A Season In Hell

Hell’s Kitchen Radio #294: Battle of Witty

March 15, 2017
5:26 pm

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Spinning a two hour set is always a hoot for me, but having a co-host who meshes with my style, and also knows how to throw me a surprise of three is always a real pleasure. On Monday’s show I was thrilled to have Radio Valencia‘s Gatsby Fassbinder, host of Tighten Up Your Wig, Thursday’s 4-6PM. If you like my show you’re going to love his. Like myself, Gatsby is a walking encyclopedia for all things that he knows he knows. His tracks are marked by “GB”.

New music from Melvins side project, Crystal Fairy, featuring Teri Gender Bender of Le Butcherettes. Also, new music from Meatbodies from their latest LP “Alice”. A brand new 7″ is out from Zig Zags that is more metal-y than previous tracks, but no less scary. A classic Iggy Pop/James Williamson track from “Kill City”, a love song from Diamanda Galas, and the greatest fucking rock band of all time (next to the Melvins) SLEEP!

It’s safe to say that tonight was all about the ROCK! The talk is cheap and so are we. Not much more to add. I’d prefer to allow the music do the rocking.



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Slow Ride: Fu Manchu

Sweet Self: Crystal Fairy
Hell Toupee: Iron Prostate
The Kettle: Colosseum -GB

I Got Nothing: Iggy Pop/James Williamson
Living, Dying, Living/In A Zombie World: The Accused
Ripping Death: Zig Zags
Alice: Meatbodies -GB

Do You Take This Man?: Diamanda Galas
The Devil’s Chasing Me: Reverend Horton Heat
Let’s Go Steady: Dow Jones and the Industrials -GB

Piece of Mind: Monomen
I Heard it on the X: Olivelawn
Jezebel: The Mummies
I Lost My Mind: The Flesh Panthers -GB
I’ve Got The Shame: Fatso Jetson -GB

Spooky Nuisance: Satan’s Satyrs -GB
Holy Mountain: Sleep
Notes and Chords Mean Nothing to Me: The Monkeywrench

You Never Come Closer: Doris -GB

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #293: Something Borrowed, Something Blue

March 7, 2017
9:16 am

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Rain makes me nostalgic. It reminds me of when I was younger and was first hearing tunes that I really connected with. I remember walking around San Mateo, south of San Francisco, as a teenager with my headphones on listening to Led Zeppelin and hungry for more. I remember hearing bands like Judas Priest and wanting to eat up everything Metal. I think about my growing love of the Grateful Dead, starting around 1983 when I was 13.

Tonight’s show is all about discovery. It’s the feeling you get when you hear something you’ve never heard before, but it gets all up in ya, and you have to have more. We’re lucky to live in a world where media is at our fingertips, but that still doesn’t change the sensation one gets when they hear something new and they just have to have more of it.



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Into the Void: Black Sabbath
Sacrifice: Glitter Wizard

Gyre: Meatbodies
Second Coming/Ballad of Dwight Fry: Alice Cooper

Paper: Ty Segall
Smells Like Teen Spirit: Willie Nelson
Polly (Demo): Kurt Cobain
Night Goat: Melvins

Greedy Man: James Brown
Oh My People: Last Poets

Love Buzz: Nirvana (1991-11-25 – Paradiso, Amsterdam, NL)
Rockin’ In The Free World: Neil Young (04-07-1990 Indiana Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis, IN)

Little Girl Blue: Nina Simone (12-1977 Theater Royal Drury Lane, London, England)
Hitler/All Hail The American Night/The Holy Shah: Jim Morrison (March 1969 Los Angeles, CA)
54-46 Was Her Number: Toots and the Maytals (1976 The Longbrach Saloon, Berkeley, CA)

Walk Away: James Gang (02-26-2001, Allen Theater, Cleveland, OH)
The Green Manalishi: Judas Priest (11-04-1979 The Palladium, NYC, NY)

Parchment Farm: Blue Cheer
Pepsi Jingle: T-Rex
Rock And Roll Queen: Mott the Hoople

The Falcon Has Landed: Fu Manchu

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #292: Hell Toupeé

February 28, 2017
3:06 pm

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How do you spell love? I spell it H.E.L.L. but that’s a good thing. And hot too! On my show tonight it was all about love. Just take a look below. Have you ever been in love? Romantic love where it’s all hot and heavy and you can’t keep your hands and genitals off one another? Where they’re on your mind 24/7 and your just know this feeling is going to last forever? You know what I’m talking about, right? That feeling where there’s just no one else on this big blue-green planet that can even understand how amazing your love is? Your love is larger than all the loves put together. And you both love the loving love that you love to loving give?

And then there’s the practical love. The love that is supposed to continue to grow once the romantic love that was never ever going to fade because they love me more than anything ever, and they are constantly turned on by me, excited to hear about every little mundane moment of my mundane day as if I just survived 30 days in the Outback (not restaurant, but then again that too sounds like torture) and come back to tell the tale. The love that says “put the toilet seat down”, but what they really mean is “I love you from the bottom of my heart, but if you leave that toilet seat up one more time, then you are not ever getting any more of this (at which point they’re just pointing to their genitals)”.

How many break-ups have your survived just to tell yourself that the next relationship is going to be the ONE?!?!? Have you begun to realize that it really is about the merging of two people who are totally turned on by the other for a finite amount of time, but given the chance may be able to evolve this deep friendship (please be best friends with this person, really) into a partnership that can survive the day-to-day “please put the dishes in the dishwasher” existence that requires you to set aside your ego.

And that’s it really, we need to leave our ego at the door. And we need to be a HUGE cheerleader for our partner. That’s what we want from them even if we don’t say it out loud.

So love is HELL. It’s hot, and it’s cumbersome at times, and it’s loud, and it’s unruly, but out the other side can be something truly wonderful. Climb out of your fairytale and into the reality what love can really be. Oh, and listen to my show while having hot sex. Why not? Couldn’t hurt.



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Love Comes in Spurts: Richard Hell
There She Goes My Beautiful World: Nick Cave

Blue Valentines: Tom Waits
Nobody Does it Better: Sex Mob

Only Son of a Ladies Man: Father John Misty
I’m A Mess: Nick Lowe
What Love Is: Dead Boys
Fodderstomp: PIL

Wiggle Stick: Reverend Horton Heat
Ever Fallen in Love: The Buzzcocks
Drown in My Own Tears: Ray Charles
Demox: Blind Shake

Love, You Should Have Come Over: Jeff Buckley

Pale Blue Eyes/Louie Louie: Patti Smith (02-15-76 Boarding House, SF, CA)
Kedem: Electric Masada (John Zorn) 07-18-2003 La Palma, Roma

The Other One/Cryptical Envelopment: Grateful Dead (02-13-1970 Fillmore East, NYC, NY

Boom Boom, John Lee Hooker (July 1973 Walrus Tavern, Seattle, WA)
Gypsy Woman: Rory Gallagher (1972 HR2FM London)

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #291: Have You Seen This Man?

February 19, 2017
3:22 pm

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Have you heard the news, it’s all over town. If you ain’t heard it boy, you better sit down. Er, um…sorry about that. I shouldn’t use 70s-era Bob Segar lyrics to draw your attention, even though it sure got the boys to take note of Betty Lou; amIright?!?!?!?! Of course I am.

This year I have recommitted to featuring my ever deepening obsession with live music. The second hour features live tracks from Dylan. Garcia, Bob Marley and more. Also, some brand spankin’ new Ty Segall. I counted and I see that I now own 20 Ty Segall LPs and 8 45s. Do I get a medal for something like that?

If you’ve never heard of Wylde Ratttz before, then join the club. I just “discovered” this super group recently and I really have to wonder what rock my head was under when these guys appeared 20 years ago. In short, the band was a side project featuring Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) Mike Watt (Minutemen), Ron Asheton (Stooges), Don Flemming (Velvet Monkeys), and Sabir Mateen. They mostly covered Stooges songs, Pretty Things, and couple of originals. The music was also used for the movie Velvet Goldmine, with Ewan McGregor taking on the lead vocals. There was some hype about the fact that on the original soundtrack Mark Arm’s vocals were replaced with McGregor’s to the dismay of the band. You can read about that here. Again, where the hell was I in 1998 when all of this was happening? Oh right, I remember. Ugh, that’s for another post, on another blog, in another universe, in another dimension.



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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I like To Rock: April Wine
TV Eye: Wylde Ratttz

Eric’s Trip: Sonic Youth
Blood Like Cream: Red Fang

Maybe I’m Amazed: The Faces
Stars and Stripes of Corruption: Dead Kennedy’s
Get It Together: James Brown

A Song for Europe: Roxy Music
Loran’s Dance: Idris Muhammad

One Too Many Mornings: Bob Dylan (Royal Albert Hall 1966)
Friend of the Devil: Jerry Garcia and John Kahn (May 5, 1982)

Warm Hands: Ty Segall
War/No More Trouble – Running/Crazy Baldheads: Bob Marley (08-05-78 Jai Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida)

Stone Cold Bush: Red Hot Chili Peppers (03-01-90 Palatrussardi, Milano, Italy)
Walk on Hot Coals: Rory Gallagher (02-05-73 Tommy Vance Show)

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #287: Let’s Start Again

January 3, 2017
12:21 pm

Stream a new beginning, HERE!
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For the new year I thought I would take a time out from new music and delve deep into my music library. I have to admit this was one of my favorite shows to host. Certainly my best of the year. HA! Every week my audience appears to grow. Thanks so much for the support, and please keep tuning in every Monday 8-10PM. Be sure to tell music lovers everywhere!

This year I want to focus on interviewing more bands, so if you’re in a band or know someone who is, please contact me and let’s make this thing happen. I also want to host a special on the history of West African Funk. There’s so much beyond Fela that I really want to share with you. I also plan on bringing back an old favorite which dropped by the wayside: Bootleg Blast! This is where I share my latest live show that I’ve discovered. This will happen in the second hour so stick around. There’s a tasty live treat in this broadcast, actually. Later in the year I’m hoping to also resurrect “Rock Fight”, where I host a 4+ hour live bootleg battle. My buddy, and legendary sound engineer John Karr will try to best me. Let’s see how far he gets. Look for this show sometime this summer.

Finally, it’s time once again for my annual “Run for the Lilies” contest, where you dear listener send me the names of 10 famous people you believe will meet their demise by the end of this calendar year. The only rule: you may not participate in how they meet their maker. Please email your list of 10 names by Sunday, January 29 to

I’ll announce the winner of the “Run for the Lilies 2016” on Monday, January 30th. And what a year that was! I’m expecting our winner to possibly have a record number of names on that list. Oy.

Take a look at the playlist below and then click on the links above to stream or download the podcast.

Let’s have an excellent 2017. When everything appears to be falling apart go back to the music and hold your loved ones closer than ever before.



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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Punk Rock Christmas: Mojo Nixon
Mona Lisa: Slick Rick
Bohemian Rhapsody: The Flaming Lips

Brazil: Frank Sinatra
Morning Theft: Jeff Buckley
I Think I’m Turning Japanese: The Vapors
Earth People: Dr. Octagon
Where Is My Mind: Pixies
Danke Schoen: Wayne Newton
Search and Destroy: Iggy and the Stooges
No Speak No Slave: Black Crows and Jimmy Page (10-18-99 – Greek Theater, LA, CA)
Step Right Up: Tom Waits
That Woman’s Got Me Drinking: Shane MacGowan and the Popes
Drown in my own Tears: Ray Charles
Every Sperm is Sacred: Monty Python
Emma: Urge Overkill
Hazemaze: FUZZ
One More Cup of Coffee: White Stripes
Ça Plane Pour Moi: Thee Headcoatees
Slow and Low: Run DMC
Fist City: Loretta Lynn
Last Caress/Green Death: Metallica
Red Hot: Jurassic 5
Que Sera Sera: Doris Day
Drugs on the Bus: Crystal Fairy
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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #281: Two For The Road

November 16, 2016
1:32 pm


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Will this madness of 2016 never end.

Guitarist and singer/songwriter Eric McFadden and his Queen delphine joined me in the studio Monday night to pay tribute to two greats of the music world who recently passed on to the great beyond.

While I was never a big fan of the way Leonard Cohen phrased his own tunes, I was a huge fan of the many covers of his classics. I believe I first was turned onto the brilliant songwriting of Mr. Cohen through the Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen version of “Bird on a Wire”. I was hooked from that moment on the storytelling and eagerly sought out other covers. Easily my favorite cover of his was “Hallelujah” by the late, great Jeff Buckley. “I’m Your Fan” is a great tribute record to Cohen, which was released in 1991, featuring REM, Nick Cave, The Pixies, and John Cale. Check it out!

Leonard Cohen died November 7th of cancer at the age of 82. I appreciate that he was buried in a simple Jewish ceremony next to his parents in Montreal.

The piano player on the Mad Dogs record was none other than my other featured player for the night: Leon Russell. Russell’s stride piano playing and exaggerated vocal style helped him stand out from others during his high profile era of the 1970s. Starting with the Mad Dogs record I spent many hours enjoying his early 70s solo efforts. Though he wasn’t as often covered as much as Cohen, Russell made a profound impact on many songwriters that followed him. His birthplace, Tulsa, Oklahoma, named a street after him in 2010. He died this past Sunday after a few years of failing health. He was 74.

Listening to music is supposed to be a joy. Even when the artist we love and respect has passed to the great beyond we have their songs to carry us through to our own old age. I’ve told my friends and family if I ever get to a point where they have to prop me up in a corner just place some headphones on me and place my iPod on shuffle. Losing Cohen and Russell is indeed sad, but it also will lead to a renaissance of their music. Perhaps your favorite band will cover their songs. Maybe, like after Jerry Garcia died, there will be a huge outpouring of new versions of some of their deeper album cuts that you never knew they wrote. From loss comes inspiration. Through grief comes resilience and vision.

At this writing Mose Allison has passed away at the age of 89. I can’t host enough shows to pay tribute to all the musical greats who we have lost this somber year.

Take heart my friends, and hold each other closer. We’re going to need all the good love and strength we can muster.

Eric and delphine are performing the next two Fridays and Saturdays for Dark Kabaret at the Great Star Theater in China Town. Tickets and information here.


Girl From North Country: Leon Russell (02-05-1971 – Baarn, NL)
The Partisan: Leonard Cohen
Bird on a Wire: Joe Cocker

This Masquerade: Leon Russell
Hummingbird: B.B. King
Dream a Little Dream of Me: Cass Elliott

Chelsea Hotel No 2: Lana Del Rey
A Song for You: Donny Hathaway
Everybody Knows: Leonard Cohen
Who By Fire: Coil

Avalanche: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Alcatraz: Nazareth
Back to the Island: Toots and the Maytals
First We Take Manhattan: REM

Roll Away the Stone: Leon Russell (11-20-70 Fillmore East, NYC)
I Can’t Forget: Pixies
The Partisan: Eric McFadden

Delta Lady: Joe Cocker
Hallelujah: Jeff Buckley

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #280: Getting Rid of this Clown Act

November 9, 2016
10:03 pm


Stream the Fear, HERE!
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Well….shit. Not really certain what to say. Monday’s show featured an interview with a great group of fellas from the band Savage People, promotion this Sunday’s first ever SF Punk-Metal Flea Market at the DNA Lounge, 375 11th Street, SF, 1-8PM. It’s free and there are some great vendors scheduled to table the event. You really have to attend. More info here. See you there. I’ll have my 12 year old daughter in tow.

The rest of the show was all about the election. You remember the election? It was Tuesday? It was fucking shit. You remember that? Do you remember your dreams? You remember those, right? You remember believing in all of those polls that Nate Silvertold us to believe in? I wonder how well he’s going to be sleeping from here on out. Truth be told, I truly do not think that Drumpf wants to, nor believes he ever would be elected President. I’m not joking. I really feel that he did everything in his power NOT to be elected. What does that tell you about Clinton and the DNC?

And would Bernie have actually been elected? Who knows.

Here’s what I posted on my Facebook wall this morning:

“I want to reevaluate how I’m going to approach the next four years. I want to pay more attention to the things that I love, and the things that I have the power to improve. I want to recommit to the people that I love. I want to hold you all close, closer than ever before. I want to find the beauty in everything, including Drumpf. I want the best for all of us, while still fighting for what I believe to be the path towards truth. I refuse to live in denial, but I also refuse to wallow in misery, self-doubt, and blaming. I want you there with me. I love you all.”

Below is my playlist for election night. It tells a story. See if you can figure out the moral.



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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In The Flesh: Pink Floyd
Blowfly for President: Blowfly

Interview with Savage People

Kinky Sex Makes the World Go ‘Round: Dead Kennedy’s
Rise Above: Black Flag

Interview with Savage People

Pariah: Savage People
Ignorance is Bliss: Ramones
Do They Owe Us A Living: Crass
Politician: Cream

Talking Props!

Democracy: Killing Joke
Funky President: James Brown
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Gil Scott-Heron

Talking Props!

Lawyers, Guns and Money: Warren Zevon
Clash City Rockers: The Clash
Southern Politician: Willie DeVille

Talking Props!

Eminence Front: The Who

Talking Props!

Fucked Up Donald: D.O.A.

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #279: Trick AND Treat

November 6, 2016
10:41 am


Stream the Spooky, HERE!
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It was a Halloween sPoOkTacUlaR show tonight. I’m not much on holiday themes, but something about this particular holiday inspires me to go the extra mile. You can’t say that John Hell ever phones it in!

Tonight features some of my favorite spooky treats, along with two new tunes from two of my favorite ladies. Phat Man Dee sent me a track that is perfectly scary as well as apropos for the 2016 election cycle. If you don’t get the willies from “Fourth Reich Rising” then perhaps you’re dead already. Good for you!

Queen delphine has been building up her stage chops for a couple of years now and this Cramps cover has certainly shown that she’s not too shy to put a bug in your ear (oh good lord will the puns ever stop?). “Human Fly” is will put a buzz in your ear and make you think twice before you pull out that can of Raid. Eric McFadden on guitar.

The rest of the show is full of horror movie themes, spooky spoken word, and very dark magic. It’s just what Hell ordered.

The holidays are officially upon us, and the election is just days away. Time to run screaming!



Hell’s Kitchen with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF

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I Love Living in the City: Danko Jones
The Mercy Seat: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Delia’s Gone: Johnny Cash

Human Fly: Queen delphine (premier)
Bloody Hammer: Roky Erickson
My Car: Groovy Ghoolies

All I Want for Christmas is Halloween: Happy Fangs
Night Crawler: Thee Oh Sees
Free the Freaks: CCR Headcleaner
Naked Lunch Excerpts: William S. Burroughs
Monster: Three Day Stubble

Fourth Reich Arising: Phat Man Dee
Helpless Corpses Enactment: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Meat: Idiot Flesh

Judgement Day: Jack O’Fire
My Biggest Mistake: Joan of Arkansas
Dracula’s Daughters: Redd Kross
Lord 13: Monster Magnet

We Love the Dead: Electric Wizard
King Beef: Torche
Remover: Owl

Monster Wizard: Zig Zags
Uncle Powderbag: OBN IIIs
Motorhead: Ty Segall Band

In and Out of Grace: Mudhoney

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End Of Year Celebration On Hell’s Kitchen Radio – Monday 8-10PM

December 21, 2015
3:15 pm

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 31: The Grateful Dead performing at the San Francisco Civic Center on December 31, 1984. (Photo by Clayton Call/Redferns)

Hey radio fans, tonight is my last show for 2015. On tonight’s show I’ll be starting off with an interview with singer/songwriter and former Bay Area rocker, Manny Manriquez. He’s on the East Coast now, but has some great new music to share. That’s around 8:15 tonight.

Starting at 8:30 to close out my year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead I’ll be playing about 90 minutes of live Dead. That’s about 2 songs. HA! There’s so much good stuff to share. I’ll play some barn-burners, and some jams. Tune into Radio Valencia tonight from 8-10PM (PDST).

As always my playlist/DL/Stream of my podcast can be found on my blog.

John Hell

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