Halloween – Kiss & Make Up

Philadelphia, PA – 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 as 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 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!

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Tales of Rock: These Are The Scariest Songs Of All Time, According To Pandora

Today begins an entire week’s worth of Halloween-related posts. Enjoy!

Pandora was on a mission to find the “scariest song of all time.”

So the Oakland-based internet radio company started looking at the many factors that go into making a song sound sinister. In all, 450 attributes were evaluated by the Pandora team.

“Scary songs use key, tempo and timbre to create tension and manipulate the way the listener interacts with sound,” according to a news release. “This includes the use of what scientists call ‘non-linear’ sound. Non-linear sounds are generally scratchy, disorganized, and chaotic, like the sound of vocal cords vibrating violently during a blood-curdling scream. Humans (and many other species) are hard-wired to perceive such sounds as life-threatening.

“The data science team identified structural and musicological properties best fit for frightening moods, including anguished, distraught, eerie, harsh, menacing, spooky, tense, anxious, and volatile, and scored each song against these traits.”

The song that topped the list turned out to be Nine Inch Nails’ “The Becoming.”

Here are the top 10 scariest songs of all time, complete with commentary from Pandora:

1, Nine Inch Nails, “The Becoming”

“This song makes use of distorted “non-linear” instrument timbres and effects, which humans are programmed to find distressing. This contrasts with the hushed + screaming vocals which creates a suspenseful & unsettling mood. Melodically, this song makes use of an exotic-sounding scale, which features a major third, but a flat second scale degree, which gives a dissonant quality.”

2, Pixies, “The Happening”

“Like ‘The Becoming,’ there is more use of distorted, ‘non-linear’ sound along with aggressive vocal attitude, and this one is in a minor key, which is usually perceived as a ‘dark’ sound.”

3, Bauhaus, “Dark Entries”

“The mood of this song is dominated by the tonal quality of the instruments, including distorted riffs and scratchy guitar solos. There is a high level of dissonance between the chromatically descending guitar line and the vocal, which is not a melody exactly, but a series of monotonic, almost unrelated pitches that clash with the accompaniment. The lo-fi aesthetic and freaky vocal delivery make for an unsettling experience, like being chased through the woods by a chainsaw-wielding maniac.”

4, Joy Division, “Transmission”

“The combination of lo-fi production, synth pads, and an exaggerated reverb effect creates a menacing, claustrophobic quality. The song finishes with an intense wall of sound, which along with the staccato and insistent bass guitar rhythm makes this a truly anxiety-provoking track.”

5, Lamb Of God, “Contractor”

“Due to its sheer aggression, it’s a typical example of the death metal genre: it’s loud and distorted, includes a fast tempo, makes use of technically proficient drumming and guitar riffs, and is rhythmically complex in the form of shifting tempos and syncopated hits. The vocals are extreme and gritty and a good example of the ‘death metal growl.’ Lyrically it’s confrontational and threatening.”

6, Tool, “‘nima”

“Similar to the Lamb Of God in its aggressive, confrontational vocal attitude, ‘nima also features loud distorted tones throughout. Still, there is some dynamic range too, with some quieter, more drone-like stretches.”

7, Nirvana, “Heart-Shaped Box”

Like many Nirvana songs, this one defies pop conventions. The harmonic progression is difficult to pin down as major or minor, but there is an unmistakable dark and menacing quality to the music. There is a dissonance between the vocal melody and instrumental parts that is disorienting and can be a bit disturbing to the listener. It makes use of heavy, distorted tones, but also features quieter, brooding stretches.

8, Korn, “Bottled Up Inside”

This song relies on loud, distorted timbres, and some ‘non-linear’ tones to create an aggressive, frightening effect that will transport you straight to the dungeon of despair. The relentless pounding of the drums and the deep, sludgy doom-guitar riffs give this song a truly menacing and diabolical feel.”

9, A Perfect Circle, “Thinking of You”

“This song has a creepy combination of tones, including heavier distorted ones, alongside more ambient & suspenseful tones that will leave you convinced the demons are watching you. The melody at times makes use of an exotic-sounding scale that adds to the mood — the first two vocal notes you’ll hear from a ‘diminished 5th,’ a musical interval which since the 18th century has been nicknamed ‘Diabolus in musica,’ or ‘The Devil in music’ due to its dissonant quality.

10, Whitechapel, “Eternal Refuge”

Eternal Refuge is another Death Metal entry, therefore it’s extreme in its volume and distortion, with that famous ‘death metal growl.’ Try putting this on at home in the dark.”

 

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 – Craziest Rock and Heavy Metal TRUE Stories

As much as you want to believe, most rumors about famous rockers are completely FALSE. But considering the lifestyle, it’s not surprising that almost every rock star has a few rumors surrounding them. But, again, most of these simply AREN’T true.

However, don’t despair, because, in the jumble of countless made-up or exaggerated tales out there, some of these rock star rumors are actually true! Hopefully, this 100%, actual, we’re-not-lying-at-all, real-life true stories about rock giants will give you something to think about.

Keith Moon and Mama Cass Died in the Same Apartment

Keith-Moon-Mama-Cass-Died-Same-Apartment

Rock stars are taken from us too young way too often, and it just so happens that two brilliant musicians died in the same apartment. On September 7, 1978, Keith Moon of The Who overdosed on a sedative in an apartment he rented from musician Harry Nilsson; on June 29, 1974, Mama Cass of The Mamas and The Papas died of heart failure (not of choking on a sandwich as the rumor goes) in the very same apartment.  Flat #12 at 9 Curzon Square, Mayfair, London, England.

Axl Rose Recorded Himself Having Sex for Rocket Queen

Axl-Rose-Adriana-Smith-Guns-and-Roses-Scandal

There’s a rumor that, on the Guns N Roses song “Rocket Queen,” which closes out the band’s debut album Appetite for Destruction, you can hear Axl Rose having sex with a woman who may be Adriana Smith, a 19-year-old stripper and drummer Steve Adler’s girlfriend. According to Steve Thompson, an engineer on Appetite, “Axl wanted some pornographic sounds on ‘Rocket Queen,’ so he brought a girl in and they had sex in the studio. We wound up recording about 30 minutes of sex noises. If you listen to the break on Rocket Queen it’s in there.”

Do you think Adler cared? According to Smith, Adler “fucking freaked out” when he discovered what happened. “I ended up drinking and using drugs over this for a really long time because I had this extreme shame and guilt and stuff,” she admitted to Rolling Stone.

Ozzy Osborne Snorts Ants and Will Apparently Bite the Head Off Anything

Yes, Ozzy, old news perhaps but we’re not going to have someone say hey, WTF, you’re not going to mention the Prince of Darkness?

Ozzy-Osbourne-With-Nikki-Sixx-Snort-Ants-Motley-Crue

You could do a whole list of true Ozzy Osborne stories, but this true rumor is particularly hard to believe. While on tour with Motley Crue, Osborne allegedly got into a one-up-the-other contest with Nikki Sixx that ended with Ozzy snorting a line of ants.

Ozzy-Osbourne-Bite-Head-Off-Dove

We’ve all heard the story of Ozzy Osborne biting the head off of a live bat while on stage, but that wasn’t the first time that Ozzy decapitated a flying friend. Apparently, when first meeting with Columbia Records, Sharon Osborne told Ozzy that he would make an impression on the executives if he released two doves in the office. Instead of letting them go, Ozzy grabbed one and bit its head off in front of the executives. I’m sure he definitely made an impression.

Steven Tyler Adopted a 14 year old Girl So He Could Date Her

Aerosmith-Steven-Tyler-Adopted-Daughter

Steven Tyler was known for having relationships with some of the most beautiful women of their day, but one of his most substantial relationships arose from much different beginnings. In 1975, Tyler somehow managed to have custody of a 14-year-old groupie signed over to him from her parents so they could live together. They were together for three years, during which time she drank, used drugs, and kept up with the wild rock star. They split when she was 18, partly due to the strain that an abortion put on their relationship. (I love Aerosmith’s music in the 70s but, dude… you were a filthy drugged-out savage back then.)

Van Halen Really Didn’t Want Any Brown M&Ms in Their Dressing Room

Van-Halen-Band-Cheeseburgers

Some people use this story as an example of all the prima donnas in rock music, and others use it to show that rock stars aren’t quite as hardcore as society thinks they are, and still others simply can’t believe it’s true. But Van Halen really would not allow any brown M&Ms in their dressing rooms before a show. But it’s not for any of the reasons listed above: in fact, it was a safety concern. Van Halen had extensive contract and safety guidelines, so in order to make sure that the venue had followed all of their safety requests, they buried a line in the contract about the candy. If there were brown M&Ms in their dressing room, it proved that the venue had not done their job.

Led Zeppelin Defiled a Groupie with a “Snapper”

Led-Zeppelin

On July 17, 1969, Led Zeppelin was staying at Seattle’s famous Edgewater Inn, and from their balcony, they could fish in Seattle’s Puget Sound. So the story goes that after a few days of fishing, and a few days of rocking, the Zep had a raucous party at their hotel room. While there, a few bandmates stuck some of the fish that they caught into a groupie’s um… sensitive areas. There are many versions of this story that differ on the particulars, but it is safe to assume that something fishy happened that night.

 

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Mixtape – Seventeen

Oh, look… it’s August 17th!!! 

I’m kicking around the idea of creating some posts entitled, Mixtape. Just stories and songs about mixtapes. We’ve all made on for some reason in our past. Let me know if you think this is an article I should pursue.

The number Seventeen has always been a lucky and significant number in my family. The number signifies anniversaries, birthdates, and just appears all the time in all of our lives. The other day, I thought… how many songs can I think of that are about the number seventeen?

Those who are seventeen are Juniors or Seniors in high school. They are about to embark on life after high school and many will get their first job. 17 year-olds are planning for the future and trying to decide who they really want to be after school is out. In celebration, I created a list of 17 songs. However, it is better than just having a list of 17 songs but each song has the word 17 in the song title. (Well… not all of them!)

When I was 17 it was one of the best years of my life!

This is what I came up with. Enjoy!

17. Damn You Seventeen – Lady A
Released 2014, Country
Album 747

16. Seventeen Forever – Metro Station
Released 2008, Rock
Album: Metro Station

15. 17 Crimes – AFI
Released 2013, Rock
Album: Burials

14. What A Nice Way To Turn 17 – The Crystals
Released 1962, R&B
Album: Twist Uptown

13. 17 – Youth Lagoon
Released 2002, Indie Rock
Album: The Year of Hibernation

12. (She’s) Sexy + 17 – The Stray Cats
Released 1983, Rockabilly
Album: Rant N’ Rave with the Stray Cats

11. Seventeen – Ladytron
Released 2002, Electronic
Album: Light & Magic

10. 17 Days – Prince
Released 1993, R&B
Released as a single on the B-Side of When Doves Cry

9. 17 – Cross Canadian Ragweed
Released 2002, Country
Album: Cross Canadian Ragweed

8. 17 Again – Eurythmics
Released 1996, Rock
Album: Peace

7. Seventeen – Mat Kearney
Released 2011, Rock
Album: Young Love

6. 17 – Kings Of Leon
Released 2008, Rock
Album: Only by the Night

5. 17 – Avril Lavigne
Released 2013, Rock
Album: Avril Lavigne

4. Seventeen – Tim McGraw
Released 2009, Country
Album: Southern Voice

3. Seventeen – Winger
Released 1988, Rock
Album: Winger
Yes!

2. At Seventeen – Janis Ian
Released 1975, Rock
Album: Between the Lines

A brilliant song!

1. Edge Of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks
Released 1982, Rock
Album: Bella Donna

17 – Pink Sweat$
2020, The Prelude

Seventeen – Coffey Anderson
2020, Seventeen

17 – Zhavia Ward
2019, 17

Seventeen – Sharon Van Etten
2019, Remind Me Tomorrow

Seventeen – Alessia Cara
2015, Know-It-All

Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me) – Frankie Valli
1966, 2nd Vault of Gold Hits

But what about the number 17?

Well, the current NASCAR driver with car number 17 is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. The drivers with the most NASCAR wins with car number 17 are David Pearson (30) and Matt Kenseth (24).

The other 17 references include the magazine Seventeen for teens.

Psalm 17 is a prayer of David. Quoted, “Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer – it does not rise from deceitful lips”.

The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Direct Election of U.S. Senators. The 17th century incorporates the dates from January 1, 1601, to December 31, 1700.

Alfred Hitchcock made a film called Seventeen.

The 17th President of the United States was Andrew Johnson.

Apollo 17 was the last Apollo space shuttle mission to land men on the Moon.

The most valuable baseball player who wore the number 17 was Dizzy Dean of the St. Louis Cardinals.

What #17 inspired songs can you think of???

Two of my favorite…

 

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