Subject: Re: John Martyn

Hi Bob…I was so surprised to see you reference John Martyn’s “Head and Heart” as you developed this topic, so had to write. He was a British “folk singer” and quite a trip…talented, fun and outspoken! We were so fortunate to work with and become friends with John during those embryonic beginnings of our band in England in 1970-71. His album, “Bless The Weather” was released at the same time as our 1st album “America” in the U.K., and of course that is the album that included “Head and Heart”. We would hear him sing it often when we did shows with him in those days, and when he sang his voice carried such heart and emotion it could bring tears to your eyes. Like you, this song stayed with us so much that we had to record it ourselves when we returned to the U.S. recorded our second album, “Homecoming”! He had a prolific career making lots of music, and a tragic life in the end but we remember him fondly. Thank you for reminding me of those days. 

best always, Dewey Bunnell


Subject: Re: John Martyn

Hi Bob,

After seeing the reference to John Martyn, I had to chime in.  I worked at a small label in the early 90’s called, Mesa/Bluemoon.  We released a John Martyn album in 1993 called, No Little Boy.  It was a really great album.  I got to spend some time with John, spoke with him a lot on the phone.  He was funny, friendly, really delightful.  I took him to an interview at KCRW back then.  He did a gig at McCabe’s guitar shop in Santa Monica around that time.  Tiny place, but it was packed to the brim.  Not only was John a legendary songwriter, he was an amazing guitarist.  One of the best of his time.  Sorry we lost him.  Thank you for bringing him to your readers’ attention again!

Bud Harner


Re: John Martyn

I was John Martyn’s agent in 1975/6.
One of the most extraordinary talents I’ve ever worked with.
When he was clean and sober he was absolute charmer.
When he wasn’t he could be nightmare.
He’s never had the acknowledgement his work deserves.

Richard Griffiths


Subject: Re: John Martyn

john martyn, ‘solid air’, play what would have been the first side back in 73.  the lyrics are unintelligible, the guitar playing like a fred neil acid trip—-and it will blow your mind.  i wanted to see one of his last shows before he died.  played for 20 people, was in a wheelchair with both legs gone and so drunk he fell out of it.  i couldn’t bear to be part of this freak show—–but that’s rock and roll.

Chris Spector 

Midwest Record


Subject: Re: Leo Sayer Responds

Hey, Bob. I was at Leo’s original showcase for Warners above a fish and chip restaurant in Brighton, England. We got reacquainted when he supported Foreigner on an Australian cruise a few years ago. He’s right, he’s still got it with great songs, a strong voice, and all his own hair!

Best, Phil Carson


Subject: Re: Leo Sayer Responds

Love Leo. I did like 5 albums with him back in the day starting in the late 70’s.

A great singer/writer and an even nicer guy!



Re: Wolfman Jack

My son, age 21, a self taught  musician, a bit of a savant (high functioning autism), absolutely loves Todd Rundgren. He knows everything about him (and other music icons of many genres). Spotify said he was the second most frequent listener of Todd Rundgren in the whole world in 2019.  Like Todd, he does it all himself.

I’ve been reading you for years. Thank you for staying real.

Marit Sathrum


Re: Todd & the Wolfman

Your podcast with Todd Rundgren was the best interview I have ever heard with him, and I highly recommend it to your readers who haven’t yet listened.

I was Wolfman Jack’s last Program Director in 1996 for the Liberty Broadcasting Network. We had him on fifty stations.  Early in our relationship, he asked me to join him in his limo to critique an aircheck from the previous week. I expressed my admiration for him and my hesitancy to review tape with a legend. He just laughed and said, “Come on, man….I wanna hear what ya have to say. Everybody can get better, including me!”  I’ve been expressing that simple thought to talent ever since, and while not everyone listens, those who do invariably achieve greater creativity.

“Look me in the eyes baby, now you cut that jive
You know the Wolfman’s just about
The number one cat alive”

Whenever I listen to Todd’s song, I feel like I’m back in that limo with The Wolfman.

Keep up the excellent work, Bob,

Mark Lapidus

Fairfax, Virginia


Re: Wolfman Jack

Todd has been a good friend for years.

Unique in every way and wonderfully unpredictable.

There is a lesser-known album of his called “Healing”

It is profound from the first note.

Recommend head-phones of you want to be in the  room with him.

Joe Walsh


From: Tony Hawk

Subject: Re: The Tony Hawk Documentary

Thanks Bob! I was hoping you’d see it because you know the mindset it takes to do this stuff at a high level. I was excited to hear your take and it did not disappoint. We are driven, determined and obsessed – sometimes to a fault – with an activity that was largely misunderstood for decades. And I look forward to returning to it as soon as possible. 



From: PORKFOOT and The One Man Boyband

Subject: Re: The Tony Hawk Documentary

I once met Frank Hawk when I as 15 years old. We helped him set up for a skate contest and he took my friend and I to 7/11 for slurpees. We hung out around him all week, and I only found his strictness to be complete dad vibe. You are right. Tony was so lucky to have a father that was so invested in his son’s own interests.


From: Tony Hawk

Subject: Re: The Tony Hawk Documentary

That sums up my dad; gruff but warm and giving.



From: Wendy Waldman

Subject: Re: Mailbag

In Warsaw right now and reminded in a million different ways that many Americans have absolutely no clue. My Polish friends are stepping up to the plate even when their stupid government lags behind. The PEOPLE of Poland are sheltering more than a million refugees themselves. Everyone is helping.

Cause these guys lived under communism- Mietek wasn’t allowed to record until after the wall fell- then he had hits out of the box- he remembers standing in line for cabbage with his grandmother and he speaks excellent Russian which was forced on him— yeah they remember and they hate the Russians. They know how it can be and they’re rallying like they did in Solidarity. The head of one of the big centers downtown personally brought back 70,000 people in his car back and forth to the border.

Everyone is helping in whatever way they can.

As the brilliant and well known here composer bassist Marcin Poszpieszalski said, this is a historic moment.


Subject: Re: Dann Huff-This Week’s Podcast

Bob, the podcast with Dann Huff was one of the best yet.  No wonder it went almost three hours — could’ve gone for eight!

Such a brilliant guy, but so humble and (comfortably) introspective. Loved the bit about what he had learned from his first co-production stint — for just one example.

Also really fun to hear how the conversation built momentum all the way til the end. Together you guys got to the very core of things.

When he asked you “Bob, how long do you plan on doing this?” it was like a perfect ellipsis had been reached.

Hope he gets U2 as a result of your show with him.  I’d love to hear the result.

Stev Lindstrom


Subject: Re: Book Recs/Bonnie Raitt

I first heard Bonnie Raitt late one night while attending college. I had just discovered my girlfriend was cheating on me with the big drug dealer on campus.

Call it love, call it infatuation, or maybe it was just the sex but I was in love with that girl some kinda bad. She had long blonde curls and I had a huge fro. This was ‘69/‘70 and our relationship was very much taboo in Virginia.

“Love Has No Pride” made me cry a river. Even listening to it now is like a time trip. So I fell in love with Bonnie (naturally).

I had a friend who ran Whisper Concerts and was fortunate enough to catch whenever she played the DC/Richmond/  Norfolk region. Usually with Little Feat and/or Jackson Browne.

I got to meet her backstage (it was my birthday) and someone tipped her off. She came over and said “Ok Tom, the jig is up” and gave me a peck on the cheek. I almost peed my pants.

And much later when she was was signed to Capitol I mentioned the incident to her and she laughed. I think she was just being polite.

Bonnie is one of those REAL artists. 

Genuine and true. It’s nice to grow old with her music.

Tom Cartwright


From: Arny Schorr

Subject: RE: The Grammy Ratings

I watched parts of it because my wife wanted to see it but I just couldn’t bring myself to endure the entire show. I was trying to explain to her why it was so horrendous and it came to me…it was over produced (too slick, too busy, too schmaltzy). When announcing the nominees, you couldn’t focus on the artist because there were so many graphics laid over the artist visual and the “in memoriam” was just too busy, too much camera movement, too many distractions from acknowledging those who passed.

And with all due respect, the fact Taylor Hawkins got 90 seconds and Charlie Watts got 3 seconds encapsulates a major problem with the Grammys and the RnR Hall of Fame. The Taylor Hawkins of this world rode in on the path laid down by Charlie Watts, Neal Peart, Keith Moon, Ed Cassidy, Ginger Baker and others of their ilk who’d been around for years and were also cultural icons. 

The Hall of Fame recognizes more current artists while shunning artists who had a massive cultural impact…Steppenwolf, Jethro Tull, Bad Company, King Crimson, New York Dolls, DEVO, Link Wray, Dick Dale all have had an impact musically and culturally but Journey, Def Lepard, ELO, Dells and (solo) Stevie Nicks are in?

Just the whiny ramblings of an old man who views the concept of musical ‘justice’ differently….


Re: Spotify’s Share

I’m certain that Apple completely dropped the ball re: music by making iTunes a completely unusable piece of orphan software. As a Gen Xer, I tried all sorts of ways to leverage my huge ripped CD library, punctuated by Napster-era stolen music and infrequent MP3 purchases from Amazon and other sources), but it was a complete mess to manage.  I am convinced that “synching” anything is the biggest software lie ever perpetrated.

Despite all its flaws, after my kids hoodwinked me into setting up a famils membership two years ago, Sporify’s been nothing short of transformational.  Now that’s had time to stew, it’s suggesting stuff I’d long forgotten about … especially “Yacht Rock” era gems such as . After your recent Todd Rundgren piece, I backfilled elements of “Something, Anything” I hadn’t heard in 35 years since college, and now they’re once again part of my daily listening rotation. Magic.

In addition, its usefullness as an incredible podcast organization tool is not to be underestimated (that’s how I listen to you, by the way, including the back catalog).


Gunnar Miller

Frankfurt, Germany

From: Dan Millen

Re: Spotify’s Share

In the olden days you wanted to sell a revolutionary new widget you needed:

Cash – The widget itself cost $ – cash you need to pay upfront in order to even manufacture the widget and / or to hire the employees to make it and sell it.
You sold it to someone else at 50% off list (not 30% or less which is what apple takes) or you sold it to a distributor sometimes at an even sharper discount.

You pay the shipping, either to the distributor or to retail.

You hired a sales force to knock on doors to get your widget placed into stores even if you go through a distributor, because chances are the distributor isn’t going to go out of their way to push your widget to retail unless it’s a big smash hit.  And you’ve got to give the salespeople incentives, spiffs and bonuses.
You make volume discounts and net terms to retailers (30 day payment saves you 1%)

At the end of the day you’re lucky if you’re making 15% margin on your widgets.

With physical records the artist got screwed even more.

Cost the same for the label to make, but they’ll only pay you mechanicals on up to ten songs.
Maybe you get 10-13 points on your albums after deductions.

Packaging deductions
Breakage deductions

Holdback against returns
Holdback against marketing
If you have a shitty attorney they cross collateralize your mechanicals with your record royalties, and maybe even publishing if they can get their mitts on it.

Nowadays they want a piece of your merch and touring too.

You never recoup, it costs you more than it’s worth to audit, and all you see is publishing.

If you are selling apps as widgets on IPhones you are still making 15-20% more gross margin than if you were shipping the widgets to retailers.

If you are putting music up on Spotify without a label you have a chance of making much more than you’d make on a traditional deal – you just need to be heard.

The level of ignorance around this is stunning, but wilful ignorance and finger pointing is what passes for culture around the world.

Pandemics and wars apparently are not enough to quell the selfishness, entitlement mentality and finger pointing of humanity.

Perhaps next a zombie apocalypse will get humans back to basics?

/end of rant.

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