Keila – 2013 to 2017 – Fleas, Ticks and a Series of Bad Decisions

I told Alice not to hire Keila. I just didn’t feel that she had the discipline, experience, skill set and focus to do the job at Alice’s recruiting firm.

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I’ve decided to stop writing about Alice and Keila. Alice is a dear friend, but we don’t do anything interesting enough to write about. Hopefully, this will be the last time I write about Keila.

I told Alice not to hire Keila. I just didn’t feel that she had the discipline, experience, skill set and focus to do the job at Alice’s recruiting firm. She lasted about two years there. Alice felt that she would be a good match, because she was a fearless networker and had no problem meeting new people.

But Keila has severe ADD. It’s really annoying to the rest of us who can calmly focus.

I’ve decided to cut her off, because of what she’s done to Alice. My loyalty is to Alice, and I don’t even really see Keila anymore.

Then I realized something. Some of the worst women I have ever met in this city all came through Keila. Birds of a feather flock together. Keila is like this big poodle that’s crawling with fleas and ticks. Because that’s what some these people are. Here’s the list:

Carol (See: Carol – 2014 to 2016 – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction) Crazy wacko who lives with her crazy mother and can’t keep a man or a job. Mess!

Harper (See: Harper – 2014 to 2015 – Plane Crash) Just a straight up lying, fraud and a whore who uses people. Awful!

Bibi (See: Bibi – 2015 – Matinee Madness) Rude, alcoholic loser who can’t keep a job or stay out of rehab.

Brooke (See: Brooke – 2015 to Present – Legs for Days) Okay this one came through Keila but I like her. She doesn’t see Keila anymore.

And many more whack job people along the way.

I’ve cut off all of these people (Except Brooke) and what I’ve needed to do all along was to cut off the head of this two legged dragon. So that’s what I’ve done. I’m done with Keila. She has these networking events and all of these desperate women and nutjobs go to thesee events. She always introduces them as “her new frends” but they’re not her friends. They’re normally desperate souls that attach themselves to her temporarily but after she gets what she wants from them she’s on to the next shiny object that’s her current distraction.

So after what Keila pulled on my friend Alice, I’m done with this one.

There’s some other people I need to slowly faze out as well. There not as godawful as Harper and Carol, but it’s time to start thinning the heard.

Live and learn baby. Step over the detritus in your life and move on.

Stay tuned!

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Marianne Faithfull Ends Up Homeless

You’ve got to feel for Marianne Faithfull. At the age of 17, she was snapped up by the Rolling Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham merely for being “an angel with big tits” and shoved at the Stones. She churned out some blandly alluring pop records but was most famously Mick Jagger’s girlfriend and muse. When the police raided Keith Richards’ Redlands mansion in 1967 as its occupants concluded an epic acid trip, they claimed they found Faithfull wrapped in nothing but a rug with a candy bar inserted in her vagina (Richards debunked this myth in his 2010 book Life).

She co-wrote the tellingly titled “Sister Morphine,” only to see the Stones wrest control of the song and release it, without crediting her, on their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. By the end of the ’70s she was homeless, living in an abandoned building in London. It was a fate once unthinkable for a woman so beautiful and sexual that still images of her alone created a media sensation and who directly influenced one of the most significant bands of her generation and place.

But Faithfull got the last laugh.

Given the opportunity to cut another album, she turned in the raw, confessional Broken English; an unflinching narrative of what it was like for a glamour model and pop star to find herself an addict living on the street, all backed by understated yet fashionable musical accompaniment. The Stones of this era were singing about “Some Girls,” and this was first person reporting from one they’d cast off.

 

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Tales of Rock – Badfinger

Badfinger should’ve been a huge success story, but instead became a cautionary tale for the myriad ways the music industry exploits and throws away so many talented but naive artists.

Possibly the most heartbreaking story in rock and roll happens to have happened to one of the best bands in its history.

Badfinger should’ve been a huge success story, but instead became a cautionary tale for the myriad ways the music industry exploits and throws away so many talented but naive artists. After supporting major outfits including The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd and the Who, the band — then named the Iveys — was picked up by manager Bill Collins in 1966. It was a move that would help them reach early stardom and contribute heavily to their downfall. Ray Davies of the Kinks recorded three early demos, which Collins managed to get to Apple Records; Badfinger signed with Apple in 1968, making them the first band that wasn’t the Beatles on the label. After a lineup and name change to Badfinger, Paul McCartney penned their first hit, the timeless power pop classic “Come and Get It.” (Written for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian, a loopy, cameo-filled British comedy starring Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers that’s worth watching for the sheer absurdity of it all.) The song became an international hit. The band’s two primary songwriters, Pete Ham and Tom Evans, also wrote “Without You,” a standard since covered by more than 180 artists, including Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Frank Sinatra and, perhaps most famously, Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey.

George Harrison had them play on his 1970 album All Things Must Pass and featured them as part of his backing band at The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. The point is, Badfinger should’ve been rolling in dough, their names solidified among rock’s most important acts. But taking manager Collins’s advice, the band trusted their money to an American businessman named Stan Polley who absconded with their funds, leaving the band in contractual binds that made it virtually impossible to continue on their own.

Lead singer Ham — by all accounts, an incredibly sensitive, sweet man who believed to the very end in Polley’s honesty despite all indications otherwise — hanged himself shortly thereafter. (Polley, in a move that even most scumbags would be disgusted by, tried to cash in on Ham’s life insurance.) Inconsolable and unable to restart his own career in music, Tom Evans — who reportedly said numerous times over the ensuing years that he wanted to be “where [Pete] is” — also hanged himself eight years later. Badfinger finally got a sliver of the rediscovery they deserve when their 1972 song “Baby Blue” was used in the series finale of Breaking Bad. The nod helped the song’s Spotify streams jump an astounding 9,000 percent in the hours after the show ended, and to sell 5,000 copies of the single on iTunes in a single night.

 

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Tales of Rock: Chris Cornell, Soundgarden and Audioslave Frontman, Dies at 52

So sad…

I was going to publish a piece today about Sly Stone ending up living in a van.

But not now.

Wednesday I was home, writing the epilogue of another lost girlfriend, and listening to Soundgarden and the solo work of Chris Cornell. I never do that. I was actually listening to Badmotorfinger, the full album on You Tube, while I wrote my blog. The irony has struck me hard, and I am still trying to understand what is happening. I love the song “You Know My Name” from the James Bond film, Casino Royale. I always think of it as my theme song.

I woke up Thursday to a text from my buddy, Church that Chris had passed. I was shocked and saddened. It comes with a heavy heart that I publish today’s blog.

Chris Cornell, the powerful, dynamic singer whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, has died at 52.

The death of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell has been ruled a suicide by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.

“The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit. The cause of death has been determined as hanging by suicide. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. There is no additional information at this time.”

Spokesman Brian Bumbery told the Associated Press that Cornell was found in his hotel room at the MGM Grand Detroit following a tour date at Detroit’s Fox Theatre with the reunited Soundgarden, the band he’d fronted for over 30 years

Dontae Freeman, media relations manager for the Detroit Police Department, later told the newspaper, “He was found in his room with a band around his neck, but (the report) doesn’t say if it was attempted suicide or not.”

Cornell had appeared to be in good spirits Wednesday when he tweeted, “Finally back to Rock City” before the show. However, Freeman noted that the singer’s wife, Vicky Karayiannis, asked a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell after the show later that evening. The friend forced open his hotel room door and found Cornell unresponsive on the bathroom floor.

Bumbery called Cornell’s death “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family are in shock. The statement said the family would be working closely with the Wayne County medical examiner to determine the cause and have asked for privacy.

Chris was born in 1964 in Seattle and helped form Soundgarden 20 years later. Sub Pop, then a fledgling record label, released the group’s first single, “Hunted Down,” in 1987, as well as two subsequent EPs. The group’s debut album, “Ultramega OK,” came a year later.

“Badmotorfinger,” released in 1991, benefited from the swell of attention that was beginning to surround the Seattle scene, where Soundgarden, along with Nirvana and Pearl Jam, were playing a high-octane, high-angst brand of rock ’n’ roll. Soundgarden’s musical journeys tended toward the knotty and dark, plunging into off-kilter meters and punctuated by Mr. Cornell’s voice, which could quickly shift from a soulful howl to a gritty growl.

Three of Soundgarden’s studio albums have been certified platinum, including “Superunknown,” from 1994, which featured “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell on Black Days,” “Spoonman” and “My Wave.”

The group — which includes the guitarist Kim Thayil, the bassist Ben Shepherd and the drummer Matt Cameron — disbanded in 1997, but it reunited in 2010 and performed regularly since then. In a review of a 2011 concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, The New York Times chief pop critic Jon Pareles called Soundgarden “one reunited band that can pick up right where it left off.” In 2012, it released “King Animal,” its first album in 16 years, which Mr. Pareles said “sounds like four musicians live in a room, making music that clenches and unclenches like a fist.”

The group played at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Wednesday night, and it had been scheduled to perform in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday at the Rock on the Range festival.

Chris appeared to be active on social media in the hours before his death. A post on his Twitter account on Wednesday announced that the group had arrived in Detroit, and a clip of the group’s 2012 release “By Crooked Steps” was posted to his official Facebook page hours before his death.

Chris had admitted in interviews to struggling with drug use throughout his life. In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a “daily drug user at 13,” who had quit by the time he turned 14.

After Soundgarden disbanded in 1997, Mr. Cornell returned to heavy drug use, he told The Guardian in a 2009 interview, describing himself as a “pioneer” in the abuse of the opiate OxyContin, and saying that he had gone to rehab.

Chris released five solo albums during and after his time with Soundgarden, starting with the 1999 LP “Euphoria Morning.” His 2007 album “Carry On” featured an acoustic cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” that served as the inspiration for a well-received version of the song on “American Idol.” He contributed the song “Seasons” to the soundtrack of “Singles,” Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the Seattle music scene, and performed alongside other members of Soundgarden in the film.

In 2001, after Rage Against the Machine’s lead singer, Zack de la Rocha, left the group, Mr. Cornell and members of the band formed Audioslave. The group released three albums before announcing its split in 2007.

In November 2016, Chris hit the road for the first time with another supergroup of sorts, Temple of the Dog, which features a blend of members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. The group was formed a quarter-century ago as a tribute to Andrew Wood, the lead singer of the Seattle bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone, who died in March 1990 of a heroin overdose.

Speaking to The New York Times, Chris said the group had decided to finally bring its songs to life to honor Mr. Wood. “I thought, well, this is one thing that I can do to remind myself and maybe other people of who this guy is and was and keep his story and in a way his life with us,” he said.

Incidentally, in a final footnote, I just learned that Chris was taking Antivan for depression. Two of the side effects of that drug can be “More Depression” and “Suicidal Thoughts.”

And in a final grim note, the final song of the show he played in Detroit that night. The final song Chris would ever play, was Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying.”

Thanks to everyone for following phicklephilly right up to my 100th blog post. It just sucks that it had to be about this. The Cornell family are in our thoughts and prayers.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9am EST.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 11 – RU486?

We were sitting out on Michelle’s balcony. She lived on a high floor and had a great southern view of the city. City View was the name of the development.  I remember looking at all of the burned out bulbs on the top of the PECO building. I always found that ironic. THE ELECTRIC COMPANY CAN’T CHANGE THEIR BULBS WHEN THEY BURN OUT.

They have since replaced the whole moving signage with more energy-efficient LED lights.

We were sipping chardonnay as usual. Laughing, smoking and chatting away the evening. Then this horrible sentence happened:

Michelle: “You know…it’s been awhile since I got my period. I think I’m late.”

No man ever wants to hear these words. My father drilled into my brain as a boy how being on time is a super important thing.

But this a whole different kind of “Late.”

I told her she was probably fine and just miscounted the days or something.

This is Def Con 4 boys….

She goes and gets a pregnancy test. Literally runs over to the drugstore across the street to get one. (Women are awesome. They know things) She comes back. I’m still sipping and smoking. She goes into the bathroom.

Within a few minutes, the next thing I hear is:

“Ohhhhhhhhhh Fuuuuuuuck!

I think at that moment I was glad I had a bunch of wine in me. Michelle came out and showed me the wand with the little plus sign on it.

There’s nothing “positive”about seeing that. But I guess for some it’s a moment of great joy.

For us, that was definitely not the case.

Michelle was not on the pill. I don’t remember why not, but taking that every day can have some negative effects on a woman’s body. That’s probably why she wasn’t on it. I remember using condoms a lot but apparently not enough. So stupid of me. I could say, “I don’t know how that could have happened!” But you don’t slip and fall into someone.  Whoops! Sorry I got you pregnant. That is one mighty sperm out of millions that makes that fateful journey and wins the race. Once that one guy lands on that tiny planet, there is an electrical charge. No one else can get in. That’s why I don’t believe in artificial insemination.

If you fuck someone and get them pregnant, your biology lines up. If you’re trying, and you don’t have enough guys or they’re not swimming, or if somethings wrong with her goods down there, maybe it’s not meant to be. Maybe biology says you’re not a genetic match to procreate. I know this all sounds a little Aryan but it’s just science.

Why should some doctor pick a few of your dudes and plug them into a few eggs and hope for a couple of weak fraternal twins. Did God pick up Christopher Columbus by the scruff of the neck and drop him off in North America? Did Aliens come down from space and pick up Neil Armstrong and drop him off on the fucking Moon? No. You need to fight for that shit. You need to be Michael Phelps. Be the one who wins and gets there first. That’s what species do. So I am a firm believer in natural selection. But I’m also a fan of abortion.

That’s why the crime level went down around the year Bill Clinton got into office. Because of Roe vs. Wade. Abortion was legalized and all of those poor, single mothers that would have had to raise kids in poverty and low-income environments got the right to choose for their own bodies. So all of those kids that would have grown up to be juvenile delinquents were never born to offend or clog our penal system. Think about that one for a minute.

Abortion is a good thing.

Just solid economics.

And one more thing on this subject. It’s not hard to make a baby. We are the most complex and evolved species on the planet. We build bridges, and airplanes, and literature and art and rocket ships, medicine, and amazing electronic technology. We do beautiful work as a species. We build cities and created civilization, for God’s sake!

But you can be drunk at two in the morning in an elevator and create another human being.

I remember paying for the morning after pill once or twice, but this time we didn’t really know how far along Michelle was. She didn’t want a baby at that time either. Can you imagine me back then paying not one, but two child support payments if things didn’t work out? I would have put a pistol in my mouth in a New York minute. (But at the time, I was sure things would work out between Michelle and I, but it was just way to early in the relationship to bring a third party into our drunken mix.

Michelle scheduled an appointment at the local clinic. She told her mother about it. I guess she wanted her mom there when they were performing the procedure. I don’t know if I gave her money for it or not. I had paid for an abortion once before back in 2001 for a girl I was dating. I remember that girl telling me she was on the pill, but had forgotten to take it. Don’t you have to take that shit every day?

My own damn daughter Lorelei takes that shit every day.

I can’t remember why I just didn’t go with her. But maybe I had to work. I wish she hadn’t told her mother but what could you do about it then? Because her mother told her sort of 2nd husband about it. Michelle wasn’t happy about that. He didn’t need to know that shit. I remember her mom telling her that she had to tell her husband everything. People don’t need to know everything. There are civilizations held together by keeping secrets. There should be, and can be, private things that are kept between a mother and daughter. Same goes for a father and son. there’s crazy shit I know about my dad that I’ll take to the grave with me. Some stuff you just have to keep in the vault. Let sleeping dogs lie.

But weakness is what it is.

I know Michelle was upset about all of this. I think she just wanted it all over with. I had been down this road before, and it’s a serious decision. You just created another human being with another person, and before that life form can arrive on Earth you’re going to kill it. But Homo sapiens are so good at killing things we’re not even in the food chain anymore.

I think the reason that this story is so important is because of another one.

There once was a 16-year-old girl who was young, naive and in love. Her boyfriend at the time was one of these outlaw types. Well, he got this teenage girl knocked up and basically they were in the same situation Michelle and I were in at the time. This young lady struggled with her now dire situation. I’m sure she was terrified. She was a junior in high school and had to make a gigantic life decision. And LIFE is what she chose.

That life became Michelle.

I believe it was the morning of her appointment at the clinic, that Michelle miscarried.

We never really spoke about it again after that…

Sorry this isn’t a fun one but there was no fun to be had when we went through this. But we grow and evolve through the things that challenge us.

Life is what it is.

So is death.

 

 

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