html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: And you would drive too fast on Topanga Canyon Blvd, while the Cure faded in and out.

Monday, June 04, 2007

And you would drive too fast on Topanga Canyon Blvd, while the Cure faded in and out.

If you grew up as a nerdy kid in LA in the eighties, it was VERY IMPORTANT that you listen to KROQ 106.7. KROQ was the station that could give you alterno-cool cred, which was obviously the only kind of cool I had a shot at. I still remember KROQ very clearly. I think I had all the bumper stickers for a few years in a row. I knew all the jocks, and pronounced it K-ro-Q, as all the in-group did. Two or three years I went to Oingo Boingo Halloween concert. Oingo Boingo was a HUGE deal in Southern California, so I was surprised to move away and find out that they were primarily a local band who never got huge. You wouldn’t have known that from KROQ.

I don't think I could name a current radio dj anywhere, but I remember the ones at KROQ twenty years ago. Jed the Fish, in the afternoon. Dusty Street, in the evenings. Richard Blade, lunchtime. The Poorman used to do the morning show. In fact, Loveline was originally The Poorman’s show. I listened to it before I went away to college; sometime later, they took it away from The Poorman and gave it to Adam Corolla. (I think because The Poorman threw a fit and stormed out of the studio in the middle of a show.) I’ve refused to listen to it ever since. I turn it off if I ever hear it by accident, not because Adam Corolla is a tool, which he is, but out of solidarity for the Poorman.

Anyway, today I thought to look up KROQ’s history, which turns out to be pretty interesting. I never knew about the early mass walk-outs. But I have a different question for all of you. The formulation: "-----er? I barely know her." I am very sure the first time I ever heard that was advertising the KROQ bumper stickers in, say, 1986 or so. I can still hear the tagline closing the ad, “Sticker? I barely know her.” Did KROQ come up with that, or do any of you know of an earlier use?

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first heard "-er, I barely know her" in the early 90s.
But it always struck me as a dirtier version of the old "Tissue? I barely know you." That one I heard growing up.
-dithers

3:17 PM  
Anonymous sasha said...

I am pretty sure that it's a borscht belt-Woody Allen thing, isn't it? But I can't find a citation at the moment.

I first heard it on the East Coast in the late 80's, fwiw.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Still looking for an authenticated earlier use, although borscht belt sounds very plausible.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Evocative title.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Dude, that was a good half of what we did. I would probably still enjoy going out after dark and driving Topanga or Malibu too fast.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Brett Thomas said...

I'd always assumed it was Vaudeville, though maybe it's a little too off-color for then. This is a phrase that's very hard to search for, because popular sites say it making other points, and then win the Googlerank.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sad I can't help with the saying... colorado in the 80's was "Too Hip" [kbpi rocks the rockies] it's interesting to me to wonder how many bands you know and love were things you only picked up listening to local radio, and were shcocked when you discovered that nobody else had ever heard of them... I always tended to gravitate to alternative venues like KBCO boulder, and WXRT chicago... and they always showed off the local, and/or smaller group talents. I mean who had ever heard of U2? [see them in my back yard, find Live: under a blood red sky]... and Oingo Boingo, and The Cure, The Smiths, some band called REM... or how 'bout the clash, the alarm, the ramones?

and then?

and then all your favorite stations are bought by conglomerates, like clear channel, or CBS... and you can't call in anymore and request an obscure live version of if I had a million dollars by BNL ["We are very excited to be in the hometown of Mork and Mindy."] from studioC ... and no-one seems to know who Material Issue is...
oops, guess I took you on a little trip there eh?

It's alright... now I rely on my friends nationwide to recommend stuff, and a radio is just something I don't use in my car...

D
...video didn't kill the radio star. corporate suits did.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

There was a somewhat related line that I heard used, and used myself for that matter, way back when I was in college (which was so long ago we still spoke Olde English). It's best defined by a sample dialogue:

Other person (speaking to someone else): I saw Jane Smith earlier today.

You (interjecting into the conversation, and saying in a bright, upbeat manner as if Jane's your long-lost friend): Jane Smith?

Other person (happy to find a mutual acquaintance): Yes, Jane!

You: I never heard of her.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has to be older than an 80s radio station. I don’t have a copy of “Cheaper by the Dozen” to hand but that’s the kind of bell it rings. Like “*Mo*lasses? I don’t got *any* lasses.”

2:43 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I am pretty sure the "*er? I barely know her" line (a possible snowclone) has been around for quite a while, but I don't have a source, either.

I actually thought Poorman was really annoying, too. *shrug* Loveline has long since been all about Doctor Drew for me.

And I totally had no idea that Oingo Boingo wasn't as big as KROQ made them seem. At the very least, I assumed "Dead Man's Party" was the canonical Halloween song elsewhere in America.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Strange Bird said...

Jed and Blade are still at KROQ. Still no idea about the "sticker."

1:20 PM  
Anonymous doctorpat said...

Hey,

Oingo Boingo seemed big to me, and I grew up in Northern Australia.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Transplanted Lawyer said...

Familiarity with K-ro-Q was a challenge in my stretch of SoCal, since the signal didn't make it clearly over the mountains and into the desert. So having a more than nodding acquaintance with the station and its playlist was a sign of great cachet, because it indicated that you were able to go to hip, happening Los Angeles with enough frequency that you knew the bands on Jed the Fish's Catch Of The Day. I was not so cool as that and only became a KROQ fan in my college years. Jed is still there, Blade makes an occasional appearance, and I've not listened to Kevin and Bean in a while, but they're firmly ensconced. Poorman got kicked off Loveline for some significant FCC obscenity violations. Tammy Heide is now at Jack-FM.

10:20 AM  

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