Tales of Rock – SPECIAL REPORT: Little Richard, Founding Father of Rock Who Broke Musical Barriers, Dead at 87

Pianist-singer behind “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Long Tall Sally” set the template that a generation of musicians would follow

Little Richard, a founding father of rock and roll whose fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form, died Saturday. He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown.

Starting with “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, Little Richard cut a series of unstoppable hits – “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up” that same year, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958 – driven by his simple, pumping piano, gospel-influenced vocal exclamations and sexually charged (often gibberish) lyrics. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”

Although he never hit the top 10 again after 1958, Little Richard’s influence was massive. The Beatles recorded several of his songs, including “Long Tall Sally,” and Paul McCartney’s singing on those tracks – and the Beatles’ own “I’m Down” – paid tribute to Little Richard’s shredded-throat style. His songs became part of the rock and roll canon, covered over the decades by everyone from the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, and Creedence Clearwater Revival to Elvis Costello and the Scorpions.

Little Richard’s stage persona – his pompadours, androgynous makeup and glass-bead shirts – also set the standard for rock and roll showmanship; Prince, to cite one obvious example, owed a sizable debt to the musician. “Prince is the Little Richard of his generation,” Richard told Joan Rivers in 1989 before looking at the camera and addressing Prince. “I was wearing purple before you was wearing it!”

Born Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5th, 1932, in Macon, Georgia, he was one of 12 children and grew up around uncles who were preachers. “I was born in the slums. My daddy sold whiskey, bootleg whiskey,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970. Although he sang in a nearby church, his father Bud wasn’t supportive of his son’s music and accused him of being gay, resulting in Penniman leaving home at 13 and moving in with a white family in Macon. But music stayed with him: One of his boyhood friends was Otis Redding, and Penniman heard R&B, blues and country while working at a concession stand at the Macon City Auditorium.

After performing at the Tick Tock Club in Macon and winning a local talent show, Penniman landed his first record deal, with RCA, in 1951. (He became “Little Richard” when he about 15 years old, when the R&B and blues worlds were filled with acts like Little Esther and Little Milton; he had also grown tired with people mispronouncing his last name as “Penny-man.”) He learned his distinctive piano style from Esquerita, a South Carolina singer and pianist who also wore his hair in a high black pompadour.

For the next five years, Little Richard’s career advanced only fitfully; fairly tame, conventional singles he cut for RCA and other labels didn’t chart. “When I first came along, I never heard any rock & roll,” he told Rolling Stone in 1990. “When I started singing [rock & roll], I sang it a long time before I presented it to the public because I was afraid they wouldn’t like it. I never heard nobody do it, and I was scared.”

By 1956, he was washing dishes at the Greyhound bus station in Macon (a job he had first taken a few years earlier after his father was murdered and Little Richard had to support his family). By then, only one track he’d cut, “Little Richard’s Boogie,” hinted at the musical tornado to come. “I put that little thing in it,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970 of the way he tweaked with his gospel roots. “I always did have that thing, but I didn’t know what to do with the thing I had.”

During this low point, he sent a tape with a rough version of a bawdy novelty song called “Tutti Frutti” to Specialty Records in Chicago. He came up with the song’s famed chorus — “a wop bob alu bob a wop bam boom” — while bored washing dishes. (He also wrote “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” while working that same job.)

By coincidence, label owner and producer Art Rupe was in search of a lead singer for some tracks he wanted to cut in New Orleans, and Penniman’s howling delivery fit the bill. In September 1955, the musician cut a lyrically cleaned-up version of “Tutti Frutti,” which became his first hit, peaking at 17 on the pop chart. “’Tutti Frutti really started the races being together,” he told Rolling Stone in 1990. “From the git-go, my music was accepted by whites.”

Its followup, “Long Tall Sally,” hit Number Six, becoming his the highest-placing hit of his career. For just over a year, the musician released one relentless and arresting smash after another. From “Long Tall Sally” to “Slippin’ and Slidin,’” Little Richard’s hits – a glorious mix of boogie, gospel, and jump blues, produced by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell — sounded like he never stood still. With his trademark pompadour and makeup (which he once said he started wearing so that he would be less “threatening” while playing white clubs), he was instantly on the level of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and other early rock icons, complete with rabid fans and mobbed concerts. “That’s what the kids in America were excited about,” he told Rolling Stone in 1970. “They don’t want the falsehood — they want the truth.”

As with Presley, Lewis and other contemporaries, Penniman also was cast in early rock and roll movies like Don’t Knock the Rock (1956) and The Girl Can’t Help It (1957). In a sign of how segregated the music business and radio were at the time, though, Pat Boone’s milquetoast covers of “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally,” both also released in 1956, charted as well if not higher than Richard’s own versions. (“Boone’s “Tutti Frutti” hit Number 12, surpassing Little Richard’s by nine slots.) Penniman later told Rolling Stone that he made sure to sing “Long Tall Sally” faster than “Tutti Frutti” so that Boone couldn’t copy him as much.

But then the hits stopped, by his own choice. After what he interpreted as signs – a plane engine that seemed to be on fire and a dream about the end of the world and his own damnation – Penniman gave up music in 1957 and began attending the Alabama Bible school Oakwood College, where he was eventually ordained a minister. When he finally cut another album, in 1959, the result was a gospel set called God Is Real.

His gospel music career floundering, Little Richard returned to secular rock in 1964. Although none of the albums and singles he cut over the next decade for a variety of labels sold well, he was welcomed back by a new generation of rockers like the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan (who used to play Little Richard songs on the piano when he was a kid). When Little Richard played the Star-Club in Hamburg in 1964, the opening act was none other than the Beatles. “We used to stand backstage at Hamburg’s Star-Club and watch Little Richard play,” John Lennon said later. “He used to read from the Bible backstage and just to hear him talk we’d sit around and listen. I still love him and he’s one of the greatest.”

By the 1970s, Little Richard was making a respectable living on the rock oldies circuit, immortalized in a searing, sweaty performance in the 1973 documentary Let the Good Times Roll. During this time, he also became addicted to marijuana and cocaine while, at the same time, returning to his gospel roots.

Little Richard also dismantled sexual stereotypes in rock & roll, even if he confused many of his fans along the way. During his teen years and into his early rock stardom, his stereotypical flamboyant personality made some speculate about his sexuality, even if he never publicly came out. But that flamboyance didn’t derail his career. In the 1984 biography The Life and Times of Little Richard (written with his cooperation), he denounced homosexuality as “contagious … It’s not something you’re born with.” (Eleven years later, he said in an interview with Penthouse that he had been “gay all my life.”)

Later in life, he described himself as “omnisexual,” attracted to both men and women. But during an interview with the Christian-tied Three Angels Broadcasting Group in 2017, he suddenly denounced gay and trans lifestyles: “God, Jesus, He made men, men, he made women, women, you know? And you’ve got to live the way God wants you to live. So much unnatural affection. So much of people just doing everything and don’t think about God.”

Yet none of that seemed to damage his mystique or legend. In the 1980s, he appeared in movies like Down and Out in Beverly Hills and in TV shows like Full House and Miami Vice. In 1986, he was one of the 10 original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1993, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. His last known recording was in 2010, when he cut a song for a tribute album to gospel singer Dottie Rambo.

In the years before his death, Little Richard, who was by then based in Nashville, still performed periodically. Onstage, though, the physicality of old was gone: Thanks to hip replacement surgery in 2009, he could only perform sitting down at his piano. But his rock and roll spirit never left him. “I’m sorry I can’t do it like it’s supposed to be done,” he told one audience in 2012. After the audience screamed back in encouragement, he said – with a very Little Richard squeal — “Oh, you gonna make me scream like a white girl!”

God Bless Little Richard! Rest in Peace.

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Tales of Rock – Jerry Lee Lewis

Folks… Have I got a week that’s chock full of delicious content for you!!!

Enjoy!

With a nickname like “The Killer,” rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis was bound to make some waves in his career. And while he certainly did that with wild performances, including the time he set his piano ablaze after becoming incensed at the idea of having to open for Chuck Berry, the biggest scandal of his career happened far from the ivories.

During his 1958 European tour, the British press excoriated Lewis after discovering he’d married his 13-year-old third cousin, Myra Gale Brown, the year before (Lewis was 22 at the time of their marriage). According to Rolling Stone, Lewis attempted to cover up the marriage by telling people Brown was his other cousin, J.W. Brown’s daughter. He also allegedly lied about Brown’s age, but when the truth came out, he became “cocksure and defiant to the point of parading Brown onstage.”

The ensuing media frenzy effectively sapped Lewis’ career, and he spent the next decade descending into drug and alcohol addiction while attempting to rebuild his career by playing at small, local gigs. Meanwhile, Brown was living a life of quiet desperation.

Speaking with The Gwinnett Daily Post, Brown, who has since remarried and now goes by Myra Lewis Williams, described her 13-year marriage to Lewis as “a trial by fire,” “devastating,” and “chaos all the time.” Williams had her first child, a son named Steve Allen, when she was just 14, then a daughter, Phoebe, at 17. Asked what advice she would give to herself looking back, Williams said, “I would tell my young self that life is not always going to be like this. Get through it and it’s going to be better because it was as if I was going to be there forever and it’s never going to change.”

Yeesh.

 

 

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Tales of Rock – The 7 Most Gruesome Rock ‘N’ Roll Legends (And Whether They’re True)

If the legends are to be believed, a rock star’s day is two hours of playing music and 22 hours of sex, drugs and worshiping Satan. Are the legends true, though? We assembled the most unsettling myths and, wearing elbow-length rubber gloves, took a closer look.

Stevie Nicks Rides the White Horse

The legend: Stevie Nicks, easily the most bangable member of Fleetwood Mac, was at one time so tolerant to the effects of cocaine use that in order to achieve a healthy, atomic-grade high she had to have it blown up her rectum.

Why it grosses us out: Because people who snort cocaine nasally spend approximately 90 percent of their time wiping their constantly running noses. If the legend is true, things don’t look good for that awesome dragon chair she’s sitting on.

Why we still hope it’s true: Aside from giving us reason to discuss Stevie Nicks’ ass in social situations, it would be the most hardcore thing anyone’s done with their body since that dude at Lollapalooza hung a bowling ball off his dong.

Shoving cocaine up your ass is extra-strength crazy, unless of course it’s your source of livelihood (apologies to any drug mules who may have been offended). As an added bonus, it could be considered an anthropological throwback to the Mayans, who used to imbibe alcohol through their rectal lining via beer douches. Tastes great and less filling! Not that you’ll notice.

Yeah, but is it: Nicks most certainly blew the blow, and it is biologically feasible that one could get high by reverse-farting cocaine, but we still find the claim pretty dubious. She has publicly denied it, which could be taken as proof either way. If someone at work started spreading a rumor that at last year’ Christmas party, you snorted cocaine through your sphincter, would you dignify it with an on-the-record denial?

As far as the official record is concerned, the field remains wide open for a phicklephilly reader brave enough to claim the title “first person to take cocaine anally.” Get to it!

KISS’ Comic Book Petri Dish

The legend: KISS, in one of the more ridiculous marketing gimmicks of the last 50 years, mixed vials of their own blood into the red ink used to color the blood for the first issue of Marvel’s KISS comic series.

Why it grosses us out: KISS isn’t exactly the model of sexual restraint. Their blood would probably be more valuable at a clinic documenting the evolution of various strands of STDs since the ’70s, and less valuable staining our finger tips. We’ll stick with our Whitesnake coloring book, thank you very much.

Why we still hope it’s true: No one does zany, goofy, ultimately innocuous horror like KISS, and what better manifestation of that than mixing their blood with comic book ink? Yes, they’re bleeding, but at some point that blood is going to be mixed with the palm-sweat of a thousand chubby sixteen-year-olds as they read about Ace and Gene battling space-pirates with their righteous riffs.

Really, the only way this can be considered hardcore is if you assume-as we do-that the blood was not extracted by a needle, but rather sopped up from the floor after the guys rolled in bacon fat and waded through a trough of alligators.

Yeah, but is it: Absolutely. KISS flew to Marvel’s inking facility in between tour stops and dumped vials of blood into the red-ink vat. Not only is there a picture of it happening, but it was witnessed by a notary public and subject to a signed contract. Comic fans are apparently very particular about the validity of their blood-infused inks. You can now rest assured that if you see someone licking a KISS comic, they are either a vampire or a huge freak.

Mick Jagger’s Goes to Mars

The legend: Mick “the rooster” Jagger was caught during a drug bust eating a Mars Bar from between the legs of Marianne Faithfull, as well as nude in bed with effeminate rocker David Bowie. And, he was caught by Bowie’s wife, no less.

Why we still hope it’s true: We like our rockers like we like our parents: androgynous and sex-crazed. Jagger eating a candy bar out of someone’s cooch is alright, but ultimately just another entry in the pantheon of “rockers have so much sex they get bored with it and do crazy shit” stories. Add in some Bowie-humping, though, and you’ve got rock-legend magic.

The only thing that could make it better would be if Prince had filmed the whole thing and the tape leaked to the Internet, revealing Bowie in full makeup and demanding to be called “Major Tom.” We can dream, can’t we?

Yeah, but is it: In a happy twist of fate for lovers of bizarre celebrity behavior, the Mars Bar bit is a definite no, but the Bowie-banging may actually have some truth to it. Police did bust in on Jagger and Faithfull looking for drugs, but reported no sexual activity other than the fact that Faithfull was naked except for a large blanket. By rock standards, she might as well have been in a burka.

As for the latter incident, Bowie’s wife detailed it on an episode of Joan Rivers’ radio show, but later claimed that the men weren’t having sex, just nude in bed, which, you know, is totally normal.

Frank Zappa Eats Poo

The legend: Misanthropic hermit and erstwhile experimental rocker/composer Frank Zappa got in an onstage gross-out contest with friend Captain Beefheart, in which Beefheart took a dump onstage. Zappa then promptly won the contest–and put Ozzy Osborne’ bat stunt to shame– by scooping up a handful of poop and popping it in his mouth.

Why it grosses us out: Because it’ the most disgusting thing you could possibly do, other than eating two pieces of shit.

Why we still hope it’ true: OK, we kind of don’t, since we like Frank Zappa and it would force us to lose a healthy amount of respect for the guy. But, his notoriously bizarre musical style, and the fact that he named his kids Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen, doesn’t help his case much.

Put that guy in front of a crowd, goaded on by a competition and under pressure to perform, and who knows what he’s capable of? As anyone who’s watched Fear Factor knows, people will eat a lot of crazy shit for very little compensation. Of course, this would be the first time the phrase “eating crazy shit” was used so literally.

Yeah, but is it: Despite strident and persistent claims from fans who “totally saw it happen,” it almost certainly didn’t. Zappa was actually boringly conservative for a rambling guitar rocker and was one of the most vocal anti-drug performers of his time. When asked directly about the incident, Zappa said, “I never took a shit on stage, and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, N.C.”

Marilyn Manson Gets Flexible

The legend: Marilyn Manson, who decided getting breast implants and being an ordained priest in the Church of Satan didn’t make him creepy enough, had his lowest set of ribs removed so he could perform autofellatio (That’ where you blow yourself. Read a book, dammit.).

Why it grosses us out: There’ basically nothing Marilyn Manson can do that wouldn’t make us uncomfortable. Also, this myth requires that you acknowledge the existence of Marilyn Manson’ penis, which we’re assuming bares its fangs and writhes around like a snake when exposed to daylight.

Why we still hope it’ true: We, uh … have this friend that’ worried he’ going to break his neck, and we think it would just make things easier on “¦ our friend if this “¦ Oh hell, it does not make you gay if you try it to yourself. Ok?

Yeah, but is it: A thorough investigation into the matter, conducted only for the purposes of this article, proved that there is no evidence of a successful rib-removal surgery in all of the Western world. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the Eastern world, as well as any surgery attempts that aren’t on record. Also, medical research conducted for this article, and only for this article, reveal that it would actually be more helpful to remove a vertebrate.

Rod Stewart Gets Pumped

The legend: Rod Stewart passed out at an after party and had to get his stomach pumped after ingesting a gallon of semen.

Why it grosses us out: A gallon of semen? We can’t even get through a gallon of milk without throwing up.

Why we still hope it’ true: The Rod Stewart-semen-stomach-pump story blazed a path for the same rumor to be applied to countless modern pop stars. There was Jon Bon Jovi, various members of New Kids on the Block and, more recently, Justin Timberlake.

So, either blowing thousands of dudes is a proud tradition passed down from one pop star generation to the next, or there is an intergenerational tendency among American men to imagine popular male musicians with dicks in their mouths. We’ll take the option where Jon Bon Jovi’ the creep and we’re just doing our jobs reporting the gruesome facts.

Yeah, but is it: It’ almost definitely false, though Rod isn’t helping his case with his denials. In a Rolling Stone interview Stewart commented, “It was so laughable, it never really hurt me. What could it have been? A fleet of fucking sailors? Or, footballers?” They cut the quote off there, but we’re assuming Stewart continued naming the professions of all of the different people he didn’t blow to get that much semen in his stomach.

Led Zeppelin’s Mud Shark

The legend: While staying at the Edgewater Hotel in 1969-a hotel that allows guests to fish from their room balconies-Led Zeppelin caught a mud shark and then proceeded to use it sexually on a bound groupie. Exactly how is a matter for grim speculation only.

Why it grosses us out: Because it sounds like an even more disturbing version of the most disturbing scene in A Clockwork Orange. It also, for whatever reason, makes us acknowledge the existence of Marilyn Manson’ dick again.

Why we still hope it’ true: The way we heard it, the chick was totally into it, which helps undercut the “Oh, my God, that’s horrific” factor. Still, a shark? And, you thought that little pussy-riding prop you brought home to spice things up was “edgy.” Try introducing Jaws to your significant other’s privates and see if one or both of you doesn’t end up taking a trip to the emergency room.

This legend is also appealing because it takes some of the sting out of realizing your favorite rock band is singing primarily about Lord of the Rings characters. Zep aren’t nerds, man! Zep boned a chick with a fucking shark!

Yeah, but is it: Sort of, but in a stripped-down, pathetic kind of way. The widely accepted “true version” of the legend is that the band’s road manager Richard Cole caught a red snapper, and, as the groupie in question was a natural red-head, made the inevitable lame joke and applied the fish to her crimson honeypot. Legend also has it that John Bonham was present, but otherwise engaged in a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons.

 

 

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California Dreamin’ – 1982 to 1984 – Sauced

“This isn’t what rock and roll is all about,”

That night in Hollywood, the band was playing the Roxy, and after sound check I had gone to the bar to play the poker machine. I made a huge mistake and had some bad shellfish earlier,”  The raw fish made my stomach churn and roil. I felt what I was sure was just a substantive fart building up, and I let ‘er rip. Unfortunately, I got more than I bargained for and my bowels voided themselves at that moment. There was at least a solid cup of shit. My stomach rumbled again and my gut expelled another wave of noxious waste. It was everywhere. It was, like, a quart of diarrhea. Soiled, shit-stinking, and sick, I retired to a lounge are upstairs and laid down.

Several hours later, I was back in action, hanging out with some of my band mates  in the venue’s VIP section. But the scene was grim, said bassist Frank: “No talent here; not a looker in the lot.” I grabbed the tour manager and headed to the bar next door, where I was soon approached by an enthused fan. “I think she’s half-Mexican, but she’s pretty hot,” he says.

“Yo, I know you’re in one of the bands,” the girl proposed. “I’ll do anything if you get me into the show.”

Now, you might think you know exactly what happened next, but if you’re picturing a sordid, back-room exchange, you’d only be half-right. I handed the girl “a shot of insanity hot sauce,” which she put down without issue. Then she took another. I escorted her backstage to the VIP section and went back upstairs to watch TV, while the girl proceeded to attack with gusto the green room’s generously stocked open bar.

Two hours later, between sets and I run into hot-sauce girl.

“This is the guy who got me in!” she screamed, hammered after a go at the open bar.

She threw her arms around me and shoved her tongue into my mouth. We weren’t really making out, more like she was molesting me. She was sloppy, but that was hardly a deterrent. Wanting privacy, I took the girl through the back of the venue to a quiet area, pulled open a door, and stepped into a small room. Even playing rough house rock and roll, making out with some drunk ass slapper in the middle of the VIP area is frowned upon.

I realize we’re in the trash room.  We’re literally surrounded by gargantuan piles of trash, heaped high and probably smelling like the contents of my underwear earlier that night. (I had cleaned myself up and had changed by then and was feeling much better) Things started getting hot and heavy between us, and suddenly, the girl stopped the action to make a request. “I’m on the rag right now,” she said, before asking me to place myself someplace fairly uncomfortable. She asked me to fuck her in the ass.

That was the first time I had ever done that. I was a little concerned about the two shots of hot sauce I had given her earlier circling back and burning my little German knockwurst.

I think she was from Puerto Rico.

 

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Tales of Rock: Elton John: I insisted ‘Rocketman’ film be honest about sex, drugs, rock and roll

Music icon Elton John says he insisted that the musical-fantasy biography “Rocketman,” opening Friday, be honest about his life’s sex, drugs and rock and roll.

During the movie’s long gestation, wrote John in an article Sunday for The Observer Magazine of the U.K. newspaper The Guardian, “Some studios wanted to tone down the sex and drugs so the film would get a PG-13 rating. But I just haven’t led a PG-13 rated life. I didn’t want a film packed with drugs and sex, but equally, everyone knows I had quite a lot of both during the ’70s and ’80s, so there didn’t seem to be much point in making a movie that implied that after every gig, I’d quietly gone back to my hotel room with only a glass of warm milk and the Gideon’s Bible for company.”

The film, eventually rated R, stars Taron Egerton as John and Jamie Bell as his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose numerous hits together include “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

“[S]ome studios wanted us to lose the fantasy element and make a more straightforward biopic,” Rock & Roll Hall of Famer John continued, “but that was missing the point. Like I said, I lived in my own head a lot as a kid. And when my career took off, it took off in such a way that it almost didn’t seem real to me. I wasn’t an overnight success by any means … But when it happened, it went off like a missile: there’s a moment in ‘Rocketman’ when I’m playing onstage in the Troubadour club in LA and everything in the room starts levitating, me included, and honestly, that’s what it felt like.”

During that tumultuous period, he wrote, “I’d also lost my virginity, to a man — John Reid [played in the film by Richard Madden], who later became my manager — and come out as gay, at least to my friends and family. This all happened in the space of three weeks. To say it was a lot to take in is a terrible understatement.”

 

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Tales of Rock – Why Surf Rock Legend Dick Dale Is Almost 80 And Still Touring

In 1962, legendary surf rock guitarist Dick Dale released his biggest hit, “Misirlou.” You probably know it as the song Tarantino used in the opening titles of Pulp Fiction.

At nearly 80 years old, Dale is still touring, still playing “Misirlou” as quickly as ever. He says if he stops touring, he’ll die. And that’s not the hyperbolic refusal of a star to let old age keep him from rocking. You see, Dale is suffering from a variety of ailments, and they’re all battling to be the one that kills him first. He needs the money earned from touring to help pay his medical bills. These are the health problems he’s had to deal with:

Renal failure Rectal cancer Diabetes Rectal cancer, again Blinding pain caused by severe spinal damage Having part of his stomach and intestines removed because of the rectal cancer.

Hearing of his financial plight, you’d think he’s scrambling for some late-in-life cash to make up for the time he bought Bengal tigers for everyone in his entourage. Not so. Dale wears a colostomy bag beneath his clothes. His doctors recommend that he clean and redress his entry hole once a week, to which Dale calls bullshit. Following their directions made him unnecessarily suffer from the kind of infections that tend to occur when you poop from a hole in your stomach. So he’d rather re-patch twice a day and stay infection-free, but his insurance refuses to cover those costs. The only surefire way to get the out-of-pocket $3,000 a month he needs to cover the cost of the additional medical supplies is to tour.

But touring has turned out to be a double-edged sword, kind of like the metaphorical one Dale uses to describe the pain in his spine every time he stands up. It pays the bills, sure, but he’s in agony the whole time he’s on stage. And there’s always the chance that his medical equipment will fail him during a show. For example, just before taking the stage at a show in Las Vegas, his colostomy bag tore and liquid shit ran down his legs. His wife quickly washed all his clothes in a backstage sink. He put the clothes back on and proceeded to give the 90-minute performance fans had paid to see. Though you can’t really put a price on getting to watch a sopping wet old man who smells vaguely like diarrhea play that song The Black Eyed Peas sampled for “Pump It.”

Facing his own mortality every day for decades has given Dick Dale time to think about the perfect way to go: “On stage in an explosion of body parts.” There is no more appropriate death for a guy who’s barely being held together than to explode like a crash-test dummy toy while playing a guitar really fast.

 

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Tales of Rock – Nothing Seems as Pretty as the Past

Top Groupies Of All Time: Sable Starr and Lori Maddox

I love writing Tales of Rock, but this is the most lurid and heartbreaking part of this series.
The musicians I loved have done some deplorable things.
But when I think back to my time in L.A. I kind of get it.
I’m not saying it’s right but a lot of artists and musicians did stuff.
Top Groupies Of All Time: Sable Starr and Lori Maddox

 

Hanging out with musicians is any girl’s dream come true. Well, these girls did just that. Mind you, these two girls, Sable, the unofficial queen of the 70’s LA glam rock scene, and Lori, her best friend, were only around 13 at the time. These baby groupies strutted around Sunset Boulevard  on their shiny platform heels, eyes and ears peeled for the likes of Led Zeppelin or David Bowie to show up. I personally don’t like these baby groupies very much, their personalities leaving a lot to be desired, but then again, what 13 year who thinks they’re the hottest thing around isn’t catty? Still, they deserve a mention, these were wild times and these were wild girls.
Due to the comments I keep getting on this particular page, I felt the need to write this. The reason for this post was to not only post a collection of photos of music and fashion from the 70’s, but to also talk about a certain period of time, a moment in history, and the people involved. Nowhere on here does it say I approve of the behavior of the musicians and the groupies. Not once did I say that what they did was ok. It’s like if I made a post about the Holocaust – another period in time that I’m interested in and I’ve read so much about- and saying that I condoned what happened during the Holocaust. I love history (and history has good and bad parts) and the only reason I made this blog was because I like to write about things that interest me, I like to collect pictures, and I like when a person discovers my blog and learns something new or rediscovers something they had forgotten.

Lori modeling with fellow baby groupie Shray Mecham for Star Magazine.

Queenie Glam, Shray, and Sable.
With Iggy Pop.
With Debbie Harry.
With Keith Moon and Annette Walter-Lax.
With Led Zeppelin and groupie Morgana Welch at the English Disco and not the Rainbow Bar & Grill even though to me the booths in the back looked exactly like that. I’ve actually been there a couple of times, not as amazing as I thought it would be, but still crawling with would-be groupies and musicians. I even saw a certain special someone there, coming out of the bathroom before their first gig at The Key Club. Anyroad, the caption to this picture is pretty hilarious.
With John Bonham.
I’m sure you all know what went down with Jimmy and Lori, so I won’t bother to repeat it here.
Just like Jimmy and Lori were a complicated pair, so were Johnny Thunders and Sable.
With Iggy and Johnny.
With Sylvain Sylvain.
With Stiv Bators.
With BP Fallon.
With Dave Hill.
Sable with Mackenzie Phillips and the unofficial mayor of the Sunset Strip, Rodney Bingenheimer, posing outside of the English Disco.
Sable with other baby groupies posing with Rodney outside the Continental Hyatt House (The Riot House).
Young girl – Gary Puckett

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Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox – Part 2

MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES
COURTESY OF LORI MATTIX

 

 

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Tales of Rock – Lori Maddox – Part 1

“I LOST MY VIRGINITY TO DAVID BOWIE”

IN THE EARLY 1970S, the Sunset Strip was a magnet for rock stars: Bowie, Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, Mott the Hoople, The Who. They all hung out in the VIP rooms of louche LA nightclubs like E Club, the Rainbow, and Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco. And with them, of course, came groupies. Scantily clad 14- and 15-year-olds like Sable Starr and Lynn “Queenie” Koenigsaecker sipped cherry cola, dropped pills, and evolved into pubescent dream girls for the platform-shoed rockers who could get anything and anyone they desired. 

MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES
MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES/GETTY IMAGES

 

 

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

Instagram: @phicklephilly                            Facebook: phicklephilly