Boys Vice-Principal Mr. Marshall - everybody had one - you had him more than most.

It’s January 1966 – You’re In High School – You’re In L.A. – Your Life Is About Avoiding The Boys VP.

Boys Vice-Principal: Mr. Marshall – everybody had one – you had him more than most.

KHJ – The Real Don Steele – January 21, 1966 –

You remember exactly when it happened. Teenage Fair. Hollywood Palladium. The Byrds. Roger McGuinn. Girls screaming. It clicked. You wanted to BE Roger McGuinn. But you couldn’t be Roger McGuinn looking like you did. You looked like Boot Camp – you had White Side Walls. You couldn’t comb your hair in a million years to look anything like Roger McGuinn. You spent all Summer growing your hair. It was covering your ears. It was touching your collar. Girls were noticing you. You were hanging out on Sunset. You were on a crash-course to being one of the “cool people”.

That was Summer – by September you were back in school, catching the eye of Mr. Marshall, the Boys VP. There were rules. There was a dress code. There was Mrs. Burk, the Girls VP with a ruler measuring skirts. Mr. Marshall was everywhere, staring at guys heads. It was the reign of terror.

Mr. Marshall was not one of the cool people. You could tell he didn’t like his job – but he really didn’t like you. First day back from Vacation you were in his office, getting the offer of ROTC. Talking suspension. Calling your parents. Getting the three-day notice.

From budding Byrd to bullet-head – all the way down to nicked ears and Witch Hazel. In less than ten minutes you went from being noticed to being avoided. But you weren’t alone. A few guys tried notes; one pretending to be a manager saying he was a musician in a band. Another saying “please excuse our son, he’s an actor”. Didn’t work.

Over time you got creative. Got friendly with Brylcreem – slicked everything back and left grease stains everywhere. Took to wearing caps. Took to hiding a lot – heard about a company making short-haired wigs. You tried, couldn’t afford it – didn’t work anyway.

So on top of everything else – on top of ditching school, hanging out on Sunset past curfew, trying to keep your grades up, you had this looming presence, living in dread fear of the tap on the shoulder or the summons from the PA System.

Your life in High School got complicated and it was going to stay complicated till graduation – if you were gonna live that long. At least you had your records and your radio and a head full of imagination.

There was that.

And an hours worth of The Real Don Steele, just as he sounded on January 21, 1966 – a Million Dollar Weekend.

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