Maybe it’s just me…
But I strongly suspect that lots of people in local TV news would be at least somewhat surprised to learn mild-mannered, former Channel 5 news director Don North just got back from spending three days with his wife and friends partying like banshees at the rock fest known as Bonnaroo.
Eminem, Arcade Fire, Widespread Panic, Buffalo Springfield, The Strokes, Henry Rollins, Lewis Black, Bela Fleck, Loretta Lynn, Scissor Sisters, String Cheese Incident and about a million other bands. A four day camping and music wilding, spread out on 700 acres in Manchester, Tennessee.
Forgive me in advance for asking, but how much dope did North smoke on the three day rapture?
"Oh, three or four bags," he jokes. "I’m not sure how anybody could inhale anything. It was hard enough to get a good gasp of air because of the dust."
Seriously though, what possessed the button-downed news director (who brought Kansas City Katie Horner and Dana Wright) to go AWOL from the coat-and-tie world and asshole to elbow with tens of thousands of stoners and party people?
"My mom lives there," North says. "I mean, if you’re from Manchester, Tennessee and you don’t go to Bonnaroo, what good are you? And the best part is, we didn’t have to sleep on the ground. We stayed at my mom’s place."
North’s favorite band: "My Morning Jacket," he says. "It was a terrific show. The problem is I had to leave yesterday so I didn’t get to see Robert Plant and the Band of Joy."
How about did he get to swim nude in the great outdoors?
"No, it was too dry. There was a dust storm all the time."
North is currently news director at WFLA TV in Tampa.
His take on the pending ouster of Horner at KCTV?
"Well, Katie was one of the best people I ever worked with and I’m sorry to hear what’s going on. But I’m sure she’ll find something and be fine."