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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  July 4, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with the legendary director jim isbell and allen hughes, who directed "the defiant ones" about the careers of and the relationship between jimmy iovine and dr. dre. >> we're from racial richallenged neighborhoods. the fact that we were able to stay together through some of the most difficult times and things that have ever happened in the entertainment business -- >> rose: and we continue with singer/songwriter jason isbell, his album, "the nashville sound." >> i started looking around and seeing everybody as connected in
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a lot of was, and, before that, i thought, you know, i'm different from everybody else so i need to drink a lot to bring myself down to their level and then i realized, oh, no, no, no, we're all in the same boat, you're just not paddling. >> rose: jimmy iovine, allen hughes and jason isbell, when we continue. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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>> rose: jimmy iovine and dr. dre are two of the most successful figures in the music industry. iovine began as a sound engineer and record producer, worked with john lennon, bruce springsteen and u two before starting his own record label, a membe he ane collaborated over the next two decades in. 2014 their company was sold to apple for $3 billion in the largest acquisition deal in that company's history. a new four-part hbo documentary seriesy director allen hughes follows the careers of iovine and dre including their lucrative partnership. here's the trailer for tournament documentary. tournament -- for "the defiant ones." >> check, check. jimmy and dr. dre. is the levitator, dre
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is the own variety. >> i need something more impressive. >> you taught me a work ethic. had to work harder than the next guy just to do as good as the next guy. >> a friend of mine put together two, i started doing this thing. >> i just want to see the studio. i was done. i got to find great producers, and i produced them. >> this is a do or die album. my body is in this record. i'm playing it for everybody. for some reason everybody's turning me down. >> they were afraid to deal with the people. >> ain't got no love for dr. dre and snoop dogg! >> crossed the line of decency.
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all i remember is dre came in to play. who recorded this, he said? i said, me. >> jimmy was, like, i want to gets you guys on the corps of the rolling stone magazine. you are making keep. >> making keep. the rolling stone magazine, i want to be on the source magazine cover, that is hip-hop supremacy. >> i never had that many white people come to me in my whole life. >> fast forward to -- this is jimmy iovine, holy (bleep) dr. dre just walked in. >> i'm blown (bleep) away. jimmy iovine was walking up the beach and i told him my lawyer -- >> he was producing something. out of the blue, sneakers. all kinds of different
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sneakers. >> we could call it beats. everything i've done in my career, i've always been underestimated. >> it's a powerful thing. it's got a lot of fire power. >> at the beginning, making tailwind instead of head wind. >> rose: pleased to have jimmy iovine and allen hughes at this table, welcome. a four-part movie made about you and dr. dre. how about that. why did you decide to make this movie? >> i've known both men over 25 years separately before they met each other. i've always known jimmy's been such a deerchg personality behind the scenes. dre's already a rock star. i said, this would be interesting to explore this partnership especially after beats. that was unbelievable. we started shooting this before
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that deal happened and it almost blue up. >> rose: what is it he has that'smade him who he is in that business? >> he has this intense focus i've never ever seen in yen one who where he's able to tune everything out except for beautiful what he's operating for creatively. jimmy, it's almost scary how focused he can get. >> rose: perfectionism some call it, sir. >> well, dre is a perfectionist. i'm sort of a -- >> rose: don't go self-deprecating here. ( laughter ) >> no, i have hue multibut i'm not humble -- i have humility but i'm not humble. dre and i have been together since 1990. it's a story about two guys both from racially challenged neighborhoods and we come up the way -- i was a recording
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engineer, so was he, we produced some people and met in the scope. the fact we were able to stay together through some of the most difficult times and things that happened in the entertainment business in the '90s, and we stayed together through the 2000s and we started beats as a relief from the pain to have record industry. >> rose: how did you decide headphones was where you should go. >> dre was unhappy with the sound of headphones at the time. they were all made sort of for reference. a lot of headphones were made just to reference music and to see if what was on tape -- on the file is exactly what you're hearing. we made head phone for entertainment. musicians in the studios, if you go to a kanye west or paul mccartney studio, they're going to play their music on great sounding speakers. so we wanted to make headphones -- >> rose: that sounded like great sounding speakers.
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>> yeah. >> rose: how did you to that? a lot of tuning and work and people who told us we couldn't do that like audio files. everything, people told us we couldn't do, i'm sure same is true for you. we stayed together, it was an incredible experience, and now we sell for apple and this is an incredible experience. >> rose: but you have an ear. you have a taste in music. you can't just be anybody and say this is what's going to make it happen. >> no, you can't. you have to have a gut. >> rose: were you born with a gut? >> no, i wasn't born with it. i know exactly when it happened. i came out of high school, went through a silly college, didn't work out. didn't work out in high school, hated every second. went to college because i knew the only thing i could hate worse than high school was vietnam. got a job in a recording studio and, somehow or another -- well,
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i tell you how it happened, one easter sunday my boss called me up and said i want you to come in on easter sunday and answer the phone. i'm italian catholic, live at home with my mom, i'm 19 years old. she thought, you guys are crazy, you're not going to work today, your aunts, uncles, it's not happening. i said, i'm going to work. i've got a job and i'm going to work. so i go, and john lennon was in there and they all started laughing and said we just wanted to see if you would come in today. we have a slot open in that chair right there that we want you to fill. from that i got bruce springsteen on born to run and produced patty smith's album. so in four years i worked with three of the greatest minds in popular culture in the last hundred years. three of the greatest. possibly top five or top ten,
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you know. they're incredible people. that's what i want to say. they're incredible people. that was my college jairks and i learned a lot about taste. i learned a lot about how to look at talent, how to treat talent and experience it. >> rose: tell me how you look at talent and treat talent. >> you learn one thing when you work with people that great, which side of the glass is more important. you learn that immediately. you know they're more talented than you, end of story. >> rose: didn't take you lock to figure that out. >> no. i went through the rest of my life like that. then you become of service and you learn and you help them make their record and you care about their music as much as they do, because i felt, what do i have for these people except that? >> rose: here's what you've said, i think the rolling stones in 2012, i'm the chairman of
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moving popular culture around. i don't know how to do it. i just learned how to do it. the three things, producing interscope, the company and the beat all connect in sound. it's about listening and listening to people speak. listening is what makes the difference, isn't it? >> big time. jimmy's a great listener. >> you have to care who you listen to. >> rose: got to listen to the right people. >> that's what i said earlier. he knows how to tune the other stuff out. >> rose: the other thing that's interesting, i was up to boston with the u2 concert and did an interview with bono before the concert, the last time i saw you was at a u2 concert. >> probably. >> rose: you left them. they burned me to the ground. 18 months in the studio, five
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studios going, a live album, studio album. these are four irish guys that don't quit, you know. i just felt like, you know what? i had my son, i was out 16 hours a day working. i said, you know what? my friend david started a record company, and the ten years before that we had been having lunch all the time and hanging out. i knew nothing about business, but he taught me the arc and the culture and the art of business. so i had a feel going and i said, david, can i start a record company? he said, absolutely, of course you can. i said, okay. i asked him a few questions here and there. he offered to help me start it. then atlanta came and he said go to your thing, god speed. he taught me how to jump from a creative guy to a creative business person.
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>> rose: what david has and repeats to me what others have said, you have taste and judgment. >> yes. and the shortest distance between here and there. >> rose: meaning what? meaning, if you ask him a question, he goes right for it. the answer is clear, abundantly clearenned always a fact. >> rose: what else did you need to make this film? you've got dr. dre, the history in a fascinating business, music. >> mm-hmm. >> rose: what else do you bring into this thing some. >> well, i can only bring my ability of cinema because i'm not by nature a documentarian, and the sense of urgency, because a lot of people, i love watching documentaries. >> rose: hottest thing going now. >> it is now. most people look at documentaries like it's eating your vegetables. >> rose: good for you. yeah. >> my mother, she's not going to
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sit around the tube unless it's grabbing her attention. so i brought to it all the powers of cinema i could and the urgency. >> rose: you have all the illustrations and sounds you can use. >> yes. >> rose: that gets them. that's why it's great to be with hbo. they get it, have always gotten it. >> rose: and willing to spend for it. >> willing to spend what it takes to do it. >> rose: you and dr. dre have been together how long? >> 25 years. we trust each other's instincts. in a room together, i'll say dre's right and he feels that way about me, so whoever wants it more gets it. >> rose: and it's been successful for you, the fact you have allowed that to happen? >> it's a miracle relationship. >> rose: a miracle. yeah. because we fit together. the '90s were very difficult at interscope records. the '90s had a lot of
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violence, a lot of things happen, a lot of tragedy, in our record company. you know, we got thrown out of time warner because of lyrics. you know, time warner is in the documentary. time warner offered interscope $150 million to get rid of death row and i wouldn't do it. >> rose: steve ross? no, michael fukes. >> rose: at hbo. no, time warner. joey was the c.e.o. >> rose: the interesting thing is how soon you recognized rap and the possibilities of rap. early, late? >> no, i i was a rock and roll guy. >> rose: right. so i heard a lot of rap records. the first thing i was into was public enemy opened up for u2. i didn't like the sound of the
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records. so dre came into my office with john mcclain. >> rose: dre and who is this. suge knight. i didn't like the way hip-hop was sounding at that point. this guy's record counted unique and powerful -- sounded unique and as powerful as pink floyd. i said, who engineered this for you? he said, i did. i said, who produced it? i said, i did. i said, this guy will define interscope. i felt it that moment. i learned from hip-hop with those -- i learned hip-hop from those guys. i'm not rick ruben but i can learn. >> rose: rick ruben is one of the great record producers of all time. >> he started in hip-hop and
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then broke into rock and roll. these guys were in the early days. what i saw which wasn't happening, i said, these guys, all their deals are horrible, no one thinks it could travel, this music could go to europe and china. so interscope spent like it was u2. we got behind it like you saw on that trailer, we got them on the cover of rolling stone. you know, we got them on the top 40 radio in america. we got them all throughout europe, and what happened was it exploded. i mean, in the positive sense. i mean, it got me in a little bit of trouble, too, because what happened was the senators and the congressmen's kids were on radio, now, and all of a sudden we became the devil and william bennett and lawrence tucker and bob lieberman and dole all came out after
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interscope. >> rose: you were corrupting their kids? >> same way with the beatles. it's all nonsense. but jerry lavine at that point said to me, look, we have the cable bill, and this is in the documentary, we have the cable bill and i have to sacrifice something. he said, i think i have to sacrifice you guys. i said, that's fine with me. >> rose: and leveled with you and said this is what's happening. >> 100% straight up. >> rose: this is bruce springsteen talking about jimmy's work ethic. >> when i was growing up, the way people were, you had no choice but to work really hard or you would get fired, and you couldn't wait for it to end. you had two kinds of guys we ran into at that time. they were the kinds of guys that wanted to go home at 5:00, and their interest in what you were doing didn't exceed the normal
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demands of the day for them, and there are guys that never left because when were you tried to push the boundaries on things you wanted to be surround bid people who believed in what you were doing. >> i never witnessed anything like that. i never understood that. everything i ever did in my life, i didn't want to stop doing it. >> i couldent hear myself with the headphones. >> what else is new. how old were you? 21. ? >> rose: is that right? yeah. he was cutting 2-inch tape when they used to record on tape. >> rose: what did hamilton do for rap? >> made mile was very powerful to the mainstream culture. they watched eminem have this
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battle with the other guy who saw both sides and said, oh, this is what rap is. and what happened, in hamilton, is that, oh, it's on broadway, now, and it's a hit. okay? and, so, people start to understand it a little bit more. >> rose: what's the most interesting thing that comes out of the documentary for you? >> the most interesting thing, that's a tough one. >> rose: most interesting and insightful thing. what did you learn making this documentary? >> i learned a lot from them. that i take away personally? >> rose: yes. i said, man, when i get out of this hi feel like i have a five-year course from harvard in arts and business and understand people. i know what to tune out now and focus on and what's important. my mother always taught me and my brother, the number one thing is find out what your gift is,
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what's different and unique about you and focus on that and tune all the other out. >> rose: that should be the moral of every commencement speech. >> yeah. >> rose: are you happy? did you do the right thing selling to apple? >> absolutely. i wanted to sell to app. when i met steve jobs, they were people that understood liberal arts and technology. >> rose: that was their star. but no one else does that. >> rose: yeah. it's not as easy as it sounds. don't try it at home. so when i had to take streaming -- i wanted to take mainstream, i said, we can't do this on our own. i said, but apple can do this and will get it. after steve passed, i went to eddy q. and tim cook and said apple has to lead in music, it's important to the artist community, you have to do this.
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>> rose: because they had shaken the music industry to its very foundation. >> right. in a positive way. they believe in artists. they believe in poppy right. they don't have free tiers. >> rose: after they came in, made their huge statement about music, records were sold in a very different way, weren't they? >> yes, but records were being stolen in a very different way before that. without apple and itunes thing, the piracy keeps getting bigger and bigger. people wanted a guy to get music dlijt and steve gait it to them. >> rose: amazon is streaming. yes. >> rose: you've got spotify. yes. >> rose: google. yes. >> rose: heightened awareness now. what's going to happen?
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>> the record industry is in a funny spot because netflix doesn't have a free tier as an enemy. all these services you mention have free music out there in a very elegant way. so it's the label's responsibility to do something about that to help the streaming services scale. now, on the other hand, you have the artists that are starting to believe that there is no money in the recording music business. so they go on the road and use the music to promote themselves. then you have the billboard chart where a stream on youtube free is the same weight as a stream on spotify pay and apple pay. that's fake news, as far as i'm concerned. the label is going to fix all those things. they've got to join in to fix these things. >> rose: can you do that wooed
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colluding? >> they don't need to collude. they have separate licenses. they control the music. yeah, youtube hides behind the digital and all this stuff and say they can't take it down. they don't want to take it down. it's big business for them, so god speed. but the labels have the responsibility to get the artist on paid services for their own business, and until that harntiond people kept saying, well, we see the catalog, there is an uptick in music, yeah, but the new artists promoting tell meselves are getting better -- getting new deals that are much better than ever before. so the labels -- they're all really good people, but what they have to do is try a deal because how are we and spotify and the others going to fight
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elegant free? you put pandora and youtube together, that's a nice meal. it may not have cloth napkins but it's the same food. that's a problem and they have to do something about it. >> rose: and will they? i don't know. >> rose: they would have to. tim cook, adq, myself and people at apple music are committed to building a streaming service that is so good -- >> rose: you know what i think? i think you and tim and e eddie are committed to trying to build the biggest music service that ever existed in the world. >> we are and we need help from the labels with this free stuff, but to do that -- it can't just be utility. right now most streaming services are utilities. we have to introduce you to music and give you different music every day and say you might be interested in this, we know you, here's our algorithm
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and our people. obviously, i'm into it, but the record industry needs to get together. >> rose: you're going to have to lead this effort? >> no, i can't get involved at all. every law in the world says i can't. so i sit back at apple music and just do our job. the labels will take care of themselves. >> rose: the "the defiant ones" premieres on hbo sunday july 9. we have been talking to jimmy and dr. dre is obviously a big part of this. allen hughes, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> rose: here's dr. dre in a recording session. couldn't be here at the table but here he is. >> thank you. (siren) ♪ ♪ >> i like being in the control room and sitting bind the
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buttons, that's my comfort area. that's where i fought to remain in front of the buttons. i never considered myself a rapper. i still don't necessarily like the way i sound on a mic. it's a heck of a career choice with a person with all these issues. >> dre is one of the most confident dudes i know. anybody that goes in the studio with dre, i don't care if they're in there one session, a month, the session with dre is the session that you will pull from the most. >> rose: jason isbell is here, he's been called the new king of music. it's been said, i like songs that are clean and don't have much fat on them. his new album is called "the nashville sound," it makes a return to the fast, guitar-driven sound, included in
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the rolling stone's list of 50 best albums of 2017. here's jason performing the single if we were vam spires. ♪ it's mott the long flowing dress that you're in ♪ ♪ or the light coming off of your skin ♪ ♪ the fridgele heart you protected for so long ♪ ♪ or the mercy in your sense of right and wrong ♪ ♪ it's not your hands, searching slow in the dark ♪ ♪ or your nails leaving love's watermark ♪ ♪ it's not the way you talk me off the roof ♪ ♪ your questions like directions
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to the truth ♪ ♪ it's knowing that this can't go on forever ♪ ♪ likely one of us will have to spend some days alone ♪ ♪ maybe we'll get forty years together ♪ ♪ but one day i'll be gone or one day you will be gone ♪ ♪ if we were vampires and death was a joke ♪ ♪ we'd go out on the sidewalk and smoke ♪ ♪ and laugh at all the lovers and their plans ♪ ♪ i wouldn't feel the need to hold your hand ♪ ♪ maybe time running out is a gift ♪ ♪ i'll work hard until the end of mu shift ♪ ♪ and give you every second i can find ♪ ♪ and hope it isn't me who's left behind ♪
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♪ it's knowing that this can't go on forever ♪ ♪ likely one of us will have to spend some days alone ♪ ♪ maybe we'll get forty years together ♪ ♪ but one day i'll be gone or one day you will be gone ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ it's knowing that this can't
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go on forever ♪ ♪ likely one of us will have to spend some days alone ♪ ♪ maybe we'll get forty years together ♪ ♪ but one day i'll be gone or one day you will be gone ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> rose: i'm pleads to have jason isbell at this table pore the first time. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> rose: when you hear the word king of americana, do you think it's nice or limiting? >> i think it's nice. i don't think there is as much of a reason to describe music using genre as there used to be because i can send you a link or give you a dollar and say listen to this on itunes or someplace like that.
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but i like to be in the category of john prime and emmylou harris and john cougar and sturgill simpson and people like that. it makes me happier than just being called country music. >> rose: sturnlger was here and basically said you were his hero. >> i don't know about all that. i never met a man from kentucky who had another man as his hero. but i like sturgill a whole lot and i like what he does. he opened a lot of shows for us. early on in his career, anyway. i think he's authentic. i think he makes music that he wants to make. that's something i think the americana genre probably has not i've are genre has. we're not targeting an audience, really. i think, for the most part, people who you would call americana musicians are trying to make good, honest roots-based music, and that's real will you about the best you can hope for. >> rose: is there or is it
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made of great conflicts in nashville between pop and country and whatever other genre there is? >> i think in a lot of ways it's made up. but it's fun to think about it that way, isn't it? is it's nice to think we're winning and they're losing. i enjoy that. gives me something to do when i'm riding down the road in a tour bus. >> rose: but you are winning? yeah, i think so, if anybody's winning, and that's hard to do in the music business right now. i think the old formulas aren't working anymore. the big corporation labels putting half a million dollars into radio singles aren't such as much as a return because people aren't buying records like they used to buy them, so d.w.i. has really taken over. i think that's a good thick. i think everybody should be allowed access to whatever distribution methods they need to get their music to people. >> rose: it's about the tour. it is, if you can keep people in the seats and play good
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shows, you can make a living. >> rose: is this diminishing value, the album? >> yeah. not that version, not the vinyl l.p., those are going up. but, yeah, the album as an idea is diminishing in value commercially. but we find ways around those things. i'll tell you one thing that a lot of people might not realize is the checks that the streaming services send out to the record labels look very different from the ones they send out to the artists, and i didn't notice till i started my own record label, and one week i got a check, as jason isbell owner of southeastern records, and i got a check as jason isbell singer/songwriter. one was a big check and one was a small check. >> rose: the small was the artist. >> yes, so leads me to brief the problems are cause bid big companies screwing over little songwriters like me. >> rose: been happening since
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the beginning. >> yes, it has. it's also one of those things where you can't stop it. we're not going to be able to stop the changes in technology and the access people have to things. so we have to learn to work with it and around it. >> rose: you have to be on streaming. >> at my level, you have to. >> rose: what level is that? well,ivy not a big famous celebrity. >> rose: you're not taylor swift. >> i'm not taylor swift, no. she sells a lot of tickets and a lot of records and a lot of t-shirts. actually, our guy used to work for her and he has a lot more free tame at the table these days. >> rose: you say this is a risky sound. why? >> because it's not ironic. you know, i don't think it's very braves to be ironic when you're doing something like that because if i was saying i'm the nashville sound which clearly this is not, it doesn't take a
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lot of courage to do that. eaux hide behind that and make a joke about yourself but that's not ironic, that's not a joke. i'm trying to take apart pre-conceptions of what music coming out of nashville surrounds like right now. i know for a time those pre-conceptions were correct because what was happening in nashville, tennessee was popular commercial country music for many years. there is still a lot of that there, but there is also a lot of hip-hop and punk bands. >> rose: a lot of southern stuff, too. >> a lot of southern stuff. there's a southernness that's genuine, not one put on as an an sent after an artist failed at being a pop singer or something. there's a lot of people who are actually from the south that live in nashville now for once. >> rose: but singer/songwriters, it always seemed to me like being an actor and director and producer that
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they could go together. >> yeah, i think so. i mean, that's what i like to do. i really enjoy working the machines, you know, playing the guitars and twisting the knobs and turning the amps up. >> rose: you can feel it. yeah. >> rose: is that what happens? yeah, and i was a musician before i was ever a songwriter, so, you know, i started playing music when i was a likely little kid with my family and learned from my grandparents and aunts and uncles and sort of thought that's what everybody did as a family. so it was very important to me from a very early age, and then i also read a lot. my mom listened to a lot of singer/songwriters from the '70s. it seems to me listed to john prine and james taylor and kris kristofferson and bonnie raitt's records, and these things sort of found their way into what i was doing, and slowly it became clear to me you could put those
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together and synthesize them and what theeks folks are doing is basically writing a story but also playing a guitar and singing at the same time. i was ten or eleven years old and i was, like, okay, i'm never going to worry about being a firefighter or spaceman and this is what i want to do. >> rose: i can write songs and sing them. they can't take your talent away from you. >> the distilleries can. they almost took mine. drugs can take your talent away. >> rose: you know that. i've seen that happen. >> rose: what did that do for you, being able to say no more? >> oh, well, it made my life really what it is now, you know, when i realized i didn't want to be an active addict anymore and i wanted to chase something that was legitimate and something that really meant something like happiness or satisfaction or, you know, peace, i guess, really, stop chasing that high and started chasing some sort of peace is that did you do it alone or did you have somebody?
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>> no, i didn't do it alone. i don't know if anybody ever really does. i had a lot of help. my wife amanda, who wasn't my wife at that point in time. my family, my manager, a lot of friends who are in music and had done this sort of thing before with some success helped me out. and then, you know, i don't think you do it on your own to start with, but after a while your own motivations have to be enough for you to keep it going because the world still keeps happening, sad things keep happening and people leave you. >> rose: the temptation is still there. >> the temptation is definitely still there but at least you get to make the decisions rather than having them made on your behalf which is what was happening to me a lot when i was always under the influence of some kind of drug or alcohol. >> rose: did you think you were more creative when you were there? >> that's a multi-layered question, what the young folks could say a meta sort of a question.
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>> rose: right. because i thought i thought i was more creative. but when i got sober, i realized i was tricking myself into believing that i thought i needed substances to open up my mind, when in reality it was all there, just the addictive part of my brain wanted an excuse. so you keep thinking about the hemingways, if you want to be great, you've got to do it this way. there's romance here, that's okay, burn out, fine. but when you get clear-headed about it, you look back and say, that's just a part of my brain that wanted another drink or didn't want to change, really. >> rose: when do you write? when i get up, usually i get up and have coffee and sit down and write at the house. but i write in every situation. in the car, on the road, on the bus is that a lot of people who have this reputation that
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somehow they are inspired by something beyond them to write, they will say, no, it's not that. it's sitting at a table looking at blank sheet of paper. >> i have heard it said that the music likes to find you working. i like what chuck close said, inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work. i thought about that a lot, you know. i think it's true. now, that's not to say that there aren't magical things that happen when you're working. >> rose: yeah. there are some things i don't have any explanation for. some things that just fall out, and the time it takes to write them down. >> rose: can't write fast enough. >> right, that's the time it takes to create them, or they have been created in your unconscious mind and stored back and finally you jostle them loose. all of that stuff is beyond my pay grade. so i try to treat that with
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respect and with the reverence of somebody who doesn't assume to know what's going on in that situation, but i do know for a fact it's about work and keeping yourself in the chair and working. leonard cohen did it and if he did it that's how it's supposed to be done. >> rose: "the nashville sound," what am i going to find in this album? >> it was made in nashville. "i will always love you" was made there and there was never a greater song. that studio was gone and then
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chris was in the studio, they left the day before we came in so we're always right on their trail, hopefully, it will happen on the chart. we'll slide in right behind them. fine with me. >> rose: exactly. as if it were stock car racing. >> in his draft. that would be great. >> rose: arriving on his draft but pleased to be her. >> yeah, just happy to be here. dave has taken really good care of the studio there. they used to call that studio the home of the nashville sound when chet atkins and helen bradley were make these country-politan records, these easily palatable country records that weren't hillbilly anymore that have at lo of pop bent and a lot of people blame that with what they they was the denies of
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authentic country music. i think there is good and bad sides to it. that era opened up a worldwide audience to country music, what chet and people were doing that day. but i wanted to use that term nashville sound to really discuss the state of country music which i do a little bit in this album. >> rose: what is the state of country music? >> that's pretty complicated because country music is at an all-time high as far as popularity goes. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i know you're tired and you
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ain't sleeping well ♪ ♪ uninspired and likely mad at hell ♪ ♪ but wherever you are ♪ i hope the high road leads you home again ♪ >> there are still a lot of issues, a lot of things that haven't been dealt with, and things like, you know, the division between genders in country music. i think, very often, the most interesting art from that world comes from female voices, but it's not represented as far as the charts go, and the charts very much are reflective of what radio programmers put on their radio stations. they don't put the women on the radio. >> rose: why don't they put the women on the radio? why is it against their interest to do that? >> that's a good question. i wonder that about humanity, why don't they put women on the radio in generally, in the white house, in all the places they want to be. i don't know why they don't.
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my wife opened my eyes to those things. when i got sober, i started seeing people differently. i started looking around and seeing everybody as connected in a lot of ways, and before that, i thought, you know, i'm different from everybody else, so i need to drink a lot to bring myself down to their level, and then i realized, oh, no, no, no, we're all in the same boat, you're just not paddling. once i started paddling, i thought, well, now we're all working together. it was me dragging up the rear. >> rose: i think that's a smart insight about anything. start paddling and then maybe you will get a chance. not always. >> not always. for me, thath always been the case and for people like me, that's the case. i was born into a world where doors were opened for me or i could at least locate the key. >> rose: it's not true for all
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americans. >> no, and it's especially not true for everyone around the world. i deal with some of those issues on the album. >> rose: where you were born can make a difference in the way you live. >> most certainly. when i was a kid, i remember thinking about people who just never -- like, i grew up in a very religious part of the country and a very literal interpretation of the bible type of religious part of the country, you know. my grandparents were pentecostal and my mom's family were all church of christ which kind of makes the southern baptist religion look like a bunch of hippies. church of christ, we couldn't have instruments in church and nobody could speak out of turn. >> rose: no dance. used to be a joke why don't the church of christ folks ever have sex standing up, because god might think they're dancing. ( laughter )
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>> rose: i like it, already. yeah, i like that joke. >> rose: tell me which is your favorite song here. all are your favorite. tell me about last of my kind. >> last of my kind is a character study for me which i do loot of. that's built upon partially who i was when i first started touring, when i came from alabama and started traveling around the country for the first time. i've never been the character in that song entirely, not 100%, but there was half of me that was terrified the first time i came to new york. i didn't have a good time. too many people, they were driving me crazy, it was cold. i was not enjoying myself. i didn't know how to go with the flow of traffic. i didn't like people touching me all the time. >> rose: didn't know how to put your ore in the river. >> no. so i would go to the bar and play the shows and then stay in a bar. i realized i could do this
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anywhere. >> rose: didn't have to be in new york. if you could find something to drink. >> whiskey tastes pretty much the same anywhere. >> rose: it does. after you got sober, you began to realize there is a life worth having. >> i think so. i had a lot of things that made me happy before and i was successful to a certain point. my wife will tell me, you weren't all that bad. you look back on it leak you were a bum and weren't contributing to society but you did good things and wrote some good songs, but the difference to me has been so career and obvious and made me able to focus. we were talking about the character studies. that's the way i deal with a lot of things in songs. i'm able to write songs that aren't true, even though they're honest. songs where i'm not your first-person narrator, but i can use that person and that character to explain certain things to myself and maybe as a by-product explain some things
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to my audience, too, or at least help them raise some questions. >> rose: and you did "if we were vampires" for us today. >> yes. >> rose: what's that? i got lucky with that one. friday i wrote it. monday we went to the studio. i thought the record was done. i was laying in bed watching tv and my wife came h and said you were supposed to write another song today. i said i've got a dozen songs at least. she said anybody can sit here and watch tv. you need to be writing a song. >> rose: i like your wife, already. >> she helps a lot. so i started working, you know, and that song just sort of fell out. it, i think, is a very strong love song because it deals with love after that initial spark and love as it ages and changes and it also deals with how we might not be inspired to love each other h the same way, if we were going to live forever, you know. it deals with death in a way that, you know, if there wasn't any death, you and i wouldn't
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with sitting here having this conversation now and i certainly wouldn't feel the need to tell somebody i love them if it was too late because it would never be too late so we would a tropy emotionally. >> and somebody to love. that was written for my daughter. music has been therapeutic, a way to meet people and make friends and sort of set myself apart a bit from the den. also as i got older, it turned into a new career and i go to work and i'm really excited and i'm home and off for a couple of months, i get irritable and i feel like i need to go to work. it occurred to me that's not the case for most people in the world. most people are happen put to have a job but sure do wish it was a little more fun. >> rose: you're absolutely right. >> and i was just hoping for my daughter she would find something early on. you know, doesn't have to be
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music or writing songs or anything, but something that she could really put her back into and be proud of and that she would enjoy. >> rose: thank you for coming. thank you so much for having me. >> rose: great to have you here. >> i love the show. >> rose: jason isbell, pays tribute to the 400 unit right here, the album title is called "the nashville sound." thank you for joining us. see you next time.
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♪ i couldn't be happy in the city at night ♪ ♪ you can't see the stars for the neon light ♪ ♪ sidewalk's dirty and the river's worse ♪ ♪ the underground trains all run in reverse ♪ ♪ nobody here can dance like me ♪ ♪ everybody's clapping on the one and the three ♪ ♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ so many people with so much to do ♪ ♪ the winter's so cold my hands turn blue ♪ ♪ old men sleeping on the filthy ground ♪ ♪ they spend their whole day just walking around ♪ ♪ nobody else here seems to care ♪ ♪ they walk right past them like ♪ ♪ they ain't even there ♪ am i the last of my kind aim the last of my kind. ♪ i tried to go to college but i
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didn't belong ♪ ♪ everything i said was either funny or wrong ♪ ♪ and they laughed at my boots ♪ laughed at my jeans ♪ laughed when they gave me am amphetamines ♪ ♪ left me alone in a bad part of town ♪ ♪ 36 hours to come back down. ♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ momma says god won't give you too much to bear ♪ ♪ that might be true in arkansas ♪ ♪ but i'm a long, long way from there ♪ ♪ that whole world's a lonely, faded picture in my mind ♪ ♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ am i the blas last of my kind♪
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♪ am i the last of my kind ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> rose: for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
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this is nightly business. . >> good ooempk and welcome to this special edition of "nightly business report." i'm sue herera. >> i'm tyler mathisen. summer is here and the temperatures are heating up. with the first half of the year, now in the book, tonight, we take a look at what might be in store fo stocks to the economy even drilling down into autos and r airlin airlines! begin with the stock market which was relatively calm in the first six months of the year, but in that calm, equities climbed a lot. pushing the major indexes into record territory numerous times, but what happens ne


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