Bill O’Brien

March 15, 2024

By now you’ve probably noticed that many big name “Rock Stars” have decided, that while continuing their musical careers, the days of life on the road have come to an end. Sure, they make lots of what they earn from tours, but lets face it – even if you’re performing at an incredible venue, in a fascinating city, while enjoying incredible cuisine, and staying in 5 Star hotels, life on the road must still be grueling. You’re flying away from home, and staying in a hotel, that no matter how nice it is, it’s not home. Sure, there’s down time, but there’s also needing to be on time for the pre-show sound check, the meet and greets with fans, and any other required meetings that might be scheduled. Of course, there’s probably lots of killing time, waiting for the ride to the airport, for the flight to depart, for the ride to the hotel, for the sound check, for pre-show commitments, for the show, for post-show commitments, for the ride back to the hotel for some rest, and a flight to the next show’s city. Sounds exhausting, right? Don’t get me wrong, I’m certain the energy that comes from this touring lifestyle early on is there, but after a bunch of years doing it, you probably just wanna’ stay close to home! I’m sure as the years progress, we’ll see plenty of veteran “Rock Stars” say farewell to touring. That said, I’m certain many are seeing the many Las Vegas shows called “residences” happening more frequently. Don’t look now, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet there will places other than Vegas that figure out a way to find it attractive to many “Rock Stars” to come visit their town and venue for a series of “residence” shows. Sure it might mean we see fewer full-blown tours, but I believe we’ll still have ample opportunity to still see some of the veteran “Rock Stars” we love do what they love to do – play a live show – after one flight in, a temporary home for their “residence” series of shows, and a flight back home. We might have to travel a little bit further to see them, but there are still many bands, artists, “Rock Stars” that warrant that, aren’t there? At that point they’ll be tanned, rested, and ready for the show – and so will we!

May 12, 2023

Stunned. That’s how I felt when I heard the news that Aerosmith was calling it a career, with one more journey for the road they’ve cleverly dubbed “Peace Out”. I’ve been a fan of the band since I was a teenager. I heard them, and saw them at the same, when a friend turned me on to their first album. They had the coolest rock star look, and their sound was so unique, etched in my head forever after that first listen. I’ve been blessed to meet them a few times over the years, and they’ve always been just as I expected. Kind and funny, even gracious, appreciating their life-long fans who have helped bless them with the Rock Star life they’ve been able to achieve. There are some things you never see coming, even if in the back of your mind you know they’re gonna’ happen sooner or later. That’s kinda’ how the Aerosmith retirement announcement hit me. I’m hopeful that I get to catch up with them one more time, to remind them what they’ve meant to me over the years, and wish them the best in their retirement. They’ve worked hard to deserve it!

February 1, 2023

I’m pretty sure none of us were around when the Oxford Dictionary was introduced on February 1st, 1884. The Oxford Dictionary is considered a “historical dictionary”, which features not only the current meaning of words, but also the history and earlier definitions. At roughly 600,000 words now, it’s fascinating to me how the English language has evolved, including how the primary meaning of many words has changed over the years, and how new words become a part of the English language. I’ve always lived by the motto, “Evolve, or become extinct”, so I’m cool with the English language evolving, the meaning of words evolving, and new words being added. That said, whenever I’m writing I can often hear the voice of one of my early teachers saying, “pronounce the word correctly, spell it correctly, and use it in a sentence…….correctly !”

January 20, 2023

Bill O’Brien here. I blame my older sister for turning me on to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I thank her too. I was already a fan when I had the pleasure of meeting David Crosby, remaining a fan of his songwriting, singing, and vision of what a song could sound like. I had tickets for a Crosby show 6/2/20, then Covid hit. The tour was postponed, along with that show, ’till 6/10/21. I remember thinking this just doesn’t feel right. Crosby, a liver transplant recipient, with other health issues……My gut was right, and I got word in March 2021 that the tour was cancelled. I was glad I had the opportunity to see, and appreciate him live before, as it just didn’t seem like a big tour was ever going to happen again. Like many of us Crosby had faults, and faced some major challenges with health, and relationships, but he kept going, saying “Music ? It’s the only thing I have to offer, really” and so he kept going ’till the very end. If you haven’t seen it, check out the 2019 Crosby documentary, “Remember My Name”. May we all work to stay healthy, and heal broken relationships while we’re still here on earth. Pretty impossible to do once we’re gone. Peace & Blessings. RIP David Crosby.

February 26, 2021

I absolutely love sunshine. I’m willing to tolerate cold winters, but I have to have regular doses of sun. Days without sunshine? I feel kinda’ eh, you know? That’s probably why out of all the special days we all look forward to every year, one of the days I especially look forward to is the day daylight savings time starts. Officially, that would be at 2am, Sunday, March 14th this year. That extra hour of sunshine at the end of the day puts a permanent extra big smile on my face – actually that extra big smile isn’t permanent, but it will definitely be there ’till we flip the clocks back at 2am, Sunday, November 7th!

February 8, 2021

There are lots of days we all look forward to. One of my favorites every year, is when we “spring forward”. I know it’s not a big holiday with big celebrations, but it’s one of my favorites. Sure, we “lose” and hour of sleep when we move the clocks forward an hour, but shifting that hour to the back half of our 24 hour day does wonders for me. It doesn’t matter how early I have to get up in the morning, I truly look forward to having that “extra” hour of daylight at the end of the day. Punsxutawney Phil can say we have more winter – or not – and we can have as much snow as Mother Nature chooses to bring between now and the official end of winter. I think we all know that winter ’round here will be what it’s gonna’ be no matter what the groundhog says. That said, just thinking about Sunday, March 14th @ 2am, when we spring forward, makes me smile, and if it snows ? That just means an extra hour of daylight for shoveling, knowing that spring will be here soon!

January 13, 2021

I know it’s winter and there’s probably more snow coming, but I’m ready to come out of hibernation. I know that I’ll have to wait for spring, and I’m o.k. with that, but I am looking forward to moving the clocks forward, March 14th, 2021 to enjoy longer days filled with more sunshine which is good for all of us. So please, Mother Nature – Be kind to us for the remainder of this winter. I think we all need a huge dose of fresh air and spring time asap!

December 29, 2020

How much do numbers mean to you? You probably pay attention to the numbers of special dates, like anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions, right? Oh yeah – Payday – Gotta have those numbers. No matter how important numbers are, or aren’t to you, no matter the context, and from now until we each move on from this human life, we’ll never forget or have the same reaction when we hear the combined numbers, 20-20. It’s always been a good thing to have 20-20 vision. I wonder if anyone in the vision/eye care world has talked about changing that number. Truth is, not one of us will ever forget the year 2020. We can only hope that the year 2021 will be filled with so much good, that it helps take the edge off of the number 2020 when we hear it. Let’s all hope, and do our best to make 2021 a good year.

December 21, 2020

I made a promise to myself as a kid, that I would always believe in, and celebrate the spirit of Christmas. That kid inside of me knows I still do every year, without fail. As much as we’ve all been through in this year of the Covid-19 pandemic – as much as many families will still go through – I still believe in the power of good. The incredible good each of us is able to do, just by being there for someone in their time of need. Sometimes, it’s just being there to listen. Other times, it’s putting an assist in motion for someone in need. It might be someone you know, but it could be someone you’ve never met before. Someone that you’ll never know, or see the true impact of your kindness towards them. That’s when you just know inside that the good you’ve done, with your time, talents, or treasures, was truly good. My hope for you and your family during this Christmas season, is to know and celebrate the spirit of the holiday. To be present, and in the moment with those close to you. The Covid-19 pandemic will run its’ course. I’m hopeful, and I pray that it’s a memory to us all sooner, rather than later. I’m hopeful that you have a blessed, and peaceful holiday, and that the power of good that lives within you – the incredible good that you carry is a blessing to others during this Christmas season, and throughout 2021. We all need the power of good. Let your good shine brightly for all to see!
Bill O’Brien

December 17, 2020

Ever since I was a kid, music has always been – and remains –  an oasis for me. When I wanna’ rock, I find something good to crank up at home, in the car, or at work ! (easy for me, right ?) When I’m in chill mode, the volume might go down a few decibels, but the music is still speaking to my head, my heart, my soul. When’s the last time you got really lost just listening to, and absolutely enjoying the therapy of listening to music ? Give yourself the gift of spending some time listening to some amazing music. Let in wrap you up and take you away – to an island, a calming place, or an energized place that motivates you. Whatever music works for you, visit with it – listen to it regularly. You heart, mind, and soul will thank you. By the way, this is a great time for some amazing holiday music to boost your spirits too !  Thanks for turning on Rocky 98.5 regularly, to enjoy some excellent music while you roll through your weekday afternoons with me. I wish you a peaceful holiday season, abundant Christmas magic to make you heart smile, and a 2021 filled with much goodness for you, and those close to you.
Peace & Blessings, Bill O’Brien

December 11, 2020

Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays. Yeah, I know. It truly has been the craziest year most of us have ever lived through, and it looks like things will remain crazy and a bit unpredictable into early 2021. I know we’ve all heard it before, at least a million times it seems – “We all need to be there for each other” – Here’s Bill O’Brien’s take on that. We do need to be there for each other. the thing is, some of us are great at dealing with “pressure under fire”. There are others that know how to handle and manage stress well, and still others that don’t handle stress well. Know what ? No matter our individual strengths and weaknesses, we have no way of knowing what others are carrying within. They may be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, and there’s no way for any of us to know that. So how can we easily be there for each other ? Just be kind. When that moment happens, when you want to tell someone what you think of them and a particular situation, pause, catch your breath, and just be kind. Being kind comes full circle. Perhaps not within moments of your kindness moment, but it does. That kindness coming back at you usually happens when you least expect it. We’re all different. We all have different issues, needs, stresses, and we all do “need to be there for each other”. For me, one of the easiest, most rewarding ways to “be there,” is to just be kind. I wish you safety, good health, and many good blessings for Christmas, and the New Year, and I wish you an open heart and constant flow of kindness in your world.  – Bill O’Brien

June 11, 2020

Hey, it’s Bill O’Brien. I want to make sure you know how much I appreciate you listening, and spending your afternoons with me on Rocky 98.5. We’re barely halfway through 2020, and we’ve been through so much. So what’s the back half of 2020 going to look like? You know, I’m not sure I’d look, even if I had a crystal ball, but here’s something we all can do to make it better. Quick warning – I’m going old school here – How about if we all ramp up being polite. Seriously. The definition of polite? Being respectful and considerate of other people. I know, it’s a challenge when not everyone wants to be polite, but here’s the thing – Being polite is contagious. Call me crazy, but I really believe that if we amp up being more polite with each other, we may even learn more from each other. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we all have to think, look, act, or be the same. Personally, I love debating and sparring with friends about everything from the best foods, to the best bands, even the beers we’re drinking while debating, and trying to solve the problems of the world – or the problems we can start addressing in our own backyards – with lively – but polite – conversation and debate, learning from each other. At the end of the day – at the end of time – We’re all never going to agree on everything, but what fun would that be anyway ? So let’s enjoy some great tunes,beverages, food, and fun together, and let’s do it while supporting local business, and being polite to, and with each other. Thanks again for spending time with me on Rocky 98.5. Know that I appreciate you ! Bill O’Brien, Afternoons 2pm ’till 7pm on Rocky 98.5

March 1st, 2019

O.K. ! Phil didn’t see his shadow, right? So that means winter needs to be outa’ here!  I’m O.K. with a little more winter weather, including a little snow, then I’m done with winter this year. Who’s with me? Excellent ! Oh, by the way, we spring forward March 10th, so it’s time for an early spring this year, right? After all, if you can’t have faith in a groundhog in the commonwealth of PA! Here’s to spring, sooner, rather than later!  – Bill O’Brien

January 15th, 2019

Don’t blink !  January will be gone in a minute, How’d that happen? It seems like I’m still wrapping my head around the exciting possibilities of a new year and BOOM ! We’re blasting down the New Year highway fast enough to get pulled over and given a very large moving violation citation, that is if we were actually behind the wheel of a motor vehicle ! So as I motor down the 2019 road in my mind, I take a look at things from two views. That oh so amazing “what if” view, and the realistic. Why ? Why not ? I’ve come to the following realization: If I hit the lottery, I’ll have more toys, and more projects to play with as long as I’m here on earth, and there will always be a 2 wheel, or 4 wheel “work in progress”, and that extra $$$ would, no doubt be amazing. That view taken, I’m thankful everyday for the toys and projects currently in my hands, and the part vision, part money pit “work in progress” that’ll always be there, with – or without the extra Lottery winning funds ! Good luck with your 2019 “work in progress” projects, and Thanks for listening!  Bill O’Brien

December 28th, 2018

Happy New Year!!!  So, the top 2 resolutions everyone seems to make are to lose weight and to get in shape. By February, about 80% of us have given up completely on the resolutions we’ve made. Listen up! Let’s not bail on what’s going to help us look, and feel better! Two things from the Bill O’Brien playbook: 1) Set realistic, and reasonable goals. If you wanna lose 50 pounds (and your doc is ok with that) that’s a great goal, but it’s not going to happen in a month. Or two. Or maybe three, or more. How about 50 pounds off in twelve months? This time next year you’re looking, and feeling better, and that’s good, right?  Think you can rock that goal a bit more? Go for it! Just be realistic with yourself, and your expectations. 2) Have a wing man/woman. Someone who will encourage you, pump you up, and cheer you on while you rock your “take the pounds off”, or “pump your body up” goals. That wing person in your corner will help you help yourself stay motivated, pumped up, and in the game. Be realistic with yourself, your New Year’s resolutions, and how you can follow through on them without getting frustrated about your progress, or lack thereof!  Happy New Year! Wishing you Peace, Blessings, and all good things for you & those close to you In 2019! Thanks for listening, it means a lot to me!  – Bill O’Brien

December 5th, 2018

Is there such a thing as too many Christmas lights, or decorations? Nah – No way! Now I’m not saying that I go overboard. My motto is “everything in moderation”. Including Christmas decorations. That said, I’ve heard others complain that some people go over the top (and front to back!) when it comes to decorating their house and yard for the holidays. Hey! If that’s what turns them on, and they’re the ones paying the electric bill when they turn the bright holiday lights on, I say have at it. We all could use more of the Christmas spirit and good will towards each other, and if 50,000 watts of holiday lights does it for you, I say go for it! Just make sure you’re not overloading the circuits! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and the best of safe & happy holiday fun for all of us. Now plug those lights in, and hand me that spiked eggnog… Cheers ! – Bill O’Brien

February 23rd, 2018

Plant another candle in that cake, and light up those candles. Wait? You really think I can’t extinguish those “can’t blow out candles”? Hey, I got this! Soooooo… Bring. It. On! Yep, another year on the planet, another birthday, and I find the longer I’m here, the longer I’d like to hang around. So how old can we – will we live? Pretty amazing to me that so many are living past 90, and even 100. Think about that. 100 years old! Though, when I think about 100, I think about what kind of technology changes will happen by then. Will there be flying cars….and will we as a society be reaching for the possibility to live even longer? Cool things to ponder, as I slow down for a minute to reflect on my years in the rear-view mirror, and ponder the adventures that await on the road ahead, while of course celebrating the day with a nice big piece of delicious, old school, German Chocolate Cake! Thanks for listening, and many thanks for the Happy Birthday wishes. Now, about that flying car I’ve been asking for…………

January 19th, 2018

There’s nothing like the joy of a funeral. Sure, there’s plenty of sadness and tears, but there’s also so much joy. It took me several funerals to appreciate that. If you’re not careful, the sadness can be overwhelming, but if you tap into the joy of the one the send off is for it may help carry you – and help you carry them in your heart and mind. If you tap into the celebration of their life, and how it has touched you, and those joining in this celebration with you, there can be a sense of overwhelming joy, even through the tears and sadness. Joy that you had the priveledge of becoming a part of that persons world. Joy for all of the moments you shared together, those amazing moments that come rushing back as you’re saying goodbye at their celebration of life. In that moment, I also find myself looking in, and thinking about other important people in my life. Yes, I appreciate them, but am I letting them know, by action and deeds, just how much they mean to me. Perhaps while we’re there for the final goodbye for one special person, and celebrating that amazing persons’ life that we’ve been blessed to be a part of, maybe then we should start putting the wheels in motion to make sure all of those special people still here now in our world know how much they mean to us, before we find ourselves – or perhaps they find themselves – in that place of sadness and tears again. There to celebrate, but saying goodbye again, and maybe wishing we/they would have said so much more. Be good to yourself. Let someone know how special they are to you. Let people know you appreciate them. Thank you for listening, and being a part of my world. I do truly appreciate you being there. Peace & Blessings, Bill O’Brien

January 5th, 2018

It’s cold outside! So how do we best deal with these way too cold temps? The advice from our Finally Friday “Rocky Roulette” player was perfect. Tim didn’t miss a beat, when he said, “Stay inside!”. Tim, by the way, works outside, so I’m inclined to seriously take his advice. So I guess that means, as much as I wanted to play outdoors with vehicles this weekend, it’s a better and warmer bet to review that list of indoor projects and see if I can’t work on a thing or two. My hands, and the rest of me will thank me, right? Thank you for listening to the Rocky Morning Show, with me ‘n T.J.! Now do the best you can to stay warm, will ya’??!!!! Thanks for listening, Bill O’Brien

December 26th, 2017

Wow! Christmas is barely in the rear-view mirror and 78% of us going to do this before the end of the year! Do what? How about re-gift? Yep! Maybe it’s not the right size, maybe it’s something you didn’t really want, but you’ve decided to re-wrap and re-gift it to someone else. Know what? If you’ve thought enough about someone to give them a gift – even if it’s a re-gifted gift – I think that’s O.K……. I mean, it’s the thought that counts, right! So happy post-Christmas regifting season! – Bill O’Brien

December 22nd, 2017

Some of us smile, some of us cringe, but you can’t mention it during the holidays, and not get a reaction, good – or bad ! Ready ? Here it is………. Fruitcake ! See….I told you ! Just the mention of the word, and you’re smiling, maybe even laughing, but seriously, why how did the poor Fruitcake become so misunderstood? I’ve had the pleasure of eating some amazing fruitcake, and I think I have the secret – Or at least part of it! However it’s made, I’m thinking it’s gotta’ be kept moist! Seriously! Every fruitcake I’ve seen that wasn’t kept moist, could be used as a brick, maybe even a block to keep your vehicle from moving. Good thing I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying moist fruitcake, or I might cringe when the word is mentioned too! So, from what I’ve seen, asked questions about, and tasted, here’s the secret. I’m pretty sure it’s cheesecloth. No seriously, there really is a thing called cheesecloth. So you buy, receive as a gift, or – if you’re adventurous – make/bake/create a fruitcake. The secret cheesecloth? Soak that bad boy (the cheesecloth) in your favorite spirit, then wrap it around your fruitcake, and put that soon-to-be-amazing fruitcake in a metal cookie tin. Re-visit your soon to be new fruitcake friend daily to re-soak the cheesecloth with your favorite spirit, for at least a few weeks. After a few weeks of bathing in that cheesecloth drenched with spirits, that fruitcake gets a lively spirit of its’ own. If the spirit moves you, find – or make/bake/create a fruitcake, track down some cheesecloth and your favorite spirits and give it a try. It could change the way you think about – and even enjoy fruitcake, forever! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Enjoy! – Bill O’Brien

December 20th, 2017

Christmas is just days away. Are you in a hurry for it to get here? I don’t rush it. For me, Christmas is here, then BOOM ! Gone in one quick day. It seems that everyone is moving at an incredible pace to get to New Years’ Eve, and into the New Year. So why not slow. Down. The. Pace. Just slightly as you’re able to, and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas. Think about and share the gifts of your time, treasures, and talents as you’re able to during this holiday season. The holiday spirit you share could be the difference in someone else feeling good during this holiday season. Be good to yourself, be good to others, and enjoy what’s left of December. The New Year will be here soon enough.  – Bill O’Brien