'Deadliest Catch': Capts. Hillstrand and Campbell Speak
In early May, I had breakfast with three of the crab captains -- Johnathan Hillstrand of the F/V Time Bandit, Keith Colburn of the F/V Wizard and Scott "Junior" Campbell Jr. of the F/V Seabrooke -- from Discovery's Tuesday hit "Deadliest Catch." Here are a few of the tidbits from Hillstrand and Campbell that didn't make it into the other stories I've written based on our lively, wide-ranging conversation:
Hillstrand (at right) on his late friend, Capt. Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie...
"The whole world loved Phil. He was as big as the Beatles. I thought it was over, but then he had a Kansas song on his phone, you cried when you heard that.
"I was at this club, and just out of the blue they started playing this song. And, man, I just had to go hide. It just flowed. I started leaking. I don't cry, but my eyes were leaking."
Here's Phil Harris, flanked by sons Josh (left) and Jake (right) ...
Campbell (at bottom, on the right) and Hillstrand on Hillstrand making nice with his "frenemy" Colburn...
H: "Here's the true story on Jon Hillstrand and Keith Colburn. We reconciled last night (at dinner). We've heard that you can get married in New York, and we're going to be life partners. We're on the next plane tomorrow morning."
C: "That's breaking news."
H: "Huge, huge. Also, Keith's new name is 'Cupcake,' because Elliott Neese is making him look like a cupcake. What a piece of junk human being."
Campbell and Hillstrand on Neese (in center, with his crew, below), captain of the F/V Ramblin' Rose...
C: :The problem with Elliott is, he was attention-starved as a kid or something. He won't take any constructive criticism, but he doesn't have any idea what he's doing up there, running the boat."
H: "The crazy thing about it is, he would have told him everything and helped him out, but he's like, 'I'm the new bad boy of the Bering Sea.'"
C: "He thinks because he's got a good-looking crew, he's the best captain, I guess."
H: "That's what he says all the time."
C: "'I've got a better-looking crew than everyone else.' My guys are seasoned and weathered."
H: "He's going to sweep Hollywood, him and his crew."
C: "The biggest thing with him is, he needs to get over his arrogance and ask for help and listen to the help he gets. Elliott could be a fisherman."
H: "But he's about ready to lose it all. He hasn't made money. He's been going backwards. The boss asked us, 'How do I make money with this boat?' I said, 'Let me run it.' I was teasing."
"I love watching the show, because I can see other people's misery, and it makes me feel better about my life. All the screaming over there, all the mayhem and screaming, and I think, 'My life ain't so bad.'"