Thursday, March 02, 2017

When your past catches up with you

I reached out to Don Barrett of L.A. Radio People recently. He was such a kind and generous spirit when I worked in Lalala. He ran a website devoted to the creative souls who worked in radio there and when I was hired at Y107 we did a interview for his site. I couldn't find my copy of the it and wrote to ask if he might still have a copy.

He did.

And it was just as unhinged and madcap as I remembered. ***In case you wonder this was the year I discovered a caffeinated shangri-la  called Starbucks and wheeled around with an IV that pumped their sweet hazelnut elixir directly into my veins.

"I Got Into Radio to Impress a Guy" 

(June 10, 1999) She’s a pistol! I don’t know how else to describe my close encounter with "Y107’s" (KLYY) middayer Jessie Jessup. The walls of the Pasadena studios better be made of rubber to accommodate the bouncing. Jessie is part of a complete station retooling with music and personalities that is only months old.

Where did you come from? "Well, this morning I came from Westwood," bounced Jessie.

The quick one-liners punctuated the 20-minute phone conversation. Jessie ("I have a heart over the i, isn’t that what you do in L.A.?") was born April 18 in Wyoming. What year? "It turns over to zero zero this year."

She was raised all over the world. "My mom was a Bohemian and my father threatened us so we took off for Paris, Japan, Haiti, Spain, Puerto Rico, Saipan and we spent 10 years in Guam."

She got into radio to impress a guy. "This guy I liked a lot liked a particular radio station, so I figured if I got a job there he would like me. I got the job, but didn’t get him." Jessie ended up in Las Vegas and stayed with friends for 4 years. She followed LARP’s Holly Adams and Sam Freeze at KEDG and also worked at KOMP, KPNT and KENO.

Has she found a home in Southern California? "I’m never leaving. There’s a psychotic air here. I spend all my free time at Red Balls of Fire on Melrose. Have you been there?" She’s really not waiting for an answer. "They have hats with hair attached. I got the neatest 8-inch platform shoes with cartoon characters on the heels."

Jessie ended up living in Westwood. "I thought it was West Hollywood, but so what. I have astro turf and pink flamingoes on my balcony. Did you see Dharma & Greg when they got the astro turf? I thought it was so cool and so California. My place is not an apartment, not a house, not a condo. I’m not really sure what it is, but it’s between Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire."

Jessie is at the station at 6:30 in the morning preparing for her five-hour shift that begins at 10. "Some days I wish I could be on longer. I love the callers." She hasn’t been cage dancing yet, but it hasn’t been for lack of desire. She gets up too early.

"Have you been to doodie dot com?," she asked. I replied, no. "Wow, I get to tell Mr. LARADIO.COM about doodie dot com. Wait till you see Jonathan Livingston Doodie."

Tomorrow night is a big night for Jessie. "Can you believe I’m going to the Cult reunion at the Viper Room? The manager calls Halloran ("Y107" apd) and I pretended to be his secretary. I never get invited to anything because I can’t influence record play, but we became best phone friends and I’m going." The Cult might be upstaged tomorrow night.