Over the course of his nearly half-century career, Paul Collins has experienced some dizzying highs, crushing lows, and almost everything in between. The “King Of Power Pop” was chewed up and spit out by the music industry in the ’80s, only to resurface in the early 2000s with a newfound DIY approach, renewed energy, and new listeners who were eager to hear material that never really had an audience the first time around. With his Julliard training, a major label past, and thousands upon thousands of shows under his belt from his decades on stage, you can be sure Collins has no shortage of amazing stories to share.

Recently, Collins spoke to My First Band host Tyler Maas about his extensive and altogether impressive history as an artist, his musical origin in a New York basement, his time in The Nerves and The Breakaways, The Beat’s unexpected rise to notoriety, his “fallow” years away from music, the path back to performing, and the appreciation he has for his ongoing second act. Along the way, Collins read an excerpt from his new book, talked about his strong connection to the Milwaukee/Wisconsin music scene, discussed his appearance in the music video for a song Midnight Reruns wrote about him, and much more.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering and Lakefront Brewery. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. You can also listen to rebroadcasts of previous My First Band episodes on WMSE every Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. CST. Music used in this episode comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Paul Collins’ Beat (“Another World”).

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