Words by Sarah Frazier. Photo by Samantha Donnelly.
The DJs keep on coming! When I finally got in contact with Jack O’Brien, I was instantly turned on by his excuse for a delay in getting back to me: “I have been busy at Bite Me organic Pizza, which I created and opened in 2008.” First of all, I knew from the very word “organic” that I had a true Vermonter on my hands, such, the “Bite Me” part actually made me laugh out loud. Who can’t be interested in a guy who decided to name his place “Bite Me Organic Pizza.”
Coming off of that, Jack told me more about his life before “Bite Me Pizza:"
“I was caught up in travel and I built a couple of homes. Back in 1994 my family and I were living in Connecticut. My two children were about to enter into the School System, and both my wife and I felt we would like them to grow up in Vermont. So, we sold our home and moved to Burlington. Both of us had grown up here and moved away in the 1970’s, so we were very familiar with THE GREATNESS of Burlington.”
As moving can be, the transition didn’t start out as an easy one. However, from what Jack told me, the two were two pretty savvy business people. First opening a Boutique Bed & Breakfast on Maple Street, to opening the Red Square bar on Church Street a year later, the two contributed to Burlington's atmosphere in their own way.
For the next nine years, time flew, as Jack soon sold some of his bars in 2004 and met Big Heavy World’s own Jim through his dealings with live music at Red Square. “I have always been a huge fan of Jim’s, and over the years, when asked, I have been a supporter of Big Heavy. I also know Lee a bit from Radio Bean. My wife works at Magic Hat brewing so our lives have revolved in some fashion always around town.” With that true Vermonter sentiment, Jack decided to take his love of music and conversation one step further in deciding to develop his own radio show.
Jack hopes to cover both national and local politics. Through the program he'll contribute even more to the local community and help perpetuate knowledge of community and national issues to listeners. When I asked Jack what we can aspect from his show he told me, “I will bring to the air lots of live interviews with the folks that make the news. From local pols to national whistle blowers, military vets, musicians, activists etc. As I see it, there is always room For THE TRUTH.” There is an excitement in these words, the idea of giving voice to the community, and giving truth to people willing to seek it.
Ultimately, it is Jack’s hope to give back even more. Through his radio show he hopes to influence the way people see and think about issues impacting them and the lives of others. This merits a sense of deep appreciation for those willing to do so. As Jack tells me, “In my own way, I hope to bring about access to information and people that normally would not be given a voice.” Looking forward to having you in the DJ ranks, Jack!