A music magazine celebrating the music we grew up with and the people who made it. Interviews that dive into the hits of the 60's 70’s and 80’s, tracking down your (and my) favourite artists who provided the soundtrack to our lives. Together we relive that magical musical era and check in with some of the biggest names of the day. It's all about THEIR LIVES, THEIR STORIES and THEIR MUSIC. Join me for a series of warm, friendly, personal and enriching conversations. Revisit the music and remember where you were when. This really IS A Breath of Fresh Air.
DIRE STRAITS' founding member and bass player, JOHN ILLSLEY tells the story of one of the biggest bands on the planet. From humble beginnings to ultimate burn out, John lays it all on the line.
DIRE STRAITS filled giant stadiums around the world and sold hundreds of millions of records. Throughout the eighties they were one of the biggest bands on the planet. Their classic songs - 'Sultans of Swing', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Money for Nothing', 'Brothers In Arms' - formed the soundtrack of a generation and live on today: still racking up sales, still being played on the radio on every continent.
This week we devote the entire episode of A Breath of Fresh Air to Dire Straits’ founding member and bassist, JOHN ILLSLEY who shares the story of one of the greatest live acts in rock history. Starting with his own unlikely beginnings in Middle England, he recounts the band's rise from humble origins in London's spit-and-sawdust pubs to the best-known venues in the world, the working man's clubs to Madison Square Garden, gigging with wild punk bands to the Live Aid stage at Wembley. From loading in their own equipment down beer chutes of London clubs to playing for seven million people on their final 1992 tour, he paints the expanding insanity of their global conquest, in a tale thick with unlikely characters, wild highs and inescapable downs. More than that, he describes the relationship that came through it all, which he values above any platinum disc.
Until, ultimately, the shattering demands of touring on a global scale and living life in the spotlight took their inevitable toll.
During our interview, John recounts stories about meeting and working with his great friend Mark Knopfler. He walks us through some of the band’s best known tracks, telling us how they came to be and discusses his latest solo album, simply called 8. He also details his newly released autobiography ‘My Life in Dire Straits’.
It’s a fascinating chat. One that will keep you glued to hear more.
Is there someone you'd like to hear featured on A Breath of Fresh Air? If so, please get in touch with me through the website, www.abreathoffreshair.com.au and let me know who you'd like me to find for you. It would be my pleasure to bring your favourite artist onto the show.
And, if you like what you hear, could you possibly subscribe to the podcast and/or leave me a review/rating?
It would really mean a lot to me.
I hope you enjoy this week's episode. Please let me know if you do.
Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera on tour and latest album with Tim Finn, Mr "Gitarzan" Ray Stevens talks 60 years of comedy records and One-Hit-Wonders, The Outsiders on what went wrong
He’s a guitarist who’s played with Roxy Music since 1972; he’s produced albums and tracks for David Gilmour, Pink Floyd and Rod Stewart as well as for New Zealand’s Split Enz. Today PHIL MANZANERA has a new solo album with Crowded House's Tim Finn and he joins me this week to talk about how he and his friend collaborated on it. Phil also chats about his time in Roxy Music; how he joined the band, what it was like and how excited he is to be heading out on tour again with the guys for Roxy Music's 50th anniversary tour.
The year was 1965 and in Cleveland Ohio, a teenage band called Tom King and The Starfires pooled their meagre resources to record an original song. The tune was called "Time Won't Let Me" and to their greatest surprise, the song began to receive radio airplay. The band became an overnight hit-sensation and with a name change, the youngsters became known as THE OUTSIDERS. For a while they were on top of the world as a One-Hit-Wonder but as we hear from RICKY B this week, success didn't last too long.
He’s a twelve-time nominated and two-time GRAMMY Award winner. He’s sold more than 40 million albums, has been making music for more than 60 years and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2019. It's my absolute pleasure this week to introduce you to Mr. 'Gitarzan' RAY STEVENS whose music I certainly grew up with –and I know you probably did too. What a treat conducting an interview with Ray. Don’t miss hearing how all of those famous comedy songs came about and what Ray is up to today.
Would you like to hear from someone special? I'd love to bring a guest onto the show just for you. If there's a musician from the 60's, 70's or 80's that you'd like to catch up with, simply send me a message through the website, www.abreathoffreshair.com.au and I'll chase them up on your behalf. Maybe you'd like to say hi too? All can be arranged.
Send me a message, subscribe to the podcast and if you feel inclined, leave me a review too? It would really mean a lot to me.
Happy listening, love Sandy
Gordon Lightfoot opens up, Elvis Costello on life and latest music and Peter Frampton talks career high and lowlights
This week: It's our 100th episode of A Breath of Fresh Air so we're celebrating by bringing you the most requested artists of all time. We hear from the stars and reminisce through their classic hits. You voted for these guys so here they are.
We start with the inimitable GORDON LIGHTFOOT who at 83 years of age is still going strong and currently out on tour. Gordon walks us through many of the highlights of his mammoth career but also shares some of his deepest regrets. Don't miss an extraordinary chat with the 60+ year legend of country and folk music. I know many of Gordon's fans have never heard him speak like this before.
Declan Patrick McManus is better known as ELVIS COSTELLO – the English singer songwriter and record producer who’s won multiple awards, including Grammys. He’s married to singer Diana Krall and is dad to three sons. With his sixth album out now since 2020, Elvis shares some of the stories of his career, explains the thought process he uses to make music and why his most recent songs can only be described as urgent and immediate. A fascinating chat coupled with some exhilarating tunes.
Our third superstar this week is the one and only PETER FRAMPTON whose breakthrough success came with the amazing double concert album Frampton Comes Alive, released in January 1976. It was so phenomenally successful, and his resultant fame so widespread, that it is hard to remember a time when he wasn’t a household name. Peter has had so many ups and downs during the course of his career but I'd bet no-one would have thought his good looks would've been one of his hindrances. A car accident nearly killed him, he lost his love of his life and more recently has been diagnosed with a muscular degenerative disease that is set to prevent him from playing guitar. Our chat was nothing short of heartwarming and my affection for this man (already at a high level) grew beyond expectation. I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know him too.
Join me won’t you? And if you’d like to hear from someone from this era - just send me a message through the website www.abreathoffreshair.com.au I would LOVE to hear from you!
Mott the Hoople's Verden Allen new album, let's do bubblegum with 1910 FruitGum Company's Frank Jeckell and meet Aussie icon, John Williamson
Welshman, VERDEN ALLEN founded the British hard rock band, MOTT THE HOOPLE in the early 70's. The band was a mix of glam, metal and attitude that was bolstered by Ian Hunter's clever and thoughtful songwriting. Mott The Hoople had a tough, muscular sound but their lack of mainstream success meant its members inevitably splintered apart. Most famous for a song given to them by David Bowie, this week Verden recounts those early days and previews his latest solo album.
The 1910 FRUIT GUM COMPANY has been credited with launching the craze known as bubblegum music and they certainly found an enthusiastic audience with fans looking for something sweeter than the edgy rock music of the late 60’s. History has it that the group consisted of session musicians but 1910’s band leader, FRANK JECKELL says they were railroaded into playing bubblegum music and this is totally untrue. I caught up with Frank in New Jersey this week to discover that 1910 is still alive, well and playing to crowds today.
He’s one of Australia’s most iconic singer songwriters who’s helped give the country a voice and made millions of Aussies proud to be just that.
JOHN WILLIAMSON boasts fans of all ages but I learned this week that his biggest support base is actually young Aussie males. Guys like Ned who asked me to bring John onto the show. Even if you dislike the rather quirky music, meeting John will give you a sense of his passion and an understanding of the influence he still exerts today.
Join me? And don't forget it you'd like to 'request a guest' simply send me a message through the website www.abreathoffreshair.com.au I'll track down and find anyone you'd like to hear from - as long as they were making music in the 60's, 70's or 80's!
The Equals' Pat Lloyd on then and now, 'Mr Spiders and Snakes' Jim Stafford tell us about talk songs and Kiwi 80's superstar Sharon O'Neill meets one of her fans
Remember the UK band, the EQUALS? If you were around in the late 60's early 70's there's no way you escaped hearing their smash hit 'Baby Come Back' all over the radio. Well, this week, founding member Patrick Lloyd joins me to tell us what it was like being one of the world's first multi-racial groups, how difficult it was for EDDY GRANT to recover from injuries sustained in a car accident and what the band is up to today. Yes, they're still around! They even have a new single out.
In our One-Hit-Wonder segment, I'm excited to introduce you to, Mr Spiders and Snakes, JIM STAFFORD - best known for his humorous country novelty songs of the mid-'70s. The multi-instrumentalist also enjoyed a lengthy career as a television personality and live entertainer and gives us the lowdown on his career high and lowlights as well as his marriage to singer songwriter, BOBBIE GENTRY.
Kiwi superstar singer/songwriter, SHARON O'NEILL built up a huge following in Australia and NZ during the 80’s and was a firm favourite with the boys. In fact, you could say she was something of a heart throb. Just ask one of our listeners who asked to me to find Sharon for him. I happily gave Steve the opportunity to say hi to his long time crush and he told us that he still gets into trouble with his wife for remembering Sharon’s birthday and not hers. You too can meet Sharon this week. She has some terrific stories to tell!
Join me? And if you’d like to request a guest simply send me a message through the website www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
ABOFA - Air Supply, Richie Furay and UK singer/songwriter Barry Blue
If you, like me, have been into music for some time, the name RICHIE FURAY should be very familiar to you. He was a founding member of Buffalo Springfield with Neil Young and Stephen Stills and then formed Poco with Jim Messina. Today, Richie Furay runs solo and has just released a terrific new album of his favourite tunes, called 'In the Country'. He joins me this week to chat about the album and the highs and lows in his life to date.
BARRY BLUE started out as a singer in the UK but quickly turned his talents to writing. He found success with several big name acts like Diana Ross, Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion and even scored hits in the 80's when he got into the disco craze. Meeting Barry this week was a real treat and I learnt so much about him. Who knew his real name had been Barry Green? Find out why he changed it by tuning in.
A regular feature of our show is the requests we get from you and this week's no exception. I was asked to check in with with Australia’s soft-rock duo, AIR SUPPLY to see what the guys are up to these days. So, I hunted around and found GRAHAM RUSSELL in the mid-west of the USA where he spends a great deal of time when he's not playing - gardening! We talked about the hits and touring and his enduring passion for both music and the land. Amazing what you find out really. Definitely worth a listen.
Don't forget, if you'd like to hear from one of your favourite artists from the 60s, 70s or 80s - just ask me to find them for you. Send me a message firstname.lastname@example.org
Great interviews - how does she find these people
My favourite podcast!
I love listening to A Breath of Fresh Air while I’m driving to work. Great music and fantastic host. 5 stars