On this very special Six-Pack episode, Eric (that’s me!) is joined by his father, Alan Miller, and brother, Jeff Miller, to share a six-pack of Kansas songs.
We get into how our father, Alan, first discovered the band and the process he undertook to immerse (or indoctrinate) us into the world of Kansas music by taking us to see them in 1980 and blasting their music “full volume” in the car when we were kiddos. And how truly grateful we are for it. We share familial stories of seeing them live going back forty years, share some favorite songs and moments, our thoughts on the various lineups (all positive!), and so much more. Kansas is truly a family affair in our households. We hope you’ll join us as we discuss and share some laughs and some deeper Kansas classics.
Zak Rizvi of Kansas joins Eric in conversation to discuss the beginnings of his musical career, how he initially connected with Phil Ehart as a fan, his work with New Jersey based prog-rock band 4Front, how they landed dates opening for Kansas, Phil introducing Zak to longtime Kansas producer Jeff Glixman, how he went from fan to producer to songwriter to band member, his first gig with the band, the songwriting process and trying to do justice to the legacy of Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, how the Kansas sound has changed now that the second guitar has returned, how he works out the parts with Rich Williams and David Ragsdale, receiving a private video guitar lesson from Steve Morse, plans for the next album, what’s next for him and the band, and much more!
Ronnie Platt of Kansas joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early days discovering his voice, working his way up through the Chicago music scene for decades struggling through a string of bands including Shooting Star and ARRA, his near misses with both Survivor and Foreigner, how that prepared him for when he ultimately got the meeting with the guys in Kansas after Steve Walsh had announced his retirement, what it’s been like for him to take the stage and record and write with one of his most inspirational bands, the new rebirth that Kansas is currently experiencing with Prelude Implicit and their new live album Leftoverture Live & Beyond, Kerry Livgren’s reaction to seeing him sing Hold On, his favorite deep cuts from the Kansas catalog, what’s next in terms of an anniversary tour for Point of Know Return, a new studio album in the works and much more!
Rich Williams of Kansas joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early days discovering the guitar, his role as a “fixer” in the band, some details around the split of the classic lineup, his memories of the late 70s into the early 80s around Monolith/Audio Visions, what he did during the post-Elefante break, how he views the MCA Records, what he learned from Steve Morse, memories of the bus touring in the early to mid 90s, the bittersweet departure of Steve Walsh, and the new rebirth that Kansas is currently experiencing with Prelude Implicit and their new live album Leftoverture Live & Beyond.
Neal Morse joins Eric in conversation to discuss his musical family, his early days in Los Angeles, his days with Spock’s Beard, influences such as Frank Zappa and his personal, spiritual kinship with Kerry Livgren of Kansas, his partnership with his current band including Mike Portnoy. We also talk about the new Neal Morse Band concept album, The Similitude of a Dream, the writing and recording process, what’s next and much more.
Violinist David Ragsdale of Kansas joins Eric in conversation. We talk about how he connected with Kansas, how he initially picked up the violin, the departure of Steve Walsh and the addition of Ronnie Platt, what it’s like working with the various members of Kansas and we go track by track on the 1995 Kansas album, Freaks of Nature in celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. Also, we get some insight on the new Kansas album in the works!
Billy Greer first connected with Steve Walsh for his band Streets and joined Kansas when Steve returned for 1986’s Power record. He’s been their bass player and increasingly more prominent vocalist and on-stage spokesman ever since. We do a fun, deep-dive career retrospective with Billy, and touch upon the albums that he recorded with Kansas as well as his band Seventh Key, and some other projects through the years as well. Carry on! Featured song: I Will Survive (Seventh Key). Please visit Billy at http://www.billygreer.com!