FIB MUSIC: I didn't even realize, before our Randy Piper interview, that you didn't do the tour for the
Tony: NOPE. I got screwed out of it all, royalties too. And they continue to sell t-shirts,
posters and buttons and all that shit with my likeness on it.
FIB MUSIC: Well at the very least aren't you supposed to receive a mechanical royalty or some shit, for
playing on the record?
Tony: Dude, I signed everything away. They had some slick lawyers and I was so
disgusted and so distraught, I wasn't thinking clear. I didn't have enough money to hire an entertainment attorney....those
guys are another story, they're fucking crooks. So, I didn't have much of a choice, but to sign away all my shit for a lump sum......
Yeah, I went through the whole stage of being bitter, pissed off, bitter again, ahhh forget it, pissed off again and finally 22 years
later it's like man.....I don't even like talking about it. Not because I'm still mad about it, but I just never saw the big
deal in it. It was fun and there were memories and I did something that millions of kids would like to do, so it's not a big deal
to me. I'm looking for the next thing to move on to. I'm still playing, playing better than ever. I'm more seasoned, I'm an older
guy.....I don't look as great as I used to (laughs).
FIB MUSIC: Did you ever receive your gold records for the W.A.S.P. album?
Tony: I do have a gold record, but they still have it at Capitol. As a matter of fact, I'm
working on getting that sent out to me now. There are tons of gold and platinum singles from all over the world....I don't have
any of those.
FIB MUSIC: Capitol has been holding it for you this whole time?
Well, I'm sure the original pressing with my name on it has disappeared, somebody's got it somewhere. But they are always able to
reproduce one for you. So, I'm kind of working on that now, because I just want to have something to show my kids.
FIB MUSIC: Is Capitol going to make you pay for it?
Tony: No, because I did earn that, so this one is free. But I do have some old vintage
posters, some buttons and a couple of t-shirts, a small stack of the first albums and a couple of the long-play 45's. But that's
about all I got.
FIB MUSIC: Why were you kicked out of W.A.S.P.?
Tony: I think I scared Blackie. I really lived the Rock n Roll lifestyle. I lived up in
Hollywood, I was a madman, I was high every other night.....every night. But I was always there, always on time, always did great
shows. I just scared him, he was not that way. His was more of an act, mine was too real and I think I was just too scary for him.
I think he thought I was going to be trouble down the line, so he thought he was doing the right thing by nipping it in the bud.
FIB MUSIC: How were you told you were out of the band?
Tony: They called a meeting at Rod Smallwood's house up in Beverly Hills. We all sat
around a big table and talked about a few things. All of a sudden that came up and before I knew it, is was like BOOM....the fingers
were pointing at me and I just kind of stood up and said, WHOA....OK.....I think I was in shock and I just kind of walked away, walked
down the driveway and got in my rental car, which I totally trashed. It was a brand new '84 Cutlass with glass t-tops....man, that
thing was on one wheel when I brought it back. No glass left in it. I didn't sit there with an axe and bust it up on purpose, I was
just reckless in it. I fucked it up, because I didn't care. Somebody had taken something away from me, that I had worked my whole
life for and I was on a roll.....I was on a binge. I was pissed. But yeah, I was devastated, I couldn't tell you exactly what
had happened or how, but I was the first to go. He used me as an example and had to put the fear back into Randy again, because
Randy had come and gone a couple of times. One by one, that's what he was working on, he wanted control. It's greed man, the guy
is a greedy, lonely person. The last few shows that I have gone to see him, he will not send his road crew down to escort me up, he
won't come down to see me or nothing. I haven't seen him in years.
FIB MUSIC: When was the last time you saw Blackie?
Tony: He flew me out to LA when he was recording the Crimson Idol. He had one track
that he wanted to add on there at the end of the record. He felt that I would be the perfect drummer for it and wanted me to
play like Keith Moon, like I used to. What can I say, he didn't give me much time; I was a little rusty. I didn't have a
set of drums anymore....I was in bad shape. I was out here on my own, rehearsing as hard as I could, trying to kick some ass. I
didn't really have a copy of the song, so I didn't really know what I was supposed to be doing. He just told me to rehearse and get
my chops up. So, he flew me to his studio in Hollywood one night and I get there and it's Frankie Banali's drum set all set up, of course,
backwards. So, I can't play it. It was set up for a right-handed player and I'm left-handed. But Blackie doesn't want me to
touch the set. I'm like, can I move this and move that.....he's like, no don't touch that. Sooooooo, now what do you want to do?
And Blackie says, let's just call the whole thing off, I don't think you're ready. I'm like, how the fuck do you know if I'm ready
or not? I can't even touch your precious little drums.....it got down to that...Then I said, you know what, just take me back
to my room. So, I fly back to Phoenix the next day and I never saw him again.
FIB MUSIC: Did you guys talk any about the past?
Tony: No, we didn't talk about that. It was REAL odd being around him....so much shit under
the bridge that he didn't know what to say to me. Had he only started talking to me man, I'm a likeable guy; I could have talked
to him about it.
(L-R) Randy Piper, Chris Holmes, Tony Richards, Blackie Lawless
FIB MUSIC: What do you do after you leave W.A.S.P.? Do you stay in LA for awhile?
Tony: No, not at all. I came back to Phoenix and that's where I met my wife (laughs).
I started working for a restoration company here, that were real good friends of the family and I had it made, you know? Real good
money, I had a nice bike and everything. I was happy, got married, started having kids....and jeez, I don't know dude, one thing
led to another, I started becoming unhappy again, because I wanted to play. People began to approach me left and right, people
were calling from LA, some people were calling from back East. I started getting the itch. I was real unhappy and back then, when
I used to drink a lot; I would go to work all day out in this Arizona sun, then I would hit the bar with my buddies and close the bar
out. The wife got tired of that and there you go.....DIVORCE CITY. Took my two youngest kids and went to Minneapolis, where she was
FIB MUSIC: Why aren't you playing with Randy Piper? He's living in Arizona. What happened
when you and Chris Holmes briefly joined his band Animal?
Tony: Well, Randy is a good friend and he is probably the only one in the band that I was close to or am
close to. Now, I really don't want to say the wrong thing, but I think he is kind of stuck in that 80's mode of writing. When I went
out to Ohio two years ago and we were going to get together, you know, they were promoting it as the three original guys,
from W.A.S.P., without Blackie. Then it all fell through, for one reason or another, I care not to talk about. But Randy seemed, to me, the
tape and the way it was and everything........and UH.....I love him to death man, but it was the same type of thing.....and you know,
it's partially me, at the time....I was looking and always am looking for something new. Something challenging to me and to me that
wasn't it, it was kind of like that 80's rock. Yeah, sure there's still an audience for it and it's coming back and all that shit.....
I still have no desire to play it.
FIB MUSIC: What did you think of their vocalist, Rich?
Tony: Great singer man. He can pretty much sing anything Blackie can. Not a bad writer, not a bad
lyricist either. But, you know, I have been there, done that. Plus, since you say you have been talking to Randy, I got really ill
when I was there. I'm not used to that fucking Ohio shit. I went over there and had no idea I was sick when I got there, but once
I got there, I came down with the flu so bad, I couldn't even get up off the floor. So, that pretty much killed rehearsals. We rehearsed for
two weeks and we were supposed to do a show, at this guy's club. We owed this guy a show. We were rehearsing at a strip club of all
places, so number one it was free drinks, it was hard to get anything done. But we did it and even did the show too, but it just didn't have
the bang it should have had......so, I don't know, I'm waiting man, I am kind of waiting for something to come along that just really
FIB MUSIC: What are you looking for?
Tony: I am looking for something like a cross between Scott Weiland, Audioslave, or jeez....
I don't know man, there are a lot of young kids out there that are just slapping the scene in the ass. I am looking for some
seasoned players, that know of me and know my style and what I am capable of. I can't really name names, when it happens it will
happen and I will know it. What can I say man,.....back to the part where I wasted a lot of time. Well, I wouldn't say waste; some time, yeah
I wasted, I spent some money and wasted some time. But I did get married for a few years and I have a few kids. Divorced now, but that
took a good chunk out of my time.
FIB MUSIC: How old are your kids now?
Tony: Ummmm. They are absolutely awesome. I have a twenty one year old daughter, she's going
to be twenty-two.....as a matter of fact.....
FIB MUSIC: I was just going to say; You must have had her around the time of W.A.S.P.
Tony: '84. Yeah, right before I got shit-canned, we found out we were pregnant. So, that was
a huge let down. Then after that, I met this other girl, you know, I was in some other band and we were touring a little bit. What can I
say? So I have another daughter by another mother, she's like........God, are you going to print all this (laughs). WHOA. I don't know
if this is right. Maybe I should cut it down, too much info.......I have an eighteen year old daughter, in California a twenty one
year old daughter in Oregon and I have a fifteen year old son and a thirteen year old daughter in Minnesota.
FIB MUSIC: Goddam you were a busy man.
Tony: I used to be busy...........and I don't mean that kind of busy.
FIB MUSIC: Alright, last question. Tony Richards is transported back to the year 1983 is there anything you would do
Tony: AHHHHHHH. MMMMMMMMMM. NAH, NAH, no regrets. There is nothing I would do different.