Wake up! Rick Moore: He's waiting for your call!
Rick Moore is ready to rumble. Well, he won't get violent, but he makes no bones about his taste for conflict. But get this: He's not conservative, even though he's a talk radio host.
"I'm not doing the Rush Limbaugh thing, where my opinion drives the show," says Moore. "I'm much more of a moderator than someone who just shouts out their opinion all the time."
Moore, host of the "Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call" on 91.9, WNRN-FM, is more than happy to answer the call of duty by serving up a weekly brunch of lively debate and commentary, the only break in the station's otherwise all-music programming.
He opens the hour-long show with a five-minute monologue of his own views, but he's usually more interested in opening up lines of communication than in preaching.
"For every five phone calls I get that are of the liberal, open-minded persuasion, I'm really asking for at least one from the other side," he says. Response from right-wingers has recently started to drop off somewhat, occasionally leaving Moore feverishly searching for ways to spark debate.
"I think I've turned most of the conservative Republicans away... or maybe they're in church," he laughs. "They're welcome to call.
"I beg them to call sometimes," he continues. "It's a community radio station, and it's meant to be a community oriented show. It doesn't do any good to present the same side of an issue all the time."
Moore, whose day job is managing Tiger Fuel's Forest Lakes Market (a sister store of Bellair), started as a one-shot guest co-host with the show's original emcee, Coy Barefoot, shortly after the station's 1996 launch. But his appearance went over so well that he was soon asked to come back. Permanently.
"After he asked me to come on one Sunday in June, I was there the next week. My first guest visit immediately turned into permanent co-host," Moore recalls. When Barefoot moved to New York in 2000, Moore became the only host, and he has reveled in the artistic, political, and journalistic freedom the show provides.
"A majority of people would kill to have a one-hour open mic radio show and get to pick the guests and the topic every week," he says, "but a majority of them would also fool themselves about how hard it is."
The unpredictable nature of call-in shows can make the work tricky at times. "I'm much more of an abstract personality, and the same thing happens to the show within the hour," says Moore. "I can make my outline, but then I'm pretty crappy about following it."
From time to time, his abstract personality also likes to dabble in more than just radio. "I always joke about wanting to be a renaissance man, even if I do only one thing one time. A little TV, a little video, I'm on the radio, used to write movie reviews for the University Journal... nobody will let me sing, though."
Moore just might have his chance if you don't call him this week, as he'll likely find himself facing a live mic and dead air. And nobody wants that.
So go on, pick up the phone.
Why here? Charlottesville is the black hole for UVA grads who are more in love with the interesting people in the area and the four seasons of the climate than any particular job that may carry them elsewhere. That's me.
Worst about living here? One daily newspaper, one local TV station (the new ones don't yet count), one large home improvement store.... so little competition in major areas.
Favorite hangout? Martin's Grill or Bang! for food or cocktails, my covered porch for interesting weather.
Most overrated virtue? Temperance. Remember to enjoy life without too many restrictions.
People would be surprised to know? I once spun around inside a dryer 80+ times.
What would you change about yourself? I'd be more confident in my talents.
Proudest accomplishment? Having gallery shows and selling some of my abstract art.
People find most annoying about you? I can be too quiet and moody.
Whom do you admire? My maternal grandfather and my parents
Favorite book? Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano had a big influence on my life at the time I read it.
Subject that causes you to rant? Cigarette butts casually tossed to the ground as though they're not litter!!!
Biggest 21st century thrill? Caller ID
Biggest 21st century creep-out? Patriot Act, loss of privacy
What do you drive? Ford Taurus. I sold my Jeep a few winters too early.
In your car CD player right now? Megan Slankard Band (indie San Fran group)
Next journey? Las Vegas for March Madness opening weekend
Most trouble you've ever gotten in? Come on, I'm gonna send my parents a copy of this.
Regret? Not asking out more of the area's cute women for a date.
Favorite comfort food? Bodo's hummus & sprouts on an everything bagel
Always in your refrigerator? Water bottles, various cheeses, romaine lettuce, juice
Must-see TV? The Daily Show, Lost
Favorite cartoon? The Simpsons! (TV), Rhymes with Orange (print)
Describe a perfect day: No alarm clock, spending the day with close friends tubing or skiing, wonderful dinner, drinks afterward, and staying up as late as I want
Walter Mitty fantasy? To become a respected artist and all-around Renaissance man with good gambling luck
Who'd play you in the movie? John Goodman
Most embarrassing moment? The many mistakes I make on The Wake-Up Call have taught me to not be overly embarrassed.
Best advice you ever got? Life is a constant growing process. You either grow or dry up. There's no standing still.
Favorite bumper sticker? "Chaos, panic, and disorder. My work here is done."
Wakeup Show host Rick Moore
PHOTO BY JEN FARIELLO