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

Tales of Rock: SPECIAL REPORT – Gary Corbett of Cinderella Dies the Same Day as Jeff LaBar

Gary Corbett of Cinderella Dies The Same Day As Band’s Guitarist Jeff LaBar

Gary Corbett Dies: 2nd Member of Cinderella to Pass on Same Day

 

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

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Tales of Rock – Wild Stories Of Rock Stars Taking Their Fame Way Too Far – Part 2

11. Van Morrison Recorded 30 Songs In One Day
If the rumors are true, that would have meant that Van Morrison recorded a more than one song every hour. Given that your average track is only 3-4 minutes long, it’s certainly not unfeasible. Especially not for Van Morrison who has always been somewhat of a prolific and brilliant singer and songwriter.
In 1967, we’re pretty sure he broke the record for the most songs recorded (to any discernable quality) in one sitting. The reason why he did it is even better! Morrison was tied into a pretty miserable record contract that wanted 36 tracks out of him before he could escape. In a genius move he smashed out 30 in a day, although not all of them were all that great, it’s still ridiculously impressive. Hell yeah!
12. Michael Jackson Wrote Music For Sonic The Hedgehog 3
Did the greatest Popstar of all time write the music for one of the most successful video game franchises of all time? It turns out that he did! Michael Jackson was the magnificent mind behind the music for the iconic 1993 console game Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Now that you consider Michael Jacksons’ quirky nature, it doesn’t seem all that out there to consider the fact he created one of the most infectiously catchy theme tunes of all time!
The rumor started when one MJ superfan found a strange similarity in sound between the game’s music and MJ’s famous style. The rumor floated around the internet for years before being confirmed in January 2016 by the composers of the soundtrack of the Sega game.
13. David Bowie Can’t Remember Recording One Of His Albums
At the point in time when David Bowie recorded Station to Station, it’s easy to see he was in a pretty dark place. The recording happened during all-night sessions in the studio when Bowie was living a somewhat vampiric existence and eating a ridiculously small amount of food daily.
Somehow, he made it through the hazy experience in 1976 in a Los Angeles studio with a rather blank recollection of the entire process. Looking back, it is easy to see that Bowie was suffering from pretty severe cocaine psychosis, making Station to Station potentially one of the darkest albums ever recorded. Bowie may not be able to remember, but we’ll never forget the iconic masterpiece that stemmed from his delirium. (God, we already miss him.)
14. Keith Richards Doesn’t Sleep
Surely this one can’t be true, can it? No, not quite, he is human after all – just about. Keith Richard’s sleeping patterns do almost defy human physiology, though. In an interview, Keith Richards told an interviewer that he basically runs off the fumes of adrenaline.
The longest that Keith Richards has gone without sleep is nine days, which we suppose is almost as impressive as not sleeping at all, considering the amount of awesome music he created in the times he was at his most sleep-deprived. If his 1978 track, Before they Make Me Run, from the album Some Girls sounds a little otherworldly, now you know why. He was also prone to collapsing at a moment’s notice against speakers. That’s not quite as Rock n Roll is it?
15. Gram Parsons’ Body Was Stolen
First things, first. Yes, it’s absolutely true. After the sad death of Graham Parson, his corpse was exhumed. After receiving high acclaim as the man that brought the Byrds into a brand-new arena of sound, he tragically died aged 26 on September 19th, 1973. What happened to him after death was almost as exciting as the raucous adventures he got up to when he was alive.
Gram had previously expressed his wishes to be cremated instead of buried, however, his father decided on funeral arrangements that weren’t in keeping with his son’s. Therefore, fellow road manager Phil Kaufman and his assistant took it upon themselves to steal the body and set alight to it in the desert. More surprisingly, there were no criminal charges and only a $300 fine.
16. Prince Went Door To Door As a Jehovah’s Witness In Minnesota
This one won’t be much of a surprise to hardcore Prince fans who knew at a time that his religion meant everything to him. Imagine opening your door and seeing Prince standing there, ready and willing to teach his faith.
Before his untimely death, Prince once went under the guise of ‘Brother Nelson’ and not so coincidentally ended up getting spotted by a fan. His church elder James Lundstrom recalled that Prince, we mean, “Brother Nelson” was a very shy man, but a member in good standing. Considering most of the reasons why rock stars are on this list, we’d say Prince’s are the most respectable, even if they are somewhat conflicting with his overtly sexual on-stage persona. He also cared a lot for ‘God’s Kingdom’.
17. Axl Rose Recorded Himself Having Sex For Rocket Queen
Yes, that’s right, the sex moans on his track Rocket Queen weren’t fake. Axl Rose enlisted the help of keen groupie Adriana Smith, who agreed to enter the studio with Axl and the other legendary musicians to create the track. She was certainly very brave!
Alongside Axl Rose’s steamy moans you will also be able to hear Adriana having quite a bit of fun with the vocalist. She has recently come out and admitted her role in the track after keeping pretty quiet about her involvement in the production. It sounds like Slash didn’t want to get left out after Adriana told the Mirror that a threesome also happened that evening. Axl and Adriana romantically met whilst she was working as a stripper in the LA club, Seventh Veil.
18. Rick James Was High As Hell On American Bandstand
Considering the X-rated nature of Rick James’s memoirs, this should really come as no surprise, and we’re not actually sure it’s the most ludicrous rumor in circulation about the legendary artist. The artist, who died in 2004 of a heart attack, posthumously released the accounts of his life, and it’s not for the faint-hearted.
James made his national TV debut on American Bandstand where he performed his most acclaimed singles, You and I and Mary Jane, along with an hour-long interview with Dick Clark, who he later referred to as “one of the nicest cats he’d ever met”. We suppose everyone seems pretty nice when you’re high, though, don’t they? James’s cocaine high didn’t go unnoticed by Dick Clark or the millions of viewers watching.
19. Rapper Danny Brown Received Oral Sex While Performing
Following on from the Wyman scandal, this one almost seems tame – well at least it’s almost legal. We’re guessing rapper Danny Brown didn’t get prosecuted for indecent exposure after his X-rated performance, which pushed the idea of embracing sexuality on stage just a little bit further.
Elvis may have once shocked the nation in the 50s with his gyrating hips, yet Danny Brown showed how far sexuality in musical culture has evolved when he allowed a female fan to give him a blowjob on stage back in 2013 when he was performing live in Minnesota. We’re just amazed that he could carry on hitting the notes during his performance. If there was ever a sign of a true rock star, we think this is it.
20. Ozzy Osborne Snorts Ants
Ozzy Osborne has gained his third entry on the ridiculous rumors list, making him the most prolifically anarchistic rock star in our minds. Sadly, it’s yet another incident that meant the death of innocent life. We can’t imagine any of these acts won him any favors with animal rights groups.
Whilst it’s not uncommon for rock stars to put things up their noses, this is an extreme by anyone’s standards. The incident happened when Ozzy found himself in the company of Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue on tour. When Ozzy heard they were all out of cocaine, he snorted what he believed to be the next best thing, making Motley Crue look rather tame in comparison to his little escapades. We can only imagine how much it stung the next day.

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