The Dreaded Reboot

To the chagrin of many, after a more than three-year hiatus – One Take Only is back! For newcomers to this site, or for those that were successful in purging it from their memory – One Take Only was the original video blog of this site.

Stranger things have happened. After fourteen years, The Eagles reunited. From 1971 through 1980, they made great music together. But by 1980, they could no longer stand each other and they disbanded. By 1994, most of the bad stuff had been forgotten and they got back together. ABBA went their separate ways in 1982, yet reunited in 2016 and launched a new album just last November.

AJ Foyt and George Bignotti made beautiful music together on the track, but had a tempestuous relationship off of it. They came together in 1960 and won the USAC championship in 1960 and 1961, as well as the 1961 Indianapolis 500. But midway through the 1962 season, their relationship soured and they parted ways. They reunited in 1963, won another championship that set the stage for the magical 1964 season, when Foyt won his second Indianapolis 500 and ten of thirteen races during the USAC Championship season. Unfortunately, they split again midway through the 1965 season, and this time the divorce was permanent. Not all reunions have a happy ending.

Even Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves, who grew up together in Brazil, went through a period when they were not speaking. It happens.

Not that I am comparing ABBA, The Eagles, Foyt/Bignotti or Kanaan/Helio to One Take Only, but there are some vague similarities. One Take Only started in August of 2011 and featured myself and my longtime best friend and co-worker John McLallen. We talked IndyCar (mostly). We were completely unscripted and went with whatever popped into our heads. It was very low-tech, as we usually recorded in my back yard (weather permitting). In this episode, we are interrupted by both of our cell phones going off at roughly the same time. That’s sophisticated stuff.

We started out at my old house, before Susan and I got married; but then moved to our current location in the summer of 2012. We did a Christmas episode at his house in 2011, an episode from IMS just after our wedding in 2012, a couple of episodes from Barber and another Christmas episode from my house (featuring Susan) in 2014. We were joined by Paul Dalbey for a couple of episodes and even former IndyCar blogger David Zehr.

Some (including a couple of family members) hated One Take Only and celebrated its demise, while others really enjoyed the banter back and forth between us. It’s pretty much how we talk in our everyday conversations, except we clean up our language and subject matter for the video.

One of the funniest things I’ve seen was when my racing friend, James Black, sent me a collage he had put together of my different faces and reactions to some of John’s comments, from an episode we did in May of 2017. It’s not very flattering, but it’s funny nonetheless.


From August 2011 through March 2019, John and I recorded forty-two episodes. If you really have no life, they are all archived on this site under Pages at the top right-hand side of the screen, and then click One Take Only.

John and I were good friends before we became co-workers. I’m not sure when exactly we became friends, but I’m going to guess it was around 2006. When Susan and I got married at IMS almost ten years ago, John was my Best Man, so we’ve been best friends for a long time.


But as close friendships and even family relationships go sometimes – things can all go terribly wrong in a hurry. That happened with John and me as one day some feelings got hurt, then unkind things were said, apologies then went unsaid and then the friendship ended…seemingly.

Sometime in 2018, our relationship soured – much like Foyt and Bignotti. The original source of the spat is unimportant, but rest assured it was stupid, and there was plenty of blame for both of us. But resentment grew, then it festered, then things finally erupted into a nasty explosion in my office at work, one Friday afternoon in August 2018 – which neither of us was very proud of. John moved to another office location across town and we rarely communicated. We did one last taping in March of 2019, but it was very strained and awkward as we both gritted our teeth at each other throughout the episode. After that, neither of us had any interest in doing another one.

For the most part, John and I did not speak for a solid two years. The few times we did, it did not go well. I guess we both decided it was better to no longer go down that road. I pretty well wrote off our friendship as over and done with.

In that time when we weren’t talking, many of you e-mailed me asking when we would be doing another One Take Only. Without going into detail, I always replied that John and I were no longer friends and there would be no more episodes. That was also the time that Paul Dalbey of and I, launched the virtual Two Sites Unite. It was a lot more hardcore racing content, but not as much banter. Plus, they were a lot longer. In my eyes, there would never be a forty-third episode of One Take Only.

But as quickly as things erupted in my office that August afternoon in 2018, John called me up one day – completely out of the blue about a year ago in spring of 2021. He acted like nothing had ever happened. I’m assuming he thought I had been punished long enough.

We met for lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant and picked up right where things were ten years ago, which was much better than where they were about three years ago. Neither of us apologized, and we never even mentioned the events that led to our friendship nearly dissolving. We’ve never said we won’t talk about it, we just don’t.

Never say never. Like with The Eagles in 1994, Hell froze over. We are now almost eleven years removed from our first episode, and here we are. The hair is grayer and we’ve both put on a couple of pounds.


We didn’t know it a year ago when we started talking again, but we have recently been reunited in the workplace also. I travel during the week, but we are once again in the same office on Mondays and Fridays.

As mentioned before, some will celebrate that we are doing a reboot of One Take Only, while others will cringe. But I’m glad we’ve patched things up. John is one of the few people I know who is older than I am. He has a pacemaker and his health is slightly questionable. I am no spring chicken myself, so it’s good that we smoothed things over before one of us keels over unexpectedly. Petty and stupid arguments aren’t worth losing a good friendship over.

So, if you can stand it – kick back and watch two old friends get reacquainted after a long break and discuss what we’ve seen in the 2022 season, so far. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that I forgot that last year’s Indianapolis 500 was the fastest on record. If you’re not a fan of these, come back Wednesday to read about all things IndyCar.

George Phillips

11 Responses to “The Dreaded Reboot”

  1. James T Suel Says:

    I think this was good show. Glad you and John are back together

  2. I think that’s GREEEEAT.

  3. billytheskink Says:

    Glad to have One Take Only back, I really did miss it. I could listen to bench racing all day. More glad to see a friendship rekindled.

  4. It’s great to see both of you back on “One Take Only”. Thank you for recording this episode. I’m glad you’re both doing well.

    The dry-fit skit was hilarious.

    Let’s hear some cicadas in the background next time around 😉

  5. Mark Wick Says:

    It is good to see the two of you together again. To the best of my memory, this is the first time women’s panties got into the discussion. (Now people who didn’t watch this will watch it.)

  6. Bruce B Says:

    A high school friend went with me and my Dad to our first Indianapolis 500 back in 1978. Unfortunately we had a falling out about 25 years ago. We never reconnected again. Last fall I got word he passed away. So glad you guys are “reunited”.

  7. Eagles: “But I think it’s about forgiveness.”

  8. You two are like an old married couple. Bickering and slinging digs at each other! I love it! You two are hilarious

    • OliverW Says:

      Spot on! Very enjoyable thank you. Maybe more content covering the whole field after Long Beach. Here’s in anticipation.

  9. S0CSeven Says:

    1. Welcome back John Mc. That was great!
    2. I think you give too much credit to teams and drivers and not enough to the rise of Chevy and the relative decline of Honda engines.

  10. It’s is great to be back and I’ll make sure that George learns his lessons at every teachable moment. He owes me a new polo, too.

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