Monday, April 13, 2015

Pheaturing Rick Elliot

Hey there, welcome to the Phile. How are you? Hillary Clinton bashing season is officially open, kids. With Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign now official, Americans have received the all clear signal to begin meticulously tearing her down, molecule by molecule, over the course of the next 18 months. This started yesterday, when every conservative politician in the country climbed over one another to condemn her on Sunday talk shows and continues today as every person with an Internet connection provided us with a detailed critique of her campaign logo. I wish Hillary Clinton would just make her campaign slogan "It's About Fucking Time."  Senator Marco Rubio announced to top Republican donors today that he intends to run for president, thus informing top Republican donors that he intends to fill the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, be that alongside Jeb Bush, Scott Walker or whomever else happens to win the primaries.  Nearly nine out of ten adults now have health insurance... up from eight out of ten two years ago according to new numbers from a Gallup poll. The reason for the spike remains a mystery, but the fact that it is now against the law to not have insurance is suspected to play somewhat of a part. Obama gave us health care and all-day McDonald's breakfast, which were floated in 1993 by Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, respectively. In his new history book, "The American People" Larry Kramer lists George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon as a few of the important statesmen who were secretly gay. When asked by the the New York Times about his claims, Kramer said: "People say, 'Can you prove to me that George Washington was gay?' and I say, 'Can you prove to me that he wasn't?'" Very convincing point! Was Abe Lincoln gay or a vampire hunter? Geez, history, pick a lane!  Marvel Studios just released the first full trailer for their upcoming superhero film Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd as a guy who has the ability to get really, really small while retaining the strength of a normal, not-particularly-super human being. It appears to be about as fun and ridiculous as you would hope it would be. Here’s the first picture of Ant-Man’s wasp-themed villain, Yellowjacket.

Haha. I'm so stupid.  Hey, in a few days it's Tax Day. Just remember that you still have plenty of time to do your taxes at the last minute.  On Saturday's entry I mentioned the brand-new postage stamp honoring poet Maya Angelou with a wrong quote. Well, that's not the first time the USPS screwed up...

Yesterday I was at MegaCon and I noticed the latest issue of "The Amazing Spider-Man" and thought I had to share, kids. This is 100% real, and I think the best cover ever.

Hot, right?   So, Disney... the greatest company to work for ever is always changing shit around. Well, they just changed TinkerBell's dress. I have no idea why it looks like this...

There has to be a reason, right?  Anyway, at MegaCon I found a comic book I didn't know existed...

Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive sheep in an alternate reality. He was given the name Sheep-Boy... Na na na na, baa! Sheep-Boy! Ridiculous, right? And no, I didn't buy it. And now, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Startling Similarities And Differences Between "Game Of Thrones" and Hillary Clinton's Campaign
5. Basic plot involves people who will do anything to gain access to the throne.
4. Is a bizarre mixture of fantasy, violence and silly clothes.
3. Is bankrolled by New York liberal elites.
2. Will be going strong in 2016.
And the number one startling similarity and difference between "Game of Thrones" and Hillary's campaign is...
1. Is going to end badly for most of its main players.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, yesterday I went to MegaCon and had one of the best convention experiences of my life. I got to see some of the artists who are Phile Alum... DJ Clulow, Chris Hamer, Michael Banks and Jasmine Becket-Griffith. There were some others who were there but I didn't get to talk to. I don't normally wait on line to meet a celebrity but my girlfriend Sarah wanted to meet Norman Reedus who plays Daryl Dixon on "The Walking Dead." Now, I met some asshole celebrities in my life... remember my Bill Nye story? And I also met some real cool celebrities... but I have to say that Norman Reedus was one of the coolest celebrities I ever saw. he greeted each guest separately and was really down to earth... even going as far as walking around with a little girl who was dressed up as a bride or something, shooting silly string at people. Anyway, it was a really good convention and I was lucky to get an press pass once again. Next year the convention will be four days and over Memorial Weekend and run by the Canadians... so I hope I'll be able to get a pass pass again. Alright, also at MegaCon I'm sure was the intergalactic bounty hunter/comedian Tractor Beam. Coming straight out of his tour from the Outer Rim here he is...

Tractor: What did the Jedi say to the sheep?

Me: I don't know. What?

Tractor: May the Force be with ewe.

Me: Tractor, that was horrible.

Tractor: What did the sweet potato say to Luke Skywalker?

Me: Why would a potato talk? I don't know, what did it say?

Tractor: I yam your father!

Me: That was as bad as the first joke. You have one more chance, Tractor. Please tell a funny joke. 

Tractor: Where did A'Sharad Hett buy his furniture?

Me: Tractor, I think only like 1% of my readers will know who A'Sharad Hett is... but where did he buy the furniture?

Tractor: Krayt and Barrel and it's real. Look, nerd herder boy.

Me: That's great. Okay, do you have a limerick to leave us with?

Tractor: It's a shame Lando didn't invest in some decent wall wiring for Bespin 'cause as R2 knows those sockets alone are enough to make any droid's head spin.

Me: Good job I guess, Tractor. See you here soon.

Tractor: Thank you, don't eat the bantha.

An accountant is a person whose job it is to ensure that only people who can't afford accountants end up having to pay any taxes.

The 37th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author Rich Bernatovich will be guest on the Phile a week from today. He was at MegaCon as well but I didn't see him.

Today's guest is a young country singer whose latest single "West of the Rockies" is available now on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Rick Elliot.

Me: Hey there, Rick, or should I say howdy. Welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Rick: I'm doing good! Staying very busy.

Me: Man, you look so young, but you don't sound that young. How old are you, Rick?

Rick: I'm 18 years old and counting!

Me: Are you still in school?

Rick: No, I quit that stuff a long time ago... haha.

Me: How long have you been writing songs and performing?

Rick: I've been performing for nine years and writing for about five.

Me: You are on a crusade I read to preserve outlaw country. Is it going away do you think?

Rick: I think it took a small detour and is now making a large resurgence. Outlaw music will be around, as long as there are free spirited individuals who have the guts to express themselves.

Me: What do you think of the country music scene now?

Rick: It's bigger than ever, with an amazing amount of talent! Although, I must say the stuff on the radio isn't what it used to be.

Me: Have you always been into country music, Rick?

Rick: I grew up listening to mainly classic rock but have always had country influences.

Me: Who were your influences growing up?

Rick: Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, David Allen Coe, Jimmy Buffett, Eddie Rabbitt among many others.

Me: Whatcha think of Taylor Swift? She's not country anymore I know, but she started out that way. Miranda Lambert is better, right?

Rick: I don't listen to either of their music, so I wouldn't be a great judge of it.

Me: Rick, where are you from?

Rick: I was born is Santa Monica, CA and raised in Oceanside, CA. Southern California is my home.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your music. You have a new single out called "West of the Rockies." Have you been to the Rockies? They are in Colorado right?

Rick: I have been to the Rockies and many places both west and east of them. The Great Divide is much more than one could imagine.

Me: That song is taken from your new upcoming album "Let it Shine." That's your second album, am I right?

Rick: Actually "Let it Shine" is the name of our next single. These songs will be a part of an EP that will be released later this year.

Me: What was the name of your first album?

Rick: Our first Album is called "First Hand."

Me: So, have you learnt a lot since about recording, playing or the business as a whole between albums?

Rick: John Avila produced our latest singles and he taught me so much about producing and recording, it is unbelievable. It takes great talent to record.

Me: So, you are a young, talented man, Rick. Do you get a lot of woman fans coming to your shows?

Rick: We get a lot of everyone at our shows.

Me: You started off playing piano but moved to guitar... what do you prefer playing and what do you play mostly on the albums?

Rick: I played a good mix of both on our recordings. I can't say I prefer one over the other, but I do get on kicks where I will just play one or the other.

Me: Speaking of guitar, I watched the video for the song "Dust in the Road" and your guitar has autographs on it. I have a screen shot of the video here...

Me: Whose autographs are they?

Rick: I have 4 autographs on my guitar. 1. Paula Nelson 2. Billy Joe Shaver 3. Albert Lee 4. John Avila.

Me: How old were you when you started playing any instrument?

Rick: I learned piano when I was six years old.

Me: And how were you when you first wrote a song? Do you remember what it was called?

Rick: I wrote "West of the Rockies" when I was fourteen and it was my first song. Since then, I have really taken off.

Me: I have to mention your band the Smokehouse Smoke Band. Did you form that band, or did they find you?

Rick: I started the Secondhand Smoke band when I was fifteen and have had a number of different members over the years. My drummer has always stuck with me and is a childhood friend of mine. 

Me: Who came up with the band name, Rick?

Rick: My dad thought it would be a clever name for a band.

Me: You toured a lot last year I think. Do you have any good road stories? What's your favorite gig you have played so far?

Rick: The road stories... Let's not go there... hahaha. We had a great time on tour in 2014 and look forward to more this year. I can't say I've had a favorite gig. I've had good ones, bad ones and everything in between.

Me: So, being young what do your parents think about your music? They must be proud.

Rick: They love it! I have been very fortunate to have very supportive parents.

Me: I thought this was cool... you opened for The Marshall Tucker Band. Were you aware of their music beforehand?

Rick: I have always been a big fan of their music! So opening for them was a great honor. It was a great moment when Doug Gray told me my band was cookin'.

Me: A Phile Alum once opened for MTB as well... Graham Parker. Do you know who that is?

Rick: I'm not hip but I'm going to check him out!

Me: Rick, on the Phile I ask random questions thanks to Tabletopics. Ready? Oh, this is a good one. If you could would you rather live in a boat a tree house an igloo or a teepee. A teepee would be very in tents. Hahahaha. I'd say boat, but it would have to be a bloody big boat.

Rick: I love the ocean so I will have to go with a boat.

Me: Rick, I hope this was fun and I hope you'd come back on the Phile when your album comes out. Will you?

Rick: I'll be back!

Me: Mention your website and all the best to you.

Rick: Thanks so much for having me! You guys can find me at or or my life Tweets at or checkout my selfies at

Me: Good job, Rick. Take care, man.

Okay, that about does it for this late entry of the Phile. Thanks to Rick Elliot for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Saturday with Rex Haberman from War Poets and then on Monday it's author and artist Rich Bernatovich. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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