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

Love this band!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentenced

 

here’s another great song!

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Hunt’s Pier – Epilogue

Philadelphia, PA – 2021

The reason I’ve struggled with writing this story is that it can’t really be written. It has to be felt. To be lived.  It was just a summer job on the boardwalk in wildwood. But it was something else. We did the same job over and over every night. It was us on the ride, and the people lined up and boarded the ride and we sent them up. That’s it. Over and over again. A sea of faces. Thousands of happy smiling faces night after night. Non-stop. We keep loading them in and they keep coming back for more. They’re on vacation. We’re there to serve them entertainment. Welcome to the show, I’m Chaz and I’ll be your host. It’s a circus. A carnival. A place where the freaks run the rides and you enjoy the show.

But it’s more than that. We sell happiness. Joy. Excitement. Thrills. Anticipation. The list goes on and on. What job have you ever had in your life where you can deliver that to your clients every single day? That’s the only product we make and our customers can’t live without it.

I’ve never ever had a job like that again. I can name every job I’ve ever had and none of them will be any of the things I just mentioned. That’s why many of the people who work there never leave.

There are worse vocations in this world.

It’s as if we worked in a place that existed in another world. A sea of joy and happy faces. Of children giggling and laughing and having the time of their lives. we’re the hosts bringing them fond memories. The type of memories they carry with them forever. The old memories. The ancient senses developed in our species millions of years ago. 

The excitement in the air crackles around you with your every move along that boardwalk. The music that fills the air whether it’s something on the radio or the crashing symphony of the calliope from the merry-go-round. That merry-go-round that you only get to ride once in this world.

One time around. Maybe you catch the brass ring, maybe you don’t. Maybe you rode all the way home on that mighty steed or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you fell off the horse a few times but you had a good time doing it. You get one ride in this life and we all have to make it. Make yours count. Maybe not for yourself but for someone else in this life.

 

Can you smell it? Is that Curly fries, or is it the sweet fragrance of a fresh funnel cake? When you bite that soft pretzel and the mustard drips on your polo shirt, and your wife pulls out a tissue to clean you up. She and the kids are so happy you’ve got a job where they can take a vacation for a week at the seashore. To play with the kids on the beach and swim in the sea, and see things you never imagined come to life. The stroll on that boardwalk, where you stuff your head with delicious pizza from Sam’s or Mack’s. 

I’m here to help. I will facilitate your joy, sir. We all will. And we’ll deliver you a show you won’t soon forget every night. That game you played. That teddy bear you won. We’re here to deliver.

But all the while we’re loving our very existence. Really living. The sun shines above our young heads. Our skin browns in the sun and our hair turns a lovely flaxen color. We feel it too. You’re here for a week or two. But we’re here every day. We get to live this life for two months every summer.

And when the shadows grow long in the autumn twilight, you’ll remember us. Because we’ll always be with you in your memories. A place that can’t be seen or touched, but you can feel it. You can smell and taste the memory. That first bite from your favorite burger spot. That first kiss of that person you just met on the beach today or this very boardwalk. The possibilities that can happen. It’s all yours. But only for a week. I get to do this every day.

It’s my life.

For now.

But one day I will join you in your world. But, we’ll all be able to look inward and feel that bit of magic in our hearts that came to life when we were young. That place that you loved that you can never revisit. 

Only in your dreams and memories.

Other people have written about Wildwood. I’ve read what they’ve written and it’s been simple documentation of what the place was like. But not how it felt. That’s what I’ve tried to describe here.

You don’t know it if you didn’t really live it. My sisters and I really lived it.

Every summer in Wildwood was different. The weather was the same and some of the things stayed the same but that was the beautiful constant.

It was always Summer there. Eternal. I only felt its dark side when I spent my first winter there. That was when the spell was broken. But only for a while. Every summer we spent there we changed. Because we were growing up. It’s not like now when another year goes by and you’re feeling the same as last year. We were growing. We were growing up. From little children to teenagers to adults. You spent your winters in Philly and went to school in the cold and waited for the bus. But in the summer you returned to a magical paradise with days filled with sunshine and joy. Only joy. You can never get that back. Those formative years are fleeting, and once they’re gone… they’re gone forever. 

I finished writing this series after a long time. I covered everything but I knew something was missing. I scheduled it and put the finishing touches on my work because it was done. I would only return to it in a month to do final edits.

But one night I was sitting in my room watching my show, and it kept gnawing at me. Something was missing from the long series. That’s when I stopped watching TV and opened a new doc and started pounding out these words. This may not even be enough. But maybe it’ll be enough for now.

The carnival. The amusement park. The sweet sea air as it blows in warm from the beach onto the crowd as they laugh and sing through the night.

The more I wrote the more I realized it’s almost something that can’t be written about. It can’t be documented. It’s a feeling. You can write what you saw and what you did, but it’s not the same.

You have to remember the feeling. 

A dear friend once told me, “It’s not what you said or what you did. It’s how you made them feel.” 

Thanks to everyone that follows my blog and also to everybody who dug it from Facebook and Instagram. I reconnected with some old friends from these posts, so it was totally worth it.

A book about my youth in Wildwood entitled, Down the Shore will publish in 2023.

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

Tales of Rock – Wild Stories Of Rock Stars Taking Their Fame Way Too Far – Part 3

21. The Song “Kickstart My Heart” By Motley Crue Was Inspired By Nikki Sixx’s Overdose
We know that rock stars have a bit of a devil may care attitude to their mortality, but rumors such as these really bring the gritty reality of the rock star lifestyle home to those still thinking it’s all glamour and frivolity. Sadly, this rumor is indeed true, and “Kickstart My Heart” was written after Nikki Sixx enjoyed too many hits of heroin.
After the fatal overdose incident, Nikki Sixx had to be revived in the hospital after being declared legally dead for two minutes until the medical staff was able to revive him. The event didn’t put much of a kink in his party plans after Nikki ripped out the tubes attached to him and returned to the party.
22. Keith Richards Snorted His Father’s Ashes
While the rumor of The Outlawz smoking their fallen brother, Tupac’s ashes in a joint are fairly well known, the rumor that Keith Richards snorted his father’s ashes isn’t all that widely circulated. As one of the most iconic Rock Stars of recent history, it’s not all that surprising that it’s true. Even more baffling, he felt no shame after the event.
The Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist openly admitted the fact that he snorted his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine after his father died in 2002. He unashamedly told an English rock magazine journalist writing for NME the full details of the event. I don’t think there’s anything else left for Keith Richards to snort that would surprise us. In fact, that’s probably one of the safest things he’s snorted.
23. On The Night Of His Death, John Bonham Drank 40 Shots Of Vodka
Considering the earlier stories about Led Zeppelin on this rumor list, mainly involving the mudfish incident, we can’t say we share much sympathy for the fact that the night John Bonham died he ingested 40 shots of vodka. Whilst death by vodka may not be the most extreme collision a rock star has had with their mortality, it’s really not surprising that 40 shots of vodka is enough to finish someone off.
After he passed away on September 25th, 1980 the coroner found 40 shots worth of vodka the day he died, which he had consumed following a rehearsal earlier that day. The official cause of death was determined as inhalation of vomit. Nice. At least the sex charges won’t stand.
24. Frank Zappa Was Attacked Onstage And Almost Killed
As massive Frank Zappa fans, it’s hard to imagine that anyone would feign such hostility towards one of the most ingeniously experimental minds to have ever graced the rock scene. He wasn’t your typical average aggrandized rock stool. We could have understood someone wanting to punch Axl Rose in the face. But not our precious Zappa.
Turns out, the myth is true, and he was verbally attacked quite frequently for his ‘strange’ and experimental musical tastes. But he was also physically attacked on stage during a live performance and ended up being hospitalized after he was thrown off the stage. We don’t think you could call that person Frank Zappa’s biggest fan! We hope after that he increased his stage security. God rest his fabulous soul.
25. Keith Moon Gave Led Zeppelin Their Name
Whilst this isn’t all that extreme or insane, it’s a little bit fascinating. Plus, everyone likes a fun fact every now and again, don’t they? Well, here you have it. It was through a sardonic offhand joke from Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who, that gave the iconic band their name that probably won’t be forgotten for as long as music exists.
If the stories are true, the name came about when Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and John Paul Jones were discussing forming a band. The conversation happened in earshot of Keith Moon who said their music would go over like a lead balloon. When the collective decided to commit to the project they later recalled Keith Moon’s witty offering and so Led Zeppelin was born!
26. The Beatles Smoked a Joint In Buckingham Palace
Now, the details around this one are more than a little hazy (pun intended), but given the photographic evidence, we’re going to say that it’s pretty likely that the rumors are true, at least in part. The rumor was denied by George Harrison years later, but why would John Lennon Lie? (John Lennon was always our favorite.)
Whilst it can’t be proven that they blazed up within the walls of Buckingham palace or just enjoyed a sneaky one on the way down to meet the queen, they definitely look as high as kites in the photos that have been in circulation since they met her majesty, the queen of England. More power to them we say, plus, surely, they’re not the first high people the queen has encountered?
27. Bob Dylan And The Beatles Smoked a Joint Together
There’s nothing we love to see more than rock stars hanging out together. We don’t know why, it just makes us a little warm and fuzzy, like we’re all part of one big happy family. If there was one smoke session we would have loved to have witnessed, it would have been one involving Bob Dylan and the legendary pop artists, The Beatles!
The happy communion happened when the Beatles set about their first official US tour and Bob Dylan kindly offered to share his illicit substances with the doe-eyed, innocent appearing pop stars. What’s the best bit you ask? Ringo smoked the entire joint completely oblivious to the fact that he was smoking anything other than tobacco. Didn’t we tell you that they were innocent?
28. Iggy Pop Fought a Heckling Biker And It Was All Caught On Tape
Iggy Pop was known for his extremely short temper, so this story isn’t exactly shocking. Whilst it’s not the most ‘crazy’ addition to the list, it’s 100 percent true and the evidence stacks against Iggy for his slightly reprehensible behavior. But we suppose we can forgive him. The Passenger was an absolute tune.
We’ll cut a long story short and tell you that the fight broke out after the biker heckled Iggy and refused to stop. Unfortunately for Iggy, he didn’t come out on the winning side. The entire fight was caught on tape by another fan and all we have to say is that maybe Iggy better pick on someone his own size next time. With respect to Iggy for the attempted take down attempt.
29. Jim Morrison Told a Cop To “Eat it”
Whilst the quote isn’t the most reprehensible to have come out of a rock star’s mouth in the last few decades, it’s still a little impressive that he threw so much caution to the wind when verbally confronting an officer.
Jim Morrison proved that he doesn’t much care for authority after a police officer walked backstage and caught him getting a little too involved with a female fan. The officer told the couple to put an end to their debauchery, but it seems by his response Morrison wasn’t all too impressed. Who can blame him? And, what the hell was a policeman doing backstage anyway? Everyone knows anything goes down backstage. Surprisingly, the incident didn’t result in Jim Morrison’s arrest. Stick it to ’em, Jim.
30. Keith Moon Used To Blow Stuff Up
You know how you always have that one friend who is an absolute liability? It turns out that Keith Moon was ‘that guy’ to all of his fellow bandmates in The Who. He even managed to snag himself the nickname ‘Moon the Loon’. Whilst it’s not quite as edgy as modern names for Rock Stars, the cap definitely fit.
Alongside filling his drums with water and occasionally dressing like a cat, Moon also had a bit of a penchant for explosives. Which would have been all fine and well if he went off out into a field or desert, but no, Keith Moon’s primary targets were hotel rooms. Sometimes he blew up hotel room furniture and sometimes he threw explosives at windows. What a fabulous liability.

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

Wildwood Daze – Maritime Fun – Part 1

Wildwood, New Jersey – 1975

One summer day my family were all at the beach together. This wasn’t uncommon, especially on the weekends. My dad was off from work, and we’d all make our mandatory pilgrimage to the sea. Everybody had their job. Each member had to carry a different object. My job was carrying my father’s binoculars. I loved those field glasses. You could just see so far on the beach. If something was happening you could see it before anybody. Those binoculars were so powerful. I always hoped I’d witness a shark attack.

My father was frolicking in the surf with one or more of my sisters when he noticed another girl playing and swimming in the water by herself. Somehow a conversation ensued and introductions were made. She was the same age as my older sister. Her name was Sandy, and her folks had a house about four blocks west of our house up above 8th and New Jersey Avenue.

Sandy was sort of a plain teenager. She was from Warrington, PA, and seemed like a simple country girl. A kind of naive chick that appeared to lead a sheltered life. She had an older sister named Carol, who was tall and beautiful. Odd thing was they appeared to come from humble beginnings. Sandy wore the same bathing suit every day and I think her sister Carol only owned one yellow bikini. They both seemed nice, but maybe they were poor.

We eventually met their parents and that was quite the contrary. They were wealthy and misers. My parents did everything they could for us kids. Sandy’s parents were sort of wrapped up in their own lives and did little for their daughters. Bordering on neglect. They were pretty basic, simple people that saved their pennies, and lived an itinerate life of church and faith. Sort of the opposite of my parents.

Sandy’s dad seemed nice enough and volunteered to take my father and I out in his boat. It wasn’t a ship or anything. It was more like a skiff.

Even though I didn’t really like deep water and could hardly swim, he said we’d just cruise around the bay and do a little fishing. I knew the backwater was calm so I wouldn’t lose my mind or get sick with fear. Unlike an incident a few years earlier.

Wildwood Daze – The Big Flamingo

So my older sister had a new friend, and they seemed like nice people. I’d get some time out on the man’s boat with my dad, and everybody wins.

Now, I don’t know if this incident happened the first time we ever went out on his boat or on a subsequent mission. But I’ll tell the story as I remember it.

We would drive with the man in his jeep back to 5th and the bay. There was a big parking lot there, and a concrete ramp where you could launch small boats. He would have the boat on a trailer, and back his jeep down the ramp to the water’s edge. Then he’d get out and crank a handle that would slowly launch the boat into the water while it was tethered to a rope. Once in the water, My dad and I would hold onto it. The rope would be untied from the boat and the man would pull away in the jeep. He’d park it and the trailer, and return to join us. We’d all hop in it and he’d start the motor and off we’d go. There were plenty of men and boys out there and it was a pretty simple process.

It was fun to cruise around in his little boat, and sometimes he’d let me steer it. You just sat in the back of the boat and held the tiller on the motor and went from there. If you turned it in your hand the boat went faster. (Sort of like the throttle on a motorcycle.)

After a few hours out on the bay, and much slathering of mosquito repellant, we’d return to the ramp to bring the boat back.

On this particular day, he suggested I stay in the boat while they pulled it up onto the trailer on the ramp behind his jeep. I don’t remember why. Maybe I had to pull the motor up out of the water so the skeg wouldn’t hit the concrete.  So, he and my dad haul the boat up onto the trailer and I’m assuming we’re good to go.

He gets in the jeep and starts to pull up the hill to get back into the parking lot. But he forgot to tie the boat to the trailer. The boat proceeds to slide off the trailer backward with me in it. All I remember is a sudden, jarring, BANG! as the fiberglass hull struck the concrete. I held on for dear life. I was shaken but more surprised than afraid.

The man and my father jump out of the jeep to grab the rope as the boat begins to slip back into the bay. They pull it up and I clamber from the boat. There was no way I was staying in there anymore. I needed to put my feet on land again.

My dad flips out on the guy. I was actually surprised by how angry my father was at this error. I was okay, it was just a careless mistake. But he laid into him about what had happened. I realized it wasn’t about the mistake, it was more about his son being in the boat when it happened.

That was the last time we ever went out in his boat. My parents even cooled to Sandy and Carol’s parents in general. It just wasn’t a match. I think what tore it for me was the neglect of their teenage daughters. Oh, that and I heard the guy’s wife once refer to African Americans as “Darkies.”

I’m done.

But my sister remained friends with Sandy and her sister. They were both really nice girls despite their naivety.

But my short history with boating was just beginning. There would be another boat that would come into our lives. That, and a brand new cast of characters that would join us on the sandy stage of Wildwood in the summertime.

More tomorrow!

 

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

10 Things Guys Should Do During (And After) a First Date – If They Ever Want a Second

One step at a time, fellas.

So you went out on a first date with the woman you’ve been crushing on, and you thought she was absolutely amazing.

She’s the hottest, sexiest woman you’ve met, and you definitely want to see her again — a lot — but you’re not totally confident you know how to get a girl to like you, let alone get her to be your girlfriend.

How can you successfully ask her out on a second date and capitalize on the heels of that great first one?

If you want to know how to get her to like you, here are my 10 best during and after the first date tips for men that are (almost) guaranteed to get you that second date:

1. Ask her out at the end of the first date for a second date.

When asking her out at the end of the date, be sure to ask her to do something she told you during the date she finds exciting.

For example, if she likes Mexican food, tell her you know the best Mexican restaurant in town and you want to bring her there Tuesday night. Set that second date up so she doesn’t have time to think about the first date, and so she has something to look forward to.

2. Text or call her the very next day.

Either text her a simple message that says “Had a great time last night … Looking forward to the next time.” Or, call her and leave a message and tell her the same thing over the phone. Don’t try to be coy by waiting a day or two to follow up.

3. Don’t expect sex or force the issue of sex.

Take things slow and enjoy getting to know each other. There are no rules about when to have sex for the first time with a new potential partner.

You’re both adults, and if a woman decides that she doesn’t want to have sex with you for a month, respect her! Or, if a woman decides she wants to have sex with you on the first date, respect that decision, too!

When you do have sex, make sure that the two of you handle it like adults and not like children.

4. Be positive and fun when you’re out with her.

Don’t bash your exes. Don’t complain about all the things that are wrong in your life.

Spend time getting to know each other’s good sides.

5. Listen to her.

Question things that don’t sound right. Have a two-sided conversation instead of talking at her.

Most men tend to want to impress women based on their accomplishments. Women enjoy getting to know a man based on what’s inside. So spend time listening and having a conversation instead of bragging about yourself. The less you brag, the more interested she will be!

6. Don’t check out other women in front of her.

Do this, and you’ll never get another date with her again.

7. Compliment her once about the way she looks.

Don’t tell her all night long how beautiful she is or she may start to think that you’ve never before been out with a woman as beautiful as her, and you’ll start to lose your intrigue.

8. Instead of complimenting her looks, compliment her mind.

Bond with her mentally and emotionally and physically, and she will bond with you in ways that you’ve never experienced before!

9. Don’t agree with everything she says.

Challenge her mind — don’t just agree with her.

If you agree with everything she says, she’ll look at you as being weak. If she sees you as being weak, she will no longer be attracted to you and you will no longer get a second look or a second date.

I’m not telling you to be confrontational. I’m telling you to be open, honest, and real.

10. Once you’ve secured the second date, and the second date is successful, set up an “activity date” for date number three.

Take her to the park, go to the beach, or take your dogs for a long walk.

Do things that cause her to picture the two of you as a couple. Dates should be creative, not boring. Sitting there and swapping stories over dinner tends to get monotonous after date number one, so start creatively planning different dates so the two of you can start to get to know each other in a very different manner.

Follow these tips, and I assure you that you will get to see her again after that first date far more than you have in the past.

 

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