Hey, welcome to the Phile, kids, happy two thousand and...
Hahahahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...
Yep. it's a new year. Remember, the beginning of a new year brings with it a feeling of hope and inspiration. It leaves the majority of people thinking, "Yes! I can achieve my dreams!"
So, here's the first story I'm gonna talk about in 2018... a topless woman pummeled a guy who groped her at music festival. Meet 2018's new hero. Madeline Anello-Kitzmiller, 20, was attending the Rhythm & Vines music festival in New Zealand on New Year's Eve when a guy snuck up behind her and groped her breasts, the "Daily Mail" reports. So she did what many women have dreamed of doing in this scenario: she fought back. Anello-Kitzmiller, who is American and happened to be wearing glitter in place of a shirt (those two facts may or may not be related), and her friend, followed the guy and proceeded to punch/smack him across the head multiple times. What a start to 2018! The whole fiasco was captured on film by someone named Giann Reece, who shared the video to Facebook (where it was then taken down) and Instagram. Here's a screenshot, kids...
That's some #womenempowerment for damn sure. Reece originally posted the video on Facebook, before it was taken down, writing in the caption, "Idk who you are glitter booby girl, but you and your sassy friend were the highlight of my RNV experience. Hope you and your party breasts made it home safe. #lookbutdonttouch." Anello-Kitzmiller not only made it home safe, but she has become somewhat of an Internet hero. Many commenters are praising her and arguing that the guy got at least what he deserved. She has also received some criticism from the ever-judging Internet, both for using physical violence and for showing her breasts. But Annello-Kitzmiller is having none of it. She told the "Daily Mail," "a human's body is their own, and nobody has a right to touch you without your consent, regardless of what they're wearing or the lack thereof." SPEAK IT. She says she didn't let the assault keep her from being topless and enjoying the festival, where she remained until 6am on New Years Day. Get it, girl. And she told the "Daily Mail" she has no regrets about how she handled the situation. "I stand by my actions and hope that I've inspired women to feel comfortable in their bodies, no matter how they look, and to stick up for themselves when anybody says otherwise or tries to deny you the right to protect your own body. He grabbed my breast. I hit him. There was a lot of built up anger coming from harassment throughout the day. This happens everywhere, not just New Zealand." Maybe 2018 won't be so bad after all. At least one person seems to be enjoying it so far.
Today, the Justice Department announced that they would rescind "a trio of memos from the Obama administration" that instructed federal prosecutors in states where marijuana had been legalized not to, in legal terms, harsh everyone's vibe. Since marijuana remains illegal under federal law, these Obama-era memos helped put states that legalized medical and recreational pot at ease. Federal prosecutors wouldn't interfere as long as the policies "didn't threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and cartels," according to CNN. It's unclear just what the reversal by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, head of the Justice Department, means for states ... like Colorado... that have booming legal marijuana industries. But one thing's for sure: the legal status of marijuana just got much more confusing again. And the reaction has been intense. Especially since legal pot isn't just beloved by stoners. The Twitter account for the Colorado Senate Democrats had a viral reaction that went beyond this impeccable one-liner. "We'll give Jeff Sessions our legal pot when he pries it from our warm, extremely interesting to look at hands." The Colorado Senate Dems (or whatever social media master runs their account) went on to explain the benefits that legal marijuana has had for their state, including millions of tax dollars put towards schools and addiction treatment programs. Another politician, this one from Oregon, also weighed in on the decision on Twitter, asking Jeff Sessions if he'd even consulted with Donald Trump. Trump apparently promised not to "interfere with state marijuana laws" during the campaign.
Doug Jones was finally sworn in on yesterday by Mike Pence, making him Alabama's newest senator. And during the ceremony, Jones' openly gay son, Carson Jones, threw the shadiest shade that ever shaded onto the highly anti-gay Pence. The side-eye really is a work of art.
Pence has said that gay couples are indicative of "societal collapse," and he also opposed a law protecting LGBTQ+ people from being discriminated against in the workplace. Last month, Carson Jones confirmed his sexual orientation in an interview with "The Advocate" after the election in which his father, a Democrat, beat Republican alleged child molester Roy Moore. Carson Jones told "The Advocate" he was "thrilled" with his dad's win, adding, “We have been overwhelmed by the support of so many people that made this happen. Alabama made a really big statement that unity wins out. I couldn’t be prouder of him or my home state!” Carson Jones Instagrammed the picture on his own page, with the hashtags "#swearingin," "#nocaptionneeded," and "#wemadeit," among a few others. Way to go, Alabama!
The year 2018 is already off to a wild start in Trump world. Yesterday morning, "The Guardian" reported that Steve Bannon has turned on the president. Bannon allegedly called Donald Trump Jr. and Russians meeting in Trump Tower "treasonous," and predicted that special counsel Robert Mueller will hone in on money laundering and totally nail Jared Kushner. All this juicy info comes from the upcoming book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House" by journalist Michael Wolff. "New York" magazine has an excerpt of the exposé, which covers the Trump camp from the shock of election night to the continuing shock of occupying the West Wing. Here are the wildest revelations so far... Trump's goal in running for president wasn't to become president, nobody was happy on election night, Trump finds the constitution boring, Trump allegedly didn't know who John Boehner was, Ann Coulter warned him not to hire his kids, Steve Bannon says Trump's in with the Russians, Trump and Melania fought at the inauguration, Bannon designed the rollout of the Muslim Ban to be a nightmare, Jared Kushner offered to officiate Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski's wedding, Ivanka thinks she's going to be the first female president, Ivanka has enough awareness to make fun of her dad's hair, surprise! Donald and Melania have separate bedrooms, more surprises! He's a nightmare for the White House staff, Steve Bannon, Reince Preibus, and Jared Kushner were all simultaneously in charge, reflecting Trump's goals, the president has basic issues processing information. That's enough for now.
New year, same ol' Eric Trump. On Tuesday, President Trump's second-eldest son tweeted a bizarre political conspiracy about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and... Ellen DeGeneres? Yep. I couldn't make this stuff up. In the tweet, Eric Trump included a screenshot of who Twitter suggests him to follow. Included is former president Barack Obama, former candidate Hillary Clinton, and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Alongside the screen grab, he tweeted...
"Deep state" is a fringe conspiracy theory turned mainstream after being pushed repeatedly by Donald Trump. According to the "Oxford English Dictionary," "Deep State" refers to "a body of people, typically influential members of government agencies or the military, believed to be involved in the secret manipulation or control of government policy." So basically, the conspiracy says that certain government officials are pulling strings behind the curtains of our "democracy," but wouldn't that mean that President Trump wouldn't even have been elected in the first place? Plus, if these three were the ones secretly running the country and undermining Trump's administration... they are doing a pretty terrible job. Anyway... To put it lightly, Twitter found Eric Trump's paranoid tweet about the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo very, very funny. Meanwhile, President Trump is also pushing the Deep State conspiracy on Twitter, when he is not too busy trying to get us into a nuclear war, that is. DeGeneres addressed Trump's accusation on her show, saying that she didn't even know what the "deep state" is. DeGeneres tweeted a video of the part of her daytime show where she discussed the situation, writing, "I woke up to discover I was part of a government conspiracy called #DeepState. Here's what I have to say about it." DeGeneres started out by saying, "I don't pay attention to politics, but unfortunately politics pays attention to me." She then claimed not to know which of Donald Trump's sons Eric was, asking, "Was he the one who killed the elephant or the cheetah?," referring to the siblings' hunting trophy pictures. She went on to say that the idea of her being part of a government conspiracy "is just the craziest thing I’ve seen all week, because I saw that movie with the lady having sex with the fish and still this beats that." She called the accusation "ridiculous," explaining that while she's "honored" that Eric Trump thinks she's "powerful enough to be part of a government conspiracy," she really doesn't have the time for it. DeGeneres joked, “I’ve got my gay agenda meetings on Mondays. I’ve got on Wednesday, Beyoncé and I host an illuminati brunch, and then Portia and I on the weekends are desperately trying to have a baby." So why does Twitter want Eric Trump to follow her? According to DeGeneres, "It could be a conspiracy, or it could be because your sister, Ivanka, follows me on Twitter, and your sister, Tiffany, follows me on Twitter." DeGeneres suggested that Eric Trump follow her on Twitter, too, because she posts "a lot of cute videos." And who doesn't need a little more cute in their life, right? Although in the case of Trump, there's the worry that he might try to hunt and kill whatever cute thing DeGeneres posts.
Alright, so, it's pretty damn cold here in Florida, but you people up north are having a rougher time. Winter Storm Grayson, also known as the Bomb Cyclone for its unique meterological phenomena, has hit the east coast. Check out how dope it looks from space!
Snow is fun when you're not in the midst of it. Curl up with a cup of tea next to a fireplace and just read the Phile. The weather guys up north are pretty much telling you what to expect...
Ha. It did snow here in Florida and I have proof...
The Magic Kingdom at Disney is full of snow. Hahaha. Girl Scout cookie season officially started today and I think their new logo slogan says it all...
Hey, remember Macklemore? This is him now...
Fell old yet? You know, if I had a TARDIS I would go back in time and try to kill Hitler, just like Nick Fury tried to do in a "Fantastic Four" comic once. But, knowing my luck I'll get to his bunker and he'd already committed suicide.
What? You thought I was gonna show you a pic of his dead body? Wrong! So, the other day I was supposed to Google "Ariana Grande," don't ask me why, just play along, and instead I Googled "Ariana Gandhi" and this is what I discovered...
Yes, we do. Ha! So, do you like the Porg's from the new Star Wars movie? I love them but I think I have seen them before years ago in something else. Then it hit me...
It's Thursday! You know what the means...
In August 2010, doctors removed a tumor weighing nearly four stone... 24 kilos, or 56 pounds... from a woman in Argentina. It had been growing inside her body for 18 months. The huge growth was taken out of the 54-year-old's womb during a four-hour operation at a hospital near the capital, Buenos Aires. The unnamed patient was discharged weighing just over 16 and a half stone... five stone 7lbs less than when she was admitted. Gazooks.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. It's a pretty lame one to start the new year I have to admit. Alright, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.
Jeff: Happy New Year to you as well. And as always glad to be back here on the Phile. Brady still wants to play for a few more years so we will see just how close we are! My New Year's was low key, what about yours?
Me: It was okay I guess. So, I was trying to work out how many years we knew each other... I'm thinking 17. Am I right? Do you have a pic of us back then?
Jeff: We have known each other for over 17 years actually. I have a crap load of pictures from back in the day. First picture I have of you is from 2002, it was taken at a wedding. You're not too pleased in the picture. The first picture I have of us together is from 2006 at Mickey's Retreat.
Me: That was a great day. Okay, let's talk football... so, did you see the Bills fans and players at Dolphins' stadium go nuts when the Bengals won? Why were those people so happy?
Jeff: The Bills were so excited because they made the playoffs for the first time this whole century! The last time Buffalo made the playoffs was in 1999, so I think they have a reason to be excitable.
Me: So, that explains this, right?
Me: I thought that was funny. Can you believe the Bills made it to the Playoffs? Last time that happened Windows 95 came out, Toy Story was released, a Bill was president and Tyrod was 6-years-old. Hey, did you see this coming? The Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio which could open the door for Jon Gruden. Do you think that'll happen?
Jeff: Del Rio was one of four coaches let go during the last day of the regular season. There are several reports that Gruden will return, but we will see. His name pops up every year. I know he enjoys being in the booth, but everyone has a price!
Me: Okay, what NFL news do you have, Jeff?
Jeff: Like I said, four coaches let go. The others are in Detroit, Chicago and the Colts also fired their head coaches. Cincinnati's head coach had said he was done at the end of the season as well, so that's five positions open. Want to be a head coach? In other news, the Cleveland Browns have been eliminated from the 2018-2019 playoffs as well. Their chances of 2019-2020 aren't looking that good either!
Me: Yeah, I love this poster the Browns released...
Jeff: When your team goes 1-31 in the last two seasons, there is very little to celebrate. But hey, good for them. It takes a special amount of talent to be that bad.
Me: Hahahaha. So, Disney has taken over one last team, Jeff...
Me: What do you think?
Jeff: That's not a bad logo. Sure Disney could find something more Viking-esque then him, but yeah!
Me: Okay, so, how did we do last week?
Jeff: How did we do? Well, I had yet another perfect week with a 2-0 week and a Steeler win. You went 1-1 with a Giant win. Let me repeat that since it's not something you hear often, the Giants won! But my lead grows!
Me: Ugh. Alright, let's pick the Wildcard week games. I say Chiefs by 6 and Bills by 7. What do you say?
Jeff: Since you picked both AFC teams, I will take on the NFC. Rams by 7 and Saints by 3.
Me: Okay, Jeff, I will see you back here next Thursday. Have a good week.
Jeff: See you next week!
Once again I don't get it. Okay, I don't know how your 2017 was but I bet it wasn't as bad as some people's, Once again it's...
After decades of running an efficient, weaponized assault machine, mega-producer Harvey Weinstein was finally exposed for exposing himself. A bombshell duo of exposés in "The New York Times" and "The New Yorker" (the latter magazine even revealing that Weinstein hired former Mossad agents to try and discredit his accusers) broke the dam and miraculously welcomed a new world in which women were believed and taken seriously. Weinstein lost his company, his marriage, and saw his last name become synonymous with sexual misconduct... thoughts and prayers go to all the innocent men and women out there who just happen to have the same generic Jewish last name. The reign of Weinstein is over... and the kingdoms of men just like him are tumbling down.
August 15th, 1923 — December 28th, 2017
She was at opening night of the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas. SIXTEEN YEARS after she started in radio. This chick had some miles on her.
The 72nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be on the Phile a week from today... next Thursday.
Phact 1. After Beethoven went deaf, he found he could affix a metal rod to his piano and bite down on it while he played, enabling him to hear perfectly through vibrations in his jawbone. The process is called bone conduction.
Phact 2. The second officer of the Titanic, who survived by swimming from the sinking ship to a capsized raft, later in life sailed his civilian craft to Dunkirk and helped evacuate over 130 men.
Phact 3. Michael Jackson wanted to be Spider-Man so bad that he attempted to buy Marvel.
Phact 4. In 2005, Facebook hired graffiti artist David Choe to paint murals in their new office space. Choe accepted Facebook shares instead of a cash payment, and when Facebook went public in 2012, his shares were valued at $200 million.
Phact 5. Dexter Holland from The Offspring graduated high school as valedictorian, has a PhD in Molecular Biology from USC, has his pilot license and flew solo around the world in 10 days, runs marathons, and has his own hot sauce company.
Today's pheatured guest is an American singer-songwriter, musician and international multi-platinum recording artist. Along with his twin brother Gunnar, he has been a member of Nelson since 1990. Their single, "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" was a #1 hit in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in September 1990. Their album "After the Rain" was just released on vinyl and remastered for iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile from Nelson... Matthew Nelson.
Me: Hey, Matthew, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Matthew: I have no idea. Great to be here, Jason, your dad was really cool.
Me: Thank you. So, I was supposed to interview you and your brother Gunnar... what happened?
Matthew: I don't know, guess he didn't want to speak to you. Haha.
Me: Okay, so, readers of the Phile are probably wondering if you have anything new out... but you just released your album "After the Rain" on vinyl and on iTunes... remastered. How did that come about? Why now?
Matthew: Okay, our album "After the Rain," for better or for worse it's considered a rock classic now, I shudder to say that, so when we got the call that someone was thinking of reissuing our album on 138 audio gram vinyl I was really excited, but the problem was we couldn't find the master tapes. They were mislabeled and mismarked so we lost them for years. We finally doubled down the label and actually found the masters which were mislabeled in the wrong size box actually. What we were trying to find was the unEQed two track masters of the album and we couldn't find it. When we found it I was overjoyed, and as far as my brother Gunnar and myself my world is mastering and product management and I got the chance to fly out to Los Angeles from Nashville and remaster the album. So, it turned out to be a dream come true especially there was a lot missing. Even though it sold millions of copies there was a lot missing from what I was hearing in the studio. A lot of it was low-end... I think when the original engineer mastered it he probably was using a subwoofer in the studio. Of course it's louder because it's thirty years later, but we absolutely made sure we didn't "slam" it like a lot of people are doing now. With us we wanted to keep the music musicality and not change the record but enhance the record and that's exactly what we did.
Me: Okay, so, why release this reissue on vinyl instead of CD? I know fewer and fewer buy CDs anymore, but I am one of those people that still do. I have about thirty in my car right now as we speak. Do you think music is better on vinyl?
Matthew: We kinda did a little of both. You see, when you EQ for vinyl you have to hit it differently because it's laid a certain way so it's slightly different as an overall master than say something you would optimize for streaming digitally or even for coding on a CD. We actually did both, so for the vinyl it's specifically to sound best on vinyl. Our focus has been this vinyl as we were actually the last band in '90-'91 on Geffen to release on vinyl. We actually had it in our hands back in those days, but again the thickness of the vinyl was a lot thinner and didn't sound as good because the master was different. But being able to hold that album, look at the artwork, and read the credits and the liner notes, of course we have upgraded the liner notes and song by song list to make it kind of special.
Me: How do you think your fans are now compared to when this album came out? I am sure they are excited about this new rerelease.
Matthew: Well, it's multifold, of course our fans now have kids that are rediscovering their parents record collection. I kinda saw that happen years ago when I was out with Styx and Frampton opening for them, it's kinda the same thing. For everything that's good about music now being accessible it's also a bad thing. Kids in particular growing up with things being so here today hot tomale. You don't have to learn how to play an instrument when you can cut and paste it and loop it. I think what they are discovering through their parents is the fact there was a time when people actually learnt a craft, like really a craft and spent years developing it. When we wrote a song it was an actual song, and have not something yelled at you. I think you have that but you also have parents that were there the first time around that not only want to relive it, but are a little more sophisticated this time. They want a little bit nostalgia, but they would prefer at least we haven't giving up and are always trying to do something a little bit better. The fact that Gunnar and I started our own label pretty soon after the second album with Geffen didn't work out as quite as well in that climate, which was of course the middle of grunge. We never stopped making music, we had 14 albums out and all that stuff, but people remember "After the Rain" as one of those albums that they grew up with which was an album and band that spoke to millions of the disenfranchised. We all weren't the cool kids, we were speaking for most of us. I think when you put on the album we designed it to be an album. It was a song, leading into the next song, which lead you into the next song. It put you on a trip and of course side 1 was side 1, and when you flipped it over it had a familiar vibe. We did that on purpose and I think there was more care that was put into it. And now ironically it's gone back to where our dad was, in the 50s, where it was one song at a time, and people are making their own things. But I think this a bit of a nostalgic yearning for a musical experience.
Me: Do you think you were giving the credit you deserved musically because you were both pretty boys with long blond hair and sang songs that weren't like long haired metal bands at the time, or ever, Matthew? I vaguely remember myself and my friends making fun of you two. Haha.
Matthew: Well, that's a tough question to answer without sounding like sour grapes or whatever. The truth is it's kinda a family tradition. It came from our dad and beyond, Ozzie as well, who was considered pretty boy for his era even though he was super solid and had number one records and toured with his band for 14 years. Here's the thing, Jason, I would say it like this... the media is a blessing or a curse, of course you use it to sell records. For us it was MTV, for our dad it was the "Ozzie and Harriet" show. Now, Paul McCartney says in the show we do for our dad they didn't get the "Ozzie and Harriet" show over in England. Our dad was the most famous one in the day, but in England he didn't have any of that stigma as he had in the states... similar vibe. He was too pretty or whatever. Gunnar and I had the same thing of course, we were the darlings of MTV, but of you listened to the music back then it was really obvious those people grew up with that. Yes, we were pretty guys, we did it on purpose. We went to England and studied English and all that kinda stuff, and we were wind. Honestly, in Europe which we always anticipated was gonna be a global effort, not just the states, unfortunately it didn't get there because Geffen sold his record company half way through our first single. It was more of a European thing that image was as important or more important as music. Truly we were songwriters first, we just wrapped it up in a package because we figured it was part of the job. We were too pop for the rockers, and the Metallica crowd, and of course we were too heavy for the poppers. We found ourselves the one guitar band on pop radio, and then rock radio abandoned us. We were always men without a country, and I was okay with that to a certain degree because what we were trying to do honestly was kinda a counter statement to everything that was happening at the time... ironically all the hair band crap. Even though we had long hair we didn't have make-up, we didn't have Aqua Net, but our stuff was more DNA which was the California sound. It was everything from our dad, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Hollies, stuff that was essentially non blues related. Everything that was happening with the hair band stuff, look, I hate to say it, I love AC/DC but it's easy to sound tough when you're playing 1-4-5 with a Marshall. We didn't do that... "Love and Affection" had a twangy Rickenbacker 12-string intro. I kind of look at it, and I never tell people this, Gunnar and I came out after the post-punk, power pop, new wavy thing in L.A. that was happening in the late 70s. Our motivation was to frankly fuck with people. That's what we did and I always kinda thought it was ironic that yes, it was wrapped in a pretty package, but unfortunately, or unfortunately as he sold a million records, we never did an interview for a teen magazine, like "Tiger Beat" or whatever, but we were the darlings of MTV for a year which killed the chance for us to have any credibility. I went to one of Henry Rollins' from Black Flag shows in Hollywood years ago and it was right of the height of our success. He didn't know I was there and my dad's tour manager from back in the day wound up managing the Dead Kennedy's, but was dong sound for Henry that night and I hung out in the audience that night and Henry dissed my band. He was talking crap about it. I went backstage with my friend and he saw me and said, "What are you doing here?" I said, "Henry, to be honest with you I've been a fan of yours for a long time." He said, "No, seriously..." I said, "I loved your Black Flag days, I read your books, and I think we have a lot more in common than you think." He laughed in my face and said, "How the hell do you figure that?" I said, "Okay. Whoa. How's this? People see you coming out with tattoos all over your neck, you clearly lift weights, they are scared to death and probably cross the street when you're cong towards them because they figure you're an homicidal maniac and you're gonna have nothing worth saying. Now clearly that's the opposite of the truth. You see a picture of me on the cover of 'Tiger Beat' and say that's all that guy has to say. Frankly, I had nothing to do with that, the photographer sold all those pictures and if you look at those articles they are all quotes from 'Rolling Stone' or whatever, they just put in there." He said, "That's interesting." I said, "Yeah. Basically, people make a judgment on what they see usually. On anything." He said, "Huh. I never thought about it that way, what do you do wanna do about it?" "At some point we are gonna work together." He said, "Okay." Six months later I called him and he did some spoken word on an album that unfortunately our label never let us release it because we didn't have a contract with it but the victory is I became friends with Henry Rollins which was more of an odd for but it was the same kinda spirit as I like to write a hit song, don't get me wrong, that's my goal. I'm a Paul McCartney fan and I'm unashamed of it. I go to write the best song that's ever been written, but at the same time I wanna take people someplace and make them feel special. If I piss them off to do it, if I make them feel uncomfortable, which is ironic to say now, years later it's not like Nelson wasn't big rebel band. It's not like we made a big splash like Nirvana did with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but that was basically straight up punk in a sweater. They were there at the right time. I hate to say it, but it wasn't like happened organically, that was also engineered. It was the same thing that happened to the death of disco, bloated bands got too needy and expensive. I see it for what it is and I've been in the business a long time and I realize what it really comes down to it is all the music industry bullshit has eaten itself in the last 30 years.
Me: Fuck, Matthew, that was the longest answer I ever received here on the Phile. Congrats! So, do you still like playing live?
Matthew: It all comes back to guys like us who play music because we generally love it and go to there and play because thank God we play because that's where the money is now. Well, they ripped us off for years and nobody got paid except for them. They all have wineries and stuff like that. We stlll do it because we love it. It still means something to us.
Me: What was it like recording "After the Rain"" was that a good experience?
Matthew: What I love about this album in particular is all the things I had to go through for this album to come out, all the stories behind every single song on that record, the fact that we were dropped for a couple of days because there was a bad start with some big name producers, we had to go back to the guy we did demos with, and produce it ourselves. I'm a little bit pissed that we didn't get credit for being the writers that we are, and we played the instruments and all that, because it was so easy to say, "Oh. That was completely fabricated." It couldn't be further from the truth. But at the end of the day, as a long as a kid goes out there, or an adult, puts this album on they say wow, that's fresh, it has a different thing. It stood out then and I think it still stands out now.
Me: Okay, so, in the middle of your career grunge came along and took over hair metal... as you pretty much said. How did you see all that happen first hand?
Matthew: First hand? We were living in that building there on Sunset Blvd. that David Geffen owned, and of courser he's a billionaire, a multi-ego mogul that was one of the six guys that ran Hollywood. I tell you what happened, nobody has heard this before, but it's the truth... our second song was "After the Rain" I think arguably was a better single. We made a video for it, Gunnar and I wanted to make a message. This kid gets pulled into a poster and goes into some fantasy world because he was getting beaten on by his dad. Anyway, the music is an escape, we all heard the story before, but to us we live and meant it. Anyway, we made this great video when people were making videos, and we knew we had to spend all this money out of our pocket. The recoupment fund, which means we weren't gonna get paid. We wanted to make art, so it was a two day shoot, they submitted the video and our manager calls us up and says, "They laughed at the video. They won't play it." I said, "You've go to be kidding." He said, "No. They said they refuse to play the video unless you cut all that stuff out at the beginning that deals with the kid having a tough time at home, or whatever. They just want the performance footage." Gunnar and I said, "We can't do it." He said, "They just don't like the spiritual stuff in it. It has nothing to do with the emotions." I said, "Fuck them." He said, "Listen, they refuse to add the song to the playlist." We were like the most requested band, it was like Bieber not getting played right now. He said, "They're just refusing, There's a guy named Abbey Konowitch who hates you guys and wants to stick to you." I said, " I don't know why, I don't know the guy. Okay. How's this? Just get him to do one spin a day at two o'clock in the morning?" He said, "Nope, they're not gonna do it." I said, "We'll see what happens." For two weeks we are the number one requested video on their call-in show "Dial MTV," so the kids are speaking. At that point they are still not adding the video... not at all. So, it's clearly a case of bias and politics which made me do something. When we signed with David Geffen he literally sat down next to me and asked, "How's your mother?" He knew my parents. I never saw him for two years after we made the album. He said, "If you need anything I'm upstairs." I figured I'm green, I knock on the door, I go upstairs and ask his secretary if I could see David. David comes out, he's looking pissed, and he says, "Come over here. What's going on?" I tell him the whole story and he says, "Listen, you can't just come to me if you have a problem like this. I'm a busy man." "I know, David, I know. Sorry." He said, "I'm gonna show you how Hollywood works. I'm gonna do this, and if you tell anybody I'm gonna deny it ever happened. Sit down and shut up." He picks up his phone and dials this number and says, "Hey, it's Dave... how's the wife? Blah, blah, blah. Yeah, thank you very much, Nelson's doing really well. I appreciate that. Listen, I've got to talk to you, I've got to talk to you. 'People' magazine came out with the top ten most important people in Hollywood and Abbey Konowitch is there right there right now, and frankly to created a monster with that guy. I'm going to hold you responsible, because frankly he bothers me. Frankly who are we to say what the kids wanna hear? Oh, okay, sure, say hi to the wife. Bye." The phone call lasted forty seconds, he hung up the phone and said, "Don't bother with me on this again. Tell your brother I said hi." The next day Gunnar and I were playing something called the Rock & Jock softball game... we are at USC playing baseball, and I'm on the field and I be forgotten about this whole thing. It is what it is. I see this spec running at me from the centerfield wall and I didn't see until he was right in front of me it was Abbey Konowitch. He grabs my hand, starts pumping got up and down fiercely saying, "I'm so so sorry. I'm so sorry." He looked terrified, he looked like somebody's been chasing him. He said, "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. Whatever you need... are you good, are we friends?" Our video went into heavy rotation that day. I don't know what kinda shit rolled down hill on that guys head but I saw one instance how this shit works. It kinda blew my mind. As such as I grew up thinking it's all about the best song wins, there's a lot more to it, my friend. I fucking know it was engineered.
Me: Holy shit. What a story. What are you guys doing now? Are you going out on tour?
Matthew: Here's what we are doing. Nelson has decided to dust everything off and kinda reemerge. We have a new powerhouse agency called AGI that's gonna put us on a big tour this year. I hate to say it but we are now classic rockers and we are pretty good age to go out there and we haven't been over saturated. If they package us up with these super bands from that era... I can see us going out with Journey or whoever. All those guys are friends of ours, they all know us and we have worked with them. We'll see what happens with them. Fingers crossed in the meantime Gunnar and I are gonna act as if it's not gonna happen and we are gonna what we did the first time, build our own little world around us. It's a little different, we have social media which I hate to say it we are late to the party but it is what it is and that's gonna happen so this year is gonna be the year of Nelson. I think this reissue of "After the Rain" on vinyl is kicking the year off, making it official we're back. We put it away, we were doing other stuff and our manager kinda convinced us there are a lot of people that bought our albums and love us. So, we are doing that and Gunnar and I have some other projects that we call high integrity fun shows. We do a retrospective of our dads life in music called Ricky Nelson Remembered. We play that a lot. That's completely different music... it's root rock and rockabilly. Then we put together a Christmas show which is a completely different show. We made a Christmas album which if you can imagine sounds like Nelson and Crosby, Stills and Nash doing Christmas standards. It's kinda fun. We wanted to do it at a certain time of year, it's an evergreen thing. We close up shop, go on the road and sing Christmas songs. Fortunately we had a couple of years with hits with a new song on that album. Gunnar's got his Scrap Metal thing which is kinda a goof of all those lead singers from the 80s heavy rock bands in one band. I've got a couple things in the works just for my own self that I'm not talking about yet.
Me: Okay, so, do I remember that you dated Bobbie Brown who was the hot chick in Warrant's "Cherry Pie" video? She wrote a book that came out a few years ago and I tried to get her on the Phile.
Matthew: I was the first guy in Hollywood to date her and all I can say I was there first. I'm in her book and all I can say is the truth is when I read it the difference between the two of us is I wasn't fucked up. I didn't do drugs. I remember everything as it really happened. For her unfortunately, her life for many years has been a blur of drugs and dick. Let's just say this, what she wrote about me and especially what she wore about Gunnar was a complete fabrication. She was not a faithful person to me. I treated her like gold. It didn't work out and I had an immense amount of class and unfortunately she did not. All I can say is time has not been kind to that woman.
Me: Matthew, thanks so much for being here on the Phile. I wish you the best.
Matthew: Thank you. What is really cool too is I honestly feel back in those times when we toured with Cinderalla and Lynch Mob we were in the middle of that package and it was like one of those things is not like the other, even though I love both those bands. George Lynch had a thing on his solo album after he saw us and he became a good friend. One of the best shows I ever saw was with Bon Jovi and Cinderalla at the Philly Center in '86. It was awesome. At the same time I think something comes around 30 years later. And still being able to sing, thank God, because some of our friends have vocal problems. Maybe now is the time where people actually listen to the music and really get into it. All that other stuff is done. None of us is hard rock anymore. When you strip away all that stuff our job was to make really good music and I think and we do.
Me: So, do you think back in the day guys, and maybe girls, were kinda embarrassed to say they were fans of yours? I'm sure some macho fuckers liked your music but didn't want to admit it.
Matthew: Whether you love us or hate us, the truth is we were around a lot and I'm sure you heard our songs enough. The way I see it is if you hear a piece of music four times it becomes a part of your lexicon, a part of your life. It's like when I went backstage to the Def Leppard/Tesla show, we are friends with those guys. When Nelson hit, none of those guys would take us out on the road because they thought whatever they thought we were. Now they are all super good buddies. The guitarist from Tesla even stays with us when he's in town. Bon Jovi's new guitar player, Phil X, is one of my dear friends. I play bass in the band that plays the American Music Awards and Billboard Awards for fourteen years and X has been with me for that long.
Me: So, what's the oddest thing you did in your career, Matthew?
Matthew: That's easy. I sang background vocals on the first two Steel Panther records. Listen to "Fat Girl" on the first record and you'll say that is Matt Nelson singing the high stuff.
Me: Haha. I don't know that band or that song but will check it out. Matthew, thanks so much for being here on the Phile. Tell Gunnar he needs to come and be interviewed as well. Plug your website and I hope to see you on the road next year. Take care.
Matthew: Thanks, Jason. This was fun, and your dad rocked!!! matthewandgunnarnelson.com/.
That about does it for the first entry of the year. Thanks to my gists Jeff Trelewicz and of course Matthew Nelson. The Phile will be back on Monday with... are you ready for this? The Peverett Phile 12th Anniversary Special Pheaturing Noel Gallagher From Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. He was also in a small band called Oasis in the 90s. You might've heard of them. 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