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Radio legend dishes dirt on celebrities - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Radio legend dishes dirt on celebrities

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CABOT, Vt. -

He came to Cabot for the quiet, the calm and the small community.

"I know everybody," John Garabedian said. "How do you not know everybody in Cabot, Vermont?"

But the big man with the unmistakable big voice was anything but quiet every Saturday night for the last 30 years.

"You have a room full of people making all kinds of noise, you have the biggest stars in the business coming on, have bands coming by to play live and you have a great air talent-- me!" Garabedian said with a laugh.

Garabedian hosted the syndicated radio show "Open House Party." A top 40, music request show broadcast on hundreds of radio stations in North America, often from the basement studio in his Cabot home. Millions listened every Saturday night as Garabedian scored interviews with top celebrities.

"Some of the biggest stars are some of the nicest people," he said.

A few of his favorites: Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Katie Perry, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Lopez and-- topping the list-- Celine Dion.

"She was the sweetest, most human, gracious person you could ever meet," Garabedian said.

He's dealt with others who were a bit more demanding.

"Oh, Mariah Carey!" Garabedian said. "What a space shot!"

Mariah needed a red carpet to exit her limo. Or the time Avril Lavigne showed up late and refused to leave her tour bus until she finished watching a movie. He purposely called her the wrong name on the radio.

"So I said, I knew it was Avril, so I said, 'Hi, Eh-vril.' And she goes... 'AVRIL!!!'" he said, laughing.

Garabedian owns several stations and has had his fingers in countless projects over the years. But now, "Open House Party" isn't one of them. He sold the show and just signed off for the last time.

Reporter Darren Perron: Why sell it?

John Garabedian: Frankly, it was a lot of money.

Garabedian splits his time between his homes in Vermont and Boston suburbs.

"The whole point in having a studio was so I didn't have to leave here," he said.

He loves Vermont so much, his new book begins and ends in the Green Mountains. He was hooked on his first visit.

"We came up and by the end of the second day, I thought I was on drugs, I was just high on the serenity and the beauty," he recalled.

The book details his life: the ups and the downs, business ventures gone bad and losing loved ones.

"You have to take chicken poop and make chicken salad," he said. "And just get up. The people who win just get up."

And just because the show is over, doesn't mean the party is for the 75-year-old. He's working on a new project. It's still under wraps but it's likely to keep his Vermont studio pumping and that voice still on the air.

"If you love what you do for work, you'll never work a day in your life," Garabedian said. "That's really what I've been fortunate enough to do."

So he's interviewed the biggest celebrities, everyone from Cher to Miley Cyrus to Pink to Adam Levine. But there are two people he says he wishes he'd been able to interview who died before he could-- John Lennon and Elvis.

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