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looking for les claypool

29 Jul 08 - 01:52 PM (#2400494)
Subject: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Bjorn Joffee

My name is Bjorn Joffee. I am making a documentary on an anti-war rally at the Century Plaza hotel on June 23,1967. Les Claypool did some incredible reporting from that event. I have interviewed nearly 100 people. I was a ten month old infant with my parents at the protest. A picture was published in the LA Free Press of my mother fending off police batons heading my way.
Barbara Dane and Phil Ochs performed. I have interviewed Barbara and have some great photos of Phil and Paul Krassner that Ron Cobb took. I have the blessings of Michael and Meegan Ochs. Inside the hotel Ed Ames,the Supremes, and the Freddy Martin Orchestra performed for LBJ. I have interviewed Ed Ames and Mary Wilson.
I did a radio documentary on KPFK (June 23, 2007) using much of Claypools' recordings...
Please, if anyone knows how to contact LES CLAYPOOL, I would be very appreciative!
Thank you to Mary Katherine...
Bjorn Joffee
www.23june1967.com    (link to e-mail not working on this site)

29 Jul 08 - 03:31 PM (#2400565)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: John on the Sunset Coast

Bjorn Joffee--

I remember that rally and listening to Claypool's radio coverage for KPFK (Pacifica Radio).

I am not 100% confident in writing this, but I believe Les Claypool, Jr. may not be alive...I was speaking to a (n older) performer at a folk festival, about 4-5 years ago, discussing Claypool and Skip Weschner. He said he was pretty sure that LC had passed away.

I checked laradio.com. The site says only that he is retired; they're pretty up-to-date.

Soooo? Good luck in getting proper information.

29 Jul 08 - 11:53 PM (#2400964)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Riggy

He lives in my town and I see him often.
Here's his website : http://www.lesclaypool.com/


30 Jul 08 - 12:36 AM (#2400969)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: John on the Sunset Coast

Guest,Riggy--same name, but not the Claypool Bjorn is seeking. The person he wants would probably be in his mid-late 70s, if still alive.

30 Jul 08 - 12:47 AM (#2400974)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: John on the Sunset Coast

** Hi-Fi’s Les Claypool
"You were inquiring the other day if any of your readers remembered Les Claypool. I listened to him regularly through the mid 1960s on KRHM. He had the best nightly folk music [primarily] show on L.A. radio. He featured new recordings, hi-fi stereo equipment reviews and commentary...especially towards the end of his tenure there. To classify him as a Progressive would, I believe, to minimize his politics. One night I missed his show; the next night he was gone. His replacement was Skip Weshner, who had a similar show. While I never got the real story as to why he left, I heard that he had made an extremely caustic commentary, including a slam at station management, and just walked off. Later he turned up at KPFK [I said he was a Progressive], where he recorded a demonstration in front of the Century Plaza Hotel. That is my last concrete memory of him. I, too would be interested in knowing about his whereabouts, as I really, politics aside, enjoyed his radio work. Incidentally, I have several records that he wrote the liner notes [remember those?] for." - John

The above was an email comment I sent to laradio.com nearly ten years ago in response to Don Barrett's query re: LC.

30 Jul 08 - 10:22 AM (#2401254)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: Mary Katherine

John, I wonder whether the musician that you spoke to had the two men confused; Skip Weschner is indeed dead (died in San Diego a few years ago), but as far as I know Les Claypool is still alive, though I don't know how to reach him. Google only bring up references to the younger Les Claypool who is a rock musician. Wonder whether the younger man is a grandson/namesake?

31 Jul 08 - 10:36 AM (#2402232)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: John on the Sunset Coast

Hi, Mary Katherine, I still miss you on the radio.

I think not[therefore I am not?]. I asked about both, and he confirmed that Weshner had died in San Diego--which I knew--and he thought that Claypool also had passed on. As I wrote above, Don Barrett just has him listed as retired. Les Crane, whom you may recall, died earlier this month, and that is noted at Barrett's, so laradio.com is pretty current. I even left a message at KPFK, but have not received a call back.

As to Claypool hits online, I found only one for our Les, and that was a blurb about the protest broadcast, and I went 20 Google pages deep. Les, the bassest was born in 1962, in North Carolina, I think. I read some about him to see if there might be a relationship; I'm thinking none.

Good to hear from you, John

20 Aug 08 - 05:40 PM (#2418962)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: Jayto

I am glad you all clarified this for me. I was born in the 70's and the only Les Claypool I know of is the bass player/singer for the band Primus. I was totally confused for a minute there.

23 Mar 09 - 03:03 AM (#2595089)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Tom A.

I knew Les from his beginnings in radio until the mid-sixties when I left the L.A. area. I sat in on many of his Saturday Night shows and even took over a few times when he had to make emergency trips to the washroom.

Les moved back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin some years ago and passed away there. His death went pretty much unnoticed, I suppose because it didn't happen where he was so well known.

23 Mar 09 - 11:16 AM (#2595342)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: John on the Sunset Coast

Thank you, GUEST,Tom A. Did he have a radio show in Milwaukee? Of the same sort as in L.A.?

20 Apr 10 - 11:58 AM (#2890666)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,spdfrk(Bart Osborne)

Les Claypool on KRHM was my lifeline to sanity while I was enduring the trials of Grad school at USC in the early 1960s. I'm sorry to hear that he died so unremarked.
Bart Osborne

20 Apr 10 - 02:00 PM (#2890732)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: Mary Katherine

Sorry to hear it too. My current Saturday morning folk show on KPFK owes a great deal to his and Skip's influence. When I moved to L.A. from New York in 1962, the radio voices that I remember were Skip Weschner (who was then married to Lynne Taylor of the Rooftop Singers), Les Claypool, and John Davis (first on KRHM and then on KPFK). I still have John sit in and guest-host my show with me every couple of months.

23 Jul 10 - 08:52 PM (#2951080)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Jonathan King

I probably shouldn't mention this without being prepared to provide aural evidence, but I have a couple of ancient reel-to-reel tapes in my possession -- taped off the radio by my own self when young -- of Les Claypool on KRHM, at two key moments: One, when he was debuting Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde," and becoming increasingly disgusted with it and Dylan until he finally quit halfway through and segued to Pete Seeger; and second, the night he quit on the air.

Someday I'll track down the precise tapes and figure out a way to dub them ...

23 Jul 10 - 11:38 PM (#2951139)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: Mary Katherine

Wow, I would love to hear those! He was quite a character.

03 Sep 10 - 10:10 PM (#2979652)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Dalepowell48

I was also a fan of Claypool's shows and have some reel to reel clips. I first heard Blind Willy McTell on his show: Electrifying !!!    Mary, I remember you from your Ashgrove days , and always enjoyed your radio shows........I'll check back from time to time

03 Dec 10 - 01:30 AM (#3045387)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,corey fischer

Amazing. I was just writing something for my blog about hearing Dylan for the very first time in 1962 when I was 17 on Les's show on KRHM. I googled him just out of curiosity and this was the only page (didn't go terribly deep) I found. Until I added the "jr." all hits were about the bass player! Anyway, it's good to see that some folks out there remember Les and those days. My blog post will be up in a moment. It also mentions the Ash Grove. BTW, does anyone know what's up with the film that was being made about the history of the A.G.? Now's the time for that story to be told! The trailers I saw on the film's site (posted in 2008) brought tears to my eyes.

My blog's at

My best to all

02 Mar 12 - 08:53 AM (#3316071)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Steve Faber

Jonathan King:

I have been looking for audio of Claypool's resignation broadcast for years! I was a regular listener to Les's show and often taped it reel-to-reel. That night, at the beginning of his eloquent tirade, I jumped in my car and sped to the station, watching the end of the monologue through the booth's glass, and thinking, why the hell didn't I put my Teac recorder in record before leaving the house. I have been looking for that audio ever since.

If you want to have your reel-to-reel tape of that event converted to digital audio I'll pick up the tab and get the tape and audio file back to you.

Please email me at SeaTravel@aol.com and we'll make arrangements.

Steve Faber

19 Mar 12 - 12:17 AM (#3324927)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Greg Alexander

I spent many a time with Les Claypool and his second wife Anne in the late 60's and early 70's. I have a great old photo of Les and Annie, sort of an "American Hippie Gothic". It is from a 1971 Christmas party invitation to their home in Highland Park after they had to leave their redwood bungalo in the wild hills of Echo Park.

(I tried to paste the photo, but so far, no luck)

I had one of their Christmas cards with Les cradling his rifle, sitting next to Annie. Les would have a few shots of whiskey and then take out that rifle at a party.   He would swing it around and yell at anyone who objected saying something like. "What's wrong with you....The clip is out!!!!

Annie was the Librarian at my High School in 1970. I met Les at the many parties they had at their house in the hills in Echo Park, and later in the hills of Highland Park.    I always listened to his show on KPFK, including his bitter sweet last show. He did the set up as..."What would I play if this were my last show?"   As the show went on, I kind of had the feeling it might be, but really didn't know until the very end.    Les was a prolific photographer, so it is a shame that I couldn't find any pictures of him online.
At a party one night, a friend of Les and Annie's showed us all a 16mm movie that he made of some pretty cool images that he had created with a laser.   I remember thinking "this is unbelievably cool, but how will they make any money with it?"    Well Ivan went on to create the Laserium show that ran over 25 years at the Griffith Park Observatory.

Les was larger than life and an an incredible experience.   That was an incredible time!   I lost touch with Les and Anne in the late 70's.


19 Mar 12 - 01:28 AM (#3324936)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Greg Alexander

I can't upload to this site, so here is a link to the photo:

Les Claypool, Jr. and his wife, Anne circa 1971, Los Angeles.


27 Jun 12 - 03:43 PM (#3368793)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Jim Armstrong

It was nice to find this thread.
While in college in the early 60's, a friend and I would go to visit with Les in the studio while he was on the air.
I think we began listening to him in around 1959. When he started playing Bob Dylan, I thought Dylan must have been a 70 year old discovery instead of two months older than I.
Good memories.
This article fits here:

and includes Greg's photo.

27 Jun 12 - 11:22 PM (#3368934)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: John on the Sunset Coast

Jim Armstrong, thanks for posting the link to that reminiscence by Lionel Rolfe. And thanks, too, to Greg Alexander. It provides a lot of information about Claypool; it seems as if he were an angry young(?) man off-air as well as on.

28 Nov 12 - 01:57 AM (#3443472)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool

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14 Feb 18 - 02:40 AM (#3905577)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,GUEST Jeff Bloomfield

Gad. This is 4 years after last post.

It was a few years before I graduated high school and Les Claypool was solace and sanity for this then lonely teenager (Sat. night on KRHM). Does anyone remember Jim & Jean's rendition of Phil Ochs' "Crucifixion" on the Claypool show.

When I left for college at the University of Oregon, I took stacks of real-to-real tapes I made of his Saturday night shows. Sadly, I have no idea where these tapes went.

What brought me here, now? A soprano performing Villa-Lobos' next weekend in Berkeley.
Just heard Bachianas Brasileiras No.5 on youtube and suddenly remembered the night Les had played the Baez version and basically said, "Good try, Joan" and then proceeded to play what he called "the definitive"version," the 1945 recording with Brazilian soprano Bidu Sayao, conducted by Villa-Lobos himself. Just listened to that recording on youtube. Still sends shivers down my spine. Thank you Les (wherever you are) for broadening my horizons.

20 Jun 18 - 11:54 PM (#3932286)
Subject: RE: looking for les claypool
From: GUEST,Kathy Claypool Solis

Les Claypool Jr was born 8/31/1930, was a disc jockey in the 50s on KRHM in LA, and died perhaps 15 years ago from liver failure--very fitting. He died alone in a shitty, dank convalescent hospital somewhere in Wisconsin. He was my father. He abandoned my Mom, Arlene Katherine Kelley (Claypool) and his 3 children Les Claypool III (NOT the bass player from Primus..although he was such a philandering scumbag, it wouldn't shock me if he was his father as well), John Claypool, and me, Katherine Claypool. He obviously put on a different face for the outside world since all of the info I can dig up on him seems to revere him as some noble king. As I said, he abandoned his wife ARLENE (not Annie--she was screwing him while he and my Mom were still married)and left her and us three kids to rot in the ghetto of Pacoima CA. My Mom amazingly raised us three kids without any help from Les and we have all gone on to be good, educated, productive adults. Any memory you may have of him is completely inaccurate. He beat my Mom and my brothers. He was psychotic, angry, and a total asshole. I was 6 months old when he left my Mom, so thankfully I didn't have to suffer his abusive wrath--he never once called, sent a birthday card, wrote a letter, sent money, or called any of us three kids--even though he and his conquest, Annie, lived 20 minutes away in Highland Park and then Echo Park. What a great man he was! Ha!!! It was only recently that I started to look for info about him online--my Mom, Arlene, passed away almost two years ago, and I didn't want to concern myself with Les' bs of a life until she was gone. I miss her dearly! I know this original post is old but if any of you folks who posted here are still amongst the living, thought you'd appreciate knowing exactly who LES CLAYPOOL JR really was!