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A Season In Hell

Hell’s Kitchen Radio #346: Why I Do What I Do

October 10, 2018
2:28 pm

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How old were you when you fell in love with music? Do you remember your first love? Who was it? The BeatlesSinatraLed ZeppelinPatsy Cline? Who spoke to you? What did they say? Why did it resonate so deeply?

When I was eight years old in 1978, my aunt bought me four KISS LPs: Rock and Roll Over, Love Gun, Alive 2, and Double Platinum. I was hooked from the first grunt. I couldn’t get enough of the imagery and the riffs. And yes, I fantasized that I was Peter Criss singing “Beth” to my imaginary girlfriend. I joined the KISS Army, dressed as either Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley for consecutive Halloween’s, and overjoyed when I found a discarded copy of Destroyer laying on the street, still in playable condition (playable for a ten year old, anyway). I had posters that covered my walls, and like all of my friends, strongly anticipated the broadcast of “KISS Meets the Phantom Of The Park“.

They are the first band that I wanted to know everything about. Where they were from? What they did before they were a band (Gene Simmons was a school teacher!!!)? Why they chose KISS as a band name? Why they didn’t stick with Wicked Lester? Of course everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of them out of makeup. But I could not hide my disappointment when they decided to ditch the makeup altogether in 1983. What the hell was that all about? Even before the unmasking, the band had moved so far away from their riff-centric rock, full of stories about partying down and getting the girl, and I had discovered another band that would hold my attention, and continues to do so.

When I was 8 or 9, around 1978 or 1979, I was introduced to The Beatles. I was floored. I jumped ship a year or two later from KISS to the Fab Four, and honestly I felt like I was breaking up with someone. I didn’t know at that tender age that I was allowed to have more than one favorite band. Shortly thereafter I added Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead to my ever-growing list of faves. After that the flood gates were open. I started buying my own records when I was 13, and my collection grew by leaps and bounds.

Though much of my record library consisted of what would be “classic rock” by today’s standards, I was really proud of what I had amassed in just a few short years. It wasn’t just quantity in my mind, it was quality too. I joined KFJC in late 1988 and tired very quickly of what was sitting, collecting dust, in my own library. I hungered for more. More genres, more obscure artists, more “classics” waiting to be discovered. In 2010 I purged about 5000 LPs that were taking up too much space in my home and my psyche. Most of this music could be heard on any commercial radio station anyway, so why would I hold onto it all? What I kept (about 1000 LPs) and what I continue to purchase is inspired by my time in non-commercial radio and local artists.

There are too many musical gems waiting to be encountered by the masses. I continue to be involved in radio to share my discoveries with you. Take a look at the playlist below, and all of my playlists. Much of what you see, you have never heard before. Give it a listen. If I play it that means I like it enough to want to share it with you. Hopefully you will like it enough to support that artist. Buy their music. See them live.

Enjoy…I know I do.

jh

Hell’s Kitchen Radio with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF
http://radiovalencia.fm

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When You Get It Grunt If You Can: The JBs
Researching the Blues: Redd Kross
Chicken A La King/Bad Move: Dale Crover
Love How In Love With Love You Are: Adam Mackintosh with Storm Large
I Shot All The Birds: Blind Shake
Apache: Link Wray
Come On Over, Turn Me On: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan

Psycho Star: King Tuff
You Are What You Love: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
Feel: Ty Segall

Otis Rush Tribute (1935-2018)
I Can’t Quit You, Babe: Otis Rush
Double Trouble: Otis Rush
Little Red Rooster: Otis Rush

Southern Politician: Willy Deville
Am I Black Enough For Ya: Schoolly-D
Round and Round: OP8
Lord of Lightening: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard

Revolution Blues: Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Please Mr. Gunman: Mudhoney
Some Velvet Morning: Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra
Roscoe: Midlake
Pent Juri Hati: Koes Barat

This is my favorite scene from Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. That Paul Stanley is a real thespian.

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Hell’s Kitchen Radio #318: It’s Much Too Much

October 9, 2017
9:15 pm

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Is he or isn’t he? Apparently he is. Dang. I saw Tom Petty three times in the late 80s and early 90s, including the very first Bridge School benefit in 1986, which is the only one I attended. I also was able to see him with Lenny Kravitz opening (the Let Love Rule tour). Petty always put on such a great show. I gave up going to shows in large venues many years ago, but I always felt that I seeing Petty again would be fun, regardless of the size of the venue.

There are few artists I would see in a large venue today. I would see Neil Young in a large venue if Crazy Horse was backing him. Other than that I prefer a venue ranging from a size 50-1500 people. The more intimate the better.

Speaking of an intimate setting, my bride took me to see Oh Sees (no more “Thee”) last week at the Great American Music Hall. Not only was it a brilliant show, it was without a doubt, the loudest show I have ever been to. Even guitarist/lead singer John Dwyer was heard to ask if that show wasn’t louder than the previous night’s? I’m seeing them again in December at The Chapel. Get your tickets before they sell out.

best venue in SF:

Last night I was lucky enough to catch what has been marked as the “Last Polka” of the great SF punk-polka band, Polkacide, at Bottom of the Hill. After 30+ years they’re hanging up their lederhosen. I spent a good 30 minutes in the polkapit. and boy did I feel it. The four original members are grandparent age now, and I’m guessing that having 10 people in the band makes it difficult to make the scene too often. I’m hoping for an annual reunion at the very least.

On a completely unrelated note, my bride Catherine gave birth to our little boy, Bodhi Miles Hell this past Thursday! We couldn’t be more excited about this fella coming into our lives. I’ll be taking a few weeks off from my show so I can be home with the little fella, fitting him with black t-shirts and guitar picks, and singing to him my favorite Melvis and Grateful Dead tunes. I can’t wait to have him and Little Lauson Hell both in the studio with me in the years to come.

Check out the playlist below. There’s a live Tom Petty tribute, new music from Ty Segall and Oh Sees, as well as Boris. Lots of great live treats in there as well.

Enjoy.

jh

Hell’s Kitchen Radio with John Hell
Mondays 8-10PM
Radio Valencia in SF
http://radiovalencia.fm

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Porno: Limbomaniacs
Pan: Ty Segall

Plastic Plant: Thee Oh Sees (September 28, 2017 Great American Music Hall, SF, CA)
Jack the Ripper: Link Wray

Young, Gifted and Black: Aretha Franklin
Radebe: Johnny Dyani
Dead Flowers: Townes Van Zandt
Rise Up With Fists: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

American Girl: Tom Petty (April 23, 1977 The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA)
Even the Losers/The Waiting/So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Bob Dylan (June 26, 1986 HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN)
Something in the Air: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Keys to the Castle: Thee Oh Sees
Dystopia-Vanishing Point: Boris

Ride Into the Sun: The Velvet Underground
My Favorite Things: John Coltrane (October 26, 1963 Tivoli Koncertsal, Copenhagen)

I Loved Another Woman: Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac (June 9, 1968, Carousel Ballroom, SF, CA)

When Prince died I shared this video everywhere. Now that Petty has left us I think it bares reposting.

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Hell’s Kitchen #198: 1974 ANNUAL ANNUAL

December 5, 2014
9:09 am

1974_BIRTHDAY_STAR_IMAGE11974 wants you to get FUNKY by streaming here.
Roll back into 1974 by downloading here.
Tune into all of my history-making shows, by going here

Once again John Hell mixes up the musical stew by taking you back to a magical year in musical lore: 1974. It’s time for my fourth annual “ANNUAL ANNUAL”! 1974 had a little bit of everything: proto-punk, glam-rock, shoe-gaze, funk, soul, avant-jazz, country, western, country-western, and the beginnings of prog-rock. I’ve got a taste of it all in the next two hours.

I’ve thrown in some commercials and movie trailers from the era too. Who knew 1974 was so damn cool? Where were you in 1974? I was four years old by years’ end. I was living in Toledo, Ohio with my parents and two older sisters. My dad would play a lot of jazz and blues, while my sisters, who were 10 and 12 at the time, were playing mostly Monkeys and Beatles tunes. My mother was into Helen Reddy. Crazy times. My biggest memories of that time had to do with the snow making it difficult for my father to drive to work in the winter.

If I were an adult in 1974 it would have been totally different. It would have been all about getting my ass up to Detroit, Cleveland, and New York City to catch some amazing sounds. I probably would have been spending a lot of time at CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City.

Want to hear previous ANNUAL ANNUAL shows? Just follow the links below.

1971
1972
1973

NEXT MONDAY NIGHT, DECEMBER 8 IS MY BEST OF 2014!!!

This was a great show. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. See you next week.

Enjoy.

jh

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

http://www.radiovalencia.fm

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Rumble: Link Wray
Earache My Eye: Alice Bowie
Hey Joe: Patti Smith

Sweet Jane: Lou Reed
Devil Gate Drive: Suzi Quatro
***Texas Chainsaw Massacre***
Back of a Car: Big Star

Chatterbox: New York Dolls
***Burger King Commercial***
100,000 Years: Kiss
Rock On: David Essex
Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow/Nanook Rubs It/St. Alfonso/Father O’Blivion: Frank Zappa

Be Thankful For What You’ve Got: William DeVaughn
The Bottle: Gil Scott-Heron/Brian Jackson
Don’t Call Her No Tramp: Betty Davis
***Blazing Saddles Trailer***
Kung Fu: Curtis Mayfield
Rated X: Miles Davis

Loose Lucy: Grateful Dead
Revolution Blues: Neil Young
Diamonds on my Windshield: Tom Waits
Rebel Music (3 O’clock Roadblock): Bob Marley and the Wailers
Don’t Go Near the Water: Johnny Cash

Heaven or Hell: Waylon Jennings
Angel From Montgomery: Bonnie Raitt
Boots/Numb Erone: The Residents
Mitternacht: Kraftwerk

Baby’s On Fire: Eno/Cale

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