Tales of Rock – Eric Clapton

Universally hailed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Eric Clapton spent much of his early career furiously inhaling massive quantities of alcohol and drugs, possibly worried the world’s supply was about to run out. Did it interfere with his music? Yes and no. In his own words:

“I’d wander off the stage and somebody would have to try to persuade me to go back on. There seemed to be a postpsychedelia drunkenness that swept over everybody in the entertainment business during the early 70s. To be on stage, you were almost expected to be drunk. I remember doing one entire show lying down on the stage with the microphone stand lying beside me, and nobody batted an eyelid.”

That’s right: Eric Clapton was just lying down during a rock concert and that was perfectly cool. Encouraged even. The amazing thing is, he probably just killed that set too.

A Typical Day If You Were Eric Clapton’s Personal Assistant

Eric Clapton: Look, I’m going to finish drinking this children’s pool full of rye whiskey, and you’re going to get 80 feet of high strength fishing line, then learn everything you can about the art of puppetry, and meet me at the show in three hours. OK? Break!

You: Man, there has got to be a better use of my Liberal Arts degree.

 

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Miscellaneous Stories: Asian Massage Parlors – The Sad Part – 2

Massage parlors promising “happy endings” are at the center of international human trafficking schemes involving underage girls and illegal immigrants.

These establishments are starting to crop up in greater numbers across the city again after previous crackdowns by authorities in 2014, and their crimes extend far past prostitution. With the assistance of sites like Backpage.com, the owners of these sex shops can update advertisements daily and better avoid scrutiny from law enforcement.

For those who argue these establishments commit victimless crimes, authorities note these parlors are typically staffed entirely by women, many of whom are forced to live at the store and are often underage. Illegal immigrants are specifically preyed on and threatened with deportation if they do not follow instructions.

The NYPD has arrested 11 people on prostitution charges in Staten Island through April 2017. Criminal complaints show five of the people arrested do not have U.S. citizenship and five provided their work address as their primary residence. All but one woman identified themselves as Asian and/or Pacific Islander.

“Human trafficking is up 50 percent in the city alone — that’s a huge red flag that this issue is permeating and it needs to be addressed aggressively,” Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican running for mayor, told Staten Island Live regarding the massage parlors. “Unfortunately, we know that this is a human trafficking issue, it’s not just prostitution.”

Authorities arrested eight members of the Rendon-Reyes gang in Brooklyn in April on charges of human smuggling and sex trafficking of minors, which they allegedly participated in for a decade. All eight members face a lifetime in prison if convicted. Detailed statistics on human trafficking are difficult to assemble, but officials estimate thousands of women are trafficked into New York each year.

Officials in New York City say poor enforcement of immigration laws is aiding the human trafficking business. Women are often kidnapped from other countries and subsequently brought to the U.S. Their lives and the lives of their families are threatened in order to terrorize the victims into obedience.

“I consider forcing a woman or a child to perform sexual acts and be victims is something that should be taken seriously and I think that’s the type of message we’re sending if we don’t enforce [people being in New York illegally],”

Authorities successfully closed six of these massage parlors in 2015, but more continue to open. Malliotakis and other local lawmakers say there has been a steady increase in calls reporting shady massage parlors popping up in their communities.

If you think human trafficking, massage parlors and prostitution are limited to urban areas, you would be mistaken.

Lunchtime two weeks ago, Lower Merion Police moved in on a nondescript building, serving a warrant investigating a suspected prostitution operation. The Rock Hill Road establishment in Bala goes by the name Therapy Zone.

“We’ve had it under surveillance for a few days, and a number of things are occurring here consistent with prostitution,” said Sergeant Gavin Goschinski.

Lower Merion Police say those things would be security cameras, a lack of formal advertising and secure exterior doors where clients need to be buzzed in.

“We encountered one female inside the establishment. She’s a Russian citizen. We were taking her in for interviews and to determine if she needs to be connected to services relative to human trafficking,” said Goschinski.

Law enforcement has also been investigating Therapy Zone and similar suburban businesses. Apparently finding a massage parlor with sexual services isn’t very difficult. We found a website which claims to locate massage parlors that engage in prostitution.

For a small fee, you can read reviews that include the names of the women, sexual favors offered and price. The site claims there are more than 230 erotic massage parlors all over the tri-state area, including over 80 in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia police detectives Ashley Capaldi and Kate Gordon are part of the department’s new Human Trafficking Unit. They say the women working in the massage parlors are often the victims of human trafficking, who come to the US heavily in debt and are forced into prostitution.

“You said it cost $70, 80, 90 for me to come here, and I’m supposed to be trying to support my family at home and here, and it’s virtually impossible to ever break that cycle,” said Gordon.

“Until now, no one is ever coming for the person who owns the house, who runs the house,” said Capaldi.

According to court records, Lower Merion Police questioned several so-called “Johns” who left Therapy Zone. The “Johns” allegedly admitted to receiving sexual favors and told police during initial visits, they were asked about what sexual favors they wanted, given a price and assigned a number for booking appointments.

Police say they watched as women of Therapy Zone would discard condoms in the trash cans of other businesses.

“Our surveillance found the women who open and operate the business are dropped off a door or two away and that they come in, they operate during the day,” said Goschinski.

Investigators across the region say putting erotic massage parlors out of business is tough.

It’s supply and demand.

They close one parlor, another opens down the road in another name.

In Bala no one’s been charged yet. They continue to investigate allegations of prostitution and human trafficking.

“This is a brick and mortar operation with a significant investment. We hope to disrupt the organization today, and then follow-up with it and see where money is traveling, who owns it and that sort of thing,” said Goschinski.

 

 

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Miscellaneous Stories: Asian Massage Parlors – The Fun Part – 1

We here at phicklephilly want to bring you all aspects of the dating culture here in Philadelphia. Asian massage parlors have been around forever and are in every city in the country. Even though it’s not technically dating, the service these places provide feels like the very best part of a date.

I spoke with my buddy Johnny R. because out of all of my friends, this cat digs vice. I asked him if he could tell me what the experience was like at one of these places.

You used to find these places in the back pages of Philly Weekly and City Paper. Two free papers that were in honor boxes all over the city. Now you can find them literally on a website called backpages.com.

Once you find a “massage parlor” you want to try you simply locate it in the city. There are several all over the place. Usually it is just an address, with maybe an “Open” sign illuminated in the window.

You ring the bell and are normally greeted by an older Asian woman. Somewhere in her forties or fifties. She’s the mamasan. That’s the person of authority that runs the parlor. They always ask if it’s your first time. They do that to see if you know what the deal is and also to possibly see if you’re law enforcement.

I believe prostitution should be legalized. They’re working in the oldest profession, and should have access to healthcare and anything else any working person is entitled to. But what’s wrong with these places is the human trafficking aspect of this industry. But we’ll get to that in tomorrow’s post.

Some of these places take credit cards and some only cash. Normally they charge around $180. It used to be $150, but times change. But when I tell you what you get for your $180 you’ll see what a good deal it is. Also, years ago you’d pay the mamasan $50 for the massage and then the girl who was to give you the massage asked for a tip once she was alone with you in the room. But I think it was easier for law enforcement to entrap the girls because technically she’s asking for extra money beyond the fee to perform some additional duties.

So now it’s just the whole thing up front. $180 is the price of the massage and what happens in that room between you and that girl is between you two.

So you pay the lady and takes you to a room and leaves you there. The room is normally dimly lit. Everybody looks better in the dark. There is a massage table in the room and usually some sort of little table. Usually there is some soft music playing.

Within a few minutes an attractive, young Asian girl enters the room. She’s usually wearing some skimpy little outfit with a pair of high heels. She greets you and asks your name. You can give her any name you want because the name she gives you probably isn’t her real name either. She hands you a towel and asks you to disrobe. She then leaves the room while you undress.

When she returns you’re usually sitting there on the massage table with a white towel wrapped around your waist. She takes you by the hand, and leads you into the washroom. There is a long table with a cushion on it. she asks you to remove your towel and lie facedown on the table. There is a large round tub filled with water in the corner and she fills it with warm water. She gets a bucket and takes fresh water from a faucet and fills the bucket and rinses you down. Then with a soapy bath sponge she scrubs your body down and washes you. As an adult we take for granted that we take a shower everyday. But as a man having an attractive woman who you don’t even know bathe you, it’s really nice. You feel like a king with a loyal servant to take good care of you. It’s kind of hot. She really scrubs you down paying extra attention to your butt. The foot scrub is especially good. She rinses you down and then gives you your next directive.

She tells you to flip over on to your back. You obey and let her continue to work on you. She gently scrubs the front of you and your legs. The most brilliant part of this table shower is when her soft, slippery, soapy hand grasps your manhood, and spends a little extra time “washing” it with her dexterous digits!

She rinses you off one final time and helps you to your feet. She then dries you off with a towel. When do you ever get treated like this? A cute Asian girl bathing you and then toweling off your whole body is an experience unto itself. No one’s done this for you since you were a child. It’s a nice nostalgic yet erotic experience.

She checks the hallway to make sure you don’t run into any other clients. Think about that. Can you imagine if you were in one of these places and you see your boss, or even worse, a family member?

She takes you by the hand and leads you back to your room. She leaves again, but usually returns in a short amount of time. She asks you to lie face down, and she begins to give you a legitimate massage. Really works her hands on you and hitting all the main muscle groups.

Johnny tells me that one time he was at a parlor and there was a long pipe above the bed and the lady held onto it and literally walked on his back.

It’s a solid massage and even sometimes they massage your hands and feet. During this massage the girl will normally remove her top and will gently rub her nipples on your back.

“I remember this other time the girl was massaging my buttocks and she just spread them and dug in and rimmed me with her tongue!”

“How did that feel, Johnny?”

“Fucking exquisite.”

Normally as you flip over on to your back, she catches your member in her hand and starts massaging it. He said once you’re fully aroused she’ll roll a condom on down the shaft. Johnny says he remembers this one girl had the condom in her mouth and she rolled it on using her mouth.

“That was pretty spectacular.”

Then the girl will usually climb on top of you and mount you and it just goes from there.

“And that’s it?”

“Well you don’t have to stay in that position. She’s yours for the hour. You can flip her any way you want and have sex with her until you finish.”

Once the act is complete, she leaves the room and comes back with a warm wet wash cloth, removes the condom, and wipes you down with the cloth.

She then helps you get dressed. She will even get on her knees and put on your shoes and tie them for you. It’s a lovely experience. She walks you to the door and asks you to make a return visit soon and your on your way.

Sounds amazing.

Legalize this immediately or please look the other way law enforcement.

 

 

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Tales of Rock: Swedish Metal Fiasco – Ghost – Part 3

Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that was formed in Linköping in 2006. In 2010, they released a 3-track demo followed by a 7″ vinyl titled “Elizabeth”, and later their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The Grammis-nominated album was widely praised and significantly increased their popularity. Their second album and major label debut Infestissumam was released in 2013, debuted at number one in Sweden, and won the Grammis Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album. The band released their third studio album, Meliora, in 2015, to much critical acclaim and high record sales, reaching number one in their home country of Sweden, and number eight in the United States. Its lead single, “Cirice”, earned them the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.

Ghost is easily recognizable owing greatly to its eccentric on-stage presence. Five of the group’s six members, its ‘Nameless Ghouls,’  wear virtually identical, face-concealing costumes. The most distinguishable member is its vocalist, called ‘Papa Emeritus’, who wears a prosthetic mask of skull face paint and appears as what can be described as a “demonic anti-Pope.”  Each album cycle has brought about a change in the band’s appearance. Though the vocalist is always portrayed as roughly the same archetypal character, there are slight appearance changes, and even altered personality traits from former versions.

All of the band members’ true identities were kept anonymous until 2017, when five former members revealed themselves, four of whom filed a lawsuit against the lead singer Tobias Forge, marking the confirmation of his true identity.

Church and I get to the venue around 8:45pm. It’s hot as hell this summer. They check our ID’s at the door and stamp our hands. We go through security like it’s a fucking airport. I have to take out my keys and show them to the nice lady who is patting me down and I just pretend she’s fondling me for a second.

Then I see my adorable young friend Emily! (See: Emily – 2015 to Present – Super Baby Sister) I forgot she works here at the Fillmore. I love little Emily. I give her a hug and I feel all of the rage that I had bottled up for the last four days simply drain out of me. I’ll have to bear that in mind on the next occasion I’m angry. Simply hug a cute girl.

Church and I hit the bar. He gets a coke because he’s not drinking. But buys me a vodka and tonic. Free drinks always make me feel better. We walk around and check out the venue. He’s never been here before. The Fillmore is one of my favorite places to see a show. It’s an old refinery that’s been converted to a concert hall. So it’s very spacious. They have a big open lobby area, then there is a bar called the Foundry as you get inside. To the left is the main concert area. And again, that’s very spacious as well. There’s a huge long bar in there as well. It’s just the perfect place to see shows. This is a general admission show so there is no seating. Church tells me the show is sold out, and the place is packed. But not the bar area. So I’m happy to just sip my drink and I’ll watch from the back.

The show starts and the band comes out and hits it. Ghost is the antithesis of Catholicism where they worship the devil. They are lead by Papa Emeritus whose costume is similar to that of the Pope. Ghost had been to Philly before opening for Avenged Sevenfold in 2013. That lineup consisted of Papa Emeritus II who has since been replaced with Papa Emeritus III.

Ghost’s tour to the smaller venues is an amazing show as their light show is one of the best I have seen. The lights enhance their songs perfectly. They stay with the Catholicism theme using a thurible during one of their songs. Giving sacrament by using two ladies from the audience to give communion wafers and wine. Ghost has really reinvented their sound with Papa Emeritus III. The older songs do sound better with the new Papa. Hearing “Cirice” live reinforced the Grammy Award as it a perfect song. The Nameless Ghouls wore masks that would represent Moloch as well.

Like I said before, I don’t know anything about this band, but they rocked out and the guitar work was solid. I didn’t know any of the songs but near the end I was swaying and tapping to the music. If Duncan were here he’d be head thrashing. I always wonder why most people I see at concerts just stand there. I always move with the music. Maybe because I’m a musician.

All in all I had a good night and didn’t spend a bunch of money. So by the end of the night I was happy again, and making plans to see Emily one of these days for a Sugar Baby night of drinks.

But like I said in the last chapter of this trilogy. Never again will I get roped into someone else’s plans. NEVER AGAIN!

Church wants me to go to Las Vegas to see Billy Idol at the Hard Rock casino in October to celebrate his 9 months of sobriety. Never happening. I love Billy Idol, but that dude is sixty and I don’t gamble and why would I spend that kind of money to go to something I have no interest in? Church needs to pull himself together and do whatever he needs to do, but my life is magical enough without going to Vegas.

I’m happy with my life the way it is. I’ve done so much and lived so much. I continue to live in the now and feel life’s energy. I get my energy from people and I love that. I am full, and they keep pouring it on.

I’m fine. Daughter is fine and we’re hitting on all cylinders. She gets it and of course so do I. I’m surrounded by some empty lost souls. I’ll help them but that shit gets tiring. Let go of the bars of your prison and walk the fuck out.

 

 

 

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Tales of Rock: Swedish Metal Fiasco – Church – Part 2

I tell Church about how Duncan bailed on the show. He thinks that’s fucked up but is all amped to go see Ghost at the Fillmore.

I on the other hand I’ve been working my ass off at my job, the salon and getting the fitness center off the ground. I don’t even feel like going now that Duncan isn’t coming up. But Church bought a ticket and now I have to go. I swear, if he wasn’t so amped to go, I wouldn’t even have opened the email from Duncan with the tickets in it. I would have just finished my shift at the salon, and  went home.

I find I have had such a big busy life and have enjoyed the people and events and places in this city, I’m like a seasoned New Yorker now. People that have lived in Manhattan for years usually don’t go out much. I’m like that now.

I especially don’t like getting dragged into something I’m not interested in. I don’t know who the hell Ghost is, and I have no interest in seeing them live. My life is plenty exciting enough. I don’t need to truck up to the Fillmore in 100 degree weather, and go through a pat down, and then pay $8 for a vodka and tonic plus tip. I don’t like crowds and metal shows are always crowded with a bunch of scruffy ruffians.

I hardly even listen to metal anymore. I’m literally having anxiety about going to this show. I even thought on several occasions of emailing the tickets I have to Church and telling him I’m sick and he can take two other people. I just really don’t want to do this.

I’m even more pissed off at Duncan for setting up this whole shit show and then bailing three days before the show. What a dick. All because of the money aspect. He’s rich! What the hell?

Once he bailed on this show, I told Achilles I could work that night, because I figured, Doors open at 7pm. Warm up act goes on at 8pm. Headliner goes on sometime after 9pm. That’s how most bands and venues roll. I finish work at 8pm so after some final clean up I close the doors around 8:30. I don’t give a shit about the warm up act so I’ll get there when I get there.

I’m miserable about this. Church told me earlier that day he was driving down from Lancaster (Who knows why) and will meet me at the venue. I’m thinking, great. I can focus on the salon, no distractions during closing, and get an UBER to the Fillmore around 8:30-8:45.

I plan on ordering dinner. I can eat in peace, get my drinking armor on for the show and I’ll be fine.

Don’t I get a text around 7pm that fucking Church is now going to come pick me up. He’s been to the salon dozens of times. He must be familiar with when I normally get out of there. I’m like fuck! I have to order my food now because I want to eat in private. I really don’t want him to come here because it’s going to turn stressful.

He gets there around 8pm. Why couldn’t he have just cruised by at 8:30 and I could have just hopped in and off we go? No. He has to go park, and come up to the salon. I’m barely civil when he arrives. But behind him in comes my food delivery guy and I’m delighted to see him.

Now the fucking pressure is on. Fucking Church is talking about his parking and worrying about his mirror. He wants to help with folding the towels. I’m rage eating my food.

“You’re inhaling that!” he says.

Why couldn’t he have just gone to the fucking Fillmore and I could have met him there? Because he’s never been to the Fillmore and he didn’t want to go there alone. You’re a grown fucking man! Sack up and act like one! You were in the military! Where’s your nuts?

Then I have to go to the bathroom.  Church is actually concerned that I’m going to defecate rather than urinate because of the time factor. This is ridiculous. It’s all a waste of time.

I am so fucking angry at Duncan and now Church. We finally get out of the salon. I need a cigarette. Church lets me smoke in his car, thank God. He drives like a maniac through the streets pf Philly and I’m genuinely frightened and feeling a headache coming on.

We finally get to the venue and Church is practically running to get in there. He’s creating this whole stress level that shouldn’t even be here. I just tell him I’ll catch up and get there when I get in there and he slows down.

We get into the venue and the warm up act is done, and nothing is happening. So all of that pressure, and stress and speeding to the venue was all for naught. I knew it would play out this way. I just need to get some alcohol into me so I can chill out.

I vow tonight that I am never letting any of this happen to me ever again. I’m not going to any event I don’t really want to go to ever. My life is better than it’s ever been, and I’m not going to let anyone fuck up my smooth glide anymore.

So if you’re reading this do the right thing. Don’t ask me again!

(I see during final edit that whatever shitty Ghost video I posted on here is now unavailable. I’m not even going to bother replacing it. Because I don’t give a shit!)

 

 

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Tales of Rock: Swedish Metal Fiasco – Duncan – Part 1

“You should come up! We’ll rock out and you can see your family. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.”

My buddy Duncan reached out to me a couple of months ago. He’s the one who works all the time at the bank in commercial real estate in North Carolina and makes tons of money. He’s completely driven by succeeding and earning, so he’s lost all site of the little things in life.

But I thought there was still hope when he sent me some music clips from a Swedish heavy metal band called Ghost. I thought it was pretty good, but I’m not thrilled with metal in general anymore. I’m just not that angry. I enjoy music that’s a bit softer now as I’m well into middle age.

A few weeks later he texts me that Ghost is playing at the Fillmore here in Philly. He says he’s buying two tickets and flying up to see them with me. I’m thrilled that I’m going to spend time with my old friend. I wouldn’t care if we’re going to see the Wiggles, I’m just happy to hang with my buddy.

He also tells me he’s staying up here a couple of days because his sister is getting married on Saturday. Ghost is on Thursday so I figure I’ll take off a few days and do stuff around the city with him until Saturday. It’ll be awesome just like the last time he came up.

I was hanging in a bar with my friend Church having some food and drinks when that text came through. Church says he loves Ghost. He wants to go too. I figure the more the merrier. Church buys a ticket on Stub Hub, and now we’ll all go rock out.

Three days before the show, (I’ve already asked for the time off) Duncan texts me that he’s not coming up now. He states that it will cost him $1000 for everything round trip and he just doesn’t want to spend the money. (This clown will be a millionaire by the time he’s fifty years old in two years!) What the hell?

He says it always costs him that much with air fare hotel, transportation, etc.

“Dude. Listen to yourself. You’re close to being a fucking millionaire.  A thousand bucks is like piss in the ocean to you!”

“I just don’t want to spend that much money on anything right now. Got to stay focused.”

“What about your sister’s wedding?”

“I’d rather do a longer fun filled trip and spend a thousand dollars rather that a quick up and back for a ‘questionable’ second wedding.”

“Oh, come on! This was your idea!”

“I’m emailing you the tickets now.”

“You suck! Church already bought his ticket.”

“Well you can bring someone else, or sell the ticket or give it away.”

“I think you’re making a mistake. Dude, you work a lot, you like this band and can totally afford to take a break and come up and enjoy the show. Live a little!”

“I would have really liked to see this band with you, they are good but a little different than what we’re accustomed to listening to.”

“You should come up! We’ll rock out and you can see your family. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said, ‘I should have spent more time at the office.”

“You sound like my mother.”

“Fine.”

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Keith Moon

Keith Moon was the drummer for The Who, and if he didn’t invent insane rock star behavior, he did his best to popularize it. What are now common rock star cliches, were daring and original back when Moon was doing them. Trashing hotel rooms, consuming horse tranquilizers, engaging in naked cake fights–Moon did it all, with vigor, passion and creativity. The best Keith Moon story is the time when shortly after leaving a hotel, he sat up in a panic and told the driver to stop and turn around. “I forgot something! We’ve got to go back!” Upon returning to the hotel, he ran to his room, grabbed the television and threw it out the window and into the pool. Returning to the car, he said with a great sigh of relief, “I nearly forgot.”

His signature stunt was ruining toilets, and not in the way Kevin Smith ruins toilets. Moon actually demolished them. He went on the road with an enormous supply of cherry bombs, M-80s and dynamite, exploding toilets wherever he went. Moon was ultimately banned from every Holiday Inn, Sheraton and Hilton in the country for his trouble–though he was heralded Man of The Year by several plumbing supply industry associations.

A Typical Day If You Were Keith Moon’s Personal Assistant:

You: Keith? Please come out of there, Keith. Please don’t flush that down the toilet, Keith. I could see why you’d think it’s funny the first 60 times, but this is too much. Exploding Toilet 61 is going to be no different than any of the rest. We’re just gathering redundant data now. There is no logical, scientific or statistical need for this.

Keith Moon: -Opens bathroom door, runs past, cackling.

You: -Rolls for cover.

 

 

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