Matthew John Trippe
claimed Mötley Crüe's managers Doc McGhee and Doug Thaler decided to bring him in as a
new Nikki Sixx, after he was unable to continue after a serious car crash in mid
January 1988, he filed a lawsuit against McGhee Enterprises, Inc. citing civil theft and
other relief, claiming royalties that were never paid for songs he said he wrote. These
included Danger, Knock 'Em Dead Kid, Girls Girls Girls, You're All I Need, Dancing on Glass, and
Wild Side. Mötley Crüe demoed a song called Say Yeah about Trippe in March 1989
for their #1 album Dr. Feelgood. On the 10th December 1993, Matthew Trippe finally
dropped his lawsuit.
the 25th August 1998, Chronological Crue caught up with his former band member Roger Hemond, to gain this
interesting insight into the Nikki Sixx impostor Matthew Trippe.
Please note: Roger has stated,
"I would prefer to use initials instead of full names of the other people
Chronological Crue: Tell me how you hooked
up with Matthew Trippe.
Roger Hemond: Back in the summer of
1987, I had just moved to Florida. At the time I was trying to establish myself in the
local music scene in Tampa. After making friends with some of the people at my new place
of residence, The Abbey Apartments in Tampa, I began hearing a wide variety of
a variety of people that a guy that used to live at the apartments claimed to have been
used as a stand-in for Nikki Sixx while Frank Feranna
[the real Nikki Sixx as per his birth name] was recovering from a car accident. Also that
he had written music for a bunch of Mötley Crüe's music, and was planning to sue them for
royalties. After hearing all these rumours, I was curious to say the least, and as time
went on I met some people who knew Matthew Trippe. I urged these people to introduce me to
this flake so I could once and for all dispel the curiosity. We made a few trips (pardon
the pun) to Matt's house, but he was never home. More time passed and a gentleman by the
name of Carl F came to my apartment looking for Matt. Someone had apparently told Carl
that I knew how to get a hold of Matt, when I had only been to his house, never actually
meeting him. Carl had met Matt while incarcerated (big surprise huh). Matt had told Carl
his whole story about being used and abused by Doc [McGhee], Doug [Thaler], and the rest
of the gang. That he was in Mötley Crüe until he got arrested in South Florida in
1986. He said that the band and management used his going to jail as an opportunity to
slip Frankie back in the band and leave him for dead, in a jail cell, with no money, no
way home, and no identity. WWHHHHAAAAA!!!
CC: So why was Carl looking for Matt?
RH: Carl happened to be very good, life
long friends with a guy in Tampa who at the time was managing major professional
wrestlers, owned a large night club, as well as dabbled in some things of an illegal
nature, which was the reason Carl was incarcerated to begin with. Anyway, Carl convinced
his friend, (who will remain nameless for my own protection) to invest in Matt. They hired
a private investigator named Jerry Oglsbie, they hired lawyers, and planned to hire a band
for Matt to record and possibly tour.
CC: What did you tell Carl when he showed
at your apartment looking for Trippe then?
RH: I knew where Matt lived, but some of
the things I heard were that people had actually made attempts on Matt's life as a result
of his claims, so I didn't want to just tell this person I had never met or been where
Matt lived, for fear that I might be jeopardizing his family. I was also very curious by
this time and didn't want to wash myself from the situation by sending this guy on his way
with directions to Matt's house. I told Carl that I would go over to Matt's house
personally (who at this time I still had not met) with a note to get a hold of me, so I
could relay the message that this Carl was looking for him with good news about having
convinced his friend to invest in Matt's case.
CC: So was Matt home when you went there?
RH: Well a few
days after that, another guy shows up at my apartment. This time a dorky, stuttering,
slightly over weight gentleman, who held his cigarettes between his middle two fingers. I
immediately recognized this guy as the person I had seen in pictures some people had of
'this guy going around saying he is Nikki Sixx.' It was Matt. He came into my
home, went to my refrigerator, grabbed a beer, sat down at my dining room table, and put
his feet up. After knowing him for less than 5 minutes, I was already less than impressed
and pretty pissed off about his manners.
CC: Cheeky bugger hey! Why did he come to
I had already been in a band for about three months called Sircor. Matt
told me all about having a management team, lawyers, private
investigators, and also said he was getting a lot interest from some
record labels, RoadRunner for one. He said I should audition for the
guitarist position they needed to fill, so I did. They liked me. I
suggested that Matt come and watch my band Sircor. He did and Sircor
then became Sixx Pakk.
RH: We wrote and played for weeks, but the
management didn't like some of the guys in Sircor, so they went looking for very
marketable musicians to eventually replace everyone in the band except for Matt, of
course, and myself. Lucky me!!!
CC: Yeh sure! Who else ended up joining
Sixx Pakk and what was the band like?
RH: We actually had a hell of a band. We
picked up Jim H, a David Lee Roth look-alike with an incredible voice, and Joe D, who is
probably one of the best drummers I've ever seen, professional or otherwise. All we did
was practice and write, and put up with this contemptuous, alcoholic moron, named Matt. We
did have a lot of fun though, we had a great rehearsal facility, and some of our bills
were being payed by management.
CC: What was the goal of the band at this
RH: Management one day came to us and told
us to start writing to record and tour. At the time, we were constantly being told by these
guys that we were going to do a series of shows in Amsterdam, Japan or Great Britain. All
kinds of things were being discussed, even a tour with Crimson Glory, who at the time was
being managed by Warren Wyat, the same guy who managed Saigon Kick. So to a certain degree
it was a roller coaster ride to hell... to an 18 year old future rock star. After a lot of
meetings, none of the plans ever came to fruition.
CC: Did Sixx Pakk ever get a recording
RH: During this time [March/April 1988]
we recorded a three song demo at Morrisound Studios in Tampa, where at the time, Juliet, a
local band that Kevin Dubrow from Quiet Riot had taken under his wing, were in the next
studio doing a mix down or something. When you are recording, you may end up spending a
lot of time hanging around a television in the lounge waiting for other guys in the band
to cut their parts. Such was the case at Morrisound and I can't tell you how funny it was
to see Kevin, out in the lounge, relentlessly malign Matt and tease him saying things like,
"Yeah and I was Lita Ford for two years in The Runaways." He really gave him
hell. The stuff at Morrisound turned out pretty damn good though.
CC: Who wrote the songs for Sixx Pakk? Did
Matthew Trippe prove his supposed song writing abilities?
RH: I had written the music to two of the
three songs, and Jim H the vocalist wrote the words to all of them as well as the music
to the one I didn't write. The frustrating part was we had to tell the press and everyone
else that Matt had written all of it, in order to strengthen his claim. Under protest, I
quickly had all of the music copywritten, giving credit to the rightful authors, THEN I
agreed to tell people that Matt had written the music. Kind of sucks huh?
RH: On the bright side, Lifetime, one of
the three demo songs, was put on an automated phone line that Kerrang! Magazine had set up
so you could call and "listen to the new Nikki Sixx music". It got pretty good
reviews, so at least I got that satisfaction.
CC: So what came of the demo? Did Sixx Pakk
release an album in the end?
RH: No. Matt took a f*ck you attitude
every where he went. Even to meetings with the management. He once broke an $800 Hamer
bass they had bought him in half because he wasn't getting his way. He would occasionally
pawn some of our practice gear to buy beer or pay for diapers to get his wife off his
back. We'd show up to jam and the mixing board would be gone, or the PA amp. Eventually
the people who were paying for all of this got a little sick of it, and pulled the plug,
leaving us with no backing and no reason to be tied to Matt and his problems. So Joe, Jim,
and I formed a band called Blind Sight. The three of us were very tight as a group. We
picked up another bass player and a second guitarist and became a very good all original
band, and recorded a lot.
CC: Excellent! Did you keep in touch with
Matt over the years?
RH: I can count the times I've seen Matt
since then on one hand, and it's probably been nine years since the last time.
CC: What was the deal with his suit against
Mötley? It was all a scam right?
RH: He could at times be very convincing
and to this day, I don't know whether or not anything he said was true. I have seen
copyright forms processed by the Library of Congress that had every member of
Mötley Crüe's full real name, aka name, and social security number, with the exception of Nikki
Sixx. All it said was Nikki Sixx and gave a social security number, which I swear to God
was the same number on Matthew John Trippe's social security card which I was holding in
my other hand. I'll tell you one thing, if I were going to try to pull what Matt alleges
Thayer/McGhee did, I would probably pick someone a lot like Matt to do it with, because
nobody would believe him completely - he was a lunatic! A variety of photos seemed to show
differences in facial features through those years for Nikki Sixx. That could be
attributed to any number of things though I guess. Matt was at the time that I knew him, a
member of the Temple of Set, which is a pretty exclusive organisation. I find it a little
strange that they would allow some weird-guy-nobody with no money to be a member, but I
guess it could happen.
CC: What about his Nikki Sixx tattoos then?
RH: He had all of the tatts through the
Theatre of Pain years. They were not cheaply done and there were several. He had a wife, a
brand new baby boy, and no money - so I have no idea how he would have paid for them.
CC: So this is perhaps a case for Mulder
& Scully [from the X-Files] in your mind then?
RH: He looked a lot like Nikki Sixx. Maybe
a little heavier but the facial features were very similar. There are some things
leave considerable doubt as well, like the fact that he didn't 'remember' some
of the music he had written. He was NOT a virtuoso bassist! But weirder shit has happened
in this country by far.
CC: Are you still playing guitar today?
RH: Yes I still play frequently. I've got a
Marshall 120 watt half stack that I love annoying my wife with. No immediate plan to join
in on the rock star rat race again though.
CC: Awesome. Thanks for your time Roger. It
was great to catch up and gain your insight. All the best!
RH: Cool. You rule Paul!
Hear some RealAudio of the Sixx Pakk song called
Back For The Kill, written by Jim H.
This was recorded by Sixx Pakk in March/April 1988 at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida
Roger Hemond emailed Chronological Crue to say, "It's
been awhile and a lot has been happening with us musically. The name of
the new band is Thrown Alive and we are doing a lot of exciting things
over here. It's all-original rock, the material is great and we're doing
several festivals as well as opening slots for nationals like Great
White, Bullet Boys, Ratt and another big one this summer that I probably
shouldn't disclose until confirmed. The line-up is me on lead vocals and
guitars, Joe Dixon on drums and Jimmy Harris on bass, all of the members
of Sixx Pakk, still together and kicking ass 20 yrs later!
When you get time, please check us out at
Want more ?? Click to see the complete listing
of Chronological Crue interviews.
Choose the year:
pre81 / 81 / 82 / 83 / 84 / 85 / 86 / 87 / 88 / 89 > The Eighties
90 / 91 / 92 / 93 / 94 / 95 / 96 / 97 / 98 / 99 > The Nineties
00 / 01 / 02 / 03 / 04 / 05 / 06 / 07 /
08 / 09 > The Naughties
10 / 11 / 12 /
13 / 14 /
©2014-1995 Paul Miles. All
Chronological Crue is the intellectual property of Paul Miles.
No part of this site may be used or reproduced in any part whatsoever without written
except in the context of a review with an appropriate credit reference.