Monday, August 10, 2009

Alumni Month Pheaturing Jeff Cameron


Hey, there, welcome to a Monday entry of the Phile. So, how are you? Big “American Idol” news — Paula Abdul’s not returning as a judge. That’s crazy! To leave a top-rated show like that, you’d have to be high... Paula made an official statement. She said, “Razzle badezzle bub.”
Paula, I thought I knew you! This country has room for only one woman who quits early, and that’s Sarah Palin. She supposedly wanted $20 million a year. She told The Associated Press, “At this point, there are many wonderful things being offered to me.” Of course there are. There are a lot of openings for crazy women right now — Octo-Mom nanny, governor of Alaska... You don’t hear much about gold mining these days, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will ban gold miners from using gas-powered tools to look for gold in rivers. Once again, it’s Arnold versus the machines. Here's some news from America's Wang... A guy in Florida was charged with 10 counts of child pornography. Well, he’s blaming his cat. He says that the cat would jump on the keyboard and somehow that would download child pornography. It turns out it was a huge misunderstanding — the cat was downloading “kitty” porn. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are in Kiawah Island, South Carolina for a weeklong vacation. That’s great. They’re saying it’s the most relaxing vacation Obama’s ever had. And you can always tell when Joe Biden’s been to the beach. He comes back with braided hair-plugs. Despite losing over 200,000 jobs in July, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.5 percent to 9.4 percent. I think that means a lot of people got hired to work at the unemployment office. But that small drop is not enough for Obama. To get that number down even further, he’s promised to find Paula Abdul a job. If you've been following this blog you'd know I have been showing you that some companies have been changing their logos and names to reflect the god-awful economy. Well, Dell just released their new logo. It hasn't changed that much, just slightly. And I think most people would not even notice. Here is the new logo.

See what I mean? A few entries ago I told you about pin trading at Disney, and said I would show you some weird looking pins that Disney is selling. Here's another one. Check it out.

It looks like a clown's pecker or something, but it is actually part of a pin set that spells out DISNEY, so I am guessing it's an 'I'. What do you think? Now, most of you readers know I do not like animals and when I saw this picture it just gave me another reason I don't like animals.

Poor fucker. Alright, Jeff Cameron's interview is up in a bit, but first...

To assist in the war with Poland, Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus builds a magnificent warship, the Vasa, with 64 bronze cannon on two tiers. But on its maiden voyage, the lower gunports are accidentally left open, and the ship immediately sinks to the bottom of Stockholm harbor. The ship remains submerged until it is raised in 1961 to become a tourist attraction.
Last words of James French, sent to the Electric Chair by the state of Oklahoma: "How about this for a headline for tomorrow's paper? FRENCH FRIES."
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca are brutally murdered in their Los Feliz, California home by followers of Charles Manson. They take some of their victims' blood and smear HEALTER SKELTER on the refrigerator door.
Paul McCartney and his wife Linda are arrested in Sweden after postal officials intercept a parcel of hashish addressed to their band, Wings.
Disgruntled postal worker John Merlin Taylor blows his wife's brains out with a .22 Ruger, then drives to his job at the Orange Glen post office in Escondido, California. There he kills two coworkers on the back loading dock, then wounds another inside before blowing his own brains out.
Heated by the sun, power lines begin to sag in Oregon. Somehow this triggers a series of failures which cascades throughout the Western states. Four million people lose electrical service in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Texas.

For the purposes of this movie there is no "Joe." The former kung-fu-grip-employing boy-doll is now the name of an elite international fighting force hell bent on destroying as much stuff as possible in the name of saving the world (mostly Paris, though, because this is the summer of American action movies that destroy Paris and its never-ending supply of street mimes) from Destro, an evil arms dealer with metal-eating microbugs on his side and Cobra, an international organization of power-mad terrorists. And Sienna Miller in a catsuit. I never watched G.I. Joe. I never even played with the action figure when I was a kid. Therefore, I do not care about G.I. Joe or his problems. So lucky for me there was no G.I. Joe in this movie at all, just a bunch of tech-savvy counter-terrorists, digital undersea mecha-sharks, fake Eiffel Tower destruction/9-11 exploitation, Double Bubble product placement, and child-on-child face-kicking. It's about nothing, but who cares? It's the last big action movie of the summer and it does what it's supposed to do. Now it's over. What It's Not: 1. As intentionally confusing or as aggressively stylized or clankingly stupid as the Transformers movies, which makes it also less interesting than those movies. 2. Completely convinced that women can be as superheroic as men, since both of the female leads eventually need saving by some dumb guy, which means the creators never watched the X-Men films. 3. Going to go down without getting those damn Hasbro balloons into at least a couple of shots. Because happy bunches of balloons are what you think about when someone is trying to use iron-munching insects to eat all of Paris and destroy is population. What I Spent Most Of The Movie Wondering: "Who did Sienna Miller hook up with on this shoot?" From 1 to 10, I give it a 7. Logan liked it a lot and said his favorite part was "All of it". And we both decided that we thought Scarlett was hot.

And now for the...

Our guest this week for Alumni Month is in the middle of making his big comeback. He was last on the Phile on December 23rd last year, and was one of the most original interviewees ever. He'll be playing on my son's birthday which is November 5th at The Golden Door in Greed, Delaware. Please welcome back to the Phile... Jeff Cameron.

Q: Hello Jeff, Welcome back to the Phile. So, are you honored you were chosen as a Phile alumni?

Jeff: Thank you for having me. Yes I am honored to be back. There's a pretty good opportunity for me to start doing my wacky routine! (laughs) but I think I'll wait a couple more questions!

Me: So how have you been ? Pretty busy since we last spoke in December right?

Jeff: I have been well yes! I have been busy with the new album which has been very slow in coming! But its getting there! The funding has been tough. Usually I make an album and see if a record company wants to make a deal and put it out. I was broke this time and didn't have the money to just record it so funding has been tough finding investors.

Me: Are you still based in California, Jeff?

Jeff: I was thinking of buying a small house by the sea in a remote part of Oregon or Washington state. I don't mind the rain. I like the green pretty country. I think I am gonna make one or two more albums and retire to gardening and nature watching up there. I mean I will always be available to cut a few tracks if the people want me too... But LA is more smoggy, overcrowded, and expensive than ever. Some of the charm of my beloved neighborhoods
I wrote about in some of the songs is gone...

Me: Thanks for the music you have sent me. You did a song with the Nitty Gritty Dirt band right? How were they to work with and what was the song you did with them? Do you still keep in touch with any of them ?

Jeff: Uh, jeez, why not just ask me what I had for dinner in 1965! Lets see, I did four tracks with four guys in the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band... in um 1980... at a fantastic studio called Indigo Ranch in Malibu, CA. You live up there while you are working! They have a bunkhouse and accomadations for like six or eight people. The engineer Richard Kaplan lives on the
property... its like forty miles outside of LA on top of a mountain and coyotes. I was twenty and my marriage was breaking up to my first wife. We cut four tracks I never met those guys before or since. We had a good producer Terry Smith from a group Jerry and the Tamerlanes... they had one big hit in 1961 called "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" So the guys were all seasoned pros and they played sidemen to me the green rookie 20 year old singer songwrite. I don't even have copies of three of those songs anymore! Terry Smith might if I could find him! However the coolest one called "I Need Your Love" will be on the box set. The set will have four discs three old albums and the new album! And "I Need Your Love" from those sessions will be on disc one. The guy played great slide on that just fab gear! Dont kid yourself, Jason, I remember every session, what tamborine we used! My wife was there and Richard Kaplan loved the young Dylan sound I got on this little bit of the song. I remember the lyric to that part! It was what 29 years ago! Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues built that studio and sold it Richard and Mike Hoffman. Mike died suddenly about 20 years ago. Richard still owns it I think. He had the nicest sounding Studer 24 tracks I ever heard, that room, the tracking room has no right angles some kind of Moody Blue OM Thing, it's domed like a religious dealie. Ok next.

Me: You also recorded with the drummer from Cheap Trick, but not Bun E. You recorded with the original drummer. What was his name? Are you a fan of Cheap Trick ?

Jeff: Am I fan of Cheap Trick?! Are you fucking with me?! Yes, of course! Jason, I got news for you, I worked with lots of people, kiddo! You are talking about Thom Mooney! Best drummer I ever worked with ever! Man, what a rush. Hey, Jason, I got to play bass while he played drums. I got to lock in the rhythm section with one of the best drummers in the history of rock. Thom is still around, he is one helluva nice guy. It was fun to be around him and cut tracks! First of get it right. Thom was the drummer in the Nazz, the legendary American group that was Todd Rundgrens first group, like an American Kinks or Who or Beatles. The guys were from Pennsylvania and they have three legendary albums. Thom inspired that whole drum
style Mick Fleetwood is known for with the floor toms and those kinda fills... freakin great! Playing bass on one of my own songs while he pounded out the groove was one of my great thrills. Thom went on to play with Bob Welch and the original Cheap Trick and Cindy Bullens and lots of people including me, Jeff Cameron! The way that came about I was cowriting songs and recording with Mike Curtis of the Curtis Brothers. We became pals when I was about seventeen and we smoked pot and played popcorn baseball and wrote a lot of tunes after smoking a little reefer, and then we recorded some of them in the late seventies and early eighties! In fact one of those songs, one of my Jeff and Mike songs is gonna be on the new album a new recording. Anyway Mike wrote "Blue Letter" for Fleetwood Mac and "Southern Cross" for CSN and they were friends so Mike, Thom, and I recorded a number of tracks around 79-81. Great stuff. Mike and I might do one for the new album if I wanna fly to Tennesee which I'm not so keen on! Next question.

Me: Jeff, you are not working with your friend Gary Cambra anymore are you ? You mentioned in your last interview you and Gary had a falling out. Any update on that? And for those
of the readers who don't know explain who Gary is or was.

Jeff: Gary Cambra was a South African heart surgeon who accidentally grafted a bulls testicle onto my aortic heart valve giving me an incredible sexual stamina that let to my career as a Brazilian adult film star known as Thringo Bort. No, actually, that's not true. Gary Cambra is a terrific musician, composer, singer, cook, family man and political activist! He was one of the main members of the Jeff Cameron Band. We did three or four albums, assorted singles, and demos in the mid to late eighties into the early ninties. Occasionally he cowrote one of tunes
with me and became the producer and coproducer after Richie Podolor stepped aside. I retired in the nineties from recording for a variety of reasons, financial, professional, personal. Gary and were friends and I did much of my recorded work with Gary last year when I resumed writing and recording. Gary, Dave Sutton and I did my debut track together. A song I had written called "Chocolate and Tears". When recording concluded I told Gary I thought the record was slightly underproduced and needed a couple of overdubs, some more background vocals and or a couple more keyboard tracks. He got pissed off at that. He disagreed thought the record was fine the way it was. We had a big argument over the phone and on the emails! We called each other names and insulted each other and have not spoken since. He threatened to burn the tapes to an album we had done in '91 and never released, among other things! He did email and apologize the next day. He said he was stressed out because of the kids and moving to a new house. But I neglected to call him back after the previous argument. Gary could call me and talk and maybe it would be alright. He said he would call me after he finished moving. But I dont believe he ever did. So you know, to tell you the truth Gary had a little resentment when I quit in the nineties. We had spent years growing a following and making records, just as we were on the verge of bigger success I quit and that pissed him off I think. Also Gary writes his own songs and makes his own albums. He made albums with The Tubes after I quit as well. So he doesn't need me. I don't really need him either. But I do
love him like a brother and some of my favorite moments in recording were with him. But when people start insulting me and threatening to burn the tapes... well what can you say!
Perhaps if he were to call... But I guess he doesn't want to. Of course I made a few remarks about him as well. Meanwhile the album continues and "Chocolate and Tears" is a nice record, don't you think? Even if it is a tad underproduced. Really, to be honest I was infuriated at the vocal sound and eq he got on me! He didn't do it on purpose! But he buried me slightly in the mix and had a shitty eq on me. You know we hadn't cut a tune together in fifteen years and there was a lot of pressure to do well on that tune cause there was not funding for a whole album. These things happen.

Me: How Is David Sutton doing?

Jeff: AHA! I mean achoo! I mean is this planet really in a universe larger than ourselves ? I mean what if you me and the earth is just a barnacle on a Big UFO being flown by a Giant malevolent Killer Clown who is taking us to be slaves on a livestock farm in Andromeda somewhere ? Do you ever think about that, smarty pants ? Oh, I'm sorry, Dave is doing good. He is on the road in Europe with the great singer songwriter Lucinda Williams and he has been with her for awhile. He does the tours and the albums. Dave and I just talked. He said he wanted to play bass on some more of the new songs. We don't really get together but I do the tune, sometimes he offers a few suggestions and then I email him the recording and he adds his bass parts. What a guy and a super bass player and a generally nice human being. For those who don't know Dave was the bass player in the Jeff Cameron Band. I love you, David ! Wherever you are! What Dave and I do is I send a mix of just the drums and another mix of everything and he just pops it in there and uploads it back. It's comforting one of the guys there sometimes from before, not necessary really but nice. Steve Klong is dead. So really Gary, Dave and I are all that's left of those days. Jasoon. Jassooon, I uhwa I tirsty I wants osme wawa I tursty
I wanna dwink I tursty Jassssooon I wasnts some wata.

Me: You are working with a New Zealander named Peter Kearns. Jeff, how did you get to meet him? He's a great piano player,isn't he?

Jeff: Well, yes he is. He is also the inventor of potato lyonnaise in a box, and I met him at a food convention in Reno, Nevada. He is also an escaped Nazi from the war. He was known as the butcher of Nancy Pants and I saw a wanted poster in the post office right before I flew to Reno for the potato Lyonaisse and one thing led to another and we decided to do an album
about the history of Backgammon in Romania and... Cut, no stop, ow, hey, cut it out. I recieved word that Peter might like to try cutting a couple tracks and I was casting about for a producer and we got to talking a little. Then I heard his great gear fab solo album and I was sold as it were. We have cut a couple tracks so far and may cut a few more. Peter is a great piano player and a good producer engineer. But you know he is also busy with his next solo album. Peter and I have become friends and will probably remain so, but he has career to think about. Ya know after Gary and I argued I thought, oh no what should I do. I mean I could cut a track all by myself if I wanted to but what fun is that! So yeah, when I heard Peters stuff I thought yeah I want to cut a few tracks with this cat and so we have and they are turning out well. I am having so much fun I think we may do a couple more time permitting. That's Peter Kearns folks, check out his album or something like that!

Me: I have to ask you about Michael Jackson, Jeff. Were you a fan, and what did you think when he passed away? Did you watch the memorial on TV ?

Jeff: No, I did not watch the memorial on TV. The whole thing began to have a circus like vibe that sickened me and cheapened it all. I was not a fan, no. I'm a songwriter. I admire great songwriters which he really wasn't. I think he was a great entertainer and personality. Good singer, great self promoter. And a homeboy. Ironically, when he was really big around the time of "Thriller" I would see him hanging around Sherman Oaks all the time. He would be alone with no body guards or hangers on, just him alone hangin' out. He used to go to a health food store my cousin worked in. He was a year older I think. We went to private school together for a year when we were like eight, Or I went to some school next to their house. There was this school a couple blocks from their house on Hayvenhurst. I don't like what he did to McCartney and the Beatles with the catalogue. And all the stories of pedophelia. Lets just say he wasn't no John Lennon. But ya, he was my neighbor and contemporary, so naturally it's sad when someone dies so tragically. My uncle was a buddy of Elvis so I had sort of been through that movie before. John Lennons death still bothers me to this day. The reaction to Michael Jacksons death strikes me as a deevolution of America a raving serial pedophile who really didn't write most of his own songs, well, he cowrote some of them. But who the hell would idolize someone like that? Now if you wanna ask me about the young man I saw in Sherman Oaks twenty five years ago. Well that was a different young man I had a little bit of respect for that guy but that guy died a long long time ago, okay? Enough said.

Me: You mentioned before a man named Richie Podolor, who has quite a career in rock history, working with tons of bands. He's pretty much responsible for your whole career isn't he?

Jeff: Ooh, jeez, make me puke! Responsible for my whole career! Ohmy God! God. God. No. I don't think that's true. His brother Don who was my manager got me my first record deal with a big label, with a little additional pressure from my dad! On Don! I would say this though. I have known the Podolor family most of my life and they are all bright and unusual people.
Talent runs in the family. Richie is without doubt the most brilliant and musical producer I have ever seen. A quirky genius no doubt. The album he produced of me will be in the
box set. Sadly the original master tapes are lost, but still. I learned a lot from Richie Podolor about making good albums. Richie is second to none in terms of classic hits! "Born To Be Wild" to "Teen Beat" to "Let There Be Drums" to "Magic Carpet Ride"! To "Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog" to "One Is The Loneliest Number" to "Mama Told Me Not To Come"! From Alice Cooper to Three Dog Night to Sandy Nelson to Steppenwolf, The Electric Prunes to the Grateful Dead to Steve Vai to Dwight Twilley to you name it. I cherish the tracks I did with him what and opportunity. What an insight into making great records! And the tracks he cut were great, I enjoyed it! Not so much making them at the time but in retrospect what an honor. I worked with a lot of great people. Having him as a producer certainly made it easier to get a record deal. But he is rather unpleasant sometimes and very eccentric. I don't think he is responsible for anything but cutting some tracks with me and helping make it easier to shop the tunes. I cherish working with Gary Cambra and Mike Curtis and Thom Mooney and Peter Kearnes also. Hey, did you just take my slurpy, what the hell is the matter with you! Did you backwash in my soda, what the hell is wrong with you? Hey hey hey that masked Santa Clause that ran past the window! We must report him ole boy! There is a reward. He wet the holiday cushions at the Kmart holiday display after drinking two bottles of sterno he stole from a crippled blind woman in camping supply! I tell you, ole boy, one spark of that shoe heel on the pavement with that liquor breathe and we will be roasted alive trapped in this building like rats on a burning ship. Quickly call 911 and tell them you spotted the masked Santa before he sparks a heel on the pavement.

Me: Jeff, Have you heard of the band NRBQ? If not, you should check them out your music is very similar even though its a little more complex. What is your favorite album and song you have recorded?

Jeff: I have heard of them, Jason, but I dont know who the hell they are. The pestering numbskulls keep calling me to meet me. I thought it was about the Brazilian porno or something and one of them climbed up my trellis and the wife started screaming and I doused the lousy peepin' tom with some pepper spray and poop from the kitty box. No, actually I don't know who the hell they are. I heard they stole all my ideas though. Studied me like a German thesis for cold blooded reptiles under a hot microscope of Japanese mimicry. What the hell, did you see than man put the rubber hose under that sliding gate treacherous as hell you could break an ankle and go into shock before someone called 911. Listen to Jeff Cameron! No, Jason, I thought NRBQ was a cable station where they sell that overpriced crapola to spending addicts like my wife. Favorite song of mine? "Oranges and Coffee" or "Chocolate and Tears" or maybe "Getting In Gear" or maybe "Sunshine Woman". I dont know. Some people like "Charity" or "Mr Raymonds Garden". Who the hell knows when you wrote those classics like me! I like the new album, I like the Podolor album, I like "Out of the Blue". Who the hell knows?

Me: I am songwriting myself but need someone to write music for me. Any Ideas? Hint, hint.

Jeff: The son of Lonesome Dave and you can't write music! Give me that horsewhip! I told you I would help you for free! I told you I would give you a track you could put words to and sing or something! What I am too slow now! You want me to be speedy! Fork over the dough! Free things are slower! What you want me to special write music for one of your lyrics something tailor made! OH MY WORD. Wheres the words? You better email them so I can have a look.

Me: You wrote on your Myspace blog about green energy. Are you an enviornmentalist, Jeff ?

Jeff: Yes, I think green energy can help slow climate change and global warming for our childrens children. I think it can create new industries and jobs for America and reduce our need to field American armies in unfriendly oil producing countries to protect our interest in that oil. Let other countries fight over dwindling oil supplies. Let the United States help lead the world into new forms of energy and technology. Read my blog!

Me: I know you are a fan of Elvis Costello as well as myself. Have you heard his new album? It's really good.

Jeff: No, I haven't heard his last two or three albums. I have "The Deliveryman" and "North". How many albums ago is that ? My favorites are still "Spike" and the one after "Spike", what's it called? Uh, "The Other Side of Summer", what is it? He is the Cole Porter of his time just brilliant. Talk about me, Jason, not him. He doesn't need the press. My wife has been kidnapped and taken to a Chinese junk in Hong Kong Harbor... if I don't pay a hundred grand and my grandmas fudge recipe they said they will harm her.

Me: Jeff, did you tour a lot back in the day? If so, what was your favorite gig? And did you get to do any TV appearances back then ?

Jeff: Well, lets see my worst gig (laughs) was with Arthur Lee from Love! His comeback gig! He was playing in Chinatown and me and Mike Curtis worked for a week on his crappy deal and did the show and we went backstage to get paid for a week and his biker manager pulled a gun out of his boot and threatened to shoot us if we didn't leave and then they stole our bags with our street clothes as well! What an asshole... some years later I believe he went in the backyard and shot his dog because it was barking! The best gig was, uh, I think the night I played the Roxy in front of the hometown crowd! What a show! Great stage, plenty of room and great acoustics! Some slimy dude called, I think David Seven! Hah hah David Seven like that Star Trek Chick! And he, uh, lied and said we were headlining and then he put us in the middle of the sets and, uh, we blew the doors off the place me and Gary and Dave and Stevie and Randy Gollard and man we had 'em screaming. We did "Raymonds Garden" and "Strange Days" and "Dickens Street" and "Mercy" and I think "Hollywood Girls"! And we had a thing where I said Dave needed a date and we had hundreds of girls lining up and flowers from all the girls clogging the stage! And Davey was so redfaced when I told the girls to line up for the Davey needs a date thing! It was a riot and they kept throwing flowers! And it was quite a set! And then the poor kids who had to follow us were afraid and asked us to go and do their set with them because they were afraid to follow us on we blew the bloody doors off the place!

Me: Jeff, go ahead and plug anything you want, my friend. I wish you luck with your new recordings, sir. Is there anything else you want to tell the readers of the Phile ?

Jeff: Just that I don't like that tie, Jason. Turn away you are making my head spin like Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend. Help me. Help please turn away... Hey everyone, after a fourteen year layoff I am making a new album I have the first three songs posted on my Myspace page as a preview for the upcoming Jeff Cameron album later this year or early next! So please check it out and tell a friend! Please leave your comments telling me what you think of the tunes! And buy a copy when it comes out! And pray for good things for the earth our planet and us, its people.Peace and love and every once in a while don't you just have to say jeez I'm starving for a big peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Makes my mouth water and remember! Good Karma Stew. What if they did it to you! Made you a meal or put you in the zoo!


Man, what an interview. Thanks to Jeff Cameron for taking his time out, entertaining myself and I am sure all of you as well. Alright, the Phile will be back on Friday with singer Brandy Bedo from Silhouette Song. Also on Friday I have a special announcement that the Phile will start doing. It'll be cool, trust me. That's I think it'll be cool. Thanks again to Jeff Cameron and of course Wikipedia. Check out Jeff's music please at Until Friday, spread the word, not the turd.


Anonymous said...

Great interview!! That was a lot of history about Jeff I didn't know.

Anonymous said...

IS dis a joke this guy ?

Anonymous said...

This guy is a riot! I can't believe all the people he has worked with. I had no idea! Or
that he played bass

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a great interview
which of those albums are still
available ? and what are the correct titles ?