Thursday, January 21, 2016

Free Excerpt From Records Truly Is My Middle Name: Wolfman Jack

If he was still alive, today would be Wolfman Jack's birthday. The Wolfman may have been one of the most famous disc jockeys of all time. He was never on the air full-time in Chicago, but he did occasionally come to town. One time he even guest DJed on WLS. John Landecker tells that story in his book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"...

In the ’70s, one of my hobbies was making movies. I shot lots of home movies on Super 8mm film and taped soundtracks to play with them. They were good enough to show at parties for my friends from the radio station. We called these screenings “The Clique Film Festivals.” Everyone who saw those films loved them, but that was probably because they were often the stars of the movies. I filmed quite a few of them at WLS.

My favorite home movie starred Wolfman Jack. Yes, the real Wolfman Jack.

Bob Sirott was on vacation, and Wolfman Jack was brought in to fill in for him. I probably drove him crazy running around and filming while he was on the air, although Wolfman and I also shared a common bond. As nighttime rockers we hated a lot of the lame music that AM radio played. The Wolfman had been on the air less than an hour when he decided that our playlist was crap.
“This is not what the Wolfman plays!”

Of course, after a few tunes of his own selection, the Wolfman was visited in the studio by our program director. I was filming from the control room through a glass window and captured that moment on film. Radio people always get a big kick out of watching that particular part... even the Wolfman had to put up with program directors. The Wolfman also gave me a great way to end the movie. He led a conga line out of the studio and into the hallway as the O’Jays sang “Love Train.”

(Epilogue: I was on the air after Wolfman that night, and noticed that he left an open pack of Kool cigarettes on the console. When I peeked inside the pack, it was filled with these funny looking cigarettes with twisted ends on them — certainly not Kools. I tried them later. I remember getting very hungry. And sort of horny too.)

That appearance is out there on YouTube. Listen to it below, you can hear the Love Train segment at the end of it.