Q It Up: Tell Us a Story! - Southern Pacific

Southern Pacific

From Stewart Herrera [stewart.herrera[at]citcomm.com], 95.5 KLOS-FM, Los Angeles, California

Here’s how I wound up in radio.

I was sort of straddling 2 paths. I had taken radio courses in college, and was working a production internship at Pure Rock KNAC in Long Beach, CA. I had no way of knowing whether I would ever be hired, but in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, it was THE perfect place to be for someone who was immersed in hard rock and metal, as I was (and sometimes still am).

I also had taken studio engineering courses in college and was eager to get behind mixing consoles anytime, anywhere. This led to work with some local rock bands, which in turn, led to a job at Doug Weston’s Troubadour in West Hollywood, and in turn… work with many more bands. All this stuff was happening simultaneously.

One morning in late spring 1989, my phone rang and on the other end was a guy who said he was the tour manager for a country rock band called Southern Pacific. And it just so happened that I was familiar with that band, because Stu Cook, the bass player from my first favorite band ever, CCR, was a member. So he tells me that my name came up as someone who knew their way around a board, with good ears, and easy to work with, etc. Would I like to join Southern Pacific on the road for the summer to mix their stage monitors? He described the job, the pay, the per diem, and told me that if I accepted, they’d need me to hop on a Florida-bound plane that afternoon.

I hardly knew what to say, I was so excited. I immediately pictured tour busses and outdoor amphitheaters, cheering crowds and willing GROUPIES. On the other hand, I wondered if I really had what it took to do this, and I wondered what would become of my plans for radio. I knew that if I left KNAC, there’d be little chance of them holding anything -- even an internship -- open for me, but I told him I was very interested, and asked for an hour to decide. No problem, he said, and gave me his phone number. I hopped in my truck, and rolled down the street to talk it over with my Dad at his shop. We weighed the pros and cons, and came to the decision that this was just too rich an adventure to pass up.

So I hurried back home, placed the call, left a voice mail for the guy, and packed a bag.

Never heard from him again.

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