He’s not a musician, though he’s made a couple of records, but Bingenheimer is one of the essential forces in Los Angeles rock history by virtue of his unflagging devotion to the music and the scene. He found outlets for his ultimate fandom as a nightclub operator and radio DJ, but he’s most noted for just being there whenever something is happening.
Bingeneimer moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s and quickly became a ubiquitous presence, consorting with the Byrds, Sonny & Cher, Phil Spector and many others, inspiring actor Sal Mineo to gave him his enduring sobriquet “Mayor of the Sunset Strip.” Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco opened on Sunset Boulevard in 1972 and became a hangout for touring bands and local musicians and fans. Bingenheimer’s enthusiasm helped boost the early careers of a host of glam-rock and punk artists, including David Bowie, the Runaways, Blondie, the Ramones and the Stooges. His long-running KROQ-FM radio show “Rodney on the Roq” began in 1976, and he was the subject of George Hickenlooper’s 2003 feature documentary “Mayor of the Sunset Strip.”