Monday, September 20, 2021

Pheaturing Glenn Tilbrook From Squeeze

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. We are down to the last three... three is the magic number. How are you? Speaking of three... Rebecca Roberts, a woman from Wiltshire, England, has given birth to so-called “super twins” conceived three weeks apart. Roberts’ fertility treatments last year resulted in her getting pregnant twice! The unique twins were born in September 2000 but are now going trending on social media. Roberts, who is 38, and her husband Rhys Weaver had trouble conceiving a baby naturally. So the couple went to a fertility clinic in Bath, England where Roberts has prescribed a drug to induce ovulation. And on her first cycle, Roberts became pregnant! But, she told "CBS News," “This is the fun part. I found out there was a second baby at my 12 weeks scan.” Roberts had already undergone two scans, both of which only showed the original baby boy, who has been named Noah. She was excited for this first child, not realizing a second was also on the way. That’s when the couple learned about the possibility of a “superfetation pregnancy” in which the fertilization of a second conception can occur. “All of a sudden I have twins and now they are super special rare twins. It felt magical,” Roberts said. Most fraternal twins are fertilized from two different sperm during single ovulation. But not Noah and Rosalie Roberts. These “super-twins” were not conceived at the same time. As such, when Roberts gave birth, the younger fetus... a baby girl named Rosalie... was just 2 pounds and 7 ounces. An issue with her umbilical cord had forced doctors to deliver early and so her brother Noah was also small, at 4 pounds and 10 ounces. Both babies were cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit of Bath Royal United Hospital. And though both babies are thankfully healthy, the second twin Rosalie was still seeing a NICU nurse until early April. The superfetation twins have been a happy bit of pandemic content. 

On Wednesday, Time magazine released its issue highlighting the top 100 most influential people in the world, and unsurprisingly Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were featured on the cover. While the photos would appear equal parts flattering and inconspicuous to most, the posture and pose of the couple sparked a debate about body language among several threads online. In the cover photo, you see Meghan posed slightly in front of Harry, who is perched behind her on a ledge. This effectively makes them look like they're the same height, and places prominence on Meghan while Harry hangs slightly back. 

While there are plenty of factors that go into the posing of a professional photoshoot: the photographer's vision, which positioning best utilizes the lighting, the theme of the shoot (if there is one), and what organically makes sense, the discussions that were sparked online were focused more on what people thought the posing reflected about the relationship itself. Staying true to her brand, the Conservative commentator Candace Owens was quick to weigh in on what she perceived as "the live emasculation of Prince Harry," and even went so far as to invoke blame onto Meghan for allowing the photo to happen. One man pointed out that standing behind someone does not immediately imply hiding or submission, and provided a few examples, before going on to point out the subtleties that make the photo of Prince Harry and Meghan stand out. 

Speculations on the relationship itself aside, some people were most enamored with how generally awkward they found the posing on the cover. Conversely, a lot of people thought the speculation over Prince Harry's body language was completely forced, and largely a projection of misogyny and insecurity on the part of the commenters. Of course, a lot of the responses to the cover were just people commenting on how cute they found the photos. Suffice it to say, the amount of conversation that was sparked by a mere photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle proves they definitely have enough reach and influence to be included in Time's list.

The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards took place last night at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Now in its 73rd year, the annual ceremony honored the best in U.S. primetime television. Cedric the Entertainer, one of the Original Kings of Comedy, served as the evening’s host. Unlike last year’s awkward digital presentation, this year’s Emmy Awards took place live and in person. All attendees were required not only to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, but also a negative COVID test received within two days of the event. Among the night’s big winners was Ted Lasso, which claimed the prize for Outstanding Comedy Series. What’s more, Ted Lasso himself, Jason Sudeikis, was honored with the trophy for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, while Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham took home Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. "The Crown" was crowned Outstanding Drama Series, and also swept the dramatic acting category, with Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor claiming the lead actor honors, and Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies winning the supporting actor categories. "The Queen’s Gambit" walked away with the prize of Outstanding Limited Series. Meanwhile, "Mare of Easttown" swept the Best Supporting Actor/Actress in a Limited Series category thanks to Evan Peters and Julianne Nicholson. The evening’s other notable winners included Jean Smart, who claimed her fourth Emmy Award. She was named Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in "Hacks." "Saturday Night Live" won Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" was was crowned Outstanding Variety Talk Series. 

If there was one MVP at the "73rd Primetime Emmy Awards" last night, it was undoubtedly Conan O’Brien. While the talk show legend’s eponymous TBS late-night show, which aired its series finale in June after 11 seasons, was nominated for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, he didn’t even have to win in order to steal the spotlight throughout the telecast. “Conan is the best part of this show and he hasn’t even been on stage,” one viewer captioned a clip of O’Brien hilariously trolling Television Academy chairman Frank Scherma by standing and saluting throughout his speech. Wanda Sykes simply tweeted, “Conan is giving no F’s tonight!” with a cry-laughing emoji. Over the course of the evening, the comedian also earned a special shout-out from John Olivier after losing to the fellow host in their category. It all culminated in an excellent stagebomb during pal Stephen Colbert’s acceptance speech for Outstanding Variety Special (Live), much to presenter Aidy Bryant’s delight. 

The first teaser for "Peacemaker" hasn't been released but we already have some interesting footage from the upcoming Suicide Squad spin-off. HBO Max has dropped a teaser for the Emmys and it features our first look at John Cena in action in the new series. The HBO Max teaser actually features a ton of footage from upcoming shows that will air on the streaming service. However, most fans were delighted with the "Peacemaker" footage since it features Cena defending his right to wear his "costume" wherever he wants. It's just a small glimpse at "Peacemaker" but it's clear that the series is going to be hilarious. Needless to say, I can't wait to see the full trailer later this year. "Peacemaker" is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated shows next year considering how fans loved The Suicide Squad. Everyone truly enjoyed seeing Cena's character in the James Gunn flick and we just can't wait to learn more about him in the future. The HBO Max teaser also featured new footage from shows like "Succession," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Euphoria," "Insecure," and "Sex and The City." In addition to that, it confirms that Dune and The Matrix Resurrections will air on the streaming service at the same time as their theatrical debut. 

Instead of doing this blog thing I should be listening to this album...

Ummm... nope. Did you see the new Apple product that is coming out as well as iPhone 13? I will show you...

I don't think they'll be popular. They tell me I'll neve know what I'm gonna see in Walmart... I didn't believe it until I saw this...

I said it before and I'll say it again... the Internet is great for seeing porn so easily and free. But if you're at work or school you might have a problem, so I came up with a solution...

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

Top Phive Pieces Of Advice From Me To You
5. If you stare at something you dropped on the ground, eventually someone will pick it up for you. 
4. Never take decisions when you are angry and don’t make promises when you are happy. 
3. Don’t set your goals around people, because people change. 
2. Never be afraid of rejection. 
And the number one piece of advice from yours truly is...
1. Check your bank account often. 

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, let's take a live look at Pot Jefferson, shall we?

It looks like a nice day today. Well, as there is the magic number and this is the third to last entry here are some magic...

Phact 1. It’s illegal in Queensland (Australia) to own a pet rabbit unless you can prove that you’re a magician. 

Phact 2. An American magician in the 1900s acted as a Chinese man for his show and never broke character in public, even using a translator when speaking to journalists. He died on stage after a trick went wrong, his last words were “Oh my God. Something’s happened. Lower the curtain.” 

Phact 3. In 1956, a magician was performing the “cut a person in half” trick using his wife for a televised performance. Immediately after she was divided, the host ended the show. People were horrified, thinking she had been killed, but time had just run out on the broadcast. 

Phact 4. The Amazing Randi, the magician who debunks supernatural claims has stated upon his death, “I want to be cremated, and I want my ashes blown in Uri Geller’s eyes.”

Phact 5. China’s Emperor Qin sent his magician to find the elixir of life. The magician sailed away with the “sacrifice” of 6000 boys and girls, lots of wheat, and never returned. Some believe that he settled in Japan and became their first emperor. 

This is so cool to me. Today's guest is the lead singer and guitarist of the English band Squeeze, a band formed in the mid-1970s who broke through in the new wave era at the decade's end. They're most recent album "The Knowledge" is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify and currently they are on their 
The Nomadband Tour which I'll be seeing them in concert on Thursday in Jacksonville. Please welcome at last to the Phile... Glenn Tilbrook.

Me: Hey, Glenn, welcome to then Phile finally. I interviewed Chris Difford twice I believe., Gilson Larson and John Bentley, two members who used to be in Squeeze. I am a big fan, saw you guys in concert many of times and gonna see you in Jacksonville in a few days. How are you? 

Glenn: I'm very good, thank you. Thanks very much for having me on, Jason. 

Me: When you look back at 1978 what was the scene like for you guys in England becoming a popular band? 

Glenn: Well, when I look back at it I think it's amazing that I thought at the time it was inevitable that we would succeed. I had no doubt in my mind which is sort of scary but when I look back at it many things could have gone wrong. So at that time I would have said I really expected, I look back now and know we were good but that doesn't mean we'd get success. There are many people who are great who hadn't had that. It was a good time for us. 

Me: What got you into music and how did you start this career? 

Glenn: I think I was one of those lucky people who I didn't have any training. My parents loved music and there was always music on in the house. What I know now but didn't know then was I could hear music like really well and it would touch my soul and obsess me from a really young age. It was the most natural feeling in the world for me so when I learnt to play the piano and the guitar to the satisfaction of being able to play whatever songs I was listening to at the time and that's how I taught myself to do. It was the beginning of an obsession with me and I didn't know that's what it was. I thought everyone thought the same. 

Me: I grew up with music in my house as my dad was the lead singer in Foghat, but I just play the kazoo. Haha. So, you're an amazing guitar player, Glenn, how do you write your music? 

Glenn: It's instinct and I'll tell you what leads that. I spent a lot of time growing up a lot of time by myself and I didn't feel and about that. I mean in my room, not literally by myself. So learning to try to play stuff and then to write didn't feel like a big stretch. And in fact the first song I wrote is one I dreamt, and I dreamt it with a full arrangement and it wasn't me singing it, it was a woman singing it. It was quite a Phil Spectorish massive production. I wrote the song and I remember the song and wrote it and added bits to it. I was 10 or 11 and up until that point I hadn't thought about writing but from that point onwards I did think about writing. My lyrics were really that of an 11-year-old, put it that way. But the music was quite sophisticated. I can look back at that now and say I wouldn't know that but it really worked. When I work I'm bit of a loner, I like to just figure things out by myself and that's how I've been right from an early age, right to now. Even when I collaborate I like to squirrel away and do my bit with time and space to think about it. 

Me: So, how did you come to the conclusion that you would write most of the music and Chris would write most of the lyrics? 

Glenn: Well, I think Chris and I were really fortunate. When we met Chris wrote great songs by himself. His lyrics are way, way better than anything than I've ever written. There's about a three year age gap between us. When I'm 15 that's quite a lot of years to be behind somebody. So Chris gave me some lyrics and I was knocked out with them and it just felt like a really great thing to do when he have me the lyrics I put tunes to them immediately. And like much of our relationship we never really discussed it, it was unsaid that it works that way, let's not break it. 

Me: Is it weird singing someone else's lyrics? 

Glenn: I felt like Chris expressed everything really well and reflected OUR lives as we were together at that point. Certainly in the early days. I think what happens as we get older is we develop our own interest and take on things and so I wouldn't say it was difficult in singing Chris' lyrics but sometimes they'd be differences of outlook or something between us. But not very often. When we first met our ideals were absolutely aligned weirdly enough. Now we're just in a vey different place. 

Me: When COVID started were you scared that you might not be able to tour and play again for a long time? 

Glenn: It was a very strange time for us because we've been over in the states, and I think I left the 3rd of March last year after we did Madison Square Garden with Hall and Oates and a few days by ourselves. That time when we did that it felt like the very beginning of that year which is going to be spectacularly year of touring. That package was a dream package for us, it really works well. They're great and so are we, and so it makes for a really good evening. But the talk of the coronavirus was all around but I remember how I interrupted it at the time, it wouldn't really touch us. I think many people were like that and within two weeks of getting back to London we were in lockdown. So that long strange journey began. In London the lockdown was absolute total, we would walk our dogs and avoid other people and worry when I saw someone walk towards me, all that sort of stuff was a very odd time. I got to spend a lot of time with my family so there were some upsides but it was definitely a time of reflection, wasn't it. Of course none of us had known anything like this in our lifetime. 

Me: Yeah, I wrote a book when I was quarantined. Did you write any music at that time? 

Glenn: Squeeze had not recorded any new stuff since "The Knowledge." I've been working on stiff myself, just because that way felt easier for me. In fact, we had a bubble with our family and some of their extended family so we started working together at my studio and doing weekly covers. Just putting them up on YouTube. We did that for about three months. That actually felt like it was not only a joyful thing to do, it's a lot to think about this is a record, this is anything, let's just do a cover we can all play, make it sound good, then we'll just put it out there and move on. So that was great for us as a family, people absolutely love it. I got a lot of good responses from that. I'm very proud of that, for the family it was the best thing for all of us. 

Me: So, how did Squeeze start? I know but there's a lot of Phile readers that might not know. 

Glenn: Well, as I said I was playing when I was 10 or 11 or 12 and when I was 13 I met Jools first through a mutual friend. She knew Jools and she knew me. She said to me I should meet this guy, he's a really good piano player and I think you'll get on. So he was selling a guitar for 5 pounds, so I went and it was also a chance to meet him. The guitar was useless, it wasn't worth one pound, let alone 5. But Jools was, he and I never met anyone else who played so we started playing together. I've known Jools a year and a half before I met Chris Difford after I applied to an advert that he put in a local store window. When I met Chris Chris really sparked a whole different thing. With Jools we were two musicians, but with Chris I became more of a writer. So really Chris and Jools were operate things for maybe six months Chris and I had a totally different band before we had Squeeze. But once I hit the idea of bringing Jools and Chris together that's really the start of Squeeze. 

Me: How long did it take to get that record deal? 

Glenn: Well, Chris and I met in the summer of 1973 and by the fall of '73 it was Jools, Chris and me playing before we had the first band that was called Squeeze. We found it really hard to get gigs for like 18 months. Then we started gigging regularly in 1975. In '76 we started on the pub circuit around London and started to break out of London. There were loads of bands and also a load of venues doing that. So it took us until 1977 to get a record deal. When we were 18 or 19 or 20 those three or fours years felt like 15 years. You know how it is, I was desperate to get started. But we needed to learn our chops as well. We were always creating but it took a long time for us to settle on who we actually were. 

Me: Why was that? 

Glenn: Because every style of music that came along, because we were so sponge like at that age we would jump on it, devour it a little bit of that would become us. And also every bit of current music from that point from Lou Reed to David Bowie, to Sparks to going back to rock and roll records to blues records that people older than us would listen to all of that went in and were a part of that what we did. 

Me: How important were videos for you in those days? 

Glenn: For us we made videos. For the first album there was one, for the second album there were two. It was big patchy for us but definitely some of the stuff that got made had traction for us and definitely introduced us to a whole different audience in America. It did a lot of groundwork for us, we were doing a lot of touring in the states as well. 

Me: What was that like, coming over here to play? 

Glenn: It was a great time to be touring with all the acts that opened for us. We had Bon Jovi open for us in this club in New Jersey once, when they were really getting started. They were phenomenal really then, they were one of the bands I remember opening for us that really emerged fully formed. They knew what they wanted to do and did it really well. 

Me: What was it like when you first came to America? Had you been to America before you first came here to tour? 

Glenn: Actually it was everything I dreamt. I wanted to come to America ever since I could remember. When we first arrived May or June in 1978 it did not disappoint at all. Growing up with so much of American culture being a big influence on us, although we were very British and very English still it was a massive influence. So going where those records came from gave it some context that's been lacking before. 

Me: What do you remember about it? 

Glenn: Things like experiencing I think we came in at the tail era of massive cars. Seeing those on the streets was astounding. How friendly people were, what scene there was, also quite scary in New York at certain points. It was a lot wilder I think, the economics of New York City afforded people to live there. 

Me: What song do you think that moved you guys to the next level, that made you guys bigger? 

Glenn: Well, on the east coast of America a lot of stuff from "Argybargy" like "Pulling Muscles" and "If I Didn't Love You" really hit home. "Tempted" I think would be the icing on the cake for us. It felt like it was going to happen for us and it did happen and it lasted until we split up. For us we weren't a massive chat success, we've been one of those bands who always nearly got there and somehow managed to evade that all concrete success. But I'm very happy at the success that we got, I think it's very good for us. 

Me: Why did you split up that first time? 

Glenn: A lot of people talk about mental health and I'll tell you five years of touring and doing an album every year and writing without any proper break at all would do someone's head in. I can only imagine what it must be like for people that really go through that pressure. You have to be a really special person to put up with that, even though if that's what they always weaned and sustain it. We just needed some time off and it was the only way we knew howe to put the breaks on. "All right, that's it." The band started to implode as well. Gilson was drinking, his drinking was completely out of control not that I hold that against him, it's just where he was then. So it came like a competition for him to break out of wherever straight jacket he felt he was in. And certainly one of those became the band. 

Me: How did the band get back together? 

Glenn: Well, I booked a gig, it was just a solo gig at a benefit. A mate off mines mum had died at this local hospice and so I did a show for them to raise money for them for the work they do. All of Squeeze decided via phone call, I expected a bit of skullduggery going on behind the scenes, to come back together again to do that show as a surprise. So we did. It was undeniably the power of the band when we got back together was really great. It felt like we had unfinished business, we had three years apart and it felt like we were ready to go again. From that gig onwards it was obvious that we should reform. I think that time that we reformed was a very odd time for music and of course things constantly changed and evolved. Where Squeeze was at we were one of those bands that plated really well together so we made an album where everyone overdubbed everything. We never played together and that's what the album sounded like. It wasn't our best album, although we've now deconstructed the songs that were on "Cosi Fan Tutti Fruitti," that's the record and we play them beautifully now. But they sounded all angsty and eighties with sharp elbows and perhaps cocaine induced, who knows. 

Me: Then you broke up again in '99 and got back together again. What happened with that one? 

Glenn: Um, by that time it was Chris' decision. He felt like it was going no where and he also started working on some other stuff. I think he felt like he should spread his wings. So by the time we made our last record I think Chris decided that he was leaving anyway but left it to the last minute to actually say so. It's difficult to say why anyone would want to terminate something but really he was right. It was a good time for us to split then. I really thought at that moment that would be it. 

Me: Really? Why is that? 

Glenn: Because it launched Chris and I into different worlds. I did a lot of touring and recording by myself, discovering a lot of how I was, outside of a partnership, bear in mind I was 42 or something. I spent since I was 15 at that time in a partnership and so to be outside of that partnership was a good thing for me. I learned a lot about my own how tenacious I am and how I want this to succeed. When I put the Fluffers together we had such a great band at a great time, it was everything that Squeeze had not ended up being. So I essentially went through starting again, doing all the small gigs and touring a lot but discovering in my own heart and soul A) this is what I really want to do and I'll do it whatever happens. B) to learn from that when times I am playing gigs next to no one what I can gain from that as well as the things I wish that would happen. Because all those things, I sound like a self help menu., but they really do make me stronger. And I feel like I enjoy this time now more than I ever enjoyed my career. Like for the last say ten years, it's been amazing. 

Me: Okay, what is your favorite Squeeze song to play live? 

Glenn: The best song at the moment is the opening track of "Cosi Fan Tutti Fruitti," it's called "Big Beng." But I don't like the record version, I like the live version that we're doing now, I just finished mixing a live Squeeze record and it's got that version on it, the new version. It is everything I hoped the song would be when I wrote it. 

Me: Cool! A new live album! What Squeeze song means the most to you? 

Glenn: I'm going to say "Tempted." 

Me: Really? Why is that? 

Glenn: Because "Tempted" felt like a statement for us of going to a different place and sounding like a different band. I'm proud that we could do that. That's still something I love about Squeeze, is not genre hopping, it's not like going to the market and choosing this or that but it's just when I love different sort of stuff and feel I could play it and it comes a part of me that's a lovely thing. I think that Squeeze do that and can do that still. That was the first big leap for us, from what we've been before to maybe where we were going next. 

Me: Glenn, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I cannot wait to see Squeeze in a few days. You rock. 

Glenn: I hope to see you there, Jason, and I'm glad to be on your blog finally.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Glenn for a cool interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the legendary Tom Jones. Then on Wednesday it's the phinal entry pheaturing Phile Alum Graham Parker. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. 

Give me some rope, tie me to dream, give me the hope to run out of steam, somebody said it could be here. We could be roped up, tied up, dead in a year. I can't count the reasons I should stay. One by one they all just fade away...

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