By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
Yes, that's right. I've kept an intimate diary of the entire deal. As I look back through this journal of the Eighties, I see that more often than not my intuition has been pretty amazing. Also, through the years I've had the opportunity to hobnob with most of the so-called big shots in this town, and I'm amazed to this day that way too few of them followed my advice.
Remember, these are just excerpts. The entire document, when it's published in hard-cover form someday soon, will totally blow people away. (By the way, if you should come across anything that is factually less than completely accurate, drop me a line and I'll give you a tiny proofreading credit somewhere in the preface.) Anyway, I've left some of my best stuff out, just to save some things for the book. When it comes out, I strongly advise you to buy it.
February 15, 1980
Spent two hours trying to get across the Salt River. The damn thing is flooded again, and if I didn't know any better, I'd say somebody moved us all to the banks of the Mississippi in the middle of the night. At this rate, people are going to start thinking of Phoenix as the new Memphis. You know: river city, people fly-fishing from the Central Avenue bridge, barges working the river between here and Yuma. Delta blues. Speaking of music, while I was in the car, I got to listen to John Giese and Bill Andres on KDKB. Funny guys. That format is perfect for them. I can't imagine either one of them (Bill especially) working at a Top 40 station or something like that. As for John, I think his style would be ideal for a station that played oldies. But not too old. Old like Deep Purple. March 1, 1980
Had lunch with Barry Goldwater down at the Adams. He's not taking his opponent in this fall's election very seriously, and I warned him that I think it's going to be closer than he thinks. The guy's name is Bill Schulz. Has a lot of dough. Barry's all pissed off about this Iranian hostage thing, too. I told him that they'll never let them go while Carter is president. Barry asked (again) about my political future. I told him I think I can be more effective working behind the scenes. Also gave him some investment advice. "Boots," I told him. "Cowboy boots." I've heard that local disco station KXTC is going country soon, and John Travolta's new movie is all about Texas and country living. Hard for me to believe, but I think shit-kicking is going to be the next big trend. Later went out to the Playboy Club, where the crowd wasn't very big at all. That joint's best years are behind it. June 10, 1980
Canceled a meeting with Mike Lacey, the editor of New Times. He says he wants to hire me as a columnist or something. I can't see it. I mean, a free weekly? Besides, this was the paper that recently ran this letter to the editor: "I play in one of the local country-rock bands in town and would like all the punk rockers everywhere to know that I feel sorry for them and what they represent." Sheesh. Later, went to the Star System new-wave club in Tempe. Bands included the Pills, the Nervous, the Spiffs, and, of course, the Vomit Pigs. December 6, 1980
Went to a farewell concert for Hans Olson. Last week he told New Times: "I've definitely decided to get out of Phoenix." Later went to see Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Sombrero Theater. Decided not to become part of bizarre cult associated with movie. Not that I have anything against dressing up in odd costumes, but I think Ronald Reagan's going to have something to say about this kind of lifestyle now that he's been elected president. He's an old-fashioned conservative, and I doubt he'll have much patience for anybody who indulges in fringe behavior. You know, astrology or what have you. May 16, 1981
Went to a welcome-home concert for Hans Olson. Also, Sandy O'Connor called. She thinks the president will nominate her for the Supreme Court. She asked for my opinion, and I told her to go for it if she thinks she can handle the Washington winters. Also got a call from an old friend who works in radio in Chicago. He wanted to know if there was anyone worth talking to here in this market and I gave him Jonathon Brandmeier's name. I think he's perfect for that market. September 10, 1981
Latest nugget in the rumor mill: The Rolling Stones are going to play a big concert sometime in the next few months out at ASU. Sure. Aren't those guys getting kind of old for arena shows? January 3, 1982
Big dinner with John Rhodes. Says he's tired of the grind. Wants to call it quits, but he's afraid that if he retires and moves back to Arizona, his family (son Jay in particular) will drive him nuts. Find the kid an out-of-state job, I told him. Picked up the check ($65), as usual. Had an appointment with Bill Close earlier in the afternoon and met with him down at Channel 10. As usual, I walked right in off the street and into his office. You know, they'd better do something about their security down there. Downtown isn't getting any safer, and someday some nut is going to walk in off the street and cause some real trouble. Since Bill's in the communications business, I tipped him to a little investment opportunity I've been hearing about. It's called the compact disc, and I have a hunch it's going to replace records someday as the way people listen to music. Bill laughed when I told him, but his mood changed when I reminded him about the hunch I had three years ago about the Sony Walkman. Later went out to the Razberry Rhinoceros to hear the Effects. Saw Anita, the babe who does the 24-Hour Nautilus ads. She told me she wants to have my child.