Saturday, September 02, 2006


KCAC came and went like all things transitory but the reverberations of what it MEANT survives to this day in the culture of the Phoenix area.

Here is a repost from the tag end of "The List" which was about to archive. I have copied it up here for review and discussion over this holiday weekend.
Tom Wright said...
Hi all-

I wasn't a KCAC/KDKB insider, just an avid listener. But I have a stash of tapes and newspaper clippings from the "old days" in addition to some fine memories, and I've had the pleasure of meeting a few of you over the years. I provided the 1970 4th of July tape posted on this blog, and I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who has audio from KCAC.

Hey, somebody should write a book about this. Seriously. It's history, but most of it is in people's heads (and on surviving audiotape) rather than written down anywhere. I have a tape of Hank Cookenboo reminiscing about his days with Compton and the founding of KCAC and KDKB, but from my limited contact with other folks involved it sounds like everyone has a different version of events. So somebody should write a history of Bill Compton and others involved in "underground" Phoenix radio in the late 60s and 1970s. Or, if not write a book, do an oral history project with some local library, museum, or other institution that records and archives our cultural history. (The Arizona Collection at the Hayden Library, ASU, might be a good choice. I donated all my old 1970s issues of New Times to them a few years ago.)

Any takers out there???

Tom Wright

5:20 PM, September 02, 2006 said...
Tom -- I will post this in addition to emailing you.........

I for one would be really proud to be trusted with your collections long enough to get it digitized and archived at least. A PHYSICAL archive or museum is kind of "iffy" but if I HAD to "if" I would choose Johnny D's archives as a final resting place of trusteeship.

To be fair, Andy Olson at RadioFreePhoenix should be considered too as well as Jimmy Magahern, Dan Page and really almost anyone you would read regularly on this blog. Mariah and probably Bob should be exempted because of timr constraints and/or not having the equipment to do the archiving.

Wow. This is WONDERFUL news! Let's open it up for discussion!


The Final Reward for Hypocrisy -
Is Betrayal

PS... Tom has been added to "The List"


Bob Gately said...

Howdy Ron and Tom...This is an idea that is diein to be tried...I gave Johnny D a box or two of my material but when you look around his house you realize that he really needs a warehouse !

I have been thinking for the past week or so that this blog is starting to read like a book and I have wished I knew how to print download. Maybe this blog is turning out to be the blueprint for the book your thinking. Jimmy, being a full fledged journalist, is the natural for such a project with help and imput from all of us who have been energized by what he started. Whats the old newspaper line ? "Overwrite an edit tight".

For the cause, I have here a very cherry Pioneer Direct Drive FIT 707 pro reel-to-reel tape recorder I will happily donate to the archiving. Let me know if you can use it.

Looking forward to these Notes from the Radioactive Desert Underground !

Fran Bennett said...

I would all but eat glass to hear the tape of Hank's "reminscing"...and the rest of those recordings as well. I trust you Arizona folks do too, and will work expeditiously to post them. I'll be waiting eagerly.
Too cool...just too cool. said...

Back in 1996... which is now my god 10 years! We had a reunion where Carole was kind enough to let me copy some of Bill's archives from reel to cassette. I then forwarded them to Johnny D a few years later to be digitized to CD. I would love to pass them along to everyone but now we have 200-400 readers per day and it's just not practical. One of those tapes was Bill and Hank in Tyler, Texas doing an intermission for a drive-in movie theatre. Better in its own way, than the Firesign Theatre!

Carole I believe still has those big reel tapes which still contain a couple of hours of "unreleased" production tracks. Somewhere in there may be a commercial Bill and I did at KRUX for a Steppenwolf concert. I didn't find it.

POINT IS: In addition to a DIGITAL museum such as what we seem to be spontaneously creating here, A PHYSICAL museum is just about necessary - perhaps an entire wing or room under the auspices of a larger museum.

Nice way of saying WE GOTTA FIND A SAFE PLACE FOR JOHNNY D TO STASH HIS STUFF and let him move a studio to it, do duplications to finance it and be the elected, appointed, annointed and ordained CURATOR of it.

All it would take is a monster storm, a fire, or other unexpected event such as an 18-wheeler crashing into his place, to wipe out a huge portion of OUR history.

Just ranting here but hey -


Bob Gately said...

Gotcha Ron....Gotta help get Johnny landed...I have spoken with him bout the AZ Historical Society Museum, Marley Center there in Tempe as the Natural repository of the archives and a place where he could go an work.

He responded that he had tried but they dissed him, or something. I say, Baloney, if they aint interested in this History, well, mother had em, mother duck's em an go on....The ASU Library is also a natural. An if the "Powers that Be" dont believe it, then, we can go commercial and sell our story, chapter by chapter, to the great unwashed masses via this AmazonNet. Eh ? RFP Lives ! Have you read the current cover story in WIRED ?

Just got California Bloodlines from Amazon reminding me of my So Cal roots...Good stuff....Crazy stuff...

Be back in touch....sigh...


Liz Boyle said...

How about something transitory for now, like a traveling display for Public Libraries, etc. That way, those reluctant to relinquish their collections on a permanant basis, would be reassured at it's temporary status.
How about a debut of the collection at Mary Morrison's House of Broadcasting Museum in Scottsdale. LInk:

I'm sure she'd appreciate the nice publicity that could be generated from a KCAC/KDKB collection and reunion party.

The RFP gang went to the Wallace and Ladmo book signing there and they do a really nice job.

Another option might be working with Pollack, the strip mall baron of Chandler. He has a HUGE advertising museum right behind where KDKB is located, now, on Javalina.

Anyway, food for thought.
I can make a few query calls if anyone want to get going on this. said...

Hi Liz... If you have a solid connection with Ms. Morrison ir certainly would not hurt to explore the options. MY FIRST IMPRESSION from visiting the website though is that these are folks who will not "get it" now because they are the same folks who did not "get it" then. I am absolutely certain that you along with Andy and others connected to Radio Free Phoenix have been frankly snubbed and treated as outcasts by many folks in this same level of society. It's not that these are BAD people by any means but they don't "get it"... then or probably, now.

For instance I ran a site search on the website for KCAC .... nada. Then I searched under KDKB - nothing. Searched under Bill Compton.. zip. The Virtual Tour showed a couple of walls of T-shirts and promo stuff for a few stations including KOY and KUPD where I put in a few shifts but these were like teenage trophy displays. Johnny D's collection wouod sink their boat!

TV stuff was abundant but so what? When I taught Broadcasting at Arizona Tech we had more donated obsolete video stuff than we could afford the electricity for.

Then I clicked the menu for Future Events... Nada. Then I went to the list of names for the Board of Directors and saw everyone but Jesus Christ. Then the promotionals.. golf tournaments, fund raisers, talk of grants in the $100,000.00 range...... hello? For a bucn of what appears to be promotional trophies? No Pictures? No audio? No trips into the past?

FORGIVE ME for being jusgemental but that is my first impression.

I AM NOT PHYSICALLY THERE to tour the place and what I am saying may be completely unfair but these stations were competitors of KCAC and the 2nd-hand information I got back in those days spoke of some really dirty pool. I DON'T think they would want to share wall space now.

First impression. I reserve the right to be wrong.


Mariah Fleming said...

Hey all,
Just back from out of town and no internet connect! My how things are happening! Isn't this so cool!? It's all coming together just like we all believed it would. How amazing what postive, conscious, forward thinking can accomplish ('a small circle of friends', as Phil Ochs said)

1. It's FABULOUS that Tom has that stuff and is willing to share it. I have wanted to write a book (as I know others have as well) about the underground radio scene here for years. Yep, you're on the ball, the time has come for a book. I'll send Tom an email about a project I am now working on that our personal guru, Jimmy Magahern, is aware of and is on board with. For that project I am currently working on the first of a series of installments of stories and photos relating to these sorts of topics. It's coming into the home stretch! God is Alive, Magic is Afoot!

2. One place to focus on that I didn't see mentioned for the Compton era memorabilia is the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame!! John Dixon is the official archivist for AMEHOF of AZ music and memorabiilia of that era (and before) so he would be someone to definitely put in the loop. John is on the AMEHOF Board of Directors (where I am still actively involved after leaving as the board secretary in January.) AMEHOF inducted Bill Compton to their hall of fame last year. Carole Compton Glenn accepted the award. Talk about a show of emotion and appreciation...WOW. The audience was SO READY!

3. I strongly suggest that you contact Terri Sussman, the long time, relentlessly dedicated VP of the AMEHOF. Let her know about what you have and what you'd like to see done with it. You can get Terri at
Who knows, there may be a future grant from AMEHOF of some kind available for such a project. Terri and Johnny D would be the perfect
combo to get it in place.

4. Ron, FYI, I am totally committed to writing. After leaving Radio Free Phoenix last year (as well as a couple of other endeavors) I have gone full throttle into writing about Az Music. I am seeing a project to fruition that I've researched and honed for the last five years. It's on the burner and boiling as I write. Time, energy, passion for writing is what I DO have. So any way I can help just holler and I'm there!

Jimmy said...

I'm seeing this all as a physical manifestation of Web 2.0: build the site, make it easy to contribute to, and unbelievably great content will come.
Y'all right: most museum folk wouldn't "get" what we're feeling here. So we need to create a new museum, one that people can contribute to as easily as they upload a video to YouTube, or drop off a package at Goodwill.
The website can be one portal for contributing and sharing stuff that ends up there. But there has to be a real, physical place, and it looks like something will soon present itself. Certainly, the right energy is in the air.