Tales of Rock: Who’s Libretto?

Philadelphia, PA – 1968

My uncle Jack used to work for Columbia Records back in the 60s. He was a well-known producer and had lots of connections in the music industry. When I lived in Los Angeles in the early 80s he was out there on business and called me to meet up with him for lunch.

I was happy to meet up with him. It would be nice to not only see a member of my family because it was my first time far away from home. But also because he was my favorite uncle. He was a brilliant guy with a lightning-fast wit. He was an easy-going dude that everybody liked.

I drove out to Century City in my 1969 VW minibus to meet him for lunch. We were joined by the former president of Columbia Records who was a buddy of my uncle’s. I remember it was cool to hang out with these guys and listen to their stories of the glory days of popular music in the 60s.

During his time in the business, my uncle met many musicians and celebrities like Andy Williams, and Barbra Streisand.

One story that stand out in my mind is when his buddy told a story about how the Jefferson Airplane had recorded a demo for Columbia and they didn’t like it and turned it down flat for a record deal. He said one of the guys in the band urinated into the planter in the corner of his office upon hearing the news. He said they later signed with RCA Victor and got an unheard of $25k advance to get on board with them. (which was a fortune in 1965)  “They were a bunch of crazy people.” he said about the band.

Anyway, I always loved my uncle and still miss his wry wit to this day. But back to the story at hand.

Because my uncle was in the industry he would be given lots of vinyl demo albums to check out and review. Anything that was popular or mainstream he could relate to, but when he was given anything relating to classical music or opera, he would give them to his brother.

Which was my father. My dad loved classical music and opera and it was probably his favorite kind of music. Since my uncle was clueless to that kind of music he’d pass them to my dad to give him the lowdown on each orchestra and album.

This went on for many years and my dad got loads of free music to add to his collection. As a kid, I always wondered why on many of his record albums there was always a red stamp on the back. It read: “Not for Sale. This album is for demonstration purposes only.” Those were the ones my uncle gave him. If for some reason there was some unknown rock band in one of the many albums he gave him, my dad would pass it to me. Even as far forward as the late 70s. I remember my dad handing me the soundtrack to the animated film, Heavy Metal based on the comic magazine. It’s where I first heard the song, Mob Rules by Black Sabbath. There was even a record that consisted of a collection of songs by different artists, and one of them was a really old recording from the German metal band Scorpions (Whom I loved) it was a song called “Am I Going Mad?” from the album Lonesome Crow, which I didn’t even know existed back then.

Anyway, back in 1968, my uncle was chatting with my dad about music, and an interesting question came up. He said he had a buddy over at Decca Records that was working with a somewhat popular band from the UK. The group had been generating some buzz as an up-and-coming mod/rock band. They were trying to find their voice and identity and had released a few small hits.

Back in the 50s and early 60s, bands and singers only released singles. Short songs that were never longer than 3 minutes long. If that artist had generated enough popular songs in a period of time, the label l would put the songs out as a collection on an LP.

But the Beatles changed all that when they started to release albums of all-new material. No longer would albums be collections of hits but bonafide creative works of music.

But the main guy in the band over at Decca was a brilliant songwriter and wanted to take his band’s music to the next level. He came up with a unique concept. He ran the idea and played a few songs for his producer. It was a groundbreaking idea for an album that hadn’t ever been done before.

The producer over at Decca ran the idea by my uncle to get his thoughts on the subject. He of course spoke to his brother, (my dad) about it. My father listened intently to the idea and gave him this response:

“Do they have a libretto?”

“A what?”

A libretto. Every opera has a libretto. It’s the text and the substantive ideas that inspire the composition, including the dramatic structure, characters and scenario of the opera.

“Okay…”

“Well, tell your friend that if this band is going to do some kind of opera, they’ll need a libretto so when people buy the record they can read along and know what’s going on with the story of the songs even if it’s in a different language.”

So my uncle goes back and tells all of this to his buddy over at Decca, and he tells the guy in the band who’s writing the album. He loves the idea and they decide to include a libretto with the new album. My uncle tells my dad and he’s happy he was able to help out based on his expertise with classical music and opera.

“By the way, Jack, what’s the opera about?”

“It’s about a deaf, mute, and blind boy who is abused as a child and becomes an incredible player at the game of pinball.”

“Okay, well that seems a little weird, but I hope they have success with that. Glad I could help.”

My dad obviously got a free demo copy of the album before it came out and turned me on to this incredible band and their music.

So my father had something to do with the creation of Tommy by The Who.

 

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

Tales of Rock – Black Sabbath & Me

Manhattan, New York – 2007

These were my final day in New York. I had moved up there in 2005 for the company I was working for. By this point, I was working as a consultant for a firm that cleaned up smaller banks and credit unions. My office was at the corner of 34th and 5th Avenue, across the street from the Empire State Building.

My friend Duncan, who I’ve been friends with for over 20 years now, found out that Black Sabbath would be kicking off their latest tour at Radio City Music Hall.

Black Sabbath are the godfathers of heavy metal.

I’ve written about their guitarist, Tony Iommi before in this blog. It’s quite interesting and will give you insight into how the Sabbath sound was accidentally created. Check it out!

Black Sabbath began in the late 60s and played with singer Ozzy Osbourne for most of the 70s. But when Ozzy became too drunk and drugged out he was kicked out of the band. He was replaced by Ronnie James Dio another godfather of metal.

I love the early Sabbath albums. The first four to be specific. But two of my favorite albums the band ever made are Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules made with Ronnie. They’re perfect bookends of the Dio Years.

The band was reuniting with Ronnie for a special tour called The Dio Years and we had to attend. The tour of North America would debut in Manhattan and that show would be recorded for an upcoming live concert DVD to be released in 2007. But they had just released a CD to refresh the memories of the fans of the Dio years.

One of the things that Duncan and I have always had in common was our love for hard rock and heavy metal. You can find our stories here.

He bought the tickets and flew up to the city and stayed at my apartment in Jersey City. We met up and hung out in the city. We went out to lunch together and even flirted with some old ladies in the restaurant. We were just being our usual mischievous selves. Two metalheads wandering around the city.

But by nightfall, we were gearing up for the show. After several drinks and Duncan smoking from a little one-hitter I got for him, we were ready to rock.

We went to the show and to be honest it wasn’t like any metal show we’d ever been to. Most shows we attended were a sweaty, drunken, drugged-out mess. I mean, we were always well behaved and just banged our heads in metal fury, but this was Radio City Music Hall. Security was super tight, and there was no smoking in the theater. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to RCMH but it’s a nice place. Really nice. Great acoustics to play and record a live show, but there would be no monkey business at that show. So the crowd was subdued.

Whenever the band played anything from Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules we would rock out. But if they played anything else they did with Ronnie, that was my cue to go get us two more beers.

The show was great and we had a great time as always. We got out of the concert exhausted. Of course, Duncan had a strong case of the munchies and immediately headed for a food cart. I stayed away from street meat but Duncan wasn’t hearing it. He proceeded to devour a couple of kabobs.

We made our way to the PATH train to get back to Jersey City, where I was currently residing. I was surprised how many people were on the same train at that hour and we were sausaged in there with a ton of other people.

We finally made it back to my house, and it was a race to the bathroom for Duncan. I told him not to eat food from a Roach Coach, knowing this could happen. But he was fine.

He crashed at my place, and the next morning he was to head back to Charlotte, North Carolina where he lives. I asked him if he could stay longer because the band was going to be at Best Buy in two days to do an album signing.

But Duncan being the consummate employee to the bank where he’s worked since 1993, said he had to go.

But, I was determined to go back to Manhattan and meet the band if possible.

Two days later, I headed back over to Manhattan. When I got there, the line of fans went out the door of the store, around the corner, and down the street. I got at the end of the line around 5 pm.

The great thing about having to wait in a long line to see your heroes is, you get to meet and chat with a bunch of other people that all have the same thing in common. We are all there for the same thing. So it’s not boring because you can trade stories and talk about the band’s music. It was a nice day, so I was happy to be there with my rock n’ roll brethren. I wished Duncan had stuck around but I really wanted to see if I could meet them.

After about an hour or so, I finally got inside the store. The limit was 3 copies of their new album. So, of course, I bought 3. When I finally got up front I took a couple of photos.

Of course, once I was in the eye and earshot of the band I made sure they heard me say in my best Dio impression, “I’ve been waiting so long to see you guys, I feel like I’m the last in line!

(That’s a line from a Ronnie James Dio song and I got a laugh from the band!) Yes!

 

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But the best part was actually meeting the godfathers of heavy metal. When it came to my turn, I had all of the CDs open and had pulled out the liner notes to get them signed. I dropped them onto the table in front of Tony Iommi. I put out my hand and he took it to shake.

“Thank you for 40 years of joy, Mr. Iommi.”

“Your welcome. It’s been my pleasure.”

I was so caught up in the moment of meeting one of the gods of rock, I wasn’t paying attention to where my liner notes they were signing went. I looked down and they were gone.

“Hey, where’s my stuff?”

A voice came from the man sitting next to him. “I think they’re moving down that way.”

BLACK SABBATH | Black Sabbath: The Dio Years Autographed

I looked over, and those words came from the mouth of the man himself.

“Thank you, Ronnie James Dio!” I shook his hand and it was a glorious moment to stand before the golden voice of all British heavy metal. He looked really old and small, but I knew in my heart that tiny gnome held great power. He signed my stuff and passed it down to none other than Geezer Butler! The man who wrote many of the great Black Sabbath songs.

I shook his hand as well and thanked him for all of the joy he and the band had brought my friends and me over the last four decades. Vinnie Appice had replaced drummer Bill Ward for health reasons so it was no big deal to meet him. (Sorry, Vinnie)

I walked outside with a guy I had met in line, and we carefully held all of our liner notes out to let the sharpie signatures dry. We headed over to a bar and shared a laugh and a beer.

It was a beautiful few days in my life and a nice cap to my time in New York. In two months I’d be living in Pennsauken, New Jersey with my ex-mother-in-law. But that’s another story.

But there’s more… keep reading!

Philadelphia, PA – 2010

I was living in Philadelphia by now and working at Philly.com. I was doing well, had a beautiful girlfriend and everything was right in the world. (As much as it could be)

I heard that Ozzy Osborne was going to be at the Borders book store at the corner of Broad and Chestnut. (Now a giant Walgreens) After work, I headed over there. I bought a copy of his new book and got in line. It started on the first floor and went around the store and upstairs. Ahh… always a line to see the gods of rock.

Here’s some stuff about him from the blog.

When I finally got up to meet him, I couldn’t believe I was standing there in front of the amazing OZ! I handed him my copy of his book.

“Thank you for 40 years of joy, Mr. Osbourne!”

(Mumbles) “Your welcome.”

And security pushed me along so the next fan could get their book signed.

Not as great as seeing his former bandmates and Dio three years earlier, but  I was at least happy to get his book and autograph. I did get some better pictures at this event though.

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This band made so much great music over the years I’ll listen to their records until the day I die.

 

 

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

Lin – Hello Neighbor

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” – Michael Corleone (The Godfather III)

I attempted to write this a week ago, but something else came out. But I think I’m ready to focus on the story at hand. As I said in that other post,(There’s Clarity In The Truth) this could be nothing, but at least I finally have a new story for this blog. I’ve been writing about my youth non-stop for the last year! Those posts have done well and kept Phicklephilly afloat regarding content. But, to be true to the why I created this blog back in 2016, it’s my responsibility to report on things that happen in my life now.

I came out of my house the other day. I was probably headed down to Walgreens to pick up some stuff for the house. I haven’t gotten out much in the last year due to covid, but things are opening up now. I’m fully vaxxed and ready to safely mingle with the populous.

I went through the front doors of my building and there sitting on the steps of the building next door with her little dog, was one of my new neighbors.

She was a cute Asian girl with frosted hair and was obviously in her 20s. I stopped to say hello and pet her less-than-friendly animal companion. I noticed she was reading a book about chess master, Bobby Fischer.

I introduced myself and told her that was a great book. I asked her if she had been inspired by The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. She said that she had not and was just interested in chess.

We engaged in some general small talk; apartment life, Philly, relationships, where we’ve lived, how long, and how things had been through covid. There’s plenty to discuss with people now more than ever. We’ve all just come through a global health crisis and have that in common.

She stated that she had recently ended a four-year relationship because her significant other cheated on her. That’s rough. A deal-breaker for many. She had dated a guy she met on one of the dating apps for about a month, but that too had petered out. The coincidence of that last foray for her in dating is that the new guy lived on the same block as she did when she lived up in Fairmount.

She had said when they dated she was over his house nearly every day. But once she moved down here to Rittenhouse, he was done with her. Weird right? But it sounds to me as with all of these dating apps and the sheer availability of people on them with zero game, it’s easy to hook up with new people all the time. He either met somebody hotter or was too lazy to make the effort now that she’d moved across the city. I’m positive it’s one of them.

Maybe both.

She had told me a story where she was hanging in the park and some guy started to chat with her. His move was to open with a few words about her dog and maybe he had one of his own. I’ve seen this MO before and wonder why no one has invented an app where you could rent a cute dog for the day just to pick up chicks!

But this guy asked for her number and she relinquished it to him. Funny thing was, she later saw him at Vetri Pizza and he was working there. He also was wearing a wedding ring. So this clown is a player and a cheater. She found that abhorrent.

She asked me what I did and I gave her a short history. Musician and artist turned banker for 20 years and Ad exec for 10. I told her how I grew tired of being stuck in a cubicle all day and started to work in places where I could be around different people. Just work a job and go home every day. The last couple managing restaurants here in center city. I wasn’t particularly good at any of that and restaurant work just isn’t for me. I just don’t have the head for that business. It’s a grinding and vulgar industry and I want nothing to do with it ever again. It seems it attracts the worst people and that’s just not a match for my life.

She said that she worked as a nurse at Jefferson Hospital. I thought that was cool and that she was a bright girl. She even mentioned how she was interested in architecture and how she’d like to learn more about that.

Somehow books and writing came up, (probably all me!) and I told her I was currently doing commercial freelance writing for several different companies. I handed her my business card and told her to enter my name into the search bar on Amazon. She did this and of course, all of my books appeared. I loved it when she held her phone up to me and I saw the cover of Angel with a Broken Wing.

“You wrote this?”

“Yea, that and a few others.”

Lin said she loved books and literature and thought that was pretty cool. She even blew my mind when she said, “You’re like the most interesting person I’ve met in this city.”

That’s when the dopamine dropped in my brain and I felt all of my fatal charms returning to me after being in quarantine for over a year. That part of me that I’m so good at, but haven’t used in so long. I thought my powers were gone, but apparently, that’s not the case.

I loved the surge of meeting a new attractive lady. But this wasn’t some nice gal from Tinder. This was my neighbor. I had to tread carefully. We chatted for a while and it was really nice. Lin is someone I’d like to hang out with. She loves books, so maybe a visit to the Philadelphia Library or some small book stores around town. Or, maybe some conversation over a coffee or a cocktail. I would love that. Just the rush of hanging with someone new and interesting and of course, easy on the eyes.

She now had my business card and I purposely didn’t ask her for her number. Too soon. Too much. She’s right next door. No need to rush. She’s not going anywhere.

But since that initial meeting, I had thought about her and how I’d like to hang out with her. She just seemed nice and it would be fun to hang with a new person.

I told her that Southgate, the Korean BBQ bar and grill was opening up their inside bar on Friday and I was going to go there. She was free to join me there for a drink if she wanted but I just threw it out there. She may forget when the day comes or not bother coming, but as I said before. I have no expectations.

I’m just sliding down destiny’s rainbow, like always.

We had chatted for over forty minutes and she had to go in. I still had to get something to eat and pick up some stuff at the store, so we said goodbye.

Of course, I looked for her on social media and found her. Everything seemed happy and normal enough and there were no red flags. I figured at some point we’d cross paths and chat again.

Then I got buried in commercial writing assignments. They hit like a freight train. When it rains, it pours, and be careful what you wish for. I had wanted to be a freelance writer for a while figuring if I could just make some money doing it, it would support me, the blog, and my freedom to compose books. Just like the poet Robert Graves once said; “I raise dogs to feed my cats.” What he meant was, do what you have to to survive, so you can do the things you like.

Anyway, so here we are into the new year and this is my first new Phicklephilly story about meeting a new person. I’d like to get to know Lin and spend some time with her. As I said before, this could all be nothing, but if nothing else, she could be a nice person to hang out with and grab the occasional refreshing beverage.

I have no expectations.

But, we’ll see what happens.

 

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

Freelance Commercial Writer

Happy New Year!

I’ve been writing this blog since 2016. In the beginning, it started as a hobby. A way for me to have a forum to tell stories about my dating and relationship exploits.

After about a year or so, I added the Dating and Relationship Advice articles to not only help my readers with their dating endeavors but to increase content which in turn, increased page views.

My goal was to at least reach 250k in page views by year 4. We achieved that goal early last year. During that time I added WordPress ads and was finally approved for Google AdSense. They run random ad buys on my site that generates revenue 24/7, 365 days a year.

So, all good. Between that and content links I place for advertisers, and banner ads I run on my site from clients and brands, it pays for the site.

But, when covid hit I found myself unemployed. No worries. Get paid by the government to write good content about my past and write and publish books? Yea, I’ll take that for a year and a half.

I knew that “grant money” would eventually run out and I’d probably have to go back to work in some form. But I had been in contact with a friend who was the former editor at a media site where we both worked several years ago.

She was building websites and writing articles for several businesses and was beginning to feel the stress of getting too many to write. So, she gave me the overflow. I had never written industry stuff in my life, so I was curious to see if I could get it done. But I figured, if I’ve been writing and publishing this blog for the last 5 years and have published 6 books, I’d probably be able to figure it out.

I started to write articles about subjects I knew little about. A solar panel company in Colorado, a stock photo company in Canada, skin and health care articles, lists of activities to do with your kids in Summer, storage facilities, a hot tub company, real estate and some IT stuff.

It was quite a challenge at first because it’s a completely new style and structure of writing I had ever done. But after a while, I picked it up, and off we went. It was at times a grinding experience and I really found out what it meant to be a commercial writer. It’s not sitting in the back of a bar sipping drinks and eating wings and writing about the girl I went on a date with last night. It’s not some cool romantic thriller novel born from my imagination.

It’s a daily 10 to 12 hour a day writing gig, with hard deadlines and many demands from clients. Sometimes I doubted myself but knew that if I stuck with it I could crank out quality content and get paid for it.

And I did.

The money’s good, and I’m going to see how long I can do this before I lose my mind.

Wish me luck!

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

Sex Worker Reveals What It’s Really Like To Be A Stripper & Prostitute

Here’s a submission from one of my readers. Enjoy!

Stripping and prostitution aren’t all bad, but sex work is no walk in the park.

Being a sex worker can be a blast.

Easy money that’s fun to make. Partying for a living. Getting a great workout, and sometimes even having great sex, on the job. Going to great restaurants and staying at nice hotels on someone else’s dime. Meeting lots of cool people and making them feel great. Fulfilling clients’ fantasies while escaping your own troubles. Having the opportunity to travel all over the country and even the world, while remaining gainfully employed and recouping any costs incurred.

One of the biggest perks working as a stripper and prostitute is the high earning-to-time-expended ratio.

Students, single moms, and aspiring artists can literally buy themselves time to live the other aspects of their lives, such as supporting dependents and pursuing higher education.

Writing has always been my greatest talent, and I have a sensitive writer’s temperament. Stripping and escorting have helped inspire and sustain my writing, but they’ve also exposed me to genuinely heartbreaking things.

Sure, there are things about stripping and escorting that irritate me — like people not tipping at the stage when I’m working the pole hard and Johns canceling appointments last minute — but then there are things that have an emotional impact on me as well.

Here are the ten most heartbreaking aspects of being a sex worker.

1. We see clients (mainly men) at their most vulnerable.

Guys really spill their guts to you and it can be quite draining. Sometimes you just smile and nod at inane rambling, but other times the conversation gets pretty damn real.

You see guys who are mentally disturbed, addicts, and physically disabled. But most of all, you see guys who want to vent about their marriage issues or drink their pain away, using you as an enabler.

2. Law enforcement treats murdered or raped sex workers as sub-human.

There’s a degrading expression among cops. The term “no human involved” (NHI) is utilized when a murder victim is a sex worker, especially if the victim is a trans woman of color.

We don’t get the Natalee Holloway media treatment if we go missing. And crimes against only make the news when someone famous — like Eliot Spitzer, Charlie Sheen, or an intriguing serial killer — is involved.

3. Feminists don’t have our backs and drown out our voices with their own.

I’m a bit sick of Tina Fey being lauded as a feminist when she thrives on jokes that shame and dehumanize sex workers.

If you watch “30 Rock” or read her book “Bossypants” from a sex workers’ point of view, you’d be shocked by how little she thinks of us. Other feminists who hold higher degrees and teach at prestigious institutions have gotten the general public, federal government, and chief executive officer himself on board with the conflation of sex trafficking and consensual sex work.

You’ve noticed what a trendy topic sex trafficking (modern slavery) is, right? It’s really hit the mainstream, but feminists, law enforcement, and federal lawmakers don’t have a damn clue how to actually distinguish voluntary sex workers from exploited trafficking victims.

Instead, by enacting bills like FOSTA-SESTA, they’re letting the bad apples make it harder for the rest of us to do things such as bank and avoid housing discrimination.

4. We are disenfranchised from mainstream society.

A few years back, Chase Bank was accused of shutting down the bank accounts of adult entertainers and their spouses, even when the work they do is legal.

When porn star Teagan Presley received a letter from Chase saying accounts belonging to herself and her husband were being closed, she was told in person by someone at the bank it was because she was deemed to be “high risk.”

Soon after, Frank Keating, CEO of the American Bankers Association, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he claimed the US Department of Justice was actively involved in the situation.

“Operation Choke Point,” he wrote, “is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like … Banks must then ‘choke off’ those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.”

Sex workers have used other services like Paypal, Bitcoin, GreenDot Cards, MoneyPaks, and more to obtain deposits from clients, and law enforcement keeps catching on to us and shutting down various resources. The closures of Craigslist’s adult section, Backpage, and websites like MyRedbook (where sex workers could advertise), have forced some of us onto the streets to survive.

Federal authorities portray these moves as ways to protect underage sex trafficking victims and bust money-laundering pimps, but what they really do is endanger consenting sex workers who are of age and willingly involved in the industry in the process. This kind of discrimination is why a lot of us, including myself for a time, literally live out of hotels.

5. We will forever be defined by our time as sex workers.

I’m not fame-obsessed like most Americans. I don’t care about celebrities and I don’t care to become one. However, now that I’ve worked not only as a stripper but as a full-blown hooker, I’m terrified of becoming a successful writer or public figure. I’m worried that a single Tweet or viral blog post could put me under the microscope and do me in.

Aside from certain careers where a sex worker’s past isn’t such a big deal, our career options can be severely limited for the rest of our lives.

People like writer and producer Diablo Cody (whose real name is Brook Maurio) are burdened with having to forever field interview questions about stripping. Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton, who briefly worked as an escort, had her name stripped from the Big Ten female athlete of the year award and has been burdened with having to explain that part of her life using another stigmatized subject, mental health, to explain her actions and make them somewhat more acceptable to society.

6. We watch people do themselves in with drug addictions.

You meet a great deal of proud recovering alcoholics and addicts as a sex worker, but you also meet tons of clients and colleagues looking for an enabler or looking for a place to drink or do drugs with someone.

I lost one stripper friend to a heroin overdose, and she had a somewhat rapid unraveling. Her first relapse was booze, and the needle soon followed.

Hearing girls in the dressing room boast about being off “H” for a few days was depressing, to say the least, as was seeing others zoned out of their mind on Xanax or booze, moving about like numb zombies.

I’ve personally abused Adderall when stripping, causing me to act strung out, and I’ll see people taking higher-stakes chances with their lives.

I’ve tried to help out strippers who were living out of hotels by offering them accommodations with me or offering to loan them the house free for the night. It’s draining to repeatedly try in vain to help people who won’t help themselves.

7. We lead double lives and have to lie all the time.

There are some out and proud prostitutes, while others have been outed against their will.

Lying is both exhausting and something that doesn’t come easily to me. I gloss over discussions of work with my family and steer conversations toward my hobbies, volunteering, and culture consumption, and inquiries about other family members.

When it comes to dating, I’ve disclosed to several men that I stripped (and even met some men I’ve dated at the clubs), but I’ve never disclosed being an escort to any guy. Not getting really serious with guys is a defense mechanism; I fear domestic violence or retribution like online shaming.

On a day-to-day basis, I’m always fudging my work situation a bit, sometimes in front of people who know the truth. These days, I’ve made progress proving to my family that my mental health has improved and is being better managed; however, it’s hard to have the weight of hypocrisy on my shoulders as I lie about my main source of income.

8. There’s rampant racism.

There is tremendous pressure for escorts to lower their price points and sell themselves short, thanks to the internet keeping prices competitive, just like it does for other industries.

And as is the case in other fields, minority women are often under more pressure to resort to this than their white counterparts.

When I work at the strip club, it seems like guys consider the minority girls more “attainable” if they’re thinking strictly with their penises. On the flip side, tons of white escorts have “No Blacks Allowed” policies, in the same way, many escorts don’t “see” men under 30.

While I’m all about sex workers setting and maintaining their own boundaries, having a blanket “No Blacks Allowed” policy seems a tad overzealous.

I admit I’m guilty of racism at times. I too often ignore black customers at the strip club, even when there are no other customers or I’ve already tried all the others. I’ll sometimes roll my eyes when young minority men get bottle service and make it rain on the big booty girl, while not tipping me a single dollar for hanging upside down on a 20-foot pole.

9. People feel entitled to our bodies outside of respectful parameters.

I refuse to work at full-nude strip clubs and was reminded why the other night when both of my first two lap dance recipients tried to sneak their hands under my thong.

There are a ton of guys out there who think buying a $20 lap dance entitles them to finger us, touch our breasts, whip their penises out, or even get a quick blowjob or handjob.

Before switching to escorting, I remember a guy ejaculating after two lap dances and thinking to myself, “How is getting a guy off for $40 any better than turning a cheap trick? If I’m going to get guys off, I should charge what an intellectual college grad deserves.”

All sex workers have different boundaries, but guys seem to find out what they are by crossing them instead of asking first.

As a whore, I provide companionship with a side of mostly vanilla sex acts for money. If a client forces anal sex on me, that’s a form of rape. If he forces sex without a condom on me, that’s a form of rape. If he threatens to write a bad review about me if I don’t perform a certain sex act or forego a condom, that’s a form of rape.

I’m usually able to use the internet to weed out bad guys, but this behavior knows no class or race.

10. There’s constant cyber-bullying.

A website called The Erotic Review is my arch-nemesis. Since I began escorting in 2010, that site has gotten even worse at bullying escorts into compromising our boundaries, namely whether or not we allow reviews and how we let the threat of bad reviews impact our appointments, our price points, and our-self esteem.

To earn a 10/10 on “performance,” unsafe sex is required. The term “BBBJ” (bareback blow job, i.e. condomless) is extremely in demand, and that was bad enough, but now clients can report when girls allow “BBFS” (bareback full service, as in condomless sex, and perhaps even condomless anal sex).

Girls who are naive, uneducated, or who rely on sites like these for free advertising pander to these jerks and escort agencies only contribute to the problem. Guys who pay less expect more, and they complain when they don’t get it. Guys who pay more tend to be more discreet.

I’ve worked with four agencies, all female-owned, and found that the owners are invariably in it for themselves, which means offering competitive prices and catering to review board culture. Thankfully, my agency work has never compromised my independent brand.

 

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

13 Halloween Candy Facts To Pig Out On

If there is one event that took place in the second half of the 19th century that split America down moral and ethical lines, it’s definitely the invention of candy corn. Here’s the story, plus 12 others:

262 Fun-Sized candy bars will kill you. An average American weighing 180lbs would need to consume 5.4lbs of sugar in one sitting for it to be a lethal dose, which would be the amount in 262 fun-sized candy bars (9.3 grams of sugar each). CRACKED.COM

Candy corn was invented 140 years ago and called Chicken Feed. During the 1880's, many confectioners made sugary treats based on the agricultural industry, in the shape of pumpkins, chestnuts, and turnips. CRACKED.COM

Fun-Size was made specially for Halloween trick-or-treaters. NIE Twix FUN SIZE S WICKERS size The Mars company came out with Fun Size in the 1960's as a slightly larger treat than their junior size, targeted towards Halloween consumers. Other companies followed suit and began using the term, although Mars holds the trademark. CRACKED.COM

Salt Water Taffy gets its name from a smart-ass comment. Ocean flooding had ruined several candy shops on the Atlantic City boardwalk in New Jersey after an 1883 storm, so when a young customer asked a candy shop owner what she could buy his response was to joke that salt water taffy was all that was left. CRACKED.COM

Smarties were made with the same machines that produced bullets during WWI. Machines that compressed gunpowder into pellets for use in ammunition were repurposed to make the candy after swapping out some ingredients. CRACKED.COM

Nestle set off a 132lb chocolate firework. Launched in Switzerland in 2002, the largest chocolate firework (and somehow not the only chocolate firework) was made by Nestle and was 9.8 feet tall. It was likely made using the child labor and modern-day slaves they've been caught with on their cocoa plantations as recently as 2019. CRACKED.COM

Snickers is named after the inventor's favorite horse. After the success of the Milky Way bar, owners Frank and Ethel Mars purchased a 3,000 acre horse farm in Tennessee. They were about to release a new peanut candy bar when Ethel's favorite horse Snickers died, and SO they named the new product in it's honor. CRACKED.COM

Cotton Candy was invented by a dentist. At the end of the 19th century, dentist William Morrison partnered with a confectioner to make a machine that would use centrifugal force to spin sugar into cottony strands. The first name for the concoction was Fairy Floss. CRACKED.COM

Bubblegum is only pink because of what food coloring happened to be on hand. The light pink that became SO synonymous with bubblegum that it took on its name just happened to BE the one food coloring that was around when Walter E. Diemer invented the chewy treat in 1928. CRACKED.COM

Reese's Pieces almost didn't appear in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Steven Spielberg was deciding between M&M's and Hershey's Kisses for the movie when the Hershey Company offered $1,000,000 to use Reese's Pieces, which launched just a few years earlier, instead. CRACKED.COM

Caramel apples were first made with Halloween leftovers. Kraft Foods had a lot of leftover caramel candies from the holiday in the 1950's, so a crafty employee experimented by melting them down and adding apples. This is very similar to the invention of candy apples in 1908, but for some reason it took people 40 years to think of using caramel. CRACKED.COM

Skittles are the most popular Halloween candy in the U.S. According to sales data from CandyStore.com, Americans purchase 3.3 million pounds of Skittles every Halloween. They also top the list in the most populous state, California. CRACKED.COM

 

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

8 Super Weird Things You Didn’t Know About Halloween

Artwork by TaylorHawx

Halloween is a time for candy, costumes and the Charlie Brown cartoon special, but how did it become this way? Why are children and teens encouraged to run around the neighborhood threatening tricks? Jack-o’-lanterns are a pretty strange concept, but historically, strangers giving you candy was supposed to be a bad thing.

You may already think that Halloween is a pretty bizarre holiday: What other celebration could inspire both a Sexy Olaf costume and spooky drones? That said, sexy snowmen can’t hold a candle to Halloween’s truly bizarre origins (even if that’s just because a snowman would melt if it held a candle). Chances are you really have no idea just how weird Halloween truly is, so here are eight facts to fix that…

1. Originally, you had to dance for your “treat.”

Most experts trace trick-or-treating to the European practice of “mumming,” or “guysing,” in which costume-wearing participants would go door-to-door performing choreographed dances, songs and plays in exchange for treats. According to Elizabeth Pleck’s “Celebrating The Family,” the tradition cropped up in America, where it would often take place on Thanksgiving.

In some early versions of trick-or-treating, men paraded door-to-door, and boys often followed, begging for coins. Most of these early trick-or-treaters were poor and actually needed the money, but wealthy children also joined in the fun. Door-to-door “begging” was mostly stopped in the 1930s, but re-emerged later in the century to distract kids from pulling Halloween pranks.

2. Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day.

Tales of Rock – 10 Fascinating Band Name Origin Stories

Picking a band name is no easy feat, as it will have an enormous impact on how you are perceived by the world. There are many fantastic band names out there, but of course there are also some pretty terrible ones too. But regardless of whether the name is good or bad, it is always fascinating to hear how they came about. There are some excellent band name origin stories for many of the biggest acts of all time, including these 10 iconic groups.

10. Nickelback

While they are not the most popular band (anymore) and constantly the butt of jokes, the origin of Nickleback’s name is quite interesting. The name came from bassist Mike Kroeger (brother of frontman Chad), who was working at Starbucks when the band formed. With prices at $2.95 and $3.95, he would constantly be saying here’s your nickel back” to customers after each transaction. When they were trying to come up with a name, the phrase “nickel back” stuck in his head and he suggested it to his brother. Chad thought it was perfect, and Nickelback was born. Despite the endless abuse that they receive, Nickelback is one of the most successful rock acts of the 2000s, with “How You Remind Me” being the best-selling rock song of the decade. They have sold over 50 million albums worldwide, making them one of the most successful Canadian groups ever.

9. Queens of the Stone Age

Originally called Gamma Ray, founder Josh Homme was forced to change the name after a German power metal band of the same name threatened to sue. He settled on the unusual name Queens of the Stone Age, as this is how producer Chris Goss described his previous band Kyuss a few years earlier. On why he chose the name, Homme stated “Kings would be too macho. The Kings of the Stone Age wear armor and have axes and wrestle. The Queens of the Stone Age hang out with the Kings of the Stone Age’s girlfriends when they wrestle, and also it was a name given to us by Chris Goss. He gave us the name Queens of the Stone Age. Rock should be heavy enough for the boys and sweet enough for the girls. That way everyone’s happy and it’s more of a party. Kings of the Stone Age is too lopsided.”

8. Pearl Jam

There are a few suggestions as to the origin of legendary rock band Pearl Jam’s name, but they originally went under the name Mookie Blaylock. As any NBA fan will tell you, Mookie Blaylock is a former all-star who spent 13 years in the league. The band was fan of Blaylock, but they were forced to change their name due to trademark concerns. As a result, they named their hugely popular album Ten after Blaylock’s playing number (he was also a fan of the band). In an early interview, Eddie Vedder stated that they settled on Pearl Jam as a reference to his great grandmother, Pearl, who was married to a Native American and they had a special recipe for peyote-laced jam. This has also been dismissed, however, and some claim that “Jam” came from when they attended a Neil Young concert where he extended his songs with lengthy jams.

7. 30 Seconds to Mars

After playing their first concerts under a few different names, Jared Leto and his brother Shannon settled on the name 30 Seconds to Mars, which was taken from a manuscript titled Argus Apocraphex. Written by an ex-professor of Harvard, this was the title of one of the subsections. It discusses the exponential growth of technology that relates to humans and saying that we are literally 30 seconds to Mars. For Leto, he found that the phrase perfectly encapsulated their music and he explained it as a metaphor for the future and how it “works on several different levels, a phrase that is lyrical, suggestive, cinematic, and filled with immediacy.” The band went on to be immensely successful, but in these early days, Jared Leto would not allow the use of his Hollywood fame as a promotional tool for the band.

6. Led Zeppelin

Often said to be the greatest and most influential band of all time, hard-rocking British act Led Zeppelin first formed in London in 1968. They first formed under the name the New Yardbirds (in reference to Jimmy Page’s previous band, The Yardbirds), but they soon restyled themselves as Led Zeppelin. Now one of the most famous band names ever, the story goes that Keith Moon and John Entwistle were discussing the prospect of starting a supergroup with themselves, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, and they stated it would “go down like a lead zeppelin” (“lead balloon is a British idiom for an ill-conceived idea, with a zeppelin essentially being a much bigger balloon and therefore a worse idea). The band decided to intentionally change “lead” to “led” so that it would be correctly pronounced. It is now an iconic name for one of the greatest bands of all time.

5. The Velvet Underground

An enormously influential group that formed in 1965, the band name actually comes from an S&M book about a secret sexual subculture during the early ’60s, written by journalist Michael Leigh in 1963. It reports on Paraphilia in the USA, which is the experience of intense sexual arousal to atypical objects, situations, and individuals. The New York-based band decided to use the title of the book as their band name after Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison’s friend, a filmmaker called Tony Conrad, found a copy of the book lying in the street in New York. Morrison was a fan of the name as it reminded him of underground cinema, and it stuck. It is somewhat fitting, as the band achieved little success when they were active and could be considered “underground,” but are now deemed immensely important and influential.

4. Steely Dan

Steely Dan may seem like a fairly innocuous band name for the jazz-rock act founded by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen who were hugely popular in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but the story behind their band name is cheekier than most people realize. As fans of Beat Generation literature, the band named themselves after “Steely Dan III from Yokohama,” which is a sex toy mentioned in the novel Naked Lunch, written by William S. Burroughs in 1959. Not quite as innocent as most thought, Steely Dan has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2001. The band split up but reunited in 1993 and has toured consistently since.

3. 311

Nudity and rock and roll seem to go hand in hand, and this is exactly how popular American rock act 311 got their name. Formed in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1988 by Nick Hexum, Jim Watson, Aaron Wills, and Chad Sexton, the band name came from when Watson was arrested for streaking when he and some friends went skinny dipping in a public pool. He was arrested and handcuffed before being taken home to his parents, all completely naked. He was issued with a citation for code 311, which is a police code for indecent exposure in Omaha. The band found the story so amusing that they settled on 311 as their band name. Watson, the lead guitarist, would later leave the band and was replaced by Tim Mahoney. They are still going strong today, with 2014’s Stereolithic being their most recent studio album.

2. The Who

An excellent band name for one of the all-time great rock acts, The Who were originally called The Detours. Whilst searching for a new name for the group, people would come up to the members with their suggestions. There were a lot of odd suggestions, which frequently saw the likes of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townsend, and Keith Moon simply reply “the who?” Townsend and his roommate Richard Barnes also liked the theme of having joke announcements as a band name, such as “No One” or “The Group.” In another version of how the band name came about, Townsend’s grandmother would always refer to bands as “the who?” due to her impaired hearing. Whichever version is true, it turned out to be an excellent choice, as they would go on to become one of the greatest bands of all time and now everybody knows their name.

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd

The act is famed for popularizing southern rock through signature songs such as “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynyrd Skynyrd first formed in 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida. They first went under the name My Backyard, and they would not settle on Lynyrd Skynyrd until 1969. They first decided on Leonard Skinnerd, which was a mocking tribute to the physical education teacher that all of the members had when they were in school together. This was a teacher that they disliked due to his strict enforcement of the school’s policy against boys having long hair, which led to Gary Rossington dropping out. The spelling was altered shortly after to avoid a lawsuit. With their success, they became friendly with the teacher in the later years and even invited him to introduce them at a concert in the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum.

Wanna be a better guitarist? Click this link to learn the secret!

https://beginnerguitarhq.com/guitar-exercises/

 

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

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Tales of Rock: The Best Band You Never Heard – Rhino Bucket

If you like AC/DC, you’ll love this band!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhino_Bucket

Wanna be a better guitarist? Click this link to learn the secret!

https://beginnerguitarhq.com/guitar-exercises/

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

Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Stabbing Westward

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabbing_Westward

Wanna be a better guitarist? Click this link to learn the secret!

https://beginnerguitarhq.com/guitar-exercises/

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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