About the show

This is the Rock Solid Guide, a companion website for the music/comedy podcast Rock Solid. Every week, Pat Francis and his rotating co-hosts--April Richardson, Mike Siegel, Christy Stratton, and Murray Valeriano--play their favorite music, tell stories, crack jokes, and just have fun. The purpose of the Rock Solid Guide is to run down the specifics of each episode: Which songs were played, when they were played, what did Pat and his co-hosts talk about, album art, important links, and so much more. So whether you are a new arrival or a hardcore veteran, enjoy the Rock Solid Guide. And in the words of Deep Purple: "Listen, Learn, Read On!"

 

The Rock Solid Guide was created by Jason Wilcox and is currently maintained and updated by Andrew Rich.




Pat Francis Co-Host (2011 - Present)

Pat Francis should be no stranger to you if you are a listener of Never Not Funny. The unofficial “third chair” of the show, he frequently participates in their live performances and yearly Pardcastathon. Prior to his “retirement” Pat performed stand-up comedy around the country and did audience warm-up for National Lampoon’s Funny Money (the game where big laughs get you big bucks (then get you cancelled)).

Pat has hosted Rock Solid since its inception, first with original co-host Gary Lucy and currently with a rotating set of co-hosts consisting of Murray Valeriano, Mike Siegel, Christy Stratton, and April Richardson. Pat holds an incredible passion for both music and comedy, which comes out clearly in each episode. From his killer impressions of Paul Stanley and Bruce Springsteen, to his undying love of Cheap Trick, Kiss, and Pretenders, among many others, Pat Francis remains 100% devoted to making Rock Solid the best it can be.

April Richardson Co-Host (2013 - Present)

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college (later than most people do). Growing up, I was always obsessed with comedy and was always, as the expression goes, the "class clown." I never realized you could get paid for being obnoxious and disruptive until I moved to L.A. and got a job on E!'s hit show Chelsea Lately — Hollywood dreams, they do come true!

I've also published my own photocopied zine since the age of 14, and have kept a blog since 1997. I ALSO used to work for MTV and regularly contributed pop-culture pieces like these ones right here. (Well yeah, I guess it's obvious — I also like to write.)

Oh, and check this out: The Frisky thinks I'm one of the 15 Up-and-Coming Comediennes You Should Be Laughing At!. Also, the wonderful Mary Van Note put me in some incredible company in her list of the Best Comics of 2009 You Probably Don’t Know. You can't see through your computer screen, but I'm blushing. (I also made lord of the underworld Glenn Danzig laugh once, which, as far as I know, qualifies me for Nobel Prize nomination. Right?)

And because nerds like me enjoy reading this sort of stuff on other people's sites, here are some of my influences: BOB ODENKIRK, Chip Pope, Millie De Chirico, Billy Bragg, Paul F. Tompkins, Steve Martin, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Bill Hicks, David Cross, John K., Tom & Jerry, Morrissey (he's hilarious if you pay attention), Kids in the Hall, French & Saunders, pre-1990 Eddie Murphy, late '80s-early '90s "Saturday Night Live," Clarissa from "Clarissa Explains it All," Ricky Gervais, Christopher Guest, Janeane Garofalo, "The State," those MTV promos from the early '90s with Donal Logue as a gross cab driver, both "Wayne's World" movies, Professor Harold Hill from the 1962 film "The Music Man" (for confidence), Bugs Bunny, John Waters, Sassy magazine, Zack Morris, and tons more.

If you read the above bio (written by April herself, of course), then I don't think I really need to convince you that April Richardson is an awesome person. She's funny, she's smart, and she bears a huge love of music. April definitely fits in as a rotating co-host for Rock Solid, which she joined in late 2013.

Along with Rock Solid, April also hosts the “Saved by the Bell” themed podcast Go Bayside!



Mike Siegel Co-Host (2013 - Present)

Mike Siegel is a professional stand-up comedian, host and actor. He can be seen nationally every week hosting TBS network's "TBS Movie EXTRA", HGTV's "If Walls Could Talk", and Fine Living networks' "What You Get For the Money" (which also airs on HGTV). He has also hosted the Game Show Network's "GSN Live". But his television appearances hardly stop there. He began his TV career as a VH-1 on-air personality, and followed up as host of the NBC hidden-camera special, "Payback".

Mike has performed stand-up comedy on numerous television shows, including "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (CBS), "Late Friday" (NBC), "Comedy Showcase with Louie Anderson" (NBC), "Stand-up, Stand-up" (Comedy Central), and "Friday Night" (NBC). He as also been a repeat panelist on the hit late-night talk show on E!, "Chelsea Lately". Mike's also been seen on the small screen as an actor. He was a recurring guest star on the CBS drama "JAG" , and had supporting roles in such shows as "24" (FOX), "Prison Break" (FOX), "Less Than Perfect" (ABC), "Eve" (UPN), "Strong Medicine" (Lifetime), "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" (FOX), and "Sabrina" (WB).

Mike made his transition to movies with a bang by landing a role in the highly acclaimed Steven Soderbergh drama Traffic , starring Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. He had a scene-stealing supporting role in the independent feature The Godfather of Green Bay, starring Lauren Holly, and another in Freeloaders, directed by Dan Rosen. Mike also played a lead in Inside Out, a short film directed by L. Zane. When not plying his showbiz trade, Mike enjoys foreign travel, good food, good wine, and playing just about every sport. He's also recently taken up running and finished his first marathon. A Chicago native now based in Los Angeles, Mike continues to support all his Chicago teams - no matter how painful that may be at times.

Mike Siegel came aboard Rock Solid in late 2013 as a rotating co-host, after previously appearing as a special guest (in an episode centered around songs with special guests, coincidentally). Mike is quick-witted, knows his way around the music pantheon, and is an overall awesome member of the podcast.

Mike is also the host of his own podcast Travel Tales with Mike Siegel.



Christy Stratton Co-Host (2013 - Present)

Christy Stratton is a writer/producer best known for her work on “King of the Hill”, “Awkward”, and a decent number of unproduced pilots and screenplays. She has a super fun blog about hoarding, though: likemotherlikehoarder.com and has written a piece on hoarding on Jezebel. Special skills: roller skating, wine tasting, accumulating expensive hair products.

There’s no other way to say it: Christy Stratton LOVES music. Ever since she first appeared on Rock Solid as a special guest, Christy has brought an enormous amount of enthusiasm to the show, sharing her deep love of The Cars, Dire Straits, Bee Gees, and more. When she became a rotating co-host in late 2013, there was no doubt that Christy would only make Rock Solid better than it already was. And she has.



Murray Valeriano Co-Host (2013 - Present)

Murray Valeriano is a brilliant comedian, writer and human sponge. This Tennessee native and preacher’s son found his comedy calling in California and soon began a successful career in stand up and writing.

Murray has appeared in clubs and theaters all over the country. He has been seen on Comedy Central, NBC, FuelTV and More. He is also a regular guest of Bill Engvall’s Blue Collar Comedy on SIRIUS/XM and has been heard on the 5 O’clock Funnies in Los Angeles. He has opened for George Lopez, Kevin Pollack, Christopher Titus, Orny Adams, Brad Garret and many more… including the late Robert Schimmel. As an award winning writer, Murray has written for the Tonight Show, Bill Engvall’s Here’s Your Sign Awards and Ridiculousness to name a few. He has also written for other comedians such as Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert and Dennis Miller.

First appearing as a special guest, Murray Valeriano became one of the rotating co-hosts on Rock Solid in late 2013. He brings a great collection of music to the show, along with his excellent comedy mind. Oh, and he HATES Kiss.

Murray is a captivating fellow that possesses a remarkable wealth of pop culture knowledge and experience and it shines through on his popular Roadstories podcast, ranked “New and Notable” on Itunes.



Kyle Dodson Producer (2013 - Present)

Kyle Dodson is the current producer for Rock Solid. He is a comedian and a writer, as well as Pat Francis’ nephew. Formerly known by the nickname “The Silent Partner,” Kyle would sit in on various episodes of the show, remaining, well, silent. It wasn’t until original producer Matt Belknap left the show in late 2013 that Kyle became the show’s producer. Ever since, Kyle has broken out of his silent shell and has brought his unique sense of humor to the podcast, usually when making snappy remarks at Pat’s awful song choices (his opinions, not mine).




Matt Belknap Producer — Regular: (2011 - 2013), Guest: (2013 - Present)

Matt Belknap is the producer and co-host of the hit podcast Never Not Funny, which won the first-ever Aspen Rooftop Comedy Award for Best Comedy Podcast, was twice named to iTunes’ year-end “Best in Podcasts” list and has been featured in magazines like Fast Company, Esquire and GQ. Matt founded the online comedy community aspecialthing.com in 2001 and launched a record label of the same name in 2007. Under the AST Records banner, Matt has produced albums for Paul F. Tompkins, Doug Benson, Jimmy Pardo, Greg Proops, Jen Kirkman, Kyle Kinane and many others. In addition to Never Not Funny, Matt co-produces the popular podcasts Doug Loves Movies and Greg Proops’ The Smartest Man in the World, among others.
 
Matt was the original producer for Rock Solid. He played all of the music clips, oversaw any of the show’s technical aspects, and generally made sure things didn’t fall apart. In contrast with his regular, talkative role as co-host on Never Not Funny, Matt began his tenure as Rock Solid producer in a much more subdued fashion, only piping up every once in a while. Over time, however, Matt’s on air presence grew and grew until he became the beloved third voice of the show, cracking wise, telling stories, and providing a play-out song for each episode. Shortly after Gary left the show in late 2013, so too did Matt. His position as producer was filled by Kyle Dodson. Matt returns to the podcast from time to time when any big guest musicians come on the show, such as Lisa Loeb, and he can still be heard weekly on Never Not Funny.



Gary Lucy Co-Host (2011-2013)

Gary Lucy is a writer and producer currently living in Encino, California with his family. Gary has worked on a number of TV shows over the years. He’s written for shows like “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” “1 vs. 100,” “ToddWorld” “Million Dollar Money Drop” and “Food Paradise.” Gary has also produced on shows such as “Blind Date,” “Whacked Out Videos,” and “I Wanna Be a Soap Star.” Recently, Gary and his wife Jane Edith Wilson co-created the web series “Kids Court” starring Andy Kindler, which aired on the popular Nerdist Channel on Youtube.

Along with Pat Francis, Gary was one of the two original co-hosts of Rock Solid. The dynamic between the two was evident almost immediately, as Pat and Gary’s different musical tastes gelled into a diverse cornucopia of audio delight. On one show, a listener could hear Kiss, Cheap Trick, UFO, The Bangles, Marshall Crenshaw, and Taylor Swift from Pat, and on the same show hear Grandaddy, The Smiths, Guided by Voices, Sleigh Bells, and Todd Rundgren from Gary. Gary made fun (and some not so fun) games to play with Pat and Matt, told some cool stories, played great music, and most importantly, brought the funny. 

In October 2013, Gary decided to leave the show to start his own music podcast called The Ketchup: The Last Music Podcast on Earth. Gary’s last episode of Rock Solid, a live show appropriately titled "Goodbyes", aired on October 17, 2013.

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