Wednesday, October 25, 2006


... taken from a conversation with a friend. I'm just relaying the story.

My dad had these pills locked up in a safe called Artane Sequels. I had managed to aquire these from his safe. They looked like little blue footballs and hence my friends who had helped me consume these called them "Blue Footballs". When I first took them, I was 16 at the time, I figured they were probably harmless pain killers or downers or something like that. After all, they were prescribed to my dad. So with that in mind, I took 9 of them hoping to have a good downer buzz as that's what I was into at the time. Boy was I wrong.

Let me start by saying that the aforementioned drug had large quantites of Bella-Donna in them. When you take Bella-Donna in large doses, you have no recollection of taking anything, you hallucinate and do many things that you normally wouldn't do or even consider yet have no control of your actions because you enter a world that isn't really there except in your head.

So there I was at my friends house, I had been staying there for about a month, sitting on the couch. He had an Irish Setter named Shawn. She was a beauiful dog and very friendly. I had been petting her when she started barking and ran outside. I probably should have figured something was wrong at that time because she ran through the door like you would see a ghost do in a movie. But didn't really think, for some reason, that this was strange. I was there alone but heard a noise coming from the other side of the room. There sitting on the couch were 3 women. 2 identical white women with long brown hair that was down to their waist and wearing long white gowns. They would have been gorgeous with the exception that their faces seemed to be burnt off yet they still had this alluring evil smile that would somehow keep me from looking away. Then there was a black woman who was very pretty, tall and skinny. In the living room, there was this lamp that looked like a red flying saucer sitting on a black base. It probably stood about 1 foot tall. Well the black woman picked up the lamp and slipped it over her head and was watching me from the on/off button. I could see one of her eyes peeking out at me and then darting away when noticed that I she was looking at me. The 2 white girls that were sitting on the couch gradually faded into the couch and were looking at me through the eyeholes. They weren't so shy. Their eyes followed me everywhere I went. In fact, whenever I moved, they would follow. This would happen even as would go into another room. I would see their eyes racing to doorknobs or through wallpaper or anything that was round that would fit their eyes so they could peer at me through whatever round object they could find. Yup the world around me was changing and yet it seemed normal to me. After not being able to convince the women to re-appear and talk with me, I decided to go outside and look for the dog. I had found her in the neighbors yard and was bending down petting her. The neighbors came out and asked what I was doing and I told them that she sometimes gets out of the yard but I would get her home and clean any mess that she makes. They went back inside and a couple minutes later, for whatever reason, the cops were there and placing me in handcuffs. Shawn was gone. I remember the cops asking me where my parents live and telling them that I couldn't go there, cuz my dad would kill me. For some reason unknown to me, they dropped me off at the corner and watched me walk to my parents house and waited until I was inside. I still wondered why they arrested me. I figured it out later when I came down.

So what I remember next was being in my parents house. My mom had called my brother because apparently I was acting wierd. I didn't think I was being wierd. I had discovered that I could light a cigarette and put it in the palm of my hand and it would disappear. I thought it was a cool trick. my brother, who volunteered at a drug rehab place, kept trying to get me to lay down and go to bed. I was too excited, that with all my newly found magical powers. But eventually gave in and went to bed. when I woke up, I found that I had been laying in bed with Shawn and Ladd. Ladd was a great dane that belonged to some friends of mine. He was a cool dog. You would go to their house and knock on the door only to be greeted by this massive dog looking at you thru the little 4x8 window near the top of the door. He really like beer too. Well, I woke up and noticed the dogs were somehow in bed with me and their skin seemed to be falling off. It was the strangest thing. They were breathing and seemed okay except for that fact. It still startled me enough that I got up and left the room, shaking my head as I started to realize that things weren't right.

I went into the living room and sat on the couch and found my girlfriend, at the time, there. I started to kiss her and it seemed her face and skin was becoming loose and started to fall of her face too. She then faded into the couch same as the 2 women from earlier and was watching me from the button holes on the couch. I started to think, "What the heck is going on?" I looked over and saw my mom sitting in a chair on the other side of the room. She had this major look of worry or was it horror on her face. I couldn't tell which. I felt bad for her but didn't know what to do. I thought whatever was affecting me must also be affecting her as well. That's when I saw him. I glanced towards the dining room and there he was....the Devil.

Suprisingly, he looked just like one of my druggie friends...Gary. In fact, I almost swore it was him. He told me that I was in a car accident and was killed and this was the beginning of my hell. He described the accident to me and said all my other friends wouldn't be visiting me. His voice made me tremble. I really believed what he was saying. That seemed to be the most logical explanation of everything that was happening to me. I didn't remember taking any drugs if you recall. He opened his cloak and pulled out swords and started throwing them at me. I would see them go in but didn't feel the pain. I could see blood dripping from the razor edge. He just laughed, twist his wrist and they'd be gone. I was getting freaked out. He opened his cloak again and all these little demons cane running out and started crawling on my mom. I couldn't look as I feared what they might be doing. Then I heard a loud bang. It was my dad slamming the door. He came out and told me, "I hope that you enjoy hell, cause that's where you're going." I replied, "I'm already there". He just stormed off. I then looked around and the room was empty. I was hungry. I went into the kitchen and made some mac and cheese and went back into the living room to eat. I sat the pan down so I could retrieve the table tray and saw my pan sinking into the carpet. I tried to grab it but couldn't get it. I went and made more mac and cheese only to have the same results. I was getting frustrated only to have evil one torment me more. What my mom had told me I was doing at this time was picking at the carpet and pulling out fuzz and then she said I went into the bathroom and started cleaning it. My only response was, apparently the Devil made me do it. My memory starts to fail after I get to this point. I do remember however that I had somehow escaped the devil and had stripped down somehow and made my way outside, in about 2 foot of snow, and was running around the house looking for a church hoping to be freed from this hell I was living in. From what I hear, this is a normal thing for people to do that have taken Bella Donna. I don't remember much after that. My mom tells me that once I got back inside, I went straight to bed and slept for at least 20 hours. Apparently the hallucinating had occurred over a course of 30 hours. I guess I spared you some of the gorier details and shortened the incidents just in case you were getting bored reading this. This did happen over 30 years ago and my memory isn't quite what it used to be. My mom told me later that the police had picked me up because I was petting a dog that wasn't really there in the neighbors yard and had bruises from beating my head against a tree. I have no recollection of that. Course maybe I hit it hard enough to where I wouldn't. My father came up to me afterwards and said that I was only 16 and if he wanted to, he could force me legally to live back home. He never did tho. I knew he wouldn't.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How I got my ulcer

When I was 16 years old, I had been playing bass guitar for about a year and was very impressionable. Bands like Alice Cooper, Kiss, Black Sabbath etc. were all huge to me and played an important role in my musical development. On Halloween, I usually dressed up as Alice Cooper. On stage, I usually portrayed some sort of dark character. I would darken my eyes which gave myself an evil personification. If you have the need to let out frustrations, I highly recommend trying this. Thru this process, I developed into a very animated bass player. Which reminds me of how I miss the 80's. The big hair and makeup, not so much the spandex. Just to elaborate, while other band members are putting on rouge and eye shadow, I would draw lines on my face that would give the appearance that my skin was falling off. Pretty dark and dimented but cool as heck. I guess that's probably a good reason that I didn't get laid as much as the pretty boys in the band did. I didn't really care tho. I had my own dark following. Some of which, scared the bajeebas out of me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not evil, just kinda played like I was on stage.

Anyway, back to the story. Kiss had just come out and was taking the country by storm. One year I saw them opening up for ZZ Top, the next year they were headliners everywhere. They gave an awesome show, flash pots, fire, blood and much more to my teenage impressionable mind. They were the gods of stage shows. I'm not a huge Kiss fan but you have to admit, their concerts are certainly among the most entertaining. While Alice was the king of Shock Rock, Kiss, in my opinion, started the whole glam rock thing.

Okay, so it's the early 70's and I had just started getting into bands. Most of which were really bad garage bands with guys who couldn't play all that well but they had a guitar and that's all you really needed back then to form a band to impress the chicks. So here I was in a band called Tobacco Road. We had a drummer whow had a snare drum a floor tom and 1 cymbal but actually covered things pretty well. Our guitar player knew 3 chords, E, A and D. It took him awhile but i finally got him to learn C and F. He wasn't the brightest light on stage. Our singer looked pretty cool, kinda like Mick Jagger without the humongous lips. He had a microphone rigged throuh his stereo. We were the epitomy of a garage band. Our tour consisted of going to the neighbors garage to play then maybe to a friends house when their parents weren't home.

Anyways, to make a short story long, I'll continue. We had been playing together for about 3 months when we figured that we were ready for the big time. We weren't really, but we thought we were. We figured everyone would love us so we started playing with the garage door open and turning things up as loud as we could. We soon found out that not everyone shared our enthusiasm. Sometimes it took the local police to come remind us. Irregardless, we were having a blast. I think it was about this time, after 3 months, that we attempted to learn some new material. A Kiss song. Granted not difficult to learn, but very difficult to pull off if you're not wearing makeup and 42 inch platform shoes. We decided we needed something to help keep people interested. The bass player for Kiss spit blood and fire. He was cool. The guitar player shot bottle rockets from his guitar. We decided that we should do these things too.

I didn't have a problem with the spitting blood thing. I like to gross people out. At least I did back then. Now I save that luxury for my kids. But back then I had no problem with it. The spitting fire? I was a little hesitant, but eventually gave in to the peer pressure. I practiced a little by putting a lighter in my mouth and released a little fluid then light the lighter and get a small flame. While sort of cool, it didn't havethe effect we were looking for. So Rick got the bright idea of using lighter fluid. Remember, I was only 16, so i said "cool lets try it".

Well after a couple weeks of filling my mouth with light fluid, note: Red Devil is the tastiest, I managed to get pretty good at spitting fire. We always made sure that someone was nearby with shoes on to stomp out the flames that managed to land on the ground. The only problem I ever had was, whenever I spit fire, I didn't always manage to get all of the fluid out of my mouth and sometimes would swallow a little, thus burping lighter fluid for the next 2 or 3 hours...yum. I believe that was the beginning of my heartburn problems, now that I look back and think about it. That's probably the beginning of my ulcer.

We had finally got our first real gig, it was a graduation party for a friend of ours who didn't really have any money to pay for real entertainment. What that means is that we played for beer. Oops I meant free soda, we were minors so no beer for us. As the night continued and people getting crazy from the caffeine and sugar that soda possessed back in those days, the party got pretty wild. It was getting late tho so we decided to play Kiss for our closing song. The blood thing went over really well earlier, just thought I should mention that. So we started the Kiss tune as I made sure the lighter fluid was nearby for our grand finale.

So here it was, the big moment. The band holding the last chord, the drummer banging cymbals, me filling my mouth with lighter fluid. My arm extends out as I light the lighter and spit the fluid toward the flame precisely as the singer jumps to end the song. There it was. The biggest ball of fire I had ever had come out of my mouth. The crowd was cheering and yelling in excitement. I too was amazed at the size of the fireball. So much amazed that I forgot to close my mouth as the fireball started to funnel back towards my mouth. Did I forget to mention I was hopped up on sugar and caffeine. The next thing I knew was our singer throwing me on the ground and rubbing my face in the dirt trying to put my face out. The fire had streamed backwards, igniting my face. What a finale. It didn't seem to burn all that bad at the time so I continued to party with my friends. The pain did get worse as the night went on tho so I decided I should probably go home.

The next day I got up and was headed to the bathroom to check the damage when I heard my mom screaming. Apparently, when you burn yourself bad, liquids come out of your skin to aid in the healing process. Well, this liquid had apparently coverd most of my face and dried to where it appeared as a massive scab. I looked into the miror and almost screamed myself. My dad and mom rushed me to the hospital where they told me I had 2nd degree burns and would more than likely be scarred for life. I was bummed but I think my girlfriend was bummed a little more. Fortunely, thanks to massive doses of bacitracin, I didn't scar as foretold. My parents, bless their souls, still think I was helping a friend work on his carbeurator and it blew up. Heavan help me if they ever had found out the truth. I don't spit fire anymore, although I did do it a few times after that. But I think the major lesson here is, don't use lighter fluid to spit fire. (you probably shouldn't spit fire in the first place) Gene Simmons actually uses gin. It burns fast and clean and more importantly fast...Did I mention it burns fast?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hotels and rockers part 2

Just a quick note, if you haven't read the "Hotels and Rockers don't mix" blog, you may want to read that first. This blog references some things off that blog. Thanks

Well it's day 2 of our fabulous tour of Kalkaska. Needless to say from my previous post, we were in pretty bad shape. I think I got up around 6:30 and was the first one up. I then strolled out in the hallway to assess the damage. After a couple "Holy S@#t$" I went back in my room and laid back down for another hour or so. After another hour or so we were all up and after everyone was showered, we went downstairs to get a bite to eat. The owner of the club came up to take our order. I don't remember a whole lot about the previous evening, but the owner was pretty quick to remind us of some of the things that happened yet he seemed frustrated as to where he could prove that we were responsible for any or everything that happened. As he took our orders, he would casually mention things like, " I got in my car this morning and it smelled like someone peed in my convertable." Now I don't exactly remember who, but I do remember someone mentioning that something was like target practice and we all should try. I just smiled and told him "That sucks". When he brought out our salads, he said something to the fact of "Does any know who the naked girl locked out on the roof was last night?" I do remember that incident and she was only locked out there for about a 15 minutes, but didn't know her name, so honestly, I told him no, I didn't know her. In that instance, I remember the drummer talking this girl into being kinky and doing it on the roof. He then took her out there and after she took off her clothes, he grabbed them and ran back inside, closing the door behind him. You have to remember, we were a party band and although it doesn't give us a license to do so, we did some pretty stupid things. After finishing our meals and receiving multiple evil glares from the owner, we retired back to our rooms to change into our stage clothes.
It was showtime and our singer was no where to be found. We had thought we looked everywhere when one of the waitresses came upstairs and told us that he was sitting at the bar. This was not a good thing because, if you remember, the hospital had given him a large quantity of valium. Lo and behold, there he was, washing down the valium with shots of Jack and Budweiser. We managed to get him on stage where he basically laid the whole show on his side mumbling the lyrics as we tried to make up the difference by turning our guitars up louder to hide whatever it was that he was singing. I was actually surprised when the audience still applauded and ranted about how good we were after the show. They must have been pretty drunk too. All I remember is that my head hurt really bad. Part from a really huge hangover and partially from banging my head on my bass. I guess I should mention this incident. While we were trying to cover for the singers drug induced drunken stupor, we all became more animated on stage than usual. We were a big hair band so this was widely acceptable behavior. I think it was during our rendition of Motley Crue's "Looks that Kill" that I was banging my head and somehow managed to hit the strap lock on my bass. I didn't think a whole lot about it until about 1 minute later when "George the roadie" came up to me with duct tape. I asked him what the heck he was doing and he proceeded to wipe my head with a towel. Thinking that I was only sweating from all the exersion of banging my head, I looked at the towel. The darn thing had a lot of red on it. While thinking to myself "Damn dude, that's so cool" "George" had made a butterfly bandaid out of duct tape and was taping the wound closed. Apparently it was a pretty big cut cuz at the end of the night when the lights came on, there was quite a bit of blood splatter on my side of the stage. I guess when you really enjoy what you're doing, you don't notice some of the things you should, like maybe, a massive head wound. When everything was said and done, it turned out to be a fairly decent night. We were lucky.
One of the nice things about this gig was that we didn't have to tear down our equipment until the next day. That left an opening for some of us to try and get a good nights rest and recover from the previous night. But it also left time for the die hard partiers to pick up where they left off. Sure enough, after a couple hours I kept hearing this banging noise and started to wonder what the F was going on. I peeked out the door in time to see "George" kicking open one of the doors to a room and rush in to take pictures of one of the band members boinking someone. Apparently, he had done this just a few minutes prior to one of the other band members and thought it was funny. Predictably, the second band member he did this too didn't find it particularily funny and proceeded to start punching until a full out brawl was in order. I shook my head and went back to bed, but not before I rushed to "George's" aid with a roll of duct tape. The irony sometimes can amaze you. That pretty much ruined the party spirit for everyone and people went home early enough to where, it seemed, that we were all going to get a decent nights sleep. Thank God for small favors.

The next morning we got up and showered, mind you that my room and one of the other guitar players room were the only two left with working toilets, we all went downstairs to the club to load up our equipment. I went into the office to get paid. After the bar tab was taken out and watching a short video of our second night there and "George" peeing on the owners car a second time, we gratiously accepted our $500 pay, 1/3 of what we were supposed to get. Although I swore I saw steam coming out of the owners ears, he gently said that he didn't think that he would be having us back. I told him I understood and left the office. I did learn a pretty cool catch phrase that day tho. Our guitar player, who had scored with one of the waitresses the previous night, turned as we were walking out the door and told this waitress, "Thanks for the Mammaries". I don't think I laughed that hard in quite a while.

Well that's about all I have regarding that weekend. Tho' it was a pretty active one, it wasn't our worst or best. So as my memory slowly returns from my dillusions of the past, I will happily relay them to you here. So stay tuned folks :)
You Are 87% Grown Up, 13% Kid
Your emotional maturity is fully developed, and you have an excellent grasp on your emotions. In fact, you are so emotionally mature - you should consider being a therapist!
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