Seven-time Grammy winning producer/engineer/mixer Steve Thompson returns to the show to deep dive the posthumous release from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Milk and Honey from 1984. Made up of half Yoko songs and half songs John was working on when he was murdered, the album features his last hit "Nobody Told Me". Steve discusses his work on the album and his relationship with John and Yoko, but also music in general. Steve is one of a kind and always great to hear from!
We are extremely honored to welcome back producer Bob Rock to deep dive The Cult's 1989 breakthrough album Sonic Temple. We learn all about Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy's mindframe when they created it, how Bob achieved the sound they were looking for, how classic songs like "Fire Woman" and "Edie (Ciao Baby)" came to be, and how the Cult relate to other Bob Rock affiliated bands like Metallica, Motley Crue and Bon Jovi. We are so lucky to hear from legends like Bob. Enjoy!
Has anyone managed to pass through puberty without being slipped a copy of the Violent Femmes' debut album from 1983? It's become a rite of passage - every generation passes it down to the next. This week we talk to original drummer Victor DeLorenzo about his time in the band (he left many years ago), how they found their name and style, the album covers, his acting career, and his current musical project Nineteen Thirteen which is him and cellist Janet Schiff. He also released a new ep this year called Tranceaphone. Unfortunately, there were some technical problems, but we did the best we could to clean them up. Enjoy!
This week is heavy metal cult hero Thor! After Jon Mikl won buckets of bodybuilding championships all over North America, he decided to enter showbiz and took on the Thor persona nearly 50 years ago (imagine He-Man as a rock star). Combining his love of hard rock, comic books, superheroes, and performance art, Thor put on eye-catching live shows where he'd blow up hot water bottles and bend steel. He's still at it today (although with fewer props) and in 2016 an entertaining documentary was made about him called I Am Thor and this year he released his 31st album, Rising. Here we're joined by band member Ted Jedlicki to learn what life is like for a cult hero today. Enjoy!
In this very special bonus episode we look back at the life and career of Canadian guitar legend Jeff Healey. We're joined by his widow Cristie Hall Healey and one of his best friend's Roger Costa, Co-Administrators/Archivists for the Estate of Jeff Healey, to talk about the glory days with the Jeff Healey Band, filming Road House, his transition to jazz trumpet in the late 2000s and what's in the pipeline for re-releases. This is a unique glimpse into a fantastic artist that was gone too soon.
In 2020 Air Supply's dynamic duo of vocalist Russell Hitchcock and guitarist/songwriter Graham Russell are celebrating 45 years together. And in that time they've recorded many of the most immortal ballads in pop music like "All Out of Love," "Lost in Love," and "Even the Nights are Better." What sometimes gets lost is that these guys did more than just these soft rock staples. Graham Russell discusses the stories behind some of the hits, his love of dance music and writing for the theater, those years when the band wasn't considered cool, and why he moved to rural Utah 30 years ago. Air Supply are still a beloved institution after 45 years in the biz!
Jon and Jan recap the second quarter of 2020, how the last three months feel like three years thanks to Covid, the former guests we've lost this year, and give our thoughts on the last three months worth of shows.
This week is another member of the Immediate Family, legendary session guitarist, producer and songwriter Waddy Wachtel! Like the others, Waddy has been in the business for almost 50 years and played with everyone you can think of. In here we talk about his early days with the Everly Brothers and his time with Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Adam Sandler and Warren Zevon (including co-writing "Werewolves of London"). We also learn about his memorable guitar work in classic tunes like "Oh Sherrie" and "Bette Davis Eyes" and what it was like producing The Church ("Under The Milky Way"). Waddy's got stories galore, you'll love it! And don't forget to follow the Immediate Family and listen to their new single, "Cruel Twist."
We are welcoming back maybe our favorite guest ever, the one and only Fee Waybill! Fee returns to deep dive the Tubes' breakthrough album from 1981 The Completion Backward Principle. We hear what it was like working with producer David Foster, why this was a make or break album for the band, and how hits like "Talk To Ya Later" and "I Don't Want to Wait Anymore" were created. Fee also has a fantastic new solo album called Fee Waybill Rides Again that was produced by his buddy Richard Marx, so we hear all about that as well. There's only one Fee Waybill and we're lucky to hear from him!
Musicians, keyboardists, gearheads, lend us your ears! Jay Graydon is back to tell us the story of the famous E Electric Piano which was a sought after session instrument in the early 80s and how it's been sampled and is now for sale. He also discusses a new Youtube channel is starting where he will share tricks of the trade and we hear stories about David Foster, Ray Parker Jr. his approach to production, guitars, perfect pitch, and a million other things. Get to know how the mind of a musical genius works!
Jay Graydon is one of rock's most wildly successful multi-hyphenates. He was a first call session guitarist in LA for most of the 70s with one of his biggest claims to fame being the solo on Steely Dan's "Peg". He also wrote huge hits for artists like DeBarge, George Benson, and Earth, Wind and Fire, formed the fantastic, but short-lived band Airplay with burgeoning mega-producer David Foster, and then he produced huge albums by Al Jarreau, Patti LaBelle and Kenny Rogers. Not to mention, if you've seen him in the great doc Hired Gun, you know what a funny, honest guy he is. In this loose and sprawling conversation, we cover all of this and much much more including his interest in magic and bowling. Stories abound!
For my money, INXS are one of the greatest bands in rock history. To have recorded that many pop/rock masterpieces is an absolute miracle. As we all know, they were cut short with the death of Michael Hutchence and each member has picked up the pieces in various ways ever since. Co-founder Andrew Farriss was, along with Michael, the main songwriter of those classic jams and he's now dipped his foot in the Country genre. Listen to songs like "Good Mama Bad" and "Come Midnight" to see for yourself. In this chat we talk about what motivated the change in style and then recap highlights from INXS's fantastic career. For us, it doesn't get much better than this!
We are honored to bring back UB40 founding member Robin Campbell to talk about the band's latest album For The Many from 2019. This highly political piece of work is a perfect look at our current time in history and expresses the frustrations of many of us living in this turbulent period. UB40 have always had a knack for expressing the feelings of the politically oppressed and For The Many continues that tradition. It's their best album in decades and we need it now more than ever.
Producer Chris Hughes has been behind the boards for some very important music, but you wouldn't have guessed it if you go back to the beginning. Chris started out as the drummer in Adam and the Ants. That burundi sound that made Adam so special? That was Chris! He began producing the early Adam albums which lead to other high-profile gigs like Tears For Fears' The Hurting and Songs From the Big Chair, Wang Chung, Howard Jones, Red Box, Ric Ocasek, Paul McCartney, Robert Plant and Peter Gabriel. Chris's own solo work hearkens back to artists like Steve Reich, so you can see his taste is diverse and exquisite. We hear the stories behind all of it. For my money, he's one of the best producers there's ever been.
Suzi Quatro is the original rock chick and a stone-cold legend. She's currently celebrating 50 years in the rock world and finally getting her due as the pioneer that she is. This legacy makes her the perfect subject of an incredible new documentary on her life called Suzi Q. The film details her early years as a teenager singing with her sisters in Detroit, her global rise (though not in the States) as a glam rocker with hits like "Can The Can", "Devil Gate Drive" and "Stumblin' In", and her various changes in career like Leather Tuscadero on "Happy Days". Suzi Q will be released on VOD and DVD on July 3rd and there is a special virtual Q&A with Suzi hosted by Cherie Currie and Kathy Valentine on July 1st. Details are in the link below. We get into the specifics on all of these topics and many more. Let's get Suzi in the RnR Hall of Fame!
This week we welcome back one of our most entertaining guests, producer Alan Shacklock to deep dive Roger Daltrey of The Who's solo album from 1985, Under a Raging Moon. This chat includes stories like how bandmate Pete Townshend came to write the hit song "After the Fire", how songwriters like Jim Vallance and John Parr got involved, and how the epic title track, a tribute to Keith Moon that featured many of the greatest drummers of all time like Stewart Copeland, Roger Taylor, Martin Chambers, Mark Brzezicki and many more on the same song, was created. You're going to love this!
Danny Kortchmar has built a wildly successful career that has lasted over 50 years. This career has included playing guitar for legends like his childhood friend James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and Carole King. It has also included producing people like Don Henley, Ivan Neville, Billy Joel, and Jon Bon Jovi. And, lastly, there was songwriting for artists like Hall & Oates and John Waite. Today, he's joined with other legendary session guys - Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, Waddy Wachtel and Steve Postell - to form the supergroup The Immediate Family. "Kootch" shares fun, juicy stories about all of these projects and more, you won't want to miss this!
Some of the greatest session musicians in history have come together to form the hottest supergroup in the land - The Immediate Family. Made up of legends Lee Sklar on bass, Russ Kunkel on drums, and Waddy Wachtel, Danny Kortchmar and today's guest Steve Postell on guitar. Their first single, "Cruel Twist" drops today! To kick things off, Steve tells us how the band came together and how he, as the "new guy", joined the fray. We also discuss his career as a popular session guy in the NYC scene and his choice of gear!
When someone we love passes away we do our best to pay tribute to them by having a discussion with a former guest that knows them. With the surprising passing of Rupert Hine we invited back Duncan Sheik to discuss his work with Rupert and our thoughts on his career. Please take a minute to enjoy the work of Rupert Hine by playing something wonderful that he worked on!
Engineer Shelly Yakus is famous for having some of the "best ears in the business." And these ears have served him well for over 50 years. John Lennon's "Imagine"? That's him. BOC's "Don't Fear the Reaper"? Him too. Benchmark albums like Moondance, Berlin, Music From Big Pink and Rattle and Hum all pass through Shelly Yakus. Some of his greatest work might have been with Tom Petty, like Damn the Torpedoes, another Shelly project. We discuss all of these as well as Stevie Nicks, Bob Seger, the Raspberries and Eurythmics. When producers wanted something to sound perfect, they called on Shelly and now he shares some of his stories with us. Enjoy!
What's it like being the frontman for the most popular cover band working today? Does it provide a nice life? Is it artistically fulfilling? These are some of the questions discussed with Nick Niespodziani, lead singer for the mighty Yacht Rock Revue. Nick discusses how a mid-life crisis birthed their new album of original, yachty, material called Hot Dads in Tight Jeans and how his band's success has eclipsed some of the bands they cover! We also countdown his top 5 yacht rock songs, and discuss how the quarantine is impacting them from rockin' and yachtin'. Nick comes from a unique segment of the music business and it's interesting hearing his perspective. Enjoy!
Songwriter Shelly Peiken could be considered the "Queen of the Woman Empowerment Anthem." She's written tons of songs for tons of artists - everyone from Britney and Celine to Miley and Brandy. But her two biggest anthems are also her biggest hits - "What a Girl Wants" by Christina Aguilera and "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks. These days she's taking matters into her own hands as she prepares to release her first solo album, 2.0 etc in August. She also wrote a fantastic book about all of it called Confessions of a Serial Songwriter that is as honest and enjoyable as her songs are. We discuss her place in the business today, her legacy, the new album, and the stories behind these songs and more including INXS, Joe Cocker and Meat Loaf. A couple former guests factor heavily in this conversation as well. She's an engaging and wise woman. Enjoy!
For our next Deep Dive we invited back bassist Phil Spalding (ep 48) to discuss his time in the short-lived super group GTR. The self-titled album from 1986 is the one and only document of the partnership between legendary guitarists Steve Howe and Steve Hackett. They both brought their prog rock bona fides from Yes and Genesis and mixed it with killer pop rock resulting in the surprising hit "When the Heart Rules the Mind". Phil explains the history of the band, how the album came to be, and why it ended so quickly. Enjoy!
We close out this series on Joe Jackson by chatting with his longest musical partner, bassist Graham Maby. Graham and Joe go back to the beginning and Graham has been present for most of Joe's many musical projects over the years. From "Is She Really Going Out With Him", to the symphonies, to Joe's last album Fool from 2019. What is it about Graham that makes Joe want him around more than anyone else? What is the dynamic of their relationship? We explore these questions as well as his time outside of Joe that includes Marshall Crenshaw, They Might Be Giants, Henry Lee Summer, Joan Baez and Natalie Merchant. Graham's one of the finest bassists around today, we're lucky to hear from him!
Jon's daughter Georgia makes her triumphant return to the podcast, as this time the pair countdown the top 5 songs they introduced to each other. So, Jon's picks are the cool, new songs you might hear on the radio, and Georgia's are the classics she's been force-fed her whole life. Either way, there's great music here!
Joe Jackson is one of the most creative and complicated artists of the last 50 years. He never stays in one place for long, always wiggling out of one genre and into another. This week we attempt to tell part of the JJ story through the perspectives of his first three guitarists. Gary Sanford was there at the beginning and played on the first three albums that launched Joe's career. Vinnie Zummo took over after the "no guitars", Night and Day era that brought him fame. And then Tom Teeley dropped in for the Laughter and Lust album before Joe turned again to focus on composing symphonies through most of the 90s. Three versions of the story, three very different personalities and three fantastic musicians who contributed to Joe's sound and tell stories of their other adventures. If you love Joe, you'll love this!
Our most popular guest ever, Level 42's Mike Lindup, returns to Deep Dive the band's debut self-titled album from 1981. We discuss the formation of the band, how the songs and performances came together including classics like "Love Games" and "Starchild," and how they found their signature sound. Level 42 went on to release several classic albums, but it all started here and remains close to Mike's heart, as well as the fan's.
The Wonder Stuff are one of those fantastic bands that only the UK can produce. And leader Miles Hunt is a personality few can rival. Honest, opinionated, and incredibly cheeky, Miles is the complete package. Sometimes that wit has gotten him in some trouble, but today he says he's a changed man. We discuss the height of Wonder Stuff fame, the new album Better Being Lucky, and hits like "Welcome to the Cheap Seats", "A Wish Away", "Mission Drive" and many others. We also get some unfiltered details on making a career as a musician, his time working with MTV, and much more. He and his band are one of a kind, we're lucky to have them! Enjoy!
The coolest thing happened to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford recently. While tooling around in his garage he found the master tapes to a solo album he recorded in 1985! When he gave the tapes a listen, he really liked what he heard, so he polished them up and released them last month. The album, called Magic Window, is a great rock record from the era and points the way to a possible solo career that never quite materialized. In this conversation we learn how it all happened, where he was in his life back then, and some CCR-related stories, including Woodstock and the true story of the "reunion" that was announced last year. Enjoy hearing from a legend and get your hands on Magic Window!
Last week we covered Rock Docs so this week we're sharing our round table discussion on Rock Books. For this we've invited more of our fellow podcasting brethren - BJ Kramp of the Rock and/or Roll podcast, Lane Hewitt of the Melody Motel pod, and Bakko from Cobras and Fire. We debate the good ones, the bad ones, audiobooks, biographies vs. autobiographies, and we countdown our top three recommendations. Hopefully these chats make your quarantining a little more bearable. And these are such rich topics, so expect more!
The Hustle turns five this week and we are celebrating with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Harrison! In normal times, this year would have been a time for celebration. Talking Heads seminal album Remain In Light turns 40 this year and Jerry was going to go on tour to play the album with original guitarist, the legendary Adrien Belew. Hopefully, that can get back on track soon. Jerry and I go deep on that album, the progression of the Talking Heads sound, his solo work, his time in the Modern Lovers, and some of his fantastic production work with bands like Live and General Public. We are so lucky to hear from legends like Jerry!
Australian band Real Life have many classic albums, but we thought it would be fun to invite back front man David Sterry (ep 73) to discuss a covers album he did in 2008 of classic 80s synth pop and new wave songs. Not only do you get to hear Real Life's take on standards like "I Melt With You", "Blue Monday", and "Cars" but you also get to hear what these songs and artists meant to him. Real Life also put out a new album recently called Sirens that we discuss as well. (Listen up for how David himself will email you a copy!) David's one of our favorites, so we hope you enjoy it!
In this time of quarantining we could all use some distractions. In this spirit, we bring you this roundtable discussion on Rock Docs. Joining the discussion are fellow podcasters Brad Page from the I'm In Love With That Song podcast, Eric Miller from the Pods & Sods Network, and Ben Montgomery from Records Revisited. Together we debate the good ones vs. the bad ones, will we watch a doc about any musical topic, and we countdown some of our faves and recommendations. A complete list of every doc mentioned and where it's available will be posted on the facebook page. If you like these, we'll do more! Enjoy!
At this point, Joey Scarbury is a bit of a pop culture icon. He's the voice of the eternal "Believe It Or Not", that most excellent theme song to the Greatest American Hero, which reached #2 in 1981. But what else do we know about him? Where did he come from? How did he happen to sing that song? Why was there not more? What has he been doing ever since? We go about answering those questions. Today, Joey leads as normal a life as you and me. Here's the whole story!
Jon and Jan recap the first quarter of 2020, the ups and the downs (extremes on both ends). the messiness of normal life, how we're handling the quarantine, what we're watching, and what we thought of the last three month's worth of episodes.
Once again, we're joined by a fantastic producer that's behind tons of music we all love. Clive Langer started out fronting the crucial Liverpool band, Deaf School in the 70s. While they never made it global, they were a really big deal locally. Soon, Clive with his musical partner Alan Winstanley "fell into" producing the first singles by Madness (he's produced almost everything Madness has ever done) and it was off to the races. Artists like Teardrop Explodes, Elvis Costello, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Bush, Morrissey, They Might Be Giants, Hothouse Flowers and David Bowie all followed. We hear about all of these, including the creation of "Come On Eileen", how he wrote "Shipbuilding" for Robert Wyatt and, of course, the manic flurry around recording "Dancing in the Streets" with Bowie and Mick Jagger. More recently, Clive formed a new band called the Clang Group, which we also discuss. SO much great music in this one, the guy's a legend!
We're trying something different this time. We're proud to welcome Van Halen Rising author Greg Renoff to deep dive Van Halen's debut album from 1978. Greg is probably considered THE expert on the early days of Van Halen, so it made sense to hear the stories he knows about the creation of this seminal work. In addition, Greg is now releasing his next book, Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer's Life in Music which features Ted's recollections of working with artists like Van Halen, the Doobie Brothers, Nicolette Larson, BulletBoys and many others.
Peabody Award-winning rock writer David Wild joins us to share tales from his many years as a rock journalist at Rolling Stone and his tenure as a writer/producer on just about every music award show of the last 20 years. Top on that list is "Let's Go Crazy: The GRAMMY Salute to Prince" airing on Tuesday, April 21st on CBS and featuring Earth Wind and Fire, Sheila E., Gary Clark Jr. and many more. If you've heard David before you know he's a master storyteller, so we get to hear his interactions with people like David Bowie, Hall & Oates, Terence Trent D'Arby, Paul McCartney, Morrissey, LL Cool J and about a hundred more. Sit back and enjoy!
We're welcoming back Glen Burtnik (ep76) this week to discuss his second album, 1987's Heroes and Zeros. Glen's debut, Talking in Code, is a favorite of mine and when combined with H&Z showcases his incredible ability to write catchy, pop/rock songs. Unfortunately, neither album got the attention they deserved (even though the single "Follow You" should have been a hit), but Glen has maintained a successful and busy music career ever since. Enjoy!
Lisa Velez always wanted to be a singer and that dream came true when the mighty Full Force production team plucked her from the dance clubs in her early teens (!) to sing the classic "I Wonder If I Take You Home". The mixture of Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam's performance and Full Force's production struck gold for a couple years when tracks like "Head to Toe" and "Lost in Emotion" also went on to be giant hits. Eventually the hits slowed down, but Lisa Lisa has never stopped performing. In here we talk about how she got discovered, what it was like being a teenager in that environment, what the challenges were as a woman in that environment, and her thoughts on the music. She couldn't be sweeter!
Bruce Woolley has done a lot, but his largest contribution to pop culture is probably writing "Video Killed the Radio Star." Back in the 70s, he and his friend Trevor Horn created that song while pursuing their musical goals - Trevor with the Buggles and Bruce with the Camera Club. Of course MTV made the song iconic. His partnership with Trevor has continued to this day, in fact Bruce also wrote "Slave to the Rhythm" for Grace Jones (produced by Trevor), as well as songs by Cher, John Farnham and many others. These days he plays the theremin (!) in the Radio Science Orchestra. Imagine being an expert theremin player! He's got many wonderful stories that we uncover here. Enjoy!
Eric Bazilian of the Hooters returns to the podcast to discuss the creation and recording of their 1985 breakthrough album Nervous Night. We get into how they stumbled on their unique sound, why God and spirituality plays such a role in Eric's lyrics, and how the success changed their life. We are so lucky to hear from incredible artists like Eric!
There is almost nothing drummer Peter Prescott can do that will overtake the shadow caused by his band Mission of Burma. In just a brief time in the early 80s they managed to set the template for what American post-punk should sound like. After only an album and an EP, the guys split up and did other projects, but the legend just continued to grow, culminating in being featured in the invaluable book Our Band Could Be Your Life. This provoked a victory lap in the early 2000s that resulted in more albums, tours, love and recognition and lasted over a decade. Today, with Burma behind him, Peter is focused on his excellent new band, Minibeast. We discuss how he views his career, how bands get labeled "cool", how he makes a living and what Minibeast is all about. Enjoy!
Chris Thompson is "the voice" behind the most misunderstood lyric in rock history. Is it possible to play "Blinded By The Light" and hear anything other than "revved up like a douche"? No way! But, that's only one line item on Chris's impressive resume. In addition to singing other classic Manfred Mann songs like "The Runner", his successful solo career has netted several highlights including 80s soundtrack classics from films like The Champ, All the Right Moves, and American Anthem. He also wrote "You're The Voice" which was made famous by John Farnham and is the biggest selling single in Australian rock history. We discuss his last solo album, 2016's excellent Toys and Dishes, his work with legends like Queen, Yes, and the Doobie Brothers, and he tells us his experience helping to organize the landmark Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert. Chris is a lifer whose career has hit many highs and lows along the way. Enjoy his fascinating journey!
Leee John never stops. Forty years ago he fronted the British r&b group Imagination that scored loads of hits around the globe like "Flashback," "Body Talk," and their signature tune "Just an Illusion." After a decade of success, Leee went out on his own and has consistently released music in all styles and genres, solidifying his place as one of the key voices in British dance music. These days he remains as busy as ever with new projects including a documentary on British black music, a subject he knows a lot about! Have a notebook handy as Leee takes us to school this week!
Producer Peter Wolf (not the J. Geils frontman) is behind some of the biggest music of the 80s, but also the most divisive. No matter how you may feel about "We Built This City" and "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" (and chances are you feel strongly) those songs were, and still are, huge. They also wouldn't be what they are without his Midas touch. In addition, Peter lent his genius to other classic songs of the era like "Who's Johnny," "Playing With the Boys," "Night Shift," and "King of Wishful Thinking." Plus, he's worked with some of rock's greatest artists like Lou Gramm, The Who, Heart, Big Country and Chicago. We discuss all of it, as well as the TV show he's currently developing. The guy is nothing if not savvy, you gotta give it up to him!
Bassist Arthur Barrow had a dream and it came true. That dream was to one day play with Frank Zappa and in the late 70s that's exactly what happened. What might be more interesting is where he went from there. Imagine going from Zappa to Giorgio Moroder! Arthur began a long and fruitful partnership with Giorgio (and his stable of producers including Keith Forsey and Richie Zito) that took up much of the 80s. This put Arthur in position to work closely with artists like Donna Summer, Berlin, Billy Idol, Charlie Sexton, Joe Cocker and former guests Martha Davis, EG Daily, Joe Esposito, and Paul Engemann. Arthur is very transparent about the ups and downs of his career. In fact, he told his story in his memoir "Of Course I Said Yes!: The Amazing Adventures of a Life in Music". He tells us all of it and more. Enjoy!
This week it's the accomplished producer/engineer/mixer Julian Mendelsohn! Julian's golden touch (and golden ears) created some of the most beloved songs of the 80s. He's responsible for legendary tracks like "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and "Always On My Mind" by Pet Shop Boys. He's also worked closely with artists like Level 42, Paul McCartney, Tasmin Archer, Kate Bush, Nik Kershaw, Killing Joke, Go West, Pseudo Echo, INXS, The Firm, Fine Young Cannibals, Peter Gabriel, Aztec Camera, and many many more. We hear about all of these artists, as well as his relationship with Trevor Horn that included work with Yes and ABC. If you loved the ear candy coming from the UK in the 80s and 90s, chances are Jules had something to do with it. Enjoy!