Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pheaturing Jim Babjak From The Smithereens

Hey, kids, good morning, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Did you march yesterday? I didn't, I had to work, but people marched everywhere. Thousands of people have taken to the streets as part of the March for Our Lives rally against gun violence. The gathering was organized by the Parkland shooting survivors who quickly took political action after losing 17 lives during the February 14th massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool. Towards the end of the Washington D.C. rally, the high-school senior Emma Gonzalez took the stage to give a powerful speech about the lives lost. "No one could comprehend the devastating aftermath or how far this reach or where this could go. For those who still can’t comprehend because they refuse to, I’ll tell you where it went. Right into the ground... six feet deep," Gonzalez began. Gonzalez then continued her speech by naming each of the 17 students who lost their lives over a month ago. She also listed many of the daily activities they'll never be able to do again: waving at friends, complaining about piano class, playing basketball, joking around at camp, walking to school, etc. After listing the names of the fallen, Gonzalez stood still, and faced the crown in silence for a full six minutes and 23 seconds. This silence precisely matched the duration of the shooting itself. When the period of silence was over, Gonzalez spoke again. "Since the time that I came out here, it has been six minutes and twenty seconds. The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape and walk free for an hour before arrest. Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job."
Unsurprisingly, the alt-right darling (aka Neo nazi) Tomi Lahren did not participate in the fight for gun reform. In fact, shortly after the Florida shooting hit the news, Lahren expressed more sympathy for the gun than the survivors. Her active choice to relate more to a gun than actual human beings feels painfully on-brand for a 25-year-old who tweets posters with the header Dear Liberal Snowflakes. And now, as if to hammer in her psychosexual love of guns, Lahren posted an Instagram selfie with a gun tucked into the crotch of her yoga pants. Here it is...

And she wrote...

Happy Sunday everyone, don't forget to protect yourself from the liberal elite with a loaded gun facing your genitals.
Taylor Swift has finally made a political statement. Her fans are gonna hate hate hate hate hate. Throughout her whole career, Taylor Swift's strategy for world domination involved remaining as apolitical as possible. Tay Tay's been all about getting that paper from both liberals (Girl Power!!) and conservatives (white supremacists literally call her an "Aryan goddess"). While Swift still has yet to formally distance herself from the master race, On Friday she spoke up for something that's really gonna piss off her neo-Nazi fans: the right to not get shot. That's right, Swift has publicly declared support for The March for Our Lives, the gun control movement started by survivors of the massacre in Parkland, Florida. She writes in the caption, "No one should have to go to school in fear of gun violence. Or to a nightclub. Or to a concert. Or to a movie theater. Or to their place of worship. I’ve made a donation to show my support for the students, for the March For Our Lives campaign, for everyone affected by these tragedies, and to support gun reform. I’m so moved by the Parkland High School students, faculty, by all families and friends of victims who have spoken out, trying to prevent this from happening again." Because this is Taylor Swift, this is BREAKING NEWS! People have opinions, including applauding her for using the money she might have gotten from Republicans to support something they oppose. Right on cue, conservatives are denouncing the squad. Welcome to the Cuck Zone, T-Swizzle!
Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who allegedly had an affair with Donald Trump back in 2006, sat down with Anderson Cooper on CNN Thursday night and described details that are disgusting, but not surprising. She divulged details of their "intimate" relations, so buckle up. McDougal said that after they had been intimate, Trump tried to pay her, which she found insulting and demeaning. "I just had this look, I just... I don't even know how to describe the look on my face. It must have been so sad, because I never have been offered money like that, number one, and number two, does he think I’m in this for money, and that's why I’m here tonight? Or is this a normal thing? I don't know," she explained. "But I looked at him and said, 'That's not me. I’m not that kind of girl.' And he looked at me and said, 'Oh,' and he said, 'You're really special.' And I said thank you." "I cried a lot. I felt really terrible [about] myself," she said. The two met when Trump was filming an episode of "The Apprentice" at the Playboy Mansion and Hugh Hefner threw a pool party for the Trumps to mingle with the bunnies. At the time, Trump was married to Melania, and their son Barron was just a few months old. McDougal said that the affair lasted ten months, and that they "spent a lot of time together." She kept a diary, indicating that they were together at least five times in one month.  She said that they had unprotected sex dozens of times. Cooper, almost certainly in light of Trump saying things like "If Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her," asked McDougal if he compared her to any of his children. And lo and behold, he did... He said I was beautiful like her and, you know, ‘you’re a smart girl’ and there wasn’t a lot of comparing but there was some, yeah. I heard a lot about her. Everyone instantly proceeded to vomit. If you recall, Trump said something similar to one of his other mistresses, and it made the front page of the "New York Daily News." Pardon my French, but Donald's obvious sexual fantasies is truly fucking disgusting and makes me throw up both my breakfast AND my dinner. At the end of the interview, McDougal issued an apology to another Trump woman: Melania. "I'm sorry... I wouldn't want it done to me," she said, holding back tears. In all likelihood, Melania is grateful to have outsourced that job.
Days before Stormy Daniels is set to appear on CBS' "60 Minutes" to discuss her alleged affair with Donald Trump, the adult film star's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, teased Twitter with this very cryptic tweet...

The picture appears to show a CD-rom in an opened safe. Wait, CD-rom? Geez, I have seen one of those since like, 2006. Wait. 2006? Isn't that when... OH GOD. I think I speak for all Americans... Republican, Democrat or otherwise... when I say OH GOD PLEASE NO SEX TAPE THAT WOULD BE THE MOST PAINFUL 40 SECONDS OF MY LIFE. Of course, anything could be on this CD... pictures, audio recordings, video... Days before Donald Trump took office, Daniels signed a nondisclosure agreement and received $130,000 to remain silent about their 2006 alleged affair. Since then, Daniels has claimed that the agreement is invalid because Trump did not sign it. The White House and Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, deny that the affair ever occurred. Well, tonight should definitely be interesting. What do you think is on the CD?
It's only been 38 days since the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Highschool where 17 innocent people lost their lives. Sadly, in that short month alone, 73 more teens have lost their lives to senseless gun violence. While there are countless signs that articulately express feelings of dissent, in the next month or so I will be showing you some of the signs that people had at the March. Here's the first...

If I had a TARDIS I would maybe like to go to China for a brief moment, but knowing my luck I'll end up at Tiananmen Square right in front of Tank Man.

If you have bad luck I hope it's better than this guys luck...

So, are you a Philadelphia Flyers fan? Have you seen their new logo?

Hahaha. Okay, photoshop is amazing but there's a few things that look photoshopped but not. Like this dog for instance...

Hahahaha. So, I saw this poster...

And it looked familiar, I could't think where I saw it before... and then it hit me...

Yup. Did you see the teaser trailer for the Christopher Robin movie? One thing kinda confused me about it... take a look at this screen shot.

Weird, right? So, I go to Walmart maybe once a week and I never see anybody looking weird. So maybe weird looking or dressed people don't normally go to Walmart... and then...

Ummm. There are no words.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, a friend of the Phile seems to have a struggling life. I think he means well but something unlucky keeps happening to him. I was wondering how he was doing so I invited him back on the Phile to see what's up. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hey, Dindo, how are you? What's new?

Dindo: Hi, Jason. I just got a brand new car.

Me: You did? Me too. so, how did it go?

Dindo: I was in a bit of a rush to buy myself a car. I had a nice little nest egg of $20,000 put aside just for this purchase. I did a bunch of private inspections around our area, but I just couldn't find one I wanted. I finally stumbled across the perfect car for me, great mileage (all country driving), full service history and in excellent condition.

Me: Nice. So, was there a problem?

Dindo: Yeah, the only problem was the seller was on the other side of the country. For whatever reason I decided to contact the dude and organize the purchase. After the money transfered, the ad disappeared and so did the car owner.

Me: What? Dindo, what has been going through your head? You should of went to see my friend Frankie at Mullinax Ford.

Dindo: I don't know. It's been five weeks and they never caught the fraudster and I never got my 20k back.

Me: So, you didn't really get a new car...

Dindo: Sadly no.

Me: Dindo, and you readers, don't ever buy a car without inspecting it and don't treat private car sales like a drunk Amazon purchase. Dindo, take care. Come back on the Phile soon.

Dindo: Thanks, Jason.

Me: Dindo Nuffin, everyone. Man, oh man.

Hahaha. I might've actually said the same thing before... race car spelt backwards is race car though. Moving on...

Good news for everyone who wants to see two septuagenarians get into a fist fight... President Donald Trump has challenged former Vice President Joe Biden to a duel. Trump tries to shut down Biden's bullying by giving him a mean nickname. The spry 71-year-old has tweeted out how he imagines a fistfight with the 75-year-old would go, telling him not to threaten him because the former veep "would go down fast and hard." No, that's not a euphemism.

The "threat" Trump refers to is Biden's remarks at an anti-sexual assault rally he addressed at the University of Miami on Tuesday. Responding to Trump's notoriously crude remarks about women ("Grab them by the pussy," in case you forgot), Biden said, "They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘No.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him." The former jock doubled down by asserting his credentials and referring to Trump's "Locker Room Talk" defense. "I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. I’m a pretty damn good athlete. Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room," he said. Damn. The first time Biden fantasized about beating Trump up was during the campaign, when in equally jock-y language, he said he wanted to fight Trump "behind the gym." This tweet is noteworthy not only because it's the president spending his time threatening an American dignitary, but it marks the first time Trump has addressed Biden by one of his classic Trumpy nicknames... Crazy Joe! While Crazy Joe Biden is no masterpiece like Liddle Bob Corker, by getting a Trump nickname, Joe Biden has finally made something of himself. Congrats!

Shania, if you're out there come on the Phile. You have a new album "Now" you need to promote.

The 77th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

David will be the guest on the Phile tomorrow.

And now for some...

Phact 1. Socrates was very worried that the increasing use of books in education would have the effect of ruining students’ ability to memorize things. We only remember this now because Plato wrote it down.

Phact 2. Frankie Muniz suffers from long-term memory loss and doesn’t even remember being on "Malcolm in the Middle."

Phact 3. United Airlines has repeatedly killed more pets per year than any other U.S. airline.

Phact 4. Robert Smalls was a slave who freed himself his crew and their families by overtaking Confederate ship, CSS Planter, and sailing it north. The ship contained a codebook letting them pass CSA checkpoints. He became the new captain of the ship and convinced Lincoln to admit African Americans to the Army.

Phact 5. The bikini was named after a Pacific island the United States bombed during nuclear testing, displacing the entire population and rendering the island uninhabitable. The bikini was supposed to have the same “explosive” effect on men who saw women wearing it.

Okay, back in December Pat DiNizio, the lead singer and guitarist for one of my favorite bands the Smithereens was supposed to be on the Phile but sadly on December 12th, just a few days before he passed away. I am such a big fan of the band I wanted to interview to the next best thing, and that would be lead guitarist Jim Babjak. So, please welcome to the Phile from the Smithereens... Jim Babjak.

Me: Hello, Jim, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Jim: Hanging in there. How are you?

Me: The same. Man, last year fucking sucked, right? You lost your wife Betty from cancer and Pat DiNizio, the lead singer in the band, who was supposed to be on the Phile last December passed away from a long illness. How have you been with all that?

Jim: Hahaha. I didn't know you were gonna start with all that. My wife actually passed away almost two years ago now. It's okay. I've been getting lots of support. Other people are having a tougher time with it all but I have a day job, and the guys in the band. I cook for my kids and try to teach them so one day they can make me a meal. My wife and I both cooked but I cooked a lot. It comes in waves, sometimes it would just hit me, this sadness would come over me for no reason. Maybe a song on the radio or something.

Me: Awe. I lost both of my parents in 2000 so I kinda get what you mean, Jim. Okay, so, I was doing some research on you and Wikipedia says you work at a bank. Is that true?

Jim: Well, I can't really say. Haha. Well, in the handbook it says I'm not supposed to talk about it in public. It's actually a corporate bank, I work in a cubicle, and there are some people there now who know I'm in a band since Pat's death, but for many, many years I was just a guy who sits in a cubicle. It's funny sometimes someone would come up to my desk and say, "I Googled you, man." Hahaha. 

Me: Do you ever get recognized there at all?

Jim: You know what it is, most of the people that work there are Korean, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Trinidad (my boss is from Trinidad), they have no idea who U2 is, let alone Smithereens. They are like in a while different world. The job that I do is very simple, I know Wikipedia says banker but I'm nothing like a banker. I do the same stuff that a college kid can do. It's just a job.

Me: How did you end up working there though, Jim? Until last December The Smithereens were playing all the time.

Jim: My neighbor Andy was in the Twin Towers when it was hit... he survived, but he was on the 42nd floor and he worked at this bank I'm working at now. He brought me in in October a month later because I sheepishly said to him my wife wants me to get a job and he said there was an opening and I said wait a minute. I wasn't really serious. I didn't have any clothes, I just had t-shirts and jeans. Now I gotta go buy clothes. So, I went in and it was in New York, and it was right across the street from Radio City Music Hall. I actually looked out the window and I was tearing up like wow, I just played Radio City a few years ago and now I'm working at a cubicle. It was one of those what do I do moments. I had three young kids at the time and needed the health insurance. We weren't big then. Nirvana came out, and even though we were big influences on Kurt, all of a sudden we were old, dropped by Capitol. It's funny, we were on tour with the Ramones in '86 and we did a radio interview and Joey Ramone was with me, Dennis and Mike, it was in North Carolina, and they asked him how does it feel to be the godfather of punk and he said, "Well, it's nice but the people we influenced are making more money then we ever did."

Me: I have to ask you about songwriting for the Smithereens. Did Pat come to you with the guitar parts ready or did he say to you do your thing, and add your guitar parts?

Jim: It's all different because there are so many songs. With "Only a Memory" he came up with the riff, but I'm trying to think of other examples and I can't. I came up with other riffs... "Blues Before and After" was his... He even played the solo on that one actually, that's a different style. One of these days I'll make a list of who played what, I played most of the solo's obviously. Playing live I would take over his solo's because he had to concentrate on singing. Right from the beginning he couldn't tell me what to do, I always did my own thing. I just couldn't follow directions. Haha.

Me: I know how you feel. Okay, I have to ask you about your other band called Buzzed Meg. What does that mean?

Jim: I'm Hungarian and bazdmeg is a curse word in Hungarian, but I spell it phonetically, it's not spelt the way it is in Hungarian. It basically means "fuck it" or "fuck you." It's used in a lot of contact like the Italians and a lot of other nationalities. They love to curse. I just thought it sounded cool. I just needed a name for a band and that word popped in my head.

Me: Do you think you're gonna do other solo albums, Jim?

Jim: Oh, geez, yeah, I have two whole albums in the can. I played some stuff for my new girlfriend Cindy the other night, but life got in the way and I didn't think anybody would be interested and now I'm trying to figure out how to get it on iTunes. It's too complicated. Every year I say I'm gonna put it out. A lot of it is done, mixed and even mastered. I realized some of the songs are over 20-years-old already. I didn't think there was that much interest, but I will get to together. When my wife was sick I left my website lapse with the payment or whatever and somebody bought my domain name. I had to pay $370 to get it back, so I have to start over. It's very basic right now but I'll get it back together. The main job is boring, but now I'm not touring with the Smithereens... I wish music would be my priority.

Me: Crazy! Okay, so, when I first moved here to Florida from England my friend Jim introduced me to you guys as he was a big fan. He had your first two albums on cassette I think. I interviewed Marshall Crenshaw and he talked about playing on "White Castle Blues." Where did that song come from?

Jim: That was written with a friend of mine in high school, and we wrote it in high school. Dennis suggested, as we had little time left, and Don Dixon who was our producer at the time said, "Hey, Jim, do you wanna do that hamburger song?" I'm like okay, so, it was done in one take live. That was such a crazy thing, and what happened with Enigma Records at the time was they said, "Well, we are gonna put this as a bonus cut on the CD." CDs were kinda new then and they wanted people to buy the CDs rather than the vinyl. They figured they could entice them with this hamburger song. Haha. It doesn't really belong on the record but it ended up on the record. As a result my friend Bob Banta, who wrote the lyrics and myself who wrote the music ended up in the White Castle Hall of Fame because of the song. They have a hall of fame and every year they induct five people. White Castle calls me up and we found out they're making a movie called Harold and Kumar Go to Where Castle, and I'm thinking man, I'm a shoe in. I spoke to the director, told them about the song and sent them some t-shirts and stuff, and I said it'll be great for the end credits or something. He kept stringing me along saying he's not ready to do the soundtrack, then last time I called him he said it was already done. I was like are you kidding me?! I was really pissed off and the White Castle people didn't know and they're indicating them into the White Castle Hall of Fame many years later, and they invited me to their induction. I was like I'm really angry because they didn't put my song in the movie. They kinda shamed them into putting it on the soundtrack album which sold five copies. I never made a dime on that. The thing is I actually rerecorded it, that way I would own it, but they didn't use it so I'm out a thousand dollars. Ha!

Me: Stupid White Castle. I was in Chicago last week and I actually went to a White Castle for the the first time. In fact, I got a box of White Castle cheeseburgers in the fridge. Okay, so, the first CD I actually owned from you is "11." "A Girl Like You" was the first song of yours I really got into. Wasn't that song written for a movie originally?

Jim: Pat was friends with Cameron Crowe at the time and he sent him the script and wanted Pat to write a song for it. I think it was the scene where John Cusak is holding the radio over his head. Cameron thought with the lyrics it gave to much away with the plot. Something like that. The other thing I remember about that was Madonna was supposed to sing the girl part on that because we had the same manager at the time. The day she was supposed to come into the studio she canceled. The story was she was having a fight with Warren Beatty or something. At the time I was like really... Madonna? Whatever. I mean we had Belinda Carlisle on that album. We started to have guests, like on "Green Thoughts" we had Del Shannon come in.

Me: You played some kick ass guitar solos, Jim. Do you have a favorite?

Jim: My guitar on "Blood and Roses." Imagine my disbelief when it was played on rock radio when it first came out. This was song surrounded by Madonna and Michael Jackson, but it sounded great on the radio. When I first heard it on the radio I thought wow, this sounds a lot better than I thought. The solo for that song was from a song I was working on before I met Pat in the 70s. The sad part for me was Nissan used it for a commercial years ago and all they used was the bass line which Pat came up with and my solo. But I didn't get a fucking dime. I was told I don't get credit for a solo but I wrote it. It was mine. Hence the day job. Apparently they paid $250,000 for that song but I didn't get a penny. I was a little pissed off at the time.

Me: Yeah, music business sucks sometimes. My dad wrote "Slow Ride," he was Lonesome Dave from Foghat, and I have stories to tell you... so, "A Girl Like You" was the Smithereens first big hit. How did your life change after that, Jim?

Jim: LOVE Foghat! We played with Foghat at a festival a few years ago but it was after your dad passed. They were good, but it wasn't the same. Anyway, the crowds got bigger, we did more touring, and I had my first son. So, when we were off the road I didn't go out to clubs or see other bands, I was a stay at home dad basically. I started writing more songs, and that's when I came up with "Cut Flowers" and stuff. That was in '88, and in '88 I was able to buy a townhouse and I was able to buy a car. Not from records sales, but the money I made was from touring. It was months and months of touring. Record royalties we didn't really get... all who wrote the songs would get money obviously, but the royalties from the albums would be recouped because of the videos. Videos cost fifty grand or whatever. Matter of fact we still owe them. We did like 13 videos. I didn't find out until later when the record company took us out to dinner, or got a limo for us, or gave us CDs, all that got charged back to us. They would fly out to see us and we would be paying for it. They flew first class... I wasn't even flying first class. By the time I learned what was going on it was too late, the horse was outta the barn already.

Me: I have to ask about "Blow Up," which doesn't sound like a Smithereens record. Am I wrong? It sounds too slick. I love that album though. "Too Much Passion" is one of my favorite Smithereens songs though. I can imagine Paul Carrack doing that song.

Jim: Well, when you give something to the management at that time who had Madonna... Capital Records, with the success of "11," said we had to write another "A Girl Like You." With MTV they wanted a click track, so poor Dennis had to play to a click track. It wasn't the right time, and Nirvana just came out and we should of been doing what we were doing but that's the direction it went in because the powers that be that was what Pat was writing at the time. I did get to write "Now and Then" which got on there. It's one of my favorites. It was just the time, and when you hear the songs live they sound a lot more tougher and they rock a lot more. They had to slick it up for radio.

Me: Did you learn anything at this time or any other time?

Jim: Yeah, don't listen to the fucking record company. With the 2011 album there was no record company, well, there was, but we just did what we wanted to do.

Me: "A Date With The Smithereens" is a great album, right? Wasn't that on RCA?

Jim: It was. They just signed Dave Mathews and ZZ Top, and they weren't gonna spend any money on promoting us. It was all about Dave Matthews and I think they signed ZZ Top for 5 million or something so the tried to recoup their stupidity. We just got swept under a rug but it was a different album, a darker album. Pat was going through a divorce and wrote "Afternoon Tea" and "Love Is Gone."

Me: So, why did Mike Mesaros, the original bass player leave the band? Apart from him you guys had the same line up over your whole career.

Jim: That's something for the book. Haha. He's private but he came back to do some shows with us. It's one of those things, that after my wife died a friend of ours in California died from a brain tumor he thought life is short and maybe he should do a couple of shows.

Me: Fair enough. I have to mention the Beatles tribute album "Meet the Smithereens!" What a cool album! Was that fun to do?

Jim: Yeah, but I didn't know all those songs. The night I went in I did a crash course and figured out how to play all those songs at once.

Me: So, whose idea was to do this album?

Jim: Nobody at the time, not even the smallest record label, wanted an original album by us. That's the record industry... they are all worried about the numbers and the profile... blah blah blah. We were still playing sold out shows in a lot of cities, but their was no belief in us. It was like the 40th anniversary of "Meet the Beatles" or something Pat just had this brainstorm and asked why don't we rerecord the "Meet the Beatles" album. I was thinking is he nuts? I didn't wanna do it, I mean, it's the Beatles. I didn't wanna do a Beatles cover album. What happened was I had a lot of fun doing it, I felt like a kid again. I really did, because it was one of my favorite records. The strange thing that happened was it took off on its own, we didn't have to publicize it or anything. Someone in the "New York Times" did a weekend feature, like a two whole page article about how great it was, and then we started getting more gigs because people were like where have we been. It's like we've been around, we haven't been able to tour in Nebraska but we played Chicago, the major cities like New York and everything, So, it kinda brought us back into the public eye in a way. Then with social media, I don't think Facebook was around yet, there was more activity on the Internet and I think that helped spread. A lot of people that liked us in college who are now older were like the Smithereens are still around, we'll go see them. The record sold really well then it snowballed after that. So we wanted to do another one, so we did the B-sides Beatles album. Then we decided to do a Christmas album.

Me: I saw on iTunes you guys rerecorded the Who's "Tommy." How did that happen?

Jim: Dennis and I when we were kids at 14 used to play a lot of those songs in my garage. Pat would see us goofing around at sound check doing songs like "Pinball Wizard," and he said it's the anniversary of "Tommy," why don't we rerecord the "Tommy" album? I said, "Okay, but I'm not doing 'Uncle Ernie.'" Hahaha. It's not appropriate anymore, I'm scared of people in this politically correct world. So we did like a good selection of songs from that and it turned out pretty great. I'm actually very pleased with it.

Me: So, do you guys ever feel unappreciated, Jim?

Jim: Yeah! Of course. I think about that while I'm sitting in the cubicle. Hahaha. I don't know, we kept on going. I love to play. I wish I had the luxury of going int the studio and create all the time. There are people that would give their left pinky to be in the Smithereens but here I am wishing I had time and money to write songs all the time. I have a back lot of about 60 songs that I can't afford to record or don't have the time to record, then there's the stuff that is finished. It's the thing that life gets in the way, and paying the mortgage, and putting food on the table is priority. Especially I have kids, well, they're kinda grown now, but still. We never had real champions... well, there was Kurt Cobain but then he died. I'm sure if he was still around I might be doing something with him right now, like a side project or something. There weren't enough people championing us I guess.

Me: Have you ever been asked to be in another band?

Jim: Yeah, but it's few and far between. Joey Ramone asked Mike to join the Ramones but that was back in 1988. Mike declined because he was with us.

Me: Ahhh. So, what was your favorite thing that happened to you when you were in the Smithereens?

Jim: Wow, there's a lot of things. I can't believe we were on "Saturday Night Live." That blows my mind but it didn't at the time. At the time it just felt like I was doing normal stuff but now I'm thinking back I'm thinking wow, we toured Europe, we toured Australia, we played at Carnegie Hall, crazy shit like that.

Me: So, do you have any regrets with your musical career?

Jim: That's a tough one because I don't think you should have regrets. There were times that I did, especially in the 90s where my career was down in the tubes I wished I never joined the band. I was supposed to move to Arizona with my dad. I actually talked my parents into selling everything and moving to Arizona because my dad had a tavern at the time. It'll all be in my book someday. I stayed behind because the band just started and in 1980. I thinking business person I would of made a lot more money than I do now and have more opportunities.

Me: So, now that Pat has passed what now for you and the band, Jim?

Jim: I don't know. Everything happens for a reason. There's a plan out there for us. I can try to alter it but basically whatever happens is gonna happen. I can try to change things but ultimately is my decision. Like I decided not to move to Arizona with my dad, I decide to stay here and play in a band. My dad was really angry with me for five years when the first record came out and was on the charts and all of a sudden he was a proud dad. But before that he was very angry that I let him down because we were supposed to go into business together. He needed his left hand. In Jersey, we had a tavern, and I worked there seven days week. We lived a the top of the bar and I would stock the beer coolers before I went to school, and I sweeped the floors. I had all the chores to do running a business. By the time I was 18 I was ordering the liquor and managing the place. I was much more mature then. When I joined the band I kinda regressed.

Me: So, what happened to Pat? Can you say?

Jim: He took a fall and hurt his neck, then died. We actually began working on some new songs before he passed.

Me: Jim, I wish you continued success no matter what you do. I know my friend Jim who turned me on to you guys would wanna say thanks for the great music over the years and my condolences on Pat's passing, and your wife, and I wish you a great 2018. Please come back when your book comes out, or your music. Go ahead and plug your websites...

Jim: Thanks, Jason, people like you make us keep on going. It's definitely not the money. Haha. Take care.,

Me: Great! Take care.

That about does it for this entry. Thanks to Joe for a great interview. I regret never seeing the band live. Ugh. Okay, the Phile will be back tomorrow with David Frankham. 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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