This week we are honored to hear from one of the most decorated songwriters of all time, the legendary Holly Knight! Holly's career began in the early 80s with the AOR band Spider, but it was when other artists began having success recording songs she'd written (like John Waite's "Change" and Tina Turner's "Better Be Good to Me") that she switched her focus to songwriting. She went on to pen some of the biggest songs ever like "Love is a Battlefield", "The Warrior" and "The Best". In this conversation we cover those as well as many other hits and deep tracks. She also discusses her feelings about her place in history, as well as the marginalization of songwriters in general. It's the perfect show to listen to with your valentine!
This week we get to hear from the wonderful singer/songwriter Bonnie Hayes! Coming out of the Bay Area nearly 40 years ago with her band the Wild Combo, Bonnie mastered the new wave sound and even had a couple songs featured in the movie Valley Girl. For some reason, the solo career never quite took off like it should have, but good fortune bounced in her direction when some of her songs made their way to Bonnie Raitt and were included in her massive comeback album Nick of Time in 1989. From there Bonnie became an in demand songsmith as well as session musician touring and playing keys for both Belinda Carlisle and Billy Idol. These days she teaches songwriting at the prestigious Berklee School of Music and releases solo albums when the itch hits her. She's a fantastic lady and her story is incredible!
Jon and Noel from the Reliving My Youth podcast are at it again! This time they countdown their top 10 yacht rock songs. What counts as yacht rock? Is it a guilty pleasure or seriously awesome music? Do the songs hold up or are they tied too much to an era? You tell us how you feel!
Jon teams up with Steve and Drew from Suburban Underground once again, this time to play some of their favorite lesser known R&B jams! You hear songs you may not know from some of the legends of the genre, some modern goodies, and many others that may be completely new to you. Let us know what you think!
Jon and Jan discuss the highs and lows of 2019 including, the last few months worth of guests, our top 10 episodes of the year as well as the listener picks, and we answer your questions. 2019 was a wild ride and we share what we learned and how we feel about it. Special thanks to everyone that makes The Hustle a unique endeavor. We love you all!
It seemed fitting to pay tribute to an excellent Canadian drummer by speaking with another excellent Canadian drummer. Barry Connors of the fantastic AOR band Toronto (ep 9) returns to tell us what Neil meant to Canada, the influence he had on his own drumming style, and what it was like seeing Rush live back in the early days. There has never been anyone else like Neil Peart and we're lucky to discuss it with great people like Barry.
This week we are lucky to welcome the guitarist for one of the biggest bands of the 80s - Chris Hayes from Huey Lewis and the News! Chris and I discuss his time in the band and the stories behind many of the songs, but what I mostly wanted to know was why he chose to walk away almost 20 years ago. You realize what became more important to him was family and sobriety. He's a wonderful guy whose story is not well known. Enjoy!
If you were one of those people who read the liner notes on all your records, no doubt you saw the name Jerry Marotta on many of your favorites. From the late 70s til the mid 80s Jerry drummed for Peter Gabriel AND Hall and Oates at the same time! When those gigs came to an end he joined up with the Indigo Girls for a while. Along the way he recorded with the likes of Paul McCartney, Tears For Fears, Robbie Robertson, Fee Waybill, Sarah McLachlan, Los Lobos, Cher, John Mayer, and a bunch of others. Jerry is one of those brutally honest interviews and we hear amazing stories about all of these people, as well as the many things he's working on today. This one's another instant classic. You won't believe it!
One of our most popular guests, Marshall Crenshaw, returns to discuss the brand new deluxe vinyl edition of his 1996 album Miracle of Science. One of his great, but unsung albums is finally getting the treatment it deserves and is available now! Marshall recounts the writing and recording of it and we discuss the shows he's been doing with the Smithereens since the passing of frontman Pat DiNizio two years ago. Enjoy!
It's been a wild ride for Michelle Shocked. Her career as a protest singer began in the mid-80s by accident and has expanded to touch on every genre you can think of. She doesn't want to be pigeonholed and she does what she wants. Which makes the "Yoshi Incident" even more confusing. In March of 2013 during a concert in San Francisco, Michelle, believing rightly that there were bootleggers in the room, said some pretty despicable things about homosexuals and gay marriage. Her career's never been the same. Was she kidding? Did she mean what she said? Was it on purpose? Did she know she was being recorded? Why would someone who has devoted her life to fighting for artists rights and many other causes say these things? We try to get to the bottom of it, you decide if we were successful.
Charlie Midnight's success as a songwriter has spanned nearly 40 years. After partnering up with Dan Hartman in the early 80s, the two wrote a string of hits for both Dan and others, many of which were featured on soundtracks for films like Fletch, Ruthless People, Breakin', and Rocky 4 with James Brown making "Living in America" iconic. From there, Charlie forged his own successful writing and producing career working with artists like Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, the Doobie Brothers, and Joni Mitchell. We get deep into all of it and hear his rather inspiring take on hard work, songwriting, and surviving the music industry. Enjoy!
Audio engineer Brad Sundberg returns to discuss the making of the epic Quincy Jones album Back on the Block from 1989. The legendary producer called all of his famous friends to contribute to this opus of an album that went on to win seven Grammys and sell a million copies. Among the legends appearing on Back on the Block are Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Ice T, Barry White, Sarah Vaughn, George Benson, James Ingram, Chaka Khan, Kool Moe Dee, the Brothers Johnson, Al B. Sure, Bobby McFerrin, Dizzy Gillespie and about a hundred others. Brad shares his stories from working on the project and what all these people are like one on one. If you're a music fan, you'll gobble up this entire conversation!
Imagine getting only one chance at the big time and it not working out. That can't be easy to deal with, but that's what happened to this week's guest, Tom Croucier of the band Life By Night. Tom's career started picking up steam in the early 80s when he played with both Scorpions and Dokken (his brother Juan is in Ratt), so when he fronted his own band that was equal parts rock and new wave, it seemed like a slam dunk. The result is the 1985 Life By Night album that featured the closest they came to a hit with the song "Phone to Phone." Sadly, the album fell into obscurity and Tom never got a second chance as a major label recording artist. Here, Tom shares his stories from his time on the big stage, the many personalities he worked and played with (including former guest Robert Tepper) and what he did when the music career ended. Tom's a great guy and Life By Night deserve a rediscovery.
It's another Merry Chris-mas at the Hustle! This year we hear from indie legend Chris (get it?) Stamey! After forming the dbs in Chapel Hill 40 years ago with Peter Holsapple, Chris has carved his own unique and diverse solo path. To prove my point, this year he released a new album New Songs for the 20th Century that was heavily influenced by the likes of Cole Porter and Henry Mancini! I ask Chris why the change in style, but he doesn't see it that way. In fact, this interview goes a little sideways. You be the judge as to why.
Forrmer guest Richard Bush (ep 69) returns to talk about the brand new album Social Studies by his current band The Peace Creeps. You may remember that 40 years ago, Richard fronted the wonderful Philly power-pop band The A's. The Peace Creeps brand of rock is more psychedelic, but no less effective. The first single, "Through Our Ruins" is getting some radio attention, thankfully, so we talk about how that feels at this stage in his career and what he hopes to accomplish with this new album. Check out Social Studies today!
The Knack are the poster band for both extreme success and extreme flame out. They had the biggest hit of 1979 with their debut single "My Sharona", a song that remains as killer today as it was then. But, almost immediately the backlash came - they copy the Beatles too much, the lyrics are misogynistic, power pop is over, etc. Unfortunately, the band never really got over that despite staging many reunions and comebacks over the years. However, when frontman Doug Feiger died in 2010 that was all she wrote. Here, bassist Prescott Niles is eager to tell the real story of the Knack like why much of the criticism was unfair, what great musicians they were, and the story behind each album, including his favorites and least favorites. We also get into what he's doing now which includes playing with 80s favorites Missing Persons and Gary Myrick. Prescott is quite a character, but the story he tells is vital. Enjoy!
Jon and the boys from Suburban Underground come together for another hour of music. This time the topic is "songs that move us." You'll notice when you listen to this that we each define "move" in different ways. Who do you identify with the most? Don't be shy!
The 90s were a fickle time. Fads came and went, stars were made and just as quickly left behind. Austin's Fastball had what it took for the long haul, but it hasn't been easy. Lead by the dual songwriting chops of Tony Scalzo and Miles Zuniga, the band broke big on their second album with hits like "The Way," "Out of My Head," and "Fire Escape." But, as it often happens, by the time the follow up came out the crowd had moved on. They've never really gone away though and they even released a solid new album recently called The Help Machine. Drummer Joey Shuffield joins us to talk about how it all goes down and how they keep it together I especially wanted to hear about the incredible rock band he was involved in in the early 2000s called Young Heart Attack. If all you know is the hits, Fastball deserve a deeper listen.
Imagine this - one of the greatest rock singers in history decides to leave his hugely successful band and you've been selected to take his place. That's what happened with Johnny Edwards. Though it was the beginning of the 90s, Foreigner's Mick Jones felt that even though Lou Gramm was out of the band there was still enough gas in the tank to keep things going. He recruited Johnny and they recorded Unusual Heat, a solid rock album that never really stood a chance. This scenario wasn't entirely new to Johnny as he took over vocal duties on latter day versions of both Montrose and King Kobra (both stories are nuts!). Along the way he fronted many of his own bands, but none of them really took off and he eventually left music behind. Today he's a regular working man and sings in an excellent blues rock band called Bleu Phonque on the side. Nobody has a story quite like Johnny's, you're going to love this!
Walter Egan's 1978 smash "Magnet and Steel" will follow him around wherever he goes, deservedly so, but what gets lost sometimes is the absolutely stellar power pop album he made in 1983 called Wild Exhibitions. It featured his last hit "Fool Moon Fire", but didn't get the attention it deserved then, and still doesn't, so we attempt to right that wrong. In this Deep Dive, Walter and I shed light on this hidden gem, while also gliding over his entire career. We love Walter and hope that you will discover an album you must have in your collection.
In a decade that churned through artists as tastes and fads changed weekly, Everclear managed a heckuva lot of hits. Storming the gates with the hyper-catchy "Santa Monica," the guys dropped radio staple after radio staple like "Everything to Everyone," "Father of Mine," "I Will Buy You a New Life" and the list goes on and on. By the 2000s, the wave was starting to die down, but the band never really went away, even if the players came and went. The mainstay has always been leader Art Alexakis, a one-of-a-kind rock personality. Art recently released the solo album he's been threatening to do for years with the all acoustic Sun Stories. In this conversation, Art is honest about the Everclear albums he isn't crazy about, the time he was on the "O'Reilly Factor", the Summerland Festival he heads, the great 2015 Everclear album Black is the New Black, and tons of other stuff. He's one of the great personalities in rock and we're lucky to hear from him!
Cinderella may have been put to bed years ago, but frontman Tom Keifer has been slowly building up his solo project for a while now and it just keeps getting bigger. The Tom Keifer Band recently released the new album Rise and completed a US tour (another leg is taking shape early next year). In this short conversation, we discuss the difference between his current band and his old one, how he views his legacy, the state of his health (he's undergone several throat surgeries over the years, but is back on the mend), his spiritual views, and his working dynamic with his wife, Savannah. Tom could be seen as a Maverick who's followed his muse from day one and produced a lot of killer rock and roll in the process.
The last few years have been a blur of prolific activity for Juliana Hatfield. There was the anti-Trump album Pussycat from 2017, there have been side projects with Paul Westerberg (The I Don't Care's) and Nada Surf's Matthew Caws (Minor Alps), and there have been albums of new material (2019's Weird and 2015's Whatever, My Love), but what is a wonderful new focus for her are these albums of covers. In 2018 she released Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John to wide acclaim and this week she drops the follow up, Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police. This wonderful collection brings new depth to these classic tunes and presents them in a new light completely unique to her. We discuss all of this as well as her favorite albums and bands, her love life, her feelings about accolades, and much more. She's a total delight and full of great stories!
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Jon engages in conversation with his 12-year-old daughter Georgia, discussing their love of Kiss and counting down their top 5 songs. This was done quick and dirty, no editing, no production. Hope you're all impressed!
The summer of 1991 belonged to bands like EMF. When they took over the world with their debut single "Unbelievable," it signaled a change in the sound of mainstream music where white British guys merged alternative rock with dance music, hip-hop and skate culture. Coming out of the gate with a song as big as that one, you'd think EMF would continue on, but such was not the case. Like so many others, they suffered the dreaded sophomore slump on the second album and barely released a third before hanging it up. Frontman James Atkin talks openly about how difficult those years were, but is also in a very good place today teaching children at a local school and recently releasing a solo album called Popcorn Storm. We also discuss how they found their sound, their style, and how Andrew Dice Clay got in there. Enjoy!
Sometimes you just have to wonder why some bands don't make it. Take the Hollywood Stars. Brought together by famous impresario Kim Fowley, the guys were meant to be a West Coast answer to the New York Dolls. After some stops and starts, the band finally released their debut album in 1977, but it didn't show what the band could do, it under-performed, and the band broke up ending the potential for greatness. Guitarist Ruben De Fuentes enjoyed the LA music scene of the period and went on to play with 80s versions of classic psych rock bands like Steppenwolf and Blue Cheer. Thankfully, as vinyl junkies began discovering the band in later years, the Hollywood Stars are back in business! In 2013 their great lost album from 1974, Shine Like a Radio, was finally released (it features the original version of "King of the Nighttime World" made famous by Kiss) and earlier this year another collection of hidden gems, SOUND CITY (named for where it was recorded), was released and it's excellent. Ruben is an example of a guy that has devoted his life to rock and roll. Enjoy!
Flesh For Lulu had it all. They mixed the Stones' swagger with the New York Dolls' grease and added a healthy dose of 80s glam to perfection as evidenced on possibly their best known hit, 1987's "I Go Crazy" from the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. But, it all ended too quickly and now it never will be again. Lead singer Nick Marsh passed away in 2015 of cancer, putting a permanent end to this wonderful band. Guitarist Rocco Barker tells us the full story - how his first band Wasted Youth was bigger than FFL, how the band he and Nick started after FFL, Gigantic, never quite got off the ground, his experience in reality TV, crazy ex-girlfriends, drugs, family, money, and his new career as an eyeglass maker (you read that right). He's a wonderfully entertaining bloke and Flesh For Lulu deserve a rediscovery. Enjoy!
In part 2 of our crossover episode with Reliving My Youth, Jon and Noel countdown their Top 10 soundtrack songs of the 90s.
Red Rockers were all set to be the "American Clash." They may have started as the go-to punk band in their native New Orleans, but when they wrote the 1983 hit "China" for their second album, not only did their style change, but MTV played them incessantly, recognition soon followed, and original fans screamed "sell outs!" Unfortunately, the switch to a more commercial sound only led to moderate commercial success. Other than the still beautiful "China" they never quite got off the ground. When it ended, bassist Darren Hill didn't really find success again until he began playing with, and then managing, Paul Westerberg. From there, his roster of clients grew to include luminaries like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, New York Dolls, Dropkick Murphys, and the late Roky Erickson. Darren tells fascinating stories about all of these great people like what makes Paul tick, why was Roky special, working with former guest William Wittman on Red Rockers' final album Schizophrenic Circus (and why it has one of the worst covers ever), and the pop culture store he runs in Providence, RI. So many great stories here and you know we just scratched the surface. Enjoy!
It's that time again, Hustlers and this time Jon and Jan are joined by Brad Page of the I'm In Love With That Song podcast. We're honored to have the man with the buttery voice slumming it with us knuckleheads. Not only do we recap the last three months of episodes, but we also discuss bad publicist experiences, we get an update on Jan's love life, whatever happened with HustleFest, and who was it that cut our interview short? And good news - no airports this time! Enjoy!
You can find out information about the band that closes out this episode at the link below.
Promo Mode - Ian Anderson discusses The Ballad of Jethro Tull book and 40th Anniversary of Stormwatch
Martha Wash has one of the most recognizable voices in pop history. Well, maybe a better word for it is "utilized." She has sang on some of the biggest club/dance hits of the last 40 years and you may not even realize it. In the 70s she and her friend Izora Rhodes began singing back up for disco legend Sylvester, becoming known as Two Tons O' Fun. This lead to their own record deal and two albums released under that name before changing it to the Weather Girls. Then came "It's Raining Men," a giant hit and an anthem in the LGBT community. From here the dance hits just kept on coming - "Everybody Everybody" and "Gonna Make You Sweat" among them. With the success did not come the credit or the money, an issue Martha fought the law for and won changing the music industry forever. All told she's sang on 12 #1 dance hits and today is heavily involved in First Ladies of Disco, who will be appearing on the 2020 Ultimate Disco Cruise. She's also changing it up musically, just listen to her last album, 2013's Something Good, which is so good and not dance music at all. She has an incredible story that everyone should hear. Enjoy!
We lost another good one recently. To discuss the great Eddie Money we bring back Steve "Eddie" Rice of the killer Bay Area rock band Eddie and the Tide. Money produced their album Go Out and Get It in 1984 for what we think may be Eddie's only production credit of his whole career. Steve shares stories about what Eddie was like to work with, the jokes he told, his approach to songwriting and even a somber recent phone call they had that may have implied Eddie knew what was down the pike. Once again, we're so lucky to hear wonderful artists like Steve talk about other wonderful artists like Eddie from first-hand experience.
It almost didn't happen for George McCrae. In fact, the whole thing was a total fluke. He and his wife Gwen sang back up on recording sessions around Miami with his focus more on managing her career than pursuing his own. But when Harry Wayne Casey wrote a new song that was too high for his register, he asked George, who happened to be around, if he would sing it. That song, 1975's "Rock Your Baby", went on to be one of the biggest selling singles of all time, selling at least 11 million copies, and went #1 all over the world. Success like that is almost impossible to replicate, and George was no different. He continued in music for years, even singing back up on a Bill Wyman solo record, but nothing else took off. He even went back to working normal, blue collar jobs. Thankfully, Europe re-embraced Disco eventually so he moved there and is performing to enraptured audiences. In fact, in February, he will be a part of the 2020 Ultimate Disco Cruise. His story is unlike anyone else's. Enjoy!
This month we welcome back the fantastic Robert Tepper (ep66) to discuss his 1986 debut album No Easy Way Out. True, the title track from Rocky 4 is one of the greatest AOR songs ever and was a decent-sized hit, but when it came time to release the full album his label was on to other things. We discuss the creation of the songs, who played on them, and how royally Scotti Bros. botched this thing! In addition, Robert releases his new solo album Better Than The Rest today! We also get into that and hear a couple tunes. Robert's the man and you're going to enjoy this one!
In 1995 "Lump" was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. And it became a hit. That was followed up by "Peaches," another weird one that reached the same status. Where did these funny, but rocking (novelty?) songs come from? Who writes songs like this? The band is literally called The Presidents of the United States of America? It all seemed like someone was playing a joke, but the tunes were undeniable and millions of people snatched up the album. Unfortunately, it didn't last. The sophomore slump descended on the follow-up and they never regained their footing. PUSA frontman Chris Ballew made a drastic move - he turned his attention to children's music and now performs under the name Caspar Babypants. You learn in this chat that he views this work as a calling he's incredibly passionate about. We also talk about the history of the band and those great songs as well as the pros and cons of having a band name associated with certain elected officials. Chris is a great guy who's doing exactly what he feels he was put on earth to do. Wish we could all say that.
After too long a layoff, The Hustle and Suburban Underground come together again this time to play recent music from legacy artists. You may be surprised to find out that some of the bands you loved back in the day have made quality music in the last few years that's just as good as material from their peak. In here we play newer songs by Animotion, The Waterboys, Bad Religion, Robert LaRoche, The Motels, Yes, Blondie, Nick Heyward, The Outfield, Liam Gallagher, Bruce Foxton, The Ocean Blue, and Deep Blue Something. If you hear something you like, please support the artists!
To celebrate the life and work of Ric Ocasek we welcome back former guest Fred Pineau (ep70), guitarist of the Atlantics. The Atlantics were an excellent Boston-based power pop band who came up through the ranks alongside Ric and the Cars in the 70s. Fred talks about his relationship with Ric, what he meant to the Boston scene, what the his legacy will be, and shares stories from back in the day. Fred's one of the best storytellers we've ever had on the show, and we're grateful he agreed to come back for this special tribute.
When people talk about alternative rock band Dramarama, what you'll often hear is that they were "before their time." Though they came to prominence in the mid-80s, their aggressive, but melodic power pop sound was a perfect precursor for the garagey 90s. Through the help of tastemaker Rodney Bingenheimer, the band exploded out of LA in 1985 with "Anything Anything" that set records and still kills. The band released quality work for a decade before eventually calling it quits. Bassist and founding member Chris Carter turned his attention to radio and has been the host of Breakfast With The Beatles, the longest running Beatles radio show, for decades now. He also produced the Rodney doc The Mayor of Sunset Strip. We talk about the history of Dramarama, including the real story behind their appearance on VH1's Bands Reunited, but then we also go deep on the Beatles with Chris answering loads of listener questions. It's a little bit of everything in this one, all of it good!
Among the many fantastic British shoegazer bands of the early 90s, Great Yarmouth's Catherine Wheel were among the very best. They exploded out of the gate with Ferment in 1992, one of the best debut albums by anyone ever, and kept the train rolling for most of the decade until the "wheels" finally came off at the dawn of the new millennium. While it lasted they managed to impress and work with top-of-the-line producers like Tim Friese-Green (Talk Talk), Gil Norton (Pixies) and even Bob Ezrin. Bassist David Hawes discusses the dynamic within the band, the thinking behind each album, what it was like working with those producers, and why he left the group before their last album. David is also a big music head and record collector so we discuss some of his all-time favorite albums and vinyl stories. These guys were so good! Enjoy!
It feels like UB40 have always been in our lives. Maybe that's because they practically have. Last year the guys celebrated their 40th anniversary with a tour that was so well received, it's carried over to the 41st year. And to mark the occasion, in 2019 they released their best album in decades, For The Many, which hearkens back to their early days like nothing else they've released in a while. Guitarist and founding member Robin Campbell and I discuss this victory lap, as well as some of their definitive albums and classic songs. Unfortunately, there is also some drama in there, as there often is. Former lead singer Ali Campbell, Robin's brother, left the band about 12 years ago and is also touring with the UB40 name. Robin's version of UB40 recruited a third Campbell brother, Duncan, to take over lead vocal duties. It can be confusing, but what isn't confusing is that UB40 have over 40 years of great music to enjoy and For The Many continues that tradition.
For August's Deep Dive we welcome back another legendary producer, this time it's the great Rupert Hine (ep158)! We go behind the scenes on the creation and recording of The Fixx's 1983 masterwork Reach The Beach. This landmark album produced three top 40 singles including "One Thing Leads to Another" and "Saved By Zero" and is their biggest seller moving 2 million copies. We also cover how the band found their sound and discuss the singular mind of lead singer Cy Curnin. We're so lucky to hear from legends like Rupert!
Ahh the 70s. That period of burgeoning hard rock and soft, smooth sounds. Among the many artists filling the airwaves with ear candy were England Dan and John Ford Coley. The successful duo racked up half a dozen or so hits in the second half of the decade. Songs like "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" and "Nights are Forever Without You" provide touchpoints to simpler times, back when AM radio was king. The pair even scored a hit with a TODD song! But, like many 70’s duos, the partnership ended in the early 80s. The final nail in the coffin was a disagreement over one song; a song that Dan goes on to record solo for country radio. In this conversation, JFC discusses the glory days, how Dan's death in 2009 affected him, how Yacht Rock has given him a new lease on life, and his latest album Eclectic. So, kick back, relax, put on your sailor hat and prepare to set sail with one of the titans of soft rock. All aboard!
Singer Dolette McDonald felt ever-present in the 80s. Her striking voice, and equally striking looks, made her feel front and center while she was supporting musical giants like Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and most notably Sting. When he left the Police and went solo, he brought Dolette along for the ride. This is on celluloid forever in the Bring On The Night documentary, as well as those amazing Amnesty International concerts featuring Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Tracy Chapman. Her talents also landed her gigs with the Stones, Tears For Fears, ABC, the System, Steve Winwood and even Donny Osmond! She tells insightful stories about all of these people, as well as her own struggle with her sexuality and journey out of the closet and into personal happiness. This is one of the best conversations we've ever featured!
Gene Loves Jezebel personified the 80s. A strikingly garish style mixed with a perfected merge of goth and pop music that many 80s bands tried to nail and couldn't. Along the way, alternative radio gobbled up hits like "Desire," "The Motion of Love" and "Jealous." Unfortunately, rock history is riddled with brothers that can't get along and GLJ are no different. Twins Jay and Michael Aston have been feuding at various levels for 30 years to the point where Michael maintains the Gene Loves Jezebel name in the States, while Jay runs with it in the UK. In this conversation, Jay and I discuss what's at the heart of this squabbling, but also great stuff like his 2017 album Dance Underwater, what it means to have "riff master" James Stevenson in the band, and his current tour with Modern English and the Alarm. It's a messy, frustrating and often confusing musical history overwhelmed by sibling rivalry, but the music itself lives on and is as bright and excellent as ever. Enjoy!
Is there a more lovable song than "Mary's Prayer" by Danny Wilson? It's always welcome, always warms your heart, always makes you sing and smile. That song, which reached #23 in the US in 1987 was written and sung by this week's guest, Danny Wilson frontman Gary Clark. As much promise as the band had, they only managed two albums before calling it quits at the end of the 80s. Gary spent the dawn of the 90s starting a few other groups and working on solo material to no avail. As luck would have it, he eventually began collaborating with the right people and he went on to write many hit songs for other artists like Natalie Imbruglia and Demi Lovato. After years of success, he got a call from movie director John Carney ("Once") and was asked to do the music to the wonderfully beloved 2016 film "Sing Street". Today, that relationship has even more projects in the works! So, this seemingly one-hit wonder has made it work successfully for over 30 years. Who knew!
If you were a kid of the 80s with an eye towards the inventive new wave music coming out of the UK, no doubt you saw the name Dave Bascombe everywhere. This influential producer/engineer/mixer lent his talents to some of the most important alternative and pop albums of the decade. His name graces the credits of landmark albums like Depeche Mode's Music For The Masses, Peter Gabriel's So, and Tears For Fears' Songs From the Big Chair. Among the other giants we discuss in this conversation are Genesis, Level 42, Echo and the Bunnymen, Red Box, Danny Wilson, james, Erasure, the Silencers, the Lightning Seed, the Verve and even more recent artists like Lady Antebellum, Chromeo, Alpine Stars and Goldfrapp. Oh, and even Bon Jovi makes an appearance! Consider for a moment some of the timeless music that has passed through Dave's fingertips. Enjoy!
This month we're honored to bring back the legendary producer Ron Nevison as we discuss Heart's 1985 comeback album. The Wilson sisters were not in a good place until Capitol Records revived their careers, but it came with some stipulations that the girls still aren't happy about. Despite them distancing themselves from the people they were at this time, we love the record and Ron gives us all the behind the scenes info. Plus, the girls are reunited and back out on tour AND this record turned 34 this month. Enjoy!
Has any rock god from the 80s been torn down only to rise back up more often than Kip Winger? His band Winger stormed out of the gate in the mid-80s with giant hits like "Seventeen" and "Headed For a Heartbreak" but the naysayers and bullying quickly overwhelmed an otherwise successful career. After grunge wiped all of them out, Kip retreated to the desert to reconnect with his muse eventually resulting in a celebrated foray into classical music. While he still tours with the guys in Winger, his creative juices really flow when he's getting Grammy nominations for Best Classical Contemporary Composition or releasing his brand new score to the musical Get Jack. Ultimately, Kip won the war and is finally reaping the praise he deserved all along. We talk about it all in here, enjoy!