Episode 42 – John Bell and Denny Walley

Seth and Rob update the listeners on the coming wTnS Live event at City Winery on September 19th. Then Turner explains who Denny Walley is and describes his own efforts to procure this interview backstage at Hampton70. Denny talks about his Colonel memories, including the fact that while he was in a band called The Detours, he was at one point in the same room with Colonel Bruce Hampton, but the two would not meet until many years later. Denny talks about going to a desert high school with Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart and James “Motorhead” Sherwood, and how Motor recommended Denny to Zappa, and the strange way Walley endeared himself to FZ which would ultimately land him on Zappa’s “Bongo Fury” Tour. Denny also discusses Capt. Beefheart’s unusual creative process, and how a guy named John French was key to its success. He also tells about how he and Motorhead blew their side project’s chance at a major record deal because they pre-crashed an Elton John party in hilarious fashion. Rob shares a story about how he blew his one chance to meet Zappa and then we return to backstage at Atlanta’s Fox Theater for the full chat with Widespread Panic’s John Bell. Bell talks extensively about Col. Bruce Hampton and shares a few legendary Bruce stories. Bell also reveals that he is considerably less enthusiastic about seeing concerts himself these days than he had been not too long ago. He apparently even has to be careful not to lose himself in the music of his opening acts. Rob responds to Bell’s point about Colonel giving him the inspiration to be himself on stage by asking about Bell’s improvised raps, and Bell reluctantly discusses this unique talent, eventually identifying Van Morrison’s as his chief influence (leading Turner to suggest that WsP cover Morrison’s “Real Real Gone” with Randall Bramblett and the MegaBlasters). Bell also explains how lineup changes have invigorated Widespread Panic over the years, and specifically speaks to how they worked keyboardist JoJo Hermann’s clavinet into their sound in the 90s. Then Seth and Rob argue over how their next live event is billed, and Turner tells his story of being calmed down by Bell during the dreary post-Hampton70 chaos. wTnS is Produced by Rob Turner and Engineered by Josh Thane of Wonder Dog Sounds Studio. www.joshthaneproductions.com www.wonderdogsounds.com Inside Out w/ Turner and Seth: insideoutwtns.com Twitter: @InsideoutWTNS Instagram: www.instagram.com/insideoutwtns Facebook: www.facebook.com/insideoutwTnS