ROCK OF THE 1980’S
Original artwork from Jed The Fish tee shirt, created on the floor during a KROQ music meeting in the 90s. Features the "Dooley" prototype (spermy guy).
We did KROQ beach remotes weekly for several years, where Joqs would broadcast their radio shows. I probably did the most, and even coming to the same beach several times over the years to give out these towels, they were all unique. Many conversations with listeners and artists. As Jed The Fish, it wore me out, but it was always fun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What was cool about Emily is she had good judgement about who to let in to visit. Fan after fan would ask to see the DJ, and it was actually possible until 2001. There was no way we could see everyone, or we would never be able to work, but Mle would know which exceptions I would appreciate. Bless her heart! I think this was in my kitchen.
The Prodigy concert at the Spuce Goose, Long Beach in 1997. Very loud and ravey.
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.
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.
Edge and Bono did their first-ever streamed podcast from the KROQ control room in Burbank. They brought along Guinness, which was promptly consumed by non-air station personnel. I got Bono to imitate William Boroughs. Smoking like mad. September 19, 1997.