It was the Tuna Fiesta. It had to be. Nobody else ate it – they knew. You were starving. You missed Nutrition. You were building sets for the Talent Show. That’s what you get, taking Stage Crew; it’s Second Period. You always miss Nutrition – but yesterday you also missed breakfast, so you chowed down lunch at the Cafeteria, on top of the Meatloaf sandwich your mom packed. You wonder why your pants are getting baggy. Now they’ll get even baggier because you spent all morning throwing up things you remember eating when you were five. You’re home in bed. You missed school today. And even though you’re feeling better, you still don’t feel like eating. Maybe it was the Meatloaf. You have the radio on next to your bed. And next to your radio is your dad’s tape recorder – even delirious, you still have one hand on the Record button, while dialing around the radio with the other. Paying attention has never been your strong suit, so you get into the habit of listening to a few seconds of one song before sweeping the dial over to another station to play a few seconds of another song. No wonder your friends don’t like listening to your tapes. Note to self: don’t eat School Cafeteria food – ever.
Radio in Los Angeles in the 1960s was probably like radio in most cities in America at the time; a veritable melting pot of music and genres and styles – and even though Top-40 was the reigning presence with the newly-burgeoning Youth Market, there was a lot else going on in your radio too. As is evidenced by this typical teenage/haphazard/somewhat skewed sampling of an hour-in-the-life-of. . . There are the usual suspects; KFWB, KRLA, KHJ, KBLA and KGFJ – but in between all of those were KPOL, KNX, KFAC and bunch of others that weren’t playing Top-40. So on this tape you get to hear a few incongruous samples of AM radio of the day, all mixed into the pot of your growing-up experience for 1966 in L.A. And if you were like most kids, you had the tape and the microphone and the radio and you did what most everyone else did; put the mic in front of the radio and hope the phone didn’t ring or somebody asked you a question. All part of the experience. So even though this tape sounds fuzzy and crude and the product of some serious ADD, it represents a point in time – the captured moment – the unvarnished glimpse of a day-in-the-life.
Welcome to March 1966, at least for an hour.