FIB MUSIC: You still get your mechanical royalties though, right?
Kevin: We still get our mechanicals, yeah. But now when the peak selling years are
over....I'm going to be honest with you...you have an album that sells as many records as "Metal Health", we never got a
check for a million dollars. We never had the big bucks that everyone thought. Because listen, we did sign it away, it's not
like we didn't know what we were doing. It was not a fair deal and when it came time to renegotiate, Spencer was not being
fair about it and he didn't have to be. It was his option, but he could have, or he could have been the asshole that
he turned out to be. It wasn't a big surprise to anyone that Spencer Proffer turned out to be the piece of work that he
FIB MUSIC: So when you sign over your rights, it is simply to make sure you get a
Kevin: Yeah, because it was a deal breaker with him. He wasn't going to sign us. It was
his available studio time, he had a little boutique label that was a part of SONY....it was all his toys. There was really
no negotiating. He tried to get a part of our merchandising too and that was a deal breaker for us. Why should you get
a piece of merchandising when you have nothing to do with that? So, he was a bad guy. I have rotten apples about it, but I
wouldn't even be thinking about it had you not brought it up.
FIB MUSIC: Do you guys headline any shows during the "Metal Health" tour?
Kevin: Yeah. With Queensryche & Axe opening. We tested the water, so to speak in 1983 in the
States...maybe two weeks worth of shows...sold out most of them. Having only about one album's worth of material to pick from,
that people know, we weren't really ready to headline, even though we thought we were. But yeah, we did some headlining shows.
FIB MUSIC: But you guys are a headliner when Condition Critical comes out, right?
Kevin: Yeah. Except for the occasional $100,000 festival date.
FIB MUSIC: Surely, you guys are making a boatload of money at this point.
Kevin: No. Not as much as you'd think, because we were stupid...we kept our
expenses very high with the touring. We had a huge live show and the lifestyles weren't really ridiculous, but our
expenses were getting stupid. Noboby could really reel it in, we were doing the same thing everybody else was
doing back then, but we didn't have as long of a career as somebody like Motley Crue did, where they continued to....
the difference between us and Motley Crue really was the fact that Nikki Sixx was much smarter than we were, in the sense that
he saw for them to have longevity, they had to have hit singles, so it was all about writing hit singles. We
were raised on Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie, that we were an albums band and we didn't see the writing on the wall, that those
times were long gone. Nikki was smart enough, because he knew those times were long gone. It wasn't about albums, it was
about radio singles.
FIB MUSIC: I remember reading somewhere a few years ago, where Nikki had regrets about the
Dr. Feelgood tour. Saying that they could have gone without a truck or two, on that tour, and trimmed down the
expense of their live show and pocketed a few million dollars extra.
Kevin: It happens to everyone, it's a common thing. We all look back and regret.
FIB MUSIC: Any moments stand out from your next release, "Condition Critical"?
Kevin: It's where the rock started to set in. We had a real problem with
Rudy (Sarzo), at that point.
FIB MUSIC: What was going on with that?
Kevin: Well, we didn't like the way he played on one of the songs on the album, so we
took him off and he got really upset about it and we stopped talking to each other. He wanted to have co-writing credit on
everything on the record, even though we hadn't co-written a single song and still to this day, has not co-written a single
song. He told us that if he didn't get songwriting credit on everything off of "Condition Critical" then he was leaving the
band. I told our manager, tell him to go fuck himself. I said, if he wanted a co-writing credit, he should have written
something, but not make demands on something he didn't contribute to. So, that's where the problem set in.
FIB MUSIC: But he completes the recording, right?
FIB MUSIC: And then leaves before or after the tour?
Kevin: After the tour and I don't think we spoke the whole time.
FIB MUSIC: You guys don't speak for the entire tour?
Kevin: No...no...better for him...I would have hurt him.
FIB MUSIC: Who were some of the bands that toured with you?
Whitesnake....I wanted Whitesnake and Chequered Past, because I wanted to have singers that kicked my ass and that would have
been Michael Des Barres and David Coverdale, two of my favorite singers. We managed to get Whitesnake, because they meant more
to the market than Chequered Past. But I was always a David Coverdale fan and a big Deep Purple fan....the David and Glenn (Hughes) thing. So, it
was Whitesnake and I think Armored Saint, which Cozy Powell (played drums with Whitesnake at the time) used to call them
Armadillo, or Armored Car.....Cozy Powell would make jokes about their name.
FIB MUSIC: Is the studio situation the same as "Metal Health", did you have a bigger budget?
We had a bigger budget, but we did it quickly, because we had to. "Metal Health" was so big, we had to have an album out. Problem is,
we didn't have time to do any songs, so everything was just left over from "Metal Health". If it's left over, it's left over. (laughs)
FIB MUSIC: God, it seems that they would have given you a bit more time, considering the
amount of records you sold.
Yeah, but we wanted to continue with the momentum and we didn't stop to realize it would have been best for everybody to slow it
down and take time to write some better songs. Again, hindsight is 20/20. And also we could have realized that the issue with
the bass player was not going to resolve itself, it was only going to get worse, to the point where we were going to have to
cut the arm off, or it was going to get gangrene. So, combined with the fact that we didn't have the material, we had a
bass player who wanted co-writing credit on a bunch of lousy songs he didn't write anyways. It was basically eating itself
alive. There's an issue where the singer was not going to shut up and an issue where you couldn't tell any of us anything anyway.
FIB MUSIC: The album still goes platinum, right?
Ummm. "Condition Critical" goes double platinum.
FIB MUSIC: They recently remastered "Metal Health", didn't they?
Yeah. We could have added new songs, or we could have completed unfinished stuff, but they never contact us for anything. It's
a shame too, because other bands, they do, us, they don't. It could have been a much better package. We are good friends with
Tony Martell over there at Sony, but I'm not sure if he is really part of it anymore.
FIB MUSIC: Why do you guys decide to do another Slade cover on "Condition Critical"?
It was a bad idea. That was the song that we wanted to do originally. So, we figured, it worked once, it will work again. We
also had a problem, when the band Mama's Boys released their version of the same song (Mama We're All Crazy Now), at the same time
we did. So, we should have just pulled it out and not done it at all. The problem was, not only did we do another Slade song,
which was stupid, but, keep in mind, the Rolling Stones did more than one Chuck Berry song. So, I don't know why we were
hacked up so bad for doing another one. But, our version of "Mama, We're All Crazy Now" is not cool...."Come on Feel the Noise" is much
cooler. The production on "Condition Critical" is really shitty....I hate the production on it. The good things about the
production on "Metal Health" are all missing on "Condition Critical". I think we exagerrated the goofier aspects of the group and
a lot of the dumb ad-lib stuff on the vocals are just really exagerrated. That's one of the reasons that I think our version
of "Mama, We're All Crazy Now" stinks so bad. It stinks the house up...I hate it. I hate the whole record. I think it just
sounds rushed, it's one-dimensional.
FIB MUSIC: Did you think that when it was originally released?
I thought that it sounded kind of one-dimensional. I knew the bass playing was not right on it. The rhythm section......, you
can't have the bass playing be wrong and have the rhythm section be right....and I'm not saying he ruined the record, but
it just wasn't right. I wanted him out and he wanted to leave, I'm sure.
FIB MUSIC: When Rudy leaves, what was the state of the band?
We're in a state of confusion. We're basically rehearsing up in my guest house and I'm playing bass. We used to call me
Starlet or Jerk-ass-Bastorious
(not sure if Kevin really said that, hard to understand, but sounds
like it. Anybody know? Please email us. - AI). My bass playing is pretty shitty. I've been around some shitty bass
playing, I can tell you, I'm probably the worst.
FIB MUSIC: And this is when
Rik Fox comes into the picture?
Yeah. Because we had a South American tour. That's what that was all about, but he decided to open his mouth, as you
reminded me, because I completely forgot about it.
FIB MUSIC: And then Chuck Wright, once again, comes into the picture.
Well, he had problems with Gregg Giuffria, so it was an easy choice for him to make. He was the right guy to play in the band anyways, still
is to this day. He is the best musical fit with Frankie.
FIB MUSIC: Did Chuck quit Giuffria?
Punched Gregg in the face, I guess.
FIB MUSIC: No kidding?
Yeah. It's happened a couple of times between those two. He felt about Gregg, the way I felt
about Rudy. No love lost.
FIB MUSIC: Did the record label consider "Condition Critical" to be a success?
No. It was considered a failure and we were.....they didn't love us in the first place over there, because we were a pain in
the ass. We were always trying to get things, the way we wanted it. We had to fight for everything. Then when we all
became big, they all thought we should be grateful for what we have, that we were lucky to get what we had. Instead of kissing
the ring, they looked down and said you should be grateful for what you have, you little assholes.
FIB MUSIC: That is amazing. It wasn't even common, at the time, for bands to sell the number of records you
guys were selling.
It amazed us too. Especially, behind the scenes, we're playing to twenty thousand seats a night and we have a label that snubs
their nose at us. No respect at all.
FIB MUSIC: Nowadays, it seems that anyone can have a gold record....well, maybe not within the last
year, but in 1982-83, it was still a big deal if you sold 500,000 copies and you guys sell 3 million records rather quickly.
I know. We sold a million records in one particular week. The week it went number one, we sold a million records that week. We
were pretty knocked out. (laughs) Going number one was pretty neat, but not as neat as the best moment, which was when my
favorite singer of all time, Steve Marriott of Humble Pie.....Humble Pie opened for us at the El Paso Coliseum and at the
end of our show, Steve Marriott came out and we did the Humble Pie / Eddie Cochran's version of "C'mon Everybody". When
Steve Marriott jammed with us, that was the best moment for me...the highlight of my career. It's always about the musical moments, not
the business moments, they are very fleeting. What you aspire to be as a musician, the artistry reasons, the other things are
just very fleeting.
We played a show in San Antonio and we sucked really bad, but it sold out. I thought we sounded so fucking bad and I remember
Rudy asked the manager, "how did we do in t-shirts?". (laughs) I just remember I looked at him and said, "who cares, it sucked, we
didn't play well". Definitely a difference in attitude.
FIB MUSIC: How did you do in t-shirts?
I don't remember.
FIB MUSIC: When you guys go in to record your next record, QR III, what kind of budget
do you have?
Kevin: He (Spencer Proffer) was charging us double rate on the studio. He was really
fucking us that time. Because we were so fed up and the band was in disarray and the management wasn't paying close attention. When
the management was supposed to be watching our hours in the recording studio, so we could compare the hours Spencer was clocking
compared to what we really used. Management expected us to be doing it.....(laughs)....then what are we paying you for. So
we got fucked. Spencer charged us $210,000 to record that album. Nobody had any proof, because nobody watched the hours. So, of course, he
fucked us really hard. On the "Metal Health" record, Carlos logged everyday and every hour that we used, so we knew.
FIB MUSIC: But by that time, you just assumed you weren't going to get fucked like that?
Well, by the time we did "QRIII" we weren't paying attention anymore.
FIB MUSIC: When the album is released, you guys have a hit with "Wild & the Young", right?
Kevin: Yeah, but the problem was, we were battling against Bon Jovi and their album and in
comparison, it wasn't doing anything. People were not coming in droves to see us live anymore. We were kind of like past
our prime. Our "Use By" date had expired...like hamburger, or something. We were last years thing...it was a trendy thing...
we were no longer the hip thing....Poison had taken our place. So, I was fed up with it and they were fed up with me, so
they basically fired me. They stuck a plane ticket underneath my door in Hawaii and that was the last I saw of them for about
FIB MUSIC: Wow. But you still did the entire tour, right?
Kevin: Yeah at the end of the tour. We did a show in Hawaii and the next day they all
took an earlier flight and stuck my plane ticket underneath the door and that was the last time I saw them for four or five years.
FIB MUSIC: What do you do at that point?
Kevin: Uhhh. Sat around my house, partying, fucking women and doing cocaine...enjoying
myself, generally (laughs).....Had a good time.....that's all. Then eventually, Quiet Riot split up with Paul Shortino (vocalist who
replaced Kevin in Quiet Riot)....I put a band together called Little Women and the guitar player we had...we realized it wasn't
going to happen, so we had some dates scheduled and I knew somebody who could cut the guitar parts, which was Carlos...and Carlos...
I had heard was about to have the power turned off at his house. So I showed up at his house and asked him if he wanted to
play and he said sure....and he came out.
FIB MUSIC: And that's how Quiet Riot gets back together?
Yeah, sort of, we went out as a band called Heat. It was me, Carlos and the drummer and bass player from Little Women. Then we
eventually started using the Quiet Riot name again. We changed drummers a couple of times, from Bobby Rondinelli who was going
to join Black Sabbath and then we got Frankie back and we made up for all the shit that had happened. We realized that our
friendship meant more than a bunch of business nonsense, or cocaine-fueled tantrums. So, we played the market quite a bit. Then, I think
it was '97, and he said Rudy was available and would I consider playing with him again. And I said sure, thinking it would
help draw for the band, but it was a bad idea. Me and him shouldn't be in the same room together. Some people are just not
meant to work together....he's got to feel the same way about me.
FIB MUSIC: I know this was more recent, but what happened with Tracii Guns joining the band?
Kevin: Well, we jumped the gun. He was doing Brides of Destruction and we had been
negotiating with him. So, we released a press release before we had played with him, just like the Rik Fox thing. We should
have played with him, because different people have different rhythms in the way they do their own bands. Tracii had a whole
other way of working a rock band than me and Frankie do....and I am not saying it's better or worse, it's just different. Then
we realized that our ways of being in a band together were not compatible and it wasn't going to work.....We could have
made it work, maybe, but it would have taken forever. I mean for-fucking-ever.
FIB MUSIC: Does QRIII go gold?
Kevin: 410,000, just under gold.
FIB MUSIC: What are the low points of your days in Quiet Riot?
Kevin: Randy Rhoads being killed in a plane crash is the lowest point.
Otherwise, I have been pretty fortunate to be in this band.
FIB MUSIC: What are the high points of your days in Quiet Riot?
Kevin: Steve Marriott. Headlining The Forum in September of '84. Me and Randy
Rhoads always talked about headlining The Forum.....and I would say working with Glenn Hughes on a record. I got to jam
with Glenn Hughes.....Glenn played bass at a charity function in Orlando, Florida....I think that was one of the high points.
It was pretty fucking cool. He didn't play it like the record (laughs), he did a whole other thing.
FIB MUSIC: Where were you when you heard that Randy Rhoads was in a plane crash?
Kevin: I was at home, sleeping, and Michael Kenney, a guy who was a roadie for
Iron Maiden, but I guess was playing with Foreigner....Ozzy was supposed to play with Foreigner in Knoxville
the next day....he called me and told me and I didn't believe him. I went back to sleep. It started to bother me, so I got
up and turned the radio on and they were playing Ozzy songs on one station and Slick Black Cadillac from the Japanese album on
another station....and I went oh, fuck. My watch is stopped at the time he died. I was pretty traumatized by it, it took
awhile to set in, because, at that point, I never knew anyone who had died....my grandmother...my mom's mom, but I was just
FIB MUSIC: Were you guys signed at that time?
Kevin: Yeah. We were working on "Metal Health". He was supposed to come
play on one song and the song "Thunderbird" is written about him. I had spoken to him a few weeks before.
FIB MUSIC: Kevin Dubrow is transported back to the year 1983 and has been instructed to
do two things differently. What would they be?
Kevin: Not talk shit about other bands and not play one more note, until we
renegotiated our record deal.
THE FAST 5
FIB MUSIC: What is your most disgusting habit?
Kevin: Picking my nose.
FIB MUSIC: What is the most feminine thing you do?
Kevin: I put a lot of skin cream on.
FIB MUSIC: If there is a God, what is the first question you would ask God when you arrive?
Kevin: How could you take Randy Rhoads so young and leave so many assholes here to hang out.
FIB MUSIC: Greatest Rock band of all time?
Kevin: The Who, the original Who with Entwistle and Keith Moon.
FIB MUSIC: What were you doing 40 minutes before you sat down to do this interview?
Kevin: I was at dinner with my girlfriends parents. It was my birthday yesterday.
Randy & Kevin
"Don't be dismayed by good-byes. A farewell is
necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments
or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends." - Richard Bach
I didn't think it would be as odd as it was transcribing this portion of the interview after
Kevin's death, but it was. It has made me focus on it and continually reflect on it throughout the week. It also reminded me,
as I am sure it did you, everything comes to an end. I have wasted too much time focusing on the differences between us. I know
I will forget again, but maybe if I'm reminded enough, I'll one day be able to grasp it completely. Thank you
everyone for your patience &
thank you Kevin for your time & life. -AI
Just so you guys know and
this is the absolute truth; as I was typing the last sentence of Kevin's interview, "It was my birthday yesterday", the
lights and power flickered in my home, for about 5 seconds.......I'm
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