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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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]
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
RC: And he says, "Come on in." So we get in and we started
talking. He goes, "...You got any drugs?" [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."
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
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!
RC: [laughing] Well that night I went to the hotel and I
dropped off Lita Ford’s video, right? The song was Gotta
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!
Oh you’re joking?
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."
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
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.
CC: Yeh awesome.
RC: And it ended up the rest is pretty much history.
CC: With Ozzy, you also played the Moscow Music Peace
RC: Yeh that was with Mötley as well.
CC: That’s right.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
CC: That’s right.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
RC: [laughing] God, you know all those little dark secrets
CC: [laughing] Certainly do mate!
Yeh actually that wasn’t a real band, that was a movie Ford Fairlane.
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
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!
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.
RC: So that was a near death experience for me man.
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
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
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
CC: Well I guess Mötley’s music always changed a lot from
album to album.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
CC: Just don’t tell Nikki that you think Lars is a good
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
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.
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
CC: I guess the next step from there was really joining
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
RC: [starts stuttering like Ozzy] "Well Randy, Ozzy... Nikki wants you
to play with him. [laughing] Here’s his phone number."
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
CC: Wow that’s bizarre.
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,
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.
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
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
CC: Do you really plug into that whole production side of
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.
CC: Even though Nikki and Tommy were co-producers of it?
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
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."
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
RC: Yeh. It’s pretty damn cool.
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."
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
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
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.
CC: 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
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
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"
CC: Baba O’Reilly the old Who song was
RC: Yeh that… God we talked about so many different songs
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
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!
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.
CC: Well that’s
Mötley Crüe isn’t it?
CC: You guys [Mötley] also did some music for the Tribes 2
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.
Is there any vocals on that stuff?
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.
Maybe we’ll have a game against each other one day.
The Crüe's contributions did not make the final release version of the
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!
Yeh it’ll probably just sit in the corner and not do much mate.
[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.
Except when he shot his girlfriend. [laughing]
[laughing] I wonder if he didn’t do that on purpose?
[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…
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
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
Did you think I summed that up in the [booklet’s text intro on
Mötley's] Live album?
Oh definitely, definitely. I wished I had played on that record.
Unfortunately it was done right when I joined.
Yeh that’s right.
Well you know, I’ve got one Mötley record under my belt now.
Yeh that’s awesome.
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.
You did it man!
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.
Have you got a new tattoo yourself to celebrate it?
Oh, I’ll be getting one. [laughing]
What’s next for Randy?
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.
I designed most of my tattoos myself.
You’ve got like a big arrow on your upper left arm.
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.
Yeh solid isn’t it.
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.
What have you got on the inside of that left arm, on your forearm?
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.
Do you think you’ll ever sleeve it right out, like full on?
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."
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.
Awesome. The tour was just about to kick off…
Yeh it’s kicked off as we speak. They’re well into their seventh show
right, but you’re of course not playing on it.
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.
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."
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
I thought you would have said, "Please just don’t swap them around."
[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."
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.
Yeh sure. How did the other guys in the band find out about it?
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
that’s her hometown as well, New York.
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.
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.
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
weeks to recover.
So you’re just about there?
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.
OK. That’s your Spanish flamenco band, isn’t it?
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.
So what do you play in that band?
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.
Is there any Azul recordings?
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!
Yeh, a pretty big one.
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]
Do you still play trumpet at all?
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.
Obviously you’re going to be back out on the road with Mötley again.
Yeh I’m going to be joining them in about a week to ten days.
Hopefully that tour will make it’s way down to Australia.
Oh yeh. I can’t wait to get down there again.
We’ve been trying like mad to try and get you guys down here.
Hopefully we’ll get down there on this tour.
Have you only been here the once, when you were with Ozzy?
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
Yeh they’re awesome aren’t they. After this tour, where do you see
things going for Mötley?
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.
Finally, if you had to choose one word to sum up Nikki, what would
that word be?
One word to sum up Nikki?
On man… ah, Non-stop Prolific. There’s not one word I can sum it
up with. Only two words – Non-stop Prolific.
What about Vince?
Vince… ah, Ultimate Lead-singer.
and Mick… The Rock of Gibraltar.
And what about Randy?
Shit… ah, Lucky and Sturdy.
Sorry you said shit first, so we have to take that as your
[laughing] Yeh! A lucky shit.
[laughing] Thanks very much for your time Randy!
Thanks Paul. Have a good one man and I’ll talk to you down the line.
Yep, then face to face one day man.
Yep. Take care Paul.
interview was launched on July 11th 2000
the day New Tattoo was
released in the US.
your copy of New Tattoo now!
to Dr. $hinbone $tarr, the Rock'n'roll Patroller, for the hook up.
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