In January, KPIG personality Ralph Anybody (real name Jeff Juliano) was on air during a particularly heinous storm. He commented how terrible it was that trees were falling in residential areas.
At around 7:30am, his wife Ellen called and told him one of those trees had fallen on their house. The large oak had gone through the porch roof and split the living room walls. She smelled gas, so she grabbed the dogs, and left through the back door.
At that moment, there wasn’t a lot Juliano could do—he still had two hours left on the air.
“I was freaked out because now I want to go, but I couldn’t get anyone to come in and finish my shift,” he says.
He did manage to leave a little early. When he got home, the damage didn’t appear as bad as he expected. The bay windows weren’t even broken. However, once he got inside and gave it a closer inspection, he quickly saw that it was very bad. The tree broke the bedroom closet off the house, leaving behind a gap in the living room walls. And the doors didn’t close, because the entire structure had shifted.
“Walking around the back of the house, you can see that it was like four inches off where it should normally be sitting,” Juliano says. “I said, ‘That’s not good.’”
His insurance company came out and assessed the damages, but the payout has been slow, and other expenses have since accumulated, like rent and tree removal. To help out, local promoter John Sandidge of Snazzy Productions has organized a benefit for Juliano at the Kuumbwa on Oct. 23. As far as Sandidge is concerned, Juliano is a vital part of Santa Cruz County culture.
“He has been a mainstay for more than 25 years on the KPIG radio team. He helps lead one of the most influential commercial radio stations in the country,” Sandidge says. “Many people in this community wake up and spend the first part of their day with Ralph and his good humor and wonderful choices in music and comedy. He is there to help you start your day in a positive direction.”
Juliano is one of the most recognizable personalities associated with KPIG. Throughout the past few decades, he has had nearly every shift one can have at the station. During the past 15 years, he’s been the early morning guy, signing on at 6am. He loves it, even though he is not a morning person.
“It’s like free therapy for me. You get to play all that great music and stuff,” Juliano says. “I was always a night person. I try to fool myself into believing it’s still nighttime because it’s dark out. Like, no, it’s four in the morning.”
The Kuumbwa benefit will feature several local artists like Michael Gaither, Carolyn Sills Combo, Patti Maxine, Anthony Arya, Mira and Anthony Goto, and more. And the show has a specific theme: covers of songs by artists who have passed away.
“You can’t go wrong with John Prine and Billy Joe Shaver and people like that,” Juliano says.
This isn’t the first benefit show Sandidge has put together. He’s helped out many other members of the community, like a show in 2015 to help raise funds for the Pajaro Valley Unified High School Scholarship Fund, and a more recent one to help local resident Fleet Montgomery pay for his mounting medical expenses.
“Snazzy Productions has been doing benefits for community members and community organizations for decades,” Sandidge says. “It’s part of our culture.”
The benefit for Ralph Anybody will be held at 7:30pm on Saturday, Oct 23, at Kuumbwa, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, $25/general. $40/gold circle. 831-479-9421.