Former pirates go legit: KZSC radio celebrates 45 years

Here’s a little story I wrote about a tiny station whose small “pirate” crew made their first broadcasts during the summer of love, and once tried to use an upside-down garbage can as an antennae. It’s an unlikely success story that continues to the present day.

In 1967, the year of the Summer of Love, a group of UCSC students started an FCC-unauthorized campus radio station that broadcast from a clammy basement and tried to use an upside-down garbage can as an antenna.

The broadcasters initially put egg cartons instead of acoustic tiles on the walls, and the disc jockeys played the psychedelic single, “Incense and Peppermints” by the Strawberry Alarm Clock, so many times the record cracked. They kept on playing it anyhow.

“When I left campus, [the station] was very shaky,” said Marc Okrand (Stevenson College ‘70, interdisciplinary studies), who went on to have a far-ranging career that included teaching linguistics at UC Santa Barbara, doing research for the Smithsonian and, most famously, developing the Klingon language for Star Trek—both for the movies and also for Star Trek spin-off TV shows.

Read more right here.

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