Thursday, June 30, 2016

6.30.16 Hero of the Day: Dave Barber

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on



Name: Dave Barber
Age: was 60
Occupation: former talk radio and TV host
Last Seen: in Heaven, crooning with Frank, Dean and Sammy
Awarded For: being a wonderful and unique entertainer 

Hard to believe it, but on Monday, July 4th, it will be one year since the passing of the great radio legend and a man I considered a friend, Dave Barber.

Long before Howard Stern had naked girls running around his studio, Dave had the same thing. He was sharp as a whip and not afraid to speak his mind. A legend of Flint, MI, he entertained the masses on stations such as WFDF, WTRX and WTAC before finally getting syndicated across the state in 2001 on the Michigan Talk Radio Network. I listened to his show from the beginning and loved almost every minute of it. Hell, he was even a huge fan of my website and even invited me to breakfast at his "breakfast nook" in Grand Blanc, Kihos Island. He and I proudly shot the shit about radio and everything else.

I've had some great moments with Dave, especially when I called in the show and I made him laugh. One time, I told him that they ought to create a feature on TV sets that took out the blurs on certain TV shows. I was thinking about female nudity, but he had Cops in mind. He also laughed real hard when I reminded him why Joe Lieberman would make a bad president: "you can't even pronounce his wife's name!"

It was Dave, however, whom I was listening to when the World Trade Towers collapsed on 9/11. "It's the worst day in American history", he said. I woke up in the middle of a call he was airing and thought that he was being his sometimes sarcastic self. The top of the hour CNN News aired on my local station (the now-defunct WLDR NewsRadio 1210 in Traverse City) and thought that I was living in a sci-fi world.

When I moved to Grand Rapids full-time in 2002, I met Dave one more time; this time, it was at the Admiral Tobacco at 28th and East Paris, pimping his "BUTTS" campaign (Barber Uplifts Troops Through Smokes) where he donated cigarettes to the troops in Iraq. However, not long after that, he quit MTRN over the lack of payment and went back to being live and local on Flint's SuperTalk 1570. From there, he moved to Providence, RI where he worked at WPRO Radio and then to the state's Capitol TV cable channel.

A year ago, Dave returned to Flint to attend his niece's wedding. However, he suffered a heart attack during a rehearsal dinner and was rushed to a Pontiac hospital. On July 4th, he died from its complications, plus a stroke at the age of 60.

Since his passing, so much has happened, especially with the Flint water crisis. If he was still on the air in Flint, he - like the rest of the residents - would be calling for the resignation of Gov. Snyder. But then again, he would proclaim on Facebook that he will always be a Flintstonian but she had let down her own people. While the folks in Flint are now trying to stay away from the tainted water, Dave is drinking the water of life up in the heavens, and maybe doing some crooning with a Rat Packer or two.

The world of talk radio just isn't the same without Dave.
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