Former Location, 1967 – 1971-
KPPC was one of the leading “underground” radio stations in the United States.
Originally founded in a Pasadena church, it moved to this location a year before it closed forever.
What was left of the station eventually became the world famous KROQ
99 South Chester
Pasadena CA 91106
I grew up in Pasadena, CA and I listened to KPPC all a lot. I even went there once to play for one of the DJ’s a friend of mine knew; he gave us some good ideas on how to improve. KPPC was ahead of it’s time and what a flux it even happened, or was it a god send for all of us wanders seeking intelligent input. I still have a couple mono HealthKit recordings of some of the amazing sets of music the DJ’s would spin. Thanks to you all !!
I have alot of thr tapes from the original kppc station
I work with filmmaker Cass Plaey, who is putting together a film about KPPC. We would very much like to hear more about your tapes. Please contact me at email@example.com.
Would love to hear some of your old kppc recordings
Do you have the interview with Rory Gallagher with Barbara Birdfeather from probably early October 1971? I am an admin for the official Rory Gallagher (RIP) Facebook page and would love to listen to it. I understand there was a mass firing at the station later that month. firstname.lastname@example.org
Would it be possible for you to upload them to YouTube? I grew up during that era and would listen to KPPC from Long Beach. They were one of the hippest underground stations. Would love to hear the shows.
I also grew up in Pasadena and even attended the Pasadena Presbyterian Church from 1958 to 1968. On Sunday nights after youth services we would sometimes walk downstairs by the music department threw the doors on the left and by the radio station. Then out the Colorado side door and up a couple steps. After all we figured we had a right to be there being members of the church and all. Also group 9 of the Boy Scouts met there on Tuesday nights. Did you know there was a roller skating rink in the basement of the church school? One last thing my friend had a poster a KPPC poster with Jimi Hendrix on it. Black and white! When he passed away 2 years ago his sister asked if I wanted anything. I said I would love the KPPC Hendrix poster, but the nephew got it.
I worked there as a teenager answering phones for their “Duck Rush” – the chief engineer was my neighbor – it was some call in promo, although I can’t remember what it was about!
Elton John came there for an interview – he was having his first concert in LA at the Troubadour. Then everyone went out in the parking lot in the back and had a whipped cream pie throwing event. That was as wild a party as I’d ever been to!
Lots of funny memories of the DJs. I remember someone saying that Jeff Gonzer’s Afro was so big he had to walk through doors sideways.
I have the interview and the pie fight tape among with an interview with sonny terry
I am asking for a friend. There is a picture with Tom Donahue with about 4 or 5 other guys and there are 2 guys wearing a hat. The first guy on the left is wearing a cowboy hat. My friend wants to know who he is. He also said/thinks he interviewed Jimi Hendrix. Any information would be great. Thanks in advace.
I was there and hit Elton with one of those cream pies!!! Listened alot to KPPC, a true AOR (album oriented rock) station. It broadcasted from the basement of the presbiterian church om Colorado Blvd remember Firesyne Theater
Ellioy Minse with his eastern philosophy show. I believe in eastern philosophy today. He was a good friend of John Lennon
Went virtually every weekend to the Rose Palace to rock out with MAJOR r&r bands. Led Zepplin played their1st album.
Joe Cocker, Ten Years After. Lee Michales w/Frosty too many to remember really,
Bought LP’s at the record store near PCC for only $1.00 each. Got into English imports as well.
LONG LIVE ROCK & the late 60’s in Pasadena!!!
Was it Pooh-Bah records by any chance?
Remember KPPC Steve the Sea gull show. Dr. Dimento. Jeff Gonzer then they all got fired soon after going 50,000 watts for declining an ad by Simba, a soft drink. They said that the idea of the ad being run with a safari motif was un acceptable. They then went out and hustled up multiple advertisers like Neutrogena. Got loaded on acid one night and walked to the radio station from Eagle Rock. The dj ( Don’t remember his name) drove me home in his vintage Mercedes.
I remember him as the Obscene Steven Clean. Also loved all the station promos by the Persuasions
Oh, thank gawd… I’ve been looking all over for info on Steve the Seagull, and was starting to think I was losing my mind.
Oh yeah. They moved several years ago but are still on Colorado Blvd.
It was American Records, around the corner fro m Orange Julius.
I was at that pie fight. It was a blast!
I keep thinking I remember a wonderful female DJ from this station who called herself “Outrageous Nevada.” This would have been about 1971. Am I imagining this? She was soooo good! Loved her voice.
Susan Carter was her real name, partner of Les Carter, who was Program Director.
Outrageous Nevada Smith, You are the only person I’ve ever known of who remembers this. Sexiest voice ever in radio. I remember one of her contests that went with a song at the time “boobs-a-lot”. IN 25 words or less tell me why you like boobs a lot. The only one I remember was, because they don’t have any bones.
Boobs a lot -by the Fugs
That was The Holy Modal Rounders album Good Taste is Timeless
Susan Carter.Her husband Les was program director. They had a show and called themselves the Carter Family. Susan Had an album on columbia records. And I know what you mean about the voice
The first time I heard KPPC was by accident on my new transistor FM radio. 4 or 5 album songs played in a row, no interruptions. The insanity of Firesign Theater live. I have an original Doctor Demento fan club card from his KPPC days before he went syndicated. You could show up high at their studio and they’d welcome you as a fellow traveler. Eliot Mintz- yes. All that good vibing and how wonderful to have them on the air when coming down from an acid high…
KPPC FM, Sound of stereo, KPPC FM, Pasadena, stereo!
Growing up in the Pasadena area I admired the irreverence of KPPC. It was legendary you could just walk in there and witness the insanity. Also worth mentioning were the DJ’s at KRLA (on the grounds of the Huntington Sheraton) and news from The Credibility Gap. A friend of my sister’s babysat for the station manager, and somehow we scored second row center tickets for The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. Those were golden years for L.A. radio! Where have all the rock’n roll DJ’s gone? Now most of what we get are computer selected playlists and stations with few real personalities.
Walked into the KPPC Pasadena studio one evening back in 1971 with Judy the girlfriend of my stepmother when I was fifteen years old. “Cant you hear me knocking” by the Rolling Stones on the turntable in the studio playing over the air with dj obscene Steven Clean and the janitor who looked like an old bluesman. Out on the counter by the turntable with the Sticky Fingers album cover “The Blue Yusef Lateef” album by Yusef Lateef and “In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson. My kind of radio station.
I remember KPPC had a kite flying contest at the beach (I believe in Santa Monica.) Talked to DJ Peter Frankland (or Franklin) there and told him “what a beautiful way to pollute the skies.” Of course, I didn’t mean “pollute” as in smog…just that the skies were so full of these kites. He used my expression on air and I was stoked. Didn’t Elliot Mintz do a radio show about the Bermuda Triangle on KPPC? Just looked it up and Yep…it was Stendek: Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Of course, I was high while listening to that one-hour show and it scared the sh*t out of me.
I produced and hosted a show which was about old-time radio. I was “Cousin Zino” on Sundays. I think it was from ’71 to ’72. The fun ended when all air personalities were told that the station would be no more. KROQ reared its ugly head.
I was also at the kite flying contest wearing my KPPC t-shirt that no longer exists. Fun times, fond memories. It all happened while
we were at 99 S. Chester St.
Harvey, I remember your broadcasts quite well. As I sit here, July 3, 2022, I am listening to a tape I made 50 years ago tomorrow when you did your OTR marathon on KPPC. I rolled the tape, at 1-7/8 ips to get as many hours as I could. It helped start me in the hobby of collecting OTR. Thanks for the many memories. BTW, I have an OTR web site and can be contacted through there. http://www.otrannex.com/
Hi, Vince. Nice to hear from you. I remember that marathon. It was around Halloween, 1972 and I called it, “A Frightful Nightfull.” It was scheduled for 24 hours and I thought that I’d have no trouble handling it. Wrong! After 20 some-ought hours I could barely see. I turned the mic over to someone and told him that I’m going home to sleep and to simply play the tapes that I’ve setup in order of play. Great times.
I really liked doing my weekly show about old-time radio and looked forward to it. I was disappointed when told that my
services were no longer required. But…that’s show biz.
KPPC “Coming to you live at 100 watts from the basement of the First Presbyterian Church in Pasadena”
Jeff the Gonser show
etc, gone maybe, but not forgotten
I know one of KPPCs DJs from the 60s. I’ve just about finished listening to his audiobook history of his time there, Riding the Ether Express. I’d be very interested in the documentary. Does that exist yet?
Vince, copy those tapes and offer them for sale. I spent many weekends listening all night long until the sun came up. KPPC was part of my awakening.
Went to KPPC once on a Sunday afternoon after a concert in Elysian Park, where I’d recorded a friends band. When we got to KPPC, dj Dana Jones let us into the basement studios. I remember the autographs of other folks who’d visited the station that were written on the wall in the hall of the station. I remember one name that stood out, Jimi Hendrix. At this point in time Dana Jones told me that the Firesign Theatre was getting ready to do their Sunday evening show. I had a reel-to-reel tape in the car and asked if he could set it up to record their broadcast, He said sure – no problem. I thought it would be cool to have a tape of their broadcast and I could just wait until it was over and take it home with me. He said, “well if you’re gonna be here waiting, you might as well just go into the studio with them, and watch them do their show”. It was great! And I had a tape of the broadcast, made at the source. Of course I loaned the tape out and never saw it again. I never loaned anything to anyone after that.
I remember listening on Sunday afternoons to ‘Brunch with Harry Shearer’, and of course the Credibility Gap News – David L. Lander, Michael McKean, Richard Beebe and Harry Shearer. (Sometimes Albert Brooks found his way into their broadcasts). Great stuff!
KPPC was by far and away the best radio station ever! Not aHEAD of its time – UNIQUE (in SoCal at least) because no later station ever came close. I remember the Elton John pie fight – my friend Steve was there and still tells the story. Credibility Gap, Firesign Theater, Outrageous Nevada. Political commentary. Interviews. The ride board – I got a ride to Michigan in ’71 through the board. They were family. I have always missed KPPC. and I still do.
Anyone else remember late-night DJ Zachary Zenore? I used to love staying up late listening to him. I think he had frequent visits from Jeff Gonzer.
I remember all of the djs mentioned, especially, Jeff Gonzer’s “Get your ass out of bed” every morning. I listened constantly and set my alarm to to wake me up to Jeff’s morning show. He visited Zachary Zenore’s show frequently as they changed shifts. Loved hearing Ourtageous Nevada Smith’s voice. The music was unmatched by any other Los Angeles station. I used to record Firesyn Theater frequently. You can hear the Persuasions acapella station ID at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bEoKjdNdyk.
One of my favorite things about the station was their radio announcement sung by the Persuasions. I still remember it to this day.
I remember the “of the wall” info that they would put out for the deals of the day and the ballsy
Way they would relay it. They also played the best and censored music of the times, along with some of the great comedians and their insane antics. They were legendary.
Greatest radio station ever. First time I heard it I was a fan and never listened to anything else. No screaming DJ’s. NO screaming ads. Just cool DJ’s who never yelled or talked loudly. AND PLAED THE GREATEST MUSIC. What was great in the late 60 and early 70s. Nothing but the best. FULL LENGTH albums occasionally when they came out. Long songs played all the way. Just the best.
FM now sounds like AM did back then. Wish they had another level of radio that didn’t have the crap they have now.