So that story of the Smiths fan who held a station here hostage in the '80s? It's true...well, sort of
Okay, now that we know what, we should probably ask Y:
In the more than two decades that have passed since this incident happened, things have obviously changed dramatically. For starters, with the vast array of listening options these days from Internet streaming and iPhone apps to satellite radio and terrestrial radio (not to mention Spotify and Pandora), it's hard to imagine that it would even occur to anyone to attempt to pull a stunt off like this one.
Besides the fact that most stations these days are mostly inaccessible, ensconced and fortress-like in nondescript mid-rises in densely populated commercial areas rather than some converted house studio in the foothills, accessible to anyone with a gun and an ill-conceived plan, a takeover plot such as this would ultimately prove to be exasperating. These days, the playlists are completely automated, so it's not exactly like the DJs are sitting around spinning records.
We caught up with several former Y108 employees, and each person we spoke with seems to have a different recollection of the events of that day. Jim Prain, general manager of sales, even remembers the kind of weapon the kid had. "It was a small armed, single-shot, bolt-action 22 rifle," he recalls, noting that he knows this because he had one just like it as a kid. Mark Bolke, meanwhile, remembers returning to the station and seeing the guy in the parking lot, not yet arrested, and Bolke says he stayed inside for safety.
Out of the DJs we reached out to -- Dom Testa, Dave Otto and Michael Moon, all of whom were very well known and well regarded on-air personalities in Denver at the time and are still working in radio, here in Denver and in different parts of the country -- none were on the air at the time, but they each remember the day the incident happened.
"Truth be told, I was away from the radio station at the time it happened, but I did return about an hour later," writes Testa, now co-host of the long running Mix 100 morning show with Jane London. "The disturbed young man never entered the building. Our receptionist told me that he was detained in the Y108 parking lot while police were summoned. I'm pretty sure that he never made it inside.
"I also believe that he never actually threatened anyone with a gun (if he even had one), but mostly spewed nonsense, including his passionate request for The Smiths," his note continues. "Perhaps he SAID he had a weapon. Hey, in those days we had our share of interesting folks listening to the station...and we didn't even PLAY The Smith's, for crying out loud."
Testa concurs with Asakawa's assertion about KTCL, but also thinks that "the better option for a Morrissey fan at that time would've been 'BCO," he points out. "I suppose Boulder would've been too far of a walk, which is too bad, because I'll bet my friend Ginger would've at least dropped in 'How Soon Is Now' just to placate the poor dude.
"This is one of those legends that bloats with time," Testa concludes. "It's morphed from 'detained in the parking lot' to 'held hostage for four hours at gunpoint.'"
Indeed, but until we get a chance to read the full police report -- which we've requested and should hopefully have in our hands later this afternoon -- we can't say for certain exactly what happened that day. But keep an on this page for an update, most likely on Monday morning, when we'll post a full rundown of the arrest report.