Hell’s Kitchen Radio #297: Steal This Show

March 31, 6pm

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I purchased my first bootleg, via cassette from a street vender on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, way back in 1983. It was a Grateful Dead show (obviously) from their 1981 European tour. Specifically, it was the Copenhagen, Denmark show from October 8, 1981. It was the second set only, and an audience recording. I didn’t care. I was so excited. I was just shy of 13 years old, and I knew that I was in possession of some serious contraband. It thrilled me. My heart was racing. I had to hide it away. I didn’t want to get busted holding something that I knew I wasn’t supposed to have.

Looking back on that, it’s so sweet I thought that way.

Shortly after that I began to hear tales of a store near my San Mateo home, in Burlingame, “The Record Man”, who had a three ring binder full of shows, called “the bible”, that he would pull out to show you if you asked nicely. I can picture him to this very day. I bought the brilliant June 18, 1975 Pink Floyd show from Boston Garden. This is an audience copy as well, but the quality far surpassed the 81 Dead show I had. This Floyd show had early versions of Sheep and Dogs, with their original titles “You’ve Got to be Crazy”, and “Raving and Drooling”, respectively. I was floored. By now I was totally and completely obsessed. I knew that I couldn’t keep spending money on boots, since I didn’t have a lot to begin with, having no job at 14. I had to think of other ways to find this golden booty.

I go into much better detail about my obvious addiction in a previous post, which you can find here.

I download an average of 12 shows a week these days. This year I’ve taken to featuring many of these shows during my second hour, but tonight I thought I’d take both hours to share what I’ve found recently. Sometimes two hours just is not enough! It’s a mix from rock and blues, to jazz and reggae. There’s some Americana and psych thrown in for good measure. As always I put the date and location for your edification.

In a few months I’m hoping to host another Rock Fight, where I go up against another bootleg collector and beat them to a pulp (aurally speaking that is) for about four hours. This time around, sound engineer John Karr will be joining me. Look towards the month of June for this show. I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, sit back, put on the headphones, close your eyes, and let me take you to many venues and many nights of live musical magic.




Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF
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Rastaman Chant: Bob Marley and the Wailers (The Paris Theatre, London, May 24, 1973)
When the Music’s Over: The Doors (09-18-68 Television-Byen, Gladsaxe, Copenhagen, Denmark)

No Speak, No Slave: The Black Crowes (06-11-92 Tokyo, Japan, Nakano Sun Plaza)
Incident and Neshabur: Santana (09-23-74 University Arena, Albuquerque NM)

Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk: Charles Mingus Sextet (64-04-14 Store Sal, Odd Fellow Palet, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Judy is a Punk: The Ramones (02-11-80 Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
I Know You Rider: Janis Joplin (07-28-66 California Hall, San Francisco, CA)

Hunt For Grandpa: Goober and the Peas
No Expectations: The Rolling Stones (alternate take)
Round and Round: OP8

Gloria: Patti Smith (06-25-2005 Royal Festival Hall, London, England)
Graveyard Shift: Uncle Tupelo (08-15-90 Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO)
I’m Losing You: The Faces (05-13-71 John Peel Sunday Concert, Paris Cinema, London, England)

Careful With That Axe, Eugene: Pink Floyd (05-09-77 Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA)
Salty Dog: Procol Harum (05-05-77 Hofstra University Playhouse, Hempstead, New York)

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: Neil Young and Crazy Horse: (02-25-70, Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio)
Black Diamond: Kiss (09-05-77 Tarrant County Convention Center, Ft. Worth, TX)

Johnny B. Goode: Chuck Berry (09-1967 Fillmore Auditorium, SF, CA)

December 22, 1pm

Screen shot 2014-12-19 at 11.11.45 PMJohn Hell of Hell’s Kitchen Radio and Ron Donovan invite you to tune in Monday night, December 22, from 6-midnight to a rock ’em, sock ’em bootleg battle to end all bootleg battles.

Tune into Radio Valencia ( where you can not only listen to the action, LIVE as it’s taking place, but you can also help determine the winner.

John Hell and Ron Donovan have the largest combined live bootleg collection in the history of mankind. So it’s no surprise that they battle it out every six months to decide who the ultimate bootleg champion is. Got a favorite rock band? Chances are John and Ron have their BEST live concerts

Tonight’s guests include author Linda Kelly; sound engineer, John Carr; Metallica official fanzine editor Steffan Chirazi; bassist and vox for Limbomaniacs, Butthouse; guitar maestro Eric McFadden, and who knows who else?

ROCK FIGHT 11 – MONDAY 6-midnight!!!

December 15, 4pm

Rock Fight 11
Monday, December 16, 2013
Radio Valencia

John Hell vs. Ron Donovan

Mr.’s Hell and Donovan have the largest collection of live “underground” music west of East Rutherford, New Jersey. Every June and December they go mano-a-mano in a heated throw down of EPIC proportions!

Next Monday, December 16, 2013, from 6-12AM (PST), John and Ron host Rock Fight 11!

This time around our hosts will feature one artist each for 30 minutes. Kiss, Nugent, ZZ Top, The Who, Hendrix, and more. Also, live in-studio guests including Steffan Chirazi (editor of “So What”, the official Metallica fanzine), and KISSER, the all-female Kiss cover band!!! And too many more to list here!

You do not want to miss this show!

Playlist for ROCK FIGHT 10!!!

July 9, 3pm

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 5.54.13 PMIt only happen once every six months. And when it does, babies hide their children, drunks hide there malt liquor, men cry into their beer. I can only be talking about one thing: ROCK FIGHT!

It’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen, when rock poster artist Rotten Ron Donovan and Radio DJ Stalwart, John Hell get together and lay down the massive pipe that is ROCK FIGHT!!!

Ron and I have what amounts to be the largest combined collection of live bootlegs anywhere this side of analog hill (unseen on Google Maps). Every six months in December and June we get together to see who’s is bigger and badder.

Every track below is followed by the date/location and who chose the track; JH for me, and RD for Ron. As you’ll see, I’ve clearly got him beat, 2-1. He was also more than an hour late, which is why the first chunk of music is from me.

Not only is the music full of top notch performances and excellent recording quality, but the smack talk between music blocks sets a new standard (high or low, you decide).

There’s an interview with Limbomaniac’s frontman/bassist, Butthouse in the fifth hour, too.

Get ready for some prime time, low down, face-to-face, bootleg MAYHEM!!!




If you would like to stream this testament to ROCK, go here.
If you would like to harness the power to rock on the go, download here.
If you care to listen to all of my pounding performances, go here, or scroll down.

A Season in Hell with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia, 87.9FM in SF

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Rock Fight: Cheech and Chong

Here I Am: Al Green (10-04-74 Midnight Special, Hollywood, CA)-JH
Natbush City Limits: Ike and Tina Turner (01-19-75 Soul Train)-JH

Stone Junkie: Curtis Mayfield (06-06-72 Radio City Music Hall, NYC, NY)-JH
Stevie Wonder: You Are The Sunshine Of My Life->Big Brother->Blowing In The Wind
(03-04-73 Berkeley Community Theater, Berkelely, CA)-JH
Thank You: Sly and the Family Stone (10-09-70 Piknik Kasteel Groenveld Baarn, Netherlands)-JH

One Nation Under a Groove: P Funk (11-01-78 Howard Theater, Washington DC-JH

Country Road: Toots and the Maytals (04-22-1978 The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, Ontario)-JH
Midnight Ravers: Bob Marley (06-10-75 Quiet NIght Club, Chicago, IL)-JH
Let’s Work: Prince (04-24-13 Late Show, DNA Lounge, SF, CA)-RD
You Got the Look: Prince (04-24-13 Late Show, DNA Lounge, SF, CA)-RD
Endorphin Machine: Prince (04-24-13 Late Show, DNA Lounge, SF, CA)-RD
She’s Always in my Hair: Prince (04-24-13 Late Show, DNA Lounge, SF, CA)-RD

Cold Sweat: James Brown (08-26-68 Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX)-JH
Sex Machine: James Brown (03-18-71 Olympia Theater, Paris, France)-JH

Barracuda: Heart (06-17-13 West Palm Beach, FL)-RD
Bad Reputation: Joan Jett (08-08-81 Fireman’s Memorial Park, Hempstead, NJ)-JH
Back in Black: AC/DC (02-27-81 Melbourne, AU)-RD

Waiting for the Bus/ Jesus Just Left Chicago: ZZ Top (04-19-80 Rockpalast, Grugenhalle Essen, Germany)-JH
Hot Line: Black Sabbath (1983???)-RD
Cherry Bomb: The Runaways (07-19-76 The Agora, Cleveland, OH)-JH
Monkey on my Back: Aerosmith (06-04-94 Donnington, England)-RD

Motor City Madhouse: Ted Nugent (05-23-81 Cobo Hall, Detroit, MI)-JH
On Top of the World: Cheap Trick (12-31-79 Fabulous Forum, Inglewood, CA-)JH

Boys are Back in Town: Thin Lizzy (05-14-76 Detroit, MI)-JH

The Phoenix: The Cult (03-16-12 Waterloo Records – SXSW, Austin, TX)-RD

The Rover / Sick Again: Led Zeppelin (05-30-77 Capitol Centre Landover, Maryland)-JH
In My Time of Dying: Led Zeppelin (03-19-75 Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, BC, Canada)-RD
Misty Mountain Hop: Led Zeppelin 08-11-79 Knebworth Festival Stevenage, UK-JH
Heartbreaker: Led Zeppelin: (12-06-96 Chatenay-Malabry, France-JH)

Hour Four:
Gimme Shelter: Rolling Stones (LA 1975)-RD
I’m Losing You: The Faces (04-05-73 Sundown Theater, London England)-JH

Shake!: The Time (02-03-91, Japan)-RD

My Adidas: Run DMC (1985 The Apollo Theater, NYC, NY)-JH
Time to get Ill: Beastie Boys (07-05-98 Werchter, Belgium)-JH
Rock Your Socks Off: Tenacious D (09-28-01 Higher Ground, Winooski, VT)-JH

Interview with Butthouse of Limbomaniacs

Porno: Limbomaniacs (09-01-90 I-Beam, SF, CA)-JH
Seven Nation Army: White Stripes (06-13-07 Maida Vale Studios, London, England)-JH

Hour six
Learn to Fly: Foo Fighters (2012 Buenos Aires)-RD
Hard to Handle: Black Crowes (10-19-99 Greek Theater, Los Angeles, CA)-JH

X-Offender: Blondie (09-21-77 Old Wardorf  San Francisco, CA)-RD
Jocko Homo: Devo (08-03-77 Mabuhay Gardens (The “Fab Mab”), San Francisco, C)-JH
Rock and Roll: Supersuckers (???? Ron has no clue when/where this show is from)

400 Bucks: Reverend Horton Heat (06-09-06 Wakarusa Music Festival, Lawrence, KS)-JH
Blitzkrieg Bop: The Ramones (05-21-76 The Club, Cambridge, MA)-JH
Join Together/Goin’ Mobile: fIREHOSE (08-25-89 The Music Machine, Santa Monica, CA)-JH

School’s Out: Alice Cooper (Bonnaroo, TN 06-09-12)-RD

Nothing to Lose:  Kiss (09-03-76 Richfield Stadium, Richfield, OH)-JH
Take a Letter Maria: Pleasure Barons (03-93 Vancouver, BC)-JH

Rock Fight 10 on Monday, July 1st, 6-Midnight!!!

June 26, 11am

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 5.54.13 PMROCK FIGHT 10



6PM-Midnight (PDST)



John Hell and Ron Donovan meet mano-a-mano in a toe-to-toe rematch that promises to outdo their previous nine meetings, COMBINED!


John and Ron are obsessive live bootleg collectors, and twice a year they meet in the Radio Valencia studios to prove who has the greatest ROCK BOOTLEG COLLECTION OF THEM ALL!!!


Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 6.53.43 PM

John Hell is the devilish minister of the airwaves, pumping out 25 years of aural brilliance as the master of every genre, but specializing in all things ROCK!

Screen shot 2013-06-20 at 7.35.51 PM

Ron Donovan is silk-screen rock poster printer SUPREME! If you love rock (and we know that you do) then Ron screened a poster for your favorite band some time in the past 25 years.


Rock blocks, one-offs, special guests, TICKET GIVEAWAYS, and more, more, MORE!!!


Tune in live, 6PM-MIDNIGHT (PDST), Monday, July 1st on Radio Valencia, 87.9FM in SF, or around the globe.


Don’t be late to the party. Rock Fight 10 only happens ONCE! Say you were there and MEAN IT!

We’ll be live tweeting (because that’s what you expect us to do!) as well as posting embarrassing pictures throughout the night.

To see the setlists of previous Rock Fights, as well as listen to the archived shows, go here. Search June and December of each year for previous Rock Fights.

Follow John Hell on twitter: @johnhell

Follow Ron Donovan on twitter: @rondonart

Rock Fight 9 is TONIGHT!

December 17, 11am



It’s been six long months, and you’ve been oh so patient, but the wait is over!
6-10PM (PST) John Hell and Ron Donovan will engage in the bootleg battle to end all bootleg battles!

As many of you already know, John and Ron have been collecting bootlegs (live recordings of your favorite bands) for nearly two decades. We have vinyl, cassette, CD and digital (no MP3s – lossless only!) shows of THOUSANDS  of bands from all over the world.

Every six months John and Ron get together to once and for all prove who has the best selection (we all know it’s John ).

We have special guests in the studio, including Bay Area band
Illogical Resources Dept.
More guests are expected, including a

We need judges too. You can go to the homepage here, and use our fabulous “CHATTERBOX” to let us know what you think of the show, as well as vote for the winner. We’ll have many sets that you can vote on.

Post pics of where you’re listening to us!

Listen in on the pop-up player.

Check out our iPhone App, or listen to us on the TuneIn App.

Let the battle begin!

John Hell
(winner of Rock Fights 1-8 and oh yes, you can bet your bottom dollar,
Rock Fight 9!)

Follow me on Twitter: @johnhell
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Follow Radio Valencia on Twitter: @radiovalenciasf
Follow RV on FB, here.


June 18, 3pm

6-10PM (PDST)
87.9FM in SF

For over four years John Hell and Rotten Ronnie Donovan of Firehouse Kustom Posters have gone mano-a-mano in a brutal bootleg battle royal.

John and Ron are huge live bootleg collectors, and twice a year they pit their collections against one another to find out who has the superior sonic sorcery of sound. You be the judge.

Tonight’s show will feature:
*One-on-one battles
*Rock Blocks
*Local Hero Tributes
*Ronnie Montrose Tribute
*Summer Theme Rock
*Premier of an AWESOME, never before heard Led Zeppelin show from 1975!!!
*Special Guests at 7 and 9
*Silkscreen poster prizes
*….and MORE…much MUCH MORE

How do we do it? Volume, volume, TURN UP THE VOLUME!

Tune in tonight, 6-10PM (PDST) to what promises to be a battle to end all ROCK FIGHT battles (until the Rock Fight 9 in December).


John Hell
Twitter: @johnhell

A Season in Hell Monday 8-10PM, James Brown and Europe 72, Pt 4.

April 30, 5pm

What a great night for radio!!! 8-10PM (PDST) tonight, I’ll be featuring some of the finest James Brown in celebration of his upcoming birthday, in the first hour. In hour numero dos, it’s week for of eight (read: 4/8) of my tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s 1972 European tour which culminated in a  fine triple-LP set, “Europe 72”. I have all of the shows and I thought “Hey, let’s make this happen”. Therefore the second hour tonight and the following four Monday nights is all live Dead from the Europe 72 tour.

Also, this Thursday, May 3rd, from 6-10pm I’ll be co-hosting the annual 24 hour “Doin’ it to Death” James Brown birthday special on KFJC, 89.7FM in the Bay Area,

A Season in Hell Monday 8-10PM Europe 72, Take 2

April 16, 6pm

Tonight on A Season in Hell with John Hell, I bring you week 2 of 8 of my celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s amazing 1972 European tour. Last week I played a stellar Dark Star from 04/08/72. Tonight I’ve got some brilliance from 04/14 and 04/16/72. I’m not going to give it away, but Pigpen is on FIRE!!! All of this in the 9pm hour.

In the 8pm hour it’s all new music. So many great releases in the past few weeks, it’s hard to choose what to share.

Tune in 8-10pm (PDST) every Monday to A Season in Hell with John Hell.

Monday Night on A Season in Hell 8-10PM

April 8, 10pm

Forty years ago this week the Grateful Dead embarked upon a great tour of Europe. So great that they redefined themselves during it. The band was a mere eight years old, but they were playing like they had surpassed the cosmos in musical interactivity.

This month and next on A Season in Hell with John Hell, I’ll be playing some of my favorite tunes from this tour. That’s eight weeks of some supreme jams mixed in with some of the finest new music happening right now.