The Center for Louisiana Studies publishes the newest title in its lineup: UL alumnus' Dave Pierce's Riding on the Ether Express, about his experiences in theatre with the Pasadena Playhouse, and in radio as Rock 'n' Roll shifted to FM broadcasting. Pierce worked for what was the #1 FM station in the Los Angeles market, along with celebrites such as Dr. Demento, Harry Shearer, & Charles Laquidara.

The Center for Louisiana Studies is UL's press, with over 100 scholarly and general interests books currently available, and another 100 previously-published titles. (Article, current titles.) Riding on the Ether Express is currently available only at

Riding on the Ether Express is author Dave Pierce’s fascinating first-hand account of a Louisiana boy’s wild journey through 1960s Los Angeles, including stops at the acclaimed Pasadena Playhouse and the legendary radio station KPPC-FM.

In addition to initiating the Freeform Underground Radio format, between 1967 and 1971 KPPC was also the launching ground for such notable radio personalities as Charles Laquidara, Jeff Gonzer, Steve Segal, the legendary Dr. Demento, not to mention “The Credibility Gap” comic troupe which included future Hollywood stars David L. Lander, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer.

Dave Pierce was a disc jockey, and later music director at KPPC from 1964 to 1971. More than simply the story of a radio station, Riding the Ether Express is testimony to the reciprocal relationship that once existed between radio (via the disc jockey) and American social change; it is also a captivating look inside of American family life during the 1960s, as Pierce and his wife raised two kids in theaters and radio stations during this turbulent decade.

Dave Pierce was born and raised on the bayous of south Louisiana in the 1940s and 50s. A student/actor/athlete, Pierce graduated from high school at the top of his class and was an All-State running back. At 17, while attending the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Pierce got his first on-air radio job.

After moving to Los Angeles when he was 19, Pierce attended the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse on an acting scholarship. Pierce held several disc jockey jobs in Southern California throughout the 1960s at FM radio stations, at that time a stepchild to high powered AM Rockers. Then in early 1967 the counter cultural revolution put FM in the forefront, and Pierce, along with his wife and kids, was at the center of the experimental Free Form Underground Radio format.

Pierce’s station, KPPC-FM, which broadcast from the basement of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church, was one of the first West Coast FM radio stations to play rock-n-roll music, and eventually became the number one FM rock station in the Los Angeles market. Pierce returned to Louisiana with his family in 1971, subsequently launching a very successful career in television advertising, and also founding a regionally acclaimed theatrical production company.

Closing in on fifty years as a broadcaster, Pierce is now building television station affiliates in central and south Louisiana for the new CW network. He continues to write, act, and direct. Riding on the Ether Express is Dave Pierce’s first book.

Praise for Riding on the Ether Express:

"If you grew up with rock music on FM Radio, you gotta have this book. Dave Pierce was part of how that all got started. . . Dave lived the Sixties, and remembers it spectacularly well. Come ride the Ether Express!"
  •Dr. Demento, FM Radio Legend

"KPPC was the radio station that we all dreamed about, and Dave Pierce acutely and affectionately remembers the slivers of time when the dream sorta came true. A must reading for Clear Channel execs."
•Harry Shearer, Actor, Writer

"Intimate, engaging, and revealing. . . . Pierce provides an inclusive and nostalgic chronicle of what underground radio represented and signified to its extraordinary practitioners and to its many loyal and devoted fans."
• Dr. Michael C. Keith, author of Sounds of Change: A History of FM Broadcasting in America and Voices in the Purple Haze: Underground Radio and the Sixties

"Invaluable contribution to the culture of Southern California and the history of FM radio."
Irwin Zucker, writer of 60s classic “Wipeout”

"The intersection of the late '60s and early 1970s collides with the explosive underground music played by DJs who were somewhat off center."
Don Barrett, author of Los Angeles Radio People

"Light up the joints and put the gloves on! . . . Must say, we put up a good fight - nearly changed the world, did change it, actually."
Charles Laquidara of “The Big Mattress Show"

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