Beyond Yacht Rock

The guys who made the internet show Yacht Rock talk about music other than Yacht Rock.


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The Host

JD Ryznar is a Hollywood writer. He knows very little about music, but enjoys imagining elaborate scenarios inspired by popular songs.

David B Lyons is a Hollywood Location Manager. He knows a little about music, but feels the need to compartmentalize genres, then rank them.

Hollywood Steve Huey is a former staff writer for, a former talking head for VH1, and currently the only unmarried man on this podcast.

Hunter Stair is from Flint, MI.


JD’s Twitter

Steve’s Twitter


More cowbell than you can shake a cowbell at.

Show Notes

Intro song: “Mississippi Queen” by Mountain (Amazon)

- Steve Albini (his opinions are usually fucking right)
- Mississippi (nothing else good about it)
- Playa Del Rey
- Dirt rock
- Elvis Presley (the King of Mississippi)



Yacht Rock Bone Throw: “Down in Cancun” by Victor Feldman

- The guys who created “Yacht Rock” aren’t even the most knowledgeable about Yacht Rock in the Tampa Bay area
- Full Doobie (“The Doobie Bounce”)
- Donald Fagen’s quote about Feldman (“... could make a humdrum date into a classic”)
- Feldman’s earlier band Generation Band
- Victor Feldman album “Smooth”
- Feldman played with Seals and Crofts, Poco, Michael Omartian, Carly Simon, Stephen Bishop, Loggins & Messina, Boz Scaggs, “Boona,” Nicolette Larson, Pages, Christopher Cross, Pablo Cruise, Al Jarreau, Gino Vannelli, Chuck Mangione
- The Stevehole (Hollywood Steve Explains): Chord voicing (the key to the jazzy sound of Yacht Rock)
- Giorgio Moroder
- Sausalito
- “Hopes these detectives solve their crime”


Clunk Rock
Example song: “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones (Amazon)

Clunk Rock describes songs with complete cowbell. The cowbell “transcends the standard percussion instrument.” It defines the song. The cowbell is designed to elevate the song to a status of pure rock, while the sound itself grounds the song with a bold and unwavering tempo. Songs with merely cowbell introductions aren’t Clunk Rock.

Supplementary: “The Reaper Quandary” (by Hunter Stair) - “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. The song was made famous in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch starring Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell in which the presence of a cowbell was hilariously exalted ad nauseum. But the instrument used in the proper song may actually be a woodblock.

Reason A
: Buck Dharma, Eric Bloom, Albert Bouchard all claimed to have played cowbell on it, calling into question the legitimacy of the cowbell itself.

Reason B: Bouchard said the cowbell didn’t sound right in the recording, so he wrapped it in gaff tape and played it with a timpani mallet. This is an extreme attempt to legitimize the presence of the cowbell, again calling into question the legitimacy of the instrument’s presence.

Reason C: It sounds like a woodblock.

Reason D: At a live show in 1999, they used a woodblock for the song.

- Hard Organ (pure torture)
- “Honky Tonk Women” by the (not) Rolling Stones (without cowbell)
- Bruce Dickinson
- The Blue Oyster


10. “Grazing in the Grass” by Hugh Masekela (Amazon)

- Wikipedia pronunciation guide
- No. 1 song in 1968 (over “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”)
- Herb Alpert and Tijuana Brass
- Julius Wechter and the Baja Marimba Band
- “Grazing in the Grass” by Friends of Distinction
- Cows have four stomachs, release a lot of methane


9. “Low Rider” by War (Amazon)

- Lowrider lifestyle
- Leroy “Lonnie” Johnson is all that’s left of War
- Four former members of War are The Lowrider Band
- Eric Burdon (The Animals)
- “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War
- “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” by War
- “Tobacco Road” by Eric Burdon and War
- Dexter (a mini-cow)


8. “Rock and Roll” by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels (Amazon)

- “Rock and Roll” by the Velvet Underground
- Cowbell as herald (watch this instead)


7. “Stone Free” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience (Amazon)

- Mitch Mitchell is the clunkist
- “Hey Joe” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience
- Truffles on meat


6. “We’re an American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad (Amazon)

- Grand Funk Railroad album “We’re an American Band”
- White people clapping in the audience
- Humble Pie, Grand Funk fight that spurred this song
- Grand Funk railroad bridge in Flint, Mich.



50 States in 50 Podcasts: Kansas
“Jessie” by Paw (Amazon)

Artists from Kansas:
- Kansas
- Martina McBride
- Chely Wright
- Coleman Hawkins
- Charlie Parker
- Joe Walsh
- Melissa Etheridge (Sex Me Ups)
- Katrina Leskanich

Other references:
- Veddringer
- “Jessie” is about how the lead singer’s dog ran away
- “Old King” by Neil Young
- “Old Shep” by Elvis Presley
- Eddie Vedder
- The Jayhawks are not from Kansas
- Helmet


5. “Nightrain” by Guns ‘N’ Roses (Amazon)

- Guns ‘N’ Roses album “Appetite For Destruction” (essential cowbell album)
- Da Brat (Sex Me Ups)


4. “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth (Amazon)

- Original title of the song: “Heir of the Dog”
- Bob Seger
- Is this the original studio version?
- Highland cow
- Dave Lyons puts the best song at No. 4
- Note: Guns ‘N’ Roses covered “Hair of the Dog” in “The Spaghetti Incident” (with cowbell)


3. “Soul Limbo” by Booker T. & the M.G.’s (Amazon)

- “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens
- Mariah Carey at No. 1


2. “Little Willy” by the Sweet (Amazon)

- Jimmy Buffett
- Micropenis
- ACME brand dynamite


1. “Time Has Come Today” by the Ramones (Amazon)

- “Time Has Come Today” by the Chambers Brothers
- “Time Has Come Today” (album version) by the Chambers Brothers
- Cover art for the Ramones’ album “Rocket to Russia”


Other proposed genre songs:
- “Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard
- “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson (demo version)
- “A New Time - A New Day” by the Chambers Brothers