This is the first in a series of profiles of the Inside the Gates Radio DJs.
My love affair with radio really began with the transistor radio that my parents gave me as a Christmas present when I was 11. The first song that I remember hearing on that radio was “Please Please Me” by the Beatles and, although I didn’t realize it at the time, my musical path was set.
Listening to the music of my formative years through that little device was like magic. I took it with me while I walked my paper route before sunrise where I sang along with my favorite performers and could hear the waves on the shore of my hometown of Pacifica. I followed certain DJs with my favorite being “Emperor” Gene Nelson on KYA, the morning man on that station. He, along with other notable DJs on KYA and the other Top 40 station in San Francisco, KFRC, created a radio community.
Music was always present at our house. My dad had been in a radio band in Fiji and my mom would sing popular Indian songs around the house. Although they weren’t too keen about the music of my generation, my dad did appreciate the introduction of Indian instruments, first by George Harrison, and then in other rock recordings as well.
As rock radio evolved with FM stations, like KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco, playing longer album tracks, broadcasting live performances, and providing a more “free form” format, I followed what those stations were doing. During this time, my high school home room teachers asked me to read the morning bulletin about what was going on at school and several of my classmates commented on my “radio” voice. It was a nice compliment, but I didn’t think too much about it as my musical interests led me to teaching myself guitar and pursuing music performances solo and with bands ever since. I also enjoyed great musical performances at the Fillmore West, Winterland, Golden Gate Park, the San Francisco Civic Auditorium and other venues. The San Francisco Bay area was indeed a great place to grow up.
When Craig Looney and Dinnis Keefe started Inside the Gates Radio here in Big Canoe, I contacted Craig about an opportunity to host a radio program. I am grateful that they gave me that opportunity and I started broadcasting in July of 2019 where I’ve been focusing on music from the San Francisco scene. I love bringing joy to our listeners which makes the effort of researching and developing playlists so worthwhile. I also enjoy learning more about the songs and performers myself in the process.
What I’ve tried to do with my program, something that I believe the other DJs all try to do as well, is to bring that magic of radio back to our listeners and create a community where we share the music experience. As Craig has said, we’re sharing the music of our lifetime.