Full Disclosure/Confession up front – First- Addiction specialists will always tell you that the first step is admitting you have a problem; that being said, I am a recovering radio talk show host. Second – while I am a fan of country music, I had never heard of or listened to Bobby Bones before this book; which could stem from the fact that I am in recovery and don’t listen to the radio all that much anymore.
In an effort to get a handle on this guy, I dialed him in and listened a couple mornings only to discover he’s like much of radio currently has to offer…he’s just meh. So it’s safe to say that I didn’t approach his book, Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book as a Boner or a Bonehead or whatever his diehard fans a dubbed.
As I delved into his story I discovered what I have run into all too often during my 25 years behind a mic; outsized ego, paired with minimal talent, wrapped in the persona of an insecure little boy. Like so many stereotypical “celebrity” bios, this guy lived a tough life, pulled himself up by his bootstraps, struggled through the radio wars and worked hard to overcome it all and become the big success he is today. Ladle in a few scoops of unhealthy personal and mental problems and it starts to sound like a freakin’ movie of the week.
Oddly enough, as I slogged through the book I found myself actually starting to like this guy! He started to hit on some things that I could related to; he wrote about asking different questions instead of the rote tired things that his guests always get asked and then actually listening to his guest’s answers. It’s what I call the “and then I murdered my wife” moment; where the host so hell bent on asking the next question on their list, completely missed the real story.
While I won’t admit to being as obsessed as using three alarms to wake up at 3 AM, I could totally relate to worrying about being late and or not getting to the station with the necessary two hours before the start of the show! But “hey you have a great job, you only work 4 hours a day, right?” I laughed out loud when he wrote about the sleep deprivation of being a morning host. Many years into my recovery, I still only manage about 4 hours a night…sleep is over-rated.
While the Boner-dudes and dude-ettes will dig this book because it adds flesh to the Bones (Yes, I am sorry…) I found myself liking it because it brought me back to the, good(?!) old days…although I’m not sure it helped my recovery much.