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When Bingenheimer arrived in Los Angeles actor Sal Mineo dubbed him "The Mayor of the Sunset Strip". He formed friendships with pop stars of the day such as the Byrds and Sonny & Cher, for whom he was a live-in publicist. In his own words, Bingenheimer "became the talk of the town because I had the perfect Brian Jones 'do' (hairstyle)."
Bingenheimer worked as an intern at Mercury Records. He escorted British pop star David Bowie to L.A. hot spots. He auditioned for the Davy Jones part in the Monkees. While he did not get chosen, he dressed like Davy Jones and had a similar haircut then later worked as a double or stand-in for Jones in the Monkees episode "Prince and the Pauper". The Monkees stand-in role was a "break" for Bingenheimer.
Bingenheimer was described as shy, thin and unassuming with a "squeaky voice", usually described as soft. One report suggested his voice was "so soft you have to lean in to hear it". Another writer described his voice as soft like a "harmonica that cuts through the angry noise of today's frat jocks". His voice has also been described as "tentative" and not a "vibrating personality" or a "great radio voice" but reflecting almost "painful sincerity". He was described as having a "small, womanish face" and that he's worn the "same haircut (shaggy with bangs)" for most of his life. Actor MacKenzie Phillips reportedly called him a "gnome" and he's been described as having a faint resemblance to Andy Warhol.
Bingenheimer became a groupie of sorts and formed attachments with prominent artists including Sonny and Cher. He met Cher by going backstage after a concert and according to Bingenheimer, she looked at him and said "Oh my God, you look just like Sonny!" They "bonded" and he went to work for them and "they took care of me", he said.
In a later interview, Bingenheimer explained that many artists grew to like and trust him because of his sincerity, taste in music and not being pushy. Writer Alison Powell in The Guardian wrote that his "sincerity helped him gain the trust of Brian Wilson, the Beatles, even Elvis". During these years he was photographed near countless celebrities from the worlds of acting and music and Hollywood, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Adam Ant, the Beach Boys and many others, almost like a "real life rock'n'roll Zelig". He ingratiated himself to many stars, people liked him. He got himself a job as a gofer for the Monkees and worked as a caterer at one point.
In those days of "free love", he found many young women to "mother him" and sometimes have sex with him. He was described as being a go-between serving the needs of young women and rock stars and often had sex with women as a precondition for them meeting rock stars later on, according to writer David Edelstein in Slate magazine. Wherever he went in the music and club scene, "his face was his passport". According to Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, Bingenheimer had sex with more women than Plant.
Incidents contributed to Bingenheimer's notoriety. He and Sonny Bono were reportedly asked to leave the Hollywood restaurant Martoni's because of their hippie appearance, which reportedly prompted Bono to write the song "Laugh at Me". Bingenheimer brought Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson to the recording session for Tina Turner's lead vocal on the Phil Spector classic "River Deep, Mountain High", and he was included in a dialogue by the all-female band the GTOs on their Frank Zappa-produced LP Permanent Damage.
In the late 1960s he was hired by Nik Venet to do publicity for Linda Ronstadt's group The Stone Poneys but he became so disenchanted with the LA music scene during this period that he moved to the United Kingdom where he enjoyed the London nightclub vibe with the help of his friend David Bowie. He discovered the nascent British glam rock scene and met other emerging stars such as Rod Stewart. Bingenheimer bought many records in London. It was Bowie who suggested that Bingenheimer return to Los Angeles and open a new music club.