Harry Wayne Casey is of course “KC” from KC and the Sunshine Band, who have sold over 100 million records. The band is about to begin a summer tour and will play at Rivers Edge Park in Aurora on July 3. We discussed the longevity of his music, how he keeps a live performance fresh despite doing 100 dates a year, and why he decided to put his own spin on a signature Bob Dylan song. We also compared the sizes of our respective songwriting royalty checks (KC’s might be slightly larger).Follow @bigwakeupcall
Jon Mikl Thor is a former champion bodybuilder turned musician, actor, screenwriter, songwriter and hockey historian. Jon called in to talk about a new documentary 15 years in making “I Am Thor,” following his return to show business after retiring in 1987. The film will be screened tonight at Reggie’s Rock Club in Chicago, followed by Jon doing a live set of his music.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Vanilla Fudge has just released a new studio album, “Spirit of ’67,” which features their take on classic songs from that year. We chatted with drummer Carmine Appice and vocalist Mark Stein about the recording process for the new record, the challenges in promoting a record today (versus in 1967 when 30 million people could see you on Ed Sullivan), and bringing back the complete album as an art form.Follow @bigwakeupcall
This Saturday night, PBS stations will be showing the “Motown 25″ special — the first time it’s been shown in its entirety on broadcast TV since its original airing. It was my pleasure to be joined by Mary Wilson from the Supremes this morning to talk about the special. We discussed the staggering lineup of stars on stage that night (it’s insane — Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Four Tops, Temptations, Supremes), her recollections of the special and the early days of Motown tours.
I was very excited to chat with legendary drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Marky Ramone about his new autobiography, “Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as A Ramone.” We talked drummer-to-drummer about early drum lessons and the annoying 1980s trend of wanting to make live drummers sound like machines. Marky also shared his thoughts on working with Phil Spector and the 1970s CBGB scene.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Leighton Meester called in to promote her debut LP, “Heartstrings,” and surprised us by performing the title song live! We also chatted about how much music means to her and what artists inspired her growing up.Follow @bigwakeupcall
Graham Nash returned to the show this morning to talk about the paperback release of his memoir, “Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life.” I think Graham must have heard yesterday’s interview with Dennis DeYoung, because he also sang a few lines, busting out bits of “Bus Stop” and “Look Through Any Window” from his days in the Hollies. We also discussed the Hollies’ first tour of America, how he developed his harmony technique, and why he constantly feels the need to create.Follow @bigwakeupcall
One of the first 45′s I remember owning was “Come Sail Away.” I came home from school one day and my mom had bought it for me after hearing it on the old WLS. I wore that thing out on my little Fisher-Price record player. I’ve been a fan of Styx ever since, and was very happy to have the chance to chat with Dennis DeYoung. When he started spontaneously singing a little bit of “Lady” it gave me chills! Dennis was on to talk about his new CD/DVD, “Dennis DeYoung and the Music of Styx Live in Los Angeles.”Follow @bigwakeupcall