Kiss 108 host Billy Costa weds longtime girlfriend


“The wedding was perfect, as far as I’m concerned,” said Costa from his honeymoon in Naples, Fla.

The local Kiss 108 stalwart wed his longtime girlfriend, Michele Steele, at the Boston Yacht Haven Inn & Marina on Friday. The couple was surrounded by a group of about 40 family and friends at the swanky Commercial Wharf venue.

Did you miss hearing Billy Costa cohosting “Matty in the Morning” on Oct. 1? Well, he was a little preoccupied.

In keeping with his emcee streak, Matt Siegel, host of “Matty in the Morning,” officiated the ceremony. Costa’s three sons, Chris, Alex, and Dylan were in attendance, and the couple’s rescue pitbull, Bessie, served as the flower girl — a role that took some gentle convincing, as seen in a wedding recap video posted on Kiss 108′s Instagram page. Costa first announced his engagement on the morning show” on Sept. 16, after popping some bubbly on the air.

After the ceremony, where Steele’s mother walked her down the aisle, the newlyweds swayed to “I Do (Cherish You)” by Mark Wills for their first dance. Bessie couldn’t help joining it, Costa said, and she ran up to them on the dance floor.


The romantic evening also boasted a menu cooked up by the in-house chef that included shrimp cocktail, homemade Caesar salads, steak, and risotto. For dessert? Decorate-your-own cakes, added Johnson, plus ornate cupcake bouquets from Boston Baked Blossoms, according to an Instagram post from the confectioner.

The engagement may have been short, but the lovebirds been together for several years. Some Instagram sleuthing shows that Costa and Steele have been linked since October 2017.

Steele is a co-owner of Studios Fitness and Dance in Wellesley and a biomagnetic therapist in the Boston area.

This isn’t Costa’s first time walking down the aisle — he married Lisa Fell Costa in 1986 and divorced in 2010, according to the Boston Herald.


In addition to his gig on “Matty in the Morning,” Costa, an Emerson College alum, hosts the “Top 30 Countdown” music show on Kiss 108, “High School Quiz Show,” a television competition show broadcast on GBH, and “Dining Playbook,” a food and sports TV show on NESN.

So far, married life seems to be treating the radio star well. “Matty In the Morning” posted a photo on Instagram on Tuesday of Costa, seemingly fast asleep on a rose petal-laden bed during his honeymoon. Hey, even morning people need their shuteye.

Dana Gerber can be reached at

Birdsall: Story of ‘goodbye kisses’ will break the stoniest hearts


Once in a great while, a news item pops up in my social media feed that makes me stop and say to myself, “Wow, I wish I would’ve had the chance to write that story.”

It’s one of those news articles that hits you where it counts and stays with you after you’ve turned the page or continued scrolling through your news feed.

That happened to me recently with a story involving Hershey’s Kisses, those little, foil-wrapped pieces of chocolates you might find in the bottom of your purse or in a desk drawer. They’re small, they taste good and you forget about them 30 seconds after you’ve had one. Just about everyone has had a chocolate kiss at one time or another.

Almost everyone, that is. As just about every dog owner knows, chocolate is toxic to their canine companions. That’s kind of a shame, because humans love nothing more than giving their pets a treat, and I firmly believe that chocolate is irrefutable evidence that God exists and He loves us.

Apparently, a veterinary technician in Alabama feels the same way, according to the news article I read. The technician filled a jar with chocolate kisses and placed it in her clinic’s treatment room, where aging and ailing dogs are euthanized. When it’s time to put one of their patients to sleep, the clinic’s staff gives a “goodbye kiss” to the dog so it has the chance to taste chocolate before it’s time to go.

Now, if I would have read that story 20 years ago, I would have thought, “Oh, that’s kind of sad,” and quickly moved on to the next one. I was indifferent to the idea of pets, and animals in general, during my freewheeling, young bachelor days. I was quite fond of my parents’ basset hound, Bubba, but watching him suffer when he developed an epilepsy-type ailment was tough, and it made me shy away from the notion of having a pet. But I’ve changed since then.

One Christmas, my neighbors asked me to care for their long-haired Siamese cat, Watson, while they went on a weeklong cruise. Twice a day, I went to their place and fed the cat and made sure he had plenty of water. By the third day, he lost his fear of me and stopped hiding when I dropped by to feed him, making his way to the kitchen to watch patiently as I refilled his bowls. He was a pretty chill cat, and by the time his owners returned, my visits included time spent shaking around one of those sticks with a feather on the end in front of his face. It seemed I had made a new friend.

I’m sure the fact that I spent most of that week alone had something to do with my newfound friendship. The sad fact that is pets are the sole companions for many of us as people become increasingly isolated. More and more of us live alone, and just about anything your heart desires can be delivered to your door. (And, to their credit, pets won’t verbally or physically abuse you, steal from you or criticize you for your political opinions.)

The story of the goodbye kisses shows just how much love and compassion us two-legged creatures are capable of. It’s just a matter of being worthy of it, and dogs definitely are. Things like unconditional love and loyalty sometimes seem to be in short supply, like toilet paper was in the spring of 2020. Maybe if we valued them as much an eight-pack of Charmin, the world would be a slightly more tolerable place.

Mark Birdsall is a staff writer for the Huron Daily Tribune. Email him at Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEBirdsall.

Watch Late KISS Drummer ERIC CARR’s Induction Into METAL HALL OF FAME


Late KISS drummer Eric Carr was inducted into the Metal Hall Of Fame on September 12 via a free livestream event hosted by Cathy Rankin. Video of his induction, featuring comments by Jeff Scott Soto (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, SONS OF APOLLO), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) and Bobby Rock (VINNIE VINCENT INVASION), can be seen below.

Carr replaced Peter Criss in KISS in 1980 and made his recording debut with the band on 1981’s “Music From ‘The Elder’” album. His final recording with KISS was “God Gave Rock And Roll To You II”. His last public appearance before his death was at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 1991.

Carr contributed his talent to the bands many gold and platinum albums during his tenure, and can be heard on the band’s many hit songs from the 1980s, including “Lick It Up”, “Heaven’s On Fire”, “Crazy Nights”, “Tears Are Falling” and “Forever”, to name a few. In addition to his musical contributions, Carr was equally known for his inviting personality and genuine love for the fans. From the time he joined the band to this very day, Carr remains one of the most beloved members of the KISS family.

Carr died on November 24, 1991 of a rare heart cancer. He was 41.

Back in 2011, on the 20th anniversary of Eric’s passing, KISS frontman Paul Stanley stated about Carr: “At a time when KISS was in the midst of upheaval and turmoil, Eric brought calm and an optimism that refocused our priorities so we could move forward. I can’t overstate his contribution to our rebirth. His dedication to his music was only matched by his dedication to his fans. He was a kind soul who couldn’t say an unkind word about anyone and I think of him all the time.”

Added KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons: “I never knew anyone more humble in my life. Eric Carr was a kind soul who never said anything bad about anybody. He was also a double threat on drums, and vocals. I miss him.”

As previously reported, an official Eric Carr documentary, backed by the late KISS drummer’s family, is in the works.

In 2000, MVD Visual released an Eric Carr documentary called “Inside The Tale Of The Fox: The Eric Carr Story”. The 120-minute documentary, directed by Jack Edward Sawyers, included extra footage, outtakes, pictures and interviews, as well as previously unreleased music written and performed by Eric from his pre-KISS and KISS days, plus interviews with Bill Aucoin, Bruce Kulick, Carrie Stevens, members of SLAUGHTER, Fred Coury, and more.