It’s a good bet that KGEM radio personality Marty Martin read that story. The very next day the Statesman had an article headlined “Bonfire Set For Beatles Near Boise.” They probably used that “Near Boise” line because “in Garden City” wouldn’t fit in the space they had for the headline.
But let’s back up. Why was anyone burning records by the Beatles? It was because John Lennon had been quoted in a British magazine interview as saying the group was “more popular than Jesus.” The quote didn’t raise a stir in the UK, but the Beatles were headed to the US for a nationwide tour. A Birmingham radio station started the “burn the Beatles” movement and it quickly caught on, even in Boise. Um, Garden City.
Marty Martin’s record-burning session was to take place during a remote broadcast at Mica Trailer Sales in Garden City. Free hotdogs were more common at remotes than record burnings, but one changes with the times.
Fifty Boise teens showed up to pitch their records into Martin’s fire. The first to do so was Billy Cutshaw. She received a replacement LP from Martin who had offered less controversial vinyl in exchange for every Beatles record thrown onto the fire. They were probably country western records, as KGEM wasn’t playing music by the Beatles in the first place.
So, what happened next? Well, as everyone knows the Beatles went down in flames never to be heard from again. Oh, wait. That wasn’t in this dimension. Here on earth the Beatles sold several more records and changed the course of rock and roll history.
What also happened, many years later, is that John Lennon was murdered by a crazed gunman reportedly in part because of that 1966 remark.
Marty Martin went on to have a highly successful recording career of his own under his stage name, Boxcar Willie.