440: Satisfaction - In depth
Hi Johnny,

As others have said, I listened regularly to your KHJ overnighters, sponsored -- if I recall -- by Sears.

Gosh, I miss listening to KHJ. (I guess I am a fossil at 66!) In latter years, I lived at Martoni's, and a hush would fall over the room when HE entered. The promo guys (along with Jan Basham and Dottie Vance, but they were cool) ) fell all over themselves when Mr. Y himself entered the joint. Some fun memories, although I am not sure how my car made it from there to my home in Laurel Canyon after more than a few! Thank God never an accident or a ticket -- although I certainly deserved a wake-up call.

And KHJ promotions at the Palladium (I manged a rock band at the time. They did a lot of KHJ gigs.) One night, when Steele had been off the air for less than a half-hour, he appeared at the stage door of the Palladium, "ready" to do his on-stage shtick. (Quick stop at Nicodell's on the way over, or perhaps a bit-more transportable substance?)

He was so blasted Don Berrigan had to stand behind him and push him through the split in the curtains when he was introduced.

And the switch turned on. And the Real Don Steele did a perfect Real Don Steele.

Earlier, some radio wannabe friends and I would bring hamburgers over to Bob Eubanks, shortly after he came in from Port Hueneme, doing overnights at the old KRLA facility on the grounds of the then-Huntington Sheraton, now a Ritz-Carlton.

(One of my cronies was Dave Evans, who made the D-C automation format sing, considering how antiquated the equipment was, reel-to-reel and all.)

This was when we were attending Pasadena City College, ready to rip radio a new one.

A certain hotshot PD at KAFY (me) wanted to steal Jacobs' Find-a-Key promotion, but no idea where to buy the phony keys. Called Jacobs office. Secretary was really abrupt. I pleaded with her. No go. She eventually did call back with the info, but I felt dissed by Jacobs.

(I felt vindicated for my youthful stupidity a number of years later when Ron summoned me to San Diego for a cherry gig at KGB, but we could never get together on money in a deal where I would have to do something like 40 spots week in order to make up in talent fees what I was doing in L. A. But I know I missed a real opportunity to work under the genius of KHJ. Ooops.)

No, not oops! I think most people understand by now. I hope so.

And I recall going out to the KHJ transmitter site on Venice when the D-S automated AIR format was running from there, to give my opinions to a good friend station owner. Gary Mack did the demo and Chenault himself was there to add the "aura" as Mack did the pitch. Never was sure if Gene was turning his hearing aid UP or DOWN during the gathering.

(I had met Chenault some time earlier when he told me if I ever really wanted to be a successful PD, I would demand that I spend almost no time at the station. Rather, chill on the beach and listen to the radio. I could never convince any of my bosses that his advice was the best!)

Gosh, I could go on and on. From jingles and spots on ET at KYOS in Merced to satellite feeds and Sirus and XM, all-digital audio editing and playback, along with news scripts read on a computer monitor at KFWB, until I became a man of leisure earlier this year. I loved it all. Well, most-all.

I remember driving highway 99, on my way to my first "real" rock'n roll gig at KYOS, listening to "K-MAKe Dress Rehearsal Time."

Drake was still doing his thing for Knox LaRue at KSTN, Stockton, splitting his time (and getting paid half by each) with Chenault at KYNO.

I think back to the chutzpah of Colgreene going up against KYNO's 5kw, programmed by this Hawaiian guy.

(Howard Tulllis often boasted that it was HE who arranged for the pot bust. Never knew if it was true, but it intrigued me. Something to do with KMEN, perhaps, causing fits for KFXM??)

And what about Bill Watson? But that's another forgotten situation.

KMAK at 250 watts (maybe a kilowatt daytime, can't remember,), gearing up to make big noise in Fresno. It was great flipping between the two.

Drake (I presume it was Drake, maybe Chenault) was smart enough to recognize a PD across the street at 1340 as being a guy who really understood formatics.

And, as they say, the rest is history. (Do you ever see Jacobs?)

Other moments in my life: working twice for Art Astor. What an experience. Amazingly, he really liked me--especially after I told him, one day when he was haranguing me, that he could take his radio station's tower, and all of Orange County, and shove it up his ass!

We have been friends in the thirty-or-more years since. (Visited him a couple of times after D-C moved to Canoga Park, before he bought KORJ.)

And Art sold the Orange County teapot for 35 million dollars. I should be so smart!

For entry on your website, I first paste my bio from Don Barrett's site. Can't be verbatim, of course (I am absolutely terrible on dates, so I can not confirm the accuracy of this listing, but here it is: These are Don's dates.)

Lundy, Mike: KFI, 1968; KGBS, 1968; KDAY, 1971-74; KFWB, 1977-78; KGIL, 1979-80; KFI/KOST, 1982-83; KGIL/KMGX, 1983-92; KFWB, 2000-07. Mike retired from radio in January 2007.

Missing were KUSC, where I did two weeks of summer fill-in when I was a snot-nosed, know-it all kid at San Gabriel High School, to summer booth the next year at KTCA-TV, Minneapolis/St Paul, to KPCS (now KPCC) in Pasadena (interestingly, now operated by Minnesota Public Radio,) KMAX in Sierra Madre (now KSSE, licensed to Arcadia, and part of Entravision's 107.1 "SuperEstrella" three-station simulcast at 107.1) to KDWC in West Covina (on 98.3, now part of Univision's Recuredo format, which includes Willie Davis' former K-ACE) to KYOS in Merced to KAFY and KERN, Bakersfield, to KRIZ and KOOL, Phoenix.

I was also general manager of Ted Randal Enterprises for several years. Ted was an early programming consultant. Morgan would stop by the office frequently after his show to shmooze with Ted--and use the phone. Interesting guy. One day bright and cheery. Down and moody the next. (Major market morning drive pressure to be always "on"?)

Managed somehow to squeeze in a Political Science degree at UCLA--school in the morning, Randal in the afternoon, KAFY second-time around on the weekend. Ultimately a lot of travel to see clients whenever school and other commitments permitted.

Best radio guy I ever met, thanks to Ted, was our client, the late Alan Waters at CHUM Ltd. in Toronto.

I spent six months commuting back-and forth each weekend to Montreal when Alan was trying to buy CKGM the first time around.

Nobody at the station could figure out what I was doing there. Nice big office. Reading the trades. Typing "stuff." Talking on the phone. Reviewing BBM ratings stats. Writing more stuff down on a legal pad.

My only purpose was to keep an eye on the property, and especially its then- owner, Geoff Stirling, whom Alan believed was capable of anything to screw up the property after the deal was signed, but before CRTC approval.

I enjoyed a lot of great food, and fine dinners with the jocks and programming folk. But they never knew what I did or why I was there. Some great concerts, too. I especially remember The Band in person. Super.

I had flown down to Atlanta for a Gavin convention, when a phone call was waiting as I checked in.

It was Alan. CRTC rejected transfer application.

This was during the time of the very active French separatist movement, and the Canadian government wanted the station to go to a French operator.

CHUM Ltd. finally received CRTC permission to buy the station in 1985.

I've perhaps forgotten one or two stops along the way, but I believe this is pretty close.

Also, between 1992 and 2000, I owned Lundy Media Group. We did programming for radio stations in Japan, and pop-style English language learning materials for a publisher in Tokyo. Went to Japan about 3 times a year.

(Economic fall of Japan, Inc., killed that sweet deal, and I actually had to find a job.)

KFWB was right there! Also did a syndicated travel show, which led to many great freebies from Hong Kong to London and Paris and Honolulu and, and, and.

Sure miss freebies!!

Also, don't exactly love today's version of corporate radio. I worked for Group W and Cox earlier, and that corporate experience was not like today, with five stations in one spot. And earlier days with one station kicking ass with Top 40 will never be seen again.

Kids now have no idea how much fun we had.

Freebies to every concert at the Palladium, Forum, Long Beach, Amphitheatre Anaheim, Santa Monica and, eventually picking up the Concert Associates contract to produce and voice their spots --plus the added incentive of having an open door to go to the venue any time I wanted, to introduce the act.

Really a difficult gig. "Ladies and gentleman. The Doors."

Not a bad way to pick up a hundred bucks anytime I felt like it.

Among the other memories --following the Beatles on their second U-S tour, where I almost had my arm twisted off behind my back backstage by some LAPD thug--just as the infamous KHJ plane flew over, giving rise to Eubanks' comment about losing a letter -- until the very-proper British security director for the band advised the goon to "unhand" me, since I had unlimited backstage credentials.

CBS was a decent place to work, especially after Karmazin was gone, and local management was ratcheted up more than a few notches. But Redstone answers to Wall Street, and that puts a hell of a lot of pressure on everyone, as radio faces iPod and satellite and CD and the Internet and increasing Spanish population and on and on.

I am really glad that I have been able to transition from radio as it was, to radio now.

I have rambled far too long. It is Saturday night and I want to relax! That's one of the many things I love about retirement. I do mostly what I want, when I want. And I love it.

Who knows? Six months from now I might be itching to get behind the mike, or in a management job again, but for now it is super. I don't know how I got everything done that is keeping me busy now, when I also had to go to work!!!

John, this is unedited stream-of-consciousness, but it reflects a few thoughts sailing through my brain as I click the keys on the keyboard.

Best wishes.


Mike Lundy (media101@pacbell.net)
Oct 13, 2007


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