Los Angeles, CA – December 19, 2023
Renowned disc jockey Jim Ladd, a fixture in L.A.’s rock radio during the 1970s, passed away at 75 from a heart attack. The news was shared by Meg Griffin, his colleague at SiriusXM, where Ladd had been an integral part of the team since 2011, hosting the Deep Tracks channel.
Ladd’s impact on the music scene went beyond his smooth voice and laid-back delivery; he was a trailblazer during the golden era of FM rock radio. His tenure at KMET and KLOS in the 1970s solidified his place among iconic figures, contributing to the rise of album-oriented rock. His syndicated series, “Innerview,” from 1974 to 1986, featured in-depth conversations with major stars like John Lennon, Pink Floyd, U2, Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, and Led Zeppelin, showcasing his influence on a national level.
The rebellious spirit that characterized Ladd’s early days in FM radio, reflected in his 1991 memoir “Radio Waves: Life and Revolution on the FM Dial,” resonated with listeners. Despite industry changes and clashes with management over-commercialization, Ladd remained a stalwart defender of the authenticity of rock and roll. His collaborations with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and inspiring Tom Petty’s “The Last DJ” further cemented his legacy. Fellow musicians, fans, and colleagues express deep sorrow at the loss of a true radio pioneer, leaving behind a lasting imprint on the world of rock and roll.