Tales of Rock: Michael Jackson Impersonator Amazes Fans with Uncanny Resemblance to the Late Singer

Viral video of Micheal Jackson’s impersonator on Instagram has left fans in shock and according to most people, the resemblance is truly scary. 

Celebrity impersonator Sergio Cortes’s uncanny resemblance to the late pop star Michael Jackson is jaw-dropping.

Sergio Cortez is one of Michael’s many impersonators, unlike the others who go to grave lengths to achieve this similarity, Sergio has never had to go under the knife for cosmetic surgery to modify his facial appearance, its all-natural.

The late pop star has the second-highest number of impersonators to his name after Elvis Presley, each trying to outdo the other, but only Sergio comes close.

Over the years, Sergio had to consistently practice moves and undergo voice training to perfect his craft. In the now-viral video posted on his Instagram page, Sergio shared the details of a show holding in Thailand on December 23.

Michael Jackson at the Santa Barbara County courthouse April 29, 2005 | Photo: Getty Images

Michael Jackson at the Santa Barbara County courthouse April 29, 2005 | Photo: Getty Images

He captioned it: “Thayiland Dec 23 😊♥️” Sergio’s fans who were in awe reacted with their comments. A fan, who wants to experience him perform, had this to say:

“I hope you can come to China. Do you have plans?”

Another wrote:

“the Michael Jackson number 2. Amazing, the best impersonator of Michael Jackson.”

Reactions have continued to trail the video as Micheal’s fans worldwide have been in disbelief at the uncanny resemblance. A twitter user shared Sergio’s video and pictures. She wrote:

“Instant double-take when you see Sergio, aka Michael Jackson. Sergio Cortes looks so much like Michael Jackson, and it’s scary.”

Twitter users also chronicled their thoughts in the comment section. One tweep wrote:

“This freaked me out. I had to say..ok He isn’t still alive..#RIP MJ.”

Another tweep who was surprised at the resemblance wrote:

“OMGGGGG wowww 😮 He looks so much like Michael and I never have said that about anyone.”

Sergio graces invitations to Micheal Jackson’s tribute shows, where he puts out a stellar performance.

Although no one captures the crowd like Michael Jackson, Sergio’s performances come a close second as he dedicates time to his craft.

A look at his Instagram posts shows he has been invited to several “Michael Jackson tribute shows” across the world. He also has a YouTube page where he posts videos of his performances.

Sergio’s fan base is slowly increasing as he gets invited to talk shows and trailed by paparazzi.

Celebrity impersonators are professional lookalikes of celebrities. This impersonators grace events and act the path in exchange for money and fame.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

The Space Between Us – Part 1

Philadelphia, late 1960’s.

Ever since I was a little boy, I loved the space program and all things having to do with the universe. I always liked science and nature.

On Sundays my dad would take my sister Janice and I to a book store where he picked up his copy of the New York Times. We lived in a neighborhood called Lawndale and the store was over in Cheltenham. It was a 15 or 20 minute ride from the house.

I remember one time we went there and there were a half dozen flatbed trailers in the parking lot. On each trailer were these giant dinosaur models. But, get this… you could put coins in  a machine on the thing and it would make you a miniature model of the dinosaur you were standing at the foot of. It was incredible. Of course my dad got us one of each.

(They were made out of wax and plastic. It was almost surreal to me at the time. If I can find any info on this, I’ll write about it in a future post.)

Creepy Classics

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation | Tyrannosaurus rex, Tyrannosaurus, Dinosaur

1960s Tyrannosaurus Rex Wax Mold-A-Rama Injection Mold Dinosaur Small Variation

I will have to say this here being a student of science. Notice how back then people thought T-Rex walked upright like a guy in a Godzilla suit dragging his tail behind him? When it’s painfully obvious if you look at the bone structure of the T-Rex he’s built more like a bird. The genuine article leaned forward and his tail stuck out for balance.

More like this rendering:

Growing Up Tyrannosaurus Rex: Researchers Learn More About Teen-Age T.Rex

Since this story is about science I felt it needed to be said!

My dad read the NY Times every Sunday for as long as I can remember. We had the Evening Bulletin delivered to our house every day by the local paperboy, but he would buy the Times for himself every weekend. It was a behemoth of a publication. Easily 100 pages. This is when print was king and the Times was probably the greatest paper in the country. (Maybe the world!)

I once asked my father why he read that paper and he told me that he felt that the Times told the unbiased truth when it came to the news. It was a high brow intelligently written paper that brought you news from around the world. He felt that it gave him everything he needed to know each week.

He’d be chatting with the staff and browsing for books, and Janice and I would wander around the store looking at all kinds of different books. I loved walking up and down the aisles looking at all sorts of different books!

My dad would sometimes say no to getting us a toy. But he never said no to getting us a book.

I loved looking at all of books and comics. Normally, my sister and I would come home with something on those trips.

We always had lots of books growing up. My father was an avid reader and always had a book going. He was a self educated man. He read about everything. He would pick a subject and read all he could about it. I always thought that my dad was a really smart guy, but he would always dismiss it by saying that he was just older. But I knew he got smart from reading so many books. He wanted to better understand the world and its historical events to better navigate his own life. He used to say that the three greatest things in his life were my mom, us kids, and his books.

He passed in 2016, but I wonder what his reaction would have been to discover his son had become a published author?

He used to say that books and knowledge gave him the tools he needed to better navigate the world and the people and events in it. That habit trickled down into us kids, and we all learned so much from him. Don’t get me wrong, my mom liked to read too, but she was more into Agatha Christie and works of fiction. My dad liked non-fiction. Mostly history, biographies, and science. He did love science fiction and read all the great works by Clark, Asimov, and Heinlein. He enjoyed authors who took a more scientific approach to their writing rather than the fantasy stuff of say… Ray Bradbury. He always liked stories about stuff that could maybe happen in the future. That’s why he always liked Batman better than Superman. Superman was an alien from another planet with incredible powers. Batman was just a regular guy. Batman was cool, because Batman could be a real guy! You could never be Superman, but if you had the money and skills, you could maybe be Batman!

I remember he got me a huge poster and I hung it on the wall of my bedroom. It was of our solar system and I would always look at it think about our galaxy. Here’s a guy who took me to see 2001: A Space Odyssey. We loved space and all things science fiction. I used to stand on my bed at night and just stare at that poster. I always thought it would be amazing to travel to the stars. But I was afraid of heights, so that was off the table.

We had stacks of books about science and nature. I remember my sister and I would get these little paperback digest sized books about animals. I especially loved those books. Each one had a different subject. Fish, Reptiles, Amphibians, Insects, and Spiders and their kin. I asked dad what the word kin meant, and he told me that they were all in the same family. Just like us. Reading all of these kinds of books as a kid were not only fun and informative, but they made you smarter, and you didn’t even realize it was happening. I don’t remember many of my friends in the neighborhood having many books like that growing up.

I loved space, aliens, space travel and science fiction movies growing up. My father was a huge fan of the Apollo program as it began to take shape in the 60’s. We followed it together and would watch the launches on our black and white TV.  I remember I was in first grade for Apollo 8.

But, bigger and better things were coming.

A promise President Kennedy made to the American people just eight years before. His words ring true today now more than ever.

I’ll never forget the night of July 16th, 1969. I was in bed, and my father came and woke me up and brought me downstairs. I remember sitting on the floor in my pajamas next to his chair, and watching as the Apollo lunar module touched down on surface of the moon. The moment I saw Neil Armstrong step carefully down the ladder as the first man on the moon.

A glorious moment in human history.

I always felt bad for Alan Shephard who stayed behind in the ship orbiting the moon, while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. But they needed Alan pick them up and take them back to Earth.

But in that moment as the astronauts looked back upon that blue marble surrounded by blackness, they maybe thought…All life as we have ever known it is right there. All of the people, animals, fish, birds, insects, plants… everything was on that blue marble.

Except for them. They were out there.

As usual, I was struggling in school. It’s not that I wasn’t bright, I just didn’t like school and it’s inhabitants. My dad tried to challenge my mind at home, so he bought a bunch of books. Space, History, Science, Biology, Anatomy, and Animals.  They were this amazing series of books on nearly every subject. But it was all written in terms a kid could understand.

Here’s an example.

The How and Why Wonder Books!

How and Why Wonder Books

How and Why Wonder Books

He would assign me chapters to read at night when my regular homework was finished. I also read them in my free time and on the weekends.

Initially it felt like a punishment. To me it was a punishment. More schoolwork?

But what I later realized is, that learning was fun. The world is a fascinating place if you have the right materials and most of all, the right teacher. I would read the assigned chapters, and then my dad would give me a list of questions I had to answer on a yellow legal pad. (Yes, I was tested to see if I retained the information.) I didn’t like this forced learning, but after a while I began to feel a certain pride in learning all of these things. If for nothing else than to become a smarter person.  A boy who knew more about the world around him.

He figured if I wasn’t going to pay attention in school, then by god, he was going to fill my head with as much good information as he could jam in there. He knew I had the head for it. But I didn’t realize it at the time. But after a while it got easier, and the books became more interesting to me. I was under 10 years old, and I knew all of the stages of gestation, even though I hadn’t a clue what sex was yet.

Reading those books and being tested was simply the beginning of all of the things my father taught me. Those books and all of the other books he gave me on a regular basis made me an avid reader where I later excelled in school. I’m happy to report that I’ve never said no to my daughter in regard to a book, and she’s a brilliant reader. So my sisters and I have tried to replicate all of the good things our parents taught us, and discarded the bad. Why hold onto it? They were mistakes. Focus on the triumphs, and go forward.

Sometimes on a Saturday, my mom would take the girls into town. When you lived in the suburbs back then, you referred to center city as ‘going into town’. They would be gone half the day shopping at the big department stores. Gimbels, Lit Bros, and Strawbridges.

Saturday morning meant one thing to me as a kid.

Saturday Morning Cartoons.

When I was a little guy, (Like four or five) I was so into Saturday morning cartoons, that I knew what show was coming on at what time, and what to watch next on what channel.

I couldn’t even tell time yet. However, back then there were only a few channels. VHF: 3, 6, 10 & 12. UHF: 17, 29, & 48. That was it.

One of the cool things about a Saturday with dad instead of mom was lunch. I remember he would be sitting at his place at the dinner table in the kitchen. The sun through the windows would illuminate his paper.  If I was hungry, he would make me a dish called, ‘Junk’.

Junk consisted of Planter’s cocktail peanuts, (When they were perfectly salty and greasy) a handful of crispy pretzels, and three or four slices of American cheese (New Yorker) tossed in a little green cereal bowl. That was placed on a folding snack table in front of my TV chair, and I was good to go. Wash it down with some Hawaiian Punch and you’re all set.

You’d think that wasn’t enough for a growing boy, but I was a fussy eater, and I loved that combination. I didn’t realize that I was basically eating bar snacks for lunch. It was awesome, and I loved it. We all did!

I was finished lunch one Saturday and dad and I are discussing some of the things I was learning from the books he gave me to read. I was struggling with some of the laws of gravity, inertia, and centrifugal force.

My dad came up with the idea that he should do what he always did; lead by example. Anything worth doing was worth overdoing. So he came up with a plan.

He went into the basement, and when he returned he produced a bucket of water.

Now, I’m a little kid. There’ve been times I’ve done things, or brought things into the house that I shouldn’t have. Boys always pull stuff like that. But here we were in the living room and he’s got a big bucket of water. Every cell in my mind tells me that mom doesn’t want anything like that in the living room. Kids spill stuff all the time. A glass of juice is one thing, but a bucket of water would be a solid call for corporal punishment.

But dad’s explaining to me the laws of gravity, rotation and centrifugal force. If dad’s here we’re good. Mom’s not home so it doesn’t matter. He’s got all the power in regard to what you should, or shouldn’t do in my mom’s nice living room.

My dad proceeds to swing the big bucket of water back and forth. I’m watching with startled eyes as he begins to swing it higher and higher. Then, without warning he swings it all the way over his head like a pinwheel. I’m talking Pete Townsend windmill moves. Frankly I’m amazed that none of the water is coming out of the bucket as he swings it in a circular motion over his head. It doesn’t make sense…

Until it does.

I see it. Now, I get it.

Centrifugal force, a fictitious force, peculiar to a particle moving on a circular path, that has the same magnitude and dimensions as the force that keeps the particle on its circular path (the centripetal force) but points in the opposite direction.

Rad, man!

Later, mom and the girls came home from shopping in town, and no one was the wiser.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Kamala Harris Breaks Glass Ceiling as First Female Vice President, First Woman VP of Color

The vice presidential glass ceiling has been broken.

California Sen. Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman elected vice president, now that Joe Biden won enough states to capture the White House.

Biden beat Donald Trump four years after Hillary Clinton came up short in her bid to be the first female president.

Harris, 56, was the first African American woman and the first Asian American person on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., raise their arms up as fireworks go off on the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del. Looking on are Jill Biden and Harris' husband Doug Emhoff.

Her husband, entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff, will be the first “Second Gentleman.”

Harris has said she expects to work closely with Biden, offering him a perspective shaped by a different background.

“It is about a partnership that also is informed by one of the reasons I think Joe asked me to join him, which is that he and I have – we have the same ideals and values but we have very different life experiences,” Harris said during her final fundraiser for the campaign.

President Barack Obama has called her an “ideal partner” for Biden who is more than prepared for the job as “someone who knows what it’s like to overcome barriers.”

Only the second Black woman to be elected to the Senate, Harris was the first Black woman to be elected district attorney in San Francisco and attorney general of California.

Biden had faced tremendous pressure to choose a woman of color as his running mate because of the large role African Americans – and particularly Black women – have played in the Democratic Party and because of the racial issues thrust into the foreground by the coronavirus pandemic and the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police.

“There is no vaccine for racism,” Harris said during her vice presidential acceptance speech. “We’ve got to do the work for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor and for the lives of too many others to name.”

Announcing his choice, Biden called the former prosecutor a “fearless fighter for the little guy, one of the country’s finest public servants.”

Only two ran before her

Harris was only the third female vice presidential nominee of a major party ticket.

Her debate with Vice President Mike Pence was the second-most watched vice presidential debate, after the 2008 matchup between Biden and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was running mate to Republican nominee John McCain.

Harris’ response when Pence tried to cut in on her time, “Mr. Vice President, I’m speaking – I’m speaking,” sparked a meme. T-shirts, face masks and other products emblazoned with those words were quickly available for sale on the internet.

Biden’s age contributed to the public’s interest in Harris, as his 77 years increase the chance that he might not serve a full term or seek re-election.

Republicans sought to characterize Harris as member of the “radical left” who would control the more centrist Biden.

Voters had a divided opinion of Harris, with 46% “very” or “somewhat” favorable and 47% “very” or “somewhat” unfavorable, according to a VoteCast survey of 110,405 voters by The Associated Press. The difference was as polarized as the rest of the election. Those viewing her favorably almost entirely – 93% – supported Biden, while 87% of those viewing her unfavorably supported Trump, according to the survey.

Sen. Kamala Harris speaks on stage.

Breaking barriers of race and gender

Biden’s selection of Harris gave the campaign a big fundraising boost. Backers sent more than $34 million immediately after Biden announced his pick, and she headlined numerous fundraisers throughout the fall. Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., which Harris belongs to, began donating $19.08. The sorority, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by Black college-educated women, was founded in 1908 at Howard University, her alma mater.

Harris was often dispatched to energize voters of color, particularly Black Americans. The first candidate on a major party ticket to have attended a historically Black university, Harris campaigned at HBCUs, barbershops and other places of significance for communities of color. For many virtual campaign events, Harris broadcast out of a studio set up at Howard University.

“I say it’s about time a graduate from a state university and a HBCU graduate are in the White House,” Biden said of himself and Harris at a drive-in rally in Atlanta.

Who is Doug Emhoff?

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband Doug Emhoff take the stage during a drive-in get out the vote rally, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Philadelphia.

Emhoff was also a regular presence on the campaign trail and formed a bond with Jill Biden, who preceded him as the spouse of a vice president.

Emhoff, who will be the first Jewish American in the vice presidential residence, was a regular Biden surrogate for campaign events targeted to Jewish supporters. He was also “sent all the time to probably the hardest spots,” Biden senior strategic adviser Greg Schultz said during an October campaign event.

Emhoff has been offered lots of advice on how to tackle his new role.

“Everyone’s got an opinion on this, which is nice to hear,” Emhoff said during the campaign. “Which means people are actually excited about the prospect of someone like me in this role – and I get that.”

He hopes to tap his legal background and focus on justice-related issues, particularly “access to justice.”

Emhoff still has the voicemail of a congratulatory call from Biden after Harris and Emhoff got engaged in March 2014.

It was Harris’ first marriage and Emhoff’s second. His son and daughter – named Cole and Ella after jazz legends Cole Porter and Ella Fitzgerald – came up with their own name for their stepmother: Mamala.

“To my brother and me, you’ll always be ‘Mamala,’ the world’s greatest stepmom,” Ella said in a video montage introducing Harris before her convention speech. “You’re a rock, not just for our dad, but for three generations of our big, blended family.”

During an appearance on Hillary Clinton’s podcast, Harris described how she had been teaching Emhoff how to cook after the pandemic confined them to their Washington, D.C., apartment.

Harris’ own passion for cooking was often a topic on the campaign trail. She has described it as “one of my joys” and recirculated a video of herself making masala dosa with actress and writer Mindy Kaling last year.

She told Clinton that one of Emhoff’s own culinary attempts went awry, setting off a fire alarm. Harris had to wave her briefing book back and forth to clear the air. The couple subsequently agreed that Emhoff should stick to three dishes he knows how to cook – “and we don’t need to experiment with anything else,” Harris said.

Kamala Harris, left, with her sister, Maya, and mother, Shyamala, in January 1970, in Berkeley, California.

Presidential ambitions

Harris had competed against Biden for the Democratic nomination but ended her bid before the first primary votes were cast.

She struggled to place herself in an ideological camp, particularly on how far she would go to enact Medicare for All. She also faced criticism from some on the left for her prosecutorial record.

One of her campaign’s biggest moments came during a debate when she challenged Biden over his remarks about working with segregationist senators. She described herself as part of the second class to integrate her school as a child after mandatory school busing, which forced Biden to apologize for his earlier comments.

Although Biden didn’t hold a grudge, Trump immediately called Harris a “phony” after her selection. He frequently made fun of her first name – which is Sanskrit for lotus – and hurled insults at her from his campaign rallies, included calling her a monster.

Women’s groups spent millions on ads to “push back on disinformation and racist, sexist attacks” on Harris and show her in a positive light.

“She has taken on some of the toughest fights…and she’s done it all with a sense of style,” said the narrator in an ad called “Chucks” that included footage of Harris wearing her signature shoe choice and a young girl dancing in Chuck Taylors. “Someday soon, anyone will be able to see themselves as president.”

Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Milwaukee.

Daughter of immigrants

Harris was born in Oakland, California, to Shyamala Gopalan, a breast-cancer scientist who emigrated from India, and Donald Harris, a professor of economics who emigrated from Jamaica.

Her first job was cleaning laboratory pipettes for her mother.

“She fired me. I was awful,” Harris said.

Gopalan would also tell Harris and her sister, “Don’t sit around and complain about things, do something.”

Harris frequently mentions the “stroller’s-eye view” she had of the civil rights movement, as her parents marched for social justice – a central part of family discussions.

She wrote in her memoir that she was inspired to become a prosecutor in part because of the prosecutors who went after the Ku Klux Klan and because of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who sent Justice Department officials to protect the Freedom Riders in 1961.

But she had to defend to friends and family her decision to try to change from the inside, rather than the outside, a justice system they saw as too often offering injustice.

Democratic U.S. Vice Presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) speaks during an early voting mobilization event at the Central Florida Fairgrounds on October 19, 2020 in Orlando.

Prior record

Harris likes to tout a program she championed as district attorney to direct young people arrested for drug crimes into training and counseling programs instead of jail.

As California’s attorney general, she pushed for a tough settlement from five major banks accused of foreclosure abuse. One fellow attorney general who joined the fight was Delaware’s Beau Biden, the former vice president’s oldest son. The two developed a friendship before Beau Biden’s 2015 death from brain cancer.

After Harris joined the Senate in 2017, she put her prosecutorial skills to work grilling witnesses such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney General William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“I thought she was the meanest, the most horrible, the most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate,” Trump said of Harris’ questioning of Kavanaugh.

Breaking barriers means breaking things

When Harris found herself competing for the Democratic presidential nomination with three of her female colleagues, the rivals enjoyed lighter moments on the campaign trail laughing with each other and comparing notes on the still-rare experience of being a woman running for president.

“We have spent a lot of time together, sharing looks at each other across a room when statements are being made,” giving each other a “knowing look” like “Yeah, that just happened,” Harris said during a fundraiser that included Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

Klobuchar recounted how, during one debate, the women had banded together to demand the technicians raise the temperature in the freezing studio.

“I mean, like you couldn’t feel your feet,” Klobuchar said. “And on the break, we’re sitting there huddled together … and we said to the technician from NBC: `You know what? Women do worse when it’s so cold. This isn’t fair. You have got to turn this up, right now.’ And so they turned up the heat, as we did.”

Harris said that women who go first know the sacrifices they’ve made and hope to make it easier for women to come up after.

Breaking barriers, she said, involves breaking things.

“And when you break things, you might get cut. You might bleed. It will be painful,” she said more than once. “It will be worth it, every single time.”

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

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

The Haunted is a Swedish heavy metal band from Gothenburg formed in 1996. The original members were Anders and Jonas BjörlerPeter DolvingAdrian Erlandsson and Patrik Jensen. Both of the Björler brothers and Erlandsson were members of the seminal melodic death metal band At the Gates, a pioneering force in the Swedish death metal scene.

The majority of members, past and present, are from Gothenburg, Sweden; with the exception of Patrik Jensen, who is from LinköpingPer Möller Jensen, who is from Denmark; Adrian Erlandsson, who is from Malmö; and Marco “Shark-Fin” Annaka, who is from Finland.

Formation and The Haunted (1996–1999)

On 27 July 1996, Patrik Jensen co-created the band with Adrian Erlandsson, who had just become an ex-member of his former band, At the Gates, due to the bands’ split up the day before.[1] They had made their demo, called Demo ’97, in 1997.

The band released their first album, while signed to Earache Records, the self-titled debut The Haunted, in 1998. The album resulted in The Haunted being praised as Newcomer of the Year by several magazines, and the album being called Album of the Year by Terrorizer Magazine. The Haunted made a respectable live reputation staging the Swedish metal scene, as well the international scene, touring the U.K. with Napalm Death.

After the release of this album, Peter Dolving and Adrian Erlandsson both left the band in 1999, the former focusing on a solo career and the latter joining Cradle of Filth. Their replacements were Marco Aro and Per Möller Jensen. The band began to record their second album right after.

Made Me Do It (2000–2002)

Their second album, Made Me Do It, released in 2000, was more melodic and resembled the Gothenburg style (with bands such as At the Gates, etc.) more than old-school thrash metal that was used on The Haunted. It is originally called Made Me Do It, but it is meant for the band name to be included in the title. “The Haunted Made Me Do It” topped CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart in four weeks, and won a Swedish Grammy for Best Hard Rock Album. The album was followed by European tours with Entombed and NileThe Crown in U.K., and In Flames in Japan. The Haunted played on festivals such as 2000 DecibelHultsfred (both in Sweden), Graspop (Belgium), and Wacken Open Air (Germany). The band subsequently released their first live album – Live Rounds in Tokyo.[2]

In August 2001, guitarist/songwriter Anders Björler left the band and he was temporarily replaced by Marcus Sunesson of The Crown for The Haunted’s headlining tour; in less than a year Björler returned to the band. This meant that he could appear on the third studio album.

One Kill Wonder and Revolver (2003–2005)

The next album was released in February 2003 and was titled One Kill Wonder.[3] The Haunted broke their own record being listed at number one on CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart in five weeks. Alternative Press hailed The Haunted as one of metal’s 25 most important bands. The song D.O.A., from this album, became available for download in March 2008 for the video game Rock Band, on the Xbox 360‘s Xbox Live Marketplace, and the PlayStation 3‘s PlayStation Network.[4] Another song from the same album, Shadow World, was announced as a future download.

One Kill Wonder resulted in the band dominating album charts all over the world, and their first tours to Australia and South Africa, another tour to Japan, and a second Grammy. After another tour to ScandinaviaNorth AmericaUnited Kingdom and Europe in the fall of 2003, the sudden departure of Marco Aro came as a shock. Though, this opened a new chance of building up a reunion with former vocalist Peter Dolving.

Their first album with Peter Dolving back at the helm (and signed to a new deal with Century Media), was entitled Revolver. The new album was released in October 2004 and named as it was to convey the evolution of the band and the music it plays as a whole. Revolver was met with a fair amount of fan support and critical acclaim, and the band toured the world extensively in support of it, including a second stage spot at Ozzfest 2005. On February 2 of 2005, Marco Aro played his last show in Stockholm, Sweden but as a guest singer. In 2006, the band performed on the Extreme The Dojo vol.15 tour in Japan with Exodus and Nile, while Edge of Spirit opened for them.[5]

The Dead Eye (2006–2007)

The Haunted’s fifth studio album, The Dead Eye, was released on 30 October 2006 in Europe and so far has been a huge success, showing a more sinister side to Dolving’s vocals and a more technical, haunting musical display. It was released in the USA on October 31, 2006.[6] They later toured Europe and toured with Dark TranquillityInto Eternity, and Scar Symmetry for the North America Metal For The Masses tour.[7] They recently toured Europe for the Cursed Earth tour with bands like WolfMunicipal Waste, and Lyzanxia and took a break to later return to play in tours and some shows in Russia.[8][9]

Versus (2008–2009)

Their sixth studio album, Versus, was released on 17 September 2008 in Sweden, 19–24 September in the rest of Europe, and October 14 in the USA. In 2009 the band released a compilation album Warning Shots. In April 2010, the band released a live CD called Road Kill, and they supported heavy metal legends Slayer on their August 2010 tour. The band was also confirmed as being part of the soundtrack for Namco Bandai Games‘ 2010 remake of Splatterhouse.

Unseen (2010–2012)

In April, 2010, Dolving revealed that they had started writing new material,[10] and the recording of a seventh album started in the same fall. On December 30, the band announced that the upcoming album was to be called Unseen and released in March 2011.[11]

The first sneak preview of the album was on 22 January 2011, when the band performed the song “No Ghost” at the P3 Guld Gala, broadcast live on TV and radio throughout Sweden.

On 29 February 2012, Peter Dolving quit the band again. On 1 March 2012, The Haunted announced vocalist auditions via Facebook page:

The Haunted is looking for a new voice… Serious applicants please send your submissions, including two songs from the Haunted back catalogue and a few words to describe yourself. Images & links to performance video clips are much appreciated and will be most valuable in the screening process. Send your application to the e-mail address above. Thanks!

On 16 October 2012, two more members of the band, guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Per Möller Jensen quit, leaving the band’s future uncertain. Jonas announced on The Band’s Facebook that both he and Patrik were still deeply committed to the band, but now that two other band members have left, they are uncertain of the band’s future thus creating a hiatus.

Exit Wounds (2014–2016)

The Haunted at the Rockharz Open Air, Germany, 2015

Patrik Jensen and Jonas Björler had a discussion at Jonas’ own 40th birthday party, as to not letting The Haunted disband. When Jensen asked Björler who should be the new vocalist in the band, Björler could only think of former member, Marco Aro. A few days later, Jensen phoned Aro asking him to rejoin The Haunted. Aro had missed being in the band and was tempted to rejoin, but he was hesitant at first because he was not interested in returning to the hectic touring he had done with the band in the past. The Haunted had done a lot of touring for almost a decade straight after Aro left, reducing the band’s desire to continue with more. More hesitation came because Aro had struggled with drug addiction during his time with the band, causing problems with his family, and he didn’t want it to reoccur. He indicated that he needed to discuss rejoining the band with his family. Aro is also in the band The Resistance and didn’t want to have conflicting schedules with both bands, so he had to have a discussion with The Resistance as well. Aro told Jensen he’d give him a response two weeks later. By then, the band had shown him the a breakdown of future tours, which encouraged Aro to rejoin The Haunted.[12] Before publicly revealing information of the band’s new lineup, Aro only stated there was good news coming from the band.[13] His picture was in a silhouette on the band’s official Facebook the day before the band announced a new line-up.

Adrian Erlandsson, a former member, returned to the band also, and Ola Englund from Six Feet Under was brought in as the band’s new lead guitarist.[14] The band then began writing for an EP titled Eye of the Storm, which was released on 20 January 2014 in Europe and 21 January 2014 in North America.[15] The band had also been rehearsing before the announcement of the new lineup to perform for the first time live with this lineup at the 70000 Tons of Metal which set sail 27–31 January 2014.[16]

On 1 July 2014, it was announced that their new album would be titled Exit Wounds, with the release date of 25 August 2014 in Europe and 2 September 2014 in North America. The track listing and the album cover were revealed on the same day as well.[17]

Strength in Numbers (2017-present)

On 10 May 2017, Century Media Records announced the band’s ninth studio album is entitled Strength in Numbers and was released worldwide on 25 August 2017.[18]

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Halloween – 1978

Remember that kid Jimmy I told you in the band series? (Link below.) He did magic and got gigs at kid’s parties as Jimbo the Clown. I told you in that chapter that he was really good at makeup. Well, one day he invited me and my friend Steve over to get made up as the group Kiss for Halloween. How great would that be, right?

Renegade – 1978 to 1979 – Chapter 7 – Youth Group Show

We go over to his house and he’s got everything ready. He plays every Kiss album he has in his collection while he does our makeup. It takes hours but we’re having fun. We hoped it would come out okay.

Well, that’s my friend Stephen Peoples at Kiss drummer, Peter Criss and that’s me as bassist, Gene Simmons.

Awesome, right?

That’s me, as Gene, (Holding Larry’s bass from our band) Steve as Peter, and the guy on the right is the dude Jimmy Hunsinger that did all of our make up as lead guitarist, Ace Frehley!

We look like the real deal!

It was a Fantastic Halloween!

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Tales of Rock – Halloween Edition – Stull, Kansas

Stull is an unincorporated community in Douglas CountyKansas, United States.[1] Founded in 1857, the settlement was initially known as Deer Creek until it was renamed after its only postmaster, Sylvester Stull. As of 2018, only a handful of structures remain in the area.

Since the 1970s, the town has become infamous due to an apocryphal legend that claims the nearby Stull Cemetery is possessed by demonic forces. This legend has become a facet of American popular culture and has been referenced in numerous forms of media. This legend has also led to controversies with current residents of Stull.

Geography

Stull is located at 38°58′16″N 95°27′32″W (38.9711124, -95.4560872),[1] at the corner of North 1600 Road ( CR-442) and East 250 Road ( CR-1023) in Douglas County, which is 7 miles west from the outskirts of Lawrence and 10 miles east of the Topeka city limit.

Founding

Stull first appeared on territorial maps in 1857.[2][3] During this time, the settlement was called Deer Creek.[3] It is unclear where this name came from, although Martha Parker and Betty Laird speculate that it could either be a translation of an indigenous location name or that it could have arisen after a deer was seen by a body of water.[4] The first European settlers in the area spoke German as their native language.[5] Some had come from Pennsylvania Dutch Country, whereas others had recently fled the German Confederation “for more freedom and to escape military duty.”[6]

19th century

During the late 1850s, the handful of families living in Deer Creek organized a church that met in the homes of its members until 1867, when a stone structure called the “Evangelical Emmanuel and Deer Creek Mission” was built; this church later became known simply as “Evangelical Emmanuel Church”.[5][6] Until 1908, the sermons at the small chapel were preached in German.[5] In 1867, a cemetery was chartered for the town next to the church.[6][nb 1] In 1922, those living in Stull raised $20,000 to construct a new, wooden-framed church across the road. The following year, the church changed its official name from “Deer Creek Church” to “Stull Evangelical Church”. The old stone Evangelical Emmanuel Church was abandoned by the community in 1922, and over the course of the 20th century, the church slowly fell into a greater and greater state of decrepitude, finally being demolished in 2002.[6][nb 2] Due to a growing congregation from Stull and Lecompton, a larger church was eventually needed, so in 1919, the community voted to build a new church. In 1922 a new church was built and eventually got the name “United Methodist Zion Church” in 1968.[6] This new church holds services and meetings that continue today under the name Stull United Methodist Church.[6]

In the late 1890s, a telephone switchboard was added to the house of a Stull resident named J. E. Louk, and soon thereafter, on April 27, 1899, a post office was established in the back of the very same building.[2][12] The town’s first and only postmaster was Sylvester Stull, from whom the town derived its name.[12] According to Parker and Laird, the United States post office simply selected the name based on the name of the postmaster.[13] The name stuck even after the post office was discontinued in 1903.[12][13]

Stull residents opened two schools prior to Kansas being admitted to the Union. The first school only lasted for about five years, the other school named “Deer Creek” experienced increasing enrollments and started being used for church services by the Lutheran congregation and the United Brethren on Sundays. Along with church services, the school held debates, voting for general elections, and competitions in baseball, horseshoes, sewing, and cooking. The school continued until 1962 when it closed; students thereafter went to Lecompton to continue their education.[6]

Farming brought the community new hope and continues to be the common livelihood of the remaining residents. Construction on the Clinton Reservoir led to changes in road routes and farming locations. While this did mean the loss of farms to eminent domain and county purchase, it helped Stull and its surrounding communities become more progressive.[6][14]

20th century

In 1912, only 31 people lived in the Stull area, and at its maximum size the settlement comprised about fifty individuals.[12][15] Christ Kraft, an inhabitant of the settlement during the 20th century, recalls that life in the small town was “quiet and easy, sometimes even boring.”[16] Before automobiles were popular in the area, trips to Lecompton, Lawrence, and Topeka, took two, three, and four hours, respectively. In early 20th century, organized baseball became popular in the area, and members of Stull played in a league with members from other Clinton Lake communities, like Clinton and Lone Star.[16] Eventually, a baseball diamond was constructed in Stull.[2] During this time, hunting rabbits was also a popular activity,[17] and it was not uncommon for the Stull community to bring hauls of about 300 freshly-killed rabbits to butchers in Topeka.[2]

During the early 20th century, a number of businesses were established in the area, but most were short-lived; the exception to this general trend was the Louk & Kraft grocery store, which was established in the early 1900s and lasted until 1955.[12][18] The Roaring Twenties brought preliminary discussion about constructing an interurban railroad line between Kansas City and Emporia that would have run through Stull.[19] Anticipating that their city was about to grow, the residents of Stull began discussing the idea of establishing a “Farmers State Bank” in the area; the Lecompton-based banker J. W. Kreider even secured an official bank charter.[2][16] However, neither the railway or the bank were ever built, possibly due to the advent of the Great Depression.[16]

During the 20th century, the settlement suffered two major tragedies. The first occurred when Oliver Bahnmaier, a young boy wandered into a field that his father was burning and died. Oliver’s tragic death led to the rumor that if one stepped on Oliver’s tombstone, they would go to Hell. The second occurred when a man was found hanging from a tree after going missing.[12][20]

Legend of Stull Cemetery

Far removed from the horrible story of The Exorcist or the bizarre black masses recently discovered in Los Angeles, and tucked away on a rough county road between Topeka and Lawrence is the tiny town of Stull. Not unlike the town of Sleepy Hollow, described by Washington Irving in his famous tale, Stull is one of those towns motorists can miss by blinking. Stull and Sleepy Hollow have another thing in common. Both are haunted by legends of diabolical, supernatural happenings.

The opening to the University Daily Kansan article “Legend of Devil Haunts Tiny Town”, penned by Jain Penner.[21] It was this article that caused Stull to largely be associated with the supernatural in the popular consciousness.[8]

The Stull Cemetery[22] has gained an ominous reputation due to urban legends involving Satan, the occult, and a purported “gateway to Hell“.[23] The rumors about the cemetery were popularized by a November 1974 issue of The University Daily Kansan (the student newspaper of the University of Kansas), which claimed that the Devil appeared in Stull twice a year: once on Halloween, and once on the spring equinox.[24][11] People soon said that the cemetery was the location of one of the seven gates to Hell and that the nearby Evangelical Emmanuel Church ruin was “possessed” by the Devil. Others claimed (erroneously) that the legend was engendered by the killing of Stull’s mayor back in the 1850s (of note, Stull was never organized as a town, so never had a mayor).[6] It is also said that during a trip to Colorado in the 1990s, the Pope redirected the flight path of his private plane to avoid flying over the unholy ground of Stull (although there is no evidence that this happened).[23] Most academics, historians, and local residents are in agreement that the legend has no basis in historical fact and was created and spread by students.[8][11]

In the years that followed the publication of the University Daily Kansan article, the legend persuaded thrill seekers to visit the cemetery, and they would claim that weird and creepy events such as noises and memory lapses happened to them leading to further speculation that the town was haunted by witches and the devil. It became a popular activity for young folks (especially high school and college students from Lawrence or Topeka) to journey to the cemetery on Halloween or the equinox to “see the Devil”. Many would jump fences or otherwise sneak their way onto the property. Over the decades, as the number of people making excursions to the cemetery grew, the graveyard started to deteriorate; this was exacerbated by vandals.[8][11] To combat this, the county’s sheriff office patrols the area around the cemetery, especially on Halloween, and will arrest people for trespassing.[25] Those caught inside the cemetery after it is closed could face a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.[23]

In popular culture

Despite its dubious origins, the legend of Stull Cemetery has been referenced numerous times in popular culture. The band Urge Overkill released the Stull EP in 1992, which features the church and a tombstone from the cemetery on the cover.[8][26] It has been argued that the British band The Cure canceled their show in Kansas because of Stull’s cemetery,[23] although this too is false.[8] Films whose plot is based on the legends include Turbulence 3: Heavy Metal (2001),[27] Nothing Left to Fear (2013),[28] and the unreleased film Sin-Jin Smyth.[27] The cemetery is also the site of the final confrontation between Lucifer and Michael in “Swan Song“, the season five finale of the television series Supernatural and the History Channel documentary.[8][29] In-universe, Sam and Dean Winchester (the series’ protagonists) are from Lawrence; in a 2006 interview, Eric Kripke (the creator of Supernatural) revealed that he decided to have the two brothers be from Lawrence because of its closeness to Stull.[30] In an interview with Complex Magazine, pop star Ariana Grande talked about her unsuccessful attempt to visit Stull and stated that she was attacked by demons.[31]

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

New Car – Part 2

1984

I remember when my dad and I went to the dealership to look at the car. At that time they had a few white ones and a couple blue ones. I really liked the white one. I had never seen a car like this before. I loved that it looked like a spaceship and had flip up headlights like a Corvette.

We worked out the financing and my father basically made the deal. I was too busy drooling over the car. I had the VW minibus, and then the Fiesta, but this was a brand new car.

My car.

I remember when they made delivery of the car, I was so excited. I clearly remember this exchange with my dad.

“I love this car! It’s so beautiful! I can’t believe it’s mine!”

“You will when you start making the payments on it.”

My dad being the banker, made the deal on the financing, and didn’t want me married to a car payment for a long period of time. The sooner I could get it paid off, the sooner I’d have equity in the car, and be free of the payments.

But what that caused me was an incredible financial hardship. The payments were around $300 a month and I really wasn’t making much money back then. I was married to that car for years. It sucked. I wished he would have done a 60 month deal, but what did I know back then? Zilch. I just wanted to drive a cool car.

When you’re a young man and you get your first new car it’s like a rite  of passage. It’s like the car becomes an extension of yourself. It becomes part of your identity because you don’t have much of one yet. It’s like someone handing you a box full of cool. It’s your chariot. The stereo booming, while you speed down the road in your machine of metal is a feeling like no other.

I know that many men never get past the importance of owning a cool car. Sadly, there are so many underdeveloped men that feel that they are defined my driving an exotic and/or expensive automobile.

I’ve known men that think that if they drive a high performance car they’re successful or powerful. When in reality, most women don’t care about cars, and they’ve invested their money into a depreciating asset.

The moment you drive your car off the lot it begins to lose value. Why would you want to invest your money in something that’s a money pit? I remember talking to a man with real wealth who told me this: “Don’t look at what kind of car the guy drives… look at his house. Anybody can lease a nice car and live in their mom’s basement.

But at age 23 it was an incredible rush to own a cutting edge, never seen before, cool car. I remember it being described as the “technological flagship” of the Subaru line.

I found these photos in an old album of mine.

There’s my baby right in front of the house in Wildwood, NJ!

Loved that car!

I remember I was working at Circle Liquor in Somer’s Point, NJ. There was a girl named Lori that worked there that I was in love with. I don’t think she held the same feelings for me, but I did go out on a couple of dates with her. Her dad worked at the Showboat Casino, and I think she just worked there until her dad could get her a job at the casino.

I went to pick her up one night, and it was snowing and I cleaned all the snow off my car out front of her house so she could see the car. But she didn’t really care about what I was driving or me for that matter.

She was really pretty, and I just couldn’t get her to fall for me. She ended up going to work at the Showboat, but I stayed in touch with her.

I remember one night I was supposed to meet her for dinner in Somer’s Point. I drove up there and was at the restaurant. She was supposed to meet me there and didn’t show up when she was supposed to. I called my friend Ferd as to what to do. “Order Johnny Walker Black on the rocks and stay cool. She’ll show up.”

I was an anxiety ridden mess as usual back then and my nerves were shattered. I ended up calling her at a payphone and talking to her. I may have spoken to her two times that night while I was waiting. She eventually bailed on our date and I knew I was dead in the water.

I sadly drove home in my iron steed.

I talked to my father about it, and he said the following. “Maybe she doesn’t want a guy who works at a liquor store. A warehouse type. She works at the Showboat now. She probably wants a better class of man.”

Thanks for grinding my self esteem even lower than it already was, dad.

Those kind of statements are what propelled me to get a job in a bank like him. I figured if I had a good job, I would be able to get a quality woman.

Little did I know that that would be the beginning of some of the worst decisions of my life. 20 years in banking. Marrying a girl who came from a nice family for all the wrong reasons. It was the beginning of me losing my true self. But millions of men have made the same choices and been miserable for decades.

I remember describing my future wife to my dad and why I wanted to marry her. His response was, “That sounds like very republican thinking.”

But you’re the one that told me to be more than a warehouse worker, dad!

They’re all equal now, and none of it means anything to me from where I stand in my present life, but these were defining moments.

I loved everything about the car. I just felt so good when I was in it and driving around. I remember when it was new I’d be stopped at a light and people in the car next to me would look at it and say, “What is that?”

It was that cool in the mid eighties. I loved being that guy.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

New Car – Part 1

When I got back from California in 1984 the VW minibus was on it’s last legs. (Or wheels!) After 14 years of loyal service to my family it was put out to pasture. It had been with us since 1970 when my sister Gabrielle was born. We went everywhere in the van, and it passed from my dad, to Janice and then me.  We had a lot of great memories in the van, but it’s time was done.

1969 Volkswagen Minibus – 1969 to 1984 – Part 1

1969 Volkswagen Minibus – 1969 to 1984 – Part 2

My dad hooked me up with a vehicle to get around in now that I was back in New Jersey.  It was a German built Ford called the Fiesta, that was built to compete with the popular VW Rabbit at the time.

It was a weird green color with a brown interior.

I liked that little car. The Fiesta got great gas mileage and served its purpose to get me back and forth to my job at Home Video Centers in Northfield, New Jersey. (Even though it looked like a granny smith apple.)

I drove that car for a couple of years, until it too began to fail. I wanted to pick out my own car and make the payments. I had saved a little money for a down payment on a car, and wanted something cool. I talked to my dad about it, and having a job but no credit, he agreed to co-sign on the loan for me.

After some thought, I decided on this.

The Suburu XT Coupe.

The Subaru XT was a 2-door coupé that was produced from 1985 to 1991. The XT was sold as the Alcyone in Japan, the Vortex in Australia and New Zealand, and the XT (with the EA-82 four-cylinder engine) or XT6 (with the ER-27 six-cylinder engine) in North America and Europe. All were available in front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, depending on the year.

The Subaru XT was launched in February 1985 in the American market, followed by a June debut in Japan. The Alcyone name comes from the brightest star in the Pleiades star cluster, on which the Subaru logo is based. The XT range was replaced by the Subaru SVX in 1992.

XT series 

By the time the XT was launched, Subaru had already produced vehicles with very different styling compared to other vehicles of the time period. The XT, first introduced in February 1985 in the United States (June 1985 in Japan), was a wedged-shaped departure from the 1970s-influenced curves of the previous models, aimed directly at the styles emerging in the 1980s. The XT Turbo 4WD made its European debut at the March 1985 Geneva Motor Show. When introduced, the New York Times called it “the ultimate in jazzy design”, in contrast to Subaru’s older “cheap and ugly” offerings. The XT was the first Subaru to stray from earlier models that offered a practical application, in that the XT wasn’t designed to carry loads or for commercial uses. The 2.7-litre flat-six sold in Japan was the first Subaru to exceed government engine displacement regulations due to the engine being over 2000 cc, and as such was regarded as a luxury vehicle. It also obligated an elevated annual road tax due to the engine’s size.

Aerodynamics

The extreme wedge body shape was possible due to the engine’s flat horizontally opposed cylinder layout shared by all Subarus. Extensive wind tunnel testing was used to lower wind resistance and even “aircraft type” door handles were used that were totally flush with the outside of the door. To open the door, it was required to push a hinged panel out of the release mechanism’s opening. There is one 22 inch windshield wiper, when not in use tucks under the hood, and rubber spoilers before each wheel well opening doubled as “mud guards” but really acted to direct airflow smoothly past the tires and wheels. The result was one of the most aerodynamic production cars of its time with a coefficient of drag or Cd. of 0.29, improved fuel economy, and a quieter ride due to reduced amounts of wind noise.

Aircraft-inspired cockpit

The inside of the car had many aircraft-like features such as pod mounted lighting, climate control and wiper controls. The standard tilting-telescoping steering moved the instrument panel to keep it lined up with the steering column when tilting. The shifter was joystick-shaped and had a thumb trigger interlock and “on-demand” four-wheel drive button. The approach to steering wheel adjustment was also seen in the Isuzu Piazza and the Ford Probe introduced earlier in the 1980s. Turbo models featured a sort of artificial horizon orange backlit liquid crystal instrument display with the tachometer, boost indicator, temperature and fuel gauges seen as three-dimensional graphs tilting back out to the horizon. The aircraft cockpit approach reflected influences from Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, which also manufactured aircraft, such as the Fuji FA200 Aero Subaru.

The XT was loaded with features rarely found on small cars, such as a turbocharger, a computer-controlled engine and transmission, adjustable height suspension and an optional digital instrument cluster. The air suspension was inspired by various manufacturers who used Hydro-pneumatic suspension, such as Citroën, and Mercedes-Benz. The XT also had some features found on few other cars, such as an electronic in-dash trip computer, retractable flaps covering the door handles, and a single wiper blade for the entire windscreen. Pass-through folding rear seats and racing style front seats were standard equipment.

While the XT was an interesting design exercise, it did little to grow Subaru’s sales. The company has seen much more widespread success in the significantly more mainstream Legacy, Legacy Outback and Impreza WRX models introduced in recent years.

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Tales of Rock – The 40 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time (And my opinion of this list!)

From Black Sabbath to Korn, here is the definitive list of records to break your mother’s heart (unless your mother happens to be Lita Ford).

This is not my list, it’s a list I found online. I will comment accordingly.

40. Spinal Tap – This Is Spinal Tap and Tenacious D – Tenacious D

Metal’s tough to satirize—even when it’s not actively tongue-in-cheek, it’s self-parodic. As Spinal Tap, actors Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer, deadpan as Stonehenge monoliths, bluster through eerily plausible “hits” like “Hell Hole” and “Sex Farm,” burlesquing every metal cliché in existence. The more stripped-down Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass) swing a bigger schtick: absurdism, penis jokes, and the most heartfelt tribute to Black Sabbath’s second singer ever written.

39. Kid Rock – Devil Without a Cause

The first rap-metal icon who actually seemed to like metal, the pyrotechnic, dwarf-tossing, greasy-cheese-burger-guitar-solo sense of the term. (Fred Durst’s love of Tool doesn’t count). The Kid kicks outlaw clichés like he invented ‘em on the slow-ridin’ hit “Cowboy,” but the real pimp-ring gem is “Only God Knows Why,” where the American bad Ass flips everybody the “Freebird.”

38. System of a Down – Toxicity

Second album from L.A.’s finest Armenian-American metal band. Singer Serj Tankian trips out on the joys of jumping around and the mysteries of jet pilots smiling over the bay; the band slams no-nonsense riffs into half-remembered melodies that make them sound like Sepultura from the old country. A bout instrument that still cuts like an X-Acto.

37. Skid Row – Skid Row

Whether you’re facing prison time (“18 and Life”), rebelling against amorphous authority figures (“Youth Gone Wild”), growing despondent over lost love (“I Remember You”), or merely showing an interest in huge breasts (“Big Guns”), quasi-femme frontman Sebastian Bach understands you. A peerless concept album about being young, kicking ass, and having excellent hair.

36. Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun

A desert-fried, punk-damaged translation of neo-Sabbath doom, Blues balances guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri’s avalanche rumble with Brant Bjork’s Norse-god drumming. The album that packed the bong for countless stoner-rock bands to follow, including Home and Oliveri’s Queens of the Stone Age.

35. Ministry – The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste

On which heroin cowpoke Al Jourgensen ditches ’80s death-disco for self-destructo industrial metal, a sound somewhere between chocking the chicken and strangling an android. Songs like “Burning Inside” and “Thieves” administer DIY tonsillectomies; the grinding dirge-dunks “Never Believe” and “Cannibal Song” are Black Sabbath for the Sega Age.

34. Ratt – Out of the Cellar

On their major-label debut, these L.A. ozone-layer-depleters give Cheap Trick’s glitter-cannon pop craft a Dumpster-diving makeover. “Round and Round” and “In Your Direction” are the kind of swashbuckling doofus-metal anthems Dirk Diggler from Boogie Nights was too stupid to write; Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy is just stupid enough.

33. Danzig – Danzig II: Lucifuge

Producer/metal tastemaker Rick Rubin brings out the bell-toned tenor of former Misfits and Samhain vocalist Glenn Danzig, not to mention his wounded heart. A burly torch singer undone by his sympathy for the devil, Danzig channels Roy Orbison on “Tired of Being Alive”; “Long Way Back From Hell” hollers the blues from the lonely end of AC/DC’s highway to you-know-where.

32. David Lee Roth – Eat ‘Em and Smile

Diamond Dave’s first solo album is actually the last great Van Halen album: disco-metal in the epicurean spirit of Diver Down, mathematically shredded by guitarist Steve Vai and blasted by Roth’s elephant gun. Dave butchers “That’s Life” at the end, but it makes perfect, beautiful sense—if he’s not the hair-metal Sinatra, who is?

31. Deep Purple – Machine Head

Recording on the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Geneva, these hollow-eyed British stoners shred (occasionally), boogie (intergalactically), show off their huge organs, and contribute thoroughbreds like “Highway Star” and “Smoke on the Water” to classic rock’s table of warhorses. Moral: It’s all fun and games until “some stupid with a flare gun” burns down the Swissötel.

30. Sepultura – Roots

Death metal as world music as universal horror-flick soundtrack. After dipping a steel toe in the sounds of their native Brazil on 1993’s stellar Chaos A.D., Max Cavalera’s pre-Soulfly band go native, mixing tribal chants, polyrhythms, and norte americano ringer Jonathan Davis of Korn with political fury and into-the-abyss guitar.

29. Alice in Chains – Dirt

How bleak is this needle-and-the-damage-done song cycle? Let’s just say the most hopeful song is about the Vietnam War. Ten years before finally succumbing to heroin addiction, singer Layne Staley scratches out the rough draft on his epitaph; skimming grunge mold off a Southern-rock bog, guitarist Jerry Cantrell proves an able pallbearer.

28. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

Jon Bon Jovi had it all—dreamboat looks (or great teeth, anyway), brilliant anthems (“Wanted Dead or Alive”), semi-decent anthems (“You Give Love a Bad Name”), makeup music for eighth-graders (Livin’ on a Prayer”), and a guitar player who wanted to be a cowboy (Richie Sambora). No wonder that Jersey sumbitch was always smiling.

27. Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger

Back when Chris Cornell was Seattle’s finest hair farmer and Kim Thayil was America’s smartest Ace Frehley disciple, Soundgarden were—despite their protests to the contrary—a metal band. The arena-rock vocals on Badmotorfinger sound like Ozzy (or maybe Steve Perry!) at the Fillmore East, but the gnarled guitar licks pounce like leather-clad Sasquatches.

26. Ozzy Osbourne – Blizzard of Ozz

Debut of the Ozzy and Sharon show, in which the Prince of F*&@ing Darkness (Ozzy) and the future present of Dead Guitar Heroes of America (Randy Rhoads) snort a batch of Womble dust, attempt to make a straight pop album, and accidentally invent speed metal.

25. Van Halen – 1984

Like Space Mountain with a big frizzy wig on, 1984 is the pinnacle of ’80s Ferrari-rock excess. Eddie shreds AstroTurf, Alex pounds plutonium, Michael orders another Jack and Coke, and Diamond Dave announces his intention to make mad passionate love to the entire continent of North America. And that’s just during “Jump.”

24. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast

The introduction of Bruce Dickinson as Satan’s howling mouthpiece defined the new British metal aesthetic—no gloss, no girls, two guitar players going for Baroque. What made Maiden seem Spinal Tap-ish was also what made them (arguably) the most influential metal act of the ’80s—they were pretentious, but their pretensions made them aim higher than anybody else.

23. Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R

The problem with writing about Queens of the Stone Age is that there aren’t enough synonyms for the word “heavy.” And Josh Homme’s black-hole guitar tone—constantly expanding and contracting, like an iron-studded blowfish—seems to require every one of them. If you triple-majored in biochemistry, horticulture, and philosophy, this is your metal.

22. Blue Cheer – Vincebus Eruptum

The best ’60s power trio that didn’t feature a guy named Hendrix or Clapton. Guitarist Leigh Stephens, singer/bassist Dickie Peterson, and drummer Paul Whaley churn out louder-than-God lava rock that melts down everything from rockabilly (hit cover of “Summertime Blues”) to blues (“Rock Me Baby”). Proto-metal, but also the birthplace of grunge.

21. Megadeath – Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?

The only jazz-metal album that doesn’t suck. Adding bop to their speed-metal blitzkrieg, Metallica’s arch-nemeses turn thrash inside out: pogoing arpeggios, knotty fretboard acrobatics, beats that tumble mullet-over-heels down the stairs. Singer/guitarist Dave Mustraine’s paranoid sneer conjures more bad mojo than a month of Black Fridays.

20. Poison – Look What the Cat Dragged In

“You gotta cry tough,” Pennsylvania pretty-boy Bret Michaels informs us right up front. By which he means that girl metal is twice as stupid and ten times cooler than boy metal and that talking dirty in your old man’s Ford is what rock ‘n’ roll is all about.

19. Motörhead – No Remorse

No one merged punk velocity and metal atrocity quite like these British biker thugs. Of their 932 albums, this two-disc best-of offers the most trounce to the ounce: ashtray-licking blues riffs, Lemmy Kilmister’s “Macho Man” Randy Savage bellow, those dive-bombing double kick drums. They looked like warthogs, but, God bless ‘em, they rocked like warthogs, too.

18. Aerosmith – Rocks

Eventually, they got their own roller coaster (at Disney-MGM Studios theme park). Here, these Beantown malcontents are their own roller coaster. While his loose-limbed band bolls Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and the New York Dolls in dirty Charles River water, Steven Tyler sings and wriggles like the Stones’ logo come to lustful life.

17. AC/DC – Highway to Hell

The final curtain for singer Bon Scott before he choked on his own vomit. Raw but not sloppy, sex-starved but not sexist, this is the last AC/DC effort that feels like the work of extremely talented shop students.

16. Def Leppard – Pyromania

Not a serenade, just a fire brigade. On their 1983 breakthrough, Def Lep dusted British pub metal with ’80s studio glitter (courtesy of hard-rock production don Muff Lange); “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” drop-kicked ’70s dirtbag swagger into the space age. Joe Elliott screams to Valhalla, the guitars roar like two-ton blow-dryers, and drummer Rick Allen kicks ass even with a superfluous appendage.

15. Korn – Follow the Leader

Mook-metal’s darkest hour and change. Translating gangsta rap’s thudding nihilism for kids stuck in res-room purgatory, Head and Munky’s wiry, tuned-down riffing and singer Jonathan Davis’ latchkey lyrics reinforce key metal tenets: Girls can’t be trusted, adults just want to abuse you, life sucks, and nobody cares. A 21st-century Beavis and Butt-head would know every note.

14. Black Sabbath – Vol. 4

Never heavier and rarely crazier, Ozzy inhales a cornucopia of Columbian blow, travels through time, and delivers the first (and perhaps last) truly industrial metal album. Most valuable player: Tony Iommi’s harsh exit-wound guitar.

13. Slayer – Reign in Blood

“Bones and blood lie on the ground / Rotten limbs lie dead / Decapitated bodies found / On my wall, your head!” On this inadvertently avant-garde bloodfeast, singer/bassist Tom Araya narrates Holocaust-footage lyrics like an overeager sportscaster; guitarist Kerry King and Jeffy Hangman trade weed-whacker/bee-swarm solos until Satan gives ‘em a raise. Death metal was all downhill from here.

12. Rage Against the Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles

Page and Plant meet Chuck D and Flavor Flav. Harvard-educated guitarist Tom Morello twists riffs till his scales of justice squeal like wheels of steel; Zach de la Rocha chases ghosts through El Norte’s killing fields, winds up a raving loco on a street corner in the city of dreams, gets to the end of his rope, and finds a noose.

11. Mötley Crüe – Shout at the Devil

Per the liner notes, Shout was recorded on “Foster’s lager, Budweiser, Bombay gin, lots of Jack Daniel’s, Kahula and brandy, Quackers and Krell, and wild women!” “Krell” is Crüe-speak for cocaine, which might explain why the band dressed like sexually confused Decepticons while shouting in the general direction of Lucifer. Not particularly heavy, but hardDave Grohl in ’91 was basically Tommy Lee in ’83.

10. Judas Priest – British Steel

K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton’s massive twin-ax hooks and Rob Halford’s righteous hooligan lyrics partied hard, loved harder, and brought Priest as close as possible to mainstream rock without sacrificing metal’s leathery odor. The pop pinnacle of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

9. Tool – Ænima

With grunge in its death throes, these stinky-fingered Hollywood gnomes revived: a) the two-song LP side (what, you bought it on CD?); b) the acerbic ranting of deceased comedian Bill Hicks; and c) labyrinthine, proggy-assed concept albums. Singer Maynard Keenan gives Rollins-style angst a Robert Smith makeover; guitarist Adam Jones steers art-thrash over the dark side of the moon.

8. Kiss – Alive II

Every hipster claims to adore Alive!, but this sequel captures Kiss at the height of their kabuki powers, incinerating “Detroit Rock City” and “Calling Dr. Love” like dinosaurs from the planet Lovetron. Hirsute frontman Paul Stanley has said that this double LP is “as live as it needs to be,” which probably means “not very.” But who digs Kiss for their integrity?

7. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin II

Before metal was metal, it was everything else. Jimmy Page’s expressway-to-Stonehenge breakdown on “Whole Lotta Love” is a freight train to No Wave; “Heartbreaker” beats Sabbath to sludge by a year; “The Lemon Song” pulls Moby’s break-beats-and-field-recordings trick 30 years early (no Pro Tools, so John Bonham just belts Robert Plant in the ‘nads till the juice runs down his leg); and “Moby Dick” still kicks the Melvins’ asses.

6. Van Halen – Van Halen

California surf-rock for kids in Nebraska who wanted to run away to New Jersey, Van Halen was metal as universal pop—loud (but not too loud), fast (but not too fast), heavy (but not too heavy), and funny (at least on side 2). David Lee Roth sings like he’s trying to nail your kid sister (which he is), and the rhythm section is almost robotically perfect. Oh, the guitar player ain’t bad, either.

5. AC/DC – Back In Black

Producer Mutt Lange gives Angus Young’s Zen-perfect riffs a platinum sheen, and pub-primed singer Brian Johnson ably fills the late Bon Scott’s trousers. Every song shrieks pure meathead rock, but for three and a half flawlessly lewd minutes, “You Shook Me All Night Long” makes being a meathead the acme of sexy cool.

4. Metallica – Master of Puppets

These bare-knuckled Bay Area thrash kings imagined “speed metal” as a stark urban landscape and redefined the architecture of the power ballad. James Hetfield’s rhythm guitar chisels a concrete jungle, then his Jagermeister-soaked bark reduces it to rubble. Cliff Burton’s bass provides the shadows; Kirk Hammett’s eerie, elegiac guitar solos bring the light.

3. Black Sabbath – Paranoid

They sounded way scary, but Sabbath were really just working-class yobs from Birmingham, England, who acid-tripped over the formula for Pure Evil Rock and figured writing doom-saturated anthems about war, fairies, and robots beat punching a clock at the steel mill. On Paranoid, Tony Iommi’s guitar and Bill Ward’s drums wrestle in the mire, Geezer Butler’s bass simulates a herd of iron men trampling the countryside, and Ozzy’s bad-mood-rising bellow blots out the sun.

2. Led Zeppelin – Untitled (Alias “Led Zeppelin IV” a.k.a. “Zoso”)

Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album—1971’s unnamed “Zoso” (so called for the enigmatic symbols on its cover)—is the most famous hard-rock album ever recorded, not to mention a watershed moment for every grizzled old man who’s ever carried a bundle of sticks on his back. “Zoso” is not Zeppelin’s best album (Houses of the Holy) or their heaviest (Physical Graffiti) or even their “most metal” (Led Zeppelin II). However, it’s the defining endeavor for the band and the genre it accidentally created. Epic, ethereal, and eerily sexual, “Zoso” is the origin of everything that sounds, feels, or even tastes vaguely metallic, except maybe Metallica and that metal sludge from Scandinavia (which derives from Black Sabbath’s Vol 4).

1. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction

The singer is a paranoid redheaded Midwesterner with an eight-octave throat and a white leather suit, and he’s too cool to realize he can’t dance. The longhaired guitarist plays blues/metal/punk/jazz/thrash riffs at Keith Richards’ pace; the shorter-haired guitar player smokes cigarettes and gets in fights. The bass player is from Seattle, before it became cool. The drummer thinks he’s in a disco band. And it all sounds like Hollywood at 2 a.m., only genuine and dangerous and absolutely necessary.

Which metal album do you think is the best?

Tales of Rock – Turns out Abbey Road and Let It Be weren’t meant to be the last albums the Beatles recorded

Anyone who’s watched Let It Be, the documentary made from video of the Beatles recording (and arguing about) their final songs together as a four-person group, would assume there was never any way John, Paul, Ringo, and George would be willing—or able—to release another album together. Fans of the band have long assumed that Abbey Road, which was mainly recorded and originally intended to be released after 1970’s Let It Be, was the last proper Beatles album the group had planned to make before their break-up.

As detailed by The Guardian’s Richard Williams, in a profile of Beatles expert Mark Lewisohn, this isn’t the case. A taped meeting from September 8th, 1969 shows that The Beatles had planned to record another album, with its lead single timed for a Christmas release of that year.

The meeting described by Lewisohn and Williams occurred just before Abbey Road’s release. In it, the band (aside from Ringo, who’s in the hospital) talk about the unrecorded album’s format. John “proposes a new formula” that would’ve seen “four songs apiece from Paul, George, and himself, and two from Ringo.” He also “refers to ‘the Lennon-and-McCartney myth,’” hinting his and Paul’s previously shared song attributions “should at last be individually credited.”

This being late Beatles, there’s a good amount of sniping in the recording, too. When Paul (who Williams describes as “sounding, shall we say, relaxed”) hears that George would get “equal standing as a composer with John and himself,” he says: “I thought until this album [Abbey Road] that George’s songs weren’t that good.”

“That’s a matter of taste,” George replies. “All down the line, people have liked my songs.” The tape continues with John “telling Paul that nobody else in the group ‘dug’ his ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’” and that he should instead sell those kind of songs to other artists. “I recorded it because I liked it,” Paul says.

While the passive aggressive dynamic of this period is well-documented already, the really interesting part is the idea that the Beatles may have had at least one more properly recorded LP in them before their break-up. Lewisohn notes that, while recording Abbey Road, “they were in an almost entirely positive frame of mind,” despite what’s shown in films like Let It Be or the hindsight vindictiveness of John and George recording “How Do You Sleep At Night?”

“They had this uncanny ability to leave their problems at the studio door,” he continues. “Not entirely, but almost.” Read the entire piece for more on Lewisohn’s work, the Beatles’ final years, and more.

 

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

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

%d bloggers like this: