There were two "Press Club Conferences held.
The first was on March 2, 1970
Shep mentions that there are 600 people representing 300 schools attending.
An edited down tape of the conference was played on WOR in place of one of Shep's Saturday night shows a few weeks later. Shep did the intro for it.
The second was April 8, 1971. There may have been at least one more. In the 1971 audio he mentions doing it again.
According to Ken Scharf, who attended and recorded the 1971 event: "Actually I think there were a few press conventions BEFORE 1970, but they were done at WOR's studio. When the event outgrew that location they moved it to the overseas press club location."
Some of the questions:
1) "Do tapes of your show exist?" Shep claims to tape every show and they are reviewed later. The one's which are felt to be not important are erased.
He knows of a kid in Texas who maintains a lending library of all the shows. Gets them from an associate in Brooklyn who tapes them.
2) "What do you think of transparent blouses?" He can't wait for transparent mini-skirts!
3) "Why are you referred to as Ralph in the book IGWT?" Shep explains that Ralph is not him. Just a character telling the story in the 'first person'.
4) "Could you explain the origin of 'Flick Lives'?" Shep says "If you have to ask, you'll never understand.
5) "Will you give another show at Town Hall?" Tried for this past New Year's but it was already booked. Trying for a show in the fall.
6) "Why did you stop performing at the Limelight?" Since most of the college dates needed to be a Saturday or Sunday, he preferred to do them since
he enjoyed the college shows more.
7) "You one said 1970 was going to be the year of the ego - explain." People are beginning to have total ego. Every 15 year old kid feels that he's
qualified to solve the political problems in the Middle East. Rock singers will be advising the Treasury Dept.
8) "How long have you been at WOR?" In its present form since 1958.
9) "What started you on a show business career?" Played H.S. football - defensive back. In Sophmore year a faculty advisor connected with the local
radio station asked his to comment on the week's game on a sports show.
10) "What do you think of Rex Reed - Rachel Welch?" Being male there is only one thing to think about Rachel Welch.
11) "Is Zinsmeister and the Treacherous - closer to life than you'll admit?" All my stories are as close to life as I can get. All my stories are based on fact,
but quite often I make it into a form larger than life.
12) "Are you aware of the large cult following which holds you in God like awe?" - "You're damn right I'm aware of it! And one day I'm going to send down a lightning bolt and destroy them all! - Gang, let's rise up now and go down and burn down City Hall!"
13) "What changes do you foresee in broadcasting in the future?" Since 1965 or 66 radio has become the medium of the kids - By 1975 there could be a 100 Shepherds on the air doing anything other than playing records or giving the time.
14) "How do you feel about the drug problem?" Shep explains he lost 3 friends to drugs. One was the director of the psychadelic sequences in the movie
"The Trip" He continues to give a serious lecture about how drugs are bad and to avoid their use.
15) "Why don't you come out to Nassau County?" - "I haven't been invited" Says last week he did a show at NCE and one at Oneonta. (The state
University of New York at Oneonta.
16) "Are the stories you tell on the air ficticious or true?" - Yes - They are true stories but you bring out the points you want people to see. It's not
literally true, but it is true in spirit. Flick, Schwartz and Bruner really exist.
17) "Would you like to be a leader of your country?" Anybody in the entertainment industry is a leader because you can influence people.
18) "If you had a chance to do a top television show, would you quit radio to do it? ' Just recently I've been offered to take over a top network show on
the condition that I give up radio - What I do on the radio is very unique.'
19) "What problems and troubles, if any, have arisen from both the audience and station management due to anything you have said or done on your
show?" 'In all the years on WOR, I've never been told to to say or notto say - I've never had any trouble with censorship'
20) "When did you start plaing the Jews Harp?" Started playing when he was 5 years old. Shows his Jews Harp and demonstrates how it plays. He
uses a Smith Jews Harp from England.
21) "Dear Shep, Are you an efite snob?" "Yes" talks about William F. Buckley
22) "Are you a comedian?" Can't say what he is, the NY Times referred to him as a disk jockey.
23) "Are you a conformist?" A ridiculous question. Doesn't think anybody is a conformist, they just do what they happen to like doing.
24) "Are you a hippy?" I suppose - I've been described as a lot of things.
25) "Is Jean Shepherd your real name?" Yes and it was his father's also
26) "What happened to your race to become King of New York?" Working on a manfesto for Playboy.
27) "Which char are you in J Ker 'On the Road'?" The angel headed hippie.
28) "What happened to your mother's rump sprung chinese red bathrobe?" She still has it. He visited his mother and she couldn't understand the fuss.
She didn't think it was that bad.
29) "We couldn't find Hommand Indiana in the atlas" The town in thebook is Hohman and is a composite of Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago. Cedar Lake is about 26 miles south of Hammond near Laketown.
30) "Who is the biggest slob you ever met? Besides yourself" The one I met 12 minutes ago.
31) "When does T.S. Mac come out?" The title has been changed and it will be out this fall.
32) "Where did you go to college?" Attended University of Indiana, University of Maryland, Northwestern, The University of Chicago, and Rollins
College. Majored in phsychology.
33) "What happened to the 1970 Shepherd? He's gone downhill already" 1970 has gone down hill already.
34) "Why does your show now come on earlier?" Because most people are better able to listen to it so the kids are not dragging into school the next
35) "Is Hugh Hefner the type of boy I could bring home to my mother?" Hefner is a very ordinary guy with a good sense of humor.
36) "Why isn't your TV show seen or broadcast in the metropolitan area?" Shep does a daily TV show in Boston on educational TV.
37) "You repeatedly acuse journalists of coining words that have no meaning such as Chatter Jockey" Chatter Jockey is a form of put down. A disk
jockey that doesn't play records. It's a non-word.
38 "What do you think of the movie ratings?" Doesn't like them - it's rather silly.
The OPC conf was recorded on Monday March 2, 1970.