Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pheaturing the 300th Interview Alumni John Bentley From Squeeze

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? What's new? Newt Gingrich admitted to The Washington Post that he knows he probably won't be the Republican nominee for president, but he's not bowing out of the race because he's $5 million in debt. So he needs to keep raising money. How do you continue to raise money when you've already admitted you probably won't win? A woman accused Lindsay Lohan of pinching her at a hotel in L.A. The only problem with the story is that Lindsay and the people at the hotel say she wasn't there. If only there was a group of people who chronicled her every move with cameras and video equipment... then we would know if the charges were legit. Well, I am sure you heard, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum officially dropped out of the Republican race. Gettysburg was a great choice because he should've dropped out four score and seven years ago. I don't think it's a coincidence that he dropped out the day hot dog pizza was announced. Seeing this abomination, Rick realized that humanity has veered just too far off the path of moral righteousness. Facebook is buying the photo-sharing service Instagram for a billion dollars. Instagram is an app that makes your photographs look like vintage Polaroids. Meanwhile, poor Tom from MySpace just announced he's selling his mom's Polaroid camera on eBay for $5. A billion dollars... I don't know. Unless they have some faded, washed-out photos of Mark Zuckerberg killing a hooker, it doesn't make sense. Another strange story from Arizona. A bill signed by the governor would declare a woman to be pregnant two weeks before conception. So congratulations, ladies, you are all Arizona pregnant. I wonder if they realize in Arizona that they will not be able to report any female illegal immigrants because they are all pregnant with babies who will be citizens. Florida congressman Allen West made an interesting statement the other day. He believes there are about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party who are members of the Communist Party. Really? I think it's time for someone to lay off the Tom Clancy novels. West is a guy that some think should be Mitt Romney's running mate. I would like that. We haven't had a truly crazy vice president... well, until now. The deadline to file your tax returns is coming up. You only have five days left to frantically dig through your car for Burger King receipts that you can claim were business dinners later on. There's certainly nothing fun about paying taxes. But you have to remember that all the money goes to a good cause, like paying the salaries of the meter maids who give parking tickets, keep welfare checks flowing to the Octomom... important things like that. To reduce the chance of being audited, I always send my return tucked into a freshly baked loaf of banana bread. Who am I to lie? I don't do anything with my taxes, my wife does it all. Arnold Schwarzenegger did something interesting. On his Facebook page, he asked fans to give him ideas for things to write about in his autobiography. Apparently, he's unfamiliar with the auto part. Well, one of the most anticipated movies of the year is coming out in a few weeks. I am of course talking about The Avengers. I cannot wait to see this movie. Anyway, the Phile stumbled upon the original plan Disney and Marvel had for the film years ago. Take a look at this movie poster of the movie that was almost made.

Actually, that movie with Cage might of been entertaining. So, occasionally I see something unusual in my one hour drive to work and back, but if I saw this I probably would wet myself, and follow it to wherever it was going. A Phile reader sent this to me... check it out.

Titanic in 3D has been playing in theatres this week, and James Cameron decided to change a few things. I know, I am milking this. Anyway, check out another change Cameron made for the film.

That kinda looks hot in a weird kinda way... hmmmm. Alright, speaking of movies, kids.

Up is down. Black is white. I just laughed nonstop through a hundred-minute-long Three Stooges impersonation. I didn't go willingly. Logan wanted to go. I was angry that this movie was getting made at all. You just don't touch something as specific, lowbrow and stupidly brilliant as "The Three Stooges" and hope you'll improve on it. On top of that, what have the Farrelly Brothers done for anyone lately? That makes this consistently hilarious head-bonk-fest all the more shocking. The guys who put fake semen in Cameron Diaz's hair have pulled off what amounts to a magic trick: they aimed for a family audience, eliminated the raunchy fireworks, and devoted themselves to a project that is both extremely weird and overflowing with love for its legendary subjects. And it's still a Farrelly film: it begins with an appropriately Stooge-like origin segment when, as babies, the trio is zipped into a duffle bag and hurled from a moving car onto the steps of an orphanage. It's the kind of random punishment-oriented gag the real Moe, Larry and Curly (played here by Chris Diamontopoulous, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso) would have thought funny even if it's not the sort of thing that plays well with the enhanced sensitivities of audiences in 2012. And it takes place in the opening moments so you have a chance to leave if you're too delicate for a little relentless abuse. Divided into three segments that structurally resemble Stooges shorts from 70 years ago, it's a dumb and dumber tale of saving that financially ruined orphanage (whose nuns include Larry David, Jennifer Hudson and Jane Lynch), cracking a Sofia-Vergara's-cleavage-based murder scheme and crossing paths with the cast of "Jersey Shore" (who, not to worry, get everything they've got coming to them). But the real subject of this tribute to vintage idiocy is the endless nyuks, whoop-whoop-whoops, violent choreography of eye gouges and mallets to the skull, spine-destroying falls and repetitive face-slappings that are the full substance of all things Stooge, every moment Foleyed to perfection and overseen by filmmakers who clearly wish they hadn't been born so late. No, it's not the real thing. But what's just as important to know is that it's also not not a cheap, pale, cynical imitation, either. It's more like a drunken Halloween party, an exuberant pantomime or a really convincing drag show, all performed with comedy-nerd attention to detail, impeccable timing and a ridiculously big heart. Purist fans who turn up their nose deserve a pie to the face. From 1 to 10, I give it a seven. Nyuk. Nyuk.

Alright, so a few weeks ago I had my good friend Jeff Trelewicz on the Phile and I invited him back to talk about Wrestlemania... and then I forgot, had computer problems, thought I was gonna end the Phile this week and everything went to hell. Things are better now... almost, so please welcome to the Phile Jeff in a pheature called...

Me: Hello, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. I know Wrestlemania was a few weeks ago. I have been having problems with the computer and stuff. I almost ended the Phile. Anyway, how was it?

Jeff: Yes, I know. I heard all about your issues with the computer. I am glad that you were able to keep the Phile going! Bad people on the internet need to be beated down. Maybe Sheamus needs to kick who ever did that to your computer, kind of like this:

Me: Did you go Miami or watch it on TV?

I did not watch it live in Miami, I did see it on TV. What's great about Wrestlemania over all other moments in wrestling is the star power that is added. Everyone from Mike Tyson to Regis Philbin, Muhammad Ali to Donald Trump, Jenny McCarthy to Ray Charles have all
been a part of Wrestlemania in some form or another over the years.

Me: So, the Rock won, right? Were you surprised?

Jeff: To say I was surprised that the Rock won is an understatement. I figured that he would lose as a passing of the torch to the next generation of wrestlers. Instead, he won over John Cena in a great match.

Me: Okay, Jeff, you know I know a little about wrestling. Give me a run down on what else went down.

Jeff: The matches started with one of two title matches, that ended in a record seventeen seconds when Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan with that kick to the head. The other big match was a Hell in A Cell match between The Undertaker (19-0 at Wrestlemania) vs Triple H (The Owner's son-in-law) with Shawn Michaels as referee. The match was violent (more then most matches) but in the end, the streak of the Undertaker continued.

Me: So, it was a good Wrestlemania?

Jeff: Many people said it would be the greatest Wrestlemania in history. It lived up to the hype!

Me: Cool. Okay, why you're here we have to talk football. What's going on with the Saints?

Jeff: As far as the Saints, they got into a whole heap of trouble for their coaches putting bounties on hurting other players. They lost draft picks for it, plus their head coach is suspended for the entire season, the first time in history this has ever happened. Plus
another coach is suspended for half a season. It should be an interesting year in New Orleans.

Me: Thanks, Jeff, once again. Anything else?

Jeff: Glad to always be back on the Phile. Football season is approaching with the draft next week!

Me: Great. I will have you back soon to talk about that. Take care, Jeff. See you soon.

The 18th book to be pheatured in the Book Club is...

Jerry Scott, writer and co-creator of "Zits" will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday.

Okay, today's interview is one of the main reasons I am not ending the Phile right away. This is his third time on the Phile. He was last here on October 14th, 2010. His band Squeeze has a brand new album coming out on Tuesday called "Live at the Fillmore" and they'll be next appearing tonight at Cresent Ballroom in Phoenix, Arizona. Please welcome to the Phile, the 300th interview here, the bass player from Squeeze... John Bentley.

Me: Hello, John, welcome back to the Phile, sir. How have you been?

John: Hi, hi, hi Jason, it's good to be back on Phile!

Me: I am so glad to see Squeeze is going strong and you are still in the band. You guys must be having a great time, am I right?

John: Touring the world playing along side Difford & Tilbrook to adoring fans every night is not dull... well somebody's got to do it!

Me: So, who is in the band now? Steve Nieve was in the band, replacing Stepene Large on keyboards, but Large is back in the band, right? What's going on with those keyboardists?

John: Holland + Carrick + Large + Nieve... put them all on a desert island and let them fight it out among themselves!

Me: The last few times you were here I didn't ask you about the early days of Squeeze, John. Not many questions at least. Do you remember when you first joined the band, and where you first met Difford and Tilbrook?

John: Yes!... next question! All sorts of stories have been circulated over the years about my 1st encounter with the Squeeze Geezers... And now for your personal delight... the truth can finally be revealed in this exclusive interview with the Peverett Philes... Way back in 1979 Squeeze were auditioning for a new bassist. But when I got to Suma Studios in Chelsea they had already chosen a bass player out of 57 applicants. Chris Difford and I watched Holland Lavis & Tilbrook rehearsing with their new bassist from behind the glass of the studio control room. I did not realise at the time that Chris was actually in the band. I thought he was there in some kind of management capacity! We were chatting away and we seemed to be on the same wave length, so after about 10 minutes of listening to the new Squeeze bass player I turned to him and said, "I'm loads better than this guy." I am SO glad I had the balls to say that! Chris kindly arranged a 'special' audition the following day, just for me, and the rest as they say is His Story! Interestingly I had been for an audition earlier in the week for a job as rhythm guitarist with Suzie Quatro. The day after the Squeeze audition Glenn phoned me up at 9:00am to tell me that I'd got the job, which obviously I was very pleased about... BUT at lunchtime I received a phone call from Suzie asking me to come over for a second audition. I never went to it, but I often wonder what might have happened if I'd driven off in a Quatro!

Me: The first album you did with them was "Argybargy". Where did that name come from, John?

John: It's an old bit of English slang. It must've come from the same place as "Slap n Tickle"!

Me: You arrived in Squeeze at the right time, right when they got big. Were you guys surprised by how popular the band got?

John: Everybody in the band was super confident about how Squeeze were destined to take over the world. Well Jools certainly did anyway! I hit the ground running... and I'm still out of breath!

Me: The second album you were on, "East Side Story" was produced by Elvis Costello. How was that experience? And speaking of getting big... Costello is big. Wasn't Dave Edmunds supposed to produce the album? What happened there?

John: Well, "East Side Story" originally was going to be a 'concept' album. It was intended to be a double album with each one of the four (do you remember vinyl?) sides being produced by a different musician/producer. Paul McCartney, Dave Edmunds Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello were among several names associated with the project early on. I'm not sure why it never happened... perhaps they didn't want to share the credits! Dave Edmunds did produce "In Quintessence" though. And I actually was in Quintessence for a while!

Me: Have you heard or ever seen Edmunds? He has no presence on-line whatsoever.

John: Dave is not only a cracking bloke, but a legend of the guitar. He still does the occasional gig. He never seemed to be interested in the process of raising his own profile, so it is not surprising that there is a lack of information about him online. Dave Edmunds just lets his fingers do the talking!

Me: When Squeeze broke up originally in 1982, what was your reaction, and how were you and the Gilsin told? I take it it was a decided between Chris and Glenn.

John: Well, it came as a bit of a shock to me, but I quickly picked up a record deal with Polydor and spent most of the recording advance on drugs, gambling and loose women. The rest I just squandered!

Me: John, do you know a musician named Darren Poyzer, John? He might be on the Phile soon. He said he was a big fan of Squeeze and knows you guys.

John: 'Appen I do. Darren's from the North! We wrote a song together on a writers workshop called "Flattened by the Bass". That's the title of the song, not the workshop!

Me: Okay, let's talk about Squeeze's new "Live at the Fillmore". This is the second live album in a few years from Squeeze, which I am excited about. How is it different though from "Five Live"?

John: Basically, Jason, it's a lot better. Better produced, more exciting. When you arrange to record a gig with a mobile studio it is, for financial reasons, a 'one off'. So you just get the one shot at it and you never know if it's going to be a good gig or not. It just happened that "Live at the Filmore" was a fantastic night! Well done, everybody!

Me: John, when was the album recorded?

John: I'm guessing 2009? I'm sure it will say on the CD. I haven't managed to get hold of a copy yet myself... probably end up buying one from a bargain bin!

Me: It won't be available on CD, am I right? But only on vinyl and iTunes?

John: Oh?! So much for me bargain bin then!

Me: As well as the new album, you are gonan on tour in the States and the UK. I wish you were coming down to Florida, John. Anyway, I have to ask, what has been your favorite show you have ever played with the guys?

John: The Depford Albany in 2007. It was our first gig after the reformation! The Albany Empire is where Squeeze started out from. A bit like the Cavern was to the Beatles. Home turf... the audience feel like they own the band. It was just so emotional, brung a tear to me eye!

Me: I saw this picture of Johnny Depp and the band. That's cool he is a Squeeze fan. How and when did this meeting take place?

John: Johnny and Vanessa came along to see Squeeze at the Orphium Theatre in LA. I think it was 2009. I was totally blown away by the whole experience, which was made all the more amazing by the fact that HE is a fan of US! I have put up a video of us having a laugh and a joke on my website...

Me: You had to get an autograph for your daughter, am I right?

John: Hey, Jason... when Johnny B met Johnny D autographs where not high up on the agenda!

Me: John, I have to ask you this question, as Squeeze fans would wanna know... are we gonna see a new Squeeze album with new songs soon?

John: That has to be the $64,000.00 question! I think you're more likely to see Chris Difford whistling Rogers & Hammerstein. Or maybe Glenn collaborating with a virtual Elvis.

Me: John, your wife Sara sent me a message about the band The Picardie you are working with. How did you meet these kids? And you managing them, producing them, or writing for them?

John: The Picardie are an indie band. Whatever that means. They write all their own stuff. I simply produced a few tracks for them in my state of the art, in 1971, recording studio. JB Productions is a bit of a new venture for me. Sara and Bebe have built a JB Production page you can visit on the internet.

Me: Are they working on an album?

John: No, they're working at Currys!

Me: I would love to have them here on the Phile, John. Keep me posted on them.

John: Sure thing, Chief!

Thanks so much for being on the Phile again, John. You are welcome back anytime you want. Go ahead and plug your website and Squueze site and anything else you want.


Me: Take care, and come back on again soon, John. Also, tell Glenn and Chris they need to be on the Phile. I was this close to having Chris on... All the best.

John: Thanks for having me... it's been a real pressure!

That about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff Trelewicz and John Bentley once again. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Mollie Marriott, daughter of rock legend Steve Marriott who is a singer in her own right. Then on Wednesday it's Eli Chartkoff, lead singer for the band The Monolators and next Sunday it's author, and "Zits" creator Jerry Scott. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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