John Lennon Tribute Week continues as we talk with Keith Elliot Greenberg, author of “December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died” (Backbeat Books). Greenberg digs deep into that day, chronicling not only what Lennon was doing, but also what the other Beatles did during that day. In addition, he profiles each person who played a role in that day, from the photographer and journalist who were in his Dakota apartment in the morning, to the producer who was working in the studio in the afternoon, to policemen, doctors and others who were all directly involved. He also gives an extensive background of Mark David Chapman, who would ultimately murder Lennon outside his apartment.
John Lennon Tribute Week kicks off with author Ken Sharp, who has just penned “Starting Over: The Making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy” (MTV books). Sharp talks with a wide array of people who were involved with Lennon’s comeback album, including Yoko Ono, David Geffen, the session musicians, the producer, engineer and photographer. All of them paint an interesting picture of what would end up being the singer’s final studio album released during his lifetime. We also talk to Sharp about his own infectious music.
In the Art of the LP, author Johnny Morgan explores a time when the vinyl record was king. Although it wasn’t portable and scratched easily, the LP created a great opportunity for visual expression, because of it’s large 12 x12 inch size. Now, of course, no one bothers with clever cover art, since it’s only going to be squished into your teeny Ipod viewscreen. But, as Morgan’s book suggests, there was a time when what was on the cover, was just as important as the music inside. Hear the Art of the LP Johnny Morgan interview by clicking below.
Australia’s Hoodoo Gurus have mixed garage rock, psychedelia, Motown and punk into their own brand of catchy tuneage for the last 30 years. Some of their alternative-rock hits include “Come Anytime,” and “Miss Freelove ’69”. They’ve just released their first new album in six years. Purity of Essence finds them doing what they do best: rocking out and having fun. Icon Fetch talks with singer Dave Faulkner about the new CD, managing to keep the same group of guys together, and recording one of their classic songs with the Bangles.
For twenty years, guitarist Michael Harris has stretched the boundaries with his progressive guitar playing. His latest effort, Tranz-Fused, adds an element of jazz fusion to his instrumental fretwork. Icon Fetch talks with the Dayton native about his new CD and his involvement with several other projects, including the legendary Ohio band Arch Rival.
Geoff Tate has led Queensryche through 11 albums that have combined metal with thought-provoking lyrics. The band is celebrating the 20th anniversary edition of their landmark album Empire. Tate talks with us about the direction they decided to take after the previous album, Operation: Mindcrime, and how their smash single “Silent Lucidity” almost didn’t make the album. He also talks about the band’s surreal performance on the 1992 Grammy Awards. Click below to listen to the Geoff Tate Queensryche interview on Icon Fetch.
Outrageous is his middle name. Mojo Nixon first rose to prominence in the mid Eighties with a string of punkbilly college radio hits like “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin,” “Burn Down the Malls,” and his most-famous track, “Elvis is Everywhere.” As his music career waned, Nixon found work as a DJ, first in Cincinnati, and now on Sirius XM Radio, where he hosts a daily afternoon show on the Outlaw Country channel. He also hosts two weekly shows, one on NASCAR and one loosely based on politics. Icon Fetch talks with the king of satellite radio about the difference in all his shows, plus his bold move in 2009 to give away his entire music catalog for free on amazon.com for a month. Listen to the Mojo Nixon interview on Icon Fetch below.
Australian Claude Hay is literally a one-man band, using his custom-made twin neck guitar-bass combination, plus a looping machine, to layer instruments while he plays. He’s just released Deep Fried Satisfied, a collection of songs as greasy and irresistible as the fast-food that inspired them. Icon Fetch talks with Hay about making his own instruments, and his love of both American music and food.
Gary Brooker has led Procol Harum since their 1967 hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” which was the first ever song they recorded. His band’s multifaceted output got labeled Prog rock because there was no better name. But, Procol Harum tackled many different styles, oftentimes on the same album; mixing rock with classical, jazz, blues, folk and turn-of-the-century nostalgia. The band’s catalog is getting an overhaul with each album featuring remastered sound and bonus material.
Brooker takes Icon Fetch through the last four albums the band released in their Seventies heyday. He also touches on why the band called it quits originally in 1976 and what led to their regrouping in 1991. Click below to listen to the Gary Brooker Procol Harum interview on Icon Fetch.
Elijah Wald is the author of a new book, The Blues: A Very Short Introduction. In a little over 100 pages, he explores the history of blues, covering it’s many styles and key pioneers. He also traces its connection to other forms of music, like jazz and country. Wald has written several other music-related books, including the controversial-titled How the Beatles Destroyed Rock n’ Roll. Icon Fetch chats with the current blues professor at UCLA about his new book and more. Click below to listen to the Elijah Wald interview with Icon Fetch.