VOICE OVER ARTIST /AUDIO PRODUCTION GURU
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See Pete's feature on ABC's "Chronicle"

 

See Pete and his work with the Miami Dolphins covered by ABC in Miami

 

Pete's Story In His Own Words: The Video That Started It All

 

Pete on Fox 25 Boston

 

Pete on Fox Sports San Diego

 

See Pete's story as told by BT Winnipeg

 

See Pete speak to the Miami Lighthouse in Miami

 

See Pete's speech to the Bay State Council for the Blind

 

 

See Pete's Latest Publicity Reel

 

See the feature article on Pete in Radio Ink Magazine

 

Hear Pete Interviewed on NPR

Read About Pete at Mashable.com

Hear Pete's Interview on BBC Radio Kent, England

Read About Pete at Boston.com

Read A Feature Article on Pete At Voices.com

Read An Insightful Piece on Pete At VoiceOverHerald.com

Read A Story and Hear An Interview With Pete On The UK's Music Radio Creative

Hear Pete Interviewed on WATD Radio

Read A Feature Article on Pete at Blast Magazine Online

Read about Pete's story at the Luxe Lounge

Read an article on Pete posted by U Rock 99.1

Hear pete's long form interview on the Emancipated Living Podcast

 


Click below to see a quick little interview with Pete done by Wayne Partello during the VIP party at the 2008 Whiney Awards

 

Read an article done on Pete in the Boston Globe by Christina Pazzanese.

Scroll down for the text version of the article.

By Christina Pazzanese of The Boston Globe
Feb 6th, 2005

Though few people recognize his name or face, just about everyone who listens to WEEI-AM sports radio, will recognize his voice.

He's that slick, baritone announcer who mocks the vocal stumblings of on-air personalities like Fred Smerlas and Pete Sheppard. The guy who writes, voices, and produces the station's fake commercials and comedy bits poking fun of everyone from Mayor Thomas M. Menino to former Sox stars Nomar Garciaparra and Pedro Martinez. Pete Gustin's job is to "image" WEEI, the city's top, rated radio station, by offsetting the station's locker-room chest thumping with topical and self-deprecating humor.

With the Red Sox making history last October and the Patriots' repeat appearance at today's Super Bowl, it doesn't get much better for a guy who gets paid to talk Sports.

"A lot of my friends, when they first knew what I was doing, they were like, 'Oh my god! You sit around and talk and make fun of stuff and get paid for it?" said Gustin, 27, who lives in Brighton.

Gustin said his parents still aren't sure what he does for a living. "My job is to get inside the conscience of the listener and make them believe that this station's cool and make them know it's funny and entertaining," said Gustin, who cranks out dozens of productions each day for WEEI and its -FM sister station in Providence from its Brighton studios. "We definitely try not to take ourselves too seriously."

"Pete's like audio cartoonist," explains Bill Smith, who holds a similar job as the production director at WRKO-AM. "I think he's one of the most valuable, invisible people over there. He's got a ton of talent."

Smith, now a friend, first inspired Gustin to get into radio as a teenager. "He adds attitude, he adds swagger, and he adds a great sense of humor. He enhances what everyone else is trying to do," said Smith.

"What he does is just another way to get listeners [to listen] for a longer period of time," said Jason Wolfe, WEEI AM/PM director of programming and operations. "At some point, the constant analytical breakdown gets old."

Last month, Gustin launched a website (www.petesbits.com) to catalog many of his most popular WEEI comedy bits and a sampling of music from his band, Penthouse. He hopes the site will win him some recognition with listeners and step up his second career doing commercial voiceovers.

Fans of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will recognize Gustin from two of the video game's fake radio commercials and a mock radio station, "Master Sounds." Gustin has also done commercial voiceovers for Chevrolet, Hyundai, and an environmental ad for Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Initially, I just kind of put it up for fun because I know my friends
enjoy the things, and I figured hopefully there were other people out there who knew about that stuff," said Gustin. "And I also kind of thought it would be neat for me; it was kind of a selfish goal, but I wanted people to know I was doing those things."

With hosts John Dennis and Glenn Ordway promoting it during their shows, Gustin's site got more than 300,000 hits In the first week and more than a hundred emails from listeners.

Raised in Winchester, Gustin grew up listening to WEEI and rock on WBCN and the now-defunct WZOU's "Morning Zoo" show. "I wanted to be Dana Hersey," said Gustin of the longtime voice of WSBK-TV. "I would hear him, 'I'm Dana Hersey and this is the Movie Loft," and I was like, 'That's awesome! I wanna be that guy!'"

Gustin got his first on-air experience appearing as a guest on WBZ radio in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Dave Maynard during the station's annual "Swim for Sight" fundraiser. Maynard had developed macular degeneration, an eye disease that gradually causes people, most older, to lose most or all of their vision. Gustin had gotten a rare, early onset form of the disease years earlier.

"I was in third grade, and they didn't know what was wrong with me," said Gustin. "The first doctor said it was in my head, another doctor said I was trying to get out of schoolwork. And they finally took me to Mass. General and the guy said, 'Oh, you got a disease that mostly old people get'?

Consequently, Gustin can't do many everyday activities that most people take for granted. "I can't drive, can't read the newspaper, can't read normal sized computer" screens, he said. He doesn't take in many ballgames because he can't see the action on the field. He often wears sunglasses around the station, not to look cool, but to cut down on bothersome glare.

While studying communications at Boston University, Gustin worked several entry-level production jobs at local radio stations, including WRKO and WSZ.
"I was a traffic reporter, which was ironic?me being the traffic reporter and having never driven in my life and telling all these people in Boston how to get around," said Gustin, chuckling.

After college, Gustin did imaging for WRKO and WEEI and hoped to make the big leap into national voice work in New York. His diminished eyesight, however, proved major hurdle.

I've "never been able to get an agent to pick me up," said Gustin. "I do very well at this. I make a lot of money, but no one ever wanted to put their effort into me because I'm legally blind. They're like, 'I'm not going to back you, because what if you walk into a session and you can't read the copy?' I've heard that from over 30 agents," said Gustin, who says he was always able to memorize a script after having it read to him once.

"And so I actually didn't voice audition for two years after college because of that. But I honed my writing and my production, and I got really good at that stuff and now, because of the Internet, I actually am picking up a lot of voiceover work where I can sit in my own studio, blow up the script as big as I need to, [and] do it," said Gustin.

"It's been a very, very uphill battle. I know if tomorrow someone stuck a new pair of eyeballs in my head and I could sit down and read copy...I know if I had the eyes, I could do this stuff, but it's very frustrating sometimes. I try not to think about that end of it, being held back."

"I decided in third grade that I was never going to let this thing slow me down. I rarely have to ask for help, and I've always wanted it that way," said Gustin.

Despite his struggles, Gustin knows he's living the dream for many of this city's sports diehards.

"To be In Boston, my hometown, to be working at a sports station that I used to listen to, that broadcasts the sports team that I love [the Red Sox] and talks about the other sports team that I love, the Patriots, and to get paid for it?" Gustin asked with a smile. "It's a pretty cool job."

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Read an article done on Pete in the Boston Sports Review by Nick Zaino in October 2006.

Scroll down for the text version of the article.

Local comedians take to airwaves to keep sports fans laughing

By Nick Zaino

Boston's sports teams have given their city its fair share of heartbreak and drama. But there is no way to capture the spirit of sports in the Hub without a sense of humor. The Patriots had a stage-diving offensive lineman, the Red Sox a quotable pitcher nicknamed "Spaceman," and the Bruins a Hall of Fame captain in Cam Neely who made a memorable cameo as Sea Bass in "Dumb & Dumber." Manny Ramirez has provided so much comic relief that he has his own phrase: It's just "Manny being Manny."
In a town that prides itself on turning out both championship teams and top comics (such as Denis Leary, Jay Leno and Steven Wright), the two worlds were bound to collide. It's all part of a trend that started to take hold with ESPN's around-the-clock coverage in 1979. As exciting as sports may be, there's just too much time to fill with straight coverage and analysis.
"You can break down the Red Sox all you want, but eventually that's going to become boring if that's all you do," said 28-year-old Pete Gustin, creative services director at WEEI Sports Radio 850. "At some point it has to become
real entertainment. And I think Dennis and Callahan do a phenomenal job at encompassing all aspects of the world, with the central part of it being sports. And Glenn Ordway is the absolute master of sports entertainment."
Gustin, a Winchester native who studied communications at Boston University, started in the radio business after writing goofball disc jockey Rick Dees of "Disco Duck" fame. He displayed his sense of humor by ad-libbing during the traffic report at WBZ — this despite the fact that he has never driven because macular degeneration left him legally blind. Now, he is responsible for branding one of the biggest sports stations in the country, a job that includes writing short comedy bits that run throughout the day and all the various intros and segues between commercials and breaks. He estimates
he's responsible for four to five minutes of programming per hour.
"It doesn't sound like a lot, but if s 10 percent of the entire programming day," he said.
Though he gives most of the credit to the station's slate of high-profile names, Gustin says he gets e-mail from fans who found the station because of bits he posts on his Web site (www. PetesBits.com).
Said Gustin: "Every once in a while, maybe just once a month, but enough that it caught my attention, someone will be like, 'Oh my god, I have a friend at work who told me that this thing was really funny. I had no idea that you did stuff like that on WEEI, now I actually listen to the station.' It's like, 'Holy crap, because of a bit that I did that you found on a Web site, now you listen to the radio station? That's backwards.' But that's fortunately what makes me unique in this position."
He's gotten mixed reactions from the athletes themselves. Gustin says he has never heard directly from his targets, but he has heard from others that Nomar Garciaparra wasn't too fond of a rap he made from radio clips of Garciaparra's errors. He says Kevin Millar, someone he credits with a good sense of humor, was none too fond of the yodeling hick caricature Gustin turned him into.
On the other hand, Gustin says representatives from the team have requested his bits on CD for Curt Schilling, and he has heard that Kevin Youkilis enjoyed a song parody of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."
"One time about two years ago, third-base coach Dale Sveum sent Kevin to home when he was clearly going to get thrown out, and when he got there he got clobbered by the catcher," Gustin recalled. "The song I sung was, 'Dale Sveum got Youkie
run down at home plate.' Kevin and the team apparently liked that song so much that I heard they learned all the words and even made up a little dance that went along to it."
Gustin occasionally performs as a standup comic, and there are plenty of other comics who dabble in the media. Paul Nardizzi has appeared on FSN's "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" and written two volumes of "The Sarcastic Sports Trivia Book." Jimmy Dunn has worked for NESN and just saw the re-release of his book "Funnyball: Observations from a Summer at the Ballpark."
Larry Lee Lewis tries to take advantage of the wealth of sports fan comics every Wednesday with "The
LLL Sports Comedy Show" on WWZN 1510 "The Zone." There is no pretense of serious analysis on Lewis' show, although he does require that his guests follow at least one sport avidly.
"I try to emphasize to the comedians on the show to really lean on the humor, because if we don't lean on the humor, we become just another sports talk show, which there seem to be thousands of," Lewis said.
There can be too much of a good thing. Mike Donovan is sometimes labeled "The Sports Comedian," a tag he actually works to avoid. He's passionate about baseball, fondly recalling playing 12 hours a day in abandoned lots in Boston, so, naturally, the subject comes up in his act- He has written freelance articles for The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald and had a five-week stint on air with "The Sports Huddle," Eddie Andelman's Sunday night show on WTKK 96.9 FM.
Donovan bemoans the fact that there are more hours of sports coverage these days than actual games, and though he likes to contribute his opinion from time to time, he wouldn't want a full-time media job. He found his passion quickly became drudgery.
"I like to just enjoy my sports and not look at it as something I'm working at," Donovan said. "That was the greatest thing about leaving that job is that now I can just enjoy the ballgame and have fun again instead of doing homework and stuff. I was on the computer half the night trying to keep up with 120 teams so I could be knowledgeable on the air."
Gustin never tires of it. He became more of a fan after landing his job at WEEI and sees no end to what he can do lampooning sports. "Sports is just perfect," he said. "Every day there's a ton of games, there's a ton of players, a ton of scandals, a bunch of things going on, and rabid fans that are watching and listening and reading about every aspect of it. There's just more material in the world of sports than anywhere else."

 

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Taken from the "Sightings" publication put out by the Schepens's Eye Research Institute in the summer of 2001

Scroll down for the text version of the article.

From "Sightings" in the summer of 2001

Peter Gustin first touched the hearts of The Schepens family through Swim for Sight. This “pledge per lap” annual event was designed to raise money and awareness for the sight-saving research being done by scientists at The Schepens Eye Research Institute. His determination in the pool and out, to help find a cure for blinding diseases, enabled Peter to raise more than S 1,000 his first year participating in the swimming event. Even more amazing is that Peter was 11 years old at the time.

Why was someone so young impassioned with progress in sight-saving research? Peter has macular degeneration, a disease typically associated with the aging population that destroys central vision - the sight you use to focus on details necessary for reading, driving, and other daily activities. More than 1 million Americans arc legally blind; and more than 14 million people have low vision or are blind; many of these individuals are young and in their most productive years of life.

Diagnosed at Age 9

Peter was only 9 when this disease first began to impair his sight. His parents discovered that he was experiencing difficulty reading and his chair continued getting closer to the television. Soon after, he was diagnosed with this potentially blinding disease. But it did not slow him down. In fact, he caught wind of the swimming fundraiser and dived into the opportunity to swim for a cure.

Peter heard about the fundraising event when Boston radio personality Dave Maynard, the event founder, promoted the event on his morning show on WBZ radio. Peter called the station twice a week for live on-air interviews

with Maynard to raise awareness and pledges for the Institute. Then he joined hundreds of other swimmers to raise the funds necessary for studying the causes and developing treatments and cures for blinding diseases, including macular degeneration.

Peter's determination propelled him to swim an impressive 115 laps his second year, raising more than S2.000 for the Institute's annual fund. He often turned in the collected donations in a 5-gallon water jug.

Despite his vision loss. Peter excelled in many sports, including soccer, football, and swimming. At the same time, he was an honor student and senior class president. Following high school. Peter returned to radio as a voice-over talent and production assistant for WRKO in Boston. Throughout college he held various jobs such as writer, producer, traffic reporter, and voice talent at radio stations WEEI, WRKO, Mix 98.5, WBZ-TV and radio, and Eagle 93.7, all while maintaining a steady production job at WRKO. After graduating from Boston University, he was hired as the Imaging Director for WEEI and WRKO in Boston.

Recruited at a Young Age

At age 23, Peter was recruited to Sirius Satellite Radio in New York. He is the Rock and Top 40 Imaging Director at Sirius; which soon will launch commercial-free digital radio to consumers across the country. This subscription service brings advertising-free radio to vehicles

coast-to-coast to avoid losing stations as vehicles travel out of frequency range. One look in his production studio filled with state-of-the-art equipment, and you might not suspect the person responsible for creating and producing a truly unique Top 40 and Rock station is legally blind.

New York provided the appropriate environment to inspire Peter’s musical talents. Now known professionally as Penthouse J, Peter has been signed to his first record contract, to be distributed nationally this summer. He performs the lead vocals with various backup singers to support hi.s crafty story lines and upbcat tempo. He writes his own lyrics and most of the music, and also produced his debut album.

Peter still continues to serve as an inspiration to all of the people who suffer from macular degeneration and other debilitating eye diseases.

For more information about Peter Gustin, log on to his website at www.PcnthouseJ.com and sign up for his fan club - we did!

Please conlact Melanie Sounders in the Development Office at (617) 912-2564 to find out how vou can help continue ltic charitable tradition that Peter began as a young boy.