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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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 8 – What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?

“It’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.”

So I was scheduled to go over to Annabelle’s house to read her my screenplay. I remember her saying: “Bring your appetite because baby’s cooking!” This made me happy because:

  1. She’s cooking me dinner which makes this some next level shit.
  2. She referred to herself as ‘baby’ which makes me feel like she’s sort of my girl already.

I was at work and came up with the idea to bring a few things. It was August and very humid here in Philly. I stopped at the liquor store and picked up some wine and then decided to go to the florist around the corner. I picked up a bouquet of flowers. I hailed a cab and was on my way to her neighborhood in Northern Liberties. The cab ride was hot. I rarely take a cab now because of UBER and Lyft. Someday maybe even taxis will be a nostalgia service. We get to her building and I clamber out of the car with my stuff.

I go into the lobby and just as I’m coming in a couple is coming out. They see a gentleman with a bouquet of flowers and decide I’m not a menace and hold the door for me. Now that I have bypassed the security system I can surprise her at her door. I pop into the elevator and I’m on my way. It’s a big old building that appears to have once been some sort of factory that’s been converted into lofts. I walk down the hallway and get to her door. My heart is beating fast, and I can’t believe this is happening. I may actually be dating this girl and we are falling for each other.

I knock on her door, I have the bag with the wine and the screenplay in the left hand and the flowers in my right hand off to the side. Annabelle opens the door, and I say: “I brought the wine and the screenplay, oh and these are for you!” and whip out the bouquet of flowers from behind the door. She’s very surprised and happy.

“These flowers are beautiful! No one’s ever given me flowers before!”

I find that hard to believe, but I suppose anything’s possible. I really don’t know much about this girl. I ask for a pair of scissors and a vase. I cut the end of the stems on an angle and put them in the vase. They look awesome. I love giving girls flowers. It’s such a classic romantic gesture.

Her apartment is sparse and looks more like a photographer’s studio than a residence. I sit in a chair while she continues to prepare dinner. She’s wearing a pair of silky looking shorts that almost appear to be like lingerie. I admire her long slender legs.

A Siamese cat pads out of her bedroom and walks toward me. I don’t remember his name but she says he doesn’t like most people. He walks right up to me and rubs his snout on me. I reach down and gently pet him. Seems friendly enough to me. Animals can sense who’s good and who’s not. Their instincts have been honed over thousands of years to sniff out the differences between the assholes and the cool people.  Annabelle tells me he is very old and she has to give him an injection everyday to keep him alive. I’ve never heard of this before. How could you give a cat a needle without him wanting to tear you apart every day? He must realize that it’s the only thing that makes him feel better. Funny thing about cats, once they reach adulthood, they pretty much look the same their whole lives. How great would that be for humans? This cat is fifteen years old. That’s ancient for a cat. He looks great. Can you imagine being seventy years old and looking like you’re in your twenties? Who wouldn’t love that? If I could still perform I could date women in their twenties until the day I die!

But I digress.

She’s cooking up something, but I can’t tell what it is yet. It looks like some sort of vegan dish. I’m sure I’m not going to like it, but I like her so it doesn’t matter. She’s says she’s never cooked for anyone before, and can’t really cook. But it smells good, and I like that she’s making the effort.

We end up sitting on her sofa and dining on a large ottoman that she has in front of it. This seems very untraditional to me, but like I said, happy to be here.

She doesn’t really have much stuff. There is a desk with a computer over in the corner of the room, there is this sofa, the ottoman, a small table off to the right, and not much else. This girl is a former actress and now a photographer. It appears she lives a very bohemian lifestyle. No TV. No stereo. Just some books on a long bookshelf. I get the feeling she has collected them but not read them, but maybe that’s just me.

The food was fine, and I appreciate her efforts. I devour it as best I can, even though it’s not really something I would ever eat or even make. But she’s beautiful to me, and I am already hooked on the drug of love.

After dinner we clean up and return to the couch. I have two copies of my screenplay and tell her that I’ll read all of the male parts and she can read all of the female parts. She agrees and we begin. Every page of a script is equal to a minute of film, so my work is 118 pages so we should be able to blow through this in about two hours.

It goes well and I was happy to revisit my story. She is fascinated by the work, and asks how I was able to conceive of something like that and organize all of my thoughts and characters. I told her it was originally a book that was 541 pages long! The book, Angel with a Broken Wing, has so much more in it that the screenplay. More characters, sex and violence. She hears this and tells me she wants to read it, but I know that’s not going to happen.  Maybe someday I can publish it as a weekly blog. People always say; ‘the book is always better than the movie.’ I would agree with that but for the exception of porn!

When we finish reading the script, I lean in for an awkward kiss. Did you ever notice when you first kiss someone romantically on the lips, it just feels weird? Not every time, but there is that period of adjusting to each other’s lip configuration and facial structure. Did you also ever notice how you instinctively tilt you head to the right? That’s a human thing, right?

I’m just happy that I’m kissing her and she’s okay with it.

So after that I see it’s getting late and I should be going. I thank her for the dinner and the time, and I hug her goodnight.

I get outside and realize it’s pretty late and the area is pretty deserted. I start walking west and sort of don’t know wear I’m going. I have a great sense of direction, but I don’t get to Northern Liberties much let alone at night and on foot. I don’t know why I didn’t call and UBER, but after walking about two block I see a taxi. I wave him down and hop in.

The driver is really nice and I’m telling him about my date, because I’m giddy with joy. It’s a good ride home, and I’m happy that things are moving forward with Annabelle. It’s been a slow ride, but it’s not the kill. It’s the thrill of the chase.

 

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Abigail – I Can’t Even…

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

Here is another Tinder date. We both swiped right and started chatting. After a bit of that we exchange numbers. Abigail is a cute 26-year-old woman. She is about 5’3″, long brown wavy hair, green eyes, and fair skin. She’s fit and attractive. She arrives wearing a light blouse and a lovely red and white skirt accented by a large white purse.

We meet at Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse on 18th Street. The space was formerly the old Elephant and Castle. I have some great memories with my ex-girlfriend Michelle there. They have spent over $1.2 million on the remodel. The place is gorgeous. I’ll have to see how the food is. Abigail picked the place, and I’m wondering what this is going to cost me.

The place was surprisingly quiet, and she asks for a mistress booth. There are booths that when you sit in them, they pull a privacy curtain across the front of the booth. This way no one can see you. It’s very private. I like that she picked this type of table, because maybe she has some private sexy fun in store for me. I’m down for anything she wants to do.

We order some light fare. Abigail goes with the seared ahi tuna, and I go for the grilled barbecue shrimp. She said she knows this place is expensive, so she thinks we should just have some appetizers and drinks. I couldn’t agree more! A girl who likes the upscale spots, likes some privacy, and has a thrifty side. She just became more attractive to me. Abigail orders a double cuba libre and I go for my usual vodka martini, straight up with a twist.

The conversation is going okay. She seems nice. She works at a local bank as a client services representative. I like that because I used to work in retail banking myself many years ago. So much has changed in the financial industry, but some things still remain the same. Abigail is cute. As we used to say in the banking industry, “I’d like to make a deposit into her account. No penalty for early withdrawal!”

I’m feeling good and sipping my cocktail. But I start to notice something a bit odd. I notice she’s taking some small bits of her ahi tuna and ripping them up with her fingers and putting them into her huge purse.

What the hell? Is she stealing food for later? I mean…I’ve seen people do that with rolls and bread, but not fish.

So naturally I call her out on it. She smiles and says, “Oh, I’m just feeding Ernie.”

“Who?”

And with that she pulls out a fat guinea pig from her purse. I swear to God.

She plopped the thing in the middle of the table and it just kinda chilled out. I can’t believe this is happening.

“You can’t bring and animal in here.”

“That’s why I wanted this table, so we could have some privacy.”

“Here comes the server. Put that thing away.”

“His name is Ernie!” She hissed, as she stuffs the little brown and white creature back into her bag.

“How are you guys doing over here?” says our smiling server.

“I’ll have another martini, and the lady will have another rum and coke.”

The server leaves to go fetch our second round.

“Do you carry that thing around with you all of the time?”

“Ernie is my pet companion. Like Paris Hilton and her little dogs.”

“Yea, but she’s a millionaire, and famous…and those are dogs. You’re carrying around a rodent!”

“Keep your voice down!”

The server returns with our cocktails. I thank her and take a healthy gulp of the icy medication.

“I think this is some sort of health code violation.”

Abigail pulls “Ernie” back out onto the table.

“I really don’t think you should be….”

And that’s when I felt her foot travel along my leg and up to my crotch. I take my eyes off the little fella and look into her emerald eyes. They twinkle, and she gives me a sly grin.

“Okay…okay… Well he is kind of cute.”

I played with the little fella as Abby’s foot played with mine through my pants.  Ernie, was soft and cute. I on the other hand, no longer was!

He was really a chill little dude. I’m glad I’m drinking through this date. (Martinis help in any situation where everything doesn’t make sense) After a while, I could tell she was getting a little jealous of how well Ernie and I were bonding. I don’t have any pets, but I have had them in the past. Cats mostly.  My father always told me to touch an animal like you would a woman. Very gently. Living things respond to a gentle touch. Abigail was getting fed up at me for playing with Ernie, and back in the purse he went. She also withdrew her foot from my crotch. I could tell that after not eating much, and two double rum and cokes, our girl was getting a bit tipsy.

I was ready to bail and leave, but she mentioned she could go for some ice cream. At this point I figured what the hell, and was cool with it. Maybe it would sober her up. My father used to say he would eat ice cream after he drank, because the milk fat neutralized the alcohol. I always believed that, but most of the time it just made me puke. I also later found out that maybe the ice cream settled his stomach or coated it, there was no ‘neutralization of the alcohol. It was already in your bloodstream by then. But if it worked for my father…

So be it.

So we go to Ben & Jerry’s over on Sansom Street. The place is empty. We get to talking about tattoos and piercing, (none of which I have) and she tells me she has nipple piercings, and I’m like “Oh?” and then she pulls down her shirt, in the middle of Ben and Jerry’s at 8pm and shows me her tits. I just kind of went poker-faced. So then I decide to walk her to her to the corner and hailed her a taxi. She “kiss attacks” me, and well, she WAS kinda cute, so I made out with her, sort of…Her lips were tense the whole time and she licked my teeth.

I bid her and “Ernie” a fond farewell, as I watch the cab disappear up 18th street.

A few days later, I accepted her friend request on Facebook.  I noticed that she had a Facebook page for her guinea pig that had more Facebook friends than I did.

I didn’t hear from her for a while. I was kind of glad about that, because let’s face it, the chick is crazytown.

A few months later the guinea pig died and its Facebook was a memorial page where a bunch of people commented how much they missed it. I ‘liked’ one of her statuses and she called me crying. She was hysterical. I calmed her down and promised her we would go out soon, to help ‘mourn her loss’. (Bold faced lie)

I eventually unfriended her, but not the guinea pig.

RIP:  Ernie

 

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Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun – Many Happy Hours

“The girl with the lovely smile…”

Finally caught up with busy girl Prova! I had three appointments before my meeting with her that day. The first was with some clown from Brown Forman. I emailed him to confirm our lunch meeting and he responded with “I’d rather do this as a phone call.” So I cancelled that appointment. My second appointment was with the General Manager at The Hard Rock Cafe at 12th and Market. But VP Mike Pence was in town, and President Trump was coming the next day and staying at the Lowe’s Hotel right across the street.  The streets were all blocked, and when I got there the GM said he’s got the Secret Service here and could we do this another day? I see that this part of the city is a shit show so I tell him we’ll reschedule. Then my 3:30 meeting with hot redhead Cheyanne, (whom I’ve been meaning to write about but we can never get our schedules together) gets cancelled, because Cheyanne had been complaining about a migraine she’s been fighting all day. So that’s three down, and one more chance to go before I just give up and go home.

I check in with Prova and she is on her way. We decided to try some different places that we had previously discussed. (See Prova – 2015 to Present – Glow of the Sun) I meet her at Frankie Bradley’s. That bar formerly was a gay bar that was pretty much exclusively for lesbians. (It was called Sisters) But now it’s what I think is just a regular neighborhood bar. Based on some of the signage out front, I think they do a lot of drag shows there. Anyway, it’s a good spot to hang out. We catch up and have a couple of drinks. She tells me she had recently applied for a job there as a bartender. We get a hold of the manager and he comes over to chat. She tells him that she had applied, and he asks her to send him an email and reference her resume. So maybe our lady Prova will be working there soon. It seems like a nice place. We tell the bartender we’re trying some new bars, and he suggests Toast on Walnut. So after we pay our bill we go there.

Toast on Walnut is what the owners from “Sisters” made their new bar. So we walk in and there is a young lady at the door, who cards Prova. She doesn’t card me and I fret that I’m obviously over twenty-one. We all laugh and she asks to see my ID.

Inside it’s a nice bar. The bar itself is whitish blue and appears to be illuminated from within. I stick with the vodka and club and Prova sips a red wine. There aren’t many people in the place, but it’s early. The place is so new, it even smells new! Fresh wood and leather. We decide we’re only going to have one here, and then we’re going to go somewhere else. It’s a nice place but it just seems dead at the moment. So before we leave I tell Prova that I’m going to use the restroom. I walk back through all of the rainbow-colored lights, and walk into the bathroom.

Surprisingly, there is a dude in there using the urinal. But they aren’t your typical urinals. They’re not the vertical, rectangular boxes, with privacy barriers on the sides. These are just oval-shaped deep bowls sticking out of the walls, with no barriers. He’s shaking his dragon away in that little bowl, and I decide to use the stall. I just need a little privacy. I do what needs to be done and I come out of the stall, and see a woman with dark hair drying her hands at the sink.

It’s Prova!

Apparently, they must only have the one community restroom. I was shocked to see her at first.

“What are you doing in here?”

“I just wanted to wash my hands.”

“What if I’d been using one of those little urinal bowls over there when you walked in?”

“I don’t know.”

“You would have gotten a glimpse of what everybody in town is talking about!”

Honest mistake! But that was a close call I wasn’t expecting in a lesbian themed bar. We decide to head over to Boxers. That’s another gay bar on Walnut. It’s a sports bar. But all of the bartenders and staff, walk around with no shirts on. So even though it’s primarily a gay bar, there’s always something for the ladies to look at. All the guys are young and in great shape. I actually like going to boxers. I’ve been there twice. Both times with female friends. Think about it… If you’re a straight guy with female friends it’s the perfect spot. You’re able to watch sports, drink and eat. No assholes are going to mess with you or your friend, because gay dudes are nice. Your friend gets to take in the eye candy, and you do your thing. Everybody wins. We have gentleman’s clubs, at least it gives the ladies something to look at when their out with their male friends. I know most men don’t have female friends. But the men reading this should try. All women that like hanging out with you aren’t targets for you to try to bang. We’d all be better men if we had more female friends. Do it!

We order up some pizza and nachos and go to town on that. We were both hungry so we destroyed most of it. We enjoyed a few drinks there and chatted with the friendly staff. They used to have these drink cards that they would hand out. Every time you bought a drink they gave you a card and the next one was super cheap. So it kept you at the bar longer. It was a great deal! But I asked about it when I was there and the guys told me they can only do that in their NYC location now. When asked why, they said that it’s unlawful in Pennsylvania to encourage people to drink more. Technically it’s not, but it does keep you drinking more and for a longer period of time. PA has a lot of liquor laws because it’s controlled by the Alcohol and Liquor Control Board, which is a state-run agency.

Satisfied with our excursion into the Gayborhood, we decided to have a nightcap at the bar where she works. We hung out at a table and she had a beer and I stick with the vodka and club I had been drinking all night. Some of her co-workers would stop by the table and chit-chat. It was great. There is one guy there, I forget his name, but he’s really funny to talk to. I think he’s Prova’s favorite there.

Prova is a lovely, smart woman who I am glad to have as a friend. I like spending time with her. She continues on her spiritual journey of self discovery in the hospitality industry. I will do whatever I can to help her. Because that’s what we all should do.

Incidentally, it was the longest time I ever hung out with Prova.

Five hours!!!

 

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Mary – 2014 to Present – Chapter 5 – Sunday, Funday

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I text Mary and ask her if she wants to have a drink with me on a rainy Sunday after four when I finish up at the salon. She agrees. She wants to hear the crazy story about Marisa because it all happened at the restaurant where Mary works as a hostess. (See Marisa – 2017 to Present – The Friendly Hostess) 

Mary and I like to hang out and drink, but we’re trying to keep our costs down. I suggest Doobies. She’s down for that. We meet at 22nd and Walnut. Umbrellas open we walk south to 22nd and Lombard.

Doobies is a bar that’s been in the neighborhood for a long time. It’s sort of a dive, but the food is good, and the drinks are cheap. There are all sorts of artifacts on the walls like any other dive. But the big theme there is David Bowie. There are pictures of him throughout the bar, and plenty of Bowie on the jukebox. Oh, and they only take cash.

We arrive, and the place appears to be closed. But it’s 4:30 on a Sunday, and the door is unlocked. We go inside to get out of the rain. I see a phone on the bar, and I call out hello a few times. Then some guy comes up out of trap door in the floor behind the bar. I greet him, and he says that she’s not here yet. I don’t know who “she” is, but it said they open at 2pm on Sundays. He says she normally gets there around 5pm.

Mary doesn’t feel like waiting around for a half hour. We thank him, and I tell her I have another plan. We go to South street, and walk over to 21st. Ten Stone is a bar there. A bit nicer than Doobies, but on a rainy day, we’ll settle. It’s a little noisy, because some young people are playing pool and darts in the next room. But it’s not too bad. It’s a nice crowd and the server is friendly.

Mary goes with red wine. Good choice on a chilly, rainy day. I go with some sort of hoppy beer and a shot of whiskey. It’s just been that sort of week. Just the stress of working at the institute, dealing with Marisa the other day, and just everything else that is exhausting me lately.

I tell her all of my stories and after a while I’m feeling much better. I don’t know if it was me telling Mary what my week was like, or the whiskey knocking the edges off. Probably a little of both.

The table where we were siting was small. It was a high top against a wall. We were having a great time laughing and talking, and I was a little worried about Mary’s wine glass.

Have you ever been out at a restaurant, and you just get that vibe, or that premonition that you feel like something’s going to get dropped, knocked over or spilled?

Well I got that feeling early on, and didn’t Mary knock over her wine? I knew that thing was going over. It splashed on her shirt, but didn’t completely empty the glass. She actually got one last mouthful out of that glass, before heading to the restroom to clean up.

She seemed a little buzzed. She got buzzed like this before that Pollyanna holiday party, two weeks ago. I needed to take charge of this situation. So while she was in the bathroom, I paid the bill, and called her an UBER. Normally I would be crying about having to pay the bill, but I dig Mary, and she always pays when we go out. Maybe she’s tired or drinking on an empty stomach. She comes out, and it looks like she got the wine stain out before it could set.

I put her in the UBER and send her home. I tell her to text me when she gets home, so I know she arrived safely. The rain has stopped and I’m close to home so I just walk. I light a cig, and reflect on the evening’s events.

I get home and I have a text from Mary, saying she’s home. Another Sunday down.

 

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Annabelle – 2013 to 2014 – Chapter 6 – Mia Ling: A Solution During Indecision

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

If you’ve been following phicklephilly, and reading the Annabelle series, you’ll realize that pretty Asian girl isn’t Annabelle, but this is Chapter 6 of Annabelle. You’ll soon see why.

I was sitting at the bar at Crow and the Pitcher having a drink when I got the text. It was Annabelle. She said that with everything going on with her birthday this week, would it be alright if we didn’t do the comedy club thing this week.

I felt the pain hit me. I turned to the one person who could help me in this moment.

The bartender.

Who happily, was female. I told her my plight. She said what Annabelle wrote wasn’t a no, it was just a delay. She may really have a lot going on this week. Her birthday was on Thursday and that’s when we were supposed to go out. The bartender told me to text back that it was fine, and that I have some other ideas, and what days she’s available. She gets back to me, and it looks like Sunday will work.

“But I already bought the tickets to see Natasha Leggero at Helium this Thursday.”

“I’ll go with you.” comes a voice to my right.

I look over and there sitting at the end of the bar is a lovely Asian girl. “Are you serious?”

“Forgive me for eavesdropping, but it sounds like whoever you were going to take, passed up a great opportunity.”

I turn to the amused bartender. “Get her another of whatever she’s drinking.”

I walk down and sit next to her at the end of the bar. I introduce myself.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Mia.”

We chat and I don’t tell her I really like this other girl, I just kind of play it off as not a big deal. But if she wants to go to the show with me, I’d be happy to take her. She’s into it and I get her number, and we discuss where and when we’ll meet to go to the show. I can’t believe my good fortune. I would obviously rather spend time with Annabelle, but like the song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with.

She tells me she works at an art appraisal company. She is Chinese. She tells me her specialty is asian art in particular. She’s pretty. Fair skin, about 5’5” tall, dark brown hair and brown eyes. I like that she was forward about wanting to go to Helium. “I like to laugh, and I’ve seen her on Chelsea Lately.” she says.

After another drink, I have to leave to attend an event. I say goodbye and tell her I’ll text her the day of the show. I’m walking across town and check in with my friend Alice. (See: Alice – 2012 to Present – The Cute Recruiter) I wanted to get a second opinion from a young woman. I tell her what I’m up to and she agrees. She says, if there is a guy she likes, and she sees him on social media with another chick, it makes her want him more. This confirms that what I’m doing is right. I hope it doesn’t backfire on me.

The night of the date, Mia and I meet at El Rey before the show. We’re sipping our margaritas and laughing. She thinks I’m funny, and I feel like the warm up act before the headliner. We finish up and head over to Helium.

There actually are two comics that come on before Natasha. They’re both solid. Then she comes out and she’s really funny. Mia is laughing so much I hope they don’t make any jokes about Asian people.

After the show, Natasha comes out into the lobby and people are talking to her. I walk up and ask her if we can get a picture with her. She’s very sweet and agrees. She comments how cute Mia is during the pics being taken. I tell her thank you, and that I rescued her from human trafficking. Natasha cracks up and so does Mia. Everybody wins!

I post the pic to Facebook, and let it fly. I thank Natasha and Mia for a lovely evening. I walk Mia to her train, give her a smooch, and off she goes.

I pulled it off. I hope it works. Comedy show, seen. Arm candy, documented. Met the headliner and have the pictures to prove it.

I’m walking home, and I text Annabelle that when we were talking she mentioned that she likes seafood. (She’s pescatarian) I suggest we meet at Devon in Rittenhouse on Sunday at 6pm. She says that sounds great.

So there you have it. Everything is going well. I just hope we make it to Sunday with out any more cancellations. Fingers crossed.

 

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Tales of Rock – David Bowie Thinks Witches Are Stealing His Semen

In fall 1975, David Bowie went into the studio in Los Angeles and made Station To Station, one of the best albums of his career. It saw him transition from playing conventional if fantastic rock and roll to recording a series of genre-bending masterpieces that set a template for ’80s pop and whose influence is still being felt decades later. Pretty impressive, considering he was doing so much coke at the time he later couldn’t remember recording the album at all.

According to David Buckley, the author of the book “Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story,” Bowie’s diet at the time consisted of cocaine, peppers and milk, and he lived in “a state of psychic terror.” Interviews published in Playboy and Rolling Stone depicted Bowie surrounding himself with burning black candles and Egyptian artifacts and believing that bodies were floating past his window, witches were stealing his semen and that the Rolling Stones were sending him secret messages. He lived in fear of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, owing to his supposed practice of witchcraft. In Station To Station‘s title track, Bowie yelped, “It’s not the side effects of the cocaine; I’m thinking that it must be love,” which was definitely the wrong diagnosis.

If Bowie wanted to clean up after this album, he made the wrong move by decamping to Berlin with Iggy Pop. Still, the trio of albums he recorded during this period—Low, Heroes and Lodger—honed his legacy. This trilogy along with Station To Station was cherry-picked to create a perfect soundtrack for Christiane F. We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, a German film released in 1981 that captured the harrowing lives of teenage junkies in West Berlin.

Check it out. I saw it at a midnight showing in LA in 1982. It’s great!

 

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