Episode 82 - John Lever of The Chameleons/The Red-Sided Garter Snakes

November 29, 2016

In my humble opinion, The Chameleons are possibly the most underrated band of all-time, most certainly of the 80s. Every single fan of The Cure or The Smiths should also own their three core albums (Script of the Bridge, What Does Anything Mean, Basically? and my favorite Strange Times). Unfortunately, there is a lot of drama in the history of that band. I set out to tell their story, but the bad blood and hurt feelings were insurmountable. Luckily, drummer John Lever granted some time to discuss his new band, The Red-Sided Garter Snakes. Luckily, they are about as incredible as the Chams, so what we lack in Chameleons info, we gain in great new music by one of the greatest drummers of the 80s and a very kind man. 

https://trsgs.tmstor.es/

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Episode 81 - David Newton of The Mighty Lemon Drops

November 22, 2016

Something magical was happening in Britain in the 80s. The country produced amazing, genre-defining bands throughout the entire decade with legends like The Smiths, Simple Minds, Echo and the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs (I could go on and on) informing what would become alternative rock and/or post-punk. One of the great bands of that era were The Mighty Lemon Drops. Armed with some sugary sweet melodies, the Lemon Drops may not have hit the historic heights as some of those bands, but they made an impact and remain beloved today. David Newton was the guitarist and primary songwriter and in this enjoyable conversation we talk about all the bands we love from that era, why his good music is good and the bad stuff is bad, the current state of the band, and his current musical projects (which include producing one of my favorite bands of the last 10 years, The Soft Pack, as well as his wonderful side-project David Newton and THEE Mighty Angels). If you're a fan of 80s Brit Pop, you'll have a smile on your face for the duration. 

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Episode 80 - Sue Saad of Sue Saad and the Next/Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame

November 15, 2016

Sue Saad was the frontwoman for the great Sue Saad and the Next, another in a long line of excellent bands that should have been much bigger. They were discovered in L.A. in the late 70s by Richard Perry of Planet Records and released one promising self-titled album in 1980 that reached #131 on the charts and was gaining steam in Europe. Unfortunately, as he's done with other guests of this show, Perry didn't put any marketing muscle behind the band and SSTN began to wither away. Thankfully, filmmaker Albert Pyun tagged her to sing on many of his classic 80s B movies. As great as that was, it didn't break her through so she retreated from music and has been largely off the grid ever since. SSTN did release an excellent second album earlier this year made up of material from their vaults. Get to know one of the most amazing voices you'll ever hear. It's a shame there couldn't have been more. 

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Episode 79 - Mike Reno of Loverboy

November 8, 2016

Loverboy were one of the most popular rock bands of the 80s producing a bunch of hits and selling millions of records. Thankfully, they're enjoying a bit of a resurgence these days thanks to that National Car Rental ad featuring them and one of their biggest hits, "Lovin' Every Minute of It". In this exclusive interview lead singer Mike Reno talks about the effects of grunge on their career, the secret sauce to keeping the original band together, and what goes into deciding who to tour with. We also talk about the two excellent new singles they've released this year, "Some Like it Hot" and "Hurtin'". Mike couldn't be nicer and Loverboy deserves the success they've earned. 

http://www.loverboyband.com/
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Episode 78 - Ellen Foley

November 1, 2016

Ellen Foley burst onto the music scene in a gigantic way when she sang "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" with Meat Loaf on his mega-smash Bat Out of Hell album. That incredible performance got her a record deal and she put out three albums with some of the biggest legends in the biz behind the boards (Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson, The Clash, Vini Poncia, etc). In the early 80s she decided to focus on her acting career and was rewarded with a starring role on the first season of Night Court, as well as appearances in decade-defining films like Tootsie, Fatal Attraction and Cocktail. When she got married and became a mom she stepped away from the spotlight to raise her kids and now works when she wants. We discuss her thoughts on her career, what it was like collaborating with so many legends, and how she looks back on her career. Imagine the memories that must be floating around her head!

http://www.ellenfoley.com/
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Encore - Bruce Blackman of Starbuck

October 28, 2016

Going back to where it all started! 

For some reason - I don't see this episode in our iTunes feed, so I'm rereleasing it so new subscribers who might have missed it can catch up. And because Bruce is the best and this remains one of my favorite episodes. Enjoy (whether you've heard it before or not)!
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Episode 77 - Stephen Bishop

October 25, 2016

Stephen Bishop has been a highly successful singer-songwriter for 40 years. He's had several hits of his own and penned many for others such as Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, and Art Garfunkel. He just released a "brand new" album called Blueprint which puts the finishing touches on several songs and demos he's been working on over the years (hence the name). Here we talk about his approach to songwriting, how the industry has changed and how that affects him, and he shares some insight on his old friend, the late great Andrew Gold. 

http://stephenbishop.com/
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Episode 76 - Glen Burtnik

October 18, 2016

Glen Burtnik embodies exactly what The Hustle represents - the artist that works tirelessly to stay vital, involved, creative and paid. Glen was launched as a promising solo artist in the mid-80s releasing two great records on A&M. He achieved some chart success with 1987's "Follow You" which reached #65 on the pop charts. As the solo career was sputtering, Glen was invited to replace Tommy Shaw in Styx and wrote their last decent-sized hit with 1991's "Love is the Ritual". This began a new career as a professional songwriter (penning hits for Patty Smythe and Don Henley, as well as Randy Travis) and as a gun for hire, bringing his professionalism and vast talents to anyone that needed them. These days he's in, no kidding, at least half a dozen different groups/projects/ensembles all of which showcase his passion for great, classic music. 

http://www.glenburtnik.com/
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Episode 75 - Michael Harville of Sugarbomb

October 11, 2016

This week's guest shares a story we've heard all too often. Michael Harville was the drummer of the excellent Texas power pop band Sugarbomb. After a successful independently released debut album, their major-label debut, Bully,was released in 2001 and just starting to gain some momentum when RCA dropped them two weeks later! This had long-lasting effects on some members of the band, understandably, but Michael has soldiered on making a living as a drummer ever since. We talks candidly about the ups and downs and shares a hilarious story about how he nearly kicked Mathew McConaughey's butt twice (just don't ever call him Matt), and a rather disappointing story about Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. If you like bands like Jellyfish and Fountains of Wayne, then please enjoy re-discovering Sugarbomb. The name says it all. 

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Episode 74 - Jacob Slichter of Semisonic

October 4, 2016

Jacob Slichter was the drummer for the excellent alternative rock band Semisonic, whose 1999 hit "Closing Time" remains a staple to this day. But, we aren't here to talk about that. Jacob covered that story perfectly in his 2004 memoir "So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star", one of the greatest books on life as a mildly successful rock band during the waning days of the traditional music industry ever written. Since his book mirrors the arc we try to cover on the Hustle, I wanted to talk with him about his post-book life, ask some questions I had that the book didn't address, and expand on the emotions he has experienced along the way. He was a great sport about it. This book inspired this podcast. We've come full circle. 

http://www.relaxintowriting.com/ 
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Episode 73 - David Sterry of Real Life

September 27, 2016

David Sterry is the man behind one of the most iconic and enduring hits of the 80s synth-pop era, "Send Me An Angel". His band Real Life were major players in the 80s when Angel reached the charts TWICE (in 1983 and again in 1989), and "Catch Me I'm Falling" also made a huge splash in 1983. You'd think writing a song as evergreen as Angel would keep you comfy for the rest of your life, but surprisingly, that was not the case. Luckily, after 20 years, David is now benefitting from his impactful legacy and successfully touring the 80s nostalgia circuit in his native Australia. We talk about the ups and downs of his career, the other great music Real Life has recorded, what he did during the lean years, and some of his best memories. 

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Episode 72 - Mark Gable of Choirboys

September 20, 2016

Choirboys have been an active, vibrant pub rock/hard rock band in their native Australia for over 30 years. They've had several major hits Down Under, including 1987's "Run To Paradise" which, get this, is the 11th best selling Australian single of the 80s! Surprisingly, they've never made much of a dent in America (and never tried too hard). We talk about the differences between Australian and American success, what kind of a lifestyle "Run to Paradise" has afforded them, and them being discovered by George Young, the older brother of Angus and Malcolm from AC/DC. I also pick his brain on some of my favorite artists hailing from the eastern hemisphere. The guy has quite the personality, enjoy!

http://www.choirboys.net/
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Episode 71 - Tito Larriva of The Plugz/The Cruzados/Tito & Tarantula/Beloved Movie Soundtrack Fame

September 13, 2016

Tito Larriva hasn't stopped working in 40 years. His many musical disguises (The Plugz, The Cruzados, Tito & Tarantula) have paralleled his second career in the movie business, both as an actor and a soundtrack legend. At the core of these many personalities is the heart of a musical genius and shapeshifter who has found much success by being the right guy for the job and always good at what he does. His career has spanned everything from porn to Pee-Wee Herman and Swayze to Tarantino. Get turned on to an excellent musician and a consummate artist. 

http://www.titoandtarantula.com/WELCOME.html
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Episode 70 - Fred Pineau of The Atlantics

September 6, 2016

Fred Pineau was the guitarist for the excellent Boston power pop band The Atlantics. Their story is, unfortunately, a familiar one - big on the local scene, signed to a major label that mis-marketed them (they wanted them to be the "new wave Eagles"), and thus buried their one and only album, 1979's Big City Rock. Even with a national tour opening for Roxy Music, the Atlantics never fully took off and never made it to a second album. However, Fred is a world-class raconteur and has numerous incredible stories to tell. Sit back and enjoy an amazing band and an amazing storyteller (Bowie, Roxy, Prince, Paul Simon, Daryl Hall, Madness, Queen, etc).  

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Episode 69 - Richard Bush of The A’s/The Peace Creeps

August 30, 2016

The A's were one of Philadelphia's hottest bands in the 70s. Their mix of new wave and power pop created some of the best music of that wonderful period - the barely pre-MTV era (1977-1981). Lead singer Richard Bush was also one of the most charismatic frontman around - rock star through and through. But, unfortunately, after two underperforming albums on a major label, the band called it a day. Today, Richard primarily makes his living working like the rest of us, but for the past few years he's invested his talents in his new band, the psychedelic Peace Creeps. In our conversation, Richard honestly dissects his musical career, what went wrong, what went right, and what should have been. The guy is still amazing and hasn't lost a step!

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Episode 68 - Arthur Alexander of Sorrows

August 23, 2016

Arthur Alexander grew up in Warsaw Poland with dreams of becoming the next Elvis. His dreams brought him to NYC where he paid his dues on the CBGBs scene of the mid-70s with his first band The Poppees before things started to take off with his next band, the killer garage rock/power pop greats Sorrows. Unfortunately, after two under-performing albums the band was no more. Arthur is very candid and opinionated about his own career, what went wrong, and even his feelings about his fellow CBGB cohorts (Ramones, Television, Talking Heads). Sorrows are another in that dreaded "shoulda been huge" category and, while making music isn't what pays the bills anymore, he is still out there writing and creating. Get to know one of rock's great characters!

https://www.reverbnation.com/arthuralexander
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Episode 67 - Blanche Napoleon on Dan Hartman

August 16, 2016

In the mid-70s, Blanche Napoleon impulsively moved to NYC and befriended the excellent singer-songwriter Dan Hartman. She also managed to stumble into a music career when Dan made her a background singer on some of his biggest disco hits ("Instant Replay", "Relight My Fire", "Love Sensation"). Their deep friendship carried on until his death from AIDS in 1993. In this conversation, not only do we honor Dan and his life and art, but we talk about Blanche's brief. but impactful career in the music business in the late 70s before she transitioned to a hugely successful career in the fashion industry. She may have a short musical resume, but she has some of the best stories.  

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Episode 66 - Robert Tepper (Rocky IV) of Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame

August 9, 2016
Robert Tepper is a legend. His immortal classic, "No Easy Way Out" from 1985's Rocky IV, while not a huge hit on the pop charts, remains one of the most beloved soundtrack songs in movie history. Who will ever forget that killer track fueling what is, arguably, the greatest movie montage of all time. In this candid conversation, we go deep on how that song came to be and who played on it, but we also get to know the man behind it all as well as the rest of his career. Let's just say, the 80s were an ugly period for Robert and he's lucky he made it out alive. He's now a successful sound engineer in LA, but continues to work on new music. However, thanks to the enduring joy of the Rocky franchise, he will always be a major part of our lives. 
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Episode 65 - Jon Fiore of Preview/Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame/Solo

August 2, 2016

Jon Fiore was the lead singer of another great, but forgotten, early 80s rock band called Preview. Like many other bands we've showcased, they came in with a lot of promise, released an excellent debut album in 1983, and completely disappeared. From there, Jon began a highly successful career singing many legendary jingles, continuing to perform whenever possible, including releasing two excellent melodic hard rock albums in the 90s. But, to me he will always be beloved as the voice behind the theme song "Out on the Edge" from1985's endearing flick The Heavenly Kid. That alone makes him a legend in my book!

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Episode 64 - Tim Cappello (aka the “Sexy Sax Man”) of Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame

July 26, 2016

Who can ever forget the sight of the greased-up beefcake saxophone player performing "I Still Believe" on the boardwalk among the barrels of fire in the 1987 classic movie, The Lost Boys. It's an image that has impacted a generation. This week's guest is the man himself, Tim Cappello. This surprisingly kind and funny guy tells us why he never had a solo career (it's hilarious), what it was like working for legends such as Peter Gabriel and Tina Turner, his days starting out as Billy Crystal's musical director, and how he felt about being parodied on Saturday Night Live by Jon Hamm. Get to know the pop culture icon himself!

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Episode 63 - Fiona (Fiona Flanagan)

July 19, 2016

As big as "hair metal" was in the late-80s, there were very few women singers that were as big as the boys and could hold their own next to them. That is, except for Fiona, who released a string of hard rock albums from the mid-80s to the early 90s scoring a couple moderate hits in the process. She is probably best known for her electric duet with fellow genetic lottery winner Kip Winger, "Everything You Do (Your Sexing Me)" which barely missed the top 40 in 1989. However, what makes Fiona Flanagan truly demand your respect is what all she accomplished when the music career petered out. She had the foresight to enroll in UCLA and become an accountant, which she did for many years before settling down as a mom to raise her kids in New Jersey. 

In this absolutely enlightening conversation we discuss the state and treatment of women in rock during that time and whether she ever felt exploited by it (her answers may surprise you), what caused her to go into accounting, and her experience working with Bob Dylan on the set of Hearts of Fire. She's one of the most articulate and intelligent guests we've ever had. Prepare to be amazed. 
http://www.fionarock.com/
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Encore - Christopher Thorn of Blind Melon

July 15, 2016

This is an encore presentation of one of our biggest (and many think best) episodes. Because only the last 50 episodes show up in iTunes, I wanted to post this again so it could be accessed more easily. And because I'm super proud of it. 

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Episode 62 - Jai (Jason Rowe)

July 12, 2016

Jai was the stage name of Jason Rowe, who in the 90s recorded one of the great lost albums with Heaven. Referring to his style as "a mod for the hip-hop generation", Heaven produced one of the best singles of the decade with "I Believe" which was a modest hit on alternative radio in 1997. Unfortunately, that was it for Jai, or so I thought. Come to find out, he released one more album under his given name in 2006 called Lovelife which, unfortunately, remains fairly obscure. Despite it all, Jason has managed to consistently make a living through music (in some very unique ways) and isn't shy discussing what went wrong and who's to blame. The best guests are the ones that don't pull any punches and Jason tells it as he sees it. Plus, he recounts one of the best Mick Jagger stories you'll ever hear. Get to know a great artist you may have missed the first time. 

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Episode 61 - Taco (Taco Ockerse)

July 5, 2016

This week is the one and only Taco ( yes, that is his real name - Taco Ockerse )! He hit it big in 1983 with his hypnotic take on the classic 'Puttin On The Ritz', which reached #4 that year, and was a bit of a cultural touchstone. 

Unfortunately, that was all she wrote for Taco in the States and we talk about the difficult decision he made to abandon the US market and go all-in in Europe where he's remained very active ever since. Taco continues to release music there, most of which is in keeping with his unique style, merging classic show tunes with the latest production flourishes.
We talk about putting his debut album together in just two weeks, the old Hollywood legends he met during the height of his fame, and how he stays vibrant today!


http://www.taco.tc/

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Episode 60 - Peter McCann

June 28, 2016

Peter McCann is the man behind the immortal classic, "Do You Wanna Make Love" which was a #5 smash in 1977. He's an admitted one-hit-wonder, but his career is much broader than the one hit. He started out in a folk group called The Repairs who were managed by Andrew Loog Oldham (also of the Rolling Stones) and signed to Motown of all places! Berry Gordy didn't know what to do with them, so they were dropped after two albums. Peter went solo, but learned early on that he much preferred writing songs for other people. In fact, Jennifer Warnes had a #6 hit also in 1977 with his "Right Time of the Night". Peter has been a successful songwriter ever since, penning tunes for artists like the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, and Janie Fricke. One of his songs even made it on Whitney Houston's debut album (which has since sold 30 million copies). He's an exceptionally refreshing guy with a wonderful outlook on the business. He also tells a great story about Christie Brinkley and the Vacation soundtrack! 

 
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Episode 59 - George Winston

June 21, 2016

George Winston is an icon of New Age music (or "rural folk piano" as he calls it) and an American treasure. His beautiful piano songs have become a part of the country's fabric and some of his albums, especially 1982's December, are essential recordings no matter the genre. To me, George has been a mysterious figure, ever present, but never in the limelight. I wanted to get to know the man behind the music. Turns out he's a talkative, gregarious, student of music who has created his own world and plays by his own rules. His definition of success is refreshing. Get to know the man behind the music. And listen to the end for details on how you can get some free CDs.

http://www.georgewinston.com/
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Episode 58 - Neil Taylor

June 14, 2016

Neil Taylor has been a hugely successful session guitarist for over 30 years, ever since some of his buddies called him up one day asking if he could rush over to the studio and lay down a guitar solo on a song they were working on. That song was "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and, of course, the band was Tears For Fears. This began a long and fulfilling career that's seen him work with luminaries such as Morrissey, Peter Gabriel, and Robbie Williams, whom he performed alongside for 10 years. Today, Neil is putting together an excellent solo career that deserves your attention. In this conversation we discuss many of his collaborators (Naked Eyes, Holly Johnson, Johnny Hates Jazz, Howard Jones, Jane Wiedlin, Red Box, Martin Page, Tina Turner, Trevor Horn) and he shares some incredible stories. I love this one a lot. 

http://www.silvermusic.tv
  
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Bonus - Jan “The Man” Reports Back From The Axl/DC Concert

June 10, 2016

Our intrepid producer, Jan "The Man" is a huge AC/DC fan, and has been trying to finagle a way to see them for literally years. 

With a lineup change, and Brian Johnson leaving the band recently to be replaced by Axl Rose, there has been a huge amount of talk over the last couple of months, many people asking for refunds on their tickets. 

We thought it would be fun to talk to our Producer about his experience of Axl fronting the band, and get his take, since he finally managed to score a ticket to the show at The Olympic Stadium, in Olympic Park, London, last weekend.

We hope you enjoy this bonus with some live music from this, and other concerts.
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Episode 57 - Ben Watkins of The Flowerpot Men/Juno Reactor/Beloved Movie Soundtrack Fame

June 7, 2016

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller's Day Off this month, our guest this week is Ben Watkins, former lead singer of The Flowerpot Men who had that excellent track "Beat City" that was featured heavily in the film. What's really interesting about Ben is that he went on to be a key figure in the electronic and techno scene of the early 90s when he started the hugely successful Juno Reactor, a band that has been going strong around the world ever since. Ben has also contributed heavily to numerous other films, most notably The Matrix sequels. Would you have ever guessed that the same guy would be responsible for iconic tracks on movies as disparate as Ferris Bueller and The Matrix? We also talk about when Juno Reactor served as the backing band for actress Traci Lords when she released her debut album in 1995. So many points of interest with this guy!

http://www.junoreactor.com/
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Episode 56 - Rolo McGinty of The Woodentops

May 31, 2016

The Woodentops were an excellent British alternative pop band of the mid-to-late 80s. However, within just 2 years, they released 3 wildly different albums and then called it quits. The debut, Giant, sounds like what bands such as Prefab Sprout and Let's Active were doing at the time. The second was a live album that was super punky and revved up, and then the proper second album, Wooden Foot Cops on the Highway, was heavily influenced by the Madchester and Baggie scenes of the late 80s. Lead singer Rolo McGinty refers to himself as "schizophrenic" which is exactly right. He talks about what motivates the changing, the various luminaries he collaborated with, and what prompted him to reform the band 25 years later for 2014's excellent Granular Tales album. 

http://woodentopsmusic.com/
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Episode 55 - Anthony Kaczynski of Figures on a Beach/Fireking

May 24, 2016

Anthony Kaczynski was the lead singer of the great Detroit synth band Figures on a Beach throughout the 80s. They started out as a more avant-garde focused outfit along the lines of early Simple Minds, OMD, and Can, but they eventually put out two major label albums in the late-80s that had a much slicker, synth-pop sound. Unfortunately, success wasn't in the cards (although they did record one of the great alternative singles of the late-80s with "Accidentally 4th Street (Gloria)"). Anthony didn't do much of note musically until the end of the 90s when he started his current band, Fireking, who are one of the great current powerpop acts. Today he has his hands in many different musical projects and he may be busier (and happier) than he's ever been, all the while paying his bills by co-owning a company with his ex-wife. His spirit is infectious, enjoy!

http://www.firekings.com/ 
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Episode 54 - Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl/The Not-Its/Beloved 90s Movie Soundtrack Fame/Solo

May 17, 2016

The 90s were the golden era of killer indie rock bands fronted by chicks and one of the best of the bunch was Washington D.C.'s Velocity Girl lead by Sarah Shannon. The band put out three albums in the mid-90s before calling it quits. Sarah got married, moved to Seattle, and embarked a mildly successful solo career before turning her attention away from the music industry. Just then, an opportunity to start a children's rock band called The Not-Its became a reality. Think the power poppy guitar of vintage Velocity Girl mixed with lyrics your children will enjoy. Now, Sarah's back in the rock game, although from a completely different perspective. She's also the mother of two young girls and she shares her views on parenting as a former rock star. Fascinating stuff!

http://www.wearethenot-its.com/
http://www.sarahshannon.com/
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Episode 53 - Amanda Blue of Spider/Shanghai/Solo

May 10, 2016

Amanda Blue was the lead singer of one of those great rock and roll with a touch of new wave bands of the late 70s/early 80s called Spider. They cracked the top 40 once in 1980 when "New Romance" reached #39, but after two albums, they changed their name to Shanghai and released one more album before calling it quits and Amanda embarked on a solo career. What might be most interesting about Spider are the many recognizable names that circled their orbit. The band was discovered by Kiss and managed by Bill Aucoin (Gene Simmons also managed Amanda for a while). Also, one of the band members was Holly Knight, who would go on to be one of the most successful songwriters of all time ("Love is a Battlefield", "Simply The Best", "The Warrior", etc). And, the drummer, and Amanda's ex-husband, was Anton Fig, who would land the steadiest gig in music as the drummer for David Letterman's band. Amanda now makes healing her life's mission, which we talk a lot about. Lovely lady with an amazing story. 

http://amandablueleigh.com/
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Ep 52 - HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY TO US! - with Mark Brzezicki of Big Country

May 3, 2016

To celebrate The Hustle's 1st Birthday, we created a full circle moment. This week's guest is Mark Brzezicki, drummer of the iconic Scottish band Big Country! You may remember in the intro to The Hustle that I recorded a year ago, I mentioned that the suicide of Big Country's lead singer Stuart Adamson was an inspiration for me creating a place where I could let my favorite unsung artists know how much I love them. Here we are 52 conversations later and still going strong! Mark and I discuss what Stuart was like as a man, the ups and downs of being in the band, what everyone is doing now, and some of the session work Mark's done to maintain a career. With all the joy these artists have brought to our lives, they deserved better. 

http://www.bigcountry.co.uk/
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Bonus - A discussion on the death and legacy of Prince with Steve Spears

April 29, 2016

In this special Prince-themed bonus episode of The Hustle, we're joined by popular blogger and host of the beloved Stuck In The 80s podcast, Steve Spears, another die-hard Prince fan. We discuss what he meant to us, his legacy, our faves, and the rumors surrounding how he died. Huge thank you to Steve for being our special guest!

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/80s/
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Episode 51 - George Sipl of American Noise

April 26, 2016

American Noise were one of the great "should-have-been" bands. They were one of the hottest tickets in the thriving Cleveland rock scene of the 70s when they were signed by legend Richard Perry and sent to LA to work on their debut album. Released in 1980, their self-titled masterpiece is a power-pop lovers dream. However, the label didn't get behind them and American Noise dissolved into obscurity. Over the years, however, that album has grown a deserved reputation as "the great lost guitar record". 

George Sipl was American Noise's keyboardist and has been a successful musician and audio engineer for over 30 years now. We discuss some of his enduring jingles, studio wizardry he's especially proud of, what exactly was fueling Cleveland in those days, and his often turbulent collaborations with legend Eric Carmen, including his contributions to mega-hits "All By Myself" and "Hungry Eyes". Do yourself a favor and rediscover American Noise!
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Episode 50 - Todd Pipes of Deep Blue Something

April 19, 2016

Todd Pipes was the lead singer of Deep Blue Something, who hit it big in 1995 with the seminal "Breakfast at Tiffany's" which reached #5 on the US charts. Sadly, it was their one and only hit and after a couple more albums that received less attention, the band slowed way down. Todd is now an English teacher in Dallas and makes music when he wants to, including an excellent ep from last year called Locust House. We talk about music in the 90s, the aftermath of having such a big, divisive hit, and the other bands they blew off the stage. My personal feeling is that there has always been more to this band than "the hit" and the deserve to have the rest of their music discovered.

http://deepbluesomething.com/ 
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Episode 49 - Ranking Roger of The English Beat/General Public/Solo

April 12, 2016

Ranking Roger is a music and style icon that needs no introduction. He was a founding member of one of the most important and beloved alternative/ska bands of all-time with the English Beat. Then, he and fellow front man Dave Wakeling broke off and formed General Public to even greater chart success ("Tenderness" #27 in 1984). Today the former partners function as two separate groups - Dave carries on as The English Beat in the states while Roger is The Beat throughout the rest of the world. We discuss the dynamic between the two, the state of potential reunions, Roger's excellent solo work, and his views on marijuana. And, he announces new Beat music coming in 2016!

http://www.thebeatofficial.com/
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Episode 48 Bonus - Phil Spalding and I discuss some of his collaborations

April 7, 2016

Phil and I discuss several of his collaborations including...

Talk Talk
Seal
Terence Trent D'Arby
Jai
When In Rome
Dubstar 
OMD
Flesh for Lulu
Heaven 17
Suggs
http://www.philspalding.com/
http://www.liver4life.org.uk/
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Episode 48 - Phil Spalding of GTR

April 5, 2016

Phil Spalding has been an in demand session bassist for almost 40 years now. His highest profile gig from an American perspective was probably when he was a member of that short-lived supergroup GTR, who had a big hit with "When the Heart Rules the Mind" which reached #14 in 1986. Since then he's collaborated with everyone from Seal to Terence Trent D'Arby to Right Said Fred to Elton John, all the while living as a full-blown drug addict. Thankfully, he's been in recovery for 11 years now and serving as best he can to help others in the same situation. Here is his amazing story!

http://www.philspalding.com/
http://www.liver4life.org.uk/ 
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Episode 47 - Grahame Skinner of Hipsway

March 29, 2016

Hipsway were a Scottish band in the mid-80s that scored one hit in the states off their first album with "The Honeythief" in 1986, one of the finest singles of its era. That was about it for Hipsway, however, and after one more album that was barely released the guys parted ways. What's interesting about lead singer Grahame Skinner is that he's been a part of numerous other bands, both before and after, that were even better and deserved to be discovered, but mostly weren't. Today he manages a cafe in Glasgow, while making killer music as The Skinner Group when opportunity presents itself. 

http://www.grahameskinner.com/

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Episode 46 - Murray Attaway of Guadalcanal Diary

March 22, 2016

Guadalcanal Diary were one of the seminal College Rock bands of the 80s. With a sound forever described as "like REM", over the course of four albums they gained success and respect by playing the pop game by their own rules. But, by the end of the decade the band broke up and frontman Murray Attaway set off for a solo career. Unfortunately, that only last one album, after which he decided to step away from the music business altogether. For the last 25 years, he's lead a life similar to many of us - working in IT and web design. 

Murray is a legend of alternative rock and continues to be viewed as one of the most respected songwriters of the 80s. 
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Episode 45 - Carlos Alomar

March 15, 2016

Carlos Alomar is a legend, plain and simple. Off and on for over 40 years, he was David Bowie's rhythm guitarist, musical director, collaborator, co-songwriter and friend. In the history of Bowie's music, there are fewer people more responsible for the sound than Carlos. Today he is a director at Stevens Institute of Technology and you can tell from this interview that teaching comes naturally to him. He also continues to collaborate with artists lucky enough to have him. He's lead an amazing, charmed life. 

https://carlosalomar.wordpress.com/
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Episode 44 - Robin Clark of Simple Minds

March 8, 2016

Robin Clark might be best known for her time with Simple Minds during the height of their popularity in the mid-80s. She joined them for the Once Upon a Time album, singing on gigantic hits like "Alive and Kicking", "Sanctify Yourself" and "All the Things She Said" and touring the world for a couple years. What you may not have known is that she's been married to David Bowie's rhythm guitarist Carlos Alomar for 45 years and not only did she sing on some of Bowie's most iconic songs ("Young Americans", "Blue Jean"), but was close friends with David since the early 70s. In this conversation, she was gracious enough to allow me to ask her some questions about David and her experience with him. She sheds a unique light on David the man, versus David Bowie The Rock God. Of course we also get deep into Simple Minds, and her longtime friendships with Luther Vandross and Nile Rodgers. She's an amazing lady and this chat is unlike anything you've ever heard.  

http://robinclarkmusic.com/
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Episode 43 - Joe Frank Carollo of Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds

March 1, 2016

Joe Frank Carollo is the Joe Frank of popular soft rock group Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds who had a number of hits in the first half of the 70s topped off by the sweet as honey "Fallin' In Love" which reached #1 in 1975. That was their last hit, unfortunately, and after a few years on the casino circuit, Joe Frank focused on the "real job" he had all along, working in camera stores. Dan Hamilton passed away in the 90s and Tommy Reynolds gave up the music industry for his religion, leaving Joe Frank the last man standing. This charming 76 year old southern gentleman tells us what it was like being signed to Playboy Records, how some of their biggest hits came about, how proud he is of his successful composer son, and the band he plays in now. 

https://www.reverbnation.com/joefrankwfa
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Episode 42 - Derrek Van Eaton of Lon & Derrek Van Eaton

February 23, 2016

Lon & Derrek Van Eaton were a singing duo in the early 70s. They partied at Andy Warhol's and open for legends like the Doors, David Bowie and the Moody Blues. In addition to being excellent musicians, what makes them a small part of rock history is the fact they were discovered by the Beatles. George Harrison heard their demo, signed them to Apple records and flew them to England to record their debut album, 1972's Brother. Unfortunately, the album underperformed and Apple went out of business shortly thereafter. Lon and Derrek then relocated to LA where they put out one more album and got work as session musicians. Today, Derrek has settled nicely in the Denver suburbs. His story is pretty fascinating. 

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Episode 41 - Billy Vera

February 16, 2016

Billy Vera and the Beaters can claim one of the flukiest #1 songs in pop history. In 1986 a song they wrote and recorded in 1981. "At This Moment", was chosen to appear in an episode of Family Ties. It caused such a stir that it eventually propelled the song to the top of the charts in January of 1987. What most people probably don't realize is that Billy had already been around for 20 years writing songs for artists like Ricky Nelson and Dolly Parton, not to mention a couple of hits on his own. And, he's continued to reap loads of success since "At This Moment" by diversifying into acting, voice-over, and jingle writing.He's done and seen it all and conquered almost every corner of the music industry. 

http://billyverabigband.com/
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Episode 40 - Matt Caisley of Reacharound/Former Human Beings

February 9, 2016

Reacharound were a killer rock and roll band (think Social Distortion mixed with Rev. Horton Heat) in the mid-90s that had one hit on alternative radio with "Big Chair" in 1996. But, after one album (and only one single) the band was done. Lead singer Matt Caisley has bounced around L.A. working regular jobs while continuing to follow his rock star passions. Today, his primary creative outlet is the more electro-industrial band Former Human Beings. We talk about the highs he experienced in the 90s, the inspiration for his biggest hit, the very ambitious project Former Human Beings are working on now, and why you should never give your band a sexually suggestive name. 

http://www.formerhumanbeings.com/
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Episode 39 Bonus - David Frank and I discuss some of his collaborations

February 3, 2016

I hit David with a list of some of my favorite credits of his. The artists include Scritti Politti, Phil Collins, Steve Winwood, Chaka Khan, Billy Idol, Billy Squier, and Rod Stewart.

http://davidfrankmusic.com/
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Episode 39 - David Frank of The System

February 2, 2016

David Frank was one half of the highly influential r&b group The System, who released a string of trendsetting dance hits throughout the 80s culminating with their biggest hit, "Don't Disturb This Groove," which hit #4 on the pop charts in 1987. Along with his musical partner Mic Murphy, they did some great soundtrack work on classic films like Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and Beat Street, in which they also appeared. After the duo went on hiatus, David pored himself into writing and producing with upcoming artists like 98 Degrees and Christina Aguilera. He co-wrote her first hit "Genie in a Bottle" which changed his fortunes forever. He's one of the all-time greatest minds in r&b.

http://davidfrankmusic.com/
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