Dusty Street, a groundbreaking DJ best known for her time at Los Angeles-based alternative rock station KROQ-FM and later SiriuxXM, died Saturday in Eugene, Oregon. She was 77.
Her boyfriend Geno Michellini, who worked for years at LA-based station KLOS-FM, shared the news on Facebook.
“I have been in Eugene for the past two days, at the bedside of Dusty Street,” Michellini posted on Saturday. “The countless ailments she has fought so tenaciously over the years have finally caught up with her. I write with a broken heart to say that Dusty has left us tonight. She died peacefully, tranquilly and surrounded by love in a beautifully serene location overlooking the most beautiful lake you could ever wish for. As befits the queen she was. Tonight I lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had and the world lost a radio and music legend…. She was all that and more. There will never be another Dusty Street. The queen is gone, but she will never be forgotten.”
Street most recently spent more than 20 years at SiriusXM as host of the shows Deep tracks And Classic vinyl.
“We have lost one ourselves,” SiriuxXM Posted on Facebook. “Dusty Street has died after 77 joyful journeys around the sun. And yes, Dusty Street was her real name. Dusty was one of the first female rock jocks on the West Coast, working at KMPX and KSAN in San Francisco from 1967 to 1978 before heading to Los Angeles, where she held court on KROQ in the evenings from 1979 to 1996. … We are heartbroken.”
Street was known for being outspoken and opposed the Parents Music Resource Center for attempting to apply a rating system to rock music. She once said she was fired from KROQ for being a “renegade” as the station implemented “increasingly tighter” control over its programming.
In 2015, she was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. Earlier this year she took part in the documentary Epix San Francisco Sounds: a place in time, which spotlighted Bay Area artists popular between 1966 and 1976, including Santana, Sly and the Family Stone, Tower of Power and the Doobie Brothers, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin.
One street commented that people often asked her if her name was real, and that people were surprised to hear that it was not a stage name. “My father’s name was Emerson Street. We used to live on Emerson Street in Palo Alto, which was kind of funny. Emerson Street at Emerson Street,” she said.