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Further Adventures of a Car Guy's 30 Year Career

If You Are Looking For Something That Will Help You Sell More Cars, Then This Is NOT The Blog Post You Should Be Reading!


I was sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning thinking about some of the more incredible experiences I have had thanks to my involvement in the car business, and simply decided to start writing about some of them here on ADM... Words of Wisdom? Nope... Just Sayin'...

Courtesy Runway

As I sit here listening to Stone Temple Pilots' "Creep" on my new Dr. Dre "Beats" (Red Edition), I cannot help but reminisce back to their early days as a fairly well known "warehouse band" in local San Diego circles.  Over 20 years ago I sold the Station Manager of the 91X Progressive Alternative(?) Rock radio station a new VW GTI, which he promptly totalled coming back from Las Vegas... Now, I am not sure if 91X continues today, but back then it was an edgy radio station broadcasting out of Tijuana, Mexico with more Watts of power being beamed North than was legal for any US based radio station... So calling 91X an Outlaw Radio Station was not too far fetched!

Courtesy Runway


I can still hear the woman's voice saying "efay emay novente uno, baja california mehico..." right before the next music track, something never previously played on American Radio stations, performed by a grunge, punk, alternative or whatever band about 2 years before they would hit the mainstream stations...

Anyways, after I sold "Rob" his new GTI, and replaced it every time he wrecked it (skinny mini deals), he started hooking me up with sales of new and used cars to 91X station employees, their advertisers, strip club owners and more... Which sets the stage for that evening some time in the late 1980's - early 1990's when Rob faxed (1989 version of email) me an invitation to attend one of 91X's infamous "Underground San Diego Parties"... The faxed invite had a hand written map showing where "X Marks The Spot" for that evening ultra-cool event... Invitations to which were highly prized in those days... Sort of like opening a candy wrapper and getting a Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka's Factory!


So, after closing the dealership in Kearny Mesa, I asked the last remaining Finance Manager (Judy) if she wanted to come to the 91X Underground Party with me... For some strange reason she acted like she didn't believe me and asked if i was sure... "Absolutely" I responded.  After I snagged an absolutely gorgeous Mercedes-Benz 450 SEC from our used inventory, I pulled the chains across the dealership's entry ways and Judy and I headed out from the dealership.  We had to stop by her house for her to change into something "more appropriate" for an underground rock radio station party (she insisted), but that was OK because the Friday night 91X San Diego Underground Party did not start until 10:00 PM.


After we arrived at Judy's place, while getting properly intoxicated, I could not help but notice how hot Judy looked as I caught glimpses of her darting about her bedroom, partially clothed, in between taking tokes on the joint we were smoking while I lounged in her living room... Keep in mind that this was before Anita Hill and the invention of the word "Sexual Harrassement"! After she changed a few times, we left Judy's place with her looking like some kind of bubble-butt Metal band groupie, wearing a way-too-short miniskirt (can there be such a thing?) and me still dressed in my finest car dealership sales manager suit and tie attire.  We hopped into the Mercedes-Benz 450 SEC I had commandeered for the evening and headed to a warehouse district in downtown San Diego, with my driving distracted by Judy's long legs exposed on the Mercedes-Benz leather to my right...


We soon were wandering the commercial business parks not too far from where the main set of railroad tracks go past San Diego's harborside airport, Lindbergh Field.  It was difficult finding the warehouse area with me driving and Judy navigating (and me getting more and more distracted), but we soon saw a parking lot full of cars... The only one in with passenger vehicles in that warehouse district at night.  I parked the big Graphite colored Mercedes-Benz coupe, and Judy and I headed to where we heard the loud driving rhythms of sound coming from a large warehouse nearby...

Photo Credit:

After getting past the gigantic security guards who verified my name on the 91X Underground San Diego Party Guest List, Judy and i entered a 200,000+ square foot previously empty warehouse which had been set up with a stage at one of the long rectangular shaped building.  The Stone Temple Pilots were playing their hearts out on that stage while seeking to make a name for themselves and "Break Out" into the music scene...

The music STP was playing was far too loud to hear what anybody was saying, but that did not stop San Diego's hippest gathering of rock star wannabes, artists, authors, beach bumbs, hot babe gold diggers, 91X advertisers and 91X sales types working the crowd from yelling their attempts at conversation with each other... By now Judy had my left arm locked in a white knuckled death grip.  She yelled into my ear "Do you think my skirt is too short?" (which it definitely was), to which i answered "Nope... you look like you belong here a lot more than me..."

Photo Credit: This is a retouched picture, which means that it has been digitally altered from its original version. Modifications: Crop, sharpen, extremely subtle noise reduction. The original can be viewed here: Stone_temple_pilots_lineup_on_stage.jpg. Modifications made by Keraunoscopia.

The warehouse had several floors of offices that were located alongside the outer walls with parapet-like walkways overlooking the wide open space in the center, at the end of which was the stage where Stone Temple Pilots was performing... Stairwells at each corner connected the walkways... Most of the parties attendees were leaning our over the metal railings all along these walkways watching and listening to Stone Temple Pilots from each of of 5 stories inside the warehouse.  The building looked like it was set up for some type of crane based assembly of something very tall, and judging from the gigantic double doorway behind Stone Temple Pilots, maybe for building large yachts or airplanes.  Anyways... The Party Production folks working for 91X had set up all manner of cameras and recording equipment extending out from booms across the front and sides of the warehouse stage.  It was as if the people running 91X knew that Stone Temple Pilots would become a hot act and wanted to capture every moment of their performance, from a variety of angles and heights... Just Sayin'...


I started to head up to one of the upper levels with Judy in tow when out of nowhere Rob from 91X appears and hollers; "Hey Ralph! glad you could make it... who's this?" (Somehow Judy was looking hotter by the minute) to which i introduced him to Judy as a pause between sets allowed conversation... Rob then says "C'mon you guys let me bring you up to the VIP room on the 5th floor..." Rob then led us to a freight elevator guarded by what looked like two San Diego Charger players wearing Chargers jerseys (might have been). As we rode up the freight elevator we noticed music blasting our of various rooms on each level... We got to the fifth level and Judy was smiling like I had never seen her smile before... Man, she had big teeth!


Rob struts off the fright elevator with Judy and i briskly following right behind him... Robin Trower's "Bridge of Sighs" was blaring from a large room at the end of the walkway which i am certain was some type of conference or meeting room originally... As we enter the room, I couldn't help but notice that somebody put a lot of effort into turning it into a lounge with leather sofas, coffee tables, and a big bar set up at the narrow end with a gorgeous woman as the bar tender.... That's when i noticed some guy tipping a coffee can as he poured out cocaine onto the large polished smooth surface of the dark granite coffee table obviously selected for this purpose... When the guy with the coffee can full of coke looked up, I recognized him as the son of one of San Diego's most well known car dealers... The dealer that Judy and I worked for!

Stay tuned for the "Rest of the Story"!

Views: 87

Tags: 30 Year Career, Car Guy, Further Adventures


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Comment by Ryan Thompson on December 19, 2010 at 1:10pm

Ralph - I have a new level of appreciation for what you are doing.  This would make one hell of a book!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 19, 2010 at 12:53pm

Ryan - And this has been toned down to protect marriages and reputations!  However, I gotta believe that social activities people engaged in over 20 years ago should be, and will be excluded from any current judgments being made!

Comment by Ryan Thompson on December 19, 2010 at 12:07pm

Don't expect a story like this on most of the industry blogs!!!! Pretty pumped for "rest of story".

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