Death metal band Cannibal Corpse was originally set to play in the movie. But when the producers found that they played in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (they were Jim Carrey's favorite band at the time), the producers opted for White Zombie.
When Ian plays "London" by Anthrax on the radio, he tells Milo, "if it's too loud you're too old". This line is a reference to the famous slogan by Ernie Anderson, who was the main promotional voice of the American Broadcasting Company from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Coincidentally, in Los Angeles (where this film takes place), the defunct heavy metal/hard rock radio station KNAC 105.5 used "if it's too loud, you're too old" as one of their slogans.
When Chazz drags one of the employees of KPPX out of his office, you can see a poster of a white skeleton on a black background, which is identical to the cover of The Offspring's multi-platinum album "Smash", released four months before "Airheads" arrived in theaters.
When Rex, Pip and Suzzi are collecting CDs to play on air (around forty minutes and forty seconds into the film), a poster for Spinal Tap, which starred Michael McKean, can be seen on the wall just between the door and the desk.
Making a cameo appearance is "Stuttering" John Melendez, who at the time was from the Howard Stern Show. He is billed in the credits as the "masturbating" rocker. He was invited to participate in this production because, as a new artist for Atlantic Records, his first album had just been released and his song "Talk My Way Out Of It" can be heard as Chaz and the boys are driving in the van on their way to the radio station. After years as a Stern employee, primarily assigned to do unconventional man-in-the-street and celebrity interviews, John was lured away from New York, eventually working as the announcer and voice of Jay Leno's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), as well as writer, from 2004-2014
There is a brief reference to Motley Crue's lead singer Vince Neil killing someone. In 1984, while the band Hanoi Rocks was taking a break from touring because their lead singer Michael Monroe had injured his ankle, some members of Hanoi Rocks ended up at Vince's home for a party. Vince and Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley went to get more liquor. Vince was driving, even though he was already drunk. On the return trip Vince was speeding and lost control of the car, resulting in a terrible collision with another vehicle. Razzle died instantly and the two people in the other car suffered severe injuries and were left with lifelong complications from these injuries. Vince walked away with a concussion, a $2.5 million fine, and served 28 days in county jail.
KPPX 103.3 (Rebel Radio) is based on the Long Beach radio station KNAC 105.5 (Pure Rock), which went off the air six months after "Airheads" arrived in theaters. Like KPPX, KNAC had a hard rock/heavy metal format, and even used "if it's too loud, you're too old" (which is said by Ian at one point) as a slogan. Ironically, "Airheads" was released around the same time the staff of KNAC announced that the radio station was going to change formats; KNAC went off the air on February 15th, 1995 and was replaced by the Spanish-language station KBUE (Que Buena).
When a caller asks for tickets to see the bands "Penelope Lovestocking" and "Crimson Shroud", Chazz criticizes, "Oh, man, you actually listen to that Seattle bullshit." This is a reference to the grunge scene, which had become popular by 1994, and Seattle is the home of mostly bands associated with that genre.
Joe Mantegna's character mentions to Michael McKean's character that if its too loud you're too old. Michael previously played the lead singer in the band Spinal Tap in the film This is Spinal Tap which was described as the loudest band in England.
When Rex, Pip and Suzzi are collecting CDs to play on air (around forty minutes and forty seconds into the film), a poster for _This Is Spinal Tap (1984)_, which starred Michael McKean, can be seen on the wall just between the door and the desk.
Lemmy: Lemmy Kilmister, of the band "Motorhead", is the "School Yearbook Editor" in the parking lot. He's credited as Lemmy Von Motorhead. His image also appears on the wall of Palatine Records during the opening sequence.