Pipe Personalities Packed Show for Radio Show of January 24, 2023- Jeff, Fred & Rich

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Smoking a Pipe Right Now
Staff member
Nov 16, 2008
St. Petersburg, FL
We have a pipe personalities packed Pipes Magazine Radio Show tonight. We’ve been running two different series with two different prominent pipe collectors and authors. We have “Inside Fred’s Head” with Fred Hanna. He is the author of the book, “The Perfect Smoke”, and known for collecting straight grain pipes. The other series is a follow-up to Fred, “Rich Responds” with Rich Esserman. Rich has penned innumerous articles about pipes and tobacco for several publications, and he is known for collecting quite large pipes. We’ll be featuring the final remnants of those two series all in this show. As if that’s not enough, at the top of the show our segment will feature pipe artisan Jeff Gracik with another installment of “Ask the Pipemaker”.

The show airs every Tuesday at 8:00pm eastern US time, and can be found at PipesMagazine.com and all podcast apps.

May 9, 2021
Geoje Island South Korea
Hi guys, another good listen for my Wednesday evening smoke, thank you.

Pipe Parts.
Totally agree and understand where Jeff is coming from, when asked about making pipes from other materials. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Was this the final with installment of "Inside Fred's Head & Rich Responds"? It's always a great listen having these two stalwarts of pipe smoking on the show, but I was expecting a kind of Head to Head thing, where they would mete out each others opinions/responses. A suggestion for a future show, perhaps?

A very eclectic choice of music choice for the show tonight. Mute Math, never heard of them, not being a Prog' Rock lover. But, having listened to the song a couple times, not too bad. They have certainly got the old school of prog' rock off pat.

Looking forward to the next installment,
Cliff - Honkytonk Man.

Mrs. Pickles

Starting to Get Obsessed
May 8, 2022
Really enjoyed this one. Brian sort of apologized for this show being made of fragments, but it hardly seemed random. There was a great through-line in these discussions that made me think a bit about why tastes in the pipe world are what they are. My takeaway from Fred and Brian's myth busting, Rich's stories, and Gracik's comments on pipe materials is that when something's rare and expensive, it commands an air of distinction that (for good or ill) can drive us to delusion about how good that something really is. What's interesting about that delusion is that its often a wilful one.

As the fellows laid out: A perfectly straight grain smokes better, the $500+ sticker makes a pipe worthy of attention, briar is naturally the material for a boutique carver because it's the expensive material, and (I suspect) back when Brian was developing his tastes in tobacco, the imported tins of with Latakia in them were the hard-to-get and expensive ones and therefore "the best." All these things are like that century-old bottle of wine that tastes amazing to some people because it's expected to. We're more than willing to go along for the ride if we're primed by the idea that it's a rarity. And why not? If we expect to enjoy something more, we often do.

But the delusion does some damage too. To our wallets, obviously, but more importantly to our ability to value what's in front of us. Was I smoking McClelland 5100 with such reverence when I could buy it for an utterly boring and mundane retail price? Well, I wasn't. Maybe the revelation is that whatever our bread-and-butter smoke is now (and whatever mickey-mouse pipe it's burning in) are also gosh-darn miracles. I'll do my best to remember this next time there's an Esoterica drop. :)


Can't Leave
Jan 12, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio
Another great show Brian. I won't leave you with a discertation about the things discussed during the show, however, I will say that I greatly enjoyed the conversation between yourself and your guests. Again, I don't always agree with the conclusions that they possess, but the perspective that both Rich, Fred and Jeff bring is unique in that it has been shaped over the course of decades of observations, conversations and relationships. Something that I, in this hobby, do not have but wish to build. Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed the discourse and congratulations on another great show.