inside Mötley Crüe's Too Fast For Love album and you will see that
'Stick' is thanked by the band for his "unselfish dedication." This was
a dedication to Mick Mars in particular, sticking by him to see that he
made it to number one.
At 12 noon on Wednesday
May 31, 2006, Chronological Crue’s Paul Miles
called the Grass Valley, California home of John 'Stick' Crouch and
chatted with him for over an over about the days when he was “best
friends on the planet” with Mick. The interview started with him being
asked about the first time he ever first met Mick Mars.
Crouch: I think the first time I actually met Mick – I barely remember
– I believe it was at Lancaster when he auditioned for
this band that eventually turned into Vendetta back then. I think it
was Vendetta; it could have been Whitehorse.
It could have been a whole bunch of different names. I was then
associated with him and helped him and was a partner with him… Anyway,
I just remember Vendetta and that’s the only name I remember.
Vendetta was a Top 40 cover band, was it not?
Ah, they were a cover band but they had many of their originals. After
Mick joined them they were more Top 40 ‘cause the original guitar
player, Chris Noe, was more of a Steely Dan, or Robin Trower, or
something like that. He liked whammy and that kind of melodic stuff
more than the hard-edged rock stuff. And he’s the one that actually
quit, in order for Mick to join the band. They were looking to get more
of a hard rock and roll type of edge. So that’s how Mick got in the
So I think that I met him at Lancaster when he auditioned and I always
thought that was when he still had red hair and a big old bushy
moustache. I don’t really recall. I just remember it was a very cold
night and I had a fill of anti-freeze and I enjoyed myself and I do
remember meeting Mick; I don’t remember what he looked like.
CC: So what were you
doing at the time? How did you come to meet him?
I was just hanging around with Vendetta – whatever name they had at the
time. I was friends with them. I had met them at a bar called Pier 52
in Hermosa Beach, California that I had started going to frequently and
I grew to know several bands that played there periodically and
eventually became friends with a couple of the better ones that I knew
from in that area.
CC: OK, so Kenny Morse…
Well Kenny Morse on vocals and Johnny Gall was the keyboardist. Barry
the bassist – and I can not remember Barry’s last name, I don’t even
know if Mick does to tell you the truth. That's it – Barry Leab... Bear
Slut he was called... And Steve Meade aka Kinky McKool, Mick’s second
drummer (the first was Steve Jackson)… So anyway, I was friends with
them and would hang out after gigs and help them load equipment on a
Sunday night when their gig was over. I would help them with their
equipment and we’d talk and I’d party all night with them and stuff,
and just hang with a group that I enjoyed very much.
I had another group prior to that... I really liked the bass player. I
remember they lived in a house either in Redondo Beach or Manhattan
Beach. The bass player looked like he could have formed ZZ
Top. He looked like a mountain man but his bass tone was so good;
you felt it more than you heard it. That was the ultimate; that was
great. Anyway, they kind of split off and that’s when I became more
friends with Vendetta.
CC: So this is around
Yeh it had to be; somewhere in that era, yeh. I think… Mick joined, and
I lost my job and they sort of said, ‘Well we’re goin’ on the road for
a couple weeks and we could use an extra hand and we’ll give you an
equal share’ and I had my burgundy RX-3 – my little 1971 RX-3 coupe,
little rotary engine that would go anywhere and never break down – as a
chase car, an extra vehicle in case they broke down. So we went on out
to Yuma, and
out to Colorado River and other places, and we definitely had a good
time. Anyway, so that’s how eventually Mick and I became good friends
because I’d be hangin’ out and stuff. We’d be talking and I’d be
helping him with his guitar stuff of course at all the places they
played at or whatever, and I just became part of the group you know…
hung out, got to do this, enjoyed music and drank with them.
CC: By this time, Mick
had changed his name…
Oh yeh, he was Mick Mars then. Actually I probably even met him as
Robert Deal; I’m not even sure. I’ve always been terrible with names
anyway. I knew someone from that audition and I was looking at this new
guy with long blue-black hair and his name was Mick Mars at the time he
joined the band, when he started playing music with them.
CC: Mick was playing
covers with David Day in Vendetta…
JC: Oh, he was playing all
kinds of weird stuff before…
CC: And then Ten Wheel
Drive who changed their name to Spiders & Cowboys.
Yeh, I had met David Day a long time ago when he was at the music store
and we’d go there and get drinks and talk and stuff… and a couple of
his other buds I had only met casually a couple of times, so I don’t
really know them that well you know.
You see Mick is mostly a home-body; he always has been. We were always
older than everybody else anyway. You know what I mean?
JC: We were already in our
late 30s-early 40s by then.
So the story goes that Mick was playing some of those gigs that you
joined him on, out in Yuma, and a club owner out there demanded that he
turned down the volume…
JC: Oh yeh, they all did.
CC: So he pushed over his
stack and quit playing Top 40.
Oh, we finished the gig – we finished the gig. We kicked up a big stink
like we always did but we always finished what we started. That was the
tour at the end. Originally I had Allan [Coffman] come down and see
them. He had come down and seen them and liked them but just at that
point, these guys were going their separate ways. I don’t remember who
decided who was going which way or how… but anyway, it broke up.
So at this same time, this is when Nikki and Tommy are getting together
and starting to form Mötley.
Well you see, I drove Mick to other little casual gigs in between and
played at some god-awful places. We put a stack in my RX-3 and we’d go
out there. He didn’t have a car – never did have a car. I was his
transportation. Especially at the time after I didn’t have a job and I
was committed to him – I was committed to him. And we talked and he
knew I had Allan in my pocket.
JC: So far as, we could go
find some other people and get to gig with and we were going to use
CC: So Allan was just
keen to get involved in backing a band.
Well, one time I was on vacation in Grass Valley where he lived, and my
sister lived, and my brother lived, and my parents do too, and lived…
and somehow we got into the conversation where I talked about Vendetta
and said they were really good and I really liked them and their
original songs and they play good together, blah blah blah, you know?
And he wondered if they were possibly interested in him supporting the
band and I said well let me talk to the guys down there. And he
actually did come down; I think they did showcase for him one time and
he was like, ‘Yeh that is good music.’ Not as hard-edged as Mötley Crüe
of course ‘cause they had keyboards in their music; they had organ.
But they sounded good in their own way; they had good tunes. Johnny
Gall would do lyrics and of course Mick always had his tunes… but
anyway, eventually it got to the point that they broke up and the guys
would just hang out at his apartment – I guess that was at Redondo
Beach at the time.
CC: Yeh that sounds right.
We would just hang out and at night get stupid and I’d keep him from
getting in trouble. And then he told me he had put an ad in The
Recycler, I guess it was. He told me what it was and he told me about
how he got a call from this guy out in North Hollywood; told me to bring out
the equipment as he was going to get it together.
CC: So that was the
famous ad in The Recycler that read “Loud, rude and aggressive
Yes, that was that ad. So we got one speaker cabinet hangin’ out the
trunk of the little RX-3 coupe and the other speaker cabinet in the
back seat with his guitar case and we had his seat pushed as far
forward as we can… fortunately he’s short so it wasn’t too
uncomfortable. We got everything packed in there and headed up to North Hollywood.
CC: And you went to
Nikki’s house in North Hollywood…
JC: Yeh it must have been
some time in the summer like June
or July or something man, ‘cause I just remember it being hot. There
was no air-conditioning in my little car; you had to roll down the
CC: Well that was
apparently April of 1981.
Well, maybe the first time we went over there, maybe it wasn’t that
hot. I remember while we were getting the band together, we went over
the hill many times and it was blistering hot. Over in the San
Fernando Valley it got very hot. They would get to 102 when it was like
85 down in the beach areas so that was a big climate change for Mick
and I every time we went over that hill.
CC: Yeh sure.
JC: ‘The blow-dryer
effect’ is what we actually called it.
CC: John, can you tell me
any recollections that you have of that first meeting with Nikki and
Tommy that day.
Well, there was Nikki… and they were young, and there was this tall,
skinny-ass boy over here at this drum set… oh man, and Nikki lookin’
how he looks… and we went, well… We set it up and I think the first
time that Tommy did something on his drums, I think both our jaws fell
down to the floor and Mick and I just looked at each other like ‘Oh
fuck, this is the guy. This is it. This has got to be it.’
CC: So did Mick have any
real foresight going into that…
Well not until they actually played music, but I mean, I think as soon
as they started just chunking things together, things started right
away you know. Nikki gave him some lyrics and told him how it goes and
Mick would start hitting his guitar and Tommy would start filling the
back and getting the beats going and stuff. Mick and Tommy actually had
no problem. Nikki Sixx was never known at that time – I don’t even know
if he is known now for his expertise in guitar playing… bass playing.
JC: We were just hoping he
stayed in key and kept the beat you know.
CC: The story goes that
they showed Mick the opening riff to a song called Stick To Your Guns
that Nikki had written.
JC: Ah, probably. That may
have been the first one. That’s what was put on the 45.
CC: Yes that’s right.
Obviously this was before then…
Yeh Mick picked it up and starting chucking some sounds out and Nikki
would go ‘OK, I’ll try that’ and Tommy would go ‘Yeh!’ getting enthused
and everyone… When Tommy got enthused, everyone believed that it was
gonna take off man. Unbelievable! So we felt if we could just find a
cute boy to be out in front and sing…
CC: Well, there was an
overweight guy called O’Dean who had apparently just signed, just
JC: O’Dean, yeh.
CC: Was he at that first
JC: Well no; first time it
was only just the three guys.
CC: OK yep.
We went up to his house before we went to any kind of rehearsal studio.
We spent most of the time… I can’t remember how long but quite a while.
It was the only way to get the guitarists together and… Well, at that
time there was Robin, or whatever his name was, on rhythm guitar.
CC: Yeh that’s right, a
JC: And Mick was like,
[mumbling] ‘I don’t want a rhythm guitar. I don’t need a rhythm
CC: So Mick had to get
rid of him?
I don’t know if he was forced to fire him or what transpired. I didn’t
really pay attention to that stuff and what they had to say about that.
CC: John, not a lot is
known by the fans about Robin and also O’Dean. I wonder if you might be
able to share some…
I only remember his last name. I do not have the slightest idea what
their complete names were. Robin was only there a couple of rehearsals,
and well, you know, the guy just wasn’t one to talk and… No hard
feelings… and so he was gone, and then…
CC: O’Dean stuck around a
bit longer including…
Well, we were forced to with O’Dean ‘cause it was like we thought this
guy was gonna show up and he didn’t show up and this guy O’Dean at
least did something you know. He showed up and he made the noise and we
thought we might work with this to get a demo together. And that’s when
it was like, ‘Oh God, this guy is way off the wall! What’s goin’ on? Jesus,
this guy is…’ Mick was like, ‘Tommy where’s that fabulous Vince
guy man? Get his butt over here’ type of thing, you know? He knew what
Vince looked like; we didn’t know if he could sing. His voice wasn’t
that strong and stuff. You had to take the cute some time before you
get the talent – and then get the talent later, know what I mean?
CC: I do.
So, he knew how to strut and his voice was weak and Allan got him to
take lessons; I took him several times to those lessons [with Gloria
Bennett] until he got a girl friend to do it… sorry, I’m getting a bit
ahead here. You might remember a timeline of exactly how long it was,
but once Vince got into it, that was it – that’s when we sat down and
that’s when we came up with the name, OK.
Now the truth of the umlauts is: I suggested the two dots go… let’s put
the two dots over the o. That means we look more German. European bands
are always trying to look more American and we can do the opposite kind
of thing. I didn’t remember Mott the Hoople or any of that other shit;
I just remember seeing bands sometimes with umlauts and it was more of
a European thing.
CC: Yeh with Blue Öyster
Cult and Motörhead I guess…
And Nikki’s actually the one who said let’s put them on the u also,
once we came up with the Crüe spelling. So, I don’t know what they
remember but I was actually the one who mentioned the umlauts. Nikki
took it one step further.
Mick would tell me after having gone on his first European tour and
back (I think I was still talking to him at the time) that the umlauts
on u’s sound really cruddy; it doesn’t really make sense to them ‘cause
they don’t put umlauts over u’s normally.
He said it means more like Croh; more of a guttery sound, type of
thing. Anyway, that’s just something Mick told me after he came back
from the first time they were in Europe. I remember that distinctly.
Anyway, I’m probably jumping around a bit… but when Mick put the ad in
The Recycler he got the call from Nikki… I used to go over there to
Mick’s just about every evening when I was working and we’d just hang
out and get drunk and make sure he didn’t get into any trouble. I was
pretty much his bodyguard at the time ‘cause I wanted to protect him.
CC: His bodyguard? Did he
really need a bodyguard at that stage?
Well he had blue-black hair… long, blue-black hair. He dressed girlish.
You know, people didn’t like that back then – long hair on a guy. That
wasn’t a scene back then. The late-‘70s was not good. Heavy metal was
not the best thing in the world at that time. You had the punk guys who
didn’t like the heavy metal guys. In fact, one time that he was not
with me and he was goin’ around town, he actually got punched in the
face. I had to take him to the hospital.
JC: I went about ten
miles in two minutes to the hospital in Hollywood.
CC: In the Mazda.
Anyway, he got his two front teeth pushed in. His two top teeth, they
were pushed in and all they did at the hospital was push them back.
Then there was another place down Redondo Beach that had music and he
CC: John, you apparently
started bringing your sister Barbara Coffman to rehearsals…
Actually she was not involved in the Crüe that much. It was my
brother-in-law; Allan was always the one. He came down and saw them. I
guess we were out in Sun Valley or some god-awful place with another
crappy, old PA system. He came down and saw them, and he went back. And
then the family came down – my sister and my two nieces and Allan came
down – and they put on a little showcase for them. So, I don’t know
where that came from that Barbara came down. My sister was… I even
asked her that not too long ago. ‘What do you remember?’ ‘I don’t
remember; I wasn’t that involved.’
It was Allan Coffman’s thing… but she would back him and of course it
was Coffman & Coffman Productions and she was a Coffman, so.
CC: That’s right. And
that’s when Allan…
She did the posters and she did other things... I was not in that end
of the business, so I can’t tell you anything about any deals with
record companies – I know nothing about that. I worked with Allan; I
was with Mick.
I was Allan’s representative of Mötley Crüe. I paid the bills down
here. He gave me cheques, I paid bills. I arranged for S.I.R.
Rehearsals. I arranged for all the props; I even picked up the props
for any gigs we had, when we used strobe lights, when we used the
dry-ice fog and when we used… I got the flash powder. When we got the
flash powder, Nikki would do this little pyro gel stunt and I went out
and got the pyro gel. You know, I was the person that got everything
together for any gig that they had when we were doing this with them as
Coffman & Coffman Productions.
Excellent. You would have been at those early rehearsals. What stories
can you tell us about some of those early rehearsals before they
actually played live?
JC: Rehearsals… when
Coffman & Coffman Productions were with them then?
OK. When we started at S.I.R…. Well S.I.R. was one of the more
reputable rehearsal places and equipment rentals in Hollywood. We were
back in their studio two – Sound Stage 2 – as they called it. They
[Mötley] were never happy with the place as they couldn’t put out with
the volume that we played at. Mick would play at his full volume and of
course Tommy would want to do it all the way and the poor miserable PA
would be trying to crank things up and there’d be feedback all the time
and we’d break it. And drinking… there’d be drinking, as people in the
music business would be drinking.
And it seems Schnapps was the drink of choice at the time.
Oh no, actually… they were drinking whatever, but Mick and I by then
were drinking what we called in our terms a ‘Dirty Mother’ – just
Kahlua and Brandy with no ice.
This woman turned me onto these damn things and I was hooked ever
since. It was almost like another drug, I’m tellin’ ya. Three or four a
night, and if you did any more than that you were gone forever. You
were sick and heavin’ and I’ll swear to that ‘til the day I’m done.
Anyway, eventually Mick started liking those. But being young back
then, they’d drink beer. Hell, they didn’t care what it was – was it
alcohol? Was it cheap? Can we afford it? How much can we get for this?
The amount of times Mick and I would go across the street to the liquor
store and we’d buy those little miniature ones… You know, like you
could get on the aeroplane? For like a buck a piece?
We’d each get one Kahlua and one Brandy and pour it in this cup and
that was… pff, wow! Anyway, let’s go back and do some more giggin’ huh?
Even though there’s arguments and there’s frustration with them and ‘oh
screw this’ and ‘fuck that’ and all that whatever, which most musicians
do as they’re trying to create, those are some of my best times… just
hours sitting there listening to them play… just me.
JC: Just me.
They eventually got enough songs together and built their set and they
were ready to perform their debut gig, which they did at the Starwood.
JC: Actually their
official debut was here in Grass Valley.
CC: OK, where was that at?
Well… at a nice little bar up here and then at a place called the
Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, which is like an old theatre place… and
yeh, there was quite a few kids there. The first place was just like a
bar and it was like ‘oh god’ and they told them to turn it down.
CC: Was this the time
they went up to Grass Valley…
JC: Yeh this is before we
had our very first official gig down in L.A. you know?
CC: Before the ‘Anywhere
JC: This was our debut to Grass Valley because
Coffman & Coffman were the producers of Mötley Crüe and they were
going to bring them up.
CC: OK. So this is before
the first Starwood shows?
Yes, this was just before. It was like, ‘Let’s do a nice little
45-minute set’ or whatever we ended up doing, and I don’t even know if
we even charged money; it may have been like a buck a piece or… I don’t
know what it was... (long pause)
CC: What do you recall of
those Starwood shows?
Yeh I’m getting to that point… just give me a second… I’m starting to
get emotional… These waves of emotion will come across me every now and
then… ‘cause they do really mean something to me…
CC: Sorry, I didn’t pick
JC: Hold on…
CC: Take your time.
Sometimes when I recall some of these past things, I get these
emotional things… excuse me… (long pause) Sorry about that. So anyway,
what do I remember about the Starwood shows? Well, a lot of hired
equipment, and running up and down these little narrow stairs… The guys
putting on a hell of a show, kickin’ ass and taking names later and
having a good time, which we always did.
CC: Excellent, and the
crowd loved it.
Plenty of drinking, and I don’t know what else they were doing in the
room ‘cause half the time I was getting equipment set up or tearing
down… setting up and tearing down, or having to haul up those little
stairs with another volunteer or two that dug them; I think they were
friends of Tommy’s or Vince’s… and that’s what I remember mostly. They
were out partying after the gig and I was handling equipment – that’s
what I did… and watch out after Mick.
CC: So it would pretty
much just be yourself handling the equipment?
JC: Yeh constantly. But in
the beginning we didn’t have money to pay for a full crew.
JC: Later on we had Barry
technically he became Tommy’s drum tech and… um…
CC: Tim Luzzi?
Oh yeh, Loser! That’s right. I always called him Loser – that’s cool.
Yeh, and he became the bass tech. I would make sure they were around
and I’d get the truck and we loaded equipment together and we’d drive
off, usually me following the truck to the next gig and then I’d have
my car and have to run around and had to pick up crap. They’d be, ‘Oh I
need this, oh I need that, oh I need this, oh I need that.’ And I would
be like, ‘Yep’ doing my 300 mile drive every gig night we had, just
about, as I got all the stuff we needed... Like an extra piece of
Styrofoam ‘cause they rehearsed cutting the head off and now they need
another piece of Styrofoam ‘cause they couldn’t piece that one back
together – that was the gig we had at… they did at the Santa Monica
Civic. The Elvira night, when Vince cut the head off the dummy.
Yeh, the Styrofoam head. I think that was the first night that Nikki
set himself on fire too – with pyro gel – if I remember correctly. I
think that might have been the first time because that was the first
time we had a big enough venue, I think, that would do it. I think that
was before we… Yeh, I don’t know the exact timelines any more but I
remember we were doing it up there… and in San Francisco...
and some other places. But, anyway… yeh the Starwood; it was a blur.
Yeh I’m drunk, I’m smokin’, I’m doing whatever I wanted to do to keep
us goin, and they’ll stay up all night 24/7 for three or four days… and
I’d be making sure their equipment gets to where it’s got to go… and
oh, they broke strings, so now I had to go down and get more strings…
and drum sticks – always drum sticks – Jesus Christ, that boy went
through drum sticks! Man… bam! There goes another stick. Bam! There
goes another stick. ‘Tommy we only have ten pair and you’re down to
eight of them already. We don’t have that much money!’
John, in the middle of 1981, Allan financed a two-bedroom apartment on
Clark Street just around the corner from the Whisky...
Oh yeh, I think Mick and I went there maybe two, maybe three times at
the most. Yeh it was a dump…. One of those rock’n’roll places: stuff
everywhere, all beat up and torn apart… I figured that’s what the boys
would do to it.
CC: Until they got
Mick and I only went there two or three times I think; I don’t think he
ever went there after a gig, or maybe we popped in one night and left.
We were not partiers. We were not; he’ll tell you.
CC: You just went back to
JC: Oh yeh.
CC: That was Linda
Correia he was with then yeh?
Windy, yeh. Windy… that’s what I called her; I don’t know if that was
her real name. She was kind of into guitar playing too but nothing ever
came of that at the time I don’t think. So anyway… he has always done
that, he’s already been there. We didn’t have to do all that stuff
[that the other Mötley guys were doing]. He didn’t need another girl
right now; he was happy with what he had.
Sure. John, what are your views on the music they were creating at the
time? Did you have any favourite songs, or any songs that you really
didn’t like, or in fact still don’t?
Anything they did, I liked. It didn’t make any difference to me, you
know. They obviously knew what would work and not work. I don’t think
there was really anything… I mean, everything they tried worked but
sometimes I’d go, ‘This is too weak, I don’t really like that one’ and
they’d go ‘Let’s try this one; I’ve got something else. Oh I’ve got
this; oh I’ve got something else over here’ you know, that type of
So, everything was good. I was happy... they’d just come along… and I’m
just sitting here, putting all my marbles in the bag and see what
happens here. My thing in life was to see that Mick made it. (long
The band then gained quite a reputation, for their live shows
especially, and their music. They just kept playing the local Hollywood
scene predominantly. And a bit of a label bidding war broke out. Can
you tell me what…
I really don’t know label bidding wars or nothing like that. The only
one I ever dealt with was Elektra – with Tom Zutant. I met him ‘cause
that was when he made the deal. That’s when I was helping Mick and I
brought Mick and met the guy, and then I kind of just waited for Mick
to finish. I was his chauffeur at that … you know, I was his chauffeur,
I was his buddy, I was everything.
Yeh. I wasn’t asking for more from a case of not knowing all the ins
and outs of the deal itself, but just the kind of vibe and the
sentiment from what you recall…
I always just knew that… everyone knew, and even Allan, that we had to
put something together. We needed to get the music out. This is it.
The time had come.
JC: Where you going to
find a better drummer? (long pause) Man, that boy could hit... hit
CC: Certainly could…
JC: And then Mick…
anything else was just the gravy. We already got the meat and potatoes.
We got someone singing who could make the girls woo and stuff... and
the guy to keep the beat and he had lyrics – hooks that would kill you
to death, you know?
It all hooked you. Everything was a hook man... So, everything they’d
ever done, I enjoyed. I just enjoyed sitting there listening. Some of
the best times, you know. Best times of my life.
Excellent. As the Too Fast For Love album started selling lots of
independent copies the label war broke out with Elektra and things
started to change.
CC: And that became… the
change of management took place.
The problem with Allan too was he just didn’t know, or couldn’t quite
get them to the next hump. He was trying but he just didn’t have it. He
wanted to, but then he got… he was being side-tracked; he was getting a
big head. He was always thinking, ‘I’ve got Mötley Crüe – the hottest
thing in Hollywood.’
He had the hottest band in Southern California.
CC: Yep… but he just
couldn’t take it to that next level.
Yeh, so… I still don’t know what he was getting into… I guess he was
getting into it… and he was snortin’ and stuff, but I don’t know for a
fact ‘cause I never saw him.
JC: I did my thing and he
did his thing… and I didn’t want him to know what I was doing, you know?
CC: Yeh exactly.
As far as I’m concerned he was still a straight-laced dude, you know. I
wasn’t into that shit. I heard stories. I can’t confirm; I can’t deny
them. I heard stories. I never asked him.
JC: And he’s dead so I
can’t ask him anymore. He died March 2nd of 1992. In fact, I
was just at his grave today.
JC: He’s just a couple of
graves up from my parents… that’s where my parents are buried.
Here in wonderful Grass Valley. I am currently living next door to the
house that Allan and Barbara had lived in at the time.
CC: And what was the
illness that he had?
Oh he had a brain tumour… and they cut him open and it was inoperable,
so… patched him up and… I saw him about… Oh, I think I was up in the
February on vacation and I went over and saw him and his speech was
pretty slurred but he was still coherent enough and alert enough to
know I was there and I spent a little time. And then I went home a
couple of days, then in about three days later they told me he died.
JC: But this bullshit that
they couldn’t find him or something – he was right here in Grass Valley. He was never anywhere
else but here in Grass Valley.
He wasn’t hiding from anybody... Couldn’t find him over all these years
or blah blah blah… whatever that bullshit, crap was that they have
written down about him. And I’ve never asked my sister if this is
bullshit or something; whatever about he had this gun and suicide and
all that crap – I can’t confirm or deny any of that but I have my
doubts about that. I don’t know that he ever owned a gun. I do not
believe my sister would have allowed him to own a gun. Our family does
not believe in guns; we hate guns.
CC: Right, OK.
OK – even though I had to shoot a gun in the military, that’s fine; I
was in the military. I don’t believe in guns; I don’t like them. The
little bit of property I have, I don’t… I have deer; I have squirrels,
and raccoons, and…
CC: Wow. We’ve just got
kangaroos down here mate.
JC: Well yeh, you’ve got
funny looking things. I have deer. You have all those weird animals.
CC: We do... called
You have that little piece of land that all the weird things never got
off of. They’ve just got in there and taken over… all those odd-ball
animals. That’s cool.
CC: So, Allan apparently
took his termination from the Mötley camp pretty hard…
JC: Well, he might have; I
don’t know. Again, once he left Southern California I
didn’t call him.
CC: Right, OK.
You know, when he broke his ties… news to me. I heard things… and Mick
mumbled things about things, but I don’t remember what he said ‘cause
most of those conversations I don’t want to remember. I told him I
wouldn’t remember and everything you could tell me, you don’t have to
worry about me telling anybody… so I don’t have a brain that remembers
much anyway. I just know generalities and things that went on that were
important I feel… but anyway… I mean… I knew after that Canadian thing,
I thought ’Oh Jesus
man, this thing is…’ What a fiasco that thing turned out to be
[referring to the Crüeing Through Canada tour in June 1982].
CC: You were on that
tour, were you?
Well yeh, I was in the truck. I was on the truck at the border man. I
didn’t know if I was going to get in. I have a previous conviction for
marijuana from back in 1972/73.
And I didn’t know if they were going to let me in. They didn’t even
hassle me about it. They hassled one of the other guys and were worried
he would get in and we’d be short somebody and we were there for about…
oh man, six or seven hours it must have been. And of course we were
broke because we were on a shoestring… we wanted to get some food...
you know, we just wanted to put on a show man… we’re just…
CC: Yep, rockin’ and
I was looking forward to getting the band somewhere, but it never got
that far… It was weird. I knew after that, when I came back and that
kind of blew up; I had my doubts whether Allan could take us any
further and tour or not. And I didn’t know how broke he was getting. He
did go bankrupt; he did declare bankruptcy afterwards.
I know that for a fact. And of course then my sister and him divorced
and eventually he did marry another Barbara but no big deal – that’s
fair. That was the house I went over when I saw him last.
CC: OK, and were you
still friends with Mick while that was happening?
JC: Oh god… No. I don’t
think… ’92? No, I didn’t talk to Mick.
CC: No sorry, I mean as
Allan and Barbara were divorcing.
Oh yeh, well I was still with Mick until… god… Mick and I were still
talking and I would see him occasionally. I went out to… when they were
doing recording out at Mickey Dolenz's old farm recording studio out in
the Valley; one of The Monkees… I was there when they did that thing.
And then I was up there… ‘cause I was driving him so I had to be there.
CC: Sorry, was that The
CC: Was that place called
Yeh, oh that’s right – The Annex. That’s right, exactly. Of course, I
drove him there because he didn’t have a car. Who else was going to get
him there? Everyone else lived in the Valley. We lived out by the beach
because we’re smart; where it’s cool and you’re going to get nice
breezes, instead of somewhere where it’s dastardly hot and smoggy.
But anyway, so we’d get wasted as we always did… and rockin’ and
rollin’… and party on… and it was when they were doing the next
recording out there by the Holiday Inn in the Valley you know… oh,
Cherokee was that? What that the name that had ‘rock’ in it?
CC: Yeh, I think so.
Anyway, that was when they told me not to come around any more. But I
still talked to Mick and stuff but they told me not to come around the
recording studio and stuff.
CC: Right, OK.
You’re not part of the enterprises, so they don’t want you around.
Even, ‘we don’t care what Mick wants; you’re not going to be around.’
CC: I see.
And of course Mick at that time, not having money again and kind of
like, doing it to make it… he did whatever he had to do and told me,
‘I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to make it you know? This is my last
chance basically.’ And I understood. So… but we were still friends.
JC: But I was at the US Festival…
CC: Yeh, the US Festival
Yeh that last US Festival when they played and I knew there was
something up then too because well, they were supposed to leave me a
backstage pass. They were not ready, so I snuck my way into backstage.
And management was surprised – Mick wasn’t – management was surprised
about that. They were like, ‘How’d he get back there?’ Well I’ve got my
ways; I can talk to people. You be nice to them; they can be nice to
CC: Yeh exactly.
JC: And I told them as I
rolled up and they said, ‘OK, go on.’
CC: Was that the last you
saw Mick… at the US Festival?
No, let me see. I’m just trying to remember. Last time I saw Mick has
got to be right before he stopped living at the apartment at Marina Del
I don’t know if they ever mention that. I don’t know… I never read
anything Mick really wrote in that Dirt book ‘cause they only did an
excerpt from the part that Vince told about the house and… then it cut
off after the first couple of paragraphs or so and… I don’t buy books.
I haven’t bought the book; I don’t have any need to buy the book. As it
came out I wasn’t really paying attention to them anyway.
I’m trying to think when it could be… trying to think; I was trying to
remember that because it was just after I started working at… somewhere
about ’84/’85 was the last time. He was living at that apartment in
Marina Del Ray and I had gone to this seminar back then that was all
about real estate write-downs and maybe use a friend’s collateral so
you can get a loan, so you can get this house and you can re-sell it
for a profit type of thing…
Anyway, you use someone else’s equity or wealth to help you build your
wealth type of thing. And I thought ‘Gees, I guess Mick owes me ‘cause
all I’ve done for him.’ I haven’t asked a cent from him. I never asked
anything from him – just friendship. So I was all jazzed up; I go over
his place and I thought ‘Wow. He has a little money, maybe he could
co-sign, I could get something started here and I can make some money.’
Then we can go do things, you know, and just do things together making
Anyway, it was just a wild hare I got so I went over to his place and
knocked on the door and a bunch of people were there and there were
doing… snorting, drinking, you know, stuff like that. And later I was
inside and was starting to explain what I had been up to and the idea I
had to try and help me out to make some wealth or whatever… and he just
went off on me! He was, ‘Why is everyone trying to take my money? Why
is everyone using me?’ He just freaked out!
CC: Mmm, wow.
He was my best… we called each other ‘Best Pals on the Planet’. So this
had to be at the time when he was really starting getting into ‘caine,
because he was not a cocaine user per se; he was a drinker.
And we all know why he drank; he drank ‘cause he was in pain and he
drank ‘cause he was a musician and that’s what people in rock’n’roll do
anyway… we party. He would more than most because of his pain [from
Ankylosing Spondylitis]. He’d had that ever since I’d know him too. He
didn’t know what it was back then, just there was… he thought maybe
arthritis or some kind of crap… too poor to find out back then. So… he
just went off in the end, and basically told me to get. So I left and I
waited a couple or three weeks – I don’t remember an exact timeline –
and eventually went back. He was gone; he’d moved out.
He may have gone back on tour or whatever but there was no forwarding
address. I think I might have contacted McGhee Enterprises or whoever
was handling them locally in Hollywood
and they would not give me information or get a hold of Mick… I don’t
think they ever did. Anyway, from that time forward until last year, I
hadn’t even seen him. Last year when they went back on tour, I got a
wild hare up my ass and a whole bunch of emotion in me and decided to
go see them in Reno. That was March 25 of
last year I believe.
My brother and I went. I made an attempt to try to get a hold of their
security at the gig. I went around back and I got a hold of the venue
security guy and he went over and talked to a big old mountain of a
guy, who I knew was either Mick’s personal bodyguard or part of their
security, who had his back to us. He was talking to him and talking to
him and the guy never even turn around to look at me.
And I’m not a very forceful guy. You know, I’m pretty passive… even
though I could talk crap like most people but you know… when shove
comes to push, or push comes to shove, I was like ‘ah screw it, let’s
go listen to them.’ So, we went to the concert – my brother and I – and
had a good time.
Enjoyed the show, yeh?
Yeh and eventually after the intermission I had worked myself up to
Mick’s side of the stage on the side. But, I guess I never really got a
hold of his attention or… I’m not going to make a real spectacle of
myself... and I tried to see if I could get his attention and he might
not have even saw me. Anyway, with the lights on you can’t see that far
into the rows usually anyway… and, I went home.
That’s when I got all this emotional stuff and I joined… even paid
money to join their stupid fan club and I started writing to see if
people could try getting in touch with Mick… and say I was trying to
get in touch with him but never have. Even if he got the information,
he hasn’t tried to get in touch with me so I wouldn’t know if he has or
Anyway, then I started reading things… excerpts from this and that…
thinking that doesn’t sound right, that doesn’t sound right – I need to
set the record straight. I’m not just this little friend. I was a lot
more than his little friend. They could not put a show on without me.
I worked the show. I put on the show. When you have the fog coming out;
I turned on that machine right there. I put the dry ice in there. I
took care of that. When you saw a strobe light come on; I did that…
before they got into the bigger venues where it’s controlled by a
control board and they have their light and sound man and all that
crap. Before then – I did all that.
You saw a shot of smoke – boom, boom, boom, boom – go off… when we got
in trouble up there in Concord and stuff; I set that off. In fact, I
even wired some of it up. I had to do other things so I had to have
somebody else finish the wiring it up, but I set that off.
CC: Excellent. John, what are your views
on Mötley’s achievements over the years up to now? How’s that make you
JC: Makes you feel good.
(long pause) I was staying until Mick made it. (long pause)
CC: Yep. Yeh he’s done
JC: He deserved to make;
he made it… So what if I got screwed. Oh well. Life goes on…
I didn’t ask for a contract. I needed a contract. I didn’t ask for one
because they were like, my friends. I didn’t think I needed one.
CC: How do you think
Barbara, your sister, views Mötley these days?
She doesn’t think about them. They’re not her cup of tea, so she
doesn’t have any thoughts on them. Good for them. She went on… we go
on. The Crouch’s don't mind; we just keep going.
CC: Certainly do. John,
just before we wind up, I’m just wondering if there’s perhaps any other
little facts or incidents that you feel has not been heard by fans
before that you’d perhaps like to share with them… anything we haven’t
Well, I do want to set one record straight too for my brother: he built
the drum riser.
CC: OK. Was that the
white one with the lights in it?
Yeh, the white… that big old, heavy, motherf@cking, god-damn, wooden
piece of shit that we carried around all the time. Yeh, that thing!
CC: That they sold to
Well, whatever, yeh. Yeh we sold it to Ratt when we got tired of it;
that’s right. That was enough – boy! It was god-awful heavy by the end…
that’s not one thing you want to lug around. There was one time at the
Whisky, I think it was, there was just two of us at six o’clock in the
morning getting that thing out of there and putting it into a rented
And at the same time, New Wave was starting, punk bands were starting,
kind of thing… Oh my god, with coloured hair and things… and they think
we’re bad in heavy metal – look at these people! We just wanted to get
the hell out of there. ‘Let’s get the hell out; these guys are freaks.
We might be insane, but these guys are freaks. We’re out of here.’
Where would it be stored in between gigs?
Oh, well we had a storage locker out in Sun Valley. This place also
rented Penske trucks, which we used to haul the equipment around
to various places. Yeh, all the equipment was out there and so we’d
gather up and meet out there, rent the truck, load it up and we were
either going to Santa Monica or we were going to the Country Club out
in San Fernando – that was a nice place to gig. That was a sweet. That
was the sweetest gig… The stage was the same level as on lift off. The
floor was sunken and the stage was on ground level so we’d just roll
CC: I see.
Everywhere else you go you’d be upstairs, downstairs, around… all over
the place you know. It was hell for people who had to carry long,
wooden, straight things, like that drum-riser! So, anyway that was a
sweet place. It was big. It was so much fun. That place was packed! Oh
god, that place was lovely.
I think we got 1500 people in there. People out the door… that was a
huge building. I guess for the first couple of Starwoods you had your
friends there but once the other people heard us they didn’t leave
In fact, I remember it was Y&T – I think you mentioned it – Y&T
was playing after us and most of the people left by the time they were
on. They were supposed to be the headliners and the place was like…
‘Oh, you can hear a pin drop.’
CC: Emptied out.
Yep. That was like second gig… I can’t remember. But anyway, that was
pretty cool. And I remember Mick and I were in the car the very first
time we heard Mötley Crüe played on the radio.
CC: OK. Wow.
JC: (long pause) Yeh that
CC: Yeh, I
JC: (long pause) Yeh man…
Anyway, my brother’s name is Richard.
CC: OK, yep – Richard
He told me – I actually just called him – that he drove Allan’s pickup
truck from construction, because he built houses and stuff… He actually
drove Allan’s pickup down from Grass Valley to Hawthorne where my
parents and I lived. Tommy and Vince might have helped build that drum
riser ‘cause I don’t think he stayed at my parents house more than an
hour and I’m sure it took more than an hour to build that damned thing.
So, my brother paneled that thing together and it was definitely
sturdy. It put up with a lot of abuse. It was heavy – god, man! He also
built the two boxes that Nikki or Vince would stand on and I would turn
the light on.
CC: And what happened to
the famous Mazda?
The Mazda? Oh, I eventually sold that. I actually gave it away; I
didn’t even sell it. It wasn’t worth anything; I think I gave it to a
guy. I ended up buying an ’84 RX-7 and now I’ve got an ’85 RX-7. I’ve
got my Mum’s ‘89 Oldsmobile Cutlass. So I’ve got an old folks car and
I’ve got my RX-7… So, let’s see if there was anything else. Oh, you
want to know a bit about the three variations of the album cover?
CC: Oh yeh.
Well I’m the one that drove out to Glendale, or wherever the presses
were… the printing guys were. That was out in Glendale somewhere and
most of the pyro stuff I got was always out in Glendale too and out
behind the… I don’t know if you know the Los Angeles area but we’ve got
the L.A. Zoo and then behind there that’s Glendale and there’s Eagle
Rock and, anyway… You can look it up on a map – I don’t know how much
you know about this place…
CC: I’m like one of those
strange Australian animals that has never left this country.
Oh OK! So I drove out there to the printers because the first hundred,
two hundred, three hundred, whatever it had to be, were ready because
the pressers out there 100 miles away were ready to press and they were
chomping at the bit. We had to do so many to get some… you had to print
three hundred or five hundred or whatever the lot was… whatever the run
was…. Everything’s on a budget.
Anyway I got out there and I saw the thing ‘cause we didn’t want to
hold it up or anything as it was at the pressers. So I opened it up and
thought, ‘Oh, shit! This isn't going to make it' after seeing that the
cover picture was faded black, almost gray, in color. Then I
looked over and noticed Vince's hair and really freaked seeing that it
was about a mile high and went ‘Shit. Look at Vince’s f@cking
hair! Oh God. Man, what have they done?’ And I’m standing there needing
to give them money so I told the person at the printers, ‘I can’t give
you money until I talk to Allan.’ So I got on the phone – I used their
phone ‘cause cell phones weren’t around then – as I was not going to
drive fifty miles each way in order to contact Allan to OK paying for
I should point out that Vince's hair was not their fault but that of
the photographer. However, the inferior printing of the front cover
was. So I told Allan it looked like they ran out of ink. The black
is not black… faded black. It looked like the ink was grey… blue / dark
grey and Vince’s hair – oh God. He was like, ‘What did they do? I told
them to airbrush them to pick them up.’ I told him it looked real bad
and he told me to go with what we had as there was no time to
wait for a new print run and to get them over to the pressing plant
ASAP. I said, ‘OK. You got it buddy.’ I was like my mouth’s shut
‘cause right now I’m working for you. That was another fifty or sixty
mile excursion across the greater Los Angles area basin. Allan
also told me not to say anything to the guys; that he would be down in
a couple of days and he would talk to the guys. As I was working
for him at this moment, I said no problem. It was at that get
together that Vince said that his hair looked like it was on
fire. So I paid for the covers, threw them into my RX3, and got
them to the pressers… and that was the first cover.
I still have one of those that’s sealed. I’ve also got one that somehow
Nikki Sixx signed… I was probably going to get all the guys to sign it
but got busy and I probably threw it in a box somewhere off to the side
so they never signed that one. So I did manage to hold on to one of
those completely sealed; I did hold on to one of those. I was like
‘I’ve got to keep one of these off to the side; someday it’ll be worth
something.’ I did get one of the later pressings signed by all
four of the guys.
And then to find out that my brother-in-law lied to me and had other
crap after he passed away. That got auctioned off recently; a year or
He lied to me and my sister both. He told her it didn’t exist; he told
me it didn’t exist. The other Barbara auctioned it off a little while
CC: That’s right, yep.
So I found out from somebody who I had a chat with on the Mötley Crüe
thing… told me about it and even sent me a list of what sold, prices it
sold for. I went, ‘Oh shit! That motherf@cker.’ Anyway, I knew there
was more stuff out there. I knew he wouldn’t have got ridden of it. I
went back and they were already gone. I went back to Crystal Studios
and they were already gone. The pressing place didn’t have anything…
‘cause I was going to snag them.
CC: Yeh right.
So anyway, some guy bought a heap of these that were unopened. He paid
about $10,000 for 10 of them or something… he paid about a thousand
bucks a piece for them. They paid $300 a piece for the 45s; I’ve got a
couple of those.
JC: The original ones;
not those remakes that they have out now.
CC: Yeh that’s right.
I’m lucky I have them. Most others got thrown out [into the audience].
I probably had a couple in my hand and I probably just threw them in a
box thinking, ‘Oh I might keep a couple of these; I don’t know if I’ll
play them. Some day they might be worth something.’
Right now I’m thinking why shouldn’t they be inducted into the Rock ‘n’
Roll Hall of Fame, right? If Blondie can make it, they can f@cking make
CC: Yeh… matter of timing
Twenty five years… I just went on their site and you have to be going
twenty five years from your debut album or something before you can be
inducted. That’s with the twenty five, so this year with the next
induction, they can actually be voted in…. or put up for it or whatever.
CC: Nominated, yeh.
JC: I don’t know what
they’re going to do about that but that’s what they said – after twenty
five and they’ve just had their 25th Anniversary. And I
missed out on that star too… that star they got in Hollywood. I really feel I should
have been a part of that.
CC: You didn’t go down
there for the ceremony?
JC: I didn’t even know
CC: Ah, well you should
read my site more often.
JC: How was I supposed
to? It wasn’t on the news.
CC: You’ve got to read
the DATES section of my website. That’s where
all the fans go to see what’s coming up…
JC: I didn’t even know
about that then.
CC: That’s where everyone
keeps up to date.
Well I’m here; I’m not hiding. My name’s in the phone book. I’m not
hiding and nowadays you can search for anybody on the Internet.
JC: I mean it’s not that
hard to find anybody.
CC: Have you
got photos from the old days?
I don’t have any pictures. I didn’t have a camera. I couldn’t afford a
camera; couldn’t afford film… couldn’t afford to develop them if I had
film. That wasn’t my purpose. My purpose was to get Mick number one. If
I was really into it I could have had a chance to get all kinds of
crap. I could have held on to all sorts of early t-shirts, and posters,
and… That wasn’t what I was there for.
JC: That wasn’t my
purpose. My purpose was to take Mick to number one.
CC: Well done. How did
you get your nickname of Stick?
Ah, 'Stick' came from the nickname of 'Thai Stick'. I spent
eighteen months in Bangkok, Thailand, from January 1969 and July 1970,
when I was in the army. After getting out of the military and after
having made friends with Vendetta prior to Mick's arrival, I had
scored some thai stick marijuana and shared some with the band. I
handed them this really skinny joint and they laughed at me saying that
this tiny joint would not be enough for everyone. I told them to
trust me that it only took a couple of hits and we proceeded to smoke
it. Now, thai stick takes a couple of minutes to come on but I did
not tell them that only to trust me and, after finishing, they had
to go back to play their next set laughing at me saying that they did
not feel a thing. However, upon getting on the stage, the joint hit
them and they all went, 'Wow!' and had a good time. So after
that, they started to call me 'Thai Stick'. After Mick arrived, he
changed my nickname to 'Thai' as this was the next phase of
Vendetta. And when Mötley came, the boys changed my nickname to
'Stick'. This was the third and final form of my nickname as it
will be recorded in the annals of rock and roll history.
Cool. So thank you very much for taking the time to contact me and set
the record straight; I think that’s important. I appreciate it very
JC: OK Paul. Feel free to
keep in touch. I’m glad you honoured your commitment; I do appreciate
CC: Integrity is very
JC: Um… I thought, yeh.
CC: Well it is with me.
JC: Some people will tell
you it is but… again, that’s water over a dam, under a bridge over
CC: Well keep looking
forward man and I wish you all the best.
You too. Bye.
initially emailed Chronological Crue wanting his story told so people
can come to their own conclusion as to what importance his contribution
was to the Crüe. He believes that most will see that he was
instrumental in the beginning of the Crüe and perhaps will come to the
same conclusion as he has; without him, there perhaps would not be a
Mötley Crüe as we know it today. Stick - on behalf of the Crüeheads
worldwide, thank you for your important contribution.
Check out these Motley Crue
more ?? Click to see the complete
listing of Chronological Crue interviews.
/ 81 / 82 / 83 / 84
/ 85 / 86 / 87 / 88 / 89
> The Eighties
90 / 91 / 92 / 93 / 94
/ 95 / 96 / 97 / 98 / 99
> The Nineties
00 / 01 / 02 / 03 / 04
/ 05 / 06 / 07 / 08 / 09
10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / Home
©2014-1995 Paul Miles. All
Chronological Crue is the intellectual property of Paul Miles.
No part of this site may be used or reproduced in any part whatsoever
except in the context of a review with an appropriate credit reference.