31 December 2011

The turn of the dial...

Earlier, I read Jason Tougaw's superrific blog posting Adam Ant Is Leading a Make-up Tutorial in the Park, about his memories of discovering new wave thanks to San Diego radio station 91X.

I soon found that the praiseful comment that I speed-typed in response would take up three-quarters of Jason's page. So I've instead began again here.

Have you read Jason's post yet? Do. 

Go on. I'll wait...

I would've picked Duckie.
In July of 1986, two months before I was to begin high school, I was forced to move with my mother and step-father from Los Angeles county to a small town at the southern tip of Riverside county. 

As if this in itself was not bad enough.

At 13 and one-half years of age, music had become my life - I was going to miss KROQ, Rodney on the Roq and seminal record shop, Licorice Pizza - but what could a girl do?

On move-in day, I took a break from schlepping boxes to plug in my (Pink! From Sears!) stereo and find anything resembling anything I deemed worthy for my ears.

I landed on 91X. For the next 7 years, the dial did not move from this position.

The Cure's Man Inside My Mouth and Siouxsie's Cities in Dust remain distinct memories from that first day.

It wasn't long before the pink stereo was replaced by a far more respectable and punk rock black one.

For the next couple of years, any trip over the county line into San Diego involved a rush of excitement at the prospect of purchasing another 91X t-shirt at the shopping mall. Somewhere...in a box far, far away, I still have those t-shirts.

Robin Roth
became a legend in my school for those of us cool enough to know of her. Some 10 years after that day in 1986, a turn of events brought me into the 91X studios, and Robin and I together, and we became friends. After an absence from 91X, she is back where she belongs. We still keep in touch, and sometimes she plays a song for me during Yesterday's Lunch if I ask nicely.

Steve West was...English. Which made up for the hours that Richard Blade's Video One was not on the television.

In 1992, I watched Mike Halloran interview Brian Setzer at San Diego Street Scene; I was equally excited to see both men who had been frequent visitors to my teenage bedroom...through the airwaves...standing but 5 feet before me. I captured this moment on photographs, one of which still hangs on my wall in a frame.

Descendents and Face to Face at
Brixton Academy London, August 2011.
In the mid-late 90s, I returned to Orange County and Los Angeles; 91X remained on my car radio's presets for those rare moments when I could get a signal.

In 2002, I moved to the UK, and thanks to the power of the internet, I still listen to 91X online when I can. My 91X earplugs still accompany me to gigs, loud hotel rooms and on flights.

In the wee hours of their morning, 91X played (and perhaps still do) the Mexican national anthem. Five or six years ago, hearing it brought me to tears: for the first time, I felt what people call 'homesick'.

The Cramps, Social Distortion, Face to Face, The Smiths, Rocket from the Crypt, The Beat, The Colourfield, The Specials, X, The Woodentops, The Primitives, XTC, Ultravox, The Damned... the list of what 91X helped bring to my life -- and which still remains a huge part of it -- goes on and on and on.

To quote a tune one would be unlikely to hear on 91X: Thanks for the Memories!

PS: Here is a fun (if not aesthetically-pleasing) post someone's written about KROQ, KNAC and 91X, complete with original audio clips!

Somewhere, I quite likely still have this sticker stuck on a
binder - or perhaps a pee chee.

27 December 2011

Altered Images...

...of reality.

For this, my 39th year - which I somehow find scarier than my 40th.

I may feel differently about that in 364 days.

For now, here is a tune dedicated especially to me

13 December 2011

Happy little rays of information...

...sometimes - not often - come my way that make me feel as if my head will explode. I mean that in a good way.

Today's news: The composer of the Little House on Prairie (and Bonanza, among others) theme tune was called David Rose. He was born in London.

That's not the interesting bit. (First, click below while the suspense kills you.)

David Rose was married to both Martha Raye (1938-1941) and Judy Garland (1941-1944).


One more time: The Little House on the Prairie music composer was married to kooky comedienne extraordinaire Martha Raye and she who needs no introduction, Judy Garland.

Not so happy? Dig those threads, though.

This is PIVOTAL INFORMATION to my nostalgically-overloaded brain.

So - what else could I do but write about it in order to help myself digest.

I think I am calm now.