Friday, March 25, 2016

Episode 245: Electric Light Podcast



Episode 245: Electric Light Podcast
Pat and Guest Co-Host David Wild dive deep into the ELO catalogue and play their favorite Jeff Lynne compositions.
From March 24, 2016

With your host:

Pat Francis


00:00:00 Pat and David Wild welcome us to the show. It's the first time David's been back since the live Sammy Hagar episode (you know, the one that had Kyle shunned off in the corner like an unloved stepchild). David admits that he struggled to remain respectful of Pat during the episode (instead of, you know, insulting him like everybody else does). David also admits that his wife LOVES Jimmy Pardo, star of stage and screen. Pat is merely a conduit to Pardo, the main attraction. Pat and David also get into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame talk. They agree in their disappointment of Peter Cetera not showing up to the ceremony. David's met Chicago, they're a nice group of gentlemen, so he assumed it's Cetera who is an ass. But Jeff Garlin (name drop #1) says that Cetera is the nicest guy in the world.
00:05:00 Funny enough, Terry Kath's widow is married to the man behind today's topic: It's Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra. ELO will be the music on the docket, but David did bring some solo Jeff Lynne. David calls Lynne the most dominant member of a group ever: He wrote, sang, produced, and recorded everything. There's criticism that he produces too much, but David can't get enough of it.
00:10:00 There will no Wilburys, but David mentions his love Cloud Nine by George Harrison, which Lynne produced. Pat recommends Joe Walsh's Analog Man, which prompts David to remember how he saw Joe perform live with Ringo Starr on drums (who was wearing a Knack T-shirt) and Jeff Lynne on bass. Jesus. David also once went to a Christmas party at Tom Petty's house. There were about thirty people there, including Harrison and Lynne. Jeeeeeeeesus. Someone offered David drugs, but he declined. Then afterwards David realized "Fuck, I could have been a Wilbury."
00:15:00 Okay, let's kick off the music. David starts things with his favorite Jeff Lynne song, which was originally done by his band The Move, but he prefers the ELO version. It's an alternate mix of "Do Ya" from the box set Flashback.
Pat's first pick is from the same album as the normal version of "Do Ya," A New World Record. The song is "Rockaria!". Friend of David's Adam Carolla also enjoys this song, apparently.
00:20:00 David first got into ELO with the album Eldorado. He plays "Can't Get It Out of My Head". Very beautiful. David realizes that he fell in love with The Beatles through the people they inspired (ELO, The Raspberries).
The movie may have sucked eggs, but the soundtrack sure didn't. Pat plays "All Over the World" from the soundtrack to Xanadu.
00:25:00 David is wearing a laminate from the ELO show that was held a few months back at the Fonda Theatre. Ringo was there, Walsh was there, Pat's "good friend" Steve Lukather was there. It was a great show. Pat and David wonder what Kyle is thinking of these songs. He likes them. Kyle's also a little sleepy because he was cleaning up after Pardcastathon... for free. Well, when you're working for Pardo, his presence is payment enough. David lets slip that he recently interviewed Paul Simon about his new album. He predicts it will be an album of the year from Mr. Simon.
00:30:00 Pat and David gush over Paul Simon a lot, including the album Hearts and Bones. But they don't gush over Songs from The Capeman. Enough about Paul Simon, this show's about Jeff Lynne and ELO, dammit! David plays a song from the under-the-radar 2001 album Zoom. The song is called "Melting in the Sun". Pat is rediscovering Zoom.
00:35:00 David calls Lynne a "high level of studio genius" and he and Pat discuss his work with Randy Newman. They also bring up a Randy Newman album cover that has him in Kiss makeup, which just sounds incredible. Pat plays a deep cut from the album Face the Music called "Down Home Town".
The next song for David is off of the third album On the Third Day. It's "Showdown". As the song fades out, David has gone to Pat's CD collection (oh, they're recording in Francis Manor, by the way) and picked out Mick Jagger's solo album Wandering Spirit. Why? Because HE WAS THERE WITH RICK RUBIN!!!!
00:40:00 Well la-di-da, David's hung out with Rick Rubin. So have Pat and Kyle. Well, sort of. They met him at a Jerry Lewis show. Pat got a picture. It was a thing. Meanwhile Rick personally showed David the music video for Johnny Cash's "Hurt." Okay, he wins. Back when Pat was still a stand up comedian and doing morning radio, he got to go to the prize closet and get something for free. He picked Wandering Spirit, which wouldn't be released for another two weeks. David once got an advance copy of a John Mellencamp album... and promptly left it in the cab.
00:45:00 Oh, one time Jagger read something David did and liked it, so he called David up and asked him to write the liner notes for the Stones compilation Forty Licks... which was due the next day. Pat brings us back to ELO with "Turn to Stone" off the double album Out of the Blue. But forget that, David's got another CD. It's Big World by Joe Jackson, which is a live album with no audience noise. The first time David interviewed Joe Jackson, he was very rude. David had enough and called Jackson an asshole. This turned Jackson right around because he thought David was an asshole simply because he was a music writer and he's dealt with a lot of asshole music writers over the years.
00:50:00 David is just enamored with Pat's CD collection. He could probably pick out any CD at random and just tell a story about that artist. They consider a future episode about such an idea. After mulling over the idea of bringing John Oates onto the podcast, David plays a song that he considers to be the story of his love life. It's "The Diary of Horace Wimp" off the album Discovery. David thinks Lynne brings soul to the machine.
00:55:00 Pat's next pick is from the album Balance of Power (which is actually Pardo's favorite ELO album). The song is called "Heaven Only Knows". At this point, the band is pretty much down to Lynne, Richard Tandy, and Bev Bevan. Lynne and Tandy are always together, much like Petty and Mike Campbell. By the way, at Petty's Christmas party, Campbell was the only Heartbreaker invited. DAVID WILD was invited to Tom Petty's Christmas party. Meanwhile Benmont Tench was cooking up some Spaghetti-O's on a hot plate.
David plays another track from Balance of Power, "Calling America".
01:00:00 The guys turn to the new ELO album, 2015's Alone in the Universe. Pat plays "Dirty to the Bone". David's pick from the album is the title track "Alone in the Universe". David once again hones in on Pat's CDs. The man just can't keep away.
01:05:00 Pat plays a selection from Eldorado. The song is "Boy Blue". David compliments the other members of the Rock Solid, especially those of the female variety. Hubba hubba. Murray made note that he enjoys listening to ELO with his son. This reminds David of his and son's mutual love of Bowie. They both cried when they found out he died. David's just happy that Bowie liked him.
01:10:00 David talked with the director of the Grammys when Jeff Lynne was scheduled to perform; David just wanted Lynne to play "Mr. Blue Sky" off of Out of the Blue. David plays the song here. Meanwhile David is still thinking about Christy and April. Or Betty and Veronica, as he calls them. Pat wonders why Jeff Lynne rerecorded his ELO hits a few years ago. David says it's so he can keep all the licensing money. And to prove that he could do the songs better than the originals.
01:15:00 Pat's next pick off of A New World Record. It's the opening track, "Tightrope". David follows this up with another track off the album, "Livin' Thing".
01:20:00 David describes Lynne as very unpretentious. He learned all his tricks from listening to the radio. Pat and David discuss Long Wave, Jeff's album of pop standards. Pat hates standards, but he likes this. He also hates Rod Stewart doing the Great American Songbook, which David wholeheartedly agrees with. Pat then plays a song from another under-the-radar album, Time. The song is called "The Way Life's Meant to Be".
01:25:00 David does indeed play a song from Lynne's solo album Long Wave. It's a cover of the Everly Brothers' "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)". David enjoys it because Lynne took an old song and made it not sound old. This leads to a discussion about watching old movies with young kids. They like some and don't like others. Pat then drops a bombshell on David, saying that the palace guard on the back of the Discovery album is Brad Garrett!
01:30:00 David is absolutely shocked at this revelation and he KNOWS BRAD GARRETT! My word. Pat plays "Shine a Little Love" off the album Discovery. Here is another shocking revelation that David recently went through: He recently discovered that Van Halen's "I'll Wait" was co-written by Michael McDonald!
David's last pick is another one from A New World Record. The song is "Telephone Line".
01:35:00 A New World Record is Pat and David's favorite ELO album. They also discuss a sundry of things including The Foo Fighters, Randy Newman, and Rick Springfield.
01:40:00 This has been an absolute blast, even if David spent 80% of the time ogling Pat's CD collection. You can find David on Twitter @Wildaboutmusic. We end the show, strangely enough, with a Randy Newman song that is about Electric Light Orchestra. Off the album Born Again, it's "The Story of a Rock and Roll Band".
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:15:00 Do Ya (Alternate Mix) Flashback Electric Light Orchestra David
00:15:00 Rockaria! A New World Record Electric Light Orchestra Pat
00:20:00 Can’t Get It Out of My Head Eldorado Electric Light Orchestra David
00:20:00 All Over the World Xanadu Soundtrack Electric Light Orchestra Pat
00:30:00 Melting in the Sun Zoom Electric Light Orchestra David
00:35:00 Down Home Town Face the Music Electric Light Orchestra Pat
00:35:00 Showdown On the Third Day Electric Light Orchestra David
00:45:00 Turn to Stone Out of the Blue Electric Light Orchestra Pat
00:50:00 The Diary of Horace Wimp Discovery Electric Light Orchestra David
00:55:00 Heaven Only Knows Balance of Power Electric Light Orchestra Pat
00:55:00 Calling America Balance of Power Electric Light Orchestra David
01:00:00 Dirty to the Bone Alone in the Universe Electric Light Orchestra Pat
01:00:00 Alone in the Universe Alone in the Universe Electric Light Orchestra David
01:05:00 Boy Blue Eldorado Electric Light Orchestra Pat
01:10:00 Mr. Blue Sky Out of the Blue Electric Light Orchestra David
01:15:00 Tightrope A New World Record Electric Light Orchestra Pat
01:15:00 Livin’ Thing A New World Record Electric Light Orchestra David
01:20:00 The Way Life’s Meant to Be Time Electric Light Orchestra Pat
01:25:00 So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) Long Wave Jeff Lynne David
01:30:00 Shine a Little Love Discovery Electric Light Orchestra Pat
01:30:00 Telephone Line A New World Record Electric Light Orchestra David
01:40:00 The Story of a Rock and Roll Band Born Again Randy Newman Pat

Friday, March 18, 2016

Episode 244: Kenny Aronoff



Episode 244: Kenny Aronoff
Legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (Mellencamp, Etheridge, Fogerty, Smashing Pumpkins) sits down with Pat, Murray and Kyle to discuss his career as a sought after musician. I guarantee you will be air drumming throughout this episode!
From March 17, 2016

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

Murray Valeriano


00:00:00 Pat, Murray, and Kyle welcome us to the show. Joining the boys in the recording studio today is the very talented (and very busy) drummer Kenny Aronoff!

Kenny is so busy recording and touring with various musicians that it's making people mad. Now he's writing his autobiography. Kenny wrote a lot, luckily he kept calendars of everything he's done over the years. He feels like it's too obnoxious, writing about going from Bon Jovi to Elton John to Bob Seger to Indigo Girls to Willie Nelson to John Fogerty to Rolling Stones. "And that's just page one," says Murray. But that was what was normal for Kenny.
00:05:00 Kenny had to keep rescheduling the podcast (for obvious reasons), but Pat and Murray are super excited that he's finally here. Pat introduces a little bit of Kenny's talents on the drums with a song by John Cougar Mellencamp. It's "Justice and Independence '85" off the album Scarecrow. Kenny had to come up with the drum solo on the spot for Mellencamp. He'll use the first takes, even if there are fuck-ups. JCM does not like perfection. He doesn't like putting things "on the grid," nor does Kenny. "Mediocrity has become the norm," he says. "People are accepting shit." Pat prefers the period of Mellencamp with Kenny on drums over everything else.
00:10:00 Mellencamp is a proud motherfucker, according to Kenny. He's a fighter, a guy who lost his deal with the record company and had to work hard to get it back. When Mellencamp and the band had a hit record, they did not want to stop because they didn't want to be a flash in the pan. Back then, record companies had money to spend to help bands out. Now there's no money. Mellencamp wanted Kenny's drums loud in the mix and even fought guys to get it done. He wanted "Hurts So Good" to blow the other songs off the radio.
00:15:00 John and Kenny and the rest did the AC/DC approach to recording: loud and clear. No clutter. As a result, Kenny was playing simpler, but the sound was mammoth. Oftentimes Mellencamp would warn Kenny not to fuck up the song they were recording. One time Mellencamp literally kicked an A&R guy in the ass for not liking a song they were working on in the studio. Like Kenny said, proud motherfucker.
00:20:00 The album American Fool gave them a number one hit. And back then, when you were number one, you were NUMBER ONE. Pat plays the song, "Jack & Diane". When "Hurts So Good" took off, they started making music videos in Indiana with real people. Kenny lets slip that he had sex with one of the women that was dancing at the bar in the "Hurts So Good" video. Mellencamp owned the midwest like Springsteen owned Jersey and Seger owned Detroit. When "Jack & Diane" hit #1, there was one second of joy, followed by a mountain of worry. How were they going to follow it up?
00:25:00 The follow up album, Uh-Huh, was recorded very quickly on a pig farm. When they finished the album, John realized they didn't have a single, so he wrote "Crumblin' Down" in a jiffy. Once again, "Don't fuck it up, Kenny." Kenny defines his purpose in the Mellencamp band: Get those songs on the radio to #1.
Kenny was born in Albany, NY, then grew up in a town in Western Massachusetts. It was an artsy, cool place to grow up; a lot of famous people would summer there. He was drawn to the drums as a kid when he saw, who else, The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.
00:30:00 Kenny got his first cheap drum kit and played Beatles and Beach Boys covers in a band. Then 50 years later Kenny helped honor The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl and recorded with Brian Wilson in the same year. Side note, Pat saw Kenny with The Smashing Pumpkins at a Halloween show where the band dressed as The Beatles. Nobody in the crowd got it. Side side note, Murray brings up the "Pink Houses" contest (which he sadly didn't win). It was called "Paint the Mutha Pink." You could win an MTV Party House (which they would then have to paint pink) and party with Mellencamp and the gang. Kenny remembers this contest fondly. He also remembers they had to sell the house because the land it was situated on was polluted with toxic waste. Rock and roll!!! Anyway, Kenny was self-taught to begin with, then he got classically trained by a Boston Symphony Orchestra member.
00:35:00 He was practicing like crazy. He went to college at UMass Amherst for a year, but it wasn't the right fit. Then Kenny went to the Aspen School of Music and discovered he was the worst percussionist there. But he really liked his teacher, so he followed him to Indiana University.
00:40:00 During his training, Kenny had to go through rigorous, intense auditions. When he auditioned for UMass, he couldn't sight read, but he still got in because the teacher knew he could teach him. Then Kenny had to play in front of the school and he forgot the first note. It made Kenny realize that yeah, there will be times when he will be scared, but there is no room for fuck-ups. He has to always be prepared because people rely on him for a lot of things.
00:45:00 Pat plays a song by a different artist that Kenny worked with, Mary Chapin Carpenter. It's "Shut Up and Kiss Me" off the album Stones in the Road.
Kenny has worked with a lot of ladies, but the one Pat wants to talk about is Melissa Etheridge. They met when Kenny was coming in to record a song with Rod Stewart and he bumped into Melissa and her producer Hugh Padgham. Kenny was blown away by her powerful singing; they really motivated each other. Pat plays "I Want to Come Over" off the album Your Little Secret.
00:50:00 Kenny left Mellencamp in 1996, he was touring with Bob Seger. On his days off, he was booking recording sessions. He was making SERIOUS BANK. When the tour was over, it was the first time in his career that Kenny wasn't part of a band. Then all of a sudden, Melissa calls him up and asks Kenny to go on tour with her. Kenny enthusiastically and immediately agreed.
00:55:00 Unfortunately Kenny only had a limited time to rehearse the songs because he was booked solid with recording sessions. Kenny's approach to learning songs is that he writes all of the cues out on charts. He really liked being with Melissa because he felt he was doing something relevant. He also describes himself as a problem solver when it came to recording.
01:00:00 Pat brings up a few other ladies that Kenny's played with. He had a number one hit with Belinda Carlisle. He plays "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" from th album Heaven on Earth.
Kenny once recorded 13 tracks in one day, eight of which were for Alanis Morissette. Off the album So-Called Chaos, Pat plays "Eight Easy Steps".
01:05:00 One more lovely lady that Kenny's worked with is Avril Lavigne. Pat plays "My Happy Ending" off the album Under My Skin. Kenny recorded th song by himself in the room. With every song he does, he envisions himself as an actor learning a role. He has to figure out which sound works for the song.
Switching gears, Pat brings up Kenny's work with Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes on an album called Fused. Pat plays "Dopamine". They were actually supposed to be a band. Then another band decided to get back together (a little outfit called Black Sabbath), so that was the end of that.
01:10:00 Murray has a few tracks that he wants to showcase. The first is by a guy named Michael Penn (Sean and Chris' brother). Penn actually used two drummers in the mix, Kenny on the left and Jim Keltner on the right. Kenny was surprised when he showed up and saw two drum kits in the studio. Murray plays "Evenfall" off the album March. Kenny worked with Jim again on Charlie Watts' solo record, which led him to working with The Rolling Stones. Kenny also worked with Bob Dylan. The only thing Bob said to him was "Hey Kenny, Bob. Bob Dylan." Don Was was the producer for the album (Under a Red Sky), and him and Kenny became great friends. Don worked a lot with Kenny on live broadcasts.
01:15:00 Murray plays a big song in Kenny's career, "Blaze of Glory" by Jon Bon Jovi off the album Blaze of Glory. Pat follows this up with a song off the same album, "Never Say Die".
Those sessions are where Kenny met Aldo Nova. He played on Aldo's album Blood on the Bricks. Pat praises the album. Kenny played so hard back then that he had to change the snare head three times per song. Pat plays "Blood on the Bricks".
01:20:00 Pat plays two more songs from the album, the first being "Bright Lights" and the second being "Touch of Madness".
Murray brings up another artist, an Australian named Jimmy Barnes. He plays a cover of "Piece of My Heart", a duet with Tina Harrod from the album Double Happiness. Kenny also performed the song with Melissa and Joss Stone at th Grammys after Melissa had her cancer treatments.
01:25:00 Kenny is John Fogerty's guy as often as he can be. Fogerty is very particular; he went through 30 drummers before settling on Kenny. Kenny also had to audition to be in The Smashing Pumpkins, which surprises Pat. It's not just about playing, it's about how you are offstage. Who does Kenny admire? Dave Grohl, he likes. Neil Peart. Neil is actually writing the forward to Kenny's book. When an artist uses multiple drummers on an album, who decides who gets to play on which song? They cast it. Which catalogue is the most fun to play? Bob Seger's.
01:30:00 Kenny also enjoys playing Joe Cocker's catalogue, Melissa's, Styx's, Smashing Pumpkins'. Billy Corgan is in the book. Mellencamp is in the book. Kenny wanted John to write honestly. If Mellencamp called, would Kenny answer? Absolutely.
01:35:00 The book is coming out in the fall. Kenny says the reason he's had so much work over the years is because he's had to adapt. Either you adapt and move forward, or you die on the vine. Melissa is in the book, Jon Bon Jovi, Taylor Hawkins, Tommy Lee, Tommy Lee's penis. Murray compliments Kenny on how he can play any style. Kenny is also in great shape. Kenny works out a lot and eats healthily.
01:40:00 Kenny says it's all about being active and having a plan and DOING SOMETHING. "Nothing equals nothing," he remarks. You should also base your actions on your values, not your emotions. He doesn't believe in pampering your kids. Not everyone can be winners.
01:45:00 What about Kenny's family? Kenny has a son, 31, who is also a kickass drummer. Kenny is a total workaholic, which he admits led to a few failed marriages (that and him not being the biggest fan of monogamy). But now he's happily married (and happily monogamist), and he makes sure his wife always comes first. Kenny also gives lessons and does speaking engagements. His website is KennyAronoff.com. His Twitter is @AronoffOFFICIAL. The title of his autobiography is the appropriately titled Sex, Drums, and Rock & Roll.
01:50:00 This was a very fun and informative show with Kenny. Pat and Murray would love to have him back on when the book comes out because there is so much they didn't get to. Thanks to Kenny for taking time out of his very busy schedule for joining the show. Pat takes us out with a song that features two other Rock Solid guests. It's "Between the Lines" by Bruce Kulick featuring Steve Lukather from the album BK3.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:05:00 Justice and Independence ‘85 Scarecrow John Cougar Mellencamp Pat
00:20:00 Jack & Diane American Fool John Cougar Mellencamp Pat
00:45:00 Shut Up and Kiss Me Stones in the Road Mary Chapin Carpenter Pat
00:45:00 I Want to Come Over Your Little Secret Melissa Etheridge Pat
01:00:00 Heaven Is a Place on Earth Heaven on Earth Belinda Carlisle Pat
01:00:00 Eight Easy Steps So-Called Chaos Alanis Morissette Pat
01:05:00 My Happy Ending Under My Skin Avril Lavigne Pat
01:05:00 Dopamine Fused Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes Pat
01:10:00 Evenfall March Michael Penn Murray
01:15:00 Blaze of Glory Blaze of Glory Jon Bon Jovi Murray
01:15:00 Never Say Die Blaze of Glory Jon Bon Jovi Pat
01:15:00 Blood on the Bricks Blood on the Bricks Aldo Nova Pat
01:20:00 Bright Lights Blood on the Bricks Aldo Nova Pat
01:20:00 Touch of Madness Blood on the Bricks Aldo Nova Pat
01:20:00 Piece of My Heart Double Happiness Jimmy Barnes feat. Tina Harrod Murray
01:50:00 Between the Lines BK3 Bruce Kulick feat. Steve Lukather Pat