Steve Black may have conducted over 1500 interviews of famous musicians and bands over the past 30 years, but Aaron and Joe use the opportunity to get Steve’s story of what it’s like to be a rock radio host. Steve tells us about how his incredible journey started back in 1989 at a radio station in Detroit, Michigan, and how a blizzard gave him the chance to run his first radio program. We dig into Steve’s take on what makes a good radio personality, how runs his own show, and how he sets up interviews and then prepares for them.

Steve tells us about interviewing Ted Nugent, Bob Ezra (producer for Pink Floyd), and Paul O’Neil (producer for Trans Siberian Orchestra). He tells us about his friendship with Steve Vai. He even tells us about the time he went to a birthday party with Guns ‘N Roses.

We discuss the changing music industry and how to get your music onto the radio. We also get the story behind Steve’s book, “From Black to Light.”

Steve has his own show called the Chop Shop, which is centered around the guitar, but includes many different styles of music.

Also check out Steve’s podcast:

The Sound Of
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-sound-of/id1272892687?mt=2

[Music]

Welcome back to another episode of Fret
Buzz The Podcast. My name is Aaron
Sefchick, and I’m Joe McMurray. And today we
have special guest Steve Black. He’s
done tons and tons of interviews with
famous musicians over the years, he’s
been in the business for 30 plus years
doing radio, he’s got a wonderful show
called Chop Shop Radio, he’s got a book
out. We’re so glad to have you Steve.
Thank you for joining us here at Fret
Buzz. Yeah, for sure I can’t have a guitar
show and then decline an offer from Fret
Buzz. I mean that just kind of works
hand in hand right? Right! Well,
yeah, let’s jump right in. So, if you could
tell us a little bit about yourself and
I guess my first question would be
it started way way back in I guess 1989
with Sabotage? Yeah, I suppose it
really did. That was I recall being at a
radio station and them asking hey would
you interview this band and I didn’t
really even know them at the time right
and CD players were just coming out so
my friends had him but I didn’t have one
yet but I went out and I bought the CD
the station of course had one and that’s
when I first listened to the band and
that’s when I did my very very first
interview yeah back in 1989 with Chris
and Chris and John of course Chris Chris
Oliva is no longer with us but but John
and Chris are still around and in a band
called the trans-siberian Orchestra
that’s awesome TSO men love that yeah
and I still stay in touch with those
guys to this day thirty years ago I
still you know it’s pretty crazy yeah
that is and by the way the interview was
awful
oh my god you know they could tell that
I didn’t know what I was doing my first
interview so they saved it I let them do
all the talking
yeah yeah right right so you went and
really studied like you listened to the
album and did you go in with stuff
prepared to ask them about one of the
things I think made me a little bit
different than other radio hosts was I
never really wrote down questions but my
research
was listen to the music mm-hmm you know
and of course back then there wasn’t
really access to the Internet anyway I
mean maybe if you had what was the first
one Netscape or you know whatever they
had back then you you might be able to
get on a website or two about cooking
maybe yeah but yeah I didn’t you know I
was never that guy who cared who your
girlfriend was I just wanted to listen
to the music and ask questions about the
music how it was created how did you get
into radio in the first place well
that’s a I guess we’ve got plenty of
time so okay I’ll give you the kind of
the fun version of this story yeah yeah
I had gone to school to be an audio
engineer so I actually was a certified
audio engineer and started doing just
little things here and there in
recording studios wherever I could just
soon
you know internships cut your teeth all
that kind of stuff and somebody called
me said hey I know you know some stuff
about audio we’re doing a television
show and we’re filming an orchestra and
how do I make an orchestra sound good
with two mics
oh of course you can’t so the answer was
you can’t right so I’ve borrowed a bunch
of gear whatever I had and friends had
and I went and I might as much of the
orchestra as I could and I help them
with their TV show in exchange they said
how about we teach you about televisions
that you’re teaching us about sound so I
started doing camera operation and there
was this really cranky old man who had a
political talk show and his name was Ted
Johnson and he was not necessarily mean
spirited but but just not the nicest guy
in the world and so nobody wanted to
work a show but me right and one day he
said something along the lines of why do
you put up with me I said well what are
you gonna do fire me I work for free
right yeah and it blew his mind he’s
like you don’t get paid like no he said
what do you think about radio love radio
said I’m the general manager a radio
station called Sirach why don’t you come
in tomorrow I’ll give you to her the
radio station Wow so I went in I said
you know mr. Johnson here and they took
me into his office and he goes by the
way before I take you around and show
you the radio station I want you to sign
that piece of paper because any
will put up with me for free works for
me and that was it I worked in radio
pretty much ever since that’s awesome
Wow yeah he sacrificed for a little bit
and they really paid off I I didn’t know
you know any better I mean really I was
just hungry for knowledge whether that
be TV radio production recording studio
I just wanted to know how everything
worked right right yeah I just want to
get your hands on it and in it and be
able to do it every day
yeah yeah it’s really the key to being
successful it just about anything to be
in it because you really really care
about actually how it works not like
because you want to get famous or make
money you wanted to know how to how it
all worked that’s great yeah and it’s a
discussion that comes up often in our
interviews especially with people who do
more than one thing but when you get
into the whole circle of art whether
you’re writing a book or taking a
photograph you know painting presenting
a radio show whatever it is the thing
that connects with humans the easiest is
the truth and so when you’re willing to
just go out there and be honest with
people maybe you don’t know something
but that’s okay we don’t all know
everything right so when you’re honest
it usually connects with people yeah and
so that’s been sort of my approach so
what where did you go from you’re
working at the radio station and how did
you did he immediately set you up as a
host personality or were you working
doing the running the board yeah I was
running the board and doing production
since I was familiar with the
engineering part making commercials
recording is where I started and
actually my first air shift it was kind
of funny was us because of a blizzard
the next person couldn’t get into work
oh nice just how did you get to work
everywhere I was already there before
the blizzard and I was working and I’m
just thinking like well I can’t go home
in this I’m just gonna sleep on the
couch like this is crazy right and then
I I got the call like hey the next
person can’t come in and I think this
kind of a funny story that guy says have
you ever been on the air before and I
said no he’s alright well tonight’s the
night you know so so go for it and
the program director called me back
about our hour and a half later ghost
you sound great I thought you said
you’ve never done this before I said oh
no I said I’ve never been on the air
before I’ve been doing this since I was
three years old in my bedroom
I got been doing it my whole life does
nobody ever heard it before
yeah so yeah that was it the word he
used was a naturalist and I just I think
you’re a natural and instead of you know
sort of hiding you away in the
production room let’s let’s work on this
and let’s you know move you towards
being on the air wow that’s great
what a great opportunity yeah is it what
what is it that makes you natural is it
your ability to speak like not do what
I’m doing right now to be able to say
what’s on your mind
fluidly and you know to be entertaining
about it at the same time what are the
qualities that make make a good radio
host a radio personality well they’re
like everything else you know there’s
there’s not just one way to do something
there’s a bunch of different ways one of
my early best friends in radio would
write out every single thing he was
gonna say he would write it all out and
have it in front of him and I would
write out nothing I just it was more of
an improvisation based on you know all
the time it’s been listening to music or
whoever I’ve been talking to or whatever
I’ve been doing but when you listen if
you didn’t know if you weren’t in the
room you couldn’t tell the difference
between the two of us you had no idea
that one person was reading and the
other one wasn’t so how you prepare and
and how you deliver there’s a bunch of
different ways to do it the the key to
me again which goes back to art is just
be yourself
you know like when I was 6 7 8 15 16 I
would just bring people over the house
and just share music with them cuz I
loved it oh my god you have to hear this
band nobody else has heard this band and
I’m still the same way except now dear
God I’m over 50 so that’s all right lit
the fire in the first place that’s great
yeah that’s it’s helpful to hear about
this because we you know I haven’t been
on air except for on this podcast really
and so this is I’m used to being on
stage performing I’m I’m more of a
musician and less of a radio host but
I’ve been learning that it’s it’s
similar to being on stage it’s just a
completely different state and it’s it’s
a learning experience we listen back to
old episodes and I you know I hear
things that I did even just little
things like hearing myself say uh-huh
uh-huh right
you know responding to people some
things you just learn on air you just
don’t do a lot of that is listening back
to yourself just like anything else it
takes some degree of practice whether
you have a natural what’s the word that
people aptitude like you may have a
natural aptitude for something but if
you don’t practice it it’s not going
anywhere
right so you know it’s about that and I
think some of that plays into being on
stage as well you have to be able to
kind of carry the the audience along
with you and and kind of bring them into
your circle and get that that personal
feel between you and the audience on
stage as well whether you’re doing it at
a small gig or on a huge stadium you
kind of have to I mean obviously on a
huge stadium it’s a little bit harder
because you know you don’t get that
personal connection as much but you
still have to go about doing that which
is funny because I feel far more
comfortable being on a big stage again I
just didn’t you know every year I do a
charity introduction for trans-siberian
Orchestra so I’m up on stage in front of
1718 thousand yeah I’m more comfortable
there than I am being at the local club
and from eight I just I don’t know why
because it becomes though the mass
becomes one thing right as opposed to a
bunch of individuals right right just
the way it is yeah and and here’s an
interesting this is more on the science
side but this is kind of an interesting
thing you know how certain people who
have a stutter can sing with no stutter
right a different part of the brain I
have dyslexia not horrible it’s mild but
I have it and it’s especially bad with
numbers but if I’m presenting if I’m on
the air and I’m presenting it goes away
it’s a different part of the brain
because it’s a performance of some of
some nature and that’s interesting yeah
it kind of connects with what we were
talking about we had a bass player on
and we were getting into talking about
how music has healing properties because
I play it
homes and for folks with memory loss and
memory disorders and it really does make
them they can go from looking like
they’re staring off into space to they
all of a sudden they come alive and they
start singing the words and then their
eyes light up it’s really amazing what
it can do music or you know whatever you
perform yeah I’m not sure who said it
first but I’ve said it many times since
music is the language of the soul if the
soul could speak a language its language
is music yep
music is a universal language we all
speak it yeah and the other universal
language this I love a note sounds the
same in every language you know what
else does laughter oh yeah it matters
not where you’re from laughter sounds
exactly the same
yeah yeah that’s cool all right so okay
yeah so coming out of the radio station
and how long it’s so okay let me take a
step back you’re based out of Detroit
yeah okay so we got a snowstorm and
you’re doing radio there where did it go
from there
my first on-air was in Flint Michigan
which is closer to where I actually grew
up okay after that the station you know
went dark the owner couldn’t make any
money and it disappeared and you know a
bunch of odd jobs working overnight
there was a very short stint actually
working undercover for the police really
weird I mean just there was some strange
moments going on but I’ve got to do what
you got to do then yes
so another station opened up in Detroit
that was the same format same delivery
as the station in Flint and so I went
down and I I interviewed for it and I
don’t know where the brashness came from
because I’m not that guy today but I
remember telling the program program
director during the interview basically
I know more about this stuff than you do
so you need to hire me I thought I’d
never hear from him again and I didn’t
hear from him for three or four weeks
but when he called he said by the way
that sat with me and I realized you know
more about this than I do I need you
and because he was a jazz guy I mean he
knew and understood programming he just
didn’t know and understand rock and roll
which was where I was from right so that
brought me down to Detroit and I’ve been
in this market pretty much ever since I
mean just a ton of different stops I had
fully different stations but all pretty
much in Detroit now okay Wow I’ve asked
my family if they hear you on the radio
cuz my hope my mom’s side of the family
is all from Detroit I was just up there
a few weeks ago make sure if they’re
tuning in for the first time that it’s
be prepared if they tune in in the
morning cuz Dave and Chuck the Freak
might frighten them my cousin might
freak out your mom a little bit it
already sounds interesting
[Laughter]
all right how was the the blizzard or
not the blizzard the freezing cold this
week I wouldn’t know I was dirty I was
on a ship in Mexico the chop shop is a
media partner with ship rocked so every
year we go on a music cruise and it’s my
job to interview a bunch of musicians
and take photos of the bands and all
that kind of stuff so I got to see I
prevail which was fantastic so much
power Wilson who are you know they’re
from Detroit anyway so they’re just
friends and buds that’s where I hooked
up with Tremonti I had a great in-depth
interview with head I don’t know if you
guys are corn fans or not but all right
yeah yeah so that was really cool and we
were gone like the entire time it was
minus 40 stubble
court out really yeah wow so you you
obviously get to meet and greet a ton of
people doing what you do is that
something that you set up or is that
something your company sets up how does
that all go down yeah I decided there
were a couple of different ways when I
got into syndication how to do it I
decided to just own my own show okay and
then work in partnerships with other
companies with syndicators so it really
all comes down to to me I started
setting things up originally and
once you’ve done it once you kind of get
in you know the wheel sort of turns once
you’re inside the turning wheel it has
its own momentum yeah and you get a
reputation you know bands get to know oh
man every time I interview that guy he’s
good he actually listens to the record
he knows what the hell’s going on and so
they you know I’ve had I can or cannot
depending on what you guys want say the
name of the band but there was a band in
particular who told me you know whenever
I see my day sheet and I see your name
on it or pierre robear who’s at WMMR i
know it’s going to be a good day it’s
like you two are always prepared you
always you know the interviews are
fantastic with you guys made me feel
good yeah yeah look what band was that
shine go okay yeah
all right that’s very cool do you pick
all the music that you want to play on
your radio station and do you have
bounds that you have to stay within from
the company as far as syndication goes
when I’m doing the Chop Shop which airs
on you know 2530 radio stations across
the country that’s all me I decide what
I’m gonna play a decide when I’m gonna
play it how I’m gonna talk to that’s for
those two hours that’s me what I’m live
on WRA off like I was earlier today
that’s that comes with the playlist you
know that’s me presenting the songs in
the order that they’ve pre-selected and
you know I still determine what I’m
gonna say and how I’m gonna say it but
yeah they pick the music now because of
my history and the number of years doing
it you know if there’s something that
doesn’t make sense they’re okay with me
changing it but only because I have a
track record of making changes that make
sense right with your I mean say you’ve
got a how many different plate-like if
you’ve got a two-hour show are you
coming up spending the whole week kind
of preparing for that ain’t listening to
music being like I think I haven’t
played this in a while what’s your kind
of how do you go about doing that and
how what’s your timeline yeah I have a
couple of benchmark
in the show so we’ll talk about the
active rock version first I have two
interviews with in the show one is in
the first show and once in the second
hour so I know I’m gonna play a song
from that band in the first hour to go
with the interview then I do a segment
called a guitar list where I name off
random guitar players and get the
whoever guitarist I’m talking to to
react to yes I bought those albums no I
never listen to that guy yeah I listen
to him but he wasn’t an influence you
know stuff like that and then whichever
reaction was the best I play a song from
that band so I guess one of the but kind
of your it’s not planned right
unrehearsed reactions that’s how I refer
to that segment oh good I have a whole
mantra yeah I’m just gonna say he’s
improv man that’s great always has been
I do a segment called the founding
fathers where it’s basically a newer
band covering an older band but instead
of just playing the song I actually go
back and play clips of the original song
and talk about when the guitarist was
born and how many bands they were in
before this band and how many guitarists
they influenced and then after you’ve
gotten about a two-minute taste of the
background of that band then boom here’s
the cover version Wow you know so who
would to do it yeah I do something
called the all-star salute since I’m
interviewing guitarists every single
week and asking them about other
guitarists I then collect those so like
the one that aired this weekend was a
bunch of different people talking about
Zakk Wylde so there’s like two minutes
of all these other guys telling me why
they love Zakk Wylde and then I played
two songs from Zakk Wylde right so once
I program the benchmarks then I go in
and I fill in the rest of the show I
know I want a certain number of brand
new songs because my passion is still
breaking you know oh my god I found this
band you have to hear it so I’ll put
those in and then I go to the news and
see you know who well there was just you
know kiss did this or somebody else did
that to open in a kiss song I’ll put in
or whatever and and then cuz those are
obvious talking points since they’re
doing something news related and then
that’s how I built Shep
Wow it’s really cool yeah I mean is that
it you have a new show each week yeah
every week and I do an active rock
version of the show and I do a classic
rock version of the show and then I also
do a third show called classic rock life
which I don’t host I just I program it
and write it and it’s hosted by Piero
Barrett WMMR in Philadelphia so that’s
my Monday through Friday and then I’m
live on the regular radio on Saturday
and Sunday yeah so do you tend to go
towards the rock hard rock artists is
that something that you are more
interested in yeah what I like about the
concept of the chop shop is it’s
incredibly inclusive and when you think
of syndicated radio almost every show is
exclusive just by its own nature right
if you do you know house of hair you can
really only play bands from that era if
you’re doing you know a all metal show
you pretty much have to stick to metal
but to do a show that’s based and
centered around guitar and people who
use it that’s pretty much every band
that’s ever existed right so it is super
inclusive I can do I can play you know a
band Mike hinder that doesn’t have her
lay any leaf guitar whatsoever then I
can jump into anything Tom Morello does
which is over-the-top and crazy and and
it all fits because just welcoming
everybody to the family but instead of
asking questions specifically to the
singer or the drummer I try to ask
questions to the guitars but I never get
so over that like I’ve never asked
anybody who engaged strings they use
there’s anything wrong with that but for
radio you know they I forget again which
program directors told me this but it
really stuck it’s called broadcasting
for a reason you’re trying to reach a
broader audience and what I love about
podcasting and one of the reasons I do a
podcast is it is essentially
narrowcasting it is you pick your niche
but instead of one city listening it’s
the entire world right so I like it in a
way it’s narrowcasting and I I just get
a huge enjoyment out of doing yeah it’s
nice too
to geek out about the details of the
things you care about that you know
non-musician might not want to know what
kind of strings that that guitarist used
but you know if you’re podcasting if
you’re trying to speak to people who are
musicians who do care about that we want
to be the kind of place where we can
talk about what gauge strings he used in
how that allowed him to bend the notes
like he did or whatever absolutely right
create and feel or create a certain tone
yeah have you touched on that topic of
just how much tone is in the fingers how
much of it is flesh and hope it’ll of it
is is the wood and the wire and the
electronics and the amp and know we get
into the hall of that I mean I’m that’s
where originates from is the actual
fingers and and how you apply your
specific technique to the fretboard and
that’s how we get literally hundreds if
not thousands of different tones across
the field over the many many many
decades that we’ve had yeah but then
we’ve also had interviews with engineers
electrical engineers and talking about
how a lot of that tone yes comes out of
the fingers specifically first but then
the whole signal chain definitely plays
a key role in to that as well whether
it’s a certain kind of guitar a certain
kind of wood a cabinet all cabinets
resonate differently whether it’s the
circuitry and how you can change the
circuitry and do different kind of
resistors or capacitors and yeah we’ve
gotten into all of that
yeah we love that kind of stuff I mean
that’s how you get to really know a
player like you listen to somebody
you’re like how do they sound like that
and sometimes you really have to get
into those nitty gritty details yeah
right but even still like I know as an
engineer it doesn’t matter if I take
Zakk Wylde’s exact set up on stage and
replicate it to a tee it’s not gonna
come out the same because he had a
specific technique and his fingers and
that’s the same thing with engineering
you know I could look at you know chris
lord-alge ii or a Chad Blake or any of
these
you know really big guys have done some
amazing albums and I can get all of
their settings on on their board
you know how much compression he used
here and he you know used this frequency
here and like that and I can get exactly
the same sound but it’s not gonna be the
same because he does it a specific way
and it’s all in his fingers and how he
hears through his ears yeah and it’s not
gonna be the same for me
so yeah it’s it’s very unique to all of
us Ted Nugent gave me a fantastic
example so I’ll share the story because
if this helps strip it down to basics I
worked with Ted for about two years by
the way but how is that well
exhilarating and difficult he said he
had the opportunity to go to Eddie Van
Halen’s house hmm and pick up Betty’s
guitar turned up through Eddie’s ring
and he played stranglehold and it
sounded exactly like stranglehold yeah
and and it’s like you know and and there
is some truth to it well not just some
truth the majority of your sound just
comes from you it comes from your vibe
and where I find a lot of the little
technical stuff makes a difference is it
makes a difference in how you play if
you pick up a strata cat or the same
play a Stratocaster almost all the time
right and then you pick up a 335 we’re
just gonna play different it’s still you
you’re still a human but you’re gonna
play different you’re you’re holding
something you’re not familiar with you
know if you play it through a different
foot pedal or play it through a
different EQ or play with the delay it
sure it changes the sound but what it
really changes the approach of the
musician that’s where you get the
different sounds from is it changes the
human
yeah that’s an incredibly good point I
mean you’ve got if you’ve got a 335 like
that’s what I play it the woody tone of
it like you want to hear that and you
you know you play a note and because it
sounds a certain way you might hold it
out because it sounds so good you know I
think if you have if you have a certain
level of sustain you play differently
whether that’s from
overdrive pedal your compressor whatever
really causes you to change you know in
real time you’re making different
decisions because of what you’re hearing
yeah totally agree yeah and and I think
it’s a point that gets I think some
people know it but haven’t taken the
time to really think about it like they
know because they’ve experienced it but
they don’t take the time to sit and
think about the science behind it right
yeah different pics make a big
difference too I mean if you got a thin
pic you I can’t play like certain licks
that I would play or ways of moving
around the fretboard it gets sloppy
because the pic flexes in you’ve got a
little delay there and you don’t have
the attack which causes the tubes to not
break up the same way that makes a big
difference to I just saw a band for the
fifth time they were actually on the
ship that I was on called rave and I if
you ever get a chance to see rave and I
there’s so much fun but there are three
piece but the guitarist plays with a
thumb pick like a banjo guy mm-hmm and
he said he mostly does it just because
he got tired of dropping his pick cuz he
so he you know he runs jumps and he’s
all over the place but it changes the
way he attacks his guitar
oh yeah it’s neat you know it’s just
something don’t see all the time yeah oh
yeah look I mean look at Mark Knopfler
or Lindsey Buckingham
there’s style obviously a finger picking
but their tone that they get out of
their guitar is so different than
anybody else I mean that’s very unique
to them yeah yeah very cool Wow
so okay so you I mean 1500 interviews I
mean that’s that’s beyond impressive
what what is it that you I guess would
connect with on the most like you
obviously spend a lot of time listening
to albums and and digging into the feel
of what’s going on behind the artists
after all this time spending with
thousands of albums what what connects
with you the most I didn’t know it as a
kid but I listened through producers
ears and later when I interviewed Bob
Ezrin he used a term that
use all the time now he said you didn’t
know it at the time but you had the
ability to hear colors other people
can’t see right and and you know what I
was even when I tried to be in a band
originally you speak the same language
but you use different terms because you
think about it different you know
musicians often think in terms of the
note and the you know the flat or the
sharp whereas I wouldn’t hear flat or
sharp I would hear dull and or almost
like a synesthesia almost yeah like I
would I would hear in colors and
textures and so I would have trouble
communicating with them because they
would all right do this and this and
this and you know do it in this measure
and that measure and sure eventually I
learned all that stuff but I didn’t I
just didn’t hear that way as a kid I
heard more from an engineering and
production standpoint it’s just the way
my mind operated and once I learned to
speak their language and kind of I have
a lot better of course right but that’s
been my favorite and some of my absolute
favorite interviews over my career have
been with other producers because I feel
like I speak their language you know you
when you interviewed Bob isn’t he the he
pries Pink Floyd right
yeah Pink Floyd the wall is the biggest
album with his name on it but all the
early Alice Cooper stuff and that was
the stuff that changed my life was the
earliest Cooper stuff and you know Peter
Gabriel and Aerosmith and it just yeah
Bob’s had a legendary legendary career
yeah you I saw part of your interview
with with Bob Ezrin
and you were talking about I think was
comfortably numb’ is that that orchestra
in the background and Dave didn’t like
it yeah yeah yeah that that makes sense
I mean you’re talking about the same
kind of stuff that hearing the the
greater picture from a yeah it’s you’re
not thinking about each note you’re
thinking about the tones and textures
and musical colors yeah so and then just
as I went through my life you know I did
start as an audio engineer and then I
get end up in a band
and I have written songs and then I
ended up on the radio and I’ve played
songs and I’ve seen how management
interacts and I understand how the PR
stuff works tonight now at this point
there there isn’t much that can come out
that I haven’t understood an angle on
and Paul O’Neill who was one of my
heroes he was producer as well for a
trans-siberian Orchestra he said it’s a
lot like when a soldier becomes a
reporter and then he interviews another
soldier they’re more willing to open up
to him because he knows that he’s
experienced that I’m kind of getting to
that now with a lot of bands on my 2nd
3rd 5th interviews with them it’s like
okay we know we can open up to this guy
because he’s been there right you know
okay so that I guess that kind of brings
up a little bit of a question for me
since you’re talking about having four
or five interviews over the years and
getting into it and that brings up the
question for me of the music industry
and how it has changed over the years
and what it’s looking like now versus
what it looked like 10 20 years ago and
even where you possibly might think it
might be going in the future
well the strangest part is everybody
sees the advances because they’re
technical technological but in many ways
if you were old enough to remember it
and if you’re not you can talk to your
parents or grandparents we have evolved
now to a place where singles are the
most important and concerts are the most
important which is exactly where we were
in the late 50s and early 60s yeah there
were no full albums everything was 45s
and you would put out a 45 to get people
to go to your concerts that’s where all
the money was it eventually changed with
the invention of abilities to play
longer sets of music whether it be vinyl
or tapes and then people started getting
into albums and everything changed so in
a way we just returned the cycle is just
kind of returned back to what it was so
there’s a template of how to be somewhat
successful there because it’s what
artists did in the late 60s or in the
early 60s right where it’s changed
is back then people would still actually
purchase music now we’re getting to a
place where people will pretty much just
subscribe and not own anything will that
change I don’t know it’s you know I hear
people say all the time that well now
that musics free nobody’s ever gonna pay
for it but it’s not necessarily true
water was free my whole life and now we
pay for it all the time right so you
know how did that happen why didn’t we
just go no waters free I’m not paying
for that right cause it used to be right
so we might get back to a place
something I suggested probably wouldn’t
go over too well but you know I I think
about a you know an album from one of my
favorite bands I may have bought five or
six different times because I had him on
vinyl in there worn out and then I had
to have it on cassette and then I had to
have it on CD and it would be nice to
just buy a license to that song or that
band and then you just have it for life
if they changed formats again you still
have it right that might get somebody to
spend money now that they haven’t spent
before but I don’t know I mean we’re in
a whole new frontier and again to bring
it back to podcasting it’s what I like
about podcasting nobody knows where this
is going this is a whole new frontier
yeah it really is I mean the old model
was you know you listen to a band of
your choice be a Pink Floyd or whoever
it was and you would wait a year two
years for them to come out with an album
now we said it’s come to the singles
again and and with the internet being so
ready with you know Instagram Facebook
and Twitter and whatnot like that you
always have your eye on that band and it
seems as though it is geared towards
this idea of
singles and having your crowd your
respective fanbase kind of follow along
with that process and the more that you
bring them into that process the more
that they’re likely to follow along and
purchase anything that you have or even
you know go the route of like patreon
and donate and and give you money just
because they love you right so it is
definitely a changing kind of thing
that’s happening within the past oh geez
in 10-15 years it does seem to be going
down to the single based thing where you
know every month or every two months
you’re releasing something there’s a lot
of good still out there the music
industry probably the biggest concern
for me is and I’ve used this test on a
number of different people whether it be
friends or people I’ve interviewed you
know do you remember the first album you
bought and across the board everybody
does and do you remember the first CD
you bought and across the board
everybody does and then I say what was
the first song you downloaded and they
have no idea because you didn’t
physically hold it in your hand right
there was no physical you bought air
essentially yeah I mean and so you can’t
remember no it’s great point you know as
much as I love music and remember all of
my first I don’t have any clue what the
first download was no I think with
Napster you’re able to just download so
much stuff it’s like it could you know
just download a thousand songs right
which would take you know yeah when
Napster half thousand minutes maybe but
yeah master happen in the LimeWire
happened it was like nah man good night
uh-huh yeah and now this is interesting
as well the number one source in the
world for music for the first time I
think it was last year that it was the
first time it happened isn’t a musical
platform at all its YouTube yeah it’s a
video platform but the number one place
to access music across the globe is now
YouTube that’s weird to me it’s nicely
you can go to youtube and type in the
name of a song who it’s by and you know
maybe it’s somebody’s stupid video with
like lyrics and their own personal
pictures they put above it at least you
can hear the song and half the time
that’s all you
like at least for me is teacher like
Moyes kid wants play something and I’m
like okay I don’t know if this is and
it’s not on my my subscription app and I
just look it up but I think because we
have access to everything and because
we’re not paying for it you also now run
into a place where people will go wow I
haven’t heard this song in a while
they’ll type it in and they’ll only
listen to thirty five or forty seconds
of it and then they move on to something
else they’re not invested in it they
didn’t pay for it so they just listen
for a few seconds and they move on so
there’s a bit of devaluation there but
you know it’s not all doom and gloom but
that part does exist yeah I mean I
certainly remember sitting on the on the
floor with the album cover spread out
listening to be an entire album just
staring at the liner notes and you know
that I don’t think that doesn’t happen
as much anymore yeah for sure yeah I
used to keep I used to put a when I got
a CD I’d put it in the car and it would
stay in there for like a month
like I’d listen on repeat just because
it took so much more effort to switch
out the CD and the CD player yeah yeah
but now yeah with with your iPhone you
can just switch you know it’s rare that
I listen to a whole album now yeah yeah
just said yeah and speaking of like
YouTube I mean yeah you can go out and
find tons and tons and tons of music
that is you know it’s wonderful to be
able to have access to all of that but
it is also interesting to me that in
today’s world where you have millions of
people using Google and YouTube as the
number one and to search across the
world that you have artists like until
recently Taylor Swift but things like
let’s see Fleetwood Mac or Led Zeppelin
or things like that who don’t allow
their music on YouTube I think that’s
kind of interesting and there’s actually
a lot of jazz artists and we’ve talked
about this in the past as well it’s like
Pat Metheny and one like that
where they won’t allow any of their
alive
material to be published on YouTube I
think that’s kind of interesting that
they’re pulling all of that away from
the public eye where I kind of had this
feeling that if they were to do that
that would give them more exposure they
kind of have this kind of old-time feel
of back in the day where you know get
before Napster and LimeWire and all that
where you know no I want my I want my
money because I worked hard on this and
I you know it’s mine yeah well there
there comes a point where you know you
don’t need any more publicity there
comes a time when you’re just big enough
that you don’t need it anymore right and
I actually you know I’m not in that
place I’ll never be in that place but I
think if I was you know if I was Led
Zeppelin I’m like I would restrict what
could and couldn’t you know and not just
because I want people to buy it and I
want more money it’s not about the greed
it’s about having a little bit of
mystery it’s about making people crave
what you’re doing you know because that
was a big part of my passion for a lot
of the bands that I really got into was
that it wasn’t always accessible you had
to work for it
yeah well I’ve I think where my thought
process that comes from is because I I
teach for a living and I have a lot of
younger students who come in and they
they don’t know who leads up linner Pink
Floyd or you know Aerosmith or any of
these guys are and now obviously it’s up
to us as teachers to be able to expose
them to that but I if it if I hadn’t
that would have never happened because
mom and dad for whatever reason aren’t
exposing them to that kind of music and
most often they’re listening to pop
music on the radio that’s in the car or
not like that and they may not get the
chance to listen to Fleetwood Mac shame
shame on those parents oh yeah I know I
you know every district is different
every school is different every state is
different obviously my wife is a high
school teacher Gina teaches all seniors
and I’m moved by the number of kids that
are aware of the history and it’s it’s
pretty cool I mean they might be every
bit as into you know a greta van fleet
or a hailstorm which is great because
that’s more of their generation but they
also know who the doors are I’m like
alright this is Google yeah yeah yeah
it’s in but I mean there’s a music
teacher I think it’s extremely important
that you know where the roots are and
you get the history and you understand
where all of the the bands today get
their influences from and see you know
oh you really like this band well check
it out these guys kind of pulled from
this this band and yeah yawn run yeah
that was going on so yeah sorry very
important to kind of educate everybody
in terms of what where it all came from
my students like I feel like two out of
three maybe one out of every two comes
in and I had like one of the first
questions I asked them is well I
probably first ask him what their
favorite food is just to try to break
the ice but then I they’re not asking
what their favorite band or favorite
song is and like it’s unbelievable how
many of them say imagine dragons I’m
just like have you heard anything else
like I mean it’s great because you can
teach them at that point you know
origins I want to teach you what rock
and roll is because you don’t know yeah
you clearly don’t know you don’t
understand the concept let’s start over
right right here’s a power chord let’s
start playing to smoke in the water yeah
fortunately you can get them playing
imagine dragons and about in several
lessons right three chords repeated the
entire time and that’s great whatever
the introduction to music is right oh
really I will make fun of certain bands
my my whole life and I will enjoy doing
it but at the end of the day I have sort
of a mantra that I state probably far
too often but I really love it and I
tell people all the time listen I love
Primus but I don’t want to live in a
world where everybody loves Primus right
it’s not what musics for you’re supposed
to have your own thing
it’s not supposed to be for everyone
there’s another band out there for you
you know
so come on I want a world of Primus
twisted world
[Laughter]
yeah awesome yeah
hey I banned that I’m really really
looking forward to coming up with
another album as tool I know there could
be getting ready to come out with a new
album that’s gonna be that’s gonna be
pretty amazing and they’ve been working
on that for like a decade 13 years oh my
god I don’t know that they were working
out at the whole I think they were
working on not working on it right right
I think they were taking hiatus but yeah
that’s that’s gonna be a good one coming
out that was actually the very first
platinum album I ever got in my career
was undertow really yep the late I don’t
know how they measure it or how they
figured it out but somebody at the label
said I was the first person on
commercial radio to play tool you know
college stations had been playing them
but I was one of the first on a major
station and yes that was my first
platinum album was tool pretty cool yeah
absolutely yeah so Kenny I’m this is
gonna sound like I don’t know what I’m
talking about because I don’t but what
do you mean it’s your first platinum
album because you played them you get
credit for being there the beginning I
don’t quite understand when they are
RIAA puts together a plaque with an
album on certain people get their names
on the plaque like obviously the band
members get their own with their name on
it and the record label and managers and
then anybody else who might have been
influential in a particular way maybe a
promoter a promoter who put them out on
concert and made a millions of dollars
or I mean yeah it doesn’t go down all
the way to like the caterer or anything
but people that they decide were
influential along the way will often get
their own plaque although there’s far
less of them these days and not just
because there aren’t as many sales but
just I think the record companies
stricted the budget so they just don’t
send out as many as they used to but
yeah yeah if they thought you were real
influential in helping to break a band
or or to break a particular album or or
played a role then you would get plaque
with your name on okay that makes that
totally makes sense so they actually
sent you a plaque saying you by putting
that tool on mainstream radio you helped
them achieve this yeah now most of the
time at a radio station the plaque will
come in with just the radio station name
on it mm-hmm you know now I got a note
saying cuz that one was sent to our
radio station but the note was hey this
is because you were the first one to
flam and so on and so forth but I do
have several with my names on it which
are hanging behind me you guys can’t see
him but but yeah there are several that
actually have my name honor so who which
ones well a lot of them are
trans-siberian Orchestra that was the
band that I’ve had the longest and most
unique relationship with their creator
Paul O’Neill I met back from you know
the sabotage days when I was first
getting into radio alright and we
submitted a friendship early on and I
even I was never paid which is fine and
I’m not looking to be but I was
essentially a consultant for the band
for a while he’s to have me come to New
York and sit in the studio in the giant
multitrack studio and listen to the
album as it was in process and tell him
what I thought radio might play and what
they wouldn’t play and you know so to
sort of guide them in the recording
process yeah so I’ve been in pretty deep
with that band for a long time
that’s gonna say I imagine having all
these interviews over and over again
with some of these bands you’ve created
quite the friendship with some of these
people yeah I’m also limits just on sort
of a you know a texture when I get to
town basis or maybe you you know trade
an email here there yeah aren’t a ton of
bands that it’s just a hang you know
right right but but yeah I mean if I
needed to email Steve Vai right now he
would email me back so you know it’s
unless I’m being annoying do you ever I
mean so you’ve played in bands do you
how much do you play now and I guess my
my follow-up question would be do you
ever ask I don’t know for advice from
somebody like Steve Eyre you mean you’re
just in contact with so many players I
didn’t know if you ever get to learn
anything that helps you become a better
player well maybe this is where you guys
will come in as teachers I all right
we’re gonna go down as a strange path I
did a solo album in 1999 I believe and
as it was coming out it was the same
time my first wife was diagnosed with
cancer yeah I never really got a chance
to go out and play that at all and I
never really got a chance to do anything
beyond it everything became about
fighting cancer and six years later when
she passed away I’ve never found the
energy or really even the desire to make
music again so it’s been a while she
passed away in 2006 so I do I pick up a
guitar now and then sure do I play a few
notes on a piano sure but I have no
desire to write another song it just it
left when she died it left with her no I
don’t know why so I I really don’t ask
for advice I mean every now and then one
of my friends talked me into coming out
on stage at a local gay and sing in a
song or two and I do it and I enjoy it
but then when the moments over it’s just
um yeah so I don’t know if if I’ve made
a mistake by moving away from the
playing and creating of the music I
think I just found my happiness and
going back to what I was as a kid and
just listening I think I just felt maybe
I felt more comfortable in that space
you know when I was in the creation of
music I was also in the creation or in
the just surviving for life and I just I
don’t
to me doesn’t want to go back there yeah
so a little darker than you wanted to go
but there you know like you said earlier
it’s the truth and honesty is is what
it’s really all about and obviously our
condolences to you and yeah it’s you
know that’s never obviously an easy
thing to go and if especially if it had
a connection with her in any way
whatsoever I could understand that and
maybe someday in the future you would
get that fire but it’s not now and you
feel really good doing the interviews
and sticking with that and it makes you
feel good well going out on stage once
know on sing with a couple buddies
that’s that’s that’s cool yeah yeah I
think you have to feed it for me staying
motivated to to pursue learning new
things on the guitar instruments in
general it’s all about feeding the the
passion feeding the fire and it’s it’s
interesting because for me a lot of that
comes from listening to music you know I
hear something like oh my god I want to
play that how do i play that and I’ll
like listen to it over and over and I’ll
you know look up try to find lessons on
how to do that kind of thing or whatever
it is it’s interesting that you know for
you hearing so much good music wouldn’t
make you want to do that but I wouldn’t
make wouldn’t inspire you to want to try
to dive in a little deeper yeah it makes
me want to get back in the studio with
bands because that was my original love
was being in the studio and watching how
it’s you know created from the artistic
side and even when I was in a band I
never enjoyed playing live shows
it was never I just I was the mad
scientist get me back in the studio
that’s where I belong right you know I
was always worried about the next note
and oh my god what if I don’t hit it and
what if this happens and what if I come
in late instead of enjoying what was
going on and transpiring and connecting
with people I was so worried all the
time that I never had any fun right you
know which was a lesson I have now
learned many times over is just if you
go out and have fun other people will
have fun but I I missed that me a stake
is
so well III do I connect with that a lot
I there’s something about being in the
studio that I really enjoy that that
that whole process of you know the whole
band coming together and creating
something from nothing and and the
excitement from a what you know let them
do their thing I’m gonna be the guy
behind the board and create and there’s
some kind of energy there that I just
love yeah the permanence of recording
something and the fact that you can you
know it doesn’t matter if you mess up
take like is its it is relaxing in a lot
of ways once you get over that we’ve
talked about it before the you never
been in the studio it can be
nerve-wracking especially when you’ve
got a tight budget and you’re working
against time but when you do when you
are comfortable in the studio it is it
is a very relaxing atmosphere to know
that I can I can just try something and
I can you’re right sounds if it’s no
good let’s try something else
if we’re going to go off the wall let’s
try different a different set up
everything for our a lot of musicians
the the biggest thing to learn is how to
listen things sound differently when
you’re in a studio a lot of things are
isolated the mixes are different than
what you’re used to
you’re hearing a raw direct sound from
an amp as opposed to an amp mixed with
two other guitar players in a keyboard
and a drum and that until you get used
to it it’s just a very alien place to be
and it’s hard to just relax and be
yourself what you’re in that when you’re
learning to listen in a whole different
way but once you’ve learned that oh man
so great so when you were talking about
going out to New York and listen to the
TSO and kind of get an idea of what they
would play on radio what what exactly
are you looking for what are you
listening for in terms of playability on
the radio well first of all that was
probably 18 years ago or something that
was in the early days it’s changed I’m
just thinking about in terms of any of
our listeners who are or look in that
route towards radio and trying to
release towards a radio I know it’s hard
for especially now well I don’t know how
hard is it to get from in terms of where
it was yes sir
year two now in terms of getting your
music out on radio it’s harder now
yeah it’s harder now because there’s so
many outlets that radio is kind of
constricted a little bit because there’s
a million other places that your your
music can go so it is harder now the
trick is there’s there’s a place in here
somewhere and it’s a narrow place you
want to sound different enough that you
stand out right but not so different
that it scares program directors from
wanting to put you on in the first place
yeah that’s a small space yeah so I mean
that is the sweet spot if you sound
different than everybody else that it’s
going to catch our ear immediately like
wow oh hey that’s different but if it’s
so different and it’s so out there then
where can I place it how can I place it
next to these other bands and how is it
going to work so that’s sort of the
question that that has to be answered
but here’s the best part if you’re great
at what you do
it’ll find its way you know tool didn’t
sound like anything else but it was so
good you couldn’t deny its am I in your
opinion because I was just having us a
discussion the other day with a
colleague of mine but do you think a A&R;
guys are willing to take a chance as
much as they used to because no because
there’s no budget for it right in many
cases there aren’t any in our and right
right the money is completely different
now yeah I mean they used to be over 100
grand for now a woman now you’re lucky
if you get 10 grand well they also used
to just invest in a band and they didn’t
care if you didn’t hit on the first or
second album because they were working
towards your third and fourth that’s
exactly right
you know they were building towards that
it’s not that way anymore now it’s more
and this isn’t true of every look record
label but now it’s more let’s sign 15
bands and if one of them hits will keep
them and cut the other 14 I yeah you
know as opposed to signing two when
developing those two right it’s a
different concept yeah it really is it
out the discussion that we were having
is is that you know
in terms of the variety of music that
used to be on the radio weather was
Steely Dan or glorious Stefan or Cindy
Lauper or whoever it was you had a very
wide variety of music that was on the
radio and now I don’t I don’t see that
as much in terms of radio I don’t see
that much that happening as much yeah
we actually did I’m gonna hold this up
for a second my podcast is called the
sound of which I do with an Carlini and
between Anne and I we’ve been on the
radio for 63 years
we’re both just we there isn’t a band we
haven’t seen interviewed interacted with
played on the radio something but one of
our fantastic discussions was what makes
a band timeless and would have been from
a different era work today or would have
been from today work in a different era
okay and we talked about like as great
as Pink Floyd it is if there had never
been a Pink Floyd may came out today
probably too adventurous doesn’t sound
like any other bands probably scares
most of the corporate program directors
and probably doesn’t get played right
probably sad yeah it is but how many
other was goods are out there right now
that aren’t being it was nobody learning
time and write in a different era but
then you do occasionally you know
there’s a band called nothing more I
don’t know if you guys are super
familiar with them or not but they’re on
the newer side and they sound nothing
like anything that’s out there they
embrace intelligence and technology but
present it and I don’t know it’s almost
like a like a queen strike operation
mindcrime level production but blended
with everything that’s new and modern
has it been done before okay it’s so
good I was just getting to a point where
you know I’ve seen 700 concerts or
whatever you feel like you’ve seen
everything and I see these guys and I’m
like oh my god I haven’t seen everything
this is amazing
yet radios playing and they’ve even had
a couple of number-one songs at Radio
so you can be totally different and
still hit l Petrelli used this
definition and I loved loved loved it
when people talk about luck or timing or
any of that stuff luck is when
opportunity meets preparation that’s his
definition and I can’t think of anything
more poignant because we almost all have
opportunities but sometimes were not
totally prepared when that opportunity
comes right other people are totally
prepared but the wrong opportunity comes
it’s not the right one but when they say
wow that bad hit and they were lucky
well that bands been playing little dirt
bars for 12 years they were prepared
when the opportunity came they were
prepared that’s what luck is yeah yeah
and sometimes sometimes you have to be
willing to take the opportunity it may
not be the most opportune time in your
life but you have to be able to say
mm-hmm I have to do this yeah far better
you know to take your shot and fail
absolutely never take your shot that’s
for sure and let’s say you’re not a
hundred percent prepared but you take
that opportunity it’s most likely going
to lead you to another opportunity
somewhere else and maybe you will be
prepared yeah yeah
yeah it’s it’s pretty to me it’s pretty
amazing how the music industry has
changed so much over even the past 20
years it’s just it’s pretty amazing in
terms of work I I do maintain that video
killed the radio star I
whenever MTV came into play it was
something not that was a bad thing and
not that streaming or the internet or
anything like that as a bad thing it’s
just changed it’s different the days of
like I said sitting on their floor and
going through an entire album and
getting up to flip the album over and
and going that whole process of getting
into the album and that’s that’s that’s
long gone and and maybe it may come
around again maybe it is reciprocal I
have no idea I’m I agree with your
assessment but I think of a different
a video I think it’s videogames that
killed the radiostar although I don’t
think it’s dead but I I’ll use this
example of let’s say only 10% of the
people in the world are super creative
and then of that 10% how many of them
are also motivated so you keep getting
into these lesser percentages right well
in the old days the largest of that
percentage would get into music and
that’s how you ended up with your led
zeppelin’s your Rolling Stones your
Beatles whatever right so Led Zeppelin’s
of today just made that New Avengers
movie right they just made Red Dead
Redemption there’s still the most
creative people on earth but instead of
being inspired to go into music they
went into video games because it was a
submerging thing that’s why video games
went from little pong you know little
beeps and Boop’s to you feel like you’re
watching a film oh my gosh man who gives
her huge nowadays its enormous but
there’s still the same number of
creative people in the world but there’s
more options as to where to place that
creativity mmm yeah and most of those
creative people went to those emerging
places whereas rock wasn’t emerging
anymore there’s still plenty of
musicians out there but it’s not the
first choice for the super creatives at
least that’s my thought yes and I and
yeah and I like the late and 80s you
know the late 80s for me was very much
about the guitar rock god it was very
much about hair metal and you know all
these huge guitar like it was just you
know joe satriani and Steve Vai and it
was like the guitar was highlight at the
late 80s and then grunge came along and
that changed everything but it’s kind of
interesting to see where over the
decades in terms of how guitar has been
highlighted it’s kind of neat to watch
that happen yeah and I feel like we’re
going through that cycle again right now
after Nirvana Soundgarden Stone Temple
Pilots
and sort of copied that mode copies a
little strong they used they were
influenced by that right wanted to be
that they wanted to have that sound and
make their own version of it but it’ll
of this falls on the producers in the
record labels over compressed and over
you know fit everything into a box to
sell everything everything everything
and it’s we’re now at a point where
we’re breaking out of that again if you
hear a lot of these new bands the greta
van fleet of them that just came out is
so wide open it’s not overly compressed
everything breathes it sounds like it
was recorded on to track tape a two inch
tape you know it it’s amazing the the
air and the breath that is in that and
now there’s a whole bunch of bands that
are influenced by the late sixties early
seventies coming out bands like rival
sons and dorothy and joyous wolf rave
and i i you know so we’re kind of
getting back to that raw energy that
honest energy instead of hey how can i
do what’s either did its hey how can i
just make my own statement right okay
thank goodness that the the sound wars
are finally finally coming to an end
i’m so glad that it’s finally being just
rid of i’m it’s just amazing how long
that lasted and everybody’s just like i
want it louder i want it louder i want
it louder and it’s ruined music the
whole dynamics have give just suffered
for the past twenty years and thank
goodness you know soundcloud and itunes
and then all of these guests streaming
sites have finally jumped on board and
said okay we’re gonna set a standard and
it’s there is no actual standard yet but
it’s around what fourteen lufs and it
finally people are saying okay well push
it i guess i should say more long lines
of producers and engineers are saying
you know the more that you push that
sound the louder you try to get you’re
gonna get your game you’re gonna suffer
yeah you’re not going to be able to hear
all the dynamics that are within you
know within your album so it’s nice to
be able to hear a lot of that starting
in it is it’s just now starting to come
back yeah which is nice and the key is
you can feel the difference there are
people out there may not be able to hear
the difference but you can feel it yeah
yeah i noticed from beforehand when we
were talking you had mentioned that you
have a book yeah it’s about five years
old it was interesting it kind of goes
back to my first wife again sabrina who
was also on the radio by the way uh she
was on the radio in detroit a little bit
rock but mostly she was a sportscaster
and i said during her struggle with
cancer she kind of kept a diary and one
of the last things she asked me to do
was could i publish some of her diary
for people who were struggling you know
with cancer that’s wonderful and so i
spent a few years trying to write the
story and I just couldn’t do I couldn’t
capture her I couldn’t make it work and
a doctor suggested why don’t you write
your story because you’ve had an
interesting life and when you get to the
parts about her use her words in her
diary and so it essentially became an
autobiography and I forgot it
and you’re nearby from black to light
okay yeah yeah for all the the people
listening and watching from black to
light but buy a CD laugh that’s me and
so it’s this kind of fascinating tale a
friend of mine actually after it came
out said it’s three love stories in one
it’s your love for music your love for
your first life Sabrina and your love
for your second wife Gina who kind of
healed you after losing Sabrina so it’s
just all this this real human element
stuff but it all takes place in a while
I’m interviewing Alex Lifeson from Rush
and while I’m getting business advice
for Peter Frampton and well you know
it’s it’s so strange because it’s two
worlds
in the way it comes together you know
there’s a moment in the book where slash
invites me to a Duff’s birthday party
and it’s like I gotta take care of my
wife like as soon as I get off the air
and I explained that she was sick and he
took care of everything had his manager
take care of it so I was able to bring
my you know very sick wife at the time
to this birthday party and slash just
took great care of us and it’s like yes
it became a kind of a really fascinating
way to tell the story and then once I
followed that advice it turned out great
it’s still to this day it’s like five
years old and it’s still five stars on
Amazon awesome
that’s hey congrats on that yeah yeah
it’s gotta feel good to have that out
there
yeah now if I can just write the next
book in process it’s in process it’s not
like you don’t have the material man
that’s what oh good I wanted to see I
mean a birthday party with with slash
and Duff was that like when they were
still as rowdy as they originally were
but it was on relaxed at that point yeah
it was on The Velvet Revolver tour okay
and they were just out on tour they
happen to be in Detroit on Duff’s
birthday and so hey we’re gonna have a
cake for Duff tonight we’re gonna gather
you know everybody together and it’s
gonna be after the show and we want you
to come and and like I said I just kind
of explained well I’ve got to get home I
got to take care of Sabrina and they
were like no you don’t we got we got it
covered you bring her we’ll take care of
the rest like oh okay they were uh from
everything I’ve read they were pretty
pretty wild early on yeah yeah they’re
partying yeah there’s there’s been a you
know there’s a time or two that you run
into things like that and I was this was
fairly recently just a couple of years
ago there was a post-show
hang you know everybody was done working
whether it was the band’s or interviews
or whatever it was all done and somebody
was starting to break out the cocaine
and I’m like you know what I’m just
gonna slip up guys
but right time for me to leave you guys
enjoy your night not for me
ya got places to go yep that’s what
sounds like you’ve had quite the journey
Steve that’s it’s pretty amazing I I’m
quite impressed it’s awesome obviously
gotten some great opportunities and
actually taking the bull by the horns
and done them a really good thing that’s
pretty awesome well thank you that’s
what it’s always been about is was the
experience for me you know I’m not a
rich guy I’ll never be and and I don’t
care cuz I didn’t do it for the money
just followed my dream wanted to be a
part of the music that inspired me try
to you know give back when I can you
don’t need to be rich when you’re
surrounded by the things that you love
and those things don’t require lots of
money yeah yeah if you own fire and feel
their passion that’s the most important
than that when you do move on to the
next level it’s it’s all about what
you’ve done and that you’re happy with
what you’ve left
awesome when we get together Wednesday
we’re recording our next podcast so I’ll
be sure and tell our listeners to tune
by to fret bugs to check out the latest
yeah thank you very much yeah thank you
for you we do appreciate it this is this
has been wonderful
this really has loved to hear a news
story I’m glad you made the connection
yeah for sure
yeah well we’ll stay in touch and
continue the friendship yeah not yet so
I hope you have great Sunday and enjoy
yourself
thanks guys for ya thank you Steve
appreciate it have a good night bye-bye
[Music]

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