Tag Archives: #ThrowbackThursday

Throwback Thursday! It’s A Bieber World After All

(july 26, 2014) Wow. That is one pretty girl next to wheelchair-bound Justin Bieber!  Turns out it is a Bieber world after all and we’re just living in it. If you just got a panicked feeling and shouted “What? Justin’s in a wheelchair?” then you must be a Belieber.  And why wouldn’t you be?

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The Biebs again proved how awesome he is by using Disneyland’s policy of allowing those in wheelchairs to go to the front of the line of rides and attractions. He claims he “tweaked” his knee playing basketball.  So in spite of his great pain and suffering, the benevolent Bieber allowed his handlers to wheel him past families and children in hours-long lines so they could get a good look at their hero. Seriously, how many celebrities take the time to do that for their fans. I was so impressed that I decided to write a song about him.

When Bieber Jumped the Queues (sing to the tune of Janis Joplin’s Me and Bobby McGee click link for video

Busted flat in Disneyland, waiting for a train
And I’m feeling jaded and mean.
Bieber thumbed a wheelchair down just before it rained,
And rode it all the way to the front of the lane.I pulled my hair from my head and said “That took no time!”,
I was fuming soft while Bieber jumped the queues.
Biebers handlers slapping fans, I was holding Bieber’s picture in mine,
We sang every song that Bieber knew. Bieber’s just another nerd turned into a kid who drinks the booze,
Nothing he does, nothing’s funny if it ain’t Bieber, now now.
And feeling good was easy, when Bieber jumped the queues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bieber, baby.
From the Canadian sticks to the California sun,
Hey, Bieber shared the secrets of my soul.
Through all kinds of weather, through everything that we done,
Hey Bieber baby kept me from acting old.
Ok, that was awful, but the main reason for this whole post was just to put that picture there. If you’re not from the States and don’t know the song, I apologize.  The phrase ‘Me and Bieber McGee’ has been stuck in my head since Thursday. What I really need is my friend Marissa Bergen, who is both brilliantly poetic and musical to take the idea and make a music video  like she did with a parody of Radiohead’s Creep. Have a great Thursday! Please don’t share this. It’s just terrible. ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Dumb and …uhh What’s That Other Word?

(May 23, 2015) I like to think I’m a relatively smart person. Of course I like to think a lot of things about myself which aren’t true, but that’s a topic for another post. (Coming soon to a blog near you, Top Ten Lies I Tell Myself!) If you’re reading this, you’re obviously a very smart person too. (Top Ten Lies I Tell My Readers) Let’s, for a moment, be honest with ourselves. It’s impossible to know everything about everything, right? So sometimes all of us geniuses feel dumb in certain situations. Some more than others of course, but there’s no need to raise your hand right now. If you’re an adult with children and they can make your cell phone do technological cartwheels while you can barely figure out how to text without accidentally calling 911 then you know what I mean.

Admittedly, I had one of those situations where I felt dumb the other night. I know, I know, after putting me up on the pedestal that you have, it must be very upsetting for you to hear this about me. I had to call the cable company for technical support and the conversation went like this:

Me: Hi, umm,..I tried to turn my TV on but it’s doing that thing where there’s a message on the screen and it won’t turn on. Well, it’s on, but there’s no picture.

Tech Guy: Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?

The I.T. Crowd

The I.T. Crowd

Me: Yes. Same thing. It did this once before and the guy told me what to do and I tried that but it didn’t work.

Tech Guy: Hold on. Let me pull up your account. What’s the last four digits of your social security number, your mothers maiden name, the house number of the street you grew up on. No, not that one, the other one, and what kind of car did your fourth grade teacher drive.

Me: Blah, blah blah (gives information) Wait, was it what color was the house my fourth grade teacher lived in? Blue, no, wait, I think it was purple. Hold on, I’m going to try something. I switched the HDMI input and connected the satellite feed into my VHS player. That should work right?

Tech Guy: Ok, I see your account here. Oh, it’s you Mr. Taylor. Just set the remote down and step away from the television. Nope. Don’t touch it. No, that’s too close. Is there another room you can go to? Just wait there. We’re sending a guy out to your house. I’ll stay on the line with you. Just take deep breaths. It’s all going to be over soon.

Me: There’s just so many cords and wires! Why do there have to be so many? Why?!!? I just plugged the coffee maker into my chromecast. That will work, right? Dammit! Why does there have to be so many?

Tech Guy: Calm down Mr. Taylor, try to breath into a bag. There’s no need for tears. Someone will be there soon. (shouts to someone in the background “What the ETA? We’ve got a Code Zulu Banshee here! Code Zulu Banshee!”

Me: (sobbing) There’s just so many. So many wires. So many buttons. Why does there have to be so many? A man should not have to go through this to watch a few Friends reruns! You know Ross is the unsung hero of that whole show. You know that right? Ross fecking Gellar could figure this out! Why can’t I? You know he was a paleontologist before he was 30. That’s not easy. Neither is this. Wait, I think I’m on to something. What is it? White you’re right, red your dead? So if I switch…

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Tech Guy: Calm down Mr. Taylor. Our guys are at your house. They’re going to come in slowly. Just set the wires and cords down and let them help you. Don’t push any more buttons and this will all be over soon.

Cable company guys rush in and disarm me taking the remote  from my hand. Speaking into a mic on his shoulder “Headquarters, this is Captain Bravo, Tactical Response Team 1.  The scene has been secured. It appears that Mr. Taylor was trying to change channels with his garage door opener. We’ve given him the remote. Situation de-escalated. We’re returning to base.”

So what are the situations you feel stupid in? Do you avoid them? Do you just give up? Do you try to figure them out? The second picture in this post is Chris O’Dowd as Roy from the British sitcom The I.T. Crowd. If you have Netflix, I strongly recommend a weekend binge watch. As long as you’ve read this far, would you mind doing me one tiny favor? One of my tweets is up for Tweet of The Week in a Chicago Tribune poll. Could you click THIS LINK and vote for me?

Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! Beware The Canadian Twitter Invasion

(May 11, 2013) About three years ago one of my sons had taken one of those silver permanent markers that are often used for autographs and wrote “Tweetin’ is a Habit” on his guitar case. At the time I remember thinking to myself, Holy crap! What an incredible dork! I didn’t think this because he was a fan of Twitter though. I thought it because he was an incredible dork.

Two or three years ago I signed up for a Twitter account but never really used it. Recently, thanks to my new friend @GregoryGAllen, I have become a Tweeter, or a Twitterer, or is it a Twit? Most would argue that it’s the third, and perhaps always was.

For those of us in the United States, using Twitter is like going to Canada. Like Canada, the Twitter language, customs, and etiquette are almost like ours, but just a little bit off. And there’s no weird money with pictures of geese. Although, I suppose the Twitter bird logo might be a goose.

Maybe Twitter is a Canadian plot to bring down the U.S. by slowly distracting our entire workforce little by little until the country comes to a screeching halt and is ready for an invasion by their Dudley Do-Right military force. We’d have to be really distracted for them to invade us with a bunch of red-suited, horse-riding, unarmed soldiers.

Did you know that the Canadians have their own internet? That seems kind of suspicious doesn’t it? If you put ca either in front of or behind a web address you can sneak into the Canadian internet. I did this once and found someone mocking the Americans on his sarcastic little Frenchy blog.  Jerk.

I checked the trending topics on the Canadian Twitter and it’s mostly stuff about bacon, maple syrup, hockey and Alex Trebek. You know why I’m certain that the Canadians are out to get us? Justin Bieber. Yup, he’s a Canadian spy sent to the U.S. to distract us. See, the thing is, Canadians aren’t an aggressive bunch. They’re hoping that if enough teens are distracted by Justin Bieber and Drake they’ll ignore their studies and eventually our future society will fall apart and we’ll have to rely on some crazy form of their socialized medicine. Oh wait a minute….

I initially set out to write a funny blog about Twitter and some of the strange abbreviations and terms I’ve had to learn as I’ve gotten up to speed in the Twitterverse, but just like everything else, I was distracted by the Canadians. They are a wily, bewitching bunch aren’t they? Brief fun fact, which I didn’t know until college; my high schools song and the Canadian anthem are sung to the same tune. I’m not sure which came first. Just more evidence that they’re infiltrating our society. Anywho, (which I think is a Canadian saying) if you Tweet and want another Twit you can follow me @ThePhilFactor by clicking the Twitter button up there in the left sidebar. As always, if you even smirked a little as you read this please hit the Facebook and Twitter share buttons below.

Throwback Thursday! Speedos, Cigs and Vespas: Why the Europeans are Better Than You

(09/20/2011) Believe it or not, TSA allowed me on a flight to Europe last week. I think they were hoping I only had a one way ticket because I definitely had an easier time getting out of the U.S. than back into it. My job took me to Spain and I managed not to get into a fight with any one from any country. Apparently The Phil Factor is universally adored.

The trip however, was an education.

1. Europeans are not afraid of lung cancer. How cool is that? In the long run that isn’t a bad thing either because it will result in fewer Europeans. Apparently word that cigarettes are bad for you hasn’t reached Europe yet. The Europeans love their cigs just about anytime of day anyplace they are no matter what they’re doing. The world class hotel I stayed in even had an entire floor of rooms set aside for smokers. Fortunately although I am not a smoker, I was graciously placed on the smoking floor so that I could enjoy the wonderful European ambience.

2. Europeans aren’t afraid of skin cancer either. Based on my observations I think  Europeans are in better physical shape than Americans and they are damn proud of it, especially at the beach in front of my hotel where clothing was optional. Unfortunately much of their pride in their bodies was sadly overestimated by the owners of many of those bodies. There needs to be an upper age limit imposed for beach nudity. And the dudes over there seriously love their Speedos. I saw a guy jogging in a Speedo, and he was smoking at the same time.

3. 9 o’clock is the new 4 o’clock: I think I figured out why the Europeans are in better shape than we are. They eat at weird times. They don’t lunch until about 2 pm and dinner until 9 or 10 pm. If I had to wait until 10 pm for my dinner, most days I would either pass out from low blood sugar or just plain fall asleep and miss the meal altogether.

4. The Euro rocks: The American dollar may buy less and less these days, but the Euro is awesome. One Euro is like $40 American! Do you know how many Speedos you can buy with a Euro? Me neither. I swear.  Apparently all the Europeans spend their Euro’s on Speedos, cigs and Vespas.

If you enjoy my nonsense and want to travel to far away exotic lands through the power of reading you can subscribe to The Phil Factor on your Amazon Kindle and follow me on Twitter @ThePhil Factor.

TBT! Online Dating! Find Your Match with Phil-Harmony.com!

(3/27/13) We’ve all seen the ads for e-harmony.com, the internet site that allows you to meet your perfect match after a questionnaire rates you on 29 personality variables. What?!!? I’m a guy. I’m pretty sure guys don’t even have 29 personality variables! I have maybe 4 tops. Now for women, I don’t think 29 personality variables is enough. In fact most women seem to have more than 29 complete personalities.

The old crackpot that runs that site has got to be making a fortune. His kindly, old, grandfatherly, “I want to help you meet your perfect partner” schtick is sucking people in like an emotional, and financial, black hole. Well I want part of that gravy train. I’m younger, smarter, and more in touch with what the young, single internet daters are interested in.

First of all, if you’re someone who uses the internet regularly, you don’t have the attention span to answer a long quiz. In fact, I’m sure most of you think I’ve rambled enough already today. Stick with me my lovelorn friends. Secondly, my personality quiz won’t waste time evaluating the unimportant, nit-picky personality characteristics like humor and intelligence. If you’re paying an internet site to find you a date then you’re already way past being picky about the little things. My quiz will just hit the high points. Even if you’re not looking for love on the web, you can use this quiz when meeting new dates. Here is the entire Phil-Harmony.com compatibility quiz:

1. Are you married?

2. Have you ever seen a Twilight or Star Wars movie at the theater within one week of its release?

3. How many pets do you live with? (a good follow up question might be “how many are still living?”)

4. During sex, have you ever requested something that caused your partner to break up with you and/or call the authorities?

5. Are your parents or grandparents biological siblings?

 6. Would a lawyer be notified if we were within 500 feet or your ex?

7. How do you feel about the right to bear arms?

If the person you’re speaking with answers “yes” or “more than one” to any or all of these questions then run for your life. If they answer no to all of them, or if you’re really tired of looking, at least a majority of them, then anything else is just minor details you can live with.

If you’re  interested in a long term commitment with me you can click my Facebook “Like” button up there on the right and you can follow me or subscribe to The Phil Factor by e-mail or on your Kindle.

TBT! Interview with The Dating Doctor

Aah my lovelorn friends! The Phil Factor has help for you. With the day of romance nearly upon us, I thought that many of you could use some help from The Dating Doctor. Here’s is my epic interview from 2015.

(02/13/15) David Coleman is The Dating Doctor. Is he a doctor who is dating? Is he dating a doctor? I don’t know and it’s none of our business. What I do know is that David has spoken on relationships and leadership to audiences all over the world.  For those of you unprepared for the holiday coming up we’ll focus on the dating part.  Don’t worry my literary friends; David’s expertise won’t be limited to just the questions I ask here.  He’s got books. Books you need to read before you do further damage to your love life.

news.uwlax.edu

news.uwlax.edu

TPF: David, thank you for taking the time to visit The Phil Factor. As you may have suspected, people read my blog. Often they’re people who spend more time relating to others online than in person. What advice about relationships do you have for people in our increasingly social media focused world?

David: To “hover” a few seconds before you hit the send button on a text, post, tweet or mail message.  Once you hit send, you have put your words, video or pictures in motion and that action cannot be reversed, and never erased, so you need to be comfortable with all the possible ramifications of the way your words or pictures are received.  Also remember, if you publicly play out your relationship on line, every day, its success or failure will be just as public as well.   

TPF: What is the biggest mistake people make early in a relationship that could doom their chances for success?

David:  They mistake infatuation for love and fall far too fast, far too soon.  Infatuation is INTENSE. It is short-lived, demanding and can turn normally rational people into “life is too short…let’s do it” optimists.  They say and do things normally reserved for couples who are a bit farther down the line in a relationship and then wonder why they, nor their partner can keep up the level of intensity they felt when they first met. 

There are three primary types of loves people experience:  Eros (Physical), Agape (Heartfelt) and Philia (Friendship).  When a couple allows infatuation to rule their actions, they often skip the development of these stages and then get very disappointed in the end when things “just didn’t work out.”

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TPF: What’s the most impactful way someone can grab the attention of someone they are interested in but don’t know in a crowded/busy social setting?

David:  Eye contact…smile…say hello.  The look you share, the words you use, the way you express yourself and the interest you show will separate you from those who didn’t have the guts to at least say hello.  Holding a gaze just for one extra moment and accompanying it with a coy smile lets that person know that among people in a crowded setting, you noticed THEM.  Then, before leaving, you need to walk up to them and say, “I just wanted you to know that I noticed you.  This is my card (or my name or my email address or my number…).  If you ever want to even have coffee, say hello and meet, it would be my honor.”  Then graciously walk away.  Take the high road. The view is always better from there!

TPF: Craziest question you’ve ever been asked? And what was your answer?

David:  A woman came up to me after a show and said, “I’ll bet you have never heard this one…My husband is having an affair…with my mother!”  This lady and her husband had a weekly sporting event they took part in, but they were on different teams.  She found out that he would skip his games and return home to be with her mother who was supposedly watching their children while they were out competing.  My advice to her was, to return home early from her game the following week and walk back into the house with several close friends as witnesses along with her so that it would not be her word against theirs and so that they would be caught red-handed in the act.  I also suggested that she get a top-notch therapist and good legal advice if she indeed intended to head in the direction of ending her marriage.  I heard from her a year later.  She was doing well, had met someone new and felt as if she was at a healthy point in her life.  Her husband had been distant and abusive for years so this unfortunate situation gave her the courage and strength to move on.  Her and her mother, “we’re still working things out.”

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TPF: Your traditional education, Bachelor’s and Master’s aren’t in Psychology or counseling. How did you come to a career in writing books and speaking on dating and relationships?

David: As an undergraduate and graduate student both of my degrees had a high degree of social work, psychology and communications in their curriculum so I received a heavy dose of human nature and communication training.  From a young age, I had the innate ability to read people, know where they were in their life and give them the advice that the needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear.  I didn’t care if people liked me, only if they learned from me and my service or advice exceeded their needs and expectations.   I also seemed to have the ability to introduce people to each other whom I felt “might hit it off.”  My outgoing personality served as a bit of an ice-breaker and allowed others to meet with me as a conduit.  Then, they could return and ask me questions and my advice seemed to really help them. Thus, a career was born.

TPF: Our mutual friend, magician James David, referred to you as “A real life Dating Doctor like Will Smith played in the movie, “HITCH!”” Would you say that’s accurate?

David: First, James is an amazing talent and magician.  I am proud to call him my friend and yes, he is accurate. What Will Smith’s character portrayed in the movie Hitch is what I do every single day professionally. Like he helped Kevin James’s character connect to the love of his life, I help 10 or more just like him in real life on a weekly basis.  I basically try to help people get out of their way as many are self-sabotaging their chances of being happy and meeting someone with whom they would be ideally compatible.  I have dozens of success stories under my belt over the past 20 years and enjoy working with people who are seeking healthy relationships and unbridled happiness.  Talk is cheap.  I am not.  I have found that people who pay a price work twice as hard as those who “want something for free.”

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TPF: In your experience, are men more clueless about what women want in a relationship, or is it the other way around?

David:  They are both mystified at times because the game keeps changing.  The speed of the internet and social media, the explosion of dating apps on our smart phones, the increase in the number of people using dating sites and the lack of real human interaction due to texting and tweeting, etc.  has made both sexes wonder just how dialed in they are to the opposite sex.  You also have an increase in the number of people identifying themselves as bi-sexual, a-sexual, pansexual, transgender…and this keeps both men and women wondering, learning, experimenting and searching for people like me to help them navigate the often treacherous waters of dating, relationships, romance, sex, marriage, divorce and dating after divorce.   This is why I try to stay dialed in to the current trends and am not afraid to have candid dialogue with my clients and audiences.  You never get a wasted day back, so spending time heading in the wrong direction or paralyzed by fear is simply unacceptable.

TPF: David, thank you again for taking time out of what must certainly be a very busy week for you. For those that want to learn more about David, including his book on leadership as well as his books on relationships you can visit his website,   www.DatingDoctor.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.  Seriously, check out his website. He has some pretty impressive accolades. If you’d like some of David’s coaching you can call or e-mail him too!  Direct Coaching:  1-866-Date-Smart (1-866-328-3762) or email: TheDatingDoctor@mac.com

As always, if you want to share the love you get from #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. Is there any better gift for your Valentine than The Phil Factor? Umm…nevermind. Don’t answer that.

Throwback Thursday! 6 Questions with Sharknado/TMNT/Brady Bunch Star Robbie Rist

This is maybe my favorite interview ever. We e-mailed back and forth for a week. He couldn’t have been nicer.

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For my readers who don’t know Robbie’s name off the top of your head, you no doubt have seen or heard him in something. Over the last forty years Robbie has been quietly woven into the fabric of American pop culture like few others. If you haven’t seen him in a movie or TV show, you’ve probably heard his voice as a cartoon character dating back to his work as Michelangelo for the 80’s cartoon and 1990 movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or the Final Fantasy X video game or more recently as Stuffy for the Disney channel’s Doc McStuffins.  He’s also appeared in too many shows and movies for me to list here.  Even better though, he has an awesome rock band, The Ballzy Tommorow! What gave me the idea to contact him for the interview was when it occurred to me recently that he has been part of two of the most iconic pop culture phenomena of my lifetime, The Brady Bunch, and Sharknado.

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Phil: Robbie, welcome to The Phil Factor and thank you for taking a few minutes for my readers. When you got the part as the bus driver in Sharknado, what did you expect would be the public reaction to the movie?
Robbie: Well, I had heard about the poster for the movie from a friend who had gone to the American Film Market here in Santa Monica (The AFM is like a micro Cannes. People try to sell films there) and both of us being genre fans, we kinda lost our minds at the thought of it. I have said that the title of Sharknado says more in three syllables than A Trip To Bountiful does in 6. Then I found out my friend Anthony C. Ferrante was offered it. Anthony and I were working on music for another of his films when he told me he was offered it and I told him, “I don’t know why or how, but I really think you should do this movie. Something about it feels…….like something….”. So, I guess I thought the response would be pretty great, considering the way people reacted to the name. I wasn’t expecting Twitter to explode over it…..

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Phil: You obviously were absolutely right. The name caught my eye and ear and I decided, good or bad, I had to see it. Doing music for movie soundtracks isn’t your only musical outlet. Could you tell us about your band? What kind of music do you play? What has been your best gig?

Robbie: Well, we have gone through a name change after losing an original member (Pandora’s bassist/drummer Karen Basset) so now we call ourselves Ballzy Tomorrow! As far as style, I have pretty much been doing the same kind of pop/country/psych thing for decades. It’s that kind of power pop music no one likes but I get a kick out of it. Best gig ever was playing The Rally in The Alley in Buffalo NY in the 80s. It was, like 20,000 people. Played with Spirit. Fun day.

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Phil: Aww,  it’s too bad I didn’t know about it. At the time I lived about ninety miles east of Buffalo and could have come out to see your band. If Ballzy Tomorrow, The Mockers, or the band you produce every come out East, let me know. Robbie, You’ve had a very diverse career. What’s your favorite thing you’ve done?

Robbie: Tough to say. I just like to make stuff. I mean, I am super proud to have been a part of so many things that hit the zeitgeist super hard like The Brady Bunch and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But I think I am most proud of Doc McStuffins. Apparently it is set to cause a spike ion the amount of young women (specifically African American young women) who go into studying the sciences, especially medicine. Considering that almost every cartoon on the planet, McStuffins included, is in existence to primarily sell toys, I would call this a solid fight from the inside victory.

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Phil: When Sharknado just blew up and became this huge thing, did anything changed for you?

Robbie: Well, not as far as my bank account goes, but some really great stuff happened like…..I had never had one of my songs re-mixed before.

Also, some young people did a vocalese version of the theme (which I couldn’t find). So, did I get more work out of it? Not really. But sometimes art is its own reward. Some people really reacted favorably to it.

Phil: The Brady Bunch and Cousin Oliver. How do you feel about people bringing that up constantly?

Robbie: Great! Hey. It’s on the resume. I respect the right of somebody to not want to be bothered but I don’t get that considering most people become performers to get attention.

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Phil: We know what you’ve done and what you’re doing. What’s coming up for you in television or movies? Where and when is your band playing next?

Robbie: The band is actually two bands. We do songs that we write but we also do a weekly half 70’s tribute band/ half live band karaoke thing at a restaurant out in Moorpark California called Red Ball’s Rock and Roll Pizza. Happens every Friday. It’s pretty out of control. The original band plays a once a month residency at Canter’s Kibitz Room in Los Angeles.

I just finished three songs for the Sharknado 3 soundtrack!

Phil: Yes, you heard him right folks, if you haven’t followed my Twitter or Instagram, there will be a Sharknado 3 this summer! So, besides creating awesome music for awesome movies, what else?

Robbie: I have also been doing some comedy writing and performing with an artist out here named Lisa Orkin. She has a website called HonestlyLisa.com that is a comedic relationship thing. Every week we do these little minute long audio bits based on her real dating life. She’s pretty much a genius.

I also have a (what we hope is) comedic talk podcast called The Spoon which can be found at www.thespoonradio.com.

I’m gonna be producing a band from Barcelona in a couple of months called Suzy & Los Quattro. This will be my third go around with them. I’m also gonna be on an acoustic tour of Spain in October with my friend Seth Gordon from The Mockers

(Hey folks, don’t worry, The Mockers and Suzy & Los Quattro will be my next two Music Monday features ~Phil)

Robbie: As far as the acting side, I just won the gig as Mondo Gecko in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Doc McStuffins is going into its last year so…….I have no idea what is gonna come next. It seems to always be something…..I guess I can always go back to college…….

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Phil: Awesome! Congrats on the Mondo Gecko role and congrats on the continued success of all your music ventures. Thank you again for taking the time you did. In the future, anything you’re working on has a home on #ThePhilFactor. If you want to follow Robbie on social media you can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also support Robbie by downloading the Sharknado soundtrack.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil