Sunday, July 28, 2013


Recently, I was watching commercials from the 80s and 90s on You Tube. They reminded me of something I forgot about from that era: the obsession with bran. Every cereal boasted "Your daily allowance of bran."

At the time, I was one of the student DJs on the "Midnight Snack" on KSMU-FM. I would say, "Have you gotten your daily allowance of fuzztone guitar?"

A little quick trivia before I give you an Ipod playlist of "Your daily allowance of fuzztone guitar."
While it is commonly associated with psychedelia and heavy metal, fuzztone was created by accident by COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE IN NASHVILLE. Something was not hooked up right during the recording of Marty Robbins "Don't Worry." Not long after that, Chet Adkins decided to create his own version on a record for Ann Margaret called "I Just Don't Understand."

The Ventures then contacted Red Rhodes, who worked on the Marty Robbins hit about recreating that sound for an instrumental called "The 200 Pound Bee." Rhodes worked out the first pedal for fuzztone. They went on the market in 1962, but didn't sell well because the admen decided to market the fuzztone pedal as a device to make a guitar sound like a violin or horn.

The next year, Keith Richards used it on a Rolling Stones song called "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." From that moment on, fuzztone was a major part of rock and roll.

Here is a daily dose of fuzztone guitar for you readers. Note: this is not a "best" or "greatest" list. Don't argue with this list. It is a prescription; a health dose of fuzz tone guitar to make you feel better. I may prescribe another dose latter.  

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" - The Rolling Stones
"Pushin Too Hard" - The Seeds
"To Die Alone" - The Bush
"Talk Talk" - The Music Machine
"Spirit In The Sky" - Norman Greenbaum
"She's Fallen In Love With a Monster Man" - Screaming Lord Sutch
"I Can See For Miles" - The Who
"I Heard Her Call My Name" - Velvet Underground
"I Can Only Give You Everything" - The Troggs
"Blue's Theme (From Wild Angels)" - Dave Allen & the Arrows
"House of the Rising Sun" - Fryjid Pink
"Your Auntie Grizelda" - The Monkees
"Heart Full of Soul" - The Yardbirds
"Bad Little Woman" - Shadows of Knight
"Addicted To Love" - Robert Palmer
"When Doves Cry" - Prince & the Revolution
"The Nile Song" - Pink Floyd
"Cowgirl In The Sand" - Neil Young and Crazy Horse
"Deflecting Grey" - The Pretty Things
"Money For Nothing" - Dire Straits
"I Take What I Want" - James & Bobby Purify
"Beat It" - Michael Jackson
"I'll Make You Pay" - The Shady Daze
"No Fun" - The Stooges
"Whole Lotta Love" - Led Zeppelin
"You Don't Love Me" - Kaleidoscope
"Foxy Lady" - Jimi Hendrix Experience
"No Time" - The Guess Who
"Think For Yourself" - The Beatles
"San Francisco Girls (Return To The Native)" - Fever Tree
"A Girl Like You" - Edwyn Collins
"Shadows" - The Electric Prunes
"Hurdy Gurdy Man' - Donovan
"Paranoid" Black Sabbath
"Smoke On the Water" - Deep Purple
"Bluebird" - Buffalo Springfield
"Who Is Gonna Mow Your Grass" - Buck Owens

Radio Legend Kidd Kraddick Has Passed Away

J.J. Cale, songwriter, dead at 74

Saturday, July 27, 2013


As a child, I always liked commercials for records. They usually featured bombastic announcers rattling off the names of the songs on the records, a Chyron graphic vertical scroll of the titles of the songs on the record, usually accompanied by photos of the artist or some related photos (i.e. boys and girls dancing at prom or bikers cruising down Route 66. One even featured a NASA rocket launch). Most of these records were offered by a company called Sessions (although they were produced by major companies such as Warner Brothers, RCA or Columbia).

It was around my senior year in high school (Maybe my first year of college - this commercial ran forever) that I saw what I thought was the worst record commercial ever featuring what, at the time, I considered some of the worst songs in the world. The commercial was for a 4 LP, 3 cassette collection called Secret Love. I might be wrong, but I think this is the first TV record ad to offer a compact disc version. I hated this commercial.

First off, it probably aired more than any record commercial in history. It seemed like it was on every commercial break.

Second, this record was loaded with songs I hated. In the commercial there were only two songs that I liked, "Nights In White Satin" by the Moody Blues and "Waiting For a Girl Like You" by Foreigner. However, seeing the complete track listings there were a few others I like ("Dream Weaver" by Gary Wright and "Strange Way" by Firefall). These were those wimpy songs that radio stations here in the Ozarks were beating to death. These were also the songs favored by the snooty popular girls, who wouldn't go out with me. They were also on student council, so they picked the music for the school dances. it was usually this stuff.

Third, had to do with the format of this ad. Unlike the previous records ads that I mentioned above, this ad must have been the first to feature on-screen spokes people or characters. This one featured an ANNOYING PREPPY COUPLE IN CABLE-KNIT SWEATERS SITTING BY A FIREPLACE IN AN UPSCALE HOME.  I could not stand those two people! They were the little goody-goody, overachiever types that were the bane of my existence in high school (I still run in to a few of these people through work). I would see this commercial and ask myself, "What does that beautiful girl see in that preppy dork???" Notice: The clothes are the same as on the record cover above, but different model/actors.

At the time this aired, I was into mainly heavy metal (hair bands), college rock (alternative and punk to young folks) and classic rock/oldies. I thought it would be great if they made a set of the music I liked. There wasn't a metal or college rock set, but there was a classic rock/oldies set with great songs on it entitled Freedom Rock. Unfortunately, the commercial featured two idiots dressed as hippies sitting by a VW Micro-bus doing a bad Cheech & Chong imitation.

While I still dislike preppies, I have come to accept and even enjoy old soft/light rock of the 70s and 80s. As a matter of fact, readers of this blog may remember that I have proposed a revamped version of the soft/light AC/rock radio format that removes the "Little Miss Pris-Delilah-Mommy Blogger" attitude that made these radio station unbearable to listen to since the early 90s. The music and romantic or mellow mood would be the focus, instead of discussions about "soda-being-bad-for-you" or "girls-wear-too-sexy-dresses-to-prom." As Gilligan at Retrospace would say, it would be "Music for making pancakes."

Maybe in some crazy way, the Secret Love commercial spawned that idea, because "This music brings out the animal in people."   


Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Electric Company - The Plumber and the Parrot Cartoon

I recently purchased a DVD of The Electric Company to show my three year old great-nephew. He didn't pay much attention to it, but it was a trip back to my childhood for me. One of the things that I had sort of forgotten about was the catchphrase "It's the plumber. He's come to fix the sink." This cartoon appeared in the pilot and this is what started it all with that line.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Last month, I presented the first in a series of scans from a catalog of rubber molds for a vacuum form machine that produced plastic signs for store windows and magnetic signs for cars. That post contained clip art about food and logos of famous fast food and beverages - past & present. This time I'm posting logos related to automotive supplies, cars and gas stations. I almost entitled this post "getting gas" but realized there were more than gas stations contained in these. I'll be honest some of these companies I have never heard of. The are either regional or, like some of the ones I recognize, out of business or taken over by another company.
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Is there still a Derby anywhere in the world?

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Skelly, DX,Vickers, Clark seemed to have faded away. BP we know is still around. What the heck is Gibble Gas?

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More of the Art/Craft cavemen. Is it just me or did the Grateful Dead swipe the Bear logo for their t-shirts?

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Art/Craft was also fond of little men with large heads wearing undersized derby hats. Some of the antique cars were probably to decorate men's dens and offices (It was a 60s & 70s thing). The Road Runner is here because of the popular Plymouth Road Runner sports cars.

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More cars.

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OK Used Cars. Does anyone still use that anymore? I assume that one logo is for the Canadian heavy metal band of the 70s and not the country band of the 90s.

I hope you enjoy these. I have more.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sunday, July 14, 2013


For the past weeks, I have been working to develop an aptitude test to gauge if a person is cut out to be a radio personality. My decision to create this test comes from my experience in the radio industry in Southwest Missouri.

I have went for job interviews where I was given an aptitude or personality test. The problem is these test are designed to be given to people in sales or to be given to a high school kid to determine what kind of a career he/she is best suited.

I also have worked with people who really should not have been working at a radio station. Why would you choose to work at a radio station if you hated the media and entertainment industry? These people are not positive people and basically "poison the waterhole." There negative attitude spills out on the sir as well as behind the scenes.

I have been considering starting a consulting service, so figured I could use this aptitude test in that venture. This test would weed out undesirable employees. Here is a link to the test.

The first eight questions are control questions to determine the prospective employees interest in working in the rock/pop format. These questions are ten points each. Some of these questions have more than one possible answer because they are opinion oriented. There are a few questions (1, 3, 6, 7, & 8) which have "half points" choices. The choices include answers which could be considered logical and sensible, yet not an answer that would red flag a person.

For instance, on question 1 ("Which of these do you consider to be the greatest radio personality of the 20th Century?"), the ten point answers are 1, 5, 6, 7 & 8. If a person was to choose answer 2 (Howard Stern) they would at least get five points. If they choose answers 3 & 4 (Paul Harvey and Rush Limbaugh), they will get NO POINTS.

Question 2 ("Which of these phrases should be repeated the most on a radio station?") the ten point answers are 1, 6 & 7. The other choices (2, 3, 4 & 5) are zero points. They are not rock/pop radio phrases, but stock and often repeated talk radio phrases.

On question 3, the correct answer is 4 because pandering to a racist is WRONG. However, if a person chooses answer 3, they will get five points, because it might be a more logical, realistic and civically responsible.

Question 4 has only three choices but two ten point answers (2 & 3). The person who answers 1 receives zero points and probably should not be hired at all.

The answer to question 5 is 4. The other choices are zero points.

On question six, the person taking the test can receive five points for the answer 2. The ten point answer is 4, which is a line from the song "Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)." No points for choosing answers 1 or 3.

Question 7, the ten point answers are 4 & 5. Five points can be given for 1 & 3, because there are many people who carry at dictionary or Bible with them at all times. Number 2 gets zero points. If a person says they carry a copy of the Constitution with them they are probably lying.

Number eight is just for fun. Ten points for answer 1, five for answer 3. Zero points for 2 & 4.

Questions 9 through 19 are about Billboard chart stats. Questions 20 through 36 are questions to gauge a person's humor. They are quotes from famous comedians that the test taker will have to finish the quote or pick the right punchline from the choices. This is to see if the test taker can "think funny." On question 37 through 51, a song title and artist name is given. The test taker has to pick the title of the album by that artist that contained that song. These questions are all one point each, however, if the test taker picks answer 6 (Who cares!) they will be given -2. This choice is placed on these questions to gauge the overall attitude of a prospective employee. There is a total of 124 points, but if a test taker answers 6 on all of the questions from 9 through 52, as well as, getting zeroes on 1 through eight, the test taker will receive a total score of -168.

This may not be scientific, but I feel this would be a good way to determine if a person deserves a job in radio. Of course, this is why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  


Thursday, July 11, 2013


I hate knee-jerk reactions because "somebody-didn't-like-it." The worst example of this happened twenty-eight years ago this week (July 10, 1985). After introducing a new and improved Coke in April of 1985, they decided to create Coca-Cola Classic, which was the same flavor it had always been to appease the stick in the mud types that were whining and complaining about the change.

If you believe marketing, business and even some 80s retro blogs legend of this blip in pop culture history, you are inclined to believe that the whole country hated New Coke from the minute it appeared on the market and it quickly disappeared from store shelves in favor of Coca-Cola Classic. To an extent, I thought that was true myself, except for one detail...I preferred New Coke to Coca-Cola Classic. Personally, my heart belongs to Pepsi, because I always thought Coke had a sour taste to it. However, I like soda of any kind, so when push comes to shove I will drink Coke. I love soda so much I can drink whatever is available at that moment. Does that make me ambidextrous?  Needless to say,  I was kind of disappointed when the New Coke, that I loved, was yanked from the market in favor of Coca-Cola Classic, which I didn't care for.

Of course, in typical fashion, every time I said I liked the New Coke, I got ripped a new anus by classmates and adults in Lebanon, Mo. 

In researching New Coke, I learned something I that we are never told in the popular version of this story. New Coke was a success in major markets and on both coast. There was an overwhelming positive response in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

The backlash came from (You guest it) the South and Midwest. Before Coca-Cola Classic was rolled out, there were stories of hording of "old" Coke, in the same way people in these same parts of the country have been hording Twinkies, guns and ammunition in recent years. I'm sure somewhere there is news video of a redneck saying, "Coke is an in-steetoooshun in Murica. Thee Foundin Fathers say'd in the Con-steetooshun that ya ain't suppoz'd to change Coke. The Bible saize ya suppoz'd to change Coke. It is un-Murican to change Coke."

Another thing I found out, New Coke was not officially discontinued until 1998. At one point in the early 90s, it was sold in the areas where it was popular under the name Coke 2. I'm sure some Republican idiot in the Missouri legislature made a law against the sale of it here in Missouri (Remember that in the late 80s, some in the Missouri legislature want to make it illegal for teenagers to buy tapes and CDs).

The way I see it, President Ronald Reagan should have declared Marshall Law in Georgia (Headquarters of Coca-Cola), Texas (You know my feelings about Texans) and the other states where there was a huge amount of public outcry against the New Coke. He should have said, "Look, you stupid hillbillies are going to drink the New Coke, if I have to order federal troops to hold your nose and pour it down your throat." Sadly, he didn't.

I guess there are several things about this moment of pop culture that bothers me. The people who complain about political correctness ruining America are the very ones who were responsible for Coca-Cola backing down and celebrate it as a great thing. You have to wonder about people, who feel no shame in their racism, antisemitism, homophobia and even hatred of children and teens. They also get angry if a talk radio show host or public figure is forced to apologize for saying something that is racist, antisemitic or homophobic, yet those same people will demand an apology over something like changing the taste of a soda or a TV news station reporting on gay or African-American people or a new movie version of The Lone Ranger (Which I liked and highly recommend).

I also think that if something is successful in major markets on the East and West Coast, then middle America and Dixie should be FORCED TO LIKE IT TOO. I hate the "We ain't gonna allow none of that here in the Ozarks" attitude. It is just as bad in other states in the Mid-West and the South. Besides the mid-West and the South has the WORST TASTE IN POP CULTURE!

I believe Coca-Cola made a big mistake caving in to pressure and set an unhealthy precedent. Of course, my opinions are the reason why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! 

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