Hal

Tony Gamble

Tony Gamble GuitaristTony Gamble and I go way back. He was coming into the Chimneysweep Lounge in Sherman Oaks, CA on my Sunday night open mic nights before the 1994 Northridge quake, so we’ve known each other at least that long. He’d sit in. Play some guitar. Try out his  originals. On the other nights of the week, we’d often just hang out at the Chimneysweep and get shit-faced. I have a big box of pictures from those days, so I was able to include a couple of Tony and me on this page.

Tony was diagnosed a few years ago with Prothrombin factor 2, a rare blood clotting disorder. He goes into a little detail about it, and we discuss how shit like that can really slow you up, but we keep playing through it all. You know how it is. Anyway, I included a link to an organization called Stop the Clot in case you’d like to learn more about it or maybe contribute to finding a cure.

Tony first became know for his chops on the guitar. He’s what was known as a shredder” a guitarist with impeccable skills and playing speed. He taught guitar, wrote guitar instruction books and toured with rock bands throughout the world.  Unfortunately, Tony didn’t really want to talk about the more decadent period of his rock and roll life life, which would have made for great podcast fodder. However, as a friend, I didn’t want to press him to talk about those days. We mostly discussed what Tony has been doing lately, which is writing and recording new material for his latest project… an as yet untitled, but soon to be released album of original acoustic music for Warner Brothers Latin division. This latest project has ignited new passion in Gamble and he is very excited to talk about his latest creation.

Tony Gamble Tony Gamble and Hal Aaron

But this is Tales of the Road Warriors, so what I can do is give you a link to where you can read about some of Tony’s past experiences  for yourself, in his own words. There’s a link below to the RARWRITER site which will take you there. It’s quite an interesting read, which is alluded to briefly in our conversation. L.A. in the 90’s… good times!


TONY GAMBLE LINKS

City of Angels

https://open.spotify.com/album/2KklcEXD8UHlzCiLNjQdwh

Echoes In the Silence

https://open.spotify.com/album/3seAcsbiMHxIkKbhT6EnhS

Stop The Clot

https://www.stoptheclot.org/learn_more/prothrombin-g20210a-factor-ii-mutation/

Tony’s Story in RARWRITER

http://www.rarwriter.com/Feature_Gamble_19.htm

Posted by Hal in guitar player, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, shredder, ukulele, 0 comments

Kenn Kweder

The Not So Secret Kid

kenn kwederDuring the late seventies, while I was working as a singing waiter in Los Angeles and cutting my own teeth as a performer, I was missing a phenomenon in my own home town of Philadelphia… a guy by the name of Kenn Kweder. While I was bartending, bussing, waiting, and singing Beatles songs tableside to my customers, Kenn Kweder and the Secret Kids was taking Philly by storm on every stage in town.

Now here we are  in 2019 and,  Kenn Kweder, like me, is still actively gigging all over the tri-state area. He sometimes performs solo, sometimes accompanied by a friend or two, and occasionally with his full band, the Men From Wawa.

It wasn’t until the the past year or so that I became aware of Kenn Kweder, but through a mutual friend, Jim Fogarty, who occasionally accompanies Kenn, I began seeing his name in Facebook  posts and reading about him online. Eventually, I checked out some of the Youtube videos posted by his friends and fans – and I knew I had to talk to this guy.

This conversation barely scratches the surface of the nearl y mythological figure that is Kweder. There are much more in depth interviews, music videos and even a documentary or two you could  find floating around cyberspace. Just be prepared to be awestruck if you go down that rabbit hole.

In this episode of Tales of the Road Warriors, Kweder delivers some Kweder history and I did learn a thing or two about the East coast during the years I was out on the West Coast. Kenn recounted some very trippy times he spent driving Tom Waits around. We also swapped a few stories about playing different types of gigs and venues. Of course I was a much smaller fish in a much larger pond, so I can’t really compare notes on the same level.  But I can tell you this, we had a great talk and hopefully, we’ll do it again, because, as i said, we barely scratched the surface. Even now, Kweder 2.0 is making Kweder history.

Posted by Hal in comedy, entertainers, house concerts, not punk rock, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, sustainability, theater, 4 comments

Johnny Roquemore

30 CD’s and Counting !!!

Johnny Roquemore bear manIf you have been listening to some of previous  Tales of the Roadwarriors podcast, then you already know that the GA or Great American Food and Beverage Company was a restaurant where I once worked as a singing waiter in the 70’s.

Johnny Roquemore was one of my favorite coworkers there. Before we got into sharing our “how we got fired from the GA” stories, we start out like a couple of old men talking about our respective surgeries. Turns out that we are (as John puts it) “bowel brothers”.

I swore when I was younger that I would never turn out to be one of those old geezers who goes on and on about their medical condition and  bore people with long drawn out descriptions of gross  surgical procedures and shit. But  Johnny brought it up, so we did end up talking about that stuff in the beginning. So if this ain’t what you signed up for, just skip to about 8:44*  Personally, I think some of that 6 minutes is the best, but, hey… totally up to you.

Eventually, we  get into trading stories about our current gigs….  me at a hotel in Wayne, PA and private parties here on the East Coast, and Johnny at private parties and local festivals.

BTW… Johnny also shared a great idea for musicians who play for tips, so if you’re one of them, you might want to pay attention. You’ll never look at a gas can the same  way ever again.

Recently, Johnny Roquemore  celebrated his 30th CD in 30 years (he releases a new CD every year). It’s called “The 30th Album.”

In Part 2, Johnny and I will talk about his songwriting, albums, other muscians and his experiences in the studio. In the meantime, please enjoy the silliness of Part 1.

NOTE: On the podcast, I said 6:44 minutes. At the time, I hadn’t yet added the intro. Sorry 🙂


LINKS to more Johnny Stuff

Johnny Roquemore Website

Apostles of Bluegrass


Music In This Episode

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson

Posted by Hal, 0 comments

Earl Okin

The Only Opening Act Ever to be Featured On a Full Tour with Paul McCartney & Wings

earl okin

It all started when Earl Okin wrote an open letter to the SongTalk mailing list. It was titled, “Tribute to Linda McCartney”.  It was a heartfelt tribute  to Linda, who had recently died of cancer.

Later, when I put out a request for essay’s for my new website,  Earl must have seen it, because he submitted the letter to and gave me permission to reprint it in the Tales of the Road Warriors section of my fledgling website, Lil Hank’s Guide for Songwriters, which was one of a handful of early online resources for songwriters and musicians in the mid 1990’s.

So, in January of 2019, when I first started creating the Tales of the Road Warriors podcast, which gets its name from that section of Li’l Hank’s Guide, I went in the WABAC machine to reread some of the essays – and came across Earl’s Tribute to Linda. This got me to thinking… hmmm, why don’t see if he’s still around and invite him to be a guest on my podcast. So, I searched Google and Facebook for Earl Okin and found out that not only is he still around, he’s just turned 72, fit as a fiddle, still doing concerts AND, he even has his own podcast called  Earl Okin’s Amazing Gramophone Show (http://earlokin.blogspot.com/)

On each episode, he introduces six selections culled from various operas digitized from his collection of rare cylinders and acetate recordings. The shows end with an Earl Okin original.

My Room - Earl Okin

UPCOMING SHOWS

Sunday, March 31
The Half Moon Putney
93 Lower Richmond Road
SW15 1EU London, United Kingdom


Below are some links to some of the websites, audio and video mentioned  in this episode.

Earl Okin Website

Earl’s Podcast (The Earl Okin Amazing Gramophone Show)

A Tribute To Linda McCartney by Earl Okin


Music In This Episode

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro: LA To London Music and Lyrics by Earl Okin

Posted by Hal in comedy, earl okin, entertainers, jazz, opera, podcast, Road Warriors, singer songwriter, 0 comments

Peter Tork Tribute

Peter Tork Tribute Show Notes 

Peter Tork

February 13, 1942 – February 21, 2019

Peter Tork

 Over time, you may notice I often refer to the Great American Food & Beverage Company, Great American or GA for short. The GA was a very popular restaurant in the 70’s through early 80’s known for it’s singing waiters, fabulous planked feasts filled with gigantic beef ribs and chicken, expedited with grapes, and fresh fruit, and decadent desserts served with humongous scoops of ice cream made to look like boobs, with bananas dripping with hot fudge resting in the melting cleavage. It was called the ice cream orgy. Some well known celebrities worked there for a spell including Katie Sagal, Ricki Lee Jones, Michael Winslow, 80’s rockers Jamie Sherriff and Marc Tanner, and… for a spell…. Peter Tork best known as one of the Monkees. Peter passed away on Friday, February 21st at the age of 77. Today, we remember him with great fondness as a few mutual friends share their stories in a Tribute to Peter Tork on Tales if the Road Warriors!   

If you enter the name Peter Tork in Google’s search engine, you will get about 14 million results in about 36 seconds. To say he was a pretty popular fellow would be quite accurate.

How, this is not a recap of Peter Tork’s career with the Monkees. Or a history of Peter’s life. You can find a lot of great articles, interviews and music videos of his all over the internet. But Peter was the sum of many parts before, during and after his association with the iconic band that propelled him to stardom. This is my little piece of the Peter Tork story, and I feel honored and fortunate that I entered his orbit, however briefly. I also encountered several people  within that orbit that have agreed to share their stories of working with or just hanging with Peter. A few of the words that come up a lot when talking with the people that ever met him…  kind, humble and gracious. I never heard anyone utter an unkind word about him.

Before Peter became a member of the Monkees, he was passing the hat in coffee houses in New York’s Greenwich Village.

The first person to share his story is Tedd Baron, describing those early days. At the time, Tedd was i a rock band called the Hi-5. Here’s a link to the video he mentioned when the group was on “I’ve got a Secret” with Steve Allen. This the Hi-5 performing their original song Did You Have to Rub It In

Next, I talked about my own first encounter with Peter Tork.  Peter was about 24 when he joined the Monkees in 1965 and the oldest member of the group. He was 37 when I worked with him briefly, at the Great American F&B Co.

I was clocking in on what was his first night at the GA, and I noticed the name Peter Thorkleson on the time card above mine. My first thought was, “No way”. I didn’t even know that was his real name. However, when I went into the dining room to set up for the dinner rush, there he was. Big as life. Peter Tork. He introduced himself and during the course of the night, I had a hard time focusing, just knowing he was in the place bussing tables. I hadn’t been a waiter that long, having bussed tables for almost a year before getting a waiter position. And here I was waiting tables while Peter Tork was clearing them off for me and bringing water and condiments to the customers. It just felt so wrong. I felt almost embarrassed for the guy.

A few days later, I was walking home from the store and damn! There’s Peter Tork again at the end of my block. I said, Peter Tork! Are you stalking me?  Turns out his daycare was at the end of my street and he was dropping his kids off. I took the opportunity to ask him how he ended up at the GA. So he told me…

Two years prior to when I met him, he had moved to Japan with his family. He had bought out his contract with Screen Gems and the high cost of living in Japan helped him burn through the remainder of his savings. Now he was back in the States, trying to get back on his feet financially and emotionally. And as I could see, he also had a family to support.  I imagine the stint he put in at the Great American was a dark time for him. When he first started working there, he refused to play any songs from the Monkee’s catalogue. But, he wouldn’t hesitate to jump in with another GA waiter doing cover tunes, or play some of his originals on the banjo in between bussing tables. And he did a mean Chuck Berry duck walk while playing the shit out of his banjo. Yeah, Tork, was a great entertainer.

Johnny Roquemore, a coworker at the GA, told me of his reaction upon seeing this guy who looked like one of the Monkees…

Next – Once Peter Tork began performing Monkees songs at  the Great American, the customers were ecstatic. He worked out several numbers with Danny Carey, one of my favorite cohorts. Danny knew the lyrics and chords to most of the Monkees entire catalogue. He and Peter rocked the house with several Monkees hits.  Danny recounted his time at the GA working and performing with Peter.

My old friend and partner in crime, DJ Barker (the one Peter yelled at), is also the guy responsible for talking me into moving to California and joining him as a singing waiter. And he shared a similar memory.

  In recent years, Peter Tork toured the US in several incarnations.

He did a couple reunion tours with the Monkees; he performed as a solo artist in rooms large and small across the U.S; he also performed with his band Shoe Suede Blues; and in a duo with James Lee Stanley called The Two Man Band.

These last two people were among the last to share the stage with him. First, here’s Laura Cheadle, who I was able to speak with briefly, but the audio is a little choppy because she was in her car driving to an appointment.

Finally, we come to Peter’s life long friend and partner in musical mirth and song, James Lee Stanley.  I always like to save the best for last, and to be honest, I almost didn’t want to bother James Lee because I didn’t know if it was a good time to ask him to talk about Peter. I always hate when I see tv reporters shove a microphone in someone’s face right  after they lost a loved one or their home is burned to the ground behind them, but it turned out okay. James was happy to talk to me about his friendship and musical partner, Peter Tork. Only problem was, he was getting through a bad bug and his throat was a bit raw, so I told him we’d keep it short. Still, James Lee shared quite a bit with me:


More Peter Tork Online Videos, Music and Interviews

Peter Tork and James Lee Stanley on Beachwood Records

Two Man Band at the Tin Angel (pt 2)


Music from the Show

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson

Posted by Hal in Monkees, Peter Tork, Peter Tork Tribute, 2 comments

THANK YOU from Hal

Hi this Hal Aaron Cohen and I want to welcome you to Tales of the Road Warriors.

Today’s episode is going to be relatively short because I was hoping to be dropping a Tribute to Peter Tork today. However, I got a little behind due to the time it took me to get a few people I wanted to participate in remembering Peter, and I didn’t want to rush to merely get out a couple of sound bytes about someone who deserves more than that.

So, for that reason, this week, you get two episodes. This first one is just to say thank you.

I’d like to humbly thank everyone  who has been listening to my Tales of the Road Warriors podcast, and those who have been apologetically telling me they haven’t checked it out yet, but they will. To you I say – Hey! NO WORRIES. I’m not going anywhere. I’m happy to be the one introducing you to the world of podcasts and  more specifically, to my world of musical road warriors. Those brave souls who brave the elements, with  a carload of musical instruments, PA systems, mics and cords and cable and pedals, doggedly dragging them inland out of bars, restaurants, churches, theaters, concert halls and all kinds of other venues inn attempt to bring joy into the lives of friends, family and more often, roomfuls or stadiums full – of complete strangers.

And when the show is over, unless you’re in a famous rock band, you’re driving home after midnight, trying to keep your eyes open so you can live to play again another day. And some of you. like me, who finally gets home after playing four sets, and driving 2 hours each way only to have to walk the dog before you  can take your shoes off!

So, yes! Thanks for the support from my musicians friends. Some of who have bought and sold so many guitars on Craigslist, your spouse is planning to kill you in your sleep if you bring home one more.

And thank you to those who play an open mic one pr more nights a week just to keep that flame alive within.

And thank you to those listeners that just appreciate music. You come to our gigs, you’re truly interest ed in us and our well being and buy our CD’s or download our songs or watch our videos on Youtube.

THANK YOU (Transcript)

This Tales of the Road Warriors podcast is for all of you. My goal is to release an episode every Thursday, by hook or by crook and introduce you to some amazing people. And hopefully, bring some humor along with it!

All right so -THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

I hope to have the Peter Tork Tribute out tomorrow. I was hoping to have done today, but  Well you know… Anticipation. It has to be worth your while to wait a little longer for it. I will present a side of Peter rarely seen by the general public. Not Peter Tork, the Monkees, but the Before and After the Monkees Peter.

So I have to get back to editing that show. But first… I’m going for a drive.


Music from the Show

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson

Posted by Hal, 0 comments

Rick Denzien

Ricky Gerry Rides Again!

Live from bäh-fo Studio in Ambler, PA. a great little burb outside of Philly home to great music food and artsy little boutiques and street fairs and festivals.

Today, Rick Denzien talks to me about his parents, who were amateur race car drivers. That’s right, he’s the son of a real hard drinkin’ and smokin’ Nascar Mama.

Formula E events regular formula racing, all electric  cars that go 200 miles an hour. I asked about the lack of that smell of fuel and cars exploding.

Then we talked a little about his younger days as a guitar slinger, but  the green activist Rick  shortly kicked back in and took a short detour to speak briefly about littering. To be honest, I admire Rick’s commitment to keeping the planet free of poisons and garbage and burning fossil fuels, but I have to admit, I haven’t been one of the Earths greatest stewards myself. I do clean up after my dog. Well on one hand I do that, but on the other hand, I use aplastic bag. Sorry, Rick!

Then we got into the world of phony phone calls, because, well, let’s face it, what else did we do with our very first tape recorder in those days? Just a heads-up. You better beware, because I told him about the celebrity sound boards on Ebaum’s World, so I may have awakened the prankster within. Sorry folks. I didn’t know.

We then talk some more about recording and winning contests, reckless driving and a crazy invention that allowed you to safely jump out the window of a skyscraper. And where are our jet packs? Or a firehose that we could ride like in the show “Jackass”. Or Marty McFlys’s air board from “Back to the Future”.

Once again, we talk about recycling and repurposing bags and eating utensils and people pissing in streams, before getting to some stories about pissing off club owners and promoters across Europe before ultimately making friends with the guy.

An old girlfriend tells Rick she’s pregnant just before he’s about to go on stage! And finally, he tells the story about how the lens falls out of his glasses but one of the backup vocalists saves the day when she repairs the glasses by using her fingernail as a screwdriver. Which leads us to come ups with a new invention!

We end up talking about the Lyra Project, the original duo of Rick Denzien and his Wife, Debra Lee, with a little shout out to American Idol runner-up, Justin Guardini. Then I drop a few names for good measure and the whole thing  ends in a cliffhanger when Debra Lee still hasn’t come back from her  friend’s house. She finally showed up when I was heading out the door. We’ll catch up with the Lyra Project (the duo of Rick Denzien and Debra Lee) later this year.


More Rick Denzien

Rick Denzien Website
Bäh Fo Studio

Read about Rick’s latest green excursion across the country in a Tesla Model 3 EV


Music In This Episode

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson

Posted by Hal in electric cars, going green, house concerts, singer songwriters, thrive fest, 0 comments

Dan May

Not Just Another Cereal Aisle Aficionado

DAN MAY SHOW NOTES

Dan MayI spoke with Dan May in December, shortly after he had celebrated his 60th birthday!  In this fascinating episode, Dan talks about the early days in Sandusky Ohio, working summers with the family at the local amusement park. First garage band and girls.

Early influences, studying opera in Philadelphia and being a professional opera singer for 12 years (until vocal cord surgery put him on a different course). HE also talks about 3 years as dancer in a Russian touring company.

Meanwhile, in all this time as an opera singer, he was suppressing this wonderful songwriter hiding within.

What happened years later when Dan May allowed all those songs to emerge from the depths. His meeting Liz Miller at a TAXI Song Expo in L.A., which lead to the road to his becoming the beloved singer/songwriter he is known as through ought the world today!

As if that isn’t enough, Dan is an author, too! In 2016, his book  Adventures in Grocery Shopping: And other short stories from a cereal aisle aficionado, immediately made the “Philadelphia Inquirers Best Books of 2016” list.

Dan continues to perform live, in and around Philadelphia. And he often visits his home town of Sandusky, Ohio where he performs for his longtime friends and fans.

For more about Dan May or to purchase his music or books, visit

DanMayCD.com

Read my personal review of: Adventures in Grocery Shopping   by Dan May

Posted by Hal in dan may, entertainers, opera, podcast, Road Warriors, singer songwriter, theater, 0 comments

Liz Miller

Sleep Is For ******

Liz MillerToday, Liz and I talked about – driving, listening to podcasts vs. terrestrial radio, sleep, being a nurse and a songwriter, growing up in a musical family which allows Liz to drop a few serious names: Bobby Scott (writer of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and “A Taste of Honey”), Andy Williams, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, mom on the Steve Allen Show. Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee. Dad was a Mad Man and music lessons with the meanest teacher in New Jersey.

WHERE DO SONGS COME FROM?

Even though Liz is a serious songwriter, she has a few extremely funny songs in her catalogue. One of them, and one of my personal favorites is called Code Brown. So today, you’ll get the back story on this hilarious song and Youtube video. Turns out story of the song is as funny as or funnier than the song itself!

How does Liz manage to balance a nursing career and a songwriting career, yet still finds the time to be a wife, and mother of two kids?
Find out now on Tales of the Road Warriors!


LIX MILLER LINKS

The Xconditionals    The Alternative Pop/Rock duo of award winning songwriters Liz Miller and Margaret McClure. Produced by Andy Machin

Liz Miller on Reverbnation

Liz Miller on Broadjam

NSAI – Nashville Songwriters Association International (Philadelphia Chapter)

VIDEOS

Dick by The Xconditionals

Code Brown by LizzyMiller

Posted by Hal in entertainers, singer songwriters, xconditionals, 0 comments

Chad Watson

Literally Talking About “Stuff”!

chad watson and pam loe

Chad Watson with wife, Pam Loe

Chad Watson is a world class bass player, songwriter, side man and side kick ( just ask his lovely wife, Pam Loe)

Artists he’s tour and /or records with include John York, Ronnie Milsap  and Charlie Rich, Freebo and Bonnie Raitt, James Lee Stanley, Chris Hillman, The Burrito Brothers, Janis Ian, Ezra Mohawk and others.

Some of the things I talk about with Chad include: Playing at one of my favorite venues, Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood with Freebo who used to be Bonnie Raitt’s bass player, and the Kulak’s Woodshed archives, which have been relocated to their Youtube channel,  where you can still see live performances from some of the performers mentioned in our conversation.

He also takes about his days on the road with Ronnie Milsap;  A brush with Kim Fowley, reminisces about some of the old clubs like the Palomino and a missed opportunity to sit in with Stuff, the original house band from Saturday night live when we swapped stories about missed opportunities. I mentioned the I chickened out when Marty Rifkin invited me to sit in with the house jam at the Palomino.

And then there’s great tale about country star Dale Watson – sorry, no spoilers.

Chad is currently working on a few recording projects and has just wrapped up a project with James Lee Stanley. He continues to perform live with his lovely wife, Pam Loe.


CHAD WATSON LINKS

Chad’s Website (Your best bet in viewing it is with the Firefox browser. It requires the Flash plugin)
http://www.chadwatson.us

Kulak’s Woodshed Archives
https://www.youtube.com/user/paulkulak1/featured

James Lee Stanley – Freelance Hyman Being
https://jamesleestanley.com/

CHAD’S UPCOMING SHOWS
March 5th, 2019 Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth, CA
March 13, 2019 at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon in Reseda, CA


Music from the Show

Intro (most epsiodes): Playa del Spain by Joe Walla
Joe Walla music availble on Broadjam

Outro (most epsodes): I’m Goin’ For a Drive by Hal Cohen
Produced by Barry Keys for Xenon Records
Piano: Barry Keys
Lead Guitar: Aaron Wolfson


Chad Watson Audiogram Preview

Posted by Hal in bass player, entertainers, Road Warriors, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, 11 comments