Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. I'm sorry I reminded you it's only Tuesday. Let'd start with a story about Taylor Swift. She has zero time for the gendered double standards present in many interview questions. Her years in the spotlight have firmly given her the status of a veteran interviewee, and it showed in a recent exchange when she fully shut down a question she didn't like. During a recent chat with the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Swift was asked about her upcoming 30th birthday, and whether that will be the "turning point" where she will choose to be a mother. Rather than dive into the topic of motherhood, one completely irrelevant to her current music career, Swift called out the inherent double standard in the question. "I really don't think that men would be asked this question when they turn 30. So I'm not going to answer that now." She then went on to share that she looks forward to her 30s, and the ways she anticipates she'll feel more at home with herself than in her 20s. But still, she plans to take risks and make inevitable mistakes in the next decade. "I hear others say that in your 30s you don't have as much stress and anxiety in your life as in your 20s, and I can add the observation that we in our 20s are on the search, to gain experience, try things out, fail, make mistakes." She said, "And I definitely plan to try and fail things in my 30s as well. But I expect that in our 30s we know a bit better about who we are. The closer I get to it, the more I feel that that's what will happen. I hope it will." Her fans, upon reading the interview, immediately applauded the straight forward way of addressing a question commonly leveraged at female artists, but rarely (if ever) asked of male artists. Regardless of what her 30s holds in store, it seems clear she has found honest ways to navigate the firestorm of media appearances.
Though the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, each state can enact its own restrictions on it. The more politically conservative the state, the more difficult it usually is to access abortion. Six states have only one abortion clinic left, of which Kentucky is one. NowThisNews.com dispatched video from Kentucky's single abortion clinic of a woman simply entering its doors and it's heartrending to watch. She's assisted by clinic escorts while anti-choice protestors harass her on all sides. Needless to say, once this video began circulating on Twitter, its content disturbed viewers. Responses were rife with anger, disbelief, and gratitude for the escorts. Here's a screen shot of the video...
They're doing the Lord's work, truly. In some states of Australia these assholes have to be 150 meters from any clinic to protest and if they go closer they are arrested. Some people took it court saying they were fighting for unborn lives but the judge threw it out court. Should have a safe zone. I like this "safe zone" idea. Here's to hoping reproductive justice is possible, despite these kinds of odds.
In case you missed it, Rudy Giuliani still has access to the Internet, which means he is busy doing tweets that give the world confoundment, confusion, and joy?! The question mark was purposeful, because many have expressed bewilderment about how to actually feel. Most of us with Twitter, have at one point or another made a typo in a tweet and later erased the fumbled version of our sentiment only to replace it with a shiny, better version. But few among us can claim a tweet glow-up as extreme as Giuliani's most recent tweets about Nancy Pelosi. If you're confused by that sentence: welcome. Here is the first tweet written by Giuliani, full of letters, but possibly no actual English words, "ivesssapology for a video which is allegedly is a caricature of an otherwise halting speech pattern, she should first stop, and apologize for, saying the President needs an 'intervention.'" Here is the tweet he wrote immediately after, which we can only assume is the sentiment he was trying to communicate in the first tweet...
Most people, in Giuliani's shoes, would delete the first gibberish version immediately. But not him, this art remains up on the Internet, where the responses and flooded in. People are concerned and full of questions, all of which are reasonable to ask. There are a lot of questions about Ivessapology, who is she?! What are those words, if they are words?! It would be a grand understatement to say that Giuiliani's original tweet full of gibberish ended up greatly outshining his second tweet, with actual words about Pelosi. Needless to say, this would suggest that Giuliani was beyond ready to party it up this Memorial Day Weekend, which gives him one thing in common with a large portion of America.
Sometimes trying to do the "right" thing can go very, very wrong. That's what happened recently to a man in Richmond, Virginia who tried to rescue a "cat" he found with its head stuck in his fence. But there's one (huge) problem... it was not in fact a "cat"... at least, not the kind of cat you want to bring in to your home. The attempted Good Samaritan posted photos of the "cat" (not a cat) on Craigslist in hopes of finding its owner. pet him. Here is a pic of the "cat" (definitely not a cat!!!!!) ransacking his home, because no good deed goes unpunished!!!
As you have probably figured out on your own, this is a wild bobcat... a species of cat, sure... but a species that lives in the wild and is not domesticated in any sense of the word, as the photos show. Washington Post journalist Christopher Ingraham brought the story to the public's attention, with a tweet about the hilarious mishap which has since gone viral. And since then, the attempted Good Samaritan was apparently made aware of his mistake thanks to the Internet. In a hilarious edit to the original post, he explained that his mistake was due to not being American and not knowing what a bobcat is (fair enough!). He also said that the bobcat has since been released into the wild, where it belongs. So next time you try to rescue an animal, just be 100% sure you know what kind of animal it is before you bring it in to your home. Because otherwise it could come for your Whole Foods groceries and we all know that's a damage none of us can afford.
If you've been on the Internet in the last eight years, and even more so in the past few weeks, then you know without a doubt that "Game of Thrones" is the ship that launched 1000 memes. Whether you're looking to laugh or cry, you're looking specifically for "Game of Thrones" memes about how hot Gendry is or memes about Sansa taking the throne, there is a meme for everyone in this boundless sea of the web. To add to this beautiful garden full of "Game of Thrones" jokes, there is in fact a thread dedicated to drawing cinematic parallels between "Game of Thrones" and Shrek, and it is pure art.
From the way the characters look down to their costume details, the parallels between Shrek and "Game of Thrones" is uncanny. Could it be that Shrek has become so deeply embedded in the cultural psyche that some of this seeped out of the subconscious of all involved?! The more I look at these similarities, the more I can't look away, nor do I want to. It's wild to see just how uncanny the similarities are. Did the costume designer of "Game of Thrones" use Shrek as source material? Because this is truly beautiful and wild. Both Shrek and "Game of Thrones" have dragons with lots of personality, dragons that won't take no for an answers, dragons that love passionately (am I getting too carried away?!). There are wolves roaming about in both of them, doing human things, as mystical wolf types do. At this point it feels surprising that Smashmouth didn't make an appearance in the "Game of Thrones" theme song. Hopefully now, when you go back to rewatch "Game of Thrones,"you'll feel the spirit of Shrek ushering you along in your viewing experience.
Like I said yesterday, the abortion bans threatening women's health and autonomy popping up across the nation have also spawned protests from coast to coast. Groups including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union organized rallies and from Michigan to Mississippi, people stood up for a woman's right to choose. Here's an abortion ban protest sign from Washington D.C...
If I had a TARDIS I would like to go see Alfred Hitchcock, but knocking my luck he'll be at Cannes in France and would ride away on a bike.
So, I told you about the similarities between "Game of Thrones" and Shrek, right? Well, there is something else when I saw it reminded me of Shrek.
When I saw this I thought I saw it before... and then it hit me...
See? Also when I saw this...
It reminded me of something and then it hit me...
Hahahahahahahahahahaha. I crack myself up sometimes. So, do you know who Smokey the Bear is? Well, I'm not sure what to think about his new campaign poster...
Hmmm. Yesterday I told you about Trump throwing a temper tantrum about impeachment in the Rose Garden and he had props. Well, he did the same thing earlier today...
Hahahaha. Not Burger King! Is your kid is school as smart as this kid?
Hahahahaha. That's great.
If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, do you remember the 90s? well, there's this guy who thinks it's still the 90s. Please welcome back to the Phile...
Me: Hey, Ed, how are you doing?
Ed: Hey, dude, I'm bangin'.
Me: Okay, good, so what's up?
Ed: I couldn't sleep last night.
Me: Me neither. Why couldn't you sleep?
Ed: Nothin' like being startled awake by one of these falling on your head in the middle of the night...
Ed: That ever happened to you, dude?
Me: Nope. Can't say it has. Never had those.
Ed: Oh, man, they're dope. Okay, I'm gonna go and rent a movie at Blockbuster. See ya later, dude.
Me: See ya. Ed Enistink, the guy who lives in the 90s.
All your hair belongs to him now. BOW TO THE HAIR KING!
The 99th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Leonard's son Adam will be the guest on the Phile on Monday.
This guy sees a sign in front of a house "Talking Dog for Sale." He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the back yard. The guy goes into the back yard and sees a mutt sitting there. "You talk?" he asks. "Yep," the mutt replies. "So, what's your story?" The mutt looks up and says, "Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leader, cause no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired." The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. The owner says, "Ten dollars." The guy says he'll buy him but asks the owner, "This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him?" The owner replies, "He's such a fucking liar."
Sometime in June I think. I'll let you kids know.
Today's guest is a singer and songwriter who is best known for his work with the hard rock band White Lion. His latest solo CD "Stray from the Flock" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Mike Tramp.
Me: Hey, Mike, welcome to the Phile, man. How are you?
Mike: I'm doing good.
Me: You're not from the states, right? Where are you from?
Mike: Denmark. That is where I was born and raised, just in case somebody wondered what the hell I'm from.
Me: You were originally the lead singer in the band White Lion, and now doing some acoustic shows with John Corabi. What is that like?
Mike: Well, it's an interesting question because I sometimes feel it's not promoted in the correct way. Because we're caring, both John and I, but let's just stick to me for this interview. I'm carrying this name and this logo with me everywhere I go from 33 years ago called White Lion. We had some major hits and were a very successful band in the early 80s, but it is 33 years ago and even though people don't know it I've done 14 albums and 11 solo albums which are very, very consistent.
Me: What do you mean, Mike? You don't want to talk about White Lion?
Mike: Meaning in the second I've recorded my first solo album in '96 and up until now when I released my 11th solo album I've been on one straight path with no side turns at all.
Me: So, are you still playing White Lion songs?
Mike: Yes, to answer your question I am including songs from the past mixed in with the songs that I play from my solo albums. All of it will tell you that this songwriter and singer on stage has, band aside, been the same all along the way. The haircut, the videos and the image that were portrayed in the 80s but when I was sitting in my basement writing these songs on an acoustic guitar that way that I learned back in the late 60s, early 70s in Copenhagen, Denmark, I am exactly that person today.
Me: Okay. I love your new album "Stray from the Flock," Mike. The songs seem very positive, would you agree?
Mike: Yeah. I have my own little AC/DC world with no disrespect to one of my favorite bands but the things is I want to be something on the spice shelf, that when you reach forward you know exactly what it is. If it's cinnamon, or if it's sugar cane and pepper, you know it's something else. You don't stand there and go "I wonder what this is gonna taste like." So all I ever wanted to be was "Mike Tramp," and I went through the 80s and had a wonderful great time and ran my wild horses to the ground and when I got back up I realized all I wanted to do was just be me. Once I remove the 80s sound, 80s look and just have the songwriter and solo artist left, this is how I sound. When you hear me perform the White Lion songs with just me and an acoustic guitar that's just how the songs were written.
Me: Do you collaborate when you write or do you write by yourself?
Mike: All the songs for White Lion were written together with guitar player Vito Bratta. We used to sit in front of each other, Vito would sit with his Strat and I would sit with an acoustic guitar and it'll just be like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Springsteen meeting Van Halen, Led Zeppelin on the other side. Out of that came White Lion, some great guitar playing with some great melodies.
Me: How would you compare White Lion's music to other bands in your genre back then, Mike?
Mike: Without putting myself in a box separate from the other ones there is definitely a big difference between Ratt, Cinderella, Poison, Mötley Crüe, and then White Lion. All you need to do is pick up the album and put it on and you will see that. One of the major differences is that I was raised as a kid in Copenhagen, Denmark with his big eyes open to the world but also very much inspired by folk music and that is through background. Ted Nugent and Van Halen, even though they were rock favorites of mine are not my inspiration when it comes to songwriting.
Me: When you were on Atlantic Records back then did you find pressure to be something that you weren't?
Mike: To be fair to both the label and to ourselves and to all the people around us there was both the good and the bad side. We never had any pressure on having to write in any specific way. On the other hand I feel that in many ways the people working close to us on the record company were just as new to what was happening in the 80s as we were in the band, Because I have all the answers now 20/20 hindsight looking back, I have the answers to everything that went right and everything that went wrong and why all these things happened. What I didn't have was the answers in 1987.
Me: What was it like being in the band back then? I vaguely remember White Lion.
Mike: One of the biggest stories was after being on the road for a year and a half selling millions of records we were given absolutely zero time to come up with the follow up albums. The biggest gripe there was what the band needed more than anything a departure away from everything, from the fans, from the magazines, from the video. But instead we ended up going back on the road with a new album seven months after our final show on the "Pride" tour and it was way, way, way too soon. This is the first step of where we slowly started already going the wrong way.
Me: Do you write on a deadline now and have pressure to write or were the songs on the new album written over time?
Mike: Jason, let's get real here... in the 80s I was selling millions of records, now I'll sell 10,000 copies around the world. That's one way that basically means that I am my own manager, I am the only songwriter of all my albums, I am the producer, and the instigator and in many cases I'm also the bank. So I write songs when I write songs and I record an album when I'm ready to record it and I release it when it seems right. All these three things have been coming very, very easy to me. I cannot pick up a guitar without writing a song because it's flowing out of me at the moment and I do feel that my albums stand up to the best of the best. That it doesn't sell millions is just more about how the business is. I have only so much to much to promote, etc, etc, I don't get on the radio the same way any more. But all that aside I am 100% in control of my career and my business and stuff like that.
Me: Do you find doing everything yourself enjoyable?
Mike: It is very much enjoyable because I'm not told what to do, I only do it because I want to do it. This music is screaming to get out and my lyrics is an extension of my soul, my heart, my feelings, my problems, my happiness, everything. There's not one thing in any of these songs that is not 100% me. Most of all I'm current, I'm 57-years-old, in 2019 I am not going to try and pretend or sing like I'm 27-years-old.
Me: Your music does sound genuine. Do you think other bands act like it's 1989 and this is their follow up to their 1987 album nowadays? Their are guys our ages still singing about getting loaded in bars and shit. Hahaha.
Mike: It's a big issue, man, and I cannot write that way. I don't have the rights to sit and put anybody down in that way but I find it really, really, really wrong. That they are up there in their mid-60s and they're writing lyrics that they're about to release another album in the 80s and go on tour with Ozzy Osborne. It's just goddamn ridiculous. I wonder how the hell they feel when they're asleep. I really do feel that I have some sort of responsibility and I'm not drawing big crowds and I'm okay with that. Most likely and in most situations when I play the U.S., I drive my own rental car, I put up my own guitar and my little microphones and I sell the t-shirts after the show, the people that I meet are the ones that have moved along and grown and are now a family and I really do think that they should be given something more than tits and ass and beer in the lyrics. They can go any moment go back in their album collection or listen to shows like "Where Are They Now?" or "Hair Today and Hair Gone Tomorrow" but when they come to my show I'm going to take them through a therapy session, I'm going to throw some funny stories in there but I'm definitely not going up there and shake my ass and pretend. I'm going to invite them deep into my soul and when I am done they will know what kind of bedding I sleep under.
Me: Alright. So, who is one of your favorite singers of all time?
Mike: I love Steve Perry. Since I heard him the first time and I have been waiting for decades for Steve to get back. Not that he's the only one because he was one of my favorite singers, he still is and I love him to death so I welcome him back with open arms, man.
Me: So, do you think White Lion will ever get back together?
Mike: This is another thing I have to gripe with... everybody in rock and roll has the rights to do whatever they want. I'm not going to sit in my house in Copenhagen, Denmark and point fingers but the fact of the matter is as great as Journey has been able to pull this off with this new young singer from the Philippines, it's almost like one day they decide just to "exchange their wife with a younger woman." I think it's wrong, I say to people when they ask will their be a White Lion reunion. First of all there isn't, and number 2) if the only way I can say you will believe it then I'm going to say it this way... I can not be Mike Tramp 27-years-old in 2019. I can't sing like this, I can't do the show like this and I don't want to do it! It doesn't stop bands like Kiss. It's a joke, man, I wonder how they sleep at night. No matter how much money they make I'll tell you you cannot pay me enough, I will not go on stage and fight my way through a song I cannot sing. What a horrible feeling that would be to do. What happened to rock and roll integrity? Is Joe Namath or Terry Bradshaw out there still playing football?
Me: Ummm... no...
Mike: That rock and roll feel, they got carte blanche and they're never to old to do it. We're not talking about B.B. King sitting on a chair playing the blues but long hair rock and roll has an expiring date.
Me: You spent many years with White Lion and sold many records with them, do you ever wish you had those days again?
Mike: We belong to the days when you walk into a record store and there's all different categories and stuff like that. I believe in the category "Those Who Moved On." I move on with grace and I move on with respect to the past. When I play the White Lion songs on stage and I tell some stories and stuff like that it's because these are my songs I don't go out there and ask the venues to promote me. Why do I always have to be the voice of White Lion? Why can't I just be Mike Tramp? I don't mind being the voice of White Lion, etc, etc, it just the way it is. To all your readers out there, they can choose what side they want to be on in what I say I just need to let everybody know I came from very little and I have both of my feet on the ground and I'm happy with what I do. I couldn't go up there and do what I did anymore, man. Actually in 2005 and 2007 I did some Mike Tramp's White Lion across the U.S.A. and do you know what, there weren't that many people coming out. So don't give me all this thing about White Lion this and White Lion that, you know what, listening to the "Pride" album, that is what White Lion was.
Me: So, have you ever thought about going out as White Lion again?
Mike: Vito Bratta and myself who founded this band on total agreeance that we were not going to do that and I even apologized to Vito for doing this little run and in many ways maybe tainting the name. It was just my weakness for a short period of time when I didn't maybe believe my solo career would be strong enough but all I needed to do was go out there and test the water and find out I didn't want to do it. Also I couldn't do it anymore, it didn't feel right to go up there. It didn't feel right to go up there and stand and pose and say this bullshit that I said in the 80s.
Me: Do you miss those days at all?
Mike: The 80s were great, we had a great time but it's 2019. I fathered three kids.
Me: So, what is it like going on tour with John Corabi? Did you know him before?
Mike: John and I are old friends. To me it's like two cowboys meeting in the middle of the prairie, sitting down around the campfire and shooting the crap. Just reminisce around everything we have done, not being bitter about it. Man, we've been so lucky and I thank every person that comes out to the show, I thank everybody who writes a nice comment on Facebook, everybody person that buys my album, whatever, man, and just understand what it is. We don't want to be anymore than we are. The world's best Mike Tramp, 57-years-old, it's what I do, it's the only thing I know what to do.
Me: Very cool. Mike, take care, and I hope you'll come back on the Phile again soon.
Mike: Thanks, man.
Hahaha. That pretty much does it for this entry of the Phile. I don't know if Mike enjoyed this interview or not, but I say thank you to him. And I really do like this CD. The Phile will be back on Monday with Adam Cohen. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon
Monday, May 27, 2019
I'm alive!! Alive but very sore from my procedure. Anyway, how are you? Welcome to the Phile for a Monday... Memorial Day. We will not forget. If you're going to travel today be safe. The only traffic I plan to encounter this Memorial Day is on the Internet. This is what Memorial Day weekend and Memorial Day is all about.
It's remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives serving and fighting for our great country. It's NOT about barbecues, camping, parties, and store sales. R.I.P. to ALL the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives for us to be able to be “free." Okay, now I said that let's move on...
Y'all know who Jon Voight is? He's an actor on Showtime's "Ray Donovan," where he plays the title character's father. He won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1978 for playing a Vietnam veteran in Coming Home. You might've seen him playing opposite real-life daughter Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He and Angelina's relationship can be complicated. Mr. Voight is making headlines for video messages he shared on Twitter in which he defends President Donald Trump and calls him "the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln." Though Voight's been an ardent supporter of Trump's, his recent missives still shocked Twitter. Comparing Trump to Lincoln is the anvil that broke the donkey's back, it seems. Jon Voight? Sir, we need you to sit down... and confer with Angelina so she'll talk some sense into you.
Most of us grow up with a general sense of how difficult it is to give birth. When the subject comes up, countless women regale the masses with stories of trial and tribulation, much in the style of a veteran. They survived the miracle, but the process itself isn't for the faint of heart or body. Many of us have heard that it's the worst pain imaginable, something that is difficult to describe if you haven't experienced it. While the concept of pushing a human being out of your body doesn't need persuasion to sound painful, promoting a more comprehensive public understanding of the realities of birth is a win for reproductive health. The more everyone understands the realities of the pain of child birth, and women's reproductive pain in general, the less women will be gaslit about their physical experiences in both social situations and medical settings. Visual representations can do a lot for public understanding, especially when it comes to pain, so when the SCV Birth Center posted a photo showing how much a cervix dilates during the birthing process, it quickly went viral. Seeing the visual of how much a woman's body changes during the labor process really summed up how wild the reality birthing is.
Women quickly started sharing the photo, along with their own war stories from the labor room. While mildly terrifying, this photo is validating in a lot of ways, since it straight up maps out the changes women go through. I have a feeling this photo will haunt a lot of people the next time their mom says "I brought you into this world, so I can take you out."
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House and third in line to the presidency, is trading barbs with Kellyanne Conway, who is most known at this point for being Kellyanne Conway's husband's wife. Kellyanne Conway has worked with Trump for years, and has picked up on the president's tactic of accusing the other side that which you are guilty of. In the past week, Conway has accused Pelosi of being "anti-woman" and a classist snob. Previously on The Real White Housewives, Pelosi went to the White House for a meeting with the president on infrastructure. Trump stormed out after three minutes, pissed that the House is exercising oversight and investigating him. The Washington Post reports that after Trump made his dramatic exit, Conway asked Speaker Pelosi if she had any words for the president. Pelosi said, "I'll respond to the president, not staff," and Conway said, "Wow, that's really pro-woman of you." While Conway might have taken "staff" as an insult, she is, in fact, staff. Her title is "Counselor to the President." She is not the president, but on his staff. Because we live in hell, Pelosi was asked about this episode at her weekly press conference. She went full Mariah Carey with an "I don't know her." "I'm not going to talk about her," she said. "I respond as the Speaker of the House to the President of the United States. Other conversations people want to have among themselves is up to them." Conway continued to be triggered by this, accusing Pelosi of treating her "like she treats her maid or her pilots." Conway... who lives in a $7.7 million mansion in Northwest Washington... then went on to take aim at Pelosi’s personal wealth. "Let’s face it. She’s the sixth-most-rich member of Congress. She treats everybody like they’re her staff. She treats me like I’m either her maid, or her driver, or her pilot, or her makeup artist. And I’m not. And I said to her, ‘How very pro-woman of you,’ per usual, because she’s not very pro-woman. She’s pro-some women, a few women,” Conway said. I don't know Pelosi personally, but it sounds like Conway is confusing her with her lookalike, Lucille Bluth. It would be fun to call this a Real Housewives-style feud if it weren't product of the executive branch trying to squash the legislative branch and place themselves above the law! Just move on to the impeachment hearings already, now that would be better than a reunion special.
Musician/Terry Richardson lookalike Moby is on a book tour for his memoir Then It Fell Apart, and it, well, fell apart. The Guardian reports that Moby insists in his book that he dated Natalie Portman, and Natalie Portman herself calls it "very disturbing." According to the paper, Moby says in his book that while he was 33 and Portman was 20, they met backstage in Austin, Texas and he would party with her in New York City and at her dorm at Harvard. Moby allegedly writes of "kissing under the centuries-old oak trees. At midnight she brought me to her dorm room and we lay down next to each other on her small bed. After she fell asleep I carefully extracted myself from her arms and took a taxi back to my hotel." Portman told Harper's Bazaar that that portion of the book is full-on fanfiction. "I was surprised to hear that he characterised the very short time that I knew him as dating because my recollection is a much older man being creepy with me when I just had graduated high school," she told the magazine. "He said I was 20; I definitely wasn’t. I was a teenager. I had just turned 18. There was no fact-checking from him or his publisher... it almost feels deliberate." Moby decided to counter the accusation that he was a creeper with a picture of him and is hairy nipples smiling next to a teenager, and then immediately using it to plug his book. "I recently read a gossip piece wherein Natalie Portman said that we’d never dated. This confused me, as we did, in fact, date. And after briefly dating in 1999 we remained friends for years," he insisted. In 1999, Portman was 18- years-old. Moby tried to laugh his way out of it with a self-depreciating joke, writing, "I completely respect Natalie’s possible regret in dating me (to be fair, I would probably regret dating me, too), but it doesn’t alter the actual facts of our brief romantic history." "Complete respect" does not mean doubling down and calling her liar, nor does it mean subjecting the Internet to pictures of your nipple hair. This is a creepy claim of non-creepihood. Portman talked about the experience of having been sexualized at a young age. When she was 13-years-old, she "excitedly opened [my] first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me." Her local radio station started a countdown to her 18th birthday. It sounds like Moby was one of the dudes following along.
If you spend as much time online as I do, you're baffled by people's inability to use it wisely... especially when those "people" are institutions with large followings. From retail brands to fast food chains, no social media strategist is safe, especially if they demonstrate the kind of tone deafness the United States military did this week. To be clear: I support the troops and the service members who put country before self. They do things that I haven't, and couldn't. But whoever's running their Twitter account isn't doing the best possible job.
This ill-advised tweet prompted military alumni to divulge the dark side of serving and the thread quickly spun out of control. People were candid about how military service negatively "impacted'" their health and overall lives. Many regretted serving at all. Though people's earnest responses were heartbreaking, it was hilarious to see bystanders reveling in the turn the thread took. The juxtaposition of the military's open-ended question and dark, too-real answers made people laugh... and created a colorful "mentions" party. Thank you to the brave, hardworking current and former members of the United States military. To the military itself: I'm willing to consult on social media for a reasonable hourly rate. Looks like you could use some direction.
So, instead of doing this blog thing today I should be listening to this record...
Ummmm. Maybe not. If I had a TARDIS I would go New York City in the 30s and "celebrate" Memorial Day there. Knowing my luck though I'll end up in a protest...
After civilians got sick and tired of not being able to drink properly. At this time, the manufacturing transportation and sale of all types of alcohol were illegal, except for medical purposes. Stupid alcohol being banned. Before that, beer and all that was legal so you can imagine the disappointment of these lads whose blood has already been injected with the substance. Ever see this homeless people on the side of the road with signs? Some of them I have to say are pretty creative...
Hahaha. They tell me that if I go to Walmart I'm gonna see some "odd" sights. I did not believe it until I saw this...
Okay, so, if you're thinking of cheating on your loved one you might wanna think twice after seeing this...
Not just one man, but NUMEROUS men. Get it together, Carmen! The abortion bans threatening women's health and autonomy popping up across the nation have also spawned protests from coast to coast. Groups including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union organized rallies and from Michigan to Mississippi, people stood up for a woman's right to choose. A protest sign is worth 1000 words. Here's one sign from Alabama...
Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...
5. You can have a woman president without electing her.
4. You can call Budweiser beer.
3. You can be a crook and still be president.
2. If you've got enough money you can get elected to do anything.
And the number one reason why it's great to be American is...
1. If you can breathe you can get a gun.
This is easy. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's this pop singer who says his really famous except he never gets recognized. He wanted to come on to the Phile as he knows he will get recognized and popular that way. I don't know if that will happen but please welcome to the Phile for the first time...
Harry: Hey, man, thanks for having on the Phile. I love this blog!
Me: You're welcome, Harry. So, no one recognizes you?
Harry: Not always, no. I was really famous back in the 80s but people seemed to have forgotten about me.
Me: How so?
Harry: Well, I was at the airport and the TSA agent checked my ID and said, "Webb, like that singer Harry Webb!" I said, "Exactly." She said, "Cool, I wonder what he's up to these days" I said, "This."
Me: Haha. That's sad.
Harry: I know right. Well, if you could excuse me, I am going to get ready to do a show tonight.
Me: Really? Where are you playing?
Harry: Someone's backyard for a Memorial Day barbecue. See ya.
Me: Harry Webb, kids.
After storming out of a meeting with Democratic leaders to talk about literally building bridges, Donald Trump took the Rose Garden to kvetch about the Mueller investigation and "the I word," and he brought props! Trump claims that the conference was "impromptu," but everything was already set up with signs. The historic White House Rose Garden, the setting of such historic events as the signing of Middle East peace accords, was home to Trump's latest temper tantrum. For the first time in history, the president brought his own lawn sign, and he ripped off ABC News graphics about the Mueller investigation (RIP). Trump conveniently forgot the numbers about guilty pleas, prison sentences, and indictments. Trump and his dentures were clearly having A Day. Earlier, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused the president of engaging in a coverup for his non-stop stonewalling of Congressional subpoenas. He said, without irony, that he's "the most transparent president probably in the history of this country." "I don’t do cover-ups," he added, forgetting that his personal lawyer is currently in prison for crimes including making hush-money payments to Trump's mistresses during the campaign. The subpoena war is driving more and more Democrats to call for officially opening an impeachment inquiry, and Pelosi is reportedly feeling the heat. Trump is clearly shook by the momentum building, referring to impeachment as "the I word" and clearly more offended by it than the n-word. Can you believe??? He finished the conference off by saying that he will not work with Democrats on such issues as infrastructure and drug prices until they stop doing their oversight duties, which is incredibly fucked up!
The 99th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...
Leonard's son Adam will be on the Phile next Monday. So, there's this magician who never seems to have the best luck when he does shows. He did one last night and wanted to come here and talk about it. So, please welcome back to the Phile...
Me: Hello, David, so how was your last show?
David: Well, I called up these and I had a bunch of rings with me and a few other kids having two rings each.
Me: Okay, rings... and?
David: I said that if we rubbed the rings hard enough together, they would magically interlink with each other.
Me: Oh, yeah, that's a classic trick.
David: Yeah, well, one of the kids couldn't get it to work until he noticed there were clips on it. I walked over and noticed he was having troubles and I tried to help him.
Me: That's good. Nothing could go wrong, right?
David: Welllll... I had the microphone in my one hand, and it was close enough that when the kid asked what the clips on the rings were for, it could be heard all over the theater.
Me: Haha. So, what happened then?
David: I don't remember what happened next except I rushed the kid off the stage back into the seats.
Me: Oh, man. Better luck next time.
David: There's not going to be a next time. I am hanging up my hat and cards and I quit being a magician. Thanks for having me on the Phile these last few years. Good luck in the future. I'm now going to "vanish."
Me: Don't do that. David Coppafeel, kids, the world's worst magician. Wow, he's gone. Oh, well.
Okay, want to laugh?
A man walks into a doctor's office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear and a banana in his right ear. "What's the matter with me?" he asks the doctor. The doctor replies, "You're not eating properly."
Me: Hey there, Rupert, welcome to the Phile. How are you?
Rupert: Thanks. Good.
Me: Before you came a big time producer you had a solo career, right? When you started out as a duo and then went solo, did you have a plan to be a producer?
Rupert: No, there wasn't a plan at the time. I can look back and see the shape of things and make my mind up on what elements was intentional and what were just happenstance and serendipity. I know when I was in school I was in the school band and that was very, very early days before rock bands were invented. That's when they were still called beat groups. I was in a beat group, sung and played harmonica.
Me: What was the point where you decided you wanted to produce or make music?
Rupert: I knew the second when I heard "Pet Sounds" when it came out that even though I loved being musical as many ways as I could what suddenly what was revealed to me was how I could paint pictures with sound. This is something I couldn't do with our little beat group or I couldn't do on the guitar or plinking on the piano. So I've become completely transfixed with that kind of idea that I could colour the paintings so richly and so deeply in ways that people would not understand. In the sense it's the Maurits Escher or the people that are playing tricks on us and we can't understand why we can't understand that.
Me: Who is your biggest influence, Rupert?
Rupert: Phil Spector. Though Phil was very much a one trick pony where he rides a great pony I can hear it all day whether it's "River Deep Mountain High" or "You Lost That Loving Feeling." All those classic Phil Spector songs were brilliant.
Me: Your solo music is very different than what was happening at the time in the early 80s. Was that done on purpose?
Rupert: The albums I was doing at that time were curious and different, I intended it to be like that. I was fed up hearing to many of the same old things. Honestly I wanted to write songs about things that really mattered. Being unafraid to do that, if I was writing a song about something that was really a terrible situation in the world I wanted that sense of terrible in the music. I couldn't just sing it like a love song.
Me: When did you start producing? In the 90s?
Rupert: I was always a producer through the 70s, and by the time "Lone Ranger" was a hit in 1979, even though the song was written and recorded in '74.
Me: Who was the first person or band you produced for?
Rupert: By the time I was doing my second set of albums at the beginning of my career in '71 and '72 at that point I was recording for Deep Purple's record label Purple Records and one of the other artists they had signed was Yvonne Elliman and she was most famous for being in Jesus Christ Superstar, and at that point of career she wanted to get away from the Lloyd Webber and that kind of musical thinking. She wanted to be kind of sexy a but and she wanted to do some taboo things in songs and she asked me and David if we could the songs for this album of hers. I wrote with David seven songs for that album. By this time she was saying the record label is pushing for me to have Tim Rice to produce this new album of hers. She said, "That's ridiculous, that's not going to take me away from... why can't you do it?" I said to her I don't produce and she said, "What do you mean you don't produce? It says on this album of yours, your own album it's produced by Rupert Hine." I said, "Well, that's because no one else was." Then she said, "Why don't you just do it but for me instead?" It was a tough request to ignore and of course it was a part of me that loved what to do with interesting sounds.
Me: What was the first American band you produced, and how did that happen?
Rupert: It was actually the Canadian band Saga. In this instance their tour manager who was working in Europe was also my tour manager for Quantum Jump. He just said, this band who he was working with was a band called Saga and they do pop rock stuff and they've been around for a while but they could definitely do much better with their albums at this time. He just thought there was something stranger to be gained with the band and he asked me if I wanted to give it a listen. I just done three punk albums in a row and I was interested in complexly different things than this rock band was, I listened to it and thought it was interesting. After these punk records it might be interesting what I would do. Keep in mind before the punk albums I produced Café Jacques, who were kind of art rocky. Café Jacques did their first two albums with Antony Phillips who was the first guitarist with Genesis. I had a lot of connections with prog rocky things before and of course I've done Camels album, "I Could See Your House From Here" which was a really great album actually. I met Saga because they were touring in the U.K. at the time and found them extremely likable. In fact they had heard my "Immunity" album. They were using when they were doing gigs to set the atmosphere before they set foot on stage. They were wondering what someone who would do "Immunity" would do with them.
Me: You spent a lot of years working with the Fixx... I had Cy Curnin on the Phile years ago, back in 2012. When did you first meet and start working with them?
Rupert: We started together when they were a punk band. They were called the Portraits and it was through my manager who was their manager as well. He said he wanted me to meet this band because he found them really interesting. I did and we worked together on a song called "Lost Planes." By the time those tracks were released in the other parts of the world they became known as the Fix. We dived into the "Shuttered Room" album after that. Working with them became clear it was extremely timely for everyone for me as much as them. The chemistry that these five guys had was they invited me in in the biggest way possible. I felt very much like the sixth member of the band. The day we started working on "Reach the Beach" it was like we were working on the same record.
Me: Before this you were mostly known in Europe I think, but now you were getting known over here in the states and the rest of the world. What did you think of that?
Rupert: I was too busy to notice. I was literally eating it up that people wanted me to work with them based on things I have done mostly myself. The biggest trigger of my career was people fell in love with "Immunity" particularly. That was the greatest honour to me because they were saying to me be myself.
Me: "One Thing Leads to Another" was such a huge hit in '83, that song must of changed your life, right?
Rupert: I wasn't beyond buying a new car when royalty cheques started to arrive I must say. I was getting feedback all the time with people asking me if I knew we were top 10 in the states. The first time that happened was "On the Loose" with Saga, when it was inside the American top 20. It was a platinum album, so that was my very first huge record. The joy was being in the charts.
Me: What is one song that people would know that you worked on that you are really proud of?
Rupert: "One Thing Leads to Another." It was a very slight piece by their standards when it started. But the energy when all of us put into it and the things we found to do to make the difference, particularly my side of it with all the backing vocal arrangements which I just sung with Cy. It was only Cy and me singing, so we came up with these backing vocals which became the signature thing for the Fixx. We did that on several songs over on several tracks, backing vocals that were not the average backing vocals. They were rhythm vocals which was what I liked to call it. In "One Thing Leads to Another" there was more dense of new things that we all did in that time. All this in a track the record company only considered to being a B-side, they didn't even want it on the album. Who we finished the English record label was not very excited about it at all, but when Steve Moyer over on the record label in America heard it, he came back with "holy fuck!" He said it was genius and are got to go with this. We were already working on "Saved By Zero" as the likely single, even though it was a softer track. It went back to the English label and they thought maybe he was right.
Me: Ha. Okay, we have to talk about one of my favorite singers, Howard Jones, who I saw in concert a number of times and have been trying to get him on the Phile for years. How did he get you to do "Human's Libs" with him?
Rupert: Well, the time we first knew of each other he was playing in Aylesbury at this club named Friars that had a really great name in music. Aylesbury is out in the country and not this big cool place like London. They had this one man and this bunch of little cheapo synths all string together with wires and cables and a guy doing a mime with him. I thought what is this, and he literally sold out in minutes. One minute nobody had heard of him, he didn't have nothing and the next minute people were turning up all over the area to see this fun guy standing there with all these little boxes and bits and this guy doing mime. My studio was not so far away from this place. So I was told Warners was very interested to signing him, and suddenly everybody was interested to signing him because he was just one guy. The girls were screaming and fainting at the front of the desk and he didn't even have a record deal. It was pandemonium, there were bouncers there trying to drag these fainting girls off stage. He jumped up to the theatre organ and he got that in the concert and the whole thing was just massive. Here was this guy that basically came out of nowhere and at that point we weren't hearing him on radio, no record label, no nothing. The Warners guy that wanted to sign him asked me what I thought of it and I thought he was really fucking amazing. He asked me if I would like to work with him and I said surely we can. I met Howard and of course he's the loviest man on the planet, and I will get him to be on the Phile for you. We struck a chord very quickly, the guy at Warners was a guy who had previously managed me so we were close.
Me: You didn't produce "New Song" though, right?
Rupert: No, it was produced by Colin Thurston who had been working with Duran Duran and they spun that one track. That was at the same time shooting up the radio charts so there was proof that it wasn't just these guys at Warners or these people at Aylesbury. This had traction.
Me: Is there a favorite Howard Jones song that you have?
Rupert: "Conditioning." That combination like we were talking about with "One Thing Leads to Another," "Conditioning" was a great amalgam of Howard's ideas, Steve Taylor's, the engineer, ideas and my ideas in the studio that created this machine like quality. Not just for effect but it had all the energy of a rock track. It was just tons of little mechanical nuts and bolts that created this very exciting track. Also in the way it was finally mixed in a sonic perspective, which I put very much down to Steve. He's such an amazing mixing head.
Me: One of my favorite songs on that album is "What Is Love?" Rupert. What can you remember about that song?
Rupert: They asked if we could record that song in it's entirety at the beginning of the album sessions. So in the first four days of the albums worth of recording we recorded "What Is Love?" and the whole album of recording was only five weeks. We done that track in the first four days and less than five weeks later when we're finishing the album that same record was in the top 10. Can you imagine how that felt?
Me: That's crazy. I also love the "Lift Me Up" song from "In the Running." Was he still the same when that album came out as he was in the beginning? He was a Buddhist by then, right?
Rupert: This man is the archetypical classic in the best way example of Buddhism. He's a very great Buddhism ambassador. I never called myself a Buddhist but I have lots of Buddhist elements that I trust completely and feel in control about. So if I'm ever forced to say what kind of religion I am, I'm not part of any religion, but if I had to be it would be Buddhism. Lot of people I worked with like Tina Turner and Suzanne Vega are Buddhist. A lot of people asked me if I was a Buddhist as I only work with Buddhist, that's an exaggeration but I took their point.
Me: We have to talk about the Tina Turner "Private Dancer" album. How dd you get involved with that album?
Rupert: This is a very easy question to answer, its very particular. Her manager, Roger Davies, approached me saying the track they did for the "British Electric Track" album the "Let's Stay Together" track, she sung that song and she never sung a soul song, because she only likes white mans rock and roll. Then of course it was a minor hit. That record company said holy Jesus, we're in the top 30. If they had an album to go with it they could sell 50,000 records here. What they tried to do was get about four producers all working at the same time on four tracks a piece so an album could be done in about a week. Inside of two weeks a whole album was written, recorded, mixed, finished, to accommodate this minor hit. Bear in mind even as we finished that record the line from the record was we could sell 50,000 units here... 20 million later.
Me: Everything on that album was a cover, right? Did you get to pick the songs?
Rupert: Everything that was found was by Roger Davies. He was the man who found everybody. Bear in mind at that time she was all the way down playing bars and stuff. Here's the trick, one of her favourite bands was the Fixx. It was Jamie that she really wanted. She just loved "One Thing Leads to Another," the guitar part. Then she heard all this other stuff and this constant heavy guitar without it ever being rock. That's what we invented with Jamie, this incredible cutting edge and aggressive. There was nothing fuzzy or old school rock. That's what she loved, but it was Roger Davies who knew that she loved that. He said to me that as she was such a big fan of the Fixx he knew I wrote great pop songs and we could do something really interesting. She needed no persuasion at all to turn up and we did three great tracks on that album, one of which won the Best Female Rock of that year, which was "Better Be Good to Me."
Me: Really? That's nuts. When that album was released did anybody know or think it was gonna be a huge hit, a big comeback for Tina?
Rupert: The whole trick there is that's only relevant to how it was released in America, where it was released sometime later. When it was released in the U.K. there was none of that, they had no idea this was going to be a big record at all. They just knew it was worth putting out. Bear in mind the record was made so quickly, we all just dived at it, had great fun, but none of us were in the same studios. All of the tracks were being done in different studios at the same time and she was literally whizzing about from taxi to taxi going to all the studios, doing vocals. The whole record was delivered in ten seconds and when it was delivered it was fantastic, let's put this put and see what happens. I don't think what I'm saying all these years later the secrets out of school so they say. That deal for that album was renegotiated more times than I could count. Normally there might be one negotiation because of the success of the record and the manager will say, "When we did this deal it was a long shot for everybody blahblahblah... now we want a better deal." This curb was so vast, the 50,000 units gold record suddenly seemed to be more ridiculous so a new deal was done. It was coming the biggest selling female album of all time.
Me: You worked with some really cool people and some great albums, Rupert. Did you ever get an offer with somebody big or small and turn it down?
Rupert: I remember being asked to do Def Leppard at the time when they were absolutely huge. Their manager was so furious that I said no. He said, "Do you know you just turned down 6 million bucks in your pocket? What gives you the right to say no?" In this case it was really clear. They had no demos for the new album they were going to do. He said, "We don't do demos. This is Def fucking Leppard. Do you want to do it or don't you?" I said, "No, for the reasons I just given. You're not asking me to produce their last record, you're asking me to produce their next record. I need to know what that's going to be." I was getting that a lot, I never did it for the money. The money is just something that happens on the back of a really great record that I loved. If I tried to sit down and cultivate a hit record with all the hit ingredients I could possibly muster with the biggest hit band I'm sure it'll be disaster, and if it is successful it will not be rewarding. All I did was do something according to the rules, being smart. I do want smart records.
Me: Fair enough. So, what do you think of the music industry today, Rupert? It's so different than when you started out, right?
Rupert: It is because of Google. They own YouTube and the world's biggest picture board which is the search engine. If you try to look through things through a search engine like the yellow pages if you will, and there's this huge picture board where all the search engines find. They one both of if and they're not going to pay for anything they stick up on that picture board. In the end of of huge pressure they'll pay for it, not 1% cent of a dollar for a track and that will get you off the hook and of course no longer is that's true. I'm very much involved in the battle, it has nothing do with all the piracy issues and takes downs and all that, it just requires a completely different way at respecting creative arts... television, music, all of them. Anything that could be digitised Google and five other companies that are massive themselves should never allow them to get that big on the planet. In the last century Microsoft was stripped down in Europe into their component parts because it got too big. Did it kill them? No. For several years they worked on those compartments and they built it up again but they are no longer the absolute that Google and other Internet giants.
Me: Google, he's kidding. Haha. Moving on... let's talk about the Better Off Dead soundtrack which is a movie I don't think I ever saw or heard of. How did you get chosen to do the soundtrack for that movie?
Rupert: The trigger for it was A&M, which is my record label at that time, in Los Angeles was also producing that film. Therefore kind of responsible for some recommendations for the soundtrack side of it. They proposed me to Savage Steve Holland, and once he saw that I've done what I've done he thought it was great and said let's try it. We met and it was a great relationship, he was a lovely man.
Me: Cool. Did you write all the songs?
Rupert: No. Obviously the one with Cy from the Fixx was one of mine. The Howard Jones track was one of Howard's, all the other ones I was the executive producer in the sense of choosing those tracks for the film.
Me: I looked for the soundtrack on CD, but couldn't find it. Also it's not on iTunes and Spotify. It looks like a cool soundtrack though. Was your relationship with Howard what out that song in the movie?
Rupert: Yes, and the Tears for Fears track, they were all friends really.
Me: That's cool. I'll find this soundtrack somewhere. Man, Rupert, I can talk to you forever. Thanks so much for being on the Phile, I hope you'll come back again soon. I didn't get to ask you about the Thompson Twins or Stevie Nicks, or one of my least favorite bands ever... Rush. Will you come back on the Phile again?
Rupert: Of course, Jason, it was a pleasure.
Me: Great. Thanks, Rupert. Take care. This was so great.
That about does to for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Rupert Hine for a great interview. I definitely want to have him back on the Phile. The Phile will be back tomorrow with musician Mike Tramp. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.
I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon