Bob Calhoun talks The Murders That Made Us and everything else with his podcast pals
With all things still being virtual, Bob Calhoun has taken to podcasts to promote the release of The Murders That Made Us. And the resulting variety of conversations has been surprising even with the variety of podcasters Bob Calhoun spoke with. Still more surprising, nobody has yet grilled Bob on his favorite Zodiac Killer suspect, although he will enjoy this when it happens because it hasn't happened yet. Bring it #TrueCrime podcasters! This Calhoun guy can take it! (You can reach him here.)
Since all of these podcasts are on the web and will be until the servers of AWS melt down in a fiery apocalypse, here they are from newest to oldest. Download them for your next road trip and binge on Bob talking about all manner of things from American religions to best Bay Area burritos with lots of notorious San Francisco crimes mixed in.
California Historical Society (May 10, 2022): Bob crams 171 years of bloody Bay Area history into this hour-long talk on how #TrueCrime built San Francisco, complete with a PowerPoint presentation showing how mayhem and murder influenced political power in the City by the Bay from its earliest vigilante days to today. Hosted by the wonderful archivists and historians of the California Historical Society who were a big help in the creation of TMTU.
California Sun Podcast (Nov. 18, 2021): Broadcast journalist Jeff Schechtman sits down with Bob to talk about the "obsession with the gruesome and lurid" that drives MTMU. Before Jeff started covering California, he enjoyed a long career in action and exploitation movies working with such legendary producers as Roger Corman and Robert Clouse. Jeff's credits include Invasion of the Bee Girls, Truck Turner, Black Belt Jones even the kung-fu classic Enter the Dragon! I mean the man produced Piranha for Pete's sake! Total legend. Now Bob wants to interview Jeff about his film career. Maybe some day, but for now, enjoy the San Francisco murder talk.
San Francisco Public Library (Oct. 27, 2021): Bob in conversation with the amazing Alia Volz, author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco. During this hour-long discussion, Bob reads his true crime origin story with the murder that his mother was suspected of + a bonus reading of The Jazz Baby Mother Slayer, one of Alia's favorite tales from MTMU. They also talk about the toll that true crime can take on you and how they both grew to hate 1978 after awhile. And yes, more Zodiac spec.
San Mateo County Libraries Between the Lines (Oct. 20, 2021): Bob talks MTMU with Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle for San Mateo County Libraries' author talks series Between the Lines. Bob and Peter discuss the Bay Area's history of trigger-happy newspaper publishers and crooked TV hucksters with some theorizing on the identity of the Zodiac Killer thrown in.
Hooked on a Book (Oct. 7, 2021): Not a podcast but a short video of Bob hyping MTMU shot at Fort Point in San Francisco--you know, the spot where Kim Novak jumps in the bay in Hitchcock's Vertigo. Shot by Jack Dooley and produced for the San Francisco Public Library in advance of Bob's Oct. 27th Zoom talk where Bob will be joined by Alia Volz, author of Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco, to talk about MTMU and weird Bay Area history. Click here to sign up. You won't wanna miss it.
Voice of Latveria (Aug. 32, 2021): This one's a little far afield from true crime but is a senses-shattering spectacular as Bob joins Douglas Wolk on Voice of Latveria, a podcast devoted to Doctor Doom, the greatest Marvel Comics villain of all time (step aside Thanos!). Somehow, this conversation comes back to The Murders That Made Us as Bob compares Doomsy to the founders of the San Francisco Chronicle. The power of Reed Richards (aka Stretcho) when he goes totally evil is also discussed and Mike Royer comes up in conversation. Douglas has read over 27,000 Marvel comics and tells the tale in his book, All the Marvels, coming from Penguin on Oct. 5, 2021.
Total SF (Aug. 20, 2021): Bob once again joins San Francisco Chronicle culture critic Peter Hartlaub, this time to talk about the sadly-defunct Circle Star Theatre in suburban San Carlos, where stars ranging from Frank Sinatra to Fishbone to Cheech & Chong performed on a space age lazy Susan that spun very slowly throughout the show so everyone in this "theater in the round" could see. And please sign up to hear Bob and Peter talk The Murders That Made Us with some quirky Peninsula history mixed in at their San Mateo County Libraries Zoom talk on Wednesday, Oct. 20th at 7 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required.
The Lydian Spin (Aug. 1, 2021) Bob joins no wave trailblazer Lydia Lunch and bassist Tim Dahl about The Murders That Made Us and his punk wrestling past with some waxing on Albert Camus thrown in. Lydia calls Bob "the original Tiger King" when hearing about the tiger-striped kimonos he used to wear as Count Dante. Bob will be joining Lydia and Eugene Robinson for a spoken word show at the Make Out Room in San Francisco on Thursday Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:30. Click here for details on the show.
Radio Voices, KXSF 102.5 FM (July 26, 2021, 8-10 p.m., PST) Bob joins DJ Dynamatt and Hurt Bert (Zombies on Crack) to hype the upcoming spoken word show at The Makeout Room on Aug. 5th with LYDIA LUNCH and Eugene Robinson (Oxbow). The last time Bob was on Radio Voices, he played unreleased tracks by Count Dante & the Black Dragon Fighting Society and even channeled the Count for a while. This show will be live and on the air and streaming and won't be preserved as a podcast so you gotta listen to it while it happens.
New Arrivals (July 1, 2021): Bob joins San Francisco public radio station KALW's "socially distanced book tour" of the airwaves to talk The Murders That Made Us and read a short excerpt from its first chapter, "My Mother, the Murder Suspect." It's only a little over two minutes , so no need to save it for a road trip.
Microdose (May 28, 2021): If you want to hear about the curse that Anton LaVey put on the Fox Plaza apartments in San Francisco, this is the podcast that goes there. Host Kush Hayes also talks to Bob about the editorial process that went into writing The Murders That Made Us, so if the craft of writing is your bag, you should give this a listen. Hayes was also part of Calhoun's (or should I say Count Dante's) one pro wrestling appearance at the fabled Cow Palace, so there is a bit of Incredibly Strange Wrestling talk here to round things out + it all gets real fun when co-host Robyn Seto takes over for a round of Cameo Price Is Right where Kush and Calhoun guess how much niche celebs charge for personalized video greetings.
The Dork Forest (May 18, 2021): Bob sits down with Jackie Kashian to go all Drunk History and talk about early San Francisco's history of trigger-happy newspaper men and Jackie is so there for all the minutiae. We also trip into a conversation about Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane and his passion for homemade video porn. I think that tangent had something to do with unsolved cases, but I doubt any true crime fans who tuned in were too disappointed in this even though Crane was murdered in Scottsdale, Ariz. and not Northern California. This is Bob Calhoun's second journey into The Dork Forest. The first time, he talked about Incredibly Strange Wrestling, while his wife Rosie Picado was on hand to expose the world of fan fic.
Total SF (May 11, 2021): Bob met with Peter Hartlaub of the SF Chronicle over the storied sourdough burgers at the fabulous Red's Java House to talk the mysterious death of the founder of the Fillmore Auditorium and crooked 80s TV hucksters on the Total SF podcast. Bob also demanded, or at least politely requested, to do Total SF's signature lightning round where he reveals his picks for top San Francisco movie, best burrito and the dive bar that serves the stiffest drinks. (The last one was a bit difficult because it's hard to remember what's still open post-pandemic.)
Drinks With Tony (May 5, 2021): This podcast has the least amount of murder talk in it but it's also a lot of fun. Bob and Tony trip into a tangent on comparative religions and never quite come out of it. Tony did draw from his life as a lapsed Jehovah’s Witness in his debut novel, Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk (now a major motion picture!), and Bob did go to a Jehovah's Witness convention for his Shattering Conventions video series, so maybe this was inevitable. Because of this, Bob talks about how his mom used to get the local Catholic priest to chase the Jehovah's Witnesses away from her house.
Fascinating Nouns (May 3, 2021): Bob joined host Daniel J. Glenn on his Fascinating Nouns podcast, not once, but thrice this year, but they can all be found in the same link. Way back in February, Bob & Daniel talked about Bob's Incredibly Strange Wrestling days when Bob called himself Count Dante and wrestled dudes in Sasquatch suits while drunks tossed tortillas at them. Bob returned in May to talk about The Murders That Made Us with a focus on the murder of August Norry (Bob's true crime origin story really) + the Santa Cruz serial killer epidemic and the Gay serial killer known only as The Doodler. Daniel also recorded a bonus talk with Bob about the 1933 San Jose lynching that can be found if you follow the link.
If you have a podcast and want to book Bob Calhoun to talk San Francisco true crime, his punk-wrestling past, weird conventions or even favorite taquerias, click here to find out how to reach him and ECW Press.