Saturday, September 29, 2007

This is an experiment

I'm trying to see if I can post audio on my blog so I'm throwing something on as a test. Several people have asked what I sounded like in my insane disc jockey days. So here is an aircheck of me (Beaver Cleaver) on KTNQ (TEN Q) Los Angeles from 1977. Now you know why I went into TV writing.

27 comments:

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Good patter and I'm a big Beaver Cleaver fan, but like every other dj you insist on talking over the music. I hate that. I suppose it might be station policy; if it is, all station mangers should be shot.

Ken Levine said...

I disagree. I like disc jockeys talking over record intros...IF they have something fun to say. There's also a skill to finishing your thought or joke just before the vocal comes in. If you want to just hear the music, buy the record. Part of the fun of Top 40 was the presentation. Talking over intros is just part of the package.

And damn, it was fun to do.

Paul Duca said...

And that's the word of the Beaver...amen.

Sebastian said...

This recording is almost as old as I am so I guess I'm not allowed to judge.

If I were I'd say that the time I would listen to this kind of radio program is between minus one and zilch ;-)

Anonymous said...

Maybe not "Boss Radio" but stil, pretty damn good! Lots of "energy" (I worked there when it was KGBS, also Boss Radio).

Cage Free Brown said...

Earl Schieb? 39.95? that dates us, huh?

estiv said...

"Cause I'm not into necrophilia."

Well, I would've liked you, but I think I've finally come to accept that my taste is not part of the mainstream. I imagine that most program directors would listen to you very carefully, then exhibit slow but steady eye-glazing while they reached for their pocket flasks. Lew Alcindor loved baseball best, but Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was better suited to basketball. Your destiny lay elsewhere.

Ken Levine said...

Hey, I was a crazy kid. Gimme a break.

And yes, I think I took the better career path.

Damaged Goods said...

God, I love those songs. ELO. Hall and Oats. The Carpenters ??

Help me.

tb said...

Yeah, 39.95! I can only remember back to 59.99! I swear!

Frank Abe said...

Ken, thanks, great stuff. Like listening to you calling a Mariners game on KIRO Radio on speed! Makes me wonder, did you write out your patter and one-liners a few seconds before you the record ended, or was it really that spontaneous?

Anonymous said...

Super job! The audio plays fine.

Folks, this is an Art Form. Saying meaningful, funny things over a few bars of a song (no retakes) is more than difficult. Beaver did a sparkling job wherever he hung his headphones (San Diego, San Francisco, Detroit, Pacoima..)

His humor is like a blowtorch, compared to the lukewarm efforts of the no-talent time-and-temp jocks who gave us ample reason to dislike dj's "talking over the song."

Rock 'n roll radio had a sharp talent for awhile, but TV gets him now.

RAC said...

Man, that was totally cool. I always loved a good dj's patter right up until the vocal, and you did it well. Thanks! I liked your "into the living" joke a lot.

Anonymous said...

Was your voice sped up a bit? More than a bit, perhaps?
Or is that just how beavers talk?

(the duo Brewer and Shipley called their publishing company "Talking Beaver Music." Which is how the peep shows on Santa Monica Blvd. -- females in those days -- would advertise that you could chat with a nude woman, on the other side of the glass. But I digress...)

Jason said...

I'm the wrong age group, but this really reminds me of the DJs in the Grand Theft Auto series of video games. (They have a wide variety of "radio stations" the player can listen to while tooling around in stolen cars.) It might be too late to get in on GTA IV, but I'll bet they'd love to have you on GTA V.

Dave said...

Nice job of "hitting the post" as they say in the biz.

Ken Levine said...

The tape might've been sped up a little. It's an old tape.

I never did any preparation for my dj shows. Even recently when I filled in on KRTH. Practically everything was either off the top of my head or I'd cook up a minute or so before going on the air. I never wrote anything out.

WF said...

What great training for a comedy writer. You've got to be right there, literally on the beat. Miss the beat and you back off a bit, go lower and stretch the gag. It has to come natural. I wonder how close comedy timing is to musical timing.

Do beavers ever get sued by Mathers?

l.a. guy said...

Just think... if John Lennon and you had stayed Radio DJ's generations of people would have been deprived of some the most brilliant creativity the world has ever known... and whatever it is Lennon ended up doing.

Wayne from Maine said...

Ken,
I know that you poke fun at yourself about being a DJ from time to time, but I hope in some way you are proud of it. I know at the time what with the likes of Real Don Steele, Robert W. Morgan, and such you may have felt insignificant. Hell, who wouldn't! But you were, and judging by your stint on KRTH, still are one of the greats. I heard you do a fill in at WXLO New York in 1978 and knew I was listening to something great. Also your airchecks are just as sought after and R.D.S. and R.W.M. airchecks today.

jbryant said...

Awesome demonstration of what may be a lost art. Only one criticism: your Dylan impression sounds more like some animated sidekick, like Chumley from "Tennessee Tuxedo" or Ding-a-ling from "Hokey Wolf." Great fun.

Scott C. said...

I was always amazed by DJs' ability to talk right up until a nanosecond before the vocal started. How? Did you use a stopwatch? A Naval Observatory-grade atomic clock? Count the grooves on the platter? Or was it just a function of hearing the same 40 songs over and over and over and over...

Speaking of which...Licorice Pizza. Wow. The existence of stores that sold vinyl records and blacklight posters was actually sitting in the desktop recycle bin of my brain, waiting to get permanently deleted from memory until I heard that.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

But, Ken, if I had the record I wouldn't have to listen to the radio. Believe it or not, I listen to hear the music, not the dj. And many songs have really nice musical intros that I'd rather hear than some jabbering jock, most of whom aren't near as clever as you. I kid you not, as one of them was drowning out the nice opening music to a song on my car radio today he was talking about Italian food. That's entertainment?

I met a working dj two years ago and expressed my displeasure with this phenomenon. He told me that research indicated (apparently there's a ton of research done in radio) that men don't like it and women don't care. Seems to me that this result would create a policy which comes down on the side of the men, but, alas, it doesn't.

And this is why more and more I listen to talk radio. At least they're supposed to talk a lot, and music is seconday.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

That last word in the above post should be "secondary." Sorry, I was talking as I typed and ruined the whole thing.

WF said...

Cap'n, like every other poster you insist on talking over the typing. I hate that.

Dave Roberts said...

Ken, you nailed it...if you hit the post/vocal with a complete (relevant and/or pithy) thought, it all becomes a seamless "on-air production". But alas, I think they've stopped teaching that in radio school (and whatever happened to "direction" from a program director...oh yeah, he/she's "on the computer").

Oh, and the audio is great and you sound great!

(Dave Roberts - Remember KMEN?)

Jim in the AV said...

It was amazing how the "BOSS" radio format evolved in the 60s and 70s. It had much of our generation (the younger boomers) mesmerized at the time. TV was "out," radio was "in." It is always great to stumble across tidbits from those days. I wasn't fortunate enough to be growing up in LA when you were on the radio, but I spent a few of my teen years in another city listening to a guy who would eventually become a TenQ DJ, Andy Barber. I think he is still on the air in Tulsa. Thanks for sharing the air check. Would enjoy hearing more if you have them.