Jim LaMarca on XTRA, 91X, Wolfman Jack and Rick Carroll
Commuting across the border into Mexico for 91X and XTRA 690 is an experience like no other in radio. It might take an hour or 5 hours to come home. It was the perfect job for a 21 year old kid (but a little tougher at 29).
I worked with some of the best jocks of the 80s: Jeff Hunter, Jim Richards, Rusty Nailz, Steve West, Michael Boss, Bob Montague, Sue Delaney, and of course, Wolfman Jack. He did afternoon drive for me, live from L.A. We set up a double satellite link to get him on the air. Twice a month he would come down to do the show live and we usually went into Mexico in a limo. He did a promotion for Super Bowl 1987 in San Diego. It took two hours to go 5 miles into downtown. Wolf kept jumping out of the car and glad- handing, bear-hugging people - which abolutely blew people away. It was like Mardi Gras.
The day 91X (XERB-FM) went Rock of the 80s, almost no one knew it was coming so there was no speculation. An air staff meeting was called for 3pm. These really straight liner-card jocks were sitting around the conference room when in walks wild Rick Carroll with a cardboard box. He dumps it on the table and says, "I'm Rick from Los Angeles and this is your new format." The first song was played at 6pm by Todd Tolkoff who was given the name Mad Max. He said, "This is 91X Rock of the 80s and this is Sex from Berlin. Everyone at the station (remember he is now in Mexico 30 minutes away) thought this song was too weird. It seemed slow and goofy, but hey this was all new to us. It also took forever. Well no wonder, he was playing a long-play version so the LP should have been playing at 45 rpm. Since we had never heard the song no one knew. This happened a lot.