Monday, January 28, 2013

Pheaturing Maggie Bell

Hello, people, and welcome to the Phile. How are you?  Justin Bieber just surpassed Lady Gaga as the most followed person on Twitter. Justin now has 33,410,000... 28,000 more than Lady Gaga. If you want to confuse your grandfather, wake him up right now and scream, "Bieber beat Gaga on Twitter!" He'll think you're possessed. Justin Bieber reminds me a lot of myself at that age except instead of 33 million followers, it was two followers. Instead of Twitter followers, it was employees of a comic book store following me to make sure I didn't steal anything.  There was a scary moment at John Kerry's secretary of state confirmation hearing. One of the senators had taken his Ambien the night before and combined with the stuffy room and Kerry's boring speech, he slipped a coma.  House Speaker John Boehner said that President Obama's focus is to annihilate the Republican Party. Do the Republicans look like they need help from President Obama?  Whose been following the Manti Te'o story? Manti sat down for an interview with Katie Couric. Katie asked him at what point did he know something was amiss? My guess is when he found that she wasn't a miss. Get it? A miss. Never mind.  The NRA made an ad saying that Obama is elitist because his kids have armed guards. Yeah, that crazy Obama thinking his kids need special protection. I love the NRA accusing anyone of being paranoid. It's like a septic tank saying, "You need a mint." If the NRA keeps messing with the President's daughters, they're going to have to start worrying about Michelle Obama's guns. And you know what I'm talking about.  Rick Perry said Obama's suggestions for gun control disgust him. He said the real answer to this problem isn't laws, it's prayer. You know, i know you're not supposed to say this about elected officials, but I would pay to see Rick Perry defend himself against a school shooter with prayer.  I mentioned yesterday that J.J. Abrams is gonna direct the new Star Wars movie. I wondered if this was a good idea, then saw this photo.

All I can say is... phew!  So, we are gonna have a garage sale in a few weeks and we went through some of our old children's books we had when we were kids and we discovered this one...

Damn those Japanese.  The other day I went to a store and in a bargain bin I found something weird. I thought I was up to date with all the latest toys and stuff.

Frams Torners. That sounds like a character from Star Wars.  They're filming a new Iron Man movie right now and I saw a screen shot from it, and I can't help but to think Disney is not spending as much money on the film.

Why the hell is the Iron Man on the right looking at his hands?  So, it seems Lance Armstrong is back to bike racing again. Check out this photo from the race over the weekend.

Keith Richards held the lead in the Tour de Transfusion.  Alright, well, the campaign to get Kelly Clarkson on the Phile continues, people. Post this on your Facebook and Twitter, kids, we will do this. she will be interviewed on the Phile.

That's so stupid. Okay, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Reasons Atari Filed For Bankruptcy
5. Sales of "Zaxxon" have slumped for the last 126 consecutive quarters.
4. The company never regained it's footing after their CEO was crushed beneath a barrel thrown by a giant ape.
3. Turns out Pitfall Harry was embezzling the shit out of the place.
2. As the makers of "Centipede", they racked up millions in legal fees in an ill-conceived trademark lawsuit against the producers of The Human Centipede.
And the number one reason Atari filed for bankruptcy is...
1. It was squished by the modern world... like a slow-moving frog getting smashed by a bright orange truck.

Okay, over the last year or more I had some great political guests on the Phile, including President Obama and Michelle Obama. Today I am pleased to say that Vice President Joe Biden is here. I can get these people and I can't get Kelly Clarkson? What the hell? Anyway, the VP is here to talk about something the President did last week. So, please welcome to the Phile for the first time, the 47th and current Vice President of the United States... Joe Biden!

Me: Hello, Mister Vice President, sir, welcome to the Phile. 

Joe: Great to be here.

Me: So, you wanted to talk about something the President did last week? What did he do apart from the inauguration?

Joe: He proposed a set of major reforms to help protect our children and our communities by curbing gun violence.

Me: He announced a few actions for this, right? How many?

Joe: He announced 23 executive actions that will go a long way in helping keep our kids safe. 

Me: Wow, this is an important start, right, sir?

Joe: Yes, but I have no illusions about what needs to be done and how difficult it will be. 

Me: Jim Messina was on the Phile last week and said that the Second Amendment will still be upheld, is this right?

Joe: Every step we intend to take will preserve the tradition of responsible gun ownership in our country and uphold the Second Amendment. 

Me: You know you'll never end gun violence entirely, Mr. Vice President. That's impossible.

Joe: True, but if we can save the life of even one child, then we have a responsibility to act. 

Me: Is Congress helping you? You can't do this alone.

Joe: This action includes not only what we can do, but what Congress can do. 

Me: And will they help?

Joe: To make a real and lasting difference, they must act soon. 

Me: How many items should the the President has called on Congress to act on, sir?

Joe: Four specific legislative measures.

Me: What are they?

Joe: Closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons and limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines, making our schools safer, and increasing access to mental health services. 

Me: The President has asked you to head the Gun Violence Task Force, created to address the causes of gun violence in the United States in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. What does that mean exactly, and what will you be doing?

Joe: The President asked me to work with law enforcement, teachers, parents, sportsmen, Democrats, Republicans, faith leaders, mental health experts, and other organizations and individuals to come up with a set of concrete policy proposals. 

Me: That's part of his plan?

Joe: Yes, the plan he put forth is the product of those conversations and recommendations. 

Me: And this all stems from the Newtown shootings?

Joe: It doesn't matter whether you live in a big city or a small town like Newtown, Connecticut. When our fellow Americans are victims of senseless violence, we all pull together as one American family.

Me: So, do you really think this will all help a little or a lot?

Joe: Whether the action we take saves one life or 1,000, it matters. 

Me: Well, good luck, and thanks for taking time out of your schedule to be here, Mr. Vice President, sir. Come back again soon, and tell the Obama's the Phile says hello. Is there anything you wanna tell the readers of this blog?

Joe: Let's get this done, pholks.

Me: Nicely said, sir. Thanks again, it was truly an honor to talk to you.

Joe: Thank you.

Man, that was so cool, wasn't it? Alright, the 23rd book to be pheatured in the Phile Book Club is...

The book is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a is a Scottish rock and blues-rock singer, regarded by some as Britain's answer to Janis Joplin. She has a new CD/DVD out called "Best Of Sound and Vision" and she will be next appearing at BÜZ in Minden, Germany on February 8th. Please welcome to the Phile... Maggie Bell!

Me: Hello, Maggie, it's a huge honor to have you here. How are you?

Maggie: Good.

Me: You have been described over the years as Britain's answer to Janis Joplin. What do you think about that, being compared to her?

Maggie: Yes, when I went to USA they labelled me the new Janis Joplin... they always wanted me to have photograph's taken with a bottle of Southern Comfort which I have never tasted.

Me: Neither have I, Maggie. Were you a fan of Janis and did you ever meet her?

Me: I never had the pleasure of meeting her, she was a free spirit and had a tough time in her life. I think people took advantage of her which happens in any business.

Me: Speaking of meeting someone, my dad was Lonesome Dave from Savoy Brown and Foghat, Maggie. Did you know my dad? If so, do you have any cool stories?

Maggie: I am sorry to say I never met your dad.

Me: Well, speaking of Foghat, original bass player Tony Stevens was in your band Midnight Flyer. How was he to work with, Maggie?

Maggie: Oh dear, Tony Stevens we called him Stinky Stevens! He was fab as a person we had a LOT of laughs. A really lovely man.

Me: I have a photo I found of Midnight Flyer here.

Me: Maggie, you are from Glasgow in Scotland, right? Do you still live there?

Maggie: I live in London but I still visit and do gig's in Scotland. I love it up there... people are wonderful.

Me: When you first came to America what did you think and what was the first state you came to? I am guessing New York.

Maggie: First time and tour of USA was Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishman Tour. I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights I am not like that anymore for sure... a late developer. Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, Jim Keltner and a host of many crazy, crazy people. It just got bigger and bigger! That was Stone The Crows first Tour of USA, and we got detained by the feds... honest... looking for substances. I said to them, "Excuse me we're from Scotland and don't know what your talking about." "Oh yeah." they said. They never found anything. We didn't have anything... like such a paranoid nation.

Me: Wow. You keep yourself busy, involved in a few different bands. You must really like to play, Maggie. It shows in the videos I watched. What was your favorite show you have ever done in your career?

Maggie: I find all my shows are as important as the last one and I have always had respect for my audiences. They are very faithful and I fully appreciate them and I always TRY with all my power not to short change them.

Me: You were in a band The Manfreds with Paul Jones who I am trying to get here on the Phile. How did you get to be involved in that band?

Maggie: I did two tours with the Manfreds. A great band, Paul is Master of the Harmonica nobody like him and a sweetheart!! I never knew Manfred Man although he offered me a gig with his band.

Me: I never Manfred was a person... Anyway, who did you listen to growing up, Maggie and who do you listen to now? I am not a big fan of Lady Gaga but I heard her do some blues stuff when she was starting out. She has really got a good voice.

Maggie: Lady Gaga works hard on her presentation it must take a long time to get into the outfits. Her songs are very commercial good luck to her She deserves it... she's a business woman.

Me: Another band you have been recently involved with is the Jon Lord Blues Project. I interviewed Miller Anderson awhile ago who is in that band with you. I wish I got to interview Jon who recently passed.

Maggie: Dear Jon Lord... we loved working with him. A wonderful musician... he will be missed.

Me: How did you all pick what songs you were going to do in those shows?

Maggie: The songs I do with the Blues Project I have also done with my band British Blues Quintet and they are good songs which go down well.

Me: One of your early bands you were in was Stone the Crows. Where did that name come from, Maggie?

Maggie: The name Stone The Crows was given to us by Peter Grant, our manager and Zeps manager.

Me: It sounds like a Stones and Black Crowes cover band. You recorded three solo albums I think, but only the album "Queen of the Night" was released. What happened to the other two albums and do you ever think they'll be released?

Maggie: The two albums that I recorded in New York before "Queen Of The Night" were produced by Felix Cavalerie, Young Rascals and Felix Pappalardi. They went missing and I am still trying to find out where they are. The vocal backing's were by the late great Luther Vandross.

Me: Huh. I have to ask you about Led Zeppelin, you were on their label Swan Song, along with Dave Edmunds. Were you friendly with Zeppelin?

Maggie: Yes, we were all with Swan Song. Paul Rogers with Bad Company, Pretty Things, myself and Zeppelin.

Me: You must've been friendly with Jimmy Page, he released a tribute album to you. Did you know that album was coming out? What did you think when you found out about it?

Maggie: Thanks for telling me about the Jimmy Page tribute album. I worked with Chris Farlowe two weeks ago and he said he was on it... thanks for that, I will check it out.

Me: Okay, let's talk about some of your latest releases... "Live Montreux July 1981" and "Best of Sound & Vision". With these albums, are you getting a lot of notice from younger fans?

Maggie: Yes, I find that younger singers come to the gig's and the audiences are too that makes me happy.

Me: Wanda Jackson released a new album produced by Jack White a few years ago. Can you ever see yourself recording a new solo album? That would be amazing.

Maggie: Maybe.

Me: Before I let you go, I have to ask, is it true you sang backing vocals on Rod Stewart's "Every Picture Tells A Story"? How was that recording session?

Maggie: Yes, I did "Every Picture Tells A Story". I sang the title track with Rod. I think he liked Stone The Crows and I think John Baldry had something to do with it. Just like the "Tommy" original album that was down to Roger Daltrey... just another gig but enjoyable.

Me: Maggie, thanks so much for bring here on the Phile and please come back again soon. Go ahead and mention your website and take care and I hope to see you live one day. Thanks again.

Maggie: I do love my life and I love music.

Me: Thank you, Maggie, take care.

There you go, that about does it for this entry. Thanks to my guests Vice President Joe Biden and of course Maggie Bell, and to Adrian Stevens for hooking the interview up. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Brinsley Schwarz from Graham Parker and the Rumour. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pheaturing Kaz Simmons

Hey, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile for a Sunday. I received a few emails asking why I am only posting twice a week and not my regular Wednesday entries as well. Well, I am back at work and after work I go to physical therapy for an hour and a half, and by time I get home, have dinner, and a shower it's a little too late. But soon I hope to be back to posting three times a week. Alright, what's going on?  Who saw the inauguration? On the news they made a big deal out of the fact that four years ago there were twice as many people at President Obama's first inauguration than there was at this one. That's because four years ago, twice as many people could afford to stay in hotels. Actually, you know who gave the shortest inauguration speech in history? George Washington. It was only like three minutes long. Well, sure. George Washington couldn't tell a lie.  More than a million people gathered in our nation's capital, and tens of millions more watched from home to celebrate the first lady's new haircut. Most people seem to like the hair style, though some Republicans are demanding further cuts. But bangs aren't easy to pull off. As far as I know, the only other women who have done it successfully this decade are Jessica Biel and... Justin Bieber. The president gave a brief but powerful speech. He did not shy away from the many challenges he faces: a massive federal deficit, a conservative majority in the House, an aging population, runaway entitlements, humongous ears.  Joe Biden made another one of his famous gaffes on camera Monday, saying he was proud to be president of the United States. I guess he forgot he wasn't at home standing in front of the bathroom mirror. In his inaugural address, President Obama praised the patriots of 1776, and said they were much better than the Patriots of last Sunday.  There's been a lot of criticism over the NFL for not hiring enough minority coaches. And, of course, the NFL is trying to spin it. They said, "What are you talking about? We got two brothers coaching the Super Bowl."  According to a new study out of the University of Wisconsin, as much as 81 percent of people lie on online dating websites. To which Notre Dame's Manti Te'o said, "Now you tell me!" I just hope that this one painful online experience doesn't cause Manti to give up on all imaginary girlfriends. Now people are saying that Manti knew it was a hoax way back in early December. He’s gone from being the “Fightin’ Irish” to the “Lyin’ Hawaiian.”  The CEO of Whole Foods is criticizing Obamacare, once again calling it fascism. He did this before when he called it socialism. And he said the problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people's money. As opposed to shopping at Whole Foods, where you eventually run out of your own money.  The post office may sue Lance Armstrong for all of the money they spent sponsoring his team. In fact, after all these lawsuits, they say that Lance Armstrong could end up as broke as the post office.  Kim Kardashian said that in a perfect world she would love being divorced from Kris Humphries before having Kayne’s baby. On the other hand, in a perfect world no one would know who she is.  So, the biggest news of the week is J.J. Abrams is gonna be directing the next Star Wars movie. He’s already updated his production company’s name and logo. Check it out.

So, guess who was at the inauguration? Kelly Clarkson! If I would of known that she was gonna be there, that would of been my chance. Damn it. But someone else who was there had his eye on her.

And did you see the picture of Obama meeting Kelly? Of course I have it here in case you didn't.

Obama's telling her, "You should do the Phile, it'll really help your career." You know I am running a campaign to get Kelly on the Phile, right? Here is the campaign poster to help you spread the word...

Did you guys see Tom Brady crying on the field when the Patriots lost last Sunday? It was kinda sad, especially when the ref walked over.

Alright, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Overheard At The Obama Inaugural
5. "Wow! I haven't seen this many people since I was at the unemployment office!"
4. "It's so inspirational that a black man could rise from such modest means to be on the stage today! God, I love Jay-Z."
3. "It's a new day for America... Michelle Obama has bangs."
2. "My ears are tingling from Obama's rousing oratory. Also, frostbite."
And the number one thing heard at Obama's inaugural was...
1. "Mr. Biden, could you at least turn down the volume on your 3DS?"

Okay, kids, some of you have been wondering what our friend Debbie Boldacious has been up to. I was wondering that myself so I invited her back to the Phile. She shoots from the hip, heart, camera, gun, sling-shot, tank... please welcome back to the Phile, Debbie Boldacious in a pheature I call...

At the weekend I made friends with a cat. He was a cool cat. He liked that I had on big rings, so adapted them as face scratching devices. I like cool cats with initiative. But I freakin' LOVE DOGS. I sound like a confused Aldi advert. In other news, what's the going rate for organs on the black market?  Or white market, I can't afford to be racist.

Debbie Boldacious, everybody.

Okay, the 23rd book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club is...

Jim Korkis examines the film from concept to controversy, and reveals the politics that nearly scuttled the project. Through interviews with many of the artists and animators who created Song of the South, and through his own extensive research, Korkis delivers both the definitive behind-the-scenes history of the film and a balanced analysis of its cultural impact. The book is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, and Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's pheatured guest is a folk, jazz artist whose new CD "Dandelions" is available on Amazon and iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile, the very beautiful... Kaz Simmons.

Me: Hello, Kaz, welcome to the Phile. So, how are you?

Kaz: I'm very well thanks Jason, how are you?

Me: I'm hanging in there. I love your name, is it short for something? Kaz is very unique sounding.

Kaz: It is short for something, but I'm not telling.

Me: Fair enough. Kaz, I didn't realize you were from England. What part are you from?

Kaz: I'm originally from Hove, East Sussex, but I have lived in London for about 15 years now.

Me: I was born in London myself, Kaz. Do you like it there?

Kaz: South London is the best! Whereabouts were you born?

Me: I was born in Balham. Ever come to the States to perform or just vacation?

Kaz: I'd love to come over to the States and perform and hopefully I will do so, one day. I have family in Houston and Florida, but haven't been over to see them for a while sadly. I should arrange a trip to see them and some gigs...

Me: Kaz, you have a very sweet singing voice. Did it come naturally or did you take voice lessons and go to school?

Kaz: Thank you! I have been singing from a very young age and was lucky enough to be given opportunities to perform at school by teachers who realised I was musical and then I began classical singing lessons when I was eleven.

Me: You also play guitar. How long have you been playing?

Kaz: I have been playing the guitar since I was seven.

Me: What is the first song you learnt on guitar?

Kaz: I studied classical guitar throughout my childhood and only began accompanying myself when singing a few years ago. The first song I played and sang was "Pretty Things" by Rufus Wainwright...  my hero. It then spurred me on to start writing my own songs.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new album "Dandelions" which I downloaded from iTunes. This is your third album, right?

Kaz: Yes it is. Thanks for downloading it!

Me: Did you write all the songs on the album?

Kaz: I wrote all the songs apart from the lyrics to "The End" which was based on a poem I found by a young lad called James Wallace.

Me: It has a very Latin feel, Kaz. Is Latin music a big influence on you?

Kaz: Yes, definitely. I love Brazilian music and often perform Brazilian cover-tunes in my live sets. I'm also influenced by the Spanish classical guitar styles which I studied as a kid.

Me: What music did you listen to growing up?

Kaz: I was brought up on The Beatles, Dire Straits and Billy Joel. I absolutely love Billy Joel to this day and sing "She's Got a Way" (well, I've changed it to "He's Got a Way") in my gigs. If you fancy a listen...  In my teens I had a New Kids on the Block period, followed by Harry Connick Jr in his funk period and then it was Britpop all the way (Blur, Radiohead...)

Me: There's a song on the album titled "Pachmama". What does that mean, Kaz? It's not a new British slang word I don't know about, is it?

Kaz: No! Pachamama means Mother Earth. I went to Peru a few years ago and the song is my ode to the Andes which were mind-blowing.

Me: Your single and video for the album is the song "Stuck". You are very photogenic and look beautiful on film. Do you like being in front of the camera?

Kaz: Ha thanks! I guess it was my first proper video and it was a bit weird at first, but it was great fun and we were lucky that the weather was beautiful when we filmed it. I'm looking forward to doing more.

Me: Where was it filmed and whose toy train was that?

Kaz: The inside shots were filmed in an old pub called The Trafalgar, in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the outside shots in Oxleas Woods in South London. The train was my idea and we borrowed it from a friend. It was actually a bit of a nightmare as the train kept on falling off the tracks and when it was running okay, the tracks would come apart or the train would suddenly stop. I guess it was funny, more than a nightmare.

Me: I tried to get a screen shot of the train going around you when you were sitting in the middle of the track but all I could get was this.

Me: You're better looking than any train anyway. So, I read you performed with Lyn Dobson. Is that the same Lyn Dobson from Manfred Mann? When and where was this performance?

Kaz: Yes, it's the same lovely Lyn. Straight after finishing university, I was called to do some jazz singing as part of a band in Crete, Greece. I didn't know who the other members of the band would be and one happened to be Lyn. I learnt a lot from him and had a great summer chilling out and singing. 

Me: Kaz, this is the 5th year interviewing people and this year I am asking a random question thanks to the game Tabletopics. So, would you rather live by the beach or in the mountains?

Kaz: Can I not live on a mountain, overlooking the beach? I'd like to have both please.

Me: Of course you can have both. Kaz, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again. Go ahead and plug your websites: Facebook, Twitter, everything. Take care.

Kaz: Thanks for finding me, Jason, and for the interview! It's been fun. My websites are:, and if anyone would like to be put on my mailing list, please feel free to email

Me: Thanks, Kaz. And please come back when your next release comes out. Kaz Simmons, everyone!

There you go, kids, that about wraps it up for another interview. Thanks to my guests Debbie Boldacious and of course Kaz Simmons. The Phile will be back tomorrow with British blues legend Maggie Bell and Joe Biden. Yep, Joe Biden. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pheaturing Phile Alum Lynnette Porter

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile, and Happy Martin Luther King Day. Is that an appropriate thing to say?  Do you know what happens today? President Barack Obama becomes President Barack Obama for the second time. It's the inauguration. President Obama’s inaugural parade will feature eight floats, including a Hawaii float to honor his birthplace, an Illinois float to honor the first lady’s home state, and a Kenyan float just to mess with Republicans. The president will push for a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Obama says it’s all part of his plan to give every man, woman, and child the chance to pay more taxes.  So, who watched the interview with Lance Armstrong on Oprah? Armstrong confessed during his interview with Oprah that he did use performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. This came as a complete shock to as many as a dozen people. Although he denied it for years, it was starting to become obvious. Like that one year he won the race on the stationary bike. Remember that? Lance said that he felt like a great weight had been lifted... a huge, oversized weight that he never could have lifted naturally. I think Oprah might have been confused or perhaps poorly informed because Lance kept saying, "Yes, I used performance-enhancing drugs. Yes, I did." And Oprah kept saying, "That's great, but tell us about walking on the moon."  So, anybody have the flu? Do you know what the difference is between a cold and the flu? About $80.  Lindsay Lohan went back in court. This was her 20th appearance in court. She's been in court so often she's got her own locker.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press conference to announce that if you post one more picture of your cat sleeping, they're going to delete your account. Zuckerberg introduced a new feature called Graph Search. It delivers search results from your network of Facebook friends, so you can ask questions like, "Who are my friends that live in San Francisco?" By the way, if you have to ask that, you don't have any friends in San Francisco. It's an interesting new feature. Soon you'll be able to find anything you want on Facebook, except for the thousands of hours of your life you lost going on Facebook.  Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced that he will stay at the White House for President Obama’s second term. He said his mission is to make the U.S. number one in education, and won’t stop until our students are doing gooder.  MGM is coming out with a remake of the classic 1959 film Ben-Hur. You can tell it’s a remake because instead of being about a Jewish prince who is betrayed by his Roman friend, sent into slavery, and then seeks revenge... it’s just about sexy vampires.  Notre Dame’s superstar linebacker Manti Te’o apparently had an online girlfriend who didn’t really exist. They're calling it the biggest hoax involving Notre Dame since they were ranked number one in the nation. But in his defense, Brent Musberger said she was really hot.
I feel bad for the Notre Dame kid because when I was in school things like that would happen to me. I would meet a lot of real women and they would give me imaginary phone numbers. One time it was really sad because a beautiful woman actually faked her death to get out of going on a date with me.
The only other athlete I can think of with an imaginary girlfriend was Chris Humphries.  According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the top two most unhealthy restaurant dishes were from The Cheesecake Factory. The Cheesecake Factory? It's always the last place you'd expect. The most unhealthy dish at The Cheesecake Factory was something called the bistro shrimp pasta, with 3,120 calories. And that's before the cheesecake.  Russia announced plans to send a probe to the moon by the year 2015. Russian scientists say they're excited to see what they could discover on the moon's surface. I'll tell you what they're going to discover... an American flag!  In a recent attack ad, the NRA claims that President Obama cares about his own children more than he cares about other children. In response, President Obama was like, “Yeah, that's how families work.”  Cirque du Soleil just announced that it is cutting 400 jobs. So on the downside, hundreds of clowns will lose their jobs. But on the bright side, it’ll free up, like, two spaces in the parking lot.  Alright, so, today is Martin Luther King Day, and in Washington DC they are selling something I thought was kinda weird. Check it out

So, any of you "Doctor Who" fans? I know Lynnette Porter is, and I am. There's gonna be a new Doctor for the 50th anniversary of the show this year and here on the Phile I have the exclusive who it's gonna be.

Ta-da. That'll be cool... if only it were true.  This year at the Super Bowl it'll be the Baltimore Ravens versus the San Francisco 49ers. That means I think my picks were wrong. Anyway, the NFL released a brand new poster this morning.

One thing I like to do when I'm bored is to go on Twitter and do a search for certain words to see what people are Twittering about. One of the words I type in is Foghat of course. So, here's a new Tweet about Foghat...

And of course I have to mention this, I am running a campaign to get Kelly Clarkson on the Phile. Here is the campaign poster to print out and spread about.

And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this weeks...

Top Phive Disturbing Similarities And Differences Between Lance Armstrong And Wayne LaPierre
5. Loves shooting things up.
4. Has won the Tour de France
3. Bravely accepts full responsibility for the ugly consequences of his actions.
2. Has brought Sheryl Crow to the dizzying heights of sexual gratification.
And the number one thing similar and different between Armstrong and LaPierre is...
1. Oblivious to bloodshed.

Alright, so last year we received tons of advice from a Mayan named Marvin on the Phile. This year I thought we'd get advice from someone different, and who best to get advice from but Morgan Freeman. Well, he was available so I decided to settle on second best. So, please welcome to the Phile...

Me: Hey, there, Morgan, so, do you have any advice or tips for us today?

Morgan: Tips... tip jars are just asking the question, "Do you feel like carrying that change around in your pocket all day?"?

Me: Hmmm. That's it? Anything else you have to say?

Morgan: I like to imagine Parisians sitting back, eating cheese and wondering "what are all these black people doing in our city all of a sudden?"

Me: Morgan, today is MLK Day, do you have anything to say about today?

Morgan: Dr. King would be so sad seeing the black community, finally free AND equal, voting for handouts & government enslavement. Good-bye.

Me: Morgan Phreeman, everybody. 

Today's guest is a Phile Alum whose latest book "The Hobbits: The Many Lives of Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin" is the 22nd book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile... Lynnette Porter.

Me: Hello, Lynnette, welcome back to the Phile. You are the first author I had back here, so that's an honor, right? How are you?

Lynnette: I’m very glad to be asked back. I’ve had a very busy 2012; I’m on academic sabbatical, but I’ve been traveling and writing a lot.

Me: Last time we spoke you were a professor at Embry-Riddle in Daytona. Do you still teach there? 

Lynnette: Yes, I’m a professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department.

Me: What do you teach exactly, Lynnette?

Lynnette: I teach a variety of courses: technical writing, research methods for a senior thesis course, film, and introductory humanities courses that allow me to present literature, film, and television series for critical evaluation and, I hope, enjoyment.

Me: So, are you married? If so, what does your husband think of your books? My wife is not into any of the shame shows I am... or movies.

Lynnette: I’m not married, and my friends and family vary greatly in their interests. My brother, niece, and I share a love of popular culture, and several of my close friends like to discuss what we’ve been watching on television or at the cinema. But then there are those who wonder why I’m so excited to interview a "Doctor Who" actor or dress like a hobbit on a tour to New Zealand.

Me: Okay, so, you have a new book put that's in the Peverett Phile Book Club... "The Hobbits: The Many Lives of Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin". Man, last time I interviewed you was about a "Torchwood" book where you commented on you are not good at naming books. Did you come up with this long title?

Lynnette: I had help, but yes, this long title is pretty much mine.

Me: This is not the first book you wrote about Tolkien's characters and stuff, is it?

Lynnette: This is my second book about Tolkien’s characters. My first, "Unsung Heroes of The Lord of the Rings", was published in 2005. I like them both, but I’m extremely proud of "The Hobbits". I conducted research at Marquette University at the Tolkien archives; talked with critics and fans; saw the Lord of the Rings play in Toronto and Dean Burry’s children’s opera of The Hobbit; and watched as many adaptations of The Hobbit or LotR as possible, but, even so, I know I’ve missed several. It was quite a project, and I enjoyed it a great deal.

Me: What made you decide to write this book?

Lynnette: I’m fascinated by adaptations and the ways that texts change over time. What makes one modern adaptation of a “classic” text popular at one time may differ greatly from what is modernized or deleted in a popular adaptation a decade or two later. "The Hobbit" and "LotR" have been adapted from books many times, with each adaptation having a different focus... sometimes because of a change in medium, from book to film or book to animated television special, for example... but also because of a change in the audience. Adaptations make characters meaningful (or what the writers/directors/producers interpret as meaningful) to their audience. As a result, Tolkien’s characters may retain their book names in a Rankin-Bass television program, an artist’s painting, a comic’s parody, or a Peter Jackson film, but these characters usually have been modified a great deal. The number and types of changes that have been made to a text over time may help keep it alive for generations to come, but adaptations also change the way audiences or readers come to understand the original characters or texts.

Me: Some people probably think it's a novel based on these characters, but it isn't, right?

Lynnette: No! It’s a look at about fifty years of adaptations of hobbits, from the creative and editorial changes Tolkien made to different interpretations of his books in a variety of media... film, television, theatre, music, art. I look at the way hobbits are portrayed in these media, but I also take a look at the changes brought about by fandom... through fan fiction, as one example. I discuss the types of changes made to the hobbits in each adaptation, why that change is important, and how such changes may help or hurt Tolkien’s literary legacy.

Me: I was surprised there was a "Lord of the Rings" musical. Where was this and did you see it?

Lynnette: It debuted in Toronto in 2006, and that’s where I saw it (three times). Several cast members stayed with the show from Toronto, and I’m glad to have seen their performances. I learned about the revisions made before the London premiere in 2007. A good friend was living in London at the time, so even though I couldn’t make it to the West End in time to see the show, he provided me with the programme, soundtrack, and lots of media promotional materials.

Me: I remember when I was a kid I saw a "Hobbit" cartoon. Did you like it? I don't remember too much about it.

Lynnette: I vaguely remember watching it when it was first broadcast, but in the past few years I watched it several times... and have shown it in conjunction with my class’ study of "The Hobbit". It’s cute, I like Glenn Yarbrough’s music, and it’s a good example of Rankin-Bass animation, but it’s not my favorite adaptation of Tolkien’s work.

Me: So, did you like the new movie? It was one of my favorite movies of 2012 and I am not a big Tolkien fan.

Lynnette: I liked it very much. I enjoyed Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo, and I’m looking forward to seeing him in the next two films. I especially like the “riddles in the dark” scene... both Freeman and Andy Serkis are excellent. I was caught up in the Hobbit premiere activities in Wellington. I saw The Hobbit twice while I was in New Zealand... once at the Embassy, once at the Roxy in Miramar, close to the studios where the film was made. I’ve seen it in “regular” format and in the 3D, 48 fps format... which, although it has some technical issues, especially with lighting, I enjoyed and found to be, as Jackson promised, immersive technology that made me feel a part of the story. Wellington during premiere week was chaotic fun. I went to the artisan market showcasing artists who had worked on the films, and I watched all the preparations for the red carpet. A huge statue of Gandalf arriving at Bag End adorned the facade of the Embassy theatre, and banners featuring the film’s characters were on every light post. A multi-story banner of the Bilbo stamp covered the side of the post office and could be seen across the bay. It was a uniquely exciting time to be in Wellington. It helped, too, that the Wellington premiere took place halfway through a “hobbit tour” I was taking. I spent several hours at Hobbiton, which now looks like it does in The Hobbit, but the best part is that this look will be maintained so that visitors can see what this huge movie “set” looked like.

Me: I have no idea how they are going to stretch one book out to three movies, do you?

Lynnette: An Unexpected Journey included scenes with Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman, and Gandalf; the Necromancer; and Radagast the Brown, plus introduced more battles... differences from the first six chapters of Tolkien’s "The Hobbit". By creating new scenes and plotlines based on materials from other Tolkien works, as well as integrating plot elements created solely by the Hobbit’s team of writers (Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo Del Toro), Jackson can expand the story to encompass far more than The Hobbit.

Me: You are not only a big Tolkien fan... I guess you have to be as you wrote books about them... but you belong to a Tolkien fan club, right?

Lynnette: I’m a member of the Tolkien Society, and I am a big fan of TheOneRing.Net, although I’m not on their staff. I’ve been a guest of several “smials,” or local groups hosting gatherings, but I’m not part of such a group in Florida. I like to go to fan-created events like A Long-Expected Party, which will have its third event in September 2014 at Shaker Village (Kentucky), and I had a fantastic time at the co-sponsored TORN-Red Carpet Tours premiere party in Wellington. I’ve been part of conferences in Britain sponsored by the Tolkien Society. Honolulu’s Tol Andune has graciously included me in several of their events, ranging from a book signing/presentation to a toast to the Professor (made each January 3 in honor of Tolkien’s birthday). There are many ways to become involved in Tolkien fandom.

Me: How do you get into this club, not like I want to?

Lynnette: The Tolkien Society has a website ( that provides a great deal of information about Tolkien and his works. The site also lists Tolkien-related news, including events held around the world. That’s a good place to start and gives an idea of who is holding events closer to where you live.

Me: Have you met any of Tolkien's family members?

Lynnette: In 2005, at the Birmingham Tolkien conference, I heard a presentation by Priscilla Tolkien, J.R.R.’s daughter, but I only said hello to her following the session.

Me: So, who is your favorite hobbit and why?

Lynnette: I like the way Tolkien wrote Meriadoc Brandybuck, although he doesn’t always fare well in adaptations. Merry is smart and resourceful. He’s a planner and becomes a leader. He writes books. His family, as well as the Tooks (which includes half-Took Bilbo Baggins), are considered a bit odd. Perhaps I’m egotistical in comparing myself with Merry, but I’ve always felt he’s the hobbit closest to my personality. I also like the way older Bilbo is portrayed as a writer and an eccentric... again, perhaps a bit close to home. I tend to like hobbits who travel beyond the Shire, although they always love their homeland.

Me: You got to go to New Zealand and go to the set... how was that?

Lynnette: When I travel through North and South Islands, I often get the feeling that much of the country has been a “set” for either The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. Hobbiton is the only true “set” that still exists as it appears on screen, but several former filming locations across the country have natural landmarks that make it easy to see where scenes were filmed. I got to take the “behind-the-scenes” tour at Weta, which was interesting because it showed me how props and prosthetics, for example, are made. I was very fortunate to go to a book signing by four of Weta’s artists and designers who worked on The Hobbit. I’d interviewed Daniel Falconer about a year ago for my PopMatters film column, so it was nice to see him again, and I also was able to talk with Richard Taylor, Weta’s founder. Jackson wasn’t filming in Hobbiton... or filming at all... when I was in New Zealand, but after a month of touring New Zealand and talking with lots of people who worked on the films, I had a pretty good idea of how and where the films were shot.

Me: I have a picture of you at the hobbit house, Lynnette.

Me: Did you meet Peter Jackson?

Lynnette: Yes, during a party held in Wellington for The Hobbit premiere... the party co-hosted by TORN and Red Carpet Tours. Several of the film’s actors mingled with us fans, and the bands of two “dwarves” played for the party. William Kircher (Bifur) and Jed Brophy (Nori) are surprisingly musical! Later in the evening, Peter Jackson and Elijah Wood surprised us by taking the stage, but then they stayed around to talk with fans. That’s how I met Peter Jackson and was able to talk with Elijah Wood again.

Me: Did you go inside that Hobbit house?

Lynnette: Not the one at Jackson’s house that was assembled from the set of Bag End as seen in LotR. (I wish I could be a guest there!) The hobbit homes at Hobbiton are all “fronts” without interior furnishings. All of Bag End’s amazingly detailed interiors are a studio set. Sadly, when you look through Bilbo’s front door at Hobbiton (a farm outside Matamata), there’s not much inside. The exteriors, however, are marvellously detailed, just like they look on screen. I felt like I was truly in a community. I could walk across the stone bridge, past the mill, and toward the Green Dragon.

Me: You didn't meet Sir Ian McKellen, did you?

Lynnette: No, I’ve never had the pleasure. He didn’t attend the Wellington premiere this time.

Me: Are the three movies done? Ian has cancer, so I am worried about Gandalf. \

Lynnette: There’s always the concern with a prolonged production that an actor won’t be able to complete a role, but everyone in Wellington seemed upbeat not only about the current film but the next two. Filming is reported to resume midyear. In addition to pickups, new scenes will be required to finish the trilogy.

Me: You are into a bunch of TV shows, Lynnette. You wrote a book about "Torchwood" as I mentioned... what did you think about "Miracle Day"? Do you think "Torchwood" is coming back?

Lynnette: I enjoyed certain episodes in "Miracle Day", and I always will love Captain Jack, but I thought the miniseries as a whole was uneven. I’d love to see "Torchwood" come back for a final miniseries that combines the higher production values we’ve now come to expect with a story that places Captain Jack front and center again... I felt he often was sidelined in "Miracle Day". Right now it doesn’t look like that may happen... Russell T Davies is busy with another series, and nothing seems to have happened as a result of the Starz-BBC collaboration. So I’ve been consoling myself with non-television "Torchwood" stories, such as John and Carole Barrowman’s book, "Torchwood: Exodus Code". That’s an interesting story made especially fascinating because it illustrates how John Barrowman writes Captain Jack.

Me: Readers of the Phile know I am a huge "Doctor Who" fan. I first saw "Doctor Who" with Jon Pertwee in 1974, and growing up I only met one person who was into the show as much as I was. Now it seems everybody is into it, and girls! Where were they twenty years ago?! Anyway, when was the first time you saw "Doctor Who"?

Lynnette: Tom Baker is my Doctor, and I was part of the PBS audience. Over the years I drifted away. In 2005, I watched “Rose” three times during a flight to London, and by then I was committed to the new series. I’ve become such a fangirl about meeting Doctors. Last summer I waited outside the stage door to meet Christopher Eccleston after a performance of "Antigone". The summer before I saw David Tennant and Catherine Tate (twice!) in "Much Ado about Nothing". In October I was a guest at Orlando’s Hurricane Who convention, and I met Peter Davison. I’m looking forward to this year’s many celebrations of the series’ 50th anniversary. There’s no telling who I might meet!

Me: Have you written a "Who" themed book yet?

Lynnette: Yes. "The Doctor Who Franchise: American Influence, Fan Culture, and the Spinoffs" looks at the series in the US, especially since 2005, and explores fans’ perception of American influence on the series. I discuss not only "Doctor Who", but "The Sarah Jane Adventures" and "Torchwood". McFarland published the book a few months back, and it’s available on Amazon in paper or on Kindle. A couple of years ago I also wrote "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" sections in my McFarland-published "Tarnished Heroes, Charming Villains, and Modern Monsters".

Me: Are there any other shows you are into right now?

Lynnette: I adore "Sherlock", and this autumn McFarland also published a collection of Sherlock Holmes-themed essays that I edited and for which I wrote four chapters and the introduction. "Sherlock Holmes for the 21st Century" is available in paper or as a Kindle book.

Me: I love "Person of Interest", Lynnette. Are you watching that show? That would be a good show to write about.

Lynnette: My agent and I are looking at possible series for a new TV book, but I haven’t followed as many series lately, partly because I’ve been traveling so much and partly because I’ve been finishing other projects. It soon will be time to tackle a new series!

Me: So, what book are you working on next, Lynnette?

Lynnette: I’m writing a performance biography of actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who not only is "Sherlock" but has roles in the Hobbit trilogy and this May’s Star Trek, among many, many other projects. MX Publishing in London will be the publisher.

Me: You have a blog on Blogspot as well, right? How is that going?

Lynnette: I need to update it with news of my New Zealand adventures! Like Bilbo, I’ve been There and Back Again, but I’m a bit slow in describing all the marvelous places I’ve been. Lately I’ve been posting updates more frequently to Facebook (such as my profile pic from Hobbiton), but I do plan to spend more time with my blog this year. I can be followed on Facebook ( or my blog ( I also write reviews, features, and a monthly column for PopMatters ( If you look through the archive, you’ll find columns about The Hobbit and a recent interview with "Doctor Who" actor Caitlin Blackwood (young Amy Pond).

Me: Thanks so much for being back on the Phile, Lynnette.

Lynnette: Thank you for inviting me!

Me: Lynnette, I have one more quick question, did you know your book about "Lost" is on a book shelf in the movie This Is 40?

Lynnette: I haven't seen the movie, but Nikki Stafford told me via Facebook yesterday. I thought it was cool. I've never had a book in a movie before! 

Me: Thanks again, Lynnette. Come back again soon.

That's about it for this entry. Thanks to Lynnette Porter for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with singer Kaz Simmons and on Monday with British blues legend Maggie Bell. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pheaturing Daniel Dennis From A Mediocre Time With Tom And Dan

Hey there, welcome to the Phile, thanks for being here. It seems like ages since the last entry, doesn't it? I am your host, Jason Peverett, star of the new movie Time Traveling Gangsters.  A lot has happened in the last week or so, so let's get into it.  Do you all have the flu? I'm telling you, it's bad. Earlier today, I heard Lance Armstrong admit to using Tamiflu. This flu epidemic is just terrible. Experts say that those hit hardest are the very old and the very young. So that's especially bad news for Hugh Hefner and his new bride.  Flu season is here. There's always a group of people who are too paranoid to get a flu shot, even though about half of them have between one and 80 tattoos. What these people are saying is, "I do not trust the doctors to tell me the flu shot is safe and effective, but I do trust the guy with a nose ring to inject me repeatedly with ink." By the way, I just described myself.  Who watched The Golden Globes? I didn't. Daniel Day-Lewis won a Golden Globe for playing Abraham Lincoln and Julianne Moore won for playing Sarah Palin. The foreign press realized that the greatest challenge for an actor in Hollywood is pretending to be a Republican. It's the one night of the year that Hollywood takes a break from congratulating itself to let foreigners congratulate them. Everyone was talking about how cold it was on the Golden Globes red carpet. The temperature was in the low 50s. In fact, it was so cold, Ryan Seacrest had to get his hair defrosted.  A Florida couple got into a fight resulting in the woman biting off half her boyfriend's ear. No, it wasn't my wife and I. She said her biggest complaint is that he never listens.  President Obama held the final press conference of his first term in office the other morning, talking mostly about the debt ceiling. He announced if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling America will go into default on its loans and we might have to say goodbye to Florida. An economist is suggesting that the U.S. Treasury mint a trillion-dollar county and deposit it in the federal reserve... which is how The Lord of the Rings starts, isn't it? The Treasury will not mint a trillion-dollar coin. That is a shame. Wouldn't it be nice to mint up nine or 10 and say we're even?  Hey, music fans, Black Sabbath is reuniting with Ozzy Osbourne for their first album together in 35 years. You can tell they're getting up there because now all Ozzy can do is gum at a bat's head for 30 seconds until it flies away.  Congrats to 23-year-old Mallory Hagan from Brooklyn, who won the Miss America pageant on Saturday. You could tell that she is from Brooklyn because instead of saying she wanted world peace, she was like, "War? Forget about it."  Republicans and Democrats are working on a new bill to streamline the healthcare system. It will reduce the cost of mammograms and prostate exams. But don't worry. They'll still be free at the airport.  President Obama said this week that he wants to find a "pathway for citizenship" for immigrants in the United States. Don't we have that? It's called the Rio Grande river.  Thousands of dead fish have now washed up on shore along the coast of South Carolina. Today the NRA said that this wouldn't have happened if those fish had guns. By the way, South Carolina, that is payback for my accident back in October. Stupid South Carolina...   Ann Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney, has reportedly turned down a chance to appear on “Dancing With the Stars.” Apparently, she has something called "self-respect."  It seems a doctor in Germany is being sued by the family of a patient who died after 16 items were left inside of him after the surgery. The doctor said he felt terrible. He tried to call the family but couldn't find his cell phone.  Last weekend, during a routine cleanup, park crews discovered a cannon from the Revolutionary War that was still loaded. Old, loaded, and ready to go... it's like me every morning. They said the cannon was deadly, dangerous, and could blow up just like that. But don't worry. New York City police did what they could. They put out one of those orange cones.  Who watched the season premiere of "American Idol" this week? This is the third season without Simon Cowell. People thought the show wouldn't survive without him. And those people are called Simon Cowell. I think each new judge will bring something unique to the show. Mariah Carey: wisdom. Nicki Minaj: sass. And Keith Urban will bring stubble. Keith Urban... who's Australian! Are we really going to let an Australian pick our American Idol? Doesn't sound very American to me. Steven Tyler added a little extra something to "American Idol." He'd zero in on the female contestants. He'd stare at them like a hungry cheetah stalking a gazelle, and I miss that.  A week after saying, “I’m not leaving Oregon for the NFL,” Chip Kelly has agreed to be the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Even Lance Armstrong was like, “Pick a story and stick with it.” By the way, Lance Armstrong is gonna be running a new race... Tour de Fraud. That man lost everything, a ball, his bronze Olympic medal, all the stuff he won for winning that French bike race. But... he is mentioned in Strawberry Blondes Forever song "Bicycle of Oppression". By the way, you should all go to iTunes and buy my bands new single.  So, on Tuesday I went back to work after being off since October because of my injury. And when I got there, I was thinking, they really let this place go.

That's so stupid, that picture is like 25 years old.  So, who saw Honda's new ad? I think they might get into some kind of trouble over it. Check it out.

I thought it was very clever.  So, I just mentioned "American Idol", which I have to say is one show I do like. Anyway, I didn't know much about the new judge Nikki Minaj, but I was thinking I have seen her before. If you don't know who she is, kids, here's a picture of her.

So, one thing I like doing is going on Twitter and doing searches on different words to see what people are saying. One of those words I type in is Foghat, and I never know what I am going to find.

Yeah, you tell them, William.  So, you all know I love Kelly Clarkson and want to interview her here on the Phile, so I am running a campaign. Spread the word, people, post this on her Twitter page.

Okay, let's see who croaked, and it's been quite a few this week.

Stan Musial
Nov 21, 1920 - Jan 19, 2013
Yes, he was a 24 time all-star selection, compiled 3630 hits, and is widely considered the best left fielder of all time, and is in the Hall of Fame. But for MY money, the fact that he played the harmonica on "Hee Haw" in 1994 AND made an album of harmonica songs? THAT is what makes someone famous.

Earl Weaver
Aug 14, 1930 - Jan 19, 2013

Dear Abby
July 4, 1918 - Jan 16, 2013
Dear Abby, I think my husband is cheating on me. I keep finding little clues around the house... hotel keys, receipts for restaurants we've never been to, that sort of thing. I feel guilty even thinking it, but I have to know. Should I approach him and just ask? Or should I spy on him to find out? -- BETRAYED IN BALTIMORE Dear Betrayed, I'm dead.

Conrad Bain
Feb 4, 1923 - Jan 14, 2013
Todd Bridges is the one from "Diff'rent Strokes" who lived the longest? Crazy.

Okay, this past week everyone is talking gun control, especially those kids in the White House, so I thought I'd invite someone to the Phile to help explain what is going on. So, please welcome to the Phile once again, Jim Messina.

Me: Hello, Jim, welcome back to the Phile. So, the other day President Obama announced his plan to protect our children and our communities by helping reduce gun violence. I missed it as I was working. What did he say, Jim?

Jim: He said we won't stop every violent act like the one in Newtown, Connecticut. But if we can save the life of even one child, the President believes each of us has a responsibility to take action.

Me: A lot of people spoke out and demanded it, right?

Jim: Yes, their input, along with ideas from leaders and policy makers across the political spectrum, went into the President's plan.

Me: Most gun owners use their guns safely and responsibly, Jim. What about those people? What does the president think about that?

Jim: The President believes firmly in protecting our Second Amendment rights. But common-sense changes can go a long way in keeping our streets and our schools safer... and there's too much at stake to stand by and wait for action.

Me: So, what is the President's plan, Jim?

Jim: He signed 23 executive actions to start moving our country in the right direction. And he's calling on Congress to act on four legislative measures... closing background check loopholes, banning military-style assault weapons, making our schools safer, and increasing access to mental health services... right away.

Me: Well, keep us posted and good luck. And enjoy the inauguration tomorrow. Take care, Jim.

Jim: Thanks, Jason.

Well, it's the last week for football picks before the Super Bowl, kids. Please welcome back to the Phile, my good friend Jeff Trelewicz for the pheature I call...

Me: Welcome back to the Phile, Jeff. How are you?

Jeff: Always great to be back on the Phile.

Me: What's the news in the NFL this week?

Jeff: The biggest news is the search for head coaches in the NFL is slowly coming to an end. Most of the teams that fired their head coaches on "Black Monday" have filled their vacancies. Buffalo, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City and Arizona have new head coaches. There may be other teams, I just can't think about them off the top of my head. The other big news is the unpredictability of the playoffs. Most people figured the Packers would find their way to the NFC Championship game but San Francisco had other plans.

Me: Alright, so, I was winning by two, so how did we do last week?

Jeff: I hate to point this out, but I was winning by two points, not the other way around like you thought.

Me: Oh, yeah. HA! Okay, so, did I catch up?

Jeff: I went 1-1 last week and you unfortunately went 0-2 so I extend my lead to five points with just three games to go. But it is still not over. I think both games will be close.

Me: God, I hope so. I say Atlanta by three and New England by 10. What do you say?

Jeff: I say New England by three points over Baltimore and 49ers by three points over the Falcons.

Me: Interesting. Alright, Jeff, I'll see you soon here.

Jeff: See you for the Super Bowl!

Me: Thanks, Jeff, as always.

The 22nd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Lynnette Porter, the author and Phile Alum will be the guest on the Phile tomorrow. The book meanwhile is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This is so cool... today's pheatured guest was for over 15 years was the main character talent on The Monsters in the Morning is a talk radio show on XM Radio Channel 165 and via the Iheartradio. He could be heard now on the popular podcast A Medicocre Time With Tom and Dan. Please welcome to the Phile, my friend and one talented guy... Daniel Dennis!

Me: Daniel, welcome to the Peverett Phile, man! I have been wanting to interview you for a long time... five years actually since I started interviewing people on the Phile. How are you?

Daniel: Not bad man. About to try out a new pressure cooker that my ma got me for Christmas. I guess as you get older these are the type of old, bullshit gifts that you get excited about. Haha…

Me: Do you want me to call you Dan or Daniel? What do you prefer?

Daniel: Either is fine. I'm not picky at all.

Me: We have met a few times over the years at concerts and at Disney, and Monster events. I'll get you on Star Tours anytime, Daniel. Do you go to Disney often?

Daniel: I do. The wife loves it and I think everything that they do is full on first class. Just went to the reopening of Test Track and I walk outside and there's One Republic playing for us... like 40 people maybe and unlimited drinks. And don't get me started about the dragon that they spent all that money on to fly over New Fantasyland… Yeah. It's safe to say that I'm a fan.

Me: You've seen more of Disney then I have recently and I bloody work there. Daniel, you're originally from Central Florida, right? What part? 

Daniel: DeLand, Florida. It's about 40 miles from Orlando.

Me: Have you ever thought of moving to another state?

Daniel: There was a time when I was going to move to LA to produce radio for a midday show that I was working for but I decided to stay in town because I had friends, a band that I was playing in, and was still in school. I eventually dropped out… haha.

Me: I first heard you on the radio when you were an intern on Real Radio before you were on the Monsters. Did you always want to be on the radio?

Daniel: I did. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be in radio. I loved to make my own mix tapes complete with weather and all kinds of little news reports and shit in them. I was a real radio dork.

Me: I did as well, wanted to be on radio, but my voice is unbearable, so I chose this blog thing instead. Did you go to Broadcasting school?

Daniel: I went to Flagler College in St. Augustine for 2 years and then transferred to UCF. Yes… my original degree was going to be a double in Communications and English. Like I stated before I dropped out as my job with Real Radio got more and more intensive.

Me: You have created over a 100 different characters for the Monsters In the Morning radio show. How do you come up with them and which one if your favorite?

Daniel: Shit. That's a really good question. I don't think that I've ever had a favorite and most of them are just spur of the moment and throw away, you know? I don't like to linger on much for too long because if I'm bored of something you're certainly going to hear it and if I don't like it… what would make you like it, as in the audience? Buddy was the one that people seem to like the most but I got sick of that pretty fast. I even put out and sold over 5000 Buddy CDs. I guess it has it's place but I like most of them equally. It's just fun.

Me: Okay, I have to tell you, in full disclosure, you are not the first member of that radio show to be on the Phile as I am a big fan... or were. We'll talk about that in a minute. I interviewed Jeff Howell about his band The Poker Dogs, Burt Wilson about his solo album, Tiffany Martin about her band and her EP and even Savannah about a charity she is part of. I tried to interview Russ Rollins, the creator of the Monsters, especially when his book came out a few years ago but never heard back from him. Are you surprised?

Daniel: Not really.

Me: Did you read his book "Monster Trash"?

Daniel: Only my chapter.

Me: Do you still keep in touch with any of those folks?

Daniel: Most everyone, yes. I love those guys. Jimmy and Drunky are two of my closest friends and I expect always will be. They're really, really good folks.

Me: We have to talk about something, but I'll keep it brief as you're probably sick of talking about it... a few months ago you left the Monsters show after being on there for over 15 years, and when you left Facebook and Twitter imploded. Were you surprised by your fans reactions and outpouring?

Daniel: I was. It was HUGE. They were pissed but it was just something that I needed to do. There are times in life when you need to step back and ask yourself if you're being true to yourself. How are you being treated? Are you proud of what you're doing? I wasn't anymore so it was time to move on.

Me: If I stopped doing the Phile I don't think many people would care even though I have a lot of readers. Do you know how well liked you are and were on that show? You did pretty much all the comedy for it, Dan.

Daniel: Wow. That's a bold and completely "make me blush" type of comment. Thank you. I loved doing it. I LOVE to laugh and more than anything I love hearing that I made a listener laugh. That's the best part… when you're told that you really made a person's day. Knowing that something that I created made them happy. That's huge. Huge.

Me: Shit, if I had a TV show I would hire you in a second to be my comedy writer, Dan. Have you gotten any offers for anything like that?

Daniel: I've done commercials and music videos here and there. I don't really have a real or anything so I don't think I'm working for it so not very many.

Me: Dan, tell the readers briefly how and why you left the show.

Daniel: It was an integrity thing. Like I said before, there are times when you need to stand your ground and make a good decision to get yourself out of a toxic situation. I was in that and I needed to get out of it and make myself un-sick. I think people can understand what I'm trying to say there.

Me: Yes, I totally understand. That's similar to why I left Epcot after 23 years. You are also a talented songwriter and musician, Daniel. I always loved the song "Serial Lover". Is there an inspiration behind that song?

Daniel: I just wanted to see if I could write a silly country song. I was bored in German class at UCF. 

Me: You still write and record music for your new show, right?

Daniel: I do. But it's at my own pace. I like that so much better than trying to shit out a song for the radio. That was a major frustration for me. You always have to crap things out so f'n fast. You really never get the chance to put the fit and finish on songs and stuff. I understand that that's all part of it…but yeah… I like taking my time a lot better.

Me: I downloaded the song "So Tired, So Horny (Rent A Pony)". What was the inspiration for that song?

Daniel: Jerking off a lot and making fun of how guys are either always tired or horny. Silly shit.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your very popular and very funny podcast A Mediocre Time With Tom and Dan". First of, how did Tom get his name listed first?

Daniel: Alliteration. It reads better than A Mediocre Time with Dan and Tom. Try it. Tom and Dan is far better. Plus neither of us are ego maniacs and need our names first or before the other. We're friends that just want to make people laugh.

Me: For the Phile readers that don't know, tell them who is Tom Vann and where did you two meet? 

Daniel: Tom is the Drunky the Bear that you might hear on a local radio station. We met because he was my intern and we've had a friendship ever since.

Me: I have a picture of you both doing the podcast.

Me: Where did the name of the podcast originate from and who came up with the idea to do it?

Daniel: We both did. It started from the conversations that we'd have at our day jobs. Just sitting around and bullshitting. Those were some of the most funny bits that we'd ever come up with. Then we thought one day… "Wow… we should be recording this. This is great stuff. I think people would dig this."

Me: You've been doing it for four years now, right?

Daniel: Yes, sir. We started in 09 so in March we will celebrate our 4 year anniversary.

Me: Do you guys go in knowing what you are going to talk about, or do you just wing it?

Daniel: It's a little of both but we do our best to not let it be anything like radio. No bits. No skits. Just two guys that want to chat and make each other cry laugh.

Me: And you have guests on it like Josh Radin. Is that something you've done for awhile, have guests?

Daniel: If it's natural, yes. We've had quite a few but it's certainly not something that we lean on. The show is me and Tom. We lean on each other the most.

Me: Maybe I can be a guest one day, Dan. LOL. Seriously. Anyway, it's not just you two anymore but you have a guy named Ross. When I first heard his name, I thought it was Russ and I was like oh shit. Where did Ross come from?

Daniel: Ross was on another very popular podcast called SomaCow. We actually got a lot of advice from those guys when we were starting A Mediocre Time. They're great people but then stopped doing their show about 2 years ago. It was a shame because it was a wonderful show.

Me: And would you ever invite Russ from the Monsters on the show?

Daniel: Not likely.

Me: I was surprised you guys have a shit load of merchandise you sell for the show. I have been talking about for years selling Phile merch. Who does the designing for you and does the merchandise sell well?

Daniel: We have a agency that we've been working with for about 2 years as well. They're called The Danger Brain and they are amazing. Two of the best in the game and we're probably their smallest and most insignificant client but they treat us like we're one of the big boys. They really stepped up our look. We can't thank them enough for doing that.

Me: Daniel, apart from AMT, you also are going back to college, am I right? What are you studying? 

Daniel: I'm finally finishing with an Interdiciplinarian Degree. Fancy, huh?

Me: Yeah. With being on the Monsters, Real Radio, and working for Clear Channel, did you learn anything that you use for AMT?

Daniel: I did indeed. I made great friends and I think I really discovered who I really am. Wouldn't trade my time therefor anything in the world. Clear Channel always treated me well and on the way out we didn't see eye to eye on my contract but that's cool. It's business… no hard feelings.

Me: I once thought about making the Phile into the podcast, but don't have the patience or the time. A blog is so much easier. Anyway, do your own studio, or do you do it from home?

Daniel: We have our own studio. It's actually the complete bottom floor of my house. You'd never know that I live above it. It works out great. I do work a bit much now because I have it but I guess that's part of the curse of not being able to leave your work at the office.

Me: If readers of the Phile wanna start their own, tell them what equipment do you use, Daniel.

Daniel: iMac, MacBook Pro, Sony Viao, Yahama mixing console, and Rode NT1A mics. We also have a great deal of SM51's to take the show of the road and for guests. There's a lot more but that's sort of a nice overview for you.

Me: There's a name for AMT fans, and that is scumbags. Where did that name come from?

Daniel: We're not sure. I think it's because we get into some pretty nasty conversations. Scummy…

Me: And what does snoots mean? You use it often on the show, and website.

Daniel: That's a really long story but it came from an article about people eating rat snouts. Look it up in our archives and that should explain it to you. I'm getting tired and horny. Kidding.

Me: Dan, where can people listen and download the show? It's on iTunes and you have your own website, right?

Daniel: iTunes works and you can also get most everything from We also have a new Tuesday show that you can subscribe to. It's fun.

Me: Who drew the logo and pictures of you guys?

Daniel: The Danger Brain. Told you. They're amazing.

Me: Do you ever see the show becoming a TV show?

Daniel: I don't but we're open to anything.

Me: Daniel, before I let you go, this year I am asking my guests random questions thanks to a game called Tabletopics. So, here is your random question... If you got a tattoo what would you get and where would you put it? Fuck, you have an arm covered in tattoos. How many do you have altogether, Daniel?

Daniel: I guess I have 3… but my whole right arm is covered… a full sleeve.

Me: Alright, another question, would you rather be a great musician, artist or athlete?

Daniel: Artist. By far. I think that's what I am and I love it.

Me: Daniel, take care, tell Tom he needs to be on the Phile as well and please come back soon. You rock, Daniel. And keep up the good work. Daniel Dennis, everybody!

There you go, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jim Messina, Jeff Trelewicz and of course Daniel Dennis. The Phile will be back tomorrow with author and Phile Alum Lynnette Porter. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Strawberry Blondes Forever!