Been a long time 

Rich Hawk

It was 1978, a very good year. Rich Hawk (left) and friends decided to buck the top-40 tried and true and launch a rock 'n' roll station that was so unconventional, so innovative, so out there, that people would wonder just what these guys were on.

KILO-94 FM stunned Colorado Springs with what was then considered an unconventional approach to the airwaves: broadcasting full album selections rather than just the most popular tunes. Their efforts resulted in national recognition for innovation in technology and programming.

Hawk and station manager Lou Mellini (right) have had some fun along the way. During the March of 1988, just before Pink Floyd was scheduled to play at Denver's Mile High Stadium in early April, KILO staff decided to get in on the action. They edited snippets of interviews with Floyd's road crew and spliced them in with voices of KILO DJs. Then they spent several weeks putting the hoax messages on the air, suggesting that Pink Floyd would be at the KILO studio in southern Colorado Springs before their Denver concert.

The day of the concert, police were on standby. A sizable crowd began gathering in the morning, met with freebies and deafening music. Mellini & Co. hired two guys in '80s rocker tights and big hair to leap out of a limousine and dash into the station. Then at noon, radio personality Red Noise stepped forward and shouted, "April Fools!" Fortunately, they had anticipated the resulting pandemonium and appeased the crowd with free albums and front-row tickets to the sold-out show.

A quarter century after launching the rowdy rock and roll station, Mellini has established himself as a respectable "community leader." So why, those many years ago, did they assign the familiar measurement for dope as the call letters of the station? Mellini said that, at the time, metric-system jargon was everywhere, "even in math books." They wanted to make sure the station had name recognition and decided that KILO was the ticket.

Yeah, right.


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