Another trio heads to the “Afterparty In The Sky” (Vin Scelsa really should have trademarked that name) and we offer some comfort through musical tributes and a few rare items within this episode of FTB. Too much death in the last few years or perhaps it’s just more noticeable now that I am closer to 70 than 60. As always, there are also sounds to discover, making life worth living. New stuff from Lewis Taylor, Nicholas Payton, Kula Shaker, Cliff Hillis and Elvis Costello, with Reissues and Vault items from David Bowie, The Cure, Eric Ghost (inventor of Blotter Acid), Melvin Sparks, Iggy Pop, John Patton, Rare Bird and the Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Live at The Fillmore Collection. Trying to keep on an even keel in what remains a very uneven and uneasy Country. Thanks for listening. That's Boy Troy on the cover, he thought we had a Football Team and showed up ready to play. We got him some decaf and broke the news gently that he was out of his mind.
The PLAYLIST for this show can be found by clicking HERE
This ride of life continues to twist through rough terrain while hope here remains that the infrastructure holds firm until proper repair arrives. The voice and musicality of Roberta Flack has always been second to none. As a family touched by the abject horror of what ALS inflicted on my Mother-In-Law, Ms. Flack’s diagnosis is especially troublesome. We send love to her family and hope for a peaceful transition. A massively talented Musician with the voice of an angel, Roberta Flack has been hit with cruelest disease of them all. We dedicate this Episode to her spirit. A wonderful Jazz reading of The Doors from a German master, Jim Morrison’s poetry, the tenth anniversary reissue of one of the best albums you never heard from Robert Glasper, new sounds from David Gilmour, Jeb Loy Nichols and notable reissues from The Headhunters and T-Bone Walker. And we can’t leave out Donny Hathaway. All that is but a small taste of the sounds that wait within. Thanks to all for the donations once again, the link will be active until Sunday at midnight. https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8OiYEv1Wf1
Psssttttt.... need a playlist? try HERE.
It is impossible to explain the excitement, wonder and even abject fear that ricocheted through every nook and cranny of my brain and spine in those first days entering the brave new world of XM Satellite Radio in 2001. “Everything All The Time” was an early tagline of sorts, but that merely scratched the surface. XM had actually rounded up, hired, relocated and convinced creative radio/music lifers from across the USA and Canada, most with a chip on their shoulder that they had finally found the promised land. It was Programming that would steer the ship this time, not Sales, Marketing and Research! This was Radio Heaven. But first, they would need to steam clean our brains to wash the bullshit, bad habits and nonsense collected over the decline of FM completely out of our systems. Reprogram the programmers and free up everyone’s “George Martin Gene,” as Lee put it.
Lee Abrams and Dave Logan had a very big job in front of them. I knew Dave a little but never worked with him and Lee I met for the first time at my interview. I had heard all the stories as he sat behind his desk in a modest sized office with every millimeter of wall space covered by Gold and Platinum Awards of artists that basically created Rock Radio. He wanted to know if I could create a station that centered on the great singer/songwriters, with “The Laurel Canyon” vibe, specifically Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne as the center lane. I asked if we wanted it reduced to their material from only that time period or their entire discographies. He quickly said, “All of it!” I then asked if we wanted to include music that intersected, i.e. Joni and Charles Mingus, and/or compliment it and what about new music and he bellowed, “Everything! New, old, unreleased, rare, live… EVERYTHING you think fits.” This I had not expected.
Taking a deep breath, I knew it was now or never to ask the one thing I was hesitant to bring up, but needed to know before making this level of commitment. My five year old daughter needed a certain level of care, having been diagnosed with Evans Syndrome before she reached the age of 2, and today at 28 still needs weekly infusions. I looked Lee directly in the eye,and said, “This is simply too good to be true, so I have to ask you, aren’t you the guy that destroyed Free Form/Progressive FM with The Superstars Format, drastically shrinking music libraries, eliminating DJ choice and streamlining progressive radio? I really want to believe but why should I believe you?” Lee laughed really loud. I exhaled. “Yeah, I guess I did,” Lee said. “But, it’s not my fault they are still doing the same shit I came up with almost 30 years ago! It’s a wasteland now, a soulless barren wasteland of liner cards and Star Wars production. We are going to re-invent radio. Bring back the excitement of appointment listening. We started with AM, then FM and now XM (pause) Radio To The Power of X. It’s up to us.” Relieved that my big Jersey mouth hadn’t blown it, I simply said, “I’m in.” Quickly adding the question, “But are you sure you want to call it “Clean Air?”
“How about The Loft?” I asked a few weeks into the job, sitting in our first big meeting regarding the launch of the channel I was spending upwards of 14 hours every day designing. Lee and Dave were there, Tony Masiello, the genius who designed the studios and computer systems, various marketing folks, Lawyers, Chance Patterson the Director of Publicity and the CEO, Hugh Panero. Prior to this meeting I had only met Lee and Dave, and I think Chance. The entire staff were literally working round the clock with the knowledge that our competition had a year head start. We were determined to beat them to the finish line. My question was directed at Hugh Panero since Lee immediately threw me under the bus by telling them all that I hated the name Clean Air. Hugh looked at me and asked calmly, “You don’t like the name, what’s wrong with it?’ Getting to the point I responded, “First of all, it immediately makes me think of the NPR show “Fresh Air” and we are going to be nothing like that program. I think “The Loft” gives a perfect and short description of what we will sound like. No walls, open with no restrictions and operating at a higher level of content, yet still funky when we want or need to be.” Hugh’s grin kept widening and he asked if I knew that the building we were in and remodeling to a state of the art broadcast facility was a “printing loft” and was that part of my calculus. I absolutely did not but soon found out that it was literally a printing loft. I did know about it being the longtime home and headquarters of National Geographic Magazine.
“Well, that’s even better. My inspiration came from a club in New York and David Mancuso, a musically adventurous master DJ who was all about creating a state of the art sound system and the art of the segue.” They went around the table, everyone offering opinions and in under 30 minutes we had a decision. The Loft was born. In a few months Hugh Panero and Chance Patterson would be our biggest fans. I was really liking this place.
It has taken me a while to do this episode as those first 4 years were without question the hardest I had worked in my life to that point, but in many ways a dream come true. It was almost as if I actually had found Radio Heaven, even though it was 7 days a week, at least 12 or more hours a day. Sure there were disagreements, not everyone liked everyone and ego clashes happened. But there was never a staff of people I worked with before or since, that lived up to our bestowed mantra of A.F.D.I. --- Actually Fucking Doing It! Others talked about it but we were A.F.D.I. and beat “The Dog” to air by quite a bit and even by the time of “the merger” were still a million subs ahead.
At the close of 2003, on Boxing Day I was shocked by the arrival of this:
That’s me using a hand expression handed down through generations from the Italian side of the family on the cover of The New York Times Weekend Section… IN COLOR! The story was by Stephen Holden, who wrote about John Martyn in a Rolling Stone review causing me to investigate back in the early 70s and I became a fan of his music instantly. John Martyn epitomized the type of artist we would be playing. Apparently, he flipped out when he heard The Loft and asked for an interview.
If you Google it by the title of the article, it still comes up. https://nytimes.com/2003/12/26/movies/critic-s-notebook-high-tech-quirkiness-restores-radio-s-magic
This episode of FTB is designed to give you a musical representation of The Loft in this period through my eyes and ears. These are not airchecks but new recordings made in my Basement Studio. From 2001 through 2003 I was a staff of one. With voice tracking I was “on the air” 23 of the 24 hours in a day and hand built and mixed every music log from scratch. Those first few years the logs for air had to be complete, timed out to the millisecond and ready to go between 48 and 72 hours in advance. That was completely my responsibility, as was everything else except Production and that is where I lucked out. I had the best production guy I have ever encountered, but we called them “Audio Animators,” which perfectly describes them. Jim “Pants” Gregg was my right (and sometimes left) arm and I shared him with a guy who became a friend for life, Charlie Logan. I would kill to work with either of them again, anytime. Charlie was let go after the merger, Pants lasted a little while longer, realized where things were headed and went home to Chicago and hasn’t been out of work for even a day since.
We have since lost a great many of that original staff, but I will name just one for fear of leaving someone out. Bobby “The Burner” Bennett was a legendary broadcaster, the best of the best. It was my great joy to be his teacher of all things digital and computer related. He was one of the unfortunate to get a pink slip due to the merger and passed away a few years later. When Bobby was let go, I knew that “a merger of equals” as they were spinning it was complete bullshit. There was no one on the planet better than Bobby. This was a flat-out takeover. Solidified when they cut loose the great Jesse Scott, who made the initial contact with me in a brief phone call by saying, “Marrone, I think we need you down here, call me back!” Thankfully, Jesse is still thriving as Program Director of WMOT in Nashville. A kick-ass radio station that could have only come from her heart and mind.
I made the cut and worked until the last day of 2017. I wasn’t feeling well over the past year and the powers that be had made no secret of the fact they would love to get me out, especially after I turned 60. They couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t move to New York where “the action” was but that has never been my thing. I was tired of fighting but more stressed as the soul and purpose was excised from the company. Dismantled with unnecessary cruelty and more than little glee at times. They had no need for my particular expertise any longer, I was simply a number on the ledger. A reason why I never went after jobs that were Corporate, I just can’t do it as it gives me a rash. Not to mention I certainly didn’t have the wardrobe, nor the desire to acquire one. I felt I had taken the high road, wrote and posted my Goodbye, keeping everything positive. https://mikemarrone.com/mikes-basement/hello-i-must-be-going
It was a strange case of closing a circle, as I had given Franny and Meg off and did all the programming for the next week myself. Timing out each day and segment and finishing at around 11:45 pm on New Year’s Eve. At exactly midnight they cut off my service, so I never did get to listen to any of it. I haven’t listened since. A few months later I was diagnosed with Stage IV Large-B Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Not one of them reached out. At least I knew why I was feeling so horrible. While it was a good run and I would do it all again, I should have left much sooner than 17 years. It is ironic that one of the things they couldn't stand was my desire to work mainly from my home studio, which saved 2 hours of a needless commute.
Hope you enjoy the show. The donation link for From The Basement is open until November 20 at https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8OiYEv1Wf1. Thank you all for the support.
For more info and PLAYLIST click here
In progress for delivery at the end of the week. It's been almost four years, so I am ready to tackle this.... I think! From the inside, the beginning of one hell of a ride. "Satellite Radio... nobody will pay for that, you guys are nuts!" That was the pre-sell on this new experiment in 2001. Through all the ups, downs, fear and loathing I can't think of a better way to have spent 17 years. Cover stars (so far), see if you can spot them all; Glen Phillips, David Pack, Ben Lee, Mavis Staples, Dave Mason, Carlos Santana, Greg Brown, Matthew Ryan.
It had to happen eventually but it doesn’t make dealing with it any less daunting. Last week, for the first time post recovery, I officially became “overwhelmed.” The prospect of doing a new show found confusion, anger, uncertainty and angst blocking the music that usually keeps those emotions at bay. It happens. And surely will occur again. Like everything we deal with in life there is bound to be bitter encountered among the sweet. Simply giving in to a “fuck this shit” mantra can sometimes be the only way to deal and even provide a quicker path to putting that stuff in the rearview. That is what caused this (slight) delay in the delivery of episode #193 of FTB. Quoting the genius of Was (Not Was), now “I Feel Better Than James Brown” and with a ton of new tunes and a heartfelt musical farewell to The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis, a true cornerstone embodiment of both Rock and Roll, it’s clear skies ahead. Listen for new releases from Ghost Funk Orchestra, Omar Apollo, St. Vincent, Wilco, Margo Price, The Linda Lindas, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Robyn Hitchcock, The Cult, Killing Joke, Acid Dad, My Morning Jacket, The 1975, Hugh Cornwell and Van Morrison. And thanks to all for your love and support at https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8OiYEv1Wf1.
By clicking HERE you will receive THE PLAYLIST
The background to the cover photo is a picture of the handwritten notes Robert brought with him for our episode of Playing Records, you will hear why I do not have that recording, nor could I ever provide one to Robert. No big deal, we managed to pull together a worthy send off to the singular talent, music loving big baritone who remained true to his muse to the end. New releases include Simple Minds, Robert Glasper (featuring Lalah Hathaway and Common), Wunderhorse, Morris Day hooking up with Billy Gibbons, Cheap Star with Gary Louris, Brendan Benson and Mitch Easter, Ian McNabb, Andy Bopp and IMHO The Beatles album most desired for remaster and expansion, “Revolver.” Library selections range from Mose Allison to Shuggie Otis, Jack Bruce to The Isley Brothers, Jane’s Addiction, Willie Hutch, Joe Cocker, Fine Young Cannibals and a whole bunch more. The new link for Donations is active for 28 more days, thanks as always for your generosity. https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8OiYEv1Wf1
The Playlist is only a click away....
Beginning the episode with Woody Harrelson talking about Justice leading into William S. Burroughs and “The President” may have you figuring that once again we are venturing into heavy political ground, but that is not the case. It’s difficult enough to get through a single day unscathed. This is the only escape hatch to keep our minds occupied and let the ears drive the bus for a bit. Plenty of new releases to beat the madness back and enrich our soul. David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Peter Gabriel, The Afghan Whigs, Broken Bells, Eliane Elias, The Reds, Pinks & Purples, Wild Pink, Frank Zappa, Bruce Springsteen (covering The Commodores), The Lightning Seeds and Todd Rundgren collaborating with The Lemon Twigs, Thomas Dolby & The Roots all have issued new tunes, and utilizing the expansive library for The Ohio Players, The Smiths, J Mascis, Will Hoge, Ben Arnold, Jimmy Reed, Mike Boldt, Rickie Lee Jones, The War On Drugs and many others to keep the flow just right. News of Robert Gordon’s passing happened during the show so we cover it, but expect more on him down the road. Thanks for keeping me occupied and paying the bills. I love you all.
The Playlist is here... they wouldn't let me update it last night.
Also needed to put up another of these... all help greatly appreciated.
Here is the other half of the stuff I promised. Ripper explains in the intro exactly where these mixes came from. Essentially there are 3 sets of music. 1. starts with a great Shane Nicholson song and ends with a 1970 radio advertisement for an Electric Car. Yep, it's legit. 2. Starts by showing the unlikely musical connection between the late, great and supremely overlooked Judee Sill's "Jesus Was A Crossmaker" and Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" and ends with a pretty cool new track from Cory Brannan, Jason Isbell and Brian Fallon guest. 3. Begins with some very rare live material from Prefab Sprout, has new sounds from Tears For Fears, Duncan Sheik, Broken Bells, Will Sheff and Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. The 3 sets become one uninterrupted nearly 3 hour piece. I am thinking of doing more stuff like this without my yakking. We'll see.
The Playlist can be located HERE
In the same carton that contained a batch of my Radio Terrorism Shows, I also found a cassette with a broken rubber band around it. It usually took 3 cassettes to record a full aircheck but this tape was solo with an old dot matrix printed sheet within the tape case that read 6/24/88 The Last Show... and low and behold it was the first 90 minutes of my last regular live show. Recorded 4 days after my Birthday on June 24, 1988, I thought for sure it was gone forever. These Maxell UDS II tapes are truly indestructible, so it actually played. Sound quality was dreadful but I considered the source. I was still using the same gear as it wasn't until much later that HTG upgraded the board. But whatever, I was happy to find a piece of personal history thought lost. So here you go, this is the full first 90 minutes. Maybe I will find the rest. I am lovin' the commercials!
NO playlist for this one. Sorry.
From this human’s point of view it is more important than ever to try and maintain some semblance of normalcy while witnessing, what at times, looks to be everything bursting into flames. Maybe it’s simply a product of getting older but I suspect not, as the infrequent times venturing from the cocoon of the studio into what passes for the real world, the eyes of the public say it all. By nature an extrovert, I am that guy looking to interact with others. I will always hold a door or let someone move ahead in line, enjoying the small talk that will usually arise. People don’t do this anymore. Anxiety, fear, disbelief and confusion is what I read now. Most recently today in the supermarket, but clearly increasing at a steady rate over the last few years.
Musically speaking, this is a normal episode of FTB. New or previously unreleased things from Lambchop, Josh Rouse, Julian Cope, The Waterboys, Jesse Malin, Artists For Action, Calexico, Will Sheff, Wilco, Jack White, Sloan, Bartees Strange, Bruce Springsteen, Dan Mangan, Spain, Death Cab For Cutie, Christone Kingfish Ingram And Big K.R.I.T., The House Of Love, Brian Eno, Supreme Beings Of Leisure, The Beths, The Godfathers, GA-20 and The Afghan Whigs. Joined by sounds from King Missile, The Rave-Ups, The Clash, Nazz, The Move, Beagle, The Db’s, Darrell Scott, Warren Zevon, Love, Nick Drake, R.E.M., Charlie Hunter, Phil Roy, Glen Hansard, Free, Ani Difranco, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mark Lanegan, Isobel Campbell, Caravan and others. Seems a little light on Jazz this time but that’s just how the muse moved around the library.
Thanks for listening and please try to keep your head up and moving forward while dodging the explosions of upheaval all around. If you can’t find the will to speak, at least offer a smile if you happen to spot a pair of eyes that obviously could use one.
The playlist can be found by clicking HERE
Unsure of the contents prior to opening the box I was not fully prepared to be transported instantly back to the last century, but that is exactly what happened. Bright colors and weird covers adorned the top layer of DAT tapes filling the carton. I don’t even use them anymore but back in the 1990’s it was a very common site. Here they were, I knew I never got rid of them. Last seen in early 2001 while packing to move to Washington, DC for XM. The shows that I did for WHTG from my home studio in Peabody, MA while I was working for Rykodisc. Now there’s a story…. And quite frankly I’m not sure I want to share it all, at least not this week. But since context and environment are a necessary element for full enjoyment, here’s what I will share for now.
Before Ryko I was programming my dream station, Coyote Radio in New Mexico. Located in Santa Fe and privately owned. I thought we would be there forever. It lasted a year and a half! For now we’ll avoid getting into the drama, but this was the period that changed terrestrial radio forever. The future for anything above lowest common denominator programming on FM was terminal once ownership caps were removed. So let’s just say that there is most definitely a book in there.
Rich Robinson had joined me in Santa Fe and wound up staying for a while but I took a great job with Rykodisc and once again moved across the country. This was it as far as Radio was concerned. No more. Fuck Radio! Ryko was a wonderful place to work, truly great people all with music as the center of their life. The roster of artists contained absolute gems like Morphine, Bob Mould, Alejandro Escovedo, Lloyd Cole, Golden Smog, Bruce Cockburn, Medeski, Martin & Wood, John Cale, Andrew Bird, Josh Rouse and on and on. Plus we had the catalogs of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Nick Drake, The Soft Boys, The Undertones and so much more. Jeff Rougvie was the A&R guru and we are friends for life. He’s about ready to publish his book on the label and I can’t wait to read it.
I can’t remember the exact date but in 1997 good old Rich gave me a call that started with “Hey Spike, I’m back in Jersey and you’ll never guess what station I start programming soon.” I hesitated for a second and knew there was only one answer, ``Don't tell me, HTG?” Yep, he was back and talking about “putting the band back together.” He knew there was no way i could afford the beyond extreme pay cut a full time job would be for me, but before long we had devised “Radio Terrorism.” Every Saturday I would do 10 pm to Midnight via a recorded show and Bart Cross-Tierney would come back with his new creation “Barrage From The Garage” LIVE from Midnight to 6 AM. Vintage Vinyl, easily the best and now largest Independent Record Store in the State, would pay for the whole shebang. Owner Rob Roth was a huge supporter of the station since we started it in ‘84 and he was thrilled with the change in programming.
I made zero money for doing the show and didn’t care. They covered blank media (DATS) and all mailing expenses, but the key was the rules. There weren’t any. I could play and say anything I wanted. Rob was basically sub-contracting the signal for 8 hours and was paying six months in advance. He made sure to include a clause in the contract that any forced change to the programming would terminate the deal immediately. This 77th show was actually picked at random out of the box, but is a perfect way to begin the series, as the week before it aired Rich had been let go as PD and the new program director, had a big problem with the lyrical content of the Bruce Cockburn song I played and called me up. I was in no mood. By 1999 my contempt for radio had increased to maximum. With very few exceptions, the corporations were completely in control and had systematically squeezed the adventure, discovery, respect for the audience and above all, fun from the assembly line. They had dumbed everything down to a degree I considered insulting. I almost felt bad for my reaction to that phone call, but I said what I needed to say and am glad I did. Basically I told him to check the contract. Since it was already paid through to a period about 6 weeks or so down the line, I don’t have to play or better yet, not play, anything. You have no say. Consider this my notice. I will fill out the contract and not renew. Please let me know ASAP if you will need me to provide the shows remaining. They did and so did I. Fuck Radio. I was done and haven’t done a show for “terrestrial” radio ever since.
Although very comfortable with computers, I had not yet patched mine for audio, so I would use my basic setup, 2 turntables, 3 compact disc players, 2 cassette machines, a portable DAT and cheesy old reverb. It was all done live, a 2 hour show took about 2 and a half. Today I could put together a 2 hour show in 15 minutes if necessary. And literally none of the gear just listed would be involved.
I can’t believe I have managed to save all the playlists!
The Playlist is right HERE
Last Day Of September, 2022.
R.I.P. Pharoah Sanders
It feels as if the last 4 years have taken a decade and a half at least. A swirling cycle rapidly accelerates the tragedy of Cancer, Death, Lies, Pandemic, Death, more Lies, more Death, Hurricanes, greed, bigger Lies, Corruption, violence, Guns, contempt, spite, lawlessness, bigger LIES… ad nauseum. Picture poor Alex toward the end of A Clockwork Orange. Admittedly some are personal and at this age expected; family, close friends, musicians,. However, the rest of the 24 hour news cycle continues to amp up the volume of pure noise leaving us exhausted and filled with dread when thinking through how astoundingly awful it still may get. Fear rules! And that’s got nothing to do Lee Ving. Take a good look around and try to look someone in the eye. We are a shell covered with skin, rotting from the inside. Helplessly watching our culture devolve into tribes, rituals and sorcery. It’s as if Germany in the 1930’s has been ripped from the history books. Wait a minute, has it? A solid 30-35% of Americans apparently want an Emperor and what’s worse is the one they have chosen. A vain bully with self interest and greed in place of compassion and honor. I still blame Ronald Regan for kicking this drive toward stupidity into high gear. We have reached the result. It is time to start again from scratch. Please Vote.
Music is the only thing prying this Senior Citizen out of bed and pushing forward. The beauty of discovery is alive and well with new arrivals from Linda Chorney, Jean Dawson, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, James Deely, David Poe, Beth Orton, Makaya McCraven, The Smithereens, Buddy Guy with Mavis Staples, Alain Zane, Dr. John, Stevie Nicks, Beck, David Bowie, Cliff Hillis, JD Simo and The War On Drugs. We also bid a tearful farewell to the groundbreaking Pharoah Sanders, closing the episode with the full version of his brilliant “The Creator Has A Master Plan.” Let it wash over you and heal what hurts. Thanks for the support and for listening. VOTE.
Here is where to find the playlist and full cover art.
I'm the one that's got to die when it's time for me to die,
so let me live my life… the way I want to. --- Jimi Hendrix
It’s safe to say that at my age (closer to 70 than 60) saying goodbye to family and friends takes up a much greater part of what time is left. That old saying, “With time comes wisdom” joins all those other tidbits from youth like “these are the best years of your life” and “they grow up so fast” that prove over and over that at least my parents were absolutely telling the truth. Max and I had drifted apart in recent years, mainly due to my entire life exploding in 2018 and the pandemic kind of sealed it, arriving just as I was starting to recover. We always think we’ll have enough time but rarely do, and now that has run out with utmost finality. Classmates through Grammar and High School, music and the counterculture brought us together as friends and he served as Best Man when Cathy and I married in 1980. I’m pretty sure I DJ’d his wedding, as I served as resident DJ for a great deal of the Coakley (and cousins the Holton’s) weddings. They were always a hoot with an ages old velvet painting of Elvis Presley being presented to the newest Bride and Groom from the last couple to get hitched. A touching ceremony and one of the best family traditions I have ever encountered.
Max was usually the smartest guy in the room, he excelled at school. I took a different path but he went to College at Rutgers while I played in bands and ran a record store. I was the oldest child but Max had 4 older brothers and through their influence I was exposed to music I would have either never heard, or discovered much later in life. It was an enormous influence. While at college, Max got into a really bad car accident that he was lucky to survive. The constant pain had him seek help from a Chiropractor, the same one my Pop brought me to see when my back locked up playing Basketball, Dr. Alexander. This changed his life, as he decided that’s what he wanted to do, study to be a Chiropractor. Sure enough he moved to Illinois for school and became a Chiropractor. His time in the Chicago area also had a huge influence on me, as he discovered this amazing radio station that was just getting going called WXRT and he would send me tapes of the programming that blew my mind. We would wind up in separate states quite a bit from then on but regularly communicated through mailed cassettes.
Max, now Dr. Max came back to Jersey, married the sister of my Amazing Bolt brother Tommy and set about opening a small office in the little town we grew up in, South Amboy. Max and the Mrs. had two boys and all was well, or so it seemed. Without getting into specifics, let’s just say the marriage didn’t last, and something in Max broke. He changed. Like a switch had been flicked off. The light never fully returned to his eyes, although it broke through in shorter and shorter bursts. It seemed like he just didn’t care and retreated. I missed him. Dr. Max closed the office and headed for the shore. And that’s where it ended. Alone. 66 is too young to go, especially these days. I’ll never forget him.
This show is a musical remembrance of artists and songs we both loved and touches on so many things that were first brought to my ears through our friendship. It really is the only thing I can do and I need to do it. Hope you enjoy the show.
Playlist is Here
We are having major difficulty with this website, so while I plan our move to a new host you will need to adjust to not getting a big cover picture here. When you follow the playlist link it will be there.
As discussed during last episode, the response to FTB#186, our Power Pop packed tribute to Bobby Sutliff was so positive it was decided to make the next Mixtape Episode, songs we consider Power Pop Essentials. Since #186 was just a few episodes ago, we have not included most of the things played on that show, but they will be ripe for picking for Part 3 which should surface within a month or so. We are at 80% of our fundraising goal and the link is only good for another 4 days, so if you can, the place to go is https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8MLkB5ZR4b. Please accept our deepest gratitude for the support.
PLAYLISTS ARE HERE
Traditionally speaking, this is the point on the calendar signaling arrival of the year’s musical offerings for the be here before ya know it, Holiday Shopping season. Mentally drifting back to days running a record store (1974-1979), with orders placed for months and boxes of shiny new records just starting to appear, carefully opened, examined, priced and placed in a special area waiting to showcase them as the new bounty. Lovingly arranged and fixed with “20% Off” stickers on their freshly shrink wrapped, straight from the pressing plant goodness. One can savor “new car smell” till the cows come home but to these nostrils it’s not even in the same ballpark as “new record smell.” Like a grade school mimeograph, the aroma simply can’t be described, just deeply inhale holding your breath and exhale slowly. “Ahhhh”... Heavenly.
Assembling this episode of FTB inspired precisely that memory. The Afghan Whigs new album was my #1 anticipation and as you will hear it doesn’t disappoint. Joined here by fresh sounds from Built To Spill, Julian Lennon (with Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile), Buddy Guy (with Mavis Staples and Jason Isbell), GA-20, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Son Little, Freedy Johnston, Beth Orton, Ryan Adams, The National, previously unreleased history from Joe Strummer and David Bowie. There are new Kinks remastered sets and the just turned 30 celebration of Sugar’s incendiary pop masterpiece, “Copper Blue” in the mix, as well as a few more tears for the departed Jazz Icon, Ramsey Lewis. Our racks are almost full here and for that we thank your always generous contributions at https://www.paypal.com/pools/c/8MLkB5ZR4b.
THE PLAYLIST IS RIGHT HERE
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