Episode 184 - Steve Barton of Translator/SoloThe Hustle add
Translator were one of those great polyglot bands of the early 80s - a little new wave, a little power pop and a lot of genres like "jangle pop" and "college rock" that hadn't even been invented yet. They released four album in the 80s and are probably best known for one of the best singles of the decade, 1982's "Everywhere That I'm Not." Eventually the band went on hiatus and Steve and his impressive songwriting skills lay dormant for a many years until 1999 when he kicked his solo career into gear. That, and the occasional Translator reunion, has been going strong ever since. Earlier this year he released his most ambitious album yet, the 3-disc (!) Tall Tales And Alibis, which shows a much darker, moodier side of this pop master. In here we talk about him starting out in music at 11 years old, the Bay Area scene Translator flourished in, what he did during those down years, and what motivated this new album. If you aren't already familiar with Steve and Translator's work, hopefully you'll hear some stuff you like!
Recap v.5: September and October and Top 3 Songs that Should've Been #1s with Special Guest Sonny PooniThe Hustle add
Jon and Jan are happy to be joined by the great Sonny "Hollywood" Pooni of the Growin' Up Rock Podcast Rock City podcasts to recap the last couple months of episodes. We also discuss the Rock n Pod Expo, how he got into podcasting, and the possible future of The Hustle. Sonny has suggested a deliciously fun topic to discuss - Top 3 songs that we wish had hit #1 between the years 1983-1989. Songs get played, names get dropped, and tastes are debated. Enjoy!
Episode 183 - Lee Rocker of The Stray Cats/SoloThe Hustle add
Stray Cats bassist Lee Rocker is going to be busy for a while. Not only did his original band announce recently they were reuniting for a 40th anniversary tour in 2019 AND releasing their first album of new material in many years, Lee himself is about to release a new solo CD/DVD in December called The LOW Road! In fact, there is a Pledge Music campaign associated with the release and you can get involved at the link below. In this conversation, Lee discusses what details he can about the reunion, the current dynamic with Brian and Jim, his feelings about the new music as well as the classics even some more obscure stuff, working with Nile Rodgers, and even the illustrious side-project Phantom, Rocker and Slick. Enjoy this chat with a legend!
Episode 182 - Chris Barron of the Spin DoctorsThe Hustle add
In 1992 the Spin Doctors had an era-defining, cultural touchstone of an album on their hands when their debut, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, finally took off after months of release. It went on to sell over 3 million copies on the back of perennial hits like "Two Princes" and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong." Unfortunately, as is often the case, the curse of the Sophomore Slump hit them pretty hard when the follow up, 1994's Turn It Upside Down, failed to take hold. Though momentum stalled, the band has carried on releasing great albums over the next 25 years. On November 8th, the band is celebrating 30 years together with a special show at the Brooklyn Bowl in NYC that is sure to make fans very happy. In this chat, frontman Chris Barron discusses the many highs and lows he's experienced over these 30 years, partially being inspired to make music by school chum John Popper of Blues Traveler, what his life is like now, and his recent solo album, 2017's Angels and One-Armed Jugglers. He's a wonderfully funny and frank guy who's totally down to earth. Enjoy!
Bonus - Joyce Hyser star of Just One of the GuysThe Hustle add
In this fun bonus episode we chat with Joyce Hyser Robinson, star of the classic 1985 movie “Just One of the Guys”. She talks about her experience making the movie, who else was up for the part, her career afterwards, and other things she’s done like being almost completely cut out of “Spinal Tap.” She also explains the important non-profit she’s a part of, the Harold Robinson Foundation. Enjoy!
Episode 181 - Tony Brock of The BabysThe Hustle add
The Babys were one of the great British rock bands of the late 70s. They released five albums between 1976 and 1980 and scored a number of hits like "Every Time I Think of You" and "Isn't it Time" which were a perfect showcase for the vocal chops of frontman John Waite. But, in 1981 the band broke up when Waite went solo and keyboardist Jonathan Cain joined Journey. This week we talk with drummer Tony Brock who also scored a sweet post-Babys gig drumming for Rod Stewart as well as collaborating with Jimmy Barnes. Eventually, Brock and some of the original members put the Babys back together and have been touring successfully for many years. Here Tony and I discuss the legacy of the Babys, his time with Rod and Jimmy, his feelings about not being invited to join Bad English, and what it's like being a Baby again. And, of course, we talk about how he got the part in the classic 80s teen movie "Just One of the Guys." Enjoy!
Episode 180 - Bob Rock of the Payola$The Hustle add
Bob Rock is one of the most successful producers in rock history. Run down some of the benchmarks on his resume and your jaw will drop (Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet, Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation, Motley Crue's Dr. Feelgood, The Cult's Sonic Temple and of course Metallica's black album). But before all that he and musical partner Paul Hyde were young punks in Vancouver, British Columbia fronting the excellent new wave band The Payola$. Perhaps best known for the classic tune "Eyes of a Stranger" from the Valley Girl soundtrack, the band went through a few changes in names and styles chasing that elusive mass audience. Sadly, it never quite happened outside of their native Canada. While this is happening, Bob starts working at what becomes a prominent studio in BC where hits from Loverboy and Honeymoon Suite attract bigger and bigger clientele allowing Bob to define the sound of rock music in the 80s and 90s. Here Bob and I discuss the history of the Payola$, his love of all kinds of music, working with Mick Ronson, and he shares stories from his production career. Enjoy!
Episode 179 - Robin Scott aka MThe Hustle add
In the late 70s, artist Robin Scott adopted the moniker "M" and created one of the most enduring pieces of pop art in history with his 1979 global #1 "Pop Muzik." This piece of profound simplicity wrapped in the guise of fluffy, disposable pop art took the world by storm and showed in neon what the next decade of music would sound like. As Robin continued to push the boundaries of pop music, his sound became more and more challenging and the hits never came again. But, hits are not what Robin was about. He ventured into world music, painting and anything else that tickled his fancy. Last year, he released his first album in years called Emotional DNA and it's a return to the pop music of his M days. This chat is a conversation in its truest form - we discuss the challenges of putting creativity out in the world, competing for people's attention, and staying true to yourself. Get to know the man behind the Muzik.
Episode 178 - Alan ShacklockThe Hustle add
The music career of Alan Shacklock reads like a history of British rock and roll. He started out rocking as a pre-teen hobnobbing with other future luminaries and eventually made it big as the guitarist and creative force for the 70s blues band Babe Ruth. They may be best known for their hit "The Mexican" which has become one of the most sampled songs in hip-hop history. In the last 70s he decided to pursue production and among the people he worked with that we talk about are Dexys Midnight Runners, JoBoxers, The Alarm, Meat Loaf, Roger Daltrey and Dennis DeYoung with tangent stories about everyone from Jeff Beck to Andrew Lloyd Webber! Pound for pound there may be more stories and name-dropping in this conversation than anyone we've featured so far. Just stand back and let him go! Enjoy!
Episode 177 - Keith Scott of Bryan AdamsThe Hustle add
For nearly 40 years, Keith's Scott's partnership with Bryan Adams has produced some of the most memorable guitar rock of all time. Content to remain "the guy behind the guy", Keith deserves more credit for the magic he brought to seminal songs like "Cuts Like a Knife", "Summer of '69", "It's Only Love" and many more. It's truly "RIFF ROCK" at its finest.
In this rare conversation, Keith tells the stories behind some of the biggest hits of the 80's and 90's. What mega Bryan Adams hit did the band Blue Oyster Cult take a pass on? What Keith Scott guitar solo left Mutt Lange speechless? And what is Keith's favorite song he's ever done with Bryan? All that and much much more from one of the most unhearaled and humble rock guitar virtuosos you'll ever come across.
Episode 176 - Pat Vegas of RedboneThe Hustle add
Redbone are another of those excellent 70s hitmakers that are enjoying a career resurgence thanks to their inclusion on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks. The band released many hits that decade like "The Witch Queen of New Orleans,"One More Time," and "Wovoka," but the biggest was "Come and Get Your Love" which reached #5 in 1974 and is currently enjoying a rebirth. Pat Vegas and his brother Lolly were working musicians during that legendary Southern California classic rock period before starting Redbone and becoming the most successful Native American rock band in history. Lolly passed away in 2010, but Pat is keeping the band alive and is a gusher of stories including everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Jim Morrison to Aretha Franklin. Enjoy!
Bonus - Top 5 Covers of 80s Songs on Reliving My YouthThe Hustle add
Jon was recently invited to guest on the super fun podcast Reliving My Youth with host Noel Fogelman. Noel picked the topic of Top 5 Covers of 80s songs, which should spark some great debates. If you're unfamiliar with Reliving My Youth you should give it a shot. Noel talks to pop culture icons from back in the day, including actors, actresses, musicians, you name it. In fact, we've had many cross-over guests. There is a lot of guest envy going on between us! Hope you like this.
Episode 175 - Elliot Lurie of Looking GlassThe Hustle add
Looking Glass made a brief, but lasting impact in 1972 when they scored the #1 smash "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" off their debut album. After only one more album in 1973, the band broke up and Brandy's songwriter Elliot Lurie put out one non-starting solo album in 1975 before his music career basically ended. He went on to a long and successful career as a music supervisor for films and is responsible for the soundtracks to films like 9 1/2 Weeks, The Last of the Mohicans, and Jumping Jack Flash. In more recent years, thanks to the rise of the yacht rock movement, as well as the inclusion of "Brandy" in the uber successful Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, Elliot is enjoying a comfortable life. Enjoy!
Recap v.4: Rock n Pod Expo Retro, Jan's Lovelife, July and August epsThe Hustle add
Jon and Jan come together again to discuss topics like Jon's visit to the Nashville Rock n Pod Expo, Jan's internet lovelife, and the guests featured in July and August. Oh, and Jon's sick again.
Episode 174 - Robbie DupreeThe Hustle add
Robbie Dupree scored big out of the gate with the enduring "Steal Away" which reached #6 in 1980 and the follow up "Hot Rod Hearts" also did well on the pop charts. But, after the relative disappointment of his second album, 1981's Street Corner Heroes, Robbie's plans changed. Thankfully, there was still a hunger for Robbie in the Asian market and a new record deal allowed him to continue to make music. It may not have gotten the wide distribution he was used to, but it would keep him viable and he's continued to make music ever since like 1987's Carried Away and 1993's Walking On Water. These days, the rise of "Yacht Rock" and the tours, radio stations, and fanbase devoted to it have given him a new lease on life. We talk about all of it! Plus, earlier this year his first two albums were FINALLY released on cd by Blixa Sounds! Robbie's an artist where going deep in their catalog is well worth your time.
Bonus - The Songwriting and Collaboration Panel from the Nashville Rock n Pod Expo 2The Hustle add
Another excellent Rock n Pod Expo is in the books and Jon was honored to be asked once again to host a panel on Songwriting and Collaboration. We only had 30 mins this year, but the guests were all excellent. The introductions weren't recorded, but they were Gary Corbett, keyboardist for Kiss, Cinderella, Debbie Gibson and Lou Gramm, Paul Taylor of Winger and Steve Shareaux of Kik Tracee. The Expo was a rousing success, we hope you all can join us next year!
Episode 173 - John AizlewoodThe Hustle add
John Aizlewood is a British music writer and broadcaster, contributing over 30 years of thoughtful interviews to UK publications like The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Evening Standard and (my beloved) Q Magazine. But, I became aware of him as one of the talking heads on the AXS TV program "Rock Legends" where he can be found alongside other British music experts telling the stories of the legends of rock. If you've seen the show, you know John has a very distinct and unique way of expressing his perspective that's highly entertaining (plus, his accent is the best). Here we talk about how Rock Legends is put together and how to conduct a successful interview, as well as some of his best stories from his time in music. He also picks some of his favorite songs to discuss and we debate a few things. Enjoy!
Episode 172 - Linda CliffordThe Hustle add
Linda Clifford was one of the most successful disco divas of the late 70s. While being signed to Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label she racked up a bunch of hits on the R&B and Dance charts including a handful of #1s like "Runaway Love" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now". She worked hard during the disco era releasing six stellar albums in three years, but by the mid-80s when tastes had changed Linda decided to step away to raise her family. Time has been good to Linda however and not only is she currently touring as one of the First Ladies of Disco with other legends like Martha Wash and Evelyn "Champagne" King, but Blixa Sounds is rereleasing four of her classic albums from this era on cd on 8/24. Here we talk about her time as an actress, what it was like working with luminaries like Mayfield and Isaac Hayes, the controversy surrounding her being crowned Miss New York in 1966 and how her life changed when her hit "Red Light" was featured on the soundtrack to the smash hit Fame. Linda is a wonderful woman and deserves this late-career surge!
Episode 171 - Paul Kimble of Grant Lee BuffaloThe Hustle add
Grant Lee Buffalo were one of the very special bands to come out of the 90s alternative rock scene. They combined their own blend of moody folk-rock with unconventional stories of the American West. Paul Kimble was the bassist, but also, more importantly, served as the producer of the band's first three albums (Fuzzy, Mighty Joe Moon, and Copperopolis). Unfortunately, before production began on their fourth album, Paul was sacked and the band released their fourth and final album without him. Soon after, frontman Grant Lee Phillips went solo and has enjoyed success ever since. Paul is very candid about some of the struggles he's had over the years, but also lays claims to his successes like producing other artists and working on his soon to be released solo album. I love the guests that don't hold back and tell it like it is and Paul does that. Enjoy!
Episode 170 - Cherry VanillaThe Hustle add
Cherry Vanilla has done and seen just about everything. She's a recording artist, actress, author, publicist and groupie. Just a few of her career highlights include being a part of Warhol's Factory scene and acting in his play "Pork," being a publicist for David Bowie in the early 70s, putting out two excellent glam rock albums - Bad Girl in 1978 and Venus D'Vinyl in 1979 - and touring Europe with a pre-fame Police backing her up (including Sting and Stewart Copeland), and enjoying the free love culture of classic rock n' roll with the likes of Bowie AND his wife Angela. She's written a book about her many exploits called "Lick Me: How I Became Cherry Vanilla" that is free on Kindle and Audible. I tried to have an insightful discussion on sexual politics and morality and I'm not sure I quite got there, but it was certainly entertaining either way. Enjoy!