December 13, 2016
Book of Love were one of the key synth pop bands of the 80s and early 90s. Though they never reached the level of global success that colleagues like Depeche Mode or Erasure did, they had a dozen or so big hits on the dance charts with their patented mixture of charming melodies and simple lyrics. The 90s weren't kind to Book of Love (or any of the bands like them) so Susan pivoted to a career as a food stylist and photographer. In this candid conversation, she's refreshingly honest about the challenges of making a living as an artist and creative person as well as the marginalization of the arts in today's schools. We also talk about the 30th Anniversary tour they're on now and the well-earned victory lap they're enjoying. Re-acquaint yourself with some of the best feel-good music there is.
August 2, 2016
Jon Fiore was the lead singer of another great, but forgotten, early 80s rock band called Preview. Like many other bands we've showcased, they came in with a lot of promise, released an excellent debut album in 1983, and completely disappeared. From there, Jon began a highly successful career singing many legendary jingles, continuing to perform whenever possible, including releasing two excellent melodic hard rock albums in the 90s. But, to me he will always be beloved as the voice behind the theme song "Out on the Edge" from1985's endearing flick The Heavenly Kid. That alone makes him a legend in my book!
July 26, 2016
Who can ever forget the sight of the greased-up beefcake saxophone player performing "I Still Believe" on the boardwalk among the barrels of fire in the 1987 classic movie, The Lost Boys. It's an image that has impacted a generation. This week's guest is the man himself, Tim Cappello. This surprisingly kind and funny guy tells us why he never had a solo career (it's hilarious), what it was like working for legends such as Peter Gabriel and Tina Turner, his days starting out as Billy Crystal's musical director, and how he felt about being parodied on Saturday Night Live by Jon Hamm. Get to know the pop culture icon himself!
June 7, 2016
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of Ferris Bueller's Day Off this month, our guest this week is Ben Watkins, former lead singer of The Flowerpot Men who had that excellent track "Beat City" that was featured heavily in the film. What's really interesting about Ben is that he went on to be a key figure in the electronic and techno scene of the early 90s when he started the hugely successful Juno Reactor, a band that has been going strong around the world ever since. Ben has also contributed heavily to numerous other films, most notably The Matrix sequels. Would you have ever guessed that the same guy would be responsible for iconic tracks on movies as disparate as Ferris Bueller and The Matrix? We also talk about when Juno Reactor served as the backing band for actress Traci Lords when she released her debut album in 1995. So many points of interest with this guy!
November 24, 2015
Randy Hall has had a long and storied career that includes collaborations with legends like Miles Davis, The Jacksons and Ray Parker Jr. as well as his own solo career in the mid to late 80s. It was during that chapter of his life that he made an appearance in the movie Can't Buy Me Love. You remember the African Ant-Eater Ritual scene at the school dance when everyone mindlessly follows Ronald Miller's lead? The guy performing at the dance is Randy Hall. He went on to work with Dr. Dre and Tupac at Deathrow Records before spending the last 20 years or so as Joe Esposito's musical director in Las Vegas. The guy's music is great, but his stories are even better.
December 8, 2015
Dig grew up in Cambridge, Ohio where he was turned on to all genres of music from the Temptations to Alice Cooper. But, what really did it for him was rockabilly, which inspired him to move to New York and start an authentic rockabilly band called Buzz and the Flyers. From there, he headed to London where he fronted the excellent 80s band JoBoxers, who had one of the greatest singles of all time with "Just Got Lucky". That song reached #36 in 1983 in the US, but was their one and only hit and after one album the band dissolved and Dig lost some of his taste for music. Today, Dig is an acting coach in L.A. We go deep on the music and moments that changed our lives forever.
October 27, 2015
Gerard McMahon (G Tom Mac) is the man behind one of the most iconic and beloved soundtrack songs of all time with "Cry Little Sister" from 1987's The Lost Boys. But did you know the guy has had a successful career going back 40 years, including numerous other songs from classic films and television shows (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Players Club, Roseanne, Scrubs, Fame, etc), as well as his own solid solo career? He's also written songs for legends like Kiss, Roger Daltrey, Chicago and Carly Simon. He's not only a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of many. He's also doing something very unique with his career these days. Fascinating guy.
July 14, 2015
Jim Walker recorded a beloved (but obscure) song for a beloved (but obscure) cult 80s teen movie soundtrack. This lead him to playing the Hollywood game for a few months, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tom Petty, Courtney Cox, and many others. Movie stardom may not have lasted, but a career in production doing what he loves did. This is his crazy story.
July 21, 2015
I first heard Chaz Jankel on the soundtrack to Real Genius, but it turns out the guy has had a storied career in the UK going back 40 years. From his rise to prominence in Ian Dury and the Blockheads, to the amazing dance music he's produced as a solo artist, Chaz deserves to be up there in the ranks of Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. Oh, and none other than Quincy Jones had one of his biggest hits with a cover of a Chaz song. We're talking royalty here.
August 18, 2015
Jimmer was the frontman of the seminal 80s college rock band The Rave-Ups who were forever immortalized when they appeared the movie Pretty in Pink. After three critically-acclaimed albums the band broke up and Jimmer basically disappeared for the next 25 years. Unfortunately, he had a rough go during that time, some of which we talk about here. Thankfully, he's finally back making music, including his excellent solo album The Would-Be Plans.