By Martin Perlich
Author – Producer- Broadcaster

First and foremost, of course, Alan Rich was a music lover. As our most dedicated and discerning critic -author, broadcaster, historian – he took every opportunity to join his prestige to the promotion of the institutions, artists, and all the other people whose efforts he wanted to share. His reviews led us to treasures, or alerted us to indulgence; rewarded originality and wit, condemned compromise and conceit.

The list of Alan’s beneficiaries is long, but the ones I remember best – the most recent ones – are the enthusiastic support he gave to the extraordinary concert series called Jacaranda, and his fearless defense of the tiny radio station whose programming I struggled eight years to protect, humble KCSN.

I had met Alan at KFAC where we shared a mail cubby in the 80s, then years of 30-second chats at concerts around LA.

By the time I came back to radio, Alan had pretty much given up on local stations I think. He as much as told me so one night at Zipper Hall in 2002, I think it was. I stopped at his seat to tell him about KCSN, he told me he had just gotten satellite radio and challenged “They had a Maxwell-Davies opera this morning. Could you play that?”

I said something lame, like “I’d have to hear it first,” and turned to find a seat.

But I knew he wanted to help. He was writing for the LA Weekly then and drove all the way to Northridge to interview my Dean for his column. KCSN had been named “Best of LA” by Los Angeles Magazine, and he wanted to spread the word. But a few years later – he had left the Weekly, and we faced extinction from a new dean with a plan to replace our adventuresome little format, Alan posted not one but a series of blistering pieces on his brand new blog “So I’ve Heard” in KCSN’s defense.

The station failed, as these things do. But the endorsement of Alan Rich – vigorous, full-bodied and complete – told me we must have been doing something right.