Monday, October 10, 2016

Pheaturing Phile Alum Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz

Hey, people, welcome back to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? So, apparently it's Columbus Day. Here's to spending Columbus Day figuring out where I'll move if Trump is elected. Did you watch last night's debate? Melania Trump may or may not have intentionally thrown a butt load of shade by wearing a "pussy-bow blouse" to the second presidential debate last night. A leaked tape of Trump detailing how he can get away with grabbing women "by the pussy" is the latest vomit-inducing garbage spewed from the crusty mouth hole of the Republican Nominee. In the same tape, he spoke about his trying to sleep with a married woman... later revealed as Nancy O'dell... while his own wife was pregnant with their son. At first Melania said her husband's remarks were "unacceptable and offensive," but later accepted his apology. However, her $1100 bright pink Gucci "pussy bow" blouse may indicate that she is still holding a grudge. Or perhaps the fashion choice was intended to show that she is standing by her husband amidst "pussy-gate." Or maybe Melania could have just been making a fashion statement and was not trying to make a statement with her fashion. Either way, cute top!

Meanwhile, Tiffany Trump smoothly rejected her dad's kiss, much like he rejected her for her entire life, forgetting she existed at the RNC and not even following her on Twitter until a viral campaign set to right the injustice. With a deft slide and pat on the shoulder, Tiffany demonstrated how all women feel around The Donald. Plus, immediately after the debate, Donald was cautious to only shake his favorite daughter/child/woman/"piece of ass" (a term for her he okayed on Stern), in order to hide his real desires. It was a clear departure from his usual butt-pat. Barf. Only 28 days left, people.
Nadya Okamoto is an 18-year-old freshman at Harvard University, but her young age isn't stopping her from helping to save the world. In fact, she just won $10,000 for her non-profit that helps homeless women get access to pads and tampons. That's right. She has her own non-profit. According to Elite Daily, as a high school freshman, Okamoto lived two hours away from where she went to school. During her commute, she always saw the same homeless women on the bus and formed bonds with them. She learned that the women all shared one major concern: they weren't able to get pads or tampons for their periods. Okamoto was inspired to help. As a high school sophomore, she asked her classmate Vincent Forand to help her launch a non-profit called Camions of Care. The organization distributes pads, tampons, and other feminine hygiene products to homeless women. Okamoto also mentors other young leaders to start their own chapters of the charity. Since Camions was founded two years ago, chapters in 30 schools across 17 states have been formed and 25,000 periods have been addressed. Pretty impressive. Okamoto​ was recently named a 2016 L'OrĂ©al Paris Woman of Worth Honoree, and received $10,000 for Camions of Care. For every $1 the organization earns, one woman gets access to menstrual products. Okamoto has already earned enough to help 10,000 more women, and she has a chance to help 25,000 more. The public can now vote for one of the 10 Women of Worth nominees to become the National Honoree and take home another $25,000. If Okamoto wins the vote, Camions of Care could help a total of 35,000 women get the hygiene products they need. Not bad for 18 years old.
So, did you survive Hurricane Matthew? I did. Anyway, while Florida was being asked to evacuate, already-extinct dinosaurs were not afraid of no hurricane. Two T-Rexes headed to the beach to do a strange dance that should sync well to the Jurassic Park theme. Don't believe me? Take a look...

Yep. In addition to deadly winds and rain, the people of Florida now had a dinosaur invasion to worry about. While those dinos are almost certainly humans in inflatable costumes, Floridians did have IRL sharks swimming past the shore.
According to the BBC, a 21-year-old Australian man was recently bit by a poisonous spider on his penis. As if that weren't bad enough, this marks the second time in five months this man's penis has fallen victim to a poisonous spider bite. Here is what we wrote the first time it happened to him back in April. And you thought you were having a bad 2016. The man, identified only as Jordan, said both incidents occurred while he was using a port-a-potty while he worked on building sites. "I was sitting on the toilet doing my business and just felt the sting that I felt the first time," Jordan told BBC. "I was like 'I can't believe it's happened again.' I looked down and I've seen a few little legs come from around the rim." He also added that he was bitten in "pretty much the same spot" as the last time around.
While many people like big butts and they cannot lie, it's uncomfortable to have to encounter a huge thong in the parking lot.UFit, a gym in the U.K., paved the roads with an ad of a shiny, aggressively sexualized women's bottom with the words "there's better things to be stuck behind than the car in front."

The ad was featured on the route of the Cardiff Half Marathon in Wales, which the marathon has denounced. Cardiff residents (and even Members of Parliament!) are tweeting at Ufit Fitness about how straight-up objectification is not a good look. Gyms are ostensibly in the business of making people healthier and hotter, and many have ridiculously strange and sexual ads that are more about hotness than health. Here's your hourly reminder that women are more than just butts.
Halloween is just a few weeks away, kids, and there's some Halloween costumes I am already tired of. Like this Tom Hiddleston look...

Okay, this is a great costume. And hopefully you're the only one who thought of it and made a custom tee on the web. But you're probably not. Sad! I have to point something out, when I saw this photo of Hurricane Matthew...

I thought to myself where did I see this before? Then it occurred to me.

Hahaha. Hey, did you see the logo for The Iowa State Fair? If not, I have to show it to you. This is 100% real, kids.

That should be a Mindphuck, right? So, I have been showing you that the graphic arts department has been trolling Donald Trump. It seems MSNBC has been doing the same thing.

Trump as a new campaign slogan that came out last Friday. Did you see it?

Hmmmm. Say what you want about Trump, he is very clever at one thing...

That's not as good as Hillary's impersonation on Monica Lewinsky though.

So, so stupid. Alright, as you know Apple just came out with the iPhone 7 and next they're coming out with some new ear buds. That made me think, there's other products Apple came out with in the past. So, once again, here's a pheature called...

The Apple USB Mouse (1998)

It was nicknamed the "hockey puck" because using it made you want to bash your teeth out. In the late 90s, a struggling Apple put itself back on the map with the colorful, user-friendly iMac... a welcome alternative to the beige post-apocalyptic PC towers of the day. Along with every iMac, Apple shipped their brand-new USB mouse, which was just as colorful but not nearly as user-friendly. Its perfectly circular shape made it about as comfortable to handle as an angry hedgehog. If you have any doubt, just ask anyone between the ages of 30 and 35. They'll show you their permanently deformed claw hands as proof.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's soooo many blogs out there. Not all have been going on for 10 years, and not all have an interview with a famous drummer, but they all are unique in their own way. That's why once in a blue moon I randomly choose a blog to put in...

Today's blog is... This is what it looks like...

Hmmm. If you wanna sew something or whatever it's called when you use yarn this is the blog for you. Check it out sometime, and tell Suzetta I sent you. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Other Surprises Found In Trump's Tax Returns
5. He signs all documents exclusively in pink glitter ink.
4. $45,000 in taco bowl purchases in 1994... turns out he really does love those things!
3. Instead of simply dating the document, he wrote nine rambling paragraphs insulting Rosie O'Donnell.
2. He attributed a $1 million business loss to an arcade claw machine in the Trump Taj Mahal lobby.
And the number one other surprise found in Trump's tax returns was...
1. Under dependents, he posted Ivanka as "The Hot One."

Today's guest is a Phile Alum who is a drummer best known for working with the singer-songwriter "Weird Al" Yankovic. He's one of my favorite guests I had on the Phile. So, please welcome back to the Phile... Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz!

Me: Hello, Bermuda, welcome back to the Phile, sir. How have you been?

Bermuda: BUSY! These last few years have been non-stop!

Me: Congratulations on the success of Weird Al's last album "Mandatory Fun" which went to Number One on the Billboard charts. When it went to Number One how did you find out and how did you celebrate?

Bermuda: Thanks, it doesn’t get any better than #1! Al called me the instant he found out, and it was in the trades and all over the ‘net within hours.

Me: You just finished the long Mandatory Fun Tour and played in some really cool places such as Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. Was that the first time you played in those places? 

Bermuda: First time for Radio City, but I’d played the Bowl a few times as a kid. Once with a marching band for a police depaement event, and a few years later, my band made the finals in the L.A. County Battle of the Bands, which was held there.

Me: Out of all the venues you played and all the tours you have done that was your favorite?

Bermuda: The early tours were special because everyone and everything and everywhere was new and exciting. Of course it’s still exciting, it’s just not quite so new anymore after 33 years! And there are a lot of fave venues, but I’m really proud to have played anywhere The Beatles played, such as Red Rocks, Hammersmith Odeon, the Hollywood Bowl, and taping "Late Night" at the Ed Sullivan Theater!

Me: So, did you have fun on the tour?

Bermuda: Yep. A total of 200 shows over two tours totaling 39 weeks. It’s a rigorous schedule with 5 cities a week, but still fun for me.

Me: Last time you were here we talked about you being on "Conan" and not getting much air time, but since then you guys played on the Colbert show and back on "Conan" at Comic Con. What were those experiences like?

Bermuda: Colbert was cool because it was at the Ed Sullivan Theater. The stage is different than it was 50 years ago, so I didn’t end up where Ringo sat, but one of the older hands showed me where that was. We did “Word Crimes” after having been off the road for 4 months, and it sounded and looked great. Conan was shot at a cool old theater in downtown San Diego, I don’t think I got much screen time this time either, but I did get a check!

Me: Did you spend a lot of time at Comic Con in San Diego? I could of went there the last four years and never did.

Bermuda: The theater wasn’t very close to the convention, I didn’t make it over there.

Me: Are you into comics, movies and such?

Bermuda: I rarely see movies when they’re new, and I haven’t read a comic in years, but I like such! 

Me: At the Radio City show Lin-Manuel Miranda Manuel from "Hamilton" showed up and sang "Yoda" with you guys. What was the audience’s reaction like?

Bermuda: Obviously it was a surprise, and the New York crowd loved it! He’s a big fan and sang well as I recall.

Me: I am so not into "Hamilton," but my sister and her family like a million other people are. Are you?

Bermuda: I don’t see plays very often either, so not so much.

Me: Is there any celebrity you have ever met that you got tongue tied and star struck meeting?

Bermuda: I’m pretty comfortable around high-profile people, but it was awesome shaking hands with Bill Clinton when he was the President. I even have official White House photos!

Me: Bermuda, you're originally from Chicago... when you play there do you get a lot of school friends and family showing up to the shows?

Bermuda: I left there when I was about 3, so no old friends or schoolmates to connect with, and no family left there, either. I do have several friends that I’ve met over the years traveling with Al, so I do look forward to the Chicagoland dates in particular.

Me: You met Al through Dr. Demento, who I have interviewed on the Phile. I figured you thought he was clever and creative because you offered to help him with the song "Another One Rides the Bus." When you approached Al and introduced yourself and offered to help what was his reaction?

Bermuda: He actually asked me, and was probably thinking ‘oh boy, a free drummer!’ But I certainly thought he had something, and I did offer to be his drummer if he got a band together.

Me: How soon after that did you guys become really good friends and continue to work together?

Bermuda: I met him September 14th, 1980, and we were communicating within a few weeks. He was still in college, but came home to L.A. in January, and we recorded a new song for an EP he was putting out. We stayed pretty close throughout the ‘80s and have remained close friends.

Me: Okay, so I have to ask... "Mandatory Fun" came out a few years ago... are you guys planning on recording another album?

Bermuda: Not in the traditional sense. There’ll be new music, but released a song or two at a time, while they’re fresh. After we have 10 or 12 songs, they’ll probably end up on an album for sale at shows and online. Al’s contract with Sony ended in 2014, and he’s happy being independent.

Me: Thirty something years ago when you guys first met and started if someone would of told you you'll be still playing and touring with Al would you believe it?

Bermuda: Nah, we couldn’t have imagined it at all. The reality is, most people in the arts have a fairly short career. It’s the rare actress or singer or band that has a viable career for more than three decades, and in Al’s case, that career is still growing with higher chart positions, busier tours in bigger venues, and for him personally, a lot of TV work.

Me: Okay, I don't remember if I asked you this before but what is your favorite Weird Al album and song? I have to say "EBay" and "The Saga Begins" are two of my favorites.

Bermuda: That’s always the hardest question. I tend to say the latest album is my favorite, mainly because it’s fresh musically and production-wise. But it’s hard to pick one or even three or four favorite songs. Okay, maybe “Word Crimes” sticks out for me on this album.

Me: Do you ever hear a song on the radio and think Al should parody it?

Bermuda: Not really, I don’t hear songs the way Al does. I absorb the music, drumming, and production, but he immediately thinks about new, satirical lyrics.

Me: So, now the tour is over, and Al is doing voice work for a Disney cartoon what are you gonna be doing, sir?

Bermuda: The usual: I play regularly with 3 or 4 bands in L.A., and my wife (and dogs) and I travel a little bit.

Me: Not only do you play with Al but you recorded with Ray Campi on his "Still Rippin' It Up" album. I have to show the album cover here...

Me: That's freakin' cool! For those that don't know Ray is a legendary rockabilly bass player. How did you get that gig recording with him, sir?

Bermuda: I did a session in 1981 at the Rollin’ Rock studio, and Ray was playing bass. I didn’t immediately hookup with him, but his piano player Rip Masters invited me to join his band. I crossed paths with Ray many times and did a few gigs and several recordings with him over the years. I recently recorded 13 tracks for a new Campi CD, and I’ve also handled the artwork duties on his (and some of Rip’s) albums.

Me: What was that experience like and what was he like in the studio?

Bermuda: Ray is a legend on the rockabilly scene, and especially in Europe, so it’s pretty cool to work with him. He’s pretty laid back, and not too demanding, so the sessions go smoothly. He’s easy to play with as well, he has a good feel and we work well together.

Me: I was gonna ask how recording with him was different than recording with Al but that's such a stupid question. When you first met Ray what was that like?

Bermuda: I don’t remember if I really knew who Ray was before that first session, I was more focused on just playing well with songs I’d never heard before. The artist was Jim Silvers, and I played on 7 tracks on the Colonel Jim Silvers album, released in the U.K. only for some reason. Good luck finding that now!

Me: You're a big rockabilly fan I believe, right?

Bermuda: Well, I became one after working with Rip. There was already quite a rockabilly scene in L.A., elsewhere in the world too, before the Stray Cats brought it to most people’s attention. They certainly didn’t start the revival, but they did give a big push to the genre, if only temporarily. Within a few more years, it seemed like just another fad. But there were still a bunch of dedicated bands that carried the torch, and I still dig playing with both Rip and Ray.

Me: Are you doing shows with Ray? I wonder if he still climbs up on his bass.

Bermuda: I played with Ray about a year ago, and I don’t remember him getting on the bass. But he’s 82, he’s entitled to take things a little easier! Not that he’s in bad shape, he has all the energy he did when I first met him.

Me: Okay, so, this year is the Phile's 10th anniversary and I am asking my Alum guests what they were doing 10 years ago in 2006... so what were you doing?

Bermuda: We finished work on the "Straight Outta Lynwood" album, which was released kinda late in the year, so we didn’t hit the road until 2007. Mostly, I played with my local groups. Sometimes a year off is quiet, and that’s fine with me.

Me: Bermuda, I can't thank you enough for coming back on the Phile. Please come back soon and tell Al I'd love to interview him before the Phile comes to an end in summer of 2018.

Bermuda: My pleasure! What? Coming to an end??NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Me: Yeah. That's been a lot of people's reactions. Plug your website and whatever you wanna plug. All the best and take care.

Bermuda: My latest pet project is

Me: Thanks so much, Bermuda. Take care.

Well, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Bermuda for another great interview. The Phile will be back on Friday with jazz singer Shirley Crabbe. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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