Killing Ray Monroe
The date was sometime in May of 2004, I had just moved back after living in Denver Colorado and Portland Oregon and my name was Raymon at the time…this is the story of Ray Monroe.
My birth name is Ramon Arreola but was always Raymon to my friends and family growing up…until I started at KLAQ. I started in radio at the age of 19 and always had the dream of one day working at the legendary Q. I have been an avid listener of the station since the age of 10, and the day finally came when I was given a shot to be part of the air staff. It was an unbelievable moment for me, but looking back it was also one of the most nerve-racking moments of my life. It was in a Thursday air staff meeting, and sitting in the conference room were Glenn Garza, Johnnie Walker, Mando Medina, Super Mario, Buzz, and then man in charge Courtney lets the staff know that I will be starting on air that coming weekend, but I still needed an on-air name. So Buzz, of course, being Buzz is the first to throw out, “How about Raymon Nipple?” I had a First Grade flashback. We moved on. Then-and-still big boss Brad Dubow says, “How about “Raymon Roe,” which officially turned into Ray Monroe.
I often joke about how the name came to be…well…because it’s funny. Spending most of my career in the media I’ve been around television and radio long enough to know that in a border market, there will frequently occur the re-naming name of TV anchors and on-air radio personalities to match the ethnic makeup of the Border community. For example, if your name is John Smith and you become a “personality” in El Paso you might find yourself re-named Juan Sanchez. Make sense? So Ramon Arreola becomes Ray Monroe. I thought to myself, “Is this how it goes down for Hispanics up north?” In 2008 we added to the identity confusion by my becoming an Account Executive for the company. That left some people at corporate wondering who this existing employee Ramon was when they’ve only met Ray. Plus there’s the whole musical career with various live performances and now the solo record. As you may or may not know, I released a solo record under my name “Arreola.” I was recently told it was finally time to address the elephant in the room. So moving forward it’ll just be Ray Arreola as my identity comes full circle and we can finally put this to bed.
On a totally 100% self-promoting note Arreola The EP is available for streaming on all digital platforms, and you also catch my latest works on Q-Connected, which airs every Sunday night 10 p.m. to midnight. It’s hosted by Glenn Garza and features some of the best in local and new rock.
I’ll be on air at a different time during weekends as usual, and filling in when the boss calls on me. 15 years rocking on air with KLAQ in May…unbelievable! Thank you to all our loyal listeners for tuning in, showing up to our events, and supported the various “mes” in the various capacities. You can follow me @thethirdedge or arreola777 on Facebook, or @the_third_edge or arreola project on Instagram. Catch my current band The Third Edge at a bar or event near you.
Rest in peace Ray Monroe. Better you than the real me.