How the first Beatles bootleg material was leaked – The Great Elusive “Get Back” Radio Search, Part Four

The Great Elusive “Get Back” Radio Search: Part IV

The WBCN Branch, Chapter 1: The Search

From Part II: “What connected the thread at this stage of the hunt was Charles Laquidara, who had worked at KPPC but, by September ’69, was at WBCN.”

Shortly after posting Part I last December, I received e-mail from fellow Beatleg member Dave Indri: “Anyone who grew up in the Boston area can tell you that the WBCN dj on “Posters, Incense” etc. is definitely NOT Charles Laquidara.”

No argument there; I hadn’t claimed that Charles was the announcer, only that he was at BCN at the time, but it was good to have that confirmed by Dave.

Dave then said that he knew someone who had worked at WBCN then, but that person was likewise unable to ID the announcer. That person told Dave that he’d try to contact another announcer then thought to have been there at the time, Maxanne Sartori, but that’s as far as that went.

After Googling around, I learned that Maxanne had been there the following year but not in 1969. I did, however, find someone else who was at BCN, Andy Beaubien: he filled the 6-10 PM slot in December ’70. While likewise over a year later than what we’re looking for, that timeslot matched the time when the 1/69 mix had been broadcast the previous year.*

(*Towards the end of the tape as heard on “Posters…,” the deejay invites listeners to turn onto television Ch. 7 “in this next hour” and watch the Beatles and Crosby Stills, Nash and Young.” This program was “Music Scene,” which debuted on ABC that night at 7:30 PM ET. Which puts the radio broadcast at that point at around 7 PM ET.)

So I searched, found, and e-mailed Andy Beaubien. His replies:

e-mail from 12/8/04:
– “Yes, I’m the same Andy Beaubien. I started at WBCN in August of 1969 (I think it was the same weekend as Woodstock.)”

From 12/13/04:
– “Here’s what I recollect about the Get Back tape. I remember playing the tape but I’m not certain whether the person in the broadcast was me or someone else. If it wasn’t me, it was probably Charles Laquidara. I seem to recall that he was on the air from 6pm-10pm around that time. I think I was doing afternoons as my regular shift. I had just started working full time in September of ’69 and I’m almost certain I was not on from 6pm-10pm. If I was on in that time period, I was filling in for someone else. However, if you have a copy of the broadcast, I’m sure that I can readily identify the voice.

_ “I don’t recall how we acquired the tape. It could have come from a number of sources. A likely source may have been KPPC in Pasadena, California. Steven Clean (aka Steven Seagull) had just arrived [from*] KPPC and I seem to recall that he used to share with us some of the un-released
stuff that they acquired. Being in LA, KPPC was very well connected.

(* Andy had written “Steven… had just arrived at KPPC…” but this turns out to have been a typo; Andy meant _from_ KPPC, not “at.”)

– “Perhaps Charles Laquidara or Joe Rogers might remember something about this. I can try to contact them. They’re both still around. Charles is retired and living in Maui and Joe is still in the Boston area.”

So — Andy played the tape, but not on the 9/22/69 broadcast. And as Dave Indri insisted, Charles wasn’t the voice heard, either.

I sent Andy a CD-R of the broadcast, and he got back to me, but more on that in Part V. (I’d like to maintain the timeline for the moment.) What’s notable is (1) his suspicion that the tape originated on the west coast, and (2) the folks who might know would be Charles and “Mississippi” Joe, the first confirmation that this guy, Joe, who was in the studio with the mystery announcer, was the key. And best of all: (3) that he remembered _any_ of this.

But Joe remained an elusive contact. Digging into the deepest caverns in Google turned up very little. All John and I learned was that in (I think) 1980 or so, Joe had owned a restaurant in the
Boston area. But, as the restaurant’s current owners told John, that was long ago and they had no idea where he was now. John and I were coming up dry.

All the while, I’d been e-mailing Charles but had never received a reply. I used the address that worked back in February ’03, when I first contacted him to thank him for the Buffalo Springfield
“Bluebird” tape he had mailed me back in 1971. No response from that address this time. Then tried the address that’s on his “contact me” web site. Nothing. And an AOL address that was no
longer working.

But for some vain reason, in early 2003 I had added his defunct AOL address from long ago to my AOL “Buddy List,” so it would appear if that screen name ever went online. Which would make little sense since that screen name had been dumped.

But then, on the night of 12/14/04, up popped his screen name on the Buddy List. So I began IMing him, apologized for the intrusion, asked if he remembered me from the year previous, and if he had ever received my current e-mails. He did remember me but had received nothing. Still, finally, contact.

I began to get into the history of the 9/22/69 broadcast, but it seemed somewhat cumbersome to explain all this via IMs. So Charles offered to call me. From Maui. I gave him my number and 20 seconds later the phone rang; it was Charles.

On to Part V


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