Friday, June 12, 2015

Wolfman Jack Comes To Modesto , Home of GRAFFITI FEST plus RETRO DEALS !

and check out and scroll backwards to June '14 ( ORE EARLIER  YEARS , THEN COME BACK LATER FOR THIS YEAR'S  AG Celebration
AND be sure to visit and

(Turn UP the sound for the Wolfman and some great sounds! Just click below:)


  Snapshot of Modesto 2011 Graffitifest and Car show

June 10, 1988

The legendary rock 'n roll disc jockey.  Indeed, the  Wolfman will howl his way to Modesto Saturday afternoon 
from  1 to 5 as emcee of the Graffiti Fest '88 at the Modesto Junior  College Stadium.

    In a phone interview from Nashville, Tenn., Wolfman Jack…who  is 50 + years-old and was born Bob Smith
 in Brooklyn, N.Y….  says: "I'm excited about Modesto.  I think it will bring back  memories of the graffiti times.  
That was a wonderful time for me  and I'm sure it was for a lot of other people."  After the show, he'll  be a guest 
disc jockey on KHYV from 7 to 9PM and then it's  "cruise time" with everyone else. 

The late-night madman of the  airwaves said:  "We're gonna rock 'n roll like you ain't never  rock 'n rolled before,
 in Modesto, California."  And it's all part  of the Second Saturday in June Graffiti Night.

His voice could never be labeled as melodious, smooth, velvety,  or remotely pleasing.
Guttural, grating, raspy and hoarse are  more closer adjectives which describe the "pipes" of Wolfman  Jack…

(Yes, hard to believe 25 years ago it was the Wolfman made quite a presence in Modesto. Nobody before or since
has had any kind of impact like the wolfman on the graffiti scene.  In fact, he came a number of years and seemed 
to love broadcasting during the car shows, announcing the different vintage classic cars and all their parts, etc...

Above courtesy of the Modesto Radio Museum and KRE Radio , CHRS, Berkeley, CA

CLICK BELOW to take you to More excellent GRAFFITI GOLD and the WOLFMAN


A 1964 publicity pic with dog, Oscar.
Brooklyn-born Bob Smith aka Wolfman Jack first introduced his gravely voiced character in 1964 from super-powered border radio station, XERF 1570-AM. The station broadcast at 250,000 watts, five times the U.S. limit, which meant that their signal could be picked up all over North America and at night as far away as Europe and the Soviet Union.  The "Border Blaster" located in Ciudad, Acuña, Mexico (across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas) propelled Wolfman Jack half way around the world from midnight to 4AM every night.  The mysterious Wolfman enthralled young listeners with his howling, ghetto talk and hip play list that featured black artists rarely heard on West Coast radio. The first time Bob Smith introduced Wolfman Jack he had tremendous success.  Smith once told an interviewer, "The first night I went on the air I know we ran mail order record spots and stuff and, I think two days later I collected like, 4,000 or 5,000 pieces of mail. And, that was the first night on the air.  No promotion no nothing, ya know. The station had such a phenomenal signal it covered all those people," he said.


Tourists are generally unaware that along with the Golden Gate Bridge and its trolleys, San Francisco is famous for drive-ins. Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs started it all back in 1947 when they built their first carhop eatery, inspired by similar restaurants serving motorists in Los Angeles. With a staff of fourteen carhops covering a 30,000 square foot parking lot, they lured the hungry with a local radio personality broadcasting a live remote. As music reverberated through car radios in the drive-ups, the curb-stepping gals of 140 South Van Ness became a new paradigm for service.

At all hours of the day and night, crowds of patrons that fancied dining-in-your-car came early and often. It didn't take long for the first unit to multiply into eleven! Six Mels became landmarks in the Bay Area with an additional cluster achieving their own notoriety in Stockton and Sacramento. They reigned for almost twenty years, until a parade of franchised fast food outlets finally outpaced their service. As the new philosophy of "serve yourself" began to reprogram attitudes about dining, Mels began its gradual decline.

By 1972, a New York restaurant conglomerate purchased most of the faltering units and changed their names. As colorful marquees were scheduled for removal, it appeared to many local enthusiasts that Mel's success story was about to end. They were only partly right.

Around the same time, filmmaker George Lucas was scouting out locations to serves as centerpiece for his rock'n'roll fable about life, love, and coming of age in postwar America. The original Mels burger spot cam to his attention and was leased prior to its demolition. Crews descended on the site and soon it was over again. Mels was back in business, immortalized in 35mm.
Out on the parking lot, Ron Howard, Candy Clark, Richard Dreyfuss, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Paul LeMat, Suzanne Somers, and Charlie Martin Smith took their first steps to future stardom.

As the bulldozers razed the last remnants of the historic drive-in and trucks carted off the debris, American Graffiti opened in theatres.

Thirteen years later, Mel's son Steven began to grow increasingly nostalgic about his father's defunct dream. As memories of the fities dominated his imagination like a jukebox replaying the same old record, he tried to dismiss the thoughts. A lifetime of experience in the restaurant business told him that any attempt to resurrect the Mels idea wouldn't be easy. His father agreed, actively discouraging the idea. Fortunately, Steven persisted. When partner Donald Wagstaff confirmed interest with his own commitment, the path to reclaim a Northern California legend was clear.

At the grand re-opening in 1985, Steven's fondest wishes were realized: former teenagers who once dined at the first Mels were now re-visiting with their families. Weary of tasteless road food, they wanted to show their kids a glimpse of what the "good times" were really like--long before the age of video games and compact disc players. With the drive-in as backdrop, customers related their early years of love and romance--how they first met at Mels--dated, and ultimately got married!

Mels was back on the charts with new locations on Frisco's Lombard and Gary Street. Two more opened in Los Angeles--joined by full-scale replicas (complete with food service) at the Universal theme parks in Florida and California. Weiss had the Mels name officially trademarked in 1985 and now, it continues to take on a life of its own. Rightly so! After all, Mels Drive-in is the burger, the French fry, and the milkshake. It's playing a joke on friends by unscrewing the top of the salt shaker and ketchup cap. Mels is the howlin', prowlin', Wolfman Jack...the phase-shift echo heard when walking past a row of roadsters tuned to the same raucous station. It's the haunting sound of an electric guitar banging out the "chunka-chunka" rhythm of "Green Onions" while cruisin' the circuit in a little deuce coupe, hair slicked back in a ducktail. Mels is the generic haven for the automobile, the youthful hangouts fondly remembered, along with one's first car, first date...and first kiss.

This passage is an excerpt from Michael Karl Witzel's book 
The American Drive-in, published by Motorbooks International, WI, 1994. 

PETALUMA'S Salute to American Graffiti

Up the road from Modesto about 100 miles is the town of Petaluma, similar to Modesto for it's small town, original 1950s feel. In fact some of the scenes were reportedly filmed here. The town square and clock tower have been used in other nostalgic movies like Back To The Future.   
Enjoy the car show and cruise-in!:

Wolfman Jack is back! Wolfwoman has signed a deal to re-tool and air original programming recorded by the late, great, howling, prowling Wolfman Jack. Like Houdini, the Wolfman did vow to return after his death at some point. Wolfman Jack recorded so much material in his lifetime that he used to like to say that after he was gone, there would still be enough fresh Wolfman Jack material to air for the next 300 years! Since his death on July 1, 1995, he has been on and off the airwaves of the internet, but this could be the first time he has come back to commercial radio to stay! Below is a small but growing list of carriers of the new shows! Soon CDs will be availabe with funny phone conversations, bits, and more! More details will become available soon! Thanks and stay tuned for more site updates! -'s News Department 

There are a dozen or so radio stations carrying the Wolfman show but , for now, perhaps the best place to find some classic 'airchecks' is, where for $12 a year it's quite worth it! 



And Now the SURPRISE! Top 10 Highlights from the movie American Graffiti



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The Other American Graffiti - Petaluma, CA - Iconic Drive In Movie, Concord, CA


        The inspiration for the iconic movie, 'American Graffiti' was Modesto, CA, home of screen-writer George Lucas. American Graffiti looks back at Lucas' youth, growing up in Modesto during the 'Happy Days'of the Fifties/early 1960s-1962 to be exact. Yet, in truth, most of the movie was actually filmed in the town of Petaluma, 100 miles northwest of Modesto. Petaluma, with its smaller town feel  - and iconic clock tower and 'Mystic Theater square - is, has perhaps even more of a 'Fifties Feel;' than Modesto, thus the choice for the movie set; other movies including Back to the Future were also filmed in the town, which happens to also be the hometown of actress Wynona Ryder. While Modesto has been putting on big Graffiti celebrations for decades now, with the like of Wolfman Jack, Petaluma decided to get into the act 10 years ago and here are some  sights from their latest Graffiti Day, last month .

 PETALUMA had it's 10th Annual American Graffiti Day a month earlier than the better known Modesto, CA Graffiti day, featuring this classic 1962 police car, famous clocktower used in 'Back To The Future' (below) and Mystic Theater, used in American Graffiti and yellow coupe, reminiscent of same in American Graffiti

Famous clocktower, as seen in Fack to the Future, at the end of this block along Washinton street.

Iconic Mystic Theater, town square

 Fashions right out of 1960 and YellowPolka Dot Bikini replaced by leoplard skin and black and more below

Yellow 40s Ford coupe, reminiscent of the one John Milner drove in the movie

See other American Graffiti, Petaluma, Modesto, CA, Graffiti Day, 1960s, fifties,, film, Milner, Candy Clarki, Richard Dreyfus,Cindy williams George Lucas

The Other American Graffiti - Petaluma, CA - Iconic Drive In Movie, Concord, CA

Twice  a year the East Bay's last   Drive-in Movie Theater holds it's FREE Movie night. Latest was April 16, day after tax day, and folks poured into the outdoor movie palace in droves this warm evening. Movie was the recent and perhaps last film with Robin Williams, 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb'.  If it's been a long time since you've been to a drive in movie - or in the case of kids, maybe never - it's worth it, even at regular price.  No worries about someone sitting next to you making noise (other than your own family members in the car)... Plenty of privacy and, yes, perhaps a little romance if you brink your old ''57 Chevy with bucket seats....

Entrance to the movie (above) Screen one and  'UFO'snack bar (below)

 Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt

89-year old Dick Van Dyke still going strong

 1950s heyday for drive  in movies in the 1950s . Where there are perhaps three left in the Bay Area there were over 25 back in the day

For those interested in learning more about the average-rated yete campy movie with lots of big name stars,  here's the plot.
It was great to see Williams, Van Dyke and even Mickey Rooney with a cameo appearance in the movie, or was that another one?

Movie Plot(wikipaedia )

In 1938, in Egypt a team of archaeologists is searching for a tomb and its treasure. A young boy falls into it, calling to his father and the team; they discover the artifact -- the tablet of Ahkmenrah. The locals tell them that if they remove the tablet, "the end will come".

In present-day New York City, night guard Larry Daley is overseeing an evening event at the American Museum of Natural History. Larry has gathered his favorite exhibits, which come to life every night, to help with the entertainment; they include Teddy Roosevelt played by ROBIN WILLIAMS, Attila the HunSacagawea, Dexter the Monkey, diorama miniature cowboy Jed and miniature roman centurion Octavius, and "Rexy" the T-Rex skeleton. Larry meets a new wax figure Neanderthal who calls himself Laaa. Pharaoh Ahkmenrah had earlier warned Larry that the tablet is corroding, which had been causing the exhibits to act abnormally. At the event, the exhibits get out of control and the attendees flee. When Larry gets home, he finds his son Nicky throwing a party. Nicky explains he doesn't intend to apply to college, wanting to take a year off to figure out what he wants to do with his life.

Larry researches the tablet and learns Cecil Fredericks, the former security guard who tried to steal the tablet in thefirst movie, was the boy from 1938 who helped discover it. Larry goes to Cecil’s retirement home and explains to Cecil what is happening at the museum. Cecil recalls the locals' warning that "the end will come”, realizing it was not an "end of the world" prophecy but a warning that the tablet's magic would end. He suggests that Larry consult Ahkmenrah's parents, who are in the British Museum.

Larry and Nicky travel to London to the museum, meeting the security guard, Tilly, who lets them in. When Larry enters, he sees that his favorite exhibits all stowed away to join in the adventure. The tablet brings the British exhibits to life and the gang encounters a Triceratops skeleton, which chases them. The exhibit Sir Lancelot saves them but Jed and Octavius fall into a ventilation shaft. Larry sends Dexter to find Jed and Octavius, who have fallen even more, landing in a Pompeii exhibit just before the model Mount Vesuvius erupts. The others fight off a nine-headed Xiangliustatue and Dexter stops the volcano’s flow to save Jed and Octavius.

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The gang finds Ahkmenrah’s parents and his father, Merenkahre, reveals the purpose and power of the tablet: it was made to keep his family together forever. The tablet is endowed with the power of Khonsu, god of the moon, and needs frequent exposure to moonlight to retain its magic. Lancelot steals the tablet, mistaking it for the Holy Grail, then leaves to find his Lady Guinevere. The tablet continues to corrode, which damages the New York exhibits and threatens their “lives”. The gang splits up to find Lancelot, but Tilly apprehends Larry and locks him and Laaa in the employee break room. Larry reflects upon his relationship with Nicky and then Laaa breaks them out. The gang leaves the museum to continue the search, but the Trafalgar Square lion statues corner them. Larry distracts the statues with his flashlight and the search continues.

Lancelot has arrived at a local theater showing a production of Camelot starring Hugh Jackman as King Arthur and Alice Eve as Guinevere. He runs onstage, trying to convince "Guinevere" to join him. The gang arrives soon after and convinces Lancelot he's mistaken, chasing him to the roof. Larry persuades Lancelot to give him back the tablet to save the other exhibits, which have returned to their lifeless state. Larry adjusts the tablet and the moonlight restores it, reanimating the exhibits.

Larry returns the tablet to Merenkahre after the New York exhibits decide that the tablet and the pharaohs should stay together. As everyone parts ways, Larry tells Tilly that tomorrow night she will have the greatest job in the world. After returning to New York, the exhibits accept that they will permanently return to their inanimate state and they say goodbye to Larry.

Three years later, a traveling British Museum exhibition comes to the museum. Tilly gives the tablet to McPhee, whose job Larry had saved by taking the blame for the chaos at the evening event at the beginning of the film. She shows all the exhibits have come to life because of the tablet's power and are partying in the museum. Larry pauses on the sidewalk and sees the flashing lights of the party inside the museum, smiling.