The Disgraceland Podcast Press Kit
Released independently on February 13, 2018. Reached #7 on the Apple Podcasts charts on February 15, 2018.
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What Is Disgraceland?
DISGRACELAND is a new true crime podcast about musicians getting away with murder and behaving very badly.
Jerry Lee Lewis’ 5th wife? Dead. Sam Cooke 3AM in a seedy motel? Dead. Sid and Nancy? Dead. Why? Because musicians are crazy. Because insane things happen to them. Because we love them. And because we let them get away with it.
Murder! Suicide! Religious Cults! Tupac! Beck! The Stones sleeping with the first lady — wait… what?
If you love true crime and you love music get ready to love DISGRACELAND.
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Host: Jake Brennan
Tell Me More
Disgraceland explores the alleged true crime antics and criminal connections of musicians we love like James Brown, Van Morrison, Lisa “Left Eye Lopes”, Tay K-47, Notorious B.I.G., Mayhem and many more. Why? Because real rock stars are more like feral, narcissistic animals than functioning members of society and that is precisely what makes them so damn interesting. If you love true crime and you love music then get ready to love this podcast.
Blurbs, Baby… Blurbs!
<25 Words: Disgraceland is a true-crime podcast about musicians. Thirty minute episodes that trace the most insane criminal stories surrounding our most interesting and infamous pop stars.
<50 Words: Disgraceland is for music lovers. And for lovers of true-crime. Did Jerry Lee Lewis get away with murdering his wife? Did Beck’s Church of Scientology drive his friends to commit suicide? Were Tay-K 47’s 100 million downloads aided and abetted by a murder charge and a nationwide manhunt?
<100 Words: Disgraceland explores these stories and more and attempts to reckon the heinous acts committed by these musicians with our love for the amazing music they create, which is particularly relevant in the here and now. However, Disgraceland doesn’t tell these stories in a stodgy, self righteous way. These stories are too wildly entertaining for that. Disgraceland is a bi-weekly adult storytelling podcast. Not “kum-ba-ya” storytelling. More like “slightly buzzed guy at the end of the bar whose seen some shit” storytelling.
Jake Brennan is an award-winning musician and songwriter whose audio productions have been featured in network television shows, broadcast commercials and feature length films. Podcasting saved him from the world of advertising where he previously worked as a creative director focused on audio branding and music integration. He writes, voices and scores Disgraceland, a rock and roll true crime podcast.
Jake saw his Dad’s band open for The Ramones when he was 10 years old. Before the show he asked his Dad what The Ramones sounded like. He was told, “they sound like The Beach Boys but louder and faster.” Later that night, Jake learned that his Dad was right. He also learned the importance of history in understanding music. Since then, Jake has been obsessed with music. And history. And for whatever reason, the darker sides of both. Disgraceland combines these obsessions.
Jake lives in the Boston area with his wife and son and is surrounded by history and lucky enough to make a living surrounding himself with music. Sometimes it’s louder and sometimes it’s faster but it’s never as cool as The Ramones.
Season 1 Release Schedule and Episode Guide
Disgraceland will launch just in time for Valentine’s Day with three episodes supporting the theme of, “Love Kills” with stories about how the romantic entanglement of rocks stars — Jerry Lee Lewis, Sid Vicious and Sam Cooke — either brought about their own demise or the demise of their loved ones.
- Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer and Getting Away With Murder
Release Date 2.13.18
The night before, Jerry Lee Lewis’ 5th wife died, she made a phone call to her Mom. She told her that she was thinking of leaving the rock and roll pioneer, but that he wouldn’t let her. Then, she made a second call — this one to the sister of her high-school sweetheart, making plans for the sister to come take her away from Jerry Lee later that month. Then… in mid-sentence the phone went dead. The next day, Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis was found dead. Neatly placed on top of a perfectly made bed in the newlywed couple’s guest room. Despite the bruises on her body, the blood under her fingernails, the scratches on her husband’s hands, and the mountain of other physical and anecdotal evidence, the death was ruled an accident. Did Jerry Lee Lewis kill his wife and get away with murder? Click here to download zip with unreleased version of this episode — because you’re so, damn special…
- Sid Vicious: Love Kills… Even a Mother’s Love
Release Date 2.20.18
It’s long been believed that punk rock icon, Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose. That is true. However, the story goes that he od’d after injecting himself with a potent does of smack but new evidence suggests that is overly affectionate and increasingly dependent mum gave him a hotshot in a final, maternal act of mercy.
- Sam Cooke: An Insatiable Libido and a Justifiable Homicide
Release Date: 3.6.18
Sam Cooke was a lot of things: soul superstar, civil rights champion, whip smart entrepreneur but he was also a serial womanizer with an unbridled libido. On December 11, 1964, Sam Cooke, was shot to death by Bertha Lee Franklin, manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, CA. Franklin killed Cooke in what was ruled by the courts to be a justifiable homicide due to Cooke’s unruly, drunken behavior that involved him holding another women captive in his hotel room and allegedly raping her earlier in the evening. With full appreciation of the MeToo moment we are currently all living through as a culture, Disgraceland, with fresh eyes, looks into this crime and the successful effort by Sam Cooke’s family and powerful music industry colleagues to salvage his legacy and reputation by personally discrediting his victim.
- Norwegian Black Metal: Satanic Rebellion, Murder and Worse
Release Date: 3.20.18
Never has there been a more extreme form of musical rebellion than Norwegian Black Metal. The genre’s founding band, Mayhem, its sister act, Burzum and supporting cast of musicians with names like, Necrobutcher, Hellhammer and Dead horrified Norway in the early nineties with supreme acts of terror, satanic ritualism, murder, arson and cannibalism. One band member killed himself. Another ate his brains and used a photo of his corpse for an album cover. Other musicians set fire to 30 plus churches. Finally, Varg Vikernes, leader of the band, Burzum murdered, Euronymous, leader of the band, Mayhem for “not being evil enough”. By the time the ashes settled and the corpse paint chipped away, numerous band members would be dead or in jail, convicted of arson and or murder… and a new generation of young metalheads would find their way to satanism through blast beats and dead notes.
- Beck: The Golden Suicides and His Church of Scientology
Release Date: 4.3.18
Beck’s album Sea Change was produced during the renowned musician’s re-entry into the world of Scientology. Five years after its release, the album’s cover artist, Jeremy Blake walked into the ocean off of Rockaway Beach, and never came back. His suicide came a week after his girlfriend’s. A tragic love story? Or was there some truth to their claims that they were being relentlessly harassed by the Church of Scientology?
- Van Morrison: Astral Weeks, Movement and Murder
Release Date: 4.17.18
In 1968 Van Morrison was hiding out from the New York City Mafia in Boston, Massachusetts. Recently the victim of a physical attack from a Genovese crime family member, Morrison was desperately trying to piece together a band to complete what would become his landmark creative statement, Astral Weeks. One of the musicians who would help him achieve this goal; a young, handsome guitar player from Emerson College named, Rick Philp would mysteriously go missing and eventually wind up dead. Disgraceland pieces together this story using, as one of many sources, the recently released, critically acclaimed book, “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968” by Ryan Walsh (Penguin Press).
- Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes: Hit Me Again and I’ll Burn Your House Down
Release Date: 5.1.18
TLC’s Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was known as “the crazy one”. She did, after all, burn down her NFL playing boyfriend, Andre Rison’s mansion. But given the fact that it was done after what was then one of many domestic assaults, we choose to view Left Eye as a bad ass… and not the crazy one. This episode digs into what really happened that night, who Lisa Lopes really was as a person and the details surrounding her own premature death.
- The Rolling Stones: Sleeping With the First Lady and Trafficking Heroin
Release Date: 5.15.18
In the seventies, the world regarded The Rolling Stones as an insular band of hedonistic and glamorous pansexual junkies. But all of the trouble they’d stirred up during the sixties and early seventies would be dwarfed by the mess they would cause in Canada in 1977. Up until that point Keith’s constitution, the band’s money and collective luck had been enough to fend off destruction, but the scandal they embroiled themselves in touched the highest levels of government, threatened to destroy the band and their so-far indestructible guitar player, Keith Richards.
- Tay-K 47: A Nationwide Manhunt and Art Imitating Life
Release Date: 5.29.18
The Arlington, Texas rapper was involved in two killings by the time he was seventeen. Arrested on murder charges and placed under house arrest until hearings were to take place, Tay-K 47 sawed off his ankle bracelet and announced to the world via Twitter that he was going out on the run. He made it from Texas all the way to New Jersey where he recorded his most infamous song, “The Race”, detailing his time on the lam. The song’s lyrics and video blurred real life and art and quickly went viral garnering over 100 million downloads. It also worked as a set of clues for authorities to use to piece together the young fugitive’s whereabouts. The viral nature of the song and video, the ensuing twitter phenomenon and infamy surrounding the young fugitive also caused tipsters to come out in droves and eventually led to Tay-K’s arrest.
- Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.: The Media Did It
Release Date: 6.12.18
Who killed Tupac and Biggie? This episode looks at the deaths of both rap superstars, the east coast/west coast beef and examines how culpable the sensationalizing media was in the deaths of both artists.
- Michael Alig: If a Club Kid Kills, Stuffs The Body In a Box and Tells The World About It, Will Anybody Listen?
Release Date: 6.19.18
In March 1996, “King Of The Club Kids”, promoter Michael Alig, after appearing on TV’s Geraldo and on the cover of New York magazine, bashed his friend and DJ, Angel Melendez in the head with a hammer. Alig then poured Drano into Angel’s mouth and duct taped it shut. He then dismembered his body and threw it into the Hudson River. Three years ago he was released from prison. Wait… What?
- James Brown: Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag… of Meth
Release Date: 6.26.18
What happens when the hardest working man in show business takes a break? Idle hands are indeed the devil’s workshop. This episode will detail James Brown’s arrest and jail sentencing for drugs, firearms and the high speed chase he led cops on an insane jaunt through the South in the late eighties.
*Season 2 will begin on 7.10.18 and run through 10.30.18
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