One is a successful trial lawyer, entrepreneur, and entertainment agent from Texas. The other is a former model and current crisis and corporate communications and marketing consultant from Florida.
Rocky Haire and Richard Harmer come from entirely different backgrounds yet have forged a friendship that’s resulted in a new and wildly successful podcast called Rock and Rich Uncomfortable. It has been available every Tuesday since March.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and Rich here was the perfect person to do this with,” Haire said.
“You know, we’ve had a million conversations most would consider uncomfortable, but to us, they’re important and fascinating,” Harmer said. “I’m a crisis guy, and he is too with personal injury. It kind of dawned on us this might translate well in a podcast. And, thankfully, we were right!
“I like moving people from the center to the edge of the table, right up to that place they aren’t sure about. I texted Rocky with the idea, and he loved it. It was a big deal to us to be our unscripted selves. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
Haire has had his law practice in Denton since 1996 and has lived in Argyle with his wife and six kids for the last 10 years. Harmer came to Texas in 2001 and lives with his family in the Lakewood area of Dallas.
They were introduced seven years ago by a mutual friend who thought Harmer might be a great fit for what Haire was looking for – a marketing and PR guy. Harmer had a lot of legal marketing experience, so it made sense for his company RWHarmer Communications.
“We’ve always had a chemistry. We finish each other’s sentences kind of thing, and it translates surprisingly well on the podcast,” Harmer said. “Anyone else would be offended with the things we say to each other sometimes, but our listeners seem to love it. Those who know us aren’t in any way surprised. Some guests even kind of take up for whichever one of us is getting roasted and that, of course, makes it funnier.”
They pick topics most would shy away from. Their first show on March 29 was Dallas Cowboys’ legend and new Liberty Christian School head coach Jason Witten. Few knew some of the stuff Witten spoke freely about. Others featured a guy who served almost 35 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, the commissioner of the professional rugby league, the former CEO of Blockbuster Video, Olympic skier Vince Poscente, and money guy to the stars Ed Bukowsky (who fired Kevin Durant and also broke the entire Benghazi story). They also did a great tribute to the life and recent death of Harmer’s brother, who died May 10th.
“It’s important we interject our twisted sense of humor,” Harmer said. “It’s what makes it authentic. What you hear is what you get.”
“That’s true. I say things to Rich I wouldn’t say to most people,” Haire said. “You have to be really comfortable with someone to call them names and not offend them in the slightest. You can sense a level of respect we have for each other. It’s just a rare friendship. You are blessed if you have a friend or two like Rich in this life, even though he can be a moron!
“But seriously, our goal is to harvest the fascinating elements of what makes peoples’ lives fascinating,” Haire added. “Anyone is fascinating if you ask the right questions. We just happened to choose a bunch of rockstars. People want to know about your divorce, your bankruptcy, the fight, and how you rose from the ashes, man!”
Harmer and Haire record most shows at Harmer’s home studio but sometimes travel to the guest when there’s a scheduling issue. They estimate about 2,500 people listen to each episode, a pretty staggering number for such a young podcast. They’ve expanded their reach with live appearances, emceeing and hosting events and media interviews.
“What we expected to get out of this is not what happened. The guests have inspired and grown us in ways we had no idea would happen,” Haire said. “Really! Who knew it’s good to let your kids fail, or what happens to our bodies when we die, or what’s involved in a security breach with the cartel? Our endless curiosity and ability to ask insulting questions without insulting anyone drives what we’re trying to do here.”
Every major podcast platform has picked up Rock and Rich Uncomfortable, so you can get it anywhere. Their website is under construction, though it’s expected to be completed in July.
photos courtesy of Richard Harmer