Original Soundtrack Album-Mayor
of the Sunset Strip
Rodney Bingenheimer of Los Angeles' KROQ-FM is arguably the most influential
disk jockey of the last thirty years. He's certainly one of the few
ever who has had a documentary made on his life and career. This
soundtrack to the film has the same shaggy dog eclecticism as his show, and
the man himself.
In his years on the airwaves (he started on the station
in 1976) Rodney
the 'ROQ has never felt it the least bit strange to follow-up a song by
Black Flag with a song by the Monkees. Because of this great
appreciation of music itself, Rodney has been visited over the years by some
of the biggest names in rock to talk and do impromptu gigs.
necessarily have a "radio" voice and he isn't a polished interviewer. But
this every guy living out the rock-n-roll dream facet of his persona is just another part of his
charm. He started at the bottom of the musical food chain (Rodney was
a gofer for Sonny & Cher in their glory days) and worked his way up to be
one of the most influential forces in music. Rodney was one of the
first people to play punk on the airwaves and yet he loved the Beach Boys.
soundtrack just touches on some of this unconventional appreciation of music
as music, not as the programmed and focus-grouped to death "product" making
up most of the rest of modern radio. It touches on some great songs
that Rodney has championed over the years... from big hits like T-Rex's
glam-rock classic "Get It On (Bang A Gong)," Alice Cooper's rocking
"School's Out" and the Ramones' proto-punk "I Wanna Be Sedated" to more
obscure but still terrific songs like Ronald Vaughan's surprisingly pretty
reverb-laced "Jennifer Love Hewitt," Blur's shoulda-been-a-smash Brit-pop
pastiche "Parklife" and Hole's touchingly vulnerable "Malibu."
interesting, though, are the songs that are exclusive to the show.
Brian Wilson's tribute "Rodney on the 'ROQ" is pure pop nirvana. There
are some cool exclusive live-in-studio tracks as well, including an obscure
early-David Bowie song called "All the Madmen," a solo piano performance of
"Yellow" by Coldplay leader Chris Martin and a concert version of "Los
Angeles" by X.
of this is book-ended by Rodney's interviews and intros, which is the way it
should be. No album could even scratch the surface of all the music
Rodney is responsible for opening the world's eyes to. But this is a
nice opening primer for those of you that weren't there.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2004 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 23, 2004.