Tales of Rock – Keith Richards Snorts His Dad

Keith said that his image was “like a long shadow,” implying that people don’t know much about the real man, but instead focus on the things written in articles

Keith Richards is one of the most talented guitarists in history. In 1962, he helped form The Rolling Stones and since that time the band has sold over 200 million records. Interestingly, Keith Richards regards the acoustic guitar as the basis for his playing, once saying that he felt the electric guitar would cause him to “lose that touch.” Richards is also a talented lyricist. The songwriting partnership of Jagger/Richards has been responsible for the majority of the catalog of The Rolling Stones.

In the 1970s, music journalist Nick Kent described the personality of Keith Richards as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” In 1994, Keith said that his image was “like a long shadow,” implying that people don’t know much about the real man, but instead focus on the things written in articles. Richards has a long history of drug abuse and has been tried for drug-related charges five times.

In April of 2006, Keith Richards made headlines when he fell out of a tree in Fiji and suffered a bad head injury. The event caused a delay in The Rolling Stones tour, but Richards made a full recovery. The following year Keith made international headlines after he was asked by a journalist what the strangest thing he ever snorted was. Keith responded: “My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn’t have cared. It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”

The comment shocked the journalist and the story instantly became a media sensation. Keith’s manager responded with the statement that the anecdote had been a joke, but many feel the story is true. In the same interview Keith was asked about his most life-threatening drug experience and mentioned an event in which “Someone put strychnine (pesticide) in my dope. It was in Switzerland. I was totally comatose, but I was totally awake. I could listen to everyone, and they were like, he’s dead, he’s dead, waving their fingers and pushing me about. I was thinking I’m not dead.” Richards remembers: “I was number one on the Who’s list of people who were likely to die for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list.”

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Keith Moon Blew Stuff Up

“No toilet in a hotel or changing room was safe,”

When Keith Moon was 17 years-old he joined The Who and replaced drummer Doug Sandom. He immediately impacted the band’s sound and became known for his innovative drumming style. Along with Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, and John Entwistle, Moon would help The Who become one of the most popular bands of the 1960s and 1970s. The group was known for explosive concerts and destructive behavior. The first such performance occurred in 1964 at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone, London, when Townshend accidentally broke the head of his guitar through the ceiling, so he continued to smash it on stage and the crowd loved it. More people came back the next night wanting the band to smash and break something.

Keith Moon had no problem fitting in with the lifestyle of a rock star. He had an erratic personality and gained the nickname “Moon the Loon.” In one famous performance Moon filled his clear acrylic drums with water and goldfish, and dressed like a cat. He was a jokester and Moon’s ability to make his bandmates laugh around the vocal microphone led to him being banished from the studio when albums were being recorded. In response, Moon would sneak into the studio and join in the singing. He can be heard on several tracks, including Bell Boy, Bucket T, and Barbara Ann. He is the high backing vocals on Pictures of Lily.

Keith Moon was known to demolish hotel rooms and was incredibly destructive. He would often throw furniture from high buildings and set objects on fire. However, his favorite hobby was blowing up toilets with explosives. The blasts would destroy the toilet and often times disrupt plumbing to the hotel. It has been estimated that Moon’s destruction of toilets and plumbing ran as high as UK£300,000 (US$500,000). Moon was banned from several hotel chains including all Holiday Inn, all Sheraton, all Hilton Hotels, and the Waldorf Astoria.

According to Tony Fletcher’s biography, Moon was quoted: “All that porcelain flying through the air was quite unforgettable.” Fletcher wrote: “no toilet in a hotel or changing room was safe,” until Moon had detonated his supply of explosives. In one case, hotel management asked Moon to turn down his cassette player. In response, he asked the manager up to his room and blew up the toilet right in front of him. Moon then turned the cassette player back up and said: “This is The Who.”

In 1967, Keith Moon allegedly drove a Cadillac or Lincoln Continental into a Holiday Inn pool. In 1973, The Who was performing at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and Moon passed out during the show. Townshend noticed that he was sleeping and asked the audience, “Can anyone play the drums? I mean somebody good.” An audience member named Scot Halpin stepped up and finished the concert for Moon.

Ringo Starr once told Keith Moon that his lifestyle would eventually kill him. Moon simply replied “Yeah, I know.” Keith Moon died on September 7, 1978 (age 32) after he ingested 32 tablets of clomethiazole (Heminevrin). The digestion of six pills was sufficient to cause his death. The other 26 were found undissolved in his stomach. This caused some to speculate that Moon’s death might have been on purpose. Officially it was ruled a drug overdose.

 

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Tales of Rock – James Brown Pulls a Shotgun on Someone for Using His Toilet

“Experimentation with drugs was more a qualification than a fire-able offense.”

Watching James Brown in action in video of his performances in the 1960s and ’70s, it’s difficult to imagine someone so assured and in control of himself and his band descending into drug-induced chaos. He even insisted his musicians remain drug-free, which alienated some, including Catfish and Bootsy Collins, who departed for Parliament-Funkadelic where experimentation with drugs was more a qualification than a fire-able offense.

But the ’80s took their toll on the “Soul Brother No. 1” as he started using PCP. He was arrested numerous times before, in 1988, he reportedly pulled a shotgun on a man for using the toilet in his office before fleeing, leading police on a chase near the border of Georgia and South Carolina. He was convicted of possession, driving under the influence, carrying an unlicensed pistol and assaulting a police officer and sentenced to six years in jail; released in three. He continued to have problems with the law for the last 15 years of his life, most often owing to charges of domestic violence.

His relationship with Adrienne Lois Rodriguez was insane. They met on the set of the TV show Solid Gold, on which Rodriguez worked as a hairstylist. Brown told Sharpton to get her number. The two fell in love, got married (she would be Brown’s third wife), and had a tumultuous relationship: They were both addicted to PCP; she called the cops on him a number of times for domestic violence; she once stabbed a woman in the butt who she thought was sleeping with Brown; she set his clothes on fire; she allegedly put PCP into his creamed corn. In 1996, she died after undergoing liposuction owing to a combination of PCP and prescription medications.

Brown kept up a rigorous tour schedule well into his 70s. His trumpeter Hollie Farris remembered they were doing a show in South America when the doctor gave him shots, put a catheter in him, only to take it out, do a one-and-a-half-hour show, and then come back and put the catheter back in. In another performance in Tbilisi, Georgia, Brown performed in a swimming facility with the stage at the edge of the pool. Brown jumped into the pool at the climax of “Sex Machine” and had to be fished out by his bandmates. He got back onstage and finished the song.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – David Bowie Thinks Witches Are Stealing His Semen

In fall 1975, David Bowie went into the studio in Los Angeles and made Station To Station, one of the best albums of his career. It saw him transition from playing conventional if fantastic rock and roll to recording a series of genre-bending masterpieces that set a template for ’80s pop and whose influence is still being felt decades later. Pretty impressive, considering he was doing so much coke at the time he later couldn’t remember recording the album at all.

According to David Buckley, the author of the book “Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story,” Bowie’s diet at the time consisted of cocaine, peppers and milk, and he lived in “a state of psychic terror.” Interviews published in Playboy and Rolling Stone depicted Bowie surrounding himself with burning black candles and Egyptian artifacts and believing that bodies were floating past his window, witches were stealing his semen and that the Rolling Stones were sending him secret messages. He lived in fear of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, owing to his supposed practice of witchcraft. In Station To Station‘s title track, Bowie yelped, “It’s not the side effects of the cocaine; I’m thinking that it must be love,” which was definitely the wrong diagnosis.

If Bowie wanted to clean up after this album, he made the wrong move by decamping to Berlin with Iggy Pop. Still, the trio of albums he recorded during this period—Low, Heroes and Lodger—honed his legacy. This trilogy along with Station To Station was cherry-picked to create a perfect soundtrack for Christiane F. We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, a German film released in 1981 that captured the harrowing lives of teenage junkies in West Berlin.

Check it out. I saw it at a midnight showing in LA in 1982. It’s great!

 

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Tales of Rock – Metallic K.O.

“Listen, asshole, you heckle me one more time and I’m gonna come down there and kick your ass.”

Iggy Pop is one of the most flamboyant performers in the history of music. He has an incredible stage presence and has given credit to Jim Morrison for introducing him to a free attitude and wild stage antics. Iggy Pop is credited with being the first performer to do a stage-dive. Some of his more descriptive exploits include rolling around in broken glass, exposing himself to the crowd, and vomiting on stage. He has been known to spark riots and has the ability to whip the crowd into frenzy.

On February 9, 1974 The Stooges performed at Detroit’s Michigan Palace. It was the band’s last show together before they broke up for three decades. Before the 1974 concert, Pop gave a radio interview in which he challenged a Detroit motorbike gang (the Scorpions) to a fight. He called them all a bunch of cats. In response, the gang attended the show and pelted the band with broken glass, beer jugs, urine, eggs, ice, jelly beans, and shovels. Despite the hostility, Iggy continued to taunt the crowd and said: “You pricks can throw everything in the world… your girlfriend will still love me.”

The Stooges fed off the crowd’s anger and continued to perform. During the show Iggy finally told the bikers: “All right you assholes, want to hear Louie, Louie, we’ll give it to you.” The Stooges continued to play a forty-five-minute version of Louie Louie, which included improvised lyrics by Pop. During the song he continued to yell and verbally assault the gang.

The concert finally ended after Iggy Pop focused his attention on one particular heckler and said: “Listen, asshole, you heckle me one more time and I’m gonna come down there and kick your ass.” The biker told Pop to come over, so Iggy jumped off the stage and confronted him. The biker continued to beat the crap out of Iggy, which ended the event. Luckily, the concert was captured on a reel-to-reel tape machine and recorded live. In 1976, The Stooges released the recording in an album titled Metallic K.O. It is the only rock album where you can hear beer bottles breaking against guitar strings. The album remains a favorite among Iggy Pop fans.

 

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Tales of Rock – Bowie and Jagger in Bed

David Bowie is an innovative English musician that has sold over 140 million albums. He is an extremely popular singer and has done a lot of work to help fight important world issues. In 1972, Bowie became one of the first popular singers to reveal to the public that he was bisexual. Bowie gave an interview that was broadcast around the world. Since that time he has bounced back and forth on the issue and remains married to Somali-American model Iman.

In 1970, David Bowie was married to a woman named Angela and the couple divorced in 1980. In 1990, after a ten-year gag order ended, Angela Bowie appeared on The Joan Rivers Show and gave some controversial details about her time with David. She is quoted: “I caught him in bed with men several times. In fact the best time I caught him in bed was with Mick Jagger.” At this point, Howard Stern, who was involved with the interview, asked Angela if Jagger and Bowie had their clothes off. She said: “They certainly did.” The accusation became international news and Jagger released a statement that dismissed the claim.

A week after the interview, Angela Bowie went on television and said that although she had seen Mick Jagger and Bowie naked, it didn’t necessarily mean they weren’t sleeping. She clarified: “I certainly didn’t catch anyone in the act.” Some people have linked the event to the 1973 Rolling Stones hit song Angie. However, David Bowie said it best: “About 15 or 16 years ago, I really got pretty tired of fending off questions about what I used to do with my penis in the early ’70s. My suggestion for people with a prurient interest is to go through the 30 or 40 bios on me and pick out the rumor of their choice.”

Check out the video below.

This is the gayest thing I’ve ever seen.

Enjoy!

 

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Tales of Rock – Badfinger

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

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

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

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

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

 

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