As a teenager, Neil Ratner was an aspiring rock n’ roll drummer but ended up on the other side of the music business working as a tour manager, assistant manager and producer for groups like Edgar Winter, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and T-Rex, among others. After a number of successful years working in the music biz, Neil had an epiphany and decided to pursue his other childhood dream of becoming a doctor.
Michael Jackson with Dr. Neil Ratner.
He finished college, learned Spanish, spent four years at a medical school in Mexico, completed two years of surgical training and an anesthesia residency, and helped create the new specialty of office-based anesthesia in Manhattan. In doing so, Dr. Ratner became an expert in the use of the new drug, Propofol, a drug that would play a significant role in Neil’s future in regards to his most famous patient Michael Jackson.
Although Dr. Ratner encountered many celebrities in his anesthesia practice, one would change his life… Michael Jackson. Eight years after establishing his anesthesia practice, Michael Jackson walked into an office in which Neil was the Director of Anesthesia. Neil became a trusted friend and personal physician of Michael’s from 1994 to 2002, periodically going on tour and spending time with Michael at Neverland. The experiences they shared together during that time are incredible and Neil is happy to relate them to you.
Neil’s book available from his website and Amazon.
His book Rock Doc is Neil’s remarkable journey about Rock & Roll, Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela, a prison sentence with very unexpected results and how helping the poorest of the poor became a key part of his life.
These days “the Rock Doc” lives a busy life in Woodstock, NY working to expand upon his brand. He has created a FB page entitled Neil Ratner Rock Doc with over 26,000 fans and posts everyday about the good old days of rock and roll along with his personal experiences. In addition, he has created a YouTube channel with over 80 videos, a popular Instagram site and a twitter feed.
His mix of rock and roll history and personal experiences along with rock musician interviews and audience participation is perfect for syndication and a fitting cap to a career that’s made an impact in many areas.
He’s on his way to that goal as he’s started a weekly segment on WDST, Radio Woodstock, called This Week in Rock, also heard on iHeart Radio.
Link to Neil’s website: http://www.neilratnerrockdoc.com
Link to Neil’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/neilratnerrockdoc/
Here’s a link to some of Neil’s This Week in Rock shows: http://www.radiowoodstock.com/category/audio/this-week-in-rock-roll/
Link to a recent feature on Neil in Guitar International: http://guitarinternational.com/2019/05/02/interview-dr-neil-ratner/
Link to a YouTube interview with Interviewing the Legends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asHz2yDeysUListen to the full episode
Canadian singer-songwriter Will Black crafts timeless, high-energy tunes rooted in chord-driven, melodic rock n’ roll. Layers of instrumental harmonies and thoughtful lyrics explore love, lust and heartbreak and honor the classic rock songwriters that continue to inspire him including Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and John Mellencamp. Through magnetic live performances that channel the power of commanding entertainers such as the Rolling Stones, Prince and Bon Jovi, Will pulls audiences into his rock guitar-infused orbit. His latest album Cry Like Hell is a diverse collection of tunes, which provide personal insight into some of his life’s many plot twists.
Will’s creative journey has been dually marked by a deep respect for the roots of modern music and a commitment to forge his own path as an artist. As a kid growing up in the ‘80s across Canada, he was fascinated by his mother’s six-string acoustic guitar. In middle school, he began taking lessons at the local music store and eventually graduated to a “Sears Special” cherry red electric guitar. In his later teens, he developed skills as a compelling vocalist through high school bands and as leader of his own garage rock group. By the time he graduated, he had fully resolved to pursue a professional music career and began to weave his way throughout Western Canada busking, grabbing regular gigs and working jobs that gave him the freedom to develop his talent.
Will first found professional success with his classic rock duo The Doorcrashers. In 2001 he embarked on a new voyage as a full-time seafaring entertainer maintaining a rigorous live performance schedule on Carnival and Celebrity Cruise Lines. Since 2005, Will has enjoyed a long-term residency at Bermuda’s Hog Penny Pub where he performs five nights a week, April through December, frequently mixing up his show with different themes and other local acts.
For the past decade, Will Black has continued to consistently write and perform fresh material, collaborate on projects with other inventive artists and build up an enthusiastic following worldwide by sharing his deep passion for enriching the vibrant independent music community. In 2008, he recorded and self-produced his debut 8 track album Dancing With The Dead at the legendary Metalworks Studios in Toronto alongside a gifted team of the city’s top session musicians. The song Senorita Ballerina placed in the top 20 for the Rock/Alternative category in Unisong’s 12th Annual International Songwriting Contest, was nominated as Best Rock Song at the 2008 Ontario Independent Music Awards and was also selected as a Semi-Finalist in the 2008 UK Songwriting Contest.
Will Black”s Inner Circle Membership
Will’s FacebookListen to the full episode
Sup Pop Records has released early recordings with bands such as Green River, Nirvana, Soundgarden and more. The label was founded by Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman in the 80’s. The new book by Gillian Gaar illustrates the record label founders’ journey from music lovers to becoming pioneers of one of the most influential independent record companies to date.
Gillian talks about her first-hand interviews and research that went into making the book. She was there as history unfurled and could probably talk all day on the subject but this is a half hour teaser. If you want to meet the author and chat, see the below information. She is one of the foremost authorities on rock music.
Her first book of 17, She’s A Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll was published in 1992. In addition to her own books, she has appeared in various anthologies, including The Nirvana Companion; Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Guide to Women in Rock; Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History; Leonard Cohen on Leonard Cohen: Interviews and Encounters; Goldmine: The Beatles Digest (volumes one and two); and The Best of the Beatles Book. She has also researched and written some of the best Elvis literature available anywhere.
World Domination: The Sub Pop Records Story takes you on a journey from the 1980’s to now. Gillian Gaar is a Seattle-based author and local music journalist. She has also appeared in anthologies such as ‘Nirvana: The Complete Illustrated History’, ‘The Stranger Guide to Seattle’, ‘The Best of the Beatles Book’, and others.
To find out more about the book you can come her book signing.
What: Gillian Gaar Book Reading and Signing
When: Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
Where: Easy Street Records
4559 California Ave SW, (West Seattle)
Gillian Gaar is one of those rock gurus that in conversation makes you listen, and like a good concert, leaves you wanting more. Gillian is a Seattle-based author. She was editorial assistant for Krist Novoselic’s book From Grunge To Government: Let’s Fix This Broken Democracy!
She was also a project consultant/liner note writer for Nirvana’s box set With The Lights Out. She has written for numerous magazines, including Rolling Stone, Mojo, Q, Goldmine, The Seattle Times, The Stranger, Option, and No Depression, and was a senior editor at Seattle music paper The Rocket.
Gillian written liner notes for collections by Laurie Anderson, Judy Collins, Heart, Pat Benatar, Paula Cole and Mat Kearney, among others.Listen to the full episode
Stolie’s world of music began when she was six and started piano lessons. At sixteen, she learned two chords on the guitar and wrote an original song. The Coffee Mug, her first collection of original music featuring 10 songs on guitar and vocals, was self-released on cassette in 1996.
While attending Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL) initially as a Music Education major and constantly playing on campus, Stolie switched her major to English to work on writing (songwriting, that is!) Shortly after, during a study-abroad program in London, England, she was performing for loose change in the Tube and soon after, for real money at folk clubs. Upon returning to Chicago, Stolie joined an urban studies program with the Chicago Arts Program and, while living on Rush Street and taking classes in Wrigleyville, she got to work on her second collection of original music, the self-titled Stolie, released in 2000. An electro-pop album (Satire-Laden Melodies) followed in 2004 and a self-produced, arranged and recorded collection of pop/rock songs in 2008 (Between the Fake and Real) was featured on Chicago’s Finest Rock station, WXRT.
Stolie has toured the country in support of her original music and with former all-girl trio, Tres Femmes, worked as a publicist and radio promoter for Bloodshot Records and Call Girl PR, has rocked cover tunes in several acoustic duos — The Acoustic Sideshow with Scott Schaefer, with Gina Gonzalez (Lt. Dan Band with Gary Sinise), and with improv comedian Cat McDonnell — and teaches guitar and piano lessons. Stolie was host to a weekly Thursday night acoustic open mic at the famous Murphy’s Bleachers bar in Wrigleyville for 8 years and also provides musical accompaniment for wedding ceremonies and cocktail hours for local music production company, Cage & Aquarium Productions. Nowadays, Stolie mostly plays children’s shows as Super Stolie for birthday parties, park districts, libraries and street festivals and also with her children’s rock band, Super Stolie and The Rockstars. She released her first children’s CD, When I Grow Up, in 2009, her 2nd, Press Play!, in the winter 2012 and welcomed her third kids’ CD, Family in Harmony, during the summer of 2015.
Stolie’s HomepageListen to the full episode
Her podcast Wait for the Dawn is all about the mindset needed to pursue dreams, goals and passions.
Sachiko Tiana believes that regardless of what we’re facing, the dawn is coming! There is light at the end of the tunnel and the hard things we’ve been through won’t last forever. We weren’t meant to live in survival mode – we’re meant to thrive! The best way for us to thrive is for everyone to pursue what they’re MOST passionate about.
And, she writes and records music. Sachiko’s original songs range from a mix of thought-provoking lyrics to flirtatious love songs to fun and groovy, soulful tunes. People have said she has the smoothness of Sade, the emotional essence of Anita Baker, combined with the lively positivity of Alicia Keys. No matter who you are, you’re guaranteed to leave with a heart full of joy, simply because of the love Sachiko brings to every aspect of her message.
She was born in 1985 in San Francisco, CA to drug addicted parents. Her parents were not married and were often breaking up and making up. Her two younger siblings are the result of each of their reunions. Her mom’s death and her dad’s drug addictions left Sachiko the one responsible for cooking, cleaning, changing diapers while attending school and “trying desperately to seem normal.”
“My dad was dealing with his own pain from my Mom’s death and became even more addicted to drugs, and became less and less useful. I always knew when we didn’t have any money because he would go through withdrawals and not get out of bed for days at a time (and be an absolute terror to be around). He’d send me to buy cigarettes and alcohol, and he would take us along when he finally had money to buy drugs. I would sit in the car and sing at the top of my lungs to distract me and the kids from what was happening. I remember a drug dealer telling me that he could hear me singing and that I was something special – such a strangely vivid memory.”
Music became a huge outlet for her. “From church and school choirs, to recording songs in our garage on the reel-to-reel recorder my dad set up, music was an integral part of my life. Though many of my memories of my dad are truly painful, I do credit him in a myriad of ways for my love of music and songwriting. It was at the age of 10 that I decided I wanted to be a singer.”
Sachiko’s WebsiteListen to the full episode