Perry was a student DJ at KALX from 1981 to 1982.
“I was on the air at KALX in 1981-82. There are so many neat and/or great bands I learned about at KALX that were not on the commercial dial. Some of them did not necessarily become “significant” a few years later. A number of them did. Here’s how I discovered one of those. And like me, if you were listening to KALX at that time, you got a head start on much of the rest of the world with this band.
Most of my airshifts were 2-6am, but as I got better I had a few fill-ins here and there at other times. Once, another DJ asked if I’d cover his Wednesday 6-9am show. He had an appointment in San Francisco. So I’m doing the show…feeling pretty good. He calls me on the request line. Yes, even though he’s in San Francisco, where at the time you could not pick up KALX. (Some of you may remember that our Program Guide back then was called “10 Watts.”) Well, he asks for one of those bands with what I thought was a silly name. There were a number of them at KALX. I didn’t really want to play this band. But I hadn’t actually heard them. And heck, he was letting me do his show during hours most humans were awake and around. I should be a nice guy and play his request, or at the very least listen to the song and see what I think.
Immediately I was greeted by these raw, great guitar lines and passionate, propulsive beats. It wasn’t hard core punk. But it was definitely an explosive sound. I thought the blood was going to shoot through my head, I was so excited by the sound. Mid-grumble I thought, “WOW these guys are GREAT – how come I’ve never heard of them?!?!?!” A few years later the rest of the world would hear of them.
The album was called BOY. The song was “The Electric Co.” The band was this 4-piece from Ireland called U2. I was an instant convert.
And discovering these artists – whether your group of friends also like them or you are the only one you know who gets excited by them – is why we listen to stations like KALX. Happy 55th, KALX. And thanks.”
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