La Jolla Condominium Complexes

Quiet Riot Vocalist
Kevin Dubrow
1955 - 2007

Kevin Dubrow was found dead
in his home on Sunday 11-25-07. Read More

The Final Installment - PART II of our interview w/ Kevin Dubrow,
is online and was completed on 12-05-07
Click HERE to view.
FIB MUSIC:  What's New?

Kevin:   Well we have a new album out, REHAB, which I am sure you know. It came out within the last month. It's the first Quiet Riot record in over six years.

FIB MUSIC:   Where did you record it?

Kevin:  For the most part, it was recorded over at Steve Vai's home studio in Hollywood. We did the tracks at some studio in the Valley, I came even remember the name of it. But all the overdubs and the mixing were done at Steve Vai's in the Hollywood Hills. Because Neil Citron, who plays guitar and did all the engineering on the record is Steve's engineer at the studio and that's how the connection happened, because he played guitar on Frankie's demos, the demos that Frankie had written for the album. So instead of trying to teach them to some guy and try and reinterpret Neil's parts, it just made more sense to have Neil play the parts that Neil help write with Frankie and Neil play the parts on the stuff I wrote with other guitar players such as Alex Grossi and Michael Lardie.

The thing about Neil is he's a session guitar player, so he doesn't have that ego about playing things their style, their way. So if you say to Neil, "play some of that Paul Kossoff. Now, Paul Kossoff is a strange name to drop, because he's not a name that people really think of as a guitar hero anymore and he was someone we were really thinking about a lot while making this record. Paul Kossoff was originally the guitar player for the band Free, sadly no longer with us. But we were thinking about Paul Kossoff, Jimmy Page, the blues guys from the 70's. You drop a name like Paul Kossoff, or Walter Stocker, the guitar player from The Baby's....and a lot of these guys only point of reference is Eddie Van Halen, or Randy Rhoads, which is fine, but we weren't going that direction. So with someone like Neil, it made it real simple for him to interpret our ideas. His vocabulary is really big.

FIB MUSIC:  Did Neil end up producing the new cd as well?

Kevin:  No, Frankie and I produced the record. Neil just played guitar on it and did the engineering.
FIB MUSIC:  I have read a lot of great comments about REHAB.....

   People really like it....the people who understand it, really like it. If you are expecting Metal Health Part II, you won't get it and you won't like it. There are hardly any background vocals, I mean, it's very similar to a 70's record in that's very retro. It's not super dry, but it's not super wet in the echo either. It's like the records I grew up listening to, Humble Pie, Led Zeppelin, Spooky Tooth, Free, bands from the 70's, retro bands. Our original roots were more towards glam, Bowie, Sweet, Slade, things like that.

FIB MUSIC:  Several comments I read say that it is the best Quiet Riot release to date.

Kevin:  I think is.....I definitely do, because anything based in blues is going to last the test of time. That's why a lot of our earlier records, don't last the test of time, because they are not based on anything bluesy. Our early stuff is something else, it was of its time and it sounds dated, because of that reason. When you listen to a Led Zeppelin record, because of the fact that they were blues based.

FIB MUSIC:  Will you guys be touring?

Kevin:  We are always touring. We're touring now.....I mean, at any given time we are always touring.

FIB MUSIC:   Are they like one-off gigs or full tours?

Kevin:  We do a lot of weekend flyouts. We actually learned the concept from the Blue Oyster Cult guys. We were taking a tour bus out all the time and we were making no money. I think it was Eric Bloom that said to me, "What are you guys thinking, man? This is not the way to do it; nobody does it this way anymore". Fly out and just do like three shows a week, take the money and you make a lot more money. That way we aren't stuck with an expensive tour bus, a crew and driver - sucking the life out of you financially. As time has gone along, tour bus drivers have become bigger and bigger pirates. Used to, they were the bands friends, now they just suck the life and financial sources out of you.

FIB MUSIC:  What do you mean?

Kevin:  Bus drivers....they are basically trying to steal all the money the bands make in fake fuel receipts and everything else and they come up with all kinds of nonsense, so the band is constantly getting receipts for this and that. They wipe their ass and they give you a three hundred dollar receipt. It's really bad. We went through four buses last summer. And now with fuel prices the way they are..........the whole thing is insane.

FIB MUSIC:  So you guys fly in and do one show....Do you then go to a different city that is in close proximity and play another show?

Kevin:  Basically, we do three shows in the same general area, in a little minivan. We have the promoter rent the backline and we take our guitar and effects and we do the same basic show, we've always done. I mean Marshall's are Marshall's and Ampeg's are Ampeg's, they are basic backline gear you can get anywhere. So we were doing it the old school way and like I said the Blue Oyster Cult guy says to me, "what are you doing?"....he showed us the way and we showed it to Cinderella. And they're always thanking us, the way we're always thanking the Blue Oyster Cult guys.

FIB MUSIC:   Yeah. That's what Jaime St. James said in our interview with him....that he and Warrant are only doing weekend gigs.

Kevin:   It makes financial sense. I mean, there aren't as many places to play anymore, so Mondays, Tuedays and Wednesdays you're going to be sitting on your hands. You still have to pay the crew, travel expenses and housing. Everyday you spend in a don't give you a discount for the days you aren't working unfortunately. (laughs) It would be nice if they did.

FIB MUSIC:  Now, the Great Glenn Hughes is on the new cd, right?

Kevin:  Right. "Evil Woman". There was a reason for doing the song and it was only to have Glenn Hughes sing on it. First of all, I am a big Spooky Tooth fan, but the original line-up of Spooky Tooth had Mike Harrison and Gary Wright, The Dream Weaver, on duel lead vocals. We wanted a song that was meant to be a duet......Glenn blows me out of the water, there's no two ways about it. I saw a review somewhere and it says, the reason they put this last on the album is because you realize what a mediocre singer I am. Well, my logic is you stick Glenn Hughes next to anybody and everybody's going to sing mediocre next to Glenn. I am not a mediocre singer, but stick anyone next to Glenn.......Glenn's a freak of nature, there's no two ways about it...the guy is brilliant, talented. But I didn't do a whole album with him....that would have been silly, I mean, I'm not that crazy. But Glenn's biggest contribution to the record was not so much on "Evil Woman", it was actually more the songwriting and the background vocals to the other songs. Because he was a big participant on the songs that Frankie Banali had written with Neil, that I couldn't complete. Because they were so far out of my normal vocabulary. Glenn came over to my house, just on the computer and just BOOM, finished all the songs I was having trouble with, such as "Blind Faith". He's so brilliant. I mean, you see someone like Glenn Hughes work and you see how simple it is for them and you see real talent and you WOW!!!, it's really impressive. As opposed to guys....I'm not going to mention any names, but I've worked with some people who have had a pretty good reputation, who are just awful and the difference between real talent and someone who just licks their instrument and thinks that is's amazing.

FIB MUSIC:  You two have been friends for a long time, right?

Kevin:  Yeah....ummmm, I have been close friends with him for about five years. But I knew him in the 80's, but when he had his substance issues, I didn't really know too much about it....I've heard a lot about it since then, but I never saw any of that stuff. That reputation is someone I don't even know. I hear stories about it, but it's like they are talking about someone else.

Rudy Sarzo, Kevin Dubrow, Carlos Cavazo
FIB MUSIC:  Why aren't Carlos Cavazo and Rudy Sarzo on the new cd?

Kevin:   Rudy wasn't invited. Carlos didn't want to do it without Rudy's involvement and that wasn't an option. When Carlos passed on it in 2005, when we decided to put it back together, we said this is your last chance and he said "ok" and we have gone on to be very happy. We have been rewarded musically and financially without his participation. It's old news to us.

FIB MUSIC:  Do you want to talk about why Rudy Sarzo is not involved?

Kevin:   I don't want to talk about Rudy at all. It's a part of Quiet Riot that is no longer there, he's not there and he won't be there anymore and that's all that needs to be said about it. He wasn't a contributor to the band musically in the first place, he was just part of the so-called original Metal Health line-up. As I said, he wasn't asked to participate and really to go any further than that would be giving the guy more attention than he deserves. I don't want to get into anything negative.
FIB MUSIC:   Anything else you want to say about the new cd?

Kevin:  It's not your mama's Quiet Riot. (laughs) It's definitely different, it's definitely different. You have to have an open-ear about it. Some people have said, when they first listened to it, they didn't get it at all and then when they listened to it a second time, they had to completely separate themselves from the Metal Health band.....then they got it....and they said the more they listen to it, the more they get it. It's blues-based rock....Zeppelin.....Free...You need to really give it a chance. If you are expecting the big background vocals and the glam shit of the 80's, it's not for you. We didn't make the album to try and sell a bunch of units; we made it because we wanted to have a form of artistic expression. Because, we are not in the poor house, so we didn't do it to try and make money. We used our own money to finance it and it was something we wanted to do for artisic reasons. As stupid as that sounds...we were able to do it financially and we wanted to do it....we'll do it again probably. Regardless if it does great or poorly, we are doing it for the right reasons.

FIB MUSIC:   So, how does the deal work with your label, Chavis Records. You finance the recording and they finance the production?

Kevin:   I'm not going to get into the details of the deal we worked out with them. We sold it to them after it was finished. We financed it on our own and when it was completely finished, including the artwork and everything else, we worked out a deal with them.

FIB MUSIC:  I got ya. More like a licensing deal?

Kevin:  Yeah. Pretty much. We didn't want any record companies participating in the making of the record. They don't know anything about music. We have always been unhappy with the participation from a label. I mean music and music business are two separate terms entirely and they should be kept separate. I turned 51 yesterday, you think I am going to listen to some bozo about my music. I still think of myself as a kid, because it's just the nature of the way I am, but having said that, I have no patience for some bonehead getting involved in my music. Especially, the ones who don't know shit about music. You listen to the radio today and you hear the way records are mixed and how everything sounds alike, because it is done on Pro Tools. I mean, we did our best to fight the Pro Tools stigma.....and we used Pro Tools because we couldn't find analog tape anywhere...they don't make it and what we could find was three hundred dollars a reel. It was really, really ridiculous. So, we used every piece of outboard gear we could find to make Pro Tools sound like analog tape. Everything on the radio; I can tell it sounds like Pro Tools. Everything has that almost mono's nasty.
FIB MUSIC:  I agree. Sometimes no low end, or warmth.

Kevin:   Right. No warmth at all. That's natural tape distortion. We used a lot of outboard gear to get that sound. If you listen to REHAB, its got a very analog sound to it, but it still doesn't sound as cool as real tape would sound, but it's just not realistic anymore.

FIB MUSIC:  Can you tell us about the first time you met Randy Rhoads?

Kevin:   Sure. After the phone call, he and Kelly Garni came over to my mom's house...I was eighteen, Randy was seventeen. He walked in and he had hair down to the middle of his back and a really long thumbnail....I said what's the thumbnail for. I didn't hear him play the first time I met him. Then the second time, I went to his mom's house and I went there just as a joke, because I was playing with Stan Lee, the guitarist of the Dickies, believe it or not. And Stan is the one who said you should go hear him play, it's going to be know, we did it as a joke. (laughs).....the joke was on me, because he was amazing. So, I heard him play and Randy says, ok, let's hear you sing and I was like no, not going to do it (laughs) and eventually, obviously I did. But he was brilliant, he was gifted, he was hilarious and a wonderful person.....he was not an angel, the way he is made out to be.....I don't think anyone is. I think it's a shame his memory is not being cultivated the way it should be, like the way.......there's certain bad things about the Jimi Hendrix estate, but at least the memory is being cultivated.

FIB MUSIC:   What do you mean by that?

Kevin:  Music still comes out from the Hendrix estate. There's no music that comes out, because Randy's mom has such a tight reign on things...there's no merchandise, no nothing comes out of the Randy Rhoads estate, it just sits there.

FIB MUSIC:  I was wondering why there hasn't been a release of Quiet Riot I and II on cd.

Kevin:   Well, I'm not trying to put any effort into releasing them, but I think they should come out, but I don't want to hassle with it.

FIB MUSIC:  Does Randy's mom own the rights to those recordings?

Kevin:   I could put them out if I really wanted to, because I was a participant on those.....I wasn't a hired guy and the other three are still alive, me, the bass player and the drummer, so it's a vote, the other three out-vote the non surviving member, which is his estate. Having said that, do I want to hassle with it? NO. I don't. There are other things in life to do.

FIB MUSIC:   You think it would be that much of a hassle to get Quiet Riot I & II released on cd?

Kevin:  I don't know, but all my battles are fought by Frankie Banali. He manages Quiet Riot. He is not a participant in that version of the band, so he's not going to be fighting my battles for that and I don't want to fight any battles. I leave everything up to him business-wise and he's not a participant in that so........

FIB MUSIC:  Weren't you guys signed to Sony JAPAN for those two releases?

Kevin:   Yes.

FIB MUSIC:  Sony doesn't still own the masters?

Kevin:  It's a pretty complicated explanation, the way it went down after we released it under the Rhino (Records) deal in '95 and the way that the tapes went's kind of a complicated thing to go into and as I said, it's nothing I want to hassle with when I can live in the present time. And I don't know if the financial gain is really worth the bother. We're not hurting financially, so it's not a matter of doing it for financial gain. Is it something you want to do for artistic reasons, or some posthumous release, I don't know. It's got to be worth the hassle.

FIB MUSIC:  Wasn't the '95 release a compilation of the two albums?

Kevin:  Yeah. Remixed and remastered and there was a lot of work done to the original tapes, Randy never liked the original tapes and the singing on it is for shit. So, I had the opportunity to go and fix what was done incorrectly...the production was just awful. The first Quiet Riot album was produced by a guy named Derek Lawrence, who wasn't a terrible producer, but was the wrong producer for us. The second one was produced by a guy named Lee deCarlo, a guy who helped co-produce the Double Fantasy, John Lennon album. Again, not a bad producer, but the wrong one...... these guys didn't get Randy Rhoads at all; they didn't realize that he was one of the premier guitarist of our time.....they didn't get it. They just thought he was some kid from Burbank California. They didn't see what somebody like Ozzy Osbourne saw, because Randy Rhoads shined on those two Ozzy albums. So, I went in and tried to repair what was not done the first time and it took a lot of work and repair what was not done right in the vocal department. Because I wasn't going to let something come out that was just horrible. The chance to fix something that you did badly; I'm going to take the opportunity. I got a lot of criticism for repairing the past, so to speak. But my logic is, if I have the opportunity to make something I can do better, I'm going to take it. I don't give a shit what ya'll say. It's me. It's my performance. I have the right to do whatever I want to it. I'm not repairing anyone else's history; I'm repairing my own. So fuck you, you know? So again, it's living in the past. I only think about the past when I talk about it in something like this. I mean, the past is for people don't have a career, or do a lot of cocaine......because people who do a lot of cocaine always talk about the past.

FIB MUSIC:  Sure, but it might be cool to have an official release of the first two Quiet Riot albums, as is. You know how collectors are.

Kevin:  I suppose, but then again you can understand why I don't concentrate on it, you know?

FIB MUSIC:  Are the other Quiet Riot cd's still in print? Like QR III?

Kevin:   I don't know. (laughs) You'd have to ask Frankie. I'm not that in touch with that part of my past. Again, I live my life, in a, you know...........when someone looks at the history, it's kind of a neat thing I guess. Some people can view us as being a cheeseball band from the 80's, that happened to play with Randy Rhoads.....I've seen that written.....I mean, I read everything that is written down, I don't take most of it seriously at all, because I live my life like every other human being, in the moment. I don't get all caught up in it, you know?.......I do get caught up in the history and the perception people have of it. I mean, Glenn Hughes has the toughest thing, he admits in public to being a good friend of mine. (laughs)....and he's got a lot of credibility and that's no necassarily a credibility launcher. (LAUGHS) And he always says I'm one of the most misunderstood people, but he's Glenn Hughes....he has a lot of credibility in this a musician.

FIB MUSIC:  We actually have original cd's of the Glenn Hughes release, "Incense and Peaches", not the bootleg 2 on 1 cd either.

Kevin:  Ok. I have that. I collect Glenn stuff. That's a collection of demos and things from different things. I have an original too. If you go on what used to be Napster, now it's like put in Glenn Hughes and you get some pretty good stuff. I mean, aside from maybe Tori Amos, I think Glenn Hughes is the most searched for when it comes to wanting to find rare, or obscure recordings. Tori Amos, Glenn, Sheryl put in their names and you can find some really badass things. I'm a big Sheryl Crow fan too, so for somebody who really likes her, you can find some really great songs that aren't on her records. Glenn's the same way...there are acoustic versions of songs that haven't been released. So if you're a Glenn fan there is a lot out there. Acoustic versions and live versions...that's the shit with Glenn.

FIB MUSIC:   You'll have to excuse my ignorance on some of the history, but did you form Quiet Riot with Randy, or was the band already functional when you came on board.

Kevin:   There was no band. They were looking to put a band together....Randy and Kelly Garni and they were looking for a singer. You know, they didn't give a shit about what the singer sounded like, they just needed somebody that was going to be the singer. So what I brought to the table wasn't vocals, it was basically motivation that I wanted to be a singer in a band and I would do the job of more than just singing. I would get things together for the group; I was a motivator. I found managers and stuff like that. And you know, these guys were just out of high school, but it was barely.....I mean, their attitude was just still.....Kelly Garni would tell you know that they were.....kind of, still a mess.

FIB MUSIC:  How long does it take before you have a complete band?

Kevin:  Pretty much within two months we had the drummer.

FIB MUSIC:  And you guys are out playing gigs?

Kevin:  Yeah, we're out playing dumb gigs.

FIB MUSIC:  Now before you joined the band you were a photographer, right?

Kevin:   Yes.

FIB MUSIC:  That was in the early 70's?

Kevin:  Correct, yeah. I shot Rod Stewart in 1970 and that made me want to become a singer. I wanted to get on the other end of the lens.

FIB MUSIC:  Who were some of the other musicians that you photographed.

Kevin:  Ummmm. Jeff Beck a number of times.....I mean all the stuff I listen to today, I was photographing back then. Robin Trower, Mott the Hoople.

FIB MUSIC:  Were the photos being published?

Kevin:  Yeah. Guitar Player Magazine....Rock Magazine, it was just called Rock. I was a photographer from like '69 through '75 and I started playing with Randy Rhoads in '75. So when I started playing with him, I ceased being a photographer.

FIB MUSIC:  Any cool memories stand out from those days as a photographer?

Kevin:   Not really. An aftershow party for West, Bruce and Lang, they were all really rude to me. (laughs) Leslie West was really rude and I have met and jammed with him since then and I never mentioned it to him. (laughs) But nothing really, I was a kid. I was just sneaking backstage at concerts. Security was a lot different back then.

FIB MUSIC:  What was the songwriting process between you and Randy Rhoads?

Kevin:   It was really more Randy than anything else. I didn't really consider myself a songwriter in the original band.

FIB MUSIC:  But you were writing lyrics, right?

Kevin:  Yeah. But the first couple of songs we played had lyrics already written. They were given to me. Yeah...that's how it was and then Randy said, "you're a singer, so you got to be a songwriter too", so then I started writing out of necessity. I mean, one of the reasons I sing so loud is because I had to get over the volume of Randy Rhoads. (laughs) It's one of those things, you know?

FIB MUSIC:  So Quiet Riot actually comes before Van Halen, right?

Kevin:  Yes, it was before Van Halen.

FIB MUSIC:  Is Randy considered a guitar hero at that time?

Kevin:  Ummm. They kind of came up in the clubs around the same time. When we first started in '75, that was before Van Halen, but they both started to get known locally about the same time.

FIB MUSIC:  How would you describe Randy Rhoads?

Kevin:  Great. He was really funny....he was a good guy....real personable, very sarcastic, which I find really endearing. Not the way everybody thinks of him now, that's for sure. I mean, I think of him the way he was and it has nothing to do with what is being said about him.

FIB MUSIC:  Like what kind of stuff? How sweet and nice he was?

Kevin:  Yeah. He was sweet, but not like sugar sweet. He was a nice guy, but he was sarcastic and smart aleck-y. I mean, very smart aleck-y.

FIB MUSIC:  So Quiet Riot is your first "real" band?

Kevin:  Yeah, it was my first band pretty much. Like I said, I was playing with Stan Lee from the Dickies, but that wasn't really a band. He was just learning how to play guitar.

FIB MUSIC:  You know, we had a family friend that worked at A&M Records back in the 80's and I remember him telling me about a time when you guys played in front of the building when you were trying to get signed.

Kevin:  We didn't actually play, we had a bunch of our fans get on flat-bed trucks and picket the label, saying "SIGN QUIET RIOT".

FIB MUSIC:  Oh, ok. And the cops came and shut it down?

Kevin:  Yeah....made the picketers move on.

FIB MUSIC:  I still remember him telling me that he wished he would have signed you guys.

Kevin:  Yeah, but you know, he's in the music business. It disqualifies you from having any ears. (laughs) Offense intended....I mean, they all had a chance to sign us ten times over.....and even the people who did sign us didn't know what they had.

FIB MUSIC:  How does Quiet Riot sign with Sony in Japan?

Kevin:  The management we's kind of a long story. We were signed in '76 and we did a showcase for Casablanca Records, Neil Bogart, loved the band, said he was going to sign the band and changed his mind a week later. We went and played before every other label; they all passed. Then Neil Bogart came and said "I changed my mind, I am going to sign them" and we went ahead and started to record the record and Neil Bogart changed his mind again. So, in the middle of recording the record we went to a label called Buddha and they said they were going to sign the band and they ended up going bankrupt. So, we are stuck in the middle of recording this record and management put up the money to finish making the record. They couldn't get any American label to sign it, so they went to Japan, because they also managed a band called Angel, who was very big in Japan and they got CBS Sony to put up the money for it in Japan. We tried to get get an American label to sign it and they wouldn't, so we made the second one just for CBS / SONY Japan. Then eventually, Randy left the band and joined Ozzy.

FIB MUSIC:  But they came out in the 70's, right?

Kevin:  Yeah. They were released in '76 and '77.

FIB MUSIC:  Did you guys tour over there?

Kevin:  Never went over there.

FIB MUSIC:  So, they were released over there and then that was it?

Kevin:  That's it. Yeah. A lot of legend, very little action. We were very frustrated.

FIB MUSIC:  Where did you record Quiet Riot I & II?

Kevin:  Ummmm. The first one was done at the old Wally Heider Studio in Hollywood and the second one was done at the legendary Record Plant in Hollywood.

FIB MUSIC:  Anything cool stand out from those recording sessions?

Kevin:  The Record Plant stuff was neat. They were rebuilding the studio, because they had a fire. It was the same time.....we were recording the second japanese album and they were mixing the Cheap Trick - "Live at Budokan" in the same place and I remember those guys being over there and they were adding all the stuff to it, because the original tapes of "Live at Budokan" were not recorded well.....that's all I really remember about it. I mean, if you have heard the stories or the rumors.....they had what they called the Rack Room, these were rooms with jacuzzi's and all kinds of stuff in the old '70's....pretty neat, you know? For the rock stars that come do all their drugs and stay all night....they encouraged rock stars to do drugs and stay all night, because they would build up a big studio bill.

FIB MUSIC:  I guess they would even bill the drugs to the musicians as well?

Kevin:  I don't know, you know? This was way before any drug use on my part. I was so naive on what was going on....these guys were all staying up all night and I was eating Winchell's Doughnuts and staying up. I didn't know what anyone else was doing; it was years later that I realized what was going on. I once said to Randy, how come I never saw anyone doing any of this and he said, "everyone always knew how much you hated drugs, no one ever wanted to do it in front of you". That's so weird to hear.

FIB MUSIC:  You hated drugs back then?

Kevin:  Oh Yeah. I frowned upon them.

FIB MUSIC:  So how do you end up having your legendary cocaine habit?

Kevin:  You know, my cocaine habit was nothing compared to other peoples.

FIB MUSIC:  Then how do you get involved in it; do you remember when you first tried it?

Kevin:  We did a show at the Starwood and someone said, you wanna do some blow and I said sure, fuck it. It was really that simple. But my use of cocaine was no greater than any members of Motley Crue or Van Halen. It was less if anything.

FIB MUSIC:  At what point in your career do you start using?

Kevin:  The year before we made it is when I first started to get high, because it was getting frustrating having the record business not getting what we were doing. Any person with any common sense understands that this business is not built on winners.

FIB MUSIC:  What was the music scene in LA like at that time?

Kevin:  Terrible. Van Halen got signed a couple of years prior and we thought maybe we were going to be the next ones, but we weren't. We were the only hard rock band, pretty much, in town at that time. Motley Crue had just got started, so they were pretty much coming out to the clubs. We had been out there as Quiet Riot for a number of years. A lot of bands like that Knack.

FIB MUSIC:  Do you remember the band London?

Kevin:  I remembered them....they were just awful....oh God.....I mean, nice guy, Lizzie Grey, but the worst guitar sound of all-time. I remember he could peel wallpaper it was so treble-y and bad. He's a really nice guy and he's still hanging out there....God Bless him.....I don't know how he earns a living after all these years. The drummer Dana ran into him about two years ago.....I knew all the guys.....I mean, they had Nigel Benjamin from Mott the Hoople and I was a big fan of Mott. They were never very good. Nikki stumbled onto a real good thing with Motley Crue image-wise. Because Motley Crue started in the image of London, which was very pop.....really pop.....and then Nikki realized that wasn't going to be the thing that was going to crack it for them.

FIB MUSIC:  Well, Nikki also borrowed some things from....

Kevin:  Blackie (Lawless). Absolutely. But he took a much darker, evil hard rock thing as opposed to the REAL light pop thing of London, because it was REAL pop. It was trying to be a mix between the Rasberries and the New York Dolls and musically, really light.

FIB MUSIC:  So you guys are pretty much the first hard rock band on the scene?

Kevin:  Well, Quiet Riot predated London by years. London was around about the same time as Dubrow. But remember Nikki Sixx auditioned for Quiet Riot, when Kelly left in '77.

FIB MUSIC:  You're kidding.

Kevin:  No. We predated these bands by at least four or five years. Long years, let me tell you. (laughs)

FIB MUSIC:  Was Nikki any good at that time?

Kevin:  No. He didn't know the names of the notes. Yeah, so Randy couldn't sit there and teach him how to play bass and we really liked him as a person, but he just didn't know how to play the instrument...that's not an insult, it's just a fact. I mean, in 1977 he did not know the instrument.

FIB MUSIC:  But he actually sat down and jammed with you and Randy?

Kevin:  Not really. We said the song is in the key of F and he said, "where's F?". So we couldn't get as far as jamming, to be honest with you.

FIB MUSIC:  Speaking of other bass players, we have done a 3 part interview with Rik Fox, who also has some history with you, right?

Kevin:  He auditioned for Quiet Riot himself.

FIB MUSIC:  Now he seemed to think that he had the gig.

Kevin:  That's what his problem was, he thought he had the gig, without even playing a note. Then he started to have issues with the terms of his deal, before he had even played a note with us. We said, "you're way blowing it, because you haven't even played a note yet". He started to take too many liberties, to the point where we were.......we were not in the mood after what we had just gone through with Sarzo for the fifth time. We were not in the mood to hear it and we said, "you know what, take a walk". Another nice guy, but we didn't want to hear it, we didn't want to negotiate a deal, when the guy hadn't even played a note yet.

FIB MUSIC:  I think Rik had mentioned that he thought he had the gig, but was instructed to keep it quiet and somehow it got leaked.

Kevin:  Ohhhh yeah. That must be what it was. He didn't have the gig yet and he let it leak out.

FIB MUSIC:  At what point was that? Was it after Condition Critical?

Kevin:  Yes it was. It was between Condition Critical and QR III, before we got Chuck Wright.

FIB MUSIC:  So why didn't you just go back to Chuck Wright in the first place?

Kevin:  If I remember correctly, he was with Giuffria, so it wasn't as simple as that. But he got to the point where he hated Greg Giuffria, so at the time it was easy to get him out of the band. Remember Giuffria had a hit single and we had a tour of South America and we needed somebody. Rik Fox's name was in it and so was a kid named, Chelle Benner, who did the tour, another kid who was talented, but completely in over his head. I mean, the one thing about Frankie and I is....if you don't have your wits about you, we will eat you for lunch. One thing about our guitar player Alex Grossi....we have basically hazed this kid. This kid has put up with more shit from these two old guys and he still comes through. We have eaten a lot of guys and spit them out....we have no patience.

FIB MUSIC:  Why did Kelly Garni leave the band?

Kevin:  He had an alcohol issue and him and Randy got in a fight about me and then there were some guns involved, I wasn't there, but he had to go (laughs). He was going to kill somebody. Either me or Randy. But now we are really good friends, he's actually the guy who takes care of my house when I go out on tour. The new Quiet Riot promo photo was photographed by Kelly. We played in Las Vegas three weeks ago and I picked him out of the audience and mentioned he was there.

FIB MUSIC:  So he's the photographer now.

Kevin:  Yeah. Strange turn around there, huh?

FIB MUSIC:  How do you guys find Rudy Sarzo?

Kevin:  He was somebody that we used to see at the Starwood and understood what we were trying to do. He seemed like a nice guy at the time, so that's how he got the gig. He had the right image and those years, he was a great bass player back then. I'm not saying now......but I can tell you that back then, he was a wonderful player in 1977 and '78......wonderful player.

FIB MUSIC:  What happens to Drew Forsythe?

Kevin:  He was in the band all the way up until Randy joined Ozzy. When Randy joined Ozzy I changed the name of the band to Dubrow, because you can't continue to call it Quiet Riot without Randy LA. Then we continue as Dubrow, but I realized that Drew was not the right type of drummer for what I was trying to do and was not the right drummer for me as a singer, trying to get better as a singer.......Many people have told me this before.....So what happens was that I got Frankie Banali, who was the best session guy in Los Angeles. He played on Billy Idol's Mony Mony record, played on everybody's records, as a silent session guy.

FIB MUSIC:  So, then you guys go back to Quiet Riot.

Kevin:  Right. The name was a better name for a national group than Dubrow. We only couldn't call it Quiet Riot as a local band. But once we were a national band, that stigma of Randy Rhoads had nothing to do with anything anymore. That was only a local issue.

FIB MUSIC:  Just to lay any doubt to rest.....Was it Dana Strum that introduced Randy Rhoads to Ozzy?

Kevin:  Correct. He hooked that whole thing up.

FIB MUSIC:  How does it all go down when Ozzy takes two of your members?

Kevin:  Well, he didn't really take two of them, he took Randy to make the records and they did the records with Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley and then when it came time to tour America for whatever reason they had, they decided to fire the rhythm section........and they wanted Tommy Aldridge for a long time, so he already had the gig......and they auditioned a bunch of bass players.......and Randy set it up so that Rudy could audition for Ozzy. But Rudy was not in Quiet Riot at that time. He was not a member of Dubrow, he was just sleeping on my couch

FIB MUSIC:  Why wasn't he in Dubrow?

Kevin:  Ummmm. He was playing in Angel....he auditioned for Eddie Money.....he wasn't really..... the writing was on the wall about him a long time ago, as far as a long term relationship with him. You know, he was very upfront about the fact that he wanted somebody who had a record deal. Not a good guy to come up through the bars with. Very impatient.

FIB MUSIC:  He has bounced around to several bands throughout his career.

Kevin:  Exactly. Well, he's not a songwriter, he's not a contributor in that way, so he's got to do what he can to continue to earn a living.

FIB MUSIC:  How do you feel when Randy joins Ozzy?

Kevin:  Very....very hurt. Very unhappy. But I had to carry on. I was glad for know, I was always his biggest fan.....I loved his guitar playing......I only wanted to see good happen to him. I didn't to want see.....myself.....ever hold him back. But I was unhappy about it.

FIB MUSIC:  Was there ever a plan to work together again?

Kevin:  We discussed it, but it was all in that discussion phase. I think Randy would have said to everybody, what everybody else wanted to hear......I always felt that way about him. He was just a nice guy and was always saying what everybody wanted to hear. We talked about it many, many times.

FIB MUSIC:  Did you talk to him much while he was in Ozzy?

Kevin:  Everytime he was on break, he would call me and we always got together.....yeah, we always got together. I mean, when they played their first time at the Long Beach Arena in Los Angeles.....we had a Dubrow gig and he somehow found me after the show....I'm at a party and the phone rings at this party and someone says it's Randy Rhoads on the phone for you.....he says "My pedalboard is broken, will you fix it?".....I said, "Fix it?" (laughs) "I don't know anything about it" and he says, "You made my old one" and I said, "Yeah, but it was velcro and L brackets". So he finds me at 2 in the morning and has me look at his pedalboard. So, I always saw him....We always kept very close. He was a great guy. He wasn't a fairweather guy at all.

FIB MUSIC:  What did you think about "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman"?

Kevin:  Well, all the songs and guitar parts, I was familiar with from Quiet Riot. So, I laughed. A couple of little guitar solo pattern....the rhythm pattern behind the solos, I wrote. (laughs) Later I used it on a Quiet Riot record, so I'm not going to go into which song it was. But we had parts that we'd share with each other. I not saying I wrote parts in Ozzy songs....I'm not saying that alright? I'm saying there was a rhythm pattern to one song that fit the rhythm pattern behind the guitar solo, so I wrote the pattern......and he said, "it's just the pattern for the solo" and I said, "Yeah, I don't care". Ummmm. The Quiet Riot song is called, "Don't Know What I Want", but the Ozzy song, I'm not going to go into what it is......figure it out. (laughs)
Kevin Dubrow PART II - The Metal Health Era

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