comments from Jive 95 aficionados
Hello, Just wanted to drop a fond KSAN memory on you.
I worked at the post office in SF and commuted to Fremont. Midnight till morning. McGovern was doing the morning drive and I was able to rock out all the way home while sitting in traffic. One morning he was playing such a tasty set, the only thing that could have made it better was a certain Beatle's song - which sure enough, McGovern popped up with. Saying he was in tune with the audience was a huge understatement. I had to phone him when I got home and thank him for the beautiful set.
I felt as if we were totally in sych and began wondering who he was. I listened to the crap in between the tunes and found him to be single and began getting a little crush on him. Until you all put up a giant billboard on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge. Let's just say McGovern had a face for radio and my crush ended.
I thank God for KSAN's theory behind the playlists. Were it not for KSAN, there would have been no balance in my world and disco would have taken me over completely.
Bay area radio is ingrained in my soul from Doo Dah parades and kazoos to Dr Demento. K-S-A-N San Francisco Radio played a big part in the soundtrack of my life (I hate to go all Dick Clark on you like that, but what's a girl to do?).
Hi, Thanks for this site.
Some bits of memories of KMPX: I hung with the diggers at All Saints church in
'67 and '68 and when we baked Digger bread every Tuesday night, we'd listen to
KMPX 107. In the Haight there was no other station really, and sometime in
1968, I met two brothers by the name of Reno Nevada and Buffalo Chips living on
Masonic, who were DJ's at KMPX. At that time the small station was down by the
Busvan company (can't remember the street), and we fixed up a trip room next to
the studio that was a wonderful place to go and
I used to go down when Reno was doing his show and do the hippie weather report as "Windy Weather," I thought maybe George Carlin might have gotten Al, his hippie dippy weatherman from us.. .maybe. They moved the station sometime and I can't remember the year that we "occupied" the station and the owners and FCC dudes had to go out to the tower in Marin to shut us down. People kept showing up and we just kept playing music, and letting people talk until we went off the air.
Some years later, Reno and Buffalo were doing another small station called The Secret Mountain Laboratory up in Lake Tahoe. I lost touch with them after that, but they were great DJ;s and community minded souls. KMPX was the great mother of all alternative stations to come after. So glad I got to be a witness and bit player in that mix for a moment of time.
I came to the Bay Area in 75’ after graduating from Washington University in Saint Louis. Fell in love with the Bay Area after growing up back East. Everything was so different and enjoyable. I had struggled with good radio back in Saint Louis and became enthralled with KSAN the moment I heard it. I listened to Terry McGovern in the morning, and I agree with others here who have said Terry was the best morning drive air personality San Francisco ever saw. I remember the Monty Python "Men Men Men" skits he would play as well as Johann Pachelbel Canon in D major.
Other songs I remember were Gill Scott Herons
Ridgetop and lots of Van Morrison. But the most memorable one for me was the
live recording of Nils Lofgren in the studio – I still have the recording on
tape (that you have to flip over as I ran out of space on one side) but Nils now
has a cd of this "Bootleg" Recording. Of course how can I forget that KSAN
introduced me to Marshall Tucker Band. They gave the first airplay to Huey Lewis
and the News. There were times in the mornings where driving my 73’ 2002tii to
work were so enjoyable listening to KSAN that it took great discipline to turn
off Hwy101 at the Palo Alto exit.
When KSAN went off the air (with Elvis’s "Radio Radio") it was a great loss. No other station was ever as good. Blazie and Bob were fun and their cd "Acoustic Aids" is a classic release of their live recordings. Alex Bennett (I don’t do music- failed porn star) was funny and in some ways more original than Howard Stern (And probably was the example for Howard’s show from Alex’s NY days). None of those shows were as complete in new music or in listening to the discussions of the DJs.
Those were great years and I consider myself lucky to have been around. Thanks for creating this website and all the memories.
Reggie Short, Fort Collins CO
Until I was 12 (1966), I was never in one place, or with the same grownups for more than a year. I (was) moved (again) in 1966 and ended up in suburbia in Livermore in a very religious (read “fundamentalist”) foster family. Sometime in the next year I got an FM radio and listened to it at night, smothering it under a pillow because it was “against the rules.” It became “Radio Free Livermore” for me. I was pretty naïve about how the world worked, but knew something was wrong in my life. I zeroed in on the news. Dave McQueen and Scoop Nisker were lighting a path that I was eager to travel. Even though I was a “kid”, I felt I was going to be a part of a family someday – something I hadn’t had at that point in my life. And KSAN was the place where people gathered and spoke to each other.
My memories? KSAN Listeners took an airplane ride to Woodstock. I was pulling weeds in a very hot sun and looked at jets flying eastward wishing I were with them. I remember listening to Sonny Barger on an interview the night after Altamont; lots of darkness then. It was just outside of town, but I hadn’t realized that the concert had been moved there (and couldn’t have gone anyway.) And then there was the day in 1972 when our Senior Class got on a bus and went someplace in Santa Clara or Mountain View for a “ditch day” and I ditched further and hitchhiked to “211 Sutter” and got the tour by Dave McQueen. The funky little AP teletype in a really tiny closet, bean bag chairs everywhere…it was all so right. And as someone said already, I also liked Bob McClay just because of how he sounded – like everything was alright.
As years went by, more and more of the people that I had thought were part of a culture shift were actually just in it for the thrills. They grew up. But I’ve carried KSAN with me all these years, and tomorrow I retire from 32 years as a public servant in the water and wastewater sector, always having tried to make the world a little better. Reading all these other memories makes me realize that indeed we are one type of family that I was looking for back then, and my only regret is that we can’t somehow all connect again at that one spot on the dial. But to paraphrase something I heard someplace, if I don’t like it, I guess I can go out and do something about it.
PS – the song Mark Karan was looking for? I think it was a Stoneground song. (Or maybe Fifth Dimension??) I also remember this other verse…
”Just one taste of my sweet loving,
Good as bread you can bake in your oven,
And it’s goooooood……and it’s good for you.’
KSAN will always
have a special place in my heart. Nothing will ever replace it. Thank you
for this website. The music was the best but it was Terry McGovern and
Howard Hessman (can someone please remind me what his radio moniker was?
Sometimes it drives me crazy trying to remember it after 30 years). Terry
would be downstairs in the street doing something wonderfully crazy at
lunch time and make my day with laughter. Scoop and Dusty Street et.al. I
still remember the day it went country--I couldn't believe it. Something so
vital to my life was gone. Terry still looks pretty much the same. :-)
30 years later/older in Nova Scotia (where radio truly sucks)
without a doubt one of the greatest fm's of all time. i remember growing up in novato, ca. and ksan was the complete after school and weekend radio station. i have always loved broadcasting, having worked at stations in stockton, rohnert park and reno, nv. ksan made it ok to be creative and daring. thanks tom donohue for inspiring so many people who worked in fm. times now are, of course, much different but at least a friend of mine and myself still operate, occasionally, a pirate fm in reno that encompasses the spirit of ksan, ksml, et.al. thanks for your great site.....................kent w.
I was living at The Great Highway and
Santiago in the early 70s...second floor flat, with a bay window overlooking the
Pacific. There was a sizable oil spill making its way to the beach, and no one
seemed to be able - or willing - to do anything about it.
I'm seeing birds start to show up, covered in thick, unrefined oil - just a matter of time before they die. Then I hear KSAN sound the alarm: anybody and everybody, get the beach. From where the old Sutro Baths were south to the Zoo, we need you! I went through a tunnel at Taraval to the beach and meet a small army of Freaks with rakes and pitchforks - and trucks are driving up and down the beach, dropping bales of hay.
We got the hay spread out to halt or absorb the flow of oil as best we could, and others, with the help of veterinarians, used solvents and towels to clean off the waterfowl until they could be taken to rescue centers.
There were thousands of freaks on the beach that day, and in days to follow. We didn't have the technology that's available now to control oil spills, but we had KSAN to mobilize its listeners.
I've spent my life in commercial radio. I never worked at KSAN, but I listened. Never have I seen a display of community service via radio to match what KSAN accomplished during that oil spill. Their "Speed Kills" campaign with the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic may have saved more human lives over time, but I'll never forget how hard those Freaks worked, for how long, because they were needed, and someone at their radio station figured out something to do when no one else had a clue.
That's power, baby!
gents, where to start. it was april 1975 and i had just arrived at fort ord, us army, after spending a cold in winter in missouri in basic training.i was always a music fan. im 53. so i bought a receiver for the barracks and discovered ksan. what an experience. ksan molded my musical tastes that still are being molded today. sounds from the alians was probably my favorite show and the outcast hour was also a favotite. i loved the imports and punk that ksan turned me onto. and i can say i was at the pistols concert at winterland. i used wake up at 2am on i think was a tuesday and record the 2 hour alian show. i loved when doug from rather ripped would sit. i have many (hundreds) of hours of ksan shows. sean d was probably my favorite. those saturday nites were great. he always played good, heavy, r&r. norman was a favorite. but i enjoyed most of the dj's. they all brought something different to the table and the music was varied. bonnie, bob mclay, terry, ben fong, bobby dale., the guy and girl team, the african american guy. of course many others which i have on tape cant remember all the names. i was at fort ord until dec 1977. i moved to a samll town of greenfield off of 101S where i lost the signal. on occasion i would to go berkely for a weekend, maybe for a concert and i would bring my stereo equipment and record ksan. it was great. when i came back to nj in oct 78 i joind the college radio station. wher i would try to emulate ksan ,dropping station id's in between songs, segue songs a certain way or speak over a certain song. i probably could go but it is dinner time so i have to go.i stll have ksan t shirt which is alittle tight. anyway im glad i found this sight and ksan will live on in memory until i die. it was a big part of my life as was the 4 years i spent in CA. oh did i mention scoop??? bye for now rich
I was a regular listener of the Jive 95 from the early 70s until it changed to a country station in the early 80s. Following are some favorite memories:
A few days after the Who played Winterland in the mid 70s, Bill Graham was a guest on Richard Gossett's show. Bill asked "So Richard, how did you like the show?" to which Richard replied "Pretty good Bill, but I burned my lip on a roach."
The day the death of Sandy Denny was announced in the late 70s, Norm Winer spoke a heartfelt tribute to her and then played the timeless Fairport Convention song "Who knows where the time goes".
Dusty Street got totally stoned on her birthday, did her show anyway, and it was a riot to listen to.
The day they changed to country, the switch was made midday on a weekday. The last song played before the switch was the Grateful Dead's "Scarlet Begonias".
Jive 95 lives on in the minds of all of us who were fortunate enough to be able to listen to it on a regular basis.
Mountain View, CA
"There is no distinctly native American criminal class save Congress." ~ Mark Twain ____________________________________________________________________________________
I’m sitting here in the woods, 20 miles outside of Seattle (SF wannabe) doing some morning computer chores and for some reason decided that the billion songs on in iTune’s wasn’t going to make it today. Having been born and raised in the Bay Area I made the quick mental leap from local streaming radio to “home sweet home” radio. Hmmm, I wonder what’s happening on KSJO these days?? I thought to myself. Holy Shit, its gone...hmm politically correct here....Latin oriented..What happened to Sunday morning Sabbath or Sammy...and what ever happen to Tawn Mastry ...greatest ass in radio...Anyway, my favorite station of all time is never far from my heart...which I left in..., well that’s another story. I google KSAN, the mighty Jive 95, hit the link..And find...well lets move on. I see a link to your site and eagerly click....
The memories and heart ache I felt as I sifted through page after page of group photo’s, old articles and the “where are they now and what are they doing” sections was an absolute joy. Yes, the heartache even though tough was brought on by the memories of how special the Bay Area was growing up. I was fortunate to experience the 60’s and 70’s living there and would not have wanted to be anywhere else on the planet during those years. Nothing stays the same and on my occasional visits back there it has never been so evident as it is now. I miss those times so much since I moved to the Seattle area in 89. Nice place to raise kids but the food, music (for the most part) and the sports teams suck. I yearn for a Casper’s dog in Hayward, Could kill for a Bob’s burger in Fremont and to have just one slice of Ramona’s pizza in Palo Alto would be sublime. But you know what? Being able to turn on the radio and listen to KSAN with the old gang at the mic’s for just one hour, just one hour..commercial free letting them have at it....That would be joy.
Hope I didn’t bore you, I guess I just wanted to say Thanks,
Formerly of Fremont, Vallejo, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Stockton & Santa Clara.
I returned to the Bay Area in August of 1980 and the first thing I did when I got within fifty miles was find KSAN, the world's greatest freeform radio. In 1970, I had grown so terribly fond of locking onto it during those times of cerebral peril when a musical anchor was number two on the list right after Mr. Owsley. So it was with great joy that I was reunited with my favorite spot on the 'ole FM dial, christ that sounds so archaic now, and for three months or so everything was OKAY. I got a job with the Oakland Bay Cab Company and on that fateful day I was sitting at a cab stand in Jack London Square when I heard the fateful announcement. First I thought it was a joke. "They must be joking," I thought in a panic. "They...they wouldn't, couldn't....would they?"
It didn't make sense. I remembered an April Fool's joke played on the public earlier that year and in the back of my mind, I tried to convince myself that this was some tomfoolery as well. So I listened for an hour to some of the worst s**t to come out of that frequency. Okay, so I listened for an hour and five minutes until the brutal reality slithered into my brain and convinced me that the world was no longer the paradise of my youth. Hell, my youth had even turned on me! So in honor of its passing, I went home and got drunk and did every drug I could get my nose...I mean my hands on.... And I must say that my recollections of the good sh*t is that when KSAN left, it took the good head with it as well. It was a bad month all over...the same month that the idiot-citizenry elected an aging puppet to the lowest office in the Untied States. Sh*t happens and then its gone for good. Whattaya gonna do. Pass me that pipe and let's suck on some "windowpane." [love that view!] Now you got me all nostalgic, in my mind's eye, I'm walkin' down Telegraph Ave. when some shady looking guy stops me and asks if I'd like to buy some "Hash! Grass! Acid!" I say yes without hesitation. Now where is that KSAN, and all was well.
Thanks for some of the best FU*KING TIMES I EVER HAD, GROOVY MAN!
Love and respect for the good times to all you HEADS. Keep on Keepin' on...
Rosie Schneider AKA Sista Mary Jane Sativa
Oh I've got lot's of good memories that are KSAN inspired. But among my favorites is Scoop Nisker. I have these flash backs to the good 'ole days when I hear mention of his name, or any of his current dialogs.
How can anyone forget his inspiring sign off "If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own". I hold that sentiment close to me, and though I don't act on the news as often as I can or should, I do act, and I do try to inspire those close to me to do the same.
Whether it is through volunteer work, peaceful protest, voting or raising money for a good cause. There are many ways we can have an positive effect on what goes on around us, and work towards changing what we don't like that is around us.
Leslie in San Leandro
My KSAN Memories
spent hours here. What a trip down memory lane. I enjoyed it all, especially
the “Live” shows. I happened to be at some of those shows, and listening
to them again had me sitting right back in “The Plant.” Those were some
of the most memorable days of my life – and you helped me relive them.
Through a “friend of a friend” I was invited to my first show (Camel) in
’73. I was absolutely blown by the experience (the studio, not the band!).
Actually, our contact at The Plant, Kurt Kinsel, thought that it was Frampton’s
Camel that was coming and we were very, very disappointed when Pete was
nowhere to be found. I ended up attending the real Frampton show two years
the time, Peter was trying to decide (between the Plant & Wally
Heider’s) which studio to use for recording dates at Winterland, his
favorite place to play. Kurt, who was chosen as the engineer for this show,
allowed me and three of my friends to attend. We were the only audience. We
were ushered into control room “A” and directed to sit on the floor, in
front of the mixing console, and told to keep quiet. Kurt explained to us
that this show was going to be different because Peter’s record company
was going to pay to have the session recorded on 16-track tape. (All the
previous shows were recorded “live” right from the board onto two-track
tape; no mixing – what you got is what you get!). Having the session on
16-track would allow Peter to work with it, play with some of the ideas he
had and mix it the way he wanted.
arrived, late, and after a rough start (helped by a cup of tea!) he
eventually recorded a great show. Halfway through, Peter pointed at us
through the glass and said “You can come out here...if you want.”
(Meaning the studio). My friends I looked at each other, but we were too
scared to move. I finally said, “Shit! I’ll go.” So I went out and sat
in the studio with the band. Peter gave me an extra set of head phones that
were plugged into the same junction box as his; essentially, I was hearing
exactly what he heard. I few songs later I heard some static in the phones.
I could tell that Pete was getting kind of bugged by it. During a break I
jumped up and checked all the connections from the wall to the box, and sure
enough, it fixed the problem. Pete thanked me and Kurt gave me a “thumbs
up” from the control room.
That was only a minor mishap – the show ended with a larger one! In the middle of the last song, during a great bag solo on “Do You Feel Like We Do,” the tape ran out. The assistant engineer, who was responsible for changing the tape reels, wasn’t familiar with Frampton’s material. He guessed (before the last song) that there would be enough tape left. He guessed wrong! Peter was very distraught when he found out. “You won’t get another one like that,” he said. He did another take and Kurt ended up splicing the two together, saving the lion’s share of the first one. Still, I always wondered whether this flub had anything to do with Peter finally deciding on Heider’s, instead of The Plant, for “Frampton Comes Alive.”
the way...Kurt remembered my help with the headphones and when a spot opened
a few months later (for a janitor) he got me the job! I soon became an
assistant and ended up with credits on 8-9 records from 75-77. Sometimes,
late at night, when nobody was around, I would sneak into the vault and make
cassette copies of all the KSAN shows. The only one that I attended, and
never got a copy of (and, of course, it’s not on your list!) was Golden
Earring. I have some others that aren’t listed, either. Like: Kenny
Rankin, Ian Lloyd & Stories, UFO & the original Journey (before they
were signed!). The Kenny Rankin tape is an absolute crack-up! He jokes the
whole time, between songs. He’s got a bit about Nixon that’s classic.
got one more little tid-bit for you. In 1977 Fleetwood Mac was at The Plant
recording “Rumors.” Although the addition of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey
Buckingham helped launch them into super stardom, I was still a fan of the
old version, with Bob Welch. Bob, who was still friends with the band, would
sometimes hangout at the studio during those days. He was involved in a new
project called “Paris” that was also doing some recording there. Once,
on a quiet Sunday, I put on the Fleetwood Mac KSAN show. I turned down the
lights, rolled a fat one and eased back in the airplane chairs to enjoy some
of the earlier favorites like: Hypnotized, Future Games, Bermuda Triangle
and Sentimental Lady. So who walked in? Bob Welch. ”I haven’t heard this
in ages,” he said, smiling. “Mind if I join you?”
We sat and listened. He commented on different takes and what was happening in the band at the time. There were parts of the tape (the talking between songs) where he was obviously frustrated and sounded angry. I could tell that these sections upset him a little, reminding him why he left the band in the first place. He didn’t say anything (nor did I) but I couldn’t help but wonder what he was feeling. I mean, shortly after he quits the band the rest of them go on to be millionaires! It must have been tough.
He asked me what I thought of his new project. I’d heard some of it, and thought a few songs were ok, but I wasn’t bowled over or anything. “”Frankly Bob,” I mustered, timidly, “I like the old stuff. I think Sentimental Lady is one of the best things you’ve done. He thanked me for letting him sit awhile, and my candor, and then drifted off. I was pleasantly surprised a few years later, after the demise of Paris, that his best selling solo effort “French Kiss” had a mild hit with a remake of – guess what? You got it! – “Sentimental Lady.”
PS – Shortly after engineering the Marshall Tucker KSAN show in 1974, Kurt was approached by the band’s management and offered a position as their personal engineer. He accepted in 1975 and moved to the South where he worked for Capricorn Records in Macon, Georgia. One day he called, asking me to come back and be his assistant. Being young (19) I got cold feet and turned the offer down. I often wonder where my life might have led had I made a different decision. Anyway, thanks again for the memories...
i was a kid in sf and daly city, growing up in the 60's and 70's and did not go to sleep when everyone else did...i caught your show by accident and I was hooked...you were marvelous company for me late at night...always something new and wonderful to listen to, of course sometimes with the aide of some herbals...then...all at once it was gone...i went to bogota colombia in of 1978 and when i retured, KSAN sticker on my suitcase...KSAN went country...i could not beleive my ears...ksan and kmpx were the reason i had to have a fm radio in my car asap.
I came to visit
from Columbus, OH, I heard Bob McClay and Dave McQueen
and the rest of KSAN's crew - I moved here.
PS. Did working at Rolling Stone and KSAN mean that Ben Fong-Torres was
hogging 2 of the best jobs in the known world at the same time, thereby
relegating at least one person to some Nike type sweatshop position
because he wouldn't share? Just curious.
i used to
listen in the mornings 6-10 am w/ terry mc govern... a gal named 'heavy
breather' would call in w/ a sexy voice...made radio good listening...also terry
would play a ' commercial' harv' kirshners happy face motors'
the last line with harv' was ' i'll sit on your face to make a better deal...''
great memories of the best fm station in america... thanx for the memories..
Thanks for this great website. The impact of KSAN-FM is in my opinion,
I grew up in white-bread Lafayette and entered my formitable teen years during the period of 1967-70, greatful to be on the fringes of "The Summer of Love". Also fortunate to be exposed to Quicksilver Messinger Service, Jefferson Airplane, Frumious Bandersnatch, Boz Scaggs, Steve Miller, Santana, etc., who performed after Friday night football games at Acalanes High School.
I became enammored with radio in the 4th grade-circa 1964, often listening to KEWB and KYA. But then....in 1968, I was turned on to KSAN-FM and found the wonder of wonderful radio! Dusty Street mesmerized me with that silky, sultry, sexy voice. Edward the Bear, Reno Nevada, Congress of Wonders and of course, THE Big Daddy himself!
How much fun it was to hear free-form radio. Man it was such a trip. Sometimes I didn't get all of the seques, many times I did. I especially enjoyed the "Daily Dope Report", which helped me bargain with dealers on a "fair" price for the herb you smoked. It was just great fucking radio, no doubt about it.
I wish corporate America hadn't marginalized this beautiful creature and squeezed the shit out of its personality and creativity, reducing it to a sham. However, I am grateful, that I can remember the many days and nights I spent glued to my ole GE AM/FM radio and grooved to Jive-95, KSAN-FM. Man, those were the days.
Thanks for listening and writing!
"Cooking Outdoors With Mr. Barbecue"
KXL NewsRadio 750 AM,Saturdays Noon-1:00PM
I was an original
KMPXer (one-oh-seven on your fm dial) at the impressionable age of 14. Real
music on FM radio! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. A friend and I had
often taken a bus across the bay to the City to go hang out in the Haight, which
my parents would have forbade, had they known. We were in a poster shop, filled
with yummy jasmine incense, and a wonderful song playing in the background. I
begged for the artist's name, only to be informed it was the radio. The radio?!
So I stuck around for the set to finish and discovered HP Lovecraft. More
importantly, I discovered KMPX. This began my lifelong love of music. It wasn't
long before the station was a lifeless shell, and I was resigned to a life of AM
radio (thank God for KLIV out of San Jose). Then, out of my first teenage
despair came KSAN (later, jive 95). I was nearly in tears. A few more years of
the joyful sound, and I was off to Austin, and virtually no good radio again (KRMH
was there and gone before we knew it). But home again,home again in '74. KSAN
had evolved into a powerhouse of new (and old) hip music. More advertisements,
but the trade off was easily worth it.
As a 52 year old child and adult therapist in Central Texas, I have worked at 2 radio stations for a couple of hours a week subconsciously trying to emulate Tom Donahue, and share the joy of magnificent music to grateful ears. These early days of possibly the greatest radio stations in the history of music have added to the joy of my existence. I will always be grateful.
It all started more then 30 years ago when I stumbled across a small hole in the
wall radio station called KSAN. At that time a DJ named Bob Simmons
was "holed up" in this tiny studio. A short time later
KSAN moved into a new much larger studio on Sansome street. We had
met through various channels and contests that KSAN had.
I won a night on stage with Alice Cooper and when I showed up to claim my Will Call ticket, I found out that someone had said that they were me and absconded with the seats. This someone was the guy who couldn't answer all of the questions regarding a song fragment that was played and he also happened to be a male belly dancer.
Nonetheless Bill Graham's right hand woman (Queenie) got our entourage into the show and I got to witness this hairy 30+ chub of a guy do his thing in a tutu along with ten other girls.
I made it onto the stage during the last number Alice did entitled Insane Asylum. It was all good. I even got backstage to talk with Alice much to my delight. Not even the incredibly tiny photographer, Randy Bachman, could find a way to slip through the tight security. I often worked side by side with Randy at the Looking Glass, sometimes printing pictures of the same concert we both just attended (but I never had the access he did).
When my finance and myself were going to be married and a certain DJ there named Bob McClay was a minister of the Universal Life Church, we decided what better way to celebrate our union than to do it LIVE on the air. This was New Years eve 1974 and it happened right after Sean Donahue's show. Bonnie Simmons ran the board and we proceeded on with a original ceremony written in the spirit of the event utilizing Unitarian, American Indian, and Shakespeare sonnet, while Bonnie broadcast a play list we came up with.
That show and that day were just a part of the continuous family of friends that embraced the era. When KSAN went country it just about killed me. I was in a cold panic for now where in the world would I find Barbara Keith music to listen to? There is so much more to these stories than I have the time to write about, BUT thank goodness in the new era of the internet and global communications I have not only found some Barbara Keith to listen to (out of print in 1971) but through your website I was able to take a stroll through memory lane...once again.
I often wonder what happened to all those "old timers" we shared a good portion of our lives with. The late 60's and early 70's culture will never be duplicated again. As I have stumbled across a lot of the photographs I took at Winterland and have collected every video I can find documenting such events as the Sex Pistols concert and Bob Marley's first show in this country when he visited a small dinner club called the Boarding House, I am reminded how influential this era was on our culture and that preservation of it is needed so that generations to come can share in the love and joy we all came to know.
I found I could ride my horse from Portola Valley to the park in Palo Alto where the Dead gave "Dancing Lessons" (dodging the city's concert permit requirement). Riding my horse, I avoided telling parents where I was going or arranging a ride or to borrow a car. So I learned to dance, barefootin' (but my horse hated amplified music and bit me, to say: let's go home now). Got my driver's license in time to make it to the polo fields in Golden Gate Park for the 1967 Gathering of the Tribes: Human Be-in, and about a week after school was out, I got a ride to Monterey for the International Pop Festival. It couldn't get much better ...
During the 70's I went up to the
Tahoe skiing a lot, especially for the day, and coming back I could pick up KSAN
at about Vacavile, and it was GREAT. I could listen to Tom Donahue on a Saturday
night and cruise into SF. One thing in particular I remember was Tom saying that
he was playing records for the guy working under his car on a Saturday night. It
was especially great when they would do a special weekend show, like the
Fillmore show or the weekend about the summer of love.
I listened to KSAN from September of 1971 to September 1976. I had it on all day when I was not at School and all night. KSAN influenced me in oh so many ways from being a DJ to being a Record Store owner. I have such great memories of Ben Fong Torres in the morning, Rachel Donahue from 10:00am to 2:00pm, running home from USF at noon to hear her feature every day on a particular band or artists. I just loved her voice.
Bob McClay in the afternoons was such a joy and I remember how he turned me onto jazz pianist Bill Evans by playing "Peace Piece" every day for a couple weeks straight. Richard Gossett in the evenings was so cool. He was so fun when he found a new band or song. He played Thin Lizzy's "Boys Are Back In Town" every day until it hit pop radio. I taped so many live shows, the live weekend from the Record Plant was a highlight with the Pursuasions, Montrose, Leo Sayer, so many others which I still listen to.
Tom Donahue on
Saturday nights was so good, it was always a pain to have decided to go to a show
at Winterland when Tom was on, pure genius and that voice was just the best. So
many other memories of great radio at KSAN...The staff was always great to talk
to...Calling about Axe Victim by Be Bop Deluxe and having Bob put me on hold so
he could find a record store which had the import in stock...Love your Web
I have to thank you for bringing back all those memories. Growingup in the North
bay (Vallejo) in a military family in the 60's, I had to listen to KSAN with an
earphone most of the time.
I have some very fond memories of Dusty and Tom and going to the station to make a request anytime I was in "The City". I remember all the venues, Longshoremans Hall, the Avalon Ballroom, the Family Dog out on the great highway, Winterland, and that you could only hear the music of the artists who played there on KSAN.
It was a great time and I do miss it. I still have a very worn copy of "Lights Out San Francisco" that I treasure as much as the 406 Dead shows I've been to.
Thanks so much for keeping the story alive.
Bless you Tom, you gave us all so much, and were gone far too soon.
ps. I'm still in love with Dusty
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Shelton , WA \ Mendocino , CA
yes, KSAN FM 95, brings back many fond memories. Living in Concord, just moved
here to the bay area from North Carolina, searching the radio dial for some
decent rock and roll to listen to. Wait, what's this? first time i ever heard
Robin Trower's "Too Rolling Stoned" and i am a confirmed fan of this
radio station for life. KSAN also introduced me to Winterland and if i wasn't
there i would always listen to the live broadcasts of shows that KSAN presented.
I always found the weekly drug report on Fridays quite hilarious also. Whatever
happened to all the tapes of the live broadcasts?
Moe D. Lawn
After leaving home in 1972, i found myself living by myself and without a television. So i kept KSAN on during the day and evenings. At that time i had a reel-to-reel tape recorder & would constantly try to tape songs i heard, which means that most of my tapes with these songs sound somewhat abbreviated, i.e. the front of the song is missing & the back-end of the song is cut short, due to either the DJ talking, or a new song starting, etc.
i was particularly tuned in to Bob McClay. i'm probably wrong in this, but i never remember him being a jerk; instead he was always informative & talked to his audience instead down to them like the modern-day DJs. i seem to remember that he would have some children on during Saturdays & they were always entertaining, too. You could tell that he was a very groovy guy just by the way he interacted with others.
i also remember Terry McGovern with his songs that couldn't be heard on any other radio station ("Bakalavaka" [sic?], "Loving You Has Made Me Bananas", and others). Too often he seemed to be trying out his "schtick" on the radio instead of playing music, but at that time, it was unique.
i still have many tapes of the live shows that used to be played at night: ELO, Martin Mull (twice), Robin Trower, Van Morrison (which KFOG seems to now have), The Tubes, Hall & Oates, Bonnie Raitt (twice also), et al. Many were edited, i.e. if i didn't like the song they were doing i'd stop the tape & then re-start it when a new song came on, unless i didn't like that one either.
So imagine my surprise recently when i purchased the Grateful Dead's Winterland Closing CD & found a message from Glenn Lambert with your URL. i am very thrilled that something like this exists. i remember maybe in 1992, KUSF (i think) had some kind of 10 year anniversary show with members of KSAN & it was on at the same time as a Grateful Dead marathon on KPFA. i chose to tape the Dead stuff & wish i could have taped both. Ah well.
Just one last thing: Richard Gossett used to play a song by a person named Carolyn Sullivan called "Dead." Since probably 1973 or so, i've been looking for that record, but to no avail. But just recently i found it (thru GEMM.com) at a record store in England and purchased it for $56.00. Thanks Richard Gossett, and all of you. It is worth every penny.
My memories are priceless.
Miles Mellough recalls his "KSAN Karma."
My nickname (Jiverson) developed as a result of an obsession with KSAN from 1970-1977. When I left the Bay Area to go to school in San Luis Obispo, jumped at the chance to do college radio and emulate my heroes at KSAN. In 1979 started a radio program at local SLO NPR affiliate KCBX and named it The Last Jazz Show in honor of Scoop Nisker. The show is still going strong (totally free-form whatever) after 25 years and I credit all of the inspiration to the KSAN crew.
Jon Iverson (Jiverson)
have and always will be a fan of KSAN. I will never forget coming home after
school, turning the radio on and sitting down to do my biology homework. I
believe that Richard Gossett was on the air. He was introducing the new Todd
Rundgren album, and I recall that he described it as ‘music of the future’.
It was Rundgren’s first lp as ‘Utopia’ and Richard proceeded to play the
entire side of it. Man, the Ikon and Freak Parade literally blew me away.
Needless to say I did not finish my homework.
years later I was trying to promote a band and get some airplay. I believe that
you folks sponsored some airtime for new bay area bands. I called Richard at the
station and he gladly received me and my tape of the band. Thanks again for all of the great broadcast memories and the web site is
Thanks again for all of the great broadcast memories and the web site is
a treasure during the 70s to have KSAN every day. So many memories, but the
highlights for me: *Bonnie S, Terry M, Bob M, Richard G and Ben F-T playing
music and teaching me about really good music. *Learning about where all the
great concerts would be every weekend. *Best radio interviews ever. *Killing
myself doing outdoor labor in Berkeley and Albany, but hearing consecutive songs
and album sides from all of my favorites. *I'm so far right wing that I'm left
wing. The politics at KSAN in the 70s were acceptable to me. The hosts were not
frauds, and I felt they believed what they were saying. *Firesign Theater.
I was fortunate to have WNEW-FM in New York in the early 70s and then Jive 95 in the middle and late 70s. Two of the greatest stations I've ever heard. NEW was more corporate while KSAN was out of control and very, very good. I still listen to music from the 70s about 95% of the time thanks to these two stations.
I came of age with KSAN, living
up in the Oakland hills. I can remember as sitting in my dark bedroom at
night listening to endless surf on the radio, wondering just what was going on.
Somehow I was hooked, and followed KSAN through the years from birth to death.
A wonderful way to grow up. Mother Earth, Santana, Jefferson Airplane,
Congress of Wonders (I finally tracked down and bought a copy of their record to
replace my shattered one), Barbara Keith, that wonderful live Van Morrison
session -- they still stick in my head. God, what I wouldn't give to have
a station like that again.
I was saddened to read on your web site that Alan Burton has died. I loved Old North Beach, and would record it as often as I could. I've still got an old "Mother, Folk n' Blues" t-shirt that I cherish. Bonnie Simmons once a week on KPFA is just enough to keep me going. (Thank you Bonnie.) That, and my Golden Days of Radio CD that I play over and over again.
Talk about livin' in the past...
Dear Jive 95 Webmaster:
I can't tell you what a delight you site has
been to me. I began in radio right about the time KSAN went to Country, but over
the years I've worked with Norm Winer, Scoop Nisker, Jay (Steve) Hansen, and
many of the other KSAN alumni. I even made it all the way to KFOG, and was
Creative Director the day Jerry Garcia died.
These days, I do voice-overs and creative production for many of America's AAA stations, and run a community LPFM in a town near Telluride, Colorado that doesn't even have a traffic light. Ah...life, and its many chapters.
Your site, it's organization, the stories, where-are-they-now information is a true joy.
Hi, many thanks for this BEAUTIFUL website. It is such a treasure. I grew up in the East Bay and of course, Jive 95 was such an important part of my life and in many ways still is. In hindsight, I probably did take it for granted that it would always be there, but alas, you don't realize what you've got until it's gone. Again, thanks for this site. Peace and love, Kevin
time I visit the "Jive 95" page I'm transported back to a magical
place that still lives in our minds: late '60s/early '70s San Francisco. I can
hear Bob McClay introducing Derek and the Dominoes' "Keep On Growing"
and then a track by Roy Buchanan like it was this virtual morning, and I'm new
in town again, driving my pick-up to fix somebody's window in the Mission, and I
slow down to let a sweetie cross Folsom, and she smiles at me, and I smile back.
Fast-forward 30 years; I left construction work long ago and now am in a cubicle
in a big corporation, pushing papers. Trying to make my $63/month rent in '74;
trying to make my $2000/month mortgage in '04. Life was good then; it is good
now. I imagine my 24-year-old daughter, on her way to her job in Civic Center
this actual morning. Some guy in a pick-up, new in town, a song from '74 on the
radio, slows to let her cross Van Ness. She smiles, and he smiles back.
- Bill Yard
I was lucky enough to
have been part of the KSAN audience in the early 1970s and still fondly remember
the kindness of the air and support staff I met and their enthusiasm for the
music. So many memories...Richard's friendliness and love of Duane Allman's
music, Edward Bear and Laurie Cobb patiently entertaining my (too) many
"suggestions," never "requests" (Tom Rush's "Rockport
Sunday" might fit nicely about now...,) McClay's show the afternoon Gabor
Szabo and Jim Stewart played acoustic guitar duets in the KSAN studio, Bobby
Cole and Peter Frampton's first solo album, Ben Fong-Torres' weekend Motown
sets, Bonnie Simmons kindly listening to my unfocused love of the music seeking
direction and, of course, Dusty, the first lady of the blues; "Remember,
down is up for me," she'd say.
Less often these days but still occasionally I'll reminisce, pulling out a selection of tunes culled from the bargain bin finds I was hearing nowhere else at the time and, years later, burning to disk: The Raylettes "One Hurt Deserves Another," "Moody Jr. (Walker)," Shuggie Otis' "Freedom Flight," Harvey Mandel's "Senor Blues" and "Midnight Sun," Junior Parker (Blessings be upon you, Voco,) Alan Toussaint, Mickey Newbury, Ralph Vaughan Williams and so many more. So many memories.
We all realized it couldn't last forever. I told myself then to savor it while it's here, as I kept digging through those bargain bins and tuning in.
San Francisco, CA
I was an 8 or 9 year old who faithfully listened to KSAN, the jive 95. Every morning I would listen to Stephen Capen. All the little improvisations he spilled out were just the coolest to me. One day I started calling the show in the morning. He then started using my voice for various little station identifications. I remember one time, I said I was Ronald Reagan's rubber ducky, and I always listen to KSAN. He became the first famous person I knew...
One day after some time, I asked if I could come to the station to see how things work. My father and younger sister, and I all made the trip from San Mateo to Sansome St. We got to the station and I didn't want to leave. We even brought bagels and cream cheese so everyone could eat.
Lately, I have been listening to WTOP on the internet. It is a government radio station that keeps you up to date. I keep hearing this guy Stephen Capen doing little bits on it, but only to really know that the Stephen Capen I knew wouldn't do this shit. So today I started an internet search to find out if Stephen is still around. I found some stuff and found your website. I guess being 32 now, and doing my thing, I just wanted to live the old days again. I hope Stephen is well and would love to hear from him sometime. He may not remember me, but that is alright.
To this day I have always said that the Bay Area has the best radio stations anywhere, and the Jive 95 was always the tops! Although, Sunday night listening to Isadora Almond give me a free sex ed class wasn't too bad either.
Jason Rosen, C.I.P.S
It was really nice to find this website. KSAN was a very important part of my life. I have many old reel-to-reel tapes of the live shows that I always plan on recording to cd's. I left the Bay Area in 1983 for the greener life here in Seattle. I would tell people about KSAN and what a wonderful family it was. I have found something very close with KEXP, now part of the Experience Music Project. Check them out sometime.
Anyway thanks to all who put the website together and maintain it.
your memories and comments to the webmaster
(you can send a picture too if you like)