The KRAB Audio Archive
Lorenzo Milam interviews Captain Crunch
Captain Crunch interviewed by Lorenzo Milam - KTAO Sep 13, 1971, KRAB Apr 29, 1972
One of the 'Phone Phreakx' mentioned in a recent Esquire article, Captain
Crunch is privy to most all the secrets of the telephone company. In this
interview with Lorenzo Milam, there are actually four calls (all which took place Sept 13, 1971) routed through different trunks so that it would be hard to trace them. Captain Crunch is a pseudonym, of course, and in this interview he
shows his deep concern that he will be found out, discovered, busted by the
Telephone Co. He also describes the famous 2111 loop in Vancouver, some interesting calls he has made and phreakx he has known. (From KTAO) (KRAB Guide Apr 1972 Marathon)
The "recent Esquire article" was in the Oct 1971 issue. Years later the veil of mystery surrounding Captain Crunch has been lifted, and it turns out he volunteered at a radio station not far from Los Gatos, KKUP in Cupertino.
Here is what Steve Wozniak shared in his book iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-founded Apple, and had fun doing it (By Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith, W W Norton & Company, 2006):
. . . . . I would've died to meet Captain Crunch, who was really the center of it all. Of any phone phreak, it just seemed so impossible that I'd ever meet anyone else with a Blue Box.
One day Steve Jobs called me and said that Captain Crunch had actually done an interview on the Los Gatos radio station KTAO.
I said, "Oh my god, I wonder if there's any way to get in touch with him." Steve said he'd already left a message at the station but Captain Crunch hadn't called back.
We knew we just had to get in touch with this most famous --
infamous, really -- and brilliant engineering criminal in the world. After all, he was the guy we'd been obsessed with for months; he
was the guy we'd been reading about and telling stories about. We left messages at KTAO but never heard back from Captain
Crunch. It looked like a dead end."
You never know who is going to come through the door, or over the phone line, and what will fascinate the listener. This was one of those programs that KRAB listeners couldn't get enough of, even if portions were almost unlistenable. The audio does improve after the first minute.
More can be learned about "Phone Phreaking" here: The History of Phone Phreaking
Listen now - Captain Crunch (John Draper) interviewed by Lorenzo Milam - 1971-09-13 (45:36)
Over-the-air recording courtesy Bob Gudgel
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