Episode 60 - Peter McCann

June 28, 2016

Peter McCann is the man behind the immortal classic, "Do You Wanna Make Love" which was a #5 smash in 1977. He's an admitted one-hit-wonder, but his career is much broader than the one hit. He started out in a folk group called The Repairs who were managed by Andrew Loog Oldham (also of the Rolling Stones) and signed to Motown of all places! Berry Gordy didn't know what to do with them, so they were dropped after two albums. Peter went solo, but learned early on that he much preferred writing songs for other people. In fact, Jennifer Warnes had a #6 hit also in 1977 with his "Right Time of the Night". Peter has been a successful songwriter ever since, penning tunes for artists like the Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers, and Janie Fricke. One of his songs even made it on Whitney Houston's debut album (which has since sold 30 million copies). He's an exceptionally refreshing guy with a wonderful outlook on the business. He also tells a great story about Christie Brinkley and the Vacation soundtrack! 

 
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Episode 59 - George Winston

June 21, 2016

George Winston is an icon of New Age music (or "rural folk piano" as he calls it) and an American treasure. His beautiful piano songs have become a part of the country's fabric and some of his albums, especially 1982's December, are essential recordings no matter the genre. To me, George has been a mysterious figure, ever present, but never in the limelight. I wanted to get to know the man behind the music. Turns out he's a talkative, gregarious, student of music who has created his own world and plays by his own rules. His definition of success is refreshing. Get to know the man behind the music. And listen to the end for details on how you can get some free CDs.

http://www.georgewinston.com/
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Episode 58 - Neil Taylor

June 14, 2016

Neil Taylor has been a hugely successful session guitarist for over 30 years, ever since some of his buddies called him up one day asking if he could rush over to the studio and lay down a guitar solo on a song they were working on. That song was "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" and, of course, the band was Tears For Fears. This began a long and fulfilling career that's seen him work with luminaries such as Morrissey, Peter Gabriel, and Robbie Williams, whom he performed alongside for 10 years. Today, Neil is putting together an excellent solo career that deserves your attention. In this conversation we discuss many of his collaborators (Naked Eyes, Holly Johnson, Johnny Hates Jazz, Howard Jones, Jane Wiedlin, Red Box, Martin Page, Tina Turner, Trevor Horn) and he shares some incredible stories. I love this one a lot. 

http://www.silvermusic.tv
  
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Bonus - Jan “The Man” Reports Back From The Axl/DC Concert

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.
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Episode 57 - Ben Watkins of The Flowerpot Men/Juno Reactor/Beloved Movie Soundtrack Fame

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!

http://www.junoreactor.com/
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Episode 56 - Rolo McGinty of The Woodentops

May 31, 2016

The Woodentops were an excellent British alternative pop band of the mid-to-late 80s. However, within just 2 years, they released 3 wildly different albums and then called it quits. The debut, Giant, sounds like what bands such as Prefab Sprout and Let's Active were doing at the time. The second was a live album that was super punky and revved up, and then the proper second album, Wooden Foot Cops on the Highway, was heavily influenced by the Madchester and Baggie scenes of the late 80s. Lead singer Rolo McGinty refers to himself as "schizophrenic" which is exactly right. He talks about what motivates the changing, the various luminaries he collaborated with, and what prompted him to reform the band 25 years later for 2014's excellent Granular Tales album. 

http://woodentopsmusic.com/
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Episode 55 - Anthony Kaczynski of Figures on a Beach/Fireking

May 24, 2016

Anthony Kaczynski was the lead singer of the great Detroit synth band Figures on a Beach throughout the 80s. They started out as a more avant-garde focused outfit along the lines of early Simple Minds, OMD, and Can, but they eventually put out two major label albums in the late-80s that had a much slicker, synth-pop sound. Unfortunately, success wasn't in the cards (although they did record one of the great alternative singles of the late-80s with "Accidentally 4th Street (Gloria)"). Anthony didn't do much of note musically until the end of the 90s when he started his current band, Fireking, who are one of the great current powerpop acts. Today he has his hands in many different musical projects and he may be busier (and happier) than he's ever been, all the while paying his bills by co-owning a company with his ex-wife. His spirit is infectious, enjoy!

http://www.firekings.com/ 
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Episode 54 - Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl/The Not-Its/Beloved 90s Movie Soundtrack Fame/Solo

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!

http://www.wearethenot-its.com/
http://www.sarahshannon.com/
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Episode 53 - Amanda Blue of Spider/Shanghai/Solo

May 10, 2016

Amanda Blue was the lead singer of one of those great rock and roll with a touch of new wave bands of the late 70s/early 80s called Spider. They cracked the top 40 once in 1980 when "New Romance" reached #39, but after two albums, they changed their name to Shanghai and released one more album before calling it quits and Amanda embarked on a solo career. What might be most interesting about Spider are the many recognizable names that circled their orbit. The band was discovered by Kiss and managed by Bill Aucoin (Gene Simmons also managed Amanda for a while). Also, one of the band members was Holly Knight, who would go on to be one of the most successful songwriters of all time ("Love is a Battlefield", "Simply The Best", "The Warrior", etc). And, the drummer, and Amanda's ex-husband, was Anton Fig, who would land the steadiest gig in music as the drummer for David Letterman's band. Amanda now makes healing her life's mission, which we talk a lot about. Lovely lady with an amazing story. 

http://amandablueleigh.com/
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Ep 52 - HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY TO US! - with Mark Brzezicki of Big Country

May 3, 2016

To celebrate The Hustle's 1st Birthday, we created a full circle moment. This week's guest is Mark Brzezicki, drummer of the iconic Scottish band Big Country! You may remember in the intro to The Hustle that I recorded a year ago, I mentioned that the suicide of Big Country's lead singer Stuart Adamson was an inspiration for me creating a place where I could let my favorite unsung artists know how much I love them. Here we are 52 conversations later and still going strong! Mark and I discuss what Stuart was like as a man, the ups and downs of being in the band, what everyone is doing now, and some of the session work Mark's done to maintain a career. With all the joy these artists have brought to our lives, they deserved better. 

http://www.bigcountry.co.uk/
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Bonus - A discussion on the death and legacy of Prince with Steve Spears

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!

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/80s/
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Episode 51 - George Sipl of American Noise

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!
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Episode 50 - Todd Pipes of Deep Blue Something

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.

http://deepbluesomething.com/ 
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Episode 49 - Ranking Roger of The English Beat/General Public/Solo

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!

http://www.thebeatofficial.com/
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Episode 48 Bonus - Phil Spalding and I discuss some of his collaborations

April 7, 2016

Phil and I discuss several of his collaborations including...

Talk Talk
Seal
Terence Trent D'Arby
Jai
When In Rome
Dubstar 
OMD
Flesh for Lulu
Heaven 17
Suggs
http://www.philspalding.com/
http://www.liver4life.org.uk/
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Episode 48 - Phil Spalding of GTR

April 5, 2016

Phil Spalding has been an in demand session bassist for almost 40 years now. His highest profile gig from an American perspective was probably when he was a member of that short-lived supergroup GTR, who had a big hit with "When the Heart Rules the Mind" which reached #14 in 1986. Since then he's collaborated with everyone from Seal to Terence Trent D'Arby to Right Said Fred to Elton John, all the while living as a full-blown drug addict. Thankfully, he's been in recovery for 11 years now and serving as best he can to help others in the same situation. Here is his amazing story!

http://www.philspalding.com/
http://www.liver4life.org.uk/ 
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Episode 47 - Grahame Skinner of Hipsway

March 29, 2016

Hipsway were a Scottish band in the mid-80s that scored one hit in the states off their first album with "The Honeythief" in 1986, one of the finest singles of its era. That was about it for Hipsway, however, and after one more album that was barely released the guys parted ways. What's interesting about lead singer Grahame Skinner is that he's been a part of numerous other bands, both before and after, that were even better and deserved to be discovered, but mostly weren't. Today he manages a cafe in Glasgow, while making killer music as The Skinner Group when opportunity presents itself. 

http://www.grahameskinner.com/

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Episode 46 - Murray Attaway of Guadalcanal Diary

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. 
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Episode 45 - Carlos Alomar

March 15, 2016

Carlos Alomar is a legend, plain and simple. Off and on for over 40 years, he was David Bowie's rhythm guitarist, musical director, collaborator, co-songwriter and friend. In the history of Bowie's music, there are fewer people more responsible for the sound than Carlos. Today he is a director at Stevens Institute of Technology and you can tell from this interview that teaching comes naturally to him. He also continues to collaborate with artists lucky enough to have him. He's lead an amazing, charmed life. 

https://carlosalomar.wordpress.com/
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Episode 44 - Robin Clark of Simple Minds

March 8, 2016

Robin Clark might be best known for her time with Simple Minds during the height of their popularity in the mid-80s. She joined them for the Once Upon a Time album, singing on gigantic hits like "Alive and Kicking", "Sanctify Yourself" and "All the Things She Said" and touring the world for a couple years. What you may not have known is that she's been married to David Bowie's rhythm guitarist Carlos Alomar for 45 years and not only did she sing on some of Bowie's most iconic songs ("Young Americans", "Blue Jean"), but was close friends with David since the early 70s. In this conversation, she was gracious enough to allow me to ask her some questions about David and her experience with him. She sheds a unique light on David the man, versus David Bowie The Rock God. Of course we also get deep into Simple Minds, and her longtime friendships with Luther Vandross and Nile Rodgers. She's an amazing lady and this chat is unlike anything you've ever heard.  

http://robinclarkmusic.com/
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Episode 43 - Joe Frank Carollo of Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds

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. 

https://www.reverbnation.com/joefrankwfa
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Episode 42 - Derrek Van Eaton of Lon & Derrek Van Eaton

February 23, 2016

Lon & Derrek Van Eaton were a singing duo in the early 70s. They partied at Andy Warhol's and open for legends like the Doors, David Bowie and the Moody Blues. In addition to being excellent musicians, what makes them a small part of rock history is the fact they were discovered by the Beatles. George Harrison heard their demo, signed them to Apple records and flew them to England to record their debut album, 1972's Brother. Unfortunately, the album underperformed and Apple went out of business shortly thereafter. Lon and Derrek then relocated to LA where they put out one more album and got work as session musicians. Today, Derrek has settled nicely in the Denver suburbs. His story is pretty fascinating. 

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Episode 41 - Billy Vera

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. 

http://billyverabigband.com/
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Episode 40 - Matt Caisley of Reacharound/Former Human Beings

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. 

http://www.formerhumanbeings.com/
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Episode 39 Bonus - David Frank and I discuss some of his collaborations

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.

http://davidfrankmusic.com/
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Episode 39 - David Frank of The System

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.

http://davidfrankmusic.com/
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Episode 38 - Simon Toulson-Clarke and Derek Adams of Red Box

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. 

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Episode 37 - John Pazdan of Pezband/Off Broadway/Big Guitars From Memphis

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. 
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Bonus - Bowie Thoughts: My feelings on the passing of my constant companion

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.  
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Episode 36 - Tony Ortiz of The Monroes

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! 

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Episode 35 - Dom Mariani of The Stems/The Someloves/DM3/The Majestic Kelp/Datura4/many many more

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. 

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Episode 34 - Martin Brammer of The Kane Gang

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. 

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Episode 33 - Kurt Maloo of Double

December 22, 2015

Kurt Maloo wrote and sang one of the most iconic and unique hit songs of all time with "The Captain of Her Heart" which reached #16 in 1986 in the US. That's one of those songs almost everyone knows, but maybe not everyone knows who sings it. Kurt, along with creative partner Felix Haug, put out two albums as Double before disbanding in the late 80s. Unfortunately, Felix passed away in 2004 ending any potential for a Double reunion. But, "Captain" is still a standard and continues to be played all over the world for subsequent generations, which has provided a very nice life for Kurt and has freed him up to continue to forge a solo career on his own terms. Get to know the man behind the song!

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Episode 32 - Eric Bazilian of The Hooters

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. 

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Episode 31 - Dig Wayne of JoBoxers

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. 

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Episode 30 - Martin Page of Q-Feel/Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame/Solo

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. 

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Episode 29 - Randy Hall of Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame

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.  

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Episode 28 - Joe Esposito of Brooklyn Dreams/Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack Fame/Solo

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. 

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Episode 27 - Robert White Johnson of RPM

November 10, 2015

RPM was another of those under appreciated bands that deserved way more attention. Robert started as a songwriter for Ronnie Milsap before beginning RPM in the early 80s. After two albums, the second of which, Phonogenic, was produced at Trevor Horn's SARM studios in England, they called it quits due to public indifference. He went on to sing jingles that we all know, sell insurance, Produce the great Peter Wolf, and co-write one of Celine Dion's biggest hits, which would change his financial situation forever. He's now a respected producer in Nashville. Quite a career, the guy's done so much, but if one person comes away from this liking RPM's music I've done my job!

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Episode 26 - Mike James Kirkland

November 3, 2015

Mike James Kirkland was an excellent soul singer in the 70s, releasing two albums under his own name after a stint with his group Mike and the Censations. While being equally as good as his contemporaries like Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield, Mike never reached the same level of stardom. Thankfully, he's becoming one of those highly sought after r&b artists that DJs spend hours searching for. In the late 70s, Mike changed his name to Bo Kirkland and paired up with Ruth Davis to release a string of excellent dance and r&b singles. Today he plays sold out shows occasionally and is a beautiful, thoughtful man who professes his spirituality proudly. 

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Episode 25 - Gerard McMahon (aka G Tom Mac)

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.

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Episode 24 - Andres del Castillo of Eight Seconds

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. 

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Episode 23 - Walter Egan

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.

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Episode 22 - Peppy Castro of Blues Magoos/Barnaby Bye/Wiggy Bits/Balance

October 6, 2015

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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!

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Episode 21 - Walter Wray of King Swamp/LiTTLe MaCHiNe

September 29, 2015

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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.

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Episode 20 - Dr. Robert of The Blow Monkeys

September 22, 2015

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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!

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Episode 19 - Bertie Higgins

September 15, 2015

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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!

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Episode 18 - Todd Duncan of The Crazy 8s

September 8, 2015

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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.

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Episode 17 - Johnny Vatos of Oingo Boingo

September 1, 2015

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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.

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Episode 16 - Christopher Thorn of Blind Melon

August 25, 2015

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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.

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