You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. It’s April, 1979 -Your World Consists Of Rodney On The Roq, The Whiskey And Madame Wong’s
Rodney Bingenheimer. Yes, it’s his last broadcast from KROQ, coming up this Sunday night at midnight. Since I ran the Go Go’s on Rodney’s show from 1980 last week there’s been an avalanche of responses and even a few readers who have combed their personal tape collections and offered some classic shows they recorded. Thanks to the unexplained joy of uploads and downloads, many of you have sent in your favorite tapes as a way of adding to the celebration of what’s rapidly becoming a bygone era.
One of those tapes comes from a collector here in L.A. – James Reitano luckily had the foresight to hit the record button on April 8, 1979 and preserve this interview with 999 who were visiting L.A. and a surprise visit from The Boomtown Rats own Bob Geldof. Its typical of the off-the-wall nature of Rodney Bingenheimer’s show and one of the reasons it’s become such an integral part of L.A.’s Pop Culture history. And listening to a list of upcoming shows at the Whiskey reads like a history of Rock in the 1970s. There’s also a few voices tucked in the background that add to the color of what was The Sunset Strip at the time; among them, Michelle Myers who was the be-all-end-all booking agent at the Whiskey and who did just as much as Rodney in promoting new bands and new music in L.A., who is sadly, no longer with us.
Of course, at the time you weren’t thinking about all that – weren’t thinking that people and places and institutions don’t last forever, and that some of them have gone a little faster than others.
Ironically, when this broadcast was on, there was no House Of Blues – but there was still a Starwood. And now there’s neither. Seeing photos of bulldozers taking down HOB reminded me of the temporary nature of Popular Culture – how none of it lasts forever, or stays the same. Maybe it’s the evolution of things that makes it possible for the ones not yet born in 1979 to form their own memories, have their own places and their own points of reference. I think that’s the nature of being on the planet – we get to have our own set of experiences to look back on – things that I find strange today will most likely bring a flood of wistful memories to someone twenty years from now. That’s just how life works and part of the continuum. It’s just that way.
So here we all are – and for the next hour or so it will be Rodney Bingenheimer and Rodney On The Roq from April 8, 1979 – and if you were there it will conjure up emotions and places and people and smells and sounds – everything that made an impression on you and became part of your DNA.
Crank it up and enjoy – and don’t forget to tune in to KROQ on Sunday night/Monday morning at Midnight-3 am.
Special thanks to James Reitano for sending the show.