BY: SEAN CONRAD
A record spinner’s memoirs…
The true story of the day-to-day, play-by-play adventures of a young, insecure, teenage wallflower, from a small Midwestern factory town, who dives head first in to the rabbit hole of psychedelia, flaxen, waxen, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
In the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, Sean Conrad experiences the ups and downs of having just too damn much fun—and the consequences that come with it. From hanging out with rock stars to being homeless…and back again. From Porsches to the potholes of life. From scribbling autographs to signing divorce papers. Can there possibly be a happy ending?
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: Sean Conrad’s book Kickin’ Out the Jams is a very candid look at an ambitious guy who fell in love with radio at a young age, knew what he wanted, and went after it with gusto. Replete with sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Sean takes you on a journey through his life in radio when radio was everything.
From Little Richard to The Cars, and from Chicago to Hawaii, Conrad recounts the wild ride of his life in the music industry. From his highest highs and his lowest lows, he tells a tale of great success and great loss, and of coming full circle. Once you start, you just want to keep you turning the pages to see what happens to him next.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Kickin’ Out the Jams by Sean Conrad is a fun read. It’s a lighthearted romp through the life of a music DJ that opens a view into a whole new world. I remember listening to, and having a crush on, several of the DJs Conrad mentions in his book. It was great to learn a little the guys I once had such romantic teenage fantasy about.
The man’s had an amazing life, from driving under the influence and creaming three cars on his way home, to partying with the like of John Lennon and Michael Jackson’s family, Conrad has done just about everything imaginable and managed to survive. He recounts these experiences with humor, a touch of sadness in places, and a down-to-earth perspective that’s highly appealing. This is a book that you’ll want to keep on your shelves and revisit time and again.
I started writing this book in 2008. It was published in 2013. Since then, many other great rock and roll memories have surfaced, usually in the middle of the night. Memories of rock concerts and meeting famous musicians while living a fairy tale life in radio and records.
We disc jockeys of the sixties and seventies liked to say that, during those magical years, we never worked a day in our life! We ran amuck with special privileges the average nine-to-fiver could only dream of. How can you call sitting in a studio, playing records and talking to “hitline “chicks (pre #metoo lingo) on the request line, work? Not having to pay to see a rock concert? Getting backstage passes? Treated to lavish meals in fine restaurants and never need to bring cash or credit cards to pay the tab? The record companies did that, of course.
That whole thirty-year period I spent spinning and promoting records seems almost like a distant dream now. Time marches on. I always said you’ll know I’m probably beginning to fade away when the day comes that I hear a song on the radio and can’t immediately identify who the artist is and the name of the song.
I’m happy to say, I can still do that so, I guess I’ll be around a little longer.
Goldie Hawn was the first person I saw when I walked into Lou Adler’s mansion that night. Coming out of a small bathroom just off the foyer, she was dressed in only a huge, oversize football jersey. The black marks under her eyes made her look like a parody of a pro football player.
In the main living room, I found myself shoulder-to-shoulder with bigger than life stars like Warren Beatty, Sonny, Cher, and Jim Brown. My wife, Beth, and I stood next to a table full of exotic food, holding drinks and facing each other. Just behind Beth, John Lennon conversed with his current girlfriend, Mai Pang, who interestingly enough resembled Yoko Ono.
We were two of the very few people at the party without a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This was truly an honest to god private, inside the movie industry holiday gathering so darting from room-to-room with an autograph book was not an option.
“Beth, we’ve just got to try and meet him,” I told my wife. “If we don’t, we’ll regret it for years to come.”
“How do we do it without being obvious?” she asked.
We stood there trying to get up the courage to pounce, knowing he could wander away to another room any second.
“Okay, let’s just brush by him on our way to the next room, and I’ll say something like, ‘Oops, sorry.’”
The room was wall-to-wall people. A few steps, a hesitant stumble, and the deed was done.
“John, my name is Sean Conrad and this is my wife, Beth. I’m the program director of KHJ Radio.” Everyone knew the power of KHJ, including John Lennon, who had a solo career going and needed air play like any other artist.
“Nice to meet you,” he replied in proper British accent.
I’d done it. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event for a kid from Beavercreek, Ohio. I remember thinking, Wow, I’ve really made it. How I got there is another story…
© 2019 by Sean Conrad
Bonnie Hill Hearn:
“A page-turner that reads like a novel. Sean Conrad has written an entertaining and inspiring book for anyone who wants to experience those early days of rock radio. His story of sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll, and transformation is as uplifting as it is outrageous.” ~ Bonnie Hearn Hill, best-selling author
“A fascinating and humorous read! It is a well written book, and a sometimes zany look at one man’s journey during the golden age of radio and music. From playing the hits to getting the hits played, Sean’s adventures in the radio and record business are a wild ride! I could not put this down! I LOVED IT.” ~ Joel Newman, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio http://catalog.rockhall.com/catalog/ARC-0276
“In the days of Boss Radio, Sean Conrad had it all, lost it all, and got it back again, several times. KICKIN’ OUT THE JAMS is funny, sad, ironic, and entertaining—sometimes on the same page. For anyone wondering what life was like behind the mic, you won’t be able to put it down.” ~ John Ostlund, Owner, KYNO
“This is a great book. It reads like a conversation with friends at a bar. Probably the best book on radio that I have read since SuperJock by Larry Lujack.” ~ Jason Remington, SeaTacMedia.com, Seattle, Washington
“Sean Conrad’s KICKING OUT THE JAMS is the 50,000 whats and 50,000 what-nots of radio. A wild nostalgic journey of destruction and disc jockeys. Sean takes you back to those golden days when radio was our constant companion. If you think what came out it was fun, wait till you see what went into it. This book is my pick hit of the year.” ~ Ken Levine, writer for TV shows MASH, Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons, and named one of the best 25 blogs of 2011 by Time Magazine.
“Sex and drugs and rock n’ roll aren’t just a saying, it was a living for Sean Conrad. Dive into this book, and immerse yourself in radio and records, when the industry was truly fun, funny, and the stuff great stories are made of.” ~ Laurie Roberts, San Francisco Bay Area Radio Hall of Famer
“If Jack Kerouac’s On The Road had been about the golden age of radio and rock and roll, it would be this book.” ~ Larry April, Senior Partner, April/ Vaughn Advertising, Santa Cruz, CA
“If you’re a radio person, Sean Conrad’s book Kickin’ Out the Jams will make you remember the fun, crazy, irreverent, mostly magical times we had. If you weren’t privileged to work in a radio station, this book will take you to places and events you’d never otherwise experience. Sean’s stories epitomize the oft-stated radio adage: ‘You can tell the quality of the jock by the size of the U-Haul he brings to town.’” ~ BC Cloutier, Former radio General Manager
“Wow! From cover to cover, Kickin’ Out The Jams tells the story of one of the greatest eras in radio. Whether you’re in the broadcasting industry or not, I guarantee you’ll be glued to every page. Read Sean’s book and you’ll see why ‘The hits just kept on comin’!’ You better believe It, baby!” ~ “Shotgun Tom” Kelly, Afternoon Radio Personality, KEARTH Radio, Los Angeles
“Kickin’ Out The Jams: The Purple Haze Of My Crazy Daze In Radio is a short, straightforward chronicle of life in the radio industry during its 1960s and 1970s heyday…Kickin’ Out The Jams is a fun, fast read that never takes itself too seriously. Conrad met and befriended some legendary people, but writes from the perspective of a hardworking Everyman whose successes came from a determination to succeed as well as a little luck. He doesn’t always write in the most elegant fashion, but that’s part of the book’s fun and charm…It’s a lighthearted, charming book that covers a fascinating life.” ~ Todd Monahan of SockMoneySound.com
You can get the audio version of this book HERE.