BRETT: There are many people I have run into in my life that remember exactly when they first heard this program. Rush always said, “I’m just a guy on the radio,” but he was more than that to a lot of us. He was a father figure, a brother, a friend. This program was a gathering place. He’s also that voice in our head when perhaps we doubted ourselves, faced a fear in life or just needed some encouragement and motivation.
RUSH: I’ve learned a lot in life, and I hope everybody does as they grow older, it’s the whole point of things. And I remember back to the first days and weeks and years when this show started. And there was no grand strategy to it. It had a big, overarching goal: Be great, be the best show, be the number one show documented by ratings and audience research, the number one.
That was the objective. There was no plan on how to do it, and there wasn’t any five-year plan, three-year plan or any of this. It was just me being myself each and every day here on the radio. And then, as that happened, everybody began analyzing it. People that I worked with, people in the media. They could not avoid it. People were analyzing what I was doing. And I had to make sure to never read any of that and to never listen to any of it.
The last thing I wanted to know was what I was doing so that I could consciously continue to try. Because once you have to consciously continue to try what you already are, you’re gonna stop being what you already are and you’re gonna start trying to copy what you think you are. The danger when you try to keep being who you are, you stop being who you are. Being who you are shouldn’t require any effort at all. Who you are au natural is who you are.
The minute you start trying to be who you are — I had to resist it. I mean, there were a lot of well-intentioned people that said, “Well, if you want to keep this up, you’re gonna have to change. If you want to keep this up, if you wanna really be doing this a long time, you’ll have to moderate this and change a little bit.” Some of them well-intentioned, some of them weren’t, but it didn’t matter because none of it was right.
And it’s another reason why I’ve never listened to anybody else who does this. I don’t want to even inadvertently start copying other people and not be who I am. And being who I am in the sense of what interests me, what doesn’t. If I start trying to imagine, for example, every day what all of you want to hear, I’m finished. And I don’t mean this humorously or … It’s a decent thing. Loving yourself is very important, folks.
Not bragging about yourself or being sick about it, but if you don’t like yourself, if you’re not comfortable with who you are, then you’re gonna always try to be something you’re not, and you’re finished ’cause everybody’s gonna recognize you as a phony eventually.
We’ve got a guy on phone from Katy, Texas, who said the references I made to everybody being who you are, not what somebody wants you to be, but remaining who you are, that’s the big challenge. He said it’s something Mozart said during his lifetime and that therefore I am in great company. It’s a very nice thing. Thank you, Spencer.
BRETT: Indeed, he’s in Mozart’s company.