Rumbling the 80s back to the Recher on December 2nd with Tommy Conwell

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Legendary Philadelphia blues rockers Tommy Conwell and The Young Rumblers return to the Baltimore area for the first time in two decades and Nestor asks why it’s still fun to put the band back together almost four decades after the Hammerjacks magic of “I’m Not Your Man.”


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Nestor J. Aparicio

Nestor J. Aparicio  00:01

Welcome back. W n s t test Baltimore and Baltimore positive we’re taking a crabcake tour out on the road. We’re gonna be out after Thanksgiving through the holidays, lots of places. I have some ravens scratch off still to get away from the Maryland Lottery but I’m going to have some scented tickets, never to be called sniffers. They’re good they’re going to be Gingerbread, and peppermint just for the holiday season. Also our friends I window nation 866 90 nation taking care of business around here and Jiffy Lube, multi care. I guess it’s great that that my guest years behind the wheel of a large automobile. He will be behind the wheel driving here to Towson, Maryland, still pronounced chosen by some folks up there in Bucks County because they don’t know better. This guy is the pride of Philadelphia. He has a song about Philadelphia. He’s written a lot of songs. It’s been a long, long time since and I’m proud to be part of this and Paul Manna and everybody over the wrecker. I hope we mob the joint on the second of December to see my friend Tommy Conwell and the young Rumblers rumbling down here. Hey, man, okay, I came up to Ardmore a couple of weeks ago, just to make sure you guys were still good. Because I didn’t want to be like promoting the show and saying, you know, these old guys are over the hill. I took a friend and never seen your band but knew of your band. And she said oh my god these guys don’t like they don’t play often they just do this once or twice a year and I’m like It’s unbelievable. So tribute to how are you? I’m


doing great. Thanks for that. That you know enthusiastic introduction. It’s great to see in Nestor always great to be on your show. And now tell you what, man I have never been to the record. But it looks really great. Looks really nice. I mean beautiful pictures from there man. Great outside looks like a great spot.

Nestor J. Aparicio  01:48

Yeah, it’s been remodeled a couple of times. And it has a great legendary lore here over a quarter of a century now. And it’s been a while man like I you know, I love you. You know, I love your band. I’m on the go watch all the old interviews. If you want to talk about Dewey or Batman, we have all of that. But anyway, the hammer Jack stuff and I want to give a shout out to Stephen and Anne Marie who was accompany me up to the Ardmore on a couple of occasions to see reunion bands and Jill Deville and the Baltimore people. There’s a hammer Jack’s legend and a Lor you’re a part of that there’s a Baltimore music scene that Philly sort of intersected with at that period of time with the Cinderella’s and the hare bands and those kinds of bands. But you came down here with little kings you played eight by 10 You played a lot of places. I think you played the barn at various points on your way up before you got signed when you were doing the cornerstone thing we’re all watching the Hooters have success. I mean the Baltimore thing for you there’s Philly, I guess there was Beach, Jersey beach for you and some other places you guys did well in New York as I remember it as well. But Baltimore was like for the young Rumblers it was part of maybe why you got signed as you were your big outside of Philly, right.


No doubt man Baltimore was like a second home. And it really started in Ocean City, Maryland. And like Ocean City, Maryland, is where we was one of our first gigs with a degree in turn on Ocean City back in 1984.

Nestor J. Aparicio  03:18

And Dr. Harmon


well not while that’s the first best gig I ever did with rocket, it was at the green turtle in Ocean City, Maryland in 1983. And what was it 82? Maybe Maybe this 82 They think because I started the rubbers at war. Yeah, he for so. So yeah, so anyway, yeah. So that was the first kicker do it rocketed? Yeah, I was just sitting in too. And, and but, but then my one of the first first plays I called was the green turtle because I knew Ocean City is huge. And it’s connected to borders. It can actually like people from a lot of people who go to Ocean City, some people who go to Ocean City or in Ocean City are from Baltimore. So they’ll take their they’ll take their enthusiasm back home to Baltimore, which is what happened, man, and yeah, man. I mean, Baltimore was always, always, always always a second home to us. And it’s been too long since we played there. And, you know, I’m really glad to be going back.

Nestor J. Aparicio  04:22

How do you feel about your band disappoint. I mean, just that I would brag on your band and tell all my people and grow my hair long. I’m just in case the 80s come back and tell people to come see your band. I think that night it Dewey was a little telling for me, because there were definitely people there that hadn’t seen you in a long time that you have to drive to Philly to see you. I’ve done that several times. I’ve done it during the middle of the plague, but you’re like, What do you don’t want to see me strumming a guitar like nobody’s playing? It’s a plague. You’re the only one playing you know, so I need to see some live music. And there is something local about all that. And Baltimore’s not that far away. And I guess there was a point In your musical career where you’re like, Alright, I’m gonna go have a normal life here. I’m off the tour boss, Letterman can still come back and you can come back to but I mean, I was shocked. I was there for your soundcheck and God full disclosure, I found this old poster that I wanted you guys to sign it. Your guys, guys in your band are still like, I can’t believe you have that poster man. And I’m like, that’s still pristine. I’m gonna put it up. And I was down there for your soundcheck. And like, you guys walk on stage, like you do it all the time. But the fact that you’re healthy enough to do it, the fact that you’re all doing well, the fact that what you’re putting on when you come out is not the oldie shows specifically for where you are in a bad cycle. But people come out and see you and it’s, dare I say, as good as it ever was, or do you not feel that way?


Well, the thing is, it hasn’t changed very much. Because it hasn’t changed. But, but no. I mean, it’s it’s good in new ways. It’s good in new ways. It’s good, because it’s more joyful now. You know, I mean, now it’s just all joy. It’s all love. It’s all but there’s no like, God, you gotta get your shit together. There can be a little bit, but not much. There’s very little, you know, very little of that. And, and it’s mostly like, amen. We all practice, you know, I mean,

Nestor J. Aparicio  06:25

I mean, I saw your soundcheck and you literally ran through everything one time. I don’t think to stop. I mean, like, I don’t think there might have been a point where you’re like, I will speed that up. Let’s slow that down. But for the most part, like


yeah, a lot of time in soundcheck, it’s, we’re proud, we have one new song we’re gonna do, you know, he’s like, let’s, let’s pull this one out. This one needs that, you know, some will practice that. And that way the sound guys can get the sound I can get his sound together, you know, and we then we’ll worry about the old songs. You know, I mean, like, they play themselves and, and, you know, I forget the words once a while, or like, the arrangements might be some songs. Like, they’re always, you’re never sure exactly where it’s going. You know, I mean, but, but the guys are good at following me. You know, I mean, and they’ve got a lot of practice. And so it’s just fun, man. And it’s a lot of fast more than anything. And it’s the old saw, do you know, I mean that. And there’s it’s all weird, bad. I mean, nobody. There is no, it sounds like it’s exactly Edison way with one of the greatest bands. The reason no one sounds like him, is because they’re not that good. You know what I mean? Like they can only do, what’s great about them is that they’re together. What’s not great about them is I’m the best guitar player in the world, or the best singer, I’m the best. I’m not the best at anything, you know, I mean, but together, you make this noise that is fun, and it’s good. And it’s sweet and is you know, and is and is part of people’s lives, you know what I mean? He didn’t so it’s, it’s super fun, man. And I you know, like, we’re brothers man, like, we’re, you know, whereas as I don’t have a lot of old friends, I mean, you know, there’s like the people you went to school with, but I don’t really stay in touch, oh, stay in touch with anybody. That’s just the way I am, which is not something that, you know, kind of a challenge for me. But, but with those guys, you know, like we get to, we play I don’t know, to two to four or five times a year, you know, to minimum and, you know, four or five max. And it’s just brothers, man, we’re just all we’re just we’re just, you know, we’re just brothers, man, we love each other, we tell each other every time you know and hug each other. They love you, man. You know, every time there is no, there’s no there are very few bad feelings. There really aren’t really any, you know, which is really fun and great and sweet and a total gift and that’s one of the it’s a gift of, of being where we are today. You know, I mean, I

Nestor J. Aparicio  09:04

wrote down your music is fun and I think the one thing having seen the band a couple of weeks ago and I you know see it once or twice a year sometimes I miss sometimes it’s Thanksgiving weekend, which I think is how the whole thing got started up in Philadelphia and sort of reignited This is more of a holiday period of time and I I just saw people having a good time. But more than that, it’s fun for you and I think that makes it fun for the crowd. Tommy Conwell and young Rumblers are playing at the wrecker in Towson United get their parking right around the corner stop over Nacho Mama’s get yourself a beer and some chips or something like that and get out and shake it off on December the second work off some of that Turkey or some of the crab cakes I’ll be next week and look when it guys come down from Philly and the Eagles are like the one seed and the Ravens are kind of playing well and it’s by weekend for the Ravens. I mean I have to get it even get out of bed the next day so you know for For this we’ll fill it up, man when you were big we even have a football team. Right I’m Being a coach, we’re gone when you go when you sit down at a hammer Jack’s there were no coals literally. It’s crazy. Yeah. Raven, right? Well, listen, so I saw you talking about working the song, because for people listening, they love your band. You worked up, I want to make you happy. And a couple of times at the yard more, you were like, You have no idea how hard Chris had to work to learn this song. There comes a point where I guess some of it does get away from me if you don’t play it, and rehearsing it and, and having fans yell something at you. I want to hear something you’re like, No, no, no, we don’t rehearse, man, we learn that on the fly. A lot of songs, you know? Yeah,


yeah, yeah. Yeah. And there’s a few. There’s a few you know, that, that. That, um, you know, that I’d like to pull out. You know, I want to make you happy, man. Here’s the thing. I heard it on the radio in Philly one day, like, you know, it maybe was two years ago or three? I don’t know, whatever. past couple of years. But I heard I just drive it. I heard on the radio. I’m like, Are you kidding me? Like who’s playing in this? Why? And it sounded good. And I don’t like, you know, whatever. The song was so good. It felt so good. Like, it felt better than it ever did before. Like, before, I felt like, this isn’t really like, a song that I loved. You know what I mean? Or, but when we played it on, you know, are more or last week. It just felt like, wow, this song is good for like us at this point. You know what I mean? It’s just a sweet song. And it’s like, and the outro I just felt like somebody called getting into being in a groove or in a pocket. Like, I felt like we were in the pocket. Like, when you’re in the pocket when you’re in a groove. You don’t want to stop, you know, I mean, like, most are just like, okay, all right. I think they’ve had enough that is said, you know, so it’s like, you don’t have a set ending, you end it when you when you think it’s right to end it. That’s a lot of songs. And you know, they’re usually couple of times a couple of repeats something a couple of times and say okay, I like that one. I was like, I don’t see any reason to end this. You know what I mean? That’s what being in a groove means or in a packet, you know, I mean, that’s what like, as a band in a groove means it’s like, can we just do this keep going like until I don’t know, man, you know, I don’t know how long it that’s what it felt like. So it’s cool. We’ll do that again.

Nestor J. Aparicio  12:33

I saw you guys playing a lot of places back in the day when the stone balloon. I never saw you like chestnut or Trocadero, any of those Philly clubs I just I you guys play down here every month or two was plenty to see you I saw you down at AOL gators or whatever it was called that period of time and some DC shows. I think I may have seen it the by you it perhaps back in the day. Is there anything about hammer jacks? Other than the documentary where you were a little part of it? I was like, you know, we’re all a little part of it. But to expound upon, you know, when the bus was going through there on a tour or when you had a one off, or you guys were coming down, because I mean, dude, it was it was mobbed. I mean, I was there on nights when you know ba dee was there a big bands kiss played there, Ozzy played there, and you got to put so many people out there. You guys got to the point when you write your Zenith 8788 When you got sign where you were just flat out, you know, you were you could have done two or three nights at 16 1800 People smack on the ceiling. Right You’re done do you guys at that point? Those must have been memorable shows for you to see. Yeah, it was in Baltimore to grow that way. Here’s


the thing, man like I would go to a place with a lot of plates like that’s the hammer Jackson camera tag was a big room you know? And they had a lot of big bands come into but they were like metal bands, you know, they were like kicks you know and and you know those kind of bands will play there you know? That was Yeah, I mean like yeah, like, like the real bands you know, and but it was a lot of like more hard rock and metal content and I don’t even know what we want or are you know, I mean, like we don’t really fit anywhere in my data. I give myself too too much credit but I don’t know where to how we fit. But so I always look at the thing and said look at the mark you know the schedule and say wow, why did they like us here? You know what I mean? Like, they like are they like all this other stuff that we’re really not like, I always felt like a bit of a missed I was it was amazed at how warm the welcome was at average x you know, you know, because it was it was just, it was just, it was just like coming home every time. People were sweet. You know people who work there were sweet. There was always a good crowd. It always felt like a big deal. Fan tastic man yeah, here’s the thing. Like, we didn’t get that everywhere. You know what I mean? Like we you know, like we didn’t like we got that some places, you know, but like we didn’t get that in in, you know, Chicago or like, you know, St. Louis or or Ohio you know what I mean? Like, we got that in Baltimore. We got Philly Baltimore, Central Pennsylvania, Asbury Park, New Jersey, you know, we had our spots Ocean City Maryland. But you know, Baltimore was a big one man Baltimore was always always always very sweet to us.

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:37

I want to say something sweet about your town is I wear my on my curio Baltimore shirt here because I was wearing a Philly we’re from Philly. And you know the Sixers are well sure to have an Eagles hat on when you get down here because they’re well right so hold


up my phone right now right show it to well I know you want

Nestor J. Aparicio  15:54

and flyers and that crazy. We always hate the flyers even though we’re in flyers cones there oriels colors. I’ve been in Philly twice in the last couple of weeks. We’re in the Philly range because sometimes they get up Newark or you know above Hollywood casinos right at Maryville you can get WM Mr. There, right. And this is no offense to 98 rock or 100.7. And those people know I love them over at the bay and they’ve changed their format a little bit where it’s not so Santana Allman Brothers and Zeppelin. It’s a little bit more Incubus and, and 311 You know, it’s, it’s more 90s ish. And we’re all getting older and we’re all trying to hold up but I’m listening to MMR. In the middle of the night when I left you in Ardmore listen for an hour and a half driving home. And then I listened in the middle of the day we can have good they were doing a charity thing. And I just think to myself like heritage radio, and I know you were part of the family what they do up there, but it’s so important to the community in the music community to have sort of that that 98 rock that bay that keeps the music of the Ravens alive it keeps your music alive correct the sky chicks oh my god me dude, the night that kicks retired Tom, I’m gonna tell you man, there were it was a Jimmy Buffett concert it was 15,000 people on the lawn at Merriweather in the driving rain to say goodbye to a local you know, you know what that feels like being but, but what MMR is for Philly and what I hear and, and I and I have some blasphemy that I want to I want to poop upon some locals. Okay. I want to see Geddy Lee Friday night down at MGM, and he played on Wednesday in Philly and he’s doing this book my effing life and I love Gary you love we all love Gatti. Right. We all mourn the loss of Neil and he’s talking about right, right. So so, so, yeah, now you’re, you’re meandering me here. So Wednesday night, Getty comes out on stage, he has a different host every night. It was Pierre robear. And some people in my community didn’t know who he is. And I’m like, stop. You know, these are these are the people that kept music like yours got you on the map and made it go that all these years later radio matters a lot. It really does.


Yeah, yeah. Well, what you said about being you said herded radio, and yeah, man, like, and you know, wasn’t one in the 80s in Bama, wasn’t it? 98 Raw?

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:18

Always 98 Rock Sara flesh? Still here? Yeah, yeah.


Yeah. And, and in Philly, it’s always been MMR. And yeah, and they, you know, and really, when, I guess there will, it will always be a part of people my age. You know what I mean? And I’m not sure what the demographic is now, I don’t know. And I’m not sure what it will be when Pierre does finally retire at some point, you know, Pierre’s, a central guy who was there since probably, you know, the late 70s. Early, very early 80s.

Nestor J. Aparicio  18:55

I’ve listened to him after every rush concert. And on the grace under pressure tour in the 80s. Every time I would leave Philly, going into Philly, it was a celebration of whatever band was playing there that night and lead pretzel out in front of the spectrum Get the hell out of there try to beat the


trend they just play. Just play it like play like a block of like every good

Nestor J. Aparicio  19:17

to listen to some love to your your town and the radio station that built it because I still listen. And a week later somebody doesn’t know who Pierre repairers and I’m like, I took a picture with me Jackie bam bam at the Tom cowbell show last year. Yeah.


They are not. They’re not they’re not in the static can’t hear him you know, and, and he’s famous among radio people, I guess. But, but he’s, he’s a real treasure. You know, in Philly. I mean, he’s just, he’s just an easy, easy, just a great man. You know, I’m like he’s, he’s sincere like he has never wavered. He has never wavered in his positivity about Philadelphia and, and the local band you No local music in Philadelphia. He’s never you know, he just, he’s just he’s a what do you call it like a monolith man, you know what I mean? He’s just like he’s there. He’s not going nowhere. The

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:12

institution kind of like you guys, all of our philabundance is going to be headed to record Theatre on December the second, Tommy Caldwell and young rumbles, putting the band back together, bringing them down. 95 will come rumbling in. And there is no balcony for you to climb at the record, but we’re gonna have to figure this out for you. You know, we’re gonna have to invent some monkey bars or something for you to get across. All right, good.


Yeah, there was a place. There was a place in Baltimore back in the day. The Hulk it was in a hotel. What was that place? The marble not bar marble. Not the more bar that the

Nestor J. Aparicio  20:50

eight by 10 was the little place in the neighborhood.


Yeah, that was a good place. I played there a couple of times with other with other bands, too. But no, but what was that place? It was in a hotel was in an old hotel. And we played there a couple times. And they had a really high balcony. And for like, for some reason, they had complete jackass. Like, I’m walking on the railing of this balcony. Like if I saw like, I probably die. Definitely got really hurt. And it’d be really gross and upsetting for everyone there. And they got it in but I can’t remember the name of that place. Maybe someone will remember it. Well,

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:30

come see Tommy on December 2. At the record, you always make time to come on. You know, I don’t wish any ill will to the Eagles or anything. So I want to keep it keep it all, you know,


in the in the Super Bowl, you know, fingers crossed, that would be fun.

Nestor J. Aparicio  21:45

All I could think about is if we lost how awful that would be. You know, I mean? Yeah.


Well, you know, I know the field we lost last year. But you know what? I’d rather play them. I’d love to play the Ravens in the Superbowl rather than the chiefs. You know, you know, God willing. Like I said, if we can get there. That would be cool. Right? The Ravens and Eagle bow be

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:05

cool. They put the band back together to play the pre game or something. Tommy Caldwell and a young Rumblers putting the band back together playing all the hits playing all the songs you love and and playing to steal


somebody’s paying we’re playing there

Nestor J. Aparicio  22:21

you go man, Paul man and our friends at 24/7 Putting that together. Thanks for coming on brother. We’ll see you soon. Later. Keep rockin Tommy Conwell of the young rumble as you can find them at the the wrecker on the second tickets are available 30 bucks doors at seven o’clock. Ample parking in the rear as we like to say I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570 Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive

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