The Bob Lefsetz Podcast


Bob Lefsetz is the author of “The Lefsetz Letter.” Listen to his new podcast where he'll address the issues at the core of the music business, internet, and the world at large.

All Episodes

Brinsley Schwarz was a king of the pub rock scene with his own band and then became a member of the Rumour, which backed up Graham Parker and ultimately released records under its own moniker. Brinsley went on to work as a guitar tech in a music shop and then reunited with Graham Parker after getting over his fear of flying. Listen to the story of a journeyman who was never a star, but made a life out of music, who has a new album to boot! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Dec 2

1 hr 55 min

Tommy James cut "Hanky Panky" when he was just a teenager, and then he signed with Morris Levy's Roulette Records and ended up with tons of hits, but very little money. Listen to the story of an artist who pushed the limits of the hit single idiom (remember the tremolo effect in "Crimson and Clover"?) and toured with all the stars of the sixties as well as Hubert Humphrey! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Nov 25

2 hr 1 min

Paul Carrack wrote and sang the classic "How Long" for his band Ace, and sang "Tempted" for Squeeze and "Silent Running" and "The Living Years" for Mike and the Mechanics. Carrack also played keys on such varied albums as Roxy Music's "Avalon," the Pretenders' "Learning to Crawl" and Elton John's "Made in England." He's part of Eric Clapton's touring band and is on the road doing solo shows. Listen to how a boy from Sheffield makes a life in music. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Nov 18

1 hr 54 min

You'll like Donny Osmond after listening to this podcast, he's definitely not a bad apple! We talk about growing up in Southern California, the Osmonds, the Donny & Marie TV show, as well as Vegas and his new album. Donny talks about being broke and needing to resuscitate his career, he's fully aware of his public image. And who inspired his comeback, none other than PETER GABRIEL! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Nov 11

2 hr 8 min

You're gonna love this. Chris Kimsey, producer and engineer for the Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Duran Duran and more, not only opines on those records, he also goes deep into equipment, technique and Dolby Atmos. If you have any interest in the studio, this is right up your alley. And even if not, you'll dig the stories. Amazing! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Nov 4

2 hr 30 min

From the Baltimore docks to the Hollywood Bowl... Gina Schock is the drummer of the Go-Go's, a songwriter for Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez and the author of a new photo book about her band. Tune in to hear how a woman with a passion for rock made it to the top. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Oct 28

1 hr 58 min

Stevie Van Zandt, aka "Miami Steve," aka "Little Steven," aka "Silvio Dante," has written an autobiography, "Unrequited Infatuations." We dig into the process of writing the book, and we also cover the landscape from New Jersey...back to New Jersey! Growing up with the radio, the greatness of the Beatles, struggling in Asbury Park, failing to make the E Street Band, going straight and doing construction, playing the oldies circuit, making the E Street Band, going solo, returning to the E Street Band and appearing in "The Sopranos" and... Steven says he's not good with money, but he's had a jam-packed career, his life is rich with experiences, listen as we go deep! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Oct 21

2 hr 18 min

Gary Katz produced every Steely Dan album from "Can't Buy a Thrill" to "Gaucho" as well as Donald Fagen's "Nightfly." Listen as we chart Gary's career from Brooklyn to Hollywood, from Bobby Darin to Warner Brothers, with ABC/Dunhill in between. I guarantee you'll learn something about Steely Dan you didn't know! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Oct 14

1 hr 55 min

The Lovin' Spoonful, need I say more? From Mugwumps to Woodstock to "Kotter," this is an in-depth exploration of John's life, who he is and how he made it. From Greenwich Village to the "Ed Sullivan Show" to the world! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Oct 7

2 hr 13 min

Dennis Arfa is CEO of Artist Group International where he is the agent for Billy Joel, Metallica, Def Leppard and many more. Arfa is a student of the game who knows where all the dollars in a deal are buried. We cover everything from the role of the agent in the world of overall touring deals to the duties of an agent to the evolution of Arfa's company and his career. This is a must listen for those interested in the touring business, it includes up to date information you'll want to know! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Sep 30

2 hr 13 min

James McMurtry has a great new album "The Horses and the Hounds" that addresses the world from an adult perspective. We discuss the life of a modern troubadour, releasing music to generate publicity and ticket sales, for McMurtry it's all about the live show. Despite being self-deprecating, James oozes with insight. This is a chance to get into the head of one of our foremost singer-songwiters. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Sep 23

1 hr 20 min

The Fat Rat is the king of gaming music. He's got over 5.5 million YouTube subscribers and over 2 billion streams on YouTube and Spotify. Find out how a musician from a small city in Germany conquered the music business, going from Berlin to America and ultimately back again, signing to Universal and then leaving, finding he makes more money independently and can do whatever he chooses artistically. Want to know how to make it today? LISTEN! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Sep 16

1 hr 31 min

Paul Anka is a raconteur who tells us not only about his new album, but his writing process and 60+ years in the business, from bus tours with Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers to the Copa to Vegas to writing the theme song for "The Tonight Show" and "My Way" for Frank Sinatra. This is history come alive, with a lot of insight baked in, you'll dig this. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Sep 9

2 hr 7 min

Suzi Quatro is a trip! You're gonna dig this podcast even if you've never heard any of her hit singles or seen her on "Happy Days" or read any of her books or seen her on stage or listened to her radio show... Suzi is open and honest about everything, displaying her Detroit roots despite living in the U.K. for decades. Suzi needed to make it, and she's still out there doing it. It was a blast talking to her! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Sep 2

1 hr 59 min

John Hall had hit records with his band Orleans, was voted Ski Instructor of the Year at Hunter Mountain, and ultimately was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms...and in between he was one of the driving forces behind No Nukes! We discuss John's activism as well as his musical history, how he moved to New York City and after a number of record deals ultimately struck it rich on Asylum with "Dance With Me" and "Still the One." We go deep into the details of what it takes to not only have a hit record, but to get elected to Congress. Meanwhile, John's still at it, he's got a new album entitled "Reclaiming My Time." You will thoroughly enjoy your time listening to Hall tell stories of his life and career! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Aug 26

1 hr 58 min

Ann Wilson, vocalist extraordinaire, is the lead singer of Heart. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Aug 19

1 hr 48 min

You know food luminary Andrew Zimmern from TV shows like "Bizarre Foods" on the Travel Channel and "What's Eating America" on MSNBC. Here we address all the issues in today's food world, from the pay of restaurant help to the quality of ingredients to the ability of food to heal our nation. Plus, we get Andrew's personal story, his interest in the culinary world from a young age, his descent into drugs, alcohol and homelessness, his rejuvenation in rehab in Minnesota and his journey back from dishwasher to chef to radio and TV personality. Andrew puts the food world in perspective, it's much larger and more significant than you think. And he can tell the tale! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Aug 12

2 hr 20 min

Rod Argent started out in the Zombies, for which he wrote the classics "She's Not There," "Tell Her No" and "Time of the Season." After the band broke up Argent formed a group under his own name and with Chris White composed their Top Five hit "Hold Your Head Up." Then with partner Peter Van Hooke he produced Tanita Tikaram's multi-platinum album "Ancient Heart" with its MTV staple "Twist in My Sobriety." And now he's in the Zombies once again! Not only does Rod tell the stories of the acts and the hits, he details what it was like growing up in the U.K. in the days of shortages, when the world was still in black and white. Argent is an amazing raconteur, you'll love hearing his stories! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Aug 5

1 hr 51 min

Patrick Spence is the CEO of Sonos. We discuss the creation of products, the marketing thereof, the company's place in the landscape as well as Patrick's history at BlackBerry! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jul 29

1 hr 34 min

Michael Rapino is CEO and President of Live Nation. Need I say more? Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jul 22

1 hr 52 min

Harry Wayne Casey is "K.C." of K.C. and the Sunshine Band. He co-wrote and co-produced the first worldwide disco hit, "Rock Your Baby," and then followed it up with five number ones and a number two with his own group. K.C. worked his way up from record store clerk to label employee to international hit artist...on an independent label! Here we get the history as well as insight into the whirlwind of international stardom and an update on what K.C. is doing today. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jul 15

1 hr 37 min

Rick Beato has 2.42 million subscribers to his YouTube channel "Everything Music": He has scores of videos with more than one million views, his "Top 20 Acoustic Guitar Intros Of All Time" has 13 million views! Rick teaches you how to play the songs and analyzes why they're great or why they're not. Pull up his page, but be prepared to go down the rabbit hole, as we do in this conversation, where we discuss Rick's history, how he creates his videos and the ups and downs of the YouTube game. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jul 8

1 hr 58 min

Judy Collins was so upfront and honest she blew my mind. Judy talked in-depth about Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan and also spoke about her alcoholism and her son's suicide. I can see why Stephen Stills wrote "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"...and we cover that too! What a refreshing alternative to those who are snooty or reticent, you talk to Judy and you're immediately her friend, you could see hanging out for hours, revealing each other's truth. Judy's already back to doing live gigs and is as vibrant as someone many decades her junior. I LOVED TALKING TO HER! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jul 1

2 hr 2 min

Legendary ZZ Top guitarist Billy F. Gibbons has a new solo album, "Hardware." We discuss its making in the desert as well as Mexican food, hot sauce, automobiles, travel, "I'm Bad, I'm Nationwide" and so much more. Billy is quite the raconteur and you'll want to hear him opine on multiple topics, it's like hanging with a good friend! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jun 24

1 hr 37 min

A man who needs no introduction... Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jun 17

1 hr 55 min

Merck Mercuriadis runs the most talked about company in music today, Hipgnosis Songs Fund, which has raised money to purchase the publishing catalogs of such luminaries as Jack Antonoff, Shakira, Steve Winwood, Nikki Sixx, Neil Schon, Mark Ronson, LA Reid, Dave Stewart, Chris Cornell, Chrissie Hynde, Carole Bayer Sager...and even half of Neil Young's! We cover Merck's history, his theory in starting Hipgnosis, his relationship with artists and much more. Originally recorded for Canadian Music Week. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jun 10

2 hr 1 min

Bloomberg's Brad Stone is the expert on Amazon, he's written today's best selling book "Amazon Unbound" and 2013's "The Everything Store." Tune in to hear discussion of Jeff Bezos, the management processes of Amazon, the warehouses, third party sellers, AWS, Prime Video, hardware and more. This is the definitive statement! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jun 3

1 hr 31 min

Jonathan Taplin started out as the road manager for the Jim Kweskin Jug Band and Judy Collins and then he became the tour manager for the Band. Along the way he worked with Bob Dylan and the Band at the Isle of Wight and helped produce the Concert for Bangladesh. Subsequently, Taplin produced Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets" and brokered the sale of Disney and... Tune in to hear what was really happening in Woodstock with Bob Dylan and the Band and so much more! Learn more about your ad-choices at

May 27

1 hr 26 min

Shelly Banjo, Bloomberg's New York Bureau Chief, is the #1 expert on TikTok. Here we cover the company's birth, its algorithm, how music is picked and used, record companies' involvement, how much money creators make...TikTok is where hits start today, you need to listen to this! Learn more about your ad-choices at

May 20

1 hr 49 min

Dexter Holland is the lead singer and songwriter for the Offspring. We discuss his upbringing in Orange County, the formation of the band, his education, his Ph.D., his reaction to the band's "overnight" success with "Come Out and Play," label deals, his plane and... Learn more about your ad-choices at

May 13

1 hr 37 min

Tom Freston was CEO of MTV Networks and then Viacom and is presently Chairman of the One Campaign, as well as an advisor to Vice and other companies. Tom is a fount of knowledge and insight, and he's down to earth and friendly. It's one thing to be a manager of people, quite another to be able to deliver live. We cover Africa, Afghanistan, Tom's upbringing, his clothing company in Asia and, of course, we go in-depth into MTV. He was was so good, I tingled. You absolutely do not want to miss this! Learn more about your ad-choices at

May 6

2 hr 14 min

Jimmy Kimmel is just funny. Add his superior intellect and you know why he's successful. Furthermore, he makes you feel included, like his best friend. We cover Jimmy's roots in Brooklyn as well as Las Vegas, his radio career, his discovery as a TV personality by Fred Silverman to "Win Ben Stein's Money," "The Man Show," Crank Yankers" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Jimmy pulls no punches, either on his TV show or in this podcast. Even if you don't watch, you should listen, to get a feel for the playing field, to hear how someone makes it! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Apr 29

2 hr 3 min

Steve Cropper is literally a living legend. Guitar player, producer, writer...Cropper has had a hand in some of the most iconic tracks of all time, from "Green Onions" to "In the Midnight Hour" to "Knock on Wood" to "Dock of the Bay" to... We chart Steve's history from Missouri to Memphis, from the Mar-Keys to Booker T and the MGs, from Jim Stewart to Tom Dowd to John Lennon and the Blues Brothers and so much more. We discuss the creative process, the equipment, the characters...we go deep, and you don't want to miss this! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Apr 22

1 hr 54 min

Slava Rubin was a cofounder and CEO of crowdfunding platform Indiegogo and in addition to being a founder and managing partner of investment firm humbition, he is now executive chairman of Vincent Alternative Investments, check it out: We discuss Slava's history, but we also go deep into alternative investments, i.e. NFTs and other assets you can purchase all or just a slice of. If you want to know all about cutting edge investments, this is the place! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Apr 15

1 hr 49 min

Dan Penn is a living legend who co-wrote "I'm Your Puppet," "Dark End of the Street," "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," "Cry Like a Baby" and he produced the Box Tops' legendary hit THE LETTER! Dan recently released his first solo album in years, "Living on Mercy," and it's amazingly satisfying, check it out. And listen to this podcast to hear Dan's story, from Muscle Shoals to Memphis, he was there, the history comes alive. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Apr 8

1 hr 26 min

Tom Rush is the original singer/songwriter. Honing his chops in Cambridge while attending Harvard, Tom ultimately got record deals at Elektra and Columbia and is famous for not only his own songs, but for introducing those of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne to the masses. Listen as we hear not only about the history, but Tom's battle with Covid-19 and the aftermath, as well as what he's up to today. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Apr 1

1 hr 33 min

Michael Fremer is the king of vinyl, he believed in its comeback when everybody else was selling their LPs. We discuss the availability of presses, demand, sound... Also, Michael is Senior Contributing Editor of "Stereophile" and thus we discuss audio equipment, what you should buy, how much you have to spend for good sound, turntable set-up... Fremer is a giant in his field, you want to listen to what he has to say. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Mar 25

1 hr 46 min

Warren Haynes is the number one utility player in rock music today. Whether with the Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule, the Dead or other acts, for decades Warren has been playing guitar, without airs, depending only on chops, on stages and in studios throughout the nation. Furthermore, his vocals are as sweet as his guitar licks. Here we cover Warren's start in North Carolina as well as the breakup of the Allman Brothers and more. Unassuming, yet articulate, Warren has miles of experience and is as vital as ever. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Mar 18

1 hr 39 min

Most famously the manager of Dire Straits, Ed Bicknell started out as a drummer before becoming an agent and a manager and a drummer once again (you can hear him with the Notting Hillbillies!) Ed takes us all the way from the fifties in the U.K. to the agency world of today, with stops at the Shadows, the Beatles, Gerry Rafferty and so much more. Ed tells a good tale, you'll love hearing the history from him. (Recorded live at the International Live Music Conference.) Learn more about your ad-choices at

Mar 11

2 hr 24 min

Led Zeppelin, U2, Queen, Pink Floyd, the Who, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli... What do they all have in common? They've had shows promoted by Harvey Goldsmith. A Commander of the Order of the British Empire, even though he has no airs, Harvey Goldsmith has not only been a promoter, he's been the manager of Billy Connolly, Jeff Beck, the aforementioned Pavarotti... We start with the return of live shows and then move on to explorations of Brexit, Harvey's trials and tribulations in the concert business and even his bus trip across America in the sixties where he met the Grateful Dead. Harvey has been there and done that and is still doing it. Listen to one of the masters. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Mar 4

2 hr 10 min

David Fishof started out booking bands in the Catskills, then he dropped out of college to become a sports agent, representing household names like Lou Piniella and Phil Simms, and then he switched to music, putting the Monkees back together, signing Ringo Starr to do his All Starr Band shows, creating the Happy Together tour, promoting "Dirty Dancing" on stage and more! Now Fishof has segued into producing the Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp and during Covid he's been promoting master classes with rock stars. Yes, David Fishof is an energetic entrepreneur who makes things happen. This is his story. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Feb 25

1 hr 55 min

Steven Wilson has a new solo album, "The Future Bites." We discuss this as well as his work with Porcupine Tree but even if you're not a fan of his music, even if you've never heard of him, you need to listen to hear Wilson's stories of remixing King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Chicago and more. I was positively stunned how erudite and articulate Wilson was. If you're a music fan, I positively guarantee you you will lick up this podcast, Wilson is open, honest and RIVETING! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Feb 18

1 hr 48 min

Bode Miller is America's most decorated male alpine skier, winner of two World Cups and six Olympic medals. Bode is a self-taught wunderkind. We dive into his philosophy on education and go deep into his roots and his career, stopping along the way to investigate his innovations and his choices. Bode may have retired from competitive skiing, but he's involved in more than a dozen ventures, which keep him quite busy. I guarantee you if you're a ski fan you will have questions answered that have never been asked anywhere else. You'll learn about equipment, coaching, doping...all the aspects of ski racing at the elite level. Bode is intelligent and articulate, I was high for a day after talking to him! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Feb 11

1 hr 53 min

Steve Lillywhite checks in all the way from Jakarta, where he runs the largest music label for KFC, I kid you not! We delve into Steve's production of U2, Peter Gabriel, the Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews, Thompson Twins and more. But in addition to the stories you'll be captivated by the insight! Steve is quite the raconteur and if you want to know how a famous music producer makes records, this is the place! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Feb 4

1 hr 52 min

Brian Wheat is the bassist for Tesla and he has a new autobiography, "Son of a Milkman." We chart the arc of Tesla's career, from fame to breakup to today, when they're making more money than ever, but we also delve into Brian's anxiety and depression, which he hopes will aid others to recognize their issues and get help, knowing they are not alone. In addition, we cover Brian's friendship with Jimmy Page, his passion for Victorian houses, his love of Italy... As my engineer remarked, talking to Brian was like hanging out in the recording studio, you'll feel like an insider! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jan 28

1 hr 32 min

A descendant of royalty, Michael Des Barres has had more record deals than seemingly anybody, from Silverhead to Detective to Chequered Past to solo, as well as acting in "MacGyver" and scores more movies and television shows. Recently a documentary of his life was released, "Michael Des Barres: Who Do You Want Me To Be?" We cover the film and so much more! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jan 21

1 hr 24 min

We discuss Mr. DiMucci's early years in the Bronx, getting a record deal, assembling the Belmonts, going on the road, getting on and off drugs, AA, his life in Miami, royalties, his new work and... Dion has been there and back, he's full of insight, AND HE'S STILL MARRIED TO RUNAROUND SUE! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jan 14

1 hr 34 min

We cover a lot of ground here. We start with an investigation into Todd's imminent virtual tour, and then move on to such topics as his engineering of "Stage Fright," the recording of "We're an American Band," the rescuing and resuscitation of Badfinger's "Straight Up," the end of Todd's relationship with Albert Grossman, his sale of his "Bat Out of Hell" royalty points to finance his Hawaii estate, the reversion of his rights and... Rundgren's a thinker. You'll not only learn about Todd's career choices, you'll gain insight into your own. A legend speaks! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Jan 7

1 hr 53 min

Christie Tate is the author of the best seller "Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life." On paper it appears that Christie has it all, she's #1 in her law school class, but her life is a mess. Group therapy unlocks Christie's life, and the result is a fulfilling job, marriage and more, but there are many bumps along the way. Listen to hear details of her journey! Learn more about your ad-choices at

Dec 2020

1 hr 59 min

Jacob Collier's "Djesse Vol. 3" was the surprise of the Grammy nominations, landing a spot for Album of the Year. Jacob is fully aware that other artists were excluded, and he is a fan of both the Weeknd and Lady Gaga, but separate yourself from the blowback and Collier's story is both fascinating and inspirational. Only 26, Collier is a digital native who explored Logic and posted a video to YouTube and then all hell broke loose. Hang in there, it's a wild ride. Learn more about your ad-choices at

Dec 2020

1 hr 48 min