40 Watts from Nowhere by Sue Carpenter
A Journey into Pirate Radio

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When law office receptionist Sue Carpenter first asked how she might start her own radio station, everyone laughed. Getting on the air (legitimately) in San Francisco was a multimillion-dollar ambition. But in 1995, with the help of a few subversive techies and pirate-radio gurus, Sue built her first transmitter in her hilltop San Francisco apartment and launched KPBJ, enlisting friends as DJs. A few months later, Sue landed a magazine job in Los Angeles, took her transmitter with her, and established KBLT.

From these humble beginnings KBLT emerged as one of L.A.'s best-loved radio stations, staffed with more than a hundred DJs and supported by major music labels eager to reach a different kind of audience. The station expanded its playlist from indie rock to an eclectic mix of jazz, hip-hop, electronica, and countless other styles. In the three and a half years before the FCC finally caught up with Sue, KBLT went from interviewing unknowns to hosting live performances by the Red Hot Chili Peppers -- without ever leaving Sue's apartment.

40 Watts from Nowhere is Sue's frank and hilarious account of her bizarre double life during the height of California's pirate-radio boom: journalist by day, counterculture icon by night. It's an amazing true story, one that will instantly appeal to music fans -- and free spirits -- everywhere.


About Sue Carpenter

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Sue Carpenter is currently a feature writer for the "Los Angeles Times" and a senior contributor to "Jane" magazine. Her writing has also appeared in such publications as "George, Marie Claire, " and "Cosmopolitan." She lives in Los Angeles.
Published February 3, 2004 by Scribner. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A journalist looks back on her adventures in the outlaw world of low-power radio during the ’90s.

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Publishers Weekly

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Carpenter has penned an endearing if flawed memoir about running a pirate radio station out of her Los Angeles apartment for three years and meeting all sorts of oddballs, rock stars and wanna-bes while staying one step ahead (well, most of the time) of the FCC.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Now a Los Angeles Times feature writer, Carpenter was living in San Francisco: a secretary by day, motorcycle-riding slacker by night, when her disgust with the radio industry drove her to take matters into her own hands - - or more aptly, into her walk-in bedroom closet.

Feb 29 2004 | Read Full Review of 40 Watts from Nowhere: A Jour...

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