Sometimes you just have to wonder why some bands don't make it. Take the Hollywood Stars. Brought together by famous impresario Kim Fowley, the guys were meant to be a West Coast answer to the New York Dolls. After some stops and starts, the band finally released their debut album in 1977, but it didn't show what the band could do, it under-performed, and the band broke up ending the potential for greatness. Guitarist Ruben De Fuentes enjoyed the LA music scene of the period and went on to play with 80s versions of classic psych rock bands like Steppenwolf and Blue Cheer. Thankfully, as vinyl junkies began discovering the band in later years, the Hollywood Stars are back in business! In 2013 their great lost album from 1974, Shine Like a Radio, was finally released (it features the original version of "King of the Nighttime World" made famous by Kiss) and earlier this year another collection of hidden gems, SOUND CITY (named for where it was recorded), was released and it's excellent. Ruben is an example of a guy that has devoted his life to rock and roll. Enjoy!
Flesh For Lulu had it all. They mixed the Stones' swagger with the New York Dolls' grease and added a healthy dose of 80s glam to perfection as evidenced on possibly their best known hit, 1987's "I Go Crazy" from the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. But, it all ended too quickly and now it never will be again. Lead singer Nick Marsh passed away in 2015 of cancer, putting a permanent end to this wonderful band. Guitarist Rocco Barker tells us the full story - how his first band Wasted Youth was bigger than FFL, how the band he and Nick started after FFL, Gigantic, never quite got off the ground, his experience in reality TV, crazy ex-girlfriends, drugs, family, money, and his new career as an eyeglass maker (you read that right). He's a wonderfully entertaining bloke and Flesh For Lulu deserve a rediscovery. Enjoy!
In part 2 of our crossover episode with Reliving My Youth, Jon and Noel countdown their Top 10 soundtrack songs of the 90s.
Red Rockers were all set to be the "American Clash." They may have started as the go-to punk band in their native New Orleans, but when they wrote the 1983 hit "China" for their second album, not only did their style change, but MTV played them incessantly, recognition soon followed, and original fans screamed "sell outs!" Unfortunately, the switch to a more commercial sound only led to moderate commercial success. Other than the still beautiful "China" they never quite got off the ground. When it ended, bassist Darren Hill didn't really find success again until he began playing with, and then managing, Paul Westerberg. From there, his roster of clients grew to include luminaries like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, New York Dolls, Dropkick Murphys, and the late Roky Erickson. Darren tells fascinating stories about all of these great people like what makes Paul tick, why was Roky special, working with former guest William Wittman on Red Rockers' final album Schizophrenic Circus (and why it has one of the worst covers ever), and the pop culture store he runs in Providence, RI. So many great stories here and you know we just scratched the surface. Enjoy!
It's that time again, Hustlers and this time Jon and Jan are joined by Brad Page of the I'm In Love With That Song podcast. We're honored to have the man with the buttery voice slumming it with us knuckleheads. Not only do we recap the last three months of episodes, but we also discuss bad publicist experiences, we get an update on Jan's love life, whatever happened with HustleFest, and who was it that cut our interview short? And good news - no airports this time! Enjoy!
You can find out information about the band that closes out this episode at the link below.
Promo Mode - Ian Anderson discusses The Ballad of Jethro Tull book and 40th Anniversary of Stormwatch
Martha Wash has one of the most recognizable voices in pop history. Well, maybe a better word for it is "utilized." She has sang on some of the biggest club/dance hits of the last 40 years and you may not even realize it. In the 70s she and her friend Izora Rhodes began singing back up for disco legend Sylvester, becoming known as Two Tons O' Fun. This lead to their own record deal and two albums released under that name before changing it to the Weather Girls. Then came "It's Raining Men," a giant hit and an anthem in the LGBT community. From here the dance hits just kept on coming - "Everybody Everybody" and "Gonna Make You Sweat" among them. With the success did not come the credit or the money, an issue Martha fought the law for and won changing the music industry forever. All told she's sang on 12 #1 dance hits and today is heavily involved in First Ladies of Disco, who will be appearing on the 2020 Ultimate Disco Cruise. She's also changing it up musically, just listen to her last album, 2013's Something Good, which is so good and not dance music at all. She has an incredible story that everyone should hear. Enjoy!
We lost another good one recently. To discuss the great Eddie Money we bring back Steve "Eddie" Rice of the killer Bay Area rock band Eddie and the Tide. Money produced their album Go Out and Get It in 1984 for what we think may be Eddie's only production credit of his whole career. Steve shares stories about what Eddie was like to work with, the jokes he told, his approach to songwriting and even a somber recent phone call they had that may have implied Eddie knew what was down the pike. Once again, we're so lucky to hear wonderful artists like Steve talk about other wonderful artists like Eddie from first-hand experience.
It almost didn't happen for George McCrae. In fact, the whole thing was a total fluke. He and his wife Gwen sang back up on recording sessions around Miami with his focus more on managing her career than pursuing his own. But when Harry Wayne Casey wrote a new song that was too high for his register, he asked George, who happened to be around, if he would sing it. That song, 1975's "Rock Your Baby", went on to be one of the biggest selling singles of all time, selling at least 11 million copies, and went #1 all over the world. Success like that is almost impossible to replicate, and George was no different. He continued in music for years, even singing back up on a Bill Wyman solo record, but nothing else took off. He even went back to working normal, blue collar jobs. Thankfully, Europe re-embraced Disco eventually so he moved there and is performing to enraptured audiences. In fact, in February, he will be a part of the 2020 Ultimate Disco Cruise. His story is unlike anyone else's. Enjoy!
This month we welcome back the fantastic Robert Tepper (ep66) to discuss his 1986 debut album No Easy Way Out. True, the title track from Rocky 4 is one of the greatest AOR songs ever and was a decent-sized hit, but when it came time to release the full album his label was on to other things. We discuss the creation of the songs, who played on them, and how royally Scotti Bros. botched this thing! In addition, Robert releases his new solo album Better Than The Rest today! We also get into that and hear a couple tunes. Robert's the man and you're going to enjoy this one!
In 1995 "Lump" was unleashed on an unsuspecting world. And it became a hit. That was followed up by "Peaches," another weird one that reached the same status. Where did these funny, but rocking (novelty?) songs come from? Who writes songs like this? The band is literally called The Presidents of the United States of America? It all seemed like someone was playing a joke, but the tunes were undeniable and millions of people snatched up the album. Unfortunately, it didn't last. The sophomore slump descended on the follow-up and they never regained their footing. PUSA frontman Chris Ballew made a drastic move - he turned his attention to children's music and now performs under the name Caspar Babypants. You learn in this chat that he views this work as a calling he's incredibly passionate about. We also talk about the history of the band and those great songs as well as the pros and cons of having a band name associated with certain elected officials. Chris is a great guy who's doing exactly what he feels he was put on earth to do. Wish we could all say that.
After too long a layoff, The Hustle and Suburban Underground come together again this time to play recent music from legacy artists. You may be surprised to find out that some of the bands you loved back in the day have made quality music in the last few years that's just as good as material from their peak. In here we play newer songs by Animotion, The Waterboys, Bad Religion, Robert LaRoche, The Motels, Yes, Blondie, Nick Heyward, The Outfield, Liam Gallagher, Bruce Foxton, The Ocean Blue, and Deep Blue Something. If you hear something you like, please support the artists!
To celebrate the life and work of Ric Ocasek we welcome back former guest Fred Pineau (ep70), guitarist of the Atlantics. The Atlantics were an excellent Boston-based power pop band who came up through the ranks alongside Ric and the Cars in the 70s. Fred talks about his relationship with Ric, what he meant to the Boston scene, what the his legacy will be, and shares stories from back in the day. Fred's one of the best storytellers we've ever had on the show, and we're grateful he agreed to come back for this special tribute.
When people talk about alternative rock band Dramarama, what you'll often hear is that they were "before their time." Though they came to prominence in the mid-80s, their aggressive, but melodic power pop sound was a perfect precursor for the garagey 90s. Through the help of tastemaker Rodney Bingenheimer, the band exploded out of LA in 1985 with "Anything Anything" that set records and still kills. The band released quality work for a decade before eventually calling it quits. Bassist and founding member Chris Carter turned his attention to radio and has been the host of Breakfast With The Beatles, the longest running Beatles radio show, for decades now. He also produced the Rodney doc The Mayor of Sunset Strip. We talk about the history of Dramarama, including the real story behind their appearance on VH1's Bands Reunited, but then we also go deep on the Beatles with Chris answering loads of listener questions. It's a little bit of everything in this one, all of it good!
Among the many fantastic British shoegazer bands of the early 90s, Great Yarmouth's Catherine Wheel were among the very best. They exploded out of the gate with Ferment in 1992, one of the best debut albums by anyone ever, and kept the train rolling for most of the decade until the "wheels" finally came off at the dawn of the new millennium. While it lasted they managed to impress and work with top-of-the-line producers like Tim Friese-Green (Talk Talk), Gil Norton (Pixies) and even Bob Ezrin. Bassist David Hawes discusses the dynamic within the band, the thinking behind each album, what it was like working with those producers, and why he left the group before their last album. David is also a big music head and record collector so we discuss some of his all-time favorite albums and vinyl stories. These guys were so good! Enjoy!
It feels like UB40 have always been in our lives. Maybe that's because they practically have. Last year the guys celebrated their 40th anniversary with a tour that was so well received, it's carried over to the 41st year. And to mark the occasion, in 2019 they released their best album in decades, For The Many, which hearkens back to their early days like nothing else they've released in a while. Guitarist and founding member Robin Campbell and I discuss this victory lap, as well as some of their definitive albums and classic songs. Unfortunately, there is also some drama in there, as there often is. Former lead singer Ali Campbell, Robin's brother, left the band about 12 years ago and is also touring with the UB40 name. Robin's version of UB40 recruited a third Campbell brother, Duncan, to take over lead vocal duties. It can be confusing, but what isn't confusing is that UB40 have over 40 years of great music to enjoy and For The Many continues that tradition.
For August's Deep Dive we welcome back another legendary producer, this time it's the great Rupert Hine (ep158)! We go behind the scenes on the creation and recording of The Fixx's 1983 masterwork Reach The Beach. This landmark album produced three top 40 singles including "One Thing Leads to Another" and "Saved By Zero" and is their biggest seller moving 2 million copies. We also cover how the band found their sound and discuss the singular mind of lead singer Cy Curnin. We're so lucky to hear from legends like Rupert!
Ahh the 70s. That period of burgeoning hard rock and soft, smooth sounds. Among the many artists filling the airwaves with ear candy were England Dan and John Ford Coley. The successful duo racked up half a dozen or so hits in the second half of the decade. Songs like "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight" and "Nights are Forever Without You" provide touchpoints to simpler times, back when AM radio was king. The pair even scored a hit with a TODD song! But, like many 70’s duos, the partnership ended in the early 80s. The final nail in the coffin was a disagreement over one song; a song that Dan goes on to record solo for country radio. In this conversation, JFC discusses the glory days, how Dan's death in 2009 affected him, how Yacht Rock has given him a new lease on life, and his latest album Eclectic. So, kick back, relax, put on your sailor hat and prepare to set sail with one of the titans of soft rock. All aboard!
Singer Dolette McDonald felt ever-present in the 80s. Her striking voice, and equally striking looks, made her feel front and center while she was supporting musical giants like Talking Heads, Laurie Anderson, and most notably Sting. When he left the Police and went solo, he brought Dolette along for the ride. This is on celluloid forever in the Bring On The Night documentary, as well as those amazing Amnesty International concerts featuring Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen and Tracy Chapman. Her talents also landed her gigs with the Stones, Tears For Fears, ABC, the System, Steve Winwood and even Donny Osmond! She tells insightful stories about all of these people, as well as her own struggle with her sexuality and journey out of the closet and into personal happiness. This is one of the best conversations we've ever featured!
Gene Loves Jezebel personified the 80s. A strikingly garish style mixed with a perfected merge of goth and pop music that many 80s bands tried to nail and couldn't. Along the way, alternative radio gobbled up hits like "Desire," "The Motion of Love" and "Jealous." Unfortunately, rock history is riddled with brothers that can't get along and GLJ are no different. Twins Jay and Michael Aston have been feuding at various levels for 30 years to the point where Michael maintains the Gene Loves Jezebel name in the States, while Jay runs with it in the UK. In this conversation, Jay and I discuss what's at the heart of this squabbling, but also great stuff like his 2017 album Dance Underwater, what it means to have "riff master" James Stevenson in the band, and his current tour with Modern English and the Alarm. It's a messy, frustrating and often confusing musical history overwhelmed by sibling rivalry, but the music itself lives on and is as bright and excellent as ever. Enjoy!
Is there a more lovable song than "Mary's Prayer" by Danny Wilson? It's always welcome, always warms your heart, always makes you sing and smile. That song, which reached #23 in the US in 1987 was written and sung by this week's guest, Danny Wilson frontman Gary Clark. As much promise as the band had, they only managed two albums before calling it quits at the end of the 80s. Gary spent the dawn of the 90s starting a few other groups and working on solo material to no avail. As luck would have it, he eventually began collaborating with the right people and he went on to write many hit songs for other artists like Natalie Imbruglia and Demi Lovato. After years of success, he got a call from movie director John Carney ("Once") and was asked to do the music to the wonderfully beloved 2016 film "Sing Street". Today, that relationship has even more projects in the works! So, this seemingly one-hit wonder has made it work successfully for over 30 years. Who knew!
If you were a kid of the 80s with an eye towards the inventive new wave music coming out of the UK, no doubt you saw the name Dave Bascombe everywhere. This influential producer/engineer/mixer lent his talents to some of the most important alternative and pop albums of the decade. His name graces the credits of landmark albums like Depeche Mode's Music For The Masses, Peter Gabriel's So, and Tears For Fears' Songs From the Big Chair. Among the other giants we discuss in this conversation are Genesis, Level 42, Echo and the Bunnymen, Red Box, Danny Wilson, james, Erasure, the Silencers, the Lightning Seed, the Verve and even more recent artists like Lady Antebellum, Chromeo, Alpine Stars and Goldfrapp. Oh, and even Bon Jovi makes an appearance! Consider for a moment some of the timeless music that has passed through Dave's fingertips. Enjoy!
This month we're honored to bring back the legendary producer Ron Nevison as we discuss Heart's 1985 comeback album. The Wilson sisters were not in a good place until Capitol Records revived their careers, but it came with some stipulations that the girls still aren't happy about. Despite them distancing themselves from the people they were at this time, we love the record and Ron gives us all the behind the scenes info. Plus, the girls are reunited and back out on tour AND this record turned 34 this month. Enjoy!
Has any rock god from the 80s been torn down only to rise back up more often than Kip Winger? His band Winger stormed out of the gate in the mid-80s with giant hits like "Seventeen" and "Headed For a Heartbreak" but the naysayers and bullying quickly overwhelmed an otherwise successful career. After grunge wiped all of them out, Kip retreated to the desert to reconnect with his muse eventually resulting in a celebrated foray into classical music. While he still tours with the guys in Winger, his creative juices really flow when he's getting Grammy nominations for Best Classical Contemporary Composition or releasing his brand new score to the musical Get Jack. Ultimately, Kip won the war and is finally reaping the praise he deserved all along. We talk about it all in here, enjoy!
Noel Fogelman from Reliving My Youth podcast and Jon team up again to countdown their top 20 soundtrack songs from the 90s. Here's part 1 where we go from 20 to 11.
Modern English will forever be known as the band that gave us "I Melt With You." Those guys achieved the miraculous feat of recording a song that has been embraced by every generation since it's release in 1982 (contrary to popular belief, the song was not actually a hit originally). In this entertaining conversation, frontman Robbie Grey discusses the spoils of a song that's evergreen and we discuss a lot of the band's output that gets overshadowed including their 2016 album Take Me To The Trees. Modern English are hitting the road this week with The Alarm and Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel, which is sure to be an incredible show. Get to know the guy behind the song!
Former guest Robert LaRoche has just released the best album of the year. In his brand new EP, A Thousand Shades, the former frontman for 90s power poppers The Sighs creates six songs reflecting a dark, but beautiful, night of the soul. LaRoche and I discuss the sad break-up that inspired these songs, how he's never lost his knack for hooks, and who all contributed to the album. Do yourself a favor and make some time to sit with A Thousand Shades and really let it sink in. You'll be better for it.
Guitarist Randy Jacobs has a list of credits a mile long. The Detroit native's career goes back over 40 years and includes just about every genre there is - including a few years with Bonnie Raitt here, a couple with Paul Kelly there, etc. A guy doesn't get asked to play with the likes of Michael Henderson, Seal, Tears For Fears and Bruce Hornsby if he doesn't know what he's doing. But he may be best known as a member of the wholly unique supergroup Was (Not Was). He even co-wrote their biggest hit "Walk The Dinosaur." These days, when he isn't recruited to work with Depeche Mode or General Public, he's focused on his blues rock group with saxophonist Mindi Abair the Boneshakers. They just released a solid new album, No Good Deed, a couple weeks ago. Settle in and hear many stories from a guy who's been in the game longer than some of us have been alive!
The boys are back and fielding a full team this time (sorta) as Jon and Jan welcome sometime producer Paul Underwood of Glory Days Radio and Chief Marketing Officer Andy Schaal. We discuss the last few months of episodes, awkward listener reactions, even more awkward facebook interactions with former guests, and some listener questions. Jan was traveling and only able to chime in once in a while, so we were especially glad to have our two great friends with us this time around.
People often forget that one of the biggest bands of the 70s was Flint Michigan's own Grand Funk Railroad. They may forget this because the band isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they have a bunch of hits, but they haven't been played to death like "Stairway to Heaven," and they aren't written up continuously in Rolling Stone magazine. Original member and drummer Don Brewer and I discuss why this might be and how he feels about it. We also hear the stories behind several GFR hits and notable album tracks, what it was like being produced by Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa, and the current state of the band which includes original member Mel Schacher and "new guys" Max Carl and Bruce Kulick, but not original member Mark Farner. Since it's Independence Day in the US this week, let's celebrate by remembering how great THE "American Band" still is!
For June's episode of Deep Dive we welcome back legendary guitarist Marco Pirroni (ep 200) to educate us on the creation and recording of the breakout album by Adam and the Ants, 1980's Kings of the Wild Frontier. This is really the album that made Adam a star and titillated music lovers who wanted all they could get from the swashbuckling pirate with the Indian stripe across his nose. Where did these styles and influences come from and why did it work so well? No one else has ever sounded like the Ants did at that time. Enjoy!
Since their buzzworthy debut in 1989, Hershey Pennsylvania's Ocean Blue have never strayed from their perfect mix of the Smiths meets the Cocteau Twins to the delight of their rabid fanbase. Today these fans have reason to rejoice because they guys have just released a new album, Kings and Queens/Knaves and Thieves and it's just good as anything else they've done in the last 30 years. In this conversation, frontman Dave Schelzel and I recount their entire career, what was happening behind the scenes for each album, as well as in his personal life. Today Dave is a lawyer, so we discuss how he works new music into his life. We also chat about their producer and former guest of the show Mark Opitz. The Ocean Blue are a top 10 all time favorite band of mine and Dave is by far one of our most requested guests, so we're extremely honored to hear from him. And check out the new album!
William Wittman is another producer/engineer/mixer whose name may not sound familiar, but who no doubt has worked on scores of songs you know and love. His first major work was on Cyndi Lauper's monumental She's So Unusual. Included on those sessions were the guys from The Hooters, which lead to WW doing their breakthrough Nervous Night. The same team went on to help craft Joan Osborne's smash Relish. From there, the hits just kept coming with albums by The Outfield, The Fixx and Scandal. He's also worked artists like the A's, Graham Parker Mick Jagger and Pat Benatar. In the 90s he played in his own band Too Much Joy, which also paved the way for him to continue as a professional musician. Today you can find him slapping the bass in Cyndi's band as well as serving as her musical director. And finally, a young William once passed up an opportunity to hobnob with rock's ultimate royalty because he was so dedicated to finishing a job, well...that and...he really had to pee. 😂
Mike Peters has a lot going on. His band The Alarm have a brand new album called SIGMA dropping on June 28th and lead single "Blood Red Viral Black" is an indication that the band is as fiery and powerful as ever. They are also kicking off a North American tour in July with Modern English and Jay Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel. Plus he's still running his vital cancer organization the Love Hope Strength Foundation that finds bone marrow matches at Alarm concerts. And he was recently awarded an OBE by the Royal Family. Oh, and he's successfully fighting off cancer, as is his wife Jules. We discuss all of this as well as the prospect of a full Alarm reunion in this open and honest chat. Enjoy!
This week we welcome another music academic, Allmusic.com critic Mark Deming. Mark has been a contributor to the platform for many years and in this conversation we discuss how he became a rock writer, what music criticism even means today, and , of course, we debate a bunch of stuff like why some artists are lionized no matter what they do and why others never get the credit they deserve. As much as I love and rely on music critics for documenting a historical record, I take issue with what I perceive as a "groupthink" mentality among the tribe. Why do they all seem to like the same things? We get into all of it. Is there anything more fun than debating music with smart people? I think not!
Remember in the 90s when electronic music was poised to take over the world? Groups like Portishead, Chemical Brothers, and Olive were doing something so innovative it seemed techno and trip-hop would become the new norm. Well, it didn't really work out that way. Among some of these innovative artists was a duo from Liverpool called Mulu made up of producer Alan Edmunds and singer Laura Campbell. The two only released one album called Smiles Like a Shark in 1997 that featured excellent singles like "Desire," "Filmstar," and one of the greatest singles of the 90s, "Pussycat." Unfortunately, they never got a chance to release that second album. Today they lead pretty normal lives, but occasionally pursue their musical urges, thankfully. This conversation is fun because we start out trying to tell the Mulu story, but mostly end up talking about our favorite music and the many artists they met during their time in the game. We hope you discover some new songs to make you happy and check out the link below to go deeper.
Wang Chung are releasing a special new album today called Orchesography which re-imagines some of their biggest hits and deepest cuts in a classical setting. You may have already seen the video for "Dance Hall Days" which had a real viral moment when it was released about a month ago. Hearing these classic songs in this new context adds a freshness that is sure to delight listeners. Frontman Jack Hues (ep 163) returns to discuss the impetus of the idea, how the songs were recreated, and his recent collaboration with Syd Arthur on a 22 minute version of Beck's "Nobody's Fault But My Own" that will blow your mind and is available for purchase on iTunes. Check it out, it's worth your time!
You might consider South London's Kitchens of Distinction forebears of the shoegazer genre that defined alternative rock in the UK in the early 90s. Fronted by bassist Patrick Fitzgerald, the Kitchens perfected the art of layering swirling guitars into infinity creating some of the most gorgeous noise ever recorded. But, after four albums in 6 years without a major breakthrough, the band called it quits in the mid-90s. Since then Patrick has had numerous side projects including Fruit, Lost Girls, Oskar's Drum, and his solo work under the name Stephen Hero. Oh, and he also became a doctor. Patrick and I discuss the legacy of KOD, the challenges of being an out and proud gay man in those days, the nature of his work in medicine, the new album he's completing, and a disastrous tour they did with Suzanne Vega back in the day. He's just about the sweetest man you'll ever know. And here's a link to the last Oskar's Drum album, 2018's Degenerate Art, which is fantastic. Enjoy!
In 1986 David Bowie did his buddy Iggy Pop a solid offering to help produce a new album and bring him the commercial success he so richly deserved. Bowie threw together a crack team including guitarist Kevin Armstrong and recorded Blah Blah Blah. The album featured the hit “Real Wild Child” and brought Iggy some mass success. But was it art? Kevin returns (ep 187) to go deep on the recording process. We also chat about his new excellent solo album Run. Enjoy!
Whether you know the name or not, chances are you've rocked out to scores of songs produced by the legendary Ron Nevison. Can you believe he first got his feet wet engineering The Who's Quadrophenia? And then Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti? From there he applied his genius to albums by the likes of Bad Company, Thin Lizzy, UFO and the Babys. And that was just the 70s! In the 80s he produced the finest pop rock available, guiding smash hits by the likes of Heart, Jefferson Starship, Survivor, Europe, Eddie Money, Chicago, Ozzy and, of course, Kiss. The 90s featured quality work by Meat Loaf, Vince Neil, Bad English and Damn Yankees. We get into ALL of them! Ron's in the process of writing a book, so the stories come fast and loose. If you like rock and roll, you will love this conversation with a true icon.
If you looked up New Wave or Power Pop in the dictionary, one of the skinny-tied artists you'd see next to The Knack would be the great Greg Kihn. He's practically the poster boy for that unmistakable sound bubbling up in the late 70s when long-haired rockers were cutting their hair and their songs shorter and embracing the new wave. This transition scored him some huge hits like "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)", "Jeopardy" and "Reunited", but then he sort of disappeared. What happened was a temporary stop doing morning radio turned into a couple decade long new career. In 2017 he released his first album in many years, Rekihndled, and now he's back on the road playing the hits. It's been quite a ride!
After breaking out as a member of Rick Springfield's band in the early 80s, guitarist Tim Pierce went on to become one of the most sought after session guys in the business. He has literally played on over 1000 recordings in his long career. Some of the big collaborations that we talk about in here are Bon Jovi, John Waite, Crowded House, Michael Jackson, Kenny Loggins, Bruce Springsteen, Seal, Roger Waters, Meat Loaf, and Rod Stewart. But, what's more interesting is the online guitar instruction business he's built for himself as the music industry has dried up. Through his site www.timpierceguitar.com he has posted hundreds of videos educating guitarists on the secrets of the trade. Tim may have created the best second music career for himself of anyone we've ever had on the show! It's fascinating to learn all about it. Enjoy!
We're turning four this week! And to celebrate we present this very rare interview with one of our most requested guests, Sandi Saraya! Saraya were an excellent, but short-lived hard rock band that only released two albums - the self-titled in 1989 featuring the mild hit "Love Has Taken Its Toll" and the much heavier and darker follow up, When The Blackbird Sings in 1991 - before mysteriously disappearing. Fans have wondered for years where Sandi went and why. We answer those questions here which includes finding God, getting remarried, and raising five kids. Believe it or not, the band is currently working on new music for the first time in almost 30 years! Enjoy and Happy Birthday to us!
Oscar-winner Franke Previte basically won the lottery in 1987. He first rose to mild fame fronting the early 80s melodic rock band Franke and the Knockouts where he recorded three great albums and scored three top 40 hits you may remember like "Sweetheart" and "You're My Girl." While their "Foreginer by way of Jersey" sound was solid, it wasn't taking over the world. And then everything changed. Franke was asked to contribute a couple songs to a movie called Dirty Dancing (he worried it was a porn) a friend was involved with. He wrote and recorded "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" and "Hungry Eyes" and then sat back and watched as the movie and his songs became a cultural phenomenon that has never gone away. Here we talk about how it all came to be, what it has freed him up to focus on, and the recent release of a killer Knockouts boxset called The Complete Collection that tells the band's entire story. It's a tale unlike any other!
The release of Dare by the newly reconstituted Human League in 1981 changed everything. Suddenly, synthesizers weren't just these cold machines producing frosty sounds from the back of the room. Phil Oakey and company showed how they could be used to create pop songs with hooks and choruses that sounded great on the radio, something no one else had done as well to that point. In this month's Deep Dive, Human Leaguer and former guest Ian Burden (ep 194) returns to talk about the creation and recording of that album, the invaluable work of producer Martin Rushent, and it's lasting legacy. Please enjoy!
Remember that 2002 movie starring Hugh Grant called About A Boy? You know, the one where he plays a bachelor able to live comfortably on royalties he receives from a single Christmas song? Just wait till you hear the story on "Christmas Wrapping"!
Meet Chris Butler, guitarist and primary songwriter for The Waitresses. Chris is just your run-of-the-mill artist who…wrote his biggest hits from a woman’s perspective, records music without the benefit of electricity and lives in a serial killer’s house. If that’s not enough, he also grew up in Ohio in that late 70’s music scene that gave us Chrissie Hynde, DEVO et al. And while attending college at Kent State, he took part in that infamous Vietnam War protest that resulted in the death of a close friend.
I hope you’ll find this emotional roller coaster episode with the witty Chris Butler as fascinating to listen to as I did to record.
The 90s were good to Royston Langdon. His band hit it big in 1996 with their #1 smash "In The Meantime" off their debut album Resident Alien. He also married actress Liv Tyler. But after two more Spacehog albums, the band came apart and was never the same. Over the years there have been a couple reunions, but today Royston is focusing on his solo career and released his first solo album Everything's Dandy under the moniker LEEDS (the album we be re-released under his own name soon). And, congratulations are in order as he was recently selected as the opening act for the Psychedelic Furs on their upcoming US tour! Here we talk about what rock stardom really means, the influence of Bowie on Spacehog's music, and how he almost replaced Scott Weiland in Velvet Revolver. It gets deep!
Noel and Jon had so much fun counting down their Top 10 soundtrack songs of the 80s, and so many leftovers, that they decided to do a part 2! This is us counting down another 10 songs - call them top 11-20, top honorable mentions, top obscure tracks, or whatever you want, as long as you listen, enjoy, and speak up!
Imagine you have Ronnie DeVoe's life. You're plucked in your early teens to round out New Edition and you never look back. Then, after several huge hits, you veer off with Ricky and Mike and invent New Jack Swing (and eclipse the success of New Edition) with Bell Biv DeVoe. Hits like "Poison" and "Do Me" were revolutionary. The core of New Edition - Ronnie, Ricky, Mike, Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, and Johnny Gill - has never changed even if the guys float in and out depending on availability and the level of drama among them, but a new offshoot is about to make news again. RBRM is Ricky, Bobby, Ronnie and Mike and they're embarking on a two month tour at the end of April. The shows will incorporate classics from all iterations of the band, as well as Bobby's solo hits. In here Ronnie and I talk about all of it including the current state of New Edition as well as r&b in general, his real estate business, and what it's like having his wife Shamari featured on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. You won't want to miss this one!
We've all seen Back to the Future multiple times, but have you ever watched Marty McFly singing "Johnny B. Goode" at the dance and wondered whose voice was actually coming out of Michael J. Fox's mouth? Well, it was none other than Mark Campbell, front man for the excellent soul outfit Jack Mack & the Heart Attack! Here we go deep on all the minutia you could want regarding his involvement in that movie. 1985 was a big year for Mark as Jack Mack also appeared in the teen angst drama Tuff Turf so we hear all about that as well. Mark tells stories of his many years in Hollywood, how he's made a living, and we discuss the Mack's most recent album, Back to the Shack. This is a fun one!