Thursday, October 31, 2019

It's The Great Trumpkin, Peverett Phile 4 Pheaturing Butch Patrick

Hello, welcome to the Phile, I am your host... Sir Jason of Avalon, the great knight crusader. Happy Halloween, kids. I feel more like Sir Cumference. I'll gladly eat any Halloween candy you're allergic to. Except for candy corn... and licorice. Here's a life hack for you... carve a pumpkin to distract you from the fact you're also a lifeless round object putting on a fake smile. Haha. That's just mean. I know. How evil are you? Do this... just dip the Brussels sprouts in chocolate and rap them back up, kids will love them tonight. Ate you making a haunted house? Here' an idea... a room full of women saying "I'm fine." Scary. So, today's pheatured guest is Butch Patrick, who played Eddie Munster on "The Munsters." I was wondering something... Herman Munster was married to a vampire and their son happens to be a werewolf. Hmmmm.
Okay, let's get on with the news... There is never a good time to be in a car accident, but an especially bad time to be in a car accident is when you're covered in fake blood. Sidney Wolfe, a college student at Marshall University in West Virginia, was in costume promoting a production of Carrie: The Musical when she totaled her car when a deer ran in front of it. There is never a good time to be in a car accident, but an especially bad time to be in a car accident is when you're covered in fake blood. Wolfe wrote that the first responders who came to the scene saw the fake blood and assumed she was dead. "The first responders saw my blood and freaked," she explained. The accidental prank went viral, and Wolfe has been declared the queen of Halloween. It's okay to laugh, because she wasn't hurt... it only looks like she was. If you happen to be in the Ashland, Kentucky area, go see Carrie The Musical at the Paramount Arts Center. As Wolfe joked, "I risked my life to promote this musical. Y’all better buy tickets!!!!!"
Think of the dumbest thing you've seen an anti-vaxxer do online and multiply it by a thousand. That'll be almost as cringey as this post that's making the rounds on the Internet.

According to the post, a woman painted red measles dots all over her body to go as "measles" for Halloween. She allegedly captioned the photo, "Was trying to think of the least scary thing I could be for Halloween... so I became the measles." Another Facebook user commented underneath to eviscerate the woman for pushing anti-vax propaganda. She also allegedly posted an apology backed by anti-vax science, saying she's sorry her costume "wasn't Christlike." "I'm sorry for posting the measles costume, it wasn't Christ like. It wasn't meant to be a jab at babies who died from the measles. Literally at all. Every single baby's life matters. So the post really did not reflect my heart."  She goes on to try and prove that it's okay to welcome measles into your life with open arms because strep throat kills more people per year... apparently failing to realize that the reason measles isn't deadly is because so many people are vaccinated against it. The costume is going viral on the Internet, and people are shocked. Besides her stupidity in the manner, why would you try to think "of the least scary thing" to be for Halloween? It's Halloween, you're supposed to be scary. A giant fail on all fronts.
It's Halloween so let's talk about a monster... Harvey Weinstein showed up at an event for young performers in New York City last Thursday night, reportedly with some bodyguards and a group of young women. Instead of being quickly ejected by the event's organizers for being one of the most notorious accused rapists in modern history, he was allowed to sit and watch the performances. But one woman who confronted him, actor Zoe Stuckless, was kicked out. Another, comic Amber Rollo, says she was called a cunt by one of his security guards. And comic Kelly Bachman was booed when she told jokes about Weinstein onstage during her performance. It all went down at Downtime Bar NYC, at an event for performers called Actors Hour, according to Rollo's Twitter account. "Some people didn't realize what was going on, some artists knew and were scared and some were outright supporting this fucking serial rapist monster," Rollo wrote. She confronted Weinstein, and a member of his entourage responded. Zoe Stuckless also confronted Weinstein. She stood and pointed at him, yelling, "No one's gonna say anything? No one's really gonna say anything?" before his bodyguards escorted her out. "I was kicked out of the bar tonight," she wrote in a post on Facebook accompanying a video of the encounter and two photos. "His bodyguards herded me out. The event organizers were happy to see me go." "In some ways tonight was a horrible, painful reminder of the power a man like Weinstein holds even now," she wrote. "It was a reminder that even in this time of relative awareness it is hypnotically easy to be pulled into a culture of silence." And comic Kelly Bachman took the stage and called Weinstein "the elephant in the room," "I’m a comic, and it’s our job to name the elephant in the room,” she said. “It’s a Freddy Krueger in the room, if you will. I didn’t realize I needed to bring my own mace and rape whistle to Actors Hour.” Some men can be heard booing Kelly after that joke. She responds, "Sorry, that killed at group therapy for rape survivors." Weinstein's rep put out a statement which you can read if you want. There was also a male comic named Andrew B. Silas present, who performed after Bachman. He said in his set, "I'd like to address the elephant in the room. Who in this room produced Good Will Hunting? 'Cause that shit was great." He told BuzzFeed he thought his comment was supportive of Bachman. The event's producer, Alexandra Laliberte, told BuzzFeed News she was fine with Weinstein's presence at the event: Alexandra Laliberte, the organizer of Actor's Hour, told BuzzFeed News it was the second time Weinstein had turned up to one of her events. Laliberte added that she doesn't have a security team, and rather than turn Weinstein away, she thought the community could address him. "I welcome all walks of life into my space," she said. She also said she "protects" her performers from predators like Weinstein "by freedom of speech." The comments on her Actors Hour Instagram account are turned off. People on Twitter are frustrated that Weinstein is apparently able to lead a normal life after being accused of rape and sexual assault by dozens of high-profile women. Bachman, Rollo and Stuckless, on the other hand, will no doubt deal with plenty of online harassment as this story continues to break.
You knew it was coming. Antonio Brown went from one of the most beloved, exciting and fun to watch players in the NFL to the most detested and laughed at thanks to the WR’s months-long tirade full of shenanigans that led to him being traded from the Steelers, and then kicked off of two teams in the span of a month. Now finding himself at home without a job, he may spot a trick-or-treater dressed up as him coming to his door this Halloween, as Antonio Clown has become one of the hit costumes this year. See?

Just in time for Halloween! Lady Gaga's Valentino dress in which she won a Golden Globe is currently up for auction, after she allegedly left it behind at the Beverley Hills Hilton. The dress was then "found" by a housekeeper, who is selling it through Nate D. Sanders Auctions. After the auction went live, Valentino has accused the woman of stealing the gown, and according to TMZ, "either gone to the police or plans to go to cops." The housekeeper, on the other hand, wrote a letter explaining how she got the dress. "Hello, my name is Sara. I work as a Housekeeper at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. I’m always present working in the Golden Globe events on January every year for 24 years. The artist 'Lady Gaga' left me this dress that she used for the day or the awards. I turned in the dress to lost and found on the 8th of January 2019. After the time legally held... they gave it to me as a gift from her and today I want to auction the dress." Lady Gaga would have kept the dress if she had a one-year-old daughter she could force into it. Yeah, poor Stormi Webster, her mother Kylie Jenner dressed her up as herself, and she looked absolutely miserable...

So, recently I saw the movie Hocus Pocus and I never realized who the three witches in it were...

Hahaha. Do you know who your neighbors are? I hope they don't leave signs like this...

There's not two "T's" in "rot," people. If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time and ask Beverly Owen out, who played Marilyn Munster on "The Munsters." But knowing my luck all she would want to do is sit on the front of a car and just pose.

She still looks good though. Ever see some panhandlers on the side of the road? Some of them you can't see...

This time of your they make pumpkin spice everything... even Spam. Don't believe me? Look.

A month ago or so at the Global Climate Stroke there were some signs that give us hope for the future...

And some snarky ones as well...

It's Halloween and there are a lot of scary pumpkins out there...

I mentioned people are dressing up as Antonio Brown for Halloween this year in the monologue. Well, here's another one...

Speaking of football, there's a 150% chance Tom Brady keeps his socks on for intercourse...

Hahaha. I don't like scary movies but I have to think Michael Myers is a cool guy as he played guitar...

I'd see that movie. So, this entry is the 4th year I titled it "It's the Great Trumpkin..." Some people over the years have asked me why. Well, it's named after the classic Halloween Peanuts special titled "It's the Great Trumpkin, Charlie Brown." You don't remember that one? Here's a screen shot...

Hahaha. speaking of a trumpkin...

There we go. Hey, it's Thursday... you know that that means.

That's just fucking gross. All right, its time to talk football with my good friend Jeff...

Me: Jeff!! Happy Halloween. Welcome back to the Phile.

Jeff: Hey, Jason, it's always great to be back here on the Phile.

Me: I'm a knight crusader this year, a Knight of Avalon sport to speak. What are you going to be for Halloween today?

Jeff: I decided for Halloween I was going to be a mentally stable married man. No one will recognize me this year!

Me: Hahahaha. What is your favorite costume you ever dressed up in for Halloween?

Jeff: I've done some interesting Halloween costumes over the years. Last year I was allowed to dress up at work so I was wearing my Flash costume throughout the day. But all time favorite costume? I think I will go with my home made Aladdin costume. Here's a pic...

Me: Cool. Okay, so, before we talk about football let's talk about Halloween. You are into ghost hunting, right? Do you still do that?

Jeff: That is correct. I am an amateur ghost hunter. And yes, I still do that. I just did a mini investigation last weekend as a matter of fact. Just need to go through the evidence.

Me: What's the craziest thing you've ever witnessed?

Jeff: Craziest thing? So many things! I have audio and pictures and personal experiences from many different locations. For me though, I'm going to always say the time I was touched on an investigation. I was working on a World War II battleship as a tour guide. On my last day working, I took a group of local ghost hunters throughout the ship. We were in the officers' quarters doing an EVP session. What that means is we had a recording going trying to get an Electronic Voice phenomenon, a voice that you hear on a recording that we didn't hear in real time. There was six of us in the room. One person asked for a sign of a spirit's presence. Immediately I felt a tap on my left shoulder. There was no body standing on my left side. The only people in the room were those in the group. I immediately yelled out I got touched! It should have been scary, but I thought it was awesome!

Me: Nope. Nope. Nothing about that seems awesome. How long have you been into doing this?

Jeff: I've always been interesting in the paranormal. My Godfather Charlie (RIP) taught me all about it. From Nessie to Bigfoot and everything else. I had an experience when I was a kid. Maybe it happened. Maybe it was my over imagination. We had just moved into our new house. I think I was somewhere between 6-8-years-old? Well, I heard a noise that spooked me. I ran downstairs. From behind the couch I swear I saw a hand beckoning me to go to it. I was young at the time so I ran away from it. Now? I would have gone towards it! I'm crazy that way!

Me: Once again nope. Have you always believed in ghosts?

Jeff: Yeah, I think it's safe to say I've always believed. Hell, I'm even convinced I saw a UFO once! 

Me: Okay, speaking of ghosts, did you see this?

Me: The Jaguars mascot threw shade at Sam Darnold by showing up to the stadium dressed as a ghost. Did he thought it was funny or wish he didn't make that "seeing ghosts" comment.

Jeff: Hahaha, well I'm sure Darnold wasn't seeing the same ghosts he saw the week before. He might have still twitched at the thought of it though!

Me: Not only that but they also played a Darnold blooper real during the game Sunday, complete with Ghostbusters music for the audio. Do you think he was amused?

Jeff: Honestly, I'm sure he was kind of annoyed at the moment. I have a feeling if it was directed at anyone else he would have found humor in it. But because it was about him, he wasn't amused.

Me: So, apparently dressing up as Antonio Brown is the hit costume this Halloween as I mentioned in the monologue. I already showed a few pics but here's another...

Me: Did you see this coming? Do you think he'd get a kick outta it?

Jeff: Knowing Antonio Brown, he would be amused by it. Only to placate his ego. He wouldn't notice the clown part of it, just happy people are still wearing his jersey.

Me: Speaking of Antonio Brown, he is thinking of coming back to the Steelers. Is that a good idea or bad idea?

Jeff: To quote Michael Scott from "The Office," "No! No! NOOOOO. God no!" That would be a terrible idea. I don't want that joker on my team again. Talent is one thing, but he's proven to be a cancer in the locker room. I don't want him on my fantasy football team or even a Madden video game team!

Me: I have to mention something about the Giants... Saquon Barkley made the Lions defense look like a few kids trying to tackle their father in the backyard. During the fourth quarter of the Giants-Lions game in Detroit, Barkley caught a pass to the left side, finding himself out in the flat with Lions defenders in front of him, with seemingly nowhere to go. The Giants RB then spun out of two tackles, stiff armed a man into the ground, and then ran around another before finally getting dragged down. What did you think of this play? He went into beast mode.

Jeff: Yeah, I saw that play. Barkley was one of the reasons I won my fantasy football game this week. Which is good since my starting QB is out!

Me: So, what NFL news do you have this week?

Jeff: Biggest news of the week is the NFL trade deadline. No huge trades were made. Miami, who had been sellers all year, traded for a top CB to prove they aren't completely tanking the season. They acquired Aquib Talib from the Rams. He's got to be pissed! J.J. Watt, star LB of the Texans who can't stay healthy to save his life, is out for the rest of the season. Again. I would be so frustrated if I was him. 

Me: America again has changed another teams name and logo, making it a bit more patriotic...

Me: What do you think?

Jeff: I like that one! Simple but to the point!

Me: I have to mention something about baseball... with the World Series. Congrats to the Nat. But did you see this?

Me: During the 7th Inning Sunday, two female fans, who have been identified as famed Instagram models Julia Rose and Lauren Summer were spotted flashing Houston pitcher Gerrit Cole in effort to distract him. Cole called time shortly after noticing the two. Julia Rose was not too long after contacted by Major League Baseball and banned from any stadiums, facilities, and events for life. Do you think that is fair? I don't.

Jeff: I guess I wasn't paying enough attention to the World Series as I should have! Maybe Barkley should be watching that instead of liking porn on game days? I know I would! I uh, think I need a moment. I'll be right back. Okay, I'm back. Yes, sadly I do think that's fair. You can't just go flashing national TV like that.

Me: Sure you can. Haha. Okay, so, how did we do last week?

Jeff: I had what we call a perfect week. I went 2-0 with a Steelers win on Monday night. While you went 1-1 with a Giants... not win? My lead is now 7 points!

Me: Ugh! I will chop you down with my battle-axe or whatever it is. Let's pick this weeks games... I say the Jags will win by 4 in England and the Vikings will win by 3. What do you say?

Jeff: My picks are Panthers 7 and Seahawks by 11.

Me: All right, Jeff. Have a good Halloween. I will see you back here next Friday instead of Thursday next week. Have a great week, my friend.

Jeff: Happy Halloween everyone. Stay safe. And send any unwanted chocolate my way!

That's lame. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, there's a friend of the Phile who I don't think is scared of anything but apparently he is. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is.

Happy Halloween, humans. Many of you are giving me crap over the fact that a big scary guy like me is freaked out by midgets and clowns. You ask me why... call me a wuss... etc. I've never told anyone but my dad and my shrink the reason why up until now. But I'm gonna share it with all of you, right now. Sigh... Fuck it, here goes nothin'... When I was about 3-years-old my father brought me to my first circus. We sat in the very front row on the floor. My dad was my hero and a New York City cop at the time. So I was in my glory... Before the show got under way, packs of clowns were walking around the staging area and a midget circus clown walked up to us and got three inches from my face. He grabs me by the shoulders and shouts... "HELLO LITTLE BOY... WE'RE GONNA HAVE FUN TODAY!"... then, grabs my hand and yanks me out of my seat to walk me around. I freak the fuck out and lose it... I punched and kicked that scary little fucker as if he was trying to drag me into a van with no windows. My dad got up, walked over and said to him, "Can't you see you're scaring my son? Beat it, you little shit." The clown almost crapped himself and ran off. I sat for the rest of the show, shaking like drenched kitten. Scared out of my mind. To sum up... I hate clowns... I hate midgets... and... A midget clown will get throat punched if he comes near me. Hope this clears up any misconceptions as to whether I'm suffering from a traumatic memory... or I'm just an ill mannered dick who hates face painted members of the Lollipop Guild.

This about sums it up.

Donald Trump is an incredibly normal human president who has done incredibly normal human things. He knows how to interact with humans in a human manner, and has done so for years. Among the many human things he has done is participate in his semi-annual interaction with children at the White House (the Easter Egg Roll being the other one). A trick-or-treater... or should I say Trump-or-treater?... approached Trump and the person in costume as Melania, and rather than place candy in the kid's bucket, Trump placed the goods on top of the Minion's head. Covering for her husband, Melania placed a chocolate bar on the kid's head too, and then the candy proceeded to fall to the floor.

Trump is no stranger to minions... that's what Republicans in Congress are for. He is, however, knew to trick-or-treating, which might explain why his adult children are the way that they are. People are in awe of the president's total ineptitude at such a simple task as putting candy in a bag. Another video shows Trump handing a candy bar directly to a child in a dinosaur costume, suggesting that he has some understanding of how trick-or-treating works. Was putting candy on the Minion's head his idea of a practical joke? You can see him do a little "boop" with the bar, and then giggling when it falls to the floor. People on the right found the Minion gambit charming. Like all the Minion memes you see Baby Boomers post on Facebook, it's all a matter of taste.

Sorry, but technically it's "Frankenstein's monster."

A king is trying to find someone to marry his beautiful daughter and sets up a quest to who can find the most ping pong balls in all the land. Three knights set out on this adventure. A few days later the first knight arrives with 27 ping pong balls. The next knight comes in shortly after and has 54 ping pong balls. The following day the last knight arrives; bloody, bruised, chain mail torn like leather and just in all around bad shape. The king asks "my goodness, what has happened to you and where are your ping pong balls?" To which the noble knight responds "ping pong balls?!? I thought you said King Kong's balls!"

Phact 1. Anoka, Minnesota, was the first city in America to officially hold a Halloween celebration, in an effort to divert kids from pulling pranks like tipping outhouses and letting cows loose to run around on Main Street.

Phact 2. Iceland doesn’t really celebrate Halloween, but they do however celebrate “Ă–skudagur” where they dress up in costumes and go to various stores and sing for candy.

Phact 3. A 23-year-old man from Northern England was arrested in November 2012 for possession of class A drugs after he gave cocaine to children on Halloween.

Phact 4. In 2005, in Frederica, Delaware, apparent suicide of a woman found hanging from a tree went unreported for hours because people passing by thought the body was just another Halloween decoration.

Phact 5. Childbirths tend to increase or decrease on certain holidays, with 3.6% more births on Valentine’s Day, and 5.3% less births on Halloween.

Today's pheatured guest is an American former child actor. Beginning his professional acting career at the age of seven, Patrick is perhaps best known for his role as child werewolf Eddie Munster on the CBS comedy television series "The Munsters." His 2015 book Munster Memories: A Coffin Table Book is the 107th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club and is available on Amazon. Please welcome to the Phile... Butch Patrick.

Me: Hey, Butch, welcome to the Phile. Happy Halloween! How are you?

Butch: I'm okay. Happy Halloween.

Me: So, do you ever get tired of talking about "The Munsters"?

Butch: Well, it's been a pretty popular show over the years I still get a really nice response from people when we go out on the road so no.

Me: Why do you think that show was so successful back then and over the years?

Butch: Universal Studios had the monster movies down to a science and they took all that technique and knowledge they had and applied it to "The Munsters." It was shot on film and it was lit and the set was designed just like a classic monster movie from the late 30s and early 40s which I think leant itself to the quality and set the tone for the whole quality of the show.

Me: What was it like seeing the show in color when the movie Munster, Go Home came out opposed to it being in black and white? Was it a huge difference?

Butch: I particularly didn't care for it myself. I thought because the old monster movies were done in black and white I thought that was the proper genre.

Me: Why did they make the movie color?

Butch: What they did with the purpose of the Munsters movie was to introduce the world to the show. Nobody knew, except the United States, nobody knew who the Munsters were so they were going to try to syndicate the show out. They had to have a movie to release world wide to educate the people on what the Munsters were. That was the technicolor movie that came out so that's how that all came about.

Me: It's kinda surprising the show was black and white in the first place, am I right?

Butch: What you have to remember was back then color was brand new on television so the fact that all the black and white shows changed to color right in 1966 right as we were going off the air was kind of the turn over point. But being in color introduced the Munsters to the world as well. The main thing is it was done as a marketing tool.

Me: How old were you when you started acting?

Butch: I started working when I was seven.

Me: Was "The Munsters" your first acting gig? I don't think it was...

Butch: "The Munsters" came around when I was just turning eleven so I did a year with "The Real McCoys," a year with "General Hospital," and I did a lot of guest starring roles in movies prior to that.

Me: How did you get the role of Eddie?

Butch: When they did the casting process I was living in Illinois with my grandmother and going into 5th grade and my agent convinced them when they found out they were looking to replace the pilot kid, Happy Derman. She convinced them to fly me out for a screen test, no interview, no nothing. I just went from the airport to the studio and put on the studio and I met Yvonne De Carlo and we rehearsed our lines and we did a kitchen scene I remember. She was bought in to replace Joan Marshall and they changed the name from Phoebe to Lily and Lily Munster who was played by Yvonne De Carlo was a movie star so they added star power to the cast. Fred Gwynne was from "Car 54, Where Are You?" and she was a major star so that really what the key was, the fact they brought me in the last minute and gave Eddie a regular boy situation who was a regular kid but happened to be a werewolf or vampire, whatever you chose. I was a werewolf. But they wanted a regular kid who could act and have regular conversations. The Happy Derman interpretation was edgy and dark and mean.

Me: What was Yvonne like to work with?

Butch: She was a gorgeous woman, We had two beautiful women on the show. Beverly Owen was gorgeous and Yvonne De Carlo was a very hot mature woman. She was in her early 40s but she was beautiful. She was the original goth mom.

Me: How would you compare her to Carolyn Jones who played Morticia on "The Addams Family"? 

Butch: Morticia was more of a one dimensional thing whereas Lily actually cleaned and cooked the household like a typical mother. It was done by the people that did "Leave It to Beaver." A lot of the scripts and a lot of the storylines were very similar and instead for instance she has the same duties as Barbara Billingsley would have except wearing a pearl necklace in the kitchen she was wearing a bat necklace.

Me: Did you see Yvonne in the later years after the show ended?

Butch: Yeah, I reconnected with her when she did the Vicki Lawrence show and I was the surprise guest. At that time, let's see, she passed away 13 years ago, so it was probably in the late 90s. We started reconnecting and became friends and I kept visiting her. I introduced her to a friend who was a huge fan and was a big shot in Hollywood who took over because I moved away and he would go and visit her and send her care packages with movies to watch, books to read, just to let her know she had not been forgotten. That was wonderful.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your book Munster Memories: A Coffin Table Book. What can you tell us about it?

Butch: It's based on my fond memories of the show.

Me: So, what's your favorite memory?

Butch: I have to tell you, "The Munsters" was my job. It was great to go to work but my favorite memory is when I had a couple of hours to kill I would be able to go explore Universal Studios and see whatever soundstage was building up and whatever movie was going to be in there and seeing Charlton Heston walking down the street with a Moe Howard haircut, seeing Alfred Hitchcock swing by. That was the real deal. To go up to the westerns and see my uncle who used to supply horses and the western props so I would. So I would go to "The Virginian" set or the "Wagon Train" set or go out and see Tim Conway and Ernest Borgnine at the lagoon for "McHale's Navy." That was my fun, those are the memories that I enjoyed. Going to the "Phantom of the Opera" soundstage and going up to the sixth floor catwalks up in the ceiling because it was the largest soundstage in Hollywood. It was awesome.

Me: That kinda reminds me of when I first started working at Disney World in Epcot. Hmmm. Anyway, did you ever get into trouble running around?

Butch: No, I was a pretty good student of getting in and getting out. I would go out on soundstage without disrupting a shoot and making noise. Everyone knew I was supposed to be there because obviously I was in the make-up. It was like my own private playground, and that's what little kids like to do, I wasn't a little kid, I was like 12-years-old but boys like to go exploring. That was the greatest place to go explore in the world.

Me: I'm jealous. Okay, I love the name of the book and the pun... a coffin table book. Haha. It came out a few years ago, right?

Butch: The hardcover sold out immediately, we only did a hundred of them. I had it planned to come out September 24th, 2014 which was 50 years to the day we premiered. I've now gone into the paperback version which is actually a more formal way. People love them, it's a really good read.

Me: So, what kind of memories are in the book?

Butch: It's a combination of memories from fans, I interviewed people that were on the show, Then I also cover the super collectors and all the merchandise that people love to collect. It's a combination of my input, fans input, participants input, and the super collectors.

Me: Did you get to keep anything from the show such as props?

Butch: When I left the show I didn't take anything from the show. I never collected anything. My scripts as the week progressed I ripped the pages out as we finished a scene. At the end of the week my scripts were just the cover and the back, then I threw it away. But when I was out doing "Ironside" I was 18-years-old and Eddie Keyes was our prop man. He came out and saw me and I was like, "Hey, Eddie, how are you doing?" He said, "Great, don't go anywhere, I want you to put this in the trunk of your car and take it home with you." It was the Woof-Woof doll. Then my mom found an Eddie Munster suit she had stashed in her hope chest that I guess I brought home for somebody to use for Halloween during the run. It never made it back. I had four suits, nobody really missed it. Then I went to Western Costume and I found some more suits over the years and I put them up for auction. It was one of those deals where I never brought things home, and when I did bring things home I gave them away.

Me: So, have you ever done voice-overs before on anything? I imagine you did.

Butch: We had to do looping for some of the exterior shots when there was so much noise we had to redo our lines. There was Phantom Tollbooth, which had live action in the beginning we actually filmed in San Francisco. It took two years to do this, every few months they would call me up and I would go in and do more voice-over work for them and they would draw some more cartoons and then I would come in and do some more voice-over work for them. So for a three year period I had the luxury of working with all the great voice artists. Chuck Jones was the master himself.

Me: You worked with Chuck Jones? What? Tell me about him.

Butch: Chuck was great, he was a wonderful guy. I just loved him and he was so talented. Of all the things I received over the years I have a Road Runner sketch that he did, and it's framed that the Centers for Creativity, his families art school framed it for me. What happened was I asked him how long it took him to draw Road Runner and he asked me to get him a cup of coffee and when I came back he handed it to me and it says, "To Butch from the Phantom Roadrunner." Meaning the phantom tollbooth. I also have a nice cell that they gave me.

Me: Did you work with the cast in the booth?

Butch: Yeah, I worked directly with Daws Butler and June Foray and Mel Blanc.

Me: So, The Phantom Tollbooth was originally a book series by Norman Juster, am I right?

Butch: Yeah. It's funny, my wife and I were up in Massachusetts or Connecticut a few years ago I think it was, she sort out and found Norton Juster's family and wife. We spoke to her and we went up and met him and had pictures taken. It was an awesome couple of hours, he was a very nice gentlemen. He's been doing some book signings and this and that because it was the 50th anniversary of the book not to long ago.

Me: So, what are you up to nowadays? I know I met you briefly at the Clermont Comic Con few years ago.

Butch: Well, I live in the house that my grandmother used to own that I lived in when I was in the 8th grade in 1967. I got married a few years ago in September. Leila does the bookings, marketing and media for me now so she's had me booked solidly throughout 2019. I'm working with a gentleman who has a new show in production called "Toy Scout," and he goes around the country and seeks out and finds classic old toys, not only for celebrities but collectors. He has huge collection himself and I'm going to be his sidekick. In every episode they'll be a segment that I'll be in. I'm doing few other things but that's pretty much it. A lot of traveling.

Me: That's cool. Well, thanks for being on the Phile. Please come back again so we can talk about "Lidsville." Take care.

Butch: Thanks, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz, Laird Jim and of course Butch Patrick. The Phile will be back on Monday with Phile Alum Paul Simon. Yep! Mr. Simon will be back on the Phile! Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Happy Halloween!

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, October 28, 2019

Pheaturing Howard Jones

Hiya, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? The unpredictable nature of wild animal behavior played out horrifically in front of a Russian circus last week. NBC News reported that a bear attacked and injured its trainer at Olonets... a city in Russia 120 miles northeast of St. Petersburg. Released video footage shows a 660-pound brown bear pushing a wheelbarrow while on its hind legs suddenly snapping and tackling its handler to the ground. Pandemonium ensued as screaming spectators... many of them children... watched the horrific scene just a few yards away and fled for their lives. The venue had no protective barrier separating the audience from the stage. While the footage is alarming, viewers were relieved neither the bear nor the handler was seriously hurt. However, a vocal majority against the use of animals in circuses shouted pro-bear sentiments. Check this out...

According to The New York Times, Ruslan Solodyuk, the handler, was pinned down for a few seconds until a colleague kicked the muzzled bear and subdued it with an electric stun gun. Solodyuk survived the mauling with no serious injuries. Solodyuk, who runs the Anshlag traveling circus, told Russian media the bear... whose name is Yashka... was not feeling well before the attack and had not acted out violently before. Solodyuk claimed old age and joint pains, which worsen in autumn, contributed to Yashka’s aggressive behavior. He added that spectators ignoring the no flash photography rule provoked Yashka to snap. CBS News reported that Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal investigation on a charge of “providing unsafe service.” The use of large captive mammals like bears and elephants in circuses remain legal throughout Russia, despite outcry from animal activists. Many captured bears tethered by chains are featured in street performances as part of various advertising campaigns in many Russian cities. The Times reported another incident in which a captive bear bit the leg off of a zookeeper and another that escaped from captivity and mauled a passer-by on the street. What will happen to Yashka was not specified. I guess he couldn't bear it anymore.
According to CBS News Atlanta, a customer ordered a McDonald's Happy Meal at the drive-thru. When she found out the order was wrong she went inside to complain. The report says "she waited 25 minutes." It's unclear if that means she was forced to wait 25 minutes, or if she waited 25 minutes to complain, but either way, she got frustrated and threw her Happy Meal at the manager. Having a Happy Meal thrown at you turns out to make one very unhappy, and in this case resulted in an escalation. In response to a burger and fries to the face, the McDonald's employee threw a blender at the woman. Here's a screen shot of that...

A few other questions remain. How did this footage get out? Would it have been okay if the McDonald's employee threw a burger back instead of a blender? Although this is a terrible situation, is the "McCheck" joke funny, and either way, how much is she going to get?
I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. A 12-year-old revolutionary went viral on Twitter when her dad, professor Andrew Heiss, shared the play-by-play of her inspiring protest movement in class. When a couple of kids' misbehavior resulted in a punishment for the entire class, the young future lawyer did some research during social studies, and found out that collective punishment is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention. While that adorably precocious observation is enough to make you root for this kid, her organizing went beyond that. Dr. Heiss provided an important update...

The revolution will not be televised: it will be at the student council meeting on November 1st. This girl is NON-STOP! Dr. Heiss provided us, his daughter's new fans, with a sneak peek at one of her Federalist Papers. "If you are punishing an entire great for what a few people did, it is no longer a punishment for the people you are trying to punish," she wrote. Rachel's new fans shared their similar experience and said "Viva la revolucion!" Teachers beware... or be proud. The next generation has listened to Hamilton, and they're gonna rise up.
In a soccer match where Shabab al-Ordon Club was playig Arab Orthodox Club at the WAFF Women’s Club Championship one of the player's hijab started slipping off her head. The other team could have taken advantage and with one person down, but instead they created a human shield so no one would see her hair. Hijabs are head coverings worn by some Muslim women, and in certain countries they are required to be worn by all women. In Jordan wearing headscarves is up to the individual. FIFA had a ban on wearing hijabs but it was overturned in 2014. In this screen shot you can see what took place....

People had a variety of reactions. Some people complained that women shouldn't be required to wear headscarves, while others celebrated sportswomanship.
Kellyanne Conway is one of the few remaining White House staffers who isn't related to Trump, and she serves him well as his chief propagandist. Conway has made up massacres for Trump, coined the phrase "alternative facts" for Trump, and bashed her own husband for Trump, thinking the statement was off-the-record. Meanwhile, her husband George Conway III is publishing articles and tweets about how Trump is mentally ill and an existential threat to the republic. "Donald Trump’s narcissism makes it impossible for him to carry out the duties of the presidency in the way the Constitution requires," he wrote in The Atlantic. Bro, have you met your wife? What do they even talk about when they're lying in bed? When a reporter from the Trump-friendly website The Washington Examiner asked Kellyanne about her husband's tweets, she freaked out and delivered a seven minute rant. She said,  "So I just am wondering why in God’s earth you would need to mention anything about George Conway’s tweets in an article that talks about me as possibly being chief of staff. Other than it looks to me like there’s no original reporting here, you just read Twitter and other people’s stuff, which I guess is why you don’t pick up the phone when people call from the White House because, if it’s not on Twitter or it’s not on cable TV, it’s not real." The Washington Examiner published the complete transcript, and there are even more bonkers quotes. "Let me tell you something, from a powerful woman. Don’t pull the crap where you’re trying to undercut another woman based on who she’s married to. He gets his power through me, if you haven’t noticed. Do you think you could have described me as somebody who wears red a lot, or is a mother of four, who has been here from day one and has survived all these other people? So, listen, if you’re going to cover my personal life, if you’re going to cover my personal life, then we’re welcome to do the same around here. If it has nothing to do with my job, which it doesn’t, that’s obvious, then we’re either going to expect you to cover everybody’s personal life or we’re going to start covering them over here." Looks like another Very Stable Genius in a Very Stable Marriage. Speaking of which, has anyone confronted Melania Trump about her husband's tweets? Be... and I cannot emphasize this enough... best.
Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

Maybe not. If I had a TARDIS I would probably get to where Michio Hoshino, a photographer well known for his photographs of dangerous wildlife, was mauled to death by a bear inside of his tent while on a shoot in 1996.

What is it with bears? So, Trump released a photo to show he's taller than Obama for whatever reason...

Haha! That's so stupid. That's as stupid as...

Did you know some babies are born with a full set of grown-up teeth? No? Here's proof...

Ewe. Creepy. So, have you seen the movie Hocus Pocus? I saw it for the first time the other night and I was surprised to see it had four witches in it... not three. Check this out.

Told you. At the Global Climate Strike a month ago there were some signs that give is hope for there future...

And some snarky ones as well...

Ha! Do you know what "manscaping" means? I don't really but if it's something like this I might get it done...

Haha. Hey, there's a new superhero movie that is coming out that looks good. Here's the poster...

Hahahaha. Single Payer. Ha. Halloween is a few days away and there's some scary pumpkins out there...

Hmmm. That's not good.

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani is the owner of the most guessable PIN number in history.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. So, there's this famous 70s pop singer who likes to pop into the Phile now and then when he's in town. Here's here again today, so please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hey there, Harry. How are you?

Harry: Hey, mate, I'm good.

Me: So, what's been going on? Been recognized?

Harry: Well, this woman asks for a picture with me and a man nearby says, “I don’t know who you are.” I said, "I don’t expect you to." He said, "What do you do?" I said, "I’m a famous pop singer from the 70s." He asked me, "Are you from Middlesex, England?" I said, "No, I’m from Essex, England." He said, "So you’re not that guy with big glasses that the movie Rocketman was about?"

Me: Haha. He thought you were Elton John. I can see that.

Harry: Very funny, Jason. All right, I have to go get ready for my gig tonight.

Me: Where are you playing?

Harry: At the Parliament House. It sounds nice and fancy, right?

Me: Haha. Yeah... have fun.

Harry: I will. Cheerio.

Me: Harry Webb, kids.

So, there's this really bad little girl who is here and wants to tell us what she did recently. I really don't know what to think about this. Please kind half welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Oh, boy. Hi... Awful. What's going on?

Awful: Hi, fat belly man. I was in the local super market parking lot and thought it would be fun to scream, “YOU’RE NOT MY MOMMY! WHERE’S MY MOMMY? YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MOM!”

Me: What? Awful, that's not very nice. What did your mom do?

Awful: As I had this evil smirk on my face as she panicked and tried to explain what could happen if someone heard that.

Me: And what did you do after that?

Awful: I started to do it again a little louder. You should've seen the look on my stupid mother's face!

Me: That's not good, Awful.

Awful: Whatever, fat belly man. I'm outta here. Bye!

Me: Awful, the rudest most most asshole kid ever, kids!

Some reaction videos are so good, you have to watch them over and over again. Such is the case with the clip of Donald Trump being booed and heckled at a World Series baseball game in Washington, D.C., this weekend. He appeared at the game with a cabal of lawmakers including Lindsey Graham. When the crowd realized Trump was there, they couldn't contain themselves. Here's a screen shot showing the moment he heard the boos and his lipless smile became a lipless grimace.

Some people are expressing surprise that Trump seemed to show an appropriately chastened reaction to being disliked. Writer Mark Harris pointed out that Trump was most likely riding high before this moment, as he'd just announced the assassination of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And, some say, embellished the drama and his own role in it.

The 107th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Butch Patrick will be the guest on the Phile on Thursday which is Halloween.

Phact 1. Hawaii is one of the four states in the U.S. that have banned billboards.

Phact 2. Dorothy Kilgallen, a panelist on the hit TV show "What’s My Line?" died under what some consider mysterious circumstances while investigating the assassination of JFK. Shortly before she died, she told a friend, “I’m going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century.”

Phact 3. Scientists have genetically altered chickens to express DNA that their dinosaur ancestors once possessed. Eventually, they grew teeth.

Phact 4. In 2002 a car was reported running off the road in Surrey, England by multiple witnesses. Police arrived, but found no signs of a crash. After a careful search the car and driver were finally found but it was determined the accident occurred five months earlier.

Phact 5. Wilma Rudolph overcame polio to become the fastest woman in the world, winning three gold track and field medals at the 1960s Olympics.

I have been waiting to have this guy on the Phile for such a long time. He's an English singer, musician and songwriter. He had ten top 40 hit singles in the U.K. between 1983 and 1986; six of those 10 singles reached the top ten. His latest album "Transform" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Howard Jones!

Me: Hello, Howard, welcome to the Phile. I have seen you a few times in concert and have been a big fan of yours for years. How are you?

Howard: I'm good thanks, Jason, how are you?

Me: Not bad. I interviewed producer Rupert Hine back in May who you who have worked with and he said he'll get you on the Phile and here you are so I thank him and you. I have been wanting to interview you here for years. I saw you do an acoustic show at a club called the Visage in Orlando in the 90s, then at the Horse of Blues in Orlando with a band, then at Epcot with just one person and a few years ago in St. Augustine when you opened up for Barenaked Ladies with another small band I think. Anyway, you played so many places do you have a favorite place you ever played in your career?

Howard: I love Japan. I tend to go back to Japan once every two years. I really love visiting and playing gigs there. It's such an exotic country and I like playing in Sydney, Australia as well. That's really wonderful place to do gigs. But a gigs a gig and it's about the audience really and I could be in a very humble building but have a wonderful experience because the audience is so great.

Me: When did you start getting into music, Howard?

Howard: Well, my parents are both Welsh, they spoke Welsh which is their first language. Welsh culture at the time was very much about music lie singing in choirs and poetry and performing. So when we used to visit our relatives it was normal we would play a piece on the piano or sing something or recite poetry. That was the culture so we grew up with quite a bit of healthy dosage of that. They really wanted me to learn piano so my brothers sang, my brother Martin played bass and played guitar and my youngest brother Paul played drums. So it was a kind of band really in waiting. 

Me: When did you decide yo were gonna pursue this as a career?

Howard: Well, I just always wanted to do music. I didn't really think about anything else apart from doing music. There was never any consideration of doing anything else right from the early age. I suppose that must be quite unusual but I never wanted to anything else. I never thought I'd put all my eggs in one basket and playing piano and loving rock music, that was all I wanted to do and still is. 

Me: So, who were your influences?

Howard: Well, I was a big radio listener because my mother always used to have the radio on in the kitchen. I used to listen to pirate radio. I couldn't really afford records and stuff so really it was stuff coming through the radio. I was influenced by, when I was very young, the Beatles and the Stones, all those 60s bands. The Tremeloes, Freddie and the Dreamers, Cliff Richard and all those 60s artists and then when the 70s came through Stevie Wonder, and I really got into Keith Emerson from the days when he was in the Nice and we he formed ELP. At the same time I was learning classical music on the piano so I had big influence from that.

Me: So, you had a mime in your act when Rupert Hine first saw you and when I first saw you on TV in England in the 80s. What was the deal with that?

Howard: Well, think it was the early 80s and suddenly there was all these amazing new instruments actually being available in music stores. I had this idea to do something different because I thought that was what artists were supposed to do. I thought they were supposed to strike out on their own, be individuals. Call me old fashion but that's what I thought they were supposed to do. So I put together this one man electronic rig together and there was this guy who used to come to the show who was a friend and he used to dance in the audience. He was so good that I was totally distracted from the stage and I thought I really need to bring him up here which he agreed to. We then started to create these characters that went along with these songs that I was writing. It was like an alternative performance art. That really fitted into my plan of doing something different and getting noticed and striking out on my own, taking some risks. People loved it.

Me: What was your writing style back then?

Howard: Well, I had this array of keyboards and drum machines sound me and I wrote music that was appropriate for that. I was going out playing live something like two or three times a week so it was all about the live thing, what can I reproduce out on the stage with this gear. It was all based around the limitations and the possibilities of that equipment. I was just having fun with it, I was having fun making these new sounds and playing with short sequences. The writing came from that, I didn't sit down at the piano and do it which was my main instrument and thought I'm going to write in a different way.

Me: You got a big following, am I right?

Howard: Yeah. Absolutely. Very quickly. I was playing local pubs and clubs and I very quickly got a following. Really quite fanatical people so we had to arrange coach trips to take people to other gigs where I was playing. I think the most coaches we had was six at one time. Talk about bringing the audience with you. The people just loved the idea that this was something new and different and they wanted to get onboard with it early on. I was really supported well by some amazing fans who would travel up to London. Every gig I did they were there, it was amazing.

Me: How did you first get signed to a record label?

Howard: The only way to really progress at that time, it's different now, but in the 80s we had to get a major label if we wanted to make records and be on the radio and be on the TV and get going. So we realised we had to do that. We did a residency at the Marquee every Monday for a month. All the record company's and all the publishers came down and they all rejected it. I did some great gigs and all my followers came up to London to see me but nobody from the record companies got it so I had to keep going and eventually one guy, a very influential record company guy called Paul Conroy understood what I was trying to do and the potential of it so I got signed to Warner Bros., which is an amazing thing to happen. So it just took off from there.

Me: Rupert said they put your album out rather quick, am I right?

Howard: Yeah, their roll was putting me together with the right producer for me and hey got that right which is something I didn't know about. I didn't know how to make records, I've done demoes and knew how to write songs and arrange them but I didn't know how to make records. They put me with Rupert who became my mentor and showed me how to make records and was an absolutely brilliant producer. He was very familiar with technology and he'd been experimenting himself on his own records that he was making so he introduced me to sampling and all kinds of new techniques in the studio using automated mixing desks. It was the perfect match really and we made the first album in six weeks. The first single was out while we were making the record. As soon as the record was done I was touring, I still tour all the time, it's a big part of what I do.

Me: What was it like to have a single out but not done with the album? Was there a lot of pressure on you?

Howard: It was the complete opposite because the single was roaring up the charts and everyone was so excited about that but I kind of knew that we would get some kind of attention with whatever we were doing. So it just added this excitement and energy to making the record. When it did come out it went to number 1 and the second single went to number 2. It was very fortunate the way it happened. 

Me: When did you first come to America?

Howard: Well, I had an agenda of that on my own because I lived in North America as a kid. I spent three years in Canada and I had been exposed to North American culture so for me it was so important to have success in America. So while we were working away in the U.K. they were booking club tours in America and visiting radio stations, there was a lot of background work that was going on. I had to be determined to be successful in America and we did the hard slog doing the tiny clubs and then going up to theaters and visiting with thousands of radio stations. It really did work for me and I ended up being more successful in America than I did in the U.K.

Me: Did you have fun doing the videos for MTV or was that a pain?

Howard: Visual things, going back to my one man show with Jed the Mime, we also had TVs on stage with originally created videos that I had friends make. So that was already part of our thinking so making videos was just totally natural and I had loads of ideas for it and I loved working with the directors. It was so lucky because it was the birth of MTV and they were so eager to show anything that anyone was doing really, especially stuff room the U.K., so it was the perfect time really.

Me: Why do you think American fans embraced you? My dad had your first album and liked you a lot, as we all did in the Peverett household.

Howard: I can only have an opinion on it. I think that for a start it's obviously the combination, it's the videos with the fashion and the look of them and the music was very positive and was very much about don't be afraid to go for the things I really should be doing. Don't let anybody tell me I can't do stuff. Also everyone is equal here, there's no people who you should think are better than me. Whoever I am I'm great, so that message was running through the song and then there's a lot of melody in mine stuff and its radio friendly. I really wanted to be on the radio, a lot of bands thought it was uncool to be on the radio. I absolutely wanted to be on the radio because that's what I grew up with. I think it's a combination of all those things and also I was out there doing the gigs believing that it would work. I think it's just a combination of all those things.

Me: Your lyrics are positive, Howard, did you set out to make a positive message? You must have been a happy guy.

Howard: It was a very conscious thing because a lot of music around at that time when I was emerging in the early 80s was gloomy and doom and a lot of young men in long black coats. Life has mystery in it, let's be clear about that but I thought there was enough doom and gloom going on out there that I wanted to make music that could help when things weren't going so well, if you needed a bit of a boost, bit of a lift. I as a sort of quite introspective young person was very familiar with cynicism within myself. I knew the nature of that and I didn't want to put that message out in my music, I wanted to be a bit of a relief for people, to give them a boost when they wanted to. Of course this didn't go down really well with the very cool music press. They always liked bands that are on the dark side so I had to fight against that but I knew I had to deal with that so it didn't come as a surprise to me.

Me: Don't you think critics are miserable bastards? Hahaha. What did you think when critics were "against" you?

Howard: I think from this perspective now I realise it did make me a stronger person and it really forged my character in a way. I did get a hammering from a lot of different directions. I had to develop and strong core and I don't know if I would have developed it unless I had that kind of reaction. I had to stick to my guns and I had to take it on the chin so I'm kind of grateful to them in a way. 

Me: How did it feel when you were getting more and more popular? I bet it was stressful.

Howard: Yeah, there was pressure because I had nothing for the second album. All the good stuff that I've ben working on live, that was all the first album. I was left incredibly busy because I was doing promotion, I was doing TV, my record was selling well so there was no time to even think about new music so I worked that the only way to do it was to have a little studio rig with me on tour and my amazing tour guys would set up this little studio in my dressing room in every gig that I did. I was able to gradually build up a few tracks and that was the only way I could do it because I didn't have time to really do it anywhere else. In a way it created a very exciting album and "Things Can Only Get Better" came out of that. I'd come off stage and I'd be buzzing of energy from the show and I'd have the studio there and I'd write and get that energy coming out in the new songs. It kind of worked.

Me: When Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" came out you were not on it. Did they offer it to you and you turned it down?

Howard: I missed out on Band Aid because I wasn't vigilante enough, I heard about it but I wasn't in the loop of people. I absolutely should of been part of that because I was from that generation and I was the one that was having hits at the time all over the place. I was upset that I wasn't part of it because I totally believed what Geldof and Midge were trying to do.

Me: You got to play Live Aid though and I thought you were one of the best acts there. I bet that made up for the Band Aid thing, right?

Howard: Thank you. When I heard about Live Aid I actually made my manager get in touch with them and he said, "Howard is totally going to do this, he's going to be a part of Live Aid whatever it takes," Geldof was very practical about things and anybody that wanted to be a part of this had to have sold a million albums in the last six months I've done that and I was on tour in America and we flew back to London and left the band in America as I decided to do it solo I just did one song and it was just amazing.

Me: So, when you came to the United States to perform what kinda show did you put on?

Howard: Well, I wanted it to have a combination of electronic elements that I was known for also great live playing. I think that's what we achieved and the "Dream into Action" band was quite big, there was about seven of us on stage. I had some amazing backing singers called Afrodiziak, they were the coolest girls ever and they agreed to do the tour with me. They were wonderful and added so much to the show. I had my brother playing on keyboards with me then Trevor who was playing this stand up electronic kit. We were presenting new sounds and new ways of doing things but it kind of looked like a conventional band but it was using all the new technology that we were using in the studio that was just coming out.

Me: Was it hard to do shows outside back then?

Howard: Well, I really enjoyed playing the big venues. There's so many people and excitement and the energy that that creates it just phenomenal. When they start singing back to me it's a fantastic experience. I loved playing any sized gig honestly. I was happy yo to play to a couple hundred people in a small room as well as a really big place. I love both but I have no problem playing to big houses to lots of enthusiastic people. It's such good fun.

Me: So, I don't know if you want me to ask you this, Howard, but when and why did you start to get into Buddhism?

Howard: I started practicing Buddhism in '93 and I've always been interested in philosophical things. I always had a seeking spirit about how to try to live my life so it's I don't do anybody any harm when I create value and I'm not angry all the time. I'm sort of in a decent state of mind. As soon as I came across religion and Buddhism I realised it ticked off all the boxes and things I sort of instinctively I felt was right. Having a practice of chanting every day did me so much good because it strengthened my inner core if you like. When things go wrong I don't get destroyed by it, I don't have a fit of anger. It retrained me to think in a very different way which has really benefited me and made me a more calmer person but also very passionate about doing what's right. Buddhism to me is not being sedated, it's about being more alive. I could really live to my full potential and treat other people well. Respect them and care for them which takes effort to do that so having a spiritual practice really helped me.

Me: That's cool. When your Warner Bros. contract ended, how did you feel?

Howard: Well, my initially response was I was deeply saddened that they didn't want to continue with me. I had so much more to give and they really should have stuck with me and supported me right through my life I felt. But it wasn't the case and it was the beginning of short term thinking for the record industry and coincided with the Internet explosion so I had six weeks of being very, very depressed and suddenly realised it was really now up to me to create the next part of my future. I decided to form my own label, make a record, book a tour, and just take responsibility for my own career and direction. It was the best thing that I've ever done. I think it helped to inspire people to do a similar thing.

Me: Have you ever written for anybody else?

Howard: I've not really done very much of it. I responded to people who really seeked me out to write with them or collaborate with them. If I've been impressed with their determination and I responded, but there's not enough time for me. I probably do ten songs a year which is the most I can do and manage. It take so long to write to get it right. I don't have a lot of time to write with other people but when I have it was happy. It's a different way of thinking, what's going to be good for them, what's going to work with their voice, and that's going to work for what they want to say.

Me: A lot of new music now is synth based, which you did years and years ago. What do you think of kids nowadays discovering your music and putting it in their records?

Howard: It's very exciting actually. With the whole streaming thing that's happening more because people are stumbling to finding because they have access to it all. It's great, and there's always an upside to things like streaming. I love to use Spotify, I love to be able to access any piece of music that I think of on my phone. I love that and it does meant that people do get exposed to my music and they would never get from the radio or any other kind of medium. I'm very honoured when young people like my music. I'm totally blown away by it, I just think it's such an honor to be liked by a young person.

Me: What do you think about people listening to your stuff for free?

Howard: I really don't mind because I'm just glad that they were able to hear it because that's why I make it, I want people to hear the work I do. Fortunately I get played on the radio so I don't have to worry, I do worry about artists that do depend on that as an income but what it's doing is changing the emphasis on the music business towards more of a live culture. If you want to hear an artist or want to hear new songs from the artist, if you want to really get the good stuff you have to go to the show. You got to be there, you got to have the experience. In a way isn't that a good thing because that's what takes the effort? It takes effort for both parties. The artist has to get off their arse and get out there and perform and get on the road and travel by bus and go through all that. Then the audience has to make the effort to buy the tickets, they have to get to the venue. There's effort requited on both sides. That's what makes great thing happen. So maybe a shift towards that, maybe that's good thing, maybe that's the importance of recorded work, the value of it is diminished but the upside is that the real experience so that's where my thinking is at the moment. I'm not quite finished with it but that's where I am at the moment.

Me: My dad was supposed to tour with Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band once when Dave Edmunds and Joe Walsh did the tour, but he was on the road himself and scheduling fucked it up. You though got to tour with Ringo's All-Starr Band, what was that like?

Howard: Well, it was a great honour to be asked by Ringo. I don't think he worked with people really from my era, apart from Sheila E. actually. It was great and to be asked it felt like I had a direct connection with the greatest band of all time, music that totally influenced me. It was wonderful traveling with him and hearing those stories, talking about John and George. It was just mind blowingly good. He also had me really loud in his box. He told me he loved keyboards, he loved my playing, he wanted me really loud in his monitors. To have Ringo saying that to me was such a compliment. The best things on that tour were the sound checks where we just got to jam. I just realised Ringo has this feel, unique way of playing is just so good and so influential on all drummers from then on.

Me: I saw you last when you ere on the Barenaked Ladies tour a few years ago. What was that like? 

Howard: It was great. I felt quite a bit of pressure but that was fun. It was great playing "No One Is to Blame" with BNL. That was really a highlight for me, that was just amazing.

Me: Howard, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back when your next CD comes out.

Howard: Thanks, Jason.

I did not ask him anything about his new album. Hahahaha. I hope he or his people don't mind. What a great interview though. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks of course to Howard Jones. The Phile will be back on Thursday, which is Halloween with It's The Great Trumpkin, Peverett Phile 3 Pheaturing Butch Patrick. 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