The San Diego Experience.

As I mentioned before in my previous article (Stern Trek), I like to get tapes of the show from all of Howard's markets. Considering that San Diego is so close, this was going to be my easiest market yet. I thought it would be interesting to bring my good friend Melrose Larry Green along for the hi-jinx, besides, not only would bringing Melrose along make it easier to meet and greet with 91X staff but it would also make for an interesting newsletter article, as you will see.

The day before we left for San Diego, Melrose called 91X to tell them of our plan to visit the city. They were very excited to meet us. They had premiered the show that week (2/13/95) and they were already going to have somebody associated with the show visiting them. We told them that we thought it would be cool to stand in front of the Jeff & Jerr studio with signs. They thought the idea was funny and told us that they would send someone to greet us that morning. Early Friday morning 2/17/95 Larry and I left for San Diego.

I picked up Melrose at 3AM that morning for our 2 hour trip to San Diego. Our goal was to be at the Q106 studios by 6AM. Howard's show was great that morning. By the time we reached the Santa Ana Freeway (Ič5) Howard was talking about the strange porno movies that he had in his collection.

Melrose thought it would be a good idea to cell phone the show and tell them what we were doing that morning. He reached Stuttering John and told him our agenda. John seemed interested and asked us to call when we got there. Melrose and I stopped at a gas station to get some coffee and directions to the competition's studio. It was about 5:30 AM and we were running a little late for my liking. I decided that we should step on it to get to the studio by 6AM. Unfortunately for Melrose, the cap on his coffee was not holding the scalding liquid very well. So every time I hit a bump in the road, screams of pain and anger would come out every time the boiling coffee fell into his lap.

We arrived at KKLQ and KIOZ studios at 5:50 AM. KKLQ and KIOZ, both owned by the same company, are located inside a commercial lot with the studio's windows at floor level. Melrose and I drove inside the complex and parked right in front of Q106 and Rock 102. We immediately called the Stern show to let them know that we arrived. Unfortunately for us, Howard was right in the middle of an interview with the guy that tried to kill Reagan and could not get to us that moment.

When Melrose got out of the car he began to set up his signs right outside the studio window! One of the producers came out and confronted Melrose."Who are you and what do you think you are doing?", asked the angry producer? "Would you like to sign this card to Howard Stern? Howard told us that he would be here," replied Melrose. The angry producer went back inside the building to talk about this situation with the other guys. He then came out again. "Why are you here?!" , he asked curiously. "Howard told us he would be here. When's Howard going to be here?", Melrose pressed. "Howard Stern does not work at this station! THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY. NOW, GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE I CALL THE POLICE AND ARREST YOU!!", he yelled.

While this was going on, the DJs were staring right at Melrose from the studio window, which was no more than an arm's length away. I wasn't sure if it was Jeff & Jerr or Dave & Chainsaw, but one thing was for sure, we were being watched.

Admittedly, I was getting a little nervous. There was no way that I was going to be arrested because of the antics of Melrose Larry Green. I went back to my car and slowly pulled away with Melrose following me. I pulled out of the driveway, and parked my car right in front of the complex. Shortly, a girl from 91X pulled up to greet us. She was from promotions and was armed with two large sandwich boards bearing the 91X logo for us to wear. Both Larry and I put on the sandwich boards and began to walk up and down Mira Mesa road waving at oncoming motorists with his infamous signs. The majority of motorists gave us thumbs up when seeing us. I was a little surprised by the enormous positive reaction, considering Howard premiered only this week. I got the impression that San Diego was really yearning for this show, and was now very happy to be having it.

By 8 AM, staff for KKLQ and KIOZ began pulling into the complex. Melrose seeing an opportunity, ran right up to the entrance as they pulled in. He was shouting "Howard Stern is God! Baba Booey, Baba Booey!", and waving the signs "I don't care about Jeff & Jerr", and "Jeff & Jerr suck". These people looked absolutely stunned and disgusted. They now realized the impact that Howard was going to have on San Diego. I wonder what they said among themselves as they walked into the radio station.

By 9AM, the girl from promotions asked us to follow her to 91X, which we did. At the station, Melrose and I greeted the staff and talked about what we did that morning. The one thing that I noticed about 91X in comparison to the other affiliates that I visited, was the high concentration of beautiful women working there. If Howard comes here to hold a funeral for Jeff & Jerr, he will definitely not be disappointed when he meets the female staff of 91X.

Inside the station, Melrose and I were able to go into the on-air studio while the reel to reel Howard tape was playing. What was cool to me was to see the next San Diego morning champion being aired from simple reel to reel tape, and to know how much that tape means to the people of XTRA FM. Inside the studio, we also met Robin Roth, who does the break in news for 91X and is quite a looker herself. After meeting 91X's Robin, station officials asked Melrose to tape a few bumpers. A little after 10AM Melrose and I left the station to hit Rosecrans Blvd, a busy thoroughfare in San Diego, so that Melrose could do what he does best: Holding his signs about Howard Stern and now, 91X. So, that was our morning in San Diego. Not only were we able to taunt Howard Stern's competition, we were able to meet the nice people of 91X who were very gracious to Melrose and I.

In parting, I'd like to make a few observations about 91X's presentation of the show. 91X, like KLSX and KFBI plays a live feed of the show at 3AM, and then play the show back on tape-delay at 6AM. They have short information breaks of traffic and weather in between breaks and then get back in to the show with modern rock intros, much like many of his affiliates. Unlike the other stations though, 91X broadcasts out of Mexico. Their ID cart is actually in spanish: XTRA FM, Baja California, Mexico, En Espanol.

The one thing that I noticed that day, which could have been just a fluke, was that Jackie's plugs during the middle and end of the show were edited out. I guess the thinking at that time was that since Jackie's gigs were primarily in the New York Metro area that station officials wanted it edited out thinking that San Diegans wouldn't care about those gigs since they weren't in San Diego. This eventually became a source of irritation for Howard when he got wind of it. I hope that this has changed by now. All of us Stern fans know all of the material that is created around those plugs.

Another thing that I noticed was that 91X hasn't developed a catchy moniker with Howard identifying their station like Howard's other affiliates e.g. Howard Stern All Morning, Classic Rock All Day. 91X is a modern rock station that has always identified itself as the cutting edge of rock. I was thinking that it would be cool if on the top of every hour 91X would play, "The cutting edge of talk (short Howard remark here), and the cutting edge of rock, 91X". I think this ID at the top of every hour reminds listeners that Howard is on the station and identifies the station as a whole, but that is just this reporter's opinion.

Melrose and I had a magnificent time in San Diego. I get excited whenever Howard goes into new markets. It gives me a good excuse to travel. Look out Chicago, Phoenix and hopefully, Portland, because here I come.

Story By: Kross-Kountry Karl Niemoller Page 1 Next Page

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