I moved to Chicago in December, 1998 to be part of a brand new radio station. 92.7 Kiss-FM was the first true Top 40 radio station here since Hot 94.7 signed off in 1991. Chris Shebel brought me in from Pittsburgh to be the first DJ on the air at Kiss! These pictures are from our humble beginnings out in an Arlington Heights shack. It wouldn’t be until July, 1999 that we’d move downtown into new, more modern digs.
I took this picture on our 2nd day being on the air (12/15/98). That’s Shark.
This is the backwall of the studio. It was SO rundown!
Look closely, and you’ll see the words “Fisher Price” on the production board!
Harry Legg on the phone saying “get me the hell OUT of here!”
This is Anne, our receptionist. She’s TRYING to look busy. (It was boring out there!)
It’s Luis Lopez – all EXCITED to work in the dump!
Being in a residential area, people often just dropped by and banged on the window.
Harry and I hung out with Eminem out in the sticks!
Harry Legg, Chris Shebel, me, & Luis Lopez – in the beginning!
Finally, the studio – after we cleaned it up a bit, and added some colorful signs! (Compare this to the dismal 1st pic…)
FINALLY…our last day in the sticks: 7/9/1999! After 8 months in the run-down Arlington Heights studios, we moved downtown to Michigan Ave. I got the be the first jock on the air in Arlington Heights…AND the last jock. I opened the doors to the building (which is now gone, by the way) and let our listeners “check out the place” for one last time. I expected MAYBE 50 people to show up. The final tally was near 1000! At the end of my shift at Midnight, we turned off the station, and the entire staff loaded up trucks to move the equipment to the city. It was very exciting!
This was our sign outside. They NEVER changed the lettering…
So we did it ourselves…the final night!
WOW! Real live listeners! And they didn’t even smell bad.
I think I talked to EVERY person in the building that night! (15 seconds of fame.)
It was obvious we’d need security. Here’s the Jeffro Security team of Big Ed & Mr. Bill.
They actually asked for autographs! Foolish kids…
This is Elmo, my former producer.
With all those people, it was tough to find time to actually WORK!
For some reason, Elmo decided to start posing for the camera. GET TO WORK!
This girl claimed to be my BIGGEST fan! (I think the youngest, too.) Got a sister?
OK, this one was a bit older…but still too young! (Though, she’s probably in her 30’s now.)
DAMN! They grow up faster now than they used to! Is it something in the water???
5 hours of non-stop listener traffic! That’s video-boy Chris Shebel taping.
It’s like “Where’s Waldo?” Can YOU spot Harry Legg in this group?
Ahh! WE FOUND YOU, HARRY!!!
Is Jimmy Knight ALWAYS trying to look hip? I wonder if he’s in on the joke…
At one point, I ventured outside…to the front lawn! Cars were honking as they passed.
Back inside…they’re STILL here!
What do I do now? There are TOO many people here!!!
“We’re interviewing Jimmy…WHY do you always make goofy gestures?”
Big Ed says “OK, I got them OUT…now what do you want from me?”
The listeners went home. Time for a tasty beverage w/ Mr. Bill!
A TOAST! To the pop stand we’re FINALLY blowing!
One last pic with Elmo in the old building.
Gotta do one final staff shot there! We all got through it together!
Chris locks the door PERMANENTLY!
We started our new life as “cityfolk” on Saturday, 7/10/99. This also marked my FINAL month at 92 Kiss-FM, unbeknownst to (most of) the staff or listeners. It was less than one month later that I would move down the hall to sign-on and program The 80’s Channel! Here are some random shots I took during my last month at Kiss.
There’s a new sheriff in town! And his name’s Jeffro.
HOWEVER, the sheriff may be required to work the front desk.
That is – IF he gets keys to the joint!
Here’s Luis doing his thing in the “temp” studio downtown. (They were still building Studio A.)
I HAD to have Jeffro Security scope out the new digs! Nice gesture, JTM.
OK, I am tired. Is it Midnight yet?
Even Elmo didn’t know I was about to leave Kiss.
YAY! We’re in the new studio! Harry finally “got the hell out of the old place!”
Look…it’s LaTour with facial hair! “People are still having goatees…”
Doin’ my thang during the final week on Kiss.
Luis replaced me at night. Thank God…the 3rd shift was REALLY starting to change him!
This was my LAST break on Kiss – talking to Jim “Sheisty” Shea. ROLL TAPE.
Elmo and I said “byebye” to 92 Kiss-FM at 12 Midnight Friday, 8/6/99.