put us all up in the downtown DC Ritz Carlton. Yeah, that Ritz Carlton, complete with all hand made wood walls, and marble this, and antique that, and everybody spoke with a foreign accent and wore suits that were worth more than my Jeep.
We pulled up to the Ritz in our supplied stretch limo fresh from the airport. I crawled out of the ride in my usual casual wear for the time. My hair was down to my ass. I had on a hockey jersey, camo shorts, black combat boots, caring a small duffle bag filled with some wadded up clean jeans and another shirt for the next day. I thought we were in the wrong place for sure. Everyone in the entrance had suddenly stopped talking and was starring directly at me. I can't imagine why.
Then, this tall beautiful woman came up to me with her clip board in one hand. The hotel id tag on her perfectly fitted uniform had some unpronounceable name and said she was from Paris France. In the sweetest and sexiest French accent I have ever heard she said “This way Mr. Gnarly. We’ve been expecting you.”
Mr. Gnarly?!?!?! LOL I loved it.
Yes. Mr. Gnarly was setup VIP at the Washing DC Ritz Carlton and living like a rock star. I drank the wet bar dry each night, partied my ass off, went bowling with Woody, and loved every minute of that weekend, especially when I would catch the faces of the usual Washington diplomats at the hotel trying to figure out exactly who the hell this long haired crazy man was that was having so much fun in THEIR hotel. I made sure to have at least one beer each day in the hotel bar, just to screw with em all.
I often think of those days on February 6th, because this is Bob Marley’s birthday. While my old radio name certainly has no disrespect for that great artist, you can see how they are often associated together. In fact, I have a great story about the time Hedonism 2 flew me to Jamaica for the Bob Marley birthday fest and lost all of my clothes… O yes.. that is a very good story, but I’ll save it for another time.
So, if you’re lucky enough to ever go riding with me in Florida, and we walk into a cool watering hole, don’t be surprised when the bar does a classic Cheers and everyone yells GNARLY!!! No, they aren’t watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High, that’s just a room full of my old radio friends from down South.. Who will always think of me as their crazy long haired DJ friend - Mr. Gnarly.
aka Bob Narley
aka Bob Gnarly
aka The Narley One
aka Mr. Gnarly