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Morning Becomes Eclectic 30th Anniversary Interviews: Gary Calamar

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Last week we celebrated the 30th anniversary of KCRW's flagship show, Morning Becomes Eclectic with interviews with Jason Bentley, Chris Douridas, Nic Harcourt, Anne Litt, Liza Richardson, and we conclude our special with Gary Calamar, the host of KCRW's Sunday night staple, The Open Road.

For those of you who might be watching tee vee at night instead of listening to the radio, you might not know it but you were probably listening to Gary's music choices anyway. As Music Supervisor for such shows as Six Feet Under and Weeds, among others, when you sang along to "Little Boxes" you were doing so because of today's interview subject.

And if you happen to fly on Delta, put your headphones on, ease your seat back, and tune in to Delta Radio where Gary hosts a show way up in the sky.

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(Full disclosure, Gary hired this LAister way back in the '80s when Gary was the store manager of the Licorice Pizza record store on Wilshire in West LA. Great job, great boss.)

LAist: Didn't you start at KCRW as a librarian or something?

Gary Calamar: I started as a volunteer in the music library, 3 hours a week, opening mail and refiling cd's. I was advised that I shouldn't be taking this volunteer job with hopes of eventually getting on the air as it is an extremely long shot that it will happen. At the time I also started taking broadcasting classes upstairs at Santa Monica College to surround myself with radio waves.

LAist: So what ended up being your big break that lead you to hosting The Open Road?

Calamar: After a while my hours increased in the music library and I got to know Chris Douridas who was music director and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic at the time. One day he casually mentioned that they were looking for a Saturday-Sunday overnight dj...the very words I had been dreaming of. I (literally) dropped to my knees and begged Chris to give me a shot...and he did. As The Temptations sang "Ain't To Proud To Beg". If there's something you REALLY want, don't rule out begging.