The Taste of Syracuse will feature a free show from Everclear this Saturday. I spoke with singer/guitarist Art Alexakis about the band’s classic music and some other fun topics, like when he got overshadowed by Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Great stuff and a fun conversation.
The legendary voice of Procol Harum, Gary Brooker has passed away. I spoke with him in 2018 when the band released their box set Still There’ll Be More. We talked about how Jimmy Page nearly took Procol Harum’s drummer for Led Zeppelin and how the Beatles all loved “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” RIP, Gary, and thanks for the great music.
Desmond Child has written dozens of songs you know and love. “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Poison,” “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)”…they’re all him. Now he’s hosting a fantasy camp for songwriters in April and if you’re a musician or writer, you can go and learn from him and other legends. Details here. I spoke with him about that camp and about writing a legendary song with Bon Jovi. Some cool inside info here.
Jethro Tull have released their first album of new material in almost 20 years, called The Zealot Gene. The songs are beautifully written and performed and feature the legendary voice and flute of Ian Anderson. I spoke with Ian about the album and we even got into how he nearly got sued because of the Aqualung album in 1971.
Elton John will play the Dome September 10th. I spoke with his legendary guitarist Davey Johnstone. Davey has released a brand new album called Deeper Than My Roots and the first track is awesome. Hear “Melting Snow” here. We also talked about his singing with Elton John and about haunted studios.
He’s created one of the iconic holiday albums of all time, Ho! Ho! Hoey! and we love talking to him every year around this time. He’s now on tour playing Christmas classics in his unique, rockin style and has other projects in the works. In this interview, he’ll tell you how to win a guitar and even dishes some fun stories from the Rock Legends Cruise. Visit Gary’s website to keep up to date on concert dates.
Kansas will play the OnCenter Crouse-Hinds Theater on April 14th, 2022. Tickets are on sale now. They’ll play classic songs, some new music from their latest album The Absence of Presence and they’ll even close the show by playing the entire Point of Know Return album. I spoke with original guitarist Rich Williams about the show and some other cool trivia about the band.
CCR drummer Doug Clifford has recorded a lot of music since CCR disbanded in the 70s. One of the albums he recorded in the mid-80s with Steve Wright (from the Greg Kihn Band) is being brought out of Doug’s vault and will be released August 27th. It’s called For All the Money in the World and it has some pretty catchy songs. We talked about this and even what happened to his drums at Woodstock in 1969.
I spoke with one of the legendary voices of music, Merry Clayton. She’s the amazing voice singing with Mick Jagger on the Rolling Stones classic “Gimme Shelter.” She’s one of the backing singers on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” too. She has a new album out now called Beautiful Scars. We talked about all of this in a fascinating interview.
I spoke with Ronnie James Dio’s widow, Wendy about Ronnie’s autobiography, Rainbow in the Dark: the Autobiography, which is available now. She and author Mick Wall completed the book, which was mostly finished by Ronnie himself before he died. She dishes some info on Ronnie, like his favorite football teams, his love for Cortland and Syracuse and even some cool info about the Holy Diver album.
TK99 is presenting Warrant at Sharkey’s on Saturday. They’ll celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Cherry Pie album and play all their classics. I spoke with founding member Erik Turner about the song, the band’s other tunes and we pay tribute to their late singer Jani Lane. Get your tickets for this weekend’s show here.
If you haven’t tried Battle Tested Craft BBQ Sauce, you should. It was created by Mike Otis, a local veteran and former tv personality from an old family recipe. It’s available throughout CNY in Tops Friendly Markets and other select locations. And did we mention that 5% of every bottle sold benefits Clear Path for Veterans? I spoke with my friend Mike about the history of the sauce and what makes it so good.
Triumph will be Canada’s ambassadors to International Record Store on June 12 and July 17. They’ve even released a special 40th anniversary box set edition of their classic Allied Forces album for the occasion. I spoke with bassist Mike Levine about the album and some other fun Triumph stuff, including the time he got arrested with Slash!
I spoke with Cheap Trick’s bass player Tom Petersson about their new album In Another World. We chatted about why singer Robin Zander’s voice is so unusual, how music can heal and what really happened behind the craziness when Cheap Trick played Budokan. Some cool stories and trivia in this fun interview.
I spoke with Styx’s amazing singer/guitarist about the new album Crash of the Crown which is out 6/18. Hear the title track here. (It’s spectacular) You’ll also hear him talk about writing a classic Styx song and even hear him hit an incredibly high note toward the end of the interview!
His new album Fire it Up is out now and it’s soulful and bluesy – exactly like you’d expect from the Blues Brothers guitarist. Steve Cropper and I talked about the album, his relationship with the Beatles, his writing the classic “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Otis Redding and even who his favorite guitarists are. Fascinating chat with an icon.
I spoke with Michael Brewer, one half of the duo Brewer and Shipley. We talked about a new documentary that’s being released on 4/20, called One Toke Over the Line and Still Smokin. It’s available on Vimeo on-demand. We talked about their classic song, some trivia involving Buffalo Springfield and other cool stuff.
Nature’s Light is now available from Blackmore’s Night. It’s Renaissance-era music that is regal and yet at times, it really rocks. Check out the new single here called “Second Element” for some great vocals from Candice Night and Ritchie’s amazing guitar work.
I spoke with Candice, who, along with her husband Ritchie Blackmore, have been making music together for nearly 30 years. Listen to our chat here and order your copy of the new album here.
He’s a founding member of Toto and is still in the band to this day. He played the guitars on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” Lionel Richie’s “Can’t Slow Down” as well as classic Don Henley songs, The Tubes (“She’s a Beauty” is his riff), Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and on and on. Thousands of recordings feature his guitar. I spoke with Steve Lukather about his new solo album here. Of course, we talk Van Halen and Michael Jackson…and what do the lyrics of Toto’s classic “Africa” mean? Listen here.
Out now is Denizen Tenant, the new album from Toto singer Joseph Williams. It’s full of his amazing vocals and features guest appearances from Toto band mates Steve Lukather, David Paich and even Joseph’s daughter. I spoke with him about the album, Toto, his famous father John Williams and even what it was like to compose music for Star Wars.
CCR frontman/guitarist and rock legend John Fogerty has recorded a new song about the craziness of 2020 called “Weeping in the Promised Land.” I spoke with him about it and we tackled other topics like CCR at Woodstock.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns this holiday season with a livestream event. Covid is keeping them off the road but they’re performing a special live event on December 18th. Details here. I spoke with drummer Jeff Plate about the show as well as the inspiration behind one of their most famous songs. It’s a great story.
I spoke with Robby Krieger of the Doors about the 50th anniversary of their classic Morrison Hotel. There’s an expanded edition of the album out now with bonus tracks. Some great trivia here about the songs and the album cover. Robby also has a new solo album out called The Ritual Begins at Sundown.
This week, Blue Oyster Cult will release their first album in nearly 20 years. The album is called The Symbol Remains and it really rocks. I spoke with the band’s singer Eric Bloom about how weird it must’ve been recording an album while in lock down due to Covid. He also talks about their relationship with Alice Cooper and their close ties to Syracuse.
I spoke with the legendary Fleetwood Mac drummer about his new song and video “These Strange Times.” It’s remake of an old Fleetwood Mac song with Mick himself on vocals. We also talk about a pretty cool 8-cd Fleetwood Mac box set that’s out now.
On September 25th, Slade will release a brand new hits compilation called Cum On Feel the Hitz on both cd and vinyl. It will feature almost every hit they’ve had around the world and in the US. I spoke with their legendary singer Noddy Holder about it. We talked about his connections with Queen and AC/DC too. A fun chat.
STYX has created a video for their 2003 tune “These Are the Times.” You can find the song on their Cyclorama album and the video here. It’s a thank-you to essential workers on the front lines of the Covid battle that have kept us safe and healthy this year. The lyrics seem like they were written yesterday!
They created one of the most iconic songs of the 80s and this Saturday, they’ll be part of the Back to the Basement concert featuring other 80s legends. It’s a virtual show you can watch here. It’s all to raise money for Covid 19 relief through Direct Relief. You can make a donation here. We talked about classic Wang Chung music and their videos. Hear the chat here.
The brand new autobiography Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music is available now. Ted’s co-author Greg Renoff joins me to talk about Ted’s legendary work with Van Halen, the Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison, Carly Simon and others. You’ll also read about encounters with Prince and Aerosmith among others. Hear Greg talk about the book and tell some cool stories here. And order the book here.
Vinny Appice appeared on Dio’s greatest records and was Ronnie’s closest friend in the band. I talked to Vinny about the 10th anniversary of Ronnie’s passing and got some great stories. Vinny and his brother Carmine have put together a tribute video that you must see for the song “Monsters and Heroes.” It’s a great way to remember Ronnie.
I spoke with one of rock’s most iconic drummers, Carmine Appice. (You’ve heard him on those great Vanilla Fudge albums and he’s played on Rod Stewart and Pink Floyd classics too) He and his brother Vinny were close friends of the late Ronnie James Dio and we talked about what Ronnie meant to him. Some great stories here. Also, check out the new tribute video he and Vinny did for RJD. It’s called Monsters and Heroes and it’s a must-see.
The Beach Boys were set for a busy year on the road, but Covid 19 has cut that short. I talked with Mike Love about how he’s been spending his time. Hint: he’s written a brand new song called “This Too Shall Pass” and he’s giving all proceeds from sales of it to Feeding America’s Covid 19 Response Fund. This will help stock food banks across the country. I talked to him about the song, as well as what Beatles song he inspired.
Dennis DeYoung joined me to talk about his new album 26 East Vol. 1. It’s out now and features a cool duet with Julian Lennon called “To the Good Old Days” and many other great tunes paying tribute to his time in Styx. Listen to the interview and hear Dennis even belt out a line from one of his classics right on the phone with me. The voice is still amazing.
I spoke with Rick Springfield about his new song “The Wall Will Fall.” The proceeds for the song benefit Feeding America, which is a great cause right now with so many out of work. The video for the song features a ton of celebrities and you need to see it. Oh, and Gomez and Lisa crash the interview, making for some funny moments.
I’ve been a Boomtown Rats/Geldof fan for years, so it was a real trip to be able to talk to the man himself. Here, we discuss the new album, out March 13th called Citizens of Boomtown. There’s also a new book on the way called Tales of Boomtown Glory and a film. Oh, and of course, we had to talk about Live Aid. Fascinating chat.
If you saw Rocky IV, you have to remember Stallone driving to the song “No Easy Way Out.” I spoke with Robert about the song, his co-writing of the Benny Mardones classic “Into the Night” and even the strange disappearance of a musician he once played with in Iron Butterfly. You’ll also want to hear Robert’s new album Better Than the Rest.
Scorpions are bringing their monstrous show to Las Vegas this July for a nine-date residency. They’re also recording a new album. Legendary guitarist Matthias Jabs called in to talk to us about it and even dishes some cool trivia on “Wind of Change” and some of the famous shoppers at his guitar store in Munich!
I spoke with guitar virtuoso Gary Hoey about what he’s up to around the holidays this year, the 24th anniversary of his groundbreaking Christmas rock album Ho! Ho! Hoey, auditioning for Ozzy Osbourne and what it’s like to play the Star-Spangled Banner in front of 66,000 people. Gary even plays his guitar for us over the phone!
I spoke with Desmond Child, who’s written some of the most legendary songs in rock. Everything from “Livin’ on a Prayer” to “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” to “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” and countless others. His new live album Desmond Child Live is available now. Here, he tells me some cool stories about how he wrote some of these iconic songs.
Steve Gorman was not only the drummer but a founding member of the Black Crowes. His new book Hard to Handle: the Life and Death of the Black Crowes is out now and tells some wild stories about the band. His band Trigger Hippy has also released a GREAT new album called Full Circle & Then Some. Check out my exclusive chat with him here.
There’s a new piano and vocal version of Freddie Mercury’s “Time Waits for No One” that you MUST hear. Dave Clark (legendary leader of the Dave Clark Five) wrote the song for his music Time and asked Freddie to contribute. I spoke with Dave about this newly-discovered version of the song and about Freddie in general. Check it out here.
I spoke with the founder of Survivor and the Ides of March, Jim Peterik. (He also co-wrote “Hold On Loosely” and “Caught Up in You” for .38 Special) Jim’s new album Winds of Change is out now, featuring a great song with Dennis DeYoung and an unreleased song featuring the vocals of late Survivor singer Jimi Jamison. We also discuss his working with Stallone and how “Eye of the Tiger” came to be used in Rocky III.
On May 10, Sammy Hagar’s The Circle is releasing Space Between, the band’s first all-original, new album. The group also includes former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and Jason Bonham (son of legendary Zeppelin drummer John Bonham). Rick recently spoke with both Michael and Jason about the album. You’ll get some very cool Van Halen and Led Zeppelin trivia too.
Meet Robert Berry. He’s been working with everyone from Sammy Hagar’s bandmembers to Boston to Emerson, Lake & Palmer for many years. He’s just released a new album called The Rules Have Changed featuring some of the final ideas of Keith Emerson. (You’ll recall that the legendary ELP keyboardist took his own life in 2016) Here, Berry talks with me about recording the album and channeling Keith, as well as that time Tom Scholz asked him to join Boston, among other fun topics.
With the Trans-Siberian Orchestra playing in Albany on 11/28 and Rochester on 11/29, I spoke with drummer Jeff Plate about the band’s history, including this year being their 20th touring anniversary. (Tickets here and here) We also talk about his love of KISS, the Mets and how TSO donates a ton to charity.
With a new album out soon called Roads Less Traveled and a show at Auburn Public Theater September 22nd, (tickets on sale now here) legendary Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre and I spoke about his amazing career. Some cool stories about recording next to Led Zeppelin and seeing one of the Eagles jogging in Seattle. Enjoy this one.
The classic Doors album Waiting for the Sun celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The band will re-release the album as a deluxe edition on September 14th, featuring bonus tracks and remastered audio. I spoke with their legendary guitarist Robby Krieger about the album and some other cool Doors trivia. He even has a connection to Syracuse you’ll hear about toward the end of the chat.
The classic British group that spawned the careers of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page (and even evolved into Led Zeppelin) are coming to Turning Stone May 4th. I spoke with the original drummer Jim McCarty. His new book Nobody Told Me is out now. Hear some great stories about Clapton leaving the band as well as Jim’s thoughts on Page starting Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck’s hilarious moment at the Yardbirds’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
If you love the classic “A Whiter Shade of Pale” like I do, check out my chat with the voice of the song. I spoke with Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker about that song, connections to the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and the new Procol Harum box set that’s out 3/23 called Still There’ll Be More: An Anthology 1967 – 2017. Some cool trivia in this interview.
I spoke with Larry Singer, author/photographer of the new book Rock & Roll: Concert and Backstage Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s. Larry got to know Deep Purple and Alice Cooper. He took some greats photos of Van Halen, the Stones, the Who, Edgar Winter and others. Here, we chat about his once-in-a-lifetime experiences with rock royalty. Buy the book now at Amazon.com.
I spoke with author Jesse Fink about his new book Bon: The Last Highway. In this book (and this interview) you’ll learn new details on Bon’s final days. Did he actually write the lyrics that Brian Johnson would sing on Back in Black? Who was the last person to see him alive? Listen to this fascinating interview here and buy the book now.
I spoke with Lawrence Gowan, Styx’s singer and keyboardist about the upcoming Styx/REO/Don Felder show at the Lakeview Amphitheater. Some great conversation about their new album, what they think about fans holding cell phones up to film the band and we even discussed NHL hockey. Styx’s new album “The Mission” is out now.
Styx has released a brand new album called “The Mission.” In this exclusive 3-part special, hear from members of the band and get the inside scoop on the recording of the album. As you get ready to see them with REO Speedwagon and Don Felder at the Lakeview Amphitheater August 19th, listen to the new songs here.
This Friday at the Westcott Theater, catch Live at the Fillmore – Tribute to the Allman Brothers. They’ve been featured on AXS TV’s “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” show and now they bring the sound of the ABB to Syracuse. I spoke with Lou Maresca, founder of the band, about seeing the original concerts recorded for the Fillmore albums in 1971, his interactions with the Allmans over the years and what to expect from Friday’s show. Check it out.
A good friend and colleague Gary Dunes talks rock with me this week. He’s been a staple in Syracuse radio for decades and has met every major rocker imaginable. Hear some fun stories about a private show with Elton John, meeting Huey Lewis and the News while covered in mud at Weedsport and storming backstage at the War Memorial with Triumph. Rock AND radio junkies will enjoy this one.
Not too many people have had more of an impact on rock radio in Central New York than Galaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine. As owner of TK99, K-Rock, Sunny 102 & ESPN Radio he influences the current landscape, but in his previous role as program director in the 70s and 80s, he helped introduce CNY to rockers we now consider household names. He also became friends with many of them. Which rocker stole his car? Which one did he threaten to leave on the side of the road for complaining too much? Which major star trashed his hotel room? Find out here. (Strong language – NSFW)
This week, it’s a must-hear! Gomez and Lisa are my special guests as we count down our top 5 lists of rock star interviews. We drop tons of famous names and dish plenty of behind-the-scenes dirt on many of your favorite rockers. If you’re a music fan, you won’t want to miss this as you’ll learn a ton.