Beth Sereni remembers . . .
I found this site by accident, whilst I was reminiscing about my
earlier years. It was 1979 and I was at a concert at the Old
Waldorf. I want to say it was The Cars, but I could be totally
wrong. I went to a lot of live shows there back then. Anyway, Fred
Greene was sitting across the table from me and although I didn't know who
he was at the time, he later told me he was an engineer and weekend DJ at
KSAN. The next day was a Saturday and I listened to his show.
During the broadcast, there was an announcement of an internship program
(earn college credit!). I wasn't in college so the next Monday I
went to my local community college and enrolled in a broadcast journalism
class and then took Golden Gate Transit to the financial district to
interview for the job and to drop off my resume at Sansome Street.
Moe interviewed me and told me I was the only person to turn in a resume with my
application. I think I said something like "all I want to do is
rock and roll". I was 18.
I was hired. What was to be an early morning gig for a few months turned into a year of unpaid bliss. I would take the bus from Marin County with the gray-suited commuters to the financial district. It was like 5:30am. Nothing but a coffee shop across the street was open so all I ate was a donut and Tab from the vending machine until 1pm when I left. It was my task to tally the week's playlist for reporting to Billboard and such. Abby Melamed was Program Director and Kate Ingram was Music Director. I had to compile the playlists and that was really a challenge, especially Richard Gossett's hieroglyphics during the early morning hours. Back then, there was definitely a structure to the playlist and hot tracks (I think they were red dots - as determined by management) had to be played a certain number of times per hour/day/week. My tallies were always carefully edited by Kate. Santana was supposed to be hot, so I made it hot by showing spins that did not happen. Elvis Costello was not hot (in view of the station) and wasn't supposed to be getting 68 spins per week, so we adjusted the numbers. It was quite a ride.
I remember going to a used record shop and finding a bootleg of Tom Petty's "Surrender," a live performance on vinyl and I brought it to the station (one of my jobs was listening to new vinyl). I got Glenn to play it, then TK. Eventually they realized that it was actually a KSAN sponsored live concert that had been broadcast and recorded!
So many people were so nice to me then. It's an experience I will never forget.