Friday, December 3, 2010

Pheaturing Bobby Rondinelli

Hello, and welcome to the Phile. It's so cold here in Florida right now, it's about 50 something degrees. But if you think it's cold here or where you are from, hell froze over. I am officially left Epcot after almost 23 years. Yep, Sunday I start my new job at the Magic Kingdom. Disney doesn't want me to say exactly where I will be working but all I can say is, Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. We pillage, we plunder, we rifle, and loot, Drink up, me 'earties, yo ho.
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot, Drink up me 'earties, yo ho. So, what do you think of the Christmas logo? I used it once last year but I liked it so much I am gonna use it all this month. As I said, yesterday was my last day and Epcot. It was very sad and bittersweet, and to top my miserable day off it was also the 10th anniversary of my mom's... or as we say in England, mum's death. I have to show you a picture of her that my sister sent me.

Beautiful, right? Every time I want to get something and my wife says no, I always "My mom would've got it for me." It never works. Let's see what else is going on. Did you guys have a good holiday weekend? If you’re a turkey or a sweet potato, congratulations on making it through the weekend alive. It turns out that it’s not the turkey that makes you sleepy — it’s being drunk at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. President Obama took an elbow to the face last week and had to get 12 stitches. He was was on line Black Friday at Best Buy trying to get a $49 Blu-ray player. Black Friday is getting crazier every year. On Thanksgiving Thursday, we give thanks for the truly meaningful things, and then on Friday, we go out and stab each other to save $6.99 on a Nintendo DS. John Wayne’s wig was up for auction. He wore wigs in all of his movies after 1948, but made up for it with his cool walk. Last month, Darth Vader’s suit went up for auction and it didn’t sell. They should try putting John Wayne’s wig on it. If you’re thinking about buying John Wayne’s wig, let me make one thing very clear. Buying his wig will not make you tough like John Wayne. I admire John Wayne as an actor, but I’m not interested in buying stuff that belonged to him. I prefer collecting personal items from celebrities that are still alive — which is stealing. Have you been following tis whole WikiLeaks mess? I haven't either. But, Rep. Peter King says WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to our national security and should be branded a terrorist organization. Former Vice President Dick Cheney says we should waterboard the Internet. I just hope my Phile doesn't leak. This is something I am excited to go to New York to see: the new Spider-Man musical. The New York Post called the Broadway show based on “Spider-Man” a flop. I think the musical flopped because it’s a musical about “Spider-Man.” Oh, I almost forgot... Happy Hannukah to my Jewish friends and my sister and her husband and family. Did I spell it right? The miracle of Hanukkah is that there was only enough oil to keep the menorah lit for one night and it lasted for eight nights. As far as religious miracles go, it’s not exactly the resurrection of the Easter bunny, but it’s fun for the kids. Hanukkah is the festival of lights, or as Mel Gibson calls it, “Wednesday.” Speaking of Spider-Man, did you see the newest Spider-Man comic? I am very confused.

This year for Christmas, the hottest video game is not "Epic Mickey". It's "Fallout 4: Disney World", and I have the first promo for it right here. This looks kinda cool.

Hey, did you see the Old Navy commercial featuring yours truly? Here is a pic.

Man, I am so lame. Let's get to the sad stuff.

Leslie Nielsen
February 11, 1926 - November 28, 2010
He died in a big white building, with patients. But that's not important right now.

Rapunzel is a princess kidnapped at birth by an old witch and locked up in a tall tower. The witch took her because Rapunzel's magical glow-in-the-dark hair has the power to heal illness and provide a major anti-aging boost to anyone who touches it. To activate the magic hair abilities, Rapunzel must first be singing her special hair song. It's complicated. So, you'd think that for their 50th animated feature, Disney would have hauled out the big guns. Something spectacular. Instead they've given us yet another princess story calculated to revive the public's cash-dispensing interest in that kneaded-to-death formula. It takes forever to pick up steam and, if you're still with it by the time it does, you'll wonder why you just spent money to see the same old tale retold in exactly the same way it was sold to you before. Cue the dishonest marketing: The Princess and the Frog didn't make hundreds of millions of dollars. In the Disney universe that's failure and a lot of dead stock merch unsold. That's why this one isn't called Rapunzel anymore and why the trailer features Rapunzel's male romantic interest and his horse instead. But guess who's not the star? And guess who doesn't sing the "I wish I could see the world/get out of this stupid tower/be something special" song? That's right, NOT THE GUY CHARACTER. Apparently little girls will willingly go see movies aimed at little boys, but little boys won't go see a princess movie. So it was only girls who made The Little Mermaid and Cinderella and Beauty and The Beast hits? Can someone explain this to me? I did like the cute animals believe it or not. You can't really have an animated Disney feature that's not already about animals without some comic relief critters, are better than the movie deserves. The prince/thief's is a disgruntled horse and Rapunzel's is a happily color-changing chameleon (quick, someone write a thesis on gender-typing about this), they're both mute and they both steal scene after scene from the Cream of Wheat-like main characters. In fact, I kept wishing I was watching a movie about just them. That's a problem. Anyway, from 1 to 10, it gets a 9. I might buy it when it comes out. I did buy four songs off iTunes from the soundtrack though.

This is the 11th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C. and is available from Amazon or your fave book shop. Get it for somebody for Christmas. The author, Jonathan bender, will be a guest on the Phile next week.

Okay, today's guest is is a rock drummer best known for his work with the hard rock/heavy metal bands like Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Quiet Riot, and Black Sabbath. Please welcome to the Phile the one and only... Bobby Rondinelli.

Me: Hello, Bobby, it's a great honor to have you here on the Phile. So, how are you?

Bobby: I'm doing great, and it's nice to be on the Phile.

Me: First I want to say we met a few times over the years but never really sat down and chatted. My dad did say really cool things about you when he was alive, y'know. When he put his back back together in the 90's you were one of the people he was thinking about being in it. So, you were almost a Foghat member, Bobby. Is it true you were also almost a Kiss member and almost in the Scorpions?

Bobby: Yea, it was down to me and Eric Carr, out of 2000 drummers and Eric finally got the gig, may he RIP. I did the "Love At First Sting" album for the Scorpions, but I would have liked to be a Foghat member, they were one of my favorites and I really thought your Dad was GREAT, and I really like Roger, he was always cool to me when I was a kid, he always told me I'd make it. In fact I stood in for Roger over the summer for 8 shows when he hurt his back and needed surgery, so now I can add Foghat to my resume, it was a blast.

Me: Screw the bands you were almost in, sir. You were in some of the greatest rock bands ever. Rainbow, Quiet Riot and Black Sabbath! Which band do you have the best memories about?

Bobby: Rainbow will always be special because it was my first big band and it was a great band.

Me: Are there any bands you turned down to be in?

Bobby: Lots, Whitesnake (big mistake), Michael Bolton, Meatloaf, Michael Schenker Group, Waysted, White Lion, and about 10 others that I can't remember.

Me: If you were asked to be in any band, which band would you choose?

Bobby: Whitesnake, I wouldn't make that mistake again.

Me: You are one of the rare drummers that I know that play drums with a double bass. We'll talk about that in a minute. Was drumming your first instrument you learnt?

Bobby: No, I started on Guitar we live in the city and my parents thought the drums were to loud for the neighbors so they got me a guitar. I started taking lesson when I was 10, after a few months I started digging it, my teacher says we are gonna do a recital, I said great, then he says and you have to sing, I said no way, I didn't really want to play guitar and I defiantly didn't want to sing, he said you have to sing. About a week into rehearsing for the recital my hair starts falling out, really every time I would brush or wash my hair, clumps of hair would come out from the root, after going to a few doctors that didn't have a clue, this female doctor asks me if I'm doing anything I don't want to do, and I start raving about how I have to sing and play guitar at this recital, she calls my parents back in the room and tells them this child doesn't want to play the guitar and he really does not want to sing. So my hair stopped falling out and I got my first drum kit 3 weeks later.

Me: I used to play drums, but I wasn't that good. My eleven year old has a drum set and has a pretty good beat, but drums are so annoying in the house. Did your parents hate it when you first started playing?

Bobby: No, my parents were great about it, the neighbors were another story.

Me: Looking at your bio I was surprised to find out you helped write a book called "The Encyclopedia of Double Bass Drumming". That's pretty impressive that one instrument can have a whole encyclopedia. When did you co-write that book, and did you come up with the idea or were you approached? Y'know, the Phile has a Book Club, so I will add "The Encyclopedia of Double Bass Drumming" to it. When can a Phile reader purchase the book if they are interested?

Bobby: I was approached by the co author Michael Lauren, it took 6 years to complete. It's the best thing I've ever done, you can get it from Modern Drummer Magazine, from Hal Leonard Publishing, or Amazon.

Me: Okay, let's talk about the double bass drum. Like I said, most drummers don't use a double bass, right? Why do you use it? Is it for a bigger sound?

Bobby: I actually use a double pedal now, you get the two bass drum sound on one drum, the reason is you can do more, sound bigger and you don't have to use it all the time, if you use it tasteful it's a home run.

Me: Speaking of drummers, I once interviewed Liberty DeVito here on the Phile, sir. I think you are the second major drummer I interviewed. I asked him who his favorite drummers were, so I will ask you the same. Who are your favorite drummers?

Bobby: The drummers who inspired me when I was growing up, were Ginger Baker, Carmine Appice, John Bonham, Dino Dinelli, Buddy Rich, Mitch Mitchel, Tony Williams, and Billy Cobham to name a few.

Me: I always knew you were from New York, but I just found out you were born in Port Jefferson. Were you born in St. Charles Hospital? My sister Leila was born there.

Bobby: No, I was born in Brooklyn, in Brooklyn Hospital, I moved to Port Jeff, when I was 16.

Me: I miss Port Jeff. Do you still live there or visit it often?

Bobby: I live in Ronkonkoma, my family still lives in Port Jeff Station.

Me: Did you go to school there? I went to Scraggy Hill for a half year and one year at Port Jeff Junior High. I bet you used to hang out at Billy's and Raspberry's.

Bobby: No, I hung out at Tueys back in the day and The Mad Hatter, I went to Brooklyn Tech for 2 years and Comsewogue High School for 2.

Me: Okay, Bobby, let's talk about your band The Lizards. Is that a band you put together yourself?

Bobby: The Lizards broke up for 4 years ago but we have a new record coming out from material we wrote in the past.

Me: Who is in the band with you?

Bobby: The Lizards were, Randy Pratt, Mike DiMeo, Patrick Klien, and me.

Me: You teach drumming as well, right? Where do you teach, Bobby?

Bobby: I teach at a place called Advantage Music.

Me: I have to ask you what was your favorite gig you have ever played.

Bobby: I have 3... Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, and Black Sabbath.

Me: Bobby, thanks so much for being on the Phile. It is a great honor, I mean it. Go ahead and plug whatever website you wanna plug... yours, The Lizards, anything. Thanks again and continued success. Rock on.

Bobby: I'm currently with Over The Rainbow hope to see you at a show. Thanks Jason for having me on the Phile.

Man, it would be nice if I could put the word PHINALLY in the box a little more in the middle. Oh, well. Thanks to Bobby for a great interview. Also, thanks to you, my phans for reading. The Phile will be back next Tuesday because of my training schedule. The guest as I already mentioned will be author Jonathan Bender. Remember, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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