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.
Crue: You were born on the 18th of December. Is that
Castillo: Yep, same day as Keith Richards and Stephen Spielberg.
That’s pretty good company.
Not the same year and the same day.
What year was it that you were born in?
Ahh, when was I born man? Well let’s put it this way. My age is
somewhere between zero and death.
You were born in Albuquerque, in New Mexico and took up music at
quite a young age when you started playing drums.
Yeh well actually I started playing trumpet. My Dad was a musician.
I played trumpet for like four years before I realized 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...
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.
And do you have brothers and sisters?
I have nothing but sisters.
Really. How many sisters do you have?
Four sisters. Me and my Dad against five women.
I’m sure you were able to tough it out.
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
Your first rock band was called The Wumblies.
Yeh, that was my first real rock band.
Were The Wumblies around for long? Were there any releases?
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.
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.
Yeh right. You later supported The Cars on your first big major
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!
[laughing] Nothing to do with Spinal Tap I’m sure?
[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.
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.
Was that a real goal for you? Is that something that you grew up
really wanting to do?
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.
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.
CC: Yeh, certainly.
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.
Yeh it’s a huge buzz.
It’s like prizefighters that used to retire, you know. They’re past
their prime and still they love the audience; that adrenaline rush.
Fortunately you know, musicians can last until they drop. Prizefighters
just drop. There’s no such thing as an age limit.
Just look at Keith Richards again.
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.
That’s right. Back in the early eighties there, Mötley formed…
Yeh they were starting out.
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.
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.
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.
Did you see them in the Too Fast For Love days? Like in those very,
very early days?
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.
Well that’s always a bonus at the end of the night!
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
That was the only time, hey?
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.
Yeh, there’s a lot of irony in this whole thing. There’s a lot of
irony in this whole world, period.
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
Yeh… had enough.
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.
[laughing] Way faster than your ability!
[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]
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.
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.
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.
Yeh, and meanwhile the other hotshots outside are thinking they’ve
got the gig.
I thought those guys, the drummers in the line, are just going,
"Ah, no problem!"
[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.
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."
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.
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,
And he says, "Come on in." So we get in and we started talking.
He goes, "...You got any drugs?" [laughing]
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."
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.
We bonded over like…
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 good-bye 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
[laughing] Well that night I went to the hotel and I dropped off
Lita Ford’s video, right? The song was Gotta Let Go.
Oh OK. If you really want to rock tonight.
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!
CC: 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."
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]
It was like 1984… No, no, this was late ’85 early 86.
Yeh about mid ’86 is when you went over to Scotland I think.
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.
Ah OK. Excellent.
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.
To join [David Lee] Roth!
And said, "You might be interested in joining Whitesnake" who was
just forming back then.
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.
Yeh! It was Steve Vai with David Lee Roth!
Yeh, David Lee Roth had left Van Halen then. That’s what happened!
Damn, I got it all back the front.
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?"
Did you consider the other offers?
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
Umm… Vandenberg… or was that later?
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.
And it ended up the rest is pretty much history.
With Ozzy, you also played the Moscow Music Peace Festival.
Yeh that was with Mötley as well.
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?
That was ’87.
Oh yeh, you weren’t with Ozzy until later of course.
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.
[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
So you think that the Donington is so much better than OzzFest is
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.
The Moscow Music Peace Festival was what I thought probably one
of the greatest musical line-ups ever man.
I mean for its time, it was.
It’s interesting that most of the musicians that played that day
still refer to it as that ultimate experience.
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.
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!
And Mötley at that stage were…
They were sober! They were the only band on the plane that wasn’t
So there were people trying to get them to drink?
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.
Like, what’s wrong with this picture ‘cause the Crüe had the reputation
to be crazier than anybody.
Definitely. Yep they certainly earned that over the years.
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
Back in those days, were you friendlier with any of the individual
members of Mötley more than others?
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.
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.
Well it doesn’t surprise me that you didn’t mention Mick until now.
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.
It reflects in his playing. He’s just like always on man. His playing
is like… he plays like a drummer, rhythmically.
Yeh he’s really under-rated I reckon.
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].
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.
[laughing] God, you know all those little dark secrets don’t ya?
[laughing] Certainly do mate!
RC: Yeh actually that wasn’t
a real band, that was a movie Ford Fairlane.
Yeh The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
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."
Oh OK, I didn’t realise it was Vince that had to put that together.
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.
Did you share any drinks with Freddy Kreuger?
Ah, yeh! Yeh! Yeh! Bob English is his name right?
Robert Engund, that’s right! Yeh, he was cool.
And what about Priscilla Presley?
Oh man, I almost crushed her hand!
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.
So that was a near death experience for me man.
So it was great. Making that movie was great. That was my first
band with Vince.
About six or seven years after that Vince actually called on you
again to join his band.
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.
Right. Is it available anywhere?
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.
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.
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.
Yeh definitely. So you took over from Vikki Foxx wasn’t it?
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.
That’s right. At the expense of John Corabi.
Oh yeh, exactly.
I know you recently saw John play with Union. Had you seen John
play over the years when he was in The Scream?
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.
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.
Pantera was happening pretty hard at that time too.
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.
Well I guess Mötley’s music always changed a lot from album to album.
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.
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.
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.
Exactly yeh. Well the whole music scene was changing a lot too man.
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
What’s your take on all those bands that are really popular at the
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!"
Yeh exactly, let’s party!
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."
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.
You! Called Cage.
Cage? Who’s this?
With Carmine and Vinnie Appice and yourself. Tony Franklin and James
Kottak all playing drums.
I know all those guys, yeh. What about it?
You were on that album.
Yeh, self titled called Cage.
I never heard it, and if I was, I don’t even remember recording
Let’s see, um. What was it?
Jeff Pilson, Phil Soussan and Sean McNabb on bass.
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.
Nah there was about four drummers on there and about nine tracks.
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!
[laughing] Did Carmine put it together?
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
An AC/DC one? Was that Thunderbolt?
Umm… let’s see. I can’t remember what the AC/DC was called.
You did the Aerosmith one which was Not The Same Old Song & Dance.
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?
Just don’t tell Nikki that you think Lars is a good drummer.
[laughing] Well, you know, he’s alright. I’ve got other favourites.
I’ll be a little bit diplomatic about it.
I think they’re a good band though.
Certainly. I agree mate.
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.
I actually saw them here a few years ago and they were great.
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.
CC: Awesome. You also did some work with Bret
Michaels from Poison.
I did that one song on his solo album.
That’s right, Letter From Death Row. How did that come about?
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.
I guess the next step from there was really joining Mötley.
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."
Sorry but can you say that again, but with your Ozzy Osbourne accent?
[starts stuttering like Ozzy] "Well Randy, Ozzy... Nikki wants you
to play with him. [laughing] Here’s his phone number."
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.
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.
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, "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
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!
Yeh, it’s been a long slog.
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.
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.
Early on it was said that Bob Rock was going to be producing the
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.
Appetite [For Destruction].
Appetite and [Use Your] Illusions are really great. From a producer’s
side, those are really great productions.
Do you really plug into that whole production side of things?
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.
Well that’s sad.
Obviously the record reflected that. It was not a very Mötley record.
It’s still a great album though.
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."
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard Killing Joke?
"Ah Eighties!" Yeh, I love Killing Joke!
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.
Well certainly the initial fan response, I guess, is probably overwhelming
for you guys.
Yeh! It got put up on Napster and it had something like 300,000
downloads in one day.
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.
Well I’m sure you’ll get to hear it lots. [laughing]
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.
You actually did a little promo where you stepped inside Danni.com.
Yourself with Vince.
Oh yeh, the porn site.
How was that? Was that good fun?
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.
Well there’s another song called Porno Star which I guess sort of…
Oh yeh! Have you heard the record yet?
I’ve heard bits and pieces of it, not the whole thing just yet.
Yeh. It’s pretty damn cool.
And another song "Punched In The Teeth By Love." You’ve actually
got a writing credit on it.
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.
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?
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."
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."
There’s also what seems another member to this album and that’s
James Michael, who wrote…
Yeh, he’s an amazing singer songwriter in his own right.
…yeh, he wrote over half of the songs with Nikki.
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.
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.
Yeh, She Needs Rock’n’Roll.
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?
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.
Excellent. Is Penthouse 57 another one of those ones in the vault?
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.
You’ve got the cover [song] on this album White Punks On Dope.
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.
What Rose Tattoo song would be your favourite?
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.
Excellent. A couple of Aussie bands there, mate!
[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.
Baba O’Reilly the old Who song was another…
Yeh that… God we talked about so many different songs man.
Did you try that one in rehearsals?
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.
There’s another song called Whoreable. Was that one of the 16 that
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.
The track Hollywood Ending; was that previously called The Honeymoon
Yeh! Hey you know too much stuff man.
[laughing] Sorry, I’m a junkie.
Yeh, a true fan.
A f*cking junkie mate.
[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!
Or a panty-dropper, as Nikki keeps calling it.
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!
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?
You guys [Mötley] also did some music for the Tribes 2 game.
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.
[NOTE: The Crüe's contributions
did not make the final release version of the game]
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 Meatloaf’s daughter Pearl and
another girl named Marty, and they look incredible.
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
Did you think I summed that up in the [booklet’s text intro on Mötley's]
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
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?
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
Fc*king 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
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 do this."
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 the world.
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.
CC: Awesome! Awesome.
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
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.
CC: 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 answer.
[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.
This interview was launched on July 11th 2000
the day New Tattoo was released in the US.
Thanks to Dr. $hinbone
$tarr, the Rock'n'roll Patroller, for the hook up.
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