Monday, December 30, 2019

Pheaturing Peter Frampton

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. It's the last entry of the year. At 12 a.m., the night before New Years Eve, it will be Ramones time. It was be 2020, twenty-fours to go. A few months ago released its annual Singles in America study, and it has fascinating insights into what it means to be, well, a single in America. Dr. Helen Fisher and Dr. Justin R. Garcia studied over 5,000 singles all across America the beautiful (and smart and funny). It covered five major topics: Young Singles, Women, Love, Dating, and Sex. Here are the most interesting and surprising takeaways. Who said romance was dead? Sixty-three percent of millennials and 70% of Gen Z want to "find romantic love." It's probably because you all grew up with Love, Actually. Only 11% of Gen Z and Millennials say that they date casually. One third of millennials say that their financial situation has held them back while dating. The top 1% goes on 99% of the dates. Thirty-eight of young people have sent naked photos, and 52% have received them. According to the study, only 19% of women message first on dating apps (!!!). Seventy-five percent of men say that they are cool with being approached first. The other 25% are Don Draper. The average straight person, male or female, has five sexual partners in their lifetime. Half of all singles have created online dating profiles. Fifty-seven percent of single men and 61% of single women say that they "carefully evaluate" a profile rather than just swipe through it. Dating sites are the one place on the Internet where you should actually read the comments. Only 35% of respondents said that they've been ghosted. Fifty-one percent of men say that they have been acting differently because of the #MeToo movement, while 14% of overall singles say that the movement has made dating more challenging. Forty-nine percent of single people "want to achieve happiness with themselves before they begin to date." Thirty-nine percent of singles say that they have fallen in love with somebody they weren't initially attracted to. That explains every Seth Rogen movie. The United States of Breakups: The state with the most breakups per person, with a whopping 8, is New Hampshire. The cities with the most breakups per person are Washington D.C. with 7 heartbreaks and Austin, Texas with 5.
The holidays are traditionally a time to spend with the people you love, whether that means family or a form of chosen family. But that often makes the first Christmas after you lose someone close to you especially difficult to get through, no matter how many other loved ones you’re still surrounded by. One family knew that their grandma was struggling with her first Christmas without her husband, so they knew they wanted to do something special to keep his memory alive this season.

Fortunately, the family had stumbled across a whole bunch of letters that grandma and grandpa had written to each other when they were in college, dating all the way back to 1962. They gathered them up, had a silver box engraved for the occasion, and turned the camera on grandma when the time came for her to open the special gift. Grandma already seems moved enough with only the box in hand, but when she realizes just what’s inside, she can’t hold back her tears. “I was going through dad’s things and I found them,” her son tells her. “He kept those.” It was enough to grow any Grinch’s heart three sizes this Christmas, and people watching the video on Twitter agreed. Seriously, it’s impossible to watch this and not cry. The granddaughter who originally shared the video followed up to thank everybody who has been wishing her grandmother well after sharing this special moment with them. “She is doing great and has been saying over and over again that it’s the best gift she could’ve asked for,” she wrote. It’s not going to be the same when we print out our old emails, is it?
Some McDonald’s employees at a Lodi, California location were given some extra duties this Christmas Eve, aside from working on the holiday. When a drive-thru customer felt a violent threat from her boyfriend, employees at the fast food chain stepped up to keep things safe and sound. The San Jaoquin County Sheriff’s Office reported that a customer entered the McDonald’s, went up to the counter, and asked an employee to call 911. The customer then gave the license plate number of the car she arrived in and asked to be hidden. Shortly after, her boyfriend entered and insisted she return to the car and order via the drive-thru. She did so, mouthing “help me” to employees from the driver’s seat as she approached the drive-thru window. By that point, authorities had already arrived in response to the 911 call. Police pulled the car over and discovered that her boyfriend, identified as Eduardo Valenzuela, pressured her to take him to visit his family for the holiday, even threatening to kill her with a firearm if she refused. Lodi community members let it be known how proud they were of this brave woman, the police, and the helpful McDonald’s staff. Valenzuela was arrested and taken to the San Jaoquin County Jail. He’s been charged with possession of a firearm, making criminal threats, and possession of stolen property.
Nicole Marie Pool Franklin is not a name you may recognize, but unless you’ve been avoiding social media and the news lately, you probably heard all about her horrific racist acts. Franklin, fueled by meth and racism, is the Iowa driver who intentionally drove her SUV up onto a sidewalk to run down a 14 year-old girl because, in her words, the child was “Mexican.” The child, who was walking to a basketball game when Franklin hit her and then continued driving, survived... though she was seriously injured. New details have emerged that make the case even more horrifying, but first let’s give you some relevant details to the events of that day. Before Franklin went on her racist rampage, she got high on meth. Once she was high, we know she mowed down a 14 year-old Hispanic girl because of the child’s race. What many people don’t know is that after Franklin hit the girl she drove to a nearby gas station. At that gas station she spent over twenty minutes shouting racial slurs, destroying merchandise and threatening people. Witnesses at the gas station called police based on that behavior... not over her hit and run of the girl. They had no idea. Franklin confessed to hitting the child with her SUV... as well as her racist motivations for her actions... to police after the gas station arrest. She also spouted plenty of derogatory and racist comments to officers. She was brought up on charges including attempted murder, theft, assault, possession of illegal substances and more. After public outcry, hate crime charges were added. It seems those hate crime charges are even more deserved than people initially knew. It has just come to light that Franklin intentionally hit a black little boy about an hour before running over the 14 year-old girl. According to witnesses and surveillance footage, Franklin aimed her SUV at a boy who was walking along the curb of an apartment complex. She then “gunned the engine” and jumped the curb, running over the little boy’s leg and continuing on like nothing happened. The boy, aged 12, survived with relatively minor injuries. Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek says that footage confirms Franklin striking the child was a purposeful act. So for those keeping track at home, here is what we know of Franklin’s actions that day. First, we know she got high on meth. After that, she intentionally struck the first child, a 12 year-old black male child. About an hour later, she plowed her SUV into a 14 year-old Hispanic girl. She later confessed to hitting this child on purpose because of the child’s race. Approximately ninety minutes after her second hit and run of a child, Franklin found herself at a gas station shouting racial slurs, throwing potato chips and destroying merchandise and displays. Franklin now faces at least two attempted murder charges, assault charges, theft charges, hate crime charges in relation to the gas station incident and several charges related to the meth. As word of the second hit and run hits social media, people don’t seem surprised. They do, however, seem furious. Franklin was held on a $1 million bond over the initial hit and run with the girl. No word yet on whether this new charge will see her bond increased or potentially even revoked. Many people point to Franklin’s meth use as an excuse, but just as with mental illness and alcohol, no one becomes a racist because of meth. It just removes their inhibitions about showing how racist they are to the world.
People are likely to agree that the final episode of "The Mandalorian" Season 1 was a true masterpiece except for one little thing. Early on in "Chapter 8: Redemption," one of the scout troopers actually punched "Baby Yoda" for biting his finger. Not surprisingly, Jason Sudeikis, who played the guilty trooper, is now being considered a worse Star Wars villain than Moff Gideon himself. In addition to that, his comedy group has somehow disowned him for the horrible act. The Second City, an improvisational theater group that Sudeikis has worked with, decided to launch their own Twitter account just to address the comedian's heinous move in the Star Wars series. Take a look at the tweet...

Seriously, that was one of the worst things we've seen happen in "The Mandalorian." But is it bad enough for one man to lose the support of his former comedy group. Well, yes. Yes, it is. Although the Child was punched by the cowardly scout trooper, I'm happy to report that he came out of the season finale just fine. "Baby Yoda" is now part of Din Djarin's clan of two and is expected to return in "The Mandalorian" Season 2.
Instead of doing this stupid little blog I should be listening to this album...

Ummmm... never mind. Are you scared of bugs? I might or might not be... hahahaha. But if I saw this...

Nope. I would not go anywhere near that plunger. Did you see the new cereal that just came out?

Hahahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...
Top Phive Odd Things Actually Said In 2019

If I had a TARDIS I would like to go see this show...

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

Top Phive Odd Things Actually Said In 2019
5. The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings and still isn’t as sensitive as a white man on the Internet
4. Dogs lick us because they know we have bones inside and they want them.
3. My brain is like my Internet browser. I got like 19 tabs open, three of them are glitching... and where the fuck is that music coming from?
2. Guys, I’m in Spain. The "S" is silent.
And the number one odd thing actually said in 2019 was...
1. Almost 22 years ago two people had sex and now I have to go to work everyday.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, this year I introduced a new friend on the Phile who likes to come on and talk about something that he needs to get off his chest. I thought I'd have him back on the last entry of the month and get him to say something about the new Star Wars movie. So it's time once again for...

Let's Talk about it! SPOILER FREE Rise of Skywalker thoughts! You deserved better... So I wanted to give the world time to see the biggest blockbuster film to hit theaters before I just threw a thoughts discussion out there. I also really wanted to think about this movie and figure out what this movie tried to achieve. And when I get to the conclusion of that... I'm just saddened at the thought. This isn't a review topic because I think it's still to early for me to rate it or I would give it right now a 5 or a 6 out of 10. But just wanted to see if anyone felt like I did. So this is the last film of the saga, right? No more Skywalker stuff right? So this is literally the end of everything I grew up loving in the arc. So immediately I have expectations for this film to be GREAT. Not perfect because that's impossible for this film but just GREAT! What I got was a "meh" film. A film I thought was just okay and the thing is... it deserves more then just an "okay." Once again the movie felt to safe to me and not only that, it felt very VERY fanfic heavy. Which when I think about this I then understand why there is a good bit of people that enjoy the film. Which I'm not mad about in the slightest. Hell, I don't even feel the need to debate it like how I debated Last Jedi being trash. The reason for this is because this movie had something for EVERYONE. Theories for everyone to claim and hold on too. Even I got somethings I wanted in the film though it was very little. So why is this bad to me? Because Star Wars deserves to have a creative finish and should of been able to tell it's own tale. There was no direction with this film and it shows. It literally goes all over the place and just leaves me with this "why did they add this? Why is this so overplayed? They really just did this?" It almost seems like this movie needed a balance patch like a video game to fix some of the kinks, and the things that seem overpowered (again no spoilers please). In the end, the film felt like a high budgeted fan film so that way it could damage control the previous movie INSTEAD of building off of what was created. For this to be the final film of the saga... All I feel is relived that my favorite film franchise in the WORLD can now be laid to rest. I just wish it had a better send off then what it got.

Hahahahahahaha. So, there's this girl who thinks this is the 90s... she wanted to come on and tell us what she got for Christmas. I said why not. Anyway, please welcome back to the Phile...

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

Emily: I'm all that and a bag of chips.

Me: Ummm... okay. So, what did you get for Christmas?

Emily: Nineties ladies will know what these are...

Me: Okay, if you say so. Is that all you got?

Emily: No, silly. I also got a No Fear t-shirt, a poster of Zachery Ty Bryan from "Home Improvement," a Sony walkman CD player, a can of Surge, Rage Against the Machine's "Evil Empire" CD, a Fireball yo-yo, a wallet, Airwalker shoes and a backpack.

Me: Wow. That's very 90s, Emily.

Emily: Thanks, Jason.

Me: Anything else you wanna say?

Emily: Yes. I'm too old to wonder off Kiki loves me. I'm still trying to find out of Annie is okay.

Me: All right then. Emily Enistink, the girl who thinks it's the 90s, kids. That was sooo lame.

If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, call the National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879.

Donald Trump’s base is largely composed of evangelical Christians and other people who don’t believe in vaccines. He’s gotten a lot of traction by hitting out against abortion and making a big show of mentioning God at every public event and rally he throws for himself. But recently, Trump took a hit when one of the most influential Christian publications, Christianity Today, posted an editorial saying that he should be impeached. Of course, Trump lashed out against their editorial board, and in general has been having a public freak out about his godliness. Things have now escalated, as they tend to do where Trump is concerned. It’s hard to tell how Trump found this tweet from 2018, but it shows a meme of “Jesus” carrying bags with the words “Obama kicked me out, Trump invited me back.” The tweeter accompanied this already insane image with a caption that reads, “There’s so much to be thankful for regarding our POTUS Trump! I truly believe this man was heaven sent in order to save and protect the most gracious, benevolent, and in turn, prosperous country ever. God bless him and his family.” One year later, Trump retweeted it with the simple phrase, “Thank you!”

Is he just searching for tweets that mention him and God? Do they also have to attack Obama? Does he love this because its simple to understand? Though Trump regularly tweets and retweets all sorts of wild things, this one seems to have broken some brains. People who believe in God and people who don’t all seem to have something to say about this absurd share: For the record, Obama frequently mentioned God while in office, including the beloved phrase, “God bless America.” And he never tweeted anything embarrassing to the country.

Savage. So, Peter Frampton is the pheatured guest on the Phile today and an old friend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Good morning, humans. Before "Frampton Comes Alive" broke big, I was a huge fan of "The Lodger" and many other early tracks. "The Lodger" was one of the very first I learned to play on a battered old acoustic guitar my father picked up in a Harlem pawn shop, when I was thirteen. To say I was a huge fan is an understatement. I even turned my dad into a fan, back in the day. So much so... that upon his passing, when I took his race car for one final cruise... I was brought to tears when I started her up and "Do You Feel Like We Do" came blasting from the CD player as I headed off to drag race. Peter Frampton was a critical part of the soundtrack to my youth. The man is simply a living legend.

Don Imus 
July 23rd, 1940 — December 27th, 2019
No more "Imus In The Morning." Or afternoon or evening for that matter. Cheer up. He was an asshole.

Ram Dass
April 6th, 1931 — December 22nd, 2019
Was here then.

The 111st book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The great Elton John will be on the Phile a week from today... next Monday.

A woman wakes during the night to find that her husband was not in their bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee. "What's the matter, dear?" She whispers as she steps into the room, "why are you down here at this time of night?" The husband looks up from his coffee, "I am just remembering when we first met 20 years ago and started dating. You were only 16. Do you remember back then?" he says solemnly. The wife is touched to tears thinking that her husband is so caring and so sensitive. "Yes, I do" she replies. The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily. "Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?" "Yes, I remember," said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him. The husband continues. "Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, "Either you marry my daughter, or I will send you to jail for 20 years?" "I remember that too" she replies softly. He wipes another tear from his cheek and says... I would have got out today.

Today's pheatured guest is an English rock musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and guitarist. He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and the Herd. His latest album "All Blues" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile, the fantastic... Peter Frampton!

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

Peter: I'm feeling good, thank you.

Me: So, I have to tell you two things before we start. First of, I saw you briefly in the 70s when you did a show with Foghat and I wanna say REO Speedwagon and a few other bands and it was a big deal when you walked by. Anyway, we got to see you do a song or so. The other story is much more exciting, my dad, who was Lonesome Dave from Foghat and I went to see you in the 90s play in Orlando. We got to chat to you and you said to my dad, "Too bad Foghat kinda fizzled out and ended." My dad replied, "At least I didn't make a movie with the Bee Gees." Then I stepped in and I said, "Or do an episode of 'The Love Boat.'" Do you remember that?

Peter: Ha ha. Yes, I vaguely remember that. Foghat was a great band and your dad was a really great blues singer. Foghat was very much underrated. But I never did an episode of "The Love Boat."

Me: Ha! My bad. So, on your latest album "All Blues" you do a terrific version of "I Just Want to Make Love To You." What made you decide to do that song?

Peter: I just love that song ever since I first heard that song done by the Stones... much faster than the original and then I was choosing a whole album full of all blues album and that was one of the very first ones that came to mind. We just went back to the originals in just about all of them to make it ours but pay tribute to the originals. I think we really do on this one. It's got the same vibe as the originals, but just a little heavier obviously. 

Me: Was it the Stones that first drew you to the blues?

Peter: Ummm. Amongst others, yes. There was Alexis Korner before the Stones. We would have the blues guys would come over from America and I would see them locally. Like Sonny Boy Williamson came over and Muddy Waters, so I was aware of the blues around the same time but it also happened around the same period. I was also at that time going to see Blues Breakers as well with John Mayall before the Blues Breakers album even. And all these other very heavy blues British blues like The Graham Bond Organisation, Zoot Money, Georgie Fame, all these people were singing their version of the blues. Apart from obviously Eric Clapton and John Mayall and everyone that came after.

Me: You were like my dad, Jeff Beck, John Mayall, Jimmy Page, Peter Green and Clapton, all you guys were born and raised just during or after World War II who grew up playing the blues so perfectly. There was so many of you. Any ideas on that?

Peter: No. I think after the war or just as the war was ending obviously we got the baby boomers and my theory is because our parents was so thrilled, those of them that survived, got through the war then slowly got to have children and I think they were a lot more open minded as to what they want. My grandparents were the last of the Victorian era, very proper and children should be seen and not heard. The baby boomer parents I think changed all that. That was out the window, the second world war was just "we're alive! Let's just enjoy life!" I think us baby boomer kids were allowed to do a lot more than they were, our parents were allowed to do. I think at that time the Beatles even said they would wait for the ships to come in from America with supplies and stuff and the sea-men would bring over all these American blues and R&B records. It wasn't because we were so deprived radio wise with the BBC at his point. I think it was called the "Light Program." It played everything from Monteverdi strings to the Troggs. But we had to be there at the the right time to hear the Troggs, otherwise we'd get sick with Monteverdi.

Me: I remember my dad saying the same thing about getting the blues records from America. How did you hear about the music? My dad was in a record club with Mick Jagger and a few other people and it was word of mouth.

Peter: Yes, I think it was all word of mouth and the very few TV shows we had on British TV like "Six-Five Special," "Oh Boy!" and "Wham!" They were the very first ones when American artists like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran came over and performed on those shows. I saw them live before we lost them both.

Me: You saw Buddy Holly live?

Peter: On live TV. But I never actually saw him live, no.

Me: My dad did and all those people. So, what was one of your first bands you recorded with?

Peter: The very first real record that I made was called the Preachers when I was 14.

Me: Bill Wyman was your manager, right? How did that happen?

Peter: Bill Wyman knew the drummer of our band because the drummer of our band was Tony Chapman was a member of the Rolling Stones before Charlie and they needed a bass player and Tony knew Bill from school and was a great bass player and introduced him to the band. I think the other plus was he had a van. So Bill got in because of that. No, I'm joking.

Me: I know guys that got in bands because they had a van...

Peter: And a good amp. So obviously Tony didn't last and Bill did with the Stones. So Bill said to Tony, "Look, I owe you my life for doing this, this job is incredible. and I'm so sorry but when you get a band together I'll produce them fo you and help you manage it." So, "Hole in My Soul" was the number he wanted us to do because he loved it and we loved it too, and we ended up on "Ready Steady Go," the biggest TV show in England at that time apart from "Top of the Pops." But this was live and anything could happen on it. And so the Stones took it over for one week and each member of the band had a guest and of course Bill had the Preachers. And we played live on TV when I was 14, so that was the beginning of everything for me.

Me: Was that your joy there playing live? Playing concerts?

Peter: Um, yes, as long as I've been a guitar player. I've been an engineer as well because I'm kind of techie. But live playing, whether it being in the studio live with the band all at once...

Me: Did you do this blues album live in the studio?

Peter: Yes, it was all done live. So when we finished a track I would have sung and then played on it but after each track was accepted I maybe would go out there and do a few more vocals and a few more solos so we had something to choose from. But basically it was all done live and that's how I started recording because there was only two tracks. And the other track was for overdubbing the vocal. I've sort of gone back to the beginning and to me and to us we just feel that the overall take from the album is you feel it it's live.

Me: Why is the album with the Peter Frampton Band and not just have your name on it?

Peter: It's really full and my band is amazing. It's them and me just going in and saying okay, let's try this one. And we all did. it. Not just me. The band as well and they're very important to me. So, this was a labour of love.

Me: Yeah, it definitely sounds live. Do you think it has the energy of a live performance?

Peter: Yeah, I think it was a major eureka moment when I told Chuck Ainlay, the best engineer in the world and wonderful producer with great ideas, So when we got to talk about this project he said, "Are you going to do it live?" And I said, "Yeah, I want to go in with a band, sing, and play live." He said, "Good, because I think that will really work for these tracks." When we cut the first couple it was so evident that there was a level of energy... not level of audio, but level of energy we felt coming through the speakers that is not normally there when most people record nowadays with "building blocks." Where we put a drum machine down, play a bass part, a keyboard part, they all go on separately. It's very difficult to come up with dynamics in that situation because we don't know what's going to go on. So when we play live it was just an eye opener on how great it sounded. So I've pretty much recorded that way ever since.

Me: Okay, so, how did George Harrison get you to play on his solo album?

Peter: I played on the album "All Things Must Pass."

Me: So, how did that happen?

Peter: Well, a couple of months or a few weeks before that one of George's best friends, I was friends of him named Terry Doran, who was actually the man from the motor trade in "Eleanor Rigby," I think that's the song, he's mentioned in that.

Me: That is actually "She's Leaving Home" with the line "meeting a man from the motor trade." 

Peter: You're right. Good job. Anyway, he was in the inner circle and basically was George's assistant at that time. He said when we were in a pub on Dorset Street in London, "Do you want to come and meet George?" I said, "George who?" Because I don't think when somebody says George it means a Beatle. So I said, "You're kidding me. Of course I would. I'd love to. Are you sure it's okay?" He said, "Yeah, they're recording in Trident." It was just literally half a block down in an alley way there. We walk in and the control room is upstairs and the studio is downstairs so we looked down to the studio. I walked into the control room and George was behind the console and I just walked in and George just looked up and said, "'Ello, Pete." It was just an incredible moment." Pete Townshend walked in behind me. He said, "Do you want to play?" What was I going to say? So he handed me the very famous reddish Les Paul that had a very long story of who owned it before him and I started to play rhythm. He's the lead guitarist of the Beatles, I don't play lead. So underneath him I just played some rhythm and half way through he stopped and said, "No, Pete, I'll play rhythm, you play lead." I thought the floor was opening up and I was disappearing through it. A couple of weeks later George called me. He would always call me after that. He called me directly and said, "Look, I'm doing my own record and I'm doing it with Phil Spector. Would you be a part of that and play acoustic with me? Badfinger are going to come and play." It was like George, me and three of Badfinger. And the track he played was one of the first ones I did, "If Not For You." When I looked around the room there was Jim Gordon from Derek and the Dominoes, next to Ringo so they're playing double drums, Klaus Voormann on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, Gary Wright on keyboards and Eric Clapton would come in later and do the lead work with George. So it was a pretty incredible scene. Especially when we all walked into the control room. A very uncomfortable looking Phil Spector, he was never used to that. The artists stayed in the studio, they were never allowed in the control room. So George changed all that. So there we were, all listening in Abbey Road, the Sergeant Pepper studio. It was all an incredible experience.

Me: When I listened to the new record I really realized how great your guitar playing is. Okay, so, you are known for the talk box thing, which I am not a big fan of. Bon Jovi used it, Joe Walsh of course used it and even Foghat used it on one of their songs in the 80s. How did you first discover this thing?

Peter: There was this wonderful all-time legendary Nashville pedal steel player called Pete Drake. He was part of the Nashville A-Team which like Motown had the Funk Brothers in Detroit they played on every record and the A-Team in Nashville played on everything. I think Bob Dylan had recommended to George that he'd bring Pete Drake over from Nashville because he used him on "Nashville Skyline." So George asked Pete Drake to come over and about the fourth day he turned up and set up his pedal steel directly opposite. We were facing each other. In a slow moment in the studio when there's reels of tape that have to be rewind back, not like today when it's all digital, they were changing reels and he said, "Do you wanna hear something?" So George and I said, "Yes." So he brings this black box, puts it aside of his pedal steel and he starts plugging things up and then all of a sudden this plastic tube he puts it in his mouth and starts playing the pedal steel and singing to me like that forever. But he was talking to us to. Everyone just freaked out, no one had ever heard that or seen anyone do that before. So of course the first thing I said was, where do I get one. He said, "Well, I made this one myself."

Me: So I blame Pete Drake. So, how did and when did you get one?

Peter: A couple of years go by and Bob Heil of Heil Sound was making one for Joe Walsh and my girlfriend at the time said she was sure I'd like one so Bob Heil gave me one for Christmas. But the thing was that that one in Abbey Road that Pete Drake used was leant to Joe Walsh to do "Rocky Mountain Way." Which I still maintain, and I will always say, is the most legendary incredible talk box solo. But it wasn't loud enough for stage, it was okay for the studio but it needed to be a little louder. So when Bob Heil said, "I'll make you one, Joe." That was it. That was the beginning of the Heil talk box which is what I ended up using on "Frampton Comes Alive" and all the other stuff.

Me: Do you think there's something kind of "spiritual" there that you can speak through your instrument?

Peter: I'm not sure it's spiritual, it's just funny. I thought what a phenomenal way to communicate with the audience as if I'm playing a character to the audience. It's this alien chap that's kind of talking to everybody and I'm making them laugh. I don't even have to talk, I just make this sound and people laugh, it's funny. It's a weird funny sound. I think I just turned up the humour.

Me: So, do you practice guitar every day, Peter?

Peter: My motto is I can't go to bed tonight until I could play something I couldn't play yesterday. Or something new. Either writing something or learning a new little lick, so I'm always upgrading, Downloading and upgrading my guitar style and my library of information that I pull from when I play.

Me: That's so cool. Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and write and play?

Peter: Yes. The other day I woke up at 2 o'clock in the morning and I wanted to go back to sleep but I said I need to play something and I wrote a little piece right there. So 4 o'clock I'm back to sleep. I have to take advantage. Bob Dylan has the best description of writers block that I thought was incredible. He said, and I was so thrilled to hear, our poet had writers block. It made me feel good. So he said for a couple of years he couldn't write anything, he was talking about lyrics. So he said, "Then one day I just sat down and I started writing and I couldn't stop. I wrote enough lyrics for a whole albums worth of songs. Then I realised those two years of not writing it wasn't that I had a writers block, I was on input, I wasn't on output. You can't always be on input because you have to take in ideas and let them germinate." And so every time I get to the point I'm not writing anything I like I don't panic anymore. I used to panic, but now it's like okay, I'm now on input. I don't worry about it. Then when output comes it's very evident and I never know when it's going to happen. That's why at two o'clock in the morning if I had an idea I'm not going to waste it, I'm going to out it down.

Me: Okay, we have to talk about Humble Pie. How did the album "Performance Rockin' the Fillmore" change your life?

Peter: Well, I left the band before it came out. So I felt I made the worse decision of my career. I said I've been good up to this point, I've made some good decisions but this is not one of them as I looked at Billboard and it was leaping up the charts. But it was the right thing for me to do. I wasn't worried. That gave me pause to think a little and I just said to myself I'm going to do it myself. I left and I need to be in charge if my own "boat" here and decide what I'm going to do. The best thing to do is to go solo. So I did. But when that album came out I had mixed a lot of it. I was very involved with the final mixing and editing so it was a double edged sword really. It was like I was thrilled it was so successful but I've just gone down a few rungs on the ladder. I started again but you know what, I never worried about that. Never worried about what I was going to do next. So something will happen, doors close, doors open. It was an interesting period.

Me: I bet. Then you came out with the massive huge hit "Frampton Comes Alive." What were you feeling when that album hit the stores?

Peter: Well, I was actually out of the country taking a short needed vacation in the Bahamas with my girlfriend because we knew we were going to be on the road most of the year. It came out around January 7th or something like that so I got back sometime after that. When I left one of the first dates we booked was a headline show in Detroit at Cobo Hall. I said, "Oh, my God, you're sure we could fill that?" So I go on vacation and come back ten days later and the albums taken off like nobody's business and as soon as it came out I realised not only gave we sold one show at Cobo Hall I think we had four. That was when I realised this was a dramatic change. Things were never quite the same again.

Me: When did you first hear the playback for "Frampton Comes Alive"?

Peter: We heard a couple of tracks in the mobile recording truck outside Winterland in San Francisco after we finished playing. We couldn't believe how good it sounded. Then we went down the following week to L.A. where we were playing and while we were there we went to Wally Heider's truck and Ray Thomson, may he rest in peace, said, "I'm going to put all the faders at zero, I'm not going to do any mixing at all. I'll just play you what's there, this is flat." So we listened to about four numbers and I just remember me and Bob Mayo being literally knocked against the back wall just from the vibe that came out of the speakers. We were just like go my goodness, this is really good. We knew we had something special. we just had no idea where it was going to go.

Me: Okay, so, I don't know if you want to talk about this, but you've been diagnosed with something called IBM. What is that?

Peter: I won't go into too much details but it's a degenerative muscle disease which only affects quads in the legs, and the ones down below I can't remember the name of and the arms and unfortunately the hands which is the big thing for me.

Me: When did you notice something was wrong?

Peter: I noticed it about nine years ago when I thought I was just getting old, I was losing my power in my legs and I thought this is like what it is to get old. So I didn't think about it too much until about four years ago I fell on stage by kicking a beach ball. We all joked I slipped whatever. Two weeks later I fell again on stage. We had a break in the tour and I went to see a neurologist and he said, "Well, I have to tell you you have IBM." And I said, "What do I do?" He said, "You go to Johns Hopkins." That's where they study it. It's either there or Scandinavia. They're the only two places in the world that really study it. So I go to Johns Hopkins and I have a phenomenal team of doctors that work with me on this and I'm gonna battle it and nothing's gonna keep me from playing, I'll tell you. 

Me: How are you doing with the idea that this was your final tour?

Peter: Well, obviously the main thing for me is that I don't ever want to be out there in a diminished state of play. I'm a perfectionist and I pride myself on getting better, not getting worse. Once that starts to happen I can't really say when but I know I'm on top of my game right now. It's affecting me very, very little with my hands. But this time next year I can't tell you. I can't realistically give you my opinion of whether I'll be able to play or not. There's going to be a time when I won't be able to play so that's why we're in the studio every day right now.

Me: What's making you excited about being in the studio after all these years?

Peter: First of all, this blues album gave me so much enjoyment to play with my band who are so good and so involved in my music and us as a band. It was such thrill to get this incredible music. It was definitely different for me. It was great to do covers and blues, the whole thing because it challenged me in a different area. That's what it's all about, it's the same as doing something new today than yesterday. So that's my ammo basically. I want to do something I haven't done before. There's an instrumental covers record in the works too and other things. I enjoy playing so much I'm going to enjoy it as long as I can.

Me: When you started playing guitar how did you learn?

Peter: When I got the guitar bug at a very early age I decided to not go into one sphere of music but to listen to jazz, blues, rock, classical, not just guitar players but sax players, flute players, trumpet players. Miles Davis is a good example. We named the album after one of his tracks. That's he most jazzy track we did. People are going to gasp, "They did 'All Blues' my Miles Davis?!" Yes we did and we enjoyed it! It was the first take too.

Me: Peter, this was a great interview to end the year with. Good luck with everything, I am glad I had you on the Phile. Please come back again.

Peter: It was a pleasure, Jason, and I hope to be back soon.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Cadence Hall, Laird Jim and of course Peter Frampton. This was the last entry of the Phile for 2019. I cannot believe it. What an amazing year it was as well. I hope 2020 will be bigger. The Phile will be back on Thursday with musician Jason Mraz. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. See ya in 2020!

I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon

Friday, December 27, 2019

Pheaturing Yazz Ahmed

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Friday. How are you? I want to get through this pretty quick so I can watch the season finale of "The Mandalorian." You'r lucky I'm doing this blog thing first. Haha. A man accused Lizzo, who is a Phile Alum, of being popular just because of her weight, and she completely called him out. The concern troll attributed Lizzo's popularity to the obesity epidemic in America.

This is a wild suggestion to make, in part because there are only like three overweight celebs at any given moment. People are in awe of Lizzo because of her talent. Her refusal to be shamed into silence by shamers like Watkins is a major bonus. But without the immense talent and hard work, she probably wouldn't be where she is. Watkins didn't stop there. He added a few more nasty tweets implying she's a "buffoon" and bringing up the Lakers game thong that men just can't seem to get over. Then he threw in something about R. Kelly and female role models that I just cannot understand no matter how hard I try. Lizzo apparently saw the tweets and was not amused. She responded with a call-out and an appeal for him to do better...

People are applauding her for putting the guy in his place. And back on Watkins' page, people are roundly roasting him. They're pointing out that even if Watkins really did genuinely care about Lizzo's health, shaming her is not the answer. Most of all, it's obvious to anyone that Lizzo's popularity is due to her hard work and talent. Hopefully in the next decade, men will get over Lizzo's body shape.
Celebrities and other influencers are under fire (like Yemen) for doing sponsored content for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Armie Hammer, Sofia Richie, Ryan Phillippe and other hot people Instagrammed over the weekend from the MDL Beast Festival in Riyadh, after being paid to do so by the Saudi government in their attempt to rebrand while committing massive human rights violations. Hammer recently starred in Call Me By Your Name, a gay romance in which he and Timothée Chalamet have sex (and Chalamet also has sex with a peach, but that's neither here nor there). Homosexuality is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, as is speaking out against the government in any way, shape or form. Supermodel Emily Ratajkowski revealed that she turned down the opportunity to partake in the propaganda party, making it all the more embarrassing for the shameless party animals who did. Do these actors and models, who are already rich, need Saudi blood money to party? They should leave the pro-Saudia Arabia propaganda to Jared Kushner.
On Saturday night, Eddie Murphy returned to "Saturday Night Live" for the first time in 35 years, and in his monologue, he addressed how much the times have changed. Murphy mentioned that he now had 10 children, and "if you had told me 30 years ago that I would be this boring stay-at-home house dad and Bill Cosby would be in jail, even I would have took that bet. Who is America’s dad now?!" Back in the '80s, Cosby used to self-righteously criticize black comics like Eddie Murphy for doing dirty jokes, instead presenting himself as squeaky clean. While pretending to be "America's Dad" on stage, Cosby was committing horrific crimes behind the scenes, and over 35 women have come forward with their stories of how he drugged and raped them. Cosby's team did NOT like Murphy's joke, releasing a statement calling Murphy "a Hollywood slave," accusing him of joking about an imprisoned rapist for "click bait." You know what's worse than a joke with swears in it? Rape.
A Colorado woman was arrested this week. The daycare center she ran was found to be unfit back in November. What made Carla Faith’s Play Mountain Place facility in Colorado Springs problematic? The fact that she was keeping twenty-six children hidden behind a fake wall in her basement. Two others were also arrested in connection with the day care operation. The horrifying situation was discovered by police back on November 13th when they went to check Faith’s facility on suspicions of overcrowding. Play Mountain Place is only licensed for six children. Its license has since been suspended by Colorado’s Department of Human Services. In the basement, they found the twenty-six kids... all of them under the age of 2... along with two adults, Christina Swauger and Katelynn Nelson. According to an arrest warrant obtained by local paper The Gazette, most of the children were dehydrated and in soiled diapers. Upon their arrival, Faith told police there were no children in the facility because they were at a park, and her daycare had no basement. When police spied a large stack of backpacks in a closet, Faith claimed they belonged to a soccer team and she volunteered to clean them for the team. Officers then heard music and crying coming from the basement, leading to the discovery of the children downstairs, behind a wall which hid a secret staircase that led to the basement area in which the kids were held. Faith also operates two other daycare facilities in the Colorado Springs area, which were ordered closed and are now also under investigation. She was booked on Monday on charges of suspicion of reckless child abuse without injury and attempt to influence a public servant. The parents of the children reported having no idea their kids were being kept in the basement, nor that Faith was caring for so many kids at once. One parent, speaking to local CBS affiliate KKTV, described finding her child in the secret basement in detail that is nothing short of harrowing. “Yesterday, I picked my child up from a small, dingy room in a basement that I had never before seen where twenty-six children were crowded together amidst empty juice box containers, graham cracker crumbs and various children’s blankets and lovies.” “The room smelled of unchanged diapers and several of the kids were crying…” “To say I am shocked, overwhelmed and feeling utterly betrayed is an understatement as prior to yesterday I had nothing but rave reviews for this place and the caregivers.” The horrifying story had people on social media outraged and terrified. People were especially upset to learn that this is not Faith’s first offense, and that one of her other employees was also found in possession of crystal meth. Faith posted $3000 bail, and will appear in court on January 2nd. Here’s hoping the system does its job and prevents Faith from hurting any more children.
For many, so much of the excitement around Christmas time is welcoming faraway family members home. It could be children that got married and moved across the country for their partner’s job, a kid that got a high profile job in Europe, or a surf bum that’s been hanging out in Fiji for the last few years. But for many families, Christmas means welcoming home their college-aged children. And college-aged children are a bit deranged. Like this one for, example. Her parents gave her a beautiful, thoughtful gift... a label maker. Label-makers are so useful for making a workplace more clear and efficient. What a gift! But it all totally backfired and the proud new owner of the machine decided to absolutely abuse her new power as Household Labeller.

Hardly surprising that the Internet took the daughter’s side and heartily approved of the Christmas backfire. If you didn’t get the label maker you always wanted for Christmas, the Brother P-touch, PTD210, Easy-to-Use Label Maker is available on Amazon.
So, I was thinking of getting another tattoo but someone else had the same idea I had...

I have no ass anyway so it wouldn't work. If I had a TARDIS I would like to go and meet Lon Chaney but knowing my luck he'd be asleep...

Haha. So, do you know the store Target is changing its name? No? Well, I have proof.

Told ya. If you're thinking of cheating on your loved one you might wanna think twice after seeing this...

I don't get it. Do you know your neighbors? I hope you never have to write a note like this...

Did you see the new Star Wars movie? I like dit but I think they were kinda cheap on the special effects this go around...

Hahahahaha. Did you have a good Christmas? Did your daughter get any Barbie's? You know a new Barbie just came out, right?

You know I talked about Prince Andrew's rape allegations and his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, right? And I mentioned there's a photo of him at the party bit he doesn't remember being there... well, I have a copy of the pic...

I think only a handful of my readers is gonna get that joke. Did you see the new Dak cologne? Check it out...

Dak Signature... for those nights you don't want to score. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is...

Top Phive Things Said During Betwixtmas, Crimbo Limbo, or The Merrineum
5. We have now entered the Twilight Zone, aka the 6 days between Christmas and New Year's. Anything is possible. All known laws of human existence do not apply until Wednesday. Best of luck to you all
4. Starting the day drinking coffee, reading my book, watching the pink sky growing lighter, listening to the sparrows in the hedge. It is blissful. I have so much to look forward to next year. I love this tiny sliver of utter positivity between Christmas and New Year's
3. It’s the period between Christmas and New Year. No one knows what day it is. Time doesn’t really exist. Can we start drinking at 10 a.m.? Why the fuck not? Existence is a confusion
2.  Happy Monday! Or is it Wednesday? Fuck it “happy day between Christmas and new year day” Do we need milk and bread yet?
And the number one said during this week between Christmas and New Year's is...
1. The time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is like finals week for real life

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's time to talk football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey there, Jeff, welcome to the Phile for the last time in 2019. How was your Christmas?

Jeff: Hey, Jason, always glad to be back here on the Phile talking some phootball. I'm still recovering from Christmas. Ate too much, as usual. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Me: I did, yeah. So, how did the Lumbergh Steelers do, Jeff? Explain who they are in case someone forgot...

Jeff: The Lumbergh Steelers are my fantasy football team on It's a fun mix of a movie reference and the Steelers, of course. If you're familiar with the movie Office Space, one of the main characters is named Bill Lumbergh. I thought it would make for an excellent football name so the Lumbergh Steelers were born. After starting off slowly (2-4), the Lumbergh Steelers rallied and made the playoffs as the 3rd seed (out of 4). We made a habit of being underdogs, and we managed to beat the number 2 seed last week. And this week, thanks to Giant Saquon Barkley, we became the champions of our league!

Me: That's great! Okay, so, I have five stories picked out that I think are the top NFL stories of 2019. The first one is referees miss a pass interference call during the Saints-Rams NFC Championship. What happened there?

Jeff: Oooh, this should be fun. Yeah, definitely that would be the biggest story from last season overlapping into this year. It got to the point where a rule was changed to try to help that from happening again. Coaches were given the ability to challenge a pass interference call (or one they thought was PI that wasn't called). Unfortunately the Refs continued to blow those calls and it might be just a one year and done rule. That was a blatant PI call. The Rams player was so up in the Saints face that he came over for Christmas. That's how close they were!

Me: The second is Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with two counts of soliciting prostitutes. Can you tell us what that was about?

Jeff: Robert Kraft was seen leaving a Florida massage parlor that's known for more than just back rubs. Ultimately he was let off the hook with just a happy ending.

Me: The third is Andrew Luck retiring from the NFL weeks before the regular season. What happened with that?

Jeff: Andrew Luck's retirement was on of the most shocking retirements in all of sports. He had been injured on an off for a few years and said that football just wasn't fun anymore. Which I can't say I blame him. He retired midway through the preseason, putting the Colts in an awkward spot. Despite that, they managed to have a pretty decent season. They struggled at times but still have a shot at a .500 record which for me would be a success considering when Luck retired.

Me: The fourth is Antonio Brown's wild few months eventually leaves him out of the NFL. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about that.

Jeff: Oh, Antonio Brown. Where do I start? Was it with the feet that were frozen in the cryogenic chamber? Or the helmet issues? Was it his demand to be traded from the Steelers? Or the Raiders? The possible sexual assault cases? Or calling the NFL racist and attacking former teammates and former owners? Really, you could pick any of those and be like "WTF is wrong with that?' Every day it was something new!

Me: And the fifth story is Myles Garrett swinging a helmet at Mason Rudolph in an ugly NFL fight. What do you say?

Jeff: I've made my thoughts known on the Myles Garrett incident. Both players were at fault. But Garrett took it too far and probably cost his team a chance at the playoffs. It was an ugly mark not only on him, but the Browns and the whole NFL. Also, suck it Cleveland.

Me: So, any big stories that should've been on the list instead of the five I mentioned?

Jeff: I mean if we're talking long lasting stories I think you covered it. Gronk's retirement as well, though that was well speculated for weeks before he did. Leveon Bell and his contract with the Steelers and ultimate move to the Jets as well, which it also seems both player and team would welcome a return at this point. The "will this be the week Jason Garrett is fired from Dallas despite Jerry Jones saying no move would be made during the season?" was another big story. Plus we also can't forget Spygate 2.0 in New England with the advance scout filming the Bengals sideline and then not understanding what the problem was.

Me: Okay, so, it’s happening. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Seattle Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch are “open to a reunion” and the running back is visiting the Seattle to meet with the team. What do you think? It's been years since he played on the Seahawks, right?

Jeff: As of Christmas Eve, actually Marshawn Lynch is back in beast mode in Seattle. He was one of their best players for years, but he retired. And then unretired. Due to issues with the Seahawks he chose to play for the Raiders for two seasons. Then he retired again. And now he's back after the injury to Seattle's Chris Carson.

Me: I think the funniest story for this week is after losing to the Eagles in an awful effort with NFC East on the line, Dallas’ chartered flight was deemed “not viable” to fly home, leaving the team temporarily stranded in Philadelphia. Hahahaha. They can't have any kinda touchdowns.

Jeff: I don't know what's a funnier story. The fact Dallas couldn't leave Philadelphia or the Chiefs equipment winding up in New York and not New England. We've seen some really big doozies this year!

Me: What NFL news do you have, Jeff?

Jeff: With just one week left in the regular season, you'd have to be a math wizard to figure out some of these playoff situations. Like with the Steelers, they need to win, have the Titans lose. Or a tie. Or an asteroid falling from the sky and landing on one particular person. And a Raiders loss. And the Boston Red Sox to sign someone. Not sure what baseball has to do with it, but I'm not an expert on the situation. The NFC is a little easier to figure out. Philadelphia wins, they are in. If they lose and Dallas wins, the Cowboys sneak into the playoffs. If both teams lose, then Philadelphia is in. I need an aspirin.

Me: America has gotten another team back from England renamed it and changed the logo again...

Me: So, what do you think? Come on... say it. Hahahaha.

Jeff: I like that helmet. Hate the team. Suck it, Cleveland!

Me: Okay, how did we do last week?

Jeff: You have caught fire in the last two weeks scoring a second perfect week in a row. You're gaining on me but I still lead by 8 points. Luckily for you, we keep going into the playoffs!

Me: Yay! Let's do this week's picks, Jeff... I say Falcons by 4 and Browns by 7. Haha. What do you say?

Jeff: I'm going to go Saints by 4 and Packers by 7.

Me: Okay, have a safe New Year's. I will see you back here next Thursday, next year.

Jeff: See you next week!

Banana fellow

That one's gotta hurt. So, there's this really masculine guy who likes to stop by the Phile once in a while to tell us what's going on in his life. So, please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Martin, how are you?

Martin Masculinity: I am great, Jason. I love waving my shotgun around and smoking my cigarette.

Me: Okay. So, what's new?

Martin Masculinity: A friend tried to make himself look good in front of his crush by literally putting me in a random choke hold "for a laugh." Turns out it was because I was talking to her. I have  a girlfriend, we were just talking. It wasn't a choke hold though, it was basically just a headlock, so I decided to correct him. I was fairly oblivious and didn't realize this was a failed "alpha move." Creeped the shit out of his crush that he would do that out of no-where and she stopped talking to him. Apparently she quite liked him up until that point, so he kinda shot himself in the foot.

Me: Okay, then. That's a pretty lame story, Martin.

Martin: I know. But it's true.

Me: Okay then. Martin Masculinity, the toughest man alive, kids.

If you or someone you know is experiencing substance abuse, call the National Drug Helpline at 1-844-289-0879. Okay, so, If you've ever worked in retail, food service, or really any customer-facing job... you know the hell that is dealing with rude customers. One coffee shop employee who was fed up with dealing with customer temper tantrums came up with a brilliant hack for shutting them down. The barista's "hack" is that anytime a customer raises their voice or complains about their order, the barista's co-worker pretends to be the "boss" and "fires" the barista on the spot while the customers cringe and try to retract their complaints, fearful that their petty grievances just cost someone their job. An anonymous barista emailed me a story because one of their friends thought their coffee shop hack was a "mean prank" to play on the unsuspecting customers, so the barista had to wonder if they were wrong in the situation. The teenaged barista explained how they were fed up with rude customers that came into the coffee shop.

"So sometimes customers will come in and just be angry about such little stuff. Like literally blow up about nothing. I dunno if they're in a bad mood already and looking for someone to take it out on or what, but it's a lot... Like how sad so your have to be to be a grown-ass man taking your anger out on high school and college kids." So the barista and their co-worker... and fellow high-schooler... James decided to play a little prank on mean-spirited customers and "fire" the barista each time they supposedly screwed up a customer order. "So one day I was at work and some guy was having a temper about how we don't make the coffee hot enough... Which I couldn't do a thing about because I gave it to him right out of the machine. So James came in and was like 'sir, is there a problem here?' and the guy started ranting at him too. So he was just like 'this is unacceptable, you're fired.' After the barista's co-worker pretended to fire her, the barista would play it up hard. "I started acting real sad, like 'no please don't fire me, my family needs the money, I need this job, pleaseeee' and he played up being a hard-ass, telling me to take off my apron and leave. The angry guy started to backtrack, like 'It isn't that big of a problem, you don't need to fire her over it. I didn't mean it' and James was like 'No, we pride ourselves on the best customer service.'" The barista says that they and their co-workers found it real "satisfying" to see the customers freak out after learning they'd gotten someone "fired." "And we've done it a couple times, whenever a customer will lose their temper... James will storm in and 'fire' us. And almost every time, the person who had come in angry will apologize and say that they didn't mean it. It's kind of satisfying, making people realize their actions might actually have consequences." However, the barista's friends thought they were rude for making people think they had caused someone to lose their job. I think their little "prank" is a "perfect way of dealing with hostile customers" and that the barista is definitely NOT wrong. The best way to diffuse a stressful situation is to politely get the customer to see how unreasonable they're being. And the best and easiest way to get a person to calm down, is to show them the extent of their logic (if you can). The barista is most definitely not wrong, and I'd go so far to say that the barista is a damn hero. On behalf of everyone that has ever worked in customer service, bless you. If you have a situation that you want me to give you my opinion about email me at

The 111th book to be pheatured on the Phile's Book Club is...

Yup. And Elton will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks. It's gonna be great! Elton John will be on the Phile, people! I have to tell you... I think 2020 is gonna be a great year for the Phile.

Phact 1. Typically, three drugs are used in lethal injection. Sodium thiopental is used to induce unconsciousness, pancuronium bromide (Pavulon) to cause muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, and potassium chloride to stop the heart.

Phact 2. An adopted man in Michigan searched for his birth mother for four years before finding out that she worked at the same Lowe’s store that he worked at. Neither of them knew.

Phact 3. The Flemish anthem of Belgium is exceptionally bloody. “He tears, destroys, crushes, covers in blood and mud; And in victory grins over his enemy’s trembling corpse.”

Phact 4. Most bats cannot take off from the ground. They spend their entire lives flying or upside down.

Phact 5. After WWI, various countries around the world experimented with flying tanks... literally tanks with wings... but the idea was eventually scrapped.

Today's pheatured guest is a British-Bahraini trumpet player and composer. Her CD's "La Saboteuse" and the latest "Polyhymnia" and her recent single "A Shoal of Souls" are available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile the beautiful... Yazz Ahmed.

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

Yazz: Hi, I'm good. Thank you.

Me: Don't take this the wrong way but you are the best looking trumpet player I have ever seen. Your album has the French sounding title "La Saboteuse." What does that title mean?

Yazz: Okay, to me it represents my inner destroyer, my anti-muse. That voice that we all experience and tells us something no good and we should just quit. So yeah, given her a name and entity has been a wonderful way in combating those thoughts, those feelings and recognizing what those thoughts are and just telling her to shut up and be quiet.

Me: Hmmm. Who is the "her" you're talking about?

Yazz: My inner destroyer.

Me: Your latest album "Polyhymnia," what does that mean?

Yazz: “Polyhymnia” is named for the Greek Muse of music, poetry and dance, a figure that is a  Goddess for the arts. It is a suite of six movements that I dedicate to six women of outstanding qualities, role models with whom I admire.

Me: Ahhh... so, as a jazz player I'm sure you do a lot of jam sessions. How do you like those?

Yazz: It reflects the occasional lack of faith in myself when I walk into a jam session.

Me: What do you mean? I have a feeling you're gonna say a lot of things in this interview that goes over my head. Hahaha.

Yazz: Yeah, I mean for my experience, I don't really these days, but when I graduated from music college, I'd go to jam sessions and I'd feel very insecure because, I'm speaking in general terms, from my experience a lot of the guys who got up are very macho and play in a very macho way to out do one another. Who could play the fastest, who can play the loudest, the highest. And for me, and I noticed a lot of other females players, are not really interested in that. We're lot more interested in making music and being part of something greater than the individual. And so that did knock my confidence a lot and has taken me a very long time to sort of do my own thing and forget about that competitiveness.

Me: Do you think the jazz scene includes women or has a problem with women being in the scene? 

Yazz: Yeah, we're still very behind compared to the classical world for example. Things are slowly changing. There aren't that many in the jazz world who are sort of being represented and encouraged. In the U.K. there are a lot of female musicians being given that support that they need and that confidence they need, thanks to organizations like Tomorrow's Warriors who focus on helping and nurturing young musicians who are female as well as male and people from ethnic minorities. There's all sorts of funding like organizations like PRS and PRS Women Make Music and they've been working hard for many, many years and the results are coming through. There's a saxophone player who played at Winter Jazz Fest with me called Nubya Garcia. She's become quite a star thanks to all the support.

Me: Is there an artist who mentored or influenced you in the jazz world?

Yazz: Yeah, I had a lot of support from Tomorrow's Warriors and encouragement from other people. 

Me: What does that look like?

Yazz: What does it look like? What do you mean?

Me: How do they interact with you? Do they talk to you?

Yazz: Yes, I have had that people talking to me and saying," Let's go for a coffee, let's talk about how we could take you to the next level." And people giving me opportunities and that's what people from all minority backgrounds need is given that opportunity for them to flourish. A lot of the time is not allowed because it is such a noisy scene and any certain voices are eating heard, there's a majority. Yeah, but like I said, things are changing.

Me: The U.K. scene is getting a huge amount of attention now. Why do you think that is?

Yazz: I think that there's a bit of a change in peoples perception. I think people are becoming more connected there. Their roots, their historical background, their cultural background, and I think a lot of musicians are trying to relate to the music of today. Whether that's club music or electronic music. And also I think some people are trying to reflect the political situation that are happening particularly in the U.K. We're at a time where's there's all sorts of negativity going on and I think that also there's an inspiration to sort of protest all that negativity through music. And I think it's becoming quite exciting and people can relate to that rather than the standard what people think jazz is.

Me: Is that happening with your music?

Yazz: Yeah, I suppose so. I like to reflect my mixed heritage and also I like to learn from all the different musicians I've worked with like Radiohead and These New Puritans.

Me: Your grandfather in 1952 played trumpet with a jazz band called Kenny Graham's Afro-Cubists. When you hear that music what do you think and feel?

Yazz: Always a bit tearful actually.

Me: What is the influence he had on you becoming a trumpeter?

Yazz: Well, first of all he shared a lot of music with me. I loved that bond I had with him. I loved the music he played to me. I particularly like Dizzy Gillespie, he was my favourite. He also played to me some British jazz as well like Tubby Hayes and John Dankworth. I had those records as well and I was kind of like really amazed.

Me: Where did you listen to the records with him at?

Yazz: He came quite often to our house when we moved to London. And before when I used to go his house on holidays when I used to live in Bahrain. He played records and my grandmother and Terry used to tell me about the stories about their crazy jazz life that they had. It was all so exciting hearing about all this stuff.

Me: When did you realize the trumpet was going to be the instrument for you? I play kazoo by the way. Haha.

Yazz: I don't know. I just sort of instinctively felt that the trumpet was right for me. When we moved to London my mum asked us, me and my sisters, what we would like to play because they were offering musical instrument lessons. I think just because of all the beautiful music my grandfather shared with me. I thought the trumpet was the instrument and I fell in love with it.

Me: What is the first music of Arabic jazz have you ever heard? I don't think I have ever heard that music before.

Yazz: Rabih Abou-Khalil's album "Blue Camel." This was the first experience I had as a listener discovering Arabic jazz combined. I picked up the record because it had my favourite trumpet player of all time, Kenny Wheeler, and I thought this looks interesting. I played it and it just opened up all my memories living in Bahrain and the Arabic music there that was just around me that I took for granted. It made me realise I could say something with my music, I could reflect my mixed heritage. It was incredibly inspiring.

Me: What do you think you're saying with your music right now?

Yazz: Well, I'm trying to express my journey. My journey to find my identity. As well as all the experiences I've had on the way.

Me: How does music help you find your identity?

Yazz: It's all about feeling whole. I suppose when I moved to London I adapted to British culture as a young child does very quickly. When I started to reach my late teens everyone was trying to find themselves. I really felt confused to who I am because I didn't feel like I fitted in with my friends at school were in English I didn't feel whole and it was really when I rediscovered this music of Rabih Abou-Khalil that I started to reconnect. I felt I became whole again.

Me: On the "La Saboteuse" album you have a song called "Al Emadi." Who is he?

Yazz: Well, "Al Emadi" is the name of the tribe my Bahrainian family are from. It's a very big tribe and it's quite an old tribe. It's a tribe of traders and they would trade across the Arabian Gulf and also Iran. I wanted to represent that sort of feeling of being part of something. There are many voices in that piece and you could imagine a lot of people chatting away and having conversations.

Me: You mentioned you played with Radiohead. I actually went tis school with the drummer from Radiohead. What did you play on with them, Yazz?

Yazz: The track was "Bloom" from the album "The King of Limbs." I played frugal horn on that track.

Me: You also did a version of that song on "La Saboteuse," right? Was it weird to cover yourself? 

Yazz: LOL. Yeah, I love Radiohead's music and I loved "Bloom." I think it's an amazing piece and I loved it so much I thought I'm going to arrange to for my band. I could imagine my band playing it. It just felt like it's a good piece of music and could definitely be merged into jazz and my own voice. I  love that kind of music where it's kind of busy and below and there's more smoother lines on top.

Me: Cool. Yazz, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope this was fun and you'll come back again.

Yazz: Thank you.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Yazz Ahmed. The Phile will be back on Monday with the last entry of the year. The guest will be the one and only Peter Frampton. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

I don't want you, cook my bread, I don't want you, make my bed, I don't want your money too, I just want to make love to you. - Willie Dixon