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!
This week we are honored to hear from one of the most decorated songwriters of all time, the legendary Holly Knight! Holly's career began in the early 80s with the AOR band Spider, but it was when other artists began having success recording songs she'd written (like John Waite's "Change" and Tina Turner's "Better Be Good to Me") that she switched her focus to songwriting. She went on to pen some of the biggest songs ever like "Love is a Battlefield", "The Warrior" and "The Best". In this conversation we cover those as well as many other hits and deep tracks. She also discusses her feelings about her place in history, as well as the marginalization of songwriters in general. It's the perfect show to listen to with your valentine!
This week we get to hear from the wonderful singer/songwriter Bonnie Hayes! Coming out of the Bay Area nearly 40 years ago with her band the Wild Combo, Bonnie mastered the new wave sound and even had a couple songs featured in the movie Valley Girl. For some reason, the solo career never quite took off like it should have, but good fortune bounced in her direction when some of her songs made their way to Bonnie Raitt and were included in her massive comeback album Nick of Time in 1989. From there Bonnie became an in demand songsmith as well as session musician touring and playing keys for both Belinda Carlisle and Billy Idol. These days she teaches songwriting at the prestigious Berklee School of Music and releases solo albums when the itch hits her. She's a fantastic lady and her story is incredible!
Jon and Noel from the Reliving My Youth podcast are at it again! This time they countdown their top 10 yacht rock songs. What counts as yacht rock? Is it a guilty pleasure or seriously awesome music? Do the songs hold up or are they tied too much to an era? You tell us how you feel!
Jon teams up with Steve and Drew from Suburban Underground once again, this time to play some of their favorite lesser known R&B jams! You hear songs you may not know from some of the legends of the genre, some modern goodies, and many others that may be completely new to you. Let us know what you think!
Jon and Jan discuss the highs and lows of 2019 including, the last few months worth of guests, our top 10 episodes of the year as well as the listener picks, and we answer your questions. 2019 was a wild ride and we share what we learned and how we feel about it. Special thanks to everyone that makes The Hustle a unique endeavor. We love you all!
It seemed fitting to pay tribute to an excellent Canadian drummer by speaking with another excellent Canadian drummer. Barry Connors of the fantastic AOR band Toronto (ep 9) returns to tell us what Neil meant to Canada, the influence he had on his own drumming style, and what it was like seeing Rush live back in the early days. There has never been anyone else like Neil Peart and we're lucky to discuss it with great people like Barry.
This week we are lucky to welcome the guitarist for one of the biggest bands of the 80s - Chris Hayes from Huey Lewis and the News! Chris and I discuss his time in the band and the stories behind many of the songs, but what I mostly wanted to know was why he chose to walk away almost 20 years ago. You realize what became more important to him was family and sobriety. He's a wonderful guy whose story is not well known. Enjoy!
If you were one of those people who read the liner notes on all your records, no doubt you saw the name Jerry Marotta on many of your favorites. From the late 70s til the mid 80s Jerry drummed for Peter Gabriel AND Hall and Oates at the same time! When those gigs came to an end he joined up with the Indigo Girls for a while. Along the way he recorded with the likes of Paul McCartney, Tears For Fears, Robbie Robertson, Fee Waybill, Sarah McLachlan, Los Lobos, Cher, John Mayer, and a bunch of others. Jerry is one of those brutally honest interviews and we hear amazing stories about all of these people, as well as the many things he's working on today. This one's another instant classic. You won't believe it!
One of our most popular guests, Marshall Crenshaw, returns to discuss the brand new deluxe vinyl edition of his 1996 album Miracle of Science. One of his great, but unsung albums is finally getting the treatment it deserves and is available now! Marshall recounts the writing and recording of it and we discuss the shows he's been doing with the Smithereens since the passing of frontman Pat DiNizio two years ago. Enjoy!
It's been a wild ride for Michelle Shocked. Her career as a protest singer began in the mid-80s by accident and has expanded to touch on every genre you can think of. She doesn't want to be pigeonholed and she does what she wants. Which makes the "Yoshi Incident" even more confusing. In March of 2013 during a concert in San Francisco, Michelle, believing rightly that there were bootleggers in the room, said some pretty despicable things about homosexuals and gay marriage. Her career's never been the same. Was she kidding? Did she mean what she said? Was it on purpose? Did she know she was being recorded? Why would someone who has devoted her life to fighting for artists rights and many other causes say these things? We try to get to the bottom of it, you decide if we were successful.
Charlie Midnight's success as a songwriter has spanned nearly 40 years. After partnering up with Dan Hartman in the early 80s, the two wrote a string of hits for both Dan and others, many of which were featured on soundtracks for films like Fletch, Ruthless People, Breakin', and Rocky 4 with James Brown making "Living in America" iconic. From there, Charlie forged his own successful writing and producing career working with artists like Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, the Doobie Brothers, and Joni Mitchell. We get deep into all of it and hear his rather inspiring take on hard work, songwriting, and surviving the music industry. Enjoy!
Audio engineer Brad Sundberg returns to discuss the making of the epic Quincy Jones album Back on the Block from 1989. The legendary producer called all of his famous friends to contribute to this opus of an album that went on to win seven Grammys and sell a million copies. Among the legends appearing on Back on the Block are Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Ice T, Barry White, Sarah Vaughn, George Benson, James Ingram, Chaka Khan, Kool Moe Dee, the Brothers Johnson, Al B. Sure, Bobby McFerrin, Dizzy Gillespie and about a hundred others. Brad shares his stories from working on the project and what all these people are like one on one. If you're a music fan, you'll gobble up this entire conversation!
Imagine getting only one chance at the big time and it not working out. That can't be easy to deal with, but that's what happened to this week's guest, Tom Croucier of the band Life By Night. Tom's career started picking up steam in the early 80s when he played with both Scorpions and Dokken (his brother Juan is in Ratt), so when he fronted his own band that was equal parts rock and new wave, it seemed like a slam dunk. The result is the 1985 Life By Night album that featured the closest they came to a hit with the song "Phone to Phone." Sadly, the album fell into obscurity and Tom never got a second chance as a major label recording artist. Here, Tom shares his stories from his time on the big stage, the many personalities he worked and played with (including former guest Robert Tepper) and what he did when the music career ended. Tom's a great guy and Life By Night deserve a rediscovery.
It's another Merry Chris-mas at the Hustle! This year we hear from indie legend Chris (get it?) Stamey! After forming the dbs in Chapel Hill 40 years ago with Peter Holsapple, Chris has carved his own unique and diverse solo path. To prove my point, this year he released a new album New Songs for the 20th Century that was heavily influenced by the likes of Cole Porter and Henry Mancini! I ask Chris why the change in style, but he doesn't see it that way. In fact, this interview goes a little sideways. You be the judge as to why.
Forrmer guest Richard Bush (ep 69) returns to talk about the brand new album Social Studies by his current band The Peace Creeps. You may remember that 40 years ago, Richard fronted the wonderful Philly power-pop band The A's. The Peace Creeps brand of rock is more psychedelic, but no less effective. The first single, "Through Our Ruins" is getting some radio attention, thankfully, so we talk about how that feels at this stage in his career and what he hopes to accomplish with this new album. Check out Social Studies today!
The Knack are the poster band for both extreme success and extreme flame out. They had the biggest hit of 1979 with their debut single "My Sharona", a song that remains as killer today as it was then. But, almost immediately the backlash came - they copy the Beatles too much, the lyrics are misogynistic, power pop is over, etc. Unfortunately, the band never really got over that despite staging many reunions and comebacks over the years. However, when frontman Doug Feiger died in 2010 that was all she wrote. Here, bassist Prescott Niles is eager to tell the real story of the Knack like why much of the criticism was unfair, what great musicians they were, and the story behind each album, including his favorites and least favorites. We also get into what he's doing now which includes playing with 80s favorites Missing Persons and Gary Myrick. Prescott is quite a character, but the story he tells is vital. Enjoy!
Jon and the boys from Suburban Underground come together for another hour of music. This time the topic is "songs that move us." You'll notice when you listen to this that we each define "move" in different ways. Who do you identify with the most? Don't be shy!
The 90s were a fickle time. Fads came and went, stars were made and just as quickly left behind. Austin's Fastball had what it took for the long haul, but it hasn't been easy. Lead by the dual songwriting chops of Tony Scalzo and Miles Zuniga, the band broke big on their second album with hits like "The Way," "Out of My Head," and "Fire Escape." But, as it often happens, by the time the follow up came out the crowd had moved on. They've never really gone away though and they even released a solid new album recently called The Help Machine. Drummer Joey Shuffield joins us to talk about how it all goes down and how they keep it together I especially wanted to hear about the incredible rock band he was involved in in the early 2000s called Young Heart Attack. If all you know is the hits, Fastball deserve a deeper listen.
Imagine this - one of the greatest rock singers in history decides to leave his hugely successful band and you've been selected to take his place. That's what happened with Johnny Edwards. Though it was the beginning of the 90s, Foreigner's Mick Jones felt that even though Lou Gramm was out of the band there was still enough gas in the tank to keep things going. He recruited Johnny and they recorded Unusual Heat, a solid rock album that never really stood a chance. This scenario wasn't entirely new to Johnny as he took over vocal duties on latter day versions of both Montrose and King Kobra (both stories are nuts!). Along the way he fronted many of his own bands, but none of them really took off and he eventually left music behind. Today he's a regular working man and sings in an excellent blues rock band called Bleu Phonque on the side. Nobody has a story quite like Johnny's, you're going to love this!
Walter Egan's 1978 smash "Magnet and Steel" will follow him around wherever he goes, deservedly so, but what gets lost sometimes is the absolutely stellar power pop album he made in 1983 called Wild Exhibitions. It featured his last hit "Fool Moon Fire", but didn't get the attention it deserved then, and still doesn't, so we attempt to right that wrong. In this Deep Dive, Walter and I shed light on this hidden gem, while also gliding over his entire career. We love Walter and hope that you will discover an album you must have in your collection.
In a decade that churned through artists as tastes and fads changed weekly, Everclear managed a heckuva lot of hits. Storming the gates with the hyper-catchy "Santa Monica," the guys dropped radio staple after radio staple like "Everything to Everyone," "Father of Mine," "I Will Buy You a New Life" and the list goes on and on. By the 2000s, the wave was starting to die down, but the band never really went away, even if the players came and went. The mainstay has always been leader Art Alexakis, a one-of-a-kind rock personality. Art recently released the solo album he's been threatening to do for years with the all acoustic Sun Stories. In this conversation, Art is honest about the Everclear albums he isn't crazy about, the time he was on the "O'Reilly Factor", the Summerland Festival he heads, the great 2015 Everclear album Black is the New Black, and tons of other stuff. He's one of the great personalities in rock and we're lucky to hear from him!
Cinderella may have been put to bed years ago, but frontman Tom Keifer has been slowly building up his solo project for a while now and it just keeps getting bigger. The Tom Keifer Band recently released the new album Rise and completed a US tour (another leg is taking shape early next year). In this short conversation, we discuss the difference between his current band and his old one, how he views his legacy, the state of his health (he's undergone several throat surgeries over the years, but is back on the mend), his spiritual views, and his working dynamic with his wife, Savannah. Tom could be seen as a Maverick who's followed his muse from day one and produced a lot of killer rock and roll in the process.
The last few years have been a blur of prolific activity for Juliana Hatfield. There was the anti-Trump album Pussycat from 2017, there have been side projects with Paul Westerberg (The I Don't Care's) and Nada Surf's Matthew Caws (Minor Alps), and there have been albums of new material (2019's Weird and 2015's Whatever, My Love), but what is a wonderful new focus for her are these albums of covers. In 2018 she released Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John to wide acclaim and this week she drops the follow up, Juliana Hatfield Sings the Police. This wonderful collection brings new depth to these classic tunes and presents them in a new light completely unique to her. We discuss all of this as well as her favorite albums and bands, her love life, her feelings about accolades, and much more. She's a total delight and full of great stories!
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Jon engages in conversation with his 12-year-old daughter Georgia, discussing their love of Kiss and counting down their top 5 songs. This was done quick and dirty, no editing, no production. Hope you're all impressed!
The summer of 1991 belonged to bands like EMF. When they took over the world with their debut single "Unbelievable," it signaled a change in the sound of mainstream music where white British guys merged alternative rock with dance music, hip-hop and skate culture. Coming out of the gate with a song as big as that one, you'd think EMF would continue on, but such was not the case. Like so many others, they suffered the dreaded sophomore slump on the second album and barely released a third before hanging it up. Frontman James Atkin talks openly about how difficult those years were, but is also in a very good place today teaching children at a local school and recently releasing a solo album called Popcorn Storm. We also discuss how they found their sound, their style, and how Andrew Dice Clay got in there. Enjoy!
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!