Monday, February 26, 2018

Pheaturing Fran Strine

Good afternoon, and welcome to the Phile for a Monday. How's your Monday going? I hope it's better than the American tourist who got caught with a severed head in his suitcase. The BBC reported that an American tourist in Osaka, Japan has been taken into police custody after a women's head was found in the apartment he's renting. "Police believe the head, which was found in a suitcase, belongs to a Japanese woman who was last seen on CCTV footage walking with the suspect," BBC explains. No other body parts were found. The 27-year-old woman was said to have told friends before her disappearance that she was going to meet an American she connected with on an app. The man was identified as New York resident Yevgeniy Bayraktar. While today's a bad Monday for him, it's an even worse Monday for the woman.
This next story gave me nightmares last night... Humans find dogs cute because they play into biological drives to take care of another creature. Humans also like dogs because they are like humans (loving and needy) but also not humans. This dog, however, is more human than dog. More, nice guy at a barbecue you've just met whose favorite beer is Bud Light than furball who eats food off the floor. Reddit user emceegrath shared a photo from a friend of a friend's Facebook. Emceegrath shared no specific information about the dog, other than, "It looks like it has a man’s face." Behold, Bob the middle-age dog-man...

Bob is posing with his high school sweetheart, Sally, who hasn't aged well. Reddit is in firm agreement that there is something CREEPY about this dog. If you know of any other pooches with human-like features, thanks to their eyes, mouths, and haircuts send them in and I'll post them here on the Phile.
Reese Witherspoon is a classy lady... except for her 2013 arrest following husband Jim Toth's DUI, which was a blight on her otherwise stellar reputation. Witherspoon, who is currently promoting A Wrinkle in Time, found herself nearby what she described as a "friend" on her Instagram story, according to "People." Witherspoon then filmed herself at her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 41-year-old actor received the star way back in 2010. "This is so exciting guys, here she is!" she said before revealing her friend.

After wiping her name up, Witherspoon told the star, “Oh, now you’re looking good, girl. And don’t you let people walk all over you!” Wise words, Witherspoon.
The worldwide thirst for the edgiest selfie took a dark turn last week when beach goers in Chile were caught mounting a 66-foot beached whale for their Instagram photos. A researcher at the Museum of Natural History Río Seco, Gabriela Garrido, told the Chilean newspaper "La Nacion" she spotted roughly 50 people taking photos on and around the whale. "I had a lot of anger, a lot of impotence," she told "La Nacion." One of the many beach goers even carved initials into the whale's body.

Shortly after photos of the deceased whale spread, the Chilean Navy constructed a perimeter to prevent onlookers from continuing to vandalize the body. Many people online are rightfully disgusted by the deeply disrespectful treatment of the beached whale. This concludes installment 8,095 of the ongoing series... "Why are human beings like this?!"
After the deadly school shooting left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida, teens are taking matters into their own hands to make sure that nothing like this happens ever again. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students formed the #NeverAgain movement, and are pressuring Congress to put common sense gun laws in place. Seventeen-year-old Emma González delivered a rousing speech that inspired the nation. And now Justin Rivard, a senior at Somerset High School in Wisconsin, invented a special kind of door jam that could potentially save hundreds of lives in the event of a school shooting. Rivard's product, named the JustinKase, is comprised of a series steel plates and connecting rods. It slips beneath a classroom door and latches to the door’s jam, making the door nearly impossible to open. "You can lock a door with a lock, it can get shot out," Justin told "USA Today." "You can lock a door with this, it can't get shot out. You can't get around it." To test the product, Rivard reportedly had the linemen from his high school football team try to knock down the door. They were unsuccessful. Somerset High School ordered 50 units, one for every classroom in the building. The Grantsburg School District has ordered a total of 94 units. Each JustinKase costs $95.00. Although Rivard notes that at least one company manufactures a similar product, he says his is much cheaper and easier to produce. After Justin graduates this spring, he will be turning over to his father so he can join the army come July.
Hey, instead of writing this blog I should be listening to this album...

Ummm... maybe not. So, if you are going to cheat on your loved one you might think twice after seeing this...

Damn, Ryan, that the fuck did you do? If you are having  abad day I hope it's better than this guy...

So, once in a while I like to show a pic of what someone looks like when they are reading the Phile. Like these people...

I wonder if they are reading the Trump Watch pheature. Haha. If I had a TARDIS I would like to go back to one of Keith Moon's birthday parties. I bet they were fun...

See? So, when I saw The Black Panther and this scene came on it reminded me of something...

And then it hit me...

Two Tolkien white guys in the movie. Hahahahahaha. Hey, ever shop at the Home Depot? I hate that store... it's like buying work. But of you go they have a new store reward card...

Lemme rush right out to my local store right away. In yesterday's blog I told you about what teachers want to be armed with in their classrooms, and said I'll post pics to show you. Well, here's another...

Good luck, dude. Well, apparently everyone at the "Megyn Kelly Today" show hates Megyn Kelly. So, here again is the pheature...

According to an article in Page Six, Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News, is not settling into her role as morning talk show host very well. Anyone who's watched the show can see that. There's reportedly a lot of conflict surrounding Kelly's show, the aptly named "Megyn Kelly Today," and much of it of her own doing. Sources have told Page Six that NBC executives are starting to get really tired of the drama that seems to find its way to Kelly's show, like the time she asked about Jane Fonda's plastic surgery (ugh) and then questioned Fonda's patriotism after Fonda poked fun at that moment. During a monologue in January, Kelly brought up Fonda's old Vietnam War protests, saying, “Honestly, she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive." WOW. But that's just the stuff in front of the cameras. According to a "high-ranking NBC executive," the atmosphere on set is so tense, employees often burst into tears. That same NBC veteran claims that people at the network don't see her lasting long, telling Page Six, “She is hated inside the "Today" show and is seen as tarnishing the brand, out-of-control and selfish." But this is apparently not new behavior for Megyn Kelly, who, according to a former colleague, was always difficult. Iren Halperin, a Fox News makeup artist who retired in 2016 but was employed at Fox News for 20 years, worked with Kelly in 2009 when Kelly co-anchored "America’s Newsroom With Bill Hemmer." Halperin told Page Six, “She’s disrespectful. She’s not for women. She’s extremely mean and rude to women.” Halperin told a story about how Kelly always got her makeup done at 8 a.m., but showed up half an hour early one day. She found someone else in the makeup chair (of course) and demanded that the woman leave. Halperin asked her, "Please have a seat in the greenroom or start your hair first," but Kelly said no. She apparently snapped her finger, pointed at the reporter and said, "You, get out of the chair." That is some grade A diva bullshit right there. Halperin said of Kelly, “She was difficult and demanding. And if you didn’t do what she wanted, she would try to get you in trouble.” Which is exactly what happened to Halperin. Kelly retaliated by telling Halperin's boss that Halperin couldn't get into work on time because of her kids, which wasn't true. At this point, Halperin asked to be assigned to a different anchor. Another person at Fox reportedly did, too, although we know nothing about that particular situation, other than it sounds like Kelly is a nightmare to work with. ​​​​​

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.

By now, the pageantry of Donald Trump insulting someone on Twitter has become a daily given. There's no longer a feeling of spectacle when the president uses a racial slur or fat-shames North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, but that doesn't mean his online presence has totally lost its luster. Sometimes, blessings fall down from the most unexpected places. When Trump attempted to compliment his daughter Ivanka on Friday, his wording perfectly opened a door for a stream of detractors.

His tweet naturally set in motion the obvious question... WHY can't we have a better, smarter, person representing our country?! They don't even have to be brilliant, just someone with actual palpable political experience. It's safe to say, Trump's attempted compliment opened Pandora's box full of Ivanka burns.

The 76th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

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

As an airplane is about to crash, a female passenger jumps up frantically and announces, "If I'm going to die, I want to die feeling like a woman." She removes all her clothing and asks, "Is there someone on this plane who is man enough to make me feel like a woman?" A man stands up, removes his shirt and says, "Here, iron this!"

Today's pheatured guest is the director and producer for the great documentary film Hired Gun that is available on Blu-ray, Amazon, and Netflix. Please welcome to the Phile... Fran Strine.

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

Fran: I'm great, Jason. Your dad fucking rocked!

Me: Thanks. So, I watched the documentary Hired Gun on Blu-ray and I really enjoyed it. What made you decide this was gonna be your first film?

Fran: I have done other documentaries. There was still high pressure because I was hired by record companies to make companion pieces for when people were still buying CDs really. The making of DVDs for bands like Staind... I worked with those guys for about eight years, not only in the studio with them but for the entire record cycle of the recording process but for touring as well. I was their main video photographer guy. They caught on really early to have someone catch stuff for social media when records stopped selling. The same thing with a band called Seether, Nickleback, a few other bands. I kinda semi-retired from touring after a Staind gig. I moved to northern California and I just loved it and wanted to take a year off and enjoy the scenery and my fruits of labor. I got an email from Zoltán Báthory from Five Finger Death Punch and he heard about my work and asked if I wanted to come out with them as they were looking for a guy. I politely declined at the time because I wanted to just take time off. He reached out a couple more times and then have me an offer I just couldn't refuse. There's smart decisions and there's decisions like whatever... It was a really good offer so I took them up on it and went out with them for a good couple of years. I was approaching 50-years-old at the time. There's no secret, their singers a maniac and had a few issues which was unfortunate. Of course I wish him nothing but the best and recovery. It was really bad at the time I was with those guys. I remember we were in Australia and got arrested on a flight and I was thinking to myself man, I have to find my exit from this and pursue something different. I was burnt out on the road and I have done it for a long time. When we got to Singapore I remember sitting on the back of the bus and I was thinking what was I gonna do. We had five more weeks and had to do Europe and when I got home I wanted to jump back into something I wanted to do. I knew I loved making films and telling stories but the stuff I was doing for the record labels I loved doing them but I wasn't doing MY project. I had just seen the movie 20 Feet From Stardom. If you haven't seen the movie it's about the back-up singers from the Stones, to Bruce Springsteen, to Sting... It was done so well and was story I didn't know about. I thought there's got to be another one as I love working in music and talking about music. There's not been one done about touring musicians and of course there's been ones about session players like Muscle Shoals and Wrecking Crew and a few of the others. The touring aspect of it not so much so. Hired Gun is like a combination of those two so I decided that it'd be my thing. The only difference would be it would be top shelf with production quality, sound, everything else. I hit the ground running as soon as I got back to the states and it was probably September when I got back and by November we were in production.

Me: Being around those musicians, like Jason Hook from Five Finger Death who is in Hired Gun and helped produce it, were you able to get the people in the documentary easily?

Fran: Oh, yeah. The toughest one was Steve Lukather actually. A lot of these guys I know or knew people who knew them. Once one person said yeah, they all wanted to be in it. Except for Steve Lukather, he's the most quintessential hired gun. He's just a great musician... anyway, he was being cool about it, he was just like he wasn't interested in giving up his story for free when he could sell his story himself and make his own movie. I was like fair enough. Once we got Jay Graydon, David Foster, Ray Parker Jr., Kenny Aaronoff, those guys he was like ,"Now I have to be in your damn movie." I literally flew down to his place on Christmas Eve day. That was the only time I could get him and I was like I'll be there, man. He was fantastic. I feel bad that that group of guys from "Hired Gun"... their stories are so big. What I really wanted to put in Hired Gun, not to take anything away from it, but those guys, man.

Me: Out of all those people in the documentary the one I was most surprised about, and didn't know about was Ray Parker Jr.... who would of thought...

Fran: Let me tell you about Ray Parker Jr., he has been traveling around the globe promoting Hired Gun, believe it or not. we went to Australia, Glastonbury, all overt the states. Nashville, Chicago, San Fransisco, Los Angeles. A lot of people know him from Ghostbusters and hits of his own like "The Other Woman," but a lot of people don't know about the man. He was a youngster growing up in Detroit. His story was he didn't play sports, baseball, football, or any of that good stuff. He was just trying to survive, man. In Detroit in 1964 or around that time was when the whole civil arrest was happening. In Detroit the cops were literally killing African-Americans and his goal was getting home from school alive. Cops beat him down with batons, broke his leg once, so he just stayed in the house. How first instrument was clarinet and he thought this was no fun blowing into something. He wanted to play the guitar. He saw some guy on television playing the guitar and that was it. So, he started playing the guitar and by the time he was fourteen, man, he was touring with the Spinners. We did a private screening of "Hired Gun" at Ray's house and Steve Lukather was there, and Steve and I were talking Steve said, "Man, Ray Parker is the greatest rhythm guitar player that has ever walked the planet." This was coming from Lukather. It's true, man, Ray doesn't have to play, he's got dump trucks of money. When he sits around at his house, man, he has to have a guitar in his hand. let's not forget, man, yeah, he played with the Spinners, but Stevie Wonder discovered him.

Me: I would love to get Ray Parker Jr. on this blog. Did you know he wrote the Leo Sayer song "Do You Feel Like Dancing"? before you made this film. I had no idea.

Fran: Nobody does. "Mr. Telephone Man," and Barry White songs. No one has ever written for Barry White ever, so he was the first person to write for Barry White.

Me: What was David Foster like? I don't know much about him, but I think he'd make a good guest here.

Fran: Absolutely, man. After we were done filming we were walking around his house, filming some behind the scenes stuff and we went into what I called the Trophy Room there he had all his Grammys. Not hundreds, but thousands of gold and platinum albums... and I'm like "David, you had so much success, you are able to retire if you want to, why are you keep doing this?" He looked at me and goes, "This is going to sound very egotistical and crazy, but I'm looking at all this stuff on the walls right now and I think to myself there's not enough. If you compound my forty or fifty year career I should have more. I surround myself with people who are better than I am to make me just that much better." That really touched me that he acknowledged there are engineers, arrangers, or whatnot, who are bigger than him. He puts a spit on those guys and a lot of people don't do that.

Me: I think it was interesting that he talked about being a hired gun then a producer because those first three albums he made. Okay, we have to talk about Billy Joel, one of my favorite singers ever. When you went into this did you know you wanted to make most of the movie about Billy's back-up band? I interviewed Liberty DeVitto here on the blog years ago and I wasn't allowed to ask him about Billy. You got him to say a whole lot.

Fran: Well, I think Billy Joel is the biggest selling solo artist of all time... at least domestically he is. He is huge. I'm a HUGE Billy Joel fan, I love his music, however a friend of mine who is a drum tech was telling me after I told him about the movie said I have to get Liberty DeVitto. He gave me some stuff to research on and I was oh my god, this is insane, it cannot be real. I looked for Liberty's manager or publicist and he doesn't even have one. I found him on Facebook, sent him private message and asked him would he be up to talk? He pinned me the next day and said let's do this. I interviewed him the first time around in Los Angles and it was such a volatile piss and vinegar interview from his side because he was still really pissed off over that had happened. I couldn't use any of it. I told him he got to emotional. I told him this would get him in trouble if I put this out so would he agree to do another interview? I wouldn't say we were rushed on the first day we did that interview but I had a lot of people lined up that day to talk so I got about a good hour with him. I told him I want him to be the central centerpiece of this film because it's a huge story. So he agreed and myself and my crew went out to Brooklyn where he lives and spent a whole week out there with him. It had been about a year and a half since I interviewed him and since then he stated seeing a life coach. He's in a really good place now, got a band called the Slim Kings, that he's really happy about, they're doing pretty well, and he's a new father believe to or not. He got so emotional talking abut back in the day that he took every one of his platinum albums and smashed them over the copy table. He was just distraught. He didn't understand what was going on. You got to remember, they worked together for thirty-one years, they knew each other since they were teenagers.

Me: It's cool you also had Russell Javors on the film as well, Billy's guitarist. Did you think of having Billy himself in the film?

Fran: I did reach out to Billy Joel just to be neutral and whatnot. He was interested and asked me if I had any transcripts and if I had any scenes cut can he see them. I got a little nervous as it was all bad stuff but I wanted to be real with the guy so I was like okay. I wanted to give the guys the opportunity to tell his side of the story. I sent everything over to him and about three days later I received an email from Eastman and Eastman who are the Beatles attorneys and Billy Joel's attorneys as well. I got a cease and desist and I reached out to him one more time and was like this is ready to go, the final cut so I wanted to give him one more opportunity and he declined.

Me: Now the doc is out do you think he saw it?

Fran: From what I hear he has seen the movie and hasn't rebuttaled anything.

Me: Was the reason he cut the ties with his bandmates the aftermath of him getting fucked over by his management?

Fran: If you're asking me what I know from the inside a little bit, and my intuition, yeah, he got screwed over. He had literally just had lint in his pockets. He had no money. Liberty had just gotten divorced and gave his ex-wife every dime he had and Billy who obviously has a new manager now, and they were looking for ways to cut funds. Liberty comes along and says if anybody bread crumbs falls on the floor, or crumbs or dollars, just sweep them his way. It's a pretty ballsy things to say when the boss just lost 90 million dollars and you just gave all the money to your ex-wife, that's my interpretation. Let's not forget Billy was a little hostel back in the day. According to Liberty when the new management came in he asked, "Why are you playing these guys all this money?"

Me: A lot of people know think being in a band is all fun and games, but in the reality it isn't. Even Foghat and my dad had problems and shit. I don't think people realize that it's a lot of hard work and families get involved and things happen that are not so much fun. Also, people assume that every musician makes a shit load of money... but they don't. Do you find people that are not in the know think the same thing, Fran?

Fran: That's what I tell everybody. Take for the instance, Pink, or any of these huge touring acts, like Lady Gaga... you're looking at these tens of millions of dollars productions with lights, jets, stadiums, 50 tour busses, a hundred tractor trailer trucks, the perception of the audience is all these guys make millions of dollars. Well, let me tell you something, its definitely not that way. The management and label are making ALL the dough, the musicians are getting just a fraction of what the ticket prices are. It's just the way it is. When we do the Q& A and somebody asks what advice can you give to someone who wants to be a hired gun... Ray always says don't become one. Get your foot in the door but don't only get to be a hired gun, man, Ray said he didn't have the greatest voice in the world, he just wrote great catchy tunes.

Me: Watching the film I was thinking I want to interview Liberty again. I would ask him why doesn't he play with another band? Who doesn't want a fantastic drummer like that playing in their band? 

Fran: One of the things he told me early on people look at him knowing he was in Billy Joel's band and assume they cannot afford him. That's not the case, they can. They just need to ask and he is just not being asked because people just assume he's making too much money.

Me: Out of all these people you interviewed, who do you think is the hardest working guy, Fran? 

Fran: Hands down... Kenny Aaronoff. He never sleeps, man. Every time I look at him and we are talking one day he's in Indiana, the next day he's Facetiming me from Tokyo. I asked him don't he ever sleep and he says he doesn't have time to sleep, he's living the life. He loves playing, he's passionate about it. It's all he talks about. He doesn't talk about anything else, just playing drums, and having a good time. He's about 66-years-old, but looks like he's 30.

Me: One thing I thought was interesting too was Jason Newsted's story. He said he was making only $500 a week. Is that normal for those hired guns, Fran?

Fran: Yeah, I think back in the day to was. You gotta remember, that was in the early 80s. I knew Jason for a bunch of years, he lives right across the bay from me. He did an album called "Newsted" not long ago ironically with Mike Mushok, the guitarist from Staind. He kinda bought me into the fold with that guy and we hit if off, man. Jason is a cool dude, we believe in a lot of the same things. We kinda hit it off and he said he was gonna be in the studio for six months and wanted to document it all. He knew I was a photographer by trade and I've done a bunch of album covers and whatnot. He asked me if I can shoot his album cover too. When I was interviewing the guy I called him and asked was he never not a member of Metallica and only a hired gun. He said, "Don't forget I was also a hired gun with Ozzy, and Gov't Mule..." He even played on a hit song with Tina Turner once. I asked him if there is anybody he turned down and he said when John Entwistle died the Who called him before they called anybody else. He said he was shitting his pants and wanted to do the gig but he respected Entwistle too much, he couldn't play that stuff. Then when Tom Hamilton had cancer they called him. He turned that down for the same reason. And lastly when Lemmy died they wanted to do a special 30-day Motorhead thing as they thought of Jason first as those Metallica guys just are in love with Motorhead. I have to tell you, Jason wears his heart on his sleeve and we built a trust factor. He told me a lot of stuff maybe he shoudn't have. You saw how intense he was on screen. We sat there for three hours and he told me about from the day he was born to the day he exited Metallica. If you look at the Blu-ray and iTunes for the bonus stuff the real story of why he left Metallica is there. It's a punch in the gut, man. I did the whole interview, man, and it was so intense. Even I was tensed up, I gritted my teeth listening to him talk the whole time. I couldn't believe the stuff he was telling me, man, I was just like holy shit.

Me: Fran, where are you originally from?

Fran: I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia where it's super cheap to live. When you open the front door you're still in Georgia, you know what I mean? I hate hot weather, I hate humidity and I was hired believe it or not by the Northern California Tourism Board to film a commercial. My job for two and a half weeks was to start at the Golden Gate Bridge and go north, all the way up and just film each place for a couple of days and whatnot. I as like oh, my god, this is just like the most beautiful scenery and weather I have ever seen in my life. I made it my goal to live here one day. I did some other big stuff like a Dolly Parton live DVD that did really well, and a couple of her album covers, so her and I have a very good working relationship.

Me: Cool. So, what are you gonna do next? Can you talk about it?

Fran: I can talk about it for sure. My next project will be with Lukather, Foster, Parker, and Graydon... their stories are too big. I couldn't tell it the way I wanted tell it and now I'm going to get but in a different way. It's a whole different movie then Hired Gun. When you think about it, those guys, man, either wrote, performed, produced artists in their own rights in the baby boomer generation which is the biggest demographic in America. The 70s, 80s and early 90s those guys dominated the charts on radio and everything else. I feel their national treasures and their story must be told. It's not even a movie, its gonna be a documentary-series, a four part series with Lukather, Foster, Parker, Graydon, and more. Their stories must told. What's gonna be cool about it, I'm not gonna tell the whole story, and the giant hits they wrote, arranged, produced and everything else... we're going to record some of their biggest hits and I feel like it's my duty to bring in a contemporary artist to sing on those songs, to bring in a fresh generation to keep these songs alive. Not that we need to as these are all timeless sons but imagine "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" by Leo Sayer but with Adam Lavine singing it. "You Bring the Love" by Chaka Kahn but bring in Alicia Keys or something. I'm bringing in the youngest generation who are gonna watch to because they wanna see these artists perform these songs. They are gonna be like wow, I didn't know the Ghostbuster guy wrote that and who the hell is Jay Graydon?

Me: The movie was mixed at Skywalker Ranch, which kinda amazed me. How the hell did that happen, Fran?

Fran: Right down the road from where I live is Skywalker Ranch and I thought I had to mix the movie somewhere. A valuable lesson I learned if there are any filmmakers or musicians or anybody else that is reading this no matter how big it might sound always ask, because if you don't ask they cannot say yes. Never go in thinking their gonna say no, I go in thinking they are gonna say yes. I've already called a bunch of places in Los Angeles and I was resigning to the fact I was gonna have to go down there and spend two weeks away from home and blah blah blah. I was like you know what, it'd right down the street, I'm gonna ask. So I sent the sizzle reel we created that was four minutes long and the next day I get an email from John Knoll who is the production manager and decision maker there and he told me he just watched this and said they must mix this movie. He asked if they could submit a bid to me. I never heard that in my life. Usually they ask what is your budget which is the first thing, They sent a bid which was half what it would cost in L.A. Not to mention the lodging and traveling and everything else. The recording and remix budget was half as cheap. I couldn't believe this was happening. Everybody asks me what was it like at Skywalker Ranch... well, whatever you think it's like, that's what it's like.

Me: And you got the Crystal Method to write the music for it? I know that band name from somewhere... they were a music act from the 90s, right?

Fran: Yeah, Scott Kirkland from the Crystal Method who we hired. He did the music for "Bones," he did Fast and Furious 7, and all kinds of cool movies. He loved it, man. We found out Quiet Riot was his favorite band growing up which is hard to believe considering his music was all EMD. With the Jason Newsted scene if you pay attention and go back to watch it you'll hear a bass line playing when he's talking about the tears and the newspaper and when you're making a move you put in temp music so I just put in "Orion" from "Master of Puppets" in there and Scott asked me did I had to put in that as temp music because now he had to think of something that was equally as good and that's impossible. But he said to give him the weekend and he'll see what he could do. He doesn't play bass and he had to wrap his head around this. So, Monday I wake up and in my DropBox was the scene all cut with the music on it and every hair on my body just rose. I was like wow. I asked him how he did this and he said one of his best friends is Justin Chancellor from Tool and he had him come in and play this and helped him arrange it. I'm like what? The bass player from Tool is playing on my film. So, I called Jason Newsted right away and told him to check his email as I just sent him this scene. He wanted to get Justin's phone number as he wanted to call him himself. They became fast friends after that which was amazing.

Me: With documentaries like this I am sure in getting clearance for songs was hard. Dd you have a problem?

Fran: With Jay Graydon, everyone knows him from his solo in "Peg," by Steely Dan if you were paying attention and saw it you probably didn't notice that's not Steely Dan's version of "Peg." We got the publishing cleared and I'm sure you know this, there are two sides of music... the publishing parts which goes to the songwriters and there's the master which is the actual physical album. So, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen cleared the master for us but the label said nope. We already had the scene cut, spent thousands for archival photos and everything else and now we were being told no. Some of the producers blew my mind, wanted to use a karaoke version and I was like absolutely not. First of all those is a music documentary and Steely Dan, there's going to be musos watching and they wanted to put something that sounded like polka music? So, I called Jay and said we have a red flag alert use here. I told him we cannot clear the masters. I asked him if he thought he could record this thing and do it justice. He said for me to give him a week and we charted out it out and put everything together. What you hear in Hired Gun is Jay Graydon's re-record of "Peg." I challenge anybody to listen to it and say that's not Steely Dan's version. He used the same guitar and the same amp that he used 40-years-ago. Just mind blowing, man.

Me: I have to ask this, why do you think Richard Patrick was such a prick with his band Filter as he thought he was treated in Nine Ince Nails?

Fran: Well, I think in talking to him, there was no manipulation in editing in that scene by the way, to me at least he's upfront with his band. He tells them upfront they're not gonna make any money, they're gonna sleep on the bus... he's telling them upfront and maybe when a guy gets in like in any relationship he says I can change him or I can change her, but he ain't gonna change. I don't think Trent did that to him so he's giving his band the respect and courtesy by telling them upfront it's not gonna happen.

Me: He still seemed like a prick. I wouldn't work with him. You worked with Dolly Parton... did you ever meet her husband? Haha.

Fran: Never. She has told me he exists so I have to believe her. She's one of the sweetest people in the world but I never met him. I've never seen Dolly out of character. I've spent weeks with this woman in Europe. Two full weeks and every waking moment she is Dolly Parton. With the make-up, heels, hair and and everything else. By the way, she's awesome!

Me: Great! Thanks, Fran, for putting out a really good movie. Please come back when the next doc come out. Go ahead and mention your website.

Fran: I will. Thanks, Jason.

Me: Cool. Take care, and great job.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile, Thanks to Fran for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with Kristy Majors from Pretty Boy Floyd. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pheaturung Kristin Rebecca

Hey there, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? Wow. There's sooo many stories I could tell about the Florida shooting. This is gonna be depressing, so hang in there, kids. Rather than extending empathy to the survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, a particularly gross corner of the Internet has waged psychological war on the teens of Stoneman Douglas High School by accusing them of being actors and undermining their cries for gun reform. One such offender is the hedge fund manager and editor-in-chief of the alt-right publication "The Washington Reporter," Jacob Wohl. When Wohl tweeted a moot point about how guns protect citizens from government tyranny, Stoneman Douglas High School junior Sarah Chadwick was quick to shut him down. "Remember that period in American history when people were crushed by the government and marched off to camps? Neither do I. That's because we have the Second Amendment," Wohl wrote. In a few pithy words, Chadwick was quick to correct his statement by alluding to the Japanese interment camps of the 1940s. "Someone obviously didn't pay attention in U.S. history class..." Chadwick wrote. Her followers were quick to pile onto Wohl's misguided assertion that individual gun ownership protects citizens from being overpowered by one of the largest military forces in the world. While other divulged indicting information about Wohl himself. If the trolls know what's good for them, they'll put down the mantle and admit they've finally met their match with these fiery teens.
On Wednesday, while convening with those affected by last week's shooting in Florida, president Trump suggested teachers be given guns in order to prevent future school shootings. His proposal has already received explicit backlash from people of all walks of life, including a combat expert who ripped apart Trump's argument for arming teachers. Fittingly, now teachers themselves have decided to jump into the conversation. The trending hashtag #ArmMeWith features teachers from across the country suggesting which weapons they'd prefer to be armed with over guns. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for a teacher hovers around $55,000 per year, which means roughly half the teaching population receives less than this annually. To add to that, teachers nationwide are burdened with the out-of-pocket costs of school supplies. Not to mention, the exorbitant rents and lack of support for teachers in need of childcare. All this is to say, it's unsurprising that teachers are pushing for better access to updated supplies and resources, not weapons. Many of the teachers emphasized that adding guns to the classroom would make it feel less safe for all parties involved. Instead, they opted for more comprehensive on-campus counseling, and tools to help curb any emotional issues students are dealing with. Again, as many aptly pointed out, teachers are trained to teach... not shoot. Amen, to all of this.
Professional trolls (they prefer the more politically correct term, Fox News hosts) have met their match in the teen survivors of the Parkland school shooting. These teens are angry, Internet savvy, and witty, too... which is blowing right-wingers' minds so much they're insisting that the kids are actually actors. But the kids are real, and they're spectacular. Stoneman Douglas High School junior Sarah Chadwick tweeted this excellent burn of Marco Rubio, who after receiving $3 million from the National Rifle Association, stands firmly on the side of the guns over the children.

KABOOM. Fox News host and soccer mom who might have put razor blades in those apples Laura Ingraham was absolutely AGHAST to hear someone other than Trump talk about Liddle Marco this way.

"WELL I NEVER!" she said, clutching her pearls. Well, Sarah has a fact-check for you, Laura.

She deleted an earlier tweet, but it said, "Someone said Laura Ingraham was a discount Ann Coulter, and I haven’t stopped thinking about that since." People joined Chadwick in roasting Ingraham. How dare someone lower the discourse on such a day! Surely Ingraham is more sophisticated. People have helpful advice for adults who don't want to get burned by teens... Surely Ingraham must not resort to petty insults against her opponents!

Well, I guess not. Let's talk about something else for a minute...
The man of many words and few editors is at it again. The Republican darling Ted Cruz is getting slammed for his lack of pop culture finesse after attempting to make a Simpsons joke during his speech at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference. "The Democrats are the party of Lisa Simpson. And Republicans are happily the party of Homer and Bart and Maggie and Marge," Cruz quipped, with the naive confidence of someone who misunderstand the whole point of "The Simpsons." Given the fact that Lisa was presented as the intelligent voice of reason, and Homer was pitched as the ultimate roast of American entitlement and anti-intellectualism, many people found Cruz's statement painfully on-the-nose. The obvious gap between the intention of the slack-jawed Republican's Simpson joke, and his accidental self-roast only fueled the fire of Twitter users across the land. At one point, "The Simpsons" show-runner Al Jean came for Cruz's head. If his past behavior serves as any type of indicator, it's unlikely Cruz will glean anything from this public roasting. However, this does present a rare moment where Simpsons fans of all political stripes agree with the Republican on something.
A man named In Young Lee was subjected to being called a racist slur on a Taco Bell receipt. It's ridiculously upsetting that stuff like this still happens, but here we are. In a lengthy Facebook post, Lee wrote that he went to Taco Bell with some friends for a late-night snack. He explained that he gave the cashier the name Steve, because he's found it's easier for both him and cashiers if he gives a white sounding name instead of his own. But when he got his food, Lee noticed that he was listed as Steve Chink.

Young Lee He confronted the cashier, who lamely tried to explain that there were other people named Steve working in the kitchen, so he had to differentiate. That makes no sense and also is completely unacceptable. The cashier defended his action at first, but eventually relented and apologized. But then Lee heard the cashier and several other employees cracking jokes in the back, and he heard him using that word again. Lee stormed over to the counter and called out the cashier, which was the manager's cue to get involved (although, honestly, he should have been involved earlier). The manager also apologized, but then blamed Lee for "snatching [his] food" off the counter. Lee wrote, "When he attempted to condemn me, people in the restaurant started to berate both the manger and the cashier, which led him to apologize and finally admit that they were in the wrong. I thought incidents like this only happen in the news and never expected it to happen to me but I guess it really does happen in the real world. Normally I would let things like this go but under the current political climate I find it very important to address such issues and voice them loudly and clearly. #putanendtoracism #iamnotachink." Is this the worst Taco Bell in America? It's gotta be right up there.
Okay, I said a few moments ago that teachers are listing the weapons they'd like to be armed with. Well, in the next few weeks I'll be showing you some pics of what teachers want.

Hey, do you remember Karl Weezer? I don't, but this is him now...

Feel old yet? So, I was thinking about getting a new tattoo and there's a few ideas I have in mind. This is NOT one of them...

Ugh! I apologize for thar pic. I just realized what the tattoo was on. So, a lot pf people don't know if Disney's Goofy is a dog or a man. Well, Disney has decided to revamp Goody and settle the debate once and for all...

Gawsh. Haha. If I had a TARDIS I would like to go to Hastings in England to the beach. But knowing my luck that would be the day a German World War I submarine would wash up the shore. Yep. That really happened.

So, the other day I was supposed to Google "Black History Month" and instead Googled "Black History Moth" and this is what I got...

If you're having a bad day it can't be as bad as the guy this happened to...

I would be soooo upset if that happened to me. Well, today is the last day of the Olympics. Some Olympians were worth watching because they are so attractive. Like U.S. bobsledder Aja Evans...

Well, as you know I live in Florida and there's some things that happen in Florida that happen no where else in the Universe. So, here once again is...

A former server at an Outback Steakhouse in Florida claims she was fired after she posted a Facebook rant about not getting a tip on a $735 takeout order. Tamlynn Yoder, the waitress, says the order was for 25 steak dinners, 25 chicken dinners and 25 side orders of potatoes, and came from a local megachurch, Christ Fellowship Church in Palm Beach Gardens, where a conference was being held. In the time it took to put the huge order together, she missed out on other possible tips from tables in the restaurant. Speaking to the "Palm Beach Post," Yoder, 25, said, “We take the order over the phone, we put the order together, take payment and then take order to the car. It’s a lot of work just as much as serving.” Yoder told WSVN-TV, “I brought it out, put it in the car. We received the payment. There was no gratuity. I got upset. I posted a post on Facebook about the church not leaving a gratuity tip.” She added, "Coming in to eat or takeout, you should automatically be wanting to tip 15 percent. From there, you either go up or down based on service." Apparently a friend of Yoder's saw the post and called the church to complain. But it turns out the whole problem was simply that the person picking up the food didn't realize he or she had to leave a tip. So a representative from the church called the restaurant in an attempt to make things right with Yoder. However, Yoder was fired from Outback. As it happens, the restaurant has a strict policy against their workers posting anything about customers on social media, reports WSVN-TV. On top of that, Outback gave the church back its money for the order, even though the church was apologizing for their error. Church official David Lonsberry told the "Palm Beach Post," “We did not call the restaurant to have her fired, we wanted to get the situation resolved." Well, it's been resolved, but probably not to the satisfaction of Yoder.

That's a dumb Mindphuck. If you spot it let me know. So, something happened at the parkland school shooting and a friend of the Phile has something to say about it. He's a singer, patriot and renaissance man. You know what time it is...

Happy Sunday, pluckerz. An armed, uniformed deputy was in position less than a minute after the Parkland school shooting began. He was right outside the building where the shooting started. He never attempted to enter the building and stayed outside... safe and sound as 17 people were murdered. What kind of coward does this? I worked as a school security officer for several years. I would never have even considered placing my safety over that of young lives in harm’s way. What the fuck? This guy is a useless sack of flesh and not fit to be a door greeter at Walmart. I heard he was suspended without pay and has now resigned his position. This piece of shit had ONE job to do... and he failed miserably at it. Scott Peterson is nothing more than a coward with a badge and a gun. A disgrace to the uniform. Fuck him.

Ha! Okay, so, a "friend" of the Phile has something to say about Trump and the Florida shooting. So, once again, here is...

Sarah: Oh, my darling, oh, my darling, oh my daring Clementine. Hello, Jason.

Me: Hi, Sarah. A week ago Trump tweeted this...

Me: WTF what he thinking?

Sarah: Just because the FBI failed to act on a tip about the Parkland shooter because they were busy with the investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia doesn't mean that Trump thinks the FBI failed to act on a tip about the Parkland shooter because they were busy with investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Me: Did he think about what he was tweeting?

Sarah: I think he’s making the point that we would like our FBI agencies to not be focused on something that is clearly a hoax in terms of investigating the Trump campaign and its involvement.

Me: A hoax? You telling the independent FBI what they should investigate is borderline obstruction of justice.

Sarah: Ummmm... can I go now?

Me: Sure. I have to talk about Trump anyway. Sarah Huckleberry Hound Sanders, everyone.

Whoever was in charge of keeping Donald Trump away off Twitter the other night did a bad job, and the President sent out this tweet...

Wow. There's a lot to unpack here, starting with the fact that CNN says the whole "CNN providing scripted questions to the participants" thing is, in itself, not true. Here's what happened... On Wednesday night, as you probably know, CNN held a nationally televised town hall with the parents and classmates of the victims of the tragic Parkland, Florida school shooting that had occurred one week earlier, claiming 17 lives. Colton Haab, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who helped dozens of students get to safety during the shooting, told media on Wednesday that he was invited to appear on the town hall but that when he stated that he wanted to talk about adding more armed guards to the school, CNN changed its mind. He told WPLG, "CNN had originally asked me to write a speech and questions, and it ended up being all scripted. I don’t think that it’s going to get anything accomplished. It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have." But CNN responded responded in a statement, saying, “There is absolutely no truth to this. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever." The statement continued, "After seeing an interview with Colton Haab, we invited him to participate in our town hall along with other students and administrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Colton’s father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected." A source for CNN told Huffington Post that the town hall would give participants a chance to ask a question, but that Haab wanted to read an "extensive" speech. After the network said he couldn't read the whole speech, Colton's father, Glenn Haab, reportedly decided that his son would not be participating. Speaking to HuffPost, Glenn Haab said that a CNN producer had told him his son's speech (which apparently had an opening statement and three questions, as well as closing remarks) was "too long." In response, Glenn Haab said he told the producer that Colton wouldn't read "one short question" because there was other "extremely relevant" background information that he wanted the audience to know. So that's the whole story. And what the President tweeted is a different story altogether. The man who calls everyone and everything Fake News just tweeted Fake News of his own.

The 76th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

The author, Howard Kaylan will be the guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Nanette Fabray 
October 27th, 1920 — February 22nd, 2018
There are few things less inspiring than scandal-free elderly celebrities.

Billy Graham 
November 7th, 1918 — February 21st, 2018
He's number 7 on Gallup's List of the Most Admired People of the 20th Century... one spot ahead of the Pope. That's gotta piss SOMEBODY off.

Today's pheatured guest is a singer and musician whose new CD "Tales, Trials, Truths," is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. Please welcome to the Phile... Kristin Rebecca.

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

Kristin: Hi! Thank you for having me. I’m doing really well!

Me: Where are you from? I wanna say Ireland as some of your music is very Celtic sounding, but you're American, right?

Kristin: I have Irish heritage, but I’m born and raised in the states. Currently, I live in Maryland.

Me: You did spend some time in Ireland... what were you doing there?

Kristin: I went there with my parents for a vacation a couple years ago. We got to visit Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, the Rock of Cashel and the Aran Islands. I found the trip so inspirational I recorded a concept album around the folklore. The album’s called “Where Fairies Dwell.”

Me: I enjoyed your latest album "Tales, Trials, Truths," Kristin. Where did that title come from?

Kristin: All songs on the album are stories from my life, lives of those around me and stories from past events I’ve heard about on my travels that happened decades ago. Some of the stories take you on the highs of life, other the lows, but all are true. When thinking about all those different descriptions I came up with three words I thought best described the album as a whole, and that was “Tales, Trials, Truths."

Me: You have been making music for a while now, right? Did you start songwriting and playing music young?

Kristin: I’ve been full time for about six years. I first got into music in middle school and wrote a few songs as a pre-teen, but decided I wasn’t any good as a songwriter. I started writing again at eighteen and felt much more confident about my abilities.

Me: You play harp and guitar... which is cool. Not a lot of people play harp nowadays I think. Which instrument came first, Kristin, and which one is the easiest to play?

Kristin: Harpists are somewhat of an endangered species. I started with the guitar at the age of twelve and then took up folk harp at fifteen. Both have technical challenges you have to overcome but I have found that the harp comes to me more naturally.

Me: Do you play both on stage?

Kristin: Yes, I switch back and forth between the two, depending on the song.

Me: I noticed you play harp sitting and standing... does it depend on the song, or how you have to play it?

Kristin: It depends on the performance setting. Sometimes the venue is really intimate and standing feels way too formal. Sitting makes it feel like you and the audience are one. On a bigger stage it’s better to stand because people can see you better.

Me: When you write do you write on guitar or harp?

Kristin: Typically, I write my melodies on the harp, then decide whether the song will be a song with a harp backing or a guitar backing. After I make the decision I’ll move to that instrument and work on the backing.

Me: What do you write first? Lyrics or melody?

Kristin: Most of the time I start with the lyrics and then write a melody, but occasionally a hook will pop into my head and I’ll build the rest of the lyrics around it.

Me: Do you play guitar and harp on the new album?

Kristin: I do! I play guitar on nine of the tracks and harp on eight of the tracks.

Me: I have to ask you about some of the songs on the new album... the single is "Can I Be Honest." Shouldn't that have a question mark. Haha. Anyway, what is the inspiration behind that song?

Kristin: LOL! It probably should. When I first told people that I had written a new song they would ask me the title, and I’d tell them, “Can I Be Honest.” They would answer “yes,” not realizing it was the title. I wrote the song about that moment when you are about to tell someone you like them, but you aren’t sure if they like you back. It can be a difficult conversation since you aren’t sure how the person will respond.

Me: I like the song "Wackos and Weirdos." You must have written that song about people you have come across. The line "super hero wannabes" made me laugh. Who is this song directed at, Kristin? I might fall into that category.

Kristin: LOL. I’m sure you don’t fall into the category. I wrote it after I went on a string of bad dates with different men. These were the kind of dates that would feel like you’ve been there for three hours and it had only been twenty minutes. The chorus talks about the different problems I faced.

Me: Another song I have to ask you about is "Night in Santa Monica." Is that a true story, Kristin?

Kristin: I wish it was! It was originally titled “Night in Atlantic City” because I wrote it for a New Jersey songwriting contest, and they said if you wrote a song about New Jersey you were more likely to win. It didn’t end up winning, but I wanted to use the song on my album, “Tales, Trials, Truths.” When I showed it to my co-producer, he said that he liked the song, but asked if I could think of a city more romantic then Atlantic City. I wanted to keep my chorus, so I thought about what cities had the same syllable count as Atlantic City, and I decided on Santa Monica. I changed a few words of the verses and got the song you heard today.

Me: I see you travel and play a lot! What is the best part of being on the road?

Kristin: I love traveling! If I could be on the road all year I would. It’s great to visit different places and get to meet people! I typically travel with my dad so if we can visit historical sites in the area where I’m performing we do. Also, as we drive we look to see what interesting sites we are passing. The person not driving looks up the history around the place we pass on their phone. One of the most recent places we passed the Georgetown Steel Mill.

Me: Your parents must be proud of your success am I right?

Kristin: Yes, they tell me that all time which makes me so happy! They have also been really supportive during this whole journey, which means the world to me.

Me: As well as performing your own material you have recorded a few covers, am I right? Are there any covers on this new album?

Kristin: I tend to cover songs that I wish I wrote and from lyricists I really admire. There are two covers on my new album. The first is “Blame it on the Moon” by Mike Batt and the second “Ready for the Storm” by Dougie Maclean. Both songs spoke to me lyrically and musically and I also wish I had written them.

Me: I was thinking "Let's Dance" was gonna be a cover of the David Bowie song. Who are your inspirations music wise, Kristin? Did you grow up listening to a lot of teen pop? Madonna, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC?

Kristin: I listened to some pop growing up like NSYNC, Mandy Moore and Jessica Simpson, and my parents got me listening to a lot of music from the 60s and 70s. Some of my favorite artists were The Allman Brothers Band, Carole King, John Denver, and Joan Baez. These artists also inspire me both lyrically and musically to this day. I was also listening to CCM singer Rich Mullins. Rich Mullins was one of my main inspirations on how to incorporate a unique instrument like the harp into modern sounding music. While he wasn’t a harpist he did play hammered dulcimer and used it as a main instrument in many of his songs.

Me: When you are not making music what do you do for fun? I saw pics of you dressed up in medieval kinda dress like this one...

Me: Do you spend a lot of time at renaissance fairs? Your music would kinda fit for there I imagine.

Kristin: It is fun to dress up! The pictures you saw are from when I perform at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. I also play at fairy festivals as well.

Me: Cool. Okay, so, you're pretty young, Kristin, when you are not making music or playing what do you do for fun?

Kristin: When I am not making music, I like to write stories, go to movies, have a meal with friends, exercise and volunteer.

Me: Kristin, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Mention your website and please come back when your next project comes out, will you? All the best.

Kristin: Thank you! I really appreciate your giving me this opportunity. You can visit my website at I will definitely let you know about upcoming projects. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Me: You too. Thanks, Kristin.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and Kristin Rebecca. The Phile will be back tomorrow with documentary filmmaker Fran Strine. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker