Tales of Rock – Neil Young Needs Special Effect to Hide Coke in his Nostril

With his wide-eyed, shaky demeanor, Neil Young just has the look about him of a guy on drugs. The thing is that’s probably more the effect of his lifelong struggles with epilepsy than anything else.

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With his wide-eyed, shaky demeanor, Neil Young just has the look about him of a guy on drugs. The thing is that’s probably more the effect of his lifelong struggles with epilepsy than anything else. He’s definitely done his share; last year, the story broke that he’d finally quit smoking pot and drinking—at 66-years-old—to write his memoir.

And he’s created some great music ruminating on the ill effects of addiction; his 1971 song “The Needle and the Damage Done” is one of the most poignant ever written about heroin, and his 1975 album Tonight’s The Night eulogized his roadie Bruce Berry and guitarist Danny Whitten, both of whom died of heroin overdoses in 1973.

Despite all this, Young has generally avoided a reputation for doing heavy drugs himself. However, there have been some close calls. When he appeared in the Band’s concert film The Last Waltz in 1976, Young was apparently snorting cocaine backstage directly before his performance. In Band drummer Levon Helm’s autobiography, he wrote, “Neil Young had delivered a good version of ‘Helpless,’ but performed with a good-size rock of cocaine stuck in his nostril. Neil’s manager saw this and said no way is Neil gonna be in the film like this. They had to go to special effects people, who developed what they called a ‘travelling booger matte’ that sanitized Neil’s nostril and put ‘Helpless’ into the movie.” As a result, that crumb of cocaine is surely one of the most expensive ever snorted.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Zakk Wylde Accidentally Survived A Fatal Disease By Drinking All Of The Time

“Because you are shitfaced, all of the time.”

As a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde isn’t a stranger to the world of wild partying, it’s fair to say. His last name is literally the word “wild” as spelled by a drunk person. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear that this is the only reason he got into rock music.

However, after a monthlong bout of extreme illness finally forced him to see a doctor, Wylde discovered that he was suffering from a rare blood condition that caused his body to overproduce blood clots, which are things that can suddenly kill you at any moment without warning. Furthermore, he’d been suffering from the condition for several years. Wylde sagely asked how the hell he had managed to stay alive for so long with such a deadly affliction, to which the doctor responded, “Because you are shitfaced, all of the time.”

You see, the treatment for Wylde’s condition involves a course of strong blood thinners, which slow down the rate at which blood clots develop. You know what else thins the blood? Alcohol. Zakk Wylde’s years of being heroically wasted saved his life, although nowadays he’s banned from booze and restricted to taking standard medicine, which we feel is a little unfair to the booze.

 

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Samarah – 2015 – St. Patrick’s Day

Before we take our shots she looks me in the eye and says… “Whiskey makes me kind of crazy, just so you know.”

It was a couple years ago, and I had been an active online dater for a while. Long enough to know that people definitely exaggerate and even lie in their dating profiles, and that sometimes the person turns out to look nothing like their photos.

I matched with Samarah on Tinder, and she was definitely one of those questionable “swipes” where her photos were kind of blurry, but her apparent job and hobbies were interesting enough, so swipe right I did, and we ended up making a date to grab a drink on St. Patrick’s Day. Yea… St. Patrick’s Day. Not a fan. I don’t think drunk people sitting on the curb, throwing up into green plastic hats is what St. Patrick had in mind.

As an aside: When dating, for the first date I always only make plans to grab a drink or a coffee (generally a drink, because most people do better with a little bit of social lubricant when meeting someone new) so that I can get a quick assessment of the person and then split if there’s no chemistry or if they’re a weird, or whatever.

I get to the bar where we are to have our date, and the girl is nearly an hour late. (I HATE LATENESS) She texts me along the way to tell me he had trouble getting a cab, so being the nice person that I am, I wait for her to arrive instead of just blowing her off and leaving, as I was tempted to do because I thought about the nightmare I went through with Marisa (See: Marisa – 2017 – The Friendly Hostess)

When she finally arrives, she’s super flustered and weird, and clearly the socially awkward type. She looked sort-of like her photos, but had definitely put on a few. I’m not horribly superficial, no big deal. (Who am I kidding? Yes I am.) Anyway, back to the socially awkward. I know we all have our moments, but this girl didn’t even seem to be able to order a drink from the server without falling all over herself. I was like, “Whoa babe, relax. It’s just a beer.” I don’t believe she was drunk. However, that was my first suspicion.

So we finally get our drinks (I’ve already had two since I was sitting and waiting for her for so long) and exchanging the usual first date info, and I am definitely not into her. She had clearly lied about her job on her profile and honestly seemed like kind of a weirdo. This girl was a different breed of weirdo. Either that or she had some kind of mental disability that I was not able to pinpoint in the small amount of time we had spent together.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, she says “It’s St. Patrick’s Day. I feel like we should get some whiskey! Do you want some whiskey?”

Here we go.

I love whiskey and drink it occasionally, so I agreed. Samarah (awkwardly) orders two shots of Jameson and as soon as the server brings them over she tells her that we will have two more. I’m thinking “Okay honey. Chill out.” Because she had previously mentioned that she’s a lightweight in the drinking department.

Before we take our shots she looks me in the eye and says, “Whiskey makes me kind of crazy, just so you know.”

“Thanks for the intel,” sort of assuming that she meant massive quantities of whiskey made her crazy. Well, I was about to find out that she was being completely serious, and I was in for quite the show.

We clink our shot glasses together and before I can get the shot glass to my lips she asks if I am going to drink the whole thing. Um, yeah baby, it’s just a shot, but I confusedly mumble something like, “I don’t know, maybe?” I’m not a big shot drinker. Sometimes I drink the whole thing in one swallow, sometimes I don’t. Why does she care?

So I take the shot, and she takes about half of hers, and when she sees that I drained mine, she yells at me, “YOU LIAR! YOU SAID YOU WERE NOT GOING TO DRINK THE WHOLE THING! YOU LIED TO ME!” I just sort of stared at her, and didn’t have a chance to respond, because the server was back with our second round of shots.

At this point I am starting to think this is maybe a bad idea, but before I can say or do anything, Samarah downs the second shot and looks at me triumphantly as if she has accomplished something commendable.

Me: “Yay, you took a shot, what do you want, a fucking award? Is this date over yet?”

Obviously, I didn’t really say that, but I should have, because then she went berserk for absolutely no reason at all. As if I had at least said that, she may have had some mild justification for what was about to happen.

Samarah got super angry and started yelling and flailing her arms around telling me that she would kill anyone that came near me. She would fucking shoot anyone that ever tried to come near me. At this point, I was like,HOLY SHIT. This chick is psycho! And I start to wonder if she is possibly carrying a gun in her purse.

I make a move to get up so that I can pay the tab and be done with it. Samarah obviously sees me get up, and she just assumes I’m going to the bar to get more drinks, and says she needs to go to the restroom. I walk up to the bar and pay my tab, and look to the back of the bar (it wasn’t a large bar, just a standard, open, rectangular room with bathrooms in the back, clearly labeled) and I see her wandering around in small, drunken circles looking for the bathroom!

I decide to take pity on this poor thing, and walk to the back of the bar and show her where the restroom is (she had used it previously without incident so I couldn’t figure out why finding it again was such an issue. Maybe she’s on drugs?)

As soon as she gets inside the ladies’s room, I can hear her becoming violently ill. Puking her guts out. The people sitting at the bar can hear it and are looking at me like “What the hell is going on?” I literally told them, “I don’t know her. I think she might be crazy! Like, really crazy!” They continued to look concerned, but went back to their own conversations.

At this point, I should have just left, but being the gentleman that I am, I waited until she came out of the bathroom so that I could say goodbye. She comes out like nothing happened. She acts like a totally different person. All the rage and anger were gone and just this nice, normal girl comes out speaking in regular tones, and sounding not at all like the person that went into that bathroom a few minutes before.

I am saying my goodbyes to her, just saying whatever I have to say to get out of this situation immediately, and she pops a piece of gum in her mouth, and then grabs me and tries to kiss me! At this point I practically did a back bend to get my face as far away from her face as possible with her holding on to me.

At this point I actually ran. I full on ran out the door and started sprinting up the street. The bartender was actually around the corner having a cigarette and asked me as I whizzed past if everything was alright and I yelled back over my shoulder, “I’m fine! Just running away from that crazy girl!”

Bartender: “Who Samarah? Everybody knows that!”

I got home and figured that was the end of it, and I wouldn’t hear from her again.

Inexplicably, that was not the end. Samarah ended up texting and calling me incessantly for weeks asking what she did wrong, and begging to see me again. Those calls and messages went unanswered until I finally blocked her in all ways possible, and that was that. I hope I never see her again. I can’t imagine how she didn’t have any inkling of what went wrong on that date.

 

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Tales of Rock – David Crosby Rams Car into a Wall While High and Armed

“Why do I keep fuckin’ up?”

A lot of musicians who came of age during the ’60s exited the decade with serious drug problems, but few were still running wild decades later. David Crosby of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash and (sometimes) Young, has proven a noteworthy exception here. In 1982 he went to prison for nine months after being charged with possession of cocaine and heroin. In 1985, while on probation for DUI, he was arrested for driving into a fence with a gun and cocaine in his car. Asked by a reporter why he was armed, he said it was his response to the murder of John Lennon by a crazed fan.

In Crosby’s episode of VH1’s Behind The Music, one of his band mates in Crosby, Stills and Nash complained that he once interrupted a jam session to stop his crack pipe from falling off his amp and breaking. As recently as 2004, Crosby was arrested after leaving his luggage, which apparently contained an ounce of pot and a gun, in a hotel room. The bag was searched and when Crosby returned for it he was arrested. To quote his occasional collaborator Neil Young, Crosby might want to ask himself, “Why do I keep fuckin’ up?”

You really should slow down in middle age. Especially when you’ve already had your liver replaced.

 

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Tales of Rock – Jim Morrison in Concert

“You’re all a bunch of idiots. What are you gonna do about it?” Then he said: “Let’s see a little skin, let’s get naked.”

Jim Morrison was one of the most charismatic singers in the history of rock music. He was a smart man and had a genius-level I.Q. of 149. Morrison was a great poet and was known for using spoken word poetry passages during his live performances. Jim would sing and then talk with the crowd. He was a social rebel that suffered from severe drug and alcohol abuse.

Morrison had the ability to spark riots and shifted the behavior of a crowd with his intense emotional sound. For this reason, Jim became a target for music censorship and was closely monitored by the U.S. government. He was accompanied by police on stage during many venues.

Jim Morrison was known for making wild and outrageous remarks during shows. One of the most infamous cases occurred on December 9, 1967, while The Doors performed at the New Haven Arena in Connecticut. During the concert Morrison was arrested by local police and became the first rock star to be taken off stage during a live performance. On the day in question, Morrison was discovered kissing a fan in the shower before the concert. A police officer found the couple and told them to separate, so Morrison responded “Eat it.” The policeman warned Morrison with mace saying “Last chance” to which he replied, “Last chance to eat it.” In response, the officer sprayed Jim Morrison in the face with the mace.

The New Haven concert was delayed for an hour so Jim could recover, but the event made him extremely angry. During The Doors first set Morrison suddenly broke into an obscenity-laced tirade to the audience and explained what had happened backstage. He verbally abused the New Haven police, so they arrested him. After Morrison was taken off stage the crowd began to riot. The violence spilled from the gates of the New Haven Arena into the streets.

Over the next couple years the behavior of Jim Morrison became more erratic and unpredictable. On March 1, 1969, The Doors gave their most controversial performance at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. During the show Morrison began to preach messages of peace and hate. He taunted the crowd by screaming “You’re all a bunch of idiots. What are you gonna do about it?” Then he said: “Let’s see a little skin, let’s get naked.” In response, people began to take off their clothing, including Morrison. Jim was later convicted of indecent exposure. He turned down a plea bargain from the Miami police who agreed to drop the charges if The Doors performed a free concert.

The Doors gave there last public performance with Jim Morrison at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12, 1970. During the show, Morrison experienced a breakdown on stage and slammed the microphone numerous times into the floor until the platform beneath was destroyed. He then sat down on the ground and refused to perform for the remainder of the show. The event caused The Doors to end their live acts, citing their mutual agreement that Morrison was ready to retire from performing.

Morrison joined his then girlfriend Pamela Courson in Paris in March 1971, at an apartment he had rented on the rue Beautreillis (in the 4th arrondissement of Paris on the Right Bank). In letters he described going for long walks through the city, alone. During this time, he shaved his beard and lost some of the weight he had gained in the previous months. He died on July 3, 1971 at age 27. He was found by Courson in a bathtub at his apartment. The official cause of death was listed as heart failure,although no autopsy was performed, as it was not required by French law.

 

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Tales of Rock – Scott Weiland Buys Heroin While Dressed as a Pimp

While on probation, he moved into a hotel room next to Courtney Love, and claims the two began doing drugs together.

Stone Temple Pilots might have been initially seen as a contrived grunge act by critics, but their frontman, Scott Weiland, sure matched Seattle’s finest in drug consumption. (To me they always seemed like Alice in Chains-Lite)

Scott began using heroin with singer Gibby Haynes while STP was on tour with the Butthole Surfers in 1994. The following year he was arrested while buying crack cocaine.

While on probation, he moved into a hotel room next to Courtney Love, and claims the two began doing drugs together. In 1998, he was arrested buying heroin, reportedly while dressed as a pimp. In 2003, he got in a car crash while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, but charges were dismissed after he successfully completed rehab. Thereafter, Weiland transitioned to DUIs with arrests in ’07 and ’08, the latter incident involving jail time.

During all this, he was in and out of STP, launched a solo career and, in 2003, joined Velvet Revolver, a supergroup comprised of himself and three former members of Guns N’ Roses, definitely great guys to hang around while trying to kick a drug habit. In 2011, he cut a Christmas album—go figure.

Though derided by critics early in his career, Weiland’s onstage persona was known as being flamboyant and chaotic; he was also known for constantly changing his appearance and vocal style, his use of a megaphone in concert for vocal effect, as well as his battles with substance abuse. Now widely viewed as a talented and versatile vocalist, Weiland has been ranked in the Top 100 Heavy Metal Vocalists by Hit Parader.

In 2012, shortly before his departure from Stone Temple Pilots, Weiland formed Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, receiving mixed reviews: some critics and fans noted Weiland’s apparently failing health and dwindling energy. While touring for his 2015 album, Blaster, Weiland died of a drug overdose on his tour bus in Minnesota at the age of 48. Upon his death, many critics and peers offered re-evaluation of Weiland’s life and career, including David Fricke of Rolling Stone and Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins, the latter calling Weiland one of three “voices of the generation” alongside Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley.

 

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Tales of Rock – Led Zeppelin And Yes Almost Became A Supergroup Out Of Survivor’s Guilt

Will Zep and Yes form a Frankensteinian Supergroup?

I love music. I love all music. I love rock and metal especially. I have always loved the power and fury of that music as a musician and as a fan. I love talking about bands, music and trivia, and my stories with everyone I know. So I’ve decided to add a little Friday edition of a pet project I’ve been working on. I haven’t discussed it with anyone. I just want to do it. So it you show up on a Friday, you’ll get a short little twisted tale about the music industry.  I was in it a long time ago, and I welcome your likes, hates, comments and follows. I’d like to try this and keep it going with as many stories as I can remember. I will also pepper this series with people I have met in the industry. Right now I’m too busy building phicklephilly to do my personal rock and roll tales, but I assure you they will come. And they will come hard! But in the interim, please enjoy these stories as I provide them. I’ll do my very best to come up with a new tale each week!

I want to kick off your weekend with an obscure nugget that no one really knows about!

Most rock bands have a higher member turnover rate than your local McDonald’s. Sometimes they hire new members and soldier on, but other times they break up, either out of respect or because they can’t find enough warm bodies to shove into the back of a van. When both Yes and Led Zeppelin suffered this problem at about the same time, band members from both sides decided to do something radical: take the remaining members of both bands and form a new Frankensteinian supergroup.

Though a seminal band in the ’70s, Yes had fallen apart by the ’80s, mainly due to the departures of frontman Jon Anderson and keyboardist Rick Wakeman. One day, Yes bassist Chris Squire bumped into the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page at a Christmas party. Squire quickly found himself consoling a grieving Page over the death of his drummer John Bonham. Both of them missed the glory days, so he suggested that the remaining members of the two bands ought to come together and write an album. Page not only agreed, but went one step further and proposed that the collaboration would spawn a whole new band, called XYZ — which is short for Ex-Yes/Zeppelin, and a terrible name.

The band did actually get as far as writing and jamming out to a few songs, and even got a few demos under their belt, but as so frequently happens with young musicians, reality got in the way of their dream. First, Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant backed out of the collaboration because he thought the music was too “complicated.” Then, the managers of the respective groups started bickering over who should become head honcho of the new band. With that, the whole project simply petered out. Eventually, Squire did reunite with some of his former Yes bandmates (not Wakeman or Anderson, though) in a new band called Cinema, but nobody cared.

 

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