James Campion, author of Shout It Out Loud: The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon, recently sat down with Iron City Rocks to discuss the book. Shout It Out Loud is a serious examination of the circumstance and serendipity that fused the creation of the band’s seminal work, Destroyer – including the band’s arduous ascent to the unexpected smash hit, Alive!; the ensuing lawsuits between the band’s management and label, plus more. Take a listen to the podcast below.
The rock band KISS has galvanized the entertainment world with an unparalleled blitz of bravado, theatrically, and shameless merchandizing, garnering generations of loyalty rabid fans for more than 40 years. But if not of a few crucial months in late 1975 and early 1976, KISS may have ended up nothing more than a foot note. What changed it all? Their album Destroyer.
Author James Campion discussed this album in particular in the interview saying that KISS, who had never been involved in controversy in their career before, were now in the forefront with the release of Destroyer. It was an album that you either loved or hated.
Destroyer is the indisputable KISS mission statement – the realization of a dream that stridently reflects the extraordinary time from which it was fashioned. Destroyer is 70s rock: loud, yes and decadent, you bet, but mostly it is pompous, weird, and fantastical… It is a cartoon fantasy’s parody of excess. Its message is fun and doom all rolled up in a thunderous package of melodramatic farce.
Shout it out Loud is the story of how an underground rock and roll oddity became a cultural phenomena.
Jeff Cioletti, author of Beer FAQ, sat down with Steal This Beer to discuss not only all things beer, but to blind taste and dissect two beers live on air. The podcast is led beer gurus Augie Carton (Carton Brewing) and John Holl (All About Beer Magazine) who get to the bottom of the day’s most pressing craft beer issues with help from opinionated brewer friends, know-it-all barkeeps, and smarmy industry insiders. Take a listen below:
There has never been, in the history of the world, a better time to drink a beer
During the Steel This Beer podcast, the book was referred to as “compressed one man’s Oxford.” Jeff Cioletti’s Beer FAQ answers many burning questions about the diverse array of styles, ingredients, and international brewing and drinking traditions that drive the world’s most popular adult beverage. Beer FAQ was written matter-of-factly, efficiently, and clean cut.
One of the segments of the podcast is blind tasting beer Augie, John, and Jeff blind tasted beer while sharing what they thought it would go great with. All shared different reactions which gave for better options for listeners to try once the ‘blind beer’ was revealed. What better game for Jeff to play as he has a chapter dedicated to this, ‘Perfect Couples: The Beer and Food Movement.’ In further discussion of the book, there was talk of what the hosts agreed and disagreed with in regards to certain picks Jeff chose to feature.
In Beer FAQ, Cioletti offers a touch of history, a bit of globetrotting, and a look at the companies and enterprising individuals leading the modern brewing renaissance. He provides readers with a better understanding of not just the many varieties of beers out there, but also the best places to drink them and the best ways to enjoy them, from the ideal packaging to the proper drinking vessels. He also takes a nostalgic look at beer’s evolving role in pop culture—from advertising to television to movies—over the past century.
JEFF CIOLETTI is an internationally recognized beverage writer, having served as editor-in-chief of Beverage World magazine and written articles for a variety of publications, including Draft and All About Beer magazine. He is also the author of the book The Year of Drinking Adventurously and writer/producer/director of Beerituality, a feature-length comedy set in the world of craft beer. Cioletti is the creator and host of the weekly web beverage news show The Drinkable Week at DrinkableGlobe.com. He has been interviewed on a wide range of beverage-related topics for major national media outlets, including TV, radio, and print.
Kenny Aronoff, one of Rolling Stones’, ‘Top 100 Drummers of All Time,’ can now add author to his repertoire with the release of Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll! In the whirlwind of press surrounding this release, he sat down with Tim Barnicle and Harry Hill of the ‘How I Got Here’ podcast. The trio discussed Aronoff’s early years, career, and new venture as an author and speaker. Take a listen below.
Playing felt good spiritually, emotionally, physically; every which way….It was just an organic thing. I was just naturally drawn to the energy of the drums.
Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll!, with a foreword by Rush drummer Neil Peart, and researched and developed with Jake Brown, takes readers on Aronoff’s amazing journey from the small New England town where he watched the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 to performing alongside Paul and Ringo on a television special 50 years later. Along the way it chronicles an uncommon career in which the excesses of the rock ’n’ roll life are always tempered by his core personal and professional values.
The interview took listeners on a journey of what to expect in the book from his love for the Beatles to his early career of playing in a bar at the age of 13 with his twin brother. He’s one of the hardest workers for a reason having explained how he worked endlessly to reach his goals. It wasn’t about money. It wasn’t about fame. It was about accomplishing not only what he set out to do, but ultimately staking his claim in rock & roll and beyond.
I spread myself al over the map my entire career and I got teased for it. Classical people teased me about playing rock. The rock people teased me about played classical….That means I am different and I will pledge to follow my own beat, my own muse, my own thing.
“Staying the course” has never been enough for Aronoff, who has consistently embraced his own uniqueness while charting his life’s path. This has included taking his music career into every genre imaginable and branching beyond the stage and studio to build a second career as a business speaker.
Writing the book took four years and then what came of it was a speaking career that I’m really pushing….It’s really an inspirational evening with Kenny Aronoff where you’re entertained, but I’m talking about how to be successful and stay successful.
In Sex, Drums, Rock ’n’ Roll!, Aronoff paints the portrait of an artist, instructor, and businessman who never followed the norm, always followed his heart, and never settled for anything short of excellence.
There’s definitely a little bit of fear in me. I told my mom when I was 11 I was going to do this for the rest of my life. Now that I’m 63, I’m still saying I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. I want that choice.
Musician and poet, Leonard Cohen, has died at age 82. In celebration of his 80th birthday back in 2014, Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows by Harvey Kubernick was published. The book is a celebration of the life, music, and poetry of the unique artist and music legend. Kubernick sat down with Talk Radio Europe when the book was released to discuss the book and life of Cohen. Take a listen below.
Cohen arrived at the 1960s pop-music party fashionably late, releasing his debut album – Songs of Leonard Cohen – in 1967. At the age of 33, he was the adult in the room, a room brimming, then as now, with literary pretension and artistic self-importance. But Cohen, already established as a respected poet and novelist, was the real deal. In the decades since, he has battled with drugs, love, and bankruptcy; become a Buddhist monk while simultaneously reaffirming his Jewish faith; and recorded 11 more albums of unfailingly affecting beauty.
The interview with Talk Radio Europe discussed the evolution and mastermind of Leonard Cohen. From his song ‘Suzanne’ to the infamous ‘Hallelujah,’ Harvey Kubernik gave Talk Radio Europe listeners a snapshot into it all. In addition to the art of Cohen, Kubernick discussed their countless encounters providing further insight into Cohen’s personality and legacy.
I think the songs continue because they can be done by rock bands and they can be done instrumentally. They can be done by female and male vocalists. I think almost superseding the legacy of music. I know things started on the printed page and he started as a writer, but I also know people that buy Hallelujah, or see it, or want to sing along with it; not all of them in the audience have Leonard’s books or anthologies. So there’s something about what he’s offering on stage.
With an insider’s knowledge, author Harvey Kubernik reviews Cohen’s unique achievements, beginning as a young poet in Montreal through his 2012 album, Old Ideas, and his acclaimed worldwide concert tour. Illustrated with 200 rare photographs and items of memorabilia and featuring the recollections and comments of those who have worked with him and are close to him.
The man. The music. The poet. The visionary.
Michael Jackson a name that will cemented in history forever. Kit O’Toole, author of Michael Jackson FAQ,sat down with Steve Ludwig of Classic Pop Culture to discuss the book in addition to how Michael revolutionized modern music and pop culture.
Michael Jackson FAQ takes a fresh look at Jackson’s four-decade career, covering his work in three acts – the Jackson 5, the Jacksons, and his solo years. Along the way, O’Toole reveals details such as Michael’s earliest musical influences; the Jackson 5’s start on the Steeltown label; the key players truly involved in the group’s discovery; Michael’s transformation in to a prolific songwriter; his explorations of genres, from soul to disco to pop and hip hop; the tours, videos, and notable television appearances; his best-selling albums (Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous); outtakes and obscure tracks; and more.
The purpose of this book was not to focus on the controversy surrounding Michael or even his life, this was to focus on him as an artist. Kit explained that so many books has been written about those topics, but she wanted to stress his contribution to music and pop culture instead.
He did so many thing and revolutionized music video. He made an impact opening doors for a lot of African-American artists.
The interview continued with O’Toole sharing 10 songs from Michael’s solo and years with the Jacksons going more in depth with a few sharing the art of the songs from his vocals to the writing and collaborations. Steve Ludwig went through each of the 41 chapters pin pointing a few here and there for further discussion. This interview zoned in on the art and musical genius of Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson FAQ also takes a long look at Michael’s work in films (The Wiz, Captain EO); his guest vocal appearances; and his collaborations with such music makers as Quincy Jones, Bruce Swedien, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and Diana Ross.
The interview touched on Michael’s relationship with his brother, Jermaine, in reference to the chapter ‘Whenever You Need Me I’ll Be There: The Unique Singing Chemistry of Michael and Jermaine Jackson.’ O’Toole also discussed Michael’s friendships with Queen’s Freddie Mercury and producer/songwriter, Rod Temperton. The friendships that Michael Jackson created in the industry was displayed in his music as he was the pioneer of fusing Rock, R&B, and Pop.
Most importantly, Michael Jackson FAQ celebrates Michael’s legacy – his influence on countless artists from New Edition to Justin Timberlake, as well as his widespread impact on artistry across many media, from music to choreography to videography to fashion.
That’s what I hope that people walk away with is renewed appreciation of what he did, what he left us, and how his legacy is enduring.
Dave Hogan, author of UFO FAQ, was recently interviewed by Howard Hughes host of The Unexplained. The Unexplained is a podcast that Hughes created to merge his hard news and broadcasting skills with his lifelong interest in paranormality,space and science. Listen to their discussion of Ufology below.
UFO FAQ is an all-inclusive guide to UFO lore – hard science and hoaxes, sightings and abductions, noted UFO proponents and skeptics, and sanctioned research and purported government cover-ups. Readers will meet cultists and explore worldwide UFO “hot spots.” They’ll learn about UFOs in World War II, the Cold War, and the age of terrorism. And they’ll zip along with UFOs in movies, comics, TV, and other popular media.
This interview takes a closer look into the process Dave took in creating the book. This is the seventh book he’s written and he said it was the most difficult and time consuming. While most of his books only took him between 8 to 10 months to write, this book took 18 months. Although it was a longer process, that length of time shows just how in depth he went with the topic. He also noted that while this is a single volume, he could have gone further in creating an encyclopedia on the various topics. The topics he chose were a representation of similar stories.
What is a UFO? Simply put, a flying object not immediately identifiable. Hughes starts the the discussion in the early 1900s continuing up until the modern UFO era post 1947. For those that may not have read the book and may not have a clue what Ufology is, this segment gives the first glimpse into the early sightings. Dave even shares the story of the 1937 broadcast of Orson Welles’s, War of the Worlds.
Hughes continues the conversation entering World War II. Dave shares the story of the private aviator, Kenneth Arnold, and his 1947 sighting. There’s even a chapter in the book solely dedicated to Arnold titled, ‘Kenneth Arnold, the Eyewitness: He Saw What He Saw When He Saw It.’ Hogan cites Arnold and the crash at Roswell as gateways into the government interest of UFOs.
The interview continues with snapshots of various chapters that detail stories of UFO sightings, including 1967 and 1973. The 1973 case was more in depth into how the aliens were interested in the human body and the topic of abductions. Hughes ties these findings into how Hollywood has depicted this information such as the movie, Mars Needs Women.
In narrowing down who was the most influential over the past century, Dave chose two, J. Allen Hyneck and Ray Palmer. J. Allen Hyneck, a scientist, brought scientific discipline to Ufology. He also notes Ray Palmer, a magazine editor more commonly known as, “The Man Who Invented Flying Saucers.”
What an amazing walk through of UFO FAQ bringing the text to life. Listeners not only learn about the process to creating a compendium as such, but gain a better understanding and detailed look into Ufology. Very well done and thorough.
Bob Carlin, author of Banjo: An Illustrated History, spoke with Jason Verlinde of The Fretboard Jorunal! The Fretboard Journal magazine hosts a weekly podcast that features interviews with legendary guitarists, luthiers, and much more. On the podcast they spoke about Bob’s book, the history of the banjo, and how writing this book came to be. Listen to the podcast below to learn more!
The banjo is emblematic of American country music, and it is at the core of other important musical movements, including jazz and ragtime. The instrument has been adopted by many cultures and has been ingrained into many musical traditions, from Mento music in the Caribbean and dance music in Ireland. Virtuosos such as Béla Fleck have played Bach, African music, and Christmas tunes on the five-string banjo, and the instrument has had a resurgence in pop music with such acts a Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers.
In Banjo: An Illustrated History (June 2016, Backbeat Books, $35), author, broadcaster, and acclaimed banjoist Bob Carlin offers the first comprehensive, illustrated history of the banjo in its many forms. He traces the story of the instrument from its roots in West Africa to its birth in the Americas, through its coming of age in the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
Banjo: An Illustrated History profiles the most important players and spotlights key luthiers and manufacturers and features 100 “milestone instruments” with in-depth coverage, including model details and beautiful photos. It offers historical context surrounding the banjo through the ages, from its place in Victorian parlors and speakeasies through its role in the folk boom of the 1950s and 1960s to its place in the hands of songwriter John Hartford and comedian Steve Martin.
Folk, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock – the banjo has played an important part in all of these genres. Lavishly illustrated, and thoughtfully written Banjo: An Illustrated History is a must-have for lovers of fretted instruments, aficionados of roots music, and music history buffs.
John Breglio, author of I Wanna Be a Producer, was on University of Pennsylvania’s podcast, Knowledge@Wharton! In addition to speaking about his book he also spoke about his life and how he transitioned from being a lawyer to producing Broadway shows. To hear the entire podcast click on the link below!
What does a producer actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? In I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway…or Get Killed, John Breglio – a Broadway veteran with more than 40 years experience – shares an exceptional road map for the hows and wherefores, the dos and don’ts of producing a Broadway play. In this highly informative book, Breglio offers practical concepts for the aspiring producer and entertains with great personal anecdotes from his illustrious career as a leading theatrical lawyer and producer.
Breglio recounts not only his first-hand knowledge of the crucial legal and business issues faced by a producer, but also his experiences behind-the-scenes with literally hundreds of producers, playwrights, composers, and directors, including such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti Lupone, August Wilson, and Mel Brooks.
Says Breglio, “Ultimately, my goal is to give the business of producing the respect it deserves. It is a profession that requires numerous skills, both business and creative. It demands relentless fortitude and optimism, and it should never be assumed casually without recognizing the enormity of the task.”
Working or aspiring producers, investors, directors, actors, designers, teachers — as well as those who are simply curious about the backstage reality of the theater — will relish John Breglio’s sage advice and irresistible storytelling. They’ll also treasure the included DVD of Every Little Step, a documentary of the auditions for the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.
I Wanna Be a Producer is indispensable reading for theater professionals and fans of all levels – from high school drama clubs to college theater programs, from community theater groups and summer stock to The Great White Way.
Authors of Twin Peaks FAQ, David Bushman and Arthur Smith spoke with Bob Andelman, also known as, Mr. Media! They discussed Twin Peaks FAQ, the enduring appeal of Twin Peaks, and its comeback to television. To listen to the whole interview click on the link below!
Twin Peaks, the infamously strange, seductive, and confounding murder mystery, first made network television safe for surrealism 25 years ago, is set to return to the small screen in early 2017. Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the series continues to enjoy a hallowed standing in popular culture and remains a touchstone in the evolution of TV as an artistic medium.
For its many intensely devoted fans, Twin Peaks continues to beguile and disturb and delight; it’s a bottomless well of allusions, symbols, conundrums to ponder and images to unpack, an endlessly engrossing puzzle box, an obsessive’s dream.
Twin Peaks FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About a Place Both Wonderful and Strange by David Bushman and Arthur Smith (June 2016, Applause Books, $19.99) will guide longtime fans and the newly initiated through the origins of the series, take them behind the scenes during its production, and transport readers deep into the rich mythology that made Twin Peaks a cultural phenomenon.
Bushman and Smith provide detailed episode guides, character breakdowns, and explorations of the show’s distinctive music, fashion, and locations. With a sometimes snarky, always thoughtful – but never dry or academic – analysis of Twin Peaks‘ myriad oddities, mysteries, references, and delicious insanity, Twin Peaks FAQ is a comprehensive, immersive, and irresistible reference for experts and newbies alike.
Norman Harris, author of Confessions of a Vintage Guitar Dealer, was on The Bloomberg Advantage on Bloomberg Radio. He spoke with hosts Carol Massar and Cory Johnson about the book, and gave a short story you won’t find inside the book! Click on the link below to hear the entire interview.
In Confessions of a Vintage Guitar Dealer, Norman Harris tells how he became the world’s leading seller of vintage guitars. As founder and owner of the legendary store Norman’s Rare Guitars, he has sold some of the finest fretted string instruments to the biggest stars in the world, including George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and many others.
In 1970 Harris moved to Los Angeles in hopes of hitting the big time in music. His first plan was performing, but plan B was buying and selling guitars, and he had no idea how much opportunity for this there would be. Many groups came to LA also hoping to hit it big, but those who didn’t might have to sell their instruments. This helped make early-1970s Los Angeles a haven for beautiful vintage guitars. At the same time, Hollywood was beginning to realize the value of time-correct instruments in film, and the recording industry recognized the high-quality sound vintage instruments produced. The value of these instruments has grown dramatically since the ’70s, and the vintage guitar market has become an international phenomenon – with Norman Harris at the center of it all.
Filled with fascinating stories and insights into the entertainment business, Confessions of a Vintage Guitar Dealer is an intriguing memoir from a man who has spent a lifetime getting extraordinary instruments into the hands of extraordinary artists.