An Evening With James – Part 2

Yesterday I began the two-part saga of hanging out with my friend James. Thanks for tuning in for the conclusion!

The Lyft arrives and it’s a five-star driver with a pleasant personality and a clean car. I’m safe and on my way to see James. Based on my calculations I’m less than 15 minutes away from his house. But for some reason I guess I was traveling during a surge period and this ride is costing me $17! What the heck?

But I let it go because it was my mistake that got me here and I’m happy I’m safe and in an air-conditioned, clean vehicle to my friend’s doorstep. I chat with the driver and he points out all of the hot spots in town on our way there. Noted. I’ll pass these recommendations onto James when I see him. He’s single now and should get out in the real world to hunt and not so much on these dating apps.

He drops me off and I knock on James’s front door. After a few minutes, I hear a window opening above my head. I look up and James is sticking his head out the window. “Didn’t you get my text? The door’s open. I’m just out of the shower.”

I go in and head for the kitchen. He has a jar full of those peanut butter-filled pretzels on the counter and I munch on a few of them. Nothing’s changed since I was here last. Several pieces of furniture are gone, but he’s set up a turntable and some speakers next to the 50 plus liquor bottles in the corner of the room. He wants to install a bar of some type to put his collection into but he’s just been too busy. But it’s been a productive busy. Lots of interesting dates and the obligations of running his talent agency.

I think about the last time I was here. Lethal cocktails, beers, burgers, and dogs. I loved it all but at my age, none of the above loves me back anymore. I was under the weather for 2 days after that last time. That won’t happen again, right?

James comes down and starts making cocktails. I’m petting one of his exotic cats. I like the grey and black one that resembles a tiger. James thinks that cat is an a$$hole but I like him because he’s so handsome.

James gives me one of his famous Manhattans. It packs a punch but is delicious. Are you supposed to use 100 proof rye whiskey in that drink? Probably not, but  I can’t say no to a freshly made quality cocktail that’s made with authentic ingredients right down to the brandied berry on the toothpick. Plus… they’re free. Free always tastes better than paid for. James makes really good cocktails and never scrimps on the quality.

So I tell him about the last few weeks of non-stop commercial writing assignments, my encounters with Lin, and my harrowing trip to get here today. Then it’s his turn.

His life now that he’s single sounds like my life when I started this blog back in 2016. Non-stop dates, events, and oceans of alcohol.

He’s hungry, so he whips up some tasty little frozen chicken nuggets. James is the king of hot sauce and dipping and he brings out the plate of snacks. He’s telling me about all of his dates in detail, (which I love because I’m now living vicariously through my young apprentice) and we munch on the chicken while sipping our potent beverages. (I even ripped off a few little bits and fed them to his cat which he enjoyed!) James told me that could give the cat diarrhea later but I figured a few little scraps wouldn’t hurt him. Cats have far more robust and septic digestive systems than humans or even dogs.

The next couple of cocktails I consumed were whiskey and coffee liqueur based and they were delicious. But I was already buzzing from my first Manhattan.  Did I know that these venomous drinks were a recipe for a hangover tomorrow? Of course, I did. But did it at any time cross my mind during this social visit with my friend? No, it did not.

So, it turns out I was right about his motives for the evening. It was number 2. Strip club. Okay, James. Whatever you want buddy. You’ve never been there and you should at least see what it’s all about.

We’ve been chatting for a few hours and through several cocktails and I’m fine with it. It was probably around 10:30 or 11:00 by the time he called the Lyft to take us to Delilah’s.

Delilah’s describes itself on their website as “a landmark in Philadelphia for over a quarter-century. Over that time Delilah’s has established itself as the premier entertainment destination for business travelers, celebrities, and uninhibited Philadelphians alike.”

That sounds great, but that’s never what any of these kinds of places are like. Even using the phrase, “gentlemen’s club” is abhorrent. You can hang whatever title you want on any of these joints and they are all just strip joints, plain and simple. It can be big, and fancy with tall stripper poles and lots of fancy lights, stages, and music, but it’s all the same stuff.

A den of iniquity full of sleazy, sweaty losers who are looking to escape reality. A place where these losers can flash some money and get the attention of a few desperate, damaged women in skimpy outfits. The last time I was here, was for my friend Duncan after his divorce. I don’t go to places like this because I never need to. I can meet real women in the real world. Places like this are gross and so are the men who frequent them.

I used to know a guy that was addicted to these scum holes. He has no personality or game of any kind and has blown thousands of dollars at places like this. He’s always been a sleazy loser and this is the only way he can ever get the attention of fit young women. He has to pay for it. Pathetic.

The women who work there are usually all mentally damaged in some form. What girl chooses to end up in a vocation where she has to parade around in her underwear for a living and be nice to a bunch of gross losers while they stuff dollar bills in her bra or thong? No little girl ever dreams of being a stripper when she grows up. She’s been damaged by someone along the way. It’s so sad.

We arrive and go inside. We’re both in good spirits due to the amount of distilled spirits flowing through our veins and just being together. James pays our cover which was $10 each. We have to go through a vigorous security process similar to getting on a plane. Maybe worse. Patted down by burly security guards, put your keys, wallet, and phone in a tray while you pass through a metal detector to enter the club. I whipped out my vaccination card but nobody cared. As long as I wasn’t packing any weapons they didn’t care if we were patient zero and carriers of covid and ebola!

We walk up to the first bar as you enter the main area. The last time I was here I prefer to sit in the back because it’s quiet and a bit more remote. But James has never been here before and he’s dazzled by the energy of the place and all the female pulchritude.

Within 30 seconds two attractive blondes in skimpy outfits were upon us.

Have you ever walked onto the property of a used car lot? What’s the first thing that happens? Right… you are immediately accosted by some sleazy used car salesman who descends upon you like a desperate starving vulture.

That’s what it felt like. These girls are looking to maximize their earnings each night and we are simply ATMs. They charm us with their wiles to figure out our emotional PIN, and their job is to separate us from our cash.

These two hapless souls were all over us from the minute we got to the bar. We barely had time to order a couple of Stella Artois. James picked up on the vibe immediately, and we got our beers and headed to the back away from these cute piranhas.

We take our seats at the end of one of the bars and enjoy the show. The women that work at Delilah’s are better looking than the gals that work at some of the other clubs in town. This is the premier place, right? But as I said, it’s all the same trip in every one of these places across the nation.

James seems to be getting into the spirit of things though, so I’m happy he’s having a good time. He’s never been here so being newly single again, he’s glad he can go where he pleases and do what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone anymore. He doesn’t have to get permission from his girlfriend to go live the life he wants.

I tell him since I wasn’t entirely sure we were coming here tonight I didn’t prepare. (I never prepare because I never go to places like this.) When you go to a strip club you should always bring plenty of cash because it’s king in these joints. Cash for lap dances in the private rooms and lots of singles for stuffing in G-strings.

So against my better judgment, I head over to the ATM. Now, when I used to go to the Gold Club down in center city with Johnny R before I cut that alcoholic loser off, I knew to never use their mac machine. Here’s why… Strip clubs know they have a captive audience full of drunk, horny losers. They exploit every inch of that real estate. Crappy drinks are overpriced, the girls are money-hungry jackals, and the fee to use the mac machine is usually jacked up. They know you don’t want to leave to get more money. You want that lap dance from that hottie who’s been teasing you for the last hour with promises of love and maybe other things in the back room.

The Gold Club is a place where sexual stuff can happen. I’ve witnessed Johnny R get all kinds of favors from the girls there in the back room. It’s a low-class place and the staff isn’t as pretty as at Delilah’s so they’re more apt to give a few favors for the right price.

The ATM fee at the Gold club is around $6. Which is twice to three times what you’d pay at an average ATM anywhere else in the city. But dudes pay it and probably don’t even notice they’re getting hit with the fee. Being drunk and horny clouds their vision. But, here I am at Delilah’s, the “classy” joint in town and I’m about to take money from their ATM. I figure, what the heck. I’m only going to write all about this later and it’ll be more informative to my readers if they know the real deal.

So I go to the mac machine and put my debit card in. I choose to take out $80. I get my four twenties and receipt and head back to the bar to see James.

I pull out the receipt from the machine and show it to him. He doesn’t notice it at first, but see if you can.

Yea… a horror show. A $16 fee just to get your money out of that thing! That’s highway robbery!

I’m a cheapskate anyway when I go to these kinds of hellholes, so seeing this I knew I would NOT be spending much money in this dump. I wouldn’t anyway, but wow. Just wow. It made me wish that I was the owner of that ATM. What a cash cow!

James laughs in surprise and whips out a neatly wrapped stack of $100 in one-dollar bills he has to have gotten from his local bank of account. I laughed at his planning. Well done, James! You came prepared. You’re a regular boy scout!

I gave him 2 twenties and he reluctantly counted out $40 in one-dollar bills to me in exchange.

He’s been chatting with probably the prettiest, fit dancer in the place and tells me he’s going off to get a lap dance. Good for him. He needs to experience this place to its fullest. But I think he’s in for a rude awakening. We all know what happens and NEVER happens in the champagne room at Delilah’s.

While he’s gone two really cute Hispanic girls approach me. They’re both adorable and alluring. I haven’t seen them in here all night, nor have I seen either one of them dances on stage. They both proceed to cut right to the chase. “Give us $300 and you can come in one of the back rooms and have s*x with us. (Gotta watch the words I use here. Google Adsense flags anything sexy on my sight now. If I want to earn ad revenue on here, I gotta keep it clean) I graciously decline their offer, as tempting as these two lovely sirens are.

James returns 15 minutes later, and I ask him how was his “lapper” with the brunette.

“Sucked. She sort of writhed and hovered over me, and there was no touching.”

“Welcome to an upscale gentleman’s club, James. You can get tossed for touching in this place.”

I can tell James is disappointed with what we’ve experienced thus far. We throw back a few beers and the good news is, neither of us was drunk. I tell him that even though I had to let my friend Johnny R go because of his multiple addictions and failure, the guy was right. He never wanted to come to Delilah’s. He always preferred the Gold Club in the center city because he liked its authenticity. It doesn’t pretend to be a classy joint like this place does. It knows it’s a sleazy strip club and it does it well. The girls are average and very friendly, the day shift is a little scary, but at least they’re truthful with what they provide and what they are.

By the end of the night, we were approaching the 2 am witching hour and last call. James was determined to spend some money apparently and stay in the spirit of things. He was crumbling up bills and tossing them onto the stage. At one point he went to the edge of the stage and just laid out money along the edge. It was all one-dollar bills but he seemed to be enjoying himself despite the grinding disappointment of this place and their ilk.

He encouraged me to do the same so I placed 2 bills on the edge of the stage. God, I hate these places but I love James, so who cares. We had a fun night out. I took a LYFT home and he was within walking distance of his house so he headed home.

When I get home, I notice my clothes smelled of cigarette and cigar smoke and I reek of cheap perfume. Hopefully, a hot shower will wash the stench from me, but sadly the women that work there can’t wash off that kind of a shame.

And the best part? I got a colorful story out of it, and when I checked my wallet the next morning  I still had most of my money! I had $38 in ones and $40 in twenties, so at least I didn’t get fleeced last night!

The only thing is, I didn’t have a migraine the next day, but all those rich cocktails did give me a headache for the rest of the day, and my stomach has been a little shakey for two days.

I’m getting too old for this rich life, but I’m having fun doing it. I think next time we go out, I’ll stick to spiked seltzers, lots of water, and some good food to sop up the booze.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. 

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

The Weirdest, Creepiest and Most Annoying Songs of the 70’s – Part 6

If you were like me in the 1970’s you listened to top 40 radio most of the time. You heard a lot of great songs and instant classics. But among them were many unforgettable songs that were just weird or strange. I’ve tried from memory to remember the ones that stand out in my mind.

For weird reasons they became hits. They either made no sense or having any musical merit. Just a bizarre era of story songs.

Of course, this stuff is all pretty subjective but I did have a few criteria for what should be here. I decided to include a song if it:

    • made me sick without even listening to it again
    • made me want to break my radio
    • made my stomach turn
    • brought out violent thoughts of hatred, revenge, etc.
    • reminded me how lame the radio and record companies are
    • could make me want to break my stereo
    • would make me leave a bar or club if they started playing it
    • would make me boo a band who started playing it
    • suspended my belief in a divine force that governs the universe
I’m not saying that there weren’t ANY good songs during the 70s but there was just a truck-load of waste back then. If anybody’s stupid enough to think that ALL disco sucks, remember that it’s just a bastard son of rhythm & blues just like rock’n’roll is- so they’re related, see? Also, the 1970’s definitely didn’t have a monopoly on shitty music- there was tons of crap unleashed on us in the decade before and after and now also (there’s a future article there somewhere). Clothes-pin anyone?

The 70’s was an interesting time for music. There was a lot of experimentation and creativity from that decade, but there was also plenty of crap as well. Here is my list of the worst and most irritating songs of the 70’s.

 

Indian Reservation – Paul Revere and the Raiders – 1971

This song was written by John D. Loudermilk. It was first recorded by Marvin Rainwater in 1959 and released on MGM as “The Pale Faced Indian”, but that release went unnoticed. The first hit version was a 1968 recording by Don Fardon – a former member of the Sorrows – that reached number 20 on the Hot 100 in 1968 and number 3 on the UK Singles Chart in 1970.

In 1971, the Raiders recorded “Indian Reservation” on the Columbia Records label, and it topped the Hot 100 on July 24. On June 30, 1971, the RIAA gold-certified the record for selling over a million copies. The record was later certified platinum for selling an additional million copies. The song was the group’s only Hot 100 number 1 hit and their final Hot 100 top 20 song.

At the end, where the Raiders sing “…Cherokee nation will return”, Fardon says “Cherokee Indian…”, while the line is absent in Rainwater’s version, which ends with “beads…nowadays made in Japan.” In addition, Fardon sings the line: “Brick built houses by the score/ No more tepees anymore”, not used in the Raiders’ version.

Cherokee people have never lived in tipis, nor do they use the term “papoose”. These are stereotypes and misconceptions, with the reservations and tipi assumptions usually based on Hollywood portrayals of Plains Indians. However, the Cherokee are a Southeastern Woodlands Indigenous culture.

Not a terrible song, just a bit insensitive by today’s standards, but worth adding to this list of 70s oddities.

The Sound of Philadelphia – MFSB – 1974

TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)” is a 1974 hit recording by MFSB featuring vocals by The Three Degrees. A classic example of the Philadelphia soul genre, it was written by Gamble and Huff as the theme for the American musical television program Soul Train, which specialized in African American musical performers. The single was released on the Philadelphia International Records label. It was the first television theme song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and it is arguably the first disco song to reach that position.

The song is essentially an instrumental piece, featuring a lush blend of string instrument and horn section in the Philadelphia soul style. There are only two vocal parts to the song: a passage close to the beginning during which The Three Degrees sing “People all over the world!”; and the chorus over the fadeout, “Let’s get it on/It’s time to get down”. The words “People all over the world!” are not heard in the original version. The version heard on Soul Train also had the series title sung over the first four notes of the melody, “Soul Train, Soul Train”. This particular version was released on a 1975 Three Degrees album, International.

“TSOP” hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 and remained there for two weeks, the first television theme song to do so in the history of that chart. It also topped the American Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (for one week) and adult contemporary (for two weeks).  The Three Degrees would revisit the top of the AC chart later in 1974 with their hit single, “When Will I See You Again”.

Don Cornelius, the creator, and host of Soul Train refused to allow any references to the name of the television series when the single was released, leading Gamble and Huff to adopt the alternate title for the release. Cornelius would later admit that not allowing the single to be named Soul Train was a major mistake on his part. (As a result, the Three Degrees’ singing of the show’s name “Soul Train” during the chorus as heard on the TV version is not heard on the single.)

Although it was rerecorded a number of times for future versions of the show, and various different themes were used during the late 1970s and early 1980s, “TSOP” returned in the late 1980s and remained the theme song for Soul Train through the disco, 1980s rhythm and blues, new jack swing, hip hop music, and neo-soul eras of black music.

Not a bad song. Actually kind of a great disco song. I always hated disco in the 70’s because I felt it undermined rock music. But in reality, it’s simply R&B and Soul music jazzed up so you can dance to it. A huge fad in the late 70’s.

Fly Robin Fly – Silver Convention – 1975

is a song by German disco group Silver Convention from their debut studio album Save Me (1975). Sylvester Levay and Stephan Prager wrote the song, and the latter produced it. “Fly, Robin, Fly” was released as the third single from Save Me in September 1975, peaking at number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100. Thanks to the success of “Fly, Robin, Fly”, Silver Convention became the first German act to have a number one song on the American music charts. The song received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance in 1976.

“Fly, Robin, Fly” carries the distinction of being a Billboard chart-topper with only six words: the chorus simply repeats “Fly, Robin, fly” three times, with an ending of “Up, up to the sky“. During a segment on VH1’s 100 Greatest Dance Songs, it was revealed that the original working title was “Run, Rabbit, Run”.

It’s a classic disco tune that was wildly popular. But the reason it makes this list is that the only lyrics in the song are, “Fly Robin Fly, up, up to the sky.”

Jacqueline Nemorin (known professionally as Jackie Carter and Né-Mo-Rin) is a Mauritian-British singer, songwriter, composer, and music producer. She is notable for being one of the voices and members of the 1970s Silver Convention project. She’s the main girl in the middle and clearly the prettiest of the three. For me, it’s worth watching just to see her beauty. 

The odd thing about this performance is; the choreography resembles some sort of aerobic workout!

Afternoon Delight – Starland Vocal Group – 1976

Good Girls Don’t – The Knack – 1979

“Good Girls Don’t” begins with Fieger playing the harmonica, in a part which authors Michael Uslan and Bruce Solomon liken to The Beatles‘ song “I Should Have Known Better.” The lyrics, such as the refrain “She’ll be telling you ‘good girls don’t but I do,'” were considered misogynistic by some critics. However, Joyce Canaan of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies wrote that this line succinctly captures the transformation of teenage girls’ representations of their sexual practices; while they want to be seen as “good girls”, even good girls may engage in practices not corresponding to established moral standards. Fieger has stated that “All we were doing in songs like the naughty ‘Good Girls Don’t’ was reflecting the way 14-year-old boys feel. And there’s a little 14-year-old boy in all of us. I think that’s why the record did so well.” Other lyrics that created controversy included the lines:

“And she makes you want to scream; wishing you could get inside her pants” (this line was re-recorded as “wishing she was givin’ you a chance” on the “clean” single release), and:

“And it’s a teenage sadness everyone has got to taste.”
 “An in-between age madness that you know you can’t erase till she’s sitting on your face (and it hurts!).”
DISGUSTING!
 Although I really liked My Sharona when it came out, I realized quickly that Doug Fieger seemed like a Beatles wannabe and a bit of a pervert. Who names their album, “…But The Little Girls Understand.”??? What kind of Pedos are these guys to approve that? Even the cover’s imagery conveys that. A young girl looking up at the stage in awe. It’s awful. Even when this came out, I was 17 and found this offensive.

Knack - But the Little Girls Understand - Amazon.com Music

Critic Greil Marcus described the song as a “smutty little Beatles imitation”. Author John Borack described the song as “a mean pop tune”, noting too that in the song lead singer and songwriter Fieger comes off “like a leering, sexist twit with hormones a-raging.

I don’t know. It just seems a bit too much. Anyway, Doug Fieger died from cancer at 57 in 2006.

Let’s Make A Baby – Billy Paul – 1975

I don’t know. Here’s another one that makes me think of the Paul Anka song, You’re having my baby. Billy’s a good singer, but again, the subject matter bothers me. I just can’t ever imagine myself driving down the road in my car singing along to these lyrics. Just…NO.

Come on, come on, let’s make a baby
Oh, baby, come on, come on
(Come on, come on)
Let’s bring another life into this world
A little boy, a little girl

Take my hand while we walk slowly to the room
Can’t you see tonight I’m gonna make sweet, sweet love to you?

Girl, don’t be shy, don’t be shy
This is a moment we’ve been waiting for
Hey, come by my side, by my side
It’s the place you’ll be forevermore, forevermore

So, baby, come on, come on
(Come on, come on)
Let’s make a baby
Oh, baby, come on, come on
(Come on, come on)
Let’s bring another life into this world
A little boy, a little girl

The Buoys – Timothy – 1970

Here’s a last-minute entry. One of my followers sent this one to me. I’ve never heard this song before. It’s a perfect addition to this series. I’m not going to give away the twist to this song.

Just listen to it.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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