интервью Rik Fox "The 6 Degrees of Rik Fox" Part 2(часть 2)
We continued to rehearse at MARK's place, and had to keep chasing FRANK out of the kitchen in MARK's Mom's house. He was always scrounging thru the refrigerator, making cheese sandwiches. Eventually, I began using all my STEELER royalties, to put us in S.I.R. Rehearsal studios in Hollywood, just before a gig, so we could work out all the stage moves. Rehearsing next door to us were MOTLEY CRUE, who kept coming in to watch us during their breaks. NIKKI SIXX says: "I'LL tell ya what, why don't you take all our unused rehersal time, and it's still on our tab?" We were just blown away at NIKKI's continued generosity to me and our band! VINCE and TOMMY really liked our material, and even sat down to hang out while we rehearsed...I'll never forget moments like that.
Now, SIN is headlining all the major venues in L.A. except THE PALADIUM, and SANTA MONICA CIVIC. Oh, and THE FORUM. We were even slated to be on a New Year's bill with KEEL at SANTA MONICA CIVIC, but someone put RIOT in there before all the details were worked out...In our adventures, in 'gig'-land, we get visited by old Metal fan-friend LUCY FORBES who used to promote Heavy Metal shows at THE COUNTRY CLUB, in Reseda, CA. We were sound-checking a show we did with friends WITCH at the STARDUST BALLROOM on Sunset Boulevard in HOLLYWOOD. With her was some tall guy (who I thought), looked like actor, Darren McGavin. Anyway his name was TODD COOPER, and his Father is JAY COOPER of the Law Firm COOPER, EPSTEIN, & HUREWITZ, and TODD worked over at JERRY WEINTRAUB's Beverly Hill Company, MANAGEMENT 3, who handled the BEACH BOYS, THREE DOG NIGHT, ERIC CLAPTON, NEIL DIAMOND, etc.,etc. All the biggest talent in the industry. TODD says he's been hearing good things about SIN, and is interested in managing our affairs, (when he's not on the Tennis courts), because word's getting around about us, and we showed promise, up and coming in the local Hollywood rock scene. we said, "Ok, we'll try it as a trial run, and see what happens". Meanwhile, now we can say we have this high-powered Beverly Hills Management behind us, and when we tell people MANAGEMENT 3 is behind us, jaws start to drop. We had no idea HOW big this company was...
FIBM: What were some of the benefits of being with MANAGEMENT 3?
Rik Fox: We got to use all their mailing office facilities and phones to do all our fan mail and around the world mailings, etc... This was really cool! Saved us TONS of money...Todd says he wants to put SIN in the recording stdio. Not like the earlier (live) SIN demo we did a few months before in Culver City. No, he wants this to be "Album Masters" quality, ready for pressing. Todd arranges us to go into ENCORE Studios in Burbank, CA., where PAUL McCARTNEY, and STEVIE WONDER had just recorded...His brother LES COOPER, engineered the tape and then we meet his younger brother KEITH COOPER, assisting, who's interning at record companies, (and who later worked at/ran several Hollywood Clubs like THE CAT HOUSE, CAMP HOLLYWOOD, and CABARET). Todd then brings in DANA STRUM to Produce the SIN Demo. Unimpressed, I remembered meeting DANA from some years earlier, thru BOB AISS, the former manager for Capitol Records Baltimore, MD act, FACE DANCER (whom I worked lights for in NYC), and part-time for my good friend KIX guitarist RONNIE "10-10" YOUNKINS. Now DANA'S with some '80's Pop band Modern 'something', (MODERN PROBLEMS?) I forget now...
So, we begin to record, and DANA's got this system of recording from the middle-out, not the traditional way...Rythym guitars, first, then drums, then bass, then the rest. I neve saw anything like this before, and DANA and I start butting heads on the arrangements. However, I must say, I was happy with some of the outcome. I hated his opening for "ON THE RUN" which, was *supposed* to open with a motorcycle revving it's engine and shifting gears up to the key of opening hook. DANA and I fought on this, and eventually MOTLEY CRUE did it on "KICKSTART MY HEART" some years later. Essentially, it was a copy of the intor of MONTROSE's "BAD MOTOR SCOOTER". DANA wanted some 'thunderstorm and lightning' sounds, and I lost on that account, however, subsequently, back live, (both SIN and THUNDERBALL), we reverted to the original opening of the motorcycle shifting gears, which, dynamically, really made more sense, and sounded better. Of the other tunes, DANA did some good work, however, since I couldn't always get out to the recording studio, I had to miss a lot of what was going on there. During the mixdowns, his 'partner-in-crime', VINNIE VINCENT were planning their next big project for VINNIE. While doing so, VINNIE's noodling around on our gear, testing it and such.
FIBM: Didn't you mention something about VINNIE VINCENT ripping off one of your SIN songs?
Rik Fox: Right! Between them both, they hatched a plan to re-record ON THE RUN, with *some input from me*, as they said. I said "OK, let me know what your plans are". They say "OK, we'll get back to you".
Then, at a NAMM show convention, some time after, MARK SLAUGHTER, who sang some on our SIN demo, confides in me, that VINNIE and DANA conspired to rip off my song, and they changed the title to "LET FREEDOM ROCK", and wrote new lyrics, using the hook from my song as the *exact* same hook for their song, which I eventually heard on an advance demo of "ALL SYSTEMS GO", VINNIE's second album. At the NAMM show, I was approached by both MARK SLAUGHTER and drummer BOBBY ROCK and they said "I hope this won't affect *Our* friendships with you, but, we didn't realize what we were playing, until it was too late, and DANA said just to do it, and we'll worry about it later". One night at my apartment, I played the two cuts, side-by-side to my friend FRED COURY of CINDERELLA, and he says "DUDE...You just got ripped off big-time!" I tried to stop the album from coming out, but met with some resistance, especially from DANA who said in a phone conversation to me: "Go ahead, sue us...we'll bleed you so dry in court, then counter-sue your ass!...you'll NEVER see a cent from us...ha,ha,ha,ha". DANA was infamous for while being well-off financially, he'd do the 'couch tour' thing at various girls' apartments, use their phones, ring up big bills and then just take off. A real shrewd user. He was very smart that way, and then he'd tell us about it and laugh at how stupid the chicks were...DANA was also the only person I've ever seen who could down an *entire* bottle of Jack Daniels during a recording session, and show no outward signs of being drunk! We never knew how he did this...
Well, eventually I got to sit in the court proceedings of VINNIE VINCENT's Bankruptcy case, where, he was exposed for ripping off hundreds of people, including the fans of the KISS ARMY, former musician friend HIRSH GARDNER from the band NEW ENGLAND, (I was told that HIRSH had all of the bands' pink and black touring gear confiscated *right* before they went onstage at a gig in Boston!!!)...Anyway, I got the satisfaction of watching Mr. VINNIE CUSANO (VINNIE VINCENT) squirm in front of the judge, because my name was one of the hundreds that VINNIE owed a LOT of money to. I have the papers sent to me from his attorneys, and there's a *looong* list of people he owes money to! On top of which, VINNIE even tried to copy MY IMAGE when he came out with his second album. Because he was nearyl bald, VINNIE wore wigs styled just like my hairstyle, and tried to copy anything he could from SIN! It was pure pleasure to watch him go down....
Anyway, right before we're back in the studio, DANA tells me he's bringing in a guy from a band he played with, named DANNY SPANOS. Aside from being a singer, DANNY apparently was a drummer, and sat in one of our rehearsals, and found problems with my drummer MARK ANTHONY, saying his meter was off. He also said FRANK STARR had to go, he sang too flat. It was up to me, as the bandleader, to break the heart-breaking news to two of my favorite players. I was told "Either they go, and we replace them, or, the whole recording deal is off". I was truly between that rock and a hard place. This wasn't a case of us having problems with the members, and looking to replace them, this was a producer/management thing. I didn't get much support from JAY and RICHIE either. TODD said "If you want to progress forward, you need to make some decisions". So, I told MARK and FRANK what had happened. and although they were hurt (and it was killing me to tell them), they understood, and left SIN. (I said, we *should* have got them back in later).
Now...we need a new singer, so, we're referred to a guy by KEEL drummer BOBBY MARKS, who is from san Diego, named RIC REED, who's 'claim to fame' is his singing (imitating) RONNIE JAMES DIO's voice in a Budweiser Beer radio spot sounding like the song "RAINBOW IN THE DARK". RIC was from a band in San Diego called CHILD, apparently well-known by the guys in RATT, and friend JAKE E. LEE. So, we bring this guy in, and get him to sing all the lead vocals on the SIN demo. Then, he gets the wild idea that if he wants to join, *his terms* are to change the band to "SIN, featuring RIC REED". Well, we have a meeting and everyone looks at me when we're told this. I said: " This guy wants to make us *his* back-up band?!?...*That* just isn't going to work at all, especially since it was me, that got us all here to begin with. I'm not just going to hand over the reins to some *new guy* who is just NOT going to be the new bandleader. Period. I'm not going to let *that* happen to me again! DANA also brings in some *kid*, we never even knew, from Las Vegas, to play drums on the tracks. Guy drives in from Vegas, playes on the tracks, and drives home, all in one night. I never event got to meet this guy until later. Kind of lanky, and *not* a rock star look in his body. Kinda nerdy, y'know? Nice guy, just not SIN material. When it came time to do the back-up vocals, I got some friends from the band BLACK N' BLUE, TOMMY THAYER and PARTIC to come in, (as well as MARK SLAUGHTER). The BLACK N' BLUE guys are going like "HOLY SH*T, this tape's HOT!". So, after we finish the demo, *now* I start to get a hint of trouble from JAY & Richie, who are living with JAY *& his girlfriend. Squabbling, and room-mate issues. TODD comes to me and says: "JAY and RICHIE feel, that since SIN spent so much time in the studio (not really), that they say that they don't think *you* can cut it live with the newly arranged material". I was in SHOCK. I said "WHAT?!?!" "What the hell kind of lame-ass excuse is THAT?!?" Now, I begin to see the cornerstone of all my work begin to start crumbling. As I said, "like sand, the more I tried to hold it together, the more it just ran thru my fingers". I watched everytning I had worked for, blood, sweat and tears, go right down the drain. (he last show we did together as a band before we went into the studio in 1985, was on my birthday, December, 28th, 1984. SIN was no more). Oddly enough, when we had just finished the SIN demo, I took a copy over to B.C.RICH guitars, and the late President, BERNIE RICO and I sat in his Caddilac. He pops in the SIN demo, and, 30 seconds into the first song, he says "Welcome to B.C.RICH, what would you like us to make for you?" He says "I've heard tons of bands, but *this* is something special, you guys are awesome!" That is how I got my B.C.Rich bass endorsement. Everything just fell into place from there, even though we did have the RANDALL endorsement before that...
FIBM: So, what happened after SIN? Where did you go from there?
Rik Fox: So...Now SIN is but a memory, and I'm *really* bummed out about this...NOW what do I do?!?...Some time later, a couple of friends pick me up and we're heading to see STRYPER, and it's pouring rain, which cancels the outdoor show. We stop off at a local rehearsal studio in North Hollywood, on the way, and our friends BURN are auditioning bass players. (BURN shared producer DANA STRUM). The guys in BURN remember me from when they were HELLION, and I jammed with them years before. They tell everyone to leave the room so they can talk, but, they ask me to stay. They said "We heard about SIN, and we're sorry to see such a great band fall apart...what would you say, if we asked you to audition for bass in BURN?" I said, "Well, I've *already* more than proven myself in how I play for years now, and everyone who's seen me knows I kick ass"... They said (words to the effect of) "It's just a formality, would you be interested?". So I said..."ok". BURN was being handled by RONNIE JAMES DIO's NIJI Management under Curt Lorraine. NIJI is also handling ROUGH CUTT under WENDY DIO at this time as well. It was nice to be a part of the NIJI Banner.
So, I get a copy of five tunes on the BURN Demo produced by, guess who?...DANA STRUM. I pick up the songs pretty fast, and go in to do the 'audition'. I must say, we ROCKED!
I even threw in a few 'moves' with the guys, and between ALAN BARLAM and RAY SCHENK, they really dug it. I locked in with drummer SEAN KELLY, or so I thought. After blowing smoke up my skirt about how great it all sounded, they called me later, and said "SEAN, being the other half of the rythym section, decided to go with another guy. So, they 'blamed' the overall decision on SEAN. Two days later, I get a call from ALAN BARLAM, telling me "RIK, we're REAL sorry, SEAN happened to pick a guy who didn't even OWN any gear!, and can't do any gigs with us..." I said "After all this you tell me that?!?" He says "Overall we really wanted *YOU* more, you really gave some life to the songs more than our last guy, and we *Should* have given it to you right away". So, now, I think about it, and tell him "Let me think about it". And, they're getting nervous now... ALAN's calling me every day, two times a day, asking me "Well?... what do you think, still interested?".
Now, they're sweating it out...Eventually, I say, OK, let's do it." So, ow I'm rehearsing with BURN at MATES rehearsal studios in North Hollywood. And it's sounding really good. We're cookin'. Then, singer RICHARD PARICO, has some problems and needs a place to stay, so, I offer him my couch, and the band members warn me to watch out, be careful, he's a diabetic, and will eat you out of house and home. He's done it before. You know, I had to go out and put a friggin' lock on my refrigerator at home?!? They were right! This guy's raiding all my food, and drink, promising to pay for it. then, for other reasons, they ultimately sack PARICO form BURN, and I have to kick him out of my place. Now...BURN needs to replace their singer. I know of someone from N.Y. out in L.A. Former singer for ANTHRAX, NEIL TURBIN. NEIL's got this awesome voice, and I think he'd be really good for the position. BURN says ok, and we want to bring him in. Although NEIL's an awesome singer, he knows this, and starts telling me, he doesn't like to sing anybody else's material, only stuff *he* has written on. I said "NEIL, you're not grasping the concept of joining a band that is *already* together, and is established...this is a *team-work* thing". He stays adamant to his principles and passes on joining BURN. Now here's where the idea of me joining 'sinking ships' phase starts to take hold...BURN, just replaces their bassist with me, and now, has to go back to square one, and find a new singer. In the meantime, my friends in LOUDNESS are touring the West Coast, with rotating support CINDERELLA and POISON. The get me a couple of tour laminate 'All-Access' passes, and I go to see a few of their shows, hanging out with them. While in Phoenix, Arizona, I meet this nerd named Brad, who knows I was in STEELER, and KEEL had just played there. He says he knows a band looking for bass players named SURGICAL STEEL. Supposedly being a big (local) promoter, who can't get himself passes for LOUDNESS, I generously let him use one of mine. (He nearly got himself kicked out of the backstage area for nosing where he had no business being)...Anyway, I meet this guy named JIM KEELER, from SURGICAL STEEL, and we have a nice, quick chat, nothing big. By the time I fly home, next morning, land and get home, my phone's ringing when I walk into my place. It's Brad, begging me to come back to Phoenix, because JIM KEELER wants me in SURGICAL STEEL...He says "You GOTTA DO This!!"
...Лучше обезуметь от счастья, чем от неудач, лучше неуклюже танцевать, чем ходить, прихрамывая.