Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Pheaturing Peter Cetera

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Tuesday. How are you doing? If you've ever worked at a job you hate, this blog will hit home. Haha. When someone asked you where you see yourself in five years and you're like buddy... I'm just trying to make it to Friday.
During yesterday's rendition of The News is A Shit Storm From Hell, the Internet was ablaze over a report that Trump attempted to kiss a former campaign staffer without her consent. The White House denied the allegation made against President Grab Them by the Pussy, calling it "absurd on its face." Is the White House trying to make the phrase "absurd on its face" happen? Because it's not going to happen. The ex campaign staffer in question is Alva Johnson, a black woman from Alabama who worked on Trump's campaign in 2016. Johnson alleges that Trump grabbed her hand as she was leaving an event and forcibly kissed her. Because it's 2019, people saw this news and took it as an opportunity to share their unfiltered opinions on the Internet. Some were nuanced, respectful, and considerate. Others were... not. A particular tweet from a conservative man had people talking. Derek Schwartz tweeted this meme...

The meme is supposed to be making fun of liberals having to choose between if Trump attempted to kiss a black woman without her consent or if he's racist. This implies that both cannot be true, and that is someone sexually abuses a black woman it proves that they are not racist. Understandably, people were not impressed. In short, the general response from the Internet was very reminiscent of Randy from "American Idol" circa the early 2000's...

If you come for Steve Irwin's legacy, you better be ready to arm yourself with steely resolve, because his scores of loyal fans are not playing around. On February 22nd, Google honored the late Irwin with a homepage doodle and slideshow of his vibrant life. For most people, this was a positive emotional affair, immediately inducing tears and warm fuzzy nature loving feelings. However, not everyone responded with tearful memories of the animal loving television star. In fact, PETA opted to jump in with a scathing critique of the late Irwin, claiming he was harmful to the wild animals he interacted with. What's worse, the wording in PETA's critique easily comes across as victim blaming for his death. Given all of the animal blood on PETA's hands, people were quick to jump in and point out the hypocrisy of the thread. Others were upset at the slander against one of the few wholesome men of television. But the best responses to PETA's statement were undoubtedly the straight up roast tweets. In fact, in a time of great political upset, dragging PETA for its self-righteous posturing is one of the few things that could unite Americans everywhere. The next time there's an awkward silence at your family reunion, you can pull up the thread and watch the faces of people across the political spectrum light up.
Ivanka Trump, the former sweatshop shoe "designer" currently serving as a White House senior advisor, is the face of meritocracy and earning what you get. The heiress who has spent her adult life working in jobs she secured on the basis of her last name (and her father's obsession with her) believes that the American people do not want things "handed to them," and is therefore unsure about this whole "living wage" thing. In an interview with... where else?... Fox News, the very qualified government official sounded off against living wage jobs as featured in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal, believing that deep down, Americans don't want to have the safety of being able to afford to live. "I don’t think most Americans, in their heart, want to be given something," said Ivanka, whose job and money came from her father, whose job and money came from his father. "I’ve spent a lot of time traveling around this country over the last four years. People want to work for what they get," failing to mention that the only reason she has been granted the privilege and access to government jets is because of her father. So, I think that this idea of a guaranteed minimum is not something most people want. They want the ability to be able to secure a job. They want the ability to live in a country where’s there’s the potential for upward mobility." It wasn't long before people online corrected her, and reminded people who she was. Her argument also doesn't make any sense. While 78% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck and Ivanka made $82 million in outside income while serving as a humble civil servant in the White House, she certainly knows what the people want. If she really believed what she was saying, she'd give up her inheritance. The countdown to AOC's response is on.
Sunday night, Green Book walked away with three Oscars (including best picture), and millions of tweets asking how the hell just happened. In the Academy Award-winning film, Viggo Mortenson stars as Tony "Lip" Vallelonga, a racist Italian-American New Yorker and Joey Tribbiani on Steroids who drives black, queer musical genius Dr. Donald Waldridge Shirley around the Jim Crow South. The Italian guy teaches the back pianist about black music and fried chicken. Really. Last December, Shadow and Act reported how Dr. Shirley's family is disgusted with the film, and weren't consulted at any point during production. Carol Shirley Kimble, a niece of Dr. Shirley's, left a message to the producers explaining how she was hurt by the film. "There was no due diligence done to afford my family and my deceased uncle the respect of properly representing him, his legacy, his worth and the excellence in which he operated and the excellence in which he lived," she said. "It’s once again a depiction of a white man’s version of a black man’s life. My uncle was an incredibly proud man and an incredibly accomplished man, as are the majority of people in my family. and to depict him as less than, and to depict him and take away from him and make the story about a hero of a white man for this incredibly accomplished black man is insulting at best." For his part, Mahershala Ali, who played Dr. Shirley and won his second Oscar for the role, apologized to the family after learning that they were upset. He was also the only Green Book winner to thank the man the movie is supposed to be about. "I want to thank [Dr. Shirley] for his passion and virtuosity and the dignity he carried himself with that inspired me everyday," he said. Asked about the family's response, screenwriter (and Lip's son) Nick Vallelonga said that he "didn't even know" that Shirley's family existed, and that he was "personally not allowed" to speak to them, per Shirley's wishes. Now that's a spicy meatball.
In case you missed it, everyone fell in love, got married, became pregnant, bought a house and is now raising Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga's children after watching their performance of "Shallow" Sunday night at the Oscars. Luckily Lady Gaga's voice is a silky smooth velvet dream of raw passion, but even if it was just a mediocre performance, the sexual chemistry was staggeringly palpable. Sharing a microphone while Gaga plays piano? Matching spray tans we all wanted to see them smear all over each other? Those Lion King style neck nuzzles? The truth of it all is that while Lady Gaga did recently split up with her fiancĂ©, they are professional performers and Cooper and his girlfriend, Irina Shayk, are probably more than fine. Shayk is a mature woman who can watch her partner do his job without getting jealous, but let's pretend instead that we live in a world where A Star is Born could live on forever. In that world, Irina probably wouldn't be happy about these shared giggles.  Maybe she would be feeling some kind of way about watching the hottest performance of all time: However, Irina and Gaga were seen hugging each other after the performance because I guess actors can be good at their jobs and also have healthy relationships that don't involve Lady Gaga? Fear not, though we'll all just have to vote for the next best thing: Lady Gaga is dating Bradley Cooper AND Irina Shayk.
Do you kids like Oreos? Have you seen the newest kind they released? I'll show you...

Yum! Remember the State of the Union address a few weeks ago? Some Democrats sure gave some shady looks. Like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for instance...

Man, there sure has been some satisfying clawbacks on Fox News over the Internet's history. Don't know what I mean... check this out...

The professional term is "throwing the baby out with the bathwater." I said this yesterday, ever notice the Olsen twins look like one of the knows how you die and the other knows when you die. Look...

See what I mean? Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Phive Things Overheard At Sunday's Academy Awards Ceremony
5. Hands down, Bohemian Rhapsody was my favorite film about teeth made by a sexual predator this year.
4. Every time Angela Bassett is on the stage at the Oscars and not GIVEN HER AWARD FOR WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT I throw a wine glass.
3. Brunette Charlize Theron has the strength of over three St. Vincents.
2. I hope Sam Elliot wins and just opens his mouth and all we hear is the sound of a bunch of rocks being dropped on a driveway.
And the number one thing overheard at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony was...
1. How y’all make a whole ass movie but can’t put together a twenty second Oscars acceptance speech!?!

Hahahahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, not everyone is a people person, and that's okay. I mean, people are the worst, and that's just a fact. I get it. If you aren't a people person, chances are you're an introvert. This isn't to say you hate people, although I would understand if you did. Introverts just happen to prefer keeping things such as thoughts and ideas to themselves, rather than always sharing them with the group. And some people... namely extroverts... have a really hard time understanding that. And because of that, introverts can become exhausted when hanging out with non-introverts. There's a woman who wanted to come onto the Phile and vent about what are some characteristics of people who drain her quickly. That was a lengthy build up to this new character... hahaha. Please welcome to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Linda, welcome to the Phile. So, what are some characteristics of people who drain you quickly?

Linda: The type of people that constantly take everything the wrong way or are passive aggressive. I'm already so concerned about my word choice and how I'm coming across.

Me: Ahhh. You don't have the energy for any passive-aggressive bullshit.

Linda: Nope.

Me: So, what are you doing tonight?

Linda: I will show you in a graph...

Me: Ahhh... I see. Linda Vert, the introvert, kids. Man, was that lame or what? I feel we need to laugh now.

The banker fell overboard from a friend's sailboat. The friend grabbed a life preserver, held it up, not knowing if the banker could swim, and shouted, "Can you float alone?" "Obviously," the banker replied, "but this is a heck of a time to talk business."

From slappin’ da bass to nappin’ all over the place. Ha. So, you know I live in Florida, right? Well, there's some stuff that happens in Florida that happens nowhere else on the planet. So, once again here is a pheature called...

All the police brutality and THIS is what the department decided to get serious about? A couple got kinky with handcuffs on a romantic evening last summer. The problem, however, is that their love-nest was the backseat of a police car. According to The Washington Post, Florida couple Zachery Moellendick and Krista Leigh were arrested for shoplifting, and on their journey to the station, songs like Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" and Barry White's "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" got them in the mood. Officer Doug McNeal's body camera "was fixed beneath his car’s rearview mirror and trained on the back seat, filming the couple as they kissed, fondled each other and smoked a cigarette." The footage was then used in a porno in an internal investigation against McNeal and he got a 20-day suspension from the Fort Pierce Police Department. While that might seem like a harsh punishment for letting people make out, the consequences for cockblocking would have been way worse.

It's easy to forget in the midst of authoritarian power-grabs and racist tweets that Donald Trump is also an alleged serial sexual harasser. Yesterday, former campaign staffer Alva Johnson filed a federal suit against President Grab Them By The Pussy for allegedly grabbing her and kissing her without her consent. The incident allegedly happened on August 24th, 2016, as Trump exited an RV outside a rally in Tampa, Florida. Johnson says that she turned her head and Trump "grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her on the lips." The Post verified that she told four people soon after the incident, and consulted a lawyer who refused to take her case. The White House has denied it, as have two people who Johnson said were present at the time of the assault. "I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it," she told The Post. "I can still see his lips coming straight for my face." In 2005, Trump said on the now-notorious "Access Hollywood" tape, "You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful... I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything." Johnson's story certainly sounds like something Donald Trump would do, according to Donald Trump.

The 94th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Neville Staple will be on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is an American singer, songwriter, and bassist best known for being an original member of the rock band Chicago from 1967 til 1985, before launching a successful solo career. His latest album "The Very Best of Peter Cetera" is available on Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Peter Cetera.

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

Peter: Thank you, Peverett Phile. Good to be here.

Me: So, I take it you live in Chicago still?

Peter: No, I actually live in Idaho now.

Me: Okay, out of all the places, why Idaho?

Peter: I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles for a few years when we parted ways with the group. I was looking faraway to get as far away from them as possible and I met some people up in Idaho and decided to move there.

Me: I don't know much about Idaho, Peter, what's it like living there?

Peter: I like the outdoors and it's a double edge sword, it keeps me out of that limelight too. That's not the best thing for a career in show business.

Me: Okay, so, your new CD "The Very Best of Peter Cetera" is the first time you released all your solo hits on one CD. Why did you wait so long to do this?

Peter: Well, actually I had nothing to do with it. A company approached me about the idea and I asked them what they had in mind then came back with the bunch of songs they picked and went over what I thought was a good choice and didn't think was a good choice, they did the artwork and that's basically how it happened. I really didn't have a lot to do with it and here we are.

Me: Okay, so, like we said you were in the band Chicago, Peter. What led you to leave that band? 

Peter: Well, I did my first solo album and it was stuff I wanted to write and I thought what the heck, we can live simultaneous and the record company, Warner Bros. did not think that was a good idea because I managed to have what they called back in the day AOR, album oriented rock, and I managed to have a top ten hit with "Livin' With the Limelight" without any promotion from the record company who decided it wasn't in their best interest not to promote me because they didn't want me to get a big head I guess. So, when I wanted to do another album with the promise of they would help me out the group kind of exploded and said no, no, no, I can't do that. So we basically came to an agreement I wanted to leave and they wanted me to leave so there you go.

Me: You worked with David Foster on a couple of Chicago albums and then on your solo career. How did it come about with you working with him?

Peter: Oh, at the time Chicago I would say was at a very downward spiral, it was the usual rock and roll with drugs and drinking involved. Certain people weren't equipped to carry on and when David came he and I hot it off immediately. We had to evolve and not stay the same and it so happened David and I hit it off, wrote some momental songs and we enjoyed working together. As a matter of fact I still work with David today. I go and do a couple of shows with him with his David Foster and Friends tour. Yeah, that created a bit of a problem because they say he was favoring me and in fact of the matter he was because at that point of time I was the only one capable of writing new stuff. That's how that happened.

Me: You have worked with so many different artists over the years... on this best of album you do duets with Amy Grant, Cher and Chaka Khan. You also did a song with Paul Anka, how did that song and duet come about?

Peter: Well, that's funny that you bring that up, that was also with David Foster. I was living in Malibu and David called me up and said he was in Santa Barbara doing a CD with Paul Anka recording at his house, would I like to come up and sing some backgrounds on? I said no, and he said Paul would send his jet and pick me up at Santa Monica airport. I could fly there, have a nice dinner, sing backgrounds and fly back home so I said sure, why not? I flew up there and Paul Anka was such a nice gentleman, his wife was so lovely and his house was so beautiful and I had a nice meal. I went down to hear the song I was going to sing background on and I realized there were no backgrounds and the beat had hardly no lead. So I had to come up with a bunch of parts, more than background parts. We did it and I guess it came out to him as a really great song. Matter of fact I talked to Paul a few years ago, he was in Chicago and I was in Chicago, 'cause he was working that night and I was working as well but I did talk to him on the phone.

Me: Your song "After All," the duet with Cher that's on the new album is also on a Cher album as well. How and why did that happen? Your vocals start the bloody song, Peter. Haha.

Peter: Ha. That's another bizarre story. I got a call from Cher's management saying Peter Asher is producing the song and they thought I'll be perfect to sing it with Cher and it was going to be in a movie. At the time I had a solo album out and I could use the wonderful press. It was at the time with music videos and I thought oh, gee, I get to do this song with Cher, we'll do this video and it'll help my solo album. I agreed to do it and again it was another case of going into the studio and of course Cher wasn't there, and basically with the song it was "what do you think we should do here?" I sort of came up with vocal ideas and did some background and lead stuff. The next day I went back and had to wait the obligatory three hours for Cher to show up, she came in, sang a few lines, they put it together. While waiting for the video that never happened number one, the song was in a movie but the movie was a stiff. Cher decided at that time she was going to go to this rock goddess formation. The last picture I saw of her she was on a battleship I think with a bunch of sailors and she had these leather chaps on. We never did the video, we never heard back from them and that was the end of that. I may recite it someday with somebody else.

Me: I listened to the new album and I have to admit I only knew a few songs... do you think these are your best songs?

Peter: I always look back at my stuff and think what I liked and didn't like, and what should of been a hit. It is what it is. Of course there's a bunch of songs that I thought should be on. Maybe we'll put them on the next one, and I'll do some new ones.

Me: I have to say congrats on being indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Peter. They must be an amazing honor to have all these things come along, am I right?

Peter: Yeah, I think it's kind of bittersweet. I didn't show up at the Rock and Roll Hall ceremony and I didn't show up at the Songwriters ceremony because I was working but if they decided if I didn't show up they weren't going to give the award I was like what. I kind of wish there was good news to go with the awards but with the circumstances with the old group it's a little difficult and a little touchy. But it's an honor nonetheless. I always like to be told that I meant something. To me the most important thing is when I go and perform now and see the people's reaction, it's still unbelievable. That kind of means more to me than anything.

Me: Years down the road do you want to be remembered for your actual song writing or your performances?

Peter: Well, the true fans can feel the passion in my singing. I think that's important that people feel that because I sing like I mean it. I think people feel that whether it's uptempo or ballad, or whatever. 

Me: A lot of bands and musicians on your era and kinda music do residencies at Vegas. Ever thought of doing that?

Peter: No, I can't see myself doing the same shtick every night. I like to perform for people and I sing with my heart and I think people can feel that.

Me: Your voice sounds the same today as it did back then. What's the secret?

Peter: Well, I try to sing every day. That's it. I try not to talk a lot.

Me: Okay, that's cool. So, it's been over seventeen years since your last non-holiday studio album, what's next for you, Peter?

Peter: I've got about three or four things ready to go, I love to release more music but not sure what avenue to go. I would love to do a new CD but I'm just waiting for that guiding light to show me how to do it. It's a different world out there today.

Me: Well, I wish you lots of luck and thanks for being on the Phile. Take care and please come back soon.

Peter: Thank you, thank you very much.

There you go, I feel that interview was uneventful. I hope Peter doesn't feel that way. Anyway, that about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Peter Cetera for the interview. The Phile will be back next Monday with comedian Ryan Hamilton. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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

Monday, February 25, 2019

Pheaturing Jeffrey Gaines

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? Did you watch the Oscars last night? If you're anything like me, you watched Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform their hit song "Shallow" at the Oscars and immediately needed to take off your shirt and take some long drags off a cigarette. No, I don't smoke now. It's no surprise the A Star Is Born co-stars have chemistry... it's a huge part of why the film hangs together so well... but their duet, uh, foregrounded that chemistry intensely. So intensely. Viewers took note. Gaga recently split from fiancé Christian Carino and Bradley is happily partnered with Irina Shayk, his girlfriend and co-parent. I wonder how she feels about the two actors working together so closely? Physically, emotionally? Poor Irina. If I was gay I wouldn't want to watch Lady Gaga romantically sing with my boyfriend at the Oscars, either.
You might've heard that after much Kevin Hart-related controversy, the Oscars opted to go host-less this year. This fact made even casual cinemagoers nervous, as a sprawling, long ceremony proceeding without a host seems risky. Plus, hosts are traditionally responsible for some of the show's most memorable moments. Who could forget David Letterman's Uma/Oprah bit, or Whoopi Goldberg dressed as Elizabeth I? Luckily, our three coolest aunts... Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph ... opened the show as "pseudo-hosts." The trio kicked off the trophy-giving by finding a way to burrow even deeper into our hearts, landing punchlines and doing silly bits like only they can. People loved them so much, they're wondering: why didn't they host the whole dang thing? An excellent question, not least because Amy and Tina HAVE hosted an awards show together before: the Golden Globes in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Though the ceremony's went relatively smooth, I maintain that Amy-Tina-Maya make an incomparable hosting team. Perhaps in 2020.
A 37-year-old man has been banned from a local Starbucks in Spokane, Washington after asking the 16-year-old barista out on a date. According to The Spokesman Review, the man in question is Lucas Werner, and his Facebook profile promotes his belief that younger women and older men should reproduce because they create healthier babies. According to Werner, a teen barista flirted with him by telling him he was funny, so he decided to write her a note asking her out. When he returned to Starbucks the next day he was informed by a police officer that he is no longer welcome there. Werner claims that this ban is a clear case of age discrimination because he technically isn't breaking any laws. Starbucks doesn't hire employees under the age of sixteen, and sixteen is the legal age of consent in Washington. Werner seems to be under the impression that if he isn't breaking any laws, he isn't being creepy. This is up for debate, I suppose. However, Starbucks still has the right to ban someone from their property, especially if they feel that person is harassing their employees. And while he may be able to legally ask out 16-year-olds, doing so at someone's place of work can still be considered harassment.
Democratic hopeful Amy Klobuchar has been subject to intense media scrutiny since announcing her Presidential run. She's allegedly mistreated her staff in a way that contradicts her public persona, but the myriad reports of her behavior beg the question: is she being held to a higher standard than male politicians? To what extent the coverage is attributable to sexism or her actual, egregious actions is unclear to a political outsider like myself. But luckily on Twitter, people are having a field day with a news item that's not nearly as serious: Amy Klobuchar once ate salad with a comb and people can't handle it. Reactions to the New York Times piece... and this particularly curious detail... deluged Twitter. I'm with everyone who found Klobuchar's resourcefulness impressive. It sounds like much ado about nothing, IMO. Most salad-eating doesn't take place under perfectly Instagrammable conditions by a blemish-free model wearing athleisure. It takes place whenever a busy, working woman gets the chance to finally eat in between obligations.
While business magazines focus on tech startups and their CEOs, the entrepreneur of the year comes from a different troop. Charlotte Holmberg, a Girl Scout and fifth grader from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, sold 2,000 boxes of cookies last year and is bringing out the big guns for 2019. Specifically, Jason Momoa's big guns. Charlotte's mom works in marketing, and stumbled upon the meme celebrating the fact that "Samoa" rhymes with "Momoa," and "Momoa" is Jason Momoa's last name. After a quick rebrand, Charlotte started selling her Samoas as Momoas, and the boxes give a new meaning to "Jason Momoa is a SNACK." Ladies, here's the box...

The sweets were a hit all across the state, because apparently it doesn't get any sweeter than Jason Momoa. The Momoas have taken Colorado by storm, and not only because weed is legal there. Moms are both thirsty and hungry for Momoa. "The moms are getting really excited and they’re saying that they need them!" Charlotte told Denver’s 9News last week. "The girls will want to buy some because he’s on the front. And the boys will also wanna buy some because he’s like, he might be like their favorite character." If you can't fly to Colorado to get cookies, quench your thirst for Aquaman here...

What even is the point of Jason Momoa's bodyguards? So, instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this record...

Ummm... maybe not. Do you like Hot Pockets? Did you see the new one that they have out?

Looks good, right? Hahaha. Super crunchy. If I had a TARDIS I would probably end up on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku just as the crew is giving one final Banzai cheer before the ship sank in 1944...

Do you remember the State of the Union address a few weeks ago? Some Democrats sure gave a shady look during it. Like Senator Amy Klobuchar...

Speaking of Klobuchar, I mentioned the story of her using a comb for a fork, right? Well, did you see her new political slogan? If not I'll show it here...

Hahahaha. So, you know the Olsen twins, right? One of them knows how you die and the other know when you die...

Hahahahaha. That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

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

Top Phive Good, Bad And Ugly Scenarios
5. Good: Your hubby and you agree, no more kids. Bad: You can't find your birth control pills. Ugly: Your daughter borrowed them.
4. Good: Your son studies a lot in his room. Bad: You find several porn movies hidden there. Ugly: You're in them.
3. Good: Your husband understands fashion. Bad: He's a cross-dresser. Ugly: He looks better than you.
2. Good: Your son's finally maturing. Bad: He's involved with the woman next door. Ugly: So are you.
And the number one good, bad and ugly scenario is...
1. Good: Your wife's not talking to you. Bad: She wants a divorce. Ugly: She's a lawyer.

Ha! If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, so, there's a friend of the Phile who always lies and it usually ends up consuming his life. He has something he wants to say so I thought I'd invite him back on the Phile. So, please welcome back...

Me: Hey, Chip, how are you?

Chip: Hello, Jason, I am really good. Just sent a holiday weekend at a beach house with a band.

Me: How did that happen?

Chip: I recently got sort of unapproved access to a VIP area at a venue and the person who got me in probably would have gotten me in trouble if it was found out that they did.

Me: What kind of VIP area?

Chip: All I can say is it's a fairly major musician was playing, this was the lounge area where their friends and family were watching the show, only about twenty people.

Me: Okay, so, what happened?

Chip: When people asked why I was there, I said I was related to the owner of the venue. I figured this was boring enough but would stop the questions.

Me: And?.

Chip: Instead, this really nice group of people all started complimenting me on the venue and talking to me more about it and my family. They were really awesome people and we chatted the rest of the evening.

Me: Okay, so, things worked out, right?

Chip: They invited me to spend the upcoming holiday weekend at their beach house with the band. No one ever found I have no connection to the venue and don't even know who actually owns it.

Me: Ahhh... did you have fun there?

Chip: Yeah, I did.

Me: Well, then I guess I am glad for you, Chip. Chip Cooin, the world's worse liar. Actually, that time things worked out good in his favor... I guess.

Awe. So, do you remember the 90s? There's this guy who not only remembers the 90s but still lives like it's the 90s. Please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hey, Ed, what's up?

Ed: Just listenin' to Jeffrey Gaines' hit "Hero In Me" off his new album. This guy is pretty good.

Me: Ummm... "Hero In Me" came in out in '92, Ed...

Ed: Yeah, which wasn't long ago. I hope he keeps releasing more music. It's cool you have him here on the Phile.

Me: Thanks. So, anything else?

Ed: Yeah, I went to my local Blockbuster this past weekend and this is what I saw...

Me: Yeah, I'm not surprised...

Ed: I just wanted to VHS and chill, bro. It sucks.

Me: Awe. Hahaha.

Ed: Alright, I am gonna dash, see what else I can do, Take care, dude. Party like it's 1999.

Me: You too. Ed Enistink, the guy who lives in the 90s.

One hundred years ago everyone owned a horse and only the rich had cars. Today everyone has cars and only the rich own horses.

Now for some sad news...

Peter Tork 
February 13th, 1942 — February 21st, 2019
Stick a Tork in him; he's done!

Stanley Donen
April 13th, 1924 — February 21st, 2019
Singin' in the ground.

Karl Lagerfeld
September 10th, 1933 — February 19th, 2019
Fashionably late.

The 94th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Neville will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Many years ago, in the South Pacific, there was a small island kingdom that was ruled by a kind and benevolent King. Each year, on the King's birthday, the residents of the island gave the King a new throne as token of their love and respect for him. And each year, the King would put last years gift up in the attic of his small grass house. After many years of ruling the island, the weight of the large number of birthday presents stored up in the attic became too heavy and caused the house to collapse down on the King. Moral to the story is: He who lives in grass house, shouldn't stow thrones.

Today's pheatured guest is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist whose latest album "Alright" is available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Jeffrey Gaines.

Me: Hey, Jeffrey, welcome to the Phile, man. How are you?

Jeffrey: I'm doing great. What's up? 

Me: Not much. So, you're from Pennsylvania, right? What part? 

Jeffrey: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Me: Oh, cool. My son lives right outside Harrisburg. I first heard about you in the early 90s when my dad leant me your first CD, Jeffrey. You have been making music for a long time. Is it still fun for you?

Jeffrey: Yeah, when I'm on stage I stand there a little longer for the applause. I lean my ear out deeper, and it goes deeper within me. It is fun. This is it. At the end of each song I know I've won them and they let me know I was amazing. I really love being on stage, man, and I love them, and drink them in.

Me: What made you decide to first get into music, Jeffrey?

Jeffrey: I think luckily the great thing for me and the great time was it was the most powerful thing. The most powerful superhero that anybody could look to was a rock star. David Bowie was doing the Ziggy Stardust to Kiss coming out. Man, it was like action figures. I could go from a musician to an action figure. I had the Kiss dolls and I was like yeah, let's do this. I guess it was about the time period, I was a kid in '72 and everything was sold... every commercial, every cartoon, they had a band. There was Josie and the Pussycats, and everything came on with a song. Everything had a jingle, music was everywhere. My parents always had the stereo and records playing and the radio on when we drove. Instead of finding socialization with people I found socialization with music. The background became my foreground. When I went to a party they normally had a record playing in the background and I listened to that. My music went right to the music and I wanted to know who was that.

Me: That's cool. When did you first start playing guitar?

Jeffrey: Well, I got the guitar really early and drums as a single digit kid, when I was nine. All kids have too much energy and bang around. I got the drum kit first and then a guitar when I started singing in a band in junior high.

Me: When did you first start performing on stage?

Jeffrey: In junior high, I had a band and was performing. I started out a little innocently and then found out I was a little more addicted for stage time. There was something about standing in an auditorium and knowing my peers were out there. The house lights went out and they were just silhouettes in the darkness and I was under the spot light. It was a feeling some people get and get stuck with it and some people do that and get over it. I was nope, this is it. This is the thing because it will be my vehicle for my personality to be drawn out. I don't think anyone would know anything about me if it weren't for music. I would not travel the world, seeing places and be invited to any experience. Any positive experience or any experience can be drawn back to the music that opened the door for me.

Me: Were you writing your own songs back then or were you in cover bands?

Jeffrey: I was in cover bands. I was happy doing that as well, let's be real. I love to sing, and singing was the first thing. Singing came to me by mocking other singers. With seventies radio there was a lot of Elton John, a lot of really good singers, like your dad. By the time I was in a band we were doing new wave and stuff like that. Accidentally I started to write some songs. I got left alone in a rehearsal room, the band I was in took a dinner break and I had a really good tone on the electric guitar which is rare for me. When they came back from the break I had written a song and debuted it to their ears first and asked what did they think. They said it doesn't sound local meaning it sounds like a famous song. It wasn't like a guy they knew wrote a song. I got a lot encouragement and a little compliment and that sounded like something we would do. We started doing some original songs but we were in no hurry to become an original band.

Me: What was the music scene like there in Harrisburg at that time?

Jeffrey: There seemed to be more clubs to play. I got booked at colleges a lot. Colleges had to book certain amount of bands and stuff otherwise they'll lose their government grand. So, they had a spring fling or something and hired a band.

Me: When did you get signed to a record deal, Jeffrey?

Jeffrey: That was a very interesting time. In 1988 was the first release I did anything. We were working with a guy from a band called the Sharks named Shia Quinn, and they were a huge cover band in that area. He wanted to do a little side project so we wrote a few songs together and we released it as single. It was a song that appeared on my first record also, it was a song called "What It Is." That was the first thing I ever did that was for sale. I moved to Philadelphia in 1989, got a manager and started exploring my talents a little wider, a little deeper, a little further, and that's how it is. I got signed out of New York, I was playing at the Bitter End, this guy got a bunch of labels to come over and it was pretty simple. They saw me play eight songs and then I signed a record deal. I don't think I ever got my teeth cut, I just snuck in the back door.

Me: What was it like when you first record came out?

Jeffrey: It was a shock to a lot of people I knew. These songs were first played in colleges, at student centers and now all of a sudden I had a record out. I really enjoyed that 90s era, when I had a record out there was a distinction and I really enjoyed that. It don't have that emotion anymore because everyone can do it. It's kinda cool to be invited by a group pf people that were gate keepers and there was that selection and I got selected. I felt good because back then I could walk amongst others. I could go backstage to the Grammys back then. I hate to say that, but I'm about that. I was like holy hell, that's James Brown right there. He was relaxing with Michael Jackson right there. Oh, man, here comes the Chili Peppers, running around acting nuts. In those days there was no one checking my credentials. You were someone if you were back there. I was cleared, and that is cool, to be cleared. 

Me: So, how does it feel to have a new record out now?

Jeffrey: I tell people I have a new record out now and they reply they have to. I'm like what do they mean. Then I see they're right. They're like, "My brother has one." Or "my sister has one." Or "my 9-year-old has one." I was at a photographer's place working on some artwork and he had his 15-year-old daughter up in her room singing into her laptop. I was like, "What are you doing?" She said, "I was cutting vocals on like Garage Band." She was sitting in her room, crossed legged on her bed and singing. She sounded great making this thing right in her lap. I was like how the hell can I do that? It was amazing. He said, "Yeah, she does that all the time." Do you have a record out, Jason?

Me: Yeah... hahaha. Strawberry Blondes Forever is my musical project. I just wrote the lyrics though. My friend Dan Nowicki did everything else. Looking at your discography I didn't realize you covered Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." How did that come about you doing that song?

Jeffrey: Let me tell you that's personal. A girl at the time I happened to be in love with was in love with that song. The worst motivation made me do it, the total jealousy I want her attention... how can I do anything that HAS her attention I must conquer that so it turns back on me. I did that kinda thing when I was a kid. My mother would love to close her eyes and listen to Otis Redding and I thought I had to learn how to sing his songs. I didn't know how I was can do it but I'm gonna do it. I just had to learn it so I can sing it for her and be like now I'm special too. It's really, really, really childish. I have to admit looking back at it I get it all now. After opening up for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Europe, playing in front of tens of thousands of people, in Germany English is not their first language, they don't know what I'm talking about for about eight songs. I thought it was going great but no matter what the language barrier is if I could get everybody to sing English together and I know they were gonna know this, it's a global song and I'm gonna try this out. As soon as I did it... boom. Everybody stood to attention and it's a call and answer chorus so they just immediately jumped right into song.

Me: You didn't record for a long time, Jeffrey, was there a reason for that?

Jeffrey: There was a reason for sure. The reason was the prospect of doing it all by myself. I've never recorded with the cost of studios, if it wasn't gonna be a product paid for by somebody who wanted it. That's where I'm at. Like the project in '88, "it's paid for and it's gonna be a classic." When? It's gonna be an item, we are doing to for a reason. it's got a backer so it's gonna be paid for by somebody other than me. All I got to do it show up, take the picture, record it, I'll sign it when someone has it in their hand. "Could you sign my CD?" Yes I can. That's what's it's about. That gap was the prospect of recording would of been DIY. I was like, man, I don't know, if nobody wants the record I don't have the ego in me or the presumption that I would make it anyway. If I don't know they don't want it I take that very literally. My fans are awesome because they come to the shows and love the songs that are out there. There are a lot of people that don't even have the whole collection. These two people once told me they loved me, and they're my number one fans and they said, "Do you know why I'm your number one fan? Because I have all three of your records." I'm like that's so cute, there's so many more to get. In that gap there were people that didn't even have them all. I looked at it like there's still more work to do, what am I doing just making records? There's people that haven't bought the ones that are out. John Mellencamp taught me this, the whole point of putting them out is to get them into the hands of the people. I don't make them to have them not heard. If I write new songs and tape them on my phone or cassette recorder than that objective has been met. I had this song on my mind that's been bugging me, I had to get it down on paper. I wrote the song and then recorded it. Then I go, that's it, there it is. So, the next thing that comes to mind is what makes me say if I've been satisfied artistically to make that music the next ambition is maybe more ego... now it's to go out to a record store. Now people have to hear it. I heard it and as an artist I'm satisfied now with the necessity for others to hear it, now give me a pat on the back. I like making record for people, I like being commissioned.

Me: What made you write and record "Alright"?

Jeffrey: I saw there was no real barrier approaching. I was playing a show and someone asked if I was recording anything and I said, "No. Not at the moment." "Well, how would you feel like recording for us?" "My feeling about that is great!" We looked into each other, we loved what we were doing, what they were about, and we thought let's do that. That really all that has to happen. That's all that had to happen. I'm not very good at all the stuff that has to happen from mental conception than to an actual hard plastic item that somebody has. I don't know how it becomes a CD. I'm like good, I have a record company, that means there has to be an art department. I don't know how it ends up in record stores. I'm glad they do. I'm the delinquent kid in the back of the class that doesn't have the administrative or clerical or I don't know how to write a letter. You and I wouldn't have done this interview without someone connecting me to the world. People know, there's a pipeline in the works. You're gonna help get the word out, its stuff like that, I would not have a leg to stand on without support of the system. Me: Did you write a bunch of new songs for this album or did you have a crap load of songs already written? Jeffrey: Well, I always have a bunch and that's like a thing that's always going on. There's really only one that's brand new that but they're pretty new. It's a mix. There's a few older songs on there that only made sense to record now because of the band that I selected. it's like I did a record with Mitchell Froom which worked out well, it was "Towards the Sun," and Val McCullum plays guitar on it. I met him there and we had a good repertoire, so I kept in touch with him, followed what he was doing. His side band was a band called Jack Shit and I was like that's a funny name, what's that all about. I looked at it and he had Pete Thomas from the Attractions, you know, Elvis' old band, I always wanted to play with Pete Thomas. David Faragher is on bass, I met him back in the 90s when he was in Cracker. We did some shows together like on Mountain Stage back then. I knew that was the band I was gonna use, I sort of grabbed songs that leant themselves to their style. I shifted things around a little bit that made sense to their musicianship. Based on the personal that helped me narrow down the songs I wanted to submit. I sent them a demo of like fifteen songs and I really just watched what they gravitated too. It's my comeback record so I didn't want to make it too long, like 45 minutes. You put the needle on and play the thing throughout.

Me: Well, I love the album. Has your writing style changed since you started writing all those years ago?

Jeffrey: My writing style has changed a lot. I would think it's not so much the style that changed a lot. I guess I pulled the trigger left. That's like with any gunslinger, you pull the trigger left. Meaning there was a time that I wrote a song about every event, everything that happened that was a song, that's art. That's another song. I look at it like every day it's all learning, I come into it with maybe a blindfold on, like anybody young like me coming into it I was like let me at it. But I didn't know what it was about.

Me: Nice. Jeffrey, thanks for a great interview, man. I love the new album and I hope you'll come back on the Phile soon.

Jeffrey: Thanks, Jason, come out and see me in concert everyone, and buy the CD and I'll sign it.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeffrey Gaines for a great interview. My dad was a fan of his first album. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Peter Cetera. 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