Friday, November 23, 2012

My Phorty-Phourth Birthday Special Entry Pheaturing Sean Tyla From Ducks Deluxe

Man, that's a long name for this entry. It might be the record for the longest Phile entry name yet. Anyway, welcome to a Friday entry of the Phile and yes, it's my birthday. I think this is the very first entry I ever did on my birthday. Normally on my birthday I work. Last year Logan said to me, "What idiot works on his birthday?" This year he'll probably say, "What idiot lays in bed on their birthday?" I am not laying in bed now though. Give me a few hours and I will.  I’m 44 years old today. Many of my jokes are older than I am.  Lindsay Lohan heard that it’s my birthday so she went and stole a t-shirt for me. Sadly, my birthday celebration was marred when Donald Trump demanded to see my birth certificate.  I looked up what also happened today on November 23rd,1968 and this is what I got... Milwaukee Bucks make their 1st NBA trade, giving Bob Love and Bob Weiss to Chicago Bulls for Flynn Robinson. That's it? That's all that happened?!  There are a lot of celebrity birthday's today though. Run Run Shaw is 105 years old today. And I thought I was old. Otis Chandler would have been 85 years old today. Where else but in L.A. could a major metropolitan newspaper be successfully run for decades by the town drunk? Betty Everett would have been 73 years old today. Shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop, shoop, she's in the ground (that's where she is). And I share a birthday with Robin Roberts, Snooki and Miley Cyrus. Yeah.  Also on November 23rd, 49 years ago today... the Doctor first appeared on TV screens across the UK. Ten regenerations and nearly 800 episodes later and "Doctor Who" remains the longest running and most successful sci-fi TV show in the world!

And five years later I started to watch it.  Well, not only is today my birthday, but it's also Black Friday, or as I like to call it... Black Phriday. This is the first time in years I didn't go out Black Friday shopping. Damn stupid broken shoulder. Anyway, did you see the KFC Black Friday ad? I was kinda shocked when I saw it.

For those of you that are working Black Friday, "the customer's always right."? Fuck that. Sometimes the customer is just an asshole. You know, sometimes you get amazing deals on Black Friday. Check out this ad...

If someone advertises a Black Friday beer sale I will camp out until I freeze. Black Friday is a scam. You should be mad they overcharge you 364 days a year. Enough about Black Friday, today is my birthday. I like birthdays, but I think too many can kill you. Alright. now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Heard At This Year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
5. There's something you don't see every day! A clown running into a Starbucks to take a leak.
4. Dear God! How did Amanda Bynes get behind the wheel on that float?!? RUN!!!
3. That tumbling group was great! I had no idea Major Bloomberg was so agile!
2. Hey, I think that Pilgrim just stole my wallet!
And the number one thing heard at this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...
1. Look, Timmy! The balloon handlers are making it look like Snoopy is doin' it with Garfield!

You know, one of the best things about the Phile is that I get to have friends come on and talk about whatever they want. So, I'm glad to have on my birthday, Phile phriend, singer, surfer, patriot and renaissance man... Laird Jim in a pheature we call...

Good morning, humans... turkey sandwich, anyone? I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with myself on Thanksgiving... I considered the invitations to dinner of several friends, likewise with members of my family. In the end, it took a voicemail I just listened to... a friend asked me to help him hand out Thanksgiving dinners at a soup kitchen run by a local organization. I feel that's what I need to do today. Better to light a candle, than curse the darkness. The real warmth comes from passing that candle to another in need of light. That's what I'm feeling today. I just spoke with a dear friend on the phone about a subject along similar lines. I'm thankful for the ability to help someone in need... and grateful for the knowing that it's something I simply have to do. Everything happens for a reason.... I know this now.

Laird, good job. You did this and I laid in bed and bitched about my Brighthouse box not working. You are so much a better man than I am, but then again, most people are.

The 27th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile is Mattew Daley and this is one of his pieces...

Holy fuck! Look at the date on the poster. Believe it or not, that wasn't planned at all. Kosmit. Is that a word. It is now. Anyway, Matthew will be a guest on the Phile soon.

That looks like the most boring birthday cake ever. Alright, today's pheatured guest is an English rock guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist and songwriter, sometimes known as the “Godfather of Boogie”. Best known for his work with Ducks Deluxe and Tyla Gang, he has also played with Help Yourself, Joan Jett, and Deke Leonard, and appeared solo. It's a great honour to have him here on my birthday entry, so please welcome to the Phile... Sean Tyla.

Me: Hello, Sean, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Sean: Thank you, I am well, Jason.

Me: Recently I interviewed Martin Belmont here on the Phile. How long have you known Martin, sir?

Sean: Too long! Forty-odd years, I believe.

Me: Where are you from, Sean? I am from Balham, London originally.

Sean: Born in North Yorkshire, brought up in Singapore and Germany. I'm an army brat.

Me: Do you still live in England?

Sean: Yes, in the South-West.

Me: You are known as the Godfather of Boogie... which is pretty cool. Where did you first get that title? When you first heard you were called that, what did you think? I want a call title like that. The Godfather of Blogging sounds stupid though.

Sean: Well, it was bestowed on me by a music journalist... not sure who. I thought it was cool, who wouldn't? The Tyla Gang rose to fame in the punk era and no one in the press knew how to tag the band, really. It was nice to know we couldn't be ignored in amongst the safety pins and serial spitting! 

Me: Sean, you play both keyboards and guitar, right? Which came first and which one do you prefer? 

Sean: The piano. I had a few lessons when I was eight or nine which were disastrous, actually. I would never practice. I got a guitar when I was 11 and once I had got a few tunes out of it I was happy... though once again, I never really tried to hone my skills. It's pure laziness and I've never taken either instrument seriously. I see myself as a singer/songwriter in the main and a musician by necessity.

Me: I have a lot of guitar techies that read the Phile... don't ask me why. So, let me get this out of the way... what make or brand of guitar do you play most?

Sean: Gretsch. It embodies all I love about rock 'n' roll and Americana in general. I had a huge collection of them at one time which alas, got sold to pay bills in the lean years. I always played one in the early Ducks, and still do... an Elliot Easton Signature Jet, but I used a Gibson Les Paul Special and Stratocaster in the Tyla Gang and various Telecaster models in my solo years. I generally use a mesa Boogie F50 in the UK and a Fender Twin '65 re-issue on fly dates.

Me: You of course are in the band Ducks Deluxe, which we will get into in a minute, but you also were a Blackheart playing in Joan Jett's band. I seen Joan in concert a few times and got to meet her. She is really cool. Where did you meet her and were you living in New York at the time?

Sean: Hah! I was never a regular Blackheart. Joan sang on my first solo album so, I returned the compliment by paying on a couple of hers. She also borrowed my band for a while too! The connection was Kenny Laguna, her manager who had produced the second Tyla Gang album.

Me: Well, you played on two of her biggest albums... "Bad Reputation" and "I Love Rock N' Roll". That's when Joan became really big, Sean. Was it a lot of fun back then? Any good memories playing with her? Did you tour with Joan as well?

Sean: As I said, I wasn't in the band per se and I never toured with her though, Paul Simmons and Micky Groome from my own band did as hired guns.

Me: Before you were in any band yourself, you started out as a roadie. Who did you roadie for, sir? How did you get to be a roadie to a professional musician? It's rare for a musician to see both sides of touring. Did you ever road manage anybody?

Sean: You should read my book! I fell into the roadie thing. I had run into a band called Help Yourself and was living with them in the old Led Zeppelin house in Headley Down. I wanted to pay my way and started helping out on dates. The lead singer got sick, they were contracted to open for Family on a UK tour and I took his place. I loved it and a year later formed the Ducks with a former Help Yourself bassist, Ken Whaley and Brinsley Schwarz roadie, Martin Belmont.

Me: You had your own band for awhile, which you recently got back together. Who was in Tya Gang with you?

Sean: Er, my brother Garry came into the band early on and left, Tweke Lewis from Wild Turkey was in for a while, various other musicians until the line-up settled in late 1976. Canadian Bruce Irvine was on lead guitar with ex-Winkies, Michael Desmarais on drums and Brian Turrington on bass. Ken Whaley replaced Brian in 1978. Now we are back in the 1977 line-up with Brian again.

Me: When the band reformed a few years ago, was it odd playing with the same guys again? My dad was in the band Foghat and when that band reformed in '92 he said it was odd that the original line-up was playing together after a lot of years.

Sean: No, it was like pulling on a glove. Real easy and very enjoyable.

Me: Speaking of my dad... did you ever meet him?

Sean: No, I never had the pleasure.

Me: Okay, let's talk about Ducks Deluxe, another band you were in that recently reformed and recorded new music. Did you think Ducks Deluxe would ever get back together and play again?

Sean: No. I knew Nick Garvey didn't want to and Tim Roper was dead. It really didn't seem to be a possibility.

Me: Who was the one who suggested the band get back together and get everybody on board?

Sean: An American fan called Mike Halpern from Maryland contacted the band and asked if we were interested. Martin and I were and we called Micky Groome, Nick Garvey's 1974 replacement and Billy Rankin, the ex-Brinsley Schwarz drummer who had take over in 1975 when Tim Roper left.

Me: Martin Belmont who I mentioned in the Rumour with Graham Parker for a number of years. Do you know Graham and ever work with him?

Sean: Yes, I know Graham but I have never worked with him.

Me: Have you heard any of the Rumour's new album?

Sean: No. Brinsley and Martin were fooling around with arrangements on the recent Ducks tour but I haven't heard the tracks yet.

Me: Roger Daltrey from The Who talked you into doing a solo career, so I read. How did that conversation go? How long have you known Roger?

Sean: Roger didn't talk me into anything! I talked him and Pete into allowing me credit at their Ramport studios in 1979. The conversation was a little sticky for me but Roger was pleasant and helpful. I never spoke with him again after I had paid my bill six months later and he rang to thank me. 

Me: Stupid Wikipedia. And you worked with Mike Nesmith? Is that the same Mike Nesmith from The Monkees? Was this pre or post Monkees?

Sean: Post. He and his company, Pacific Arts produced my first video, "Breakfast In Marin".

Me: So you two in the same band together?

Sean: I wish!

Me: I read that you once got stage freight, walked off stage and left the music business for awhile. What happened suddenly?

Sean: Too many drugs, too much booze, a million miles and not enough rest. It happens.

Me: I am glad you got back into music, Sean. How long were you out of the picture and what was the final straw that got you back in?

Sean: I quit in 1985 and came back, in spirit in 2003. I had been running an indoor cricket school in Hampshire with my good friend, Major Ronald Ferguson since 1993 and he had sadly passed away. It was a huge personal loss for me. I continued to coach cricket professionally for another four years while I got a re-release of my back catalogue and a new studio album together behind the scenes as it were. I toured that with some friends from the north of England in 2005/6 and then came the 100 Club re-union of the Ducks.

Me: So, I asked Martin and other musicians from England that knew Dave Edmunds if they know what he is up to now. If I ever stop doing this little blog thing I would love to interview Dave. Before my dad passed he and Dave were talking about doing a Dave & Dave project. I tried to find a way to contact him but he doesn't have a Facebook page, Twitter, website or anything. When was the last time you saw him?

Sean: Yes, I have regular contact with D.E. I opened for him in Summer 2011 on a run of festival dates in Sweden and we spent a lot of time chewing the fat. He doesn't do technology and considers all those social media orifices as an invasion of his privacy. I understand he is working on a new album at home as we speak.

Me: Maybe he'll come on the Phile then. Okay, let's talk about the Ducks' latest album... "Side Tracks and Smokers". Where did that name come from?

Sean: Strictly speaking, it's not the new album. It came out in 2010. We did a limited release of a live set, "Riviera Shuffle" in 2011 and we are recorded another LE live set plus a new studio album with Brinsley. The title refers to what it is... a collection of early out takes, live stuff and a track we recorded on our 2009 Swedish tour.

Me: I love that album which I downloaded from iTunes. I noticed on iTunes there's a Ducks Deluxe and Tyla Gang double album. Did you put that together? That's a cool idea, Sean.

Sean: No. It's a bootleg and nobody pays us. It's sold thousands.

Me: For readers that don't know, who is in Ducks Deluxe?

Sean: Myself, Martin Belmont, Brinsley Schwarz, Jim Russell (drums - Wild Angels/Inmates/Scotty Moore Trio/Bob Geldof) and Kevin Foster bass (Doll By Doll/Jackie Leven). Brinsley came on board for the 40th Anniversary Tour this year and he won't leave!

Me: Who does most of the singing and songwriting, Sean? What songs do you sing on and Martin sing on the "Side Tracks..." CD?

Sean: Hell, I don't know about that album. I sing on "Simple Twist Of Fate" for sure and I do the lion's share of singing and songwriting on the whole. Martin wrote and sings, "Rain Night In Kilburn", "Somethin's Goin' On", "Hearts On My Sleeve" definitely, plus he does "Nervous Breakdown", "Teenage Head", "Don't Mind Rockin' Tonite" and "Willie and the Hand Jive" live. Kevin sings backgrounds on everything and Jim does some too.

Me: Sean, thanks so much for being on the Phile, I hope it was fun. And I hope you come back when your next album comes out. Go ahead and mention your website. All the best, and take care. Keep in touch.

Sean: Thanks Jason. Tyla Gang will be out again in March 2013 with a new CD, "Stereo Tactics" and Ducks Deluxe will tour again next may with a new release too. I hope to release a new solo project CD next year too.

Me: Cool, then I will have you on the Phile quite a bit. Thanks again, Sean!

Well, that about does it for this special entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and of course Sean Tyla. The Phile will be back on Sunday with musician Chris Daniels. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye love you, bye. I will leave you with the oldest picture of me. Now to spend the rest of my day laying in bed in pain.

1 comment:

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