Tales of Rock – Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister Consumed Jack and Meat

Lemmy Kilmister was the frontman of Motorhead, an all around hard rock legend and a lifelong poster boy for friendly mutton chops. He was one of the very few true rock ‘n’ roll icons of the olden times who not only graced the land of the living for far longer than anyone expected, but did it actively doing his thing.

He was also, with the possible exception of Keith Richards, by far the most unlikely person to actually do so.

The Diet:

Jack Daniels, meat, cheese, drugs.

Lemmy drank at least one bottle of whiskey a day, and did it for over 35 years. The food he consumed was equally unhealthy: He loathed vegetables and ate mainly meats and cheese, with the occasional cake or biscuit thrown in, administered on a “however much he likes, whenever he likes it” basis. He’d been smoking since he was 11. He did copious amounts of drugs daily, and did so for decades.

If that sounds like the lifestyle of every rock star on earth, you’re partially right. But what set Lemmy apart was his apparent good health. His liver was completely fine. As were his kidneys. And lungs. In fact, the man was pretty much as healthy as he’d ever been — the few times he’d actually been ill were everyday performer stuff such as a lung infection and stage dehydration. Even then, he maintained a schedule that would have exhausted a person half his age.

There was evidence that he was only human, though: Sometimes, when the concert conditions got unbearably sweaty, he was known to hydrate by adding a couple of extra ice cubes to his onstage Jack and Coke.

I love you Lemmy! Rest in Peace!

 

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Tales of Rock – Update: Pamela Des Barres’ Memoirs Also Contradicted Lori Maddox’s Story

Since writing and publishing my prior post fact checking Lori Mattix’s (Maddox’s) claim that she lost her virginity to David Bowie the night before his first March 1973 Long Beach show at the age of 15, another significant issue has come to my attention.

Pamela Des Barres’s celebrated memoirs, I’m with the Band, also contradict Ms. Mattix’s account. By late 1972, Ms. Des Barres, aged 24 at the time, had been in a long-standing relationship with Jimmy Page. She ended her relationship with him, however, before moving in with Frank and Gail Zappa (for whom she’d previously worked as a nanny) in February 1973, precisely because of Page’s ongoing relationship with Mattix:

I realized how desperate I was for attention and affection I was when good old Led Zep came to town and I flopped around with Jimmy again. The first night was wonderful, even though he had started to ingest many harmful substances, but the second night he left me stranded in front of the Whiskey like a floundering, faded Jezebel while he sleazed off with a thirteen-year-old nymphet called Lori Lightning [Mattix’s modeling pseudonym]. I sat around all night with the rest of the group, getting pissed, and they all agreed I was too good for that sort of treatment. Oh, well.

Importantly, this occurred before her move into the Zappa’s home in February 1973, and therefore well before David Bowie’s March 1973 Long Beach concerts. Between Ms. Mattix’s own accounts and Ms. Des Barres’s memoirs, it increasingly seems that the fact that the underage Ms. Mattix was already in a relationship with Jimmy Page well before she claims to have lost her virginity to David Bowie cannot be seriously disputed.

 

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Tales of Rock – Sam Cooke

Samuel Cook[2] (January 22, 1931 – December 11, 1964),[2] known professionally as Sam Cooke, was an American singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur.

Influential as both a singer and composer,[3] he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Billy Preston, and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.[4][5][6] AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was “the inventor of soul music”, and possessed “an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed”.[7]

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously. Major hits like “You Send Me“, “A Change Is Gonna Come“, “Cupid“, “Chain Gang“, “Wonderful World“, “Another Saturday Night“, and “Twistin’ the Night Away” are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.[8]

On December 11, 1964, at the age of 33, Cooke was shot and killed by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. After an inquest, the courts ruled Cooke’s death to be a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been called into question by Cooke’s family.

Random Facts:

Sam Cooke sand Almost in Your Arms in the 1958 Cary Grant (Real name: Archibald Leach!) Sophia Loren film, Houseboat.

The Flamingos’ 1960 rocker Nobody Loves Me Like You Do was comosed by Sam Cooke. Many years later Steve Miller did a great cover of that song as well as another great Cooke song, You Send Me.

Sam Cooke was portrayed by Paul Mooney in the 1978 movie The Buddy Holly Story, which made Gary Busey a star and Oscar winner.

I love this song.

 

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Tales of Rock – All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton’s Layla

You know “Layla,” the hit single from Derek and the Dominos, but do you know the wild ’70s rock star tales behind its creation? Drug-fueled insanity, hedonism, and death all left their mark on this now-classic song, and you can even say its release marked the end of ’60s idealism. Right at the middle of this musical maelstrom sit two legendary guitar players: Eric Clapton and George Harrison. The crazy truth of the matter is that “Layla” – and the bulk of the material on the lone Derek and the Dominos album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – was inspired by Clapton’s obsession with Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd.

Harrison and Clapton were best friends at the time the rock legend penned the song about unrequited love, and the results were far from what he’d hoped for. While “Layla” has become one of Clapton’s greatest hits, the album didn’t see success until about two years after the band broke up. Derek and the Dominos seemed doomed as well, as each of its members fell on hard times.

From drug abuse to plagiarism to murder, read on to discover the tragic Derek and the Dominos stories associated with “Layla.”

Eric Clapton Formed The Band To Serenade George Harrison’s Wife
Eric Clapton Formed The Band T... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

In 1970, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Gordon formed the supergroup known as Derek and the Dominos. Despite the formidable talent assembled, the band was seemingly doomed from the start; even Clapton calls them “a make-believe band.”

Clapton went on to confess that his motivation for starting the group was to create a cover for his love songs about Pattie Boyd, George Harrison’s wife. “I had to come out and admit that I was being me. I mean, being Derek was a cover for the fact that I was trying to steal someone else’s wife.”

George Harrison of the Beatles married model Pattie Boyd in 1966. But Harrison was a womanizer, and marriage didn’t seem to curb his wandering eye. He took a trip to India, and when he came home he explained to Boyd that he needed concubines because he’d decided to model himself after the god Krishna. He began a string of affairs, regardless of Boyd’s feelings on this turn in their relationship.

Harrison And Clapton Shared Ro... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

Clapton dated Boyd’s sister Paula at one point. Harrison suggested that he and Boyd go out with the couple one evening, and that they could switch partners. Clapton found he couldn’t go through with it and stopped the swap from actually happening.

Another time, one of Clapton’s ex-girlfriends came to stay with Harrison and Boyd post-breakup. Boyd considered the woman a friend, but Harrison had other ideas. He sent his wife to go stay with some friends so he could have a fling with the ex in private. Once he’d had his fun, he phoned Boyd to tell her the girl had gone and she could come home now.

Jim Gordon Might Have Ripped Off That Piano Melody
Jim Gordon Might Have Ripped O... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

The famous four-minute piano coda that closes “Layla” was credited to drummer Jim Gordon. It later came to light that Gordon may have swiped the melody from his ex-girlfriend, singer Rita Coolidge. She left him for assaulting her. According to Coolidge, Gordon once “hit [her] so hard that [she] was lifted off the floor and slammed against the wall on the other side of the hallway.”

Coolidge says she was working on a song called “Time” while still living with Gordon. The couple worked on it together and even played it for Clapton at one point, but her portion of the melody was slipped into “Layla” a year later without her permission. When she confronted Robert Stigwood, Clapton’s manager at the time, he blew her off.

Clapton And Harrison Had A Guitar Duel Over Boyd
Clapton And Harrison Had A Gui... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

During a party hosted by Robert Stigwood in 1970, Clapton admitted to Harrison that he was in love with his wife. Harrison was furious and demanded Boyd choose then and there; she ended up going home with her husband. Clapton later described himself as “a jealous Lancelot in the Camelot world of The Beatles,” and said one evening he and Harrison actually whipped out their guitars and “dueled” for two hours straight.

But another man vying for his wife’s affection apparently wasn’t a wake-up call for Harrison to treat her better. Boyd later confessed in interviews and in her memoirs that she was deeply depressed in her marriage to Harrison and had considered committing suicide.

After Clapton’s Album Flopped He Went On A 3-Year Heroin Binge
After Clapton’s Album Flopped is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

The Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs was released in November of 1970, but this declaration of love didn’t deliver the results Clapton had hoped for. Not only was the album unsuccessful with the public (largely due to the anonymity Clapton insisted on), but it didn’t stir the emotions he’d hoped for with Boyd.

She was touched by the song “Layla,” but remained married to Harrison. According to Boyd, after she refused to run away with Clapton, he produced a bag of heroin and threatened to take it if she didn’t come with him. She still said no, and Clapton sunk into a depression-driven heroin binge that lasted about three years.

In Clapton’s autobiography, he estimated that he spent the current equivalent of about $16,000 a week on heroin, in addition to the copious amounts of cocaine, alcohol, and marijuana he was already regularly using.

Drug Use Tore Derek And The Dominos Apart
Drug Use Tore Derek And The Do is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

Derek and the Dominos only released the one album; the group fell apart while attempting to lay down tracks for their second LP. But between the band’s shady origins and its initial commercial failure, it’s no surprise that Derek and the Dominos called it quits. The rampant drug use of its members contributed to the band’s rapid dissolution as well.

“It frightens me to think about it,” Clapton recalled in an interview. “It was cocaine and heroin and it wore the band down and a hostility was released that hadn’t been there before. When drugs or medication enter the picture, something happens to relationships. They just dissolve. Whatever held us together got thrown out and the atmosphere was so bad you could cut it with a knife.”

The dark cloud seemed to linger over the band’s former members once they went their separate ways. The years of substance abuse took their toll, too: in 1980, bassist Carl Radle died from a kidney infection associated with excessive drug and alcohol use. He was 37 years old.

Duane Allman Died In A Motorcycle Accident
Duane Allman Died In A Motorcy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

In 1971, almost a year after the release of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs release, 24-year-old Duane Allman died in a horrific motorcycle accident. Allman swerved to avoid colliding with a truck, and ended up being thrown from his motorcycle.

Allman’s death became further fuel for Clapton’s depression. In his memoirs, he described Allman as the “musical brother I’d never had but wished I did.”

Harrison’s Affair With Ringo Starr’s Wife Was The Last Straw For Boyd
Harrison's Affair With Rin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

Harrison’s womanizing continued, but it seems the breaking point concerned Maureen Starkey, the wife of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr. Harrison began an affair with her and Boyd had had enough. Not only had she considered Starkey a friend, but he claimed to be in love with her.

Boyd found photographs of the two of them in her home together while she was out of town. Once, she even found them locked in a bedroom together. Harrison finally opened the door, chuckling as he told his enraged wife that Maureen was “just a bit tired so she’s lying down.”

Clapton Finally Got His Dream Girl And Wrecked It All
Clapton Finally Got His Dream is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

Clapton finally kicked his heroin addiction, and in 1974 Boyd left Harrison to run off with Clapton. They were married in 1979, and somehow the trio remained friends – the two men even began referring to each other as “husbands-in-law.”

But after all the dreaming, wooing, begging, and drowning in depression that Clapton went through to get Boyd, he still cheated on her. After 14 years together, Clapton got another woman pregnant and seemed to trade in his heroin addiction for alcoholism. Boyd divorced him in 1988.

Jim Gordon Murdered His Mother
Jim Gordon Murdered His Mother is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list All the Drugs, Murder, Adultery, and Disaster Around Eric Clapton's Layla

Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon spent the 1970s fueled by booze, heroin, and cocaine, and struggling with acute schizophrenia. During this period, he began to hear his mother’s voice, among others. He stopped sleeping and eating properly and couldn’t even play the drums anymore.

Multiple physicians blamed his substance abuse, and he was treated for alcoholism instead of schizophrenia. His paranoia spiraled out of control in June of 1983, when he became convinced that his 71-year old mother was evil. Gordon bludgeoned her to death with a hammer and stabbed her with a butcher knife. He was sentenced 16 years to life in prison and has been denied parole several times.

 

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California Dreamin’ -1982 to 1984 – Dariella – Into Darkness

Let me preface this by saying that I’m no prince charming, but even I have limits. I met Dariella one night after a show at Madam Wong’s West in Santa Monica, and she seemed interesting and metal. Naturally I wanted to see her again.

The First Date:

I found out she doesn’t drive, which isn’t a problem. I also found out that she lived down in Long Beach, not great, but I wanted to spend time with her so I took the drive to pick her up. When I arrived I also found out she lived with her parents, and was unemployed, again, see seemed great so I decided it wasn’t a big deal. We went to one of the local haunts to get some food and get to know one another better. That’s when I found out she was a part time Dom in a local dungeon. Okay to each their own, people have different tastes. Everything else during the date went smoothly. She was hot and exotic. The night ended and I drove her home.

The Second Date:

She wanted to go to this great bar that she knew about. I was all for it, something new. It turned out to be a really seedy dive bar. It was like something out of a movie. Everybody knew her, and she even had some family there. She proceeded to get wasted while I took in the sights and got to know the people. There was an old Hell’s Angel that told me about his youth, and how he was the king of the skating rink back in the day. I got to see a midget line dance to Copper Head Road. My date ran into a friend she’d met in county lockup. (Nice) All in all, it wasn’t too bad. I really enjoyed the place more than spending time with her though. She ran up a HUGE bar tab while we were there and expected me to pay which wasn’t really cool.

The Third Date:

Back to the bar! This time I brought the guys from the band and a few of my friends along. Everyone loved the place. Crazy group of people that looked like, rockers, punks, goths, hookers, bikers, and hippies. It was nuts. But things took an odd turn on the way to the van to drop off my date and her cousin. Her cousin stops and makes a comment about having just about the right amount of people for an orgy. My date replied that it wouldn’t be the first time. What did her cousin think she did at all those parties she went to? The level of crazy just went way up. Her cousin was smokin’ hot too, so we went back in the bar and put it to the group. Everybody was down, so off we went back to somebody’s house.

Sadly, phicklephilly is a dating blog, not a sex blog so I can’t go into all of the details of the orgy back at her cousin’s house. But it was insane and my first one!

Here’s and excerpt of a conversation I later had with my buddy, bassist, Frank.

Me: “That shit was crazy, right?”

Frank: “Fuck sake, mate. Remember the one I was with?”

Me: “Dariella’s hot cousin or that chick with that Bow Wow Wow Mohawk?”

Frank: “Mohawk.”

Me: “Okay.”

Frank: “After I gave it to her she said she’d been smoking meth with her boyfriend earlier that day.”

Me: “That’s fucked up.”

Frank: “And she said how she hoped she wasn’t pregnant!”

Me: “By you or her boyfriend?”

Frank: Fuck sake, I wore a sweater with her, thank fuck!” (condom) But that’s not the worst part.”

Me: “What?”

Frank: “She stole like $80 out of my wallet!”

Me: “I told you that chick was a hooker!”

 

Sadly, that was the last time I went out with Dariella. I think the band was all to weirded out by what had happened.

I miss that bar though.

 

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Tales of Rock: Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Yea… that’s yours truly in that pic.

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerizing, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favorite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronize

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronizing with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

 

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

 

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