Jun 24, 2010 by

“Many are called, few are chosen” 

Intro and interview by Billy Doran 

“You are listening to One Love Music”, a faceless voice reminds as I turn up the volume of the radio.

I’m driving East through Avon along Highway 6, heading to Avon Deli & Bakery to meet my subject for the latest Mousiké Magazine piece, Scott Peterson, aka, “The Weez” from KZYR 97.7FM, DJ and host of the longest running radio show in Vail, the reggae music showcase, One Love Music, celebrating 15 years of Ja Love & Ja Music.

Squinting as the sun breaks through cartoon clouds and grabbing my shades, I look up at the cobalt blue sky, then turn the volume up a bit more -Weez always has the best selections playing for the right moments. I level my gaze ahead to the horizon, the surrounding mountains and ski runs of Vail, the Eagle River snaking through by my side racing neck-and-neck with I-70.   It dawns on me, all these things I have seen for over 20 years now during my life in Vail, all so familiar to me, yet at the same time, every now and again you see them as if for the first time. You see them in a way they are meant to be seen, be defined, immovable and stripped of any kind of “normality” that we humans sometimes tag things with that we are used to seeing.  

The voice continues, “I am The Weez and you have it tuned in to the Zephyr”, at that moment the comical reality takes shape, I am going to meet someone whom I have never seen and have never met- but have known for over 15 years

As we sat and talked about the success of the show, he admitted that “in a million years”, he never thought (the show) would have done what it has, with the longevity it has kept up and the audience it has acquired.  Sitting there and listening to his vast knowledge of music, and artists, and festivals from all corners of the globe, his passion for music is addicting.  I couldn’t help but think that there was no way the show couldn’t be a hit!

 After the interview, it dawned on me that this “stranger”, the aforementioned “faceless voice”, is as familiar to me as all the things I have known in all the years I have lived here.  He is the music man, he is defined and immovable, and definitely stripped of any kind of “normality”, he is Ja Weez. 

BILLY DORAN– Weeze, what’s up man? You’re early, I figured you music types would be fashionably late.

THE WEEZE– I am early considering I’m usually on Island time.

BD– Yeah, right. Fashionably early by 1 minute, how’s it going?

TW-It’s going real well…or “Real Realm” should I say?

(He says referring to the t-shirt I’m sporting, Colorado’s annual “Realm Music Festival”).

I’ll be there! I’m real excited for those shows! Used to be the “Campout for the Cause”, I’ll be there for sure.

BD– Happy 15th Anniversary man! Can you believe 15 years of “One Love Music”?

“Ja music, ja rule, ja love”…so what was the genesis of this creation that has taken on a life of its own?

TW-Oh man, thank you, crazy…crazy isn’t it?…You know, when I first started the show…when I was young, back in the day, I used to listen to the “King Biscuit Flower Hour”, that was a great (radio) show.  So, I wanted to call it kind of the “One Love”, kind of “let’s get together…feelin’ alright” thing. Something we could get together once a week, listen to some good reggae, and, “feel all right”. Then I wanted to add the “hour” thing because of the King Biscuit show, plus then it kind defined it, it was hour long show, “One Love Music Hour”. Then it started to grow. 2 hours…then 3 hours…then it was “One Love Music Hours”, so then it just became “One Love Music”…

BD-…and the rest is history as they say. So through that progression, the natural growth of the program, all the while slowly acquiring more and more of a following and gaining more popularity, you started to push the boundaries outward?

TW-Yeah, I think the whole concept for me was just to get the music I love to as many people as possible. Kind of like “my mission”, you know? It’s kind of like “many are called, but few are chosen”.

BD-Right on, that’s a good way to be…

TW-Yeah, I was picked to do this, you know? Picked to play reggae as long as possible. So that’s what I do.

BD-A lot of people may not realize this, because you got to be living under a rock if you don’t know who The Weeze is or haven’t heard of the One Love Music show, but you aren’t just at KZYR, 97.7 the Zephyr, you are beyond the valley. You play in the Aspen/Glenwood areas on KSNO, 103.9FM, you are also heard on KMTN, 96.9FM out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, right?

TW-Yeah, I pretty much have the Rockies covered. A while back I linked up with a guy who ran a station in Jackson; his name was “Fish”…

BD-…people in music always have great nicknames- you know there’s a great back story there somewhere…

TW- …”Fish”, yeah, he was really interested in the show and my work, and we had some mutual friends. I was looking for some syndication as it was, get (my work) on as many stations as possible, that was the original gig, the mission, and what I wanted to do from the beginning- like King Biscuit. So around 2000-2001, with the help of Fish, I got things going; trimmed the show from 3 hours to 2, kind of fine-tuned it, tightened it up. He helped me get linked up with the FM markets in Jackson & Western Yellowstone areas, then also into the Idaho mountain markets; Sun Valley, Idaho Falls. Most recently, the show is heard on a station in Maui, Hawaii, so that’s really cool, 4 states. I used to think if it as a regional show, but now, Maui, very stoked about that. That’s far away!

BD-Well, kudos to “Fish”, sounds like he’s been a real catalyst in helping “One Love” take flight?

TW-Oh yeah, for sure.  I’d always wanted to get into more markets, but through mutual friends, I met him, and from then on, bam!

BD-That is very cool man, from the Rockies, over the Pacific, to the Islands?

TW-For sure, then I hit up, and got attached to the internet radio market. That’s incredible, you can log on and see what kind of market is listening, and from where their listening, and for how long they’re watching…that’s where I cam up with the “Top Five” on-air, the top five countries or markets that are tuning in. There’s been times I’ve had to look up where people are listening from, like Reunion Island, (small French island East of Madagascar), or places like Washington D.C, that’s a real hotbed of reggae music as there’s a lot of Jamaicans living there, so I get a lot of listenership there. The internet is amazing for getting your work out there. Truly a global market.

BD– That’s got to be an amazing and exciting prospect, to see worldwide who’s listening and where?

TW- Oh yeah, like Guadeloupe! Guadeloupe?  I had to look up where Guadeloupe was! It’s pretty wild for sure. (F.Y.I., Guadeloupe is a small island chain in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Eastern Caribbean Ocean)

BD– Let’s back up for moment Weeze, and get some background on you. You were born in the Midwest, right?

TW– Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then shortly after moved to Minnesota when I was barely a year old, so grew up in Minnesota, moved to Colorado in 1987. Did a couple years of college and thought, man this college thing just isn’t working, you know? Entertained the idea of broadcast school- my Mom agreed! She said, “you talk a lot, you should go to this broadcasting school I see advertised”!

BD– So Mom was on to something?

TW– Oh yeah.  I thought, “Mom has the right idea”, then came to find out the school was less expensive and it was a faster program which translated to- it will get you out of (this house) quicker!

BD– That’s too funny. Now, not to be master of the obvious, but you’re about 6’3”, white, thin, guy from the Midwest, right? Safe to say that’s an accurate description?

TW– Well, not as thin as I used to be! I’m “teek” now, as the Jamaicans would say… “you teek mon”  (“you thick man”)

BD– Aren’t we all. So, back to being master of the obvious, you’re not exactly the kind of guy one would expect to host an International hit reggae music show. How did that turn of events happen?

TW– Sparked by Marley (no pun intended), just Bob Marley’s music, and the whole message in the reggae, the message of (“Brad-B?”), that’s the message I was in to, you know? A conscious, like, I don’t know, like the lyrics to Bob’s songs. I’ll catch another word every time I listen; it’s like a new message every time.

BDLike-no-other for sure. Bob is, was, always-will-be one of a kind.

TW– I was already on the air out here, and didn’t start the “One Love” show until around ’95, like a couple of months before Jerry Garcia died. Somehow, for some reason, as soon as Jerry passed, I was just full on reggae, all reggae. I was following (Grateful Dead) around for a long time, doing that thing, trying to see him as much as possible.  So, when (Jerry) died, I just kind of went to reggae.

BD– Another like-no-other, Jerry Garcia. What do you think it is about reggae music that no matter where you come from, what your ethnic background is, where you grew up, what your economic tax bracket is- everyone has the same response to reggae music? You  know, it loosens up everyone’s brain; it becomes a visceral mental relaxation, like as we walk around, in our mind we’re just hanging out in a hammock under a palm tree with a drink that has an umbrella in it.

TW– Man, that’s a heck of a question! I don’t really…man…that…that’s a tough one to put your finger on. Maybe it’s partly that which what you just said. Maybe…it’s partly…you know, if you live in, like, an island spot- then do you think about “the islands” and stuff when you hear reggae?

BD– Good point.

TW-I mean for me, I live in a cold place (here in Vail), so the music can partly represent, like, warm weather, like a getaway. So, maybe it’s like an island escape for your ears, and then for some people for your mind too when you listen to reggae, just that kind of thing.

BD– You’re known for a reggae show, but what else is on your I-pod, anything that people may be surprised to know you listen to?

TW– I listen to it all, the hippie stuff, rock, reggae, jazz & blues, funk, Willie Nelson, New Orleans style, you know, rap/hip-hop, pretty much everything- except classical, don’t really get into classical stuff…

BD– So no Ja-Love, Ja-Bach. Ja-Chopin?

TW– Ha ha, nah…the classical just doesn’t do it for me. If I think chill music, I don’t think classical right off the top. Nothing against it, it’s just not my thing. Definitely more reggae than anything else.

BD– With that being said, this is a good time to ask, when was the first time you set foot on Jamaican soil and realize that Jamaica was going to be part of your future?

TW– It really started about a year after I started the show, around ’96. Not just that I wanted to go to Jamaica, but more that I wanted to go to a (music) festival in Jamaica. I thought it’s be Sun Splash, but that went through some stuff and kind of ended, so it turned out by the time I got there, summer of  ‘96,  I made it to Sum fest (Summer-Fest), down in Montego Bay. But it wasn’t just the music, you know? I wanted to go down there with some credentials, be like “the press”. Being on the radio, I was used to being in the green room and talking to the bands, so I didn’t want to go down there and just be out in the crowd, you know? I enjoy being in the crowd, but more enjoy being backstage talking to the artists.

BD– Absolutely, I mean with the credibility you’ve built up here in the States, or where have you, it allows you to appreciate the whole (Festival) experience that much more.

TW– Exactly, that’s why I kind of wanted to be rollin’ with that and that was in ’96. The weird thing was I didn’t make it back down there for 11 years, until 2007! Ironically, 11 years later, I go down with my Jamaican buddy, Larry, he’s going to take all the photos while I did the interviews, and sound bites and such, so we go to check in at the media check-in station, and the woman there was the same one who checked me in back in ’96, right? She recognizes me. She looks at me, and says, “I don’t know why I can’t find your picture (press badge),  it should be in here from last year, I know you were here last year, I don’t know why I don’t have your picture in my data base” How funny is that!! I hadn’t been there in 11 years and she’s talking like it was just last year.

BD– Man, that’s a perfect example of “island time frame”, just a totally different mindset.

TW– Right! I mean WOW, eleven years!! But, Sum fest, that’s the festival that I go to every year…

BD– …and it was this trip, to Sum fest ’07, that you met your wife, Andrene, affectionately known as “Mello”?

TW– It was Larry was showing me around, I had gone down to chill out and just take a break from some things that had been going on. After a few adventures in Jamaican car rentals from places like “Rasta Car Rentals”, I finally got hold of an able car to tour the island, and such, so another friend calls me to give me the number of a really great friend there in Jamaica to kind of show me around, maybe have someone to attend the festival with, you know just kind hang out- “oh by the way”, he says, “her name is Mello”…

BD– That seems like a fitting name in a place like Jamaica.

TW– Exactly…and we just clicked from the start.

BD– And kept clicking?

TW– And kept clicking…you know we went to the festival, and often women there will get someone to kind of escort them around, kind of a “rent-a-dread”, just to kind or point them in the right direction, keep the hassles to a minimum, things like that. She was just gonna go to the shows one night, and I said, “you should go to all the shows”. It was casual, she would attend some of the shows, she’d leave early, but it was all good. But there was something there, and we both kind of knew it from the start.

BD– It’s a cool thing, a special thing, when you make that sort of connection with someone.

TW– Yeah, so we went through the boyfriend-girlfriend thing, and she’s still in Jamaica, you know, I went through all the bullshit trying to get her over here for a travel visa, or even just a work visa- no luck. Even now, we’ve been married for almost 2 years, and I’m still trying to get her over her! Man government red tape, what a #%*@ hassle.

BD– What a pain in the ass!

TW– Total pain in the ass. But, she’s hangin’, she’s keepin’ busy, she’s a massage therapist and cosmetologist- AND she/we just opened a bar, called Vybz, in the town of Hopewell about 15 miles West of Montego Bay- right on the water- after some major jumping through hoops- but that’s  kind of a dream as well. A bar, with my wife, in Jamaica, on the beach, a great local’s hangout.

BD– So, it’s safe to say now that you are truly in love with Jamaica?

TW- Oh yeah, for sure. It’ll all be worth it. You know it’s funny, Jamaica gave me the music I love, the music that kind of put me on this path- then- Jamaica, through the music, gives me this wonderful, beautiful woman I fell in love with. I got it all…

BD– Your livin’ your dream…

TW- Totally! Now just waiting to wake up to a coconut tree in my front yard!

BD-You mentioned earlier the effect Bob Marley has had on you- have you been to see Bob?

TW– I have, he’s in a small town called Nine Mile. I was there just after his mother had passed and prior to her death, she would greet people who had come to see Bob’s crypt and she would tour them around and talk with them. But when I was there, they were building her crypt right next to Bob’s, so I’d like to go back and see her as well. Yeah, it’s pretty intense, being there, to see someone who has had such an effect on your life, on your path…

BD– I hear you man, same thing with me when I go visit Jim Morrison whenever I’m in Paris, some weird connection. You know, one thing that many people don’t know about Bob Marley is that he was buried with his 5 favorite things: his favorite guitar (some say  a red Fender Stratocaster- some say a Gibson Les Paul), a soccer ball, a marijuana bud, a ring that he wore every day that was given to him by the Prince Asfa Wossen of Ethiopia, and a Bible. Pretty cool- that’s Rock & Roll.

BD– Considering what you do, what you’ve done…is there anything, or anyone that you look to, or seek out, to find inspiration for your show?

TW– Well, as far as the actual product that’s on-air, the “One Love” show, I draw from all different things. I’m on the air all the time, so I draw from other people on-air, or from the TV, or even listening to someone that’s doing an interview- or someone I may be interviewing, I listen to how they’re phrasing their questions, just sponging things from all different avenues. As far as any kind of mentoring, it would have to be Rasta Stevie…

BD– Rasta Stevie, the old Mayor of Telluride?

TW- Yeah, he’s done it right.  Now he lives in Costa Rica now- or as he calls it “Rasta Rica”. I’ve known him for years; he used to be in a reggae band called 8750, out of Telluride. Sometime in the early nineties, I realized that I needed to use the radio format, the reggae music. I had a kind of “freelance show” around that time, playing in a few different markets in and around Colorado and also on a station in Chicago, but one particular station but it was weird, it was like a cool reggae show but stuck in the midst of a light, adult contemporary format. So I’d be jamming some Peter Tosh and talking about legalizing it and then like a station ID right in to some Carly Simon or Christopher Cross of something like that, yeah it was odd.

BD– Talk about not using the clutch when shifting gears.  That is an odd combo…

TW– I mean, I hung there for a few more years, and people dug the music. The station said if I wanted to keep doing it, I’d need to find some sponsorship money to keep in going in the Vail market, and I lived in Vail, so I didn’t have to look far. Got some money from places like the old Dancing Bear bar, and Pazzo’s, and the show went on. I mean I don’t care about money, I just need enough to keep going, but it would be pretty great to get hooked in to some big sponsors like Rossignol, or some big company in Aspen or Jackson Hole, that’d be pretty cool…

BD– So, anyone reading this, if you’re looking for an established outlet for getting your name, your brand, your whatever out there, get hold of  Weeze.

TW– Here’s me! I’m in Maui now! Call me!

BD– Hell yeah, you’re big in Guadeloupe now, how can you beat that!

TW– Yeah, Guadeloupe!

BD– Weeze, if you weren’t spinning reggae music, or any kind of music, what do you think you’d be doing? Is there anything else you could see yourself doing if you weren’t doing this? Or, is this something that you were, hands down, meant to do?

TW– Wow, big question. For me, doin’ radio, it’s where it’s at. Music is my thing. I mean, I get to sit down at work! I have all these friends that ski all day, or whatever, then they wait tables and bartend and stuff. I get to sit down, play music, talk to people, talk to musicians and artists…

BD– So, this is like a destiny thing then? Might that be it?

TW– That might be it.

BD– Where do you see yourself in 5 years, or 10 years, still on the radio?

TW– Oh yeah, I hope to be on the radio until I can’t do it anymore. Maybe branch out into other radio avenues, production or promotional stuff, but definitely radio, music, that mix. I enjoy hearing new music. I was talking to a friend of mine, Danny Dread, he’s in a band called Rising Lion, and they have some new music coming out, so anytime that happens, I’m always like, “man email me the music so I can play it on the show”.

BD– Are you ever- not- “the Weeze”, do you ever separate your on-mic persona with the off duty guy?

TW-It’s so weird when people ask me that question. No matter what, I’m the Weeze, I’m the guy who loves music. But sometimes, you know, if I’m out having a beer or something, I get people who say, “you don’t sound like you sound when you’re on the radio”.  For one thing, I’m trained to be a broadcaster, to annunciate, speak clearly…

BD– …well, you’re voice is your “tool” and, I would think, that in some sense when you clock out, you leave your tools at work, right?

TW– Exactly. That’s a really good analogy. I mean, of course I have to control the steady stream of profanities that spill out during my “regular time”. I mean, %$^&, when I #@$%&@ want some #%&@ done, I #@%* make it happen!

BD– Yeah, $#%@ that, I totally understand that #@%$!

TW– Exactly.

BD– Well, it’s been great getting to know the voice playing the music. Of course congratulations on 15 years of “One Love Music”, I’m sure you have another 15 in you.

TW– Oh man, I can’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it when I hit my 500th show, and now I’m just over 775 shows! Weekly shows! I’m going to shoot for 1000 next!

BD– You’ll totally make it.

TW– I’d like to talk on the radio for frickin’ ever! It’s a great job. I’m sure I’ll tone down on the club DJ-ing.  I’d like to get my wife up here, and hope to make some babies in the next few years so it would be great if the late night stuff came to an end at some point. Some people tell me, “man you should open your own bar here in Colorado”, no way! I’d be the biggest booze-bag in the world! I already like to go out partying; I don’t need to own a bar- not to mention everyone would want free drinks! I don’t mind being in charge of something, but I never want to be the guy that has to rain some dude’s parade, that would have to tell someone they can’t go to a music festival because they’re on the schedule, you know?

BD– Weeze, I want to thank you so much for your time, and letting us “behind the mic” with you. Again, all the best for another 15 years and then some. Any parting thoughts or words for your listeners and fans of “One Love Music”?

TW– For now, I’ll just keep doing my part. I tell Ja I’ll continue to spread the reggae message of music as far and as wide as I can, for as long as I can…Ja-rule, Ja-love,


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