Amazed that we could sell out what was then Irvine Meadows, I had no idea it would become an exalted event. We were so happy to have hotel rooms, because the staff didn’t want the worry we would show up late. Wearing the shirt. Sometimes we did not get good seats, so I early on got in the habit of buying them both for myself and my guests. When people would ask me for tickets, I would always inwardly groan because I would rather give away no seats than nosebleed.
Locked in a cheesy trailer at the KROQ Weenie Roast with then-newcomers Foster the People, I do my best to scramble their name. They were in a good mood.
Chuck Randall arrived at KROQ shortly after I did in 1978. A short-term Joq but a long time friend, he went to Acoustic Christmas with me in 1992. Chuck helped me stay sober as well. I got smart that year and asked for a photo pass.
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.
We were toast after visiting with each fan for 10 seconds, but they were fun. The KROQ Calendar appearances went on for a while, and we all did it just because we were supposed to. Great fun. We had a wonderful promotions person, Amy Stevens.
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.
At least I stood up for this one. Erasure with Jed The Fish.
This was a crazy, barely legal short wave club I belonged to in the 2000s. This is the organization that led me into Class B fireworks (Class A is military, Class C is fireworks stand). Their most notorious members -- The Neckbolt Brothers -- would egg people on to break FCC rules, which of course apply to KROQ as well. Had I followed this path, I might have lost my broadcasting priveliges. I made my mom's chili and won 3rd place.
Whadday know. Amazing who you run into in the KROQ control room. I can't figure out why Bonnie Raitt was there, other than to sniff something with our program director. I'm sure he did her the courtesy of actually playing her album for a week. She was sweet.
Surfers in general are easy to speak with. Unlike many though, Jack Johnson is articulate. Even though he did not grow up listening to KROQ, he was generous about my influence on him.
Years away from his gig as a late night talk show host, Jimmy Fallon has always been good natured. Here I am trying to have a conversation with people talking to me in my headphones. Hey Jimmy, do you remember me?
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.
Kate and Fred stopped by for an interview after I had carved a jack-o-lantern in the KROQ control room. It was a sad time for the band with Ricky having passed just months before. They did not tour for the album. Warner Bros. Promotion person Paul V. was outraged at my criticism of the album.
In those days, Danny always had a jovial mood for the camera. It was a time I will never remember. Honolulu, Hawaii 1983
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. UB40 was an example of success by acclaim, not as much by promotion. That's why Jed The Fish support means something.
I was probably heading off after announcing Dramarama. This was before we had two stages.
This guy is as genteel as Peter Gabriel. Steven Patrick Morrissey, in his solo years. When Johnny Marr was playing with the Smiths, he grabbed a drumstick and bashed his guitar with it during The Queen is Dead. He then threw it right to me. A security guy was --I thought -- trying to grab it from me, but assured me that unless I immediately took it to my car, it would indeed wind up snatched.
I know, how many photos of me in the Pasadena control room can you stand. But there I was with INXS shortly before the first US Festival in 1982. Great smile on Michael Hutchence.
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.
My first week at KROQ -- before I was even called Jed The Fish -- my favorite band arrived in support of their first album. To meet them was an amazing experience, but to speak with them on the air was a dream come true. I blew the interview, but started a long relationship with the band, which I think made the biggest impact on 80s music. Constantly cited as inspirational by so many bands of the era, DEVO made a crazy instrument like the MiniMoog profoundly essential. And no one will ever play the MiniMoog like Mark Mothersbaugh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
PJ Harvey in the Assistant Program Director's office in 1995. I think that giant black shape overhead was a robot. With ears.
He was always such a genteel person. Shortly after this interview in 1982, he led a crowd of people from the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach across PCH into the Pacific Ocean. His last encore song that night was I Go Swimming, to be release the next year. Here, he's like a scraggly-headed vampire.
One of my true heroes, Zappa wasn't especially kind when I interviewed him. I honestly was not great at it. He insisted I got into radio to get laid, and actually it was because even as often the best qualified journalism graduate, the news stations were obligated to not hire white men. I simply did not know what else to do. When you meet your heroes, you're often let down. This did little to diminish my admiration and enthusuasm.
You can see John Dolmayan checking me out to make sure I was OK before he went crowd surfing, unbeknownst to me. Later he said I was supposed to take a solo during Sweet Pea, something I would not even do on drugs. Serj began leading the audience in a chant, "Jed The Fish on drums, Jed The Fish on drugs," and a few minutes later I was glad John came back. Somehow he had known I was a drummer long before that.