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To burst open with a short, sharp, explosive sound.

Jeff Kazee (Part 2 of 2)

Jeff Kazee- Part 2 of 2

Southside Johnny Bandleader

In Part one with Jeff, we discussed his influences and moving to the New Jersey area in 1993 and when he joined Rock/Soul band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. We also talked about meeting with guitarist G.E. Smith and saxaphonist Mark Rivera, and when G.E. took Roger Waters to a club in Long Island that Jeff was playing at. During the Covid Pandemic, Jeff created the Living Room Lounge where he was able to raise over $10,000 for the Fulfill NJ , to help folks in need.

Bon Jovi and Early Elton Trio

In Part 2, we talk to Jeff about when he auditioned for Southside Johnny and met Jon Bon Jovi and Steve Van Zandt.  We then continue when Bon Jovi asked him help out on keyboards for the bands 2003 tour This Left Feels Right Live and the Have a Nice Day Tours from 2005 until 2006. Kazee also filled in for David Bryan on keyboards and vocals for night five of Bon Jovi’s 2010 London O2 Arena residency as Bryan was attending The Tony Awards in NYC.
In 2009, Jeff joined Fab Faux drummer Rich Pagano and Asbury Juke bassist John Conte in an ongoing side project performing music selected from Elton John‘s Trio Years (’70-’72), entitled Early Elton Trio.

Video interview with Jeff Kazee Part 2

Early Elton Trio-Take Me To The Pilot

Here are links to Jeff

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Tommy Mandel

Tommy Mandel

Paul Simon to Bryan Adams

Tommy Mandel is a keyboardist who has played with many well-known musicians, but is best known for recording and playing with Bryan Adams from 1981 through 1998. He grew up in the New York City area and began studying music at the age of six. Mandel studied songwriting with Paul Simon at NYU in 1969-70, in a class that included The Roches.

Ian Hunter, Ellen Foley, and more

Mandel was involved with the band, Stories, in the mid seventies and in 1978, his friend Paul Jacobs helped him to go on tour with the National Lampoon Travelling Road Show. His career started taking off from there.  In 1979, he began recording Ellen Foley’s debut album and met Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson, playing on three albums with them from 1979 through 1981. Since then, Mandel has worked with David Johansen (aka Buster Pointdexter) of the NY Dolls, Dire Straits, John Waite, Little Steven Van Zandt, and more.

Solo Recordings

In 1981, Mandel released his first solo recording with the EP, Tommy Mandel on Songshop Records.  He has released several solo recordings since, including in 1984, Music for Insomniacs and The Secrets of Marital Bliss. He has also composed and recorded a song cycle based on the touring experience, entitled, Starlight, featuring the vocals and writing talents of Marianne Faithful, John Waite, Joe Cerisano, Fran Eckert, Jeff Southworth, and Pete Hewlett. In the nineties, Mandel compiled the following CD’s of his instrumental compositions:  Themes for Dreams (his favorite), Music for Insomniax II (sleepy synths),and recently, “Every Dog,” and The Enlightenment of Age, and most recently, Curio-City.

Video interview with Tommy Mandel (Part 1 of 2)

Bryan Adams”Run To You”

Here are links to Tommy

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Glen Burtnik (Part 2 of 2)

Glen Burtnik

Beatlemania and The Weeklings

In Part One, we spoke with Glen about his influences and learning to play bass. We also talked about his major breakthrough playing in Beatlemania.  Glen has been a member of the legendary Asbury Park music scene, and has been involved in many projects throughout his career. At many times, Beatles related. In 2015, Glen and Bob Burger formed The Weeklings, and the band released three albums with critical praise. The band performs Beatles’ songs (and songs the Beatles wrote but did not record themselves), and their own originals.

Solo Career, Song Writing, and Styx

In 1986, Glen was signed to A&M Records and released his first album, Talking In Code.  Then, in 1987 he released his follow-up album, Heroes and Zeros, featuring the single, Follow You. It was during that time that he began working with Bob Burger.
After Glen left A&M Records, Dennis DeYoung asked him to audition for his band, Styx (after Tommy Shaw left to form Damn Yankees). Glen jumped at the chance, and was hired as the second guitarist and songwriter and helped them release their new record, Edge of the Century. He stayed with them through 1991.  Glen eventually returned to Styx in 1999, playing bass.
With Glen’s successful songwriting with Styx, he continued writing for other artists, most notably, his collaboration with Patty Smyth of Scandal.  They wrote Sometime Love Just Ain’t Enough, and Patty ended up doing the duet with Don Henley, and it went to the top of the charts, reaching number one.

Video interview with Glen Burtnik (Part 2)

Sometimes Love Ain’t Enough

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Chuck Burgi – Part 2 of 3

Chuck Burgi- Drummer

 Joe Walsh, Allman Brothers, & Al Anderson

In Part One, we spoke with Chuck about his high school days in Montclair, New Jersey, and hanging with Joe Walsh.  Also, about when he went to Berklee in Boston, with his friend, Al Anderson (who eventually became the lead guitarist for Bob Marley), and their chance to meet and jam with The Allman Brothers Band when they came to town. Chuck told us about being influenced by Ringo Starr, Mitch Mitchell, and his start in playing Jazz and Jazz Fusion. He mentioned his preference for playing Tama drums and Paiste cymbals.

Al DiEmiola, Brand X, & Phil Collins

In Part Two of our three-part interview, we chat about Chuck’s time with jazz-rock guitarist Al Di Meola for his first solo venture. In 1978, he joined English fusion group, Brand X.  As a member of Brand-X, he replaced Phil Collins and recorded and toured for the classic album, Masques.

Hall and Oates and Rainbow

Returning to his rock and pop roots in 1980, Chuck joined Hall & Oates on their Voices album, featuring the number one hit, Kiss on My List. After a world tour to support Voices, Chuck went back in the studio with Daryle and John to record their follow-up album, Private Eyes. It featured the hits, the title track, and Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) Another world tour followed.
In 1983, Chuck joined Ritchie Blackmore’s band, Rainbow, to record their album, Bent out of Shape, and subsequent tour, to support the album and the hit single, Street of Dreams. Chuck returned when Ritchie put a new band together in 1995, and he was the only returning band member from the Bent out of Shape line up. The band did two sold-out tours in Europe, South America, and Japan for the album, Stranger in Us All.

Interview with Chuck Burgi (Part 2 of 3)

Rainbow “Street of Dreams”

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Greg Smith-Bassist for Ted Nugent (Part 2 of 2)

Greg Smith

Beginnings — Alice Cooper and Rainbow

In Part One, we talked to Greg Smith about his influences; such as, his first break with Wendy O. Williams, when Gene Simmons asked him to join the touring band in support of her first solo album in 1984, and when Greg joined  Alice Cooper in 1991. In 1994, Greg was invited to audition for the new Rainbow band that Ritchie Blackmore was putting together. He talks about his homemade beer he offered to Ritchie and Ritchie’s pranks on the band members. We also chatted about the show at the Hammersmith Odeon, when two kids stole Ritchie’s guitar right off the stage.

Joe Lynn Turner, Billy Joel, and Ted Nugent

In Part Two of our two-part interview with Ted Nugent bassist, Greg Smith, we talk about recording and playing with Joe Lynn Turner, and performing in Billy Joel’s Broadway play, Movin’ Out.”  We also spoke about his current gig with Ted Nugent.  As of December 2020, he now is the longest playing member in Ted’s band, next to Derek St. Holmes.

Video interview with Greg Smith (Part Two)

Tokyo Motor Fist “Youngblood”

Here are links to other things related to Greg Smith

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Glen Burtnik- A True Beatles Fan- (Part 1 of 2)

Glen Burtnik

A New Jersey Musical Gem

Glen Burtnik said to me during our interview, “I didn’t go to college, I went to Beatlemania.” I have to say that is a pretty cool line, as not everyone can say that for sure. Before Beatlemania, Glen grew up in the North Brunswick area of New Jersey and has since been a member of the Asbury Park music scene.

Beatlemania, Solo Career, and Styx

In 1978, Glen auditioned for the musical, Beatlemania. He auditioned for the Paul McCartney role and won.
Glen was signed to A&M Records in 1986, and released his first album, Talking In Code, and his follow up in 1987 with, Heroes and Zeros, which featured the single, Follow You. It was during that time, that he began working with Bob Burger.
After Glen left A&M Records, Dennis DeYoung asked him to audition for his band, Styx after Tommy Shaw left to form Damn Yankees. Glen jumped at the chance, and no sooner he was then in the band, and was hired as the second guitarist and songwriter.
Styx, with Glen, released their new record, Edge of the Century, which was released in 1990, and a tour through 1991. Even though the album went Gold, the band was dropped and Glen went back to New Jersey. Glen eventually returned to Styx in 1999, playing bass, when original bassist Chuck Panozzo could not.  He went on to record Cyclorama with Styx in 2003.

Song Writing and The Weeklings

With Glen’s successful songwriting with Styx, he carried on writing for other artists most notably, his collaboration with Patty Smyth of Scandal.  They wrote Sometime Love Just Ain’t Enough, and Patty ended up doing the duet with Don Henley, that went to the top of the charts, reaching number one.
Glen has been involved in many projects throughout his career, at many times Beatles related. In 2015, Glen and Bob Burger formed The Weeklings, and the band has released three albums with critical praise. The band performs Beatles’ songs (and songs the Beatles wrote but did not record themselves) and their own originals.

Video interview with Glen Burtnik (Part 1)

The Weeklings Video of the Song “3”

Here are links to Glen

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Chuck Burgi- (Part 1 of 3)

Chuck Burgi- Drummer

Growing up in Montclair, NJ with Joe Walsh

Chuck Burgi’s musical career is simply amazing! He started out in Montclair, New Jersey, and he went to the same school as Joe Walsh, who has been a family friend to this day. Currently, Chuck is the drummer for Billy Joel, and has been for the last 12 years.

Allman Brothers Band, Al Anderson & Brand X

After high school, Chuck went to Berklee in Boston, with his friend, Al Anderson. They got a chance to meet The Allman Brothers Band when they came to town, and even jammed with them. Jamming with The Allman Brothers Band was the turning point for both he and Al. Chuck went on to a successful career, and Al eventually became the lead guitarist for Bob Marley. Chuck’s career has never been dull or status quo. He has played and recorded with many artists, including Brand X, Hall & Oates, Glen Burtnik, Rainbow, Meat Loaf and many more

Billy Joel & Tokyo Motor Fist

In 2002, Chuck debuted on Broadway drumming for the smash musical, Movin’ Out, which featured the music of Billy Joel. Movin’ Out lasted three and a half years before closing in 2005. While playing the final shows of Movin’ Out, Chuck was approached by Billy Joel to join his band.
He also appears with former Rainbow bandmate and bassist, Greg Smith, Danger Danger vocalist, Ted Poley, and Trixter guitarist, Steve Brown, on the hard rock-styled Tokyo Motor Fist. Their sophomore album, Lions, was released in 2020.

Interview with Chuck Burgi (Part 1 of 3)

Tokyo Motor Fist “Pickin’ Up the Pieces”

Here are links to Chuck Burgi

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Darion

Darion – Fire and Ice

Solo Career and Pat Benatar Tribute

Darion is a solo artist and the lead singer for the Pat Benatar Tribute Band- Fire & Ice, the only Pat Benatar tribute band from the Northeast that is endorsed by Pat.
Darion was born, raised, and lives in the New York City area.  She began singing before she was able to walk, but didn’t pursue her career in music until 1990, when friends and family encouraged her to sing professionally. Darion released her first album in 2001, “See it Believe It.”  Her second album was an EP titled, “House of Love,” released in 2003. One of her original songs, “Fly Away,” has become a song of hope, and adopted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, an organization near and dear to her heart.

Meeting Pat Benatar

Darion performs some of her own music along with Pat Benatar’s in concert. She first met Pat and Neil Giraldo after one of Pat’s concerts, where Darion was surprised that they both knew of her and were impressed. Pat and Darion bonded immediately, and because of their common bond with Darion’s son, Joshua, and a friend of Pat’s having Cystic Fibrosis, they are still close friends to this day.

Video interview with Darion

Darion’s “Fly Away”

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