Once established as Talking Heads members, Chris and Tina ventured out with a solo project. Tom Tom Club had an instant hit with Genius of Love, and I was still wearing free tee-shirts. This was their first son.
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.
Baseball shirts were a thing. Jed The Fish, Pasadena KROQ control room. There were carts everywhere. Similar to the old 8-track cartridges, these had a continuous loop with a stop tone (to stop the machine the last time someone played it) just before the beginning of each recording. So when you plugged it in to play it, it was always ready. It was quite a reliable system, which is why the cart machines such as ITC existed for 50 years. Hassle recording the cart in the first place, but I did it for the Go-Gos, who gave me a demo lacquer of “Cool Jerk.”
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.
Harry Shearer and Firesign Theater comedian Peter Bergman generously agreed to appear in a student project I did my freshman year, long before I became Jed The Fish. Paisley curtains in the tradition-steeped Hancock Hall. Many years later filling in for Jason Bentley at KCRW, I finished my shift and was about to leave, and he said from the next studio, "Oh, you're too big a star now to say hello?" Embarrassed, I had seen him but had no idea he would ever remember me. Funny guy.
My very funny girlfriend in 1989 had Calvary Baptist parents, who once had a sermon villainizing KROQ. Coincidentally, we had the first and only billboard campaign. (KROQ has never advertised since) But my billboard, located near her parents’ house was vandalized. By Jesus Freaks. One of them risked life and limb to remove my name from it. It was a dumbass campaign anyway.
There was nothing left to say when your band leader, after 10 years of scoring movies, is calling it quits. No more gold records to be had, hearing going bad, and bandmates so sad, they all autographed this poster from the site of the departure, the once-heralded Universal Amphitheater. Music and movies have never been the same since.
|Taken||March 9, 2019|
|Uploaded||March 10, 2019|
Getting away with murder, Part Two. The second and last of two annual trips with KROQ listeners to Honolulu. I love it when Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo grabs me by the hair.
I think this was for the True Stories album, as David moved closer to a solo career. Always an impeccable dresser. Pasadena control room.
We had whiteboards in the Burbank control room. Notes for the jocks and Kevin and Bean. Evidently on this day, I was overdressed. Andy Fletcher in the Burbank control room.
I bet you have one of these yourself. Really a memory of the passion we have for music.
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 the few distinguished examples of Duran Duran ephemera signed by the entire band, Capitol Records gave me this for my support of the first two albums. Funny thing, the label actually had unpaid interns promoting the band. I think his name was Danny, and he brought me my first copy of 'Duran Duran' in the summer of 1981. Money well spent?
As you see, Fish is my real middle name. I was 17 when I took and passed the exam for the First Class Radiotelephone Certificate. Issued in Long Beach. This enables one to do technical work on TV and radio transmitters. I just got it to exceed the requirement for a Third Class license. As I had no interest in this, I allowed it to expire. I framed the license, and it became a chopping surface for nasty drugs in the KROQ control room in Pasadena on Los Robles Blvd.
|Taken||March 5, 2019|
|Uploaded||March 15, 2019|
How many women do you know who put on boob makeup? It works for her. Here I am trying to climb on top of her in the KROQ lobby in Pasadena. Isn't she beautiful?
Jed The Fish and Dusty Street at a party in Santa Monica. Photo Debbie Leavitt.
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.
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.
Fat Boy Slim I only met once, at Organic 96, an event that has evidently dropped off the internet, except for this article: https://www.laweekly.com/music/from-organic-96-to-the-hollywood-bowl-the-la-history-of-underworld-5671139
In the late nineties, I was the only one at KROQ supporting him, so yes, Jed The Fish graciously accepts this award.
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.
Here was the evolution of the Fishface Outline font adorning this site. The taped on numbers on the KROQ control room cart machines. ITC was our choice of cart machines. Certain songs came from private collectors such as Freddy Snakeskin. If it weren’t for these manually-recorded records, many songs would not have made it on KROQ. You would have done without Barbie and the Kens
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.
In April 2011, the book "Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967," arrived at Book Soup in West Hollywood and I waited in line like all his other fans. Blue Velvet has always been a favorite of mine. Perhaps David Lynch's most compelling work, the characterizations and dialog will live forever. Dennis also gave vivid performances in Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now and True Romance. The Blue Lady oddly aroused by Frank Booth in this publicity still.
One of the bands I had forgotten I interviewed, Big Country, except for this Debbie Leavitt photo. The Scottish must find it oppressive in the US these days, particularly if they smoke.
Debbie Leavitt contact sheet from 1982, KROQ control room in Pasadena. Never a fashion trendsetter, somehow the DJs picked up on the medical scrubs look.
PJ Harvey in the Assistant Program Director's office in 1995. I think that giant black shape overhead was a robot. With ears.
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. Firstly, I loved Butch Vig, and Shirley Manson was an easy person to know. Although she was quite offended ten years later during an Inland Invasion Jed The Fish interview when I forgot the title of her latest single (Bad Boyfriend).
91X personality and smoker Mike Halloran at a 1997 Prodigy concert at the Spruce Goose in Long Beach, Ca.
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?
This guy wound up doing 22 studio albums and he is a famous songwriter. John Hiatt is still one of the most popular singers and writers for other artists.
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.