LAWNDALE – The 312 Magee Avenue Playlist

The Lawndale book is just one week away from being published!

While writing the Lawndale book I started to think about all of the music we listened to growing up in the house on 312 Magee.

There was always some sort of music playing somewhere in the house at any given time. Whether it was my mom listening to Andy Williams on the record player in the dining room while she did her housework, or us kids listening to our records.

My father always loved music and would listen to classical and operas in the basement while he worked or read his books.

We had the jukebox on the porch that had been loaned to us by a couple that my dad was friends with and we loved that thing!

There was the the 8-track player in the 1969 VW minibus that we all rocked out to on trips on the road with dad.

We listened to the radio in the kitchen and would hear all the new popular songs of the day.

I would sometimes bring a little record player to the dinner table and sit it on the seat next to me. My dad wasn’t home, and it would be just my mom and my sisters. I would put little 45 rpm records on and we would all sing to them. It was a riot!

I got into listening to some of my favorite songs and bands recently on Spotify and thought about creating a playlist of all the music we heard in our house growing up as kids. Not just the music we owned, but all the theme songs from our favorite shows that were on TV in the 60s and 70s.

At first I thought it would be cool to share it with my sisters for nostalgic reasons. But then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to share it with all of the people who might remember some of these songs from their past as well.

So I’ve decided to add to the anticipation of the Lawndale book coming out next week and share it with everybody as a soundtrack to the book.

Some of the songs you may not recognize but some will make you smile and take you back to a simpler time. This is an eclectic mix of music and themes from the 60s and 70s that were alive in our house at 312 Magee growing up.

I hope you enjoy it, and maybe you’ll listen to it in the background while reading my book! (Don’t worry if you don’t have a Spotify account. It’s free and you can just go on and check it out!)

Here it is! The 312 Magee soundtrack!

https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/5nQ0QYz4dBIphiU7hiIZR4?utm_source=generator

I hope you all enjoy listening to this as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I’d also be happy to add any songs I may have forgotten!

Enjoy!

LAWNDALE the book will be available on Amazon next Tuesday on August 9th!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please like, comment, and most of all, FOLLOW Phicklephilly! I publish every week on Tuesdays.

Wildwood Daze – Botto’s and the Office

North Wildwood, New Jersey – Late 1970s

Botto’s

One of our favorite hangouts growing up at the shore was the beloved Botto’s Arcade at 10th and Surf Avenue. It was 2 blocks from our house and was a meeting place for the local kids.

In the first half of the decade, it was a small market full of food staples, sundries, and beach stuff. It’s where we used to go to buy our kites and string. But because Russo’s Market at 9th and Ocean was such a juggernaut and go-to spot they sort of ran Joe Botto out of business. Just geographic competition. Botto, a retired Philly cop, was never happy about that, but shifted gears and turned it into an arcade much to the joy of the neighborhood youth.

Botto’s had everything we needed for an enjoyable afternoon or evening as an alternative to the beach and boardwalk. A phonebooth outside in case you had to drop a dime and make a call, and a soda machine full of ice-cold beverages stood out front. Joe’s wife normally worked during the day, giving out change for the machines inside and operating the bike rental part of the business.

The place was small, but just the right size for us kids. A regulation-sized, slate pool table in the center of the room, and a thunderous jukebox packed with 45’s of all the hits of the day parked against the front wall near the entrance. (It played A and B sides! This way, I could listen to Walk this Way and Uncle Salty!)

All around the perimeter of the room were pinball machines and video games. My favorite pinball machine, Flash was where I spent most of my time and quarters. They had some of the greats… Eight Ball Deluxe, Gorgar, Wizard, Playboy, El Dorado, and Joker Poker, to name a few.

But, they had all the classic video games of the day in there too. Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Super Breakout, and Asteroids.

Botto’s was a place where teenagers could hang out, play games, chat, flirt, shoot pool, drink soda and smoke cigarettes. The owners were cool, and there was never any trouble there. I’ve spent many a rainy day or health night in that arcade. The phrase “health night” came from my mother. She used to say to me, “You’re out every night! Take a health night!”

You never knew who you might run into while you were there, but it was always a solid meeting spot to hang and make plans for where you may be heading afterward. It was surrounded by motels so even though its core audience was kids from the neighborhood, they always got a few tourists in there as well.

Across the street was a place called Golf City. It was pretty much a waste of valuable real estate that was home to a miniature gold course. Fun for the little kids and they had a small arcade as well, but overall it was lame.

Botto’s was the cool kid’s place. I spent many wonderful times in Botto’s in my youth, but sadly it’s now long gone. What stands in its place now is an ice cream stand.

All that’s left to remind me of the original Botto’s in the brick face and the door and windows. So picture this place without the A-roof, the awning, the sign, the benches, the lights, and the rest of anything pink.

What’s left would be a pretty boring-looking spot. But, none of that was important. Botto’s was about what was inside. The people, the music, the games, and the laughter.

The Office

That’s not what it was called. It was a little game room on the third floor of The Flying Dutchman Motel.

Right there on the southwest corner of the 3rd floor!

The photo I used at the beginning of this post is the motel before they added the 3rd floor. But that’s what The Flying Dutchman looked like in the 70s.

We knew the owners and they were cool with us going up there to smoke cigarettes and spend our quarters on their vending machines in their game room.

The reason we called this little spot The Office, is because we used it not only as a place to hang out and play but to have meetings. If there was some local drama going down or some stories to be told, this was the place it all took place.

I remember trying to tell my older sister some convoluted story about some things that had gone down on Morey’s Pier or some other crazy news from the neighborhood one day. She was trying to understand what we planned to do about this matter and I simply said: “Office…now.”

We liked it because it was high up off the street. We had a view and also liked the games they had in there. Just two pinball machines and an old 1972 Pong machine. There’s a link I provided, but it was so basic it may have been the first video game ever invented. But a fun game! Pinball was still king, but video games were getting better with every coming season.

The biggest difference between this place and Botto’s was, this spot was quieter and more private. You could hang up there, sit at the card table they had set up in there, and just chat. It didn’t have the number of games and music that Botto’s had, but this was our spot. Most of all, it was unsupervised.

This is probably one of the most important aspects of this little game room.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Pinball machines are designed so that you can’t rock them around too much or they’ll “Tilt.” What that means is, if you shake the machine too much or lift it up to slow the ball down or anything else to upset the machine while the ball is in play, it’ll light up, TILT, and the unit goes off and your ball drains down the hole. You’re done for being too rough with the unit and most of all trying to cheat.

But kids are creative, cunning, learning machines. You know that if the adults come up with some solution to thwart our fun or sustained play, we’ll probably work to come up with a solution to beat it.

So while the machine was on, we’d have one kid gently lift the lower front up off its legs and stack quarters under the legs, one or two at a time. This would flatten the play area on the board but not enough to TILT the machine. We’d get that baby up as high as possible. This would slow down the gameplay and go virtually unnoticed if someone walked in.

By applying this simple remedy, the game would be easier, you’d get a higher score and rack up more free games. That was the main goal. Free games! 

This also assisted with the legendary, “Back from the Dead.” What this meant was if you were in the middle of a game and the ball somehow got past your flippers, and towards the hole… if it was moving fast enough to bounce back out of the hole and back into play, it was always deemed a miracle, which was met with cheers from any onlookers. The ball literally came back from th dead!

So, we did that all the time up there.

Sometimes I would just go up there on my own and play pinball. I just wanted a little time alone to think and reflect on my life living at the seashore all summer. It was a brilliant and unforgettable few chapters from my young life.

Braces off, skin clear, and finally emerging from puberty!

Here’s a pic of me in 1978 on the 3rd-floor sun deck of The Flying Dutchman. The Office wasn’t just for pinball. It was also a great opportunity for me to meet the vacationing talent.

Pictured: Me with Ann and Gina Dougherty on the roof deck of the Flying Dutchman Motel -1978

Yea… tough times for Chaz in Wildwood!

If you liked this story, you’ll love my next book, Down The Shore, coming to a bookstore near you Memorial Day, 2023!

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.

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How Each Zodiac Sign Sabotages Their Chances Of Finding Love, According To Astrology

Love like you’ve never been hurt.

Love can really feel like a losing game. There’s no way to truly predict the outcome of a relationship. It’s not even uncommon for people in relationships to be unaware of what they want or think they want, only to realize they don’t actually want it at all.

Let’s say you end up getting the guy and the relationship you want. That doesn’t always mean it’s going to last. There could be a lot of unforeseen obstacles that result in a breakup. Past heartbreak, lack of trust, cheating, and red flags — all can lead to breakups.

We can’t always prevent breakups, but we can always learn from them. Unfortunately, each zodiac sign in astrology can sabotage their chances of finding lasting love.

Rather than asking yourself, “Will I ever find love?” don’t look at your past breakups as failures. Instead, look at them as experiences that are bringing you one step closer to learning what you want and deserve in a relationship.

Breakups make us aware of how we can become better partners in our next relationship. When we are aware of the characteristics we have that sabotage our love lives, we can start to improve upon them. Awareness is the key to having a better love life.

When you’re aware of your faults, don’t beat yourself up. Everyone makes stupid decisions when they’re blinded by love, so work towards not allowing your past mistakes to occur in your future partnerships.

If you’ve ever wondered if your zodiac sign plays a factor at the end of your relationship, it’s important to look at zodiac compatibility. Astrological compatibility is a good indicator of the likelihood your relationship will succeed.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)

Aries want what they want — and they want it now. Compromise and patience are not their strong suits. In a relationship, these two factors are vital to its longevity. A relationship works around the needs and wants of two people, not just Aries. This “me first” mentality sabotages the whole relationship.

Aries needs to learn how to manage their anger. They cannot get upset with their partners over the smallest things. Erratic spells of anger can make the other partner feel unsafe because they are never certain how far Aries’ anger could escalate. This creates an unsafe environment.

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)

Taurus can be very possessive in a relationship. They need to understand that they don’t own their partners. Their partner is a person, not an object. Both partners are individuals, even if they are in a committed relationship. Taurus’ possessive nature makes their partner feel trapped.

The jealousy that comes with the objectification of a partner never ends well. Too much jealousy is not a good thing in a relationship. Taurus’ partner will feel as though their partner doesn’t trust them.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 20)

Geminis can be really co-dependent. These social beautifies love to be in the company of others and enjoy being the center of attention. It’s great to spend quality time with your significant other, but you both should have your own lives. Gemini’s partner might feel smothered if they constantly want to hang out.

Geminis are extremely loyal, so if their partner isn’t the same, this will definitely cause a problem. They want to belive their partner is just as loyal as them. Any instances of disloyalty will cause Gemini to question their partner and the relationship, and they won’t be able to trust their partner after.

CANCER (June 21 – July 22)

Cancer’s manipulative characteristics ruin relationships for them. No one wants to feel as though their partner is pulling wool over their eyes. This will cause Cancer’s partner to question everything they say. The lack of trust that results from Cancer’s manipulation is the reason for the end of a relationship.

People want to feel that their partner has their best interest at heart. Cancer tends to have their own best interest at heart and often takes on the victim role. They don’t take responsibility for their wrongdoings.

LEO (July 23 – August 22)

Leos have very strong personalities. Their assertiveness can really be a turn-off because they don’t want to compromise. Leo’s confidence can turn into cockiness very fast, where they aren’t willing to hear their partner out or consider their opinions.

Leos like things to go their way. When they don’t, it doesn’t go well with them. They are stubborn people who don’t want to change their minds. Trying to get a Leo to try something that makes them uncomfortable is almost impossible.

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)

Virgos are complete perfectionists. They want everything to go as planned. When it comes to relationships, things are hardly ever perfect. People make mistakes, so Virgo’s need for perfection can cause unnecessary conflicts. If they want their relationship to last they have to stop being so analytical.

Since Virgo is a perfectionist, they can be very critical of their partner. Being overly critical makes their partner feel self-conscious and not good enough. Virgo’s judgment is what makes it hard for them to have successful relationships.

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)

Libra’s indecision can ruin relationships because they might not be sure how serious or chill they want the relationship to be. Mixed signals can be cute for a little bit, but they don’t sustain long-term relationships. Knowing where you stand defines the relationship’s tone, and Libra’s inability to make a choice can potentially cause them to lose great partners.

Libra’s struggle to open up also makes their partner feel distant. They never want to express their true emotions to maintain the harmony of the environment. Their obsessive need for balance can be the very cause of the demise of their relationship.

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)

Scorpios are very independent. They want to solve everything on their own. This can make their partner feel as if they don’t want them to truly be part of their lives. Scorpios struggle with making their partners feel unneeded. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t make them feel wanted.

Since Scorpio is also secretive, they don’t want to share their business or be vulnerable. Part of being in a relationship is being able to share your life with someone, and this zodiac sign struggles with making room for their partner.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)

Sagittarius overthink way too much, and overthinking kills relationships. Overthinking makes you come up with problems that don’t even exist or causes you to think the smallest problems are unsolvable. Sagittarius tend to stress themselves out over non-existent problems, which creates problems with their partner.

Sagittarius’ need to know everything doesn’t help a relationship either. People don’t want to feel forced into opening up, so Sagittarius has to learn how to allow people to open up on their own terms.

CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)

An important aspect of a relationship is forgiveness. You have to be willing to “forgive and forget” the wrongdoings of your partner. Unfortunately, Capricorns are not even close to being the most forgiving zodiac sign. When they get hurt by their partner, they don’t speak up to solve the problem. Instead, Capricorn acts as if nothing is wrong and continue to harbor resentment towards their partner.

When Capricorn bottles up all their emotions, this results in them not being able to be vulnerable with their partner, which makes them come off as distant. Emotional distance in a relationship is seldom good because your partner should be the first person you call when you’re at your highest and lowest moments. Capricorn’s partner will feel this emotional rift and start to feel inadequate.

AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)

Aquarius are not ones to express their feelings. They would much rather look at things from a logical perspective. Having a partner who can see things for what they truly are is great, but if they’re always thinking with their heads, they won’t be as sympathetic.

It’s hard for an Aquarius partner to relate to the emotional hardships their partner is dealing with because they’ll approach everything with logic. Sometimes when your partner tells you something, they just want to know that you hear and understand them. A solution isn’t always needed.

Aquarians aren’t much of commitment people either. They would much rather enjoy the freedom that comes from their independence, than feel trapped in a relationship. Aquarius can be perceived as detached in romantic relationships because they put their needs first.

PISCES (February 19 – March 20)

Pieces tend to come off as overly emotional. As you can imagine, that’s a turn-off for a lot of people. No one wants a significant other who cries because their ice cream cone fell or who can’t take constructive criticism.

In a relationship, it’s inevitable that your partner will do stuff that upsets you, and the only way to fix that is to say something about it. But when you’re dating a Pisces, it’s so much more difficult to be transparent about your dislikes because you’re worried about your feelings.

Pisces being overly sensitive makes their partner feel as though they have to walk around on eggshells. No one wants to have to tip-toe around tough topics with their significant other out of fear of them overreacting. This will definitely cause an emotional rift in the relationship if not resolved.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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Tales of Rock: Man Accidentally Trips On LSD For 9 Hours After Cleaning A Classic Synthesizer

Eliot Curtis accidentally tripped on LSD while fixing a vintage Buchla Model 100. He was tasked to repair a piece of history, but he didn’t expect to begin seeing history and time in front of him as tripped on acid. With his experience, he added another story to the history of the synthesizer, and it’s probably a good idea to making cleaning old equipment with gloves on a standard procedure.

The Buchla Model 100 was invented in the 1960s by Don Buchla of Berkeley. He completely immersed himself in counterculture, and in 1966, his synthesizers were put on a school bus converted to play music. The iconic bus of counterculture, Furthur, was purchased by Ken Kesey, an advocate for using acid. Among their crew was Owsley Stanley, a sound engineer and manufacturer of a potent strain of LSD. While these links can explain how the drug could’ve gotten on the synthesizer, it’s still unclear exactly how the LSD got on this specific one.

Curtis, the Broadcast Operations Manager for KPIX Televsion, was tasked with repairing the vintage analog music modular instrument they found in a closet at Cal State University East Bay’s music department. It was acquired by two music professors who taught in the university during the 1960s. During his repair, Curtis found something stuck under one of the knobs, and it appeared to be a crystal. He sprayed cleaning solvent on the residue to dissolve it a little bit, then he dislodged it from the knob to continue cleaning the area.

45 minutes later, Curtis began to feel strange tingling sensations. He speculated that he was tripping on LSD but thought that’s probably just his imagination. His original inkling, however, was true. His unexpected LSD trip lasted around nine hours.

Authorities later confirmed that residues of LSD were present on the instrument. According to reports, the place the synthesizer was stored made it possible for the LSD to remain potent. The machine was resting in a cool, dark place, so the drug’s potency was preserved so well that it was possible for the residue to be ingested through the skin. With his unexpected trip, Curtis learned a lot more about the 1960s counterculture than he could have ever imagined.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

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14 Memorable Fourth of July Date Ideas

Wondering how to spend your holiday this independence day? Here are 14 perfectly patriotic and fun Fourth of July date ideas to have a memorable time.

It’s that time of the year again.

For many of us, the Fourth of July is just another holiday to party hard, sleep in or lounge around at home.

But this time around, it’s time you do some something different with your loved one.

This independence day, indulge in a few activities that are fun and yet, patriotic!

14 Fourth of July date ideas

Do you remember the happy Independence Day celebrations you loved so much when you were a child?

What’s stopping you from doing that, now that you’re all grown up?

Instead of just waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky at night, go on out there and enjoy the day.

Here are 14 great ways to make your Independence Day date memorable, fun and oh-so-perfect!

#1 Raise a flag. This is something you can do first thing in the morning!

Plan ahead the earlier night and get together with all your friends or with your lover early in the day, and raise the national flag in front of your house. Sing the national anthem under the star spangled banner. Really, it’s not going to sound corny at all. In fact, it’ll help you realize just how important the day really is!

And finish the morning off by having breakfast out together in the yard, sharing stories or making plans for the rest of the day.

#2 Create a tradition. Do you have any Fourth of July traditions that you and your lover rigorously follow? If not, then this year is your best excuse to start a new tradition with your partner, whatever it may be, and make a promise to follow it every year. It’ll be a memorable and romantic way to enjoy the Independence Day every year.

And many years later, you can look back at this Fourth of July and fondly remember how the tradition started in the first place.

#3 Have lunch at a restaurant. But not just any restaurant. Pick a restaurant with a patriotic menu with little flags all around! It’ll be a lot of fun to try a few new themed dishes, and it’s a great way to show respect to this special day too.

#4 Watch patriotic movies together. If you just want to relax at home, and yet, want to experience the spirit of Independence Day, pick up a few DVDs where the theme of the movie is about fighting for independence *The Patriot is a good one*. And if you’re not into movies, just watch the live celebration shows on the TV.

#5 Cook with your lover. Bake a cake with your lover or make cupcakes. Everyone loves them, and baking the cakes and dressing them up in blues and reds can be a fun time. Or prepare a whole meal with a patriotic theme.

#6 Dress up and take photographs. Dress up in your blues, reds and white on this day. A happy relationship is built on memories, so make sure you dress up in your fancy attire and take a lot of pictures together *even if the photos are too personal to show off!* After all, what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than by creating more memories that can last a lifetime!

#7 Visit historical museums. Plan a special outing with your partner on this day. Go to historical museums or places of historical importance if it’s a short drive away.

#8 Attend a celebration. Every city has several community activities and get-togethers to celebrate the Fourth of July. Your partner and you could go to a concert, a baseball game, or just spend the day at a picnic or by watching a parade. Go out there and have fun, after all, there’s so many things you can do in your own city.

#9 Watch a war reenactment. If you get the opportunity to watch a war reenactment around your place, don’t miss it. It’s worth watching, especially if there are a lot of people around in their celebratory best.

#10 Plan a road trip. Go on a road trip with your partner. But make sure you adorn your car by sticking a lot of little flags all around it. It’ll be a lot of fun, and even if you’re just driving around a few blocks and not down the freeway, you’re still spreading the good word.

#11 Have a barbeque. Invite all your friends over and spend the evening catching up with each other. As long as there’s an endless supply of  hot dogs and beer, everyone will have a fun time.

#12 Have a campfire. Rent a lakeside cabin or spend the evening on the beach. Light a bonfire and spend some quality time with each other, watching the stars and the fireworks brighten up the night sky.

#13 A night of fireworks. If you’ve got kids around or love lighting up the night sky, buy your own fireworks and sparklers. But if you just like watching the night sky light up, go to a fireworks show with your partner and cheer out loud!

#14 Spend time with family. There’s no better way to spend the Fourth of July than by spending quality time with the ones you love. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the Independence Day. Get together on this holiday with all your loved ones, and enjoy the day by planning the activities together or by taking off to an all day event.

Use these 14 Fourth of July date ideas and you’ll have a great time with your loved one. But remember to have fun responsibly, and most importantly, respect your flag and honor it.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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4th of July Date Ideas (That Won’t Break the Bank)

Here are a bunch of fun ways to ignite some sparks of your own.

1. Plan an outdoor picnic. We know, it may sound a little clichéd, but grab an American flag blanket at a cheapie store (c’mon, show your patriotism), a bottle of wine, and some American fare to share with your guy. You can bring along a Frisbee or Nerf ball to toss around after lunch. Outdoor eating can be much more relaxed and romantic (not to mention more affordable) than your typical dinner and drinks.

2. Hit up a rooftop bar with your guy. You’ll get to enjoy cocktails in the breezy summer weather, and you might even be able to spot a nearby fireworks show — minus the crowds and mobs of children.

3. Go on a romantic “getaway.” Almost every town has its appeal on the 4th, so head to your local tourist hot spot. Breaking your usual routine and taking advantage of what your town or city has to offer will make you feel like you’re on a mini vacation. Plus, experiencing new activities with your guy is exciting.

4. Bake a 4th of July cake. Don’t go all Betty Crocker on your guy, but baking a festive cake with him can be a flirty, fun way to get some one-on-one time. Top the cake with whipped cream, blueberries, and strawberries. Hint: If you happen to buy too much whipped cream, you can always find, um, other uses for it.

5. Head to an outdoor concert. A lot of cities host 4th of July concert and firework shows (what’s not to like about two-for-one dates?). Check out your local paper to see what’s going on nearby. Don’t feel like springing for tickets? You can usually mingle your way close enough to the concert stage, but outside the seat parameter, to listen to the live music for free.

6. Host a BBQ. We all know guys like to barbecue, so let your man be manly as he grills up the hamburgers and ribs. A casual cookout can be a great way to break the ice and introduce him to your family or friends. Don’t forget the festive cocktails!

7. Do something historic. Google your town or city to find out what local American memorials or museums you can visit. You’ll both learn a bit about the past and get a renewed appreciation for your heritage.

8. Get wet. When we think of July we think beaches and bikinis. If you don’t live near a beach, find a friend with a pool or buy a day pass to a public pool. Upload summer tunes to your iPod and have your guy rub you down with sunscreen and cocoa butter. You two can even sport those corny American flag bathing suits if you feel so inclined.

9. Have a movie night. If you’re far away from the beach and fireworks, invite your guy over for a movie night, 4th of July style. Pick out a few festive flicks and cozy up in front of the TV. Some suggestions: Born on the Fourth of July, Independence Day, and The Patriot.

10. Bond over a bonfire. You could always forgo the fireworks and curl up around a campfire with him. Bring along sparklers to get into the spirit.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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Tales of Rock: The Night Rob Halford Saved Black Sabbath

When Metal Legends Collide…

In November 1992, Ozzy Osbourne was about to wrap up his supposedly final concert tour in support of the massively successful No More Tears album. Two “farewell” shows were scheduled at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California.

To make these “retirement” concerts into an even bigger must-see event, the Osbourne camp reached out to Ozzy’s former band, Black Sabbath, with an offer to open the Costa Mesa shows. At the time, Sabbath was touring in support of 1992’s Dehumanizer album, which featured the return of vocalist Ronnie James Dio—the man who’d replaced Ozzy in Sabbath in 1980. Everybody thought this was a fabulous idea—except for Dio, who suspected that the invite was merely a back-door method to plant the seeds for a full fledged Sabbath/Ozzy reunion. Dio refused to do the shows and announced that he was leaving Black Sabbath for the second time.

No, sorry. I have more pride than that. A lot of bad things were being said from camp to camp, and it created this horrible schism. So, by them agreeing to play the shows in LA with Ozzy, that, to me, spelled out ‘reunion with Ozzy.’ And that obviously meant the end of our particular project.

— Ronnie James Dio

Various bootlegs of the Costa Mesa gigs. Note that the one on the top right says "with Rob Ralford." Ha!
Various bootlegs of the Costa Mesa gigs. Note that the one on the top right says “with Rob Ralford.” Ha! | Source

Enter Halford

In desperation, Sabbath’s Tony Iommi reached out to a fellow son of Birmingham to replace Dio for the two gigs: Rob Halford of Judas Priest fame. Rob was a free agent at the time, having split from Priest the previous year. He was also a massive Black Sabbath fan, so naturally he jumped at the chance to be their temporary front man. Legend has it that Rob only had two days to familiarize himself with Sabbath’s set list prior to the gigs.

Metal news traveled slower in those pre-internet days, so I imagine much of the audience in Costa Mesa must have been quite surprised to see Rob Halford take the stage with Sabbath on November 14th, 1992. By all accounts, the Metal God absolutely killed it, in spite of the short amount of prep time.

I’m sure that the bootleggers who were already there in force to capture Ozzy’s “last shows” on tape must have been absolutely thrilled to get the Halford/Sabbath combo as an added bonus. Their grainy VHS videos and scratchy audio recordings of the two gigs immediately became popular items in trading circles. For a brief time after the Costa Mesa shows, rumors circulated that Halford might be joining Black Sabbath full time, but obviously that never came to pass.

Night #1, Nov. 14, 1992 (Full Set)

Call for the Priest…

I own a CD of the second night’s show on November 15th (entitled The Priest Comes to the Sabbath), which seems to be the more common of the two nights available via bootleg. It’s obviously an audience recording (occasionally someone yells out “YEEEAAAAHHH!” or “WOOOOOO!” close to the recorder/mic and drowns out the music!) and unfortunately it’s missing the first song of the set (“The Mob Rules”), but aside from that it’s a decent quality recording of an amazing night in Heavy Metal history. Rob’s lack of rehearsal is most obvious during “Children of the Grave,” when he comes in at the wrong time and then has to repeat the first line of the song a moment later (whoops!). However, he quickly redeems himself with a fine rendition of Heaven and Hell‘s “Children of the Sea” (one of my all time favorite Sabbath tracks).

As the set goes on, I’d say that Rob’s singing style is better suited to the Dio era songs like “Neon Knights” and “Heaven and Hell,” but on the other hand, he does turn in some killer performances of Ozzy-era classics too, especially “N.I.B.” and “Into the Void.”

The crowd is clearly having a blast throughout the set, and it sounds like Rob himself is pretty damn jazzed to be singing for one of his favorite bands, too. I guess even Metal Gods can still have fanboy moments!

Night #2—November 15, 1992 (Full Set)

The Aftermath

Ozzy’s planned “retirement” didn’t last long. He was back out on the road again only a few years after the Costa Mesa shows, and Black Sabbath kept on truckin’ as well. Their paths frequently crossed with Ozzy’s during the late 90s at the man’s annual OzzFest attractions. Sabbath also managed to mend fences with the estranged Ronnie James Dio, releasing 2009’s The Devil You Know album with him (under the moniker “Heaven & Hell”) before Ronnie’s tragic death in 2010. A full fledged Ozzy/Sabbath reunion resulted in the 13 album, released in 2013, and a farewell tour.

Rob Halford spent the rest of the ’90s dabbling in street-level groove metal with his solo project Fight and electronic rock with the band “Two.” He returned to Priest style traditional metal with his Halford solo band before he rejoined Judas Priest in 2004.

Amazingly, Halford’s association with Black Sabbath wasn’t quite over yet. Judas Priest was taking part in the 2004 OzzFest tour, headlined by an Ozzy-fronted Black Sabbath, when Ozzy came down with a bout of bronchitis at the Camden, New Jersey date. Rob was asked to step in for Sabbath once again, and even though he had already performed a full set with Judas Priest that day, he was still able to belt out an additional set of classics with Sabbath that night! “Iron Man” indeed!

“Paranoid” With Rob Halford—2004

 

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Wealthy Tech Exec, 30, Describes His Costly Addiction To Asian Massage-Parlor Sex: ‘I Love The Ego-Stroking’

Michael is the founder of a tech startup valued at $10 million. Living alone in a two-bedroom apartment in New York City, the 30-year-old is the picture of success.

But over the past six years, he has shelled out more than $20,000 on his weekly vice: visits to massage parlors for sex.

In light of Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s recent charge of solicitation at a Florida spa, Michael (who asked that his name be changed) tells Phicklephilly about what he calls his “addiction.”

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I’m a typical millennial guy. I live in the Village, work in tech, hang out with my friends — but I suppose what sets me apart is my rub-and-tug addiction:

In New York, you can get anything you want. On the same block, you can go to the hardware store, grab avocado toast and get a happy ending, all before 11 a.m. One of my go-to places is right next to a fancy sushi restaurant that charges $60 for a caviar roll. It’s so easy to get anything, that it’s also easy not to think what I’m doing is wrong.

It all started after my longtime girlfriend and I broke up six years ago. I needed instant gratification — and I found it in the massage parlor. The sex just happened. I didn’t even have to ask for it. It was so transactional, I figured it was harmless.

Within a few months, my visits became a regular thing.

It’s the same thing every time, the flirty greeting of “Hey, baby boy.” Then I lie on the bed and it’s back massage, leg massage, flip over, tug, clean up, out. Forty dollars for the house, forty for the tip. There’s a mutual understanding that this is part of the scope of services.

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If I’m being honest, my addiction has held me back in dating. I’ve never had trouble meeting women. When I started, apps like Tinder were starting to get popular, but I didn’t want to wait to meet up with a girl, go on a date and woo her. I just wanted to get to the sex.

The paid experiences have ruined me.

I went out with a woman last summer and she used her hand on me. But it was awful, and just not the same as a professional.

I love the ego-stroking I get at the massage parlor, the way they call you “big boy.” You almost trick yourself into thinking that the masseuse is into you. There’s also the illicit thrill of getting away with it. One time the masseuse gave me oral sex with a condom on. It’s exciting — kind of underground and crazy that it’s happening at all.

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I have to admit, it’s easier not to know the real-life circumstances of these women working in the massage parlors. If they’re forced to do this against their will, that’s horrible. But who wants to think about that when you’re just trying to escape for a bit?

I can’t deny that doing that job all day has to be gross, disgusting.

When I first heard about Robert Kraft, I was shocked. He’s 77. If I’m still doing this in my 70s, that’s just sad. It also really made me consider the legal consequences. I just assumed that the act isn’t technically illegal because I’ve never had to ask for it.

The expense can be easy to justify, too: Maybe the $20,000 I’ve spent helped me focus on my business, netting me 10 times that amount in productivity.

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But sometimes when I think about the money I’ve spent, I get mad at myself. I’m definitely too dependent on it. I’m addicted. Instead of going out with friends after work, I’ll go to the massage place.

I’ve been in Miami for a month for work, and I’ve done it down here three times after searching for Asian massage parlors online. You look for telltale signs like photos of hot girls. It’s also a dead giveaway when you have to ring through two doorbells just to walk in.

If I was dating someone, I like to think I would stop — but I don’t know.

 

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25 Unexpected Valentine’s Day 2020 Date Ideas

On Valentine’s Day, the last thing you want to do is get stuck in a Netflix and takeout rut—or, worse, end up at a cheesy, overpriced, and decidedly unoriginal prix-fixe dinner. Whether you’re single, coupled up, or somewhere in between, ensure your V-Day is free of clichés with these non-boring ideas, below.

Have a Bonfire

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Stocksy

If you live in the suburbs, grab some marshmallows, chocolates, and s’mores, then spend the night cuddling up by the fire. Bonus points if you can make one on the beach.


Chocolate Tasting and Truffle Making

Instead of buying crappy chocolates from the drugstore, sign up for a masterclass in chocolate-making. If you’re in the tri-state area, spend the night learning directly from the pros of NYC’s Roni-Sue’s and bring home 12 delicious truffles to eat in bed.

Proceeds from the class will support the Waterkeeper Alliance, which “aims to preserve and protect water by connecting local Waterkeeper organizations worldwide and promoting outspoken, citizen-led advocacy. “


Dancing

Not at the club—we mean real dancing. You can take a class, hit a salsa club, or go see live music that makes you want to groove. For the former, we suggest something like the Valentine’s Day Dirty Dancing Party in Chicago.


A Ghost Tour

The convenient thing about ghosts is that they tend to hang around old cities everywhere. Bonus points if you find a spooky event that includes booze like Portland’s Haunted Brewery Crawl, which comes with beer samples and a guided tour. (Two awesome reasons to sign up.)


Ice Skating and Après Skate

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Getty Images

There’s a reason why couples are always hitting the rink in our favorite rom-coms—you’re pretty much guaranteed to get close to each other. Once you’ve had your fill of the ice, you can enjoy some hard-earned drinks. (Hot toddies, anyone?)


A Wine Bar Crawl

Instead of sticking to just one spot, hop from place-to-place and order different kinds of wine and tapas along the way. It’s waaay more interesting than a boring ol’ sit-down dinner. Of course, it doesn’t hurt stashing one away for later too.


A Scavenger Hunt

You can make up your own, complete with creative challenges, photo missions, and sexy prizes.


A Night at the Museum

A view of the interior walkways May 14,
STAN HONDAGetty Images

When museums stay open after hours, they tend to spice things up by throwing a party or holding a special event—especially on V-Day. Take an after-dark art tour for two like the one offered at the Guggenheim complete with chocolate truffles and champagne, accompanied by live music.


A Themed Dinner and Movie Night at Home

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Getty Images

Watching Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fall in love in Roman Holiday is definitely more satisfying when accompanied by a big plate of homemade spaghetti and meatballs.


Go to a Basketball or Hockey Game

Use the night as an excuse to cheer on your favorite teams. For the more competitive couples, take a bet on the winning team and see who’s really buying dinner for the next week.

 

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Tales of Rock: Meet Connie Hamzy — Rock And Roll’s “Most Notorious Groupie” And Bill Clinton’s First Sex Scandal

There was one drummer who got away, though. “I haven’t had Neal Peart. That I regret,” she said.

“Sweet” Connie Hamzy Parente (born January 9, 1955), also called “Sweet Sweet” Connie or Connie Flowers, is an American woman who is known as a groupie who claims to have had sex with numerous rock musicians. Hamzy also received some attention for her claim that she was propositioned by Bill Clinton, then governor of Arkansas.

Connie Hamzy Parente
Born
Connie Parente

January 9, 1955(age 64)

Little Rock, Arkansas
Occupation Media personality, groupie

She is mentioned in Grand Funk Railroad’s song “We’re an American Band” (“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act/ She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”)

Hamzy personally claims to have given oral sex to various members of the many bands that have traveled through Little Rock. Her alleged groupie escapades were detailed in a Cosmopolitan profile in 1974, and in 1992 she wrote a tell-all article for Penthouse.

In 1991, Hamzy was briefly in the news due to her claim that, in 1984, she had been approached by an Arkansas state trooper on behalf of Bill Clinton. She claimed that she and Clinton had looked for “a place where they could have some privacy for an assignation, but couldn’t find one.” George Stephanopoulos later recounted that Clinton told him a different story of his meeting with Hamzy. According to Clinton, Hamzy had approached him in a hotel lobby, flipped down her bikini top, and asked him, “What do you think of these?” Stephanopoulos secured affidavits from three people who had been accompanying Clinton and confirmed Clinton’s recollection. When asked about Hamzy by reporters, Stephanopoulos responded by denying the story off the record and offering to provide the affidavits, also off the record. Although CNN Headline News reported Hamzy’s allegations once, neither CNN nor other mainstream news organizations pursued the story further.[2]

Hamzy published a memoir in 1995 under the title Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock.

In 1996, Hamzy sought to run as an independent for the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas’ 2nd congressional district, but ultimately did not appear on the general election ballot.

Hamzy was featured in a segment of the Insomniac with Dave Attell episode in Little Rock.

Image result for connie hamzy

She was also interviewed on the Howard Stern Show on December 4, 1991, and again on December 8, 2010

As long as there’s an American band around, Connie Hamzy will keep “doin’ her act.”

Connie Hamzy, born Jan. 9, 1955, in Little Rock, Ark., has collected several nicknames over the years. Some call her Connie Flowers, “Sweet” Connie Hamzy, “Sweet Sweet” Connie, or just simply “Sweet Sweet.” A prominent rock groupie, her celebrity status was solidified in two lines from the Grand Funk Railroad’s 1973 song, “We’re an American Band,” which became the group’s first number one single:

“Sweet, sweet Connie, doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact.”

Connie Hamzy’s early escapades

Bands she was allegedly associated with include Led Zeppelin, the Eagles, Bad Company, ZZ Top, and the Doobie Brothers. In 2005, Spin dubbed her“the world’s most notorious rock’n’roll groupie.” But she wasn’t just a 70s groupie. Hamzy was in it for the long haul.

Hamzy was only 15 years old when she was with her first rock star, the drummer for Steppenwolf, Jerry Edmonton. Then she moved onto to Keith Moon of The Who and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

Arkansas groupie claims she and Bill Clinton 'fondled each other ...

Drummers soon became her niche. “The drummers gravitated to me because they wanted to hear about John Bonham and Keith Moon,” she told Howard Stern in an interview. There was one drummer who got away, though. “I haven’t had Neal Peart. That I regret,” she said.

In the 1980s, while her fellow groupie comrades like Pamela Des Barres and Bebe Buell slowly drifted out of the scene to start families or write books about their wild exploits, Hamzy continued her groupie lifestyle into the 90s.

Connie Hamzy’s affair with politics

Connie Hamzy

In fact, some of the biggest waves she made came in 1991, shortly after Bill Clinton declared his candidacy for the presidential nomination. In a tell-all published by Penthouse magazine, Hamzy alleged that in 1984 she had an encounter with Clinton in a North Little Rock hotel while he was governor of Arkansas and married to Hillary Clinton. Hamzy said Bill spotted her while she was sunbathing by the hotel pool. The two of them went into the laundry room and fondled each other until they were abruptly interrupted.

Hamzy said that the incident fell on deaf ears. Political journalist George Stephanopoulos got affidavits from three individuals who said she approached Clinton and he rebuffed her. CNN picked up the story but dropped it after the affidavits were produced.

In 1995, she wrote a book titled Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures of “Sweet Connie” from Little Rock, but her love for rock stars didn’t stop. In her 2005 interview with Spin, when she was 50 years old, she told a story of a recent encounter with Neil Diamond while she was hanging on a tour bus.

Connie Hamzy - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia

“Then he gets high with us and disappears backstage. A few minutes later, his manager says he wants to see me in his dressing room. So I knock on the door, and there’s Neil waiting for me in a blue robe.”

It wasn’t an unlikely encounter, given that Hamzy was reportedly backstage at every Arkansas gig well into the new millennium. “She’s a legend in Little Rock,” said Chris King, owner of the local music venue Sticky Fingerz.

Howard asked if Connie ever felt insulted that the rockers just passed her around like a plate of potatoes. “Well, a plate of good potatoes,” she replied.

Connie Hamzy, now 63, was back in the news in October of 2016, when she rehashed the sexual episode with Bill Clinton. She took a polygraph test about the alleged Clinton scandal and mailed the results over to Donald Trump’s campaign, who she gave her full support to.

This is Connie now.

Image result for connie hamzy

“Rock and Roll devours it’s own young.”Phicklephilly

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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