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Poorman’s Radio Days: No Doubt Plays For Freeeee!

Throwback Thursday: Poorman with No Doubt. Photo courtesy of Poorman.

Wayyyyyy back in 1993, my radio career was on fire. I was on top of the world as the host and creator of the No. 1 radio show at night in SoCal, Loveline on KROQ. The format was simple: Callers to the program would get love advice nightly from myself, a physician (Dr. Drew) and different guest celebrity “love doctors.” Since we were on five nights a week from 10 p.m. to midnight, we would stumble into many guest celebs who were just kicking off their careers.

On one particular evening, the hot OC band from Anaheim, No Doubt, was our guest. The 22-year-old singer Gwen Stefani and the rest of the gang were in studio, and I world premiered several cuts from their first album, including “Trapped in the Box.” The band was eternally grateful they were getting any radio airplay. They were frustrated with their record label, Interscope Records, which wasn’t getting them anything.

Little did they know at the time, things were going to drastically change. They went on to huge fame. At the same time time, little did I know things were going to drastically change for me in the opposite direction as I would get fired several months later by KROQ for a wild stunt I pulled off at midnight, live on the radio, on the front lawn of Gene “Bean”  Baxter (a.k.a. “Bean” of The Kevin & Bean Show). But that’s another story for another time.

The way we got No Doubt to play a freeeeee concert, my concert, the “1st Annual Poorfest,” is quite a story that began prior to their appearance on Loveline. I had a 20-year-old fan who answered the phones at the station and organized giveaways for me, Rob Juarez. He was a natural promoter. According to Rob, I told him I wanted to put on my own concert, so he organized a date at the Whiskey a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, and I decided to run with the name “Poorfest.” This was also the first concert Rob ever promoted. Fast forwarding, Rob is now a big-time promoter and producer, putting on hundreds of major ’80s concerts around the world, including the Lost 80s Live Tour that stops at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

Rob and I decided we’d try and get No Doubt to headline the Poorfest. They were a hot Orange County band at the time with a lot of hype. Everybody had a No Doubt sticker on their vehicle. The problem was we didn’t have any money to pay them. I had Rob contact Gwen (I had her number … not anymore), and she said she’d play the Poorfest for freeeeeeee, but “you need to handle this with the label and our agent Mitch Oakman at F.B.I.” (Mitch now runs a big management company, Mob.) Rob first contacted Interscope and got nowhere. He then contacted Mitch, who said No Doubt was already scheduled to do a gig at Club Glam in LA. They struck a deal. No Doubt would come on Loveline if they were able to promote their gig at Glam. In exchange, they agreed to headline my gig at The Whiskey for freeeeeeee! Did I clear this with KROQ? Of course not!

No Doubt did their appearance on Loveline, we world premiered their first album release, and Glam sold out. They then headlined the Poorfest for freeeeeeee with five other bands that didn’t quite achieve the success of No Doubt. They deserve mention: The Shout, The Skeletones, Virtual Image, Stick Kitty and Rob Rule. The capacity of the Whiskey was 500. In true Poorman renegade style, we packed in 940 people, many hanging off the rafters! We had all kinds of celebrities introducing the acts including Chad Allen (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman), John Kassir (the Crypt Keeper from Tales of the Crypt), Ron Jeremy (hundreds of porns), Nina Blackwood (original MTV VJ), Barry Sobel (Revenge of the Nerds II) and Chris Demetral (Dream On and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman).

And there you have it! Another Poorman Radio Story! In the meantime, catch more stories and a lot of good music on my morning radio show Poorman’s Morning Rush on 101.5 KOCI FM Mondays through Fridays. If you aren’t in the OC, get the live stream at www.KOCIradio.com.

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