Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1980 – Morey’s Pier

That photo above is of me rocking out on Morey’s Pier. You can see in the background my ex-girlfriend Lola wearing a shirt that reads: And on the eighth day God created Union Jacks.

Advertisements

Somehow we got a gig playing on Morey’s Pier. That’s the best amusement pier in Wildwood, New Jersey.

I remember the morning of the gig the band converged on the boardwalk with all of our gear.

We set up our stage in front of one of the amusement rides and went to Sam’s Pizza to get something to eat.

Back then I had terrible anxiety and it was hard for me to imagine eating before a gig, or anything for that matter.

I got a slice and a coke and laughed it up with the boys in the band.

This was going to be a watershed moment in our bands short history.

We went under the boardwalk to get ready and have a chat before the show.

I stayed behind telling the guys I’d be right up and ready to play after I took a piss.

I stood in the soft sand under the best amusement pier on the island. This was going to an amazing show. It was still early and the sea air was sweet and it was cool in the shadows beneath the pier.

I proceeded to throw up because I was so afraid.

I pulled myself together after several minutes and headed up the ramp to the sunny pier.

People were starting to fill the pier.

We needed to go on. The day was beginning.

I pulled my Ibanez Iceman from its case and put her on.

I never felt like I was anything until I put that guitar on.

I plug into my Marshall and we all tune up. I have to tune Mark the bass player’s bass because he’s tone-deaf. Can you imagine that? A kid whose parents are wealthy enough to pay for their music loving son great equipment who wants to be in a band and doesn’t have the physical chops to actually e a musician.

I need to get the fuck out of this band.

I love Jim, and he is a good musician and all but he’s into Lynyrd Skynrd and Clapton. I want to play music like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. I no longer feel like I belong in this band anymore.

We blaze through our set and it’s a beautiful day. I’m surrounded by pretty girls (There they are in front of me!) and doing the one thing I love the most in the world. It’s the beginning of the summer and I couldn’t be happier.

When you have anxiety and get sick, you’re not really ill. You’re just frightened. You vomit because you’re so terrified to have to do the impending deed, you become physically ill. But once you vomit, you actually feel better because you know you can’t puke onstage now. (Pat Benetar and Barbra Streisand have the very same thing)

The show was great and we killed it. I had my Marshall amp on 6 and the show was loud. The crowd loved our set. My mother later told me that she was sitting on the porch of our house at 8th street and could hear me playing the opening riff to the song “Satisfaction” .

Let’s do the math here. That’s 18 blocks away. My mom heard my Marshal roaring from 18 blocks away. That’s some loud rock n’ roll man!

It was an amazing show and everybody loved us and I was pelted with phone numbers as usual.

 

But it would be bittersweet.

 

That was our final show as a band. The summer was upon us and we all worked our jobs during the busy season. During that time Mark had lost all the weight and fell in love with the band The Cure. The eighties were rapidly approaching and Mark wanted a change.

He told us that we could no longer practice at his families restaurant and he was quitting the band.

He wanted to pursue the new wave music that was coming at the turn of the decade. I got it. He was always a weak member but I liked the guy. But without a place to practice, the band fell apart.

I remember my father seeing this picture of me and my best friend Jim and saying :”What are these guys on?” 

We never took drugs and rarely drank even beer. I love this pic. Jim and i shared a passion for music, depression, isolation and a love of playing rock and roll.

I hardly talk to him now but know if I showed up at his house we’d be right back where we were as teenagers and have a laugh, a drink and a meal.

He’s a gifted hard-working artist and I will never forget him.

To me it looks like a pic of a couple of good-looking young rock stars.

And I’ll tell you this… I  get my energy from people. I don’t need coffee or cigarettes anymore. When I played on stage with Jim, I got my energy from him.

I would look to my left and he was always there. My best friend. I knew we were in sync as musicians because we were such good friends.

Thank you, Jim. I love you.

 

The Union Jacks were a defining moment in my music career and I will never forget the time I had with these guys making music and trying to figure out our lives a long time ago.

 

Once we all realized the band was dead we all needed to figure out what we were going to do.

Jim, was going to be a sophomore in Wildwood School. (He later married an older woman whose dad was a doctor and he started an Art Institute in the Poconos that still thrives today. Jim is an artist and entrepreneur.

Mark was going to become Robert Smith in the Cure. (He later was in a band called The Flesh Lords that were an absolute piece of shit)

I never found out what happened out what happened to Brian. I later found out he was gay and hopefully he is happy doing whatever he’s doing. What a spectacular drummer and singer!

 

Me? Graduated high school and no longer in a band. My father said “You’re either going in the military of getting a job.”

Really dude?

You rip me from my life in Philly and my band and drop me off here because of your fucking life?  So Janice can go to college and fuck my life because I’m a shitty student and I don’t matter?

I’m getting second honors at Wildwood High you cunt. I’m an art major and people love my work. You can’t crush this artist. I’m out of here.

Why would you drop me off in the hell you came from your childhood? the resort town you were forced to live in because your parents got divorced when nobody did that?

You asshole.

I love you for all that you’ve done but you’re still an asshole.

 

Fuck this.

Fuck you.

 

I know I’m not good enough and a disappointment and a sad dark refection of you. (I know you’ve told me who you are… almost proudly)

You can’t make a good son because he’ll be too much like you.

Don’t worry I know you. You’ll never admit that. You have three great daughters to justify your existence.

Whats one son?

You always have your grandson for a do over.

See ya.

 

“I’m going to California to play rock.”

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly

Wildwood Daze – I Need a Moment

Readers…. I need a moment to conclude the story of my time in Wildwood, NJ. It was an incredible time and left such an indelible mark on me. I just need a moment to tell the story of me from Wildwood correctly.

It’s been a busy year with many changes. All good! But I want to lay out the final chapters of this story properly.

My time at the shore in 1980 were so amazing I need to step back and take time to write them.

I have spent so much time getting content ready for 2019, that I’m struggling to get this last story out.

I appreciate your patience and will do my very best over the next couple of weeks to pull this tale together.

Summer 1980 was so amazing I don’t even know if I can capture it properly. but I’ll try.

Please enjoy my usual content until I can move through this little block.

I assure you I have a story to tell and it is rich. But there is so much here I’m just trying to gather all of these feelings together.

Thank you for your patience.

 

Once I break through this block, I’ll write the rest of the Union Jacks series and then we’re off to California!

UPDATE: Writer’s block broken. I wrote one final piece last night. If there are any more stories to be told about the Union Jacks and Wildwood in general, I’ll feature them in the future. Maybe like a flashback to the Wildwood Daze. Like a nostalgia piece.

I need to move forward with my writing trajectory for 2019 and I don’t want anything impeding the creative proccess.

 

Thank you.

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1980 – Hunt’s Pier – Part 1

I almost can’t describe how incredible how it was to work here in 1980.

I was 17. You had to be 18 to work on Hunt’s Pier. Somehow my dad had a contact and got me in there.

I was in a band and no longer a busboy at the Dolphin restaurant. I was on the boardwalk.  This was like being a key player in the circus.

When I think of working in the restaurant I think of working with a nice group of pretty waitresses and Greek cooks and the like. When I took the job at Hunt’s in 1980, it was the perfect job for a and 18-year-old boy.

At this point in this saga, I would rather have the professionals describe what the job was.

I worked at the Golden Nugget Mine Ride.

It was the second most popular ride on the pier. Right behind the Log Flume.

Once I got the job there I got my loser friend Anthony a job there at Jungle Land and my most beloved friend Richard a job there working on the Log Flume.

Working on Hunt’s Pier was different from any job I had ever had before. Pool boy. Crap. Bus boy. Crap. Running the controls of the second most popular amusement ride on the pier every night. Magic.

As a writer I’ve written everything about my life in great detail.

Living in Wildwood in the summer is nearly a surreal experience.

I don’t know if I can write this.

I see it. I see my sister Janice, but I’m struggling to pull it all together.

There’s so much.

I think about writing this piece and I almost don’t know where to go because it’s so rich. But I suppose that’s a good thing.

There’s almost too much to tell.

Hunt’s Pier. This could roll through 2019 and hold up the demise of the Union Jacks and my time to California.

I just don’t want to scrimp on the value of my time there.

My father got me the job there because he knew some of the guys through his banking contacts.

Getting a job there was getting the coolest summer job on Earth back on 1980.

I’ve been punished for some unknown reason and have been banished to this shitty island for the winter and now she has awakened and is prettier than she’s ever been. I don’t have to be a pool boy or a busboy and I get a fun job working on an amusement ride on Hunt’s Pier.

Hunt’s Pier was an amusement pier located along the Wildwood, New Jersey, boardwalk from 1957 through 1985. Over its nearly 30 years in operation, Hunt’s was home to many classic dark rides, roller coasters, and other attractions.

Hunt’s Pier dates back to the early 1900s when it was known as Ocean Pier, the first major pier on the boardwalk. Home to ballroom dancing and musical acts, Ocean Pier was purchased by William Hunt in 1935 and converted to an amusement park with rides, including a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a dark ride.[1]

On Christmas Day 1943, Ocean Pier burned down. Hunt built a new, all-concrete pier in its place. On May 30, 1957, Memorial Day, the revamped Hunt’s Pier opened. The amusement park began with only four rides, though it boasted 10 rides by the time of its grand opening on June 21, 1957.[2]

In 1985 Hunt’s Pier was sold and re-emerged in 1989 as The New Hunt’s Pier, retaining many of the rides operated by the original Hunt’s Pier and adding a steel roller coaster called Kamikaze. In 1988, Conklin Shows bought the pier and renamed it Conko’s Party Pier.[3] This latest incarnation of the pier was short-lived, and by the end of 1992, many of the rides had been disassembled and the New Hunt’s Pier had gone bankrupt. The Kamikaze was sold and currently operates under the name Blue Hawk at Six Flags Over Georgia.

The Cantonoso family, owners of Steel Pier in Atlantic City, bought the defunct pier in 1995. By 1996, the pier had been renamed Dinosaur Beach and had added dinosaur motifs to the classic Golden Nugget Mine Ride, a decision derided by fans as not being in good taste.[4] In addition to a water coaster and an amphitheatre, Dinosaur Beach included the first spinning wild mouse, which opened in 1997. The only classic rides operating at Dinosaur Beach were the Golden Nugget, Log Flume, and Rapids, with most of the Hunt’s legacy gone. In 1998 Dinosaur Beach closed, and over the next few years most of the rides disappeared.

Present day

The pier is currently owned by Morey’s Piers and is used to house maintenance equipment and the boardwalk tram cars. A grill, beach shop, and Adventure Maze are now on the front of the pier. Morey’s has plans to build a wooden roller coaster which will cross over from the Surfside Pier to the back of Hunt’s Pier.

Legacy

Hunt’s Pier featured many unique rides and attractions, including a classic wooden roller coaster called the Flyer, indoor rides such as Keystone Kops and Whacky Shack, and an outdoor boat ride called Jungleland. For many years, The Golden Nugget had the honor of being the oldest ride on the Wildwood Boardwalk still surviving in its original form and location. The Golden Nugget originally opened in July 1960 on the newly constructed oceanside section of Hunt’s Pier. The Golden Nugget was built three stories high with the top floor designed to imitate a mine car ride through the desert. The classic coaster ride was specially constructed for Hunt’s Pier by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company and was engineered by John Allen. It was removed in 2009, and a ceremony commemorating the ride was held in January of that year in anticipation of its removal.[5]

In early 2009, Knoebels’ Amusement Resorts entered into agreement with Morey’s Piers to acquire the trains, tracks, and ancillary mechanical equipment from the Golden Nugget ride. The equipment was moved to Pennsylvania in early 2009 for a planned reproduction of the Golden Nugget at its Elysburg, Pennsylvania, park. Renamed Black Diamond, it officially opened in October 2011. The original stunts and gags included in the ride were not part of the sale and have been retained by Morey’s Piers for usage elsewhere.[6]

The George Boyer Museum in Wildwood currently houses artifacts from Hunt’s Pier, including Keystone Kops characters and Hunt’s Pier flags. Near Historic Cold Springs Village, Hunt’s abandoned storage and maintenance site still holds signs and parts of former rides, including boats for the Log Flume, trains for the Flyer that are currently under restoration, and letters that were part of the Hunt’s Pier Skyline Golf sign that stood opposite from the pier on top of the Ocean Theater.

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly Facebook: phicklephilly

Wildwood Daze – 1980 – Joette and Lola

16 year old Joette Carty and yours truly in 1980.

God… I never realized how good looking I was back then.

I’m the rhythm guitarist for the the Union Jacks. I’m in relationship with a 14-year-old girl and then I meet Joette.

Anne lives in Newark and I met her at the and of the summer when things were slim.I  was desolate. She was hot, young, and available.

you thought she was 16.

I always had a thing for long-legged Joette. The flautist that liked Niel Diamond and Barry Manilow. You knew that those guys were brilliant but my life was Aerosmith.

It’s the dead of winter. I’m in this band, but trapped in a high school where I know like one guy. And he’s in my band! I see this one girl wo’s in the school band, named Joette. She’s tall, pretty and blonde.

I loved that back then. Now I like more ethnic looking women, but that’s probably because I live in  city. There is so many different kind of beauty here in Philly.

The song says: “If you can’t be with the one you love… Love the one you’re with.”

My little girlfriend, Lola was in Newark, NJ. Joette was here. Live and present.

I liked tall, blonde long-legged women back then. I loved ex ex ex girlfrind Michelle and she had lovely legs when I knew her.

But Lola wan’t around and I’m stuck in this desolate shithole of a town and I start crushing on Joette.

Look at the photo. I was a good-looking guitarist in a local band and she was a musician too. We had different tastes in music but come on… You know it’s going down in Wildwood.

So we hook up.  She seems nice. Her mom seems nuts. Her parents are divorced. My drummer Brian tells me he went to high school with her crazy brother Joe.

Her mom is on a bureau drawer amount of pills, and Brian tells me her brother Joe once took his belt off and beat a teacher in class once before being kicked out of school.

Yea… she’s hot. This’ll be good.

It actually was. Her mom kept her little helpers in check and liked me. Her crazy brother actually liked me too because he said I was the first nice guy that was good to his sister.

That was a nervous moment.

Joette and I were and item through the cold desolate winter that year and i enjoyed my time with her. I still saw Lola when she came down but Joette was my constant local main squeeze.

I just loved her because she had long legs and she was built like a woman. Tall and lovely.

Great flute player.

Totally different from what I did at the time.

 

Spring rolled around and I was pretty wrapped up in Joette. I rmember my mom telling me that Lola was on the phone and wanted to talk to me.

The summer was about to break and that is an exciting time. You as a native are going to crawl out of the horrible darkness of the winter and stand in the sun again on a warm sunny beach. Surrounded by friends and new talent.

Living in Wildwood in the winter is like being lost at sea at night for months. The cold lonely nights. The isolation. The depression. The beauty of the place that feels like a windy prison.

It’s awful. I wouldn’t wish it on any child. resort towns need to be a summer fun spot to be enjoyed but the rest of the year is terrible for its youth.

It’s like any podunk shit town in america.

I’m with Joette now… Lola is on the phone. She says how much she’s looking forward to coming down this summer and us being together and being in a relationship.

“I love you.”

“Uhhh….” ( I can’t do it. I’ve been with Joette all winter thorough the darkness that is this island my sisters and I have been dropped off on.)

“Chaz… do you love me?”

“Ahh…”

So back then at 18 I was pretty much romantically bankrupt. I didn’t know how to compartmentalize like I can now. I was and absolute neophyte when it came to matters of the heart. i was a dumb teen that wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and never thought of the repercussions of my actions.

It’s sad that I couldn’t see that. I simply wanted the thing in front of me now and could no longer think of the little girl who fell in love with me at the end of last summer.

But living in Wildwood and being in a band changes a boy. There’s a certain curse you hold being in that godforsaken town in the winter. If you’ve been following this series, there is something that happens to the youth in this town and you affix to it because you have no other choices.

It’s unhealthy to raise children from the city on an isolated island where nothing is happening.

You did it for yourself dad.  Plus you were already running your program with your hot secretary pool down here sir.

It was a natural progression of you continuing your agenda of inner unhappiness about it affected a few people along the way dude.

It made me cold and calculating in my Romantic life, dad. Passionate like you, but I had the same romantic bankruptcy that you had.

I remember I once asked you… “What if you got a girl pregnant and she had a kid that was yours. What would you do?”

“Well I don’t know that kid and I didn’t raise him so… nothing.”

Okay.

So I’m on the landline in the dining room with my little girlfriend on the phone asking me if I still love her and how much she wants to be with me and I’m ambiguities.

That’s cold.

I remember doing that to Lola.

That was shitty.

I’m not a good person in this moment.

I have my band which is rocking. I have established my place here as someone. I have a hot blonde girlfriend. The summer is approaching. I know what the summer looks like here.

Non stop fun and gorgeous teenage girls I want to spend time with. I will meet them and love them as they arrive in droves. Literally delivered to me after this horrible winter of discontent.

I mis my life and friends in Philly. I have been banished from all that i know, but the fun is returning.

Any minute now.

It’s June. I’m going to graduate high school.

All I want to do is have fun and play guitar in a band.

I want to be Joe Perry.

Lola is crying on the phone. I can’t commit to this summer being her boyfriend.

I felt nothing, selfish juvenile cunt that I was back then.  (look at the photo)

We hung up and I knew it was over. But i didn’t care. i was glad i didn’t have to deal with her anymore.

I just wanted to work at Hunt’s Pier and play in my band and go to clubs and have fun.

I was just a typical asshole guy I suppose. I hurt a young girl’s heart and didn’t feel a thing, too self-absorbed in my own success.

But I will tell you… when you pull shit like this no matter what your age, you leave a hole. You will trip over that hole later in life and have to somehow fill it in and fix that hole.

Because although you put a whole in a person, you left a hole in yourself.

You will have to fix that son.

 

Lola was heartbroken and found solace in my lead guitarist Jim. Classic. I can’t have Chaz, so I’ll be with his best friend. I never gave a shit after that, because I was emotionally bankrupt. I’m sure Jim never enjoyed her at the level i did.

Oh, and Joette. With in a week after dumping Lola and the summer exploding in full swing… I dumped Joette too.

The shark needs to swim. Great White needs to hunt. It’s the summer of 1980 and the island is on fire.

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly             Facebook: phicklephilly

Wildwood Daze – The Union Jacks – Dirty John – Part 1

“Okay, He’s freaking out like a retard. Put him in his bed and we’ll go.”

I had been to the restaurant where Brian our drummer worked part-time as a busboy. I don’t remember, but I had been there to meet up with him once for some reason. I do remember Brian telling me the bartender there liked my “friend with the big eyes.” (Me.) I don’t remember that person and quickly dismiss it in my mind.

One night Brain wants to bring us to the restaurant where he works for drinks. We get there and the band sits at the bar. Brian introduces us to the bartender, Frank. Or, as Brian calls him, Frank the Fag. Now I get it. Frank fancies me. It’s a compliment, but I’m straight.

We all order bottles of beer. Frank is being Frank but he’s nice as could be. We’re all just chilling at the bar and it’s nice to all go out and have a drink as a band. It’s like we’re somebody now. People recognize us when we’re out and I like it.

We’re sitting there for about an hour chatting about music, when Frank presents me with not one, but two large tumblers filled with a frothy pink liquid.

“What’s this?”

“It’s called a Dirty John.”

“Thank you, but I never drink hard liquor. I just don’t do it. I’m a beer guy only.”

“I’ll drink it!”

Jim is the youngest and newest member of the band. I think he wants to show that he’s a bad ass that can hang with the older guys.

“That’s really not necessary Jim.”

“No. I want to.”

Jim proceeds to chug the drinks.

We settle up and walk outside. Brian and Mark say they’ll bring the car around. I’m smoking a cig waiting with Jim. Brian doesn’t allow smoking in his car so we wait.

“I gotta take a piss.”

“You could have gone in the bar, Jim. Actually, I gotta go too. Beer goes right through me. There’s some tall hedges behind the restaurant. Let’s go back there.”

We walk back and are standing next to each other as if we’re just a couple of students pissing in the urinals in the Boys bathroom at Wildwood High. I suddenly hear this rustling noise and a thump. I glance to my right and Jim has vanished. I zip up my fly and go to the spot where he was.

There’s Jim, face down in the next yard. While pissing he literally just collapsed forward between the hedges. What the fuck was in that drink? Whatever it was, it hit him like a sledgehammer.

Brian and Mark pull up in his yellow ’77 Ford Mustang II.

“What the fuck’s up with Wolfie?” (Brian sometimes referred to Jim as ‘ Wolfie’ because the way he brushed his hair back, it resembled Lon Chaney’s monster.)

“Guys get over here!”

Brian and Mark scramble from the car and run over. We get Jim to his feet and he is just gone. Slurring and stumbling and we get him to the car. It takes all three of us.

“He went from buzzed to black out in a matter of seconds!”

Brian’s driving. Mark’s riding shotgun, and of course I’m in the back with drunk boy. He’s really out of it. Conscious, but super fucked up. More drunk than I’ve ever seen anyone ever in my life.

Brian’s driving him back to his house. “He better not fuckin’ puke in my car! I swear to god!”

We get to Jim’s house and I’m about to get him out and he pukes all over me. He doesn’t even know I’m there. Now I’m wearing the Dirty John meant for me.

Thankfully his parents weren’t home when we dragged our new guitarist back into his house.

We carry him through the door, in front of at least a half dozen siblings. They all look on in utter horror. I assure them their brother isn’t dead. He’s just sick and we’re taking care of him.

The kids know me from school. I’m the kid that comes and waits for Jim each morning and lets my glasses steam up while watching the Today show waiting for my friend so we can walk to school together.

 

It’s a mess. The little kids are clueless. We are simply a group of guys bringing their older brother home because he’s sick. Everything’s fine. Just like in any household in the 70’s. It didn’t happen.

We bang Jim up the stairs to his bedroom. When I say, bang I mean he was dead weight and me, Brian and Mark did the best to get him to his room.

This is all new ground for all of us. We’re new musicians, but we don’t know anything about but extreme behavior even if it’s accidental.

My best friend is so sick. I am wearing his puke. We try to run his head under the shower to revive him. He cries out like a molested child so we withdrawal.

“Okay, He’s freaking out like a retard. Put him in his bed and we’ll go.”

Brian was always so pragmatic.

“Turn him over on his stomach.” (I say) Put his face at the edge of the bed.”

“Why?”

“Umm… Bon Scott….” (See: Tales of Rock – Bon Scott) 

“He’ll be fine.”

” Dude. Hendrix died choking on his own puke.”

“He’ll be fine.”

We leave our lead guitarist in his bed and all go home. It’s bee a fucked up night.

My best friend got poisoned by a drink meant for me. What was Frank’s plan? Get me drunk beyond recognition and take advantage of me? That’s kind of evil.

But the worst part of it is… Was Brian in on it?

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly                                Facebook: Phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – Bon Scott

Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980) was a Scottish-Australian singer and songwriter, best known for being the primary lead vocalist and lyricist of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980.[1]

Scott was born in Forfar, Scotland, and raised in Kirriemuir, before moving to Melbourne with his family in 1952 at the age of six. They lived in the suburb of Sunshine for four years before moving to Fremantle.[1] Scott formed his first band, The Spektors, in 1964 and became the band’s drummer and occasional lead vocalist. He performed in several other bands including The Valentines and Fraternity before replacing Dave Evans as the lead singer of AC/DC in 1974.[1]

AC/DC’s popularity grew throughout the 1970s, initially in Australia, and then internationally. Their 1979 album Highway to Hell reached the top twenty in the United States, and the band seemed on the verge of a commercial breakthrough. However, on 19 February 1980, Scott died after a night out in London. AC/DC briefly considered disbanding, but the group recruited vocalist Brian Johnson of the British glam rock band Geordie. AC/DC’s subsequent album, Back in Black, was released only five months later, and was a tribute to Scott. It went on to become the second best-selling album in history.[1]

In the July 2004 issue of Classic Rock, Scott was rated as number one in a list of the “100 Greatest Frontmen Of All Time” ahead of Freddie Mercury and Robert PlantHit Parader ranked Scott as fifth on their 2006 list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalists of all time.[3]

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly Facebook: phicklephilly

Wildwood Daze – Spring of 1980 – The Union Jacks – Part 2

Look at Chaz in his black outfit, with his ’79 Black Ibanez Iceman, rocking out for the kids. Baby steps.

 

We get our first gig at Margaret Mace Elementary and Middle School. We’re going to play for the kids in middle school. 12, 13, 14 year old kids.

Jim went to this school, and knows the faculty. He was good student, but my dear friend is an older man in high school now. He’s in Wildwood High now with me and Mark the bassist.

Incidentally I will add this side note. My Uncle Jack was valedictorian from the first graduating class of Margaret Mace. My father told me he never cracked a book. Just a brilliant charming dude.

Love him forever.

I wish I were his son. Just neglect me and let me play rock and be in the music industry.

I think family genetics get mixed up but great creativity came from pain and oppression so I’m fine with where I came from.

All the best art comes from the oppressed. Under Jack I may have just ended up a privileged asshole so I’m fine with where my soul landed.

I’m terrified to do our first show. But it’s a bunch of young kids in an auditorium. I can’t eat before the show for fear of throwing up. No one in the band knows about my severe anxiety problem.

They’re ready to rock these kids and take this band for a test drive.

I’m terrified, but we’ve rehearsed everything and have our whole set list ready. Brian would write out the set list and tape it to the floor in front of every one of us so we knew what was going to happen. I always felt comfort in that, so thank you Bri.

If I just could get through the first song I’d be fine. We got this. We always opened with Freeway Jam, I think by Jeff Beck. It was just a cool song we could run licks on and warm up to get the audience going.

It’s funny because almost every blues act does the same thing. They come out and jam for a bit and then get into their real shit with singing and hits. We did the same thing as a fledgling band automatically. It just worked for us so we could warm up and get to the songs.

We hit our groove, and Brian is always the constant professional showman we need to carry us forth.

He’s just great. He is clearly the leader of this band and we let him have the reigns. He carries us through our show with tight drumming and great vocals and showmanship.

Brian is clearly the leader of this band, but he can’t do it without me, the creative songwriter, cute, rock star one, Jim, the sizzling lead guitarist, and Mark, his flexible tone deaf puppet, carrying the rhythm.

It’s Brian’s band and it’s always been Brian’s band, but today he’s a little outnumbered. The audience has me and Jim rocking out on our guitars in the front.

Thats who the audience adores.

I’m just trying to hold it together and hit all of the right notes.

However, I’ve brought several guitar picks with me and I am throwing them out to the kids in the audience.

I’ve lived this exact scenario as a kid. If there was some rock band playing and I could be a part of it, I would attach myself to that in a second. I knew that even though I was playing rock at a middle school I had to go full on rock star. Because that’s what I wanted to be.

I bought tons of guitar picks before the show and threw dozens into the crowd knowing the result. The kids went crazy. Brian picked up on this and tossed drumsticks into the audience and they fought over them.

Back in 1979-1980 the song by JJ. Cale that became a hit by Eric Clapton had become a hit. It was all over the radio. It was called Cocaine.

Huge hit. We covered the song because it was wildly popular that year. People loved it.

Should we have played Cocaine to a bunch of 13-year-old kids? Probably not. We didn’t even think about it at the time. It was just a hit. But to play that for a bunch of kids in middle school, we probably should have deleted from the set list.

I can tell you that we did the chorus…. “She don’t like, She don’t like, She don’t like…..

The kids would shout: COCAINE!

We had know idea.

Union Jacks were already a dangerous band. (We were just playing what was popular on the radio. (Should we have reviewed the set list before playing in front of a bunch of kids….yea probably)

We’re nearing the end of our set. (The kids are going wild) The Vice Pincipal walks onstage and tells us we’re done.

Brand new young lead guitarist Jim and former alum literally pushed him off the stage…

“We’re not done yet.”

He launches into “My Generation” by the The Who, which to me is my favorite song Jim ever performed with our band. It just seemed so arrogant. It just seemed to embody my best friend.

We close out the show and I think maybe Jim busted up his Strat for show.

We never fucked around with our equiptment but because I spent $500 of my busboy money on my sweet guitar I always treated like my best girl. But Jim beat his Strat into the bass drum that day. It was a pot CBS Strat so I knew that bolt on neck would hold and could be fixed.

 

We promise to meet up later to review and revel.

By the end of the show I had a headache from not eating/not puking/anxiety/ I walked home and sat at the kitchen table with my mom.

“How was the show?”

“I should probably eat something.”

“PBJ rock star?”

“That would be lovely, mom. I think we did good but we may have played some songs that not everybody liked.”

“Well you have to expect that in rock and roll. You think Elvis cared?”

I knew my mom cried when Elvis died, but in that moment I knew my mom, even though she wouldn’t go to my shows, was proud of me.

She got it.

She just was so afraid of watching me fail.

I didn’t care. I was just happy I didn’t puke on stage because of my anxiety.

I did it. I made it.

Knock at the door. Mark and Brain are there.

One Bufferin and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich later…

“Hey guys. Thanks for bring my gear home.

Mark: “I feel like a fuckin roadie.”

Chaz: Welcome to real rock and roll. We just played a real gig and rocked the fuck out. I know it was to a bunch of kids, but we’ve got something here an got paid! ”

Mark: “Some kids recorded the whole concert on tape recorders.”

Chaz: ” Really? We have to hear them!”

Brian: “Yea. We have more gigs coming up.”

Chaz: “Cool man. We’re going to the top!”

Brian: “Oh, these are for you. Looks like you’re pretty popular.”

He hands me a stack of slips of paper with girls names and phone numbers on them.

IT’S STARTING….

I have finally arrived.

I read them all and can’t believe that after all of this time of being a loser this is happening now.

A bunch of 11, 12 and 13 year old girls want to meet me.

I throw them all in the wastebasket in my bedroom.

Because all of these lovelies are minors. Sadly this is something that will haunt me my entire life.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am EST.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly