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Our resident professor in residence at Johns Hopkins and 80s MTV icon Thomas Dolby returns with Nestor at State Fare on the Maryland Crab Cake Tour to discuss his new book, new hair and Totally Tubular 80s Tour this summer that plays at Anthem in D.C. on July 14th.


music, bands, thomas dolby, big, tour, years, love, baltimore, bowie, day, anthem, life, experience, foxes, people, night, play, david bowie, thought, america


Thomas Dolby, Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:00


Welcome home we are W n s t test Baltimore Baltimore positive we are positively here in a new location at state fair on the other side. We’re underneath fle and Eddie Vetter and just next to Stevie Wonder and across from Dave Grohl, and we are the music capital of Baltimore County. Our friends at the Maryland lottery brought us out to give away some Pac Man scratch house. We’re gonna do that all morning long Oreos are taken on the Blue Jays today as we tape this got a lot of friends stopping by on the Maryland crab cake tour. We’re gonna have crab cake for lunchtime around here. But I did go chicken and waffles this morning. Our friends at Liberty pure solutions bringing us crystal clean water just like the water I get here. It’s a fair they don’t put the lemon in Liberty pure. Also our friends at Jiffy Lube, multi care, putting us on the road. We’re going to be on the road next week at Coco’s on Wednesday. In the afternoon with Max Weiss over six some other friends on the 20th. We’re at Costas in Dundalk. Come on by for some crabcakes there before the Orioles beat the Yankees, and then the following 20th and 25th or 26th. We’re going to be at Pappas squirrel, perhaps pop excuse me in Parkville come out and join us. Thomas Dolby has joined us he is about to get on an airplane and fly over to his former homeland of Europe and tour and around America. And they’re an anthem, and it’s tubular. And it’s Thompson twins. You know, I always have some clever blinded me with science thing for you. You have a book now. And we’re kind of mates in the real world. But how were you? I mean, people are still shocked on my timeline when I said, Thomas told me Yeah, that one she blinded her son, I brag. He’s gonna be in Kingsville. And they’re light, and they didn’t even know you live here. So 12 years, how many years? You’ve been? Yes?

Thomas Dolby  01:38

Close? 12 years? No, yeah, yeah. Amazing. I mean, I like it here. People, you know, local people.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:46

People are like, Why are you they do they do they say

Thomas Dolby  01:48

that, and I go, because I really like it, you know, it’s a great place. And it’s like, it’s a glass half full glass half empty thing. You know, I think I think it’s very easy to see the negatives, and there are some, but it’s a great town, you know, and the thing that’s great about this is it’s not going away, you know, and it’s there’s less and less of it, you know, they’re not making any more cities like Baltimore, you know, I’m saying so it’s like, it’s just fantastic to be here. And there’s so much going on myriad problems as well. And you know, you can stick your head in the sand and ignore them. But what’s cool is that most people here are certainly everybody I know, is doing something to make it better. That’s what we’re doing right now. You don’t get that in, in big cities, you know, you go to New York, or LA people are just taking care of number one, you know, then they you tell them what you’re doing for the community now, and I’ll see you later, you know, I’ve got to get to my next meeting. And it’s different here. Everybody you talk to is like coaching soccer, or they’re working with this charity, nonprofit, they’re getting involved in local event, you know, a flower, show a music, show, whatever it may be. And I just think it’s great like that, that sort of involvement. Your


Nestor J. Aparicio  02:55

let’s start at the beginning. Because I mean, you’re there’s so many things we can go through with you. I want my David Bowie belt buckles. So I’m trying to ask, what brought you here? What moved you to come here, and I guess, I’ve known you through these stages when my wife had cancer. I mean, we’ve had meals together and like, but I haven’t talked to you much about Baltimore, certainly not publicly to say you have better judgment for it now, 12 years later, like you signed up, and I thought, oh, nice musician. He’ll be back in New York or somewhere else within a couple of years when his assignment is over here. Without I’m kind of frankly, shocked. You’re here 12 years later, but you don’t seem shocked.

Thomas Dolby  03:33

Yeah, but you know, I’ve got friends that that moved here from, you know, Brooklyn, or LA, because here, they don’t have to worry every month about just making the rent, you know, they’ve got space to be the artist. It’s also international and global. Anyway, now with the reliance that we have on the internet, you know, why pay three times the amount to live in Brooklyn or Manhattan or Los Angeles or whatever, when you can live here and have a really nice place, and the freedom to express yourself as an artist, and you’re so close on the train or a drive or whatever, to where it’s really happening. So, I mean, it makes a lot of sense as a place to be.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:10

Well, you came here as a professor, right. I mean, that was that was the that was the link that brought you here. Yeah.

Thomas Dolby  04:14


I mean, I got offered a job as a professor in Boston. And I thought, man, I was very flattered. You know, I left school at 16. So I felt like a complete fraud, but I was flattered that they would offer it to me, went to Boston. Boston didn’t do it for me, really. But I got out and I liked the idea of being on the East Coast. My wife’s family from New York. My father in law is is aging. And we wanted to be here. I got out the map and I looked down the coast, you know, and so you’re looking at I know, sort of Yale brown Princeton, down to George Washington or whatever. And I saw a job offering at Johns Hopkins University to teach film music. I’m not a film music expert. I’ve done a few movies in my time. You know, I like film music, but it’s not my specialty, right? It’s one of the many things that I’ve done. So I called him up. I said, Look, I don’t have a CV or anything to say. He said, Oh, you don’t need a CV. You know, we know all about you. We welcome you here. And so I came here to help them open a film center in Station North with with mica and Hopkins put together this film center. I got that established, and it was a three year gig. You know, they gave me a special professorship homework professor with the arts

Nestor J. Aparicio  05:23

for 1314 15. About that range.

Thomas Dolby  05:25

Yes. 14 Yeah. 2014. And it was supposed to be a three year gig. But my wife and I love to hear settled here. And so I went to the Peabody, which is, you know, the music conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Mount Vernon. And I came up with a program there to teach students to make music for picture, whether it be film, TV, video games, etc. So we applied for a state certification, and so now have an undergraduate program at Peabody. So they get a Johns Hopkins degree in music. And we teach them how to compose music for picture. And it’s been a big success, and it’s grown rapidly over the last 10 years. And they now want me to stay for another five. So we’ll see how that goes. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:11

you you like it here clearly, right? We


Thomas Dolby  06:13

like it here. Yeah.

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:15

How do you find home when you know when you’re a musician from Europe, and you know, Mary into America and sort of feet and both sides and I don’t know that you’ve always embraced being Thomas Dolby. She blinded me with science, MTV guy, you, you’ve had this amazing path in life where you haven’t been a touring musician, or been married to that in the way that so many other artists, some of them well paid, you know, stings made a life of being a musician. You’ve dabbled in other things. But now this summer, you’re going back and being Thomas Dolby that we know, right?

Thomas Dolby  06:50

Well, there’s, there’s been a big revival in interest in 80s music, right. And so there was a big demand for every year, I get invited to go do sort of retro rewind type festivals and things like that. And runabout Christmas of last year, I was approached by the totally tubular tour. And their plan was to put together a show of sort of 678 acts from the 80s, during rapid fire auditorium shows that would last four or five hours, mainly hits driven. So they put together a group of bands that all had one to, you know, major hits in the 80s. So everybody would know every song, and I’m really looking forward to it. The energy is going to be amazing.

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:30


You’ve never done one of these. You’ve done it you’ve done festivals, but never a tour with the same troupe.

Thomas Dolby  07:36

They never touring with the same troupe. And so that’s going to be really interesting to sort of take that on the road you know as as a community it’s going to be Thompson

Nestor J. Aparicio  07:43

twins off top my head. Bow Wow, try to think of the other plimsolls were part of that. Who else is on that? Men

Thomas Dolby  07:49

without hats? All right, modern English dance if we want. Yeah, the Romantics and Tommy Tommy twotone


Nestor J. Aparicio  07:56

8675309 Salute, man. Absolutely. Thomas Dolby is our guest. Oh, we’re out here OBS we’re friends with the Maryland lottery gets a Pac Man scratch off to give Why don’t we give Thomas one as well. So the tour’s going to anthem, it’s going to different places. You have kind of a special a ship a Thompson twins though, right? You’re doing several shows just and my wife and I started singing hold me now. And that’s the beauty of music. I mean, 40 years later, every one of the bands you just mentioned somebody in our audience who’s familiar with that part of it familiar with you would say, Well, that sounds like a pretty good night of music. To me, that sounds like something I’d spent 50 7500 bucks go out and have a couple beers and make a night of it.

Thomas Dolby  08:35

You know, what really sold me on it. Nestor was was they sort of said, you know, unlike many of these other bands, you’re not making a living, you’re in you’re out touring, you’re kind of a rarity. And this may be the only chance people get to see you. And you have unlike some of these other guys, you never split up. It’s not Thomas Dolby of the sound. So right, you are the original, you’re authentic. You’re You’re the aristocracy, you’re a gem. So we want to put you on last and really feature you and big you up as you know, the real sort of icing on the cake. So I thought okay, I can’t say no to that

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:09

man increase. You’re pretty good. And they certainly do. So I’ve seen the cure in recent years, I’m thinking of bands of that I would put in your era or mid 80s, early 80s There’s not just a calling. I mean, there were 25,000 people down there singing the songs. The fact that radio is kind of going away in that way. I was thinking of you today because I I came over I have a legitimate iPod with a legitimate cord with a legitimate quarter inch stuck into a legitimate quarter inch hole that I can’t believe my car still has. Because whenever I rent a car and I take it to Florida, there’s nowhere to plug it in anymore. And it’s a classic. What do you how do you experience music because experiencing music and keeping your music and music like this alive? I saw Bryan Adams recently and he’s out with the Eurythmics. Dave Stewart, but those 80s bands in that music My iPod is what does it for me, there was classic rock radio, but we’re not watching VH one or MTV anymore. It really is a choice to say, I want to have the Romantics or Thomas Dolby or hold me now on my device or into my playlist. And I think 40 years later, there’s something about music that it never leaves you no matter what it is,

Thomas Dolby  10:20


I think it’s true. I think people is still in love with the music they were in love with when they were teenagers, you know, I think that’s, that’s, that’s human nature. But what’s interesting is they bring their kids because their kids grew up with that stuff making you know, because dad will make them listen to the cassettes in the car or whatever. And a lot of the kids get interested in it has a certain value and sort of rarity, you know, to it that I think a lot of modern music, they don’t get the same sense from so actually, you know, another podcast I saw the other day was Billy Eilish and her dad talking about their favorite records. And she was raving about me. She was saying, Oh, you’re so weird, but he’s so great. She was singing along with the song she said, Dad, you used to make me listen to this when when I was little remember in the car, we’d go camping. And, you know, her dad was on as well as he was really pleased that he had sort of infected her with his love for my music, you know. So that was sort of a typical generational thing. And that’s really special to see somebody down in the front row that wasn’t even alive when I was doing this stuff. It’s so good. Well, you

Nestor J. Aparicio  11:21

never know when a song comes back. And it’s so like, she blinded me with science is like, I walked in, I said, Thomas told me somebody said, he provided me with science. So like, you know, that’s 43 years later was a song waiting. He was 42 years later. And I think about songs. It’s sort of stand the test of time and what journeys don’t stop believing became after Sopranos. I mean, I remember being in Todd’s Todd’s basement and dropping the needle on journey escape. And you hear the songs later, I was at secrets in Ocean City last year. And it was all young people, I was by far the oldest person there. And blondies one way or another came on. Every 23 year old kid knew the words every word to the song. And I’m like, why that one? Why not? The tide is high. Why not dreaming wine? But there is something about being younger that we’re not and we won’t know why Billy Eilish thinks you’re cool all of a sudden, right? What What about that could appeal to her?

Thomas Dolby  12:21

You know, and what’s interesting is that a few years ago, what should my own kids, they might be into a one song like one way or another, you got Oh, you like Debbie, Harry blondie. They’re like, Look blushy like, the fact they love one song, didn’t lead them into listening to others by the same band or reading the credits, finding out who they are, you know, there’s no sort of loyalty to that one band. But what I’m seeing now is they’re looking for that authenticity, you know, because they lack that a lot with the way they’re spoon fed 10s of 1000s of contemporary acts, you know, so they’re looking for the story behind. And I think, you know, the vinyl revival speaks to the same thing. There’s a certain precious quality to taking something out of it sleeve slapping on, you know, there’s only 20 minutes of music on there. But at the end, you’re probably going to flip it over and listen to the next 20 minutes. And while it’s going on, you’re going to read the credits, and

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:09

you’re also experiencing it exactly the way Aerosmith wanted you to when they made Aerosmith rocks, literally right.


Thomas Dolby  13:17

And if you get your friends to come in, listen, then you share that experience is not the same as your pods, you know.

Nestor J. Aparicio  13:22

So what do you listen to? I guess that was my point. I’m on an iPod. I thought you’d be really proud of me with that. And I know you have some scientific thing with mp3 is you discovered something my buddy Ah, so you met at my house tonight? We had our house party, you know, like you’ve tried to explain it but what? Explain it so a dumbass from Dundalk, like me can understand. You invented something that had to do with something that’s not tangible. That’s chippy. Correct? Yeah, do a poor job of that. You

Thomas Dolby  13:52

don’t know you did a reasonable job. So it was not it was not Dolby Noise Reduction. Okay. Oh, nothing to do with the Dolby button on

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:00


the movie theater with a

Thomas Dolby  14:03

complete disclaimer before you a way before? Yeah. No, no, the thing that I invented that I think you’re referring to was that when Nokia rules the the mobile phone worlds, you know, in about 1990, they had half of the world’s mobile phone business. And they needed a way to do ringtones on their phones. And Japanese phones were coming out that had built in sound chips in them. Nokia didn’t want to go that route because it’s too expensive. So instead, they came to me and my company beat neck and asked us to create a ringtone synthesizer that would go in Nokia mobile phones, and they embedded it and it shipped to 3 billion units, you know, with my synthesizer in it. So every time in the old days, somebody would annoy you and the phone went off in a check

Nestor J. Aparicio  14:49

if you had a contract. So you got one penny from 3 billion on trying to do the math on how much money you could get. If you just had one penny

Thomas Dolby  14:57

that would have been that would have been nice. What?


Nestor J. Aparicio  15:01

That Does it still exist that year old technology? Well, yeah, I

Thomas Dolby  15:06

mean, it still exists. But nowadays, you can use whatever’s in your music collection as your ringtone, you know, so you don’t need the bleeps anymore. But that dddd dddd, you know, so my company sort of programmed that, put it in there. I knew you

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:18

invented something really cool that I would never be able to explain if anybody asked me, so I’m glad I asked you. So now I have it. Thomas. Toby’s. Here. We’re on kittens will work state fair. And we’ve had chicken and waffles. Some of us have had pancakes, blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning and some coffee from Royal farms as well. What do you how do you experience music and what are you? I’ve run into you at a Pink Floyd tribute show. So I know you love music. I know you still listen to music. I know. You’re a David Bowie hippie from the 70s British hippie are little older than me. So how do you experience are you because I will never put music on my phone are what I would call my phone. Because it’s interruptive music is something I don’t want to be interrupted. Even when in my car, I don’t want the phone to turn off the music that kind of pisses me off a little bit I can be interrupted, especially if I’m in a good song. Music is its own thing for me. It’s not where I text. It’s not where I serve. It’s not where Facebook is. Music is a place I go. When I do dishes when I do laundry when I paint the house, when I’m in my car when I’m at concerts, which is a lot because I love concerts. But I’m still an iPod guy. And I’m not an ibid guy. I’m not a Bluetooth. But I’m also not a vinyl guy, and I’m on a CD guy. But I got stuck in that iPod era. And I don’t know what to do about it. And I You’re like the smartest dude, I know about music. You’re always teaching me stuff. So what? I don’t know what to say, where’s it going? Because we’re all guessing that but like, we’re all doing it different? Yeah, that’s really what the weirdness what

Thomas Dolby  16:50


you need as a life coach, not not a musician to tell you the answer to that one. Because I think you know, a lot of it is a lifestyle thing. We lead busy lives. If you’re professional in the industry, like you are, it’s very easy to sort of be very arm’s length very hands off about, about the experience of enjoying music, you know, when you’re talking about it. But the same is true for me. I’m very analytical, you know, I teach it now as well. So I’m very analytical, I need to now know, understand it well enough that I can teach it to kids. But, you know, one of the ways that I experienced it, so you know about living classrooms, right? Yeah. So I’m involved with a music program they have, they have a music program, based in Fayette Street in the underarmor community centers and

Nestor J. Aparicio  17:33

the day you open that up the former Carmelo Anthony center, right next to the post office, right. So

Thomas Dolby  17:38

I helped them put a little studio in there. And the kids go in there after school, or sometimes adults during the day. And they get to make beats, they learn to play different instruments, they have little band setups, they can get on stage, and like, you know, Looper beat and try a rap over the top of it, they can learn how to put themselves up on SoundCloud or YouTube, they do performances, they put together vocal groups and things like that. And they have a festival, you know, at least once a year. And these are younger people this is these are younger kids, and their parents love putting them in there, you know, keeps them out of trouble. It’s very creative. And when they come home, their phones have got an app that can do this as well. You know, or if there’s a laptop, you know, that the family owns, then there’s simple apps, free apps you can get on there that enable them to do this stuff. So a musician a creative skill that they can, that they can bring home with them and carry on and share with their friends. And it is one of the few ways to break the cycle of poverty. Right, because the dream of making it big as a musician as a singer, and getting you know, out of your community, hitting it big globally, making some money making a career out of it. You know, there’s really sports, or music or the ways that that you can see to do that. And that dream is so important. You know, to motivate people to get great at sports, go to college on a free ride. We’ll get good at music and become globally famous. That is a very strong motivator, you know, a life motivator, as opposed to going down this sort of darker route.

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:06

Well for you when you see young people come to college, let’s say Are these all young? These all 2021 22 traditionally


Thomas Dolby  19:14

young? Yeah, they’re 1819 You know, where they come? What

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:17

is their music experience when they come to you? Because I I’ve met so many young people and I got a wide swath of people. And to your point, some people are listening to Led Zeppelin and they’re in School of Rock kind of bands, other want to be rappers, country music artist, singer songwriters, what? Who comes to Peabody who comes to Hopkins and winds up in you because you’re scoring film? That’s a wide variety of kinds of music as well. Right now, it’s not orchestral like you would think in the beginning. Right? You know,

Thomas Dolby  19:49

I think that Peabody students and Johns Hopkins students in general, it’s an elite university, you know, it’s going to be the cream of the cream. We have an amazing Scholarship Program, which is great if you’re ready. be talented and a Baltimore kid, you got a shot at getting a free ride there, or at the very least a very big scholarship. But the card rate for fees is like through the roof. And you’d have to like mortgage your property, you know, most families to put your kids through there. So there’s no question but that it’s an expensive way to go unless you have the family means and the talent. But we have changed the requirements for kids coming in. I’ve got undergrads coming, that never learned music formally. They never took piano lessons never learned theory. They taught themselves on a computer. They’ve got their own SoundCloud pages or YouTube followers. And they now want to turn that into a career. So we’re trying to offer them different career paths in the music, and media industries. We’ve got several alums that are working for game companies, some are out in LA working as assistants to full time composers, doing copying, engraving, all sorts of, you know, related things production, mixing those kinds of things. And there are a lot of career paths there. And actually, there is more music being commissioned now in Hollywood than ever in the past because of prestige TV, Netflix, et cetera. And because of the fact that these kids that are grown up doing this on their computers, have acquired skills, especially during COVID, that they can now put over into composing orchestral music, you know, on their computers that will eventually be played by a full orchestra. It’s exciting time

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:30


for the recording industry. And as you came up in in the 80s, that’s gone, right? I mean, this is about touring. This is about clicks, likes, this is direct sales. I mean, you and I were talking before we even did the show about putting old posters up. My bands play in the gym this weekend. And I’m sure that the as a musician, that that’s what you did. It’s a whole different level of this when a 20 year old comes in to you for what the potentiality could be for getting their music, global, as you would like to say, versus we had a band and we started in a basement somewhere and had to wait for Mr. Big to show up with a check to sign us to indentured servitude. Do you know me? That was the music industry? It was a mafia driven sort of a mess. Right?

Thomas Dolby  22:16

Yeah. And, and I think, you know, the advantage for a younger generation is that they never experienced that themselves. I mean, for you and me, we sort of grew up with that stuff. So it’s sort of ingrained that that’s the way the world works. got news for you. That’s not the way the world works anymore. It’s easier than ever to put content out there. You know, we’re making it today, you can make it put it out there. But there’s 10,000 other guys doing the same thing. So that challenge is there. How do you get that noticed? You know, and a lot of that you’re not dealing with an individual intelligence like an a&r guy at a record company that plucks you out of the crowd and goes, We’re gonna make Google Analytics, alright, it’s dealing with analytics, you’re dealing with algorithms, you’re dealing with the way that Spotify or YouTube or Facebook, you know, decides what goes in people’s feeds. It’s a whole science to it, which never existed before. But I think that you know, kids growing up with this will be more it’ll be more second nature to them.

Nestor J. Aparicio  23:07

So I’m just always our guests. We are here at State Fair in Catonsville. We’re doing the Maryland crab cake tour the crab cakes early but we have some PacMan scratch offs. I will be giving these away here today. We’re gonna be Coco’s next Wednesday. Costas on the 20th. We’re going to be Cooperstown for Fleet Week. Next Friday. Gotta say that on the 14th we were Cooper’s north the other day all brought to you by Liberty pure solutions, they keep our water clean, in around wn St. As well as Jiffy Lube. Multi care Thomas is on tour if you missed earlier, totally tubular, it’s a it’s a they’re gonna be down at the anthem and a whole bunch of the place. You google it out, find out more about all of that. But we’re talking about education. And so young people come in with the wide swath of their musical, taking lessons in a band in a chorus took it at school, I would think you see everything right, especially where you are because it’s not jazz or rock or folk or country. It’s sort of for film and to your point, maybe a little bit more elite, but also finding Do you see Savanti kind of people come to you as you would see it, like just somebody that’s the greatest flute player you’ve ever seen. Or I would think that you see that at this point, because I see these young eight year old girls like I’m looking at Dave Grohl up here. That little girl Chandy, we were named a Nandi Nandi little 12 year old girl that plays the drums like the Foo Fighters. And these videos are everywhere. You know, kid in Brazil can sort of shred like Eddie Van Halen, and he’s forefeet. i I wonder what becomes of those people? Those Savanti kind of people as Stevie Wonder is over here talking about savant, right? That in the old days needed to Mr. Big now, I mean, yeah, there’s America’s Got Talent or there’s, you know, American Idol in those kinds of ways to be seen as well. But you don’t need any of that. I mean, most of these childhood people we’ve seen it’s been because they’re brilliant. They get online and people say, Wow, that’s cool. Share. Like, click love. There’s some authenticity about Yeah,

Thomas Dolby  25:03

I mean, kids and pets, no question, you know, through the roof. I mean, I made a video on YouTube of Thomas Toby’s cat pees on the toilet because it had a cat that peed on the toilet. And that video, you know, got more views than a lot of my music videos did I think, okay, I didn’t actually need to spend all that money making music videos, I just needed to get you know, a cute pet video and I’d be more popular.


Nestor J. Aparicio  25:26

Well, you had a pet video go viral onto my timeline three weeks ago.

Thomas Dolby  25:32

Oh, this is well, that’s to tell you this story. So I have a Tesla, as you know, you know, for years I resisted getting a car you were a biker. I was a biker. I had my boat, you know to get around. They built the bike lanes

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:42

for you in the city. Right? Like literally, the bike lanes I think a you

Thomas Dolby  25:46


and I use them. When people parking them. I stop and I give them a piece of my mind. Did you realize that you’re making this very dangerous for bicycles? No. But side to

Nestor J. Aparicio  25:55

British intruder over in East Baltimore. I took nothing

Thomas Dolby  25:59

but bikes and Ubers for years and then COVID hit and it wasn’t safe to take Ubers and buses and things. I still rode my bike but eventually we caved and got a car right

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:08

when I invited you to Kingsville I thought it was outside your range. I thought you’re not biking out Frederick road.


Thomas Dolby  26:14

I have a Tesla, you know, we’ll leave Elon Musk out of it. I love the technology. I love having a ringside seat and knowing I’m part of the future, this big experiment. And all of the information from those things is going into this sort of cluster and this is going to inform the way that they’re developed going forward. Every time a new software downloads into my car. I think I get rid of your car drive itself. Yeah, yeah. Drives okay. But that’s that’s sometimes like a gimmick that you show off to your friends. Right? I have not been shown off that. So the other night and it was free for a month over Christmas. I don’t pay I don’t subscribe to it. Right. I didn’t buy

Nestor J. Aparicio  26:47

Oh, so if you you have to pay for the car to drive. It’s you pay extra?

Thomas Dolby  26:51

Yeah, well, I it’ll do even know though it’ll do autos auto steer and like typical, you know, motorway freeway things. But if you want it to if you want to just it can take a calendar appointment, like here I am in Catonsville, right 10 hour and it can take that from my iPhone. And it can plug that in as navigation, you get in and it just goes. Right. So it’ll do everything, it’ll just take you to your destination. And as long as you’re paying attention, you don’t keep your hands off the wheel so long, you know, and it’s safe. You know, once you trust it, it is really very safe. And the stats bear this up. But it’s a bit gimmicky. And you know, I wasn’t going to pay a monthly subscription to do this. But the other night when it was this is in, I think February when it was for that month, it was free. So I got it for free. So I’m using it. So I was at a restaurant on Falls Road, you know, sort of off the highway in the sort of dark, you know, Mills area Falls Road, and I’m coming back from it and I plug in my home, my home address to take me home, and it’s winding on that slide you

Nestor J. Aparicio  27:50


are behind the wheel of the car. You know, I’m just trying to understand this. Okay,

Thomas Dolby  27:55

I’m just watching the road, right? So it’s dark, you know, you need your headlights, it’s winding through the woods a little bit bit there alongside the highway. And suddenly it slows down to a stop and I’m going What the heck, you know, is this like a, you know, Elon Musk, and then out into the road in the glare of my headlights, headlights runs a baby fox, followed by four other baby foxes, its siblings, and they can’t be more than a few days old. They’re running around in the road, right? One of them picks up a twig and it goes off.

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:25

They look like kittens

Thomas Dolby  28:27

in the video, and then when they’re gone away into the bushes again. The Tesla picks up speed and drives me home. But


Nestor J. Aparicio  28:34

it literally stopped and waited for the foxes it looked like about 2530 seconds right like it was it was a long pause waiting for what it saw navigationally to clear my Tesla friends with you Dolby I learned stuff man

Thomas Dolby  28:50

like squid, baby foxes. And then I thought I didn’t get a picture. That’s crazy. I

Nestor J. Aparicio  28:54

said okay, for me to still hate Elon Musk, even though he does save those foxes. Okay.

Thomas Dolby  28:59


That’s another issue. That’s fine. But I then realized that the security camera on the Tesla records everything. And when you honk your horn, it’ll store it to a thumb drive in the glove compartment. Right, so the next traffic light.

Nestor J. Aparicio  29:14

And then I get home I take out the thumb drive, plug it in my computer, and there is five camera angles on the baby foxes and you’re yelling for your wife come look at this right and I put it up on YouTube and I showed it to my wife that morning I saw so you had a viral video for that. And look I was gonna lead with his hair and I was gonna let my hair down because my hair I’ve got rock’n’roll hair now I’ve got the cars let them show you rock and roll hair. You have a hair story so I’m not gonna let you disappear here without and and also comes with you did a podcast with a buddy of yours that I want you to plug as well, because you were telling me about his documentary skills in the 70s but you did a podcast with one of your mates and the hair thing. I mean, a couple of people knew about it on my time on when I invited you out because You’re wearing a raven said you read my ravens had actually we were together the Ravens game and I put the picture was up I said Thomas always gonna come out and do the show because you were gonna come last Friday and somebody said he’s got hair now I saw it on the internet and I saw it too, but I didn’t watch the podcast. So, reenact what happened? Your hair? What’s going on? Yeah. So,

Thomas Dolby  30:17

you know, I’ve got a very busy summer, right? I’m going out on a big tour. Got a book coming out. Yeah,

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:23

we’ve talked about.


Thomas Dolby  30:25

So, you know, for 30 years, I’ve shaved my head. And that’s fine. You know, I did it proudly. It’s perfectly shaved. I shaved it, you know, like every

Nestor J. Aparicio  30:36

ball by the time you got around, you know, be 50 or whatever.

Thomas Dolby  30:39

I shaved it. And I was happy with that. It was cool for a while, you know, a lot of soccer players were shaving their heads or buzzing Andre Agassi, you know? Exactly, you know, so you could you could wear it with pride. You had the rock, you had Vin Diesel you had you know, you’ll bring her going back in the days to violence. Whereas people like Sean Connery or Bruce Willis, that were sort of covering up or you know, Paul, Simon Elton John, they got sniggered out, because it looked a little bit silly, you know, and so on. And people thought, well, they’re not they’re being dishonest about this, right. But in this day and age, it is fine for anybody to change their appearance, right? You get piercings, you get Botox, Botox, you know, you get tattoos left, right, and center, and your friends just go yeah, whatever. You know, it’s like, I just changed my profile picture on Facebook, you know, so people are more upfront about that. It’s more accepted that you take a lot of people who are wearing you know, hair extensions and things like that by choice, even when they’ve got hair, the coloring their hair during

Nestor J. Aparicio  31:39


COVID. So a lot of people don’t recognize me. You haven’t seen my hair. Since it’s been long. We haven’t the same room together, right? So you’ve never seen me look like this. So I’ve never seen you look like that.

Thomas Dolby  31:49

Saying I thought about this. And I thought well, can I can I do this? Can it get that what it gives me is a bigger range of ways to express myself, right? So I mean, I’ve lost some weight as well. It gives me a whole new wardrobe, a whole new set of looks that I can do, I can change it up every night. I can go get styled and irregular barbershop and do a completely different style. I can gel it, Musa have it crazy.

Nestor J. Aparicio  32:11

I’ve always had hair, you just never let it grow. You know, I had a story on my COVID.

Thomas Dolby  32:15

I had it on the back and sides, right? I mean, you know, I wouldn’t even look up to Donald Trump standard if I if I tried to grow out. But I looked into the technology in the technology has really changed. And what you can do now is you can get a head of human hair on a very thin membrane that basically disappears on your scalp. And the only thing is it has a short shelf life. So you know, four to six weeks, you go back you do the whole thing again, okay, so it’s expensive, right? And you have to go to a specialist place. You know, you can’t just do it. You can do it yourself, but you have to be really skilled and you you know, be a steep learning curve. But you know, I go to a salon and I get it done professionally. Whether I’ll keep it up after the tour remains to be seen. You know, it’s not it’s fun


Nestor J. Aparicio  32:59

for you isn’t it’s fantastic. I went to last time you’d like toured. I mean, I’ve seen you play at the harbor. I saw you do a thing with David Bowie. By the way. I’m wearing my David Bowie, a Pacific a belt buckle. I wore that for you little Ziggy Stardust but a real tour. Oh, how long ago was last time you got on a bus as they say this will be a bus right? You’ll

Thomas Dolby  33:22

be a bus. I think I think 2014 was the last time I did it. Probably with BT, is that 24 years back 2014 Something like that. So So you know, over a decade really, and I’m not getting any younger. But you know, the life on the bus is actually very cool. It’s a sort of, it’s a sort of cushion cloistered existence, you have no things to wear it your phone bills to worry about and you don’t, you know, the cleaning, the hoovering to worry about you. All you have to do is be ready to get on stage for a few hours a night and the rest of the day you can veg out, you go to sleep on the bus, it drives during the night you wake up the next day, sometime the next day outside the next venue. You know, you lift some weights,

Nestor J. Aparicio  34:00

you toured a lot in the 80s or 90s are my Am I crazy say because I mean, you were such a quirky artist in that way that you weren’t like a rock band or like arena or, but I’m assuming and I don’t know this that you’ve been to most of these places many, many times. You know what, Detroit and Dubuque and all these towns look like? Is this a point in your life, we’re doing this part of the traveling and I see a lot of artists our age, they really do use this as like a life experience to say, alright, I’m on tour, I’m going to work but I’m going to go to this museum in this town. I’m going to see this friend, I’m sure at this point you have that are totally working for

Thomas Dolby  34:38


you know, you always start a tour saying let’s take a little bit of extra time and go to a museum or a national now I go yes, let’s be different and let’s eat healthy and two or three days into it. So I try and do that. You know, it’s like, people you know, when you get to this age, people are nicer to each other. Right? There’s a lot of competition when I was in my 20s I didn’t tour endlessly. I tend to do one off things. I did Live Aid. I did the wall with Roger Waters. I did the one on one concert with Depeche Mode and LA, you know, I would do these one off events that were really sort of milestones, but it wasn’t endless touring. Because I had that opportunity to do production, keyboard playing some writing, and then later, would you have

Nestor J. Aparicio  35:21

hated that? I mean, when you think of other bands that have tried even the bands that made a lot more money, that lifestyle of rolling that out every summer or every other summer, was that something that you wish you had done, or was happy seeing sting do it and saying, I’m doing what I’m doing? I was happy

Thomas Dolby  35:38

seeing other people do it. You know, I mean, it was never, like, I always had session players with me, it was never my band. So I didn’t really have the camaraderie, you know, of a band that grew up together, you know, and then went out on the road. But at the same time, I didn’t have the friction, you know, that a lot of those those people had. So now there’s nothing that I really missed about it. Because there was always something new to entice me, whether it’s video games, the internet, you know, mobile phones, teaching at university, there was always something new on the horizon, and now writing a book. So it’s like, I’m always looking for the new new thing.

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:10

But if you had done this 30 other times this when you’re almost titillated by your, this is like a real great working year for you, right,


Thomas Dolby  36:19

this is the new new thing this year. Yeah. Because it’s been so long since I

Nestor J. Aparicio  36:23

mean, you call me said you wanted to come out and have some big epic, and you’re gonna book prevailing when the novel. So this isn’t like a novel. What’s an novel means that like, you put research into this a novel, what is it? Okay,

Thomas Dolby  36:36

so, as you know, I’m passionate about sailing, right. I love classic sailboats, especially if you love James Bond living classrooms, right. Especially from the early 20th century. That was the absolute pinnacle of sailboat racing. And it was done by super rich railroads tycoons robber barons, America’s Cup, America’s New York Yacht Club, right. And the membership of the New York Yacht Club in 1913, when this starts had more wealth and power than the US Treasury, I mean, they basically ran the country from the squeaky feller that yeah, all of those assets, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, all of those guys, and they’re all members of the New York Yacht Club, and their favorite pastime, was racing these giant yachts, right? But it took 35 guys to sell them. So these wouldn’t be other members with their soft hands. Now, they went to Maine lobster ports, and they plucked these penniless sailors out of the main communities and hired them to race their yachts for them. So these are the guys that had nothing, right. And they had no experience of this kind of lifestyle. They would be brought to New York or to Newport. They’d be dressed up in the uniforms of these rich guys and sent out to race the sailboats often against the Brits. That was the America’s Cup. And it was a you know, a rich man sport. And at the time, it was bigger than baseball, football, boxing racing. It was the biggest betting venue in the USA in 1910, to the First World War, and huge spectator sport. So when you had races out in the harbor in front of the Statue of Liberty, it was dotted with spectator boats from big steamers were people paying planes

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:20


flying at that time. This was this is things. This is fast. Yeah, yeah. Speed. Speed. It

Thomas Dolby  38:25

was madness. There were no cars, right? Yeah. So first guy to ever put a big logo up was Lipton from Thomas Lipson from Lipton’s teas, his America’s Cup boats had a Lipton’s T logo on the sales, right, so he basically created this whole sports marketing. Exactly. Single hand a little

Nestor J. Aparicio  38:42

sports into the show here today. First of all, so your book is about Yeah,

Thomas Dolby  38:46

so it’s about the America’s Cup in 1913 to 1914. America’s Cup of the weighs about to happen. It only happens every few years, like the Olympics or something I


Nestor J. Aparicio  38:55

remember in the 80s when Ted Turner was involved, it was in Fremantle, Australia. Yes. Yeah.

Thomas Dolby  38:59

So this year, it’s in Barcelona. That’s super fast. They do like 4050 miles an hour. And there’s eight nations involved. You’ll be able to see it on TV, but it’s happening in Barcelona, Spain, this fall. And but this is looking back to the really golden age of America’s Cup. So it’s interesting to sports fans. And I think from reading the book, you will learn about the ins and outs of how this was done. But it’s a more universal interest. There’s a mystery intrigue, sort of thriller aspect to it going on. And the contrast between rich and poor the extremes of poverty and wealth in that period.

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:34

Tom is always our guest. The book is prevailing when available anywhere books are

Thomas Dolby  39:40


sold on Amazon, or whatever. Yes, Brent was coming out the 25th of June even out you can get an e book online or you’ll be able to on the 25th for like 599 $5.99 If you got like a Kindle, or you can buy in the stores. The paperback is going to be about 24 the hardback is going to be 39.

Nestor J. Aparicio  39:58

My wife would say tell you that I take him out and my wife broke her ankle this week. So she’s sort of in bed and hanging out and drugged up and trying to feel better. And when you hit me yesterday, we start to get together next Friday, I moved the show from families to Cooper’s because of Fleet Week, fleet weeks next Friday, the planes gonna be flying through. We did an entire two hours on that over Coopersville day, you hit me and I was sort of giddy. And my wife’s like, you, like have Tom on the show. And I’m like, I bet we’re 40 minutes into this conversation and we’ve talked about computer chips. Elon Musk, Tesla’s foxes totally tubular. 80s music, authorship, young musicians, the city fixing the city, Pink Floyd, we got it all in here, haven’t we? What are we everything but sports man? Why didn’t hit you on the Bowie thing I want to I want to cuz you’ve told your Bowie Live Aid in the helicopter like all of that stuff. And you just dropped the Depeche Mode store. I gotta get to the best mode, Eddie. But the Bowie thing for me. A year and a half. Two years ago, you did a show. Last time you did a show with me. You played RAM said you made me cry. I mean, you got me very emotional because you pulled out this video you did a real one off thing that I don’t think you did at any other time. You did a a bowie tribute to him at that show. Using my

Thomas Dolby  41:14

own footage from live a it was your home movies.

Nestor J. Aparicio  41:18

It was I went home that night. I video part of it that night, and I showed it to my wife. I said, this was kind of I mean, you’re such an artist. I don’t know how much time you put into doing that little seven minutes that you did that night on stage only for the 600 people that were there. 500 people that were there. But the love of Bowie, and I just got this belt buckle about four months ago, I had been in search of it. And the music’s ubiquitous and it shows up. I interviewed Bowie one time, when people ask me of all the cool things I’ve ever done in my life, journalistically. I sat with two under NFL Hall of Famers. And it was that time David Bowie called me collect you know, and my wife and I went since the last time I saw you at our house. We went up to New York, to Brooklyn to the museum when they had the buoy experience there. Were the headsets paid the $39 We did it on the last day of the entire exhibit. Obviously the Pink Floyd went out in London a couple years ago, too. But Bowie and the larger than life part of him and your you know, everybody has a little tight Oh, my saw Adrian blue that night and Todd Rundgren was there that night, everybody reached Rebrov running around with the cure. There’s something about him, right? I mean, that you have a little piece of and I feel like I have a little piece of that. You’re just you’re proud. You have a little piece if he had something to do with David Bowie. Yeah,


Thomas Dolby  42:40

I mean, it’s a legacy, you know, I think a big thing because he’s no longer with us, you know, puts a different sort of lens on it. My experience with him was was very personal. And yeah, that thing you’re talking about is basically an homage that I made using some of my own recordings and photographs, you know, from tubular, absolutely. That’s gonna be it is absolutely right. And it’ll be you know, we just do it

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:04

for you did it you shelved it and you’re bringing it back out? And you knew when you hit the road, you were gonna bring this? Absolutely, yeah,

Thomas Dolby  43:09

so we’re gonna have big video screens, go see the show. The anthem, it is going to look awesome at the anthem.

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:16


Look at the so I just did an earth something without realize, yeah,

Thomas Dolby  43:20

and you know, I’ve got I’ve got like a drum pad with different samples of bits of David Bowie vocal licks that I can trigger with with my finger. So it’s kind of I’m doing real time ambient remix zero.

Nestor J. Aparicio  43:34

Right. I love it. Alright, so I should get the dates that you know, when you’re playing an anthem, or do I have to go to your website? No,

Thomas Dolby  43:40

it’s the 14th of July. Okay. And the following day. This is interesting for Baltimore people and relates to my book. So do you know that you’re not Pratt library on cathedral? Absolutely. So the HQ of the library, which is gorgeous, and which is ours? Right? They do a book author series, and I’m giving a talk about my book on the following night. So the anthem is due July 14 and DC,


Nestor J. Aparicio  44:05

get get Megan McCorkle on the show about two weeks before and we’ll read promote the Enoch Pratt thing and do a whole

Thomas Dolby  44:13

thing and at 6pm on the 15th. So I’ll be talking about my book, the inner

Nestor J. Aparicio  44:17

circle into Baltimore. Like

Thomas Dolby  44:21


I get to spend one night at home in the middle of my tour.

Nestor J. Aparicio  44:24

All right, man, new hair, old music, new music, new sampling new book, and still here in Baltimore and the defending champion of all our favorite European who lives here in Baltimore. Thomas Dolby, musician, author and and professor teaching us things we do a good job with this. Am I Am I good to wrap this up? Did we get everything in here? Well,

Thomas Dolby  44:46

you know, we have to mention that West Ham United need to have a much better season next season, but we’re on our way. Your West Ham fan I am yeah. And I have to say hello to my fellow West Ham fans at the Abbey burger in on Broadway square. We’re in Fells Point because that’s where all of us hopeless, doomed West Ham fans go to get a good cheeseburger while you share each other’s misery. Very good cheeseburgers.

Nestor J. Aparicio  45:11

I’m ignorant about your sport. Okay. So, two days ago, something showed up on my timeline, because I’m a flipper. You know, I’m like, you know, I’m on the algorithm King, and something should about Westham and a tragedy and a fight a billion years ago with another team does that is that like part of is there some lore about like, in America, we had 10 cent beer night with the Rangers in the Indians that sparked a riot at a baseball game like 50 years ago, it still comes up the West West Ham had an incident like that. I don’t know it, but I thought maybe you


Thomas Dolby  45:45

did. Yeah. Well, so Millwall is another London team. And we have a thing about Milwaukee. I’m not quite sure where it dates back to but at this point, it’s become so big

Nestor J. Aparicio  45:54

deals and McCoys even the yellers Ravens. Exactly. Alright,

Thomas Dolby  45:57

so even the young fans that weren’t even around when it happens, you know, they know about it, right. Know that we help we hate mill.

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:05


All right, good. That’s a real I don’t see hold again, but he wants to be a hooligan want to be Thomas Dolby here we’re at State Fair. We’ve already had the chicken waffles. I’m holding out for a delicious salmon lunch that they do here. My take home to my wife who’s on crutches big thanks everybody out there and it’s given my wife some love. Our friends at the Maryland lottery given us some love against Pac Man scratch offs to give away we’re gonna have some lucky sevens. Next week. We get to Coco’s we get to Cooper’s on Friday, we’re going to be a Costas. We’re going to be at Pappus in Parkville. But right now we’re here in the heart of the Ville, the music capital of Baltimore County, and I brought a real musician here, Thomas Dolby, make sure you’re checking out the totally tubular festival, check out his book. Make sure you check him out on the 14th at the anthem band in DC. You’ve been to the anthem right? Oh, yeah. What have you seen there anything good. I said Lenny Kravitz there so

Thomas Dolby  46:49

Castro maneuvers in the dark. And you order you saw a new one. I played that guested there with Berlin.

Nestor J. Aparicio  46:56

You did? All right. I love New Order. music I love they didn’t have Belper sees belt buckles were 70 670-977-7087 so the only sort of new pop band that got one may was the police. There is a police belt buckle there’s not a pretenders. There’s not even like an AC DC they weren’t even happened in that. So it’s more Zeplin Boston Kansas. Frampton Aerosmith. You know, the stuff we were listening to you listen to all that didn’t you know,

Thomas Dolby  47:27

you did not. You did a little bit a little bit.


Nestor J. Aparicio  47:31

You were listening to Bowie in the Sex Pistols were you listening to

Thomas Dolby  47:35

obscure German electronic music and yeah, craft work and post punk, you know stuff indie stuff in the UK, the Smiths and so on. Secure Okay. Siouxsie and the Banshees?

Nestor J. Aparicio  47:47

Yeah. All right. He’s out with Thompson twins and a whole bunch of other bands. Go check them out. I love Bow Wow, I want candy. That’s why I’m here at Katyn snow back for more on the Maryland crab cake tour. Stay with us.

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