Writing about The War of the Worlds prompted me to search for KLOS in the database of The Paley Center for Media. I found a reference to the live broadcast we did on the Mark & Brian Show in 1997, as well as our live broadcast of The Witch’s Tale in 1998.
Then I searched for KROQ. I found the entries for two weeks worth of broadcasts that the Kevin & Bean Show did from the museum’s New York studio in 1995. All the entries listed me as a participant. One in particular gave a description of a bit that Jimmy Kimmel and I did:
One in this series of morning radio shows featuring the team of Kevin (Kevin Ryder) & Bean (Gene Baxter) on KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. This program, part two of two, originates from the radio studio at The Museum of Television & Radio in New York as part of a tie-in to the MTV Music Video Awards held nearby at Radio City Music Hall. Highlights of Kevin and Bean’s final broadcast from The Museum of Television & Radio in New York during their two-week visit include: Kevin and Bean talk to their producer, Frank Murphy, about what gifts, if any, he bought for his wife and children while in New York; the hosts play “Tomorrow” by Silverchair; next there’s a news update from “Doc on the Roq” and a sports report from Jimmy “The Sports Guy” Kimmel; the hosts then play “Say It Ain’t So” by Weezer and “Come Out and Play” by the Offspring; Frank and Jimmy venture out to find gifts that Frank can bring home with him; Kevin and Bean play “Natural One” by Folk Implosion and “Mysterious Ways” by U2; they get updates from Frank and Jimmy as well as from “Michael the Maintenance Man” in Times Square; and the hosts end the show by playing “All Over You” by Live and “Evenflow” by Pearl Jam. Includes commercials and promos.
After that, I typed in another set of call letters from my past. When I searched for WAVA, I found the listings for a series of “Best of Don & Mike” tapes that I gave to the museum. The collection includes a memorable visit from comedians Bobcat Goldthwait and Charles Fleischer. One bit is described as “Frank runs around 7-Eleven.” Another is labeled “the birth of Frank Jr.”
Jon Rosner tweeted me with an amazing find. It was a behind-the-scenes video of the late Wesley Willis in the KROQ studio. Kevin & Bean, Carl Caprioglio and I are also seen and heard. Bean is asking Wesley about Sublime but Wesley wants to sing a song about me.
The Cheesecake Factory’s director of public relations, Alethea Rowe, came over to our table as my wife and I were taking pictures of our food. We were part of a packed house during the restaurant’s training nights at the new West Town Mall location.
I was taking a picture of my Moroccan Chicken and my wife was photographing her Chicken Marsala. Alethea turned my plate so I could get a better view of the food. For dessert, I ordered the Banana Cream Cheesecake
Vice President of Guest Experience Linda Candioty introduced herself and asked how we were enjoying dinner. I learned that she has worked for The Cheesecake Factory since its early days and that Linda’s Fudge Cake is her recipe.
Linda and Alethea were visiting from the Southern California headquarters. During our conversation we discovered that we had several mutual friends at KROQ. Alethea sent a text message to Jay Tilles, informing him that she was talking with me. Jay has worked his way up from intern to management at KROQ.
Linda is quoted in a 1997 Forbes profile of Cheesecake founder Avid Overton. Her words from sixteen years ago still ring true today:
At Cheesecake’s Calabasas Hills, Calif. headquarters, Executive Vice President Linda Candioty sounds like a motivational speaker. “The customers come in to eat and pay and leave,” she tells a bright-faced group of about 30, “but they deserve something more. It might just be some love.”
There’s still time for you to get caught up on my latest guilty pleasure, season three of “The Joe Schmo Show.” Spike will repeat the first three episodes starting at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday before airing the fourth episode at 10:00 p.m. Some of the episodes are also available online.
Except for one guy, everyone on “The Joe Schmo Show” is an improv actor. The regular guy thinks he is competing to win $100,000 and a job as a bounty hunter. The rest of the cast is trying to fool him while simultaneously making fun of reality show clichés.
I watched and loved the first two seasons of “Joe Schmo” too. Season one was mostly a spoof of “Big Brother” with a little “Survivor” thrown in. Season two satirized “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.” A then-unknown Kristen Wiig played “Dr. Pat the Quack” on season one. Comedian Natasha Leggero played “Rita the Drunk” on season two. KROQ’s Ralph Garman has hosted all three seasons, playing a different character each time.
The breakout star of season three may end up being Lorenzo Lamas. The “Renegade” actor skillfully parodies Hollywood celebrities and himself. His Spike bio says he “is now taking on more comedic roles and has even started to perform standup comedy.”
KROQ posted a podcast of my friend Bean’s call-in after surgery to remove his kidney. He donated the healthy organ to KROQ engineer Scott Mason. After a week of recuperation in Los Angeles, Bean and his wife flew home to Seattle last night.
When I spoke to Bean before the surgery, he was very happy that CBS News would be recording the surgery and that he would eventually get to see his own kidney being removed from his body. The story aired today on CBS This Morning.
Gene “Bean” Baxter made a surprising announcement last week. He will donate a kidney to longtime KROQ employee Scott Mason. The life-saving surgery will take place on November 13, the day before Bean’s birthday. The Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register and TMZ Live were among the outlets reporting the news.
Bean wrote on the KROQ website:
Scott has had medical issues for much of his adult life, including his kidneys failing, and that led him to have a transplant from a cadaver back in 1999. Well, now that one has failed too and Scott is back on dialysis for many hours a week. The kidney processes waste out of the blood and without one your body is being poisoned all the time. The dialysis helps but is a temporary solution. You only get off the machine if you get a new kidney or you die.
You may know I live in Seattle and do the Kevin & Bean show from my house. Scott visits once a year to do maintenance and upgrades on my studio equipment and it was during his most recent visit last spring that I noticed how unwell he looked.
He explained his situation and that he was about six years out on the waiting list for a new kidney. That was inconceivable to me, to imagine that all over America there are people like Scott, who are very sick and might die, waiting for organs at the same time that literally of thousands of them are being buried every year.
If nothing else, I hope everyone reading this will double check that their wishes are known and that they will make their liver, lungs, eyes and whatever else can be harvested after their death to help another human. (Here is one resource for more information on that.)
Bean’s wife Donna posted the following message on Facebook:
After more than 6 months of jumping through bureaucratic hoops, my sweet hubby was finally confirmed to be dear Scott Mason’s living kidney donor. I couldn’t be more delighted and look forward to seeing Scott healthy again. I’m so proud of both Bean and Scott for hanging in during this long vetting process and know they will come through the procedure like champs.We will have so much to be thankful for this year. Mazel tov and thank you cedars!!! xo
To which Scott Mason replied:
Donna, it’s nearly impossible find the right words to thank you and Bean. You are saving my life. You’re part of my family, part of my life. I love you so much.
Bean’s compassionate act is worthy of praise and it should inspire others to sign up to be organ donors upon their death. Here’s another example of Bean’s kindness toward a former co-worker, with whom he has an annual baseball bet.
To fully appreciate a parody song, you need to be familiar with the original. Weird Al Yankovic’s parodies sound almost identical to the song he’s mocking, except for the lyrics. Richard Cheese does the opposite. He keeps the lyrics the same but changes the music, often for hilarious results.
Mr. Cheese and I worked together at KROQ in the 1990s. I appreciate that he kept me on his mailing list and that he sent me a copy of his newest album, “Back in Black Tie.” All the songs are by dead artists. I was reminded of the Dead Artist Show my friend Jim Glancy once hosted at WGMU.
Because of our KROQ connection, I got the feeling that Richard was slightly more respectful with his covers of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which is an instrumental. He has a lot of fun with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Rick James’ “Super Freak.” Some of the songs were recorded live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. One of the more amusing live tracks is the “Diff’rent Strokes Theme,” which was recorded shortly after Gary Coleman’s death. Those three tracks were my favorites on the album.
Personally, I could have done without Easy-E’s “Gimmie That Nutt.” The extremely explicit lyrics combined with Cheese’s 1950s-style lounge arrangement would have been perfect ammunition for Tipper Gore when she started the PMRC.