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Influential LA rock DJ gets his star

LOS ANGELES --Dubbed the "Mayor of the Sunset Strip," Rodney Bingenheimer launched the careers of such bands as Blondie and Blur on his longtime radio rock show. On Friday, the Los Angeles disc jockey received some glitzy gratitude: a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"I can't believe I started this in 1976 playing the Ramones," said Bingenheimer in an emotional speech at the ceremony for the walk's 2,330th star.

Guests included Brian Wilson, the Bangles, Bingenheimer's sister and hordes of cheering fans.

"Once upon a time, three little girls pooled their daytime job money together to make a record. We have Rodney Bingenheimer to thank for playing it," said the Bangles' Vicki Peterson.

For 30 years, the unassuming Bingenheimer -- shy and thin, with a squeaky voice -- has hosted "Rodney on the Roq" on local radio station KROQ-FM.

He is known as the first DJ to play records by such bands as Blondie, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Duran Duran, the Cure, Joan Jett, No Doubt, Blur, Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Coldplay.

In the `60s, Bingenheimer became Davy Jones' stand-in on the TV series "The Monkees."

His `70s-era Hollywood nightclub Rodney's English Disco attracted the likes of Iggy Pop and Led Zeppelin, jump-starting the L.A. glam rock movement.

In the 2003 documentary "Mayor of the Sunset Strip," stars including Mick Jagger and David Bowie paid tribute to Bingenheimer and his journey from music fan to scene legend.

"You getting a star is the high point of the season. We are all delighted for you," Bowie wrote in a telegram read Friday at the dedication ceremony.

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