Episode 206 - Royston Langdon of SpacehogThe Hustle add
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!
Bonus - Top 10 Honorable Mention 80s Movie Soundtrack Songs with Reliving My YouthThe Hustle add
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!
Episode 205 - Ronnie DeVoe of New Edition/Bell Biv DeVoeThe Hustle add
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!
Episode 204 - Mark Campbell of Jack Mack & the Heart Attack/Beloved 80s Movie Soundtrack FameThe Hustle add
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!
Recap 2019 v.1: Big Announcement and the Year So FarThe Hustle add
We've got some big news to share! Plus, Jon and Jan recap the episodes of 2019 so far including MJ controversies, more rock star deaths, why 90s artists under-perform, and what's the deal with so many bassists lately. We also answer a few listener questions.
Links to our listener-recorded song.
Episode 203 - Tony De Meur (aka Ronnie Golden) of the Fabulous PoodlesThe Hustle add
The Fabulous Poodles were a band that merged humor with rock n' roll at a time when all bets were off. Part pub rock, part new wave, part power pop and part comedy act, the Fab Poos may not have earned major hits, but they had a blast trying during their short existence. They recorded three albums during the late 70s (their '77 debut was produced by the Who's John Entwistle), toured the states with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Ramones, and backed up Chuck Berry. But, when it ended frontman Tony De Meur adopted the stage name Ronnie Golden and turned his attention to comedy writing and performing. He and writing partner Barry Cryer forged a successful career for many years, he appeared in a famous episode of the Young Ones, and he continued to make music as the urge hit. Here, Tony shares all his best stories with us!
Deep Dive - Stu Cook on Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)The Hustle add
In 1969 alone, Creedence Clearwater Revival released three of the greatest rock albums in history. The third, and arguably the best, was Willy and the Poor Boys. Landmark hits like "Down on the Corner" and " Fortunate Son" have cemented its place on pretty much every list of the best albums ever, deservedly so. This month we bring back one of our favorite guests ever, CCR bassist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stu Cook (ep100) to discuss the making of the album, his favorite moments, and the dynamic in the band at the time with songwriter John Fogerty. And don't forget to catch Creedence Clearwater Revisited on tour this summer
Episode 202 - Brent Bourgeois of Bourgeois Tagg/SoloThe Hustle add
You can certainly be forgiven if all you know about today’s guest is that he was the "Bourgeois" in Bourgeois Tagg and they had that great song “I Don’t Mind At All”. Surprisingly, Brent Bourgeois is fine with that too. In fact, he gets much more excited these days talking about his work behind the mixing board than those days spent in front of it.
His career has taken more turns than Lombard Street and in doing so, has intersected with an odd variety of fame. How odd? Well, allow me to name-drop: Julian Lennon, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael W Smith, Christine McVie, Johnny Carson and Todd Rundgren. We spend a good bit of time on the latter as Brent offers up his reverence while also reinforcing Todd’s rather indifferent studio reputation. It’s a laugh out loud moment for sure!
In fact, we laugh a lot on this episode and also get serious for just a few minutes with his faith. Brent’s soul searching journey is different than you might expect and I for one find his perspective fascinating.
And last but not least is the music. I hope you enjoy rediscovering those mid 80’s collaborations with Larry Tagg as well as his sadly overlooked solo work of the 90’s.
Bonus - Brad Sundberg, Technical Director for Michael JacksonThe Hustle add
Michael Jackson is once again a very hot topic. In the recent documentary "Leaving Neverland" Wade Robson and James Safechuck make very serious claims that Michael sexually abused them for many years when they were young. If you've seen the movie, you no doubt have very strong feelings about it. Brad Sundberg worked alongside Michael for 18 years, including technical direction and being part of the engineering team on the Bad, Dangerous, HIStory and Blood on the Dance Floor albums, and these accusations don't jive with the MJ he knew and worked closely with. In this candid conversation Brad lets us know from his perspective what MJ was like, both to work with and as a person. We discuss some of the claims and work through some of our own feelings. Brad gives seminars around the world educating people on what it was like being "in the studio with MJ." We hope you listen to this with an open mind. Let us know what you think.
Episode 201 - Michael BeinhornThe Hustle add
Producer Michael Beinhorn has worked the boards for some of the biggest albums of the last 30 years. Just look at this list - the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Mother's Milk, Soul Asylum's Grave Dancer's Union, Soundgarden's Superunknown (which just turned 25 last week), Marilyn Manson's Mechanical Animals, and Hole's Celebrity Skin. And there are many others where that came from (the Violent Femmes, Ozzy Osbourne, Social Distortion, and the Verve Pipe are some of the others we talk about). But, did you know his first major work was writing and producing the game-changing "Rockit" by Herbie Hancock?! Can you believe the same guy did all of this? These days he's entered a new phase of his career which focuses on the pre and post production process and one of the first fruits of this is Weezer's brand new Black Album. Hear Michael tell stories about all these artists, like when he had to fire Anthony Kiedis and what the late-great Chris Cornell was like to work with, as well as many others. Enjoy!
Bonus - Lawrence Gowan of Styx/SoloThe Hustle add
Have you heard the news? Rock legends Styx are about to embark on a mini-tour with comedian Larry the Cable Guy as the opener (begins March 21st in Fargo, ND). What a unique pairing! It's being billed as the "Laugh. Rock. Seriously." tour and is expected to bring smiles to all in attendance at a time when we all need them. Lead singer Lawrence Gowan and I discuss how this happened as well as the band's most recent album, 2017's The Mission, which is the best Styx album released since their imperial 70s period. We also touch on Gowan's solo career and how he's been a big deal in Canada long before he joined Styx. We packed as much as we could in the short time we had!
Episode 200 - Marco Pirroni of Adam and the AntsThe Hustle add
This week we celebrate our 200th episode with the immortal Marco Pirroni! His partnership with Adam Ant created some of the most unique, catchy and enduring hits of the 80s. Smashes like "Stand and Deliver," "Prince Charming," "Goody Two Shoes," and "Strip" have never been equaled and sound as fresh today as the day they were recorded. These days Marco and Adam aren't on speaking terms, but Marco's kind-hearted, jovial nature makes him a fun conversationalist and he shares stories of their time together. We discuss the creation of some of the hits, his early days with Siouxie and the Banshees, his time working with Sinead O'Connor and everything in between including Bowie, Prince and many others. Sit back, relax and enjoy this sprawling ramble!
Promo Mode - Mr. Zero Discusses The Kings' Excellent New SingleThe Hustle add
Canadian power pop legends The Kings have just released an excellent new single called "Circle of Friends/Man That I Am" that calls upon perhaps their greatest musical legacy, "This Beat Goes On/Switching to Glide." With help from old compadre, the legendary Bob Ezrin, the band polished off a nugget they've had in the vaults for many years and proven they haven't lost a step. Guitarist Mr. Zero discusses the potential for a new Kings album, the challenges of releasing new music in this day and age, and we try to figure the technical term for songs with / in them. These guys are the best and the track is amazing. It's well worth the 99 cents! No excuses!
Episode 199 - Phil ThornalleyThe Hustle add
Phil's journey through the music industry has been one for the ages. At just 21 years old, Phil was brought in to produce The Cure's Pornography album in 1982. That even lead to an 18 month stint as their touring bassist. What it also lead to was a partnership with the late-great producer Alex Sadkin, which had him producing some major albums of the era like Duran Duran's Seven and the Ragged Tiger and the Thompson Twins' Into the Gap (which got him a Grammy nom). We also discuss his work with favorites like Andrew Gold, Robbie Nevil, Prefab Sprout, Bryan Adams (who he also toured with), Johnny Hates Jazz (who he also joined) and even Ricky Gervais! But, what he might be best known for his co-writing the song "Torn" which went on to be one of the biggest singles of the 90s for Natalie Imbruglia. His love of music began when he fell in love with Todd Rundgren and he recently paid tribute to his hero with the release of his second solo album under the name Astral Drive, which is one of the best bursts of sunshine you'll ever hear and borrows heavily from Todd's DIY spirit. Astral Drive is one of the best albums of 2018, you don't want to miss it! Enjoy!
Deep Dive - Dr. Robert on the Blow Monkeys - Animal Magic (1986)The Hustle add
In 1986 this sophisticated pop group with the weird name scored a huge worldwide hit with "Digging Your Scene." Listening to just that song, you probably thought you knew what this band was all about - slick production, loungy horns, and a fey lead singer. But, when you listened to Animal Magic as a whole you heard blues and country guitar licks covered in bongos, saxophones a plenty, and beautiful ladies singing backup. Over the years, Animal Magic has become one of my favorite albums of all time and it deserves some appreciation. This is not a sophisti-pop record. This is a pop/rock record with horns. Front man Dr. Robert (episode 20) returns to Deep Dive the Blow Monkey's second album, express his feelings about it now, and give the stories behind the songs. Hopefully, you get turned on the same way I am every time I hear it!
Episode 198 - Paul Webb of Talk Talk/Rustin ManThe Hustle add
In my opinion, no group in the history of pop music went on as drastic a journey as the band Talk Talk. Beginning in the early 80s as an excellent and capable synth-pop group in a similar mold as Human League and Duran Duran, Mark Hollis, Lee Harris and Paul Webb's style changed over the course of five albums into something that stymied critics resolved to calling "post-rock." In the beginning of the 90s, the band called it quits with lead singer Hollis retiring into complete anonymity. In 2002 bassist Paul Webb collaborated with Portishead singer Beth Gibbons for an album under the name Rustin Man called Out of Season and just a couple weeks ago, Rustin Man came through with the follow up (17 years later), Drift Code. In this rare conversation, Paul discusses the making of Drift Code, what the Rustin Man project is, and we get some insights on the music of Talk Talk. Enjoy!
Promo Mode - Bruce Blackman Discusses His New MemoirThe Hustle add
It seemed fitting to kick off a new series on The Hustle with the man that kicked off the podcast back in May of 2015. Starbuck mastermind Bruce Blackman was our very first guest and still one of the best. His knack for telling stories infused with southern charm is unparalleled. It's what made Starbuck's music so good and what makes his new memoir The Road to Moonlight Feels Right so entertaining. Bruce has a Faulkner-esque knack for bringing color to his childhood in Mississippi and the many characters that decorate that time. You also get to understand his approach to show business and how he wasn't willing to sell his soul to become a typical rock star. It's a blast of a book and worth a read whether you're a fan of his music or not. But, c'mon, who doesn't love "Moonlight Feels Right"!
Episode 197 - Duncan SheikThe Hustle add
If there was ever a time to bring back the chill 90’s, it’s now. You saw it in the loose fitting clothes, and you definitely heard it in the music. It was just a laid back time. A calm before the storm, if you will. Duncan Sheik’s blockbuster hit personified that era. With well over a million radio plays, it followed you everywhere; inside your Toyota Camry, on VH1, aisle 7 at Costco and the changing room at Structure.
Perhaps today, as you sang along to it on Nineties On 9, you felt a tinge of sadness for this ultimate one-hit-wonder. Save your barely breathing breath! He’s doing just fine. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find Mr. Sheik where the neon lights are bright than on some legacy tour with Deep Blue Something and Dishwalla. Duncan’s composing for Spring Awakening earned him two Tony Awards and he’s still one of the hottest names on Broadway.
I catch Duncan on a reflective day. We pour over his entire career and I share a handful of my favorite songs that should have received more acclaim. Quite a few are of past relationships and Duncan is as open, honest, funny and self-deprecating as any guest I’ve ever had. And did I mention we’re buddies now? ????
Episode 196 - Steve Firth of EmbraceThe Hustle add
British rock band Embrace may have come out in the wake of Oasis and Blur during the second British Invasion of the late 90s, but they had a sound that separated them greatly from the pack. Rarely has a Brit-pop group concocted grandiose rockers and epic ballads with more heart, inspiration and beauty.
allmusic.com called them the "Orson Welles of rock" which is about right. While they've had a few #1 albums in the UK, their road to success in the States has been rocked with some of the worst luck imaginable.
Bassist Steve Firth and I discuss the ups and downs, the downside of meeting your heroes, and what motivates their amazing sound. We also celebrate the 21st anniversary of their debut album, The Good Will Out (there's a UK tour happening in March) and their latest release, 2017'sLove Is a Basic Need. I often say a band's music can make your life better - never has it been more true than it is with Embrace. They're probably my favorite band of the last 20 years.
Episode 195 - Don DixonThe Hustle add
Despite being a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter in his own right, Don Dixon's legacy as an important figure in American rock was cemented when he co-produced the first two albums by R.E.M. (Murmer and Reckoning) with Mitch Easter. Helping to bring their sound to the world changed everything. He would go on to produce other excellent artists like Guadalcanal Diary, the Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw and Matthew Sweet, while also forging his own solo path with excellent tunes like "Praying Mantis" and "A Million Angels Sigh." He's still at it today continuously releasing new albums, producing up and coming artists, and collaborating with his wife, the acclaimed singer/songwriter Marti Jones. In this chat we discuss his long and excellent solo career as well as the stories behind the greats he produced. Enjoy!