100.3 FM KQLZ Los Angeles Pirate Radio

On The Air
Behind the Scenes
Search the Pirate site
What's new at the site?

On Friday, March 17, 1989 at 5:00 am, KIQQ was replaced by Pirate Radio, KQLZ. Scott Shannon and Shadow Steele launched the station with none other than Guns N' Roses, "Welcome to the Jungle". During that first hour, they played The Rolling Stones "Start Me Up", Roxette "She's Got The Look", Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar On Me", Poison, Lita Ford "Close Your Eyes", Midnight Oil "Beds Are Burning", Bon Jovi, The Fixx "One Thing Leads To Another", Madonna "Respect Yourself", Van Halen "When It's Love", and wrapped it up with "When Children Cry".

During the 1989-1991 years, Pirate Radio was a "Hair Band" station. The great music of the time filled the air waves. Guns N' Roses, Def Leppard, Skid Row, Cinderella, The Scorpions, Motley Crue, Van Halen and Bon Jovi were staples of the playlist.

Mixed in between were the more Top 40 and New Wave oriented bands of the time, Tom Petty, The Bangles, Fine Young Cannibals, and Roxette.

It was a widely appealing mix that worked!

We tuned in to Scott Shannon's morning show about 7:30 am on Day 5 (March 22, 1989). He mentioned they'd gone out and bought a weather station and did their first weather forecast. But to hear traffic and news, he told listeners to go elsewhere. The music? He played Guns N' Roses "Lies", Billy Joel, Def Leppard, Roxette's "You Got The Look", Aerosmith, and another GNR, "Sweet Child O' Mine".

Listening in on May, 1989, Scott was playing music by Tom Petty, Van Halen, Poison, George Michael, Cinderella, Roxette, Journey, INXS, U2, and Guns N' Roses, and still NO commercials!

Tuning in to the Pirate in May, 1990, you would hear Fast Bobby playing L.A. Guns, Lita Ford, AC/DC, Kiss, the Talking Heads, Def Leppard, The Cult, Belinda Carlisle, Autograph, Motley Crue, and best of all, still, hardly any commercials!

We tuned in to Tawn Mastrey in the spring of 1992. Tawn was cranking the monsters out with tunes from Aerosmith, Judas Priest, Van Halen, and yes, Nirvana. And check out this list from another aircheck of Tawn that year: Kiss "Take It Off", Iron Maiden "Be Quick or Be Dead", Ugly Kid Joe "(I Hate) Everything About You", Kiss "Crazy", a Pearl Jam tune, Metallica "Where Ever I May Roam", Motley Crue "Wild Side", Van Halen "Man On A Mission", Soundgarden "Outshined", Kiss "I Just Wanna", Aerosmith "Toys In The Attic", a Megadeth tune, Queen "Tie Your Mother Down", Slaughter "Spend My Life", Ratt "Back For More", in 1992), AC/DC "Whole Lotta Rosie" and Black Sabbath "Time Machine".

By late 1992, the station was migrating to alternative, a format that was changing the face of rock radio. The hair band era was ending, and the heavy metal movement was just beginning to slow down. Alternative wasn't really called alternative yet, but the format was coming, grunge bands, clothes and all. The Pirate knew it, and began to evolve with the movement.

Our friend "Trip" from Los Angeles (she swears that's her real name!) has put together a list of songs known to have been played on The Pirate. She focuses on the first three years, 1989-1992. Trip has graciously made her play list available to The Pirate Radio Tribute Site.
Click here for the music played on Pirate Radio!

Another friend, Darryl in the L.A. area, provided this list.

This just in (November, 2021), you can find a whole series of KQLZ music surveys (lists of the top songs played on the station a the Las Solanas web site. Enjoy!

ęCopyright 1999-2023 by Dennis Younker