Part 13: Did I get married? And walk till you drop

"Memories of nearly 50 years in the Biz"

Part 13: Did I get married? And walk till you drop

Postby Brian Lord » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:09 pm

Brian Lord’s Radio Stories

Did I get married? And walk till you drop


Most of you know that girls from Southern California are good looking. It’s true today and it was true 45 years ago. It’s a combination of the motion picture industry luring pretty girls out there with the hope of landing a spot in the movies -- and the climate; naturally bleached hair, suntans, exercise, whatever. One of these southern California girls, Sarah, walked into my studio one evening, the friend of my newsman’s wife, and changed my life. I wasted no time and inside of a couple of months we were making marriage plans.

I had been married when I first arrived in California but things didn’t go all that well. Radio announcers often make terrible husbands, especially rock-jocks. Temptation flies around that part of the state like a flock of horny buzzards and my wife knew it and had found a decent guy herself so it was an amicable disintegration of what should have lasted until we were both crocks. She dumped me for a guy named Dick Studebaker and a fellow DJ said to me one day as I moped around feeling sorry for myself, “Hey Brian, next time you hear “Studebaker” you won’t know if they’re talking about the car or the guy who stole your old lady ... Ha Ha Ha. Thanks Huckleberry that was very timely.

Anyway, when the Southern California bombshell and I decided to get hitched I called Dave McCormick and asked if he would drive the 300 miles from Fresno and be my best man. He wasn’t happy about it because he liked my first wife ... but agreed … what are friends for if not to go along with a google-eyed dickhead?

The night before we were married, Sarah had a whole whack of her family over to her parent’s big house in San Berdoo. One of them was a guy named “Uncle Jimmy” who decided he’d be my friend ‘cause I didn’t know anybody else and anyway he’d been in “showbiz” about 40 years prior -- a hoofer on Broadway no less. Uncle Jimmy’s way of being a friend was the two of us belting back Jack Daniels and him telling me about “the old days” until I finally passed out -- went to sleep during a bathroom break.

The next morning, Uncle Jimmy was at the breakfast table about 9 o’clock and suggested I’d feel a whole lot better with a bit of the hair of the dog. This, remember, was my wedding day. But Uncle Jimmy was right, I did feel better and by the time I had to get home to meet Dave who was arriving from Fresno around noon, I was gaining on the tank. Dave had no idea I’d been living off Jack Daniel’s (Old Tennessee sipping whiskey, Lynchburg, Tennessee, Lem Motlow, prop.) for most of my waking hours since yesterday around this time and so we got into a little JD ourselves with the result that by the time we had to go and get me married I was just plain drunk.

Managed to get dressed, Dave drove the car (I couldn’t have found the steering wheel) and had to pull over for a “pit stop” as I was a bit too full of the stuff, but we made it and only 20 minutes late. Sarah was relieved and though I stank like a distillery such was to be expected of a groom who left it till late in the afternoon to change his life. Dave really handled everything like the friend he was, even discussing with one of my ushers if maybe they shouldn’t take Brian home and call this thing off till a later date. The guests may have thought it was a nice touch that we had to kneel throughout the ceremony, (me leaning on Sarah). On my way back down the aisle after the signing ceremony I remember smashing headlong into one of the supports for the chapel roof – did a 360 spin. “Are you all right honey?” “Oh yeah, I’m just fine, who was that?”

Dave, who drove us to the reception at Sarah’s home gave strict orders to everyone that I had had enough to drink and to please shine me on if I asked for a belt. I kept clear of Uncle Jimmy, did my best to sober up, gave a mangled speech and about 10 PM hit the long road which was Santa Monica Boulevard with its 294 stop lights (the cross town freeway was yet to be in service) and made it to one of the beach hotels by two in the morning.

My advice: don’t marry somebody just 'cause she looks like she belongs on a motion picture screen and don’t get piss-eyed drunk for a full 24 hours prior to your wedding and take the advice of a good friend who says “why don’t we have a little chat about all this”. Be prepared for terms like “ill-fated”; “never meant to be”; “what a shame” -- and get an annulment if the only thing you can remember about the wedding ceremony is bashing into a post which has as much give as a Seahawks defensive guard.

--

I’ve already described “thons” and K/MEN was about to take its first dab at a really BIG thon. We would walk to and from downtown Riverside, 15 miles distant from downtown San Bernardino until we dropped. It was a DJ competition dreamed up by the ever-creative Ron Jacobs. We didn’t call it a “Walkathon” we called it a “Walk Back and Forth” for some legal reason but we began hyping this thing a month before walk-day. We were all pretty excited about it and some of us prepped -- I took to walking the two miles to and from work every day, Huckleberry (the DJ who was my closest friend at the station), ran. Ten miles a day. I had a few high school kids who were “teaching me” and bound my toes before we started.

We were doing this for some charity although the real purpose was to get us out and about with our fans and there were thousands of them. Thon-monsters who had nothing better to do with themselves than follow along with some disk jockey in the middle of the night while he tried to set a record, not for walking, but for pain. What was supposed to be a fun thing, a competition between friendly announcers, became a horrible disaster after about the ten mile mark. I made it for 17 miles until 5 AM and crashed out.

My feet were bleeding, I had a charlie horse, cramps; three had quit before I had and there were still three to go. They brought me home and carried me into a bedroom and my wife had the common sense to say, take him to the hospital. One more guy dropped out because he became delirious when the sun came up and the remaining two toughed it out till one just quit of exhaustion. a mouth full of foam and no soles left on his feet. He was even worse than the guy who won, my friend Huckleberry, who had known all along what was coming and was prepared. He was an athlete.

The next day I went to work in a wheelchair. Two of us were on crutches, three of us didn’t come in at all and we can thank our sister station in Fresno for sparing some of their DJ’s while we walked and recuperated. Who would believe that the most grueling experience I have ever had was doing a “thon” for a radio station. Had I known … well … you can imagine. But Dave McCormick was put through the same thing a coupla months later in Fresno. He’ll tell you in his own words about his experience.

Next time: Sonny and Cher, the Mamas and Papas and Big Daddy helps Jan and Dean hide from the cops.
Brian Lord
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Re: Part 13: Did I get married? And walk till you drop

Postby Steve Sanderson » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:34 pm

A movie star-like wife!!??
JPEG..Please!
:wink:

Now...Did the guy who came up this "walkathon" participate in it?...Or, was he management??
:shock:
:D
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Re: Part 13: Did I get married? And walk till you drop

Postby Russ_Byth » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:36 pm

sandclan wrote:A movie star-like wife!!??
JPEG..Please!
:wink:

Now...Did the guy who came up this "walkathon" participate in it?...Or, was he management??
:shock:
:D


I'm guessing one of the early 'consultants'!

Brian, your memory is amazing.... considering.... :wink:
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Re: Part 13: Did I get married? And walk till you drop

Postby cart_machine » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:37 pm

sandclan wrote:A movie star-like wife!!??
JPEG..Please!


I can attest to the blonde part. Brian introduced his almost 30-year-old blond surf-boy son around CHRX when he was working there. If the guy had got his hair from Brian, he wouldn't have had any....

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