KSAN and the SLA
Ken Wardell Remembers
I was sitting in for Tom & Raechel Donahue that Saturday night. They were partying at home. About two thirds of the way through the show, I got a call on the listener line informing me that a tape had just been dropped through the front door of the station and that it was pretty important. By the guy's tone, I thought I'd better check. Sure enough, a business size envelope was laying on the floor by the door and inside it was a cassette tape. I can't remember if there was any writing on the outside of the envelope. I threw on a long record and went to the production studio to give the tape a listen. Reporters, cameramen and Tom Donahue gathered to listen to the tape on April 3, 1974 (left).
Patty was coming out as Tania! Oh my fucking god! I immediately called Tom who said he was on the way to the station and that I shouldn't let anyone else in the station until he got there. Once he heard what we had, Tom knew what a publicity bonanza this was going to be for KSAN. Before we called the TV stations, he wanted us to dub the cassette to a reel to reel tape because he said it would be a better visual for the cameras. It didn't take long for the TV crews to get there. Tom wanted to make sure we played the tape on the air before he called the cops. I remember a ton of TV cameras, with all their lights blazing in the little KSAN control room, recording the reel to reel deck going round and round as the media listened to the tape for the first time. Within a half hour of us playing the tape on the air, the authorities were at the station. I still have a cassette that our engineer Ed Ely gave me later from the master tape of Tom saying, "We now go back to our regular programming with Ken Wardell." Obviously, that was a night I never will forget.