KXLE 1240 AM Ellensburg
On Being Attacked By Several Wild Tribes While Doing My Usual Radio Show at KXLE Radio In Ellensburg, Washington
Two things surprised me when the above occurred two years ago…first, since very little ever happens in Eburg, why did something like this ever transpire at all? And , second, why do Ellensburgers refer to Seattle as “over on the coast”?
Okay let’s stick to the story. I was doing my 3p to 6p show on a Friday on KXLE Radio. The station played some current tunes in that show. When out on the lawn rose such a ruckus and clatter, one couldn’t help but wonder what was the matter? It was also obvious we were under siege by several wild tribes. The Zulus (where is Michael Caine when you really need him?), and the remnants of the Mongol horde were pretty easy to recognize. Mixed in though were several pissed off postal workers and a group of cowboy rustlers and bandits. After all, this is Ellensburg. It was only myself and the station manager (currently in a mental institution), plus the skunk that lived under the small station building and a big black bull snake that liked to sun himself in the front lawn; us against all these nasties. And, we checked the list of rodeo events for that year. This was NOT on it.
What to do? What to do? Here’s all we could think of. I don’t know if you’ve heard the music industry/radio phrase “with a bullet” for a hot song that just broke into the top 100 and is racing up the hit charts. The term is used something like this. The Box Tops’ “The Letter”
has just entered the charts (“our play list”) with a bullet. Why then couldn’t we defend myself with songs you hear on the radio? So we tried it. I turned the volume up on our studio speakers and immediately spun “Bang, Bang” by Cher. Son of a gun if two uglies didn’t immediately drop out there on our lawn. Of course, they were circling our building. Knowing that the Christmas song “Stop the Calvary” was not going to help me at all, we knew I had to dig fast.
I quickly hit the hostiles with Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldiers” and Glen Campbell’s “The Universal Soldier”. The enemy dropped in big numbers now. Knowing that we still had Jimi Hendrix’ “Machine Gun” as a back-up song, I fired up Marty Robbins “Big Iron on His Hip” and Sgt. Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Beret”.
Many of our attackers were bewildered by the song choices, but their numbers continued to dwindle and the battle field became littered more and more by dead bad guys. The theme song from the TV show “Combat”, and Johnny Horton’s “Sink the Bismarck”, his big 1962 hit, thundered out our stereo speakers. Then, Chris toyed with them spinning Al Caiola’s instrumental hit “Bonanza” and Eric Burdon’s “Sky Pilot”, plus Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Shot Gun Boogie”. The look of surprise on their faces was priceless after I cued and I started up “The Ballad of Davy Crocket” 1958 by Bill Hayes. What a beautiful thing to see.
Were the theme songs from “F Troop” and “Rocky” (“Eye of the Tiger”) showing no mercy? We didn’t care. It was either them or us. Why not Jr. Walker’s “Shot Gun”, The Door’s “Unknown Soldier”, Queen’s “She’s a Killer”, and Lennon’s “Happiness is A Warm Gun”? Where would it all stop? The hallways of the radio station rang with my maniacal howls. I can still hear Chris screaming, “We’re all going to die!” Casualties mounted higher and higher.
When it was all over, we had to use our secret weapon, Jimi’s “Machine Gun”. I can still hear that song “rattling” from those 3 foot KLH speakers in that old, cement block building. Those few stragglers still showing any life at all were finished off by Haley Mill’s 1962 hit “Let’s Get Together”, followed by several Carpenter songs. The wounded just didn’t have the physical strength to handle anything that insipid.
We raced out of the station and screamed out our joy from being released from this hideous attack. The old radio building still holds many horrible memories for us. Will it happen again? That’s anyone’s guess. Will we ever go back to area that endured such bloodshed and terror? Probably not. But that’s the end of this story, “Pilgrim”.