Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend is here! Have a great one!

Here's the man I honor on this day- my father.

Lt. Stanley J. Kihn, U.S. Army, 289th Infantry, 75th Division, wounded in battle December 26, 1944, Battle Of The Bulge, awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in the Ardennes Forest while recovering in a Field Hospital somewhere in Belgium.

Dad's letters from WWII are incredible. I plan to publish them someday, but in the meantime, here's a direct quote from one dated Jan 1, 1945:

"...the Germans kept coming, wave after wave, and the boys, green in battle, mowed 'em down, until it got so you couldn't reach out of your foxhole without touching a dead German..."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge opened on this date in 1937. Construction began on January 5, 1933, at the height of the Great Depression.

orkers overcame many difficulties: strong tides, frequent storms and fogs, and the problem of blasting rock 65 feet below the water to plant earthquake-proof foundations. Eleven men died during construction. On May 27, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to great acclaim, a symbol of progress in the Bay Area during a time of economic crisis. At 4,200 feet, it was the longest bridge in the world until the completion of New York City's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. Today, the Golden Gate Bridge remains one of the world's most recognizable architectural structures.

Tragically, it is estimated that over 1200 people have committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. It is the most popular suicide spot in the entire world. The fall takes over 4 seconds and the jumper hits the water at 75 mph, a speed that renders the surface of the water like concrete. 98% of those who jump die on impact. I once talked a guy out of jumping during my first year on the air. He called in while I was on 7-midnight and claimed to be a jumper. I asked why. He said because his girlfriend left him. I told him that was the dumbest reason to jump I ever heard. If I felt like that every time I broke up with someone, I'd be dead twenty times over by now! I suggested he call a buddy and go have few cold ones. He called back the next night and thanked me. Apparently she just wasn't worth it! I have since met this guy at gigs over the years and he always refers to me as "the guy who saved my life" but I'm not really. He is. I just pointed out the obvious.

The bridge is still the #1 tourist spot in the Bay Area. I always take out of towners there for sight-seeing, even my mother when she was still alive.

Once, when my son Ry was about 10 years old, we bought some balsa wood gliders and walked out to the middle of the bridge and threw them off. They sailed forever before hitting the water- must have been miles! What a thrill. You can't do that anymore. There are laws now that prohibit throwing anything off the bridge- much less balsa wood airplanes.

The Golden Gate Bridge has always represented the California dream to me. When I first came here from Baltimore, I went out and saw it and it filled me with wonder. I knew I was in God's country. Anything was possible here. Is that still the dream? Is it still possible? I don't know anymore.

Remember the words of the immortal John F. Kennedy when he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather, what you can do for your country!" My God, what an idea! We need to get back to that philosophy.

On tomorrow's show- comedian Pablo Francisco!

John Wayne and the KGB

John Wayne and the KGB
One of my all-time favorite movie stars, John Wayne, was born on this date in 1907. He was 6'4" and weighed 250 pounds.

He hated communism. A lot. He was an American patriot who believed strongly in personal freedom.

His iconic image had been painted and sculpted by many famous artists including Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol.

But he was much more than just a movie star and the airport in Anaheim.

Did you know that John Wayne was nearly assassinated by Russian agents of the KGB? It's an incredible story, but true. I just read a new biography about John Wayne by Michael Mumm called John Wayne, The Man Behind The Myth, and I learned these facts (gleaned here from

From a review at, Nick Walsh writes:

Joseph Stalin ordered the KGB to assassinate John Wayne because he considered his anti-communist rhetoric a threat to the Soviet Union, according to a new biography of the film star based on interviews with Wayne's close associates and the movie legend Orson Welles.

Stalin apparently learned of Wayne's popularity from the Russian filmmaker Sergei Gerasimov, who attended a peace conference in New York in 1949. Michael Munn, a film historian and author of John Wayne - The Man Behind The Myth, said Gerasimov told Stalin of Wayne's fervent anti-communist beliefs.

"Stalin decided that he would have him killed," said Mr Munn, who says he was told of the plot by Orson Welles at a dinner in 1983. Welles had said that the KGB was given the task of assassinating Wayne.

A prominent Russian filmmaker, Alexei Kapler (who was imprisoned for an affair with Stalin's 16-year-old daughter, Svetlana), had told another Russian filmmaker, Sergei Bondachuk, about the order. Bondachuk was sceptical at first, but after Gerasimov confirmed the story, Bondachuk told Welles.

Mr Munn said Wayne had also told him that his friend, the stuntman Yakima Canutt, had "saved his life once". Mr Munn later asked Mr Canutt what he had meant by this comment. The incident is thought to have taken place in the early 50s.

"Yakima told me that the FBI had discovered there were agents sent to Hollywood to kill John Wayne," said Mr Munn. "He said the FBI had come to tell John about the plot. John told the FBI to let the men show up and he would deal with them."

Wayne then apparently hatched a plot with his scriptwriter at the time, Jimmy Grant, to abduct the assassins, drive to a beach and stage a mock execution to frighten them. Mr Munn said he did not know what transpired, but heard the two men stayed in the US to work for the FBI.

A further attempt to kill Wayne was made in Mexico on the set of the film Hondo (which was released in 1953), led by a communist cell, according to Mr Munn.

Wayne also told Mr Munn about an attempt to kill him by an enemy sniper while he was visiting the troops in Vietnam in 1966. "One of the snipers was captured," said Mr Munn, "and said there was a price on John's head, put there by [China's communist leader] Mao Tse Tung."

Wow! What a story! What other actors can you name that have been targeted by the KGB? It's like something out of 24. Did you get the part where the hapless Russian filmmaker had an affair with Stalin's 16 year old daughter? What a death wish! Plus, the guy was a Jew! A Jew in Stalin's Russian having a fling with the dictator's underage daughter? Outrageous! He was later thrown in prison for life, of course. But what was he thinking?

Anyway, I thought you might enjoy that little bit of Hollywood history.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Support The Troops Day!

Support The Troops Day!
Tuesday 05-25-2010 10:11am PT
I will be singing at the Giants game at AT&T Park this Sunday May 30th at 1:00pm vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks for SUPPORT THE TROOPS day. Now, I just checked, and the situation is this- I will be singing "God Bless America" and "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch. I WON'T be singing the National Anthem (my usual performance) for some reason that was not revealed to me.

But, that's cool. I am more than happy to do those two songs...
Of course, it's quite an honor to sing at the ballpark any day, and I always jump at the chance to see some great baseball.

It will be SUPPORT THE TROOPS day at AT&T Park. Operation Care and Comfort (one of my favorite charities) will be on hand to collect donations and items to send to the troops at all the entrances. Patrons can make cash donations OR bring items to be shipped, which are always popular. OCC has also arranged for a goodly number of military families to view the game. There will be lots of men and women in uniform. Come out and shake hands with the troops! Everyone who donates at the ball game will get a special gift from Operation Care and Comfort.

Operation Care and Comfort has been doing a great job sending care packages to our troops all over the world. So far they have sent over 585,000 pound of stuff! That's not just talk! That's a lot of work, and Julie DeMaria, Cookie Crissman and their band of volunteers work very hard. I try to contribute every month and I recommend you do the same. After all, these troops are the ones who keep us safe and guarantee all those freedoms we take for granted every day. God bless 'em. They are our children, our sons and daughters, our nephews and nieces, our neighbors and co-workers, and they are in harm's way. Anything we can do to help them is greatly appreciated.
So, come on out to AT&T Park on May 30th, this Sunday, and help support the troops and see some great baseball at the same time. Oh, and you can also hear me do my best Kate Smith impression!
Wish me luck!

The pitching match-up depends on whether or not Wellemeyer pitches in his spot in the rotation, if he DOES, then Tim Lincecum will be on the mound for the Giants on Sunday, and if he DOESN'T, then it will be Matt Cain on the mound. It's too early right now to tell and these projections are based on my own feeble information, but hey! It's looks good either way!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Boulder Creek Guitars, Harley Davidsons, and Slash!

Boulder Creek Guitars, Harley Davidsons, and Slash!
Monday 05-24-2010 10:34am PT
The Boulder Creek Solitaire acoustic guitar is up for auction at eBay right now, all proceeds go to The Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

This guitar also comes with a guitar lesson! If you're a beginner, I'll give you your first guitar lesson in life, or, if you are advanced, my son Ry (a professional guitar teacher- college trained at Cal Arts) will handle the chores. Ry is involved with teaching guitar in the Bay Area and is one of the best guitar teachers around for advanced and beginners alike. The lesson will be included with the price of the guitar so whatever the final bid might be, the guitar lesson comes with it.

This is a beautiful guitar. I own several Boulder Creek Guitars and they are outstanding instruments. They have a revolutionary new way of bracing the underside of the top of the guitar so it resonates like you wouldn't believe, plus you probably noticed that there is no sound hole in front. The sound hole is located on top of the guitar! What does that mean to you? It means lively, bright, clear, sharp guitar tones!

This acoustic guitar features an exotic spruce top, rosewood sides and back, and the famous "Cabo Sunset" sunburst finish. It has a Dreadnought style body. It also has a built-in pickup so you can run it through an amp or a sound system.

The bidding is on now at eBay! Make your bid today! It wraps up at the end of the week. The link is on the Morning Show Page on this website.
Nothing like an auction, is there? The idea that you could actually get a bargain is a hell of a motivator. It's for a great cause, too- to destroy cancer!

And it's all on eBay!
No more will you have to endure the unpleasantness of the smoky backrooms of the auction house of old Shanghai, full of smarmy men of indefinite lineage and questionable breath, shouting gibberish in foreign tongues. No more will you have to put up with the smell of cheap cologne mixed with the scent of angst. Never again will you be forced into uncomfortable positions with cruel shoes and even crueler socks. Because now, you can make your bid on this fine guitar out in the open on eBay, with the light of reason splashed across your face.

So, shake off the yoke of oppression and breathe free!
Thanks to everyone who showed up at House Of Thunderin Morgan Hill for the Harley Days of May on Saturday and participated in our Harley Davidson Motorcycle give-away. Tons of people were there. I saw more black leather than at a Judas Priest gig! Rob Halford included!
Oh, and speaking of black leather-

On Tomorrow's show- SLASH!