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 – The Best Band You Never Heard – Solace

I love this band!

 

 

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

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

 

Godspeed years[edit]

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

The birth of Solace[edit]

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

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

13 and beyond[edit]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad luck[edit]

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

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

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

Solace today[edit]

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

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

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

 

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Tales of Rock: Rob Halford Reflects on Fifty Years of Judas Priest

I LOVE JUDAS PRIEST!

When Rob Halford, one of the world’s most notable voices in heavy metal says, “You and I may be seeing Wickedtogether,” you might be just a little bit confused and a little bit star struck. I had the privilege of speaking to the Judas Priest front man the day before my birthday, and he asked me what I was planning to do to celebrate. Upon answering truthfully that I was going to see a play, we began our in depth discussion talking about our adoration of the theater and Broadway shows—specifically, Wicked. I just so happen to have seen The Wizard of Oz reimagined show on Broadway, as well as having read the books it’s based off of—just as Rob has; he was desperately trying to fit seeing the touring version of show into his schedule—prior to embarking on a tour himself.

If you couldn’t already tell, Rob Halford and I had a conversation that was bursting with energy, honesty, and creativity from start to finish—similar to that of his still-going-strong musical career with Judas Priest—50 years since they formed and changed hard rock music and the metal scene as the world knew it.

You have one of the most distinct voices in rock. When did you know you sing? Or, I should ask, when did you know that you had such a range and vocal ability?

Well, I didn’t really discover all the range and all of the possibilities that the voice has given me until I started kind of playing around in the beginning with the very early bands that I worked with. You’ve probably heard names like Hiroshima and Lord Lucifer and Athens Wood, and I think a lot of musicians, before they have the chance and the good luck and good fortune to become professional—no matter what you are, singer, drummer, guitar player—you all kind of find out what your abilities are in those early experiences. That is how it was for me, really, Debra. I’m probably talking about my late teens, before I went into the twenties. Those bands that I worked with weren’t metal bands, they were more like progressive/blues/rock bands, and so we did a lot of covers, but we also tried to write our own songs, as well. That is pretty much when I discovered the voice and what potential it had. Having said that, all of the wonderful producers that I’ve worked with since becoming a professional musician, including recently with Andy [Sneap] and Tom [Allom] and Mike [Exeter]… great producers will find things about you that are in you that you don’t even know exist. That’s why even the acts that have been around for the longest time need a unique producer, because a producer will get things from you that you won’t be able to find for yourself. That’s basically it. It’s a never ending journey, to be honest.

Oh, absolutely. Now, speaking of the bands that you were in before Judas Priest, did you take anything from those bluesy, progressive groups and those experiences and implement them into your career as a metal and heavy rock musician?

Absolutely! When I was a kid we had the old black and white TV in the house we would sit around as a family—there really wasn’t much going on the TV at the same, we only had one national television broadcasting company, which was the BBC and is still there, and there was one entertainment, commercial network called iTV on the British television, of whom are still there even though they morphed—but, generally, the weekends were known for kind of just sitting around the TV like families used to, and you would watch the TV. More often than not there would be an American movie on, and it could have been anything. Talking about Wicked, it could have been The Wizard of Oz or it could have been Meet Me in St. Louis. What I’m saying is that as a kid, you really soak things up when it comes to creativity and exploring…  musicals and films and whatever it might be… all that visual stuff. My mum and dad were very much particular with their tastes, so I’m kind of quite grateful for them for my viewings, because I took it with me. I know I took it with me, because when you and I were just talking briefly about Broadway and show business in general, I was able to show that, yes, I love all of the great singers of the world of all genres; whether it’s Michael Bublé or Barbara Streisand or Michael Feinstein or John Cafferty or The Grass Roots or Barry Manilow, Elvis, Frank Sinatra. It’s all of it, you know? Whenever I talk with my friends about other singers, I always emphasize that it’s great to have a favorite rock or metal singer, but the human voice is a remarkable instrumental and you can do many, many things with it if you take off the blinkers and get out of the box and just listen to everything else that surrounds you.

Right, and being a singer doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stick to the genre that you’re used to, or you like. You can mix rock with pop, folk, blues, and more to create your own sound.

Exactly, exactly, and this is the blessing of being in a band like Judas Priest, because, say, on this recent record, the guys took me on a journey with my voice; whether it was the intense performance of the “Firepower” track or the very emotionally demanding ballad at the very end of the record called “See it Red.” I loved to be in that world of different experiences, of different voices coming through, rather than one, full on, yelling and screaming performance…. Just to hear myself doing one kind of voice? I love to mix things up and to make it interesting for the band [and] for our fans.

On the topic of your latest record, Firepower, what was it like to go back in the studio and work with Tom Allom 20 years later?

Oh, it’s beautiful! You know, Tom knows everything about Judas Priest. He’s an expert. We see Tom pretty much every time we go out into the world and the idea about Tom coming back as a producer was born out of the idea that we had to kind of focus on all of these certain elements of Priest that Tom was involved with, so putting Tom with Andy, who is from a different kind of generation of producer, it was just remarkable to watch them do what they do sitting side by side. Tom knows everything. He knows everything about my voice, he knows everything about Glenn [Tipton]’s guitar tone, [everything about] Ian [Hill]… just in general. Working with Tom is a gold mine, it’s like a treasure. You mix those opportunities up and you get something special like we saw with the production of Firepower.

That’s fantastic. I think the creative juices really flowed fiercely between the producers and the band, which I personally think paid off.

Thank you, thank you! You know, we feed off of each other in this band. If I watch Scott [Travis] going crazy on the drums and doing these amazing drum patterns and seeing his efforts and determination, then I’m going to bounce off that. I mean, that is what is important about having the love and respect of your fellow players. We all have a job to do, but the best of that job comes out of the teamwork effort and being there for each other and encouraging each other. Much like every Priest album, the end experience is born out of a lot of important team dynamics more than anything else.

That’s a stellar outlook on being in a band and making music, especially over so many years. On the topic of older music of yours, do you ever go back and listen to some of your deep cuts? With a discography as unique and immersive as yours, I can imagine that there are songs that even you rediscover once in a while.

We’ve been doing that a lot recently, Debra, because we are trying to dust off the mantle of songs that we haven’t played in a while. There are so many tracks, but we’re mentioning certain tracks like “All Guns Blazing” and “Out in the Cold.” There are all of these incredible Judas Priest songs that you tend to forget, you know? You’re always out there showing of your latest creation, as we are with Firepower, and then you have to include the songs that your fans are ravenous to hear and are absolutely entitled to hear. So, once you start putting all that together, a bulk of the show has already made itself on the set list, but by the same style, there are always 45 minutes that you can utilize for some new adventures. That is what we’ve been doing recently, so, yeah I listened to Rocka Rolla, our first album, recently and I would love to do the title track live. I’m not sure why I feel that way, but there is just something very special about the Rocka Rolla title track that still resonates with me, and I would love to hear Priest play that track now, how many decades later. There are so many things to listen to and try out that I’m sure we’ll be able to bring to life by the time we come to your parts of the world.

I hope so! If you, yourself, find some of these songs so special even now, then I can only imagine how special it would be for fans to hear.

Yeah, because, first off when you make your first hit record, you think “That’s it. I made it.” [Laughs.] And, “Everything’s going to be great now!” Well, wrong! That’s wrong because that is when the pressure starts. You’re suddenly under limitations that you didn’t have before and so many things get out under the microscope that may have never been under the microscope before. So those songs, those very early Priest songs—some of which didn’t even make it to the first record—for lots of different reasons, you listen to them now and play them to perfection just because they mean so much to you in many different ways. I think listening to the first album shows that Priest was going to be a band that was going to take us all on this great journey together in heavy metal. It’s a good album, still, especially for a first.

Absolutely! Like you said, you’ve done a lot since then, too, but you’re still doing it in the ways that you want to, which I think is important.

That’s a difficult thing to work in, too, because when you do get success and when you do start to see things come back at you, there is a tendency to lose the focus of what you’re trying to be about. What I mean by that is that if you have a very, very successful selling record, there is an intonation that we need to make another one of those. That has never been the case with Judas Priest and our label, Sony, and even all going back to Columbia and Epic, CBS… our labels have been wonderful in giving us free range. They’ve always had a lot of faith in Priest and still do. They know that we are going to deliver the goods and every one of our records have kind of stood on their own legs and shown its own character, so it’s a good thing.

Of course, you’ve been known as the Metal God for decades now, but you’ve also been a hero to thousands of people with all different backgrounds and all walks of life. Your impact on the metal community, the LGBTQ+ community, and the music industry itself is immense. Do you feel—or have you felt any sort of pressure— over the years when it comes to being such a high caliber and influential person?

Oh, thank you! I don’t think that about myself, but those were very kind, generous words and I appreciate that greatly. Thank you, Debra. Here’s the deal, though: these things come along from your own making, but I don’t think you’re aware of them right away. When you start to see the accolades in the press and the praise from your fans and this award and that award, it makes you feel good, you know? It makes you more concerning to do better, to be better. That’s the thing with us in Priest, I don’t know if it’s with our British, working-class background or whatever, but, again, you have to be able to know how to deal with that change and those feelings. You know, the world is a different place than when I grew up. The music is still the same, but the world is a different place in terms of communication. I have a fairly decent social media presence and I see what the fans say, whether it be on my Instagram or my Facebook or Priest’s own Instagram and Facebook. I read what the fans say. I am aware of how they feel. How you digest that can be kind of tricky. You have to have a thick skin in some cases and in some cases, you kind of utilize the information that you’re getting back from them and put it to good use; which goes back to how you take it and how you use it to make you a better musician and a better person for yourself and your fans.

 

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Tales of Rock – Tony Iommi

Birmingham was an industrial town in the Sixties, “much like our Detroit.” He had been welding, but grew infatuated with making music, playing guitar and accordion. When a band he was playing in wanted to tour Europe, he decided he’d take the rest of the day off from welding, but his mother sent him back to finish off the day. “They put me on a huge machine, a massive thing, and I didn’t know how to work it,” he said. “As I was pushing the metal into the machine, it came down with such a force and bang, it just chopped my fingers. There was blood going all over the place.”

A co-worker had put his fingertips in a matchbox and sent him to the hospital, but doctors told him he could never play again. “I was extremely depressed and very down,” he said. “The manager of the factory came to visit me at home…and then he told me the story about Django Reinhardt, who had lost his fingers.”

Feeling inspired, he created makeshift fingertips, invented light-gauge strings, dropped his tuning and explored a number of other ways he could play guitar. The combination led to an “aggressive, raw and fat” sound that became Black Sabbath’s signature style.

“Of course, losing my fingertips was devastating, but in hindsight it created something,” he said. “It made me invent a new sound and a different style of playing, and a different sort of music. Really, it turned out to be a good thing off a bad thing.”

Thank you Tony, for 45 years of joy!

 

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Tales of Rock: Swedish Metal Fiasco – Freddy – Part 2

This is when I should have cut this guy off….

I tell Freddy about how Duncan bailed on the show. He thinks that’s fucked up but is all amped to go see Ghost at the Fillmore.

I on the other hand I’ve been working my ass off at my job, the salon and getting the fitness center off the ground. I don’t even feel like going now that Duncan isn’t coming up. But Freddy bought a ticket and now I have to go. I swear, if he wasn’t so amped to go, I wouldn’t even have opened the email from Duncan with the tickets in it. I would have just finished my shift at the salon, and  went home.

I find I have had such a big busy life and have enjoyed the people and events and places in this city, I’m like a seasoned New Yorker now. People that have lived in Manhattan for years usually don’t go out much. I’m like that now.

I especially don’t like getting dragged into something I’m not interested in. I don’t know who the hell Ghost is, and I have no interest in seeing them live. My life is plenty exciting enough. I don’t need to truck up to the Fillmore in 100 degree weather, and go through a pat down, and then pay $8 for a vodka and tonic plus tip. I don’t like crowds and metal shows are always crowded with a bunch of scruffy ruffians.

I hardly even listen to metal anymore. I’m literally having anxiety about going to this show. I even thought on several occasions of emailing the tickets I have to Freddy and telling him I’m sick and he can take two other people. I just really don’t want to do this.

I’m even more pissed off at Duncan for setting up this whole shit show and then bailing three days before the show. What a dick. All because of the money aspect. He’s rich! What the hell?

Once he bailed on this show, I told Achilles I could work that night, because I figured, Doors open at 7pm. Warm up act goes on at 8pm. Headliner goes on sometime after 9pm. That’s how most bands and venues roll. I finish work at 8pm so after some final clean up I close the doors around 8:30. I don’t give a shit about the warm up act so I’ll get there when I get there.

I’m miserable about this. Freddy told me earlier that day he was driving down from Lancaster (Who knows why) and will meet me at the venue. I’m thinking, great. I can focus on the salon, no distractions during closing, and get an UBER to the Fillmore around 8:30-8:45.

I plan on ordering dinner. I can eat in peace, get my drinking armor on for the show and I’ll be fine.

Don’t I get a text around 7pm that fucking Freddy is now going to come pick me up. He’s been to the salon dozens of times. He must be familiar with when I normally get out of there. I’m like fuck! I have to order my food now because I want to eat in private. I really don’t want him to come here because it’s going to turn stressful.

He gets there around 8pm. Why couldn’t he have just cruised by at 8:30 and I could have just hopped in and off we go? No. He has to go park, and come up to the salon. I’m barely civil when he arrives. But behind him in comes my food delivery guy and I’m delighted to see him.

Now the fucking pressure is on. Fucking Freddy is talking about his parking and worrying about his mirror. He wants to help with folding the towels. I’m rage eating my food.

“You’re inhaling that!” he says.

Why couldn’t he have just gone to the fucking Fillmore and I could have met him there? Because he’s never been to the Fillmore and he didn’t want to go there alone. You’re a grown fucking man! Sack up and act like one! You were in the military! Where’s your nuts?

Then I have to go to the bathroom.  Freddy is actually concerned that I’m going to defecate rather than urinate because of the time factor. This is ridiculous. It’s all a waste of time.

I am so fucking angry at Duncan and now Freddy. We finally get out of the salon. I need a cigarette. Freddy lets me smoke in his car, thank God. He drives like a maniac through the streets pf Philly and I’m genuinely frightened and feeling a headache coming on.

We finally get to the venue and Freddy is practically running to get in there. He’s creating this whole stress level that shouldn’t even be here. I just tell him I’ll catch up and get there when I get in there and he slows down.

We get into the venue and the warm up act is done, and nothing is happening. So all of that pressure, and stress and speeding to the venue was all for naught. I knew it would play out this way. I just need to get some alcohol into me so I can chill out.

I vow tonight that I am never letting any of this happen to me ever again. I’m not going to any event I don’t really want to go to ever. My life is better than it’s ever been, and I’m not going to let anyone fuck up my smooth glide anymore.

So if you’re reading this do the right thing. Don’t ask me again!

(I see during final edit that whatever shitty Ghost video I posted on here is now unavailable. I’m not even going to bother replacing it. Because I don’t give a shit!)

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Zakk Wylde Accidentally Survived A Fatal Disease By Drinking All Of The Time

“Because you are shitfaced, all of the time.”

As a guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde isn’t a stranger to the world of wild partying, it’s fair to say. His last name is literally the word “wild” as spelled by a drunk person. We wouldn’t be surprised to hear that this is the only reason he got into rock music.

However, after a monthlong bout of extreme illness finally forced him to see a doctor, Wylde discovered that he was suffering from a rare blood condition that caused his body to overproduce blood clots, which are things that can suddenly kill you at any moment without warning. Furthermore, he’d been suffering from the condition for several years. Wylde sagely asked how the hell he had managed to stay alive for so long with such a deadly affliction, to which the doctor responded, “Because you are shitfaced, all of the time.”

You see, the treatment for Wylde’s condition involves a course of strong blood thinners, which slow down the rate at which blood clots develop. You know what else thins the blood? Alcohol. Zakk Wylde’s years of being heroically wasted saved his life, although nowadays he’s banned from booze and restricted to taking standard medicine, which we feel is a little unfair to the booze.

 

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Duncan – Concentrated Dosage – Part 3 – Saturday Night

Me: “What would happen if you didn’t inject your medicine every week, Duncan?”

Duncan: ” I would turn into a chair.

We walk all the way from the river back to the hotel. I loved the film. Go see it. We stop at the bar and have a couple of drinks. Duncan does his rum driven white russians, and I go with Manhattans and old fashions. Duncan says all the drinks are on his room, so all of this has fixed the missing bottle of Grey Goose he promised me. (See: Phicklephilly – The case of the Missing Bottle of Vodka)

I’ll get my hands on that sometime soon. I have a really nice bottle of rare South African rum for him that I can offer up for trade if I have to!

We decide we’re both hungry and can’t sustain ourselves on popcorn and sugar. I decide to take him over to Tavern on Broad because I have drink tickets. We get there and the vibe just isn’t working. We leave and I have an idea. We go to the place my friend Prova works, and is owned by the Uncle of my partner at the tanning salon, Achilles. (Prova – 2016 to Present – Glow of the Sun and Achilles – 2016 to Present – The Bronze God)

We head over there and it’s choice. We get a table and Prova is there and so is the owner, Achilles, uncle. It’s all good. We have a glorious dinner and the service is great. He’s drinking his usual and I’m having a Manhattan. It’s a great place and the vibe is good.

Lovely Prova comes over to the table to chat near the end and I introduce her to Duncan. He agrees she’s smoking hot and sweet and we’re having a great day. We split the check and it’s time to go see the German heavy metal band UDO at the Trocadero in Chinatown.

Time is tight and we need to grab an UBER to get there on time for the show. Duncan planned this gig eight months ago so I need to be on point for my pal. It’s his weekend and his night. I can’t fuck this up. I want him to be happy and not miss any of it. We step onto Sansom street and the car is on its way. The driver can’t get it together and ends up a block away from us. I think more taxi drivers in this city are packing it in on being taxi drivers and going for UBER and Lyft because there is more money in it and it’s the future. But they’re struggling with it.

Fuck it. We’re in the car, and I’m paying for it with my $600 in UBER credits from my previous job. Thank you ME, deadly sales guy and my previous employer.

We get to the venue and the opening act is on. They’re a tight metal band and we like them, but we immediately identify that the singer sucks and needs to go. That happens with metal heads. We want quality and can identify it instantly. Priest. Maiden. come on. You can have the hair and the moves but if you can’t sing amazing for your band… you’re out. But we’re happy to be there because UDO is coming for Duncan. He’s going to do a bunch of songs from his former band Accept and that’s why Duncan flew up here this weekend and planned this trip eight months ago.

They finish and some time passes, and UDO comes out. Now to refresh, this is a Duncan band. I have turned this clown onto some of the greatest rock and metal on the Earth and I am here now about to see a band where I only know one of their songs from the eighties.

Nothing else. Let’s see how this unfolds.

UDO hits the stage and he is a very rotund German gentleman. Duncan says he’s fatter than he remembers. He’s a sixty something, fat, bald dude that’s ready to rock. He has a Finnish and a Russian guitar player at his side. Both of these guys are deadly musicians that are hot and smile while they shred through the songs of Accept. These guys are amazing. I rock out to the unfamiliar songs like they’ve been written by AC/DC. This band is fantastic.

UDO sings like Bon Scott, the long dead lead singer from AC/DC and the band is tighter than a crab’s ass. (that’s water tight!) I love his band. The guitarists are amazing musicians and elegant showman. I can see the show is choreographed, but I love it. They are sooo good. Their personalities are coming through in the show. I love it.

Just like Aerosmith.

Just like me. What I wanted to do in music, and what I do in my everyday life. Push the energy outward into the people around you, and it will all come back to you so bright and wonderful so you can give it again.

That’s how I felt that night with Duncan.

The show was long. He played for two and a half hours! It was magnificent but I could see that Duncan was getting tired. This was his night but even he was folding. I loved this band, but at our age after the first finale, and one encore, we’re done.

They finally leave the stage and so do we. Duncan always does this thing when we go to shows. He always gets the set list and as much info on the show as possible. I’m not into presents or holidays or birthdays, but I like to be surprised by art. Men don’t like to be surprised, but we like to be delighted. But I feel like Duncan takes the mystery out of the musical acts we see, because he knows what they are going to play. I prefer to just show up at your concert, art gallery or movie and just light me up. But Duncan always knows what they are going to go play before hand. He’s always been this way. I never understood this. Part of seeing live music performed by the guys you love was about the surprise. What will these guy play next? Oh I love that. But Duncan always knows the playlist.

Duncan: What did you think of the show?

Me: That was the greatest rock show you’ve ever taken me to where I only know one song by the band. I LOVED it!

We leave the venue and are walking back to the Ritz Carlton. It’s like we’re in our thirties again. Maybe even our twenties. Duncan has rheumatoid arthritis and has to deal with that every day. He’s always been fit and been working out, and this is a disease that wants him. My mother got RA in her late forties and it was with her until her death.

Duncan has this and it kills me. My Mom had this and I watched her suffer. Here is my friend with the same health issue.

Me: “What would happen if you didn’t inject your medicine every week, Duncan?”

Duncan: ” I would turn into a chair.

We leave Chinatown and walk towards Broad street. Duncan and I cross Broad street. A famous street in Philly. A block from the foot of Billy Penn. We’ve had a glorious couple of days, and I didn’t have to have this fucker at my house for two days.

This has been wonderful and peaceful with my old friend. Drinks, food, games, movies and metal. No strippers or vice. We’re good. We don’t need that. Our connection and our history is our glue. I love Duncan.  I’m happy that we’ve reconnected and sustained our friendship.

We arrive back at the Ritz, and take a seat at the bar. Duncan closes with his signature Rum Russian, I lean into the Manhattan.

In an hour we hug and promise to hang again before memorial day. I step out onto Broad street, (Avenue of the Arts) and make my way home.

I’ve had amazing weekend with an old friend. Duncan and I are connected and there’s no breaking that bond.

 

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Sarika – Song of the Black Widow

God, she’s beautiful. I couldn’t find a stock picture on the internet to capture the delightful beauty of this girl. She is so pretty. Indian. Exotic. The type of beauty you’d almost pay for to be seen with at an event. She is probably one of the most beautiful women I know in Philly. But she recently reached out to me to come hang at a happy hour and a brand new place in Rittenhouse, called Scarpetta. Smith and Wolensky’s is gone and now that place is here. It’s in the Rittenhouse Hotel. She also mentioned that she wants me to come up to her apartment and check out her new place at the Dorchester. I am so glad I have reconnected with her. This vacuous she-devil is such a good character for this work. I am a huge fan of lovely Sarika.

I got to Scarpetta around 5:30. They’ve done a nice job with the place. It’s dark and intimate. The bar looks the same but they’ve opened up the place a bit. There’s only the one bar, but they have a lounge in the back and there is a dining room upstairs. I look around for Sarika but I don’t see her. I’m chatting with the manager and then I look out the window and see her walking towards the building.

Sarika looks amazing as always. We grab a couple of drinks at the bar and sit in this cool little area by ourselves near the window. Rittenhouse Square looks beautiful. It’s all decorated for the holidays.There are strings of bulbs in the trees and the whole park twinkle with light. She is having some sort of light pink beverage that I didn’t catch the name of, and I’m having the old-fashioned. Normally, cocktails are around fifteen dollars, but during happy hour they’re half price. So that’s something I can live with for now.

I ask her what she’s been up to and she says she’s been going on a lot of dates. Turns out that weasel she wanted to bring to my eighty dollar a plate New Years party last year has been gone for a while. I remember she was so into that guy. Apparently they were together off and on for two years. She says she wasted her best years on him and now she’s old. She’s 28! Come on Sarika, you are still but a child. She said he was a jerk to her and probably never loved her. I get her laughing, and start thinking that the black widow isn’t so bad after all. She may be smart as a whip, but she’s still a young woman navigating her way through love and life. I even joke that she probably has a blood-red hour-glass tattooed on her belly.

I do love pretty things, and she is no exception.

I tell her she looks great as always. She has been in some sunny destinations lately, so her skin is a darker brown than normal. I like it. It makes her look even more mysterious and exotic. I mention it and she immediately asks if I think it looks ugly. She always says things like that. She is so smart but so immature at the same time. She’s also a bit of a chatterbox. I think most men can’t handle that and don’t like a girl who talks too much. I don’t mind it. I like a girl who has things to say and experiences to share. I love to talk and entertain a woman, so it’s nice when I have a chatty girl so I don’t have to do all of the work. Women like a good listener and I grew up with three sisters. But what I can’t stand is what Carol used to do. Just babbling on nonstop like a tire spinning in the snow. (See: Carol 5/2014 to 8/2016 – There’s No Fun In Dysfunction)

I once read that women speak up to 20,000 words a day, compared to men, who speak only 12,000. So when we get home…We’re done!

It is puzzling how a woman this strikingly beautiful can’t keep a man. But the more you’re around her the more it makes sense. She says she’s been finding men on an app called J Swipe. It’s like Tinder for Jews. I asked her why that app? She said Jewish men normally appreciate women more, have good jobs, and have money. Sounds like she’s hunting for a husband. I think one of the challenges Sarika is facing is that she may be viewed more as a conquest. A creature to be captured and checked off of some list, because she’s so beautifully exotic.

She said she went out with a guy on Monday and even had a date with a pilot after our happy hour. So I assume I won’t be getting a tour of that gorgeous apartment in her building tonight. Sarika has a very busy life. She travels a great deal for her job as a scientist. I know she was formerly an engineer, but now I guess she’s a scientist. She makes great money and spends her other free time hopping on planes and taking little trips. It sounds like a fun life with all of the dating, and jet setting vacations, but it almost seems like she doesn’t want to be alone in her apartment. She’s crazy dating now. It’s good that she’s getting out there and meeting people after two years wasted with weasel man. But again, I can see men wanting her because she’s so beautiful, but she’s kind of annoying to talk to for any length of time. So if they get the opportunity to sleep with her they may not stick around.

Sarika is very intelligent and a nerd. I have taken her to Science after Hours at the Franklin Institute in the past. She loved it like a child. We went to see Jurassic World last summer, and Guardians of the Galaxy is her favorite movie. If my friend Duncan finds that up he’ll probably move up here from North Carolina. You would think guys would find that hot. A pretty girl who likes guy stuff and sci-fi, but it hasn’t worked. Maybe one of these many men that she is meeting for dates, will be rich and just marry her as a trophy wife. But sadly, people are funny about race in this country. They may want to sleep with a hot girl, but they may not want to bring and Indian woman back home to meet the family. I personally I have nothing against it. If you have been reading this blog, you know I love all different kinds of women. As Hank Moody says in the show Californication, “I got all your albums. I love you all and you and you included, Sarika.”

My buddy Church shows up at Scarpetta. I’m happy to see him. Once Sarika  goes on her date at One Tippling Place up the street, he and I can go to Square 1682 and have a drink. Church knows everybody in the restaurant and bar business in this town, so when he orders a drink and the server brings it over, she says, “This one is on Nathan.” He’s the GM there so Church got the hook up. I get another drink, but Sarika is only having the one so she doesn’t show up drunk for her date at 7:00.

While I was waiting at the bar to get my drink, Church chatted with Sarika. I was a little glad that it took the bartender a little time to get to me and make my drink. Normally I don’t like that, but I thought it would give Church a chance to talk to Sarika.

I get back to our little area by the window. We all chat a bit more. Sarika has to go soon, so she heads back to the ladies room. Church tells me she wouldn’t stop talking and it was driving him crazy. He’s been on edge lately, and listening to Sarika go on about something was annoying him. He said something to the effect, “I wanted to put a gun in my mouth.” He said she is so vacuous and self-absorbed and all she talked about was herself.

He once said that about another attractive girl who talked a lot. He was in a car with her and she was talking non stop and he said, “I wanted to leap right out of the car while it was going 70 miles per hour down the highway.”

Sarika returns, and I put her coat on for her. I tell her I will pay for the one drink she had. She tells me she’ll get me next time. I give her a kiss on the cheek good-bye and she’s off. I get the bill for my two old-fashioneds and her dainty drink. It should come to over $22 plus tax. I look at it and it’s only $15. So I got the hookup because I was with Church.

Dude certainly has the power.

I think next we’ll do a happy hour with my friend Carly.  So the night went well and again without incident.

So maybe my pretty little arachnid is finally growing up.

I love Sarika. She is beautiful, and I enjoy her company, if nobody else does, and I can’t wait to see her again.

(Oh… and if you’ve somehow found this and other stories Sarika, I’ll understand if you cut me off. The truth always hurts more than fiction)

 

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