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Remember WPIX-FM Broadcasts (1979)? Modular Synthesizers
Old 28th October 2004
  #1
Gear interested
 

Talking Remember WPIX-FM Broadcasts (1979)?

Anybody out there recall all of the live broadcasts from WPIX-FM
(mid-1978 to early 1980)?

They started a series of broadcasts called "Live at CBGB's" on July 7, 1978, which featured many local and "underground" bands of the era (The Dead Boys were on the first show, Richard Hell and Elvis Costello were on another). The host of the show was Jane Hamburger.

Aside from that, there were live "oldies" shows like Sam & Dave, the Troggs, etc. They also broadcast live shows by newer, up-and-coming acts like the Police, Joe Jackson, XTC, the Specials, the Records, etc.

In addition to their live "guest DJ" interview show called "Radio, Radio," they had a "New Rock & Roll Show," an "Old Rock & Roll Show," and generally played the cutting edge rock & roll /new wave dance music of the time - a pretty radical move, considering the "disco fever" that had taken over the airwaves by the end of the 70s. It was probably the only station where you could hear Frank Zappa, the Clash, the Four Tops, the Ramones and Eddie Cochran all in the same hour.

Coincidentally (well, not really), I'm working on a book about WPIX. Any info anyone has would be appreciated!

-Will
Old 4th November 2004
  #2
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Remoteness's Avatar
Will,

Yes, I recall all of the live broadcasts from WPIX-FM from 1979 to the early 80s. I recorded and broadcasted most of them...

If my memory is correct, when they started the series from various clubs, I recorded all but two of the shows. The first show of the series from Great Gildersleeves (a club down the block from CBGB's) and the Joe Jackson show were done by others. The rest of the series was done via my first remote truck. I built the truck in 1977. Ripped it apart, redesigned and rebuilt it in 1978. We started working for WPIX in 1979. I do not recall any live broadcasts that came from various location before 1979.

I vaguely remember the "Live at CBGB's" series. Does anyone else remember the station?

I recorded, engineered and mixed Sam & Dave, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gary US Bonds, the Troggs, the Police, Magazine, XTC, The buzzcocks, the Specials, Joan Armatrading, the Cramps plus many others. A few of these shows had great stories that went with them.

That was one of coolest stations around back in the day. They played everything -- new, old, up & coming, they had it going on!
Old 16th November 2004
  #3
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Steve...

I got an email from Will alerting me to your post. I was an intern-turned newsguy at WPIX from '78-'80 and I remember the remotes. You kept your truck in Flushing, I recall, and roomed with Willobee.

I was at many of the remotes--often helping out (The Police at the Diplomat Hotel, the Troggs at Max's (which I emceed because someone--Jane??--was a no-show) and Jerry Lee at Club Loreli--to name a few).

What are you up to these days?
Old 17th November 2004
  #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveJones
Steve...

I got an email from Will alerting me to your post. I was an intern-turned newsguy at WPIX from '78-'80 and I remember the remotes. You kept your truck in Flushing, I recall, and roomed with Willobee.
What are you up to these days?
Where in Flushing?

Yes, WPIX was great, introduced me to a lot of new music. Any recordings out there that are accessible to the general public?
Old 21st November 2004
  #5
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Hi Steve, Steve and Schwenko,

Great to hear your comments!

To Remoteness:

Do you recall any interesting stories about the Buzzcocks show?
Do you remember anything about why it took so long for Jerry Lee Lewis to come out and do his show, when it was broadcast on PIX? How about the panel discussion on a "Live at CBGB's" broadcast (1980?), when Lenny Kaye (of the Patti Smith Group) tried to strangle sombody live on the air? That's what I call dynamic radio!

Did you have a delay (5 seconds, for instance) on these PIX broadcasts?

Also, what is the situation with live R&R broadcasts these days?

-Will
Old 21st November 2004
  #6
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Remoteness's Avatar
Hey People:

Will, thanks for starting this thread. I really enjoyed working with the good folks at PIX.

I'm really digging this thread -- It brings back so many awesome experiences. And I want to tell them all...

Damn Steve, it's been a real long time! I will give you the Willobee update when I post again. Maybe I can even get him to post on this thread. You never know.

The Buzzcocks and Jerry Lee shows were crazy ... big fight backstage for the Buzzcocks and two killer stories about the Jerry Lee show. I got something to say about the Police gig and the Gary US Bonds gig too. It's hard to come up with better stories then real life. I cannot wait to tell them to you all. I will answer every question to the best of my memory.

We are on the road with two of my trucks and a crew of four. We're almost half way to our destination in the Midwest. I could have flown to the gig but, I guess I'm still a road warrior at heart. D'Uva and Wilkerson get to fly there on Tuesday making our audio recording department six people strong...

I shall try my best to post some PIX live broadcast stories while on location.

Bye-bye for now.
Old 31st January 2005
  #7
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Hello,

I worked at PIX during the late 70's early 80's, doing production work and assisting the MD, Meg Griffin. I definitely remember you, Steve Jones! How the hell are ya! I think I remember Steve Remote too but it's a little hazy. Anybody know what my old partner in crime, Carl Bloat, is up to these days?

Loretta Edit
Old 5th February 2005
  #8
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Screws's Avatar
 

So where is Steve with the promised stories?
Old 5th February 2005
  #9
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Screws
So where is Steve with the promised stories?
You lose track of time when you're in the Midwest...
Old 8th February 2005
  #10
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Remoteness's Avatar
To Will and all,

It's time to share some interesting stories about WPIX-FM. Well, I hope they're interesting.

As I originally mentioned, I recorded, engineered and mixed all but one live concert for WPIX-FM from 1979 until the station's format change. Years later I had the opportunity to do a few live Jazz broadcasts and the "Be Cool -- CD101.9" TV commercials for them when they turned to the smooth jazz format.

I'm going to tell you about Jerry Lee Lewis, the Police, XTC and the buzzcocks.

-----------------

Steve Jones... You rock! How the hell are you my man?
Yup, back then my first and only truck was kept in my driveway in Flushing. Willobee and I shared a basement apartment for about seven years. We joked about installing a revolving door at that place but, that's another story! heh

Willobee is living in Austin, Texas running his own club, managing bands plus a ton of other cool stuff. Call me anytime @ 718.886.6500 and we can catch up.

Steve, do you remember what happen to us at the Police or Jerry Lee gigs? I'll tell you all about it in a minute or two.

-----------------

schwenko, I trust we don't know each other. How long have you lived in Flushing? I live near Queens College.

-----------------

Will,

There was no 5 second delay at WPIX-FM in those days. Heck, there really wasn't much use of profanity time delay on live radio and TV back in the day -- Today, it's a different story, it's paramount.

To answer your question about where live R&R is going -- IMO, broadband and satellite transmission are future homes for live R&R (and all styles of live music for that matter).

Ahh yes, the Buzzcocks fiasco at Irving Plaza, NYC. Let's get Jeff Rutledge in on this story. Jeff's old pal Chris Barnes got the brunt of the brawl. I was in the truck so I only heard about it on comm and saw the results of the aftermath when Chris and Jeff made it back it to the Aura-Sonic truck. If my memory's not mistaken, Chris got his nose broken. One of the Buzzcocks' techs head butted him straight on during argument about the live broadcast (or something to that effect). He was really hurt bad... Even Jeff was full of Chris' blood because he tried to help his buddy out. Hey, one cool thing I found out from Jeff, Chris Barnes ended up with the acting bug and got a sitcom role on the "Life with Bonnie" show. Bonnie Hunt rocks -- it's too bad her network didn't think so.

One of my WPIX-FM stories was at the top of my list in this thread... Top Five Hairest Moments...

The first story on my list of the top five hairiest moments in Aura Sonic's history was -- the Club Lauralei ratchet story... Or, "How to short all three legs (before the fuse) of a three phase AC panel with a stainless steel ratchet and live to tell the story about it?" story. And that wasn't why the show was delayed so long...

The ratchet situation happened at the end of a very long and hard day trying to get Jerry Lee Lewis on stage and on air!

Like I said in that 2002 thread, "Audio emergencies can happen anytime. Assistants running on stage in between camera moves to fix a mic or stand, or to add or change something is par for the course. That's why they wear black. Last minute feeds or runs are standard in some production ventures. Wild things happen to us, but not always in the control cabin. The really hairy experiences have happened before and/or after the gigs for us..."

The reason why it took so long for Jerry Lee Lewis to come out and do his show on WPIX-FM was because he damaged numerous pianos at sound check and we were trying to find another piano for the show. At this point any piano would do, upright, electric, anything... We called around and everyone had the same story... They had the piano but, when we brought up his name no one wanted to part with it. I remember the call to SIR. It's started off by asking them for a piano. They said, they had a brand new Fender Rhodes, it just came in. They could not stop hyping the instrument, telling us all about this "state of art" keyboard. We were sold. We thought, it's not his sound but, it's an instrument with keys. So, the rental process proceeded. We gave them all the info... Everything was going perfectly until, he asked who the artist was. Man, there was dead silence on the phone. We didn't know what to do. Do we bullsh*t them and take the risk; do we tell them the truth? Well, we told them the truth and the guy said, NO WAY. We begged this guy. It was a done deal, he didn't want anything to do with this show. And that was that, I'm afraid. Then somehow someone in our crew got this kid to give up his Wurlitzer piano. We set it up and the show went on... Needless to say, Killer, killed the Wurlitzer during the show. This kid was damaged more than the keyboard was.

We had the opportunity to record and broadcast the Police at the Hotel Diplomat in NYC back in September 1979. We could not park the truck in front of the hotel, we had to park around the block. We were basically about a block away from the stage. Back in those days we did not have the resource we have today. Cables and snake runs were at a minimum. Well, we park the truck, got our power with no sweat. The snake run was a whole other story. We ran our 300' snake line to the stage and ended up 3 or 4 feet short of the stage where we needed to place our splitter. We had to rerun the snake during their soundcheck. That's right, we missed the soundcheck because of the short cable run. I remember a sort of "bucket brigade" situation going on, even Jeff Rutledge, our producer was helping out. We cut every corner we could to make up the difference we needed to get to the stage. We made it to the stage but, the soundcheck was just about done. They were not interested in doing anything more than patching our splitter. During the broadcast I had to start somewhere. I place all the faders at a unity gain and set the pans where I wanted them. When the band hit the down beat (my "soundcheck" started) I started to blend the mix by bring the levels up or down from my unity positions.

XTC's echo Plans for Nigel... We recorded and broadcasted XTC from a club in NYC called Hurrah. I loved this place. It was near Lincoln Center on Broadway. The club was hot, the staff and management were the best. Not your typical club organization. They were fair, kind and wonderful to work with. Anyway, when I was working out the details with XTC's sound guy, the echo effect for their hit song, "Making Plans for Nigel" came up. I told the guy I had the perfect setting for the song. I continued to tell him how I work it out the night before and was all set. He then told me that I had to take a feed from him because he had to handle the effect because it had to be right and that was that. Well, I tried to convince him, I even asked him to come down to the truck and listen to the effect for himself. He was not interested. In the effort to keep him happy I complied. We tested the effects feed from him and all systems were go. The show went off without a hitch, everything was everything and all was cool... Until, yup, you guessed it, their hit song, "Making Plans for Nigel." The song started, the crowd roared, everything was perfect until the featured echo effect came on. Believe it or not, the sound guy screw up the effect and it sounded nothing like the song. Damn, You cannot imagine how I was feeling at that moment. I was bummed out big time. Here I was with the perfect replication of the effect (from the song) and I could not use it because of politics. That's show biz as they say.

Will, I remember the Lenny Kaye "panel strangle" situation but don't remember the details... Maybe the Rut, Steve Jones or Loretta can enlighten us about it.

-------------------

loredit,

I Love your sign on handle. Have you been in touch with Meg Griffin lately? I had the pleasure of working with her again during the 2003 Downtown Messiah live recording and broadcast from the Bottom Line Cabaret. It happened to be the last live recording before they closes down. That concert aired Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in 2003 on WFUV in NYC and on NPR nationwide in 2004. It has become one of my favorite live broadcasts.

--------------------

I'll try to think of other memorable WPIX-FM events.

Anyone else have a story to tell about PIX!
Old 8th February 2005
  #11
Gear interested
 

My work at WPIX was studio/office work so I can't add anything to the live show stories. Although I remember Jane Hamburger was really pissed off at the Buzzcocks for what she described as bad and rude behavior.

My favorite recollection of WPIX is when I was recruited as board op for Frank Zappa's stint as Guest DJ. As I recall, it was on or around Thanksgiving. The year was probably 1979. He'd pulled a stack of records he wanted to play. (The only cut I remember playing is "Jerry and the Holograms." And maybe "Money" by the Flying Lizards. )

I sat at the board in the main studio and he sat next to me at the mike. He didn't just intro a song and cue me to play it. Instead, he'd hand me a record and after it played for 30 seconds, he'd hand me another that I'd have to cue up as fast as I could so that he could create his amazing musical montage. The pace was unreal. It went on like that for hours, with breaks here and there. Frank did PSA's and everything. At the end of the show, he gave me a huge bear hug, lifiting me off the floor! I recall that Program Director Joe "from Chicago" Piasek took some heat from WPIX management for putting on such bizarre programming on a "sacred" day.

My impression of Frank Zappa was that he was a brilliant guy who did not demand of others anything more than what he demanded of himself. It was definitely the hardest but most fun and rewarding thing I ever did in radio. I'd love to get an aircheck, if it exists.

Another fond memory is when the B-52's came up to the studio and I was charged with "babysitting" them until it was time for an on-air interview. It amazed me how naive and small-town they seemed. They spent the whole time in the music library, scouring the stacks for Motown records.

I haven't spoke to Megless since shortly before I moved to Seattle in 1989.

-edit
Old 22nd February 2005
  #12
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wyndrock's Avatar
this forum never ceases to amaze me...

i know everybody and their cousin has a remote set-up these days; i would like to think that in my area, i am providing a quality service that is needed as we are in a relatively sparsely populated area.


to hear these stories of the old days and what you guys used to do, and are still hard at work doing, and to have available the collective knowledge of the discussion group, i find myself feeling very lucky to be able to have all of you at my disposal for any advice.

thanks for being here for us, you guys...(steve, jules etc..) you are held in high esteem.

and for those of us that are just getting started, in the remote world; we should all take a step back and give a round of applause for those that have came before us and honor the wisdom that stands before us in these guys.
Old 19th November 2006
  #13
FLY
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Carl Bloat

It has been an amazing and romp down memory lane reading these posts, my name is FLY and I am Carl's Nephew. I have always felt that I had the greatest childhood in the history of the world becaus I spent most of my time hanging on the coat tails of my uncle, and as a kid I was there...

I am probably the only gen x er to have seen 80% of the best bands in the world.
I remember some of you like Laura and Joe from Chicago, from the times I went to pix with carl, I remember making paper airplanes with one of you and throwing them from the roof outside the studio windows and how you explaind to me that the studio was in the daily planet building.

Great memories.

Interestingly enough I am an engineer as well, and still work with Carl from time to time, in fact we just talked about the thanksgiving that Frank Zappa was on the air, Carl is doing well and owns a company called Digifylmwerks.

I have ben writing a short story about seeing concedrts ar CBGB in 1979/80 with my uncle and how he would stick me in the booth with Charlie Martin, with the intent of posting it on the CBGB Myspace page, I'm sure that your stories would be more detailed than mine so check it out if you want to,
Old 19th November 2006
  #14
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Remoteness's Avatar
Very cool...

What are you working on lately?
Old 23rd January 2007
  #15
Gear interested
 

Hi, I was Googling "wpix TV pix" and I somehow came across this measage board and started reading this post. Although it has nothing to with the TV program that I was searching for, I noticed that the topic of this thread took place during the same era as the TV program (TV PIX) that I was a contestant on in the early 80's.
So basically, it seams that some of you might be able to lead me in the right direction to finding old archives of WPIX television so I can inquire about my 15 minutes of fame. Thanks for the help.

From wikipedia:
Quote:
Interactive television games

Intellivision featured prominently in a brief trend of using videogames as a feature in interactive television shows. "TV POWWW" started the trend, in which a television show would broadcast a videogame in progress, and callers would play the Fairchild Channel F games by saying POW! into their telephone to interface with the system.

With the eventual failure of the Fairchild Channel F, the system was upgraded to use the Intellivision, and during the early 1980s, New York based television station WPIX ran a variant of TV POWWW called TV-PIXX. It was aired during the traditional weekday afternoon slot of children's TV as an interlude. Participants would be called at home to play a videogame that appeared on their screen.

The segment originally featured simple games such as Tic Tac Toe and a Breakout type game called Moving Target. Intellivision's NFL Football, Major League Baseball, NBA Basketball, and Space Battle were later featured as the TV segment gained in popularity. Participants interacted with the game by saying the word "PIXX" to perform game-related actions. Prizes included T-shirts and $10 Dollar U.S. Savings Bonds. They could double their prize or win a bonus prize (such as advance tickets to see upcoming films) by answering a Trivia question. For a chance at playing, children could send a postcard with their name, address, and phone number to TV PIXX. David Elliot, of Staten Island NY, was the grand all time champion of TV Pixx, having won the elusive "Ke-Op" award, named after the famed character from "Battle Of The Planets". The program lasted until 1982; for many New York viewers, TV PIXX was their first glimpse of the Intellivison home game system.[8] The trend of TV use of videogames also spread beyond New York, including "Switchback" which aired on the CBC affiliate in (Calgary, Alberta) beginning in 1985, also including Intellivision's Space Battle as one of the featured games.
Old 25th January 2007
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by wpixfm View Post
...In addition to their live "guest DJ" interview show called "Radio, Radio," they had a "New Rock & Roll Show," an "Old Rock & Roll Show," and generally played the cutting edge rock & roll /new wave dance music of the time - a pretty radical move, considering the "disco fever" that had taken over the airwaves by the end of the 70s. It was probably the only station where you could hear Frank Zappa, the Clash, the Four Tops, the Ramones and Eddie Cochran all in the same hour...

I forgot that I did a bunch of those live (in front of an small audience) Radio Radio shows.

Man, I got a few wild stories about that show that I cannot even talk about on this board. But, it was over the top in a good/bad way.
Old 4th December 2007
  #17
Gear interested
 

I don't know how I stumbled into this ..I have done very little "messaging" but ..I sure do enjoy seeing names and hearing remembrances of a time that was my favorite radio job of my entire 48 year career. (I still do part time for NPR locally)

EDIT ..Carol ..Megless, Joe ..Jones ..Vitka ..are any of the other R2 gang still reading this stuff?
John Ogle

Quote:
Originally Posted by loredit View Post
My work at WPIX was studio/office work so I can't add anything to the live show stories. Although I remember Jane Hamburger was really pissed off at the Buzzcocks for what she described as bad and rude behavior.

My favorite recollection of WPIX is when I was recruited as board op for Frank Zappa's stint as Guest DJ. As I recall, it was on or around Thanksgiving. The year was probably 1979. He'd pulled a stack of records he wanted to play. (The only cut I remember playing is "Jerry and the Holograms." And maybe "Money" by the Flying Lizards. )

I sat at the board in the main studio and he sat next to me at the mike. He didn't just intro a song and cue me to play it. Instead, he'd hand me a record and after it played for 30 seconds, he'd hand me another that I'd have to cue up as fast as I could so that he could create his amazing musical montage. The pace was unreal. It went on like that for hours, with breaks here and there. Frank did PSA's and everything. At the end of the show, he gave me a huge bear hug, lifiting me off the floor! I recall that Program Director Joe "from Chicago" Piasek took some heat from WPIX management for putting on such bizarre programming on a "sacred" day.

My impression of Frank Zappa was that he was a brilliant guy who did not demand of others anything more than what he demanded of himself. It was definitely the hardest but most fun and rewarding thing I ever did in radio. I'd love to get an aircheck, if it exists.

Another fond memory is when the B-52's came up to the studio and I was charged with "babysitting" them until it was time for an on-air interview. It amazed me how naive and small-town they seemed. They spent the whole time in the music library, scouring the stacks for Motown records.

I haven't spoke to Megless since shortly before I moved to Seattle in 1989.

-edit
Old 12th November 2010
  #18
Gear interested
 

Post Buzzcocks show

It's all a bit hazy. I had just started as the weekend overnight guy at PIX (the PIX Penthouse Party) and was running the board at the studio when the Buzzcocks show came unglued. It was impossible to tell from where I was, high up in the Daily Planet building (so it seemed to me--it was the Daily News), but it sounded bad in my headphones, and eventually I was told by someone to kill the live feed and start my show a few minutes early. It was all very frantic. I only lasted there about six months for a variety of reasons, none of them good. Exciting, though.
Old 14th August 2013
  #19
Gear interested
 

I have tapes!

Hello.

I have a tape in the files that was recorder off WPIX in 1979. One side is The Police, the other is Joe Jackson. I have not played these in more than 30 years. Will these disintegrate if I try to play them? Are there precautions I should use? I ask because I had two other tapes from that era, The Mentally Ill, and a demo of Vagina Dentata that I loved and tried to transfer, but they just did not play properly. BTW, I am using a Harmon Kardon cassette deck. Thanks.
Old 14th August 2013
  #20
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Lightbulb

Well, I recorded and engineered those shows, so it's great to hear someone still has a copy of the live broadcast performances.

I lost my copy of The Police. Let me rephrase that, my roommate at the time somehow lost the tape and that was that.

I've played plenty of audio cassette tapes lately with no issues at all.
I kept them in a cool dry place for decades with no problems.

I guess it all depends on how you stored them.
You should investigate and see where you stand on where or not they will disintegrate upon playing them. I bet you will be just fine.

The most important thing you want to make sure of is if the cassette machine you're playing the stuff on is in good condition. I believe you may have a bigger problem whether or not that's in good working order than the audio cassettes as long as they were stored properly.

Hey, if you get those transferred, can I get a copy of them?

It would be greatly appreciated!!!

Perhaps I could even do the transfer for you if you like.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CCK64 View Post
Hello.

I have a tape in the files that was recorder off WPIX in 1979. One side is The Police, the other is Joe Jackson. I have not played these in more than 30 years. Will these disintegrate if I try to play them? Are there precautions I should use? I ask because I had two other tapes from that era, The Mentally Ill, and a demo of Vagina Dentata that I loved and tried to transfer, but they just did not play properly. BTW, I am using a Harmon Kardon cassette deck. Thanks.
Old 14th August 2013
  #21
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Remoteness's Avatar
I was right there in the thick of that situation...

well, I was in my remote truck, but on comm when all that was going down.

One of the guys from the Buzzcocks crew head butted one of the (radio) show producers and everything indeed became unglued. It was insane on so many levels. I believe our guy's nose was broken during that frantic scenario. I talk about this in a bit more detail in an earlier post in this thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomjones View Post
It's all a bit hazy. I had just started as the weekend overnight guy at PIX (the PIX Penthouse Party) and was running the board at the studio when the Buzzcocks show came unglued. It was impossible to tell from where I was, high up in the Daily Planet building (so it seemed to me--it was the Daily News), but it sounded bad in my headphones, and eventually I was told by someone to kill the live feed and start my show a few minutes early. It was all very frantic. I only lasted there about six months for a variety of reasons, none of them good. Exciting, though.
Old 14th August 2013
  #22
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Tony Alberts via Facebook, just said, "He believes, The Police show actually ended up being a BBC Rock Hour."

Well, it was from the Hotel Diplomat and they only placed there once and we captured the live performance for WPIX-FM in September, 29th 1979, so...
Old 31st March 2015
  #23
Gear interested
 

My high school friend started a petition around our school when whoever owned WPIX decided to change the format. Obviously, it didn't get anywhere, but I could ask her if she would talk to you if you think it would provide any information for your book.. BTW, what a great idea about the book. I can't wait until it gets published. I live in Denver now, but I LOVED PIX.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wpixfm View Post
Anybody out there recall all of the live broadcasts from WPIX-FM
(mid-1978 to early 1980)?

They started a series of broadcasts called "Live at CBGB's" on July 7, 1978, which featured many local and "underground" bands of the era (The Dead Boys were on the first show, Richard Hell and Elvis Costello were on another). The host of the show was Jane Hamburger.

Aside from that, there were live "oldies" shows like Sam & Dave, the Troggs, etc. They also broadcast live shows by newer, up-and-coming acts like the Police, Joe Jackson, XTC, the Specials, the Records, etc.

In addition to their live "guest DJ" interview show called "Radio, Radio," they had a "New Rock & Roll Show," an "Old Rock & Roll Show," and generally played the cutting edge rock & roll /new wave dance music of the time - a pretty radical move, considering the "disco fever" that had taken over the airwaves by the end of the 70s. It was probably the only station where you could hear Frank Zappa, the Clash, the Four Tops, the Ramones and Eddie Cochran all in the same hour.

Coincidentally (well, not really), I'm working on a book about WPIX. Any info anyone has would be appreciated!

-Will
Old 31st March 2015
  #24
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Well, I'll tell you one thing...

I really enjoyed recording a broadcasting all those amazing bands.
That's where I learned how to mix, because all we had for all those shows was a two-track recorder during a 'live to air' broadcast!

Putting a book together would be a smashing idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by djmahnen View Post
My high school friend started a petition around our school when whoever owned WPIX decided to change the format. Obviously, it didn't get anywhere, but I could ask her if she would talk to you if you think it would provide any information for your book.. BTW, what a great idea about the book. I can't wait until it gets published. I live in Denver now, but I LOVED PIX.
Old 6th December 2015
  #25
Here for the gear
 

there is a dude who recorded ALL of the live at cbgbs shows on wpix. I got a couple from him. dead boys, r hell, rods. I forgot who he is and how to contact him. I just listened to one where jh said they just got a test pressing of the first wire album and played a track. she also said that they would be on wpix the following week.
Old 6th December 2015
  #26
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Remoteness's Avatar
As I stated at the top of this thread, I recall all of the live broadcasts from WPIX-FM from 1979 to the early 80s. I recorded and broadcasted all but two of them with my first truck starting in 1979...

I vaguely remember the "Live at CBGB's" series. I believe they were captured "off the board" and did not use a remote truck or full production team. I believe those recording were mixed by my old buddy, Charlie Martin.

Here's a link to the "Live at the Roxy/Live at the CBGB Theatre" recording for your review. Once you're on the AllMusic.com page click on the Credit Page to find the producer and engineer credits.

I wish I could have been more helpful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dread1mann View Post
there is a dude who recorded ALL of the live at cbgbs shows on wpix. I got a couple from him. dead boys, r hell, rods. I forgot who he is and how to contact him. I just listened to one where jh said they just got a test pressing of the first wire album and played a track. she also said that they would be on wpix the following week.
Old 4th June 2016
  #27
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At the time of this posting I had lived in Flushing for about 5 years. 11 years later, I still do, in Murray Hill. Still waiting for that WPIX-FM book to come out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
To Will and all,

It's time to share some interesting stories about WPIX-FM. Well, I hope they're interesting.

As I originally mentioned, I recorded, engineered and mixed all but one live concert for WPIX-FM from 1979 until the station's format change. Years later I had the opportunity to do a few live Jazz broadcasts and the "Be Cool -- CD101.9" TV commercials for them when they turned to the smooth jazz format.

I'm going to tell you about Jerry Lee Lewis, the Police, XTC and the buzzcocks.

-----------------

Steve Jones... You rock! How the hell are you my man?
Yup, back then my first and only truck was kept in my driveway in Flushing. Willobee and I shared a basement apartment for about seven years. We joked about installing a revolving door at that place but, that's another story! heh

Willobee is living in Austin, Texas running his own club, managing bands plus a ton of other cool stuff. Call me anytime @ 718.886.6500 and we can catch up.

Steve, do you remember what happen to us at the Police or Jerry Lee gigs? I'll tell you all about it in a minute or two.

-----------------

schwenko, I trust we don't know each other. How long have you lived in Flushing? I live near Queens College.

-----------------

Will,

There was no 5 second delay at WPIX-FM in those days. Heck, there really wasn't much use of profanity time delay on live radio and TV back in the day -- Today, it's a different story, it's paramount.

To answer your question about where live R&R is going -- IMO, broadband and satellite transmission are future homes for live R&R (and all styles of live music for that matter).

Ahh yes, the Buzzcocks fiasco at Irving Plaza, NYC. Let's get Jeff Rutledge in on this story. Jeff's old pal Chris Barnes got the brunt of the brawl. I was in the truck so I only heard about it on comm and saw the results of the aftermath when Chris and Jeff made it back it to the Aura-Sonic truck. If my memory's not mistaken, Chris got his nose broken. One of the Buzzcocks' techs head butted him straight on during argument about the live broadcast (or something to that effect). He was really hurt bad... Even Jeff was full of Chris' blood because he tried to help his buddy out. Hey, one cool thing I found out from Jeff, Chris Barnes ended up with the acting bug and got a sitcom role on the "Life with Bonnie" show. Bonnie Hunt rocks -- it's too bad her network didn't think so.

One of my WPIX-FM stories was at the top of my list in this thread... Top Five Hairest Moments...

The first story on my list of the top five hairiest moments in Aura Sonic's history was -- the Club Lauralei ratchet story... Or, "How to short all three legs (before the fuse) of a three phase AC panel with a stainless steel ratchet and live to tell the story about it?" story. And that wasn't why the show was delayed so long...

The ratchet situation happened at the end of a very long and hard day trying to get Jerry Lee Lewis on stage and on air!

Like I said in that 2002 thread, "Audio emergencies can happen anytime. Assistants running on stage in between camera moves to fix a mic or stand, or to add or change something is par for the course. That's why they wear black. Last minute feeds or runs are standard in some production ventures. Wild things happen to us, but not always in the control cabin. The really hairy experiences have happened before and/or after the gigs for us..."

The reason why it took so long for Jerry Lee Lewis to come out and do his show on WPIX-FM was because he damaged numerous pianos at sound check and we were trying to find another piano for the show. At this point any piano would do, upright, electric, anything... We called around and everyone had the same story... They had the piano but, when we brought up his name no one wanted to part with it. I remember the call to SIR. It's started off by asking them for a piano. They said, they had a brand new Fender Rhodes, it just came in. They could not stop hyping the instrument, telling us all about this "state of art" keyboard. We were sold. We thought, it's not his sound but, it's an instrument with keys. So, the rental process proceeded. We gave them all the info... Everything was going perfectly until, he asked who the artist was. Man, there was dead silence on the phone. We didn't know what to do. Do we bullsh*t them and take the risk; do we tell them the truth? Well, we told them the truth and the guy said, NO WAY. We begged this guy. It was a done deal, he didn't want anything to do with this show. And that was that, I'm afraid. Then somehow someone in our crew got this kid to give up his Wurlitzer piano. We set it up and the show went on... Needless to say, Killer, killed the Wurlitzer during the show. This kid was damaged more than the keyboard was.

We had the opportunity to record and broadcast the Police at the Hotel Diplomat in NYC back in September 1979. We could not park the truck in front of the hotel, we had to park around the block. We were basically about a block away from the stage. Back in those days we did not have the resource we have today. Cables and snake runs were at a minimum. Well, we park the truck, got our power with no sweat. The snake run was a whole other story. We ran our 300' snake line to the stage and ended up 3 or 4 feet short of the stage where we needed to place our splitter. We had to rerun the snake during their soundcheck. That's right, we missed the soundcheck because of the short cable run. I remember a sort of "bucket brigade" situation going on, even Jeff Rutledge, our producer was helping out. We cut every corner we could to make up the difference we needed to get to the stage. We made it to the stage but, the soundcheck was just about done. They were not interested in doing anything more than patching our splitter. During the broadcast I had to start somewhere. I place all the faders at a unity gain and set the pans where I wanted them. When the band hit the down beat (my "soundcheck" started) I started to blend the mix by bring the levels up or down from my unity positions.

XTC's echo Plans for Nigel... We recorded and broadcasted XTC from a club in NYC called Hurrah. I loved this place. It was near Lincoln Center on Broadway. The club was hot, the staff and management were the best. Not your typical club organization. They were fair, kind and wonderful to work with. Anyway, when I was working out the details with XTC's sound guy, the echo effect for their hit song, "Making Plans for Nigel" came up. I told the guy I had the perfect setting for the song. I continued to tell him how I work it out the night before and was all set. He then told me that I had to take a feed from him because he had to handle the effect because it had to be right and that was that. Well, I tried to convince him, I even asked him to come down to the truck and listen to the effect for himself. He was not interested. In the effort to keep him happy I complied. We tested the effects feed from him and all systems were go. The show went off without a hitch, everything was everything and all was cool... Until, yup, you guessed it, their hit song, "Making Plans for Nigel." The song started, the crowd roared, everything was perfect until the featured echo effect came on. Believe it or not, the sound guy screw up the effect and it sounded nothing like the song. Damn, You cannot imagine how I was feeling at that moment. I was bummed out big time. Here I was with the perfect replication of the effect (from the song) and I could not use it because of politics. That's show biz as they say.

Will, I remember the Lenny Kaye "panel strangle" situation but don't remember the details... Maybe the Rut, Steve Jones or Loretta can enlighten us about it.

-------------------

loredit,

I Love your sign on handle. Have you been in touch with Meg Griffin lately? I had the pleasure of working with her again during the 2003 Downtown Messiah live recording and broadcast from the Bottom Line Cabaret. It happened to be the last live recording before they closes down. That concert aired Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in 2003 on WFUV in NYC and on NPR nationwide in 2004. It has become one of my favorite live broadcasts.

--------------------

I'll try to think of other memorable WPIX-FM events.

Anyone else have a story to tell about PIX!
Old 6th June 2016
  #28
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Remoteness's Avatar
Welcome to The Remote Possibilities... forum on Gearslutz.com, Michael.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schwenko View Post
At the time of this posting I had lived in Flushing for about 5 years. 11 years later, I still do, in Murray Hill. Still waiting for that WPIX-FM book to come out.
Old 21st June 2016
  #29
Here for the gear
 

hey Will
- your post was in 2004 so it may not matter now (i didn't read all your replies -though i will. i cannot right now)
...i do remember wpix fm. i was so dismayed by wnew by the late 70s, and by wplj before that, that i started scrolling down the dial pretty often. i discovered wfmu in 1977 but i couldn't get my head around it fully 'till around 1980. one day a schoolmate told me to check out wpix and it immediately became my main. i recorded many broadcasts, but on 8-track tape; and my recorder ran a little slow! i do still have some of them though, somewhere...including a columbus day news broadcast with live coverage from an anti-nuclear rally (if i remember correctly) where the police were macing unarmed people, and the wpix crew was fairly irreverent toward columbus, which i thought was hilarious at the time! (and it was certainly risky, as we all were to find out.)
i'll look for those tapes, but i'm about to change residence and won't get to it for a few months.
cheers
Old 7th September 2018
  #30
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Hi. I’m very familiar. Are there anywhere to listen to them?
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