Monday, November 27, 2017

Pheaturing Kevin Godley

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Monday... not just any Monday, but Cyber Monday. I hope shopping on Cyber Monday doesn't take too much time away from your regular schedule of wasting the day on the Internet.
It's like an early holiday present! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced their engagement and Kensington Palace is doing a great job of supplying us with lots of content. The newly engaged couple appeared for a photo call at the Palace Gardens today to show off Markle's ring and talk about how much they love each other. When asked by press about the moment he knew Markle was the one, Harry said, "The very first time we met." Markle, according to "People," described the proposal as "very" romantic." Markle's giant sparkler of a ring is highly sentimental. The side diamonds come from Princess Diana's jewelry collection. The center diamond is from Botswana, where the couple vacationed in August. Harry designed the ring himself. Here's a grainy close-up of the ring from a photo by royal photographer Mark Stewart.

A modern classic, just like this love story. Awe.
On Saturday, the "New York Times" published a profile of a nazi in Ohio titled "In America’s Heartland, the Voice of Hate Next Door." The profile is written in the same journalistic style a writer would use to profile a famous musician, an activist, or a slightly misunderstood public figure, not someone who condones white supremacy and mass violence. I won't hyperlink to the article here (you can easily Google or click on several embedded tweets), because I don't think the full original article needs to be spread any further. The article itself describes the daily life of Ohio resident nazi Tony Hovater, his love of pasta, his recent marriage, and his love of genocidal propaganda. The language in it is so terrifyingly mundane and soft, it begs readers to understand and even empathize with a nazi. Since the time of publication, the online headline has been changed to "A Voice of Hate in America's Heartland," due to massively warranted backlash. And there have been several brilliant response pieces written. James Hamblin wrote a scathing (and pristine) satire of the profile for "The Atlantic." The writer Indrani Sen wrote a smart analysis of the "NYT" piece for Quartz. Plus, many people on Twitter have chimed in with rightful anger, and also, examples of how journalists can cover white supremacists without normalizing nazi ideology. The Jimmy Kimmel writer Bess Kalb shared her family's story in response to the profile. Other people let the pull quotes speak for themselves. Because no matter how you mince it, and regardless of original intention, this profile is written in a way that completely normalizes and ingratiates Hovater to the rest of America. Given the fact that a growing faction of Americans are already turning towards nazism or "alt-right" ideas, the risks of this profile far outweigh any potential journalistic exploration. Many writers online shared examples of how the "New York Times" could've tackled the subject of American nazis without painting a flowery portrait of one. One of the points made was the fact that largely white writing teams, white editorial boards, and white interview subjects are highlighted in our current political landscape. So, whether an article is aiming to showcase the growth of racist factions, or highlight the growth of activism, the sought out lens skews towards whiteness. Which, regardless of intentions, feeds a dangerous acceptance of the white perspective as universal. As the Twitter user and graduate student J.H. Swanson pointed out, this isn't the first time the "New York Times" has profiled a nazi going about their daily life. In 1939, the publication profile Hitler as a relatable and sober vegetarian. Still, there were some people who didn't think the profile was dangerous. Regardless of the high journalistic aim to present facts and ideas across the spectrum, there are some subjects and ideologies that should not be presented as "misunderstood" or "alternative." Nazism is one of them.
Donald Trump's first wife Ivana has a new memoir out called "Raising Trump," which, despite the versatile name, is about raising three kids with the current president... not raising Trump himself. As part of her promotion tour, Ivana appeared as a guest on "The Ray D'arcy Show" to chat about the book. Unsurprisingly, at one point the conversation touched on Trump's presidency and Ivana's theories about a possible second term (NOOO PLEASE GOD NO). Without a doubt, the most cutting moment in the interview was when the current First Lady Melania came up. Apparently, the two women aren't on great terms after Melania became livid when Ivana made a comment about being the First Trump Lady herself. But as she tells Ray, the comment only referenced being Trump's first wife. "I said I’m ‘First Trump Lady’... and First Lady went bananas over it. I have no idea why. I don’t know how it spark her, but I am definitely Trump First Lady. I was married to Donald, have three kids with him and I have no idea why she resents it." Ivana then suggested that Melania "leave it at that, who cares?!" And when Ray asked how Melania's doing as First Lady, Ivana simply replied, "I think she's doing her best." Ivana's comment has TEETH. At another point in the interview, she revealed she doubts Trump will run for a second term because he misses his rich and carefree lifestyle too much. Of course, to most of us paying attention to his actual "work ethic" as president know there's not much of a difference in his lifestyle. But hey, whatever it takes to get him out of office. As of yet, Melania hasn't clapped back to the interview. But I have faith that if the desire strikes, she'll do her best.
The president of Cleveland State University, Ronald Berkman, is facing some serious backlash after telling students that he would not be removing fliers on campus encouraging LGBTQ people to kill themselves. The horrifying fliers, which said at the top "Follow your fellow faggots," seemed to have been posted up by an organization called Fascist Solutions. They included statistics about suicide among trans and LGBT youth. Twitter account @spookyknafeh tweeted a picture of the vile pamphlet, along with an email from President Berkman to CSU students. The email read, in part, "CSU remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals regardless of age, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and other historical bases for discrimination. CSU also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided. We will continue to protect free speech to ensure all voices may be heard and to promote a civil discourse where educational growth is the desired result." These two paragraphs contradict each other. No campus where they are encouraged to kill themselves is "respectful" towards targeted individuals. And while free speech is the cornerstone of this country, these fliers have absolutely no potential for "educational growth." After the backlash, Berkman issued another statement, this one inviting students to an open meeting to discuss the fliers. He didn't apologize, nor did he back down from his original "First Amendment" argument. The student response was less than enthusiastic, but Demi Overley, a member of CSU's Queer Student Alliance, told BuzzFeed that the "president's hands were tied by the laws of Ohio." Overley added that the focus should be less on the school's response to the fliers, and more on changing state laws regarding free speech. The fliers were eventually taken down, but for the most bureaucratic of reasons: the group didn't have prior approval to post them. William Dube told BuzzFeed that the posters "did not conform with CSU policies and procedures regarding posting and were removed." So all Fascist Solutions has to do is get prior approval and everything will be on the up-and-up???? Please do better, educational institutions of America.
On Thanksgiving, Uma Thurman finally spoke directly about the Harvey Weinstein scandal with an Instagram post and tweets revealing the depths of her anger over Weinstein's disgusting actions. Weinstein produced a number of Thurman's films, including Kill Bill.

Uma Thurman As "Vanity Fair" pointed out, the photo of Thurman is a still from Kill Bill Vol. 2 when Thurman's character is plotting revenge. The photo and caption suggest Thurman has first-hand experience of Weinstein's monstrous actions. Somewhere in the over 160,000 likes Thurman's post garnered are double-taps from celebrities supporting Thurman. Celebrities also took to Twitter to show their support of Thurman's statement.
Do you guys like "The Flintsones"? I stumbled across an episode the other day and noticed something for the first time...

Crazy, right? Did you see Marshall Amps new ad? I like it...

Haha. You kids know what Tampax is, right? Well, their new product is kinda odd...

Guess it's aimed for young kids who are starting out on their periods. Ugh. Moving on... speaking of Spongebob... I was trying to Google "Spongebob" and instead Googled "Spongedog" and this is what came up...

Hahahahahaha. That pic cracks me up. Hahahaha. You know, some people are just the worse...

I would be so mad if that happened to me. I hate getting glitter on myself. Ugh. So, the best thing about the Internet is you can look at porn easily for free. But I always worry that people would stop reading the blog and go look at porn. Then I thought what if I showed a porn pic here? But then OI thought what if you were at work, or school. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble. Then I came up with a solution...

You're welcome, people. So, I have to show this real quick... last week I interviewed "Weird Al" on the Phile and I received this...

I was hoping it was his 200 plus dollar box set. Hahaha. Alright, yesterday I mentioned net neutrality... Next month, the Federal Communications Commission is voting on whether to repeal rules instated under the Obama administration that protect Internet users from surcharges. Without these rules, internet providers (ISPs) won't have to remain neutral: they can introduce additional costs to access certain websites and platforms. I decided I would help explain net neutrality even more with the help of memes...

I didn't plan to have a few Spongebob related jokes... it just happened. So, ever have deep thoughts in the shower? I do...

I could go to a public park with a dog whistle and just create fucking anarchy if I blew it discreetly enough.

Haha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, how is your family? Do they get along? Well, the other day I met this family who seem to be the happiest, sweetest family I have ever met in my entire life and I thought I'd invite one of them onto the Phile to see what makes them so wonderful. Please welcome to the Phile for the first time...

Me: Hey, how are you? So, you're one of the daughters, right?

Jane: Yeah, I'm the oldest... Jane Joule. Hi, Jason.

Me: So, shouldn't you be at school?

Jane: I skipped school...

Me: You did? That's not very good, Jane.

Jane: I used to do it all the time because my parents worked 7am-5pm most days. I was in my room as per norm and he came home early.

Me: Did you ever get caught?

Jane: I didn't wanna get caught so stayed perfectly still. My bedrooms at the top of the stairs, the computer is RIGHT at the base of the stairs. Dad watches porn for the next hour. I think he heard a squeak cos he stopped to holler up the stairs for me. But I didn't budge. Didn't move. Didn't say anything. Just waited... five minutes pass, he's satisfied. I went back to his business. Never told him. Never skipped school again... until today.

Me: Ummm... I don't know what to say. Jane Joules from the Joules Family, kids. Man, that was lame. Hahaha.

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Good? Great! Well, reality is back to slap you in the face, and our president started off the week with this truly insane tweet...

Yep, this is real life, folks! The president just proposed a "contest" to determine the most dishonest news network. He called himself your favorite president. He said the winner would be awarded a "fake news trophy," whatever that is. This is more fucked up than the hunger games. According to that tweet and this one the president sent after it, it would seem that Donny Trump is rather paranoid about so-called "fake news," as usual. At this point, Twitter was hardly surprised by the President's odd tweets. Here's a more fitting contest: What is the president deflecting from now?

This is freaking cool... today's pheatured guest is an English musician and music video director whose book "Spacecake" is the 70th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile, the great... Kevin Godley.

Me: Kevin, holy shit, welcome to the Phile! Thank you for being here! How are you?

Kevin: It's a pleasure, I hope I can answer your questions.

Me: I am sure you will. I have interviewed some cool people over the years, and some I wish my parents were still alive so I can tell them. You would be one of them, sir. I don't know where to start... Godley and Creme, 10cc, your book, your videos, producing... ugh! What do you prefer out of everything you have done?

Kevin: It has been pretty perverse, and I can't say... it has essentially been all the same stuff. It just comes out of different taps. It's exactly like sculpting air. If you are a sculpture or architect or designer I think your brain trains itself to think or to be intuitive in particular ways to be useful.

Me: What's the easiest art form you worked in, Kevin?

Kevin: Songwriting. For it to be tangible you've got to do something with it. For the most part to me I don't write the same way today as when I began to write because I don't play an instrument just  drums. The only instrument I do play is the hardest instrument to write music to. When I began to write music I used to sit opposite to Lol Creme and he had a guitar. He'd strum and I'd warble and things would happen but it doesn't always work like that. It is really about stimulating something. That could come from anywhere, like visual stimulation, or it can come from sitting with somebody and playing. But unceasingly for me it comes from letting it dwell and more than anything else I'm singing to myself when I'm driving. I suppose it's because my mind is becoming intuitive. I hate it when I can't stop to write to down because I'm on a motorbike but by the time I ended my journey in an hour I could still remember it. Maybe it's okay but if I can't then it's not. Maybe it's a word or phrase that becomes meaningful in the prices sod someway and I hang on to that.

Me: When and how did you start to write, Kevin?

Kevin: We were kids when we started, we were pretty young. I think most people, and I could be wrong, when they start to write they try to emulate to a degree their heres because they set the bar of what songwriting is like. I think we sat down and we weren't happy until we sounded like the Beatles, or we sounded like Paul Simon, or something like that because that was proper music. That's fine but we would never sound like the Beatles and we would never sound like Paul Simon, we weren't them. We tended to throw away the bit that didn't sound like them which was weird. But what tends to happen is gradually our own style developed. It came to a point where I was trying to go down this road, but actually went down the other road. I don't sound anything like the bloody Beatles but actually it's not bad.

Me: What was it like recording and writing 10cc's first album, Kevin?

Kevin: We done it all very quickly. I think we done it in three weeks or something, writing and recording. We just sat there and wrote, we didn't think. We didn't have the luxury and time to sit and compare it to anyone else, we just cracked on, wrote something, and recorded it and so on. That wall came down at that point and we kind of realized during that process without thinking it through to much that what we were doing didn't really sound like anybody else but maybe other albums we did did, but this first album didn't sound like anybody else, and what we found almost by accident and intuition something that was purely ours. Which is great. That is like a key moment in songwriting where you find your own way of doing things and it actually works.

Me: You wrote a song called "Neanderthal Man." That's an odd song. right?

Kevin: Yeah, I wouldn't say that qualifies as a song. I seem to being in London or something and Lol Creme and Eric Stewart and I were in a cab and he started to sing this thing, "I'm the neanderthal man" and we started singing it in the cab, fuck knows why. We forgot about it until we were in Strawberry testing the gear it was let's do the drums first, then what if we double tracked it, then we were like what are we going to put over this. We just popped things out of the air and sometimes we were lucky and sometimes it's just a waste of time. It's an experimental process that we went through. The recording studio is a lab to me and many people. At that point is what a lab more than anything else to finding stuff out. We were aiming to make it into a song but something joined our sensibilities and turned it into a recording. It's not a song, that's for sure. You wouldn't sit around a camp fire singing it, would you?

Me: I would have to go camping first, Kevin. Haha. So, you guys worked with Neil Sedaka who I might be having on the Phile soon. My parents would cringe at that. Haha. What was it like working with him? What should I ask him if I get him here on the Phile?

Kevin: That's nice, I hope you get to interview him. It was a great time for us because our responsibility was kind of different. We were following his lead in a way, his songs were already written. We were essentially trying to create an album that was very natural, very warm. We were just playing together and discovering we could not only produce interesting noises but we could also function as a house band for Neil. So, there was slightly less of a responsibility... the kind of album we wanted to make was very low key. It was a small band sound so we had to concentrate on playing our instruments. There were still lot of ideas flying around, lots of "how about this?" and that was always going to be inevitable. In this case though there was always a tight focus to make his songs come to life. The interesting thing about Neil is he plays piano and sings the harmony at the same time. He plays the piano and sings which is a pain in the arse for recording anyway. He doesn't sing the lead vocal, he sings the harmony first. That's kind of bizarre. Ask him why he does that.

Me: Okay, I'll try to remember to ask him that. You wrote with Lol Creme and also Graham Gouldman from 10cc... was writing with both of them the same or different?

Kevin: I supposed there was a bit of "wife swapping" there. Not a lot of difference but I think it was useful. When I sat down with Graham to write "Iceberg" I thought "right, I'm really going to fuck you up. Let's write something really dirty and horrible." Writing with Graham was great, and I done writing with Graham was post 10cc. Writing with Eric was different again, we came up with something else. But it's all the same process, we were prodding each other, trying to get the best for the song. When you find out what the song was going to be we'd try to find the elements to fit in with the basic structure that now exists... or we'd think it's rubbish and start again. I think by that time we were so used to working with each other we kind of knew each others fallible's on what works, so off we go. There were so few disagreements trying to understand what we were doing. Understanding wasn't the point. I wasn't in mind that I knew exactly what it was gonna sound, if I felt that it was a point of exercise to record it. The interesting thing was firing an idea through to a conclusion but being excited by it every stage of the process.

Me: Your songs all have unique backgrounds and situations, and are sooo different. Your mind and writing is so deep, and things you say, Kevin. You're very smart. Has anybody ever misunderstood any of your songs or were confused by them?

Kevin: Yes. "Rubber Bullets." It's interesting "Rubber Bullets" did pretty well in Ireland. It was a rallying cry for people over there... but the weird thing is it had nothing to do with the troubles. It was just the two words... rubber bullets. It's funny that, isn't it, that some ones have the power of suggestion, without being the subject matter that they are used for. "Every Breath You Take" by the Police is a great example of that. A lot of people play that at their weddings but it's about cold surveillance... it's about I don't trust this person. People don't hear that, they hear what they want to hear. Which is kind of interesting.

Me: I love that song... "Rubber Bullets"! Okay, so, you are an artist as well, and went to art school where you met Lol... what was that like, Kevin?

Kevin: Yeah, me and Lol were art school boys in the middle to late 60s so everything was kicking in art school. Basically to us it was if we knew what it was going to look like throw it to one side and do it again. Just keep experimenting... why stick to traditional formulas?

Me: You directed tons of videos... did you want to be a film makers at one time?

Kevin: Yeah, we were all frustrated film makes really. We wanted to make films but couldn't. So we thought let's make films with sound, so we would make this scene going on but there would be an interjection off camera from this guy and group of people would be doing this... again let's try it and see if it works. If it worked on musical tense on our terms then it stayed. Our songs were very visual a lot of times, only because we were frustrated film makers.

Me: So, why did 10cc come to an end after a few years, Kevin?

Kevin: It had to stop, it was becoming too intense. Our brains were going to burst, we couldn't so that for twenty years. I think we got to a point where we jammed as many ideas as we possibly could into a song. Or maybe we were scared in the back of our minds that it wasn't as inventive as it could be or was supposed to be. Maybe it was our downfall. I think our downfall was we out clevered ourselves. we wrote ourselves into a corner and recorded ourselves into a corner. It was always about the smile, the interesting... there wasn't great deal of emotion in our work whereas I think is the key to longevity. If you compared Bruce Springsteen to 10cc we would go Bruce is a throwback, god, it's rock and roll, so what? We'll go back into the studio and make something a lot cleverer than that and a lot more complex. But when you actually get down to it the way to connect to the audience is to touch them. You don't have to outsmart them. I think what we did worked for a time people might of been dazzled what we were doing but there was an element that was lacking.

Me: You didn't come from a musical background, did you?

Kevin: Ummm... My mum's brother had a kind of jazz band but no, not really. When we were kids we all wanted to be in bands because you get to meet girls in bands. People would look up to you instead of down on you. That's what kids did opposed to playing video games or whatever kids do today. It was part of the youth culture of the time. I had no idea I would actually do it for a living. I sense it's true from anyone from that period, you just pick up a guitar and it's fun, it's a departure from the impeding torture for the rest of your life. Traveling around in a van that used to carry chickens, playing in Stoke-On-Trent, or Manchester, and staying up all night, setting our own gear up and playing, get back in the van and drive home. It's an adventure. I guess somewhere along the lines something clicked, part of my DNA clicked that I didn't know existed. I became something that I wanted to do. It's interesting, on the last day of my art school course, I was studying graphic design, it was 1968, last day of college, off into the real world... Lol comes from Birmingham and drove down to London for our first proper recording session. So, straight out of art school studying to be a graphic designer, forget that shit, let's go straight to make a record. It's all about getting a thrill from being creative one way or another.

Me: Okay, I have to talk about Godley & Creme... what's the difference between that band and what you did in 10cc? I have a best of CD of your music that has both 10cc stuff and Godley & Creme stuff.

Kevin: Well, intentionally when we left the band it was because we wanted to do an album that used the Gizmotron, this device that we invented. We invented it back in '67, and we had prototype laying around. We used a tiny weeny bit, but we never actually tested the parameters of it. So we initiated a couple of weeks at Strawberry to try the thing put and we were so buzzing on that, that when Eric and Graham came in with a song they've written to begin the next album it was like "oh, god, that is so fucking dreary. It's so predictable and boring, why don't we just go fuck off and do something with the gizmo?" Of course at that age we were daring and ballsy and we took chances, that's what we did. But con-sequences, as I like to call it, it turned into a monster, it turned into our heaven's gate. The idea was to make music that was not remotely like 10cc. It was orchestral to a degree because the Gizmotron was designed to create orchestral sounds. Of course it moved way from that but we lost ourselves a little bit in that album. We got a little stir crazy, even though there was some good moments in there, we lost the thread. So, there was a period of time we had to pick ourselves up from that when we realised that we actually spent fourteen to eighteen months making something that people thought was a pile of shite.

Me: Hahaha. I love the song "An Englishman In New York." It's about me! Just kidding. Anyway, what was your part with that song and did you go to New York? What did you think of it?

Kevin: The lyrics. Most probably most of the lyrics I think and a desire to write it. I think we've been to New York a couple of times and we were gobsmacked by New York... the size, the smell, the tenacity, the buzz, so it was kind of capturing that spirit and the insanity and absurdity of it. It was an important song for us because you might know it was the first video we ever did as well. It made a mark for us and surprisingly it was a hit all over Europe, not in England, but in Europe, which is very odd because the words are complicated, but that didn't really matter. Or maybe the video helped. I don't know, but it did well. It's an interesting song... there's some brass parts on it I think. Whoever plated brass played the lick once, we lifted it and dropped it in on the chorus as opposed to having him play all the way through. We were trying sampling methods long before they existed. I love that song, but I don't think we'd get away with some of the lyrics now. The constraints were different then. It's a sort of tongue twister lyrics but then again it kind of worked on its own terms.

Me: Another song I think is funny is "Snack Attack"...

Kevin: You might think it's funny, at the time I slipped my disc. Before we went in to make that album I slipped my disc, so I was laying on my back for most of that album, in bed lying ion a board in pain. I was at home and I had a brain full of shit and pills and note pad and a pen and I was hungry and couldn't eat because when I chewed it hurt. So, there's a wish list of what I would like to eat but maybe couldn't because it hurt so much. It wasn't really singing was it? It was kind of a talking rap thing. I think I did that vocal lying on my back by necessity. I wasn't playing the drums... I did something on a linn drum machine. I managed to get to Lol's house, did that laying on a sofa, and went home. I did that whole album laying on my back.

Me: A lot of story type of stuff appears in your work like in the song "Under Your Thumb," which I LOVE, the music videos and projects like "Hog Fever." Is that on purpose?

Kevin: Could be. I love story telling but I wouldn't say it applied to the video stuff. I really don't like music videos that tell stories. I hate those videos where some guy is going "ooohhh, I love you, but you left me. I'm sitting in a bath, smoking a pipe." And then you see that. You just said that, so why are you wasting time showing me? It's called show and tell. You never see in a movie, unless it's film noir, a guy walking down a street naked with a pipe in his mouth saying, "I'm walking down the street naked with a pipe in my mouth" because it's painfully obvious you are because I can see it. The secret for me is to create an atmosphere that assists you with the story and doesn't bang you over the head with it. I'm not into story telling with music video, but music like yes, and things like "Hog Fever" because there was a story to be told and so on and so forth. Screenplay writing is a story to be told, and you have to tell it. You have to find ways to tell it and again to touch people and lead them to the next part without ramming it down their throats or their ears.

Me: I have to ask you about "Under Your Thumb." It's definitely one of my favorite songs of yours. How did that song come about?

Kevin: That was a weird one. Lol had set up a studio at his house and was fiddling around with synthesizers. We worked pretty regularly and I would go to his house every day. He stayed up one night late and just threw this backing track down. A really frenetic backing track. I came by the next morning and he played me this thing and I was like fuck, and just started singing with it and I got the chorus right away. It was magic. What was it? A ghost story? Gradually I put bits together and it wasn't a conscious story. It became a story once I wrote there first verse. I was like writing a screenplay, I plugged in things until it made sense. It happened pretty quickly. It took about two or three days to record it.

Me: One last song I have to ask you and that's about the song "Cry." That was the first video and song I heard you did, which might surprise you. After that song came out my dad told me about you and 10cc and that's how I learned about you. What can you say about it, Kevin?

Kevin: It took fifteen years to write. We had this "you don't know how to ease my pain don't know..." We had that. After that point we had nothing. We thought this was really good and must sit down and finish it at some point. We tried to many, many, many times but we couldn't for some reason. We could never finish it. It was almost like those first lines were so good it was our responsibility to make the rest even better. It was only after we've been in New York we filmed the Police "Synchronicty" concert and Trevor Horn was in New York at the same time and we paled up with Trevor. We resolved at some point when we went back to England to go into the studio together. Our first plan was to record something called "Hit the Box" which was an experiment we were doing. We were held up in a hotel room and channel surfing American garbage that was on the TV. That idea went absolutely no where, so we sat there and Trevor asked what else had we got. "You don't know how I..." "Oh, I like that. What else is he doing?" "I have no idea." "Okay, well, what are the chords?" At some point it took on a life of its own without actually taking it to much further at all. It didn't take much of that we had earlier written to make it a really great recording. It took somebody else to draw the song out of us and that was a revelation. Okay, so, things can be simple, they don't have to be complicated. I remember I was asked to sing it live for a charity thing in Ireland a few years ago and it took me ages to relearn the song. It was a big hit, and again it was a magic moment for us because like "An Englishman in New York" the video was a big part of it being a hit I think. It was those two things happening... the recording was good and the video was good that went with it so I think it had a real solid identity.

Me: How did you sing so high at the end of the song?

Kevin: I didn't. We used a harmonizer. If I sang that high I would of burst my bullocks.

Me: Hahahahaha. Kevin, I know we ran out of time. I don't even get to ask you about the book "Spacecake" or you working with Duran Duran, U2, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, or anything else... I hope you will come back on the Phile again soon, sir, and I hops this was fun.

Kevin: Thank you, it was enjoyable, and you asked intellect questions.

Me: Mention your website and take care, Kevin. Please come back again.

Kevin: My pleasure. You should interview Lol Creme as well. Thank you, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Kevin for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Colin Hay. COLIN HAY, Rich! Ha! 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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