Saturday, December 17, 2016


Los Angeles, California's 105.5 KNAC started out in the late 1960s as a free form station, playing typical album rock artists alongside San Francisco psychedelic music as well as R&B, Soul and Funk. By the late 1970s they had evolved into an Alternative music outlet with the onset of Punk and New Wave. This phase lasted until 1986 when KNAC turned to Heavy Metal and became one of the most iconic stations in the history of L.A. radio and a lifestyle for many of their diehard listeners.

KNAC's "Pure Rock" days coincided with Hard Rock and Heavy Metal at the peak of its Sunset Strip popularity.  They had a notoriously weak signal that somehow gave them a kind of underground credibility.  No form of metal went unplayed; Glam Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash, Progressive and Mainstream Metal all found space on the playlist.  KNAC was playing Metallica long before their breakthrough Black album in 1991.  "Mandatory Metallica" is still a fixture on Rock stations across the country but began at KNAC when a DJ named Poundin' Pat played rare Metallica tracks alongside album cuts.
I first saw the above sticker in the 1988 video for Bon Jovi's Bad Medicine.  Fans waiting in line for a Bon Jovi concert are wearing KNAC shirts and holding white-on-black decals which became ubiquitous for a time in the late 80s.

KNAC left terrestrial radio in 1995, just shy of a full decade on the air. They returned in 1998 with an online stream at

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