I was totally stoked to find these KLOS stickers inside a book I bought from a garage sale in the mid ’90s. They totally brought back golden memories of my childhood in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when KLOS 95.5 FM was one of the definitive stations of Los Angeles (alongside KMET 94.7 and the Mighty 690). One couldn’t drive around Los Angeles back then without seeing these adorning car bumpers and rear windows.
One could order stickers directly from the station by writing to them with a SASE. I remember sitting down and writing on notebook paper, “Dear KLOS: Please send me 3 large “TOO HIP” stickers and 6 small ones, and also 3 large “KLOS 95.5″ stickers and 6 small ones…” Within a day I’d receive a pack of shiny stickers which I would plaster on my Trapper Keeper, bedroom door, etc. I tripped out that their PO Box was “95.5!”
The best thing about finding these stickers are the band ones. Pat Benatar, Foreigner and Missing Persons are also early ’80s rock icons, and one could not get these from the station, but rather, you could only buy them at the concerts. So if someone had these, that meant they either saw the band live, or were lucky enough to know somebody who hooked them up with the stickers (killer!).
Update March 21, 2012: Thanks to Facebook I’ve found someone who has a killer collection of KLOS stickers that he totally went to town with on his locker door! Dood. When I was a kid I saw maybe 1–3 of them stuck on a door. Look how many he has, and they’re all band ones! Muchos thanks to Mr. James Walker, a primo certified Westside L.A. Kid of the ’70s, who commented, “I had more than these. A bunch were cut up and arranged on my skateboards. The one previous to this skate was plastered.”
Look at that skate. He’s got every single piece of ’80s gear on it, from grab rails to coping to the lapper, that plastic thing bolted onto the rear truck to protect it from rail slides, curbs and ramp coping. Not only that, but notice that the wheels are coned (especially the rear ones), so you know ol’ Mr. Walker’s been doing some gnarly slides—’80s style! Both the skate and locker door are super, super iconic of ’80s L.A. youth culture. Awesome. Now let’s get a pic of that skate with the KLOS stickers on it!
These days, some people tend to mistake the TOO HIP stickers as representing KMET 94.7, KLOS’ rival rock station in the early ’80s. KMET actually had equally definitive stickers of their own, and fans of the station back then would display them intentionally upside-down on their rear bumpers (reflecting the same marketing ploy of KMET’s billboards).
KMET had their own concert sticker packs such as the Van Halen one below, which I found on the net. “Whoo-Ya” was a popular slogan for the station, but bumper sticker-wise it was nowhere near as prevalent as the upside-down KMET 94.7 one.