Long before Howard Stern was broadcasting live orgasms, WLUP morning-radio duo Steve Dahl and Garry Meier were busy with their own absurd antics—including one that sparked a riot at Comiskey Park. During a “Disco Demolition” promotion in 1979, about 50,000 showed up, smashed disco records and stormed the field during a doubleheader. Their 14-year partnership, which won thousands of hard-core fans, came crashing down in a well-publicized 1993 breakup—but the two have been speaking again since August 2006. On Friday 28, they’ll share the stage for a Gilda’s Club fund-raiser (see Around Town), where they’ll take part in a Second City improv skit. After chatting with them (separately, of course), we charted the chances of a reunion.
Steve and Garry then…
Steve Dahl The duo’s frontman, known for hard partying and disco hating, put the shock in shock jock. Your average show? In a 1989 broadcast, he got a vasectomy—live.
Garry Meier Often called Dahl’s “second banana,” Meier was the more savvy, earnest sidekick who countered Dahl’s dialogue with backup banter—like a play-by-play to Dahl’s 1989 vasectomy.
Alleged cause of breakup
Steve Dahl In the past, Dahl gave the Yoko Ono excuse: He blamed Meier’s wife, real-estate broker Cynthia Fircak, claiming that she wanted Meier to be the show’s star.
Garry Meier When Meier and Fircak were on their honeymoon, Dahl took the chance to sling insults at the new wife on air. It was widely reported that, for Meier, that was the last straw.
Dahl and Meier now…
Steve Dahl For 12 years, Dahl has been paired with newsman Buzz Kilman on WCKG-FM 105.9 “The Package,” from 2 to 7pm. Dahl’s simmered-down and seemingly sobered-up rundown of current events also includes celebrity guests and music. But it’s no Steve and Garry.
Garry Meier After another radio-show breakup—Meier and his wife-cum-manager left the Roe Conn Show on WLS-AM 890, turning down an estimated five-year $7 million contract—Meier began hosting a show from 8 to 11am on WCKG starting last April. Again: no Steve and Garry.
Why they started talking again
Steve Dahl Dahl used the word “stalking” to describe Meier’s run-in with him during his Air & Water Show remote broadcast in August 2006. But Dahl must not have minded too much, because he invited Meier up to the booth to tape the show; Meier accepted. Dahl blogged that it was like breakup sex, “and it was pretty good.”
Garry Meier In Meier’s slightly different version, he just happened to run into Dahl while eating lunch at the Oak Street Beachstro during the Air & Water Show. The accidental meeting made front-page news in the Sun-Times and the Tribune.
What each thinks about the other today
Steve Dahl “I can only afford to work with Garry if it’s for charity.”
Garry Meier “It’s fine. We talk. It’s cordial.”
Any future together?
Steve Dahl “I wouldn’t rule out working with him in the future. It would have to be a bigger thing, a syndicated-type show.”
Garry Meier “He’s settled into his show, I’m settled into mine. It was a good ride, but it’s now 14 years later.”