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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Tales of Rock – The Rainbow Bar & Grill

I’ve got some interesting tales coming up in this series that occur here at the Rainbow, so I thought I’d supply you all with some background.

The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar and restaurant on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CaliforniaUnited States, adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. Its address is 9015 Sunset Boulevard.

The bottom level of the building is the restaurant, The Rainbow Bar and Grill. Upstairs is an exclusive club called “Over the Rainbow”, which consists of a full bar, a dance floor, and a DJ booth. The restaurant is next to The Roxy Theatre and The Key Club.

The restaurant was founded in early 1972 by Elmer ValentineLou AdlerMario Maglieri and others,[1][2] opening on April 16, 1972, with a party for Elton John.[3] At the time, the word “rainbow” signified peace and freedom. It quickly became known as a hangout for celebrities of all types.[4] John Belushi ate his last meal[5](lentil soup) at table No. 16[citation needed]. For many years, the owner was Mario Maglieri.[4]

Before becoming the Rainbow, the restaurant was the Villa Nova restaurant, which was originally owned by film director Vincente Minnelli, at the time married to Judy GarlandJoe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe met at the restaurant on a blind date in 1952.[6]

The Rainbow became known as a hangout for rock musicians and their groupies. Notable regulars at the Rainbow in this period include Keith MoonAlice CooperMicky DolenzHarry NilssonJohn LennonRingo Starr, and Neil Diamond.[5] Elvis Presley was known to have occasionally visited the Rainbow[citation needed]. The group of musicians calling themselves the Hollywood Vampires made the Rainbow their home away from home in the mid-1970s. In the last two decades of his life, Motörhead frontman Lemmy was a daily fixture at the Rainbow whenever the band was not on tour, and often played a video poker machine at the end of the bar table.[7]

Los Angeles songwriter Warren Zevon referenced the scene at the Rainbow in the last verse of his 1976 song “Poor Poor Pitiful Me“.

The musical group Rainbow was named after this club.[8]

The track “Rainbow Bar & Grill” from the Cheech & Chong album Let’s Make a New Dope Deal takes place in the bar and restaurant.

Producer Kim Fowley used to hang out at the Rainbow, especially in 1975, when he formed the all-girl group The Runaways. Actress and musician Cheryl Smithwas given her pseudonym Rainbeaux Smith early in her career as a result of her frequenting the Rainbow; she briefly replaced Sandy West as drummer of The Runaways at the end of that band’s existence.[citation needed]

As musical trends on the Strip changed towards heavy metal in the 1980s, the Rainbow followed suit. Members of Mötley Crüe,[9] Poison, and Guns N’ Roses frequented the bar.[10] It was mentioned in a number of songs, such as “Sunset and Babylon” by W.A.S.P., “Vampire” by L.A. Guns and “Peach Kelli Pop” by Redd Kross, and featured in the videos of “November Rain“, “Estranged” and “Don’t Cry” by Guns N’ Roses and also, although briefly, “Rock Out” by Motörhead.

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers noted in his book Scar Tissue that he often sat with his father, Blackie Dammett, at the club along with various members of bands such as Led Zeppelin. Often the waitresses and bartenders were groupies as well as those who frequented the establishment. In Pamela Des Barres‘ book Let’s Spend the Night Together, the author commented that as a barfly in the early 1980s she met a number of celebrities including Billy Idol.[11]

In June of 2016, the Rainbow started having live music every Wednesday night from 10pm until closing. Various musicians would host the live jam every week. Local acts, as well as different well known musicians would show up to perform random classic rock cover songs every week. During this time, there were many jam band gatherings being established on Sunset Boulevard around the area. Viper Roomand The Whisky a Go Go also joined the Rainbow by allowing musicians to host jams on various week nights as well.

On January 18, 2017 the Rainbow was inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History (created by Pat Gesualdo and Joe Dell) for introducing the world to new Heavy Metal acts. [12]

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Frank – Lost Breakfast

Not me in this one but my roommate/band mate, Frank. He struck gold while suitably plastered up in West Hollywood.

He woke up the next day, in a strange apartment. Pleased with himself that he was not alone. Lying next to him was a beautiful babe from the night before. Frank, still suitably enamored, offered to cook her breakfast, tackling the short walk to the store for bacon and eggs by himself.

Alas, all was not well and after 2 hours of knocking on doors he realized he had totally forgotten where she lived.

He called me from a payphone on Sunset while he was walking to the store and told me that he couldn’t remember whether her name was either, ‘Emma’ or ‘Anna’. Then called me again in a panic some time later while looking for her house asking what two names he’d told me she might be called having forgotten both of those as well.

He returned home to me and our stinking apartment where he prepared breakfast for us both with a heavy heart and the bluest of balls.

It was delicious, but he never saw her again.

 

I love this story!

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Chapter 14 – Santa Monica, CA. – Kesslerville

We found a place in Santa Monica that was up at 23rd and Cloverfield.  There was a guy named Kessler that owned every house on this banged up old dead end street. All the houses were pretty run down so I guess you could call Kessler a Slum Lord.

Our rent back then was $40 a week. That’s cheap as hell even by 1982 prices for apartments.

It was perfect. We lived in a small one bedroom apartment on the second floor. (Over the garage) Kessler was a fat slob that had a shitty van with a dashboard clogged with trash and snakc wrappers.

His house was next door to us where he lived with his wife, and his hot blonde daughter who looked and dressed like Ellie May from the Beverly Hillbillies. (Yea…I wanted her)  He also had a son that seemed like a half-wit that lived in a trailer out back. If you looked out our bedroom window you could see the entrance and roof of the trailer. (Did this inbred have to live in the trailer o he wouldn’t diddle his sister?)

Across the hallway from us lived this old guy named Mike Lamia. He was in his forties and smoked tons of weed and delivered pizza’s for a living. He was divorced and had a couple of kids somewhere. We assumed they lived with their mom. He also said he owned a piece of land out in the desert. It sounded like he got ripped off or it didn’t exist because he said he could see his land, but couldn’t get to it. So it was either on the side of a cliff or all in his drug addled mind.

He would get high all day long and watch his little black and white TV and play the bongos. When he found out we were musicians he was always pitching us songs and we were like, yea that’s great but, fuck no.

The best thing we liked about Mike was he would always share his weed with us. The other thing we liked about Mike was the fact that he ALWAYS had pizza in his fridge. He never cared if we came into his house and grabbed some slices, heated them up and ate them. His door was always open and so was ours. It was kind of cool living next door to a burned out old hippie that had endless supplies of pizza and weed.

Frank and I both worked at restaurants so we always got fed there everyday and there was always pizza so we never went grocery shopping. It was a good setup for a couple of young musicians.

Our apartment was over a garage and Kessler let us jam down there as long as we didn’t play too loud or too late.  Liam and John would be joining us in a month and we’d have a whole band and hopefully start getting gigs. Sometimes Kessler’s daughter Patty and her friends would stop by and hang out when we were practicing. She seemed like the sweet normal one in the family. She wasn’t around much so I assumed she went to college somewhere.

The only drawback to the apartment was the roaches.

They weren’t rampant but they were small brown ones and were present. Frank and I slept in the same room on just box springs and mattresses. Frank’s bed was against the wall near the window that looked over the trailer, and mine was on the other wall by the window that was broken. There was a cardboard banner advertising a circus instead of a window pane. I didn’t give a shit because it was always warm in California.

I remember hanging some shirts up in the closet (no door) Frank and I shared. Written on the wall were the words: “Sadder… Budweiser.” I thought that was a clever statement about alcohol and regret, so I never forgot it.

There was this other couple that lived down the hall from us. They seemed nice and normal. Too normal for this neighborhood of misfits. But one night we were all partying and the doors were all open.  Frank and I are drinking these 16 oz beers called 102. Apparently it took 102 tries to get the formula for the beer right. I’m thinking, what a bunch of fuck ups theses brewers are. But… it was $3 for a six pack! We drank oceans of that shit on our limited budget.

The folks who seemed quiet and normal are fucked up out of their minds. They’re laughing and acting crazy. Even Mike thinks they’re gacked to the nines. I ask the dude what he took and he shows me a bag of mushrooms.

“Want some?”

“No thanks. We’re good.”

He points to a light switch on the wall that for some reason someone drew a turnip in marker around it. He goes: “What’s that?”

“It’s a light switch with a turnip drawn around it.”

“No it’s not! That’s my wife.”

“Your wife is right over there.”

(Points to the light switch) “Then it’s my wife’s vagina!”

“Okay….”

(Flicks the light switch to the ON position) “And now she’s turned on! Get it? HA HA HA HA!”

“Yea, dude. Whatever.”

For the first time in my life I realize that all drugs are different. You don’t just get high. Every drug makes you feel a different way and think a different way.

Mushrooms made my neighbor nuts. Weed makes Mike introspective. Booze just makes Frank and I arrogant, giggling idiots.

Mike cruises over and he is high as fuck. “Hey guys, what if the color blue isn’t the same to me as it is to you?”

Frank: (Drunk as usual) “Check the crayon box, asshole.” (Bursts out laughing)

I love him.

So we liked where we were crashing. We’d come home drunk. Get high and go to bed listening to Steve Miller’s, Abracadabra album on my boom box.

When you’re drunk and high you don’t care how many roaches are in the room in the dark.

I remember lying on that bed and thinking about my be d at home and how different my life was now.

I was happy to be away from the prison of Wildwood and my father’s idea of what our family’s life should be. Poverty was actually really nice to be with my best mate, Frank.

We’ll get there and have a great time doing it. This is only week two here in L.A.!

We need to earn some money and go out and check out the music scene in this town!

 

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