Bob Gordon in 2006
Before I entered the field of radio
broadcasting, I always felt that radio work was always for
the "chosen few," the fortunate, or someone "special." I
knew somewhere in my heart that I had to do whatever it was
to enter this alluring field. My days were depressing
knowing that I was not living up to a higher potential. I
knew I had the talent, personality, and, of course, the
voice to attain this goal.
Back in 1982, I was working as assistant
manager of a gas station in the San Rafael area. One day, a
young man drives in with his shiny, new Porsche and says:
"Hey, duuuude ... right-aaaawn. Ya gaat an awwwwwwsum set-a
vocuuuul pipes. Ya autta' be a dee-jay or suumthun
instead-a sniffin' those gaaaas-fumes all day."
That was the turning point in my life. I was
in the process of moving from Rohnert Park and I wanted to
reside somewhere closer to my service station job — moving
was the priority before any broadcast training could occur.
I found a room to rent in a nearby housing tract. The ad in
the paper read "piano available," which was an attractive
quality since I played piano. (I also played trumpet, drums
Robert Gordon at his "first
As soon as I was settled-in to my new digs,
I signed up for broadcast training with the Ron Bailie
School of Broadcast in San Francisco, located in the KBHK-TV
building. I would travel about twenty-five miles each way
using the local bus system. Our class was made up of about
twenty individuals, most of whom probably could not cut the
mustard in the business. I seemed to be one of the few
"shining stars" in the class and I knew good things were in
store for me.
I would practice my course materials in the
room/home where I was renting. The house where I was living
was occupied by two other people, the female owner and her
ten-year-old son. It was a wonder how I could complete my
studies. This ten-year-old would wad-up peanut butter balls
and throw them up to the ceiling. He would also put soap in
the ice cube trays! After trying to keep my sanity though
all of that, I finally graduated and gave the ten-year-old
and his mother a good sendoff.
As I was learning, I obtained a volunteer
position as newscaster for Broadcast Services For The Blind
with KPFB-FM. Upon graduating ahead of my peers, I traveled
on that Greyhound Bus to South Lake Tahoe in 1984 for my
first overnight gig with KOWL-AM. I started to get a
following "over-the-air" as Neal Gordon. There was another
Bob working with KOWL at the time and I suggested that I use
my middle name. My job was announcer/producer. Upon arriving
in Tahoe, I'll never forget trudging through the snow on my
way to the KOWL studios.
During 1985, I became discouraged with the
Tahoe environment and made the choice to move back to
Concord in the Bay Area. There, I procured a position with
KKIS-AM/KINQ-FM as Bob Gordon. My work included announcing,
producing, and PSA director.
I can remember a particular day while
working at KKIS: they wanted me to be the guest DJ for a
Valentine's Day event for the ladies at a shopping mall in
Antioch. A soap opera star was to be there and I was to
"pump up" and work the females as they were waiting for that
prominent actor to arrive.
At Walnut Creek's KCRK,
My program director and I left in a
limousine together as he was going to be doing a live
broadcast at a nearby jewelry store. The limo dropped him
off, then it was off to the mall for me. After interviewing
that actor and giving my fair share of autographs to the
ladies, I ended up having to take the bus home from that
KKIS/KINQ-FM was a unique place to work
because while I was on the air in the AM (KKIS) studio, I
had to run down the hall to the automated FM (KINQ) studio
to change the large tape reels when the music ran out. Those
large music reels also applied to the performance in the AM
studio. No compact discs at that time. Some of the music was
on carts but the majority of the playlist was on giant reels
of tape. Sure was embarrassing when the tape was stretched
and the song played over the tape head!
I wanted to better myself, so I left the
radio business to pursue an acting career in TV commercials.
As an actor, I became involved with a number of roles
including feature films, industrial films, videos and print
the same time, I started driving a taxi which gave me the
flexibility to go out on casting auditions. The radio bug
returned and I started working with KCRK-FM in Walnut Creek
in 1987. In 1990, I was hired by KKIQ as weekend announcer
in Livermore and worked there until 1992.
The equipment at KKIQ, I recall, was
certainly primitive but the broadcast content was superb. We
had a potential audience of about 600,000 — not bad for a
About a year later, the entire facility moved to a
state-of-the-art studio in Pleasanton and everyone working
there was greatly pleased. We were in a high-rise office
building and I felt I was looking out my "control tower,"
having a commanding presence over my listeners. I was
employed with KKIQ on the weekends and driving my taxi
during the weekdays.
One day, a reporter with the Contra Costa
Times approached me while I was waiting at the Walnut
Creek BART station. The following week, I was interviewed
and photographed (photo, above) while picking up my
passengers. The reporter felt that I was not the "Average
Joe" when it came to taxi drivers.
The newspaper ended up publishing my story
and picture on the front page, noting that I was a disc
jockey with KKIQ in the caption.
I have been a musician most of my life. In recent days, I
sing and play my guitar at local open mike events. My
compact disc demo is also available under my pseudonym,
Miles Landry. You may see and hear my music at