“One time [former 91X morning DJ] Bryan Jones went on the air on 91X and encouraged people to ‘trash the Flash’ [92.5 “The Flash” was at that time a competitor of 91X]. He encouraged people to defame the Flash any way they could. It got out of hand when a steel trash can got thrown through the front window.… And then there was the first X-Fest concert [in 1983 at Jack Murphy Stadium]. The 91X studios were still in Tijuana. One of the guys in Bow Wow Wow was asked how he liked San Diego. He said, ‘We love California pussy’ on the air. It was the first time that station did a remote broadcast from north of the border.” It was feared this first-ever remote from the U.S. would upset the Mexican FCC and botch any future plans for 91X to broadcast from the States. Ten years ago 91X started broadcasting entirely from the U.S.

Longtime local DJ Shotgun Tom Kelly, now heard on KRTH in Los Angeles, recalled a whole different set of radio promotion snafus: “In the mid-’80s when KCBQ was a country station, they had a fishing derby at San Vicente Lake. The guy that caught five fish first won. When this one guy caught fish number five, he stood up in his boat and yelled that he won. He had a heart attack right then and fell over and died.

“Then there was the time [FM progressive rock station] KPRI had the ‘Dream Valley concert in your mind.’ It was supposed to be taking place in some farmer’s field in Jamul. All these people went out there, and of course there was no concert. The station was just playing music and crowd sound effects. The sheriff had to go out there and chase everybody away.”

Shotgun Tom himself gave a memorable public appearance hosting a Cat Stevens concert at the Community Concourse in downtown San Diego. “He went up onstage and did his ‘BLEEEE-HAHHHHH, this is Shotgun Tom Kelly,’ ” recalls former KPRI DJ Gabriel Wisdom. “He came out dressed like he had just come from central casting for The Mod Squad, and he had his Smokey the Bear hat on. He said something like, ‘Hey, San Diego, are you floating on a cloud of groovy vibes?’ He got a standing boo-vation. When Cat Stevens came out he said, ‘I’ve never been introduced that way before.’ ”

—Ken Leighton

CD review: Rocket from the Crypt, All Systems Go 2, Swami SWA 2001

Is Rocket from the Crypt San Diego’s finest — and grandest — and hottest rock AND ROLL — y’know BOTH, and only both, and NOTHING BUT both — band? You bet. Absofuckinglutely.

They’re a band that if it were 1979, and punk (as such) had never happened, and a harder core of metal had never happened, and neither of them ever would happen, y’know as “competition,” or even just a context for “comparison,” would probably be RATHER FUCKING IMPORTANT in the grand cultural scheme of things — nationally, internationally, intergalactically, whatever.

It so happens, however, that this disc, consisting of 25 tunes recorded at 13 separate sessions, contains nothing but great, truly great, magnificent even, simplebasicsavage greasydirty music for which there is NO LONGER A PLACE IN THE WORLD, the world as it is, except as an anachronism, or to put the most functional light on it, as theme music for the endless party, the endless plague, the endless fix, the endless fuck, the endless foodfight, the endless mope, the endless headbang, the endless pose, the endless piss, the endless crawl, the endless terminal slide into greater endlessness…all of which, of course, END.

I would say that, hands down, this is the GREATEST ROCK AND ROLL DOCUMENT San Diego has ever had a role in birthing. I would say it because I have to say it — because it’s simply fucking TRUE.

—Richard Meltzer

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