PopTalks is about pop music - issues, ideas, trends, new sounds, old sounds - all the things that make our music so great.
Each month we'll be talking to a special guest from the world of popular music and together we’ll explore the inner workings of both the business and creative side, with the goal of making you a more knowledgeable listener while at the same time narrowing the gap between the artist and their audience.
Welcome to the premiere of PopTalks, a monthly podcast produced by Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Popular Music studies program.
PopTalks is about pop music, issues, ideas, trends, new sounds, old sounds, the things that make our music so great. Each month I’ll be talking to a special guest from the world of popular music and together we’ll explore the inner workings of both the business and creative side, with the goal of making you a more knowledgeable listener while at the same time narrowing the gap between the artist and his audience.
Today’s guest is Tom Morello, a founding member of the legendary rock group “Rage Against The Machine” and with Chuck D, “Prophets of Rage.” Tom is also an honorary member of Bruce Springsteen’s "E Street Band" and a spiritual son of Woody Guthrie, the great American folk singer who taught us how music can affect political and social change in this country.
With the 2020 presidential election nearly upon us, that very topic – music as a means of social and political protest – is quite relevant today, especially when you consider how many contemporary artists have embraced that idea.
Tom Morello is one artist that has always seen value in using rock and roll to muster the masses into political action. His music is revolutionary, incendiary and incredibly powerful.
Today Bob talks with the E Street Band's notorious drummer, Max Weinberg. Last fall, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band released the critically acclaimed album "Letter to You," but due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, no tour followed. Bob and Max talk about what it's been like to be on a forced hiatus from touring and how a drummer who has toured most of his adult life maintains his beat-keeping chops.
Listen to the podcast episode:
About the host
Bob Santelli served as the executive director of the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles from 2008 to 2016, and was instrumental in helping OSU become an official university affiliate of the Los Angeles-based museum. He is currently the director of popular music and performing arts in the College of Liberal Arts.
A noted blues and rock historian, Santelli is the author of more than a dozen books on American music, including “Greetings from E Street” and "The Bob Dylan Scrapbook.” He has contributed to Rolling Stone and the New York Times, among other news outlets. In 1993, he was one of the original curators of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, eventually moving to Cleveland to become the museum’s first director of education and vice president of public programs.
In 2000, he became the chief executive officer of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, the first interactive music museum. Santelli also developed the UK’s first pop music museum, the British Music Experience. Named executive of The GRAMMY Museum in 2006, he created “An Evening With…” series that featured in-depth interviews with artists such as Dave Matthews, Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Nicks and Clive Davis.
Since arriving at OSU in September 2016, Santelli has brought a group of students to the White House for a special music education program, created programs for songwriters across campus and in the community, taught classes on popular culture, and maintained a partnership with the GRAMMY Museum.