Monday, September 30, 2013

Bill Ballance for the women...L.A. was hot!

        But Ballance was sooooo good...of course
he had to be muzzled!

Just as Wally Phillips had all the woman in Chicago listening every morning...for pleasant conversation...calling for gifts etc...
our next personality had every woman in Southern California listening....for far different reasons.
Bill Ballance (KGBS Los Angeles) is number 5 on my list of the greatest radio personalities...for his daily not to be missed “feminine forum” discussion of the sex life of the better half. 
In the 70’s this show was the opening for others who would come along years later. The few times I had the opportunity to listen I  marveled that Bill could talk about stuff with women that you might save for parties or for your wife or mistress...or both.
But it was actually okay for radio....and it was a must listen... even for the guys...until it got too hot even for open minded as that place was.
Ballance ruled the airwaves for a couple of years before management decided it was a just too much. would just be an interesting sex talk program and not the extremely popular “side show” it was in 1973.  But there were problems...feminine groups...pressure on advertisers (which  only happens now to the likes of Savage and Limbaugh).
Bill Ballance was indeed unique and discussed subjects that needed to be banded about on the air...both funny and serious and for this he deserves to be named along with: 
Gary Dee in Cleveland, Wally Phillips in Chicago, Neil Rogers in Miami and Long John Nebel in NYC as number five on my list.

        And then L.A. had Joe Pyne too. 
             He’s next.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Long John Nebel in NYC/Jade in Tampa.

       Crackpots in the New York City

Marvin Miller (The Millionaire) and great radio announcer in Los Angeles once wrote me that if you hold a map of the U.S. up...all the nuts and blots fall into southern California.
Well..he was wrong...a few hung around and invaded the Long John Nebel all night talk show  on WOR/WMCA In New York.
Long John is my pick for number four top radio personality behind Gary Dee Cleveland, Wally Phillips Chicago and Neil Rogers, Miami.
Each of these legends in the radio world (and some more coming here later)  were unique.
And Long John Nebel was unique.  
Let’s quote from the Wikipedia encyclopedia : 
“Some critics attacked Nebel for allowing crackpots free rein on the program, but he responded by saying his was not a traditional news or investigative journalism show, and that it was up to listeners to determine the validity of any guest's claims”.
Nebel paved the way for the likes of yours truly...Art Bell, and others to wile away the lonely hours of the night with intriguing thoughts and conversations. 
And having done a national all night radio talk show for almost ten years I can attest that it takes a lot of work and strong nerve to deal with some of the strange callers that seem in preponderance at that time.  But it is fun.
Long John Nebel had things so well in hand that he could actually leave the studio for a nice break about 3am allowing the “nuts and bolts” to go it alone.
Now that’s something to think about!  One wonders who took charge?
As long as we are on the overnight talk JADE in Tampa!

           I invented live national overnight talk radio in November 1992.

          Spanning the radio dial at 2 or 3 am I discovered that nobody was LIVE...all tape re-runs from earlier in the day.

So I approached the original Sun Network based in Clearwater (Tampa area) Florida and they bought my idea.
We went live coast to coast at midnight five times a week...and for five hours our 800 number was full of callers.
I will skip all the reasons and results here (for later) to simple tell you about JADE in Tampa.
Just like Long John Nebel knowing what works with weird guests or callers...I had the nose for something special and JADE was special.
She called in one night and I was absolutely stunned by her voice.  I can’t explain it...just to say, no it wasn’t sexy...she was no Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to Jack Kennedy.
She sounded college age...not teen or mature...just marvelously “sweet” if that’s the proper word.  I’m not sure it is...maybe “soft” is better. I invited her to call in whenever we were on the air and she did...but didn’t strain it.
The male audience went for her big time.  Callers started asking questions about her..and even after a year we had no answers...JADE was “coy”.  And she seemed to love the attention.
I’ve will go on some more later in this blog about the mysterious JADE.  but let me give you another example of a caller who can start listeners talking.
He was Jacob from St. Louis.
He was black....but  he wasn’t uptight about it and could joke about things black in a humorous way like making fun of the Cardinals black shortstop Ozzie Smith for doing cartwheels on the field....or he might take off on a black politician....and he could get away with saying things that I could never say and he laughed about that stuff.  
       I can just image what Jacob would be saying about Obama right now!
These are just two example of “overnight” folks who helped make our show viable for many years. 
More on all this later.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Neil Rogers vs the Sweet & Low gang!

Neil Rogers.....Miami

There was only ONE Uncle Neil....and for many years in Miami radio he was the king .
Neil would be my third choice as top radio personality behind Gary Dee in Cleveland and Wally Phillips in Chicago.
Before we go on let me remind you that these are my personal choices...and I’m sure many of you will disagree but it’s my life and my blog so let it be.  But you are free to comment.
Neil became my best friend.
We worked at three Miami stations together, WNUS...WINZ...and WIOD.
At WNUS Neil did issue talk.....he was good at that but nothing special.  During the Cuban invasion from the Mariel boatlift we both spoke out against it.     We had patrol cars parked in the station lot to detract any crazy gun play but it was a tough time.  The Mayor of Miami blasted us and called me the “Joseph Gobbles” of Miami.  
The tension became unbearable and I took a job at WWDB-FM in Philadelphia to get away from it.  
Neil hung in and eventually moved to WINZ and that’s where he blossomed into a spectacular talk host with a unique approach.  
Call it the “sweet & low” war of words against the habits of the elderly.  He made fun of the old folks incessantly every hour of his show.  
This lambasting caught on to the point that younger and younger listeners began to tune in...and some made comedy material which Neil encouraged.  He was well into this when WINZ needed a talk host to follow his craziness.  He recommended me and after four years in Philly (and one year on Phoenix at KFYI with Tom Lykis...more on him later) I made the move back to Miami.
I had not heard Neil’s crazy new war of words with the old folks.
I started talking issues the first day on the air...but that night we went out to dinner (the first of many times) and he said “what do you want to talk about that crap for...just come in and have I do!
I listened to him closely and decided he was right.  He had touched a nerve... something that nobody would talk about in public...and turned it into huge ratings success.  He was already number one in most demos even with younger listeners and before we would be finished in a couple of years 10 am until 6 pm we would be number one in ALL demos INCLUDING TEENS!
That’s AM stations in the entire nation were number one in teens but WINZ-AM was...beating every FM rock station in Miami.  Can you imagine having more high schoolers listening to your talk show than those listening to rock on FM!  
It took me about a week but I also found my “thing”.  
Miami Vice was shooting on the streets of Miami...the hottest tv show on the air and I was big on Miami Vice. I rolled with that...telling listeners the shooting location each day where they could see  Don Johnson and the rest in action.  
Neil hated that show and started to rib me incessantly which sent my ratings skyrocketing and since I liked Miami Vice...they seemed to like me.  They called and asked me not to tell where they were shooting...the crowds were getting too big and I made a deal...bring some of the cast for a studio show and I’ll do that. 
The main guy to agree was the Captain...Edward James Olmos and he and Michael Talbott and Charlie Barnett (Noogie) sat with me for the whole three hours and Don Johnson called in talk chat with us.
But Neil was the guy.  A lot of folks continued to talk and push Howard Stern...but I called Stern’s agent one day and told him Neil Rogers was head over heels better than Stern’s sex talk.  I wanted Neil to go national but it didn’t happen.
Later in this blog I’ll deal with Neil and our success in getting thousands to tune in everyday.
But he was certainly on top and doing something nobody had ever done before.  Winning the war with the Sweet & Low gang!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wally Phillips & Bob Collins

Best of the Windy.....

A Duo of my best personalities in radio history.....

Both at WGN Chicago:    Wally Phillips & Bob Collins

It’s was said that every woman in Chicago listened to Wally Phillips.  There are probably numbers in rating books in WGN’s office archive that can prove that.
What can you say about the guy who basically held down the morning drive program on WGN for so many years...taking calls from “nice” people and having a surprise gift for them at the end of every conversation.
When I was Operations Manager for WWDB (FM) Philadelphia I instituted the same thing and now I admit where I got the idea.  Our fine morning personality Dominic Quinn handled it well too...but he was no Wally Phillips.  Wally would be my number two best radio personality...of all time.

  Bob Collins

Bob joined WGN from Milwaukee in the early 70’s where we both worked at WRIT AM/FM.  Bob was Program Director there and had hired me for their evening talk slot.  We were good friends.
Bob got a call one day from an exec at WGN...and went down to their studio for an interview and audition.  He told me the next day the so called audition was nothing more than a rigged call in show with WGN staff calling him on the phone while all this was taped.
Now in Milwaukee...and Florida and for most of his career Bob was a rock jock playing the hits...but WGN wanted someone who could take calls and handle listeners and maybe play a record once in awhile.  They loved Bob and hired him almost immediately.
Wally Phillips was still the morning guy so Bob was slipped into several slots and also used as fill in for Phillips.
When Wally retired and that slot became available...WGN knew who could fill it:  Bob Collins.
And, of course, Bob was great...smooth and friendly just like Wally....and he would probably still be there today if it wasn’t for his craving the excitement of flying light planes.  He crashed in the Chicago suburbs and that was the tragic end of a great radio career.
He paid me a huge compliment a few years before that mishap took his life.     He liked to vacation in Phoenix where he had a fancy motorcycle stored away just for his use.
I was on the air at KFYI in Phoenix doing my talk thing when he magically appeared unannounced in the control room...smiling and waving at me.     During a break I grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into my studio and sat him down at the mic. He didn’t want to go on the air...but I forced it.
He invited me to visit him at his hotel in Scottsdale but I had some commitments that evening and missed that chance. 
He was killed not long after that.  Bob was an excellent replacement for the great Wally Phillips...and he was great in his own way.

   A personal note here.  
I’m a guy who doesn’t like small planes.  I had to fly in a bunch of them in the three trips to Vietnam and had no choice. and there, of course, were a lot of helicopters too.  I came out of that swearing to myself that I would never again fly light or in a chopper.  I succeeded in that and I’m still around to write this blog years later.
I was at our family home south of Rockford, Illinois when the news came on that NBC News Chicago anchor Floyd Kalber had crashed his light plane into a cornfield about 20 miles from us.  Thank heavens he was unhurt.  
A couple of years later I would be writing for Floyd and we would discuss small planes and disagree.
WGN Chicago lost two really great personalities who will be remembered as the backbone of that great radio station in its best years.

Monday, September 23, 2013

the best on radio...Stan's picks

Stan’s best air personalities....

Each of these guys is SO good...they deserve a whole post.
So...these are by far and away my best or surely among the best radio personalities in radio history.  Some you’ll agree with...some of your favorites will be left out.  I mean no remiss.
These are just my opinions.

  GARY DEE.....WERE.....Cleveland...Morning Drive

I put him at the top rather than others because Gary had one of the most unique morning (am drive) shows ever heard.
I was lucky to work a few weeks at WERE... filling in and enjoyed listening and watching him work...even following him on the air a few times.
Gary’s show was simple.  He had no producer...punched down the phone lines himself (with a button for the delay cut off if he needed it).
I say simple because a caller (and there were hundreds and hundreds each week as Dee was by far number one in the Cleveland market) would get punched on the air...have a chance to say one thing, one line...basically...never lasting more than ten to 20 seconds...and get punched right off with Gary Dee responding and then quickly punching down the telephone button for another caller with another singular thought.  There was never a conversation in this...Gary didn’t (or very rarely) talk with any caller and this, believe it or not went on for about three fabulous hours every morning in Cleveland and there’s never been anyone before or since to emulate it!
WERE had a great lineup....(Count) John Manolesco(psychic)  followed Gary Dee...and  in the afternoon the controversy took over in the good hands of Merle Pollis.       John Webster (once with WCFL Chicago) was program director of all this and it was classic.  John was one of the most creative program and news directors in this business and ended up in Detroit (I believe).
I happened to be there on the 10th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination and ask John if we could “role play” on the air what took place that day and he allowed all the staffers to play a part in the script I wrote and it went well.  Many of us were emotional at the end of it.

Please leave comments about my choices or email me at:

50 posts...WOW!

What to do on # 50?

Well...I could continue the never ending(it seems) radio merry-go-round of stations in major(pardon the pun) markets after Kansas City and St. Louis.        How could I top hanging in the studio each night with Chiefs star quarterback Lenny Dawson?  He even taught me how to use that newfangled thing in the KMBC lounge called a “microwave”.  Most of us regular humans were scared to death of it...but not Lenny...he just put a plate in and punched some numbers and had a snack.  Cool guy...and he throws the ball pretty good too!
Or in St. Louis where with any luck I might get Stan Musial (still kicking but not playing) in the WIL studio for a nice long interview...before that guy with a gun got me. (see earlier posting on that)  but the General Manager got to me first and I was gone.
A stop in Chicago to harass my next door neighbor, Jackie, and then an offer from Milwaukee which looked pretty good.  But not as good as her! (But she wanted me gone anyway!)
So we’ll pick that up after this short break!  That sounds familiar. Kinda like radio or tv talk, huh?
But for blog post number about something special.
How about a short list of the guys I’ve admired on the radio.
Some from just listening...and several from working with.
Hang on Miami, Cleveland, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc.
 and away we go!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

some things I'm proud of...

A Few Things to be Remembered For....By Stan Major

I Began the very first LIVE national all night talk show in 1992. Midnight to 5AM Monday thru Friday with tape replays weekends. I was on over 100 stations in some great markets and great outlets...while Art Bell was on a couple of stations up in the pacific northwest.
Show was carried on the old Sun Network and I moved to Clearwater to do it. 
Sun had the finest affiliate guy ever, Bill Miller, and Sun bought full page ads in Talkers the first year which really worked.
The only talk all night was repeats of Larry King on tape. So...the live thing was hot.
A partial station list: KLIF Dallas...WXYZ Detroit...KVI Seattle...KSFO SanDiego...and KDXU in St. George, Utah which blanketed Los Angeles!
This program lasted nearly ten years on four networks and totalled near 500 stations over the ten year period! 
While doing a late night local talk show on WGSO New Orleans...I had the most marvelous guests ever. 
One night Jim Garrison and Mort Sahl came by talk for a couple of hours about the JFK assassination.
Actor Chill Wills spent a couple of hours in the studio talking about James Dean, Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson and Giant.

In June of that year, 1973, a tragic fire destroyed the Upstairs Lounge in the French Quarter a gay bar...killing over 30 patrons.
I went on the air the next night and raised over a thousand dollars for help to those who needed it.
     In Miami on WNWS in 1979 I raised money for the Afghan fighters taking on the invading  Soviet Union army. 
This was long before the CIA or Rep. Charlie Wilson started to help. I received a hand written “thank you” letter and a small medallion from those heroic men...signed by many of the tribal leaders.

In the same vain while in 1980 with WWDB, The Talk Station in Philadelphia...I crusaded successfully to get Russian Vodka off the shelves of the state run liquor stores all over Pennsylvania. The State Senate passed a bill commended me for that effort.
Also...While at WWDB I campaigned for more help for VietnamVeterans. 
I refused to leave the studios for a week...and appeared on all our talk shows during that time. I led a tribute to the vets downtown in Philadelphia where hundreds turned out. The City Council commended me for that.

Just a few of the things I’d like to be remembered for.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A man with a gun...

“I am not now...nor have I ever been...a member of the Communist Party of the United States, Senator!”

America went through all that until my tv news hero Ed Murrow put a stop to it.  (see George Clooney’s fine movie about that.)
In Kansas City...St.Louis and later Milwaukee I apparently espoused views a bit to the left and this pissed a lot of listeners off.
That apparently included my first cousin Jerry who lived with my Aunt and Uncle in suburban St. Louis and tested my show and found it wanting.  I was never invited to dinner...despite my Mother being a sister to Jerry’s Mom.  Or maybe Jerry got wind of my weird emotions about her at a young age and that put her off.  Even when she and her husband moved to St. Petersburg/Clearwater and I worked there at length two different times...(local and network)
I was never able to get her on the phone.
So...some folks do have strong feelings and one guy took me seriously and was in the WIL Radio building with a gun looking for me while I was on the air.  He didn’t find me...thank god...and the cops scouring the stairs and hallways never found him either...but it still made the front page of the Post Dispatch which did not make my new boss happy.
I figured I was not long for St. Louis and I was right. In greeting the General Manager who had hired me away from Kansas City in the hallway some days later...he got unusually close to me and shouted...”’ve been drinking!”
I was stunned...and retorted that I only have a drink late at night in my hotel...and what he was sniffing was my cologne!
His response was “You’re fired!”  And that was it.
So I did talk in St. Louis (this time) for a couple of months and found myself out of a job and back home in Mt. Prospect with my folks.
I say “this time” because later when I started American’s first live all night national talk program a St. Louis station WGNU would pick me up quickly and stay with me for years and years through about five network changes.  They were GREAT!
So I had down time in Chicago to stalk my next door neighbor, Jackie and bug her parents to no end...and I had a great time in the Windy City...renewing female acquaintances who enjoyed my company! I come!

St. Louis calls......

Now you have to KMBC Kansas City...I was happy hanging with Lenny Dawson of the Chiefs each night and...and getting some really interesting guests on my show.
I was also living in a hotel a couple of blocks from the KMBC studios so things were fine.  The manager of that hotel, Tom Richardson, and his lovely wife Nicky became a lasting friends...and if I get up the nerve or have a few too many glasses of wine some night I’ll relate a wild trip with them to Chicago one weekend to see the love of my next door neighbor Mt. Prospect. 
I may never tell that story but I will say I eventually wrote a manuscript about 400 pages long about her and about my first two experiences in Vietnam as a free lance reporter.  
The book was titled “Jackie Doll” you can guess what went on there for some years.  Jacqueline with the deep brown eyes and lovely brown hair.  Anyway I did send it to one publisher in NYC who turned it done I never got to say I wrote the “great american novel”...but this blog will do the trick  just fine.
But I digress.
WIL Radio in St. Louis hired me away from Kansas City.
   Here I’m going to go way back and tell you why working in St. Louis was like the fulfillment of a dream.  So we are going to go what they now call  the middle school years...6th through 8th grade...called “junior high” in my days.
My Dad loved to play catch and wanted me to play sports and I got that bug too as most youngsters did when they were in their early teens.
If Dad had work, then a neighbor, Jim Parker, would be available.  Jim was a little older than me (and would go on the become a lawyer) and already trying to perfect his “knuckle ball”.  Results of that would be me chasing lousy pitches all over the park across the street where we did all this stuff.
I played basketball also...and was actually on the first five of the  school I attended.  One kid down the street I shot baskets with was Chucky Keller who would eventually own Keller’s Restaurant at the big intersection of the two huge interstate highways my Dad was in charge of building for the state. (see my earlier post) Chuck Keller would also become a State Representative  in Springfield.
  I had two heroes at that time in my life.
The first and most important was Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals...and my    Dad made sure we drove over to St. Louis to see him and the Cardinals several times each baseball season at the old Sportsman’s Park. 
I adored him...we had the same first name and last name initial “M”...he was left was I...he batted on the left side and although I could hit better from the right...I tired to bat left and even copied his wicked crouch in the batter’s box.  However, I was no Stan Musial!
I remembered one time we were playing the New York Giants...this was before they moved to San Francisco.  The manger of the Giants was the famous Leo “the lip” Durocher and his wife was there in the box seats...famous Hollywood actress Laraine Day. 
But my eyes were always on Stan the Man.
After each game I insisted that we wait outside the clubhouse so I could see Musial up close and maybe get an autograph.
Stan had a deal with the other star Cardinal players.
He would come out and tell us he would sign for everybody but we had to follow him to his car in the parking lot.  So great...we would eagerly do that and then the rest of the players would exit to much fewer kids seeking autographs!
He did this each time I waited after a game.  And he stood by his car (with the SM 1 license plate) and signed balls, caps,  scorecards or whatever until every one of us was happy. What a guy!
Thanks to a former producer for my national talk program who was in the trivia business I still have a little Musial tribute here in my living room...a signed baseball and a small plastic statue of him in the batter box.  I treasure it. And I just got my St. Louis Cardinal tee with Musial and the number 6 on the back.
     An opposing pitcher was once asked "how are you going to pitch to Stan the Man?" The guy thought for a second and answered: "I'll walk him and pick him off first!"
So this was a definite influence on my taking the job offer in St. Louis.  This and the fact the my former home town was only about forty miles away.  
Also...I was influenced by St. Louis radio...the big KMOX which had Harry Carey doing the play by play of the Cardinals at the time and on KXOK a guy named Ed Bonner...and the St. Louis Ballroom.
I listened the Ed almost every day and one time I called the station...mentioning I was with WCRA in Effingham and they put me right through to him.  I told him I planned to be in St. Louis and wondered if I could watch his show.  He said absolutely.

I did “knock” on Ed’s door several days later and went up to the studio where his show was just starting.  
He said “Stan , nice to see you” and then introduced me to his guest that day...none other than Margaret Whiting...singer of songs and great hit records.  She was lovely and very nice (but no Paula Prentiss...see my earlier Boston post)
On a break she turned to me and looking a bit pale said “I feel like I’ve been drugged.”  Then she smiled.  A little weird, huh?
I also tried “knocking on the door of the big, really big KMOX...but I was turned away rather impolitely.  No big deal except I swore an oath never to go to work  at CBS.  It was funny that David Brinkley would basically say the same thing to me when we chatted at 30 Rock before I flew off to Vietnam.  Brinkley hated CBS with a passion!
My other hero was a sports nut and four sports letterman at Effingham High School.  His name was Bob Monet and he was built like a linebacker and even had a tryout with Bear Bryant at Alabama.
Bob gave me a pair of Alabama sweat pants so we got along well.
Bob and I were on the EHS baseball team for awhile (I got cut because of the radio job after school) and I remember we played out of town on a hot day and the bus driver stopped at a small creek and we all piled out...dropped our drawers and hit the water bare naked.
   I heard Bob scream as he hit the water... apparently there was some barbed wire fencing that we couldn’t see.  The fence got Bob in the balls...and we had to drag him back to the bus bleeding...and the coach administrated first aid.  Just witnessing that made us all squirm cause it could have happened to anyone.
Bob only wore plain white tees to school and blue jeans.  So the guys generally took his led on that but I wasn’t built like Bob and passed.  It was an interesting fashion thing to witness though.
Bob Monet had the best looking girl in Effingham as well he should.  Janie was really something and we all were envious.  But tragedy struck...Janie died before graduating..of Leukemia I think.  That was a bummer for all. 
       Since Debbie Reynolds couldn’t make it to Effingham to be my prom date (see earlier post) I had to find another.  I had been dating a girl named Wanda and it turned out she was named Prom Queen.  So we hooked up for the big dance.
I had a series of good looking girl Jr. High... Carol the cheerleader...dark and of course the brown hair and eyes that go with it.  Another knockout looker with the same requirements...brown hair and eyes...Jeannine...but my first serious involvement was with a girl named Kay (yes these are all real first names) who attended St. Anthony’s High School on the northeast side of the city. 
We had a few movie dates and then it ended.
A priest told her not to see me because I wasn’t Catholic!
Yep...things like this did happen in those days although her parents probably had the same attitude about me.
Then there was Ruth whom I eventually married. Ruth was blond and very pretty...and a couple of years older than me... which I think really influenced my interest in her.
Ruth was Catholic too...but nobody got in her way in our relationship...she was intelligent and strong willed...they wouldn’t dare!
Before we got married (in St. Louis no less) I started taking instructions in the Catholic religion.  I was never baptized but I still refer to myself as an “un-catholic”...a non-practicing Catholic if you will.
I was all of seventeen years of age...a married high school grad...with the draft looking me right in the eye.  Married guys were not given a break from the draft...your name came to the top of the go.  Actually my name was near but not at the top...but I decided to volunteer for the draft and get the two years of serving my country out of the way. I went.  

(please see the early lengthy posts on Germany and The American Forces Network.)

Monday, September 16, 2013

still more...Picasso

More Picasso....
My favorite area in the world is...The French Riviera. I've been lots of places in Europe and Asia but Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo are tops (if you can afford them). I've enjoyed the Riviera four times. I could happily eat my last meal at one of Picasso's favorites,  La Colombe d'Or...high atop St. Paul-de-Vence, north of Cannes.

This is an anecdote I picked up somewhere.....after my wife Lauri and I vacationed in Cannes in 1988...and ate at this very special restaurant where Picasso used to sketch for his dinner.
This occured at this resturant or someplace doesn’t matter it makes good telling.
There were several reporters gathered for dinner and after the meal when the check arrived they were stunned at the final tally.
Picasso happened to be there and when the reporters were wondering outloud what to do (cash only) and none had the hundreds of dollars the tab came too...Picasso ambled over to save the day.
As the story goes...he took the bill...borrowed a pen from a reporter and signed his name.
“This should be worth much more to the owner than the
hundreds of dollars on it!” 
Then he walked away. 

Just one of many stories told about Picasso!