50 Years Of Maximum Rock N' Roll



50 Years of Maximum Rock & Roll is a podcast hosted by Dave Hines and features concert sound pioneer Bob Heil. Hear stories from his days touring with The Who, Humble Pie, the James Gang and others, to the development of the Talk Box made famous by Peter Frampton. The show will feature special guests who were "in the trenches." Bob will also talk about his current cutting edge microphone designs. Take a look back - and forward - at the inner workings of Heil Sound by the man who created it all.


  • S1:EP15: Midwest

    S1:EP15: Midwest

    19/01/2017 Duration: 44min

    This final episode is a bit of a two-parter. Part one is Bob explaining the impact of, mostly, British rock stars and their crews invading tiny Marissa, Illinois to shop at Ye Old Music. In modern day terms imagine Carrie Underwood strolling into your local music store.    Part two ends 50 Years of Maximum Rock & Roll with a few stories from current Heil Sound employees who keep the fires burning for performers worldwide as they build incredible microphones for the next fifty years. It's all about people, isn't it? We think it is. The harvest and the feast. Enjoy.

  • S1:EP14: A Six Pack

    S1:EP14: A Six Pack

    29/12/2016 Duration: 26min

    Bob Heil will explain what he means by a six pack and what Creem Magazine has to do with that. He will share some special stories about some of the Rock n' Roll legends that he's worked with (Jimmie Hendrix) and we'll finally hear how he met Joe Walsh.

  • S1:EP13: Geeking Out

    S1:EP13: Geeking Out

    22/12/2016 Duration: 32min

    This episode is not about rock stars trashing hotel rooms or epic concerts. It is about the innovation and technology that has gone into much of Bob Heil's career. Bob has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the science of audio and we wanted to give our geeky audio fans a very special episode. 

  • Ep 12: ZZ Top

    Ep 12: ZZ Top

    15/12/2016 Duration: 30min

    Before ZZ Top were sharp dressed men they were just a little three piece band from Texas. With no beards. But they had "that sound" driven by Billy Gibbons unmistakable guitar and vocal. Bob Heil and Heil Sound were there on the band's early tours perfecting the live sound where, with a trio, everything mattered.   In this episode you will hear a wonderful and wide ranging discussion by Bob of his work with ZZ Top including some of his secrets for getting the critical guitar and bass sounds on the road. You will also be treated to some little known nuggets too – Billy Gibbons is a voracious reader – so enjoy!

  • Ep 11: Sex, Drugs, and Rock n Roll

    Ep 11: Sex, Drugs, and Rock n' Roll

    07/12/2016 Duration: 37min

    From Joe Walsh trashing hotel rooms to groupies, Bob Heil recalls some of the crazier stories that to the rest of us seem like legend.

  • Halls Without Walls

    Halls Without Walls

    01/12/2016 Duration: 29min

    After working at venues around the globe some of Bob Heil's favorite live sound venues were actually right in his own backyard. Bob recalls the iconic Mississippi River Fest and how Kiel Auditorium became a live testing venue for Heil Sound. 

  • S1:E09 Quadrophenia

    S1:E09 Quadrophenia

    15/11/2016 Duration: 47min

    In this episode Bob Heil sits down with Dave Hines to talk about The Who's Quadrophenia tour and how a meeting with Pete Townsend in London blossomed into the album Quadrophenia and the technology that Bob Heil developed to allow that album to be performed live the way it was intended.   

  • S1:E08 NAMM Show 2016 Highlights

    S1:E08 NAMM Show 2016 Highlights

    31/03/2016 Duration: 29min

    Topics   NAMM, Russ Long, Sandra McCracken, Denny Tedesco, The Wrecking Crew   Synopsis   The annual NAMM show in Anaheim, California is a must-attend event for anyone in the music products industry. It’s an opportunity to see old friends, make new connections, and get a peek at the latest innovations in music gear. As you would expect, Heil had a front-row seat to this year’s event.   In this episode, Dave and Bob chat about the highlights from this year’s NAMM show. You’ll hear about Bob’s connection to Joe Walsh through ham radio, which legendary musician helped birth the PR35 microphone, and why it is the vocal mic of choice for so many artists today. You’ll also hear from producer Russ Long, who shares tips on live tracking, as well the scoop on Sandra McCracken’s latest project. Finally, you’ll hear from filmmaker Denny Tedesco and why his documentary on The Wrecking Crew was such an important project for him.   This episode is packed full of tips and insights for musicians, storytellers, filmmakers, an

  • S1:E07 Randy Burton, Legendary Soundman (Part 2)

    S1:E07 Randy Burton, Legendary Soundman (Part 2)

    25/02/2016 Duration: 25min

    Topics: Pete Townshend, The Who, B.B. King, Journey, Steve Perry   Synopsis   What is it really like to be a professional touring soundman? While some might believe it’s little more than lugging gear and pushing a few buttons, Heil Sound alum Randy Burton will be the first to tell you it’s much, much more than that.   In this episode--the second half of a two-part interview--Randy dives into stories from the road and shares his perspective on what it really means to be an effective sound engineer and work effectively with artists who are often insecure. You’ll also hear about how he was hit in the head with Pete Townshend’s guitar, how he almost witnessed the demise of Journey’s frontman, Steve Perry, and why he thinks B.B. King is such a nice guy.   Randy’s stories and insights will entertain and inspire you in your own journey as a music fan, sound buff, or fan of classic rock ‘n roll.   Links & Resources   Heil Sound   Pete Townshend   B.B. King   The Who   Journey  

  • S1:E06 Randy Burton, Legendary Soundman (Part 1)

    S1:E06 Randy Burton, Legendary Soundman (Part 1)

    19/02/2016 Duration: 22min

    Topics: Ozark Music Festival, Ted Nugent, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Humble Pie, The Eagles   Synopsis   Music festivals are a staple of the rock ‘n roll industry. Incredible bands, huge crowds, and a rowdy outdoor atmosphere all come together to create an environment where legends are born and history is made.   If you want a firsthand account of some of the craziest and most memorable moments in the history of rock music festivals, look no further than Heil Sound alum Randy Burton. In this episode--the first half of a two-part interview--Randy shares a soundman’s-eye view of 1974’s Ozark Music Festival in Sedalia, Missouri. You’ll hear about Wolfman Jack’s run-in with a wine bottle, Ted Nugent’s on-stage antics, and what Randy thought of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s sound engineer. Randy also shares stories about The Eagles, Sammy Hagar, and J. Geils’ run-in with Black Sabbath.   If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a music festival, you’ll love this episode as Randy Burton shares a unique perspective on a ke

  • S1:E05: Peter Frampton, the Man, the Myth, the Legend

    S1:E05: Peter Frampton, the Man, the Myth, the Legend

    11/02/2016 Duration: 27min

    Topics: Peter Frampton, Talkbox, Joe Walsh, Quadrophenia, Pete Townsend   Synopsis   Peter Frampton is a legend of rock music and the best-known user of the renowned Heil Talkbox. For the last several decades, his innovation and artistry have helped shape the music you know and love. However, there is one man whose creativity and collaboration with Frampton helped shape his signature sound more than any other. That man is Bob Heil.   In this episode, Bob shares how he came to know and work with Peter Frampton. You’ll discover how many microphones it took to get the iconic guitar tones on Frampton Comes Alive (and how the mic placement was such a crucial factor in the sound). You’ll also learn how Bob’s insistence on teamwork has been a crucial factor in his success.   If you’re a fan of great music and great sound, you’re in for a treat as Bob Heil shares the inside scoop on his friendship and collaboration with Peter Frampton and many other key players in the history of rock n’ roll.   Links & Resources

  • S1:E04: The Story of the Heil Talk Box

    S1:E04: The Story of the Heil Talk Box

    04/02/2016 Duration: 23min

    Topics: Talkbox, Dunlop, Bon Jovi, Slash, Tool Bob Heil is perhaps known best for developing the Talk Box, the renowned device that has been used by rock guitarists for decades to produce a variety of unique sounds. But you might be surprised to learn that the Talk Box didn’t originate in a recording studio or electronics shop.   In this episode, Bob shares the entire history of the famous Talk Box, which has been featured in music by Peter Frampton, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Tool, and many others. You’ll hear how Jim Dunlop, George Harrison, and even World War II pilots figure into the history of this iconic device. You’ll also learn why Marissa, Illinois was the rock ‘n roll capital of the world in the early 1970’s.   Prepare to be inspired and amazed at the fascinating history of the Heil Talk Box, a little device that has had a huge impact on modern music.   Links & Resources   Heil Sound   Heil Talkbox   Peter Frampton and Bob Heil conversation   Joe Walsh   Peter Frampton  

  • S1:E03: Joe Walsh and the History of Heil Sound

    S1:E03: Joe Walsh and the History of Heil Sound

    28/01/2016 Duration: 30min

    Topics: Joe Walsh, James Gang, Goldline Pro, The Fin, phantom power   Synopsis   What comes to mind when you think of Joe Walsh? You probably think of his incredible contribution to rock music through The Eagles and James Gang (and other groups), as well as his solo work. But you probably don’t picture him as a ham radio operator or an electronics expert.   But in this episode, that’s the Joe Walsh you’ll encounter. Bob Heil shares stories from his decades-long friendship with Joe that began with their mutual interest in ham radio. That friendship blossomed into a collaboration that resulted in numerous advances in modern sound, including large diaphragm dynamics, the Fin microphone, and the Heil Goldline Pro, which later became the PR-20.   No matter what your interest or experience level with sound, you’ll be amazed and inspired by Bob’s stories about Joe Walsh and other legends from the pages of rock ‘n’ roll history.     Links & Resources   Heil Sound   Joe Walsh   Peter Frampton   The Fin microphone

  • S1:E02: Bob Heil and the Modern Stage Monitor System

    S1:E02: Bob Heil and the Modern Stage Monitor System

    21/01/2016 Duration: 27min

    Topics: Jeff Beck, Grateful Dead, monitors, The Who, ZZ Top   Synopsis   One of the most important, yet most overlooked, parts of a sound system is the monitor setup. Monitors allow the band members to hear themselves and one another in order to give their best performance. In today’s episode, Bob Heil talks about the critical role he played in developing the modern monitor setup and the rock legends who helped make it a reality.   Other gems you’ll discover in this episode include: What does a giant ham radio antenna have to with Jerry Garcia using two vocal mics at the same time while on stage with the Grateful Dead? Also, Bob reveals some secrets behind a couple of Who frontman Roger Daltrey's most famous on-stage moves. Speaking of The Who, you'll find out why Bob duct-taped headphones to Keith Moon's head. You will also hear Bob Heil's top five loudest bands ranked by stage volume.   Join Bob Heil and he shares stories and insights from fifty years of leadership in the modern sound industry.   Links &

  • S1:E01: From Substitute Organist to the Worlds Biggest Concert Stages

    S1:E01: From Substitute Organist to the World's Biggest Concert Stages

    08/01/2016 Duration: 38min

    Topics: The Grateful Dead, Heil Talk Box, Ham Radio, The Who, Joe Walsh   Synopsis: If you’ve ever listened to Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way” or “Do You Feel Like I Do”” by Peter Frampton, you of course heard of the Heil Talk Box. In addition to building that iconic device, Bob Heil also built touring systems for The Who, Humble Pie, and the Grateful Dead. Bob has a history in concert sound that few can match. He continues to be an innovator by designing and building microphones that are used on concert stages, recording studios, broadcast rooms, and podcasts.   In this introductory episode of "50 Years of Maximum Rock n' Roll," Bob traces the story of his success from his early days as a substitute organist at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, all the way to the world’s biggest concert stages. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how Bob helped shape the music of Joe Walsh, Jerry Garcia, and many other heroes of rock ‘n’ roll.   Prepare to be inspired and entertained by the story of Heil Sound: the company t