Art Bell dead at 72

Radio host Art Bell – whose conspiracy theories and interest in paranormal activity and UFOs were broadcast into homes throughout America – is dead, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Department in Nevada.

I still remember the first time Art interviewed me on Coast-to-Coast am in May 1997. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, and sales of Not by Fire but by Ice just simply exploded. At the time, his show was carried on more than 500 radio stations across the United States and Canada, and he had thousands upon thousands of devoted listeners. He interviewed me several times during the next few years.

As an example of his worldwide influence,  a few years ago my wife and I were vacationing in Cinque Terre, Italy. We were staying in a very small bed and breakfast  part way up a steep hill – something like 200 very steep cobblestone steps to get to it – in the town of Monterosso. As I said, it was a very small place, with maybe five rooms.

Anyway, on the first morning, we were eating breakfast on the patio overlooking the town and the ocean. We were alone, except for one other couple, a man and his wife.

We felt like were were a million miles from anywhere, when the husband suddenly turned to me and asked, “I’m sorry to bother you, but are you by any chance Robert Felix?”

He had recognized my voice!

Turned out that they were from Hawaii, and he had heard me several times on one of their local stations.

That was the power of Art Bell. He will be missed.

Here are a couple of good articles about him:

Thanks to Keith Connelly, Jack Hydrazine and Val Robins for these links
“Sad news today unfortunately talk show host from coast to coast Am radio Art Bell has past away at the age of 72 my for most thoughts and prayers Go out to the family and friends of Art Bell as we remember his life and memory.” says Keith. “May he R.i.P.”

8 thoughts on “Art Bell dead at 72”

  1. I’ve driven coast to coast, often through the night, more times than I can count. Well over a dozen. Closer to 2 dozen and maybe on the long side of that. Other trips to L.A. or Phoenix and back in between. I’d always search out the Art Bell program.

    Why? Well, much of it might be “crazy talk” or conspiracy theories, but some of it was valid oppressed points of view. He treated folks fairly and let them make their case. It was always interesting and made you engage your brain. (To learn, accept, refute, or guffaw didn’t matter). It was above all else, to entertain.

    It kept me awake (and thus alive) from 2 am to 4 am over decades of driving. Return from skiing. Going to the Grand Canyon on vacation. Driving back to Texas where I’d left my family after an “emergency contract” had me zip to California. He was my (almost) constant companion on road trips.

    While what passes for “the news” was often good for a snooze, and not just Classical music by even popular music would more often lead to a slow boredom drift into drowsy; it is hard to fall asleep at the wheel when someone is asserting Space Aliens have taken over Congress (and doing a credible, if giggle inducing, job of it).

    Just the puzzle of figuring out which guests had new and very important paradigm bending insights, and which were a bit daft, could keep you going for hours. Even if you didn’t decide that some rocks under the ocean off Japan were an Ice Age Monument indicating vast lost societies, you learned there was something interesting a few hundred feet down off the coast of Japan…

    His was the place where you were most likely to “Hear it here first!” even if you did need to decide merit for yourself. (Or perhaps because that decision was left to you…)

    I hope his style of show persists. Those of us plying the interstate in the dead of night need it …

  2. I enjoyed his programs and writings for many years. Always committed to his beliefs and never waivered. A man of integrity whether you agreed with his views or not.

  3. His New Show is “Midnight in the Desert”(.com), with Art’s hand picked replacement, Heather Wade. She is continuing the Tradition, and has recently moved up to Pahrump. She is producing her shows from Art’s old studio. Not on the radio, but the Dark MatterDigital Network. You can listen on a phone at 605 562 4444. She needs all the support we can give her!

  4. If 50 is the new 30 than 72 is the new 52. Too young. Died on Friday the 13th too.
    What did he die of?

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