Runaway Radio KLOL documentary 2024 release and screening
As announced exclusively in the Houston Chronicle, the long-awaited 101 KLOL Houston rock documentary, “Runaway Radio,” directed/produced by first-time filmmaker and Texas media blogger Mike McGuff, will be released this month with a special Houston screening in early March.
“‘Runaway Radio,’ a documentary celebrating the wild and woozy heyday of the pioneering local rock radio station KLOL-FM. On the air from 1970 to 2004, KLOL transformed over its life from shaggy, free-form anarchy to loudmouth, shock-jock insanity, all the while providing the guitar-heavy soundtrack for a couple of generations of head-banging Houstonians,” wrote Cary Darling, the Houston Chronicle arts and entertainment editor.
The documentary, distributed by Dark Star Pictures, covers the wild 34 years (1970 to 2004) of one of the country’s greatest Album Oriented Rock (AOR) stations.
The film will be available to rent or buy on all major video-on-demand (VOD) platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube, and cable/satellite, starting February 27th.
The Houston premiere starts Saturday, March 2, 2024, with 6pm, 6:30pm (SOLD OUT) and 9pm screenings followed by a Sunday, March 3rd, 1pm screening at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema LaCenterra in Katy. Special Q&A hosted by Craig Hlavaty on March 2nd.
The film world premiered in November 2023 at the music documentary festival Sound Unseen Minneapolis.
“When I started this documentary, we were in a recession, followed by a global pandemic when we finished it,” McGuff said. “Based on those who have seen the movie at film festivals, it will be worth the wait!”
“The KLOL documentary shows the rest of the world why this station is still talked about to this day,” said KLOL’s first program director Pat Fant who signed the station on in August 1970. “It will be the last word on a Houston media legend. We didn’t just play the music, we were a part of it. Our promotions became spectacles. Our on-air personalities were the host presenters of the non-stop performance that was KLOL.”
The film explores the many on-air personalities and behind-the-scenes players that made the station famous and the winner of the top rock station in America by Billboard Magazine. From the wild station promotions, the music, and the radio wars, the family-owned station faced against ABC Radio-owned 97 Rock KSRR.
KLOL had a legendary air staff of big Houston radio names. In this documentary, you’ll hear stories directly from Jim Pruett, Dayna Steele, Crash, Dennis “Crash” Collins, Outlaw Dave, Brian Shannon, Lanny Griffith, Colonel St. James, Keith Myles, David Sadof, Levi Booker, Jennifer Reyna and many more. AOR radio creator Lee Abrams even makes an appearance.
Legendary music artists such as Dusty Hill (ZZ Top), Lyle Lovett, Sammy Hagar (Solo, Van Halen, Montrose, The Circle), Melissa Etheridge (singer-songwriter), Doug Pinnick (King’s X, KXM) and Carmine Appice (Ozzy Osbourne, Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, King Kobra) also share stories on what the station meant to them.
“I left KLOL 28 years ago this month, and not a week has gone by in all that time when at least someone hasn’t asked me about the station or told me a story about tickets I gave them or a song I played or more,” former KLOL DJ, and current Houston Radio Platinum host, Dayna Steele said. “We were and still are a part of the listeners’ family.”
“As the creator of Outlaw Radio on KLOL, it was the launching pad of a rocket ride I can thankfully say is still going,” former KLOL DJ and current 95.7 The Spot all-day host GregO said. “KLOL fans will relive all the memories that made 101 great when the station ruled Houston. You will love this movie!”
“I’m so excited that the fans are going to finally be able to see all the hard work that went into chronically one of the greatest radio stations this country has ever known,” said former KLOL DJ, and current Houston Eagle night host, Outlaw Dave. “As a Houstonian growing up listening to the station and then for a brief time getting to be a part of it is one of the most special facets of my storied career. Hats off to all the people behind this project of immortalizing what we thought was an immortal station.”
“I’ll be forever grateful that KLOL gave me my first opportunity in media,” former KLOL on-air personality and current KHOU 11 morning traffic anchor Jennifer Reyna said. “Getting to work at my mother’s favorite radio station alongside the legendary Outlaw Dave and crew made it a fun part of Houston’s radio history. It is exciting to be a part of a station with so much legacy, and I’m glad it will be documented on film.”
Rock 101 KLOL is still very much alive in the hearts of Houston and beyond. Multiple fan-run online radio stations dedicated to the former Rock 101 are streaming with a Facebook group made up of thousands of members posting daily about the station and its music. In fact, companies across the US are selling shirts featuring the legendary KLOL logo, the Runaway Radio, to this very day.