Award-winning journalist and radio host Peter Laufer, whose previous book subjects have included neo-Nazism, illegal immigration and the Iraq war, made an unannounced appearance June 17 on the Daily Show to plug his surprisingly successful book, The Dangerous World Of Butterflies. Laufer explained to Jon Stewart that after his previous book, Mission Rejected, which deals with returning Iraq soldiers, he joked to a questioner about his next project, "I think I'll write about flowers or butterflies." His joke had repercussions and he received an invitation from a Butterfly Refuge in Nicaragua..

Not yet serious about the topic, Laufer traveled to Central America, where he learned it's a dangerous world for butterflies. Windstorms and heavy rains, Lizards, birds, dragonflies, habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, obsessed collectors, smuggling, poaching, violence and corruption.

For Laufer, his awakening to the true beauty of butterflies was a field trip to the southern Sierra's Greenhorn Mountains, where common California sisters and rare golden hairstreaks fly free on the breeze. Laufer says the "experience has permanently changed me." A Los Angeles Times reviewer wrote; Like The Orchid Thief, The Dangerous World of Butterflies takes us deep into the dark heart of obsessed collectors and the passionate activism of people working to repopulate species like the Palos Verdes blue. Worlds within worlds: Laufer, a veteran reporter on cultural and political borders, understands how these worlds cross and collide. His book is a Venn diagram of the beautiful and bizarre."

Shortly after his appearance on The Daily Show, Laufer flew off to England to march in the Leeds Metropolitan University graduation ceremony, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies (41 years after graduating high school!). 

Peter Laufer, P.h.D., is the author of more than a dozen books that deal with social and political issues, including Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq, Wetback Nation: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border, and Iron Curtain Rising: A Personal Journey through the Changing Landscape of Eastern Europe. He is the co-anchor of The Peter Laufer Show on radio station Green 960 in San Francisco. More details at www.peterlaufer.com/

The Washington Post review: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/22/AR2009052201128.html

Watch Peter Laufer's appearance on The Daily Show here.


Flow Chart Records just released a new Roland P. Young CD: ISTET SERENADE

ISTET SERENADE is foray into the area of music space that represents the core of my
Sound Philosophy, Isophonics.  The theory of composed improvisation of stillness in the fluidity of constant change.  The thingness of actualized sound in the nothingness of acoustic evaporation and recreation from the source of the indwelling presence.  This occurs at a level which defies conscious comprehension but which reveals abundant spiritual revelatory aspects.

It requires a state of emersion and a freedom to reach toward virtuosic trust and semiconscious execution of the revealed composition. Upon returning to a conscious state one hears what was created as though it is being presented.  The thought then thinks about what was thought and executed as a comprovisation of point instant mixed and remixed sound devices: Breath, Posture, Devotion, Bass Clarinet, Soprano G and Bb Clarinets and Saxophone, Kalimbas, Native American Flutes, Electronic Accoutrements, Voice, Percussion, Mac Book, Family, Pen and the One.

The 10 pieces were chosen from 55 comprovisations created over the past year.  Young's travels to and playing in the atmospheres of Israel, Prague, Rome, London, Paris, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Istanbul combined with his formative years in Kansas City, Missouri and the Bay Area of Northern California and current residence in Brooklyn, New York informs his music with ever expanding inspirations and possibilities.  ISTET SERENADE is a slice of the possible.  Thusly partially defined as: Spatial acid drones of intense acoustic chill, embracing ambient, world, dub, avant garde, cosmic free and chamber jazz.

Coming in August 2009, from EM Records (emrcords.net), ESCAPE: ALTZ meets Roland P. Young - The Reconstruction of Isophonic Boogie Woogie  Featuring DJ ALTZ's remix of Roland's legendary 1980 album.  It will be available on Vinyl, CD, and MP3 from emrecords.net and other internet music sites.


DJ, writer, producer Norman Davis has added Editor and Publisher to his long list of credits. Davis became interested in the history of the tiny community where he lives and after several years of research, has published the first (and probably the last) edition of the Carson Curmudgeon, a magazine of history, humor, poetry, art and fun. Distribution is limited to Taos County, New Mexico, but the magazine is also available on the internet at www.carsoncurmudgeon.com.

Chan Laughlin, proudly known as Travus T. Hipp to his legions of radio listeners, was raided by drug prohibition police last Halloween (how fitting) at his home in Silver City, Nevada. It was the second raid on Laughlin's home in the past 15 months. His official statement: 

“Having completed my summer-long effort to bring in a crop of my own medical marijuana. I’d finally finished clipping about a week ago. Got everything aged out and put it into bags and was set probably through next July with what looks to be about like 2.5 pounds of weed. Sure enough this morning, here comes the same narcotics task force, to bust me … Why in the world are they filling up the jails, using up the sheriff’s time, tying up the courts in the whole process, because people don’t smoke the same cigarette as me?

“I am officially in custody of the law enforcement branch of the state of Nevada, for having had the marijuana that I grew under the provision of their law, allowing me 14 plants for my ex-wife and I. They refuse to believe that anything over an ounce is not commercial,”

Laughlin's arrest was reported in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Radio host Chandler Laughlin, known to listeners as Travus T. Hipp, was jailed Thursday on drug charges after Lyon County investigators served simultaneous warrants on Laughlin’s Silver City home and three others nearby.
According to Sheriff’s Lt. Robert Sherlock, police received information that Laughlin recently returned to Nevada with marijuana he cultivated in California.
In February, Laughlin told the Nevada Appeal that his marijuana use is related to a health condition.
Narcotics detectives allegedly discovered 5.6 pounds of marijuana in Laughlin’s home and a total of 1.5 pounds of marijuana from the homes of Sandra Bunkley, 66; Toni Heller, 42; and Katrina Heiss, 50.
Laughlin was booked on suspicion of felony probation violation, possession of marijuana for sale, maintaining a residence for use/sale of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana over an ounce. 

Laughlin holds a medical marijuana card which the invading authorities ignored. After a few days in jail, he was released on his own recognizance on November 11, and was back at work the next day. More on this story here and here.

The Dangerous World of ButterfliesPeter Laufer, our own eclectic author, reporter, activist and trouble maker has set new parameters for eclecticism with his new book, The Dangerous World Of Butterflies, The Startling Subculture of Criminals, Collectors, and Conservationists.

War weary after writing a book about Iraq, Laufer joked before an audience that his next book would be about butterflies. The result: an invitation to a butterfly preserve in Nicaragua. There he stumbled into a theater of intrigue full of strange and nefarious characters—all in pursuit of one of nature’s most delicate creatures.


The Dangerous World of Butterflies chronicles Laufer’s unexpected discoveries in the butterfly industry and underground. Readers will learn everything there is to know about the beauty and magic of butterflies. But Laufer’s narrative takes unpredictable turns into the high-stakes realms of organized crime, ecological devastation, species depletion, natural history museum integrity, and chaos theory. Set in locales throughout the Americas and beyond, this fascinating book takes us into a behind-the-scenes world sure to alter our view the next time we delight in the colorful fluttering of butterflies in our yards. The Lyons Press published this book in April 2009.


Les Crane
, who turned KYA from a burnt-out loser to a solid winner in the early sixties, died on July 13, 2008 at a Marin County hospital. Crane came to KYA in 1961 and changed it's chaotic top 40 mish-mash into the favorite station of most Bay Area teenagers. He dumped all the jingles, horns, bells, echo chambers, etc., brought in east coast payola refugees Peter Tripp, Bobby Mitchell and Tom Donahue and created "KYA--The Boss Of The Bay." He went on to pioneer radio and TV talk shows, battled Johnny Carson on late night television (and lost) and won an Emmy. He recorded Desiderata in 1971 and won a Grammy for best spoken word recording. Later he started a very successful software company that created Chessmaster, and several educational programs. Crane's obituary in the Marin Independent Journal here.
(another obit here)


Cambridge, Massachusetts James “Moe” Armstrong, a local, state, and national leader in the mental health field, has been recognized by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare as a 2008 Awards of Excellence winner. Selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Staff Leadership, Moe was honored for his life-long commitment to the mental health and addictions services industry. Currently the Director of Recovery at Vinfen Corporation, a private non-profit human services organization and the leading community-based provider for people with psychiatric conditions in Massachusetts, Moe Armstrong has spent his career as an advocate, advisor and visionary, making a lasting impact on the behavioral healthcare industry and the people they serve. The Awards Dinner took place May 2, 2008 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Moe Armstrong is beloved in this industry. Building upon his personal experience of living with schizophrenia, he has dedicated his career to serving others," said Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. "Moe Armstrong has worked tirelessly, criss-crossing this country to improve mental health services, giving voice to thousands of individuals who have yet to find their own. His life is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and his work is a legacy of hope for a better life, kinder world and real opportunity for people living with psychiatric conditions.” (read Moe's acceptance speech)


Dusty has begun broadcasting a free-form internet show on Friday nights for The Classic Rock Vault on live365. She says, "I'm doing it in real time so it's exhausting. How the fuck did we do it 5 days a week? Anyway it's called the Flylow show and there's a link on my website." www.dustystreet.com.





Intrepid author, reporter, talk show host and muckraker Peter Laufer announces his new book, Hope Is A Tattered Flag, co-authored by his co-host on Washington Monthly, Markos Kounalakis. The book features interviews with America's political and cultural leaders. Veteran journalists and radio anchors Kounalakis and Laufer ask the critical question: where do we go from here? The answers they get—from environmentalist Bill McKibben, pundit Pat Buchanan, journalist Joe Klein, psychologist Drew Westen, comedian Ahmed Ahmed, Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson, and others—focus on repairing the damage left us by the abject failure of the Bush years. 

Washington Monthly on the Radio thrives on the air across the country and has just received a grant from the California Council for the Humanities for a series of programs on the border: http://www.calhum.org/programs/doc_calexico.htm
Meanwhile Laufer has moved his former KPFA show to Clear Channel's Green 960 in San Francisco, the belly of the beast, and he has filed an EEOC action against KPFA for racial discrimination. The Feds are investigating.


Unbeknownst to many of his Jive 95 contemporaries, Bob Simmons has been dabbling in the Texas oil business for 25 years or so. When the price of a barrel of oil was $11, his leases weren't worth much, but at $125+ it's a different story.  Get the gory details here

Well , now that the price of oil has dropped back to $42 and after Bob’s last dry hole, we come to the narrowing of the road where most Indie oil guys find themselves one day or another.   Hmm.  What to do next, roll the bones one more time and go poorhouse broke, or believe your geologist, and have him be right now and then? Soon I will be like the bald tired promoter driving a 15 year old Mercedes with blue smoke comin’ out of the exhaust who has a lease in his hand and who is calling on doctors, dentists, and professional gamblers to ‘take a look at this deal’.  It makes for an interesting ride.  And as Bill Hicks once said, “Remember folks, it’s just a ride.”  I think he was referring to life its ownself.



Cristie Joy
announces wedding plans for the Fall. Her fiance is John Brodey, who was Music Director at WBCN during KSAN's heyday. Later he worked in the record industry for a couple of decades. A mutual friend, Don Wasley, set up a blind date for the couple three years ago. CJ says, "One date was all it took." They've been commuting from Santa Rosa to L.A. since and got engaged last summer while sailing with friends off the coast of Turkey. The wedding is set for August 8, 2008.


CBS Radio has announced the on-air return of the legendary New York rock station WNEW-FM via 102.7 HD and online at www.wnew.com.

Completely updated to reflect its historical influence on today’s contemporary rock scene, WNEW.com now features recordings from the late '60s and early '70s through today, as well as music from today's emerging artists.

In addition, thousands of hours of archival interviews by former WNEW hosts Scott Muni, Dave Herman, and Richard Neer, among others, with such artists as John Lennon, The Who, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie will be integrated hourly throughout the station’s programming. Exclusive live performances from artists who contributed to the station’s storied history will also be featured.

Leading this ambitious project is Norm Winer, CBS Radio VP of adult rock programming, and, for more than 25 years, the PD of the company's triple A WXRT/Chicago. Said Winer, “As a music fan and radio geek who grew up in Brooklyn listening to the original WNEW, I’m excited to help recapture the spirit and philosophy of progressive radio, using tools we never dreamed of back in the early days. With the foundation of a timeless and totally one-of-a-kind archive, we will provide rock devotees of all generations the chance to hear incredible moments from our collective past and enable them to connect the dots to rock’s most compelling artists of the present and future.” The original WNEW-FM debuted in 1967 and ended it's 32-year rock run in 1999.


Paul Wells (The Lobster) is kicking off a new show called Lobster’s Sunday Brunch, described in the press release as a 'Music, Lifestyle, Food & Wine Radio Show." The show is sponsored by B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company, a family-owned and operated Sonoma Valley Winery.

"Brunch" will broadcast Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on KVRV-FM, 97.7 "The River," the North Bay’s classic rock radio station. The format will highlight long-time Bay Area musicians and entertaining updates on Sonoma Country's restaurants, wineries and events. The program will also be streamed live from the station’s website www.977theriver.com.

“We’re delighted to enter into this partnership with Paul Wells. Given my long history in the music business, this opportunity is a natural fit,” said Bruce Cohn, founder and proprietor of B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company and manager of multi-platinum touring and recording artists The Doobie Brothers since the band’s inception in 1970. “I’ve always strived to unite my two passions -- music and wine -- and this is a fantastic opportunity to team with one of the legendary radio personalities to promote Sonoma Valley and the many wonderful events that take place at our winery in Glen Ellen.”









Cohn purchased his Sonoma Valley estate in 1974 and became fascinated with producing wine. Today, B.R. Cohn Winery is known as a premier artisan producer of world-class, award-winning wines, extra virgin olive oils, premium hand-crafted vinegars and gourmet food products.  In addition to B.R. Cohn’s status as one of California’s most respected wine producers, the winery is also home to a variety of wedding, culinary and corporate events and the annual B.R. Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival.

The noon hour of Lobster’s Sunday Brunch, “Local Catch of the Week” will feature songs from musicians who have lived in or found fame first in the Bay Area. “It’s exciting to create a radio program that combines the music we love with Sonoma Valley’s exceptional food and wine,” said Lobster. “By partnering with B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company as our anchor sponsor and Maverick Media’s 97.7 The River as our flagship station, we look forward to Lobster’s Sunday Brunch being the most sought after show of the week."


Our genial webmaster, Norman Davis, paid a visit to friends and relatives in the Bay Area in April. Spending time with Norman were Jivers; Paul Wells, Hank London, Phil Buchanan and Richard Gossett. Also checking in was Rusty Goldman, sometimes known as Professor Poster who, with a friend, answered an on-the-air request in 1972 for someone to move the Davis family from Oregon to California. He rented a truck, disconnected the speedometer, drove to Eugene, loaded up and delivered the goods one weekend, then reconnected the speedometer and returned the truck on Monday morning, paying only the local weekend rate.

Norman and his daughter Susie were guests on Richard's Wednesday radio show, "Connections," on KRCB-FM, in Rohnert Park. Billie Sharpe played assistant, as she has done for many years with Thom, Richard, Norman and other grateful DJs. Saturday Norman hung out with radio friends Wild Bill Scott and Felton Pruitt at the Karfluki Festival in Auburn, where Susie's band, Those Darn Accordions, performed.


BACK STORY:  Berkeley, California's KPFA/Pacifica radio station, the only radio station in America to have 10,000 of its listeners demonstrate against it, finds itself in another controversy.

After receiving what its program director said were hundreds of complaints from a segment of its "progressive" audience, KPFA abruptly, capriciously, and with no warning fired award-winning author, journalist, and broadcaster Peter Laufer from his lively Sunday morning radio talk show.

Program Director Sasha Lilley cited "negative audience feedback" and said her reasons for canceling the popular show were "intangible" but that Laufer was "just not right for Sunday."  Lilley offered to tell the public that Laufer was leaving "to go on to bigger and better things." Laufer insisted that she better tell the public that he was fired because that was what he was telling the public.  Laufer believes, based on letters and email, along with op-eds in the "alternative press", that a group of malcontent KPFA listener-activists orchestrated a smear campaign against him because he is, as these critics wrote, "not a person of color" and because his credentials (he's won virtually every prestigious broadcast journalism award) are "too mainstream."

"The KPFA bumper sticker says 'Free Speech Radio' but apparently mob rule is more accurate," Laufer mused from his Sonoma County coast side home, enjoying his first Sunday morning off in the six months since he inaugurated the KPFA show.  "Ever since my undergraduate days,
Berkeley has symbolized diversity.  But today's incarnation of KPFA wants to march in a lockstep of so-called politically correct speech. I did the show as a labor of love -- the salary about paid for my bridge tolls, gas, and a Sunday dinner out.  I am profoundly disappointed and concerned to see that as commercial radio continues to homogenize, a longtime bastion of innovation in the non-commercial radio world reacts with predictable narrow mindedness.  If you can't count on KPFA for tolerance of a diversity of views, what can you count on?  Of course I harbor no desire to return to their airwaves after being treated in such a shabby fashion."

Peter Laufer is author of over a dozen well-received books of social and political criticism; his most recent works probe the lives of soldiers opposed to the Iraq War and promote open borders with Mexico. A former NBC news correspondent -- where he produced and anchored the
first nationwide radio show on the HIV/AIDS crisis -- Laufer has reported the news worldwide, and he won a Polk award for his documentary on Americans in prison overseas.  In his own backyard he shared a Peabody award as a member of the KCBS news department when he
co-anchored the station's coverage of the 1989 earthquake that devastated the Bay Area.  He created the "National Geographic World Talk" radio show, and is co-anchor with publisher Markos Kounalakis of the radio program "Washington Monthly on the Radio."  He guest
lectures at universities worldwide on media issues and his print journalism is seen in a diverse array of publications from Penthouse to the London Sunday Times magazine.  Details of his work can be seen at www.peterlaufer.com.

Laufer sent the following open letter of protest to Nicole Sawaya, newly installed as the Pacifica Foundation Executive Director, the network of progressive radio stations that owns KPFA, and Dave Adelson, the Pacifica National Board Chair.

Dear Nicole Sawaya and Dave Adelson:

I am profoundly disappointed that your Berkeley station KPFA has given in to an orchestrated and hysterical campaign to remove me from my Sunday morning talk show.  Of course I was not doing the job for the meager amount of money I received.  I mistakenly believed that KPFA
had a commitment to a lively and diverse approach to free expression performed in the context of creative and professionally produced radio theater.  I took on the show when it was offered to me for the opportunity to practice live radio art, theater and journalism for my hometown audience.

My surprise firing was a tacky act and unworthy of the distinguished role Pacifica has played in American media.  Sasha Lilley, the KPFA program director, reached me via telephone on my vacation in New York to inform me that my role was terminated. Lilley said, and I quote from notes I took during the phone call and from a follow-up email I received from her, "I really like what you do on the air. You are certainly a team player and I have really admired what you have brought to the airwaves."  Nonetheless, with no warning, I was given my verbal pink slip.  

During the brief phone call, Lilley cited correspondence she had received from listeners who, she said, did not like my act.  When I asked her why these letters were not brought to my attention prior to this termination call, she hemmed and hawed an apology and allowed as how that was probably a management mistake.  In a subsequent call I pointed out to her what any longtime
radio professional knows : were I to have known a cadre of listeners was organizing an attack on my tenure, I could easily have mustered an equal or greater response from my proactive audience of loyal Sunday morning listeners.  Instead, I serenely was cranking out excellent
programming, left unaware by Lilley and the rest of the KPFA management of my vulnerability.

Radio aficionados may be amused to know that only once did Sasha Lilley specifically chastise me for my performance.  It came after I found an old Viewmaster abandoned in the studio just before air time one day.  I clicked its shutter and was mesmerized by the familiar "ca-chunk" sound of my youth.  When the show started I offered the first person to identify "the mystery sound" a prize: the book written by my first guest that day, autographed by the author.  "I hate the
mystery sound," Lilley told me later, and I cancelled plans for it to be a running moment of frivolity on my otherwise serious show.

My firing came two days after I moderated a benefit for KPFA in Berkeley featuring Naomi Wolf and Daniel Ellsberg -- an event that raised thousands of dollars, and where the hundreds in the audience broke into hoots and hollers of applause when I introduced myself from the stage as the anchor of the KPFA Sunday show.

As an added bizarre twist, the firing came on the eve of a feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Ben Fong-Torres about me and my talk radio career.  In it Fong-Torres cites my seminal book "Inside Talk Radio: America's Voice or Just Hot Air?" and reports "Laufer
knows his stuff.  He's qualified to offer an update on the state of talk radio -- albeit from a decidedly left-of-center viewpoint."  He notes I founded talk stations in Berlin and Amsterdam, and that my talk radio career dates back to the first-ever talk station.  "Today," he writes, "he hosts 'Sunday' a live program on KPFA."  But Chronicle readers who tuned in after reading the paean to my talk radio expertise heard instead Sasha Lilley herself on the air, hosting my program, with the halting explanation, "We've parted ways with Peter Laufer."  Firing is in her management toolbox, but apparently missing from her lexicon.

What gives in Berkeley?  Is this the KPFA that I have known and loved? This bodes sour for the future of radio in America.  If you can't trust Pacifica to protect avant-garde yet highly professional radio, what can you believe in?  Has the spirit of George Bush's intolerant regime reached the trenches of Berkeley?

Sincerely and with regrets to report this news to you,

Peter Laufer

Contact: peterlaufer@peterlaufer.com



Peter Laufer is still on the air in Washington D.C. San Francisco and about a dozen other markets with a one-hour weekly talk show sponsored by Washington Monthly magazine. Laufer's co-host is Markos Kounalakis, President and Publisher of Washington Monthly, who, like Laufer, has an extensive history of world-wide news reporting. The program covers politics, government and culture and has become a dynamic forum for journalists, policy makers and others to discuss the issues of the day.

Washington Monthly on the Radio originates from the magazine's offices in San Francisco and is broadcast in San Francisco, Sundays at 10pm on KABL. The program can also be heard on XM'x POTUS '08 channel. Polipoint Press is publishing an anthology of interviews from the first year in early 2008 titled "Hope Is a Tattered Flag".

Laufer has also taken a page from Jane Oliver's book of rare and distinctive automobiles by acquiring a 1974 Austin FX 4 London taxi, which he brought back to California after a stint working with Kelvin MacKenzie at talkSPORT, a program heard throughout Great Britain. Laufer had his taxi restored in Sonoma County. "See it sparkle!" he brags. 



Moe Armstrong and his Vets-to-Vets group in Connecticut are featured in the second of a two-part article (Nov 11,12 07)by Los Angeles Times photographer, Luis Sinco, who took the picture of a soldier in Fallujah who became known as the "Marlboro marine." The marine came home from the war with  post-traumatic stress disorder. After a very tough time, he reconnected with the photographer, who gave him a lot of support, driving roundtrip from West Virginia to West Haven, Connecticut, to contact Moe's organization several times. Armstrong is quoted throughout the piece, which is both moving and infuriating. He tells Jive95, "Vet to Vet is in forty sites across America. I am starting to open up whole states now like Missouri and Tennessee. Each One, Reach One, Teach One  Gladly, Teach Gladly, Learn, those are our mottos. 203 937 3850  is where you can order the video if you are interested.  Ask for Patricia Crann."
Part One    Part Two

BEN FONG TORRES IS BACK ON THE AIR with a weekend 2-hour show on KFRC (itself just back on the air, playing 'classic  hits' at 106.9 FM). It's tighter than free-form; looser than Top 40 and KFRC's focus on 70's rock/R&B, and fun to do, Ben says. Airs 7-9 a.m. Sundays, repeats at 7-9 p.m., and streams online at www.kfrc.com.


DJ & musicologist Miles Mellough has written a tribute to KSAN on his most interesting website, BirdsWithBrokenWings.com





Edward Bear

The 40th Anniversary Celebration of of the "Summer of Love" was held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Sunday, September 2, 2007.

It was a truly fine gathering, starting with perfect weather and over 50,000 people spread out, sitting or dancing on the grass of Speedway Meadow to share the event. And speaking of grass, the sweet smell of weed wafted over this sea of people with no sign of police or park officials anywhere. No doubt they were around, in plain (or colorful) clothes, but the spirit running through everything and probably everyone was united by openness and tolerance and all that seemed to be on everyone's mind was fun -- good music and fun.  The sound system was fine, there was a giant screen TV so we could see who was on the main mic, and a good time was had by all. It was a very colorful, very comfortable gathering and I was happy to be a part of it. 


Every age range was there, from some newborns out for their first concert, to lots of young people checking out the scene, to middle-agers ready to visit what they only heard about or saw from a distance the first time around, and lots of tie-dyed older people who were clearly at the original summer we were celebrating.  

There was a definite echo of the sense that was at the free outdoor concerts in the park back then. Not as intense as then, but these are such different times, of course. Yet we did step out of these times for a day, back into a time of freedom, comfort and ease, so that those in the park on Sunday were transported for an afternoon beyond making judgments or entertaining any kind of conflict. The 40th Anniversary of the "Summer of Love" was a reminder of how good life can be in the absence of absolutes and absolutists.  I love the fact that we Jive 95ers were part of one of the sweeter moments of freedom in history and helped to give it life.  If the musicians were the chefs, we were the waiters serving up a magnificent and soulful feast.  


Most of the music throughout the day was very good. Paul "The Lobster" Wells served as MC, and the feeling coming from the stage was friendly and nostalgic without being overdone or sloppy. Among the artists, there was a reunion of a few members of Moby Grape that I was looking forward to hearing, along with Skip Spence's son. They tried awfully hard but couldn't deliver much, which was an impossible task, really.  Country Joe was there and still sounded like good old Country Joe, as were Barry Melton and The Fish doing their own separate set. 

What's left of The Doors, who still tour, sounded great. Canned Heat made their presence felt, a little too loud for me. Lester Chambers of the Chambers Brothers was there doing some of the CB hits. Quicksilver Messenger Service was represented, as were some Jefferson Starship members, Buddy Miles, New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Charlatans were there too.  A great female lead singer whose name I missed belted out a great song.  It could have been Lydia Pence with Cold Blood because she was so good.  I hope it was her, but I'm not sure.  

Scoop Nisker, the Buddhist KSAN newsman, spoke in between sets and said "It's never too late for another Summer of Love," and Dr. Gene Schoenfeld, (Dr. Hip Pocrates,) the columnist and KSAN commentator who specialized in advice about sex and drugs, said how good it felt to be a part of the day and that he was glad to see all of us.  It was the largest crowd I have ever been in, yet everything was free and easy. Remember that feeling?


Testosterone was on display backstage when a bunch of Hell's Angels rolled in. Security, perhaps, or something. But heavy security didn't seem very necessary as most people backstage also seemed happy to be there, whether it was in the long line waiting for free food, waiting to go onstage, or just shooting the breeze.  Backstage was a mix of cool and bullshit, just like always. But in fairness, there was a lot more cool and friendliness than anything else, like out front. 

I had some good red wine from a bottle with a "Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Celebration" label that I was happy to take as a souvenir once it was empty. There was a tent near the wine booth with a sign out front - "Video Production." I saw Paul Kantner standing nearby as well as Merl Saunders sitting and laughing with someone. With people going in and out of the tent, I assume somebody was doing interviews and will, hopefully, document that day and give us the benefit of many of the recollections of the stars from the original days. That should be a treat.


I don't know Boots Hughston, the man who produced the Summer of Love 40th Anniversary Celebration and footed the bill for it, but he did a fine job and gave more than 50,000 of us a trip back through the Looking Glass. Thanks, Boots - it was a grand time!  Regards, Edward Bear

Ben Fong Torres' exclusive video, Ken Wardell's photos, Joel Selvin's Chronicle review, 

a review by a Gen-Xer.


Ben Fong-Torres

Larry Bensky, longtime newscaster, reporter, commentator, activist and teacher, has retired after 38 years on the air, from KSAN in 1969 through KPFA, KBLX, California Public Radio, NPR and Pacifica Radio.

"I'm leaving," he said via e-mail, "because I've done KPFA, Pacifica and radio long enough, and because I just turned 70, and want to do as yet uncertain other things while I still have, hopefully, years and health."

His final "Sunday Salon," which aired April 29, drew visits from Scoop Nisker, Dave McQueen, Mal Sharpe, Peter Laufer, Jan Sluizer, and KPFA vets Bonnie Simmons, Denny Smithson, Kris Welch, Susan Stone, Bari Scott, Aileen Alfandary and Nicole Sawaya, whose dismissal as station manager caused an uproar, and who is now at KALW-FM.

More friends and fans joined him at "A Tribute to Larry Bensky" on June 3 at King Middle School, 1781 Rose St. in Berkeley. Bensky talked about his career with Pacifica historian Matthew Lasar. 

I asked Bensky, who was Pacifica Radio's national affairs correspondent from 1987 to 1998, for a few career highlights, and he replied: "Covering Jonestown's strange rise and ghastly finale from San Francisco (I narrowly missed being on the plane with Congressman Leo Ryan and the journalists); covering the election and murder of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, and the subsequent community sorrow and outrage, all for KSAN; the Iran-Contra hearings for Pacifica; and, perhaps the lowest but most deeply affective broadcast, the all-night saga of the execution of Robert Alton Harris from outside San Quentin, for KPFA, in 1992."

Bensky, who won a George Polk Award for his work on the Iran-Contra story, will continue to contribute on occasion to KPFA and Pacifica. If he's got second thoughts about bowing out, he says, it'd be because "I wish we were further along the impeachment track with the worst president I've ever endured in my lifetime, and that I were a part of broadcasting events leading to his well-deserved dismissal and disgrace."

Despite the challenges terrestrial radio is facing, Bensky believes it'll always be around. "In the end, it will always remain true that people want to, and need to, have information so that a movement to right the wrongs of our society and our planet can continue to try to grow," he says. "And people will always want to hear voices and stories of each other. I'm proud of the few drops I've been able to contribute to those indispensable streams over the years."

KPFA Hires Veteran Journalist Peter Laufer as Sunday Host

Berkeley, June 1st - KPFA Radio 94.1 FM has hired award-winning journalist, broadcaster and documentary filmmaker Peter Laufer. Laufer will host the popular Sunday morning program, formerly called Sunday Salon, following Larry Bensky's retirement. Laufer, who got his start in KPFA's news room, has won many of the most prestigious awards in broadcast journalism including a George Polk Award and Peabody Award.

Laufer worked at the legendary freeform rock station KSAN and was a member of the award-winning KSAN news team that reported on the shootout at San Quentin Prison that occurred during the attempt at breaking free George Jackson. While a correspondent for NBC News, he also reported, wrote, and produced several documentaries and special event broadcasts for the network that dealt in detail with crucial social issues, including the first nationwide live radio discussion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. "Healing the Wounds" was an analysis of ongoing problems afflicting Vietnam War veterans. "Hunger in America" documented malnutrition in our contemporary society. "A Loss for Words" exposed the magnitude and impact of illiteracy in America. "Cocaine Hunger" was the first network broadcast to literally trace the drug from the jungles of Bolivia to the streets of America, and alerted the nation to the avalanching crises caused by the consumption of crack cocaine."Nightmare Abroad" was a pioneering study of Americans incarcerated overseas.

Laufer has written on issues ranging from the imprisonment of Lori Berenson in Peru to the rightwing Minutemen militia on the US-Mexico border for AlterNet, Mother Jones (where he set up Mother Jones Radio), and other alternative publications. Laufer’s books include "The Question of Consent: Innocence and Complicity in the Glen Ridge Rape Case" about the rape of a developmentally disabled schoolgirl by a gang of her classmates and the effect of the case of the health of the local community, "Inside Talk Radio: America's Voice Or Just Hot Air" about the rise of conservative radio, and most recently "Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq", published by Chelsea Green. Other books have focused on US-Mexico immigration, migration in Western Europe, and the US invasion of Iraq.

"Over the last several years my friend and colleague Larry Bensky performed radio magic Sunday mornings"," says Laufer. "He combined an array of intriguing guests and audience participation with his own curiosity and thorough knowledge of current affairs to create a radio show that entertained while it informed. It is a privilege to seize the KPFA microphone now that Larry's decided to retire from the show."

"Peter brings a stellar background in journalism, strong progressive politics, and intellectual substance to the program," says interim general manager Lemlem Rijio. "We are very pleased that he will continue the tradition of thoughtful, in-depth programming on Sunday mornings".

Laufer's program can be heard from 9-11am on KPFA 94.1 FM or KPFB 89.3FM in the Bay Area and KFCF 881.FM in California's Central Valley, or online at kpfa.org. (see update top)

BBC, pirate radio and KSAN vet, Johnnie Walker has published his autobiography. From pirate radio to Buckingham Palace and an MBE, Johnnie tells the amazing story of how he came to be one of the best known and most loved broadcasters in Britain with a voice recognized by millions. Obsessed with music, the young Johnnie longed to move the crowd with the kind of beats he found irresistible. Deejaying in local dance halls and pubs around his childhood home in Solihull gave him a taste for playing his beloved music, and his success showed he had real talent. A great future beckoned. With luck and not a little front, he swung himself a slot on the newly launched pirate radio station Radio England, and Johnnie Walker's incredible career began. Now his book tells the full and extraordinary story. Buy it here.  Johnnie was interviewed recently by Johnnie Black for Music Week magazine, a prominent European weekly. He talked about his time in the U.S. and at KSAN in the interview.


Raechel Donahue
was recently honored by the Museum of Television & Radio with a "She Made It" award. This is the second year of the annual awards to outstanding women in media. Rae was part of a distinguished group  receiving honors this year including; Rosanne Barr, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Carole Burnett, Arlene Francis, Jane Pauley, Lily Tomlin, Judy Woodruff and Betty White. More information and photos here. (that's Rae in the back row between Lily Tomlin and Tracy Ullman.




Jane Oliver, the Jive95's traffic czarina for many years, was always fond of '50s cars, so when she received an inheritance from her late father, she went out looking for one. In Tokerville, Utah, she found a car small enough to fit in her garage. It was a rare 1938 Willys four-door sedan and Jane snapped it up. She then researched car-restorers until she found a Willys specialist named Vinnie in New York. She shipped the car to Vinnie and a year later got it back with some custom changes, including a 350 engine and an Ooga ooga horn. Jane hired a local upholsterer named Coker to trick out the interior with leather and finally got it finished just as the inheritance ran out. Jane named her car "Nemo," not after our buddy at KSAN, but after the infamous captain. "This car glides," says Jane. "It's just a rocket!" She takes it out for Sunday morning cruises when the locals are at church and traffic is light. More pictures of Nemo here.





A recent article by Mark Brown in the Rocky Mountain News, reports on the campaign song that Rickie Lee Jones recorded for last November's election. Along with members of Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jones recorded a song of complaints about Republicans. Customized versions of the song were created for any campaign that requested them. Numerous Republican politicians were targeted by the jingles by name.


The idea was conceived by Howie Klein, former "Outcastes" host on KSAN, who now has a political blog called Down With Tyranny. "Since he left Reprise (Records) he is an activist, trying really hard to bring down the Bush regime," Jones said, "I'm really proud to have been a part of it."


"Bones" Joan Goldsmith
has given up on finding the end of the rainbow in New Mexico and split from Santa Fe back to the Golden State.


Roland P. Young, former DJ and newsman at KSAN and later a multi-instrumentalist composer and performer, has released his latest album, Isophonic Nation, which features music for Native American flutes, Kalimba, voice and electronic accoutrements. 


Roland has, since the days of his groundbreaking ensemble, Infinite Sound (1750 Arch Records), played bamboo flutes, including the Shakuhachi, although until now he has not incorporated them into his recorded compositions. His favorite bass bamboo flute was made for him by the late great Raphael Garrett who played and recorded with John Coltrane and who taught Roland some of the most advanced breathing and improvising techniques that he still employs. Roland always traveled with his bass flute and played it as a breathing, posture aligning and centering instrument while on the road.


A few years ago Roland traveled to New Mexico and met Sky Redhawk who introduced him to the Native American flute, verifying one of Roland’s views of life that “when the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Roland was captivated by this instrument and acquired several Native American flutes while touring New Mexico. The Native American flute, along with the Japanese Shakuhachi and the East Indian Bansuri, is the premier and most antiquitous of wooden flutes. Roland plays red and white cedar, birch, and walnut Native American flutes.


Upon his return from his inspiring trip to New Mexico Roland devoted day and night to the theory, study and practice of this infinitely complex and simple instrument.  He noticed that many of the concepts that he has employed on the clarinet, bass clarinet and soprano saxophone translated into a new level of breath and posture on the Native American flute. He started composing and recording and the results are 11 richly unified compositions that reflect his Isophonic concept.   



Jive 95 astrologist for several years, Darrell Martinie succumbed to cancer after a long battle on July 26, 2006. He was 63. Darrell was known to listeners as the “Cosmic Muffin” who spiced the airwaves with his predictions for more than 30 years. He was named by the governor as the Bay State’s official astrologer. Read his obituary in the Boston Herald here. A much longer profile was printed in Darrell's hometown newspaper, the Saugus Advertiser. 




Ben Fong Torres'
latest book is out. "Becoming Almost Famous" is Ben's second compilation of articles he's written for Rolling Stone, GQ, and other publications. Like his first compilation, "Not Fade Away," Ben includes more celebrity profiles and personal pieces on growing up Asian American; his love for radio; singing on stage with music legends; producing a recording with a real singer…and more.
A second book, "The Doors By The Doors," a "big, splashy volume" according to Ben, will be released in November on the 40th anniversary of the band's creation. The book includes material from an interview with Jim Morrison, just before he left in the Spring of 1971 for Paris, where he died at age 27. There are also recollections from several of Morrison's family, the three surviving Doors and "tons of photographs."


Norman Davis, who has been producing and hosting the blues show Midnight Flyer for 14 years on various stations in eight states, has added KKIT-FM in Taos, New Mexico. Davis' mythical blues train arrives in Taos every Thursday night at 8 p.m. A second Davis-produced blues show, "Low Flame Blues," follows from 10-12 m. Midnight Flyer is also heard from 8-12n Saturdays on KEGR-FM, Concord, CA, (stream here) and Saturday at midnight Eastern, repeated Monday night at 10 Eastern on www.fatmusicradio.com. 



Stephen Capen's life was celebrated by his family and friends April 30, 2006 at Cafe Trieste in San Francisco. The celebrants included Stephen's children; Amy, Charlie, Ian, James, Maggie, Stephen and other members of his family. KSANers attending included; Jim Draper, Ben Fong-Torres, Fred & Joanne Green, Bobby Cole, Denise Dunne and Alan Beim. (photos here)

Alan reports: "It was a wonderful, healing, fun, good time and painful for me. It was a great tribute to Stephen to hear, see and feel the love his wonderful kids had for him as they spoke of him. His daughter presented a wonderful film she made of his life starting with baby photos to a recent film of him speaking. It was soulful to get to know more about him after he left us. Several others, including friends and some old listeners from KSAN were there. I felt like he was right outside the window, burning a fat one and enjoying the view and what people had to say.   

As I thought about Stephen, I thought of something I saw on TV when I was 16 that left a lasting impression on me. Some big Hells Angel was being buried in my hometown in Sacramento; he was like the vice president or something.   Thousands of Hells Angels came into town and a TV interviewer was asking what the deceased was like to one of the Hells Angels. 'He was really righteous,' responded the biker!  'Righteous?' questioned the reporter in disbelieving tones. 'What do you mean by that?'   The Hells Angel responded, 'Well he was Righteous because whenever there was a party, he was the first to get there and the last to go home!' Steven was a righteous man who was very loved and one of the reasons was that he was a man who really loved people! "

"Mama, don't let your children grow up to be deejays. Unless you want them to wake up one day realizing that what they do for a living is sit in a padded room speaking into a lead pipe."

— Stephen Capen


Intrepid world-traveler, reporter, author and bon vivant, Peter Laufer, has written another book. (How many is that now?) "Mission Rejected" is the story of disillusioned, outraged, and betrayed American soldiers, who are taking a stand against the war in Iraq. Increasing numbers of U.S. soldiers are returning from Iraq horrified by what they witnessed and what they did. Laufer tells how these soldiers are transformed from trained warriors to activists in the struggle to end the War. He puts their experiences into context by drawing on the lessons of the Vietnam War and citing the historical precedents for troops who refuse unconscionable orders. "Mission Rejected" was released by publisher Chelsea Green on April 28, 2006. 

Peter also hosts a weekly program on the National Geographic channel. "World Talk" is a one-hour show that takes advantage of the hundreds of explorers and scientists fielded by the National Geographic Society. In a dynamic twist on typical radio talk shows, Laufer calls out to experts all over the world.

You can find more information on Laufer's other recent books, "Exodus To Berlin" and "Wetback Nation" here.


Kathy McAnally, an award-winning radio journalist who worked at KSAN in the late '70s and pioneered coverage by women of professional sports, died of cancer in San Francisco on March 24 at the age of 55. 
Known for her gifted storytelling abilities, skill at mentoring and infectious sense of humor, Ms. McAnally was one of the first female reporters to be allowed into the locker room of professional sports teams in her reporting for KQED, National Public Radio and many other outlets.
She was in the press box at Candlestick Park awaiting Game 3 of the 1989 World Series when the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. She also made major contributions in her reporting on health and science issues. She produced several segments in "The DNA Files," an NPR series that won a George Foster Peabody Award and other honers. Her obituary here.


Joan "Bones" Goldsmith has returned from a fabulous journey to Peru, where she visited Machu Picchu, among other scenic delights. Story here.



Our own commentator/curmudgeon, Travus T. Hipp was featured in the March 2006 issue of "The Monthly -- the East Bay's premier magazine of culture and commerce".  Paul Kilduff interviewed our man, who seemed to be as full of piss and vinegar as ever. Story here.



In early June of 2003, Johnnie Walker announced to his BBC 2 listeners he had been diagnosed with cancer. He retired from the airwaves for several months, but following treatment and a good recovery, he was happily well enough to return to the Radio 2  drive time slot on March 1, 2004.


In February 2006 he received the MBE award from the Prince of Wales for services to broadcasting. In March, he announced that he was leaving the popular daily show to present high profile rock interviews, and host a Sunday show. During his seven years as drive time host, Johnnie added more than two million listeners to his audience, making him the most popular drive time host in the UK.


Chet Helms brought music to San Francisco and the world, starting in the '60s. Much of the hippie/psychedelic scene happened at Chet's Avalon ball room and later at the Family Dog. Dozens of the musicians, who were part of that musical history gathered in Golden Gate park on Sunday, September 30, 2005 to celebrate Chet's life and revisit the "good old days". 

Some 20,000 celebrants converged at the Family Dog's final Tribal Stomp to honor Chet  and listen to the music.  Blue Cheer and the Charlatans reunited, sharing the stage with Country Joe McDonald, It's A Beautiful Day, Paul Kantner, Country Joe, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Quicksilver Gold, Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, Eric Burdon, Harvey Mandel, Canned Heat, Roy Rogers, Cold Blood and many others.

Quite a few Jivers enjoyed the show and running into old acquaintances.
Bob Simmons flew in from Texas and reports seeing Beverly Wilshire in attendance and Christie Joy Marcus. Christie looked sharp in her "Boy Howdy" tee-shirt.  Carol Dugger, formerly of Dugger and Stuntt, was warmly present. Funky Jack came to town and said "Hi."  Our own Kathi Kamen was on stage for a couple of numbers. Paul "Lobster" Wells introduced some of the acts. Joel Selvin came and blessed the event as he covered it for the Chron. He had a couple of good Dominican cigars (Robustos they looked like) in his pocket. Dr. Hip said it was a great reunion of geezers.



Stephen Capen, who spent nearly a decade as a popular Bay Area radio personality, including the last year of KSAN, has succumbed to lung cancer. He was 59. 
Capen passed away Monday night, September 12, just before midnight.  His longtime partner  Susan, daughters Ami and Melissa, and sons, Charlie, James and Deb were with him at the end. Capen had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer in Massachusetts for nearly two years.

Capen came to the Bay Area in 1980 during the final year of KSAN's 12-year run as a free-form and progressive rock station. When it switched to country music, Capen moved to KSFX and KMEL, where he worked for most of the rest of the decade.

He also worked in Maine, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, Canada, New York, Illinois and Florida during his career.

Capen's legendary sense of humor was with him to the end. In a recent email discussing his impending demise he said, "Some of the finest hacks in the world are actually up in the scribbling room here and in our offices across the land preparing an obit for places like the San Francisco Chronicle. I don't know what the big deal is about but it could be a kick. "Oh yes, he was odd chap wasn't he -- hey hang on, that's ME they're talking about!"

Capen's last major radio gig was at WXRK FM in New York City in 1988-89. A memorial gathering in San Francisco is being planned.  Bay Area Radio Museum's tribute to Capen here. S.F. Chronicle story, WDRC tribute here.


Raechel Donahue got back from a filming expedition to the Amazon Jungle, to find her latest radio exploration, "Moonlight Groove Highway" had reached the end of the road. Donahue and Dusty Street moved to Cleveland a year ago to run the Rock & Roll Museum's new radio network. Ben Fong Torres, Paul "Lobster" Wells and Norman Davis were also involved in the project, which began broadcasting on February 12, 2005. The all-nighters fed a small network of stations with an  eclectic mix of classic rock and then some. CEO Rick Szekelyi shut down the six-month-old operation while Donahue was away. (Can't say we blame him--how would you like to fire Rae to her face?) Ben Fong Torres wrote a column in the Chronicle about his MGH show shortly before the bitter end.


Roland Young has signed with EM Records of Japan, who are reissuing his 1980 pioneering electronica album, "Isophonic Boogie Woogie". The album is available at emrecords.net. And Is Productions has just released Roland's latest CD project, "Twelve Elements," which he calls, "definitive Roland." "Twelve Elements" and an earlier album, "Regeneration" are available at cdbaby.com


One of the Jive 95's favorite record promoters, Lou Galliani, died on May 8 in San Luis Obispo after a three-year battle against cancer. Galliani was the oldest of the three famous Galliani brothers, (Rick and Bobby) who were all active in record promotion for many years. Lou was known for his creative promotion ideas and once put together for KSAN listeners a trip to Hawaii to see Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones. Lou had many friends and we will miss him. 
"He was definitely one of the good guys." - Ron Middag        obituary         R&R obit       more pictures


The former co-host of The Outcastes has been named to the Board of Directors of JamBase, one of the leading providers of tour date and concert information on the Web. Since resigning as President of Reprise Records in 2001, Klein has kept busy with public speaking, and progressive political causes. JamBase is headquartered in San Francisco.

Joel Selvin has revived "Selvin On The City," a weekly show he originally produced for KKCY in the eighties. The new SOTC is heard at 9 p.m. on Sunday nights on 107.7--"The Bone" (the current owner of the KSAN call letters). Selvin will revive not only the call letters, "but the wacky unpredictability of the country’s original underground radio station" as it says in the press release. Selvin says, "I have to confess to this shameless, crass exploitation of the vaunted KSAN legacy. Please forgive me. I'm having too much fun to stop now." More here.


KEN WARDELL resigned recently after eight years as Dir. of Marketing for KTVU, to accept a position as Marketing and Promotions Director for KCBS. He says he's glad to be back in radio.



Seven Wonders, a web development company in Pennsylvania, selected jive95.com as their website of the day for December 23, 2004.

NAMI National Board Member Moe Armstrong 
Honored with National Award

Arlington, VA - NAMI (the National Association for the Mentally Ill) presented National Board Members, Moe Armstrong of Connecticut and Mindy Greiling of Minnesota, Eli Lilly and Company's "2004 Helping Move Lives Forward Reintegration Award," on November 11, in Indianapolis.

The awards honor individual achievements providing hope, help and support for people living with severe mental illnesses, as well as raising awareness of
mental illness at the local and national level. This is the eighth year the
awards have been given.

"We are extremely proud of Moe Armstrong and Mindy Greiling," said NAMI
national executive director, Michael Fitzpatrick. "They have worked
tirelessly and show the true spirit and essence of NAMI. It is great to see
their work and efforts being recognized at such a high level."

Armstrong, a decorated Vietnam veteran, an advocate, and a mental health
systems consultant who has spent 20 years mentoring individuals with
disabilities, received the Mentorship Award, recognizing his work as a person living with schizophrenia in providing peer-to-peer education and support.


Traveling journalist Peter Laufer hosted a series of pre-election programs titled, FAQS LIVE on Link TV.  It  was a great effort in spite of the result.


Norm Winer was honored at the Triple A Industry Achievement Awards in Boulder, Colorado on August 7, 2004. Norm picked up three awards for his station, WXRT, Chicago, including Station of the Year and Program Director of the Year. Winer also celebrated 25 years as P.D. of WXRT, where he gravitated after leaving KSAN in 1979. Radio & Records ran a four-page feature on him last fall.




Ben Fong Torres long running column on San Francisco radio returned to the S.F. Chronicle in July, '04. RADIO WAVES, a highlight of the pink section for many years, will be published every other week. 

Ben also wrote profiles of country superstar Tim McGraw and comedian Ellen DeGeneres for the August and September '04 issues of Parade magazine. And a film production company in New York has optioned Ben's memoirs, The Rice Room. Ben says, "It only took 12 years after the book's release, and it's a film option, which usually leads to nothing, but, as with anything having to do with showbiz, you never know." 



In a Las Vegas Review-Journal 'Best of Vegas 2004' poll, Dusty Street won "Best Radio Personality". Here's what they had to say about our girl before she left town:

"Dusty Street is a real radio pioneer whose resume includes stints at San Francisco's KMPX (later KSAN) and Los Angeles' KROQ, both of which occupy a beloved place in the alternative rock radio firmament. These days, Street shines every Sunday from 7 p.m. to midnight on KSTJ-FM, STAR 102.7, where you'll enjoy hearing her seriously cool self as she plays Siouxsie & the Banshees, Bauhaus and other examples of ’80s rock that you won't hear much anywhere else."


Paul "Lobster" Wells was featured in the May 21 edition of Radio & RecordsHis  syndicated and internet radio show, “Lobster’s Rock Box,” is now heard in Pittsburgh, PA, Charleston, SC, San Luis Obispo, CA, Yuma, AZ and Helena, MT in addition to KFOX in the Bay Area. Coming soon to Portland, Toledo, Nashville and Santa Barbara. Lobster's Halloween Special is on the web Sunday October 31, 9 – 10 PM PDT @  http://www.kfox.com  

writes on the history of Bay Area Rock Radio. This excellent essay on Bay Area radio before and after KMPX/KSAN is now posted in the Archives.


For a long time we have been searching for tapes of one of the most creative and original programs ever produced by KSAN, The Watergate Follies. For almost a year, in 1973 & 1974, this hour-long weekly special, produced by the Gnus Dept., covered the Watergate story with humor, satire, fantasy,  interviews, commentary and music. We were having no luck finding a copy until recently, when a tape of Watergate Follies #7 showed up (thanks to Billie Sharpe and the Thom O'Hair collection). This show, now posted on the Specials page,  focuses mostly on John Dean's riveting testimony to the Senate committee investigating the Watergate crimes. We are diligently seeking other programs in this series and have a clue to where there might be some.


Johnnie Walker responded successfully to treatment of non-Hodgkins lymphoma and  returned to host his top-rated evening drive show on BBC Radio 2 on March 1st, following a nine-month medical leave of absence. On May 12, Johnnie was honored at the annual Sony Radio Academy Awards. Sir Elton John presented him with the Gold Award for his long, successful broadcasting career.



"Oh my god -- It's at the top of the list!  I AM SOMEBODY!"

That's what I hollered at the top of my lungs as the "Odds & Ends" page of jive95.com came into view on my kerosene-powered computer screen.  My outburst surprised no one but me as I sat alone in the deteriorating old house I infest here in Cow Town, a suburb of Yet Another Dead New England Factory Town.

Quickly I clicked the link to the audio and, for the first time in many years, listened to the complete version of what was the first song parody I ever produced.  A shortened version of this opus was tacked onto the end of my audition tapes for many years afterward, no doubt costing me many prospective jobs with "respectable" stations.

Before Jerry Graham and Glenn Lambert joined KSAN, they worked at another free-form station, WGRG AM & FM in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  Briefly, I worked with them as a DJ and production drone before going on to Vermont and a thousand other points of light and darkness on the map.  (In Fort Pierce, Florida, I was a GOD, I tell you; worshipped and adored by literally dozens.  But that's another story.)

About the time KSAN had its 10th birthday, I was doing summer relief for WPTR in Albany, New York.  I had no money, slept in my car a lot, and even pitched at tent in the transmitter field a few times.  (On the bright side, massive exposure to radiation from their 50,000 watts of AM power now allows me to see in the dark.)  Forced by circumstances to lower myself to the mind-numbing, soul-crushing Top 40 of that era, longing for my earlier experiences in free-form radio, and having distressingly large amounts of time on my hands,  I went into the 'PTR production studio one night, slapped together the Warren Zevon parody, and shipped it off to Bonnie Simmons in San Francisco.

Then, the damnedest thing happened.  They played it on the air!

About a year later I was in San Francisco for the first and only time on a job interview (not for KSAN; I can't even remember who it was for).  With time to kill, I looked up my former colleague Glenn Lambert and had a short visit in the studio.  The "Werewolves" cart was still in a rack on the wall, but like many others it had a big "X" in yellow grease pencil on the front.  Glenn explained there had been a lot of changes at the station in the previous months and he was clearly not a happy camper.  Many of the folks mentioned in the song had long since gotten the boot from the Metromedia suits.  He did say, however, that the song had originally gotten quite a lot of airplay and that people had even requested it.  I would never have thought of it as "infamous," though, until I saw it described that way on your excellent website.

Remarkably, it's 26 years later and the damn thing is still around.  I stumbled onto the website and my miniscule role in KSAN history tonight the way one finds just about anything on the Internet -- by accident, Google or no Google.  I feel like I'm 19 and just won Dead tickets!

--- Jim Schuyler
    Lunenburg, MA


Howard Kerr, also known as Karl Truckload in his days with the Congress of Wonders, has been located still living in the Bay Area but out of contact with other Jivers since the 70's. Howard gave up show biz after 15 years and became a gardener, taking care of "a big crumbling condo where the fetid lagoons meet highway 92." Then he gardened for Mt. Tam High School and Skywalker Ranch. "They liked my resume because of the show business parts," he says. "They knew I wouldn't sit around watching for movie stars. Well, I did occasionally, but I was discreet."

About this time, Howard's wife, Katherine sold a series of fantasy books about a country called Deverry. Howard's accountant told him he might as well quit working, as his income would just go for taxes. "Oh the pain!", he exclaims, "But I made myself do it." He became a house-husband and started writing the plays that had been languishing in his notebooks for years. Then he went back to school to study art. "I have been painting pictures since I was a child," he muses, "I like to do representative paintings in a brushy late Victorian style. Of course since the Dot-com revolution my work has become totally passé, but I'm having a good time.  I sell a couple of paintings a year and get a few portrait commissions as well."

BOB SIMMONS has returned from Central America to live in Austin, Texas where he works on media and other projects for his own company and is raising his teenage daughter . Bob maintains the Jive95@yahoogroups.com mail list and is happy to respond to any issues you might have re: the list. He can be reached at: telebob(no*spam)@sbcglobal.net  Bob has also been researching developing small Wi-Fi setups for rural communities, that allow people to acquire broadband service at much lower cost than hardwire setups. 


Joe Lerer recently returned from a trip to S. E. Asia and says he is glad he protested that war in the 60's. His son, Ben, is in Cambodia for a six-month stint between high school and college to learn the music, the language and help set up a recording studio to help teach the old music and create a fusion sound with his group of friends who play jazz. 

Joe says, "We had incredible experiences with many of the local musicians playing the traditional music. Many of them still live in squatter's camps in Phnom Penh. Saw the legacy of Pol Pot which is just unthinkable. The result of post Viet Nam ping-pong diplomacy between Russia, China, the US and Viet Nam created the vacuum for his growth. Finally the Vietnamese took him out, but a legacy of horror is beyond the capacity of your bank of emotions to hold.

Ben took me to a Cambodian 60's party and the music totally rocked. They had their Sinatra and they even had a surf sound that was amazing. They had real rock and roll just like we did.

Still the limbless and blind land mine victims play music on the street; traditional music that illustrates the compassion and abilities of those maimed to create beauty and hope for us all.

Budd Stuntt would have had a ball doing traffic reports. They have no real rules. They move like schools of fishes. Thousands of fish crossing though each other without any ego at all. Works rather well. When you cross the big boulevards on foot, you simply step out and repeat the mantra, 'Be the fish, be the fish,' and you successfully find yourself on the other side. Works just swimmingly.

That's it for now. Good to be back in the USA."  - Joe

Norman Davis returned to Marin County in January, 2004 to visit friends and relatives.  During his stay, a group of Jivers got together for some reminiscing and brews at the Silver Peso  in Larkspur. (more pix here) Later in the Evening, several of the group joined Norman at Cafe Amsterdam in Fairfax, to hear the debut of his daughter Susie's new band, Scrap Pile. 


Standing L-R: Richard Gossett, Denise Dunne, Vicky Cunningham, Paul Wells
Seated L-R: Norman Davis, Susie Davis, Hank London, Gene Schoenfeld
Photo courtesy Billie Sharpe

recently visited Australia where he had a fabulous time. 
"Everywhere I went the folks I'd meet would want to talk politics and George Bush and Ahnold," he notes. "They are supportive of their troops in Iraq, who get three months leave to our boys' two weeks! Most of the younger folks I met are listening to lots of hip hop and electronica, the adults listen to the 80's-90's-and-now crap, lots of stations playing exactly the same tunes in the same order, no matter what format...very small play lists. 

Cruised the east coast of their continent by train and bus and loved the contrasts of rainforest and urban life. Saw lots of long horn cattle, emus, 'roos and other critters in the wild (and a few in the protected reserves too). Went horseback riding on the beach, and met lots of drunks after the Aussies lost to the Brits in World Cup Rugby, which they take VERY seriously!! More than our football fans, I think! 

You can walk down the street and smile at a pretty woman, who will smile back and say hello, not ignore you, or look away in fear. It was so not politically correct that I must retrain myself before returning to work in a couple of weeks. I visited places that were soooooo mellow, they make Hawaii look hyper!

Didn't smell a whiff of herb the whole time, though I hear lots of folks grow their own. Quite the contrast to the folks toking up out in front of City College downtown next to my office!!"

TIM GUBBINS (Thom O’Hair’s son) is a railbird like his dad and has hired on as an Amtrak Conductor. He and his wife Ardis and their two kids Travis and Natalie recently moved into a larger house in Roseville with a three-car garage that Tim has turned into a shop and a space for his 400-square-foot model railroad.

our itinerant, globe-trotting author and reporter, checks in from Germany, en route to Egypt. He is developing radio programming for the National Geographic society and is currently on the air in several markets with a one-minute feature. He expects to launch a long form talk show soon.  Before his current project, Peter taught journalism to Egyptian students at Western Kentucky University, traveled to Greece to research an article on security at the 2004 Olympics for Penthouse magazine, and consulted a talk radio station in London. (www.talksport.net)

Raechel Donahue was featured in an August '03 article in The Denver Post. The writer describes her station "The Mountain" as "an echo of a bygone era of rock radio, when the music reflected the musical taste and knowledge of the DJs; when instead of screaming at listeners or telling stupid raunchy jokes for a few yuks, the jocks spoke to audiences about the music like they were sharing their record collection with their best friend."  

"I haven't been able to do this kind of radio in a really long time," Raechel says. "I even got to play six songs about philosophers – you're encouraged to think here, and take the music as far as your brain will take you."

Most radio doesn't take listeners far at all, she says. "People are so used to hearing the same songs in an ever-shrinking circle. When stations test-market today, they ask 'Do you know this song?' and if you say 'yeah,' then they'll play it. So no wonder all you hear is the same stuff over and over."

Aside from the conservative playlists and computer technology, the main difference between then and now, she says, is that "When we first started playing freeform rock, there was a limited selection of music – we were playing the latest albums as they came out. There was no such thing as 'classic rock,' no oldies." 

BUZZY DONAHUE is living on a 30 ft. sailboat and loving it. “I may never go back to land,” she enthuses. “Soon I will take sailing classes. My family  is well.  Rae is in Denver working at a radio station, Tommy is in a mental hospital indefinitely, my sister Dede is a wife, mother of two young girls and has a 'cottage business' and my brother Jesse and his girlfriend just had a baby boy Vaughn, which means the mad Donahue gene lives. What I like doing best these days is swimming."   

whose m
otto is: "Go to town as infrequently as possible"... or the more bumper sticker-esque, "Screw Town," is enjoying life in New Mexico in the East Mountains, the ridge of the Sandias, Manzanitos, and Manzanos that runs along the east side of the Rio Grande Valley. “Our place is at 7300 ft.” he notes. “Ponderosa and mixed conifer woods. We're only 16 miles from town, but except for the occasional jet, it feels and looks much more rural. I get into Albuquerque about once a week. We are just at the tail end of the rebuilding chaos.”  Recommended book: “Zen and the Art of Remodeling.”


has written liner notes (see Archives) for the DVD release of the Grateful Dead's 1978 New Year's Eve show, which was also the closing night of Winterland, and which KSAN simulcast with KQED-TV, with Norm Winer and Glenn hosting. One of the DVD bonus tracks is Glenn & Norm, 25 years younger, interviewing members of the Dead at two in the morning on that very nutty night. The man responsible for this is our old buddy, Nemo. (see below)  

JEFF NEMOROVSKI recently sold the DVD rights to the historic 1978 New Year’s Eve Grateful Dead show. "The Last Night of Winterland" was the one and only NEMOVISION production. He produced it a couple of weeks after his last project at KSAN, which was the KSAN/KQED ANNIVERSARY ROCK SPECIAL, the first music video "block" on TV (and five years before MTV started). (more)

LORI COBB is in Denver after spending some time in the New Mexico mountains consulting with Fran Cody (who formed KTWV in L.A., known as the "Father of Smooth Jazz") "We just launched a 'Chill' format," she reports.  "It's soon to stream on the net.  The calls are KLBU BLU, 102.9."  Lori is also hanging onto her gig at Jones Radio Network. 

is busy going to school two days a week for the license she needs to become an official drug-abuse counselor. She has been doing intern work with teens and also hosting her "KROQ revisited" show Sunday nights on Star 102.7 in Las Vegas. Dusty hopes to syndicate her  popular L.A. 80’s show, as she hears from many people who want to listen from all over the country and her station wont pay to stream it on the internet. Dusty had more back surgery and it was successful, but now she needs some work on her knees. “My body is paying me back for years of abuse,” she admits. “Next August I'll be eligible for Medicare and then I'll get the knee surgery. By the time I'm sixty, I'll be the Bionic Woman, then look out.”

DAVE MCQUEEN is news casting four nights a week at KCBS, usually on weekends. He still does an occasional carpenter job but is phasing that out except for special projects like building stairs or specialized concrete forms.

ROLAND JACOPETTI, “older and not especially wiser, bummed by virtually all the news, disgusted by what passes for radio in this benighted age, but with inextinguishable pollyanna-ish optimism” is still volunteering for KRCB, doing his eclectic, thematic music extravaganza on Tuesdays 8-10 PM (He says he’s the “Bonnie Simmons of Sonoma County”). Roland also produces a daily interview show, “Five-minute interviews, and I record them all in about an hour on Wednesday afternoons. Hey, man - it's an art form," he brags.  
"Fortunately, living in a beautiful place, which is luckily insulated against the clatter and crowding of ever-burgeoning Sonoma County. Kids are all married - actual legal marriages - is that a trip? Two granddaughters, loving wife, nice dog - just waiting until they cancel my Social Security pension and toss me out of Medicare so I can become a total curmudgeon, dependant on the kindness of others. Could be worse.”

JOYCE SHANK  is “happier than a clam,” living in Marin where she has sold two houses in her new career as a real estate agent. “My motto is ‘If you don’t like realtors, try Joyce,’” she says. Joyce loves being back in the Bay Area after decades of globe-trotting. She reports running into Bobby Cole at an Open house. “He is married to Nancy, a woman he has known for years,” she reveals, “he looks great...like he was a big executive producer from LA...all in black, slicked back hair...aging very well.” Joyce has written a movie script and a director is shopping it in Spain.  

LAURIE McCLAY sold her home on Russian Hill and moved to Petaluma last June, where she says she is "really, really happy up here. The weather is so much more interesting than cold San Francisco. I am close to family and feel much more connected. I have two Bengal kitties named Jimmy Choo and Mui Mui. They are very exotic cats bred down from the Asian spotted leopard. I was in New York for business last month and was able to have dinner with Jay Mark (aka Snyder), Bob's best friend. I hadn't seen him before Bob passed so it was really great. Another friend from the New Jersey radio station, Joelle, was also there. She was living in Denmark when Bob went to Europe to see the Stones and interview Mick Jagger. We had a two to three hour love fest with fun memories of Bob." 

did a sit-down with Paul Wells for the Lobster's Rock Box show recently, and Paul offered to help convert the Jive Radio series from KUSF from cassettes to CDs. “Don't know how long it'll take to produce all those 2-hour stints,” Ben opines, “but if you're interested in getting copies of particular shows--like, say, yours--let me know and I'll put your request in the hopper. I just burned my 36-show run of Fog City Radio (KQED, '94-'95) onto CDs, and am getting the hang of it.” Ben also became a record producer of sorts last year, cutting a CD with Larry Ching, who was the "Chinese Sinatra" at Forbidden City. It came out in early June and got a lot of local media attention--mainly, because it was a debut CD by an 82-year-old crooner, produced by an ex-Rolling Stone editor. Sadly, Larry passed away about a week after his CD release party. (More here: http://www.larryching.com/
Ben also had a story in the October Gourmet, of all mags--all about chefs who play music and like to rock out whenever they're not in their kitchens. 

MARSHALL PHILLIPS reports from Sacramento that Alan Burton, the amiable host of the all-night show, “Old North Beach” on KKCY in the ‘80s, passed away in September '03 at his home in Gig Harbor, Washington.  "The herd is thinning," says Marshall.  

WES “SCOOP” NISKER was featured in a September '03 article, “Joke’s Not Funny: Blame It On Buddah” in the NY Times. You can still read this article but it will cost you $2.95. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/02/arts/02BUDD.html   


Taos, NM - You'll never guess what Norman found in his tapes--the long lost, infamous Dr. Hip and Margo St. James show! It's only logger tapes, but definitely worth hearing. The FCC confiscated all the tapes so how did we get it? Don't ask! You want sex talk? You got it! 

There are some new pages on site. The Scrapbook page shows clippings, pictures and ads as preserved in the KSAN scrapbooks. Thanks to Ed Ely and Bonnie Simmons for their help. KMPX now has its own page as does the Symbionese Liberation Army. There's also a page for comments from fans.

Denver - Raechel Donahue is temporarily living in a Denver hotel and working for KQMT. She says "it's a sort of free form station. Only 12 spots per hour, no station promotions or on air bullshit, long sets we pick ourselves. It's 99.5 "The Mountain." KQMT. Very cool. I did a ten song San Francisco set last night. I kept my house in Venice, of course, but I love it here, too. I'm a skier so that really makes it work for me." The station owner is trying out the format on several stations.

Todos Santos, Baja California - Stephen Capen is moving to Mexico May 1. Todos Santos, Baja South (midway between Los Cabos and La Paz), a stones throw from the Pacific. "The land is secured, we have temporary quarters in nearby Pescadero while something to live in is built. It's been a long time coming," says Stephen.

Portland - Rick Sadle is working on five new projects in addition to running his restaurant and catering company. "We're just finishing a new building for our catering at the same time we're trying to remodel another building for a second restaurant, and working on a couple of other smaller projects," he explains. "That's why I'm up at my desk at 5 a.m."

Helena - Phil Charles, the GM for KGLT, heard in Helena, Bozeman and Livingston is getting ready to go into fund drive. "After that I get to raise funds for a new transmitter and then build a tower," he says. "I love the non-profit life...beg...beg...beg! Back to work,work,work."

Austin - Bob Simmons just returned from yet another trip to Mexico. "Why is he going back and forth across the border so frequently," you might ask. Bob replies, "why do I go to Mexico ... many of my friends are now in search of our little "Pleasantvilles" where we will dry up and blow away. I tend to like Mexico because it is virulently opposed to GWB though some of this mud splatters on my shoes too. Mexico has so much music, art, and such an interesting history that it keeps you fascinated."

San Francisco - Laurie McClay has sold her house on the hill and bought another in Petaluma. "This is a big deal for me since we (Bob) moved here in 1984," she says. "I'm hoping for a fresh start and a new perspective. There are just too many memories here . . ."  She plans to move in June.

New York City - Dan Carlisle finally had to get a job. "I am selling cars, Acura, here in Manhattan at a fancy marble palace of a showroom and hating it, of course," he says. "But I pull myself together everyday and do it. I make money and pay my bills with some left over for fun. It actually pays more than radio. I have been told that an offer is coming my way from out West so cross your fingers for me."

Nevada City - Norman Davis was recently interviewed by KVMR during a special hour honoring the Jive 95. Host Steve Baker talked with Norman and played airchecks, promotions and other audio trivia from KSAN. The show was so popular the station made a CD of the highlights and used it with great success in their fund drive.


Thanks to a tip from Rae, we have discovered a large collection of airchecks from KMPX and KSAN, collected by Roger Steffans (of Reggae collection fame). Roger has agreed to share these historic tapes with us and asap, they will be posted on the 'Real Jive' page of this site. Roger thinks he has about 50 hours in all. Some of the notable finds include tapes from the week Tom and Raechel got married, the night that Robert Kennedy was shot, the first playing of "The White Album," Nixon's election and inauguration, etc. This is a real treasure and we are grateful to Roger for offering to share it with us.


In February 1992, Kate Ingram, then Program Director for University of San Francisco station KUSF, invited the KSAN gang to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the station with a reunion on the air. For 13 hours on Sunday the 16th, Jivers took over the station and regaled their audience with wild tales and shocking confessions of what went on at the Jive 95 in its heyday.
Recently, a fan of KSAN contacted us to let us know he had recorded nearly all of the "History Repeats Itself" special and would share the tapes with us. Bill Wagner kept his word and delivered 12 hours on CD. We plan  to offer anyone interested copies of this historic special featuring most of the KSAN gang along with Joel Selvin, Annie Sampson, Naomi Eisenberg, Jerry Pompilli and other guests. Meanwhile, highlights of the show have been posted to this site and are now available for listening--some funny stuff! Check it out.

NEW POSTINGS    Sept 2002

Tom Donahue was famous for many reasons. One of his lesser known talents was writing pithy memos and letters. A few of his memos have now been posted on the website. If you have any others worth posting, please send copies to the webmaster. 


Cajamarca, Peru - May 8
by Bob Simmons

LauferinPeru3.jpg (127346 bytes)As a part of our world conquest blueprint, Peter Laufer and I are presently in the highlands of Peru interviewing 16 year old Peruvian DJ´s for possible jobs in the United States as replacements for automation systems.  It is our theory that radio is ready to bring the sweatshops home to the USA where they belong.

We are in a colonial town called Cajamarca and getting ready to go to some of the lesser known Inca ruins in the Northern Peruvian Andes. Peter keeps telling me that we should not waste time on that tourist trap Macchu Picchu.  It is dangerous running the ´chiclero´ gantlet of small children trying to sell you gum and little purses made of llama fur.

Peter & Bob In Peru2.jpg (37527 bytes)We met several dogs here with no hair and little sweaters on.  More later.

(Simmons and Laufer reporting from the Inca Trail.)  (You really need a bottle or two of this Inca Kola.)



UPDATE JULY 12: Simmons is back in Austin. Laufer is in Mexico City, conducting a study of post-PRI media for the Packard Foundation and Internews. He reveals that the trip to Peru was for a jailhouse interview with Lori Berenson, scheduled to appear in the September issue of Penthouse magazine (so make sure your subscription does not lapse!).


Feb 12, 2002
Pot-Growing Author Busted by DEA

by Jim Herron Zamora
For almost three decades, Ed Rosenthal has helped thousands of criminals commit a better crime.

"I just give advice on how to cultivate a better garden," Rosenthal said. "It's not my fault that marijuana -- the plant that is my specialty -- is still illegal."

askEd.jpg (63539 bytes)The 57-year-old Oakland resident is possibly the world's No. 1 authority on growing marijuana. He has penned more than a dozen books and the "Ask Ed" column for High Times and Cannabis Culture magazines. He even gave tips to the Reagan administration on growing pot at a federal test farm in Mississippi.

Over the years, Rosenthal said, he just doled out advice but didn't actually grow dope himself.

But on Feb. 12, he got busted. Rosenthal is one of men facing federal charges of producing more than 100 marijuana plants for sale at the Harm Reduction Center, a San Francisco medicinal marijuana club.

The raid was the third in the state since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that federal anti-drug law makes no exception for seriously ill patients using pot under California's medicinal marijuana law, Proposition 215, approved by voters in 1996.

"They woke me up at six in the morning with a search warrant," Rosenthal said. "There I was: naked, sleepy and under arrest." Rosenthal -- co-author of "Marijuana Law; Don't Get Busted," about what to do if police show up -- heeded his own advice.

"I didn't tell the cops a thing," he said, with an impish grin. "But I was polite and cooperative. I gave them the key to my greenhouse so they wouldn't knock down the door. Hey, it worked -- they didn't trash my house."

To marijuana advocates, Rosenthal has become a cause celebre, the biggest and best-known target of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"If they take down Ed Rosenthal, that means they can get anybody," said Steve Kubby, who co-authored "Why Marijuana Should Be Legal" with Rosenthal and was the 1998 Libertarian Party candidate for California governor. "This is obviously an attack on a movement. They want to silence Ed."

In person, Rosenthal looks more like a middle-aged elf than a drug lord. His conversations move easily from the types of highs produced by cannabis indica to teaching methods at his children's high schools.

"I always wanted to be a radical," said Rosenthal, who has a son in an Ivy League college and a daughter at an exclusive local private school. "But I've gotten so middle class it's disgusting."

Rosenthal, whose column receives 300 e-mail questions a month, is successful. Besides his writing, his publishing company, Quick Trading, is branching out beyond cannabis and hemp books.

His home, on an East Oakland cul-de-sac, is a shrine to gardening. He raises a wide variety of plants -- roses, pumpkins, tomatoes and plumeria flowers. His 8-by-10-foot greenhouse is his "little Hawaii," where he experiments with varieties of pineapples and rare orchid strains.

"The feds came looking for pot, but they found a lot of orchids," he said. "I just love plants -- even illegal ones."

Born and raised in the Bronx, Rosenthal has had a lifelong interest in plants. As a boy, he took classes at the New York Botanical Gardens. After college, he worked a few years for a Wall Street stockbroker. But it was the 1960s and he grew restless.

"If you were interested in plants and you grew up during hippie times, you sort of just gravitated to learning more about marijuana," he said.

An original Yippie who helped found the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Rosenthal moved to California in 1972 to help with an initiative campaign, defeated by voters, that would have legalized marijuana for personal use.

He lived in San Francisco's Mission District and Berkeley before settling in Oakland almost 20 years ago. All these years, Rosenthal has managed to steer clear of legal trouble.

But he has spent plenty of time in court -- as an expert witness in the trials of accused marijuana growers where he debunks government estimates about the value and volume of marijuana confiscations. His success often means less prison time for the grower.

Federal agents consider pot-club operators and their suppliers to be just like any other pot dealers. Growing and distributing marijuana is against the law and Rosenthal violated that law, authorities say.

"Our job is to target major traffickers," said DEA spokesman Richard Meyer. "We followed leads to them. We are not going to stop our investigation if it leads us to a marijuana club or a famous person or a politically connected person."

DEA Director Asa Hutchinson has said pot has no proven medical value. According to the agency's Web site: "There are over 10,000 scientific studies that prove marijuana is a harmful addictive drug. There is not one reliable study that demonstrates marijuana has any medical value."

Rosenthal, who has not yet entered a plea, readily admits he grew marijuana in a converted West Oakland warehouse near the former Carnation Dairy. But he insists it was solely for medicinal purposes.

"I've been studying every aspect of this for many years, but myself was not a grower," said Rosenthal, who became "obsessed" with the drug's medicinal possibilities in 1990 after writing several articles on AIDS patients smoking pot. "But I only decided to become a grower because the government is not doing enough research into medical uses."

Using his extensive knowledge of marijuana strains, Rosenthal said he was "trying to develop varieties with different profiles so that people could taste and feel the difference. . . . We would have them try different types of marijuana and see which one helped their symptoms more."

When describing his methodology, he sounds more like a professor than a pothead.

"I found that certain cannabis sativa varieties are the best at stimulating the appetite of AIDS patients and cancer patients on chemotherapy. While some (cannabis) indica types seem to be best at reducing nausea and chronic pain."

Supporters say his arrest was meant to quiet an outspoken and visible proponent of marijuana. But it may prove difficult to gag a man of so many words.

"The government anti-drug policy is a big lie that is supported by a thousand other lies," Rosenthal said. "My crime is that I am willing to challenge those lies."

A well-known expert and author on growing marijuana, Rosenthal faces federal charges of cultivating plants for a San Francisco medicinal marijuana club.
-- -- Age: 57
-- -- Occupation: Author and magazine columnist
-- -- Achievements: Wrote or co-wrote more than a dozen books, including the "Marijuana Grower's Handbook," "Marijuana Medical Handbook: A Guide to Therapeutic Use," "Closet Cultivator," "The Big Book of Buds" and "Marijuana Beer: How to Make Your Own Hi-Brew Beer."
-- -- Personal: Married, with two teenage children.
-- -- Quote: "I'm just a writer who likes to give advice to gardeners. I really wish this didn't have to be a legal crusade."

E-mail Jim Herron Zamora jzamora@sfchronicle.com.

©2002 San Francisco Chronicle

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2002/02/25/MN208192.DTL

Editor's P.S.   Ed Rosenthals website ask-ed.net has apparently been shut down. At least I can't pull it up any more.

(Dave McQueen notes that Ed Rosenthal appeared many times on KSAN as an expert on cannabis, and most of us have at one time or another sampled the fruits of his expertise, either in the Bob Randall Memorial Glaucoma Lab at the station on Sansome Street or elsewhere.) 

March 30, 2002

scoopsgig.jpg (109588 bytes)

Springtime Follies
with Nina Wise & Wes Nisker



Nina Wise offers Un Pre-Meditated, an improvised performance in her wacky, whimsical and indescribable style. Wes Nisker will present "The Big Bang, The Buddha, and the Baby Boom," a humorous musical monologue about a generation's search for political and metaphysical sanity.
For further information call 415 438-0164 x 336
Dinner and Performance $108 - $40 sliding scale.

Hors D'oeuvres @ 6 p.m. - Gourmet vegetarian dinner @ 6:30 p.m.
Code NW1, 3/30

Performance only $30 - $20 sliding scale, begins at 8 p.m.Code NW2, 3/30

To register, send a check by mail to Spirit Rock. Write the code on the outside of your envelope and or your check.

SPIRIT ROCK, PO Box 169, Woodacre, CA 94973

by Vicky Cunningham

Many former KSANers joined family and friends celebrating Stefan Ponek's life at his memorial service in San Anselmo. What a life he had! Three ex-wives were all there, saying nice things about him. Margaret, his close companion for the last three years was too distraught to talk, but many said Stefan had found real happiness with her.
His beautiful daughter Kristin and handsome son Seth (looking exactly like a young Stefan) talked about how Stefan had gotten it all together in the last years of his life, repaired his relationships, and spent a lot of time with his kids and grandchildren.
Stefan had been in AA for many years, and several men in tears said he had saved their lives. His son said Stefan had gotten him into AA, and he is so grateful that he did.
A tape collage of Stefan on the air at many different radio stations was played and had some very funny moments. Terry McGovern and Ben Fong-Torres were there. I met Brooke Jones, who is very funny and gave a wonderful eulogy that made everyone laugh. The chapel was packed, with standing room only and a very diverse group of people.
The Pastor was great. He opened the event by saying we were there to celebrate the life of "a good man." That pretty much said it for me. Stefan was a real sweetie, and he will be missed by a great many people.

Oct 15    E-mail from Seth Ponek: I'm am terribly sorry to inform you that Stefan Ponek passed away this morning. It is a shock to all of us.  He seemed in good health. He was found deceased in his Greenbrae, Ca. home by his beloved Margaret. She realized that his morning newspaper & coffee, shower routine was taking too long & entered the bathroom to find him deceased. Cause of death is still officially undetermined. He has a history of a heart attack and a quadruple bypass over the past 20 years. He is survived by Margaret Lochran, his daughter Kristin Ponek(22), Seth Ponek his son (33), and his three grandchildren: Kyle, Gabriella, & Landon, (and another on the way!)

I can be reached at -  sdpanek@peoplepc.com

God Bless,
Seth Ponek


Stefan Paul Ponek, Jr.
Passed away suddenly of heart failure on October 15, 2001 at his home in Greenbrae, California. He is survived by his beloved partner, Margaret Lochran; his sister, Susan Way of Vermont; his two children, Kristin Ponek of Southern California and Seth Ponek of Sebastopol, California; his grandchildren Kyle, Gabriella and Landon Ponek, all of Sebastopol. Stefan was a long time radio personality, known well for his work at KSAN in the 60's and other popular stations in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a general contractor and an antique radio enthusiast. Most recently, Stefan was a senior broadcast technician at S. F. City College. Stefan lived his life one day at a time. He will be greatly missed by a large fellowship of friends and family. Friends are invited to attend the Funeral Service on Saturday, October 20, 2001 at 11 a.m. at Monte's Chapel of the Hills, 330 Redhill Avenue, San Anselmo, California. A Vigil/Prayer Service will be held Friday, October 19, 2001 at 6 p.m. at Monte's Chapel of the Hills. Visitation will be at the funeral home Friday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Inurnment private. Memorial gifts to Ritter House, 16 Ritter Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 preferred. Monte's Chapel of the Hills Family Owned and Operated San Anselmo 415-453-8440.


Milan Melvin, who created -- as usual -- a spectacular, fun and productive scene for himself and others in this tropical escape in recent years, has passed away. He left the following message:

Dear Family and Friends,

Please be informed that I have crossed over to the other side or as some say "gone paws up" or "assumed room temperature".  It was a Hellaciously painful six-month ordeal for me, made tolerable by your kind words and warm wishes.

Not knowing, of course, what's on the other side, I promise you that if  there is anything ever in eternity that I can do for you from there, I'll get it done. But if the Tibetan Buddhists have it right, I'll be back around after forty-nine days for another go at learning the lessons I flunked this time. Look for the little boy in the Cowboy and Indian pajamas with the pith helmet and safari jacket and know that Expedition Melvin rides again!

In closing, let me ask that you think of me as having a First Class seat on the non-stop Bullet Train to the greatest Mystery and the grandest Adventure of all.


And love,

(see the last photos of Milan here)

SAN FRANCISCO - October 2001

Dave McQueen and Laurie Cobb were laid off at Clear Channel's KKSF. McQueen reports: "I was far from the only one, just the first to be shown the door.  They blew out half of the staff. All the vacated shifts will be filled by "voice tracking."  The only people left are those under contract, and those contracts all expire early next year.  I'm told similar cuts were made in all the stations.  I'd guess by sometime next year all the "local" programming will be imported, with the exception of a few high profile morning teams.  So much for radio's "local" focus.  Bunch of people now on the street and no jobs to be had."  
Laurie talked management into hiring her back for some part-time air-work. "I am now doing the "Lights Out Show", evenings from 7p-1a" she says. "I just went in and said, "this is dumb....you have no backup...you need me."   "Oh, you are so right, but can only do part time....blah blah blah...."  

Dusty Street underwent intensive back surgery in July and is recovering at home. The surgery was necessary due to pressure on nerves which affected feeling in her left leg. She spent seven days in the hospital and will take some time to recover. Dusty recently voiced a national spot for a homeopathic product and has been doing weekend shows at STAR102.7. She is also completing work on her autobiographical book, Fly Low. Dusty's computer is down, but she plans to be back on line soon.


Howie Klein, former co-host of The Outcastes (1976-1978) and President of Reprise Records for the past six years, resigned on September 7, 2001 to pursue other interests. Klein will continue to act as a consultant for Warner-Reprise Records. Full story here.

NEW YORK - September 2001

Dan Carlisle has ended his programming position with Sirius Satellite Broadcasting. He says, "This has turned out to be just another piece of crap with a good line of bullshit. I wonder what good all my experience is, if I am not allowed to use it? Too bad, because this place has the best facilities I have ever worked in. My prediction is that they will struggle, not because I'm not there, but because the promise of better and more interesting programming will not be fulfilled."

From Sea to Shining Sea

A reporter's journey home

Two days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C., reporter and documentarian Peter Laufer realized he needed to get home to his family in San Francisco and the quickest way to do it was going to be by automobile. And he recorded his journey home on videotape, interviewing people on the street, in roadside diners, bingo halls, churches and all nature of public gatherings.

From a psychologist so devastated he feels he cannot help his patients to the patrons of an Afghani restaurant, from the weeping woman in the bus station to defiant car club members, from coast to coast, the people of America speak their minds about their pain, sorrow and anger.

In the spirit of healing, we are offering a series of three ten-minute interview tapes to be used by television stations in any way they choose. Whether used as bites in another piece or stand alone programming, these poignant interviews are alternately sad, optimistic and vengeful.

All interviews were taped during the week following our nation's tragedy, and you may use what you wish for a nominal fee.

Contact: Raechel Donahue, La La La Productions, Inc.
             phone: 310/822-1208  fax: 310/306-4715
e mail: mizrae@netvip.com

The Filmmakers

Peter Laufer
is an award-winning journalist and documentarian ("Exodus to Berlin") who has generated more than one documentary, especially during his years as a roving international correspondent for NBC News. He has covered many historic events, including the fall of the Berlin Wall (CBS News) and his books include Iron Curtain Rising and Inside Talk Radio.
Raechel Donahue, a well known West Coast radio personality, was also an early CNN reporter (1981-83), writer/producer of a daily magazine television show (On the Flipside), and has written and produced several documentaries, including "Rock and Roll Genius: Phil Spector". Donahue is also the features editor for a group of local Southern California newspapers, and has several books in print.

Donahue and Laufer have known one another for many years, but only just recently met up again during the production of "FM Radio Revolution," a documentary of the history of FM radio. When Donahue finished interviewing Laufer in San Francisco on September 8, Laufer immediately headed for Washington D.C. on news business and Donahue headed home to Los Angeles. They found themselves on opposite coasts again, but this time they kept in touch by cell phone. After the September 11 terrorist attack on America, Donahue phoned to check on Laufer's safety, and the reporter brought up the idea of taking a cross-country road trip home to his family and doing interviews along the way.  Within a day, the two had arranged to purchase a video camera and rent a car, and Laufer was on his way.

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Robert Randall, 53, Marijuana pioneer.  Sarasota, FL. (AP) June 6, 2001

Robert Randall, who made history in 1976 when a court gave him access to government supplies of marijuana to treat his glaucoma, has died at 53. Mr. Randall died Saturday at his home of complications of AIDS. A federal court ruled 25 years ago that his use of marijuana
was a medical necessity.

Two years later, the government cut off his access to marijuana.  He sued for reinstatement of the drug and won.  He kept on smoking pot with federal permission until his death.

Mr. Randall developed glaucoma in his teens.  An opthamologist told him in the early 70s that he would go blind within a few years.  He never lost his sight. He grew his own pot until he was arrested and prosecuted.  He then underwent exhaustive tests that indicated no other glaucoma drug available lowered his intraocular pressure and halted deterioration of his eyesight.  He used that argument in demanding legal access to marijuana.

In 1981, Mr. Randall and his wife founded ACT, Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, an organization to reform marijuana laws prohibiting medicinal use of marijuana.

Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal law controlling narcotics made no exception for therapeutic use of the drug.

Associated press

(Post Mortem from McQueen)

RIP Bob.  He was a sweet and gentle soul, always a little bewildered that
his struggle to save his eyesight had made him a celebrity.  He appeared
many times on KSAN in the 70s and early 80s, and the Glaucoma Research Lab
at Sansome Street was named in his honor.

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Eugene, Oregon, Jan. 8, 2001 

Thom O'Hair, legendary radio programmer and personality, passed away on January 8 from the effects of his second major stroke in four years. O'Hair was severely debilitated by his first stroke and had been living in a rehabilitation facility in Springfield, Oregon prior to his death.

O'Hair cut a wide swath in his long radio career. He made waves across America from stations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. He loved "radio-on-the-edge" and created memorable scenarios at every job. He arrived at KSAN in 1971 and added his imprint to an already infamous station. Later he worked his magic at KMET, WQIV, KMEL, and KOFY. He retired from commercial broadcasting after the KOFY debacle, but continued to be involved in radio with organizations like the National College Broadcaster's Association, and Hog Ranch Radio.

Thom made many friends and accomplished many goals during his wild ride through life. He was always interesting and one of the most influential and powerful people in radio. "He knew what radio could do, and he went places with it that no one else had," said his son, Tim Gubbins.

Bix Beaman's email report on the end.      Stefan Ponek remembers.       Rick Sadle remembers.

Thom's obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle.       Photos taken at Thom's wake.


San Rafael, California, Jan. 17, 2001

bobbydale.jpg (70128 bytes)Just a few days after Thom's demise, Bobby Dale, well known west coast radio personality and musicologist, passed away suddenly, just three weeks after learning that he had incurable cancer. Dale maintained his finely-tuned sense of humor even after learning of his fate. "I'd give a hundred dollars for just one nice cloudy day." he said, looking at the sun through his San Rafael window just days before his death. Dale agreed to host a farewell party at his residence but died three days before the event. He signed photographs to be given away at his wake. The party went on without him as friends and family came from far and near to pay their respects.

Bobby Dale was one of the most original, spontaneous and funny men who ever cracked a microphone. He was already a legend when he came to San Francisco, having worked for Todd Storz at the original Top 40 station in Omaha. He performed his eccentric programs at several Bay Area and Los Angeles radio stations including KEWB, KFWB, KRLA, KFRC, KSFO, KTIM, KKCY, KOFY and KSAN.

Bobby's obituary.         Joe Conrad's memories of Bobby


Sean Coman Dies in Car Wreck

July 8, 2000

Sean Coman, a former radio disc jockey at some of the Bay Area's top rock stations, died July 8 of injuries suffered in a car accident outside Great Falls, Mont. He was 45.

Mr. Coman, who was known on the radio as Sean Donahue, worked at KSAN in San Francisco, and KOME and KSJP, both in San Jose, during the 1970s. In recent years, he had his own show on KGLT in Bozeman, Mont.

Mr. Coman was born in Bristol, Penn. He attended the Beatles' last concert at Candlestick Park in 1966, which his father co-promoted, and went into the radio business after graduating from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley.

After his Bay Area radio stints, he moved to stations in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Baltimore. In 1990, he took a job at a Seattle station.

Mr. Coman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1991 and moved to Bozeman for a less hectic life, said his sister, Deidre Donahue of Burbank. ``It was nice, because he thought he'd never be on the radio again after he got sick,'' she said.

He was cremated on July 13. His ashes will be scattered off the coast of Maui.

In addition to his sister, he is survived by his mother, Grace, of Port Town, Wash.; a daughter, Siobahn, of Kansas City; three brothers and another sister.

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