Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Evil

New Years Eve means parties, good food, and champagne.  In 1998, in Phoenix, it meant Ozzy was going to usher in 1999 for us all!

The baseball stadium, Bank One Ballpark (currently Chase Field), home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was just completed and opened early in 1998.  Max and I had once snuck on the grounds with Glen LaFerman and did a photo shoot for ESP Guitars, and also for the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood, CA.   We were thrilled when our booking agent contacted us and said Soulfly had been invited to open the show.  It was a huge honor for us to play to our hometown crowd with the great and powerful Ozzy and Black Sabbath.  This was to be the first concert in the ballpark and the media coverage in Phoenix was huge!!!

The days ticked by and soon it was December 31st and we were loading our gear in to the ballpark.  We were stunned by the enormous size once we were inside the stadium.  At the time, the stadium was one of the largest open-air stadiums in the world because of its retractable roof. 

Soulfly was actually going to be the first band to play at Bank One Ballpark.  Our nerves got rattled when one of the band members didn’t show up for soundcheck, and arrived 15 minutes before the set was to begin.  We thought we were going to be forced to cancel the sold out show.  Our nerves were electric.

The wind blew in the missing member, and the show was savage!  The Phoenix crowd welcomed their boys with a roar of affection.  Next up was Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, and Black Sabbath, so you can imagine how much fun the backstage was that night. 

New Years approached and Ozzy was reeling em’ in, spraying water and mooning with that never ending smile of true love for his people.  Sharon was there, and everyone was like family that night.  We all waited for the countdown, but Ozzy was having so much fun that he blew right past it.  It didn’t matter….we were all too busy swaying with him. 

Get your swagger on……Happy New Years!

Class dismissed.  See you next semester.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday 1990

1990 - It was the day after Thanksgiving.  I had structured a tour for Sepultura, Obituary and Sadus....the SOS TOUR. It took some persuasion to get the tour booked.  Sepultura's previous tour with Faith or Fear had a miserable turnout, and many of the US clubs did not want them back.  I had just done a very successful Sacred Reich tour, so I got on the phone and called the clubs and assured them I would book a proper tour for the Seps and it would pack the venues, that's how I was able to book the dates.  

Sepultura was recording Arise.  They finished in the wee hours of early morning of the first show.  We were jammin for time, and headed to the first gig.

At the venue, I met Obituary and Sadus.  Roadrunner had hired me to tour manage them, since both bands had no one to look after them.  It was a killer tour, and the venues were packed, like I promised.  By the time we got to Phoenix, it was a couple days before Christmas, when the bands arrived at my house, Christina had surprised us and put over 30 stockings on our living room wall!!  One for each band member, each roadie, and our family.  We laughed our butts off when we saw them because it covered the entire wall.  

December 23rd we played in Oakland.  It was the last show of the tour.  It was also Sadus' home town.  Back in the day, we all raged daily and this was going to be the ultimate bash!

I can truly say it was the craziest Sepultura show in all the 7 years I was with them.  Sadus set up scores of mudslide shots in the dressing room.  When we got to the stage, all the amps were covered in shots.  

Chaos broke out during the show, a fight brewed on the side of the stage and it ended up with Max's stack (speaker and amp) getting knocked over, and a visiting member of another band getting thrown down a ramp to the stage. When Max played Black Sabbath twice, it was too much for Andreas and he walked off the stage.  I coaxed him back on just as Max fell over.

We made it to the end, and I was speaking to the promoter arranging to collect the fee.  Max came over and saw me, grabbed Iggor and said "Come on, this dude is fucking with Gloria."  They approached us, but Max suddenly pulled an Exorcist.  He puked on the floor and then belly flopped in it!  I used this as an opportunity to steer Mr. Cash into another corner.  

It wasn't over yet.  The bus driver dropped us all at the Oakland airport, but our tickets were from San Francisco!  By the time we got on the plane to Phoenix, we were dead tired and collapsed in our seats.

On Christmas Day, in Phoenix, Iggor answered a phone call while I was cooking.  We were both in the kitchen.  It was another manager, you all know, calling my house to steal the band!! Iggor laughed and said "no" shaking his head.  We all had a good laugh.  

Merry Christmas!  Class dismissed.......

Friday, December 14, 2012

Max Leaves Sepultura

As you can imagine, December holds many memories for us, some good, some bad.  This week is the 16th anniversary of the last Sepultura show Max performed, and I managed.  

We played Brixton Academy in London on that evening, December 16th.  I knew what was coming for Max and me, but no one else did.  I spent most of the day derailing pranks that people were organizing, to interfere with Max's show.  Thank God I had a confidant on the road who informed me of the shenanigans, and I was able to stop the pranks before they happened.  

We had flown all the kids into the UK, and they were running wild, having a blast.  I was thin, and heart sick because it was only 4 months after Dana had been killed in a car chase.  My mind was on many things that day.  

The highlight of the show was the drum jam.  All our UK friends and our children stormed the stage.  They were all wearing tribal paint that Christina and I had doused them with.  Igor was barely over one year old, so Roxanne held him at the drums.  

Many surprises came later, but the biggest surprise was for Sepultura......not only did I leave, but Max did too.  

Check out the photos courtesy of Mindy Reinstein!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Paul Stottler

Class today will be about a famous Metal artist who began his career in the 80's. Most of you have heard about Pushead, Metallica's arist. The Bootlegers spawned Paul Stottler, who became Sacred Reich's artist. Who can forget the cover of Surf Nicaraugua?? I still have my shirt!!
I met Paul when he was a teenager, doing a bit of artwork for Sacred Reich--fliers and such. In no time, he was accosted by every local club, concert, or band to design the madness of his fliers. His art was razor sharp!
Paul graduated to tattoo artist and relocated to LA. Before he moved, I got my first tattoo, a demon on a Death Angel flier Paul had drawn. Check it out below! Paul also did some work on Dave Grohl I heard thru the grapevine.
Respect for old school fliers and Mad Hatter artists!!

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...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Growing Up Green

I grew up on the other side of the barricade, in the crowd of bouncing heads, laughter, and clapping hands.  My brother, Paul, changed my life when he bought the Bootlegger Bar and Restaurant in Phoenix, AZ, and I crossed over to the backstage and never left since. 

The Bootleggers was a pioneer of many firsts-our first club, our school or Rock, our liberation.  One Paul brought the first garage band in the mountain was behind us, and the horizon stretched beyond our sight and our dreams. 

This is my Metal History, a salad tossed with my roots, my present life, the lifes of my children and grandchildren. And ...the story must be and can only be written by those who lived it...