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Through the glitter and the grunge, from The Monkees to Coldplay, Rodney Bingenheimer--a.k.a. Rodney on the ROQ--has reigned over the Los Angeles music scene for over two decades. A constantly evolving fixture as rock fan, journalist, promoter, club owner and radio DJ on KROQ, Bingenheimer has helped advance every adventurous rock mutation--California pop, glam, punk, goth, new wave, alternative--since he first hit the Sunset Strip during its psychedelic 1960s heyday. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
After making its world premiere as the Centerpiece Film of the 2003 IFP/Los Angeles Film Festival the movie sold to First Look Media and Lakeshore Entertainment for $1.3 million, making it the second highest selling documentary of all time, next to Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine (2002). See more »
And that's when I started to know Rodney. He knew more about English bands than I did.
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After the credits, we see the conclusion of the concert by the band X that starts the movie. Then we see Rodney talking with one of X's members, who tells him that he always finds Rodney's radio show, no matter when it airs. See more »
Nothing says more about LA or its much maligned Hit-Driven Radio than Rodney Bingenheimer.
He personally broadcast inspired musical choices on KROQ, his cutting edge decisions to play breakout bands, his warm dedication to Rock N' Roll in the face of fast cash that was always "within his grasp".
I think every young guy of 18-24 wants the "Rodney life". Babes, rock , free music, speedy lifestyle... wow--he had it all !!!
...but it all comes down to the thin brown ashes off the side of a boat in the English Channel. A rare naked moment for Rodney when he's finally "sending off" his Mother. All of a sudden, his edgy life feels empty.
In 1979, when I hit L.A. , Rodney on the ROCKS was the best Saturday night show on radio. What is really great, is that rare magic spikes comes through the classic Rock icon images like the pasty multiple facelifts of a monotone Nancy Sinatra, who can't move her lips.
In the '80's and 90's, his influence on generation(s) of young music fans was unparalleled. Mind you, he has the worst voice ever created for radio. Now, he's faded to a Doctor Demento cult figure that seems more tragic than I would like.
Rodney seems lost and now a little desperate around the edges.... (What does he do besides work 3 hours a week??)
The documentary is brilliant.... How many documentaries have a bad guy that you love to hate--- Kim Fowley-- the Human Canker Sore. (Mr. Fowley claims no drug use but keep inhaling and touching his nose?!? I suspect he might end up on a free guest spot for "Six Feet Under") I'm kinda glad to have NEVER met Kim Fowley in person. Even his video presence is a little freaky.
And... Rodney is never judgmental to anyone... probably a more human flaw when it comes to the Fowleys of this world.
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