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At the stroke of midnight on Friday 7th July 2000, the day when Mötley’s New Tattoo was about to be released in Japan, Chronological Crue spent an hour and a half yakking on the phone with the Crüe’s recuperating drummer Randy Castillo. Join us for this entertaining recap on the Randyman’s rock’n’roll history, which contains mountains of humorous and eye-opening insights. We start with his first breath.

Chronological Crue: You were born on the 18th of December. Is that right?

Randy Castillo: Yep, same day as Keith Richards and Stephen Spielberg. That’s pretty good company.

Randy in Motley (pic courtesy Motley.com)CC: Definitely.

RC: Not the same year and the same day.

CC: What year was it that you were born in?

RC: Ahh, when was I born man? Well let’s put it this way. My age is somewhere between zero and death.

CC: You were born in Albuquerque, in New Mexico and took up music at quite a young age when you started playing drums.

RC: Yeh well actually I started playing trumpet. My Dad was a musician. I played trumpet for like four years before I realised that the kind of bands that I liked, didn’t have trumpet players. Actually I was playing with my Dad. My Dad played Mariachi music... Spanish music. So I started playing in bands with him; playing Mexican music... Mariachi music.

CC: Right OK.

RC: Yeh. It was a whole other world man. I grew up with all kinds of music. My Mom’s Spanish and my Dad’s Mexican and Native American.

CC: And do you have brothers and sisters?

RC: I have nothing but sisters.

CC: Really. How many sisters do you have?

RC: Four sisters. Me and my Dad against five women.

CC: I’m sure you were able to tough it out.

RC: I never had to do dishes though and they never had to do the yard. That was my gig. Empty the garbage and do the yard. That was my job.

CC: Your first rock band was called The Wumblies.

RC: Yeh, that was my first real rock band.

CC: Were The Wumblies around for long? Were there any releases?

RC: Yeh actually that band was together for quite a while. That was my first road experience. We packed all our shit in a van and just hit the road and started booking ourselves in clubs all over the country. It was a great experience because we were playing pretty much four 45 minute sets a night. Talk about a great way to get your chops into great shape.

CC: Yeh, definitely.

RC: We played a lot of originals but we were great at copying bands. I mean we’d do Black Sabbath and we sounded like Black Sabbath. We’d do Yes and we sounded like Yes. We had so much material. Sometimes we’d do a set of [Led] Zeppelin, a set of [Black] Sabbath, a set of Jethro Tull and a set of Yes. People would just go, "Wow!" We started using pyro in clubs and brought a really great show to clubs. It was a great experience. We had high ambitions but eventually we just became a big club band and couldn’t get past that so I just packed my bags and left for L.A.

CC: Yeh right. You later supported The Cars on your first big major arena tour.

RC: Yeh that was… I moved to L.A. about 1981 and about a year later a friend of mine was playing in a band called The Motels and their drummer got real sick with a heart condition. So, it was kind of like the situation with me and Samantha [Maloney] from Hole right now, because you know I got sick right before the tour and so she’s covering for me. So back then, this drummer got sick. Drummers are always getting sick!

CC: [laughing] Nothing to do with Spinal Tap I’m sure?

RC: [laughing] You know what man, it’s true! Life imitates art for sure. So yeh, this guy got sick about three days before the tour started. So I had three days to learn about an hour show. So I was just, to hell with it, I’ve got to do it.

CC: Solid yeh?

RC: Slept with the album 24 hours a day, you know. Tape and rehearsal six hours a day. Crazy! But it was a great experience. It was my first experience playing in front of big arenas. Huge crowds.

CC: Was that a real goal for you? Is that something that you grew up really wanting to do?

RC: Well that was part of the goal. I mean the real goal was to be as great a player as I could play and go as far as I could go. Without brakes man! I mean, just go for it.

CC: Excellent.

RC: So that was just part of the process and it was part of the learning process. It was great man. It was a great experience because you get thrown into the fire right there and you really get off.

Randy in a games arcade, Japan '99 (pic courtesy Brenden Thomson)CC: Yeh, certainly.

RC: And I jumped into the ring. It was great. All it did was fuel my desire man because it’s such an addictive gig. When you get that immediate audience response; that instant gratification. It’s more addictive than any drug.

CC: Yeh it’s a huge buzz.

RC: It’s like prize-fighters that used to retire, you know. They’re past their prime and still they love the audience; that adrenalin rush.

CC: Rush junkies.

RC: Fortunately you know, musicians can last until they drop. Prize-fighters just drop. There’s no such thing as an age limit.

CC: Just look at Keith Richards again.

RC: Yeh, exactly. I know people that just improve and get better and better and better. I mean, I saw the [Rolling] Stones last year and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life man. I actually see the Stones every tour. I remember seeing them when Guns 'N Roses were really big. Guns opened for the Stones and Guns were great in that era, like ten years ago. They came out and I was like, "what a great band" and then the Stones came out and it was like, "well you’ve seen the boys do it, now watch the men." You know, that was the difference. It was like the man's band. They’re pretty amazing. So yeh, anyway, that was it. The Cars was the first experience and that led to Lita Ford.

CC: That’s right. Back in the early eighties there, Mötley formed…

RC: Yeh they were starting out.

CC: Yeh, I think it was actually backstage at one of Lita’s concerts; backstage at Los Angeles that you were introduced to Nikki and Tommy.

RC: Right. Actually it was at this place called Magic Mountain and Tommy came with Nikki to see the band and Lita and stuff. I had known Tommy was good. I had seen Mötley before. That drummer was hot. He looks great and can spin the sticks. He does all the same things that I do, you know.

CC: Yeh, sure.

RC: He came to the show and I really laid on the full boar gas because I knew he was out there, so I just went nuts that night. I did a solo and I was standing on my drums and hanging upside down, and he was like, "Dude, man. You’re like me man." You know, it was crazy and we just became friends from way back then, and we had a kind of mutual admiration thing going. I’ve always been a fan of Mötley from day one man. I was like, that band is fucking great.

CC: Did you see them in the Too Fast For Love days? Like in those very, very early days?

RC: Yeh, at a club called the Starwood out here, which is no longer in existence. It was the coolest club that ever existed in L.A. I saw Randy Rhodes and Quiet Riot there. I saw Aerosmith there. I saw Cheap Trick. I saw Blondie and The Ramones. I mean that club had all the bands. Elvis Costello. It was amazing man. I never went home without getting laid.

CC: Well that’s always a bonus at the end of the night!

RC: Yeh. I met Randy Rhodes there. I remember right after he joined Ozzy, he came back after finishing the record. They had a Quiet Riot reunion. So I had to see this guy, as I heard great things about him. So I went really early and I went upstairs to the Dockety. That’s where the artists hang out and I knew a guy that worked the gate there, so he let me upstairs. Nobody was up there, it was all quiet. So I walked into the bar and I was just standing there and this real tiny little guy that I thought was a girl at first walks up and stands right next to me and asks the guy for a beer. He looks at me and goes, "Hey how are ya doing?" I said, "Yeh I’m doing good man. My name’s Randy." He goes, "Hey! So am I. I’m Randy too. Randy by name, Randy by nature." Then he bought me the beer. He said, "Let me buy you a beer man. It’s on the house, you know, I’m with the band." I said, "I know who you are man." So then I asked him about the Ozzy thing, and he said, "Oh it’s a trip man. We’ve just been in some kind of castle in England." You know, he just said, "Ozzy’s insane… and it was great experience." That was it, you know. I just talked to him briefly. That was my brief meeting with Randy Rhodes.

CC: That was the only time, hey?

RC: Yeh. I just talked to him briefly. I didn’t get to talk to him again. Then it was too late man… and then I ended up in the band.

CC: Wow.

RC: Yeh, there’s a lot of irony in this whole thing. There’s a lot of irony in this whole world, period.

CC: Yeh well you’ve certainly seen a lot of that because it was a couple of years after that when you actually got a call from Tommy [Lee] and I believe Bobby Blotz [Blotzer] from Ratt. They gave you a call and said that Ozzy needed a drummer.

RC: Yeh, exactly. I had moved back to New Mexico. I had fallen in love with a girl out there in my hometown, so I had just moved back there. I was done playing with Lita. I had enough with her. It wasn’t Lita or her songs; it was basically the people that managed her back then. It was going the wrong direction. I wasn’t being paid. They weren’t returning my calls, and I was like, "You know what? F*ck this."

CC: Yeh… had enough.

RC: I work hard to get here and I don’t need this bullshit. So I moved back to New Mexico and packed up my drums. Actually they were Lita’s drums but they owed me money so I kept them and I moved back to New Mexico. My girlfriend was like an expert skier. She took me skiing one day and I was just like bothered because I couldn’t keep up with her man. It was a drag. So I was skiing way past my ability.

CC: [laughing] Way faster than your ability!

RC: [laughing] Yeh, yeh. Exactly! I went out of control and I hit a hill and my ski stuck in the snow and it twisted my leg and broke my leg. I heard it snap and that was it. I ended up going to the hospital and getting a cast up to my knee. Two days later I’m lying in bed; it’s four in the morning. I’ve got my knee up in the air to keep the blood away from the toes. The phone rings and its Tommy and Bobby at this party. They go, "Dude, man. We’re at a party man. We’ve got somebody that wants you to play with him. We’ve got you a gig dude" you know. I was like, "F*ck, sounds good but I have a broken leg." "Ah never mind man, let me put him on" you know. They put Ozzy on and I didn’t know who it was as I couldn’t understand what the hell he was saying man. [At this point Randy breaks into a stuttering Ozzy impersonation with incredible accent likeness]

CC: [laughing]

RC: Anyway I figured it out. He goes, "This is Ozzy, you c*nt." I was laughing already man. I was like, "Wow f*ckin’ Ozzy! Cool man." He told me, "you’re a good drummer man. I’ve been looking for a drummer for two months and I haven’t been able to find anybody that I like." So I said, "F*ck I’d loved to do it man. It’d be the opportunity of a lifetime but I’ve got a f*cking broken leg man." He goes, "I’m f*cking cursed!" [laughing] He was like, "Damn man, can’t get a break." He said, "Look, fly out tomorrow. I just want to meet you and check you out. I don’t care if you just bang on the table. I just want to meet you and all that." He said there’d be a ticket for you so I went the next day.

CC: Cool.

RC: Yeh. One of the roadie guys picks me up and takes me to the rehearsal place and I’m thinking it’s just going to be me. So I get to this place called Maidens rehearsal place and there’s a line of about fifteen guys leading up to this doorway. All drummers. I recognised about half of them. They were all the L.A. hotshots, right. There was like Fred Coury, Jimmy DeGrasso, Eric Singer, all standing there in this line. There was like a caval car. They’re all holding drumsticks and playing on their leg and stuff. A car pulls up and I get out of the car man, with crutches and a cast and hobbled over.

CC: [laughing]

RC: The roadie takes me right through. I didn’t have to stand in line. He takes me right through to the f*cking room. He said, "Ozzy wants to hear you right away." I’m like, "OK." I go in and Sharon’s there and Ozzy, and some guy... God I can’t remember who it was. They say, "Well go up and play."’ You know, "Just try and play." I’m like, "Oh F*ck." I look down at my toes and they’re already turning purple, you know. They were like swollen.

CC: Yeh, and meanwhile the other hotshots outside are thinking they’ve got the gig.

RC: I thought those guys, the drummers in the line, are just going, "Ah, no problem!"

CC: [laughing] Exactly.

RC: [laughing] Yeh he ain’t got it! And they were right man. I didn’t have it. Because of my leg, I couldn’t use my right foot. They put two microphones on it and cranked it. I said, "You guys have got to mike this really good." I could barely hit the bass drum man. So they miked it up and I could barely hit it. It was just so painful. I could play with my hands and I remember Jake E. Lee started playing this riff, which became The Ultimate Sin; the opening riff.

CC: Right OK.

Click to purchase!RC: He said, "Put a beat to this." So actually what I did was, I put the beat that ended up on the album [imitates the drumming sound] and he loved that beat. He went, "Man that’s cool. That’s it man" you know and Ozzy was, "Yeh that’s great." He said, "Can you solo?" I go, "Yeh I can solo." Actually he then said, "Do you have any videos of you?" and I go, "Yeh. I can get them from a friend of mine who’s got copies here." So he said, "Come to my hotel tonight so we can see them." Needless to say I’m… I’m jumping, but I’ll tell you the rest of the story. I played and did The Ultimate Sin and I tried to play a solo and they just came up… Ozzy and Sharon were like, "You know what, thank you so much. We appreciate you coming out." Ozzy was like shaking my hand going, "Under these circumstances I wish it could have been different, but I need a drummer right now and obviously you can’t play for another two or three months."

CC: Yeh.

RC: So I said, "Yeh I’m screwed here man. It’s great meeting you." I was just like shaking in my shoes because I mean like – Ozzy! I was so into Sabbath.

CC: Sure.

RC: Just to meet Ozzy; I was just happy. I asked him for an autograph, you know. I shook his hand and walked outside and he followed me outside. He says, "Come here!" and I go, "What?" and he goes, "Come out here to the car." So we went out to this car and all these guys are standing there watching me and Ozzy walk out together. So we go around the back of the building and get into his rent-a-car, right?

CC: Yeh?

RC: And he says, "Come on in." So we get in and we started talking. He goes, "...You got any drugs?" [laughing]

CC: [laughing]

RC: I go, "Like, well what do you mean?" He goes, "You got any pain pills?" I go, "Yeh I got Percodan." He goes, [in a perfect Ozzy accent] "Heaven!… Fantastic."

CC: [laughing]

RC: I go, "You want some?" He goes, "Yeh!" It’s like, "Here man." He goes, "You want some waffle?" You know waffle’s like blow right. So, "Like sure man. I’ll do some." So we kind of traded. [laughing] So that’s pretty much how we bonded man.

CC: Yeh.

RC: We bonded over like…

CC: Dealing drugs.

RC: Dealing drugs, yeh! We ended up just blabbing for like twenty minutes. So when we walked back out, these guys were kind of scratching their heads looking at us, you know. He was like, "Hey goodbye man, I’ll talk to you later and we’ll keep in touch." So I blew it off and chuck it off as it was bad timing. I went back to New Mexico and was just pushing it to get well. Hey I forgot to tell you about that video!

CC: [laughing]

RC: [laughing] Well that night I went to the hotel and I dropped off Lita Ford’s video, right? The song was Gotta Let Go.

CC: Oh OK. If you really want to rock tonight.

RC: Yeh! Exactly! So what happened was he goes, "Well I don’t have a VCR in my room but there’s a Tower Video right across from the hotel." So we walk over to Tower Video. Me, Ozzy and Sharon and we go in, and it’s funny as shit because the guys that’s working there behind the desk is Slash!

Randy with Zakk Wylde (pic courtesy Motleyland.com)CC: Oh you’re joking?

RC: Yeh! You know, he was like, "Oh my God!" He had the hat on and everything. He was like, "Oh God. It’s Ozzy man."

CC: [laughing]

RC: And Ozzy goes, "Can you play this video tape?" and Slash put it in the videotape, on beta… and this was long before Guns ['N Roses] and that.

CC: Yeh, yeh.

RC: It was like 1984… No, no, this was late ’85 early 86.

CC: Yeh about mid ’86 is when you went over to Scotland I think.

RC: Oh OK. It was ’85. Right before we recorded. So yeh, it was Slash man. Pretty funny. So I moved back to New Mexico and Ozzy and Sharon loved the video. They thought, "Man, great. Looked great. You’ve got the broken leg but we need the drummer now." So a little over two months later I was like; home. I had taken the cast off myself and was working my leg out and I was playing and it was fine and the phone rings. This was a weird day for me. Very heavy ‘cause when it rains it pours. The phone rings and it was Ozzy and he goes, [in that Ozzy accent again] "How’s the leg?" [laughing] I go, "The leg is great." "Good, you’re flying out tomorrow." So I said. "Great!" They were in Scotland at this point.

CC: Ah OK. Excellent.

RC: Yeh, they got my ticket and I flew out to Scotland. Later on that day I get a call from David Coverdale. Actually it wasn’t David Coverdale. Sorry, it was Steve Vai who called me up.

CC: To join [David Lee] Roth!

RC: And said, "You might be interested in joining Whitesnake" who was just forming back then.

CC: Oh OK.

RC: And I go, "F*ck. Hell yeh, it sounds great but I just accepted and I’m going out to try with Ozzy. If things don’t work out I’ll let you know." And then… NO! It wasn’t Steve Vai, God what am I saying. It was Steve Vai for David Lee Roth.

CC: Yeh! It was Steve Vai with David Lee Roth!

RC: Yeh, David Lee Roth had left Van Halen then. That’s what happened! Damn, I got it all back the front.

CC: That’s alright!

RC: And it was David Coverdale that called me up and asked me to join Whitesnake. All in one day. Ozzy, Steve Vai and Coverdale. I was like, "F*ck. Where were they when I needed them?"

CC: Did you consider the other offers?

RC: Well, yeh. I thought at that point David Lee Roth with Van Halen was at the top, the very top of everything, and Ozzy was still kind of working his way up. I mean Bark At The Moon had been big but Ozzy’s Bark At The Moon sold more records later on than it did when it originally came out. It was the same with Whitesnake. The album had been recorded and I had heard the album. I thought it was an amazing album man. What was that album with Aynsley Dunbar and all that… had Thrill of The Night on it? God, what was the guitar player’s name?

CC: Umm… Vandenberg… or was that later?

RC: Hmm, with Carmine. Ah, it draws a blank in my head right now. [laughing] He’s a good friend of mine. [Note: It was John Sykes.] Anyway, needless to say, fortunately I didn’t bother with these others that went on. I flew to Scotland and played with Ozzy.

Randy back in the day (pic courtesy motleyland.com)CC: Yeh awesome.

RC: And it ended up the rest is pretty much history.

CC: With Ozzy, you also played the Moscow Music Peace Festival.

RC: Yeh that was with Mötley as well.

CC: That’s right.

RC: That was one of the best experiences I ever had. When it’s put, "What’s the coolest... your best memories of Ozzy?" it probably comes in at number one. That and then Castle Donington.

CC: What year did you play Donington? Was that ’84?

RC: That was ’87.

CC: Oh yeh, you weren’t with Ozzy until later of course.

RC: Def Leppard were on it ‘cause I remember it was Rick Allen’s return after losing his arm. So yeh that was pretty special man. I was friends with Rick before and he was very cool. For him to pull through like that, I just think that was f*cking amazing. Nothing short of a miracle. That Castle Donington experience was like unbelievable. I’m pinching myself onstage. I’m with Ozzy and there’s like a 100,000 crazy leather jacketed Brits man; moving in one huge… more like a heartbeat all at once. Jumping up and down.

CC: Wow.

RC: [laughing] Bottles of piss flying everywhere. That’s the most insane crowd I’ve ever seen in my life - Castle Donington. I mean, they toss them all. Insanity. They don’t give a shit if it’s mud, or whatever. They have a f*cking good time and you just couldn’t stop them.

CC: So you think that the Donington is so much better than OzzFest is nowadays?

RC: Well I don’t know because I haven’t played an OzzFest. I haven’t been to an OzzFest, but I’ve played with Ozzy long enough, so I know what it’s like.

CC: Yeh, sure.

RC: The Moscow Music Peace Festival was what I thought probably one of the greatest musical line-ups ever man.

CC: Definitely.

RC: I mean for its time, it was.

CC: It’s interesting that most of the musicians that played that day still refer to it as that ultimate experience.

RC: It was man! All of us were together on a plane. We flew in from L.A. to New York to London then onto Moscow. It was a huge massive party on the plane man with all the bands, and MTV was there.

CC: That’s right.

RC: It was like a bunch of gremlins on a plane. Originally it was supposed to be an alcohol-free event. Once all the bands found out there was going to be no booze man, everyone ran for the duty free and bought way more than enough booze, so it just became insanity. A tube of insanity! Flying tube of complete insanity!

CC: And Mötley at that stage were…

RC: They were sober! They were the only band on the plane that wasn’t drinking.

CC: So there were people trying to get them to drink?

RC: Ah, I think the temptation for them must have been pretty intense because everybody was just going nuts and they’re just like the calm in the middle of the storm. I remember seeing them, honest to God, I can’t believe Mötley Crüe. Of all people, you know, are the ones that are sober on this plane.

CC: Yeh bizarre.

RC: Like, what’s wrong with this picture ‘cause the Crüe had the reputation to be crazier than anybody.

CC: Definitely. Yep they certainly earned that over the years.

RC: They were. They definitely were crazier than anybody over the years. I mean the stories that Ozzy told me about the Bark At The Moon Tour. It’s like, f*ck yeh, Mötley was there every step of the way man. Like, Ozzy is crazy but he said, "They matched me, pound for pound at being as crazy as me." Eventually they had to end touring together ‘cause they were probably going to end up killing each other.

CC: Back in those days, were you friendlier with any of the individual members of Mötley more than others?

RC: Yeh I was friendly… I actually didn’t know Nikki hardly at all. We very rarely spoke. He was basically, "Hey how ya doing’ kind of thing." So I didn’t really know Nikki and I thought Nikki had this kind of distant thing about him and a lot of people get the wrong idea about Nikki. He’s almost kind of scary. He’s an imposing figure. He’s really big. He’s tall and he’s got the ultimate rock star hair man.

CC: Definitely.

RC: So I was kind of weary of Nikki, but Tommy had this outgoing really friendly thing and so did Vince and I hung out with them. Saw them in L.A. all the time. We had some mutual friends and we would go out and party together. So I was more friends with Vince and Tommy than I was with Nikki and Mick.

CC: Well it doesn’t surprise me that you didn’t mention Mick until now.

Randy - New Tattoo (pic courtesy motley.com)RC: Mick is like the ultimate mysterian. He’s like Mr. Mysterioso. Even now I can’t say that I truly know Mick but I love the guy. One thing I do know about Mick is he’s a guy with the least amount of bullshit factor going on. There’s no bullshit to Mick. He’s like the guy that you know will be there without any doubt. He’s as sturdy as the Rock of Gibraltar.

CC: Excellent.

RC: It reflects in his playing. He’s just like always on man. His playing is like… he plays like a drummer, rhythmically.

CC: Yeh he’s really under-rated I reckon.

RC: Oh totally! His sound! He’s the only guitar player I’ve ever played with that would be louder than Zakk [Wylde] and have more meat to his sound than anybody. I thought Zakk... nobody ever played louder than Zakk, until I got into Mötley and Mick was moving my hair man. My hair was moving [laughing].

CC: It also doesn’t surprise me that you say you were hanging out with Vince a fair bit at that stage because it was pretty much just after you got back from the Moscow Music Peace Festival that you were actually in your first band with him, which was called Black Plague.

RC: [laughing] God, you know all those little dark secrets don’t ya?

CC: [laughing] Certainly do mate!

The Adventures of Ford FairlaneRC: Yeh actually that wasn’t a real band, that was a movie Ford Fairlane.

CC: Yeh The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

RC: Yeh Black Plague! Vince had called me. He goes, "Dude I need to have this band for this movie and it’s up to me to put together." So I said, "F*ck yeh, I’d love to do it."

CC: Oh OK, I didn’t realise it was Vince that had to put that together.

RC: Yeh. Got paid a shitload of dough to just go and have fun for a week and a half. Doing a movie is like doing a video. There’s about twelve hours of sitting around to every one hour of actually working. We’d go down to the hotel and hang out at the bar and they’d call us when they were ready for us. That was it. We were getting paid for just hanging around. Paid really good money.

CC: Did you share any drinks with Freddy Kreuger?

RC: Ah, yeh! Yeh! Yeh! Bob English is his name right?

CC: Robert Englund.

RC: Robert Engund, that’s right! Yeh, he was cool.

CC: And what about Priscilla Presley?

RC: Oh man, I almost crushed her hand!

CC: [laughing]

RC: We were shooting the funeral scene at this place here in L.A. called Aleutian Park and all the people that were being shot that day had to go park in this parking lot and the show van would come and pick us up and take us to the shoot, which was in this mock cemetery. So we’re in the van… piling in the van… just waiting on Priscilla. I was the last guy to get in the van. I grabbed the handle. It was one of those sliding doors on the side of the van. I grabbed it and started to slam the door shut and the driver goes, "WAIT!" He grabs my arm and says, "Don’t shut the door!" She had her hand, right there on the door about to climb in the van and that door literally stopped about and inch and a half to her fingers. Would have crushed her fingers! She sat down next to me and I was like; I felt so embarrassed man. I apologised to her. I said, "God. Mrs. Presley, I’m so sorry! I could have hurt you so bad" and she was just the sweetest thing, "Don’t worry. You didn’t see me. It’s OK man. It didn’t happen so everything’s fine now." I’m like oh my God! I’m sitting next to the wife of Elvis man and I almost crushed her hand. [laughing] I almost deformed her for life.

CC: [laughing]

RC: So that was a near death experience for me man.

CC: Definitely.

RC: So it was great. Making that movie was great. That was my first band with Vince.

CC: About six or seven years after that Vince actually called on you again to join his band.

RC: Yeh ’96. I was in a band called Red Square Black which was a very good band. If you can find that album, go out and get it! It was Limp Bizkit and Nine Inch Nails before any of that shit was happening.

CC: Right. Is it available anywhere?

RC: Ah, I have a few copies myself, you know. I can’t find it right now. Actually, when we were out in Japan, people came up to me and they had the album. I was like, "Where the hell did you get this?" It’s actually on the Zoo label, which is distributed by BMG so if you can some how find it or get it on import. It’s called Red Square Black. It’s a really good record and from what I understand it might be re-released on Interscope. There’s a possibility it might be out there somewhere. Anyway that was with John Lowery who is now Johnny 5 from Marilyn Manson.

CC: Right OK. Terrific bloke John 5. I actually met him when he came out here a year or two ago and we caught up with him at the airport. He actually came back off the bus and walked right up to my son and gave him a guitar pick.

RC: Ah cool. Yeh he’s a good kid man. I really like him a lot. Yeh we had this band and eventually the label didn’t do their job and it fell apart. So I was sitting around doing nothing and I get a call to join Vince’s band… at least try out. So of course man. I jumped at the chance and I went out and fitted right in ‘cause I was a fan of Mötley, so I new all the material.

CC: Yeh definitely. So you took over from Vikki Foxx wasn’t it?

RC: That’s right. I did a tour with them and you know it was OK. It wasn’t meant to last basically, and he ended up coming back to Mötley.

CC: That’s right. At the expense of John Corabi.

RC: Oh yeh, exactly.

CC: I know you recently saw John play with Union. Had you seen John play over the years when he was in The Scream?

RC: Oh I saw him with the Crüe. Anytime I got a chance to see Mötley I’d go to the show, even if it meant driving the 80 miles or 100 miles right down to San Diego, Las Vegas, San Bernardino or wherever they were playing, I’d see them ‘cause I just loved the band.

CC: Excellent.

RC: So I saw them with Corabi and I thought it was good but it wasn’t Mötley. It wasn’t what I loved about Mötley. With John they went a little more experimental. Grunge was really getting big and I think they were feeling a little bit out of the groove.

CC: Pantera was happening pretty hard at that time too.

RC: Yeh, yeh. They really got away from what the essence of Mötley was and I think it worked against them and record sales suffered. But you know what, they weathered the storm. They stuck to their guns. They stuck there; they hung in there and eventually Vince came back and I was glad. I was like, "Oh cool. It’s going to be Mötley again." Then Generation Swine came out and I thought, "Ouch! Is it Mötley? It’s still not Mötley." I mean it’s good. It’s a good record but its not Mötley Crüe. It’s more of like a… I thought this would make a great Killing Joke record.

CC: Well I guess Mötley’s music always changed a lot from album to album.

Randy in a Karaoke club Japan '99 (pic courtesy Brenden Thomson)RC: Nikki is always wanting to try new things. He wants to be like at the cutting edge of things. He’s great in that way.

CC: I think probably what the main difference was, back in the earlier days their music did change a lot but it was more so the image of the band that would change more.

RC: Right!

CC: And I think back in the 90’s, I think it was more that the image was staying pretty similar, but it was actually the sound that was changing a lot.

RC: Exactly yeh. Well the whole music scene was changing a lot too man.

CC: Definitely.

RC: And you know the things that changed came and went and the rock just remained there. The rock just remained as solid as ever. It’s like the rock. Even if it’s under the water and you don’t see it, it’s still there. The water will dry up and the rock is still there you know. That’s basically what it was. Grunge came and went and now Rap Metal has come in and is going, and the rock rolls on. It’s still there.

CC: What’s your take on all those bands that are really popular at the moment?

RC: Oh God you know, I saw these guys that used to put makeup on and play really glam and now they’re bald and have baseball caps on backwards and are boppin’ around. You know, it’s funny man, but everyone kind of goes through… they evolve and they morph into whatever they’re eventually going to become. It’s like a trend. Every other band on the block these days is doing rap metal and it’s getting to the point of, "God give me a f*cking break." After a while you want to tell the guy to shut the f*ck up. I’m tired of some guy screaming and talking. He’s screaming all this shit, so like, "Alright man, shut up now. I want to hear some music!"

CC: Yeh exactly, let’s party!

RC: Yeh. I mean I love Korn man. They’re like the true… the band that started this whole thing. I love them, but there’s so many other bands doing the exact same thing, I’m just like, "Oh man, enough."

CC: Yeh there’s too many now that’s for sure. Back when [Generation] Swine came out in ’97, there was an album that came out that you featured on called Cage.

RC: Who did?

CC: You! Called Cage.

RC: Cage? Who’s this?

CC: With Carmine and Vinnie Appice and yourself. Tony Franklin and James Kottak all playing drums.

RC: I know all those guys, yeh. What about it?

CC: You were on that album.

RC: I was?

CC: Yeh, self titled called Cage.

RC: I never heard it, and if I was, I don’t even remember recording it.

CC: Right OK.

RC: Let’s see, um. What was it?

CC: Jeff Pilson, Phil Soussan and Sean McNabb on bass.

RC: Oh OK, now I remember! It was a whole bunch of L.A. guys just recording different songs. I can’t remember what I did on that thing ‘cause I never heard the record. I’m sure I didn’t play on the whole record, I don’t know.

CC: Nah there was about four drummers on there and about nine tracks.

RC: Yeh, oh I’ll have to ask Carmine when I see him, "Hey, get me a tape of that." He never sent me an album. You know more about my career than I do man!

CC: [laughing] Did Carmine put it together?

RC: Yeh I think it was pretty much his pet project at the time, yeh. I do a lot of tribute records too. I did an AC/DC tribute, an Aerosmith one...

CC: An AC/DC one? Was that Thunderbolt?

RC: Umm… let’s see. I can’t remember what the AC/DC was called.

CC: You did the Aerosmith one which was Not The Same Old Song & Dance.

RC: Yeh I did Sweet Emotion. I just did a Metallica one. I did Master Of Puppets. That was a tough one man. I have new respect for Metallica and their musical abilities ‘cause that was a tough one to just walk in and… I hardly listened to it that much but when I had to play with it, it’s like f*cking hell, it’s a lot to learn, you know?

CC: Just don’t tell Nikki that you think Lars is a good drummer.

RC: [laughing] Well, you know, he’s alright. I’ve got other favourites. I’ll be a little bit diplomatic about it.

CC: [laughing] Excellent.

RC: I think they’re a good band though.

CC: Certainly. I agree mate.

RC: You can’t deny success you know. If a band is successful, you know what, more power to them because it’s f*cking hard to make it. It’s really hard. And to be as successful as they are; they deserve it.

CC: I actually saw them here a few years ago and they were great.

RC: Yeh it was Metallica that opened up my first tour with Ozzy, so I got to see Metallica about 250 times that year. The Ultimate Sin tour; they were the opening act. So I saw them every night.

Click to purchaseCC: Awesome. You also did some work with Bret Michaels from Poison.

RC: I did that one song on his solo album.

CC: That’s right, Letter From Death Row. How did that come about?

RC: His manager knew me from Ozzy, I guess. Just called me up one day and goes, "Hey Bret would like you to play on his album." I said, "Great!" There was about a two and half year period there where I was doing absolutely nothing. I actually went out… a friend of mine builds houses and there was no band. There was nothing happening and I was like, "You know what? F*ck this man. I’m just going to like bide my time." There was nobody I really wanted to play with, except Ozzy… and I ended up going back out with Ozzy to Australia and New Zealand in 1998. He asked me and Zakk and Mike Inez to join him. We were just happy to do it as a reunion of what I think is his best line up that he ever had. That No More Tears line up to me was like a real band. Other than Mötley, that line up felt like a band, you know; us against the world. After that I felt like a side guy in Ozzy. I mean Joe Holmes came in and not taking anything away from Joe, but the chemistry wasn’t there anymore like it was with Zakk and Mike and me. We wrote a great record. We wrote No More Tears.

CC: I guess the next step from there was really joining Mötley.

RC: Pretty much. It’s strange how things work out. Like I said, the irony in all of this because it was on my Mom’s birthday in 1999 that Ozzy and Sharon call me. They go, "Randy, Nikki’s trying to hunt you down."

CC: Sorry but can you say that again, but with your Ozzy Osbourne accent?

RC: [starts stuttering like Ozzy] "Well Randy, Ozzy... Nikki wants you to play with him. [laughing] Here’s his phone number."

CC: [laughing]

RC: It was Ozzy and Sharon. They called me man. It was, "Yeh check this gig out" you know. Despite everything I’ve gone through with Ozzy, we’ve remained friends. I value more than anything; I value his friendship. They’re family man. Even though I got fired from Ozzy at one point in ’96, I still love the guy man. I babysat his kids for God’s sake. I stayed out at his house in England for months at a time, so we just became family.

CC: Yeh awesome.

RC: So they called me up and I go, "Great thanks." I gave Nikki a call and we started talking and we ended up on the phone for like an hour and a half, talking not just about music. We talked about… well we talked a lot about music and what kind of music we’re into. We talked a lot about what’s going on. I asked about Tommy; we talked about Vince; we talked about clothes; we talked about cars and we just hit it off. All the years that I have known Nikki, I didn’t really know him. It was just in passing we’d say hello and that was it. So it was like God damn man. It felt like a long-lost brother. That’s what it was. We became brothers from different mothers man.

Randy on tour with Motley in 1999CC: Wow that’s bizarre.

RC: And he goes, "You know what, so far as I’m concerned, you’ve got the gig bro" and he said, "Let me call Mick and Vince and I’ll get back to you." He called me back in no more than 10 minutes and goes, "Tthe gig is yours." I never even had to play. He goes, "I know you can play. I’ve seen you play." He said, "You’re in bro." I’m like, "F*ckin A! I’m in Mötley Crüe" you know. As soon as he hung up the phone, I put on my tennis shoes and I bolted out the door ‘cause I was not in playing shape. I had six weeks to get it together to tour.

CC: Wow.

RC: So in six6 weeks man I became a marathon runner and I was ready. The tour was a great success. It was killer. As soon as the tour was over we went right into the studio and started writing New Tattoo. The songs just started pouring out man. It was like, before we even walked in the room, we said let’s talk about what we want to do, and what the fans want to hear from Mötley because this is a pivotal, really important album. This is the most important album of our career because if this album sucks, we’re dead!

CC: Yeh, it’s been a long slog.

RC: Yeh exactly. So this was a pivotal thing and the tides were turning toward rock again. I mean, the crowds… the Maximum Rock Tour with The Scorpions started out with 7-8,000 people at the shows and by the end of the tour there was like 18-22,000 people.

CC: Awesome.

RC: You know, and it was like, "Wow, it’s back man!" and there was kids there 12 years old to 40 years old. So there’s a whole new generation of Crüe fans out there, you know. It was great. So it was like, the fire’s on again man. So we put a lot of thought into this record, even though we had very, very little time to do it because we wanted to tour this Summer. The window of opportunity was really small but it was open. We went in and we nailed Mike Clink as the Producer, which was a great break for us ‘cause he’s amazing.

CC: Early on it was said that Bob Rock was going to be producing the album.

RC: Well Bob could not do it. He was too busy. In fact he had Metallica going on and fortunately for us, Mike Clink was there and what he did with Guns [N Roses] I loved.

CC: Appetite [For Destruction].

RC: Appetite and [Use Your] Illusions are really great. From a producer’s side, those are really great productions.

CC: Do you really plug into that whole production side of things?

RC: Oh most definitely. I look at Dr. Feelgood and Bob Rock’s work… I mean it’s great production. Look what he did for Metallica and it’s really very important. That’s the fifth member of the band there. You know, the producer’s the one that if he’s good he’ll bring out the best in the band. If he’s not good, he’ll make the band… some producers put their signature and they overpower the band, which is what happened with Scott Humphrey and Generation Swine. It wasn’t Mötley. That was more of a Scott Humphrey record than a Mötley record.

Randy Castillo (pic courtesy Motleyland.com)CC: Even though Nikki and Tommy were co-producers of it?

RC: Yeh. Yeh. I know. At the end of the day, judging by what they told me about it… I don’t know Scott Humphrey… but it was pretty much a nightmare for them.

CC: Well that’s sad.

RC: Obviously the record reflected that. It was not a very Mötley record.

CC: It’s still a great album though.

RC: Yeh it is a great album. Don’t deny it – it is a good record, but it’s not a Mötley record. Like I said, I told Nikki, "You know what? That’s the greatest Killing Joke record I ever heard."

CC: Really?

RC: I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Killing Joke?

CC: "Ah Eighties!" Yeh, I love Killing Joke!

RC: They’re a great band man and that’s what I thought they were reminding me of ; a lot of Killing Joke. So anyway, we got Mike Clink and he came in and he just brought the best performances out of us and he made a great sounding record. It’s raw. There’s not a lot of overdubs. What we wanted was Shout At The Devil meets Dr. Feelgood and I think that’s what he came up with.

CC: Well certainly the initial fan response, I guess, is probably overwhelming for you guys.

RC: Yeh! It got put up on Napster and it had something like 300,000 downloads in one day.

CC: That’s awesome.

RC: Yeh, Hell On High Heels which is the first single off the record. There’s at least five singles that I know of that could be hits on the radio. There’s a song called Treat Me Like The Dog That I Am that’s classic Mötley. There’s another one called Dragstrip Superstar, which I know when you walk into a strip club, it’s going to be the Girls, Girls, Girls of the new millennium. You know every stripper’s going to be dancing to this one man.

CC: Well I’m sure you’ll get to hear it lots. [laughing]

RC: Yeh, Yeh! Mötley’s back to being what they are best at, man. Mötley Crüe’s the best f*cking stripper, take your clothes off and f*ck, band in the world.

CC: You actually did a little promo where you stepped inside Danni.com. Yourself with Vince.

RC: Oh yeh, the porn site.

CC: How was that? Was that good fun?

RC: Oh yeh! It was amazing. That’s when I go, "God damn. I’m in Mötley Crüe." Vince and I go into the studio. There’s these three or four stunning Playmate models man, that get up in front of us and just start dancing and get naked going down on each other, and I was like, "God damn, it’s great to be in Mötley." It’s wild man! It’s like, this would never have happened with Ozzy.

CC: Well there’s another song called Porno Star which I guess sort of…

RC: Oh yeh! Have you heard the record yet?

CC: I’ve heard bits and pieces of it, not the whole thing just yet.

RC: Yeh. It’s pretty damn cool.

Randy's New Tattoo promo shot (pic courtesy motley.com)CC: And another song "Punched In The Teeth By Love." You’ve actually got a writing credit on it.

RC: Yeh Punched In The Teeth is… we all knocked that out in the studio. We wrote that as a band. It came out great. That’s really the Shout At The Devil song right there. That’s got this whole early-80's vibe about it when you hear it.

CC: What was your main contribution to the music there? You’ve got a credit for that song which is the only one you’ve got on the album. What kind of contribution did you give there?

RC: Right. Mainly most of the songs were written outside. You know, Nikki would be at home. He’s got this studio in his house and he would bring a song in and we would learn it. Mainly what I would do with it… I had total freedom to play what ever I wanted on this stuff and they just said, "Do what you want. We don’t want you to be Tommy Lee. We don’t want you to be anybody. We hired you because you are who you are. We want you to be Randy Castillo. We want you to bring what you do to the table."

CC: Excellent.

RC: They just gave me free reign to put whatever I wanted in it. Like, there’s a song called First Band On The Moon and I did the intro… it’s all this drum intro that I came up with and it’s a very cool thing. I added a lot to the arrangements. I did a lot of arranging. So I was in there knocking it out and sweating it out with everybody. You know, everybody contributed. I have to feel a part of it to feel I’m in the band and they made me feel so much a part of the whole thing. It’s like, "Wow man! It’s great to be in a real band."

CC: There’s also what seems another member to this album and that’s James Michael, who wrote…

RC: Yeh, he’s an amazing singer songwriter in his own right.

CC: …yeh, he wrote over half of the songs with Nikki.

RC: Yeh, the guy’s an amazing singer and songwriter and he is kind of like that invisible guy that’s a part of the band. He’s a great musician. A classically trained pianist and he’s doing a solo record himself. I think it’s coming out at some point. Probably next fall or early next year.

CC: There’s a few song titles that were talked about in the earlier days when you were starting to demo songs and stuff. God Drives A UFO I understand became She Needs Rock’n’Roll.

RC: Yeh, She Needs Rock’n’Roll.

CC: And American Sham. Nikki said the title got changed into American Zero but I don’t see that anywhere. Did that have another change or is that a different song?

RC: Ah no. It actually didn’t make the record. Yeh, we recorded all together like 16 tracks and we had to put a few into the vault, so to speak, to save them for later. So we picked what we thought were the best tracks.

Motley Crue 1999 : (L-R) Vince, Randy, Mick, NikkiCC: Excellent. Is Penthouse 57 another one of those ones in the vault?

RC: Yeh. [laughing]

CC: And Crash-O-Matic?

RC: That one I haven’t even heard yet. There’s songs that Nikki… he’s such a prolific writer, I’m sure he’s got at least a hundred songs hidden away somewhere. He’s always writing. He brings his studio on the road. You’ll go back to the hotel and he’s up there writing, you know. Nikki’s an inspiration to me man. I’ve never known a more prolific writer in my life. That guy is constantly writing, even when he’s walking around. You’ll be shopping or something, "Oh I’ve got a great idea for a song" you know. It’s great. It’s pretty inspirational to be around the guy.

CC: You’ve got the cover [song] on this album White Punks On Dope.

RC: Yeh. I actually suggested that song last year. When we were on tour, I told Nikki, "You know what would be a great song for this band to do?" and I said, "White Punks On Dope by The Tubes." I always loved the song. I loved The Tubes and one day we came into the studio and we were kind of talking about it. You know, one of the songs that was pretty successful for Mötley was actually a cover. We were at a point where we had writers block for about a week, so we couldn’t come up with shit. So we said, "Is there any cool covers we could do?" Every band does it. I don’t care who they are. They go, "Ah that’s a cool song to cover;" a song that they love. Whether it’s Metallica or an Ozzy song, or anybody. Everybody always wants to do somebody else’s song. I mean, to me, my favourite two bands to cover is AC/DC and Rose Tattoo.

CC: What Rose Tattoo song would be your favourite?

RC: Oh man! I would love to do a whole Rose Tattoo tribute record because they’re one of my favourite bands of all time man.

CC: Excellent. A couple of Aussie bands there, mate!

RC: [laughing] Yeh exactly. So we ended up with White Punks and it turned out to be one of the best tracks on the record. We all thought when we were playing it… I remember playing it at the time in the studio and going, "This ain’t going to happen" and then when we played it back we were like, "Wow! This is great" you know.

CC: Baba O’Reilly the old Who song was another…

RC: Yeh that… God we talked about so many different songs man.

CC: Did you try that one in rehearsals?

RC: I don’t think we really tried it. White Punks just kind of clicked from the start so we were pretty much hell bent for that.

CC: There’s another song called Whoreable. Was that one of the 16 that was recorded?

RC: No. Whoreable didn’t make the album either, but like I said, it could come out at a later date… but I don’t think we actually recorded Whoreable. No, we didn’t.

CC: The track Hollywood Ending; was that previously called The Honeymoon Is Over?

RC: Yeh! Hey you know too much stuff man.

CC: [laughing] Sorry, I’m a junkie.

RC: Yeh, a true fan.

CC: A f*cking junkie mate.

RC: [laughing] But yeh, man what a great song Hollywood Ending is to end it. The title track New Tattoo is just f*cking amazing. That’s definitely going to be a number one single!

CC: Or a panty-dropper, as Nikki keeps calling it.

RC: Yeh [laughing] Exactly. Exactly. Total panty-dropper man! I played it for several women and they were like, "Oh yeh!" The panties were down. It’s a panty-soaker!

CC: [laughing]

RC: There’s going to be a lot of guys getting laid to this record, let me put it that way.  ‘Cause this album’s gonna get a lot of people laid.

Randy in Motley (pic courtesy Motley.com)CC: Well that’s Mötley Crüe isn’t it?

RC: Exactly!

CC: You guys [Mötley] also did some music for the Tribes 2 game.

RC: Yeh that was before. We knocked that off in no time. We were just in the studio. I did some drum loops, some real tribal… self-explanatory… tribal drum loops and Mick came up with some amazing riffs man. You know, Mick is the riff-master, man! He’s got that magic thing that Toni Iommi has, that he can just come up with the coolest riffs.

CC: Is there any vocals on that stuff?

RC: No. Actually, yeh sorry; yes there is and it’s more like chanting. [chants] Tribes! Tribes! It’s a war game man. We’re actually going to be real characters – Cyborgs, so to speak, in this game. People play it all over the Internet. Play against each other from all over the world. It’s a very popular game.

CC: Maybe we’ll have a game against each other one day.

[NOTE: The Crüe's contributions did not make the final release version of the game]

RC: Yep. There’ll be a Mötley Crüe Tribe, so you can actually… there’ll be a Randy Cyborg, and a Nikki, and a Mick and Vince, and they all have different properties. You know, you can add or subtract... You can be a 300 pound hog guy or you can be like the real fast silver streak kind of guy, with different levels. There’ll be different armour and all that stuff, but with our faces. Pretty funny. Can’t wait to see the Mick one!

CC: Yeh it’ll probably just sit in the corner and not do much mate.

RC: [laughing] Yeh it’ll just sit there and play guitar constantly. Actually he’ll have a gun built into his guitar. Mick can wield a mean gun, man. The guy’s an expert with guns.

CC: Except when he shot his girlfriend. [laughing]

RC: [laughing] I wonder if he didn’t do that on purpose?

CC: [laughing] I think they still liked each other then. Speaking of guns and things shooting out of guitars, Nikki’s actually got a bit of a treat for fans…

RC: Yeh a flamethrower! Yeh the pyro on this tour… The stage set is incredible. We brought the whole Mötley environment on this tour. Actually it’s funny that the guy that designed this stage set was my very first drum roadie back in The Wumblies and he eventually moved on into designed light shows and stages for… he did Lynyrd Skynard. He did a bunch of the big country acts like Tim McGrath. He knows how to put on a show. Anyway he did this amazing stage set and it’s pretty much like a Hollywood street scene. It’s got a tattoo parlour, a strip club, and a rock’n’roll club Dirty Dicks. It’s like a real street scene. It’s amazing. We have two beautiful background singers. One of them is Meat Loaf’s daughter Pearl and another girl named Marty, and they look incredible.

CC: Awesome!

RC: They wear the hottest outfits and the pyro is out of this world man. It’s the best pyro I’ve ever seen. We bring you into Mötley’s world for an hour and a half, so it’s a great escape. Mötley is not a politically correct band; we’re an escape band. You go to a Mötley show to be entertained and that’s what we do. Entertainment or Death.

CC: Did you think I summed that up in the [booklet’s text intro on Mötley's] Live album?

RC: Oh definitely, definitely. I wished I had played on that record. Unfortunately it was done right when I joined.

CC: Yeh that’s right.

RC: Well you know, I’ve got one Mötley record under my belt now.

CC: Yeh that’s awesome.

RC: That was my main goal, my main hurdle. I did the tour, which was fine and dandy and that was a trial period for me. But for me more than anything, I wanted to contribute to a Mötley record and it’s done.

CC: You did it man!

RC: Yeh! God damn. I’ve got this shiny CD and that’s me that’s pictured on it and it’s me that played on it. I couldn’t be more proud and more jazzed man.

CC: Have you got a new tattoo yourself to celebrate it?

RC: Oh, I’ll be getting one. [laughing]

CC: What’s next for Randy?

Castillo original art titled 'Lovers' (courtesy Fcuking Contagious)RC: Ah shit. I don’t know man. You know, I don’t really know until... Most of the tattoos that I have I designed myself. I paint. I’m an artist. In fact if you want to check out some of my artwork, you can go to this website: It’s called F*cking Contagious, where you spell the f*cking f-c-u-k-ing. Click on Art and it’ll take you to my artwork. There’s some samples of some of my most recent pieces.

CC: Awesome. Awesome.

RC: So I designed most of my tattoos myself.

CC: You’ve got like a big arrow on your upper left arm.

RC: Yeh it’s a symbol I came up with. It actually came to me in a dream. I woke up and drew it. I was in Chicago at the time on Vince’s tour and this tattoo artist came by and he goes, "I’ll do anybody here for free" and I’m like, "F*ck great. I just had a dream about this last night." I showed it to him and he goes, "Wow, that’s great." It took him eight hours ‘cause it’s solid black.

CC: Yeh solid isn’t it.

RC: Yeh. He said it’s like mowing a football field with a weed eater man. It took him eight hours to do the solid black filling on the huge lightning bolt that goes down my arm.

CC: What have you got on the inside of that left arm, on your forearm?

RC: Ah it’s this girl. It’s actually my ex-girlfriend. Don’t ever get a tattoo… I don’t know, my experience is get a tattoo of a girl written on your arm and it’s sometimes kind of like a weird element that’s going to doom the relationship. But I don’t know that’s just me. I don’t know if it works for anybody else. I’ve seen guys with like four girls names down their arms one day.

CC: Do you think you’ll ever sleeve it right out, like full on?

RC: I don’t think so. You know, my tattoos are… I don’t think I’ll get completely sleeved out. I’m more of a tribal kind of guy and I design my own tattoos. The one with the lightning bolt is still a work in progress and I have a four leaf clover on there that I got in Auckland [New Zealand] when I was with Ozzy. That was the result of a dream. This woman in this dream told me if you can find a four leaf clover, get it and keep. So I was walking by this tattoo shop in Auckland and I saw a four leaf clover there on the wall. I went, "That must be it."

CC: Wow.

RC: So I got it. I go, "Look I want that on my arm." So I got it and I kept it. To me it was like a symbol of good luck.

CC: Awesome. The tour was just about to kick off…

RC: Yeh it’s kicked off as we speak. They’re well into their seventh show now.

CC: That’s right, but you’re of course not playing on it.

RC: Yeh, yeh I got sick three weeks ago. I came down with a really bad stomach ailment. I had a stomach virus which caused an ulcer. I had no idea I had one. I would occasionally experience mild discomfort. I’d take some antacid and I’d be done with it. I was actually playing a gig about three weeks ago with some friends of mine [Azul] when we were in L.A. and I got real sick at the gig. I never drink hard alcohol and that night the bar tender made me this drink. "You’ve got to try this" and I went OK and I had a nip and I was on an empty stomach; my stomach was completely empty. Basically what it was was Vodka and this drink called Red Bull and it was just like pouring gasoline onto a fire. So as the gig went on I got really sick and I made it through the gig. I stood up and went outside and I just threw up and I felt really ill all night. I told the guys in the band, "Hey listen, I’m going to go home and just chill out ‘cause I don’t feel very good. I’m just going to go home." So I took a cab and on the way home my stomach just started like going insane. The pain was just unbelievable. I was doubled over in the back of the taxi and I couldn’t breathe.

CC: Wow.

RC: It’s weird because this girl that I know; I had somehow accidentally dialled her number on my cell phone and she got on her voicemail, me in agony, dying in the back of this taxi cab. She said she didn’t know what had happened to me. She said, "I heard you moaning and groaning and you told somebody in the car take me to the hospital and that you couldn’t breathe."

CC: Shit!

RC: So she called me wondering if I was OK. She had no idea, so she raced there because it scared her. So anyway, the cabbie took me to the [Cedar Sinai] Hospital and I made it to the front door and I don’t really remember what happened after that. I passed out apparently; just fell down and was out. Next thing I knew I was being led into an operating room and I opened my eyes and I said, "Where am I? What’s going on?" and he said, "You’re going into surgery son! Get ready." They said, "We’ll put a tube up your dick, a tube up your butt and a tube up your nose" and I go, "Please put me out before you do this."

CC: I thought you would have said, "Please just don’t swap them around."

RC: [laughing] Exactly. "I don’t want to know. I’m in your hands, so put me out." So they did it and I don’t remember anything. I woke up the next afternoon and had tubes coming out of my arms, my nose, my dick and my ass. I was connected to the machine and the surgeon walked in and she says, "You’re a really lucky young man" and I go, "What happened?" She said, "You had an ulcer that had opened up a big hole in your stomach last night and we caught you just in the nick of time. If you had of been ten minutes later, we’d have lost you."

CC: Bloody hell!

RC: She said the stomach acids had gotten into my lower intestines and wreaked havoc and it was about to enter my blood stream. Once it gets into your blood stream it gets to your heart and you’re done. So I was really lucky. I was in the hospital for the next nine days. I couldn’t eat. They wouldn’t let me eat; couldn’t eat or drink water. I was fed intravenously and just tried to recover. I had a button that was for pain medication. Every time the pain would hit, I’d just hit this button. I would administer myself my own pain medication. So I don’t even remember people being there visiting me. I was delirious and deluded.

CC: Yeh sure. How did the other guys in the band find out about it?

RC: I called Nikki a couple of days later. I didn’t want anyone to know until I knew that I was going to be OK. I was very iffy the first couple of days. The tour was about to start after rehearsals and everything, so they had to scramble. The tour’s too important, so their management Left Bank manages Hole as well. Somebody brought up about Samantha Maloney. Actually when we taped the Hard Rock show in New York, she flew out just to see that show ‘cause she’s such a Mötley fan. Mötley’s her favourite band in the world.

CC: And that’s her hometown as well, New York.

RC: Yeh! So she was out there… then she came and I met her back there and she was great. What a cool lady man, she was great.

CC: Cool.

RC: Yeh I guess she came out [to try out as replacement]. I was in the hospital so I never saw any of this. She came out and played and she knew all the music and they were like, "Why not? F*ck it. We’re Mötley Crüe. Nobody can tell us what to f*cking do and this girl is stepping up to the plate and she can do it." So man, you know what, it’s great ‘cause on the up side of it, it got a lot of great publicity. MTV just jumped on it. I think it’s an Internet TV show or VH1 show called Living Your Dream or something like that, and they have people that actually go out and do something that they dream about doing, and there’s actually a show built around Samantha joining Mötley because Mötley’s been her dream. It’s been her dream to play with Mötley Crüe.

Randy with Motley (pic courtesy Motley.com)CC: Awesome! Awesome.

RC: It’s giving me time to recover and I’m still in the band. They’re sticking with me; they’re sticking by me. They said, "Look, just get well. It’s your gig. Period. You’re the drummer and we need you to be 100%." After surgery like this it takes four to six weeks to recover.

CC: So you’re just about there?

RC: Yeh! I’m just about there. I played the night before last for a Fourth of July party with Azul, that other band I play with… it’s a whole different vibe.

CC: OK.  That’s your Spanish flamenco band, isn’t it?

RC: It’s a gypsy middle-eastern Spanish thing. It’s a whole other trip man. We have an amazing guitar player from Spain. I mean I love Flamenco music. I grew up with it. Every time I’ve gone to Spain with Ozzy, right after the show I’d go to Flamenco bars which are open all night and these drummers and guitar players are some of the most incredible musicians I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s a very complex form of music.

CC: So what do you play in that band?

RC: I’m actually playing a [drum] kit and this thing called a Kalone (sp?), which is basically a wooden box. The rhythmics are really complex rhythms man. I mean you just can’t jump in and play. It’s not like 4:4. It’s really difficult. It’s a difficult kind of music to learn. If you get real traditional Flamenco music you’ll see what I mean. These guys study all their lives. They’re masters. So I’ve always been a fan of that kind of music.

CC: Is there any Azul recordings?

RC: Yeh actually we’ve done a live thing but we’re going to record after I’m done with the Mötley tour. Hopefully I’ll have some time to do a record with them. It’s a lot of fun to do and I actually played the other night and everything went great. My stomach felt good… and I’ve got a nice scar man!

CC: Yeh, a pretty big one.

RC: I think I’m going to get a tattoo of a zipper so next time they can just pull it down instead of having to cut me open. [laughing]

CC: Do you still play trumpet at all?

RC: Nah, I’ve been thinking about picking it up and playing ‘cause I still remember how to play it, but, you know… I’m a huge fan of Miles Davis and bebop jazz, Charlie Parker. You know, I love that music man. I love that swing and bebop era of jazz. It’s amazing music, and so many bands are sampling that stuff now. A lot of the rap people are sampling it and those are some of the best musicians that ever lived man. Miles Davis. Tony Williams the drummer is one of my all time favourite drummers. I don’t limit myself to any one style of music. I love Cuban music. I love African music and I played all kinds of music. I think that you’re depriving yourself if you’re just into heavy metal, period. You know, you’re just limiting yourself. As a musician, I listen to everything man.

CC: Obviously you’re going to be back out on the road with Mötley again.

RC: Yeh I’m going to be joining them in about a week to ten days.

CC: Hopefully that tour will make it’s way down to Australia.

RC: Oh yeh. I can’t wait to get down there again.

CC: We’ve been trying like mad to try and get you guys down here.

RC: Hopefully we’ll get down there on this tour.

CC: Have you only been here the once, when you were with Ozzy?

RC: Yeh with Ozzy and I fell in love with the place, man. The crowds were great. The women were beautiful [laughing] and I made myself a promise that I would get back. So even if we don’t play on this tour, I’m going to come back and just see the country, man ‘cause it’s a beautiful place. I’ve never seen fox bats in my life… as the sun’s going down they come out and I was like, "What the f*ck are those man?" They were flying around you know and I’d never seen them before.

CC: Yeh they’re awesome aren’t they. After this tour, where do you see things going for Mötley?

RC: Well like I said, Nikki’s bringing the studio on the road and were going to be writing. You know, we’re already looking towards the next record. It went so well with this one. It’s great and we’re not going to stop by any means.

CC: Finally, if you had to choose one word to sum up Nikki, what would that word be?

RC: One word to sum up Nikki?

CC: Yep.

RC: On man… ah, Non-stop Prolific. There’s not one word I can sum it up with. Only two words – Non-stop Prolific.

Click to purchase your New TattooCC: What about Vince?

RC: Vince… ah, Ultimate Lead-singer.

CC: Mick?

RC: and Mick… The Rock of Gibraltar.

CC: And what about Randy?

RC: Shit… ah, Lucky and Sturdy.

CC: Sorry you said shit first, so we have to take that as your answer.

RC: [laughing] Yeh! A lucky shit.

CC: [laughing] Thanks very much for your time Randy!

RC: Thanks Paul. Have a good one man and I’ll talk to you down the line.

CC: Yep, then face to face one day man.

RC: Yep. Take care Paul.

This interview was launched on July 11th 2000
the day New Tattoo was released in the US.

Purchase your copy of New Tattoo now!

Thanks to Dr. $hinbone $tarr, the Rock'n'roll Patroller, for the hook up.

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