Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur



Filed under: Personal History,Puttin' On The Ritz — Laura Moncur @ 5:50 am

KCGL PosterWhen KCGL went out of business, all of us punk kids cried. We had been informed that they were changing their format to Christian Rock. We protested. We went to the radio station, begging them to reconsider. I don’t remember calling any of the advertisers, which would have been the smartest thing to do. When you’re seventeen, the financial side of radio is the last thing on your mind.

Nothing that we could do could stop KCGL from changing their format. It wouldn’t have been that big of a difference except that there were no other alternative or new wave stations on the radio at that time. Suddenly, we went from 24 hours a day down to one or two hours a week on public radio. After a couple of months, I was desperate for new music. MTV was good, but it wasn’t the same as the radio.

I remember haunting KCGL. I kept listening in the vain hope that they would change their minds. Maybe if they didn’t make any money with this Christian Rock stuff, they would eat crow. Once I heard them play U2. I thought that they were changing back and immediately called them. No, U2 is considered Christian, apparently.

I knew things were really bad when I saw the movie Pretty In Pink. I heard new Smiths, New Order and Nik Kershaw. It was a whole soundtrack of new music that I hadn’t heard before, except for the title track. After that, I started asking all my friends, “Have you heard anything good lately? What do you recommend?”

I bought more albums during that time than I had the previous year. I was still making the same amount of money at K-Mart, but I was spending more of it on music because the radio was gone. All I had were audio cassettes to rely on after KCGL died. I would buy albums just because one person said that they thought it was good. I didn’t weigh my options anymore. I just bought it all because I was so hungry. 

Then it happened. “Have you heard anything good lately? What do you recommend?” I was asking Pinkston. Unstable Mike Pinkston. Beautiful Mike Pinkston. He had just returned from picking pineapples in Hawaii and his forearms were bronze and bulky. I had been crushing on him since sixth grade. I’m sure he knew it, but he didn’t want me. Just like every other crush I had encountered up to that point. “Here, try this. You’ll probably hate it.” He handed me Japanese Whispers by The Cure.

Update 10-01-11: If you’re missing KCGL, you can relive the best of it on KCQN Utah, brought to you by Chet Tapp and Mister West!



  1. It WAS a bad day when KCGL “shut down”. I remember as a kid listening to “Mr. Robert’s Neighborhood” every morning with my brother just before school. We would laugh our brains out when Mr. Roberts would beat up his neighbor. I think the majority of KCGL fans became KJQ fans… reluctantly. The music wasn’t the same… and the station wasn’t as humorous/fun.

    Along with my brother, we ended up buying countless tapes… Echo and the bunnymen, New Order, Toy Dolls, Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, etc. That was the only way to hear New Wave.

    I still enjoy listening to Nelly the Elephant by the Toy Dolls and hearing occasionally New Order/Echo and the bunnymen on our local alternative rock station. Brings back lots of memories…

    Comment by Keith — 5/18/2005 @ 9:38 am

  2. I lived in SLC during the KCGL heyday. It was so sad when they went away. I think about it every once in a while. Musinc on the Internet has been great since most of the radios stations here in Los Angeles don’t play anything I like.

    Comment by Frank — 9/5/2006 @ 11:55 pm

  3. Great KCGL memory, thanks for putting it out there. Here’s mine: I was in elementary school when KCGL went off the air, and for this 11-year-old, it seemed like the end of the world. My cooler, older teenage brother got me into “modern rock,” and I lived it and breathed it. I even made a KCGL-themed pinewood derby car using cutouts from a KCGL bumper sticker (sadly no pics). I now find myself collecting the songs that were broadcast back then to create CDs that recapture the KCGL heyday. Wow, I can’t imagine any radio station today creating the fierce loyalty that KCGL had created.

    Comment by Mark — 3/3/2007 @ 5:53 pm

  4. One day while listening to KCGL I called the station phone number. I was shocked and amazed that the DJ answered the phone!

    I also remember, that when it was announced that the station was shutting down, people put flowers at the doorstep of KCGL.

    Comment by Frank — 6/8/2007 @ 2:43 pm

  5. Although I am now 3,000 miles and 20 years away from the formative years of KCGL, I look back fondly on the fun, up-beat music and KCGL radio personalities on which I was raised.

    Long before KJQ, the End or X96 (who lost its way to the point of “burying the alternative genre”) there was KCGL, the Ritz, Xenon and so many friends and memories. It truly was a dark day when the Christian rock powers-that-be pulled the plug on KCGL. And because KCGL was not around, there were no radio waves to play something dark by The Smiths or The Cure.

    It’s been too many years, but I do recall my first concert: Gene Loves Jezebel, Echo & the Bunnymen at Park West in General Admission (not Wolf Mountain or whatever they’re calling it this season). Of course, KCGL DJs were there in force; I don’t remember too many of them by name, but I believe Bif Raf, Paul Santini and Mike Summers (or was it Winters, he would change his last name at the KCGL summer kick-off at Raging Waters) were all there. If anyone remembers some of the other KCGL personalities please post.

    Comment by Andy — 7/24/2007 @ 2:43 am

  6. KCGL DJ’s original DJ’s were: JD Sullivan/ Mike Summers/ Paul Santini/ Biff Raffe/ Alan Stone/ Steve Thunders. Later, Barb Guy, Mary Ellen, Lara Jones, Norman Temple, Brian West, Mike Roberts, and others joined. That was a certain irreverence and charm to that station that made it always fun to listen to, even if you didn’t like the song, it was the experience that really stimulated you. I remember laughing my ass off to The Geek Patrol, and the Redneck Report. Does anyone remember that The Redneck Report with On The Street Reporter ‘Gutterman Jim?’ I was deeply bummed when KCGL changed format. All of my friends were in mourning for months afterward.

    Comment by stacey — 9/25/2007 @ 5:55 pm

  7. The Geek Patrol was hilarious! I remember the Redneck Report. the guy was always in West Valley or West Jordan telling everyone where the rednecks were so they would avoid the area. Classic stuff! Wish I had more of the music from that era. Should’ve rolled tape, as they say. Radio has never been the same- sadly.

    Comment by rondo — 9/25/2007 @ 6:39 pm

  8. Does anyone remember the first song and the last song that KCGL played as the Modern Music Experience? That would be a good trivia question. Remember that they played ‘Panic’ by The Smiths every 30 minutes when the new owners fired the regular DJ’s?

    Comment by lonnie — 9/26/2007 @ 6:28 pm

  9. I can’t believe I stumbled upon this! As Steve Thunders I was an original KCGL DJ and enjoyed the ride until the need for actually being able to earn a living (You wouldn’t believe how little we were paid)drove me back to Florida. I can say it was the most fun gig I ever had, and really ruined my attitude for the future. Can you imagine being handed a computerized playlist after enjoying the free-for-all we had? We all loved it, had fun together, and really believed we were doing something “important”. Thanks for remembering. BTW, in my mind the first song was PIL – “Public Image”, but more than likely it was FGTH – “Relax”. I’ll see if I can find some old tapes ………. Mr Steve

    Comment by Wes King — 12/11/2007 @ 5:07 pm

  10. Thank you so much for this post. The sound of KCGL is forever etched in my mind as a high school student at Brighton 84-86 I have so many memories of that station and the personalities behind it. I think the entire school was listening only to KCGL. I do not think the parties involved even know how influential the station was in such a small snapshot in time to so many young people in our community. KCGL the best of all time. Thanks, Britt.

    Comment by britt parker — 12/28/2007 @ 11:23 pm

  11. The first song that KCGL played was “Wake Up It’s 1984” by Oingo Boingo. Does anyone have any old tapes of KCGL? Would buy them if they are in decent shape. Too bad that it was before the digital era. Did Biff Raff retire? I used to hear him on THE END. The other DJ’s faded into obscurity, as far as I know. Be fun if they would reunite and do a special day on the air complete with the music from that era. Especially the classic tunes that only KCGL played.

    Comment by Max — 12/31/2007 @ 3:27 pm

  12. I’m really glad to come across everyone’s posts about KCGL. It was one of a kind. Biff was the program manager at 101.9 The End, and was either pushed out or decided to leave 101.9 The End a few months ago. He was replaced by a total piece of **** named Parker. Earlier this month they fired Mr. West. The station is dead, and the only remaining station that has a shred of relation to KCGL is now X96. Steve Thunder. Wow man. You still have fans my friend. You guys have no idea how important you were to us. Serious mourning occurred at the demise of KCGL. I lived out in West Jordan and was one of about 10 people in the whole school that listened, so we were pretty hardcore about it. I’ll never forget the Berlin concert on the day KCGL went off the air. Some other station was claiming to be the new KCGL and was handing out flyers at the concert. The KCGL DJs got up on stage before the show and told everyone to rip up the flyers. Biff was PISSED!!! Awesome.

    I would also be very interested in buying copies of any KCGL recordings (csanders1989@yahoo.com). I recorded hours and hours before they went off the air, but the tapes degraded to the point of unplayability.

    Here’s an old aircheck from KCGL if anyone’s interested…


    Comment by Chet — 1/3/2008 @ 2:02 pm

  13. I am so bummed to read that Biff may have been fired. I couldn’t agree more with your opinions about 101.9. Didn’t know that they fired Mr. West. Who the hell is ‘Parker?’ Is he that loudmouth in the afternoon? I remember when Berlin came to SLC with Talk Talk. Didn’t see the show, but wished I would’ve. Too young to call the shots back then.

    Comment by Max — 1/3/2008 @ 6:24 pm

  14. Also, Chet: Page couldn’t be found for the link you provided. Can you recheck it for us?

    Comment by Max — 1/3/2008 @ 6:26 pm

  15. Stumbled on this blog. Looks like there are some old KCGL fans out there still. That is fantastic! I saw the comments by Steve Thunders. Wondering if he has any old audio of KCGL, with music and DJ’s? It would be great to set up a myspace page with audio and a place for all of the old fans to network. Hope people will reply to this. I would definitely help.

    James in the ’08

    Comment by James — 1/25/2008 @ 2:27 pm

  16. Wow! It is amazing to me that more than 20 years later, people are still talking about KCGL. It must have been more important to us than even we knew at the time. I had the “stay alive in 85” sticker on my car until I sold it in 1996. It’s good to know that I’m not the only person out there who still thinks of the “good old days” of modern music in Utah.

    Comment by Mark — 2/17/2008 @ 10:13 pm

  17. OK, this is weird! I was talking about KCGL with some friends and randomly Googled ‘KCGL,’ and look what came up!! We were just talking about how we miss stations like KCGL and some old songs that we loved. It would be great if there was a fan site of some sort where people could share music- pics-etc.. i went to school at East High. Lots of KCGL fans went there. My old boyfriend was obsessed with it, as much as I was. PLEASE let us know if there is a fan site or myspace page. Would be cool.

    Comment by Kathy — 2/28/2008 @ 6:55 pm

  18. KCGL was a phenomenon in Salt Lake in the early 80s. Great radio! I was actually telling a friend about it the other day as she flipped madly between radio stations to avoid the ads. Even the ads on KCGL were pretty fun.

    Now I thank god for MP3 and the Internet.

    Comment by Troy — 3/7/2008 @ 8:28 pm

  19. Time has been fading my memory. where did krpn fit into the kcgl era, was it before or after it closed? All I remember is that they played alternative late at night. I remember staying up late or getting up early to listen to the odd music that was playing on krcl and kuer in the middle of the night back in 79 and 80. I was so happy that kcgl came along and made it a mainstay. Oh, and Flesh for Lulu’s seven hail mary’s still totally rocks.

    Comment by Roger — 3/20/2008 @ 7:58 pm

  20. KRPN came AFTER KCGL died. They only played alternative during late nights.

    Comment by Laura Moncur — 3/20/2008 @ 8:59 pm

  21. Hey Hey Hey to all who enlisted in the KCGL Army!!! Alan Stone here. It is great to see that our army still lives on! I had the pleasure of helping in “creating the illusion” from the beginning of the station. We were just a bunch of passionate kids dedicated to the creation of something different. I am so blown away that people still remember the crazy fun we had. It was special. I hope to see a ground swell of old listeners rise up to create a space where we can all remember the institution of KCGL. I will donate some aircheck tapes. How about these memories: Remember when the weather at the station was always 69 degrees!… Norman’s Land, The all night “Stoner Sets”, the morning high sign, Wayne Newton front row seats in Togas!, Echo at the U of U, Violent Femms, REM, Wall of Voodoo and New Order at the Fairgrounds. Paul Santini’s high pitched sign off “Bye”, Biff Raff’s Witness drop at 4:30 PM everyday “Its 4:30, time for milking”… Bikini Contest at Xenon…Good times! What are your memories? I love you all….Stoner

    Comment by Alan Stone "Stoner Boner" — 4/4/2008 @ 5:27 pm

  22. I think I read this post a while ago, but forgot about it.

    God, KCGL. At it’s height, it was the fastest growing radio station in the country – or so I recall. It’s the station that introduced me to the idea that music could MATTER, rather than just BEING. I don’t listen to the radio any more. But I’d be tempted if there was anyone as willing to take risks as they were.

    Comment by Gandalfe — 4/4/2008 @ 10:18 pm

  23. KCGL was the best radio station ever! Even though it is hazy, I kind of remember the day KCGL “died”. My friends and I were driving to SLC, smoking cloves cigarettes and “Forever Young” by Alphaville stands out as the last song we heard. We pulled over and, I kid you not, bawled. A couple of years later, Someone even stole the KCGL bumpersticker off my car when it was in an impound lot after an accident. Now if I can only find a copy of that Fruer song.

    Comment by Catherine — 4/5/2008 @ 5:28 pm

  24. You must be referring to “Doot Doot” Catherine. Great song. I have it on vinyl. Very cool Blog. This brings back many memories for me as well. I graduated from Brighton in 1989 and have only been through SLC a few times in the past few years. I’ve been in WA state since and I have never come across any station as unique as KCGL. I hate to say that I am more of an AM listener now. I have all my 80’s classics on my IPOD. I have recently discovered Comcast has a retro-active station on channel 915 locally. As I write this I’m listening to “Don’t Go” by Yaz. Ahhh the good times! Please keep posting!

    Comment by Jeff — 6/3/2008 @ 10:24 pm

  25. I had a friend who used to hang out with some of the KCGL DJs. She told me some pretty wild stories about stuff that happened at the studios in Bountiful or Centerville. She told me about that she and a bunch of her friends used to take six packs of beer to some of the DJs after hours. She used to know where Santini and Biff Raff lived, and would hang out with them at parties in Park City and in the Avenues. My friend was a senior in high school. I guess those guys were barely legal themselves. I think Barb Guy was the only one over 22. Also, I have the Fruer collection as an import CD. Great stuff!

    Comment by nick — 6/7/2008 @ 5:41 pm

  26. There are too many fantastic words to describe the glory of KCGL. Several of the best years of my life. Not only did I listen religiously and get several people (rednecks and others) hooked, but when I wasn’t listening to the radio at every opportunity, I was dancing to all the favs in the Collector Club and The Twelve Oaks. I remained a loyal listener through the changes, until moving to Austin in 1993. After living here for a short time, there was a short lived retro revival under a local station then flashback lunch, then gone. The station changed their format after a year or so. BTW thanks Rachel for giving me the last promo shirt, one in which you were wearing, in front of Cothrons Bike Shop in South Austin. We spoke of the familiar radio personalities from KCGL and others. I don’t have the technical background to run a radio station but I think it is time to get the music we love, back on the air in several markets. One at a time, We should all have a little money by now, or be able to contribute in some way. Maybe a pipe dream? or a reality. At 42 this music still moves me and it is really about all I listen to. I have a great collection. Laura, thanks for keeping it alive.

    Comment by Paul — 7/26/2008 @ 11:52 pm

  27. Hey Laura,

    As a long-time Utah “new waver”, I remember KCGL! I can’t believe you did a blog post about it. Excellent writing, as usual, and it’s fun to read through the comments and all the reminiscing. How cool that even some of the former DJs have found this and commented also! I didn’t know you were a Cure fan too, you might want to check out the site I’ve left. Thanks for the memories :)

    Comment by Heron — 8/13/2008 @ 12:21 pm

  28. Obviously nostalgic about KCGL today and found this blog. I was at the Berlin concert too, Chet (and ironically was one of those listening in West Jordan), late ’86. After (Biff, I guess) ripped up the flyers he said, “these people don’t understand anything about the music you listen to… We’ll be Back!” Of course they weren’t ever really back, but he was definitely right about the understanding. I’ve never listened to a station since it went off the air where I heard more than two songs in a row that I liked; with KCGL, the song for which I didn’t care was the oddity. They did understand.

    Comment by Jens — 8/20/2008 @ 3:50 pm

  29. In the absence of a site devoted to KCGL, I guess this blog post filled some kind of nostalgia gap.

    I graduated from East High in 1986, and have spend many of the last 22 years searching for the music I was introduced to on KCGL. The problem is remembering the track and band names for so many. Since KCGL played so many songs that didn’t get airplay in the rest of the country, few of the ‘new wave’ comps include the songs I loved so much.

    Some obscure favorites from, oh, 1984 or 1985… Sunset Now by Heaven 17, Rain by Dragon (oddly enough, I discovered this was a hard rock band, but I still have it on a cassette recording from KCGL back in the day), We’re Mad by Toy Dolls, Devil and Darkness by Freur (as well as Look in the Back for Answers), C-c-c-can’t You See by Vicious Pink, Flaming Desire by Bill Nelson, Summer Fun by the Barracudas….

    As I also hung out quite a bit at the Palladium (remember the late night TV show filmed there?), I do get confused about some songs that were played there as opposed to KCGL (such as I Hear Talk by Bucks Fizz). But they’re all good.

    So, anyone want to list some other favorite songs from those days?


    p.s. I’ve lived in Washington State for about 15 years now, and my previous car had a KCGL bumper sticker. Even up here I’d get people honking and shouting out “KCGL”! Quite a few Utah transplants up here, I guess.

    Comment by Jason M. — 11/2/2008 @ 7:56 am

  30. It was so much fun reading through this blog. KCGL was the ultimate station. Here are some of my favorite songs from that glorious era: ‘Look In The Back For Answers’ by Fruer, TV Party by Black Flag, Jock-o-rama by Dead Kennedys, ‘Cow Punk’ by Scott Goddard, ‘Urban Struggle’ by the Vandals, ‘Killing Moon’ by Echo and the B-men. Tried to find ‘Belly of a whale’ by Burning Sensations but no such luck. All of my friends listened to KCGL literally every waking minute. I owe my youth to those guys…

    Comment by Matty — 11/11/2008 @ 3:56 pm

  31. Wow… I can’t believe there are those out there who still remember the days of KCGL…. I thought most of us had shot ourselves after the Depeche Mode concert that summer! As part of the trivia, the last song played by KCGL was ‘Panic’ by The Smiths, go figure! Nice to see Alan Stone around as well. My story about the closing of KCGL? Well, I went the station to gather bumper stickers (since there were going to be a lot less of them in the near future) and was intercepted by (what I assume was) the new management. There were no DJ’s, just reels of tape looping endlessly. I asked for stickers, but they had none. They did give me the radio stations copy of ‘Desire’ by Gene loves Jezebel! I still have it to this day (a fond memory of that station). Glad to see there are so many others that remember it also. A few more memories of the time: “Stop Start” by Modern English. The Paladium. The Maxim. God I had no life!

    Comment by Tim H. — 7/22/2009 @ 11:05 pm

  32. BTW, I’ve one more observation / question. KCGL was more of a phenomena since it had some very independent elements. Alan, Steve, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t much of the programming based on listener response to your format? (i.e. word of mouth reactions from many independent labels, artists and fans). It appears to me that KCGL was not just a phenomena around the “type” of music it played, but how that music was chosen in the first place (i.e. a lot less politically that most major stations today). Would it not be possible to put this station together again via the internet? A live365 station or such? It seems the politics would be a lot less and the needed capital would also be greatly reduced. Anyone involved with the station, feel free to contact me sometime, I’d love to discuss this further. tim 801-635-4616

    Ah yes, one last memory: Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night at the Blue Mouse!

    Comment by Tim H. — 7/22/2009 @ 11:39 pm

  33. What a trip back. I’d forgotten the call letters KCGL until I came upon another worthwhile site about the SLC scene here: http://theatrex.net/xcept/004/index2.htm

    And had completely forgotten about Redneck Report and Mr Robert’s Neighborhood!

    Remember how much they played ‘The Animal Song’ by the Europeans (“Oh dee oh oh dee oh oh dee oh oh dee oh!”) — really annoying after the 4th time…

    Great station; it was a sad day indeed when they went off the air.

    Comment by Aaron — 8/20/2009 @ 1:36 pm

  34. Every now and then, I do an Internet search for “KCGL” hoping that time would allow more information on that great radio station to become available. I was in Jr. High at the time and I had a paper route. Everyday, I would pop in a blank cassette and record it while I was out delivering papers, and when I got back home, I would listen to all of the cool music that you couldn’t hear anywhere else. KCGL was the best radio station… there hasn’t been anything like it since. And it wasn’t just the music, it was the DJ’s (Mike Summers/Winters, Santini, et al), and the little bits they would play in between songs.

    They day KCGL went away was a horrible day. I have a recording of the last moments they were on the air. They played “Panic” by The Smiths, and then a weird “Gunga Din” recording. After that, a quick “Goodbye!” from everyone in the studio at the time.

    Tim mentioned that someone should put together a an Internet radio to bring KCGL back. I have, in fact, done something like that. Back in 2001, I put together a Live365 station that plays old 80’s new wave stuff. KCGL was my main inspiration for it, and I play a lot of stuff I only remember hearing on KCGL. It’s not the same, though.

    Thank you Laura for posting this, and thank you commenters for bringing back some memories!

    Comment by Bryce — 9/12/2009 @ 12:02 pm

  35. My favorite memories of KCGL …other then the grand music was the undercover redneck report.

    Comment by Kurt Raffield — 10/4/2009 @ 7:03 pm

  36. Good to see all the posts. It brings back a lot of memories. I was the DJ that opened the back lot in Xenon, I then moved on to help design the Palladium and again open as the DJ. I also DJed occasionally for KCGL and had a modern music program on Tues nights on KRCL (Mission Impossible) with another part-time KCGL DJ named Bob Bedore. Not sure if anyone remembers much of this but it was some great times for me. Living in DC now. But my memories from this time (and my vinyl collection) are two real prized possessions.

    Comment by George — 10/31/2009 @ 6:55 pm

  37. Some great shows mentioned….does anyone remember U2 playing in the SP exhibition hall with Big Country and The Alarm opening? Can’t beat that….

    Comment by George — 10/31/2009 @ 7:27 pm

  38. I was lucky enough to grow up about 5 blocks from KCGL (5th South and Orchard Drive in Bftl) and got to walk to jr high and high school by the station. I think the DJs must have been annoyed by me and my little clan always stopping in. But few in school understood us, our combat boots trench coats, long bangs and tails… Had the fake IDs to even get into the Maxim, Palladium, and Ritz (lol). Still have 3 different bumper stickers on my casette case. When I got my license, I had the geometric looking shapes in yellow and pink on my blue car to match the early bumper stickers.

    Yes, “Panic” was the last song played. Me and 3 friends were outside the station that night, banging on the doors. I won’t forget the cackling laughing voice that came on the station and said goodbye KCGL forever. We actually had a gallon of white paint in the trunk of my car and threw it on the side of the building–spelling KCGL in the paint. It stayed there for awhile. (What’s the statute of limitations on that stuff?) It was never the same. Once those poser stations came on the air, it matched all of the posers in society when “new wave” became mainstream (still can’t really listen to Joshua Tree because of that…)

    A few more songs to add…”Since Yesterday” by Strawberry Switchblade; “Love and Pride” by King; “Boom Boom” by Trio; “Cow” by Gene Loves Jezebel (unbelievable concert at the Palladium); “walk across the rooftops” by Blue Nile; “Rise” by PIL; “Burning Flame” by Vitamin C; anything from the Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love and Rockets/Peter Murphy iterations but particularly “Mr. Smith” by Love and Rockets and “Passion of Lovers is for Death” by Bauhaus; and who sang that “Whirley Girl” song (and do you remember the crazy dance with it–it’d give me a heart attack nowadays)?

    Fantastic memories. Best radio station ever.

    Comment by BryanB — 11/24/2009 @ 2:12 am

  39. These are great posts! Loved KCGL. I have some of the songs that everyone listed on my iPod. Hey Bryan B, the song “Whirly Girl” was by Oxo. I’m sure it was their only notable song.

    Comment by Freddie — 12/7/2009 @ 6:12 pm

  40. Too cool. I googled the call letters and found this. I was on the staff of the station for a while when if first went on the air. I had an all-night shift full-time at K-Bug!!! at the time and just had to work at cgl, even if it were for nickels. Santini said I could do a weekend show if I changed my name. That’s the one I came up with. So many hazy memories. Can’t remember why I didn’t push for a full time gig. Loved everyone there, Biff, Santini, Laura, Thunders, Barb. I live in Chicago now and believe it or not I’m still in radio.

    Comment by Norman Temple — 12/17/2009 @ 4:46 pm

  41. Remembering some of the shows I saw. U2 at the Salt Palace Exhibition hall. Romeo Void at the U. of U. Student Union Building. I didn’t go to the Toga party at the Wayne Newton show, but I did meet up with a group of Toga wearing crazies after the show. Don’t remember her name but one of them didn’t have anything on under hers. I know there are others, I just can’t remember them.

    Comment by Norman Temple — 12/20/2009 @ 7:10 am

  42. Just so you all know, I just posted a photo of my KCGL poster. You can see it here:


    Comment by Laura Moncur — 2/5/2010 @ 12:58 pm

  43. Wow, those were the days. I graduated from Bingham in 85.

    Later I worked closely with JD Sullivan at the Hansen Planetarium, and I used to give him a ride home every friday night after he finished his shift at 94.9 the Touch (fm), and I finished my shift at the Laser Shows.

    I miss the music from KCGL, and I miss my old friend JD.

    Lovely to find this blog.

    Comment by Michael — 2/25/2010 @ 10:51 am

  44. Oh KCGL…where do I start? I get goose bumps just thinking about my time spent with you. This was my first indoctrination to ‘modern music’ and it has been with me ever since…Matt, I have Belly in the whale if youre interested on MP3…in fact I have all the favs on my ext hard drive thanks to Tony Rumfallo who was a DJ there as well.

    I remember all the things with great passion and detail that’s been described here…Toy Dolls, Intrefeuron, Dragon (Don’t go out in the pouring rain!) Heaven 17, and of course the other main stream stuff – Depeche Mode, u@, Echo, Cure, Cult, etc etc….I think my most favorite song of that time was the 80’s by Killing Joke…and yes the extended dance mix! LOL…I tell people about 7″ and 12″ remixes and they’re like WTF?

    So to all you DJ’s that helped us handle the mid 80’s thank you. I remember going to the station in Bountiful and asking if I could just hang out…of course the answer was yes. My uncle owned a flour shop just down the street so I would work there and then hang at the station…

    We need to get together and have a reunion of sorts…what do you guys think? Maybe do what the 20 yr reunion for The Ritz is doing but do it for the station where we have all the dj’s and the music…whaddya guys think?

    Anyway, thanks for helping this lost teen find his way…love you guys!

    Comment by Darren — 3/3/2010 @ 8:43 am

  45. Darren (and the rest of you reminiscers),

    There is a Ritz Club Reunion planned on 07-31-10 7pm at The Depot. You can find out more about it here:

    Facebook Event: Ritz Reunion II – Club Night

    The Ritz played all the music that KCGL played and was a haven for all us Mods.


    Comment by Laura Moncur — 3/3/2010 @ 12:47 pm

  46. I have about three tapes of KCGL somewhere, I need to find them and see if they are still in good condition

    Here is some audio from KCGL back around march of 1985

    http://www.graywhalemusic.net/KCGL/KCGL1.mp3 http://www.graywhalemusic.net/KCGL/KCGL2.mp3 http://www.graywhalemusic.net/KCGL/KCGL3.mp3 http://www.graywhalemusic.net/KCGL/KCGL4.mp3

    Comment by James — 3/15/2010 @ 10:33 pm

  47. James, that was awesome. I’m rooting for you to find those old cassettes, digitize and upload them!

    I loved Barb Guy on KRCL — remember her show? That’s where I first heard ‘Driving in my Car’ by Madness…

    Comment by Aaron (again) — 3/18/2010 @ 12:55 am

  48. We came across your site in a search of “KCGL” on Google, Laura. We thought you (and everyone else peeking in here) would like to have access to a site I found quite by accident. Looks like someone feels like the rest of us and did something about it.

    Comment by KJ Quekenz — 5/17/2010 @ 3:53 pm

  49. Here’s the link:


    Comment by KJ Quekenz — 5/17/2010 @ 3:54 pm

  50. @KJ Quekenz: Which site are you referring to? Can you post the URL?

    Comment by Aaron (again) — 5/17/2010 @ 11:42 pm

  51. I discovered KCGL completely by accident the weekend after I bought a Fiat X1/9. I took off the top and cruised around Salt Lake listening to music I’d mostly never heard before but loved instantly. What a day! Most of my friends didn’t get it. They were too much into metal and such but it sure made an impression on me. 80’s is still one of my favorite genres and nobody did it better or funner than KCGL!

    Comment by Jim — 5/26/2010 @ 2:16 pm

  52. I have been listening to Rhapsody.com for years-they have an extensive collection, and they also have “radio stations”(although it costs 16.00 or so a month.) You can listen to the cds or buy and burn them. I remember being at college, and my sister writing me a letter telling me about the change to Christian rock. I spent part of my teenhood in a small town in Southern Utah, and the only decent music I could get was an AM station out of L.A., called KFI. It only came in for me at night, and was a pretty weak signal, (the music was almost as good as KCGL). When I moved to Salt Lake in ’83 I discovered KCGL, (but it seems to me it had a different name briefly before that) and I loved it! Listening to music that most people never heard of was so cool!! Anyway, I think Rhapsody has a free trial, so check it out-The Alternative station is a lot like KCGL, with obscure songs and whatnot.

    Comment by Vickie — 6/26/2010 @ 10:49 am

  53. Wow….I’d say something but it has been said.

    Comment by Wayne — 8/12/2010 @ 10:59 pm

  54. I found this blog while searching KCGL after listening to “The Sundays – Here’s where the story ends”. It brought back memories of how devistated I was when KCGL went off the air, afterall, where would I get my “Utah word of the day” fix? I was so glad some of the crew started KJQ and continue to this day to bring my kind of music to Salt Lake.

    Peace – Dave

    Comment by Dave Woodward — 10/13/2010 @ 10:41 am

  55. It would be impossible to overstate the importance of KCGL to kids in Salt Lake in the early to mid ’80s. They were the soundtrack of my teen years. I went to sleep listening on my clock radio and woke up the same way. I loved “Get Up Stand Up” the Sunday morning Reggae program, and the Sunday night punk rock show. I almost never bought records because the music that spoke to me was right there are the radio 24/7. None of us had any idea how unique it was until long after it was gone. They didn’t have a corporate playlist, each DJ had his or her own style. It was all there from the weird to the sublime. Because of KCGL I got to see New Order, Aztec Camera, Oingo Boing, Art of Noise, and others live.

    When the owners switched the station to Jesus radio, it left a gaping hole, like a close friend had suddenly died. None of the other stations that later tried to copy the format were ever satisfying. They lacked the edge and the weirdness. They lacked the depth of KCGL’s library of music. They all felt like they were trying to cash in on the KCGL demographic by playing the few new wave bands that had landed on a major label. Sure KJQ would play New Order or the Cure, but never Jonathan Richman or Trio. Thanks KCGL, and thanks Laura Moncur for this trip down memory lane.

    Comment by Mike — 4/4/2011 @ 2:47 pm

  56. I remember “laying out” on my tramp listening to KCGL. Those were the days! It was a dark day when they went off air. KJQ was not and still is not the same. Although I am grateful to them for trying. Better than nothing, I guess.

    Comment by Andi — 4/8/2011 @ 10:36 pm

  57. Wasn’t KCGL preceded by KABE as the SLC-area “modern music” station? I remember visiting a friend in Sandy in August 1983 and being turned on to a local new wave station that I would swear wasn’t (yet) KCGL. I think it was the first time I ever heard U2 (“Two Hearts Beat as One”).

    Comment by Kevin K — 5/28/2011 @ 6:15 pm

  58. I read most of the comments here about KCGL, it’s all been said so I don’t think I can add more but I think it rivaled The famed KROQ with Richard Blades in Los Angeles back in the day, and yes, I still think of KCGL fondly and all the friends I have met there! Wished it was still around!!

    Comment by Jeff Whimpey — 5/31/2011 @ 6:19 pm

  59. I’m glad I found this blog and the comments. I grew up in SLC (graduated from East High in ’97).

    I live in Seattle now, and we have a great dance music station associated with one of the local high school’s called C89.5 that has “Save the Wave” on thursday mornings. My wife and I were listening this morning and “Would I Lie To You” by the Eurythmics came on and I was trying to remember my first impression of them. I know the first song I heard was Sweet Dreams, and I didn’t have MTV, so I’m sure it must have been on the radio, but I couldn’t remember the name of the station until Google led me here.

    I remember going to the station once, I think we were going to get some concert or promotional posters. I remember going to some restaurant where they were recording a breakfast interview with “The Bobs” (probably the first and last time I’ve heard of them). I knew Barb Guy from before the station went on the air because she worked at Smokey’s Records near my house, where I spent wayy too much time reading Billboard Magazine and agonizing over what album or pin-on button to spend my meager allowance and paper route earnings on. I thought it was awesome that she was on commercial radio. I remember seeing REM and the Cure at the fairgrounds colosseum (with its horrible acoustics). I remember the first time I heard “Blister in the Sun,” I was in the car with my mother and brother, going to get ice cream at Baskin Robin’s on 21st S. I LOVED it, my mother hated it.

    Does anyone remember the new wave/modern music station that came before KCGL? I think they played the format for most, if not all their, on-air time. I was listening to it in Jr High, which would have been… 1982 or 1983, I guess. They also got switched to another format, and it was a huge bummer. I don’t know if any of the same people were involved with KCGL.

    I’m also curious if

    Comment by eas — 6/23/2011 @ 11:13 am

  60. Glad to find this blog. KCGL had a major impact on what I loved and listened to. I had just returned to the states, and the station of my youth, 99FM (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin) was no longer around. One night I saw Howard Jones on TV and I just knew there had to be something more out there. I went searching the dial, and finally stumbled upon KCGL, and that changed everything. The next decade or so was greatly informed by what I found there. I heard some of my all-time favorite bands (The Cure, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen ) for The first time there. The copycat stations (KJQ, X96, The-End) just got worse and worse. The variety and freshness just wasn’t there like on KCGL. I would really love to hear some old recordings. BTW I did a show myself on KRCL (Seremous Ropes) that showcased a lot of that old 80s sound I first heard on KCGL.

    Comment by Richard — 7/16/2011 @ 12:47 am

  61. Wow!!!! Where do i start!!As a salt lake native and lived here for 47 years…there really has not been a radio station like KCGL. There are so many good times that KCGL was there with me and my friends during the 80’s. I remember all the great music that was played on Thursday & satuday nights at the Maxim!! And watching and performing the “Lip Syncs” that we would do there! And also at “Raging Waters” as well. I Remember winning a aqua marine colored KCGL Muscle -T with the “KCGL” printed on the front. Still have cassette recording of KCGL on the air, and pull them out and listen to them from time to time!So glad I was around to live it!!!

    Comment by Devo — 8/12/2011 @ 9:40 am

  62. This is to say that I just found out about this website. Through the KCGL facebook site. Its put together by Mister West and Chet Tapp. Maybe more. Check it out!!!!! http://www.kcqn.com

    Comment by Kevin — 10/1/2011 @ 2:07 am

  63. The link to the new “Next Wave of New Wave” KCQN is actually http://www.kcqnutah.com. I hope this lasts, it’s really great!

    Comment by Garth — 1/3/2012 @ 4:36 pm

  64. When did KCGL first come on the air? What year was that? I hope you can tell me :)

    Comment by Jennifer — 4/27/2014 @ 7:17 pm

  65. Greetings from Albuquerque where a former KCGL d.j. can now be found riding a Harley every weekend and writing and doing other things.

    Really fun to stumble across this. I was one of the d.j.’s at KCGL in it’s heyday, and it was just too much fun. (I did middays, circa 1984.) And it was a great bunch of people — Mike Summers and Paul Santini (Paul was the P.D.) especially. Everyone had fun, and I was sorry to have to leave sooner than I would have liked due to family responsibilities back East.

    Glad to hear so many enjoyed the ride!

    Comment by MaryEllen O'Brien — 6/25/2014 @ 7:24 am

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