Monday, January 15, 2018

Pheaturing Oleta Adams

Hi, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday and Happy MLK Day. We must not judge people by the color of their skin but by heir annoying personalities. MLK would wonder why kids who really need an education are given a day off to honor him. Think about that.
Today is Martin Luther King Day, an important day to reflect on and honor the legacy of the civil rights hero by... *record scratch*... jerking off? Everyone recognizes Google Doodles, the search engine marking important birthdays and holidays on its homepage with artistic tributes. And today, Pornhub decided to get in on the action with a special tribute to the birthday boy, the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King.

Being side-eyed by MLK can certainly impact someone trying to get in the mood. And naturally, the "I Have A Dream" jokes write themselves. I have a wet dream. When I go on Pornhub tomorrow I shall... overcum. Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, porn is free at last.
The artist and political activist Robin Bell projected the word "shithole" onto Trump's D.C. hotel on Saturday night, and it made waves. The display included a stream of flying poop emojis and also projected the phrase "the president distracts us from politics that are harming us," as well as "this is not normal" and messages to "stay vigilante." The artist behind the graphics is the founder of the video projection Bell Visuals, which is committed to using video as a tool for social change. Bell previously made headlines for projecting the motto "Pay Trump Bribes Here" onto Trump's same D.C. hotel back in May. In that same month, Bell also projected "#SessionsMustGo" and "I thought the KKK was OK until I learned that they smoked pot" onto the Department of Justice building in protest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The "shithole" projection was directly inspired by Trump's comments during a meeting with senators on Thursday, where he called Haiti and African countries shithole nations and disparaged immigrants coming from those places. While the White House didn't deny the president's shithole comments initially, Trump later denied them on Twitter, saying...

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Henry Bolton is currently suspended due to a series of racist texts sent by his 25-year-old girlfriend Jo Marney. The texts published by "Daily Mail" reveal Marney slamming actress and soon-to-be royalty Meghan Markle under claims that she will "taint" the royal family and pave the way for "a black king." UKIP immediately suspended Marney from the party after the racist texts leaked. According to BBC, some members of the party have called for her permanent removal. Due to his girlfriend's behavior, Bolton is currently facing a big decision about his future. In reference to the ultimatum between his girlfriend and political party, UKIP chairman Paul Oakden told BBC that Bolton has "some some difficult decisions to make." He added, "He intends on making those decisions today, and I'm sure whatever he does will be in the best interests of the party." In a statement to "Daily Mail," Marney expressed regret for the language in her text messages and attempted to clarify her intentions. "I apologise unreservedly for the shocking language I used. The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Yet I fully recognise the offence they have caused." Understandably, people are not too convinced by her apology. It is speculated that Bolton's position in the party is dependent on whether he keeps ties with Marney, a decision that's expected to be made in coming days. He already received fire for leaving his 54-year-old wife for the 25-year-old model. At the time of writing, neither Markle nor Prince Harry have responded to this mess.
School spirit looks different depending on the college, and for Texas Tech students solidarity is expressed through the slogan "Wreck em and guns" and a finger gun motion. In most scenarios, yelling this at a classmate would be nothing more than awkward for bystanders. However, in the context of airport TSA screenings, the reference to weapons is markedly less casual. So, when 19-year-old Diana Durkin of Houston saw a guy wearing a Texas Tech sweatshirt in the TSA line, she threw up the school's gun sign out of habit. The guy, who was likely acutely aware of the airport context, gave her a strange look and did not reciprocate. Soon, she felt the tap of a TSA agent who pulled her out of line for the reference to guns. Durkin told Buzzfeed News that once she got pulled aside she was thinking, "Oh my gosh, they think I'm a terrorist. Oh my gosh I'm going to jail. I'm just sitting there, almost in tears, like, 'No, I'm just really dumb, I'm not a terrorist!" Despite the scare, Durkin was released with a warning after a thorough screening and pat down. When she tweeted about the occurrence, her anecdote immediately went viral. In fact, the rapid Twitter fame caused Durkin to call her mother to fill her in. She didn't want mom to find out through an article, and apparently, her mom didn't take too well to the call at first.

She also used the opportunity to boost support for survivors of Hurricane Harvey and Maria. This hits especially close to home since her family was affected by Harvey. After the initial shock wore off, Durkin's mom felt ready for the Internet attention. Next time Durkin hits up the airport, she will check her school spirit with her bags.
Hey, it's MLK Day and some places over the years sure knew how to "cash in" on that.

If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to try and meet MLK himself. But knowing my luck Harry Belafonte would be there too. I'm not  big fan. Hahaha,

They would be laughing and having such good time they might even notice I was there. So, I was meant to Google "John Lennon" the other day and instead I Googled "John Lemon" and this is what I got...

It made me laugh. If you're thinking about cheating on your loved one you might want to think twice after seeing this...

Damn. So, it's so cold up north that CNN is reporting some of the oddest stuff...

Hahahaha. I was thinking about The Last Jedi the other day and I thought of the new look Kylo Ten had in the movie...

I didn't think it fit in with the Star Wars universe. Okay, so, this is the Phile's 12th year and I am showing you how different celebrities have changed in those years. In 2006 Jonah Hill was large...

In 2018 he was no so large...

Crazy, right? Okay, one of the best things about the Internet is you can look at porn for free, lie on the already mentioned Pornhub. But the problem for bloggers like me is you might get bored reading this blog and decide to go look at porn. So I thought I can show a porn pic here but of you are at work, or school you might get in trouble. Then I came up with a solution...

You are so welcome, my friends. Hahaha.

Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's a lot of crazy inventors out there in the world, but there's only one world's greatest, and he just happens to want to come onto the Phile and tell us what are some of the inventions he is working on. This is a real treat, kids. Please welcome to the Phile for the first time...

Me: Hello, Mr. Asterborus, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?

Mak: Call me Mak, please, and I am good, Jason.

Me: Okay, so, you are working on a few new inventions but what is something you have already invented that we might not know about?

Mak: Ummm.... Justin Bieber was one.

Me: Sir, I don't think you created Justin Bieber.

Mak: Sure I did.

Me: Okay, if yo say so. What's another one?

Mak: Religion.

Me: Again, sir, I don't think you created religion. If you did same on you, but religion has been around for a long time. What's another one?

Mak: My wife.

Me: Okay, I don't know who that is but I take it that might be true. So, what is your latest invention, Mak?

Mak: A book on how to read.

Me: Ugh. Get outta here.

Mak: Have a good day, kids.

Me: Mak Asterborus, the world's greatest inventor, everyone.

There was a joke about fishing I was going to tell you. Oh no, I forgot the line!

The 73rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Linda will be the guest on the Phile next Monday.

Today's guest is a is an American soul, jazz, gospel singer and pianist. Her latest CD "Third Set" is available on iTunes and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Oleta Adams.

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

Oleta: Hi, Jason. I am wonderful.

Me: Cool. Okay, you have been a musician for a long time, but Tears For Fears kinda discovered you, am I right?

Oleta: Well, let's see... If you want to talk about the lowest of lows it became before Tears For Fears. Understand that 2018 is my 47th year in show business. Everyone thinks I'm an overnight thing and I only had twenty years... that's not quite true. I've been working since '71 professionally and I worked all across the United States. I worked all over the state of Washington. In fact, I thought things would happen to me in the early 70s when I was the only singer for the Peggy Fleming show, A Concert On Ice is what it was called. It was a traveling skating show obviously and they had quite a few trucks because they would go and set up the next stage for the next performance. We traveled for a year basically and I had golf shoes to be able to walk on the ice so I didn't fall down. I thought things would happen for me in '73 when we played Reno, and I finally played there, but what happened was I got to Reno and the show there had to be a certain amount of time in the show places as they wanted to get everybody back into the casinos. So, they cut my parts in the show except for the opening and the closing, It was a night where Ed McMahon was there and some other people. Phylis Diller was the head of the show... she took the first half and Peggy Fleming took the other. It was really heartbreaking and I was very upset and very embarrassed. I didn't want to tell my family what had happened.

Me: Ahhh. How did you end up in Kansas City, Oleta?

Oleta: In 1975 I landed in Kansas City, and got a permanent gig at the Western Crown Center, and there were long lines. I did three shows a night, six days week. I would change clothes between each set and it was hard work, but I learnt my craft very well. I was very successful in Kansas City, and there were billboards up with me on it. Well, a few years after that, when the Crown Western wouldn't have me anymore, as they wanted REAL jazz. So, I went to Tulsa, Oklahoma and all over the country to try and find work.

Me: Did you have to audition when you got new jobs?

Oleta: No, no, no. I lived in Washington State and the agent placed me. I was performing at another hotel and the food and beverage manager heard me back in 1974 at another one of their properties and they liked me so much they asked me if I'd go back to Kansas City. People said to me, "I heard you're going to Kansas City. They've got cows in the streets back there." No cows! Instead we went down Main Street from the airport and we got downtown and there were all these tall buildings and there was one incredible building that was built on this natural water fall that was a hotel. It was relative new and in the waterfall you could see the inside of the lobby.

Me: So, tell me how Tears For Fears "discovered" you. How did you meet them?

Oleta: After I got fired from the Crown Center hotel I went over to a Hyatt and that's where Tears For Fears saw me in '85. Tears For Fears was playing in town and they stayed at the Hyatt. They did their gig, went up to their room, and I played from 9 til 1. They changed their clothes, paid the cover charge and they sat there listening to me. But I did not meet them, but knew they were there as John, my future then husband told me they were there.

Me: Did you know who they were, and how did you get to work with them?

Oleta: Yeah, I knew who they were! Everybody knew "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." Roland to me looked like a guy who looked like Donny Osmond with all teeth. John asked me if I wanted to say hi to them and I said no. I knew the Hyatt was going to get rid of me because the food and beverage manager who hired me was promoted to a hotel in Korea or somewhere in Asia. That meant it was the end of my stay even though I had a contract that was still on the books. When the new guy came in all contracts were null and void. So, anyway, I did not meet them there on that night, I was just playing my heart out. There were fewer and fewer places to play in Kansas City at that time because disco came in and audiences changed from listening audiences to participating audiences. Two years later after I had gone from losing that job and then having to leave Kansas City to get work, I went to play at a piano bar in St. Louis in Union Station. There was this lady there who said to me, "You'e good. You're almost as good as Oleta Adams." She didn't recognize me as it was just me at the piano and I didn't have the bass and drums with me. Then a guy said to me, "I see they have you here, what did they do with your bass and drums?" Then I did a duo with the drummer in St. Louis at another place. It was in '86 and I think it was the Cardinals were in the World Series and people were watching the TV in the bar, and before my set the manager would say, "Turn off the television." I wasn't going to turn off the television on the middle of the Series. That was always fun, performing while everybody was looking over your head watching a baseball game. So, two years later I got a phone call when I was back in Kansas City from Roland Orzabal and he said everything I sang that one night moved him to tears and he said what I had with a trio we had more emotion than he had with eight people on stage and he had a song called "Woman In Chains" and wondered if I'd put the same emotion into that song. They kept on coming to see me weeks after, and I kept asking them if they are on the way to another gig and they said no.

Me: Alright, so, what did you think of those guys, Oleta? They must of been nice to you.

Oleta: Yes, they were, in fact Curt told the customs and immigration people when they were coming over from England what is the reason they were going to the states, and he said, "We are going to see Oleta." They hung around for about three days and they came to my house and we sat and talked, played music and I sang at the piano in my house, and they'd sing something. We went to the record store and they bought one of my records and I bought a couple of their records. That was the beginning. That was in '87 and in '88 they sent me a ticket and I went and recorded with them. I worked at a piano bar in Scandinavia for 7 months and went all over Scandinavia and Holland. I recorded for a full month in January, I did my tour alone, and they found out where I was and called me, asking me to stop by England before I went home to do some more work on the record.

Me: So, did you go on tour with Tears For Fears? They must've felt weird after playing the venues where you played before.

Oleta: I lived a lot and with as many disappointments I thought this probably won't last but thank you, Lord, I have this moment. It was still performing, I loved all the big bands, all the sounds and it was loud. We worked very hard and it was very exciting starting the show. I started the show on a grand piano three feet in the air and then the guys would join me.

Me: That's cool. Okay, so, I think around this time they broke up. Was there any tension between them on the tour?

Oleta: Okay, this question is funny to me. Yeah, there was tension. On the tour bus they made me chose... the back was Curt's area, the front of the bus was Rol's. I kind of sat in the middle but it was towards the front. I loved them both, and tried to tell them I loved them both. It was a sticky situation because I got a lot of attention, they placed a lot of attention on me and Roland because he was a creative person. However, I have to say Curt was involved also but when it came to actually putting stuff down it was Roland. I stayed with Curt and his first wife at his home in Bath. It was absolutely unbelievable and they were so generous to me and they treated me like I was one of their family. He was so sweet and he's a smart cookie. Curt was the business guy, Roland wasn't the business guy. Curt could work for a record company if he wanted. Roland was the musical side but they are both just smart individuals. It was a good pairing but the only thing was it came to a point that when you grow up together from childhood you kind of get sick of one another. That's very natural, but they were great, their voices were balanced.

Me: Okay, enough about Tears For Fears. After that whole thing you had your own success with your own album and the single "Get Here." You must of been thrilled.

Oleta: Nah, it felt pretty much the same. When people were flipping out about me I was home and didn't hear it. I often sit and read this stuff and read the comments and think, "God, it's too bad I missed this stuff." I never felt like a story even when I sold out. That was the way it goes, the place is full, we sold out, and then I hung on.

Me: Okay, that's fair. So, you are from Kansas City, do you still live there, Oleta?

Oleta: Yeah, I live in a small town... actually, it's a big town but doesn't know it's a big town. It has a small town feeling. I love living here In Kansas City, which is why I don't live in L.A. I always wanted to live somewhere where my feet are on the ground, and if something happened I wouldn't have far to fall.

Me: That makes sense. Okay, so, what's the story about the song "Get Here." Where's here?

Oleta: "Get Here" had its success because of Desert Storm as it came out at that time. It put me in a total different category and put me on a tight rope. It wasn't a song for people to dance to. For me I wanted to sing another ballad. I wanted to express myself, I lived so long and wanted to sing what I wanted to say. Get where? Get to me!

Me: You were on the "Two Rooms" Elton John album and did a fantastic version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." How did you get chosen for that album and was it fun to do that song? It's weird, because it's an album of duets but you're not doing a duet with Elton.

Oleta: Interestingly enough I had to fight for that song because I tried to do "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," but my bass player, Pino Palladino, HATED that song, so I thought what song was I going to do then. Somebody said, "Well, Joe Cocker has 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me.'" I fought for that song, I wanted that song, I've sung it before. They went to battle for me and I got that song. It was supposed to be the first release off that album, and a couple of weeks later one of my players said, "Ms. Oleta, Elton John and George Michael put out their version of the song." I said, "What?!" That happened at the same time and because it was George Michael and Elton of course they got more play on more stations, because a voice like mine is going to be limited. Number one I'm a black woman, and number 2: I got a really thick big voice and despite I am known for "Get Here," guess who is going to get more air play. Elton and I did an Andre Agassi event in Las Vegas for his foundation and Elton's dressing room was right next to mine and there was a knock on my door and my husband answered the door and Elton said, "May I speak to Oleta? Do you think she'll speak to me?" John said, "Elton's out here, he wants to know if you'll speak to him." He came in and said, "Oleta, I want to apologize to you. I know that was a really mean thing to do. I just want to tell you I know it wasn't fair, I'm sorry." I said, "You're forgiven." Here's the thing, that year both of us got nominated for Grammys in different categories for that same song. Neither of us won. LOL.

Me: Okay, we have to talk about "Third Set," your new album. Why is it called "Third Set"?

Oleta: I used to do three shows, six days a week. That's a lot of singing and it's really hard to keep the excitement. After a while I decided when I'm playing a hotel I know who the audience is so I had to do all the popular stuff. In those days it was "Wind Beneath My Wings," and "New York, New York," and "Feelings"... all that stuff like that. I did all those popular songs for the first two sets. The third, if there was anybody there at that time, the third set became our set... the musicians set where we did the stuff we felt like doing. It was the most creative set because we weren't pressured in doing what we didn't want to do. We had the freedom to play music and explore it as long as we wanted. I pretty much did that throughout my career, made the third set just fun for the musicians. It was in that set the arrangement of "New York State of Mind" developed. In fact, "Get Here" ended up in the third set, it used to be in the first set but we had to do a shorter version of it. In the third set I could sing to for twenty minutes. LOL.

Me: What took you eight years to release a new album?

Oleta: I don't know where the time went. Time flies. John and I don't have children so for us when you are just playing it just goes by so quickly. In those eight years the whole business changed. If you closed down as many record companies as I have your feeling is "I ain't going to throw more money at that thing." LOL. That was my attitude, then do you know what happened... places that I play ever year the manager or the guy who would book that place would say, "Oleta, you need a new record." What that means is the only way they were going to get the kind of publicity they want to get is if I do a new record. Their whole thing is the excitement of the record creates the spark so it would put me in the limelight and it brings out a whole new group of people. I just kind of felt I am growing older and I wasn't sure how long I wanted to do this. After a certain time I started to think of that "R" word... retirement. Although musicians rarely retire but it's the travel part I want to retire from, which mans I wouldn't stop singing, but all that traveling around really gets to me. My husband and I think do we really want to do this until I'm 85 and we quit and suddenly we die or do we want to have a few good years left?

Me: How long did it take to record the album?

Oleta: Two and a half days. Seriously. The studio where we recorded it is no longer there. We were the last ones to record in that place.

Me: There are covers on the album, were they songs you did in your third set normally?

Oleta: They're from shows we were doing in the last year.

Me: Okay, I like asking these questions once in awhile... do you have regrets and your best memory? 

Oleta: I have gobs of those moments, just remembering them is the problem. As far as regrets there are always decisions that you did that could be done differently. I turned down "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King and it become the movie of the year. Actually I'm not sure if I turned it down or they turned me down. Remember my first record was called "Circle of One," and I thought it would be too confusing for one thing. If you listen to "Circle of Life," with Elton singing it, he singing it and me singing it would of been two different things and I'm not sure that I would've gotten it anyway because it would sound too soulful for the show. I would have to put a Broadway voice on it, and I'm not sure that would of worked anyway. I did audition for it and I did not get a call back. I'm not sure I had a choice on that but that would be the one regret. Honestly, I would of done it for that extra push, but the stuff that I've done I like. I was told a long time ago to make sure I sing the stuff I like because if not I'd have to sing it over, and over and over again. Ask Bobby McFerrin. LOL. Apart of me wishes I hit the big one sooner and a part of me is glad it did not. I'm glad I was a real adult to be able to handle that success. I see it happens to a lot of these singers. I talked to a lot of them... they're so successful and so sad and I don't want to be sad... I'm happy. I love singing, I love looking forward to the music. If I can have a little bit more I had in 2002 that would be great, but then I'm asking not to age. I had a lot of occasions where we could afford nice vacations for John and me. Obviously being on Oprah's show was just great. I had lunch with her first in probably '93, in her studio in Chicago. There was just the two of us, sitting alone with Oprah was a big deal. I have sung in her own in Santa Barbara for her very first party there. That was a high moment and meant a whole lot that she requested that I sing. By the same token doing a gig somewhere and Eric Clapton was there. As I'm walking down the hallway, he says, "Oleta." He called me by my name and talked to me. "Oleta, that was a horrible thing that Elton did." LOL. That was another way I found out about that, and he knew who I was. It's like wow, these people know who I am, then I go back to Kansas City like nothing ever happened. I got to the chance to play a lot of places like Carnegie Hall. Oh, and Phil Collins. I got the chance to play with him with on his big band tour in '98 in Europe and America. He was really wonderful to work and singing with that bad was great. I will say one more thing before I go... I am forger indebted to my friends in the Netherlands. They always gave me a play even though I didn't have a record.

Me: Those are great stories, Oleta. I hope this was fun. Go ahead and mention your website. All the best. Please come back again soon.

Oleta: It was my pleasure to be here, and good luck with your career. Take care, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Oleta for a great interview. The Phile will be back on Thursday with Phile Alum Kevin Hearn from Barenaked Ladies. 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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