Rock during JFK’s Presidency with Author Richard Aquila. During JFK’s presidency, rock music sounded like nothing before or since. Why? What happened? Dr. Clarke spoke with Richard Aquila, author of the book ‘Rock and Roll in Kennedy’s America: A cultural History of the Early 1960s’, published by John Hopkins University Press. Listen in as Richard offers unique insights on this misunderstood—but wonderful—period in rock history.
Rock Band Members More Famous than their Singers. It’s rare, but it happens. Sometimes a singer is, well, just a singer, and the guitarist takes the spotlight. Listen in as Ferris Kennedy, fortified by a dogged sense of justice, risks long-term friendships as he staggers towards the Truth.
Goodbye 2022. Hello 23: The End of the Year Show. There are tears. There is laughter and yes, there are threats. The three amigos offer an honest appraisal of the year that was—the good, the bad, and the mediocre—and make it all entertaining.
What is Classic Rock? Nobody Knows. How big is the universe? Is Child the Father of Man? Can Clint Eastwood really act? There are many questions without answers, and that includes a definition of Classic Rock. Only a jabbering fool would offer an answer. We are three such jabbering fools. Listen in as the three amigos battle to define the undefinable. Thank us later.
Classic Rock Masterpieces You Should Know Classic rock masterpieces are few and far between. So when an album explodes out of an ocean of mediocrity, you should know. These are truly inspired gifts. Clarke, Kennedy and Wheeler lead you into an aural paradise.
The Most Influential Classic Rock Artists. Part 2. Don’t cut in line! Listen to ‘Part 1’ first…because you’ve never seen a list like this before. We’re not talking about ‘great’ or ‘famous’ artists. Just people with substantial influence, who changed classic rock music. Listen in, it could also change your opinions.
The Most Influential Classic Rock Artists. Part 1. You’ve never seen a list like this before. We’re not talking about ‘great’ or ‘famous’ artists. Just people with substantial influence, who changed classic rock music. Listen in, it could also change your opinions. In two parts.
Bitter Band Bust Ups in Classic Rock History Rockers are not known for acceptable table manners, marital fidelity or general maturity. Bands bust up all the time, often due to Spinal-Tapian-like quibbling and hissy fits. The three amigos give it to you straight, right in the gut… all the need-to-know info about the music you love.
Top 100 Classic Rock Artists – NOT! – Some lists are pretty good. Others induce gas pains The three amigos attack this list with a gusto usually seen only in crazed, diseased hyenas. Listen in.
Why Elvis Never Left the Building Dr. Clarke, empowered by a drug-fueled Himalayan vacation, stands calmly before The King, deciphering many facets of fame, talent, and jumpsuits. Elvis is Alive dammit, he is a minor god, and he walks amongst us.
The Golden Era of Hip Hop & Rap. Every art form has a ‘golden era’ and /hip hop/rap is no exception. Ferris Kennedy risks his reputation & sanity by cliff diving into a dangerous sea. He emerges with fresh opinions and special, personal insights.
The Doors & the Five Factors that Made Them Famous. Unless a band can conquer the Five Factors, it’ll likely never have lasting success. Using The Doors as a great example of what happens when musicians hit 5 home runs, Dr. Clarke entertains, educates, and gets to jabber about his beloved Lizard King & Friends.
What was so New about New Wave? New Wave music: What is it? Where did it come from? What killed it off? Steven Wheeler exhibits unexplored courage and tenacity as he prowls the bowels of CBGBs, shaking down ghosts for explanations, finally passing out in the long-gone Max’s Kansas City, listen in…
Bryan Adams & His Global Success: How did he do it? Against so many odds? Adams is the ultimate rock music success story. Pure talent and ambition. Listen in for much-needed inspiration. PLUS Ferris Kennedy delivers heart-felt impressions on the passing of Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins. A wonderful tribute.
Which Rock Stars could You Live With? Rock stars are generally dreadful people, cursed with low IQ’s and a retrograde sense of fashion. Our podcast is celebrated for its honesty and sometimes that means biting the gnarly paws that feed us. Listen in.
All About Rap n’ Hip Hop… in the Beginning: Get ready as Ferris Kennedy delivers a primer on one of the most influential movements in popular music. Strip down and take a deep dive with Mr. Kennedy into a strange world of earthly delights.
The Forty-One Final Albums of Great Bands: Not every band gave us an Abbey Road at the twilight of their careers. Some final albums are terrible, even though the band itself once produced great music. We provide Hendrix-like feedback on 41 final albums—the good, the bad, and the sad.
Rock and Roll Front Men: What It Means to be Great. We all have our favorite front men – but are there similar qualities that bind together the notion of ‘greatness’? Yes Virginia, there are. Ferris Kennedy, though technically still on parole, gives full vent to his dark emotions and explains it all.
The Guess Who: Canada’s Great Rock Band or What? We did say ‘rock, not ‘rap’, not ‘prog’…so relax! Dr. Clarke builds a strong case for crowning the Prairie Princes the Kings of Canadian Rock. Listen in and check out his inviolable reasoning.
The Final Concerts of Rock Gods / Top 10 Reunion Tours Medicated Wheeler gets cranked on raw cappuccino and really takes no prisoners as he describes the end for some rock gods and the back-from-the-dead, $$career$$ resurrection of others. For rock trivia people, this is ambrosia.
Which Classic Rockers Should Be On the Mt. Rushmore of Music? So many rock n’ rollers are witless, untalented, pencil-neck geeks. But a few, very few, stand out. And it’s those people who should go on the side of the mountain and be justly celebrated. Listen in and see if you agree/disagree with Wheeler, Clarke and Kennedy. Don’t be afraid, try it
Rock Stars: Who’s Underappreciated or Overrated? Few moments are more depressing than someone rattling on about their favorite rocker and you just can’t share in their enthusiasm – at all… Some rock stars are just creations of marketing departments. Others drag their aging bones from city to city, croaking out some dusty hit from another galaxy… Many are overrated. Yet there’s a select group who never get enough recognition – cheated by fate. Listen in and experience a few epiphanies.
The 2021 End of Year Show: Part Two Jacqueline Susann taught us that once is not enough – and that certainly applies to an end-of-the-year show. Listen in as the three amigos sort out the winners, losers, and just-nice-guys from 2021 musical happenings.
The 2021 End of Year Show: Part One We had a wild and wooly year, bouncing between bouts of hair-raising terror and and tranquil moments of resignation and self-pity. Pretty well normal actually… 2021 – a lot happened in music. We sum it up with deep-dive insights, pithy asides, and lot of unwanted attitude.
The Monkees: A Legit Band or What? The Monkees is one of the best-selling bands of the 1960s. So why the blow-back? Why the ‘pre-fab four’ put downs? Dr. Clarke mounts a compelling case for the defense of Mickey, Mike, Pete and Davey. As a bonus – later on you can impress your loved ones by declaiming the powerful difference between rock and pop music. Never, ever mix them up.
The 27 Club: Beware the Siren’s Song Like the Hotel California, once you check in to the 27 Club, you can never leave… What is it about this much-dreaded group that attracts so many rockers? Is it fate or just bad internal GPS. Find out!
What is Classic Rock?: Part 2 – The discussion got so heated that we went waaaay overtime. Hence, the Part 2. The amigos love each other even if there is screaming involved.
What is Classic Rock?: Part 1– Classic Rock is a radio format which developed from the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format in the early 1980s….blah blah blah. Listen, the three amigos take a stab at explaining who and what is classic rock. It’s time well spent.
How George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh Changed Rock Ex-Beatle George Harrison never regarded himself as a solo performer, nor did he ever wanted to be one. Far less did he ever see himself as master of ceremonies, charged with carrying an entire show. And yet it all came off. Medicated Wheeler explains the concert in depth…so pay attention!
Classic Rock in Canada – Part 2 They called us fools, charlatans and other caustic put-downs, but we fought back and said ‘Canada is loaded with classic rock talent and stories so leave us alone before we tell Mom!’ And it worked. Listen in.
Classic Rock in Canada – Part 1 Yes my children, Canada has classic rock to spare. The three amigos do a deep dive into a yesteryear and celebrate their discoveries.
Van Halen – Making Sense of The Line Up Changes Ever wonder why there have been numerous line-up changes in one of the Greatest Classic rock bands ever? Well, so did Ferris Kennedy (even though he admitted that David Lee Roth – Mr. Introverted – is the best).
Why Pet Sounds is Among the Best Albums – Ever! The best Beach Boys album from one of the best bands of the 1960s. The group reached new levels with composition and production, layering tracks of vocals and instruments to create a richly symphonic sound. Dr. Clarke takes you on a magical mystery tour and explains why he agrees with the critics – for once – about this incredible album. Listen in.
Classic One Man Bands…so they say Did you believe that Jeff Lynne (ELO) produced some songs on the Beatles’ White Album? How could anyone be so dumb to believe that?.. Well, listen in and Kennedy explains himself (and we forgive him). We also jabber about the phenomena known as a ‘one man band’ – when it works and when it’s horrible.
The Thirty Burning Questions of Classic Rock – Answered. Don’t let them make you feel unwanted. Join the conversation with newfound knowledge. Get the answers you need right here – all 30 of them!
72 Times that Classic Rockers Changed Their Names And did you know George Harrison’s real name was Shelby Critter? Neither did we – because we’re just talking about real news – nothing fake here. ‘What’s in a name?’ you ask. Let’s find out.
R.E.M.: Not Everybody Hurts Darlings of college rock but too moody to stay on campus while hanging with the post-punk and alternative rock crowds. Discover what all the noise was about.
Foo Fighters: How to Take Medicine at Midnight You start in the garage with heavy rock, garnish with grunge, then bake it up with punk and some beauty ballads. They play stadiums and when they leave, they take the garage with them. Listen in while Ferris Kennedy explains aural nirvana.
David Bowie Special: Yes, There’s Life on Mars The three amigos are joined by an outstanding star DJ and Bowie freak to deliver an episode that has as much panache, color and style as Bowie’s hairstyles throughout the years. Listen in and go through a few ch-ch-changes.
Pink Floyd: Are They Really from The Dark Side of the Moon? Probably not. But listen in because…We Wish You Were under this Division Bell on the Dark Side of the Moon. We really do because, hey, we’re are all animals (especially college students) with the same Atom Heart Mother. We all like to Meddle with the Pipers at the Gates of Dawn who are behind The Wall. Anyway, after a few pints it’s easy to have a Momentary Lapse of Reason due to The Delicate Sound of Thunder (see ‘Hangover’). Finally, I am always at my best when I am at the Endless River with my good friend Ummagumma. (That’s questionable actually). Join the guys with their special guest Carlo, as they discuss the prog legends Pink Floyd.
AC/DC: The Big Question – Bon vs. Brian– Is one singer better than the other? You didn’t believe you’d ever get an answer to this classic rock conundrum. Ferris Kennedy puts his reputation on the line and delivers!
The Doors: People Really Are Strange – In this episode, Dr. Clarke parlays two visits (count ’em, ‘2’) to Jim Morrison’s Paris grave site, inspiring a unique, special interpretation of a seminal classic rock band that’s like no other – before or since.
India’s Influence on Classic Rock – It wasn’t just The Beatles who brought Indian music to Western ears. Steven Wheeler traces the expanding and exciting influence of Eastern music on classic rock across the latter half of the twentieth century. A must-listen for classic rock buffs.
All About the Summer of Love 1967 – In this exclusive show, Dr. Ian Clarke burns patchouli oil, wears love beads, and puts this magical summer under a psychedelic microscope to discover why it was – and remains – so influential to pop culture and classic rock.
Van Halen: From A to V (AKA Van Roth) Ferris Kennedy gives you all there is to give on this classic rock band – from A to V. If you ever wondered what all the noise was about, get ready for an Ear-ruption!
Creedence Clearwater Revival: The Wonderful, Tragic Tale... CCR is among the gods of classic rock. But their success ignited firestorms of lawsuits, recriminations, betrayals and bitterness. Hunker down with a cold beverage as Dr. Clarke gives you need-to-know info on what went down.
Led Zeppelin: All You Need to Know. Acknowledged as the most successful and influential band of the heavy rock era, with a catalog that continues to inspire. What The Beatles were to the ’60s, Led Zeppelin were to the ’70s: a band so successful and innovative they wound up creating the prism through which their entire epoch is seen. Zeppelin ushered in the era of album rock. The Three Amigos Of Classic Rock podcasting give it a whole lotta love.
Who’s on Third? A look at the # 3 Classic Rock Band. You know who holds the # 1 and # 2 positions of best classic rock band. But who is # 3?… No, shut up, you don’t have a clue… Also, the Recording Industry has sum funny money and math. Dr. Clarke operates under Ian’s knock, Medicated Wheeler gets intimate with Bob Dylan in his Vinyl Review, & Kennedy goes crazy with Yes or No?
How Did 101 Classic Rock Bands Get Their Name (Part 2): Amidst great odds, we continue with part two of how 101 classic rock bands got their often disturbing names. Hey, this kind of knowledge will enrich your life…maybe… Plus, Steven Wheeler reviews new vinyl from Chicago…that toddlin’ town…
How Did 101 Classic Rock Bands Get Their Names? (Part 1) They said it couldn’t be done, that we were jabbering fools.101 bands? No way….Well, now who’s the fool?… In this exclusive two-part episode, we drill down until it hurts. Plus, Steven Wheeler reviews new vinyl from REM.
Classic Rock Songs Written Quickly – maybe too quickly. You be the judge. From ‘Yesterday’ to ‘Losing My Religion’, we confront the weird phenomenon of amazing classic rock songs “just showing up”.
U.S.A. vs. Canada: Who Has the Best Classic Rock Bands? Part 2. After Part 1, you either agree with Kennedy or not. That’s cool. The man had a mission and was on a roll – and he was fair to both countries – kind of.
U.S.A. vs. Canada: Who Has the Best Classic Rock Bands? Part 1 Ferris Kennedy, nursing a hangover of apocalyptic proportions, supplies semi-professional opinions, but you, dear listener, you must live with your conscience. The answers could change your life!
Digital Zombies: Is Animating Dead Rock Stars Wrong? In this dangerous episode, Dr. Clarke bravely enters the Gothic castle of digital reanimation, risking the bites of lusty vampirettes as he attempts to stake a dark and evil phenomenon.
Best Last Song On An Album Bands and producers tend to begin and end albums with their top-shelf stuff. Sometimes they blow it – and the final song becomes a ‘definite avoid’… Or – you hang in there until you hit the gold. The ‘FW’ team goes to work and provides you with a sonic roadmap. End result? You’ll know if it’s worth hanging around your speakers – or to git while the gitting’s good!
Aerosmith: Fifty Years of America’s Top Rockers: The Boys from Beantown who made hair bands mainstream. 50 years & counting & they have come a long way from being “Toys In The Attic”. They put the Rock in “Rocks”, they were able to make you “Pump”, and in turn you were able to “Get A Grip”, before you “Just Push Play”, & after that you were able to “Walk This Way”. There’s so much you need to know… Also, how the hell did Woodstock really happen? And what about that new John Lennon Box Set?
Southern Classic Rock: It’s Just like The Comfort with Tres Hombres Can you define Southern Rock? No, you can’t. It’s a job for professionals, like us. Our podcast can actually make you sound smarter. So let’s head off to where the sun always shines…
Bands Better than The Beatles – Just Let it Be Few rock bands are better than The Beatles…but they do exist… Or do they? Maybe/Kind of?….Damn it, that’s what we were born to figure out! Let us do the heavy lifting and listen in.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – More Than Just One Hot Minute Few rock groups of the ’80sbroke down as many musical barriers & were as original as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Creating an intoxicating new musical style with funk & punk rock, combined with a stage presence that no one forgets & the infamous sock-covering-parts-of-mother nature, they spawned a slew of imitators in their wake, but still managed to be the leaders of the pack by the dawn of the 21st century. Led by Kennedy, we dive into the wild side.
The Eagles: Hell Did Freeze Over.
How do you account for the most popular band of the 1970s? Dr. Clarke is the first ever to declare – “Gram Parsons and the Hollies had a baby and they named it The Eagles.” It’s a start. Get smart and get entertained
The Weird Death & Afterlife of Jim Morrison – The Ferris Wheel Rock Show Dr. Clarke, who has written about the Doors for over thirty years, debunks the mystery of Morrison’s death and exposes the role of clever commercialization in revivifying a defunct group. He still remains a huuuge Doors fan.
Aussie Rock – How To Listen Up While Down Under – Aussie Rock – How to Listen Up When Down Under: Steven Wheeler endured a 21-hour flight to Australia only to realize he could’ve developed the podcast within the sanctuary of his beach-side Malibu fun house. Such is life. Discover how Vegemite sandwiches created a national fervor for rock ‘roll… or not.
Kennedy’s Rant – BNL, Journey, Supertramp, & Van Halen! – When Ferris Kennedy goes on a rant, no amount of medication and/or therapy can calm the wild beast. Join Kennedy as he gets medieval on The Barenaked Ladies, Journey, Supertramp, and Van Halen. These groups are close and dear to his heart…and his machete. Better buckle up.
What the Hell is Happening with Paul McCartney? – From writing silly love songs to wearing inappropriate haircuts (See ‘mullets’), this energetic ex-Beatle has somehow held the world’s attention for almost sixty years. Dr. Ian Clarke explores the dark chasms of McCartney’s mind, surfacing with evidence of both detritus and patchouli-soaked genius. Change your life and listen in.
Dead Rock Stars & How They Got That Way: Achieving stardom in the entertainment niche known as rock n’ roll can be a life-threatening adventure. Generally, rock musicians are not renowned for longevity. In this podcast, Medicated Wheeler rips off more coffin lids than a Hammer horror, looking for the real story behind the fake news. Not for the squeamish.
Nirvana was better than The Beatles: The Men Behind It! ….Could it be true? It certainly is in Kennedy’s drug-addled mind. Is he just ranting or is he actually on to something? Well, he did research and lays it all out... even has Dr. Clarke saying ” So, here’s the thing” – the famous catch phrase in many Ferris Wheel Classic Rock Show podcasts.
How Great is Supertramp? – Little more than prog rock poseurs or gifted purveyors of 1970s FM radio pop? Listen in as Steven (Medicated) Wheeler pronounces opinions on these elusive, top-shelf rock musicians.
Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre – A Book Review: Dr. Ian Clarke reviews ‘Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre’ by Mick Wall. Dr. Clarke questions the author’s attitude toward Jim Morrison & The Doors while lighting the fire under what makes the group great. Listen in as Dr. Clarke sets it right.
Aberdeen! The Sound of Teen Spirit!! – Listen as a man bares his soul. Take a journey to Aberdeen with Kennedy’s favorite Grunge band of all time. You have heard his madness and passion for Nirvana, and his love for Dave Grohl as the greatest drummer of all time. Discover what all the noise is about.
Jackie Shane – The Lowest I Go Is To The Top Of My Head -R & B singer Jackie Shane is impressive for a host of reasons – talent, courage, honesty, and integrity. And she’s one of those rare performers who acquire a significance beyond their specific aptitudes. She helped make the times, and the times helped make her. In this special episode, Dr. Ian Clarke outlines why this Toronto-based performer had a formidable reach that exceeded her grasp.
What If A Band Member Left? No Difference!!! – You could rename this show‘No Ringo, No Beatles? As if!‘…but we won’t. This is a discussion with no winners and a lot of losers. In terms of personnel, some bands have very weak links – and no, a band is not as strong as its weakest link. Sometimes the weak link should be forced into a dumpster. This episode is not pretty, but it is necessary.
What Is Classic Rock – The Ferris Wheel Classic Rock Show feels guilty. Why? Because for many years, we have dined out on the spoils of classic rock, buying Malibu, beach-front homes, dating Joan Jett and her friends, and avoiding taxes. Now is the reckoning. What the hell is Classic Rock, really?
When bands fight: The 40 bitterest bust-ups in rock history– Rock musicians, more than most people, can be nasty little bastards, especially when they’re hungry and drug-free. From AC/DC to Van Halen, there have been some interesting bust ups and disagreements. We go down the road of the major upsets internally in Classic Rock.
Band Members Who Got Cut? What the #%$&? – Suddenly a band member vanishes. Into think air. Poof! Like they never existed. (Trivia: Which two words scare the bejesus out of Paul McCartney? ‘Pete Best’). Ever wonder what happened to these rock n’ roll specters? . The Ferris Wheel Rock Show goes for a deep dive and surfaces with some jaw-dropping discoveries.
100 Classic Rock Masterpieces – We know, we know, lists can be lousy, but admit it, they’re kinda fun. Masterpiece or mediocrity? Who knows. We just deliver informed opinions about these albums – and then run for the hills.
The Best Rock Voices – Rock singers are not known for having gorgeous voices. Not really. But some can sing like angels, albeit hoarse angels. Who’s on the list? Who should not be on the list?
Don’t Trust the Numbers: The Lowdown on Record Sales – Where do they get stats for record sales? Ever wonder how many albums the Beatles sold vs. Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones – combined? You should wonder. It can create a massive WTF! The Ferris Wheel Rock Show goes where no podcast has gone before – and it gets damn ugly.
Band Changes – Hey, Bowie told us to look our for those ch-ch-ch-changes… Ever wonder how successful band lineups occur- or don’t? We posit some answers. As an acoustic experiment, sponsored by Dolby Labs, we brought a Porta Potty into the studio and had Dr. Ian Clarke speak to us in during the show while in the ‘blue bin’. The results smell great!
The Producers – You don’t hear as much about these people as you used to. Sign o’ the times? We look the influence of the people ‘in the booth’, the contributions, they made, and their roles.
Guitar Heroes: Part One – An electric guitar is to rock what oxygen is to the human species. Okay, that’s a little overstated, but you get the vibe… We deep-dive and jabber about what makes a guitar god, and are they worth the trouble? (Spoiler Alert: Clapton is not God – but he may be a minor deity).
Guitar Heroes: Part Two – We didn’t plan on a two-part episode, but sometimes you just have to groove with the organic, sonic incantations. It’s extremely important you listen to this – if you plan to walk confidently through the world, unafraid of challenges re. guitar god trivia.
The Bass Project – Without bass guitar, it doesn’t take much to turn rock in coffee-house folk. We discuss great bass players and how their talents sent songs into the stratosphere.
72 Fake Name Changes – Who knew that Neil Young’s birth name was actually Freddie Mercury? Not us – and that’s the impact of great research. Like DMX said in the Hip/Hop Rap world, What’s my name? The Ferris Wheel Rock Show goes down a list of those famous artists we all love and reveal what their actual birth certificates really say. Mom & Dad are proud. The Ferris Wheel Rock Show…where everyone knows your name.
30 Questions of Rock and Roll – This may be your only chance to enter a conversation about classic rock and appear to be, well, smart… At least smarter than you are. We answer 30 of those irritating little queries which, if unanswered, could leave you feeling foolish and ashamed of your life.
Classic Rock Stars Erased by Their Own Bands – When Eric Clapton sang “I don’t want to fade away” (from Bell-Bottom Blues) he was likely referring to a well-known penchant major rock bands have for axing members. Sometimes the axed member deserves it – but often, the execution is unexpected and merciless. We call it as we see it folks.
Great Trios of Classic Rock: Looking at Threesomes. Not many classic rock bands have just three members. Trios have a different attitude and sound. In this episode, our own trio “Kennedy, Clarke & Wheeler” list some of the best threesomes “ever”