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STORY OF ONE OF THE HISTORICAL ALTERNATIVE
RADIO STATIONS TO HIT THE AIRWAVES EVER!
By Founder and originator Jonathan L.




So, I could tell you that KUKQ, one of the true groundbreaking alternative
stations in the format's history went on the air in early April, on a not so
steamy night in Phoenix, Arizona at 7:00PM when I flipped a switch turning
Country music off the 1060AM dial, and my evening jock Jackie Selby
www.jackieselby.com
announced...welcome to "YOUR" alternative AM1060 "The Q".

jellyfish.jpg

The year 1989...but...Enter "Virgin Vinyl", and KEYX first.



Sure, I could just tell you that and that would be it. Ahh, but you know it wouldn't
be real unless I began from the very beginning. Right? Sure, that's the only
way to do it justice. You could say that KEYX...better known as "Key 100.3" is
the real reason why KUKQ ever existed in the first place. Well,frankly it
actually can be traced back to March of 1982 in Tucson, Arizona with my show
"Virgin Vinyl" on rocker KLPX (I will try and refer to the show as "VV" throughout the
story from here on, which was my backdoor entry in to radio.)



I began the show with my good friend Bob Bish as co-host because I had no
prior radio experience other than a horrible round robin interview with Jim Brady
the night jock at KWFM, myself and some political guy that I can't remember
when we interviewed the late Dr. Timothy Leary when he had just been
released from prison. I was awful.

I have to give props to Mark Shwartz, the GM of KLPX for giving me the
opportunity to do the show on KLPX. I had given a 90-minute cassette of
only music to 3 stations, and it was Mark that had a vision. That vision was me,
and I thank him for that. Without that show, there would never had been a KUKQ.

Virgin Viynl became very popular quickly, going from one hour to five within a
six month time period. I was the music guy and Bob the pro beside me to help.
Also, I believe that they didn't want me to learn the board, because they
didn't trust me with the equipment. After a year they asked Bob off the show,
and management began giving me one board-op after another. I also split the
show into two segments. The first four hours was Rock and Alternative music. The
last hour I titled "Uncle Miltie's Staying Groovy Set", a blistering hour
of punk and speed metal. Funny, not long after a got a puppy and named him
Uncle Miltie.

soooz.jpg By the end of 1983...the station gave me a new board-op,
a 16 year old intern, Suzie Dunn. Suzie had purple and orange hair, was
living the culture and had a blast as my sidekick. Visits from The Circle
Jerks, Tupelo Chain Sex, and a 90-minute-co-host stint from Henry Rollins
were just a small amount of the things that excited Sooze (what I still
call her with affection after all these years.) I've been the father figure
in her life since the day she became part of my life. Call me the surrogate
father if you will. The show was definately rockin' Tucson and as far as
Casa Grande and other outlying areas. Despite quite a few management changes
in the 41/2 years I did the show on KLPX...they never understood the show...
but they most definately understood ratings. That's all that mattered anyway.

It's now late into 1985, and this is where my life
and others would change forever. My dear friend, and Phoenix legend John
Dixon...better know as "Johnny D" had lost his "After Hours" show on KSTM. He
was getting restless, jonesing to get back on the air. Years earlier Johnny
was known for his "R&B with Johnny D" show, and also for being there in 1980
with the short lived (6 months) K-15...the earlier prototype of KEYX and KUKQ.
So...Johnny and I talked about making a pact. If I can get a signal to give
us an opportunity to do an alternative station in Tucson, then Johnny would
move down there. On the other hand, if he was to find one up in Phoenix, well,
then I would move up there. It's funny how irony works in life. In early
December of '85 I set up a meeting with the GM of KLPX to see if they would be
interested in my and John's idea of a format for their sister AM-KTKT. It's too
bad that Alan Browning (radio name), had no foresight and couldn't get the
passion and vibe that we presented. All he wanted to hear was numbers, figures,
the typical bullshit. After being rejected, Johnny and I leaned against a car
in the parking lot, and he sprung on me that there was a possibility that a
guy named Steve Allison, who I knew slightly, was about to leave KSTM as Sales
Manager and with the backing of some goofy-ass couple that knew nothing about
radio was going to fund him. At least on December day, I thought absolutley
nothing about it. But, by March Johnny was telling me this could become a
reality. By May it became apparent that this was for real. By June I was sent
an advance check for $2,000 to help me move up to Mesa, Arizona. The check
bounced, and I then began to wonder what I was getting into? A week later I
received another one that cleared...and off I was to the Phoenix area. I was
leaving behind many friendships, my daughters, and a long history of building
a music scene in Tucson with both my Music magazine "Newsreal" and my radio
show that spanned 13 1/2 years.


Suzie, Jackie, Lisa


KEYX BEGINS: I moved into an apartment just south of the station on the
Mesa/Chandler border. It's there that the format, clocks and generally meeting
who I would be working with all happened prior to our July 8 1986 debut as
"Arizona's Rock & Soul" station...Key 100.3, I was the rock and Johnny was the
soul. All vinyl by the way. CD players were not quite there yet. Allison
had everyone come over to my apartment and introduced me to Jackie Selby, and
Larry Hayes. Johhny was PD, I was APD/MD, and Hayes was Production Director. I
talked them and Suzie Dunn to move up and do overnights. She came right away.
She roomed with Jackie. So our initial line-up was Johhny in mornings, Larry
in mid-days, Jackie afternoons , me in 7-Mid, and Sooze on overnights. As
the trades thought it was highly unusual with what we were going to program,
they still lauded the station. It would not be unusual to hear a set of New
Order into Anita Baker into Time Zone into Public Image Ltd. It was wild and
crazy...but it sounded great! It was quite unfortunate, but by the end of '86,
I suspect to this day that Hayes initiated a coup by planting the seed to
Allison that the rock (alternative) was working, and the soul wasn't. They
spoke with Johnny about dropping the soul. He was so unhappy with that news...
he resigned. Allison made Hayes the PD and they begged me to stay, because they
didn't know shit about the music or the lifestyle. We picked up Mark Hamilton
(yes, the same Mark Hamilton of KNRK, Portland, who would leave later for Live
105 in San Francisco). Things seemed to be going quite well...CD's starting,
so we got one player for the studio. Maybe my memory is getting bad...but I
swear that the first ever D-pro sent to radio was a Cyndee Lauper single on
Epic Records. I was having fun again. Live guests like Mojo Nixon, Mission UK,
The Screaming Sirens, New Model Army, Screaming Blue Messiahs, Shriekback, and
an incredible live session with Vince Clarke and Andy Bell, better known as
Erasure had the parking lot in front of the studio watching in the window
which I left open as they had their car doors open listening. It was utterly
spectacular! I always had a knack of interviewing guests, and it continued on.
But...there was something missing...Johnny D. Afterall I had moved up to
Phoenix to do a station with him. The Arizona desert is known for it's famous
monsoon seasons...and in August of '87 a monsoon struck our tower in Globe,
Arizona...60 miles away. Fried the fucker! That was when the drama set in. For
ten days we were off the airwaves, and if you combine that with the menial to
no ratings we had...something was in the air other than the stick that wasn't.
I have to throw this at this point...we were way ahead of our time frankly.

One of the most fun things I did was on Wednesday nights from 9 to
midnight. It was all requests and my sidekick was Marilyn Whitelaw (Rothmund).
She was awesome...entertaining listeners on the phone. "Marmie" as all of
her friends called her also did "VV" on Sunday nights with me, answering
phones and just digging being there. Okay...back to the drama.

It was then that Allison and Hayes drove a flatbed truck to Indiana where Steve
had located a stick. During the drive I suspect Allsion and Hayes had plenty of
time together to discuss the direction of the KEY. When they came back, Allison
summoned a meeting at his house. I knew something was amiss. Sure enough, I walk

into his living room, and I first see Johnny D, which made me grin...then I saw
Jeff Parets formely of KSTM. Okay, so Steve announces to all of us that starting
the following week we would be using the slogan "Arizona's Free Form Radio".
Ugh! I knew that would be the death knell. At the same time he and his backers
were each trying to screw each other. So on top of everything...there were
finacial problems. So, with a full page ad in the Phoenix New Times, which had
all of our pictures and detailing what each of us would be doing and our time
slots. Hamilton and Jackie would be doing an all Brit music show in mornings,
Hayes would be playing all of the Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds, and Nick Lowe,
his personal favorires. Then Parets would come on and play Grateful Dead,
jazz, and a ton of classic rock. He would end his show with a
signature song like I had been doing since 1982 with Fisher Z "So Long". Only
his was Pat Matheny and Lyle Mays "Long Train Home", a 5 plus minute jazz
opus.I would then come on at 7PM with Kiss "Rock And Roll All Night" and progress
into a variety of alternative, industrial, punk rock. Then Johnny D would groove
you all night long from midnight till 6AM with Reggae, dance, R&B, and world
music. Somewhere between late August and November 12, the day I was fired...
Steve had screwed everyone by selling the station to a broadcast company from
Connecticut. In early November I noticed everyone was wearing suits, nice shirts.
and the women in dresses. Somehow I knew that I was becoming an oddity in the
building. On November 12th Allson and Hayes called me in and accused me of
embarresing them by doing 5 entire hours of songs that said goodbye in one way
or another. I did (with integrity), but was I stupid...fuck no...I was the
last thing they needed to clear so John Sebastian could take over in January
with his freakin' boring "The Wave" format. All instrumentals for mentals. As
for him, he was still living large on his 10 share ratings in Boston a decade earlier.
I felt bad for only Johnny and Jackie that they had to play some

awful stuff until they were let go in January '88. The person who replaced
me was Wendy Naylor, who I didn't know at the time, but we've been close
friends for years since, once I met her.

As for me I will sum it all up by saying, that until that first night we went
on the air, I had never run my own board...and with Johnny standing over me
for 15 minutes before he left...I was shaky for a bit...but by weeks end I was
good, and got real good in a quick period of time. I loved the little tricky
things that I taught myself. I thank them for that. Allison actually wasn't a
bad guy, and always seem to like me and treat me decent, although you probably
didn't get that from everything I wrote above. But, Steve...you might have
screwed a lot of people in your career...but you didn't screw me. Sure, I was
out of a job at the worst time of any year...but I still wouldn't take back
my experience that I derived from Key 100.3!

So, here I am out of work in radio for the first time, and I
won't deny that I was worried. All I had ever done in radio and wanted to do
was alternative radio in the true sense, not in name only. I contacted Curtiss
Johnson (currently SM of KWOD, Sacramento). He set up a meeting with him, Ed
Hamlin, the OM, and Ernesto Gladden, the Director of Programming. I felt that
from the very moment, Curtiss was interested in me, but I didn't get that from
the other two. Look...we are talking about KUPD FM, a freakin' Rock powerhouse,
a bunch of rock and roll outlaws with no FCC license at the time. The meeting
was in late November. As many of you know, being out work during the holidays
is not fun at all...boardering on depresssion. It's now getting closer to
Christmas '87 and I fire off a letter to the GM, Lloyd Melton pretty much stating
that I'm perfect for the station. The holiday's pass and still no word. Then on
Sunday morning January 10th, the phone rings and it's a not so friendly voice
saying "'Nesto, you want a job, be here tomorrow morning"...and he hung up as I
barely got a chance to get in "ok". The call lasted maybe 5 seconds if even
that. On January 11th I went to the station and was informed I would be doing
two overnights. Friday at midnight till 6AM Saturday, and Saturday at midnight
till 6 AM Sunday. Oh, and after a trial period of a couple weeks doing "Virgin
Vinyl" from Midnight Saturday to 3AM...they would consider "VV" for Sundays
prime time. It didn't take long, after 3 weeks of listeners calling for more
of "VV", they gave me Sundays' from 7-10PM. They couldn't put it on later due
to their FCC problems which forced them to do community service programming
from 10-Midight. Nobody I ever met listened to that. Maybe a handful...because
there wasn't any ratings on Sundays on "The Big Red Rocker"until "VV".



Before I get into more about "VV"...keep in mind...I had never done any other
music on the air other than what I programmed. On Friday nights I would follow
Mary McCann...better known as "The Bone Mama Of Rock & Roll". I would do the
Friday Night Six-Pack, six albums in their entirety in a row. Not very hard at
all. I was warned that I better be careful because Mary was territorial and tempermental.
Funny, I never got that impresssion. She was and still is one of

the most creative people walking this earth. A little messy with food and gifts
from listeners all littered everywhere, but hey...that was the charm of Mary.
She was adored by her fans. I'll get back to Mary later, because she plays a big
part in the rest of the story.

I was really enjoying myself, killing my whole weekends...but everything has a
price to pay. I would go into the station a couple of times a week and pick up
my mail, type my playlist on Mondays and fax from the station. Generally I
had no problems with anyone. The only person that wouldn't even say hello to me
for at least 6 months, and even after that it was rare...was Ernesto Gladden.
I felt he didn't get me at all. In the meantime "VV" is racking up double-digit
ratings in every book. Staggering numbers. A stream of live guests every week.
From Ernie Eisley to Glenn Danzig to Aimee Mann to Blur. This station had a
signal and one helluva a following...and so did my show. Men and women numbers
18-34 were off the chart and 25-44 were very solid. The show was also getting an
amazing amount of press. Little did I know what was coming.

I think the only person that wasn't surprised by all my success was Curtiss. He
knew. So 13 months later in February of 1989, Curtiss asked me if I would like
to go to lunch. He said he would drive, and he had that Curtiss shit eating
looking grin on his face. As we pulled into the parking lot of this Mexican
restaurant in Auwatukee...I remember him saying "your gonna like this". I
thought he was talking about the food. As we walk in, there is Ed Hamlin,
Ernesto, Lloyd Melton and the two owners of KUPD/KUKQ, Bob Melton and Jack Norris.
As we sit down...within moments...and I still can't remember who spoke those
famous words "So...you think you can do a 2.0 share with your kind of music?"
I didn't hesitate, and I said "sure!" . Of course, I had no idea what I was
saying...but hey, what the fuck! They then proceeded to tell me that they would
have Ernesto come to my house, where all the music was, and we would concoct the
station from my living room. Great...the man who hasn't been kind to me for all
that time was now gonna be in my house? Oh boy. They also asked me to try and
stay out of the station for two weeks during the day...as they were getting ready
to let go of the people on the country station.

Now I get to be close and intimate with one of the brilliant minds
I've ever known. That protective shell started peeling away very fast, as we
discussed what we both wanted out of this station. Ernesto had begun on the
radio in Philly in the "Boss" jock days. He was a brilliant programmer, quite
seasoned over the years. We kinda made a pact, if you want to call it that. He
would teach me programming skills and I would teach him the music and the
culture. I think I was reviving his career in a way. Aside from radio, Ern was
a very complicated cat, that very few understood. Most people didn't. His
intellegence mixed with religious undertones shot way over most peoples heads.
I seemed to adapt to his speak and thinking pretty quick. I have no reasonable
answer for it, but I did. To make things even weirder was his car had broken down
and for the first couple of weeks I would pick him up in the morning and drop him
off at night. We are now up to that April night of 1989.

The first 3 weeks of the station were rough. We didn't really have a morning
person and I was stuck with a couple of the Country jocks, who were older, smug,
and could care less if the station succeeeded as an alternative or not. So, Ern
discussed with Mary coming off KUPD nights and doing the "Bone Mama" show on
the "Q". I think at first Mare thought maybe this wasn't for her...but she
quickly adapted. Jackie Selby was 7-Midnight, and I did mid-days. We had this
leftover from the country station doing afternoon drive who was horrible. I
don't recall his name, but the guy never spoke about the music, played Robert
Hazzard twice in the same hour, and would go from music right into spots
without saying a word. I wanted to kick the shit out the guy. This is my break
in radio, and your gonna fuck it up...no way. I told Ern... this guy has gotta go!
I could live with a longtimer at the station doing overnights. He called himself
Socrates...and he was fine...but afternoon drive that was another story.

So, Ern went and shifted J.T Justice from KUPD over to me for afternoons.
That made me happy. J.T. was in the twighlight of his radio career and at one time
was one of the most popular DJ's in Phoenix at KDKB, the competitor to KUPD.
J.T wasn't really musically inclined, just a solid jock...but after he heard Love
& Rockets for the very first time...he was hooked. He loved that band. So now
we were complete for at least a few months. Even tough it was AM radio, there was
a certain cool aura to the "Q-mmunity". They didn't mind that it wasn't stereo. It
was the music, the refreshing sounds of the whole station. It was a happening
place in time to be.

As we headed into summer, I was asked if I would put together a festival to
go on the night before KUPD's annual festival. With the help of Randy Buzzelli
and Brad Patrick, two local entrapenuers who owned stage, sound and lighting,
secured Big Surf, a waterpark in Scottsdale that held 10,000 people. Through
my contacts we got the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to headline just before their
"Mothers Milk" album hit bigtime. I also got us Mary's Danish, always a fun
live band, and Tucson band The Sidewinders (later became The Sand Rubies), and
at the last minute literally, Virgin wanted us to put Camper Van Beethoven on
the bill. LOL- does a bear....sure they can come play.


The Red Hot Chili Peppers kicked off a generation
of radio festivals that still linger today.

The show was spectacular, in that 10,000 were crammed in this water park to
jam to only 4 bands.The effects of this show would not only affect me for
years to come...but many of you who are reading this.

By this time Jackie Selby had left and we hired Leah Miller for
nights. Prior to that she was doing weekends. Another interesting thing
was going on that same month of the very first "Q-fest". Our show was the
first week of October. Over in Dallas another station had begun. KDGE was an
interesting story. They hit the airwaves in September, but here's the irony.

The owner? Steve Allsion. Yep...the same person who I worked for at KEYX.
Ahh...but it gets better. The PD was Larry Neilsen (the former Larry Hayes).
The APD was Wendy Naylor, and the production director was Roger King, who
also worked at KEYX for a spell. All from Phoenix. The only non Phoenicians
were MD George Gmaric and jock Alex Luke and some other locals.

Between the two stations...you could say that was the beginning of the
official "Alternative" format. By years end all the trade magazines
addressed and acknowledged about 11 stations around the country and gave us
our own chart and section.You can check your stats or facts and you will see
that statement is true.

So there you go. A new format is born...but there is much more to this story.





I would think now that I've had years to look back on the radio side of my career,
and I think I speak for everyone involved at the "Q", it was the best of times. No
doubt about it. Bless the card system...no selector...always room for error...but that
was the charm of it...the card system. And...let's not forget that KUKQ was on the
AM dial...which brought back memories of an era gone by...the 60's. Put that
together with all this new music we were flooding the market with...it added up to
something very special. Very special!

Playlist From 1990

It was a genunely fun time to be doing radio. 1989 going into 1990, there was only about
11 stations reporting. It was innocence and a period of trying to give each station their
own identity. No two stations were alike. Everyone had their own concept of what
"alternative" was. I believe that was the true charm...some of us shared ideas at
conventions...but primarliy marched to our own beat.

We broke the traditional rules of allowing as many artists live on-air, which truly went
against the grain. We played many women artists like Laurie Anderson, Daniel Dax, and
a large quantity of women led bands. Rock radio wouldn't do that...so we had that
difference going for us. The listeners wanted to hear The Bangles, and Soho, as much
as they wanted to hear The Cure and U2.

For the "Q" we also had the weather and the option to do two festivals a year. That was
probably the single most thing that set KUKQ apart from all the other stations including
even KROQ at that time. We had this huge baseball stadium in Chandler, which was south
east of Phoenix called Compadre Stadium. It was where the Milwaukee Brewers held their
spring training each year.


Compadre Stadium before the show begins

Although I would put the artists together and the line-ups for each show, it was in
the early years Randy Buzzelli and Brad Patrick that owned the stage, sound, and
lighting that really helped put the whole thing together. All I worried about was getting
the bill together as I said...and stood on stage making sure every little detail was
taken care of. Babysat some of the artists. But let's give credit where credit is
due. We had one of the greatest promomtion persons in Tami G. She made sure that
everything I asked for was taken care of. Tickets, parking passes, info on hotels,
you name it...Tami did it...and did it GREAT! Keep in mind, we used to have after the
first Fest in 1989, well over a hundred label, other radio stations, managers, and a number
of others from the industry coming in for our shows. The Buttes in Tempe, not far
Sky Harbor Airport seemed to be the major hang. They came in droves for the shows,
the sun, the food, and the relaxation of a Rock & Roll weekend! It doesn't get any better
than that.


This show also had Peter Himmelman and Lock Up on the bill.
This was our first "Birthday Bash" in April of 1990. Our
second festival. This followed the show in October '89.


After this show above...it was around the same time Ernesto and I were smiling. We got the
2.0 share in the ratings...that I had promised, even though I never thought it would happen.
For an AM radio station to do that in market #23 at that time was pretty freakin' good! These
were good times. I loved doing mid-days, and having more and more exciting guests come in
to play live like Lenny Kravitz, and countless artists.

Even though I thrived on doing these festivals...that would be because it was pure and natural.
I didn't care how much money the festival brought in, although I did feel good about the monies
we contributed to charities. The workload was getting heavier on Tami G. ,so she hired an
assistant. That would be Julia Trainor. Yes, the same Julia that worked at Hits Magazine
years later.



The "Q" was recieving awards from the local weekly The New Times. 1990 cruised by.
We were into 1991 and planning our biggest event ever. I had gone to London in 1990 to
see one of my favorite bands in the whole world, The Sisters Of Mercy at Wembley Arena.
I wanted them to headline our upcoming festival sooo bad. Elektra Records and John
Leshay in particular helped make it happen. What's weird is that I never at that time
stopped to think how much these shows were taking up of my time. I just did them.
After they were over, I breathed a sigh of relief...more because they went well...and
then started plotting in my head the next show.


This would be the show that put the "Q" on the map


The above poster was the one of the best and my personal favorite shows. We had
been noticed by MTV, and they wanted to send Dave Kendall and his crew to shoot
the entire event. I would say this was a crowning achievment for the station. Yeah,
the Festivals were happening. But 1992 would be the most interesting and shifting
year in my personal radio career.

In April, which would be the time for our Birthday Bash again, a new wrinkle was
thrown in. U2 would be performing on a Friday night at Arizona State University. So,
I came up with idea to do our Bash for only one night, the day after the U2 concert.
We also decided to do our show on the Westside of the city at Desert Sky Pavillion.
The typical shed, which there are many with the same design in numerous cities. It
had to be a great bill, because although no one station could say they were presenting
U2, I came up with a clever way to make it seem like it was part of our KQ Fest.
The liners I gave the jocks, simply said "enjoy U2 at ASU on Friday night and join us
for the 'Q Birthday Bash' on Saturday night". It worked. People actually believed it was
part of our two night festival, which really was only one night.

The key was to have a great bill, and a great bill we had indeed.





Opening the show was Britain's The Real People. Next up was Material Issue, followed
by the Sugarcubes, the Rollins Band, Social Distortion, and capped off with Dramarama.
We packed the shed! What an amazing night. Unforgettable!

The station seemed to be on autopilot. Things were running smooth, but darkness was
just around the corner. Bob Melton and Jack Norris were about to lose their final
appeal to get their FCC license back after years of fighting for it. Funny...maybe not
funny on how they lost it. Years before I arrived at KUPD/KUKQ, the station was doing
a giveaway of a huge stuffed Gorilla. Melton saw it, and told the promotions director
that he was taking it home, and to give the winner something, anything else. The
promotions director balked, but Melton took the Gorilla home anyway. Some Hispanic
woman won the contest, and when the station tried to palm off other stuff on her, she
did the one thing no station wants to deal with. She spent all the time in the world filling
out all the paperwork to complain to the FCC. The result. The station lost their license.
I arrived in 1988, and they had already gone years without a license, and every two years
would re-appeal. But their days were numbered. They lost, and would have to sell the
station.

In the meantime, as our future was uncertain, Bob's brother, GM Lloyd Melton wanted to
do another Q Fest, only this one would be on July 4th. I was not happy. Asking to do
another so soon after April, and throw in the fact that 4th of July in Phoenix is fucking
hotter than hell, I began to get a feeling greed came before passion. This show was
destined to fail from the start. Melton chose Phoenix Municipal Stadium, where the San
Francisco Giants played their exibition Cactus League games in Springtime. This was a
vast stadium. The bill had 8 acts and I had asked not to start until at least 5 PM, but it
began at 4:15 instead. It was 114 freakin' degrees. To compound matters, only 4,500
people turned out. This whole affair soured me about festivals from that point on.





I truly felt bad for the bands, even though they all played through the heat, and gave
the fans what they wanted. Having said that...it was still a bust.

As September approached, we were told that a new owner was coming in. He had a ton
of experience with RKO Broadcasting Network. His name was Bob Fish. Melton and
Norris were selling the two stations for 9 million.

In early August Lloyd Melton asked me to a dinner between him and me only. At that
dinner he asked me to leave with him to go to Wickenburgh, about an hour and twenty
minutes away from Phoenix in the middle of the desert. A former sales rep for KUPD,
Mike Mitchell owned a AM, and now had an FM also. He claimed the coverage would
drench the Phoenix market. In other words, a powerful signal. To this day Ernesto
Gladden never knew of that meeting. Lloyd said it was imperitive that we leave on the
very day the new owner took over, nullifying any non-compete clause.

A week later Lloyd called me in his office and asked me if I would have a problem
bringing in Ernesto also. He would be OM, and I would be PD/MD. He would do a shift,
as well as me. I had so much respect and love for Ern, I said yes. Ern's girlfriend
Mary Alice, who was doing 7-Mid on KUPD would also be part of the package and
would be doing mornings. Ern, middays, and myself afternoon drive. We asked for the
call letters to be KFMA, and I coined the term 'Rock Alternative'. So on the day Mr. Fish
took over, we departed for Wickenburgh.

This is a very critical part of my radio career.





A week before we all took a trip up to Wickenburgh to check out the station, which was
inside an old restaurant. The control room faced the main highway, Wickenburgh Way. I took
one look at the room and said if you don't knock a hole in the wall and create a window, I
wasn't going to do it.

When we arrived, there it was...a nice size window looking out to the highway. I was happy.

TO BE CONTINUED