ROCK OF THE 1980’S
Gary Numan on air with me at the KROQ studio. This picture is copyright (C) 2019 Joel Gelfland Photography, and is presented here with kind permission.
Swedish Egil was kind enough to give me a stellar introduction at the latest reunion for Marilyn's Backstreet at The Rose in Pasadena. The crowd was the star of the show. I love the passion for the music.
photo by Debbie Leavitt
photo bt Debbie Leavitt.
photo Debbie Leavitt
Eddie Money and Bryan Adams
Day on the Green
exclusive photo sesh
by Debbie Leavitt
photo Debbie Leavitt
|Taken||March 27, 2019|
|Uploaded||March 30, 2019|
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.
Right about the time the world was getting busted for counterfeit shoes, Van's did a promotion with KROQ, and all the Joqs got free shoes. Deese are dem. Cir.1989
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.
Jed The Fish and Dusty Street at a party in Santa Monica. Photo Debbie Leavitt.
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.
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.
Jed The Fish in the KROQ Control Room, Pasadena, 1983. The ubiquitous Sennheiser 421 microphones.
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.”
Silly grin. Jed The Fish, Pasadena KROQ control room. Turntables!
John Frost was a legendary promotional announcement producer and sound designer. There’s another photo of him floating around here somewhere. Here we are mugging in front of a giant cart rack. He called me Jed The Pudding Fish.
Jed The Fish Pasadena KROQ control room. Various radio station stickers were everywhere.
DJ appearance at Sandpiper Square, Solana Beach. The chic facing me is so very 80s. Me? I look like I just went to see a dealer.
Where’s Josie? This is the day I asked her what her real name was, and she said, “Well, basically Josie Cotton is my name.” A dedicated bimbo. Pasadena control room. A fake protest was staged outside the Pasadena studios. None of the protesters were angry. Gleaming Spires, the Sparks offshoot, was in the studio. Leslie Bohem and David Kendrick.
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.
Wendy O. Williams, of the electrical taped-nipples and porn past, was the perfect front woman for a punk outfit. They would destroy things. Cars, TVs. Wielding a chainsaw with a chainsaw voice, she always had political sentiment whether it made sense or not. I can find this poster nowhere online.
Steve Wozniak, Apple computer innovator, had millions to throw a party, so he did it twice. Their stage manager was concert legend Bill Graham, who was a dick. My ex-girlfriend worked for him for years. He was pained to see me onstage at all, let alone speaking before Oingo Boingo to a crowd of over 100,000.
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.
Backstage at the Bowie Glass Spider tour, the most amazing guitar player Adrien Belew, entertains KROQ DJs Lewis Largent and Jed The Fish, Dodger Stadium, 1987. This was the tour Peter Frampton played guitar as well.
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.
I think this was for the True Stories album, as David moved closer to a solo career. Always an impeccable dresser. Pasadena control room.
From left: Poorman (what a name) Van Johnson, Dave Gahan, April who couldn’t keep her clothes on, below her Martin Gore, whose guitar skills are vastly overlooked, Alan Wilder, Freddy Snakeskin (never one to push forward for photos), Andy Fletcher, Jed The Fish below Andy, some schleb who ripped off KROQ, and long time WB promoter Chris Crist.
The one that almost got away was Elvis Costello. A fan since 1977, I thought of him as this elusive, difficult artist that would have nothing to do with me. Along came Trust and that changed a bit. True, the LP needed help, but I have rarely met such a gentleman. He brought albums, each cover in a plastic sleeve, and each sleeve in its own velveteen slot. I was impressed with just his record box! So much for the angry young man.
Just after the interview, the station was swarmed with fans. Here is the boldly-named Elvis, before he got in his limo. Pasadena.
At least I stood up for this one. Erasure with Jed The Fish.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Undoubtedly the only straight people with our hands on each other that night, I did not think of her as a comedienne. I thought she was just funny as hell. Ahh, the gays always loved her.
Before they got huge, Wang Chung stopped by the KROQ studios to promote Points on a Curve. I always thought Jack Hues was an odd sort of good-looking, like he was genetically modified. They actually made themselves into a verb, as in "everybody Wang Chung tonight."
The Ramones were seven albums into their career when Dee Dee and Johnny Ramone visited the Pasadena studio in 1983. Never afraid of the hard work it takes even an established band to live on, I did tons of appearances with them, sometimes nights for in a row. Maybe you saw them at Knott's. Johnny lived in Los Angeles for several years and I would regularly see him at gigs I announced.