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:: Mayor Of Sunset Strip

This is a documentary about Rodney Bingenheimer, a Los Angeles radio DJ who has been a dedicated mover and shaker since the 1960s. To millions of Americans he was the voice of KROQ Radio. Propelled by a hit-packed soundtrack, the film offers a lively, funny look at the status of celebrity.

The first half's a bit of a love-fest, as his high-profile friends share their affection for Bingenheimer. He is an unassuming person, yet very sincere in his passion about the records that he has spun for the radio station. Over a period of time, he has introduced listeners to a host of new acts, including Oasis and Coldplay, to name a couple from the last ten years.

According to his own story, Bingenheimer was deposited in Los Angeles by his mother at Connie Stevens’ house and told that she’d help him get his start in Hollywood, although why they thought the star would help him isn’t made clear. As it turned out Stevens wasn’t even around then and Bingenheimer was left to fend for himself. The film is full of clips from vintage rock performers. He was a great friend of Sonny and Cher, who took him under their wing and helped him establish himself as a member of the hippy elite. In the early 1970s, he opened an influential nightclub, Rodney Bingenheimer’ English Disco, where he was the first person in America to play records by David Bowie, T-Rex, Mott The Hoople and other bands of the glam rock era.

A man tinged with sadness but enthused by music, George Hickenlooper's affectionate documentary looks at the man behind the legend, talking to his family and many of his rock star mates including Brian Wilson, Joey Ramone, Mick Jagger, Courtney Love and Gwen Stefani. Bingenheimer championed the efforts of David Bowie, Cher, The Doors, and Nancy Sinatra also. He is likened by some as America’s equivalent of Englishman John Peel.

Rodney carved out a name for himself as a promoter, journalist, club owner and pop impresario. More importantly, however, he was instrumental in breaking music across the airwaves in the US. Dubbed the ‘Mayor of the Sunset Strip’ by actor Sal Mineo, Rodney had the ultimate backstage pass. He partied with, amongst others, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin and The Beach Boys.

This insightful, emotional and touching documentary takes us on the rollercoaster ride through Rodney Bingenheimer’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle as he pursued his passion, discovering talent, breaking new bands, and mixing with the stars.

DVD Extras

  • Commentary with George Hickenlooper
  • Commentary with Rodney Bingenheimer and Chris Carter
  • ‘A Rock and Roll Legend’ - short documentary on Rodney
  • ‘Backstage with Rodney’ featurette
  • ‘Fame’ - rare interviews with various music stars
  • Soundtrack promos