Saturday, July 01, 2006

Uncle step

Welcome back to a newborn babe quarter final Dr. Who strewn Chriswasanon!

So ok. Today you have 2 posts for one. You can read my ramble or cut straight to the meat of the blog with Tina's latest transcriptural post. That is up to you.

The good good news concerns my other and better half's daughter, Shani being delivered safely of a little girl, so could things be better? Shani was admitted to hospital 8 days ago and so it has been a long anxious stop start week. At this morning we got the call that was all was well! So today is/was/will be the day and what with the Dr's assistant Rose Tyler being killed off in Dr. Who and the England v. Portugal quarter final, there is much to look forward to.

Tina has as ever an interesting post for you. In summation. Staying power courtesy of V1agra, the taste of goat is not like chicken, the Stranglers IV. Ah well if the new Stranglers album is half as good as the last one, "Norfolk Coast," then we are in for a treat. Hugh Cornwell has been gone a long time now.

Myspace Steve News. He's a joker - or three. Of course too today is the day when Mr. Jones is going live with the Filth and the Fury somewhere in California. Why should I care? I live in Scotland but for those of you need to know - ah yes the LA film festival that's where.

So if England beat Portugal, they will be 2 matches away from the World Cup. "If," such a small word but in this much hangs on it. I was chatting with my neighbour in the flats er apartments...

"So who do you think is going to win?"

"Coup d' etat Chris."

"Oh, yeah?"

" I was in the pub the other night and they were asking, "who do you think is gonnae win the World Cup noo then?"

"When I answered there...was... a... dead.... silence."

Cwa would like to say that standing in the "Galloway Arms" saying that you think England are going to carry off the trophy, when all around you would rather see the Ougadougoo township eleven or anyone RATHER than Sven's boys, well that ain't the most sensible way to get a free pint now, is it? Brave heart!



Tina IS at the controls!

Friday, June 30, 2006

From June 28 - The Fixx

Cy Curnin and Jamie West-Oram of The Fixx visit The Box

Steve: In the studio, we have The Fixx.

Cy and Jamie: Good afternoon Steve and people.

Hello, hello, hello.

Steve: How are you.

Cy and Jamie: Alright.

Good, just waking up.

Steve: You just got in…when’d you get in to L.A.

Cy: A couple of days ago. Yeah, a couple of days.

Steve: From Maida Vale? Where’d you come here from?

Cy: He came from London, I came from France.

Steve: You live in France?

Cy: Yeah.

Steve: Where, in Paris?

Cy: No, in the (sounds like luar) Valley. Close to the cheap wine as possible.

Steve: Is that…in the country?

Cy: Yeah. I just got an old, bought an old…

Steve: Chateau?

Cy: No. An old, crappy farm, derelict farm that I’ve thrown all my money into and it’s still derelict and I’m broke. (laughs)

Steve: You getting it fixed up?

Cy: Yeah, it’s good.

Steve: Is it nice out there?

Cy: Yeah, its great.

Steve: What’s the weather like in the winter?

Cy: It’s um, it can be the hottest part of France, it can be the coldest part of France cos it’s right in the middle so the weather stalls out. We’ve got some sheep out there…so they’re nervous when I’m home.

Steve: Bud-dum-bum. (rim shot)

Cy: Bum. And it’s all good.

Steve: You have Wellington boots, then?

Cy: Yeah.

Steve: Put their back feet in the wellies.

Cy: Exactly, so they don’t run away. You know that one?

Steve: (slyly) Yes, I had a go at that. (laughs)

Cy: So, I found a goat there that was a little taller in the back and I don’t have to bend down as much now.

Steve: Goats are kind of dangerous.

Cy: Mmm hmm. I married a goat, actually.

Steve: They can be violent, goats.

Cy: They can be, but if you’re nice to them and write now and then, send flowers, they’re all right.

Steve: What…do you really have a goat?

Cy: Yeah, I have two.

Steve: Now, what do you use them for, to clean areas?

Cy: Yeah. To annoy me, when the roses just coming in and looking beautiful, they come along and eat them.

Steve: Yeah. I mean…what is the purpose of the goat? Well, the milk, they have goat milk, right?

Cy: And it’s meat, source of meat for a lot of…in rugged countries, Greece, the islands, they didn’t have any fields so it was an animal that could feed itself and go up and down the mountains and live quite healthy and then when you needed some meat…chop.

Steve: I’ve never had that…goat. I never had that.

Cy: Jamaicans love goat meat and I know that…

Steve: Have you ever tried it?

Cy: Yeah, it’s delicious.

Steve: What’s it taste like? Goat?

Cy: Goat. Yeah. (laughter) You know the smell of goat cheese? It’s got a slight, like, you know pork has a certain “pork” flavor? Well, it doesn’t taste like chicken. It’s one of the few meats that doesn’t taste like chicken, thank god.

Steve: Right, okay. Everything else…chicken. Even snake tastes like chicken.

Cy: Exactly, so you know, what’s the point. We have those goats and it’s very creative.

Steve: I always got the horn…(for? from?) goats.

Cy: buddum bum.

Steve: So you’re here from France and, where do you live, in London?

Jamie: Well, actually I live in Hampshire.

Steve: All right.

Jamie: So it’s posh.

Steve: I see. You’re a squire.

Jamie: With my lovely missus, yeah…and our son.

Steve: All right, Squire.

Jamie: Yeah, country bumpkins.

Steve: You must have Wellingtons as well, living up there.

Jamie: Must have what?

Steve: Wellington boots.

Jamie: Wellies, yeah.

Steve: Okay.

Jamie: Most people have green Wellies ‘round there.

Steve: And the oilskin jackets.

Jamie: A lot of people do have things like that and they have Range Rovers and things I don’t go in for…

Cy: People have green teeth where I am.

Steve: In France?

Jamie: Green Wellies, yeah. These people walk around in wooden clogs.

Steve: The French. They’re dirty sods ain’t they?

Cy: They’re nice.

Steve: Hairy armpits.

Cy: They don’t hate Americans as much as you’d think either.

Steve: What is that myth, anyway?

Cy: It’s just you know, CNN bollocks where they’ve just perpetrated the myth to keep people hating.

~~~ ~~~

Steve: What’re you actually doing here? You got…a new album out and you got a DVD, right?

Cy: Yep.

Steve: You’ve got a new album, “The Fixx, The 25th Anniversary”. Oh, it’s an anthology.

Cy: It’s not really “new”.

Steve: Any new stuff on it?

Cy: No. The new stuff’s available on download at the moment. We’ve just been…we have such trouble going into a studio (laughs) we can ever get it together to record anything but playing ‘em live is…seems to be the way to go, you know?

Steve: Yeah.

Cy: So you get a document of how the song’s progressing by live recordings.

Steve: The Fixx dot com.

Cy: Fixx dot com, that’s where it’s all happening.

Steve: Where all your info is.

Cy: Yeah.

Steve: And you can download stuff from there.

Cy: Yeah. You can go through there, that will link to everything that you need to know.


Cy: Um hmm.

Steve: Okay, cool. And you’ve got this DVD, “The Fixx In The Public Eye”.

Cy: “In The Public Lavatory”.

Steve: Yes. With Jason King. And this is…home footage from fans? Or is there any legit camerawork as well?

Cy: No, there’s no “legit” camerawork, there’s all, fans filming over a period of nine months and then they sent all the stuff in and we had it professionally edited by a guy that works at ABC, Andrew, put it together…fairly watchable condition, but it’s a good…you know, you get the smell, the dressing room, rather than the, just the front stage stuff.

Steve: Have you guys not played for a long time? Was there a period where you just, knocked it on the head?

Jamie: We’ve been playing pretty regularly over the last few years.

Steve: Yeah?

Cy: We stopped like, ’92 to ’96, just because…(we) felt tired and there were a lot of babies being born so it was just a good time and radio was really going grungy at that point so anything that was from the Eighties was like, taboo. Then they threw the baby out with the bathwater and now everyone kind of gone, gone back, “Oh, maybe there was some pretty original stuff in that period.” I mean, not all of it was good, there was a lot of crap, granted, in the Eighties, cos the whole visual side of things made it look like…

Steve: Right, right. Shoulder pads.

Cy: Yeah, god…what were we thinking? But some of the songs, though…

Steve: There was some good songs in the Eighties.

Cy: Yeah. You don’t have to look at it. You should just listen to it, it’s all right.

Steve: Exactly. There’s a whole new generation who’ve never heard it.

Cy: Yeah. I mean, there’s kids coming along to our concerts saying to me, “Where’s that suit?” (laughs) I don’t fit in that suit anymore and it’s mothballed now.

Steve: Yes. But you are going to do a new song right now, yes?

Cy: Yeah, going to fumble our way through it.

Steve: What is this song called?

Cy: It’s called, “Remember Me When I’m Gone”.

Steve: Okay. I’m going to play my stardust shakers on it.

Cy: Play your knackers.

Steve: Yes.

Cy: All right, then. We’re gonna crack it off…

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

(back from 4th set of songs, which included a song by BeBop Deluxe)

Steve: You big fans of Bill Nelson?

Cy: Oh, yeah. Absolutely right. He was a great sort of, halfway house in the early Seventies. He was like…the guy that gave that music a real serious tonic, he had a sort of a Celtic vibe to him and which, in a big country was more the popular side of that sound…but he’s (got) a really good set of fingers, doesn’t he?

Steve: Yeah, very good and he looked good back then. I don’t know what he looks like now, but I remember seeing him at the Fulham Greyhound. Seeing BeBop Deluxe…did you ever go down to Fulham Greyhound?

Cy: Yeah, we used to play there.

Jamie: Yeah. My first gig with you was there.

Cy: Yeah, it was. I remember that very well.

Steve: Really. I saw so many bands there. Great place.

Cy: It was great in those days. Golden Lion in as well, Fulham. That was pretty good for seeing things. Now you go past there, I cry every time I drive past it.

Steve: What is it now?

Cy: Just one of those corporate pubs. Lots of brass everywhere and karaoke and…

Steve: Football games and sports bars. It’s so depressing, innit?

Cy: It’s gone pear shaped.

Steve: Aussie “Outback” place or something.

Cy: In those days, you never knew what you were going to stumble on.

Steve: Right.

Cy: You know, a lot of the time it was crap, but every now and then it was just genius and you’d see somebody…like, one minute there’d be four people in the audience and then, two weeks later, you couldn’t get in. It was jammed. It was like, you know, when you guys took off.

Steve: Remember the Clarendon in Hammersmith? The other side of where the Hammersmith Odeon - which is now the Apollo - ‘round the other side, there was a boozer ‘round there called The Clarendon. It’s abandoned now. I remember seeing The Stranglers in there. They were a great band, you know…they never get any credit, Stranglers.

Cy: Really good writing. They’ve just put out a new record, they’ve got a new record that’s actually really good. Gary was playing it to me the other day.

Steve: Some other bloke’s singing though, right? Its not Hugh Cornwell.

Cy: No, it’s somebody else. He’s not a bad singer, though.

Steve: I loved, I loved Hugh Cornwell. I thought he wrote some brilliant songs.

Cy: Yeah.

Steve: So, you’re…how old are you? You’re kind of the same age as me? I’m fifty.

Cy: Yeah, I’m forty-nine.

Jamie: Yeah, I’m fifty-two.

Steve: And you lived in London, back in like Seventy, early Seventies?

Cy: Yeah, grew up there. World’s End, all that stuff, you know.

Steve: So you went to all the pub…on the pub circuit. Do you remember The Winkies?

Cy: The Winkies?

Jamie: Yeah, I used to play with Phil Rambo (sp?)

Steve: Exactly. And the guitar player kind of had that Keith Richards thing going, remember? Did you you ever see him? He had like, the (?), he had like a Keith Richards thing…

Jamie: I never saw The Winkies. I just worked with Phil Rambo after that.

Steve: They were a great band, The Winkies. Them, and Dr. Feelgood were like, the main bands at that point. They were the like, the two bands that you had to go and see. Remember the Kensington…down that long road across the street from Olympia?

Cy: Yeah.

Steve: I used to see them there all the time.

Cy: That was good and there was that other one, that Fuller’s place on…

Jamie: Oh, The Nashville.

Cy: The Nashville.

Jamie: That was a great…I lived ‘round the corner from there.

Cy: How many times I vomited outside of that place.

Steve: I’m with you there. We probably vomited over the same.

Cy: “Do mind if I share this piece of sidewalk?”

Steve: “Please, after you.” “No, after you.” (Cy supplies sound effect) That’s where we played uh, with Joe Strummer. We opened up for the 101ers who Joe Strummer was singing with. And that’s where we had that, on the Melody Maker, that famous picture where we’re all fighting on the stage. That was at The Nashville.

Cy: Yeah yeah. That’s right. I remember that whole era, I was there, tempting my fate and, but we did sort of pierce out…later. We were a later incarnation (by) the time we got our egos sorted out, we were in the Eighties time-frame.

Steve: Yes. But nevertheless, you experienced them good times.

Cy: Yeah, the explosion. Ripping off the glitter to get another kind of expression. It was good.

Steve: I did enjoy…was you, was you into like, glitter when you was like fourteen, fifteen?

Cy: Yeah, I was into early Bowie, definitely. The platform things…

Steve: You had the look going and everything?

Cy: Yeah. Some of my mates at school took it a bit further than I did. They had the whole Bowie haircut and wore the makeup all day long.

Steve: Right, at school and that.

Cy: I couldn’t get past my parents to go to school, cos they used to drive me there so I couldn’t do it, you know.

Steve: Did you ever see that movie, “Velvet Goldmine”?

Cy: No.

Steve: There’s a great, there’s a great scene in it where the kid’s obviously…it’s kind of from what we’re talking about, and that, what’s his name, the actor, who is it…I can’t remember his name. He’s a decent actor…where he’s in the bedroom and he’s got the album cover and he’s like staring at it and he starts kind of playing with himself a little bit. (they laugh)

Cy: I did that, to “Aladdin Sane”.

Steve: Yeah, it’s that kind of…and that was so cool that this, whoever wrote it, obviously had the same experience. But I used to fantasize, not having a wank to it, but…my thing was Roxy Music, Brian Ferry. I always had this image in my head that he was in a penthouse in Knightsbridge in like a tuxedo…I wanted that. That’s what, that’s this fantasy that I thought I wanted, you know. It’s so weird when you’re a kid, the things you think of.

Cy: Yeah, it’s true. That “Aladdin Sane” album just took me, you know and “Lady Grinning Soul”, that last track, how I used to sit and listen to that and just be, my emotions would just be oozing out of me and the fantasy side of…I wonder where the younger…I hope kids today are getting the same thing…they probably are…

Steve: I’m sure they do…

Cy: …there’s just a lot more competition with the video games and the computer games.

Steve: A lot more distractions.

Cy: A lot more A.D.D. around.

Steve: Attention spans not much…

Cy: A lot more doctors writing prescriptions for “diseases” that would go away anyway.

Steve: That’s the problem. I think that is a…major problem in the world.

Cy: Nothing wrong with a wank. Don’t need a pill to stop your wanking.

Steve: Viagra. I still have no problem. I don’t need Viagra. I’m good for at least five minutes.

Cy: That long?

Steve: Yeah. (all laugh) What we doing, Shovel?

Mr. Shovel: Giving it away.

Steve: Oh, we've got the Anthology Fixx cd’s, we’ve got two of them and we’ve got a DVD to give away. Should we just give them away, or do like a little quiz? It’s a bit late, innit?

Cy: You can give them away to that tramp. There’s a tramp that we just saw outside. He had one shoe on.

Steve: What’s he gonna play it on?

Cy: I said to him, “You’ve lost a shoe”, and he goes, “No, I found one!”

Steve: Excellent! Glass half-empty or half-full?

Cy: Yeah. But to the engineer, the glass is just too big.

Steve: Let’s go down and give him another shoe. I’ll give him a good kick up the ass.

Cy: (?)…but you could say it that way.

Steve: Move along. Go on. Sling your hook. Go and bother someone else, you old tramp.

Cy: Take a bath.

Steve: We can go down and sing a song to him. “We’re singing in the rain…”

Cy: Show him your house keys and make yourself feel really good about yourself.

Steve: (laughing) All right, we’re with The Fixx, we’re gonna vis…is that, I think that’s the end of it.

Cy: God, that was quick.

Steve: I was hoping we could do one more song, though.

Cy: That was longer than five minutes.

Steve: (disappointed) I know.

Cy: We could do another song, but then people could just go and download it anyway, if they want to hear some more.

Steve: Well, we’ll give ‘em away to whoever calls up for ‘em. And I guess I’ll be back tomorrow at twelve bells and thanks for coming by, lads.

Cy: Our pleasure, Steve.

Steve: Good luck and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Cy: Lots of flashbacks. Thanks for that.

Steve: Yeah, it was good. It’s a therapy lesson when you come up here.

Cy: It’s all good…

Steve: Exactly. See you tomorrow, boys and girls. Bye bye.

Visit to read more about some classic rock and roll pubs.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

From June 27 with a couple of Minutemen

Steve: You’re listening to Jonesy’s Jukebox on Indie 1031. It’s four minutes after twelve bells. It’s Tuesday, it’s funny old weather still, but at least it’s cooled down a little bit. Ain’t as humid. Um, who we got coming on today, Mr. Shovel?

Mr. Shovel: Mike Watt.

Steve: Mike Watt from The Minutemen. We gonna give anything away?

Mr. Shovel: Yeah, we have tickets to the screening on Saturday.

Steve: What screening’s that, Mr. Shovel?

Mr. Shovel: That is the screening of “Filth And The Fury” at the John Anson Ford Ampitheatre with appearances by Steve Jones, The Like, The Vacation and broadcasting live from six to eight P.M., “Jonesy’s Jukebox”.

Steve: Oh, rully.

Mr. Shovel: You can buy tickets, too. At

Steve: Ten bucks, right?

Mr. Shovel: Yeah.

Steve: Um, what time does it open, does it open at six?

Mr. Shovel: You asked me a question I don’t know the answer to. I’m guessing around six, yeah. But I don’t know, it might be earlier. Information’s on the website.

Steve: Okay. But we wouldn’t think of looking at the website for that information, would we?

Mr. Shovel: Well, this is how you steer people to the website, see.

Steve: Oh, I see. Gotcha. You’re giving away money as well, ain’t we? I heard it. You just got to go on the Indie website.

Mr. Shovel: Goin’ insane.

Steve: …throwing it out the window. Fridges, TV’s, the lot. Indie website. for free electrical appliances. Um, missed the game this morning. Slept like a log. I didn’t, actually. I slept good, woke up ‘bout four, all in my head and then went back to bed and didn’t wake up ‘til nine-thirty. I was well rested, but I kind of woke up and it was like, in the eightieth minute of the Brazil/Ghana game and they were already up, two-nil. I think it ended up being three-nil, wunnit, to Brazil? Apparently, what they were saying, it looked like they give ‘em a good game, though. They made it hard for the Brazilians. So I don’t know if they did or not. But the most exciting news, I’m going to play a song for the ol’ Ghana lot. That’s my new thing. The losers get a song first, then the winners get a song. But, didn’t we get some effects in the house?

Mr. Shovel: Oh yeah. We’ve gone all-out. We’ve gone all-out.

Steve: We got some reverb.

Mr. Shovel: Yeah.

Steve: Let’s hear it. Let me christen it.

Mr. Shovel: Do you want it on the guitar?

Steve: Everything. The lot. I want a Phil Spector wall of sound right now.

Mr. Shovel: Oh, boy.

Steve: (plays his guitar) Listen to that. That almost sounds professional. Let’s see what you’ve got. That’s full-up echo? (continues testing) It was better before. There you go. “Hello, is anybody out there?” Okay let’s christen it. Go on, don’t be shy. There you go, leave it there, yeah. What key is this? (Adds harmonica, starts to play a song, stops) What’s a good chord after that one? Hallo? (starts up again)

Mr. Shovel: “Steve Jones Unplugged At The Superdome”.

Steve: Yeah, that’s what it sounds like.

Mr. Shovel: (joins with melodica)

Steve: (sings)


We’ve got plenty of echo

I think it’s called reverb

It’s makes you sound professional

It sounds like midnight

Midnight Cowboy

I wish it was midnight


Mr. Shovel: See, most stations, they don’t, they don’t get a chance to celebrate these kind of things cos they just take it for granted.

Steve: What do you mean, they already have it?

Mr. Shovel: Yeah.

Steve: I don’t care. Better late than never. I love the way it sounds. Gives you a whole new outlook, now. Although, I won’t kind of…don’t really know what I’m doing because I can’t believe that we actually have it. (plays a nice instrumental bit for a few more seconds)

This is for…(to Mr. Shovel) track two…(Sopranos accent) what’re you doin’ kid? This is for Ghana. Er, track one, sorry. How dare you. This is for Ghana, going home on a jet plane. Take it away.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

(excerpt of interview with members of the band, The Minutemen. Steve mentions the new documentary about their band called, "We Jam Econo")

Steve: You guys have any involvement with the documentary?

George Hurley: In actually making it? Ah, just doing interviews, and such…with Keith. No stunts or anything like that, though.

Steve: Are you a surfer?

George: I used to be, yeah.

Steve: You’ve go that look.

Mike Watt: He gave up surfing to – he made boards – to play drums. He got the “Happy Jack” record and…

George: Uh huh, that was my first record, “Happy Jack”.

Mike: Taught himself the drums.

George: How’d you meet Cookie?

Steve: Cookie? I met Cookie when I was ten years old. I used to walk one way to school and he used to walk the other way and then we both ended up going to the secondary school. I don’t know what you call it here. That was our…

George: Junior High.

Steve: …yeah. And then you go to the other school and then we both went to the same school and we both were skinheads so we both kind of looked similar and we just became…I used to live around the corner from him. I’ve known him since I was ten years old.

Mike: How’d he get on drums?

Steve: Um, he was forced on drums. He, he didn't want to really do it. I just forced him into it cos he was my mate and I didn’t want to do it, didn’t want to be in a band with someone I didn’t know. You know, that was the mentality, when you’re fifteen, sixteen, you know? And, uh, we used to…I stole him a drum kit and he used to practice in his mum’s bedroom.

George: He’s a great drummer though...

Steve: His mum didn’t…

George: She didn’t mind, huh?

Steve: No, she didn’t mind cos she was a little nuts, his mum. So…she was into it.

Mike: Well, D. Boon’s mom was into it, that’s how we got going. He was slammin’ though…song like “Problems”. It’s a good slammin’ groove.

Steve: When you get ol’ Cookie cookin’, he’s all right. He’s all right.

Mike: Cookin’!

Steve: He’s not an orthodox drummer.

Mike: No.

Steve: You know what I mean? But it kind of worked you know, me and him playing together.

Mike: Or, like Mooney. (to George) That’s who you learned from right?

Steve: Exactly. Mooney, and who’s the other one? Ginger Baker.

George: Yeah, well just learn the best way you can. Just listen…

Mike: And charge hard.

George: …and interpret it the best way you can.

Steve: Yeah. I mean, our inspirations, I mean, who we used to, me and Cookie, we used to sit in his bedroom. I was always around his house and he had a record player and all we would listen to was Roxy Music, the Bowie that we talked about, Mott the Hoople…that was, that was our stuff, you know. We had a band, we actually started a band called, “The Strand” because of Roxy Music, you know. We picked Chris Thomas because he produced Roxy Music records. That’s the only reason we picked him to do, “Never Mind The Bollocks”. No other reason. It didn’t make any other sense, you know.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Steve: Did you have a lot of lunatics come to your shows? (they laugh) It was at that time, though. It was at that time when there was a lot of violent, punky kind of stuff going on, right.

Mike: Yeah it was, absolutely.

George: Yeah, it sure was.

Mike: Oh, remember when we played in Vienna? Our first time to Europe, man. I couldn’t believe that. I got hit with a bunch of used rubbers, bags of…

George: Starwood Theatre…that was pretty crazy.

Steve: You lucky guy.

Mike: Cups of urine, bags of tur…cerrote…

Steve: In Vienna?

Mike: Yeah, at the (?) Arena.

George: Kind of scary. That was the first time we went to Europe. So it was kind of scary you know like, “Oh god”.

Steve: That’s kind of…I thought that was a romantic city. Everyone’s on gondolas and stuff.

Mike: Well, there was a second wave…Anti-nowhere League, there was a second wave, it wasn’t the thing you guys were from. It made a rebound cos this was the early Eighties and it got very orthodox and anarchy was not really put in practice (all laugh) and yeah, it wasn’t about letting the freak flag fly, that’s for sure.

Steve: Yeah. You know that city’s slowly sinking.

Mike: Whoa. Oh, Venice.

Steve: Yeah, each year it goes down…

Mike: No, we’re talking, Vienna.

Steve: Oh, where in bleedin’ hell’s that, then?

Mike: It’s the eastern part of Austria.

Steve: Oh…ze GERMANS! NOW it makes sense, throwing the johnnys at ya.

Mike: And used ones, man. That was intense.

Steve: Oh, no. With man-stuff?

Mike: Swim team.

Steve: Eewww!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ed Begley Jr. Visits The Box - updated 6/27
(Happy Birthday, ChrisWas)

There is just time for me to nip in smartish like and thank Tina for her Birthday wishes and say that I've got a scale that Steve didn't sing about. Scalextric!

Yes I saw the last 20 mins of England v Ecuador. The rest of it I had heard on the BBC five live radio stream and the commentator kept saying, "take Beckham off, take Beckham off" then he curled one in. Hah. Don't know about electric cars but I've got an electric bike. It does 20 miles to the charge and it's wheely good. That's enough Sun like puns. Speaking of the Sun I may have recommended the current bun as a possible source for listening to World Cup footie. Well don't. I tried it yesterday and it was pants. I couldn't hear it properly. Mebbe this machine who knows - you could try it.

Forty four today, Forty four today Ee I adio Forty Four today.

And in 1966 Oh no! Oh yes every one sung.

"We won the cup, we won the cup Ee i adio we won the cup."

I love terrace chants.


Tina IS at the controls!

From 6/22/06

Steve: We have in the studio Mr. Ed Begley Jr.

Ed: Jonesy, good to see you.

Steve: How are you, mate?

Ed: Couldn’t be better.

Steve: Do you know that song, “Convoy” (Steve had just played it) do you remember that one? (sings) Convoy…

Ed: Oh, it was like a CB, like a trucker kind of a…yeah

Steve: Exactly, exactly.

Ed: That was a good one, that was one of my favorites back in the day.

Steve: It’s a gas guzzling song.

Ed: Exactly.

Steve: I thought you’d like that one.

Ed: Love it.

Steve: Now, you’d been driving an electric car before there was electricity.

Ed: It’s true, I’ve been driving it a long time. I bought my first electric car in 1970, believe it or not and they’ve been around a lot longer than that. Henry Ford’s wife preferred her electric car to his kerosene-burning – the first ones burned kerosene – but she preferred her cleaner and more quiet electric car to his noisy kerosene vehicle and they’ve been around a while and they’ve certainly come a long way and now with the hybrids we have the best of both worlds. You have a very clean-burning, part of the time internal combustion and electricity in tandem with that and a fraction of the emissions, fraction of the other problems and boy, you’ve got great range. You can go 600 miles in a car.

Steve: I saw the documentary “Who Killed The Electric Car”. I got an advance copy of it and I watched it. I was, I didn’t realize that in the, was it eighteenth century when cars were first invented? (close, one was invented in 1832 by Robert Anderson of Scotland, according to the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles which is currently featuring an exhibit on historical alternative-power vehicles )

Ed: It was…well the first cars, end of the nineteenth century were, and they certainly became more popular in the beginning of the twentieth century, you know when Henry Ford you know, did the assembly line and what have you, they became more inexpensive. His idea was, he wanted to make a car that the people who worked at the car plant could afford…but there were automobiles…

Steve: I didn’t realize some of them were electric back then.

Ed: Yeah, they were electric. There was, I can’t remember the names of them, but there were electric cars over a hundred years ago and they worked pretty well for around-town, for a lot of purposes and that’s what most of the driving is. Most the peoples’ driving is a short distance. That’s the beauty of the electric car and if you charge it as I do, with solar panels or what have you, then you’re making it really clean. You don’t have any power plant emissions. So there’s good ways to do it.

Steve: Do you think people who just go about their lives and don’t care about anything other than paying their bills and all the rest of it, do you think they couldn’t care less about, you know, what you’re promoting? Do you think it’s big battle you’ve got ahead of you?

Ed: Yeah, a lot of people don’t care, I’ll concede that’s true. But a lot of people do care fortunately. A lot of people do want to make a difference, people who could drive any car. People like Owen Wilson, you were talking about or Cameron Diaz or yourself. There’s lots of different cars you could drive and you all chose a Prius. I think that says a lot. But there’s a lot of people who believe the misinformation out there about the Prius, for instance. People say, “I’d like to get one of those hybrids, but I don’t want to plug it in”. Well, you don’t plug it in. That’s the point. “What do you mean? I heard you plug…” No you don’t. “I don’t want to get one of those because the batteries run out in three years.” No, I’ve had mine six years and the batteries are still completely good. I have friends with a pure electric they’ve driven 250,000 miles with the same battery pack. 250K and after 250K, you’ve got to replace the motor in a regular car, that’s big expense. So, I’d love to tell you what it costs for that battery pack, but I can’t because I don’t know anybody who’s worn one out in the Toyota vehicles.

Steve: Now, I actually like the idea of electric, but to me it seems more of a pain in the ass…can they make a battery that lasts so you can go to like, San Francisco or go to New York and not have to worry about keep stopping at these places to charge it? How long does it take to charge it?

Ed: Well, here’s the thing. You know, with any vehicle you got to stop and recharge it with gasoline…but that’s a very short recharge, it takes just a few minutes. You can amend that a bit if you’re a patient person, want to take the time to do a you know, twenty minute charge, there’s the technology with 480-volt service and these huge quick-chargers, you can give a charge to go another 300 miles with the new lithium ion batteries in something in the order of 20 minutes. Now, a lot of people aren’t going to want to take that time. People want to gas and go in three minutes so I understand that. But there are people who are willing to take longer. But having said all that, that’s you know, a niche market, certainly. People are buying these hybrid cars in droves. They are a victim of their own success at Toyota. And so, I think the people at GM, the people working in Flint, Michigan and Detroit would like to have that kind of problem. A six-month waiting list for a car? You don’t have to wait six months for a Hummer or any car, or a Ferrari, you don’t have to wait six months. I mean, you’ve gotta wait for these cars. The wait has diminished a bit cos they’re ramping-up production, but they’ve, they’ve done very well with this car and their bottom line is doing very well with this car.

Steve: I agree…it’s all well and good to like say, “This is what we need to do.” But if it’s true, what everyone’s saying in these documentaries like that one and that Al Gore one, it’s something that seems like something we’re gonna have to do…how long do you think, before…

Ed: Yeah. Well, people are resistant to change, I understand that and that’s part of the thing I liked about the “Who Killed The Electric Car”. They share the blame very well. They don’t say, “Oh, it’s just the oil companies” or “It’s just the car companies”. It’s the California Resources Board, the car companies, the oil companies, the consumers who didn’t really step up to the plate. Now, they were in some ways misguided about what the “plate” was, where it was. They didn’t know where the plate was. We did a poll, I did a personal poll for all the years I drove that GM car. “Hi, Ed Begley here” – there’d be twenty people or two hundred twenty people or a thousand people – “I’d just like to get a show of hands. How many people know I drive an electric car?” Nearly every hand would go up, Jonesy. “How many people know where to get one?” Three hands, out of a thousand or three hundred. I mean, people didn’t know where to get it. If you’ve got a product that people don’t know where to get, you’ve got a problem. Also, if you’re only going to make seven hundred Camaros, you’re going to lose money. You can’t make seven hundred Mustangs and make any money. They didn’t really want to risk and take that bold move of making more cars and so that’s what they’ve done with the hybrids. They made thousands and thousands of them. That was risky in the U.S. They’d already done it in Japan, Toyota had done it in Japan. It was a huge success. There was risk in doing it in Japan. It was such a success there, “Well, let’s see if the Americans will go for this.” They beefed it up a little bit, a little bit bigger internal combustion motor, I think maybe a little bit bigger electric motor, little more beef cos that’s what Americans want and the put it out here. Huge success, right away. Right out of the gate, huge.

Steve: Yeah. “Where’s the beef?”

Ed: Where’s the beef, that’s the question.

Steve: That’s what I want to know.

Ed: That’s what we want to know.

Steve: We’re going to visit The Duke, we’ll be right back with some more insightful information with Ed Begley Jr. You’re listening to Jonesy’s Jukebox, thanks for listening.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Steve: Wasn’t you the drummer in “Spinal Tap”?

Ed: I was! Stumpy Joe Pepys. (sic) It was a high point for me. A small minute of screen time, but I made the most out of it.

Steve: Yeah. Did you enjoy that?

Ed: I did. Still working with Chris Guest. We just did another movie called, “For Your Consideration”. Eugene Levy, Chris Guest, Catharine O’hara, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer…a lot of the “Tap” people and the others from “Waiting For Guffman”, those wonderful, good folks. And, so we just shot a week ago Monday. We did some added scenes a week ago Monday and it’ll be out in October. It’s another one of these you know, Chris Guest improv movies.

Steve: Yeah. Is he a funny guy in real life?

Ed: He’s very funny.

Steve: Does he live out here?

Ed: Yeah, he lives in the L.A. area. He’s great.

Steve: Does he have a Prius?

Ed: Uh, yes he does.

Steve: Good for him.

Ed: He had an EV-1, too. When they were available. He drove one of these.

Steve: I’ve been seeing a bunch of them around lately. The little van ones, with the…”EV” on the side, silver like, little SUV’s?

Ed: Oh, yeah, like a Toyota Rav-4. Is it a RAV-4?

Steve: They’re silver, they have a blue writing “EV” on the side…

Ed: I think that’s the Toyota. I that’s a RAV-4.

Steve: That’s an electric car?

Ed: Pure electric. That’s what I drove here today.

Steve: Well, in that documentary, it said like, everyone was taking them back.

Ed: They were taking them back. They were in the process of crushing those. They were going to end that program at Toyota, but there was a big outcry and a lot of the people involved with the movie, you know, lobbied Toyota to do the right thing and they did, to their credit. They’ve really done the right thing, a lot. Look at these hybrid cars they offer now. Lookit, they’ve got, not just the Prius, they’ve got the Lexus hybrid, they’ve got the Hylander hybrid…so you’ve got a few choices. They’re really leading the way in clean fuels now.

Steve: Do you think GM made a big clanger?

Ed: I think they made a mistake. You know, I wish they had stayed the course with the car. They were lobbying the Air Resources Board to get rid of that mandate. It’s hard, when you tell people what to do…people are very resistant to change. You know, they were told what to do by this law, you know, the Zev (Zero Emission Vehicle) Mandate, the auto companies were. And Toyota was part of that coalition that was opposing it, too. They didn’t want to be told what to do. They wanted the technology to lead the way and they would follow. But you know, people thought, “If we don’t have a mandate, it’s just never going to happen.” But look, the mandate led to these hybrid cars so on it’s face right there, right there, that was the beginning and the end of it. Because of the…mandate, the hybrid cars are here and available and as cheap as they are and as wonderful as they are. So we have them to thank.

Steve: Do you think, do you think it’s already too late?

Ed: Oh, god no. You mean, for like global climate change, or other environmental challenges? No way. That’s the beautiful thing about Al’s movie, about Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. He shows, as I always do whenever I talk about the environment, look at our success stories. Look what we did with ozone depletion. That was going to be a big problem, the way CFC’s were depleting the ozone layer, we turned that around with an aggressive policy phasing out CFC’s. Look what we did with the air in L.A., you know, I grew up here and I’m telling you Jonesy, the Fifties, the Sixties, you couldn’t breathe. Still quite a bit in the early Seventies, mid-Seventies, it was bad but it started to get better in the Seventies with the Clean Air Act and all the other smog control things that they did. From 1970 to date, we have four times the amount of cars in the L.A. basin, we have half the ozone. We should all get a damn medal. You know, we’re headed in the right direction. I’m not saying we have clean air and we should fold up our tents and go home, we’ve still got work to do. But look what we’ve done. You can go out on Mullholland and look, if you remember what it was like in the Seventies, you couldn’t see the other side, the Simi hills, the Verdugo hills. You could stand in the middle of the Valley and not know you’re in a Valley.

Steve: It’s pretty smoggy today, mate.

Ed: Yeah, it is. It’s smoggy today but we have fewer the days…again, I’m not suggesting that we should declare victory and all go home, we’ve got work to do. We vie with Houston and now the San Juaquin Valley for the dirtiest air in the nation, for that unfortunate prize. But still, look what we’ve done. I’m just bringing it up because we can do it. Don’t ever lose heart. It’s not, none of this stuff is beyond a fix.

(Steve asks if there will ever be electric airplanes but Ed doesn’t think there will be, not in our lifetimes. Ed had a movie to shoot in Vancouver and drove up, saving money the production company was paying for his airfare and he was able to keep.)

Ed: All this stuff I’ve done for the environment, Jonesy. The solar panels, the solar hot water, the electric car, the recycled plastic fence, the compact florescent bulbs, energy saving thermostat, the insulation in my house. It’s all been good for my bottom line cos I’m in it for the long haul. I’m not gonna flip this house I live in, I’ve been there since ’88. I’m gonna be there the rest of my days, probably, this little two-bedroom house I have. And so I made it the most efficient…now here’s the, the wonderful side effect is, I can live there for next to nothing cos I don’t have any bills. Not no bills, but I have very low bills, cos of all these things I did. It’s good for the economy. It’ll be good for our economy. Everything we’ve done like that, planning for the long term and…living off the interest rather than the principle, you know, just depleting our natural resources and what have you, we need to be more conservative. That’s the shocking thing, that the democrats have taken this over. I would think this would be a Conservative issue. Conservative, to “conserve”, why wouldn’t you want to conserve some of these things and our precious resources and not blow ‘em all out in some big party like a business and liquidation having a fire sale with all of our natural resources like our timber and what have you. Save ‘em. Live off the interest. The forests have more value standing then they do, cut down. You know, get your trees from a tree farm or make recycled paper from other things. I’ve got this paper I use at home, made from…there’s no trees in it. It’s made from 45% recycled cardboard, it’s made from a percentage agricultural waste and calcium carbonate, which is chalk. It looks like any of this paper right here. Looks like this paper right here, in fact it is this paper. This is the stuff I brought.

Steve: See, we’re way ahead of the game, mate. We’ve got it here. What do you use for toilet paper?

Ed: That? I use recycled toilet paper. Don’t be afraid…it wasn’t toilet paper before, it’s recycled from other things. But I use that for the facial tissue, I use that. I use, when I go for a bike ride, I don’t bring facial tissue, I bring just a cloth, you know, a handkerchief or what have you. Paper towels, all that stuff can be made from recycled stuff. There’s, you know, there’s other ways to get the things that our forest products have been manufacturing for years. There’s other ways that don’t require us to cut down our precious forests that give us oxygen and have, you know, they retain our water for us and prevent erosion. There’s lots of value to a forest, more value standing, I think.

Steve: I got some toilet paper when they first started using recycled toilet paper. It was very scratchy. Maybe they’ve got it down to a fine art now. When if first come out it was very itchy and it wasn’t good on your ass. (laughter)

Ed: You took it for a test drive

Steve: It wasn’t ass-friendly.

Ed: I gotcha. I hear ya.

Steve: But I’m sure it’s better now, innit?

Ed: I think it is.

Steve: Soft?

Ed: That’s all I’ve used for years so I don’t know what the other stuff’s like, to be honest with you. Maybe it is scratchy…that’s all I’ve been buying since I don’t-know-when.

Steve: What made you get into…what was the turning point for you to start being aware of you know, the environment and all that. What was it?

Ed: There were two things. One very positive thing was being a Boy Scout. I was a Boy Scout, so I had some reverence for the outdoors and interest in forests and all that stuff from scouting. The other, negative thing, the negative influence was living in L.A. in the horrible smog. I couldn’t run from here to the other end of this hallway Jonesy, without wheezing-like-this-and I couldn’t breathe. And I’m not an asthmatic now, I wasn’t back then. I just couldn’t breathe cos the smog in the San Fernando Valley was horrible, choking smog and one day in 1970 I went, you know, “Screw it. I know I’m not going to change it overnight, but I’m gonna stop being part of the problem, I’m going to be part of the solution, I’m going to get an electric car. So I got an electric car in 1970 and I drove it. It was a piss-ass little small thing, it was basically a golf cart with a windshield wiper and a horn. It didn’t even have a steering wheel. It had a tiller. It went like, fifteen miles an hour, had a range of about fifteen miles, it was very primitive, but it got me around the Valley and I didn’t have a car, I took the bus for some things, rode my bike, drove the electric car and I’ve been driving electric cars…they were so primitive, I stopped driving them for years and didn’t have a car for a lot of years and then I got into electrics again in 1990 and that’s all I’ve driven for around L.A.. For longer trips, I borrow my wife’s hybrid. You know, we’re a two-car family so we have the luxury of you know, getting anywhere we need with very, very limited pollution you know, with the hybrid and no pollution with the electric car cos as I said, I’m charging it on my solar panels. You know, you can’t make gasoline on the roof of your house. You can make electrons, you know, with solar panels and so I’m making my fuel on the roof of my house and running my house and charging my car.

Steve: Well, there’s a lot of sun to go around. There’s no shortage of sun, is there?

Ed: No shortage of sun. In fact, most parts of the country, there’s very few places like Seattle, maybe Portland, that have so many cloudy days it wouldn’t be worth your while. It turns out, Michigan, “Oh, it’s good for you in California. We can’t do it here in Michigan.” It’s real sunny in Michigan. It’s gets cold, but that’s even better for solar panels. Solar panels lose fifteen percent of their efficiency when they get hot. Like you know, Nevada…New Mexico, California. That kind of heat. Arizona. But there’s a thriving solar business in Michigan. My friend Chad Lampkin runs The Michigan Energy Works there. He sells a lot of solar panels all over there. Throughout the Midwest, there’s a lot of solar throughout the country. It’s a good way to go. I’ve been using it now, since 1990 it’s powered my house. And windpower’s great. I’ve owned a windmill, one of those windmills out in the desert and that’s put out twenty homes’ worth of power since 1985.

Steve: Really?

Ed: Yeah.

Steve: You’d be screwed in London, though. There’s definitely no sun there.

Ed: Yeah, exactly. It wouldn’t work well there. But you know…there’s many places in the country and the world where you can use it. Windpower is very popular now in the UK. They’re putting wind turbines along the coast of Wales, I believe, there now. It’s been very successful there and many other parts of the UK. Wind turbines are quite successful in the UK.

Steve: I have wind power. I’ll give you a sample in a minute.

Ed: Ah, I can’t wait. Did you have the chipped beef beforehand?

Steve: I had the vegetarian platter, yes. We’re here with Ed Begley Jr. We’re gonna visit The Duke and we’re gonna come back with some more good stuff. You’re listening to Jonesy’s Jukebox, thanks for listening.