Monday, October 23, 2006

Update ftrom Tom

Hi all -

No, I haven't forgotten about my Modest Proposal as outlined at the Alwun House in September. Here's what I've done so far (which, admittedly, is barely even a start):

1. Worked on digitizing all of my old tapes that are relevant to this project;

2. Met with Andy Olson to have him do some repair/rehab on old tapes that might not otherwise be salvageable; and discussed his tape collection, which includes many recordings that I do not have myself;

3. Encouraged Ken Beals to contact Channel 8 and search their archives for videotapes of the "Profile" shows that Bill Compton hosted back in 1974/75;

4. Sent Hans Olson copies of my tapes of him on KDKB ca. 1974-1975, and encouraged him to look through any old tapes that he might have; and

5. Discussed the whole idea of a formal, coordinated historical project with a friend who is a history teacher and, like me, a Phoenix native and an avid listener to Phoenix radio (KRIZ, KRUX, KCAC, KDKB) back in our younger days. He is also experienced (not in the Jimi Hendrix sense... well, maybe so, but irrelevant to this discussion) in historical research procedures, and he is acquainted with folks in the ASU history department and he has some ideas about how to approach them and see if we can get a graduate student interested in this topic. He is currently very active in the political scene, but after the election he may have some time to devote to this project.

So, not much progress, but perhaps the beginnings of something that we can all ultimately contribute to. We may not be able to solve all of the world's problems but we can make sure that this particular piece of history is not forgotten once we old farts pass from the scene. Comments and ideas are welcome, on the blog or as emails to me at

(PS - the email address is nothing to be creeped out by. When I created the account my name was already taken so I needed to add some numbers to it, and I had recently been working along Highway 666 in southeastern Arizona. It has since been renumbered as Highway 191 because some of the Chamber of Commerce types objected to the Devil's Highway running through their towns. It runs from Douglas north through Safford, Clifton, Springerville, St. Johns, and Sanders before heading west into New Mexico, and it is one of the most scenic highways in the state.)


vagabondvet said...

Thanks, Tom, very considerate of you to provide an update for us, and your news is encouraging! Glad to hear things are progressing in a reasonable and well-thought-out manner. A toast: to Tom and The Project! said...

Somewhere on a Motorcycle Ride To Infinity up around Camp Verde in about 1976, I happened across a 1-lane windingg road that had just enough potholes to keep your attention. It was DESERTED for about 20 miles and I think I saw a faded sign somewhere that said Zane Grey Highway. I can't find it on Goodle Earth and it may have existed just for that moment in time, but the adventure was magic.

Any idea where I WAS, Tom?


Robert said...

I'm pretty sure that the "Zane Grey Highway" is what is now called the General Crook Trail. Seems it was renamed sometime in the 80s.

Sounds like your ride was a magical moment in time, regardless. said...

THANKS, Robert!

G00gle Earth has it and it IS listed that way.. Whatever happened to Zane Grey?

Yeah, what a ride.. Then there was the time down by St. John's when it was like 115 degrees and I was zooming crazy with the heat - no helmet. I was totally alone on the road and the heat was a screech.. when suddenly I felt what seemed like a splash of water on my forehead and I was cooled from head to foot - at 60 MPH! It was so stunning, I stopped the bike and just stood there, looking around. Nobody. Nothing. Nowhere... Wow.

Then there was the time out near Wickenburg and another time near Cordes Junction..... strange little miracles.. Hey, wanna be added to "The List"? Sounds like you and Serendipity have danced....


Anonymous said...

A Dude lost it on Hwy 97 to Bagdad on Sunday..Had to chopper him out...Hopi lived...Witches Well is a beer spot on the old 666....Drunk or sober ya gotta remember the road to Zuni. Gallup an ahead, Shiprock ?., Mo Beer agin I-40...East n west....GooBye..Goo night an goo luck...

Bobby G (for the moment)

Anonymous said...

Yo, Tom...Tis good ya still engaged in the history, mystery of what it was, that was, up. Modesty is un-becoming an Officer in the Court of Approval, a gentleman of the word, reserved for the great not the greedy, you do a service to our history, get it on ! Dogg !

Me, I'm back up at our gold mine near Bagdad, AZ...goin for the gold to save a bunch of soul' luck, goo night, the Milky Way lights our goo nights...

Best Wishes,

Tom Wright said...


Yes, that was the General Crook Trail, which ran east from Camp Verde up to the Mogollon Rim above Strawberry. When I drove it in '72 it was a mix of dirt and pot-holed pavement. It has since been "improved" into blandness and it is now part of State Route 260, an east-west route across the Central Arizona highlands from Cottonwood to Show Low.

Robert said...

Thanks -- I recently signed on "the list." And I have danced with serendipity, an example being when as a local high school kid I stumbled across KCAC broadcasting through the ether. Magic was indeed afoot that day.

And it still is. I plan to keep dancing with serendipity as often as possible. I love the brushes with mystery; don't need an explanation -- just happy to experience it and (as Iris Dement sang) "let the mystery be."

Mariah Fleming said...

Hey Robert,
Where did you go to high school? I went to Gerard Catholic School and then escaped to McClintock in Tempe. Great to have you on the blog. Please share your memories of those days and any other thoughts you'd like to share...

Did you come to the Alwun House gathering? If so I don't think I met you...but if I did, refresh my memory. We're going to have another gathering next year too so stay tuned!

God is Alive, Magic is Afoot...

Robert said...

Hi Mariah,

I went to Tempe High, so after escaping catholic high you would've been just across town at McClintock. it's great to be on the blog -- glad I finally found it!

I couldn't make the Alwun House gathering, unfortunately didn't find out about until day of (was behind reading e-mails) but I'm interested in anything coming up.

Would love to share memories. I was friends in the late 70s with Toad Hall's half-(or step? sister) Jenny Haymore and she had a boxful of tapes of Toad's shows.

And about 3 or so years ago did some research for the Tempe Historical Museum on Mill Av's "counter cultural" days. Found some good stuff, and interviewed John Dixon about his early days in Tempe, but the Museum had no $$ available at the time -- or space -- to mount an exhibition. Also interviewed Hans Olson & John a few years ago for an article in Shade magazine about some of Az's "lost musical history."

Mariah Fleming said...

HI Robert,
That all sounds really interesting! Do you still have copies of the things you did? Have you read Tom Wright's "Modest Proposal" on the blog about archiving AZ music/radio history?

Know about the Az Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame (you must if you intv'd John and Hans unless it was before its inception...) If so were you at the first induction ceremony April 2005 at the Dodge Theatre? Sounds like AMEHOF would be right up your alley!

BTW I went to Tempe High for summer school, where I got in big trouble (!) from them for wearing a really cool orange miniskirt that by today's standards was sooo tame....the things we remember, eh?

Speaking of Tempe HIgh, I did a story in the early 1990's on David Mumbaugh, who was a student there in the 1960's. He was (is still alive as far as I know) serving time in Florence State Prison for murdering a a woman student from ASU...the first crime of its type in Tempe. Do you know who I am talking about? Probably way before your time...

Anyway, keep on writing to us! It's great to have you aboard! You've got some great stuff to share!

Tom Wright said...

A BOX FULL OF TAPES OF TOAD'S SHOWS???!!! By all means, Robert, let's talk! I am working on digitizing my own tapes and am trying to create a comprehensive list of all known tapes of KCAC and KDKB up through 1977. Please contact me at

Tom Wright
Tempe, AZ
(Saguaro High, Scottsdale, Class of '73)

Robert said...

Hi Mariah,

I do have copies of most of what I worked on, including that article text (though not the cool photo we used of Hendrix standing in front of a Tempe hotel in 68. We kind of bootlegged a bootleg photo for that). Plus the research I did for the Museum should still be on file. I'd love to help with Tom's "modest proposal."

And I definitely know about AMEHOF, have talked lots with John D about it, and also when I interviewed Hans. And I did attend the Dodge event.

And if you were going to get busted for violating the HS dress code, then an orange miniskirt was a great reason! Much better one than "shirt not tucked in."

I don't remember details about David Mumbaugh, but do rememebr that murder, because it was such a shocking thing to happen in snall-town Tempe. I may be older than you think -- about the same age as Tom Wright. But still younger than yesterday, I think, in the important ways.