Eric Drachman is KCRW’s June Volunteer of the Month

Written by

Where did you grow up and are you an only child?
I grew up outside of Baltimore, in the suburbs…back when it was still country and we could walk outside and pick apples from our trees. One neighbor had horses, another had cows and there were cornfields all along our short bus ride to school. I’m the youngest of three boys. My oldest brother is a doctor in Seattle and the middle one is a cellist, following in the footsteps of our grandfather, the late Gregor Piatigorsky.

What is your current occupation?
I’m a children’s book author and publisher. I’ve written, published and recorded five picture books that come with audio CDs. Starting later in June, my first title, Leo the Lightning Bug, will also become my first e-book app! I’m really proud of them and am always touched when I hear from one of my little readers. You can check them out at

What is your fantasy occupation?
When I was nine, I was sure that I’d become a cowboy one day, but after a very homesick summer at ranch camp, I decided to keep my options open. Visiting my father’s office as a kid was always fun. It was pre-computer, but he had a big desk with an electric typewriter, a phone and a chair that swiveled! I thought that was pretty cool. Today, I would have to add in a creative line of work and a few Apple products to that scenario, which might just lead me back to being a children’s book publisher…or maybe a hands-on radio producer!

When did you first discover KCRW?
I was drawn to KCRW by This American Life, but I stayed for the music and the news and talk.

How did you find your way to our station for volunteering?
While I enjoy my work, the home office gives me a touch of cabin fever. I had my feelers out for a good place to volunteer. I happened to be taking a guitar class at McCabe’s Guitar Shop and found myself sitting next to Ariana Morgenstern and it all suddenly made sense. Ariana suggested I email Connie about a volunteering position and that’s what I did. I actually couldn’t believe that there was such a waiting list for folks to volunteer their time, but now that I’m here, I can see why…

What’s your current volunteer position and how long have you been at it?
I started in November 2010 as a front desk volunteer, answering phones, moving heavy boxes when need be, and updating the data in the music library. I’m still doing that, but I’m also a sound intern one day a week when Jason Bentley has a live band on Morning Becomes Eclectic. You find out how many of your friends listen closely to KCRW when your name gets mentioned on-air in a credit!!

Favorite volunteer moment?
Every time I get to make a listener’s day by helping them find the song they’d heard and loved on the air several days before.

If you could get on the mic and say one sentence on the air, what would it be?
“Greater Los Angeles residents have embraced the new rail systems and newly implemented bicycle routes so fully that officials say they will start plans to reduce the number of lanes on an increasingly underused and outdated freeway system.” : )

What song have you hit repeat on lately?
“Flume” by Bon Iver, sung by Jesca Hoop on the Voice Project.
Oh – and “My Love Will Come” by Matt Epp. Sometimes I just leave this one on repeat…

Favorite book, movie?
It’s hard to choose a favorite book. I was moved by My Name is Asher Lev and I LOVE  The Golden Compass (the book, not the movie!)
As for movies… Il Postino (and the director’s commentary on the DVD!)

Favorite thing to do outside the station (hobbies, recreation, etc.)?
Play guitar. I wish I were better, but it’s still fun to pick it up and play a tune or so every day. Lately, though, I’ve been restoring a vintage motorcycle. I started it around the time I started at KCRW and it’s almost ready to ride.

What does KCRW mean to you?
KCRW has quickly started to feel like community for me. Norm and Cliffy had Cheers, but for me, it’s fun to see my friends at the station every week and to feel like I’m giving back to my community. I’m so glad that KCRW is on the air — it’s an asset to the city and now thanks to streaming audio, that community can be worldwide…and I get to help out here.

What does Eric mean to us?  He’s a fresh dose of can-do attitude.  From simply creating more efficient storage space to mulling over a database dilemma, for Eric, every problem is a solution waiting to happen.  Now that’s a beautiful mind!