ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING: Inspiration and Behind the Scenes – Part 2

I decided to go back in my memory and try to remember all of the inspiring moments in my own life that helped bring this book to life. I published Part 1 last Monday, so you can check it out to gather more insight into the book. Anyway, here’s some more stuff…

Maria LaParilla: Maria as far as I can remember isn’t based on any one person. But if I’d have to say she’s like anyone I know, it would have to be my friend Maria. She has several posts written about her on Phicklephilly, and is actually the inspiration for me wanting to write this blog. But sadly, Maria LaParilla is a totally fictitious person, and all of the fun stuff that happens between Maria and Christian are completely made up.

Jeeves: He’s the English Chauffeur that drives the limo to enhance Christian’s date with Maria. His name is a poke at the internet search engine, Ask Jeeves that was on AOL in the 90’s. He’s completely made up. But I really like him. The classic, cool English driver. Maybe I’ll bring him back in the sequel, Angel Rising... (Did I just say that out loud?)

Answering Machines: Before the advent of cellular phones, everybody had an answering machine at their house. Unlike today, when everybody has access to everybody else instantly 24/7, that never existed back in the 90’s. If somebody called your home number, you had to wait until you got home that night to listen to the message they left you on a little cassette tape in a machine. It was a slower time back then, but kind of a pain. The only way anybody could reach you immediately, would have to be on your work phone, if they even had that number.

The Finance Company: Andy, Christian’s boss is based on a real guy who was my boss when I worked at a finance company in the early 90’s. He was exactly like the Andy in the book. Christian’s co-worker Paul was also a real guy I worked with in the Turnersville, NJ office. (And all of that horrible stuff really happened to the poor guy) The last I heard he was sober, and making music in Ohio. I hope he’s doing well. The story about the Banker Broker license really happened. The way it happened in the book is how it really happened to me. I did exactly what Christian did, so I loved writing that bit. Unlike Christian, I didn’t just quit with no other job lined up. I had already secured a better job as a branch manager at First Union Bank in Philadelphia for $10k more a year!

Brenda the Waitress: Brenda was a real girl who worked at Charlie Brown’s. She was my favorite waitress when I would go there with my friend. The real Brenda was exactly like the one in the book. Cute, sweet, and excellent hospitality. We loved her!

The Carousel and Sarah Turner: The Carousel is based on The Carnival Book store in Bellmawr, New Jersey. I remember I dated a girl who worked there back in the early 2000’s. I was on a rebound from a toxic relationship, and rebound girl was 20 years my junior. She was also toxic but I kept her at a distance. I remember she used to tell me all of these wild stories about working in that hell hole. Little did I know that it would be great fodder for this book years later. Is Sarah Turner based on her? Not at all. Sarah is just a character that was created for the story.

Here’s some pics I found online:

I love the scene when Christian first encounters Karl Itzky in that parking lot on that fateful rainy night!

LA stories about Celebrities: The tales Christian shares at Honest Files about his encounters with famous people in Los Angeles in the early 80’s are all mine. It’s all true, because it happened to me when I lived and worked in Santa Monica from 1982-1984.

Christian’s Family: The family Christian describes when he’s telling Jill about his life, is my life. I have 3 sisters and I just changed the names and let him describe them to her. But that’s all me.

Jill Adams: Jill is based on another girl I met at Gloucester County College back in the 90’s. We were both taking a psychology course. She was an attractive 22 year old who was engaged to be married. I developed a crush on her, and we ended up at Charlie Brown’s one night. After several drinks we closed the evening by making out in her car. (That’s were the mint game came from.) That’s all that happened that night, and I didn’t see her again. I sort of carried the torch for her for five years after that.

I was working as a manager at Commerce Bank back then and we reconnected when she called the branch. After 5 years of marriage, she was getting divorced from her husband. But, she had two young sons. I was already divorced by 2001, and we started dating. I ended up moving her and her kids into my house in Woodbury. What I didn’t know is that the real Jill had severe bi-polar disorder. If you know anything about that mental disorder, it’s only good in one room of the house, and it’s not the kitchen. Being with Jill was probably some of the best sex I’ve ever had, and I have the video to prove it.

I showered her with gifts, clothes and jewelry. I even sold my Woodbury house because she didn’t want to live in the house my ex-wife and I had bought together. Jill was crazy as a shit house rat. I paid her credit cards, bought her a GMC Yukon Denali, and had a house built in a brand new development in West Deptford, NJ. Jill was unable to hold a job and actually attempted suicide one afternoon while her sons were down for their nap.

After 3 months in the new house she started cheating on me with some scumbag she met at the local gym. Jill couldn’t hold down a job because of her mental illness, so she had a lot of free time on her hands. Idle hands…

I told her if she didn’t want to be with me she was free to go. She moved out and lived somewhere for a short period of time before moving back in with her father and his second wife. She ended up giving custody of her sons over to her ex-husband, and ran around with the scumbag guy for awhile I’m assuming.  Last I heard she had married another guy, who had two kids of his own, and I think she may have had a daughter with him. The real Jill turned out to be a terrible, selfish, wicked person. Mental illness, especially bi-polar disorder is an insidious monster.

I should write about the whole sad saga of my brief life with the real Jill, but this blog has been about my life here in Philly, not Dirty Jersey.  I may tell the story at some point but it’s a dark, shameful part of my past and I kind of want it to stay there.

I’ve been kicking around the idea of a sequel to Angel with a Broken Wing. I was thinking about calling it, Angel Rising, and having Jill in the story mirror the real Jill. Of course my man Christian would have to divorce her, or maybe I just have her killed off.

I ran the idea by my daughter. She said, kill the bitch.

Thoughts, dear readers?

 

More to come next Monday!

 

You can buy Angel with a Broken Wing right here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

 

 

 

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

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

I love this band!

 

 

Solace is a heavy metal band hailing from the Jersey ShoreUnited States.

Formed in 1996 by the remaining members of Atlantic Records artist Godspeed, Solace is most well known in the stoner rock genre, but as guitarist and founding member Tommy Southard has said “We’re not a stoner band, we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band—a hard rock band, a metal band.”[1] This idea was reaffirmed by iTunes.com in 2010 when they voted the band’s third studio album A.D. “2010 Metal Album of the Year”.[2] However, their live performances at Stoner Rock festivals such as America’s Emissions from the Monolith and Europe’s Roadburn Festival, have rooted them just as deeply in that genre.

 

Godspeed years[edit]

In 1994, east coast rockers Godspeed went to Electric Lady Studios to record their Atlantic Records debut album Ride. Featuring future Solace members Tommy Southard and Rob Hultz, Godspeed’s major label run included a cover of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” for Nativity in Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath with Iron Maiden‘s Bruce Dickinson, tours of the United States and Europe with Black SabbathDioCathedral, and Sugartooth, as well as a music video for their single “Houston Street” featured on MTV‘s Headbanger’s Ball and Beavis and Butt-head.

The birth of Solace[edit]

Godspeed dissolved after just one album, but following stints as lead guitarist for both Sugartooth and Slap Rocket, Southard reformed the band in 1996 with Hultz and former Glueneck singer Jason, naming the revamped outfit Solace. After a 1997 demo, Solace released their self-titled 7″ debut in 1998, followed by 1999’s Distanced from Reality EP, a split with fellow New Jerseyans Solarized.

Soon afterwards, the band released its debut LP, 2000’s Further. A cover by metal art veteran Wes Benscoter (Slayer‘s Divine Intervention) hinted at darkness within the album, which was quickly considered a departure from the stoner rock pigeon-hole the band had already been put into.

13 and beyond[edit]

In 2003, the band released the follow-up to Further, its second full-length album 13. Artist, fan, and friend of Solace Paul Vismara created the album’s cover. Considered by some to be musically superior to its predecessor,[3] 13 helped Solace further define themselves as more than simply stoner rock, assisted by the vocals and guitar work of doom metal legend Scott Weinrich (also known as Wino, formerly of The ObsessedSaint Vitus, and Spirit Caravan) on the track “Common Cause”.

Soon after the release of 13, the song “Indolence” was used on the soundtrack of the popular video game Tony Hawk’s Underground. 2003 also saw the band tweak their line-up with former Lethal Aggression drummer Kenny Lund and the addition of second guitarist Justin Daniels. With this new line-up, they entered the studio once again in 2004 to record Black Market/Hammerhead, a split EP with Albany, New York‘s Greatdayforup.

Solace’s half of this split EP was re-released on vinyl in 2006. In April of that year, Solace headed to Europe for Holland’s Roadburn Festival. Upon their return, they strengthened their resolve further toward a new release. The band went into the studio to finish their third album A.D. in time for their Summer 2007 European tour with British doomsters Orange Goblin, only to realize that their creation was simply too vast for a single album. Four tracks were selected for release as The Black Black, which was completed and pressed to coincide with the European tour.

On the heels of that successful tour, they were signed to independent label Small Stone Records, after which they were asked by friends Orange Goblin to play their annual Christmas show in London. Solace’s set was capped by band friend and fellow New Jerseyan Ed Mundell of Monster Magnet joining them onstage for their infamous cover of Pentagram‘s Forever My Queen.

2008 saw an interesting turn of events for Solace – drummer Kenny Lund took his leave to follow business pursuits and other projects. This, while being a seemingly negative turn of events, had in actuality quite a positive effect – it opened the door for Solace’s original drummer[4] Keith Ackerman to rejoin the band. Guitarist Daniels has stated: “This is the band’s most dynamic lineup to date”.[5]

The band used this momentum to continue their upswing throughout 2009, completing their third studio LP A.D.. The long-awaited album was released to critical acclaim in Spring 2010 and received such honors as “Album of the Year” at The Obelisk,[6] and was voted by iTunes “Best Metal Album of 2010”.[7] The band finished out the year touring Europe with Orange Goblin and once again playing their annual Christmas show.

Bad luck[edit]

From early in their career, Solace has been faced with almost mysterious problems. The band had an estimated 8 different drummers between 1996 and 2003[8] and suffered through supposed splits with vocalist Jason. Even seemingly random accidents—one resulting in the destruction of the original master tapes to their second album 13—vexed the band.[9]

This curse seemed to be lifted at least somewhat in 2003, but returned only a year later when drummer Kenny Lund was diagnosed with cancer. All of the band’s plans were halted, including a new recording contract with independent label Century Media. This setback did not stop them from returning to the studio once Lund recovered in 2005 to begin work on tracks for A.D. Later that year, the band faced yet another hurdle—this time in the form of undisclosed personal problems and were forced to cancel a coast-to-coast US tour.

Solace continued sporadic work on A.D. up to its critically acclaimed release in 2010, only to announce in June 2011 via their official Facebook page that they were “closed for business” and that they “may or may not re-open”.[10] However, as soon as 2012, the band cited they were active again.

Solace today[edit]

2015:, Solace reorganized and solidified their lineup once again, most shockingly with the official replacement of reclusive and eccentric vocalist Jason by Justin Goins of The Brimstones. Solace entered the recording studio for the first time in over 5 years with this new lineup, recording a cover of Black Sabbath‘s Electric Funeral for Deadline Music’s Sweet Leaf: A Tribute to Black Sabbath. Shortly thereafter, they released a cassette single featuring this cover as well as a new original song, Bird of Ill Omen, which was described as having “characteristic intensity, volume, and unbridled rhythmic force”.[11]

2018: has seen Solace back in the studio working on their first full-length album since 2010’s A.D., tentatively titled Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits.[12]

2019: Solace has finished the recording of the new record and has changed the title from Broken Bodies & Suffering Spirits.[12] to The Brink. They are currently waiting for studio time to finish the mixing of the record and the album will be released later this year on Blues Funeral Recordings. The Brink was released in December of 2019, featuring healthy doses of Heavy 70’s Riff Rock, NWOBHM Riffing, Drunken Sea Shanties, and plenty of Weighty DOOM.

 

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

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing is now for sale on Amazon!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

 

 

ANGEL WITH A BROKEN WING is Now For Sale on Amazon! (kindle and paperback)

PUBLISHED!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

The day is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier! This has been a long time coming and a labor of love. I’ve been working day and night to get this baby written, and I think it’s my finest work yet! I hope you enjoy it!

 

I wanted to create something new. Not a non-fiction, compilation of stories from my blog. Something new. A story. A fable. A love story that included all of the elements of all the films I liked. A thriller, road movie, romance, mystery, an action yarn, that would be full of twists and turns.

The world had gone a bit mad, and I wanted to create a world I could control. I wanted it to take place in a time before there were smart phones or social media. A story about a boy and a girl trying to fall in love, during extraordinary circumstances. Let’s put a fancy car in there. Have them drive across the country on a road trip. Let’s throw a bad guy in there. That’ll keep them on edge. Let’s make it a mystery too. Let’s ‘David Lynch’ it up a bit with some interesting, unique characters. Let’s make them all flawed in some way. They all have the potential to be good, but they’re all struggling with themselves. They all want something, but they don’t know the right way to get it. A collection of misfits all trying to find themselves. All broken in some way. They want to fly, but their wings are broken, so they choose to run.

What if you could just run away from your current life?

Christian Blackmore works as a manager at a local finance company in New Jersey. He’s burned out from all the bad loans, and making collection calls every night. He spends his days laboring at a job he hates, and his evenings drinking at a local bar with his best friend. 

When his favorite uncle dies, and leaves him a unique inheritance, he begins to question the path he’s taken in life.

He decides to take a road trip across the country with a woman he just met. She’s a mysterious beauty, who may hold a dark secret. 

What begins as a romantic journey, becomes a nightmare, when he realizes he’s being followed by an elusive stranger. What does he want? Is it Christian, the girl, or something far more sinister?

Angel with a Broken Wing, takes you on a terrifying, coast to coast thrill ride across America. Can one man fall in love, and stay one step ahead in a cat and mouse game with a killer?

You can check it out here:

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

I want to first thank my daughter. Thank you for coming into my life. You are my inspiration. I love you! I can always come to you with an idea and you make it perfect.

Scott Macintosh. You’re my best friend. You’ve been with me since the beginning. Thank you for staying on the ship, even when it was sinking. 

Will Ball. Thank you for your friendship, the films, the laughs, and of course, the cocktails. I’m honored to have you in my life as a friend. 

A.M. Homes. Thank you for answering my letter with a personal note so many years ago. I was so inspired by your words, it gave me the courage to write my story the way I wanted to tell it, without fear.

Thanks to the amazing team at Amazon Kindle. Without you, I’d be lost in a sea of technology. I can write the words, but you guys help me turn them into books.

Thanks to everyone at Amazon. I became a member over 20 years ago when you were just a giant bookstore. After crawling on my hands and knees to agents and publishing houses for years, Amazon finally gave me the biggest platform on Earth to bring my literary work to the world!

A special thanks to everyone at WordPress. Without you, I couldn’t publish Phicklephilly everyday for the last four years! Now we’re a dot com and I’ve monetized the site with ads! You gave me a home to bring my work to everyone! Thank you!

Thanks to all the folks over at GoDaddy. You made the transition from just another blogger, to a dotcom look easy. Thanks for always being there when I needed you. You’re the best!

Thank you, dear readers, and subscribers for all of your support over the years I’ve been writing this little blog. I appreciate you all, and try to respond to all of your comments. I love your comments!

Please buy my new book. I assure you, you won’t be disappointed. It’s quite a ride!

This is a great book to read at the beach this summer!

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

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

Buy my new book, Angel with a Broken Wing on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, EVERYONE…EVERYWHERE!!!

 

Zoolon Forever!

Angel with a Broken Wing is Now on Sale at AMAZON

“What if you could just run away from your present life?”

I’ve been composing my first work of fiction.

It’s a romantic thriller, that takes the reader on a cross country odyssey across America.

A young gentleman meets a nice girl, and they decide to take a journey together.  Both wanting to escape their mundane lives.

What begins as an idyllic road trip, turns into a nightmare, as they discover they’re locked in a cross country, cat and mouse game with a mysterious stranger.

It’s a real corker of a story, so hopefully you’ll want to read it!

You can get it here:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

 

 

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

Buy Angel With A Broken Wing, Now on sale on Amazon!

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Don’t Be A “Covidiot”

Really? Really?

Don’t be a covidiot. That’s what we’re calling these folks who have been highlighted by their stupidity during this pandemic. It is insane to me that in this age of information there are still so many dumb people. It’s terrifying.

Educate yourselves, or you’re endangering yourself and others, and probably end up in one of these posts. Don’t be a covidiot!

1.

Emily Annette@EmilyAnnette6

At the grocery. Wearing my mask. Lady behind me, snarky & loud enough to make sure I heard, “don’t guess she realizes that stupid mask won’t do any good.” Me: “Honey, I’m an off duty nurse, I’m wearing it to protect YOU. But, I can take it off if you’d like.” She practically ran.

2. So, viruses can’t move sideways?

corona, virus, stupid people

3. All The Beans At My Local Grocery Store Are Out Except This One

corona, virus, stupid people

4.

Maria@kalltvatten

Someone’s rooftop party is about to get raided.

View image on Twitter

5. Just Your Typical Walmart Shopper

corona, virus, stupid people

6. Someone Tell Snorkel Lady That It Won’t Work

corona, virus, stupid people

7. If You Can’t Smell It, You Can’t Get It

corona, virus, stupid people

8. 5G —> Death = Science

9. This Guy Was Eating His Food Wearing The Same Gloves He’s Been Wearing Since He Walked In

corona, virus, stupid people

10. So, My Work Had A Meeting About The Importance Of Social Distancing Today

corona, virus, stupid people

11.

Ken Webster jr🇺🇸🌎@KenWebsterII

This woman is the Chair of the Congressional Coronavirus taskforce & this is how she wears her medical mask.

View image on Twitter

12. How To Put Your Mask Correctly

13. Social Gathering At St Kilda Beach Today

corona, virus, stupid people

14. How To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus

corona, virus, stupid people

15. To Shield The Face

corona, virus, stupid people

16.

Alex Fuller@boberfly

“Don’t worry those elevator buttons are fully protected from

View image on Twitter

17. I Don’t Think She Knows What “Quarantining” Means

corona, virus, stupid people

18. She’s Wearing A Mesh Bee Keeper Type Helmet. I’m Not Sure She Gets The Point

19. Ladies And Gentlemen, The President Of Our Meatpacking Plant While Talking About The Plant’s Safety Procedures During The Virus

corona, virus, stupid people

20. To Protect Against COVID-19

corona, virus, stupid people

21. It Was Painful Watching This Happen

22. Someone Brought These Bills To The Bank They Tried To Sanitize In The Oven

23. I Don’t Believe This Is Proper Glove-Wearing Protocol

corona, virus, stupid people

24. Wife Said To Wear A Mask In Public Areas?

25. There Was An Attempt To Use A Mask

corona, virus, stupid people

26. He’s A Little Confused But He Got The Spirit

27. Protesters Against Quarantine Back Again At The Ohio Statehouse

corona, virus, stupid people

28. Seen Today In The Atlanta Airport – Babies In Comforter Bags

corona, virus, stupid people

29. Wrong Type Of Napkin

30. A Group Of Friends Still Getting Together And Partying Regardless Of The Quarantine Rules. Obviously Standing Less Than 6 Feet Apart But It’s Okay Because They’re All Wearing Face Masks

31. You Touch 4 Doors Before The Time Clock. This Is How Management Is Protecting And Caring For Us

corona, virus, stupid people

32. My Local Albertsons Trying To Keep The Buttons Clean… I Don’t Think They Get It

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

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – SPECIAL REPORT: Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, Dead at 87

Pianist-singer behind “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Long Tall Sally” set the template that a generation of musicians would follow

Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown.

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”

Although he never hit the top 10 again after 1958, Little Richard’s influence was massive. The Beatles recorded several of his songs, including “Long Tall Sally,” and Paul McCartney’s singing on those tracks – and the Beatles’ own “I’m Down” – paid tribute to Little Richard’s shredded-throat style. His songs became part of the rock and roll canon, covered over the decades by everyone from the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, and Creedence Clearwater Revival to Elvis Costello and the Scorpions.

Little Richard’s stage persona – his pompadours, androgynous makeup and glass-bead shirts – also set the standard for rock and roll showmanship; Prince, to cite one obvious example, owed a sizable debt to the musician. “Prince is the Little Richard of his generation,” Richard told Joan Rivers in 1989 before looking at the camera and addressing Prince. “I was wearing purple before you was wearing it!”

Born Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5th, 1932, in Macon, Georgia, he was one of 12 children and grew up around uncles who were preachers. “I was born in the slums. My daddy sold whiskey, bootleg whiskey,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970. Although he sang in a nearby church, his father Bud wasn’t supportive of his son’s music and accused him of being gay, resulting in Penniman leaving home at 13 and moving in with a white family in Macon. But music stayed with him: One of his boyhood friends was Otis Redding, and Penniman heard R&B, blues and country while working at a concession stand at the Macon City Auditorium.

After performing at the Tick Tock Club in Macon and winning a local talent show, Penniman landed his first record deal, with RCA, in 1951. (He became “Little Richard” when he about 15 years old, when the R&B and blues worlds were filled with acts like Little Esther and Little Milton; he had also grown tired with people mispronouncing his last name as “Penny-man.”) He learned his distinctive piano style from Esquerita, a South Carolina singer and pianist who also wore his hair in a high black pompadour.

For the next five years, Little Richard’s career advanced only fitfully; fairly tame, conventional singles he cut for RCA and other labels didn’t chart. “When I first came along, I never heard any rock & roll,” he told Rolling Stone in 1990. “When I started singing [rock & roll], I sang it a long time before I presented it to the public because I was afraid they wouldn’t like it. I never heard nobody do it, and I was scared.”

By 1956, he was washing dishes at the Greyhound bus station in Macon (a job he had first taken a few years earlier after his father was murdered and Little Richard had to support his family). By then, only one track he’d cut, “Little Richard’s Boogie,” hinted at the musical tornado to come. “I put that little thing in it,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970 of the way he tweaked with his gospel roots. “I always did have that thing, but I didn’t know what to do with the thing I had.”

During this low point, he sent a tape with a rough version of a bawdy novelty song called “Tutti Frutti” to Specialty Records in Chicago. He came up with the song’s famed chorus — “a wop bob alu bob a wop bam boom” — while bored washing dishes. (He also wrote “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” while working that same job.)

By coincidence, label owner and producer Art Rupe was in search of a lead singer for some tracks he wanted to cut in New Orleans, and Penniman’s howling delivery fit the bill. In September 1955, the musician cut a lyrically cleaned-up version of “Tutti Frutti,” which became his first hit, peaking at 17 on the pop chart. “’Tutti Frutti really started the races being together,” he told Rolling Stone in 1990. “From the git-go, my music was accepted by whites.”

Its followup, “Long Tall Sally,” hit Number Six, becoming his the highest-placing hit of his career. For just over a year, the musician released one relentless and arresting smash after another. From “Long Tall Sally” to “Slippin’ and Slidin,’” Little Richard’s hits – a glorious mix of boogie, gospel, and jump blues, produced by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell — sounded like he never stood still. With his trademark pompadour and makeup (which he once said he started wearing so that he would be less “threatening” while playing white clubs), he was instantly on the level of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and other early rock icons, complete with rabid fans and mobbed concerts. “That’s what the kids in America were excited about,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970. “They don’t want the falsehood — they want the truth.”

As with Presley, Lewis and other contemporaries, Penniman also was cast in early rock and roll movies like Don’t Knock the Rock (1956) and The Girl Can’t Help It (1957). In a sign of how segregated the music business and radio were at the time, though, Pat Boone’s milquetoast covers of “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally,” both also released in 1956, charted as well if not higher than Richard’s own versions. (“Boone’s “Tutti Frutti” hit Number 12, surpassing Little Richard’s by nine slots.) Penniman later told Rolling Stone that he made sure to sing “Long Tall Sally” faster than “Tutti Frutti” so that Boone couldn’t copy him as much.

But then the hits stopped, by his own choice. After what he interpreted as signs – a plane engine that seemed to be on fire and a dream about the end of the world and his own damnation – Penniman gave up music in 1957 and began attending the Alabama Bible school Oakwood College, where he was eventually ordained a minister. When he finally cut another album, in 1959, the result was a gospel set called God Is Real.

His gospel music career floundering, Little Richard returned to secular rock in 1964. Although none of the albums and singles he cut over the next decade for a variety of labels sold well, he was welcomed back by a new generation of rockers like the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (who used to play Little Richard songs on the piano when he was a kid). When Little Richard played the Star-Club in Hamburg in 1964, the opening act was none other than the Beatles. “We used to stand backstage at Hamburg’s Star-Club and watch Little Richard play,” John Lennon said later. “He used to read from the Bible backstage and just to hear him talk we’d sit around and listen. I still love him and he’s one of the greatest.”

By the 1970s, Little Richard was making a respectable living on the rock oldies circuit, immortalized in a searing, sweaty performance in the 1973 documentary Let the Good Times Roll. During this time, he also became addicted to marijuana and cocaine while, at the same time, returning to his gospel roots.

Little Richard also dismantled sexual stereotypes in rock & roll, even if he confused many of his fans along the way. During his teen years and into his early rock stardom, his stereotypical flamboyant personality made some speculate about his sexuality, even if he never publicly came out. But that flamboyance didn’t derail his career. In the 1984 biography The Life and Times of Little Richard (written with his cooperation), he denounced homosexuality as “contagious … It’s not something you’re born with.” (Eleven years later, he said in an interview with Penthouse that he had been “gay all my life.”)

Later in life, he described himself as “omnisexual,” attracted to both men and women. But during an interview with the Christian-tied Three Angels Broadcasting Group in 2017, he suddenly denounced gay and trans lifestyles: “God, Jesus, He made men, men, he made women, women, you know? And you’ve got to live the way God wants you to live. So much unnatural affection. So much of people just doing everything and don’t think about God.”

Yet none of that seemed to damage his mystique or legend. In the 1980s, he appeared in movies like Down and Out in Beverly Hills and in TV shows like Full House and Miami Vice. In 1986, he was one of the 10 original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1993, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. His last known recording was in 2010, when he cut a song for a tribute album to gospel singer Dottie Rambo.

In the years before his death, Little Richard, who was by then based in Nashville, still performed periodically. Onstage, though, the physicality of old was gone: Thanks to hip replacement surgery in 2009, he could only perform sitting down at his piano. But his rock and roll spirit never left him. “I’m sorry I can’t do it like it’s supposed to be done,” he told one audience in 2012. After the audience screamed back in encouragement, he said – with a very Little Richard squeal — “Oh, you gonna make me scream like a white girl!”

God Bless Little Richard! Rest in Peace.

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Great… Now We Have Murder Hornets

Kobe Bryant dies in a helicopter crash.

Covid 19 paralyzes the planet.

UFO videos released by the government.

And now… Murder Hornets!

 

Just when you thought 2020 could not get any worse. Now we have giant hornets with freakish eyes and a venomous sting to add to this year’s long list of worries.

 

For the first time, Asian giant hornets have been spotted in the United States, specifically in Washington state, scientists say. Beekeepers have reported piles of dead bees with their heads ripped off, an alarming sight in a country with a rapidly declining bee population.
At more than two inches long, they’re the world’s largest hornets with a sting that can kill humans if stung multiple times, according to experts at the Washington State University. The giant insects are nicknamed “murder hornets.”
“They’re like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face,” Susan Cobey, a bee breeder at the Washington State University’s department of entomology, said recently.

A size comparison of the Asian giant hornet and several other insects

How did they come to the US?

Scientists don’t know how these giant hornets native to Asia ended up in Washington state.
They can sometimes be transported in international cargo, according to Seth Truscott with WSU’s college of agricultural, human and natural resource sciences.
The giant hornet was first spotted in the state in December, and scientists believe it started becoming active again last month, when queens emerge from hibernation to build nests and form colonies.
“Hornets are most destructive in the late summer and early fall, when they are on the hunt for sources of protein to raise next year’s queens,” Truscott said on the WSU’s Insider.
“They attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae, while aggressively defending the occupied colony,” he added. “Their stings are big and painful, with a potent neurotoxin. Multiple stings can kill humans, even if they are not allergic.”

What should you do if you spot one?

Washington state agricultural officials are asking beekeepers and residents to report any sightings of the giant hornets. But don’t get too close. Its sting can penetrate a regular beekeeper’s suit, and state scientists had to order special reinforced suits.
“Don’t try to take them out yourself if you see them,” said entomologist Chris Looney of the state Department of Agriculture. “If you get into them, run away, then call us! It is really important for us to know of every sighting, if we’re going to have any hope of eradication.”
State officials are asking people in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Jefferson and Clallam counties to be especially vigilant.

When are they most destructive?

The giant hornets especially target bees between late summer and the fall.
“The most likely time to catch Asian giant hornets is from July through October — when colonies are established and workers are out foraging,” the Washington State Department of Agriculture said in a statement. “Traps can be hung as early as April if attempting to trap queens, but since there are significantly fewer queens than workers, catching a queen isn’t very likely.”
State officials set up traps and launched an app to quickly report sightings, saying just a few of the hornets can devastate a hive within hours.
Bees pollinate plants producing fruit, nuts and vegetables, and are crucial to the nation’s food industry. Attack by the hornets risks decimating bees, which are already on endangered lists due to their sharply declining numbers.

Murder Hornets,' with sting that can kill, land in US - ABC News

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COVID-19 Update: 9 People Infected Because of Air-Conditioning; Don’t Use AC, Experts Say

According to MSN Lifestyle’s latest report, air-conditioning may increase the risk of further infection caused by the novel coronavirus.

In the United States, 5.4 million air-conditioning units were manufactured in 2019 to prepare for this year’s summer season. However, experts say it isn’t the best time to use ACs as two studies discovered that COVID-19 particles can spread by ventilation, heating, and air-conditioning.

(Photo : CDC on Unsplash)

9 People Infected By COVID-19; Air-Conditioning Is The Main Cause Experts Say; Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use AC!

According to the report, most individuals spend 90% of their lives in built environments like cars, public transportation, and buildings, breathing in shared indoor air and touching potentially contaminated surfaces.

“Air conditioners will take air and re-circulate it through the room, and it’s through that mechanism that these coronavirus droplets can be transmitted,” said Qingyan Chen, a mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University.

Chen brought up that the 700 individuals out of 3,000 passengers on the Diamon Princess Cruise Shop got infected. “After quarantine, many people still got sick on the ship and I suspect that the air conditioning system could play a role there,” he said.

However, other experts are skeptical about the report. Meghan May, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, said that prioritizing physical distance is more important than worrying about air-conditioning.

“I’m not yet convinced it is a concern. But if it is, I would say air-conditioning is the least of your worries in mass transit or apartments,” she said in the report of Business Insider.

Nine people infected by COVID-19; Air-conditioning is the main cause, experts say

According to MSN Lifestyle, a study discovered that nine people in a restaurant were infected because of air-conditioning which blew the coronavirus droplets.

The study was published in the Journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on April 2, focusing on the infected causes in a restaurant located in China which raised concerns about AC’s risk factors.

(Photo : Ashkan Forouza on Unsplash)

Nine infections in Guanzhou were linked by the researchers to one 63-year-old woman. Most of the infected individuals didn’t have direct contact with the woman, but they sat on the tables near her. The study concluded that the air-conditioning of the restaurant blew the particles around infecting the other individuals.

The report stated that the finding is alarming since it implies that air-conditioning can increase the risk of getting the virus without having direct contact with an infected individual.

However, it was also stated that the droplets which came from the infected woman didn’t spread too far from her position; only 10 individuals out of 83 customers of the restaurant were infected.

The study serves as a warning to those restaurants and other establishments with wide air-conditioning units that are looking to open up for the summer to take precautionary measures to avoid further spreading the virus.

 

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More deaths in Pennsylvania, and New Jersey’s reopening plans move tentatively forward

The pandemic proved as relentless as the rain on Sunday, as the death count from the coronavirus continued to rise in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and larger plans for a safe reopening remained in flux.

An additional 4,800 cases were diagnosed in both states, and nearly a thousand people were being treated in Philadelphia hospitals.

Nationally, the one certainty remained uncertainty.

Americans should expect social-distancing measures to continue through the summer, White House Coronavirus Taskforce Coordinator Deborah Birx said, adding that the nation needs a “breakthrough” in testing to gauge the virus’ spread accurately. Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said the United States must at least double its testing capacity before restarting the economy, up from the current 1.5 million to 2 million tests that are being conducted a week.

Governors in states where the numbers of new infections have been slowing are grappling with when to reopen, while health experts cautioned that the ability to test, trace, and isolate positive patients is crucial to managing the inevitable spike of infections that will follow.

“We’re going to move as one state,” Murphy said, “recognizing you’ve got density issues in the north that you just don’t have in the south.”

New Jersey needs additional money from federal lawmakers to recover, Murphy said, warning that while “we won’t go bankrupt” without it, the state will have to “gut the living daylights” out of essential jobs such as teachers and first responders.

An additional 3,730 New Jerseyans tested positive, officials announced Sunday, bring the total to 109,038. And 75 more deaths were reported, raising the toll to 5,938.

In New York state, officials announced 367 new deaths on Sunday, the lowest tally in almost a month, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke of a phased reopening that could start as soon as May 15.

The pandemic continued to produce odd, societal side effects:

This has already been the deadliest year for tornadoes since 2011, a major news story subsumed by the coronavirus. Gas prices have tumbled a dollar a gallon in Pennsylvania and 89 cents in New Jersey from a year ago, according to AAA, the result of people obeying government stay-at-home orders.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey casinos have lost millions in gaming revenues.

The Philadelphia Zoo, though closed by the pandemic, still picked a name for newly born sloth bear, “Keematee,” the Hindu word for “Precious,” selected by an on-line poll.

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds flight teams plan to conduct a Tuesday flyover of New York City, Newark, Trenton, and Philadelphia to honor front-line COVID-19 workers, the Air Force and Navy announced, with the schedule to be released on Monday. People should stay home to watch, the military branches emphasized.

In Philadelphia, officials announced 237 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 12,566. Six more deaths were added, raising the city toll to 472. About half of those fatalities were in long-term care facilities.

Across Pennsylvania 1,116 more people tested positive for a total caseload of 41,165, and 1,550 people have died, state officials said. Deaths in nursing and personal-care homes account for 61% of the total, according to government data.

“As we see the number of new COVID-19 cases continuously change across the state, that does not mean we can stop practicing social distancing,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said. “We must continue to stay home to protect ourselves, our families and our community.”

 

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13 Everyday Habits That Could (and Should) Change Forever After Coronavirus

It’ll be a whole new world.

Cultural changes ahead

In a few short weeks, we’ve seen adaptations to living in a world with COVID-19, a novel strain of the coronavirus that has become a global pandemic. Between skipping handshakes, keeping a safe distance from other people, and being (much) more diligent about proper handwashing, we’re in the process of seeing what kind of impact the spread of the virus will have on our cultural, social, and hygiene practices.

According to CJ Xia, a VP of marketing and sales at Boster Biological Technology, a biotech company based in Pleasanton, California, there were three types of people before the coronavirus outbreak: those who were extremely conscious, moderately conscious, and ignorant about germs. “Now the level of each category has risen, and it is difficult to find the third type of folks now,” Xia tells Reader’s Digest. “As a result, we have started seeing far less social interaction. [And] remember, when one thing is done again and again, then it becomes a part of muscle memory.”

Though it’s difficult to find a bright side to the coronavirus outbreak, one positive is that this period of global upheaval may change some of our less-than-desirable public-health habits—and improve our hygiene for good. It could also alter the way we approach work, school, and so much more. Here are 13 everyday habits that could (and should) change forever once this crisis has passed.

Business people greeting during COVID-19 pandemicMARTIN-DM/GETTY IMAGES

Handshakes will be out

One of the most visible changes to societal norms since the coronavirus has hit has been avoiding handshakes. “In this new era of the coronavirus and the practice of social distancing, there will undoubtedly be a cultural shift in the way we all greet one another,” Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, MD, an internist and health expert, tells Reader’s Digest. “Shaking hands, high fives, hugs, and kisses are modes of greeting to be abandoned at this point. Social greetings may now entail a hand on the heart, a head nod, or pretty much any action that enables one to avoid direct touch or contact.” Here are more polite ways to get out of shaking hands.

Automatic alcohol dispenser in the hospitalZEPHYR18/GETTY IMAGES

There will be more hand sanitizer available in public places

In the days post–coronavirus outbreak, we’re probably going to see more hand sanitizer made available in offices, public spaces, and entertainment events. “For example, sanitizers would be placed at reception or outside interview rooms to make sure candidates’ hands are clean,” Xia says. “We would see sanitizers at the table of interviewers as well. It would no longer be rare. By placing such products around, everyone would be signaling to other people that their hands are clean.” And though many concert venues, stores, and gyms already provide hand-sanitizer dispensers, we’re likely to see this expand to including more restaurants, churches, and other establishments. That said, you can have too much of a good thing: Check out these 13 times you’re overusing hand sanitizer.

Confident female professional discussing with colleaguesALVAREZ/GETTY IMAGES

We’ll get better at responding to customer and client needs

The coronavirus outbreak has forced people to form rapid-response teams that cut across functions and seniority, according to Joanne Cleaver, author of The Career Lattice and a consultant and trainer to employers and individuals on how to use lateral career strategies for sustained growth. “People will discover that their coworkers and employees have talents that are relevant—even vital—to keeping the company operating,” she tells Reader’s Digest. “It’s up to employees to make the case, post-virus, that their employers should invest in additional training and skills development to develop the abilities that came to the fore in the crisis. And it’s on companies to extract strategic value from how people rose to the occasion.”

Minimal bread cafe decorating with white wall and wooden chairs. Warm, cozy and comfortable.ARTIT_WONGPRADU/GETTY IMAGES

Our relationships with restaurants may change

Dining out—or even getting takeout or delivery—is pretty different now compared to what it was like even a few weeks ago. According to Johann Moonesinghe, an expert in restaurant finance and the founder of inKind, a restaurant financing platform, we are already seeing a dramatic shift in how consumers are eating at restaurants. “The restaurants that require their guests to dine in are seeing the largest decline in sales, whereas bakeries that don’t have a lot of dining tables are busier than ever,” he tells Reader’s Digest. “And it is not just where people are going, it’s also what they are eating. We also have seen an increase in the sale of carbs and sugary products.”

Though it’s unclear exactly how our relationship with restaurants will play out after the outbreak, there will likely be changes. For example, delivery and takeout options might be expanded (in case something like this happens again), and more explicit information might be posted in the restaurant about its hygiene practices.

toilet with electronic seat automatic flush, japan style toilet bowl, high technology sanitary ware.RATCHAT/GETTY IMAGES

More people will use bidets

Though bidets that attach to your home toilet have become increasingly popular over the past few years, the sales and searches of these products have surged since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, last week, TUSHY—a company that makes attachable bidets—had sales that were 10 times what they were before word spread of TP shortages. And that’s on top of TUSHY already selling well over double what they’d been selling a year ago, according to a rep from the company.

If we’ve learned one thing already from this outbreak, it’s that people are extremely concerned about having enough toilet paper. Given that bidets are an alternative to (or an addition to) toilet paper, it makes sense that more people are interested in them now. Now that bidets are becoming more popular and commonplace in American bathrooms, we’ll likely continue to see that trend after the pandemic is over.

Senior woman at homeEVA-KATALIN/GETTY IMAGES

More companies will permit employees to work remotely

These days, it’s pretty standard to negotiate some sort of arrangement for working remotely at least part of the time when you start a new job, but after the coronavirus outbreak, even more companies will permit employees to do so. “Once businesses and their employees see that working from home is not only doable but that it might even be more productive, it could cause a big shift in office cultures across the globe,” says Angela Ash, the content marketing manager at UpFlip, a site that assists people through business investments. “With so many companies allowing their team members to work remotely, and even intentionally hiring a remote workforce in the first place, this could be much more than a solution to the virus.” Here are the reasons that telecommuting may be the most important job perk to ask for, after health insurance.

 

Neon elevator controlsHATMAN12/GETTY IMAGES

We’ll find another way to press buttons

Even before coronavirus became an issue, most of us were aware of everyday locations that are laden with germs. These places include buttons on ATMs, the credit-card swiper at the grocery store (and the attached pen), and buttons in an elevator. According to Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe, people might start pushing those elevator buttons with their elbow or even an object like a pen instead of their fingers. “The same goes for pushing your pin number at the ATM or making a purchase at a store,” she adds. “Directly touching the keypads with your fingers will be an action of the past.”

Nikola Djordjevic, MD, cofounder of HealthCareers, agrees that pushing buttons in public is something that could change. “Surfaces are ideal places for transmitting the disease, and a lot of people now have to get rid of the habit of pressing elevator buttons or touching handles with their hands,” she explains. “Ideally, people should cover their skin with clothes or simply press buttons with elbows. In case they accidentally use their fingers, people should avoid touching their face until they get a chance to wash hands with soap.” And this isn’t just a good idea in terms of coronavirus. Check out this long list of diseases you can prevent just by washing your hands.

Bowl of halved cashew nuts in a wooden bowlETIENNEVOSS/GETTY IMAGES

It may be the end of communal foods

Free food is great, but let’s be honest: Those bowls of popcorn and nuts at bars have always been kind of suspect. After all, just how many people use the restroom, don’t wash their hands, and then help themselves to a scoop of snacks via their very dirty hands? But the coronavirus outbreak will cause more people to rethink eating out of communal food containers. “You may also likely notice avoidance of buffets and salad bars to avoid picking up germs from serving spoons,” Dr. Okeke-Igbokwe explains. “There [also] will be a greater focus on purchasing ingredients to prepare your own meals as hygienically as possible at home.” Here are another 12 things you’re probably sharing that germ experts wouldn’t.

Crossing the street in San Francisco's Mission DistrictGEORGECLERK/GETTY IMAGES

People will take their personal space more seriously

One of the most visible policies in the age of the coronavirus is the idea of “social distancing.” According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, this involves staying at least six feet away from other people. And while we probably won’t see that six-foot rule remain in effect after the outbreak is over, a version of it will likely continue, says Dmytro Okunyev, the founder of Chanty, a team chat platform using artificial intelligence. “People will start paying more attention to whom they let approach them in their personal space and the socially acceptable personal distance will change in most cultures.

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