Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Top Ten Dumbest Named Towns in Pennsylvania

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry that I haven’t been here in six weeks. Part of the reason I haven’t blogged as frequently is that I travel for work quite a bit. A lot of my travel is to Pennsylvania. What I’ve discovered is that Pennsylvania is such a pathetically aspiring red-neck wanna be state that they’ve named a lot of their towns after other more red-necky places. Here are the top ten dumbest named towns in Pennsylvania.

Indiana: Yes, there’s an Indiana, Pennsylvania. One of the top ten most boring states is Indiana, so of course Pennsylvania looks up to Indiana.

Hecktown: Quite obviously, 150 years ago some Quaker religious maven made sure they didn’t name this Helltown. How cool would that be? The zip code would end in 666.

Wind Gap: Is it pronounced Wined Gap or Wind Gap? I know that it’s Wind Gap, but what does that even mean?

Ohio: Yes, there’s an Indiana and an Ohio, Pennsylvania. Again, they chose another boring, redneck state. It’s like Pennsylvania waited until all the other states named themselves and then stole their ideas as if no one would notice. There is also an East Texas town in Pennsylvania. Could they have been more lazy when they picked these names?

Climax: Ok, this isn’t rednecky, but it’s definitely fun. I’m sure the religious zealots in Hecktown probably never visit here.

Egypt: A lot of people don’t know this, but Egypt is the redneckiest of the middle Eastern countries.

Mars: I hate to beat the same drum but Mars is know as the ____ planet? It’s the red planet. The red neck planet.

Scalp Level: I have a feeling that this town was founded by some aging, balding men.

 

Intercourse, PA! As you would imagine, if you’re traveling in Pennsylvania, you get to Intercourse, PA before Climax, PA. There’s quite obviously a battle between good and depravity in Pennsylvania.

Trust me, there are plenty more oddly named places in Pennsylvania. I’m curious though, what are the oddest town or street names that you’ve come across in your life?

Have a great Friday! ~Phil

Are You An Upside-Down Pineapple?

So last Friday I posted this picture of myself on social media. Every Friday this summer I’m posting a pick of myself in a Hawaiian shirt. I have quite the collection.

But the picture above garnered more comments and attention than my usual Hawaiian shirt pictures. I bet that some of you know why. I didn’t and was surprised why this shirt caught peoples attention. About 60% of the pineapples on the shirt are upside down. I thought that was odd, but just figured that Old Navy was getting rid of some misprint shirts cheap. I was very naïve for thinking that.

Traditionally the pineapple is a symbol of welcoming. Flags and signs like the one above can be seen all over the world indicating welcome and friendship. Apparently some people use the upside down pineapple as a symbol of being really, really friendly.

As it turns out, the upside down pineapple when displayed on your clothing or as a decoration on your house indicates that you’re a swinger! According to google, the informal definition of the word swinger is “a person who engages in group sex or the swapping of sexual partners.” 

Now all those pineapple upside down cakes that my mom used to make suddenly seem very suspicious. That could explain why us kids had to go to bed when they invited the neighbors over for parties in the basement. Now I’m wondering if our basement was a secret sex dungeon. I’m also wondering if Old Navy is really a swingers cult. When does the deception end? Is my dad really my dad, or was it my next door neighbor? Now that I’ve worn the shirt, am I a swinger? Is someone swinging with me right now?!!?

When the weather turns cold I’m getting this sweatshirt

Suddenly thanks to one of my favorite fruits, my whole life is a lie. If you want to read a little more about swinger symbols so you can either encourage or avoid attention read this fun article from Men’s Health magazine. And if you are an upside down pineapple, well, you already know what to do!  ; )

Have a great day! ~Phil

Who Is The Mystery Visitor From National Park College?

Something weird has been going on. Fellow bloggers, do you look at your stats as much as I do? I like to see what people searched that brought them to my blogs, and where the searchers are from. Almost once a week over the past year I found that someone has been getting to my blog through libguides.np.edu . That wasn’t a search engine that I’m familiar with, so I went to the link.

libguides.np.edu is a library search engine for National Park College in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As far as I know, I don’t know anyone from Arkansas. Is it one of you fellow bloggers? Could it be that my books are in the library at National Park College? Could it possibly be one of the friendly librarians at National Park College?

Your Friendly Librarians

What I’m secretly hoping is that someone who works at National Park College in Hot Springs, Arkansas is a huge fan of #ThePhilFactor so much so that they invite me to be a speaker at graduation or for the ceremony welcoming incoming freshman. I would give a hell of an inspiring speech. Kristin & Lynn, do you think you could help me with that? I’m a published author. You could do worse. If not, could you at least get my books in your library?

Fellow bloggers, what are some of the oddest quirky things you’ve come across in your stats? Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

An Interview with Real Ghostbusters: Part 1

Picture courtesy New York Times

If you’re in the States, Happy Paranormal Day! If you’re elsewhere, just enjoy your regular day and read my interview with some real ghost hunters. To be fair, I’ll say that they are not ghostbusters or ghost hunters. They are Paranormal Investigators, and I was fortunate to spend some time with them.

The gentlemen in question are not all gentlemen. There are some ladies that like to get spooky too. About a week and a half ago I went to a presentation by the members of the Monroe County Paranormal Investigations. The MCPI is a not-for-profit organization. When a home or business owner calls them to request an investigation they will not be charged a penny. To me, that gives this organization credibility. They do what they do for the mystery and science of it. As an organization, they have done investigations in over one thousand homes and businesses.  Below are my questions and their answers edited for length.

Me: Do you ever disagree about what you’ve seen, heard, or experienced?

Rob: “Every. Single. Investigation.”

Brian: Yep. The one with the football thing; we almost had a knock-down, drag-out over that. I’m just like Nope. Nope.”

Rob: “He was convinced that because it was only moving, the little lights on the wall were only moving that much, that it wasn’t movement. But that much is movement! If  it moves that much it’s moving!”

Brian: But I was arguing that the thing is this big and it’s only moving such a…”

Rob: Movement is movement! It moved Jerry! (Seinfeld reference. If you get it, you win 50 Phil Factor dollars to spend in the gift shop on the way out)

Picture courtesy of Live Science

Me: Has there ever been a time when you were emotionally moved by an encounter?

Rob: Brian and I were called to a case. Healthy 27 year old people die. It sucks. We went out, we sat down for over three hours. We investigated for maybe 20 minutes. For the other two hours and forty minutes we listened to this woman’s story. Her 27 y.o. daughter went to a doctors appointment on Thursday, was given a clean bill of health. She was dead on Saturday. The only thing that happened was on Friday, her husband, who was in the military had come home. They knew that the husband was both verbally and physically abusive. So they attributed that to what happened.

Brian: The girls mother was insistent, obsessed.

Rob: Because of this, she had lost her job, alienated her husband, and basically made her other younger daughter feel like she was completely invisible because she became obsessed. There was an autopsy done. Natural causes. There was nothing founded. There was a second autopsy, same result. The state reviewed the autopsy and found nothing different. She got so obsessed that she was collecting cans and bottles to come up with $5000 for a renowned expert to do another autopsy. We got so emotionally involved in that case that Brian has actually been to the cemetery with flowers for the young ladies grave.

Brian: The mother, I think we’re kind of painting her in a negative light. She was a sweetheart. Her grief had driven her to do all this stuff. As paranormal investigators, there’s a lot of grief that we deal with. A lot of times what we do ends up being counseling. Sometimes there may not be anything going on in their home. They just want there to be.

Rob: Do you think people want to be haunted? Of course. You had an argument with someone and they pass away and you didn’t get a chance to resolve the argument.

Phil speaking to my readers:  There is plenty more to the interview. Part 2 will post on Thursday. I found that last story about the grieving woman surprising and fascinating. You never see that side of paranormal investigations on the ghost hunting TV shows. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.  On Saturday I’ll post my experience going on a ghost hunt with them.  Have a great Tuesday!

The Afterlife To-Do List

In 2022 it has been disconcerting to see so many people, possibly more famous and probably wealthier than me, pass away and I’m realizing it’s possible I may not be able to avoid death.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have no plans to die, but as I get older I like to hedge my bets a little. Hell, if Steve Jobs FitBit didn’t help him avoid death, what chance do I have? That’s right all you FitBit nuts, the Grim Reaper is coming for you no matter how many steps you take today.

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That’s my favorite Grim Reaper. He’s from a cartoon my kids watched. I thought he was particularly funny because he had a Jamaican accent. That’s the first item on my After-Life To Do List: If I’m going to allow myself to be escorted to the other realm it’s got to be him, that Jamaican Grim Reaper. It’s impossible to stay mad at anyone with a Jamaican accent. C’mon man. It will be alright. Let me show you around. Being dead ain’t no big ting… If it’s not him, I’m not going.

Prior to my death, and possibly as soon as this week, I’m going to choose my house to haunt. Who says that you have to haunt your own house? What’s to stop me from haunting the Big Brother house? There’s always people home, so I’d never be bored. I could participate by doing ghosty kind of stuff. How great would Big Brother be if the ten dolts were locked up in a haunted house for three months? And how about if the ghost gets to choose who leaves the house each week by making some mysterious sign, like a mark on a chalkboard or something? I’m totally going to pitch this idea to the producers. I’m putting it in my will just in case I don’t get the contract signed before I pass.

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List of people to haunt: I’m making this list and including in my will that invites be sent out to my funeral. Only the date of the funeral will have to be filled in.  I’m pre-signing the invites now  with the phrase “See YOU soon!” How creepy would it be to get one of those? Also, at my funeral I want every one there to stand up and read their favorite Phil Factor aloud.

Choose My After-Life Occupation: If I have eternity ahead of me, I don’t want to retire yet. Sitting around playing checkers with the old guys at McDonald’s in the afterlife sounds boring. In the after-life I’m going to be a real estate agent helping the recently deceased find the home of their dreams to haunt.

Me: This lovely colonial on a cul-de-sac has five of the living, four bedrooms and two and a half baths..

Recently Deceased: What about pets? I hate pets. Dogs always barking at me. Cats getting spooked when I’m trying to stand quietly in the corner watching TV. They can see us you know.

Me: So are pets a deal breaker for you?

Recently deceased: What about Jennifer Lopez? I’d love to haunt Jennifer Lopez.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. Her house just went off the market last month. How about Justin Bieber?

Recently Deceased: Ugh. No thanks.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

Phil found his time as a ghost comedian to be both odd and confusing.

After-Life Hobbies: I never want to be all work and no play, so I’m going to be an amateur stand-up comedian in my spare time. Spare time? I’m dead. All my time is spare! See? I’m writing jokes for the after-life already. Man, I am gonna brighten that place up.

Blogging: Yup, I’m going to continue. I’ve been doing this blog for 17 years. Why should I let death stop me? I’ve pre-written an extra post a week for the last ten years and scheduled them to be released on a regular schedule after my transition to the after-life, Heck, I could be dead already and you wouldn’t know! Why else would I be writing about death?

So, as you can see, there’s lots to do in the after-life, and I don’t want to show up unprepared. What do you want to do after you die? Speaking of ghosts, tonight I’ll be interviewing some local ghostbusters. What do you think I should ask them?

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil

Do Tarot Cards Really Tell The Future? Interview with an Expert!

Picture Courtesy Parade.com

In keeping with my paranormal theme this month, I thought it would be interesting to hear from a soothsayer. The popularity of tarot cards and tarot reading seems to have exploded over the last decade. More people are doing it and more are looking for skilled tarot readers to answer their questions and give them a glance into their future. Not understanding how a deck of cards with spooky pictures could give us information about our lives, I found an expert on Instagram who was willing to volunteer her wisdom and experience.

Andrea -Tarot reader extraordinaire

Hi Andrea, and thank you for visiting The Phil Factor. How did you first become attracted to reading tarot and oracle cards? Curiosity mostly.  Since childhood, I have been interested in esoteric or metaphysical subjects.  I was particularly interested in Witches since I have an ancestor who was burned in the Salem Trials.

Does a person have to be psychic to read cards? Anyone who wants to learn the basic meanings of the cards can do simple readings.  However, I believe it is very beneficial if you are a very empathetic person and understand human emotions/relationships.  That way you aren’t just reading the definition of each card to the querent (client.)  There can be a lot of nuances in the cards.  Like symbols and how each card interacts, not only with the other cards, but also with what the querent may have asked originally.

Should someone be worried if the Death card comes up in a reading?Death is like a transformation in your life or emotions.  Example meanings for the Death card could be:  a birth, a divorce, a new job, the beginning or ending of relationships.  Or even a catalyst in thinking.  It’s about change and a possible transition or regeneration. 

Picture Fine Art America

Does it really mean someone is going to die? I’ve flipped the Death card over many times and that has never been the  outcome.

Are predictions in a card reading absolutely going to come true? I don’t typically do ‘predictive’ or ‘yes/no’ readings.  Everyone has free will and can change the course of their day by one simple alteration.  Maybe they typically go to Starbuck’s on the corner, but that day, they decide to turn left instead of right and end up at Tim Horton’s.  In my opinion, absolute predictions need to be taken as fluid thoughts.  You continually have the ability to change how your life is directed.  ((free will)) And you can’t assume your will can change someone else’s. 

What advice do you have for someone going to their first reading? Be open and willing to hear what is being said without too many preconceived ideas or desires.  Take a pen/notepad and jot down your own thoughts on the cards.  Write down anything your reader says that captures your attention.  What may not make sense now, may come back to you later.  Or you may notice similar messages being repeated to you in different manners, by different people or situations.

As a final thought: I absolutely love reading tarot and oracle cards.  I do it almost daily.  It’s so interesting to see what thoughts the cards have on the questions that are asked and how pertinent they are to the person.  Reading tarot makes me realize how connected everything and everyone is to each other.  Everyone lives an interdependent life, and we all affect each other, just like the ripple a stone makes in a pond. 

Andrea, thank you for visiting The Phil Factor. Hopefully the cards will tell us that this interview will get lots of views in the future! If you’re interested in learning more about the tarot readings from Andrea you can follow her on Instagram as TarotWytch.

I hope it’s in the cards for you to have a great day! ~Phil

Thoughts on Paranormal Phenomena? Respond To The Polls!

As I mentioned in my last post, May 3 is National Paranormal Day here in the states. Admittedly, I enjoy a little paranormal activity as much as anyone. Wouldn’t the world would be so much more fun and interesting if paranormal things were actually true? Like Fox Mulder, I want to believe.  Most of the rest of this post is three polls that I’d love your responses to because in my next few blog posts I’m going to explore people’s beliefs in the paranormal, have some interesting interviews, and occasionally make jokes.

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Do You Believe in Ghosts?

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Do You Believe that People Can Be Psychic?

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Do You Believe There Are Aliens/UFO's That Visit Earth?

After answering and seeing the poll results, is there anything that surprises you about what people believe? If you’re a believer in any of those subjects, could you comment why?

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

Yes, on this very day, at this exact time, on April 3rd in 2005, I put my writing legs up in the stirrups, leaned back and gave birth to The Phil Factor. Yes, the image was meant to make you cringe a little.  If my blog was a person it would be starting to curse at it’s parents and experimenting with alcohol while failing geometry. There’s not many blogs in the world that have been active as long or longer than mine, and I’m proud of that. Earlier this year I surpassed 2000 posts where I have talked as if someone is listening.

My Blogger sidebar before I moved it over to WordPress. I love that at the bottom it shows 2005.

Yes, I know that over the past two years, I haven’t blogged as often as I used to. I’ve had a lot of real life going on in my life and I’ve discovered that for me writing is something I do a lot of when I’m happy and not as much when I’m stressed. I’m starting to feel a bit more settled as all the changes in my life have become the norm for me. So, as I traditionally do, I will copy and paste my very first blog post so that if you missed it, you can enjoy it as if you’re watching a re-run from an old show.

What Up Dawg? Is it just me or is everyone sick of Randy Jackson’s act on American Idol? How many times can we hear, “What up dawg?” Or his other favorite, “It was a little pitchy in spots,” or “It was just ahh ight for me.” The dude is like one of those action figures where you squeeze him and he has three pre-programmed phrases he rotates through. Nearly as bad is Paula Abdul. Has anyone else noticed that this season she seems drunk every week? She loves everyone this season and seems to find an excuse to physically grab Simon Cowell every week. Considering her recent charge of leaving the scene of an accident after she clipped another car on the freeway, how ironic is it that her big 1988 hit song, Straight Up, included the line “caught in a hit and run”?

That’s how I introduced myself to the blogging world and I was rewarded with ZERO comments or likes. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to my longtime blogging friend Jennifer of Not Quite Perfect  , and a few other blogs, who has been blogging longer than me and is still at it. Visit her site and give her a like or comment.

Lastly and most importantly I’d like to say thank you to all of my blogging friends who have made this the wonderful, welcoming blogging community that it is. I have appreciated every read, like or comment over the past seventeen years. Without you, I probably wouldn’t have lasted a year.

Cheers to all of you and I hope we can share a glass of champagne some day. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

My Snap Judgement Oscar Awards & Psychic Predictions

Many of you are familiar with my previous Snap Judgement Oscar Awards where I give out my own Oscar Awards to the movies, actors, and actresses that I think really deserve the awards. I’m still going to do that, but this year, I’m adding a twist. I’m going to use my psychic talents. After telling you who I think really deserves the award based on my own idiotic reasoning, I will use my psychic powers to predict who I think the Academy will give their awards to. I’m only going to choose three in each category just to shorten this up. Without further adieu…

Top 3 Best Supporting Actress Nominees: Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog; Judi Dench, Belfast; Ariana DeBose, West Side Story. The winner of my Snap Judgement Oscar Award is Kirsten Dunst for her work in the 2002 movie Spider-Man. She never got the credit she deserves for being the first to play Spider-Man’s girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson. Honestly, Tobey Maguire dragged that film down and Kirsten Dunst’s Oscar chances with it. My psychic prediction for the 2022 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose in West Side Story.

Top 3 Best Supporting Actor Nominees: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog; J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos; Troy Kotsur, Coda. The Phil Factor choice for this years Snap Judgement Best Supporting Actor Award goes to J.K. Simmons for his role as J. Jonah Jameson in the 2002 epic Spider-Man. If not for Tobey Maguire, he would have gotten that 2002 Oscar. In my world, if J.K. Simmons wants an Oscar, J.K. Simmons gets an Oscar. My psychic prediction for who the Academy will choose as Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur for Coda.

Top 3 Best Actress Nominees: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye;  Kristen Stewart, Spencer; Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos. Although Jessica Chastain has made the transition from women’s soccer to acting, she won’t be the choice for Best Actress. My personal choice for The Phil Factor Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actress is Kristen Stewart because she was smart enough to break up with Robert Pattinson, the worst Batman ever. Unfortunately for Kristen, my big psychic noggin says that the Best Actress Oscar goes to Nicole Kidman for her work overcoming the dead weight that was Tobey Maguire Val Kilmer in Batman Forever in 1995. It may not be Spider-Man, but it’s close enough.

Top 3 Best Actor Nominees: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog; Will Smith, King Richard; Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick…Boom!. Woo! This category is loaded this year. The Snap Judgement Oscar Award es to Andrew Garfield for his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home in which he shined despite the presence of Oscar killer Tobey Maguire. Despite my Spider-Man love, my psychic prediction for Best Actor is Will Smith for King Richard and because we all still remember when Fresh Prince Will and Carlton did that dope dance number to Apache by the Sugarhill Gang.

This combination of photos shows promotional art for the films nominated for an Oscar for best picture, (Focus Features/Apple TV+, Netflix, Janus Films & Sideshow, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Searchlight Pictures, Netflix, 20th Century Films via AP)

Top 3 Best Picture Nominees (I have seen none of these movies):

The Power of the Dog: A Western based on a 1967 novel by Thomas Savage with the same title. It’s got a great cast and won a bunch of awards, but a Western?!!? I’m falling asleep just writing this paragraph about it.

Belfast: A movie about a boy growing up during a sort of civil war in Northern Ireland in 1969. If they could have made this about a boy growing up in war torn Ukraine, they’d have that Oscar in the bag already.

CODA: If you’re not familiar, CODA stands for Children Of Deaf Adults. This film is about a young girl trying to balance her desire to help her family’s struggling fishing business while pursuing her dream of going to college for singing. Yes, singing, not signing.

My  Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Picture goes to…Licorice Pizzaanother Best Picture nominee that is a sentimental, coming of age comedy/drama. I’m a sucker for coming of age comedies because, let’s face it, don’t we all identify with those movies?

My psychic prediction for the winner of the 2022 Oscar Award is The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch who played the role of Dr. Strange in the December released movie Spider-Man: No Way Home

There you go. That’s all you need to know about the Oscars, including who will win. If I’m right on every one of these, you’ll never hear the end of it.

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My Interview w/ Black 47’s Larry Kirwan!

The year was 2000 and I was in an Irish store in Stowe, Vermont. As I browsed the genuine Irish knick-knacks there was music playing overhead that immediately resonated in my heart and my head. I am half-Irish. I asked the cashier if she knew whose music it was. She replied, “Of course. We have it right here,” as she handed me Black 47‘s Live in New York City CD. At the time, since The Phil Factor didn’t exist yet, little did I know that 15 years later I would get to interview lead singer Larry Kirwan. Below is that interview.

Click the Youtube video to hear some of their amazing music. Every song sounds like you’re at a party in a crowded Irish pub.

(Oct. 26, 2015) Although the band called it quits on their own terms in 2014, frontman Larry Kirwan has remained extremely busy. Considering that he writes books and plays, writes for The Irish Echo, hosts a weekly Celtic music show on SiriusXm radio, and performs solo gigs (his new single Floating dropped last week), I was happily surprised when Larry replied to my email.

Me: Growing up in Ireland, who were your musical influences?

Larry: They were legion.  Though it was a small town, Wexford had its own Opera Festival.  Many people emigrated to London and brought back whatever was happening in music.  Rockabilly artists like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent were popular with the local Teddyboys and you could hear their reverb-drenched songs pumping from the town’s only jukebox.  As well as that there was a strong tradition of Folk Music that I loved.  And to top it all, my father was a merchant marine who loved Calypso and Tango music.  I imbibed it all.  But everything came together when I first heard Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone.  Astral Weeks by Van Morrison was also deeply influential – probably still is.

Me: From your books and music, your love of New York City is apparent. Was there ever a time you considered returning to Ireland for good?

Larry: No, I never did.  I knew from the first minute I arrived on my own with just $100 in my pocket that I wouldn’t be going home.  I was illegal for 3 years and couldn’t go back and by then, after living in the depths of the East Village, it was way too late.

TPF: When you and Chris Byrne started Black 47 in 1989 did you imagine that the band would become as popular as it did? 

Larry: Our first thoughts were staying alive or at least not getting the shit beat out of us.  The Bronx bars we played in were rough – we were playing loud and provocatively – so we weren’t very popular, to say the least.   We weren’t very good either.  But four sets a night, is great practice.  And there was a shortage of bands, so we could do four nights a week no trouble. We were committed to playing original music in places that just wanted cover songs. After a year, though, I knew we had something different – and that’s always the most important thing.  Besides that, we were both naturally very political – and that seems to give you a bit of a cachet.  I don’t think we ever thought about popularity that much.  We were a band doing what it wanted to do – that might seem old fashioned now, but to us it was pretty much everything.

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Me: You’ve also written several books and plays. What was your first love, writing or music? Or did one lead to the other?

Larry: I was an early reader and read voraciously through much of my life.  I always thought I’d be a writer of some sort but I put it off for a long time.  Meanwhile, I was in love with music so I got into songwriting and performing.  I wrote a novel in my early 20’s that wasn’t very good, although I remember certain scenes fondly.  But playwriting got me really into writing.  I had a small talent for dialogue that made it easy to get a start.  Then I had a very minor hit with my second play, Liverpool Fantasy, and that gave me confidence.   I’m up here in Toronto at a workshop of a musical of mine, still coming to terms with that.

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You probably have a better idea of what I’ve done with songwriting.  Being a member of Black 47 was such a great outlet for me.  We always needed new songs and the 25 years went by in a blur.  We rarely performed more than 6 songs from an album of 12 so I’m getting re-acquainted with some Black 47 songs right now as a solo performer.  It’s interesting stripping them back into their original form and finding the soul of them.

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It’s a little odd.  When I get an idea now I can transform it into a song, a play, or a novel pretty effortlessly, whereas when I began dabbling in all three disciplines, I always knew which of them the idea would slot into.  A blessing or a curse?  I guess I’ll find out as I go along.

Me: I’ll look forward to your next novel and I’ll be sure to feature it here. You’re still performing solo gigs and it’s been almost a year since the band stopped performing. Are there any plans for any more occasional Black 47 shows?

Larry: I don’t see there being any more Black 47 shows.  It was a moment in time – 25 years of a moment.  I miss the guys a lot – we were brothers – not just the members of the band but the crew members too.  But then, I suppose, Black 47 was always more than a band.  We were political, and did things our way, never looked for approval.  We were probably closer to our fans than any band and yet we always played just for ourselves. I prefer to keep it that way.  Onwards and upwards and look back with pride.

TPF: Larry, as a long time fan of Black 47 I’d like to say thank you to you, the rest of the band and crew for the 25 years of great music. I look forward to hearing more of your solo work and reading your novel. Also, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule for me and my readers. For readers and fans who want to keep up with Larry, you can find him on Facebook, at his blog  and on Sirius XM radio hosting the Celtic Crush show on Sunday mornings. His solo music and Black 47 albums are available in stores and all the online outlets. You can find his books on Amazon, other online retailers and in bookstores.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil