Radio DaZe: WACKY 102 and the porno bust:

Radio DaZe: WACKY 102 and the porno bust:

Not the actual theater.

Don Wilkes and Mike Schwartz, the owners of WACKY 102 were salesmen first and foremost. They would sell ice cubes to the Eskimos, talk a dog off a meat wagon and had no morals when it came to selling ads on the station.

Remotes were a BIG source of income and we greedily sucked down those (usually in cash) talent fees. We trundled over to a used car lot or furniture store, set up some speakers and a “Marti” remote transmitter unit to get our voice back to the control room and yakked a few times an hour for an afternoon in 60 second breaks. It was (and is) awful radio but hey, the station made money and we got a talent fee.

Once when Don or Mike had over scheduled us with three remotes at once they had me drag an old broken down WACKY trailer that housed an unused for years broadcast set up. It had been parked in back of the station forever. I got the thing out, got the tires inflated and dragged it to the remote location, dumped it in the parking lot and scrammed. That was our “Remote” for that joint. No one there, just this dilapidated old trailer! Of course by the time I went back to get it the tires were flat.

Back to our story-Don called me into his office and asked me to do this remote. I really wish I could remember the name of the movie but I think it was something directed by Gerard Damiano who was the director of “Deep Throat”, although this was probably not that film.

I said “sure” and never gave it another thought.

The opening of the film was to be on a Sunday afternoon. As I recall it was to be shown in a huge standalone theater that was not usually associated with porn, but the theater had fallen on hard times. I remember talking to the theater owner to get copy for the spot (yeah I was writing copy and programming-won’t be long before that’s radios model again) and I remember asking him what the admission price would be, thinking that would be a good copy point.

“$20”, he said. I was appalled and told him so. That was a LOT of money in 1978!

I’ll never forget his response.

“It’s a demand item, like drugs or prostitutes. People will pay whatever you want to charge.”

OK. So I left the price out of the copy. If I recall there was to be one of the “stars” of the film signing autographs at the premier so that was the ‘hook.’

The Sunday came and I drove the lumbering Purple WACKY 102 bread truck to the curiously empty parking lot. As was my custom I was early, maybe half an hour before showtime but NO ONE was around.

Not the actual theater.

I yanked the speakers out, set up the Marti and went to the front door, extension cord in hand. There was a BIG chain and a BIGGER padlock on it. I thought, odd, I don’t see why that’s there.

Just about then a State Trooper pulled in and dropped his window to talk.

“What are you doing here, son?”

I hate that. I was NOT his son. I wanted to make some smart remark but something told me to keep my mouth and my wit shut.

“Leaving,” was my response.

As it turns out the theater owner, the “star” the projectionist and for all I know the film had been arrested that morning and were all in jail.

I was lucky to get away. But I was pissed off all the same. Screwed out of a talent fee!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Radio DaZe: WACKY 102 and the porno bust:

  1. Joel O'Brien says:

    Great story Jim!

Leave a Reply