May 30, 2022

I Couldn't Throw It Out: Season 1 Schedule

Hello all!

In case you're wondering about the future, Sally and I will be releasing new episodes of I Couldn't Throw It Out on Fridays during the summer of 2022.

That way,  you can listen over the weekend while hanging in a hammock or shvitzing on a city rooftop. 

Here's our planned schedule:

Friday, September 30:  My First Job -- The Arrogant Assistant's Letters
My very first boss Joseph Kanon -- now known as a bestselling, award-winning author of spy novels, including The Good German -- was a leading book editor when he hired me as his assistant for my very first job.  But Joe never had a clue that I was sending literary advice in letters to authors, and posing as the boss.  At least until the Brooke Shields incident.  Should those letters -- which I saved -- be saved or tossed?  Joe joins us to determine their fate.

Friday, October 28:  Eazy-E:  My 1991/95 Interview Tapes. Parts 1 and 2
Out of the many hip-hop stars I interviewed for my 1992 book, Break It Down:  The Inside Story from the New Leaders of Rap, I connected the most with the gangst rapper Eazy-E.  In part 1, Dr. Dre -- the former host of Yo! MTV Raps -- joins Sally and me to discuss the legacy of Eazy-E's hugely popular group N.W.A.  Then we listen to my full interview, conducted outside Eazy's recording studio.  In part 2, we play my 1993 interview with Eazy during the L.A. riots -- and revisit the controversy around Eazy-E's surprising death from AIDS in 1995, with audio interviews from Jerry Heller, Method Man and others.

Friday, November 25:  Kidney Transplant:  The Cards and Letters, Parts 1 and 2
In 2014 -- after two kidney transplants -- my wife Cindy Ruskin's health was failing.  Because of lupus and APLS, she needed another transplant to survive.  But just when it seemed impossible, we learned a nearly miraculous fact that changed both of our lives forever.  Cindy got her transplant and now she's doing well.  Before we can throw out the cards and letters that came in after that event, we want to tell the story of how we met at 18 and the crazy challenges we faced before her current return to health.

Friday, December 9:  Kiefer Sutherland, My 1983 Interview Tape
Until I found the tape in my boxes, I forgot that I was the first person to interview 15-year-old Kiefer Sutherland for a national publication.  It was his first movie, and one of my first out-of-town assignments.  Guess who was more mature.  (Spoiler: Not me.)

Friday, December 16:  The Levitt Family History
A 1977 cassette tape created by my grandfather's sister Sadie led to dramatic discoveries about my mother's family, including: a kidnapping, a violin prodigy, a death from appendicitis, and not one -- but two -- terrible car accidents.  All these clues led to Youtube videos that reveal details of my family's past in Lithuania that weren't known by a single living descendent.  Join my younger cousins and me, to see if they'll keep the history alive by preserving my stash.

Friday, January 6, 2023:  My 1984 Tape:  REO Speedwagon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Chuck Barris 
When I was writing the Chatter gossip column on the last page of PEOPLE, I had to grab any tape available when the phone rang for a phone interview.  Hear one tape that included a strange mix of interviews, with the leader of a chart-topping rock band that sponsored a speed skater in the Olympics; with a then-struggling artist whose works are now among the most expensive in the world; and with the host of the Gong Show who claimed to be a CIA killer.  Definitely an unusual time capsule.

And that's season one!  We're still finishing the episodes now.  But, with any luck, they'll all be ready by the dates we've listed.  Or else I'll have to change the dates.  And you'll pretend that I didn't, right?

Season 2 will start later this winter!