Monday, September 13, 2021

Pheaturing Phile Alum Ringo Starr


Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How are you? We are down to just a handful of entries left... literally. We are down to the last five. Lana Del Rey says she is signing off social media. In a video posted to Instagram on Saturday night, Del Rey announced that all of her accounts will be deactivated effective Sunday. “That is simply because I have so many interests, and other jobs I’m doing that require privacy and transparency,” she explained of the decision. Del Rey assured fans she will continue to making music and poetry, adding, “I’m still very present and love what I do.” The timing of Del Rey’s decision is certainly odd, considering she has a new album coming out next month. But it’s also probably for the best, as the singer has stirred up plenty of controversy with some of her past social media postings. Last year, she criticized female musicians of color, only to later say her comments couldn’t possibly be construed as racially charged because “I have Black friends,” and then vowed to get revenge on her critics. She also posted photos of herself wearing a mesh face mask during the height of the pandemic, and posted video of looters during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests. So, yeah, probably a good decision to deactivate the accounts. Before Del Rey signed off for good, however, she commemorated the 20th anniversary of September 11th by announcing she was working on a new covers album. 

The gravesite of Pop Smoke was vandalized over the weekend, and there’s evidence to suggest the vandals attempted to remove the late rapper’s casket. TMZ reports that the crypt at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York was smashed open sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning. Drag marks were also seen on the ground outside of the crypt, suggesting that the vandals attempted to remove the rapper’s grave. It was not immediately clear if they were successful. Pop Smoke (whose real name Bashar Barakah Jackson) was shot and killed during a home invasion in Los Angeles on February 19th, 2020. 

Looks like Bill Cosby won’t be heading out on a comedy tour any time soon. The disgraced comedian first let the ill-advised plan of some sort of post-prison stand-up comedy tour slip back in July, but according to a new report by TMZ, he’s been talked out of the idea because of yet another sexual assault lawsuit. The case in question was filed by Judy Huth, who alleges Cosby sexually assaulted her at the Playboy Mansion back in the 1970s when was just 15 years old. Huth’s case isn’t exactly new either... it dates back to 2014, with Huth one of more than 60 women who have come forward over the years with allegations of rape, drug-induced sexual assault, sexual battery, and child sexual abuse towards the one-time icon. However, the lawsuit was put on the back burner while Cosby faced the charges brought by Andrea Constad, which ultimately sent him to prison until his early release this summer courtesy of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Now, with the newly-energized case set to go to trial next spring, the actor is staring down the prospect of another legal battle, and his rep told TMZ he won’t go on tour in order to avoid all the media scrutiny that would come with mounting a comeback in the middle of more allegations. There are also concerns Cosby could say something incriminating while on stage. While Cosby’s spokesperson, Andrew Wyatt, wasn’t directly quoted in the report, he insists Cosby's decision had nothing to do with lack of interest on the part of audiences or the comedy circuit. In fact, he claims at least a dozen clubs around the country approached Cosby about performing after his conviction was overturned.  Speaking of media scrutiny, Cosby himself claimed the “mainstream media are the insurrectionists” after Phylicia Rashad received a public reprimand and more than a little backlash for celebrating his release from prison.

If you’re like most Americans, then chances are you’ve stopped by McDonald’s hoping to beat the heat with a McFlurry only to be told that the machine is broken. It’s an infamous trait of McDonald’s franchises around the country, but hopefully that might change soon. After years of complaints from everyday consumers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has started an investigation into the fast-food chain’s perpetually broken ice cream machines. The Wall Street Journal reports that the FTC has been mailing letters to McDonald’s locations around the U.S. inquiring why the ice cream machines that make milkshakes, soft-serve cones, and the coveted McFlurry are constantly out of order. While it’s tempting to imagine federal employees are doing this because they want a classic sweet treat like the rest of us... and, really, who could blame them... the real reason is because they’re hoping to answer a bigger question. If these machines break as often as they seem to, then who is tasked with fixing them? And more importantly, why are those people doing such a bad job? Before the FTC can solve the cursed malfunctions of McDonald’s ice cream machines, they must first determine how the fact-food chain reviews its suppliers and equipment, why they still work with a faulty supplier, and how frequently owners work on their own machines themselves. As Business Insider points out, McDonald’s gets its frozen treat machines from a brand called Taylor and they’re notoriously very difficult to fix, nevermind to maintain, due to special cleaning cycles that often lead to failure. Two years ago, a company called Kytch designed a tool that helps McDonald’s franchise owners fix their own ice cream machines without having to call in a special Taylor repair technician. Soon, McDonald’s owners in over 30 states were using Kytch’s breakdown spotter. However, McDonald’s ordered franchisees to stop using the devices last year because they’re unsanctioned. Kytch fought back by suing Taylor, accusing them of infringing on franchisees’ rights to fix their own machines and stealing intellectual property. Alas, that’s when the FTC stepped in. So where are we in the process now? The FTC is currently engaging in a “preliminary investigation” to figure out if manufacturers are blocking consumers from fixing the machines themselves. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee the FTC’s involvement will solve this lawsuit or result in McDonald’s finally purchasing more reliable ice cream machines. At the very least, though, it does mean a non-consumer, non-business organization is finally applying pressure to the years-long problem, which is certainly overdue. While you wait for the FTC to solve this long-running McDonald’s issue, figure out where to get your next McFlurry with ease by using McBroken, a website that tracks which McDonald’s locations have broken machines that was created by someone who was fed up and good at coding. Don’t forget you can get your ice cream fix at any of the local parlors or independent ice cream stands in your local neighborhood, too. 

Darth Vader is taking some time to interact with Star Wars fans. Hayden Christensen has been spotted at Florida SuperCon where he posed for photos with fans who attended the convention. Interestingly, the Darth Vader actor was also promoting his upcoming "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series at the event. Fans were overjoyed when it was confirmed that Christensen will reprise his role as the Sith Lord in the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series. However, the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith actor has been very secretive about his role and hasn't been making a lot of public appearances since the announcement. Luckily, that changed when Christensen was confirmed to be in attendance at Florida SuperCon. The Anakin Skywalker actor took photos with fans while maintaining social distance. People who are concerned about the fan interaction can rest assured that there is a clear panel between Christensen and his fan. Besides, it's more exciting to note that Christensen was wearing a stunt crew cap from the Kenobi show. It isn't clear if Christensen was discussing the series with fans but there is little doubt that everyone was curious about his new series. For now, it's only been confirmed that the show is still in production but we're hoping there will be a new update soon. 

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

Ummm... maybe not. Did you see the new Star Wars show that is coming out on Disney+? I'll show ya...

Hahaha. That's dumb. Ever noticed every photo of Tears For Fears looks like a couple who just had a fight and aren't talking to each other?

See what I mean? So, sometimes I like to get on Twitter and look up certain words and one of those words is "Foghat." Here's a tweet I saw recently...

That's funny. Pregnancy isn't always the miraculous and beautiful experience that Instagram mommy bloggers posing in floral crowns on the beach would lead you to think it is... While carrying a baby for nine months and giving birth can be a transformative, life-altering experience for many people and couples, the physical and emotional toll isn't glamorous. Having a partner to support you through the pain of pregnancy can be a massive help, but if your partner is putting their own struggles over yours it can be a red flag for the future. Parenting can be a highly rewarding gift, but it's also an exhausting journey in waking up with Cheerios in your hair and forgetting what rest feels like. When you're so pregnant that you see your toes and you're crying over a toothpaste commercial while your partner is so nauseous simply from watching your nausea, it might be time for a discussion. So, when a frustrated soon-to-be dad experiencing "sympathetic pregnancy" symptoms decided to email the Phile about whether or not he was wrong to call his pregnant girlfriend "ridiculous," I decided to deem a verdict. 

"Am I wrong for calling my girlfriend ridiculous after she accused me of 'mimicking' her pregnancy? Me and my girlfriend recently found out we're expecting. It's been difficult for both of us so far. She deals with several symptoms like morning sickness and nausea which are the worst to manage. I try to do all I could to help but very recently, I started experiencing similar symptoms myself. I too started having morning sickness, nausea, open appetite, etc. My girlfriend absolutely hates it. She hates that I have these symptoms that I can't control and say I was purposely 'mimicking' her suffering for laughs which I'm not. Every time I throw up or get sick she would say, 'Oh my god you're such an asshole!' Or 'you're enjoying making fun of a pregnant woman and stealing attention aren't you?' The doctor and mom said it's called 'sympathetic pregnancy' but my girlfriend refused to believe it and told me to stop despite saying I can't control it. She reminded me that she's the pregnant one and I needed to cut the crap and take medication for 'whatever I'm dealing with' because this is so ridiculous and embarrassing. Final straw was when her parents came over for dinner. I wasn't feeling well that night. I just got off work and was feeling nauseous the entire day. My girlfriend prepared dinner and I had to join her and her parents. It didn't go well I started gagging and my girlfriend kept staring at me while her mom asked if I was okay. I excused myself to the bathroom and threw up really loud. I heard her mom say that pregnancy must be hard on 'us' which caused my girlfriend to lose it and go on about how I was just fine and was just mimicking her for some reason. Her parents left and we got into a fight when she called me horrible, attention-seeking asshole for putting on a show in front of her parents when it's her who's truly suffering. I told her she had me sit eat dinner with her parents despite saying I preferred to have something light for the night. She said I could've held it in or not make such fuss about it but clearly I did this to steal attention from her. I blew up and called her ridiculous for making such accusations. She started crying saying she's dealing with enough and I was making it worse for her. She packed and went to her sister's and won't come home 'til I stop this."  It’s a literal documented phenomenon that happens to men, sometimes men literally experience pregnancy symptoms. It’s literally like you telling her you have depression and anxiety, the doctors telling her the same and her not believing it and saying you’re faking it. You literally cannot help it and honestly don’t think anything besides couple therapy can fix it because you can’t FORCE her to believe you, the doctors, or some blogger. So please see if she can be open to that otherwise reactions like that to your own suffering will cause the relationship to be lost before it even gets anywhere amazing. So, there you have it! Your symptoms are valid, but you could work a bit harder to put your girlfriend's needs over your own. While you might be experiencing some "pregnancy symptoms," you are not pregnant. Good luck, everyone! If you have a problem you need my opinion on to help then email me at and I might help you. Not too much time left, kids. Now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York here is...

Top Phive Red Flags Recruiters Seen On Resumes
5. When their job title says “entrepreneur” and their description just screams pyramid scheme. 
4. Once saw a resume where the guy included a shirtless gym selfie and an “about me” section where he talked about working out.  
3. I got a resume once where a girl typo’d her major as “pubic health” instead of public health. 
2. "Might or might not come to work." 
And the number one red flag a recruiter saw on a resume was...
1. “Excellent attention to detale.” 

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

Looks like a nice uneventful day. 

That's not the best graphic. Haha. Anyway, today's guest is a Phile Alum and is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who achieved international fame as the drummer for the Beatles. His latest EP "Zoom In" is available on iTunes and Amazon and Spotify and next week his new Ep "Change the World" come out. I cannot believe I have him on the Phile again... please welcome back to the Phile the great... Ringo Starr!!

Me: Hey, Ringo, welcome back to the Phile. How're doing? 

Ringo: I'm great, Jason, great to be back. 

Me: How are you holding up? 

Ringo: I'm feeling good. It's been another year now. Last year was up and down. I had two tours booked and they didn't go on. The year before when it started February and March got sticky but who'd knew it'd be going on this long. I'm out there saying "we'll be seeing you next year, same time, same venue" and that didn't work out. I honestly couldn't see it working out this year either. I think it's still got a lot of danger into this virus, so we'll see. 

Me: Health wise you're okay?

Ringo: What saved my life is I do have this two-room studio. The bedroom has the drums and amplifiers and the living room has all the equipment and the Pro-Tools, and that's where I make the music. It's a lifesaver really because I got to play my drums which I love and also people as strict on themselves as I am thorough the virus came over so I had moments to hang out with musicians with masks on and I'd be with mask on but it was still some contact. So I made this EP "Change the World" and the previous EP called "Zoom In." 

Me: What was the first track you recorded because of this? 

Ringo: The first song I put down was "Zoom In, Zoom Out." It was a surprise to me. Bruce Sugar, my engineer, noticed these guys in the Valley who wrote this song and I loved it. 

Me: What did you love about it? 

Ringo: That's all I was doing lately. I'm Zooming in every day it seems, to someone somewhere. That's a great part of it, that I can Zoom in someone in New Zealand, and we get more of a connection. It used to be all those phoners but I like some sort of view and contact. If I throw in something flippant in black and white sometimes it looks really harsh. But they'll see the attitude we're doing it so I've become to love Zoom! 

Me: Have you had a new perspective over the pandemic? 

Ringo: Well, you know what, everybody on the planet right now is experiencing the same thing. That's what's far out, it's not like I could fly somewhere and it could be okay. Because it's no okay anywhere. That hits me hard. There's a lot of struggling going on and a lot of incredible help from the healthcare people taking a chance if anyone's got it they're going to deal with them. So we have to love them. Sometimes I get miserable and I want to do something. I'm going to go out, I'm going to go wherever and the end result of that could be what death okay, I'll just stay home. So I think it's an experience we're having. I think the experience is worse for the kids actually. I can't understand any of my grandchildren, they all wanted to go back to school. I never wanted to go to school. "We want to go to school!" So that's the new neighborhood we're living in. Kids want to go back? 

Me: You got the shot, right? 

Ringo: What? 

Me: Did you get the vaccine shot? 

Ringo: Oh, yeah, I wondered what you meant for a minute. From kids to the shot. I got two shots. It's incredible how much weight that takes off my mind. That I feel because I've had the two shots, it's incredible that a couple of percent of people who get it die. There's all the other 90 percent and but we all go to that one. Like the worst one so now I believe I've had the two shots and if I get it God willing I'd be able to fight it. You know what, Jason, I'm a little older than you. 

Me: Ha. A hair, sir. 

Ringo: I had TB as a kid. Bring in the violins! Yeah, things were sad. 

Me: Okay, so what can you say about the newest EP that comes out in a few weeks? 

Ringo: Right now it takes a long time to get anything out. I have to thank Universal and Bruce Reznikoff who's a wonderful human being that he's got out "Here's to the Nights" because we thought it'd be a great New Years song. I bet you have a few nights you don't remember. 

Me: Ha. Maybe. It's a good song after the post-pandemic, isn't it? 

Ringo: Yeah, I think it's great and Diane Warren wrote it. We got a lot of people at the end of that song helping me out and I truly thank them all. Peace and love. I did the song and we got a lot of people like Paul, like Dave Grohl, a lot of people and so it's a sing-along at the end. That's what we were aiming for. The people would be hugging each other but that's not this year of course. I love the sentiment and Diane got a lot of people to sing on it, I got a lot of people. It's like a competition we had there and I won. 

Me: You had a bunch of Phile Alum on it. Lenny Kravitz, Dave Grohl, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney. What was that experience for you to collaborate even from a distance? 

Ringo: Great. They can just send the files. Like Paul was in England, and there were people all over America. We send the files, and I say, "Would you... if you want to, if you could... sing the chorus with me on the end of this song?" And everybody bar two said yes. 

Me: Friendship is an important thing in your life. Even with "A Little Help From My Friends," or the Beatles with your buddies, or the All-Starr Band, all the different collaborations you've done through the years, forgive me for what might be a broad question but what has friendship given you over your life? 

Ringo: Oh, it gives me friendship. I have friends from way back. I was in a band and I had three brothers and that was great. I'm an only child and that was great for me and I was in a couple of bands. But it really cemented itself in the Beatles that we were four lads from Liverpool and we were going to the top. I'm blessed really. I had fun with Steve Lukather because he's my last best friend. I don't have any more time with best friends now. 

Me: We can't be best friends? Haha. Why not? 

Ringo: It takes a while to trust each other that much that I can open up and say anything and it's going to stay there. 

Me: So you had to find "siblings" in friendship? 

Ringo: Well, I didn't when I was a kid. My mother didn't let my friends in every day. And so I've come from a neighbourhood we had a street, we're in the Admiral Grove and all the kids were all out there together and then we sort of get a little older and then we break up. I had Brian Briscoe and Davey Patterson from six to 16. We were the trio. We call ourselves the Three Musketeers, the Skull Gang, we called ourselves all these names that we were 9-years-old. We went everywhere together, it was far out. 

Me: Any friends left from Liverpool? 

Ringo: I've got one friend left... Roy. When I was in the factory, actually the guy that was my neighbour, Eddie Miles formed the first band I was in... Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group. And Roy at the teacher space and we've been friends forever now. Even today. 

Me: The best thing about doing this stupid blog for 15 years is the friends I made through it, people I keep in touch with. Even people like Laird Jim, and Dan Narwicki and Chris Nelson, two great musicians I collaborated with on music projects. Is it weird to have a buddy from before you were Ringo Starr, before the Beatles? 

Ringo: Yeah, I think the good news about that is that a lot of people make friends because of their image of who I were and I have some years where I'm very doubtful about people. 

Me: Because your fame? 

Ringo: Because they're they're just coming at me for that guy So, yeah, I'm really blessed and I do have other friends but I just like to mention Roy because he's the longest. 

Me: So, how did you first meet Paul? What's your earliest memory of Paul McCartney? 

Ringo: We went into the coffee bar, Rory Storm. I was in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and we were the top band in Liverpool and we went into this coffee bar and downstairs they had a basement and we heard some music coming and they were teaching Stu Sutcliffe how to play bass. That's the first time I met him. But the great news was Howie Casey went to Germany or suddenly the guy crushed me into coming over and wanted Liverpool bands to play the clubs in Hamburg which was great for us. So we were playing the Kaiserkeller and they were playing the this other really small club down the road and living behind the toilets and we came in and we were the third band to get into Germany but that's where we really got to know each other. On weekends we would do twelve hours between two bands and that we all admitted that really made us what we are, we sort of found our way of doing it. So I would maybe have a drink or two and go and watch the lads play. I love that front line and I would demand they'd play certain records at certain tracks. 

Me: Like what? 

Ringo: I'm not telling you. I only found out later when I was in the band I would come down with it, bosses about. 

Me: Ummm... okay. So, when Paul nowadays says something really nice about you, how do you feel? It's great you're both still mates I think. 

Ringo: I'm always just so excited when we get to play together. When we were in a band together we were the best band in the land, I don't care what anyone says. We knew each other, it was like psychic, I would be playing drums with my eyes closed and the headphones on and I knew John was going to go somewhere and I'd drum in that and I'd hold it together while they went mad and then bring it back. One day I told Paul that John gave me a guitar and that George gave me a guitar and "you never gave me anything, man. You never gave me the bass." He said, "This is the only one." He's still playing the same bass from 1962. It's the same damn bass. And so I let him off. LOL. In an auction I got one that looks like it and I hang it on the wall. When he comes over, and I'm doing tracks I'll say I've got this track, I'd love you to play bass and he'd say, "I'm coming into L.A." and he'll come over and play bass and he is the most melodic. John was the most incredible guitar rhythm, sometimes got too crazy with it and lost the spot but incredible. And George, most of George's solos are part of that record. If you just hear the intro, oh, it's that one. So we all just gave our best. That's all we can do. That was just like a fact. But I miss the other two, I loved them and I loved Paul. 

Me: So, what do you think of the new Peter Jackson Get Back documentary? 

Ringo: I moaned about the original one forever. The only great thing the other one did is that we played live. We got on that roof and we played. It was so great, we hadn't played in a couple of years. We didn't play after that as the Beatles. Michael Lindsay-Hogg took like two seconds of attitude and based the whole film, the whole documentary on that and it was miserable and down. We found like two years ago 56 hours of unused footage. How far out and all of that was full of joy. So Peter, thank you Peter, said he'd put it together another way. He actually did on the roof now, if you look at the original one, I don't know, I'm guessing seven or eight minutes long. Peter Jackson's version if it is 43 minutes long. Just the roof. We're playing and we're talking and we're shouting and we're backing. If you see there little trailer we're in the studio and there's a lot of laughter and we're all fooling about and messing about, unless we played and then we're very serious. I love Peter Jackson and thank him from the bottom of my heart that he put this together for us. 

Me: It's been 20 years now that George has gone. Can you believe it? 

Ringo: Yeah, and 40 for John. I miss them every day. But I have to carry on. Like I miss my mum. 

Me: Yeah, I miss both of my parents. I got to work years ago with George's sister. What was George like? 

Ringo: George was great. He was a great friend to me. He's a beautiful human being and he was searching and he brought Indian music I think to the masses in Europe and America. He just loved music. He was another guy I could go to about whatever I'm moaning about. He'd sort of give me his version of what I'm saying. For that I could talk to George. 

Me: I can't imagine how much you miss them, Ringo. I mean, who knows, you guys could've got back together on a tour or album... 

Ringo: Yeah, sometimes I'm in the studio and wish we could get together. 

Me: After you guys broke up I wonder why you never did. 

Ringo: If you look at after we broke up I had the three of them on one of my records. And also John would write me a song. By chance I'm in L.A. with Richard Perry to do the album and by chance John is also in L.A. nothing to do with me and George is in L.A. so what happens, we all joined together. They came over and wrote me a song and played or whatever. 

Me: You seemed like the great Switzerland in that break up, am I right? Everyone loves you. 

Ringo: What's not to love? 

Me: Ha! So, have you seen the video on YouTube of 4-year-old Leo Lacrets I think his name is from Toronto who is a massive Ringo Starr fan and massive Beatles fan playing "With a Little Help From My Friends" on drums? 

Ringo: Yes, I have. Great. Leo, 4-years-old. Great. I was 17 when I got my first kit and I learned everything I know on stage just playing with bands, that's how it worked for me. Yeah, I love that. I do have grandchildren and two of them are drummers. Well, three of them are drummers, four of them WERE drummers and one of them changed to skateboarding but that's how it is. 

Me: You must love the legacy of the band, right? 

Ringo: I'm so proud of the music we made, I love the other three guys, but every generation has a listen to us. As soon as they become teenagers if they're into music they have a listen to us. So every generation has their Beatles moments. That's how we carry on. I used to think we were doing really well because we sold and we streamed I think it was like 5 billion last year. Five billion streams. Get off. Then I look at Drake and he does that a day. LOL. 

Me: When I started this stupid little blog 15 years ago, and started interviewing people in December 2008 I never thought I'd get to interview a Beatle, and I got to interview Paul once and you twice. Thanks so much for being on the fifth to last entry of the blog, sir. It means a lot to me. 

Ringo: Lovely to be here, Jason, and it was lovely talking to you. Peace and love. 

Me: Peace and love. Take care, Ringo. 

Ringo: Thank you.

Well, that was fun. Haha. That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Ringo for a fun interview. The Phile will be back on Saturday with Brian May, the great guitarist who was in Queen. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. Flip that pancake. 

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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