The day I met Cory Monteith

You’ve no doubt read a million things on Cory’s untimely passing Saturday night by now so I’ll keep it short.

In May of 2011 Cory visited The Zone @ 91-3, a radio station I was working at in his adopted hometown of Victoria, BC.  His band Bonnie Dune was in the city playing a show that night.  The station was running a piece of programming at the time that invited celebrities of all types onto the air to play an hour’s worth of their favorite music and talk about whatever they wanted.  Cory was without question the biggest star we landed to participate in the show.  It took all of 6 seconds for me to realize this guy was going to be one of the coolest people I’ll ever come in contact with.

He was dressed in double-denim before it was cool; and he looked good.  The dude lived in LA and was clearly ahead of the style in Canada; even in the left-leaning, progressive thinking West Coast.  Good looking people make it look “easy”.  Cory made looking good appear like it was the only option.  It was as if the guy had never not looked incredible at any point in his life. 

Cory was quick to direct the attention, in a gentlemen like fashion, to his band during his visit.  He spoke so complimentary about his mates and effortlessly kept them involved in the media circus that broke out at the radio station.  Cory could have been “me, me, me” on the radio and at the station; but he didn’t.  Because that wouldn’t have been cool.

Every staff member wanted a picture.  Some staff members even brought their wives, kids, girlfriends, mothers, etc to the station to meet him.  We essentially ambushed him.  And you know what?  Cory met each and every single one of those fans.  He signed every autograph and posed for countless pictures while sleekly turning a handful of what would be awkward conversations with fans into charming repore.

Talking is easy.  We all do it all the time.  Talking on the radio is hard.  Don’t believe me?  Come down to SONiC 1029 sometime and try it; you’ll be surprised how difficult it is to sound interesting, relaxed and measured when a mic is on and in your face.  Oh, and by the way:  250,000 people are listening and they can’t wait to text/tweet/facebook/email you some constructive criticism.  We both know Cory was a TV star who’d done live radio before, but watching him speak on the air just moments after entering the room, and hearing how comfortable he sounded, was something I’ve never seen before.  How easy he made life look was enviable.  

Cory and I spent about 20 minutes together at my desk.  Before he went on the air, we put all his music together for his one hour show.  The guy had great taste.  He scrolled through his phone and we talked about all the stuff he was listening to.  The moment this picture was taken we were laughing about how much we both love Grapevine Fires by Death Cab For Cutie.


At the end of his visit, he even gave our afternoon host Jeremy Baker his cell phone number.  Cory insisted Jeremy take his number in case anybody from the station wanted to be put on the guest list that night.  When he left the station, our building became decidedly less cool.


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