WASHINGTON — Most music fans who have lived anywhere near the nation’s capital for the past 40 years have spent some time listening to Cerphe.
The longtime radio broadcaster, who got his start in the early 1970s at the iconic WHFS, has talked on air and backstage with some of the most influential musicians of our time.
In his new book, “Cerphe’s Up: A Musical Life with Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, CSNY, and Many More,” co-authored by Stephen Moore, Donald “Cerphe” Colwell tells some of the stories he’s gathered, in his years at stations including WAVA, DC101, WJFK, and Classic Rock 94.7.
Cerphe now hosts a daily online show, at musicplanetradio.com, unencumbered by the limitations of commercial radio.
In September 1985, Cerphe testified on Capitol Hill, with Frank Zappa, Dee Snider and John Denver, opposing a rating system for music suggested by the Parents Music Resource Center.
In a WTOP exclusive, Cerphe shares audio recollections of seven brushes with music and entertainment greats.
Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler acknowledged some of the temptations of rock stardom.
1. Talking (cold) turkey with one of music's great frontmen
Stevie Nicks has been Cerphe’s guest often, through the years.
2. The local road sign that inspired a rock classic
Not all of Cerphe’s memorable moments happened on the air, or on stage.
3. Fistfights, partial nudity at Cellar Door
Stars, including Kris Kristofferson, sometimes let their guard down around Cerphe.
4. Confidant to the stars
In June 1973, after the release of his first album, Bruce Springsteen played an acoustic set in the WHFS studio.
5. Up close with Bruce and the E Street Band
In 1985, Cerphe testified against record labeling on Capitol Hill, with Frank Zappa, Dee Snider, and John Denver.
6. Sometimes you have to bend your own rules
Cerphe’s wife, Susan, had a literal run-in with Pete Townshend.
7. The kids are (lucky to be) alright
Follow @WTOP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
© 2016 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.