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Radio AM to FM: August 16, 2002

Violent Jam

Three people suffered minor injuries and 30 others were arrested when fights broke out at the KKBT Summer Jam 2002 hip-hop concert held last Sunday at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.

The all-day concert was cut short in the early evening due to the outbreak of violence, caused when audience members dressed in "gang attire" started hitting others with metal pipes and throwing chairs at security staffers. Pleas from rapper LL Cool J to settle down went unheeded and the concert was stopped at about 7:30 pm, before many of the concert's major acts had a chance to perform.

KKBT General Manager Nancy Leichter issued a statement that read in part, "We've had a peaceful event every year for the past nine years," apparently forgetting that a previous Summer Jam was stopped in the mid-1990s. "It is sad that a few unruly people were intent on ruining the day for 16,000 people who wanted to enjoy the event. We were very happy that the Irvine Police Department handled the incident quickly and professionally."

Is this another stick in the eye for hip-hop concerts? Perhaps. But as Lt. Sam Allevato of the Irvine Police Department mentioned to reporters, similar disturbances have occurred at such events as Jimmy Buffett and Grateful Dead concerts. (Grateful Dead? You'd think fans of the Dead would be too high to be violent).

Short Takes

Next Friday, August 23rd, Arrow 93 morning man Joe Benson will broadcast live from the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. On hand will be the Doobie Brothers, who will chat with Uncle Joe as well as perform a few songs. You can win tickets by listening to the show weekdays from 6 to 10 am.

It's official: KLON, among the oldest FM call letter combinations in Southern California, are now history. The station as of last Friday is known as KKJZ ... the stuttering K-K-Jazz.

Can you tell I'm not a big fan of pointless call-letter changes? I miss the days when people found and remembered a station because of good programming, not just descriptive calls.

Satellite radio services XM and Sirius are releasing second-generation decoders that will fit inside of a car radio rather than being part of a separate box that connects to the radio. The move should cut costs a bit ... but still no word on when new chips will be released that can receive both services, as was promised by the companies to the FCC. Currently a decoder designed for one system cannot receive the other.

Random Thoughts

I've been listening to KLOS a lot more recently, hearing songs that I haven't heard in a long time. In a strange way, it reminds me of the Souvenir of the Seventies Weekends that KRTH used to run back when they were a good station. Years ago ...

How can anyone stand to listen to Jamie and Danny on Star 98.7? Do people actually like hearing grating voices talk about things no one cares about, or is it just that by hearing them you know you're better than at least two people in the world?


Copyright © 2002 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.

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