Do you remember rock ‘n’ roll radio? An interview with Retrogasmic podcast host D.D Deluxe

Time to grab a cocktail, turn on the wireless and join D.D Deluxe and fellow Retrogasmic podcast host, Hettie La Bombe for a groovy trip back in time.

Think of it as your very own space-time portal to all things retro, vintage and kitsch. The Retrogasmic podcast, brought to you by New Zealand retronauts D.D. Deluxe (and sometimes the lovely Hettie LaBombe), beams you straight into a world inhabited by retro style, classic cars, B-movies, pin-up girls, vintage fashion, intoxicating music (think rare blues, rockabilly and even old punk rock) plus a selection of very, very cool guests.

There’s a regular vintage trivia quiz and a whole lot of laughs along the way. You can even hitch a ride as the hosts try to track down their elusive roaming retro reporter in “Where’s Winki??”.

The award-winning podcast (named “Top Vintage Podcast 2019” by Feedspot) was born in early 2019 when the hosts, fresh from touring the country with their rockabilly band Boom! Boom! Deluxe came up with the idea of creating a podcast to unite the different segments of the retro scene they’d encountered while on tour.

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You’re originally from the United Kingdom, how did you wash up in Aotearoa?

Born and bred in London, but in 2005 decided I was due for a change.  I’d been a professional musician most of my life but for the last few years of the 90s and early 2000s I’d somehow managed to get married (surprised anyone would have me LOL) and have a daughter so it was time to do a job that actually made some cash.

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I bought a bankrupt printing company, slowly turned it into a small advertising/branding agency and with a bit of luck managed to do OK.

However, there is only so long you can work 60 hour weeks so we sold everything, jumped on a plane and decided Auckland was a better place to bring up a child than the joyous suburban nightmare that was West London. Wasn’t an easy thing to do but have never regretted it.

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For those that haven’t yet tuned in, how would you sum up the Retrogasmic podcast in a nutshell?

Your very own space-time portal to all things vintage, retro and kitsch!

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How did the idea for the podcast come about?

Having toured New Zealand for a year in Boom! Boom! Deluxe Hettie and I were amazing at how many “retro” groups there were around NZ; Car clubs, Hot rods, pin-ups, burlesque, old movie fans, Rock n Roll and Swing dancers, vintage lifestyle/furniture people, vintage bakers even, but everyone seemed to be happy staying in their own little corner, no-one seemed to collaborate which seems crazy!

The odd event like The Very Vintage Day out, Beach Hop and Rockabilly Show & Shine temporarily gets a lot of these people in the same place but then it reverts to little pockets again.  We decided a podcast would be a great way to start letting everyone know about all the other aspect of Retro fandom going on and hopefully start building more of a NZ “scene”.

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How do you come up with the programme for each show?

Quite often we’ve found an interesting person to talk to, so the interview will be almost half the show, but we’ve had a music licence for the last year now so we always include a (we hope) great variety of music too, everything from rare blues songs from the 1920 right up to punk and funk from the 70’s. 

Our “era is basically post first world war through to the end of the 70’s.  We try to keep it fast paced and funny! We’ve also got a few recurring features like the vintage trivia and “Where’s Winki”, our lunatic roving reporter who somehow can just tells us what’s she’s doing there and then and is hysterical!

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How long does it take to put together?

Once the interviews are recorded, and all the songs are chosen, the editing, and production can take anywhere from 5-10 hours depending upon the content. We try really hard to keep the quality of each show as high as possible.

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What is your most popular broadcast so far?

Episode 4 features a great interview with my old mate Glen Matlock – former bass player and major songwriter with punk legends The Sex pistols.  We were in a band together for a while and both support the same football team so keep in touch and he was an obvious choice to talk to once the show started.

He’s a great lad and funny too – if you’re a Pistols fan have a listen because he tells some really funny stories about some of the stuff the band got up to that I’m sure not a lot of people know about!  That episode has had about 5 times the streams of any other!

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What is one of your most memorable interviews and why?

Hmmm, difficult because we’ve talked to so many incredible people.  The debut show featured the amazing Fran Robertson, who had just won Miss Viva Las Vegas pin up  – basically the Mss World of pin up competitions, and her back story was both heart-breaking and inspiring.

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We spoke to pin up Monique Sweet who was caught in the terrible Christchurch earthquake, literally buried, until a brave passer by risked his life to venture into the fallen building and start to dig her out.  Incredible.

We interviewed Bettie Page biographer Tori Rodriguez a few months ago as well as Bettie Page’s nephew Ron – that was fascinating hearing first hand what she was like and how she survived an incredibly difficult life. I could go on – we also chat to emerging bands from around the world that are playing retro inspired music so we’ve had some really cool music!

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What do you enjoy most about making a podcast?

Having an excuse to go up to really interesting people and say “can I talk to you for 20 minutes please?” And playing music that I love that quite often most people won’t have heard of – for example we did a show on ‘Group Sounds’ – late 1960’s Japanese psychedelic Rock, it’s brilliant!

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How do you promote yourself?

We ask nicely!  Every show has a sign off asking people to leave us a review or share the pod.  It’s hard because every show and band asks this, but people have been very supportive so far.  We occasionally run adverts if a show has a really niche theme, and we of course share the shows in the relevant retro groups on FB, Reddit etc. The promotion adds about another 20% in time to each show I guess.

We were really lucky that in 2018 we were awarded “Top Vintage Podcast 2019” by Feedspot a big podcast website – that almost doubled our listenership overnight, especially in the USA.  It’s great looking at the stats and seeing that people in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia japan and Norway all tune in regularly!  I often wonder if they can understand my cockney accent hahahaha.

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What are some podcasts you love to listen to and that inspire you?

I mainly listen to comedy podcasts like “Athletic Mince” or “RHLSTP” and I dip in and out of some of the science ones too. I find that some of the bigger American pods are full of adverts and the hosts tend to just waffle one, and it becomes more about them than the thing they are talking about. I figure if people have tuned into our show they want to be entertained while they commute or have a bath or whatever, so the last thing they want to hear is some cockney rattling on about what he had for breakfast or something!

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What do you do when you’re not making podcasts?

Wonder how I’m going to pay the bills, same as everyone else!  Seriously, the podcast isn’t cheap to produce – we’ve been very lucky to have http://www.Rosemary.nz, a lovely lady that hand makes incredible retro bowling shirts as our sponsor, she’s really helped, and a couple of other sponsors along the way including a few from America.

Apart from that we are pretty much constantly gigging around New Zealand with Boom! Boom! Deluxe – we released our second album of original material earlier this year and we’ve just dropped single number five from that record (available on Spotify, CD and vinyl folks!) so we’ve been crazy busy – gigs basically pay our bills.

Next year in May we are touring Japan and also hope to get over and play a few festivals in Australia too. Me and Hettie both teach a Japanese martial art called Aikido too, we have our own dojo here at Deluxe Mansions in Silverdale. Sometimes we literally don’t get a day off for months but at least we are doing things we love!  I’ll rest when I’m dead.

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Thanks for having me – your lovely readers can check out the podcast, for free at www.retrogasmic.com/listen-to-the-show

 

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