I remember back in 1987 sitting in my room listening to WLLZ, a radio station in Detroit, and the world premiere of Motley Crue’s new album, Girls, Girls, Girls, came on. Man, how fucking excited was I??? Not only did they play songs off the new album but they also had commentary from the guys in the Crue! Dude, this was huge! I had been a Crue fan for a couple years by this point and I was defiantly a FANATIC. I was the kid with all the posters, that read ALL the articles from the magazines, Circus, Metal Edge, Faces, and Hit Parader, and I was ALL metal.
Jump back to 1985 when I was a big rock fan. I had all kinds of cassettes and 8-tracks (remember the Columbia House scam??) for the cool rock and later, classic rock bands as well. I was big into stuff like Zeppelin, Def Leppard, and Hendrix and now was hearing about this thing called Heavy Metal. One day, a buddy and I were up at Macomb Mall, Sears to be specific and we were doing what kids did then, looking at the cool ass album covers on records. I saw the cassette of Motley Crue’s Theatre of Pain. I thought it looked cool and mentioned that I had heard of them. We were broke asses of course so we left with nothing, or so I thought.
As my friend and I walked out of the mall, I said something like, “that Crue tape looked cool”. My buddy then proceeds to pull the tape, still in the long plastic case, from his pants and goes, “you mean this?” Yup, this was the 80s and this is what we did. I ended up scamming the tape, he scammed, off him to go home and jam first. This was my first taste of Motley Crue…way back in 1985.
Fast forward to 2014: A guy I had known for a good 15+ years asks me if I wanted to put together a Crue Tribute band. I said hell yeah, that would be cool, however, only half heartedly because I figured he was just being his usual full of shit self. At this point I had just left a great Black Sabbath tribute band that I had been in for over 2 years. I was needing something different, something more upbeat, still love Sabbath but was bored, so this definitely sounded good to me.
I had stumbled into the tribute scene. I was in an all original thrash band but we didn’t play live much and this frustrated me. I play music for the sole purpose of getting on stage, a rush I experienced first in 1983. It was at a Judas Priest concert that I drunkenly mentioned that I needed something more. Next thing I know, I’m in a Black Sabbath Tribute. I had always hated the whole idea of tribute bands but at this point it seemed like a cool idea.
I played a lot with these guys and I eventually hooked up with another guy who led me to create in INCREDIBLE Alice In Chains tribute as well. That was an awesome band but died off due to the usual band bullshit. I was actually, at that time, already trying to put together a Crue tribute but I couldn’t find anyone worth a damn. Out of my 2 all time favorite bands which are Motley Crue and Guns N Roses, the Crue seemed easier to pull off. I was sadly mistaken, proven by the lack of qualifying candidates, so I grunged it up!
I began playing music at the age of 9 at Westview elementary school. I had never even thought about being a musician until, one day, the music teacher walked in the classroom and asked who wanted to be in the band. I was the first to volunteer for guitar because that’s what I always heard! However, he said he didn’t have guitar in the band, but there was a need for drummers. Ok cool! Drums were the next best thing.
For 4 years I played in school band, kicking ass on drums and being second fiddle to the shitty players on snare. I was way advanced compared to the other players because my Grandfather, Stan, had been a lifelong musician and played in big bands back in the 40s and 50s. My Grandfather taught me a lot, he was the MAN!!!
I rented a smoke plexi-glass Ludwig drum kit to play alongside the band for a school concert in 8th grade. I asked to do a solo but, of course, I was shot down. So, as the song, Blue Rock, came to an end, I proceeded to bust into an Animal (Muppets) style drum solo which ended in me knocking over the drums, saying fuck you and quitting the band.
I always played drums, my heroes and major influences were Lars Ulrich, Dave Lombardo, Randy Castillo, Tommy Lee and Alex Van Halen. I continued to play but, still, I had this desire to play Bass because Nikki Sixx played bass and he was bad ass!
I had no money and my family wouldn’t pay for ANYTHIING so fuck it, I grabbed my uncle’s tools and some wood, “I’ll build a fucking bass!” I thought to myself. Dude, you should have seen it! 2, ½ pieces of plywood were bolted together for a body and the neck. I used railroad tracks from a toy train to make frets, a tennis racket handle for a whammy bar, eye bolts for tuners and bicycle brake cable for strings! It weighted a ton and was like 6 feet long but looked cool as fuck! Yeah…I smashed it.
I eventually saved up $700 to buy a real bass, this was around 1997. I had always played drums in bands, both original and cover, but nothing worth mentioning. I always ended up with total lames who never wanted to do shit with the band. My biggest problem is that I’m left handed. Back in 1987 a girl gave me a guitar and it always felt right upside down, even though I couldn’t play it. I knew left handed basses were very hard to come by back then.
I took some lessons in 1988 and tried to play acoustic guitar right handed, no dice. So come 1997, I finally get this Ibanez bass, a zoom pedal and all the extra crap to go with it and it only took 7 months to save up for it all! By the time I actually got it, I had memorized all kinds of scales, patterns, and chords plus every note on the neck from a book I had gotten a hold of. The first day I got the bass I wrote a song called Electric Chair to go with lyrics I had written in 1986, while sitting in the youth home for not going home all weekend so I could stay at my buddy’s weekend house party.
The first song I learned all the way through was Metallica-Seek and Destroy. Then after my confidence grew, I joined up with a dude to put together a 1 time band for a talent show and we played the instrumental version of David Lee Roth’s Ladies Night in Buffalo, we won first prize!
I eventually had to start leading the band along with writing the songs. This was due to being tired of going to rehearsal and just standing around because no one ever knew what we were going to do! I brought my songs in to the band and got this hot shot singer to come jam. After just one rehearsal, this jackass decided he could tell me how all this shit, which I wrote, was wrong! I told him to get the fuck out and decided to just sing myself. So now, I became Dave Mustaine (the asshole leader) on bass, swell.
I had some good bands and some great songs, but in the end, it all died off. I got a hold of an acoustic guitar and learned to play the rest of the chords I was already playing. I am a big Steve Harris and Peter Steele Fan so leading the band with bass was cool with me!
My Love of music is all about being on the stage. I love to get a reaction from people, the audience, and the band. I love the feeling of being up there and meshing with the other guys to create something and to see people really enjoy it. My whole ambition is to perform live. Without that, I tend to get bored and look for something new.
I have, since I was a kid, loved the music and attitude of Motley Crue, and more specifically, Nikki Sixx. That guy really sums up what being a rock star is all about. Sixx has always had that attitude, he always did what he thought was right and didn’t let others stop him. He was the vision, brains and ambition that made Motley Crue. I have the utmost respect for what he has been able to do, create and conquer. How we are so quick to forget about our childhood/teenage dreams and aspirations. How we looked up to these guys who were like Gods. They were symbols of what life can be. Playing the role of Sixx in this band, Wreking Crue, is a great honor to me. This band is all about showing respect and paying homage to music that has been with me my entire life. I take it very serious and try to recreate something that will never be, again, for true Motley Crue fans.
Wreking Crue is, in fact, a great band. The guys in the band are the result of a lot of ups and downs with regard to different members since the bands inception. I have been fortunate to find like mindedness in Crash Mars, Toby Lee, Matt Neil and our back up girls, Cheri’ and Precious. These are all very talented and dedicated musicians, who bust ass to provide a cool experience for anyone who comes to see us live. This band started as an idea, a hand drawn logo and a love for Motley Crue. Today, shit is good and we rock! Wreking Crue is all about sharing our love for all that was, is and will be, Motley Crue!