The ROQ of the 80s Returns

KROQ of the 80s

From about 1984 to 1990, KROQ was the soundtrack to my life, and the DJs — Freddie Snakeskin, Richard Blade, Swedish Egil, Jed the Fish . . . even the Poorman — were like friends I’d never met (though I did meet a few of them during the Star Trek heyday, because all I ever wanted to do when I grew up was play records on the radio. Everyone I ever met was really cool to me, even though I was an annoying teenager who really wanted to be a DJ.)

Most GenXers I know agree that KROQ turned to absolute shit during the Limp Bizkit/Cypress Hill/Linkin Park years, and though it’s gotten better recently, it still hasn’t quite returned to the time when hearing great music on KROQ was as reliable as a giant sale at Guitar Center this weekend. We miss the Joq’s Choice, and we’ve had just about enough Red Hot Chilipeppers, thank you very much. (Okay, maybe that’s just me.)

Well, for those of us who are determined to live in the past, when each day brought new episodes of The New Detective and Rodney on the Roq was introducing us to strange new acts like The Vandals and Dramarama, I present Kroq of the 80s. The playlist is what you’d expect from classic KROQ: Devo, Depeche Mode, INXS, Boingo, Blondie, etc., but what makes it truly awesome are the old station IDs and drops from classic KROQ personalities like Freddie Snakeskin and Scott Mason.

If you’ve got an HD radio, you can tune in on 106.7-HD2; the rest of us can feather our hair, flip up the collar on our Le Tigre shirt, and listen online.

18 thoughts on “The ROQ of the 80s Returns”

  1. When I first moved to Los Angeles from Connecticut, KROQ was the best thing ever. I’d been listening to “alternative music” for a couple years up til then, but I’d have to spend a ton of money on albums hoping that whatever was on Rolling Stones’ college music rankings would be any good.

    While I’ve never a big fan of 80s music in general – even in a retro sense – its nice to see KROQ acknowledging that at one time they played what nobody else was and wasn’t so concerned about a advertiser mandated playlist.

  2. i have that sticker on my cassette storage case to this day. Lets not forget Dusty Street and Rachael Donahue!

  3. Don’t forget Mr. Microphone! Or Shadoe Stevens and Frazer Smith. Heck, even The Insane Darrell Wayne was lightyears better than Richard Blade. Somewhere I still have the Jed The Fish 45rpm single I bought at Bomp!

  4. Heck, I still have a Rodney on the Roq vinyl compilation I bought a gazillion years ago. And I’m from DC. Rodney was a national legend even back in the day.

  5. I’m in. Damn…I even have a kroq sticker from the early 80’s in the garage on my tool box from back in the day. A little retro is fun.

  6. I discovered KROQ just in time to briefly love the Swedish Egiland Jed before the whole enterprise turned to shit. It’s almost hard for me to imagine KROQ as anything other than a crappier, non-visual MTV.

  7. I really wish I’d lived in L.A. in the 80s. It’s one thing to see Rodney at Canter’s frequently, but not quite the same as being here during the heyday of that station.

  8. i was really excited when i read your post, but i listened online for ten minutes and heard one song and about fifteen commercials (which is why i don’t listen to kroq on my radio either.) :*(

  9. Yeah, they run a crapload of commercials near the end of the hour, but the rest of the hour is commercial free, as far as I can tell.

    It’s especially entertaining to hear the promos for the current KROQ — which I think is mostly crap — bump up against the promos for Classic KROQ, which I think is mostly awesome.

    Try it again, near the :15 mark on the hour. I think you’ll enjoy it more, then.

    Oh, and “non-visual MTV” is jut about the most perfect explanation for why I just can’t stand to listen to most broadcast radio.

  10. For many years now I’ve had to get my nostalgia fix via my many fastidiously-managed iPod playlists. But now, at long last, I can sample the real thing, once again. This is almost as good as having a DeLorean and 1.21 jiga/giga-watts.

    Thanks for the tip, Wil. You’ve totally made my day.

  11. Remember Lovelines when it was GOOD, really good and really funny. I used to stay up Sunday Nights and sneak and listen to the radio.

    I used to LOVE KROQ.

    Scott Mason, Poorman, Rodney on the Rock…Rodney is still there. Why don’t they put Poorman back on KROQ!!!!

    KROQ made junior high so much fun, because the next day we would all talk about the insane calls, “Did you hear the girl who had sex with her boyfriend and got a disease!!! I think that happened to Jen P in third period, because she’s a slut too…”

    (you have to refer to jennifers with the first letter of their last name, because 1 out of 3 women born in the 1970s name is jennifer.)

    The judgmental jerk days of jr high…


  12. Lovelines was totally my sex-ed. My parents forbid the radio in my house, so I had to listen to it in secret, under the covers. Remember Pirate radio and KNAC? Why did LA’s radio market change so drastically? Thanks for bringing back memories of radio… the only radio I ever listed to now is KOST 103.5 during Christmas.

  13. “Remember Pirate radio and KNAC?” nattygirl

    I remember KNAC. I remember I met this boy in summer camp who listened to KNAC and I thought, “Wow you’re pretty bad ass, you listen to KNAC, should I even really be talking to you, because you know we are from different worlds” because me being all alternative kroq chick wasn’t used to people who did have short hair cuts…lol…

    His name was David, he taught me so much that summer, like how the members of Poison didn’t really have long hair, but hair weaves. He assured me that his hair was real and though his dad was upset by it, his dad would just have to deal with it.

    What a rebel, at least to me.

    Amazingly the first person who taught me about hair weaves was a long haired KNAC person from Orange County…

    The radio used to be fun, before it became all corporate and boring and a mass marketing machine.

    The radio station you listened to used to mean something, or maybe not, I thought it did though.


  14. Thanks for remembering some of us ! FYI. IF you listen on an HD Radio there are no commercials, the commercials are only on the web stream. Freddy and I would sure love to devote more time to the ” Roq of the 80’s”, and hopefully we will have the chance. Will, I recall meeting you a few times at the station ” back in the day”.


    Scott Mason

  15. Scott Mason you were one of my favorite DJs at KROQ, so great for you to check in.

    I will definitely try to check out the station.

    Do any of you remember when Tainted Love was always the number one song at the end (or was it the beginning of the year) round up of all time best KROQ songs?


  16. Do you guys have dj choice on there? I always liked how that put some personality into the shows.

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