BACON BROTHERS - MICHAEL AND KEVIN SIT DOWN WITH PETE FORNATALE. CREW HELPS POSITION MICS AND SET UP EQUIPMENT. MICHAEL AND KEVIN TUNE THEIR INSTRUMENTS. KEVIN CHATS WITH PETE (OFF CAMERA) ABOUT WHAT SONGS THEY WILL PERFORM.
BACON BROTHERS PLAY A PORTION OF "SWING LOW'" FOR A SOUND CHECK.
CU OF KAVIN BACON
FORNATALE WELCOMES GUESTS:
BACON BROTHERS PERFORM "SING LOW"
Pete Fornatale 16:03
the bacon brothers and a live version of swing low from their new CD, white knuckles. You know, guys, when I first picked up the record and saw swing low on there, I thought that you'd went and done a gospel album. Not quite not quite indeed, who wants to tell me a little bit about that song that we just started with?
Kevin Bacon 16:22
That's a song I wrote that was, I mean, the genesis of it is kind of insomnia. And, you know, I was not sleeping well, my wife wasn't sleeping well. And as a result, I wasn't sleeping well. And, you know, I was thinking about the fact that it's sometimes just kind of like a metaphor for a lot of the really confusing and sad and fearful stuff that we sort of deal with in the course of our day sometimes catches up to us when it's time to, you know, put your head down at night. And, you know, I don't know, it's, I was I was trying to think about what might be the answer to that. And I just thought, Well, maybe if he just tried to swing low and let it go, I guess.
Unknown Speaker 17:09
So You've had some of those staring at the ceiling at 3am Morning. So sure,
Kevin Bacon 17:14
For sure. For me, it's always 430 But I don't know why.
Michael Bacon 17:17
I think it's true though, that you know, we were brought up my parents were big folk music fan. So certainly somehow in Kevin's upbringing, the that gospel songs we can lead to a chariot, you know, was definitely there. And it's a great image. It really is
Pete Fornatale 17:30
osmosis or see through somehow
Michael Bacon 17:32
I didn't know what I was at all. But apparently he is
Pete Fornatale 17:35
all of the songs all of the original songs on the record are credited to both of you. Is that a Lennon McCartney kind of thing? Or do you actually go into a room together and battle it out? What's the writing process like for the bacon brothers?
Michael Bacon 17:50
Well, we haven't written really songs together. For a couple of years, when we first started, I mean, Kevin, when we wrote our first song together was probably 10 years old, and he hadn't played the guitar, he's just learning how to play the guitar. So he had a knack for it. And he would sing me a melody and a lyric. And I would help him structure it, you know, put the chords behind it, you know, turn it into some kind of, you know, a form, you know, popular song form. And when we put the band together his, his, from the moment we did that, his his chops, got, you know, he worked so hard on it, that eventually he really didn't need me to do that anymore. And a lot of people think that since I'm, you know, I've been a musician all my life that I write all the songs and arrange them and Kevin, you know, to sort of, it's a free ride, right. But he actually is much more prolific than I have, because, you know, he's an actor, and they don't really do very much. Anytime he writes songs,
Pete Fornatale 18:45
you obviously don't have to be blood relatives to, to be in tune musically. But I've always felt that brothers and sisters who perform together have a heightened musical connection. Do you agree with that?
Kevin Bacon 18:59
Yeah, I do. I mean, I think that, you know, we have very, very different kind of voices, but they tend to blend pretty well. You know, it's just a kind of a natural, sort of, part of having the same, you know, genetic code. Yeah, I think that also are, we also have a really very, in some ways, very, very different feelings and tastes when it comes to music sometimes, you know, here's something that I just absolutely love, and I play for him and how sad this is awful, you know, and same thing happens with me. But the fact that we came up in the same sort of household and our parents have the same kind of musical sensibility I think has given us you know, we we both there's a lot of stuff that we both share the same ideology about I think when it comes to music.
Pete Fornatale 19:48
Ill make the Lennon McCartney comparison. Again, they say of course that that John leavened, Paul's sweetness, and Paul added sweetness to John's stridency and you can actually hear that, you know, after a while there when you listen to those tunes, you knew which one was a John song, which one
Kevin Bacon 20:08
And even within them. We do the bridges. And sometimes you just feel that John wrote the bridge because it you know, it gave it gave it a little bit more edge. And
Pete Fornatale 20:16
yeah, there's a couple of classic examples of that. I think we can work it out is one. Yeah, yeah. We're going to talk more Beatles a little bit later on. I want to know a little bit about the the bacon family dynamic. You are an older brother, Michael, by about nine years. Kevin, you're the baby
Kevin Bacon 20:37
I'm the the baby of six.
Pete Fornatale 20:39
So it's not as if you two were close enough where you kicked his ass around?
Kevin Bacon 20:44
It could still happen, but so far no. Give us about 10 minutes.
Pete Fornatale 20:51
Where was that first? Common Ground interconnection musically between the bacon brothers?
Michael Bacon 20:59
Well, our household it's hard to really pinpoint that because we grew up in one of those households where the only thing that was valued was creativity and self expression. I mean, if we brought back two F's, a D and a C, my parents, okay, no problem. So if as long as you were learning how to paint or dance or act or taking music lessons, that was what counted in the family and Kevin being Kevin sort of, was eased into a five member family that included me and my four sisters. And he was sort of, you know, so much younger enough. So he, he was assimilated into this very musical and expressive kind of a family. And I don't, I can't really remember a time where he wasn't a part of that, where we weren't singing together, or I was playing the guitar, he didn't pick up a drum and play along. So I don't think there's any one particular thing I know. He credits me with buying him his first guitar. I can't actually remember doing that. But in teaching him how to play Hey, Jude, so there was definitely I mean, I learned how to play guitar from my older sister. And I think there was a sense of passing down, you know, music was just always so much fun in our family. And I think Kevin just sort of joined in.
Kevin Bacon 22:13
it was also that thing of looking up to my older brother. And you know, the first images that I had of someone who was like, kind of a hero was a guy standing there with a guitar singing songs in front of people that really like continued throughout my life when I started listening to rock music, when I was really, really young. And luckily, I had a friend whose father was a rock promoter. So I started going to rock shows when I was really a kid. And first one, the first blood first show that I probably saw was a Michael bacon show. But I mean, I saw, you know, Janis Joplin at the electric factory in Philadelphia, probably in 1968, or 69. Or earlier, maybe, I mean, I, you know, and so the all this music that Michael was bringing home, and the music that he was playing, you know, a lot of a lot of my wanting to play music was, was really sort of hero worship, you know, he's coming from my older brother,
Pete Fornatale 23:03
I find that a lot of people who are only children are most heavily influenced by their peer group. But if you are the younger sibling, it opens you up to the world of music that your older brothers and sisters who are involved in that sounds pretty much the case here.
Kevin Bacon 23:20
Yeah. Yeah, for sure.
Pete Fornatale 23:22
Any of the siblings in music, any of the? Well, none of
Michael Bacon 23:25
them. My older sister is a great singer and a guitar player and you know, occasionally at a wedding, we might sing with her. But she's, nobody else is pursuing
Pete Fornatale 23:33
it. And show business in the baking family. How far back does it go
Kevin Bacon 23:37
doesn't go back farther than this generation really interesting. So no show business at all.
Pete Fornatale 23:42
Now, you weren't born in a trunk, but I'm told that there was a costume box in the living room. But
Kevin Bacon 23:47
that was really my first toy that I can remember, my mother just had this big box. And she filled it up with old scraps of clothing and Pete things that people have thrown out pieces of fabric, and I would just get dressed up, you know, and take on different characters. And if I was alone, that's the way I played, you know, I make a sort of something and take a piece of fabric tied around my waist, you know, you know, whatever, become whoever.
Pete Fornatale 24:12
And you do that to this very day.
Kevin Bacon 24:13
I'm still wearing the tights.
Pete Fornatale 24:14
And I'm not talking about the movies. I'm talking. Michael, when did you first come up with the idea that music was going to be your life? And how did you go about pursuing it?
Michael Bacon 24:27
Well I was very lucky in a way because I was encouraged both as a classical or art musician. I started playing the cello when I was eight. And also, I was a huge fan of Pete Seeger and played the banjo you know traditional style banjo five string banjo that about age 10. And it served me well in my career since I write music for films, which is something you have to be very comfortable in both the art world and also the popular music world. But I'd say about when I was about 12 or 13, I started writing songs that I that actually were no looking back were pretty good songs. But in those days, it was very difficult to, to take if you were an aspiring singer songwriter, and there was really no way to record them unless you went into an incredibly expensive recording studio. So that kind of that desire kind of languished in me until I got to college. And I joined a rock and roll band and we played covers at fraternity parties, but I loved it. I just I just loved it so much. I couldn't stand College, and then a very old friend of mine. I was about to go back for my, my fourth year, and this old friend from Philly called me and it was starting a group and he needed a singer guitar player and I immediately quit college and, and joined with him. So at that point that I quit college was when I went into music professionally, and I guess I was about 19 years old. This is 68. And within six months, we were signed to Columbia Records and in the Clive Davis era and I think our record was the only one that didn't sell a train copies of all the records they released there because at that time Columbia was they were gold, they just everything they did, with a few exceptions, did really well. But that's that's sort of the point that I knew that I was going to be a musician and I've been lucky to make a living at it since that time.
Pete Fornatale 26:11
If one were to try and identify the threads of your music, focus certainly one of them. Yeah, rock is certainly one of them. You see where I'm going with this. Seoul is certainly one of them. And country is certainly gonna be a name for that. The pronunciation of that name would be
Kevin Bacon 26:29
Pete Fornatale 26:29
Forosoco which is
Kevin Bacon 26:31
Forosoco was the name of the first record. And we were it was kind of a joke because people same kind of music do you play we came out it's kind of folk, rock, soul, you know, kind of country and then we said okay, well, it's folk rock soul country. It was okay.
Pete Fornatale 26:44
Well, you certainly have stayed true to those threads on all of your succeeding albums. Which one? This one is now the is this five? The fifth? Yeah, if you include the live one, this is the fifth record. It's called white knuckles. And there's a song on here that jumped right out at me called John song I'm wondering who the John is who's most responsible for the song and if you do it for us?
Michael Bacon 27:09
Sure, I'd love to it's a friend of mine who is no longer with us. It's kind of it's kind of a sad song but it's a I guess a song of encouragement. He was a was an emergency room physician for a long time and then he gave that all up and became interested in holistic medicine and alternative medicine. And he was healthy he had helping a lot of people in his clinic and then one day he got really really sick and he decided to use his own life and its experience in his body to go around the world and try to figure out if there was a you know, an alternative cure for which in his case there wasn't he didn't make it but it was very inspiring to me and I wrote this song really to encourage him to you know to keep on his on his quest to see you know what good he could make out of it and it was a really inspiring relationship is wonderful guy and it's called Johns Song
THE BACON BROTHERS PERFORM "JOHN'S SONG"
Pete Fornatale 37:45
bacon brothers that is John song from white knuckles This is Pete for the channel on mixed bag radio I'll have more with Kevin and Michael after this one down two to go. This one will be unhappy birthday on Tuesday
PETE FORNATALE TALKS WITH THE BACON BROTHERS BETWEEN SEGMENTS. THEY TUNE INSTRUMENTS AND TALK ABOUT UPCOMING SEGMENT.
Pete Fornatale 40:59
Pete Fornatale back with you on mixed bag radio with my guests today the bacon brothers. It's Kevin and Michael, if you do it alphabetically, it's Michael and Kevin, if you do it by age, I didn't check size places, we'll wait. Wait for later for that. What I would be interested in knowing is how to Philly boys like yourselves became dyed in the wool New Yorkers,
Kevin Bacon 41:24
there's actually sort of a good reason for that our mother was a New Yorker. And our father, when they got married, she moved to Philadelphia, and he really devoted his life to the city of Philadelphia and was very, very influential down there, and really kind of transforming that city and making it the place that it is today. But I think that in subtle ways, our mother would sort of whisper in our ears, you know, you gotta go to New York, you know. I mean, it wasn't really obvious, but she had a real real love, I think for for the city and two of our sisters moved up here. And they were doing very romantic things in the 60s, like living in lofts. You know, when the when the, you know, Soho was just completely abandoned and was basically, you know, factories back in the, in the really old days, and come and visit her and them and see the life that they were living. And, you know, I knew that I had to go to LA or to New York to make a career as an actor. And my heart was really much more focused on the stage. And so the idea of being a New York actor, back in those days had a real kind of mystique that doesn't really have anymore, but it was really important for me to, to move here. And then my brother finally talked him into it, too.
Pete Fornatale 42:49
Did you went to school here, Michael? Yes.
Michael Bacon 42:51
No, I went to University of Denver. It was I never actually Oh, oh, you're right. I leave on my degree at Lehman College. But that was probably 10 or 11 years ago, I said I was a late graduate like when my 40s By the time I got my degree. But it was I can't say enough good things about the City University. What the the music program, Lehman College, you know, I spent two years studying with John Corigliano. How do you get that anywhere else is just was amazing.
Pete Fornatale 43:18
And how did you avoid the temptations of Beverly Hills or? Or that lifestyle?
Kevin Bacon 43:23
Well, I don't know if it's so much. I've always thought of myself as just being too too much of a chicken to move to Los Angeles. I mean, it's just I you know, I, I'm just I feel the happiest and the safest when I'm in New York, and I have my wife's family are all from from Manhattan. I've got my brother and my sister here. And we've got a couple more sisters on the on on the eastern corridor. So they're just like a stone's throw away. And you know, I don't know, I think there's certain sacrifices that you make. Certainly there's it's, it doesn't make any sense to be in the movie business and live in New York. But there's a handful of people that do and it's just just the sacrifice you make for your lifestyle.
Pete Fornatale 44:04
Paul Newman up there in Westport managed pretty nicely. Yeah, a bunch of decades. Okay. You're both obviously very affected by the things that happen to the city. And the most monumental in recent memory was 911. A couple of questions on that. One is how it might have impacted your music, which we'll get to in a second. But first, Kevin, I read somewhere and it gave me chills that you made a connection between that day and a day earlier in your life. Would you mind telling us about that?
Kevin Bacon 44:36
Yeah. Well, when my mother came to pick me up from school, the day that JFK was shot, was this weird moment because, you know, they were people were just going home early. And what year was that? 6363. So I was about five. And I remember showing up at school and I was thinking, wow, something's not cool, because there's no reason for her to be here, I mean, she worked. And, you know, it was just a strange thing that she would be there. And we walked home and she was very sad. I could tell she was sad. And she said, you know, the President's been been killed. And, you know, I didn't really know exactly what that meant, but I knew it wasn't, it wasn't good. When I went to pick up my daughter on September 11, you know, again, the kids didn't know what had happened. But, you know, I've been watching the news. And I just basically said, somebody's down to get Travis and my son and I ran across the park and ended up in my daughter's school on the Upper East Side and walked into the hall. And she looked at me, like, what are you doing here? And I said, we gotta go and try to x as we crossed the the transverse at 60, transverse and I tried to, you know, explain to her what was going on. So that it, you know, they sort of were connected for me in some ways,
Pete Fornatale 45:57
did it hit you that day?
Kevin Bacon 45:58
The enormity of the of the connection topics? Absolutely. Because I knew when I walked into the school, that she would take a look at me and would know that there was something wrong and that I was going to take me a little bit of time before I was going to be able to actually explain it to her son.
Pete Fornatale 46:13
wow. How about on the musical side, Michael, how to something like that. seep its way into your composition.
Michael Bacon 46:23
I think the, I think the most the most impact that had on us is we were in the band was in the midst of a tour in the middle of all that. And we were you know, you were on the road and it's always very strange if you're doing something like playing music and clubs and concerts and all of a sudden something as devastating as had happened to you. You wonder, is it or is what I'm doing worthy of the environment that we're now in and we got a bunch of jobs were canceled but we decided to keep going and I really think musically the thing that got us through is we put we put Dylan's I shall be released at the end of set. And that's just you know, that was so healing to us. I can just remember so many times of of you know, being sitting in a club waiting to go on and then I heard people that I knew had died and I didn't hadn't known you know, stuff like that and we just kind of kept going and you know, when when the when the Katrina thing happened we sort of all of a sudden put that back in the set because it just didn't feel right and the set with some you know, on quarry kind of thing and so you know, I give Bob Dylan a lot of credit for being able to you know writes such a you know, a wonderful kind of a healing piece of music that we could you know borrow when when we are feeling unworthy and and that it's ridiculous to be playing music in this kind of a situation
Pete Fornatale 47:54
listen, I tell you we don't always follow the musical roadmap. Would you be able to do I shall be released
BACON BROTHERS PERFORM "I SHALL BE RELEASED"
Pete Fornatale 53:38
the bacon brothers and a live version of Bob Dylan's I shall be released that I thank you for doing that that was
Kevin Bacon 53:45
I think we should point out that we have Paul Guzzone singing last verse and playing bass for us the amazing Paul Gazzone and also Mr. James Warrenworth on the drums kicking it back there you throw anything at these guys
Pete Fornatale 54:00
Wait a minute, might I know his face from from Max Weinberg connection when Max is away to play with Bruce It's James who plays drums on Conan
Kevin Bacon 54:13
Yeah James gets really happy whenever Bruce goes if you hear James back there going Bruce Roos, you'll know what that is.
Pete Fornatale 54:23
I should you know, I should have known from the bare feet James. Which was a running running gag on the show. Boy, you nailed it. Yeah, absolutely. Now that's terrific. I'm guessing that Dylan is one of those people that overlaps for the both of you. As someone who was an influence, can you tell us in what ways
Michael Bacon 54:48
Oh boy. You know, I just I remember seeing him he was he was when he was with Joan Baez at the at the Lambertville music fair and just he was at that time, I really didn't have any idea how to perform, he got up and we just swallowed the microphone. And Joan was kind of back there trying to, you know, make it all kind of happen and blend and but the songs you know, I mean, I think the wonderful thing about, about Dylan and really topical songwriters, I include Pete Seger in the same way as some of his songs like blowing the wind, or in Pete's case, Where Have All the Flowers Gone will outlive them and their names and everything else they'll be in, they'll be in the human soul forever. And I think when you can write songs like that, that are not pop songs, they're true folk songs. I mean, that's it. Boy, I wish I could do that.
Pete Fornatale 55:36
And you already made the point that it is as equally powerful for Katrina, as it was four or five years ago as it was 30 or 30 years ago. Kevin, how about you and Dylan to have a favorite period?
Kevin Bacon 55:50
Well, you know, I, I mean, that's a great thing is he's got so many great, great periods. I mean, I think that, you know, the, the folk stuff was is amazing. And, you know, I loved it when he plugged in. And then, you know, Michael was pointed out before that, going down to Nashville and recording that record down, there was very, very, both it was politically influential, influential. And also, you know, it was kind of a way that, in a way, for a moment kind of brought the country together in a in a strange kind of way. And then, of course, I think blood on the tracks is one of the absolute masterpieces. And, you know, he's just, you know, it's you as a songwriter. I mean, I think you kind of you start with Dylan, and then you, you know, you, you, that's what you that's the that's the that's the top as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, I mean, that's, that's the top,
Pete Fornatale 56:41
this might be the perfect place to introduce this notion, Bob has done some acting, it seems as if we accept more easily a musician who acts than we do. Then we do the other way around. And I'm going to preface this with something else, anyone who thinks that, that the bacon brothers are a novelty or an actor, project, or they're just dumb. I just, that's just idiots. But you do have to encounter you're in that arena where today? You know, I just read in the paper today that John Corbett, whom I love from Northern Exposure and Greek wedding and is putting out an album, Kevin Spacey last year with with the bobby Darren project. When that happens, is it make things easier for you? Does it make it harder for you,
Kevin Bacon 57:43
I try my best not to, you know, there's a famous, you know, slogan, which is compared despair, you know, I mean, I try not to think of myself as an actor, singer, if possible, you know, I try just to, to, you know, I mean, if we see articles that are kind of written about owed, you know, a bunch of actors who have bands, and we try to sort of stay away from that, if possible, I've tried not to cross the music over into the movies. In other words, you know, oh, well, I'll do it, if I can get a song in there. Or if I can, you know, play musician or whatever. I mean, you know, our thing has always been a very, you know, back when, when it was, me, and Mike and Paul and Marshall Rosenberg, you know, it's a very grassroots kind of things, small clubs, you know, we play to, you know, out in standing in the rain with, you know, 50 people standing around and loading stuff into Mike's car, and, you know, dragging it to the gig, it's not like we've ever really tried to trade on it. I mean, you know, my theory about that. Resistance is me. First off, it's hard to break into music in any, you know, there's a lot of records that come out all the time. There's a lot of bands out there. And there's a lot of music. I mean, it's a very competitive kind of world. But the other part of it is, is that in my heart, I think that most people think acting is kind of easy. I think most people think that if they they looked like Brad Pitt, that they could do what Brad Pitt does, you know, and I think most people think that playing music is kind of hard, because they've probably picked up a guitar or they've sat behind a drum set, or they, you know, sung in the shower and stuff and they realize that they're not Springsteen, you know. And I think that, you know, that's why there's a lot more resistance in as opposed to going the other direction. You know, if you see a musician is going to be in a movie. It's kind of like, okay, cool. Well, I'm gonna go and see what he's gonna do.
Pete Fornatale 59:38
Michael, you have written for film, and you've written for television. And Kevin has involved you in music for some, some of his projects. We'll talk a little about that.
Michael Bacon 59:49
Kevin has directed two feature films. First one was losing Chase, and the most recent one was called Loverboy. And he hired me to write music for both of those because If he didn't, he would be in terrible trouble. So simple as that. But it was great. It was. He's, you know, I mean, I've talked about this, you know, work and you know, he's no different than I work with a lot of different people. I'm a freelance and I, I'm somebody who enjoys being part of a team and music is an enormously powerful part a powerful part of the filmmaking process. So with Kevin, it's really the same. There's, you know, Kevin knows how to, all I require of a director is that he's can say what he thinks, and it has definite ideas and isn't wishy washy, and, you know, the same process of, you know, bringing musical ideas to Kevin and in early stages of the film, and having him point me in directions and reject certain things and accept certain things is, was the same. And, you know, he knows a lot about music. And, you know, we share a common ground. That's been, you know, we've enjoyed working with each other and hope he gets more directly job. So I think,
Pete Fornatale 1:00:57
from the acting point of view, and from the musician's point of view, I want to mention something a friend of yours was in here a couple of weeks ago, Cindy Alexander. And now she started out as an actress and made the switch into music. And she said to me that an actor has to put on layers of someone else's identity and inhabit that person, but that a musical artist has to strip down all of the layers.
Kevin Bacon 1:01:25
She got that from me. Oh, I gave her that quote. I think
Michael Bacon 1:01:30
that's good. That's deep
Pete Fornatale 1:01:32
the rest of it is become vulnerable and tell the truth. Is she right?
Kevin Bacon 1:01:36
She's absolutely right. She's absolutely right. Not that being not that acting is not a vulnerable place to be. I mean, there's no doubt about that. It's you can be very very naked both physically and emotionally. But there is always that hopefully if you're a good actor, there is the character that you're playing and you are trying to be live in somebody else's skin. Whereas you know when you see us and we're here today these are our clothes it's our voices it's our instruments it's our songs. It's our it's us I mean it's no this we're not we're not playing you know apart
Pete Fornatale 1:02:06
right? Pick one of the songs from white knuckles that that fills the category that we're just talking about would it be UnHappy Birthday would it be Tuesday with
Kevin Bacon 1:02:16
I guess what's do Tuesday because we can play some cello. What do you think?
Michael Bacon 1:02:18
Okay, sounds good. Alright,
Kevin Bacon 1:02:19
yeah we'll switch over and Michael playable cello
THE BACON BROTHERS PLAY "TUESDAY"
Pete Fornatale 1:16:33
The Bagan brothers and a live version of Tuesday from their new CD white knuckles Pete Fornatale on mixed bag radio. I'll have more with the brothers after this
Pete Fornatale 1:16:45
I had homestretch guys if I needed someone and peace dance boy that's powerful powerful these events
Unknown Speaker 1:17:07
Pete Fornatale 1:17:09
Tuesday yeah there are there are this comes up a lot. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Unknown Speaker 1:17:15
So if I needed someone's first right Correct. There's that
Unknown Speaker 1:17:21
disconnecting the 12 string per second guys
Pete Fornatale 1:17:26
they're gonna send William Terrell is going to I'm going to use some for the pledge drive that FTZ but he said they take care of Oh cool. Neat that's great
Unknown Speaker 1:17:45
my camera shut up I knew how I just said and done it now I just need to figure out how to make it fast
Pete Fornatale 1:18:12
read that digital cameras for dummies are
Pete Fornatale 1:18:21
thing I'm looking for that actually works and making it faster
Unknown Speaker 1:18:31
do you do do they do
Michael Bacon 1:18:40
was hilarious. It was really so weird. I've never seen him do that. It was like this. Michael was like, He's done it. He's definitely
Kevin Bacon 1:18:49
flash off. But like, it was so great. Because no one had just said. Yeah, feeling you know,
Pete Fornatale 1:18:55
if I needed someone first and it's just like the
Kevin Bacon 1:19:03
areas and stuff like that. But I've never seen Morton Grove last
Michael Bacon 1:19:08
row and yeah, never never been.
Michael Bacon 1:19:12
I'm glad I didn't force him to do it. But, you know, I said, you know, a nice surprise even
Pete Fornatale 1:19:20
Michael or Kevin either have you meet or work with Dylan. And anyway,
Michael Bacon 1:19:24
I met on what was that? Like?
Kevin Bacon 1:19:27
I met him in an airport.
Michael Bacon 1:19:29
He was talking and stalking. You know, I don't you know,
Kevin Bacon 1:19:34
you're an actor. I mean, you meet a lot of people obviously. It's couple of people that just you know, you go oh shit. And I tell you I recognized him. This is no shit. From behind. From about probably about 300 feet away. I was talking to a friend of mine behind from behind was walking away from it. heard. And I said, Holy shit, that's gotta be Bob. I mean, really, and it was
Pete Fornatale 1:20:06
got a I get an asterisk in Dylan history for this reason. Oh God, this is a longer story than I mean it to be. But Muhammad Ali was coming back from the draft thing, and he was doing some warm up fights, one of which was at Madison Square Garden with a Argentinian boxer by the name of Oscar Bon Avena. I got invited to it by Neil Bogart, who was this legend of the music business Casablanca records. And we went to the fight with Curtis Mayfield, who, whose records were distributed by Buddha and whoever the manager his label was, were ringside. First time I like ringside
Michael Bacon 1:20:56
new guitars, I think it was in Trump's
Pete Fornatale 1:21:00
book that says, gotta bring Curtis over to meet him. And I hate I really hate to. But I remembered that on the cover of bringing it all back home, this three albums on the coffee table. One is by Erich von Schmidt, Philly, a Boston folk guy, and one is by the impression. So I thought is this is this the entry? And here's my host who invited me I can't turn him down. So I take Curtis Mayfield by the hand, and I walk over towards Bob, and I can see him shrinking down in the seat as I get closer. And I said Bob, I'm sorry to bother you and Pete for to tell from WCW he lived in New York at the time and knew the station so he brightened which was lovely. And I said I've got someone here who wants to meet you Curtis Mayfield jumps out of his seat and embraces the guy. I mean, I felt like the proud matchmaker watching Bob and Curtis meet sweet three records by Erich von Schmidt. Is another eye this is gonna sound like I'm too into it. But the cover of the von Schmidt album is him holding a guitar and tipping his hat. It's the exact pose of Nashville Scotland. Oh, that's interesting copper pose for that album from national. I can't remember the third although it might be Lotty Lenya Lottie lendio, Lottie Lenya, the impressions and Erich von Schmidt, and the Time magazine with Lyndon Johnson on the cuff, that's interesting. So what was bringing it all back home was 65
Kevin Bacon 1:22:38
you see the the Scorsese thing? Oh, yeah,
Pete Fornatale 1:22:41
absolutely. Yeah. Well, I'm 13 I do when they do fundraisers? DVD, yeah. My favorite. Well, the sad moments with Dave Van Ronk because I miss him. And he's such a sweet guy along with stories. About a year and a half ago. Yeah. And my other favorites were out Cooper, I'm really stoked.
Kevin Bacon 1:23:07
I've never actually seen I mean, I'd seen pictures on but never actually seen him talk before. He's really funny.
Pete Fornatale 1:23:12
He's He's amazing, that droll sense of humor. And when he said, when he said I quit the tour, I didn't want to be Bob's John Connolly talking about November 22. That's not interesting, per se. But I think
Kevin Bacon 1:23:26
that I'm feeling that that's why I leave on wasn't on that tour to maybe he,
Pete Fornatale 1:23:33
Mickey, one of the guests in the studio with me was Mickey Jones, who was the drummer on that Toro. In fact, he says, he says that he was the original drummer for the group. And at the time when they were changing from the Hawks to the band, right. And the reason that they did it was because on that tour, nobody ever referred to them as the Hawks that always say, Dylan and the band. Delon in the band. And then then he went out and livan came in, you know, the rest. You know, he's an actor now, too. In fact, there's an episode of Northern Exposure. I still love that show. And there's an episode in which Chris in the morning the DJ, he's also a reverend from the ad in the back of Rolling Stone magazine. He has to perform a funeral for his friend tiny. And in flashbacks. You see this actor, scraggly beard. It was this guy Mickey Jones. This the seat the memorable scene? The fantasy scene in that episode was something at the Last Supper Club. And it's, you know, the table setup like The Last Supper and all the various and sundry apostles and he's wondering, it's hilarious.
Pete Fornatale 1:28:19
Pete Fornatale back with you on mixed bag radio with my guests today Kevin and Michael bacon. Kevin, I was thinking of this earlier when you were playing harmonica. We had the Blues Traveler in here last week. You know John Popper? Sure. I mentioned to him in passing that you guys were coming in. You know what he said to me? No, this is a quote. He said I was in Blues Brothers two with Dan Ackroyd, who was in the original Blues Brothers with John Belushi, who was in Animal House with wha it made me laugh. I hope it makes you laugh.
Kevin Bacon 1:29:00
Oh yeah, I got no problem.
Pete Fornatale 1:29:01
I have to imagine that it is embarrassing and flattering all at the same time that this this this pop culture phenomenon occurred.
Kevin Bacon 1:29:11
I don't know if it's either one of those things to tell you the truth. It's just kind of there. You know, I mean, we know first cut sort of came around, I was a little embarrassed by it. flattering. I don't know. You know, there's a lot of other people that have been in a lot. I think it just means I was in a lot of movies with a lot of people. That's pretty much Sometimes though, actually. What's kind of fun is that we can actually play if you if you play the game, but you play it with actual bands and people that have played in bands with other people. You could play a pretty mean six degrees with just just the bands and people that have sat in with us and have played with I mean, you know, it's not what we do sit around and play six degrees constantly. Yeah, we did that we did about once for about five minutes. Stupid thing.
Pete Fornatale 1:29:56
Michael, what did you make of it when when it was undeniable that the was something that was making its way through the popular culture.
Michael Bacon 1:30:02
Well, my only problem with it is if we do goofy morning radio, they want to play it and I'm so bad at I'm one of those people that you see the movie I came in was called and starring him ever heard it, you know, it's just it's an awful kind of, you know, black hole you get into so as long as somebody hasn't asked me to play it, I'm fine.
Pete Fornatale 1:30:19
Is there any direct connection between either of the bacon brothers and any of the Beatles?
Michael Bacon 1:30:26
Oh, well, yeah, there's Steve Hawley and Steve Hawley Paul McCartney. We Steve Hawley worked with us for a lot and he was Paul McCartney's drummer and wings first for some of the Incarnation. So they got I was only two degrees, two degrees. That's and I saw Paul McCartney walking down the street once I
Pete Fornatale 1:30:44
ever worked with or meet any of the group.
Kevin Bacon 1:30:49
I don't think I've ever met. No, I don't think I've ever met a Beatle.
Pete Fornatale 1:30:53
You did mention when we were setting up your encounter with Mr. Dillon.
Kevin Bacon 1:30:57
Yeah, I was in the Phoenix airport, I think it was I was making a connection. And I was all by myself. And I was talking on a cell phone, and I was outside of the airport. And whoever I was talking to, I said, You got to hang on, because I think I just saw Bob Dylan. And he was about, I don't know, like, probably 200 feet from me. I mean, quite quite some distance from me. And he was, it was his back. He was walking away the other direction. And I'm really glad I wasn't there. Yeah, I know. It's totally embarrassing. I mean, but you know, sometimes I you know, having been on the other side of it's so often, you know, what, and how irritating it is. But, you know, I just, it's pretty much anybody else, I would have let them go. But I just had to, I just had to go up and and say hello. And you know, it was it was great.
Pete Fornatale 1:31:46
Tell me something about celebrity that absolutely delights you, and also something that troubles you?
Kevin Bacon 1:31:54
Well, I'd say that 95% of it is good. And then people are nice to you all day long, pretty much. And they say nice things to you. You know, they give you free stuff. And you get into restaurants easier. And you know, I mean, it's it's pretty, it's pretty great. In a lot of ways. I think that the thing that's a little troublesome is is to never be able to leave your house without knowing that you're going to be sort of watched and judged. And you know, whether it's what you look like or your hair or your attitude, or, you know, whatever it is. Just completely give up. Anonymity is just a strange way to live. I mean, I'm pretty used to it now, because it's been a long time. But there are times when I think to myself, boy, it really would be fun to just kind of go through life and just not be watched all the time. You know,
Pete Fornatale 1:32:57
for you ain't gonna happen.
Kevin Bacon 1:32:59
Yeah, I mean, I don't know, maybe I gotta go to a foreign country someplace, but
Pete Fornatale 1:33:03
a little easier for you, Michael.
Michael Bacon 1:33:06
Yeah, I mean, I can I'm sort of what what they call a credit card celebrity. It's when I put my American Express down, they look at it, and then they they look at me and they say, Aren't you the guy the brother? But no, I don't. I don't have a problem. I'm never recognized on the street. And when we do play gigs, I feel very important, but I can walk right away from it. So I kind of have the best of both worlds.
Pete Fornatale 1:33:29
I love what you just said credit card celebrity. That's sort of what radio is all I went to I went to pay for a holiday present with a credit with a credit card once and the guy looks at it and says pointed talent said yeah, the guy on the radio. I said yeah, he said I knew that because I'm a master of trivia. Thanks. Ouch there are all originals on the new record white knuckles, but for one, and it's a Beatle song. Tell me why.
Michael Bacon 1:34:06
Well, one thing it's it's it's a Beatle song but it's a George Harrison song too. And being being a credit card celebrity I can understand that. If your partners are McCartney and Lennon maybe you sometimes feel a little bit slighted. So we're helping George George's memory
Pete Fornatale 1:34:22
Would you do that one for sure?
THE BACON BROTHERS PLAY A GEORGE HARRISON COVER "IF I NEEDED SOMEONE"
Pete Fornatale 1:41:18
very sweet bacon Brothers live version of George Harrison's if I needed someone you could find their recorded version on the brand new white knuckles CD. I'm listening to the album yesterday preparing for today. And I kept getting a James Taylor vibe here and there. You must hear that, Michael.
Michael Bacon 1:41:38
Yeah, People tell me that a lot. I you know, I love James Taylor. I mean, he was very influential on me. And I think our voices have similar. We're both baritones, which is kind of a curse. But things we have to live with. And we also play, you know, kind of down and you know, kind of folky style independent thumb guitar as well. So, you know, he was very influential to me,
Pete Fornatale 1:41:59
I had forgotten that you actually did a cover of James earlier, right?
Michael Bacon 1:42:03
We did a rainy day, man. Just a superb song.
Pete Fornatale 1:42:06
You've done too for us today? What are your criteria for doing someone else's song?
Kevin Bacon 1:42:11
Well, I think we, you know, it's hard if you're talking about Dylan, or the Beatles of James Taylor to do a song that's really obscure, but we try to do something that maybe is not the most popular song of these people. And you know, it's really hard to know with a cover, and we don't really sit down and think about it. It's just like, if I needed someone just kind of came from warming up in the dressing room, because I received all the plays guitar was just like a Beatle savant when it comes to playing the song. So basically, we can say any Beatle song at all from the entire catalog, and he can play it backstage in the dressing room, we just sing and harmonize. And we were doing it backstage and said, you know, let's, let's try it with the band.
Pete Fornatale 1:42:56
Well, as I said, it's, it's the only non original on the white knuckles CD. It's getting late in the interviews, guys, i There's no way around it. You've been asked this question 1000 times before I tried to duck it. But, you know, when there's even a slight imbalance in a partnership, it has to be addressed. Kevin, how does it feel to be working in the shadow of your brother's superior musical ability?
Kevin Bacon 1:43:26
You know, it is, it is, it is a long shadow. And I, when we first got together and put the band together, I kind of said, You know what, I mean? Like, I can't, I don't think I can, I don't know if I can do this. I mean, I'll try it, but I don't know if I can actually play in front of people and saying that I was really, really terrified. And he had had already years and years of experience playing music in front of people. And, you know, basically, I've tried to just watch and learn from him and from, from the rest of the guys in the band and the other musicians that I've, you know, come across, um, you can't really teach an old dog new tricks. But I have certainly been, you know, I work hard at and been trying to raise the level of musicianship to you know, come close to the guys that I work with. And it's been a real challenge.
Pete Fornatale 1:44:17
Michael, the other side of that question, of course, is you've had a front row seat from which to watch your snot nosed kid brother become a big ass movie star. What's that been like for you?
Michael Bacon 1:44:31
It's, you know, once it becomes kind of like when Kevin was talking about, you know, being a seller, once it's there, it's you don't really have anything to compare it with. I recognize the how difficult it is to rise above, you know, the incredible competition and the fact that he's been able to do that is is it's spectacular. But I don't, it doesn't really surprise me because, you know, when you mentioned You know, Kevin, um, superior musicians he I don't really in my heart. I don't believe that because I'm a trained musician. You know, I spent a lot of time but music is I mean, a lot of the people that I've known and work with can't read music, and it's not a requirement and the types of songs that Kevin has been writing on just, I just love him, you know, and if he were not a movie star, he'd be a great partner anyway, and probably nobody would be in the audience, but it would be it would be, it would still be good. But you know, he also could have been an architect. This is true. He could have been a cartoonist. I mean, he has he has enormous. You just just talents, and he never ceases to amaze me what comes out of that snot lozol. Kid. And, you know, I'm just glad that we, you know, we came to the point in our lives where we decided that, you know, music, which is, you know, the thing that was so sharing that we decided to jump out in front of the public and see what happened. And you know, it's been 11 years now. So I think it's, I think it's great for both of us
Kevin Bacon 1:46:00
And Mike might be a great actor, he just never had a chance to show we are
Michael Bacon 1:46:03
sure that is not true.
Pete Fornatale 1:46:06
Kevin, you've delivered a number of incredibly impressive performances. I'm just going to ask you about one because it haunts me, the last scene of Mystic River, the parade? Sean, you in the crowd? The the acknowledgment, was it an acknowledgement? How do you know?
Kevin Bacon 1:46:26
Yeah, it's a moment where he kind of makes it makes his God into his fingers since his his radio just to describe it makes his fingers into a gun and points it out. And the interesting thing is that, you know, Clint Eastwood is a man of very few words. And I asked him, I said, What am I supposed to be playing there? Clint? I mean, what does that actually what's that moment about? You know, am I saying to him, I'm gonna come get you, or am I saying to him, we have an understanding. And it's water under the under the bridge under the Tobin bridge or whatever. And he said, Well, I guess that's for the audience to decide. So it basically didn't answer me. And so it is and and I, I said, Well, alright, if he if he doesn't, I can make my decisions then and take them to my grave. And that's what I'm doing. So
Pete Fornatale 1:47:16
I guess it's the moral ambiguity of it. That is so so haunting.
Kevin Bacon 1:47:21
That's a cool moment. I, you know, I think he did a great job with them and
Pete Fornatale 1:47:25
not not a line of dialogue necessary. Last question, you guys have a lot on your plate, you have individual things that you do you have the bacon brothers, you have families and children hat. How do you balance it all? How do you stay sane?
Michael Bacon 1:47:43
Looking forward, it seems utterly impossible when when we look at what's coming up. But somehow, as you go through it, you just find a way to do it. And there's always, you know, some little monkey wrench thrown into the mix. But uh, it's, you know, for me, it's such a rewarding life, it's worth struggling. Luckily, I have a very, very supportive family. And, you know, Kevin, I come from a big family. And I would say our four sisters are huge fans of the band and in Kevin's career and my other career as a film composer. So you just, you know, kind of deal with it. But it's it's all you know, I say, it's all good, but it is.
Pete Fornatale 1:48:20
Kevin, do you have a working wife? Besides?
Kevin Bacon 1:48:22
Yeah, yeah. But who said we stay sane?
Pete Fornatale 1:48:27
Well, you know, and that might be the perfect lead into this last song because it jumps off the record, it is just a real up positive rave up on an album that has many very serious and down subjects and moments, this one just goes someplace else. And there is an acknowledgment. I mean, it'll be apparent in a few seconds, there's an acknowledgment in there to one of the great soul hits of the 60s by not only Wilson Pickett but also cannibal animal. Hunter. Yeah. It's the song called Peace dance, who wants to tell me about it.
Kevin Bacon 1:49:05
Peace dance. You know, I wrote the song and saw that, you know, you write. Sometimes they take a long time, sometimes they they come out pretty quick. And, you know, I was I was really wanted to do something really simple. And something that was about just wanting to go out and dance or something, I don't get a chance to do that much anymore. You know, I used to do it a lot when I was younger my wife used to do when we first got together, you know, just how often you get a chance to just go out and plus it's kind of weird for us sometimes, for obvious reasons, you know, people will, you know, form a circle around me clapping their hands and, you know, hoping that I'm gonna, you know, start doing flips or something. So, you know, I was kind of missing that and needed a little bit of relief. So I just wrote a song about wanting to go out and dance.
Pete Fornatale 1:49:50
Kenny Loggins was here a while ago and did an acoustic version of Footloose. I think he got to cover this one.
THE BACON "PEACE DANCE"
Pete Fornatale 1:54:48
and that just about does it for this edition of mixed bag radio. My thanks to the bacon brothers for being our guests. Thanks also to Joey Deanna Linda fetter. Chris Hall Bill co Lauren Glenn Robinson special Thanks this week to Paul gozone James WorthWerth and to the Gibson Baldwin showroom here in New York City. If you'd like to know more about our program or see exclusive video performances by some of our previous guests, please visit our website at mixed bag radio.com This is Pete foreigner Ciao, thanks for listening and thanks to you guys for an incredible hour that was not that was hot
Description: TAPE DATED 10/24/05
Keywords: Bacon Brothers
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