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KPIG's Alternative Newsman Travus T. Hipp Died Friday Morning

The man known for decades on the radio by his Hipp name passed away in his sleep at home in Silver City, Nevada. Among other things, he was famous for getting arrested for growing marijuana while broadcasting live.

 

Callers began flooding Freedom-based radio station KPIG-FM (107.5) Friday after disk jockeys told listeners that controversial newsman Travis T. Hipp passed away in his sleep overnight.

He was the man who gave "All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

The 75-year-old, who was born Chandler Laughlin III, seemed like a lifelong hippie and did his news reports by phone from his home in Silver City, Nevada, because he thought California was going to fall into the ocean.

Hipp was part of the 1960s revolution, a contemporary of Wavy Gravy, who spent time at radio stations KSAN in San Francisco and KZAP in Sacramento before he signed up with KFAT in Gilroy, which turned into KPIG in Freedom in 1988.

"He basically gave the listeners a different view of the news on a daily basis and from our perspective it was greatly appreciated," said KPIG manager Frank Caprista.

One difference included getting arrested on the air in 2008 by Nevada police for having 14 marijuana plants growing.

DJs were playing songs in his memory Friday, including in the KPIG satirical tradition, "Fixin' to Die Rag," by Country Joe and the Fish.

The station will do some kind of memorial Monday, Caprista said. They didn't know any family memorial details yet.

"He lived a colorful life," said Caprista, which included living on a houseboat in Sausalito, serving the the Navy and living in Monterey afterwards, and doing news reports from Nepal, Tibet and the Middle East.

The station got word of his death from another former DJ, Sister Tiny, who also lives in Silver City and formerly worked at KFAT.

If you have air checks of Travus's reports, post the links here and add your memories of him in the comments section.

Hear a collection of his newscasts here.

GH ross May 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Rest in Peace Chan- thanks for the memories, coffee, and morning adjustments! There is a big hole in the Comstock!
Andrew Barbano May 21, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Dear Friends: I just talked with his son, Sean. The memorial service will be at his home, the church (on Gay Street between 3rd and 4th), in Silver City, Nev., on Saturday, May 26. Gathering, gnoshing and remembering begins at 9:00 a.m (bring food if you want but most important, bring yourself); memorial service begins at High Noon. He will be buried next to Lynn Hughes a short walk from the church. I welcome all memories / photos at <travus@nevadalabor.com> which I will permanently post at my flagship website. Thanks for all your kind words. Keep up the good work and the good fight. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew Barbano / NevadaLabor.com
Kimberly Hughes May 21, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Hi Jesse- I'm Lynne's daughter. I met her in 92 in Silver city with Chan. I was adopted at 2 weeks and found her 9 months before she died. Stayed in contact with Travis off and on and my kids stayed with him in the NV hills. He will be missed.
George Beiler May 21, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I just subscribed to KPIG's online feed a couple of weeks ago. I listened to Travus regularly while he was on KSAN and KFAT. I'm glad I got to hear Travus a few more times before he passed away. My condolences to everyone who knew Travus personally and everyone at KPIG.
Grady James May 21, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I've kept-up with Travis for decades as a dependable source for nuts & bolts truth news reporting...anyone remember his "Rawhide Reality Review" from the '70s? Already you are missed, Travis, by thousands of loyal fans, supports and friends. But now you can report on the real workings behind those pearly gates, if only we can find a way to hear you! Ever I will continue to listen for your new signal.
Christine Clayworth May 21, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I grew up in Berkeley in the '60's and wherever I moved to after that--Quincy, Santa Cruz--I always managed to find Travis on the local radio shows, from KZAP to KPIG & a few in between. I will miss this man!!! Definitely feels like the end of an era to me. But hey, what a way to go....in his sleep. Nice. RIP, Travis.
Sean Curtis Laughlin May 22, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Thank you all so much for all of the love you have beset upon me and my Family it is enough to say that if my father influenced you in any way or got you to think of somthing in a diffrent way then his job is done,Rest in peace my friend, my mentor my Father.
Andrew Barbano May 22, 2012 at 05:46 PM
SLIGHT CHANGE OF VENUE -- Adiós in Silver City, Nevada, Saturday, May 26, 2012 -- The auld church where Travus lived and died is too small for the expected multitude, so gathering, gnoshing and remembering will begin at the Silver City Community Center, 385 High Street, at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Bring food if you want but most important, bring yourself and all your memories. Memorial service starts at High Noon. He will be buried next to Lynne Hughes, a short walk away. My remembrance of Lynne from the 3-21-1993 Daily Sparks Tribune will be uploaded with Travus' formal obituary at NevadaLabor.com. I will upload and distribute when Sean Laughlin approves the draft. All memories accepted at <travus@nevadalabor.com> for permanent posting. Thanks. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew Barbano.
Craig T May 23, 2012 at 03:22 AM
I, the same way, was shocked to hear of his passing. I already miss his commentary and it's only Tuesday! Thanks for the kind words...
Craig T May 23, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Missed by all at my place of employment for last 23 years. It hurts.... RIP my friend, even though you didn't know us...
Craig T May 23, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family. He was an inspiration and thought provoker. Not many left like him, in fact very few....
Jerome Hughes May 24, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Have loved hearing Travus from just west of Chicago via @KPIG stream for 16 years or so now. Will miss his on point commentary with the background dog(s) barking and trains going through very much. Thanks for the memories and pointers, everyone!
Andrew Barbano May 24, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Dear Friends of Travus: You will find more than you ever knew you needed to know at Travus' complete (but never final) obituary at http://nevadalabor.com/barbwire/barb12/travusadios.html I've called and e-mailed Rolling Stone. Anybody with contacts in their New York City bureaucracy, please let me know or have them call me at 775-747-0544, e-mail <travus@nevadalabor.com> I'll have a piece in the Friday Reno Gazette-Journal and in Sunday's Daily Sparks Tribune. The RGJ is also doing a retrospective in Sunday's edition. A lot of people are responding to comments on this website. My heartfelt thanks to all. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew
Belle Starr May 25, 2012 at 11:46 PM
I worked with Travus at KTIM in San Rafael in the late 70's. He ad libbed the news! Never read a script. I was always in awe of him. He was very sweet with me as a budding, new broadcaster.
Jack Ellis May 26, 2012 at 12:16 AM
The last time i saw Travus 2 years ago in S C he gave me the master t shirt print for KSML.I worked with Hipp at KSML 75 76.He is the Thousandth Man of Radio.No one comes close or ever will. Jack Ellis
Rich Zimmerman May 28, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Jack...Maybe passing on the master KSML t-shirt print was a signal that Chan's post 5-18-2012 commentaries would emanate once more from a Secret Mountain Laboratory. As we break on through to the other side, we could turn on, tune in. How about screening some "working class hero" KSML tank tops to honor Travus' dedication and spirit? We'll know how to pick up the shirts if you keep in touch with nevadalabor.com
Andrew Barbano May 29, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Rich and Jack et al.: I have just been informed that one of his final wishes was to have the ladies of Silver City craft a quilt out of his well-worn personal t-shirt collection. They've got 25 or so. I suggested that they try to premier it at the planned August celebration. Turns out that a quilt is a lot of work, so we shall see. I'll have a report and some photos of the rainy day posted at NevadaLabor.com later this evening and more later (when I get 48 frames of 35mm developed; I was not the only analog photog in attendance). Country music superstar and Comstock resident Lacy J. Dalton sang at the reception afterward, as did Tommy Thompson who renders a mean "Your Cheatin' Heart." The music of the day was provided by Kristi Murkovich, who was one of his caregivers and may have been the one who found him sleeping the big sleep. She broke into "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" in the rain at graveside. The most I could manage was to speak one verse from The Grateful Dead's "Ripple." More at the site later. Stay in touch. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew
Tom McKoy May 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM
I had the privilege of working with Travus for about three years at KSML. His Sunday talk radio show followed my local Lake Tahoe/Truckee news show which was titled "Face the Basin." He would pull in from doing a show in Sacramento, fire up a joint that would have dropped a lesser man to his knees, remove that ever-present cowboy hat, put on the headphones and for an hour of call-in talk proceed to take on the fools of our time. I remember his taking me out behind the station to fire off his black-powder pistol just because it was something I had never done. I remember him as a kind man and a loyal friend. In later years, after I moved away from both the mountains and broadcasting, I would hear him on KPIG and take a small measure of personal pride in having worked with him. Sometimes during his morning commentary sometimes I would hear the dogs barking in the background and smile. My deepest sympathy to Sean and the rest of Chan's family. Tom McKoy
Bob Juch May 31, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Glad to see Dusty, my favorite DJ before KFAT came along, is still around.
Slowly Grail August 04, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I worked with Travis T. Hipp at KSML, Lake Tahoe in the 70's ~ have great memories of times in Kings Beach and over at Silver City.............. he played matchmaker with me & my husband Bill Ashford who also was at KSML .......... it was a Grand Era (and the Radio was great)...................... Slowly Grail
Eli Campos September 07, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I will miss you Travus T Hipp. I hope your words float out in the ether of space infinitely enlightening the universe with your insightful perspective. I feel a void every morning when I listen to the pig. I hope you rest in peace. Until we meet, peace...love Eli from Morro Bay
Lynn Hollander January 17, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Travis & I worked for the same radio group KSJO/KXRX in 1980/81...Iknew him as Chandler...Washoe Mike, Mike Jones, considered him a great friend..Mike was the bouncer at Red Dog...and Mike was the father of my son and the love of my life. I was saddened to hear oif Travis' loss...so many memories
Angelique Morin January 31, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Been living off grid since my "big guy" passed.... I just received a pc for x-mas and ran across this sad,yet fateful news.....So sorry to see...know he truly was a thoughtful and kind fellow friend....Happy Trails Mr. Hipp....Love and a pleasant journey to you, Angel
Angelique Morin January 31, 2013 at 02:39 AM
I grant Cunningham knew Travus long ago in the KSAN daze of underground radio.also I'm who angel has been "off grid" with with Big Dave's blessing sence before he passed..Ialso named my son after travus when he was born in 1981. unfronunately Travus T. never got to meet him,but I'm sure he would approve. At any rate I just heard the news. He was a shinning light in our political and socially confused world T.T.H. Ithink of you often and I know you are in a better place.
Rumwold Leigh April 02, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Robert, I'm writing something about Stoneground, Lynne's previous band. I am hoping those who knew her personally and her history can tell me something about Lynne . Here is my email - rumwoldleigh@netscape.net. Any help you can give will be appreciated.
Rumwold Leigh April 02, 2013 at 09:34 PM
As stated above, I'm writing something about Stoneground and am seeking all I can get on the late Lynne Hughes. Anything you can tell me will be much appreciated.
Andrew Barbano April 03, 2013 at 02:02 AM
To: rumwoldleigh@netscape.net (Rumwold Leigh) Re: Lynne Hughes Go to http://nevadalabor.com/barbwire/barb12/travusadios.html I also have contacts for Lynne's family. Lemme know. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew Barbano <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>
Andrew Barbano April 19, 2013 at 10:46 PM
Just Uploaded: Love Ain't Free Evelyn Kerr's remembrances of the life and times of Travus T. Hipp from the pages of TimeMazine. http://nevadalabor.com/barbwire/barb12/travustmz58.html All comments welcome. Enjoy. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew Barbano <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>
Andrew Barbano June 24, 2013 at 07:38 PM
All four editions of Travus and Lynne's short-lived newspaper, the hilarious 1987-88 Bullfrog Times-Picayune, are now posted at http://nevadalabor.com/barbwire/barb12/travusadios.html Also, a touching comment from a former fan in Las Vegas who, for inexplicable reasons, Googled Travus on the anniversary of his death and thus belatedly found out. Be well. Raise hell. Andrew Barbano <barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us>
p. troy glover October 24, 2013 at 07:49 PM
This is a bit late regarding the late Travus T Hipp, but just found out about his passing & what he was doing on radio since the once truly great KZAP folded in 1979. In the 70's , some FM stations had real DJ's who put together unique shows with eclectic yet great artists & musicians; Travus, of course was a talk show guy. Too bad he's gone; I wish I had known about KFAT, but, by tradition when a personality is replaced, you damn stations won't tell listeners even with self-addressed stamped envelopes!

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