Tales of Rock -10 Most Notorious Hell-Raiser Rock Bands

Rock ‘n’ roll, as a rule, is not built for the faint of heart. You can be a sensitive soul with a message to get across in your emotionally wrought lyrics, sure, but if you’re looking to live that life, you’ve got to be prepared for a little rough and tumble.

The travel, the expectations, the screaming fans – it can become pretty grueling. And in such circumstances, it’s no surprise that some – most – rockers decide to kick back and party.

There’s indulging in a little carefree leisure time, though – and then there are the extremes to which some of rock’s most legendary hell-raisers take things. The music industry is filled with tales of excess and wild behavior, some of them funny, some of them impressive, some of them downright sinister.

The age of the degenerate, uncontrollable, pure id rockstar seems to be fading away – which may be for the best, given some of the legacies left behind – but with a century of hard-hitting, fast-living cowboys behind us, there’ll always be the stories to revel in, to be wowed by, and often appalled by.

10. Happy Mondays

Few bands have caused so much chaos with such good nature as the Happy Mondays. As part of the Madchester scene of the ‘80s and ‘90s, hedonism was naturally on the cards, and the band embraced the chemicals as much as any raver. And then, they took things that little bit further.

The Mondays’ drug habit was such that they would burn through their record label’s money at an astonishing pace, a lifestyle which has led to several members of the band declaring bankruptcy post-heyday. The uber-mellow ecstasy scene of the band’s early period led to some great psychedelic throwback records.

Things got sinister when the hard stuff set in during the early ‘90s. In an attempt to wean the band off heroin, the 1992 album Yes Please was recorded in Barbados, where Shaun Ryder successfully kicked his habit by transitioning onto crack. The sheer excess of this excursion led to the ruination of Factory Records.

Hearteningly, the majority of the Mondays seem to have come out the other side, and while one might argue that the modern mannerisms of Ryder and Bez show remnants of former drug use, the fact that they’re still in one piece, and still intermittently performing, is impressive indeed.

9. Guns N’ Roses

In a heartwarming postscript to the band’s ‘80s heyday, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash now seems like one of the soundest musicians in rock. Always good for a quip and still clearly in love with what he does, he has, it seems, escaped a grubby scene unscathed.

Things seemed like they could go the other way for a long while. In the 1980s, as well as a brief stint as the biggest band in the world, few acts could have been consuming more booze and gear than Axl and the boys.

Slash took things the furthest when he briefly died in the early ‘90s after overdosing on speedballs. Resuscitated after eight minutes, it was the wake-up call he needed – a scant 15 years later, he got himself clean. Bassist Duff McKagan, meanwhile, managed to drink enough that his pancreas was swollen to the size of a football by age 30.

Most worrying, though, was the behavior of frontman Axl Rose. While less famous for his substance abuse, the man was a ticking time bomb for much of his career, challenging the entirety of Nirvana to a fight, ruining gigs with his timekeeping and temper, and hiring and firing band members at will.

8. Led Zeppelin

The band that wrote the rule book for rule-breaking rock bands, Led Zeppelin had seen it all and done it all before most notable bands had picked up a guitar or a needle. Some of their exploits are classic tales of wild rockers; others are downright sinister and indecent. One thing’s for sure, though: few if any have cleared the bar that Zeppelin set over 50 years ago.

There are particularly famous anecdotes (the mud shark incident, which doesn’t bear repeating, for one), but the band was just excess personified full stop. The hotel room trashing, hard-partying, the fast-living group was given its template by the success of Zeppelin, who only got more successful the faster they lived.

They all had their own vices – John Bonham, booze and fast cars; Robert Plant, ladies and eventually heroin; Jimmy Page, black magick and questionable romantic pursuits (to say the least). They flaunted their chaotic lives while putting out eight good to great albums in 10 years, which isn’t bad going.

They’ll forever be one of the most influential bands ever, but it’s debatable which part of their legacy is more important: the sound, or the decadence.

7. The Beach Boys

The clean-cut California surf enthusiasts may not strike you as the hardest partying outfit, but between the precise harmonies and musical innovation was a shockingly dark side, particularly in its most talented and most charismatic members, Brian and Dennis Wilson.

Brian, the epitome of tortured genius, raised hell primarily in his own mind. With the weight of the group on his shoulders and feeling in direct competition with the Beatles, he pushed himself into increasingly ambitious works through unconventional means, turning his mansion into a recording studio and filling it with sand.

His drug usage made him a hermit for a while, but that streak of self-destruction was more explosive in younger brother Dennis, who embraced the fast living sixties more than most. A major star before his 20s, there was no way he wasn’t going to embrace the lifestyle afforded to him by his group’s success.

So free-spirited was Dennis that he allowed the Manson family, pre-murders, to crash with him for a long while, an association he regretted to his premature death. It doesn’t get much more literally hell-raising than that.

6. Butthole Surfers

The legendary Texas band thrived on pure chaos. Their records are brash and irreverent, at times impenetrable, others brilliant. Their live shows were known and loved for their visceral, unpredictable nature (which later became pretty predictable, with audiences showing up specifically to become embroiled in the chaos).

The band built their own mythology, telling anyone who would listen of their daily routine – LSD-laced cornflakes, whisky, and gin being the regular diet for a six-month-long European tour – but they were no idle talkers. For those caught up in their drift, they were a frightening proposition, with concerts turning into orgies, brawls, or both.

The band’s music has been influential for heavy hitters like Kurt Cobain, but few since have been able to capture the sheer weirdness of the Surfers, who have burned enough bridges to sabotage a dozen careers, but always seem to come bouncing back,

Now well into middle age, the band’s core members have barely changed at all, still more than willing to catch a ban from various prestige festivals through sheer belligerence. Somehow, though, they always seem to bounce back.

5. Aerosmith

You don’t get a nickname like “The Toxic Twins” without putting in some serious mileage. From the late ‘70s to the tail end of the ‘80s, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and Stephen Tyler were unstoppably indulgent. Given their status in the scene at the time, they’ve partied to extremes few could afford to top.

Perry, for example, hired a roadie whose sole responsibility was to sort him out with a bump of powder during a performance. Aerosmith had no time for admin – they had the money to ensure that they were fully topped up at all times; they had only to enjoy the spoils of war.

Burnout was inevitable, of course, and the rampant self-destruction led to infighting and a downturn in quality. Gigs were ended prematurely by Tyler, too blasted to notice they’d only just started playing. In due course, the band decided they had too good a thing going to let substances get in the way – they entered rehab and came out an entirely different proposition.

Aerosmith is now the power ballad band, rather than a group of raucous rockers. And while their bank balance and their health have taken a step in the right direction, the danger and the riffs are long gone.

4. The Sex Pistols

It’s no secret that the Sex Pistols, far from the new voice of gritty British discontent, were essentially a manufactured act. While they may have been the image-centric brainchild of Malcolm McClaren, though, they used their status as the country’s most dangerous group to live faster and harder than any other boyband you’d care to mention.

The Pistols were pure combat and codified much of what we now associate with punk: the antagonism, the spitting. Their gigs could turn into brawls, especially when they took the act to the USA, where crowds could be riled into launching glasses at the group, who lapped up the hatred like milk.

Chief among the miscreants was bassist Sid Vicious, hired for his look and attitude rather than his musical skills. While he didn’t contribute much musically, the band’s mythology resolved majorly around him. He attacked journalists, leaped with both feet into the heroin scene, and overdosed not long after (allegedly) murdering his girlfriend – a charming character all around.

They took on the monarchy and won (sort of), and brought unpalatable music and lifestyles to the mainstream. They may have been performatively outrageous (see: the Bill Grundy show), but few acts have made as much of a scene with so little time.

3. Robert Johnson
Wikipedia

Among the most mysterious figures in the history of rock, the famous Robert Johnson story purports that he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his legendary guitar prowess. One of the masters of the Delta Blues, Johnson’s relatively small back catalog means it is his wild and mysterious life that is now better remembered than the music itself.

Johnson spent much of his brief time wandering the earth (or, more specifically, America), peddling his blues and enjoying the fringe benefits afforded to a musician of his caliber. He would form relationships in every town, staying with various women who knew nothing of one another’s existence.

Johnson’s (possibly apocryphal) demise only serves to add to his legend: it is said that the notorious womanizer was poisoned – by a jilted lover, a jealous husband, or a rival, no one can be sure. Historians suggest he may have died of boring old syphilis – which, given his lifestyle, seems believable.

Whether or not he bartered with Satan, Johnson was one of 20th-century music’s first great wildmen, in a time when you could simply split town once you’d pushed your luck too far.

2. Mötley Crüe

Quite bad Mötley Crüe’s film The Dirt shows the group being out-extremed by Ozzy Osbourne, who cheerfully laps up urine and snorts a line of ants to wow the Californian rockers. While that anecdote sees Ozzy come out on top, though, there can be few acts for whom partying took such precedence as the Crüe,

The lifestyle suited the quartet, who embraced every faucet of rock stardom from the off. More groupies, more drugs, more booze. The band’s increased status directly correlated with the scale of their partying. They behaved like monsters for a good decade and got away with it because they were so popular.

Perhaps the most metal moment of their careers came when Nikki Sixx wrote the song “Kickstart My Heart” based on an overdose which led to his heart genuinely being restarted with adrenaline, allowing the Crüe bassist to join Slash in the “has been dead for a bit” club.

In one of the easiest gigs in journalism, author Neil Strauss got a book published simply by writing down all the grotty stuff Mötley Crüe got up to in the ‘80s, and it remains a classic of the genre – basically the Bible for bands whose ambition is to live the rock star cliche.

1. GG Allin & The Murder Junkies

You know you’ve sealed your credentials as a hell-raiser when you’re far, far more famous for being an undeniably disgusting human being than you are a musician. You know you’re not in for a gentle night of cheery tunes when you go see a band called “The Murder Junkies”, but audiences had never seen anything like GG Allin.

Allin would appear on stage, undress, and swiftly soil himself – and that was for starters. Fights with audience members were routine, and if a Murder Junkies gig ended without the frontman filthy, bloodied, and in the bad books of the venue owner, then you’d caught him on an off night.

The music was secondary to the performance, but in his lyrics Allin was ever incendiary, cheerfully throwing in racism and misogyny, ostensibly to provoke controversy and debate, rather than out of any real hatred. Naturally, you’ll find few backers for his discography these days.

Allin died predictably young, and he went out as he would have wanted – with his unpreserved, bloated corpse taking pride of place at a funeral-cum-party, during which his friends got loaded and posed with the carcass. There’ll never be another GG Allin, and that’s probably for the best.

 

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Tales of Rock – New details emerge in Bruce Springsteen DWI arrest

Following news of Bruce Springsteen’s November arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, a source close to the musician is sharing more information about the incident.

“When this is all resolved, I think, people are gonna have some serious doubts about the seriousness of this, especially when the actual details of this are revealed, including the blood alcohol level,” the source told CNN.
Springsteen was arrested at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, on November 14 and charged with DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, according to a spokesperson for the National Park Service.
That night, the source close to the singer said, Springsteen took a shot of alcohol with fans in the park after taking a photo with them. The source added that Springsteen is known to take photographs with fans. “That’s typical Bruce,” the source said.
“I don’t know why they stopped him,” the source said of the authorities. “I mean technically you’re not allowed to drink in a state park, and I don’t know, maybe, if a policeman sees somebody drinking and doesn’t give them a ticket, they lose their job,” the individual added. “Any kind of alcohol-related driving thing is serious,” the source added.
One officer said they observed Springsteen “consume a shot of Patron tequila and then get on his motorcycle and start the engine,” according to a probable cause statement obtained by CNN.
Springsteen told the officer he had consumed two shots of tequila in the previous 20 minutes, according to the probable cause statement.
“SPRINGSTEEN smelt strongly of alcohol coming off his person and had glassy eyes,” the officer said in the statement, adding he “was visibly swaying back and forth while I observed his eyes.”
Springsteen, according to the officer, took 45 steps during the “walk and turn” test “instead of the instructed 18.”
Prior to the screening, the officer said he approached Springsteen and informed him alcohol was prohibited in the park and asked whether Springsteen was leaving, to which “he confirmed he was going to drive out of the park,” the statement said.
CNN has reached out to representatives for Springsteen and the National Park Service for further comment.
A spokesperson for Jeep told CNN on Wednesday the company would pause running its ad including Springsteen, which first debuted during the Super Bowl, in light of the charges.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the details of a matter we have only read about and we cannot substantiate,” a statement from the company read. “But it’s also right that we pause our Big Game commercial until the actual facts can be established.”
“I just hope Jeep ends up looking bad in the end,” the source close to the music icon said.
CNN has reached out to Jeep for additional comment.
Springsteen is expected to have his first hearing on DWI charges “towards the end of February,” a spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey told CNN.

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25 Signs You’re Not Actually Dating

Remember when you were in high school and college and dating really just meant “hanging out”? Once you reach a certain age—ahem, 21, when you can legally go out to a restaurant and order a bottle of wine—the definition of dating becomes much, much simpler. In order to be dating someone, you need to be going out on dates, among other things.

After the jump, 25 signs you’re not actually dating.

  1. You’ve never hung out before 10 p.m.
  2. All of your plans arise out of spontaneous run-ins.
  3. He’s married or has a girlfriend.
  4. You’ve been out more than five times, but have never had a meal together—it’s been all liquid.
  5. You don’t know his last name—let alone his middle!—or where he lives.
  6. You’ve gone out more than five times and haven’t so much as held hands or kissed. (You’re just friends, homie. Or he’s Amish.)
  7. You’ve only hung out in a group in public; the only alone time you have is in bed.
  8. You have to make all attempts at contact—except those late-night booty calls.
  9. You’re sleeping together, but he’s never slept over.
  10. You haven’t had brunch the next day.
  11. You’ve been “hanging out” for a month but have never done so in the light of day.
  12. If you meet his friends, they have no reaction to hearing your name.
  13. You meet up places—he never officially makes plans, like, “Are you free Saturday to see ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’?”
  14. It’s been less than a week since you began seeing him.
  15. It’s been more than a week since you’ve heard from him.
  16. When he sleeps over, he always sneaks out in the morning without saying goodbye.
  17. You only communicate through text messages and email.
  18. In fact, you met online and all of your “dates” have been via Skype!
  19. He leaves a $100 bill on your nightstand before he takes off.
  20. Your friends refer to him as a nickname instead of his real name.
  21. When you ask him to hang, he says he can’t because he’s got a date.
  22. His concern over you having the flu only extends to his inability to get laid, not to your physical well-being.
  23. When you go out for drinks, you always go dutch. Literally, you don’t even switch off buying rounds.
  24. It’s been a month and he doesn’t know how you like your coffee.
  25. He is having dinner, buying drinks, sleeping over, and making plans with someone—it’s just not you. If he’s “dating” someone else in a way that’s above and beyond the way he’s dating you, you’re not actually dating, sister.

 

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Sober Singles Say Dry Dating Can Be A Grim Waste Of Time

Dating is hell — and it’s even harder when you’re sober.

Yet, thanks in part to an increased interest in health and wellness, more and more people are drinking less, with the International Wine and Spirits Record reporting that alcohol consumption is down across America for three years straight.

But how do you break the ice without a drink — and where can you do it when the usual dating spot is a bar?

“You know little tricks,” Mitch Leff, 32, tells Phicklephilly. The Upper East Sider has been sober since he was 19 when he sought treatment for alcohol addiction. He says he often takes first dates out for ice cream at UES., which has a speak-easy-style bar hidden in the back, or on walks in the park with his miniature Goldendoodle, Mazel.

But he hasn’t given up entirely on traditional bars. One of his longtime favorite places to meet first dates is Nobu Downtown — in part because of the half-dozen nonalcoholic drinks on its mocktail menu.

Though he says he’s now “comfortable” ordering a seltzer or soda, the former health-care worker and current experience coordinator didn’t always feel that way.

“When I was newly sober, I was completely overwhelmed,” he says. He worried that dates wouldn’t be able to get on board with his dry lifestyle. “I was like, ‘I’m never going to find someone.’ ”

And although he’s currently single, he’s sure that he’s not alone in feeling that way about dating and drinking.

“There are so many people who have no idea what they’re doing, and it probably causes them to relapse, ’cause they’re so anxious about dating,” he says.

Since socializing so often involves drinking, Malia Griggs, the social media director of The Daily Beast, finds it hard to go out. For a year after she was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2017, the Brooklynite says she didn’t have a drop of alcohol.

These days, the 31-year-old will have an occasional cocktail, but she says that sobriety has definitely affected the way she socializes.

“I think I’ve been maybe avoiding dating, ’cause I don’t want to explain it over and over,” she says.

She also finds that bars have lost their appeal.

“I think when you’re sober, all the things that are annoying about bars stick out — how loud they are, how expensive they are, how obnoxious other people can be,” Griggs says.

Queens resident Tynan DeLong, 35, agrees. The film director calls booze sobriety a “lifestyle decision” he made over a decade ago, only to find that he got flak half the time for ordering a cheaper, nonalcoholic drink.

But he found it hard to meet people anywhere else during prime dating hours. “Late night options for date spots are pretty limited,” says DeLong, who’s now seeing someone steadily.

Mike Abrusci, 30, agrees.

“It’s hard to think of somewhere after 8 p.m.” for a date that isn’t a bar, says the office-services clerk, who lives in Queens. That’s why he often finds himself at bars, even though he’s never been a drinker.

While restaurants seem an obvious alternative, the pressure of being required to sit through a whole meal on a first date is unappealing, since it gives you no chance to duck out.

“You’re definitely stuck there for as long as the meal takes, whereas, at the bar, you can have a drink and then be like, ‘Oh, I have a thing,’ ” he says.

DeLong also lets his dates know ahead of time that he doesn’t drink — he’s had bad experiences when he hasn’t. Abrusci says he usually tells prospective dates that he’s sober, to filter out any haters. He knows it’s a risky move and that people might overreact and think that it’s “a big deal” — but he’d still rather not waste his time on people who can’t handle it.

“We got to Night of Joy and I was like, I don’t drink,” DeLong says, referring to a Williamsburg bar. His date was confused and cold. “She was like, ‘Then why did you choose this place?’’ It was very mean and that set the tone.”

As far as Griggs is concerned, being sober has had some positive side effects on her dating life. “I feel less fun, but I also feel more mature,” she says, adding that her standard for dates has increased. “You really need to have chemistry with someone — sober chemistry — for the date to work.”

It’s also raised her standard for herself.

 

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Toast the Inauguration with this Biden-Inspired Cocktail (And More!)

We won’t be watching the Biden inauguration together in a bar–and certainly won’t be traveling to D.C. to witness it in person this year–but we can still toast the day with a festive inauguration cocktail enjoyed in front of the ol’ live stream.

For a creation that can be enjoyed both by alcohol-drinkers and non-drinkers (like Joe Biden himself), we reached out to Washington, D.C. bartender Derek Brown. Brown, who was invited to the White House to make cocktails for President Obama, is the author of Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters: How the Cocktail Conquered the Worldand the forthcoming Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails.

Olympic Celebration Cocktails | LoveToKnow

I created the 46th President Inauguration Cocktail completely dry, or sans alcohol because Biden himself doesn’t drink,” Brown says. “You can swap in Bourbon and Curaçao and have a tasty alcoholic version, but not necessary at all. It’s delicious either way. Ice cream is a big part of that. Of course, we all know Biden enjoys his ice cream—spending some $10,000 on it during his campaign according to Eater—so that was a must.”

46th President Inauguration Cocktail

1 oz. Spiritless Kentucky 74 or Bourbon
1/4 oz. Lyre’s Orange Sec or Orange Curaçao
Scoop vanilla ice cream
1 oz. Thomson and Scott “Noughty” Alcohol-Free Sparkling Chardonnay or Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine
Cinnamon

Shake without ice and pour into a coupe. Top with bubbly.  Sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Champagne Cocktails for Inauguration Day January 20, 2021

As with any Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021, is a day that will be marked in America’s History.

For celebrating it at home while watching President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris be sworn in, Phicklephilly has selected four Champagne Cocktails from their long list of signature cocktails.

Spritz Royal

1 1/2 oz. (4 cl.) Aperol
3/4 oz. (2 cl.) soda water
slice of orange for garnish

2 oz. (6 cl.) champagne brut

Royal Silver

1 1/2 oz. (4 cl.) grapefruit juice
3/4 oz. (2 cl.) triple sec
3/4 oz. (2 cl.) pear liqueur

1 1/2 oz. (4 cl.) champagne brut

Luscious Sour

2 oz. (6 cl.) sour apple schnapps
1 oz. (3 cl.) vanilla vodka
3/4 oz. (2 cl.) triple sec

4 1/2 oz. (14 cl.) champagne brut

Mojito Royal

Mojito Royal

2 oz. (6 cl.) amber rum
2 oz. (6 cl.) club soda
3/4 oz. (2 cl.) lime juice
1 tablespoon of sugar
mint leaves for garnish

2 oz. (6 cl.) champagne brut

Death in the Afternoon

3/4 oz. (2 cl.) absinthe

3 1/4 oz. (10 cl.) champagne brut

Cheers!

 

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

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1