Good evening, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? I hope you had a good Monday... better than Jennifer Lawrence anyway. Her new movie, which is pretentiously stylized as mother!, came out over the weekend and has audiences pissed and disgusted. CinemaScore, the metric that measures moviegoers' reactions to films based on exit polls, gave it a coveted F. The movie, which is being advertised as an arthouse horror extravaganza, was booed when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival, but has people debating whether it is incredible or terrible. According to "Telegraph," mother! grossed a measly $7.5 million after its extensive advertising campaign, making it the lowest wide-release opening of J.Law's career. Poor J.Law. Except, not poor J.Law, she's a millionaire. But still, it must suck to be the star of this week's Worst Movie of All Time.
A group of refugees spent a recent afternoon in the last place you'd ever expect: Donald Trump's childhood home. And no, Trump did not open his doors to them. (Come on, he'd never do something like that.) Last month, the Internet discovered an Airbnb listing for the house where Donald Trump grew up in Queens, New York. The home, complete with photos, artwork, and framed magazine covers honoring the dude currently attempting to govern our country while simultaneously plugging his real estate brand, is still available on Airbnb. Reporters from both "Newsweek" and Mashable bravely spent the night there for the sake of journalism, but the latest organization to shell out cash for some time in the home where a young Donald Trump probably daydreamed about getting a spray tan someday is making the biggest statement thus far. Oxfam, a non-profit that works to end the injustices that cause poverty, rented the home and invited four refugees to gather there. Refugees are people who are forced to leave their country to avoid persecution, war, or other violence. The organization shared a blog post on its website, explaining the decision to rent the home for this purpose, and introducing us to the four refugees, who are from Syria, Somalia, and Vietnam. "Millions of families around the world have been forced to flee their homes in order to survive, creating the world’s worst displacement crisis since World War II," reads the blog post. "In this moment, what better place to show world leaders the value of a safe, welcoming home for those fleeing unthinkable situations than the childhood home of the U.S. president." Oxfam's decision to invite refugees into Trump's childhood home not only sends a message to Trump, but to leaders from around the world, many of whom happen to be currently attending the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, just across the East River from Queens. Oxfam aims to send a very clear message to all of these leaders, "refugees are welcome here." Furthermore, Oxfam explains that Trump will be deciding on how many refugees the United States will resettle in 2018 in the next few weeks, so it's an important time for Americans to reach out to their government leaders and urge them to welcome refugees. Just one week into his presidency, Trump signed an executive order issuing a travel ban that discriminated against citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries, making it clear that he does not have much compassion for foreigners. The upcoming decision doesn't only lay in Trump's tiny hands, but in the hands of many other government leaders... so telling them that you support welcoming refugees can make a huge difference. The refugees who attended the gathering are Eiman Ali, who was resettled in North Carolina from from Somalia when she was 2; Abdi Iftin, who was resettled in Maine from Somalia in 2014; Ghassan Shehadeh, who was resettled in Maryland from Syria in 2015; and Uyen Nguyen, who was resettled as a 10-year-old in California from Vietnam in 1985.
Ivanka Trump thinks people have "unrealistic expectations" about her influence over president Donald Trump, she said an interview with the "Financial Times" published on Thursday. Though she is technically an adviser to the president, Ivanka claims that there are misconceptions about how often she can actually persuade her father to change his mind. According to The Huffington Post, Ivanka reportedly organized five weeks worth of meetings to convince her dad not to pull out of the Paris climate accord, and then he went ahead and did it anyway. "Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me," Ivanka told the "Financial Times." "That my presence in and of itself would carry so much weight with my father that he would abandon his core values and the agenda that the American people voted for when they elected him. It’s not going to happen. To those critics, shy of turning my father into a liberal, I’d be a failure to them." You're right, Ivanka. It's very unrealistic for people to think that one of the president's advisers should influence his decisions. Where'd they get a crazy idea like that?! She added that while members of the Trump administration often disagree on things, if she were to express her differing views to the public, it would "mean I'm not part of the team." Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner, who is also a Trump adviser, chimed in about his wife's working relationship with her dad. "She tries to be supportive of her father and I think that she is able to both agree and disagree with him in private and share her feedback with him honestly and respectfully," he said. "She’s worked with him for a long time... longer than anyone else in the White House." Ivanka goes on to say that rather than being judged by the actions of her father, she wants to be judged by the policy issues she's taking on herself, like gender equality in the workplace. Okay then.
Okay. Get ready to roll your eyeballs. A mom in the U.K. has gone viral after refusing to let her two-year-old daughter attend a daycare with overweight teachers. No, I'm not kidding. Writer Hilary Freeman penned an essay for "The Daily Mail" recalls meeting a nursery assistant at the daycare who she describes as "a lovely woman: kind and great with children" and happened to be overweight. You'd think that being kind and great with children would qualify someone to work in a daycare, but apparently Freeman doesn't think so. Freeman goes on to say she felt "a growing sense of unease" about leaving her daughter with this caring woman who is great with children, simply because of the woman's weight. "She was only in her 20s, but already obese... morbidly so," Freeman writes. Seems kind of harsh, right? Don't worry, this essay gets worse! Freeman says her criticisms of the daycare employee's weight come from a concern for her daughter's safety. "Would she, I wondered, have the lightning reflexes needed to save an adventurous toddler from imminent danger?" Freeman questioned. "And what sort of unhealthy habits would she teach my daughter, who would be eating her lunch and tea there each day?" Freeman reveals these worries ultimately caused her to make the decision not to send her daughter to the daycare. Have your eyes rolled back inside your head yet? Not quite? Good, because there's more! Later on in the essay, Freeman reveals that she told people that she chose the other nursery for her daughter because it was smaller and friendlier, but now she's relieved to finally get the real reason off her chest. "I knew I would be accused of discrimination, or ‘fat-shaming’, if I admitted the truth." And then she went on to defend her right to fat-shame people, and said that body-positivity is problematic. "Activists say that ‘fat is beautiful’ and being obese isn’t a problem, she writes. "Anyone who points out it’s not a good thing to be so overweight is condemned. Telling a woman she should think about losing weight for her health is, apparently, now 'anti-feminist.'" Uh, or maybe it's just not nice to call someone fat? Alas, Freeman's defense continued. "Rolls of fat are not attractive... I shouldn’t be scared to say that," she wrote. Ohhh boy.
Ugh. Oh, sorry. Let me rephrase that. UUUUUGHHHHHHH. A picture of a student from Robertsdale High School in Alabama is going viral because it depicts a young woman holding a racist sign at a school football rally. The woman on the left in the photo is smiling and holding a sign that says "Put the 'Panic' back in Hispanic." To her right is a woman holding a TRUMP banner and the school's mascot.
"Put the Panic back in Hispanic. #dontgetButthurt " wrote Harley Powell in the caption, adding "I'm honestly not gonna care if you do anyways so!! #sorryboutit."According to AL.com, an Alabama news source, the woman brought the sign to a football game between the Robertsdale Bears and the Spanish Fort Toros on Friday. The Instagram post was captured via screenshot by Robertsdale High senoir Jennifer Lopez Vazquez and uploaded to Facebook. It then went viral. "This happened yesterday at our school pep rally. They know it's Hispanic Month" wrote Lopez Vazquez "That's very disrespectful in so my ways. But it's funny to think that our school thinks it OKAY this is honestly what white trash looks like." Eddie Tyler, the superintendent of Baldwin County Public Schools, claims that the school is looking into the incident, "We are aware of a photo that appears to be taken at a Robertsdale High School football pep rally Friday September 15th that is circulating on social media containing political banners and unacceptable language," said Tyler in a statement. "School administrators, as well as my office, are following up on the matter." Powell later deleted her social media accounts, but screenshots are forever. She released this apology note, "It wasn't my intention and was not meant for it to be taken that way. I apologize for the publicity and misunderstandings that it has brought to our school." Hm, sounds like Powell is actually #sorryboutit after all. Well, I am sure that she will have a "wonderful" year at school after this mess. Applying for college is going to be fun, too! Remember, #dontgetbutthurt, Harley.
Okay, so, you heard of Big Foot, right? Well, did you know he has a brother... Gig Foot? No? Take a look.
Hahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...
Haha. So, people here in Florida sure try to get away with putting some funny things on license plates.
Someone is a Scooby fan. So, once in awhile I like to show you what someone looks like when they are reading the Phile. I think this beautiful woman loves it...
Ha! Do you ever see those homeless people with cardboard signs on the side of the road? I'm sure you do. Well, some of them are in really bad shape...
A Florida Pizza Hut manager on a pizza power trip promised to discipline employees if they didn't follow his specific, draconian instructions on how to appropriately flee life-threatening Hurricane Irma, according to "USA Today." It's the one time in modern history that public opinion has taken the side against more pizza. "Our #1 priority is the safety and security of our team," wrote the manager, before explaining why that's not true. "If evacuating, you will have a 24-hour period before storm 'grace period' to not be scheduled. You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event! Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason" will result in "documentation being issued." Another low light follows, again printed in all bold text just in case hurricane fear made you skim the note, "In the event of an evacuation, you MUST return within 72 hours." The reason that these rules are cruel and unfair should be obvious. Just take it from the mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, who urged speedy evacuation. "If you do it later, you may be caught in a flood of traffic trying to leave the area. You may find yourself in a car during a hurricane, which is not the best place to be." Again, public opinion... in a rare occurrence putting human life above pizza... was furious at the Pizza Hut manager. The national chain has denounced the memo as "an isolated incident by an employee who showed very poor judgement." The president has not weighed in on the controversy.
The biggest joke of Spongebob is that he works at a fast food place and can afford a house.
And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...
Top Phive Things Overheard During Sean Spicer's Emmys Appearance
5. This is even better than when Scaramucci got slimed at the Nick Kid's Choice Awards!
4. That's nothing! Stave Bannon parked my car!
3. Phew! I thought he was going to revive the argument that Kevin James wasn't born in America!
2. If you like this, just wait 'til Bill Cosby presents the Emmy for Best Actress!
And the number one thing overheard during Spicer's Emmys appearance was...
1. So THAT'S what these barf bags are for!
Flying home from France on a recent trip a man noticed a rather haggard looking mom walking into the customs area with eight children... all under age 10. Collecting their many suitcases, the nine of them entered the cramped customs area. A young customs official watched the large entourage in disbelief, ''Ma'am,'' he said, ''do all these children and this luggage belong to you?'' ''Yes, sir,'' the lady said with a sigh, ''they're all mine.'' The customs agent began his interrogation, ''Ma'am, do you have any weapons, contraband or drugs in your possession?'' "Sir," she calmly answered, "if I'd had any of those items, I would have used them by now."
This is freaking cool. Today's guest is an English drummer and portrait artist whose artwork could be seen at the Salomon Arts Gallery in Manhattan from now til October 5th. Please welcome to the Phile, the great... Gilson Lavis.
Me: Hey there, Gilson, welcome to the Phile, sir. You're one of my favorite drummers ever from one of my favorite bands. How are you?
Gilson: I'm here. How are you? Just stroke my ego. Haha.
Me: I'm okay. First of, before we talk about your artwork I have to talk about Squeeze. It's summer and just the other day I was listening to "Footprints" from the "Frank" album. I love the drumming on that song, sir. It was so different. Do you remember when you recorded that song?
Gilson: Not particularly, but I do remember playing it. What I can talk about is Glenn, who wrote much of the music as you know, used to write a very specific rhythm. A guitar oriented four by four type sort of square rhythm. Everything he brought to the band to work on had a very similar sort of feel going into it. What I tried to do with my part in the fiasco was to try and find new and hopefully interesting way of playing drum patterns that would fit in with that sort of groove. Sometimes they worked really well and sometimes they didn't. The "Footprints" rhythm is a very interesting rhythm. I remember playing it I crossed the kit and used two high-hats which I physically played. Sometimes those drum feels, the flammy type five stroke rolly things around can sound sort of lumpy. There was a song on the very first record we recorded, called "U.K. Squeeze" in America, with me as the muscle man on the front cover. Well, on that record there was a song called "The Call" which has a sort of approach to the groove. But if you get it wrong it can sound lumpy.
Me: So, you've been out of Squeeze for a long time... I interviewed John Bentley a few times who is also out of the band presently, but do you hear or see any Glenn or Chris?
Gilson: Chris is working with us at the moment with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. We did pretty well... we played in front of quite a few thousand people and we had guest artists touring with us. All sorts of people like Solomon Burke. This summer tour our guest was Chris Difford. So, in fact now when we go on stage and do a show there's Jools on piano, me on drums and Chris Difford doing vocals and we do a couple of Squeeze songs. In fact, there's more original members of Squeeze with Julian then there is on stage with Squeeze!
Me: Do you ever get recognized for being in Squeeze in public?
Gilson: Yeah. I was on holiday with the family in Greece a few years back and we went on this sort of day trip out and this sort of traditional Greek wedding type do was going on. I was sitting out next to this American chap and we just got chatting and he asked me what I did and I said, "Oh, I'm a drummer." And he said, "Oh, really? Who do you play for?" "Jools Holland." Blank, nothing. Then I said, "I used to be the drummer in a band called Squeeze." And his eyes lit up! He said, "My God! You're a legend. Really?" It still comes as a bit of a shock. All these thousands of people in America who loves Squeeze. I'm just a working joe drummer, mate.
Me: So, the first time I remember seeing the band on a picture was the "Arbybargy" album and you were wearing a suit and standing in the middle and in my mind you were the singer. Haha. I have to show that album cover just in case no one saw it reading this...
Me: You always looked so smart wearing suits. Were you always a sharp dresser?
Gilson: Should I tell you? There's a bit of a story. My dad, god bless him, died many years ago was a truly wonderful and lovely man who I still miss to this day. He does when I was quite young. He does at 66 which was way to early. Anyway, my dad worked as a manager in a building supply merchants and he was an area manager. He used to wear a suit every day and take pride in his appearance polishing his shoes. That sort of upbringing taught me and that's really how I have been. I always had that sort of attitude. When I started playing the drums for a living I was working with all sorts of people from Dolly Parton at the Country Music Festival in England, Skeeter Davis, Tammy Wynette and others and they were all very smart looking dressy type people. I also worked in the cabaret circuit playing with cabaret artists as a pick up drummer. The list is endless, there is actually hundreds and hundreds of people that I played drums for. It was part of the gig to turn up looking smart. Well, all of a sudden I found myself in a south London new wave punk band and they were all wearing scratchy old clothes looking like they had been run over by a motorcycle. But I'm used to dressing up and going on stage and looking smart. I cleaned my teeth and polished my shoes. I never lost that, it's still with me now. There was a period because I'm a recovering alcoholic at the end of my drinking where it got are work to take care of my physical appearance. It was pretty hard work to get out of bed in the morning let alone shining shoes. I think you're in trouble as an artist or performer when the audience is looking smarter than the artist.
Me: It's cool you still play drums as well as doing your artwork. You must still love playing drums, am I right?
Gilson: I've always felt quite comfortable on stage. There was a period when I was a drunk and it was a struggle but I always felt quite at home playing. I don't seek adulation, or was hooked on the applause, or hooked on the glory and the glamour. There is some in the music business but as much as people think. But what I've always enjoyed is playing music and doing it as well as I can. Every night I try to play a bit better than I did last night. That's really the secret, if there is a secret, is the way I work.
Me: The first album by Squeeze, "U.K. Squeeze," was produced by John Cale from the Velvet Underground. That's pretty impressive for a first album to have him as a producer. Were you a fan of his or the Velvet Underground?
Gilson: No, I wasn't. I didn't know who John Cale was. I was much more of a mainstream type player working with mainstream artists. I had to learn all this stuff. It was an eye opener because after I recorded with so many other artists before Squeeze who some of them I never heard of. People like The New Seekers, country based rock type acts. When this chap John Cale turned up it was all sort of left field, wacky ideas. He was a tortured genius really. I had to learn but what a wonderful place to be because I was given a blank canvas. He truly impressed me with some of the stuff he did. When we first started to play by the time Squeeze started working as a performing band I had been a pro drummer for ten years or something. I played all sorts of music... I've played big band, I've played jazz, I've played rock, I've played country, I've played every style of music because I was a giggling drummer. If you had a checkbook I would turn up, mate. That's what I did for a living. Anyway, I joined this band called Squeeze and of course I was an accomplished drummer if you compared me to other drummer's who were in new wave bands at the time. I'm not criticizing how they played, that's not what I'm doing because there was a real essence and passion and naivety in the performance that is easy to lose. It's very hard to create that when you've been around the business for twenty years. I can't do that, I'm all a bit slick and stylish and John Cale was taken back. One day he taped my hands together with two drum sticks in each of my hand so that I would sound more crude. It didn't last but I was too slick for him.
Me: I read once that when the first album was being made the band didn't get along, no one got along with Cale and he wanted to market the band as 5 gay guy's. Is that right?
Gilson: No, that was just us being silly, being naked from the waste up. That was just something that sort of grew. I don't think there was any thought of homosexual or homophobic going on there. What he did was really vital to Squeeze because when we started that album Glenn and Chris's songs were remarkable but they were love songs. They were songs about moon in June, sunshine, surfing songs and copying their take on pop records that came out before. But obviously they had this sort of funny, quirky edge to it that was Chris and Glenn. But what John Cale did was tell Chris to stop writing love songs and start writing about other things. That's when the key was turned in the lock and unlocked Chris's imagination. That's when he started to write in the way we all know which is real picturesque story telling. The way he took one second and turn it into a three minute song or he could take a life time of sixty years and turn it into a three minute song.
Me: With Chris and Glenn doing the songwriting, were you allowed and able to contribute anything or did they have full control?
Gilson: In the early days in the first five years of Squeeze rift up to "East Side Story" I had a strong roll in the band. I helped arrange a lot of the songs. I was the key arranger because I had so much experience working with different artists. Glenn would write the songs, bring them in and I would sort of suggest a lot of arrangements and stuff. But gradually as time went on and Chris and Glenn got more strident about their compositions in the way they wanted them my input was less and less required. By the end of my time with Squeeze I was still left and arrange my own drum parts... no one told me what to play. My influence on the rest of the band wasn't so dominate really.
Me: What is your favorite Squeeze song that you worked on and is proud of?
Gilson: Well, most of them mostly but one of my favorites I did arrange was "Pulling Muscles From a Shell." And then there was "Cool For Cats" with the drum break that was unusual for a new wave song. It wasn't like a drum solo, it was like a new wave version of take five.
Me: What was the dynamic of the band before you left? Why did you leave Squeeze?
Gilson: I think over time Glenn got more controlling. If you read anything or looked into Squeeze's history you see he admitted, or at least owed up to the fact he got quite controlling and dominate about how he wanted things and how he wanted the band to sound and whatnot. I think Chris, being the lyricist along with Glenn made it naturally not a split, but a separation that became Chris and Glenn and the set of the musicians. But of course what happened was it was inevitable sooner or later they sort of got rid of us one by one. Harry was the first to go, then Julian left, then they broke up the band completely which was disappointing. That was just on the verge when we were breaking in America when we were headlining Madison Square Garden. Surprisingly we did all that without a hit record. We did all that with live shows and college radio play. There was no hit record and we still managed to get to Madison Square Garden. I wasn't very well at the time, that's when I stopped drinking actually. I can understand why they had enough of me. I've had enough of me by then as well.
Me: The band broke up twice, or a few times. Haha. When you were let go the first time what did you end up doing? Playing with other people? And how did you get back with them after that?
Gilson: No, I was driving a mini cab around London. I got a call from Glenn who asked if I wanted to do a show, and I did the show which went well and that was it and we started up with Squeeze again.
Me: "Play" was the last Squeeze record you played on... did you leave on your own this time?
Gilson: No, I was kicked out again. I have been sacked twice by that band. It was because I started drinking again. I've been sober for ten years and that marriage got broken and I was washed up on the rocks and in a pretty bad way and I didn't and picked up a drink which was a crazy thing to do. This was after ten years of not drinking. We did an American tour and I was drinking through that. When we got back from that tour they had band meeting and sacked me. I was sacked twice, and both times I was a drunk which is a hard pill to swallow. When you're on the floor they come and give you a good kicking. So I retired. That plan was after that second time I felt like I've blown it completely and once again I was penniless, no money so I moved up to Lincolnshire and bought a derelict cottage which had no floors and no roof. I was going to renovate this cottage and give a few drum lessons. After a couple of months of doing this I thought, well, I'm feeling sorry for myself, Julian called and said, "Hello, Gilson, do you want to come do a show?" I didn't want to and said, "I can't do this, mate. I retired, I'm finished." He was determined so I in the end I agreed and went down to London and played this one off show as a duo with piano and drums, doing this boogie woogie stuff, then he booked another show and another show. I stopped drinking again now so I was sober again, then a bass player turned up, then a guitarist turned up and it gradually grew into a twenty-two piece rhythm and blues orchestra that played stadiums. I never did retire. I've been a lucky bunny, mate, I had three careers and I'm still going.
Me: Alright, enough about music. Hahaha. We have to talk to you about your artwork which I have been showing on the Phile. They are so good. How did you get into this?
Gilson: Thank you. Well, when I was at school way, way back. I left school when I was 15-years-old to be a drummer. I was always able to draw, and sketch. It was one of those things that I was able to do. I was the kid in the class that could draw a pair of tits and make it sexy. It was either going to be art or music, well, I thought music was the way forward for me. Certainly I'll get more pull with the girls. It never did work out with the girls actually. So, I got into music and didn't follow up with art. I didn't pick up a pen or paint brush for decades. About nine years ago I was out in Budapest having all my teeth fixed. Living my life I had, having a few years being a drunk... its very rare seeing a drunk with a nice set of teeth. So, when I was out there I rented this flat off the Internet that looked quite nice and I was out there for a week and when I got there it was appalling, a real dreadful shit hole. No heating, no hot water and it was in a rundown part Budapest. I don't drink and I was stuck in this miserable flat for a week with nothing to do but feel sorry for myself. But what I did have with me was a bit of paper and a pen and what I did was I did a sketch of our tour manager and a sketch of my wife. I thought it looked alright so when I came back I put them both in a frame for the hell of it and I gave it to the tour manager and he was absolutely thrilled to bits. He was so excited and I think I enjoyed that sort of approach of having someone slapping you on the back and saying that's fantastic. What I did was on the next tour I sketched the whole band, their wives and their dogs. I sketched everybody and I couldn't stop. Then I got bored with sketching and thought I'll try a bit of painting so I transferred my sketching to painting. It went from strength to strength. I had about five exhibitions now in London and around the country. I've just opened in New York which I'm thrilled to bits about at Salomon's Gallery.
Me: Are you selling some of these sketches?
Gilson: Yeah, I was. When we have a break in January, February and March we don't do much touring which is our quiet time. So, what I do for the hell of it, I sit in my armchair and I do a sketch and I think I don't want this, it's a lovely sketch but I can't keep sticking them around the bedroom. I don't really want to start selling them for loads of money because it has only taken me a couple of hours. Haha. So, I was sticking them on my Facebook page and charging a minimum I could charge without just giving them away. The thing is I could give them away but that would feed an insertional beast. Everybody would want one then. I had to out some sort of price on it so I put a hundred pounds on each one and every time I did one it just sold and flew out.
Me: That's cool. I want one. So, back to music and Squeeze. Have you heard their latest album "Cradle from the Grave"? Do you think you or Jools will ever play with Squeeze again?
Gilson: Well, for a start Julian wouldn't be interested in something like that. Why would he? He's a music icon in England, he's musical royalty now. He has his own TV show thats been running twenty years, he's been rewarded an MBE... he'll be a sir soon, I shall think. He's done incredibly well for himself. He doesn't need it and I doubt he wants it either. Probably if someone waved a big check in front of him he would think about it. I go where Julian goes, so I wouldn't be doing it unless Jools did it. I'm sort of tied to Jools who is my boss, although I'm sort of self-employed. I don't think Chris and Glenn would be interested in doing it as to them it might seem like a backwards step really. I don't know, I'm speaking for people who I have no right no speak for.
Me: John Bentley said you two have a chin wag once in awhile, and you played with Chris on tour but what about Glenn, do you ever see him?
Gilson: I never see Glenn really. I've only seen him once a couple of times in the last ten or fifteen years. Our paths don't cross. I couldn't tell you how I am with Glenn, I have no idea really. I know our relationship was quite strained when I was with Squeeze because his desire to have things the way he says it should be. Whose to say he is wrong? It's all water under the bridge now, Jason, so who cares?
Me: Okay, good point. I have to mention Graham Parker, one of my all-time favorite singers and musical idols, and Alum of the Phile. You played on his "Real Macaw" album. How did you get to play on that album and work with him?
Gilson: I don't know. I just got a call to come and play with Graham and it was a great thing actually. Unfortunately although I was playing pretty well and solid at the time I think I was suffering a bit from the effects from working with Glenn. Glenn for quite a long period at the end of Squeeze he was sort of anti of any drum fills or any complicated on the kit or anything that wasn't just basic background backbeat. He was going through this phase of not wanting anything... flowery. I was very intimating by that and it was quite musically castrating. I think I took that into the album with Graham which was unfortunate because I think I could of done something a lot more but I was still a bit intimating and I was painted into an emotional box and I allowed myself. You see, it's not all Glenn, it's a two way streak. He pushed me that way and I retreated. If I was healthier I might've stood my ground a bit more but I didn't. Having said that, those songs are really solid and really groove and I'm quite proud of that album. I did play well on it, to just particularly imaginative.
Me: You didn't tour with him, right?
Gilson: No, I never toured with him.
Me: I did not know this until recently but you worked with Amy Winehouse. Am I right?
Gilson: Yeah, I did work with Amy in the beginning of her career. We were at rehearsals and we were all set up on the soundstage and Amy tuned up and ran this song with us and everybody, part from the musicians of course, everybody in the studio stopped. No cameras moved, no lights moved, no men moved... they just stood transfixed by this performance of this lady. I only seen that happen a couple of times like when Amy opened her voice and sang like that.
Me: Cool. So, I have to ask, do you have a favorite memory that sticks out over everything you have done, whether it's art stuff, playing with Jools, Squeeze, or anything?
Gilson: Yeah, there's three things. One of them is walking out in stage at Madison Square Garden and seeing that high crowd and people holding up a banner with "Gilson" on it. I couldn't believe that, I thought how did I get here, I don't know. That's one of them, a real find memory even though I wasn't particularly well at the time. But my god, I was playing well in those days. I might've been a drunk, but I was playing well. Anyway, another was being the drummer for the Millennium celebration at the Millennium Dome which got shown around to billions of people and I performed with endless people all night long. Playing in front of Her Majesty the Queen... just the pinnacle of anyone's career. The only drummer on stage in front of those hundred, and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people. And the other was for Jools' TV show "Later With Jools" and I was asked to come in and play in band and sit in with Smokey Robinson. I sat there and the band was this... it was Smokey Robinson on vocals, myself on drums, Jools on piano, Dave from the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra on bass and Eric Clapton on guitar. I remember sitting there playing and thinking, "my god, how did I get here?" We did a couple of real classic Smokey tracks and I was like thank you, god.
Me: Well, Gilson, sir, it was such an honor to have you here on the Phile. I have one last question, I interviewed John Bentley recently and I asked him what is the one question I should ask you and he said to ask you when are you gonna pay him back his fiver? Hahaha.
Gilson: I gave him a painting I did of him instead. Haha.
Me: Alright, well, thanks so much for being here, plug your website and good luck at the gallery in New York, and please come back soon.
Gilson: It was an honor, Jason. Facebook.com/gilsonlavisart/.
Me: Great job, take care, sir.
There you go, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Gilson for a great interview. The Phile will be back Wednesday from Gainesville with singer Nick Heyward. 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