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 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.
And 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.