Over 31 years on the radio, Nestor Aparicio has been unabashed in his eternal love for the music of BoDeans. Founder and singer/guitarist Kurt Neumann finally sits and answers every fan boy question Nestor can muster before the Annapolis gig at Ramshead on May 20. It’s only love, indeed!
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Kurt Neumann, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
wn st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We are positively into a big week here. It’s Preakness week, Oreos, playing great baseball, and I’ve just, I got a lot of music in the blood here the last couple of weeks. I I saw seal a couple times last weekend, Janet Jackson over the weekend, I am fresh back from a John Waite private event on Preakness week here we got Bruno Mars in town Saturday, the great Boz Scaggs is playing the lyric. And I will be at ramshead in Annapolis with this guy who’s been making some of the finest music I’ve I’ve been doing radio for 31 years. And I’ve threatened to have Kurt Newman from the bodines on many, many times, many, many tours. And we finally made it it is just an absolute pleasure to have you aboard. I know you’re out on the road and working on Wi Fi. How are you? How’s the tour going? So far? Just sort of fresh out to it. Right?
Kurt Neumann 00:51
Yeah, it’s been great. You know, we always play so we’re, we’re touring all the time. You know, we do kind of a two weeks on two weeks off kind of thing all the time. So I’m always out there somewhere.
Nestor Aparicio 01:06
Well, I’m friends with a lot of musicians. I was with one of them tonight. The tours around here, my dear friend, John Allen, who comes on the podcast. I always say to him, and I’m 54 and he’s getting there. And obviously, it’s hard being a musician, you know, I mean, I know what I do. I do sports radio, I’ve done radio for 31 years, I own a station, it’s hard sponsors and all that. I can’t imagine doing it on a bus. And I see you guys pull in and some of the local bands kicks here is a huge, much like you are in Milwaukee and Summerfest they’re that band for our area legendary. They’re calling it quits saying they’re going out on their own terms, I just think it’s really hard to do what you do, I have a lot of respect for it every time any of my favorite bands come to town and do this.
Kurt Neumann 01:46
It is ya know, it’s it takes a lot of stamina, to tour and especially yeah, as you get older, it gets harder and harder. Yeah, you learn to do it a little bit better, you know, when you’re 20 you’re just doing the craziest stuff in the world, right, and you’re just living fast and free. And so that takes a toll on you. As you get older, you learn to control that a little bit better, I guess. And try to take care of yourself a little more just to get through it. But it’s it’s exhausting. You know, anyone who’s traveling through airports and traveling, driving, flying, buses, trains, whatever it takes. And then on top of that, you spent a couple of hours pushing all the oxygen out of your body each night singing songs and jumping around and so wears you out. But you might also be what kept me in decent shape all my life as well. You know, because it’s quite a bit of exercise actually involved in it, you know, and, but it does take a toll on your body to keep it going. And so I understand when people just can’t do it anymore. Sometimes. We’ve had people come out like photographers and stuff to do kind of documentary stuff or interviewers and they usually last a day or two before they’re sick. You know, it takes a lot of certainly a certain type of person and a certain type of DNA to be able to handle it.
Nestor Aparicio 03:07
Well it’s a love it and so to to want to be back in Annapolis on Saturday night on Preakness weekend, playing your songs and, and bringing the show out and I I want to speak to COVID a little bit. I mean, your band’s going through a lot of changes. People can read up on you know, 35 years of your history. But where are you are now I think, and I saw sticks last weekend. In the end, three bands came through the old metal axe, they do that that deal down at Merriweather. And I think COVID changed so many things with people stuck at home, they couldn’t go out and work I saw seal touching humans in the crowd and anthem the other night and up in Philadelphia at the Met, like grabbing people and looking into their eyes and touching them. And I’m thinking man, COVID just changed things. But I followed you during COVID. And I followed a lot of musicians that were attempting to be artistic in some way to do something interesting for themselves and for their audience. And I think you really excelled at it. Can you talk a little bit about the COVID locked down Express because you really turned it into to something that it felt like it was your vision, it felt like there was no record company or anything. We certainly got stuck at home and I want to do something for people and you did you entertain the hell out of me, Kurt?
Kurt Neumann 04:19
Yeah, I saw people kind of just, you know, standing with their acoustic and playing a song or two, but it just seemed, was interesting, but I just thought what would happen if he took it a little bit further. And so I started going into our catalog, you know, way far back and then the not so far back and just kind of revisioning some of the materials so I would go in and rerecord for two days and then I’d spend another couple days just kind of shooting my own video footage of it to go along with it and I had a couple of days to throw it all together and then put it out because I was releasing one a week. So that went on for like 2425 weeks straight
Nestor Aparicio 04:59
like work, did it feel like an obligation? Because I’ve written books, I know what that project feels like, when you step into it, say, I’m gonna write a book, and then you’re like three months and you’re like, shit, why don’t I do this again? You know, like, was there a point where it was self inflicted pressure, because it felt like you were really pumping it out. And you got into a groove there six, seven weeks in, I’m like, Man, this is like better than going on tour. This is like, you’re really thinking about this stuff.
Kurt Neumann 05:24
Yeah, it was a lot of work. But you know, like, you say, we had time, and there was nothing else to do. So it kept me busy. And, yeah, you know, it was fun, I didn’t have a lot of time to get, you know, the site, when you go into make a record, you have all these great musicians and engineers, and you can really take the time and mess around. So it wasn’t like that, it was just me in the studio. So I had to kind of move it along and stuff. But, you know, I had good ideas of what I wanted for the music, and I wanted it to sound a little bit different and fresh and stuff. So I just kind of threw paint at the wall, and I would see what happened, and then just kind of go with it from there. And, and I just wanted people to have something every week to look forward to and to listen to. And then at the end of it, I just kind of compiled it all into a double CD release called 2020 vision. Because, you know, I thought it would be something we could all remember kind of together. So I put the DVD with all the videos on it, and then all the music separately. And when we look back at 2020, here’s, here’s what I was doing. You know, and maybe a lot of people will remember, you know, looking at it and living through it themselves and watching the videos and being part of it. Look, man,
Nestor Aparicio 06:42
I got all my CDs here. I can you know, pull them out through the years and stuff like that. And I think about the songs and hearing you play them in all sorts of places. I used to chase your band around when you would go out on the road. I do three days in the Midwest and figured see new places. I was single. So it was girls were involved bands, you know, bars, do we Beach, all all of those shows. And it I guess with you and Sam in that era, trying to get it right and having different drummers sometimes and Bobby G was with you most of the time doing things that the crowd expected. You know all the songs to sound like the songs and you’re such a singalong band, that it didn’t give you a whole lot of leeway. You know what I mean? Like singing, you only love acoustically was your magic trick. And I still Bravo I’ve never seen anybody do anything like it, quiet a hall and do that. But But trying to find something new. And I guess during COVID watching you do this, I’m like, hertz and artists, I mean, the videos and stuff, it felt more like just more than making songs. It felt like there was an art involved with what you were doing.
Kurt Neumann 07:48
Yeah, well, I that’s all I know, you know, I’m not I’m not good with you know, spelling or numbers or anything like that. That should be all i My mind has ever been, you know, interested in is doing creative stuff. And so yeah, I really enjoy it. And I don’t know really what else to do. And so that’s that’s what I spend my time doing. You know, even if I’m not doing music or video or something, I tend to be painting something or building something. You know, I build my own guitars because it’s the same thing. It’s just like the creative energy that’s involved in it at all. Kurt
Nestor Aparicio 08:27
Newman is our guest. He is the CO Dean’s and has always been a bow dean. And I want to thank my friend Marcy Hartle who was on my sports desk back in 1986. At the Baltimore Sun. I was the music critic at the evening sun and she said to me, you gotta go see this band. She’s from Buffalo. You gotta go see this band or from Milwaukee. They’re unbelievable. They’re and next thing I know, I’m over at the Shriver Hall over at Johns Hopkins, I think it was the home tour but it might have been outside looking in right around that era. And you know, I call it the juice for your band and I I don’t know whether it was listening to Everly Brothers songs when I was a kid or harmonies or the Beatles. I don’t know what the hell you are Americana roots rock heartland. I for all of that, that jargon. But for I don’t know that I’ve ever heard you talk much about what you listen to. Well, what did you listen to when you were a kid that made you and Sam put these harmonies together back in the day to have that beautiful sound?
Kurt Neumann 09:24
Well, sometimes it’s just dumb luck. You know, when people get bands together, you’re not really sure what what it’s going to be. And sometimes things just happen. Really great. And you don’t if you’re smart. You don’t question that and you don’t think you’re bigger than that? You know, you you go with like in boxing you know you what brung you there, what got you to that point is the magic and that’s what you stick with. And that’s what kind of happened with bodines You know, we’re just some kids in a small town who I love music. Lately I’ve been explaining to the audience what what really influenced me was the am radio when I was a young kid because
Nestor Aparicio 10:09
I own an am radio station are taking them out of cars turns are killing me man
Kurt Neumann 10:14
is. Yeah, that’s terrible because for me, it was a lot of magic. You know, they played everything. It wasn’t formatted. They played all kinds of music from British to American rock, they played soul and Motown, they played comedy. They played all kinds of stuff together. And it had just a wonderful energy about it. And I loved it, you know, and during the day, I would listen to wok why coming out in Milwaukee. And at night, I could get w LS coming out of Chicago. So I’d lay there in my bed, just listening to this magical music and the DJs, too, they all have this great personality. So anything I do in bodines is based on that kind of magic that I heard as a kid and I’m always trying to emulate that. So you’ll sometimes hear us doing what sounds like a rock song or harder rock is sometimes more country leaning or Americana, or you know, something really soft and beautiful like a bell and because that’s what I remember hearing as a kid was all those different kinds of music coming at me. And that’s what I thought the beauty was, you could hear everything. You just look for good songwriting.
Nestor Aparicio 11:18
I want to say something poignant in this, but your music has stayed with me all my life songs like forever on my mind that nobody else has ever heard, or songs like naked that everybody should hear, or anything off the first couple three albums anyway. And I guess for all of that, it’s such a hodgepodge of different kinds of music that I never really, your music has stayed with me all of my life, it goes everywhere I go, I even got an old school iPod with a cord and it doesn’t play in any of the new cars, because it’s not Bluetooth up. What do you listen to what what has stayed with you that you were listening to as a kid on am radio in the early 70s? That that still stays with you that you listen to when you when you want to listen to music?
Kurt Neumann 11:56
Yeah, well, I find, you know, in my iTunes collections and stuff, I downloaded a lot of the music from the 70s. And, you know, that was being played at the time, you know, really good songwriting that was going on, and even going back to the Motown stuff as well in the 60s. And I just that stuff really captured me it had a great energy about it. And I really loved it. And even the music that was going on in the late 70s, which was more of the American rock bands that were playing, had a real great energy and magic to them on the radio. And you know, I wasn’t a kid, my family didn’t have a lot of money. So I wasn’t one of those kids who go out and buy a lot of records. So I really depended on the radio, to play stuff for me. And like I’m saying to you now, thank God, that radio had so much to offer at that time, you know, it was just always even when FM rock came on the scene, there was a lot of really great stuff being played and, and you could depend on it, you know, and like I’m saying the DJs all have this great personality, and they would just draw you in, and it was just part of your life to tune in and listen to this. And music was part of all of our lives then in a way that it’s just not part of kids lives anymore. You know, it’s not that they don’t like music they do. It’s just, it doesn’t seem like it was is deeply rooted in them. As it was my generation.
Nestor Aparicio 13:21
I collect the Old Seven east pacific a belt buckle. So I have the collection. And every one of them is an album and I remember the album and the lyrics and the art and the logos that made bands that you want to draw on your notebook. And then you’re waiting for the next album, right? You’re always you’re waiting for the tour. You’re waiting for the album. I’ve been a lifetime of this. I’m waiting for your tour. And you’re coming into town. What what what can I expect and I’ve seen you recently certainly without Sam in the last decade, I you know I show up and I’m much more open hearted as a washed up music critic as to say you know what, I want to hear you play I want to hear you play what you want to play, what’s in your heart to play and if you do that, it moves me It moves me every night whatever whomever I see wherever they are on their journey because I you know your journey has been checkered in a lot of different ways since that night I discovered you and Hampton roads open for you to so we share that night together many many moons ago before they made their movie. But what is the band now tell everybody maybe they haven’t seen the bodines etc and say hey, I love those man like the party five I like closer I like all that. I want to go check you out what what can they expect?
Kurt Neumann 14:30
I really tried to these days more than anything. I want people to walk away from our shows feeling good and feeling positive. For me. That was always really important with the music I was doing. People get stressed out of their minds these days. And it always seems like the world’s on fire. So when you come out to a boating show, I just want people to feel like they can escape from that for a while. I don’t want it to be about where you are on politics or anything like that. I just want a room full of people to get together and sing songs. songs together. So, I play a little of everything going back to our first record, and of course up to our latest release. And I tried to give people a little bit of all the different eras of bodines in there. And, and, and like I’m saying the main message when they when we’re done and when we finish, I want people to feel like that. That was great. I’m glad I saw it or I’m glad I went out and sing songs because I feel better. Just doing that, you know, I feel like there’s some good stuff in the world. And that’s, that’s what I’m trying to accomplish.
Nestor Aparicio 15:32
I’m always looking for that show. I want to see SEO last week and my friends are like, I’ve never heard you gush about anything quite like this. And I’m like, Oh, I’ve seen 1000s of shows. It was unbelievably good. Springsteen and Springsteen played here at the arena, the new CFG Bank Arena a couple of weeks ago. He’s coming back and doing the stadiums. I’m a Springsteen, not you know, traveled all around Australia twice, chasing them around New Zealand, Europe, all of that stuff. You do. I’m on fire. I went down to Austin to see Bruce about eight weeks ago, first couple of weeks in the tour. I wanted to go check him out, check out the new building. Check out Austin, which I know you make your home near they’re sort of a selected place for you being the Walkinshaw Milwaukee guy. Um, Bruce, and Bruce has influence on music and the fact that you do a Bruce cover and you do stones cover. You give the people what they want, right?
Kurt Neumann 16:22
Yeah. Well, you know, I liked Springsteen, because he seemed to be singing about a lot of stuff that I could relate to how I grew up as well, you know, seems like his family probably didn’t have a lot of money, but they may do and they got through and I can just relate to kind of what he said, which I think a lot of people do, obviously so. But when it came to him on fire, it was one of the most romantic songs I’ve ever heard. I just remembered, I always think about hearing that song late at night driving home and thinking what a beautiful, simple, romantic song and so I always wanted to kind of do a version of it. And I did and got it on the American made record around 2012 I think it was and so we pull that out now and then play it I’ve done a few different Springsteen songs here and there. I did a cover of Atlantic City for tribute record that was put out years ago is
Nestor Aparicio 17:14
yeah, oh now in the Badlands peace. Yeah, a lot of great bands contributed to that great great renditions of familiar music you know and how you do it. So my my boys in the Smithereens that downbound train on that one?
Kurt Neumann 17:26
Yeah, right. Another great song. But yeah, he’s just got, you know, an endless amount of them. But so I was like them in the stones. I was hearing since I was a kid, when it comes to rock and roll energy. For me. It’s the stones are ACDC that both have just this pure rock and roll energy that I love about their music. And I always I always will love that.
Nestor Aparicio 17:49
You got a favorite childhood favorite song? Do you know like a song that you love that you don’t play? Or can’t play? Anything you haven’t? I’ve never seen you do forever on my mind ever. I don’t think you did it on your own. I mean, are there any songs that you’ve never done? Other than that, like, like when people yell Valentine’s Day, it’s Springsteen, because he never does it right.
Kurt Neumann 18:08
I think we did play it probably once or twice, but not a lot. But it was probably on the tour when it was released.
Nestor Aparicio 18:17
I love that song. Do you still love that song? Or is it one that you’ve left behind?
Kurt Neumann 18:23
No, I think it’s a beautiful song. I I love the melody on it. And I love the sentiment on that song. I really do. But last count, they had 215 songs copyrighted in my name, so I can’t I can’t play them all. That’s why I love playing, you know, the few new ones each time we have a new record because they’re fresh energy. And then I have a certain amount like a third of the set where it’s really kind of the favorite old singalongs that we play. And then there’s another third where I try to change it up each year and give something new and interesting and different than the play. So that’s what I kind of look for those each year to change up play something different.
Nestor Aparicio 19:04
I’m always trying to Gateway people to my favorite band, which is your favorite band. And when I try to Gateway people, I don’t know really where to Gateway them other than to say, it’s sort of Rocky and spruit. But give it a chance or go back and listen, if you like music of the era, you will like it but I don’t what would be the gateway song for you? Because to me, it’s not close to free you know, I mean, it’s not it’s not that for me, it might be good. Thanks. You know, like would be a gateway to who you are and what the band is about and saying if you’ve never heard it, that’s a great song. You know, and I hear that now like out sometimes I’ve heard it in the supermarket. I mean, oh, you know, because there’s so many serious channels and whatnot. But is that the gateway song?
Kurt Neumann 19:50
That’s definitely one of them. You’ll hear a lot of people know that song even though they didn’t know who did it or something. They will know good things. Also on Supermart Kids, they play Idaho quite a bit. So subliminal people probably know that one as well. Although the very first song that you ever heard from us, like, that was out on MTV and stuff was fade away. And that’s so to me, fade away is a real iconic Modine song as well, because it was that first sound of our voices together playing real simple music. It was a beautiful minor key song. So those are the three I point to a lot besides close to the freeze just fade away, Idaho and good things because those are, to me, the sound of moldings. Well, I’ve
Nestor Aparicio 20:35
wasted 20 minutes of your day, but certainly from my audience, we appreciate it. I know that anybody that trips over this, you do talk to some people from time to time about your music, and I’m glad you’re still doing this. I’m glad you’re still happy about doing it, that when I show up, it’s it’s it’s a joyful night for me. So it’s Preakness night, a man when I was younger, I was no good after five o’clock on Preakness night, but I’m going to try to, you know, stay in the race. Stay on, stay on, stay steady. And then I’ll get down to Annapolis on a Saturday night to see you guys. I really appreciate the time, I encourage everyone to go out and explore the music of the Bodeen. Certainly go check them out. You come around at least once a year and are out on the circuit. And it means a lot to your fans. And we’ll get together and as I say to my wife shaker asked us on Saturday night because that’s what the old guys all get together into.
Kurt Neumann 21:22
Yeah, yeah, that sounds great. Come on, check us out. If you haven’t seen us before. I think you’ll like it. It’s a it’s a great simple music singalong fun, positive message. What else you got to do, but come on. Have a good time, right?
Nestor Aparicio 21:34
In beautiful Annapolis on a spring night with the bodines Kurt, I really appreciate you take a little bit of time. I’ll be at the merch stand supporting the band, don’t worry about it. And we I gotta keep you bands all out on the road. That’s what I say to everybody during COVID. I’m like, Hey, man, when this thing is over, and the bands come back, go out, support the music that you missed that you love. And I’m, I’m taking advantage of that more than baseball. They’re giving me a hard time because the baseball team is playing well. And I’m out with John wait. But that’s, that’s no problem. I mean, the babies in the bodines. And the music came first. So I do appreciate you. Thank you very much for your time.
Kurt Neumann 22:09
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. You take care of yourself.
Nestor Aparicio 22:12
You got to Kurt Newman joining us here for bodines There’s this one, and this one and this one, and they’re all great. And you should go check them out. And certainly download them and give my favorite band a chance. If you trust my judgment on music and my judgments been pretty decent over the course of time. We often see the bowties down in Annapolis. And by the way, our friends and ramshead doing a great, great job down there, Marilyn Hall, lots of great bands coming in lots of great bands coming to the lyric Merryweather CFG Bank Arena, I had Billy del on the Maryland crabcake tour last week over at State Fair it’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery given these way on the 23rd on Tuesday, we’re gonna be up at fallston at the local Eaton crabcakes having fun talking about things but also brought to you by our friends at WIN donation. My friends at the Rock and Roll society down in Annapolis will see me on a stool in one of the great little rooms in America to see music at Annapolis and ramshead and all the Rams heads are great, but the Annapolis one is the best. I am Nestor we are wn st game 1570, Towson Baltimore, and we never stopped talking rock and roll in Baltimore positive stay with us.