Chuck Shute Podcast

Rik Fox (Freakshow, ex W.A.S.P. ex Steeler)

February 06, 2024 Rik Fox Season 5 Episode 411
Chuck Shute Podcast
Rik Fox (Freakshow, ex W.A.S.P. ex Steeler)
Show Notes Transcript

Rik Fox is an American heavy metal bassist, who was part of a number of bands including W.A.S.P. and Steeler. His current project Freakshow features Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot, Ratt). We discuss that new project plus working with Yngwie Malmsteen & Blackie Lawless, living next door to Nikki Sixx, auditioning for Ratt, his brush with Quiet Riot, playing with comedian Sam Kinison and more!

0:00:00 - Intro
0:00:14 - Rik's Second Chance & Greg Chaisson
0:02:00 - Connection with Carlos Cavazo & Quiet Riot
0:06:15 - Joining Freakshow & Plans with the Band
0:12:50 - Why Carlos Joined Freakshow & Shows
0:17:40 - Rik Joining Other Bands
0:22:40 - Poison,  Surgical Steel & Lita Ford
0:30:50 - Living Next Door to Nikki Sixx
0:39:50 - Kevin Dubrow's Warning to Rik & L.A. Scene
0:46:10 - Don Costa, Blackie Lawless & Stage Antics
0:48:25 - Blackie Lawless, Nazis, Electricity & Poverty
0:53:45 - Naming the Band W.A.S.P.
0:56:50 - Rik Joining W.A.S.P., Mike Sallen & Ace Frehley
0:59:01 - Auditions for Greg Leon & Ratt
1:03:56 - Time in Steeler with Yngwie Malmsteen
1:19:00 - Playing with Sam Kinison
1:25:35 - Film & TV Work Leading to Reserves
1:36:00 - Guns 'N Roses & All Star Jams
1:39:50 - Getting Back Into the Music Business
1:45:09 - Outro

Freakshow band website:
https://www.eonianrecords.com/freakshow

Chuck Shute linktree:
https://linktr.ee/chuck_shute

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Thanks for Listening & Shute for the Moon!

Chuck Shute:

and listen to the new project. Obviously, they know some of the history too. And yeah, you've had an interesting career. You know, it's kind of exciting that you're getting now kind of like, would you call it like a second chance in this band freak show?

Rik Fox:

Yeah. So judges, what do you say that the judges will accept that one? Yeah. The second chance? Yeah. It's long overdue. It's a long overdue chance, actually, you know, being so overlooked in the business for so long. You know, everybody says, You deserve it. So I'm gonna go with that.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. And then Greg chase on who was the original bass player was actually the one that recommended you. And didn't he follow you? When you love Steeler?

Unknown:

I'm glad you brought that up. Here's here's the weird Twilight Zone connection of the dots. I was in a band called Steeler. The guy named Ron keel. And then I was in a band called surgical steel with a guy named Jim Keeler. And then Greg chase on file to be in both of those bands.

Chuck Shute:

Oh, he pulled you in both. Okay. That's funny. Yeah, he

Unknown:

would hate while he came in and stealer after mom Steen and I left. There was Mitch Perry came in and Ron Murray on bass. But Ron Mari got his hand caught in a door while they were playing Perkins Palace, so he was out of action. So Greg chase on, slipped into that. So he'd fall he kind of followed me technically in sealer. And then when I was in surgical steel, and in 87, when I left the band, Greg came, he was originally in surgical steel, years before that. So he's he just kind of returned back to the band, but it was like right after I left, so that's kind of a weird, Twilight Zone kind of connection of dots there.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. And then you don't you also have a connection with Carlos Cavazos. Because you joined quiet right at one point like That's

Unknown:

very true. I was in the studio with sin. We were recording our album master demo, by with Dana strum was producing that. And I got a phone call in the middle of the night. I don't remember how he got my number. But a very inebriated, Kevin dobro called me up and said that they wanted me to come fill in and do a tour with them. And I said, this is a joke, right? I mean, I've always been, I meant that the brunt of somebody's joke, at some point, he says, dog is serious. He goes, I'm drunk as hell right now. And I'm stoned off my face. But I'm so serious, because your name came up, you will recommend it. And we want you to do this tour with us. He says the thing is, you can't tell anybody. You gotta keep it under wraps. And it's all right. Mom was the word. And he says you're gonna meet with Frankie banali. Frankie is going to hand off the setlist to you on a cassette. You'll learn no songs, then you're going to go work with Carlos until we can do a whole band rehearsal. I said, Alright, fine. So met Frankie. He gave me the tape. I went to Carlos his house a couple of times, and we started working on the songs. Again, I kept my word. I didn't say anything to anyone. What happened at one time, Frankie picked me up and I was at his house in the Hollywood Hills. And he had some somebody showed up at the door, a couple of girls and I was in one room. I could see through steel, a couple of rooms. They were in the other rooms talking to him. And they did look turn their head he looked he saw me but nothing was said. You know, I didn't really acknowledge them or anything. So it could have been that. Or somehow I don't know how he has a reputation for this. But Dana strum, had his fingers on everything going on in LA. That guy was connected. Somehow he found out and called me up and told me don't take the gig. They're just gonna stab you in the back they'll use you and stab you in the back and then dump you because so do it. Don't do it like that. And I'm like, I'm like how do you know? How did you find out about it? He goes he goes Hey, man, it's la It's Hollywood. That's that's the like the the backpedal, default, backpedal. I don't remember how he found out. People talk, I guess. Their manager at a Time Warner got me expedited me a passport really quickly under the federal building down in West LA. And again, I said nothing. Then when I walked into the rainbow and and Frankie was there and he took issue with me. He went ballistic. You don't want it me. He said, I told you to keep your mouth shut. He goes, the whole world knows. I said, I don't know how. I said no, I'm done in Venice. I live in Venice at the time. I'm not talking to anybody. So I don't know how the word got out. But it wasn't for me and he wouldn't he wouldn't believe me. He got mad. Warren Abner got mad. They just went they withdrew the whole thing and And, and they hired some unknown kid I found out, they did this at South America tour. And then when he came back, they don't, they don't the kid. So like that. And I mentioned that when we were shooting a video, the freak show videos, we went out took a dinner break. And Carlos was sitting across from me like you are. And I said, Whatever had you remember that issue, whatever happened with that I never got any closure on that he goes, I don't know, because I didn't hear anything about any of the details about it. I just, you know, you're in, and then you're out. And I really don't remember anything about it. So that was that, you know, but Carlos and I had a little bit of already worked together briefly in the past. And I knew stet when he first got to LA stet. And I while I was working at a moving company called starving students, they had, you know, huge Van Lines. And we would move people's, you know, from apartments and houses. And stet came in with one another guy, long haired rock'n'roll guy. And, and that's how we met, and we became friends, we went out on the trucks, and we were working together, we were moving people, you know, their furniture and whatnot. And that's how we first bonded and we had been friends ever since. So that's kind of how you know, set and I connected and then Carlos and I connected. Here we are, multi decades later. And, Greg, what happened was, there was somebody posted to Facebook that Steel Panther had played or we're taping a segment with America's Got Talent. Right, so So I got in on that discussion thread. Why don't remember whose whose thread it was. And I said, you know, I should be in a band like that. I don't know why I'm not in a bed like Steel Panther. And everybody went yeah, you know, you're right. And somehow a great chase on saw that, that post. And he typed in to tag Ronnie's name. And I, Ronnie and I know each so many say of the same people in this industry. Yet we've never met. You know, he's worked a lot of big, big stars. And a lot of people in the industry. He's a he's an excellent songwriter. He's got a reputation for it. But what you know what, incredible songwriting. And yet we never met, things like that happen all the time in the business. So Greg put me in touch with Ronnie, when he contacted Ronnie, because he had just finished recording the freak show album with him. And now, he says, but I can't commit to the band. He was in atomic kings at the time. He just left that band. But he's got his gifts guitar store music store and Phoenix, bizarre guitar. You know, he's settled there in Phoenix family and whatnot. And he says, I can't commit to the album. I have too many other other commitments. So the conversation I was told, Ronnie says, Well, how can you refer anybody recommend someone? And he says, Rick Fox. So first thing he says first thing out of my mind was Rick is the guy you're looking for. He's good bass player. This music has his name all over it. He's the guy who I don't plus, he'll promote the hell out of you. Rick's like always promoting something. So he hooked me up with Ronnie Irani, I talked to him on the phone, and we discussed some things. And he talked to stet. He said set gave the thumbs up. You talk to Carlos Carlos says, yeah, he goes, I'll work with Rick. Yeah, definitely. So I got the vote of confidence from everybody. And he says, You got the gig, you're in the band. And I haven't even played with them yet. You know, this is just on reputation alone and good recommendations like that. And Greg and I have become closer friends over the years, we're not that close in the 80s. And I think Greg will, will admit, he's kind of a cynical guy. He, much like myself, he doesn't tolerate people's drama and Bs, like that. And he'll call it right on the spot. And sometimes you tend to rub people the wrong way in the business by doing that, because you don't tolerate their drama. So Greg, and I have over time I've talked in in in on the internet about my bass influences. And I said I mentioned a humble pie and Grand Funk Railroad. And your I hate, you know, bands with with really solid bass players, melodic solid bass players, even though I'm kind of known as being a metal guy and I played Steeler and play hard rock and heavy metal. A lot of people don't know my roots. I'm going to Greg saw that. He kind of he talked to me. He says, You know, I got the same. I didn't know you were into the same bands. I said, Yeah, this was the era, you know, in the 70s. From 60s into the 70s. This was a lot of what I was listening to and my influences were and Greg goes, well, I have the same influences. So we had that in common. So there's with that commonality, Greg figured, well if I can't, I'm not I'm not gonna you know, I can't commit to this. I'll give you the next best guy who can could do that. And Greg said, when I first got the scratch tracks, to put my baselines to, he goes, none of these songs had titles. There was no vocals. It was just a Rhythm Tree. Access to guitar and drums. So I wrote when I was feeling at that particular moment, he says it should be really easy for you, he goes, he goes, You can do whatever you want with my bass lines. He goes, it's free rein, you know, do what you feel. I said, Well, out of deference, I have to play them the way they recorded on the album. And he goes, and you know, we can always do whatever fields you want in between, and I went, alright, that's fair enough. And so I've been spending the last several months learning the album. And I've got, you know, the large majority of Greg's baselines down like that. He's a very tasteful player in the pocket. And I like what he's done in his patterns of what he's playing. What he's saying, what he's what he brought to the table in the, in his presentation of his baselines, and all the freak show songs, he nailed it. He totally nailed it. And I'm thinking I probably would have played something that's the same like that, too. And I've, I've added a couple of my own flourishes here and there some other little things to that. But when I said to him, What did you play this or what did you play? He goes, I don't know, they didn't have titles. He goes, now I know what songs they were like that. So like, like in, in the beginning of the intro of full on shred. FOS. Does an intro, and then Greg does some kind of like a harmonic thing on the string, it was like a stop. And then as I said, we do listen to like a harmonic thing. And he says, Yeah, and I said, Yeah, because I figured live, they're not going to hear that, that goes by so fast, that little palaung. So I just slide up and I do like a really high G chord. So it's a little bit more pronounced, and you can hear it, I copy some things like from lemme, let me play bass chords. And me being in so many bands over the years with one guitar, I got a I got a wide area fill, you know, and there's gonna be graded sub drop out if there's no extra guitar. So I've learned you know, do some fills here and Aaron and fatten up the empty space with bass chords here and there, you know, two core three, three note chord, things like that. And that's that's kind of what I did on some of the freak shows material. So Will, everybody will get to hear that when we finally get out do it live.

Chuck Shute:

So you guys have plans for upcoming live shows?

Unknown:

That's more of a running and stet question. Roll Ronnie, obviously, the bandleader so he makes the decisions but he's put the bookings instead that's that's department that's real connected. The industry obviously with washed in metal church, he just just came off a middle church tour. So we said is going to predominantly handle as far as his soul to me says handling all the bookings and the shows, and said says to me, if you see something you think I might be interested in, chances are I probably already know about it, but sent it to me anyway, I'll take a look at it. Because he knows all these promoters. Yeah, you know,

Chuck Shute:

so how did they so it was more Ronnie started this band? Because I was just curious, like, the Carlos is in this band. It's almost like he but he didn't want to do quiet, right? Because I feel like if he wanted, I'm sure that they would have loved to have him back as an original member. And I feel like he does have full rein of that band now as one of the lone living members with him and Rudy could run it together. But he'd rather do this than the quiet right.

Unknown:

That's an interesting point. It's not my place to speak for Carlos. I think there's probably some personal or political politics, you know, band politics. There's some reasons why Carlos does not want to rejoin quiet riot. Any the, in his own words, he said, I don't really don't need to tour with anybody. Because I'm happy to sit at home. He goes, I'm fine. I'm doing well. I don't really need to go run out and play with any bands. He goes. Ronnie asked me to play on this. I really liked the material. And sure, I'll do shows with you guys. I'll be a member of the band like that. And right now he was filling in with his brothers band with Hurricane because they had some gigs already booked. And they didn't want to lose him. So his brother Tony advertised that Carlos was in hurricane. So naturally people go well, if he's in hurricane I thought he was a freak show. What's going on? So I said I called Ron and said what people are asking me what am i What do you want me to tell him? And he just fell in he's not like joining me hurricane permanently. Tony, Tony may have some some issue with that. I don't know why but the way it was told to me Carlos is just filling and he's helping out his brother's band. He's a member of a freak show. So again, I can't speak for Carlos about why he doesn't want to do a quiet riot. He has done some stuff with rat Of course. He even did stepped in and did some stuff with the king cobra No, but as far as I know he's not going out with him either. So yeah, so would

Chuck Shute:

it be like a lot of shows with frequent like you guys talking like national or World Tour Are you just saying like a few live shows kind of near close nearby where you live?

Unknown:

You know from your lips to God's ears knock on wood, you know, we'll get something I again, it's that steps department so I don't know we're hoping for bigger shows obviously do because you have a magnitude of Carlos, Cavazos, and stead, you know, and like yourself? Well, you know, I had never attained that a level that they've been at. I haven't toured the last time I toured a tour was in Canada, like 1980 81. You know, I played like five of the biggest clubs in Toronto. And that was that was it. If you want to consider that that's like a tour, it was over a week, several, like three nights and five different clubs. It's three nights and each club, Nickelodeon Spats, while the biggest clubs that were at the time in Toronto, so I haven't done anything on the magnitude, like, like, the rest of the guys have done it, you know, my peers and whatnot. So I'd have to put my cats in boarding because my wife passed away. So I don't have there's nobody to watch. Watch the cats like that. And, and so I we hope to get some bigger shows, you know, and get out there and do it. We haven't even played together in the same room yet. And the anticipation is like it's itching us we're burning to get in the room and and play together. You know? Are

Chuck Shute:

you thinking like a headlining club tour? Or are you thinking maybe get an opening slot on a bigger more whilst, like a more established band because because obviously a newer band even they have the reputation but might be easier to just jump on to a band that's already got a tour going.

Unknown:

I'm thinking that's that's the way Ronnie wants to go. He wanted he said he wanted to go do glad support Queen striker. And then I saw on Facebook, Queens where I can. Armored Saint announced that they got they got that gig. So I sent it to Runnings. He hadn't seen it yet. I'd say well, that goes to Queens, right? You know, slot armored saint is to support for Queens. Right. So and he was disappointed, you know, obviously so. But if we can get

Chuck Shute:

here's a crazy idea. What if you toured with quiet riot? And then maybe Carlos steps in for a few songs? Just for fun with Clara? Like that'd be a that's

Unknown:

that's not my call? I can't speak for that. Yeah, I'm sure that it stands. You know, very great can handle it's very capable, capable. Yeah.

Chuck Shute:

Well, there's so many great bands of that era that you guys would pair up nicely with so I'm sure he just keep you know, put your your top choices Queens right, maybe then just keep going down the list until you find something. I'm sure something match up for sure. Yeah, it's interesting, though, you so you have not actually done a tour since that because I know you were in a bunch of bands in the 80s. And you played on the Steeler record. And you played a little bit with last but but not an actual tour since the early 80s.

Unknown:

That's That's true. And looking back, I retrospectively it looks like most of the bands, except from the bands that I formed, most of the other bands that I joined, I was replacing somebody else. You know, they were letting go of somebody, they, you know, they want to be in they, you know, I apparently I guess I bring something to the table that was missing with them, whether it's in my style on stage, whatever I bring, by way of experience to the bands. But I kept joining all of these bands that I was replacing their bass players. And unfortunately, it looked great at the time, and they wound up becoming sinking ships. So so after after sin broke up my last lineup of sin. And that imploded. I got an offer to audition for burn. Burn was formally Helion minus Anne Boleyn. And so I do those data produce their demo as well. So just as a for I guess, a formality. I said, Do I really need to audition? You guys know what I could do? She said everybody's heard the Steeler album. They said well just as a formality. So I learned five songs I went in, and I I got to just play the songs and it just stand there. I moved around with the guys in the band. I went to the guitar going up to Ray went up to Alan and it was like playing close to them, you know, physically and it kind of back. I don't just stand still. I'm not one of those guys that stand still. I feel the music, it moves through me I interpret it physically. And that's what I do. And they dug that and they said they left a decision over who's going to be the base slot and burn with with their drummer Sean. And they call the call me up and they said Well, Sean decided and he wants this other guy and said Alright, fine. A few days later, they called me back and he said well come to find out the guy that we that Sean said okay, too. He doesn't own any gear. He doesn't have a way to get around. He's got no amps, no basis no nothing. He just kind of borrowed it stepped into the gig. And so you came in second, I'm sorry to say but would you reconsider? You want to go because we really liked playing with you. I said you know and not to be you know, difficult or anything I seriously my the way my head was at the time. Still trying to wrap my head around. Around the disillusion this dissolving of sin, I said to Alan, let me think about it like that, you know and not that egotistical are the essence here let me let me just think about this big process this and a day or two went by Alan called me up again he goes well if he decided he decided okay, so I had seen burn play, you know they sounded like almost a little like do because just singer at the time Richard Perrigo he was like a Ronnie Jr. Kind of kind of resembled him a little. He had a lot of similar delivery, as Ronnie did. So I said, Okay, so I joined burn. I played with them for several months we were rehearsing it mates in North Hollywood, and and they were managed by Nietzsche. You know, went Ronnie's management company, Nietzsche, hen, Irani, Ronnie and Wendy. But the guy that managed us directly his name was Kurt Lorraine. So he was he was, you know, on the staff below Wendy. And Wendy at the time was managing rough cut. And Ronnie really wanted to wait was totally me. Ronnie wanted to more push behind burn, and less push. At that time behind rough cut. That's just what I'm being told. And so that's kind of where it was at. And then they fired the singer. They fired Richard purrito. So I approached what's his name? The original singer from anthrax. Oh,

Chuck Shute:

Neil turban? Yeah, I think I had on my notes. Yeah. And then he turned down now. Yeah,

Unknown:

he'll turn it down. And we were friends at the time. We're not now we were friends at the time. And so he said he wants to do his own thing because I had already jammed with with dill. That's where his name came on mine. He's he had the voice who was capable, the singing birds material. They said I want to do my own thing I want Alright, fine. So I was at the time I was friends with the road manager for loudness. They just released their lightning strikes album. It was doing really well. And it was gonna be the first headline tour of the US with poison and Cinderella flip flopping each city over who's going to open who's going to do the middle slot like that. And I'm friends with I was sort of Scotty Ross, who was a poises manager tour manager at the time. Like I got to ride with him on the bus and whatnot. So you got

Chuck Shute:

to ride with on the bus with poison. Yeah. Oh, you got it. There's got to be a story there. That sounds amazing.

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. Scotty goes Come on, get on a bus ride with us like that, you know, and I know that guy should point when when Steeler moved out of the Steeler mansion, you know, the roach infested? Your living poisoned moved in. And that was one of their after parties at their house up in the Hollywood Hills. And that's how I bought it with with Bobby doll. He says yeah, we moved into their birth like a year. Yeah, we moved in there. And, and Bobby goes, I had a nicest room and had like a bunk bed like like you'd see in a railroad coach and curtains and carpet was decorated really nice. I said that was my room. was right next to them right next to the rehearsal room, too, because yeah, I got the best room and in the band in the facility like that. So that's kind of how we became friends. Like that. And so poison and Cinderella we kind of thought and I had tour laminates from loudness so I could go wherever I wanted with them. So I went to see them in Bakersfield. I went to see him here when I went up to Phoenix. I don't remember how I got there. But I went to see them in Phoenix. And I was walking around the concert hall. And I met this guy was a local promoter, Brad Laughlin, that he talked to him for a few minutes and he saw that I had I gave him an extra laminate shows and said don't don't drift. Alright, I'm responsible for these passes. And so we were walking around walking around and he introduced me to Jim Keeler, then of surgical steel. And he said, Rick Fox, blah, blah, blah. He goes, Oh, yeah, he goes, you played on the Steeler? I said, Yeah, that's me. Who's here? You played a momsteam That's it. Yeah, I did. Like that first basis on US soil go toe to toe with mom seen on a daily basis and survived. So and that was brief. It was a brief meeting. That was it. I went back to LA. And literally as I put the key in a door and I'm walking into my apartment, my phone was ringing and it's this guy, Brad Laughlin. He's going to be wants you to come back to Phoenix, because he wants you to surgical steel. You gotta you gotta come right away. You gotta come right away. I said, easy. Easy. Lighten up, Francis. Let me let me see what this is about first. I don't even know you guys. I don't know anything about so I made some phone calls. I said, What's the story was who is surgical steel? I hadn't hadn't seen them in in that movie yet that they were in a thunder rally, whatever it was. And and somebody say, Yeah, you like Judas Priest. You're like surgical steel. He sounds just like Judas Priest. Okay? So they call up Keeler, and they flew me out back to Phoenix, and brought my bass. I said, When is the audition and Jimmy Jimmy call everybody chief. He goes, Chief, you just audition you got the gig. I know you can play. I got to seal around. Here's the tape. Here's the songs, learn these. We're recording an album next week. That's how it was presented to me. I was like, wow. So I stayed at Keillor's house I was woodshedding, learning the songs. And and he brought in another drummer. Because what happened is, Jimmy had sacks. The whole lineup of the original lineup was surgical steel, he fired everybody. And he wanted to start over and surgical steel was like, next to iKON. They were like the next big fish in a little pond in Phoenix. Surgical Steve was had that kind of reputation there. I of course, knew nothing about Phoenix or any of this. So I was a fish out of water in Phoenix. And I started learning the songs he brings in a drummer, we're rehearsing in a garage, and I can't lock him with this guidance. This, you know, this is a problem. So I said to Jimmy, come in and just listen to us. And he listened and he listened. And I looked at Jimmy Jimmy looked at me and he nodded. And he had winded up letting his drummer go because the guys beater was all over the place. And it was a really nice guy and look great. I think he had a drinking problem. So that affected you know, other things. And so we brought in, Randy, Randy, oh my god, I shoot myself in the foot for this. It was a drummer for one of the other bands and Phoenix great radio. Bernie Marchetti, great drummer, incredible drummer. And Randy came in and did the live shows with us. But when it came to the studio, Jimmy had to call his old drummer back in, I think it was Bob myelin. And to do the track that tracks with us and I had brought in some material to record as well.

Chuck Shute:

Didn't you record it? Dawkins drummer Mcbrown on I was

Unknown:

I was getting to it. Yeah. One of the songs I brought in. Was Was it is another side story attached to this song. Let's go we got your rock. And of course ace really did it. But we did it and said we recorded it too. Because it was it was done by an outside writer who worked with Janie Americans. And that's where that song originally came from. And it was handed down to me through a series of other proxies. And so Mick Brown and George Lynch showed up at the studio, it was El chatango in Phoenix recording studios. And they said why don't make Why don't you will play the song and you and Rick can play you know, play together and he goes alright, so he listened to a couple of passes. Meanwhile, George George's is in the lobby. And you can hear the razor blade on the glass and I'm looking at the pile and we're gonna I'm getting I'm getting sick to my stomach look and what I noticed is half of Peru on a coffee table chup chup chup chup chup chup chup Chopra. Anyway, so this big was staying at George's place and so we got in and keyless like but but but but but but and our producer Dan Wexler from iKON. He goes, Jimmy, get out of there, leave him alone. He shuts the door. And Mick and I, I think we did one pass together and then we hit record. And we played as if we came out of the womb, locked in gear. You know, I mean, it's just, it just locks. I locked him with MC immediately. And then when we were done, he looks at me. He goes, Well, he goes, I don't know why people talk about you. You state. You're not that good. He goes you just as good as Jeff pilson. Yes. Pilsen, thank you, because you're just as good as Jeff. And I said, Wow, that's that's a high compliment. Thank you. You know, and I'm friends with with Pilsen. We've been friends for you know, for many years, like that. And so I took that as a very high compliment from and Nick Brown. I mean, you know, if he, if he's calling it, it must be true. You know, and that was that was by my surgical seal story. That was just, you know, we do

Chuck Shute:

some live performances with them that were you guys open for Lita? Ford. Right? Right. Yeah. It was just locally didn't tour you're saying, no,

Unknown:

no, we did tour. Jimmy had this huge stage thing built. The drum riser was aircraft welded aircraft, aluminum. And each of the steps had dummy Randall heads in them. They're all lit up like they were on just a red light. They're all empty. And I called my, my Brandl rep Bill actin at random lamps. And so we got this huge show where we're supporting Lita Ford, can you get us some backline gear, just so we can fill it up? Because yeah, and he brought him I had like nine base cabinets. Jimmy had, I think seven stacks, double or triple stacks. And I mean, we took up the entire back wall of the club, I think was rockers in Phoenix. So we're soundchecking you We got the early in the afternoon. We're soundchecking and I see a shadow behind me in coming in through the doorway and I turned around and asleep forward standing there. And her jaw was on the floor. Just silence you stood there, and she's looking up. She's painting up and she's looking at all the wall of amps, the drum riser, the other wall of amps. And she's like, holy shit. She goes, we don't even have gear like this. She goes, Can we use your gear? Wow, you lit the headliners. Asking the support. Can we use your gear like that? Sounds interesting that

Chuck Shute:

that was a year or two or an album or two into her career like she was doing very well at the time. What didn't didn't you also have a connection with Motley Crue like you literally lived next door to Nikki six and Tommy Lee when they were in that crappy apartment, the one that they showed in the dirt,

Unknown:

you know, 1140 North Clark Street. That was that was a pretty infamous apartment building. The guys from the malls lived in there. They had the apartment facing the pool. There was a bunch of rocker chick she lived in there. What happened was after I received my walking papers from Wasp, I literally had no place to go. You know, I didn't know that many people I tried networking with whenever I could. But we didn't have internet. So it was nobody to check my resume. Just I could just tell them, you know, I worked with Thor. I know the guys had kids. That, you know, that didn't really get me much. So one of the girls that I became friends with that lived in one of those apartments. She was one of the escorts that worked under Heidi Fleiss and Madame mallex. You know, it was shadows, you rent an escort company in this shed girls in all different parts of LA, this girl whose apartment it was Roxy, she felt bad about what happened with me with was because she says you don't come to stay at our place. And so you get on your feet, which is my introduction to what they call the couch tour. You know, so she gave me a roof over my head and place to sleep. And he had a huge huge two bedroom apartment. And when the girls would come back in with their money, they looking for places to hide their cash. So I became like this. It was like Jerry Lewis house boy, you know, I cracking the carpets, I do the dishes. I do the cleaning. I wasn't just slouching and oh, the girls would come back Why do you hide my money and you'll hide my money. So I found all these little cubby places in the apartment. Peel up the carpet here behind the couch, put something over there and I would hide their money for them. And we're talking these girls that come back with wads of money they wait oh there were a scoring like rich rich Arabs you know there were arm candy essentially for escorts and then come back later go which my mind need my money. Go back to the spot and here's your money. Here's your money. It's your money like that. So that's what I did. And we shared the wall right next door with the apartment that motley crew used to live in. Who pretty much Vince had already moved out. He was around the corner on Larrabee with his first wife Tommy had moved out. MC one moved out but I did see Tommy there at that building before I had even moved in. I was just visiting at one point I met Tommy outside by the elevator and we became quick friends. Hi, how you to wake up from New York you Oh yeah. Cool. Like that I just got in town. But Nicky lived there. And they know the stories about them having a lot broken off from be kicked in so many times the door. That's true. There was the lock on the door. He would push a chair on the inside up against the door to keep it shut like that. But but

Chuck Shute:

he's you get to go to any of the parties they

Unknown:

had. No, no, not there were there was parties at the building but not in their apartment. There was other Jamal's had parties in their apartment. There was parties and other other apartments in that building.

Chuck Shute:

What was that? So is that not the apartment from the dirt? Like the one that's in the book in the movie that were they were they had all the parties? Is that the same apartment or is this

Unknown:

the same apartment? I haven't seen? I don't know. Yeah, I haven't seen them. I haven't seen the movie. I didn't read the book.

Chuck Shute:

Okay. You got to see that movie. It's classic.

Unknown:

So Nikki was not doing too well financially yet. And he was running an extension tap from Roxy's apartment. It was a you know, an extension line running around the back patio and intubated the sliding door on his side and plug so he have electricity. Electricity, though, and I walked in at one point, he's sitting on the floor with a blanket on him. You know, and it's like guitar picks on the floor and crumpled pieces of papers. Like you know, it didn't look like it was wasn't cleaned like that. But But one day Roxy goes, I need something from Nikki, can you go go knock on the door need to talk to him? I said sure. So I go next. Word of knocking on the door and I hear in Saigon girl. I said, it's Rick from next door. I said Roxy wants to talk to you. Because come on and dude. So I got a push door. And you know, there's a chair behind push the door. And he had pushed to read him to read leather, love seats. And he pushed him together. So they formed like a box, like a pit couch, right there just inside the door and on the left. And he had come out of that. And we were talking and talking. He was getting dressed or something. He said, Yeah, Roxy wants to talk to you about something. And I seen a blanket move. And I looked over, and I seen blonde hair, just just poking out over the top of the blanket. And then I saw I'm sorry, I didn't want to interrupt. You got company. And I see the blanket start to come down like this. And I see the eyes and the blonde hair and I knew immediately just from the eyes, who knew who it was and she pulled it. I saw her face. I went Lita. She goes, she goes, Hey, dude. It was he was dating, shipping Lita Ford at the time. And and I said, I don't know if you remember me. I said, you when you were in the runaways you guys played CBGBs. She goes, Yeah, I said, that's where we first met. I have to show up being Michael Michael Monroe and Michael Monroe. Michael hook from the band Harlow. I said, we were telling you and Jackie, she goes, that's where you I know you from because she remembered cuz they looked like punky Meadows. So she remembered the hair. People remember the Endo, local. And she said she got out of the blanket thing and she was partially dressed and had turned around. But she's come out let's go for breakfast. And like, well, I'm broke. I just I'm here from New York. I don't have any money. You know, like that. And she goes, Don't worry about it. Dude, I got it. So she took me Nikki out to breakfast. So I mean, there's another pinch me moment. I'm sitting across from Lita Ford. She's buying me breakfast. There and Nikki six. She's buying us both breakfast. I mean, yeah, it was like, wow, it's one of my first brushes with greatness in LA.

Chuck Shute:

Oh, did you guys talk a lot about music and the music business and stuff? Or was it just like talking about everyday stuff? Local stuff,

Unknown:

things like that, you know, the scene, what it's like, you know, we didn't talk too much about business from what I can remember. And that was when I kind of first started really bonding with Nikki because years later when I when I had sin, and He would come by the apartment that I was staying at. And we just sit outside on the hood of somebody's car on Lankershim Boulevard. It was a huge liquor store called jumbo circus or something. And Nikki's got his liquor from there. And we'd sit on the hood of somebody's cartilage like we do in New York. And we sit down you're drinking a beer and just talking about this, that and the other. And Nikki was telling me about the business and what was happening with him and everything. At when, when shot at the devil came out, or rookie Ford came out, he called me up he had my number, and he said, Listen, we got a bigger budget for more gear and everything. So I'm getting rid of my old stuff. I have some of my amps and SAR in Hollywood. And if you want it, go get it's yours. I said seriously. This is dude, he goes you know you're a cool guy. And I know you probably need it. So you know you can have my gear. And I checked with this IR and he said, Yeah, I gotta ride. I went down there and it was his old V four v cabinets that he used when he was in Motley Crue there I mean, you know, the the two faster love era. Those were his amps. He always played you know, the club whiskey and store window. And the guy walk I said, Rick Fox, he goes, okay, yeah, he goes, Nikki called. He goes, you grab that cabinet? That head right. There it goes. That's yours. And the other cabinet went to somebody else like that. So Nikki, of all the people in LA he didn't have to do that. You know, he gave me he gave me an amp. He gave me the amp head. Later on. I was always happy come over his apartment a cold water. And he gave me the written red leather stiletto thigh high boots, and he wore in one of the videos used to light him on fire. He gave me those he gave me some shirts and belts. Do you still have all that stuff? I had the boots. I still have the boots. They're not red leather anymore. I was an extra in one of the movies I was in and it was a bit a club scene with like a BND s&m Club. Everybody was wearing black. So I wrapped the boots in black. gaffers tape. And then when I went to peel the tape off it started to take the leather with it and I just painted myself into a corner you know it says Vicky six in the booth you know he wrote in pen. But if you peel it carefully you can see it's still red leather under the tape. But yeah, I still have them they're here like that. But I haven't talked to Nick Nicky in years. Yeah,

Chuck Shute:

that's really cool. So why do you think when you look back on your career because I mean you know you were in Wasp for a little bit. You'd made the steel or album you know surgical steel all these other projects sin like three versions of sin some Other things that you've done spiders and snakes and I was like, Why do you think a guy like Nikki Nikki six makes it so big? And you didn't? Because I mean, as you as even Mick Brown said, like, you can play just as good as Jeff pilson. So you had the chops. You had the look. I mean, it sounds like you had the networking. You had all these connections. What do you think happened?

Unknown:

You know, put it this way, one of the first nights that when I first got to LA and I was saying to Blackheath house, you know, there was a little bit of jetlag, we didn't just jump right into the audition process. So he took me out, we went to the troubadour, and I walk in, and in the lobby, right to standards, Kevin dobro. I recognized him because they had the Japanese copies are quiet right back in my apartment in Jersey. But those two imports, Randy wrote on him pretty rose, and Rudy, like that. So when we started talking, and I said, I'm Rick Fox, I just got in from New York, and I said, I'm gonna audition for black youth band Black and already had a reputation. Everybody knew who he was, he was already damaged goods. But the thing that Kevin told me was, be careful, just like the song, the backstabbers by the OJS. He goes, That's LA. There's always somebody that wants your gig. Don't trust anyone, don't believe anything that anyone tells you. Because Because they'll always be somebody wait right behind you for your gig. And if they can, they can find a way to push you out of it. They will. That's la it's very competitive. It's very sandbox is like The Little Rascals sandbox drama. I've run into that so many times over the years. Being from New York, I was kind of an outsider. So I didn't have that LA mentality. So I didn't tolerate the drama, and the Bs, and any of the stuff that's affiliated with that. And I guess just out of necessity, I had to develop a little bit more of an assertive, not aggressive, but an assertive confidence, personality. And some people find that threatening, for some reason they perceive a territorial threat or something, if you're confident in yourself. And so people talk people say things behind your back. You know, I witnessed it myself. I was at The Troubadour one night, and one of the bigger local bands that went on to become huge to this day, watching another band on stage. And I'm standing there, and I hear them all, mocking this band on stage, cracking jokes at their expense. And this guy sucks and look what he's doing. And that guy's to joke this. Excuse me. And then after the show, I know the guys in the band that was on stage, were up in the dressing room. And there's the same guys get up and go, Hey, you were great. Oh, yeah, you guys kicked ass. And I saw myself firsthand. The Bs, the drama, The backstabbing the, the, you know, the talking out of both sides of their mouth, you know, like that. And I thought that's what this town is made of. And you have to grow a veneer, some kind of protective coating, to not tolerate that. And if you're lucky enough to work yourself into a position, I don't wanna say let's thority. But if you're in a band, that becomes a headliner. It's either going to happen more or less. And, you know, there's always somebody that wants your gig, got my guys in my band, and sin came to me by second line up and said, people are talking, they're trying to get us to leave, kick you out, or leave working with you and come play with them and their band. My guys at least had the professional courtesy to tell me that this was going on. So I knew it to be a fact like that. And just like Kevin dobro said, people will do what they'll manipulate whatever they can do to get you out of where you're at, because they desire your grip position. Like that. And, you know, I get ribbed a lot about my you know, the hairstyle, I had a book like punky meadows that that you know, I I'll be honest, I copied his hairstyle back in New York before he even came to LA. And the hair cutter rock'n'roll hair cutter I went to get him Hurley re compare pirates up by Pasadena. He was a guy was cutting my hair. He knew how to do that cut, you know, and he's to hit by the band picture on the wall. He says you know, Ricky what me a lot of business and I said, What did I do? He goes every guy's all these guys in the bands come in. Because they go right to your picture. They point to you and I go cut my hair like that guy. So they he says, I've been cutting all of these guys hair that in yours here hairstyle. And a lot of these are the same guys that are out talking crap about me. You know, so this is the kind of what I had to go through. This is La. It's It was another planet. You know, in New York, we didn't have that kind of mentality. There was a little bit of competitiveness. But it was more of a larger scope of a family. We're all in this together. In LA was every man for himself. So I kind of had to adapt to that.

Chuck Shute:

That's really interest scene and two scenes are so different.

Unknown:

Well, I was I happen to be watching one of your interviews last night it was up till 430 In the morning, watching your interview with Don Dokken Oh, wow, that's

Chuck Shute:

a good one. Yeah, it was great. I

Unknown:

said, listen, watch the whole. And I think some of what I'm saying Don validated by when he was talking about the LA scene and what people were like, you know, so it was there, it was evident. And some guys just lay low. They're quiet. They know how to navigate and be be happy friends with everybody say something nice and good about everybody. And they get gigs and they go from place to you know, Rudy Chavez was great bass player. He's

Chuck Shute:

an example he's in. He's been in so he's Whitesnake. Quiet riot. I mean, he's been in so many different productions are called

Unknown:

queens, right? This man had been. He's one of those guys. It's, he's a great diplomat. And he doesn't he doesn't give off any type of a perceived threat. Territorial or otherwise, he's very amiable. Nice Guy, soft spoken. And he does a talking with his playing. So he's,

Chuck Shute:

yeah, it kind of reminds me to I think you mentioned this in an interview, the Don Costa guy who joined Wasp after you he was kicked out a wasp and Ozzy for almost like, overshadowing, right because he played his bass with a cheese grater or something like that, or what was the what do you do hit some stunt that like got took up too much attention from the frontman.

Unknown:

He would upstage whatever bands he was in. Now to go back. Mark Kendall, from quiet from white, Great White, had played with with Don J. Fox before was Yeah, and originally, he said Donnie never moved. He just kind of stood there. He was a really good bass player, but there was no charisma on stage. And he's like, move, move, get out of the shell move a little bit more. And Donnie came out of his shell. But he became this wild man on stage. And I don't remember where the idea came from the from the cheese grater. And of course, this is the days before AIDS and HIV and all this stuff. And he would scrape his knuckles on the on the cheese grater. And he'd hold it out and the girls would lick the blood off his knuckles. Yeah, I mean, yeah, yikes. Exactly. But this is everybody was looking for the next angle to shock the audience. I mean, you know what, Blackie was an SR. He was eating Bronco worms on stage. And it's it's a what's a Bronco worm. He says I like real big earthworms. They're really, really long. They're about as thick as your finger. And when you touch them, they recoil. They move around. So he had a black box on the drum, whereas it had said bait written on it. Then he would come out with a big band replay. And he pulled one out of the box and hold it up. The whole audience could see this worm wriggling around, and he opened his mouth and he swallow it right down his throat. And that would shock people because these worms

Chuck Shute:

So as some of this calculated because I heard you talking about the manager from last this guy wasn't a mic solid or something like that, that he had books, like, from gurbles and all these Nazis about how to use propaganda and stuff.

Unknown:

No, no, no, no, that's a little bit mixed up. The guy that was managing them when I came in, his name was Mike for Forney.

Chuck Shute:

Okay, now, Nazi books that was blocky. Oh, wacky, you had that?

Unknown:

Okay. Yes, when you walk in his house, he had this little cottage rental cottage, and it had the walls went up like this and curved at the top at the ceiling and came back down. It was kind of like half of a tunnel. Then he had a little loft ladder would go to a loft. On one side, he would sleep in, you crawl through that window. And that was his loft. But to the right immediately to your left alongside the wall, he had this little bookcase. So he was he was a reader like myself. And I was like, what's his? You got books? What's his books about Nazis like that. And he was telling me about gurbles and Hitler's press guys. And he said that that's where I first heard that the saying that the bigger the lie, the more people are going to believe it, the more outrageous it is, because it's, it's too outrageous not to believe it. And that's what they were using to promote Hitler back at the time. So he was taking this, this mindset of being so outrageous, it was just too, absolutely off the off the wall to not believe it. And, and, of course, he used that when he kicked me out of the band, you know, to dismiss the fact that I was ever in the band. So he was That was his big lie like that. But he was he was using some of that, that mindset and applying it because we would sit up for hours. You know, he was on wanting to room sitting on the other end, and we talked for hours about this stuff. And he was from New York. I'm from New York. So you know, there was a little bit of commonality on that. And you know, he was a nice guy, you know, like that. And like I said he would do a certain time of the month. He would say close all the windows, close all the blinds like nobody lives here. Don't answer the door. But nothing. What he would do back then is before the utility companies got hip to it used to be able to screw off the glass diesel off the electric meter, because they didn't have a collar on him then. And he would, he would, he would set the numbers back to what it was the previous month. He's I said, What did you learn that from? He goes, Why don't you go, it's one of the books on my shelf. It's called steel. This book is by Abbie Hoffman, who was a counterculture hippie guy. And he said, This is what he used to do, he would he would unscrew that, put the numbers back and put the glass diesel back on. And then you know, of course, that type of the month, here comes the the Meter Reader. And he says, read the meter. And it's like, well, that doesn't add up. Because back at the office, this uses power being used. But here, the numbers are back to where they were, you know, now, I was having this

Chuck Shute:

guy, I'm maybe not the most ethical person, but but he read a lot and he knew how to get things moving.

Unknown:

He was also very broke, you know, he was living hand to mouth, you know, he would make fog machines, and stage monitors, and sell them through the local newspaper like that. And I had a day job set up waiting for me that was planned from New York, there was a company that was a marketing research company I worked for in New York, they had a satellite company in Century City, California, in LA. And they arranged for me to be able to go of transfer from New York to LA, the office manager called set it up, she goes, we have one of our people transferring to LA have a job there for him. And when I got up there, they said we don't have anything open, we can't just create an opening, you're going to have to wait until we have the opening cages let somebody go and put you so there goes my day job that goes my survival it goes my my income. So I was starving right alongside Blackie. And now to for him to have to split whatever a little money he made with me. No, it didn't sit that right with it. But he saw me as an investment. Because you know what, I got the gig when I did the audition with them. And I got the gig, you know, he was real happy about that. But now I'm staying in his apartment. So I was able to survive myself, because if I did, I have been able to find my own apartment have my own money, I might have been a little bit more valuable to the band, you know, as far as at least having some money in my pocket, I'm speculating. Like that. But it was the first time that I had to experience what it was like to be Without money and without food. You know, and and we would go out to the, to the grocery store around the corner. And he would buy like container of orange juice, or chocolate milk and cookies. And I found myself but I'm ashamed that I did it. But I would still have like a package of cheese. Like individual slices of cheese, you know, and just so I have something to eat. And then the kids that gave originally gave my number to Blackie in New York, well, they come to New York, and they got a number and they would come up to the house sometimes during the daytime. And we'd walk down to the middle of Hollywood, and a kid when kid would pull a couple of dollars out of his bank account. And they take the and get me a burger. You know, or there was a place on Santa Monica famous Santa Monica Boulevard, go okie dogs. That was where all the runaway is hung out the band. I mean, there were actual kids like that it was it was a congregational corner. Holy street, people would hang on. And they serve these big paper bags full of French fries that were just loaded with salt. And so we need we need okie dogs like that, and hotdogs, whatever. And that was kind of how I survived until I got into a better position. So it was hand to mouth, you know? And so Blackie had said, When is this going to be a new band? We need a new name. We need a new theme. I don't want to do anything that I used to do. And he's like just kind of fretting about what are we going to what's his new band going to be now that you're in it? What are we going to do? What what are we going to call it like that? I'm not going to call it sister anymore. You had white sister, which was a big la band. Yeah, Twisted Sister on the East Coast. There's too many bands with sister in it. So that's what I was. I got a phone call from a friend in New York. I took his phone outside a really long extension cord. And he's just walking around the courtyard kicking over leaves. And that's what I stepped on. I saw a yellow jacket on the ground because I think we have to drop off soda or sweets or any scavengers. So I stepped on it. And I turned a leaf over and it didn't quite kill it right away. It was it was a tale of stinger was still moving. It was squirming and it reminded me of the old Green Hornet logo from the Green Hornet TV series that ran opposite Batman. I went back into house and I said I got an idea for a band name. So he's sitting there like, hey, this orange crushed velvet loveseat and it's sinking it like this. He's watching the Yankee game. And he had the door open and I walk I said And he goes, I sort of what I said, wasp. I said it just stepped on one outside and said, We're gonna be a killer name for a band. And he looks up at the ceiling and he's thinking and he's thinking that's a good idea. He was such a great, you just keep thinking like that. And that was the last time that he went back to watching the ballgame. A couple of nights later, we're at Randy's rehearsal studio down in Anaheim. And we finished rehearsing. We call the band meeting, toasts be Tony, Randy and Blackie. We got a new band name. So Tony goes will, what is it? And Randy goes, Why wanted to call it Hellion because that's what they call bad kids from Texas where he's from. I said, I think there's already a band in Hollywood called Alien. So 20 goes, What's the name? Black. He goes wasp. It's 20 goes was for names a band after a bug. And I said the Beatles, scorpions, you know, like that. It's not uncommon, common. And at that moment, that makes all four of us co founders of the new band. You know, it's where we're at now was

Chuck Shute:

so the big guys. Randy has validated you on this, right? Yes. On

Unknown:

full and blow music. He did an interview. And they asked him so it was Rick really in the band. And did he come up with the name was Randy goes, Yeah, I think Georgia was my black cup. My bucket, my lip service cup. He goes, Yeah, he goes. I'm not going to take that away from Rick did come up with the name. Because Blackie stolen. He put the periods in it like that. And yeah, because Rick was in the bigos radius nonconfrontational you try to corner him to get a specific answer. He'll try and go away. You know, I don't remember. I'm not sure it was this it was that or something like that, you know? And so he said, Yeah, Ricky goes, I don't know why it didn't work out. I don't know the studio or something. I don't know. He goes, we tried a lot of guys out like that. So and come to find out later, before me. They actually Blackie actually approached Don Costa that he wanted Donnie in the band and Donnie kept going no, no, I don't want to play with you. Like that. So he turned him down. Like he got handed by phone number. And then he called me. We talked. They flew me out to LA. You invoked a name earlier Mike sollen. Mike solid was a friend of lackeys. He was gonna get thrown in a drove us to rehearsal all the time. Okay. He was sorry, black, he's black. He's car wasn't working. It needed some work. And you'd have the money to get it fixed. For trivia people. Mike solid is the bartender in the in the video blind in Texas. When they walk in and go, we're here to do a gig and he goes, What's the gig like that and he takes the shot glass and pours it out and it's acid burns on the bar mitzvah. That's Mike Solomon. Okay. So Mike, is the brother of Eddie sollen. Eddie solid was Ace Frehley is guitar tech. And for a sound man for kiss when they were first starting out. So there's no dot connection right there. And when when kiss would tour and they were in on the West Coast, when they had a day off a blackout hanging out with Ace Frehley. And he told me this story when their base was sitting around a hotel, they were at the who sent the riot on Sunset, where they used to have a lot of rock bands and parties and whatnot. He said he was bored. So he says we went to a toy store. He bought like a whole box load of these little plastic green army men that were gonna have parachutes on him. You know, you throw it up in the air with your parachute down. He says he had like 100 of these things in a box. And he would obviously goes up to the to the railing. He was like, upper floor of top Florida. And he tosses boxes, all these little toy parachutes soldiers off the balcony. And it's like 100 of these little parachutes. Down on Sunset Boulevard, in the traffic and between the cars. This is a photo funniest thing. It was a really funny story. That's like something I could see as doing that. It's funny that it says like that. So we have a

Chuck Shute:

lot of connections and stories like didn't so and then because you also tried out for rat and what the Greg Lyon invasion who Greg Leon, if you don't know, was in a band with Tommy Lee. He was not telling me he says he was not in Motley Crue ever, but he was in a band band with Tommy Lee and they were trying to form something and it didn't work out. But you you tried out for his new band and Steven and rattled.

Unknown:

Here's another tie in to your interview with Don. Greg was the original guitar player and Dawkins. Was he? Yes. Okay. Well, he was a big he was he originally seen the picture of it. Okay, I've seen I've seen Greg's interviews that he painted as a picture of him and Don and the other two guys. So he was in docking, you know, an original one of the at least one of the early lineups of docking. I don't know if it was before or after Don went to Germany. But But Greg had played with Don Dokken as well. So I I think I saw greatly on play at The Troubadour are some walls of martial statues what it allowed his bands you ever saw? And I somehow I contacted him and I auditioned for him and I didn't get the gig. And then when I had moved out of Roxy's apartment, I moved in with some someone else had an apartment. Anybody who knows where Canter's deli is in Hollywood is big Jewish deli. We used to eat out all the time. I live right around the corner from there, that his apartment on the first floor. And in order to network to meet musicians, we'd have like rock and roll barbecues out on the sidewalk, because our apartments walked. We were first floor right there. And so we had this bar, and we wouldn't go around the clubs, we would invite all these guys from these bands to come hang out with us. We have rockin hot dogs and hamburgers and whatnot. And this way, I get to meet various guys in bands and network and talk to them and say well, I was in was when I was a new guy working with Thor and kiss about blah, blah, blah. And the guy Surrett show Steve Pierce he was there. I forget who else a couple of the other guys. And we couldn't get the charcoal to ignite. And they threw like half a can of the fabric the fluid on it. And it new to me like a big, big nuclear cloud flame with all the way up in the sky. Everybody backed up what Oh, this guy's nuts. No, that was the

Chuck Shute:

one weren't the backyard barbecues that the Guns and Roses guys used to hang out. This is

Unknown:

way long before that. Okay. Okay, long before that. We're talking. This is 1982 summer reading. Okay, like that. So, Stephen invited me to come audition for the rat. And we were in his, his grandmother's garage in Culver City. Blocks. It was on drums. Robin was a Robin Kirby, I think I think Warren was in the band at the time. And they had given me a cassette tape of the songs. But there was no lyrics on it. It was it was no no singing was just just like, like a, like a demo without without the vocals. And I still have it to this day. And I learned the songs as best as I could. And it was I was playing and Blitzer and I were not hitting it off really well. I was playing and Ivan is destroyer base like looks like an explorer. One of the original Karina wood bases, and I had put these little Silver prism stars onto the fret markers. And blotchy was like the fit just decided to pick on me about that. And he goes, Hey, man, those disco stars, they gotta go. Alright, that's just just a slang. That's corny man. And besides, you guys, I like a bass player to plays with his fingers. I go play with the fingers feel feel. I said, Look, you know, here's my New York come and I said I don't tell you what kind of sticks to use. I don't tell you how to use your sticks. I don't tell you what kind of drum hands are used. I played with a pick at that point. I played with a pick. He goes will real bass players play with their fingers. I said Oh, but go Paul McCartney. Gene Simmons. Tom Hamilton. Well, Tom plays with both those fingers epic. I started it Pete way. Pick n fingers. I said you know there's this great guys that use picks to depends on on the field, the attack of that song. So blocks it in like that. I mean, we later we became friends. So when I got to the gate with Steeler, and our first debut for me and momsteam was at the country club in receita. And at the after the show was over, I was in one of the dressing rooms, I'm wiping my bass down. I see the guys to rat come walking by, you know, going to whatever the green room was, and blocks are looked at me he stopped he backed up. He looked at me again through the doorway. He gets he didn't put the two together and said Not bad for disco stores. Hi. And then he ranked remember this just again. He came in to audition. And he just got real red in the face and took off. I busted up laughing. So it was just nice to have that little dig right back at him. So yeah,

Chuck Shute:

that's funny. So like, how did you? How long were you in Steeler for? Because like, I know that Malmsteen has a reputation that he's difficult to work with or whatever. But I mean, you were able to work with him for extended period of time, right?

Unknown:

Well, as long as he as long as we were in the band together, it was late summer of 82. I think I had already spent a couple of months rehearsing with warlord and they were never planning on doing any live gigs. And I said I said we should would have told me that when I when I first walked in the door. You know, I spent several months rehearsing with them. And they were they had no plans to play live. There was gonna be just a recording project. I said, Well guys, I'm a live player. So I'm going to have to say thank you and good night. I put an ad in Music Connection magazine and runs kale saw the ad that I had already seen stealer once at the Roxy. I was here with Eric Carr. And this was Ron's original lineup from Nashville. Ever go good band hard rockin rock can tell right away Ron was Ron was going to be a big star. He had that kind of, of superstar charisma. He was a definitely a pro guy that anything gets you the other guys are good good players. Bass Player didn't move. He just did one spot. Like you know a bass player Judas Priest, guitar player was a little bit back and forth Mike Donaghy is good guitar player. But the way it was told to me, they had just showcased for every label in LA. And every label turned them down. So Ross said I need something that can compete with rat. What black and blue motley crew. I need something that next level up. He goes, people have mentioned your name. They talked about how you look at everything. So he saw my ad he called me up we talked and I went down to meet him at what we call this distiller mansion, which was held three gutted storefronts infested with roaches, that's why we call it the mansion because it was everything but a mansion. And it was a common room with you know, and no furniture. The only thing was like the the main support parts that were keeping the you know, the it was like a wall a bit of room, a wall room like that. And I walked in and I in the rehearsal room, and I walked around the where's the gear. And these guys are self contained. They had a truck, they had lights, Pa everything road crew, there was nothing there. It's just a drum riser. And he wrote says I fired the whole band that's going to that's going to echo ahead to surgical steel. What happened I fired the whole band, kind of a thing like that. And so There went the truck, the lights, gear, everything went. And Ron said, I saw your ad, people mentioned your name. And so you had this look, I wasn't I didn't think dude myself up when I walked in, it wasn't like I was going on stage, you know, jeans and like that, and casual, but I had that hair. And so he says, You got a really good look. I want guys to look like they're already signed, and on the road. That that kind of level and you can have that look. So So So what can I do for you? And he goes, here's a tape, learn the songs, no promises, come back. And we'll see what happens from there. I said, Alright, fair enough. So I took the songs back to the partners looking at I learned like five or six songs like that. I went back some days later. And we sat down just Ron and I, he sat on the riser, I sat on a bill crate or something. And we just played the songs to each other. I think I had a little little pig nose practice. Yep, I don't remember what he but I had an amp. And we just talked and we played and we talked, we played and Brian was a big kiss fan. So they know I told him about my relation with early kiss and I was there watching them before ace really was in the band. I knew Sean Delaney who taught kiss, all of their moves are choreography, the breathing and all of that stuff. So I was and Ron does that. So you know, as somebody well, who actually personally was there when was kiss from the very beginning before they were kissed. So that's kind of where it was at. And he had his new drummer Mark Edwards was in Texas, he was visiting his family he was well Mark's gonna be coming back in a few days, we'll pick him up from the airport, and then we'll get his drums out of storage. And he set them up on riser and Mark was not very open. Yet to me. He's pretty much just himself, he was quiet. And I get that because you know, if you're too friendly with somebody, and it doesn't work out, you don't want bad feelings or anything like that. So I got that too. So Mark was a man of few words. And he was like a like a younger version of Tommy Aldridge had the same kind of haircut and, you know, playing in gym shorts, like Tommy does that, say set up his drums. And we started to play the songs. And it sounded good, it felt good. There were some things that Mark worked out with me on, you know, to which I'm indebted to him, he taught me but taught me the value of listening to what the drummer is saying. And what to anticipate what the drummer is going to say and how he's going to say it. And here's the meter. Here's the head. Here's what I had just come from playing six nights a week, four sets a night from Jersey, you know, months before that. I wasn't really I didn't really have a meter problem. But it was not something that was on the top of my my priority list I was playing. We played everything from Joe Jackson to Judas Priest and Thor's who's Zeplin. So I was just playing what was on records. Oh, now I'm still playing somebody else's material but I'm playing with the guys that are actually like in the writing of it like that. So Mark and I have worked really tight. We worked out a lot of little accents and kicks and stops and things like that. cute things between the bass and the drums. As a rhythm section, so we got really tight. I like to say we're so tight. You couldn't slip a piece of paper in between us, you know? We're so in the pot and your pie in the pocket where you wouldn't even know your change was gone. Like that. And then so we got really tight. Ron was already in touch with Mike varney. And sent you know, call them up and said, We're ready. We need a guitar player from hell. The Little did I know that was going to prove itself as a prophecy. That's exactly what we got as a guitar player from hell. We did a three way conversation with mom seen in Sweden. And Barney and us. We were in LA Varney was up in the Bay Area. And mom scene sounded like real gung ho Yeah, I want to come out, they want to play with the band and come to America. We're gonna rock and like that. And we heard his tape. We were sitting there like, wow, the only thing we could compare that to at that time was Eddie Van Halen. You know, it was healing to maybe Warren Demartini. And George Lynch, were kind of all in at school, to sweeping arpeggios, the hammer ons and all that stuff. So we made the arrangement and Vamsi flew to America, we went to LAX to pick him up. And it seemed like the guy we talked to on the phone was that the same guy that came down the ramp off off the plane. I mean, yeah, this hair swaying, and the Vikings here and, you know, all of the occult jewelry. And so I mean, I'm gonna make no mistake, and I used to wear that stuff, too. And I think mostly, he was like, really into like a shock value thing or something. He was 19 You know, as a kid. Like, I was the oldest guy in Steeler I was 27. Like that, and so, monster walks into the field, it was it was the it was the shock value. He thought he was going to walk into a nice house, everybody was living comfortably like that, you know. And he walked in and saw this gutted building with roaches everywhere. And it was a it was definitely a culture shock for for what he was expecting. But you know, coming from Sweden, they'll different living style there. So we started to get to work. And we started working, going over the songs going over the songs. At one point. We stopped playing. And English says to Ron, Hey, man, is there something you could do to make the songs a little bit more interesting because you're really quite fucking boring. And it was that moment that that quiet anxiety moment in the room. It just got the air got really heavy, is the way I interpreted. And I looked up at mark on the drum riser. And he looked down at me and he just shook his head and he looked up at the ceiling rolled his eyes. And I'm thinking, do guy just say what I thought he said he just insulted the boss's song. He told Ron to his face just sucks are fucking boring. And Ron did the quickest. If you know about in the acting business. What a slow burn is Ben Turpin used to do it. They used to do it a lot in The Little Rascals when an adult would get really mad. And he just failed to get real read that Ron did the fastest slow burn I ever saw. And he just stood there like stunned. And he goes all right. All right. Cool. All right. And the next day, we started auditioning other guitar players.

Chuck Shute:

Right, like right and Vaughn space,

Unknown:

right. He was well obviously was staying with us. He was in one of the further rooms away like he was in the kitchen area with a waterbed was and more of the roaches. And he had to hear us audition another guy and another guy and another guy and another guy. And nobody was hitting it. They wouldn't they were nobody's getting close to the mark. Like that. And finally, one guy, the last guy left. Anyway, comes back out he goes, All right. All right. All right, I'll play the game. Let's let's just do this. Like that. And we settled down. And we got to work. And that was the I this. I got the official word that I was in Steeler on my birthday in 1982 was December 28 1982. We're at the rainbow run. So congratulations. You're in the band. Your new bass player said Okay, great. So that was the three thing they didn't come in until I want to say, February, almost a year to the day when I first arrived. He came in February of 83. So I had already been with stealer for a couple of months, you know already working with them. I think they came in and once we settled down and got past the you know, the monkey bars and the schoolyard stuff. We got really, really, really before us incredibly tight like that, you know and when we weren't playing Steeler stuff I would share with eBay on like scorpion songs and deep purple song because he loved Richie Blackmore, he loved Ollie Roth. So I do that stuff from playing jersey. So we play you know, deep purple and scorpion songs like that. And when he wasn't wearing the guitar, which wasn't very often he seemed okay, he was he was like, you know, like a kid at toy store. or, you know, we go out to the beach, we go out to here we go out to eat, we go. And he was a regular person. But when that guitar came on, he was like, you know, Mozart, he was he was the, you wanted to call all the shots and how the music was arranged like that. And so we we found out within that month that our first show was going to be March 11. I was like, like, almost around the corner. So we really buckled down and got to business and they didn't have clothes, stage clothes, I had stage clothes, I had some stuff sent out from from my dad sent me out some white stuff from New York. So I gave him spandex shirts to wear spandex pants and some jewelry. You know, his he's a leather jacket. He has issues that you know, so I had extra gear that I you know, like Nicky shared with me later on, I shared with them like that, in that spirit. And so and, you know, the first show was like, everybody was like, Oh my God, where are these guys who witness who know people had seen me around, but they didn't put two and two together until now. And that was my debut with momsteam. And they didn't know where to look. Here's the gives the bass player all his black leather. And here's his guitar players like on fire. He's doing all these Blackboard moves. And like, people were like, Oh, wow. You know, so we, we moved up the ladder pretty quickly. I guess. I did we play with Vandenberg the Roxy we supported quite right at Perkins Palace, right as mental health hit number one in Billboard. So it was an incredible moment. We were lucky we got the we got the openings go to support slot for quite right. The Perkins palace. It was it was several times beyond capacity. It was like it was like a sweaty gymnasium. Just to walk into the into the theater like that. And we did well, we did really well. received really well. I already knew Frankie and Rudy. And Kevin. You know and as an opener is like this unwritten. You don't always mingle with the headliner. You don't go by their dressing room kind of thing. As me downstairs, I walked over to the dressing room, and I said hi to Frankie, and hi to Rudy and hi to Kevin and they're shaking my hand. Ross, what are you doing? Don't go down here. Get the headliner. He was supposed to talk to them. And they'll turn around I like we're friends. We know each other. It's okay. Relax. Lighten up, Francis, you know. And so yeah, so they have been congratulating me it's not you finally hit it. You're this fan? What are the biggest Cornerstone metal bands of La so it was it was it was a great feeling. You know, we were doing really well. And until momsteam decided to leave. You know, and looking back. It was inevitable. We were just we were we were the jumping off point for him. You know, we were his, his sandwich board, so to speak, you know, people who don't know what that is. Back in the 20s and 30s. You have a guy walking around back and forth in front of a restaurant. And he had his wooden board on the front bay would talk what what we have for what we're eating, see what's on the menu, a sandwich board like that. And so that was Bob sent us us as his calling card. Once he was in America. And he was starting already look around and he talked to Phil Moe, he talked from UFO. He apparently he got the gate with the Alcatraz like that. And that was it, you know, blasted our last show together. The next day. He was going he was already gone. There was a band aid. He was just being mark there. Ron was at their mom's he wasn't there and marches. Ross runs, dissolving the lineup. He's He's starting over like that. I said, What did I do? He goes nothing because we're just starting over. So I started you still in the band? He goes yo, Mark. And that's what I was I was at a Steeler? That's what I decided to put in another lineup was sent together.

Chuck Shute:

Yeah. Well, I mean, then you had some other projects that didn't pan out. But you have you had some other really cool experiences. I don't think I've heard you talk about this. But I saw this on your Wikipedia that you played with Sam Kinison the comedian because he had that song The Wild Thing you perform that live? Yeah.

Unknown:

What happened was, it's just that I'm gonna say 1988 Yeah, I gotta Rob Kenny Rubin, who was a he was a mainstay at the rainbow. He had a here he was like a manager for a lot of artists. And so he handled all of the advertising accounts for the rainbow and the Roxy for all the billboards that he got all those who had the Arrange, have whatever the artwork was on all of those billboards, amongst other things that Kenny was a real mover and shaker in the industry. Business. And he managed ready Hanson who was that the Hendrix guitar impression guy from Randy was out of Seattle. And he said calls me up one day and he says do you want to play with Sam Kennison? Yeah. How do you How did you swing that? He goes well, Randy When he's not doing his own Hendrix show, he is he Sam's guitar player is you know, Sam's main guitar player. So he says, get down to the China club. Like right away. This is like a Sunday afternoon. So I got to ride down to the China club. I had bumped met Sam indirectly, after some like Motley Crue show or the show. And everybody's like, all coked up and partying and whatnot. So I don't know if Sam readily recognized, but like that, but he was really nice. You know, hey, how you doing, buddy? Hey, welcome, you know, with the guys like that, you know, we're gonna play yeah. You know, and he said, you want to play The Early Show in the Late Show. So I'll put the Late Show. He goes, Alright, great. So they played it early set. And it was an intermission, you wrote downstairs in the greenroom at the bar. And then I got a picture with Sam, me and him together, like that. And then the second show had started, and I didn't know everybody had dissolved and went upstairs and I hear the music through the floor. So I run upstairs, and they're on stage already playing. And the bass Tech was a friend of mine. And he looks he looks down at me. He sees me. He goes, I was wondering where you were, he goes, you're supposed to be up there. I said, Yeah. What happened? What happened was Jimmy Bain was up there. Jimmy somehow talked himself into, you know, getting up there and playing with Sam and he was a bigger star name than I was so and, and so he goes, he goes, Wait a minute, wait a minute. When they finish the song, he grabs Jimmy by the shoulders, brings him down to steps, says unplugs his base plugs me and pushes me up the stairs. He goes go like that. And Jimmy Stinney I could smell the alcohol as he went past me. Jimmy was like three sheets to the wind is going What happened, man? What happened? Was gonna man, why am I gonna end? Who's that guy? You know, like that. And at that point, Sam was talking to the audience. This happened real fast. It's just changed. And he looks back at me. He goes, You ready? Like that? Yeah, he goes, alright. Then like that. Now across the stage, this like I said Randy Hanson. And it was one of those pinch me moments. Okay, get your laundry list. With Oh, Steven Van Zandt on guitar. Randy Castile on drums. Sean Shambo. voie on guitar. And you couldn't miss it the big white Mohawk. Okay, we worked with the Plasmatic and Ramones a really nice guy. Him. I remember who the keyboard player was and a very inebriated

Chuck Shute:

you say John Goodman was there the Goodman

Unknown:

Thank you. That was three sheets to the wind. And he jammed on on Blues harmonica. Ah, like it was the Blues Brothers kind of a thing. Okay, so we did a rendition of wild thing, which allowed John to play some blues harp in it as well. And like you could smell the alcohol for him like, you know, three, four feet away. And he was still a big guy that he didn't he didn't lose all that weight yet. But I mean, I'm on stage with these massive stars. You know, and the closest that ever happened was was you know, I was on stage with Ronnie do twice for a live rendition of we're stars. So this was like the second a brush with greatness, if you will. And another hallmark from my resume to be playing on stage with these guys. And I'm telling you, Chuck, there was a million cameras going off it was like diamonds, stars and people with all these pictures. I don't have one picture of me on stage with Sam Kansas. guys playing and years ago somebody said I was there I took pictures I'll meet Let me dig them out. I gotta find him. I never heard back about him so

Chuck Shute:

that must be somewhere I'm gonna have you ever talked to his brother I think his

Unknown:

I'm friends with Bill Kinison to this day, but we wish each other happy birthday when our birthdays happened like that. And they'll build us and have anything either and I've asked John John Beauvoir, I said you remember we played right he goes yeah, I said do you have any pictures? He goes no you know and of course Randy Castillo passed away recipe he doesn't have any pictures so I don't know anybody that has any pictures from the night that I played with Sam Kinison or any recording we have

Chuck Shute:

the memory though that's that's even more important just the fact that you have that memory is amazing. Yeah, I have

Unknown:

the one picture of being Sam downstairs I said in the green room he put his arm around me and had a bed bandana he toes around his head and he's like partially making that Sam Kinison face know that ah, yeah. And that's all I have is that picture of a Gemini. But those are those are some of my, my high points. Yeah. Did

Chuck Shute:

you did you frequent the comedy clubs at all back then? Or did you see a lot of the did you have interactions because I know you later ended up doing acting in some movies where where you have friendships with some of the actors or comedians in Lac. And besides music, not

Unknown:

so much to comedians, you can say hi to them as you're coming off the stage or whatever they a lot of people who are on their way up Andrew Dice Clay a Roseanne Barr and the people that Sam Kipnis and those people and their their entourage of other comedians who are working their way up so yeah, I've gone to the Comedy Store quite a few times and so them starting out their careers on their way up before bed before they hit like the tonight show Johnny Carson or, or whatever the talk shows for like that. But there was a time when when, as we got into the 90s, after I one of my last bands was Thunderball, that which which Kenny Rubin was a manager he managed us for a while we had we had a National Western Union commercial under our belt with with setting the money I'm trashing your state treasurer my stage, we played a band called putrid rage. And so I was collecting some nice royalties from the commercial. And and so I every once in a while I get a call to do extra work from from wherever the there's a woman in Jenny Cunningham. And she was a casting agent. And she would get work for tons of all the kids. I say kids hanging out the clubs. We're living hand to mouth, and she get all this all everybody extra work. So we get to eight for a while and things like that, and a couple of bucks in your pocket and whatnot. So I thought it was background and for a lot of movies. Fast forward, I worked with Sidney Poitier on that. Personally, there was a movie with Rob Lowe and James Spader was in that

Chuck Shute:

movie with Danny Trejo and see Thomas are called dilemma dilemma

Unknown:

dilemma that at that point, I was working in the film industry like like behind the camera, okay. And I was I started out as a production assistant, and graduated really quick to assist it like a prop. It's just a prop master. So anything an actor touches is considered a prop. And if he goes over to the wall and touches a map on the wall, now that's a prop because he touched it, things like that incidental props. And so I learned really quick about what it's like to be a prop guy in films. And my first film I worked was was dilemma with the woman who was putting the crew together. I had we all had pagers at the time, she paged me. And she was like, hysterical, I need I need, I need this, I need this I needed all right. And I met them at their production office. And Danny Trejo was in it, see Thomas Howell Sophia Shiness. Sheena, who was who was in the crow potations, you would recognize like that. And so I was doing some props and stuff. And I met the guy who was doing the, the armor was the guy who handled all the weapons, Bill Davis. And so we were kind of like, you know, he was an ex military guy, my interest in all things military had come up to speed. So we would talk about military things, and guns and ammo and things like that. And his assistant was an actual United States Marine, Marine Corps, marine. And he would work with Bill whenever he was not, you know, on duty or whatever like that. But he couldn't always be there. So Bill says, I need a guy I could call all the time you want to work with me? And I said, Yeah, sure. So whenever bill would get a call for a film, they call me and we go and he was a prop master. I was the assistant prop master. And we we sit down on a production meetings, and you go down to script, and you figure out what you're going to need, by way of props. Who's going to need what what kind of watches he were we're kind of person is he? What kind of did he wear ring? Does he have a smoothie smoke, and things like that. And when it came down to the weapons, we had to figure out what kind of weapons he needed. So you know, Bill had a lot of weapons that were adapted to fire blanks, which we did a lot of like that. And so I was working in the film industry with with the props and the weapons and things like that. I worked on the TV series, Air America with Lorenzo Lamas for their whole first season. And it was weapons heavy weapons intensive. I mean, it was a KS M four m fours, AR fifteens. Of course, a lot of pistols, Hanson handguns, things like that. Same thing with with a C. Thomas Howell and Danny Trejo has a lot of gun heavy gun activity and that I got I got a big part. In one of the scenes it was a shootout with with with a felon. And the director says you want to be one of the SWAT guys I'm sure want to be you can so don't have to hire extra guys. But that from casting so he's the GO GO TO wardrobe. So I dressed up in a SWAT outfit. And here's a quick clip of me coming around a building like that, and I'm fired. There was a scene later in the film where we were doing a SWAT take and I'm Danny Trejo was character. And I was working with a guy who was an actual navy seal. So So we worked really well. I mean, we had the SWAT everything like that and the gear at all. And I was I was like, right along, dude, like he goes, have you done this before? I said no, because we seem to have an aptitude for it like that, you know, and we're doing the hand signals like they do and all that stuff. So I started to graduate a little bit more into knowing what I was doing like that. And at one point, I wound up after the LA riots, the Rodney King riots, and seeing the smoke columns coming up from South Central towards Hollywood. And I said, you know, I'm a little older, but I want to be on the right side of the fence if the shit hits the fan. And back then in LA, we used to have expos gun shows and February's a fairgrounds. So the Pomona fairgrounds had a big gun show. And I went there, and the California State Military Reserve had a big display, and they were recruiting. And the Marines were there, they had their armored vehicles, and it was a military vehicle collectors. They're all not just one areas, all military village. And I was talking to the top sergeant. I said, I heard some rumor that, you know, you guys are you have civilians. It's not like joining the army army active, but you have civilians, and if they're on duty, if they have long hair, they can put it like under a wig. Is that true? He goes, I heard something about that. He goes, let me look into that. I said, if you could do that for me, and I'd have to cut my hair. I'll wear it under a wig. I'll join. He says, And he called me back up late he goes, we can get you that special dispensation, as long as you look, you know, high and tight, you know, short hair, not touching your collar while you're on duty. You can you can do that, we'll do that. I said, Alright, fine. I'm in. And that was 1995. I turned to California State Military Reserve. And you swear to the military code of justice and all the articles, you wear the uniform, it's not active duty, so you don't get a DD 214 Like an active military guy would. But you know, we did parade ground stuff. I was in a electronics communications unit like that. So we did a lot of radio traffic communications between stations, things like that opening and closing the net, stuff like that I got a attaboy commendations from my superiors from sticking to the book and doing it like like that. And we go out, we do field exercises and set up the radio and I went out to the gun shows. I bought military camo nets, I bought spreaders a lot of additives, everything's out of pocket, I put my TA 50 together, which is all of your own personal gear, your uniform, your name tags, and signees your backpack and everything you need. As a soldier, I put all of that together because we were not allowed to use firearms at that time. They do now. But they didn't at that point at that time. And I was like a gung ho guy was the first guy and of all the recruits in my unit to put together that whole kit. And so they brought me in as a corporal, instead of a recruiter as a private, like, if you have something more value to bring in, they'll bring you in at a little bit of a higher rank. So I was brought in as a corporal, which is an NCO non commissioned officer, like that. And I was a gung ho guy, you know, I was I was, I was doing everything, right. Like that, and, and so on and so forth. And I was in them for 1295 to 2000. Because you could leave whenever you want it, I was about to go for my, my sergeant stripe, up to camp Roberts, up in the bay area. But that would mean that I'd have to forego working in the film industry. Because if you're not available, again, somebody else will take your job. Good luck getting back in. Right. And that was my livelihood. That was my bread and butter. So I couldn't take that week or two off to go up to camp Roberts for my stripe. And I just that's I said, I put in my resignation. So guys, I gotta I can't. It can't infringe on my lifestyle like that. And so they understood and I left like that. And so I, you know, people ask me, Are you a veteran? I like I had I had a check. I checked with the guys that were in a unit. They said you wore the uniform, you swore to military justice. You know, you we were all it's like the second lowest branch of the army. I said, So you're a veteran. So it's like a gray area like that. So when I put I put in five years with the State Military Reserve, and what we would, we would like augment the National Guard if the National Guard got activated and in case of a state emergency, if the governor activated everybody, then we step in, we like to shortstop we fill in the hole while the other guys are doing something over there. They got to move to that. So we move here, they move there, we move here, and we cover them like that. And then we there's a couple of state emergencies, which Schwarzenegger was the governor and we got activated, you know, when I was down at the beach, like all weekend, you know, like that. And then we got some Unit Commendation, some ribbons or ribbon awards and things like that, which I have, you know, I posted to Facebook every once in a while. So it was a way of giving back. You know, my, my dad was in the Navy in Korea, my uncle, his brother was a Marine in Korea, a lot of my family, my ancestors were all in military police or whatever. So I was a little too old to join, like the army itself and commit to that, but it's just a way of giving back. And, you know, just doing what I could, yeah, that gets that No, I was there every every weekend, or the first weekend of every month, I was down at the base of Los Alamitos. And we drill and do all of our exercise to surf the radio, with all our military communications, things like that, and such and so forth, every assistant to National Guard and their exercises.