It’s April 1965 – You Live In L.A. – You’re A Teenager – You’re In High School – Your Attention Span Went On Vacation And Didn’t Tell You.
KRLA – Dick Biondi – April 14, 1965 – Mike Devich Collection –
No. It’s not just you – the whole world is having a hard time concentrating. There’s a lot going on – and depending on what age you are, it’s either really-really good or really-really bad.
Really-really good is all the music that has suddenly climbed into your life – it’s speaking to you in ways nothing else has before. You hang on your radio for messages and signs and what’s new. You have actively collected every shred of Beatles anything, from lunch-pails to bobble-heads and you know every word to every Beatles song by heart, even the ones in German. But you admit to really-really liking Herman’s Hermits, and The Rolling Stones. Your mom kind of thinks Herman is cute. She doesn’t think Mick or Brian of the Rolling Stones are cute. You think you have to stop confiding in your mom about who you like – it feels strange. But Herman’s Hermits was last week anyway and you have just discovered The Byrds and they even live in your town. Your girlfriend’s next-door neighbor’s cousin works at a record store and he says he can get you in for free at The Teenage Fair – he said The Byrds were supposed to be playing there. You can’t wait.
Really-really bad was being a guy, turning 18 and finding out the Draft was back on. Everybody knew that getting drafted meant graduating high-school and heading to Vietnam for at least two years and the idea doesn’t exactly appeal to you, especially since you’ve been practicing guitar since 7th grade and finally your band is getting popular. You’ve been growing your hair and getting hassled by the Boy’s vice-Principal and he’s threatened to put you in ROTC until you graduate. You aren’t supposed to graduate until next year – anything can happen between now and then . . .maybe.
The one thing you both have in common is your radio. KRLA in April 1965, along with KFWB were the powerhouse be-all/end-all radio stations for Rock and they played a huge role in your day-to-day life.
And, in case you forgot – or missed it the first time around, KRLA had Dick Biondi who held most of teenage Los Angeles captive for the better part of three hours most nights. And if you want proof of that, hit the play button, take a seat and fill your head with tunes and history – all from April 14, 1965.
Special thanks to Mike Devich for the tape.
9 thoughts on “It’s April 1965 – You Live In L.A. – You’re A Teenager – You’re In High School – Your Attention Span Went On Vacation And Didn’t Tell You.”
This air check of Dick Biondi can’t all be from April,1965!”Snoopy Vs.The Red Baron”(which is on this air check,along with “Sweet Talking Guy”by The Chiffons) is from 1966,NOT 1965!And “Something About You”by The Four Tops didn’t come out until much later in ’65,around November!What gives?
Arrgh! You’re right. The guy who gave me the tape was pretty sure the date was right, but it might be a combination of two broadcasts, judging by the sound.
Gordon I,think I figured it out where this air check came from.In 1990 or ’91(I believe)KRLA did a “THING OF THE PAST”weekend.In it,they took old air checks of the guys from the ’60’s,added the records back in that had been “scoped”out from the original broadcast.Whoever put the show together wasn’t too aware of what year it was supposed to be,as this air check of Biondi jumps back and forth from 1965 songs to 1966 and back again.It wasn’t until I listened to the END of the air check that it tipped me off that this was a recreation KRLA did in the early ’90’s of their halcyon days in the mid-60’s!Never the less,it was fun to hear ‘ol Dick again!
Gordon, Gerry Whitehead has it almost right.
The KRLA reunion weekend was October 30 and 31, 1981, not 1991.
This isn’t an aircheck of Biondi with the music added back in—he sounds much older than he does on the June 15, 1965 KRLA aircheck. This is Biondi voice-tracking on a phone line from Chicago (listen to the static), where he was working (and still is).
The music dating? Either they thought no one would notice or they straight-up goofed. Anyway, October 31, 1981 for this one.
The other thing that gives it away is the
Top of the hour ID . The electric countdown
was something that KRLA used from 1959-62
and brought back for the 1981 and early 90’s
reunion weekend shows.
O.K.here’s some more info you may not be aware of;YES,KRLA DID have a reunion weekend October 31st,1981.The thing was this:the 1981 reunion was all done LIVE!Some of the jocks(like Casey Kasem)hadn’t done a live show in several years!I have a tape of the entire weekend:it’s fun to hear Casey screw up!For example,when he thought he was talking to Phil Little,the engineer on a two-way switch,instead his comments went out over the air in the middle of a song!You can hear Casey saying,”Jesus Christ,you haven’t changed a bit,man”!!!Later during Casey’s one-hour show you hear him actually BREAK the time-tone on the air(and then you hear the engineer resetting it on the air!)Lotta goofs that weekend.When Dave Hull came on at 3 p,m,he couldn’t help himself,saying “Casey Kasem broke our time-tone”!!!Anyway,KRLA later on had more reunion/recreation shows ,one in 1988 with Bill Balance(recreating Color Radio KFWB) one in 1989(with Emperor Bob Hudson)and the “Thing Of The Past”weekend in either 1991 or 1992.The difference was :the later ones were NOT done live,I guess P.D.Mike Wagner didn’t want to repeat the goofs and fluffs of the live 1981 reunion!!.So,that’s why I say this “Thing Of The Past”weekend was from the early 90’s(and I still have the advertisement somewhere in my files about it.I listened to it at the time,I WAS amazed at how they managed to reinsert the old songs from old air checks back in again(even if they couldn’t get the year right.Is it 1965 or is it 1966?)Yes,Biondi DOES sound like he’s on the phone and sounds older!That’s what I know about that “Thing Of The Past Weekend”
Did a little work—April 1, 1991 was the date for the ’91 “Thing of the Past”, according to a March 27, 1991 L.A. Times article previewing it. And they did it again on April 1, 1992 (L.A. Times, March 31, 1992).
But, again, at least on this aircheck, they’re not re-inserting anything from old airchecks. Listening on either a really good audio system or with headphones, it’s obvious that the music is from clean copies, with modern (for the early 90s) broadcast processing. Again, with the songs from after 1965, they either screwed up or didn’t think a listener would care.
The commercials are, for the most part, not old L.A. radio commercials. The Chiquita banana and Ford spots are the audio tracks of TV commercials from the 60s.
And Biondi is old here—he’d be 59 or 60, depending on which year (1991 or 1992) this is from, and that fits with the sound of his voice compared to how he sounded in 1965.
The only thing that surprises me is that KRLA settled for the bad audio quality of his voicetrack. By 1991, it would have been pretty easy to have Biondi cut his tracks in Chicago and FedEx the tape to KRLA (it was still a little too early for ISDN).
Gerry, Gordon and all:
I reached out to Mike Wagner, let him know about the site and the aircheck. He took a listen and wrote back to me. I have his permission to post his e-mail here:
(begin quoted material)
Thanks for the note, and now let’s see how my memory serves me.
OK…I was PD of KRLA from 1984 to 1995, so I wasn’t there for the original LIVE Reunion.
We did a couple of re-creations (“KRLA becomes a thing of the Past”) probably in the early 90s for April Fool’s Day. It was a LOT of work, piecing together old airchecks, which I did myself at dawn in the Production studio for weeks. But when we did it, we did it during the daytime hours only (I think) and because I was a definite Humble Harve fan growing up in So Cal, I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to include Biondi. We did Eubanks, Casey, TQ and others but never Biondi to my knowledge.
From what I heard, this was an actual (or a compilation of several) aircheck of Dick. It sounds too real!
Hope this helps, Mike. We sure had a ball during my 11 years at the Big 11-10! Best gig I ever had.
Mike Wagner – Licensed REALTOR® in AZ (Lic. # SA646134000) & CA (Lic. # 01907928)
(end quoted material)
So, the mystery deepens. Mike didn’t use Biondi for his 1991 and 1992 “Thing of the Past” weekends…but the last thing on this tape is the “We hope you enjoyed our “Thing of the Past”…
Total shot in the dark guess from me: Someone tried to cobble together a Dick Biondi aircheck that never actually existed—maybe from old scoped airchecks. That would explain the difference in quality between the music and the mic. But Biondi still sounds too old to me here.
Maybe he had a cold.
Self-doubt is a terrible thing. I was right the first time, but off by a day. This was November 1, 1981 (the original KRLA Reunion Weekend was Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1).
According to a story in the November 7, 1981 issue of Billboard, the weekend was meant to feature “its 1964-1966 air personality lineup”. So the songs in this aircheck were fine—what threw us was the one time a date was mentioned.
Billboard shows Biondi as having taken part. Yet the photos taken of the jocks at the reunion just out the studio doors show everyone but Biondi. Dick was in Chicago, and—voicetracked his show (which explains the voice age, the stiffness of the bits compared to the usual “Wild Eye-Tralian” and the lousy quality of the voice track (in 1981, you either put up with a bad phone line or paid a big FedEx bill for the tape).
This aircheck exists, with the November 1, 1981 date, in several aircheck collections, including that of Tom Konard, who is regarded as the aircheck collector’s aircheck collector, and who was the Production Manager at WCFL, Chicago, for years.
I’ve corresponded and traded with Tom over the years. He’s immaculate. So I’m guessing the 1991 tag got spliced on by someone else.
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