RPB with Duke Mollner S2, Episode 3

Here is a truly amazing story of a guy that has lived so many exciting and challenging times in his life. I really enjoyed interviewing Duke Mollner and enjoyed it again when I was preparing the audio for you. Duke is my Brother-In-Law. He is married to my sister Ginnie Pallone Mollner (https://rossaroundbackstagepodcast.com/rpb-with-ginnie-pallone-mollner-s2e-2/) who I interviewed the day before I did this one.

Duke started out doing High School and College Plays and Musicals. He then went on to become a Marine Helicopter Pilot during the Viet Nam era. Fortunately, he never had to go to Viet Nam. He was inspired early on by the dancing in West Side Story and decided he wanted to become a Jazz Dancer. There’s great story in this interview that tells about the time his Marine buddies found out he was taking Jazz Dancing lessons. You can imagine the ribbing he must have taken but you’ll have to listen to find out the stunt they pulled on him.

After his 6 years in the Marines, he pursued his dancing career and intertwined in that part of his life he learned to deal Craps and Baccarat in Las Vegas which started another interesting chapter to his life. Duke had a very successful career as a Dancer and Singer in some of the biggest shows in Las Vegas. Duke still deals Baccarat at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas where he holds title to the only “Singing Baccarat Dealer” in the world.

He eventually went on to create one of the greatest and scariest Halloween Haunted House business’s in the USA and the world. https://www.freaklingbros.com

Duke no longer dances but he still deals Baccarat at the Bellagio Hotel and owns the great Freakling Brothers Halloween Haunted Houses. Duke tells us all about this business in the interview.

RPB with Ginnie Pallone Mollner S2,E-2

Ginnie Pallone Mollner is my sister. She started singing at very early age in Pittsburgh and always new she wanted to be a professional singer. My parents moved us to California because of the weather but also to help Ginny get a start in the music business. She went through all the usual stuff that singers at that time went through. She got a record deal and released a few songs but her career really peaked being a live performer in Las Vegas. She worked in the biggest shows in Vegas and rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in show biz.
Ginny has a beautiful voice reminiscent of Karen Carpenter. Her career and life story is very interesting, I hope you will enjoy her story. I learned a lot of things that I never knew about her doing this interview. Both my sisters and I are very close and I am so very grateful of our relationship.

RBP Rossaround with Ross Pallone Season 2, Episode 1

It’s a new year and after taking a bit of a hiatus in December and January, I am excited to get season 2 of the RBP off the ground. After biting of more than I could chew last year, I have decided I will publish 2 episodes per month instead of one every week.. I published 42 episodes last year and I am proud of that work but it was very stressful.

S2,E1 is just me ringing in this new season. Episode 2 is an interview that I did with my sister who was a professional singer all her life and she was partly responsible for my musical aspirations.

Many of you know that I was the FOH/PM for Alan Parsons for the last 6 years but I had to move on from that position as I had the opportunity to go to work for Chris Isaak and I could not do both. My decision to make the change was a very difficult and complicated one as I really loved mixing for Alan and love my AP family. A big factor for me was that I was very burnt out on having the “Manager” tag on my name. I spent about 10 years working as a FOH Mixer & Tour Manager and or Production Manager and it was nothing that I ever really desired to do. My position with CI is exactly what I want to do. I mix FOH and have no managerial duties. The show is great. The people are great and the organization is top notch.

Advancing shows as a PM or TM is very time consuming and I am enjoying spending more time mixing records at my home studio. I am getting more new clients now and I am very happy doing this kind of work.

I hope you will all enjoy my upcoming interviews. I would very much appreciate it if you would click the “LIKE” button and subscribe to my podcast.

Have a great new year, Ross

RBP Rossaround with Michael Stever, Episode 42

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Michael Stever and I worked together for several years on the Brian Culbertson tours. He is a great trumpet player who has done well for himself because of all his hard work and education. In Michael’s interview you will learn how he has worked his way up the ladder to get the big sessions, playing in horn sections with the greatest horn players in the world.
He works the big sessions and teaches at USC here in California.

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RBP Rossaround with Mary Harris of Ambrosia, Episode 41

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Yet another member of the Classic Rock group, Ambrosia. Mary has been playing with Ambrosia for several years now, giving the band a female voice and a second keyboard player to play along with Christopher North. Mary is a classically trained pianist but concentrates her efforts in the rock and pop world. Mary is a songwriter, sings beautifully and teaches private piano and voice lessons.
Mary toured and sang with Jimmy Buffet for several years, and has worked with other very talented artists such as Warren Zevon, Bill Champlin, Helen Reddy, Stewart Copeland, Stanley Clarke, Carole King, John Ford Coley and Animal Logic. She even sang for a Pink Floyd live video doing vocal sweetening. Mary has accomplished all this while raising two children with Burleigh Drummond.
I am happy to get to work with Mary and Ambrosia on many of their live shows. It’s always a pleasure.

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RBP Rossaround with “Frame By Frame”, Episode 40

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“Frame By Frame” is a Ventura County based three piece band that I had the pleasure to record and mix a few months ago. The project was supposed to be a no-frills recording that truly represents this band as you would hear them live. The band did not want to make it a highly produced record. We went into Hybrid Studios in Orange County California for one day where we recorded the five songs, then finished up the vocals at my studio and finally mixed and mastered at Rossaround Studio in Thousand Oaks, CA by yours truly. Thanks to Tom Brooks for helping us get the studio time at Hybrid Studios.
Nick Jerrems is a great songwriter and he plays the guitar and sings lead. Matt Riddle plays bass and sings backgrounds. Bryan Lawrence plays drums and synth. They all collaborate on the arrangements and work together asa band.
This is the first time for me interviewing a whole band at once so it make it a very different episode. Hope you enjoy it and please go out and order the EP, it’s only $6. You can find “Fast Days Fast Nights” on all the usual outlets.

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RBP Rossaround with Kenny Aronoff, Episode 39

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You might think that a guy that has had so much success and is in such demand might be kinda stuck up, but not Kenny Aronoff. We became friends very quickly when we worked together on two shows with David Pack one a weekend. Great guy that really likes to help people get ahead and reach their goals. Kenny does not believe in trophy’s for everyone. He believes that everyone must work for their success just as he did. My interview with Kenny was fun and enlightening. Kenny’s success and talent did not come easily, nobody did it for him. When he got smacked down, he pulled himself up and refused to accept anything but the very best from himself. This is truly a success story created by hard work and determination.

Kenny has played with some the best people in the music business such as John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, Smashing Pumpkins, Rod Stewart and way too many to name here. Just listen to my interview and you will understand what a super talented drummer he is and what an amazing career he has had. He is far from done with his accomplishments. He has also started working as motivational speaker behind his first book, “Sex, Drugs, Rock’N’Roll” to be followed up buy a second book to be released later.

I am so happy that I was able to get this interview. I know he has a lot of fans that will love hearing his story.

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RBP Rossaround with Steve Sykes, Episode 38

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We have known about each other for many years but never met in person. Steve Sykes is a cool guy that has done a lot of different things during his career. He taught himself to play guitar good enough to be a successful studio musician. Taught himself to play the drums good enough to be a working drummer and finally taught himself to be a recording engineer working with many high profile clients while making a decent living. I call that a success story!

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RBP Rossaround with Dan Tracey, Episode 37

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Dan Tracey is a extremely talented Singer, Songwriter, Musician and Producer. I met Dan when he was the Stage Manager for the Alan Parsons band. He is now a band member. Dan also had a stint playing for Bad Company.

Dan works all the time in Nashville singing, writing and producing at the same time he has a very successful corporate band called “Lipstick Blonde” with his wife Sheryl. His latest project, “Save The World” is a great showcase for his singing and songwriting. I have used some of the S.T.W. music in this episode. If you would like to hear more and buy the album go to http://savetheworldband.com or get it through iTunes.

I always love working with Dan, he’s is truly a good guy and a good friend.

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RBP Rossaround with Tim Heintz, Episode 36

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I’ve met and worked with a lot of people in the music business and Tim Heintz has been a truly great friend to me for over 30 years. We met when he started working with Michael McDonald as his keyboard player. Tim and I have remained friends all these years and have worked on countless recording projects together.

Some of his credits include, Chaka Kahn, George Benson, Tom Scott, John Tesh, Al Jarreau and Bob James.

Not only is Tim super talented but he is really a good human and anyone would be proud to know such a great guy. As you will hear in this episode, Tim has worked with many great artists over the years and done some very interesting projects. He also tells the story of how he, his wife and three young daughters left their very comfortable life here in California to travel to South Africa to live in a poverty stricken community for a year and a half to help orphans of the Aids epidemic and help the community with a variety of problems. Truly a good person.

Tim now mostly composes music for theme parks and Disney is his biggest client. So, next time your at a Disney park and hear the music that is in the parades and shows, it might very well be Tims music.

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RBP Rossaround with Mark Browne, Episode 35

Music on this episode by Lily Wilson, Produced my Mark Browne

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I met Mark when we worked together on a Christopher Cross Tour. He is a great Bassist, Composer, Musical Director, Producer and a Professor at the Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena CA.

Mark has worked with countless bands and artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Simple Minds, Cher, Lily Wilson, Kiki Ebsen etc. He started with the piano, moved to drums and then found his life career with the bass. Mostly self taught and as he calls it “Pier Taught”.

It’s always a tough road for us in the music business but only the strongest and talented survive as Mark has done and continues to move forward.

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RBP Rossaround with Mary Broadbent, Episode 34

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Another young upcoming Professional doing everything she can to compete in the male dominated job market of professional crew people. I met Mary on the Chris Isaak Tour where she handles selling the merchandise and wrangling the VIP pre-show meet & greets. She has a lot of experience doing this job but she really prefers to work with the bands in the production side. Mary has worked as a Tour Manager, Assistant TM and PM also a Drum and Guitar Tech and FOH.
Here is an example of a person who is not afraid to try any job and works hard to do the research if she doesn’t know the answer. I like to see people in this business that are willing to learn for more experienced people and willing to do what it takes to move into the positions she wants.
She has worked with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and many other bands doing various jobs. She’s a real go getter and a pleasure to work with. Always a smile and a laugh. (except early mornings) Ha!

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RBP Rossaround with Joe Haramut, Episode 33

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Here’s a great story from a young guy that has made himself a success story in the competitive job market of the music industry. Joe Haramut gave up a college university scholarship to opt for a life in the music business. He quickly found out that this business doesn’t always go in the direction that you have imagined for yourself. Thinking he would graduate from The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences and go on to work in a recording studio, he found himself in the touring end of the business. He is happy with the change and is managing to work for national touring acts while continuing to write music, perform and record original material. Joe is currently working with me on the Chris Isaak Tour.
I have included some clips of Joe’s original music in this episode.
This is a great interview to listen to if you are considering a career in the music biz.

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RBP Rossaround with Tim Aller, Episode 32

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Tim Aller has had many jobs in the music and touring business, he is a real pro. Tim is the Tour Manager for the Robert Cray band and is also the Manager for Robert under the Fitzgerald Hartley Management company.
I apologize for the background noise on this interview, but his office was the only place available at the time and it is a big open office.
Tim’s story is very interesting journey from his early days as a drummer, then a studio recording engineer and drum/synth programmer and he is still moving forward and upward.
I have to thank Tim for helping me out and teaching me how to be a TM. I had a one day lesson from Tim when I got kinda forced into being a TM for Christopher Cross and David Benoit. He really helped me out with his knowledge.

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RBP Rossaround with Kenney Dale Johnson, Episode 31

Chris Isaak, Azkena Rock Festival, Medizabala, Vitoria-Gasteiz, 26/VI/2010. Foto por Dena Flows

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I started working with Kenney Dale Johnson last October. He has an unusual drumming style that fits perfectly with Chris Isaak’s music. He also sings harmonies a lot with Chris and they have a very tight blend.
Born in the small Texas town of Borger, he moved to Austin and eventually to San Francisco where he met up with Chris Isaak. He believed in Chris in the early years before Chris was a big star. He hung in there when their touring life was not so glamorous. Now, over 33 years later they are still rock’n together. Kenney also plays the part of Chris’s sidekick like Ed McMahon was to Johnny Carson.
It’s a real pleasure to work with Kenney and all the guys and girls in the Chris Isaak entourage. I hope you enjoy Kenney’s story

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RBP Rossaround with Roly Salley, Episode 30

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Roly Salley has been the bass player in the Silvertone Band (Chris Isaak) for over 33 years. He has had an exciting career working with many artists and living the musican life with all of the complicated twists and turns in that come with that lifestyle.

I have featured Roly’s original music in this podcast episode. Roly is a talented singer and songwriter.

I have been working with Roly since last October 2017. It has been a real pleasure getting to know him and listening to him play night after night, a really solid bass player and singer.

I really think you will enjoy getting know the real Rowland Salley. Check out his website: http://rowlandsalley.com

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RBP Rossaround with Michael Mason Episode 29

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I met Michael at the beginning of his career with Jame Newton Howard. He became a very important cog in the complicated film scoring machine. I was recording and mixing for them during James’s first dozen or so movie’s. Michael was such a hard worker and he learned so much about scoring movies during that time that he became a very important part of getting these huge projects done.
Over the years, Michael went on to work with other great composers and worked on hundreds on films and TV episodes.
Michael’s great love all this time was to be a drummer but the incredible time demands put on him working on film and TV scores he had to put that on hold. Now he is able to work as a drummer again but he is still involved with the film scoring.

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RBP Rossaround with Scott Plunkett Episode 28

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Scott Plunkett has had an amazing career and has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business including some of my very favorite artists such as Michael McDonald, Don Henley, Boz Scaggs, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks and Chris Isaak. Scott has also been responsible to creating thousands of sounds, patches and samples for Yamaha and many other keyboard manufacturers.
I had the pleasure of meeting Scott many years ago when I was working for Michael McDonald and we have remained friends ever since. I am once again working with Scott on the Chris Isaak tour.
While Scott is very humble about his singing, I think he has a really cool voice. I have inserted three samples of his original music into this episode. I especially like his Prog-Rock song, “Reign of Tears” that I included in full in the middle section of this episode. I think my Prog Rock friends will really like it.
Scott has some great road stories to tell and I believe that everyone will enjoy listening to Scott tell his musical life story.

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RBP Rossaround with Dave Pallett, Episode 27

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I am so very fortunate to work with so many talented people in my career. Not all are celebrities as I have been showcasing in my podcast episodes. I have been working with Dave Pallett since October 2017 when I came aboard the Chris Isaak tour. Dave is our Monitor Engineer and is a really good one. He keeps the band happy with the sound on the stage.
Dave lives in Edmonton Canada, born in the UK. He has worked for many great artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Dido, Alanis Morissette, Avril Lavigne, Tracy Chapman, Loreena McKennitt and many others. Dave worked with several of these artists on their very first tours and has some very interesting insights about working with new artists that are not used to performing live.
Dave’s hobby is writing songs, singing and recording them. He does a lot of his recording while on the road. I have featured some of Dave’s music in this podcast.
It has been a real pleasure to work with Dave as well as all the band and crew on the CI tour.

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RBP Rossaround with Jan Mengeling, Episode 26

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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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