Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 368: Molly Johnson

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 368In this 368th episode, Mike chats with Molly Johnson about the passing of Aretha Franklin, her career as a singer-songwriter, the Kumbaya Festival, the Kensington Market Jazz Festival and more. This episode is exactly 1:11:25.

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August 16, 2018 @ 1:16 PM


Reminds me of an interview I did with the completely unfunny "Canadian comic icon" Luba Goy. Cringeworthy. Molly has always carried a massive chip on her shoulder.

August 16, 2018 @ 1:20 PM


Oh my.

It's get icier....

I am on the edge of my seat....

August 16, 2018 @ 1:37 PM


This episode is a beautiful disaster. I don't know how else to put it. It's a clusterfuck that I'm going to listen to a second time. It's perfect.

August 16, 2018 @ 1:46 PM


I believe this will be your most listened to episode. I have never in the history of listening to your podcast while at work, stopped working.

This one has stopped everything around me. It's something else.

August 16, 2018 @ 1:51 PM


Dug this. Music in background sometimes is a little distracting (a little loud). Drowns out someone that is soft spoken that’s not on the mic. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. She’s a little rude in the start, but warmed up pretty quickly. Good stuff.

August 16, 2018 @ 2:20 PM


You'd think that she thinks that she is a big star or something!! If this was 1994, would
she have been contacted about the death of Kurt Cobain?!? #NotAlanCross, not even close!!
In the immortal words of Full House, "HOW RUDE!!!"

August 16, 2018 @ 3:17 PM


Important lesson for MJ (not Jacko!). Annie Lennox reclaimed the word "DIVA" by proudly using it as
the title of her debut solo album in 1992.

August 16, 2018 @ 3:48 PM


Mike you tried your best to deflect the comments in the beginning from Molly & she sure has a chip on her shoulder overall with life.
A disaster of an episode but you revived it at the end.
When are you having her back to KOTJs - LOL.

August 16, 2018 @ 4:33 PM


@andrew, @Mike
That would definitely be an episode worth turning into a special live event, kinda like those
old MuchMusic Intimate and Interactive specials, although this event would have to be
labelled as an Intimidated and Interactive!!!

August 16, 2018 @ 4:47 PM


I wouldn't call it a disaster - she doesn't even sound angry so far, just subdued and upset - clearly as many people are today, at losing Aretha.

I laughed when you said "out of no pun intended, respect" LMAO.

She just didn't see the need to hide her feelings of sorrow and being upset. Although her coming an hour early sucks, if she was overwhelmed she definitely could have asked you to postpone it or something along those lines.

Clearly you needed the 6 pack more than her today anyway :P, but I don't think it's that bad.

August 16, 2018 @ 4:49 PM


Ok, "read the liner notes and my name is Molly Johnson" S M H - wildin! Hoooooly, and the reunion question - ok, icy.

August 16, 2018 @ 4:52 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Keep listening...

August 16, 2018 @ 5:12 PM


This episode needs to be turned into a "Weird Al" parody song a la 1999's "The Saga Continues!!"

August 16, 2018 @ 5:14 PM


Sorry, the above song title should have been listed as "The Saga Begins", as it was connected
to that awful first film in that drecky Star Wars prequel trilogy.

August 16, 2018 @ 5:19 PM


Ok, now that I know she re-ices herself...

She had a rough day, and perhaps should have rescheduled or asked you for extra time to compose herself, or done something!!

You had a lot of questions to ask, if there are things she doesn't like to discuss, she should let interviewers know before hand :/

August 16, 2018 @ 5:40 PM


I find cringey media so hard to take ... this was totally fine. I was expecting something much worse. You just both sounded rather discombobulated at the start. Seemed to warm... oh there's the diva part.

So uh ... I saw Gordie Johnson play bass for Wide Mouth Mason once...

August 16, 2018 @ 5:49 PM


Just listened a fourth time. Epic. This deserves to go viral.

August 16, 2018 @ 6:20 PM


You know what they say. When one diva dies, another takes her place.

August 16, 2018 @ 7:09 PM

Terry Corcoran

I thought curmudgeon was solely a male term, but in French you can have "le grincheux" or "la grincheuse".

No idea why this episode reminded me of that.

August 16, 2018 @ 7:49 PM


@Mike (Re: "Beautiful Disaster" comment )
Fun facts: "Beautiful Disaster" is also the name of a song on Kelly Clarkson's first album "Thankful"
from 2003. And the same gentleman who produced Alta Moda's sole albun, Colin Thurston, also
handled the boards on the first two Duran Duran albums, as well as my beloved Talk Talk's first
LP in 1982. Now that's two to grow on!!

August 16, 2018 @ 7:56 PM


Not quite sure what I meant by sole "ALBUN" above: album!!!!!!

August 16, 2018 @ 8:03 PM


She seemed to be playing you for what its worth Mike.
Everything was me, me, me. I've done this, done that & now kinda a homeless person barley paying bills. Also states because I'm black that is a negative also.

Get over it Molly, you WERE a great artist but now you can't even draw. Poor Me.

August 16, 2018 @ 8:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Are you new? That's the podcast. It's not about me, it's all about the guest!

August 16, 2018 @ 8:33 PM


@chris - FYI, someone being black can be a big negative in a lot of settings - racism isn't a new or imagined part of reality. so her speaking on her blackness is well within her realm to do so, ya know as a black woman.

Terry Corcoran - I like la grincheuse!

August 16, 2018 @ 9:42 PM

Jason from Sudbury

I didn't even make it in 5 minutes and I shut it off. Was trying to listen while doing stuff, had the speakers turned up on my computer but Molly was way off the mic. Honestly the only way to listen to this ep is playing with your volume throughout the ep nonstop cause otherwise you cant hear Molly.

August 16, 2018 @ 11:08 PM

Nina Keogh

You were VERY gracious in the face of condescension "my friend" (!). Too bad because she is a marvelous singer/writer and has such great stories to tell.

August 16, 2018 @ 11:16 PM


The me, me, me comment wasn't about you but everything was MJ. You did your best to get convo going but even still IMO it didn't comply. She is/was a great songwriter/singer but a life downturn on her part. Race is not a problem with me at all, but MJ brought it up.

August 16, 2018 @ 11:44 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason from Sudbury

I recommend you keep going. That first ten awkward minutes she's waaaay off mic but that does change.

August 17, 2018 @ 7:46 AM

Paul T

This was the car wreck you can't help but stare at... and it's pretty great. Perhaps the most real #realtalk yet? Raw, authentic and so bloody rare!

August 17, 2018 @ 8:32 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I never do this, but I'd like to consolidate all the comments here so I'm going to embed some tweets about this episode below. In case you're wondering how the following tweets got here.

August 17, 2018 @ 8:37 AM

T.O. Resident

That episode was remarkable... but, I think a listener would need to have heard several of your previous 360+ episodes to truly understand how unique it was.

Also - FYI: Molly was just on CBC’s The National discussing Aretha Franklin.

— T.O. Resident (@TO_Resident) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:38 AM

Michael Moniz

@torontomike Ok half way through, I can sense the thaw happening but with the greatest respect to Molly Johnson, this was not on you Mike. She didn’t do her homework on your show and how the episodes unfold. It’s a learning moment, sure, but don’t beat yourself up over it.

— Michael Moniz (@mikesmoniz) August 16, 2018

@torontomike and yes diva was appropriate (and from here where I sit accurate😳)! Meanings of words can and do change over time. With as much respect for her talent as I have, she did come off as the classic mercurial difficult “artiste”

— Michael Moniz (@mikesmoniz) August 16, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:39 AM

Shawn Hammond

@torontomike listening to the Molly Johnson ep. Loved half way through when you came clean. Changed the vibe. I feel for her and her career. She accomplished a ton but seems unsatisfied and didn’t get the just rewards.

— Shawn Hammond (@ledzephead) August 16, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:40 AM

The Deer Cop

@torontomike I can't belive people like you ruined the word 'fun'

— The Deer Cop (@The_Deer_Cop) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

Blind Dave

Wow, talk about a promising episode going tits up. I will not be disrespectful to Molly but the opening and first part of that episode was very hard to listen to. Things
did get better later on.

Really looking forward to listening to Keith Hampshire tomorrow.

— Blind Dave (@Somewhere_Warm) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:41 AM


Breaking: Bitter old Diva Disses Documentarian.

— Terry Corcoran (@terrynumber1) August 16, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:43 AM


Was it a meltdown from the stress and the heat,or is this a cry for help. Possibly serious mental health problems?

— unikee99 (@Unikee99) August 16, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:43 AM

Dutty Boukman

Oh lawssin. Well I still think you did well, I just think other peeps may have handled the day differently as an interviewee as well. Clearly you did your research you had a lot to ask her!

— Dutty Boukman (@originaljcl) August 16, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:44 AM

Andrew Ryback

I actually think a good chunk of this is on you - and I think Molly Johnson is getting unfairly dumped on and that too is a bit on you and how you reacted. Not sure if MJ was the one being a diva. I really hope this comes across as sincere "realtalk" from a fan of the show

— andrew rybak (@rybaktweet) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 8:51 AM

Jeremy Taggart

Never heard of a diva being early. I think the real diva was on a bike ride.

— Jeremy Taggart (@Taggart7) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 9:00 AM


Kudos to you for posting this the way you did. I never would have listened to this episode if there was no "story" behind it.

Again, this is what makes your podcasts so unique.

August 17, 2018 @ 9:11 AM


Molly was a bit distant but that is Molly being herself. Outside of the unfortunate back and forth it was very informative and interesting. I may be in the minority but I enjoyed the authenticity of this episode.

August 17, 2018 @ 9:51 AM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

On a personal note, Molly answered my question about my daughter's future heading off to Ryerson with an incredible amount of grace, complementing myself on bringing her to this stage and appreciating all of the heavy lifting, which is true, as my daughter has attended for several years a "Haute Couture" fashion school in Woodbridge that she goes to, in advance of attending Ryerson.

Molly then went on to encourage my daughter to go with her passion and how great it was plus to give her an actual referral based on my question where she may go to for her 400 hours of internship she needs to do while at Ryerson.

I am actually going to personally reach out to her and thank her for her eloquence in responding to my question, and really appreciate it.

I do though feel for Mike, as he was dealing with a guest like no other based on his previous hundreds of episodes, and was able to navigate the minefields laid in front of him to get through it, and I was pleased that things did warm up between Molly and Mike as it progressed.

August 17, 2018 @ 9:59 AM


First off, regardless of Molly Johnson's "truth" regarding her perhaps not getting her financial dues
in the Canadian music industry: for a minute, let's kindly take the whole RACE issue out of this, SHALL
WE?!? Mike has interviewed many other local musicians on this podcast and most of them seemed
to be in the same boat financially: very hard to eke out an equitable living and often also pursuing
other gainful employment simultaneously. She is entitled to her opinions and the right to express
them as well, but there was absolutely no excuse for her attitude or condescending tone. Mike
is a consummate professional who always does his research, but it is also important for the guests
to be somewhat self-responsible to look into what kind of show they are agreeing to be interviewed on. For those who feel that some of us commenters have been unfairly picking on MJ, well, that is completely your prerogative, but she was the one with an important, worthwhile event
to promote. After listening to this interview, I would find it very hard to support her current endeavours. Perhaps it is a misguided case of cutting my nose to spite my face, but so be it.

August 17, 2018 @ 10:15 AM


despite all Mike’s trigger warnings, some fantastic #realtalk here … much ends up being revealed about the Canadian celebrity-industrial complex, why you gotta stick to your hopes and dreams, etc.

— 12:36 is your news burrito 🌯 (@1236) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 10:26 AM

Dads in the Six

It felt at times like you were at a friend's house and their parents were having a really awkward argument at the dinner table and you couldn't leave cause that'd be rude. But that probably made the episode all the more intersting! Great job on the interview!

— Dads in the Six (@dadsinthesix) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 10:28 AM

Michael Moniz

The “chip on her shoulder” is even more accurate than the diva tag. I agree. Massively talented, but clear as day “arm chair psychologist” take, clearly inflated sense of self & pissed not more recognized for talent more widely for it ala Celine or Diana Krall

— Michael Moniz (@mikesmoniz) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 10:29 AM


Very astute tweet by 12:36. Many a fine 1980's ballad or mid-tempo song was written on that
very topic by some of the most talented hair farmers of the day. So basically, nearly every
Triumph song written and sung by Rik Emmett: "Hold On", "Fight the Good Fight", and most
obviously, "Magic Power."

August 17, 2018 @ 10:32 AM


Given the regular tenor of your interviews, I think you did the right thing to warn listeners upfront that this was… different from other episodes. I also think you did the right thing to contextualize it.
While I’m going to hold my breath until the freeze has warmed up a bit, it was also helpful to hear that things turn around during the episode.

Initial thought - did you release it into the world so you didn’t have to grapple with what was the appropriate next step? “It’s out there. It’s done. Let’s deal with the repercussions rather than struggle with what to do with the actual recording”

Aretha - she had JUST heard? Eesh… if I was her I wouldn’t have done the interview at that moment and would have rescheduled.

The Wire - her response is harsh. That’s nasty of her to take out on you whatever grief and stress are doing to her. And she’s obnoxious through that whole question. “His name is CLARK JOHNSON if anyone is interested” - I’m raging.

Alta Moda - she is being insufferable. You’re asking a listener’s question. She is trying to position you as being unprepared (sure, the time mixup didn’t get things off on the right foot, regardless of who was incorrect) but you have so far asked reasonable questions that should lead to interesting conversation. You and/or the listener asked about a specific role in that band - singer. She shouldn’t presume you don’t have follow-up questions about writing, directing, managing…. Her “our drummer died” response was curt and rude, and you handled it really well by pointing out that the loss of a band member isn’t ALWAYS the end of a band’s career. (INXS????? for example). At this point it is clear that she’s thrown you off your regular rhythm, but it comes across as an appropriate response to her lack of professionalism. She’s trying to eat you alive.

Back to the Wire moment, your query about her brother being involved (maybe you said ON the show) opened up an opportunity for her to discuss not just our (listener) potential familiarity with him on-screen, but to warmly boast about the incredibly important role that the creatives and production crews have on shows too by telling us about his involvement. She did that for her sister later in the episode. And frankly, your language wasn’t inappropriate - talk to anyone in film, as I frequently observe with my best friend who has been a set dresser for 20 years. When they greet other film people after not seeing them for a while the question is “What show are you on?” regardless of TV or film. And it 99% of the time precedes “How is your wife/family/band etc). ON means the project you’re working on/hired on/paid by/suffering through/delighting in/directing/writing for... and sort of sets up the expectation for when you MIGHT work together again.

The Infidels - she actually gave a decent answer by talking about the drummer. That’s how she should have been all along. She’s trying here… if you’d been in a regular interview those were great opportunities for follow-up questions. Her voice changed to warm memories… tell me about the ROM!!!! (and I listened on my laptop - I had no sound problems - she was quieter but it was clear)
Breeding Ground - she opens up about racism in Ottawa. I have a million questions! And I don’t want to throw the speaker across the room anymore. Again - in a regular interview (not one that was careening off the guardrails from the beginning) I might have been frustrated that this didn’t lead to a deep dive or real talk moment about that - her response was pretty revealing and she allowed herself a vulnerability that could have been really interesting if you two were capable of having a comfortable conversation (which you are known for). This reminds me of the best thing I ever learned in journalism school and it is one of the key reasons I’ve been a successful anthropologist: Ask a question to hear the answer. Then listen. Don’t think about the next question til they’re done. Which I’m sure you know, and have heard you do whether you’re aware of it or not…. (And I find it interesting that the issue of race didn’t come up in the Mirvish Kid and particularly in the Canadian Ballet school discussion. You’d think ballet would be a difficult world for a child of colour in the 60s/70s?)

Festival at the Forum - OHHHHHH - hockey sticks and condoms. Lovely. She’s still correcting you (re: Rush), but I think this is a personality trait of hers and not personal.
Good follow-up question regarding the economics of musicians (most of my musician friends are pretty much down-and-out).

Not a narcissist? Hmmmm….. *bites tongue*

The mother in me wants to give you a hug when you tell her how she made you feel. It’s a testament to your character that you softened to her, rather than grow aggressive or closed off.

August 17, 2018 @ 10:40 AM


You use the term Diva - oh god. Her condescension is intolerable. “GUYS LIKE YOU…” Argh! I’m trying to like her. AND - you prefaced it by expressing that you knew it was a loaded term. You were never allowed to define your usage of it….

Militant feminism gets us nowhere. I’m a feminist, which means I’ve got respect for everyone until they demonstrate they don’t deserve it. I think your middle-class white maleness might be triggering….

Good grief. She is making herself sound like an awful person. If she’s been doing interviews since she was four, she should know better than to behave this way. Aggressive, obnoxious, arrogant…. I could go on.

Big Sugar - so now she wants to be civil again?

“You’re part of the business, my darling” I’m gonna kick her in the shins.
Your assumption that she likes to sing is not off the mark… “I didn’t get the breaks” - there’s the source of the chip on her shoulder

Talking about her voice (both cadence and tonality)- it strikes me that the bad attitude she keeps going back to is one I only encounter with bitter people who’ve had a few drinks. (Not to suggest she was drinking - which is why it’s bizarre to hear someone being so horrible. She’s mean, and most people try to hide that).

Donations/Pledges - good grief - even when you’re trying to rally for money for her festival she’s undermining you.

“MUSICIANS DON’T GET PAID…. MOAN MOAN… TORONTO OFFERED $30K TO PAY ARTISTS and I said no. I don’t want to play God”….. I’m shaking my head and willing this to be over
NOT A DIVA? (yes, I’m yelling) The pretentiousness in her voice talking about the national ballet….
“If anybody wants to take a dive deep into the bio”….

Even when you offer up the “progress” suggestion as part of your question, she doesn’t let you finish. BAD BEHAVIOUR.

You’re a diamond. That was rough. I think there’s some serious personality flaws in that woman to begin with, and she was particularly foul from the beginning, softened a little, but let her true colours shine through even when she tried to be nice. Great Lakes (GLB) to the rescue?

August 17, 2018 @ 10:41 AM


I'm half way through and here is my take so far. She is a condescending rude diva with a huge chip on her shoulder.

August 17, 2018 @ 10:42 AM


A fair and well-balanced/insightful recap of yesterday's difficult episode. Very impressed!!

August 17, 2018 @ 10:45 AM

Canerdian Girl

I have a great Molly story: BITD she was working at a boutique on Queen West near the old Stem Kitchen. I was trying on a dress, came out of the dressing room, and MJ said "Take it off, honey, it hurts." 😂😂😂 #brilliant

— CanerdianGirl (@CanerdianGirl) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 10:48 AM

Carl Barrett

Just listened Mike, it was uncomfortable and you both started on the wrong foot, IMO her publicist (ironic given the tone) didn’t tell her it was a deep dive interview and misled you both, You stuck to your guns, recovered nicely and she likes you by the middle, good job!

— Carl Barrett (@aviator1963) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 10:49 AM


Curious, how did Mike start-off on the wrong foot? She came early and was already in a sour
mood due to Aretha's passing. We were warned previously in a tweet by Mike that MJ had fallen prey to some misinformed interviewers earlier in the week. He most clearly does not fall into that pitiful
hack camp.

August 17, 2018 @ 10:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

57 comments... so I'd like to clarify a few things.

1. We were scheduled for Tuesday at 10am. At about 10:15, when there was no sign of Molly, nor an email or tweet or smoke signals or carrier pigeon or anything, I sought to find out if she was coming. Shortly thereafter, I got a phone call from Molly. She explained that she was buried in prep for her festival and she was sorry and asked if we could do this Thursday. I asked for 11am on Thursday because I had a 9am visitor and would be done by then. She agreed to 11am.

2. My 9am was subsequently cancelled, and I wanted to go for a little bike ride because I had a hard crash on Monday and wanted to see if my body and bike were still functional. So I went for a ride and returned around 10am. Remember, I was scheduled with Molly for 11am.

3. Molly was at my door. She was early, but I'm nothing if not flexible. I was happy to record then. I was sweaty, so I ran upstairs to change my shirt, but otherwise I was ready to roll shortly after 10am.

4. Prior to pressing record, I was getting death stares. Six years of this and I had never encountered that. I was also jolted by her tone and response to my "you need to get on the mic" spiel that every guest gets, even microphone vets like Andy Frost and John Donabie. And, when she told me she didn't have much time, I nicely asked how long she had, because I was willing to work around her time parameters, and she snarled at me that she was early so let's get on with it. Sort of a barked order to press record so she could get on with her day.

5. So now I'm super nervous, because Molly Johnson is being super mean to me (I know, boo hoo Mike, but this was my first such experience!), and for the first time I'm skipping the intro, because of time constraints, and all I wanted to do was celebrate Molly's career, talk about her festival, and perhaps pay a little tribute to Aretha and Molly's brother Clarke, who was on my favourite show of all-time. I think it's her response to my question about her brother and The Wire that hurt the most. "Read the liner notes" is haunting this Wire fanatic!

6. The rest of the episode speaks for itself. I woke up yesterday a big Molly Johnson fan who was excited to meet her and talk with her. Again, it was episode 368, so not my first rodeo... and I was a day removed from Keith Hampshires episode, which was absolutely fantastic.

7. She did warm up, she did smile for our selfie, and she did give me a big hug. I wish her well and hope her festival is a huge success. Maybe in a strange way more people will know about it because of the uniqueness of this episode.

8. I know Jeremy Taggart thinks I was the diva here, but I've listened back twice now, trying to learn from it so this doesn't happen again, and if I was a diva I'll eat my hat.

9. Peace and love to every single one of you and thank you for listening and commenting. Toronto Mike'd is now taking a short break. Subscribe at so you don't miss what's next.

August 17, 2018 @ 11:13 AM


The former drummer for Our Lady Maida is the DIVA, not you!! No keen observer of sarcasm
(autism, bab-ee!!), but I'm pretty sure that he was just busting your balls!! So you should just bust
his back in return and tell him that those Letterkenny folks are beating him at his own hoser game!!

August 17, 2018 @ 11:18 AM


*HUG* no one should be mean to another person, just because THEY are going through something. for me the only thing is the time confusion - you were a bit flustered because she was early, but you were already prepped so one hour makes not much difference.

in the end, it is obvious her attitude / entitlement/ bitterness - influenced the flow of the interview 100% - i liked that she didn't hide her sadness over Aretha - but if she couldn't do it, she should have rescheduled. this isn't a random passerby asking for an autograph - you've got a decent reputation and over 100s of interviews under the belt.

Yesterday morning I went into the office and was determined to be rude about an issue that has been frustrating me - and I was, but then the person put me in my place and I felt so crappy. I called back, and apologized because really, the situation needed my apology. Do unto others as you would have done to you. Enjoy your break!!

August 17, 2018 @ 11:23 AM


LMAO and Bravo for the line "The former drummer for Our Lady Maida"

Perfect :)

August 17, 2018 @ 11:28 AM


Well, it only took the dude twenty years or so to figure out that it was time to quit that
band. The best thing about Our Lady Maida is Mr. Maida's awesomely talented and quite
attractive wife Chantal Kreviazuk!! P.S., not only is Superman Dead, but so is their now moribund
mainstream career!!!

August 17, 2018 @ 11:35 AM


I'd buy shampoo from Chantal and I'm bald.

August 17, 2018 @ 11:37 AM


The video for her early single "Wayne" is forever embedded deep in the archives of all that I hold
unintentionally erotic!! #MaidaSoLucky!! P.S., another great line on your end. You really should be
in advertising!!!

August 17, 2018 @ 11:40 AM


Advertising? And give up my lucrative male modelling career? I think not good sir.

August 17, 2018 @ 11:46 AM


Well, you'd could always use one to support the other or vice versa. The world definitely needs more
multi-tasking folks like that fine, upstanding Buckaroo Banzai fella! Still waiting in vein 34-plus years
later for that end credits-promised sequel "BB Against the World Crime League." In a world in which
Top Gun is getting a needless sequel, this madness needs to stop!!

August 17, 2018 @ 11:52 AM

Jim Allan

Hey, Mike:

I think the original sin here, was you skipping your normal intro. It allows you and the listener to get warmed up. But, most importantly, it also allows the interview subject to get get tuned into your style. You usually end up introducing your guest with some amount of fanfare, and you usually ask some disarming and even some silly questions off the top. Sometimes you’ve researched some off the wall soundbites. She didn’t have the benefit of any of that warm up. And neither did you. She is thinking “This dude hasn’t even said my name”. Later, she’s thinking “this dude doesn’t know my brother’s name”. Later still, she laments the use of the word “Diva”, which she correctly points out you used as an insult.

But, kudos for sticking it out. Kudos for uploading it unedited. In my mind, you both re-deem yourselves by the end. In the end, a lot of truth here.

August 17, 2018 @ 12:05 PM


I only lasted 40 mins...she's not a diva, just plain rude and full of herself. Good for you, Mike, for not ending the interview early.

August 17, 2018 @ 12:48 PM

Ryan Bayne

This is one of only a small number of your podcasts that I listen to (I'm just not a big podcast person! I enjoy the text of a blog.) but not because it was atypical, but just because I hoped it would give me hints on where to find a recording of the 1995 Kumbaya concert. There's the "Kumbaya 1995" CD, but that was based on the 1994 show. There's a few clips on YouTube, but I'd love to see the whole thing again as I was there, and I'd love to revisit things like Andy Kim with the Barenaked Ladies, Odds and The Pursuit of Happiness playing together, and Tom Wilson of Junkhouse looking like he's about to stage dive, and those of us in the pit going "hell no" and moving away.

August 17, 2018 @ 1:23 PM


@Jim Allan is absolutely correct.

The intro is pivotal and I agree, it does exactly as he describes.

August 17, 2018 @ 1:39 PM


Any explanations and rationializations will never skirt the unassailable fact that MJ's behaviour
was unprofessional and most uncalled for throughout much of yesterday's episode. I sincerely
doubt that a different date would have made much difference with regards to the end outcome.
Again, the death of Aretha Franklin and any pre-conceived chip or grudges (unrelated to Mike,
of course) should have had no bearing on how she chose to carry herself. It is called professionalism
for a reason: Mike brought it as always, while his guest, sadly, did not.

August 17, 2018 @ 1:48 PM


@bsmntdwllr73 we also has to take into account, Mike is a bit of a dick.

August 17, 2018 @ 2:02 PM


Better be careful with those harsh accusations, wouldn't want to find yourself on that dreaded
no-posting list again!! You might find yourself unable to chime in with helpful catering and/or
decorating tips for those upcoming sports victory parties by She Who Must Not Be Named!!
#HeSaidIt,NotMe!! (Say, whatever became of that nasty little bugger "Not Me" from the Family
Circus cartoon strip?!?)

August 17, 2018 @ 2:08 PM

Order of Canada

Race is absolutely a part of this. There are keywords dropped by Molly that scream so. "People like you" is "white men like you". She saw the middle class home, the white skin, the blue eyes and she lashed out as a bitter woman of colour.

Molly is extremely talented but that chip on her shoulder will anchor her if she doesn't release it. She mentioned she's old, all of 59, and condescendingly chastised her younger, white, male host. It was all about race from the get-go. She likely resented being asked about Aretha because of course the man man is going to ask the black chanteuse about Aretha.

I hope Molly hears this episode, makes contact to apologize, and records another episode of Toronto Mike'd. You deserve a re-do, she deserves a re-do, and we deserve a re-do.

August 17, 2018 @ 2:20 PM

Order of Canada

"the man man" = "the white man"

August 17, 2018 @ 2:23 PM


@Order of Canada
How can you be sure that Mike would not have asked any other guest about Aretha's
passing if they seemed visibly distressed over it? Sick and tired of the whole race issue
debate. He booked MJ on the show and was willing to let her promote not only herself but
her important upcoming jazz festival event. Anything else that was racially-motivated
came entirely from her end. Pretty much everyone alive could have beef about some
kind of real or perceived cultural bias/slight of some sort, even us Caucasian males (yeah,
that's right, we all don't have this so-called endless amount of (self-)entitled privilege!!!)

August 17, 2018 @ 2:28 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jim Allan

That's a good point. I did tell Molly that I was adding the intro in post to save time, but maybe doing it live does make for a more friendly vibe.

That part about her brother being in The Wire was supposed to be the fun warm-up chatter you're referring to. I was going to play the theme song and talk about his role and contribution to my favourite show of all-time. Of course, if you heard the episode, you'll hear my plan failed.

@Order of Canada

My middle class home is co-owned by my wife, who happens to be a person of colour. Of course, most of it is actually owned by the bank.

I personally didn't think race had anything to do with any of this, but maybe that's my naivety. And I didn't personally think there was a generation gap at play, because she's only 15 years my senior and we have kids only two years apart in age.

But again, I value all feedback here.... good and bad.

August 17, 2018 @ 2:32 PM


@Order of Canada
I'm sure Mike will invite her back to KOTJs.

August 17, 2018 @ 2:33 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Oh... and if it's not clear, I'm not angry with Molly or ticked at Molly or any of that. If she was at all interested in coming back for another episode, I'd happily invite her back and I'd be sincerely pleased to see her. Kicking out the jams with her would be an absolute delight!

Also, and I'm being completely honest here, I had the Aretha talk up front for Tuesday because I heard she was in palliative care. I had it there because Molly is a female singer/songwriter. I promise you, if Molly were white, brown, yellow, green or purple, I was going to ask her about Aretha.

And once she passed away, I was going to play a little Aretha and acknowledge her passing with whoever was my guest. If it was Bob McKenzie, Ron James or Maddog, we were going to talk Aretha.

August 17, 2018 @ 2:36 PM


Mike, you went above and beyond to accommodate a very difficult guest. Taggart is completely wrong and likely just being a contrarian to get attention. That or he's jealous your podcast is better than his.

August 17, 2018 @ 3:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Taggart's a bahd. A contrarian bahd, but a bahd nonetheless.

August 17, 2018 @ 4:35 PM

Al The Royal Pain

I just started listening and holy crap is this difficult/fascinating to listen to!

Before I continue though, I do want to say that I completely forgot about the song "Celebrate" by The Infidels and how great a song it was! I've now added ti to my spotify collection, so thanks for that.

Now I shall resume listening to this beautiful train wreck.

August 17, 2018 @ 5:09 PM

Al The Royal Pain

Ok, just finished the episode. Here is my analysis...

Mike, I applaud the way you melted that glacier. I do think you got confrontational with her, but that was necessary to break through the ice. By pushing back, I feel like you were able to finally get her to understand that condescension wasn't going to work on you. Make no mistake, she was being a condescending jerk in the first half of that interview. I'm not sure I would have been as graceful in that situation.

August 17, 2018 @ 5:43 PM


That is the exact impression I had, and you echo my thoughts. She came into it with an attitude, was snippy in response to Mike's genuine comment about her brother, and it went downhill from there. Props to Mike for persevering & breaking through that.

— dawn9902 (@dawn9902) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:31 PM

Tuesday Noon

@torontomike maybe you and Molly can Kick Out The Jabs!!!! A new segment! Rough one but you got it back on track with no thanks to your guest.

— Tuesday Noon (@TuesdaynoonBand) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:32 PM

Ancaster Jeff

I think it was a misunderstanding. I don't think either side had any ill intentions. Both are likeable. Just didn't totally click.

— JCC (@AncasterJeff) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:34 PM

Fully & Completely

I think you did as well as you could given all of the circumstances involved. Don’t let this one off drag you down though. :)

— fully & completely (@fullypodcast) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:34 PM

Duncan Crerar

Painful at times. Cranky is putting it lightly.

— Duncan Crerar (@slamdunc65) August 17, 2018

She was rude indeed.

— Duncan Crerar (@slamdunc65) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:35 PM

Jake the Snake

I listened to the whole episode, you're such a pro. Well done. And the 1st episode in memory without #HamOnt reference!

— Jake theSnake (@argos_suck) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:37 PM


Hey Mike, tough start but it ended well. I loved her mention of Alex and Geddy of Rush too as big supporters of the Kumbaya Festival. If this is the first ep that went sideways, consider yourself lucky and learn from it.

— Linda Bicho Vachon (@ElleBeeVee2) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:38 PM

Joshua Dawson

She was rude. You could have called her much worse than diva. I turned it off.

— Joshua Dawson (@JoshDawson1980) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:39 PM

Blind Dave

It was tough slogging. I give Mike full credit for staying professional and respectful.

— Blind Dave (@Somewhere_Warm) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:39 PM


To be fair, she is massively talented, and never got a big break, altho it sounds like she didn't work to that end. She has that pissed off, tired of your shit mature woman thing going on. I get that. But she def. went in with incorrect assumptions about Mike

— dawn9902 (@dawn9902) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 6:40 PM


Mike, I think you bringing up the issues again in the middle of it, and talking thru it showed guts and vulnerability on your part, and I got the sense she appreciated it, and that's when she became more real with you. Compelling stuff.

— dawn9902 (@dawn9902) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 7:02 PM

Ian Wintrip

A nice episode but i think I would have edited it. The periodic awkwardness distracted from some good stories and her message about Kensington Market. An interesting woman who maybe had a bad day. Keep up your good work!

— Ian Wintrip (@SirForensic) August 17, 2018
August 17, 2018 @ 7:42 PM


@Mike, wondering (I stopped half thru, may or may not continue):

Did you ask MJ if she was happy with the episode being published? Ask if she wanted time to think about it, or listen to it before being released? Is this something you would do (if any previous or future episode went off the rails, either for you or the guest) at your/guest request?

For me, this was not an episode that needed to be released (unless the guest was agreeable). It doesn't come off well for either host or guest. Not everything needs to be out there. Anyone in the arts knows, not everything you make is good enough to put out there, or representative of your personal craft. Even the greatest artists have a pile of things they didn't put out there.

Why did you release this episode?

August 17, 2018 @ 8:57 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Molly came over to record an episode of my podcast. She told me to start recording, heard me read the outro, and saw me stop the recording. When I told her I'd post it today (on Thursday), she was delighted. "Mark your calendars", she exclaimed.

After the recording, she said her social media person would be in touch to share the episode. She knew she was being recorded and wanted it shared with the masses. That was the entire point of all of this. Her goal is to promote the Kensington Market Jazz Festival.

But to answer your question, I suppose if she had asked me not to post it, I wouldn't have posted it.

August 17, 2018 @ 9:09 PM


Fair enough.
What about it- would you hold an episode if the guest wasn't pleased with the experience?

August 17, 2018 @ 9:12 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I did a ninja edit on ya. You were too quick!

If after a recording, a guest asked me not to publish, I wouldn't publish.

For the record, I haven't heard from Molly (or her camp) since she left yesterday.

August 17, 2018 @ 9:24 PM

Holy Fuck

Give me a gigantic fucking break - what a narcissistic bitch. That whiny CBC-tainted, affected way of delivering her condescension is beyond. Good thing it wasn't a drinking game to hear her whine about dough. Things couldn't have been that tough if her kid went to a school of 'privilege'. Bitter, much? The epitome of rude, too. That chip on her shoulder has morphed, fragment by fragment, into a broomstick up her ass.

You should have thrown her out of your fucking basement.

August 18, 2018 @ 12:05 AM

Michael O'Riordon

I didn’t find her rude; she was honest and a little tough at the start, but she was real. You both handled things really well—Molly as she warmed to the interview, and yourself for sticking in there. Really enjoyed this, Mike.

— Michael O'Riordan (@mikeoriordan74) August 18, 2018
August 18, 2018 @ 8:36 AM



The Wire comment - feel for you man. I know what that show means to you. Shitty.
The Diva comment - I get her feelings on it. That was a miss.
Aretha - I get that - I imagine that news impacted this episode.
The podcast - It was a miss she wasn't informed about your podcast, it's format and your style.
The industry - I agree with her. You're in the industry.

August 18, 2018 @ 9:05 AM


Oh boy. This was more awkward than the time Mike asked Damien about "the tweet". Molly Johnson has absolutely no chill.

The first half of this podcast was extremely cringe. Passive aggressive comments right from the get go. It's as if she thought Mike didnt believe her that her brother directed episodes of The Wire. (The guy directed the Pilot!). "You're part of the business my darlin'".

Mike. Do not call a struggling black artist a diva. If I was your mother I'd smack ya in the back of the head!

EXCELLENT PIVOT when you brought up Big Sugar. That moment brought the podcast back to life. For about 10 minutes there, proper ointment was rubbed on the wounds with a nice jazz tune.

Overall, I'd say Toronto Mike was waiting for an ice cold podcast. I'm not gonna judge Molly for her attitude, but at the very least she definitely has gotta chill out a bit. I respect the hustle though. To be fair, she didn't complain as much as her tone makes it seem like she does.

August 18, 2018 @ 9:40 AM

Crunch the people complaining about her complaining about money...Mike literally asked her about multiple times. Do you people not grasp context?

August 18, 2018 @ 9:44 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Just so I understand, if someone who has never worked a day in the industry starts a podcast in his basement and talks to a wide variety of people, including radio, television and print professionals, and musicians, that means he's in the industry.

I guess I've been in the industry since 2002 when I started this blog.

August 18, 2018 @ 10:13 AM


Again, she acted like a total diva in your basement he other day so that designation was totally apt
on that occasion. Caucasians can be labelled divas (and even fellas, if they get too temperamental
or persnickety), too! So for anyone to once again turn this into a racial thing is way out of line! Some
people even use it as a semi self-deprecating term of self-endearment. Rudeness knows no colour
line distinctions Holy Fuck was right on point with their comment. Enough said!!!

August 18, 2018 @ 10:28 AM


You're in the business because you have a presence and an opinion that has value. I have no doubt you could be a guest on a podcast, a radio show or television show right now. People turn to you on the news. Make no mistake, you're no celebrity but you have carved out a nice solid niche for yourself in the entertainment industry.

August 18, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

Michael Lange

I'm about to start listening to this episode. Wish me luck.

August 18, 2018 @ 12:21 PM


I actually don't think Mike even called her a diva. "I got Diva-like vibes" was how he put it. Anyway, as I understand the term, she was pure-diva.


August 18, 2018 @ 12:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's the thing... I started saying "I got a diva-like vibe" from her in an effort to explain the ice cold looks and tone I was getting, but I didn't intend to call her a diva. That one got away from me, and it was a tremendous learning experience. It goes without saying, I'd like 368 back.

Here's the minute where she let me have it the most. Whether you think this was deserved or not is the great debate.

August 18, 2018 @ 12:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

And not that it matters, but this Wire fan is not so much haunted by the diva comment as he is this response to his question about Clarke Johnson, Molly's brother. This one stung.

August 18, 2018 @ 12:48 PM


Next time anyone exhibits any DIVA-like behaviour in the TMDS studio, be sure to call
them a PRIMA DONNA instead. 'tho somebody or 20 will surely have a problem with that one as
well!! BTW: Prima Donna is a great 1983-84 song by the group Chicago (fun fact!!)

August 18, 2018 @ 12:55 PM


Also surprised that MJ didn't icily inform you that her big bro Clark also directed that 2003
Sam L. Jackson/Colin Farrell film "S.W.A.T.'" Then again, not a very good film, so an almost
understandable sibling omission!!!

August 18, 2018 @ 12:58 PM


Wow, what a train wreck. Be doped up on painkillers did not make listening to that any easier. I forced myself to finish it. I'm a fan of KOTJs but I'm not sure I'd be interested in listening to her episode. Yes there was a bit of a thaw by the end but a little too late for me.

The Jazz festival wasn't for another couple of weeks. The scheduled recording should have been cancelled. Yes, she may have been thrown by just hearing about Aretha's death but MJ is a professional, so suck it up and be professional or cancel.

General question: do publicists know what a Toronto Mike podcast is? There should be a "Coles" notes to being a guest on Toronto Mike.

1) Toronto Mike is a nostalgia nut. He was born in the 70s. So if you (the guest) were in the media (music, radio, TV, sports, films) during Mike's formative years - expect questions about your show/music/film/book/your team. If you don't want to talk about what made you famous or what you were famous for (i.e. Erica Ehm) don't bother coming on.

2) his favourite show is The Wire and one of his favourite bands is The Hip (if you are a fan or anyway connected, expect questions)

3) listen to a previous episode that relates to your field so that you know what your publicist is getting you into

4) his studio is in his basement, so duck your head

5) no matter who you are or how experienced you are, GET ON THAT MIKE!

Feel free to add more items to this list.

August 18, 2018 @ 4:11 PM


I finally got to listening to this one and I didn't enjoy it at all.
MJ is very upset and not in the right headspace to give a good interview. I think she's completely unaware of this for the entire duration of the interview and instead picks on Mike for her inferences about him, in order to blame him for things going poorly to start. Why not talk about the time mix up and let that topic lead somewhere? Both parties were taken aback at the circumstances, but only Mike seems contrite. Even when asking for why she rescheduled, does MJ not know that giving a reason other than "I'm busy" gets her a lot further? No personal details are needed, but her unwillingness to understand that her cancellation formed part of Mike's "diva like" assessment and that she could have handled that better without needing to say she had to go to a funeral is where she lost me.

Mike, please do have the BLM crew on.

Aside from that, I don't think MJ owes Mike an apology. I get her response to some questions - Mike always asks those but most listeners don't bristle, but my natural reaction would likely be similar to MJ's - why does this person think they know me? - and I understand her lack of self control on such an emotional day (and week, really).

Not something I enjoyed, at the end of the day. Kindness should rule.

August 18, 2018 @ 4:36 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I had no idea the term "diva" had a racial component. In fact, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. I didn't even consider race during this conversation until Molly mentioned it a few times.


I'd be happy to have someone from Black Lives Matters on the show and I'll fill in their speaker request form today.

August 18, 2018 @ 7:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


This is why I implemented the Hugh Dillon Rule:

I violated this rule twice: with Fred Penner and Molly Johnson. Both of those guests were booked through Eric Alper. The Fred episode was absolutely fantastic, so I was more than happy to have Molly on.

Needless to say, the Hugh Dillon Rule is back in full effect.

August 18, 2018 @ 7:48 PM


Agree with Elvis- you are in the industry, I'll give you th first 20 odd episodes off. Plenty of your guests weren't in the industry when they suddenly found themselves in the industry, and eventually on your show, as industry veterans, claiming they still don't think they are part of the industry.
That answers the publicist question. Have you asked E Alper to be on the show?

When Canadaland announced syndication on college radio, I thought that would be perfect for TO Mike'd- but ooooh, the amateur thing, how could college radio have a guy with no broadcast education...

August 18, 2018 @ 9:04 PM


Just listened to Molly’s episode. The whole diva discussion portion of the interview is so difficult to listen. You were very professional Mike and she was an ass. I was indifferent to her before but now I don’t like her. This appears to be her personality, not just an off day.

— Soctheo (@PhilSounds) August 19, 2018
August 19, 2018 @ 9:15 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I suppose it all depends on what you mean by "in the industry". I mean, what industry are we talking about? Certainly not the MSM...

As for Eric Alper, no... I have not invited him on yet. But I will. I hear he's a good conversationalist.

At some point, I wanted Fred Penner on my show. So I went to Fred Penner's website and filled in his form. I received a reply from Eric. That's how I (digitally) met him. He told me he represented Fred and would talk to Fred about coming on my show. The rest is history... Fred was absolutely fantastic and even let me wear his porkpie hat.

August 19, 2018 @ 9:20 AM


I dont think the idea is that diva is a racist or sexist term, which seems to have inspired your sarcastic reaction basement dweller.

The idea is that you gotta know better to drop that bomb. It was a miss. You dont need to mindlessly jump at the "LOOK ITS A PC MILLENIAL!" angle that quickly.

Was she acting like some loosely based definition of diva at the start? Sure. She definitely has no chill. But to be honest diva is way too broad of a word, she was just being a bit of a bitch at the start. No other way to shake it. But it's cool, what am I gonna do, judge her? Sometimes bitches can be very endearing.

August 19, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

Freedom 55


Did you go back and read the liner notes as per Molly's suggestion?

August 19, 2018 @ 12:39 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You and basement dweller were only sitting a seat apart at TMLX1.

I hope you're coming to TMLX2 on September 12!

August 19, 2018 @ 1:41 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Freedom 55

Those words are haunting me.

August 19, 2018 @ 1:42 PM


Don't recall meeting this Crunch person at the previous event and at this point not sure if
I'll be attending #2!! As for MJ's liner notes crack, what would she have suggested if your
cherished The Wire box set hadn't been highly visible, "look him up on IMDB?!?" Bitch, Diva,
Prima Donna, all three labels fit during parts of that interview. Again, whether you're an amateur
or MSM, makes no difference, you don't treat people the way that she treated you on Thursday
morning. Methinks that she needs to go to charm school for a semester or two, and then perhaps
she could get me a half-off referral deal! Fun fact: the day before my father died, his asshole brother
suggested the same thing to me. That douche was lucky I didn't lay him out on the ground floor
of Toronto General!!!

August 19, 2018 @ 3:33 PM

Freedom 55


An Ann Rohmer retirement reference would have been icing on the cake for this podcast :)

August 19, 2018 @ 4:24 PM


At the very least you could have mentioned to Molly that Dalton Pompei's Dad was the dancing cowboy on Electric circus and then played Summertime way too loud.

August 20, 2018 @ 8:16 AM


FYI: That tune was actually called "Summertime Summertime!!" Probably a good thing that Mike
didn't drop that musical nugge,t as he probably would have gotten schooled by MJ 'bout how the
only tune that has the right to call itself "Summertime" is that classic Gershwin Bros/.DuBose Heyward duet by Ella and Louis (Fitzgerald and Armstrong, for those of you who are STILL only hip to the Grunge and the EDM!!!)

At least Ms. Rohmer FINALLY and ULTIMATELY knew when the time was right to call it a day at CP24!!!

August 20, 2018 @ 9:30 AM


@bsmntdwllr73 I only gave it one summertime on purpose due to how bad the song was....

August 20, 2018 @ 9:46 AM


Can't fault you on your logic on that one. Good thing Mike is on vacation, 'cause you might
have otherwise broken his heart with that classic dis of one of his fave throwback songs of
all time!!!

August 20, 2018 @ 9:59 AM


@Mike may take holidays due to his poor work ethic and bad attitude, but when it comes to busting his balls, I take no days off.


August 20, 2018 @ 10:40 AM


Sho' nuff, and I can dig it, a.k.a., a stone cold believer in da power of your primo ballbusting

August 20, 2018 @ 10:45 AM


Diva is obviously not racist or even racial. But throwing it out towards a black woman is like throwing meat into the lions den. It will end much worse for you than if you go into the cheetah cage!

I don't think Mike was treated horribly though. He is a big boy, I'll save my sympathies for more pressing matters. She's a sassy lady and yet I would still rather have a beer with her than many other guests.

August 20, 2018 @ 12:20 PM


Finally got a chance to listen to this after reading all the hoopla here. I've gotten about halfway through, and I find the tension and hostility to be slightly overblown.

While it did sound in her voice like she'd rather have been somewhere else, I felt it was because she was more curt and non-sensical in her responses, which was okay (the snippiness about her brother was off-putting however). She did herself an injustice though by not allowing the conversation to become free-flowing and fun in such an "off-the-record" type setting. But I didn't think it was the train wreck it was made out to be. I actually didn't mind her response to the 'diva' comment.

August 22, 2018 @ 12:19 PM


lol Keep listening Pete...

August 22, 2018 @ 1:59 PM


You should be hitting the ice chill right about now... :)

August 22, 2018 @ 2:00 PM


LOL. I literally stopped it as she was describing how diva was a beautiful word before (which I thought was a good response). Stopped a minute too soon. Yup...I feel that chill. LOL :D

August 22, 2018 @ 2:27 PM


I think this was a perfect storm of unfortunate events that lead to a poor start, but a nice finish. The timing SNAFU didn't help with Mike and Molly setting a rapport with each other. Then Ms. Johnson was obviously upset about the death of Ms. Franklin that happened right before it all started, and then beginning with a question about Aretha Franklin, while she's still processing that loss probably threw her for a loop, and may have put her in a bit of a defensive mood. Then the unfortunate 'Diva-gate' (or is it Diva-ghazi?), which I can totally see why she would get upset by that (not that you had those intentions Mike, but she's a woman that has sounds like has fought a lot to be the person she is now, and has probably been put down, or denigrated as a 'diva' by men who weren't showing her the respect (no pun intended!) she deserves. And you said that her phone was going off, so that may have lead to distractions at the start (as well as emotions).

There were moments of great story telling that are what make a Toronto Mike'd podcast great. Her stories about the Kumbaya festival, her response to Brian's question, and talking about how she hopes to provide equity for the Kensington Jazz festival are really helped salvage this episode.

If you subscribe to alternate universe theory, there is a universe where this interview goes very well and is one of your best.

Also, I'm willing to bet that if you reached out post Jazz festival when Ms. Johnson is less preoccupied emotionally and professionally, she probably would come back to KOTJ, and you can have that deep dive into Molly's life that you wanted (and probably get that conversation about The Wire that you crave!). I don't subscribe to the feelings/insults in this thread that many are putting out there about her. Many deal with grief and adversity differently. I bet this still would have been a great conversation if a) Aretha Franklin had not have passed RIGHT before and b) the scheduling wasn't wrong and the two could have conversed before hand, and Mike got to do his usual intro schtick.

August 22, 2018 @ 2:42 PM

dan d

You should definatley do something about mixing music in with your interviews. It needs to be mixed better or to be honest it sounds like I'm in your basement at a CD party. Unnecessary. Also Molly might have been icy and/or cranky but your research was non-existent. You interview a lot of media people and they love being on your show because quite frankly a lot of them are has-beens but when you interview singers, actors, etc. you need to know what you are talking about because those people do so many interviews. I like your podcast quite a bit but you need to step up your game.

September 15, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@dan d

I did quite a bit of research, tbh.

But I'm more interested in specifics regarding the mix. I'm playing sound elements in real-time and fading as appropriate. Are you suggesting the music is being played too loud, too quiet, or what? This feedback only helps me improve if you tell me exactly what you don't like.

Oh, and if you're bored, feel free to go through this list of guests to let me know the "has beens" from the "currents" from the "never was".

September 15, 2018 @ 3:47 PM


I meant no disrespect to the has-beens. Some of those has-beens are my faves. The music seems awlward live and maybe should be dropped in when you are editing. Live it seems the levels are too loud and distracting.

September 16, 2018 @ 1:29 AM

dan d

that's me above forgot to sign in

September 16, 2018 @ 1:30 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@dan d

I agree.

I like the music "live" so we can react to it authentically, but I've started fading it down lower when the guest is speaking. I agree I wasn't bringing it down enough.

And please don't judge the show on this one episode. I was so far off my game before I pressed record that I simply couldn't do my thing. I consider this an outlier. :)

September 16, 2018 @ 7:50 AM

Jacqueline McDonald

And she thinks she isn't a Diva? Complete Diva and extremely rude. I knew you did your research but she looked for any opening to make you look inexperienced. She was taking your words and at times her own prior words and totally twisting them around. I don't know how you keep your composure.

You remained kind and professional. I listened to most of it but she was just too disingenous to me. And seriously did she actually pretend to start to cry? Didn't know who she was before and wished I still didn't.

January 3, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

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