A Radio Ride to Remember

Masonic Temple
There was even a postcard of the Masonic Temple, Davenport, Iowa

The Masonic Temple in Davenport, Iowa has been the venue for many concerts over the years. It’s an ominous building, looks like a government structure, concrete top to bottom. Some claim that today it is haunted. A lot of the concerts back in the 1960s were promoted by the owner of KSTT, the radio station where I worked as program director, so I emceed many of the shows, introducing people like Johnny Mathis, Steve and Eydie, Andy Williams, The Mamas and The Papas, Johnny Cash, The Kingston Trio, and more. The concert I remember the most was in 1965 when the opening act was a band called the “The Sheep.” I had never heard of them, and have never heard of them since.The main attraction, however, was a group that was a little better known at the time, but still early into their career with only one or two hits.

These guys were ambitious and they wanted all the promotion they could get. So, they agreed to come with me to KSTT and record some promotional announcements. The four of them jammed into my 1964 Pontiac and I drove them to the station. After we recorded some liners, shared some jokes, raided the pop machine, I dropped them off at their hotel.

It wasn’t too long after that they became more than famous. So, when I want to do some big time name dropping, I tell folks I once gave a ride to Brian, Dennis, Mike, and Al – The Beach Boys.

Originally published as “Atomic Level Name Dropping,” October 27, 2015

3 responses to A Radio Ride to Remember

  1. Barb Truitt says:

    Born and raised in Davenport, and I knew the Masonic Temple well, as well as the Coliseum Ballroom. I was there only once – to see Conway Twitty (before he became country)


  2. Dr.Boogie says:

    I bet they loved the view of the Mississippi River from the KSTT control room. Did Dennis go out and hang ten near the Bus Garage?


  3. Dave Coopman says:

    Back in the early 70s, the Guess Who were booked for a concert at Augustana College in Rock Island. The band’s contract stipulated two Cadillac limos to haul the band from their hotel to Carver Gym and back. A buddy in the funeral business was contacted to provide the limos, but he needed another driver… turned out to be me. Although Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman were in the other limo, I had a great time with the rest of the band and one of my claims to fame (but not as many as Bill’s.) Great story.


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