Rodney BINGENHEIMER'S English Disco
A new installation by artist Dennis Hoekstra at ltd los angeles
ROCK OF AGES:
A famous Los Angeles rock club is reborn
BY MICHAEL SLENSKE
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.
Sunset Boulevard is chock full of ghosts of entertainment's past. Artist Dennis Hoekstra realized this when he learned the history of the building now occupied by ltd los angeles. In the 1970s it was the site of the glitter rock club Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco, managed by the eponymous L.A. rock kingmaker and radio DJ dubbed "the mayor of the Sunset Strip." In July, the gallery presented re-creations of the original venue's DJ booth and VIP area, meticulously reconstructed from vintage photos. Hearkening back to the site's former purpose, the installation will act as a venue for musical acts until July 2016.
This week, the Fell-Apart Team (writer Jan Tumlir) and the Bushes (musician Nick Lowe and artist Ry Rocklen) perform.
Events coinciding with Art Los Angeles Contemporary and Paramount Ranch:
January 29, 2016 - 10PM DJ Spencer Sweeney, Meghan Gordon's some times... bar and special guest DJ Rodney Bingenheimer
October 24, 2015 - 9PM The Fell-Apart Team, Jan Tumlir, and The Bushes
July 14, 2015 - Preview event with Los Tres Pericos (Alex Becerra, Tony McKenzie, T Kelly Mason) and DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.