Veteran Rock DJ and SiriusXM Host Jim Ladd Dies at 75
Jim Ladd, the seasoned Los Angeles rock DJ and host of SiriusXM’s classic rock channel “Deep Tracks,” passed away on December 17 at his Los Angeles home due to a heart attack. He was 75.
DJ Meg Griffin, Ladd’s colleague, announced his death at the beginning of the “Deep Tracks” slot, and she took over as the host. SiriusXM later confirmed the news.
Renowned as the inspiration behind Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 2002 album “The Last DJ,” Ladd commenced his radio career in 1969 as a radio personality and DJ. He worked at KNAC and 95.5 KLOS before making a significant impact at KMET-FM. Under Ladd’s influence, KMET transformed from a struggling station to the top-rated station in Los Angeles, and he was consistently ranked the number one air personality in his slot for eight out of nine years.
During his time at KMET, Ladd conceived, produced, and hosted the groundbreaking radio program “Innerview.” The show featured interviews with notable musicians such as John Lennon, Stevie Nicks, and Pink Floyd, providing unique perspectives on music. “Innerview” was a pioneering program, airing weekly on over 160 stations and running for twelve years under Ladd’s guidance.
Ladd returned to KLOS in 1997 and left in 2011 to helm his “Deep Tracks” show at SiriusXM, which gained a dedicated following for its focus on showcasing lesser-known rock tracks by prominent artists. In recognition of his contributions to music and radio, Ladd received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.
The Doors, comprised of Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger, and John Densmore, issued a statement in memory of Ladd, emphasizing his vital role in rock & roll culture. John Densmore, in a social media statement, described Ladd as irreplaceable, emphasizing his deep connection to rock n’ roll.
Jim Ladd is survived by his wife, Helene Hodge-Ladd.