We get glimpses of Rodney today, repairing his mom's old Nova with a pair of pliers, shuffling forlornly through souvenirs of his glory days. He was known for finding new music and playing it first: The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Nirvana. The Rodney Bingenheimer of today seems always to be smiling through a deep sadness. One day when he was a teenager, his mother dropped him off in front of Connie Stevens' house and told him he was on his own. There is a little Rodney Bingenheimer in everyone, but you know what? He loves the music he plays, and he introduces it to you like a lover he thinks is right for you. Why did he make this film apart from the possibility that someone named Hickenlooper might feel an affinity for someone named Bingenheimer? Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. He hustled himself into a job as a gofer for Davy Jones of the Monkees they looked a little alike , and then became a backstage caterer; a survivor of a Doors tour remembers a Toronto concert where Rodney had enormous platters of fresh shrimp backstage.
. Here, we confront mods, rockers and beatniks at the Ace Café, cut some rug with obscure beat band The Zephyrs, smirk at flabby men in the sauna and goggle at sordid wife-swapping parties as we discover a pre-permissive Britain still trying to move on from the post-war depression of the 1950s. Then a trip to a run-down gambling joint at a spot in the desert known as Las Vegas gives him his big idea. The road downhill was gradual, apparently. But the Beatles were backstage visitors, and Rodney gave them the shrimp, so there were only a few left for the Doors, who had paid for them. When June is forced to return to the U. Stations all over the country stole their playlists from Rodney.
As a kid he was obsessed with stars, devoured the fan magazines, collected autographs. He introduced some of them -- Bowie in particular -- to American radio. He was 26 when he released the doc about the Coppola meltdown. His film evokes what the Japanese call mono no aware, which refers to the impermanence of life and the bittersweet transience of things. He migrated to the Sunset Strip, but instead of dying there or disappearing into drugs or crime, he simply ingratiated himself. You will receive a weekly newsletter full of movie-related tidbits, articles, trailers, even the occasional streamable movie. Hickenlooper has been around fame at an early age.
The story of how Bingenheimer entered into this world is apparently true, unlikely as it sounds. His hair is still combed in the same tousled mid-1970s rock star style, and his T-shirts are the real thing, not retro. He is a small man who still has the youthful cuteness that must have won him friends in his early days. The King of Norway faces a choice that will change his country forever. A sport of individuals, equally defined by their many differences, as the common threads that bind. He seems very even, calm, sad but resigned, except for one moment the documentary camera is not supposed to witness, when he finds that another deejay, a person he sponsored and gave breaks to, is starting a show of new music -- stealing Rodney's gig.
Most people aren't as lucky as Rodney. The Ebert Club is our hand-picked selection of content for Ebert fans. He didn't see his mother for another five or six years. Club members also get access to our members-only section on RogerEbert. Then, when June returns to France, an unexpected, and sometimes contentious, threesome forms. He lives now in an inexpensive apartment jammed with records, tapes, discs, and countless autographed photos of his friends the stars.
Tire to ground, foot to pedal, hand to bar — communities drawn together by trails of dirt. And, yes, they are still his friends; they have not forgotten him, and , Cher, , , and all appear in this film and seem genuinely fond of Rodney. He has a lot to feel angry about. . . .
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