The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Brewer and Shipley

From Bob to Bruce: The Best Concerts of 2016

There are many aspects that make a good concert experience. Primarily of course, is the music. How does the artist and the band sound? Is what I’m hearing on stage like what I hear on the vinyl?

Maybe we all have different criteria, though. I am particularly fond of hearing an artist sing the hits live. I want see and hear Hall & Oates sing “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”; I want to see and hear Brian Wilson sing “Surfer Girl”; I want to personally witness Elton John sing “Rocket Man”; I want to be in the stadium and experience “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

As a music writer, there are several other aspects of a concert that add to the experience for me. Oftentimes, I interview the artist and write a story for my media group advancing the show. Was the interview a pleasant experience and did I … Read more

‘One Toke Over the Line’ meets the Lawrence Welk Show again . . . 45 years later

In their stage show, Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley are fond of telling audiences that they’re the only guys on the planet – “and probably in the universe” – who have written a song that has been performed both on the Lawrence Welk Show and by the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead.

That song, “One Toke Over the Line,” first recorded by Brewer and Shipley in 1970 and featured on the duo’s third studio album “Tarkio,” became an interesting and unique bit of pop culture. It got the attention of the Nixon administration, which labeled the singer-songwriters subversives to American youth because the song contained a drug reference in its lyrics.

But because it was a hit single, the song also attracted the attention of Lawrence Welk, who liked to feature popular songs of the day sung by Welk Musical Family singers on his weekly television show. In … Read more

Search for elusive vinyl ends with a deflating ‘Conrad’ moment

One of the enjoyable aspects of starting a vinyl collection well into adulthood is the thrill of the hunt. That is, as long as some jamoke named Conrad doesn’t mess up the experience.

I like to go to the various used records stores in my part of the world – suburban Philadelphia – and spend some time rummaging through the endless discount bins for certain albums. Usually, I’m looking for an album that I’m writing about, either one that appeared in The Vinyl Dialogues or one that’s going to be featured in The Vinyl Dialogues Volume II.

It’s a relaxing way to kill and hour or two on the weekend, if one has the patience – as well as a good back and legs – to stand there and sift through album after album looking for that buried treasure.

On my most recent excursion, I was searching for the 1973 … Read more

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