Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio

Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio is the archive for the premiere website that covered the melodic pop scene with in-depth reviews of new and reissued recordings, and a wide variety of features. We are now closed for new activity.

Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Emitt Rhodes (Airdate: March 20, 1997)

By Alan Haber – Pure Pop Radio alan 5 small

Alan in the studio
Alan in the studio

On this sunny Friday, we go way, way back to 1997. The weekly Pure Pop Radio show was two years old and the number one name on my interview want list was heritage pop artist Emitt Rhodes.

Way back when, WCBS-FM in New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice, was the place to be for new rock music. Before it became “New York’s Oldies Station,” it was a whole other station. It was the station that broadcast George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass in its entirety, back in the days when radio could do that sort of thing, and it was the station that introduced me to Emitt Rhodes.

emitt rhodes emitt rhodes
Emitt Rhodes, 1970

The deejay, Bobby “Wizard” Wayne, waxed poetically, with just the right dose of enthusiasm, about this wunderkind who played all of the instruments on his debut, self-titled record, who sounded like Paul McCartney; hearing the first 60 seconds of “With My Face on the Floor,” it was obvious that Wayne had hit upon something very special. And the McCartney reference was right on.

Ever since then, Rhodes’ amazing albums have been rotating in and out of my daily playlists, including his most recent release, Rainbow Ends, from last year. I’d always wanted to meet him, but never got the chance… until the very first International Pop Overthrow in Los Angeles. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As I said, when I started doing my Pure Pop radio show in 1995, Rhodes was at the top of my list of artists to interview. But getting to him was another matter. Ray Paul, then head honcho at the great, much-missed Permanent Press record label, came to my rescue, and set up the interview.

emitt rhodes mirror
Mirror, 1971

Imagine my surprise and delight when I came home one day from doing errands and checked my answering machine and found that Emitt had called me and left his number. Long story short, we spoke later that day and scheduled a day and time for him to be on Pure Pop.

emitt rhodes farewell to paradise
Farewell to Paradise, 1973

That day was March 20, 1997. Talking to Emitt was like a dream come true. We spoke about his three albums that had been released, his songwriting, and much else. At one point, when Emitt took a bit of a break from the interview, I spoke on the air to Emitt’s mother, who related some wonderful, warm anecdotes about her son growing up, and the influence of music on the Rhodes family. I also asked Emitt questions submitted by listeners.

Pop maestro Emitt Rhodes and Pure Pop Radio programmer and host Alan Haber put their heads together in Los Angeles.
Emitt Rhodes and Alan Haber, IPO Los Angeles, 1998

I finally met Emitt, at the first International Pop Overthrow (IPO) festival in 1998. He remarked that he had enjoyed our talk, and that his mother, who had recently died, had enjoyed it, too. He even bought me a soda!

For me, having any contact whatsoever with one of my musical heroes instantly qualifies as a high point of my life. I hope you feel the same way after listening to this interview from 20 years ago.

I hope you enjoy the show.

pprListen to my interview with Emitt Rhodes from March 20, 1997 by clicking the play button on the following player, or click on the Pure Pop Radio button to the left to download (then right click and choose “Save audio as” to save the file to your computer). (This interview is presented in scoped format; the songs have been removed due to copyright concerns.)

Listen to the songs played during this interview by clicking on the following
Spotify links:

“Farewell to Paradise” |

“Somebody Made for Me” |

“Only Lovers Decide” |

“Live” |

“Bubblegum the Blues/I’m a Cruiser” |

“Ever Find Yourself Running” |

“Nights are Lonely/Bad Man” |

“Tame the Lion” |

“You Must Have” |

Look out for more current and archived Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation interviews.

alanhaberspurepopradiographiclarge1-wp header

Pure Pop Radio’s signature shows, Alan Haber’s Pop Tunes Deejay Show, playing the latest and greatest melodic pop songs from today and across the decades, and Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation, the premiere Internet melodic pop talk show, air weekly on Pop that Goes Crunch Radio.

pop tunes disc smallin conversation new graphic blueListen to the Pop Tunes Deejay Show on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm ET (two different shows every week); In Conversation airs every Wednesday night at 9 pm ET. Don’t miss a minute!

Tune in to Pop that Goes Crunch Radio by clicking on the following snazzy-looking button:

6 responses to “Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation Podcasts: Emitt Rhodes (Airdate: March 20, 1997)”

  1. Reblogged this on Bright, shiny objects! and commented:
    Wow. A rare Emitt Rhodes radio interview…

  2. Thanks for posting this interview! Like you, I’m a lifelong fan and this is an important contribution to the body of knowledge around the enigmatic Emitt Rhodes…

    1. You’re very welcome! I am a lifelong Emitt fan, that’s for sure. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for more…there’s lots to explore on the site! Thanks!

  3. […] which offered them a contract. The Bangles covered “Live” on the group’s 1984 debut album; Rhodes told Pure Pop Radio’s Alan Haber in 1997 that the song came to him in a […]

  4. […] which offered them a contract. The Bangles covered “Live” on the group’s 1984 debut album; Rhodes told Pure Pop Radio’s Alan Haber in 1997 that the song came to him in a […]

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