352 episodes

Celebrity Maps to Success... people living their dream... the paths they took to get there

Game Changers With Vicki Abelson Vicki Abelson

    • Comedy
    • 4.9 • 15 Ratings

Celebrity Maps to Success... people living their dream... the paths they took to get there

    Federico Castelluccio Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Federico Castelluccio Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Federico Castelluccio of The Sopranos Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson

    I knew Federico Castelluccio, Furio Giunta, on the Sopranos, is a crazy talented artist on screen and canvas, is charming, easy on the eyes and ears, but damn! I was unprepared for one of the most fascinating, spectacular conversations I’ve had to date. I know little to nothing of the art world beyond what I like. Federico made it all sound so straightforward and accessible. He demystified his process of collecting, making so much sense, and almost making it sound… simple! Alas, I’m well aware it’s so not. Federico’s decades of study, his photographic memory, and his passion paved the way for finds, well, one so extraordinary… sweet dreams are made of these.

    What joy to ask if it would be possible to view a piece of his work only to discover that the photograph behind him was not a photograph at ‘tol, but rather a charcoal Federico had done. The beauty of the library behind him, from the rich orange wall, gold frames, and perfectly weathered green bookcase, to when Federico swung the camera ‘round so we could glimpse the fine art that surrounds him, and his studio in the distance filled with eye candy worthy of a Florentine museum.

    And that was before we even touched on The Sopranos. Federico jumped into that, from his audition, taking a bold risk, despite the odds, the waiting, his callback, reaping the payoff, and most unusual words from David Chase, more waiting, to discovering he’d gotten the three-episode part, which swiftly grew to three seasons. He talked James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Pastore, Joey Pants, Aida Turturro, Larraine Bracco, Eddie Falco, the whole musbucha! There were fabulous stories of all, including beloved Burt Young.

    We talked about Federico’s segue to directing, from award-winning shorts, where he also starred and produced, to his feature film debut, The Brooklyn Banker, which starred David Proval another Soprano pal, and Paul Sorvino.

    Every single word was infused with enthusiasm, passion, and delight. It’s hours later and I still haven’t stopped smiling. This is edutainment of the highest order. Federico Castelluccio, a true Renaissance Man, has a new #1 Fan.

    Federico Castelluccio Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson
    Wednesday, February 28, 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
    Streamed Live on my Facebook
    Replay here:
    https://bit.ly/3Ifp2GW

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Ricky Byrd Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Ricky Byrd Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Rock ’N Roll Hall of Famer Ricky Byrd Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson

    Hanging out with Rock’N Roll Hall of Famer, Ricky Byrd, is like going home. Back to the days… when we were both in a daze. I was booking the Rock 'N Roll Café on Bleecker Street, Ricky was already a rockstar, center stage as lead guitarist with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, playing those iconic riffs in the fab MTV Music Video Days... when there were ashtrays on restaurant tables, and MTV played music videos. Just found a great pic of Ricky and Elliot Easton sitting in on our tiny stage in ’87ish. All those years ago, and yet how fun to have seen Elliot play live last week with The Immediate Family and Zoom tonight with Ricky. One big difference, both Ricky and I are sober. 36 years for him, and the last many, being of service and giving back with his time, and his music. His current passion, partnering with AllSober.com to aid those struggling with addiction to gain inspiration from their sober heroes. He treated us to his Ain’t Gonna Live Like That No More to punctuate the point. Ricky received the Drug-Free Heroes Award, presented by the Foundation For a Drug-Free World, The Faces and Voices 2019 Voice of Recovery Award, and the 2019 Italian American of Distinction Award, presented by Governor Cuomo, for his work in recovery. This Rockboy walks his talk.

    Old friends, it was an easy breezy walk down memory lane, littered with one-liners, and rim shots. Ricky may be a rocker but he’s a Borscht Belt comic at heart. Fabulous stories about touring with Graham Parker, Roger Daltry, and Ian Hunter, the thrill of playing THAT riff from All the Young Dudes, having Simon Kirke of Bad Company behind him hitting those beats, backing Brian Wilson, sitting next to MeatLoaf watching his hero Jeff Beck, both of them weeping. We talked quite a bit about Beck, and Townshend, Eddie Van Halen, John Mayer, Albert King, the old days of the Filmore East, The Academy of Music, the Humble Pie, J Geils Band, and Black Oak Arkansas show we both were at when we were babies. Speaking of the Babys, we talked John Waite, Ricky’s old, my new friend, and his hysterical speech whilst being inducted into the Rock ’N Roll Hall of Fame with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. Why she didn’t much react behind him, and looking past the front row where Paul and Ringo, his raison d’etre for becoming a musician sat with Funk 49s, Joe Walsh. And then, sharing the stage with them - and his great interactions with both Paul and Ringo. Ricky’s fan love for his heroes is so relatable and fun to witness.

    Ricky’s Rhapsody in Blues - An Instrumental Tribute to Jeff Beck is spectacular as are his other WIcked Cool released singles, Louanne, Alien, and Glamdenic Blues, and they’re available here: https://www.rickybyrd.com We got the story behind each and why he requests we download rather than stream. I did as soon as we got off the interweb.

    I adore my old friend. I so enjoyed every second and every word of this conversation. It was such a treat to spend time again in his great company.

    Ricky Byrd Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson
    Wednesday, February 21, 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
    Streamed Live on my Facebook
    Replay here:
    https://bit.ly/3uwdsUQ

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Simon Kirke Of Bad Company is Great Company - Live On Game Changers With Vicki

    Simon Kirke Of Bad Company is Great Company - Live On Game Changers With Vicki

    Simon Kirke of Bad Company Live on Game Changers With Vicki

    I was Live with Simon Kirke, co-founder of Free and Bad Company, two of the greatest rock bands in history. A huge lifelong fan, it was a thrill to sit down and hear how it all went down, including how Snuffy, a guitar player kinda close to my heart, ended up playing on Free’s Heartbreaker.

    We heard about Simon’s very humble beginnings with neither running water nor electricity, talk about building character, his transistor radio, listening to big bands, pre-Beatles, making his own drumsticks, and finding his way back to London from the countryside with a time limit to make it and joining Paul Kossoff’s Black Cat Bones just under the wire. How they formed Free, All Right Now, the song that made them, and perhaps, destroyed them. The unrelenting touring, and then Kosoff’s unrelenting drugs. How the band evolved before imploding. Ultimately, in part, morphing into Bad Company, one of the greatest straight-up rock bands of all time with Simon co-writing its anthem. He’s the only member of the band to be in every lineup since its inception, including the band’s last tour. We heard about them all. Thrilling!

    I so love Simon’s solo effort, All Because of You, written for Maria, his wife of 6 years. Reminiscent of Roger Daltry for me, it’s in heavy rotation in my kitchen. He’s guested on recordings by Wilson Pickett, Jim Capaldi, and Ron Wood, and has toured with Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Ringo Starr & His All-Star Band. The best with the best. We heard great stories about Chuck, Ringo, Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce, Dave Mason, and of course, Kossoff and Rodgers.

    We talked at length about addiction––the drinking, the drugs, the debauchery, some great stories there, and recovery, tried more than once, and how it was too long ago for Kossoff. But, has gratefully stuck for Simon, who is doing much to give back. Simon works with Road Recovery, aiding teens to get and hopefully stay sober, is on the board of a Rehab facility, Right Turn, and is in the process of writing a Rock Opera about recovery with its CEO.

    Simon fears with Paul Rodgers’ health issues, this is the end of Bad Company after 50 years. He’s scored a few films and looks forward to a lot more of that in his future, mirroring another musician turned composer we know who’s fared pretty well.

    They say, be careful meeting your heroes. No worries here. Simon Kirke exceeded all my very high (but sober) hopes, as a person and a rock star. What fun! Can’t Get Enough!

    Simon Kirke Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson
    Wednesday, February 7, 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
    Streamed Live on my Facebook
    Replay here:
    https://bit.ly/42vW0w0

    • 1 hr 21 min
    James Morrison Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    James Morrison Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    James Morrison Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson

    How fortuitous that my first show back after an 8-week hiatus was with the stunningly soulful James Morrison––actor, writer, filmmaker, musician, husband, father, fellow, and stellar human. James was Chicken soup for my post-COVID soul. Discovering just before we went on the air that my treasured friend, Christinna Guzman had passed from cancer opened the door to an emotionally charged conversation about relationships…parent/child, James’ son, Seamus, is a brain cancer survivor… love partnerships, how James and Riad have thrived through their 35 years together, including through their son’s illness… art, which Christinna championed, and shared with me and oft shot for me, including my Women Who Write Literary Salons, and these Game Changers talk shows, where James has read and sung numerous times and Christinna and I bore witness. To honor her and James’ talents, James gifted us with a reading from his show, Leave Your Fears Here, sang, at my fervent request, his brilliant, Selfish Man, about a certain someone who continues to refuse to not grab the headlines, and then read from his brand new show, Satan’s Wild Animal Circus of Agony: A Five Ring Memoir, a most meaningful piece about his father’s end of life. Powerful, moving, important.

    We talked about sobriety and recovery, a passion James and I share, about adapting, growing, changing, and allowing space to be wrong. We talked about his and Riad’s documentary, Showing Up, an unprecedented look at the audition, with some of our most accomplished working actors reflecting on the process and how it affects them. Nathan Lane, Sam Rockwell, Eli Wallach, and Kristin Chenoweth are a few of those interviewed. I just watched it again and I’m rethinking this whole return to acting thing. It’s a wonderful film, raw and moving, and so damn honest. Like James himself.

    I adore this man and every moment in his exceptional company. I’ve said before, sitting down with 24's Bill Buchanan, AKA, James Morrison, is like wrapping myself up in my softest, warmest, coolest, comfiest, cutest, silkiest pajamas, and settling in for an easy, breezy, fun, loving, memorable night. This one had the added bonus of being a bear hug of support, comfort, and grace. I’m forever grateful for his friendship.

    For all things James: jpmorrison.com

    James Morrison Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson
    Wednesday, January 31, 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
    Streamed Live on my Facebook
    Replay here:
    https://bit.ly/42kBBKq

    • 1 hr 29 min
    Vincent Curatola Of The Sopranos Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Vincent Curatola Of The Sopranos Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Vincent Curatola of The Sopranos Live on Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    I’m not sure how it’s possible to meet a person once on Zoom and feel like they’re a treasured friend that I’ve known forever, but that’s exactly how it is with Vincent Curatola, aka Johnny Sack of The Sopranos, whom before meeting I feared would whack. Me.

    On this our second sitdown we talked how a businessman who’d nary graced a stage in a few short years under the tutelage of acting coach Michael Moriarty, took on Law & Order, then wrote and starred in his own short film, Dearly Beloved, co-starring Tony Sirrico, and then was soon his Sopranos co-star. Vincent shared the story of that relationship, his casting, and how the work played out. We talked about the Mafia as if there is such a thing, David Chase, James Gandolfini, Ginny Sack, and Sydney Pollack.

    We talked about acting, how I’ve never caught him doing it, how he was trained, and how he trains, the upcoming reinvention of his short film Dearly Beloved, and his mother, father, grandmother, and Maureen, his dearly beloveds.

    Vincent’s a warm, thoughtful, whipsmart, entertaining fellow, a great storyteller, whose company I can’t get enough of. Hoping to Zoom into one of his acting workshops one day soon, rehone that skill, and just maybe he’ll write in a fake aging blonde in that upcoming remake.

    One thing I know for certain, I’m anxiously awaiting his next screen role and our next interaction on Instagram. Love the man!

    Vincent Curatola Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson
    Wednesday, December 6th, 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
    Streamed Live on my Facebook
    Replay here:
    https://bit.ly/3NhcHoN

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Lori Lieberman Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Lori Lieberman Live On Game Changers With Vicki Abelson

    Lori Lieberman Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson

    Being with Lori Lieberman, the very first musical guest at Women Who Write, and the only artist to perform at every WWW location over the past decade-plus is like going home. Five years since our last midday soiree, it was so wonderful to reconnect and catch up. We got the unabridged Killing Me Softly scoop, from its inception with Lori’s pen on a napkin at a Don McLean show, to it getting fleshed out with her managers, Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel, her recording it, getting airplay, Roberta hearing it, Lori making the rounds credited as a collaborator, then written off, and finally getting vindicated only recently. There’s lots more to the story, all fascinating and aided greatly by its mostly happyish ending. Lori’s first five albums and self-imposed hiatus that followed. Motherhood, Joe Cali, falling in love and finding her way back to the music. 20 albums later, her latest releases, The Girl and The Cat, her most emotional and personal work to date, Lori told us why, and Truly, a departure for Lori, a deep dive into the American Songbook, with a unique revisit of the before mentioned Killing Me Softly. You haven't heard it until you've heard Lori sing it. And sing it and kill us she did! She also treated us to her track, Switzerland, although Zoom prematurely derailed it. Lori’s readying for her 3rd Carnegie Hall concert, on December 10th, at 2 pm. In the tri-state area, or gonna be? It’s a must!

    Link for tkts: https://www.carnegiehall.org/.../Afternoon-Concert-with...
    30% Discount code: LAL 43749

    For all things Lori, including her music, visit : lorilieberman.com

    I love this woman so much. What fun this was! She’ll remain in heavy rotation in my living room.

    Lori Lieberman Live on Game Changers with Vicki Abelson
    Wednesday, November 29th, 5 PM PT, 8 PM ET
    Streamed Live on my Facebook
    Replay here:
    https://bit.ly/47XjI5M

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

LouisePalanker ,

I Love This

This show is infectiously informative. And I don’t just say that as the co-host. I just happen to have the best seat. Listen. Enjoy!

pea bear ,

Vicki always delivers!

Sometimes when you listen to a show, you can just feel the passion coming from the host. This is Vicki Abelson. She is an inspiration...oh, and also really really funny. Keep it up!

@tinyhuman ,

Vicki is Binge-Worthy!

I am such a huge fan of the long form interview and Vicki Abelson's conversations are some of the best I've heard. I binge-listened at work and was so impressed with the variety of guests. Michael Nesmith? Phil Rosenthal? Illeana Douglas? Vicki's show is a Who's Who of movie stars, celebrity chefs, musical stars and many more. I really enoy hearing each person describe their journey- their Road Taken- and each interview has many life lessons told with humor, love and humility. I look forward to many more episodes. Well done, Vicki!

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