Tuesday, October 04, 2005

KJHK Lore - The Red Hot Chili Peppers ID

KJHK had quite a collection of artist IDs in the early/mid 80's. There must have been 50 individual tape cartridges in the studio with personalities doing a variation on the script, "Hi, this is so-and-so from the band-you-know and you're listening to KJHK, Lawrence.

If they nailed the call letters and the city without anything in between, we called it a legal ID. A station must identify itself once an hour, within five minutes of the top of the hour with the call letters followed by the city of license, hence KJHK, Lawrence.

If the artist took liberties with the script, and thank goodness many of them did, it was a non-legal ID. No big deal.

What became the big deal was the technology we trusted. The tape cartridge was an industry standard for more than 40 years. Come to think of it, many of the carts at KJHK were probably that old. The cart itself, which resembled an 8-track tape, tended to wear out.

The spring of 1984 was my first semester on the KJHK staff. Late in the school year, a new band called the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their first album and we played the crap out of that record. It was great. Sometime not long after the release, the Chili Peppers made an appearance in Lawrence. The details of that show escape me, but they left a calling card. They recorded an ID. But it wasn't the regular, run-of-the-mill station identification. Anthony Kiedis devised an original, funky rap on the spot inside Sudler Annex and for my money, it's one of the best we ever recorded. Thanks to Lori Wray and Charles Brown for capturing it after the fact.

In the summer of 1984, they decided to play all the celebrity station IDs on the air one after the other. Better yet, they recorded it as it happened. A few years later many of the tape cartridges wore out. I feared this ID was lost for good. Thanks to Lori (and Charles) I now have a copy and so do you. Enjoy.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this gem.

Fowler Jones said...

I logged the wray/brown collection and there are about 96 artist IDs on the tape. That represents the collection up to the summer of 1984. The station didn't stop there!