Brian Beirne spent 29 years as a disc jockey (the longest continuous stint in FM radio history) playing oldies music for K-EARTH/101 in Los Angeles. You might know him by the moniker his listeners suggested because of his extensive knowledge of music and musicians — "Mr. Rock N' Roll."
You might also have seen his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
These days, Beirne loves taking his grandkids boating in Newport Beach, his home of the past 13 years, and enjoying all the city has to offer.
"Newport Beach is one of the most beautiful places — no graffiti, and the police do an excellent job keeping us safe," he said. "The city is always immaculate.
"It's far different from the Hollywood Hills [his former home] — gentler, peaceful. I wouldn't want to be anyplace else."
But after a total of 40 years of radio and TV work and receiving numerous honors, Beirne is still rolling. He stays busy doing voiceover spots, writing and hosting radio specials, presenting a cruise ship lecture and multimedia show and co-hosting a morning show on AZ TV in Arizona, where he has a home.
He also manages and represents several national artists and tribute bands that he accompanies around the country and as far away as Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, through his company Legendary Shows. Among them are the Surfaris (of "Wipe Out" fame), the Kingsmen ("Louie Louie"), the Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), Surfin' — The Beach Boys Tribute, Jumping Jack Flash (Rolling Stones tribute) and Abbey Road (Beatles tribute).
"I brought the Kingsmen to my 50th high school reunion in Salem, Ore., as a gift to my class. The band was special to our class, as they were a local band and just hitting with 'Louie Louie' during our senior year. It was a few of my classmates who said, 'You lived out your dream of being on the radio and producing concerts.'"
Putting on 90 shows a year keeps him, "to quote Rod Stewart, 'Forever Young,'" Beirne said with a laugh.
"I'll never retire," he said. "Too much fun."
His wife, Cindee, who attends most of his concerts, said: "Brian has a compelling way of telling stories about the artists and their music, making them come alive. I never tire of hearing them."
This summer, Beirne's work has kept him closer to home, lining up acts that do tributes to icons such as Stewart, Queen and Fleetwood Mac for the Balboa Bay Club's Friday night summer concert series.
"Who doesn't want to be around Mr. Rock N' Roll?" said Aaron Trent, director of member relations and club events for the Balboa Bay Club. "It's cool to have him come out and do the announcing as part of the act."
Looking back, Beirne said: "I loved every day that I was on radio. I worked with hundreds of artists. It was a great run for a kid who grew up on a dirt and gravel road."
That road was in Salem, where he moved with his mother from Northern California at age 10.
He had become fascinated with radio when his father took him to a station. "This is what I want to do," the youngster proclaimed.
Beirne hung around the local station in Oregon and learned the ropes. When he was 13, he got his first break as he was helping out at a sock hop. The DJ suddenly got sick and Beirne had to finish the show.
Since then, in addition to his long run at K-EARTH that he ended in 2004, he has been a news director and a TV weatherman and entertainment reporter.
Among the rock 'n' roll greats Beirne has worked with are Ricky Nelson, Little Richard and Fats Domino.
"Besides my record collection [of more than 40,000], I also collect movie posters, and I had a poster of [Elvis Presley] inthe movie 'Love Me Tender,'" Beirne said.
"At the bottom of the poster, it said, 'Mr. Rock N' Roll in the story he was born to play.' It fit what I was doing on the radio, and since Elvis was never referred as that again, I registered the trademark [and] became known as Mr. Rock N' Roll."