Legendary artists Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, U2, Coldplay and others have joined together to support California State University, Northridge’s public radio station KCSN/Los Angeles.
These musicians donated rare memorabilia, or in Petty’s case, an unprecedented small-hall benefit concert, to support the station’s pledge drive that ended on Oct. 23.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will headline the first KCSN Benefit Concert on Saturday, Oct. 29, in the 500-seat Plaza del Sol Performance Hall on campus.
In an effort to show their support for KCSN-FM 88.5 as it shifts to a “smart rock” format, U2 donated a one-of-a-kind signed Gretsch Falcon guitar that was auctioned off during the pledge drive. Coldplay, Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge and Robbie Robertson also contributed signed guitars. Jack Johnson provided an autographed ukulele, and Mumford & Sons donated an autographed banjo. Mick Jagger and members of Superheavy signed a lithograph for the auction.
“When I was young, the DJ on the radio told me to believe in the magic of rock n’ roll,” said KCSN Program Director Sky Daniels. “All these years later, the generosity and love from these artists re-affirms that faith. Words cannot express our gratitude, so our actions will. We will ensure that more listeners have access to the station and to the work of both legendary and emerging artists.”
Paul McGuinness, manager of U2, said the band was “pleased” to donate the one-of-a-kind guitar to KCSN/Los Angeles to help it “in its dedication to being an artist-development platform for our industry.”
KCSN General Manager Karen Kearns said a portion of the proceeds from the U2 Falcon guitar auction will be contributed to National Public Radio (NPR).
“We want to do what we can to help public radio in a time of budget cuts,” Kearns said. “This is for the next generation of public radio fans, those that seek a rich and diverse experience in music.”
Proceeds also will go toward signal improvements and community outreach for KCSN.
Dave Holmes, manager of Coldplay, issued a statement from the band: “It is our pleasure to donate a signed guitar to KCSN/Los Angeles public radio for their support and dedication to artists. It is because of stations like KCSN that music will always come first.”
The radio station hosts a pledge drive twice a year. Listeners can join and donate year-round. The basic membership is $50 and nonmembers can sign-up at www.kcsn.org to become part of the KCSN community and receive email blasts and news about the station.
KCSN offers a 24-hour, commercial-free blend of rock, Alternative, soul, blues and Americana, including a wide range of artists such as Adele, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan and Bon Iver. The station’s alternative programming also is available on the station’s HD1 channel and online at KCSN.org. KCSN offers 24-hour classical programming on its HD2 channel and online at KCSNClassical.org.
—Carmen Ramos Chandler