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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Joyce – 2016 – Delaware Despair

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

Still another grinding Tinder date. Gotta keep trying. I swiped right on Joyce, and she did as well. She is 51, with blonde hair and brown eyes. Not a bad-looking lady. She lives in Delaware as you may have guessed. She had only three photos on her profile. Head shots only and no description. In two of the photos she is doing a three-quarter face and looking at the camera with a sideward glance. The third photo is black and white and she is wearing dark sunglasses and looking away from the camera.

Being in sales most of my life, I am pretty good at reading facial expressions and body language. Normally, they say more than any words can express. A sideward glance shows mistrust. A woman who doesn’t do a body pic on her profile, may have some body issues. If you don’t write anything about yourself on your profile, you are either super hot and don’t have to, or you don’t have anything to say.

Let’s see how this plays out.

We chat on Tinder first. She liked what I wrote in my profile about if you don’t look like your pics you have to buy me drinks until you do. So that was good. She said she had only been on Tinder for two weeks. After two weeks she had low expectations. She said that if she actually got to the meeting stage, that would be a score. If there was something more after that, it would be an even bigger score. What she wasn’t looking for was, hookups, or weeks of endless texting with no meet up on the agenda. So that’s another positive in her favor.

I asked her is she ever came to Philly, and she says she comes all the time. I like that. But then she said Baltimore was the “New Philly.”

Strike one.

I tell her I work in business development, and am going to be opening a business in 2017 in personal fitness and tanning. I ask her what she does for a living. She says she has been a dental hygienist her whole life, but no longer practices. (Sounds grindingly horrible) It has taken a toll on her neck and back. But she has had the good fortune to manage the office. She likes problem solving and it keeps her very busy. For fun she loves to travel. Loves the beach, too. (That always worries me. Usually they are boring types that just blow their money on trips to keep their lives interesting because they themselves are not.) She also says she needs to go dancing weekly. (Again. No talking, just moving around. Troubling. No man wants to go dancing ever.) She also likes to take risks. When friends want to do something that no one else will do they call her knowing she’ll be down for it. (They call their good friends first, and settle on you because they know you’re always available because you have no life.)  I’m going to go ahead and call this:

Strike Two.

After some schedule wrangling, we exchange numbers and decide to meet up. It was a Sunday after I was finished at the salon. I liked that she drove all the way up from Delaware to meet me. I’ll give her points for that. Oh, I told her about my writing and she wanted to read it, so I sent it to her. She did read it, and liked it. More points. (It was a screenplay I wrote a century ago.)

We meet at Square 1682. It’s sort of my go to spot in Rittenhouse. I’ve had some great experiences there and dig the staff for the most part. She gets there on time. Points. We sit at the end of the bar. She is reluctant to drink. I respect that. She has to drive. But one drink? We’re going to be here for longer than an hour. But no worries.

I am talking to her and being my usual effervescent self. I’ve run this program countless times and most women find me very engaging. Most people are boring and I bring a rich history of humor and knowledge to the table. But as the time goes by I realize I’m doing all of the talking. She actually asks me if I have ADD. I guess someone with a personality and energy is alien to her. I give her plenty of opportunities to talk but that’s when the conversation falls flat. It literally goes awkwardly quiet. That never happens with me. She’s doing that sideward glance judgemental look to me. Then she wants food. Shit. She’s boring and now I gotta feed this one.

I spring for some calamari for her and I get the octopus. She asks me what my day job is. I don’t like this. I’m the VP of business development for an institute. I told her all of this. I can see why she’s alone. She’s a drag and brings nothing to the table. I am really good at striking up conversations with complete strangers. I can talk to literally anyone. But, I don’t remember much about our date or about her, because she had so little in the way of conversational skills. I don’t even remember is she’s even been married or has any kids. Normally I write notes in my phone after these date so I can write about them, but I just looked, and I have nothing!

Strike Three! You’re out Joyce.

Here’s an interesting tidbit though. Near the end of our date, I look past her and who do I see sitting one seat down from Joyce?

June! (June – 10/2016 – Runs With Scissors)

My first date with June was on a Sunday at Square 1682 two and a half months ago! She’s alone chatting with the bartender, my buddy Tusk. She says hello to me, and wave back. I almost called her by her blog name. It was awkward. She doesn’t hang out at this bar. She’s lonely and is hoping to run into me, or just to talk to hot Tusk. (He is hot, in a rock and roll way. I’ll write about him soon) Now when I get rid of Joyce, I can’t even come back here and review this mess with Tusk. Tusk later texted me, and said that June said that she was cuter than the girl I was with. Okay, for the record, June. 1. You’re not. 2. You both equally suck in different ways.

I sadly have to pay the bill. (She did drive up from Delaware) I walk her to the parking garage, and it ends in not even a kiss on the cheek, (not that I even give a shit at this point) but with the perfunctory hug. Ugh! I ask her to please text me when she safety gets home.

I just make the walk home, because there is nothing left to do.

She texts me later to say that she arrived home safely. She thanks me for “an evening of drinks, snacks, and witty repartee.” (Those are the exact words I wrote in my calendar invite to her about this date) Has she not a single original thought in her head?

I’m never contacting her again. I have better things to do. I should have entitled this chapter, “Delaware Dud.”

Lately this senario has become classic phicklephilly. *sigh*

 

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Church – 2013 to Present -Seizure Salad

I’m sitting in my go to bar with Church. It’s our spot and it’s what we do. He’s sipping a Sailor Jerry and Coke, and I’m having my usual Chardonnay with a side of ice. He orders a salad and I go with the sliders. There is a couple a few seats down from me to my right. I know the guy, his name is Brian, but I don’t know the lady he’s with so I wave but don’t approach. He could be working.

On the left of Church, is a brunette in her thirties and an older gentleman. Looks like a lawyer. We don’t really pay any attention. We’re chatting and doing our thing.

Daphne rolls behind the bar and says hello. She tells me it’s a slow night. Not much happening. She goes back to her hostess stand and it’s just another night in paradise.

Suddenly, the woman who was sitting to Church’s left, goes off the bar stool and hits the floor. Normally, I’d call that Thursday night.  We see so many banged up people around the city losing their shit. But this woman was having a seizure. People within visual range are shocked and the bar goes quiet.

I point to the phone on the wall, because the bartender on duty didn’t see one of her patrons suddenly vanish from the bar. “Liz, call 911.”

She starts dialing. Church, with his cat-like reflexes, springs into action and goes from sitting next to me sipping a drink to all the way around the other side of her on the floor holding her head to keep her steady. I get down there and untangle her leg from the lower rail of his bar stool. I have the legs. Church is focuses on the poor woman’s head. She’s thrashing about, and Church is barking commands to those around him. He’s literally single-handedly coordinating the effort to help save this poor woman, and keeping her from injuring herself further.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Church was formerly a Corpsmen in the United States Navy.

A Corpsman works in a wide variety of capacities and locations, including shore establishments such as naval hospitals and clinics, aboard ships, and as the primary medical caregivers for sailors while underway. Hospital corpsmen are frequently the only medical caregiver available in many fleet or Marine units on extended deployment. In addition, hospital corpsmen perform duties as assistants in the prevention and treatment of disease and injury and assist health care professionals in providing medical care to sailors and their families.

They may function as clinical or specialty technicians, medical administrative personnel and health care providers at medical treatment facilities. They also serve as battlefield corpsmen with the Marine Corps, rendering emergency medical treatment to include initial treatment in a combat environment. Qualified hospital corpsmen may be assigned the responsibility of independent duty aboard ships and submarines; Fleet Marine Service, SEAL and Seabee units, and at isolated duty stations where no medical officer is available.

Yea, pretty bad ass. That’s the guy you want next to you when somebody takes a header at your favorite bar.

She’s making what almost sounds like barking sounds, and staring wildly about. He’s got a good hold on her. He’s talking to her. But mostly he’s trying to keep her from bashing her face into the wooden wall of the bar. The bartender comes around, and some others have gathered. I grab a cloth napkin and ask if we need to put it in her mouth. I always heard that epileptics could bite or swallow their own tongues. Church says, no. He knows what he’s doing and has the situation well under control.

She seems to be calming down. I look over at the guy who was with her. He’s just standing there staring, and looking uncomfortable. The paramedics come and stabilize her. I feel so bad for her. It’s the holidays, and she’s out for a drinks and this horror befalls her. They get her onto the gurney and roll her out. The police are there and also ask some questions. Church is on point, he gives law enforcement the full report.

They also speak to the guy she came in with. He says he doesn’t know her very well. He met her over at DelFrisco’s steakhouse, and then brought her over here for a drink. That’s a big lawyer hang out. Not my scene. This guy didn’t do anything to help or comfort her when she had the seizure, and he didn’t go to the hospital with her. I don’t care if you just picked up the chick in a bar. Lady falls down, you go to the damn hospital with her. I’m thinking that weasel was married and didn’t want any problems. How would he explain to his wife that he was at the hospital with some other woman? I may be wrong, but I got the vibe something was definitely shady about that guy.

We go back to our seats at the bar and have another drink. Church is pissed because somebody was telling him to turn her head when she was foaming at the mouth and that’s not what you’re supposed to do. Me, I was just glad the lady was okay.

Daphne came over to chat and get a recap. I tell her what I know, and tease her.”You had to say it was a slow night and that nothing was happening, and look what you did, Daph…”

“I know, right? Me and my big mouth.”

Indeed…

 

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Michelle – 2007 to Present – Chapter 9 – Friends of Rittenhouse Ball on Square

One night Michelle and I finished work and did what we always did. Went out for a few drinks. We ended up down in Rittenhouse Square. There was this huge really posh gala going on. We were accustomed to just going wherever the night took us back then and based on our antics in New York, we probably thought we were indestructible. She was still living at City View out at 20th and Spring Garden, and I was still in my little apartment over in Pennsauken, NJ.

We come upon this event going on inside Rittenhouse Square Park. It’s the biggest event of the season. They hold this huge event every Spring. All Rittenhouse people. Wealthy people. People of commerce. Everybody is dressed up in their finest. Big white tents. Live band. A stage with a dance floor. White tablecloths on every table. Beautiful high-end trailers with bathrooms that are nicer than the one in your house. Law enforcement posted at every entrance and exit.  Butlers walking around with amazing hors d’ouevers. Not that pigs in a blanket shit. Like fat delicious shrimp and sushi, crazy meats, and puffy stuffed pastries. Wine and champagne is flowing freely. Cocktails being mixed and poured at two bars.

This is an $800 a plate ticketed charity event. There is no way a couple of advertising sales reps are getting in to this event.

I’m wearing a black suit and tie. Michelle is in slacks and a nice blouse. We walked up to the entrance where they were checking people in. I whip out my ID lanyard from the company I work for. It looks official, It has my photo, my name and name of the media company on it. I tell the lady that’s doing intake where I’m from and what I’m representing. Basically using my account executive ID to trick her that we’re with some sort of press. I look official and approachable and Michelle is hot. She has the same ID with her info on it.

They let us in. We couldn’t believe it. We’re going to stuff our heads with free snacks and wine. Bonnie and Clyde have arrived. We’re chatting with all these rich people and sipping wine. They were all so nice to us. One of them even asked if I’d like to secure my briefcase in their suite across the street at the Claridge. Nobody knew we didn’t belong there. You know why? Because when we went somewhere we acted like we belonged there. Like we had tickets to the event. It was just raw confidence. Maybe it was arrogance too. But whatever it was, we definitely had it going on.

Just good old sexy mojo.

Michelle was having a blast but she felt underdressed. I told her she looked great, but she insisted she run home and change. She wants to put on a nice dress. I’m telling you, we were out of control. So I slam down the rest of my chardonnay and start heading for the exit.

Who do we run into on the way out?

The President of the company we work for. Not the vice president of operations. Not the general manager. Not our sales manager. But the President! Top dog. Head Honcho. Big Cheese.

He’s with his Indian wife. They obviously have tickets. He sees Michelle and gets all excited. Because everybody loves hot Michelle. He says “Are you attending this event tonight?” We’re like, “Yea, but we just need to step out for a minute, We’ll be right back.” He didn’t give a shit about me. If he ever had the unfortunate luck to have to share an elevator with me at work, he wouldn’t even speak to me. He’d just play with his phone. But that fat fuck loved Michelle. And I had a thing that he wanted. I’m sure it just made him loathe my existence all the more. But I didn’t give a shit.

So we tell the nice people at the door we will be right back. They don’t bat an eye. Now, if we had simply left at that moment and didn’t return, I can’t honestly say for sure that things would have turned out any differently for us.

Yea… but they probably would have, but we’re not having any of it.

We blaze back to her apartment in a taxi. We get there relatively quickly. She dashes into the apartment and gets changed. Within minutes, she emerges in a black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning. But I liked the way she looked any old way. But this was perfect for the Ball at Square. We jet back to the party and walk up to entrance again. “Remember us?” I say, smiling. We walk right back in, no questions asked. We grab a couple of drinks, and we’re back into it. I can see the President off to the side chatting with some other men.

The band is in full swing, and Michelle and I decide to hit the stage. We are dancing, and it’s lovely. There may have been maybe two other older couples up there, cutting the rug, but for the life of me I can’t remember. I was just lost in this moment, dancing with the woman I loved. Right in the middle of Rittenhouse Park. We own this place too.

After our dance, we grabbed a couple more wines. I was chatting with someone, and Michelle was seated chatting with the President’s wife. She was a lovely Indian woman. I know she didn’t drink or smoke. But of course Prez was a drunken oaf.

After a while people started sitting down to the $800 a plate charity dinner. We thought it best if we didn’t try to weasel in on that, or clip any of the gift bags.

We made our way out of the main tent, and were sitting on a little bench on the edge of the event. Before us was a little table with a candle on it and a bowl of popcorn. We munched on the popcorn, and reflected on how fun it was for a couple of hours to be a part of such an exclusive event.

I glanced to my left and saw one of the ladies that had let us in twice speaking with law enforcement. The officer approached us and said that we had to leave. We were respectful and he escorted us off the property. We thanked him, and went on our way, heading west on Walnut street.

Michelle insisted that we were probably going to get fired. I told her that wasn’t going to happen. I eventually calmed her down and we ended up going to a piano bar. We ended the night singing along with a bunch of other revelers to the songs of Billy Joel, Elton John and more!

The Prez? Just a fat drunken, cigar chomping narcissistic sociopath. (That’s what I’ve been told by a reliable source that worked closely with the man) He and his lovely wife ended up getting divorced years later. She probably got tired of his drunken womanizing. I once had a drink with the owner of the company, and he said the President’s expense reports were astronomical. Just a fucking a pig. He got like liposuction or something after his divorce because he dropped the weight fast.  He looked like a bobble head.

He ended up banging some chick from Jersey they brought in to do a wine show on the website. What we eventually found out, she formerly worked as an escort. Yep. So The Prez lost his nice wife and married a whore. Seems fitting.

But we had a great fucking time.

Tune in two weeks from now, and see if our heroes get fired, or at least reprimanded for their unmitigated repugnant attitude towards authority.

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

 

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

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