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Interview: Graham Parker

Parker Discusses His Newest Release, Last Chance to Learn the Twist



The podcast of this interview appeared at The Vinyl District on November 17, 2023.


We all make boo boos. Usually, when the boo boos happen, we more or less move on, apologize if necessary, and try to watch out for similar situations in the future. Sometimes, however, as we’re bobbling that thing that we’re about to break, we manage to tap-dance our way into some sort of a solution; even if it doesn’t look pretty.


I’d been hoping to interview Graham Parker for many years and when the opportunity came up in the past, it just didn’t work out. So, when the chance came up in connection with his latest release, Last Chance to Learn the Twist, I jumped and wanted to make everything run as smoothly as possible. Graham and I had a great, fun chat. Except, as Murphy and his law might have predicted, I messed it up and was unable to use any of the footage that we created together.


Graham Parker

Instead of running away with my tail in between my legs, I bravely stood up, raised my hand, and said out loud, “I goofed!” to which Graham and his team kindly responded in the positive: “don’t worry, mate. We’ll do it again.” 


So, enjoy take-two of a double-take of my interview with Graham Parker. He’s as fun of a chat as you might imagine and his wealth of experiences and strong and solid body of work make him a character who anyone would enjoy speaking with. He’s smart, he’s funny, and he’s not above giving a bloke a break when that bloke has made a boo boo. Thanks, Graham.


Evan Toth:

Is this déjà vu? Do I have some déjà vu here today for some reason?


Graham Parker:

I think you might do, yeah. I think it's possible.


Evan Toth:

I'm sorry, Mr. Parker. I screwed up last week.


Graham Parker:

Okay. It was you, was it?


Evan Toth:

It was me. It wasn't you. It was me.


Graham Parker:

It was all your fault. Okay.


Evan Toth:

Mea Culpa as they say.


Graham Parker:

Okay, gotcha.


Evan Toth:

That's a good name. We could do that for a song. Many Mea Culpas, or something.


Graham Parker:

Many. Yeah, lots of them. Don't worry about it. No worries. I can see both of us on the screen, and there's me, looking ugly. All right, that'll do it.


Evan Toth:

You look terrific. No aviators though. No aviators. Hey, do you have a box where you have your collection of aviator glasses?


Graham Parker:

Actually, I've got a bunch of them. I wonder if you can see it here, a bunch of them up here at the moment.


Evan Toth:

Oh, yeah. People must send them to you all the time, right?


Graham Parker:

No, no. I buy them ten bucks in gas stations or in stalls around London for 20 quid or something max and just get different colors. But large, I'll wear really light pink or light yellow ones so I can see what I'm doing.


Evan Toth:

Right, right, right. Absolutely.


Graham Parker:

The dark black ones aren't going to work for me on stage anymore. Something bad will happen.


Evan Toth:

That's true. The edges of those stages can come up quickly. So listen, again, our readers should know, I'll just take full disclosure here, that we did have a tech hiccup. Graham and I had spoken once before. We had a great interview. It was a great chat, but I screwed it up. Whatever I did, didn't capture the audio correctly, and it was unusable. So thank you Graham for sitting with me another time in the same week. I feel like this is like a weekly meeting we're going to have.


Graham Parker:

Yeah. It could be, yeah. See, a never ending interview. Yeah, that'll be good. That's right.


Evan Toth:

So the new album, I have a batch of new questions for you, so I'm not going to bore you with the same questions that I asked last time. The new album is called Last Chance to Learn The Twist, and why don't you just tell our listeners a little bit about the new album?


Graham Parker Last Chance to Learn the Twist Album Cover

Graham Parker:

Well, yes. It's just released. That's the most important thing.


Evan Toth:

That's right. Just yesterday. Congrats.


Graham Parker:

Yesterday, yeah. We started making it in November, featuring almost the same band that I used for Cloud Symbols, which came out about 2018. The Goldtops as I dubbed them at the time, named after the studio that we recorded that record in Cloud Symbols. This time I did it just up the road from me in RAK Studios, which was founded by Mickie Most. You may remember him. He was the producer-


Evan Toth:

That's right.


Graham Parker:

... Of many, many hit records in the UK.


Evan Toth:

A lot of those Donovan Records.


Graham Parker:

Donovan and, I mean, all kinds of people worked with him, all kinds of session players. I think probably, what's his name from Led Zeppelin? What's the guitarists's name? Yeah, that guy from-Jimmy, what's his name?


Evan Toth:

Jimmy, what's his name!


Jimmy Page and a double-neck guitar Gibson SG

Graham Parker:

Yeah, that's right. I've met him. He's a nice fellow. He's all right, but there's a lot of those musicians before the progressive age came along when they were playing. They play on pop records and stuff. There was quite a few of them played, and Mickie Most could gather those kinds of good people, get them behind someone like Donovan or whatever actually was producing, and so his studios remains up there. I think his daughter runs it. So we started off there for seven days, and then I went to a smaller studio and did overdubs. It's the gold tops for a different drummer this time because Roy Dodds couldn't make it, so it was Jim Russell on this album.


And yeah, I took a leisurely time just doing the overdubs. Tuck Nelson is my engineer, and

he's going to be actually tour managing, doing sound on this up and coming tour that's starting September 25th in UK, just six dates. So there's a lot of moving parts to that, and I'm kind of thick in the tunnel of promoting and everything now with the record. That's kind of the basic layout of what happened. We just went in. Within four days, we had 14 basic tracks. That's how good these people are. They pay attention to what I'm telling them, these band members, and I just give them some cues and then tell them to bring it, and they do, so it was a very pleasant experience. Everybody enjoyed it a great deal.


Evan Toth:

You're really cranked it out. And it sounds like, is that really your M.O. in the studio? A lot of your records have a very direct feel, A lot of it is based on the songwriting, and you want to get that song out there. There's not a lot of overblown production. I mean, is that kind of how you approach the albums or with the direct, do they usually go quickly for you?


Graham Parker:

Yeah. I have a philosophy. Studios are great places to get out of. I'm not really a studio hound, and the trick with that is to make sure that the songs are about 95% where I want them to be before the band hear them. Then, I'll put them down, these days, on a memo, voice memo on the iPhone or maybe go into a small studio. Actually, my bass player, Simon, has got a home studio. I think I did some demos there of these songs, just so that they're a bit better than an iPhone really, but it's just me on guitar. I did a couple of overdubs, a few guitar parts, just a few minor ones, and a harmonica on the song, actually, last stretch of the road, from which the title Last Chance to Learn the Twist comes from, and so I do a bit of that, give people hints, but just an iPhone will do it if you've got the song in almost perfect arrangement.


Just a few things will change about that perhaps when we do the song. But basically, it's like, "Everybody, pay attention to what I'm playing on the acoustic, because I'm not just bashing it. I'm playing with subtleties and all that nuance in the acoustic guitar, these days more than ever, and pay attention to the feel of the song where it's coming from." If something is definitely in the soul vein or the more country vein, it's usually evident in the song. And I'll just mention that. So that's the thing, being prepared before you go in, and I also sometimes go to a rehearsal room, where I'll pay for a rehearsal room, plug in, and have a PA system in there that comes in the rehearsal room and sing loudly to get my voice, try and get the voice really flowing, so it's about getting things done up ahead in advance, because studios cost money, especially one like RAK Studio, it's one of the top studios. And so as long as I've got all that together, and the band are up for it, and they are, the right musicians, it should swing by pretty quickly and easily.


Evan Toth:

You're a pro. You know how to show up prepared.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, that's the idea, really. Yeah.


Evan Toth:

The name of the album is Last Chance to Learn The Twist, and it got me thinking about, obviously, what's in the title there, learning and maybe at an older age, after a long career. What do you feel like you're still learning? What is it maybe that you, and maybe your audience at the same time, is still focused on learning? What things can we still learn at this stage in Graham Parker's career?


Graham Parker:

That sort of comes by accretion, the learning thing, so it's hard to pin down. It's just from song to song, it keeps going that you're learning something or other, sometimes about your own shortcomings and sometimes about how great.


Evan Toth:

Absolutely.


Graham Parker:

It depends on your mood, really, but there's a lot of love for this record straight away. A lot of hardcore fans are saying they're blown away. I think I learned with this one, if I learned anything, it was some of those songs like "Grand Scheme of Things" and "Sun Valley", and also the song "Lost Track of Time". These big fat songs don't need to be kind of wearing. They don't need to wear me down, because I don't need to do the usual two verses, bridge solo, bridge verse chorus, got out, that kind of thing, or two verses, a chorus, and then a bridge. I don't have to do that always. That works with some songs, I suppose, but it really was a bit of a learning experience, I suppose, right there when I rearranged those songs, or I didn't finish them until I found a way to arrange them.


I had them for years, those three songs that I've just mentioned. I've had them a long time and I never was able to quite pull the trigger on them, because I was always looking for the second verse, and maybe I'd write it and then I realized that could be the third verse and only do two verses, put a solo on a verse instead. So that's a learning thing for me, right there, I think. You're talking about that, instead of, if you think a song might bog you down a bit, it's like, "Okay. Take a chance with the arrangement of it where things come in the particular song," and so that helped me out a lot. It just kicked those songs off, and I thought, "well, they've got to be recorded now. They're ready. They're ready for prime time," but it took years and it sometimes does with some songs. I get stuck on them.


Evan Toth:

And what qualities of determination and forward motion in your career and in your life, what do you think about that? You're a fellow Scorpio like me. We're those kooky Scorpios, and we can be a little determined a little straight ahead, but how has that kind of influenced your life and your career to this day, just thinking about the length of your career too and the body, the huge catalog of work you've created?


Graham Parker:

Well, I think in using that Scorpio tunnel vision, directness and that kind of, "I'm doing this, and that's that," if that's a Scorpio trait, some people say it's part of it, I think that when I grasped a hold of that was probably when I decided to do The Mona Lisa's Sister and tell Atlantic Records, who I was on briefly, but never released a record with.


Evan Toth:

Here you are. Here it is.


Graham Parker's Mona Lisa's Sister on vinyl

Graham Parker:

You've got all the gear there, man. I know that. Thank you. Brilliant.


Evan Toth:

I've got visual aids here. Here you are. Who did this album cover, by the way?


Graham Parker:

Oh. Actually, it's my ex. Her dad was not alive now for a long time. He was an artist and did various types of artwork, big murals. He did a few for I think churches and stuff like that.


Evan Toth:

Wow.


Graham Parker:

Concrete murals. She's got a whole bunch of concretes that he made. Some are about eight foot high. Beautiful, really beautiful. He did The Up Escalator album cover, so I never met the guy. He was dead when we got married, and already, unfortunately, died, but never got really famous for it. But there was a great body of work of his paintings that she had, and I used a couple for album covers. That's it. The Up Escalator, as I say, which when it first came out, there was no title on it. There was no title at all. If you have the original-


Evan Toth:

There's nothing on it.


Graham Parker's The Up Escalator on Vinyl

Graham Parker:

... You have the original man. That's it. Yeah, so that was one of his. Jack Drummond was his name, and The Mona Lisa's Sister. But going back to that record, that was the record I said, "I don't want any of these 80's producers." I've just written a bunch of songs that are about the acoustic guitar, the voice, and the singer. They're not about the drum sound. And Ahmet Ertegun, who was a hero of mine, was going on about White Snake and, I don't know, whoever was the hit at the time, Phil Collins and Rhythm Section, and I said, "Man, this stuff doesn't matter. I know you're in the 80s still." So this was about '86, about '87 after the Steady Nerves album, which was good and all that, but it was so that 80s monster drum sound.


Graham Parker's Steady Nerves Album on target CD

I thought, "Well, another producer is going to do the same thing," because it was still in the 80s, "I've got to move into the 90s and beyond." So that was where, I think, I grabbed hold of it and said, "This is what I'm doing. I'm not going to be talked into the producer thing. I know they're ruining it," and so I got out of Atlantic without making a record, and then went to RCA, and I said, "Just give me half the money. Don't give me as much as a major record's been giving me. They're giving me too much money. I can make a record much cheaper than that. Let me do my thing," and RCA went for it. I had four albums with them, and they started with Mona Lisa's Sister. The guy who signed me there, took it home and wrote a fax the next day. I think it was a fax maybe in those days to my manager.


Evan Toth:

A telex.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, a telex to my second manager and said, "I spent the weekend with The Mona Lisa's Sister, and I think we're in love. I thought, "Okay this guy gets it. He's not saying it needs to be produced with a bigger drum sound."


Evan Toth:

Right.


Graham Parker:

He just got the record, and it still sounds 80s. There's a lot of reverb on it and stuff, but it was about me and the songs, and they were good songs, and they didn't need to be swamped, and I just played some of them without any drums at all, or just with the drum kit, and then added the bass and stuff so that we didn't get into that thing of the drums are the most important thing. They were the last thing that we did a soundcheck on, and it took two hours, no messing around. It's a drum kit. How difficult can it be? So I thought, from then on, I've had this confidence that, if I say this is what I'm going to do, that's what I'm going to do. As I say, the last thing I need is advice, and the last thing I need is ideas, so I've grabbed that straw a long time ago and I'm sticking with it.


Evan Toth:

Which is interesting. I was enjoying this record just yesterday. I posted this on social media. 1982 is Another Grey Area, and this is sort of that, what you're describing, but man, I really love this album and I love, you've got some of the Billy Joel guys on this. This is that kind of opposite sort of thing that you're describing, right?


Graham Parker:

Yeah. Steady Nerves had the monster drum sound. They weren't quite capable in 1981 of doing that.


Evan Toth:

Right.


Graham Parker:

They weren't quite there and it still wasn't even digital or some people were, but Jack Douglas wasn't about that. He's a very good producer. It's a slick record. It's a shiny record. It's 80s, but that's what I wanted to sound like, because I wanted to sound totally different from the Rumour. It just made sense to me, and the song sounded different, really. I know they could have played them. They could play anything, so I went for him because he produced a John Lennon Yoko Double Fantasy record, and that was very slick and very smooth, but I think it just brought the songs that John was writing then over very well. They were quite gentle for the most part. There was some sweet stuff on there, and so I thought that was good, and I thought the remix of it, or not remix, remastering, actually brought out a bit more rawness than on the original, because Iconoclassic Records put it out.


Graham Parker Another Grey Area on Vinyl

Evan Toth:

Right. Just a few years ago, right? It was like a 40th anniversary something.


Graham Parker:

Yeah. They re-released it, and I thought, I don't usually remastering much when I buy other people's records on iTunes or something. I think, "Oh my God. I want the original," because they beef them up too much, but I think they did a good job on that. It sounded a bit rawer than the original.


Evan Toth:

That's a cool record.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, it's good. I stand behind that record. I think it was the right thing to do right after the rumor. Absolutely, and I think Mona Lisa's Sister was the right thing to do after the Steady Nerves real mid-eighties period with the big massive jumps and all that stuff.


Evan Toth:

A few years ago, of course, you were a key figure in the film This is 40, and given your experiences, cultural interest in all things, or given the world's interest in late 20th century stuff, and your side gig as being an author once in a while, have you ever considered what the film about Graham Parker might be, or maybe it's not a film, maybe it's like a book or even a Broadway show or something. Have you ever thought about taking this story of this life of yours and turning it into something artistic?


Graham Parker:

Well, coincidental with that movie where it came out basically about the same time was the documentary, Don't Ask Me Questions: The Unsung Life of Graham Parker and the Rumour, and that was good enough for me. I thought that was very good. I mean, it wasn't my work. I was just the subject. It was the Gramaglia Brothers, but I thought they did a good job. I don't think you need any more documentaries. I mean, my literary agent who oversaw my books actually got me the deals, like St. Martin's Press for the Carp Fishing on Valium and...


Evan Toth:

There's some autobiographical stuff in there too.


Graham Parker:

Oh, yeah. Yes. See, but she's talking about memoirs. She hits me now and again, "How about memoirs?"


Evan Toth:

Right.


Graham Parker:

And I'm like, "Oh. I'm not Winston Churchill. Come on. I'm not all that. I ain't all that, girl." Really. She said they're quite popular, and I said, "Well, by the time I finished one, they won't be. They'll go out a phase again," but I thought that my memoir was, I said, "I kind of like the fact that I fictionalized my life in Carp Fishing on Valium, and The Thylacine’s Lair as its original title was, and as it's called now. The novel, which is both on my website, so I got the rights back. So those books are on grahamparker.net, and so I kind of think I'd rather fictionalize it, because you're going to lie, anyway, with your memoirs.


Evan Toth:

I guess that's true.


Graham Parker:

And what would people want? They want the dirt. If I have any dirt. It's not that exciting, really. It's not-


Evan Toth:

Oh. You've got to have some good dirt after all these years. I bet you got some good dirt.


Graham Parker:

Yeah. It just comes off as hurting people or breeding contention. What's the point?


Evan Toth:

That's true.


Graham Parker:

It's not that good. It really isn't, so I'll leave that to serial killers. Let them do it. They should do their memoirs.


Evan Toth:

Right, but people do love that. People do love that, as your agent was saying, they love these memoirs. They love to read these memories of people that they've loved and followed over years, and people do like the minutiae, more than you think they do.


Graham Parker:

Well, they also like the contentious parts. Oh, has he dropped some bombs? That would be the smart way to go, to say some terrible things about people.


Evan Toth:

Right, but that's a cheap shot.


Graham Parker:

It's a cheap shot. I know it grabs attention and sells more, but I don't think I get that. I'm not a celebrity per se, so I don't think I'll have that much effect. Even if I did, really, I think it would still be hardcore. There's Graham Parker fans, and then there's everybody else, so I'm not going to start getting cheap on you now, I don't think. You never know. I mean, with age, you get a bit silly with age, you revert to being a bit stupid when you're young. I think that's possible to happen in the next couple of years, so watch out. Keep a lid on me.


Evan Toth:

I think you got to get that T-shirt and sell them at your shows, "There're Graham Parker fans, and then there's everybody else." That needs to be a T-shirt.


Graham Parker:

Yeah. That's a good T-shirt, man, isn't it? The hardcore fans, they will love it.


Evan Toth:

They would. They would. Back to the album that came out just yesterday, "Wicked Wit" is a great song. It's one of the more soul and R&B influenced than some of the other numbers on the new album. How do you see yourself primarily when you think of yourself? Do you think of yourself as a rock and roll singer or more of a soul and R&B singer in a rock and roll world? How have you felt differently about your voice over the years?


Graham Parker:

Well, my voice is a big, much different animal. It's less harsh as it was in the early days, because I didn't really know any other way to sing. I hadn't had any practice per se, very little to speak of. Then, I found myself on stage with The Rumour, and some of those guys have played more than me. I think of myself, first and foremost, as a singer-songwriter, and that should mean you don't really have to be one thing or another thing. You can be a lot of things. You can dabble in, as I do, in stuff that comes from a bit of country feel. I can bring any influence in that I want, a bit of psychedelic feel here and there on certain bits and very soul. It's still soulful, soul oriented. That's what moves me the most, I think; all of that soul music era that I got into as soon after The Beatles and The Stones came along, so mid-60s.

I was quite obsessed. "Wicked Wit", it's a no-brainer. I mean, I wrote the song, and five minutes later the horn section riff came to me, and I basically sang it for the horn section. The Easy Access Orchestra, as they call themselves. They're very, very good musicians. I've never worked with them before, and so I had that horn signature horn hook and that's what it was. I just wrote it like that and just hummed it straight to them. That's it. They just copied what I hummed, and put it into their horn perspectives things, which is something I don't understand. And so I've always got that going for me, that the soul music grooves are right there at any time. So I access them and quite a lot. They come into things quite a bit. You think of songs going back through the ages. It's there.


Evan Toth:

I think it's what sets you apart from your counterparts, and also from the time when punk and new wave, and it's sort of been a theme that's followed you throughout your whole career. It's an interesting thread in your sound, I think.


Graham Parker:

Yeah. I think it may be more than other people who I'm sort of thrown in the same bag with. I think so, actually. I think I've got a bit more of the soul music. I think I'm better at it.


Evan Toth:

You got a lot of soul, Graham Parker.


Graham Parker:

I got a lot of soul, baby, but don't forget it's all acting.


Evan Toth:

Well, that's true.


Graham Parker:

There was a great documentary I saw, and it was about Dusty Springfield. I think it was a documentary, or I think it was more than a clip. Someone who was a part of her thing at the time, maybe a producer, said, "She was just a great actress. I mean, she's acting it," but that doesn't mean it's phony. It doesn't actually mean it's phony, and I know what you mean. It is acting. And Neil Brockbank, who produced half of the Cloud Symbols record, and then sadly died before we got to finish the rest of it. It was awful, but that's why I named the band The Goldtops, because that was the name of the studio that he was running, and I think he called it Gold Top Studios. He said to me when I was performing one song, and I'd done it three times, and it was more or less the same every time, we were on the third take and we nailed it then. He said, "It is just acting, isn't it?" I said, "Yeah, that's pretty much what we're doing." We're acting, but that doesn't mean it's not soulful. It doesn't mean it won't move people.


Evan Toth:

Right.


Graham Parker:

It's got a lot of interesting concepts to it, really making music.


Evan Toth:

Well, it's interesting. There was just a box set that was released of Stax. It was about the Stax songwriters, I don't know if you should check it out if you're interested. Obviously, you love that music, but the interesting thing about the box set is it's about the songwriters, and they have a lot of the demos of these songs that you know, the Staxs hits that you know.

But they're very stripped down, and they're just from the songwriters themselves, so it's interesting to think of you too, just maybe in some of the acoustic vocal shows that you do, how that soul kind of still is there. It's interesting to think about a soul song without all those horns and the regular soul R&B accoutrements that can be a part of it. The soul is still there in the nugget of the song, so I think about that set when I think about what you're saying.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, that sounds good. I haven't heard that particular one. I generally liked the ones I grew up with. I mean, the thing with a lot of people who heard something when they were in their teens, and it just grabbed them and blew their minds, is you always have the image of what you actually heard, but obviously you have a huge collection of records there, so you are going to get into this stuff and enjoy those roughs of those songs. I mean, that's pretty cool that you say you could hear the soul in the tune right there when someone's just doing a rough of it.


Evan Toth:

Right.


Graham Parker:

Yeah. It should be there. It's like soul singers are soul singers. Once that's dug into your bloodstream, it's not going away easy. You're not going to become Kraftwork, really. Let's put it that way.


Evan Toth:

Kraftwork as a soul group. I'd like to see that.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, right.


Evan Toth:

"We Did Nothing" is a song with a pretty serious message, and I get out of it what I think I get out of it with the references to the pandemic, and it can also be taken to reflect everyone's feelings about regret, being surprised at oneself, or not doing more in a situation that they might've known in the back of their mind they maybe should have been more involved in, but that's my take. What's yours on that tune?


Graham Parker:

Well, I suppose it is a personal inaction, and then I flip it to the global inaction. Basically, that's what I'm about with this song. Well, it's a hard hitting song. It's probably about as angry as songs I've ever written. I bring myself into it or the narrator, whoever he is, but it sounds like me, and I bring the inaction of the world into it on the bridges. So we've got this movie set that we've set up for ourselves, this comfortable life, and we think it's permanent, but it's not. It could change. I think of the writer, J.G. Ballard, if you've read any of his work, I suppose it could be classed as science fiction, but it's not quite that, really. He was operating in, what? The 50s and 60s. Some of his films, it was High Rise. Crash was one that won, what you call it? He's written a whole bunch of books.


A lot of it is about how...he grew up in Hong Kong and the Japanese invaded. He was a kid. His dad was like a diplomat, a top figure, English, very English. You can tell by J.G. Ballard's writing, deeply well, well-educated, incredible gift with the English language and incredible descriptions of a dystopia that happens, but not always due to what you think. There's the drowned world where the world is covered in a great deal of water, and there's always a team of scientists who are in the middle of it investigating. He does that with the, what is it? The drought world or something? The drought or something. He does that. He takes those scenarios, and he said what he learned from when he was about four years old when the Japanese suddenly came into Hong Kong was that life is a film set. Everything we think is for granted, that your comfortable life, you have the education of schools down the road, it's a film set.


It can be changed in minutes, and that's what he learned when he was four years old. We see this quite often, especially in the weather events right now. The film set has completely changed in Greece. They had, what was it I just read? Three years of rain, or was it two years of rain or a year? Some ridiculous figure in two days. The film set, the whole theatrical thing that is around us, that we feel is permanent. So in action is what we see now with the climate change, because this has been settled science for decades about fossil fuels. In fact, I read an interesting article about a woman scientist in England, a British scientist who, in the 1800s, did some experiments with gases, put them into containers, and heated them up and carbon dioxide, CO2, right? Let's call it that. That was one of them. That turned out to be the one that stayed the warmest for longer and was dubbed a greenhouse gas, which was in the 1800s.


There's been various things from way back, with a few smart people saying, in the industrial revolution, 1700s and what have you, said, "I don't think we can keep doing this. This might not work out very well," and then the science came along and discovered just that, a long decades ago, but where there's politics and power and where there's donations, we're not really kicking into this big time. I think we might have passed the Omega Point. I don't know. The film set is going to keep changing dramatically for people all over the world, all the time, and you don't know when your numbers up. So the song is about the inaction, and it's very human. I'm the same. We're lazy. I'll do nothing about something that I know I should do something about. I'll hide my head in the sand, pick up a guitar, pretend everything's all right. We have a basic human nature that is flawed, and everyone's a bit different from everyone else, so we can't really agree, so how are we going to fix this? Don't ask me.


Evan Toth:

Right. Well, Graham Parker, congratulations on your brand new album, and it's really great. It's really fun, and I thank you for spending a lot of time with me to talk about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And as you mentioned earlier, you're going to be touring in Europe at this time, and you think you'll be coming back to the states? Anything on the calendar or not yet?


Graham Parker:

Nothing yet. I mean, it will be solo, if anything, I'd love to bring this band there, but unfortunately the cost of just doing a tour in the UK, doing it properly and being generous like I like to be, and giving everyone their own room in a decent hotel, and the cost, I think the petrol here, as we call it, just made the most historic leap in price. So I'm only about $10 grand in the hole so far, so playing solo is the only way for me to make a few bucks, but basically-


Evan Toth:

Well, you've got to take it easy on those aviators. Take it out of the aviator budget.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, I know. Between 10 bucks and 20 pounds, it's killing me, man. It's killing me. I've got to preserve what I've got. I can't lose any, I'll tell you that much.


Evan Toth:

No, you've got to tighten them up. You got to get you a little mini eyeglass screwdriver out and get some more mileage out of them.


Graham Parker:

Yeah, don't be casual with it. Make what you've got work again. Keep recycling it, man.


Evan Toth:

That's right.


Graham Parker:

Times are tight.


Evan Toth:

That's right. Graham Parker, thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Best of luck with the new record, and be safe out on the road, and we hope to see you here in the states again soon.


Graham Parker:

All right, man. Next year, hopefully, with some solo stuff. Evan, thank you for your time and support. Thank you, man.


Evan Toth:

Okay, Graham. We'll see you around. Thanks, again, for the double shot. I appreciate it. The double shot!


Graham Parker:

No worries. Yeah, it's a double shot macchiato or macchiati. I'm wired up, man. All right.

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