Guitarist Lenny Kaye has positioned himself as the ultimate tour guide through the history of rock and roll. Of course he's best known for being Patti Smith's enabler and co-conspirator, having been by her side since day one. He's also a producer helping artists like Suzanne Vega, James, Kristen Hersh and Soul Asylum find their best selves. He's a noted music historian, having curated the indispensable Nuggets compilation and writing articles and liner notes for decades. And, he's also a writer with a brand new book called Lightning Striking which details ten big moments in rock and roll. In this wonderful conversation, Lenny details how he structured the book, how he and Patti made music including Horses, working with Jimmy Iovine and Clive Davis, and his gratitude for a full life spent with what he loves most. It's inspiring stuff.
When you think about music from the late 70s, chances are good you think about Leo Sayer. He practically owned that period with hits like "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing", "When I Need You" and "More Than I Can Say". Unfortunately, bad management robbed him of his career (and all his money) and he's had to build it all back up, which he's done successfully for decades. The last few years have been especially fruitful. In 2019 he released the excellent album Selfie and this year he put out Northern Songs which is him reimagining Beatles songs in a most creative way. Leo tells many incredible stories from his over 50 years in show business like interactions with the Beatles, hanging out with Prince and being the last person to speak with Elvis. You have to hear this to believe it!
The Hustle turns seven this week and to celebrate we welcome Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and the "King of Rock" Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run-DMC! Darryl recently published a children's book called "Darryl's Dream" about an awkward kid with big glasses growing up in the hood with an interest in comic books and cartoons. That kid grew up to join forces with Run and Jam Master Jay and form Run-DMC, one of the most revolutionary music groups in history. Darryl discusses the history of the group, his battles with mental health and depression, getting clean, and the stories behind many classic songs. D is a total inspiration and is fighting the good fight shedding light on mental health. We're lucky to hear from him. Enjoy!
The new book by Graeme Thomson answers many of the questions Simple Minds fans have had for decades. In Themes For Great Cities, Thomson explains (with participation from almost all band members past and present) how their artistically challenging beginning gave rise to their commercial peak in the mid-80s. What were their influences, how were songs like "I Travel" and "Love Song" even constructed, and what was behind the good and bad decisions the band made along the way. Theme is manna from heaven for SM obsessives because as enjoyable as the band is to listen to, they're equally as enjoyable to discuss.
Guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, in his own little way, changed music. When his namesake band came on the scene in the early 70s, they popularized a sound (along with bands like Dr. Feelgood, Clover and Status Quo) that would forever be known as "Pub Rock". British bands emulating the American roots music they were hearing, while adding their own spin. After a few albums, the hyper talented Nick Lowe left the band and Brinsley joined up with Graham Parker to start the Rumour. After several years in and out of activity with GP (his This Is 40 story is hilarious) Brinsley is now focused on a beautiful solo career and his new solo album, Tangled. It's exactly what the world needs right now! Brinsley tells us all about his history and shares the story of a historically bad gig you won't believe. Enjoy!
This week is another two-fer! First up is the legend herself and one of the greatest voices in rock history, Heart's Ann Wilson! Ann and Nancy have been doing their own thing the last few years and Ann has a brand new solo album called Fierce Bliss coming out on the 29th. To me, it sounds the closest to the heavy rock sound of the 70s that Heart and their influences like Led Zeppelin and Bad Company were doing. Singles like "Greed" and her cover of the Eurythmics' "Missionary Man" are already out there. Ann and I talk about her approach to covers, the status of Heart these days, how she got Roger Dean to do the album cover and more.
Imagine being one of the hottest tickets in Hollywood in the early 80s. The parties. The celebrities. The glitz and glam. The BusBoys lived that life for a while. As most people know, they were captured for eternity thanks to their appearance in the movie 48 Hours, which cemented a friendship with Eddie Murphy that continues to this day. Frontman Brian O'Neal and the guys are finally back with new music! Excellent singles "Love On My Mind" and "Civil Rights" are already out there and a new album is in the works. Brian and I discuss those early days in LA, the challenges of being a rock band made up of black guys, how they also made it on the Ghostbusters soundtrack, his approach to hard work, and much more. The BusBoys are ripe for rediscovery!
This time Jon is joined by Hustle CMO Any Schaal to recap the last three month's of episodes. Lots of behind the scenes stories, what's working and what isn't, some parenting experiences, Jan's new podcast (!), recent concerts and more. Enjoy!
Is Robin Guthrie one of the most influential guitarists ever? Going back to his days with the Cocteau Twins, up to his stellar solo work the last 25 years, his shimmering, reverb-heavy style pretty much kicked off the Shoegaze and Dream Pop movements. Not to mention, it inspired every bedroom player to mess with the pedals and knobs to find that perfect sound. Robin has spent the last couple decades adding to his legacy by consistenly releasing stellar albums (mostly ambient, many with others including frequent collaborator Harold Budd). This embarrassment of riches continues as he's put out three beautiful EPs as well as the wonderful full length, Pearldiving, just in the last year! Robin joins us to discuss his approach to music making, some of his production work with artists like Lush and Ian McCulloch, and stories from the old Cocteau Twins days. Enjoy!
Author Ben Wardle has pulled off what, until a few years ago, would have been impossible. He's written a brand new book detailing the life of the late great, and intensely private, Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. A Perfect Silence includes interviews with many people who worked closely with Mark and helps us get as close as possible to understanding the man who walked away from music (and public life) almost 25 years ago and never resurfaced. We learn Mark was into golf and motorcycles, but never strayed from that fiercely independent streak. Enjoy!
Good ol' Dave Wakeling. Still out there keeping the flame of English Beat and General Public alive. Sadly, after the passing of his old buddy Ranking Roger three years ago, the mantle sits squarely on his shoulders. In this conversation (that's the best word for it) Dave and I discuss the ups and downs of his relationship with Roger, his approach to songwriting, his non-starting solo album, their early 90s comeback, whether Mick Jones was meant to be a member of General Public, growing old, John Hughes, and about a dozen other topics. Dave and the English Beat are one of the most impactful bands of my life and it was an honor to chat with the legend himself.
Would Lady Gaga, Madonna and New Wave music in general be what they became without the stylistic influence of Dale Bozzio and the guys in Missing Persons? Not only did the band establish a template for the new wave sound with their debut album Spring Session M in 1982, but Dale otherworldly look married substance and style in a way that hadn't been done before. Dale writes about her wild life in her new book Life Is So Strange, which details her being discovered by Frank Zappa, marrying Terry Bozzio, working with Prince, and much more. Believe it or not, in this conversation Dale gives us in detail her list of lovers from back in the day! Buckle up for a wild ride!
Almost exactly 30 years ago, Curtis Stigers had it all going for him. His first album is hitting big thanks to the song "I Wonder Why" climbing the charts, his cover of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" is included on The Bodyguard soundtrack (famously making Nick Lowe a rich man) and he's working with legends like Carole King. But, after a few more years, Curtis makes the bold choice to switch to jazz and he's been among the best of the genre since. He recently released the fantastic This Life album and shares with us what brought on the switch, his love for the artists he's covered like Crowded House and the Blue Nile, run-ins with Clive Davis, and growing up in Boise. Curtis is an extremely cool guy and This Life might be his best album yet.
This week we're welcomed by rock royalty. Tim Finn is one of the most consequential artists of the last 50 years, especially for music lovers Down Under. As one of the founding members of Split Enz, he brought New Wave closer to the mainstream and pushed boundaries for others. Then his wonderful solo career, dalliances with Crowded House and collaborations with brother Neil as well as Phil Manzanera, Eddie Rayner and many more have maintained an unparalleled level of quality. He and Eddie are at it again as Forenzics and have just released a new album called Shades and Echoes that is one of the best things either of them has done. Tim and I discuss this fantastic new project, his other incredible more recent work, and we hear stories from the past as well. He's a legend and better now than ever before, we're lucky to hear from him.
Australia's Hoodoo Gurus are releasing their first new album in 12 years, Chariot of the Gods on March 11th. Lead singer Dave Faulkner returns to the pod to discuss the state of the world that inspired a lot of these songs. the idea that it might be the band's final statement, and the status of their world tour. Also, the band will be performing the whole album on a livestream the day before the release. Tickets to the show are available on their website below. We're so lucky to have this band still with us and still at the top of their game.
Thanks to the effective and entertaining documentary from 2020, the Go-Go's are enjoying a much-deserved resurgence. The revolutionary group of gals even made it into the Rock Hall last year, finally! Drummer Gina Schock released the beautiful coffee table picture book/memoir called Made In Hollywood last year. With all that's going on, it's time for Gina to tell her story. In this chat we expand on stories from the book, get a feel for the band dynamic, and go deep on her musical contribution to the band, as well as her solo career and singer like Miley and Selena who have sung her songs. She's a straight shooter, it's what we love about her!
If all you know about Men Without Hats is their eternal hit "Safety Dance" you're missing out. The Canadian synthpop outfit tried other styles and broadened their sound (1987's Pop Goes The Worldbeing a high point), including a grunge album few have heard, but it's been "Safety Dance '' that has never gone away and for good reason, it's still as fresh as it was in '82. Frontman Ivan Doroschuk has been at the helm the whole time and talks candidly about some of his struggles, but, ultimately, his gratitude for what has turned out to be a wonderful career. We also get into his punk and prog roots and his new music including last year's covers EP Again, Pt.1 (Again, Pt. 2 comes out next month and includes all new songs). Ivan deserves all the success he gets!
First time author Bradley Morgan felt compelled to compare the political world that encircled U2's creation of the iconic Joshua Tree album with the state of the country today. Bradley dissects the album track by track, retelling the inspiration behind each song, and paints a vivid picture of what inspired four Irish punks to make a definitive statement of Reagan's America. Additionally, how does it stand up today and have "the two Americas" become more unified? We're joined this week by co-host Karli Anderson to hear what inspired Bradley to write the book, his own personal story of discovery, and how the world has changed and not for the better. It's great book about a legendary moment in time.
No Rock Doc is complete without an appearance from esteemed British rock writer Mick Wall. Mick's career goes way back to the 70s working promotion and PR for many of the great New Wave bands, but he quickly realized the real action was in Heavy Metal. This led to gigs writing for Kerrang! and Classic Rock magazines (among many others) and penning books on Zeppelin, GnR, Meat Loaf, Ozzy, Maiden, Sabbath, Lemmy and many more. Mick recently started the Mick Wall Podcast which is a load of fun. Mick shares stories about life in the trenches, fellow writers, and his encounters with everyone from Zeppelin to Bowie, to Iggy to Queen. This is a blast and Mick's seen it all!
Here's my conversation with label honcho, political blogger, gay activist and more Howie Klein. In the 70s Howie was a DJ and concert promoter in San Francisco when he started 415 Records. That story was told brilliantly in Bill Kopp's new book Disturbing the Peace that we showcased last week. When 415 was sold to Columbia, it kicked off Howie's long career as a mover and shaker in the music biz. In here we talk a lot about his time at Sire and Warner Bros. where he worked closely with Depeche Mode, Lou Reed, Eric Clapton, Ice T, Morrissey, the Ocean Blue, Seal, Barenaked Ladies and Wilco (he was featured in their documentary). He's now involved in politics and blogs about it on his website Down With Tyranny (he tells a great story about the Clintons in here). Hear his recollections on it all!
One could argue that producer Beau Hill is the architect of the sound of 80s Hair Metal. Just as his nascent producing career is getting started, Ratt hit the jackpot with Out of the Cellar and "Round and Round" and from there he (along with Bob Rock and Ron Nevison) becomes THE go-to-guy for that sound. That leads to huge commercial success with bands like Warrant, Winger, Twisted Sister, Europe and Alice Cooper (not to mention fantastic bands that didn't take off like Airrace, Sandy Stewart, Streets, Fiona, and Fast Forward). We hear about all of it including the stories behind "Cherry Pie" and "Seventeen" and how they affected Jani and Kip, his early career bands like Shanghai and Airborne, and what he does today. It's a huge honor to hear from one of the biggest producers of all time!
Author Bill Kopp has gifted music lovers with a fantastic piece of history. In his new book, Disturbing The Peace, Bill tells the story of San Francisco's influential 415 Record label started by Howie Klein and Chris Knabb. The story recounts how this upstart label even got off the ground, the key venues that built the scene, and, of course, the many excellent bands, many of which have been lost to history. Eventually, when 415 artists like Romeo Void, Translator, Wire Train and Red Rockers started having success, Klein sold the label to Columbia, which turned out to be the deathell. This fantastic history book includes loads of rare pictures, flyers, and stories that deserve to be told, but haven't been till now.
Rocker Mark Seymour is one of Australia's greatest gifts to music. From his many years fronting the mighty Hunters & Collectors to his last couple decades putting out quality solo work, Mark has fought the good fight and inspired millions of others to do the same. In our conversation we discuss the difficulty of being the main songwriter for a large band with strong opinions as well as their change in sound over time, why they never quite took off in the States while compadres like Midnight Oil, INXS and Crowded House (featuring his little brother Nick) did, why H&C's album Under One Roof might be the greatest live album of all time, his latest album Slow Dawn from 2020, and the stories behind several of his classic tunes like the immortal "Throw Your Arms Around Me". And, of course, we get hear more "Only in Utah" stores. Rediscover Australian royalty!
Jon and Jan look back at 2021, discuss life without their dads, the state of the world and more. We also recap the last three month's worth of episodes with any behind the scenes stories, and countdown our Top 10 eps of the year, as well as the listener picks. And lastly, we answer some listener questions (hope we got most of them). Thanks for sticking with us!
Where to start with Jacknife Lee? He's been one of the most successful and in demand producers of the last 20 years for a start. A short list of people he's worked with include the Killers, Weezer, Modest Mouse, James, Neil DIamond, One Direction, Taylor Swift, REM, Snow Patrol, the Hives, Bloc Party and the Cars, and he won a Grammy for U2's Atomic Bomb album. Then there's his solo work, which always includes incredible artists like Beth Ditto, Sneaks, and Open Mike Eagle to create forward-thinking dance music. And then there are his many collaborations like his current one, Telefis with fellow Irishman Cathal Coughlan. This one's a doozy as Jacknife explains these pairings as well as many many others, how he got sick of himself and changed his way of producing, and the music that inspires him every day. There's a lot here, sit back and enjoy!
Raleigh, North Carolina's Connells have had a unique career. Jangly, college rock mainstays in America/HUGE one-hit-wonders in Europe. Throughout the 80s and 90s the band was able to make a career in Indie rock with songs like "Stone Cold Yesterday" and albums like the MItch Easter produced Boylan Heights. But, in 1993 they had a giant hit across the Atlantic with "74-75" which seemed to come out of nowhere. The band called it quits 20 years ago, but in 2021 they released their first album since then called Steadman's Wake and it's easily among their best. Lead singer Doug MacMillian joins us to recount this wild road, share stories of recording at the same studio as Shane MacGowan and Joe Strummer, and almost going to jail in Salt Lake City. If you haven't thought about the Connells in a while, now's the time to reconnect!
Singer Dee C. Lee's vocal talents are undeniable. She was already making strides in the London music scene when she was pegged by Wham! to sing back up on their first album which featured hits like "Club Tropicana" and "Young Guns (Go For It)". This led to the life-changing gig with the Style Council. Hits like "Walls Come Tumbling Down", "Shout to the Top", and "Wanted" wouldn't be what they are without her. She proved to be so valuable she became a full member and a writer, not to mention she married and had two kids with Modfather Paul Weller. Along the way she managed a couple of her own solo hits like the huge "See The Day". Eventually, when the band and the marriage broke up, Dee focused more on that solo career, but when it wasn't happening she pretty much retired. Today she's working on her first solo material in decades and ready to get back into the biz! We get to hear stories about all of it, including Live Aid, working with the late great Guru of Gang Starr, and Dr. Robert of the Blow Monkeys. Enjoy!
Would you ever guess that one of the key producers for the radical synth-styled music coming out of the UK in the 80s was an American former LA session musician? Thanks to artists like New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, OMD and many others, Stephen Hague shaped what we think of when we think of the best music artists like that had to offer in the 80s. He's been a key figure in music ever since. Since his 80s career was recently covered fantastically on the 80sography podcast, we dig into other areas like the 90s and beyond that included Robbie Robertson, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Peter Gabriel, James, Robert Palmer, a-ha, Dubstar, and Blow Monkeys (with New Order and PSB also being discussed), as well as his early days with Jules Shear and Walter Egan. When you combine this with the series on 80sography you get the complete picture of this genius. Enjoy!
In 1980, Rocky Burnette hit #8 on the pop charts with "Tired of Toein' The Line", an excellent song that still holds up today. That may have been the peak of his solo career, but his musical history stretches much further. His dad was Johnny Burnette, the Godfather of Rockabilly. Rocky shares stories of growing up in old Hollywood and hanging out with Elvis. His cousin is Billy Burnette, who replaced Lindsey in Fleetwood Mac in the late 80s, and has had a solid career of his own. After Rocky's solo career stalled, he spent the next 30 years playing his dad's music and carrying the torch for Rockabilly. Unfortunately, he's been suffering from emphysema for a while and doesn't get out there much, but we were lucky to have him share some stories with us. Enjoy!
Colin Campsie is one of those artists that consistently made quality music whether everyone was paying attention or not. He and his partner George McFarlane finally started having success in the early 80s as The Quick, an excellent dance group that had a #1 Dance chart hit with "Zulu". After three albums they changed their name to Giant Steps, took on a more r&b style, and scored a #13 hit in 1988 with "Another Lover". However, both before and since, Colin has written and produced for other people consistently racking up a diverse resume in the process. Along the way he even befriended former guest Phil Thornalley and the two have worked together on various projects (Natalie Imbruglia, Kasim Sulton, etc) ever since. Here's his whole story and you're likely to hear a lot of new songs that you're sure to love. Enjoy!
DEVO are the template for New Wave. Mixing the DIY aggression of punk with the new technology of the late 70s is what they did better than anyone else. Over the years, the music could be up and down, but their vision of de-evolution has proven to be accurate. Co-founder Jerry Casale has also had a successful career as a director and has recently created one of his best videos yet to his new single "I'm Gonna Pay You Back". It's amazing. Here we discuss his entire career as well as a heavy dose of politics (of course). the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the mysterious death of his brother, Bob 2, his wine business, 80s movie soundtracks, and a bunch more. He's a legend!
This week I had a chat with four of our newer podcasting friends, all of which have started their own pods fairly recently. There's Alex Alt of the Sly Dog Music-Cast, Mike Wiles of Retro Rock Roundup, Patrick Dupuis of EETF and Nick Bambach of Rock in Retrospect. Each host brings with them stories about what it takes to start and maintain a podcast, what have we learned, what were expectations going in and how have they changed, monetization, work vs reward, and where we see this going. If anyone is thinking of starting a podcast, here's everything you need to know! Special thanks for the work these guys do, give them all a listen if you haven't already! And, like the others, this was recorded live and immediately posted with no edits. Enjoy!
Our good friend Brent Zius (Podcast Rock City) has a unique and ambitious music project we wanted to tell you about. With the help of musician Zoog Von Rock of Angelspit, they've created an epic vinyl sci-fi concept album called Sequence One: Glass Jar. It's a space fantasy audio journey unlike anything you've seen before. The project is in the kickstarter stage, so if you like what you hear, please consider contributing. Either before or after this interview, be sure to watch the video at the link below. It explains it all. Enjoy!
Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tony Kaye does what he wants. As a founding member of Yes, he helped build the band into legends, but left after three albums when it stopped being fun. After spurts in bands like Detective and Badfinger and touring with Bowie, he came back to Yes for their 80s heyday, but eventually left again, when it stopped being fun. In fact, he's been known to leave music altogether to play tennis, sell t-shirts, whatever got him excited. Now, largely retired in Florida, he's created a totally unique work for his first solo album. End of Innocence is an album he composed about 9/11 illustrating the devastation of that day and its aftermath. Here we get into all of it and more. Emjoy!
This week we welcome back more of our best buddies - Joy Royland of Sit and Spin with Joe, Ben Montgomery of Records Revisited and, the Podfather himself, Ken Mills to discuss again our impressions of the Get Back documentary. What did we learn, what would we change, etc. This leads to a second discussion on musical wormholes we went on this year. Again, this was recorded live and then released - no edits! Enjoy!
When you think about all the classic synth pop duos of the 80s (Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, OMD, etc) Naked Eyes are right up there too. Rob Fisher and Pete Byrne only managed two albums in their heyday, but scored four top 40 hits like "Always Something There to Remind Me" and "Promises Promises" that have remained evergreen. After Rob's death, Pete IS Naked Eyes these days and put out a brand new album this year called Disguise The Limit, their first album of all new material in over 35 years. Pete tells us about singing with Stevie Wonder, writing for the Olsen Twins, and a lot more. Enjoy!
Today we recorded a live round table with some of our best friends - Brad Page of the I'm In Love With That Song podcast, BJ Kramp from Rock and/or Roll, and Eric Miller of the Pods & Sods Network. The point of the discussion was to countdown our top three TV shows of the year, which we do, but before that we spend a lot of time discussing Get Back, whether BJ and Eric are even still in podcasting, Thanksgiving, turning friendly chats into content, and a bunch of other stuff. Once again, we just hit record and started talking, no edits, songs etc. Enjoy!
When singer/songwriter Jude Cole was on the scene from the mid 80s to the mid 90s you knew you were listening to someone special. His ability to marry hooks and harmonies in a rock, bordering on Americana, tradition (think of someone like Aimee Mann) put him above the rest. But, after four strong albums and some moderate hits, he decided to change his focus to artist management, even discovering successful acts like Lifehouse. After 20 years of being on that side of the business, Jude is back this year with two (!) excellent new albums, Coup De Main and Coolerator. Here we talk about his various experiences, brushes with McCartney, 80s movie soundtracks, and more. Rediscover this hugely talented artist!
Noted audio engineer/producer Susan Rogers began her unique career in the late 70s, but she really earned her bona fides when she moved to Minneapolis to assist Prince. She was right by his side during those peak Purple Rain to Sign O the Times years, helping him create, record, log, and document his every creative impulse (she created his famous "Vault"). She shares stories of her experiences that add invaluable color to who Prince was and what he was like to work with. After leaving Prince, she worked with rising indie rock acts like Michael Penn, Edie Brickel and New Bohemians, Public Image Ltd., Paul Westerberg, Geggy Tah, and Barenaked Ladies. For the last 20 years she's been teaching at the Berklee School of Music. Her encyclopedic memory of it all makes for one of the most fascinating conversations we've ever had on the show. Enjoy!
Unless you live in Ohio or Pennsylvania, you may not have heard from the great Donnie Iris for a while. Many of us fans probably even carry some regret that he wasn't a bigger star when he was active back in the 80s. Well, there's no need to worry! Donnie has been living the life for many years now, playing a few shows a year along the Rust Belt, putting out an album or two here and there, and enjoying the spoils of his labor. This was a light-hearted, funny conversation and I think you'll agree it's good to hear from Donnie again!
This week is a special two-fer, two legendary producers in one shot! First up is the legend himself, Alan Parsons! If you think about it, even with all the iconic albums he's worked on like Dark Side and Abbey Road, his main focus has largely been his Alan Parsons Project. In fact, they are releasing a brand new live CD/DVD called The Neverending Show: Live in the Netherlands on Nov. 5th. We discuss the Project's history and hits as well. Then we talk to producer Mike Thorne. This is the man who produced eternal hits like "Tainted Love", "Smalltown Boy", and "Voices Carry". Not to mention that while he worked A&R, he encouraged EMI to sign the Sex Pistols! Lots to cover!
Midge Ure has done so many amazing things, been in so many amazing bands, and recorded so much amazing music that you could fill several books! From Slik to the Rich Kids to Thin Lizzy to Visage and finally Ultavox, he was a pioneer in the sound that synths and guitars could make together, creating some of the most enduring music ever. We touch on just about all of this, as well as his solo career and working with luminaries like Phil Lynott, Paddy Maloney, and Kate Bush as well as many others. This week he embarks on the US leg of the Unzoomed and Face to Face tour before kicking off the Voice and Visions tour in Europe in early 2022. He's one of the greats!
This week we are honored to welcome Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls! Any conversation with a citizen as solid as Amy is going to include the current state of the world, but her empathetic and wise view of it all may surprise you. She's seen it all and knows firsthand that positive change happens slowly. We also discuss fun stuff like her excellent solo career, her memories of Lilith Fair (they've evolved over the years), her love for Salt Lake City, her memories of the recently departed Nanci Griffith, and what it's like making new music now, like last year's excellent IG album Look Long. The world is a better place thanks to the Indigo Girls and we're lucky to have them!
In this edition of Book Club we welcome seasoned rock writer Mike Evans to discuss his new book, The Who: Much Too Much. Mike's book tells us the whole Who story, from beginning to end, while also reviewing every Who album and song. Plus, it features scores of never before seen photos. It's the perfect starter guide for the band. Jon and Dave discuss Mike's history with the band, his feelings are the band's dynamics, favorite songs, and more. Enjoy!
Drummer Bermuda Schwartz has been by "Weird" Al's side since that fateful day when they recorded "Another One Rides the Bus" for Dr. Demento. In all these years, he's watched as new generations discover Al at just the right time and remain devoted fans over the decades (bringing their kids and grandkids along for the ride). While helping Al fulfill his comedic and creative vision, Bermuda has also served as archivist, collecting every speck of swag/recording/photo there's ever been. This has resulted in the glorious book, Black & White & Weird All Over: The Lost Photographs of "Weird Al" Yankovic '83 - '86 which came out last year. Every "Weird" Al fan should have a copy! We talk about all of it and more!
Last year, drummer Chris Frantz released his excellent memoir "Remain in Love", a sincerely wonderful and unique rock bio. This week he joins us to discuss his life before, during and after Talking Heads, but also the central relationship in his life, his marriage with the great Tina Weymouth. He also share stories how the band's sound evolved over time, his production work with Happy Mondays and Ziggy Marley, and how Tom Tom Club's "Genius of Love" has provided a very nice living thanks to Mariah Carey. Hopefully this conversation makes you want to read the entire book, because it's well worth it!
Singer/Songwriter Martin Briley's solo career may have been brief, but he isn't bothered about it. Best known for the 1983 hit "The Salt in My Tears", Martin has always been way more comfortable working behind the scenes. He has been a session guy for artists like Ellen Foley, Ian Hunter, Julian Lennon and Bonnie Tyler (he even plays on "Total Eclipse of the Heart"), but his focus has always been on writing, preferably for anyone but himself. This has led to everyone from Celine Dion to N'Sync to Kenny Loggins to Greg Allman and even Patrick Swayze recording his tunes.Martin, in his own very dry and self-deprecating way, explains his feelings and motivations about his unique career, the stories behind some of his songs, and the new music he's making now. He downplays his talent, but Martin is an amazing songwriter ripe for rediscovery!
Whether you're aware of it or not, you've heard Tessa Niles' voice on dozens of beloved songs. She was one of Britain's most in demand backup singers for more than 20 years appearing with artists like ABC, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Steve Winwood, Tears For Fears. In addition she toured with Eric Clapton, the Police, Robbie Williams and performed at Live Aid with David Bowie. She's written her entire story in the endlessly entertaining memoir Backtrack which is highly recommended. In our conversation, we cover all of these people as well as unbelievable interactions with Stevie Ray Vaughn, Mick Jagger, George Harrison and more. She's a wonderful lady with so much to say. Enjoy!
Esteemed music writer John Aizlewood returns to the podcast to discuss his new book Joy Division + New Order: Decades. The book is a fantastic distillation of the band's story along with beautiful never before seen photos and reviews of every album, written in that intelligent and entertaining way that only John can do. We also discuss the band's place in history, it's current dysfunction and favorite songs. And, since we're lucky to have John back, we discuss some other artists too. Enjoy!