Rodney on the ROQ

When I was growing up, in an isolated desert community in California, KROQ was a legendary station. Whenever one of my friends or I would take a trip to Los Angeles, we’d come back with tales of what we’d “heard on KROQ.” To this day, whenever I visit that area, the first pre-set on my dial is 106.7, The World-Famous KROQ.

The station's attraction, then and now, is that they’ve always played new music. Even with the stagnation facing terrestrial radio, KROQ can still be refreshing. And a large part of that is due to the Mayor of the Sunset Strip, Rodney Bigenheimer, a DJ at the station since about 1976.

Rodney is one of the very few DJs on commercial radio who has autonomy over what he plays. As a result, he has been the first to play many up-and-coming bands, including The Runaways, Blondie, The Ramones, and Van Halen. According to legend, bands would knock on the parking lot door of KROQ's old studio in Pasadena and give their music to Rodney. If he found a track he liked, he would he would put it on the air immediately. Although his show has now been relegated to a midnight to 3 a.m. slot on Sunday evenings, it still has a fair amount of power to make or break new artists.

Between 1980 and 1982, Rodney released three compilation albums featuring the music he played on-air: Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Rodney on the ROQ. I’ve got some tunes from Volume 1. A reviewer on Amazon says, “Classic 80's So Cal punk from the greatest radio station - KROQ - in Southern California and Rodney Bingenheimer, an icon from that era! If you lived in So Cal at that time, you know what I mean!”

It’s hard for me to give a better recommendation than that.

Pushing Too Hard (Seeds cover).mp3 The Klan
TV Love.mp3 Simpletones
Wild.mp3 The Nuns
Furry Friend.mp3 Fenderbuddies
Amoeba.mp3 Adolescents
Bloodstains.mp3 Agent Orange
Is That All There Is?.mp3 Christina

Where It’s All Happening


At 3:34 AM , Blogger Rocco's Radio said...

We had the same kind thing going on when we would drive in from Blythe. PVHS Class of '85. There were only a handful of us that knew better at the time and we knew exactly when and where we could get KROQ on the radio while on the freeway (just past Riverside). It still kills me that most of what we liked to listen to has stood the test of time, I couldn't even tell you what the hell all the other kids were into. Thanks for the post.

At 1:41 PM , Blogger Eric said...

First of all- Licorice Pizza kicks major boot. 2nd of all.. do you have an LP version of Rodney on the Roq vol III? If so.. I'm desperately seeking a copy of the Signals "Gotta Let Go" and can find it nowhere. Poshboy and Rhino don't sell.

At 6:46 PM , Blogger aikin said...

eric - thanks for the comments! Sorry, the only Rodney on the ROQ I have is the one from this post-Vol. 1.

I'm sure you've tried already, but keep checking the blogs. You might also try commercial services like emusic or iTunes. Once in a while you stumble across otherwise hard-to-find things there.


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