KQIV 106.7 FM - Lake Oswego, Oregon - KQ4 Rockin' in Quad



Webmaster & KQ4 Jock / sometime
Music Dir.

Larry Scott


Spiritual Advisor, Historian & KQ4
Chief Engineer / Jock

J. R. Miller

Web www.rockininquad.com


Jock / Production
(posted 03 DEC 04)


1-Intro     2-The People     3-Other Stuff
4-Prison     5-Elks & Elkettes     6-Format?
7-Getting Fired


I had no idea at the time how working at KQIV would impact my life. In 1972 it was nearly scandalous that a woman with a child would work all night playing music! Most people at the station tolerated me because I was covering shifts they didn’t want. I was welcomed with great skepticism and rightfully so – I was a complete unknown. I would listen as many hours a day as possible to learn from “The Masters” about the music and to create my own sets and segues. Creating segues brought new meaning to the “art of needlepoint”! There was nothing worse than miscuing and missing the sweet spot.

KQIV was located in the Elks Lodge. It was a beautiful building and certainly the only place I would ever work where there was a full bar available during most working shifts! Often I would get to work early so I could have a few cocktails!!! If I was working all night, someone from the bar would give me a “last call” so I could get a toddy to last me until the sun came up.

I survived the “second wave” of employee turnover. Out went Ben Marsh, who had been very helpful to me. In came an incredible new group: Norman Flint, Steve O’Shea and Joe Collins. (I think. The comings and goings are hazy.) Things did move fast and furiously in those days.

Here are a few memories of the cast of characters I remember at KQIV:

Walter Kraus  --  Walter was formidable and certainly unlike anyone I had ever met – he was right out of a Tennessee Williams novel – kind of “Big Daddy” in a fur coat. If I had seen Walter walking down the street I don’t think I would have pegged him as a media mogul. Walter mostly scared the hell out of me. He was a showman, an eccentric, and he tore down his own house with his own hands – but – he also created a very special and creative place that many remember to this day. Kudos for that, Walter!

Jack Malone  --  Jack was, and I imagine still is, one of the most positive people I ever met – he saw the possibilities in new ideas and was an excellent promoter. I got the “token” position that any newbie, man or woman, got. The dregs, the bottom of the heap, the “pay your dues, kid” shift – weekends from midnight to 6am and any shift that needed to be covered. I was thrilled! Jack tried hard to create function from dysfunction at KQIV.

Joel Miller  --  Joel was the most patient person, for sure! He taught me to use the equipment, which was no small feat since it looked like a spacecraft. The quad stuff – real or not – was certainly more complex than the old board with “pots.” Joel got me up to speed quickly and I was able to do my own production and on-air shift without a chaperone! Joel was great at trouble-shooting the insanity of day-to-day life at KQIV. Joel reminded me of Opie from Mayberry – he just rolled with the punches and stayed above the fray. We laughed a lot in that production room! Joel was also patient when Jeff Clarke and I tried very hard to record a 36 track PSA about forest animals. It never aired, I am sure, for good reason.

I was very happy when Joel married my wonderful neighbor, Marty.

Ed Hepp  --  Ed was an enigma. We all held Ed in high esteem; he had been hugely instrumental, along with Tom Donahue – the Patron Saint of free-form radio – in creating the format at KSAN and KMPX in San Francisco. I used to listen to Ed Mitchell, his KFRC personality when I was a kid in the Bay Area. He was a legend in the business, but things had taken a sharp turn for Ed somewhere along the way. It was several weeks before Ed spoke to me, even longer before making eye contact. But once he did start to talk, he became a great mentor and shared stories and ideas about music that I treasure to this day.

Steve O’Shea  --  Steve was not at KQIV for a long time (who was?), but to this day thinking of him brings a smile to my face. I don’t think anyone has ever made me laugh so hard. I am not sure what a “knave” is, but I think he was one! He was from the “old school” radio in San Francisco – the jock on one side and the engineer on the other side of a glass window. The engineer would cue the jock to read news and be a “personality.” He always wanted to start your copy on fire or moon you to try to make you lose it on the air. Steve left KQIV, I believe, for KSFO where I heard his love of practical jokes ended with unhappy results. I hope he is still out there making people laugh.

Jeff Clarke  --  Jeff Clarke – “The Great One”! Anyone who worked the shift before Jeff always wondered if Jeff would actually make it on-air…but with seconds to spare, Jeff would swing that door back two minutes before his shift, walk in and take control of the studio. Jeff found humor where others would never dare to tread. He would cue up his first cut and pop in an opening cart featuring the “Acme Recycled Cream Corn Kazoo Orchestra” and it was “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” for the next four hours.

It wasn’t just Jeff’s big booming voice and sassy attitude that made him the iconic figure of KQIV. Jeff challenged the creative forces in everyone. It would be like a rap thing today – he was able to do something that raised the bar and made everyone around him want to take it up a notch. Great friend!

Larry Scott  --  To me Larry was the “guru” of music. Larry always blew me away with his incredible knowledge of the music and the musicians. He was the gatekeeper of what became an extensive library, and we made him crazy when we did not clean the albums or hold them at the edges. Larry enlightened me to “The Word” – liner notes. He did his best, with mixed results, to keep us from playing forbidden-word cuts and getting busted by the FCC.

Mike Sakellarides  --  Mike called himself the “Crazy Greek.” But, he was crazy like a fox!! Mike was a great friend and full of laughs and kindness. He was the Production Manager for a while and tried to keep ashes out of the equipment and carts labeled with real “extro” information. Mike was very talented on the boards and a true professional among “sloths”!

Norman Flint  --  I think Norman was the real Sergeant Pepper – Norman’s voice was unmistakable and his creative talent was impeccable. I got to know Norman, Carolyn and their daughter Shya, who was a little younger than my daughter Eve. I am sure I have heard Norman over the years on television voice-overs.

Gloria  --  Gloria came in to replace me and Jeff Clarke suggested we all get together. That was a great suggestion! We became fast friends at the time and had some very interesting adventures through the years. Gloria had it all then and she has it all now – I love to hear her on the air. She and Bill are two great people and it has been a pleasure reconnecting!

Other stuff...

KQIV really did deliver the album and concert audience. When artists were in town they would arrange interviews, sometimes in person. I remember looking up one day to see Taj Mahal and the Pointer Sisters walking into our dinky studio. They were opening at the Paramount for John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Who was booking these shows? Taj Mahal is one of my favorite artists - we have the same birthday - and the Pointer Sisters were from my hometown of Oakland, California. They were dressed in campy thirties outfits with platform heels, which made the room seem even smaller! They performed “Little Red Rooster.” Mind-blowing!

I also had the opportunity to meet and work with Grover Washington, Jr. I was Public Service Director and several artists provided voice-overs for various PSA’s. Washington was playing at the Paramount and came to the station to do a pre-show interview. He also did a spot for the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. He was a very talented and classy individual.

Being the only woman on the air at KQIV, I did get a little extra response from some listeners – at Oregon State Prison! That is a real resume builder!!!

This was during the time that Johnny Cash was doing concerts at Folsom Prison and it seemed like a good promotion. It was a fantastic, and yet frightening, experience. We brought in a couple of bands and had to go through a process that was pretty scary for a bunch of hippies. Someone actually did come running back to the car because they forgot to leave their “pipe” at home – tragedy averted! We also took a concert featuring Upepo to the women’s prison. That was more sad than frightening.

We had some great fans - I became good friends with one – Eric, whose last name escapes me at the moment. He actually got married in my back yard in Lake Oswego.

I remember driving to work one freezing night and for some reason I looked at the right time and saw someone lying in the snow. It was a kid that came to the station often and hung out. He was passed out and heavy as hell – I managed to get him into my car and had to call someone to help me get him inside our building. He was suffering from hypothermia, so we wrapped him up and I would check on him all through the night to make sure he was still breathing. In the morning, he got up and stumbled home. Later he told me he was on Angel Dust.

Walter had to get special permission for me to work nights at KQIV since the Elks had “Men’s Night” on Tuesdays. I think it was an updated version of the Little Rascals’ “He-Man Woman Hating Club.” They didn’t want me downstairs when they had the strippers. I had to get clearance to go to the restroom when they had Men’s Night. Every Tuesday night I would hear some naked girls tromping up the spiral staircase and some Elk would want me to give them a tour of the station.

Every once in a while, the Elks would have a “formal.” I can’t remember who helped me – but I remember cooking a bunch of turkeys in the Elks Lodge kitchen and I had to run down throughout my shift and check on the turkeys.

One evening, several of us were invited by the Elks to join them for a drink. I think they just wanted to get a look at us. We stayed too long and when the clock struck midnight all these partying folks stopped for a solemn ceremony of prayer for Elks who had gone to the “Happy Hunting Grounds.” I do not mean to besmirch all Elks and Elkettes – but after watching many of these same people chasing women, hangin’ with hookers and in general acting like pigs – the irony was more than I could bear and I started to laugh. I tried to stifle it but ended up snorting, which caused my fellow KQIV brethren to laugh, too. At any rate, I was nearly attacked by a drunk Elkette and we all made a beeline for the parking lot. It is pretty ironic that the building is now a church.

I also recall a time that I needed some help getting something into the station and I think it was Jeff who put on a long cut and came out to my car to help me. As we headed back in, we realized we had locked ourselves out of the building. As we all know, it is a mortal sin to have “dead air.” But worse than that, a few months earlier a popular Portland DJ had committed suicide on his shift. He played “Softly As I Leave You” and then hanged himself in the booth. With that still in mind, someone finally came up to the station and was relieved that it was just a lock-out!

There was no real “format” for KQIV. Each Program Director and Sales Manager tried to create a framework that would encapsulate our product. I think the sad fact is that what made KQIV successful and interesting was that it defied logic. It was altruistically all about the music. The audience got it and many advertisers got it. I don’t think we needed to define who we were, I think we needed to understand more about our audience. We were delivering audience. I felt we were losing the thing that made us unique. One event was when a Polygram rep walked in with Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” It was lunchtime – but we cued it up and played the entire album with a quick ID break to turn the album over – and it was pure magic. That entire album was played throughout the week.

The rep also brought a new release from Deutsche Grammophon featuring Corky Siegel and the Siegel-Schwall Band with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa. We played that, too, and our listeners were willing to try on both of those ideas because they trusted the jocks’ judgment. It was a unique relationship with the listeners based on a shared love of music.

We were a spontaneous group. Some of us decided to go Christmas Caroling in Lake Oswego. We told people just to meet us on some corner and were surprised when a bunch of folks showed up. We had a great time!

My daughter, Eve Marie, was two years old when I was on the air. I was certainly not the model of maturity, but I had responsibilities that somewhat limited my capacity for complete insanity. I cooked a lot of dinners and shared a lot of Annie Green Springs and Boone’s Farm wines with my friends from KQIV.

There was a major shift at the station when Jim LaFawn arrived. He tried to rein us in (with good reason) and I would not obey (with good reason). We were heading into the formulaic world of “summer fun hits” every half-hour or “It’s Bob Dylan’s Birthday – play a Dylan tune every half-hour.” It was the old case of “he just had to” and I just couldn’t. That was what other stations were doing, but in my humble opinion it wasn’t right for KQIV.

There is an old saying “you haven’t been in radio if you haven’t been fired.” I knew my days were numbered but that didn’t make getting fired any less earth-shattering. I was in the middle of a shift, started a song, and in walked Jim with my check. I was unceremoniously “deleted” from all things KQIV. To add insult to injury, I was in the middle of a divorce and when I got home someone had burglarized my home and had stolen my prized stereo equipment and a new color TV. That was one long, sad day. Later that night, my friends from the station showed up to console me and I have always been thankful for their kindness. The upside was it did stop me from listening to KQIV at home! It was time for me to move on.

I went to work as Public Information Director for Marylhurst College for a few years and then made my way to the University of Idaho where I worked for KUID FM as Program Director and KUID Television as a Producer and Director of Development. I have worked for several universities and non-profit arts organizations.

Eve is 34 and is still the light of my life. She and her husband, Bob, live in the Eugene area with our two beautiful granddaughters, Caitlin and Allie. I have been married for 21 years to my wonderful husband, Jan. We have lived throughout the West and recently moved back to the Portland area.

This little trip down memory lane was a great reminder that no working experience I’ve had since has compared to the crazy, horrible, wonderful, mythological KQIV.

Rock On!

Where's Faith now?



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