FIBM: You're featured on the new Hollywood Rocks Box Set.
How were all the bands & songs chosen for the 4 cd set?
What was the process? Who contacted you to appear on
Rik Fox: I think it was pretty much an extention of their
HOLLYWOOD ROCKS book that came out the year or two before.
They had pretty much everyone else *BUT* me in that book.
Project coordinator (and former LONDON drummer),TIM YASUI
told me that they sent people out to do interviews, but I
was never contacted. You know, it's not like I live under a
rock, I AM all over the internet, and fairly easy to
contact, if you know how, y'know? Considering that some of
the people on their staff, probably have thing for me, they
would have a laugh at my expense, y'know, RIK FOX the
poser, the hair-guy, the guy who can't play, etc., etc.,
y'know, real cheap shots. And these are individuals that
actually NEVER did ANYTHING themselves, but look on in
jealousy at guys like me and my bands who sold-out shows at
the TROUBADOUR and COUNTRY CLUB, and we got *their* girls,
which, of course, made them mad as hell as me, so, that
might be a part of leaving me out of the printing of the
book, who really knows? Who'll really admit the truth? Who
cares?...HOLLYWOOD ROCKS had their own process for digging
up whomever they could find that was still alive and not
all drug-encrusted. I guess they did alright, beyond the
obvious choices of GUNS 'N ROSES, FASTER PUSSYCAT, and the
local L.A. area favorites. They never really made much
effort to contact me, and, I feel, that if I didn't contact
THEM, I would never have been on the CD set either.
It stemmed out of me calling them, and asking "Uhhhh, I was
*also* a very LARGE part of the 1980's Hollywood Rock
scene, how come no one contacted me for the book?" They
back-pedaled a bit, made apologies, and CLEOPATRA RECORDS
President Brian Perera was kind enough to extend an
'olive-branch' by way of asking me if I'd like to submit
something for their Commemorative CD set, in an effort to
try and make up for the uh...*oversight*. So, I agreed. I
liked Brian, he seemed really nice. However, the people
working for him, who have issues with me, well, that's
FIBM: What is the track from SIN?
Rik Fox: It's called "Break Down the Walls (That Stop the
It was my answer to the P.M.R.C. (Parents Music Resource
Center)who try to censor all rock music. DEE SNIDER knows
all about this, he took them on with the late FRANK ZAPPA.
SO, I wrote a song dedicated to keeping rock alive for the
kids. It came out being re-arranged by DANA STRUM in a
better format, I must admit. It now comes across as
sounding very much like it *could* have been included on
any JUDAS PRIEST album, like "Screaming for Vengance".
RIK FOX, 1982
FIBM: What are your 3 most fond memories of being in SIN?
Costumes designed by Rik during his days in WASP. The one on the left was his first design and the one on the right was the second, which
Rik later used in STEELER
FIBM: Aren't there some mistakes on the SIN liner notes of
the Hollywood Rocks Box Set? Please set the record
Rik Fox: ABSOLUTELY!!! Yes! Thanks for the opportunity to say
something and set the record straight. Sometimes, if you
don't secure a 'creative control' of the final product at
first, then those who put out that final product, can
really wreck your submission work. I believe, in a very
unprofessional move, Cleopatra Records let some clown(s) on
the editing/writing staff, arbitrarily, and without my
APPROVED consent, re-write what my original SIN liner notes
submission read. There is quite the noticable difference in
what I submitted, and what they arbitrarily changed to
better suite 'their' taste. Anyone in possession of that
'Audio Campanion' booklet (entry # 18, DISC 1), that came
with the boxed set, can read 'the HOLLYWOOD ROCKS version'
and compare it to what I *originally* submitted below, and
judge for themselves.
It really took a lot of balls to screw with my text like
that, and they probably thought it was very funny, because,
once it's printed and out there, it's too hard to make them
recall every piece of it and make them re-print it at their
expense, which, a VERY powerful lawyer could make them do,
and, hopefully, they'd learn their lesson, not to fuck with
people and think it's funny. If I were Brian, I'd have a
major shouting fest at my staff and fire the person(s) who
were responsible for attempting to ridecule the particpants
on their project. But, that's just me and my N.Y. attitude
talking there...FRANK STARR would just beat the living shit
out of whomever was responsible....It seems, that I just
can't live a normal happy life, without some idiot, going
out of their way to screw with me, and make a joke out of
it. I think it was very unprofessional of Cleopatra Records
to allow this to happen.
When an entity such as CLEOPATRA RECORDS openly solicits a
submission, from an artist, and then arbitrarily re-writes
the text copy in their own version that serves to redicule,
or otherwise undermine the original submission, and the
artist, that is low-level unprofessionalism. For example, I
said our demo 'exploded' due the awesome quality the level
of material recorded . Not recorded the "Exploded' Demo".
Also, their adding that I was "sacked from my own band".
Who would ever write something so low about themself?!?
Most of what I wrote was 'changed', by the HOLLYWOOD ROCKS
writing 'staff', into me 'alleging' my claims, (as if there
was any question), as opposed to me speaking from my
experience and point of view.
Here is what I originally submitted:
SIN?The Legend...As it Was...
One of the most interesting and exciting Hard Rock / Metal
bands of 1980's Hollywood Scene was founded and led by a
controversial, yet charismatic and 'quite popular' Bassist,
known as Rik Fox. Rik hailed from Brooklyn, N.Y., and
migrated out to L.A. in 1982, at the request of Blackie
Lawless, then, of SISTER. Soon after, Rik coined the name
WASP, and then, after writing and recording a live 3-track
demo, was 'removed from sentence', by Lawless, for purely
personal reasons. After performing and recording in 1983
with another extremely popular L.A. group, Shrapnel
Records' STEELER, Rik proved he was then able to begin to
name his terms as a Headlining act in the Hollywood Rock
Scene. In 1984, Rik formed a new group based loosely on two
of his favorite groups, namely, ANGEL, and JUDAS PRIEST,
attempting to combine the two sounds into one concept.
Rik then re-used the name SIN, which he also coined, (a
Glam/Hard Rock cover band he played with back in the N.J.
Club scene, in the late 1970's). SIN immediately began
playing to packed sold-out crowds, based on Riks'
popularity while in STEELER, and although experiencing some
rough waters with regard to the various egos of the other
members in his first L.A. line-up, Rik soon re-formed SIN
by adding a much more 'Hard-Assed' attitude with fellow
former New Yorkers, by adding members of the defunct Mongol
Horde recording act "ALIEN", enlisting lead vocalist Frank
Starr, Guitarists J.J. Kristi, and Ritchie Martel. Rounding
out the new line-up was Monterey Park, CA. Drummer, Mark
The new line up of SIN kicked serious major ass now!
Although guitarists Kristi and Martel had a propensity to
imitate their idols in Iron Maiden, it was Fox who tried to
keep some semblance of catchy hooks in SIN'S material. Rik
was the predominant songwriter, lyricist and arranger, and
saw to it that SINS' material reached out to the masses,
which was proven time and again with each sold-out
During this time Rik became quite friendly with MANY, MANY
other Major Rock acts, and band members who came to see his
new group SIN bring down the house. Costumers for David Lee
Roth and KISS's Paul Stanley even ripped off SIN'S
costuming ideas, due to the popularity of Rik's designs! By
mid-1984, SIN was a major draw in the Hollywood/ L.A. Club
Scene and a force to be reckoned with. How they keep
getting overlooked in various books and articles on
the 1980's Hollywood Rock Scene is truly a serious mystery!
L.A.'s Music Connection Magazine poll showed SIN as THE top
voted Hard Rock/Heavy Metal act cumulative for 1984, over
the popular acts KEEL, STRYPER, and ODIN. Early 1985 saw
SIN in Encore Recording Studio?s in Burbank, CA. At the
helm was (pre-Slaughter) bassist, DANA STRUM, with LES
COOPER (brother of SIN manager TODD COOPER), engineering.
The result was a demo that turned the heads of all the
major labels at the time! It was believed, that since Strum
was (then) bassist for the problem-laden act the VINNIE
VINCENT INVASION (who, incidentally, ripped off FOX?s SIN
material for his 2nd album "ALL SYSTEMS GO" while listening
to the SIN mix-downs with Strum), and they had a contract
with Chrysalis Records, then it would be Strum who would
get a piece of the action by getting SIN signed to
Chrysalis as well. The results were, they turned out the
demo from Hell, and Strum's input saw the SIN sound go
deeper towards a hook-oriented version of Judas Priest!
The demo exploded with what was FOX's answer to "Born to Be
Wild". His road-ripper "ON THE RUN" (penned by FOX and a
favorite with their following), was a biker song in true
biker fashion, telling the story of a biker on his way
across country "...If you live for the road and you wanna be
free"... This song was ripped off by VINNIE VINCENT and
re-named "LET FREEDOM ROCK" with Strum and Vincent
conspiring behind it all the way, only having the lyrics
re-written to poorly cover it up. SIN"S version grabs ahold
by the throat, like no other, and never lets go. Following,
was a remake of the MARTY KOOPERSMITH-penned "We got Your
Rock" originally written as a follow-up to Joan Jett's "I
Love Rock & Roll", only, the SIN version (also beaten to
the punch by Frehley's Comet), sounded more like the
anthem-laden material of Twisted Sister! The song has a
Great groove, moving along, unstoppable like a tank! The
next song, "Break Down the Walls (That Stop the Rock)" was
penned by Rik Fox, as 'My answer to the P.M.R.C., telling
the kids, I, too, went thru what you're going thru about
digging your favorite Rock as well. Well, this one's for
you!" The song contains a very similar "Screaming for
Vengeance-like" flavor to it, many have said, in direct
comparison to Judas Priest. "Don't Say Goodbye" penned by
Guitarist Kristi, was very commercial, and should have been
offered up to the various telephone companies for their
T.V. Commercials! Backing vocals on the SIN demo were
provided by TOMMY THAYER and PATRIC YOUNG of BLACK N' BLUE,
courtesy of Geffen Records, and MARK SLAUGHTER appears
courtesy of Chrysalis Records. Lead vocals were provided by
a relatively unknown, obscure San Diego singer named Ric
Reed, (who then, wanted SIN to become HIS backing band!),
and some by MARK SLAUGHTER. Drums were provided by another
unknown player from Las Vegas, thru Dana Strum, because
Strum 'came in and removed vocalist FRANK STARR and drummer
MARK ANTHONY', against FOX's wishes.
Such is the legacy left behind, by SIN, unfortunately never
signed to a major label. SINS' line up soon disintegrated,
due to internal problems, as Rik tried to keep it together.
Fox could not find competent players with egos in check
long enough to keep the dream alive. After a failed attempt
with Arizona's SURGICAL STEEL, in 1986-7, Fox tried one
more time with another line up he created called
"THUNDERBALL", around 1989, who "Came on like an arena act
in clubs too small to contain them". Although well
received, THUNDERBALL found at this time, the music scene
was becoming 'infested' with the oncoming Seattle sound,
and the writing was on the wall. Rik soon got out ?while
the gettin? was good', gave up, and returned to working in
the Film Industry.
Today, Rik has a 'normal' day job and is involved in
re-establishing his roots with Living History re-enactments
as a cavalry persona of a Polish Winged Hussar, a Polish
Knight of 16th & 17th Century Renaissance/Baroque-era
They added some wayyyyy-old info about me being "Chevalier
Don Ryszard di Lis, Prince di Sulima of Lechistan".
Although it was used when I 'first' started portraying
Poland in relation to Renaissance Faires back in 1996,
where they dug for that is anybody's guess, they certainly
didn't get approval on that from me. And, they didn't even
get it right either.
Rik Fox: A gig we did at ORANGE PAVILION in San Bernardino,
where we outdrew W.A.S.P.! The fans went wild, and were
pissed off when we got our encore stage power cut.
L.A.'s STREET SCENE, where we rocked over some 5,000 fans
packed in a city block in downtown L.A., and a gig we did
in San Diego at THE HILLTOP ROLLARENA (Skating facility)
with co-headliners BIBLE BLACK. We got 'escorted' out of
town by the San Diego Sheriff's Dept., the following
morning, because FRANK STARR had aided and abbetted in
"transporting a minor interstate and across County lines".
(it was a girl he brought with him from L.A. whom he was
'dating' (in the TOM LEYKIS terminology), and she happened
to be under 19 years old. Not to mention the fear the hotel
owner felt because we had such a nice party there after the
gig, and tons of people showed up. We did a 'blackmail'
photo shot of SIN guitarist RICHIE MARTEL becaue he had
just played the gig with a bad toothache, so, after the gig
at the hotel, he took a pain-killer, passed out, and went
to bed. I told one of our roadies to jump in bed next to
him and put his arms around RICHIE and 'smile'. That was
Rik Fox - First recording of SIN
FIBM: How did you end up being a member of WASP? Did you
form SIN first, or did you join WASP first?
Fall 1977, Rock n Reel Studios, Long Island, NY
Engineer: David Greenberg
Photo by: Gary Gershoff
FIBM: Weren't you considered for the bass position in
ANGEL? What's the story behind that? How close were you to
playing with them?
Rik Fox: I never really knew how close I was. They told me,
only that my name kept coming up on the road, in some
cities, and that I was being recommended and being
considered for the position. I certainly had the look,
which was an important marketing point they considered,
they just didn't have enough background info on my playing
abilities. Little did they know, that I had their first
three albums memorized, from practicing with them at home.
I'd first met PUNKY MEADOWS and the other guys briefly when
they came to play in New York several times. (I'd showed
PUNKY a few pictures of me playing in cover bands,as they
ate dinner and PUNKY'S then-wife, Fran, looking at the
photos said "Punky, when did you take these pictures? I
don't remember you playing in these bands..." PUNKY replied
" No these pictures are of RIK not me", but, the
similarities to how close PUNKY & I resembled each other
was really scary! His own wife thought we looked alike,
yikes! Years later playing in New Jersey cover bands, I
became friends with PATTY BRANDT, Drummer BARRY BRANDT's
cousin, who also thought I looked exactly like PUNKY enough
to make a lot of people think twice...She gave me pictures
of BARRY taken in his Mother's home, and when I showed them
to BARRY, he, shockingly yelled "WHERE did you get these
pictures?!?! These were taken at my mom, Esther's house!!
WHAT ARE YOU MATT HELM?!? [referencing the Dean Martin
spy-spoof films of the 1960's] It was REALLY, really
funny!...BARRY was like a rock & roll version of Forest
Gump...very talented, but not the brightest bulb in the
Securing the bass position in ANGEL would have been a
dream-come-true for me, however, in retrospect, sometime
down the road they fell apart, and Casablana Records didn't
do much to help keep them together as far as I can tell.
Casablanca Records needed them to write hit songs, and I
guess the pressure was on. Personally, I really dug the
first three albums, all the big production numbers. But, by
the time they got to teh album White Hot, it was really
getting commercial, and giddy-sounding. More bubblegum
approach, and not the serious cooler sounds they had. They
told me that 'farmer', FELIX ROBINSON didn't really like
wearing those "white pajamas" (their costumes), but did it
because it was part of his job in the band. Also, that
FELIX had alreay done some preliminary work with them
before I could be brought in for an audition. They were in
a time pinch on the road, and needed to fill the bass
position as fast as they could. So, it was all a matter of
timing. Even though MICKIE JONES was an original founding
member of ANGEL, he was summarily dumpted and, from what I
was told, by the third album, PUNKY had to play/record all
of MICKIE'S bass lines, because he wasn't that good. I had
all those bass lines locked down, but couldn't get in in
time to make a difference. So, looking back, it would have
been an awesome ride, but it wouldn't have lasted for too
long. When at one of the NAMM conventions I had the
pleasure to finally be introduced to bassist ERIC MOORE and
guitarist MARK CHATEL of the Cleveland, Ohio band THE GODZ,
while helping BARRY BRANDT try & secure a new drum
endorsement deal. We had a blast, and MARK & BARRY were
going around amazed saying "JEEZE! RIK F*ckin' knows
EVERYBODY!!! we can all get endorsement deals today!!!
LOL!!!! It was really rewarding, to be treated as a 'peer'
(or greater), by bands I used to idolize as I helped them
Rik Fox: I was in the New Jersey version of SIN years before I
ever heard of BLACKIE LAWLESS. I believe he was still in
his band from Staten Island called "BLACK RABBIT". I joined
his 'project' SISTER in early 1982, after I was advised to
come out to L.A. and consider his 'project'.
I joined WASP first, here's the "Early Days Backstory
of my participation in WASP as best as I can recallat the
W.A.S.P. was born as a band in 1982 when they were formerly
known under the name SISTER (even earlier, they were known
as CIRCUS, CIRCUS, until the Las Vegas Hotel contacted them
and forced them to stop using the name). Blackie Lawless
had also played with N.Y. DOLLS and filled in for
heroin-soaked guitarist Johnny Thunders for only the last
two weeks of their "Red Patent Leather Tour" which was how
Blackie met Arthur "Killer" Kane, and allowed his 'claim'
to have 'played in the N.Y. DOLLS'.
While visiting the East Coast, a couple of fans of
BLACKIE's earlier bands, met bassist RIK FOX (me) by
accident in N.Y. City's West Village where I was working, a
few doors down from the famous ELECTRIC LADYLAND STUDIOS.
Having found out that I was a personal friend of KISS since
their early days formation they took a photo of FOX (me)
and showed it to BLACKIE. After several calls from Blackie,
I sent him a press kit, who in turn sent me some demo
material. When I was convinced to come to L.A. the band had
just changed their name from CIRCUS, CIRCUS, to SISTER.
This was in late February/early March of 1982.
After one audition I was a member of the new line-up and
began rehearsing and writing with the band at guitarist
RANDY PIPER's 'MAGNUM OPUS' rehearsal studio where
pre-DOKKEN band mates, MICK BROWN and GEORGE LYNCH's band
EXCITER also rehearsed. Within 2 months, I recorded a
now-famous bootleg 3-track, live demo and actually coined
the band's new name: WASP (no periods), after stepping on
one, outside of LAWLESS's Hollywood home. LAWLESS liked the
name, and it stuck. Photo sessions were made with early
M?tley Cr?e photographer DON ADKINS Jr., and it appeared
that soon WASP would be playing live. Upon seeing the first
press photo of Mel Gibson, in the then, newly-released film
"THE ROAD WARRIOR", I conceptualized, to Blackie, a new
look for WASP, which,until then, no one had yet thought of,
and, which, at first, LAWLESS, disdained, then eventually
used, for their subsequent performances after I was let go
from the band.
Although there were many witnesses who saw me rehearse, and
write with, and invent the band-name W.A.S.P., to this day,
BLACKIE LAWLESS angrily denies I ever had anything to do
with the band, which would, of course, undermine everything
we formerly knew about the bands' early days. If there "was
no WASP for me to be in" as BLACKIE contends, then how do
you explain my bass tracks on the WASP demo, and me being
in all the pictures of that early WASP photo session?
Upon my position as bassist in L.A.'s popular Metal act
STEELER, BLACKIE began to recant his allegations, as my
prominence grew in the Hollywood Metal community, thinking
he'd have to do 'something' to recover a 'plausabile
deniability'. Later BLACKIE reverted back to his original
denial of me ever being in W.A.S.P. I'll explain the name:
"After stepping on a Hornet, under a fallen leaf in
LAWLESS's 1247-1/2, Fountain Avenue, Hollywood
home-courtyard, the name WASP came to me, initally
appearing to me, as the old "GREEN HORNET" logo, coiled,
about to attack, stinger first". BLACKIE loved the idea,
and *that's* how the name WASP was born. If I can ever find
that piece of original artwork in my files, it will see the
light of day.
In retrospect, I now claim, that since *so many* members
have passed thru the ranks of W.A.S.P., humorously, (and,
realistically), it actually now comes to stand for:
W.(e're) A.(ll) S.(ide) P.(layers), especially, since
Blackie was holding all the cards from the start, telling
me early on: "If you ever have to lie about something, lie
"BIG". The bigger the lie, the more fantastic it has to be,
making it more believable." LAWLWESS followed his own
advice after dismissing me for *purely* personal reasons,
and not anything to do with not getting along with RANDY
PIPER, (another BLACKIE lie),whom I temporarily performed
some years later with, in PIPER's band "KING's HORSES". No
matter what claim is made by LAWLESS, I, RIK FOX *TRUELY
WAS* a member of the original W.A.S.P. BLACKIE LAWLESS has
had a bad habit of dismissing his reasons for removing band
members by accusing them of having 'drug problems'. Yeah,
considering all the good-quality players he's had the
'honor' of sharing his name with, in W.A.S.P. BLACKIE
shouldn't cast stones so easily, since I've personally seen
him down whole bottles of Vodka back in the day...So, who's
the person with the 'problems'?...
This was my 'introduction' to the Hollywood's Metal scene.
Eventually, as I learned how 'the game was played', I
pushed on, making my own name later in the mid-1980's.
FIBM: How long were you a member of WASP? How many shows
did you play with them?
Rik Fox: Long enough to write and record that infamous 3-track
demo of about half a dozen songs, and take group photos. If
I wasn't in the group, then why go to the trouble of doing
FIBM: When you were playing with WASP, were you guys doing
all the songs from the first album, even ?Animal??
Rik Fox: No, on that live 3-track demo we did "ON YOUR KNEES"
(which Blackie ripped the hook from the HUMBLE PIE's song
"I Don't Need No Doctor"); "SCHOOL DAZE" (which RANDY sang,
and I wrote my walking bass lines in 'homage' to ALICE
COOPER's "Muscle of Love" only slower); "B.A.D." (where I
first used the bass slides I took back and later used on
STEELER's "Cold Day in Hell"); "HELLION" (really rocked),
"SLEEPING (IN THE FIRE)" (a pseudo-ballad which slowly
built up tempo and intensity); and "MASTER OF DISASTER"
(which I also co-wrote on). The songs were a lot of fun to
play and record on. I felt like watching the old KISS early
days rehearsals, only this time, like I could jump 'into
the dream'. You can only imagine the unexpected shock I
felt, when out-of-the-blue, one day Blackie comes up with
"You're out of the band". BAM! Blindsided. Never even saw
it coming. It wasn't like we sat down and TRIED to work out
whatever needed to be fixed. His mind was already made up,
and, it was all under false pretenses anyway. He lied thru
the entire process. I know there's a lot of WASP fans and
friends of Blackie out there *still* in denial, on the
internet who cowardly hide behind false internet ID's so
that they can spew smack-talk about what I have to say
about Blackie and WASP back then, but that's just too bad.
They are the ones who are sad and pathetic.
I really don't care enough to be judged by them. I've left
a positive mark on the world and rocked 'em by the
thousands. The fans really know the difference. A lot of
the players from the Hollywood rock scene of the 80's are
really insanely jealous, going bald, and most likely are
just sour grapes because I probably nailed their
girlfriends because they were too coked-out to get it up.
Now, years later, they still hold these stupid grudges
today trying to defend that meglo-maniac Lawless... There's
all kinds of shit about how ego-ed out Blackie has become
on that Metal Sludge site, and how he treats his fans and
employees. Go see for yourselves. Hey, I've already PROVEN
what I can do both live and in the studio, and I can STILL
kick their collective asses, lol...
FIBM: What was your initial reaction to the debut WASP
release, when you first heard it?
Rik Fox: Honestly, I thought it totally ROCKED! I really liked
it. I'm not that much of an asshole to deny that they put
out a great product. I still think it's a great album. I
admit it was a great album, perhaps that's what hurt so
much back then, because I was supposed to be a part of all
that and watched it dump me and pass me by. But in time, I
got my shit together, and got it in gear, and moved on to
do good. And that is what matters.
FIBM: What are your 3 most fond memories of being in WASP?
WASP after party for their first show
Rik was not in the line-up at the time
Photo by Rik Fox
FIBM: How did you meet Blackie Lawless and what was it like
working with him?
Rik Fox: When I got off the plane arriving in LA for the first
time, I knew Blackie was tall, because he asked me before I
came out "How tall are you? Because we're all really tall
and big guys", so we need you to be at least 6 foot as
well". So, I'm coming down the arrivals ramp at LAX, and I
see this tall, black-haired 'lighthouse' coming towards me
at least 1-2 heads taller than the rest of the crowd. As I
got closer, I saw his face thru the hair, and the rest of
the band behind him, welcoming me to LA. I really got on
well with Tony and Randy, and since Blackie had no running
car at the time, he had Randy use his van to put my bass
and stuff in. No amps, just my bass and some clothes. To
get us around LA, Blackie used to get MIKE SOLON, a best
friend of ACE FREHLEY, living in LA, to drive us around,
until Blackie got his shit-running car repaired. While
still new to LA, it was great working with Blackie. I
believe he considered me his 'investment' once I passed the
audition at Randy's studio Magnum Opus, in Buena Park. He
got really, really mad one time at a guy who roadied for
MOTLEY CRUE, named DONAVON, who was also a scam-artist.
DONAVON got a huge limo one night, came and picked me up
and then we went all over to the clubs, and in addition to
the alcahol in the limo, he was getting me toasted in the
TROUBADOR club. We then picked up MOTLEY CRUE singer VINCE
NEIL, and drummer TOMMY LEE and one of the main waitress's
from the TROUB, named KELLEY, and got into the lime, when
the TROUB suddenly emptied out because someone called in a
fake bomb-threat. So we're riding all over and I had had
too much to drink. I started to get real sick, and VINCE
and TOMMY panicked...Tommy yelled "DUDE! NOT ON ME, NOT ON
ME!!!" and we had to pull over somewhere in Beverly Hills
so I could jump out and heave my guts out. Kelley came out
after me and saw to it that I was ok. They them took me
back home to Blackie's and boy, did he verbally hand
DONAVON a new ass, yelling at him in the street. DONAVON
looked jusy like CURLEY from the Three Stooges and he made
these 'whoop-whoop' faces when he was being chastised so it
was really funny at teh same time. I had one hell of a
hang-over the next day, but is was an experience I would
never trade. In teh process I got to become good friends
with the CRUE guys in their early days...Blackie & I tried
to make attempt to write some stuff and it was working
towards some cool stuff, but, once he tossed me out of teh
group, he was real big on trying to erase any trace of me
in the band, knowing that it would come back to bite him in
the ass one day if it wasn't a through job...Well, guess
Rik & Randy Piper, once again, at the after party
for the first WASP gig at the Troubador
FIBM: How did your departure from WASP come about?
Rik Fox: Not very fairly, I can assure you. BLACKIE just stops
talking to me one day, just like that. No warning. I
wondered if I did anything to make him mad. Or, if
SOMETHING made him mad. He just wouldn't talk to me. And
I'm still living at his place. This was very uncomfortable.
He simply said "we need to talk", you know, that speech. He
says "It just isn't working out with the other members and
you", which, was later shown to me to be utter B.S. and a
'big lie'. None of the other members later backed up
Blackie's lies. It's really sad, how Blackie had Randy and
Tony bullied into submission. I'd never seen that kind of
attitude on how to run a band, done before. At least, not
back in N.Y. and N.J. Hollywood and Los Angeles, CA was a
whole new ball of wax, and I was pretty nieve as to how the
egos were so out of control, well, it was a pretty
cut-throat business, from the street on up to the "Offices
of the Suits"...
I 'can' say, that I was replaced by a guy named DON KOSTA.
I think he played with GREAT WHITE (another famous
'revolving-door' band), for a short spell, not sure. DONNIE
was infamous up and coming on the scene for one thing: He
used to attach a flat, metal cheese-grater onto his bass.
Then, he'd scrape his knuckles across the grater, making
his knuckles bleed, then offer it to the fans in the front
row, which, they'd grab and lick clean..."Yech!". This was
all before the AIDS thing became a big deal...
FIBM: Have you ever talked to Blackie since then?
Rik Fox: Not much. He abhors the sound of my name. That's what
he gets when he has to continually try and cover his
tracks, with that major 'skeleton in the closet', of
knowing where the name of WASP *Really* came from.
My ass still feels the pain of getting totally reamed by
BLACKIE, Ilegally, over the rights to the name WASP, and
there's plenty of Blackie-loving cronies of his who still
say "Good...let that be a lesson to you, ya poser"...What
utter B.S. from these losers.
He knows, that sooner or later, I would come in from the
background, and when the timing was right, pounce on him
with this info he tried to keep hidden all these years. I'm
sure all those W.A.S.P. fans he has who will continue to
live in denial and get angry with me, will stay that way,
because, to see a flaw in their 'hero' would make BLACKIE
look bad, weak even, after all these years. See, BLACKIE at
some point, will HAVE to come clean, and admit where the
name WASP *really* came from. Even RANDY PIPER admitted it
in interviews, so, BLACKIE can't back out of this one. At
that point, it would undermine his entire 'house of cards'.
So, by right, he'd really owe me Millions of back-pay
Royalty monies for everything he's done with that name,
because, legally, I *should* be a part-owner of the rights
to the name WASP. That would mean CAPITOL RECORDS and his
manager ROD SMALLWOOD would also be liable. BLACKIE was
shrewd, by cutting me out of the picture back in 1982. I
didn't have the smarts back then, to be fully aware of all
my rights to the name WASP. Now, if there's any Attorneys
out there who think they can take this on as a case, and
represent me, I'd invite them to see if they think they can
try and do it. I'd stand to make a fortune if we can win
it. There's stuff on Blackie recently in that
trash-spreading site "Blabberbitch", where they spew a
ton of really bad news on how Blackie had threatened
various technicians while touring and threatened to kill
and shoot them if they don't get his monitors just right. I
hope everyone will go and look that one up. They block
anyone who tried to defend my position in their news alert
pages. Another B.S. website, that, along with "Little
Stevie"- Rachel's "Metal Sludge" site...What a waste of
time...Get a life will you?!?
Rik Fox: Well, if you can call them 'fond', One was when I got
picked up at Blackie's house where I was staying, by a
local, and VERY 'popular' little 'tart' who was the
daughter of the lady who owned the Los Angeles Rams, and
her dad was the music composer for the original Outer
Limits TV show. She gets me and we go out, later showing up
at the TROUBADOUR CLUB, I believe, we were all pretty
buzzed from a night at the bar, and we're back at Blackie's
place, so, I go into the bathroom for a moment, leaving her
in the living room. Next thing I know, Blackie has her up
in his 'loft', and I'm feeling that my date just got
Then, a few moments later, I hear Blackie call me up to his
loft...He's now completely buzzed from too much Vodka, his
drink of choice, and he tells me I should screw my date,
right there while he looks on! I was like "WHAT?!?!" Well,
as I recall, Blackie passes out as we were talking, and my
'date' laughs and says "Look at this...", and exposes his
'private parts'!!! Now, we know, beyond a shadow of a
doubt, exactly how "SMALL" BLACKIE'S LITTLE WEENIE
*really* was!!! I mean, we are talking SMALL, and we are
really giggling hard now, trying not to wake him up! So,
she gets it in her head, to just push Blackie over off of
his little mattress, and we go at it, as he just laid
there, passed out. I do remember some of his bare ceiling
wood-beams covered with those 'pictures of naked ladies'
like he wrote about in one of WASP's songs, so, I can
verify that, as well as he took the red Communist flag the
New York Dolls had from their last "Red Patent Leather"
Tour, and now, Blackie had it stapled across his little
ceiling-nook to cover the exposed wood. As I put one of my
hands against it for balance in that tiny loft, I guess I
pushed a bit too hard, and my hand pushed right thru the
wood, only still being covered by the red flag! We also
heard something running around in the roof and walls of the
house, like racoons od possums or something. It was weird!
Sam Kinison & Rik
FIBM: What was the story with you and Great White?
FIBM: Any other bands or projects you almost worked with,
that people might not know about?
Rik Fox: Sure! I had the golden opportunity one night to jam
with the late SAM KINISON, at L.A.'s CHINA CLUB, courtesy
of RANDY HANSEN. RANDY did a JIMI HENDRIX tribute and was
handled by the same manager I had, KENNY RUBIN. RANDY knew
the problems I had had in trying to get in the door playing
at these "ALL-STAR" Jams. The bass positions were usually
monopolized by the likes of JIMMY BAIN, or OZZY's PHIL
SOUSSAN, who never give up the spotlight to allow other
bassists to play, especially me. Anyway, after the first
set, the roadie there pulls JIMMY BAIN's amp plug, and
plugs me in. I *Finally* get to play, and I'm onstage
with...SAM KINNISON, JOHN GOODMAN of the ROSEANNE T.V.
Show, who plays Blues harp (harmonica),, JEAN BEAUVOIR of
THE PLASMATICS (and RAMONES Producer), LITTLE STEVEN (VAN
ZANT), The late OZZY drummer RANDY CASTILLO, RANDY HANSEN,
and one other guy I can't remember.
Camera flashs are going off like a war zone, and I don't
even have one photographer's number to get any copies of
I surely wish I could find out who some of the
photographers were that night, I'd like a few copies of the
pictures for posterity! It was Awesome. I was in the middle
of all these LEGENDS! After that everyone was like "WOW,
Rik, you can really rock!"...I said, "Yeah, all those years
in WASP, STEELER, SIN, SURGICAL STEEL, etc. really
helped"...As if I was someone 'new'...SAM was really,
really cool! I was honored and priveleged to have had that
opportunity and share the stage with him for that fleeting
Rik Fox: In addition to being groomed for bass
position in QUIET RIOT in 1985, I was once considered for
the bass position for GREAT WHITE, back before I was in
STEELER. JACK RUSSELL and guitarist MARK KENDALL came over
my place around the corner form the * restaurant in the
"FAIRFAX District" of L.A. For some unknown reason, which I
now forget, they began to get into a disagreement about
something, and actually begin to physically wrestle and
grapple on the floor of my apartment!!!
I had a Spanish 'El Cid' wall-hanger decoration sword over
the mantlepiece, and pulled it down and held it to JACK
RUSSELL's throat, and yelled "BREAK IT UP!...IS THIS THE
REASON YOU CAME OVER?!?" I mean, these guys were really
going at it, turning into a fistfight, red-faced and all...
Well, suffice to say, they got the hint, and I did not get
the gig in GREAT WHITE, however, we *did* remain good
friends after that, and drummer GARY HOLLAND thought it was
a hilarious story!
FIBM: We interviewed Mandy Lion recently, any stories come to mind?
Rik Fox: Wow, Mandy Lion. You know, I auditioned for him at the
suggestion of Jim Warino, who used to write for Rock City
Newspaper in Hollywood, because, while watching a WWIII
show, we agreed that I would better fit the bass position,
and, I really, really loved Mandy's material. about 95% of
the males in the audience thought Mandy's onstage
'character' was bullsh*t, I saw, deeper into it, and saw
(just like Mr. T's character did in Rocky III), by
watching, where Mandy's approach was really going over
with...all the females in the audience...They were packed
up to the front of the stage, digging his 'animal' act of
growling and such.
We approached Mandy, and said, picture me (rik) in all that
black leather like you (Mandy), and how cool that would
come off if your guitarist had that look as well. A total
black-leather band of 'animals'. Well, Mandy was open to
it, we chatted a lot, and seemed to get on well, I even got
him in free in a few clubs where I had some pull at the
door. He seemed to dig that too.
So, I auditioned for WWIII. They said what song do you want
to try...(practicing with their 1st album at that time, I
knew almost the entire album)...I said, 'go ahead, pick
The looked suprised, and we just launched into "A time for
Terror", and when finished, the drummer was ALL kinds of
excited. He was totally digging how is sounded. Mandy was
also videotaping the auditions of all the players as well,
which is a good idea.
By the end of the studio time, the guy comes in and says
"you got 10 minutes left". I look at Mandy and... his
drummer says, "let's do another song, I'm really digging
this". Now that, to me, is a clear indication, that things
are really going good in my favor. They said they'd let me
know the results. Next thing I know, they're out gigging
with another guy playing bass, a friend of mine named
Teddy, with realllllly long hair looking as if he should
have also been in ANGEL. Needless to say, without the
courtesy of a call to let me know either way, I was
understandably, pissed off. Mandy backpedaled his way out
of it, and I got the short end of the stick once again.
That was pretty much it, end of story.
Then, a few months later, Mandy has the nerve to call me on
the phone, tell me he broke up WWIII, and has this new
project he's working on with Jake E. Lee, and, considering
that I knew Jake E. personally, would I take some time to
listen to some of their work over the phone and render my
input. I was like "What?!?"
This guy screws me over then asks me for more favors? Well,
I listen to some of the stuff, and it totally blew me away!
Some of Jake's best stuff, I felt. But, remember, Jake
needs total control over his material, and then so does
Mandy, so we can see where that is going to go. Eventually,
as I rekoned, they broke apart, and Mandy eventually went
back to putting WWIII back together, with big, bald-headed,
goateed guys in the band, looking like giant goths from the
vampire trend. I guess Mandy eventually got back his old
stand-bys, Vinnie Appice and out of work Jimmy Bain, filled
in another guitarist, and recorded more albums as WWIII.
Rik Fox, Joey C. Jones & former KISS guitarist Mark St. John
FIBM: We had also interviewed Joey C. Jones of Sweet Savage, do you remember their band at that time?
jamming with Sweet Savage, 1987
Rik Fox: Joey C. Jones from Sweet Savage. I'm surprised that
he didn't mention, that Chris Sheridan (Sweet Savage guitarist) was given a place to stay at
my apartment in Hollywood when they were here in town,
playing the Strip. Eventually, I made the mistake of
letting their road crew move in as well. One of their guys
also brought out his wife and baby too!
They wound up owing me a LOT of back rent and utility bills
money, and I wound up kicking this guys ass 'real hard'.
He was crying and all. And, I'm not a real violent guy, but
they overstayed their welcome and caused me a lot of grief.
so, I had to put my foot down, it was 'my' apartment.
Joey was pretty cool tho, and I actually have a photo of
myself and KISS's Mark St. Jon, jamming onstage with Joey
in the center. It was Sweet Savage gig, and they asked us
to come up and jam. That was Fun!
Cecil Free, Rik Fox, Kelly Reno, Joey Price
Photo by: Dan Starr
Rik Fox, Mike Cordet, Joey Price, Cecil Free
Photo by: Dan Starr
FIBM: How about "THUNDERBALL"?
Rik Fox: THUNDERBALL was an all-American hard rock band that
existed between 1988 and 1989. The band showed promising
success and was featured as the band "PUTRID RAGE" in a
nationally televised WESTERN UNION COMMERCIAL in 1988. I
chose the name from the James Bond movie because the name
sounded "BIG". We were described by manger KENNY RUBIN as
"a huge, arena-concert act, still playing on small
club-venue stages". The band was led and pushed by myself
and we were trying to hit the music industry hard once more
STEELER, SIN and W.A.S.P.. I now found my FAVORITE
guitairst in JOEY (Mazzola)PRICE from the Detroit based
band SPYDER who knew exactly what I needed in a guitarist.
JOEY said he had heard about me in Detroit, and tried to
contact me through the booking agent of the Hollywood club
TROUBADOR. JOEY'S style reminded me of the band CACTUS whom
I had ALWAYS loved. Drummer CECIL FREE came from the
Baltimore, Maryland area and was reccommended & accepted on
the spot after one audition. Vocals in the band were, at
first, handled by KELLY RENO (DALE THOMPSON), from the
Kentucky based band BRIDE. I was referred to him by former
L.A. club talent booker-promoter LUCY FORBES, known from
her work at Reseda's COUNTRY CLUB. (KINGDOM COME'S drummer
was snatched from me by her).
I really wanted a vocalist in the DAVID COVERDALE vein but
even though RENO had a style closer to BRUCE DICKINSON he
was accepted into the band and after some work RENO began
to fit in. The band recorded an impressive demo which was
co-produced and co-engineered by myself. With the advent of
grunge-garage bands and the 'Pacific Northwest invasion',
however, THUNDERBALL's 'arena-style' presentation and sound
started to fall upon the finicky,
deaf-style-turning L.A. ears, and they dissolved. We
temporarily tried replacing RENO with Arizona singer MIKE
CORDET, which is what I was 'really' looking for in a
singer, but MIKE couldn't commit full-time to the band due
to personal priorities back in Arizona. Today, however,
THUNDERBALL would have been a signed band, but we were too
far ahead of our time in the late 80's, and the other
bandmembers didn't have the patience to stick with it. Our
presence in the
nationally televised WESTERN UNION COMMERCIAL really helped
to push us into the spotlight but unfortunately, the
writing was already on the wall. Sadly, no one from
THUNDERBALL has kept in touch with me, and, if we had stuck
together, we would have been signed by now. Drummer Cecil,
went on to work as a stagehand for the film industry, as
far as I know, and Joey went back to his given name, cut
his hair short and joined a Grunge-rock Stone Temple
Pilots-copy, Detroit band called SPONGE, put out a few
albums, and according to the online Wikipedia site,
apparently, after two albums, Joey must have left the band,
because he's no longer listed as a current member. Like
they said in Spinal Tap: Joey Mazzola resides in the "Where
is he now file"...
FIBM: Describe a typical day-in-the-life of Rik Fox during the 80's.
Rik Fox: Well, for the most part, I'm sure it wasn't too
much different from any other hard-working, hustling
Musician of the 1980's in Hollywood, except with me, I
didn't fill my days surrounded by drugs and strippers. It
was tons of work, making up the flyers, printing them out,
finding support for the band(s) I was in, and, of course,
practice, practice, practice! (and, for all the practice
I/we did, I still feel, that, since I/we PROVED ourselves
onstage night after night, the only numbnutz who claimed
that I couldn't play, were the extremely jealous ones...
In SIN (Mach II w/ Frankie Starr), we had some VERY
complexly arranged tunes, which were almost Iron
Maiden-like, and tough to keep on top of, yet we did it
every performance, so....Screw 'em!
FIBM: Thanks again for doing the interview. If there is
anything else you wanted to discuss, please feel free.
Rik Fox: Well, there were two 'interesting' bands (among others)
that I played with...one was DR. STARR and the MEDICS
fronted by DOUG STARR (no relation to FRANK), and the other
was a group called WISEGUYS...
Dr. Starr and the Medics was something of an unusual act,
considering we were in L.A., what really, was considered
Doug Starr, was sort of a David Lee roth wanna be, sporting
a lot of spandex onstage, and performing endurance feats as
well within the songs, if I recall correctly. I knew of
them in the clubs, and a friend of mine was dating their
guitarist, which brough tme in closer proximity to the
band. I eventually let it be known that I was looking for a
gig, and they would up having me 'guest' in about half a
dozen songs. Eventually we performed in Arizona, where I
got to hook up again (pre-THUNDERBALL) with vocalist MIKE
CORDET, whom I met while in SURGICAL STEEL before that.
That Arizona show should go down in history for the after
show antics at the hotel and the horrendous drive back home
to L.A. Apparently Doug Starr had gotten some LSD into his
system, I don;t know exactly how, since he was such a
health-freak. By default, I was pressured into driving the
van with all the gear back, as Doug continually was
freaking out, which was very scarey and dangerous. We had
to stop in the desert town of Cabazon, CA., at the giant
dinosaur statues, and for about the next two hours or so,
Doug Starr ran around full-tilt, believing he was a
mosquito, flying around and biting the giant dinosaurs.
What a nightmare, but funny in retrospect!
WISEGUYS was another story...I met the drummer Clay, on the
set of a film we were both extras in a film now available
on VHS, called "BAD INFLUENCE" with ALISSA MILANO & JUDD
NELSON. During film breaks as I was trying to convince him
to join me in a new project, he, was trying to get me, to
join the group he was in. The singer Bobby, from Boston,
was a karate/gun-loving sort, really skinny, yet muscled
and toned and was a really nice guy, although he couldn't
sing a note, as the frontman very well. I liked the
image/look that ZODIAC MINDWARP and AL JORGENSON of
MINISTRY, were using at the time, incorporating that heavy
leather-meets-what would become RAMMSTEIN look, so, I
'disguised' myself with a similar look, growing my first
goatee...I donned a German military officer's cap, dyed it
black, dressed out in lots of guns for their photo session
at the old Errol Flynn Estate in Hollywood (everyone was
using this place for photo sessions), and eventually,
WISEGUYS had a poster & flyers with our pics on them (I'd
have to dig to find them), but, I have to admit, they
looked kinda cool. I'd certainly never recognized me at
first glance, so, the 'disguise' worked somewhat, especialy
when we played the WHISKEY club. That's when and where I'd
met MARRIED WITH CHILDREN star DAVID FAUSTINO backstage in
one of the dressing rooms having some drinks. He was very
cool, and not an egoed-out 'star', and he even rememberd a
few years later, when I reminded him of our meeting, when I
was a prop-guy doing the guns in the film industry, while
working on a low-budget film with ICE T. and DAVID FAUSTINO
called "THE HEIST" (available on VHS). I had to teach David
how to work all the .45's he had to use, and I do have some
very cool pics of me and David as well as with ICE T. ICE
T. is one of the coolest Muthaf*ckas you could ever meet.
He is one VERY, VERY intelligent, well-educated guy! He was
telling me how much he LOVED BLACK SABBATH, too! We had a
great time working together.
FIBM: So, these connections seemed to work in some
mysteriously cool ways?
Rik Fox: Absolutely. Sorry to get off on the tangent there.
Anyways, I kept trying to get CLAY to leave WISEGUYS and
join me, and he kept finding reasons to stay in the band,
despite their bad sound.
Eventually, I got that phone call from the booking office
of the TROUBADOUR club, telling me about 'some guitarist
who just got into toen (L.A.), who was trying to look me up
& find me, after reading about me in Rolling Stone
Magazine. (Right after the Heavy Metal version of "We are
the World" came out, that "We're Stars" song by Ronnie Dio,
I'd had several opportunities to get up on stage at live
DIO concerts and join all the other Metal Players in town,
and sing the songs' chorus. After a performance of ROUGH
CUTT at the COUNTRY CLUB in Reseda, CA. RONNIE DIO got up
onstage and we did it again. This time a photo was taken as
we sang, and RONNIE shoved *his* mike in my face to sing,
and I really knocked it out there! in the photo, is MOTLEY
CRUE's VINCE NEIL, PAUL SHORTINO, RONNIE DIO & myself,
singing! Talk about being in the right place at the right
Anyway, This guitarist fresh from Motor City, Detroit, was
looking to find me when he saw that picture, and saw that I
was in both STEELER, and SURGICAL STEEL, and wanted to join
up with what I was doing at the time which eventually
Oh, by the way, did I ever tell you about the time I hung
out with KIX while they toured on the West Coast, and I
introduced them to a drink called "Blackjack's"?
It's Black Cherry soda mixed with Jack Daniels, you know,
their singer STEVE never forgot that...And my buddy, RONNIE
"10-10" YOUNKINS & I had a BLAST hanging out together all
over L.A. and especially that time at MAGIC MOUNTAIN
watching manager BOB AISS riding on the kids'
merry-go-round, LOL!!!!!!Bob was like H-U-G-E, rubenesque,
y'know? and the horses were so tiny under him, it was so
Anyways, I think that's about enough for now...If I can
think of anything else that's remotely interesting, or
funny, or something reminds me of a story, you can be sure
that I will send it into FULL IN BLOOM MUSIC!! I wanted to
say THANK YOU to all those readers out there who've been
sending in all those cool *POSITIVE* messages of support!
YOU ROCK! YOU'RE THE B-E-S-T!!!!