Tales of Rock – Keith Moon Blew Stuff Up

“No toilet in a hotel or changing room was safe,”

When Keith Moon was 17 years-old he joined The Who and replaced drummer Doug Sandom. He immediately impacted the band’s sound and became known for his innovative drumming style. Along with Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and John Entwistle, Moon would help The Who become one of the most popular bands of the 1960s and 1970s. The group was known for explosive concerts and destructive behavior. The first such performance occurred in 1964 at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone, London, when Townshend accidentally broke the head of his guitar through the ceiling, so he continued to smash it on stage and the crowd loved it. More people came back the next night wanting the band to smash and break something.

Keith Moon had no problem fitting in with the lifestyle of a rock star. He had an erratic personality and gained the nickname “Moon the Loon.” In one famous performance Moon filled his clear acrylic drums with water and goldfish, and dressed like a cat. He was a jokester and Moon’s ability to make his bandmates laugh around the vocal microphone led to him being banished from the studio when albums were being recorded. In response, Moon would sneak into the studio and join in the singing. He can be heard on several tracks, including Bell Boy, Bucket T, and Barbara Ann. He is the high backing vocals on Pictures of Lily.

Keith Moon was known to demolish hotel rooms and was incredibly destructive. He would often throw furniture from high buildings and set objects on fire. However, his favorite hobby was blowing up toilets with explosives. The blasts would destroy the toilet and often times disrupt plumbing to the hotel. It has been estimated that Moon’s destruction of toilets and plumbing ran as high as UK£300,000 (US$500,000). Moon was banned from several hotel chains including all Holiday Inn, all Sheraton, all Hilton Hotels, and the Waldorf Astoria.

According to Tony Fletcher’s biography, Moon was quoted: “All that porcelain flying through the air was quite unforgettable.” Fletcher wrote: “no toilet in a hotel or changing room was safe,” until Moon had detonated his supply of explosives. In one case, hotel management asked Moon to turn down his cassette player. In response, he asked the manager up to his room and blew up the toilet right in front of him. Moon then turned the cassette player back up and said: “This is The Who.”

In 1967, Keith Moon allegedly drove a Cadillac or Lincoln Continental into a Holiday Inn pool. In 1973, The Who was performing at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and Moon passed out during the show. Townshend noticed that he was sleeping and asked the audience, “Can anyone play the drums? I mean somebody good.” An audience member named Scot Halpin stepped up and finished the concert for Moon.

Ringo Starr once told Keith Moon that his lifestyle would eventually kill him. Moon simply replied “Yeah, I know.” Keith Moon died on September 7, 1978 (age 32) after he ingested 32 tablets of clomethiazole (Heminevrin). The digestion of six pills was sufficient to cause his death. The other 26 were found undissolved in his stomach. This caused some to speculate that Moon’s death might have been on purpose. Officially it was ruled a drug overdose.

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – I Can’t Believe We’re Open in Rittenhouse!

The entire front of the building looks like a construction site, or a bomb site.

We closed the old salon for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We were open for business at the new location that Tuesday. We moved and entire business in three days! Achilles and the boys had been doing the build out on the new address for the last month, but it was an absolute herculean task doing what he accomplished.

We have had some setbacks and growing pains. No internet. No phone. New number that no one can call yet. The hamper disappeared. A new phone in the box disappeared in the move as well. We can’t take credit cards because we can’t get on any network yet. There is no sign on the door downstairs or an address. So almost no one can find us. The entire front of the building looks like a construction site, or a bomb site.

However, we do have all of the rooms up. They’re just sheet rock and doors right now, but three of the sun beds actually work, and people that can find us are actually able to tan. They are the two premium beds and one stand up unit. So we’re letting anyone who can find the place tan in whatever bed is available. The best thing about this is, the folks who don’t have the premium package get to tan in the premium beds for the first time. So they love it.

Sawdust and detritus are everywhere. I just keep sweeping, mopping and wiping things off throughout the night. I know it will all come together in time but we’re going to be at least a month or so in this condition. It’s a mess, but we’re all soldiering through it.

I’ll keep you all updated as the new place comes together.

 

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Phicklephilly – 1962 to Present

I’m 55 today!

I was going to post Part 3 of the move to the new space for our tanning salon today. It’s 10:25pm on Tuesday and I publish tomorrow at 8am. You all know that. Normally I write pretty far ahead in the future but decided to write something tonight for tomorrow and just drop it.

I can push Part 3 to tomorrow or next week and that would be great. (It’s a slow week at phicklephilly (Summer in Philly)

So I’ll write for tomorrow August 9th, which as you read this, is right now.

Today is my birthday.

I’ve never been happier in my life. This vessel still has all of its original parts but a few are missing. The car is a little banged up from the journey, but based on recent reviews by the fairer sex , it still runs great.

It’s still on the road and I’m happy that the old Pontiac GTO still turns over each morning. We’ve had many challenges in the last year, but life is still beautiful every day.

I still fall in love everyday, and my health is good. I feel good and am happy to be alive for another year.

Thanks to everyone around for me for that.

Like my parents before me, I’m not big on birthdays or Father’s Day. Birthdays are for kids and I never want my daughter to be beholden to me in any way. I never want my love to ever say the words, “Wait, I have to get a card for my dad.” I know she loves me and I love her forever. We know that’s a reality without words, cards or gifts.

Of course I’ll always hook her up on her Bday because she’s my little girl, but she’s already given me the greatest gift anyone could ever give me. She’s growing into a smart. decent woman in this world. Tomorrow belongs to her, not me. Because I’ll be gone someday.

(I just hope she doesn’t hold me to sending her and her friends to see Britney Spears in Vegas on her 21st birthday! That shit’s expensive!)

She’s happy, healthy, and in a good relationship with a boy I like and respect. I’m always proud of her and her choices. She lives with me and I’m always glad to see her but her life is her own. We have are time together and it’s always meaningful.

I left a failing publication selling advertising last year. I don’t want to sit in a cubicle under flourescent lights anymore and go to three meetings a week and work for fools that know less about themselves, the job, and life itself than I do.

I started working part-time at a tanning salon. The owner and I became close and built a partnership. Now we’re going into business together. Where in the hell would I ever have an opportunity like this in Philly? Be an equity partner in a fitness center in Rittenhouse on Walnut street? It’s like a dream come true.

I started this blog last year and it’ll be a year old in September. I began with one post every Monday. Then added Wednesdays. Then Tuesdays. Then Fridays. In 2018 I’ll publish five days a week.

This year I’ve written Phicklephilly, the book. I’m editing it now, and it should be available on Amazon by Christmas. I’ll begin work on the TV series in the Fall and look forward to pitching it to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and YoutubeRed in 2018. (Or anyone that will listen!)

I buried my parents this year. Thanks to my beloved sisters for holding it all together. Especially Janice.

My dear friends Church and Carly are planning a birthday party today for me at the Ritz Carlton tonight. It won’t start until 8:30 because I’ll be jacked up at the salon/gym until then. (Ugh! Day 17 in a row!)

He put a big invite out there on Facebook. I’m not big on social media anymore, but it’s the thought that Church wanted to do something to celebrate my day that means the most to me. I mean, it would be nice if all of my followers on WordPress showed up but I’ll have you all there in spirit. I’ve always craved creation. I love making things. Art, music, stories. I have so many more things to tell.

It gives me great joy each day to know that I’m writing again after a dozen years of creative darkness. Phicklephilly is my outlet to tell my story and create again. I’m so grateful to my family, friends, dates, (lovers and ex-lovers!) for inspiring me to write again.

I have so much to be thankful for in life. This has been an incredible year and a time of great flux for all of us. I’m going to continue to work hard on my family, friends, business and my art. I want you all to know I’m still here for all of you in your time of need. My ears and heart are always open 24/7.

There is a peace and balance in my life now that I’ve never felt before.

Thank you one and all for your love, friendship, guidance and support.

The party is tonight, so I guess there may be a Part Two to this post if I’m not to hung over!

XXOO

Phicklephilly

P.S. Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, and most of all Jeff Buckley are gone, but I’m still missing you guys here on Earth so I’m going to keep living as long as I can.

But you’re all still alive in me!

 

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present – The Move

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags.

Five guys tearing apart a business and breaking down huge, complex tanning beds and moving them to another location was so brutal, Achilles says he’ll never move again. I can’t agree more. We’re going to a better location and the new salon will be beautiful… eventually. I couldn’t think of a good image to show what a mess the salon is now so I’m sticking with “hot chick in a sunbed.”

I closed on a Friday, and that night the crew came in with Achilles and started dismantling the sunbeds. Great thing was, I didn’t have to sweep or mop the place, because we would never be open for business again at this address.

I went back in Saturday morning around 10am and the crew was in full swing. Achilles, his brother Zues, and two other big strong dudes. They’re all taking things apart and carrying them down the back steps to the alley outside. The beds are huge and have tons of parts.

I just start grabbing anything that’s not tied down and tossing it into boxes or bags. I carry them by hand and walk the three blocks down to walnut street. I carry them up the 30 stairs, unload, and walk back to the old salon. I do this over and over until 4pm.

My whole body hurts when I get home. It’s that moment when you finally sit down for a bit and then have to get up to get more ice for your drink or something. Once on your feet the pain and stiffness kicks in and I groan like an old man.

And the worst part? I have to go do it all again tomorrow. This move has been brutal!

 

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Sun Stories – 2016 to Present -Two Steps From the Move

The place is a mess. I just keep the clients rolling and sweep up the dust and debris.

This Sun Story is not about some cute blonde in a sun bed. It’s about the salon itself. So why the cute naked blonde? Why not? Look at her! She’s a doll!

So if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that we are moving the tanning salon down to Walnut Street. Lease was up. Building sold. New owners. Rent was going up. It’s been a great ten years, but it’s time to move to a better address. Where the new location will be is probably the most upscale shopping district in the city, so that can’t hurt.

It’s the last day at the old salon and they are literally ripping the place apart. The premium beds went first, then the rest will go over the weekend. We don’t have to be out until the end of the month, but the weather is going to be really nice this weekend. So we want to get over to the new spot now.

I’ve been working from open to close every day leading up to the move. That’s from 10am to 8pm on your feet. I really don’t mind it, because I like to work and our clients are great. Achilles and his team are dismantling the machines, and I’m running the store. It’s Achilles, his brother and two other big guys. So they’re all of the mind and muscle. Just four dudes and a pickup truck. I’m holding down the fort until we close.

We’re down to just three beds in operation. The premium lay down in Room 10, the all access lay down in 3 and the stand up in 2. The place is a mess. I just keep the clients rolling and sweep up the dust and debris.

The best part is for the clients. I have to tan everybody in whatever is available under the circumstances. Which means if you paid for a medium package, and the premium bed is available, you get to tan in the premium bed. It’s not the client’s fault that we took most of the beds from their package to the new site.

Here’s the reason that moving is going to payoff for us at the new location. For the last few days we’ve been letting everyone tan in whatever is available. So the clients that have never experienced the premium beds are getting a taste of something they can’t afford. The best bed in the house. 600 watt face tanners, 200 watt tubes, Vitamin D P2 lamps, 3 levels of tanning, (Basic, Mediterranean & Caribbean) and most of all aqua misting! They’re all coming out of this bed raving about it and asking about pricing, and how it’s “THE experience.” So now that they’ve gotten a taste of the very best, when they re-up their packages I’ll tell them it’s only $10 more for a 5 pack and just $15 for the monthly plan. So now that they’ve had the best, how can they go back?

So we’ll probably get some clients that will be spending for money for the better experience. We’re also offering a $20 discount for students. So that’ll help us as we come into our busy season.  So I’ll help them move all of the small stuff that I can gather tomorrow, and we’ll take it one day as a time.

 

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Tales of Rock – Edgewater Hotel Incidents

The Edgewater is a hotel in Seattle, Washington that is located on a pier over Elliott Bay. It is currently the only hotel in Seattle that sits over-water. In the 1960s the Edgewater became a popular destination for famous rock stars. Some of the bands to visit the hotel include the Beatles in 1964, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, and Led Zeppelin. The Edgewater is unique because in the past it allowed customers to fish from their rooms on the north elevation.

On July 27, 1969, Led Zeppelin performed at the Seattle Pop Festival and stayed at the Edgewater. The band was known to have wild parties and was often joined by groupies. According to Zeppelin’s road manager Richard Cole, during one incident, things between a fish and a sexy red head got a bit intimate. On the day in question, Cole was in his room fishing with drummer John Bonham when they were joined by some women. Cole and Bonham had caught a large collection of sharks, at least two dozen, stuck coat hangers through the gills and then left them in the closet. The hotel room was also scattered with various types of smaller fish.

As parties go, one thing led to another and people began to lose their clothing. One particular woman in the crowd with red hair found herself with Cole. She made a unique request, so he decided to reach for a fish and the shark episode was born. Cole was later quoted: “Let’s see how your red snapper likes this red snapper.” It was the nose of the fish and the girl liked it. There was nothing malicious or harmful and Mark Stein of Vanilla Fudge filmed the whole thing. After the story was published by the media a large collection of rumors began to circulate, but many were exaggerated. The band received bad press so they stopped talking about the event.

In 1973, Led Zeppelin returned to the Edgewater and the band was officially banned from the hotel after it was discovered that they had caught some 30 mudsharks and left them under beds, in closets, elevators, hallways, bathtubs, and all over their rooms. They threw stuff out the windows into Elliott Bay, including beds, TVs, mattresses, lamps, drapes, and glassware. Since that time Robert Plant has been welcomed back to the Edgewater. The mudshark incident remains one of the most popular rock stories from the 1960s.

Here’s a version of this song I’ve never heard before. It’s a rough mix. Interesting imagery by Brandy and Coke.

 

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