Deep Dive: An AllMusicBooks Podcast
Episode 33: AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” with Joe Bonomo

Episode 33: AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” with Joe Bonomo

August 4, 2020

Highway To Hell was AC/DC's infamous last album recorded with singer Bon Scott, who died of "death by misadventure," in London in February of 1980. Scott's demise has forever secured the album's reputation as a partying primer and a bible for lethal behavior, branding the album with the fun chaos of alcoholic excess and its flip side, early death.

Author Joe Bonomo talks with us about this album, the power of adolescence, the durability of rock & roll fandom, and the transformative properties of memory. Why does Highway To Hell matter to anyone beyond non-ironic teenagers? Find out here.

Episode 32: “Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl” with Evelyn McDonnell

Episode 32: “Women Who Rock: Bessie to Beyonce, Girl Groups to Riot Grrrl” with Evelyn McDonnell

July 21, 2020

From Bessie Smith and The Supremes to Joan Baez, Madonna, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Sleater-Kinney, Taylor Swift, and scores more, women have played an essential and undeniable role in the evolution of popular music including blues, rock and roll, country, folk, glam rock, punk, and hip hop. Today, in a world traditionally dominated by male artists, women have a stronger influence on popular music than ever before.

Editor Evelyn McDonnell talks to us about “Women Who Rock,” an all-out celebration of 104 of the greatest female musicians. McDonnell takes us into the selection process, how the book was organized, and the profiles and illustrations of the musicians, all written and composed by women writers, journalists, and artists.

Episode 31: “Rock ‘N’ Roll Lens” with Jimmy Steinfeldt

Episode 31: “Rock ‘N’ Roll Lens” with Jimmy Steinfeldt

July 7, 2020

During his 30 years in the photography business, Jimmy Steinfeldt has worked with everyone from Miles Davis to the Ramones. Jimmy was first published in 1985 in SPIN magazine. Rolling Stone soon followed, publishing a classic photograph of Madonna from the “Like A Virgin” tour.

Jimmy tells us about the Minneapolis music scene in the '80s, and the difference in shooting in LA, the biggest market in the world. He also takes us backstage to give us the backstory on his shoots, including Johnny Cash, Dee Dee Ramone, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and many others!

Episode 30: “Backstage Nashville: The Undisclosed Story of A Major Label Recording Artist” with Wayne Warner

Episode 30: “Backstage Nashville: The Undisclosed Story of A Major Label Recording Artist” with Wayne Warner

June 23, 2020

Singer, songwriter, and producer Wayne Warner details his relationship with country music’s major record labels, the common practices in making hit records, and tell us about his experiences with great artists he has worked with, including Taylor Swift and Bonnie Tyler, as well as many country legends.

But how did Nashville react to his fierce independence, and his adoption of two African American sons? A brutally honest conversation with the man whose hit, “Turbo Twang” reached the top of the country charts, gives us a look behind the curtain of Nashville's famous Music Row.

Episode 29: “Dead Precedents: How Hip Hop Defines The Future” with Roy Christopher

Episode 29: “Dead Precedents: How Hip Hop Defines The Future” with Roy Christopher

June 9, 2020

Roy Christopher traces the story of how hip-hop invented the twenty-first century and tells us how the hallmarks of hip-hop — allusion, self-reference, the use of new technologies, sampling, the cutting and splicing of language and sound — would come to define the culture of the new millennium.

Christopher takes in the ground-breaking work of DJs and MCs such as Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Rammellzee, alongside writers like Philip K. Dick and William Gibson, and links graffiti and DIY culture to present a fascinating continuum of music of the past, present, and future— all  tied to hip hop.

Episode 28: “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968″ with Ryan Walsh

Episode 28: “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968″ with Ryan Walsh

May 26, 2020

Take a trip back in time, as Van Morrison arrives in Boston to begin writing what would become his masterpiece, "Astral Weeks." Author Ryan Walsh joins us to unearth the album's fascinating backstory — along with the untold secrets of the time and place that birthed it.

Walsh paints an incredible picture that includes Peter Wolf (of the J. Geils Band), the "Bosstown" sound, Jonathan Richman, the Velvet Underground, and James Brown. Join us for a look into this unique history of 1968 Boston.

Episode 27: “Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music” with Greg Renoff

Episode 27: “Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music” with Greg Renoff

May 12, 2020

Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer's Life in Music takes us into the studio during the recording sessions for some of the most talented and successful artists in rock music history, including Van Morrison, The Doobie Brothers, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, Little Feat, Sammy Hagar, and Van Halen.

Author Greg Renoff recounts Ted's memories and the behind-the-scenes dramas and reveals the inner workings of Ted's professional and personal relationships with some of the most talented and successful artists in rock music history.

Episode 26: “Be STIFF: The Stiff Records Story” with Richard Balls

Episode 26: “Be STIFF: The Stiff Records Story” with Richard Balls

April 28, 2020

STIFF Records was a maverick of an independent label. Founded by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera, their motto was "If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a F*ck!" One word sums up why Stiff Records came into being: frustration. Their brash and humorous takes artwork, marketing, and the music itself changed the industry.

While Stiff tongue-in-cheek called itself "the undertakers to the industry," they would bring the world Elvis Costello, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Nick Lowe and Madness, among many others. Author Richard Balls takes us through the story of one of the most unique and influential labels in the history of music.

SEASON 2: Episode 25: “D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’” with Faith Pennick

SEASON 2: Episode 25: “D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’” with Faith Pennick

April 14, 2020

In our second season opener, author Faith Pennick takes on D'Angelo's epic album Voodoo, where the singer puts his own pleasures and insecurities up front. However, the sonic expansiveness of Voodoo proved too nebulous for airplay and was nearly overshadowed by a four-minute music video featuring D'Angelo's sweat-glistened six-pack abs. 

Ms. Pennick takes us deep inside the sessions, the band, the late-night listening parties and what it was about D'Angelo that "almost made black women in particular and women in general, collectively pass out."

A Look Back, A Look Forward

A Look Back, A Look Forward

March 31, 2020

Host SteveJ and engineer Steve Folsom fill listeners in on who they are and what they've done in past lives. This episode also expounds on AllMusicBooks.com and the creation of that website, as well as the story behind the "Deep Dive" podcast, with a little help from some of our guests.

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