Saturday, December 31, 2016

Episode 285: Tony Brock



Episode 285: Tony Brock
Pat and Kyle close out 2016 with guest Tony Brock. Tony discusses his career as a founding member of The Babys as well as his time drumming for the Rod Stewart Group.
From December 29, 2016

With your host:

Pat Francis


00:00:00 Pat and Kyle welcome us to the show. Today the two play host to a very special guest. He's a founding member and drummer for The Babys and a former member of Rod Stewart's band. It's Tony Brock! Tony begins by talking about his early days. All he wanted to do as a kid was play the drums. His first big band was called Spontaneous Combustion. They went on tour for 18 months with Emerson, Lake and Palmer of whom Tony's a massive fan.
00:05:00 Pat asks Tony about his influences. Elton John, with whom Tony would eventually play. He was in a band with Elton and Bernie Taupin. How did The Babys come about? It was Tony, Michael Corby, Wally Stocker, and John Waite who were the original members. Tony was originally in a band called Strider, but Michael hounded Tony to come aboard The Babys. During those first few years, Waite was not only singing, but also playing the bass.
00:10:00 We hear the first track from the Babys' self-titled debut album. The song is called "Looking for Love". The band was full of energy. Tony remarks that as you get older, you start getting into the groove better. Pat wonders who came up with the grammatically incorrect spelling of the band's name. Tony and the guys were looking for a band name and "The Babys" just stuck. It got everybody's attention. It didn't take The Babys long to get signed to a record deal. They worked the Marquee Club in London, opening for the top groups.
00:15:00 The Babys made a video for "Looking for Love" and Chrysalis Records signed them up. Then they went to America in 1975 and they never looked back. Tony's lived in California since '78. Bob Ezrin produced the first Babys album. Pat plays the single off the album, "If You've Got the Time". It went to #88 on the U.S. charts. Tony actually had to relearn the song when The Babys reformed. Pat then plays a song with Tony on lead vocals called "Over and Over".
00:20:00 Tony sounded like a teen heartthrob. He loved singing in the choir as a kid. Pat plays another song with Tony on lead vocals from the band's second album Broken Heart called "Silver Dreams". It's Tony's favorite Babys album. Ron Nevison produced it. Tony remembers putting the song together on the piano in his apartment. Pat notes that Tony has quite a bit of songwriting credits on the album. Tony helped with the arrangements and some of the melodies and left the lyrics to the lead singer.
00:25:00 The band broke through to #13 with the song "Isn't It Time?". Pat remarks how great the cymbals sound on the album; when he plays the cymbals they sound horrible. Tony says that every cymbal sounds different, even if they're the same make and model. For the first two albums, The Babys are a tight-knit foursome. They would go out with Styx, Journey, Alice Cooper. Tony calls Alice the nicest guy in the world. It was a total contrast from his stage persona. Tony tells one story of The Babys and Alice riding on Alice's plane. The plane briefly dropped and The Babys freaked out. Alice was totally calm because apparently it happened all the time.
00:30:00 Ron Nevison stuck around for the third Babys album Head First in 1979. Pat plays the title track "Head First". Pat gets frustrated that these Babys songs are not played on FM rock radio like Journey and Foreigner. Head First is Pat's favorite Babys album. Tony recalls doing a take of "Head First" and the vibe was that this was THE take. Then Ron interrupted them half-way through because he had to take a phone call in his limo. Pat plays the opening track "Love Don't Prove I'm Right".
00:35:00 Tony and Pat praise guitarist Wally Stocker for his sound. Nevison engineered Led Zeppelin, so he knew how to make Wally sound spectacular. Tony and Wally remain great mates to this day. Another single off the album also went to #13, "Every Time I Think of You". Tony still gets chills hearing it.
00:40:00 Both that song and "Isn't It Time?" were written by an outside duo--Jack Conrad and Ray Kennedy--and sounded completely different on the demo. Tony and the boys made sure that it sounded like The Babys, ballad or not. Head First was also the first album released with The Babys as a trio. Michael Corby was drifting further away from the group; he wouldn't leave his apartment. Eventually management decided to just let him go. Tony laments Michael leaving the band because he loved playing with him, but Michael just became a stranger. After Michael left, the band recruited two new members: Jonathan Cain on keyboards and Ricky Phillips on bass guitar, two quite talented Yanks. Ricky joining meant John was now strictly a lead singer.
00:45:00 Jonathan and Ricky joining the band steered them in a poppier direction. They released two albums in 1980. The first was Union Jacks. Pat plays the song "Back on My Feet Again". Tony notes the similarity in sounds between this period of The Babys and Journey. That would be thanks to Jonathan Cain, who would leave The Babys for Journey in the same year. Gregg Rolie handpicked Jonathan to be his replacement.
00:50:00 Jonathan leaves for Journey, John Waite decides to go solo, and suddenly that was it for The Babys. Tony and Wally stayed in touch. They hoped John would do a solo album, then come back. But then "Missing You" hit and John took off on a rocket. Tony and Wally always had it in the back of their minds that they would reform the band because they loved playing together. A band like The Babys does not come around often. But it was The Babys' credibility as a band that kept them alive in the hearts of their fans. Pat plays a few more Babys songs. First up is a track from the last Babys album On the Edge called "Post Card".
00:55:00 Then Pat plays a song Tony cowrote with Jonathan called "Too Far Gone". Tony hasn't heard that song in a long time, 25 years. After The Babys broke up, how did Tony meet up with Rod Stewart? They first met in the mid-70s. Rod wanted Tony to join his band then, but Tony was just starting in The Babys. He wanted to do his own thing. Carmine Appice would be Rod's drummer instead.
01:00:00 Tony and Rod reconnected for Rod's album Foolish Behaviour (with Tony strictly on backing vocals) in 1980, then Tony stepped behind the kit for the album Tonight I'm Yours in 1981. Tony thought he was just coming in for one song, but Rod fell in love so much with Tony's sound that he offered him the spot as his permanent drummer. It was all VERY awkward because Carmine, who was still Rod's drummer, was at the recording sessions. Carmine ended up being okay with Tony becoming Rod's new drummer, so Tony slept easy at night.
01:05:00 Pat plays a song off Tonight I'm Yours called "Tora, Tora, Tora (Out with the Boys)". This tour was the first time that Pat saw Rod (and consequently Tony) live. He also saw them on the Camouflage tour with Jeff Beck. Tony says Jeff was quite the mercurial chap, but fantastic to play with. Jeff bailed on the tour partway through, but that's how Jeff is. Wally also played with Rod and Tony on the TIY tour. Pat plays a live version of "Young Turks" with Rod, Wally, and Tony from the album Absolutely Live.
01:10:00 We move on to Rod's 1983 album Body Wishes. Pat plays a song Tony cowrote with Rod and bassist Jay Davis called "What Am I Gonna Do (I'm So in Love with You)". It went to #2! Rod was great to co-write songs with. He liked to play it safe in the studio and go for the pop hit, but live they would rock it up. The late Tom Dowd produced the album, Tony refers to him as a lovely man.
01:15:00 Were the 80s Rod Stewart tours full of debauchery? "Oh yeah," answers Tony. The Rod Stewart Group was just a bunch of lads, hanging out and having a grand old time. During this time, Tony was married to his then-wife. He was a good boy, but he and the rest of the band often got into hijinks. Case in point: When the band was making the video for "What Am I Gonna Do" in Cannes, they filmed it on a boat. Then the afterparty came with a fire on the beach, Tony's drum kit was in the water, the guitars were keeping the fire going, the sake was a-flowing. Then Rod's then-wife Kelly came along and dragged Rod away by the ear. Fun times. Pat plays a song Tony cowrote for the 1986 album Every Beat of My Heart called "Ten Days of Rain".
01:20:00 Tony was very proud of "Ten Days of Rain" and the album as a whole. It's a shame that more people haven't heard it. In 1988, Rod put out the album Out of Order. Tony was leaving the band around this time, so he and Tony Thompson shared drumming duties on the album. Pat plays the phenomenon "Forever Young". That's another song Tony was very proud to play on. Duran Duran's Andy Taylor joined the boys in the studio for the album. Pat asks about Andy's drinking habits during the recording. "He fit right in," says Tony. Tony acknowledges that he himself was drinking too much during this period. Now he doesn't drink alcohol at all.
01:25:00 Tony prides himself on never messing up on stage with Rod's band because he was too drunk. Make no mistake, they guzzled down their fair share during the shows, but they never made a fool of themselves to the audience. Pat asks Tony about Bad English. When the first album came out with John, Jonathan, and Ricky, how did he feel? Did he think "Wait, that's my band?" No. To Tony, Bad English never felt like The Babys because him and Wally weren't there. They sounded very different. Tony also calls them a band that was thrown together for the money. And Tony isn't averse to making money, there just needs to be passion behind the project.
01:30:00 After leaving Rod Stewart, Tony turned his attention to producing. He worked a lot with Jimmy Barnes, one of Australia's most popular artists. Together he and Jimmy made 7 #1 albums in a row, with Tony simultaneously working the production side and the drumming side. Tony and Jimmy eventually split, but they remain good friends to this day. Then in 2013, Tony and Wally decided to get The Babys back together. At this point Tony's studio Silver Dreams Studios was up and running. It's the perfect place for Tony to write, record, and produce.
01:35:00 Tony and Wally were a lock for the Babys reunion. They asked John to come back, but he said no. Jonathan and Ricky also said no, preferring to stick with Journey and Styx as their sole outfits respectively. What was important to Tony and Wally was to make this new incarnation of The Babys sound just like the classic Babys.
01:40:00 The Babys' new lead singer and bassist is John Bisaha. Tony and Wally auditioned multiple guys. Bisaha kept coming back to audition over and over again because Tony knew he was the one, but he wanted to be absolutely sure. John eventually got the gig. Pat plays a non-album single called "Not Ready to Say Goodbye". The rest of the band consists of Joey Sykes on guitar, Francesco Saglietti on keyboards, and Holly Bisaha (John's wife) and Elisa Chadbourne as background singers.
01:45:00 In 2014, The Babys released a new album called I'll Have Some of That!. Pat plays the song "Every Side of You". Then he plays one more from the album, "You Saved My Life". When The Babys first broke up, Wally and Tony made a cassette full of song ideas. They used a lot of that for the new album. Tony also notes that John Bisaha is not trying to be an imitator of John Waite; he's using his own voice.
01:50:00 Supreme thanks to Tony for coming on the podcast and sharing his stories about The Babys and his time with Rod Stewart. He's a true English gentleman. You can go to The Babys' website TheBabysOfficial.com, you can go to Tony's website SilverDreamsStudios.com and you can follow Tony on Twitter @SilverDreamsCA. Pat takes us out with the title track from the new album, "I'll Have Some of That".
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 Looking for Love The Babys The Babys Pat
00:15:00 If You’ve Got the Time The Babys The Babys Pat
00:15:00 Over and Over The Babys The Babys Pat
00:20:00 Silver Dreams Broken Heart The Babys Pat
00:25:00 Isn’t It Time? Broken Heart The Babys Pat
00:30:00 Head First Head First The Babys Pat
00:30:00 Love Don’t Prove I’m Right Head First The Babys Pat
00:35:00 Every Time I Think of You Head First The Babys Pat
00:45:00 Back on My Feet Again Union Jacks The Babys Pat
00:50:00 Post Card On the Edge The Babys Pat
00:55:00 Too Far Gone On the Edge The Babys Pat
01:05:00 Tora, Tora, Tora (Out with the Boys) Tonight I’m Yours Rod Stewart Pat
01:05:00 Young Turks (Live) Absolutely Live Rod Stewart Pat
01:10:00 What Am I Gonna Do (I’m So in Love with You) Body Wishes Rod Stewart Pat
01:15:00 Ten Days of Rain Every Beat of My Heart Rod Stewart Pat
01:20:00 Forever Young Out of Touch Rod Stewart Pat
01:40:00 Not Ready to Say Goodbye Single The Babys Pat
01:45:00 Every Side of You I’ll Have Some of That! The Babys Pat
01:45:00 You Saved My Life I’ll Have Some of That! The Babys Pat
01:50:00 I’ll Have Some of That I’ll Have Some of That! The Babys Pat

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Episode 284: Holiday Jams



Episode 284: Holiday Jams
Pat and Kyle are joined by April Richardson who begrudgingly agrees to play Christmas songs which she is not a fan of... at all!
From December 22, 2016

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

April Richardson


00:00:00 Pat, April, and Kyle welcome us to the show. Seasons greetings, everybody! The Rock Solid gang is getting into the holiday spirit. Pat and April chat about the holidays. Pat, his wife, and his kids double dip and celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah. April only celebrates Christmas. She remembers growing up and begging her parents for a $500 CD burner one Christmas year, which promptly became obsolete not long after.
00:05:00 Well it wouldn't be the Christmas season if we didn't complain about our relatives. "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." Pat and Kyle complain about Pat's sister, whom they call an idiot. She once sent Kyle a $25 check for his birthday, which promptly bounced. "Jack Frost nipping at your toes..." April bemoans that her family think of her as a snotty educated Hollywood liberal, even though she grew up with all of them in the South. The three agree that there is too much of a divide between people who went to college and people who didn't. Smart is smart.
00:10:00 Where is April spending Christmas? Here in L.A. No family. No tree. "What about Christmas morning?" Pat asks. "Go to the movies," answers April. Wait a minute: no Christmas celebration with the family, no tree, going to the movies? She's practically a member of the tribe! If she eats Chinese food too, we could be cousins! April fears that she's coming off as a Scrooge. Pat gives April a Christmas gift! It's an Elvis Presley Christmas album on green vinyl. How appropriate because today's topic is Holiday Jams! First we had Merry Christmas, then Murray Christmas, now April is here for the Holiday Jams. April actually isn't really a fan of Christmas songs. She loves all of Elvis' Christmas songs and not much else. As for Pat, he can't get enough of the Yuletide music. He has 440 Christmas songs in his iTunes!
00:15:00 Gee, now April can't help but feel like a Grinch compared to Pat. While he's warming his tootsies by the fire with his family on Christmas morning, an endless Christmas playlist softly playing in the background, April will be seeing "the big shit movie" at the local cinema. Alone. Kyle rattles off some of the films available. With the exception of Rogue One, the pickings are rather slim. Collateral Beauty, Passengers, Why Him? Can't wait to choose one of those winners. What about Christmas movies, what are the faves? The first two Home Alone movies. Gremlins.
00:20:00 April gives a solid recommendation to both Addams Family movies (the Raul Julia ones), especially Values (she sees it as a Thanksgiving movie). Then Pat asks April the million dollar question: Where did she recently meet Dolph Lundgren? She was hanging out with Chris Hardwick on the set of @Midnight and Dolph just so happened to be a special guest. April flipped out and fawned over him. Still got the muscles? Oh yeah, SOLID AS A ROCK. A super nice guy too. But enough about Ivan Drago, we got some Holiday Jams to get to! April kicks things off with her favorite Christmas song, "Christmas in Hollis" by Run-D.M.C. off the album A Very Special Christmas.
00:25:00 Pat's first pick is a brand new Christmas single from The Empty Hearts, featuring former guest of the show Elliot Easton. The song is called "It's Christmastime". Pat and April recollect A Very Special Christmas, with some songs working (U2, Run-D.M.C.) and some not (Stevie Nicks, Sting).
Up next for April is the band The Waitresses. Off the album A Christmas Record, the song is "Christmas Wrapping". Rock in Peace to Patty Donahue, the lead singer of The Waitresses.
00:30:00 Pat goes right for April's heart with his next pick. Off the reissue of the album Caribou, it's "Step into Christmas" by Elton John. We hear a little of the B-side "Ho, Ho, Ho (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas)" but the party sound effects don't live up to the A-side. "Still love ya, EJ," assures April.
April plays her first Elvis Presley song of the night. It's "Blue Christmas" off of Elvis' Christmas Album. Just for kicks, Kyle plays a little of the Porky Pig version. Pat's got some issues with Mr. Pig, namely his lack of pants. Get some trousers, you swine!
00:35:00 The next song for Pat is a big one, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey off the album Merry Christmas.
"How do feel about that one?"
- Pat

"I mean, it's okay. I just feel like I was shopping at the Gap just now."
- April

Pat accuses April of lacking the Christmas spirit. April loves Christmas! She just doesn't have anyone to share it with. She doesn't have kids like Pat does. She doesn't have siblings. Friends are nice, but they're not the same as family. Pat jokingly offers to bring his whole family to visit April on Christmas morning to cheer her up. "I would not be cool with that," she immediately responds. "You should spend your Christmas in your big house, not my tiny apartment."
00:40:00 April plays her next song, "Last Christmas" by Wham! off the album Music from the Edge of Heaven. Pat keeps digging away at April's icy soul, serving her hot chocolate.
As April's heart grows three sizes, Pat plays "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" by Thurl Ravenscroft off the soundtrack to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Pat and April aren't the only ones rocking out. Kyle brings in something of his own. It's "Jingle Bell Rock" by The California Raisins off the album Christmas with the California Raisins. "I'm happy and mad at the same time," says Pat.
00:45:00 After April reveals she will be missing SF Sketchfest this year (and thus will miss the opportunity to read from a Kiss autobiography) due to protesting the inauguration, she plays her next pick. It's a cover of "Fairytale of New York" by Florence + the Machine & Billy Bragg. Beautiful song.
Now let's play something that isn't that. Pat plays "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" by Twisted Sister off the album A Twisted Christmas.
00:50:00 Pat and April chat about Twisted Sister. Pat doesn't like them, but he liked the documentary about them. April was surprised when she found out how big they were in the New York club scene. She just thought they were a goofy one-hit wonder. April recommends the Oasis documentary about their first two albums. We return to the Holiday Jams with April's next pick. It's "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy" as done by Paul F. Tompkins and Dave Gruber Allen.
00:55:00 Rock in Peace to Bing Crosby and David Bowie, the original duo for "Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy." We return to A Very Special Christmas as Pat plays "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by John Mellencamp. April gives it a lump of coal, partly because of how much of a dick Mellencamp is and Mellencamp's voice. Pat throws a little shade at Elvis' voice and April lashes back! How dare you, good sir.
One of April's friends is Sean Nelson, the former lead singer of the band Harvey Danger. She plays "Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes)" off the EP Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes).
01:00:00 Kyle knows the sting of working on Christmas as he used to work at a movie theater. From one Jewish man to one unlucky gentile, thank you for your sacrifice, Kyle. Pat's next pick is from former guest Tony Thaxton. The song is "R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas" off the album A Very Merry Feliz Navipod To You, Your Friends and Family and Everybody Else!. Fun fact about that song, it is actually a cover. The original was on a Star Wars-themed Christmas compilation in 1980 and it is the first professional recording of JON BON JOVI. I shit you not.
April and Tony bonded deeply over the song "Christmas in Dixie" by Alabama off the album Alabama Christmas. All of a sudden, April feels a warm glow inside her. "I love Christmas," April beams. "This is a great Christmas song." She's feeling it, she's feeling the Christmas spirit! Thanks Alabama!
01:05:00 Up next is Pat and he plays "Christmas All Over Again" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers off the album A Very Special Christmas 2.
Leave it to Kyle to ruin all this good cheer. Off the EP Hi-Voltage Christmas Rock, it's "I've Got a Boner for Christmas" by Nerf Herder. All that innocent Christmas spirit goes RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW with all that boner innuendo.
And look at that, the juvenile behavior spreads to April. She plays "Christmas Is for Fucking" by Reggie Watts.
01:10:00 "This is atrosh." That's how April describes Pat's next song, "Rock N Roll Santa" by Michael Des Barres. Definitely not one of Michael's finest moments. It's not Live Aid at #1, then "Rock N Roll Santa" at #2. There's a bit of a gap in between the two. Kyle cleanses the palate with Jimmy Pardo and Scott Aukerman singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
01:15:00 April has her own palate cleanser, her friend Darren Hanlon singing "Spend Christmas Day with Me" off the album Pointing Ray Guns at Pagans. Darren urged April to come to Australia to spend christmas with him, but April doesn't have the moolah to go.
From now on, whenever Pat plays this song, he'll be thinking of April on Christmas morning. It's "(It's Going to Be a) Lonely Christmas" by Marshall Crenshaw off the album Christmas Time Again. April can't remember the last time she spent Christmas with a boyfriend. They usually break up with her beforehand. April doesn't make a big deal about boyfriends getting her extravagant gifts for birthdays or Valentine's Day. Just give her something that proves you know who she is as a person and that you listen to her.
01:20:00 April moves on to her favorites, Sparks. Off the album Kimono My House, she plays "Thank God It's Not Christmas". April is all Sparks, all day. She refers to Kimono My House as "classic status." It's an album for Pat to start his Sparks journey on, because there is some Sparks stuff that is too weird for novices.
It's time for a true classic, Burl Ives with "A Holly Jolly Christmas off the album Have a Holly Jolly Christmas. Pat plays a little of the jingle bells live in studio.
"This might be the one instrument that I'm good at."
- Pat on the jingle bells

"I think it's a stretch to call it an instrument."
- April

"What about skin flute, I'm okay with that."
- Pat with the line of the episode
April's last pick is another Elvis Presley number. It's "Merry Christmas Baby" off the album Elvis Sings The Wonderful World of Christmas.
01:25:00 April has found her Christmas spirit once again. Well, she never really lost it, she was just in a sour mood because she's sick. But thanks to Alabama, Elvis Presley, and Twisted Sister, April can't wait for the big day. She's going to get the Elvis vinyl Pat gave her framed and mounted. Pat gives some apologies to Eddie Money and JP, Chrissie, and the Fairground Boys.
Quick plugs time. Don't forget to get your tickets to see Rock Solid at SF Sketchfest. There will be two shows: One will feature "Weird Al" Yankovic and the other will be Kiss & Tell Vol. 2, featuring the return of Wayne Federman and Dave Holmes, along with a brand new voice telling stories about the crazy world of Gene, Paul, Peter, and Ace.
Pat takes us out with "Christmas Time" by Bryan Adams. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody!!!
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:20:00 Christmas in Hollis A Very Special Christmas Run-D.M.C. April
00:25:00 It’s Christmastime Single The Empty Hearts Pat
00:25:00 Christmas Wrapping A Christmas Record The Waitresses April
00:30:00 Step into Christmas Caribou Elton John Pat
00:30:00 Blue Christmas Elvis’ Christmas Album Elvis Presley April
00:35:00 All I Want for Christmas Is You Merry Christmas Mariah Carey Pat
00:40:00 Last Christmas Music from the Edge of Heaven Wham! April
00:40:00 You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch How the Grinch Stole Christmas Thurl Ravenscroft Pat
00:40:00 Jingle Bell Rock Christmas with the California Raisins The California Raisins Kyle
00:45:00 Fairytale of New York N/A Billy Bragg and Florence + the Machine April
00:45:00 Oh Come All Ye Faithful A Twisted Christmas Twisted Sister Pat
00:50:00 Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy N/A Paul F. Tompkins and Dave Gruber Allen April
00:55:00 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus A Very Special Christmas John Mellencamp Pat
00:55:00 Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes) Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas (Sometimes) Harvey Danger April
01:00:00 R2-D2 We Wish You a Merry Christmas A Very Merry Feliz Navipod to You, Your Friends and Family and Everybody Else! Tony Thaxton Pat
01:00:00 Christmas in Dixie Alabama Christmas Alabama April
01:05:00 Christmas All Over Again A Very Special Christmas 2 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Pat
01:05:00 I’ve Got a Boner for Christmas Hi-Voltage Christmas Rock Nerf Herder Kyle
01:05:00 Christmas Is for Fucking N/A Reggie Watts April
01:10:00 Rock N Roll Santa Single Michael Des Barres Pat
01:15:00 Spend Christmas Day with Me Pointing Ray Guns at Pagans Darren Hanlon April
01:15:00 (It’s Going to Be a) Lonely Christmas Christmas Time Again Marshall Crenshaw Pat
01:20:00 Thank God It’s Not Christmas Kimono My House Sparks April
01:20:00 A Holly Jolly Christmas Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Burl Ives Pat
01:20:00 Merry Christmas Baby Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas Elvis Presley April
01:25:00 Christmas Time Single Bryan Adams Pat

Friday, December 16, 2016

Episode 283: The Kinks: 1970 - 1979



Episode 283: The Kinks: 1970 - 1979
Pat is once again joined by friend and "Kinks Super Fan" Mario del Barrio to discuss the band's 1970 - 1979 discography. Kyle produces and cracks wise!
From December 15, 2016

With your host:

Pat Francis


00:00:00 Pat and Kyle welcome us to the show. Making his return to Rock Solid after a lengthy absence (May of this year) is today's guest co-host, Mario del Barrio! And just like his last appearance, Mario is here to discuss the band The Kinks and their 1970s output! Mario's a bit nervous about co-hosting the show again, but we all know he will do great, just like last time. Murray does it, so hard can it be?
00:05:00 Pat goes through a few announcements, one of which is a book giveaway and the other is news about Rock Solid's 2-show appearance at the 2017 San Francisco Sketchfest. And although Pat doesn't say who the special guest is on the recording date of the podcast, it has been confirmed in present day that the guest is quite.... "Weird." You could say that he likes to... "Yank..." people's chains. Maybe he goes by the name "Weird Al" Yankovic.
00:10:00 Come on kids and hop aboard the TARDIS as Pat and Mario travel back to 1970, when The Kinks release Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. Pat notes that the most popular song on the album will be played at the end, so just cool those pies and get the gravy off the stove. Like most of these 70s albums, Lola vs. Powerman is a concept album. Mario kicks things off with the opening track, "The Contenders".
00:15:00 Pat's first track from the album is "Get Back in Line". The song, and most of the album, is about Ray Davies' frustration with the music business, in this case the American Federation of Musicians for banning The Kinks from performing in America for four years. Mario's second track is "Apeman", one of his favorite Kinks songs.
00:20:00 The lineup for the album, and the lineup for most of the 70s, is Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Mick Avory, John Dalton, and John Gosling. At this point, the band is a bunch of hippies and have managed to outlast The Beatles. Pat's second pick from Lola Versus Powerman is a song called "This Time Tomorrow". That song and this song that Mario plays, "Strangers", are featured in Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited. Dave on vocals there.
00:25:00 The way that people feel when they watch Wes Anderson movies is the way that Pat feels when he listens to The Kinks. That's why Pat feels he's the perfect director to use Kinks songs in his films. We move on to 1971's Percy, a soundtrack album that The Kinks did for the film of the same name. Here is the synopsis for the film:

Edwin, an innocent and shy young man, is hit by a nude man falling from a high-rise building while carrying a chandelier. Edwin's penis is mutilated in the accident and has to be amputated; the falling man is killed.

Edwin becomes the recipient of the world's first penis transplant: he receives the very large penis of the womanizer killed in the same accident. With his new bit of anatomy (which he names "Percy"), Edwin follows the womanizer's footsteps, meeting all his women friends, before settling happily with the donor's mistreated widow.

Pat plays the song "God's Children".
00:30:00 A beautiful song for a strange film. Mario plays the song from the soundtrack called "Dreams". Pat and Mario agree that there are some hidden gems on the soundtrack, but it is very much an oddball in the Kinks canon. We stay in 1971 and move on to Muswell Hillbillies, the second proper album of the decade. Mario plays the song that he shares (read: stole) his Twitter handle with, "20th Century Man". Thankfully there is no schizophrenia involved, otherwise King Crimson would have something to say about that. Still, the song is quite a downer about the troubles of the world.
"The great thing about The Kinks is that you'll never have a better time depressing yourself."
- Mario

00:35:00 The Archway Pub, where the album cover photo was shot, is not actually in the Muswell Hill area of North London, but it still exists today. Pat visited it when he went to London. He plays the song "Holiday". This is one of Mario's favorite Kinks albums from the 70s, but it only hit 100 in the States. And it didn't even chart in the U.K.! Mario plays the song "Have a Cuppa Tea". Now what is more British than having a cup of tea? And the Brits wouldn't even sniff this album. Too busy eating their crumpets and staring at pictures of the Queen. Guv'nor. Fish and chips.
00:40:00 Pat and Mario understand why people would not gravitate towards an album like this. It's very specific in its concept about working-class life in London that can be quite difficult to delve into. Pat plays the song "Skin and Bone". It's about a larger gal. Big through the hips, roomy.
00:45:00 1972 brings us Everybody's in Show-Biz, another concept album about Ray's frustrations with show business. It's a two-disc album with studio tracks on one and live tracks on another. Mario plays the title track "Here Comes Yet Another Day". Mario and Pat give props to Mick Avory on the drums (or the skins, as us cool kids say). Mick is currently the drummer for The Kast Off Kinks, a band composed entirely of former members of The Kinks. Pat plays the final studio track on the album, the epic "Celluloid Heroes".
00:50:00 The duo marvel at Ray writing songs that other writers weren't writing about. They also note Ray writes about food a lot. "He's like 'Weird Al' Yankovic," says Pat. Oh Francis, you sly devil. Mario plays one of the most beautiful Kinks songs in his opinion, "Sitting in My Hotel". Pat plays along on the trumpet, with a little "Dating Game" thrown in for good measure.
00:55:00 Pat and Mario look under the microscope at 1973 and 1974's Preservation: Act 1 and Preservation: Act 2. It's essentially a concept album about ecology and preserving the rural English lifestyle (a Ray Davies staple topic) in two parts. And Act 2 is actually a double album. We focus on Act 1 first. Pat plays "Sitting in the Midday Sun". The concerts for these albums would feature stage productions with the band playing characters. Ray played Mr. Flash, an egomaniac tycoon villain... which prompts Pat and Kyle to go into their Trump impressions, ranting about Flash Gordon. Naturally. Mario (trying not to get on this Trump duo's bad side lest he face any unexpected visits from La Migra) plays the song "Daylight".
01:00:00 Mario plays the song "Preservation", which serves as an overture to the album but was only released as a single. It's now on the album as a bonus track. Both Preservation albums are not high on Pat's Kinks radar, but he makes a point to listen to both of them again in the car (and thus annoy his family members once more). Mario plays one more track from Act 1 called "Sweet Lady Genevieve". Since Muswell Hillbillies, the band is on RCA and Pat mentions that the label has to be frustrated at all these concept albums and so few bonafide hits.
01:05:00 Pat goes to Act 2 and plays "He's Evil". That song was actually featured in an episode of Lost. Mario plays a song called "Mirror of Love". Pat wonders what the band thought about all this; Mario says they just shrugged their shoulders and went along with Ray, even though they wanted to rock.
01:10:00 It's 1975 and The Kinks release Soap Opera, a concept album about a rock star and an ordinary man named Norman who switch lives. Pat and Mario agree that this one is an hidden gem in the catalogue. Pat plays "Everybody's a Star (Starmaker)". "Everybody has a podcast... I mean, everybody's a star," says Pat. Mario's first pick from the album is called "Rush Hour Blues". A very British female voice makes an appearance in the song as Norman's wife and no, Pat, it isn't Sharon Osbourne. Nor is it Edith Bunker. Although if you listen closely, Ray does calls Dave "meathead" during the guitar solo.
01:15:00 Pat's next pick from Soap Opera is called "(A) Face in the Crowd". The boys take a detour into Tinseltown and some various topics within: the film A Face in the Crowd, Fred MacMurray and his filming schedule, I Love Lucy, strange contract stipulations for the actors.
01:20:00 After Pat does his impression of Lucille Ball having an orgasm (I feel bad just for typing that and you should feel bad just for reading it), Mario plays his second pick from the album "When Work Is Over". When work is over, you drown your misery in alcohol. Boy, these Kinks albums really sure know how to pick your spirits up. No pun intended.
The same year as Soap Opera, the band releases their final concept album of the 70s Schoolboys in Disgrace about Mr. Flash's time in an oppressive boarding school. Awful, AWFUL album cover. "It looks like a covers album for AC/DC," remarks Kyle.
01:25:00 Pat starts us off with "The Hard Way". Then Pat plays a little bit of The Knack's version of the song. It turns out the person who did the cover art was Mickey Finn from the band T.Rex. Well Mickey should have rode a white swan all the way to art school. Mario's first pick from the album is "Jack the Idiot Dunce". "Oh, so it's about Murray," says Pat. Awww come on, the man isn't even there to defend himself.
01:30:00 The next song for Pat is called "No More Looking Back". The consensus all around is that Mario is doing a fantastic job as a co-host. No doubt he'll return for a third Kinks episode, but what other bands would he like to cover? Mario would love to do a Beastie Boys episode; Pat would be interested to learn about them. Perhaps bring Rock Solid OG Matt Belknap along and spin the discs as they say. Mario's last pick from SID is "Schooldays".
01:35:00 After trying to find out which song "Jack the Idiot Dunce" sounds like (Pat goes with "Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul" from Rocky Horror, Mario goes with "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin), we move on to 1977's Sleepwalker. Their first album on Arista Records, their first non-concept album in years, and the beginning of their arena rock phase. It's also when the critical and commercial reception starts to be on the upswing. Pat kicks it off with "Juke Box Music". Mario figures that Ray needed someone to keep him focused (Arista's Clive Davis) because if you let Ray go into his own head, you wind up with eighteen different concept albums.
01:40:00 Mario's first pick is the title track, "Sleepwalker". Mario laments that a few of the songs on the album were not in An American Werewolf in London: "Sleepwalker," "Full Moon," "Sleepless Night." Pat's next pick from the album is the final track "Life Goes On". Pat finds that Ray's voice has a lot more punch to it starting with this album.
01:45:00 In the mood for some sweet, sweet lovemaking? Mario has you covered with the song "Stormy Sky". At this point, The Kinks have released fifteen studio albums. The Who have only released eight. So there may be some misses in there, but you can't say The Kinks were resting on their laurels; they were non-stop. Also of note is that Sleepwalker is the last album to feature John Dalton on bass. He would be replaced by Andy Pyle.
01:50:00 The first album without Dalton is 1978's Misfits. Pat gives high praise to Misfits. He plays the title track, "Misfits". All these albums were recorded at The Kinks' own studio, Konk Studios. Mario gives a shout out to his wife who has the worst allergies in the world. The song is "Hay Fever".
01:55:00 Pat's next is one that Mario brought in, "Out of the Wardrobe". Another example of Ray shining a spotlight on the transvestite community. Mario plays the song "A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy". Pat plays one more pick from Misfits, "Get Up".
02:00:00 We take another detour into Tinseltown and talk about the Hammer horror movies! Pat has been digging into these Hammer films and loves them. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, super red blood, the large busts of British wenches. What's not to love?! Pat and Mario praise Cushing and Lee.
02:05:00 Christopher Lee was a total badass: He tracked down Nazis after World War II ended, was cousins with Ian Fleming, and is the only Lord of the Rings cast member to have actually met J.R.R. Tolkien. Total. Badass. Mario plays one more from Misfits, "In a Foreign Land".
02:10:00 The final album of the 70s for The Kinks is 1979's Low Budget, which was also their biggest selling non-compilation album and a major boon for their following in the United States. Pat plays the song "Catch Me Now I'm Falling". Jim Rodford from Argent joins the band as their new bassist. John Gosling leaves the band's keyboardist role. Mario shifts gears to the discotheque and plays "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman". Mario hates Superman. "The most boring." That's how Mario describes him. Pat agrees, then they discuss how superior the Luke Cage TV show is.
02:15:00 Luke Cage is not Nic Cage, as Pat flubs, although that would make for a much more interesting show; Ghost Rider walking around Harlem while Method Man raps. Pat plays his last pick from Low Budget, "Little Bit of Emotion". Mario then plays his final pick, the title track "Low Budget".
02:20:00 Plugs time! You can find Mario on Twitter @20thCenturyMan. You can also check out his podcast Superiority Complex, where he and his co-hosts discuss some general palaver about pop culture and stuff. You can follow them on Twitter too @SoupComplex. Also you can get your tickets for the 2017 San Francisco Sketchfest where Rock Solid will be having TWO live shows.
BIG thanks to Mario del Barrio for coming back on the podcast and talking and playing The Kinks. Super funny dude, super nice dude too! And you can bet your bottom dollar that he'll back for the final part of this Kinks trilogy, covering the 1980-1994 period of the band. Pat takes us out with "Lola" off of Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 The Contenders Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Mario
00:15:00 Get Back in Line Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Pat
00:15:00 Apeman Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Mario
00:20:00 This Time Tomorrow Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Pat
00:20:00 Strangers Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Mario
00:25:00 God’s Children Percy The Kinks Pat
00:30:00 Dreams Percy The Kinks Mario
00:30:00 20th Century Man Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Mario
00:35:00 Holiday Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Pat
00:35:00 Have a Cuppa Tea Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Mario
00:40:00 Skin and Bone Muswell Hillbillies The Kinks Pat
00:45:00 Here Comes Yet Another Day Everybody’s in Show-Biz The Kinks Mario
00:45:00 Celluloid Heroes Everybody’s in Show-Biz The Kinks Pat
00:50:00 Sitting in My Hotel Everybody’s in Show-Biz The Kinks Mario
00:55:00 Sitting in the Midday Sun Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Pat
00:55:00 Daylight Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Mario
01:00:00 Preservation Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Mario
01:00:00 Sweet Lady Genevieve Preservation: Act 1 The Kinks Mario
01:05:00 He’s Evil Preservation: Act 2 The Kinks Pat
01:05:00 Mirror of Love Preservation: Act 2 The Kinks Mario
01:10:00 Everybody’s a Star (Starmaker) Soap Opera The Kinks Pat
01:10:00 Rush Hour Blues Soap Opera The Kinks Mario
01:15:00 (A) Face in the Crowd Soap Opera The Kinks Pat
01:20:00 When Work Is Over Soap Opera The Kinks Mario
01:25:00 The Hard Way Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Pat
01:25:00 Jack the Idiot Dunce Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Mario
01:30:00 No More Looking Back Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Pat
01:30:00 Schooldays Schoolboys in Disgrace The Kinks Mario
01:35:00 Juke Box Music Sleepwalker The Kinks Pat
01:40:00 Sleepwalker Sleepwalker The Kinks Mario
01:40:00 Life Goes On Sleepwalker The Kinks Pat
01:45:00 Stormy Sky Sleepwalker The Kinks Mario
01:50:00 Misfits Misfits The Kinks Pat
01:50:00 Hay Fever Misfits The Kinks Mario
01:55:00 Out of the Wardrobe Misfits The Kinks Pat
01:55:00 A Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Misfits The Kinks Mario
01:55:00 Get Up Misfits The Kinks Pat
02:05:00 In a Foreign Land Misfits The Kinks Mario
02:10:00 Catch Me Now I’m Falling Low Budget The Kinks Pat
02:10:00 (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman Low Budget The Kinks Mario
02:15:00 Little Bit of Emotion Low Budget The Kinks Pat
02:15:00 Low Budget Low Budget The Kinks Mario
02:20:00 Lola Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One The Kinks Pat