Rock star, professor and author Rik Emmett of Triumph lays it on the line with ML, Marc and Shawn while Joe fights the good fight. Emmett discusses his career, his new biography, and his experiences in the music industry. He also shares his thoughts on the current state of the music industry and the importance of staying true to oneself.
STRAIGHT DOPE: It’s the same old story all over again — ML still loves Canadian metal, as he tells guitar player and singer Rik Emmett of Triumph when he zooms in discuss his new memoir “Lay It On The Line: A Backstage Pass to Rock Star Adventure, Conflict and Triumph.”
ML tells Rik how his career at Fox 2 went off the rails shortly after he tried singing some Triumph tunes during the podcast’s “Guilty Pleasures” episode a few years ago. Shawn urges ML to try again. You’ll have to listen to learn whether the challenge is accepted.
Rik’s book is unlike any rock memoir you’ve heard of. For starters, it takes him 78 pages before he says much about the rock band that brought him fame and fortune. Instead, it’s a look at life and a reflection on his journey.
Michigan gets lots of mentions in Rik’s book. Two of his favorite shows were at Cobo and Joe Louis Arena. His son played baseball at Central Michigan University. And he sang the national anthem at Comerica Park before CMU’s game against the “University of Michigan Spartans.”
Rik shares recollections of being escorted into Harpo’s before gigs because the eastside neighborhood surrounding the legendary venue was so rough. He also recalls doing a gig downtown where a guy was stabbed and taken to the green room. Rik says the guy died, and Triumph killed.
Rockers are known for their partying. Rik explains why he favored herbal tea after shows.
ML asks Rik about a scene from the documentary “Triumph, Rock and Roll Machine” that reveals how a letter Rik wrote to a cancer patient may have helped save his life.
“Heavy Metal” and “spirituality” are seldom heard in the same sentence. Yet Rik’s lyrics evoked a depth of emotion that set his music apart from most hard rock bands. ML asks him to explain his inspirations.
Shawn asks Rik when he cut his hair.
Rik asks ML what “ML” stands for.
Music is a business, and the business of music contributed to Triumph’s dissolution. Rik discusses how the rift developed between him and the other Musketeers, Gil Moore and Mike Levine.
In the 1980s, there were two three-piece hard rock bands from Toronto: Rush and Triumph. Marc asks Rik what he thought about the OTHER Canadian power trio.
GEEK OF THE WEEK: Former Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson, who quit and then complained that he didn’t get to keep all the money he negotiated before he decided to quit, gives a pep talk TO THE OTHER TEAM, so ML makes him a first-ballot inductee into our hall of shame.
ROOM 7609: One of Rik’s favorite recordings is a New Wave tune – “Woman in Chains” by Tears for Fears, which leaves Shawn and Marc as “Podcasters in Pain.” Undeterred, ML invites listeners to nominate more New Wave tunes that doubled as movie themes. Send your favorite to us at [email protected]
FEEDBACK: A sports reporter who seemed sympathetic to Mel Tucker ends up in the crosshairs and a listener wonders “whatever happened to all those sideline signs.” We welcome all your comments – and constructive criticism – at [email protected]
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