His son Willam and I went to Beat Lab Academy in Eagle Rock together. Billy Idol was always great with me on the air, and I truly loved his music from the beginning. Willem tells me he was there that night with his dad, young enough at this point that he would have watched this photo taken. 1993.
Rick Rippey was my producer for 12 years, in my opinion my best years. He encouraged diabolical ideas. Suggests things in just the right way to inspire me. Burbank KROQ control room. Now THIS guy could fix any piece of equipment put in front of him. Note the overbridge, which he and Scott Mason installed. It allowed the cart machines to be places directly over the control board for smoother workflow.
PJ Harvey in the Assistant Program Director's office in 1995. I think that giant black shape overhead was a robot. With ears.
I can only describe my ridiculous hair as a follicle fountain. Depeche Mode has been in the station more times than I can count. Andy Fletcher is probably the member least like a tempermental artist.
Likely the most embraced version of the KROQ logo, it was co-designed by KROQ Promotions Director Quay Hays.
It's rough for the American radio listener to hear a heavy Liverpudlian accent. Paul McCartney learned to clean his up a bit, Ian McCulloch not so much. His subdued voice does not help. At least he left a sizable souvenir booger on the wall of the Burbank men's room, which remained for nearly a year.
The Prodigy concert at the Spuce Goose, Long Beach in 1997. Very loud and ravey.
KROQ clock. An hourly guide for when to play commercials (green areas), play jingles, and most importantly, talk. They don’t remain the same for long. Circa 1994. Kevin Weatherly, program director.
During the Whammy tour, if you took a photo backstage with the B-52s, you had to wear a hat, a wig, or otherwise be goofy. Their last time out with Ricky Wilson, left.
I have discarded these awards if they had no meaning for me. This one did, because I feel I have a relationship with the band. U2 I will always remember because of their Jed The Fish interview for their Pop Mart tour. This award was for the following album.
Way before I was Jed The Fish, my mother remarried and I moved to Arizona. I was an object of ridicule in Laguna Beach, but once I lived in a town of 35,000, I was conferred star status, because I was from LA. I kept explaining I was NOT from LA, I was from Laguna Beach. "Yeah, sure, you're from LA," I heard back. I had some experience doing light shows, so I did one for a high school dance at the first opportunity. The art department liked the concept, and with the guidance of teacher Robbie Robertson and other students, we created one of the first multi-media events. Our only mistake was not making it interactive.
Elvira and I did a string of appearances together. This one was in Hollywood at a gay club called The Circus. She was on-air for KROQ in 82-83. Always a riot to work with. And of course look at.
This is the band I was most chummy with. We would get together at Farmers Market, their old hang, and I remember they would talk to their stalkers. Girls would go to FM to see them. They told me it’s important to approach them to humanize the relationship. You want them to know the impact they can have on your normal life just being famous. Not just being a quest. At Ron’s house one night, they played me Interior Design. It was an album devoid of bass parts. Some upper bass synth, but that’s it. I tried in vain to help them justify it. It was a tough listen, because I liked them so much. Rock needs bass if not guitar.
This reminds me of when I got in trouble with a girl I'd just broken up with. She got so mad at me she emptied a vacuum cleaner bag into my car, two weeks in a row. You see, the girl I'm with is her sister. I always liked hanging out with Joan Jett. I was in the studio with The Runaways one time when Kim Fowley was producing. On another production, Kim, directing me on the synthesizer, told me to do my dog urine.
In those days, Danny always had a jovial mood for the camera. It was a time I will never remember. Honolulu, Hawaii 1983
For a short time in 1978-79, I was actually the KROQ Music Director. I had only heard about the station less than a year before. It was my responsibility to gain the trust of the record company promotion people, wary of giving us product because so much of it had been stolen by former KROQ DJs. Four scoundrels stealing albums meant I needed twenty meetings with promotion people. One of my first “adds” as MD was to begin playing Dire Straits, which I hated but knew would be successful. Devo’s first album was a no brainer.
photo bt Debbie Leavitt.
Quay Hays was the 1983 KROQ Promotions Director, and organized this wacky photo shoot. He oversaw the logo transition from line drawing (a sticker just above the "Nov") to full color, which was the most beloved logo of all time.
Between Kevin and Bean and Jed The Fish, we had a pretty good award run until Album Network, the trade publication, was bought by Clear Channel. I guess our competition couldn't bear to see us sweeping up awards, so they just bought the magazine. Now they are called I Heart. Do you think I Heart is a good name for a radio group?
The Weird Science/Dead Man's Party synthesizer. Danny actually asked for this back, and I tried several times to return it. I think it was Leon of Oingo Boingo who sewed the cover for it. If this isn't cool memorabilia, I don't know what is.
I wish you had a color photograph so that you could see how hideous these curtains were. Always drawn, they hid all kinds of secrets. Here, Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone, at this point were seven albums into their career. Subterranean Jungle interview.
This is the most concrete example of Jed The Fish having an impact on an artist's success. My Catch of the Day feature allowed me to choose one song per day. One Tuesday in 1988 Anthony Smith and Matt Dyke talked their way past reception and brought me Wild Thing. I spent most of my shift talking with them and sent them off expecting to hear the single at 4:40 pm. The phones blew up, and I made the rare decision to play it again the next day. The day after that it was a mid-week add to KROQ (most radio stations do their music meetings on a Tuesday, where they decide what is 'added' to the playlist). By Thursday it was on KIIS-FM. A most memorable instance of watching a piece of vinyl setting the radio waves ablaze in a matter of hours.
exclusive photo sesh
by Debbie Leavitt
In probably the best shot of the Pasadena control room, a 28 mm lens reveals Devo judging the Rhino Devotees album, for which KROQ listeners submitted their own versions of Devo songs. With phenomenal luck, two of my own made the album. Rhino at the time was known for their wacky, Dr. Demento tastes. Richard Bronson and Harold Foos went for the Warner Bros. payday. I would. The reason in 1978 I was so excited about working at KROQ, is that it was the home of Devo.
Nick Rhodes backstage at Acoustic Christmas with -- I have no idea, but he seems a bit more interested in the keyboards than Nick's other observer. 1992
Rodney and I both took credit for supporting Adam Ant. This was probably the day of a show at Perkin's Palace. Since I arrived in 1978, this mural was the only permanent evidence of the radio station's existence. I would describe his mood during my interview that day as charmingly pretentious. The now-defunct Independent Media Center describes Old Town Pasadena in 1981 as “a burnt-out bastion of dive bars, porno parlors and low-end department stores and thrift shops.” Welcome, ADAM ANT!!
Muscle shirt, no muscles. INXS drummer Tim Ferriss is the clowner-arounder of the band, and I love that they didn't always send Michael Hutchence for interviews. Fun guy.
L-R, Asst. PD Gene Sandbloom (creator of the names for KROQ events) and I can't even tell which Ramones showed up that day -- Markie? Ritchie? -- random promo guy, Program Director Kevin Weatherly in the light shirt. Back on the left, Image Master John Frost, preparing to vomit, Sherri Trahan, Richard Blade, Tami Heide, and Jed The Fish in my favorite U2 shirt.
My wonderful visit to NYC with hosts Allegravita. This young lad made it a funny shoot. Very cold and I forgot my gloves on a train.
Silly grin. Jed The Fish, Pasadena KROQ control room. Turntables!
A rare photo of early 1980s KROQ Program Director Rick Carroll to the right of Lou Reed. Jeff Naumann, in the blue shirt, was a promo guy for Virgin in the 80s. Oh, my god. He got so yelled at by Lou that day when he asked him to sign his copy of Metal Machine Music. "Don't you EVAH, EVAH, show me a picture from my past AGAIN!!" Evidently Lou was a little sensitive in early sobriety. In a private moment, he looked at me and could tell I was having problems. He gently assured me if I went to a meeting it would make me smile. Awww!
You never know if someone's a (relative) one-hit wonder, so you must take care of everyone. The Proclaimers, Scottish bothers Craig and Charlie Reid stopped by for an interview when we were playing I'm Gonna Be. Kevin Weatherly actually had more than one shirt, before he started looking buff in polos. Just outside the KROQ Control Room.
This was the night I was hired at KROQ. It was the first time I had seen the band, and I was sitting in my Ball Road apartment GLOWING because I had finally seen the greatest Rock and Roll band in the world. The phone rings at 1:15 a.m., it's Darrell Wayne asking if I could get to Pasadena by two. "Sure," I said. And later I climbed those back stairs for the first time.