John Popper and David Wild


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Show Summary

At the top of the show, Adam and John Popper exchange their shared love of each other. John recalls a crazy party he went to with some of Adam’s buddies, and the guys discuss who is worse at the harmonica: Bob Dylan or Alanis Morissette. Later they talk about firing dog food out of a civil war cannon, and the need to have a gun when you have a stalker. John also talks about the surreal experience of being in a Blues Brothers movie, and trying to make it through the airport with weed in his pocket.

Also in today’s episode, the guys talk about how John wrote a song to pass his English class, and Adam has him play harmonica over some of his least favorite songs to make them sound better. As the show wraps up, the guys talk about Blues Traveler’s new album, and why some people just don’t understand the idea of entertainment.


For tour dates and more, visit http://JohnPopper.net and follow the guys on Twitter @Blues_Traveler.

Also be sure to follow David on Twitter @WildAboutMusic.

Superfan Sidebar

Click Here for Superfan Giovanni’s recap and commentary on today’s episode.
For more, go to AdamCarolla.com/Gio.

Show Credits

Producer: Mike Lynch
Producer: Mike Dawson
Audio/Voice Over/Post-Production: Mike Dawson
Newsgirl: Alison Rosen
Sound Effects: Bryan Bishop
Associate Producer: Gary Smith
Technical Director: Chris Laxamana
Show Summary: Matt Fondiler

Image Gallery

  1. T

    Popper!!!! This is going 2 b awesome!!
    BTW, after watching the of the Ravens-Pats game……..we need higher goal posts. Forget the Adam for President, too time consuming……Adam for Commissioner of the NFL, that would be soooo much better.

  2. Sky

    Oh no, David Wild again? Please give him his own podcast and let him rank as high as Dameshek and Film Vault.

  3. is it the David Wild show?
    is it the David Wild show?09-23-2012

    I don’t care for the harmonica, and I’m tired of David Wild. This show has started to evolve for the worse.

    • Longadongschlong


    • Curt

      Don’t listen then.

  4. Silent Running
    Silent Running09-24-2012

    I wonder if David is a fan of John Popper. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he is.

    • Zach

      He says he’s the best blues song writer since Willie Dixon…

    • DefNottaJew

      I’ll double down and bet that not only is Wild a fan of Popper, he also thinks that Run Around is one of the greatest songs… OF ALL TIME!!!! Fuck Popper and Fuck Wild.

  5. Ryan

    Who is john popper and why does he act like everyone should know him??

    • Steve

      Dude, you must have been really high in the 90s to miss Blues Traveler. Consider yourself lucky.

  6. nAAter

    Holy Sh!t John! You’re an extra large set of false tits away from being my crazy aunt Charlette!

  7. Ryno


    David Wild : (

  8. Ryno


    David Wild : (

  9. Sarah

    Loved the John Popper episode! I have to say the Space Shuttle Song moved me to tears.

  10. Aaron

    Ace man, another field goal controversy in the NE-Balt game last night. They just needed another 5 feet of pipe on the uprights. You need to get on Eisen’s podcast again to rant about this some more, Goodell needs you!

  11. TipCT

    David mentions Ted Nugent at 10:07. Breaks the ten minute name drop. A personal best. Working up to the self-control of a first-time porn actor.

  12. Herr Sauerteig
    Herr Sauerteig09-24-2012


  13. D-Bagel

    Please stop bringing David Wild in every time there’s a musical guest. I can just insert the “I think this is your most personal and impressive work” brown-nosing on my own.

  14. Ryno

    Finally Adam argues with David Wild about how shitty his taste in music is. I think this every time he’s on the show which unfortunately is weekly -_-

  15. Feetsthss

    John Popper looks more than a little like the sea witch from Little Mermaid in that photo.

    • TimVoth

      Haha, I couldn’t place it, but I couldn’t place it. I think you nailed it.

      • TimVoth

        Did I mention I couldn’t place it?

        What I meant to say was:

        I knew he looked like something, but…

    • Poochie's Uncle
      Poochie's Uncle09-25-2012

      Popper looks like a fat guy trapped in a skinny body.

  16. donkeypunch

    sorry, love the show but ace continues to prove he has really poor taste in music

    • donkeypunch

      it’s also his opinions that conflict, when doves cry by prince, yes it does sound like it is from a specific time period, but i am sure he would argue that bach is an exceptional composer whose pieces should be played in airports, but that too also does not sound timeless and can be identified from a specific era

  17. Howard

    Worth checking out – Popper sitting in with the Jeff Healey Band playing lead on an instrumental version of “Communication Breakdown”.

    • Bobby

      Wasn’t aware of its existence but sounds interesting….will check it out.

  18. dave

    wow adam, you’re soooooooo wrong about Prince. He’s freaking awesome – FOREVER. When Dove’s Cry was cool because it had NO bassline. Breaking the rules! Number 1. Still sounds good.

    No, you’re the douchebag. Prince is all about being POSITIVE, u negative bastard.

  19. Eli S.
    Eli S.09-24-2012

    Love the Carolla-Popper chemistry… these have always been some of his best shows imo. *holds up a glass of chill mangria* “cheers”

  20. UnBald Brian
    UnBald Brian09-24-2012

    This was a great show. John Popper is way cooler than I thought too. I also never expected but enjoy his love of firearms.

  21. Paul

    Good interview Adam, Great guests.

  22. Jim

    Great show, Ace! But, Sly Stone > Ace Carolla.

  23. Straight Cash
    Straight Cash09-24-2012

    Does David Wild have anything to do with the booking of these musicians? He’s not terrible but I can only take a small dose of his blowhardy name dropping style.

  24. Steeew

    Please no more David Wild. I’m sure he’s a great dude to have lunch with once a month, but his shit’s weak.

  25. Will T.
    Will T.09-24-2012

    I can’t see David Wild in the photo with Ace and John Popper. No step stool in the studio that day?

  26. ShekRepublic

    Adam, been thinking about your goal post extensions idea for field goals. After watching a questionable call at the end of the Sunday night game, I had an epiphany. (For the record, I do think that kick was good). But here is my take: the NFL is a business, and the winner isn’t always decided by who is the better team that day. Sometimes, it makes good business sense for one team to win over the other. Stay with me here…

    Insofar as everyone outside of the chowds in new england has about had it with Brady and the Pats winning all the time, I can see that having the Ravens represent the AFC (or the Texans for that matter) might be more profitable for the league than yet another year of watching Gizelle’s mug on camera at another superbowl. The refs can miss calls (couple of illegal contacts went against the Pats yesterday that were pretty ticky tack, offensive PI was not called on the dude with the dead brother that resulted in a TD) to serve this purpose. Why can’t they also give or take away 3 points to help the team that America wants to win?

    Think of it like your take on compliments. “Hey that guy is just trying to kiss your ass. They wouldn’t like you if you weren’t rich and successful. It’s a popularity contest.” Same thing. New England, nobody wants to see you win anymore. Get over it and start losing and everyone will be happy.

    • DDameshek

      I would appreciate it if you drop my name from your user name.

      • Silent Running
        Silent Running09-25-2012

        Since this statement didn’t end with “if you please,” I have to believe that this is a FALSE GOBLIN.


  27. Peter North
    Peter North09-24-2012

    David Wild is the GREATEST and BEST sycophant ever. My FAVORITE sycophant.

    Adam was blown away that John Popper liked a Prince song that he didn’t like. He’s used to people agreeing with him immediately. Oh, and Adam mentioned John Hyatt.

    • Sam

      hahahah i thought the same thing

  28. Robert McAbee
    Robert McAbee09-24-2012

    This is one of Adam’s best shows. Strong guest gets to be funny and add so much the whole segment.
    I am now a John Popper fan.

  29. Ras

    Ace – which is it? If sometihng is wildly popular does that mean it is awesome or doesn’t it? Seems you flip flop on this whenever it is convenient for you. Should John Hiatt be as popular as Prince because Hiatt is as good or not? Ditto Duran Duran. Not saying popularity is always related to quality – but it is also possible Prince and Hiatt suck just as bad…just saying. Also – how about a mention where the rest of your crew is when you do these one on ones – just odd if you do not talk about it and just move forward like nothing happened – something you rail against. Also – can you tell us how much money you have made on your podcast empire the last year? You always criticize other celebrities when they do not talk about how much money they made on a movie or particular year but then I noticed you have not been talking about it yourself. How much money have you made in 2011 and how much so far in 2012?

  30. the point man
    the point man09-24-2012

    Adam’s musical taste is exposed as garbage. When doves cry is a great, ground breaking tune. Stop it already!

  31. andy

    Good times!

  32. Mo

    Popper is awesome.

  33. state your name
    state your name09-24-2012

    Adam: “I don’t know who’s as good (on the harmonica) as John Popper… but I bet you do”

    John Popper: “Oh, there’s a few guys… there’s Howard Levy I think…”

    ??? Are we talking about just in some undefined realm of “blues rock”, or something? John Popper is a nobody, and I would have to say the same about this Levy guy (“I think” says it all).

    There are real musicians out there, boys. Musicians who have been at it for decades, and have actually carried on the tradition of the masters like Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, etc etc etc. I’m not even going to bother mentioning the names, partly because who is “best” is highly subjective, but jesus christ- educate yourselves before you open your harp holes. There’s this genre that existed before “rock and roll” even existed. It’s called BLUES. It lives, and there are master players out there who have carried on the tradition. Adam, please just stfu about music.

  34. state your name
    state your name09-24-2012

    The Blues Brothers. Glad you brought that up. There were some REAL musicians in that band (and that movie), but no real harp player. The inspiration for the Blues Brothers, however, WAS a harp player. Curtis Salgado, who Belushi met in Eugene during the filming of Animal House. Curtis Salgado was Robert Cray’s harp player (and co-vocalist) back in the 1970’s. He’s just one of the master players that I referred to above, but there are many others. I wonder if Popper even knows who Curtis is…

  35. D

    Whose boobs are those in the harmonica case photo? they’re great.

    • beeyoing

      Thanks for pointing that out! Tasty titty meat…

    • Poochie's Uncle
      Poochie's Uncle09-25-2012

      Those are a bodacious set.

  36. Sluggh

    And a birth certificate. Let’s see it.

  37. Thiago

    Jesus Robert Christ!!! John Popper is awesome, and an AWESOME musician!!! I`m going after his stuff! Thanks ACE!

  38. Bobby

    I generally share Adam’s taste in music (love Led Zeppelin & a few of his other favorites) but I think he’s dead wrong about “When Does Cry” by Prince. Not only is it a good song, but it DOES hold up really well in my humble opinion.

  39. George

    Let me guess, a bunch of losers are going to listen to the podcast and then take the time to write how much they hate the episode, hate David Wild, hate Shek, think Adam’s not funny anymore, blah, blah, blah.. Oh, I see I’m right. This must make them feel superior in some way. Good for you. Now you can go back to your loser life feeling somehow slightly better about yourself.

    • Mason Jar
      Mason Jar09-25-2012

      Your predicting this doesn’t make it untrue, George!

  40. Philip Seymour Hoffman
    Philip Seymour Hoffman09-24-2012

    John Popper is a tremendous harp player. He plays unique rock riffs. His playing definitely isn’t traditional blues, but I’m sure he’s aware of that.

    Howard Levy is an outstanding harmonica player. He plays chromatically on a diatonic harp. So he can play jazz harmonica which sounds awesome.

    Blues harp is great and there are certainly great players carrying on the tradition of Little Walter, etc.

    The harmonica was originally an oompah oompah instrument but luckily was perfect for blues riffs. Still, it shouldn’t be pigeonholed as a blues instrument.

    Get it on.

    • state your name
      state your name09-25-2012

      “Unique rock riffs”? Sorry, but you have no idea what you’re talking about. All the “riffs” have been done, and long ago. I’m not saying Popper has no talent, I’m saying he is very, very insignificant in the big world of music played on the harmonica, and he shouldn’t answer “there are a few” when asked who might be better than him. He also didn’t exactly give many props to the late Norton Buffalo when Norton’s name came up. Probably because he has no idea that Norton was FAR more accomplished in a variety of musical settings and genres than just being a member of the Steve Miller Band. And I know that the instrument is not limited to use in blues. I’m pretty sure Toots Thielemans is still out there performing; Mauricio Einhorn; many others. Stevie Wonder is actually an incredible harmonica player (chromatic).

  41. Ricardo Montalban
    Ricardo Montalban09-24-2012

    I’m with the guys about Duran Duran. I hated them when they first hit the scene and still do. Rio is a semi-good song though. I almost drove into a tree when Depeche Mode came on. Every stupid girl in mid-80’s high school loved them. May God strike them down for the crappy music I had to endure while I tried to get laid.

  42. Mike Mitchell
    Mike Mitchell09-24-2012

    I don’t think I can listen to any more David Wild episodes. I’m not convinced he wasn’t giving JohnP a handy during the show. Has no one informed Wild when everything is the best/loudest/longest/smartest nothing is the best/loudest/longest/smartest? Hyperbole, thy name is Wild.

  43. Grendel Jones
    Grendel Jones09-24-2012

    John Popper was great! David Wild not so much, but he’s the necessary evil to get the musical guests. If he could just not talk. Ever.

    “… apparently machine guns are raised on ranches” Best line of the show and it was uttered by the guest not the host. Good one, John.

    Blues Traveller is great live- check them out

  44. JoeMoeTokyo

    Never loved Blues Traveler, though they’re not as bad as most bands. But Popper is unquestionably a good harp player.

    And he’s a good interviewee with good chemistry with Adam, much better than the recent musical guests like Joe Walsh, Jacob Dylan, and Dwight Yoakam (not bad). I’d even rank him above Ben Folds because he improvises better. That little harp riff over Hall & Oates was actually good. Adam and David weren’t joking when they said he made the song good.

  45. Travis

    A fine show…interesting guest. Why all the David Wild hate out there? He is a name dropper but has some very unique insights into the entertainment game. Odd all this DW hate…he barely said boo on this show. hmm

    • DLV

      He barely said anything, true. But of the few words he did say, he still shoe-horned some name drops and ass-kissery into his “contribution” to the conversation.
      The guy reeks of insincerity and desperation. If John Popper would have farted into his Harmonica, David Wild would have told him that it was the best use of a harmonica in a non-musical capacity that he’s witnessed in the past 20 years and thank him for letting him be a part of that moment.

    • Grendel Jones
      Grendel Jones09-25-2012

      Yeah DW barely said boo on this show…. That’s why people liked it. When he does talk he sucks the energy out of the conversation. Then there’s lame, awkward air-space like, “did it just get boring in here?”

      The man has connections but he’s the death of the friggin’ party.

  46. SamuelJH

    Thank you Adam Carolla, supporting cast and crew.

  47. Matt

    I want a refund for this free David wild episode ! he sucks

  48. AlisonRosenIsMyNewBestFriend

    Mr. Popper; such a genius. And perfectly cast in that penguin movie; I think.

  49. Zach

    Ace is dead on with his musical statements. All that crap is bad: Prince, INXS, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Hall & Oates, etc. I honestly heard the same thing in “When Doves Cry” as I heard in “People Are People.” Just soul-less 80’s non-music.

  50. Apoc

    BOOOOOOOOOOORING!! For making such a shitty episode, I’m going to make my next purchase on Amazon WITHOUT clicking on the banner on your site. Gotta earn those clicks.

  51. Terri

    I LOVED John and David…great guests but Adam…shut the “F’ up. Less of your mouth, more from the guests.

  52. jah

    I usually listen first but have to throw in my two cents saying….whooo for john popper…I hope the show is good and he contributes more than he does nothing..guess I’ll find out when I listen…..but point being..good get !

  53. Phuketsub

    Another great podcast and can’t wait for the next one with Rick Eisen..the whole NFL season thus far has been like watching a puppy try to cross a superhighway…at least now that the inevitable has finally happened so we can move on…I couldn’t agree more about the field goal posts…GO PATS

  54. Cool Hwhip
    Cool Hwhip09-26-2012

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that the one-on-one interviews are boring (or 1 on 1 on 1 if you count the useless sycophant David Wild), rather it’s that Bryan and Alison actually add a lot to the show, and their absence is noticeable. I just end up zoning out during these podcasts where there are no drops and no banter.

  55. Riggz

    Why do I even force myself to listen anymore? Between the endless live reads (that Adam drags out much longer than they should be), to horrible, guests, bad news, lame David Wild and Adam’s god aweful taste in music, this show is becoming just a waste of my time.

    BALLS ON CHIN09-26-2012


    • DR sbruce goose
      DR sbruce goose09-26-2012

      David name drops so frequently he’s starting to sound like Bonaduce

  57. DR sbruce goose
    DR sbruce goose09-26-2012

    That bull joke has jumped the shark…..

  58. DR sbruce goose
    DR sbruce goose09-26-2012

    I would like to go back in time with adam to 1986 give him 500 bucks push him into a record store and tell him have at it…while he’s in there drop a hit of LSD wait for him to come out then look at his music selection and die from laughing due to lack of oxygen in my lungs.

  59. Poki

    I was really surprised that John didn’t bring up his song ‘Hook’ when the conversation turned to talking about how horrible songs get propagated on radio. It seems like that’s exactly what that song is about! ( it’s also my FAVORITE Blues Traveler song!). It would have been interesting to hear them talk about that.


  60. Stevie OneLeg
    Stevie OneLeg09-27-2012

    Another great episode. I fell in love with Blues Traveler with their first album back in 1990. Popper’s got great soul and wit and he puts that into all his music. In the last few years they fell off my radar, but this episode reminded me of how much I like Popper and his way of looking at life. Now that I know he was considering a career in comedy it all makes sense – his lyrics always seemed to have subtle punchlines hiding all over the place (and sometimes right out in the open as in “Hook”).

    On the show overall – I used to listen to lots of podcasts, but now I only regularly listen to this one and Ace on the House because they are consistently entertaining. I know Adam repeats a lot of stories, but they’re funny stories and don’t lose any humor in the re-telling, in my opinion. Even when I disagree with him, he at least gives me a chuckle.

    I like Wild and I like Shek. They have their flaws, as does Adam, but they add variety to the show. Alison is one of the quickest wits I’ve ever heard, and Brian comes through with some hilarious remarks as well.

    I miss Larry Miller. Hope he gets better soon.

    Anyway, I just wanted to post my two-bits to counter all the negativity on these comment threads. The quality is better than anyone should expect for a free podcast – it’s worth paying for, in my opinion (that’s why I ALWAYS click through the Amazon link when buying online).

  61. Yossarian

    LOVE ME SOME BLUES TRAVELER!!!!!!!! God DAMN John Popper is talented!! His singing (the forcefulness, softness, feeling) is as good as his harmonica!

  62. Tracy500

    Jakob Dylan, are you listening? THAT is what a musical guest should be. Thanks for an excellent show, John Popper. You put wonderful energy and humor into it and are one of my favorite guests.

  63. Jack Reacher
    Jack Reacher09-30-2012

    Did that fat tub of goo say that Bob Dylan doesn’t play harmonica well? Wow. Maybe Dylan should include an indulgent harmonica solo in every song like that no name group fat tub of goo leads. I’m sure one day people will say what a great influence this ftb was. I stopped listening once I heard ftb spout off on Dylan. Adam’s opinion is fine but for a man who supposedly makes music for a living to talk shit about Dylan is incredibly disrespectful.

  64. moviejunkie

    Great show! I am not a big David Wild fan, but one thing he does well is keeping the focus on the guest and what they are plugging. Adam seems to have a problem getting into the guest’s tv show/book/movie/album, etc. although he is a little better at it than years ago. But David (and Alison for that matter) seem to be good at pulling his attention back to the guest and their stuff, which I like. Adam is hilarious and good at what he does as an entertainer, but is a bit of a narcissist, which I think is WHY he is so good. So David does serve a good purpose on shows like this.

  65. Elle

    I looked up Sister Hazel & I’m confused as to whom that chick thought John looks like.

    GREAT Usher lyrics, from the song ‘Confessions Part II’:
    “These are my confessions
    Just when I thought I said all I can say
    My chick on the side said she got one on the way
    These are my confessions
    Man I’m grown and I don’t know what to do
    I guess I gotta give you part 2 of my confessions
    If I’m gonna tell it then I gotta tell it all
    Damn near cried when I got that phone call
    I’m so gone and I don’t know what to do
    But to give you part 2 of my confessions”

    Or there’s always ‘Burn’:
    “It’s gonna burn for me to say this
    But it’s coming from my heart
    It’s been a long time coming
    But we done been fell apart”
    Amongst the many other GREAT lines from that song.

  66. rambling man
    rambling man10-06-2012

    great show!

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