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Episode 106

Peace, Love & Rascals featuring Felix Cavaliere

Episode  106
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Blue-eyed soul pioneer, Felix Cavaliere soared to chart topping heights with The Rascals and their smash hits, Good Lovin’, Groovin’, It’s a Beautiful Morning, and People Got to Be Free, all designed to elevate your spirits and positively change the world.

Rock and Roll, Songwriter, Musician, Vocal Group, and Grammy Hall of Famer, Felix is adding best selling author to his list of accomplishments with the new biorgraphy, Felix Cavaliere: Memoir of a Rascal.

Felix writes his heart into his words and his music and he joins Fritz and Weezy, who, this week, are recommending Mike on Hulu and the podcasts Fever Dreams and The Orange Wave.

More Path Links

Felix Cavaliere
Felix Cavaliere: Memoir of a Rascal

The Rascals and Tom Jones 

The Orange Wave: A History of the Religious Right Since 1960 Podcast

Straight White American Jesus Podcast

Fever Dreams Podcast

Mike on Hulu

Gift of Democracy

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Speaker 1 (00:00:00):

Fritz Coleman  (00:00:05):

Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman

Louise Palanker (00:00:07):

And I'm Louise Palanker

Fritz Coleman  (00:00:08):

Just imagine that Mar-a-Lago is the giant warehouse of all things pop culture and Louisie. And I have been given a warrant to sift through all the boxes, looking for items marked Awesome. So we can, we're special masses. Your retention <laugh>

Louise Palanker (00:00:24):

We're the special masses

Fritz Coleman  (00:00:25):

Movement, awesome items for your viewing, listening, and reading. Pleasure. And occasionally we get a, uh, really lucky, like we are today, that have guests that are a major part of the American cultural landscape. Like Felix Cavaliere, the founder of one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time, certainly the greatest blue-eyed soul band of all time. The Rascals my favorite. I'm so stoked and honored to talk to Felix about his life's journey, about his musical journey, and the place the rascals have carved out for themselves in music history. Felix will be with us in a few minutes. Weezy, what do you have? Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:00:58):

Well, uh, last week, Fritz Joe Biden gave a speech designed to recalibrate our alignment with our common purpose and our underlying principles as Americans living together free and proud in a constitutional democratic republic. Some folks found that message disturbing. Did you notice? I do understand the basic differences between conservative and liberal ideologies. I struggle to grasp how the far right often evangelical Christians find leadership, wisdom, service, or anything remotely Christ-like in Donald Trump <laugh>. So, Felix is laughing, okay, because he's like, Felix is like, what do you mean? Uh, <laugh>. So I have been broadening my awareness with two podcasts, which are helping me better understand the embrace. Let's start with the Orange Wave, A History of the Religious Rights since 1960. This podcast is from Dr. Bradley Onishi. He's a co-host of the podcast, straight White American, Jesus, which explores the politics of Christian nationalism In the Orange Wave, Dr.


Onishi combines personal storytelling with extensive research and interviews with leading scholars to help unpack and examine mitigating influences which have forged the religious rights core belief that God intends for white Christian men to rule the world. This central thesis leads to a celebration of hyper-masculinity, authoritarian rule, conspiracy theories, and a belief in an impending apocalypse that encourages the Christian right to embrace guns and neglect the health of the planet Using Orange County, California as a prism, Dr. Onishi traces the rise of the religious right resulting from a coalition of transplanted Southern and Midwestern Christians, the rise of the megachurch televangelism fear of integration, ambitious politicians and business leaders, billionaire donors, and opportunistic autocratic regimes at home and abroad. The Orange Wave offers the first episode for free, and then you'll pay $20 to keep listening. It is well worth it. This is the type of deep reporting that truly raises our understanding of one another. And I find that when you learn why truly wonderful, decent, kind people are supporting Trump, it tamps down the rage, which is good for the soul, but we know that they are out there and they're active, and we need to be more active and to vote. I am also, did you wanna comment on that?

Fritz Coleman  (00:03:19):

Well, I I just wanna say that, that that's where the term behind the, uh, orange Curtain came from, right? Uh, and, and that reached its peak during the Ronald Reagan as Governor, uh, scenario, right? And it, but it has softened up a little bit. As a matter of fact, 52% of Orange County voted for Joe Biden as president of the United States and Chair for the first time in many, many years. So there, there is hope on the horizon.

Louise Palanker (00:03:43):

Well, that's why they are now resorting to authoritarianism, because if you can't win through

Fritz Coleman  (00:03:47):

Yeah, they're losing their

Louise Palanker (00:03:48):

Democratic collection. You just have to strong arm it. So, uh, another one that I'm reading is called, it's a podcast that I'm listening to. Excuse me. It's called Fever Dreams. Fever Dreams is a weekly podcast from The Daily Beast. It takes you behind the qan on Crazy Curtain, laying out the cast of conspiracy slinging characters that concoct the disinformation talking points currently fueling the Republican Party, hosted by Kelly, we and Will Summer Fever Dreams is an ongoing series with new episodes dropping every Wednesday. Check out the orange waves, straight, white American, Jesus, and Fever dreams to deepen your understanding of what Democrats are facing as we struggle to save, restore, and balance our fragile and precious democracy.

Fritz Coleman  (00:04:26):

Jection? Yes, this week I'm gonna do Mike. Mike is a biographical miniseries about heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. It's streaming on Hulu new episodes drop on Wednesdays. This is a violent, dark, yet very poignant story of one of sports' most controversial figures. It starts with a nothing short of miserable childhood in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, where he was bullied badly as a child. He was abandoned by his father at the time he was born. He was severely emotionally abused by his mother. And when you see this backstory, you understand the animalistic violence he was able to show in the ring, and that that was almost inevitable. He was always looking for a father figure, which he first found in his first trainer, a Casta who also officially adopted him. Later on later, he tried to find a daddy and Don King, the Notorious Fight promoter, and that set up a completely dysfunctional relationship as well.


The subtext of the entire series is that Mike is on a quest for love, but often going about it in the wrong way, including his tumultuous marriage to Robin Gibbons. There's some heartbreaking surprises, though, and, and what you learn is under this killer exterior, lurks a very vulnerable man, and surprisingly smart. They intercut the story with clips from his one man Broadway show, which shows his ability for deep thought and honest introspection. He'll occasionally surprise you with brilliant observations about himself. Now, Travante Rhoads really paints up great portrait of Mike and the league character Laura Harrier as Robin Gibbons. Harvey Kittel plays custom motto, a great role. He, he's not only Mike's trainer, but again, the only man, honestly, that Mike ever completely trusted. A very interesting look at how incredible damage can lead to incredible greatness. It's Mike, new episode Drops tomorrow night. All right.


I think I'm ready to guest. Let's do it. I can't wait to introduce Felix. My, my pleasure now to introduce the great Felix Cavalier co-founder of The Rascals. They had three number one hits, seven songs in the top 10 13 gold records, two Platinum selling records, sold a total of 30 million records. He tells a story in a great memoir called Felix Cavaliere, memoirs of a Rascal. And I have to do a little backstory here. I, I grew up in Philadelphia, uh, and part of the DNA, n a of every Philly kid is a predisposition for rhythm and blues. I always love the funkiness and the harmonies. You know, this is the territory of the Philly sound with gamble and huff. The truth is, though, that music didn't always come from black artists. There were soulful grooves and harmonies coming from white guys, too, the Righteous Brothers, Mitch Rider, and the Detroit Wheels.


But I think the most powerful example of Blue-Eyed Soul was the Rascals. A girl like you. I've been lonely too long, all those hits. And when I was 13 years old, I bought the Peppermint Twist. This was a single by Joey D and the Star Lighters. It was the fourth record I ever bought. The one just before that was Finger Pop in Time <laugh> by Hank Paller, the Midnighters. And the one before that was, uh, get a Job by the Silhouettes. The first one was, um, uh, Hounddog by Elvis Presley, but I needed my parents to pay for that. So that's why I bought that one. But I'm, and we're gonna talk about the connection with, with Felix and Joey Dee the Starlight, which was part of his origin story as well. It's the great Felix Cavaliere. Thanks for being here, Felix.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:07:54):

My pleasure. My pleasure.

Fritz Coleman  (00:07:55):

Really happy to talk to you. Uh,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:07:57):

Likewise. Likewise,

Fritz Coleman  (00:07:58):

You, you're, you're a, a product of the cultural fabric of Apel Manor in New York. As a matter of fact, three of the Rascals were Italian American. Talk about your upbringing in the, just the flavor of that neighborhood when you were growing up.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:08:15):

Well, the nice thing about it is that, uh, it was a safe haven in between three very large cities. No, Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers Bronx, 20 minutes from New York City, but a safe haven. So, uh, I, I like to say that I could just walk 15 minutes in any direction and get beat up, you know, that's how <laugh>, you know. But it was nice because, uh, I was able to get a fantastic education, which I've, I, I've always been thankful for, for my parents, because that's why they moved there. And I was able to be culturally alive, you know, uh, uh, which is important, uh, as, as per the music. Well, you know, that, that's in the book. But, uh, I live close to near Rochelle, uh, where I was able to kind of hear, uh, you know, in those days we had little record stores, you know, we used to go in the record store, close the booth, close the door, and just play. As long as we bought something, we could stay all day <laugh>. So, you know, that was my exposure.

Louise Palanker (00:09:13):

That was your Google.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:09:15):

That was my Google.

Louise Palanker (00:09:16):

That's so cool. Yeah. Now, when you were musically gifted, you're classically trained, and when you kind of got your, um, first ear full of rock and roll, I think you were, you were pretty much sold, right?

Feliz Cavaliere (00:09:27):

Well, yeah. You know, I don't know if you, if, if you have seen the, uh, Elvis film mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but, uh, if you haven't, you should. It's, uh, it's really good, number one. But, uh, it was kind of like a similar situation, although a little less dramatic. Uh, you know, he, he, he heard of the churches, he heard the gospel music down south, you know, and, and basically what I heard was, uh, was Mr. Alan Fried, you know, uh, Alan Fried brought his, uh, moon dog, uh, from Cleveland to call Rock and roll in, uh, New York City, w i n s mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That was my first exposure. And, and, uh, I really never heard anything like it in my life. It really changed, changed my life.

Fritz Coleman  (00:10:07):

Well, we, we have to talk about, uh, I mean, you're, you're, you're, you, you eventually made your way to rock and roll, but we have to talk about, uh, the pilot light in your life about music in general. And that was your mom Yes. Who you lost at 13 years old. She was the driving force of your light, and she was a great disciplinarian in you learning classical music. So, talk about that. And there's a great story in your book about being playing stickball in the middle of this street when your mom, uh, I'll let you tell this story. It's really funny. Go.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:10:36):

Well, basically, you know, she saw a, a, a talent and, and, and, uh, she had, uh, you know, enrolled me in a, in a, in a pretty serious music school, uh, uh, which was called the Aire School of Music. And I, and i, I, I was taking three lessons a week, uh, which was kind of hard, you know? Cause I mean, I really loved to go out, you know, and, you know, we didn't have computers to occupy our brain in those days, but we used to go out and play. And, uh, you know, like, uh, when there's time for a lesson, um, gee, I don't really want to go, well, guess what? You know, my mom would park on home plate <laugh> until we got in the car and left. Uh, otherwise there was no games. So I really appreciate that, because, um, that's what it takes. You know, you, you, you gotta, you gotta sometimes push stubborn kids.

Louise Palanker (00:11:22):

Well, that, that kind of like infused your soul with not just the music, but the talent to create the music you were feeling and hearing in, in your head. Like, it, it could come out of you, you know, cuz you had all those building blocks assembled that, you know, as a, as a young child. But, uh, well, yeah, go ahead.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:11:38):

No, the thing was that, you know, the classical music I found very confining. Hmm. You know, I, I, um, like for example, uh, if, if, if I as much as just varied, which hand hit the keyboards, you know, first Hmm. The, the teacher would say, no, no, no, no, no. That's, that's not how Mr. Bach

Louise Palanker (00:11:58):

Wanted it. Right. So there's no improv room. So,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:12:00):

So I really felt that, uh, uh, kind of like inhibiting factor, uh, to what was to be known as creativity, which I didn't even know existed until, you know, basically I started to explore. So, um, you know, rock and roll really, uh, allowed me to explore.

Louise Palanker (00:12:17):

It's interesting that the instinct to create would be told, you would be told it's wrong. And I, I wonder how often we do that with kids. You know, we, we expect an absolute and we kind of like, uh, inhibit their natural curiosity and inclination to create.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:12:37):

Yeah. I, I mean, seriously, uh, that's a good point. When it comes to classical, anything, you know, uh, uh, dance, uh, music, uh, uh, art, you know, I mean, uh, I don't know that you can teach abstract art. You know, you probably teach a different whole kind of like, way of, uh, painting, but that's a good point. You know, really, you should not inhibit that creativity,

Louise Palanker (00:12:59):

But we ha you do have to build some, you do have to kind of like, put a foundation down of some basics, whether it's a golf swing or whatever it is.

Fritz Coleman  (00:13:06):

That's what they said about Picasso. He, he was, he, he was a great representational artist. He had to learn to draw figures perfectly to eventually wander outside those lines to do his own

Louise Palanker (00:13:17):

Kind of work. Yeah. Like, you have to imitate before you can innovate.

Fritz Coleman  (00:13:19):

There you go. Perfect.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:13:20):

Well, I, I, I, I think that way, however, today, uh, I don't know how involved, you know, you are with the new computer progress for music, but it's a whole different thing now, be mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I, I don't know that, uh, uh, people are educated in music, uh, if it's necessary, they're more, more educated in technology.

Louise Palanker (00:13:39):

Hmm. That's an interesting point. Um, I wanna talk about your band for a moment, because you, you handpicked your guys, uh, they were for, for being great players, and you were all really be, you really became very well known for your incredible musicianship. But when four young guys have a hit and are shot out of that cannon, not everyone has the personality fortitude to handle that type of experience.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:14:03):

Well, I'm not sure we handled it <laugh>. We, we had a, uh, uh, we, we had a lot of fun. We really did. We, we, uh, we started off, you know, a kind of like an experiment, you know, in what was kind of like the, you know, bands, you know, which was inspired by the English, uh, bands coming over. Uh, but you know, you are right. You have to deal with it. Yeah. And, uh, it, it, it's not easy to deal with if you're not all on the same page.

Fritz Coleman  (00:14:30):

Yeah. Eddie Brag Gotti was your lead singer, and he was this vibrant, great, charismatic performer as a front man should be, although you shared, uh, co-lead singing duties with him. But his, that, that made him a three-dimensional character. He was also troubled in that way too. And it, it, it made it difficult, particularly as the band progressed a little while.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:14:49):

Well, there's, there's a lot, lot, a lot of, lot of psychological stories, not only Mike Tyson, but we, we had our own <laugh>. You know, it's very interesting, you know, to some people what, you know, caused him, uh, Eddie to be Eddie. You know, a lot of it had to do with his family. And his, his brother, for example, his brother had a situation with, with a group called Joey D and the Starlighters, which you mentioned earlier, in which he was the lead singer and did not sing the hits. Oh. So I think when he came into the world, uh, of music, he already had his guns drawn. You know what I'm saying? They were out, they were ready to go, you know? And I'm not sure that our organization warranted it, that, you know, warranted that type of behavior. But however he was ready for anything. I mean, he is, Joey was on Roulette Records, which is historic. If you read the, you know, read, read about, uh, Morris Levy, you'll know exactly, you know, what that's all about. But

Louise Palanker (00:15:48):

Yeah, Tommy James' book has a lot

Feliz Cavaliere (00:15:51):

About that. Tommy James' book is, is, is, is really, uh, the, the, the, the, the Bible of that story. Yeah. But, you know, but to his credit, you see, to Tommy, uh, is he's not a bitter man mm-hmm. <affirmative> because of that. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> because what, what he says is, and I respect him for this, is, look, I'm still famous. I'm still known. I can still work mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it wasn't all bad. It just, that's what my story was, you know?

Fritz Coleman  (00:16:14):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Now, wait, let's talk about Joey D because that's, uh, you know, there was, even before you joined the band, they sort of represented what the, uh, Rascals represented. They were a multicultural band, right? They had black and white guys in there. Yes, absolutely. At a time when that wasn't, uh, very well received by the public and by the business. But you always, from the time you were in bands in the Pelham Manor area, you were always in mixed race bands, which shows up in your blue-eyed soul later. And was that just because it was natural to you? Or you saw the value in that? What, what,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:16:45):

What, it was natural to me. You know, I, I, I mean, I, I think a lot of the young people that I, you know, I come across, they don't really see color. They see, man, this guy can sing, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, if you could sing, I, I, I, you know, I want, wanna wanna hook up with you, you know what I'm saying? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Oh, I, I, I see. I gotta, I, I can't do that because, because why? Because you're black. I, I don't get that.

Fritz Coleman  (00:17:05):

Yeah. Well, how many, Stephen Bandz answered a great thing in your, in your, uh, hall of, uh, rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. He said, oh, yeah. To be that black, to, to sound that black, you have to be Italian <laugh>. Which I thought was a great line.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:17:18):

Yeah. Yeah. That was, that was an interesting situation, you know, that's how he got the part, you know, in this Apri house, you know?

Louise Palanker (00:17:23):

Yeah. That was a, that was a really interesting story. You know, it was like, you know, that guy could put together some words and, and be, and resonate, and, you know, and he deserved all that, all that attention. But you had another interesting experience that night that kind of blew me away, where, where Hal David pulled you aside and said something to you, you wanna tell that story?

Feliz Cavaliere (00:17:40):

Well, that was a different night. But yes, the story is true. Yeah. That was the songwriter's Hall of Fame, you know, and, uh, oh, boy, that was an interesting night. Yeah. Yeah. Well, how, how Mr. David, I, I'll tell you, he was a, a fine man. I mean, not, not only one of the greatest talents, you know, with him. And he and Bet backer created some of the finest music that America's had. He was just a real mench great guy, you know? I mean, uh, and, uh, so when he spoke, we listened, and he said, man, I thought my partner was, uh, difficult to yours,

Louise Palanker (00:18:12):

<laugh>. Yeah. And if you wanna have two interesting reads back to back read, read Burt Ba Rack's biography, and then read Carol Baer sing.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:18:19):

Oh, that's funny. Yeah. That's really funny. Yeah, that's probably true. <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman  (00:18:24):

Wow. So, let's talk about the writing process. You and Eddie wrote most of the songs.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:18:29):

Yeah. Well, you know, uh, again, we, we, the Beatles kind of paved the way for that, you know, they, they had this wonderful team, you know, and, um, you know, I think that, that if, if, if you look at the, the current, like, uh, you know, uh, revelations as to that team, you, you get a good picture of who did what, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, Paul certainly was the impetus behind, you know, those songs. And, you know, it, it shows because look at the longevity this man has had mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but we had a similar situation. I, I just felt that Eddie had a, a, a gift for, uh, writing lyrics. And, uh, you know, I tried to nurture that and tried to help him along. And, uh, you know, it, it's just an interesting story because he did well, and then he didn't do well, you know? And so I had to pick up the slack, and it just, it's a shame that we stopped because I, I, I always felt that, you know, you got a winning combination, you know, keep, keep it going, you know? But you

Louise Palanker (00:19:25):

Stopped. No, I, no, and I mean, that was definitely your, your intention, and you were, you were willing not to be so, but it, it just felt like there was a wheel coming off the cart, and there was no, no way to get around that.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:19:38):

You know, you, you learn so much in life, you know? I mean, if you pay attention, you know, and, uh, especially with a situation where you have, like I say, a winning combination. I mean, actually, the four of us, were, were a winning combination. And then all of a sudden, as you say, one wheel comes off and starts to roll its own way. And I never really understood it. So, I, I, I, I, I, I, I really find out that, you know, human nature is pretty darn interesting. Let me tell you,

Louise Palanker (00:20:05):

<laugh>. Oh, I'm, I'm absolutely fascinated by it. And so, when, when you read the

Feliz Cavaliere (00:20:08):

Pretty interesting,

Louise Palanker (00:20:08):

Yeah. Because, you know, you go out of your way to be deferential and kind, but you're not, the reader isn't sure whether it's mental illness or drugs or jealousy, or a combination of, of all of the above

Feliz Cavaliere (00:20:22):


Louise Palanker (00:20:23):


Feliz Cavaliere (00:20:23):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative> families can really get in the way, man. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I find it interesting. Listen, how come, how come he's on the camera the whole time? Right? How come they didn't take a shot of you? You know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, little things like that. You know, when you go home and you're watching the, uh, ed Sullivan Show or Hullabaloo or something like that, those little things, they stick in your subconscious, you know? And, and all of a sudden you say, oh, look at that guy. He's, I, I don't run the cameras, you know, <laugh>. But it, it, it's an interesting life we have. But, you know, I really have no complaints except for, you know, I'm really sorry that the group decided, uh, to, to break up, uh, that Eddie decided to leave because we had a good thing going. And we, we had a lot of fun. We made a lot of people happy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Fritz Coleman  (00:21:04):

So, I want to finish the Joey d and the star lighters theme here. And that is, you were playing in the Catskills, and then had an opportunity to go, and they lost their keyboardist. Hammond B3 is your big instrument. And, uh, they lost their keyboardist. So you were invited to go to Europe and finish their tour with them, and then you, that set up your, uh, relationship with the Bugattis, and then the Rascals spun off of that.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:21:31):

Yeah. It, it's really interesting how things happen, you know? And, and that's one of the reasons that I wrote the book, uh, becau well, I, I, I think I've said it before, but the reason I started that book was because we did this, um, we did this Broadway show with Steve Van called Once Upon A Dream. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which was, you know, based on, uh, you know, one of our albums. And we did press conferences during that period of time, and each of us, you know, were asked questions. And I, and I noticed that we all had a different answer for the same question. Wow. <laugh>. Everybody had a, I said, well, wait a second. And I, I, I, I, I really, I think I was there, you know? But, uh, so, you know, it, it turns out that, you know, uh, it's the last man standing that tells a story like Custer, you know? Yes. <laugh> when

Louise Palanker (00:22:17):

Write the

Feliz Cavaliere (00:22:18):

History. As I was writing that, as I was doing that, you know, I said, well, wait a second. You know, like, uh, that with all due respect to Rascal, seriously, we're only, I would say, five years, you know, together maybe six of my life, which is had a few decades, you know, got a lot of decades behind me. Now, uh, maybe I should continue and just, you know, tell my story. Because one of the reasons is I really did not have any idea that it, I was gonna be a musician. I thought I was gonna be in the medical field. You know, I was in pre-med, and it happened, and it happened because somebody up there wanted it to happen. And, and that's what I was trying to get across to people, is that just relax, man. Let, let, let life take its course. And you'll may find what you're supposed to do here, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Louise Palanker (00:23:04):

And you've learned a lot spiritually along the way. Like you've been open to, uh, I mean, you've been vulnerable and open to learning and growing, and, and you've learned. Talk about, uh, what you've learned about ego.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:23:18):

Well, yeah. I mean, you know, that's, that's, uh, you know, that's, that's all going back to the, uh, guru that I, I was fortunate enough to study with Swami Sacha DeLanda. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. I, um, you know, Beatles made such an influence on all of us. I mean, the entire, you know, world was, was, you know, and, and when, you know, like they started to, uh, study with Maharishi. I happened to know George Harrison a little bit. And I, and I spoke to him about that, that, and I, I asked him, I said, this is real serious stuff, isn't it? He said, it's very, very, and I said, well, what do you think? He says, I think you should do it. I think you should get involved. And again, the path led me to that. And during that period of time, I, I, I found out that the majority of the subject matter that the teacher was, was saying, was all about the dangers of ego.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and boy, oh boy, oh boy. If we just look at the last few years here, I think we could put a big E on that man. <laugh>. Wow. Absolutely. Very large. E <laugh>. I get what you're saying. You realize, wow. Yeah. Okay. So that causes a lot of trouble, doesn't it? Yes, it does. Yes, it does. So, yeah. Uh, and, and, and, you know, when you study something with somebody, uh, if you have the, uh, you know, the wherewithal to kind of like, dig into what they're trying to tell you, you find out, oh, yeah. Oh yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:24:37):

Well, what's the healthy amount of ego? Because we all need to have confidence.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:24:42):

Yes. Well, that's a difficult question, you know, because I mean, like, as I say, you know, without ego, you're just drifting along. But, you know, sometimes it might be better to drift along than cause all the trouble that we've had in the last few years. You know? Uh, I don't know the answer to that. You know, as I say that, what's the right amount? I think that has to do with every, everybody personnel personally, you know, that's, that's, uh, you know, you can't, like, you know, I've got daughters, and, you know, daughters don't have a lot of self-confidence. I noticed that, you know, although women are taking over the, the country, there's no doubt about it. Get out of the way. Here. They come, <laugh>. Uh, now, seriously, uh, they, they have a tough time in business. They have a tough time, you know, uh, kind of like, you know, one of my daughters is an architect, and, you know, she's little, and she's, she's trying to talk to, you know, construction people who are three times her size, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. But, um, you need some ego, obviously, you need some ego, but some is a very quantitative word. You know, how, how much that is, I, I really couldn't answer. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Fritz Coleman  (00:25:40):

I think the right amount of ego is, and, and wheezy, and I have talked about this with other guests, the right amount of ego is when somebody can be enormously talented, but they're comfortable in their own skin, and they don't have to lord their talent over you and be condescending with you. They're comfortable enough to allow you to be there equal. Do. Does that make sense?

Feliz Cavaliere (00:26:02):

Imagine allowing somebody to be your equal. Where are we? Yeah. What pung are we on? Yeah. Allowing me to be equal. You know, Swamiji had a story, which I guess I could tell on the, uh, yeah, sure. It's, uh, it, it's about the, it's the same things. It's about the right hand and the left hand. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, in India, in, in the, in the, in the, in the, in the rural counties, you know, you, you pray with your right hand, and you don't have toilet paper. You have a little valve over there with, you know, you're kind of like in an outhouse. So your left hand does the, does the work, and your right hand prays. So one day, the right hand says to the left hand, look at you, they're dirty. Look, filthy, man. I'm over here. I get all the finest, the finest, you know, treatment. I go to the churches, I go to the temples, I, you know, and look at you. You're in the, in the outhouse. So the left hand says, yeah, that's right. I quit.



You know? And that says it all. That's how he, he instructed us about ego. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're not better than anybody. You know, we're all, we're all here for a reason. You do your thing. I do my thing. Now, my thing may not really be better than your thing. It's just, you're important, but so am I. You know? But, uh, I don't know where, where we've kind of drifted away. We've certainly drifted away in the last few years. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, aren't we?

Louise Palanker (00:27:18):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Well, I think we have to all understand that there's constantly something to learn, something to be learned to, to ever believe that you know everything, and that all you need to do is talk. Because other people wanna know what, what you have to say. That that is not how we grow. We, we grow by listening. So, you know, always be open to listening. And I think that's healthier.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:27:40):

Well, I've seen, I've seen all of this over my years, as I say, you know, I just drift through all of this stuff. And, uh, I see a lot of people, uh, who shall remain nameless. They don't listen to anyone. They just, you know, continue on their path because they know everything.

Fritz Coleman  (00:27:56):

Well, your, your spiritual investigation was unlike, uh, the rest of the guys in the band. And that probably saved you from what can be, um, you know, the drug, adult alcohol, adult touring years of a band. It probably kept you pretty well centered.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:28:11):

Yeah. I, I very lucky. I, I've had a lot of influence like that. My mom, you know, I, I think I, I say it, if there was eight days in the week, she would've gone to church eight, but there was only seven. So, you know, <laugh>. Yeah. I fortunate, you know, if you have a path, and, and you know, that's the interesting thing about today. The path is nice, except for I don't think I should bestow my path on you. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that's what we have going on in this country about your introduction. You know, it's, it's okay. You can believe that, but leave me alone. You know? I mean, like, I'm, I'm, I'm very happy in, in what I have, you know? Yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:28:47):

But I do think there's a lot of people who are terrified of not being right. And they don't understand that the, the, the truth is multitudinous. It's not one thing. And so, and we each have our own approach to, to being alive. So when you tell people who wanna believe that it's either black or white, or it's, everything's binary, they get really scared when it, it's brought to their attention that they, they may not, there may be alternative viewpoints. Mm-hmm.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:29:17):

<affirmative>. Oh, could you imagine if all the flowers were the same color?

Fritz Coleman  (00:29:21):


Feliz Cavaliere (00:29:22):

Enough. All the trees had the same floor and fauna. I mean, like, I, I don't, I don't really think that's what God had in mind. I don't think that's what America had in mind when I was reading that thing way back when in school. You know, I, I, I, I thought we were supposed to have, uh, you know, uh, choices in this country. I don't think we were all supposed to be like, like you or him or her, you know? Uh, that, that, that's really what I find interesting is the takeover or supposed takeover.

Fritz Coleman  (00:29:48):

I, I, I, I want to talk about, um, some of the areas that The Rascals were so groundbreaking. Atlantic Records is historically, you know, the great r and b label started by Ahmed Erdogan, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and The Rascals were the first white band ever signed by Atlantic Records. And you talk about what an amazing experience that was. You talk about the genius of producer Tom Dowd. Talk about the Atlantic years and what that did for your career.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:30:17):

Well, Atlantic was the only label that would allow us, and you know, I say us because I, I don't like to use the word me to produce ourselves. I, I, I wanted to produce the band, uh, individually. I, I, I did not want us to, you know, like, uh, you know, Phil Specter, who I idolized in terms of his talent and production. I, I didn't want to be with Phil because I knew we would be the Phil Band rather than the, you know, the Felix band or the Rascal Band. Atlantic was the only label that allowed us to do that. They allowed us to have complete freedom of movement. But they, they, they also had some phenomenal talent on board. You know, I, I don't know if, if any of you have read The Atlantic Story, there's a big, you know, uh, coffee table book that's out Atlantic is an amazing story.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative> amazing story, you know, and, and, and the, the, the, the, the, how much they contributed to American music is, is unbelievable. So, while working there, I was exposed to this, um, in a very, very interesting way. Because in those days, it was a very small place. You know, it wasn't Warner Brothers yet. You know, the talent that was around that, that, that that little label was, was just phenomenal. Phenomenal. You know, I mean, the inventive people like Tom Doud and, you know, Arif Mardine, and, and, and Amit and his brother Nie, and of course Jerry Wexler. It was a phenomenal experience for a young, young guy, you know? And, uh, I've always been, uh, very grateful for them because, uh, they, they, they, they really, really wanted to make good music. I know they wanted to make money. That, that, of course, is a given. But they also, they really specialized in good music,

Louise Palanker (00:32:01):

And they understood that the best way to make money was to allow artists to be their best, rather than trying to control people.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:32:09):

And that's from the jazz, the jazz idiom that they, you know, they, they brought, you know, with the ary, especially cuz that's what you do with jazz, you know, you, you just turn the mic on and everybody plays, and you capture the moment. You know? So that's, that's kind and that's what

Fritz Coleman  (00:32:24):

You wanted to do. You wanted to emulate the sound that you had live when you were playing. Exactly.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:32:29):

Yeah. And, you know, there, there's a technique that you have to learn when you go to a recording studio. It's all different, you know, because you, you, you, you know, you don't have the visual to overtake, you know, like the, the mistakes, so to speak. So you've gotta be pretty precise. But, uh, the, the, the event happening, you know, uh, and, and recording that, that that's really how music used to be made <laugh> prior to computer technology. <laugh>. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:32:54):

Right. But it gave you that experience of, you know, it just being all those I ideal, um, factors in place. That experience has given you, uh, a signpost so that you can, now that you have more control, I have to use the word control since we're kind to kind of steer away from, but like, now that you can be the architect of like the sound and the people that you wanna surround yourself, you know, what's possible because you had, in your formative years, you had those experiences.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:33:20):

Yeah. And, and you know, I, I think I, I learned that, you know, that's how producers work. I mean, good producers, well, I shouldn't say that. Cause some producers are so powerful that they overpower the event. You know, you mentioned, uh, gamble, Huff, and, you know, of course, Phil. Uh, but, you know, the way Arif, you know, kind of taught me, you know, is that basically if someone comes in the room, you know, that's, uh, talented, uh, you know, let me bring the talented out talent out in that person and put it to tape in those days. And, and that, and that's what they did. You know, that's what he did. That's what he showed me. So, oh, I see. So you just let it happen the way the artist sees it, not necessarily the way you see it, see mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and, and that was the joy of, of, of working with him.

Louise Palanker (00:34:07):

When you listen to one of those recordings, are you, do you sort of pick out a part and like, remember how that was recorded and and who inspired that, that particular element? Yeah. You know,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:34:19):

You, you remember everything, you know, and, and, uh, most of all, you remember the seriously, uh, there's a joy in this, you know, I, I, I mean, if, if you have a creation, you know, uh, and, and all of a sudden that creation becomes manifest through these big speakers, you know? Mm. And then those big speakers get put to a disk, and then it goes out to the public, and they like it. It's pretty cool. <laugh>. Absolutely. It's so, yeah. It's pretty, pretty interesting, you know, because, uh, you know, I, I see a lot of these television programs that, you know, the way they, you know, they, they have people come out and they critique them, you know? And, and, and, and I cringe, you know, because, you know, it, it, it, you're critiquing my soul. You know what I'm saying? Yeah. Like, I just told you everything I loved. And you said, what is that? No.

Louise Palanker (00:35:08):

Well, that's why, that's why on our show, we, Fritz and I, at the top of the show, we just recommend the things we like. I, I, there's so many different people that work on a thing that I, I just think to pick it apart is, is

Feliz Cavaliere (00:35:20):

Not right. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:35:22):

It's not me. It's not me. It's not Right. Yeah.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:35:24):

I remember when that all started. I remember there was a, I think his name was Richard Goldberg or something like that. He actually, uh, in those days, you know, the magazine, this was a pre-roll Stone magazine, you know, and they had this, and, and he actually knocked the Beatles Whoa. In print. You remember that? And that's arrogance. He came out with, he knocked a Beatle album. Oh my God. You know, like, and, and that chip boy, that, wow. Now we got a whole career knocking people.

Louise Palanker (00:35:47):

<laugh>. But that's arrogance, isn't it? Yeah, it really

Feliz Cavaliere (00:35:49):

Is. It's, I don't know. I, I mean, <laugh>, I thought it was really

Louise Palanker (00:35:53):

<laugh>. Okay.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:35:53):

Everybody loved them, except for this one guy. One

Louise Palanker (00:35:56):

Guy, right. <laugh>. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman  (00:35:59):

So you, you, you had a couple of interesting incidents at Atlantic. One was that you met Otis Redding, and he couldn't believe you guys were white

Feliz Cavaliere (00:36:09):


Fritz Coleman  (00:36:10):

Yeah. He, which is the greatest compliment Otis Redding could ever pay you, I'm guessing.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:36:14):

Oh. But he was so funny, man. I mean, oh my God. See, ALA Atlantic was, was not like, it was, was like a family, you know? And, and, and basically there was no signs there, you know, that said, like, recording, do not enter. Hmm. You know, it was like, Hey, come in, man. You know, like, Hey, you know, gee, I like to say hello to you, you know what I'm saying? And, you know, it was just very open, you know? And, uh, uh, so he came in that one day, uh, you know, and, you know, cuz he, he used to, he, he was, he used to call Amme omelet.

Louise Palanker (00:36:44):

<laugh> <laugh>,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:36:47):

You know, he was really a, a very, very cool guy. That's

Louise Palanker (00:36:51):

So funny.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:36:51):

Yeah. So he came to the door and knocked down, and he looked in, he says, my God, they are white.

Louise Palanker (00:36:56):

Oh, that's so cool.

Fritz Coleman  (00:36:58):

Wow. Pretty nice compliment. Come from him And talk about, talk, talk about, um, the eye-opening experience, the learning experience you had in a conversation with Sam Moore. Oh,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:37:11):

Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. Well that, that, that particular one you're, you're talking about was kinda like grow up kid. Yeah. That was around the time when, uh, the, uh, uh, blues Brothers came out with, uh, you know, the, they copped every, everything that Sam, Sam and Dave did. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, and, and, and, and, uh, you know, and, and I just very naively said, Hey, cuz I had every record these guys made. I mean, you know, there's not too many better singers than Sam War, my God, on the, on the earth. Oh my God. Yeah. I mean, that's for sure. And he's still, he's one bad dude, man, let me tell you that, that guy. And, and, and, and, uh, I said, Hey guys, I mean, how cool is that? And they say, Hey, little brother, man, little, little look, man, like, show calm down a little bit, man. We're not making any money off this. I said, what? He

Fritz Coleman  (00:37:59):

Was talking about soul man. Right? This is Sam and David. He was talking about this, I

Feliz Cavaliere (00:38:02):

Talking about soul blues brothers idiot. Oh,

Fritz Coleman  (00:38:04):

Oh, oh, oh,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:38:05):

Okay. You know, they came out and copped everything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Wow. Chopsticks. And, and, and they, you know, you know, you don't get paid for that, do you? No. Unless you wrote the songs, in which case, you know, in those days, if you wrote the songs, you're lucky if you had your name on it.

Louise Palanker (00:38:19):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Now, when you talked about, you know, your, your, um, publishing was sold. Do you got, you still have your songwriting.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:38:27):

Yeah. But, you know, that was then, you know, uh, uh, we see, uh, when the group broke up is when we kinda lost, uh, you know, uh, touch. Because we, we were told in the, in, in the beginning that publishing is valuable. Do not get rid of it. You know, but when Eddie left, that's when the wolves come in. You know, that, that's when we, we lost our, the, the strength of, of fiber of four people, you know? And it, it dissipated at that point. And, and it's a shame because, you know, it was a mistake. You know, and, and that, you know, the other subject that I've really tried to avoid in the, in the book is, is, is the kind of like, you know, the advice you get from legal people and from managerial people, you know, it's, it's a major thing to have someone take over your life in terms of business, especially in the form of a manager.


Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if you don't have a good manager that's got your best interest at heart, you, you're, you're really in, again, I I point to the movie Elvis. Go, go see Elvis. Especially when you're in your early twenties, you don't know anything then. So you're taking the try to, you know, you try to, because, you know, like, it, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's just a question of experience, you know? And, and being around, and, you know, you'll get overpowered, you know, with the business, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I had a book that I, I think I, I mentioned in, I used to refer to, called This Business of Music. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which is well known throughout the industry. You know, it, it told everything about contracts, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But it did not tell the factor of dishonesty. Mm. You know, and that's all over our business. I mean, my God, if these people ever wrote books about, you know, what happened to them, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it, it would kind of be a very sad, you know, and

Louise Palanker (00:40:14):

Someone's pulling you aside and filling your head with compliments and then laying out, you know, their plan for you. And it sounds pretty good because this is sort of like, if a busboy suddenly became the CEO of a restaurant chain

Feliz Cavaliere (00:40:25):

<laugh> mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Louise Palanker (00:40:26):

Yes. You know, because you

Feliz Cavaliere (00:40:28):

Yeah. You get, oh, you mean the guy behind the bar was taking all that money? Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:40:32):

Wow. I, yeah. Like, you, you, you're 24, you know, like, how, what, what did any of us know at 24? And suddenly you're, you're, you've been like, skyrocketed to all, not only just all, all of this, um, these accolades and this position where the rest of the family's watching who gets the most closeups on Ed Sullivan. You know, you're the focus of everyone's attention. Not just your fans, but your family. And, you know, the radio is playing your songs. There's girls coming out of everywhere. You may start taking some drugs that kind of like also impact your clarity. That's right. So there's just a lot coming at a kid who, you know, most people spend 20 years getting to that level of prominence. Absolutely.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:41:17):

Well, you know, interesting. Uh, enough, uh, I, I, you know, Paul McCartney told me one time I went to see him in Memphis, and, uh, and, uh, and, and, and, you know, we're all dads and granddads, you know, and he said, man, do you realize we were in our twenties when all that was going on? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I mean, these guys were ruling the world, <laugh>, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative> in their twenties mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, and, uh, you know, that's the truth. I mean, that was a big burden, especially on those guys. I mean, you know, like Wow. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, they made a move to the right and the, you know, the, the Earth's axis shifted a little bit, you know?

Louise Palanker (00:41:51):

Yeah, yeah. You mentioned that.

Fritz Coleman  (00:41:52):

Talk about the Beatles. You, you were at the Shea Stadium concert. You were there with Sid Bernstein, and you talk about your connection to the Beatles.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:41:59):

Well, it was Sid, Sid was the Connect. Well, not only was it Sid, but you know, as I said, when I first started, uh, with Joey d uh, they transported me to Europe, to Germany, and to Sweden. And, uh, the group that was opening up for Joey d was unknown in the American at yet, you know, it was called The Beatles. I saw the Beatles before they went to Ed, so before they came to New York. Oh, wow. And, uh, yeah. That's, that's really was a kicker. You know, that's, that's, uh, you know, basically when I knew that, uh, I could do this, you know, I, I, I saw what they were, you know, I did not know at the time that they had this phenomenal musical writing ability, you know, except for when I heard their songs. You definitely paid attention. You said like, wow, that's really interesting.


I mean, you know, really interesting. Cuz it was very different from, you know, what we were used to in, in America. And, uh, uh, but yeah, my connection with them was through Sid. And, and it's so interesting because like, you know, over the years, I, I, I was able to kind of get to know almost all of them. You know, John, John was a little difficult to know because, you know, he couldn't see too well. So he would, he would look at you like this, and you think, man, this guy doesn't like me at all. You know, I'm saying <laugh>, you know? Right. He couldn't see you. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I toured with Ringo, and as I say, I got to know George A. Little bit, and it's, it's hard to know a Beatle, you know what I mean? It's, it's really hard to know a Beetle, they're, they're on a different, uh, plane. There's no doubt.

Louise Palanker (00:43:26):

Yeah. That's an interesting statement, because there's a, there's a lot swirling around them in any given conversation.

Fritz Coleman  (00:43:33):

Well, we had Laura Jacobson on who wrote that book about the, the Beatles of Shay, about that one event.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:43:38):


Fritz Coleman  (00:43:38):

Yeah. <laugh> and tells the funny story about Sid's gonna to Sid Sid for, for people that don't remember or don't know, was this great promoter. He was the first guy to put a band in a stadium. He was the first guy to put rock and roll in Carnegie Hall, but also he had a great idea. He had all the rascals in the dugout. He said, I'm gonna take this opportunity at Shay Stadium to promote the Rascals. So he had 'em up on the, on the, on the digital board there. And, and, uh, and the Beatles manager saw that and said, take that down. Or The Beatles don't

Feliz Cavaliere (00:44:07):

Play <laugh>. Oh, there's no show mate. <laugh>. Yeah. Well, that was a little embarrassing, but we got, we got,

Louise Palanker (00:44:13):

I love this. No, that's like, you know, that's pre-internet, but like, that's a banner. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, there's some, there's a lot of eyeballs on it. Uh, and I wanna talk for a moment about the reverence that you have for your fans, because you speak about them with so much love and respect. Talk about your fans.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:44:28):

Well, it's a different thing, you know, because, uh, you know, I, I, I mean, like, over the years they've kind of grown up with, with us mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, with me. And, and we still know 'em, you know, <laugh>. Yeah. I, I don't know. It, it's, um, I, I just, you know, as I say, I, I just always felt, uh, that the love that you get from people should be returned, you know, because, uh, I don't just want your money to buy a product, you know, but when you, when you, when you connect with somebody, uh, on, on a musical level, you know, I mean, if you think about that, you know, the, the, the, the high energy of music, you know, like when you go to Japan, for example, do they really understand the words, but they just love it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, uh, when I go to Japan, like these, these people come up to me, they go, I want to be your son. Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:45:25):

<laugh>. Oh,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:45:25):

Really? What

Fritz Coleman  (00:45:26):

Can you say? You know, I I I if you'll permit me to say this without being too personal, I think Swami G made a big, um, a, a big imprint on your soul, because there's no bitterness in your book, even when you could lash out against people who did you wrong? Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. You, you don't do that in the book, and you're very positive. And as Weezy said about your fans too, it's actually very refreshing. It's amazing. If you could get a book published without any salacious material,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:45:53):

<laugh> Well, you know, that's not the, that's not the the first time, you know, basically, uh, like I say in the past, that stopped other people from writing a book, <laugh>. Yeah. You know, because, you know, you don't cause any trouble. You know, it's kinda like, you know, you George Martin, boy, I tell you, he, he, he certainly did, did it up with this House of Dragons and all this stuff. Oh my God. You know, I, I don't think people really want to hear all that stuff. You know, I, I, I really don't. I, I, I don't mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I, I know everybody's got a little bit of that in their lives, but does anybody care about that? Nah, I don't think so. Maybe I don't.

Louise Palanker (00:46:26):

Well, the way that you put it was like, you know, we each have our side of the story, and I'm, I'm going to tell mine. And,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:46:33):

You know, I mean, seriously, it, it, uh, it's hard to complain. Yeah. It really is. Because I mean, and nothing's perfect. I mean, that's, that's one of the things that he taught me. I mean, you know, he said, look, see, we're given names, um, my name is, uh, uh, Paulita. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, P A A L I T H a, which means Protected protector. And I used to go to the Guru all the time and complain, oh, these people are the business. Oh, that, blah, blah. I said, one day, he said, look, let, let, let me explain. Let me explain to you now I'm gonna translate this into American terms. He says, you know, that Madonna song, the material world? And say, yeah, well, yeah, kind of. Yeah. He says, well, that's the world you're in. You understand? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you don't wanna put up with those changes and that nonsense and that stuff, they don't care about you, man, come over here with me, put on the robe, no problems. And I got the message. I finally understood, okay, this is the world. This is it. Yeah. And, uh, you gotta grow up and, and, and just realize that's the

Louise Palanker (00:47:33):

World. And it's something I, I kind of call the cost of being alive. You're going to, you're gonna miss a deal. You're going to turn left when you should have turned Right. You're gonna park your car and get a ticket. It's just the cost of being alive. And, you know, a lot of times when we're angry at people, we're angry at ourselves for trusting that person or for parking our car there, you know, we're angry at ourselves. And if you just give yourself that grace to say, I'm, I'm gonna make mistakes, I'm gonna lose money, stuff's gonna go wrong, <laugh>, and then I'm gonna pick up and learn from it and move on.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:48:03):

<laugh>. Exactly. <laugh>. Yeah. Well, a again, you go into philosophy here, you know, basically, you know, like, uh, it, it, it's kind of like, uh, you know, and you gotta be careful how you say things. Cause people misinterpret, but it's kind of like a surrender,

Louise Palanker (00:48:17):


Feliz Cavaliere (00:48:17):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, and, and, and, and you know, like you say, when you, when you learn to surrender and you trust, you better trust something pretty high. Mm. You know, because when you start talking about people Hmm. <laugh> <laugh>, that's pretty

Fritz Coleman  (00:48:32):

Interest. We're talking about the Beatles and The Beatles came up with a, you know, the first concept album, Sergeant Pepper. Absolutely. And that led you guys to experiment with Freedom Suite. And Once Upon a Dream, talk about that process.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:48:45):

Well, I, I really thought, you know, that the industry, uh, you know, really passed up on some really phenomenal music by, uh, they discouraged, they meaning the record companies, they didn't like the concept of those concept albums such as Tommy and, uh, Sergeant Pepper and Pet Sweet, you know, pet Sounds and all that. Uh, I thought that that was the American Opera, huh? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is going to take over. I really thought that was going to be the record. Companies wanted you to make hit singles, you know? And when you put a concept like album like that together, unless you know, like you're the Beatles, and every song is just phenomenal, it doesn't happen. So they discouraged that. And I, I think they really made a mistake with that if they were looking for aesthetic, you know, rather than in financial, you know, rewards Uh, we lost a a lot of great, I, I like, for example, I, I wanted to do, um, uh, a musical dune, you know, d the mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Frank Herbert book. Yeah. Uh, I, I just thought that was a great idea. But yeah, they inspired that. I, I thought it was a wonderful idea to put a, a conceptual album like that together. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Louise Palanker (00:49:53):

Well, there's a lot of really cool clips on YouTube. If someone goes in there and types your name or the name of the rascals. There's a clip on YouTube of you doing in the midnight Hour with Tom Jones.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:50:03):


Louise Palanker (00:50:04):

Yeah. You write about it in your book. Tell, tell us about that experience.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:50:07):

Oh, man. That was, see Tom's a really good guy, man. Tom, Tom is a, he's a bro and a half man, and he sings his tail off. And we, we went and did a show with him in, uh, in England where he had a, I guess he had this show over there, and it was Earl, I'll never forget. Cause it was early in the morning and he was quite high <laugh>. He was heavily high. He Okay. He had the, uh, mimosa in the morning, you know what I'm saying? And yeah. So we, we went on there, man. And, you know, it was a mutual kind of admiration society there, because, you know, God, he was phenomenal. And he, he liked us. I could tell. So when we did, we did midnight hour, man, it, it was, it was magic. It was magic. No doubt about it. Yeah. That's it right there. <laugh>. Yeah. There,

Louise Palanker (00:50:49):

You can tell, you can feel the respect cuz it's like, oh God. You know, you're thinking that guy can sing and he's thinking that kid can play that kid.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:50:55):

Yeah. We, we were rock man. I, I, I, I got his eyes a couple of times, man, and, you know, wow. Man. It was just, you know, that's what it's all about, man. Yeah. You know, you, you, you sing for each other, you know? Oh yeah. You really

Louise Palanker (00:51:07):

Do. It's a connection. I

Feliz Cavaliere (00:51:08):

Love that one. There's a connection. No doubt about it. I, I did this one time, which I did, uh, uh, I did a television show and, uh, my, my idol was on the panel there. Uh, it was Ray Charles was sitting there Wow. The show. And, and, and, and he couldn't see me, mayor. But, you know, I was at the band. I was, I was playing with, uh, um, the band and, and meant everything I sang was direct Right towards him. And, you know, when I, when I, when I hit something good, he would go,

Louise Palanker (00:51:37):

Aw, <laugh>

Feliz Cavaliere (00:51:39):

Made my day, man.

Louise Palanker (00:51:40):

That's so cool.

Fritz Coleman  (00:51:42):

You played with Ringo's All Star band, which was like, action Pat. Talk about all the people that were playing when you were doing with

Feliz Cavaliere (00:51:47):

Ringo. Well, you know, for those who don't know, what Ringo does, uh, is, uh, uh, he, he brings people, uh, like for example, we had, uh, Randy Bachman from Bachman Turner. We had, uh, mark Farner from Grand Funk. We had Billy Preston, we had John Entwistle, uh, uh, they bring, he brings us together and, and we do like each other's songs. We, and we do like a circle, you know, and, you know, Ringo does his song and we back him up, and then Mark does his song. Randy does his song. That that's, that's what that's like, you know? And, and, uh, it is just so interesting working with him because Everybo everybody respects the heck out of him. You know, like, you take a bunch of kids, you know, we're in the dressing room, you know, and everybody's talking, talking. All of a sudden somebody will ask, they'll ask gringo a question. Like, for example, Hey Rigo, how come you, uh, uh, how come you, uh, uh, you, you had your drum, your, your stool up so high, you know? And, and as soon as he starts to answer, everybody stops talking. Yeah. And he wants to hear what he says. He says, well, I gotta be seen, don't I?

Louise Palanker (00:52:51):

<laugh> <laugh>. It's as simple as that. Simple as that. So what, talk about what we should know if Smokey Robinson should ask us if we play cards.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:53:02):

Yeah. Why don't do it <laugh>. Yeah. See, the old, the old timers man, you know, they, they had a, a they had an interesting life, you know, before they, before they became extremely wealthy, they, they used to, you know, like they used to gamble. They used to, you know, gamble in the, in the buses and stuff like that. You know, and again, you're a young kid coming into the music industry, you better be aware of what's going on there, man. Well, you're not gonna get out alive. You know, they know what they're doing. <laugh>. Yes.

Fritz Coleman  (00:53:30):

I, I was always interested in the, the, uh, disagreements between a band and the record company and who wins those disagreements. You talked about, uh, the record companies not wanting to do concept albums cuz they didn't think it was gonna Oh yeah. Financially successful. But also there were individual arguments like talk about, um, them not wanting to do release gron as a single, cuz it had bongos on it. <laugh> for some reason, that turned everybody out. And also, uh, they didn't want you to release people got to be free. Right. Which was would on become this great anthem for the Civil Rights Movement. And they didn't like it cuz it was too political. Talk about that, those disagreements and, and who, who wins in those in the long run?

Feliz Cavaliere (00:54:10):

Well, your lawyer <laugh>. See, the, the, the, the difference is your contract. See, if your contract says you have the say, then you have the say. If your contracts does not say that, then they win. And this is, this is an ongoing thing with, with artists. It's just that, you know, I i, I kind of, well, you know, I Dion, uh, befriended me when I was, you know, up and coming and, and, and, and he kind of gave me a little bit of an education as to what to expect from the people behind the desk, you know, so I I, I knew before we signed, you know, a contract that, you know, we gotta have control or we don't have control mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it's as simple as that. And, and so we had control. So when I had an argument with Mr. Wexler, Jerry rest his soul, we'd go at it, man. You know, we'd really go at it. But I had the final say, man, on the paper. Oh, good. See, okay. And we also had some help, uh, the stories in the book about Grover with Murray, the k you know, coming to bat for us and see, you know, I understand, you know, basically, uh, a friend of mine wrote a song called It's Not the Money, it's the Money <laugh>

Louise Palanker (00:55:20):


Feliz Cavaliere (00:55:21):

And, and I really, I get it. I, they, they're not here to save the world. They're here to make, make money. You know what I'm saying? And, and, and it, it's even more so now than it ever was. You know, in the old days, Columbia used to have some artists that they knew weren't going to sell product, but they were honored to have them on their red label, you know? And I don't know if that happens anymore. Mm. You know?

Louise Palanker (00:55:41):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, let's talk about your, your current band, because now you're playing with guys that, that you love and respect and you've been with a lot longer than you were with The Rascals in this Absolutely, yeah. Relationship. And, uh, talk about these guys and what you've, what you've done together.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:55:56):

Well, you know, uh, as you say, Mo moving to Nashville, uh, because of the music community here, I, I initially came down here to, to be very involved in songwriting, uh, until, you know, Spotify and those people came along kind of ruined that for us, you know, because that's a whole different thing now. But we, we started to get, uh, a tremendous plethora of musicians coming in from California and New York. And now, now the level of, of, of the, uh, the session people is up here, you know? Well, uh, there's a thing down here in Tennessee and Nashville that I, that I, I, I, I said I was getting an award down here. There's a respect for music here. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:56:39):


Feliz Cavaliere (00:56:39):

It, it doesn't really exist in a lot of the country. You know, they, they, they don't know. For example, there's people like publishers and songwriters. They, they don't, they know that here, see, and, and if you're a person whose name, you know, most people don't know because you wrote the songs and didn't sing the songs. They know you see mm-hmm. <affirmative>, well, the musicians that come here carry that, or bring that or learn that here. So I've been very, very, very, very blessed to have some guys who not only love to play, but they love to play my music with me. You know, uh, you can't answer for much more. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I mean, seriously, they're great guys. They're great musicians, and they enjoy, there's a respect factor. You know, it's kind of the difference between, you know, just hiring somebody and loving somebody, you know? I mean, there's a, it's true. So we got a great bunch of guys. And, uh, are you back out on the road yet, or? We will be shortly, as a matter of fact, as we speak, um, you know, I I, I, I don't know if you realize, in 2019, I, I tried a reunion with, uh, some of the guys in the original band. And, uh, Mr. Gene Cornish, he had a heart attack on stage. Oh, Lord,

Louise Palanker (00:57:55):

You're right. You wrote about that.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:57:56):

I don't know if I, if I put that in the book of his

Louise Palanker (00:57:58):

Yes. It's very

Feliz Cavaliere (00:57:59):

Scary in 2019, but he, uh, he almost didn't make it. Well, the good news is that he wants to go out again. Oh, oh, cool. Cool. He wants to go out again. So, uh, okay. We'll see what happens. We're going out in November. Uh, it's a long story and, you know, like we will see what happens. But he wants to go out again. Gene has always been a, you know, he, he came from Rochester, New York, you know, and, and, and, and, and he always looked at that stage, man. He saw like Chuck Berry, and he saw like, you know, the, and, and I wanna play like those guys. I wanna be, so he's always been a ham mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, so he's, he's really anxious. So that's the, that's, that's what's coming up. And of course, we'll use pretty much my band as, as, as, as the backing. Got it. And we're trying to put something together that really makes a difference. You know what I'm saying? That mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, put a little theme by behind it. Like let, let's do some universal love and remember those words, peace, love, and happiness. You know, remember, good for you. Somebody's gotta spread

Louise Palanker (00:58:55):

It around. Yeah. We,

Feliz Cavaliere (00:58:56):

I think we, it's, it's time, don't you think?

Louise Palanker (00:58:58):

Yeah. And I think the, the word understanding it is a big piece of that equation because, you know, as we talked about earlier in the show, we're not all alike, but we, but if we can understand one another and understand, okay. That, like, that guy, this person, she's different than me. And I, and I respect that because not everybody looks at the world the way I do.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:59:21):

<laugh>. You know, it's funny, when I'm, when I'm on stage, you know, I, I, I do this song, you know, we, we wrote this song called Ray of Hope, you know, so I announced it like this. I said, I remember when you used to g you could be able to write a song without pissing anybody off. <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (00:59:36):

That's adorable.

Feliz Cavaliere (00:59:38):

And, and, and you know, I say, you know, like, you put out a song and they hate you now. No, that's it. I don't wanna talk to this guy anymore. Absolutely. He's one of those. Yeah. Yeah. What does that mean? You know, it's, it's really strange out there, man. I'll tell you, I'll tell you something. This is pretty interesting world. We're, we're jumping into,

Fritz Coleman  (00:59:56):

Well, you're very positive in just in your interaction with us and in your book, and that, I think that's refreshing.

Louise Palanker (01:00:01):

But, you know, I, I don't know. I think humans are, we're, we're evolving, but we're kind of eternally the same in, in terms of the way we're wired. I was watching a documentary last night on pbs, and it's just footage that we've seen often of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and John Lewis. And someone was holding a sign that said, integration is socialism. And it just pretty much mirrors what people, people are calling anything that is inclusive socialism. And it isn't necessarily socialism, it's just an open mind <laugh>.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:00:38):

But, uh, don't take my Medicare. Yeah, yes.

Fritz Coleman  (01:00:41):

Or Social security. Exactly.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:00:43):

Okay. My social always that. Yes, it is darling. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (01:00:47):

Like what happened to security being half of that phrase. Like you can't just threaten to take it away every five years, or there's no security <laugh>

Feliz Cavaliere (01:00:56):

Ron Jones. I, I like the commercial that, and, and I really not a big fan of commercial, but I, when edit James sings security on that day. Oh,

Fritz Coleman  (01:01:02):

That's fantastic. Told me. Come on, <laugh>. Yeah.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:01:05):


Louise Palanker (01:01:06):


Feliz Cavaliere (01:01:06):

You, wow. Was right.

Fritz Coleman  (01:01:08):

Felix, you're also a, you're also a producer. I want to, I don't want to be wrap this up. Before I mentioned that you produced for My Money, one of the greatest songwriters in the American cannon, Laura Niro, who wrote Wedding Bell Blues. And When I Die by Blood, sweat and Tears, which is like the quintessential song for anybody over 60, it's fantastic. Yeah. And Sian, talk about your relationship with her and how it was to produce her.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:01:34):

Well, um, I was introduced to her by David Geffen. David was her manager. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, uh, he said, how would you like to meet the most impossible person?

Fritz Coleman  (01:01:44):

<laugh> <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (01:01:46):

Why not?

Feliz Cavaliere (01:01:47):

And, uh, you know, cause she was tough, you know, and the reason that she was tough is because she had, you know, what we were talking about earlier, she had the vision of what she wanted in her song. Mm-hmm. Whatever that was to be translated in, in her language, which was a very different language from, you know, the, the, the ones that you learned in classical music, you know, had colors in it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, she, she's spoken colors.

Louise Palanker (01:02:13):


Feliz Cavaliere (01:02:14):

Yeah. When, when you're, you're in front of the musicians out there, she would say to the horn section, you gotta make it more red. Really?

Louise Palanker (01:02:21):


Feliz Cavaliere (01:02:22):

That's interesting.

Louise Palanker (01:02:22):

Oh, I love that.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:02:23):

No, I, I, oh, believe me. And so we had to kind of interpret, okay, red, let me see that <laugh>, let me look at No, no. Red is not in the Italian, a dictionary here. No. <laugh>. But that was her, she was so different from, you know, I, I could go on, you know, I, I introduced her to my teacher, my guru, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, she, she ended up, you know, buying his home actually, and, and staying there and living there. But when I, when I first brought her into the room, uh, he wasn't there yet. And when, when he came in the room, she burst into tears. Wow. Just burst into tears. Like, and, and I left because I realized it was kind of like a real intimate moment that was taking place. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I asked her, she said, I never saw anything like

Louise Palanker (01:03:09):

That. Oh my goodness.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:03:11):

Yeah. She was so sensual.

Louise Palanker (01:03:15):


Feliz Cavaliere (01:03:16):

That it was dangerous. <laugh>. She, she felt she was so, uh, you know, I mean that's, that's why the, you know, the, the, the, the gay community adore her.

Louise Palanker (01:03:24):

I think she felt everything.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:03:26):

She felt everything, you know, and when you were next to her, you felt everything, believe me, because she just vibrated this kind of sensu that was so like, like Nina Simone had the same kind of get out of the way, man, you know? Right. And, and she had this vision of her music. And so it was our job to try, try to interpret that to, you know, as I said earlier, to her wishes. And it was wonderful because, you know, I did, I did it with Arif Mardine and we hired the Muscle Shoals gentlemen, and I do mean gentlemen, you know, these guys came from Yeah. They came from Alabama up to New York. They, they had played with AA too, but I mean, they, they, they were so kind to her because when she would do her things, which was kind of like, you know, when you're doing sessions, you don't slow down, you don't change tempo, you know? Yes, yes. Ms. Niro. Yes, yes. Ms. Dro, however you want us to play it, that's how we play it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, but she was charming, you know, charming. Really charming. She was a delight.

Louise Palanker (01:04:28):

And you write about it so, so eloquently and reverently and it's,

Feliz Cavaliere (01:04:32):

Yeah. She, she was a great lady. She just was. So, but anyway, my, my teacher said, you know, Swami said she really was born a hundred years ago.

Louise Palanker (01:04:42):


Feliz Cavaliere (01:04:43):

Wow. She had that a hundred year old mentality rather than current.

Louise Palanker (01:04:48):


Feliz Cavaliere (01:04:48):

Yeah. She, she was a very, very sensual soul.

Louise Palanker (01:04:52):

And you were able to give her to all of us. So we're grateful.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:04:56):

Well, I, I, I tell you, she, she's finally getting some serious recognition out there. There's a lot of movement on her music right now that I think you're gonna be hearing about very shortly.

Louise Palanker (01:05:06):

Oh wow. Yeah. That's fascinating. I can't wait to hear more. Well, I think we're gonna wrap things up here and cuz we know, uh, that you are a busy man now, what was it it that you might want to promote or mention that we haven't yet mentioned?

Feliz Cavaliere (01:05:20):

The rales are coming. The rales are coming. <laugh>, we're on the billboard again. Yeah, we're, we're going back on the road. You know, post Covid is pretty interesting. Covid really hit our, our business pretty hard. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I'm just hoping that, you know, my demographic, you know, they feel safe coming out because we'd like to entertain them e even if it's just one last time around, you know. But that's what I'm promoting right now. I've got a CD that I've, uh, finished over the, over the Covid, uh, year. And I'm trying to get that out as you say, I've got that book, you know, and, uh, just want to continue going, man. That's all. Well,

Louise Palanker (01:05:54):

It, it's just definitely a, a beautiful enthusiasm and joy for life that you have that is in inspirational for all of us and we're grateful for that.

Fritz Coleman  (01:06:03):

Thank you for all the beautiful sounds you've put into the universe. And you are a huge part of my youth, my friend. It's an honor.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:06:09):

Talk to you. Oh, you guys great. Thank you so much for having me because you know, I feel, you know, I feel it coming over the airwaves. God bless you.

Louise Palanker (01:06:16):

Oh, we can't wait to meet you in right back at you in person. Here come. Let's do it. Let's do it. Here come our closing credits. Fritz and I have created a web hub to help you shop for gifts and save democracy in one fun move. Gift of curates great swaggy merch from candidates and causes committed to protecting and defending our democracy. Fritz and I make no money here. We don't need it. We are not running for office this year. <laugh>, our site is like a mall directory sign that points you towards the merchandise pages of candidates and causes that are working to save our democracy. It's the donation that counts. Democracy makes a great gift. Thank you so much for joining us. We would love to continue this conversation with you on Instagram and Twitter. We are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where our show is Media Path Podcast.


And our Facebook group is Media Path with Fritz and Wheezy podcast community. You can find full video podcast episodes loaded with bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. You can write to us at Media Path And if you enjoy the show, please give us a rave and glowing review in Apple Podcast and brag about your excellent taste in podcasts on social media. You can sign up for our fun and dishy We wanna thank our wonderful guest, Felix Caviar. Our team includes Dean of Friedman, John Maddox, Sharon Beo, bill Felipe, Thomas, Hubble, Mason Brown, and you. Our theme music is by me and John Maddox. I am Louise Lanker here with Fritz Coleman and we will see you along the media path.

Feliz Cavaliere (01:07:43):

You guys are, I gotta tune in man, have shows like this all the time. Well,

Fritz Coleman  (01:07:46):

There, you know, we did, uh, we've done people that you've probably worked with.

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