Jimmer was the frontman of the seminal 80s college rock band The Rave-Ups who were forever immortalized when they appeared the movie Pretty in Pink. After three critically-acclaimed albums the band broke up and Jimmer basically disappeared for the next 25 years. Unfortunately, he had a rough go during that time, some of which we talk about here. Thankfully, he's finally back making music, including his excellent solo album The Would-Be Plans.
Here's another "first day of MTV" band. After over 40 years as a group, we felt Shoes deserved an in depth career retrospective. Jeff Murphy tells the stories behind each album, how him being a gearhead from a young age influenced the band's sound, and war stories with the likes of Gene Simmons and Butch Vig. There've been highs and lows, but Jeff's come out the other end as a balanced, kind gentleman.
In honor of MTV's 34th birthday, we talk to a guy that was there on day one. Slim Man was the driving force behind a hard rock group in the early 80s called Bootcamp who appeared a couple times on MTV's first day on the air. But, for the last 20 years he's taken on the Slim Man moniker and made a living as a smooth jazz lounge singer. It's a mind-boggling transformation, but he's good at it.
Not everyone would be able to go from frontman to sideman. To go from lead singer of your own modern rock band to sidekick for oldies acts may take some pride swallowing, but Rich Spina has had nothing but success (and a steady paycheck) since making the switch. Here's the story of a man who achieved success through a much different route than he expected.
I first heard Chaz Jankel on the soundtrack to Real Genius, but it turns out the guy has had a storied career in the UK going back 40 years. From his rise to prominence in Ian Dury and the Blockheads, to the amazing dance music he's produced as a solo artist, Chaz deserves to be up there in the ranks of Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. Oh, and none other than Quincy Jones had one of his biggest hits with a cover of a Chaz song. We're talking royalty here.
Jim Walker recorded a beloved (but obscure) song for a beloved (but obscure) cult 80s teen movie soundtrack. This lead him to playing the Hollywood game for a few months, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tom Petty, Courtney Cox, and many others. Movie stardom may not have lasted, but a career in production doing what he loves did. This is his crazy story.
This week we hit Canada to talk to two awesome rock bands from the Great White North. First up is the early 80s rock band Toronto. They were a pretty big deal north of the border, but never got the credit they deserved (in more ways than one, as you'll hear) in the States. Then we talk to the legendary Robb Reiner of Anvil to find out what his life has been like since the success of their 2008 documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil.
Baxter was the lead singer of the British new wave band, Re-flex, who had one hit in the states when "The Politics of Dancing" reached #23 in 1983. They continued to make music, but label politics made it difficult for the work to get released. We talk about that, what he's been doing since, his experience with early Re-flex band member Mark King (now of Level 42), and we clear up those rumors that "Politics" was rejected for the Footloose soundtrack (or do we?)
Clive is the man behind one of the most enduring hits of the 80s, 1988's "The Promise", which was reborn when it was featured in Napoleon Dynamite in 2003. Unfortunately, his band, When In Rome, quickly broke up and there's a lot of bad blood that's still very toxic to this day. Clive is working hard to take his destiny into his own hands and keep his name alive. It isn't easy.
Brian Canham fronts the Australian band Pseudo Echo, who hit it big in 1986 when their cover of "Funkytown" reached #6 in the states. We talk about why the band dissolved a couple years later, how they ended up on the North Shore soundtrack, why he was memorably wearing a New York Yankees t-shirt in the "Funkytown" video, and what Pseudo Echo is up to now.
Do you know anyone that's sung on some of the biggest hits in rock history, been friends with Bruce Springsteen and Steven Tyler, and performed with Pavarotti and Paul McCartney? I do. Her name is Marge Raymond and this is her story. She's the "most famous rock star you've never heard of."
AndyO was the lead singer of the 80s British band Blue Zoo whose biggest hit was "Cry Boy Cry", reaching #13 in the UK charts in 1983. In our conversation, Andy discusses his conflicted feelings about his musical legacy, how he tried to continue in music when Blue Zoo ended, and what he does now, which is about as far away from rock and roll as you can get.
The self-proclaimed "King of Power Pop" tells the brutally honest story of his career ups and downs - from his early days with The Nerves to his promising solo career, to hitting rock bottom in the 90s only to finally be taken seriously again in recent years.
Mister Zero is the guitarist and primary songwriter of the Canadian power pop band The Kings who reached #43 in 1980 with "This Beat Goes On/Switching To Glide". We talk about working with Bob Ezrin on their debut album, his time in movies after music ended, and how a recent health scare may jeopardize the future of the band.
Bruce Blackman was the lead singer of the 70s band Starbuck, who had a #3 hit in 1976 with "Moonlight Feels Right". When the band broke up in 1980 Bruce turned his attention to other things until 2014 when he released his first solo album. We find out what he did in his time off, what motivated the comeback and how he got his famous style (check youtube to find out what I mean).
An explanation of the mission and inspiration behind the Hustle podcast.