Hell’s Kitchen Radio #305: Food for the Gun

May 30, 7pm

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Oh boy, Memorial Day once again. We really do need to stop having these. Do me a favor, if you really want to thank a veteran, punch a politician in the face. Tell them John Hell said it was OK.

The first hour features my subversive Memorial Day “celebration”. I don’t think you can make popsicles with them. I’ll have to ask Ivanka. That woman can make a popsicle out of any national holiday.

I gave tickets away tonight to go see Dave and Phil Alvin and the Guilty Ones at Great American Music Hall for this Thursday night. This promises to be a great show, so congrats to the winners and I’ll see you there. BTW, I give tickets away from time to time, so tune in and WIN!

The second hour of my show was yet another tribute to a fallen musical comrade. Vocalist and keyboardist Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band passed away this past weekend at the age of 69, from complications from liver cancer at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Growing up I was a huge fan of Duane-era Allman Brothers. What a band! Someone asked me once, “if the Grateful Dead were playing at one club, and down the street Duane-era Allman Brothers were playing at another club, which band would you go and see?” That is a damn tough question to answer? Though they are both “jam” bands, the Allman’s always were so in a more structured vein. And there jams could really fly. Consummate musical professionals. I think I would have wanted to have seen the Allman’s, especially if this were 1971. That band was on FIRE that year. Just take a listen to the Live at the Fillmore East box set. Each note is alive with energy. Well, he’s with Duane, Berry, and Butch now, getting the band back together. I can only imagine how much fun that must be. Dreams, indeed.

Full disclosure: I never once saw the Allman Brothers live. Not once. I own quite a few live boots of theirs too. They do not support live taping or trading of their music, so shows, especially soundboards are very hard to come by. I’m lucky enough to know people who know people. I pulled out some tasty treats from my collection to showcase Gregg and the whole band, but I stayed in the Duane-era world that I love so much.

Next Monday night on my show I’m excited to have P-Funk guitarist RonKat Spearman in the studio to share his many road stories and play some music from his own band Katdelic. This ought to be a lot of fun. Tune in Monday, June 5th, 8-10PM on Radio Valencia.

Thanks to everyone who came out to Folio Books in Noe Valley last week to see me interview local music critic Joel Selvin about his book “Altamont”. Joel is a great interviewee. I ask him one question and he takes it from there. He almost seemed a little too happy to be there. He sold a few books, and a couple people even asked me to autograph it! Sure, why not?

Check out the playlist below and click the links above to stream or download last night’s show. Please share this page with all the music-lovers in your life.



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

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Way Down in the Hole: Maggie Bell
Little Boy Soldiers: The Jam
1916: Motorhead

The Unknown Soldier: The Doors
I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier, Mama: John Lennon
Some Mother’s Son: The Kinks

Universal Soldier: Donovan
Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin-To-Die Rag: Country Joe and the Fish
Masters of War: Bob Dylan

War/No More Trouble: Bob Marley and the Wailers
The Fiddle and the Drum: Joni Mitchell
Eight Miles High: Golden Earring

Jubilee Train/Do Re Mi/Promised Land: Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men

Gregg Allman Tribute:
BB King Medley: The Hourglass (1968)
Dreams: The Allman Brothers Band (Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, Ohio 1971)

Midnight Rider: The Allman Brothers Band (06-27-1971 Fillmore East, NYC, NY)
Done Somebody Wrong: The Allman Brothers Band (03-12-1971 Fillmore East, NYC, NY)
Every Hungry Woman: The Allman Brothers Band (07-03-1970 Atlanta Pop Festival, Byron, GA)

Ain’t Waistin’ Time No More: The Allman Brothers Band (04-07-1972 Manley Fieldhouse, Syracuse, NY)

Though I never saw them in person, thank goodness for YouTube. Check out their set from the Fillmore East, 09-23-1970.

Hell’s Kitchen Radio #304: It’s Getting Dark In Here

May 23, 3pm

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I think I play it a little too safe on my show from time to time. There are nights that I bring a lot of black metal, or speed metal, or, well, anything darker than I usually play for you, but I hold off thinking “they don’t want to hear this stuff”. I think I’ve been insulting you, and for that I am sorry. I just didn’t want to ostracize my audience. I fell into the “lowest-common-denominator” style of programming. Damn, what is wrong with me?

To make up for my radio shortcomings I decided to get fairly dark tonight. There’s some metal, punk and garage thrown in, as well as some pretty choice hard rock cuts. It’s loud, it’s fun, and from the feedback I received during the show, well-considered.

Radio is supposed to be about the art of the segue. I choose music that I believe will move you. That doesn’t mean it will always be a pleasant movement. It does mean that I have thought hard about why I want to play this song, and hope that you will take the time to consume it. I’m painting a two hour audio picture just for you. Isn’t that great?! Just another in the many reasons that I love Radio Valencia.

Next week I’ll probably play two hours of Americana and Bakersfield Country. Also, I have tickets to see Dave and Phil Alvin to give away. Tune in!

This Thursday night at Folio Books on 24th Street in Noe Valley, I’m interviewing music critic and author Joel Selvin about his latest book “Altamont, The Rolling Stones, The Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day”. It should make for a great hour. It starts at 7PM. Come on down and meet me and Joel, and get a copy of this great read. I flew through it. I thought I knew everything there was to know about Altamont. Well I do now.



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

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Way Down in the Hole: DoMaJe
The Horned Goddess: The Sword

New Flesh: Fuzz
Flies: Red Fang
No Time For The Blues: OBN IIIs

Let’s Get Killed: The Immortal Lee County Killers
Interstellar Overdrive: The Melvins

Touch Me I’m Sick: Mudhoney
Aquarian: Sleep

Cult Leader: Dopethrone
Farewell: Boris

Magic: Zig Zags
Honky Time: James Hall
Teenage Phase: Adam Mackintosh

Kicking a Can of Worms: Metz
Epoch of the Tyrant: Hot Fog

Squeeze Me Macaroni: Mr. Bungle (01-10-1991 Club Lingerie, Los Angeles, CA)
Suicide: Thin Lizzy (09-25-1980 Sun Plaza, Nakano, Japan)

Uncle Son: The Kinks

Hell’s Kitchen Radio #302: Godfather of the Big Easy

May 11, 6pm

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I was out of town last week, so I have a lot to make up for. I think I did a fairly good job doing so. You be the judge. I have a good excuse though. I was down in the Big Easy, New Orleans, performing a marriage ceremony for Hell’s Kitchen Radio friends Eric McFadden and his bride, Delphine De St Paër. And what a party it was! Five days and four nights during Jazz Fest in NOLA cannot be beat.

The wedding was on the fourth day, featuring what was probably the greatest wedding band ever assembled: Angelo Moore on vocals/theremin, Doug Wimbish on bass, RonKat Spearman on guitar, Wally Ingram on drums, CR Gruver on keys, with Corey Glover joining in on vocals, Lantz Lazwell on guitar. Leo Nocentelli of The Meters performed “Just Kissed My Baby” to the lovely couple, as well as James Hall singing the most beautiful song of his own, and the groom leading the backing band into a 25 minute Maggot Brain while the 66 members of the bridal party made their way down the aisle before the three ring bearers, four flower girls, three junior bridesmaids, parents and finally the bride herself made it to the altar. Whew! There was too much more, including the backing band leading the entire wedding party and guests out into the street for a Second Line to end all Second Lines. The after party was a who’s who of amazing musicians all night long.

I tell much of the story during the second hour of this here show.

Having been gone I missed the KFJC annual James Brown birthday celebration “Doin’ to Death”. The first show features JB in all his funky glory. Get your dance shoes on for this one.

The second hour starts with my feature on NOLA. I bought some local music while I was in town. Would you blame me? I actually start the hour off with Chicago rocker, and old friend of Eric McFadden’s, and my new bestie, Adam Mackintosh‘s “Teenage Phase”. I can’t stop playing this song. I’m playing it now as I’m writing this. Listen to it and you’ll understand why. I hope he writes a song about the Roach Motel we both shared. That was fun.

I close out the night with my tribute to what many consider to be the greatest Grateful Dead show of all time, May 8, 1977. This being the 40th anniversary of said show, I would be remiss if I didn’t pay homage. I don’t consider it the best show they ever played. I do think it deserves to be in anyone’s collection. I would also place it in the top 5 or 10. It was probably their best show of the Spring 77 tour, and the recording itself is pristine. The playing is spot on and the jams are tight. A bit too tight at times. What makes it so highly considered is that this bootleg, which first made an appearance in trading circle back in the mid-80s, was the first high quality recording and show of it’s kind from that era to make the trading scene. Everyone loved it, and deservedly so. But to call it the BEST EVER? I can think of at least five other shows throughout their career that beat it. But that’s for another post at another time.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on the playlist below, and click the links above to stream or download this sparkly delight.

Next week I have so much more music wonders to share with you all.



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

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Drug PSA: James Brown
I Feel Good: James Brown
My Thang: James Brown

Stagger Lee: James Brown
It’s A Man’s World: James Brown
Get on the Good Foot: James Brown

Bodyheat: James Brown
Since You Been Gone: James Brown
People Who Criticize: James Brown

Funky Drummer: James Brown
The Grunt: The JBs

Hour two:
Teenage Phase: Adam Mackintosh
Big Chief: Professor Longhair

Gator Bait: The Gaturs
Love Lots of Lovin’: Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris
Gospel Bird: Sam and the Soul Machine

Scarlet Begonias/Fire on the Mountain: Grateful Dead (05-08-1977 Barton Hall, Cornell U, Ithaca, NY)

Ace of Spades: Motorhead —- It’s the Eight of May. Get it?
I Got the Feeling: James Brown

For those who aren’t in the know, Eric McFadden played guitar for George Clinton and P-Funk at one time. Check out this Maggot Brain below.