Tuesday, October 31, 2017

It's The Great Trumpkin, Peverett Phile 2 Pheaturing John Piette From August

Take me down to paradise city, where the girls are green, and the grass is pretty... 

Hey, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday and Happy Halloween, kids. Here's to stockpiling enough Halloween candy to last until next Halloween. This Halloween, may your Donald Trump wig look just as unrealistic as Donald Trump's. Okay, so, if one more person asks about my Halloween plans I'm going to be the scariest thing they see all week. For Halloween you should go as the person you claim to be on Facebook.
Alright, so, yesterday, the day before Halloween, the president and first lady held a greet and treat for a very substantial line of little costumed kids, handing out candy gift bags and shaking hands. There were little pilots, princesses, a massive inflatable dinosaur, and the costume of the night: Hurricane Response Melania.

The costume had the potential to bring up bad memories for Melania, since it was the outfit she wore after Twitter unceasingly mocked her for departing the White House in four-inch high heels on the way to survey damage from Hurricane Harvey. Then again, Breitbart interpreted the outfit like this...

So maybe it's more of a tribute than anything else. Either way, feel free to read way too into this child's Halloween costume and decide whether it's a bold political statement or a statement of political adoration. Here are points you could use: Bringing up the Trumps' hurricane response in any capacity is an insult. There can only be one Melania. How did no one in that line of trick or treaters dress as Trump? It'd only be insulting if she wore the heels. Seriously, did the Secret Service screen kids with orange face paint? At least she didn't dress as a demon (Steve Bannon). Like, really, not one kid put on a Trump wig for this? Anyway, Trump loved it.
There is a very short list of people who could pull off dressing as themselves for Halloween. The combination of recognizable looks and narcissism it takes to dress as oneself could only be pulled off by a Hollywood A-lister, and this year, Gwyneth Paltrow attempted it. As Paltrow shared on Instagram, she dressed as her own character Tracy Mills from the classic horror film Se7en on Sunday. Check it out...

In the movie, her character gets beheaded, so Paltrow did the damn thing and stuck her own head on a box. Her boyfriend Brad Falchuk dressed as her killer, aka Kevin Spacey, aka John Doe. It's the couple's costume from hell. Fans absolutely loved Paltrow's ode to one of the most iconic horror film scenes, which became an iconic Halloween costume in its own right. The best part of this look? Next year, you can dress up as Gwyneth Paltrow as Gwyneth Paltrow for Halloween.
No matter how hard you tried on your costume this Halloween, I have bad news. Your punny idea or topical joke was topped... by this dog who went as a mop.

Please feast your eyes on this adorable fluffball all stuffed into a mop bucket. "This mop dog is the best thing about Halloween this year," a commenter wrote on Instagram, and I couldn't agree more. The pup's name is Keki, and he got all dressed up for the pet costume show in Covington, Kentucky.
Josh Sundquist is a man who redefines what it means to be committed to Halloween. The author, motivational speaker, and former member of both the U.S. Paralympic Ski Team and the U.S. Amputee Soccer Team has been putting the world to shame with his deeply creative Halloween costumes. Since Sundquist lost his leg to cancer as a child, he's reclaimed the loss to make killer Halloween costumes. As he says on Twitter, "When life gives you lemons, make Halloween costumes."

In 2010, he kicked off his Halloween streak by dressing up as a half-eaten Gingerbread Man. Then in 2012 he got back in the game as the Leg Lamp from A Christmas Story. In 2013, he showed off his athleticism in this Flamingo costume. In 2014 he cleverly turned himself into a Foosball player. Then 2015 was the year of the IHOP sign. And in 2016, Sundquist went as Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast. BUT NOW, PLEASE COMMENCE YOUR DRUM ROLLS FOR THE 2017 HALLOWEEN COSTUME! Are you playing the roll yet?! Is your snare on?! Okay, good, just checking. This year Sundquist brilliantly dressed up as Tigger, with his leg camouflaged as the tail.

This is truly beyond. I'm already revved up to see what he comes up with for 2018. Also, if you noticed the gap in 2011, he DID dress up. He was dressed as Angry Birds, but it wasn't amputee-themed, so he hasn't been recirculating the image. I would say 7 years of killer amputee-themed costumes gives a man excuse to take a year off. In any case, the reward for Most Creative Halloween Costume goes to Sundquist, once again.
As children and parents prepare to hit the pavement for the annual trick-or-treating mad dash, there are plenty of reasonable safety precautions to be taken for the little ones. According to a now viral article from Fox 29, one of the dangers lurking out in the rows of darkly decorated houses is the possibility of weed candies. In lieu of the possibility of little ones getting a high beyond sugar, officials in Gloucester County issued an official warning on Thursday warning New Jersey residents to stay vigilant. "Parents need to be aware and check for unusual candy packaging. If they suspect their child has received marijuana candy they should immediately contact their local police department," said Jim Jefferson, a Liaison to the Addictions Task Force. While it is certainly wise for parents to watch over their little ones and double check for drugs. Anyone who has imbibed is painfully aware of how expensive weed dummies are. Some people are even jealous of the addictive and pleasant dangers the kids are being warned against. While others have heroically volunteered as tribute. Still, some had their finger on the pulse of the real danger of trick-or-treating. Road rage and drunk drivers top mystery candy every time.
So, the last few weeks I have been showing you some terrifying children from horror movies who are now normal adults, as far as I can tell. The last one is actually from a movie I saw. Kyra Collins was the creepy dead girl in The Sixth Sense who pays a visit to Haley Joel Osment after she died from a mysterious "sickness" (SPOILER: her mother was poisoning her). You may remember her creepily vomiting in a tent. What's she up to today? She's Mischa Barton! And she's mostly not haunting people anymore, except for that time she posted a tactless Instagram reflecting on #BlackLivesMatter from the French Riviera.

Also her performance in "The OC," I'll be honest, a little bit scary. Creepiness factor: Keeping an eye on you, Mischa.
Alright, ever go into a public rest room and see something you wish you hadn't? Check this out...

Ugh! Do you like your neighbors? I don't know mine, but if I did I hope I'll never get a letter like this...

So, the other day I wanted to look up "cargo shorts" and b mistake I Googled "corgi shorts" and this is what I got...

Hahaha. All together now... awwweeee. So, if I had a TARDIS I think it would be fun to go and meet Ernest Hemingway. But knowing my luck I would show up when he's taking a bath...

Ugh! Stay in the water, Ernest. So, once in awhile I like to you what actual fans of the Phile look like when they are reading the Phile. Like this poor fucker...

So, do you remember "The Andy Griffith Show"? Do you remember the Halloween episode? No? Here's a screen shot...

That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Do you like Cap'n Crunch cereal? There's a new one out for Halloween. Here it is...

Yuck! It's not Throw Up Thursday. so, I get scared easily and being this is Halloween I thought I would show you something very scary...

So, I have been showing you pics of one of my favorite things... side boobs with tattoos and I have one more to show you...

That's the best one yet! Okay, so, like last year I named this entry It's The Great Trumpkin, Peverett Phile... I'm sure you got the pun. The only thing is though I didn't have a picture of a Trumpkin to show. Then my sister Lucy came along... and made this today...

Wait. It looks like me. Lucy? Haha. Anyway, she did a great job I think. So, my son and I were talking about when we used to watch "Sesame Street" together when we were kids. Well, that show is not the same as it used to be.

Visiting the Holocaust museum with his young lover, the Count realizes that Hitler may simply have shared his fetish for anorexic boys.

Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.

Hahaha. Alright, so, you know I'm from England, right? Then you know what I think about the French. So, once again, here's the pheature called...

The #MeToo campaign against sexual assault has gone international. In France, women are tweeting their own stories of sexual harassment under the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc, translated as "Expose Your Pig." But unlike the United States, France is already considering steps to turn this anger into action. French lawmakers are considering a ban on street harassment that would slap cat-callers with a fine. "Proposals are under discussion to fine men for aggressive catcalling or lecherous behavior toward women in public, to extend the statute of limitations in cases of sexual assault involving minors, and to create a new age ceiling under which minors cannot legally consent to a sexual relationship," reports the "New York Times." The government is hoping to iron out the details, such as what exactly constitutes street harassment and how much to fine, in time to propose a method to Parliament next year. France wouldn't even be the first country to institute such legal measures. "Verbal sexual abuse" is a crime in Portugal, punishable by a fine of 120 euros. In Belgium, derogatory remarks can even lead to jail time. While the U.S. government is notoriously slow to enact change... see the gun control debate... the legislation may still serve as an example for American lawmakers. And if not, we can always move to France. HA! That's not gonna happen.

Yesterday, like I said at the top of this entry, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump gave out candy to trick-or-treaters (who presumably had been heavily vetted by security guards, that must've been weird) at the White House. And sure, that may SOUND like a simple-enough task. But apparently no one warned the president that one of these children would be dressed as a T-Rex. And our president apparently has a fossil to pick with T-Rexes. THANK YOU, I'LL BE HERE ALL WEEK. Just look at this uncomfortably tense encounter...

Melania, dear, sweet #freemelania, seemed excited and confused upon the T-Rex's entrance, asking "who's that?" (LOL! Not an actual dinosaur, Melania!) And then there's Donald. For some inexplicable reason, when the T-Rex approaches, Donald Trump takes a moment to give the inflatable animal a death stare so intense, you'd think it was Crooked Hillary AND her emails AND Obama hiding in that costume! But... why? What did this kid (or, rather, this T-Rex) do to warrant such an aggro stance from the president? Great questions, me. Maybe Trump and the T-Rex couldn't get along because they're... too similar? Wait a minute, everyone! I know why Trump appears scared of that dinosaur! He’s seen it before!! He remembers all too well The Day the Dinosaurs Came...

Welp, that explains everything. This poor kid probably didn't realize he would ignite a months-old feud between the president and dinosaurs. Because yes, our president can't get along with a species of animal that has been extinct for MILLIONS OF YEARS.

Phact 1: Many shelters won’t allow black cats to be adopted around the Halloween season for the fear that they may be sacrificed or tortured.

Phact 2: In the several cities in Texas, people on the sex offender registry are ordered to keep their outdoor lights off on Halloween.

Phact 3: The only case of poisoning from Halloween candy was a father killing his own son for $40,000 insurance money.

Phact 4: When Ronald Clark O’Bryan was executed in 1984 for the poisoning his son’s Halloween candy with cyanide, a group of college students showed up wearing Halloween masks to cheer on the execution.

Phact 5: The first Darwin Award Nominee was a student, who dressed as Dracula for Halloween. He positioned a pine board down his shirt so he could “realistically” kill himself. He used a sharp blade, which split the wood and killed him. His last words were “I really did it!” as he staggered from his room.

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated by pretending to be the person you're not somewhere other than your resume.

Okay, today's pheatured guest is the lead guitarist and founder of the rock and roll band August whose latest CD "After Midnight" is available from their website augustrockband.com. Please welcome to the Phile... John Piette.

Me: Hey there, John, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

John: Doing quite well, thanks.

Me: August has opened for Foghat, right? When and were was that, John?

John: July 1st, 1981 at the Bayou in Washington, D.C.

Me: Did you get to meet my dad and did you guys get to chat at all?

John: Yes, Foghat has always been a favorite band and I asked to be put on that show to be a part of your dad’s great Foghat show. Your dad held the door open for me as we both came into the club from the street and I broke my own rule by telling your dad that his band was one of my favorites. He was gracious and invited me to his dressing room after the show. We both had a great show and as I was walking by his dressing room there were a lot of people already in there. He saw me over the crowd and waved me in. We chatted for a while and when I made a comment about my band August getting to the big time he looked at me and said, “You are in the big time.” That made my career to have your dad say that too me. I still smile when I think about that moment.

Me: Cool! You're from Virginia, am I right? Is that where the band is located? What is the music scene like there?

John: Yes, we are based in Virginia West of Washington D.C. and close to the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s basically a rural area with farms, horses and cows. The music scene in northern Virginia and Washington D.C. has not been good for years however, there are wineries and breweries now opening that feature entertainment. Most of the concert venues are gone. Baltimore, Maryland still has a strong music scene and August played a lot in Maryland.

Me: Okay, so... August... is that your favorite month, or when the band was formed? Where did the band name come from?

John: I picked the name because August referring to Augustus Caesare meant to have class and August came out playing rock with class!!

Me: August's first release came out in the late 70s, right? How has the band changed since that first release?

John: I released a 45 rpm record in 1977. The band at the time was a cover band with some local friends. I wanted to become an original band and go for a record deal, so I convinced them to write two originals and we went into the studio. From there I put together another band with more experienced players and recorded the LP record, August featuring John Piette and Friends. From their I hired the first August band to tour in support of the record. We toured 12 years straight with very few changes. With the years of touring, the experience makes a great change in the performance which took us to the national level.

Me: Are you the main songwriter for the band or is it a collaborative effort? August has a new singer so does he get to write lyrics that he's gonna sing?

John: I’ve always been the main writer but I encourage participation with the other band members and if the suggestion works, then we do it. I always encourage my singers to “make the song their own” by putting their style and abilities into the song. I am good at writing to my singer’s abilities and style.

Me: Is your songwriting done mostly on an acoustic guitar, John?

John: Very rarely do I use the acoustic guitar to write. It’s usually my electric guitar. I sometimes like to work with my keyboard player and my guitar to work out an idea I hear. I usually show the idea to my drummer and bass player and we will work it out in the studio and track the basic tracks.

Me: I played the new CD "After Midnight" a few times and thought at first you guys were gonna do a rocking version of Eric Clapton's "After Midnight." Was the song written after midnight and how did it get to get to be the album title?

John: The CD we released in 2015 was titled “Street Smart” referring to the fact that I still own all my songs after all these years which is not always the case with a lot of bands. On this CD we have a lot more of my rocker songs and several we played from my touring days. On tour our shows would not normally start until 10 pm or after and always finished “after midnight." That meant the party would start, after midnight. In the winter time it would be dark when we got up and dark when we went to bed so that part is in the song as well. So this CD represents the fun I had on tour, especially “after midnight," LOL.

Me: I also thought "Runaway" was gonna be the Bon Jovi song. When you write a song do the title, lyrics or melody come first?

John: I can answer yes to all three. It depends but I’ve worked with all three concepts when writing. A title can dictate a melody and vice versa.

Me: I hear a lot of influences in the band's music... AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Foreigner... who are yours or the bands influences, John?

John: My early years were Jimi Hendrix and Cream, and growing up this part of Virginia was a southern rock market so the harmony guitars of the Allman Brothers and Johnny Winter made changes on me. Then I heard the Foghat record, “Rock and Roll Outlaws” and it still affects my writing today. Vocal wise, Queen and especially Foreigner blew me away. I got to tell Lou Graham how much I admired his voice and the style still affects my writing styles. And of course AC/DC and Judas Priest are the beat and guitar sounds I like and incorporate when I can.

Me: So, before this "After Midnight" album there was a long gap between music, right? Did the band go separate ways?

John: I took the band off the road in 1999 then pursued my love of recording co-owning an international, state-of-the-art recording studio where I produced over 35 records. I also wrote, designed and directed many video’s during this time. I still do both. My LP, August featuring John Piette and Friends has been selling on the Internet for outrageous amounts so I release a remastered CD version in 2014 to try and stop it. Instead, it renewed a lot of people’s interest in August and I put together the current version to record the “Street Smart” CD. That sold great and received airplay worldwide which encouraged us to record “After Midnight." Now we’re working on a live show and a 40th Anniversary CD that could be released in late 2018.

Me: So, the bands new singer... Jeff Bowers... where did you find him? Did he have to audition?

John: I’ve always enjoyed doing live sound and I’ve worked with many national acts as well as several Presidents of the U.S. Occasionally, there will be a local act that is above average and I will do sound for them. This particular country/rock cover band had Jeff as the keyboard player and one of two main vocalists. In addition to my August song catalog, I also write songs for publishing. I asked Jeff if he would sing on one of my publishing songs and he agreed. When he came to my studio, Dream Traxx to record the vocals, he told me that he wrote and sang rock songs as well. I asked him to sing my newest August original, "I Will Survive You" and the rest is history!!

Me: John, you're a really good guitar player... if you could play for any band who would it be? 

John: Thanks, of course I’d love to have played with your dad and Foghat, I would say I would enjoy playing with Judas Priest.

Me: So, the band all wears black leather and sunglasses... and has a certain look. No bright colors with you guys. Did you come up with the "look" for the band, John? Has the band had that look from the very beginning?

John: Scott, my guitar player and I always wore black leather pants during our August touring days in the 1980s. We enjoyed the 80s and there was always black leather around and I’ve always liked black leather. I like the look and it says a lot without saying a word. Yes, it’s my look.

Me: Okay, so, you have your own recording studio... Rugby Road Records. I take it that's the address of the studio. Do you rent it out or is it just for your music, John?

John: I did own Rugby Road Studio and it did start in my basement which was on Rugby Road. I did a lot of engineering and producing at Rugby Road and had some great national acts come through. This was a public studio. My current studio is Dream Traxx Recording studio and it’s built after the Rugby Road design, live end, dead end. I have offered time to the public but for the past 3 years we have been either recording August songs or publishing songs non-stop. I do offer a good deal and it can be found at its site... dreamtraxxstudio.com.

Me: Apart from Foghat which you opened for August has opened for the B-52s. What the fuck? How did the B-52 fans take to your music? That's a weird bill, if you don't mind me saying. I have been trying to get those kids on the Phile for awhile.

John: In the early days we were one of the house bands for a big concert venue, Louie’s Rock City. The B-52s had a hit with a song called, “Rock Lobster." As part of the deal they had to tour and hold a “rock lobster” dance contest at each show. Louie’s was a real rock venue and they got booked there to do their contest. They didn’t want to stay any longer than required so they asked if they could open for us and of course we said yes. I did watch the rock lobster dance contest. LOL.    

Me: Is there anybody else you had opened for that was cool?

John: John Kay and Steppenwolf were always gracious with us giving us room on stage, etc. We replaced Nantucket on the first Johnny VanZant tours and that was a fun gig. Frank Marino was also an interesting gig. The Foghat was a dream come true... I took a pay cut to get on that show. Actually your dad offered us to stay on tour with them but we were making a lot more than an opening act at that time.

Me: Okay, so, the band has been together on and off for a long time... you must have a regret that you wish you could change and also on the flip side, something that sticks out as the most memorable experience in your career?

John: Since I started August in 1977 until 1999 we changed singers, drummers and guitarists twice. So that is a very low turnover rate for a working rock band. I worked hard for a record deal and Atlantic Records offered me a two record deal. However, it wasn’t designed to make me money or had a lot of guaranteed support. So after all the years of working hard for it, I received it and turned it down. Aziz Goksel was the A&R that made me the offer and agreed I was smart to have turned it down.

Me: Okay, so, what's next for August, John? This is not the last release ever I hope.

John: We are already planning on the 40th Anniversary CD for late 2018 release so we will be recording more. I’m hoping to go live with my new song publishing company before the years end and you will be able to hear all the songs I’ve been writing for other artists. Personally I have over 200 songs in my catalog. We are hoping to play several live events as August in 2018 as well. I’m also looking for talented artists to produce as well.

Me: Nice. I hope this was fun... go ahead and mention your website. Come to Florida to play and come back when the next release comes out. Take care.

John: Thanks it has been fun. I will keep you informed. Hear our songs and watch our video’s at the following sites, you can also buy our CD "After Midnight" at our website store for only $10!!! Augustrockband.com, reverbnation.cvom/augustmusic, youtube.com/user/augustrockband, facebook.com/August-Rock-and-Roll-Band.

Me: Excellent. Great job, John.

There, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to John for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Phile Alum Graham Wood. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Happy Halloween, kiddos.

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

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