Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pheaturing Phile Alum Chas Hodges From Chas & Dave

Obama, you're out. Trump urine. Hahaha. I have been waiting to say that line all week. Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. Congratulations on lasting this long into the Trump administration. Man, we have a lot to talk about... A group of Canadians were denied entry into the U.S. on Thursday after disclosing that their reason for visiting was to attend the Women's March on Washington in the nation's capital, "The Guardian" reports. When the group, which included six Canadians and two French nationals, got to the land crossing border in Quebec they were upfront about their plans with the border patrol. "We said we were going to the women’s march on Saturday and they said, 'Well, you’re going to have to pull over'," Montrealer Sasha Dyck told "The Guardian." In the two-hour ordeal that followed, the group was fingerprinted and photographed, as well as had their cell phones and cars searched. After the search, the border patrol denied entry to the two French citizens, and told them that they would need a visa for all future entry to the U.S. The rest of the group, who were all Canadian citizens, were also denied entry and told that if they tried to cross the border again this weekend, they would be arrested. They weren't given any justification or explanation. The experience was a sharp contrast to what Dyck previously experienced when he crossed the border for Obama's inauguration in 2009. "I couldn’t even get in for this one, whereas at the other one, the guy at the border literally gave me a high five when I came in and everybody was just like, 'welcome'," he said. Dyck's group was not the only ones to be turned away at the border on Thursday and subject to questions of political affiliation. Montreal resident Joseph Decunha, who was traveling with two Americans, said they were also straightforward at the border and told them of their plans to attend the inauguration and the women's march. They were then taken for secondary processing. "The first thing he asked us point blank is, 'Are you anti- or pro-Trump?'" Decunha told the CBC. Decunha was denied entry to the U.S. and said that he felt that "if we had been pro-Trump, we would have absolutely been allowed entry." While it makes sense that during this transitional period the border patrol would be practicing extra high security, the fact that they asked the political affiliation of each group feels like only the beginning of a future in which anyone who isn't "pro-Trump" will be denied access to their rights as citizens. And so it begins.
The White House said Trump's inauguration crowd was the biggest in history. It wasn't. In case you were wondering how President Trump's White House Press secretary would handle embarrassments like, say, a general lack of anyone willing to be seen with this administration: Basically he's just gonna lie. In a Saturday briefing, Sean Spicer whined at the media for nearly six minutes about how they were big mean liars for saying that only 250,000 people had attended Trump's inaugural ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Friday, as compared to the 1.8 million for Obama in 2009 and 1 million in 2013. (Trump's own ridiculous estimate was that 1.5 million turned up.) Spicer claimed that pictures were taken from angles that made the crowd look smaller. Remember? This crowd?

Even if the estimated numbers are a little off, it's hilariously clear that Trump's audience was dwarfed by both of Obama's and the #WomensMarch yesterday. Yet Spicer had to go even further and claim that what we saw on Friday "was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period." LOL, no it wasn't. Not even close, dude. Dang, you are... not good at this. Oof. I'd say to walk it off, because the job will only get easier... but we both know that's not true, either. Have fun for the six weeks it takes you to get fired!
President Trump has some vocal critics down under. Way down under. Friday's pitiful Inauguration Day crowds were easily overshadowed on Saturday by hundreds of thousands of women who poured into the streets across the nation and more than 60 other countries for a worldwide #WomensMarch, protesting the pussy-grabber-in-chief. Marchers made their voices heard in signs as sassy as they were savage, and organizers said that turnout in some cities was double or triple what they'd expected. But what really surprised was the news that about 30 people would be protesting in Paradise Bay, a part of Antarctica usually only populated by penguins. Linda Zunas of Oakland, California, organized the demonstration, which had to be short so that participants... who bore signs in support of peace and climate science... did not overly impact the sensitive ecosystem. Look a this cute sign...

When even the penguins are against you, it may be time to admit that politics isn't your strong suit. Haha. I love penguins.
On Inauguration Davy, the BBC inadvertently offered some levity when it accidentally aired the wrong subtitles during its broadcast of Trump's inauguration.The mix-up was brought to the Internet's attention by Kayleigh Smirk, a 25-year-old from Southampton in the U.K., who was watching the broadcast on mute with captions.

I have to say, those subtitles make the inauguration infinitely more hilarious. Buzzfeed has confirmed that instead of coming from the inauguration, the captions were actually dialogue from the CBBC show "The Dumping Ground." Kayleigh's tweet quickly went viral. So far it has over 7,800 likes and has been retweeted over 6,700 times. She told Buzzfeed she was "gobsmacked" that it spread as quickly as it did. "The reaction has been insane, my notifications have pretty much melted at this point," she said. "But I’m really glad it seems to have cheered people up regardless!"At least she has a new claim to fame now.
Let's talk about something different for a sec... Comedian Scott Rogowsky has gone viral more than once with his "Fake Books on the Subway" videos. In these hidden camera gems, Rogowsky rides the New York City Subway while pretending to read oversized books with totally inappropriate titles, like "Ass Eating Made Simple," or "Mein Kampf for Kids." Then he records the incredulous reactions of New Yorkers as they stare at him. It's a lot of fun. In his latest installment, Rogowsky has taken a political spin on his previous idea, producing a bunch of totally weird fake books by President-elect Donald Trump and a bunch of his closest advisers. And just to hammer his point home, he's donating all proceeds from this video to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. I'm glad to say that Scott is gonna be the pheatured guest on the Phile tomorrow. I have to show you a pic of him with one of his new books...

So, a lot of people showed what they thought of Trump being president in their own way. Like this woman...

And this one...

And these llamas. Llamas?

That guy has a bullhorn, a Go-Pro and two llamas. Alright then. Yesterday as you probably know
in Washington, D.C., and around the globe, women came together by the tens of thousands to protest the inauguration of a U.S. president who has openly objectified and bragged about sexually assaulting them. I think this woman had enough of this shit...

But this one shows what a monster Trump really is...

Hahaha. I like her... she's cute and she has a sense of humor. So, I talked about the BBC airing the wrong subtitles during Trump's inauguration. I have to show you this pic of that broadcast and the subtitle which really made me laugh...

Hahahaha. So, there's a lot of Trump doppelgängers out there. Like this Pokémon character...

Yellow hair? Check. Lapel-like chest fur? Check. Tiny claws for hands? Check. Meet Gumshoos, a new Pokémon character. Man, I wanna catch that one on "Pokémon Go." Yes, I still play. By the way, a lot of people think Pokémon is a Japanese creation, but they really come from Britain. Here's proof...

Shit Pouch. What a great name. So, when I saw this...

I thought where did I see that look before. And then it hit me...

Let the Hunger Games begin. Thank you, you're welcome. Alright, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Reasons Ringling Bros. Went Out Of Business
5. The magic of the circus was ruined for children when elephant carcasses had to be disposed of mid-show.
4. The trapeze artists were not longer willing to risk their lives traveling from city to city on Amtrak.
3. Unicyclists have somewhat waned in popularity since the autumn of 1926.
2. They just couldn't keep up with the skyrocketing cost of red rubber noses.
And the number one reason Ringling Bros. went out of business is...
1. Americans have come to prefer more extravagant productions, like Cirque Du Soliel, UniverSoul Circus, and the Trump Transition.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. It's kinda tricky. Alright, so, now Trump is president, I am curious to hear what a good friend of the Phile thinks about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans... Happy Sunday, phuckerz! So... here we are... Like it or not... He's "the man." I say, let's all lock arms (left, right & center) and make sure this nation's 45th prez doesn't fuck this up. Even if you have no respect for the man sitting in the chair... have some respect for the office. After all... that's what we're supposed to do. It's the right thing to do. We criticize, we critique, we poke fun at, we even curse them at times... But, we respect the office of The President of The United States of America. Even THIS guy deserves his first 100 days in office before we start chasing him with torches and pitchforks.

The 35th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Thom Solo and this is one of his pieces...

Hahaha. Thom will be the pheatured guest a week from today.

The 56th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author and the guy who put it together and Phile Alum Gary Gerani will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

I love this... today's guest is a Phile Alum and an English musician and singer, probably best known for being one half, and lead vocalist, of the English musical duo, Chas & Dave whose new live album "Not Just Anuvver Beano" is available on Amazon. Please welcome back to the Phile, one of my favorite guests ever... Chas Hodges!

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

Chas: Just great.

Me: I have to say, you are one of my favorite guests I ever had on the Phile, and glad you are back. This is your 42nd year of Chas n Dave, am I right?

Chas: Actually 44th. We got together around January 1974.

Me: All those years ago if someone would of asked you if you would still be making records and playing in 2017 would you believed it?

Chas: Yes. A big reason we got together was we were fed up being in bands that kept splitting up. We had been mates for a good eight years before we got together. The best surprise is that we are playing better than ever.

Me: Before you and Dave formed the duo you worked with Joe Meeks... legendary producer. How did you start to work with or for him, Chas?

Chas: Made my first professional recordings as a bass player at Joe Meeks in 1961. We auditioned and passed as a backing band for Mike Berry.

Me: Ever hear the Graham Parker song "Just Like Joe Meeks Blues?" It was through that song in '92 I started to learn who Meeks was. Did you like working with him?

Chas: Never heard this song. Joe Meek could be a bit volatile but I learnt a lot from him.

Me: By the way, did you ever meet Graham? It would be so cool if you and he made a record together. Just sating. Haha.

Chas: Never met Graham Parker. Tell me more about him.

Me: He's a fantastic songwriter, and has been putting out albums since 1976. And I got to interview him on the Phile a few times. Google him, Chas. You used to back up Jerry Lee Lewis which kinda amazes me. Jerry Lee of course is an fantastic piano player, so was it odd being the second piano player on stage?

Chas: I had only just started to learn piano when I toured as Jerry Lee's bass player in 1963. I learned a lot about piano by just watching him every night.

Me: Ahhh... I thought you played piano with him. Was he easy to work with?

Chas: He was great to me.

Me: When was the last time you saw him?

Chas: Last year in Glasgow.

Me: Okay, I recently saw on YouTube the Heathrow commercial with the two bears and your song "I'm Going Back." What a fantastic commercial! It really made me smile.I was surprised Heathrow airport had a commercial. The campaign was to get people to come to England or to travel?

Chas: Yes, I guess so.

Me: When they approached you guys to use the song what did you think?

Chas: It was a nice surprise. We recorded it some 35-years ago.

Me: Because of the success of the commercial you guys released the song again as a single. I love the single cover with the bears...

Me: Brilliant idea. That never do that kinda thing in the states. Was it yours and Dave's idea to re-release the song again?

Chas: Our first hit, "Gertcha" in 1979, was prompted by a beer advert. So yes, me & Dave were behind releasing "I'm Going Back' as a single.

Me: Correct me if I am wrong, but it originally came out in the 80s, am I right?

Chas: Yes. On an album called "Well Pleased."

Me: I recently purchased the new live album "Not Just Anuvver Beano." I know the meaning of the title but I am betting not many of my readers do. Can you explain in? Translate it to these Americans? Haha.

Chas: A "Beano" was a "Jolly Boys" day out years ago. Means you are in for a good time.

Me: Where did the name come from?

Chas: Don't know.

Me: The show on the CD was recorded in London, am I right?

Chas: Yes, at the Hammersmith Apollo. The old Hammersmith Odeon.

Me: Do you still get a big joy playing shows, Chas?

Chas: Very much so.

Me: What's the biggest show and our favorite show you have ever done?

Chas: Latest one that comes to mind is selling out the Albert Hall a couple of years back.

Me: You have out out so many great songs over the years... what's your five top Chas & Dave songs?

Chas: Okay, it's hard, but here it is off the top of my head... "Ain't No Pleasing You," "Sideboard Song," "When Days Were Long," "Bored Stiff," "Rabbit."

Me: Do you have a favorite album?

Chas: "Jamboree Bag No. 3" if I'm in a party mood or "Well Pleased" for a good studio album.

Me: Congrats on playing the VE Day 70 concert. What was that experience like?

Chas: We felt we livened it up.

Me: Unfortunately over here the anniversary and the concert didn't receive any press. Are you surprised about that?

Chas: Yes, I suppose so as both countries felt great when it was all over.

Me: I have to ask, what do you think of Mr. Trump being president? Have you heard of him prior to him running? I'm curious to see if he is really known over there. I grew up on Long Island but originally from London, and growing up in New York Trump was always in the news. Living back in England in the 80s I never heard his name once.

Chas: He was heard of but nobody but NOBODY would have predicted him becoming president.

Me: Do you think you and Dave will ever come back to the states to do shows?

Dave: Yes. Fix up some gigs & we'll be over.

Me: I should see what I can do. I have to say, I love your column for the "Daily Express"... Rock n Roll Allotment. That's another word you don't hear over here too much... allotment. How did you start to write the column, Chas?

Chas: I wrote a book called "Chas & his Rock'n'roll Allotment." The newspaper got in touch with me.

Me: Do you enjoy writing it?

Chas: Yes. I do an on-line column at the moment which will resume in March. I am looking for another paper or magazine to take it up.

Me: You're a witty writer... have you ever thought about writing a book about your life?

Chas: I have. My autobiography plus Chas & Dave story. I'll send you a copy if you'll send an address.

Me: Deal. "Rock n Roll Alltotment" was filmed as a TV show. Do you still do that show?

Chas: It was only filmed as a pilot. Has not gone on air in general as yet.

Me: Okay, so, what is your plan for this year? Another studio album?

Chas: Possibly. I've got plenty of unrecorded songs. Looking forward to some nice festivals too.

Me: Chas, thanks so much for being back on the Phile. Tell Dave hi for me. I hope you'll come back again soon. All the best.

Chas:  Thank you, Jay.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course the great Chas Hodges. The Phile will be back tomorrow with comedian Scott Rogowsky. 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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