Antelope Valley Press

LA classic rock radio icon Jim Ladd dies at age 75


LOS ANGELES — Jim Ladd, the disc jockey and producer who championed classic rock for decades and interviewe­d many of the rock era’s top artists in his Los Angeles studios and during stints at KMET, KLOS and SiriusXM, has died, it was announced Monday.

Ladd, who lived in the Hollywood Hills, died late Saturday night at age 75 after suffering a heart attack, DJ Meg Griffin announced on SiriusXM on Monday in the time slot of Ladd’s weekly show on the Deep Tracks satellite channel.

The supposed inspiratio­n for the Tom Petty song and album title, “The Last DJ,” Ladd had been with SiriusXM since 2012 as one of the few free-form rock DJs still going in radio.

Ladd worked in music radio for more than 50 years, and was named Los Angeles’ top FM DJ in the late 1970s and early 1980s during his run at KMET. While at the station, Ladd created and hosted “InnerView,” an hour-long nationally syndicated program that aired on more than 160 stations between 1974 and 1986. Among the subjects he interviewe­d were John Lennon, Pink Floyd, U2, Joni Mitchell, Eagles and Led Zeppelin.

He also created the nationally syndicated show “Headsets” and developed thematic sets of songs that became his signature, punctuated by his longtime catch phrase, “Lord have mercy!”

Ladd, a Lynwood native, started in radio at the peak of free-form FM, beginning at KNAC in 1967, when DJs would regularly spin entire sides of albums uninterrup­ted. He then moved to KLOS in 1971 where he worked for four years, and spent nine years at KMET. He rejoined KLOS in 1997, leaving for SiriusXM in 2011 to host his own show on the Deep Tracks channel.

In 1991, Ladd published his memoir, “Radio Waves: Life and Revolution on the FM Dial,” which told of his times working as a top Los Angeles rock radio DJ before and during a corporate takeover of his station.

Ladd was named Air Personalit­y of the Year in 2000 by the Los Angeles Music Awards and received The Hollywood Arts Council’s Media Arts Award in 2007. In May 2005, Ladd received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ladd is survived by his wife, writer and musician Helene Hodge-Ladd. Memorial services were pending.

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