Music News

Rich Berra, What Are You Listening To?

Rich Berra

Berra is one of the hosts of the Johnjay and Rich radio show heard on 104.7 KISS-FM here in Phoenix.

When you put your key in the ignition and turn on the radio, what station would play? It sounds like a scam, but I listen to KISS to hear what our station sounds like after the show. Protest if you want, but I always have liked pop music.

What's the first album you bought? It was at a Camelot Music, and this sort of set up my musical taste from that moment. I purchased, with my own money, The Best of KC and the Sunshine Band and Rush, 2112, on the same day.

What's the first concert you saw? I say Van Halen. My older brother Chris claims it was Bryan Adams, but to get a little "rock cred," let's go with Van Halen.

What's your favorite concert you've ever been to? That's tough. I've been to maybe a thousand shows, since I'm sort of a music nerd anyway. The U2 show I went to where they did Rattle and Hum was like being in a church. Concrete Blonde was a great band to see live. And Nirvana was incredible. Recently, my two favorites have been Jay-Z in Vegas and Roger Waters doing The Wall. See, I told you I had a weird variety of tastes.

What's the last song played on your music player? Coheed and Cambria, "A Favor in the House Atlantic." Still a great song. Great band.

Preferred format: CD, vinyl, cassette, 8-Track or digital? I know a lot of people talk about vinyl. But seriously -- there is nothing that sounds like vinyl. I am a junkie for it. I pursue it. I adore it and have spent many weekends in record stores. I used to work at a record store in high school and college, and it's the difference between holding a book and grabbing it on a Kindle. It's legit. You can hear so much deeper into the songs you love when you hear it on a good system through vinyl. I do really like this new thing that a few artists are doing. I bought the brand-new The Black Keys album at Hoodlum's in Tempe, and they have the CD inserted into the album sleeve of the vinyl, so you get both. I am totally into that. That way, you can listen in your car to the disc and listen to the vinyl at home. But to answer your question -- vinyl is so cool!

What's your favorite album? I refuse to pick just one, and, by the way, that changes every week. But, hm. A few that always matter to me are: Pink Floyd, The Wall; Michael Jackson, Thriller; Rush, Moving Pictures; Prince, Purple Rain; The Black Keys, Brothers; Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, self-titled; Billy Squier, Don't Say No; Dream Theater, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory; Fleetwood Mac, Rumours; and Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
Who is your favorite singer or band? Best singer? Freddie Mercury or Etta James. Go ahead -- fight me.

Does you computer track how many times you've played something -- if so, what's at the top of the list? I just checked. It does. These are just mp3s in iTunes. The most played song is "Sabatoge," from the Beastie Boys.

What was your favorite new or new-to-you album from 2011? I'm obsessed with a few right now. I really liked rediscovering The Avett Brothers on vinyl. It is genius. I really like Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Adele kills. I think a lot of people wish that wasn't so popular so it would be cooler to brag that we discovered it. The new Black Keys album, El Camino, is greatness, and so is the new Foo Fighters (Wasting Light). My absolute favorite this year is that Tedeschi Trucks album, Revelator. Good shit. 

What one song would you play if you had a world-wide radio audience? U2, "Moment of Surrender."

Who is your favorite local artist? Weird Is the New Cool and my friend, Willy Northpole

What is your favorite local venue to see music? Rhythm Room

What is your favorite music video? A-HA, "Take on Me."

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Nicki Escudero
Contact: Nicki Escudero