Pet Shop Boys, Beastie Boys, Backstreet Boys
KISS, Heart, Cinderella,
Danger Danger, Duran Duran, Mr. Mister
And of course…
DOUG “the Big Cheese” SCHWARTZ!
You’re asking yourself what these things have to do with each other? Well, it’s easy. I’m Doug and during my Radio Career, these are some of the bands I’ve shared the stage with. Not performing, I wish, but pumping up the crowd while announcing the show.
We all know someone who discovered what they wanted out of life at an early age, and we silently, sometimes not-so-silently, cursed them. That was me. Now I’m pretty sure that reality and I were separated at birth or by thirteen at the latest. However, in all fairness it was the 80’s, I was goofy and life seemed a lot like a John Hughes movie.
I was the guy who knew every song when that first note hit and always had a radio playing somewhere. To me, life has a soundtrack with every song eliciting a response. Sometimes I think I could turn around and actually see a DJ following me around playing theme music. I was only thirteen when I started at my small town station and by sixteen had moved to overnights in Little Rock, AR. Although my mother was less than thrilled I quickly asked for and was granted emancipation and was on my way to conquering the world.
Throughout the next ten years, I lived out of a suitcase. Moving every 8-12 months to a new station and new experiences from coast to coast. Radio was truly a nomadic family and with each new town usually came old friends. I did everything from nights to mornings and interviewed some of the most amazing acts of the eighties and a few we just won’t talk about. At the pinnacle of my career, I returned to Dallas and the Metroplex I loved.
Dallas was the end of the suitcase days and the beginning of my greatest adventure. It was there I got married in 1994 and became an Air Force Spouse, just wait for the book, who traveled with his incredible wife all over the United States and Europe. We added kids to this crazy train ride in 2006 and just after my wife retired in 2015.
I had been enjoying a new reality show called Ink Master and decided to get another tattoo. It had been 20 years since I sat in the chair. During that tattoo, I got to know my artist and more importantly I was incredibly comfortable in the shop. Over the next few months, I got to be close friends with everyone there and decided to take my camera and go to my first convention. That was it. I was hooked. That one convention I met an amazing suspension team, a magician, an ink master contestant and professional wrestlers. Who could possibly want more?
Since then I’ve found a home in the tattoo community. A place where I am welcomed but even more importantly my son is welcomed. We attend the conventions together where he wears an outfit like mine and is my ‘little cheese’. Now I want to take you inside as we travel to conventions and shops around the country and share my collector’s view of this incredible world with you each week.