Veteran hometaper and radio personality Don Campau broadcast the last of his long running No Pigeonholes radio shows on December 15, 2019. Don had been in radio since 1971 but didn't launch No Pigeonholes until 1985, where the show spent its life on listener supported station KKUP in Cupertino, California.
No Pigeonholes was born out of Don's cassette culture activities: "In early 1984 I got the idea to do an all home tapes show but at first didn’t have enough. I started a massive letter-writing campaign and solicited cassettes from addresses in Option (magazine). The underground scene was pretty fledgling in those days but gradually it really snowballed to where it is today." (quotes from my upcoming book, "Cassette Culture: Homemade Music and the Creative Spirit in the Pre-Internet Age")
Don's enthusiasm for his work reflected the communal spirit of the 'anyone can be an artist' aesthetic: "For me, the challenge has been with my radio show. Because of the amount of submissions it has been difficult to get everyone on the air in a timely manner. Sure, I love quality music but my No Pigeonholes show is more about giving people a chance to be heard and letting their music speak for itself. And although I do try to pick out what I think is the best songs from a person/bands' submission, I give everyone airplay no matter the style, no matter if I think they suck. You do not have to be good, fashionable, or professional to be on No Pigeonholes. That being said, I am always amazed at the amount of talent and creativity out there."
Wow, nearly 35 years... KUDOS Don! I have always been inspired by your energy, enthusiasm, community spirit, and I DIG your music!
The good news is that Don is by no means slinking off into retirement. His spin-off EXP show continues to air on KOWS, at kowsfm.com. He will also be working on an archival project, which I am especially excited about.
CLICK HERE to listen to the final No Pigeonholes show.
Jerry Kranitz published Aural Innovations: The Global Source For Space Rock Exploration from 1998-2016. AI started as a printed zine (nine issues from 1998-2000) and then went online for the duration. The web site also included regularly broadcast editions of Aural Innovations Space Rock Radio.