Steve Jaxon is all over the map, but his lips never leave the microphone.
One instant, the seasoned survivor of Sonoma County?s ever churning radio scene is cutting up with a visiting comedian ? it might be Will Durst or Johnny Steele. There?s a commercial break, then who knows what will come next on ?The Drive,? Jaxon?s afternoon show on KSRO.
He might lapse into a monologue, chat up a sports columnist about the Giants? recent foibles, tweak sidekick Mike the Intern, query a Santa Rosa City Council member about the current hot-button issue, talk by phone with Jimmy Carter or another luminary-author about a new book or plug the show?s next live in-studio musical performance.
?I couldn?t be happier,? Jaxon, 56, said off the air. After 36 years in radio, he thinks he?s found the ideal job in his talk, news, music, community doings, comedy, whatever-strikes-his-fancy variety show each weekday afternoon on KSRO/1350AM.
?It?s the only one I know of, anywhere,? said Jaxon, who started on the air as a kid of 19 in Lansing, Mich. He?s cultivated a Sonoma County following since starting with the former KREO in 1985 and moving on to the stations previously known as KHTT and Q105.
His gig on KSRO opened up last August when David Glass resigned as anchor of the landmark station?s afternoon commute talk show. Glass left to launch what proved to be a successful quest to return to the Petaluma City Council.
Jaxon ? his actual surname is Vicario ? broke from the traditional issues-driven talk show format to also make time for his other favorite things: music, comedy, food, sports, community goings-on.
?This job he?s doing fulfills a lifelong dream,? said Blair Hardman, longtime Cotati recording studio owner and voice talent. He and his buddy had a good run with the Jaxon & Blair morning show in the early 1990s on the former KHTT/92.9FM.
Hardman said Jaxon is brilliant and the wide-open format of ?The Drive? reveals the breadth of his talent.
Jaxon allowed, ?I?ve always considered myself a utility man.? Regular radio listeners in Sonoma County have for decades heard programming they had no idea was created by him.
Jaxon has produced commercials at several stations and continues the sideline through his own production company. Those ubiquitous G&C Auto Body ?smooshed car? commercials? Jaxon has produced them for 20 years.
?He taught me radio,? said one of Jaxon?s greatest fans, his wife, Cathy Vicario, who does marketing and sales for KSRO?s owner, Maverick Media.
Jaxon is a rarity in Sonoma County radio, not only because he?s lasted so long and worked so many jobs and at many stations. Can you think of another on-air talent who has shows on competing local stations?
Every Saturday night, smooth-jazz station KJZY, a sister station to KZST, airs the Frank Sinatra show that Jaxon created in 2002. He now syndicates ?Swinging with Sinatra? at 14 stations in the United States and Canada.
His fascination with the music of Ol? Blue Eyes goes back to his childhood home in Detroit. Jaxon?s dad swooned to Sinatra music, and the son followed suit, at one point playing a ?Witchcraft? 45 until it wore out, then buying another.
Jaxon took up the drums at age 12. By 16 he was touring with a rock band, The Bombay Pistons. Jaxon and his band mates opened once for Pete Seeger, and once Stevie Ray Vaughan opened for them.