Beefalo Bill

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Beefalo Bill

From about 1976-1986, as Beefalo Bill, I answered phones on the local (KMET, KLSX) Dr. Demento Shows. About that time I attended Cal Poly, where I was introduced to the artist who gave us School Cafeteria. I was busy studying printing and working on the Mustang Daily. Al was busy studying architecture and playing Coffee Houses at the student union. We both squeezed in time to be WOW counselors and disk jockeys at the college radio station, KCPR. Another famous alumnus from that time, KCPR program director Brian Hackney is currently meteorologist at a major bay area television station.

So getting back to Beefalo Bill. It seems every other week I would drive down to L.A. for the weekend. The routine was simple since my dad lived about at Wilshire and Western and the KMET studio was about at Sunset and Western. About 5 o'clock Sunday, I would drive into the station, show my pass, park upstairs and wait for Dr. D. to drive up in his Mazda. Mike Keiffer would always be there, and usually Sulu and occasionally Jovial Joan, Barnes and Barnes , Damaskas, or Whimsical Will .

This whole entourage would enter the empty studio. Tradition was, for Sunday nights, the last song of the shift before Dr. D would be Green Grass and High Tides Forever live version by the Outlaws. That way, the DJ could just cut out early. Sometimes, we would get a chance to say hi to Cynthia Fox or Richard Belzer but usually we would have the studio to ourselves.

We would all take our places at the microphone and at 6:00 pm sharp, Dr. D would start the theme song and after the first four notes we would all sing in unison...


Noisemakers, oh yes there were two bags of noisemakers and we all took our favorites and razz for a chorus or two, Mike would make hand noises or "scooby doo" or some other inimitable sound effect. After our introductions, we would then grab the song log and head out to the phone room where we would either in groups or all at once answer phone calls for the next 3 hours.

Now these phone calls, they weren't the usual kind of calls that a typical radio station intern would have to put up with day in - day out. Nothing can compare to nonchalantly writing down a check mark next to "dead puppies" (Oh no looks like it is going to make the top 10 again). Or the thrill of someone actually asking for something you have to write down. "the railroad runs through the middle of the house".

It was a rare pleasure indeed to talk to people who knew these weird songs, work with people who have heard them hundreds of times and had to make up acronyms to keep from getting carpal tunnel, "GGROBAR" (Turns out a best friend's uncle did that one).

 Then the Top 10 would play, we would all say our goodbyes, and I would drive the four hour trip back to Cal Poly...


Running With Fireworks (Allow download time for 4-5 mb) Some major appendages were at risk this Fourth of July.

Bill Burk