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The first time Jonny Donhowe (fluf, Jalopy, Olivelawn, Diablo Dimes) heard the Mikey Show “testimony,” he thought it was a morning-show bit that lampooned televangelists. “I thought it was a joke. I thought, This is really weird. I was waiting for the punchline that never came.”

Mike Esparza, namesake of the Mikey Show, testifies every Friday on the air as to how Jesus Christ helped turn him away from a life of substance abuse. Esparza moved his all-talk morning show from Rock 105.3 to 94/9 this year.

Donhowe is the manager of Lancers bar in University Heights. He describes an incident involving a member of the Mikey Show in the early hours of Saturday, February 27.

“The bartenders tell me, ‘You have to see this guy across the street. He can’t get into his car.’ This guy was coming out of another bar in the neighborhood. He was trying to put his keys into every single lock on the car, including the trunk. He can’t make his keys work, so he spins around and falls in the street. There’s no way I’m going to let this guy drive home. I confront him. I wrote down his license plate and told him if he drives I’m calling the police. It was about 12:30.”

Donhowe says he took the man’s keys. “I told him if he wants them he can come to my bar across the street in the morning and I’ll give them back to him, but I wouldn’t let him in the bar that night.… Five minutes later the guy is out front, leaning on the lamppost, asking for his keys back. That’s when three squad cars pull up. I gave them his keys. Had I not grabbed his keys, he probably would have gone down with a felony DUI. If you have possession of your keys, you can still get a DUI even if you are not driving.… The cops drove him home. Then I found out that this was Steve Woods, the guy from the Mikey Show.”

Woods joined the crew of the Mikey Show when it moved to 94/9. He handles sports.

Neighbor Julio Flores confirmed details of Donhowe’s account, including the fact that Woods was taken away by the police. “He was so drunk, I don’t think he knew what he was doing. His car stayed there [on Park Boulevard near Adams] for the next couple of days.”

SDPD spokesman Detective Gary Hassan said there may not be a police report if he was not arrested and only driven home.

Woods responds: “This was a great wake-up call. I got humbled. I have no problem owning up to it. I owe Jonny a huge debt of gratitude. He prevented the situation from going further. It could have been very detrimental, to say the least.”

Woods says that police eventually put him in a cab. “I don’t know why they took pity on me.” While he says it is not an excuse…“I’ve seen my wife 2 of the last 48 days. She’s my balance.” He says she will move here after they sell their house in Dallas.

Esparza and station management had no comment as to whether the incident would have any effect on the spiritual portion of the Mikey Show.

The arrival of the Mikey Show resulted in an uptick in 94/9’s ratings for the month of January.

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Gail Powell March 10, 2010 @ 5:45 p.m.

Nothing like kicking some mud at the new guy in town. What does Steve Woods getting drunk as a skunk have to do with Mikey's testimony on Friday's? I think that is some powerful stuff and if it even helps one soul be saved, then there will be cheering in heaven for sure.

I think this incident shows how people look out for others that are clearly NOT in a position to drive! I will suggest to Mikey on Facebook that he and Steve address this head-on come Friday at the end of the show.

Too much booze? Too much sex? Too much gambling? Too much porn? Too much of anything sinful in your life? Listen to Mikey Friday morning right before 10 a.m. He can help redirect you!


Jay_S March 11, 2010 @ 6:12 p.m.

I'm just glad Woods wasn't able to get in that car. He seems like a genuinely good guy and hopefully he does see this as a wake-up call.

As far as Mikey's proselytizing, it is ridiculous. Nobody wants to hear some ex shock jock (who admittedly screwed up his own life royally) preaching to them about how they should be living their lives. As someone who comes from a family that was taken over by evangelical Christianity, I really hate to hear this guy trying to recruit people into this cult religion...which is exactly what it is.

I enjoy the morning banter (which is why I listen) and the guy is talented, I'll give him that, but I really don't think religion should be sold on the public airwaves...especially this one. It is harmful to families and gives people a sense of irresponsibility that allows them to say "Everything is in Gods hand so I don't need to take any personal responsibility". (Which is why it appeals to recovering alcoholics)

Ironically, this relatively new strain of Christianity (it was invented in the U.S. in the 1800's) is now being mixed with far right-wing politics, which really is not congruent with anything Jesus ever taught.

I expected this from Clear Channel because they are a Faux News type corporation that pushes a right wing agenda, but I never expected 94.9 to be associated with this kind of thing since they have always had a reputation of being an independent radio station that appeals to people who are trying to get away from cookie cutter music playlists and DJ's who push their political and religious opinions on listeners.

No radio station should be giving a platform to a religion that is so intolerant of others' beliefs and creates divisions in our society in terms of "saved" and "non-saved" people. It is divisive and damaging to our society, as we have seen in the last decade or so as these zealots wage their culture war on our way of life.

Because I grew up in close contact with this cult I know exactly how these people think. One scripture these preachers teach their followers is "Be gentle as a dove and clever as a serpent" when trying to convert people. (Matt. 10:16) So I am never surprised when I see all the theatrics involved in their sales pitches.

If 94.9 is going to give a platform to an extremist like Mr. Esparza, (if you listen, you know he is) they should give equal air time to opposing views.


BabyKitten199 March 11, 2010 @ 11:36 p.m.

Mikey's testimony is the reason I started listening when he was on 105.3. I thought it was awesome that a hard rock station had the balls to let their morning show host talk about his faith & how it literally saved his life. I loved it when listeners would call in and tell Mikey about how his story helped change their lives (and he got A LOT of calls like that!!!) His new show is even better with his new crew (I call it the new and improved Mikey show); Steven Woods is the greatest addition to San Diego radio!!! I'm glad that Woodsie didn't get behind the wheel because God only knows what could've happened - thank you for that, Johnny.

I agree with fooforever - Woodsie's drunken night has nothing to do with Mikey's faith and testimony on Friday's. I don't know why Johnny felt the need to publicize it here in the Reader but if it gets more people listening to the Mikey Show that's cool. Jay S sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder regarding Christianity, which is unfortunate but he's entitled to his opinion. Mikey's testimony is no joke and he's helped many people in San Diego and beyond and will continue to do so for many years to come. Thank you for all you do, Mikey!!!


S_Templar March 12, 2010 @ 8:25 a.m.

The show sucks. The hosts don't know crapola about music, and it's not funny. Hearing this mumbo-jumbo about how Jesus got this guy of substance abuse makes me want to listen even less.

Jesus does not want people using him as a crutch. Nothing against Jesus, just 99.9% of his followers, who mis-interpret his teachings.

NPR rocks harder than any other station in town.


trunkmonkeymusic March 12, 2010 @ 11:21 a.m.

Some people like Mikey's testimony and some people don't. America is still a capitalist free market. If you don't like that part of the show, then don't listen to it. No one is forcing you to listen.


trunkmonkeymusic March 12, 2010 @ 11:41 a.m.

@ Jay S. It's funny that you would use that verse. The very next sentence applies directly to people like YOU that would use the power of government to repress and curtail others religious beliefs.


Jay_S March 13, 2010 @ 9:35 p.m.

@ monkey

Funny you should mention using the power of government to repress and curtail others religious beliefs. When Christians use the govt to push their morals on everyone else (Prop. 8 for example) they come closer and closer to tearing down the wall that separates church and state.

That wall happens to protect their right to practice their religion the way they choose. When that wall is gone, they are in serious danger of losing that right.

So when they do lose that right they will have no one to blame but themselves.


iczorro Oct. 8, 2010 @ 12:59 a.m.

I'm amazed that people can blow an incident so out of proportion (not condoning drunk driving, saying it wasn't as bad as the 'first hand account' made it out to be), let alone attribute it to their friends.

Yay journalism in 2010...


iczorro Oct. 8, 2010 @ 1 a.m.

Oh man, I almost forgot, not only did he completely own up to it, not only to the cops but the reader, he let the fans know as well.


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