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The Tapes Archive

The Tapes Archive

Author: Alan Berry/Osiris Media

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A podcast that unearths never-before-heard conversations with world-class musicians and comedians.
10 Episodes
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#009 Bill Maher 1994

#009 Bill Maher 1994

2019-10-0900:28:00

Bill Maher is a huge part of the comedy and talk-show landscape, thanks to his HBO show Real Time, which is now in its 17th season.But in 1994, when this interview was recorded, Maher, then 38, really was just taking off. His Comedy Central show “Politically Incorrect” was about to start its third season, he was an occasional correspondent on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and he had just released a comic novel called “True Story.”In this interview, we talked a lot about those subjects, as well as politics. In listening to the tape, what’s striking is how we’re still debating the same political issues we were in 1994—especially healthcare and gun control.One thing I particularly like about this interview is Maher himself. It’s generally hard to make a comedian laugh. But if Maher thinks something is funny, he laughs. I was happy to make him laugh a couple of times.Also, it’s great to see how consistent he’s been over the years. In the interview, I asked him if it’s accurate to describe him as a disillusioned Democrat who liked Ross Perot’s ideas but knew he could never carry them out, who thinks government is too intrusive and that people are much too dependent on government, who thinks people have gotten fat, lazy and unwilling to accept responsibility.He liked that description.I’d say it’s still entirely apt today.For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.
Jeff Tweedy is often described as a reticent interview subject, but I found him to be relaxed and easygoing when we spoke in 1997.At the time, Tweedy and his band Wilco were touring behind their second record, “Being There,” and he was learning to balance the responsibilities of career and fatherhood. Our talk is largely about music and musical influences, and about Wilco getting away from the “alt-country” label. The funniest part of the conversation is near the end, where Tweedy tells stories about weird interactions with fans.As fans know, Tweedy wrote a memoir, “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back),” that came out in 2018, and Wilco’s 11th album, “Ode to Joy,” is scheduled for release on October 4.More about Wilco is at wilcoworld.net.For more info please visit our [website.](https://www.thetapesarchive.com/)The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit [Osiris](https://www.osirispod.com).
I interviewed Neil Peart several times over the years and thoroughly enjoyed every conversation. In addition to being a great drummer, he’s a smart, thoughtful, articulate gentleman whose worldview extends well beyond rock ‘n’ roll.This interview, recorded in 1990, was the first of our talks. Nearly 30 years later, I’m still amazed by his interest in visiting art museums and bicycling around the United States, his desire to become a prose writer, and his simple explanation for why Rush had been able to stay together for so long. (“We’ve retained not only respect but also affection for each other over the years.”) When we talked, Rush was touring behind Presto, its 13th studio album, so there’s also a lot of conversation about songs on that album. A bit of context:-Early on, we talk about—but don’t name—Rush’s first drummer. He was John Howard Rutsey, who left the group in 1974. He died in 2008.-We also discuss the Meech Lake Accord, which would have recognized Quebec as a ''distinct society'' in the body of the Canadian constitution. The accord ultimately failed.For more about Rush, visit rush.com/band/, where the group’s credentials are laid out nicely: “More than 40 million records sold worldwide. Countless sold-out tours. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Officers of the Order of Canada. And that's all very nice. But for these three guys, it's all about the music, their friendship, and the fans.”For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.
#006 Rick James 1997

#006 Rick James 1997

2019-09-1800:32:11

When I spoke to Rick James in 1997, he had already been a megastar, a prisoner, and a recipient of royalties for the use of his “Super Freak” bassline in MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This.”At the time, he was about to start a tour to promote his first album in nine years, “Urban Rhapsody,” and was in the midst of writing his autobiography, “The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak,” which eventually came out in 2007—three years after his death.In this interview, James, then 49, talked freely about his drug use, how prison turned out to be a good thing for him, what he thought of rap (not much), and his friendships with Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. You’ve gotta like someone who says, “A lot of things I had done over the years, I can't remember if I did 'em or not. But they sort of sound great."I think you’ll enjoy this interview.As for the concert, it was OK. My review started like this:"This is not a concert tonight; this is a reunion," Rick James announced early in his set Friday night at the Indiana Convention Center. Actually, it was both a concert and a reunion, as well as a throwback to an era when performers favored sexual innuendo (rather than outright vulgarity) and identified people by their Zodiac signs. James led his Stone City Band through an imbalanced, sporadically invigorating set in his return to action after two years in prison on a drug and assault conviction, plus years of inactivity due to drug addiction.For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.Intro music by the Budos Band
#005 Joan Rivers 1990

#005 Joan Rivers 1990

2019-09-1100:30:50

For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.Intro music by the Budos Band
For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.Intro music by the Budos Band
#003 - Trey Anastasio 1993

#003 - Trey Anastasio 1993

2019-08-2800:43:24

Trey's response to Marc Allan's reviewFor more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.Intro music by the Budos Band
#002 — Billy Joel 1994

#002 — Billy Joel 1994

2019-08-2000:30:53

For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.Intro music by the Budos Band
#001 — George Carlin 1989

#001 — George Carlin 1989

2019-08-1900:30:12

For more info please visit our website.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.Intro music by the Budos Band
An introduction to the podcast, and a little bit of background on how and why this podcast was created.The podcast is a collaboration between documentary filmmaker Alan Berry (“Dead Man’s Line”) and his longtime friend, journalist Marc Allan, who conducted and recorded the interviews decades ago. Allan recorded these interviews via phone, and the podcast provides a unique, intimate look into music, culture and these artists’ careers at specific moments in time. Most interviews were conducted between 1985-1995.Berry and Allan curated a 12-episode season that will include interviews with Neil Peart of Rush, Frank Zappa, Ray Charles, Joan Rivers and more.The Tapes Archive is part of the Osiris network. For more podcasts and experiences, please visit Osiris.
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