Mayor of the Sunset Strip

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Small and skinny, with a monstrous bird’s nest resting on his head, Rodney Bingenheimer is far from the epitome of cool. Yet his life as a nightclub owner, radio DJ and impresario has been as cool as it gets. A friend of Dylan, Hendrix, Lennon, Bowie and Elvis, Bingenheimer has been there, done that and is currently wearing the ill-fitting T-shirt. Here, his story is told by George Hickenlooper, the director behind ‘Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse’.

This is a much more sedate affair. It follows the sweet, unassuming Rodney through the ups and downs of a life on the fringes of fame. Like rock ’n’ roll’s answer to ‘Forrest Gump’, he’s always there, sleeping with Presley’s cast-offs or doing odd jobs for Sonny & Cher. Yet these brief brushes with the big time ultimately amount to nothing. As he’s edged towards the graveyard shift at his beloved radio station, it’s obvious that Rodney’s 15 minutes passed by many moons ago. Indeed, the way in which Bingenheimer desperately clings to the past make this a telling reflection of the destructive nature of fame and the emptiness of the American dream. It also proves that while they can party with the best of them, more often than not nice guys really do finish last.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday February 11 2005
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: George Hickenlooper
Screenwriter: George Hickenlooper
Cast: Rodney Bingenheimer
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