Ike Griffin, also known as the Mega Man, was about to begin his show in the garage known as WDFN.
This was during the hey day of the station when shows were rolling nearly around the clock. The Mega man picked up the call screen phone bank that showed all the callers calling into his show.
His hands were massive and the machinery seemed small inside of his hands.
“Watch,” he said. “I am going to make this thing explode.
Then he began to rumble on the airwaves drawing listeners like flies to light. He talked about the Detroit Lions and the Mega Terror dome. He waxed poetically how they were about to make a move and how much he supported them.
First two lights flickered. And then came the explosion. Within five minutes all lines were lit and the Mega Man’s eyes lit up. As the phones rang off the hook Griffin picked up the phone bank again and said “Come to poppa.”
Griffin was the most talented and enthusiastic night time talk show host in Detroit history. I loved his roar. I loved his passion. He was one of the great characters during the Fans run.
I bring him up today because Spartans and non Spartans alike have rallied to his side. A few weeks ago the Mega man suffered a massive stroke. His booming voice was lost. Now he is rehabbing to walk and talk.
I wish him well. I know he will fight and listen to his body and recover. Let me warn Griffin. A stroke is no joke. I had mine nearly four years ago and I still feel like I am in recovery. I am lucky. Mine was not as severe as his and I am leading a close to normal life. I feel fortunate that I can talk and walk and have fun.
But its just not the same.
Mega reminded me of The Electrifying Mojo who I listened to at night on WJLB. Mojo did his show high above Detroit on a space ship. At least that’s what he said. And I believed him.
“You’ve got to bring emotion and passion,” Griffin told the MSU Alumni Magazine. “Because, you see, you’re really in the entertainment business.”
I was in Florida a few years back and heard Griffin doing the show with another person who was the lead guy. It didn’t seem natural. It did not seem right. The Mega man should always be the lead guy because his personality explodes from the radio.
Let’s hope he can return to the air someday. But let’s mostly hope for a speedy recovery.
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