Good morning, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday, kids. Thanks for reminding me to change my clocks that change themselves. Actually, I have two watches I need to change and I haven't changed any of them yet. Well, the President was just sued by a porn star, so that's where we are at right now.
Adult film star Stormy Daniels is suing President Donald Trump, alleging that he never signed the nondisclosure agreement that his lawyer had arranged with her to keep her quiet about their rumored sexual relationship. According to the lawsuit, Trump's attorney, Michael Cohen, signed the papers, but Trump never did. No, this is not an over-the-top soap opera plot. This is our democracy! Somewhere a bald eagle is crying right now. On Tuesday, Stephanie Clifford, known professionally as Stormy Daniels, filed the civil suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The documents show the "hush agreement" was signed by Daniels and Cohen on October 28th, 2016, just days before the 2016 presidential election. The blank where Donald Trump was intended to sign was left empty. The agreement, which dictates that Daniels would be paid $130,000 to keep her relationship with then-candidate Trump a secret, has Daniels under the pseudonym "Peggy Peterson." Donald Trump was listed as "David Dennison." According the NBC News, the agreement states that Daniels is "not to disclose any confidential information about Trump or his sexual partners to anyone beyond a short list of individuals she'd already told about the relationship, or share any texts or photos from Trump." Soooooo she has texts and/or photos from Trump? I would say this this would make for an interesting morning briefing, but the President doesn't do those. Anyway, now that this document may be invalid, that means that Daniels would be able to share her story. "She believes it's important that the public learn the truth about what happened," said Michael Avenatti, Daniels' attorney on "Today" on Tuesday. "I think it's time for her to tell her story and for the public to decide who is telling the truth." Buckle up, folks. Things are about to get interesting.
Mike Pence's attempt to honor women on International Women's Day went just as well as his attempt to eat with one. The Vice President jumped in on the trending topic, and people felt that a celebration of women by a man who can't even dine with one unless his wife chaperones him was less than authentic.
"The Trump Admin will continue to strive to empower women?" They certainly have gotten women to mobilize, but likely not in the direction they like. Mike Pence’s tweet about women did not go over well with women who know about Mike Pence. Pence calling his wife "Mother" is not even the most regressive of his views on women. As governor of Indiana, he made a whole bunch of disastrous decisions about women's health, including signing a bill that mandated burials or cremation for miscarriages and fetal remains. Saying he is anti-choice is an understatement, and women being denied the right to make choices about their health is far from empowering. People were indeed empowered to call bullshit on the tweet. While Pence acts all pious, people haven't forgotten who his boss is. It's not enough to tweet about women once a year. You actually gotta put your policies where your tweets are.
While the only people who seem to be enjoying the Trump presidency are either grifters, white supremacists, or Alec Baldwin, but one more dude is having a great time: former president George W. Bush. By being a president who has even less of a grasp on the English language than he does, Bush is reportedly reveling in what Trump does for his reputation by virtue of comparison. According to "The National Journal," Dubya has been seen smirking at the reports of Trump's White House dysfunction. "Bush is often heard to remark, unable to stifle his trademark smirk, 'Sorta makes me look pretty good, doesn't it?' He's shaking his head like everyone else wondering why they can't get their act together. He wants the guy to succeed but thinks a lot of his problems are self-inflicted." Likely to suggest to people that he's not actually enjoying this precarious time for the republic, Bush did give a speech back in October about how dangerous Trump is (but without actually saying his name). "Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication," Bush said. "Bigotry in any form is blasphemy against the American creed and it means the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation." But yeah, everyone agrees with Georgie. While he may have eroded civil liberties and went to war under false pretenses, Trump is even worse.
Twenty-eight-year-old Ryan Grant of Minneapolis is smarter than the rest of us. Actually, he’s smarter than all of us combined. The former accountant realized he wasn’t on a career path he cared for, so he started looking into other options and focused his sights on Walmart. Grant buys up all kinds of items from Walmart’s discount aisles and flips them on Amazon. It probably doesn’t sound like a lucrative operation, but Grant claims his business is set to make a whopping $8 million this year. He said all of that money will go right back into his operation and his salary is set at $60,000 for now. The entrepreneur simply walks through Walmart’s discount aisles with his smartphone and compares product prices with Amazon to determine if he’ll buy items in bulk. Grant is going through so much product volume, buying and reselling, that he needs to rent out a warehouse to have enough space for the operation. He started this kind of buying and selling with textbooks in college, and he quit his accounting job after he perfected his method and realized he could make a living at it. Dammit, why didn’t I think of this?
Back in August, a woman named Patricia Aileen Wilson accused a Tennessee patrol officer of groping her during a traffic stop. Following the incident, Wilson opened a lawsuit suing the Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Isaiah Lloyd for sexual misconduct. She alleges that during the stop Lloyd ordered to lean over his cruiser, at which point he reached into her shorts and groped both her rear end and genitals. During this stop Lloyd repeatedly asked Wilson if she took drugs, to which she assured him she did not, except for the occasional Ambien for sleeping purposes. After the groping incident itself, Wilson was given a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt. Wilson also alleges that three hours later Lloyd pulled her over once more, this time, her two kids were in the car. Lloyd allegedly told her, "We have to stop meeting like this." In the lawsuit, Wilson alleges that Lloyd was "using his authority as a law enforcement officer to sexually harass,." Last Monday, the Tennesee Highway Patrol released dash cam footage of the incident. The THP released a statement with the footage was released absolving Lloyd of criminal charges. “After careful consideration and review, the Tennessee Highway Patrol Command Staff has advised me that Trooper Isaiah Lloyd conducted this traffic stop in a professional manner in an effort to protect the motoring public,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said in a statement. However, the District Attorney Jared Effler said his review of the behavior in both traffic stops “revealed that Trooper Lloyd’s actions were inconsistent with his training and Tennessee Department of Safety general orders.” And yet, DA Effler agreed there was not sufficient evidence for a criminal case against the officer. Despite the lack of criminal charges, Wilson's lawsuit is still seeking out $100,000.
So, if I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to New York City in the 1940s. But knowing my luck I'll get there in 1947 right when 23-year-old Evelyn McHale jumped from the observation deck of the Empire State Building onto a limousine which was parked below.
Damn. So, parents, I hope your students are as clever and talented as whatever kid did this...
Whales are fine too. And as far as that math problem... what sorcery. I have never seen anything like that. The furthest I got in school was fractions. So, the other day I Googled "Baroque Obama" instead of "Barrack Obama" and this is what I got...
Did you notice some things are getting smaller and smaller? Like this camera for instance...
That's way too small... but I want one. I hope you're having a better day than the person this happened too...
Haha. Hey, been to CVS lately? Do you have their new store rewards card? Check it out...
So, here's another teacher saying what he or she wants to be armed with instead of guns...
A fee weeks ago I told you the story about a dog with a man's face. Here is the dog ICYMI...
I asked you guys if your dog has a human type face to send me pics and I received some of them. Here's one...
Ummm... not quite. But thanks for the pic. So, I saw this movie poster the other day...
It reminded me of something, and then it hit me...
Hmmmm... interesting, right? Hey, it's back... from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, it's...
Top Phive Ways International Women's Day Affected The Trump Administration
5. Trump complained to Reince Prebius about not being able to attend the march, because "it'd be a great place to pick up chicks."
4. Kellyanne Conway spent the day kneeling on the sofa at her home, rather in the Oval Office.
3. The Department of Education made great strides, as Betsy DeVos had taken the day off.
2. Trump had been forced to use a laughable, bullshit statement about his deep respect for women.
And the number one way International Women's Day affected the Trump administration was...
1. Sadly, Trump peed on himself.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. SO, with this whole Stormy Daniels suing Trump thing happening I thought I'd invite a "friend" to the Phile and ask a few questions about it. So, once again, here is...
Sarah: Oh, my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine... hello, Jason.
Me: Hello, Sarah. Man, this whole situation as sticky as a Stormy Daniels video, right?
Sarah: Or the Democrats.
Me: That makes so sense. So, did Trump offer or give her an hush money payment?
Sarah: President Trump has already addressed this.
Me: No, he hasn't. Are you denying also that Trump didn't know about the payment?
Sarah: I'm not outright denying that Trump didn't know about the payment.
Me: When did the president specifically address the cash payment that was made in October of 2016?
Sarah: The case has already been in arbitration.
Me: A-ha! A new plot twist. So Trump went out of his way to draw up a contract and go through an arbitration process over allegations that are fake news?
Me: what does that even mean?
Sarah: The lawsuit itself does refer to some arbitration process that happened last month, but accuses Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen of "surreptitiously [initiating] a bogus arbitration proceeding against [her]... without even providing Ms. Clifford with notice of the proceeding and basic due process."
Me: I must admit the White House is doing a really good job keeping the story alive, Sarah. Have you spoken to Trump about this?
Sarah: I have spoken with the president and Trump has won an arbitration case against Stormy Daniels. I won't outright deny Trump and Cohen discussed Stormy payment.
Me: Did the president break campaign finance laws?
Sarah: There was no knowledge of any payments from the President and he's denied all of these allegations.
Me: Well, Stormy's lawyer has reportedly responded to the White House's statement, and it's hilarious...
Sarah: Can I go now, Jason?
Me: Sure, Sarah, but it looks like the Stormy weather won't be ending anytime soon. Haha.
I don't get it. Hmmm... can someone explain? Now for a story from...
As Carly said, it really is Wade who is serving the people.
On Tuesday, President Trump made a "joke" on Twitter, only it didn't seem like he really thought it was a joke. Ol' Tweety posted this tweet...
There's a lot going on in this tweet. First of all, for once, he's right... the 2018 Oscars actually did have the lowest ratings ever. Second, he's got that random capitalization thing going on, and third, he slips into talking about himself in third person (or is that second? Either way, it's not first. And it's not normal). But he added that he was just kidding, so we know it was a joke, right? Although clearly Trump does think of himself as a star... he was the star of his own reality show, "The Apprentice," before coming president, after all. Trump has also said he was just kidding after suggesting that the "Second Amendment people" could do something about Hillary Clinton, and he was just joking when he said Russia should hack Hillary's emails. He's hilarious! Maybe he could start ending his tweets with, "Thanks a lot, I'm here another three years! Don't forget to tip your waitresses!" This man knows comedy.
Yep... I'll be doing the Phile again from Gainesville on the 28th and 29th of March. Fun times. And now for some...
Phact 1. People sentenced to death by beheading were advised to give the headsman a gold coin to ensure he did not botch the beheading and cause a painful death by multiple strokes.
Phact 2. Donald Lau, who has been Chief Fortune Cookie Writer at Wonton Foods for over 30 years, is retiring due to writer’s block.
Phact 3. Taco Bell was founded by Glen Bell who watched long lines of customers at a Mexican restaurant. He ate there regularly, attempting to reverse-engineer the taco recipe, and eventually persuaded the owners to show him how they were prepared. With this knowledge, he opened a stand selling tacos.
Phact 4. In the late 1990s, a man studying the underground chambers of the Colosseum found patterns of holes, notches, and grooves in the walls. By connecting the dots of the negative space, he discovered that a system of elevators had been used to transport wild animals and scenery to the main floor.
Phact 5. North Korea has its own distinct basketball rules, such as three points for a dunk, four points for a three-pointer that does not touch the rim, minus one point for missing a free throw, and eight points for a basket scored in the final three seconds.
Today's guest is an American rock and roll musician and writer, best known as a founding member and lead singer of the 1960s band The Turtles, and as "Eddie" in the 1970s rock band Flo & Eddie. He is also the author of "Shell Shocked: My Life with the Turtles, Flo and Eddie, and Frank Zappa, etc.," the 76th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... Howard Kaylan.
Me: Hello, Howard, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Howard: I'm here. Ask me good questions, Jason.
Me: I'll try. Okay, you started out singing and in a band pretty young, right? What was that like?
Howard: Some of my quote unquote adventures were so stupid. In the real world or to real people these things would never happen but I believe because Mark and I both hit the pop star world rather young we really kinda grew up in it. We just didn't know any better. The other kids asking "would you want fries with that" we were already hiding weed and performing for the big shots and doing TV and we were quite advanced I think for our age bracket. The Turtles had broken up when I was 22. So, when I considered my life was over probably at this point because I'm not qualified or trained to do anything else. Nor did I have any desire to do anything else. The only thing I wanted to do from the earliest possible age was to be in the show business. I never could accept anything else, I constantly fought with my parents about it because it was always the fallback, what are you gonna do if it doesn't work.
Me: What did your parents think as you were so young of the Turtles success?
Howard: It boggled their brains. They got a trip to Hawaii, a car and a TV set. My mom could tell the neighbor, "My son, my son." She couldn't say, "My son the doctor, or my son the lawyer" but she could say, "Tune into 'Ed Sullivan' next weekend because my son." That held a lot of weight in our community.
Me: What were you into back then music wise?
Howard: I wasn't much into the the rock and roll, I was as into Soupy Sales as I was into Bobby Darren.
Me: So, did you know you wanted to be a performer or a rock and roll star?
Howard: I didn't care if my success was rock and roll based. I didn't know what part in it I would play. I didn't know I would be the performer, though I imagined I would. I didn't really fit, even at an early age, any of the criteria for these people that were already stars when I was a little kid growing up and stuff, watching Dick Clark on TV and there was Frankie Avalon and Fabien and all that. Bobby Rydell and these guys with the incredible hair. They were skinny and that was what the girls were into. That's what they did before Sinatra and that's what they did before Sinatra.
Me: There was no such thing as a rock band back then, right?
Howard: No, there was no such thing so I couldn't expire to that. It was the era of the Bobby's and the Jimmy's. It was the beach party movies and already I didn't fit in. Like Jimmy Darren, at the time they were buff, they were young, they were cute, they were studio kids. I knew studio kids, I used to go out with a girl who was a studio kid. She was a Mouskeeter and to me that was the closet I was gonna get to show biz. I was a 12-year-old dating another 12-year-old who was a Mousekeeter. That was cool, especially coming from the east coast. Watching Disneyland, the physical place in California being built on television, and knowing I didn't stand a chance as a fart in a theater, to ever see that place because it was 3,000 miles away and my father's job was in Utica, New York. I wanted to go there for Disneyland truly, I didn't have the Hollywood dream. I didn't think success was geographical.
Me: If you don't mind me asking, Howard, how old are you? You probably don't feel as old as you are, am I right?
Howard: I am 70-years-old. The things I said all my life I can now say with impunity. No one gives a fuck. If the old codger says something a little eccentric, but if I said it at the age of 17 they'd shss me. I'd say, "fuck you, you're an idiot." Now certain things are better than other days. In fact, in my child mind I would never see past the age of 28. I remember when I was about nine or ten hearing somebody say Dick Clark was 28-years-old. I almost dropped my Nesquick. Twenty-eight? I'll never live to see 28. Not knowing at the time that 27 was the rock age. If you're gonna die, you're gonna die at 27. I had no idea that that was even a thing. This is something spooky, the last thing my father ever said to me out of the blue was "twenty-eight years." My brother was standing next to me said, "What? What does that mean?" My father said, "Ask him." Meaning me. "He'll know." And I don't. I still don't. I have no idea what he meant. I was in my late 30s or 40s or something, But nontheless I hear something like that and I'm still haunted by it as I have no fucking idea at that it means. That was always my cut of age but I never told anybody that.
Me: So, what do you think of playing music today opposed to back in the day?
Howard: Mark and I, if there's any genius to this act at all, it's to be able to take a group who was marginally successful 50 years ago and make them bigger today then they were.
Me: So, are you concerned about the legacy of the Turtles?
Howard: I'm not the least concerned about the legacy of the Turtles. I think the music speaks for itself. It has to. To a certain degree you can only hype yourself and then there's a brick wall. If we can't deliver on our promises then it doesn't matter what we said once. It's just hearsay at this point from a long, long time ago. I know acts out there who are big and never sounded good. They weren't good in the 60s and they're not good now.
Me: Does anything concern you at all, Howard?
Howard: Very little concerns me, Jason. Let me tell you the honest truth... as far as performances are concerned I don't worry about them whatsoever. I'm not the guy who warms up vocally, I never have, I never will be. We don't rehearse, we don't do soundcheck.
Me: Can you believe people still come and see you guys and talk about the Turtles?
Howard: When people talk about us I think it's a bloody fucking miracle. That's the sort of PR we did for the last 40 years. The Turtles have appeared to be larger than we were before. If you go through there actual amount of hit records that came out at that time you'd find the people who had the fewest would be us. Success is success. We had three separate very good runs as the Turtles but we had three down periods as well. We had as many bad times as good times. We are not Bon Jovi, but for that I'm grateful. I don't want to change places with Jon. Let him be the outlaw. On the dark horse he may ride, but I've got a Lexus.
Me: Hahaha. Okay, let's talk about the Frank Zappa years. What was that like?
Howard: Well, we had to transform ourselves on the fly and turn ourselves into something else right at that juncture. After the Frank years ended abruptly we had to think on our feet very quickly just to come up with rent. We became Flo & Eddie out of necessity. Those songs that were on the first "Phlorescent Leech & Eddie" record were the songs we had written for the Turtles back in 1970 and never got to record with the Turtles because the other idiots in that screwball band had decided they wanted to take the band into a more country direction.
Me: So, how did the Turtles break up?
Howard: Mark and I are feeling a different kinda singer-songwriters, we were more into the Joni and Jackson and Steven and Carly kind of Canyon thing. Geograohically that's where we were and mentally. Those were the people we were hanging with and we knew. So, it was only natural for us to have acoustic guitars and wanted to turn the band, if there was one, into that. And that's what the first Flo & Eddie record was. The first Reprise record was acoustic stuff.
Me: So, what was it like working with Bob Ezrin on the second Flo & Eddie album?
Howard: We played the first album for Bob Ezrin and we knew that Alice Cooper was going on the road and there was a rumor that we had done so well with Alice we were going to do the entire year here in the states and in Europe with Alice and it was gonna be great because Reprise had both acts. It was was as we both had the same PR people, the same everything, it was gonna be a breeze. Erin listened to the first "Phlorescent Leech & Eddie" album and he said, "Do you know what's wrong with this record?" What, Bob, tell us. He said, "Well, they aren't really any hook hooks." What do you mean hook hooks? "Well, do you hear that thing that you started there? Where does it go? Why did it end?" Well, the song comes in. "That's not good enough." What do you mean that's not good enough? Ezrin's theory was every hit record that he ever had had a running lick that went allll the way trough the record. Somebody was playing a lead line under every portion of that record that went by. There was no such thing as vamping acoustically until the singer came in with his poetry lyric. That was bullshit. What we did was the same what he did with Alice Cooper, came up with a lick, like "I'm Eighteen" and mutated it thought out the song. He had the guitarist play it, the strings pick it up, so there was always an under current in every song given you two melodies to listen to even if it was just the bass line going off and doing that thing under the vocal. It was an eye opener but also he was full of crap. It depends what school of thought you were part of. Arlo Guthrie never wrote a song thinking that.
Me: How did you get hooked up with Bob Ezrin to begin with?
Howard: It was Warner's suggestion, and he had a lot of success and a lot of it with Alice and he liked us as people. He saw us on the road and they asked him if he thought he could produce these guys because we produced our first record ourselves. He took on the challenge, I think he did really well. I think we did a really good record. The fact they couldn't sell it as a company has nothing to do with him and very little to do with us because we were out on the road constantly pounding that thing.
Me: Who else did you tour with back then, Howard?
Howard: The Doors, who were then three people, not four. You try and do a headline tour without Jim Morrison.
Me: That's crazy. Okay, so, you guys got to do a lot of television. What was that like?
Howard: We did. We got to be staff writers and head writers and do a lot of comedy stuff and behind the scenes music as well. It wasn't the same as carving out a life as Mel Brooks or doing that sort of thing. I never wanted to be a rock star, I never wanted to be Mel Brooks, I don't know about Mark but I just always wanted to be somewhere in entertainment but I didn't really know what that meant. But certainly rock and roll or pop music, or whatever this is what I do, as my entry into it and I had no idea that it would last this long.
Me: Reading your book I was surprised at all the twists and turns you took together career wise. What was that feeling like?
Howard: We took huge chances but we had nothing to lose. Once the pop career ended we really didn't know what we were gonna do. If somebody came along and said, "Hey, you guys would probably be good writing TV scripts." Sure we would! Give us an office! That's all we ever wanted. Once we figured to that rock and roll guys never got an office we wanted an office. We always had one. Herb Cohen, bless his soul, always provided us with an office and when he didn't we found one at our graphics company or we would find one at Ms. Universe.
Me: How did you learn about all the TV and movie stuff, Howard?
Howard: By doing it. Thy asked us can we do it and we said yes and worry about how later. We surround ourselves by the best people in the world, learn from them, and we would come in there and deliver a product no matter what it is, whether its a TV show, a record or a movie, or whatever, that will knock their socks off. That's what we do and people are surprised at every turn they never know we had it in us. They never asked. That's why during the 70s and 80s we called ourselves "alternative vocations." We never thought ourselves as a rock act. We thought to ourselves we weren't actors hired to play singers, alas the Monkees, but we were singers that wanted to do everything else that we possibly could to learn all the facets of show business necessary.
Me: I have to ask you about Harry Nilsson, Howard. You said in the book "when Harry ended that is the day the music died for me." That jumped out of the page to me. When I lost my dad to cancer in 2000 I thought to myself fuck everything, but I was married at the time and had a new born. What was it about Harry over all the colleagues and friends in your life you had lost?
Howard: It was just so incredibly sad. In Harry's case shit continued to happen. It wasn't quick. It was agonizing slow. This man went from the most confident, brilliant singer-songwriter I've ever known and changed mutated into this obese, non-caring man. He threw it away. I know he was very sick and I know his systems were shutting down one at a time. It wasn't just Harry's death to be bluntly honest, it was Phil Reed's death, the lead guitarist who was murdered, it was an attitude about the business that had changed. The record business became a side trip the drug world instead of the other way around for whole bunch of years and it was a very unpleasant place to be. I would see this big executives makes these stupid wrong decisions with their buddies just based on a hundred dollar bill and what was on the table in front of them. You would know this wasn't going to work, this was a huge mistake. The drugs were talking and they were. We watched a lot of our contemporaries get caught up in it and go down. Not necessarily in their lives but just in their careers, or in their minds, or I can't do this anymore. Sorry about your dad by the way, he was a great singer.
Me: Thanks. So, most duos or bands or partnerships don't last that long, but you and Mark have been partners for a long time. How is that possible?
Howard: As a partnership the smartest thing we ever did was to separate ourselves geographically at the exact time when we did. That was about 25 years ago. Career wise the Happy Together tours were going then so we had money. We might have been doing the radio show at the time, taping the last few shows in Los Angeles and sending to WLIR on Long Island because we did that for a couple of years. We just knew. For me it was instinctive, and I said in the book it had a lot to do with the Rodney King thing and I had to get out of L.A. It was way more than that. When we got back from New York things were totally different. I came back to the house I rented to Chris Elliott for two years and it was in pretty good shape and we just moved right back in. Mark discovered religion about 25 years ago, and that's when I discovered I didn't want to do that. I think it was a good idea to put a little geography between us we wouldn't end up carpooling to every show. This is a man who is really in the need of a life, as was I. I didn't have it and he didn't have it, we were both 25 years ago looking for a life we both found. In totally different places, in different arenas, and in different mind place.
Me: So, about the book, did you have any expectations with it?
Howard: I didn't know if writing book would work. I didn't know would care or if it would even get published. I didn't know if I'd be able to tour with it or if people would want it signed or if it'll just be a vanity project and I would have eight boxes of books in my house forever.
Me: What's this movie you made called My Dinner With Jimi?
Howard: It's a comedy film I wrote. It won a bunch of awards and stuff but didn't make anybody but me any money, but I was smart enough and anticipate the famous no back end rule. I least got paid for the writing of the screenplay. I thought I would be an idiot if I didn't get paid for writing the screenplay. I was hunched over the typewriter for 7 months and I'm going to cross my fingers? It's a little indie, there is no money unless you're Napoleon Dynamite. Every solo project I have done is not for money, its just so I can get it off my fucking chest. I needed to make a record, I needed to write a book...
Me: How did the science fiction writing start?
Howard: I just love it. I love the genre, I've always loved it. In 1980, along with the drummer Joe Stekco I went to my first world fantasy convention in Providence, Rhode Island, and got into Miller at that time with Stephen King and Peter Straub, and Dean Koontz, and I think even Harlan was there at that particularly convention. Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut... and all these incredible people to me as an average reader of every science fiction I could find since Robert Heinlein in the fifth grade, these were stars to me. Beatlemania or all those type of conventions I could give a flying rats ass... they're not stars. I think that's kinda silly. Writers, the people that are really intelligenicier, those kind of people I don't mind hanging around with, and picking their brains and getting to know. I still correspond with a lot of those people that I met back then.
Me: When did you first start to write stories, Howard?
Howard: I started writing horror stories in high school. I fell in love with "The Twilight Zone" and Alfred Hitchcock and all that kind of twisty-turny you think you know what's happening and then you don't.
Me: You end your autobiography you don't know how much you could do this entertainment shit. It's 2018, and the book came out in 2013, and you are still touring. What gives?
Howard: Well, this entertainment shit meaning the stuff I did then, entertainment that I know it three months a year. That's the stuff that will tell you.
Me: You're a big pro-marijuana fan an advocate, right?
Howard: I am an advocate and I will stand up for it and fight and say hey yeah, I am that guy because I totally believe there is nothing toxic about it, its not a gateway to anything. I certainly would rather have a joint than a martini, and I feel a lot safer I'll tell you that. The world would be a lot better place but people have been saying that for 50 years. Now all of a sudden it's a political thing states can make money with it, they can tax it, they can run it through the system all of a sudden now it's fine. Dr. Phil will be endorsing it next. It doesn't matter, I don't need an endorsement. Like I say, if you can't learn it from a book you have to experience it. You can't talk about weed and not know what you're talking about. You can't talk about politics are religion and no half of what you're talking about.
Me: So, will you be touring for awhile?
Howard: Three months every year. I'm not gonna be one of those guys who is 70 and says, "I'm retiring, everybody" and then falls over. I'm dead. All I put into it, all the thought and all the time. It's meaningless because I spent all this time worrying about it. And in John Lennon's words, "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans." Well, I made my other plans, they've worked out very well, and now I'm at the apex where I feel I'm entitled to a little enjoyment for my time. I'm enjoying it. I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I've been semi-retired since the age of 17, and now I want to tell the world it's great to do that. Anybody who could do that, do it. Take that opportunity, break your band up, you got enough money be Michael Stipe. Walk away. I refuse to. I like to do the summer stuff because I know it's a tunnel with a three month entrance. I could see the light from the first day. I check them off one at a time and it's kinda like homework assignments. I'll do it for as long as I'm physically able.
Me: Cool. Howard, thanks so much for being on the Phile. So, good questions?
Howard: Yeah, good questions.
Me: Great. Continued success. Take care, sir. All the best. Any last advice?
Howard: My pleasure. I don't have any advice for anyone, because that's a fools game.
That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Howard for being on the Phile. He is a very unique guy and I hope to have him back on the Phile one day. The Phile will be back with Wil Shriner. 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