HALLOWEEN PODCAST: Bloodthirty Killer and Vampire- Gilles de Rays

Halloween Horror Stories #6- Download Audio MP3

One of history’s most bizarre, twisted and blood thirsty murderers, Gilles de Rays tortured, raped and killed almost 600 people, mostly children. He was a war hero, an adventurer, an aristocrat and a vampire, drinking the blood of his victims.
His true story ends this years week of true horror on this internet radio show, the Final Taxi.

Happy Halloween!!

PODCAST: Vampire of Croglin Grange

Halloween Horror Stories #5- Download MP3

Listen to the story of the Croglin Grange Vampire.

PODCAST: Daily Halloween Show #4: Curse of the Green Eye

Halloween Horror Stories #4- Download MP3

Follow the curse of a mysterious gem that came from outer space and killed anyone who came in contact with it. This stone looked like an eye with a green iris.

PODCAST: Daily Halloween Show #3: The Red Gnome of Detroit

Halloween Horror Stories #3- Download MP3

The Red Gnome of DetroitThe Red Gnome is a creature that haunts Detroit — its appearance is said to presage terrible events for the city. The Gnome appears as a small child-like creature with red or black fur. It is also said to have blazing red eyes and rotten teeth.

** Special note: After recording this show- I found where the Red Gnome was seen in 1996 after a major car robbery.

PODCAST: Daily Halloween Show #2: Immoral or TimeTraveler- Count of St. Germain

Halloween Horror Stories #2- Download MP3

The Count of St. Germain claims to have been around during the time of Jesus. He was active in the 1700’s and was last seen in 1962. This true Halloween story comes for history books.

PODCAST: Daily Halloween Show #1: Vampires of The Phantom World

Halloween Horror Stories #1- Download MP3

Today start the Final Taxi’s 2nd annual daily podcast of Halloween stories. Every day I will podcast a “true tale of horror” that is documented and can be found online or in books.

For today I have chosen a chapter from the historic book “The Phantom World” by Augustine Calmet. (You can find a first edition of this on ebay currently) This is from a report written by a Hungarian Count and head of the infantry.

Please join me everyday till Halloween Night, October 31st.

Slight Problem With Cell Phone Funeral

My daughter has asked for a cell phone for Christmas. I guess that is not an odd request these days. I have seen the benefits of her borrowing mine when she goes on outings with her friends. When my son had a car accident he was able to call the police and me within minutes.Final Taxi Logo
The problem with cell phones is that people use them to talk at the most inopportune times. I have been in meetings and the person I am talking to on an important matter will turn their attention to the phone instead of talking to you. This also happens at dinner with friends or worst when standing in line at communion during Mass on Sunday.

Should I even talk about people talking on the phone while driving? According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of having a traffic accident while using a cellular phone is the same as that while driving drunk.

Cell phones have been around a long time . The first commercial cellular network was launched in Japan in 1979 and fully automatic cellular networks were first introduced in the early to mid 1980s. I think the first cell phone I ever talked on was in 1988 and it was connected to a large box that took up most of the passenger side of the car. Until the early 1990s, most mobile phones were too large to be carried in a jacket pocket, so they were typically installed in vehicles as car phones. With the miniaturization of digital components, mobile phones have become increasingly handy over the years.

People have fallen in love with their cell phone.

Take the case of Arso Banjeglav, 67, of Montenegrin. He was so pre-occupied with sending text message to his friends on his mobile phone that he told his son 38-year-old son Brano of his wish to be buried with it. Arso would spend hours every day chatting to pals and fell lost with out it.

He son carried out his wishes when he died last week and a beautiful service was held in the central Montenegrin town of Cetinje.

However, after his funeral, his family discovered that his grandson, who was playing with the device, had taken out the SIM card.

“We put the phone in the coffin as he wanted, but my 10-year-old son had been playing with it and had taken the card out without my knowledge,” Brano said.

Brano is now looking at the expense of having to dig his father up again just to put the SIMS card back in the phone.

Rice-A-Roni Inventor – Vincent DeDomenico

In this day and age of both partners having to work to make ends meet, there are many times when I will have to be the one who comes home and cook the dinner for the night. With children you want to make sure you are giving them something good and balanced, not just something with meat and bread.

I have found my best way to make dinner for the family is plan ahead and decide if we are having chicken, pork, fish or beef. I then build the dinner around that meat item. The hardest part with kids is getting them to eat vegetables. After I get those out of the way I have to decide if we have mashed potatoes, macaroni or rice. I have found that an easy staple that every loves to eat is Rice-A-Roni.

I thank Vincent DeDomenico the inventor of Rice-A-Roni at least twice a week. Imagine my shock when I saw that DeDomenico had taken that Final Taxi at age 92.

In 1895, Vincent’s father, Italian-born immigrant, Domenico DeDomenico, moved to California, where he set up a fresh produce store. His wife, Maria’s family had owned a pasta factory in Salerno, Italy, so in 1912 she persuaded him to set up a similar business in the Mission District of San Francisco. The enterprise became known as “Gragnano Products, Inc.” It became well know for delivering pasta to Italian stores and restaurants in the area.

Vincent DeDomenico was born on September 29, 1915, in San Francisco, California, the fourth of six children. He and his brothers helped in the family business and in 1934 the family changed the name to “Golden Grain Macaroni Company”.

Vincent invented their signature product of Rice-A-Roni in 1958 after watching a sister-in-law mix a can of Swanson’s chicken broth with rice and vermicelli, which was inspired by the pilaf recipe of a neighbor. She served the dish at a family dinner and creating an instant favorite. Vince took that idea and created Rice-A-Roni by adding a dry chicken soup mix to rice and macaroni. It was first introduced in 1958 in the Northwestern United States. Rice-A-Roni was soon found on American tables coast to coast following the television advertising campaign in the 1960s that featured scenes of San Francisco and its cable cars, along with a catchy jingle to promote the easy-to-make dish. The ads also gave the city much publicity with it’s reference to the point of origin, either family-wise or factory-wise, it was called The San Francisco Treat!, which is a registered trademark.

Another reason I think it got so popular was that on many game shows during the period they gave away a years worth of Rice-A-Roni. I know of someone whose mother was on Let’s Make A Deal with Monty Hall. She won two years worth of the stuff and now he will not touch it. She won because she was dressed as some sort of vegetable. (I think it was a turnip.)

After a trip to Italy in 1964, Vince returned with the idea for “Noodle Roni Parmesano”, based on the classic “Noodles Alfredo”. As the product line extended with various shapes and different sauces it was renamed from Noodle-Roni to Pasta-Roni in 1995. Meanwhile, the Quaker Oats Company purchased the Golden Grain Company from the DeDomenico family in 1986.

A year after the sale, Vince bought 21 miles of Southern Pacific Railroad track in the Napa Valley, restored some 1915 Pullman cars and started the Napa Valley Wine Train, which offers elaborate meals as it travels among the vineyards.

Today at just the sight and sound of the cable car bell I can’t help but play that old jingle in my head.

Dec. 10-2007 —  Mildred DeDomenico, who grew up on a ranch n North Dakota and later married the creator and founder of Rice-A-Roni has taken her Final Taxi just weeks after her husband.

Mrs. DeDomenico she fell from the steps of the Napa Valley Wine Train station and hit her head. She was 87.  DeDomenico became an expert horse rider growing up as the eldest of five girls on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. During World War II, she lived in San Diego, where she worked as a riveter. After the war ended, she moved to San Francisco and met her future husband at the DeDomenico family business, Golden Grain Macaroni Co.

Two Punk Guitarists Take Final Taxi

Back in 1980 a film came out that was suppose to be the next big movie. Robert Stigwood who had done well with Saturday Night Fever and Grease was now doing a movie with punk rock music. The film, called Times Square, flopped and went nowhere but the soundtrack was highly praised for introducing the world to new alternative music acts.

For me one of those bands on the Times Square soundtrack made a impression and I went out and bought their LP. They called themselves the Ruts and the big song off the LP The Crack was called Babylon’s Burning.

It is the Ruts guitarist and co-songwriter, Paul “Foxy” Fox, who at 56 has taken his Final Taxi due to cancer. Fox helped create some of the best loved and most enduring work of the punk era. The Ruts, who came together in 1977, were among the best of the second wave of British punk bands, inspired by the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Their big single Babylon’s Burning was a forthright commentary on the discontent in Britain’s cities and it reached number seven in the 1979 UK charts.

The Ruts, unlike many early punk rockers, were trained musicians and had schooled themselves in jazz-funk and pub rock. Fox played a pivotal songwriting role, and quickly became a model punk guitarist at a time when the three-chord thrash was the height of many of his contemporaries’ ambitions. The Crack showcased his menacing, often haunting, style to great effect, but also revealed his versatility; he was a lover of reggae and could switch styles with ease.

Fox played in several small bands in his early career and in 1975 he joined a funk band, Hit & Run, which played the pub circuit.

By the end of 1977, with punk raging through London, an energized Fox had teamed up with Malcolm Owen (vocals), John Jennings (bass) and Dave Ruffy (drums) to form the Ruts.
Fired by Fox’s furious guitar-playing and the charismatic Owen’s vocals, within a year the Ruts had made a significant impact. A loveable and lively character, Fox immersed himself in the horseplay and high jinks of nationwide Ruts tours, much of it with their kindred spirits, the Damned. With Owen, he was most often the focus of attention on stage.

In 1980, Owen died of a heroin overdose, a drug that Fox would also struggle with in future years. After much agonising, Fox and the two other surviving band-members continued, as Ruts DC – with Fox sharing some of the vocals – until late 1982, after the release of the Animal Now album.

Fox then joined a west London band called Dirty Strangers. They recorded two albums on which Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood guested. Richards was a fan – they toured together briefly in the US – and Fox was also openly admired by the likes of Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page.
After forming his own shortlived band, Choir Militia, in 1983, Fox played with rock group Screaming Lobsters in 1987 and with Fluffy Kittens, an Indie outfit, from 1991 to 1994.

Last year, the frontman from the ska band Bad Manners, Buster Bloodvessel, convinced Fox to form a new touring band, Foxy’s Ruts, which, featuring his elder son Lawrence on drums, toured Europe and played at the Punk and Disorderly Festival in Berlin. Fox’s final performance was at a London Ruts reunion with Ruffy, Jennings and US punk legend Henry Rollins on vocals. His last work was Lockdown, another dub reggae album, recorded earlier this year with the DubCats band.

— — Also taken his Final Taxi over the weekend is Paul Raven, 46, who was formerly bass guitarist with Killing Joke, the British post-punk band best remembered for their hit Love Like Blood in 1985.

Regarded as one of the most significant bands to have emerged from the post-punk/New Wave era of the late-1970s/early-1980s, Killing Joke strongly influenced bands such as Nirvana, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Big Black, Prong, Metallica, Jane’s Addiction, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, Econoline Crush, Faith No More and Korn, all of whom have at some point cited some debt of gratitude to ‘The Joke’.

Raven’s big break came when he replaced original Killing Joke bassist Youth in mid 1982, just in time for the North American tour documented on the Ha! live EP. He was with the group through its most commercially successful period, appearing on the Fire Dances, Night Time and Brighter than a Thousand Suns albums, before leaving during the recording of 1988’s Outside the Gate, rejoining in time for 1990’s Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions.

After touring in support of this album, Killing Joke split up, with everyone except singer Jaz Coleman going on to form Murder, Inc. in 1991, adding singer Chris Connelly. During this time, Raven also participated in Pigface, a project conceived by Murder Inc./Killing Joke/PiL drummer Martin Atkins, as an ever-morphing musical circus with a fluid line-up.

Raven played on Killing Joke’s 2006 CD, Hosannas from the Basements of Hell, and began to work with the band Ministry. He had recently been recording the industrial band Treponem when he was found dead in France of a suspected heart attack.

The Last of the Rat Pack – Joey Bishop

Comedian Joey Bishop, the last living member of the original Rat Pack has taken his Final Taxi at 89.

The Rat Packers of this era – Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Bishop – became famous for their appearances at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in shows that combined music and comedy, and Bishop wrote much of their material. The group had a reputation for hard drinking and womanising, but the mournful-looking Bishop – whose principal vice was golf – never subscribed to that aspect of Rat Pack life.

One thing many people forget about this group this that they played an important role in the desegregation of Las Vegas hotels and casinos in the early 1960s. Sinatra, Bishop and the others would refuse to play in or patronize those establishments that would not give full service to African American entertainers including Davis. Once Rat Pack appearances became popular and the subject of media attention, the Las Vegas properties were forced to abandon segregation-based policies.

Born in New York, Bishop grew up in Philadelphia as Joseph Abraham Gottlieb. He adopted his professional name in the late 1930s when he and two friends worked the Borscht Belt comedy circuit as the Bishop Brothers.
Bishop managed to combine a deadpan delivery with a fine sense of timing and was a brilliant ad-libber who was said never to memorize his gags.

In 1954 he was opening for Sinatra at the Copacabana in New York when, in the middle of his act, Marilyn Monroe walked in wearing a flowing white ermine coat. Bishop waited for her to sit down before saying: “Marilyn, I told you to wait in the truck.” And perhaps no other comic could have got away with the line: “Mr Sinatra will now speak of some of the good things the Mafia has done.”

In the 1950s, he cracked television, appearing on most of the variety hours—including Ed Sullivan’s and Dinah Shore’s.

In 1961, NBC signed him for The Joey Bishop Show, a Saturday night sitcom which featured Bishop as a talent agent and introduced a young Marlo Thomas to television as a series regular. The comedy’s first season drew critical pans despite garnering respectable ratings. The show was reformatted in 1962-63 to resemble The Danny Thomas Show with Bishop playing a comedian with his own television series. The sitcom moved to CBS in 1964-65 but was mauled opposite Bonanza, falling to 97th in the seasonal ratings, and was canceled.

Bishop was a periodic and popular substitute for Johnny Carson during his vacations from the Tonight Show when he was host. In 1966, ABC signed Bishop to do a nightly 90-minute talk/ variety show live from Hollywood opposite Carson, who was in New York. The Joey Bishop Show premiered in April 1967 and featured a young Regis Philbin as Bishop’s announcer-sidekick.

By the late 1980s, Bishop became an increasingly nostalgic figure, though he did a series of interviews when Nick at Nite began airing repeats of his sitcom in the early 1990s.
Joey Bishop is listed as #96 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 greatest standups of all time.

Coincidentally, the “Sands” hotel and casino in Atlantic City where he and the Rat Pack preformed and which had been scheduled for demolition months prior, came down less than 24 hours after Bishop’s death.