Blackie Lawless

Steven Edward Duren was born on September 4,1956 in Staten Island, New York. Steven is better known by his stage name, Blackie Lawless - an American singer and songwriter for the bands W.A.S.P., Circus Circus and Sister. Lawless began playing when he was nine years old. By age sixteen, Lawless was already playing in the bars, with his band "Black Rabbit".

In 1975, Blackie finished a tour with the notorious band, the New York Dolls, replacing Johnny Thunder. After the tour was over, Lawless went to California with Arthur Kane and helped the Killer Kane Band as a singer. When Kane left California, Blackie chose to stay in Los Angeles.

In 1976, Lawless formed the band Sister. Sister is considered the first band to use a pentagram in their logo, one of several things Nikki Sixx borrowed when he formed Motley Crue. Randy Piper was the second guitarist in the band and remained with Blackie for several years. While Blackie was with the band Sister he would use many stage antics such as lighting his boots on fire and eating live worms.

In 1978, Nikki Sixx and Lizzie Grey were introduced into the band. After recording a demo, Blackie felt that Nikki's playing was not up to par and fired him from the band. Soon after, Lizzie left the band as well and reconnected with Nikki and the two formed the band London. London went on to become quite an attraction in the Los Angeles music scene, with the addition of Mott vocalist Nigel Benjamin. Nigel's time in London was short-lived. The vocalist left the band and eventually Nikki did too. It was at this time (1981) that Blackie took over the vocal duties in London, but this version of the group was also short-lived as Blackie's vocals did not gel with the pop melodies of London.

In 1982, Nikki Sixx began forming what would become Motley Crue and Blackie Lawless began to form what would become W.A.S.P. The original version of the band included Blackie on guitar, Randy Piper on guitar, Tony Richards on drums and Rik Fox on bass. Rik Fox gave the band its name, but Blackie soon fired the bassist, after Rik's performance on an early demo was not up to expectations. From there, Blackie takes over bass duties and adds guitarist Chris Holmes. This is the band that would record the self-titled release on Capitol Records.

After recording the W.A.S.P. self-titled album and doing a couple of videos, Blackie fired drummer Tony Richards. He replaced him with drummer Steve Riley, who had just recorded the album "The Right to Rock" on A&M Records, with the band Keel. According to Tony, Blackie and the record company requested that Tony sign over his rights for a small lump sum and the drummer agreed, claiming he did so due to drugs. The album went on to be W.A.S.P.'s most successful release to date. The next album was "The Last Command" and it was also quite successful, selling over 500,000 units in the United States. Soon after, Randy Piper was fired and Blackie replaced him with himself and added Johnny Rod (King Kobra) on bass. The band then recorded "Inside the Electric Circus" and, as with all the other W.A.S.P. albums, there was another band member casualty. This time Blackie fired drummer Steve Riley, who would later go on to form L.A. Guns. Out of everyone, guitarist Chris Holmes lasted the longest, but it wouldn't be long. After the band's next album, "The Headless Children", Chris Holmes was fired. Throughout the years, W.A.S.P. (Blackie Lawless) has continued to play musical chairs with its musicians and, as of today, Lawless is the only original member in the band.

Blackie Lawless cites his influences as AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Kiss, and The Beatles. His most known stage performances were influenced by Kiss and Alice Cooper, but Blackie took things to the next level when he began to cut raw meat on stage and throw it into the audience. During the 80's, W.A.S.P. had shows cancelled on a regular basis, as well as being banned from some countries..


W.A.S.P. Albums
Animal (Fuck Like A Beast) - Single
W.A.S.P. (1984) Certified Gold (500,000)
The Last Command (1985) Certified Gold (500,000)
Inside the Electric Circus (1986)
The Headless Children (1989)
The Crimson Idol (1992)
First Blood Last Cuts (1994)
Still Not Black Enough (1995)
Kill Fuck Die (1997)
Helldorado (1999)
The Best of the Best: 1984-2000, Vol. 1 (2000)
Unholy Terror (2001)
Dying for the World (2002)
The Neon God: Part 1 - The Rise (2004)
The Neon God: Part 2- The Demise (2004)
Dominator (2007)
Babylon (2009)

Live Albums
Live...In the Raw (1987)
Live...Animal (EP) (1987)
Double Live Assassins (1998)
The Sting (2000)