Podcast Transcript


00:00:00.959 – 00:00:23.985

 Welcome to the taking a walk podcast the show where we explore music history on foot sometimes virtual and often taking a walk in person We’re available at all the podcast destinations Apple Spotify iHeart and the podcast Playground If you like taking a walk please share it with your friends today Our host Buzz Knight talks with the

man who has one of the greatest gigs of all time Joe Spaulding is a Boston institution who oversees one of the most iconic music institutions in the world The Boch Center known for years as the Wang Center home to not only some of the greatest concerts ever but also home to the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame Join Buzz next with Joe Spaulding


Buzz Knight:

00:00:47.819 – 00:00:53.83

 Well Joe Spalding it’s so great to have you on the takin a walk podcast in person


Joe Spaulding:

00:00:53.84 – 00:00:56.479

 I’m very honored to be on


Buzz Knight:

00:00:56.669 – 00:01:20.944

 One of my great joys about the taking a walk podcast is connecting with new friends but reconnecting with old friends So I’ve hit the jackpot I’m reconnecting with Joe Spaulding I’m at one of the greatest venues of all time in the Wang Center the Boch center and we’re also here for the first time I’m seeing the

An Americana Museum so I’ve really hit it out of the park


Joe Spaulding:

00:01:25.224 – 00:01:45.239

 we’re thrilled that you’re here and we are currently sitting in one of the exhibits called the Music Hall And if you remember back in the old days when you and I were both a little younger I used to come to then the music hall rather than the Wang Theater to see all kinds of shows And so it’s kind of fun to go full circle

and come back and now have the world’s only Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame right here in the Wang


Buzz Knight:

00:01:54.099 – 00:02:05.0

 So I’m going to put you on the spot right out of the gate What are some of your personal favorite either music events or just artistic events that have happened at the



00:02:05.01 – 00:02:10.445

 Wang Well you know it it’s I’m asked that question buzz all the time All right


And it’s a little hard to answer because I’ve been the CEO here for 38 years right So my staff tells me I’ve seen over 7000 concerts and events and all kinds of stuff So I have personal favorites and they happened even before I even

contemplated being here I mean I first saw Cat Stevens here in like 1970 right I saw Bruce Springsteen here in 1970 ish when he was playing on stage was just acoustic guitar and a cello player Right And I’ve seen the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead and I’ve had them back right several times during my career And so I think the

most memorable concert though for me was a couple of years ago 2014 when we had Cat Stevens back when he was 20 And he only played six theaters in the world And Wang was one of them because he really enjoyed being here and back in those days in the seventies Cat was opening for America Right And that’s a funny story because I spent the night under the marquee

here at the music hall to try and buy my ticket and guess who was sitting right next to me Ernie Boch Jr And that’s like 50 years ago Right And so and I couldn’t figure out how we got to the box office window and he ended up in the first row and I ended up in the balcony I have subsequently figured out how Ernie did all that And one of my great pleasures in life before Ernie stepped up to be the Boch Center was

I got Ernie hooked when I brought back Cat Stevens and I put Ernie in exactly the same seat that he was in that many years ago That’s true So I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot of things that way you know opening a Phantom of the opera opening Miss Saigon being the first city out of out of New York for Rent the musical to many concerts that continue on today In fact last week

I had a real special one and his name was Ed Sheeran played here right before he played Gillette Stadium for two sold out shows So it was been really special and they all have a combination to the Hall of Fame and they all have an affinity to this theater


Buzz Knight:

00:04:40.119 – 00:04:44.19

 So tell me about the genesis of the museum



00:04:44.619 – 00:04:49.779

 Well um back in 2000 probably 17 18

you know when you’re doing this for a living for all these years and you know you know I was back from one of the founders of Great Woods go back further than that And so listen it was a it sort of evolves you have to be able to change right And as consolidation is gone and the live nations have gotten bigger and you know the AEG have gotten bigger and the

and you know you are we’re a nonprofit performing arts center we’re our own little entity here in the city of Boston representing all of New England And so you have to think outside the box So what are you gonna do when all this consolidation is gonna go on So in 2019 I actually came up with this crazy idea to open a Hall of Fame

And because of my years of experience I have friends who run the Country Music Hall of Fame And rock and roll Hall of Fame and the Grammy Museum And so I went around and I visited all these places and uh decided that jeez we really could do this and I went looking for a venue but I had Neil Young playing here

at that time And Neil said to me I don’t think you should go anywhere Why would you want to leave the building Why don’t you put it in the place that we all perform And I thought wow that was an interesting idea to go and discover that I had 57,000 square feet of available space with nothing in it

And I said OK let’s do it actually in a performing arts hall and no one has ever done that before


Buzz Knight:

00:06:23.29 – 00:06:37.23

 So he was at that Neil Young show first of all which uh was the only time I ever saw Neil which was such an amazing show I have goose bumps just thinking about that moment But so Neil prompted this Well


Joe Spaulding:

00:06:37.239 – 00:06:38.329

 so he prompted it to

said that you know and that after we had the conversation he got up on stage twice in that conversation and said to the audiences on both nights you know Boston is the folk capital of North America

And I thought to myself my God he’s actually saying that kind of thing And then he put it in his blog and I said OK we’re in So now we got to figure out how the hell we’re going to pull this off Right Well I had some really good friends and David Bieber an all time friend of ours Um and David Bieber archives you know we decided ok well let’s try to look at this and you know I’ve had a long career as a singer songwriter too And so I knew most of these players And so when you look around the music hall and you see

panel’s pictures or you see Robert Corwin’s picture of Bob Pete Seeger or you see the famous ones of Peter Paul and Mary And you see all the artists that are on the wall here every single one of those artists play here All right And actually some of those pictures are of them playing here And so this gave us the genesis of saying OK here’s what we’re going to put together So then we decide OK you got to have good people So we you know


Joe Spaulding:

00:07:54.66 – 00:08:23.79

 made a deal with a group called the Museum Collective which is Bob Santelli who used to work at the Country Music Hall of Fame rock and Roll Hall of Fame Paul Allen Popular man ran the Grammy Museum for 15 years Now runs the Bruce Springsteen Archives and we banded together with Dena mcleod from the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa And we went out and we went to the world Everything that you’re going to see today buzz on your walk has been delivered By the arts

Right So nothing’s been purchased Everything’s on loan from the States from Pete S’s original banjo to Tom Rush’s guitar that I saw him play in 1968 with the naked woman on the threat to Tom Scholtz’s guitar from Boston They’re all here because the artist thinks this is a good idea


Buzz Knight:

00:08:48.409 – 00:08:59.159

 You have a great uh advisory board also for the museum Uh there’s a long list of some notorious figures that are part of that talk about some of that group


Joe Spaulding:

00:08:59.19 – 00:09:04.119

 Well that was that was that was fun too right Because

uh there used to be an album in this in this case right over here buzz And it had a it had a picture of Noel Paul Stookey from Peter Paul and Mary uh on releasing his first album That wasn’t Peter Paul and Mary All right And it was called Body Works And in that picture um is a gentleman with a


Joe Spaulding:

00:09:27.395 – 00:09:50.46

 tying coat with a long darker beard than mine is today with a little bit darker hair than I had then And 45 years ago I was arranged He was a friend of mine and I had recorded at his studio in Blue Hill Maine and I had you know he was a mentor to me and I helped do that album cover shot

and we had the record here and part of the Hall of Fame and Noel came on board and you know we were friends with Joan and you know Betsy Sen is from around here to you know I could just go on and on and on and they all said yes I want to be a part of this And we then had a big gala

and all the artists came they all performed We raised like $300,000 and then COVID came and we shut down for 2.5 years


Buzz Knight:

00:10:22.15 – 00:10:26.15

 So uh how are things post COVID


Joe Spaulding:

00:10:26.38 – 00:10:42.169

 Well that’s the fun part about this thing You know when you look at the history of the Country Music Hall of Fame and I’m only gonna use that as one example Uh but most people don’t know The Country Music Hall of Fame is you know like 59 years old right

 And it started a long time ago you know when Broadway wasn’t quite like what Broadway is today in Nashville And you know we’ve actually reopened in September of 2008


Joe Spaulding:

00:10:56.809 – 00:11:01.09

 21 22 All right last September

And we now have seven exhibits going Uh we’re ahead of the game of where my sisters and brothers out there have no long struggled to get to where they are today And today country Music Hall of Fame is quite something right It gets a lot of tourists Our model is not quite the same because we’re a living breathing performing arts center

So it’s not general admissions that you’re going to the rock and roll Hall of Fame or the Country Music Hall of Fame you got to come and make a tour you gotta book a tour you got to go on a tour Uh And if we have artists playing here you can’t go to certain places right But we even put exhibits backstage

And why do we do that So that when artists come they actually don’t rarely come to the front of the house So they get a chance to walk right from their dressing room right into our old Guthrie exhibit that you’ll see today or life in six strings which is Ernie Boch’s guitar collection And they say holy mackerel this thing really does exist Would you like my guitar And the answer is yes Neil we would So that that’s how it works


Buzz Knight:

00:12:08.789 – 00:12:26.489

 We had on a previous episode Paul Kingsbury actually from the Country Music Hall of Fame So he sort of took us through as the I guess the curator or historian there So is it fair to say you are the Paul Kingsbury of the Folk in America Museum


Joe Spaulding:

00:12:26.9 – 00:12:34.82

 Well at the moment that is true All right And I am and I have a great team and Bob Santilli and

Dena mcleod and David Bieber and others that have been and you saw the advisor Yeah they these are you know famous musicians that play you know Bob Crawfords and the Abbott Brothers right So or a brothers if you want to and it’s it’s been really wonderful that way And so they have helped to spread the word right And as you spread the word it takes time to build but

 it’s helped us get artists to come So it’s you know when you’re competing against and it’s not competing because we promote and present with Live Nation and AEG but you know we’re having to battle MGM Fenway and we’re having to battle road runner and you have to balance between the pavilion and here and are there enough artists and you have to

00:13:23.63 – 00:13:46.219

 do that all day long And then we wanted to start our own proprietary program which we just we just had our first festival was called was Fest and we had Don was you know who he is one of the most famous producers in the world And we had a festival for four days and it was a huge success So we’re feeling pretty blessed at this moment And so we’re 10 11 months back open

and things are going along very swimmingly at this particular we’re opening two new exhibits one in two in August in September 13th 1 is Bruce Springsteen um which will be in both spaces backstage and on the on the third floor we’re opening the Legends exhibit

and the instruments that we’re going to have and the memorabilia have been in the Smithsonian They’ve been in the National Museum for African American Music in Nashville They’ve been in other venues but they have never been in the same place at the same time as they will be at the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame

in September


Buzz Knight:

00:14:28.239 – 00:14:38.239

 I love it I love it Well can you take me around to the room here that we’re in first and share some of your thoughts and showcase them Sure


Joe Spaulding:

00:14:38.33 – 00:14:52.229

 that would be great Um So uh you know I was mentioning uh that one of the things I always do when I do the tours myself which is rare these days But I go to people like you we’ve been in the business a long


Joe Spaulding:

00:14:52.239 – 00:14:55.26

 So you look at that album cover one of


Buzz Knight:

00:14:55.27 – 00:14:57.2

 my favorites of all 10 music from Big


Joe Spaulding:

00:14:57.21 – 00:15:17.25

 Pink That’s the music from Big Pink But as your audience knows there’s no there’s no the band on there and there’s no music from Big Pink right Do you know why That is No OK Well that’s that that looks like a pretty good illustration original right So then you walk around here and I say well so let me just tell you

did that So here’s the self portrait Can you read what it tells me right there I think that says Bob Dylan That is exactly correct So here’s Mr Dylan’s picture and Mr Dylan painted that picture of the music of Big Bank Bingo OK So Bingo that’s how you try to tie these in these guitars You see here are a res and you know he was in the modern Lovers he was in Robin Lane and the Chart Busters He created this as a hobby

And uh right before he died unfortunately of a heart attack he uh donated all these guitars to the Hall of Fame And you know these are sort of interesting when you look at these to decide Ok Well you know uh uh it simulates thought right And you keep going around the room And uh uh you know these are the famous pictures by Robert Corin and this is of Pete Seeger and banjo And when you go to the third floor


Joe Spaulding:

00:16:12.559 – 00:16:28.409

 his original banjo is now on the third floor and it hasn’t been anywhere in a decade or more It’s been sitting inside a vault but it’s here And these are all Ron panel’s pictures which we were talking about early on of Neil Young all playing here

So he’s played here over 50 years right

now I love this picture over here and since we’re friends uh everybody comes in and says oh my God look at the this is in the Wang Theater You can see everybody’s up and going like crazy and they all want to know who is the act And I didn’t really want to tell them that this is 10 inch nails

because it has nothing to do with folk Americana roots But the idea was it’s a beautiful picture and you’ll see it on the third floor where we have pictures of uh Billy strings playing here and others But this does sort


Buzz Knight:

00:17:05.579 – 00:17:13.489

 of connect in that didn’t Trent Rezner He did work with Johnny Cash Yes he did So it all kind of comes back Well


Joe Spalding:

00:17:13.5 – 00:17:16.229

 that’s the point of folk Americana Roots hall

thing So everything started with roots right And then it just blossomed out and you know Ed Sheeran walked to the front of the stage after he played with his band and then did his hits and then he walked to the front of the stage unplugged his guitar walked away from the mics stood on the front stage of the of the wing

looking at 3500 people and said I am a folk artist I have always been a folk artist and I’m going to sing you an Irish folk song that my grandmother taught me And then he sang it a cappella It’s great And you could have heard a pin drop So he talked about the experience of being an artist where I’m now going to play you this hit song


 But I used to play this song just the way I’m going to play it for you now in bars and nightclubs for 20 years and nobody listened and you threw things at me Now I’m going to play it and you’re going to sing it back to me OK Which they did And that’s the point it grows from where it is But arts keeps us a civilized society and the music and the history of that does the same thing

And then if you keep going around the room this is a famous picture of Mr Dylan and Al Cooper at Newport Folk and Joni Mitchell at Newport Folk and Peter This is the most famous picture of Peter Paul and Mary And look how young Noel is now my friend He’s 83 years old 84 He makes me look you know I’m only 72 He looks 50 right And I’m walking around


Buzz Knight:

00:18:53.256 – 00:19:05.987

you have the energy of a 14 year old Well I shouldn’t say that you have the energy of somebody who’s a year and a half old who has that boundless energy because we know some 14 year olds just stay in their room and play

video games


Joe Spaulding

That’s exactly right So then we mix it up with a lot of stuff that David Bieber has in his archives and you know famous pictures of Joni and a lot of her stuff

You know she’s been here and she played one of her last concerts was here Um And uh Mark Specter who’s her manager is a very good friend manager of Graham Nash as well And all these arts we just presented Graham Nash at the cabinet and the music hall and hopefully having him back here and then the purpose of this wall and this wall is about to come down Uh So you’re probably seeing it for the last time Um All these artists

you know from Odetta to Doc Watson to Jody These were all here Cat Stevens 1974 Bruce Springsteen 78 John Prine you know so all of these artists then came along Look at Brandi right now Brandi is the biggest artist on the planet right now right And this is her at the Life Is Good Festival and Can right She was just a levitate this past weekend Um And then the idea of this was that you have


Joe Spalding:

00:20:12.119 – 00:20:39.66

 established new and the newer that artists never changed the old artists are the past and the newer artists are the present and the ones that are coming you got to nurture right And that’s what the Hall of Fame is about And then again over on this side and you know we have Leonard Cohen’s lifetime achievement award lots of memorabilia And so you can spend a lot of time

here when you come back And isn’t it interesting

as you get up and go around to other spots in the building You’re going to see exhibits that the public sees every time they come to a concert So when 3500 people were here for Ed Sheeran they’re wandering the third and the fourth floors and down here and through the cultural heroes and seeing all of the exhibits that they can see but they don’t have any time right So what do they do They book a tour and they come back

00:21:11.119 – 00:21:13.449

 and that perpetuates what we’re trying to do


Buzz Knight:

00:21:14.02 – 00:21:22.18

 It’s brilliant This um this poster here that’s my old radio station that I was part


Joe Spaulding:

00:21:22.189 – 00:21:23.069

 of That is exactly


Buzz Knight:

00:21:23.13 – 00:21:29.989

 correct Many years This is 92 9 WBOS the Holiday Concert Indigo Girls Aimee Mann


Buzz Knight:

00:21:30.14 – 00:21:34.06

 Uh Tuesday December 10th I don’t know what year that was


Joe Spaulding:

but you know what that isn’t that the funniest thing I’ve now noticed it that I when I I collect all this memorabilia and I’m trying to decide what it was None of us dated these things right You know how stupid of that was that we didn’t say you know 2019 1964 we just didn’t do things like that right We just thought it was hey this is what’s happening It’s happening now

It’s awesome And look this is my friend Chuck McDermott and Wheat Strong Chuck is on the on the Hall of Fame Board and I don’t know if you remember him Boston artist Sure smart businessman politics you know went into environmental and energy now is making records again in his seventies Um How cool is that


Buzz Knight:

00:22:18.13 – 00:22:23.939

 I know Bert and an old friend that you reminded me of Is he still active


Joe Spaulding:

00:22:23.949 – 00:22:25.949

 very active with us very active


 with us He was Allman

brothers He still is Allman brothers manager So can we go out of this room and go to the cultural heroes Absolutely All right And I’ll just do that and then I’ll let you guys wander on the third floor I don’t know how much time we have we have

So um in the lower lobby and they’re not lit up at the moment and I apologize for that

I went to Nashville and we were a sponsor of the Americana Music Festival down there and we worked with Jed Hilly who runs that who’s a great friend and a great guy And he’s really made that come to life It’s a great event And so we’re very involved in that

And in fact we’re going to be announcing very soon our inaugural class that’s going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame And we’re going to announce it just before Americana and many of the artists are going to be there and we’re going to do a workshop on the Hall of Fame

at America But I’m down in Nashville and I’m told by one of our other friends who’s on our board Doug Jaeger who’s our sort of theater historian Greenwich Village guy said you got to go see this guy named Alan Lequire He’s a sculptor

And I said well why the hell would I go and do that And he said because he has the cultural heroes And I said what are you talking about He said these huge head busts all right of his cultural heroes his cultural heroes And I said well who were

they Well they were Lead Belly They were Woody Guthrie They were Billie holiday they were Paul Reardon they were Josh White They were you know all Paul Robin and all of these cultural heroes And I went and I went to a studio and here they were so look buzz as you walk by Uh this is about lead belly and look at the eyes Look at this look at this And so when those Perkins kids were here they were touching it right

And be able to follow you can shoot a QR Code tells you the music We bring kids down here on tours and they sit here in the lower lobby and they take a break from the tour because the tour takes about an hour and a half and they then can study what’s going on Why did these people you know change the world every single one of these people in this room has a United States post stamp

 Now Jerry Garcia doesn’t have one

I don’t have one Ok But they all do All right And yet all of these people were thought of as communists they were leading you know revolts they were all about but they were all about diversity and inclusion uh back in the twenties right And so I said my God we got to have these in Boston Would you loan them to us And they did Awesome So they’re here

and they represent what we do So in this room which is the lower lobby it will be the hall of fame So all these walls spaces will have the names of all the classes as the years go on and the cultural heroes you will be amongst the cultural heroes Isn’t that a pretty cool idea It’s terrific And you know here in Boston we talk about you know well you know we’re

we sometimes are referred to as a racist city and we’re sometimes not and we’re working hard to change that Well this is our small way of which we can say this is really special and important

 So we do concerts in here We do readings in here In fact Burt Holman has a friend Alan Paul who just wrote the new book on the Allman Brothers is going to be having a speaker series in here uh later on in in in the fall So we’re doing all those kinds of things Um and making it really fun that way has

and then moves backstage and moves on to the stage and we’re using the stage too So the long term plan is well you don’t get a chance to go to the stage but we’re the second largest stage house in the country right It’s huge I mean you don’t really notice it how big it is It’s huge I can see 750 people for dinner on the stage if I wanted to Right And sometimes we do but we’re going to

use it as exhibit space as well And so we’re designing exhibits to go in container car cargo type things where the door opens up on one side it’s all air conditioned on the inside the humidity and all the rest of that stuff and the exhibits in and then a forklift picks it up and stacks it at the back of the stage So when there isn’t a concert we just take the forklift and put things on the stage and you get to look at exhibits on the stage It’s kind of clever Right So I think that’s what we’ve been attempting to do Very cool Awesome


Joe Spaulding:

00:27:36.93 – 00:27:47.54

 That’s what I’m saying We do concerts and we just had Chuck McDermott did his record release party So if we have more time we’ll go to the third floor if you want Sure I got a few minutes if


Buzz Knight:

00:27:47.55 – 00:27:52.949

 you do I do All right your energy is amazing Joe Well

what did you have for


Joe Spaulding:

00:27:54.459 – 00:27:57.119

 breakfast I haven’t had breakfast yet

I spent two hours commuting

 so we shut down

a lot of people I let go of about 750 people I ended up keeping 15 and we took a tact which was an unusual tact Those were dark

shut We did the Ghost Light series Right And if you haven’t watched it you should It’s on our it’s on our site Right And

 from that people were blown away and I didn’t do it live streaming it I actually got it on broadcast So Joe and Adam and we helped get it on NBC Boston and Necn and Telemundo They all went at the same time and they were half hour specials 10 of them

and they were highly successful raised 3 $400,000 and that kept us going And so then you just rode in 100 year old elevator this elevator but it took me 2.5 years during COVID and $3 million that I had to raise to do get these elevators So you no longer have to hand crank them You push the button they’re modern We just went to the third floor and they had never gone to the lower lobby So

we took the third floor So this

this was a hallway and the hallway you’re about to see was completely empty Nothing It was just space

and we decided All right let’s start and create um uh Boston a music town Why is Boston a music town And let’s get memorabilia And let’s do more than that Let’s show folk blues bluegrass rock classical hip hop The whole nine yards right

And that’s what we started And this was the second exhibit that we did So Music Hall the Cultural Heroes and third exhibit And this one here and

this space as you can see has really nothing in it at the moment But it will in September this is where all the legends guitars So we’re going to have lead Belly’s guitar Josh White’s guitar Oscar Brand’s guitar Robert Johnson’s guitar We’re gonna have all that here Woody’s fiddle and here’s Pete Seger’s banjo All right Look at that All right So you saw the picture in the music hall but now you see it in real life


 This is the this is the original one right Pete had a second one made because this one was so heavy that when he got older he couldn’t really it was just didn’t work as well So he has another of us We’re going to have both of them



You know I had Jorma Kaukonen on a few episodes back and uh I asked Jorma the question

about his first connection with finger picking And he told this amazing story that uh even before he played guitar his father took him backstage after a Pete Seeger show and he actually asked Pete to hold up his hand because he was so fascinated by uh you know the hand and the finger picking

Jorma said I told Pete that story years later he wasn’t as impressed as I was


Joe Spaulding:

00:31:19.89 – 00:31:23.9

 well then so then we created this hallway

And here the here is you know all kinds of stuff So here is you know Time Magazine with Joan Baez on it and you know representing a lot of the artists that were there Here’s the guitar of Tom Rush that I was talking about This is really one of the reasons I got into being a singer songwriter because Gee Tom Rush

young long hair big bushy mustache women were screaming and yelling and he’s playing the guitar with a naked woman on it singing Joni Mitchell songs And I said Jesus I want to do that right And so we’ve taken and created here honoring each one of the different genres as you can see

And nowhere has anyone ever done hip hop uh in a hall of Fame And we did and uh there’s a reason that most people don’t know this in Boston So the hip hop archives are at the University of Massachusetts Boston right In our own hometown right

And that’s very important and it’s very important to represent this genre of music as it’s very it was critical here We got rock but at the same time we’re doing this is a Dropkick Murphy stuff right And their newest album is all acoustic and it’s all what do you got Three songs Right

So here’s Boston’s party band recording in Nashville Woody Got three songs acoustically amazing All right And here is Joe Perry’s uh famous Aerosmith guitar Isn’t that really cool Look at that It is beautiful and there he is playing it

he delivered it

and you go down and here’s my friend Peter Wolf’s stuff and that was a funny story too Peter delivered them and he told me what he was delivering And then I said but Peter there’s no the murmurs weren’t there when you brought it over He said oh God I left it in the truck of the car He drove back Ok Rick ok

 Look I mean I couldn’t even get that out of my arm I mean he must have been very thin right And here’s Tom Scholtz’s guitar as well And again jazz classical Leonard Bernstein’s jacket Tux, Keith Lockhart sneakers you know so what a great example

this is and this sort of brought to life of what we’re trying to do right And there’s another one on the fourth floor that features a lot of new artists pictures that we have been over the years recently to show that that the you know new artists are coming on and they were adding guitars and that kind of stuff this summer up there And so that’s a brief history of this


Buzz Knight:

00:34:24.33 – 00:34:46.169

What a tremendous uh place to visit We have a lot of Boston listeners to the podcast but we have people from all over the country and globally So I think anybody who’s listening to this if you’re planning a trip to Boston or you’re just thinking about it Um you know try to find a way to come.



We’re trying to become a really new cultural destination right And we’re being successful at that So the state government says this is really important and so they’ve been supporting us in the budget

meet Boston which does all the conventions and all that Absolutely We want we want to market this We want to help you get this known We want people who are coming from overseas We want them staying in the hotels we want them going to the restaurants and that’s what we’re attempting to do And we are as an organization put about $80 million into the local economy anyway each year So

this is adding a new component


Buzz Knight:

00:35:28.205 – 00:35:29.094

 It’s tremendous


Joe Spaulding:

00:35:31.395 – 00:35:47.709

 I first thought that was my head but then it didn’t have the bald spot So I knew it wasn’t my head But um this is a night when we had uh Billy Strings Beautiful sound Look at the view as you can see nobody everybody was standing


Buzz Knight:

00:35:48.389 – 00:35:53.409

 So Joe do you think about what you do and pinch yourself every day



00:35:53.55 – 00:36:06.199

 Yes I consider that I have the best job in the entire world And people do ask me uh as we’re looking in the grand lobby they say so what what what gives you the most pleasure

I like to stand on the in the uh low level and watch people come in and they walk through the doors get into the grand lobby and everybody does one thing they all look up right And the smile goes on their face and they’re excited And then you know as you know because you’ve experienced it the same way I have

this is a unique venue between the artist and the audience Right And the sound is impeccable This building is about to be 100 years old right And it’s impeccable And so you know here you have that ability to change people’s lives every single day It’s almost like doing God’s work Uh But you know

  and you stimulate thought and you know if you believe as I do that a creative person is a better person then I get to do that every day of my life And that’s pretty cool and I’m thinking about slowing it down a little bit Uh And uh you know I’m looking forward to I’m playing my guitar more and more again and I don’t think I’m going to be writing that way but I enjoy uh just keeping up with it right So I think I got the best job in the world


Buzz Knight:

00:37:19.35 – 00:37:20.61

 So in closing

we often ask guests on the podcast

where would we be without music

We would be nowhere without music right Music has changed and will always make the world change and evolve right Always and it’s not going to go away Right So there was a period during COVID when

there was a there was a move that life is never coming back



Joe Spaulding:

00:37:54.169 – 00:38:06.159

 I absolutely thoroughly opposed that idea live was coming back and going to come back in a vengeance because we all need that And good news is I was right


Buzz Knight:

00:38:07.909 – 00:38:23.969

 Joe Spaulding Thank you for this amazing time You could tell I’ve had a smile on my face the entire time here at the Wang Center the Center and the Folk and Americana Roots Museum And thank you for being on taking a walk


Joe Spaulding

 I’m thrilled to have been a great to see you again



Taking a walk with Buzz Knight is available on Spotify Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts


About The Author

Buzz Knight

Buzz Knight is an established media executive with a long history of content creation and multi-platform distribution.

After a successful career as a Radio Executive, he formed Buzz Knight Media which focuses on strategic guidance and the development of new original content.