KLOS `Too Hip’ Stickers, Circa 1979 – 1984

KLOS-1

KLOS-5

KLOS-9

KLOS-12

KLOS-2

KLOS-6

KLOS-4

KLOS-7

KLOS-10

KLOS-8

KLOS-3

KLOS-13

Greg at Lefty Limbo wrote the go-to post about these stickers years ago. KLOS is a radio station in Los Angeles that was, in the late ’70s and early ’80s, the premiere rock station and a youth culture landmark. The distinctive “rainbow” design still hits me hard in the fond memory zone—they even smelled beautiful.

As Greg notes, virtually every kid at the time sent multiple SASEs to KLOS requesting as many stickers as he/she could get. If I’m remembering correctly, the station kept a log of requester addresses, so after the first request you had to use the address of otherwise uninterested family/friends. A few days later, there they were in the mail. (The giddy anticipation of waiting for an envelope or a package filled with free prizes is yet another feeling my kids won’t have in a technological age that abhors delays of any kind.) The stickers with the band names were sold exclusively at concerts, and often had coupons on the paper backing (“Save $1.00 on any Rush album/tape at any Licorice Pizza including their newest `Moving Pictures’ with this coupon“).

The stickers were known collectively as “Too Hip” stickers, a phrase that came from KLOS DJ Frazer Smith, who would close out his show by saying, “Too hip. Gotta go.” The stickers achieved their iconic popularity during his first stint at KLOS, from 1979 to 1984. There was also a Too Hip Fan Club, and I signed up for it. The only thing I remember about it is the ID card below.

Too Hip

When we moved out of our condo in the early ’80s, I stuck this card—signed by me, of course—in the inside molding of my bedroom closet door. I’m not sure why. Maybe I wanted the place to remember me, or maybe I wanted to make sure I remembered the place. For many years I’ve wondered if the card is still there.

(Images via eBay and the San Diego Reader)

9 Responses to “KLOS `Too Hip’ Stickers, Circa 1979 – 1984”


  1. 1 narvo October 1, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Great finds! Thanks for the link back.

    Interesting how the font began to evolve and get more creative as time went by. I mean, Journey is even busting out of the rainbow! I still prefer the classic bold font though, myself.

    Speaking of bold font, there’s someone on Ebay that’s selling 36 of the original stickers with that bold font…um yeah, for just $1000.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/KLOS-95-5-VINTAGE-RAINBOW-BUMPER-STICKER-ORIGINAL-COMPLETE-SET-NEW-/121745282331?nma=true&si=sBuM2PuOv3AJBJzRAlELv%252F2gjsk%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    The listing’s ended, but I took screen caps of the pictures for a keepsake. I’ve never seen a whole lot of KLOS stickers like that in one bundle! Look, there’s even that blank one and the “TREE RUN” sticker that I saw a few people have back in the day.

    I had never heard of KLOS keeping a log of their requesters…I remember ordering stickers quite a few times with no problems whatsoever—especially in the beginning when I found out they were FREE!

    Now that I think about it, how did KLOS get to have “PO Box 95 1/2”? I guess they made a deal with the USPS. Maybe it’s really 95 and they were just able to get away with the novelty of it.

    • 2 2W2N October 1, 2015 at 4:09 am

      Could you get the band stickers in the very beginning? When they were all in the big fat letters? I could be wrong about the log. Maybe I’m thinking of something else.

      • 3 narvo October 1, 2015 at 8:26 am

        That’s a good question, although as far as I and all my friends knew back then (in ’80–’82), one could only get the band ones by going to the concerts. I remember all of us so eagerly awaiting the opportunity to ask someone to “score us some stickers” if they ever went with their parents or older siblings to a show. In the meantime, we all had the standard ones. It’s almost like, you had to have at least one, or else you just weren’t “cool.”

  2. 4 Jeff July 27, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I have an original Journey rainbow sticker. Grew up in Torrance and Redondo Beach. I love these stickers and still do. We had so many cool things growing up in the 70s and 80s in So-Cal. There was KMET at 94.7 and KLOS at 95.5 The 7th Day was so cool. Loved it.

  3. 5 Shine W September 26, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Such fond memories I have, KLOS was more of a lifestyle than just a radio station. I still have my Frazier Smith “Too Hip” membership card which came with a whole bunch of various stickers at that time. I recently saw one of those cards along with one (singular) KLOS rainbow sticker on eBay with a price tag of $118.00… Wow, unbelievable! For me personally, I couldn’t part with this memorabilia. I don’t think there was a day in my teen years that I didn’t have a radio or stereo playing and of course I was always tuned into KLOS. 🙂

  4. 7 Dave Kaplan October 3, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Hey, I found this page while doing some research on the band Rockpile (I was looking for a picture of their KLOS sticker so I wouldn’t have to post one of my own!). That said, I can certainly help fill in any gaps regarding these stickers. I have been collecting them for 36 years, and I also work at KLOS (where I helped them with some historical background in the archiving of their remaining stash). First off, the stickers started in 1980. The only ones in the very early “day-glow” days (1980-1981) that were available through the self-addressed stamped envelopes were “Zeppelin,” “Doors,” “Tree Run,” “LA 200,” “Too Hip,” and the “KLOS 95 1/2.” These mail away freebies were what helped propel this immensely popular and decades-long promotional campaign for the station. There were a couple of dozen more “day-glow” band stickers made and handed out only at concerts for free during 1980, but more primarily during 1981. After 1981, the die-cut, day-glow variants were replaced by the non die-cut darker colored rainbow stickers, which also often contained the little stickers on the ends. During this variation’s life cycle there were a few that were special mail-away freebies, but most of this variant were handed out at concerts in the 80’s and early 90’s. Throughout its entire promotional history, however, the “Rainbow” stickers, as they were known, that were distributed at LA concerts by the KLOS Cool Patrol (street team), were always free, and never sold at concerts by KLOS. And I’m not sure if the early KLOS promotions Department kept logs on listeners addresses for equitable distribution. As a teenager I used to send in 5-10 envelopes at a time with no problem, but I could definitely see kids of that day using multiple addresses to increase their quantity even more with no questions asked!! I totally related to your narrative in describing the anticipation of receiving these great artifacts in the mail….I would run out to the mailbox every day to check!! It helped fuel a passion for radio that hasn’t stopped to this day. One of these days I will upload my collection online (maybe the KLOS website). My collection contains well over 200 different KLOS stickers, and is even bigger than the station’s own collection!! Lastly, Frazer Smith is still on the KLOS airwaves…..check him out every Sunday night from 10pm-2am!! I even join him on air each week to do concert reviews. Keep rockin’!!

    • 8 K.E. Roberts October 4, 2016 at 4:08 am

      Hey Dave!

      Thank you so much for giving us the full scoop. I find it fascinating, especially being from So Cal and growing up with KLOS. I’d actually like to do a comprehensive article about the stickers on my new site, We Are the Mutants (https://wearethemutants.com/), featuring the different kinds of stickers and the history of the campaign.

      Have you written all this down somewhere at KLOS? Do you know who came up with the rainbow design?

      Listening to Frazer now from the KLOS site. That voice really brings me back!

      Thanks again,

      Kelly


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