The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

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

Month: May 2017

Hall & Oates: First-hand perspective on how their roles evolved within the band

Seeing Daryl Hall and John Oates headline the inaugural Hoagie Nation Festival in Philly May 27 reminded me of a portion of the last interview I did with Oates. It was about how each of their roles in the band had evolved throughout their careers.

There is a perspective out there – one with which I vehemently disagree – that Oates is some sort of second banana to Hall. There was even a short-lived television show called “Garfunkel and Oates” that is described as being about “two famous rock-and-roll second bananas.” (As an aside, Oates himself played a porn shop clerk in one episode and there was a hilarious off-color running joke on the show that referenced Oates’ famous 1970s mustache.)

In a dozen interviews over the past decade, I’ve talked to Oates about almost everything Hall & Oates and everything solo Oates. He’s what I’d describe as the perfect … Read more

Timothy B. Schmit keeps on tryin’ and Havana crowd head over heels for him

In a conversation with Timothy B. Schmit for an advance story on his solo show May 11 at Havana in New Hope, Pennsylvania, we talked about what it was like to play in different-sized venues.

Schmit, the bassist for Poco and more famously, the Eagles, said he likes playing in all sizes of venues, big and small. But he did point to the obvious difference of the intimacy of a smaller venue as compared to a stadium concert.

“It’s almost easier in some ways to play for thousands and thousands of people than it is to play at a smaller place,” said Schmit. “When I play my show in these smaller places . . . it’s almost like you’re in someone’s living room. It can be a little intimidating. Sometimes people are sitting right at my feet. They’re very close.”

Well, now I know firsthand what’s he talking about. For … Read more

Turning the clock back 40 years: A car, a girl and a song

Among the many cool things I get to do with The Vinyl Dialogues series during interviews with the artists is to hear the inspiration and evolution of some of my favorites songs.

Daryl Hall has shared with me the story of how he wrote “Sara Smile.” Dewey Bunnell of the band America has told me the backstory on “A Horse With No Name.” Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers has explained to me his thought process on the writing of “China Grove.” Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass offered me great detail on the creation of “Brandy.”

But I’ve never gotten to “live” the evolution a song myself. Until now.

J.D Malone is a singer-songwriter who performs often in my area of suburban Philadelphia. I’ve followed his career for a few years now, seen him perform live a number of times and have all his CDs. His songs are well-crafted and … Read more

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