When a public radio station rechristened this summer as the home of “smart rock” hopes for good publicity, it really can’t do much better than glowing words of endorsement from Paul McGuinness. The manager of U2 is front and center in Randy Lewis’ LA Times write-up about Cal State Northridge’s KCSN, praising the efforts of new program director Sky Daniels to transform the formerly automated classical music outfit into a non-profit champion of emerging pop and rock n’roll artists.
Daniels was an early supporter of U2 while the music director at WLUP in Chicago and later joined the band’s record company. He is now working at 88.5 FM on the LA dial with two other early Bono boosters–former KCRW “Morning Becomes Eclectic” host Nic Harcourt and ex-LA Times critic Robert Hilburn:
Hilburn covered U2’s first Los Angeles concert in 1981, singling it out from a wave of overseas arrivals at the time: “The band with the most commercial potential here may be U2, a gutsy and richly talented Irish quartet,” he wrote.
This fall’s KCSN pledge drive includes a Gretsch Falcon electric guitar signed by all four of those talented band members. There’s also an October 29 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers concert slated for a small 500-seat house in Northridge, the result of an emphatic open letter written by Daniels.