Thursday, December 30, 2010

KCAC Lives on Facebook

SInce we all seem to be on Facebook these days, we've created a community page for this group now, here.
All of the blog posts can also be seen there by clicking on the "Blog" tab.
Also, pardon the redesign to this blog. Supposed to make things easier to do, but it does look a little different.

Compton's Christmas Message from 1970

A week late with this, but better late than never! Courtesy of Tom Wright: KCAC's Bill Compton on the air, 12/23/70.
Part 1

Part 2

Better to hear Compton's inimitable voice on this, but here's the list of songs mixed into the collage (alas, missing from the airchecks):
The Incredible String Band - A Very Cellular Song
Turley Richards - I Heard The Voice Of Jesus
The Edwin Hawkins Singers - Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord/Oh Happy Day
Leon Russell - The Prince of Peace
Original Cast - Main Theme from Jesus Christ, Superstar
Phil Ochs - The Crucifixion
The Incredible String Band - The Greatest Friend I Have In Life
James Taylor - Lo And Behold
John Stewart - I Do Believe I'd Have Been A Friend Of Jesus In His Time
Johnny Rivers - Jesus Is A Soul Man
Johnny Cash - Jesus Was A Carpenter
Simon & Garfunkel - 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night
Melanie - Merry Christmas
Handel's Messiah - Hallelujah Chorus

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wallace Lives!

I'm so sorry to hear about Bob Gately's loss. What a character, what a life!

Anybody who has been around Phoenix long enough to remember KCAC will certainly remember Wallace & Ladmo as well. Ladmo has moved on to that great comedy gig in the sky, but Wallace is still very much with us. He will be making a rare public appearance (possibly his last) at a special tribute at the Tempe History Museum, southwest corner of Rural and Southern, next Saturday, August 7th, at 7 PM. Come on out and let's show our love for this man who has given us so many laughs, see clips of vintage episodes, and maybe even win a Ladmo bag! I'm attempting to add a link to the flyer for this event, but if it doesn't work just cut-and-paste this into your browser:


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thank you, Marconi!

Besides showcasing the best album-oriented rock of the day, the early KDKB was also big on comedy, from the Firesign Theater and Cheech & Chong to Phoenix's own Love Workshop.
At some point in the week, the station also offered the National Lampoon Radio Hour, a launching pad for many who would later go on to write for or perform on Saturday Night Live, SCTV and other key comedy shows. For some reason, these programs have been hard to find on the Internet, but I recently came across a blog called Egg City Radio offering about 40 of the shows for downloading.
Here's my favorite: "The California Show," featuring the likes of John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Brian Doyle Murray, Joe Flaherty, Doug Kenney, Harold Ramis and more. From October 19, 1974. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

You say it's your birthday?

"For about 30 seconds it seemed like Ringo Starr's 70th birthday concert at Radio City Music Hall earlier tonight was over," writes Rolling Stone reviewer Andy Greene. "Then, just as the house lights threatened to rise, a roadie brought out Paul McCartney's signature Hofner bass and the sell-out crowd went into absolute hysterics. When McCartney himself ran onstage and burst into (of course) the White Album's "Birthday," the screams reached a decibel level rarely heard since the Beatles stopped touring nearly 45 years ago."
Fortunately a fan with a cell phone camera captured the moment. Here 'tis:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bob Gately RIP

I'm very sad to know that Bob died on June 9th after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer in January. I last talked with Bob early in the fall, he was a rare, genuine person who contributed a lot to our music culture in the 70's. I remember the Joplin concert he produced, among a host of other cool things.

He was at our KCAC Lives/Rebirth reunion at Alwun House in 2005 and was so psyched about it. He helped me contact a bunch of people for the event, both he and Ron Wortham were terrific cheerleaders (o: I have a collection of emails from Bob over the last five or six years...I will treasure them.

'God is Alive, Magic is Afoot' and there's a special place for space cowboys in the afterlife, whatever it may be! Peace, Bob. We'll miss you.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Winner

There's just something so cool about this Flickr post of Rick Unger, taken only last summer, declaring him the "Los Angeles Lebowski Fest champ." Epitomizing "The Dude" in L.A. must be recognized as no mean feat, given the competition that must surely exist in that town. I can hear Sam Elliot's opening narration on that movie:
"And even if he's a lazy man — and the Dude was certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide."
Imagine the guys who must show up in the L.A. contests for that loopy international fan fest, doing their best to embody Jeff Bridge's most beloved laid-back slacker.
"But sometimes there's a man. Sometimes there's a man who, well, he's the man for his time 'n place. He fits right in there."
I don't know about you, but I take comfort in knowin' Rick Unger lived up to the end as the embodiment of that laid-back ideal. I understand this was actually his third time winning it.
His prize for winning the 2009 L.A. Lebowski Fest? "An oriental rug," the caption reads. "Naturally."
Say friend, ya got any more a that good sarsaparilla?

Blackbird Singing

Listening to the entire Paul McCartney concert at Glendale's arena, recorded just a little over a month ago, on March 28, 2010.
If you didn't get to go (who could afford the tickets?), and don't mind stepping over to the Internet's dark side to download the torrent from a peer-to-peer site (**cough**,,, **cough**), it's worth the time and effort.
The entire audio of the concert is being distributed online now (a video culled from YouTube clips is also floating around, I'm told), and dang, if the old guy didn't deliver nearly three hours of incredible performances. The middle section, where he gives props to his Bach jams with George as the inspiration for "Blackbird," delivers his Lennon tribute, "Here Today," as atonement for his famous "it's a drag" comment (how many of us can now relate to saying a lame thing after a friend's death?), and then effortlessly dives into the 2000's with his iTunes hit, "Dance Tonight," is brilliant in its cohesion. A few songs later, he plays "Something" on the ukelele gifted him by Harrison — and the audience beautifully sings along.
I regretted missing the concert because, who knows if McCartney will do another one? He is choosing songs, recasting arrangements and adding personal dialog between songs in a way that could be purposely sealing his legacy.
On the other hand, he just sounds so good (his voice only falters once, on "My Love" — who can fault him for choking on his greatest Linda love song, after his disastrous last marriage?) that it's easy to imagine him going on another decade or two.
Eclectic song list, too (click on the above pic to read it). Why is he doing "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" in 2010? But man, I forgot how cool that piano riff is. Go Paul.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Rick Unger

Seems every post on here lately is about someone we all fondly remember now passing away — and this one is, unfortunately, no different!
Over the weekend, Liz Boyle received word from Lance Fuqua, courtesy of a call from Hans Olson, that Rick Unger (center in the above photo) had passed away. For those who don't recognize the name, Rick was the leader, singer/songwriter and guitarist of a band named Cosmo Topper, a very popular Phoenix band in the '80's. I had the chance to talk with him a few times for an article I did for the New Times (first page here), and found him to be one of the funniest guys on the music scene back then. I believe he was also a graphic artist, and designed the band's cool logo and album cover.
Anyway, here's the only Cosmo Topper song I could find online (from an excellent resource called AZ Local), although what I remember best were their eclectic range of cover tunes — everything from "Reach Out, I'll Be There" to "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys." Cool band, and a very cool guy.

Cosmo Topper - "Lowrider Streetcleaner"
Photo by Lissa Wales.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Nancy O'Reilly, Dwight Tindle's Mom, Passes Away

Nancy O'Reilly, 86, passed away in Scottsdale on February 27th. She will be familiar to KCAC bloggers as the mother of Dwight Tindle, founder of KDKB in 1971. There's a link here (if I managed to attach it correctly) for more information. The family encourages donations to Hospice of the Valley.


PS - if I didn't attach the link correctly, just go to the Arizona Republic's obituary section and search under her name or manually enter

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ron Wortham - May You Shine On!

Ron Wortham will be missed in this world. For many years I had wondered what had happened to Ron, before I discovered him through the KCAC email group that evolved into this blog. Although I never had a chance to meet him -- I spoke with him many times on the phone. I think the best call with Ron was the one from the KCAC party at the Alwin house several years ago. Ron could not make the event, but his phone call made the rounds at the party for well over an hour. This was really cool -- so many people spoke to him that night. Ron always supported Radio Free Phoenix and his kind words echo on in his autobiography "Plant Your Seeds". RFP's Liz Boyle has posted a nice tribute to Ron on her blog "The Turquoise Transistor". Also, here is a link to my Tribute to Ron as heard on Radio Free Phoenix . Ron--we're gonna miss you!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Fly high dear brother!!

"...We are but a moment's sunlight
Fading on the grass" (Youngbloods)

We're gonna miss ya my friend. Thanks for stopping to spend some time with us on your way through.
Love... John

Ron's passing... from Dustin

My dad passed away today. There will be a service possibly Thursday morning at Meador funeral home in Whitesboro, Texas. He was an amazing person in a horrible world, and now he is free.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

from Ron's wife... February 6

As always, please forward to your respective lists & thanks for the help & the prayers. The good news -- off all sedation, off all antibiotics, off the diuretic & awake more today than any day. He had his 5th dialysis treatment today. The respitory therapist tried to take him off the ventilator today but he could not take enough breaths on his own. Thus, the tube remains down his throat; sometimes he coughs which is painful. He must stay awake & take more of his own breaths in order to come off the ventilator. As we talked to him today, he nodded often, held my hand, opened his eyes & even shook his head yes that he could feel Dustin & me squeezing his knees. That gave Dustin & me hope that possibly he was getting feeling back in his legs. As our good friend Jim Britt prays to heal Ron from the top of his head to the tip of his toes, lets agree, "With God all things are possible." Mark 10:27!!!
Love... Debby

Thursday, February 04, 2010

from Ron's wife February 4

This evening I've been repeating the words to the song that begins with "Great is Thy faithfulness". We have so much to thank our God for as Ron heals, but he will not wake up. Some type of brain test has been done, but we don't have the results. Ron has been free of sedatives since Monday morning. Since he is not awake, he must remain on the ventilator & keep the tube down his throat. Today was his fourth day to receive dialysis. On a few occasions he has opened his eyes, weakly squeezed our hands and nodded his head. This happens for only a few seconds at a time. He must be awake and alert for several hours in order to breath on his own without the oxygen. Please pray that he wakes up and stays awake. Please forward to your respective lists.

Added by a blog contributor — hope it's OK, Debby and John (couldn't embed in the comments):

CeCe Winans recording of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

Monday, February 01, 2010

from Ron's son Dustin... February 1

they've drained nearly two liters of fluid off of dad, and he's breathing on his own now, thirty something breaths a minute. he's on less sedation now, and hopefully today they can take him off ventilation and remove the food tube. thanks again everybody.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Update as of January 30 from Ron's wife

Dear family and friends, please forward our good news. OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!! Ron had 3 hours of dialysis yesterday & 4 hours today. Yes, yesterday we had to face that dreaded "D" word; but today it was not our enemy but our friend. His kidneys are functioning and not dependent on the dialysis. Two litres of fluid were taken off his body today. One dr. said that Ron might come off the oxygen ventilator and have the tube removed from his throat on Mon. The CT scan of his stomach showed him to be clear of stomach problems. Much of the fluid has come off his lungs & his respitory infection is healing. Some of his medications have been removed; he no longer needs as much sedation. Isn't it great when our God does more than we could ask or think? Thank you sooo much for your love and prayers!!! God's blessings on each of you -- Debby

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mailing address for Ron...

If you'd like to send Ron a card, a note or a joke or two, the address is:

Ron Wortham
1816 Druid Lane
Ft. Worth TX

Thursday, January 28, 2010

from Ron's wife yesterday afternoon

to be forwarded God is answering our prayers for better kidney function. It is only slight improvement; the hand that I hold each time that I go wasn't as tight. It's another day free of dialysis; it is our continued prayer for better kidney function & that the diuretics will help remove the built up fluid in his body. Also, the infection in his incision from back surgery is healing well. His color is still very good. Dustin & I read to him each time that we see him. He is sedated so that he sleeps very peacefully. Thanks be to God & to each of you for your prayers.
Love, Debby

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ron today

I talked with Ron's son this morning. Ron is not doing so well as his kidney function doesn't appear to be improving, hence the immanent possibility of complications.

Mariah has set up a Caring Bridge site if you'd like to leave a message for Ron ( His son said he will print and read them to Ron if he's unable to do so.

Thank you all for your loving, caring energy... keep it coming!


Monday, January 25, 2010

From Ron's son....

My mom, grandma and I appreciate your attention greatly. And, I will pass on the love the best I can. For all of you in touch with supernatural or extraterrestrial help, forward all you can to my dad right now. He needs all the help, love and peace he can get. Thank you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ron today

I just got off the phone with Ron's wife. Without attempting a lot of details, his situation at present is not so good. Some complications have come up since I last posted and he's currently in Intensive Care. They've got him on some very potent medications at present so he's pretty much out of it as far as communicating goes. In spite of all this, the feeling is, he is improving, albeit very slowly. It's going to be an uphill climb, so keep that love and light pouring in.

Thanks to all of you.... John Robertson

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ron update...

Hi Again! I talked briefly with Ron yesterday. His first words were, "I'm alive!"... a good start. Our conversation was very short as his energy and stamina levels are about zip right now. According to his wife, Ron has had more than one back injury/difficulty in his history, leaving his spine in shaky shape at best. Apparently it just gave out one night a month or so ago, leaving him without feeling below the waist. He had surgery (laminectomy) that is supposed to relieve pressure on some of the spinal nerves and is currently at a rehab center recovering and undergoing physical therapy. For the foreseeable future it looks like he'll be confined to a wheel chair. He's very weak right now so even sitting up in bed is difficult, which is to say, direct communication with him is on hold for this moment. His wife said they hope to take him home (Ft. Worth) around the 23rd of this month. I'll continue to post any updated information here.
Mariah, thanks for the Facebook thing.
Love to All... John Robertson

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Ron Wortham

Dear Friends,
I just found out yesterday that our brother Ron was taken to the emergency room last month. I don't know any details right now, but apparently it had something to do with his back. As I understand it he's currently in a rehab center. He doesn't have a phone in his room so I haven't been able to talk to him directly but I'll keep trying. As I find out more, I'll post it here.
In the mean time, if we all just send him lots of love... well, you never know what might happen. It is, after all, the stuff miracles are made of.

John Robertson