Friday, November 30, 2012


With the recent release of Incite’s All Out War, this morning’s history class will be about Richie Cavalera and his long history in Metal. 

At a young age, Richie, is a legend-of-sorts already, first asking for a microphone for Christmas when he was only two years old.  I remember him with his hand on the mic stand and one leg in back of the other, headbanging his hawk by the Christmas tree, in the early morning hours. 

But, lets go back even further……Richie was born a Boothead, part of the Bootlegger’s family One day, at the age of two days old, he was sleeping in the clubs office, in a snug bassinet, absorbing and growing.  Rob Halford, who had recently began hanging out at the bar, came in for a drink.  When he heard a newborn baby was in the office, he asked me if he could see him.  Rob said he had never seen such a new child.  I took him back to the office, and what did he do?  Why, he knelt down and gave Richie THE KISS OF METAL!  Right in front of my eyes! 

By the age of 4 Richie was a full fled Metal Head.  Arizona band, Atrophy, chose him to be their model for their Roadrunner Records release, Violent by Nature.  Paul Stottler, Sacred Reich’s artist, designed the cover and also did the drawing of Richie on the inside sleeve.  This was about the first time I saw Richie sign an autograph, at the Atrophy record release party in Tucson. 

His next project was a band called Hell’s Aliens.  Richie wrote a song that was quite popular in the neighborhood called Up In Hell, and played guitar left-handed.  

With our house turning in to the birthplace of Nailbomb in 1992, Richie got the chance to play feedback on the track Cockroaches.  He also performed the only 3 shows ever played y Nailbomb at a small club in Eindhoven Holland, at the Dynamo Festival, and a small festival in Belgium.  If you can get your hands on the live Nailbomb at Dynamo DVD, you can catch this rare footage. 

Since 2004, Incite has been Richie’s baby, with two releases to date, The Slaughter, and All Out War.  When on tour, Richie reaches the roots of his fan base.   Selling merch, throwing down with Incite, guest appearing with Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy and even driving Incite on an entire tour, has earned Richie the title of Hardest Working Man in Metal. 

Class adjourned.  

Photo Credit: Glen LaFerman

Friday, November 23, 2012


     Let's divert a bit and talk turkey....
     Thanksgving is a family time.  When you are on the road, the people in the bus are your family.  Max and I spent our careers trying to blend the two, so our family stayed close with us, no matter where in the world we were.
     One Thanksgiving, a couple years back, we happened to be passing through Phoenix, with a day off.  I knew I would never have time to whip up dinner, but we all needed one badly.  It wa the sickest tour I had ever been on.  People were dropping like flies from bronchitis.
     I decided to rent a restaurant so we could pull up and have a meal chilling for us.  Of course, it wasn't easy, believe me, to find a restaurant that would open on Thanksgiving for us, but Christina did.  She contacted a Serbian restaurant called Nostaljia, in West Phoenix.
     I wasn't sure what would be served to us, since the chef had never made a Thanksgiving meal, or even cooked a turkey before!
     I took my sick brood in, Soulfly, Bleed the Sky, Incite and Devastation, if I recall correctly.  Our family and friends all came to feast with us. The spread was fit for a king....6 turkeys, hams, roasted beef, with all the trimmings.  Serbian sausages and cheeses, Baltkic red wines,  veggies and delicious desserts.  We wrapped it up with Turkish coffee to kick us in the ass, and out the door, back on the road,...
    God bless us all this Thanksgiving weekend.
     Next week, back to Metal History Class!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Flotz

        The entrance of the "Flotz" gave the Bootleggers street creed.  They were well known and had a strong following.  Jason was enthusiastic and a great leader.  "Flotz till Death" was the only ring in our ears!
        One day, we got our first phone call from someone outside of Phoenix.  The vice president of Metal Blade Records, Bill Metoyer, left a voice mail on our phone that he was interested in bringing Lizzy Borden into Phoenix.  I called him back, barely able to speak from excitement. 

        He couldn't work out Lizzy Borden, but did send a band called Omen.  We were thrilled!  Our first band that actually had a record deal was about to storm our shore!

        Our favorite regulars, a new band called Pedifile and my friend, Jason Rainey's band, Sacred Reich, were our support for The Big Event...
        Sacred Reich instantly had a good following.  Jason had hung around the bar for awhile - he and his fake ID were joined at the hip.  One day, he walked up to the end of the bar and said quietly "I have a band."  I was like "What!"  I booked them instantly and began another friendship that would circle the globe.  Metal History was burning in our veins and we didn't even know it...


Friday, November 9, 2012

A Place To Call Home...

     The buzz in Phoenix was growing like the tide, slowly, evenly.  Bands were coming in each day and our calendar was full.  The regulars drifted off, except for a couple of diehards who stayed to watch all the action.  They would drink at the bar and just soak it all up and smile.

     Jason Newsted came in one day to book his band, Flotsem and Jetsam.  I had heard about them from some of the kids hanging out at the bar.  Jason played me my first thrash record, Metallica, Kill em All. I was blown away by the energy and the speed.

     We booked all the bands who came in.  Metal was underground, a brotherhood, a family.  It was all speed metal or glam, and they were both accepted.  It was all just Metal.  They were all selling shirts and slinging cassette demos.  Spikes, spandex and tall hair...and don't forget the black!!

     The bar had 2 rooms, a dining room and bar area separated by a wall with 2 entrances.  We decided to knock windows out in the wall to allow the bar to watch the bands.  It made the 2 rooms into one eye of the storm!  The capacity was 350 and believe me- the place raged with head bangers.

     The best was one day Paul realized we were just "Denny's with a band!".  We had a restaurant license along with a liquor license so we were allowed to have minors in the dining room.  With his realization, we unknowingly launched the first all ages scene in Phoenix.

     Our people finally had their own home...

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Bootleggers

     The Bootleggers was a redneck pool bar when we took it over in August of 1983.  It was tucked in the corner, nicely secluded, at the back of a strip mall.  The only dilemma was the neighbor, a courthouse!  We soon met Justice Buddy, who promptly informed us he was known as the Rock N Roll Judge.  He had preformed the marriages of Frank Zappa and Steve Perry, so we figured he was as cool as a judge can be!

     The most exciting bash at The Bootleggers was the Friday Night Fish Fry.  Little did anyone know the sleepy, little Bootleggers was about to stretch up and roar!

     One weekend, I left for Colorado and when I returned, a garage band known as St. James was ripping it up covering Iron Maiden!  The bar was packed and the locals were choking on their beers!

     Paul had a giant smile as he told me the band had stopped in looking for a place to play and he thought "why not?".  They pushed the pool tables in the corner and jammed in the dining room...very raw, very punk rock.

     In no time at all, we were out at night stealing milk crates to build the stage.  A layer of plywood, and some dependable duct tape and the crates became the stage, the 2 pool tables became the drum riser. No PA, no monitors!  In fact, we didn't even know they existed!

     We couldn't afford national acts, so the bar soon became the Garage Band Mecca.  The bands who once had nowhere to go, now had a home of their own.

     Little did we know, that one night with St. James would be the embarking of an amazing journey.  Our trip would change Metal History!

     We are the Bootleggers...