Placer County’s Pat Martin celebrates 30 years on air
By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
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When it comes to famous rock ’n’ roll radio broadcasters in Northern California, Pat Martin is iconic.

“The first song I ever played here at 98 Rock was Guns and Roses ‘Paradise City,’ so naturally when they sing ‘Take Me Home,’ I felt like I was finally ‘home’ here in Sacramento at 98 Rock,” said Martin, a Roseville resident.

The “Pat Martin Show” on KRXQ’s 98 Rock (98.5 FM) has been on the air for 30 years. Martin celebrated his 30th anniversary at 98 Rock’s KRXQ Wednesday at the Powerhouse Pub in Folsom.

Gold Country Media asked Martin how the last three decades have shaped him into the radio personality he is today. Martin’s answers follow below.


What was your first concert?

“I was 11 years old when I saw ‘Three Dog Night’ in L.A. at the Forum. My older sister’s older boyfriend had an extra ticket and asked if I wanted to go. I’ve been a music junkie since I was born but my first concert just added more fuel to the fire for my love of music. To this day, they (Three Dog Night) are one of the biggest selling bands of all time. Everybody had long hair, dressed like hippies and were smoking pot. That was the first time I saw marijuana or even got a whiff of pot. I didn’t even know what it was.”


How does the Greater Sacramento area compare with larger music scenes such as Los Angeles?

“Sacramento has absolutely held its own when it comes to producing some of the world's great rock bands. We’ve had some fairly impressive acts come out of the Sacramento area, including TESLA, Deftones, Cake, Papa Roach and Oleander, just to name a few.”


How has someone managed to stay in the same position and retain the same show in such a competitive field for 30 years?

“I do have some compromising pictures of some people. But seriously, it takes a lot of perseverance, it takes a lot of hard work and it takes a good amount of luck as well in this industry. The bottom line is you have to forge relationships, no matter what job it is. I forge relationships with my listeners, the people I work with and everybody in the community as well. It’s a relationship-based business.”  


Out of the many interviews throughout the years, who goes down as Pat Martin’s favorite interview?

“Hands down, it was Pete Townshend (lead guitarist for The Who). A mutual friend of ours set up the interview when I was still working in San Diego after a concert and we spent a good 45 minutes drinking scotch and riding around in Pete’s limo in beautiful San Diego. That guy could have been talking to anyone he wanted that night and he chose to talk to me in his limo and it was just awesome.

An honorable mention would be the time Ozzy Osbourne snorted Coke and drank Jack Daniels in the middle of an on-air interview here in the studio of 98 Rock while The Rolling Stone magazine had just published an edition which featured how Ozzy was sober at the time.”


What advice do you have for youth who aspire to be radio personalities and get into broadcast journalism?

“First, I would say go to college and become a communication major, if you’re serious. Secondly, get involved in your college radio station. That’s huge. Then, and this is key, get an internship at a radio station soon after college, grab some real world experience in the industry as soon as you can.”


What do you love most about your job?

“I love being on the air! Being able to communicate with the audience, turn them on to a funny story, inform them, enlighten them and entertain them. It’s something few radio stations do nowadays. We have live shows here at 98 Rock and I get to take real calls and I just love that aspect of this job.”