Molly Katelbach.

Molly Katelbach—that’s Molly the K, to Radio Free Joshua Tree listeners—presents a lot of unique music on her show, ranging from oldies to stoner rock. Hear more at Molly was kind enough to recently answer The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones at the Starwood Club in 1977. It was a birthday present from my big sister to me and my little sister. Peter Tork joined them onstage. Michael Nesmith could not be reached for comment. Micky performing “Stepping Stone” was the first time I saw a guy dress in drag live. Those fellas sure knew how to put on a show! I was too shy to take advantage of the opportunity to meet the guys backstage, but I’ve had the privilege since then of meeting them all. I’m not ashamed to say I love The Monkees!

What was the first album you owned?

I had two older sisters. Technically, they owned the albums; we all got to listen to them, of course. Lucky for me, my sisters had good taste. As far as I recall, the first album I bought for myself was The Rutles back in 1978.

What bands are you listening to right now?

As someone who presents oldies and indie music on Radio Free Joshua Tree and also works for High Desert Underground, I get to hear a lot of bands spanning a spectrum of genres. I recently saw Earth locally, so I’ve been spacing out to some prime drone. I’m setting up a birthday broadcast for my dad, my brother-in-law, and one of my oldest buddies, so I’m picking through Jo Stafford, Meredith Willson, The Rolling Stones, Social Distortion, and Ross Bagdasarian (David Seville) for that weird spectrum of vintage variety I like to believe my show represents.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I don’t know what “everyone loves” these days, but there’s a lot of adult contemporary out there with heavy electronic backbeats and tracks—and vocalized non-singing, and that registers more as cookie-cutter than music to me. To each his own, though!

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I envy those folks who were able to see Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, Paul Revere and The Raiders, and Zappa and The Mothers of Invention in their heyday.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I rarely experience guilt in my enjoyment of music! But considering I tend to present “safe for work” music on my radio program (and usually prefer that style), I have to admit there are some tunes I’ve heard during my work with High Desert Underground that I’ve really enjoyed … but I won’t be playing them in front of Mom and Dad or my more sensitive friends!

What’s your favorite music venue?

Hands down, The Palms in Wonder Valley—a roadhouse outside of Twentynine Palms on Amboy Road with a cozy and unpretentious indoor ambiance for more intimate music, and a great outdoor stage in the back amidst the wild splendor and space of the hiigh-desert for the big noise. It’s a venue where an audience goes to hang out with other music lovers to see, not necessarily to be seen. A perfect setting for an unaffected bond between artists and audience!

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Dave Gets the Drill” by Crash Kills Four.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Wolfman Jack, the Real Don Steele, Bobb Lynes (“Old Time Radio”) and Brian Clewer (“Cynic’s Choice”) are the reasons I wanted to become a radio presenter. I wish I were as good and as savvy as they were.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: “In your mind, what separates ‘crazy’ from ‘genius,’ if anything does?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“How Great Thou Art” for spiritual reasons. “If I Ruled the World” for my druthers. Both by Harry Secombe.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Totally cheating here when I say Nuggets—a fat compilation of great pre-psych garage music from a variety of artists and bands. But if there can only be one, I’m sticking with that.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Havin’ a Beer” by Throw the Goat. And then get a petition to have this song as a jingle for a beer company or party company to get those guys money for writing such an amazingly fun anthem.
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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...