Episodes

45 - The Greatest Drummers of All Time

We’re taking a look at the best drummers in music history. We’re starting with the big band drummers Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, who put the spotlight on their instruments and paved the way for modern drummers for generations. Then we’re covering legends like Bonzo and Keith Moon, Charlie Watts and Ginger Baker. Ringo and Rick Allen. All the way up to modern drummers like Questlove, Taylor Hawkins, and Meg White.

44 - Truckin' With the Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead are among the most unlikely starts in the history of rock and roll. They toured relentlessly, made things up as they went, and didn't care about making mistakes (or being famous). In this episode, we're talking about their music, the drugs, the bootlegs, the Deadheads, their impact on music, their legacy, and what it's like seeing them life. Turn on, tune in, and drop out!.

43 - Back to the Beach: The Songs of Summer

Summertime is the right time for heading to the beach, going to the lake, or sitting by the pool. And you can’t do any of that without some music. In this episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we’re talking about the best songs of summer. So open a cold beverage of choice, sit back in your beach chair, and turn up the volume.

42 - Rock the Mic With the Golden Age of Hip Hop

Like rock and roll before it, hip hop gave a new voice to generations of people and became a cultural movement just as much as a type of music. In this episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we’re taking a look at the Golden Age of hip hop. We’re going to look at the pioneers who started hip hop in the wake of disco. The rappers who helped bring hip hop to the mainstream like Run DMC and LL Cool J. And rappers like Public Enemy and NWA who used their music to speak up about how black people were being treated in society.

41 - Rock Around the Clock - Music of the 50s

The 1950s were an awesome time for music. And when rock and roll crossed paths with television, it blew the doors off of post-war America and changed everything it touched. These artists built the foundation of modern music and you can still hear their influence on artists 70 years later. Elvis. Chuck Berry. Buddy Holly. And more. But the story isn’t all sock hops and poodle skirts. The history of early rock and roll also contains stories of tragedy, scandal, and racism that ended this early era as quickly as it started.

40 - Hold Those Lighters High! Power Ballads

Hair metal ruled the radio and the backs of denim jackets in the 1980s. A cornerstone of every hair metal band’s music output was a power ballad – this was a chance for the bad guys in rock and roll to show their softer side by slowing things down and singing about the women they love. These were the songs you put on a mixtape for the girl who sat in front of you in history class or requested on the radio on a Saturday night.

On tonight’s episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we’re taking a look at our 10 favorite monster power ballads of all time. And we’ve got a pencil standing by in case the tape gets stuck in the player. Time to hold those lighters high!

39 - "Dear Loser" -- The History of Sub-Pop Records

Sub Pop was an independent record label that rose to fame by putting out albums by several Seattle rock bands before they got huge and had teenagers rocking Doc Martens and flannels. While the label is still around today, they’re best known for releasing early material from Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, L7, and more. In this episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we take a look at Sub Pop Records and the role they played on the Seattle music scene. We read read their famous rejection letter that started with the salutation “Dear Loser” and tell the story about how the label owners got Nirvana’s first record contract out of a library book after a very drunk Krist Novoselic showed up at their home demanding one. And of course, we’ll talk about the bands and play some clips.

38 - The Hottest Band in the World: Kiss!

When it comes to rock and roll, nobody does it louder or bigger than KISS. They took the idea that rock is about having a good time and then turned that up to 11 with their bluesy music, soaring solos, and some of the most recognizable looks in rock and roll. In this episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we’re taking a look at KISS. Their rise to fame. The personality conflicts. The make up. The live shows with the explosions, fire breathing, and blood spitting. And of course, the merchandise!

Plus, we announce the winners of the vote for greatest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs and talk to our pal Bert Lepore from the Mix Tapes and Tasty Cakes podcast. You wanted the best and you got the best. The hottest podcast in the land, Prisoners of Rock and Roll!

37 - Return of the King: The Elvis Comeback Special

By 1968, Elvis Presley he had been out of the music spotlight for a decade. He had only performed once since getting out of the army in 1960, and most of his time was spent turning out dozens of b-level movies that left him frustrated with his career. Then his manager and infamous jerk Colonel Tom Parker pitched an idea to NBC to have Elvis do a TV special. Presley took the stage in a black leather outfit and reminded EVERYONE that he was the King of Rock and Roll.

In this week’s episode, we’re taking a close look at Elvis’ 68 Comeback Special. We’re going to talk about his career before and after the event, play some of our favorite clips, and discuss why this show was such an important moment in rock and roll. We also explore a weird connection between Elvis and the A-Team.

36 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for the class of 2022. As always, the list includes some people who deserve to be inducted as well as some head scratchers. In this week’s episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we’re talking about artists who have been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We’ve put together a list of 10 artists that we think should be nominated, and we want you to vote on who should get in. Plus, we chat with Jesse Jackson from the Set Lusting Bruce podcast in our Visiting Hours segment.

35 - The Faces of David Bowie

David Bowie defied every category society tried to put him in. He constantly experimented with new sounds in his music and releasing albums that were glam, proto punk, industrial, and plastic soul. He blurred the lines of gender, fashion, and sexuality. He also combined theater and music by inventing characters that he played on stage and in his music. In this week’s episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we take a look at the faces of David Bowie including Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Halloween Jack, The Thin White Duke, and the Blind Prophet from his final album, Blackstar.

34 - Does Rush Suck?

Rush is one of the most successful progressive rock bands of all time. They’ve made 14 platinum albums and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame calls them “the patron saints of brainy, technical, ambitious rock and roll.” But we just don’t like them. Are we missing something? Do we have bad taste in music? On today’s episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we agreed to put our opinions aside and objectively listen to some of their most popular and important cuts. Then we’re going to sit and down and discuss: does Rush suck?

33 - Revisiting the Music of 1992

1992 was a great year for music. Rock branched out into all sorts of different cool directions and we got to hear grunge and alternative albums from Alice In Chains, Faith No More, White Zombie, Soul Asylum, and the Gin Blossoms. We heard debut albums from Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots, and Body Count.

Industrial music took off with Psalm 69 from Ministry and Broken by Nine Inch Nails. Pantera made one of the best heavy metal albums of all time. We had TWO albums from Bruce Springsteen and Dr. Dre released one of the most influential and popular hip hop records ever made.

We’re also amped to chat with our friends at Yesterday’s Concert in a new segment called Visiting Hours.

32 - Exploring "American Pie"

American Pie by Don McClean is one of the most analyzed songs in rock and roll. This 8 and a half minute song looks at what happened to rock and roll – and America – in the decade after Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959. On today’s Episode of Prisoners of Rock and Roll, we’re putting American Pie under our musical microscope. We’re going to give our two cents on all of the symbolism in the song, look at what happened in America in the late 50s / early 60s, and talk about the impact of the Day the Music Died.