Just in time for Sammy Hagar’s 75th Birthday comes a podcast dedicated to covering all aspects within nine degrees of the Red Rocker!
The Bogus Otis Show is co-hosted, or should we say, “Bo-Hosted”, by long-time Sammy and Van Halen fans, Darin Bristow & Brent Kinnaird. It launched on Rocktober 13th – Sammy’s 75th Birthday. The “nine degrees of” in the title is a nod to Sammy’s spiritual number – 9.
The Bogus Otis Show’s mandate is somewhat simple: “To bring a better balance and increased social awareness to Sammy Hagar’s musical legacy, his lifestyle & business endeavors and most importantly, to shine a brighter light on his tenure in the mighty Van Halen. What is understood, NEED be discussed!”
The Van Halen News Desk reached out to the “Bo-Hosts” to find out more about their respective appreciation for the Red Rocker, why they feel they are worthy of championing this particular podcast, what they individually bring to the show and what sparked the interest to start a Sammy-centric podcast.
VHND: What’s the story behind the podcast name “Bogus Otis” and what led you to choosing it?
Darin Bristow: “Being primarily a Sammy-centric podcast, we wanted to go with a name that only hardcore ‘Red Heads’ would know, so we used the name of the cartoony rooster tattoo Sammy has on his right arm. In an obscure interview, I believe from back in the 80’s, Sammy was asked about the tattoo and he referred to the character as ‘Bogus Otis’. That stuck in my head and so our podcast name, and mascot, was born! Being such an inside baseball term, it also acts as a ‘if you know, you know’ type of statement.”
VHND: Brent, you’ve been an active voice in Van Halen discussions online for years and make your living in the live music industry. Take a moment to tell our readers more about your credentials, your inspiration for the podcast and what you plan on bringing to the table
Brent Kinnaird: “I come from a career that sees me working daily to present live concerts and festivals. I’m part of the team that presents Canada’s largest free music festival each year. I understand the business side of the music industry. But I’m a music fan first and the opportunity to celebrate a band I’ve followed since 1983 is one I felt it was time to explore. The show is going to be a lively debate about everything Sammy has done and how it affects all of us as fans. There’s nothing that brings people together like the killer combination of music, food and drink. I’ve had the very good fortune to meet Sammy on a handful of occasions and to celebrate the legacy of an icon via the show is something I’ve really been looking forward to.
We all feel like Sammy is a part of our family, and his impact shows up in the craziest places every day. That knowledge and appreciation for his art will come out in so many ways – and I won’t shy away from a debate along the way. Sammy’s songs spark memories for me everywhere, and we’re going to highlight all of them in episodes we produce. From mountain bikes to laFerrari’s, Rock ‘N Roll Romeo to Crazy Times, The Bogus Otis Show is going to take you on a trip…down to Baja, Mexico. The show will also help manifest some other VH and Sammy related projects in the writing and art space. Dial it in!”
VHND: Darin, VHND long-time readers may recall that you are the mind behind Chickenfoot’s “Get It Up” animated music video and have an official connection to Sammy. Please tell our readers more about your credentials, your inspiration for the podcast and what you personally bring to the show.
Darin: “That’s correct! By way of Carter (Sammy’s long-time manager and dear friend who passed away in 2011) , I had the good fortune of working for Sammy Hagar during his time in Chickenfoot. As a Producer and Creative Director with 30 years’ experience in the field of children’s animation, I conceived the concept for the “Get It Up”video, pitched it to Carter and Mick (Brigden, Joe Satriani’s long-time manager who co-managed Chickenfoot alongside Carter), and ended up collaborating with Sammy via Carter to bring that song to animated life. From that video’s production I earned Carter’s respect and became a part of Sammy’s inner circle for almost 2 years and went on to help create visuals for several Birthday Bashes, such as posters, lanyards, and was involved in further Chickenfoot/Sammy music video concepts, but we’ll save the rest of the story for future podcasts! That, plus being a fan of Sammy since the 80’s and the lead guitarist in a working band, I have become a guitar collector whose arsenal includes almost all of Sammy’s rare and signature axes.
I also parlayed my music video experience with Chickenfoot and applied it to working for several other high-profile rockers, such as Big Sugar and Kim Mitchell. So, while not claiming to be the world’s biggest Sammy fan, nor claiming to possess Jedi-level knowledge of Red Rocker trivia, I do feel I have enough cred to try my hand at a podcast. And look, we want to invite fellow fans to participate in our celebration of Sammy, to offer their insights, their knowledge and personal opinions so we can keep the conversations going! If we misspeak, we want to be corrected! While Brent and I are massive Sammy fans, there’s still lots we don’t know and want to find out! In regard to my inspiration to start this podcast, truthfully, it’s the contrast of opinions that Brent and I have. Who wants to listen to a podcast where everyone agrees on everything? It’s the contrast of opinions that make things interesting and he and I have quite opposing thoughts on a variety of Sammy related topics. Also, what I know about playing guitar, he doesn’t, and what he knows about producing large scale concerts with top end rock bands, I don’t. Our common ground is the Cabo Wabo way of life, food and drink. Plus, he’s a fun hang, so we’ll see where this all goes!
VHND: What’s the podcast’s approach when it comes to Van Halen?
Darin: “We’re singer-agnostic, we appreciate every singer who fronted Van Halen and we love all eras of the band. That said, our focus will be squarely on Sammy’s career, his lifestyle aspects, his tenure in Van Halen and we will do everything in our power to never devolve into a Sammy Vs. Dave or Sammy Vs. Gary throwdown. We love all Van Halen, there are no bad albums or worst song, it’s just varying degrees of amazing! Also, important to note is that with a show dedicated to Van Halen which appreciates all lead vocalists equally led by two guys named Dave, a dedicated DLR program with a host named Darren (Paltrowitz), I personally felt there was room, and definitely a need, for another Darin, to bring a better balance to the Sammy-side-of-things, and even out the podcast playing field!”
Brent: “I don’t subscribe to the theory that you have to pick sides. I’m a fan of all eras and appreciate each of them for what they added to the legacy of Van Halen. Is Sammy going to sing Jamie’s Cryin? Not likely. Will Dave belt out I Can’t Drive 55? No. But that’s okay. Sammy was an integral part of the VH sound. He brought a second guitar to the live show, a vocal range and approach to songwriting that fit for the time he was in the band.
There was a dynamic on the stage from 1986-1995 that was undeniable, and the contribution Hagar made to that saw them top music charts and build new audiences. The connection between Sammy and Mike has endured for more than 25 years since Sammy departed VH and spurred some comparisons to the solo catalog Sammy boasts vs the four albums with Mike, Eddie and Alex. We’ll be hitting on topics that bring Roth into the mix as well. It’s a big old VH stew!”
VHND: Please give our readers an idea of the topics the Bogus Otis Show will cover?
Brent: “Get ready – we’re going to cover live show memories, recipes in the kitchen, comparisons with other singers. We’ll dissect entire albums and link riffs from the past. We may even bring on some special guests to join the conversation. The show is intended to be two way as well, we want to spur your memories, live a little bit of the Cabo lifestyle…and paint the internet red (rocker that is)!”
Darin: “The show’s title explains it all dude! Anything within 9 degrees of Sammy! I’d also love to see some crossover with Dave & Dave Unchained, The DLR Cast, both shows I love! As our resident guitarist, I see live lessons and renditions of Sammy’s biggest riffs- jammed using his signature axes! What is understood, NEED be discussed!
LISTEN TO THE DEBUT EPISODE OF “THE BOGUS OTIS SHOW”