More WMMS IDs from Peter Wolf, David Lee Roth, and Ted Nugent

In our earlier days, most acts were willing to do endorsements using some variation of “whenever I’m in Cleveland, I listen to WMMS.”  That changed when M-105, G98, and other stations threatened not to play certain artists that endorsed us.   

The labels swiftly created a politically correct way for their artists to do what amounted to a generic ID for every station: “I’m (name) and you’re listening to (station).” 

Some labels tried to make this standard operating procedure – and label guys would try to be around our production studio when their artists cut IDs. So we had to get creative.   If the artist knew the station or knew of the station – we’d distract the label guy while the artist cut an ID.  We’d then encourage the artist to do their IDs in whatever style they’d prefer – and encouraged that the more off-beat it was the more often it would get played.    If we had time to spare, we’d try to get the artist to cut seasonal IDs….Christmas, New Year’s – anything.

peter-wolf.jpgPeter Wolf had a lengthy history with WMMS (even longer with me – going back to when we lived in the same apartment building in Cambridge, Mass.).   In the late sixties, Peter Wolf also moonlighted as an all-night announcer on WBCN/Boston, where he an incredible blend of fifties and sixties rhythm and blues – so he had his radio chops down (I must add that Wolf is my second favorite all-night radio announcer of all time). Over the years Wolf cut many IDs for WMMS – all in his trademark Woofer-Goofer-Mama-Toofer style.   This one, the first one of his found so far, was cut in 1984, not long after he left the J. Geils Band.  He had just released his first solo album, Lights Out, when he recorded this ID.

david-lee-roth.jpgDavid Lee Roth had cut this ID at WMMS back in the late seventies.  When he parted ways with Van Halen, we edited out the “…of Van Halen” from the ID.

 ted-nugent.jpgAnd there is only one Ted Nugent.  Cleveland was the first city outside of his home base Detroit where his 1973 and 1974 version Amboy Dukes material received airplay.   His albums Call of the Wild and Tooth, Fang and Claw received respectable airplay on WMMS – and the band played Cleveland often.  When his first solo album (Ted Nugent) was released in 1975, which broke him nationally, he was already deep-rooted in these parts.

One Response to “More WMMS IDs from Peter Wolf, David Lee Roth, and Ted Nugent”

  1. John,

    I’m pouring through “The Buzzard” book and reliving my youth. I thank you!

    The one station ID that I’m looking to hear, which is the one I remember the most, is Pete Townshend saying “I’d like to remind you that Rock And Roll will always, always, always, always overcome. Eventually”. I would love to hear that one again. Was it lost with the archives? If you have it, would you please post it here? I’m also diving deep through this blog and have subscribed.

    Beyond all of that, you and WMMS were a great influence on me and pretty much everyone I grew up with. I went to Kenston High in Bainbridge, was taught by Andy Kenen and was on the air at WKHR. Everything that I am can be extrapolated from those experiences growing up listening, learning and being on the air.

    I personally would like to ask you a few questions regarding radio today and whether you think there is a chance for a resurgence in it being a viable medium of communication and advertising (whether that be for music or anything else). If you would be open to such an interview, how may I contact you directly? If not, it’s okay and I understand – and I thank you again.


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