by Kelly Randall posted Oct 8 2013 10:23AM

We don't know if it's the last time we'll ever see them. Don Henley, age 68, says this might be his last tour. Maybe it will be. Knowing this may have contributed to a truly magic night at the Pepsi Center.


The Eagles are billing this tour as "The History of the Eagles".  And they delivered on that promise. The show begins with their first album and follows their career from country rockers to full-on rockers. What was really outstanding was the quality of playing.  The big video screens reveal Joe Walsh's arthritis-riddled fingers. But those fingers still fly. He delivered an amazing Rocky Mountain Way that brought everyone to their feet.


The show had a deep sentimental quality. For many of us, the Eagles career covers the course of our teenage to adult transistion. Emotions were close to the surface at the Pepsi Center. Judging by the look on the audience's faces, there was a lot of love in the house.  Thank you Eagles. It's been a long ride.  And a great one.

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by Kelly Randall posted Aug 29 2013 10:44AM

Or so I thought.  It was my second full-time radio job.  I had just turned 21 and had been hired at a "progressive rock" FM station in San Diego.This was fall 1975. Growing up back East, I had only dreamed of Southern California. 


 I imagined SoCal to be one long continuous Beach Boys song:  sun, waves, girls and cars. And oh man, it was.  I lived in a hippy town called Ocean Beach. I rode a motorcycle up the coast each night to work.  What could go wrong?


Be careful what you wish for.


I had been hired to do the all night show. Back in the pre-Internet days, doing an all night show live was great.  You had a smaller but very dedicated audience. Some listeners were working the third shift and they would reach out to you via the request line.  You became part of their workplace.


Other regular listeners lived alternate livestyles.  Party all night and sleep all day.  I had regular listener who called himself "The Del Cerro Stoner." He was a Vietnam Vet.  Obviously dealing with PTSD, four years later, from being an infantry soldier in combat. He would call nightly for the Who song, "Won't Get Fooled Again."  The Del Cerro Stoner would tell me he and his platoon listened to that song every day when out in the field. And then he would tell me a story from the "teenage wasteland" as he called Vietnam.


I loved the audience for that show.  Freaks flying all different flags.


So, the audience was cool and my fellow disc jockeys were fun. Now, the station owner was a little strange, but I didn't have much contact with him so I didn't think much of it.  That is, until the lamp incident happened.


You'd think the all night studios of a hippy FM station would be cool.  You're playing all those great album cuts in a mellow vibe town of San Diego, right?




The studio had harsh fluorescent lighting. And really, really intense. You couldn't adjust them in any way. It was like sitting under a french fry warmer each night.


Finally, I had enough.  I brought a lamp in from home.  I put it on the console and turned off the harsh overhead lighting.  Finally, I had a studio that mirrored my listeners home environments.


Everything was cool until the day I showed up at work and found a memo in my in-box.  It was from the station owner and it stated that no lamps were permitted in the air studio and "if I wanted a den, I should go buy a house."


Wow. Kill the vibe.  Suddenly I realized my little spot of hip California wasn't so hip.  The bad station owner sold soon thereafter and he was gone.  I, too, was gone taking a job back East in Baltimore.


The station in San Diego is still there.  I bet a lamp is burning somewhere in that studio each night. 




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by Kelly Randall posted Aug 12 2013 10:14AM

I went to see the new Matt Damon movie, ?Elysium? on Friday.  And I wasn?t alone: the 99% filled cinemas this past weekend to enjoy a sci-fi film about the 1%. The dystopian thriller ?Elysium? ? which imagines an Earth that has been left to rot while the rich enjoy themselves on a space station ? topped the weekend box office with $30.5 million, according to studio estimates.  


People like science fiction for different reasons.  Some go for the tech.  All the cool new stuff that the screenwriter believes will be coming down the road.  Others appreciate the social/political critiques the sci-fi writers employ to discuss today?s problems or issues through the use of sci-fi.  


The big daddy of the latter category is George Orwell?s ?1984,? the ultimate big-brother- is-watching-you tale. Don?t you think George would get a kick out of the revealed NSA program to watch (and listen) to all Internet and telecom communications? Would he give us a big ?I told you so??




Writer/Director Neil Blomkampf's vision of future in ?Elysium? where the rich live in orbiting space station and oppress the poor below is meant to cause controversy.  And it does.  Not everyone is happy with its future vision.  Neil definitely is making his point about what he believes are underlying causes to the illegal immigration issues facing the U.S. today.  


And for the tech lovers, they don?t care about the social issues. They love the tech, which in this film is very, very good. Great visions of futuristic LA, hovering over Earth is a wondrous space station where the rich live in absolute splendor, complete with MRI-like machines that cure any disease in a matter of seconds. That?s what draws the illegal aliens from Earth:  the chance to run in and get cured from a life-threatening illness.   


Who wouldn?t want that?  


I think it?s great filmmakers come along and make a statement.  And I don?t always have to agree with that message. But it starts a discussion. It causes us to engage with one another. After all, isn?t our free public discourse what makes America great?

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by Kelly Randall posted Aug 5 2013 10:32AM

Lots of folks make jokes about musicians not being smart.  You?ve heard drummer jokes, right?


How do you tell if the stage is level?

The drummer is drooling from both sides of his mouth.

How can you tell a drummer's at the door?

The knocking speeds up.


What's the last thing a drummer says in a band?

"Hey, how about we try one of my songs?"


Ok.  Not always fair as a lot of musicians are very smart, as well as great business people.  And that includes drummers.  Bruce Springsteen comes to mind as a super-smart musician. In fact, Bruce likes to joke about his spare time when he watches TV and his mind starts drifting to adding up the commercial endorsements he's turned down over the course of his career. Most likely, a startling amount of money.


This week?s winner for dumbest band in the world has to be the Bloodhound Gang.  They were playing in the Ukraine this past week when the bassist shoves a Russian flag down his pants and pulls it out the back of his pants.  And he had the gall to tell the audience not to tell Putin.  Now,  the lead singer objected right at that moment, saying he didn?t agree with what just happened. But it was too late.  The word was out that a rock band had desecrated the Russian flag. Pretty soon the upcoming appearance at a weekend rock festival was cancelled. Then, they were deported and had to head right to the airport.


It gets worse.


At the airport lounge, Russian nationalists tracked them down and tried to smother one of the band members with an American flag.  The Bloodhound Gang was lucky to get out of Russia unhurt.


Think the Bloodhound Gang is looking for a new bass player this week?


It?s very simple. If you are invited to play in a foreign country, stay away from the host nation?s flag. And if invited to play in Russia, definitely leave the Russian flag out of your stage act, unless you plan to bunk down for a long while with Edward Snowden.


Want a few more drummer jokes?  I love drummers, but ok, here goes:


What do you call a drummer with half a brain?



What does a drummer use for contraception?

His personality.


What do you say to a drummer in a three-piece suit?

"Will the defendant please rise?"


"Hey buddy, how late does the band play?"

  "Oh, about half a beat behind the drummer."



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by Kelly posted Jul 8 2013 9:43AM

Hopefully, you made it through the long July 4th weekend unscathed. Lots of tough news: airplane crashes, unmanned train crashes, people dying in the streets in Egypt from causes due to political change. And the list goes on.


On the good news side, we had no fires related to fireworks here in Colorado. That’s really good. And here at KOOL 105 we’re in the midst of getting folks registered for a trip to Vegas to see Rod Stewart in concert. Just listen throughout the day for your chance to get qualified.


  Good news from the music world of Bruce Springsteen. He’s told Rolling Stone Magazine that he’s already recorded a few new songs for a follow up to his smash album, “Wrecking Ball.” Bruce wraps up his European tour on July 28th. Check out Bruce’s young, hard core fans from the Euro shows on Watch for the latest CD from Bruce likely coming by the New Year.


Lots of your favorite TV shows may be on break for the summer, but these days the cable network channels like to debut new shows in the summer. This week check out the latest crime thriller from FX. It’s called The Bridge, set on the border between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. It features two detectives, one from El Paso and one from Juarez working together to solve a murder on the bridge connecting the US and Mexico.


Finally, fires are still burning aournd the Southwest this week. Take a moment to say thanks to the brave men and women who put it on the line for our safety. It’s going to be a hot week in Denver, so stay cool with KOOL 105.

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by Kelly Randall posted Jun 25 2013 10:26AM

When the news hit last Friday that actor James Gandolfini had died in Rome, I was stunned. The initial news reports (later confirmed by the autopsy) indicated a heart attack, otherwise known as death from a natural cause.


I had noticed James Gandolfini even before the popular HBO show, "The Sopranos". It was a little crime film called True Romance, the first produced script for a young Quentin Tarantino. A small role and a memorable performance. I noticed Gandolfini was a guy who had a presence on the screen. He was special.


James Gandolfini was lucky to get something few actors ever get: a role of a lifetime.


He became Tony Soprano, the head of a modern New Jersey crime family. But such a gift can also come with baggage. Some actors never escape these roles.


I admit it. After the Sopranos, it was hard at first for me to see Gandolfini as anyone other than Tony Soprano. But eventually I did. And when he later played the CIA Director in Zero Dark Thirty, Tony Soprano was nowhere in sight.


Since his death, I have been heartened by statements from those who knew him. James or "Jimmy" as he was known to friends was everything you wanted him to be: kind, warm, generous, a great Dad and a wonderful caring friend to his friends. Nothing like Tony Soprano.


That means Jimmy was a pretty damn good actor.


Gandolfini was only 51 when he died. He had a lot of great roles ahead of him, and a lot of Dad and husband time left too. Our hearts go out to his two young kids and his family. He will be missed.


I don't know that I have a magic answer on how to process this grief. And it's really grief. Look, I know Gandolfini was not someone I knew as a friend or close family member, but thanks to the media, I "knew" James Gandolfini as the characters he played. In that sense, he was real to me. And his death troubled me.


What to do about that?


I'm left with this, the obvious: make each day count. Easy to say. Harder to do.


When you really need to remember this is when the chips are down. Maybe you're stuck in a miserable job or a soul-draining relationship and that's all you can see in front of you


Do what the guy in the exercise video says, start by getting out of your head.


During the course of a day find a way to go out of your way to do something good for someone else. Try to find a way to make a difference in someone else's life. It doesn't have to be big. Make it small; but make it count. And in that way, while others may hopefully benefit, you'll find out that in some small way, you benefit too. Do it because you can.


Above is one of the last known photos of James Gandolfini. He was doing it his way, out with his thirteen year old son, eating in an outdoor Rome restaurant. No body guards. No entourage. Just a Dad and his son eating dinner. RIP, Jimmy.  

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by Kelly posted Jun 10 2013 5:06PM
For many of us, the first work day of the week.  Maybe you're like Kris and myself, we get in on a Monday morning to the KOOL 105 studio before we go on the air, we look at each other, and go, really, Monday, really?  And then it starts to roll upward.  Hope yours does the same.

Mondays are a great time for me to remember everything we didn't talk about on the show or things I wanted to talk about more. Sad stuff like the passing of the Jefferson Airplane's drummer. Or the latest interview with David Crosby of CSNY in Rolling Stone Magazine.  He's barely holding onto his health in his early '70's, primarily, as he admits, due to his drug use in his youth. He really wants to get one more CSN&Y tour in. They have a new album coming out in August.  It's a live album recorded back in 1974. Crosby says once he gets that last tour in, then he can go on for his remaining days a happy man.  I hope he gets it done.  For all of us.

Get your things done on this Monday.  And I hope you have a better day than the dude above with the pickup truck.  He was a little too drunk to be driving, which is why he ended up in the ocean.

Until next time, keep it between the white lines.  And not the David Crosby white lines of old! We need you around for a while.
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by Kelly posted May 30 2013 7:42PM
In case you haven't noticed, it takes a lot to get what you want these days. Whether it's raising your kids, caring for parents, grandparents or just holding onto your job.  Maybe you’re lost in an endless job search.

One thing for sure, it ain't easy.

Perhaps you’ve returned from Iraq or Afghanistan and you’re trying to figure how to move your life forward. You are not alone.

Many of us are striving to find our way, regardless of age or our place in society. Maybe you’ve just graduated from college or high school. You’re afraid of your future. You might be worried that there is no place for you or no career path available to you.

There are pressures now unknown to a prior age.

So how do you handle it? You can insulate yourself with weed (now legal in Colorado) or bury yourself in alcohol. Neither is likely to get you where you need to go.

What to do?

Time for a gut check. Time to wrap yourself in a new cloth of tenacity. Time to develop a quality of being determined to do or achieve. Develop an unfailing firmness of purpose. 

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to achieve what is in your heart. Go for it.  Follow it.

Take a lesson from Naya, my daughter and her boyfriends new puppy:
by Kelly Randall posted May 20 2013 9:56PM
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by Kelly Randall posted May 9 2013 5:28PM
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. Although commercialized here in the U.S. early in the 20th century, its roots go back to the Roman holiday of Hilaria. The Romans took this day of rejoicing from the Greeks and used the occasion to honor Cybele, the mother of the gods.  

Seven years ago on Mother's Day, my mother knew her end was near. She had been battling breast cancer for seventeen years and this last reoccurrence was soon to take her. She knew it. And she also knew that she had bought years of extra time through her sheer Irish will to survive. She had a lot to live for: her husband and life partner, five kids, six grandchildren and a huge collection of friends and former students who adored her.  

Mom was boundless energy.

She could outrun, outlast and out-fun all five of her kids. She loved an adventure. A trip downtown to the dentist in Washington, D.C. would quickly morph into an outing that rivaled any school field trip. Museums, the zoo, a movie or monument.   She always made it grand.   Mom loved history, as well she should, the daughter of a college history professor. She enabled our own witness of history: astronaut parades, a President's funeral parade, the poor peoples' camp-in on the Mall and the mid-60's civil rights marches. By high school in the early 1970's, I took a page from her book, flocking to the Vietnam War demonstrations sweeping D.C.  

Despite all this goodness, Mom did have one serious fault: a crummy sense of direction.   

I was eight.  Sweltering in the back seat on a hellish D.C. summer day. We were lost somewhere in downtown, looping endlessly around a traffic circle.  Our destination was nearby Northern Virginia.  I remember her mounting frustration.  More like exasperation. Suddenly, like a lightening bolt, she came to a grand solution: "We'll just follow someone with a Virginia license plate." And we did. She eventually found her way, as she managed to do all of her life.  

Mom's heart was at the beach.  Now, whenever I come up on my first view of a beach, I feel her on my shoulder.  Together we take in a slow pull of salt air.  I have only a nanosecond to feel her delight in the magnificent eternity of the ocean.  Then, she is gone. I?m left feeling her loss, again. After a couple of moments, I rejoice in being able to have had the moment.  

If your mother is still with you on Mother's Day, rejoice. And if she isn't, rejoice anyway.  And if you're really lucky, somewhere deep in your collection of most precious things you?ll have a photo of that look in her eye when she first began holding you.

Happy Mother's Day, mom.    
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