Young Freddy Snakeskin grew up in the wilds of Arizona where he developed an early appreciation for music, and records. He even displayed an early artistic streak — by taking his crayons to his parents’ record collection. His quick-thinking mother soon discovered the best way of distracting her young vandal was by turning on the radio, where the dulcet tones of Wolfman Jack and other manic radio personalities quickly attracted his attention, and an early fascination with all things radio was born.
Quickly tiring of mowing neighborhood lawns to earn money to buy the records he heard and loved on the radio, he set about trying to get a job in the broadcasting industry (figuring that would be a really good way to get free records). After writing plaintive letters to every radio station in town, he was surprised when he actually got a reply from one of them, a low rated country music station on the opposite side of town who invited him in for a “tour,” Tours of this “facility” never took long as they broadcast from a one-room shack which barely had running water.
As he was still too young to have a driver’s license, he persuaded his long-suffering mother to give him a ride there, where he quickly impressed the manager, who also doubled as janitor, with all his pent-up enthusiasm (but not necessarily his talent) for radio, and was offered a part-time job organizing the record library. This soon materialized into his first on-air appearance when one of the regular DJs got popped for drunk driving on his way to work one afternoon. A regular weekend slot then followed, and from this launching pad young Freddy slithered his way around town — and into and out of at least a dozen other local radio stations.
It wasn’t long before the “big time” beckoned and he was offered a weekend job on a 50,000 watt Los Angeles Top 40 station, where Freddy realized his boyhood dream of broadcasting on an AM station which, on a clear night, was known for reaching halfway around the world. A succession of other LA radio jobs followed; then Freddy, always a fan of strange music, discovered KROQ (or perhaps it was the other way around) in 1980.
Over the next few decades Freddy bounced around KROQ, during which time he held down virtually every air shift at one time or another, and even served as Program Director for a few years, leaving in 1990 to found the fondly-remembered Santa Monica-based alternative/techno hybrid-formatted MARS-FM, for the entire 2 years of its existence, followed by a quick return to KROQ as well as stints in Las Vegas and Phoenix, plus 6-years with Sirius Satellite Radio’s “First Wave” channel.
Then, once again, he found himself back at good ole KROQ for several more years, coordinating music for JACK-FM and leading KROQ-HD2’s Roq of the 80s format — followed by (yet another) period of involuntary retirement, at CBS Radio’s request, before being invited back by Entercom for 2018’s big Roq of the 80s relaunch. Who says you can never go home anymore?!