Archive for April 2019

Once I’ve completed an interview with a guest, I listen to it over and over to determine how it  can best be edited to reflect superlative production value and content. 

Most of my schmoozes require some editing work, but this one, my interview with Steve Paikin of TVO's The Agenda, I left mostly intact. I did because Steve is as articulate as they come, a  storyteller par excellence who relays his colorful experience like few others. Editing this piece too much, I felt would detract from the value of our time together. 

I am uber-excited to share Episode 17 of Hatradio! with you because of this. Here, you have a unique opportunity to hear from Steve Paikin, a Canadian media-icon, and to learn about him, about Canada, Ontario, Hamilton, Toronto, Ontario Premiers and politicians, the Rwandan genocide, hockey, summer camp and a plethora of other stuff he generously shared with me. 

I stress 'unique' because Steve said he has never done an extensive interview before about himself. I felt good about that. 


So why did I title the show, “I Don’t Know what I’m Doing Here”?  Good question. Steve is a very accomplished fellow including the author of seven books, an on-air host of 25,000 shows and interviews as well as the producer of a number of documentaries. Yet, when he accepted the Order of Canada from the Governor General, the first thing he said to him was “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”  The Governor General responded, “I do”. This relaxed Steve even though he was baffled as to what he was doing in the company of doctors looking for the cure to Cancer and other such accomplished folk.

I appreciated  the man's humility and felt it apropos to title the show after a statement which reflects that.    

Listen to this episode and you'll discover, Steve Paikin of TVO's The Agenda, has a fascinating life. He has interacted and schmoozed with the whose who of Canada and many Americans including one of his on-air mentor, Ted Kopel. You just know,  Steve felt deeply blessed to be able to interview and write a book about the last nine premiers of Ontario. And with all this, h is greatest influences in life were: his parentsschool and camp (which he is over the top about)

In short, this interview was full of gems about Steve Paikin, the country he loves and so much more. We covered the stars like Gino Vannelli, the hockey players including Steve’s favorite, Ron Ellis, and of course the politicians, focusing on John Robarts, the 17th premier of Ontario (Steve called his life a Shakespearean story). Steve is also compelled to talk about humanitarian issues in a big way including the Rwandan genocide. He talked extensively about his love of shinny hockey as well as his mother's lengthy volunteer resume, and his father's passion - refurbishing old railway cars.  

But the thing I took away from my interview with Steve is that he takes his work very seriously, as he does the issues, but not himself. And I like that. I appreciate it. Steve does not bask in the glory of his fame. Quite the opposite. He doesn’t really care about the lights, or the cameras. He does care however about the action and his ability to highlight the chapters of a hard working person and give them the coverage they deserve.

In short, this is a uniquely compelling episode, one which might encourage you to watch The Agenda with Steve Paikin, appreciate the country we live in, and be inspired to grow the way our guest, Steve Paikin, has. He may not have known what he was doing at the Order of Canada acceptance program, but it's clear to a bunch of us, it made a lot of sense for him to be bestowed with one of this country's highest honors. 

Hatradio! The show that schmoozes!


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Episode 16: Pat Rush - Slide, Patty, Slide!

Pat Rush is an internationally acclaimed guitarist. He has played and jammed with Johnny Winter, The Allman Brothers, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and many more. He toured with James Cotton for three years. Pat was also a member of The Jeff Healey Band for twelve years.

I was so honored to schmooze with him on Hatradio! this April 2019, all the time sensing I was with someone very special and highly accomplished. The interview felt historic in nature.


Pat was thirteen when he learned how to play guitar. He bought his first axe for $13.99 from his neighbor Bobby Miles. His mom loaned him the cash of which he repaid mowing lawns at .50 cents each.

After a few months of lessons using the Mel Bay method, his teacher, Don Russell, told Pat’s mom he couldn’t teach Pat anymore as he’s already so far ahead in the books. He said, “you don’t need me anymore. Let Pat learn and he’ll teach you (Pat’s mom was taking lessons with him).”  And that’s what happened.

Pat grew and grew as a guitarist playing churches and school venues. His first paid gig was in a church. He received $20 and shared it with the band members. The years passed and eventually Pat launched a band called Thunderhead. “We filled the places we played. Thunderhead was a big band,” Pat said.

The iconic guitarist, Johnny Winter sat in. He also produced one of their albums. Edgar Winter played piano on it. Ultimately Pat came to see Johnny and Edgar as dear friends. Later on Pat toured with Johnny, and they lived together. “Edgar used to beat me in pool,” Pat said, “even though he was legally blind”.


Pat, as mentioned, has played with the gurus of rock and blues including, James Cotton and Muddy Waters. He learned slide guitar from Duane Allman (in Holiday Inns where they stayed after gigs in the South) and later on taught Jose Feliciano how to play that same style of guitar.

One evening, during a concert at Toad’s Place in New Haven, Muddy called Pat up on stage. They jammed and then Muddy told Pat he wasn’t feeling well and wanted him to play the encore. Pat figured he’s use Bob Margolin’s (a band member) guitar but Muddy handed him his red telecaster instead. Muddy exited the stage and they played ‘Dust my Blues’. Pat said the place went nuts. Later, Bob said to Pat, “do you have any idea what happened here tonight? Muddy won’t even let me touch that guitar”. Bob said Muddy never loaned his guitar to anyone in fact denied Eric Clapton the right to play it one night. Pat is special and Muddy got that.


Pat loved Jeff Healey. They traveled together. Listened to records together. And of course, played the blues and rock together for a dozen years. Pat describes his time with Jeff as magical and says he misses him dearly.  He spoke about him in very fond terms. “Jeff had an uncanny ability to remember the titles, tracks and musicians on all of his 35,000 albums”, Pat said.

Pat made up a game called “Stump the Jeff”, in an effort to trip up Healey. Pat said, “I never did. Not once. He was a savant. “   By the way, the name of this episode - 'Slide Patty, Slide!' is from a YouTube video I saw where Jeff instructed Pat during a wicked rock song, to play a lead. Jeff said to him, "Slide Patty, slide". And he did. I loved that!  


Pat Rush is indeed a special man. He is soft spoken and has a sweet way about him. And, Pat is  one hell of a guitar player, a prodigy, who is an integral member of the rock and roll and blues world. I was proud to have him as our guest and to hear about his life, his history, his stories.

Have a listen to my schmooze with Pat Rush and let me know what you think. Thanks so much for listening!

Happy Passover and Easter. Fight for freedom. Unlock the chains of slavery. Today, in our world, there are still 45 million slaves, 10 million of which are children.

Hatradio! The show that schmoozes



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Episode 15 - The Marty & Avrum Radio Years

Can you say which of the decades in your life was the most fun? Is that possible?

From 1995 - 2005, Marty Galin and I, were partners on radio and television, and there is no doubt that those ten years were an absolute blast and indeed, the funnest of my life! Have a listen to this podcast and you'll here all about those special years and our time together, including five years on Talk 640, five years on CFRB and the TV shows we did together like The Movable Feast.

My dear, best friend Marty, is one of the most exciting, vivacious, spirited and animitated people on planet earth. I had the luck, or as we say in Hebrew, the mazel, of meeting him at Julius Ciss's (now there's another crazy story), Passover Seder in 1985 and we hit it off immediately. Not only did Marty introduce me to the world of entertainment, he showed me a different way of life, a downtown sort of way (versus my Jewish uptown lifestyle). I absolutely owe him huge amounts of gratitude for all of this and more, and I said so on this Hatradio! podcast.

Tune into our one and a half hours together, Episode 15 on Hatradio!, and learn about our friendship. Discover our interviews with such greats as chefs: Marc Thuet (Centro RIP), Mark McEwan (North 44, RIP), Michael Stadlander (Eigensinn Farm) as well as our live musical guests like: Michael Buble, Jose Feliciano (whom we sang 'Light my Fire' with) and Harry Belafonte.

Listen and hear about our many, many interviews with local cooks, waiters and waitresses, restaurateurs, sommeliers, Ontario and international vineyard owners, fire-fighters who cook, little Jewish ladies who made us a sabbath on our show, The Movable Feast and more. 

I love my beautiful friend, Marty and am grateful for what he has done for me. I was excited to do this schmooze/interview with him and felt like I was presenting him with a gift in response to the legacy he has helped me build.  

I love you Marty and am honored to have spent my funniest decade with you. Have a listen folks to HATRADIO!, The Show that Schmoozes! 











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