May 2, 2017
Happy 2nd Birthday to us!
This week we celebrate by having as our guest, one of the greatest drummers of the British alternative scene, Mel Gaynor of Simple Minds! Mel's the unmistakable beat behind iconic tracks like "Waterfront", "Alive and Kicking", "Promised You a Miracle" and, of course, "Don't You (Forget About Me)". Mel is now working on his first ever solo album set for release later this year which could include a US tour! We talk about why sometimes he gets the call to be in Simple Minds and sometimes he doesn't, how the late-great Robert Palmer appears on Mel's current cover of "Addicted to Love", and what the highlights of his career have been.
April 25, 2017
People who know will tell you that Max Carl has one of the greatest voices of any living soul singer, white or black. Max may not be a household name, but he's pieced together a successful workmanlike career for over 40 years. He's put out a few solo albums dating back to the mid-70s, he's fronted a few successful bands, namely Jack Mack & the Heart Attack, .38 Special, and Grand Funk Railroad where he's been employed for going on 17 years. He's written songs for artists like Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Aaron Neville, and Joe Cocker and sang with legends like Rod Stewart, Elton John and Don Henley. His most recognizable legacy may be writing and singing "Second Chance", one of .38 Special's biggest hits or having his track "The Circle" featured on the Weird Science soundtrack. He's an extremely kind, sensitive and intelligent man and I love his perspective on the ups and downs of his career.
March 21, 2017
Dana Dane came up in the rap game out of the Fort Green projects of Brooklyn with his best friend Slick Rick in the mid-80s. He created quite a stir in the underground with his debut album Dana Dane With Fame and lead single "Cinderfella Dana Dane". Even though the future looked bright for Dana, and with With Fame selling a promising half a million copies, two subsequent albums never quite caught on and he pretty much left recording after his third album in 1995. But, these challenges just caused him to diversify. He went on to write a bestseller and start a multi-media company. We talk about those early days with Slick Rick, how he's navigated the ups and downs of his career, what it was like opening for his favorite group Whodini, and him slowly easing back into music.
March 7, 2017
Drummer Hilly Michaels has had one of the juiciest careers in rock. Beginnig from his early teenage days making music with best chum Michael Bolton, Hilly's path has taken him from the top to the bottom and back again. In the 70s, a tight friendship with Mick Ronson paved the way for collaborations with everyone from John Mellencamp to Ian Hunter to Ellen Foley. He even joined Sparks there for a while as well as the Dan Hartman Band with mysterious recluse Vinnie Vincent. He was even invited to join Kiss - twice! He managed to release two albums of his own, the 1980 masterpiece Calling All Girls, which featured the titular single (which happened to be the 94th video ever played on MTV) and an experimental second album, Lumia, which brought an end to his recording career. Every step along the way deserves it's own conversation, but in this one you'll get some of his best stories and get to know a truly sweet man. Kamikazee!
January 17, 2017
Cutting Crew made a huge splash with their debut album Broadcast in 1986, which featured three top 40 hits including the #1 smash "(I Just) Died In Your Arms". Lead singer Nick Van Eede had the musical chops and hunky good looks to catapult a great band into the mainstream. Unfortunately, a long delayed second album cost the group the momentum it needed to stay there, and Nick's broader and more epic songwriting lost some pop sensibility in the process. They sadly never regained their stature. Over the years, Cutting Crew have released five albums in total, including 2015's Add To Favourites, and held a pleasurable spot on 80s Rewind-type tours throughout the world. Nick talks about his prog influences, the death of his musical partner Kevin Scott MacMichael, his involvement in the creation of Cher's global juggernaut "Believe", and how he nearly replaced Phil Collins in Genesis. Cutting Crew may have seemed gone to those not paying full attention, but Nick has never really gone away.
December 6, 2016
The Au Pairs were one of the great British post-punk bands of the late 70s/early 80s. History has shown they were also one of the most revolutionary. Their aggressive mix of political screeds encased in jagged, in your face songs set them apart with bands like The Slits and Gang of Four from the mainstream. She won't say it herself, but Lesley's image as a lesbian icon set them apart even further. She doesn't fully embrace her role as a pioneer of the time, but while rallying against Thatcher may have been part of the punk uniform of the time, the amount of gay women doing it so openly seriously sets her apart. (Editor's note: she wanted it made clear that she has had relationships with "men, women, and trannies. Variety is the slice of life!"). Today she is an immigration lawyer in London and still occasionally making music. The Au Pairs may have been short-lived (with no chance of reforming, sadly), but it's artists like Lesley that allow progress to happen. I'll say it even if she won't.
September 6, 2016
Fred Pineau was the guitarist for the excellent Boston power pop band The Atlantics. Their story is, unfortunately, a familiar one - big on the local scene, signed to a major label that mis-marketed them (they wanted them to be the "new wave Eagles"), and thus buried their one and only album, 1979's Big City Rock. Even with a national tour opening for Roxy Music, the Atlantics never fully took off and never made it to a second album. However, Fred is a world-class raconteur and has numerous incredible stories to tell. Sit back and enjoy an amazing band and an amazing storyteller (Bowie, Roxy, Prince, Paul Simon, Daryl Hall, Madness, Queen, etc).
August 9, 2016
Robert Tepper is a legend. His immortal classic, "No Easy Way Out" from 1985's Rocky IV, while not a huge hit on the pop charts, remains one of the most beloved soundtrack songs in movie history. Who will ever forget that killer track fueling what is, arguably, the greatest movie montage of all time. In this candid conversation, we go deep on how that song came to be and who played on it, but we also get to know the man behind it all as well as the rest of his career. Let's just say, the 80s were an ugly period for Robert and he's lucky he made it out alive. He's now a successful sound engineer in LA, but continues to work on new music. However, thanks to the enduring joy of the Rocky franchise, he will always be a major part of our lives.
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!
July 15, 2016
This is an encore presentation of one of our biggest (and many think best) episodes. Because only the last 50 episodes show up in iTunes, I wanted to post this again so it could be accessed more easily. And because I'm super proud of it.
July 5, 2016
This week is the one and only Taco ( yes, that is his real name - Taco Ockerse )! He hit it big in 1983 with his hypnotic take on the classic 'Puttin On The Ritz', which reached #4 that year, and was a bit of a cultural touchstone.
Unfortunately, that was all she wrote for Taco in the States and we talk about the difficult decision he made to abandon the US market and go all-in in Europe where he's remained very active ever since. Taco continues to release music there, most of which is in keeping with his unique style, merging classic show tunes with the latest production flourishes.
We talk about putting his debut album together in just two weeks, the old Hollywood legends he met during the height of his fame, and how he stays vibrant today!
June 10, 2016
Our intrepid producer, Jan "The Man" is a huge AC/DC fan, and has been trying to finagle a way to see them for literally years.
With a lineup change, and Brian Johnson leaving the band recently to be replaced by Axl Rose, there has been a huge amount of talk over the last couple of months, many people asking for refunds on their tickets.
We thought it would be fun to talk to our Producer about his experience of Axl fronting the band, and get his take, since he finally managed to score a ticket to the show at The Olympic Stadium, in Olympic Park, London, last weekend.
We hope you enjoy this bonus with some live music from this, and other concerts.
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!
May 17, 2016
The 90s were the golden era of killer indie rock bands fronted by chicks and one of the best of the bunch was Washington D.C.'s Velocity Girl lead by Sarah Shannon. The band put out three albums in the mid-90s before calling it quits. Sarah got married, moved to Seattle, and embarked a mildly successful solo career before turning her attention away from the music industry. Just then, an opportunity to start a children's rock band called The Not-Its became a reality. Think the power poppy guitar of vintage Velocity Girl mixed with lyrics your children will enjoy. Now, Sarah's back in the rock game, although from a completely different perspective. She's also the mother of two young girls and she shares her views on parenting as a former rock star. Fascinating stuff!
April 29, 2016
In this special Prince-themed bonus episode of The Hustle, we're joined by popular blogger and host of the beloved Stuck In The 80s podcast, Steve Spears, another die-hard Prince fan. We discuss what he meant to us, his legacy, our faves, and the rumors surrounding how he died. Huge thank you to Steve for being our special guest!
April 26, 2016
American Noise were one of the great "should-have-been" bands. They were one of the hottest tickets in the thriving Cleveland rock scene of the 70s when they were signed by legend Richard Perry and sent to LA to work on their debut album. Released in 1980, their self-titled masterpiece is a power-pop lovers dream. However, the label didn't get behind them and American Noise dissolved into obscurity. Over the years, however, that album has grown a deserved reputation as "the great lost guitar record".
George Sipl was American Noise's keyboardist and has been a successful musician and audio engineer for over 30 years now. We discuss some of his enduring jingles, studio wizardry he's especially proud of, what exactly was fueling Cleveland in those days, and his often turbulent collaborations with legend Eric Carmen, including his contributions to mega-hits "All By Myself" and "Hungry Eyes". Do yourself a favor and rediscover American Noise!
April 19, 2016
Todd Pipes was the lead singer of Deep Blue Something, who hit it big in 1995 with the seminal "Breakfast at Tiffany's" which reached #5 on the US charts. Sadly, it was their one and only hit and after a couple more albums that received less attention, the band slowed way down. Todd is now an English teacher in Dallas and makes music when he wants to, including an excellent ep from last year called Locust House. We talk about music in the 90s, the aftermath of having such a big, divisive hit, and the other bands they blew off the stage. My personal feeling is that there has always been more to this band than "the hit" and the deserve to have the rest of their music discovered.
April 12, 2016
Ranking Roger is a music and style icon that needs no introduction. He was a founding member of one of the most important and beloved alternative/ska bands of all-time with the English Beat. Then, he and fellow front man Dave Wakeling broke off and formed General Public to even greater chart success ("Tenderness" #27 in 1984). Today the former partners function as two separate groups - Dave carries on as The English Beat in the states while Roger is The Beat throughout the rest of the world. We discuss the dynamic between the two, the state of potential reunions, Roger's excellent solo work, and his views on marijuana. And, he announces new Beat music coming in 2016!
March 22, 2016
Guadalcanal Diary were one of the seminal College Rock bands of the 80s. With a sound forever described as "like REM", over the course of four albums they gained success and respect by playing the pop game by their own rules. But, by the end of the decade the band broke up and frontman Murray Attaway set off for a solo career. Unfortunately, that only last one album, after which he decided to step away from the music business altogether. For the last 25 years, he's lead a life similar to many of us - working in IT and web design.
Murray is a legend of alternative rock and continues to be viewed as one of the most respected songwriters of the 80s.
March 1, 2016
Joe Frank Carollo is the Joe Frank of popular soft rock group Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds who had a number of hits in the first half of the 70s topped off by the sweet as honey "Fallin' In Love" which reached #1 in 1975. That was their last hit, unfortunately, and after a few years on the casino circuit, Joe Frank focused on the "real job" he had all along, working in camera stores. Dan Hamilton passed away in the 90s and Tommy Reynolds gave up the music industry for his religion, leaving Joe Frank the last man standing. This charming 76 year old southern gentleman tells us what it was like being signed to Playboy Records, how some of their biggest hits came about, how proud he is of his successful composer son, and the band he plays in now.
February 16, 2016
Billy Vera and the Beaters can claim one of the flukiest #1 songs in pop history. In 1986 a song they wrote and recorded in 1981. "At This Moment", was chosen to appear in an episode of Family Ties. It caused such a stir that it eventually propelled the song to the top of the charts in January of 1987. What most people probably don't realize is that Billy had already been around for 20 years writing songs for artists like Ricky Nelson and Dolly Parton, not to mention a couple of hits on his own. And, he's continued to reap loads of success since "At This Moment" by diversifying into acting, voice-over, and jingle writing.He's done and seen it all and conquered almost every corner of the music industry.
February 9, 2016
Reacharound were a killer rock and roll band (think Social Distortion mixed with Rev. Horton Heat) in the mid-90s that had one hit on alternative radio with "Big Chair" in 1996. But, after one album (and only one single) the band was done. Lead singer Matt Caisley has bounced around L.A. working regular jobs while continuing to follow his rock star passions. Today, his primary creative outlet is the more electro-industrial band Former Human Beings. We talk about the highs he experienced in the 90s, the inspiration for his biggest hit, the very ambitious project Former Human Beings are working on now, and why you should never give your band a sexually suggestive name.
February 3, 2016
I hit David with a list of some of my favorite credits of his. The artists include Scritti Politti, Phil Collins, Steve Winwood, Chaka Khan, Billy Idol, Billy Squier, and Rod Stewart.
February 2, 2016
David Frank was one half of the highly influential r&b group The System, who released a string of trendsetting dance hits throughout the 80s culminating with their biggest hit, "Don't Disturb This Groove," which hit #4 on the pop charts in 1987. Along with his musical partner Mic Murphy, they did some great soundtrack work on classic films like Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and Beat Street, in which they also appeared. After the duo went on hiatus, David pored himself into writing and producing with upcoming artists like 98 Degrees and Christina Aguilera. He co-wrote her first hit "Genie in a Bottle" which changed his fortunes forever. He's one of the all-time greatest minds in r&b.
January 26, 2016
Simon Toulson-Clarke is the mastermind behind the incredible, but overlooked, British band Red Box who released their debut album The Circle & The Square in 1986. It is one of the most amazing bursts of creativity I've ever heard on a debut album. Many different genres, especially various styles of world music, are touched upon within an 80s pop construct. As usual, the label wanted to compromise what made the band unique leading to their second album, the also wonderful Motive, being shelved for a couple years before finally eking out in 1990. By then, Simon had had enough and began working behind the scenes. Years later his creative juices began flowing again when he joined forces with his neighbor Derek Adams, who had also done time in a couple iconic 80s British bands. Eventually, they put out a third album under the Red Box moniker in 2010 with Plenty. Randomly enough, Plenty was a huge hit in Poland, where they've maintained a healthy fan base. They're now feverishly working on a fourth album that will hopefully see the light of day in 2016. Red Box is a band that deserves your time and attention. It'll blow your mind.
January 19, 2016
John Pazdan was a founding member of two of the greatest power pop bands of the 70s. He formed Pezband, but left before their first album came out (he would rejoin in the 80s). He and singer Cliff Johnson left to form Off Broadway, but he only stuck around for that band's debut album, which spawned the #51 US single "Stay in Time" in 1979. In the 90s he was a member of the cowpunk band Big Guitars From Memphis, who were relatively successful at the time, but has mostly been lost to history.
Since then John has made a living as a gun for hire and has composed and arranged loads of tunes for various multi-media projects, and still plays around the Chicago area when he's asked, including gigs playing for President Obama. He is a wonderfully outspoken and opinionated artist and we discuss his views on the treatment of musicians, how they're paid, and the state of the business today.
January 17, 2016
David Bowie has been my #1 since I started keeping track at 10 years old. He's had more impact on me than any other public figure alive in my lifetime. I remember thinking last Friday on his birthday how grateful I was that he was still out there producing art, but it hit me that at 69, I should start mentally preparing myself to see an old David Bowie. That it was time to especially cherish anything and everything he gives us from here on out. Two days later he was gone.
It blew my mind to hear his voice crack singing "tremble like a flower" in "Let's Dance" and I was never the same. It was provocative for a 10 year old to hear a grown up break a rule like that. And nothing is more influential or tantalizing to a 10 year old than seeing rules get broken. I've probably spent more time thinking about David Bowie in my life than anyone other than God. Both are puzzles we may never solve in this life. Maybe in the next.
January 12, 2016
Today, Tony Ortiz is about as regular a guy as it gets. Normal desk job, family, friends, grandkids, a mortgage, etc. But, in 1982 he was on the road to something bigger. Tony was the lead singer of the rock/new wave band The Monroes who's lone single, "What Do All The People Know" was climbing the charts, reaching #59 in the U.S., before the bottom fell out. Just as the Monroes debut EP was also gaining momentum, their Japanese record label went bankrupt grinding everything to a halt and thwarting the hopes and dreams of the band. After a couple more years of trying to pick up the pieces, Tony left for Minnesota, where he settled into a normal life, leaving his rock and roll fantasies behind (and largely unfulfilled). Tony talks about what that brief chapter of his life was like, how it felt to play before 20,000 people, how he's trying again now to make another go of it, and how difficult it is to convince his co-workers that he is in fact the guy singing that song whenever it comes on (and it does a lot, as it's continued on as a cult favorite). These stories are what this podcast is all about!
January 5, 2016
Dom Mariani is a bit of an underground legend in his native Australia. His career goes back nearly 40 years and in that time he's fronted more bands than I can count. His first real success came with his garage rock band The Stems who got pretty popular down under in the mid-80s. From there he started the band that turned me on to his immense talent, The Someloves who only released one album in 1990. What is clear about Dom is that no matter what band he's in or what style of rock he's playing, there is an amazing level of quality to everything he does. That ability has given him a place in an Australian Songwriters Hall of Fame. Surprisingly, he choses to hold down a day job so that he has the freedom to make whatever music he wants with whatever band he wants without money or fame being the motivator. Get turned on to some great music you may not know already.
December 29, 2015
The Kane Gang were one of those wonderful bands that came to the states from the UK as part of the Sophisti-pop or Blue-Eyed British Soul movement of the mid-to-late 80s. They only released two albums and had two hits in the states (more back home in the UK), the biggest of which was "Motortown" which reached #36 in 1987. The Kane Gang were done after that, but come to find out lead singer Martin Brammer has carved out a hugely successful songwriting career penning hits for everyone from Tina Turner to Sheena Easton to Nick Carter to the Lighthouse Family. In this conversation, Martin helps us understand exactly what a publishing deal is and how you make a living as a songwriter.
December 15, 2015
The Hooters were a pretty big band back in the mid-to-late 80s with three top 40 hits (and a few others that barely missed). Sadly, sales started to sag around the beginning of the 90s, but the band continues on to this day in some form, still drawing large crowds in parts of Europe. In this interview we talk about fickle American crowds, The Hooters slot playing at Live Aid, Eric and his Hooter partner Rob Hyman's involvement in the recording of Cyndi Lauper's smash debut album She's So Unusual, and him writing Joan Osbourne's "One Of Us", one of the biggest songs of the 90s. Eric remains a relentless artist, praying his muse will point him toward the next big hit.
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.
December 1, 2015
Martin Page is a song-writing legend. Among his biggest hits are "These Dreams" by Heart, "King Of Wishful Thinking" by Go West and the immortal "We Built This City" by Starship, which remains completely ubiquitous despite topping many "worst song of all time" type lists. He started out in a funky synth-pop band called Q-Feel that may be best known for the song "Dancing In Heaven" from the Girls Just Want To Have Fun soundtrack. His song-writing success and collaborations with further artists like Robbie Robertson, Kim Carnes and Earth Wind & Fire have made him one of the most successful songwriters ever. Not to mention, it's freed him up to pursue a successful solo career ("In The House Of Stone and Light") on his own terms. The man is a Hall of Famer, plain and simple.
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.
November 17, 2015
You've seen the movies, you've heard the voice, now meet the man. Joe sang or wrote some of the most iconic soundtrack songs of the 80s including "Lady, Lady, Lady" from Flashdance, "Come Into My Life" from Coming to America, "Hearts On Fire" from Rocky 4 and, the legendary, "You're The Best" from The Karate Kid. But, he started in a dance/disco group in the 70s called Brooklyn Dreams where he hooked up with Donna Summer to not only sing on her hit "Heaven Knows" but write "Bad Girls" for her. He's been a successful Vegas act for over 20 years now. He's quite a character with great stories.
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.
October 20, 2015
Eight Seconds were a Canadian synth-prog/pop band in the late-eighties who had one minor hit in the US with a song called "Kiss You (When It's Dangerous)". Their unique sound (think The Fixx) set them apart from a lot of what else was happening at the time, but the dreaded label politics held back the release of their second album and the band sank into obscurity. After trying out several music-related projects, frontman Andy del Castillo started his own media production company in 2004 and hasn't looked back. I've always felt Eight Seconds deserved more attention, especially from 80s music fans who appreciate epic, anthemic songs with a little more going on.
October 13, 2015
Walter's the self-proclaimed "Forrest Gump of rock" and the man behind one of the most enduring hits of the 70s "Magnet and Steel" which reached #8 in 1978. His career was launched with the support of producers Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who were also in the throes of their own drama recording the landmark Rumours album. Walter got caught up in that as well, and he drops the bomb of hooking up with Stevie around that time! In fact, his love life becomes a hot topic of discussion as well as the rest of his musical career outside of his biggest hit, which deserves more attention.
October 6, 2015
Peppy's music career goes back 50 years, from his one-hit-wonder 60s band Blues Magoos, to his one-hit-wonder 80s band Balance. The guy's never stopped, collaborating with Paul Stanley, teaching Ace Frehley how to play guitar, and writing songs for Diana Ross. His greatest monetary success might be writing and singing some of the most iconic jingles of the last 40 years. He even released his first solo album in 2013. He doesn't stop. He also has great stories!
September 29, 2015
Walter Wray was the lead singer of the excellent alternative rock band King Swamp who had a minor hit in 1989 with the song "Is This Love". The band had a great pedigree, as it featured members of Shriekback, as well as Dominic Miller, who has played with Sting for the last 25 years or so. Walter stepped away from the music biz in the early 90s, but has recently started a unique new project with the Shriekback guys called LiTTLe MaCHiNe. King Swamp is another in a long line of great bands that deserved more.
September 22, 2015
In the States, the Blow Monkeys are best known for their #14 1986 hit "Digging Your Scene" and their appearance on the multi-million selling Dirty Dancing soundtrack. But, Dr. Robert has never stopped in Europe releasing several solo albums as well as re-igniting the Blow Monkeys in 2007. We talk about how the band's sound changed over time, his conflicted feelings about his 80s work, why he can be difficult to work with, and how he almost became the next Barry Manilow!
September 15, 2015
Bertie Higgins is the man behind one of the quintessential yacht rock classics of all time, "Key Largo", which reached #8 in 1982. But, did you know that he's still huge in other parts of the world, including the Pacific Rim where he still plays to thousands of fans? There are so many interesting bits of information in this interview, including the ups and downs of his career, how he got into the movie business, and his friendship with Burt Reynolds. And, wait til you find out who his son is!
September 8, 2015
The Crazy 8s were an American ska band in the 80s and 90s out of Portland. While they had some regional success, they never completely broke nationwide, although they did get major national exposure when they appeared on Star Search! They were a band of high ideals and a strong DIY attitude, but it may have ultimately cost them the brass ring. They deserved more.
September 1, 2015
Oingo Boingo are still one of the most beloved bands of the last 35 years. When they called it quits 20 years ago Danny Elfman went on to bigger things and has never looked back, but what about the other guys. Johnny tells us about his life before and after Boingo, what music he's doing now that gets him excited, and why Oingo Boingo were especially big in Salt Lake City of all places.
August 25, 2015
Your band gets launched into worldwide fame as your debut album sells four million copies. Shortly after your second album comes out your lead singer, the face of your band, suddenly dies of a drug overdose. What now? Blind Melon's Christopher Thorn answers that question in stunning detail. He also shares his new project, Sonny Boy Thorn, which might be his best work yet.
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.
August 11, 2015
Here's another "first day of MTV" band. After over 40 years as a group, we felt Shoes deserved an in depth career retrospective. Jeff Murphy tells the stories behind each album, how him being a gearhead from a young age influenced the band's sound, and war stories with the likes of Gene Simmons and Butch Vig. There've been highs and lows, but Jeff's come out the other end as a balanced, kind gentleman.
August 4, 2015
In honor of MTV's 34th birthday, we talk to a guy that was there on day one. Slim Man was the driving force behind a hard rock group in the early 80s called Bootcamp who appeared a couple times on MTV's first day on the air. But, for the last 20 years he's taken on the Slim Man moniker and made a living as a smooth jazz lounge singer. It's a mind-boggling transformation, but he's good at it.
July 28, 2015
Not everyone would be able to go from frontman to sideman. To go from lead singer of your own modern rock band to sidekick for oldies acts may take some pride swallowing, but Rich Spina has had nothing but success (and a steady paycheck) since making the switch. Here's the story of a man who achieved success through a much different route than he expected.
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.