Every artist has a story. Whether big or small, they‘ve all seen the ups and downs and worked hard to maintain careers in music. We chat with some of the most interesting legacy artists in pop music and go in depth on their careers, how they feel about them, what it‘s like being a ”rock star” and also hear their best stories. If you‘re a music junkie you will love these long form conversations with beloved figures from your life.
Episode 373 - Pete Agnew of Nazareth/John Payne of Asia
It's a classic rock two-fer this week! First up is Nazareth bassist Pete Agnew. This band of Scots has been chugging along for over 50 years and Pete is the last original member still at it. Pete and the band managed to release a super strong new album this year, Surviving the Law, that's one of the best they've released in a while. Pete and I discuss the effects of the lockdown on touring, what it's like experiencing periodic success in various parts of the world, and the glory days of Hair of the Dog.
Then we hear from Asia frontman John Payne. John is touring right now to celebrate a couple anniversaries - 40 years since the debut Asia album, and 30 years since he took over as lead singer and bassist for John Wetton. Payne has stories galore about him joining the band, how he continues with the Asia name, and how he keeps it going after all these years.
Bonus - Phillip Reichenheim director of Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
We're lucky to be living in the golden age of excellent rock docs. The latest one to add to the list is Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr. In this episode, director Phillip Reichenheim joins us from Berlin to discuss making the movie and working with the unique personalities of J, Lou, and Murph. The film also includes excellent insights from Henry Rollins, Black Francis, Kim Gordon and more. The movie is now available for streaming, so check it out even if the band is new to you!
Episode 372 - Steve Levine
This week is another excellent producer. Steve Levine had worked as an engineer on albums by the Clash and the Vibratoirs before doing the work that brought him the most attention - producing the first three Culture Club albums. He saw that band conquer the world and, ultimately, implode. This led to gigs producing the Beach Boys, Quarterflash, China Crisis, America, the Creatures, and the Vapors among many others. Today's he's busier than ever working for the BBC as well as many other projects. We discuss all of these acts as well as his work on John Hughes movie soundtracks, getting to know Stevie Wonder, winning a Grammy for gospel music and much more. His enthusiasm is infectious!
Book Club - Nick Duerden author of Exit Stage Left: The Curious Afterlife of Pop Stars
Writer Nick Duerden has recently published a book that, if you've been a listener of this podcast for any length of time, will be manna from heaven. His new book, Exit Stage Left, explores what rock stars do when the spotlight has moved on. Sound familiar? It's one of the most enjoyable music books you'll ever read if you've ever wondered how and why artists try to make it work decade after decade. We get the inside story of around 50 artists of all levels of fame (many of which have also been guests on our show) including Shaun Ryder, Bob Geldof, Robbie Williams, Natalie Merchant, David Gray, Ceelo Green, Don McLean, Billy Bragg and many many more. This conversation is a mutual love fest between two people seeking the same answers. You'll love it!
Episode 371 - Mike Scott of the Waterboys
Ringleader Mike Scott has been at the center of the Waterboys keeping the train moving for about 45 years. He's always mixed traditional Irish folk music with the poetry of Bob Dylan or Yeats and a heavy dose of punk to create their unique sound and spirit. The result is spirit-lifting anthems like "The Whole of the Moon" and "Fisherman's Blues" and a bunch of fantastic and experimental detours. The last few albums have seen Mike experiment with drum loops and hip-hop beats culminating in the sparkling new album All Souls Hill. Mike shares with us his writing process, the inspiration behind several of his classics, working with Karl Wallinger, writing poetry and more. Mike is a generational treasure. We've all been blessed by his latent.
Episode 370 - Cy Curnin of The Fixx/Stephen W. Tayler
This week is another very special two-fer who share a long history together.
First up is Fixx frontman Cy Curnin! The band have a brand new album called Every Five Seconds that is as good as anything they've done (and was produced by our second guest). They're also about to embark on a tour of the US which is a must see. Cy discusses the new record, working with Stephen and Rupert Hine, and the stories behind several Fixx classics.
Then we get to hear from noted mixer/producer Stephen W. Tayler. Thanks to his long-standing partnership with Rupert, Stephen has been at the Fixx's side since the beginning. He's also worked closely with legends like Kate Bush, Rush, Howard Jones, Jethro Tull and many more. We get into several of his life stories (including his own solo work) as well. Enjoy!
Love the dedication and great interviews
Stay strong Jon. Keep doing what you’re doing!
For any music lover
This show is incredible. It’s changed the music I listened to, given me new ideas, explained music I always liked, and much much more. If you’re into music you will love this!
He’s my dad no joke