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External forces bring popular morning DJs back to Vegas radio waves

“External Forces,” would be an apt title for a radio show. The wild world of morning programming is often dictated by outside, and unanticipated, decisions from on high.

Such is the case with Dave Farra and Jason Mahoney, the popular hosts of “The Dave &Mahoney Radio Show” which aired on KXTE-FM 107.5 from 2009 through 2015. The duo returns to the station Feb. 6 in the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. slot.

Joined by partner Daena Kramer, Dave &Mahoney had been on a promising path at KHMX-FM (The Mix) in Houston — the country’s sixth-largest media market — until external forces axed the show in December.

“We had a good amount of success and were building a good base, but the company let our direct boss go, the person who brought us in,” Farra said Saturday. “When you change program directors, the new person coming in usually wants to bring their show with them, and we were in that kind of situation.”

Since the Houston station is owned by CBS Radio, which also owns X107.5 (as KXTE is known), Dave &Mahoney quickly took management’s offer to return to Las Vegas. Kramer is no longer in the post-Mix mix, but plans to continue her radio career on the airwaves or in an executive role.

“We talked for about five minutes about it,” Mahoney said, referring to the decision to return to their former time slot at X107.5. “There was no question we wanted to come back. We know the listeners, the market, and we love Las Vegas.”

On a side note, Marco Orem and Joe “Jeetz” Reder, known as “Marco &Jeetz,” had filled the morning slot from February until Reder left for Seattle in September. The station has relied on basic music programming in the interim, with Orem serving as host until he left for Tampa, Florida, in December.

The result is the morning slot was open for the return of Dave & Mahoney. The two longtime friends say there won’t be any massive welcome-back party, just a return to business as usual – which means ample freewheeling banter and a healthy complement of Vegas newsmakers as guests. As Farra notes, the idea originally was to keep the show on the air in Las Vegas even as it originated from Houston.

“What we’ve never told anyone, and what never happened, we were actually never supposed to be off the air in Vegas,” Mahoney says. “We wanted to continue in Las Vegas, with a couple of extra hours just for that market. But due to some unfortunate circumstances, we weren’t able to do that.”

External forces factored in that decision, too. But “The Dave & Mahoney Morning Show,” a Vegas original, is back.


Veteran Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi and a bassist filling in with the band, Marc van Wageningen, were injured in a train accident Thursday morning near Jack London Square in Oakland, California, the band’s hometown.

According to Bay Area media reports, the two were injured before the second of two shows at the nightclub Yoshi’s, as four people crossed the tracks just after a freight train had passed. The group did not realize an Amtrak passenger train was traveling in the opposite direction, at about 25 mph, and struck the two musicians. A friend of members of the band reported Friday that Garibaldi had suffered facial fractures and van Wageningen had four broken ribs; both are considered lucky to have sustained only minor injuries.

There is a strong link between Garibaldi, and other members of Tower of Power, and the Lon Bronson All-Star Band. About half of ToP, including Garibaldi, sax great Doc Kupka and vocalist Larry Braggs , performed on Bronson’s “Doc Goes Vegas” album recorded live at the Ovation Room at Green Valley Ranch and released in December 2012.

During Friday night’s sold-out show at Smith Center’s Cabaret Jazz, Bronson told the audience he’d just received a text from Kupka telling him that Garibaldi should be out of the hospital within six weeks. No word on a timeline for van Wageningen, who was filling in for regular bassist Rocco Prestia, who has been ill.


On Friday, the Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, checked in with Don Felder during Felder’s run with Styx at Venetian Theater. The two reportedly tooled around the property in Hagar’s Cadillac and strummed through “Hotel California” in a suite. All the action was recorded for the AXS-TV series “Rock &Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar.”

Years ago, Hagar told me he had been issued 37 traffic tickets when he wrote “I Can’t Drive 55.” “I paid $25,000 a year in auto insurance because of my driving record, and I was driving exotic cars. It was hell. I had my license suspended three times.” But he got a great song out of it.

‘LOVE’ AT 5,000

Celebrated Tuesday at the Mirage: Performance No. 5,000 for “The Beatles Love,” which opened in June 2006. The show has performed for more than 8 million fans. Cirque du Soleil exec Jerry Nadal turned up for a post-show party, speech and cake.


On Friday, Jerome Felton of the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night at Tao at Venetian; in a separate party, poker pro Antonio Esfandiari… and a first for Evel Pie downtown, a Who Was Where note: The Chainsmokers, dining there Jan. 7.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Fridays in Neon. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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