Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vern and Craig, Ho!

From Russ:
I can't seem to log in to the KCAC Blog correctly but for a change DO have a post that may be interesting. Almost all of the Love Workshop shows are now available for downloading at this URL:

If you could post that for me, I would really appreciate it.

WHY, THANK YOU RUSS! Great link. Here's to when 'cutting edge' humor meant twisting the knife deep into the "sacred cows" of the decade. "Vern and Craig - Craig and Vern" Between them, two minds that expanded WAY over the edge. I vividly recall marveling at Russ's unabashed hilarity while doing "Snacks." It was something to behold.

I was an unwitting passenger on their runaway train and participating in the bit was equal parts appalling and funny. Mostly I remember saying to myself "Oh My God, these guys are going to have us eat the baby!! What have I gotten myself into?!"

Well, whatever it was, I'm all the crazier for it and will always be glad that I was there to share the moment.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

KCAC Farewell Broadcast

Listen to the KCAC Farewell Broadcast, from August 14, 1971:

To download, click here.
To open player in a new, tiny window, click here.

Here's a link to Tom Wright's original post on receiving the collection of tapes from Jeff and Jennifer Crawford featuring this broadcast, and here are some informal comments from Tom about the particular recording featured here:

"It runs about 26 minutes. The sound quality is not very good but it's amazing that this tape exists at all. It seems to run a bit slow but I'm not proficient enough yet on the gadgetry to fix it. When I tried to speed it up just the tiniest bit, it sounded like everybody was on helium, so I decided that a little slow is better than a lot fast.

It was really a trip to hear this tape 36 years after listening to the original broadcast. I remembered certain things precisely but had totally forgotten about others - like how Bill stops in the middle of his big, emotional farewell to plug a garage sale because he'd promised to do it earlier but had forgotten.

You'll hear a couple of glitches, or things that sound like glitches. The tape starts with Hank Cookenboo (at least I think it's Hank, maybe it's Marty slowed down by the tape) giving his own farewell speech, and at one point he just stops and there's dead air for 12 or 13 seconds - I think he got too choked up to go on. After some commercials, Compton comes on and starts to play a Moody Blues track, but the taper stopped part way through and then started again with Bill's farewell address. I don't know how much time elapsed while the tape recorder was turned off, but after that it runs uninterrupted though the end of the very last song. Everything that I remember from the original broadcast is on the tape, so I don't think the edit actually eliminated anything more than the Moody Blues song and whatever music came after it.

In the final fade, the last few seconds of KCAC's existence, you can hear someone yelling 'Tom! Tom!' That wasn't part of the broadcast - it was background noise picked up on the mic being used by the taper. The 'Tom' in question, according to Jeff Crawford, was the boyfriend of Lawrence Richardson's sister; she was the taper. Jeff and Lawrence were friends at the time. The sister's name seems to be lost to history (at least I don't recall Jeff ever mentioning it to me), as is her reason for recording so many hours of KCAC in the first place - but I'm sure glad that she did."

Comments? Please add below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Valley's Tubes to be Inducted into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame-Share Your Local Tubes/Beans Stories

The Valley's own The Tubes will reunite September 23rd at the Dodge Theatre for their induction into the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.
Although oftentimes referred to as a band with it's origins in San Francisco, Phoenix fans know the Tubes originated from the Valley based band, The Beans.

The Tubes will not only be reuniting on the evening of September 23, but AMEHOF President, Terri Sussman hints at a rare grand finale which will hearken back to the band's most glam and theatrical.

A three minute video presentation, concentrating on the band's start here in the Phoenix area will be shown at the event.

We ask all of you who were there to please take a moment share your local memories, history, etc, for possible inclusion into the video script.
(Pictures of Beans 1970 flyer and Vince Welnick's 1967 Bourgade High School photo)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

From The Bone Mama!

This comes from longtime AZ radio treasure and Internet broadcaster Mary McCann:

Thank you friends and family for keeping the Internet radio business going! This Sunday, July 15 threatened to be the day the music died when the bill would come due for outrageous copyright fees but because of the pressure on Congress, pressure from your phone calls and emails, SoundExchange appeared in front of the House Commerce committee yesterday and said that webcasters can keep streaming while negotiations are being hammered out. They will not enforce the new rates, at least not yet. We’re not out of the woods but at least the woods are no longer on fire. You did it with your calls and letters. Thank you.

Sound Exchange exposed their hand this week when they made a small business offer that was good for a mere 18 months and had the stipulation that we not seek redress in Congress. They are afraid of you. They want to shut down the small guys and let the big 4 record companies make private deals for this rate with the RIAA. When they make private deals the 50% of the money that goes to the aritst goes out the window and 100% goes to the record companies. Sick shit. The issue will continue to haunt this industry until they change the law that is why the Internet Radio Equality Act is crucial so please continue to call your congress people especially your senators.

We stood up together and made a difference. Your calls and mail made a difference. Thank you!

Yes, God IS Alive. Magic IS Afoot

Mary McCann, "The Bone Mama" is (naturally) doing some really cool stuff. Here's some info: Mary's BOOK, "Noisy by Nature" has been added to Scripps College, Denison Library Special Collection, Claremont, CA; University of New Mexico Special Collections; The Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry, Miami Beach, FL.

Mary McCann, "The Bone Mama"
"Ad astra per aspera"

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good News Tonight Show!

Well, the Tonight Show question was answered by the scads of responses I got on my other web page. Score one for the Tonight Show! Every response about them was positive! Good to know! Now lets encourage them to have more songwriters like Bright Eyes on to perform 'controversial' music. Richard Thompson's new one "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" is an outstanding example of great music that needs to be heard.

Did Neil Young ever do his anti Iraq song on any late night show? Anyone know of any performers who have done controversial songs on tv? Or for that matter, of any that are heard anywhere except on internet radio?

It would be interesting to keep track of how the climate is changing politically. People are speaking out a lot more now on the news. Maybe it will spill over into the entertainment area of tv and radio? Lets face it, the news is not very damned entertaining no matter how hard they try to make it so.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Latest KCAC Tape News

I finally got the hardware and the software to deal with the tapes Jeff and Jennifer Crawford provided to me earlier this year. Many thanks to Andy Olson for the technical advice! Anyway, I experimented yesterday by grabbing a random tape (from the box of 20-or-so that were provided by the Crawfords), setting up the gadgetry, and seeing what might happen.

The first hour or so of this particular side of this particular tape is mostly public-affairs programming with Bill Compton interviewing peace activists and so forth. But then, lo and behold, the tape also contains BILL COMPTON'S FAREWELL ON KCAC'S LAST DAY OF BROADCAST, AUGUST 14, 1971! This has been a sort of Holy Grail for me, as I remember that broadcast very well but nobody seemed to have recorded it. Well, it turns out that somebody did! Bill talks in very personal terms about what KCAC tried to do, and what it meant to him. Here (in condensed form) is some of what he says:

It's sort of been my wife and my enemy and everything all rolled into one... it's been something that meant a lot to me and something I felt strongly about. I've kind of grown to regard the station as a person rather than a lot of machinery lying around, because it has definitely had a mind of its own throughout the years. In fact, if the old radio station can do something besides broadcast, it can receive a little bit, too.

Then he plays the farewell set of music that has been burned into my brain these last 36 years, even if there was no tape to play it back: "Dear Mary" by the Steve Miller Band, "Slim Slow Slider" by Van Morrison, "Restless Farewell" by Bob Dylan, "A Very Cellular Song" by the Incredible String Band, and finally "Bookends" by Simon and Garfunkle with its very last line: preserve your memories, they're all that's left you. Then it was 7:15 PM, sign-off time, so the music faded into silence, and KCAC was history.

Magic. Pure magic, showing Bill's genius at its brightest. It's a miracle that this tape exists at all, so Jeff and Jennifer Crawford, THANK YOU for preserving it and making it available to the KCAC Lives! community.

I haven't even listened to this side of this particular tape in its entirely (it's 3 hours long) so God only knows what other treasures are on it, or on any of the other 20 or so tapes from the Crawford Collection. Jeff says they were recorded by his friend Lawrence Richardson, and by Lawrence's sister. Lawrence gave the tapes to Jeff in 1983, but his whereabouts are currently unknown, so we can't find out anything more about the tapes except by listening.

(Incidentally, if each of the 20 or so tapes runs 3 hours per side at the slow speed, that's 120 hours of KCAC! That may be too optimistic a prediction, but even if we cut it in half, that's 60 hours of historic Phoenix radio.)

The tapes are not state-of-the-art digital quality, to say the least. They were apparently recorded by placing a microphone in front of a radio speaker, and the tape deck was set to the lowest-fidelity recording speed possible (1 7/8 IPS). But, again, the miracle is that these tapes exist at all. They are perfectly listenable once your ears adjust to the rough sound. Most importantly, based on this one random sample, the tapes convey the essence of KCAC loud and clear. I'll consult with Andy Olson about the best way to clean up the audio and get the recordings preserved on disc in a format that can be made readily available to everyone. Rumor is that another KCAC gathering may happen in September, so hopefully I'll have a BUNCH of the tapes digitized by then. Watch the blog for more news as it develops.

Tom Wright

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth today - tune in!

More than 100 artists are performing on 7 continents today to boost awareness of the climate crisis. The NBC stations are broadcasting parts of it all day, and Bravo is broadcasting 17 hours straight beginning at 9 this morning. In addition, you can hear it on XM Satellite radio (free through the AOL Radio player), and watch streaming video on MSN.com (http://liveearth.msn.com).
I was in Philadelphia at Live Aid back in the mid-80's, and this event reminds me of that, only bigger. There's something about tuning in to a live music event the world is sharing that's pretty energizing - tapping into that whole global consciousness thing. Be a part of it - right now!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Our "Whoosh" Girl Needs A "Mega-Whoosh"

Poet Sharon Porter, old friend of the blog, wrote that her husband Ken is having unexpected open heart surgery on July 5th. She asked for prayers and good thoughts...passing it on to our community...I know we'll all be rooting for him. Godspeed, Sharon and Ken.

God is Alive, Magic is Afoot.