The Mayor of Sunset Strip

See if you can guess who I am:

Debbie Harry said I invented the genre of alternative music.

I have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Robert Plant said that I got more women than he did during the 1970's .

I was almost a Monkee, but Davy Jones got the part. I served as his stand-in instead.

I owned one of the most trendy and successful LA nightclubs of 70's called the English Disco.

Among the musicians that I discovered or exposed to US audiences for the first time who owe their career to me include: Coldplay, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, David Bowie, No Doubt, and Oasis.

Still don't know?

I have been a DJ at the most influential radio stations in the world for about thirty years.

My nickname is the "Mayor of Sunset Strip".

Answer: I am Rodney Bingenheimer!

Well, I'm not actually Rodney. This was just a game of guess-who. But I just wanted to give a shout out to one of the most influential names in music of the past forty years or so, because I don't think ol' Rodney is often given his due.

I can remember the first time I heard of him. When I lived in California, I listened to KROQ continually and Rodney Bingenheimer would come on during the evening. He sounded so unlike any other radio DJs - his voice was soft and stilted, and I wondered how this guy ever landed on this huge radio station in the first place. As I listened, the answer became abundantly clear. He was on a first name basis with the entire music community from Sonny and Cher to The Ramones. He even hung out with John Lennon.

I'll spare you the biography, and leave you with a few photos of my main man Rodney.

Here he is with Cher. Apparently, during the late 1960's, Rodney was rubbing elbows with some of the biggest names in the music scene including Elvis and Mick Jagger. Rodney is extremely shy and soft spoken, so it sort of a mystery why so many high profile figures latched on to him.

Because of his influence in bringing punk bands like The Sex Pistols and Blondie to the fore, most people associate Rodney Bingenheimer with alternative or fringe music. However, he was respected and influential in many mainstream acts in the 1970's and 80's such as Van Halen and Alice Cooper.

Rodney was the subject of a critically acclaimed documentary called Mayor of the Sunset Strip. The depiction of Rodney film is a bit sad in that, despite his connections and accomplishments, he appears rather lonely.

If you can get your hands on it, there's a Rodney on the Rock album out there. Alas, his popularity has waned considerably, and I don't foresee any Rodney Bingenheimer CDs being released any time soon.


  1. Dude, I'm Netflixing this. I've never heard about it. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I used to always see Rodney Bingenheimer in those rock magazines like Hit Parader. I knew he had a lot to do with behind the scenes stuff and he was always with the big bands in photos, but he always looked so strange, I thought he was a big time groupie for a long time not a music business VIP.

  3. chris - you'll enjoy it. How such a mild mannered diminutive fellow ever became the most omnipresent figure in music is a fascinating tale.

    willy- he is such a funny looking little guy. His hair either looks like Echo and the Bunnymen or The Ramones and he is so short and puny - he looks so out of place hanging out with the likes of Van Halen, KISS, and the Runaways.

  4. Yes, Rodney Bingenheimer was a really big deal and his contributions to the music world were tremendous. He didn't have a big personality on the outside, but he definately was a music god. I contribute all the change and excitement to the music and fashion scene to Rodney when the 70s turned over to the 80s. That was such an exciting time. Whatever happened to the girl featured on all his album covers? She used to always dance on the go go platform to the right of the D.J. booth at the Odyssey on Beverly Blvd.

  5. Amazing , Rodney Bingenheimer was a great man , i was interviewed and hun with him in LA. The Fender Buddies are on this album, I am the former lead singer of the FENDER BUDDIES. DIANA PEREZ .GREAT TIMES ..GREAT RECORD .LOVE YOU RODNEY WHERE EVER YOU ARE ....PEACE PEREZ