David Miller of Weatherly, better known to friends and listeners of his Internet radio show as DeadDave, does his best work at night. He is most proud of the work he does on Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. as host of DeadDave's Internet Radio Show.
By opening your browser to deaddavesradio.com, you can click on "listen to show" during a live performance, listen to an archived show, or check the schedule for upcoming shows. DeadDave's been busy, he's already booked shows through April, and that's no mean accomplishment for a fledgling program that premiered in December 2010.
It can be described as a talk show that expands Halloween to year-round holiday.
"You never know who is going to be on the show," Miller said. "It could be anyone from an author who is starting out to well-known celebrities."
On the Jan. 23 show, Miller scored a hat trick with three horror genre guests who have never previously appeared together: Sara Karloff, daughter of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Jr., son of Bela Lugosi, and Ron Chaney Jr., grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr. – "the children of the horror legends that made Hollywood what it is today."
"The show is about putting fans in touch with people who they may not otherwise be able to speak with," Miller continued. "We do this all year, not just in October during the horror shows, or when they are in town. Listeners can pick up the phone and talk with the guests."
The way in which David Miller came to be known as DeadDave is a story in itself.
Miller grew up in New Castle, Delaware with a dad who was a classic horror film buff. By the time he was six years old, he had seen the 1931 Dracula with Bela Lugosi and the comical takeoff Abbott and Costello meets Frankenstein, which Miller says he holds dear to his heart.
"It is so humorous, and so wonderful to see the greats in there. And besides, I was bonding with my dad.
"My father was influential as far as getting me into film. He took me to the release of the first Star Wars. I remember I was tired, and crying, and didn't want to go. They wanted to surprise me. But when I got there, all that left with all the excitement. I'm still a Star Wars geek."
His infatuation with the horror genre led him to a 10-year gig at Castle Dracula on the Wildwood, N.J. boardwalk, and a job at the Fun-Ghoul Costume Company in Rutherford, NJ.
"We were hired to do film premiers for local theaters," he said. "It was the opening night for Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. We were made-up and dressed to the nines in period costumes. I went down to the basement to get a box."
As Miller moved the box, it undermined a steel beam. It struck him in the head, knocking him unconscious. Recovering 15 minutes later, he returned to the main floor but his grogginess was apparent. Miller was sent to the emergency room for x-rays.
"As part of my make-up, I was wearing porcelain fangs," Miller remembers. "I figured they would show up and be entertaining when they read the x-ray."
Miller remembers the technician looking at the x-ray and saying, "Oh!" He asked for a copy for his collection of horror memorabilia but was refused.
The next time he was sent to the basement, his boss gave him a personalized hard hat, written in big bold letters was "DeadDave" and the name stuck.
For over 20 years, DeadDave has had a hobby of attending horror conventions. Over the years, he's made a number of friends and met many performers in the community, obtaining their photographs and autographs. In his home, he has a "wall of friends" filled with these souvenirs.
As an enthusiast for horror conventions and events, Miller continually scanned, browsed and searched for places to go. One day, he realized that others probably were doing the same thing. So he created a Facebook site – Deaddave's Convention Page – to share his information with his fellow horror genre fans.
"I also wanted to highlight people who deserve promotion, like actors, costumes, artwork, etc.," Miller said.
That's when he got an idea from his friend and current co-host Lee Platt.
"Lee was hosting his own show, Platinum Entertainment, a toy and collectibles show," Miller said. "He sent me a link to blogtalkradio. I was looking and listening. The gears got going and I wanted to find out how it works and how to do it.
"They had a 'host your own radio show,'' he continued. "I researched it."
He developed it into his own show which he produces on a computer from his Weatherly home. His co-host and all his guests communicate from their homes by telephone and over the Internet.
Miller loves working on his show. During the week, he works nights as a supervisor in a shipping department. On weekends, he's an early riser and works on his radio show, often to 5 a.m. the next morning.
"I'm passionate about the things I do." DeadDave said. "Life is too short to waste."
Listen live to www.deaddavesradio.com on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. Also Deaddave's Convention Page on Facebook.