Monday, March 5, 2012

Pheaturing Pete Donnelly

Hey, kids, welcome to the Peverett Phile. How are you? Before you ask, the 'Trotters won yesterday, but it was close. I thought the Elite were gonna win or a bit. Anyway, here's proof how close it was.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't that close. But by halftime it was 60 to 60.  Rick Santorum is saying the kids that go to college are snobs. Rick Santorum has a new program for children. It's called Every Child Left Behind. Santorum thinks that global warming, climate change, is a hoax. Let me ask you something, Rick. If you think global warming and climate change is a hoax, how do you explain those sleeveless sweaters? I still like Ron Paul myself, as long as Kelly Clarkson supports him. Ron Paul looks like the guy you see in the horse-racing movies on the back stretch with a stopwatch. Ron Paul announced earlier his campaign is the only one that's entirely financed by moonshine. That's another reason to like him.  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney accused the other GOP candidates of pandering to voters to get support. Romney was like, "I would never pander to voters. I mean, unless you guys want me to."  A new report found that Hawaii has the best quality of life of any state in the U.S. You know, just in case you thought it sucked living in Hawaii.  Newt Gingrich said that Mitt Romney is so closed-minded that he would have fired Christopher Columbus. Romney denied it, saying, "Are you kidding me? A man with three boats, that's my kind of guy."  North Korea has officially agreed to suspend its nuclear program. Apparently they watched one episode of "Toddlers and Tiaras" and realized we're destroying our own society.  Police officers say that because of the economy, more thieves are stealing gas from parked cars. Victims said they hadn't felt that robbed since they put the gas INTO their car.  Next month is the premiere of the new show, "The Real Housewives of Vancouver." You can tell it’s Canada... the housewives say nice things to each other’s faces, but then they go behind each other’s backs and say even nicer things.  A new study found that cavemen suffered from many of the same diseases that modern humans have. You could tell when one caveman was like, "Bunga-unga. Sorry, me dyslexic.”  Alright, so the last few entries I have been showing you leaked, quotable outtakes from the Academy Awards best picture "The Artist". I warned you in yesterday's entry there's gonna be another one. Here it is.

Brace yourselves, people. There's gonna be one more in Wednesday's entry. And man, in that picture, that girl is kinda hot.  So, did you hear Mitt Romney is gonna be replacing Mr. Burns in "The Simpsons"? I have the picture of what he looks like here.

Well, like I said, yesterday we went to see the Harlem Globetrotters and I saw them outside the UCF Arena and snapped a photo.

Man, I am stupid sometimes.  And now for some sad news.

Ronnie Montrose
Nov 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012
A Montrose by any other name would still be dead.

Alright, it seems that the GOP continue to attack women's health issues. Yesterday I had Stephanie Cutteron the Phile to talk about it, and today I invited friend of the Phile and Chair
of the Democratic National Committee to talk about it. So, please welcome back to the Phile Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a pheature I like to call...

Me: Hello, Chairwoman, welcome back to the Phile. So, what's the latest in the GOP's attack on women's health?

Debbie: Rush Limbaugh is now leading the charge, waging a series of ugly attacks on a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke, who bravely testified in Congress to protect a woman's access to contraception and preventive care.

Me: What was his reponse for people that don't know?

Debbie: His response? He called her a "slut" who "wants to be paid to have sex," adding, "she's having so much sex, she can't afford the contraception." He neglected to mention that Sandra was testifying about her friend who was denied birth control she needed in order to stop ovarian cysts from growing.

Me: And Mitt Romney jumped in with his two cents, right?

Debbie: Yes, displaying a stunning lack of leadership, Mitt Romney wouldn't denounce Rush's point of view, saying, "I'll just say this, which is, it's not the language I would have used."

Me: What did Obama say on the other hand?

Debbie: Our President called Sandra to thank her for speaking out for women.

Me: So, that is a big difference from what you Democrats do then what the GOP do.

Debbie: Jason, as Democrats, we rally around and support the people who put themselves on the line for the things we believe in. Right now, we need to stand with Sandra.

Me: Is there anything the Phile readrs could do if they want?

Debbie: Yes, of course. Add your name in support of Sandra and everyone fighting to protect women's health.

Me: So, do you think the attacks coming from the GOP on women's health are way over the line and very dangerous?

Debbie: Mitt Romney has come out in support of the "personhood" amendment, which would have outlawed some forms of birth control and even in-vitro fertilization. Rick Santorum declared contraception is "harmful to women." It's happening at the state level, too, like the bill Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is about to sign into law that will force women considering abortions to have ultrasounds, and require doctors to ask them if they'd like a picture.

Me: And if you don't speak out, it'll continue.

Debbie: We didn't fight as hard as we did for health care reform just to have key progress for women repealed by GOP politicians, like the Blunt-Rubio amendment would have done. And we didn't fight as hard as we did for women's rights just to have radio "entertainers" like Rush Limbaugh viciously attack women who stand up for the care they need.

Me: Rush said something about Sandra's parents as well I think.

Debbie: Limbaugh said Sandra's parents should be ashamed of her. President Obama told Sandra that her parents should be proud. We're proud, too, because she's fighting for all of us.

Me: Thanks, Chairwoman, for standing up to all this. And thanks for being on the Phile. Come back again soon.

Debbie: Thanks, Jason. 

Speaking of women, a friend of the Phile would was here once before wanted to come back on and complain about something that is deep to her. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: So, Eve, what do you want to complain about?

Eve Rest: I like to learn, but I don't like to study.

Me: What? That's it? That's stupid.

Eve Rest: No, I also want cereal, but I have no milk.

Me: Eve, that's stupid. There's really more important things going on. Good-bye, Eve.

The 17th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club is...

The author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile next Wednesday.

Okay, this is so cool... today's guest is the bass player in the current version of NRBQ and is a founding member of The Figgs. Since 1999, he has also played in the studio and live as part of Mike Viola and the Candy Butchers. He just released his first solo album called "When You Come Home". And on March 15th and 16th he will be playing at SXSW in Austin, Texas with The Figgs. Please welcome to the Phile... Pete Donnelly.

Me: Hello, Pete, welcome to the Phile, how are you?

Pete: Great, thanks.

Me: I had two people on the Phile in the past who you have worked with... Graham Parker and Mike Gent. How long have you known Mike, Pete?

Pete: Oh, a while now. We met in 1987.

Me: Mike was here to talk about his own solo album. Did you get to hear it? What did you think?

Pete: Of course, I love it. "Station's Fading", "Haste and Rath". I like 'em all.

Me: The Figgs are based in New York, right? What part? Is that where you are from?

Pete: Saratoga Springs. Both me and the band were born there.

Me: There's a song on your new solo album called "Saratoga" and there is a Saratoga Springs here in Florida, but your song is about the Saratoga where you are from I am guessing. I used to live in Port Jefferson, New York. How far is Saratoga from there? Do you know where Port Jeff is?

Pete: Sarasota Springs if the Florida town I believe. 

Me: Um... you're right. I am an idiot.

Pete: Saratoga Springs in half way between NYC and Montreal. Probably like 3 hours from Port Jefferson. The song is entirely fictional, based on completely real feelings. I always thought Saratoga sounded like a good word to sing.

Me: In The Figgs you play bass, right? Is that your main instrument? 

Pete: Yeah, bass. For the most part.

Me: What was the first instrumrnt you learnt how to play?

Pete: Well, I kind of played piano, guitar, drums and bass. They were all around growing up. I have 2 older bro's and we had a pretty good set of instruments. A gorilla amp or 2...

Me: Mike and Graham talked a little about this, but I am going to ask you, how did The Figgs get to be Graham's band?

Pete: Right band at the right time I suppose.

Me: Did GP approach you guys first? Were you asked or did it just happen?

Pete: Not exactly sure. But I think it was suggested to him first, even if subliminally.

Me: With GP you played on a live album, a studio album and even a live DVD which is great. When The Figgs did the first tour with GP in I think it was '96 did you think you would be playing with him years after?

Pete: It seemed like the kind of thing that could carry on over the years. The music was a catalyst for a real friendship.

Me: I am betting you know a shit load of GP songs, right? What was the first one you learnt and what is your favorite GP song?

Pete: Oh, man, my memory isn't that reliable for such things. I'm thinking the first song The Figgs played at a rehearsal was something from "Acid Bubblegum". One of my fave's is "Can't Be Too Strong" also "You Can Depend On Me" from "Deepcut to Nowhere". "Mighty Rivers" is probably an all time favorite.

Me: Will The Figgs be working with GP in the future?

Pete: We have some shows booked for april 2012.

Me: Okay, I have one more GP question and we'll move on... in the DVD concert he made a reference about your bass saying it looked old or something. Can you remember what he said? That bass did look like it's been played a lot over the years. What kind of bass is it and how long have you had it?

Pete: I can't remember what he said but yeah, it's a 1965 jazz bass. I've had it about eighteen years.

Me: Okay, you also have played with Mike Viola in his band Candy Butchers, right? When did you first meet that Mike?

Pete: In 1996 I'm pretty sure. David Kahne hired me to play bass on the Candy Butches' unreleased "Blue Thumb" record.

Me: I am trying to get Mike Viola on the Phile. If I do, what is the one thing I should ask him?

Pete: Do fairies wear boots?

Me: I read that you are currently in Soul Asylum, am I right? With them, are you playing bass or guitar?

Pete: I play bass with them when Tommy Stinson is out with Guns and Roses.

Me: How did you get to be in that band?

Pete: I had played on a record produced by Dave Pirner a while back. When Tommy suggested I stand in, it was opportunity for us to get reacquainted. Just worked out.

Me: You are also a member of one of my favorite band's... NRBQ. Terry Adams is possibly going to be on the Phile, but he has a lot of projects he's working on. Anyway, I am excited you are in NRBQ and I listened to the new album "Keep This Love Going" and think it's great. You are playing bass in this band, right? Do you sing on the album to? I think it's you singing the title track, or am I wrong? I probably am wrong. This is a great picture of you and NRBQ by the way.

Pete: Yup, playing bass, it's nuts! I'm singing the bridges only on the song "Keep This Love Going". I sing lead on "I'm Satisfied" and "Let Go".

Me: How did Terry approach you about being in the band?

Pete: He gave me a call. We talked for a little while; maybe thirty minutes. I showed up to rehearse a couple days and we had our first show three days after we'd officially met. I'd been hanging around the Q a while. And David Greenberger is the one who really suggested Terry call me. He's from Saratoga area and has worked with the Q for a number of years.

Me: Did you have to think about it or did you agree right away?

Pete: I just said yes. Figured it's best not to think too much about this kind of thing. I might get scared.

Me: I saw NRBQ in cocnert a few times and they never used a set list. Is that still the same, Pete?

Pete: Sure is. Keeps you in the moment.

Me: My God, how many songs do you know altogether? Must be millions.

Pete: Haha, hey imagine an actor or a scholar of any kind. The mind can hold a lot!

Me: Not my mind. Okay, let's talk about your new solo album "When You Come Home" which I I love. It's very Mike Violaish, and catchy. Did Mike write some of the songs with you?

Pete: No, all the songs are mine. Mike Viola is a compadre and it's good to steal from friends.

Me: Who plays on the album, Pete? Your daughter is on it, right?

Pete: She sings on a the song "The Only One". Bunch of folks ended up on the record. Dave Pirner, Britta Phillips, Mike Gent... mostly it's a core group of guys who I play somewhat regularly with. Fred Berman on drums, Adam Winokur on bass, Jason Loughlin on guitar. I'm playing mostly guitar on the record.

Me: And the late Tommy Ardolino plays drums on it as well, right?

Pete: Tommy Ardolino plays drums on the title track and has a solo piano piece as well.

Me: That must've been a shock when Tommy passed. What can you say about him, Pete?

Pete: So many people are moved by Toms' passing. His warmth, his beat, his presence
will forever be felt in the universe. A true original...

Me: The album was recorded at Lenny Kravitz's studio, am I right? What is his studio like? Where is it?

Pete: It's Henry Hirsch's place in Hudson, NY. He recorded much of Lenny's catalogue. It's a very simple streamlined studio with the best gear set up for optimal recording. A church... great reverb time, custom diffusion areas for loud instruments; drums guitars, control room designed with no compromise; no near field speakers just an incredible set of atc's in the walls. designed by the best. 

Me: Oh, I was gonna ask did you get to meet Lenny? 

Pete: No.

Me: I have to ask you about the song "Tommy's Piano". Who is playing piano and who is Tommy? Tommy Stinson? 

Pete: Tommy Ardolino. My favorite ever. I heard him sit down at the piano and leaped over to hit record. This is thirty seconds I got. It's just the mics in the room. At the time there weren't any piano mics set up. you can really hear the church.

Me: How did the song "When You Come Home" get to be the title track, Pete? What is that song about?

Pete: It was originally just a bunch of stanzas I wrote very quickly. Later on I saw the lyrics and tried playing to them and discovered that just four chords carried them the whole way. It's an easy song I suppose. The song's like the epicenter of the group of semi-personal songs. It's the obvious comfort zone in an uncertain world.

Me: Pete, you write, produce and play... what do you like to do best?

Pete: I like it all. They really complement each other. You gain an understanding from being in multiple positions.

Me: Is there anybody you haven't played with that you would love to?

Pete: I'm really into Shelby Lynne right now.

Me: Pete, I know you are a busy man, so thanks for taking time out to be on the Phile. Please come back again and tell everybody I said hello. 

Pete: Yeah man, my pleasure.

Me: Take care, and please come back like I said.

Pete: Will do. Anytime.
Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to my guests Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and of course Pete Donnelly. Okay, the Phile will be back on Wednesday with Jason Ziebart from the band Honey Loaf and then next Sunday it's singer Angela Easterling. On Monday it's Phile Alumni Maureen Davis from The Flutterbies and next Wednesday it's author Jim Korkis. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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