15 Minutes: a podcast about fame, with Jamie Berger
Episode 7 - Monte Belmonte
For the past decade, Monte Belmonte has been the morning host on WRSI, the River, the one and only socially conscious indie-rock/pop commercial radio station in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley. He’s also a huge social activist and fundraiser in our Valley, raising money for numerous causes pretty much ALL THE TIME. He runs on two hugely successful annual events, Monte’s March, a 40+ Mile walk up our Valley that raises awareness and buckets o’ money for the Food Bank of Western mass, and Monte’s Cancer Connection Campout. He’s also a neighbor here in Turners Falls, and heads up a team that’s breathing new life into our grand old Shea Theater. Monte’s in an interesting place on the ladder up the wall of fame Ray Bradbury told us about in episode 1, as, if you’re of a certain demographic, say 30-50 years old, left leaning, higher-educated person living in a small but signficant chunk of Massachusetts, even if you don’t listen to him, you’ve heard of him, probably heard his voice, and are pretty likely to recognize him on the street. I’d say you’re more likely to recognize Monte if you fit that demographic than you are to recognize our governor, and probably at least as likely to recognize Monte as you would our more nationally known visitors so far, John Hodgman and Annie Duke. That is, whether he’ll own up to it or not, around here, he’s famous. Once he leaves the 413 (area code), not so much. Fame, go figure. We talked about it.
Michael Ian Black - re-edit/reboot of episodes 50 & 51
Back in 2017, I spoke to actor/writer/comedian Michael Ian Black for this show. At the time, I broke our conversation up into two episodes, each preceded by a long rant by me about the political and social injustices of the day. Well, it's the end of the year, and I'm exhausted by injustice, and decided to re-edit the conversation into a single, more entertaining whole. I think you'll enjoy it. We talk about fame of course, and about our mothers, about toe fungus, his feud with Marc Maron, the list goes on. Listening back, I found this, on how what's better than being a lead, the famous one, on a TV series, is being somewhere around 5-7 on the call list:"“If I knew that I would have an acting job for the next five years on a network show, where I didn’t even really have to think, it was just showing up, doing some scenes, having a free lunch and collecting a fat paycheck, I would like to do that for the next five years with the full knowledge that at the end of the five years I’d have enough money in the bank to write a novel, devote myself to the podcast, five years of being number 5-7 on the call sheet. There’s a sweet spot there that’s just ideal. I don’t want to be in every scene, I don’t want to solve the crime.”***I wish us all better times, and a free and fair election, in 2020.-Jamie B.
Episode 2 - Tim Lockfeld
My dear friend and former San Francisco Public Library colleague, skater, certified arborist, actor, adventure traveller, and raconteur, on how he brought punk and skateboarding together; the splendors and hazards of trimming Sharon Stone's trees; and other gems. A perfect example of the hardest-to-lure guest: the decidedly non-famous person who wants to come on a podcast and dig into the topic.It's still one of my favorites, back from when I didn't know what I was doing at all but sometimes it worked.Enjoy!-Jamie
That First Hodgman Episode from back in aught-16
If you listened to Episode 72, with John Hodgman, or even if you didn't (you should), here's Episode 1, as promised, with same. Warning: there's a lot of ambient, though not unpleasant, noise (of a busy bar) in the interview, and then rather low sound quality for the Judge John Hodgman meetup, which ostensibly wasn't being recorded for the podcast, but which I wanted to include here for the true JJH Stans out there jonesin' for a deep cut. Image is a pic from the poster for the event at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls, MA, back in 2015 (yes I dithered an entire nother year before launching the show - don't do that!), designed by Anja Schutz.