One of my followers reached out to me on my blog. She stated that she was coming up to Philly from Florida for a baby shower. I’m always happy to hear from my readers and was glad to hear the news. She asked if while she was up here if we could meet. Of course, I agreed.
It was on a Saturday, and happily I was free from any obligations. I arranged a reservation at Devil’s Alley for food and drinks. I’ve never met this person so I asked if there were any dietary issues, and she said no. I figured the place wouldn’t be busy. Unlike spots like Parc in Rittenhouse which are nice, but expensive and usually packed.
Saturday arrived and I headed up to Devil’s Alley around 11:45. I got there and informed the hostess of what was going on. She liked the story and told me that she’d get me a table upstairs. While I was chatting with her, my friend appeared! She had sent me a photo before she traveled here so I knew what she looked like.
We headed upstairs and took our seats. We ordered cocktails and started chatting. It was immediately a lively conversation. We had some things in common. Both divorced with grown kids. We talked about some of our past relationships and dating in general.
It was great to sit and chat with a fellow writer who is from the same generation as I am. It seems that she was married for many years and then after her divorced, she jumped into a relationship that lasted four years. She said that at one point she had outgrown the relationship and moved on.
She’s been dating and seems to be very active in the dating arena. She still uses Bumble and maybe one other app. I remember when I first started writing this blog I was on all the apps! Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Coffee Meets Bagel and others. (I may have even tried Hinge near the end) I’m no longer on any of them and really don’t see the need at this point. If I meet anybody now it’ll just happen organically in my everyday life.
But my friend is on the dating apps and she’s doing well. I was impressed with her confidence and how successful she’s been in her career and her dating life. It’s good to see a woman who’s a bit younger than me that’s out there having fun and meeting new people and potential mates.
We had Devil’s famous dry rub wings and I think she enjoyed them. It was just a light snack and drinks on this visit. (To be honest, they weren’t as impressive as they usually are)
I didn’t know how much time she had to spend with me, but I had planned if she could have hung out longer, I probably would have taken her to the bar at the top of the Comcast 2 center at the Four Seasons. It’s an incredible view of the city and thought she might like that.
But her time was limited and she had other commitments for the afternoon. I was happy that she took the time to hang out with me. It was a real pleasure to meet one of my subscribers in person for the very first time. So to me, it was a landmark event even if it was just a few hours.
After our meeting, we walked down Pine street near my house. I told her I needed to run inside for a moment. When I reappeared a few minutes later I presented her with a copy of my latest book, Below the Wheel. (I hope she likes it, but it’s okay if she doesn’t!)
I walked her back to her hotel over by City Hall and said goodbye. It was a lovely afternoon with a new friend. We agreed that if she comes up again we’ll hang out again.
I’m looking forward to that!
We did a selfie, and both agreed to write about the encounter in our perspective blogs. I’ll be interested to read what her take on the day was.
I could write a whole blog regarding this subject, but I’ll keep it focused on this forum.
I had my first taste of beer when I was a kid. My dad let me try it. It was so bitter I spit it out on the kitchen floor. I agree that you should let children try things they’re curious about. It demystifies those things. People always want the forbidden and the taboo. If you just let them try it and show them that it’s not bad it removes the desire.
Everybody reacts differently to drugs and alcohol. It’s not black and white. Nothing in life is. As my daughter says about sexuality and mental health, it’s a spectrum. I’ve always agreed with her. No one is either crazy or sane. No one is either sober or an alcoholic.
It’s a range. A long winding, grey area.
I know I’m going to piss a few people off here but that’s not the purpose of my words. I’m writing this because I want to tell you all about my experience with alcohol.
I’m going to open with this. Alcoholism isn’t a disease.
Disease: A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of part or all of an organism, and that is not due to any external injury. Diseases are often construed as medical conditions that are associated with specific symptoms and signs.
When I think of diseases I think of the big ones.
Allergies & Asthma.
Crohn’s & Colitis.
Stuff like that. They happen. But alcoholism isn’t a disease. It’s called that because so many “normal” folks are afflicted with it. It destroys lives indiscriminately. Yale to jail. Top to bottom.
It’s a disease you have to BUY.
You don’t just catch it. You have to willfully do it. You have to go to the bar or a store and pick up a bottle and decide to drink it.
That’s not a disease. That’s your mind and body vs. alcohol. Everybody’s different.
But this piece isn’t about that. That’s for another blog. Not mine.
This is my brief story. I’m going to keep this as short as possible because it could eat up my whole blog if I go on too long about this subject.
I’ve always suffered from anxiety and depression. That coupled with low self-esteem and being an overachiever is a perfect cocktail for alcohol consumption.
I remember the first time I caught my first buzz from alcohol. I was out on the fishing pier one night in Wildwood, NJ with my friend and bandmate, Wolfie. We had a 6-pack of Molson Golden Ale and I had maybe 3 of them. I was 17 years old.
I walked back out onto the boardwalk when my very first buzz from alcohol hit me.
It was beautiful.
I felt exhilarated, euphoric, and indestructibly confident.
I couldn’t believe the power of this bitter elixer. It made the weak strong, the tired energized. The sad, happy. The loser, confident.
I went home and told my mother about my experience. She had also suffered from anxiety and probably some depression her whole life. I explained to her how good it made me feel and it also made my anxiety, (Which was really bad back then) simply vanish.
“That’s great, but don’t ever let it become a crutch.”
“What do you mean, Mom?”
“Don’t rely on a drink to carry you through something.”
Those words stuck with me my whole life.
I love to drink. It’s fun. It feels good. It’s a wonderful social lubricant.
I’ve had my ups and downs with booze. Many of us have. The fights. The drunken misunderstandings. The brilliant hilarious nights. The random hook-ups. The crazy sex. The bad decisions. The great ones. The bed spins. The vomiting in inappropriate venues.
I’ve experienced all of that stuff.
I drank beer and wine. When I got to California I started getting into sipping Jack Daniels.
I enjoyed beer and cocktails in the ’80s in my 20s. I went into banking. Having a few drinks after work was just something everybody did.
Happy Hour. What a lovely name for something that involves people, booze, and lasts two hours instead of one.
I think during my very unhappy marriage is when my drinking escalated. My wife wasn’t much of a drinker and certainly didn’t like my drinking.
I would sneak nips from a half-pint of Smirnoff’s Vodka hidden in my garage.
I can see it all very clearly now. My social drinking had now become a band-aid over the pain of my domestic life.
My drinking didn’t end my marriage. Turns out we were simply incompatible as people on so many levels. I should have never gotten married. I know now it’s not an institution I can belong to. This shark needs to be free to swim and roam the oceans.
With my wife gone, I was now free to drink all I wanted whenever I wanted. I could listen to the stereo, rock out to my music, and drink my Ketel One and tonics.
I was never one to drink in the morning or during the day. As much as I loved to drink, I always had strict rules regarding time. I would only take a drink after 5 pm.
Sure, I’d have the occasional glass of wine at a brunch or something, but no more. The real drinking happened at night. In a bar or behind closed doors and drawn blinds.
I was writing a book back then so I would just disappear from my sad life into writing and booze.
I didn’t even realize what was happening to me or why I was doing it. A former artist and musician, reduced to a branch manager at a bank. My marriage is already over. The only one in my family divorced. And then there’s dividing up all of the assets I had worked so hard to construct. Then the child support begins. $600 a month of your net income vanishes from your account every month. For 15 years! Do the math. It’s a financial nightmare that seems without end. I missed my little daughter. My little family was destroyed. Ruined.
When you begin drinking it’s for fun. It makes you laugh and feel happy. Later, it can be used to extinguish pain. Alcohol numbs you to the point where for that night you no longer care and have no worries about life in general.
But you might as well throw gasoline on a fire to put it out.
The booze kills the pain. But alcohol is a wicked mistress. You love her and she’ll fool you at every turn. She’s a beautiful and sexy girl. Doesn’t cheat on you. Won’t ever disappoint you. Always there for you. Comfort. Forget your problems. “Don’t work through them, honey. Just drink me in. That’s it, dear.”
I drank like that at night for the next 10 years.
I had no problems with my drinking through the 2000s. It’s just something we did after work.
Let’s jump to the Spring of 2018.
I quit cigarettes. My daughter lives with me. She’s happy. I’ve left corporate life. I have a nice little job I like doing. Child support is long over. But I continue to drink as if I’m covering some sort of pain.
But I’m not sad anymore. I have wisdom. I fought through anxiety and depression over the last 50 years without therapy or medicine. I’ve won!
But I continue to drink out of one directive. It’s simply a ritual. Just like smoking became. But one far more deadly.
I think I thought at the time I needed it to fall asleep. I did. Because I could no longer fall asleep without alcohol. My body needed it to shut down. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I never really addressed why I was doing it. It simply became a function of my evening life.
Everything was good in my life. This became a dark secret.
I could be out at the bar having a few drinks but the minute I got home I just kept going on my own. Alone in my room drinking vodka and club soda. One after the other. I never counted. I just did it until I could sleep and off I went.
But my will is strong. I can drink like that and get up for work the next morning with Metallica Metallicano problem. Never call out and I’m never late. Am I doing this to overcompensate for my drinking? Probably.
If my mind wouldn’t race at night maybe I could stop drinking so much in the evening.
Two to three times a week I would go to the liquor store and pick up a 1.75 bottle of Nikolai or Wolfschmidts vodka. I wasn’t quite at the level of drinking as Guns n Roses bassist, Duff McKagen, but I was working on it.
My older sister said I was a functioning alcoholic. Normally that would be correct.
But not in my case.
Was this something I was simply stuck with from my old life, for the rest of my life?
Time would only tell.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly.
If your Instagram looked like #relationshipgoals up until your recent breakup, you might feel compelled to share the news of your split with your followers. (If Miley Cyrus can do it, why can’t you, right?) But if long, vulnerable captions aren’t your style, you might want to opt for funny Instagram captions to use after your breakup to convey that you’re newly single and going to be just fine.
If you’re not exactly feeling super funny today, don’t worry. This list has got you covered. Whether you want to just go with a hilarious Lizzo quote that shows how fabulous you are or you want to get some people sliding in your DMs as soon as humanly possible, this list is filled to the brim with options for every mood.
Rather than blowing up your group chat trying to come up with the best caption, let this list do all of the heavy lifting for you. Read each one of them and copy and paste whichever feels the truest to how you’re feeling onto your next Instagram post. Are you ready for this?
“My DMs are open for sliding. #letthegamesbegin”
This is a not-so-subtle and hilarious way to announce that you’re back on the market. Get ready for your followers who have been silently thirsting after you to pop out of the woodwork.
“Does anyone have Tyler Cameron’s number? Asking for a friend (that friend is me).”
Or sub in Travis Scott, Kristen Stewart, etc…
“You coulda had a bad b*tch, non-committal.”
As if this list would be complete without at least one Lizzo quote. If you want to send your ex a hilarious but also majorly passive-aggressive message, I’d go with this one for sure.
“no ring, no prob”
Pair this with the most DGAF picture you have for maximum LOLs.
“🎼 AND IIIIIIII-IIIII-IIII WILL ALWAAYS LOVE MEEEEE 🎼”
Give your own single-person spin on the Whitney Houston classic.
“PSA: I’m back on the market.”
I mean, the public really deserves to know this information. So, why not announce it PSA-style?
“I am Beyoncé always.”
Michael Scott has gifted the world with plenty of great quotes, but this may be one of his best. Quote the GOAT in your caption to let people know that you’re thriving on your own.
“FYI, Grandma you can stop asking how [ex’s name] is doing.”
Again, this is a little petty. But sometimes being a little petty is funny.
“Realized I’ll probs never find a love like the one I have for pizza & am totally cool with that.”
If you’re a pizza lover, go with this caption to let people know you’ve still got your bae.
“You used to be my cup of tea, but now I sip Champagne.”
I saw this on a t-shirt once and am just still not over it. So petty. So hilarious. So great.
“Made like Elsa and decided to let it go.”
Why not throw a little Frozen reference in there?
“Like Halsey, it turns out I’m bad at love… but I’m good at taking shots so who’s down to meet me at [insert fave bar here]?”
If you’re trying to party, go with this caption. Invite your friends out for a night of celebrating your newfound single status.
“thank u, next-ing & thriving”
Nothing like a good old-fashioned Ariana tribute.
“I’m good on my own.”
You came into this world alone and you’ll leave it alone, so being single is only natural. Let people know you’re back to being solo and loving it.
“Back together with my Day 1 (me) & we’re happier than ever.”
Just wait for the praise-hands emoji comments to roll in.
“We (are) on a break!”
Obvs, we had to throw a Ross/Rachel tribute in there for those of you who are, in fact, on a break.
“Who wants to help me come up with a fire Tinder bio?”
This is funny but it also shows you’re actively moving on.
“Back to doin’ what I do best: me.”
A little spicy.
“Hot take: There is no greater joy in life than sleeping sprawled out starfish-style in the middle of your bed.”
Have you ever tried doing this? It’s truly one of the greatest spoils of being single.
“singlin’ & minglin'”
You’re not just single and “ready” to mingle, let everyone know you’re out there actively mingling.
“Being a ‘relationship person’ never really quite felt on brand, anyway.”
This is a pretty cheeky way to announce that you’re really embracing and loving the single life.
“Single until I find a human I love more than chicken fingers.”
This will likely be never and I totally get that.
“Still not sure why I’d want a [BF/GF] when no human could ever be as loyal (or gorgeous or smart or cool) as my dog.”
“Imagine waking up in the morning and getting to do WHATEVER YOU WANT without taking ANYONE ELSE into consideration… That’s pretty much every day of my life now, so I’d just like to publicly congratulate myself on that here.”
Ah, nothing like a good, old-fashioned congratulatory post.
OK, now take your pick and show the world just how fine you really are.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
Catching your husband or wife cheating on you changes everything about your relationship. How could it not?
“The psychology of infidelity is actually quite complex, much more than the current moralistic conversation about it where people are ‘good’, ‘bad’ or ‘flawed’, therefore dismissed as damaged goods attempts to dispel the cliché myth that ‘once a cheater always a cheater.’”
If you want to fix your broken relationship and save your marriage, it is possible. And the path back to a healthy relationship begins with each partner seeking to understand both the cheating spouse’s reasons for having an affair, as well as the ways in which the betrayed husband or wife has been changed forever as a result.
By taking such an approach, couples can reach a place of healing — and even redemption — with insight and wisdom, regardless of whether or not they ultimately stay together.
The ways infidelity changes you depend not only on who you and your spouse were before the affair, but who you are both committed to becoming once it’s out in the open.
No matter what circumstances led to the affair, no one in its wake will be left unscathed. Yes, that goes for the cheating wife or husband, as well.
There are always reasons, not excuses, why men and women cheat.
If you have been betrayed by your spouse, you’re painfully aware of the many ways their infidelity has changed you already.
But if you are the betrayer, you may not have thought through full impact your actions would have on your spouse and your family, let alone the lasting consequences you’ll face throughout your own life.
The effects of infidelity run the gamut from emotional to physical to neurological. The agony of a broken heart and broken trust isn’t only in your head — it lives and breathes in your body, too.
Here are 8 ways catching your husband or wife cheating fundamentally changes you on an emotional, physical, and neurological level.
1. Your self-esteem and self-worth are shattered
You wonder why you weren’t “good enough” and why someone else was “better”.
Because your self-esteem is destroyed, you start looking for things you may have done to cause your cheating wife or husband to stray. Surely, you believe, it must have been something you did or didn’t do.
2. You feel stupid
You start wondering how you didn’t see the affair coming, and how you can ever trust your own instincts again.
3. You lose your ability to trust
The affair is always in the back of your mind. Even if you stay together, your trust isn’t as unencumbered and naturally given as it once was.
4. You’re afraid to love again
The prospect of either falling in love again with someone else or staying with your spouse is frightening. You never want to give your power to someone again.
Because you’re afraid to let your guard down, the world becomes a less happy and promising place in which to live. Holding onto the notion of love is a challenge because you now associate it with unbearable pain.
5. Your brain takes a beating
Neuroscience has shown that the rejection from infidelity has both short and long-term consequences to brain chemistry.
Since feelings of love activate the release of dopamine in the brain, causing “a pleasurable experience similar to the euphoria associated with the use of cocaine or alcohol”, being cut off by the dagger of infidelity may impact neural pathways in similar ways.
6. You experience physical pain
The emotional experience becomes integrated into the physical experience, and you hurt … everywhere.
7. You can’t stop obsessing
Studies show that women are more prone to rumination than men, constantly replaying all the possible causes, scenarios, and consequences of the affair.
They are also more inclined than men to feel somehow responsible for trouble within romantic relationships in general.
8. Your eyes are opened
Despite how infidelity changes you negatively, it also affords you clarity after the shock and anger are mitigated. You begin to see what you may have ignored, and learn how you make choices in mates.
Research has show that this is likely to lead you to make better choices in future relationships.
According to Craig Morris, research associate at Binghamton University and lead author of the study:
“Our thesis is that the woman who ‘loses’ her mate to another woman will go through a period of post-relationship grief and betrayal, but come out of the experience with higher mating intelligence that allows her to better detect cues in future mates that may indicate low mate value. Hence, in the long-term, she ‘wins … The ‘other woman,’ conversely, is now in a relationship with a partner who has a demonstrated history of deception and, likely, infidelity. Thus, in the long-term, she ‘loses.'”
Ultimately, how your partner’s infidelity changes you is, of course, your decision.
There are plenty of individuals and marriages that heal and become stronger and more vital than they were before.
That’s not to say, obviously, that infidelity is a viable consideration for marital improvement and personal growth, but recognizing the many ways infidelity can change you will help both spouses recover from the painful aftermath of an affair.
And, hopefully, greater awareness upfront will take the consideration of infidelity off the table altogether.
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
“She was the most dangerous person I think I ever met.”
Whether you’re on your third failed marriage or you simply never got around to tying the knot, you may find your 50s a romantic rut. Too old for Tinder, too young to forget about dating. All your mates happily (and boringly) hitched.
All hope is not lost, however. We live in a modern world. Anything is possible. You just have to pitch yourself to the right agency. As one man recently revealed to Refinery 29 on Medium, you can have a lot of fun trying. But, as he also pointed out, it’s a lot more challenging than you’d think – especially when the perception is that the one with the money has all the power – which, he claims, is not always the case.
New York-based founder and CEO of a global software company, the man, who chose to remain anonymous, told Refinery 29 journalist Jessica Chou even though his net worth was north of $50 million, it’s been hard to get into conventional dating since his divorce 3.5 years ago because he travels a lot.
“I’m 50 years old but I probably look 38. I have the mentality of someone in their 20s because I just love to have fun. I jump out of planes, you know? I’m just one of those guys.”
He also couldn’t get into conventional dating because: “My schedule just prohibited it. When I dated conventionally, it always followed the same pattern: Meet a girl, get to know them, they like the vibe. Then I start my crazy travel schedule and there’s an awful lot of stress and texting. When are you coming back? Where are you?”
“So I thought okay, what if I financially support someone and when I’m here, I have the company of someone I enjoy. It seemed like the perfect solution,” he told Refinery 29.
Another attraction, he says, was he “thought it was the only way to meet women who have not been tainted by life,” explaining, “I just found that as women and men age, they get more tainted by their experiences. They create within themselves a negative bias as a standard operating procedure.”
“I went on many dates with women in their 40s, and what I found consistent between all of them was they were immediately looking to find out how I was going to hurt them, even from date one.”
So he decided to try and date younger women, recounting his experiences – and struggles – with three of them to Refinery 29. Here’s his experience with each one.
The Upfront One
“The first woman was the upfront woman,” Anonymous Daddy told Refinery 29. “I met her for a drink and she was very open about the fact that as long as there was some chemistry, she would meet with me and sleep with me for money. Unfortunately, that’s not really who I am. I need more of an emotional connection with someone, even though it might sound weird in that environment.”
The Girl Next Door
“The next woman was someone I would call a ‘girl next door.’ She probably shouldn’t be on the website, and she wants an emotional connection, but she needs financial assistance. So I dated her for four to five months,” Anonymous Daddy said. “After two months she said, I don’t want money anymore, I just really enjoy getting to know you. It really told me she wasn’t looking for a long-term monetary benefit, and that you can have a real chemistry-laden relationship with someone.”
Great, right? Wrong. Or at least – it didn’t last. Why? Over the next two months, the age difference was slammed in our face. I remember I went out to brunch with her and her friends, and someone was whispering, you know, ‘Whose dad is that?’ It didn’t really impact me, but I saw the look on her face. When we talked about it later, she said she wasn’t necessarily prepared for that. So we decided to remain friends.”
“The third woman I call the ‘mercenary,’ and she was the most dangerous person I think I ever met,” Anonymous Daddy said. “She scared the shit out of me. She would say anything to make you think she loved you. She lied about not having a boyfriend, not living with him, got all the money, gifts, trips, and plane tickets, and when her boyfriend finally threw her out, she came crawling to me.”
“She ended up moving in with me for a while, and then I got set her up in an apartment. Once, I got really ill, and I told her what was going on, and I said, hey, look we need to have a real relationship, or this isn’t going to work. And to this day, I haven’t heard back.”
The man then added, “I spent $200,000 while dating on the site, and about 90 percent of that was on the third woman. I bought her a lot of jewelry. I’d buy her a ring, she would lose the ring or say it got stolen, and I’d buy her another ring to replace the ring. Then her rent, it was $3,500, $3,600 (£2,700-£2,800), plus a security deposit. I know. It was sort of like, hey dude, what are you doing?”
Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
One of the most interesting things about rock stars is their larger than life personalities. Many of them entertain us on stage with their dynamic, show stopping presence, entrancing voices, and mind-blowing talents. For some, when they leave the stage the show is over, but others let their leather clad persona leak into their personal lives and are unable to separate themselves from the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll image, taking the volume of excess from zero to eleven, every, single, day.
They play their music loudly, but they live even bigger, often partaking in over-the-top and dangerous pastimes, with beyond bad behaviour captured by fans, roadies, groupies, and the paparazzi. Some of these stars live in a perpetual state of adolescence, many suffering from full blown and dangerous addictions. Sure, these stories make excellent stories for rock bios, or episodes of Behind the Music, but they’re also activities not safe for anyone, even though their antics are the stuff that rock legends are made of.
Not many tabloids publish stories about the band who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sipped on tea after each show on a world tour, because it isn’t all that interesting. However, readers can’t wait to read about the celebrity who was wildly out of control and decided to go on a lengthy cocaine binge with their significant other or where they kidnapped people (Rick James actually did this twice). Nonetheless, here are 15 stories of legendary rock and roll debauchery at its best (or worst); you be the judge.
15. Keith Moon – Banned From Every Major Hotel
Some would say that Keith Moon, the former drummer for The Who, was the grandfather of bad rock star behavior. It would appear he made it his own personal mission to promote deranged antics that would now be considered pretty cliché. He trashed hotel rooms, ate horse tranquilizers like they were candy, and had nude cake fights. He truly believed it was his sole job to behave badly. One time, after leaving a hotel, he was convinced he’d forgotten something and insisted that the driver turn around and go back. When he returned, he raced into his room, picked up the television, and chucked it out the window and into the pool below. What he had “forgot” was that he needed to leave his signature path of destruction before moving on to his next location. The drummer also used to hit the road with a large supply of cherry bombs and other explosives, using them to destroy toilets pretty much everywhere he went. He was eventually on a permanent ban from the Holiday Inn, Sheraton, and Hilton for his toilet bombs.
14. Nikki Sixx – Came Back From The Dead
That popular Mötley Crüe song, Kickstart My Heart, is based on a real story of when Nikki Sixx died. Mötley Crüe embraced every possible stereotype of hard-rocking, metal stars imaginable, including their penchant for Girls, Girls, Girls and drugs, drugs, drugs. On December 23, 1987, after a night of partying hard with members of Guns n’ Roses and Ratt, Nikki Sixx took a fatal dose of heroin. He was revived from a heroin overdose after two minutes of clinical death, just like that infamous scene in PulpFiction, when two shots of adrenaline were stabbed directly into his heart. Instead of spending some time in the hospital recovering, or even at rehab reflecting on poor life choices, he left the hospital and hitchhiked back home. Sixx has said of the experience,“There was a cop asking me questions, so I told him to go f— himself. I ripped out my tubes and staggered in just my leather pants into the parking lot, where two teenage girls were sitting crying around a candle. They had heard on the radio that I was dead and looked kind of surprised to see me.” The girls gave him a ride home and a lecture on giving up drugs. He celebrated not dying that night with some more heroin.
13. Keith Richards – Snorted His Dad
There are endless jokes about Keith Richards being an undead, pickled, and smoked version of himself from the endless amounts of booze, drugs, and God knows what he’s ingested over the years. A number of years ago, Richards made headlines because of a response to a journalist’s question about what the most peculiar thing he’d ever snorted was. Keith’s answer was simple, “My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared. It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.” His manager insisted this was a joke. Odds are Richards wasn’t joking, after all this is the same man who mistook police raiding a party in his house in 1967 with uniformed dwarves and welcomed them with hugs because he was tripping on LSD. Richards also commented on being on a list of celebrities most likely to die for a decade. He was rather disappointed when he no longer topped the list.
12. Dave Navarro – Blood, Orgies, And The Playboy Mansion
Anyone who believes that it’s impossible to be too extreme for the Playboy Mansion is wrong. Dave Navarro, guitarist from the band Jane’s Addiction, managed to get himself banned from Hef’s place. In his book Don’t Try This At Home, Dave describes the incident that saw him chucked. It all took place in “the orgy room” with three female “friends.” Dave decided it was a good idea to shoot up in the middle of intercourse and then wrote on the wall with the syringe and his own blood. He tried to clean off the evidence, but they had the whole thing on video. Later, security guards were waiting for him outside of the room to permanently escort him from the property and asked him to never come back. Dave wrote, “All my life I’d wondered what it was like and here I was, at 30, squirting blood on the walls with 3 naked girls at my feet.” Party fails Dave, party fail.
11. Rod Stewart – Put Drugs In His Butt
Rod Stewart probably doesn’t seem like a bad boy rock star, particularly since now most of us see him hanging out in mom’s music collection with his feathered hair and come-hither expression. He certainly doesn’t seem dangerous when he’s played on the easy listening radio stations at the dentist’s office either. Back in his heyday, specifically the 1970’s, the Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? the singer had it pretty bad for cocaine. Here’s the thing about his cocaine addiction: he knew the damage the drug could do to his nose and wanted to protect it from the negative side effects of snorting (mostly septal perforations or holes, chronic infections, nosebleeds, and nasal deformity). That’s why he selected another method to ingest the drug. The star would purchase anti-cold capsules, replaced the regular medicine with cocaine, and then inserted them where the sun doesn’t shine, “enjoying” the effects of the drug as it dissolved in his rectum. Hopefully, by now he’s kicked that habit in the butt.
10. Boy George – Whipped A Fan With A Chain
For anyone who’s spent a good deal of time watching or reading rock bios, it’s probably no surprise that the Karma Chameleon, Boy George, has had his share of struggles with drug addiction. Unfortunately, Boy George didn’t leave his addiction in the 1980s with his chart-topping hits; he took them all the way into the 2000s. In 2007, a Norwegian escort named Auden Carlsen believed he was going back to The Culture Club’s lead singer’s home to participate in a nude photoshoot. To his surprise, Boy George really wanted to hurt him and he ended up handcuffed to a wall and beaten with a chain. A trial following the incident confirmed that both parties had ingested cocaine that evening. Boy George, presumably due to some cocaine paranoia, believed that Carlsen had hacked into his personal computer and decided the escort was going to “get what (he) deserve(d)” whether he liked it or not.
9. Duff McKagan – His Pancreas Exploded
This list would be entirely incomplete without explicit details of the escapades of members of Guns N’ Roses. In fact, one-time bass player Duff McKagan took this bad boy image to explosive ends. One day, he drank so much alcohol that his pancreas exploded because it was combined with his steady daily regimen of cocaine, proving to himself that his body can only take so much. When it burst, it swelled to “the size of a rugby ball” and then ruptured, leaking a lot of acidic fluids meant to remain within the pancreas. The acid was so potent it caused third-degree burns inside McKagan’s body. Duff miraculously survived saying, “It was a real, real wake-up call. It was a gentle relapse off the alcohol. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and it gave me time to really think about how I got there.” A word to the wise, don’t let your pancreas explode.
8. Peter Buck – Fought Flight Attendants
Some bands are better known for their sound than for their antics, and that makes it even more embarrassing when someone in the band acts like a crazy rock diva. REM is known for its philanthropy surrounding human rights, AIDS & HIV, and disaster relief; not for being bad boys. In 2001, about a week before the band was scheduled to perform at a concert promoting peace, lead guitarist Peter Buck got into some trouble on a flight to London. Apparently, Buck had been drinking on the flight and didn’t like the idea of being cut off. The guitarist fought two flight attendants over a yogurt cup, which exploded everywhere and shoved a CD into a snack cart (believing it would play music). He even tore up the yellow warning card the crew of the flight issued for his poor behavior while saying, “I AM R.E.M.” The pilot eventually air radioed the authorities. Later, Buck apologized profusely blaming a poor reaction between the wine he consumed on the flight and some sleeping medication saying, “I am very sorry for the incident, and, by course, very embarrassed about the whole thing.”
7. Ozzy Osbourne – Snorted Fire Ants
There are probably enough stories about Ozzy Osbourne’s hard-partying ways to fill a book. He started off his solo career in 1981 by biting a head off a dove, and in a 1982 Iowa concert, he bit the head off of a bat (although he thought it was plastic at the time). When you mix Ozzy and Mötley Crüe together for a 1984 tour, there is bound to be a whole lot of trouble. This tour was rightfully called, “The craziest drug- and alcohol-fueled tour in the history of rock and roll.” In something that cartoon parodies and rock legends are made of, Ozzy and Nikki Sixx decided to hold a contest to see who could be the most balling rocker. In the event that was highlighted in a bio penned by Ozzy’s wife, Sharon, Sixx set himself on fire, so Ozzy responded by snorting a line of ants (some of which came out of his mouth). There is some debate as to whether or not the ants were fire ants. I guess we’ll never know for sure.
6. Steven Page – Squeaky Clean Rocker…Coke In The Car
The Barenaked Ladies are a family-friendly band who was just about to release a children’s album when lead singer, Steven Page, literally went off the rails at the worst possible time. Back in 2008, officers were called to investigate a car oddly parked in a small town just outside of Syracuse, New York. The car was Page’s Prius and the driver’s side door was allegedly left wide open. While investigating, the officers spotted a man and woman at a kitchen table with cocaine in front of them. Turns out the drugging duos were Page and a friend (who he later married). The apartment was searched, more cocaine and marijuana was found, and the If I had a Million Dollars singer was arrested, but released on $10,000 bail. Page quietly left the band in the months that followed and has since pursued a solo career. Page says, “Once somebody gets caught with drugs, everybody brands them a junkie. Somebody gets kicked out of a bar for being drunk and people don’t automatically say they’re an alcoholic. I’m not making excuses.” Page says he’s grown up since then but has no plans to rejoin BNL.
5. Chris Robinson – Spit On A 7-Eleven Customer
A lot of stuff that we read about Chris Robinson (no matter how nice Kate Hudson claims the father of their son is) doesn’t paint him in the best light. A lot of it is more childish than rock and roll, including a bizarre incident at a convenience store. In 1991, following a concert in Denver, Colorado, the Black Crowes singer was livid when a clerk at 7-Eleven wouldn’t bend the rules and sell him alcohol after midnight. As he had his tantrum, another customer announced, “There’s the lead singer of the Black Crowes!” Another customer indicated she didn’t know who that was only to have a petulant Robinson insult her by saying she’d know who he was if she didn’t spend so much time eating Twinkies. Next, the rocker spat on the customer before storming out with two cases of beer under his arms. The singer was charged and pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace.
4. The Toxic Twins – Held Shooting Practice In An Abandoned Convent
There’s a reason why Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Steven Tyler have been affectionately nicknamed the “Toxic Twins.” They were always side by side and totally believed that anything worth doing, was also really worth overdoing. Known for racking up $100,000 hotel bills, they entertained groupies, trashed rooms, and gorged themselves on copious substances, again and again. In 1976, they worked on an album in a renovated convent in upstate New York. During this time they crashed their brand new sports cars, did a lot of drugs, and decided it was a great idea to hold firing practice; shooting guns in the attic, all simply because they could. Tyler once told Rolling Stone Magazine: “Jerry Garcia says that we were the druggiest bunch of guys the Grateful Dead ever saw. They were worried about us, so that gives you some idea of how f–ked up and crazy we were.”
3. Slash – Shadowboxed Monsters All Night Long
Slash’s autobiography reveals some pretty explicit details of his hard-partying ways. It was 1989, and he’d just returned home after two years of touring for the Appetite for Destruction album. He was bored, feeling out of place, and partying hard. He felt like his addiction was getting out of control, and decided to join Steven Adler in Arizona while he tried to scale back his habit. The amount of drugs Slash had brought himself to last four days was quickly gone. Soon, he spotted monsters on the other side of the curtains of his room, which he shadowboxed, all night long. By morning, he decided to have another line before hopping in the shower, only he saw another monster, and when he attempted to punch it, he put his fist through a glass shower door and completely shattered it. Next, he saw evil Predator-like creatures entering his room, and decided it was time to flee, dripping blood and was stark naked. He went into another room, hid behind a maid, ran into the lobby, and eventually hid in a shed on the fairway of a golf course behind a lawnmower. He wasn’t seeing monsters anymore by the time the cops arrived, and he gave his testimony, but he still told the story about the creatures that were trying to kill him. Steven Adler finally arrived and handed the naked Slash a pair of sweatpants.
2. Phil Spector – Habit Of Using Guns Against Other Rockers
A lot of people are probably thinking, “Who’s Phil Spector, and what does he have to do with Rock and Roll?” Phil is a songwriter and producer, who is the legend responsible for “the Wall of Sound” approach to rock and roll. He’s also certifiable. One time, he put a loaded gun to rock poet Leonard Cohen’s neck, and another time he fired a gun in the control room nearly taking off Beatle John Lennon’s ear. The most epic of his all fired up incidents would have to be when he held The Ramones hostage when they were working on the album End of the Century. Apparently, Dee Dee went looking for Joey and Phil and found them in a stairwell where Phil was waving around a pistol. Dee Dee announced he didn’t like having a gun pulled on him and that he was going to leave when Spector pointed the gun directly at Dee Dee’s chest and indicated that everyone was to return to the piano room. Spector locked the room and made the entire band listen to him sing, Baby, I Love You, over and over again, until 4:30 AM, when we assume he got bored and decided to wave his gun elsewhere. Phil Spector’s wild ways finally caught up with him and he was convicted of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
1. Def Leppard – They Coined A Sex Move
Some people are rock legends, others border on urban legends and warrant their own page in the Urban Dictionary. This is the case for rockers Def Leppard. Apparently, there is a sexual expression coined as “having a Def Leppard,” and this is meant to describe threesomes where two members of the group experience are a mother and daughter. Apparently, exploits with two generations were (or still is) a popular pastime of rock legends Def Leppard. The boys who brought you such musical lines as, “I’m hot sticky sweet from my head to my feet, yeah!” also, apparently, like to help mothers and daughters to come close together. Supposedly, they experienced so many of these “family affairs” that Def Leppard fans decided to turn their love for willing participants into a sex move. Seriously, who (and their mother) would actually say yes to this insanity? Regardless, they found enough people to turn this weird fantasy into a reality.
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As much as you want to believe, most rumors about famous rockers are completely FALSE. But considering the lifestyle, it’s not surprising that almost every rock star has a few rumors surrounding them. But, again, most of these simply AREN’T true.
However, don’t despair, because, in the jumble of countless made-up or exaggerated tales out there, some of these rock star rumors are actually true! Hopefully, this 100%, actual, we’re-not-lying-at-all, real-life true stories about rock giants will give you something to think about.
Keith Moon and Mama Cass Died in the Same Apartment
Rock stars are taken from us too young way too often, and it just so happens that two brilliant musicians died in the same apartment. On September 7, 1978, Keith Moon of The Who overdosed on a sedative in an apartment he rented from musician Harry Nilsson; on June 29, 1974, Mama Cass of The Mamas and The Papas died of heart failure (not of choking on a sandwich as the rumor goes) in the very same apartment. Flat #12 at 9 Curzon Square, Mayfair, London, England.
Axl Rose Recorded Himself Having Sex for Rocket Queen
There’s a rumor that, on the Guns N Roses song “Rocket Queen,” which closes out the band’s debut album Appetite for Destruction, you can hear Axl Rose having sex with a woman who may be Adriana Smith, a 19-year-old stripper and drummer Steve Adler’s girlfriend. According to Steve Thompson, an engineer on Appetite, “Axl wanted some pornographic sounds on ‘Rocket Queen,’ so he brought a girl in and they had sex in the studio. We wound up recording about 30 minutes of sex noises. If you listen to the break on Rocket Queen it’s in there.”
Do you think Adler cared? According to Smith, Adler “fucking freaked out” when he discovered what happened. “I ended up drinking and using drugs over this for a really long time because I had this extreme shame and guilt and stuff,” she admitted to Rolling Stone.
Ozzy Osborne Snorts Ants and Will Apparently Bite the Head Off Anything
Yes, Ozzy, old news perhaps but we’re not going to have someone say hey, WTF, you’re not going to mention the Prince of Darkness?
You could do a whole list of true Ozzy Osborne stories, but this true rumor is particularly hard to believe. While on tour with Motley Crue, Osborne allegedly got into a one-up-the-other contest with Nikki Sixx that ended with Ozzy snorting a line of ants.
We’ve all heard the story of Ozzy Osborne biting the head off of a live bat while on stage, but that wasn’t the first time that Ozzy decapitated a flying friend. Apparently, when first meeting with Columbia Records, Sharon Osborne told Ozzy that he would make an impression on the executives if he released two doves in the office. Instead of letting them go, Ozzy grabbed one and bit its head off in front of the executives. I’m sure he definitely made an impression.
Steven Tyler Adopted a 14 year old Girl So He Could Date Her
Steven Tyler was known for having relationships with some of the most beautiful women of their day, but one of his most substantial relationships arose from much different beginnings. In 1975, Tyler somehow managed to have custody of a 14-year-old groupie signed over to him from her parents so they could live together. They were together for three years, during which time she drank, used drugs, and kept up with the wild rock star. They split when she was 18, partly due to the strain that an abortion put on their relationship. (I love Aerosmith’s music in the 70s but, dude… you were a filthy drugged-out savage back then.)
Van Halen Really Didn’t Want Any Brown M&Ms in Their Dressing Room
Some people use this story as an example of all the prima donnas in rock music, and others use it to show that rock stars aren’t quite as hardcore as society thinks they are, and still others simply can’t believe it’s true. But Van Halen really would not allow any brown M&Ms in their dressing rooms before a show. But it’s not for any of the reasons listed above: in fact, it was a safety concern. Van Halen had extensive contract and safety guidelines, so in order to make sure that the venue had followed all of their safety requests, they buried a line in the contract about the candy. If there were brown M&Ms in their dressing room, it proved that the venue had not done their job.
Led Zeppelin Defiled a Groupie with a “Snapper”
On July 17, 1969, Led Zeppelin was staying at Seattle’s famous Edgewater Inn, and from their balcony, they could fish in Seattle’s Puget Sound. So the story goes that after a few days of fishing, and a few days of rocking, the Zep had a raucous party at their hotel room. While there, a few bandmates stuck some of the fish that they caught into a groupie’s um… sensitive areas. There are many versions of this story that differ on the particulars, but it is safe to assume that something fishy happened that night.
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I’m truly fed up with men complaining that they always wind up with “crazy women” or saying that all of their exes are “crazy.” You want to know why I’m fed up with it? Because when men say this, they are taking no accountability for their own actions. They are refusing to see that they are the common denominator in all of their relationships with these alleged “crazy” women and are unwilling to admit that if they don’t like what they attract, it’s probably because they don’t like themselves. Water seeks its own level aka crazy attracts crazy. The use of the word “Crazy” is also very derogatory, and that’s frustrating in and of itself. But, if you are a man who continues to attract women who wind up being rather unstable, do not complain that that “just happens” to you. You’re causing it. Here’s how.
You first comment on looks
I’ve noticed one thing in common with every man I know who claims he “attracts crazy women”: the stories of how they first pick up these women involve these guys laying on the compliments about the women’s appearances—heavily. Those first interactions are all about telling the woman she’s really hot. Unfortunately, only women who do have some personal emotional work to do would ever go for this. Emotionally healthy women would not like that all of the focus and attention is on something superficial.
And go after the very put-together women
And, to add to that last point, these men who claim to attract unstable women only go after extremely hot women. I mean that level of hot that is only achieved through $500 haircuts, hours of makeup, every waist cincher and bust lifter available, extensions, and freshly manicured nails. Every day. I’m sorry to say it again but there is often a personality type (hello: high maintenance) that comes with this look. But these silly men who “attract crazies” are just drawn to that look, and aren’t perceptive enough to pick up on the beauty of women with a more subtle appearance aka ones who are stable enough to not overdo it on the hair/makeup/designer clothes thing.
One male acquaintance starts every relationship by showering the woman with monetary items. Whether that’s highly expensive jewelry, meals, or trips, the money is obvious and everywhere. I still state again that, gentlemen, if you want to attract a woman who is down to earth, you won’t find her on the other end of a Ferrari wrapped in a ribbon.
This is so common: a man seduces a woman out of a relationship she’s already in, into a relationship with him, and then things turn out to be toxic and turbulent. Oh wow, no way? A woman who was willing to cheat and relationship jump isn’t stable? You’re kidding me. Who would’ve thought?
You like women who mimic your personality
The man who winds up in these turbulent relationships also tends to like this trait in a woman: she mimics his personality. She’s a chameleon. Whatever hobbies or restaurants or people he loves, she loves, too. This is where a man’s ego can really get him in trouble. I have news for you, men: if a woman seems to love everything you love, it’s an act. And if there is some sort of act going on now, there will be some sort of drama going on later. Stable women will have their own personalities and interests. They won’t pretend to love everything you love.
You demand all of their time at first
Funny enough, the men I know who later claim their exes were “crazy,” are usually very needy in relationships. I see them calling and texting a new interest constantly, wanting to see her regularly, and always wanting to know where she is and who she’s with. Another newsflash, men: if a woman tolerates all of that jealousy and paranoia it’s because she’s also going to exhibit it. Men, if you want a woman who is laid back and not controlling, you yourselves must be laid back and not controlling.
Then you’re shocked when they demand yours
These same men are also completely shocked when they go from calling a woman every hour to ghosting her for weeks and she goes a little nuts. What did they expect? They gave her the impression this was going somewhere and then they disappeared. That would make anyone upset.
You move too fast
I know one guy who falls into this same pit over and over again. He always wants that next thrill (it’s just a form of running from himself and some serious healing that needs to happen). So he’ll move fast with a woman, wanting to live with her or get engaged within just a few months. Again, I will state that, as a man, if you try to move fast, you should know any woman who goes along with it will not be stable. Stable women take things slowly.
Then you abruptly put on the breaks
Then, once these men decide that their new, shiny toy is no longer that new or shiny, they put on the breaks abruptly. One month it’s, “Move in with me” and the next month it’s, “Why are you always in my space?” And, shocker, this can result in some “crazy” behavior on the female’s part. Who wouldn’t be upset by that total 180?
You want something all-consuming
Every relationship that ends up in flames begins as a “whirlwind romance.” Have you noticed that? If two people just take the time to get to know one another, see each other at a reasonable frequency in the beginning and still maintain their individuality, nobody winds up slashing tires or burning down houses. But the men I know who claim their exes are “crazy” always dive into things head first, are attached at the hip with these women, and go totally MIA on the rest of their friends while in relationships.
But stable women aren’t about that
Emotionally healthy women want to maintain their individuality. They want to keep up with their own social lives. They want time to themselves. So, fellas, any woman you meet who is willing to dive into this relationship that consumes the both of you probably won’t be, um, emotionally stable.
You’re looking for a massive ego boost
So, here’s the thing: I’ve noticed that the same men who call their exes crazy also like women who are highly impressed with their money, status, fame, and other superficial elements. These men are deeply insecure and must rely on superficial things to get attention. So they wind up with women who are equally insecure and drawn in by that BS.
Again, stable women won’t give you that
Again, a healthy woman will be repulsed by a man who tries to use his status to gain affection. Sorry, guys, but if you’re going to find quality relationships, you can’t take the easy way of flashing your money around.
You either like extreme partiers
I’ve also noticed that the men I know whose relationships go up in flames are often drawn to women who are huge partiers. These men are usually insecure, and to compensate for that they like the competitive nature that comes with dating a woman who is out at clubs each night. They like to pick fights. They like a reason to be possessive. And women who spend most of their nights partying until the sunrise probably aren’t on the most stable ground right now, either.
Or extreme introverts
The other personality I see these men attracted to is the introvert. Again, men who “just happen” to fall into turbulent relationships (again, it’s totally their own fault) are often controlling. So many of them like women who are introverted and very shy because they know they can trust them to just stay at home and wait for them. But if a woman is so introverted that she’s essentially a hermit, she will likely develop codependency issues on the one relationship in her life. I mean really men what do you expect?! You actively seek out these unstable relationships and then play the victim card when things get unstable.
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Chock full of colorful characters, constantly adrift on a sea of international adventure and not shy of a plot twist or 25, the rock world feels predestined to generate some of the most horrifying, inspiring, and downright incredible stories imaginable. We’ve stopped short of naming the ‘top 13’ rock biographies – simply because there are literally hundreds out there more than worth your time. Instead, we have listed thirteen of the best rock music books you should read right now.
THE DIRT: CONFESSIONS OF THE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS ROCK BAND (MÖTLEY CRÜE WITH NEIL STRAUSS, 2001)
The classic. A title that’s become synonymous with the bad-boy rock biography, The Dirt feels like the ultimate chronicle of the genre’s ’80s excess. Looking back now, the idea that Mötley Crüe classics like Wild Side and Girls, Girls, Girls only scratched the surface of their unshackled debauchery seems almost unbelievable. A kaleidoscopic odyssey of booze, drugs, groupies, dealers, cops, tour buses, strip clubs, and car-wrecks, both figurative and literal, it’s a tale that needs to be read to be believed. If you only pick up one rock bio today, probably best to make it this one. Devotees should be sure to grab Nikki Sixx’s bleaker but equally essential 2007 follow-up, The Heroin Diaries, too.
TRANNY: CONFESSIONS OF PUNK ROCK’S MOST INFAMOUS ANARCHIST SELLOUT (LAURA JANE GRACE, 2016)
Known, during writing, as Killing Me Loudly, the autobiography from Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace draws extensively from the journals she had been compiling since third grade. Its eventual title ‘Tranny’ is a term the singer hates, but its appropriation here is symbolic of her taking ownership of a personal struggle through which she noted the supposedly accepting punk community were “more closed-minded than the church”. Illuminating. Poignant. Inspiring. It’s equally essential reading for individuals struggling to come to terms with themselves and those same closed-minds struggling to understand.
WHITE LINE FEVER: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY (LEMMY KILMISTER, 2002)
Possessed of a godlike air like few others, Lemmy always seemed like something of an unapproachable icon even for those of us fortunate to make his acquaintance. As such, this exceptionally grounded autobiography – charting the life of Ian Fraser Kilmister, son of an RAF chaplain from Stoke-On-Trent – brought us brilliantly closer to the man behind the myth. Of course, from his early musical exploits with Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind to decades-long scene leadership at the helm of Motörhead, the man led a life that most of us could even imagine. “It’s a fallacy to say I taught him how to drink,” the legend writes at one point, remembering a young Lars Ulrich. “I actually taught him to throw up, and that’s what he did, all over himself. That’s what he got for trying to keep up with older people’s habits…”
GIRL IN A BAND (KIM GORDON, 2015)
Sonic Youth was never a band to shy away from unpleasantries in their dogged pursuit of beauty and authenticity. Fittingly, bassist Kim Gordon’s chronicle of her break-up with guitarist Thurston Moore and the dissolution of their seminal indie-rock outfit isn’t just a tale of heartbreak; it’s one of the sporadic mundanity, unpredictability and seat-of-your-pants adventure of holding a prime seat on the alt.rock roundabout for the best part of three decades. Girl In A Band proves itself essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in the New York noiseniks – or the scene they helped define.
HAMMER OF THE GODS (STEPHEN DAVIS, 1985)
Another of the classics. It’s probably not that difficult to write a rollicking recount of one band’s tumultuous journey when that band is Led bloody Zeppelin. From quaaludes to bathtubs full of baked beans to the extremely questionable use of one taxidermied shark, many of the anecdotes here have slipped into rock’n’roll folklore, but that takes little from the experience of finding them compiled into this singular volume. It’s best not to spoil them too much further here. Let’s just say this is another must-read addition, for rockers or anyone else with a heartbeat…
THIS IS A CALL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DAVE GROHL (PAUL BRANNIGAN, 2011)
It can be difficult, at times, to get a real sense of what goes on under the surface with The Nicest Man In Rock™. K!’s own Paul Brannigan charts his fascinating story with a dextrous grip on the evolving scenes through which Dave Grohl has endured and a spectacular sense of the adventure he’s experienced along the way. From the kid from the D.C. suburbs who dropped out of school to go on tour with Scream, to the stickman catapulted to superstardom with Nirvana, to the iconic Foo Fighters frontman called upon to play for the Obamas on the White House lawn, few lives share the rollercoaster momentum of Dave’s.
SLASH (SLASH, 2007)
Most rock bios are about the gritty build and the glitzy payoff. Safe to say, the Slash bio is virtually all payoff. Born Saul Hudson in England in 1965 to a white British graphic artist father and a black American costume designer mother, Slash’s story was never going to be that of your garden variety guitarist. Growing up in Los Angeles ’70s bohemia, his mum dated David Bowie, hung out with Joni Mitchell, and taught the youngster that “being a rock star is [about finding] the intersection between who you are and who you want to be”. As the story of Guns N’ Roses’ meteoric rise and incendiary fall-out (their latter-day reconciliation is not part of this 2007 volume) unfold, they seem like simply the logical narrative developments of one of music’s most dramatic life stories.
LORDS OF CHAOS (MICHAEL MOYNIHAN, 1998)
Before you see the movie, read the book. As feels inevitable for any volume skewering the adolescent, corpse-painted pomposity of the ’90s Norwegian black metal scene – and laying bare the narcissistic inhumanity of the suicide, church burnings and murders that followed in its wake – the accuracy of Michael Moynihan’s Lords Of Chaos has been called into question by many of those involved at the time. Regardless, this is a fascinating trip into metal’s most evil sub-genre and a chilling reminder of what can happen when the lines blur between the cvlt theatre and stark reality. Special mention to Dayal Patterson’s Evolution Of The Cult (2013) and The Cult Never Dies (2015) for further deconstructing the scene’s horrifically compelling progression, too.
HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN (CHARLES R. CROSS, 2001)
Much (perhaps too much) has been written about the life and death of Kurt Cobain. This first (arguably definitive) long-form retelling of his life story does spectacularly well to disperse the rumor that hangs around an individual who was, at his core, a musically prodigious slacker from the lower-middle-class of North Seattle. Even better, it charts Nirvana’s explosion of incredible cross-cultural success – one that, we should remember, lasted a fleeting three years – with a remarkable blend of cool analysis and awe. It’s in a chilling final forensic analysis of Kurt’s self-destructive streak, though, that Heavier Than Heaven comes into its own: daring the reader to put aside music and mythos to pass judgment on the individual in the harsh light of the bare facts.
SMASH: GREEN DAY, THE OFFSPRING, BAD RELIGION, NOFX AND THE ’90S PUNK EXPLOSION (IAN WINWOOD, 2018)
It’s strange how the story of ’90s skate-punk has been distorted through the retrospective lens of the last two-and-a-bit decades: its lineage conflated and confused with that of the pop-punk genre it helped inspire. Veteran K! contributor Ian Winwood’s book shatters those perceptions, transporting us back to the poverty, addiction, and unhinged chaos of the era that spawned so many of our favorite bands. Finding The Offspring guitarist Noodles working as a janitor, Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong living in a Salvation Army shelter, and Green Day maestro Billie Joe Armstrong infested with body lice during a debut European tour, it’s a fascinating look at the underground grit and shit before the platinum-rated sheen that followed.
GET IN THE VAN: ON THE ROAD WITH BLACK FLAG (HENRY ROLLINS, 1994)
Something of a gritty yin to The Dirt’s glamorous yang, Get In The Van is a superb, zero-bullshit diary of life on the road with LA hardcore legends Black Flag. Fronting the band between 1981 and 1986, punk’s storyteller supreme Henry Rollins had a drivers-seat view of the violence, squalor, and sheer chaos of hardcore’s early days. From roadies forced into eating dog food to hard-nut cops to borderline psychotic fans, it’s a dirt-beneath-the-fingernails classic unafraid to show the bleak underbelly of life in a touring band – albeit one with an ultimately triumphant arc. Any fledgling rock star wannabes out for fame and fortune should really stop to read this first…
DARK DAYS: A MEMOIR (D. RANDALL BLYTHE, 2015)
On May 4, 2010, in the Abaton club in Prague, during a concert by Virginian metal legends Lamb Of God, 19-year-old fan Daniel Nosek sustained injuries to his head. Over the weeks that followed, he would slip into a coma and pass away. Although following his initial release on bail, legal counsel advised against returning to the Czech Republic to face trial, frontman Randy Blythe insisted he “could not run away from this problem while the grieving family of a dead young man searched hopelessly for answers that he might help provide”. Those events provide the tragic backdrop for the singer’s stunningly frank account of the dark days (and months) that followed his indictment on manslaughter charges and incarceration in a Czech prison. Even years since Randy’s release, it’s a story that delivers gut-churning jailhouse anecdotes, tales of galvanizing camaraderie, and ultimate redemption that even the most optimistic dramatist might’ve struggled to conjure up.
METALLICA: ENTER NIGHT (MICK WALL, 2010)
It’d be unreasonable to compile a list of great rock biographies without including at least one of the biggest metal bands in the world. Tracking a path from the thrash kings’ spandex-clad genesis to their coronation as globe-straddling, genre-transcending megastars, this packs in all the drugs, booze, and drama any self-respecting fan would expect. From early acrimony with Dave Mustaine through the devastating loss of Cliff Burton to the callous early treatment and furious departure of Jason Newstead, all the personal drama is captured. As are the band’s mid-’90s creative swerves, the (ever-more hilariously redundant) Napster fiasco, and the cringing in-studio therapy that formed the basis of seminal rock-doc Some Kind Of Monster. Crucially, though, Enter Night perfectly charts the band’s place in the rock and metal scene forever evolving around them.
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Commit to avoiding the mistakes that only make things worse. I know someone who is going through a divorce and did EVERY one of these things… Idiot!
It sucks. It just does. The hurt, the anger, the loss (of seemingly everything — companionship, security, self-esteem). The process of healing after a divorce or breakup can feel like insult on injury. It’s tough enough trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. But now you have to fight against being your own worst enemy.
The inherent challenge of moving on from a breakup is fighting the urge to connect. You build a relationship by striving in all you do to connect more genuinely, more intimately. To suddenly have that call-to-action ripped out from under you is a real blow. It’s like expecting a moving train to stop on a dime and go back to where it came from.
But whether or not it is apparent to you now, this time of healing after a divorce or breakup is a time of great potential. Sure, you didn’t want or plan to be here. But the beauty of life is that it is an equal-opportunity benefactor, and it imbues every situation with opportunities for exponential growth.
If you’re in the process of healing after a divorce or breakup and feel maddened by the frustrations and temptations, read on. Sometimes the message of “what to do” is more impactful if written as “what not to do.”
You may recognize your own behavior in the following mistakes people make in the aftermath of a breakup. But don’t stress. Absorb the recognition and the lessons as to why those mistakes don’t serve your effort to move on. And trust that everything is falling into place to facilitate your highest good and happiness.
Here are the 6 biggest mistakes people make when healing after a divorce or breakup.
1. Contacting your ex right after the breakup.
Yes, it’s natural. You’ve been calling and texting your ex all day every day for so long you almost don’t know how not to. But now you want to know what your ex is thinking, doing, feeling. You instinctively want to keep tabs, vent your anger, and hear those three-word phrases, “I miss you,” “I love you.”
Rushing to contact your ex only delays your healing after a breakup or divorce. It’s like pushing the hold button and keeping the relationship — even in an unhealthy state — alive. One more day on life support, with no promise of a future.
When you resist the natural urge to contact your ex for anything other than essential business (e.g. kids), you start healing. You may not feel the healing, but you will be growing stronger from your self-control.
2. Obsessing over your ex’s social media presence.
Okay, so, if you can’t make contact directly, why not do it indirectly? Sit in bed with nothing but your smartphone to light up your tear-stained face, and stalk your ex in private. Head straight to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Look for any sign of happiness or despair in your ex’s life. Expand photos and evaluate facial expressions and anyone who might be hiding in the background. Read all the comment streams to see what your mutual friends know and say. Check to make sure you are still on your ex’s friends list and in his or her old posts and photos. Just. Keep. Hanging. On.
Surely this isn’t how you see yourself five years from now, so why start now? You have a thousand other social media friends who are cheering you on.
Take the plunge and unfollow/unfriend the one who is no longer central to your life. Set some boundaries and protect yourself from seeing things that will upset you during this vulnerable time.
3. Showing up in all those old, familiar places.
Remember that, just as you weren’t the only person in your relationship, you aren’t the only one in your breakup. Both of you are drowning in emotions and lifestyle adjustments. Both of you need to find a way to move on. And neither of you will ever achieve that vision of love and happiness by lurking in the shadows of something that will never be. Granted, you may legitimately bump into one another at some point. But take your ex’s favorite haunts off autopilot and fight the urge to see if s/he is home by curfew. You both need space and time for healing after a divorce or breakup.
4. “Casually” asking mutual friends about your ex.
You want to know. I get it. But chances are you don’t even know what you want to know. Do you want to hear that your ex’s world has fallen apart? That s/he is miserable without you? Your curiosity in these early stages of a breakup are usually about putting bandaids on some of your own emotions.
Someday, when you’ve come through all the hurt and you look back on this relationship as a mere stepping stone to happiness, you will understand. And your curiosity will be genuine and grounded in a desire for your ex’s happiness, too.
In the meantime, don’t put your friends on the spot. Your breakup was (and probably still is) hard on them, too.
5. Wallowing in your misery and isolating yourself from the world. You may feel on the outside of all your friendships now that you are single. And if you’d made your ex your whole world, it may have been some time since you were really part of “the group.”
But this is no time to waste away in the corner of your shattered life. Remember, when you’re healing after a divorce or breakup, life sends you nurses in the form of friends. And just as your friends want to be there for you, you need to allow their love to do its work.
Trust that goodness will bring about more goodness. And allow yourself to feel the love.
6. Rushing to get into a new relationship.
You may know it with your head, but your heart may not want to hear it. You’re not ready to get into a new relationship when you’re still healing from a divorce or breakup.
Feeling lonely isn’t a good enough reason to take the plunge. And no amount of blaming your ex for your problems and breakup is going to give you a good reason, either. You need this time to grieve your loss and learn from this relationship, not seek to replace it.
It’s also essential that you spend time examining your own role in your relationship. How did you nurture it, and how did you contribute to its erosion? Rushing to fill the void of love in your life is usually an indication that you don’t want to look at your own responsibility.
Besides, the last thing you need is to get on a dating app and see your ex on there. Trust that you have love all around you in just the ways that are necessary for your healing and future happiness.
Healing after a divorce or breakup can be messy. And, as with a bad cold that gets passed around a home, you may wonder when you will ever feel better.
Sometimes the best step forward is simply not taking a step backward. If all you do in the early stages is to commit to avoiding the mistakes that only make things worse, you will be making progress.
Trust life to show up for your greater good. And most importantly, trust yourself to recognize when it does. You’ve got this.
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