Goodbye, good luck and piss off.
With those six words shortly before 9 a.m. on Friday, David Larsen ended a decade of the David and Tony morning show on Kelowna classic rock radio station K96.3.
“The last words were actually something a K listener texted in,” said Larsen.
However, before the cheeky send-off, Larsen and co-host Tony Peyton were emotional and poignant.
“I feel rich,” Peyton told Larsen and all the listeners in the final minutes approaching 9 a.m.
“In the words of Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium in 1939, I feel like the luckiest man on earth. I’m lucky to be here in the studio today, surrounded by my family and working in morning radio with you, David Larsen. You enriched my life and I’m a better man for the entire experience.”
The last song the duo played was Cuts Like a Knife by Canadian rocker Bryan Adams.
It was a fitting metaphor for how the longtime co-workers and friends felt on their final morning.
Larsen borrowed from one of the Lord of the Rings movies for his send-off to Peyton and listeners.
“I’m happy to be with you, Tony, here at the end of all things,” said Larsen.
Of course, it’s not quite the end of all things.
The 10-year radio partnership broke up so Peyton can retire and Larsen can take another on-air radio job out of town.
“I had to sign a 43-page non-disclosure agreement about the new job,” said Larsen, “so I can’t say exactly what it is or where, yet.”
Peyton plans to travel more with his wife, Pat, and continue to do some part-time marketing work.
Peyton is the distinctive voice of all the Andre’s Electronic Experts commercials that play on numerous radio stations throughout the province.
He also helps the Hotel Eldorado, Bonanza Meats and SK Form & Finish with marketing.
While 10 years is a long time to helm a morning radio show together, the stint at K96.3 was actually Larsen and Peyton’s second go-round.
From 1994 to 2001, they co-hosted with Kelly Abbott for the David, Kelly and Tony morning show on Silk-FM (now EZRock) in Kelowna.
The trio separated when Peyton left to start Think Marketing and Abbott later went on to other radio jobs, most recently at Jack-FM in Calgary.
Larsen and Peyton are both quick to tell the story of Larsen’s arrival at Silk-FM in 1993 as program director and his desire to fire Peyton immediately because he was so bad on air.
“I was really bad,” admitted Peyton. “Some of the BBM (Bureau of Broadcast Measurement) comments (on radio ratings submissions) said I was the worst thing to happen to Kelowna radio.”
But Nick Frost, then the owner of Silk-FM, convinced Larsen to give Peyton a second chance.
They eventually clicked, and David and Tony would go on to 17 happy and funny years on Kelowna morning radio.
“Tony is a smart guy,” said Larsen. “He became a natural on radio and we made a great team.”
Larsen and Peyton came off as uncomplicated and self-deprecating on the air together, but that was the result of planning, preparation and professionalism and the fact the two genuinely like each other.
Larsen doesn’t like to take too much credit.
“The show was easy because listeners carried it by phoning and texting in and being funny,” he said.
Peyton’s greatest memories of Kelowna radio are going to Mexico three times to broadcast from the beach and giving away $100,000 to a single listener in 1998 while at Silk-FM.
K96.3 afternoon drive host Rickie Tyler will fill in on mornings until a new morning team is hired, likely sometime in September.