Friday, June 1, 2012

Hard Times are Coming to Your Town: KDAY, Run-DMC and the Day of Peace in Los Angeles

Run-DMC didn't get a chance to perform at their Long Beach show with the Beastie Boys on the Raising Hell tour in 1986. Fights between rival gang members broke out into a full fledged riot before they hit the stage. Police took half an hour to respond, by which time one audience member had been killed and scores wounded. 

Following these events, Ed Kirby, the station manager for the pioneering radio station KDAY, and the members of Run-DMC came up with the idea for a day of peace, hosted by the radio station. On October 9, gangs were urged to lay aside their rivalries for the day. A symposium was held on KDAY with the members of Run-DMC to address gang and drug problems. 

The sheer volume of call-ins, estimated at 15,000 in the publication, overran the local switchboard. No serious violence was reported on the date. About two weeks later, the Bloods and the Crips signed a peace treaty.

The document is partially reproduced in this booklet, which appears to have been produced to commemorate the event and to advertise the radio station's programs and place within the local Hip Hip community. The event was held as model for other cities in their attempts to curb gang and drug violence, which perhaps explains how this copy ended up more than 2000 miles away in the wilds of Detroit, where I found it beneath a huge pile of yearbooks.

[KDAY]. KDAY: A Day of Peace. [Los Angeles]: KDAY, [1986]. 4to. Offset printed on rectos only; perfect bound in blind-stamped wraps. Wraps rather stained; lower right hand tip bumped, with resulting crease throughout; about very good. A tattered copy, but scarce and important. OCLC locates no holdings. SOLD. Inquire

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