Monday, December 11, 2017

Hell's Kitchen Radio #324: Deathbed Blues

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Sometimes it hits a little too close to home.

Rock poster artist and friend Ron Donovan passed away last week after losing his liver to too many years of alcohol abuse. I loved Ron like anyone did, which meant it was a love-hate relationship. He was funny, talented, smart, and charismatic. He was also selfish, often tardy, never with the tools he needed to do the job, full of excuses and a real pain in the ass. He burned more bridges than most. That being said, he was ubiquitous. There was no one like the Hobbit, "Rotten" Ronnie Donovan.

For over six years he was my foil when we co-hosted the 6 hour bootleg battle "Rock Fight" (links to most are below). Ron and I had perhaps the largest combined bootleg collection anywhere. It was easy to pull out brilliant live versions of tunes to one-up each other. He was always late to these shows, rarely had the material he needed, and would often pass out on the couch before we were through. I ended up having a strict "no hard alcohol" rule for these shows, which paid off as they were the finest we did together. We also hosted a few live bands and interviews during these marathon shows.

In 2011 Ron volunteered his services to make us a poster for Radio Valencia, which he was going to present at a big fundraiser of ours. He was four hours late and the poster had the incorrect URL and frequency on it! Oh, and he misspelled "commercials. HA! In typical Donovan fashion he just shrugged it off with a smile. I still have about a dozen of those posters somewhere.

Ron was mostly known through his great rock poster art. I met him when he and Chuck Sperry ran Firehouse Kustom Rock Posters. I would hang out at their warehouse and watch the magic happen. Ron was always the life of the party and often would bring the party with him. I'll miss seeing him in his ink-covered shorts-over-thermals, and socks/sandals ensemble, riding along on his Powell/Peralta board looking for a free drink at any one of many bars or "offices" he had around town.

Tonight's show is a tribute of sorts to Ron. I'm not sure he would have approved of every track, but he would have liked that they were all songs that one would want played as they passed on.

Yours truly,


To check out previous Rock Fights, go here:
Rock Fight 14 - without Ron
Rock Fight 13 (mis-titled Rock Fight 14)
Rock Fight 12
Rock Fight 11 
Rock Fight 10
Rock Fight 9
Rock Fight 8
Rock Fight 7
Rock Fight 6
Rock Fight 5
Rock Fight 4 - Playlist only
Rock Fight 3 - Playlist only
Rock Fight 2 - Playlist only
Rock Fight 1 - Playlist only

Hell's Kitchen Radio with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Never Talking to You Again: Husker Dü
Dirt: The Stooges

I Wanna Rock: Twisted Sister

Purple Rain: Prince

Heaven: Talking Heads
Teenage Kicks: The Undertones
People Who Died: Jim Carroll

In My Time of Dying: Led Zeppelin (03/19/75 Vancouver, Canada)
Rock and Roll Suicide: David Bowie
Carrickfergus: Van Morrison and The Chieftains

The Bones in the Ground: Robyn Hitchcock
I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You: Louis Armstrong
One More Cup of Coffee: Bob Dylan
Jig of Life: Kate Bush

Mea Culpa: Brian Eno and David Byrne
Highly Illogical: Leonard Nimoy
Hooray For Me: Bad Religion

Highway To Hell: AC/DC (12/17/81 Rochester, NY)
Watermelon in the Easter Hay: Frank Zappa

Black Peter: Grateful Dead (12/14/71 Ann Arbor, MI)
Happy Boy: Beat Farmers

Rock on, Rotten Ronnie. I hope you make it to your destination...eventually.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Hell's Kitchen Radio #323: Statutory Rock!

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I found Judge Roy Moore's iPod and you would not believe what he has on this thing! He has a playlist called "Statutory Rock". It's all songs about sex with underage girls, mostly. Dude! I just had to play it on my show. Who knew there were so many songs about having illegal sex with people underage? If you lived in the 70s then you pretty much figured that was happening all the time. And if you live in Alabama today then you probably have kids with someone who is currently underage, and it's possible your sister or brother or some kinda relative anyway. Yes, I went there.

Enjoy and please vote.


Hell's Kitchen Radio with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Follow Radio Valencia on Twitter
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Teen Angel: Mark Dinning
Christine Sixteen: KISS
Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight: Spinal Tap

Jailbait: Motörhead
Jailbait: Aerosmith
Jailbait: Ted Nugent

Statutory Date: Twisted Sister
Mellow Yellow: Donovan
Sweet Little Sixteen: Chuck Berry

Goin' Blind: Melvins
Whistle Bait: Lorrie and Larry Collins
Thirteen: The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl: The Yardbirds

Young Girl: Gary Pucket and the Union Gap
Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon: Neil Diamond

Cypress Avenue: Van Morrison
Claire: Gilbert O'Sullivan
Do You Wanna Touch Me: Gary Glitter

Gypsy, Tramps and Thieves: Cher
Stray Cat Blues: Rolling Stones
Flower: Liz Phair
He Made A Woman Out Of Me: Betty LaVette

Does Your Mother Know: ABBA
Mexicali Blues: Grateful Dead
Francine: ZZ Top
Lemon Incest: Serge Gainsbourg
The Wanton Song: Led Zeppelin

(How To Keep Your) Husband Happy: The Cosmopolitans