Launch Pod

Musician, writer and political activist Jack Grisham is a man of many names and even more lives. Perhaps you know him as Alex Morgan or James DeLauge? Maybe you're familiar with him because he's the lead singer for the punk band T.S.O.L. or perhaps it's through his book A Principle of Recovery: An Unconventional Journey Through the Twelve Steps? Or could it be that you know his name from when he ran for governor in 2003? Okay so we've established it: he's an interesting guy. He's also over 27 years sober after a, well, disturbing youth well documented in his book American Demon. In this episode, we discuss why his favorite review called his book "mean-spirited," how only unpeaceful people talk about peace and whether or not he was hypnotizing me during the interview, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Jack_Grisham.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 8:00am PST

Sobriety coach and interventionist Bob Marier has suddenly became the face of sober coachery (a word we just made up). See, coming to represent a fake word is what can happen when you're hired to work with Toronto mayor Rob Ford, especially when you're accused of kicking a Ford heckler. But Marier had been working behind the scenes long before he ended up on the cover of every Canadian paper and his journey to top sober dog was hard-earned: after destroying three noses and grinding his teeth down from snorting more coke than can possibly be imagined, he had a fairly dramatic OD, smashing into a glass table and spending weeks in a coma. It was only after seeing a video from his hospital bed of his mom begging him to get help that the then 39 year-old sought help; now he's over 12 years sober and the subject of a Vice doc. In this episode, we discuss people who talk in platitudes in meetings, boiling Fentanyl patches into pills and how Ford is one of the best people Marier's ever met, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Bob_Maier.mp3
Category:Mental Health -- posted at: 2:40pm PST

Writer, actress and performer Cindy Caponera launched her career at Chicago's Second City and wrote for Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 1998, which is to say that she came up with just about everyone, from Stephen Colbert to Will Ferrell to many more in between. She's also written for Shameless and Nurse Jackie and by the way appeared in the pilot for a funny little show you may have heard of called Curb Your Enthusiasm.

On the personal front, she's been sober over 20 years and has made her way from Chi Town to NYC to LA, where she's happily married and has a small pool where she likes to do stationary swimming. If you clicked on that link, you know that she's also written a best-selling Kindle Single, I Triggered Her Bully, which very humorously touches on such topics as food, alcohol, meditation, medication, dating guys who live in halfway houses and moving back in with your parents as an adult. In this episode, we discussed how alcoholism is different for women, coming to sobriety through Alanon and how sober people on SNL helped her find her way, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_CINDY.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 5:27pm PST

Author Vicki Abelson has worn many hats: she's been an actress, a director, a teacher, a comic, a manager, a (yes I'm still going), fundraiser, a producer, a workshop leader, a private coach and possibly two or three (hundred) other things. The spitball of energy is perhaps best known for being the grand doyenne of Women Who Write, a renowned literary salon that has featured Jackie Collins, Garry Marshall and Marianne Williamson (not to mention previous podcast guests Marc Maron, Michael Des Barres and Mackenzie Phillips), among so many others. But her legacy may change now that she's released her first book, Don't Jump: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll...and My Fucking Mother, a coming-of-age novel about a gal in a celeb-laden world that's got more than a dash of roman a clef to it. As you may be able to glean from the title, there's also some drug use in there and Abelson's now been sober nearly a decade-and-a-half after a lengthy love affair with pot. In this episode, we discuss going to bars on dates, being "ghosted" in Hollywood and her 14-year book writing odyssey, among many other topics.[did we determine that editors need to upload all photos for their writers now, even the writers who log into the system? I think we decided that was the case for reviews but since we’re not re doing review photos yet, it’s not relevant and the only writer I can think of who does not review inputting is Tracy and I can just put her on the email.

Direct download: Vicki_pod.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 5:11pm PST

Actor Tony Denison is best known for his role as Detective Andrew Flynn in The Closer (now called Major Crimes) but was originally launched into the cultural stratosphere back in the 80s when Michael Mann cast him as a mob boss on Crime Story. Over the years, the former insurance agent has popped up everywhere, from Melrose Place to Walker, Texas Ranger to NYPD Blue, CSI and ER, to name just a few (he estimates that about 80% of the time, his characters are either cops or gangsters). He's also sober over 22 years after struggling with cocaine and alcohol. In this episode, we talk about going from obscurity to the mainstream, learning to be happy with who and not what you are, and following drivers to make amends after a road rage attack, among many other topics.

 

Direct download: APP_-_Tony_V2.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 4:58pm PST

Director Mark Pellington started off directing videos for Pearl Jam, U2, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen, among many other musical icons (his video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" is one of the most popular videos of all time and earned him no end of awards). He moved on to films, directing, among others, Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies and I Melt With You, the latter a nihilistic drama about four friends who do more drugs than one might imagine possible and end up...well, you need to see the movie but let's just say the ending is darker than dark. Over the years, Pellington dealt with grief and addiction through the bottle (and the chemicals) but is now three-and-a-half years sober. In this episode, we talk about lying to your therapist about your sobriety, the way great art can help people feel less alone and how a Mayo clinic's comment can change your life, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Mark.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 2:34pm PST

Korn and Filter guitarist Rob Patterson isn't only an incredibly talented musician but also, it turns out, a tech wizard who managed to fix the very recorder used for this interview. His journey to rock stardom started with the metal band Otep but his big break came when he played with Korn from 2005 to 2008. After that, he played with the post industrial band Filter. If we were going to be cheesy we could say that the whole time he was also playing with fire—namely heroin—and he veered in and out of sobriety before quitting for good four years ago. This Massachusetts-reared son of a cellist has also been tabloid fodder for some time, not only because he was engaged to Carmen Electra but also because he's palled around with Charlie Sheen. In this episode, he talks about being a teenage hacker, not doing drugs till your late 20s and how the amount of time someone's sober doesn't mean anything, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Rob_Patterson.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 12:41pm PST

Author Kristen McGuiness may claim not to be a writer anymore but the facts don't lie: the author of the LA Times bestselling book 5150: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life has also been published in The Fix, among other publications, and these days writes grant proposals for non-profits. She's also nearly a decade sober after a bout with alcoholism which took her from LA to Dallas to New York back to LA. Though she looks like the very picture of innocence, McGuiness hardly grew up in white picket fence land: her father was one of the biggest drug smugglers around (he's in Blow, the book the Johnny Depp movie was based on) and so the family was constantly up and moving whenever the law got too close. McGuiness writes openly about this not only in her memoir but also in a piece for The Fix. In this episode, she discusses the time in her life when she wore pantyhose while working for Mary Kay, how the TV show based on her book didn't sell after they took away her character's alcoholism and speaking at her dad's hearing after a bender that involved trying to hang out with some Texan drug dealers, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Kristen_new_intro.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 8:42am PST

Author Sarah Hepola isn't just a writer but the author of the biggest book about addiction since A Million Little Pieces. Hepola's memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, has been written about in seemingly ever publication known to man (including ours), clearly striking a chord among the recovery community and beyond. The Texas-based Salon essay editor has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Glamour, The Guardian, Nerve and Slate, among others, and is as modest about her book's success as possibly only a Texan can be. In this episode, she and Anna David talk about the relative coolness of sobriety, crying every day, whether or not Tinder dating profiles should mention sobriety and if a best-selling book can actually make you happy, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Sarah_Hepola.new.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 5:56pm PST

Writer and musician John Albert did not have a standard trajectory to literary success—in fact he says he became a writer by accident when he submitted information about his amateur baseball team, which was made up of a slew of misfit former addicts and rebel rousers, to LA Weekly. That information became a story, that story became a cover story and that cover story became Albert's widely praised book Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates. This wasn't Albert's first foray into the public eye: he co-founded the cross-dressing band Christian Death and was the drummer in Bad Religion. Now sober over three decades, the husband and father works for a record company when he's not handling the movie offers Wrecking Crew regularly receives (it's been optioned more than four times by various people, including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman). In this episode, he and Anna David discuss having sex with borderline schizophrenics in rehab, the essay on Sober House he wrote for David's reality TV anthology and being on methadone at the college where your dad teaches, among other topics.

Direct download: _John_Albert_final.mp3
Category:Career -- posted at: 5:15pm PST