When Devo was doing clubs, these posters -- with venue particulars -- were for promoters in each city.
This was when David Bowie came by the station in advance of the 'co-headlining' NIN show, and I GOT TO INTERVIEW HIM. Thing is, as anyone will tell you, he is as kind and disarming as could be. It was near Halloween, and I had decorated the Burbank studio with oodles of scary, and one of my props was a battery-operated, undulating heart. He made sure I noticed that he had crammed it in his pants, power on, just as I opened the mic. To say I laughed is an understatement, as I'm sure you recall what I was capable of. This was when we were both in recovery. Meeting him in the Station to Station days might have been different. And yes, I asked him if he had ever been fat.
Although this is the bitty Fender model -- and I doubt Tom ever played it -- to have this in my studio still making sound is amazing. Sadly, the 'soul power,' written in silver Sharpie, rubs right off with very little effort, you get the idea. Rock's best guitar player of the 90s? Come on! That's why KROQ even bothered to call it 'Roq of the 90's.' I haven't been gentle with it.
Working at KROQ was fun, and I’m sure it sounded like it on the air. In back of me, albums, below my right elbow 7” 45rpm singles, the rest hundreds of carts, to my right and in front of me, shelved and stacked. The Grace Jones poster, seen in many photos, was directly to my right. We had creepy green carpet and awful green and red curtains which were never open. This control room had soul, the walls were covered with notes, flyers and photos. Ask me about Sly Stone.
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.
These guys were as weird as their music. Accomplished jazz musicians, they almost created the group as an insult to the music industry. Very fun to talk to, they relished their mystery. Mystery is something missing from today's art in general. Movies especially. So here I am destroying it. Their real names are Don Fagenson and David Jay Weiss. There was a certain elegance to physically exhibiting an artist's product. There I am with it in my hands. No more.
Jennifer Beals, eventually a Yale graduate, could carry herself well in an interview. Aside from Return of the Jedi and Terms of endearment, Flashdance was the highest grossing film of 1983. She impressed me so much, I asked her to take her bra off under her shirt like she did in the movie. It looks like she's dipping me!
Did I mention that people said I was going on a cruise with the Cure. It was definitely not a cruise. When you can’t sleep because due to bad weather you feel like you’re on Viper, it’s a CROSSING, not a cruise. At the time, Robert Smith refused to fly. Lewis Largent, Scott Mason and I were in what you call steerage, whilst each band member had their own suite. This is the satellite uplink from, well, in the Atlantic near Greenland. From left, Simon, Lol Tolhurst, and Robert Smith of the Cure.
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.
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.
My very first tee shirt. If we wanted our own tee-shirts, the Joqs needed to pay for them. So if you got one, I must like you.
This photo was taken as we were initiating the new studios in 1996. I believe that is Cynthia Takahashi with me in the control room, moving the equipment from the Pasadena studio. As you can see we had already begun to decorate. The filled cabinet was CDs, the empty ones for tape cartridges, or carts.
Oh, I did my best guys, but when I was set to pick her up for a B-52s concert at the Forum, her mother introduced me to her boyfriend and the date was over. Intercepted!
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!
|Taken||March 5, 2019|
|Uploaded||March 15, 2019|
He was rumored to have a chandelier goldfish bowl, and sure enough, during a party, I found it. It was actually a terrible interview that day — I was sent all the way to New Orleans for a Nine Inch Nails interview with faulty equipment. I shall restrain myself from identifying the engineer who furnished a bad DAT recorder. I think his name was Paul. To make matters worse, because I had to use Trent’s studio gear, they edited out the part in which I asked him about Marilyn Manson.
PJ Harvey in the Assistant Program Director's office in 1995. I think that giant black shape overhead was a robot. With ears.
Me in my pannies in 1983 introducing Boingo at the Us Festival. This was the day I was used by Terri Nunn to make Richard’s first wife jealous. She picked at my nipple with her long nail. I could only watch.
The "Virgin" Kennedy, who drove me around for months whilst my license was suspended, is great in photos. Given to plaid design, her personality was huge. Scott Weiland of STP felt hopeless about being on heroin. He believed that unless someone was threatening your career, it was impossible to get clean. I guess I was lucky.
Those silly backward shirts. Way to go! You’re promoting a radio station nobody’s heard of, and they can’t read the shirt. I remember also having fun with Doc on the Roq that day. Yes, we played King Crimson.
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.
I never saw the Mystic Knights, but Danny Elfman gave me this relic from the 1970s.
By 1986, Depeche Mode were about to be huge. Here we display a listener license plate in the KROQ control room in Pasadena. Despite claims to the contrary, I played Just Can’t Get Enough the week after it was released in London. I played it because I had heard of the producer, Daniel Miller, who also produced the double a-side single TVOD/Warm Leatherette. Mike Zampelli of Zed Records in Long Beach gave it to me.
Darrell Wayne organized this Pasadena Hilton event in 2006, where all the gory stories were told. Darrell hired me in 1978.
Jed The Fish and Dusty Street at a party in Santa Monica. Photo Debbie Leavitt.
Silly grin. Jed The Fish, Pasadena KROQ control room. Turntables!
My second semester at USC, my video project was a discussion on the riveting subject of Los Angeles TV advertising. Not what about the advertising, does it suck or what, merely the ads. Harry Shearer, left, took me aside and gave me some much-needed advice. He said afterwards, "Look, when you have celebrity guests, you roll out the red carpet, have a green room, drinks, etc. Even though it's not a drama, you give them a script." My response was to offer him a joint. Right, Mal Sharpe, in glasses, Peter Bergman.
Very seldom do I get a pro to photograph me at work, but Debbie Leavitt was there on Josie Cotton Day, without Josie Cotton. These are her proof sheets, not actual prints.
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!!
Massive Attack is a band I have long supported out of passion. I'm sure, had they achieved gold record status, they would have acknowledged me, so they did what they could.
DMode I began playing on KROQ because the producer was Daniel Miller, of The Normal (TVOD, Warm Leatherette, 1978). Mike Zampelli from Zed Records/LBC brought the single New Life to Pasadena with a dozen or so other records he wanted me to play on the Jed The Fish import show. Not a huge response but the band showed promise. Once Speak and Spell arrived, everyone on KROQ was playing it.
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.