W Magazine Text

W Magazine


A famous Los Angeles rock club is reborn

July, 2015


In the early Seventies, legendary KROQ disc jockey Rodney Bingenheimer (aka the Mayor of the Sunset Strip) also ran a club called Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco. With its mirrored DJ booth, kitschy decor, and single-table VIP room, the tiny boîte at 7561 Sunset Boulevard became the haunt for everyone from Elton John to Led Zeppelin to Iggy Pop, who famously cut himself in the space during a performance with the Stooges. In fact, Joan Jett and Cherie Curie met there for the first time.

This week, the iconic space, now home to Shirley Morales’s ltd los angeles gallery, returned to its “Rodney on the ROQ” roots with the opening of an installation by the artist Dennis Hoekstra,who regularly works with Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman on their immersive environments, and who was responsible for the blue faux-brick facade of the New York hot spot Happy Ending.

Hoekstra recreated the DJ booth and VIP room, with a painting of a Ziggy Stardust-ed David Bowie from Bingenheimer’s personal collection installed on a jagged, black faux-brick wall which Hoekstra made as an homage to the artist Gordon Matta-Clark. At the soft opening on Tuesday night, a crowd of rising young Angeleno artists, along with rock journalists including the iconic Legs McNeil, turned up to watch Bingenheimer spin 45s alongside his girlfriend Kansas Bowling. The crowd then stayed on until midnight to see Los Tres Pericos (the artist Alex Becerra’s experimental synth-rock band) play a trippy set inside a giant inflatable TV. “It brought back a lot of memories for me,” says Bingenheimer, who helped Hoekstra with the install and plans to get back behind the booth for a grand opening in September. “I really want to get people dancing all over the place like we used to.” 

Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco is on view at LTD Los Angeles through July 2016.