– KHJ – Machine Gun Kelly – December 29, 1975 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Two days left of 1975. New Years eve is just around the corner – so is 1976. 1975 was okay, it could have been better though. The job you got last January as a messenger pays the bills, but you spend half your life stuck on Freeways, driving from Century City to Downtown to Sherman Oaks to Long Beach. The ’63 Chevy Nova you drive only has an AM radio, so you know every Ohio Players single by heart. Most days you like being alone, especially on Mondays where the hangover from a weekends worth of Tequila Sunrises and Quaaludes make you glad you don’t have to talk to anybody, except the receptionists – but they ignore you anyway. A few Monday mornings you’ve gone straight from a party to work, and the Polyester shirt and platform shoes don’t really make it when you’re delivering Cease And Desist notices from a high pressure attorney on Century Park East to a Body and Fender shop in Canoga Park in the middle of Summer. Maybe this weekend you’ll meet “Her”.
KHJ in 1975. AM radio was still a collection of music and talk stations, but FM was continuing to erode the audience for music. KHJ would continue for another 4 years before switching to Country. Top-40 radio was also an eclectic mix of disco and Hard Rock. It wasn’t unusual to go from The Sweet to K.C. and The Sunshine Band in the space of two songs. Disco had its fair share of detractors, while Rock was splintering in a million different directions. And it would only get more splintered as 1976 progressed. For the time though, AM Radio was still around, KHJ was still popular and rapid-fire delivery and songs slightly sped-up was the norm for the mid-70s.
By the following December, things would sound and look different – and thankfully, Polyester shirts were on their way out.