Our big story this week is on L.A. radio station KDAY, one of the only terrestrial outlets in the country playing classic hip-hop. The station — which is independent but gets great ratings — can be heard at 93.5 FM, and is an echo of the trailblazing AM original, which was found at 1580 AM and went off the air in 1991.
The new incarnation is home to personalities like morning show hosts Cecilia “CeCe” Valencia and David “Tattoo” Gonzalez, the latter of whom was formerly on Power 106. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame is the forehead tattoo from which he gets his nickname, above, which reads “I Slept With Shaq.” Yes, it is 100 percent real, and the story behind it says a lot about his ascent in radio. Below is a short excerpt from the story about how he got the ink, as well as a video in which he talks about it.
Gonzalez grew up on KDAY AM 1580 himself. Arrested numerous times and jailed at 19 after shooting at (and missing) his biological father — whom he says abandoned him for a long stretch — he possesses the chutzpah of a natural-born morning-show host, or maybe a Jackass actor. Once, on air, he was shot in the testicles with a Taser, and he drew tabloid notice last year for a weird fetish video in which he was whipped by Nadya Suleman, aka Octomom. She'd donned a black corset; he'd impersonated a baby and wore a diaper. They made it to spoof an offer she received to appear in a porno, he explains.
But the tattoo across his forehead truly seals his gonzo credentials. Removing his Raiders cap, he displays it, sprawled in oddly formal cursive: “I Slept With Shaq.” He got the ink during a contest for Lakers NBA Finals tickets in 2001, a challenge presented by Power morning-show DJ Big Boy. Gonzalez showed the handiwork to Shaq — who was impressed — and Big Boy soon gave him a job at the station.
Gonzalez worked at Power for the better part of a decade, before being booted for “a sticky situation” he won't discuss. (Power representatives also declined comment.) But he's clearly revitalized, and this morning, as Debbie Deb's 1986 electro hit “Look Out Weekend” plays on air, he takes some swipes at Power, the hip-hop juggernaut that followed in the original KDAY's wake and now dominates L.A. radio by playing the newest rap and R&B hits. “We'd all pretended we liked [Power's music]. But everyone there would get out of work, into their cars, and put on KDAY.”
Below: Hear Gonzalez tell the story of his tattoo in his own words