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KROQ Exposes Itself, Dropping The “Fig”

04/28/2010

Rockin’ Fig has been 86ed* from KROQ’s morning lineup.

For more than 25 years, Rockin’ Fig, or Rick Fignetti, has been the self-proclaimed “surfologist” dishing tide reports on weekday mornings for LA/OC listening publics at the terrestrial address of 106.7 FM.  As of today, he has been evicted.  The station ditched the classic voice in favor of on-line automated reports… a sure sign of the originality apocalypse.

My first surfboard was a Rockin Fig, a Christmas gift from 1985.  My Freshman class picture was taken in my favorite shirt, a graphic Tee from Figgy himself. Despite my presumed bias, I’m not here to immortalize the dude.  I personally remember the day he mocked me  for being an “inlander.”  After all, La Palma was a full 11.8 miles from the Beach.  Ironically, Fignetti moved out to Huntington when he was just a grommet, so he was no more a native than the guys he razzed.

But this isn’t about me, it’s about the end of an era.  The end of differentiation. For you are not going to find a live surf report on Seacrest’s 102.7 morning show.  “Fig” was an original.  His voice was memorable… sharp like a horn through the fog.  Cartoon-like, his signature sign-off call letters of his sponsor station, a boisterous  “Kayyyyyyyyyy Rockkkkkk,”  was admittedly over-exaggerated, but it served as one of the auditory cues unique to Los Angeles and Orange County  radio.  Like Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble,” his stamp would seemingly be enough to justify his employ.   Fig broadcasted most his reports from his shop Main Street Huntington Beach, usually after surfing the early morning sets, and he often scrambled to make his low-tech, land-line-phone reports on time.  As he got older, Rick would go out with his coffee and report vicariously from the shores of the Beach, in the early morning shadows of the Huntington Beach pier.

I listened to I Rockin’ Fig for years after I gave up the sport (two ill-faded summers).  My drop-to-it-ness did not impact my love for the idea of surf, and that fact that it was epitomized in Rockin’ Fig’s morning reports.  Fig is still the on-beach voice of the what used to be the OP Pro, which now I believe is surfing’s U.S. Open.

So, while I’d like to let you know that you can expect a Westernly swell with 2-to-3 foot knee slappers, I just can’t.  You’ll have to rely on your iSurf app to tell you that.

So with heavy disdain for KROQ, with apologies to Rick Fignetti, and on my behalf, I bid you  “Rockin’ Fig Out.”

*86ed:  it’s origins date back to 1987.  To ’86 something was to relegate it to the past-tense, and thus, making it irrelevant.  e.g.  “What did you do with your Bangles CD (CDs came out in 1983)?”  “Dude, I totally ‘86ed it.”
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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/28/2010 2:25 am

    SO sad. I just saw him at a Huntington restaurant actually. And then I tried to explain to the boys who he was and what a surf report was…and then what non-satellite radio was.

    The conversation went down hill from there. Especially when Tucker said ‘so he got paid to go surfing and tell people how it was?”…he didn’t get the magic that was Fig I guess.

    TheHusband was concerned why his wife would recongnize a surd reporter from the 80s. I tried to explain to him the glory days of KROQ. (he is from Chicago) and that went down hill too so I gave up.

    I hate change like this. But KROQ has sucked for years. So this is to be expected.

  2. 04/28/2010 7:25 am

    I started listening to Sports radio a long time ago. That and the occasional “blast-from-the-past” from 1st Wave Sirius. Just made a FB comment yesterday about OMD’s “Tesla Girls”.

    Anyway, this affects me personally not at all, but this is definitely an institution from our youth being torn down in order to make room for the new wave… Definitely an affirmation of age.

    I bet explaining “why” and who fig was went over like lead… You kind-of had to be there.

  3. Surf G permalink
    05/05/2010 10:34 am

    This Article is Be Low Par, Fairly Acurate and sorta absurd. I Barely kno the Genteman (fig) and i can say your article needs alot less Pizaz an Quips and more facts.
    Ovr n Ouuuuut

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