Breaking Down 500
I'm not going to lie. Despite my reputation as a Break It Down Show Superfan I haven't actually listened to all 500 episodes. I can say that I have listened to the last 317 because Episode 184 was Stewart Copeland. I had stumbled upon the show while looking for more information about The Rose Drive Podcast and found the conversation with that podcast's creator Raul Vega (episode 156, second visit at 291-292).
The conversation entertained me, weirded me out a bit (glad we didn't buy a house on Poppy Circle), and made me wonder what this Break It Down Show podcast had to offer. It became very clear, very quickly, the most recent episode was Stewart Copeland. Yeah, the drummer from The Police, certified badass.
So I subscribed. There were some days early on when I'd see the guest and the description and think maybe I'll just skip this one. But I listened, and I was usually captivated. It wasn't the subject matter, it was the passion. Pete and Jon have a way of not asking but discussing, and in that way, the guests can really talk about what they do, and you can feel the energy that it gives them.
People that I never would have thought would hold my interest suddenly were in my ears multiple times a week. Fred Leland (196) former police officer now works to make better police officers, I almost skipped that one, glad I didn't. Or Pete and Mikey Bee (266) talking about combat, post-combat life, and the unseen wounds of PTSD that people like Kris Primacio (382) fight to help. She may not have vets carving up 50 footers at Jaws on the North Shore like Laird Hamilton (192), but she gets them in the water and feeling better.
It was music that got me into the show and actually onto the show, and music is still a huge part of the show. Jon once told me that Pete's dream guest would be a Green Beret Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient turned author, and Jon's dream guest would be Jeff Campitelli (197-198). They got more than two hours out of Jeff Campitelli and I'd love to hear two more.
Pato Milo (236) reminded me of a discussion with my youngest daughter about the rarity of trombone solos in popular music. The Blyss (278) conversation revealed that the husband of my kids former principle is a monster bass player.
You've heard Michael Jackson's Off The Wall, right? (Poorly kept secret, it's better than Thriller). The guy on drums, John “JR” Robinson (154, 327) stopped to talk a couple of times. Before the first episode with Roger Clinton (211, 348) I only thought of him as Bill's screw-up younger brother, but after listening to him, where's he's been, and where he's going I was blown away.
Same with Frank Stallone (468). Would it have been nice to talk with their brothers? Yeah, I don't think Jon or Pete would pass on that opportunity, but we all know their stories. The brothers were able to talk with a level of unfiltered honesty about their own remarkable journeys that you just wouldn't get. And don't forget the time they talked with Police guitarist Andy Summers (247) and couldn't resist bringing up how much they hate Mother, which he had written, and of course, Andy Summers replied, "You're supposed to!" (Pete’s Note--I told ya!)
There have been a few personal anecdotes that Pete and Jon have shared that are particularly memorable for me, like Jon cleaning out a storage locker that belonged to Sly Stone (100), or playing drums with Juan Escovedo (436). Pete skiing with Jonny Mosely (224) and laying down and acting as the mogul for him to jump over. But the only time I was ever really jealous was when Pete talked with Bob Kendrick (82) the President of The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
If you've never been to the Museum you need to go the next time you're in Kansas City. Hit the museum in the morning and get some of the world's best barbeque in the afternoon. After you walk through the museum and you watch the videos and you look through and read all the exhibits, you walk out onto a display known as the Field Of Legends.
It's a baseball field with bronze statues of the greatest players ever to play in the Negro Leagues at every position. When I walked out there it was spine tingling. Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Leon Day, Cool Papa Bell, Satchel Paige, they're all there, and Bob Kendrick's passion is continuing their legacy. Pete sat in the dugout, on the Field of Legends, and talked with Bob Kendrick.
I think the best measure of The Break It Down Show is not just the guests it procures, but the relationships it generates. This manifests in repeated guests like Rob Neyer, Hilliard Guess and Dr. Bob Greenberg who have all been on the show more times than I can count. Cat Connor (242, 404), Bryce Vine (136, 421), Nate Boyer (162, 282), and many others have all come back around for a second chat. Scott Huesing stopped by at 214 to talk about his new book, came back at 260 as a best-selling author, and is now a frequent co-host who's network brings in more great guests. Jim DeFelice (295), Robert Vera (386), Pete Koch (359), same thing.
They came on to talk and but returned as friends; better, family. And friends, the show makes friends and builds trust, not just me. Just listen to friends like Dan White (443) or Phil Green (411) come on and tell their gripping and so personal stories. So, as I said before I have not listened to all 500 episodes so far, but you can bet I'll listen to the next 500.
So that’s 500
Throw up a flag, let’s do shots
What a fuckin ride
All of Them