RBP Rossaround with Jan Mengeling, Episode 26


Jan Mengeling is the current Production Manager for Chris Isaak. I did this interview last December but didn’t get around to it until today. Last week I published my interview with Bobby Herr who was sitting in for Jan and he is now working with Fleetwood Mac.
Back when I conducted his interview he was PM and Guitar Tech. He has come back to the Chris Isaak tour as PM and is no longer the Guitar Tech. Jan is a great guitar player and has been in several bands. He emigrated to the US from Mainz Germany to work in this business. He has found his way over the years to be very good at being a Production Manager. We are fortunate to have him.
Jan tells us how his path led him to where is today. Through the years he has worked with many famous bands and guitar players proving that you never know exactly what this business will take you.

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RBP Rossaround with Bobby Herr, Episode 25


I had the pleasure of working with Bobby Herr this last month. He filled in as Production Manager for the Chris Isaak tour. He is a true Professional. He makes this work look so easy with his relaxed attitude. Bobby’s credit list is long and impressive. He is leaving us to start this years Fleetwood Mac Tour that may last up to two years. He has been with Fleetwood Mac for 15 years.

He got his start working for Jan & Dean and went up from there working for The Beach Boys, Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson, Hiroshima, Boz Skaggs, Michael McDonald, Tower of Power, Steve Perry, Wheezer, No Doubt, Dan Fogelberg, Alanis Morissette, Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow, Lionel Richie, and Jennifer Lopez.
Bobby has worked as a Production Manager, Tour Manager, Stage Manager, Guitar Tech and even worked as a Promoter Rep. He has done it all and is very good at any task put before him.

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RBP Rossaround with Scott Taylor, Episode 24


“Young Gun” Scott Taylor knows where he is going and he knows how he’s going to get there. I met Scott when I got hired to mix FOH for Chris Isaak. Scott was the Sound Image Rep taking care of audio set-ups for the tour. Shortly after I was hired, Scott became the Stage Manager as well as handling the audio duties and he has been doing a spectacular job. Scott wants to do many things in this business. He wants to mix FOH, be a Production Manager on big tours and he surprised me with his songwriting and singing abilities. I used some of Scotts music on this episode for the intro and outgoing bumpers. Now I am surprised he hasn’t really persued that too. While in the business for only nine years, Scott has learned a lot and is a sponge for learning new things. He asks questions and respects the older more experienced guys in the business. This is something that I really respect about Scott. Instead of being jealous of people in higher positions, he wants to learn all he can from us. I think he knows that his time will come and he wants to be the best.
Scott is NOT inexperienced. He is a proud graduate of the “Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences” and has been on the road with Bush, Linkin Park, Richie Sambora, No Doubt, New Politics, Young The Giant, Cher Lloyd and others as you will hear in this episode.
Scott has his own website and blog too can check out at Tayloredtouring.com

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RBP Rossaround with Ken Stacey of Ambrosia, Episode 23


I just started working with Ken Stacey this year when Ambrosia started calling me to mix their shows. I have been very impressed with Ken’s vocals. He’s a real pro. You don’t have to take my word for it. He is in high demand for his vocal talent. Ken has toured with Bobby Caldwell, Elton John and Ambrosia. He was all set to be on the giant but ill fated Michael Jackson tour, but after rehearsing for months with the MJ band, the world came tumbling down on all involved. Ken also worked on American Idol, coaching the young singers and writing vocal arrangements.
If you are a young singer or musician hoping to get into the music business, this interview is a must listen for you. Ken really tells it like it is and has a lot of advice for you.
In this interview, Ken tells an amazing story about his time in the Elton John Band. I am not going to give it away here, you will have to listen to hear what Ken did…

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RBP Rossaround with Bob Whyley, Episode 22


I met Bob Whyley a long time ago when Michael McDonald performed on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1993. I was Michael’s FOH Mixer, so my job was to be in the control room and make suggestions to the Tonight Show mixer. I was not allowed to touch anything but to act more like a music producer. Bob and I hit it off from the start and I came back to the show several times with other artists in the same role. Sometimes I came down just to sit and watch him work.
It is amazing to see how much goes on behind the scenes at a show like this. Through Bob, I was hired to be the “Fill-In” PA Mixer when the regular mixer took vacations or called in sick. I had a great time doing that job.
Bob has had a very long and interesting career doing many different jobs in the industry even working as a radio personality. When you listen to this interview, you will be blown away at how Bob got his start and at such an young age.
Bob has always been very supportive of me and my career and we have remained friends fo all these many years since we first met. Glad to know Bob.

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RBP Rossaround with Brian Kilgore, Episode 21


You have heard him play many times. He is all over the movies and television shows that you watch on a regular basis. Brian Kilgore is an extremely talented percussionist who I have known and worked with for many years. He has a massive collection of ethnic percussion instruments as well as all the usual orchestral and hand percussion instruments in his collection.
Brian started out as a drummer when his parents surprised him with his first drum kit that his parents bought from family friends for fifty dollars! As his career progressed, he discovered his love for percussion. He worked his way into the film and TV music business. This is no easy task to become a first call musician in this very competitive click. Brian says that it was his tenacity and his unwillingness to give up that got him there.

All the music clips that you hear under this interview were composed and performed by Brian Kilgore.

Brian has a very interesting story to tell. I am happy to know Brian as a friend and musician.

Thanks for listening.


RBP Rossaround with Jamey Tate, Episode 20


Jamey Tate is an amazingly talented musician. I met Jamey when working with David Benoit. Not only can he play the drums and read music cold, he can also write music, work as a Musical Director, arrange music and much more. Besides being a major talent, he is a genuine good guy. Always respectful of his touring partners while having great sense of humor.

Jamey hired me several years ago to mix the Spotlight Awards show while Jamey was the Musical Director and wrote all the music for the show and arranged the whole thing.

He has worked with many top artists over his long career and I think he has the talent to climb much higher.

This interview is a must for any young drummers out there that are planning to make a career as musician. Jamey has all the answers for you right here.

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RBP, Rossaround with John Tesh, Episode 19


This is a very special interview for me. I worked for John Tesh for about 12 years, recording and mixing well over thirty projects.

In the beginning, we made several records that were really inventive and exploring music styles like ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd etc. When the radio station, “The WAVE” became popular and Yanni was big, Johns music style became more “New Age” or “World Music”. John was very popular and his records were successful to the point where we were doing big tours and selling lots of records. I picked out a few music clips from the early records and a couple from the Red Rocks project and put them in this podcast. (with John’s permission of course)

My Nickname “Rossaround” actually came from some of the early sessions I did with John. I was a newlywed, and when my wife would call the studio, she would say “is Ross around”. After several times, John coined the nickname, “Rossaround”.

His Crown Jewel was the “Live At Redrocks” PBS Special which won me a Gold Record and an Emmy Nomination for “Best Sound Mixing For a Musical Special. We did other full length music videos in Europe, and in the Avalon Ballroom in Catalina.

During those years I was a friend to John and his wife Connie Sellecca and we watched each others children grow up. We enjoyed the work we did together and the money was still very good in the music business. The last project I did for John was ‘A Deeper Faith” in 2002. After that, John’s career took him into the Christian Music world and we parted ways. This was the same time that the music business took a nosedive and everyone was scrambling for work and wondering if we would ever be able make a living in this business again.

My years with John really made me a better engineer as he always thought BIG and “out of the box”. He was always full of energy. Keeping up with John was a challenge. As you can hear in this interview, John has no lack of energy.

We had a good time reminiscing the good old days and it was good to see John, Connie and their son, Gib.

I hope you enjoy what I have put together here.

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RBP Rossaround with Martin Thomas, Episode 18, Part-2, Lighting Designer Extraordinaire

We continue now with Martin’s story. If you enjoyed last weeks Part-1, your going to love Part-2. Martin goes in depth with his stories about working with great artists and tells how he almost lost his eyesight permanently, ending his career forever. Fortunately, with great doctors and the benefit of today’s technology, Martin is still out on the road dazzling the audiences with his stellar work.

We will both be back out on the road in June with Alan Parsons. Come out and see the show!

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RBP Rossaround with Martin Thomas, Episode 18, Part-1, Lighting Designer Extraordinaire


I have been working with Martin Thomas on the Alan Parsons Live shows since 2012. He never ceases to amaze me with his beautiful lighting designs an impeccable timing. We have had some great times on the road both as friends and as the FOH team. Martin has worked with many great artists including Todd Rundgren, Jill Scott, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Foreigner, Diana Ross, and Erykah Badu.

Originally from New York, he transplanted to Arizona chasing the dream of becoming a touring Lighting Designer. He has certainly made his dream come true as he is in high demand because of his boundless talent. Martin does not do the ordinary. He is always coming up with unique lighting designs and is able to adjust when things are not what he expected at load-in.

Martin has had a long and interesting career. Listen to him tell his story from the beginning up until now. This interview was recorded a couple months ago and Martin is currently on the road with Todd Rundgren. We will be getting together again in a couple weeks for a few Alan Parsons shows.

I thought about editing this down to a single episode, but I thought his life story was to interesting and important to throw any of it away. Please come back next week for episode 2 when Martin tells us in depth about his work with Alan Parsons and Todd Rundgren and also tell us how he almost lost his ability to work as an LD forever.

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RBP Rossaround with JT Mollner Episode 17, Film Director: Outlaws & Angels

JT Mollner is an up and coming American film maker. Born in Las Vegas, he had big plans as a young boy be a novelist. He was influenced by Stephen King and other writers of that genre. As he grew up he discovered acting and realized that acting was just brick in the road toward becoming a director of feature films. He has studied all the great film makers and studied all the films he could possibly watch. After making several Short Films and getting awards and accolades for his work, he finally got his wish and made his first feature film, Outlaws and Angels.
In my interview with JT, I learned that there are a lot of similarities in the film business and the music business. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to your art to succeed.

This my first podcast episode that is not about the music business. I hope you will enjoy this story. Please Subscribe, Like, Share and Comment.

PS: JT is my Nephew. His mother is my sister, Ginnie Mollner. I have watched JT grow up and go through the hard work to get to this point. I am very proud of him and I believe he will be a huge success as a great American Filmmaker.

RBP Episode 16, Rossaround with Burleigh Drummond of Ambrosia

Burleigh Drummond is one of the founding members of the 5 time Grammy Nominated band, Ambrosia. Along with David Pack, Joe Puerta and Chris North they formed the band in 1970. They had a string of hit sons; How Much I Feel, Biggest Part of Me, You’re the Only Woman, Holdin’ On to Yesterday, I Just Can’t Let Go, and other great songs very popular in the Prog Rock world. They have been through some changes over the years but they are still touring and making great music together. I was lucky to have been introduced to the band many years ago while doing engineering work for David Pack. Recently I have been doing some FOH mixing for Ambrosia and it has been a lot of fun and musically rewarding. Burleigh is a very humble guy who is a very talented drummer, percussionist, songwriter, singer and producer. His bandmates include Joe Puerta, Chris North, Mary Harris, Ken Stacey, and Doug Jackson.
If you get a chance to see them live, you will not be disappointed.
Listen to Burleigh tell the whole story of how Ambrosia got started and how their career progressed over the many years they have been together.

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RBP Episode 15, Rossaround with Tyson “TROPO” Leonard

Tyson Leonard AKA TROPO is a very talented Violinist, Artist, Producer, Songwriter, Audio Engineer, Stage Manager etc.
I met Tyson on a Jeff Bridges tour we did together several years ago. Recognizing Tysons many talents, I hired him to work with me on the Alan Parsons Live shows. Tyson has worked on the AP tours as Stage Manager, Monitor Engineer and this last year, Tyson has been featured playing violin on stage with Alan.
Tyson produces his own records performing as TROPO as well as many other artists. Tyson also plays live, sometimes with a band and sometimes with only his computer at many EDM festivals around the world.
He started his musical journey very early in life learning the violin and eventually teaching himself other instruments allowing him to record and produce his own music.
You can easily find TROPO’s music on line.
Tyson is a truly dedicated to the art musician who has sacrificed possible fame to be true to his art. I am happy to know and work with Tyson on a regular basis.
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RBP Episode 14, Rossaround with Roberto Vally

Roberto Vally, Bassist, Producer, Songwriter, Artist, recently sat down with me and told his story from start to now. Roberto has written many #1 hit songs in the Jazz/Smooth Jazz world and has played with some of the best musicians in the world. We also talked about our shared Italian heritage just for fun.
It is so amazing how all these musicians seem to rise to the top in many different ways. They all have one thing in common…DRIVE and that’s what it takes. Can’t give up if you want to be a real pro.

RBP Episode 13, Rossaround with Guy Erez

Guy is the bass player and background singer in the Alan Parsons Live Project. Guy spends most of his time, when not on the road with APLP, writing songs and composing music for various television shows.
Guy came to Los Angeles from Israel in the early 2000’s to be a professional bass player. He has had his share of ups and downs achieving his goals and is now a successful session player and composer.
In this interview Guy tells his story from his life in Israel up to now and all the twists and turns that a professional musician must go through to make a living in this difficult business.
Guy has worked with many very successful artists such as Ziggy Marley, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Love Hewitt to name a few.

RBP Episode 12, Rossaround with Alan Parsons

Alan Parsons was born in London England and first became famous for his work with Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studio. Alan recorded and mixed “Dark Side Of The Moon”. This album won him the respect from regular fans as well as the entire record industry. Alan also recorded and mixed Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother” and worked on Ummagumma. Some of Alans other big hits were The Hollies “The Air That I Breathe” and He Aint Heavy, He’s My Brother”. Alan also Produced Al Stewart’s “Modern Times” and “Year Of The Cat”. He went on to Produce two albums with Ambrosia and many other artists, he has been nominated for Grammy Awards eleven times in his career.
In his early years in the studio, he had the honor of working with The Beatles as a Tape Operator and worked on the famous “Rooftop Recording Session”. That led to him engineering several records for Paul McCartney.
Alan eventually met Eric Woolfson who started out as Alan’s Manager and then became his partner in the “Alan Parsons Project” that made nine albums. Alan is still very active in the music business. He tours the world with his band, “Alan Parsons Live Project”. I am very happy to be working for Alan since 2013 as his “Front Of House” Engineer.
Alan is currently working on a new Alan Parsons record in his new studio using members of his touring band and other great musicians. I believe we will see this new album released later this year.

RBP Episode 11, Rossaround with Mindi Abair

Mindi Abair has two Grammy Nominations for her artistry as a saxophonist, vocalist, author, and is the National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
She toured with Aerosmith during their 2012 world tour and has also played with Bruce Springsteen and Max Weinberg at the Beacon Theater in New York. She has also been featured with Paul Shaffer on the David Letterman Show.
She has had ten number 1 radio singles and two number 1 Billboard Jazz CDs. She played saxophone on the American Idol television show in 2011 and 2012.
I went to Mindi’s home to squeeze in this interview during a brief break from her hectic touring schedule. (Pardon the trash truck noise that was unavoidable during this interview.)
Mindi has redefined her sound by joining forces with “The Boneshakers” featuring Randy Jacobs and Sweet P Atkinson. The “Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers” band is a high energy rock blues band, a far cry from smooth jazz.
Mindi is a true entrepreneur who passed up some very comfortable gigs working for other artists because she knew she wanted to be her own artist and has made herself a success with loyal fans everywhere. I have worked for Mindi many times and I can say she is one of the nicest artists I have worked for in my career. I am happy for her success.

RBP Episode 10, Rossaround with David Benoit

David Benoit is a Artist, Musician, Composer, Arranger, Conductor and Radio Personality. He is a five time Grammy Nominee and Emmy Award Winner. Benoit has made over 25 albums. He is also music director for the Asia America Youth Orchestra.
David tours most years in December with “A Tribute to Charlie Brown Christmas” where he plays several songs from the popular Charlie Brown Christmas Special along with other selections from his recordings.
David’s biggest hits include, Linus & Lucy, Kei’s Song and Freedom At Midnight. Freedom At Midnight was really a groundbreaking sound that started the Smooth Jazz era.
Over his long career David has scored films and TV shows, mentored young musicians and made many wonderful recordings.
I have had the pleasure to work with David for many years as his engineer for his live shows and worked on one of his records. I hope you enjoy hearing from him as he recalls his early years and tell the story of how he started and became the great artist that he is today.

RBP Episode 9, Rossaround with Chris Walden

Chris Walden is a 7 time Grammy Nominee. He was born in Germany and came to Hollywood to seek his fortune as an Arranger and Composer for the Music, Film and TV industries. I interviewed Chris in his writing room at the historic Capitol Records building in Hollywood California. When I visited Chris, he was working on an orchestral arrangement for Celine Dion. Chris also works for many great artists such as David Foster, Barbara Steisand, George Michael, Andrea Bucelli, Aretha Franklin, Phil Ramone, Michael Buble, LeAnn Rimes, Rod Stewart, Josh Grobin, Christopher Cross and many others. Chris also did years of arranging for American Idol and The Tonite Show with Jay Leno.

Listen to Chris’s story of growing up in a musical family in Germany and rising to the top arranging and composing music. When he had done everything he could do in Germany, he made the move to the US where he could find bigger challenges.

Chris is now truly in demand here in the US and he still does work in Germany.

Please subscribe to the Rossaround Backstage Podcast, give me feedback on this and all the podcast episodes I have published. I will have new episodes for you every Wednesday.

Thanks, for listening, Ross Pallone

RBP Episode 8 Part-2, Rossaround with PJ Olsson


PJ Olsson is a Grammy Nominated Singer, Songwriter, Recording Engineer, Studio Owner, Entrepreneur and Lead singer with the Alan Parsons band. PJ has worked with hundreds of artists and producers over his long career and has really lived the life of ups and downs of the music business. His story is so great and interesting that we ended up recording this episode for two hours. I did not want to cut out anything so I decided to split it up into two parts.

Please share and subscribe to my podcast, leave me feedback and hopefully give me positive reviews. I need this to be able to continue to bring you stories from other people in the entertainment business. I have big plans to bring you interviews with many other great people.

Thanks for listening, Rossaround