Mountain Musings


Radio Ga Ga


I’ve had a lifelong fascination with all things radio. As a child, I would listen to LA stations such as KFWB, KHJ and KRLA and lie awake late at night and tune in Wolfman Jack on XERB out of Del Rio, Texas.


Nowadays, I lie awake, listening to Coast-To-Coast with George Noory on KFI and even called in a couple of times to talk about UFOs with original host Art Bell.


Always a fan of classic rock, I listen to a number of FM radio stations out of San Diego that come in loud and clear here on the mountaintop, such as 101.5 KGB, 98.1 Sunny FM, 96.5 KYXY and 101.1 KATY out of Temecula. I even checked out the radio reception on the mountain before I bought my home here.


If you’re headed for Vegas, you can get contemporary rock and I-15 traffic reports on 98.1 The Highway Vibe out of Barstow, which comes in loud and clear in VOE and areas on the north side of the mountain, though it morphs into Sunny 98.1 on the southern side of our mountain. I guess you could say I’m all agog about radio.


“All we hear is radio ga, ga, radio goo, goo, radio ga, ga, radio goo, goo, what’s new? Radio blah, blah, radio blah, blah, what’s new?” (“Radio Ga Ga – Queen – 1984)


As a teen, I was the student DJ in the cafeteria at Tustin High School, playing the latest from the Beach Boys, Surfaris and The Beatles. However, I got called into the vice principal’s office after playing Louie Louie by The Kingsmen. The veep said it had dirty lyrics but, to tell the truth, it was hard to tell what the heck they were sayin’. Why, the FBI reportedly spent two-and-a-half years analyzing the lyrics and still couldn’t figure it out.


As a young adult, I was a co-founder and student DJ of the Chapman College (now Chapman University) radio station KNAB 890 AM, where, with a 30-watt transmitter and an antenna strung on a chain-link fence next to the dorms, it propelled our signal as far as Newport Beach on the west and Fullerton to the north. Only problem was that, after about two years, the FCC found out and shut it down for several years, until the advent of the Internet.


Oh, and it’s also where I met my “child bride,” Rhea-Frances, who called in to a name-that-song contest and won a free pizza. When she came in to pick up the pizza, it was love at first sight…and still is.


After getting a bachelor’s degree and teaching credential, I couldn’t get a teaching job because they were laying off teachers back in the 70s, so I started a record store in Orange and later expanded to Anaheim. To promote my stores, I recorded radio commercials on KEZY in Anaheim, KNAC in Long Beach and KLOS in Los Angeles. Same with my bicycle shops in San Bernardino and Riverside in the 80s. All agog was I.


“Radio ga, ga, radio goo, goo.”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott