----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Wright
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Jimmy Magahern
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 3:36 PM
Subject: KCAC Lives! comments
I haven't figured out all this "blogging" crap (i.e., how to post a message so everyone can see it), but I'm still interested in what's going on, so here's my two cents worth. Feel free to post it on the blog since I couldn't figure out how.
First, nobody has to munch on broken glass to hear my tapes; a million in cash will do nicely. No, wait, they're free for the asking (sorry, I lost my hippie idealism there for a moment). I'm currently digitizing yet another set of tapes, including Hans Olson on the air at KDKB with Marty Manning on 5/21/76, and an earlier Hans appearance on KDKB in 1974 (although the original cassette of the latter is an advanced state of fragility and may not be 100% salvageable). I also have 4 hours(!) of Toad's last show at KSLX in 1983 on a reel of tape waiting to be copied, along with some tapes of the remote "Balcony Hall" broadcasts back in 1975 (Jerry Riopelle, Tom Waits, and Tracy Nelson) and assorted other archival goodies. I've already digitized a 7/29/78 Jerry Riopelle live broadcast from the Celebrity Theater on KDKB (during which he unleashes the F-bomb on the public airwaves), and the three "Profile" shows Compton did on Channel 8: music and interviews with Jerry Jeff Walker, David Bromberg, and Shawn Phillips (audio only, this was way before home video; I have no idea of the videos still survive in the Channel 8 vaults). I might even have an old episode of "Bunkhouse Capers" on tape, if I can find the box with the old 5-inch reels in it...
BUT... (as Pee Wee Herman said, there's always a big but)... we have to find some mechanism by which I can list what's available, and receive and process requests for copies. And while I'll do the copying for free, it would be awfully nice if folks who want them would supply me with blank discs and postage, or reimburse me for those costs. This is assuming more than two or three people want copies.
Speaking of people wanting copies... um, who ARE you people? Some of the names on the blog are familiar to me but many are not... remember, I wasn't part of that scene except as an avid listener, so while you all know each other, the blog is more than a little dense for an outsider like me. Some sort of introduction or "cast of characters" would be nice.
As for the fate of KDKB... who cares??? It's been nothing but another set of call letters for a long time now, and whatever happens to it won't change or tarnish what it meant to us back in the day. One reason I recorded, and kept, all those tapes was a sense even at the time that this was too good to last, and - guess what - it didn't. I'm an archaeologist, so in a sense I literally live in the past, but I also have some insight into the flow of human history and how the ONLY constant is change. If KDKB goes Spanish or pop or country or talk or if they just decide to broadcast "Metal Machine Music" on a never-ending loop, it won't make a bit of difference to me. An anthropologist friend once summed up the whole of human history for me in six words: "time passes, things change, people adapt." I keep hoping that out of the wreckage of FM radio something truly new and creative and meaningful will emerge, and perhaps it will... but I'm not holding my breath. Just adapting.
Again, I'm happy to share my tapes (in digitized form) with anybody, but we'll have to work out some structured way of making them available to interested parties without putting unreasonable demands on my time or wallet. Also, I still like the idea of a permanent archive of KCAC/KDKB materials (tapes, newspaper clippings, letters, documents, etc.) at the ASU Arizona Collection, Arizona Historical Society, or other formal institution that can properly catalog and curate the material in whatever passes for perpetuity. And again, we need either a comprehensive written history of the people and events of those days, or an oral history consisting of taped interviews with as many of the relevant people as possible. We're all getting old; let's not let this part of Arizona history die with us, OK?
I gave copies of some of my old tapes to a guy at KDKB a few years ago; he was the unofficial historian for the station, I think his name was Fred. He was relatively young but knew quite a bit about the old days. When I visited him, he showed me a bunch of old, hand-written playlists (from Compton and others) on yellow legal pads. This was about 3 years ago. Anybody know Fred, and/or if there's some other way to salvage historical material housed at the station???