WASP / STEELER / SIN / LUST / VIRGIN bassist
"The 6 Degrees of Rik Fox" Part II
Exclusive photos, never published before, on the internet
FIBM: After STEELER, you formed a band called SIN, which,
was later voted as the #1 band in Los Angeles, by
Music Connection Magazine. What are some of your memories
from that year? Who was in that incarnation of the band?
Rik Fox: Welllllllll, It was a long, arduous process, having to
undo the spiraling damages caused by the first L.A.
version of SIN. That was keyboardist Vince Gilbert's doing
mostly, and the rest of the members fell in line behind
him. However, when anybody in the band was fighting with
another member, they, of course, would come running to me
to break it up, since, *I* was the one who *Formed* the
thing in the first place (with Vince). Vince had come from
a little-known (at least to me), band, called BADAXXE.
Well, how many bands out there had this name? Not much
creative thought with generic band names, I thought.
Anyway, I was introduced to Vince through some psycho-bitch
(who was responsible for our car getting stolen, with TONS
of my collectors' items of personal memories and albums of
bands I'd worked for back in NYC, in the back seat).
So, I meet Vince, and he says (words to the effect of) "I
know your name is hot right now, and you have this huge
following, having been in STEELER, would you like to get
something together with me?"
We'd discussed our mutual love of the band ANGEL, and Vince
did bear some resemblance to ANGEL keyboardist GREGG
GIUFFRIA, only stockier. I'd given the idea some thought,
and we agreed, since I was the one with the track record
from STEELER, and he, was unknown for the most part. Plus,
I wanted to get back out and playing again, and not lose
any more momentum.
I went around looking for members I'd either seen playing
the scene, or jammed with, (like Carl James who was drummer
for THE GREG LEON INVASION when I auditioned for them).
Singer Art Deresh was known thru mutual friends. A really
good singer, but hygenically, a REAL challenge! This guy
was 'stinky!", and people complained to me about it.
Guitarist Howard Drossin was met thru a mutual friend, the
IN-famous GRANT STRAUSS, my RAINBOW BAR & GRILL Crusing
Buddy. Howard was an un-proven (live) RANDY
RHOADS wanna-be at the time, who knew I'd played with
YNGWIE, and drooled at the idea of the opportunity of
playing with someone who played with one of his heros.
We rehearsed in a studio in Downy, CA. partially owned by
KERRY DOLL, I believe. We wrote a bunch of tunes, and, at
that point, it was all a mutual thing between Vince,
Howard, and I. Carl (and his Napoleon syndrome), just did
what drummers do. Hit them. Hard. He was glad to be out
playing, frankly, in my opinion.
Vince then had the grand idea to take us (unproven as a new
act) out to parts unknown, errr, I mean, Phoenix, Arizona.
Hey, I have nothing against Phoenix, but the whole episode
in gettng us out there was nothing short of a NIGHTMARE.
Vehicles breaking down, Vince's contact buddy in Phoenix
coming in to 'rescue' us with money. Anyway,
we eventually get to Arizona. The "ARIZONA BONER" Tour I
called it. Cause we got 'Boned' in every way. Shit just
kept going bad, and I'm starting to think "Is this guy
Vince just carrying a LOT of bad karma, or what?!?"
We finally get to play at the infamous Phoenix club
"ROCKERS", and 10 seconds before we hit our first notes,
Howard FREAKS out. "My Guitar! something's wrong with my
guitar! It's not on!" I look at the jack hanging out of his
strap, and I say "Howard, try PLUGGING it in, you dope!"
He's like "oh, yeah. ok, Thanks!"
I'm like, "Ohhhh Brother!, is THIS what I have to look
Original LA version of SIN
Record sleeve for picture disc
FIBM: So, what happened then?
Rik Fox: Anyway, we worked out the kinks, and brought it back
L.A. We headlined our first show at the TROUBADOUR.
EVERYONE who was ANYONE was there! VINCE NEIL, NIKKI SIXX,
TOMMY LEE, DAVID LEE ROTH, YNGWIE "J" MALMSTEEN, I mean
EVERYONE! All the local "Hot" bands...(YNGWIE wasn't too
impressed with his 'fan' HOWARD DROSSIN, BTW), He said that
HOWARD need more 'work'...
We got thru it unscathed, and kicked ass. Everyone came
backstage afterwards congratulating me on a job well done
for my first time out with my own new project. The rest of
my band members standing there, jaws open..."Wow! Rik
Really *DOES* know all these people, WOW!!"
Meanwhile in a few months, Vince knows this guy who owed
him some recording favors for BADAXXE falling thru on his
'deal' with them. AZRA Records. We go in and record my
pumping, biker-tribute song "ON THE RUN" backed with
"Captured in Time" (which was our 'Homage' to ANGEL'S
"FEELIN' RIGHT" off of "HELLUVA BAND" album). AZRA puts it
out on a picture disc, shaped like our Snake SIN Logo.
We start throwin' them out to the fans at our gigs. Now, I
hear, they're real collectors' items! (This is late sumer
Six months down the road, my band members are really
feeling their egos getting 'a lot bigger than is allowed by
law', and start getting the idea, "Hey, we don't need RIK
in the band now, he's already opened a lot of doors and we
have a lot of attention, let's just replace him"...
We had new costumes that *I* made for us, AND, *just*
played PERKINS PALACE, in Pasadena, CA., a deal I had
gotten, thru my friendship with promoter GINA ZAMPARELLI,
from when I was in STEELER. Now, everybody's egos are
bigger than tolerable, and writing the songs without much
input from me, and arguing why my parts aren't needed. Fate
(The following, is a 'personal' version posted on the
Tartearean Desire website):
(More SIN BACKSTORY):L.A. version Mach I, formed upon my
departure from STEELER, after meeting keyboardist Vince
Gilbert, from Arizona. I tried to make the bands' approach
like a cross-between ANGEL-meets-JUDAS PRIEST.
(Little-known-fact:I was considered for the bass position
for ANGEL several times, being friends to Punky Meadows,
Barry Brandt, and Frank Dimino)...
The line-up was made up of other
previously/relatively-unknown L.A. players. Being the
catalyst of the band, I thought I found competent players
so not to lose the momentum built by being a member of
STEELER. Within 6 months of becoming one of L.A.'s most
popular groups, the members, becoming so inflated with
their new popularity, they attempted to fire me from my own
band. (I got wind of this plan, and adjusted for it). I
actually walked out of their premier recording session and
apologized to METAL BLADE engineer BILL METOYER, with
regard to being unable to work with the new super-ego's in
the group. The remaining members attempted to replace me
with a new, lesser popular bass player, and continue
attempting to illegally use the name SIN. I had
service-marked the rights to the name, and, with the
assistance of my friends in MOTLEY CRUE, and a good
Lawyer, forced my former band mates to give up their
attempts to use of the name SIN as "S.I.N.", which was
MOTLEY CRUE's Fan club name. (This "WAR of the SIN's", went
on and on in the letters section of L.A.'s MUSIC CONNECTION
MOTLEY CRUE's Lawyers forced them to change it, and they
came up with JAGWIRE, (whatever that means) who,
eventually, broke up soon after their albums were
returned for lack of decent sales figures. I pushed on
re-forming the band SIN with former ALIEN members FRANK
STARR, and J.J. KRISTI, (who was a previous band mate of
mine in N.Y./N.J.). This second L.A. line-up of SIN was
ultimately much more popular and successful, voting us
the biggest Metal band of L.A. for 1983-84, by Music
Connection Magazine over KEEL, STRYPER, and ODIN. (see
accompanying material). The "War of the SIN's" was finally
over! And, 'we' won...
"SIN" was re-formed in 1983-84, by myself. This second L.A.
line-up was superbly "beefed-up" by replacing the entire
former L.A. line-up, and replacing them with some members
of the N.Y. band ALIEN. (Then-fledgling), Now Legendary
frontman FRANK STARR helped me pave the way for a
superior SIN 'resurgence', pushing the band over-the-top. I
was contacted by former bandmate J.J. KRISTI, inquiring
about the auditions KISS was having to replace ACE FREHLEY,
since I was rehearsing at the same S.I.R. studios KISS
were. I informed KRISTI, that KISS already were using
VINNIE VINCENT, however, *I* was looking for new members.
So, upon the break-up of ALIEN, J.J. KRISTI, FRANK STARR,
and new guitarist RICHIE (Pagano) MARTEL, made the
cross-country trek to join me in re-forming SIN. With the
addition of drummer MARK(Bencachea) ANTHONY, the new SIN
line-up blew the roofs off of every venue we performed
at, impressing all of Hollywood's industry-types. This led
to bookings with former band mate RON KEEL, STRYPER, and
many other Hollywood Metal acts. Eventually, SIN became
represented by MANAGEMENT 3, a TOP Industry management
company handling the Beach Boys, 3 Dog Night, Neil Diamond,
and others. SIN wasn't even record label SIGNED YET!
Demo sessions were soon handled by eventual VINNIE
VINCENT/SLAUGHTER bassist DANA STRUM, with a plan to have
SIN signed to a major label (Chrysalis?) soon. The ultimate
demo that came out resulted in opening many doors for SIN,
however, internal player-chemistry problems, again, found
the line-up dissolving like sand through my fingers, the
more I tried to keep it together. (After this line-up
dissolved, I found a temporary stint in another L.A. Metal
act called"BURN"), more on this coming up...
Frank Starr w/ JJ Kristy
Rik Fox Signature bass cabinets in background
Country Club, Reseda, CA 1984
The late, Frank Starr
FIBM: OK, so continue...
Sorry, Digressing now...
Anyway, I get a phone call from my New Jersey room-mate
J.J. KRISTI, back in N.Y. His band MONGOL HORDE recording
act ALIEN is breaking up, (his bassist killed someone in a
drug deal in Florida), and JAY wants to get out of N.Y. He
asks me "I heard KISS is auditioning guitarists, I know
you know them, can you get me a shot with them?" I said,
"Jay, they already have someone named VINNIE VINCENT,
HOWEVER...*I'M* looking to re-form SIN out here, what do
you think of that?"
He says, "Can I bring my singer and another guitarist" I
said "OK, but if they suck, they're out, and we replace
them, I'm tired of taking shit from knuckleheads." He says
"OK, we're comin' out to L.A."...
These guys drive through Midwest blizzards, and weather all
kinds of 'adventures' eventually pulling up outside of
where I was living in Venice, CA., in a mobile home, parked
in the driveway of the girl I was dating at the time.
FRANK was sleeping in their van, and when J.J. went to wake
him up, they immediately began a big fist,street-fight
between each other! Nice way to meeet my new band
mates...(Not knowing FRANK's biker background), I got in
middle of it, and broke it up. FRANK was just like that, if
he was awoken suddenly. Then, just like nothing happened,
he was all smiles, and said: "What's to eat?" That, was the
beginning of a long, and very interesting relationship
working with the inimitable FRANKIE STARR...
We got right into working together on the songs in the
mobile home, and decided, that, since there was a lack of
material written by all of us together as a band,
then we'll do half of their ALIEN album cuts, and half of
my songs, which made quite a nice interesting set.
We needed a drummer, and I remembered MARK (Bencachea)
Anthony from a local inland-empire band called PRISONER,
from their supporting one of our SIN shows, and we got
along well, (especially since MARK understood my dry, sense
of humor), I gave him a call, and said : "Ok, you asked me
if I was ever interested in a drummer to give you a call,
well, here's the call". Within two day we had a nice,
pro-looking press kit on Mark and a demo tape. We all like
it a lot, and drove out to MARK's Mom's place where he
rehearsed in his garage in Monterey Park, CA. We brought
our guitars, and jammed with him, showed him some songs,
and looked at each other. "Yeah, he's the guy", we said. As
the bassist of the rhythym section, I really liked his
playing, and I repeated all that I had learned in my
STEELER rehearsal sessions with MARK EDWARDS, with MARK
ANTHONY, our new drummer. MARK had that cross between TOMMY
ALDRIDGE and TOMMY LEE/BOBBY RONDINELLI.
We also had to make a fast decision, because the TROUBADOUR
Club had called me, and I had booked a gig before we even
had a drummer, but I was confident MARK could handle the
job. We rehearsed like fiends, and got all the material
down. We debuted the NEW-SIN line-up and completely BLEW
doors off the TROUBADOUR! It was PACKED, to the walls...
My fans never even saw it coming, that I had turned around
so fast, with a new line-up of 'out-of-town' guys who L.A.
had never seen yet, and this was now four-fifths of a total
New York 'attitude' band, taking L.A. completely unawares.
I rather think that our fans saw this as Very refreshing,
from the same pap going on from L.A. band to L.A. band, and
it really made a distiction of making us 'different' from
all the other L.A. bands.
Suffice to say, all the venues we performed at were
extremely happy with the numbers we were bringing in at the
box office(s). We also started making a nice amount of
revenue as well. So, Since I already had an endorsement
deal with RANDALL Amplifiers, I had the RANDALL people come
to see our shows. They really liked what they
saw, and had me bring SIN down to their local factory, and
we signed a band endorsement deal with RANDALL Amplifiers.
Right in the middle of my signing the paperwork in the
President's office, someone comes in, and says: "There's a
call for you, someone from "GUITAR WORLD MAGAZINE" wants to
interview you about playing with YNGWIE MALMSTEEN in
STEELER". I said "Right NOW?!?" I look at the RANDALL
President across his desk, and he says :"Go ahead, no
problem", he lights up a cigar, gets up, and begins to putt
golf balls around his office!!! I was like "MAN, you just
can't BUY publicity like that!!! It really made quite a
nice impression on the RANDALL people. Now SIN had a full
endorsement deal with RANDALL Amplifiers, just like DOKKEN,
and other bigger bands! We were really starting to make the
rounds. I got us an endorsement deal with VANS footwear,
just over the phone! I got us all boxing shoes (boots)
which were really comfortable onstage, and much better than
wearing higher-heeled boots. Only FRANK STARR chose to
continue to wear his leather boots onstage, and wore his
VANS boxing boots off-stage everywhere...
Many more endoresments continued to come in, along with my
B.C.RICH endorsement and RANDALL. NADY Wireless, DUNLOP
Picks, G.H.S.Bass Strings, etc, etc...AND WE WEREN'T EVEN
SIGNED to a MAJOR LABEL YET!!!!!!! What a GREAT Life!!!!
The new band members were totally digging all this
treatment, and, so far, no egos were getting out of
control! Whew! New York rockers are *So* different from
L.A. ones. We were like a gang. When we walked into a club,
people just parted for us, just like you see in the movies
about the 1950's, it's so funny. People could *smell* our
N.Y.'attitude' and really liked us for it! We were also
getting more respect whenever we went to the NAMM shows
(Music Conventions), as well.
We continued to rehearse at MARK's place, and had to keep
chasing FRANK out of the kitchen in MARK's Mom's house. He
was always scrounging thru the refrigerator, making cheese
sandwiches. Eventually, I began using all my STEELER
royalties, to put us in S.I.R. Rehearsal studios in
Hollywood, just before a gig, so we could work out all the
stage moves. Rehearsing next door to us were MOTLEY CRUE,
who kept coming in to watch us during their breaks. NIKKI
SIXX says: "I'LL tell ya what, why don't you take all our
unused rehersal time, and it's still on our tab?" We were
just blown away at NIKKI's continued generosity to me and
our band! VINCE and TOMMY really liked our material, and
even sat down to hang out while we rehearsed...I'll never
forget moments like that.
Now, SIN is headlining all the major venues in L.A. except
THE PALADIUM, and SANTA MONICA CIVIC. Oh, and THE FORUM.
We were even slated to be on a New Year's bill with KEEL at
SANTA MONICA CIVIC, but someone put RIOT in there before
all the details were worked out...In our adventures, in
'gig'-land, we get visited by old Metal fan-friend LUCY
FORBES who used to promote Heavy Metal shows at THE COUNTRY
CLUB, in Reseda, CA. We were sound-checking a show we did
with friends WITCH at the STARDUST BALLROOM on Sunset
Boulevard in HOLLYWOOD. With her was some tall guy (who I
thought), looked like actor, Darren McGavin. Anyway his
name was TODD COOPER, and his Father is JAY COOPER of the
Law Firm COOPER, EPSTEIN, & HUREWITZ, and TODD worked over
at JERRY WEINTRAUB's Beverly Hill Company, MANAGEMENT 3,
who handled the BEACH BOYS, THREE DOG NIGHT, ERIC CLAPTON,
NEIL DIAMOND, etc.,etc. All the biggest talent in the
industry. TODD says he's been hearing good things about
SIN, and is interested in managing our affairs, (when he's
not on the Tennis courts), because word's getting around
about us, and we showed promise, up and coming in the local
Hollywood rock scene. we said, "Ok, we'll try it as a trial
run, and see what happens". Meanwhile, now we can say we
have this high-powered Beverly Hills Management behind us,
and when we tell people MANAGEMENT 3 is behind us, jaws
start to drop. We had no idea HOW big this company was...
FIBM: What were some of the benefits of being with MANAGEMENT 3?
Rik Fox: We got to use all their mailing office facilities and
phones to do all our fan mail and around the world
mailings, etc... This was really cool!
Saved us TONS of money...Todd says he wants to put SIN in
the recording stdio. Not like the earlier (live) SIN demo
we did a few months before in Culver City. No, he wants
this to be "Album Masters" quality, ready for pressing.
Todd arranges us to go into ENCORE Studios in Burbank, CA.,
where PAUL McCARTNEY, and STEVIE WONDER had just
recorded...His brother LES COOPER, engineered the tape and
then we meet his younger brother KEITH COOPER, assisting,
who's interning at record companies, (and who later worked
at/ran several Hollywood Clubs like THE CAT HOUSE, CAMP
HOLLYWOOD, and CABARET). Todd then brings in DANA STRUM to
Produce the SIN Demo. Unimpressed, I remembered meeting
DANA from some years earlier, thru BOB AISS, the former
manager for Capitol Records Baltimore, MD act, FACE DANCER
(whom I worked lights for in NYC), and part-time for my
good friend KIX guitarist RONNIE "10-10" YOUNKINS. Now
DANA'S with some '80's Pop band Modern 'something', (MODERN
PROBLEMS?) I forget now...
So, we begin to record, and DANA's got this system of
recording from the middle-out, not the traditional
way...Rythym guitars, first, then drums, then bass, then
the rest. I neve saw anything like this before, and DANA
and I start butting heads on the arrangements. However, I
must say, I was happy with some of the outcome. I hated his
opening for "ON THE RUN" which, was *supposed* to open with
a motorcycle revving it's engine and shifting gears up to
the key of opening hook. DANA and I fought on this, and
eventually MOTLEY CRUE did it on "KICKSTART MY HEART" some
years later. Essentially, it was a copy of the intor of
MONTROSE's "BAD MOTOR SCOOTER". DANA wanted some
'thunderstorm and lightning' sounds, and I lost on that
account, however, subsequently, back live, (both SIN and
THUNDERBALL), we reverted to the original opening of the
motorcycle shifting gears, which, dynamically, really made
more sense, and sounded better. Of the other tunes, DANA
did some good work, however, since I couldn't always get
out to the recording studio, I had to miss a lot of what
was going on there. During the mixdowns, his
'partner-in-crime', VINNIE VINCENT were planning their next
big project for VINNIE. While doing so, VINNIE's noodling
around on our gear, testing it and such.
FIBM: Didn't you mention something about VINNIE VINCENT ripping
off one of your SIN songs?
Rik Fox: Right! Between them both, they hatched a plan to
re-record ON THE RUN, with *some input from me*, as they
said. I said "OK, let me know what your plans are". They
say "OK, we'll get back to you".
Then, at a NAMM show convention, some time after, MARK
SLAUGHTER, who sang some on our SIN demo, confides in me,
that VINNIE and DANA conspired to rip off my song, and they
changed the title to "LET FREEDOM ROCK", and wrote new
lyrics, using the hook from my song as the *exact* same
hook for their song, which I eventually heard on an advance
demo of "ALL SYSTEMS GO", VINNIE's second album. At the
NAMM show, I was approached by both MARK SLAUGHTER and
drummer BOBBY ROCK and they said "I hope this won't affect
*Our* friendships with you, but, we didn't realize what we
were playing, until it was too late, and DANA said just to
do it, and we'll worry about it later". One night at my
apartment, I played the two cuts, side-by-side to my friend
FRED COURY of CINDERELLA, and he says "DUDE...You just got
ripped off big-time!" I tried to stop the album from coming
out, but met with some resistance, especially from DANA who
said in a phone conversation to me: "Go ahead, sue
us...we'll bleed you so dry in court, then counter-sue your
ass!...you'll NEVER see a cent from us...ha,ha,ha,ha". DANA
was infamous for while being well-off financially, he'd do
the 'couch tour' thing at various girls' apartments, use
their phones, ring up big bills and then just take off. A
real shrewd user. He was very smart that way, and then he'd
tell us about it and laugh at how stupid the chicks
were...DANA was also the only person I've ever seen who
could down an *entire* bottle of Jack Daniels during a
recording session, and show no outward signs of being
drunk! We never knew how he did this...
Well, eventually I got to sit in the court proceedings
of VINNIE VINCENT's Bankruptcy case, where, he was exposed
for ripping off hundreds of people, including the fans of
the KISS ARMY, former musician friend HIRSH GARDNER from
the band NEW ENGLAND, (I was told that HIRSH had all of the
bands' pink and black touring gear confiscated *right*
before they went onstage at a gig in Boston!!!)...Anyway, I
got the satisfaction of watching Mr. VINNIE CUSANO (VINNIE
VINCENT) squirm in front of the judge, because my name was
one of the hundreds that VINNIE owed a LOT of money to. I
have the papers sent to me from his attorneys, and there's
a *looong* list of people he owes money to! On top of
which, VINNIE even tried to copy MY IMAGE when he came out
with his second album. Because he was nearyl bald, VINNIE
wore wigs styled just like my hairstyle, and tried to copy
anything he could from SIN!
It was pure pleasure to watch him go down....
Mark Anthony, Jay Kristi, Frank Starr, Richie Martel, Rik Fox
Anyway, right before we're back in the studio, DANA
tells me he's bringing in a guy from a band he played with,
named DANNY SPANOS. Aside from being a singer, DANNY
apparently was a drummer, and sat in one of our rehearsals,
and found problems with my drummer MARK ANTHONY, saying his
meter was off. He also said FRANK STARR had to go, he sang
too flat. It was up to me, as the bandleader, to break the
heart-breaking news to two of my favorite players. I was
told "Either they go, and we replace them, or, the whole
recording deal is off". I was truly between that rock and
a hard place. This wasn't a case of us having problems with
the members, and looking to replace them, this was a
producer/management thing. I didn't get much support from
JAY and RICHIE either. TODD said "If you want to progress
forward, you need to make some decisions". So, I told MARK
and FRANK what had happened. and although they were hurt
(and it was killing me to tell them), they understood, and
left SIN. (I said, we *should* have got them back in
Now...we need a new singer, so, we're referred to a guy by
KEEL drummer BOBBY MARKS, who is from san Diego, named RIC
REED, who's 'claim to fame' is his singing (imitating)
RONNIE JAMES DIO's voice in a Budweiser Beer radio spot
sounding like the song "RAINBOW IN THE DARK". RIC was from
a band in San Diego called CHILD, apparently well-known by
the guys in RATT, and friend JAKE E. LEE. So, we bring this
guy in, and get him to sing all the lead vocals on the SIN
demo. Then, he gets the wild idea that if he wants to join,
*his terms* are to change the band to "SIN, featuring RIC
REED". Well, we have a meeting and everyone looks at me
when we're told this. I said: " This guy wants to make us
*his* back-up band?!?...*That* just isn't going to work at
all, especially since it was me, that got us all here to
begin with. I'm not just going to hand over the reins to
some *new guy* who is just NOT going to be the new
bandleader. Period. I'm not going to let *that* happen to
me again! DANA also brings in some *kid*, we never even
knew, from Las Vegas, to play drums on the tracks. Guy
drives in from Vegas, playes on the tracks, and drives
home, all in one night. I never event got to meet this guy
until later. Kind of lanky, and *not* a rock star look in
his body. Kinda nerdy, y'know? Nice guy, just not SIN
material. When it came time to do the back-up vocals, I got
some friends from the band BLACK N' BLUE, TOMMY THAYER and
PARTIC to come in, (as well as MARK SLAUGHTER). The BLACK
N' BLUE guys are going like "HOLY SH*T, this tape's HOT!".
So, after we finish the demo, *now* I start to get a hint
of trouble from JAY & Richie, who are living with JAY *&
his girlfriend. Squabbling, and room-mate issues. TODD
comes to me and says: "JAY and RICHIE feel, that since SIN
spent so much time in the studio (not really), that they
say that they don't think *you* can cut it live with the
newly arranged material". I was in SHOCK. I said "WHAT?!?!"
"What the hell kind of lame-ass excuse is THAT?!?" Now, I
begin to see the cornerstone of all my work begin to start
crumbling. As I said, "like sand, the more I tried to hold
it together, the more it just ran thru my fingers". I
watched everytning I had worked for, blood, sweat and
tears, go right down the drain. (he last show we did
together as a band before we went into the studio in 1985,
was on my birthday, December, 28th, 1984. SIN was no more).
Oddly enough, when we had just finished the SIN demo, I
took a copy over to B.C.RICH guitars, and the late
President, BERNIE RICO and I sat in his Caddilac. He pops
in the SIN demo, and, 30 seconds into the first song, he
says "Welcome to B.C.RICH, what would you like us to make
for you?" He says "I've heard tons of bands, but *this* is
something special, you guys are awesome!" That is how I got
my B.C.Rich bass endorsement. Everything just fell into
place from there, even though we did have the RANDALL
endorsement before that...
FIBM: So, what happened after SIN? Where did you go from there?
Rik Fox: So...Now SIN is but a memory, and I'm *really* bummed out
about this...NOW what do I do?!?...Some time later, a
couple of friends pick me up and we're heading to see
STRYPER, and it's pouring rain, which cancels the outdoor
show. We stop off at a local rehearsal studio in North
Hollywood, on the way, and our friends BURN are auditioning
bass players. (BURN shared producer DANA STRUM). The guys
in BURN remember me from when they were HELLION, and I
jammed with them years before. They tell everyone to leave
the room so they can talk, but, they ask me to stay.
They said "We heard about SIN, and we're sorry to see such
a great band fall apart...what would you say, if we asked
you to audition for bass in BURN?" I said, "Well, I've
*already* more than proven myself in how I play for years
now, and everyone who's seen me knows I kick ass"...
They said (words to the effect of) "It's just a formality,
would you be interested?". So I said..."ok". BURN was being
handled by RONNIE JAMES DIO's NIJI Management under Curt
Lorraine. NIJI is also handling ROUGH CUTT under WENDY DIO
at this time as well. It was nice to be a part of the NIJI
So, I get a copy of five tunes on the BURN Demo produced
by, guess who?...DANA STRUM. I pick up the songs pretty
fast, and go in to do the 'audition'. I must say, we
I even threw in a few 'moves' with the guys, and between
ALAN BARLAM and RAY SCHENK, they really dug it. I locked in
with drummer SEAN KELLY, or so I thought. After blowing
smoke up my skirt about how great it all sounded, they
called me later, and said "SEAN, being the other half of
the rythym section, decided to go with another guy. So,
they 'blamed' the overall decision on SEAN. Two days later,
I get a call from ALAN BARLAM, telling me "RIK, we're REAL
sorry, SEAN happened to pick a guy who didn't even OWN any
gear!, and can't do any gigs with us..." I said "After all
this you tell me that?!?" He says "Overall we really wanted
*YOU* more, you really gave some life to the songs more
than our last guy, and we *Should* have given it to you
right away". So, now, I think about it, and tell him "Let
me think about it". And, they're getting nervous now...
ALAN's calling me every day, two times a day, asking me
"Well?... what do you think, still interested?".
Now, they're sweating it out...Eventually, I say, OK, let's
do it." So, ow I'm rehearsing with BURN at MATES rehearsal
studios in North Hollywood. And it's sounding really good.
We're cookin'. Then, singer RICHARD PARICO, has some
problems and needs a place to stay, so, I offer him my
couch, and the band members warn me to watch out, be
careful, he's a diabetic, and will eat you out of house and
home. He's done it before. You know, I had to go out and
put a friggin' lock on my refrigerator at home?!? They were
right! This guy's raiding all my food, and drink, promising
to pay for it. then, for other reasons, they ultimately
sack PARICO form BURN, and I have to kick him out of my
place. Now...BURN needs to replace their singer. I know of
someone from N.Y. out in L.A. Former singer for ANTHRAX,
NEIL TURBIN. NEIL's got this awesome voice, and I think
he'd be really good for the position. BURN says ok, and we
want to bring him in. Although NEIL's an awesome singer, he
knows this, and starts telling me, he doesn't like to sing
anybody else's material, only stuff *he* has written on. I
said "NEIL, you're not grasping the concept of joining a
band that is *already* together, and is established...this
is a *team-work* thing". He stays adamant to his principles
and passes on joining BURN. Now here's where the idea of me
joining 'sinking ships' phase starts to take hold...BURN,
just replaces their bassist with me, and now, has to go
back to square one, and find a new singer. In the meantime,
my friends in LOUDNESS are touring the West Coast, with
rotating support CINDERELLA and POISON. The get me a couple
of tour laminate 'All-Access' passes, and I go to see a few
of their shows, hanging out with them. While in Phoenix,
Arizona, I meet this nerd named Brad, who knows I was in
STEELER, and KEEL had just played there. He says he knows a
band looking for bass players named SURGICAL STEEL.
Supposedly being a big (local) promoter, who can't get
himself passes for LOUDNESS, I generously let him use one
of mine. (He nearly got himself kicked out of the backstage
area for nosing where he had no business being)...Anyway, I
meet this guy named JIM KEELER, from SURGICAL STEEL, and we
have a nice, quick chat, nothing big. By the time I fly
home, next morning, land and get home, my phone's ringing
when I walk into my place. It's Brad, begging me to come
back to Phoenix, because JIM KEELER wants me in SURGICAL
STEEL...He says "You GOTTA DO This!!"