A Breath of Fresh Air - warm, candid conversations with the biggest musical stars of the 60s 70s 80s

Sandy Kaye

An award winning music interview show celebrating the songs we grew up with and the people who made them. Honest, intimate, fireside chats with the greatest hitmakers of the '60s '70s and '80s. Together we uncover the artists' musical and often personal lives, reliving the soundtrack to our youth as they describe their journey and inspiration. It's pop culture and all about THEIR LIVES, THEIR STORIES and THEIR MUSIC. Join me for a series of enriching conversations as I interview your (and my) favourite stars. Revisit the music and relive your youth.. This really IS A Breath of Fresh Air. read less
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Episodes

JOHN MCEUEN and NGDB - Strings and Stories
Today
JOHN MCEUEN and NGDB - Strings and Stories
John McEuen was born in 1945 and spent his high school years in California’s Orange County. He and lifelong high-school friend Steve Martin both got a job in 1963 in the magic shop at Disneyland when they were just 16. When John saw Missouri bluegrass group The Dillards in an Orange County club a couple of years later, his life changed forever. He knew he wanted to be “a traveling music man”. As a multi-instrumentalist (banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle) John has been recognised as a founding member and award-winning outstanding performer of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. He left the group at the end of the 50th year anniversary tour in 2017 due to demands for his solo work and the desire to do new things. In addition to John’s numerous solo accolades, NGDB was inducted in to Colorado Music Hall of Fame 2015. It's all covered in his book 'The Life I’ve Picked' from 2018. In 1971 John initiated the now landmark Will the Circle be Unbroken* album, hooking Nitty Gritty Dirt Band up with his musical mentors Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson. The now multi-platinum “Circle” is in both the Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame. adio Host, author, television show producer, writer, concert promoter, multi-instrumental musician, performer and magician. His second book – Will the Circle Be Unbroken – 50th anniversary Year – The Making of a Landmark Album captures 145 of his brother’s (record producer/manager) ‘masterpiece’ photos and tells the stories behind each one. John has made over 46 albums (7 solo) that have earned four platinum and five gold records, multiple Grammy Awards and nominations, CMA and ACM awards, an Emmy film score nomination, IBMA record of the year award, and performed on another 25 albums as guest artist. John’s production of Steve Martin – The Crow won the 2010 Best Bluegrass Album Grammy. Other accolades include: Grammy nomination for String Wizards II, the Uncle Dave Macon Award (for excellence in preservation and performance of historic music). He is a producer/composer of film scores and has produced award-winning projects of his own and for several other artists. John has continually performed since 1963 – doing over 11,000 concerts, 300 television shows, 10,000 interviews and flown more than 4 million miles. John's rich history of creating, producing and preserving original and traditional folk music earned him the 2013 Charlie Poole Lifetime Achievement Award. John was inducted in 2017 to the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame In this episode, John shares the stories from his musical life and tells us how excited he is to have recently released something entirely different. It's a spoken word album called "The Newsman: A Man of Record" which is a collection of poems and stories set to music. I hope you enjoy hearing John McEuen open up about his incredible life and career. If you'd like to learn more about him, head to his website https://johnmceuen.net/ and if you'd like to get in touch with me - with feedback, comments or suggestions for future guests, please reach out through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
Beneath the Bassline: The LELAND SKLAR Story
1w ago
Beneath the Bassline: The LELAND SKLAR Story
Leland Sklar has been a prominent figure among Hollywood session bassists dating back to the 1970s and ever since. Born in 1947 in Milwaukee, Lee has more than 2000 albums to his credit (and still counting), and is considered to be one of the "A" players in the highly selective L.A. rock music community where the competition for recording dates is fierce, and where only the strongest survive. His very recognisable bass playing style has been heard on hits by Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Hall & Oates, Jackson Browne, Carole King, Phil Collins, Keith Richards and Reba McEntire to name just a few. Leland has played on TV shows like Hill Street Blues, Knight Rider, Simon and Simon, and also on many films, including Forrest Gump, Ghost, Kindergarten Cop, and My Best Friend's Wedding. Leland moved to Los Angeles when he was very young and started playing piano at age four. When he entered Junior High he fully intended to continue as a pianist in the school music program but found that there was an overabundance of piano students, but no string bass players. His instructor asked him if he’d consider playing bass and his life changed forever. It was toward the end of the '60s that Lee met James Taylor and the pair started playing gigs together. However, when James Taylor’s "Fire and Rain" became a huge hit record, Leland Sklar's career also began to take off. The buzz surrounding this new bass player didn't take long to spread around Hollywood, and Leland Sklar quickly became one of the most sought after “A” list session musicians around town. Today The Immediate Family of which he is a member can legitimately be called a supergroup.Their new self-titled full-length album contains twelve original songs, including a rendition of the Waddy Wachtel/Warren Zevon cowrite "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" and the Danny Kortchmar/Jackson Browne collaboration "Somebody's Baby." Over the years Leland has worked with most of the top session players in Hollywood and is especially close to his long-time friends and members of The Immediate Family. This iconic supergroup has played together for decades, but never as their own band. Known for their long, illustrious careers backing music's finest, guitarists Danny Kortchmar and Waddy Wachtel, drummer Russ Kunkel, and bassist Leland Sklar have come together, along with guitarist Steve Postell, to perform their own songs as The Immediate Family. There is also a documenatry out now simply called The Immediate Family which details their rise to fame. Meet the inimatable Leland Sklar this week as he shares the story of his meteoric rise to fame. You can check out the album here and learn more about Leland on his website https://lelandsklarsbeard.com/ where he also sells lots of different merchandise. It's a fascinating episode featuring one of Hollywood's best musicians and nicest guys. I really hope you enjoy it.
CHEAP TRICK tales - Tom Petersson's Grooves
Apr 3 2024
CHEAP TRICK tales - Tom Petersson's Grooves
Tom Petersson is a musician best known as the bassist and co-founder of the iconic rock band Cheap Trick. Born in Rockford, Illinois, Petersson's musical journey began at an early age when he picked up the guitar. However, he later transitioned to bass guitar, a move that would define his signature sound and role in shaping Cheap Trick's distinctive style. In the early 70s, Petersson co-founded Cheap Trick with guitarist Rick Nielsen, drummer Bun E. Carlos, and vocalist Robin Zander. The band quickly gained recognition for their high-energy performances, catchy melodies, and fusion of hard rock, pop, and punk influences. Petersson's melodic basslines became a hallmark of Cheap Trick's sound, adding depth and groove to their music. Throughout his career with Cheap Trick, Petersson has been a key contributor to the band's success, both in the studio and on stage. His innovative bass playing can be heard on many of the band's hit songs, including "Surrender," "I Want You to Want Me," "Dream Police," and "The Flame." In addition to his work with Cheap Trick, Petersson has collaborated with various artists and pursued solo projects. He released a solo album titled "Tom Petersson & Another Language" in 1984, showcasing his versatility as a musician beyond the confines of Cheap Trick's sound. Petersson's influence extends beyond his musical contributions. His distinctive 12-string bass guitar, custom-built by Hamer Guitars, has become iconic in the rock world, inspiring generations of bassists. He is also known for popularizing the use of the 12-string bass in rock music, pushing the boundaries of the instrument and paving the way for its acceptance in mainstream rock. Over the years, Petersson and Cheap Trick have received numerous accolades and awards, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Despite lineup changes and the evolving music industry, Petersson remains an integral part of Cheap Trick's enduring legacy, continuing to tour and record with the band, captivating audiences with his dynamic bass playing and infectious stage presence. Tom Petersson's contributions to rock music and his enduring influence on bassists worldwide solidify his status as a legendary figure in the annals of rock history. I hope you will enjoy Tom Peterrson's story. For more information about Tom and Cheap Trick head for the band's website http://www.cheaptrick.com/ or https://watch.countrymusichalloffame.org/videos/tom-petersson-of-cheap-trick-demonstrates-gretsch-white-falcon If you'd like to request a future guest for the show, please get in touch with me through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
Ian Gillan: DEEP PURPLE's Powerful Vocal Alchemist
Mar 27 2024
Ian Gillan: DEEP PURPLE's Powerful Vocal Alchemist
Ian Gillan was one of the foremost vocalists of the heavy metal style of rock that emerged in the ‘70s, earning his greatest celebrity as a member of Deep Purple despite the fact that he also led his own bands. Ian began singing while still in his teens and was a member of several pub rock bands.  It was in one of these that he met bass player Roger Glover, and the two were invited to join Deep Purple in 1969. They debuted with the band in London of the same year. Ian Gillan’s voice was the making of Deep Purple and he was featured on a series of hugely successful  recordings including Fireball, Machine Head, Made in Japan and Who Do We Think We Are. He also starred on Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's concept album Jesus Christ Superstar where he sang the title role. That album topped the U.S. charts in 1971. Ian Gillan recorded and toured the world relentlessly in those days until he was hospitalised for exhaustion in 1971. He decided to take leave of the band and, just as he left, "Smoke on the Water" from Machine Head began making its way up the U.S. charts, where it would peak in the Top Five and go gold, becoming Deep Purple's biggest ever career hit. Ian then bought a recording studio and signed a solo deal with a small record company. He formed the Ian Gillan Band and in 1975, their debut album, Child in Time, entered the charts. Switching record labels, the group simplified its name to Gillan and recorded a series of albums, many of which hit the charts worldwide. At the end of 1982, Ian disbanded Gillan, announcing that he had to rest his vocal cords on doctor's orders. The following year, he surprised fans by joining Black Sabbath and recorded their album Born Again. He also began touring with the band. Ian says he was lucky to survive that ongoing party. In 1984, the original 1969-1973 line up of Deep Purple got back together. They cut the million-selling Perfect Strangers and the House of Blue Light. In 1989, Ian Gillan again quit the band. That December, he participated in an all-star remake of "Smoke on the Water" issued as a charity single which made the British Top 40. Ian Gillan continued to release solo albums. At the end of 1992, he again returned to Deep Purple and the band commenced a world tour. Ian left yet again and in 1998, he released yet another solo album. After 2009's offering, he continued to focus on Deep Purple and didn’t make another solo album for almost a decade. These days Ian Gillan remains at the helm of Deep Purple and the album "Machine Head - Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition" has just been released. The box set with LP, three CDs, Blu-Ray, booklet and various memorabilia also includes a remastered version of the original mix, a 1972 concert recording from London and a previously unreleased recording from 1971 made at the Casino Montreux which later burned down. It was included, despite its limited sound quality, "because of its historical relevance" according to the notes on the back of the box. Despite all the nostalgia and the loss of his wife a couple of years ago, Ian Gillan is again looking forward. He is currently living on the coast in Portugal and is at work on the band's next studio album - number 23 - with his long-time band mates Roger Glover and Ian Paice. The 78 year old is getting set for yet another Deep Purple tour that’s about to kick off in Australia. To learn more about Deep Purple and Ian Gillan head for https://deeppurple.com/ and https://www.ian-gillan.com/ To request a future guest for A Breath of Fresh Air feel free to reach out to me or if you have comments and feedback https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
Steely Dan's ELLIOTT RANDALL: Guitar Virtuoso Unleashed
Mar 20 2024
Steely Dan's ELLIOTT RANDALL: Guitar Virtuoso Unleashed
Elliott Randall is one of the greatest guitarists of the Rock era. His solos on Steely Dan’s hit “Reelin’ In The Years” and Irene Cara’s “Fame” are nothing short of iconic. To the uninitiated, it might seem like Elliott has made a career out of saying no to great opportunities. Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, The Blues Brothers and Toto all asked him to join their bands and he said no. But Elliot is different. He has always trusted his intuition. Known as one of the greatest session musicians around, he's the man behind that renowned Reelin' In The Years Steely Dan solo (which is said to be Jimmy Page's favourite ever lead guitar break) among literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other cuts. He also continues to write, produce, consult, engineer, tutor and perform to this day. In this interview we turn back the clock to learn about his upbringing in NYC and his passion for music ignited at a young age. During his formative years, Elliott immersed himself in the vibrant musical culture of the 50s and 60s. He took guitar lessons, honed his skills and his dedication caught the attention of instructors and peers alike. By the time he had ended his teens, Elliott had already been a pro' player for four or five years. In 1967, Musicor Records (who gave the world Gene Pitney) offered him a role as a Staff Musician. He then joined the roots fusion act Seatrain briefly in 1969, and signed as a solo artist, releasing his debut album in 1970. It was the death of his good friend Jimi Hendrix that helped Elliott realise he didn't need to be the rockstar or the centre of attention so he began working with other artists and clients, providing solutions for their musical and commercial success. The most well known four-and-a-half minutes of his guitar life became the lead breaks he added to Steely Dan's megahit Reelin' In The Years in 1972. It has received acclaim from other players and audiences alike. Since then Elliott Randall has played with Joan Baez, Chuck Berry, Kate Bush, The Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, Art Garfunkel, Albert Hammond, Bob Marley, Yoko Ono, Gene Simmons, Loudon Wainright III, Gary Barlow of Take That fame, and many, many more. He has also soundtracked jingles for some of world's biggest brands including Coca-Cola, Budweiser, McDonald's, Citi Bank, Procter & Gamble, MTV, ESPN and BBC TV. He's also performed for musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway, and has been a musical consultant for Saturday Night Live and the film director Oliver Stone. Elliott's passion for music continues unabated today. His story is fascinating and I hope you will enjoy every minute of it. To learn more about Elliott Randall head for his website https://elliott-randall.com/ To contact me head for my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
RIP STEVE HARLEY - a recent chat with the renowned British singer songwriter
Mar 18 2024
RIP STEVE HARLEY - a recent chat with the renowned British singer songwriter
British musician Steve Harley, whose glam-rock band Cockney Rebel had an enduring hit with the song Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), has died at the age of 73. Harley said late last year he was being treated for “a nasty cancer”. Born in London in 1951, Harley worked as a trainee accountant and as journalist on local newspapers, and began his performing career at London folk clubs. He formed Cockney Rebel, which released a debut album The Human Menagerie in 1973 before foundering over creative differences. With a new line-up and rebranded as Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, the band released the 1975 album The Best Years of Our Lives, which contained Harley’s biggest hit. With its barbed lyrics – aimed at Harley’s former bandmates – and infectiously catchy chorus, the Alan Parsons-produced Make Me Smile topped the United Kingdom singles chart. It went on to be covered scores of times and was used on countless soundtracks, including in the 1997 film The Full Monty and in ads for Carlsberg beer and department store Marks and Spencer. Harley also sang the title song of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera alongside Sarah Brightman when it was released as a single in 1986. He was originally cast in the title role for the stage musical but was replaced by Michael Crawford. Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, who produced Harley’s 1982 track I Can’t Even Touch You, called him a “true ‘working musician'”. “He toured until he could tour no more, playing his songs for fans old and new,” Ure wrote on social media. “My thoughts go out to Dorothy and his family at this very sad time. Our songs live on longer than we ever can”. Harley is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Kerr and Greta and four grandchildren.
PAT TRAVERS - Guitar Maverick Redefining Rock and Blues
Mar 13 2024
PAT TRAVERS - Guitar Maverick Redefining Rock and Blues
With his hard, edgy tone, rough and rowdy vocals, and barroom boogie aesthetic, Canadian singer, guitarist, and keyboardist Pat Travers is a fine example of a Canadian bluesy hard rock act. He emerged during the '70s heyday of hard blues-rocking guitar heroes. His 8 albums from his 1976 debut through to 1984 netted seven Top 200 chart placements and two Top 40 singles, including the party anthem classic "Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)." Pat is equally adept at playing funk, jazz, and prog and has toured almost annually for more than 40 years. Born in Toronto in 1954, Pat first picked up the guitar after seeing a local performance by Jimi Hendrix. He began studying the other top rock guitarists of the day - Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page. He then hooked up with '50s rock & roll vet Ronnie Hawkins  (best known for performing with a backing band that would eventually become The Band. But Travers' first love was hard rock, so he packed up and headed to London. In 1976 his performance at the Reading Festival resulted in two releases before he returned to North America and set his sights on the U.S. rock market. The new Travers band lineup led to his most commercially successful period, resulting in a pair of Top 30 releases, including 1980's Crash and Burn. Unfortunately as the '80s got underway, the music changed and bluesy hard rock wasn't in demand any longer. Pat Travers continued releasing albums but they sold less so he opted to take a break from producing records although he did continue to tour solidly. And he still does. In 2022, Travers issued The Art of Time Travel, a return to hard blues-rock. Numerous controversies and triumphs have only added depth to Pat Travers' storied career, and today his musical journey continues to evolve. His story is not just a biography but a testament to the enduring power of musical expression and the indelible mark one artist can leave on the world. Pat has worked hard to establish his well deserved reputation as being one of the very best hard rock guitarists in the world today. I hope you enjoy learning about his journey. If you'd like to know more about Pat Travers, head for his website https://www.pattravers.com/ and if you would like too request a future guest for this show please reach out to me through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
Fleetwood Mac's BILLY BURNETTE: One Helluva Rockabilly Musical Tale
Mar 6 2024
Fleetwood Mac's BILLY BURNETTE: One Helluva Rockabilly Musical Tale
Born in Memphis, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Billy Burnette spent most of his youth in the presence of father Dorsey and uncle Johnny (of the legendary Rock and Roll Trio).  The Trio made the Rockabilly name famous by combining the name Billy and his cousin Rocky for the 1953 “Rockabilly Boogie” – thus making the term Rockabilly a household name. The legendary trio influenced a diverse array of Rock icons including: the Elvis, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, and Ricky Nelson. Elvis used to spend many evenings jamming with the band. It’s not surprising then that Billy started making music at the age of 7. At 15 Billy picked up a guitar and began writing songs.  At 18, he was only a week out of high school when he recorded an album with famed Memphis hit-making producer Chips Moman (“Suspicious Minds” and “In the Ghetto” for Elvis). In his early 20’s, Billy wrote songs for artists like Rod Stewart, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison, Tammy Wynette, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, and many more. In 1980, Billy met Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac).  The two musicians became fast friends and formed the band Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo Soon after Billy began his journey as a member of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.  Billy joined and toured with Fleetwood Mac between 1987-1995, appearing on many of their albums. In 2003, Billy co-wrote a tune for Bonnie Raitt and Ray Charles called “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind.” This tune appeared on the album Genius Loves Company, which was the last studio album that Ray Charles recorded and completed. The album garnered 10 Grammy nominations and won Album of the Year. In 2006, Billy Burnette returned to his roots and recorded one of the most revered Rockabilly albums of his career, Memphis in Manhattan.  He not only recorded several original tunes – but also payed tribute to his father and uncle, by recording “It’s Late” and “Tear it Up.”   In addition, he recorded an Everly Brothers classic, “Bye, Bye Love,” and a song made popular by none other than his very own Memphis neighbour, Elvis: “Big Hunk of Love.” A collaboration with Shawn Camp and Dennis Morgan became the hit song “River of Love.” George Strait recorded the tune for his 2008 album Troubador, and “River of Love” went on to become Strait’s 44th Number One hit single. In the last few years, Billy Burnette has contributed his talents as a guitar player and singer on tours with legendary musicians Bob Dylan and John Fogerty. Additionally, he also collaborates regularly with the Mick Fleetwood Band. Billy continues to write, record and perform today. He lives in Nashville and is still as passionate about making music as he has always been. I hope you enjoy the story of Billy Burnette's musical journey. If you'd like to learn more about him, check out his website http://billyburnette.net/ and if you'd like to suggest a guest you'd like to hear interviewed on A Breath of Fresh Air, reach out to me through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
The Animals’ JOHN STEEL – A Rythmic Reign and Everlasting Beat
Feb 28 2024
The Animals’ JOHN STEEL – A Rythmic Reign and Everlasting Beat
The Animals were an English rock band of the 1960s, formed in Newcastle upon Tyne. The original lineup featured Eric Burdon (vocals), John Steel (drums), Hilton Valentine (guitar), and Chas Chandler (bass). The group is most famous for their top-five hit single “House of the Rising Sun” along with other popular songs like “We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place” and “It’s My Life”. Early Years The Animals were formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1962, with Eric Burdon as lead singer and Chas Chandler as bassist and manager. They were joined by Hilton Valentine on guitar and John Steel on drums. The band was heavily influenced by rhythm and blues music, particularly that of Chuck Berry and Little Richard. They signed a contract with Columbia Records and released their first single, “Baby Let Me Take You Home” in 1964. Breakthrough Success The Animals’ breakthrough came with the single “House of the Rising Sun”, which reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1964. The song was originally recorded by folk singer Woody Guthrie, but it was the Animals' version that achieved mainstream success. The song was also featured on their debut album, The Animals. The band followed up with another successful single, “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” which reached number two on the UK singles chart in 1965.Later Career The band released several more albums in the 1960s including Animal Tracks (1965) and Animalisms (1966). In 1967 they disbanded following Eric Burdon’s departure to form the Eric Burdon Band. The remaining members reunited briefly in 1977 for an album and tour before splitting again. In 1983, they reunited again for the album Ark and toured extensively throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Legacy The Animals are remembered as one of the most influential British bands of the 1960s, having helped to shape the sound of rock music for generations to come. They have been cited as an influence by many artists including Jimi Hendrix, Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Tina Turner. Their seminal song “House of the Rising Sun” has been covered countless times by other artists. Original co-founder and drummer, John Steel joins us this week to share the story of his amazing musical journey. I hope you enjoy this episode and if you'd like to request a guest please get in touch with me through the website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
ARTHUR BROWN - From "Fire" to Pyschadelia and Beyond. The journey of a true showman.
Feb 21 2024
ARTHUR BROWN - From "Fire" to Pyschadelia and Beyond. The journey of a true showman.
Arthur Brown burst out of obscurity in 1968 with "Fire," an energetic fusion of blues, jazz and psychedelia with his over-the-top vocals invoking the dangers of the dark side. “Fire” launched Arthur to fame worldwide. He was born in North Yorkshire in 1942. After attending a grammar school Arthur studied at University where he focused on law and philosophy. His interest in music began to overwhelm his academic pursuits, and he formed his first band, an R&B combo called Blues and Brown. After a spell in France, where he dabbled in theatre, Arthur returned to the U.K. and worked with a number of groups in London. Not long after Brown left one -the Ramong Sound, they changed their name to the Foundations and scored international hits with "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Baby, Now That I've Found You." Arthur however wasn’t fussed. He had Kit Lambert and Pete Townshend produce his self-titled debut album from which “Fire” emerged and The God of Hellfire was born. His band, The Crazy Worldof Arthur Brown was known for its live show, which featured Arthur wearing a helmet that spat fire. Sometimes he would take to the stage naked and as such became one of the most talked-about characters in British rock.  In the wake of the success of their debut, the band cut a second album and kept touring; for a short while Carl Palmer took over as drummer. Arthur’s next group's sound was darker and even more esoteric than the Crazy World. Arthur then stepped out as a solo act with 1974's Dance with Arthur Brown, a more straightforward and accessible album rooted in international rhythms. His public profile got a boost in 1975 when he was cast as the Priest in Ken Russell's film adaptation of the Who's rock opera Tommy, which was a major box office success. The following year, he made a guest appearance on Tales of Mystery and Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe, the debut album from the Alan Parsons Project. In 1979. Klaus Schulze, of Tangerine Dream invited Arthur to lend vocals to some of his work but in the early '80s, Brown left England to settle in Austin, Texas, where he earned a degree in counseling and opened a music-based practice. He also opened a house painting and carpentry business with Jimmy Carl Black, a former member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. For the most part, Arthur had stepped away from music, though he and Jimmy Carl Black did team up again for 1988's Brown, Black & Blue, a powerful blues-rock set. The new Crazy World returned for 2003's Vampire Suite, and Brown became a regular guest at Hawkwind concerts, appearing on their 2006 album Take Me to Your Future. 2008's The Voice of Love, released under the moniker the Amazing World of Arthur Brown, included guest appearances from Dick Taylor and Mark St. John of the Pretty Things. A spate of archival live releases dominated Arthurs's catalogue in the 2010s as he continued to tour extensively, including dates with Carl Palmer's group ELP Legacy and Hawkwind. Brown returned to recording with his latest edition of the Crazy World for 2014's Zim Zam Zim. Arthur celebrated his 80th birthday in 2022 and today is in hot demand to play concerts and festivals all over Europe. We catch up with the iconic artist this week and he regales us with a whole host of interesting stories. If you'd like to learn more about Arthur Brown head for his website https://www.thegodofhellfire.com/ and if you'd like to get in touch with me - comments, feedback or requests for future guests - don't hesitate to reach out through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au I hope you enjoy the story of The God of Hellfire.
Orleans' JOHN HALL - From Rock Rythms to Congress
Feb 14 2024
Orleans' JOHN HALL - From Rock Rythms to Congress
John Hall is a founding member of the band Orleans and one of the main instigators of the No Nukes and MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) movements. He’s been intimately involved in promoting social change and environmental advocacy, both as a private citizen and as an elected representative in Congress. John was studying piano at 5, playing French horn, guitar bass and drums by 12. He started playing in the clubs of Greenwich Village by 18 and at 21 wrote and directed music for a Broadway and Off-Broadway play. He then worked on numerous projects including Seals and Crofts’ album Down Home. He toured with Taj Mahal and when he came home, started the band that would become Orleans in 1972. Moving to Woodstock NY with his wife Johanna, the pair began writing together. They had major hits ‘Dance With Me’ and ‘Still The One’, songs that have garnered 9 million terrestrial airplays and hundreds of millions of streams. John has also co-written songs for Janis Joplin, Millie Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, The Tymes, Chaka Khan and Chet Atkins among others. He co-founded the group Musicians United for Safe Energy and helped organise the 1979 No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden. His song 'Power' was its anthem, performed and recorded there by the Doobie Brothers with James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Carly Simon, Nicolette Larson, Phoebe Snow, and many more. That song was also sung by Peter Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger and others. John’s guitar playing was featured on albums by Browne, Raitt, Carly Simon, Little Feat and more. In the 90s the John Hall Band recorded two LPs: Search Party and All Of The Above, which contained the AOR and MTV staple Crazy (Keep On Fallin’).  Environmental activism led John to serve on several boards. In 2006 he was elected to the US House of Representatives and also served on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Returning to private life in 2011, John continued to perform and record with Orleans and as a solo artist. During the pandemic, he wrote and recorded songs for his latest CD “Reclaiming My Time.” John Hall joins us this week as special guest to share the stories (and the music) from his life. I hope you'll join us. If you'd like to know more about John, check out his website https://johnhallmusic.com/ and if you feel like requesting a guest that you'd like to hear interviewed on the show - reach out to me through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au Warm regards Sandy
Oz Rock Legend RUSSELL MORRIS - Is Still The Real Thing
Feb 9 2024
Oz Rock Legend RUSSELL MORRIS - Is Still The Real Thing
Meet Russell Morris, one of Australia's must enduring, most talented and most beloved singer, songwriters. From his pop stardom in the '60s to pioneering singer-songwriter, Russell has shaped the country's musical landscape for over seven decades. We explore the origins of his iconic hit, "The Real Thing," and the unconventional journey that led him to pursue a solo career. Discover the role Ian Meldrum played in transforming a six-and-a-half-minute epic into a chart-topping sensation, defying industry norms. Russell shares anecdotes from his early days, revealing the supportive environment that fuelled his passion for music. From his unconventional start to becoming an Australian rock legend, this episode is a journey through the highs and lows of a remarkable career. Starting as a pop sensation in the '60s, Russell faced a tough road ahead when his early hits didn't translate into lasting success. Undeterred, he explored different genres and even went MIA for a while. Fast forward to the '70s, and Russell makes a surprising comeback with the iconic "The Real Thing." He shares the wild story behind the creation of the song, involving an LSD trip and a makeshift studio in a houseboat. The success of "The Real Thing" catapults him back into the limelight, marking a pivotal moment in his career. But it wasn't all smooth sailing. Russell opens up about the challenges of dealing with record labels, the music industry, and the highs and lows of fame. Our chat delves into the nitty-gritty of Russell's artistic evolution, from pop to blues, and the unexpected twists that kept his career vibrant. In a nutshell, it's a rollercoaster tale of a music legend who faced setbacks, embraced change, and ultimately found his groove, creating a legacy that spans decades. At times, feeling like an old has-been, Russell yearned to create something current. After an album's failure, he faced the reality that people just weren't interested anymore. Undeterred, he looked in the mirror, realizing he couldn't sing pop songs as an old fart. So, he decided to return to his roots, exploring rhythm and blues, Tamla Motown, and Blues. His Blues journey took an unexpected turn when he stumbled upon a 1918 police file photo of Thomas Archer, aka Shark Jaws. Inspired, he turned Archer's story into the blues hit "Shark Mouth," which marked the resurrection of his career. His subsequent albums, like "Van Diemens Land" and "Red Dirt, Red Heart," defied industry expectations, blending blues and country. Despite initial skepticism, these albums went on to become chart-toppers. Russell's bluesy revival continued with "Black and Blue Heart" in 2019, a pop-rock collaboration with Bernard Fanning and Nick Didier. He even joined forces with Rick Springfield, creating an album under the pseudonym Jack Chrome. Fast forward to the present, and Russell Morris is still pushing boundaries. His latest release, "The Real Thing, The Symphonic Concert," features him performing with a 54-piece symphony orchestra. The idea, born from an encounter with businessman Clive Palmer, turned out to be a massive success, selling out venues across the country. Russell's story is one of determination and resolve. A tale of belief in yourself and never giving up your passion. He is an icon in Australia and loved by all. You may or may not know his name. You may or may not know his music but, by the time you've listened to this episode, I guarantee you will not forget him. I hope you enjoy this episode. Don't forget, if you have someone you'd like me to interview on your behalf (and perhaps you can join me on the line too) just send me a message through my website ⁠https:www.abreathoffreshair.com.au⁠ and let me know who your favourite 60s 70s or 80s artist is. Warmest Sandy
The Hollies' ALLAN CLARKE - one of the most distinguished voices in British music history
Jan 31 2024
The Hollies' ALLAN CLARKE - one of the most distinguished voices in British music history
Allan Clarke is a British musician celebrated for his role as the lead vocalist of the legendary rock band, The Hollies. With a career spanning decades, Clarke's distinctive tenor voice and songwriting prowess have left an indelible mark on the history of rock and roll. Clarke co-founded The Hollies in the early 1960s with childhood friends Graham Nash, Eric Haydock, Tony Hicks, and Don Rathbone. Their harmonious blend and melodic pop-rock sound catapulted them to international stardom. Hits like "Bus Stop," "Carrie Anne," and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" became anthems of the era, showcasing Clarke's emotive vocals and contributing to the band's enduring legacy. As a songwriter, Clarke collaborated with Nash and Hicks to pen some of The Hollies' most iconic songs. His ability to craft timeless tunes solidified the band's chart-topping success and earned them a permanent place in the pantheon of rock music. In 1971, Allan Clarke briefly embarked on a solo career, releasing albums such as "My Real Name Is 'Arold" and "Headroom." Despite the solo endeavor, Clarke rejoined The Hollies in 1973, and the band continued to produce hits, notably "The Air That I Breathe." Beyond his musical achievements, Clarke's enigmatic stage presence and charisma made him a captivating performer. His influence transcends generations, and The Hollies' catalogue remains a testament to his enduring impact on the world of music. Clarke's return to The Hollies in the '70s marked another chapter in their success, with a continued string of hits. His distinct vocal style, characterized by soulful nuances and emotional depth, remains a defining element of The Hollies' sound. Allan Clarke's legacy extends beyond his contributions to The Hollies, encompassing solo ventures, songwriting brilliance, and a significant footprint in the evolution of rock music. His name is synonymous with harmony, melody, and the timeless resonance of classic rock—a testament to a remarkable career that has left an indelible mark on the global music landscape. Allan has recently released a new album - Resurgence - fulfilling a long time dream to collaborate again with Graham Nash.  The album comes after he, his wife and his daughter all battled with cancer and as a result, finds Allan unable to hit the high notes that he’s become so famous for. Determined to continue doing what he loves, Allan has penned many of the tracks on this album so that he’s able to sing in a lower key. The result is simply stunning. I am excited to have Allan Clarke in conversation in this episode, sharing stories from his incredible musical journey. I know you'll enjoy hearing his tales too. If you'd like to know more about Allan, head for his website https://www.allan-clarke.co.uk/ and if you have any requests for future guests on A Breath of Fresh Air, please get in touch with me through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
BOBBY SHERMAN: The Ballad of Hits, Hearthrobs and Heroic Acts
Jan 24 2024
BOBBY SHERMAN: The Ballad of Hits, Hearthrobs and Heroic Acts
Former teen idol Bobby Sherman is 80 years old and still wowing them. He was born in Santa Monica, California and became interested in singing whilst at high school. Following his graduation, he was given the opportunity to sing for Sal Mineo’s band at a party and eventually got a gig as house singer for the ABC show ‘Shindig!’, which ran from 1964 to 1966. His luck changed drastically in 1968 when he was cast in the role of a stammering, bashful logger in the TV drama series ‘Here Come the Brides’. The series became a hit and established him as an actor. The following year Bobby released the song "Little Woman". The single charted #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually earned gold status. Bobby instantly became adored the world over and from the late 60s to the mid-70s, he toured extensively. A frequent guest on TV variety shows and featured in an episode of ‘The Partridge Family’, he later had guest roles in several drama series including ‘Mod Squad,’ ‘Murder She Wrote,’ ‘Ellery Queen,’ ‘Frasier,’ ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ 'Good Day LA,’ ‘The Rosie O'Donnell Show,’ ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ and ‘Good Morning America,’ to name a few. In 1981, Sherman starred in the musical comedy movie ‘Get Crazy’. Five years later, he joined the cast of the sitcom ‘Sanchez of Bel Air.’ His versatility as an actor allowed him to seamlessly transition between comedic and dramatic roles, showcasing a depth beyond his teen idol persona. These television appearances further solidified his status as a well-rounded entertainer. After a 25-year absence, Bobby performed in "The Teen Idol Tour" in 1998 along with artists Davy Jones (The Monkees) and Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits). While his presence in the spotlight may have waned in recent years, his enduring appeal remains. Bobby Sherman scored so many hits during the late 60s and early 70s, including "Easy Come, Easy Go”, "Julie, Do Ya Love Me" and "La, La, La", all of which sold millions of copies and earned him gold discs. From 71 to 79, Bobby Sherman was married to his first wife. The couple had two sons, both of whom work in the entertainment industry today. In the 90s, Bobby joined the Los Angeles Police Department as a technical Reserve Police Officer. He was later promoted to Captain in the Department and began serving in San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department in 1999, eventually retiring in 2010. It was during this time that Bobby met his new wife, Brigitte Poublon. Together, the couple founded the not-for-profit Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children's Foundation. No surprise that Bobby Sherman - all round good guy and much loved entertainer has had several awards bestowed on him for his humanitarian efforts. Bobby Sherman joins us this week to share tales of his incredible journey. If you'd like to learn more about him and his charitable foundation, head for https://www.bbscfoundation.org/ #bobby sherman #singer #actor #teen idol #pop #rock #nostalgia #entertainment #humanitarian
Dexys' Dynamo - The Enchanting HELEN O'HARA
Jan 17 2024
Dexys' Dynamo - The Enchanting HELEN O'HARA
Helen O'Hara is a talented violinist best known for her contributions to British band Dexys Midnight Runners. Born in London, Helens musical journey began at an early age. She exhibited a natural affinity for the violin, showcasing both technical prowess and a deep emotional connection to the instrument. Her early training and dedication to mastering the violin set the stage for her later success with Dexy's Midnight Runners. She had met the charismatic Kevin Rowland in the late 70s and joined the band in the early 1980s, during a crucial period of the band's evolution. Her introduction added a distinctive and soulful dimension to the band's sound, creating a unique blend of rock, soul, and folk elements that set Dexy's apart in the music scene. Dexys Midnight Runners, originally formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, by Kevin Rowland, emerged as a prominent force in the New Wave and post-punk movements. The band was characterised by its eclectic musical style, combining elements of soul, pop, and Celtic folk, and was widely recognized for its energetic live performances. The band achieved commercial success with their second album, "Too-Rye-Ay," released in 1982. This album featured some of Dexy's most iconic tracks, including the chart-topping hit "Come On Eileen." The distinctive sound of the album, marked by the prominent use of strings and horns, showcased the influence of Helen O'Hara's violin and contributed significantly to the band's success. After the release of "Too-Rye-Ay," Dexys Midnight Runners underwent a significant transformation. In 1985, Kevin Rowland decided to disband Dexys Midnight Runners and subsequently reformed the group under the simplified name "Dexys." This change reflected Rowland's desire to move away from the Midnight Runners' image and to emphasize a new musical direction. Under the moniker Dexys, the band continued to explore various musical genres and experiment with their sound. While the lineup underwent changes over the years, Helen O'Hara remained a key member, contributing her violin expertise to the evolving Dexy's sound. Despite various challenges and lineup changes, Dexys (formerly Dexys Midnight Runners) continued to release music and tour, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry. The band's legacy endures not only for their chart-topping hits but also for their willingness to push musical boundaries and embrace diverse influences, with Helen O'Hara's violin playing a crucial role in shaping their distinctive sound. The extremely talented and humble Helen O'Hara joins us today as our guest to unravel the story of Dexys, to tell us about her personal journey and to share details of her recently released memoir 'What's She Like.' If you'd like to know more about Helen head for her website: https://www.helenohara-violin.com/biog If you'd like to suggest a guest for a future episode send me a message through my website https:www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
STEPPENWOLF's John Kay on Life, Love and of course, Music!
Jan 10 2024
STEPPENWOLF's John Kay on Life, Love and of course, Music!
John Kay and his band Steppenwolf were pivotal in shaping the rock music landscape of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Born in Germany in 1944 as Joachim Fritz Krauledat, John’s journey to becoming a rock icon was filled with challenges and perseverance. John’s early life was marked by adversity. He faced hardships in post-war Germany and immigrated to Canada as a teenager. His passion for music bloomed in the vibrant musical scene of Toronto. In the mid-1960s, he formed The Sparrows, which eventually evolved into Steppenwolf. The band's name, inspired by Hermann Hesse's novel 'Steppenwolf,' reflected their non-conformist ethos. In 1968, Steppenwolf released their self-titled debut album, featuring the iconic song 'Born to Be Wild.' This anthem not only defined the band's sound but also became a rallying cry for the emerging counterculture. John’s gravelly vocals and the band's driving rhythms encapsulated the rebellious spirit of the era. 'Born to Be Wild' notably coined the phrase "heavy metal thunder," cementing its place in rock history and earning a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Following their breakthrough, Steppenwolf continued to produce hits like 'Magic Carpet Ride' and 'The Pusher,' both of which showcased the band's musical versatility and social commentary. Their fusion of hard rock, blues, and psychedelic sounds appealed to a generation seeking liberation and self-expression. Despite internal conflicts and line-up changes, John Kay remained the band's driving force. His introspective song-writing and distinctive voice contributed to Steppenwolf's enduring appeal. The band's albums, including 'Steppenwolf 7' and 'Monster,' further solidified their reputation as trailblazers in the rock genre. John Kay is also known for his involvement in philanthropy through the Maue Kay Foundation, which he co-founded with his wife Jutta Maue-Kay. The foundation is dedicated to supporting various charitable causes, particularly those focused on wildlife conservation, environmental protection, and supporting the rights of animals. John, as a passionate advocate for wildlife and environmental causes, has channelled efforts and resources into initiatives that aim to protect endangered species, preserve habitats, and raise awareness about environmental issues. Today, Steppenwolf’s iconic front man is still involved in various musical and philanthropic endeavours. He continues to perform, occasionally touring and playing live shows. He rarely gives interviews anymore so I was particularly chuffed that he granted me some time to share his incredible story. I hope you enjoy this special episode. If you'd like to know more about John Kay and Steppenwolf head for https://www.steppenwolf.com If you'd like to request a guest - any artist from the 60s 70s or 80s that you would like to hear interviewed, please send me a message through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
CHICAGO's Lee Loughnane - 56 years at the top and still rolling.
Jan 3 2024
CHICAGO's Lee Loughnane - 56 years at the top and still rolling.
Chicago was one of the most successful bands of the rock era, racking up 21 Billboard Top Ten hits between 1970 and 1990. They were a band that placed equal (if not greater) emphasis on horns as guitar and picked up where Blood Sweat & Tears left off. Chicago quickly learned how to channel their expansive sound into concise pop songs, scoring hits in the early 1970s with punchy tunes like "25 or 6 to 4" as well as producing sweet melodies like "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and "Saturday in the Park." As the ‘70s went on, the band began to emphasise their softer side with bassist Peter Cetera singing mellow standards like "If You Leave Me Now," "Baby and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry." The band kept the same sound after Cetera’s departure in the mid-1980s. They continued touring and producing albums despite the fact that hits dried up in the ‘90s. Despite this, Chicago remained a pop/rock institution, with original members keyboardist Robert Lamm, trumpeter Lee Loughnane and trombonist James Pankow. Our guest today is Chicago co-founder Lee Loughnane who had been a music student at DePaul University with reed player Walter Parazaider and trombonist James Pankow. The three had moonlighted in St Louis’ clubs, playing everything from R&B to Irish music but it wasn’t long before organist and singer Robert Lamm was asked to join the band. The new group started playing around the Midwest and soon the sextet became a septet when Peter Cetera became the group’s third lead singer. In 1968, they moved to Los Angeles and the album Chicago Transit Authority was released. The album reached the Top 20 and was certified gold. It went on to sell more than two million copies. The band shortened its name to Chicago and the second album in 1970 vaulted into the Top Ten even before its first single, "Make Me Smile," hit the Hot 100. It went on to reach the Top Ten, as did its successor, "25 or 6 to 4." The album quickly went gold and eventually platinum. "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" drawn from the group's first album, as its next single; it gave them their third consecutive Top Ten hit. Chicago III came out in 1971, Chicago V in 1972 spending nine weeks at #1, spurred by its gold-selling Top Ten hit "Saturday in the Park.” The next Top Ten hit, "(I've Been) Searchin' So Long," was released in advance of Chicago VII while Chicago X  included the Grammy-winning number one single "If You Leave Me Now." Chicago XI in 1977 generated the Top Five hit "Baby, What a Big Surprise." By 1984, the band released the biggest-selling album of its career, Chicago 17. It spawned two Top Five hits, "Hard Habit to Break" and "You're the Inspiration." At the turn of the '80s into the '90s, Chicago underwent two more personnel changes. In 1998, they released Chicago 25: The Christmas Album. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Their documentary “Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago" debuted in 2017. Chicago received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 and their 38th album was released in 2022. Our guest today is co-founder Lee Loughnane who discusses how and why after 56 years, 100 million in album sales and 21 top 10 singles, the Chicago band are still rolling. If you'd like to know more about Chicago head for the band's website https://chicagotheband.com/ If you have suggestions for future guests or would like to get in touch with feedback or comments please email me through my website https://abreathoffreshair.com.au/ I hope you enjoy this week's episode.
DR HOOK's Dennis Locorriere - Great Guy Great Music Great Story
Dec 27 2023
DR HOOK's Dennis Locorriere - Great Guy Great Music Great Story
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show was an American rock band formed in New Jersey in 1968. They enjoyed huge commercial success in the 1970s with hit singles including "Sylvia's Mother", "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone'", "Only Sixteen" and "A Little Bit More." Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show owes much of their success to poet Shel Silverstein. The band had 8 years of regular chart hits. Their music spanned several genres, mostly novelty songs and acoustic ballads in the early years but then with their later material that consisted of disco-influenced soft rock. The band was then known as Dr. Hook. Founded by Southerners, George Cummings, Ray Sawyer and Billy Francis, Dennis Locorriere joined the band as vocalist. The "Hook" in their name was inspired by Sawyer's eyepatch and a reference to Captain Hook of the Peter Pan fairy tale. Ray Sawyer had lost his right eye in a car crash in 1967, and thereafter always wore an eyepatch. For a while the group found it difficult to crack the bigtime. Luckily, in 1970 a musical director on an upcoming movie heard their tapes. Cartoonist, poet/songwriter Shel Silverstein decided Dr. Hook was the ideal group for the soundtrack. That movie helped Dr. Hook secure their first recording contract. Clive Davis signed the band and they went on to international success. Silverstein wrote all the songs for their 1972 debut album. The single "Sylvia's Mother" flopped on first release, but eventually became the band's first million-seller. Silverstein continued to write songs for Dr. Hook, including their entire second album, Sloppy Seconds.The band's second single, Silverstein’s "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone'" (1972), was another million-selling disc, poking fun at the idea that a musician had "made it" if they had been pictured on the cover of Rolling Stone. In the United Kingdom, the BBC Radio network refused to play "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone'", because it considered doing so would be advertising a trademark name, which was against the BBC's policy (previously, the Kinks had to change "Coca-Cola" to "Cherry Cola" in their song "Lola" to get around the rule). Dr. Hook became just as famed for their crazed stage antics, which ranged from surreal banter to impersonating their own opening acts, but it was the group's nonchalance about business matters that led to bankruptcy. The group’s line-up changed a few times over the years.  And in 1975 the band shortened its name to Dr. Hook. They signed with Capitol Records in 1975 and released a reworked version of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen" which revitalised their career and charted in the top ten the following year. When they released a song called "A Little Bit More" soon after, it charted at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and spent two weeks at number nine on the Cash Box Top 100. It also reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and became Dr. Hook's joint second-best UK chart placing, matching "Sylvia's Mother". Follow-ups to "A Little Bit More" included "Sharing the Night Together", "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman", "Better Love Next Time", and "Sexy Eyes" which featured prominent female backup singers. Each single became a certified million-seller. Ray Sawyer left the band in 1983 to pursue a solo career, while the band continued to tour successfully for another couple of years, ending with Dr. Hook's One and Only Farewell Tour in 1985, with Locorriere as the sole front man. Dennis retained ownership of the Dr. Hook name and continued to tour and release his own solo albums. Ray Sawyer did not perform publicly after his last tour in 2015. Sawyer died in 2018. This week Dennis Locorriere is our special guest. During our chat he speaks openly and honestly about his career and his affection for Ray Sawyer as well as his admiration for Shel Silverstein, without whom he’d still be playing the New Jersey club scene. For more information about Dennis Locorrierre https://www.dennislocorriere.com/
CANNED HEAT: Legends of Blues-Rock. Drummer Fito de la Parra with the story.
Dec 20 2023
CANNED HEAT: Legends of Blues-Rock. Drummer Fito de la Parra with the story.
Canned Heat emerged in 1966 and was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite. Hite took the name “Canned Heat” from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They were joined by Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine, another ardent record collector who was a former member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands of the day. The band attained three worldwide hits, “On The Road Again”, “Let’s Work Together” in 1970 and “Going Up The Country” in 1969: all of which became rock anthems. They secured their niche in the pages of rock ‘n roll history with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who) and the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival in 1969. The band collaborated with John Mayall and Little Richard and later with blues icon, John Lee Hooker. In September 1970, the band was shattered by the suicide of Alan Wilson. His death sparked reconstruction within the group and member changes have continued throughout the past five decades. In 1981, vocalist, Bob Hite collapsed and died of a heart attack and in 1997, Henry Vestine died in Paris, France following the final gig of a European tour. In 2019, original bass player, Larry “The Mole” Taylor passed away with cancer. Despite these untimely deaths, Canned Heat has somehow survived. They have played more festivals, biker gatherings and charity events than any other band in the world. They and/or their music have been featured on television and in films. Now, more than fifty years later and with forty albums to their credit, Canned Heat is still going strong. They have been anchored throughout the past fifty-five years by the steady hand of drummer/band leader and historian, Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra. Fito’s book, “LIVING THE BLUES” tells the complete and outrageous Canned Heat story of “Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival” along with over 100 captivating pictures from their past and is available through the band’s merchandise page. FIto de la Parra joins us this week to share tales of his incredible journey. I hope you enjoy the story of Canned Heat. If you have any comments, feedback or suggestions for future guests please don't hesitate to get in touch with me through my website https:www.abreathoffreshair.com.au
DARLENE LOVE: The Voice Behind the Songs
Dec 13 2023
DARLENE LOVE: The Voice Behind the Songs
Rolling Stone Magazine caled Darlene Love “one of the greatest singers of all time” but perhaps Paul Shaffer says it even more concisely: “Darlene Love is Rock N’ Roll!” – which was made official when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bette Midler, a great fan of her work, in 2011. She was one of Phil Spector's hand-picked early '60's girl group singers and sang some lead vocals for the Crystals, Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans. After turbulent times with Spector, Darlene also had hits under her own name. The oldest of five children born in LA, Darlene’s father was a minister and ran a church in Texas. Darlene began singing at his church to the delight of the congregation. While attending high school in San Antonio, Darlene began joining glee clubs and a group called the Wailers that sang at school assemblies. In 1956 the family moved back to Los Angeles. Shortly after her sixteenth birthday Darlene began singing in the church choir. It was during a choir practice that her voice caught the attention of the choir director. One day a girl that Darlene knew from church, asked her to sing at her wedding. What she didn't know was that the wedding was also an audition: Delores' bridal party included her friends Gloria Jones, Fanita Barrett, and Annette and Nanette Williams, who had a singing group called the Blossoms. They were looking to replace Annette who was pregnant. Darlene was asked to sing with the Blossoms. Her parents at first refused to let her, but after meeting the Blossoms they relented. She started singing with The Blossoms in 1958. They recorded as a quartet and then a trio. They also did backup singing supporting Bobby "Boris" Pickett ("Monster Mash"), James Darren ("Goodbye Cruel World), Bobby Day ("Rockin' Robin") and many others. Love was brought to Phil Spector's attention when he was looking for a lead singer for "He's a Rebel." which was to be released under the Crystal's name. When Darlene was asked if she knew about this she said "So What? The man just paid me triple scale."  She figured that it was a cute song, but it was probably going nowhere. Love went on to record six Philles singles under her own name, including "Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home","(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Going To Marry", " and "A Fine Fine Bo”). She also appeared on Spector's Christmas Album. Love continued to sing with the Blossoms through the 60s. They were regulars on Shindig and toured with Elvis Presley in the early 70s. Love sang back-up for Dionne Warwick for ten years beginning in 1971 and later backing Aretha Franklin. In the ‘80s Darlene branched out into acting appearing in the Lethal Weapon films and appearing in the Tony nominated 1985 the Broadway musical Leader of the Pack based on the songs of Ellie Greenwich. She also recorded two solo albums.  In 1997 a jury awarded her in excess of $263,000 for back royalties from Phil Spector. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Today Darlene Love is back on the charts with a new version of her Christmas song thanks to her friend Cher. This week she joins us to share the story of her incredible journey. For more information about Darlene Love, head to her website https://darleneloveworld.com/ and pick yourself up a copy of her book 'My Name is Love' where Darlene shares many stories including the wild parties Tom Jones used to throw and her love affair with Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers. It's the dishy and dramatic story of a woman who had it all, lost it all, but never, ever refused to give up. If you'd like to request a guest or if you have any comments or feedback for me, please get in touch through my website https://www.abreathoffreshair.com.au I know you're going to LOVE the story of Darlene Love this week.