Tales of Rock: Insane Stories From Aerosmith’s Drug-Fueled Rise To The Top – Part 1

Just how much did Aerosmith embrace the sex and drugs typically associated with a rock-and-roll lifestyle? Well, if it’s any indication, enigmatic front man Steven Tyler estimates he blew through a whopping $20 million on drugs. Their drug use was so notorious that Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were labeled the “Toxic Twins.”

Most of Aerosmith’s stories of debauchery take place long before most people ever heard the now-legendary “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the Armageddon soundtrack. The ’70s and ’80s were the band’s most hedonistic years, during which Tyler and Perry would swap women as wantonly as they would swap drugs. They even hired a roadie just to sneak cocaine under their noses during live shows.

Since their height of fame, Tyler appears to have come out on the other side and sticks to a strict 12-step program after numerous stints in rehab. That doesn’t erase the over-indulgent, mind-boggling toxic twins stories of Aerosmith’s past. Here are some of the craziest, most unbelievable shenanigans the band carried out in their nearly 50-year career.

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Tyler Remembers Sharing Women – And STIs – With Perry

Aerosmith, like most rock bands of the ’70s, were known for the sheer amount of groupies they worked their way through during their chart-topping career. Even though there were certainly enough women to go around, sometimes the band members decided to share. This didn’t always go in their favor. In fact, after one group love-making session, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry woke up in the same bed only to find out later that everyone had developed an STD.

 

“I remember one night on the road when Joe and I were sharing a bed with two girls and woke up in the morning with a seafood blue plate special…” Tyler wrote in his memoir Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? “Crabs for everybody!”

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Perry And Tyler Confirmed The Band Had A Roadie Whose Sole Job Was To Give Them Cocaine

The guys from Aerosmith were the kind of rock stars who didn’t wait until after the show to party. Both Joe Perry and Steven Tyler hired a roadie whose sole job was to give them bumps of cocaine during their set.

Joe [Perry] had vials of coke with straws in them at the back of the stage, and when the lights would go out he’d go over there like he was checking something or making a guitar change and [a roadie] would put the straw in his nose; he’d take a hit, then the lights would come on again,”

Tyler wrote in Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? Perry confirmed this fact to NME:

“Yep,” he said when asked if Tyler hired a roadie to give them coke on stage. “We’ve done everything… stuff happens man, and we’ve done it and managed to survive. We’re lucky.

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They Once Got Arrested And Narrowly Evaded Serious Jail Time By Ditching Their Drugs In The Police Station

Aerosmith’s drug habits were so notorious that it’s unsurprising they had a few run-ins with the law. One of the most nerve-wracking was when they got pulled over, arrested, and taken to the police station with drugs in their pockets.

 

Bassist Tom Hamilton recalled the incident. The band was driving around the New Jersey Turnpike in a rented van. Each of them had drugs in their pockets when they were pulled over by the police. After a search, the officer spotted a marijuana seed in the car. He handcuffed the five of them and hauled them off to jail.  They were handcuffed to a railing in their cell so they were a fair distance apart from each other. So how did they get out of it? A little bit of luck and a little quick-thinking.

 

“Brad actually had two bags of pot,” Hamilton told NME.

There was a room right adjacent to where we were handcuffed and there was an empty room, lights were off. Steven said “Gimme the pot, Gimme the pot,” and he just chucked two bags of pot into this room. Then we waited a while. Then a detective or somebody came down, flicked the lights on and said “Okay, time to fingerprint you guys.” So, we all went in one by one to get finger printed and everybody could see where the pot was, but the police didn’t.

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Angry Crew Members Used The Band’s Catering As Toilet Paper

Aerosmith band members were big stars with big personalities. No doubt their wild antics were a lot to handle – especially for the people in charge of making their shows run smoothly. Sometimes, the crew would get really angry and retaliate in the most disgusting of ways, or so Tyler remembers. Apparently, some scorned crew members would regularly wipe their butts with the bologna on Aerosmith’s catering tray and put it back for the band to consume like nothing ever happened.

 

“I found out years later (through a crew member confessional) that when the techs would get pissed off at the band, they’d wipe their ass with the bologna and put back on the deli tray,” Tyler wrote in Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?

SONGSThe Best Aerosmith Songs of All Timesee more Aerosmith lists
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Tales of Rock – In Search Of The Forgotten Heroes Of 70s Rock

Oh, I love this so much!

We all know about the 70s. The Beatles quit, glam came along — T.RexBowie, Slade; in the background, Floyd, Zeppelin and Sabbath sold squillions of records as 70s rock icons. Yes, ELP, Mike Oldfield and Genesis did prog for educated chaps. Then disco: ELO, ABBA and Queencompeted with it, then joined it. Punk rebelled, then came post-punk and Joy Division, plus 2-Tone. There was other stuff, like Bob Marley and Eagles. And we wore platform-heeled hot pants. Cool. Perhaps.

But are the 2010s only about Adele and Ed Sheeran? Beneath their mass appeal lies hundreds of other acts making great music. It was the same for 70s rock coulda-beens: brilliant bands rocked audiences of thousands, made fantastic albums, then faded. Fondly remembered by a troupe of diehards, these acts are almost ignored by the rock’n’roll historians — though many deserved to be lauded like their celebrated contemporaries. Here are but a few: remember them with love, or discover them afresh.

It wasn’t enough for Focus to boast a brilliant guitarist in Jan Akkerman; they had a wily way with a tune and succeeded with an unfashionable form of rock: instrumentals. Focus were The Netherlands’ leading 70s rock band. Formed in 1969, they won attention through early single ‘House Of The King’. The theme for four UK TV series(!), the unwary might have mistaken it for a Jethro Tull ditty thanks to the flute of Thijs Van Leer, though his group were very different. Their second album, 1971’s II, was Focus’ breakthrough, delivering an international hit in the fierce ‘Hocus Pocus’. Their third album delivered the elegant descending melody of ‘Sylvia’, winning further fans worldwide, with Akkerman drawing admiration. The guitarist left in 1976 but returned several times; Focus are still on the road.

 

Akkerman wasn’t alone: the 70s adored a guitar hero. Robin Trower, formerly of Procol Harum, was seen by some listeners as the heir to Jimi Hendrix. Trower formed his own power trio in 1973, teasing weeping and wailing from his Stratocaster over a series of fine records, and riding high in the album chart with Bridge Of Sighs in ’74 and For Earth Below in ’75 — chiefly in the US, rather than his native UK. Another notable guitar band were Wishbone Ash, though they went one further, with the double lead axes and vocals of Andy Powell and Ted Turner mesmerising fans. Pilgrimage (1971) and Argus (1972) were 70s rock classics, mixing melody, blues and a mythological element. Their ‘Blowin’ Free’ was banned from some guitar shops which grew sick of budding strummers playing its intro. Among them was Steve Harris, heartbeat of Iron Maiden, for whom the Ash was a major influence.

The second-division 70s rock bands were not remotely generic. Behind the sleeve artwork of famed designer Roger Dean, Osibisa played Afro-rock that mixed Ghanaian highlife, searing rock and Caribbean grooves; ignore their biggest hit, ‘Sunshine Day’, and check out their eponymous debut LP and its ’74 follow-up, Woyaya: both made loon pants rave. The Strawbs blended folk (Sandy Denny was an early member, as was Rick Wakeman) with rock, glam and social comment, hitting with ‘Part Of The Union’ and ‘Lay Down’ in 1972. The band were too diverse for its own good, though Just A Collection Of Antiques And Curios (1970) and Grave New World (’72) were widely played and respected. And spare a thought for the Illinois singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes, a multi-tracking one-man-band given the tag of “the new Paul McCartney”. Gulp. His second, self-titled, album is so full of beautiful, melodic tunes, tending to the baroque, that it’s baffling that it only made №29 in the US in 1970. Talent? You bet.

 

The harmonious progressive rock of California quartet Ambrosia illuminated the second half of the 70s. Their imaginative eponymous debut (1975) adapted a Kurt Vonnegut poem for the single ‘Nice, Nice, Very Nice’, while ‘Holdin’ On To Yesterday’, an orchestrated beauty with the sort of beat now regarded as a downtempo groove, was a big US hit. The following year, Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled sent FM DJs quietly wild; further fame came when the group cut ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ for the Beatles/war documentary oddity All This And World War II. Scoring warm soul-styled hits in the 80s, these alluring soft rockers are still touring.

The wonderful Atlanta Rhythm Section faced one drawback: their acronym was ARS. But they made it. No prizes for guessing where they’re from. They delivered five albums between 1972–76, with little fuss and low sales figures: that changed in 1977 when ‘So Into You’, a cool, steady-chugging chunk of soulful Southern rock, went Top 10 in the US, bringing their A Rock And Roll Alternative with it. The next year they scored again with ‘Imaginary Lover’ and the strolling ‘I’m Not Going To Let It Bother Me Tonight’, both from the platinum-selling Champagne Jam. Further hits came courtesy of ‘Do It Or Die’ and a revival of ‘Spooky’ — two members of the band had been in Classics IV, who’d first hit with the in ’67. ARS were a class act.

Want something that blends with them? Try ‘Jackie Blue’ (1974), the biggest hit by Missouri’s Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Mixing AOR with country-influenced sounds (check out the boogie of ‘If You Want To Get To Heaven’) and a sense of the absurd (their third LP was called The Car Over The Lake Album, and the sleeve showed just that), they were a reliably fine time on vinyl between 1973–80.

 

Staying in the south, Wet Willie were named after a schoolyard prank but were no joke. From Alabama, they boasted five or six core members, plus backing singers The Williettes, who included British solo star Elkie Brooks for a while. Their biggest hit was the laconic, steady-rollin’ ‘Keep On Smilin’’ in 1974, title track to their fourth album. For the full blast of their grittily funky rock, however, try the previous year’s superb live set, Drippin’ Wet. And let’s also recall Manassas, who cut two fine albums in 1972–73. And they would be fine, since they were the vision of a bona fide superstar, Steven Stills, and featured Chris Hillman of The Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers amid an array of truly great players. The group’s self-titled debut offered four sides of glorious rootsy country-rock — and whatever else took their fancy. Everyone involved thought the band was amazing, so why weren’t they bigger? Perhaps because fans wanted Crosby, Stills & Nash, instead.

At the opposite end of the fame spectrum, British 70s rock band Brinsley Schwarz, named after their guitarist, were famously over-hyped when flown to NYC to open at the Fillmore East in front of a gaggle of music hacks, but settled into a low-key country-rock and roots vibe that was a cornerstone of London pub-rock. Building a loyal, if small, following, they toured constantly, supported the likes of Wings and Dave Edmunds, but disbanded unheralded in 1975, leaving us half a dozen albums such as the country-inclined Nervous On The Road. Most members went on to success, notably bassist and songwriter Nick Lowe, who produced The Damned and Elvis Costello, was part of Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile, and wrote Dr Feelgood’s biggest hit, ‘Milk And Alcohol’. Another downbeat hero, Scottish guitarist Miller Anderson, breathed blues-fuelled fire into records by Keef Hartley Band, Savoy Brown, Ian Hunter, Jon Lord and many more. His sole solo set of the 70s, Bright City, on Decca’s progressive Deram imprint, was ambitious, thoughtful and had a theme concerning 70s urban life, with brilliant orchestral arrangements. It sold… not at all. A dirty rotten shame, as Anderson’s under-exposed vocal talent deserved exposure.

 

Prog stars Camel, led by guitarist/flautist Andy Latimer and featuring keyboardist Peter Bardens, cut Camel for MCA in ’72, featuring the climactic gem ‘Never Let Go’. Swapping to Deram, Mirage found a following in the US, and 1975’s instrumental suite, The Snow Goose, became a surprise runaway success, despite a dispute with Paul Gallico, the author of the kids’ book of the same name, involving an unseemly mix-up about whether the band were related to the cigarette brand (they weren’t). The following year’s Moonmadness was another hit amid various line-up changes, and the group kept charting until 1984.

Another act who had to earn it, baby, were prog stalwarts Barclay James Harvest, a quartet who got through five albums without pestering the Top 40, finally scoring with Live, a double set that reflected a fanbase built on hard graft. LPs such as Everyone Is Everyone ElseOctoberonand Time Honoured Ghosts are classics of their type, with great songs such as ‘Mocking Bird’ and the wry ‘Poor Man’s Moody Blues’ undeservedly little heard today. Then there’s Gentle Giant, who grew (and grew) from the psychedelic-era act Simon Dupree & The Big Sound (and late-60s curiosity The Moles) into one of the most reliable progressive bands of the 70s. While they barely hit in their native UK, a decade of albums on Vertigo label and Chrysalis won a strong following in the US, with Free Hand going Top 50, and the likes of Octopusand The Power And The Glory proving fascinating those with ears to hear.

 

Finally, two more British 70s rock bands who, sadly, barely registered: Spring, a highly melodious five-piece whose charming self-titled 1971 album is mostly recognised for copious use of the Mellotron (without sounding remotely like The Moody Blues). What ought to be more noted, however, are the heartfelt and distinctive vocals of Pat Moran, who went on to produce Iggy Pop, among many others. And should you think T2 is just a movie, you haven’t heard It’ll All Work Out In Boomland, a legendary progressive album that should have made stars of the trio that recorded it. If you want to know where Neil Young and Bowie meet, hear T2’s singer-drummer Peter Dunton, and you’ll also enjoy the tough guitar stylings of Keith Cross. Despite BBC sessions and an 80s reunion, fame proved elusive for the group. 70s rock fans didn’t know how lucky they were.

This has been one of my favorite Tales of Rock to write. These are glorious songs from my past that were nearly forgotten, but I resurrect them here for you to witness!

Enjoy!

 

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Tales of Rock – Steven Adler’s Brother Reveals Why Guns N’ Roses Are ‘Greedy And Inhumane’

Original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler’s brother Jamie has posted the following on a Guns N’ Roses Facebook group.

“This man right here is what you call a true survivor. He went all the way to the depths of hell and was able to make it back alive. When most died he lived. What an amazing story of redemption my brother has to tell. Salute to the greatest big brother/ grooviest drummer I’ve ever known. This man has a heart of gold. The biggest heart of anyone in his caliber. The most humble, loving, gracious person I’ve and anyone else who’s ever met him has known. If only Slash, Axl, and Duff had 10% of the heart this man had then maybe he would be on tour with GNR.

If those guys had an ounce of decency, compassion, love, care, and acceptance maybe they would have allowed my brother to play more then one song in Argentina after they flew him all the way out there and TEASED him to only play one song. ONE SONG ONLY!! The only thing the fans wanna see is Adler back behind the kit especially since the world knows Adler is no longer on drugs or alcohol. It took him longer to drive down the hill from his house to the bottom then he was allowed to perform on stage in Argentina. What kind of inhumane people would ever be that cruel to someone?? Greedy, selfish people only.

With out Steven Adler there would never have been GNR or the greatest rock album of all time. Adler did teach Slash his first guitar chord and gave him his first guitar. For all we know if Slash never met Adler he may have never even found the guitar. People forget to often where they come from. Let’s remind Slash right now how he picked up even being the greatest guitar player of our generation. Steven Adler handing you your first guitar. Facts!! Adler’s groove made that album what it is today. That’s why No other drummer since Adler has been able to duplicate that sound in GNR. It’s a gift from God not any drum lesson can teach you what he was born with.

They have no heart so that’s why he has to go out and do his own thing. He loves his fans so much and he wants to play for each and everyone of you. Do you actually think Steven Adler got sober and Changed his entire life style to sit around the house and do nothing? NOPE!! He did it, so he can finish what he started. My brother is stronger then ever and will show the world once again this May when he begins his world wide tour with his own band. You would think the guys in GNR would be overly proud that their once fallen brother has returned to health and happiness and would want to share their new found success with him this time around.

Well, my brother is alive and well so it’s never too late. I write this because I see a lot of fans making comments on why is Adler doing his own thing and not with GNR. Please ask GNR that Adler would love to be back on stage with GNR. That’s his dream. He’s never been healthier and more alive as you see in all his pics. For those who struggle with addiction and Life issues my brother is an example and inspiration that you can turn your life around and Live a life beyond your wildest imagination. If he can clean up then it proves anyone can. I send all my love and respect to all who read this and love it or those who may disagree with what I said. I felt it was necessary to get this off my chest. GNR is and always will be the greatest 5 piece Rock n Roll band of my generation. I’m just grateful I was a little part of it. My brother is alive and well today and I want the whole world to know this.”

 

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Tales of Rock – 6 Musicians Who Predicted Their Own Death in Song

Everybody dies. That’s no secret. Even you, you’re going to die some day. Accept it. Once you accept it, write a bizarrely specific song that details how exactly you’re going to die, live up to your prediction and voila! You’ll be an entry in a Cracked article, just like these guys.

 

6

Richie Rich feat. Tupac – “Niggas Done Changed”

Let’s just get it out of the way: Nobody knows who the hell Richie Rich is. According to the lyrics of this song, he’s got a hand full of game. For all we know, that is still true. Maybe even a sack full of game by now. We don’t care. The real star of this tune, featured on the Seasoned Veteranalbum, is Tupac Shakur. His verse on “Niggas Done Changed” is the stuff that conspiracy theories are made of.

This probably isn’t the right one.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“I been shot and murdered, can tell you how it happened word for word, But best believe niggas gon’ get what they deserve.”

What Happened Next:

Pac was shot and murdered, just like he said. The shooting happened on the strip in Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight. Obviously, at a time like that not many people were around, so nobody saw the shooter and the case remains unsolved. Unsolved for most people anyway. Some others are convinced they know exactly what happened. Tupac faked his own death! The logic went as follows: Since Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli advocated faking one’s own death, and Tupac used Makaveli as a stage name, then he must still be alive. That’s shaky reasoning, even before you take into account that the real Machiavelli didn’t actually say much of anything about faking your own death.

If he was dead, could he do this?

But when “Niggas Done Changed” was released less than two months following Tupac’s death, the “Pac’s Still Alive” movement was off and running, and it hasn’t let up since. Group psychology experts contacted by Cracked attribute the movement’s seeming refusal to die (sorry) to the fact that Tupac Shakur has released at least seventy-three studio albums since his death and also to the fact that he’s totally alive, y’all.

 

5

Lynyrd Skynyrd – “That Smell”

Have you ever put a curse on somebody? Like if you came home and found that your roommate ate your leftover Chinese food and you got pissed and told them you hoped it gave them explosive diarrhea and then it actually did and you felt really bad because you didn’t realize your own powers? Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “That Smell” is kind of like that. Except substitute “diarrhea” with “horrible plane crash” (although with a title like “That Smell” it totally could have gone either way).

The song was written to express lead singer Ronnie Van Zant’s disappointment with the lifestyle lead and rhythm guitarist Gary Rossington was leading, as his drug and alcohol problems had started to negatively affect the band. After a verse poking fun at a recent alcohol-fueled car accident Rossington had, Van Zant starts pouring on the ominous.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“Say you’ll be alright come tomorrow, but tomorrow might not be here for you.” “Angel of darkness upon you.” “The smell of death surrounds you.”

What Happened Next:

On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of the now unfortunately titled Street Survivors, the plane Lynyrd Skynyrd was traveling in crashed in a forest near Gillsburg, Mississippi. The line “the smell of death surrounds you” took on a whole new ugly meaning after Rossington survived but three bandmates, including Van Zant, perished. As if the song and the album title weren’t enough, thanks to the plane crash, Street Survivors now had, quite possibly, the most inappropriate album cover ever.

Yes, that’s the band and, yes, they are on fire. In the wake of the plane crash, original copies of the album were recalled and replaced with a cover image of the band standing against the completely non-depressing black background. Of course, the fire cover was restored for the deluxe CD reissue of the album in 2008. Like almost every other crime, there is a statute of limitations on bad taste. Apparently, it’s 30 years.

 

4

Jeff Buckley – “Dream Brother”

Jeff Buckley’s “Dream Brother” is said to have been written about a friend who was about to leave his girlfriend and child. In the song, he warns of the sadness to be had by following in the footsteps of Buckley’s father, Tim Buckley. The elder Buckley was a promising young musician who had his career cut short by an accidental heroin overdose. He also walked out on Jeff and his mother shortly after Jeff was born. It’s that last part Buckley is singing about, but he probably should have considered penning a few lines to himself regarding the “musician gone too soon” part. Or, did he?

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“The dark angel he is shuffling in.” “Don’t be like the one who left behind his name.” “Asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over.”

What Happened Next:

We’ve never given relationship advice to a friend that involved any mention of a “dark angel shuffling in,” so we’re not sure how that first line would apply to a dude leaving his girlfriend, though we will concede that the second one fits. But the third? “Asleep in the sand with the ocean washing over,” well, that’s just pretty fucking creepy. Less than three years after the release of “Dream Brother” Buckley died. By drowning. This leads us to an obvious question: “Hey, Jeff Buckley, how about taking your own advice?” We’re guessing the reply would be something like, “Hey, leave me alone you assholes, I’m dead.”

3

Hank Williams – “I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive”

Immediately, there’s nothing too shocking or particularly insightful about the title of this song. It’s obvious that everyone is going to die at some point. Most of those people, however, won’t crank out a comical tune about it right before they go. Released in 1952, “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” was the last single Hank Williams released in his lifetime. The lyrics are your standard down-on-your-luck type of stuff. Troublesome, sure, but nothing life threatening going on. But still, there’s that chorus…

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“No matter how I struggle and strive. I’ll never get out of this world alive.”

What Happened Next:

After reportedly struggling and striving, Hank Williams barely made it out of the rest of the year alive. On the morning of January 1st, 1953, just months after the song was released, he was pronounced dead at the Oak Hill Hospital emergency room.

“Doctor, hurry, he’s struggling. And striving! Oh no…”

There is a myth that the song was actually #1 on the Billboard charts at the time of his death, but “I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” actually didn’t reach the top spot until shortly afterhis death. Today, Hank Williams is hailed as an innovator in the field of record promotion for being the first to employ the “Die Young and Sell a Ton of Records” technique.

 

2

John Lennon – “Borrowed Time”

You may not know this, but most posthumously released songs are indeed recorded before the artist dies. Although “Borrowed Time” wasn’t released until four years after the death of John Lennon, it was actually the first song he recorded following a five year exile from the music business. The unnervingly upbeat tune wraps lyrics about the frailty of life around the type of instrumentation you would expect to hear during dinner on a Carnival cruise ship. It was inspired by a Final Destination-like escape from death Lennon pulled off while sailing to Bermuda through an intense storm. An experience like that would probably just inspire us to shit our pants and stop showering. Lennon, on the other hand, was inspired to start rocking again.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“Living on borrowed time, without a thought for tomorrow”

What Happened Next:

John Lennon was sometimes criticized for not practicing what he preached. Like how he sang about imaging no possessions but lived in a million dollar apartment. You could argue that he totally lived up to the lyrics of “Borrowed Time,” but you’d be a fucking prick for doing so. We only mention that criticism because it was Mark David Chapman’s main beef with John Lennon.

Speaking of beef, holy shit, right? Mooo, right?

Chapman delicately handled this beef by shooting Lennon to death, about six months after the song was written. Hopefully, Lennon practiced what he preached this time and genuinely didn’thave a “thought for tomorrow,” because, unless that thought was “be dead,” he was guaranteed to be pretty disappointed.

 

1

Jimi Hendrix – “The Ballad of Jimi”

In 1965, before most people even knew who he was, Jimi Hendrix entered a New York recording studio and probably weirded out everybody in the room by cutting a new tune about how some dude named Jimi was going to be dead in five years. “The Ballad of Jimi” starts with a declaration from Hendrix that the song is dedicated to the memory of his best friend. That the friend’s name is a guitar player named Jimi is apparently to be chalked up to coincidence.

Hendrix further confuses matters with the line “that is my story” before ratcheting the creepiness up considerably.

Unfortunate Lyrics:

“Many things he would try, For he knew soon he’d die.” “Now Jimi’s gone, he’s not alone. His memory still lives on.” “Five years, this he said. He’s not gone, he’s just dead.”

What Happened Next:

“I’m gonna go over there and die, now.”

Next, Jimi Hendrix suffocated in the most horrible way imaginable that doesn’t involve cock. He choked on his own vomit. Conveniently, for the purpose of this article, he died almost exactly five years after recording “The Ballad of Jimi.” “Five years, this he said. He’s not gone, he’s just dead.”

Disturbing as all fuck, isn’t it? Probably the only reason he didn’t get more specific than that was that nothing rhymes with “choked on vomit.”

 

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Tales of Rock – 5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

It’s pretty easy for a rumor to become fact in the public eye, especially if that rumor involves somebody famous—like a classic rock star—and it might have been even easier before the internet, when we had the good folks at Snopes to help us debunk the bad stuff. Think about it, and it’s easy to understand why so many false facts about your parents’ favorite rockers persist. All the following stories have one thing in common: none are the slightest bit true.

1. Keith Richards, heroin vampire

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Of all the rock stars you’d expect to have died long ago, Keith Richards has to be tops on the list. He’s taken seemingly every drug there is, yet he survives and thrives at 74 years young.

That’s utterly baffling to a lot of people, so some have concocted their own theories as to how. One of the more popular (and inane) posits that in 1973, the Rolling Stones guitarist needed to kick heroin in time for a major European tour, so he traveled to Switzerland and had all of his blood–as in, every single drop–replaced, immediately curing himself of his addiction in the bargain.

This is, of course, completely asinine. Yet as Snopes explains, the crazy myth spread thanks to the most official of sources: Richards himself. Apparently, the rocker had gone to Switzerland for an experimental blood purification process—not blood replacement—but quickly grew tired of reporters asking him about it, so he chose to play with their heads, telling them he just got all-new blood and asking them, “How do you like my blood change?” He apparently played the joke too straight, because enough people bought into it that decades later, Richards still has the reputation of a guy who changes blood as easily as Dracula moving on to a new victim.

2. Stevie Nicks, all about that (cocaine) bass

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Stories of rock stars abusing drugs are almost as old as drugs themselves, and while plenty are true, others are pure conjecture. The story of Stevie Nicks’ backside meeting cocaine is 100 percent the latter.

As the story goes, Nicks, a heavy cocaine user, had snorted so much of the stuff it had eaten a big hole through her nose. Unable to snort properly anymore, she did what any true addict would: find a new way to get her fix. According to legend, the Fleetwood Mac front woman started having cocaine shot up her butt by a presumably very well-paid assistant. It’s perhaps the ultimate in rock star excess—if it were true, anyway. And Nicks herself has gone on record as saying it isn’t.

In a 2001 interview with Q, Nicks refuted the coke-bum myth, saying “Of course that never, ever happened. That is an absurd statement. It’s not true.” At the same time, she did admit to the hole in her nose, which she quipped was big enough for her to slip a belt through.

But while the myth had her refusing to quit cocaine in spite of the hole in her nose, the truth is…she refused to to quit cocaine in spite of the hole in her nose. She just kept on snorting—at least until she finished her 1986 Rock a Little tour, at which point she finally hit (ahem) bottom and went to rehab.

3. Gene Simmons, beef licker

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Even people who can’t stand Kiss are at least impressed with Gene Simmons’ super-long tongue. He can flick it well below his chin—which, combined with his “Demon” makeup, makes him look plain otherworldly. Surely such a monstrous liquid-lapper couldn’t be natural, right? Thus was born the myth that Simmons once had a normal human tongue, but underwent an operation to have it replaced with a cow’s.

As Snopes points out, there isn’t one part of this rumor that isn’t absolutely ridiculous. For one thing, a tongue transplant wasn’t really possible in the 1960s or ’70s, which is when Simmons would have needed to get it done. Besides, even if it were, a cow’s tongue would look preposterous in a human mouth. A cow tongue can weigh well over a pound and a half and stretch to the length of a good-sized cutting board. If this rumor was true, Simmons would probably have broken his neck decades ago.

Simmons is aware of the rumor and appears greatly amused by it. Really, who wouldn’t be? But in his autobiography Kiss and Make-Up, he set the record straight: it’s a human tongue, and it’s served him well. Clearly, cows are only required when Gene craves a burger.

4. Pink Floyd and the (yellow brick) road not taken

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

Dark Side of the Moon is one of the greatest albums ever. The Wizard of Oz is one of the greatest movies ever. And according to popular legend, their powers combined make both even greater: Apparently, if you play Moon and Oz at the same time by starting the album at the MGM lion’s third roar, they sync up perfectly, because Pink Floyd is just that incredible of a band.

As it turns out, Pink Floyd is only kind of incredible. The Wizard of Oz thing (popularly called “Dark Side of the Rainbow”) has been tested many times, and they don’t really sync up at all. Maybe a few moments work, like when (as Goldmine reports) Dorothy has a vision of Kansas as Floyd’s “Time” sings “Home, home again/I like to be there when I can,” but it’s entirely coincidental. Drummer Nick Mason officially debunked the myth in 2010, telling the BBC, “The Tin Man, and the Straw Man, and all the rest of it, had absolutely zero to do with [Moon].”

So how did this absurd rumor even start? Well, according to Little White Lies, it appears to have originated on a ’90s Internet forum dedicated to Floyd. That, combined with a viral 1995 article that details how to access the synchronicity, gave the myth enough life to survive the band laughing it off, and years of people trying it out and learning nothing except that Oz is a better film when you can hear Dorothy speak.

(On a side note, people also think that you can sync Rush’s 2112 album up with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.)

5. Phil Collins’ fictitious quest for justice

5 False facts about classic rock artists you always thought were true

When song lyrics go vague, fans are forced to come up with their own meanings. The prevailing interpretation of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” might be the most bonkers theory ever dreamed up, but its sheer implausibility hasn’t stopped people from believing it to this day.

As described by Snopes, the myth goes that Collins wrote “Tonight” after witnessing a man who could’ve saved someone from drowning, but didn’t. Disgusted, Collins spent years tracking the man down—and once he did, he sent the guilty party a free front-row ticket to one of his shows. Once he saw the man, Collins started playing “In the Air Tonight,” which called out the non-hero with the lines “Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand / I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am / Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes / So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been / It’s all been a pack of lies.”

Eventually, Collins supposedly even had a spotlight aimed at the guy, exposing and humiliating him in front of thousands. That’s pretty hardcore, especially for the man who gave us “Sussudio.”

An interesting story, but it’s totally false. Such a scenario would basically be impossible, and even if it did happen, how would everybody else at the show even know what was happening? Collins discussed the real meaning behind the song during an appearance on The Tonight Show, and naturally, it wound up being completely unrelated to drowning. Basically, Collins was going through a divorce, he was angry, and the song was a reflection of his anger. That’s all, folks. Eminem lied to you.

 

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Tales of Rock – The Best Band You Never Heard – Morphine

 

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Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox

“Lori Maddox was obsessed with sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and they were just as obsessed with her – despite the fact that she was just 14 years old.”

In 1970s Las Vegas, you were hard-pressed to find someone who wasn’t either a groupie or someone who wanted to be.

The lifestyle was one people fantasized about, leaving home, living on busses, following legendary rock stars from city to city and getting just the faintest glimpse into their lavish lifestyles. Not everyone could handle it, and those who could became almost as famous as the stars. One, in particular, was Lori Maddox.

The only problem? Lori Maddox was 14 years old.

Fresh out of junior high school, Maddox met Sable Starr, who became known as the “queen of the groupie scene.” Starr, also underage at the time, pulled Maddox into her seedy world of the after-hours parties on the Sunset Strip.

When Lori Maddox was just 15 years old, she met David Bowie.

She and Starr were at the E-Club, one of the nightclubs that dotted the strip and played host to rock stars, and turned a blind eye to drug use and girls that might not be of legal age. Bowie, eleven years her senior at the time, scared her at first. When asked about meeting Bowie, she described him as, “hair the color of carrots, no eyebrows, and the whitest skin imaginable.” She pretended she was with someone else to avoid going back to his hotel room with him.

By five months later, her fears had subsided, and she had lost her virginityto him.

When she wasn’t getting down and dirty with rockstars, Maddox could have been mistaken for any other teenage girl. During the week she went to school, lived at home with her mom, and hung out with her sisters.

On the weekends, she snuck out while her mom was at work, and frequented seedy nightclubs with much older men. Despite what seems like an obvious problem, Maddox never considered her lifestyle unusual. In fact, she reveled in it.

Not too long after her tryst with Bowie, Maddox got a phone call from Jimmy Page, guitarist and founder of Led Zeppelin, the biggest rock band in the world at the time. He invited her to his hotel and even sent a limo to collect her.

“I felt like I was being kidnapped,” she said. “I got taken into a room and there was Jimmy Page.”

If there were ever a time for it to click that her lifestyle was far from average, it should have been then, standing in the bedroom of a man quite literally double her age. But, despite the hostage-situation-like vibes, Lori Maddox didn’t run. Instead, she fell in love.

“It was perfect. He mesmerized me,” she said of the evening. “I fell in love instantly.”

Their relationship was secretive and tumultuous and constantly overshadowed by Maddox’s age. But, Page clearly didn’t care. As Maddox was underage she couldn’t travel state-to-state with the band in their jet, so she would sequester herself in Page’s hotel room, and wait for him to return. Eventually, her life outside of being a groupie began to suffer.

“My whole life was about waiting for Jimmy,” she said. “I tried going to high school, but I couldn’t concentrate. And after Jimmy Page and David Bowie, what was I going to do with a North Hollywood boy? I didn’t go to high school prom because I was too busy living the Hollywood prom.”

Then, suddenly, the fairy tale ended. As rock stars do, Jimmy Page eventually moved on, and one night after returning from a show, Maddox found him and Bebe Buell – eventual groupie/lover of Steven Tyler, and mother to his oldest daughter, Liv Tyler – in bed together. After that, her attitude changed. No longer was she there for love, she was there for fun.

Before she turned 18, Lori Madoxx would take shots with John Bonham, do several different drugs with Iggy Pop, have sex in a bathroom with Mick Jagger, and find herself in a bar fight between Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Despite her foray into the illicit lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock and roll all well before she reached adulthood, Maddox has no regrets. In fact, she says, she never felt better than she did all those years.

“I feel like I was very present,” she said. “I saw the greatest music ever. I got to hang out with some of the most amazing, most beautiful, most charismatic men in the world. I went to concerts in limos with police escorts. Am I going to regret this? No.”

 

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