ROCK OF THE 1980’S
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.
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!
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.
This was in the Pasadena lobby, on a day when I showed up for work in a bathrobe. My house was two minutes away. Susan Sailor, Dr. Drew’s wife, was the “head” KROQ Bikini Girl, who would book their events. What’s not to love.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
Martin looks fairly normal with a leather vest and checkered shirt. It seems I was intent on being anything but normal.
He was always very kind. Chrissie, on the other hand, was harsh. Somewhere along the line, she developed a habit of refusing to shake hands, which she told me one time getting reacquainted at the Weenie Roast. When, at the end of the interview, I reached out to shake and she was offended. Don't you think of Ray Davies of the Kinks as mild mannered? What on earth was a household like with the two of them.
The KROQ mural in Pasadena. Tony James, left flat-footed by Billy Idol’s departure from Generation X, had to start a new band. No doubt inspired by the outrageousness of Malcom McClaren and his bands, they went big. Love Missile F1-11 was their only real hit. I bet they wish they had boobs.
This is the band I was most chummy with. We would get together at Farmers Market, their old hang, and I remember they would talk to their stalkers. Girls would go to FM to see them. They told me it’s important to approach them to humanize the relationship. You want them to know the impact they can have on your normal life just being famous. Not just being a quest. At Ron’s house one night, they played me Interior Design. It was an album devoid of bass parts. Some upper bass synth, but that’s it. I tried in vain to help them justify it. It was a tough listen, because I liked them so much. Rock needs bass if not guitar.