After big, deep fog mornings here in Renton for a while remembering back to those long nights in San Francisco at the Arco station with my old wooden table top radio cranked up with full joy to KSAN with ultra laid back disk jockey, Norman Davis, coming on after midnight, I think, and playing lps all night and it would be 2 or 3 in the morning with real dense fog and nobody around and I was on top of the hill right below Twin Peaks and these were some of the songs that he would play, including one that he would always dedicate to me because I would write him letters.
(Cortez the Killer – Neil Young)
Robin Trower – Bridge of Sighs
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – Genesis
Cuts from both Animals and Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
No Trains to Heaven – Be-Bop Deluxe
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly
The White Album and Abbey Road – Beatles
Electric Light Orchestra
A wild medley of 3 songs
(Sailing Shoes/Hey Julia/Sneaking Sally Through The Alley) by the late, great Robert Palmer Here it is live.
Also insanely funny bits by the absurd Firesign Theater and Monty Python. Music would be on, I would keep my eyes peeled from the station to spot who would pop out of the fog… trying to stay hyper alert while also reading, writing, and venturing out to pump some fuel. Also much wondering what the near and far future would hold as I stumbled slowly into full adulthood. Nothing bad ever happened to me in all of those long nights over five and a half years, amazing given that it was distinctly dangerous duty, with no hazard pay I might add.
I rediscovered Norman Davis who is still alive and kicking and working in radio to this day…now an old timer and focusing now on the blues at another station. I decided to write this ‘reconnection letter’ to my old ‘friend’ before we both ‘go’. Just to express what his show and personality had meant to me. —
The world es muy chiquitito.
Back when rock & roll dinosaurs roamed the hills of San Francisco in a time that corresponded to your all-night lp spinning at KSAN while I was up all night alone in the big, deep fogs enveloping Twin Peaks alone at an Arco gas station with my old wooden table radio blaring out your show mainly for me, but also for any nocturnal wanderers who came through looking for fuel. I would read and write all night, I was in my early twenties and unsure what I wanted to do and among the things I would write I would drop you a card or two over the time you were there, and you were kind enough to send an occasional musical dedication my way. I remember Cortez the Killer by Neil Young, which is still one of my favorites.
So I finally got out of the not so lucrative gas jockey game and went back to school, finished my BA in Spanish at San Francisco State, worked helping the Hispanic elderly navigate their USA lives, went to Peru on a sentimental mission and succeeded by meeting my wife, came back to San Francisco and got my Master’s in Spanish at the same university, and then after the earthquake of 89 we moved back to my native Pennsylvania for 25 years or so where I retired as a Spanish teacher, and of all things a high school principal (but definitely a slightly irreverent rock and roll version), right on Lake Erie in the City of Erie not so very far from where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame resides in Cleveland. Never lost my rock and roll roots though or my taste for the zaniness.
Now years later, more playing with the this way and that of geography, since our only daughter moved to Seattle, we made another cross-country sojourn to be near her for this chapter in our lives, and are greatly enjoying the wide open culture and diversity here.
Anyway I tracked you down, so to speak, on the mysterious internet, if that doesn’t sound too much like a stalker, just looking and trying to connect with my roots like curious humans do, and was so happy to find that you’re still spinning vinyl and keeping people out there in radioland happy. I listened to your KEGR blues show AMERICAN FLYER today for the first time. And as a preacher’s kid I know the story of Noah pretty well, and I had to smile because some of the selections you played weren’t too far off from some of the old Firesign Theater bits you played back in those days. To this day I still laugh thinking back to that. “Send in your photograph, or a photograph of someone who looks just like you….”
Anyway I just wanted to write to tell you how much your night hour ‘service’ there in San Francisco helped me stay afloat and stay rocking, appreciating the power and poetry and grace of music and how happy I am that you’re still around and keeping the airwaves jumping. You were and are the very best. You are deeply appreciated from then and still. Best wishes for health and much joy.