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February 1, 2024 113 mins

I loved talking to this guy. He wrote songs, played in cover bands and then connected with a last chance demo tape. He's a fan, just like you and me. You're going to enjoy this.


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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:08):
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome back to the Bob Lefsnets Podcast. My
guest today is that one and only Christopher Cross. Chris,
you recently met the Pope.

Speaker 2 (00:19):
Tell me about that.

Speaker 3 (00:22):
Well, you know, Bob, it was, I said, I just
did a post yesterday about it. And I met a
lot of famous people in my life have been very lucky,
you know, heroes and presidents and people like that. But
I've got to say meeting his holiness was a think
to itself. He's a very chrismatic person and I love
his outlook on justice and you know, his social you

know outlook, and so I was very excited to meet him,
and he was just amazing just to be in his presence.
And I bought a Rosemary at the gift shop. My
girlfriend bought me rose mey. He blessed it and I
don't know, He's a very special person. So that was
very exciting.

Speaker 2 (01:01):
Well, give us some of the backstory. How did this happen?

Speaker 3 (01:04):
Well, they asked me to do this. They do it
Christmas show over year in Italy. They filmed on December sixteenth,
then then it's aired Christmas Eve all over Italy. It's
a big deal. It has it's done with the Vatican
in conjuncture with a charity that benefits girls sincere Leone.
So uh, normal, I've done a lot of those kind
of things. So I'm like, well, I don't know if
I want to do that. It's for the orchestra, it's
a big show. But then they said, well, there won

a lot of money and everything. But they said, but
there's a you know, there's a perk. You get to
have an audience with Pope. I said, no, wait, okay,
So that was because it wasn't being about the show.
I've done a lot of those kind of things, so
that was really a deciding factor to do it, because
you know, how often do you get to meet the pope.
So he's eighty seven now and so, and I like
him as a pope as popes go, and so it was.

It was really really an amazing experience. I feel I'm
still kind of walking on air a little bit from it.

Speaker 2 (01:58):
Now, are you Catholic?

Speaker 3 (02:00):
I was raised Catholic, Bob, certainly, I'm retired now, but
but you know, you never can completely retire from the
devil and the fear and all the stuff they teach you.
But but no, I'm kind of retired, but you know,
you're a doctrinated into that philosophy and that religion, so
it's it's there. But so I'm you know, I was

raised Catholic. So but I one of the bishops there
said well, how can we bring you back? You know,
and I said, well, you know, but no, So I
was raised Catholic, so I certainly know a lot about
the history tradition of the Catholic Church. And I you know,
I went away from it and not a big fan
of a lot of things about it. But as I said,
he seems like he's so gentle and wonderful, and he

seems to be trying very hard to get women in
the church, and and it'd be inclusive with LGBTQ and
all that, and I applaud that. So I think it's great.

Speaker 2 (02:50):
Okay, you do the show. How do you meet him?
What do you do? What's the procedure to actually get
one on one with him?

Speaker 3 (02:59):
Well, you go to the Vatican and you're brought in.
You know, it looks like sort of likes I could
a you know TV show and black cars and you know,
pulling into the Vatican, the Swiss guards are there, and
you go into the Vatican where people typically don't go.
We went through this beautiful garden it was actually a graveyard,
and we went into this really beautiful room that held

maybe one hundred people because there were some sponsors and
all the artists that were on the show got to
meet him as well, and theyve video and you know,
they had the whole thing figured out, and he came.
You know, we waited for a bit and His Holiness
came in and he sat in a big chair and
I was in the front row, right across from him,
and he read a statement in Italian which I didn't understand,

which had to do with the event and just thanking
the artists. And then one by one we went up
and you introduced ourselves and had a moment with him.
I'm not going to say we hung out in a conversation,
but you know, I thanked him for his work, and
I asked him if he would, you know, bless my Rosary,
and he did something kind of cool. Normally, the bishop

was telling me he'll just do the sign of the Cross,
but he covered my hand with his hand to bless
my Rosary. And the bishop later told me that's kind
of cool that he doesn't do that all the time,
so but it was it was brief. You know, It's
not like I said, we didn't hang out and have
a beer, but just he has a wonderful smile and
his way about him is just he's really really a

you know, pretty special person. Obviously don't get to be
the Pope without it, but I don't know, it's just
one of those things. My girlfriend got to meet him too,
and she said, you know, I never thought I would
get to meet the Pope. So yeah, it was. And
the show was wonderful. There were a lot of great artists,
all that kind of thing, and I got to do
I played sailing, but then they wanted me to put

a traditional Christmas song, but I asked if I could
do a song that Rob Muir and I wrote called
A Dream of Peace at Christmas Time that has a
children's choir, And it took a little wrangling, but the
Vatican agreed and so I closed the show with that,
and that was very nice. And I think it's because
it's about, you know, a dream of peace, and with
the war in Ukraine and the Goaza situation, I think

Pope Vatican thought it was a good message, you know.

Speaker 2 (05:08):
Okay, I mean, this is literally the apotheosis or the
pope theosis in terms of people you could meet. But
I gotta ask in terms of your career. You mentioned
you met a lot of famous people. Who else is
in the upper echelon?

Speaker 3 (05:24):
Uh? Well, Joni Uh, Joni Mitchell obviously a huge influence.
That was a McCartney, you know, meeting Paul, knowing him
a little bit, you know, I do know, I'm want
to see him when I see him. Uh, Brian Wilson, certainly,
Carl Wilson, because there's such huge influences on me. People

like I would say Randy Newman is right up there,
two in the top five. You know, I've gotten old
Rady cart Well. But you know, those these people that
were just you know, on some other planet me when
I was starting out music and just following and learning
from them and then later to get to meet them
or know them or whatever. Yeah, those people, I'd say, Randy, Jony, Paul,

you know, never met Tom Waits, but I'd like to.
But anyway, Yeah, so I didn't get to meet John unfortunately,
but I've kind of read there were some books that
came out about John, and apparently he liked my song Sailing.
Apparently he liked it, so I act Jack asked Jack Douglas,
who produced Double Fantasy. I said, so, if John had lived,

I'd be hanging out with him at the Dakota and
Jack said, and Jack said, yeah, he really dug your
song and he definitely would have hedge over. And so
I'm thinking, you know, but anyway, so Barta, you know,
when you meet people at heroes like Brian and people
like that, it's a it's a out of body experience
at first, and then of course, you know, then you

spend a bit over time with him, but you never
really get completely you know, when I see McCarthy or
write or something like that, you never completely get used
to it, you know, because there they are, you.

Speaker 2 (07:03):
Know, okay, being a musician with this level of success,
you meet them, you're in a circumstance to meet them.
Like with Joni Mitchell, do you talk music with her
or just hey you're a great guy, I'm a great woman.

Speaker 3 (07:20):
Yeah. I learned, uh, I learned pretty early on Bob that,
you know, people of this caliber, trying to explain how
they do what they do is pretty it's a little
bit on a tiny little way, I know, how it is.
It's very hard to do to explain like your process
and how you do that. So I learned pretty quickly. Two.

You know, don't go there. Don't ask those questions because
they've been asking them a million times and they kind
of don't know what to say other than that, you know,
you're either Lebron James or you're not. You know you're
Tiger Woodsy, you're not, You're Joni Mitchell, you're not. So No,
I don't talk about music, which is I talk about
books or you know, other areas of art, like Joni would.

She gave me a book of An Sexton's poems to
read for inspiration, that sort of thing. But no, I
would never just directly ask anybody. Randy Newman told me
once I asked him about songwriting came up and Randy said,
I don't care if I get any better, as long
as it I'll get any worse, which is so Randy.
But so no, I tend to not try to ask

about process because you know, most people like that. I
feel like it's sort of beamed from outer space and
you're just the receptacle and how it actually happens. Like
you saw the Get Back movie I mean, you know,
they're coming up with get Back just sort of improvisationally
in the studio, and that's sort of how it is.
You know, it just sort of happens and you look

around the room and go, wow, what was that? So?

Speaker 2 (08:55):
Okay, where do you live now?

Speaker 3 (08:57):
I live in Austin, Texas. I'm from Santa Antonio, Texas,
about note miles south, but I live in Austin and
I also have an apartment in Manheat.

Speaker 2 (09:07):
Okay, So you're in Austin, which is a noted music town,
although it's burgeoning and the musicians are being squeezed out.
Are you integrated into the music community there or it's
more like this is where you live.

Speaker 3 (09:20):
It's really where I live. I'll pay of the truth
because you know, throughout my career here, early on, I
played cover bands and fraternity parties and that sort of
thing to make a living. I chose like Stevie Ray.
Stevee used to go play at the Roman for fifty
bucks and play his play for his soul, you know I,
which I think is fantastic. I don't have that courage.

I played clubs and fraternities, playing you know, bos Gua
Exton's on the radio to make money, and then I
kept my phone music to the side, just the demos
and that sort of thing. But also, you know, my
music's more of a California sound. South the California sound.
It's more harmonic. It's not typical of sort of the

the style of music that people think of in Austin,
the sort of rock blues, country, uh thing. So I
wouldn't say that I really identified too much with the
Austin sound, you know, per se, because I was always
my brand was always in California with Brian. But interesting

trying to tell you, I h when I was doing
demos in the studio, I sent I needed to send
a demo. So I looked in Billboard magazine, but I
didn't know anything about an R or any of that stuff.
I looked in Billboard magazine and I really loved Warner Brothers.

They had Randy, they had Joni, they had Hindricks, they
had a lot of artists that I really like, Van Morrison.
So I thought I'd like to be on Warner Brothers.
So I looked at the billboard. It said Moe Austin
share of the board, who I you know, I think
miss him so much. It was an incredible man. Uh so,
so I can't get to him. But I knew nothing
about an R or anything like that. So I looked

below his name and this game David Berson, assistant to
Most And I said, okay, well I could send him
my tape. It turns out David is an administrative he
does anything to do with an R, but he'd never
gotten a tape in the mail. And he took the
tape and he made Lendy Warner Cuz head of man
or listen to it. And that's how the whole they
got started. And Lenny told me later, had you just
submitted to tape, Dan R, we would have stuff in

an envelope sent it back to you because we weren't
really accepting submissions. But you sent it to the wrong guy,
and that's how we got started talking. So it's serendipity,
how about that?

Speaker 2 (11:33):
Okay, before we leave this topic, I just have to
ask non musicians that you've met in addition to the pope.

Speaker 3 (11:42):
Boy, non musicians mean somebody I've met that I, uh,
I was really excited to meet that weren't musicians. Hmm, boy,
I that's terrible that no one comes to mind. They
should you know, my world is so it's so singular,

you know, that's what where I.

Speaker 2 (12:04):
Well, let me ask you back in the day, did
you play for politicians? What was that experience?

Speaker 3 (12:08):
Like, well, I, I mean watching my album came out
and I was got well known. I did go to
the White House and I played for Reagan at the
Ford's Theater. There was a thing where you every year
they did a benefit to refurbish Ford's Theater and I
was on a bill with some pretty wonderful George Benson
was on the bill, and he and I kind of

connected because we're sort of musicians about like Lena Horror
and all these great people were on it. And I
can't say that I voted for Reagan, but you know,
still an opportunity to go to the White House and
meet the president and all that. So that was pretty
cool going to the White House. I did get to
meet him. I did get to meet Bill Clinton at
a small event at Carol King's house that Carol had
and I went and got to meet Clinton, who I
did vote for. So that was pretty great. But so

I've got a few politicians. But you know, I'm going
to be mad at myself later when I can't think
of it as far that's okay, other genre, but you know,
you get I'm so singularly passionate to the music, think
Bob that it's like, I don't know, I'm kind of boring.
That's all I do. That's all I've ever done, you know,
dropped out of high school, just went for it.

Speaker 2 (13:11):
Okay, Just now you're talking about politicians. Do you play privates? No,
that seems like a definitive decision. Tell me about that.

Speaker 3 (13:22):
Well, the only artist I've heard that absolutely does not
is so Collins phil apparently just I ever met him,
but he just won't do it. I have in my past,
I've played him, but I don't anymore. And the reason is,
you know, I want to play for fans who've come
to a theater and bought a ticket to see me,

and hopefully they've had some of them in the audience
are familiar with my entire catalog and aren't just there
to Arthur's team. But still they came with the explicit
purpose of seeing me. It's not because it's some insurance
company and they've got a bunch of money to pay
a bunch of money. So I you know, I don't
enjoy that I don't enjoy that sort of model where
you're going. And now it's gotten so commonplace that a

lot of these private events they don't really pay attention
to you, per say, anyway, because they just got to
sing Rod Stewart, you know. And so I find it
sort of impersonal and unintentionally disrespectful. So I don't do it.

Speaker 2 (14:21):
So how do you end up growing up in San Antonio?

Speaker 3 (14:26):
My father was a physician in the army, pediatrician. I
was born in San Antonio. We moved fairly quickly to
Tokyo for five years, then to d C for five years.
My father was David Julie Eisenhower's pediatrician Ike's grandkids. But
then we moved back to San Antonio. My father was

sent back to Centronia and I lived there till about
sixty nine. And then, as I told you, I dropped out.
I came back. I went after the hate the summer
of my junior year, heyte Ashbury, and I came back
with long hair. I went to my for my senior
year at my high school, which was a public high school,
and they told me you can't come out with long hair, so,
which is ironic, as I have none now, and I said, fine,

I'm not coming in. So I dropped out, and shortly
after that I moved up to Austin because I just
knew that Austin was a more virginy music scene. It
was kind of hip for there was a lot more
going on. So, uh, some of my compadres and I
learned up a truck and moved to Austin. But and
it was kind of Mecca compared to Santonio.

Speaker 2 (15:29):
Wait a second, so San Francisco. I grew up on
the East coast, certainly closer to San Antonio than Connecticut.
But to actually pick up and go to the Heat,
tell me about that.

Speaker 3 (15:42):
Well, I went out there with a couple of friends
and just you know, to see you know, the great work,
see the brave new world go out. And so we
were in the West coast and so went down to
the Hate to sort of see what's going on.

Speaker 2 (15:55):
And also well a little bit slower, you went by car,
you flew there.

Speaker 3 (15:59):
Yeah, yeah, well I flew there and uh and then
you know got around. You know, it's been so long
I forget, but uh, and you know, we went down
to the Hate and saw what was going on, and
then you know, went to Fillmore West, saw a bunch
of cool bands and got really you know, it was amazing.

So I got all into that let my hair grow out,
and I guess I thought it was you know something,
and my high school didn't agree. So I was no
academic laws, trust me, but uh so let me go.

Speaker 2 (16:31):
But your father was very successful academically. What did he
say when you dropped out of high school?

Speaker 3 (16:38):
Well, you know two things. I was the fourth of
five children, and I have kids, and you know, the
first one, you try to keep them real clean and
you dote on them, and then as they as you
have more of them, you get bad. They're dirty or whatever.
They fell down there. So I think he was a
little bit kind of whatever. But he also had played
bass in college upright base, and he told me those

are the best times of life. And he he I think,
loved music, and he used to play a lot of
music around the house, like Glenn Miller, that sort of thing,
and that's how I got exposed to music. When I
was about twelve. My dad kind of drank too much,
but occasionally he'd get out his upright Base to play
along with his Glenn Miller records in the dining room,
and so he was. I think he was. You know,

he told my mom he'll manage, he'll figure it out.
And he always used to tell me too, He said, look,
school is fine, but as long as you read, if
you read, you'll be fine. But anyway, I went down
the music store and I asked the guy I was twelve.
I said, you got my dad listens to Glenn Miller,
Pete Fountain, He got any music like like for younger people,
And he brought out bab Brubek Time Out and that

that was the first album I got and I took
it home. Was just asked for set of drums at
Christmas and the rest is sort of history.

Speaker 2 (17:55):
Okay, Siana, Antonio very close to the Mexican border. What's
it like growing up in San Antonio?

Speaker 3 (18:03):
Well, it's a lovely town. And I will say that musically,
I was was very influenced and impressed by the Hispanic
bands like study Ozuda and the Sunliners. These are big
horn bands with percussion and giant production, and I used
to always go see them when I could. And I
think rhythmically, you know that sensor rhythm did kind of
find its wind to my music for sure. But you know,

Centuria is a lovely town, but it's you know, it's
a little sleepy. And so you have these the big
Hispanic bands that were you know, big stars and everything,
but there wasn't There was a little teen can play
thing called teen Canteen that cannamed Sam Kinsey ran all
the bands and play there, but there wasn't really a
way out, you know. It just seemed like it was
just a metre alugnation society of all these musicians that

were so nice to each other that wasn't competitive. They
were like, you know, we don't go see each other
and say you're great, you're you know, you're great, you know.
And I kind of figured, well, that ain't gonna get
me anywhere. So I wanted to go to the dre
into the pool and I heard about Austin. There was
luck going on there and that's where it was happening.
So it was accessible. I could drive up there, and
we got on a little crappy house and started trying

to find our wind to the scene, you know again,
playing cover tunes.

Speaker 2 (19:16):
Okay, you're in Tokyo, then you're in d C. The
Beatles hit in sixty four. You're eleven, going to be
twelve years old. In my group, we were listening to
the treeransistor for the baseball games, then the Beach Boys
and the fourth seasons, and then the Beatles hit.

Speaker 3 (19:33):
What was your experience, Well, prior to the Beatles, it
was the Everly Brothers, Richie Allen's Ray Charles and then
of course the you know, it was such a singles market.
I'm seventy two, so you know, you had things like
a Stranger on the Shore by Acker Bilk. The next
minute is it's a team able to cap BIKKINI. It

was so diverse. It was very eclectic, not like it
is now. You know. Ricky Nelson used to watch the
Aussie you know you Hear It show, so that was
a lot of it until the Beatles came out. And
the minute I heard I guess someone holds your hand?
That sort of changed my life. And I was playing
drums for about six years, and I was a singing drummer,

and I just decided I got to get a guitar,
and I gotta I gotta do that, you know, So
I bought a seventeen dollars guitar. I'm left handed, but
the guitar bought seriars. Cadillac was seventeen dollars. It was
right handed. I didn't know any better, so I play
right handed. But the Beatles, it was the songs, of course,
but the sound of those flat wound strings on those
gretch guitars through those vox amps. I mean, the whole thing,

just the experience was transformative. And so that's what really
got me to want to, you know, try to try
to do that. And actually the first song I learned
on guitar, my little Texas country cowboy guitar, was you
really got me, thinks. So the whole British invasion, you know,
it was a huge impact for me. I was very

drawn into that and all that, the Hollies, all that stuff.
But the Beatles were you know, it was cathartic for sure.

Speaker 2 (21:07):
Okay, so you were playing drums. Were you taking lessons?
Were you playing in the school orchestra? Was it just
something you did at home?

Speaker 3 (21:17):
Well, I wanted to be. It's funny because I was
drawn to Joe Morello, who was the drummer and they
brew back. But I really had no skills. But uh,
I did try to take drum lessons from the symphony
that the guy played the symphony, and I refused to
hold my sticks in a traditional grip. I wanted to
hold them like Ringo. And he said, you'll never play

drums properly hold you sticks like that, and I won't
teach you if you're going to do that. And I said, well,
you know, Ringo's the greatest, and he said, Ringo's terrible,
you know, So I said, I said, well, yeah, f
off and I left. And so I was just, you know,
I wasn't. I mean, wipe out was my big moment
in the show. These little makeout parties and stuff we played,

because the wipe out this kind of my moment. I
only had one tom coom, but so, you know, the
drums were just you don't have to know a lot
played drum. It's just more of a physical thing. But
I was the singer because the other two guys are
too embarrass to sing. But then, you know, getting into
the guitar was a big, big thing. Like I said,
I was happy playing the drums. Still, I heard the

beatles and then I realized, man, you know, all these
girls screaming. I gotta I gotta figure this out. So
I got a guitar and left the drums behind, which
again was no big loss. But and I've always been
self taught. I never cook any music lessons or anything
like that.

Speaker 2 (22:43):
Okay, so you get a guitar, how long until you
get an electric guitar?

Speaker 3 (22:49):
Well, I had acoustic for a year or so, and
then I bought a guitar seventy dollars. I can't even
think of the name of it. I don't think you
had a name. It was just this great piece of crap,
played terrible. But I got a paunch store and played
that for quite a while. And then my parents could
see I was pretty serious about the whole thing. And
I wanted a Rickenbacker like the little Beatles sounded at the

beach boys had them too, and I wanted a Rickenbacker.
So my poor parents, I just tortured the hell out
him until they bought me this five hundred dollars Rickenbacker guitar.
That was my first. And I got a super reverb
Fender ramp, and that was a big, big thing for me.
You know, I was at actual equipment, so it just

it grew. But again, you know was my probably was
in the army. He was a colonel. But you know,
we lived on the bass. You know, he probably made
twenty five thousand dollars a year. There wasn't a lot
of money to throw it, you know, this sort of thing,
and I would go down to the music store and
stare at all the cool stuff. But you know, I
just grew as I could SA. It really wasn't until
I was thirty years old. Then the album came out

and I actually had some money to do something, you
know that I got cool equipment and did all that.

Speaker 2 (23:57):
So after you got the guitar from sears It, what
point did you start playing out when you were playing
the guitar.

Speaker 3 (24:06):
Well, that took a little while because in junior high
I was a drummer and we had our little band.
We were called the Psychos. I read a lot of
Ed Growmind Poe, watched Twilights or on that sort of thing.
So we were the Psychos. So we'd play it. We
only had four or five songs. We play at these things,
I say, makeout parties where you go to your friend's
house and maybe one of their parents had give you
fifty bucks. You played by the pool. That was as
a drummer. When I switched to guitar, I took a little.

There was a break because I had to kind of
learn what I was doing. Then I went from Catholic school.
I asked my parents if I could leave Catholic school
and go to public school, and so I did. But
it was a very lonely transition because I didn't know anybody.
Everybody had come from public junior highs. So the first
couple of years I was kind of a loner and
I just basically focused on learning the guitar. But there

were other people in high school trying to do band stuff,
and I met them and you know, and did things.
But also in the community of San Antonio, trying to
reach out to especially older guys who I could possibly
play with, who teach me something. But that was a
slow process. I don't think I really played anywhere with
the band until I was a junior high school, probably

maybe sophomore.

Speaker 2 (25:12):
But okay, so now you're in high school, you're wood
shedding at home. At what point do you form bands
in high school?

Speaker 3 (25:19):
Well, as I said, there were other kids who were
also interested, you know, and some of them had some money.
One good kid, I remember he had a stratocaster it's
pretty cool, and he had some equipment but so you
meet these kids and you learn you have this like
mindedness of wanting to do music, and so like, well, look,
you know, why don't I come over. I'm me and
my guitar and we'll kind of jam around. And then

before too long, my parents let me practice in my
bedroom at our house and we had drums and everything
set up there. And so I started to you know,
I said earlier that aren't really a network, but I did.
I networked for my own purpose. I found guys who
could play decent and you know, did form a band.
And so I was networking to that degree, trying to
find guys that I could put a court to together.

We could we could try to do something, you know.
And I was writing songs pretty early on with that
whole thing. Not that they were any good or doing
anything with them, but I that was the beatle thing.
I wanted to do that, you know. And it was
a long process of experimentation, but so, you know, it
was but junior year, my band were called Flash and

we were kind of a big deal in Sentenio. We've
kind of you know, made a few waves.

Speaker 2 (26:29):
Okay, and the material was and you were the front person.

Speaker 3 (26:35):
I was sort of and it was a quartet. The
material was original material, and there's songs that I wrote,
you know, believe it or not. I was a big Zappa
fand so some of the early music was a bit
avant Garden terms of time, structure, time things like that.

Songs like right someone was called a plastic bag on
the end of the event Coad Hanger, trying to be
like Frank, you know, weird. But so we played at
clubs and stuff. We could play your own music. And
again in San Antonio there was this all the other
kids that all the other guys had come out and
see your band, you're great, and then you will see them

and and so I played my original material and we
were good. And a local promoter in town, Joe Miller,
lovely guy, had company called Jam Productions, and he brought
groups into San Antonio, and he brought led Zeppelin in
and I think there was a there was a lawn
in Texas at the time where in concerts they had

to have a local band play on the show for
thirty minutes. Yeah, God bless him. That's a great rule,
you know. So you don't see that now. So Joe
arranged he kind of believed and we saw something and
we used to practice at his house, his wife Nancy. Anyway,
Joe let me open for Zeppelin the first time that
came up with Jeff Throte and Zeppelin and we opened

for Zeppelin.

Speaker 2 (28:02):
Were you a Zeppelin fan?

Speaker 3 (28:04):
Well, yeah, of course I you know, a big Jimmy
So what was like, Well it was trippy because uh
uh we actually, you know, the things were a lot
different than you got to realize that there wasn't all
the security on that stuff and the guy they were new,
so it was pretty poorous backstage, you know, they weren't
like they got to be later. So Jimmy and Robert

plant actually asked me, uh, you know, what do you kids?
Do your parents have money or something like that. You know,
we get doing this and uh, I said, no, our
band were playing. He thought they thought we were just
hanging out. I said, no, our band is opening the show.
So that night in the wings, I looked over and
there was planting page and we were terrible, trust me.

But the cool thing that happened out of it was
Jimmy used these great, these really cool lamps called high Watts.
They were sort of like a Marshall lamp, but they
were even newer, and they're made by this Dave Reeves
in a garage in London, and I'd seen him in magazines,
but Jimmy had him and Pete Townsend Adams. So I
asked Jimmy about it, and I said, boy, that they're
just so cool. He said, well, if you want one,

give Clive and my roadie money and I'll get Dave
to build you one. So I gave him sent I
get Clive seven hundred bucks, which was a lot for me,
and everybody said, I'll never see your money. And a
couple months later, by boat, I come home from school
and they're in my living room are two cardboard boxes
and it was a high, white headed cabinet that I
got to Jimmy Page. And I was the coolest motherfucker

in town man, trust me. I mean not only because
I had a highway, but I got him jim Page.
Another thing that Joe did. He had brought in Deep
Purple to the club and there was their first show
in the US and Richie Blackmore got a flu shot
and he got quite sick, and they talked about what
to do, and they decided they didn't want to cancel
the show because of the very first show in the US,

and Joe said, look, I've got this kid that I
know pretty good, Tark Bind He's a big fan of Richie's.
He could sit in. So I sat in. I played
for Richie Blackmoorg with deeper.

Speaker 2 (30:04):
What did you know the material?

Speaker 3 (30:06):
Yeah? I knew, you know, the hits and some of
that stuff. And we played some blues. I mean it
didn't They told people, if you want to leave, you can.
You know, my real name's not cross at s Gepherd.
So they said, Chris Geppert's going to get play and
people knew me and I had cool equipment. So I
got up there. I think had a flying V at
the time, headlong hair. So I got up and played.
We played, We went over a few things during the

day and we played some blues and uh, it was
kind of a mess. But you know what Richie called me.
Some years, if not too long ago, they did a
documentary about him and he said, you know, I want
you to be interviewed because he said, in all the
years we played, lots of people sat in, but no
one ever subbed for me. And it was the thrill
of a lifetime, you kidding. It was like and you

know what, It's interesting. You know who opened the show
was Eric Johnson, Wow, the guitarist, and that's how I
got to meet Eric. So I got to do a
lot of cool things like that, we open for the Airplane,
all these things because of Joe Miller, and they were
really good learning experiences for me, you know, because I
got to hang out on shows like Blind Faith and

I got to hang out with It was just different.
You know, it wasn't much of security, you know, like
Blind Faith. I wouldn't I sat out during soundcheck, you know,
So I had access to some pretty cool stuff.

Speaker 2 (31:24):
Okay, you're scene primarily as a singer songwriter for those
who don't know how hot a guitarist are you?

Speaker 3 (31:32):
Oh, I'm okay, I put it. You know, I'm a
singer songwriter first, and the guitar is just it. It's
a vehicle for what I need to do. But playing
in the cover bands and stuff, we couldn't afford a
lead guitar player, so I had to play guitar, so
I had to learn how to play lead. I originally
was just a rhythm player. I learned how to play
lead and sort of not by choice. And I remember

my bass player Andy Sam would always get some bad
because and he was really fantastic get learning stuff on
the radio. He could pick out anything. And I never
played the solo right in any of us. So I
can show it to you, And I said, I don't care.
It'll be off the radio in two weeks. I'm writing
my own songs anyway. You know, it's a hard question
to answer. I mean you have to ask other players.
I mean, you know, in Austin you could throw a

rock and hit a guitar player. So I'm not gonna
you know, I'm okay. I get by. I mean I
think when I have someone play on my record, like
Larry Carlson or Eric Johnson or Steve Luketther from Toto,
I can't play their solos. I just play some other shit.
So you know, I'm okay.

Speaker 2 (32:39):
Okay. When did you realize you could sing.

Speaker 3 (32:43):
Well right away? I told you when I was in
sixth grade, somebody had a sing and and and the
guys are too embarrassed. You know, I don't want to sing,
so I was a singing drummer. And then of course
when the Beatles stuff came out, and I would sing
like and I love her. I mean the girls, would
you know, sort of swoon and then Chris. I was

so into the Beach Boys that I would just I
remember telling Brian that I used to sit in the
dark room with a turntable and listen to The Lonely
See over and over and over again. And Brian was
kind of faster. He said, really the Lonely Sea and
he went cool. But I began to emulate them, he

and Carl, you know, and try to sound like them.
And that's the thing. I'm not a rock singer, like
I can't sing like you know, Sammy Hagar, who I
think is amazing. I wish I could, but or Steve Perry,
those kind of people. But part of that's just how
I've trained my voice, because Carl Wilson especially is my
mentor vocally, and I just tried to learn to sing

like them.

Speaker 2 (33:48):
Okay, on your web page, you have a whole page
dedicated to equipment. You said you couldn't afford equipment for
a long time. Are you like a geek when it
comes to equipment?

Speaker 3 (34:01):
Oh? Yeah, I'm a I'm a real gearhead. In fact,
Eric Johnson, I've become who I met him. I was nineteen,
but we're very very close friends now, and he's incredible
and one of the grest guitar players alive. And he's
really into gear too. So yeah, all my guitar friends, uh,
you know, we're all kind of gear geeks. You know,
the latest pedals and and you know whatever it is.

So but you got to be careful because you can
get lost in that. And at some points I'll stop
and go, Okay, I got good gear. I just don't
play music, you know, I don't. I want I want
to listen to another pedal. I just want to play.
But yeah, I'm pretty into the gear thing, kind of
a gearhead for sure. I got signature signature amps and
all that stuff.

Speaker 2 (34:38):
How many guitars and how many amps do you have?

Speaker 3 (34:42):
Uh? Well, I got about ten amps and I got
maybe twenty guitars. Not a lot. I mean, I've gotten
rid of a lot of stuff over the years. In fact,
people ask me, where's the high watch that Jimmy Page got.
I don't even know stadly, but I've gotten to I
don't collect vintage guitars. I've played these guitars called Tom
Anderson's that are just like gorgeous, like Mercedes type stratocasters,

and I play Taylor Acausic guitars and they're just so
well made. I find for myself that the newer guitars
that are really really well made, stay in tune and
you know, intonation and stuff are better for me than
the old guitar that has a lot of character and
a lot of mojo. Maybe, but they're just not practical
to take around, you know, on the road.

Speaker 2 (35:22):
And what about you have your own signatury. Tell me
about that.

Speaker 3 (35:25):
Well that's made by a company called Divided by thirteen
and they're a small boutique builder in California. And the
guys that play with McCartney, Rusty and Brian Daisen and
wonderful amps, and Fred built me one that's kind of
designed the way I wanted it to be. But it's
a one twelve combo amp that has two different types
of tubes in it and stuff, and they're great. It's

called the nine point fifteen three C. But I said
I had ten ms. I've got eight of those, eight
of those combos because I have multiple sets of gear.
But you know, I don't play real loud bob on stage.
I use inner monitors. And my whole thing is I'm
working with jazz musicians, so it's all about, you know,
really clean and musical, you know, So we don't play loud.

It's about, you know, I really try to show off
the virtuosity of the guys I play with because they're
just unbelievable. And that's comes from the Asia model, you know.

Speaker 2 (36:23):
So what's the theory with two different types of tubes.

Speaker 3 (36:26):
Well, the divided by thirteen it has two six V
six's in it, which are what's in a Deluxe Finder Deluxe,
and has two El eighty fours in it, which are
what's in a vox Ac thirty. So I it's getting free.
I have three amps on stage and I use what's
called a wet dry rig. In the center is my
dry amp. It's just dry, and it's on the EL

eighty four settings more aggressive. The side amps are on
the sixty six settings and they're eighty percent wet, so
out front the guy can really control the amount of
effects and stuff like that. And what's great about you
get a lot focused because the cineramp is dry. It's
like being in the studio. The delay and stuff is
not mixed in with the dry but on the sides
it's like eighty percent wet. So it creates this incredible

wall of sound, which the front of house guy's got
to be good, but he has a lot of control.
Then over I can play with as much delay as
I want on stage, but out front he could dial
it back. But it's a huge sound in stereo, and
it's it's pretty massive. I mean, some guys, I'll say
you should hear my rig and they go, I don't
want to hear it.

Speaker 2 (37:28):
I don't want to.

Speaker 3 (37:29):
I don't want to. I don't want to drag that
around the church, you know, I don't want to do that.
Tom Anderson builds my guitars. I think Tom said that.

Speaker 2 (37:37):
So to what degree are the same people with you
over the last few years.

Speaker 3 (37:43):
Well, I have musicians that are New York, Austin, La Paris,
and they're all, uh, I got chose the Asian model
after Asia, I really kind of started emulating everything Dan
did and as far as the style of production of
records and on stage, these guys are all jazz trained,

you know, seriously jazz trained musicians, and they bring that
you know, nuance to the music. So it's not jazz,
but they're bringing their jazz style into it. And my
show is all charted music charts and they're all on
a server. So the guys have iPads and I'll bring

up a set list and so basically working for me,
it's all reading music. I haven't rehearsed in twenty five years.
Everything's on charts, and every to work in my band,
he got to be a really good reader. So I'm
working with guys from New York, LA. It just depends
who I who I you know, what I'm doing, who's available.

Lately I've been working with an ensemble out of Paris, Trio,
which just amazing guys out of Paris that I work with.
But I work with us guys like I play with
Keith Carlock, who plays of Steely Dan. Keith works with
me when he can, Travis Carlton, Larry Carlton, some plays
Basement when you can. But it's a lot of who's available,
you know. But I have a nice network of people

in four or five places that I can call on,
and because we don't rehearse, it's easy. I just they
show up and play.

Speaker 2 (39:12):
Okay, they have charts yourself taught? Can you read music?

Speaker 3 (39:19):
I can read charts, meaning you know chord charts and
things like that, but I'm not great with notation. Those
guys are. But uh, and I have what are called MRLs,
which are music Master Rhythm lyric charts, so they have
the chords and everything and the lyric because I'll be
honest with you, you know my age. I mean, I

have over one hundred songs. I mean sometimes I need
a little cheat sheet too. It's just really forms for security.
That's kind of a teleproctor. So I have the I
have the chord chart and the lyrics, so I can.
I can read those kinds of charts, but no, I
cannot read like a violin chart or something. Those guys can,
but so I can. I can exist in their world enough.
But of course I wrote this song, so I know.

But there's so many of them that the guys, yeah,
they know sailing probably without looking at the chart, but
most of the stuff they need to have a chart
to play it. But I'm playing with them because they're
it's like Asia, you know. Donald Walter started bringing in
guys like Michael Lomartian and Greg Fillingates, these incredible jazz
players to interpret that music, and it brought it to

a home to the level.

Speaker 2 (40:25):
You know, I once saw Steely Dan and Walter Becker
was ill, and Larry Carlton came in and played off
the charts. It was mind blowing fact that he could
just do that instantly.

Speaker 3 (40:38):
Oh yeah, well, you know my biggest When I got
my deal with Warner Brothers, they assigned me Michael Lomartian
as a producer. He had just been signed as a producer,
and I was I didn't really know who he was.
I was looking. I was really at the for Gary
Katz or Ted Temple, one of these guys. And I
was at the Water Brother's office, and I was not
being terribly perceptive to Michael Lomartian, who's a genius. But

so I said to him the Wonder Brothers Rep. Michael Austin,
who was most son who signed me, said, you know,
Michael plays with Steely Dan. I said, oh really, like
what did you play on? Michael said, humbly, he said everything.
So I said, you know, Larry Carlton, this is a
true store. I said, you know Larry Carlton. He goes yes.
I said can you get him to plan my record?

And he said yes, And I said he doesn't do
sessions anymore. He's like a star he's like, you know,
because I was a huge fan of Larry's and so
Michael said, well, I know, Larry, I think I can
do it. I said, well, here's the deal. If you
can get Larry Carlton to plan my record, you can
produce record. And that was that was the deal we made.
And I finally told Carlton this story a few years
ago and he said, man, I should have been getting points.

But true to form, Michael Hamardine got Larry Carlton to
planed my record. He played on two tracks, and it
was just it was the thrill of a lifetime, one
of those times like the Pope, you know, sitting with
Larry Carlton because he's he's you know, a huge, huge
hero mine and so many players you know. So but yeah,
that whole model. Even back then, I was into that.

Having these guys that could play like that bring that
sensibility to my songwriting and so and I think my
songwriter has got more sophisticated over the years, but they
bring it to home toother level. These guys.

Speaker 2 (42:20):
Okay, you drop out of high school, you moved to
San Antonio alone or with other band members.

Speaker 3 (42:28):
Yeah, I moved up up to Austin with Rock Austin.
I believe Rob me or I think you You may
not remember, but he used to have exchange letters of
the occasion. Rob Yeah, yeah, So Rob and Andy Salomon
bass player. We've moved up in a truck, you know,
and moved all the crap into a house. You're paying

forty bucks a month rent, and we started playing in
cover bands. There's an agent in town, Llawyer and Charlie
Hatchett that booked everybody. And we just started playing fraternity
parties and clubs, anything we could play, just to make
a living, you know. And so we did that for
quite a while. But I was always writing, but I
just didn't see any point, you know, the people that,

like I said, Stevie, who is true artist. You know,
he wasn't making much money doing that. He's playing for
his soul and that's wonderful. But you know, Austin, but
there wasn't a town yet where you could really get
appreciation for playing around music at my level at least,
So I just kept my head down and played cover

tunes and made money. I could play make fifteen hundred
bucks a nights for the band at the fraternity party.
But I'd never really bothered playing my tunes out. I
just made demos and I sent them for Warner Brothers.

Speaker 2 (43:51):
Okay, you moved to Austin, you've dropped out of high school,
totally self supporting or does your father send you any money?

Speaker 3 (44:00):
I had a car and they paid my gas. I
had a gas card and they paid my gas in shirts.
But otherwise though we made a living. We were living
at a house. You just paid forty bucks. Let the rent.
We lived off you know, Big Lone Stars and Peanut
M and M's probably, but uh we just you know,
it was all about you know, the dream. You know,

we're just living that dream. But it was fine. We
didn't need much and you know those when you're young,
you don't care what your surroundings are like. But uh so, yeah,
we lived in that house and played tunes like you know,
played cover tunes and stuff that did. I I had
an arrangement with a studio there in Austin, and I
could go in at night and record. I invested some
money in uh in some equipment and set up their

B studio so I could go in and record in
the twenty four tracks studio and start doing demos and
I sit sent two sets of fork song demos to warners.

Speaker 2 (44:52):
You know, oh okay, a little bit slower you move
when you're not even twenty. You don't get a deal
until your late twenties. What goes on in that ten.

Speaker 3 (45:03):
Years playing playing, like I said, fraternity parties, clubs, I mean,
Austin was I told you it was really happening. As
far as there was there were clubs. There were the
University of Texas coll They's fraternity parties, but all these
college students going out, so there there were places to
play and make good money playing cover tunes. It's just

that to be an original band was pretty hard, and
it was only people that were really really special like
Stevie who you know, it was just a prodigy who
went out and people did go to hear them. But
even at that level, you know, playing these places that
artists like that played, they didn't get paid a lot
of money. They did it for the love of it,
and there's a lot of integrity there, and I have
incredible respect for those people. But for me, I had

a child at the time, you know, I'd gotten married
at a child that I just I felt it was
a better plan just to keep hacking out the radio tunes.
Plus all that music had an influence on me too,
you know, learning those songs and singing and playing beach
Boys and that sort of thing. But that was just
my model. That's what the way I did it. And again,
through this strange quirk of fate with warners, I got

a deal. When I was, like you said, twenty eight,
twenty nine, how.

Speaker 2 (46:11):
Did you end up getting married?

Speaker 3 (46:15):
Well, I was in Houston, Texas, playing in a cover
band called Heather Black and Good Band, and you know,
young girl, pretty girl came back of the club and
she was at eighteen. I was twenty two or something,
and I think she was trying to just piss off
her father. But we ran off from the lobe after
two weeks and it didn't go well. In fact, Rob,

Rob Muhir, he went to the courthouse for us to
get married, and it was so impetuous and I didn't
you know, Rob was standing behind us when they stood
up for us at the courthouse. And I'll never forget
as soon as a female judge a sin as, she said,
I pronounce you met her wife. I heard Rob under
his breath go, this is not going to end well.

Speaker 2 (47:02):
But you ended up having a child.

Speaker 3 (47:04):
Well we did, but we were only married seven years,
but we had a child, and it was it was
just doomed, doom to failure. I only knew the girl
two weeks I married. It was listen, I was just
some horny guitar player who you know. You know. So
that was my first failed experience as a matrimony. But
I'll never forget Rob saying that was pretty funny. But so,

you know, I got married and kid, I just I
felt like I responsibility to you know, Justin was literally
he was, you know, two or three, and I had
to support these people in an apartment, and so I
needed to go out and make money. And I said,
we get paid fifteen hundred bucks to play Attorney party.

And that was a lot of money than Bob, it was,
you know.

Speaker 2 (47:48):
And it was cash, no tax cash.

Speaker 3 (47:53):
You know. It was just it was just the plan.
I had a plan, you know, and and it seemed
to be more practical. I never could have supported my
family Bob trying to play my tunes around town. And
then when my album came out, everybody was so surprised, Wow,
where you been? What these songs and all that real, Well,
I don't know. I just tad them under my hat.

Speaker 2 (48:11):
Okay, you made the demos, you send them to Warner Brothers.
But how long had you been working on songs and
recording them at home?

Speaker 3 (48:23):
Well, I mean, I've been writing songs since the very
beginning when I got that cowboy guitar. That was, you know,
a junior high. But the oldest song on the first
record is a song called Poor Shirley, and it was
about four years old to the release of the record.
So most of those songs were you know, fairly recent
in terms of my historical path as far as the

ones that ended up on that record.

Speaker 2 (48:46):
You know, Okay, you were making a living as a
working musician. You know, the Beatles made it in their
very early twenties. At this point, most people in the
rock world had made it by their mid twenties. Did
you ever waiver in the dream? Did you always think
you were to make it? Did you even think you
were going to make it?

Speaker 3 (49:05):
Well, your musicians have a strange way of believing, believing
in themselves, you know, in spite of all things of
the contrary. But and answer your question, you've hit on
something here, because no, Because I'll tell you the truth.
The last six months or so, when I was trying
to get my deal with Warners and all that stuff,
I kind of told myself, look, I can't keep doing this.
You know, I got a family. If if I don't
get something going pretty soon, I'm just going to call

it and just you know, go get a job and
do something we after school or whatever. And so I
gave myself sort of a six month window to see
what was see what was going to come of it,
if anything should come to fruition, And then fortunately I
got signed. Yeah, but I was, I was going to,
you know, pretty much call it today. I was because
I've been trying for a long long time, and like

you said, I was older. Most people had deals by then,
and so uh and that was part of the problem too.
You know when I when all this happened, it was
so medioric. I didn't have a regular art to my
career like someone like the police and those people. You know,
I just it just I went from playing in fraternities
back we finished their record in seventy nine, I went

back to Austin and went back to playing clubs until
the album was released, playing Eagles songs. And then the
next thing had happened. The album comes out and I'm
opening for the Eagles. So it was overwhelming. And I
wish very much that I could go back and play
those early shows with the kind of confidence and professionalism
I have now, because I was just up there, you know,

totally out of my element. No I from playing a
little club, playing twenty thousand seediter, I had no business
doing that.

Speaker 2 (50:38):
Okay, you sent the tapes off. How did you actually
hear from Warner Brothers and what they say?

Speaker 3 (50:46):
Well, when David Berson, he got the tape and he
liked it, and he went to lunch with Lenny Warnker
that day and he said, Lenny, I got a tape,
let me play for And this is the story they
told me. Lindy said, give me a break. I meant
lunch all I do listen to the tapes all day long.
But did David insisted they put it in, And this
is what they told me later. Lenny said he really

liked my voice. He thought it was radio friendly, and
so he said, I give it a damn tape. So
you got the tape and they reached out to me
and said, listen, you know, we really like your voices
through a radio friendly, and they did what they all
do at the time, So send us some more material.
We're interested, and they keep stringing you along. So I
did another set of demos and sent those and Michael Austin,

who was Most's son, he was new to the an
Are but fortunately he believed in me, you know, and
kind of put his influence behind it. But they still
didn't believe in the songs. I remember them saying, your
voice is great, but we may have to feature other
songs to record. Not too sure about these songs. And

they had heard sailing and I'd like to win in
all those songs, and the demos were, you know, real
good representations of what you hear on the record later.
But so Michael Lomarty and the producer, was the one
who said, listen, let us go in the studio see
because I think there's something here. And so then we
went in and you know, and recorded. But and Michael

did a great job of making the record, you know,
enhancing with the strings and all that. But initially they
just were focused on my voice. They said, your voice
is like James, you know, it's like James Taylor, as
good as James. But it just that when you hear
James Taler on the radio, you know James Taylor, and
they said that there's a uniqueness to that that's important
at radio. So we liked that about your voice. And
so then it's funny because I want to say, really,

I was just trying to sound like Crol Wilson. But
eventually they signed me, and I made the record.

Speaker 2 (52:40):
Okay, a little bit slower from the time you sent
the demos to them. How much longer did it take
till you got signed?

Speaker 3 (52:50):
The first demo went out about seventy six, nineteen seventy six. Wow,
for four years.

Speaker 2 (52:57):
And in that four years did you go into the studio?
Was a Martian or was that after the deal was signed?

Speaker 3 (53:03):
After the deal was signed, I mean Martin was a
big deal. I mean that was when Michael Austin brought
us out, brought me up to California with my manager
and we met and I had no idea that was
actually really close to a deal, but he met. He
was just wanting me to meet with one of their
producers and they recommended Michael. But no about four years,
I I you know, hung in there with him. But

I also I did try bob along the way like
I went to A and M and a couple of
other labels who passed. But I always really wanted to
be on one of us, like I told you, so
it was like, you know, your first choice at a
college or something. So but I did go to a
couple of labels and got passed on, and M passed
on me. They had just signed Captain and Taneil kick Cohen,

the head of van Ar, said, we don't need another
act like that. We just signed Captain a Tanil.

Speaker 2 (53:49):
So how'd you get a manager and a lawyer?

Speaker 3 (53:53):
Well, my manager at the time was a local guy
who'd played in bands early got into the management. They
got him Tim Nie, a really a nice guy. Managed
Bruce Hornsby as well. And Tim was great and he
kind of, you know, maneuvered this whole thing, you know,
once we had something going, you know, he kind of

massaged the deal and stepped in and worked with Water Brothers.
Because I didn't have any idea of what to do.
And so Tim went out to LA and he represented me,
and then later after my ALBM came out not too
long left that later, Tim went in with Irving and
they co managed me for a while. Then eventually I

just was managed by Irving. But right away Irving said,
you need a lawyer, and so I got Michael Roosevelt
and so right off the VAT I had a really
good law firm. Can't across Michael Roosevelt. But you know
with Irving, he don't. I mean, Irving came in, so

that to the first record. But what I got to
do was doing another record. That's when Irving, you know,
really stepped up, because you know, he was like, Okay,
hold on a second. You know, this guy just sold
his AID records and he has a standard record deal.
Let's I'm not gonna do that again, you know, in
that cause so I was at Therevy for a long time,
long time. In fact, I think chronologically I was within

longer than any other artists at the time other than Hindley,
you know. But you know, as time went on, Irving
gets so big. You know, he's with Christina and all
the stuff he does, and so I just I felt
I needed someone who was waking up more day to
day and trying to make me a buck. And nothing
against Serving, but I left and went with a guy.
Now he's managed me for about fifteen years. Then Toby

Ludwig it's great because you know, Irving is a ruler
of the world. I mean he's you know, he's busy
and understandably with you know, managing you two and the
Eagles and all those people. But there were some great
things that happened. I mean, Don Henley I'd known because
he's from Lyndon, Texas, and so I knew Don. Don
sang on the record, which was huge. P and JD.

Salder's sang on the first record. But then Don arranged
for me to go open for the Eagles, which was
a real big moment. And then Don gave my record
or induce very to Stevie Nickson. I ended up opening
for Fleetwood for a long time. So both those things
were real big catalysts too. But having Michael McDonald on
my record and Alderry Carlton, all these people at radio,

that's undeniable that that gave me a leg up because
you know, these DJs get fifty albums a day and
they're reading the credits and they're like, who's this kid.
You know, I'm McDonald, Barry Carlton, what's going on? Put
it on, listen to it. So I really believe that
having Michael on Brodac. The wind was huge.

Speaker 2 (56:44):
So how did all those people end up on the record.
Were those Michael o'martian's choices or did you say I
want this person?

Speaker 3 (56:52):
Well, Henley, I said, he's a Texan, so Texans, you know,
they stick by each other. So Don would supportive of
beginning it, you know deal. He said, well, you get
a deal to sing on your record, you know? And
I was like, okay, you said, just because he doesn't
do that very much. So I got Henley and Don
brought Jade in. But uh, we were at Warner Brothers Studios,

which is no longer there on Compston in the Valley.
I was a studio I and the Doobies are in
the studio a doing Take It to the Streets and
Omartyan knew McDonald from Steely Dan, so he went over
and brought Michael over to listen to what we were doing
McDonald and McDonald thought it was cool and he said, hey,
if you want a background bugs, let me know. So
we stuck on Mike in his face and he's sang,
I really don't know anymore first, and then we brought

him back letter for I'd like to win. But that
was through Marty and Martin got Larry Carlton. I was
a huge Valerie Carter Van and Lenny Waterker made it
called the Valerie, and she liked the song Ted Tempelm
was pretty snical let Larsen and so that came together
with NICKI, which I'm so thrilled since we lost her
boss Valerie too. Who else? Uh? Yeah, so and Eric

Johnson of course played on my track, which nobody really
knew who he was at the time, but I was
determined to make sure that changed, and so he played
on Mitchell Jiggelow and that kind of helped people find
out about him and subsequently he got a deal on orders.
But yeah, so the people came different ways. But it
was a pretty star studed record for nobody.

Speaker 2 (58:20):
Okay, people always say, hey, my first record, I went
in there, I was green, I was manipulated. What was
your experience in making the record and how long did
it ultimately take?

Speaker 3 (58:31):
It took us a six weeks or so, maybe tiple months.
It was a great experience because you know, Michael Elmarty
and he was new as sort of a producer, but
not as he'd played with log and Somebsceni did all
the Seely Dance stuff. So for me, it was the
perfect thing. I had this guide through this process who
worked with Seely Dan, because I just wanted to be

Steely Dan. So you know, Michael knew the process inside
and out. We just sort of followed him and he
initiated us me into that world. And as we went
on and I started using more session players as I
went on later that was something Michael was very comfortable
with because you know, I used to gab people like that,

but now the record was we were kind of for us.
We were just remaking our demos and then Michael was
playing on it, which is brilliant. Robert play Roads, Michael
played Grant and then of course some already did the strings,
which were fabulous, you know, on those songs. So we
were I would say it was pretty easy and seamless

because we had a great producer.

Speaker 2 (59:37):
Okay, just a couple of little backfill You left with
players from San Antonio to Austin. To what degree were
these the same players and what degree did the members
feel as was a band as opposed to a solo act.

Speaker 3 (59:55):
Well, I can't speak to it. I mean, at the time,
you know, I was signed to Warner Brothers as a
solo artist. I mean they I wrote the songs, I
sang the songs, and I think from their view that
was the entity that they wanted to sign, you know,
because I was responsible. I sang all the songs. I
wrote all the songs, So you know, there wasn't any

in their mind that you know, I wasn't a band.
I was a solo artist. Now what was in the players,
I don't know. But we made that record together and
they did plans and tracks on the second record. But
OMARTI and you know, was used to work with studio musicians,
and I had this burning desire to you know, up
my game and work with those kind of people. And

so Michael, you know, understood that. So with the second record,
I started using some studio players like Steve gabb Ablueberry
El Senior, people like that, because I said, from the
very onset, I always wanted to make records like Steely
Dan and the best way to do that is to
get those kind of guys. But the band toured with
me initially, you know, even to the second record. But

I think it's just a natural evolution, at least from
my standpoint as an artist, as a singer songwriter. You
know what's best for my music?

Speaker 2 (01:01:11):
Okay, how did it become Christopher Cross? As you say,
that's not your birth name.

Speaker 3 (01:01:18):
The studio in Austin was called Pecan Street Studios. I
think it was called that anyway. Steve Shield's really great
guy who owned the studio. He was dating this girl
named DeVaughn and we released a little single called Talking
about Her in seventy six on Steve's Little Starbars label.
Eric Johnson played on it and it was a real
rock and roll song. And we were at dinner one
night and I was trying to think of some name

I could use to, you know, go under. This was
just a release of mine, and Devon said, why don't
you try yourself Christopher Cross, and the DJ still sorting
it to Criss Cross, and so I went okay, And
that's how it became. She just suggested. I said okay,
because I just figured Geffert wasn't very memorable, and I
also thought there could be some privacy advantage to it.

So that's how the name came out. Devon to suggest
that we went with it, and we released this little
single that was Christopher Cross. It was really me in
the studio with Eric Johnson and some of the people.
And it didn't do anything, but that's kind of how
the name came about.

Speaker 2 (01:02:12):
And if I look at your passport, what does it
say Cross.

Speaker 3 (01:02:17):
I did a DBA pretty quickly, much to my mother's chagrin.
She was not happy about it.

Speaker 2 (01:02:23):
But you never changed it legally, or did you? Yeah?

Speaker 3 (01:02:27):
I think it's I mean, I don't know. I'm not
a lawyer, but I mean my past words as Cross
a DBA voice. I've done business this Cross since you know,
my justin my son by my first marriage goes by
Getfert but Raydon Madison, my kids by my second marriage
got by Cross.

Speaker 2 (01:02:48):
Do your friends call you Christopher or Chris?

Speaker 3 (01:02:52):
New friends call me Christopher, and that's what I prefer.
Old friends and my brother and people like that. The
brother they call me Chris. My girlfriend calls me Chris.
But uh, I prefer Christopher. I think it's a really
pretty name and I like it. But growing up it
was Chris. But the Criss Cross thing, you know, I
get mistaken for those two rapper kids too, you know,
But I don't know. I like, I think Christoph's pretty named,

so I prefer Christopher. But people that know me a
long time just can't do it.

Speaker 2 (01:03:22):
Okay, So how long after the album was finished did
it come out?

Speaker 3 (01:03:27):
Well, it was supposed to come out I think before
the first of the year and eighty. But Eddie Rosenblatt,
who was one of the vps at Warners, said, look,
this record's just going to get lost in the Christmas mess.
Let's hold it. And it was brilliant on his part
because they held it till after January. It was released
in January and then we got a little bit of
a hearing and so it came out and boom. You know,

I'd like to win, would have it never made its
number one because Blondie had called me and it was
only a single, so it kept us out of the
singles charts being number one. But then Sailing, which I
was not in favor of releasing MO released it then
went to number one. But so yeah, about three months
after we went back to Austin. We were planning more

cover gigs and stuff, and it came out in January
and then the very first tour, I did you know
my chronology made I'd be perfect. I apologize this so
long ago. You know, it's like asking Rango if he
used a te towel on tax Man, you know, can't.
People asked me, did you just a click on your record?
And he was like, I don't know, I don't think.
So my first tour was I got to open for

Bonnie Raid because Bonnie was on Warders, and so they
sent me out for six weeks with Bonnie, which was
the perfect indoctrination into the world of touring because she's
just fantastic and so and she was so sweet and
you know, it was it was great. So I got
to do that. And then shortly after that this went down,
took me out with the Eagles, and that I did

quite a few things with him. So it's all pretty heady, Okay.

Speaker 2 (01:05:09):
How did the painting become the cover? And of course
many people felt that it was a painting because you
weren't photogenic? Was that even an issue? What went on there?

Speaker 3 (01:05:23):
Well? Through all these incarnations and musicians that group in Houston,
where I met my first wife. Our drummer's name is
Jimmy Newhouse, great drummer. He didn't continue playing, but he
was incredible. He was also a painter and one day
he brought in this album shaped watercolor of the Lagunsium
of Flamingo. Now, I didn't have the green, it was

just all the watercoating. And he said, I think this
looks like your music, and so put it on the wall,
kind of like a focal point, you know, in a
delivery of a baby or something. He just that was like, hey,
that's our album cover. And when we went to Warner Brothers,
we showed it to him, and you know, we were
one of fifty new acts, so like, yeah, okay, that

looks okay. And they sent it to a guy Naed
Floroid Holmes in Atlanta, who put the green around it
and all that, but the initial and he did the
back nighttime scene. But that initial image was was created
by Jimmy Newhouse. And yes, I would say that my
physical insecurities, It's not so much that I requested that

I not be on the record, but I was relieved,
you know, because I didn't feel terrible. I felt self
conscious about my weight. I've lost a lot of weight now,
but you know, at the time I didn't feel particularly
like sex simple. So I was happy to have the
album be kind of anonymous. But Warners seemed fine with it,
and of course maybe they were fine with it because
they didn't feel I was pootogenic. Whatever the case it's.

You know, it's become pretty iconic, and it stayed because
like Linda Ronstadt's heart, I mean, Flamingo's just carried through
now and everybody wants to read all the significance of it,
and there really isn't any other than it, just a
corp of fate. But but yeah, I would say that's
all true. And I think that I'm much more comfortable now.
But you know, and I did Howard Stern Robin said something.

Howard was being so nice to me that Robin had
to mix it up, so she said, I was I
was so disappointed when I saw you, because she said
I loved your voice, but you didn't look like Kenny Loggins.
And Howard proceeded to jump in and defend me. They
wait till there's a good looking man, Riddy, what are
you talking about? He said, Well, listen his hair, I mean,
he said, what is he supposed to go get plugs
in his head? And looked like somebody shot him in
the name of the head as shot in there with

a head with a nail gun. And I always joked
with people that you know, if I look like Brad Pitt,
forget it, I'd be like bigger than the Beatles, you know.
But that's all probably true, and that's why the MTV thing.
I did make a few videos, but it was very
It was very reluctant on my part because I wasn't
used to the visual visual medium. And I think the

Buggles radio video killed the radio stars is very was
very prophetic and true.

Speaker 2 (01:08:01):
So when did you first hear yourself on the radio?

Speaker 3 (01:08:05):
Well, you know, the album popped pretty quick. So I
was in the car and rode like the wind came
on and it's it's a little like hearing your voice
on an answering machine, you know. It's a little strange
in the beginning, but I don't know. And then I
started hearing it everywhere, so it was it was pretty
fantastic that it all happened so fast. Bub when right
out the wind came out, and then suddenly with these

multiple singles and pretty we had never be the same.
And then pretty soon people were buying the record, the
album because there were so many singles. They just bought
the record that it was just all happening, you know,
And then I was playing these big shows and playing
at the super Dome with the Eagles for seventy thousand people.
It was overwhelming, so you know, I heard on the radio.

But then it didn't take too long before the train
sped up, and it was I was just kind of
hanging on to pay the truth because my personal life
was falling apart, and you know, my marriage was falling apart,
and you know, there's a lot going on.

Speaker 2 (01:09:00):
Why is your marriage falling apart?

Speaker 3 (01:09:03):
Uh? Well, I knew the girl two weeks before I
met her, and as Rob said, this is not going
to end well. So I won't drag it through all
the tales, but it was. It was destined to fail
from the beginning, probably, but I think you know uh
that you know, it's it's probably scary for my ex
wife at the time that everything was happening so fast

and maybe shouldn't feel like she was a part of
it or whatever. I really don't know, but like a
lot of marriages, that was falling apart, So I was
dealing with that at the same time I'm dealing with
all this stuff. You know, that was demands, people wanting
me to do everything, and you know, I took my
son to Disneyland and we had to leave because there
were too many people. Bugget, you know, it's crazy, and

I was just an army brat.

Speaker 2 (01:09:46):
So so when the album was finished, forget what anybody
else says, did you feel that it was going to
be successful?

Speaker 3 (01:10:00):
No, Warners. I'd heard from people at Warners that if
you make or if you sell fifty thousand records, they'll
let you do another record. So my attitude was if
I can, if I can sell fifty thousand records and
get them to let me do another record. By my
third record, I think I can have something on the radio.
That's what I thought. I had no idea that this stuff.

In fact, Warners, even the an Ar department were unsure
about the songs, as I told you, and they said,
we still don't hear a hit. So I heard on
the radio this boss Gag song. I'm a big fan
of Bozz Camera Action do it Again. And it starts
with the chorus. And my song form had always been
the Beatles, you know, verse, chorus, verse, chorus bridge. I said,

that's what's I gotta start a song with the chorus.
If I wrote this song, say of the Mine, which
Nico Lets sang on and Lenny Mordakers said that's a hit,
that's a radio record. Well, Amarty and with all respect
went against that and said, I think right, like the
Wind's got four on the floor coming out of disco
and all that, I think it's that's what we go
with that. He was right, but either way, no, I

had no inclination that anything would happen. I was just
hoping to sell fifty thousand records and get to make
out of the record.

Speaker 2 (01:11:14):
Okay, so you're opening for Bonnie Raid. At what point
are people there to see you and reacting to your
music with Bonnie Raid they knew with the Eagles, at
what point were you not just the opening act but
people were fans?

Speaker 3 (01:11:31):
Well, you know, I'm sure there were. I think I
have some memory of we're at some point but brought
out The Wind was up in the charts, and Bond
came to me and said, I think I should open
for you because she's so funny like that. But you know,
I'm sure there were people. But you know, when you open,
when you're playing with people like Bonnie Ray and the Eagles,
I mean, these are incredibly popular, you know, they're rock stars.

So I don't know I mean, I think I always
got the feeling, like, especially when we're out with Fleetwood,
that you know, they just people would just wanted us
to get off the stage so they could see Fleetwood.
You know, they just because they're they're Fleetwood back and
they're the Eagles all that. So I didn't get a
sense that, as I said Bob, at the time I
walked out on stage, I had nine songs to play,

It's all I had. And it was just overwhelming for me,
you know, just to see all these people and to
try to somehow step up my game from being a
local club guy to being this successful pop entity or
whatever that I was clearly not prepared, you know for it.
I did my best, but I don't know that anybody
could do a whole lot, you know. It's just what

happened to me is very unusual. It was so meteoric,
so quick that you just could barely capt your breath,
you know.

Speaker 2 (01:12:45):

Speaker 3 (01:12:45):
The Grammy, So I had no idea I was going
to win anything. I mean, they told me you might
win Best New Artists, And after I got that Grammy,
I'm like, I am upset for life.

Speaker 2 (01:12:56):
Going back, you talk about being green, was it just
raw experience or did you learn certain things how to
be a better performer.

Speaker 3 (01:13:06):
Well, they're being very kind calling me a performer. I
don't think I'm an entertainer. I'm a singer songwriter and
I think that that's what I do, and I come
out and play my songs and represent them with the
best musicians I can, the best production I can. I
think that's gotten better and better and better over the years.
But you know, I never I was always too shy

and everything, like I could never be Hendrick's or you know,
jump around, and it just wasn't. My physicality wasn't. I
had this really lilting voice coming out as a big guy,
and I just I don't know, I never so performing stretch.
I think what I do is I'm a singer songwriter
that tries to present his material in the most you know, professional,

respectful way I can. But I wouldn't really call myself
a performer entertainer, you know what I mean. That's for
guys like you know, Freddie Mercury. You know.

Speaker 2 (01:14:01):
Okay, so you're a local working musician, your songs on
the radio, you're opening for Household, amnach Day, Max. What
point do you start thinking about money, how much money
you're going to make.

Speaker 3 (01:14:18):
Well, it takes a little while because you know, it's
not like right after it's the hit, Sunday's a pack
a pile of money. I mean it, uh, it kind
of creeps up on you, you know, and then you'll
like I heard that. I read in Clapton's book that
he saw George Harrison's house and he Clapton and Cream

they had apartments in London. They were on a stipend
from Robert Stigwood. And Eric's book he said that he
came back from going to George's house and said to
Robert Stigbot, well, I hope someday I can have a
house like that. You know, I saw one on the
way back to It was for sales like six hundred pounds,
and maybe some day Robert stigwould said, you can afford that,
no problem. I just put you guys on a stipend
to keep your and blow on your money. But you

want to go buy that house and George's they went
for six grand, go ahead. But Eric had no idea
that he could afford that. So I think it's the
same with me. So I think it struck me when
I bought a house. We lived in an apartment, and
I talked to my people and said, you know, kind
of buy a house. And I said, sure. It wasn't
anything fancy, but you know, and then I bought a Porsche.

You know, all the usual things that people do. But
you know, you acclimated that pretty quickly.

Speaker 2 (01:15:30):
Okay, the album is a huge success. I buy the albums,
got all these signals on it. You win the Grammys.
At the time, the Grammys didn't have quite the impact
across the industry amongst pit people. So someone like me,
what happens at the Grammys, I pay attention, but I'm
not reacting. The reason I bring all this up was

there's a perception that there was a backlash of you
having all this success. Did you feel a backlash?

Speaker 3 (01:16:03):
Uh? No, not really. I mean I think for me,
the Grammys. The thing that I love about the Grammys
and the Oscars and Imans and Tony's or they're voted
by members of the community, your peers, you know, And
so for me, that's what meant the most to me
is that the other artists, musicians and producers voted my

record the best record of the year, you know, And
so you know, I didn't beat Sergeant Pepper. I mean,
there were some good albums up that year, but I
mean so I just sort of accepted that as validations
that these that year. You know, I made a good
record and people rewarded me with it. But I think that,

you know, there maybe at times you'd hear things other
artists would make comments, but it was rare, you know,
somebody would say, oh, I don't get that, you know,
what's the big deal with him or whatever. You know,
there's no I never I don't think I really felt that.

I think that I was just kind of I accepted it.
And what meant so much to me, as I said it,
was that the way the voting is now, the Grammys
have changed a lot, it's gotten to be this huge spectacle,
but at the time it was sort of a reward
for your work, where your peers said you did the
best work of the year. And I really took that
to heart.

Speaker 2 (01:17:24):
So what point in this art do you start thinking
about the follow up record?

Speaker 3 (01:17:31):
I'm always writing, but you know, the sophomore jinks is
it's tough. I think it's tough for anybody who goes
to the best New Artist syndrome, you know, you've got
people like Hornsby and Rickie Lee Jones, Tracy Chapman, anybody
that wins it. You know, it's it's a tough You're
you're a tough act to follow. And so I did
have that on my mouth. But I was writing, and

I was in sort of a romantic period of my life.
And so the second album, Another Page, had a lot
of ballots on it. And I suppose if I had
released a record like Doctor Faith, which is one of
my later albums that's more eclectic like the first record,
that probably would have been better. But you don't control
your process. I wrote the songs I wrote at the time.

You know, it sounds like Word's a Wisdom and talking
my sleep and you uh. In fact, you know all
right was the last song I wrote, because it was
sort of an attempt at, you know, having a radio song.
But so the album maybe it was a little mellow,
but their fans of mine, that's their favorite record, my
second record. So but I couldn't have controlled it anyway, Bob,
because I wasn't writing purposely, trying to write hits or anything.

I was just doing what I'd always done, you know,
just make make songs.

Speaker 2 (01:18:43):
So you didn't feel self conscious, you didn't feel under
the gun. You just felt new album, new songs, that's it.

Speaker 3 (01:18:51):
Yeah, I just, I mean I was too stupid and
I even, you know, to realize it. But yeah, I
was just excited to get back in the studio, and
especially after working with Steve Gad and these kind of people,
So that was very exciting for me. But also I
was on the road. I mean, I wasn't even in
the studio when they mixed Arthur's theme. I was on
the road. I mean, I was trying to figure out

how can I get in the studio and spend a
couple of weeks doing that with all these other demands.

Speaker 2 (01:19:15):
On my time.

Speaker 3 (01:19:17):
So it was again like a whirlwind. So I didn't
have a whole lot of time to sit around and ponder.
For me, I just was kind of it was a
rushing river, and I was just kind of hanging off
for dear life. Like I said so, But writing wise,
I just I've always these twelve albums that I've made.
They're sincere, They're just that's what. That's when Rob Boys

used to say, even when the later records didn't get
as much attention, he'd say, we do this because it's
what we do.

Speaker 2 (01:19:44):
Now. My favorite song of yours period is on the
second album Think of Laura, which ultimately is blown up
when it's on General Hospital. Tell me about that.

Speaker 3 (01:19:55):
Well, Laura Carter was a really good friend of my
at the time, and Laura was tragically killed by a
really terrible random shooting at her college, Dennisen in Ohio,
and so I really they were all East coast and

I was West coast, and I was, you know, after
I got the news about Lura being killed, I was
obviously very emotional, and I don't know, I just sat
on my bed at my rent, I had a house
in Palisades in California, and just wrote the song. Came
out pretty quickly, and I think kind of the good
ones generally do that. So I recorded it and then

I asked her parents if it's okay if I put
it on the record, because I really wrote it for her,
and her parents were really gracious and said, well, maybe
you can bring some solace to someone else, because she
was their only child. And so I released it. And
then Tony Geary, who was on was Luke on the
soap opera The Genie Francis that played the Laura character

had left to go pursued acting career in films and
they rady suffered stuff. So Tony was a big fan
of that record and got the idea to bring her
back using the song. Unfortunately, I wasn't I wouldn't have
been a favor of that.

Speaker 2 (01:21:14):
But there's a rule.

Speaker 3 (01:21:16):
Maybe it's different now, but at the time, if they
don't play enough of it, they don't need a license.
So they would just play the Hey Law, you know,
and just ghosted in and they brought the Genie Francis
character back. But I had no control. I couldn't stop
it because I felt particularly bad for Laura's parents, who
I'd just trying to honor their daughter, and then suddenly
it's become this you know, but you know, it certainly

helped the song get a lot of attention, but stupidly,
if I could have stopped it, I would have because
I just felt this a very personal thing and it
wasn't meant to be, you know, a prop at a
TV show.

Speaker 2 (01:21:49):
So you continue to make records, they're all get a
lot of publicity marketing, but commercially they're less successful. What
did that feel like on the inside.

Speaker 3 (01:22:02):
Well, it's disappointing, but at the same time, I had
to remind myself that, you know, this kind of meteoric
success I had, it's incredibly rare, So how do you
sustain that. It's very hard to sustain. So the Beatles
did it. People do it. But you know, I just
I felt that, you know, I was very blessed to

have happened to be what happened and gave me a foundation.
I'm still turning. I'm talking to Bob Left. That's a
meet up. Come on, It's like I'm out turing. So
I met the Pope. So I don't know. I just
it was it's again, it's all about the work. And
I said at one point I did have this sort
of self doubt and I asked Rob, why do we
keep doing this? We keep making these records that are

I think better than that We've done it yet he said,
it's because it's what we do, you know, And that's true.
So we were always doing them again back to joy
as the soundhole on my knee, you know, doing it
because that's what we do. So we did them, and
I think the records have gotten better and better. Had
an now like doctor Faith or secret Lout of these
later ones that I made. You know, there I think

to me as good as anything I've done better, probably
as far as the number of good songs on there
and the quality of the production and all that stuff.
I've I've gotten better with age. But and the people
that discover those records and like them would say that,
but you know, on a on a bigger scale, No,
But it's okay because I've you know, I had my
turn at the trough and I'm doing fine. You know,

I've been able to support my family and have a
good life and do what I love to do.

Speaker 2 (01:23:30):
You know, how did it end with Warner Brothers? What
did they say?

Speaker 3 (01:23:36):
Well, the you know, one last thing I was gonna
say about but no, somebody like Stinging. He came from
the police, he came from a rock background. So he
built a foundation with that, and those kind of fans
are very loyal, you know, and it's totally deserved. And
then he created this amazing career on his own. That
one in the case, Alvo was more of a pop
kind of idle kind of person, and they tend to

be more more. I think it's it's hard to sustay
something like that. Well, Warners After the second record, we
did well, but not as well as the first record.
I had changed management because irving with GMCA, and I
started being managed by Sandy Gallen, and one of the
guys in his office said, you need to make a
more rock record, show your guitar playing and do that
kind of thing. So it made Every Turn of the

World my third record that didn't have a flamingo on.
It had me in a race car because I raced
cards for a while. It was a very edgy kind
of more rock record, and the single rush I reat
with Warner's wonted release Every Turn of the World, which
is more of a rock pop tie track. But Sandy's
people want to release Charmed the Snake, which is this
very aggressive kind of avant garde record, and pop radio

couldn't play it because it was too heavy for them.
Rock radio wouldn't play it because it's some Christopher Cross,
and so the record didn't do anything. Then finally Lenny said,
Lady Walker, so just go make a Christopher Cross record.
So then I made Back on My Mind, which I
think is actually quite a good record, but the love
and feeling was gone by then. They just, you know,
it was too long. After that, I think that possibly

that things started to transition and it became DreamWorks and
all that anyway, But it was just sort of Bonnie
left and went to Capital and where she had a
massive hit, and so it was just sort of agreed that,
you know, it was over, like a marriage or anything else.
It'd been a good run, but probably the best time
I move on. And I couldn't really argue with it,

because you know, part of me, I suppose you always
blame the record company. Wasn't their fault. But so I
I left, and I moved up to Santa Barbara and
was not doing anything for quite a while. And then
I got a call from my attorney who had some
money from Japan. Some Japanese label wanted me to make
a record. So I made a record called Window, and
I just you know, kept doing that. Every few years,

I'd make another record. Somehow got money and found money
and made a record, and as I said, you know,
humility aside. I think the records have gotten better and
better over the years, and I think this real good
work there. But you know, most people come to my
show's probably come for those five or six songs that
they know, but there's always a few out there, they'll

yell out some obscure in fact, really funny. There's a
song on Doctor Fifn called Dreamers, which I think is
a Robin I wrote. It's a good song, and I'll
admit in the concerts I'm with them and secure when
I play the deep cuts, because I've got my hits.
But when I'm playing the deep cuts, I realize a
lot of people are waiting for Arthur or whatever. In fact,
some night's second song right like they'll win. I'm like, hey,

delay gratification, you know, hang on a second. But so
one night recently at a show, some guy yells out
something and I thought he said free bird, and so
I said, hey, look scattered and I have an agreement.
I don't play their songs that are playing my songs.
But he actually said dreamers. He wrote it on social
media and said no, I said dreamers. So I'm so
kind of, you know, a shell shocked by that that

I couldn't even imagine that someone would yell out an
obscure deep track, but I did. I did a couple
of shows in Austin some years ago called the No
Hits Show. Tony Bucks, come hear me play unplugged but
no hits, and now I got one hundred people, small club.
It was great, just played inside tracks, you know, but

all artists want that, you know, all artists want, you know,
people to embrace their obscure material.

Speaker 2 (01:27:22):
You know, if I come to your show and I
call out an obscure track, will you play.

Speaker 3 (01:27:28):
It if we can? Sometimes I'll start it and kind
of play a little bit of it. But the guys
are always in charts, so you know, they used to
have that thing. I saw Bowie do it once where
it was people called out songs and I realized later
it was sort of staged. But I've wanted to have

the balls to do that and just go anybody want
to hear something, and I probably should do it, but
having one hundred songs, it'd be a little tough even
for me. I can't remember my own some of my
own songs, I you know, so it would be an
interesting experiment, you know. But people yell out things sometimes
and I'll go, oh, thanks so much for that. You know,
We're not playing that tonight, but thank you. And then

sometimes people are going to say, hey, could you play
this tune at the show in San Diego? They will
learn it, you will play it.

Speaker 2 (01:28:22):
How did you end up getting married again?

Speaker 3 (01:28:25):
Well, I was looking at California and uh, I've been
stinkled for twelve years or so, and you know, met
somebody and I guess you know, people from a family,
you know you somehow, especially live in somech Texas, you
grow up with those kind of traditional values and you
sort of want that duality. So in juxtaposition of my career,

I thought, hey, I should have this too, you know,
I should have like a regular life, you know. And
like Michael McDonald, he and Aby have been married for
thirty five years or whatever, and you know, our kids
grow up together. So I had other role models that
have successful marriag just so try again. So met Jane
and we got married. We were married for eighteen years.
So that was a good run. But you know, it

just ran itself out, you know. And I don't know.
Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I'm difficult to live with.
I don't know, but I think one thing is when
I got married the first time, I eloped, and when
my father got I called my parents to tell him
I was getting married. I never met her. My mother
got on the phone and tried to be welcoming, but

my father at one point he groffly grabbed the phone
so let me talk to her, and he said, hey, listen,
my dad was you know, he was a brilliant man,
but alcoholic and you know, didn't have the best bedside matter.
But he said, I want you to listen to me
very closely. And you know my wife first wife said yeah.
He said, you're marrying a musician. Do you know what

that means? And she said, yeah, it's very exciting because no,
I'm not talking about all that crack. You're marrying a
musician and they are a different breed, so just be
sure you know what you're getting into. And he gave
a come back to my mom, and I thought that
was one of the most insightful things I'd ever experienced
when I thought about it later, because musicians are a

different breed artist, and you're married to not just them,
but you're married to their career and their work, and
if you get jealous of it, it's over. And I
don't care what the gender is. You know, you know,
Larry Klein Graham Nast there with Joni Mitchell, so they
did fine. But I'm just saying, you.

Speaker 2 (01:30:34):
Know, so, how do you end up going out with Ringo.

Speaker 3 (01:30:39):
Oh I didn't.

Speaker 2 (01:30:40):
I thought you did Ringo's All Star Band.

Speaker 3 (01:30:43):
No got from your mouth to God's Ear. No. I've
tried and tried and tried, and of course Luke, Todd,
Greg Listinette, they've all thrown my name in the fire,
you know, to Ringo, and I've met Ringo. But I think,
and I think personally i'd be perfect for it because
they've got a couple of hits and I play and sing.
But at the time they were really pitching me to Ringo.

He was he'd had Colin hay and some different heat
people play with him, and he said, look, I don't
want to reinvent the Wheel. I just want to get people.
And when Todd left, he got Colin Hay back. I
think he said, I just want to get somebody I've
already gott I've already used because I know what I'm doing.
I'm not going to do this that much longer. So
it never worked out, but everybody tried, and it was
certainly a big dream of mine, but I never got

to do it. I've done a lot of these Beatles
shows with Todd run Gren where we go out and
play and any like.

Speaker 2 (01:31:30):
So that was I was going to ask you about next.
I don't know why I thought you did All Star band?
How did you do that?

Speaker 3 (01:31:35):
Ringo calls? I've got to get off this call. Uh. Well,
my manager, Toby Lidwig does a lot of concert promotion.
He's got the Abba shows and all that stuff, and
so he came up with this concept of doing Beetle
tribute shows. We've done about seven of them, you know,
themes Sergeant Pepper whatever it is. And the very first
one he did I wasn't on. That was Alan Parsons
and David Pack and Wilson John Outwhistle from Who. So

then the next time Todd and I started doing them
with Denny Lane, and we've done a whole bunch of them,
and we just last time Todd picked Revolver in River Solim.
We chose to songs from that. So put a band together.
We just go out and do a few of our
hits and do the deal things and they're very successful.
People really love it and it's fun, you know, because
the songs are timeless, and h Todd's really brilliant and

fun to work with.

Speaker 2 (01:32:23):
So I do that.

Speaker 3 (01:32:25):
But it's Chris Todd Werker Bringo, but it's it's not
like playing in the All Star band.

Speaker 2 (01:32:31):
And then what's it like working with Todd, who's a
unique character, who's both a performer and a producer and
an engineer to boot.

Speaker 3 (01:32:40):
Well, you know, I've always said genius is a term
I don't like to throw him out. I think it's
true of Brian Joni you know there their son, but
I will Todd's brilliant for sure, really really a unique,
interesting guy, really really brilliant. And so he's I love Todd.

I think he's great. And I think the key with
Todd is if you can play and sing and you've
got command to your instrument, you're okay with him, you know,
if you're faking it or whatever. He doesn't have much
patience for that. But he's funny as hell and uh,
you know, really well read and a very clever guy.
And so I was a huge fan. I mean the

ballad the second record that Todd made.

Speaker 2 (01:33:25):
Was that's the best line.

Speaker 3 (01:33:29):
Okay, Todd, listen to this, this is well less. That's
saying that. Whenever I talked to him about I say,
why don't you play more things? In Beninni and Jean
Or whaling wall those things. He said, oh you like
all that shit? And he said what song? Todd said,
what do you want me to play off that? And
I said, well, how about be nice to me? And
he said, oh, it's so whiney, you know. And that's

that's perfect of Todd. You know, he can also be
very self deprecating. But I've I've considered it to be
real honored to get to work with him because he's
a big influence on me in terms of my I
used to play those tunes and bars and Quarterly the
structures and all that stuff. He's incredibly brilliant, So I
love having the opportunity I can to work with him.

Speaker 2 (01:34:10):
Now, you had a bad experience with COVID. Tell us
about that.

Speaker 3 (01:34:15):
Yeah. Todd sent me a birthday message when I turned
seventy and said, get a vaccine and get the fuck
out of Texas because he lives in Kawaii, you know. Yeah,
So twenty twenty, I got COVID Alpha, which is the
original strain. My girlfriend Joey and I got very sick.

Speaker 2 (01:34:34):
Do you have any idea how you got it? Well?

Speaker 3 (01:34:38):
I went down to Mexico with Pat Benatar to play
a show and nothing, nothing at all to do with Mexico.
But at the time, you know, we weren't warned about
masks and all that stuff. So I went down to
Mexico when I looked at fans and different things, and
pat nobody was wearing masks, Neil Nanemore. So I'm pretty
sure I got it there, maybe from a fan or whatever,

but I'm not blaming anybody. But I came back and
I think probably gave it a joy and I think
I got it mixed goo. I don't know. But at again,
there was no you know, the government wasn't telling us
a lot. You know, there was not a lot of
information about it. So I got very, very sick, and
I started getting over. I started feeling better for a
couple of days, and then I was sitting at my
couch at home and I suddenly said to Joy, I

can't I can't move my legs. I'm paralyzed. And we
called the doctor and he said, you have gallambarre syndrome.
Get to the get to the ear right away. So
I went down there. By that time, my hands were
also paralyzed. On my face kind of like I had. Ah.
I mean, what's that disease? Uh? People get anyway. Uh,

the bill's point to Bell's policy, it's kind of like that.
But it was from my hands from paralyzed, couldn't walk,
went to the hospital. I was in ar about a month,
got treatment. Uh. It was tough because during COVID protocol,
people couldn't visit me. I was alone in the in
this room, alone day after day of pain because it's
a spinal thing, and so it was very painful. But

I finally got out of hospital. I got good treatment quickly,
and most most of the symptoms abated over the next year.
They say all the damage happens in the first two
weeks and then all the healings in the next year.
So over the next year, my legs through therapy physical therapy,
I got used to my legs about eighty percent back,
my hands, relaxed my face, and so I kind of
came out of it. My legs are still compromised a bit.

Stairs are hard to climb and that sort of thing,
but I can get around. But that was tough. It
was a very tough time for me in my life.
It was very humbling and really gave me a window
into people with disabilities that I've never had it's not
a fair world to those people, I mean, trying to
get around in a wheelchair. It's just we've done better,

but we had a long way to go making the
world accessible, you know. So that was a real, you know,
taste of character. But I think I you know, my
girlfriend was incredibly supportive, and friends who were in My
friend jeff Foscuett, we haven't talked about yet, Jeffrey. He
would stay on the phone with me at night, three
in the morning, just talking me through just you know,
my experience with this thing. It was just terrible. So

I got through it and h thanks to the doctors
and everything and nobody. Lot of people don't die from it.
The guy Joseph Heller who wrote Catch twenty two, he
got it. He was in a coma for two years
on a ventilator. I fortunately was treated quick enough to
where I never had pulmonary involvement. But MIMA is all scalable.
But it was a real eye opening thing, Bob, for sure,

I feel very blessed to have gotten through it, but
also to have it happen when I was younger, I
mean older, because if I'd been like twenty, I think
it would have been rough. Now you know, I get
a run fine, and I'm not trying to ski anymore anyway,
So that's okay.

Speaker 2 (01:37:45):
Were you a skier before I was well?

Speaker 3 (01:37:48):
I never skied until I was thirty, when I got
some of that money and I went out and learned
how to skik because you know Army Bratt. We never
went anywhere. Actually I remember I went skiing Don Henley
and has a place in ask But I would skal
with Henley in Eskmen. But so yeah, I skied, and
I race cars and all that stuff. But none of
that anymore, but it's appropriate. I'm too old anyway.

Speaker 2 (01:38:10):
So are you done recovering or will you regain any
more use of your legs?

Speaker 3 (01:38:18):
No? No, All the recovering happens in the first year.
So I've healed as much as I can. I have.
They do these tests and so all the healing is done.
I can walk fine. It's just that like when I'm
in Manhattan, if I walk three or four blocks, it's
like I walk kein blocks. You know, my legs are
very inefficient and stairs are difficult. But I'm doing okay.

I can I can get around and walking and stuff.
It helps aerobically, but None of that's going to ever
change my leg the way my legs are because it's
spinal damage. It's not musk, it's not you know, muscular.
But I'm doing fine. I can get around okay. I
worked with a walker for a long time after the
chair and that it came, but I can. I have
to be super careful, like on stairs and stuff. But

I'm I'm doing okay and I'm not playing. I rest
a lot during the day on the bus so I
can stand the ninety minutes. But yeah, I'm very lucky.

Speaker 2 (01:39:09):
So you mentioned Jeffrey Jeffrey Fasquett, guitarist, key member of
the Latter Day Beach Boys and Brian Wilson tour. Tell
us about how you met Jeffrey in your experience with him.
He recently passed.

Speaker 3 (01:39:23):
Yeah. You know what's really funny, I was thinking about this.
I always called Jeffrey Jeffrey Foscuett, and it's a British name,
And one day Jerry Beckley from America called Foskett and
I said, but Fuskett, that's how his name is really pronounced.
And I asked jeff Jeffrey about he said, well, yes,
it's pronounce Fuskett, and I said, I've been calling you

Fosquette all this time, and he goes, it's okay, I
don't care. And I said, well, how the hell did
I get calling you Foskett anyway? And he goes, Carl,
Carl called me Fosquett, and I said, oh, so all
comes back to Carl. So in nineteen one, they when
I was starting to another page the album with Laura
on it, The World that Open was my oyster because

I'd had this big record, so I could call anybody,
you know. I called Art, Garfuncle, and I helled these people,
and of course my dream was to have Carl Wilson
sang on my record. So I called Carl as he
was it said so gracious, and he came down and
sang with me, and it was just, you know, unbelievable
dream come true for me. But through that connection, Carl
and it became fast friends, and I started getting involved

with the Beach Boys, but I opened for them a lot.
Sometimes I would sit in and sing tunes of Brian's
and that sort of thing, And of course Jeffrey was
in the band, and then he also later transitioned to
being Brian's MD and so I got into that whole
beach boy world and Jeffrey was in the middle of
all that. So we just became again fast friends through Carl,
and that friendship sustained till the day died. You know,

and great amazing singer. He and I always joked that
the two of us together made one Carl. You know
what we sang, but you know, skilled harmonic musician, guitarist, producer,
amazing singer and one of these guys networks. He knew everybody.

He knows everybody you know he and but a lot
of that was he would admit through Brian because because
he had such access to Brian, and he was sort
of Brian's guy. You know, he'd be hanging out with
McCartney or hanging out with whoever because of Brian. But
so you know, he always had he always knew everything
before anybody else. Like if you try to scoop him

by saying, hey I heard, he said, yeah, I know.
He was that way. But he was an incredibly good
friend and we had a lot of fun playing that
music too. I went to London to Albert Hall and
played with them and did some songs with the band.
Brian wasn't there. But and through that all association, when

Brian first started trying to come out, he did an
album called Imagination that was sort of a constructed record
by this guy, Joe Thomas. But they wanted a band, yeah,
and they formed this band. It was Paul Schaeffer, myself,
Timmy Schmidt, and a couple of national guys and we
were Brian's band and we did Letterman and we did

Farm Made Medity, things like that where we we you know.
But it was and Brian was first coming back and
it was tough because he was very uncomfortable. You know,
he's gotten much much more comfortable, but at that point
it was really terrifying for him to suddenly be thrust
out on stage again.

Speaker 2 (01:42:35):
Well, I certainly know that album that really sounds like
the Beach Boys. I saw that tour Lonely See You,
phenomenal record. You're a big Beach Boys fan. What's your
favorite Beach Boys album or a couple of songs?

Speaker 3 (01:42:50):
Well, pet sounds, I mean, you know, that's that's the
one McCartney and Lennon that blew their mind. I think,
I mean, God only knows. Paul says, the greatest song
ever written and I would agree they had a poll
at some point and the greatest song was Somewhere with
the Rainbow, which I wouldn't argue either. But so God

only knows because the way it's it's the songwritings he
and Tony ash are amazing. But if Carl sang it,
you know, and I have I have a handwritten lyric
here in my house that Brian sent me. This handwritten
God only knows, signed by Brian because he said, you
know you love Carl, so I thought you'd like to
have that. But so God only knows. But there's a
tune that Mike and Al wrote called all This is That,

which I love too. But then I just did a cover.
Uh everybody says, watch you do a Carl cover record.
I'm not, you know, I'm gonna touch that stuff, but
I did. Recently I did a cover of this two
Field Flows, which is on I think it's on Holland.
But anyway, I did it completely different than Carl would
do it. But so I'd say God only knows that certainly.

And you know I wasn't made for these times. I mean,
you know, the warmth of the sun. I mean, I
just go on and on and on. I mean his
catalog is crazy, but I do love that tune. All
this is that but there and of course surfs up.
You know pet sounds me. This serfs up a whole
other level. It's kind of like Asia or something. It's
just uh. I love the work as much as some

people didn't like the collaboration with Van Dyke. I did.
I love those obscure, heaty lyrics that Van Dyke used
about music.

Speaker 2 (01:44:29):
Now, Carl had a great voice. I love what he
did with I was made to love her. But my
favorite Carl song his girl Don't Tell Me from Summer
Days and Summer Nights.

Speaker 3 (01:44:41):
I met you last sun Kennos Day. Yeah, it's fantastic.
I love that song and it's one of my faves.
Carl his voice, Brian's Brian. But I really think Carl
was the strongest of all those singers. I mean, oh Darl,
I mean not Darling. With the song of the Beach
boy was I've had to sing that on stage and

forget about it. I mean it's so hard to sing,
and I would watch him just belt it out. The
guy had an incredible instrument, So yeah, lonely see I
would sit around and just listen to the dark, to
them and emulate them. And so Carl was definitely my
vocal hero, and Brian's certainly a major writing hero. And
it's funny. I went to dinner with Brian and Jeffrey

and we went to McCormick miss or something, and so
I picked up the check and Brian said, you buying
my dinner? And I said yeah. He goes why and
I said, well, I just want to somehow say thank
you for all that you've done for me. Brian said,
what did I do? I said, I don't know. It's
taught me everything I know. But he's so humble, you know,

he kind of just kind of shrugged. It was cute,
but yeah, I learned a lot from those guys, all
of them, you know, even Dennis. I mean that song
Forever that didnist saying oh nomenal, yeah, unbelievable and Brian.
Dennis brought Brian that and he had the song, but
he needed a bridge. And the bridge song is so

Brian because it's a you know, in my huhever and
then it goes into this bridge that goes to a
whole nother planet, and that's so Brian, and Brian sort
of helped Dennis you know, write that, But I love
that song, love it, you know, on.

Speaker 2 (01:46:24):
The same album It's about time. You know that song
open Sunflower or second song. Okay, I used to blow
my mind sky high looking for that. Okay, your songs
in your royalty stream, do you still own those?

Speaker 3 (01:46:41):
Yeah? You know. Actually your assistant Margaret was telling me
she works for BMG for a while, and I did
sell my catalog early on the first four records to BMCH.
But there's a reversion thing that you can file these
reversions after thirty five years, there's a law that all
that reverts back to you. And so I was very
cautious and out all that because I quickly learned that

was a mistake and nothing against BMG. But my advice
to wrong writers is usually don't sell your cattle. Don't
say you're publishing. But so I was able to get
it back because after thirty five years you can do that.
You got to be do it right, figure out how
to do it, but you can do it. And the
same with the masters.

Speaker 2 (01:47:20):
Okay, just because you regret it, why did you regret
it and would you sell it again?

Speaker 3 (01:47:27):
Well, the reason at the time was, you know, I
got some money, but nothing like the dollars we're seeing
float around now. These multiples are crazy. But the real
reason was I signed and I got this money, which
was some money. But right after I signed with BMG,
in Sync recorded Sailing on their first record, but nothing

to do with was BMG said we're gonna get you
all these commercials and all this great stuff. BMG had nothing.
Johnny Wright, who produced and managed in Sink, got the
idea and used his Florida people to construct this R
and B pop version of sal It was on their
first record. The record was massive. BMG made all their
money back in one feel smooth. So had I just
not done it, I couldn't. I would all lend it

come myself. I mean, you know, McCartney's a big collector
of catalogs and it's a smart thing to do from
a business decision. But uh, and on these these these
three sixty five deals and stuff, I'm a big fan
of all that. You know, royalties have always been too low.
I mean my first royalty rate was twelve percent, you know,

So yeah, I uh, I've been around long enough. I
could get it back, but you got to you got
to make a concerted effort to hire a good lawyer
to do that. But there's a law now that it
reverts back, just like there was a law seven years
after the seven years after you record your record, you
can re record it. That used to be a lot
that the labels are changing that you know they're going
to say now you can't do that anymore, because you know,

Taylor Swift just did that. She recorded all her stuff again.
But you know these are all just turns of the road,
you know, bread less traveled or whatever. I mean, it's
all good. I mean, you live and learn. And again
I'm sitting here talking to you getting ready. I just
got tough with the seven week term. I just got
the pope. I'm going to be going out in the

summer again. I get ready to go to Lincoln Center
and do a benefit for Michael Brecker, the great Jess
sax player. So you know, I'm I'm doing lots of
fun stuff and life is good.

Speaker 2 (01:49:24):
So how much do you work and how much do
you want to work?

Speaker 3 (01:49:29):
Well, I want to work all the time. I mean,
seventy two after what I went through, I want to
make able of sunshine. So I'd like to work as
much as I can these like four or five years.
So I want to be out there doing Beetle shows
with Todd or doing my own thing or whatever I
can do, so playing Ringers All Star band, whatever it is.
I love being on the road. I love being on

the bus. I live on the bus and so I
I love that. And that's where this thing gets. Like
my girlfriend Joy is so fantastic because she gets it.
She gets me, She gets all that and she that
that's where I want to be. But she doesn't take
it personally and she gets that that's part of the
animal I am. But yeah, you can ask my manager.
I'm like, when are we going back out? But i mean,

after seven weeks, I'm fatigued a little bit and a
little break, but I'm I'm definitely ready to go out again.

Speaker 2 (01:50:15):
So where did you meet this woman who can understand
your lifestyle?

Speaker 3 (01:50:20):
I met her here in Austin at a dinner party.
I went actually with Eric Johnson and she was there
and we were introduced. And I was by myself at
the time and she was as well, and we were introduced,
and so I just kind of reached out to her
and we you know, connected, and so you know how

things work out. But she's wonderful. Him's joy and she
works in nonprofit healthcare, which is a very rewarding and
a career that I really have so much respect for
helping people with health care needs. But she's you know,
we got together. We've been together around ten years or so,
so it's later in life. So she's just and not

that you know, this thing with not understanding artist is
that pervasive. It's just that it can be a problem
you've got to understand. And Joe laughs about it. She
thinks it's funny that you know. But maybe she loves
the break too. Maybe she can't wait for me to leave.
I don't know. But I'm really enjoying what I'm doing
more than ever, and partly above because that all that
early in security. You know, I've lost a lot of weight.

I lost fifty pounds. I used to weigh too eighty
five and now I weighed to twenty. I lost fifty
pounds because of gambret and I've Type two diabetes. So
I'm really conscious about my eating of it so now,
and I want to lose a little bit more about
lost love with So I'm feeling more confident physically but
also musically. I feel much much more confident in my

skills and what I'm able to do. And now I'm
surrounded by these amazing musicians on stage that are just
world class, and so every night they bring stuff to
the stage that's just inspiring. So it's really fun for
me to step out there and you know, see what's
going to happen each night.

Speaker 2 (01:52:04):
You know, you've been fantastic, very forthcoming. I really have
to thank you. I could talk to you all day.
It's we're from the same areas, so many similarities. You
have the success, but you tell such a great story.
I want to thank you for taking this time to
speak to my audience.

Speaker 3 (01:52:21):
Well, I'm a huge fan. I told you that in
the email, but I'm a huge fan. I have so
much respect for what you do and say. I think
you're incredibly honest and you say a lot of things
that need to be said. I think to the world
about music and you know, and you tell it like
it is, and I think we need that right now.
So and I was saying, you know, I don't know

a lot inviies anywhere, but I gotta say it's been
a lot of fun. I was nervous, you know, uh,
talking to you today. But you know you did tell me,
you said it's not a gotcha, you know, and you're
you're you're true to your word. You know.

Speaker 2 (01:52:55):
Well, as I say, you know, you were somewhat reluctant
and then you were so great. I mean, you never
know what to expect. I'm not blowing smoke. Well, you
were really great, very forthcoming. The story issues. I say,
I could have gone down a million more avenues, So
thanks again.

Speaker 3 (01:53:12):
Well yeah, I really enjoyed it. Thank you, Bob.

Speaker 2 (01:53:15):
Listen till next time. This is Bob left Sex
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