Show cover of The VVN Music Interviews

The VVN Music Interviews

The VVN Music Podcast includes reviews, features and interviews with the veteran music artists that have been recording for twenty years or more in pop, rock, R&B/soul, country, folk and blues. All music samples used during this show are strictly for news reporting, editorial & review use and do not exceed 30 seconds in length, falling under the fair use clause of the copyright act.


Dick Taylor of the Rollin' Stones & the Pretty Things
Dick Taylor started his career with school friends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in a group they called the Rollin' Stones but left before they cut their first album to return to art school.   The next year, Dick and Phil May started the Pretty Things with whom he stayed until 1969 after the release of the now critically acclaimed but initially failed rock opera "S.F. Sorrow". Taylor went on to produce, most notably the debut album of Hawkwind in 1970, before returning to the Pretty Things in 1979.  He remains with the group today.  The Pretty Things recently announced that they would be retiring from playing electric shows by the end of 2018. 
40:37 4/19/18
Gary Brooker of Procol Harum
On March 23, Procol Harum released an eight-disc box set chronicling the band's history both in the studio and live.  The one person who has been there for that entire history is lead singer Gary Brooker.  Brooker and Robin Trower came from the band the Paramounts, who had a couple of minor hits in Britain in the early-60's before forming Procul Harum in 1966.   The new band had a major international hit with their first single, "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and led the way in the incorporation of symphony accompaniment with progressive rock music.   Procol Harum continues to record new material including last year's Novum.  Still There'll Be More: An Anthology 1967-2017
24:22 3/26/18
Tommy Roe (2012)
This time, we go back to 2012 for an archive interview with Tommy Roe. Tommy was one of the rare artists who was able to keep his songs in the top ten for most of the 60's, from 1962's "Sheila" through the late-60's and early-70's with "Dizzy" and "Jam Up and Jelly Tight". Roe also toured twice with the Beatles, once in the U.K. and once in the U.S. 
26:11 1/30/18
Rachael Sage
Rachael Sage is a true Renaissance woman of the arts. Over her lifeshe has danced with the New York City ballet, taught herself piano, painted, acted, started her own record company and become a successful singer-songwriter.  Since 1996, she has released fifteen full length albums and EPs including her LP of music for dance, Choreographic, and her new EP of holiday music, Joy!
35:25 11/6/17
Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple & Black Country Communion
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Glenn Hughes has had a long and very active career in music, first with the British group Trapeze and, starting in 1973, as a member of Deep Purple Mk. III and IV. It was with Deep Purple that he sang and played bass on the albums Burn, Stormbringer, Come Taste the Band and the live set, Made in Europe. After Deep Purple, Hughes recorded the first of over a dozen solo albums and went on to be a member of Phenomena, Black Sabbath (Seventh Star), Voodoo Hill, California Breed and his current band, Black Country Communion.  BCC, made up of Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham, have just released their fourth studio album, BCCIV. 
25:56 9/25/17
Paula Cole
Paula Cole started her career in the clubs around her native Boston before being asked to join Peter Gabriel's Secret World Tour.  Her exposure from that tour and her first album, Harbinger, got her signed to Warner Brothers where she released This Fire which went on to be nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys along with six other categories including Producer of the Year.  Cole has just released her new album, Ballads, which contains twenty songs from the Great American Songbook along with the world of Americana.  
36:01 9/11/17
Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia
According to Rolling Stone, Carl Palmer is one of the ten best drummers in music.   He started his career in the late-60's with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster before forming Emerson, Lake and Palmer with the late Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. Together, they created a rare mix of rock and classical music that was a cornerstone in the progressive rock movement.   After Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Carl was a founding member of Asia before striking out on his own with his own band.  He is currently on tour with Yes and Todd Rundgren on the Yestival tour, fronting Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy. 
26:37 8/15/17
Ross the Boss of The Dictators and Manowar
Ross the Boss Friedman has been a mainstay of the music business for over forty years. In 1973, he was a founding member of the punk icons The Dictators and, in 1980, he started the hard rock band Manowar. Plus, he's been involved in recordings for a wide variety of other artists over the years.  We talk with Ross on the forming of both bands, his work with Bruce Springsteen, how he managed to get Orson Welles on two Manowar albums, his work ethic and his induction into the Hall of Heavy Metal History. 
22:23 8/10/17
Tommy Victor of Prong & Danzig
Singer and guitarist Tommy Victor got his start in music working at CBGB in New York as a sound engineer and, in 1986, got together with a fellow employee, Mike Kirkland, and ex-Swans drummer Ted Parsons to form Prong.  Prong released their debut EP, Primitive Origins in 1987 and full LP, Force Fed, in 1989 before signing a deal with Epic Records where they recorded four albums including Cleansing and Rude Awakening. The band broke up in 1996 with Victor going on to play with Danzig and, later, Ministry, but in 2002, he reformed the band with a revised lineup for some touring and, in 2007, took it back full time.  Prong's latest album, Zero Days, is available now. 
30:15 7/31/17
Jett Williams on Her Father Hank Williams
Jett Williams was born just five days after her father, Hank Williams died at the age of 29.  Her birth mother gave her up for adoption and it wasn't until the early-80's that she researched her heritage and found out her father was a country icon.  After a court battle to be accepted as one of William's true heirs, she joined forces with her brother, Hank Williams, Jr., to assemble The Complete Mother's Best Recordings, a sixteen-disc box set that contained 72 15-minute radio programs that Williams recorded for WSM in Nashville. Jett is also a country performer in her own right with her latest being the 2017 set Mount Olive. 
31:49 7/10/17
Patrick Myers of Killer Queen
Killer Queen have never recorded an album, yet they have fans around the world for their spot on tribute to the music of Queen. Patrick Myers has fronted the band since it was formed by students at a London university just weeks before the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991.  Within two years, they were on London's West End with their show and, since, have played in theaters, arenas and stadiums around the world including many of the same venues where Queen played during their career.  Last year, they played a major show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado and will be returning to the U.S. for a series of dates in July.  
32:57 6/26/17
Peter Cetera
Peter Cetera was one of the three main voices of Chicago, along with Robert Lamm and Terry Kath, from their beginnings until the album Chicago 17 and singing such favorites as 25 or 6 to 4, Feelin' Stronger Every Day, Call on Me, If You Leave Me Now, Hard to Say I'm Sorry and You're the Inspiration but, in 1985, disagreements with the band and management over allowing time for him to pursue a solo career caused him to leave the group. Within a year, he was at the top of the charts twice (Glory of Love and The Next Time I Fall with Amy Grant) and he followed with such favorites as One Good Woman and After All with Cher. Last year, Ceterea was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Chicago and, this year, will be a new member in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Peter has a brand new album, The Very Best of Peter Cetera, the first collection to concentrate solely on his solo career. 
15:55 6/12/17
Brian Tatler of Diamond Head
The British heavy metal band Diamond Head has had a major influence on the world of metal music over the last forty years.  Formed in 1976, the band released their first two albums independently in the early 80's before singing with MCA Records.  That early music found its way to the ears of groups like Metallica and Megadeth with the former covering a number of Diamond Head's songs in their early shows. Even as recent as a few weeks ago, Lars Ulrich announced his new weekly radio show, "It's Electric", named after the early Diamond Head song and using it as the theme.  After a couple of breakups, the band reformed in 2000 and have been going strong ever since, including their latest, self-titled, album which was released last year. 
30:54 5/22/17
Carmine Appice
For our fortieth episode, we go back four years to a 2013 interview with classic rock drummer Carmine Appice.  Carmine, along with his brother Vinnie, are two of the strongest drummers in rock music. His long history has taken him through Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Beck, Bogert & Appice, KGB and other groups along with playing in the recording and touring bands of such artists as Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne.  When we talked with Carmine, he had just started Rocker Records and was in the midst of putting together a tour by The Rod Stewart Experience with other musicians who had played with Rod over the years.  Appice recently released his memoir, Stick It!: My Life of Sex, Drums and Rock 'n' Roll. 
32:26 5/8/17
Melissa Manchester
Melissa Manchester has had a tremendous career as a singer-songwriter, scoring numerous hits and working with the best in the business.  Four years ago, she ventured out on her own, running an Indiegogo campaign to finance her new album, You Gotta Love the Life. Now, she is using Indiegogo again for a new set, The Gents, a companion to her 1989 album Tribute but, this time, concentrating on the great male singers of the last 70 years such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Johnny Mathis.  Manchester sees the Indiegogo route as a way to not only finance the various facets of the album making process but, also, as a way to work with her many fans or, as she calls them, Fanchesters.  The contribute to Melissa's new project, go to
21:48 5/1/17
Terry Ilous of XYZ and Great White
Terry Ilous and Patt Fontaine came to America from their native France in the mid-80's where they put together the rockers XYZ. Over the next six years, the band would release two studio albums, break up and eventually reform with two more albums coming out in the mid-2000's.  In 2010, Ilous filled in for Jack Russell in Great White and, a year later, was made the permanent lead singer after Russell left to start his own version of the group.  On Friday, April 28, Terry is releasing his latest solo album, Gypsy Dreams, a great set where Ilous covers a number of rock classics but does it with a special twist. He has stocked his band with musicians well versed in Latin and Flamenco styles, giving classics from "Heaven and Hell" to "Whole Lotta Love" to "Ride Like the Wind" a unique and special sound. 
28:43 4/24/17
John Lodge of the Moody Blues (2015) / Martin Strange of Strange Karma
This week, we celebrate the upcoming second anniversary of the VVN Music Podcast by going back to our very first episode with John Lodge of the Moody Blues.  For those that may have missed it at the time, we recorded the interview just as John was about to release his first solo album in 38 years called 10,000 Light Years Away. Then, it's off to Australia for a relatively new band by the name of Strange Karma (19:26). Described as having the "powerhouse rock elements of Led Zeppelin with the flair and pomposity reminiscent of Queen", they create a classic sound that would have fit in well in the 70's and 80's. Their new album, which they only released on vinyl, is called Cold Blooded.
37:14 4/17/17
Commander Cody
George Frayne has been playing music for fifty years, 46 years of which have been under the name of Commander Cody.  With his band, the Lost Planet Airmen, he has recorded a long line of both studio and live albums that combine such diverse genres as rock, rockabilly, country, gospel, R&B and country swing.  Commander Cody recently released a brand new album, "Live at Ebbet's Field, Denver, CO, August 11, 1973", the first of a series of live albums from his own archive being put out on Rhino's Rockbeat Records. 
28:05 4/10/17
Freddy Cannon
This week, we go back to 2012 for an interview with Freddy Cannon. At the time, Cannon was promoting his memoir, "Where the Action Is!", a no holds barred look at his career and the music business. Our conversation moved from where Cannon feels he should be placed in the world of rock music, his family and wife and how they fit into his career, his friends and associates in the business including his "proudest moment" with Elvis, how he came to own his masters and the current state of the music business.  Book: Where the Action Is! Compilation: The Complete Releases 1959-1962
32:19 4/3/17
Michael Schenker (2017)
Michael Schenker returns to the VVN Music Podcast for the second time in a year with another live album.   Last June, we talked with him about the live set with his band Temple of Rock, On a Mission, Live in Madrid. This time around, it's Michael Schenker Fest: Live in Japan which celebrates the music of the Michael Schenker Band with three of their lead singers, Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley. 
32:00 3/27/17
Steve Hackett (2017) & Ruthie Foster
We once again have a double bill this week on the VVN Music Podcast.  First up is a brand new interview with Steve Hackett whose new album, The Siren's Call, is out this Friday, March 24.   Then, it's contemporary blues great Ruthie Foster who is releasing her tenth album, Joy Comes Back, on the same day. 
42:18 3/20/17
Cindy Lee Berryhill
Cindy Lee Berryhill started her music career in the late 80's as part of the anti-folk movement, a term which she is credited with creating. In 1987, she released her debut album on Rhino Records, Who's Gonna Save the World and followed with Naked Movie Star in 1989 and Garage Orchestra in 1994. At the same time, she had a budding relationship with rock journalist Paul Williams, who started Crawdaddy Magazine in 1966, which was interrupted when Williams suffered a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident. He eventually recovered and the couple married but, a few years later, he started to show the signs of early dementia. Berryhill's life became one of an artist also acting as a primary caretaker.  Since Williams' passing, Berryhill has once again begun to write with the result being her superb brand new album, The Adventurist, which is one of best released so far this year.   
42:44 3/13/17
Tracy Nelson (2012)
This week we're going back to 2012 for an interview with singer Tracy Nelson. Tracy started her career in the mid-60's with the folk album Deep Are the Roots. After a period when she spent time in and around the Chicago Blues scene, she moved to California where she formed Mother Earth.  Over her career, Tracy has released six albums with the band and over a dozen as a solo artist. Her latest venture is The Blues Broads which also includes Dorothy Morrison, Angela Strehli and Annie Sampson.  Their debut live CD and DVD were released in 2012. 
33:10 3/6/17
Punky Meadows
Punky Meadows was a part of the music scene from the mid-60's to the mid-80's as a member of The Cherry People, Bux and Angel. It was that latter group that brought Punky his greatest success as they followed KISS onto Casablanca Records where they released six albums over six years but the collapse of their record company sent Meadows into a nearly three decade hiatus from the music business, finally coming back last year with his first solo album, Fallen Angel. 
35:56 2/27/17
Chip Taylor
In the 60's, Chip Taylor wrote such hits as the Troggs' "Wild Thing", Merilee Rush's "Angel of the Morning", the Hollies' "I Can't Let Go" and Janis Joplin's "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)". By the 70's, he had signed with Buddah and became a successful singer/songwriter before dropping out of music to become a professional gambler. Lucky for fans, he returned to music in 1996 and has since been releasing almost an album a year, most of which do well on the Americana charts.  His latest album is A Song I Can Live With.
32:31 2/20/17
Paul Rodgers
We're going back to January of 2014 this weeks for an interview with the great Paul Rodgers. Rodgers is one of those rarities that has not only found success in a series of bands including Free, Bad Company, the Firm, the Law and Queen + Paul Rodgers, but also as a solo artist.  When we talked to Rodgers in 2014, he was about to release his new solo album The Royal Sessions which was recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, TN. 
25:07 2/12/17
John Mayall & Anders Rönnblom of Killer Bee
For the first time, we have two guests this week on the VVN Music Podcast. John Mayall is one of the greatest of the British blues men and the man who gave a start to such musical giants as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Taylor, Andy Fraser, Jon Mark and John Almond, Harvey Mandel, Walter Trout and Coco Montoya. His latest album, the 66th of his career, is Talk About That. Then, it Anders Rönnblom of the Swedish rockers Killer Bee. During their original run, they played across Europe with some of the biggest names in the business and performed in both Red Square and at Olympic Stadium in Moscow.  After a twelve year hiatus, they returned in 2012, releasing a series of albums that has culminated with their latest, Eye in the Sky. 
42:29 2/6/17
Jeannie Seely
Jeannie Seely is about to celebrate her 50th anniversary of becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry, an honor that she says is one of the great achievements of her career.  Since the mid-60's, Seely has not only been a successful recording artist but also a songwriter whose music has been recorded by Irma Thomas, Ernest Tubb, Merle Haggard, Etta James, Willie Nelson and many more.  Her new album, Written in Song, includes her first recordings of many of those songs that were interpreted by others but never before released by the woman who wrote them. 
38:40 1/30/17
Dennis Coffey
For most people, Dennis Coffey is best known for his early-70's hits "Scorpio" and "Taurus", but his many career highlights include studio work and production including: Bringing psychedelic guitar to the Motown sound on such hits as "Cloud Nine" and "Ball of Confusion" by the Temptations. Playing electric sitar on Freda Payne's "Band of Gold". Being the first white artist to appear on "Soul Train". Production on hits from Gallery's "Nice to Be With You" to C.J. & Company's "Devils Gun" Discovering and producing Sixto Rodriguez in the early 70's, the subject of the award winning documentary "Looking For Sugarman". Dennis has just released a new album, "Hot Coffey in D: Burnin' at Morey Baker's Showplace Lounge", a live set originally recorded in 1968.   
36:50 1/12/17
B.J. Thomas (2013 Archive Interview)
B.J. Thomas has had an impressive career with hits in Pop, Christian and Country. In 2013, he rerecorded a number of those hits but with updated arrangements and, for a majority of cuts, with duet partners like Vince Gill, Richard Marx, Isaac Slade of The Fray, Lyle Lovett, Keb Mo and Steve Terrell. The resulting album, The Living Room Sessions, provides a unique look into the B.J. Thomas songbook. 
31:27 12/14/16

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