Friday, January 27, 2017


Recording Chaos AD was a badass experience!  The studio was brimming with history.  Bands like Queen, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath had recorded there.  Why, they had slept in the very beds we were sleeping in!  Everything about that recording was immense.  It was an honor to spend the entire time with the God of Production, Andy Wallace.  Andy had also brought his wife, Trish, and his young son with him.  It was Metal and Family, just how Max and I like it!  Zyon was only 6 months old.  We had come from the best occasion-our wedding the week before- and the worst occasion-losing a grandchild 12 hours after our wedding.  Emotions in our house and our hearts were like a thunderstorm of energy.


After the recording was complete, we all flew to our various cities and relaxed.  The crucial time was over.  The record was on fat analog tapes, sitting in the reproduction plant and we were nestled in our homes..for a minute!  Cees, the owner and founder of Roadrunner Records, contacted me and said he was throwing a Chaos AD launch party for the band in a Welsh castle!  Now we're talking!!


I got my best black velvet on and packed our bags and off we soared to the UK!!  MTV was in full force there.  Vanessa Warwick, the beautiful MTV VJ of Headbanger's Ball, had become close friends with us.  She was a big supporter of Sepultura.  Without people like her, the band would have never grown to the capacity it had.  I had signed the band on Epic Records for one LP and their distribution would eventually make Chaos the biggest selling Max Sepultura release of all time.  I had all y ducks in a row.  MTV would have a huge presence at the party.

We arrived at Caerphilly Castle with a full heart of excitement!  This was a dream come true, actually!  We couldn't believe Cees had thrown down for us in such a big way!  They even rolled out the red carpet!

The castle was packed with label folks and journalists from every corner of every Metal media in the world.  We were treated to fine Brazilian food and exotic Brazilian entertainment.  Of course as the night got on and the booze flowed, there had to be one crap talker griping about all the poor people that the money could have been spent on.  Other than him, it was all pure excitement!!

Everyone took home this pottery castle mug.   We were in awe the entire evening, as every detail was there!!  MTV videoed most all of the night and you can check it out here, on this link.  Good times were rolling like waves on a beach!                                                                                                The only flaw in the whole Chaos campaign was Max and I knew shizzle was growing in the Sepultura camp.  Someone was planting the seed of contempt.  Envy was the partner and walked hand in hand; its grip ever tightening on a couple accepting hands.  Old Man Trouble was looking for a ledge to perch on and would eventually find it.  In the meantime, we geared up for the many tours I had set in place and the fans who thrashed outside our perimeters.  And off we went!

Class dismissed......

Friday, January 20, 2017


I admit, I have hung out with some pretty cool people. I never got starstruck except when I met JFK Jr. I was so surprised to see him standing there! I had green hair and he looked at me ,as we were both checking into a hotel, and said "far out!" Roxanne was with me, so I know I wasn't dreaming. But, that's another blog....

On a tour for Soufly 1, we happened to be staying in the Iwo Jima Best Western in Washington DC. We stayed there often, when Soulfly performed in the area, because the price was much better than the city center hotels, and it had a quite good, and reasonable, restaurant. I was outside our room, on the balcony when another tour bus pulled up. I watched as all these cool looking grey haired people came out and headed in. They looked with long hair and beards, cool looking ladies with their grey locks streaming. They were all dressed casual, and I wondered who they were.

Kendog came to me and said "did you see Willie Nelson just pulled up?" I was like "wow, this is cool!" He said, "his family works for him and his crew is the same for years." It was at that moment I decided I wanted the same....a loyal crew. One that we walked with on our journey together. I wanted that loyalty, that comfort, that vibe. I wanted to see my crew grow older, have families, stay with us and be happy! I wanted them to feel the same about us.

After a short time, someone knocked on our hotel door. It was Wille's tour manager, asking if I wanted to go visit a bit with Willie!!!! After a couple woohoos, I regained my senses and went down. Maybe someone had told him we were staying there, or God knows how he knew of us, I really don't know. Max was cool with it, so off I went. I may have been floating as I walked down.

I entered his private bus and there he was, looking just like Willie Nelson! Long braids running parallel down his chest, those warm all-knowing eyes, yes, it was Willie frikken Nelson!!! He took me on a short tour through his bus. Just past the living room, he had a little alcove for a computer and bench. I was really impressed, since the big, boxy computers were the norm, and here was one in a bus! I never even knew you could have wifi in a bus back then! Going further back, he had a comfy woolen Western type blanket on the double bed. The back room was set up like a bedroom in a house. I swear I could smell the country smells of Texas in that bus!!

After my bus tour, we went up front and chilled. Yes, he had a bowl of magic snacks on the table. I mean, heck, he was Willie Nelson! We talked about a TV channel he wanted to make and I told him about a few shows I had planned. He was the perfect gentleman and definitely had a magic aura surrounding him. When I left, he said he knew we would see each other again and you know what? I think in the next year or two, that will be a reality!! You will be the first to know!!!

Class dismissed.......

Friday, January 13, 2017


The world has changed in many ways...some good ways, some not so good.  Being in the music business isn't all champagne and backstage parties!  There are responsibilities that come with being a manager, and often times, it's not by choice.  In the early years of my management, there were borders everywhere...serious borders.  Different currencies and laws bound travel and business.  This applied to bands trying to get a foothold in the business, as well as the huge bands that were established.  One sticky situation was transporting merch.

All the bands I ever worked with sold merch.  Some sold insane amounts, in fact.  In the late '80's and '90's, the black Metal shirt was a hot commodity.  Yes, it still is, but in these past times, it was the norm...until the flannel shirt covered the tees up!  From Sacred Reich to Soulfly, it was all designs craved by fans.  In the midst was Sepultura.


You probably don't know, but the biggest selling shirt design for Sepultura, in the time I managed them, was the Third World Posse shirt, designed by Christina.  It had the photo of the guys sitting in a favela.  That shirt flew like popcorn kernels in a movie theater!!  Christina, Max and myself worked with Angelique (RIP) DeFeyter, to make the Sepultura line of merch, from the Arise album to the end of the Roots' cycle.  I still consider the Blue Grape merch company to have been the best merch company for band gear, in my music career.  You could go in a small village in Greece and find at least one shirt in some general store!


To improve the company, Angelique spent huge amounts of time trademarking and researching laws in other countries.  For a few years, when Christina and I were cracking down on the bootleggers, she even hired Annie Lennox's security team to accompany us on tour.  The owners of the bootleg companies were not thrilled with our behavior, and also knew we had large amounts of cash on us.




Traveling wth merch had it's drawbacks in the early days as some territories did not allow merch to come in without paying tax at the borders.  Normally we would have paperwork that addressed this, but one time, unknown to myself, I was left without it.....

We entered Sweden after a show in Germany.  I was on a bus with the band, and Christina, who sold the merch, was on the crew bus, which had entered the country before we arrived.  At the border, our driver was asked if we had merch and replied "no."  When the custom's agent looked in the bay, it was ONLY merch!!!  I was chilling with Andreas in the upstairs' room and never even knew we were at the border.  I was pretty shocked when the agent are upstairs and asked for me too follow him.

They put me in a little locked room, and informed me that I was being detained for smuggling.  After questioning me, he brought in a typed confession to sign.  When I looked at it, it was written in Swedish!  Of course I couldn't sign something that I couldn't read!  I posted  a 3,000 GBP bail and they took all the merch....all 250,000 SK!  The next day, I made the newspaper's front page......not happy...  The delivery person, earlier in the day, had put the merch in the wrong bus, and now it was my headache.

We continued on with the tour, and many tours after.  One day, about a year later, my office phone rang.  I answered, hearing a thick Swedish accent on the other line.  "You were just found guilty, in the Swedish court.  They will keep the bond and the merch will be returned to Blue Grape."  "Uh, ok..."


Since then, I have been more cautious about what the heck is going on with the merch.  Do I have the correct papers for transporting?  Is everything current and logged?  Where the hell is it?  It all matters.....

Class dismissed.......

Friday, January 6, 2017


I met Jason Rainey in 1984, at a bar I owned called the Bootleggers.  He would come in and stand at the end of the bar and visit.  I didn't know he was only a teenager (16 years old or so) because he had a killer fake ID!  Occasionally he would be hungry and not have any moola, and I would whip him up some lunch.  One day, he shyly said "I have a band."  That was news to me!  I hooked him up with a gig on our next open date and it all took off from there.

Sacred Reich was special from the start.  I could tell because when I see a band that is going to be successful, I get this feeling inside.  I can't really explain it; it just hits me.  I got it when I first saw Flotsam with Jason Newsted.  It appeared again with Sacred Reich and also the first time I ever saw Sepultura.  It still  comes and goes through the years.

Sacred evolved, changed members, and eventually landed a record deal.  I started managing them in 1985.  It was at this time that the adventure began!    During these early years, I cultivated a friendship with one of the dearest woman in Metal, Debbie Abono.  Debbie was from the Bay Area and was managing Forbidden Evil.  When I first met Debbie, she invited me to the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, to see The Possessed, who she managed at the time.  Debbie had immense faith in all her bands.   Through the years I knew her, she helped many bands nurture and invested her time and a good deal of money, into each of them.  Many bands and band members today, owe their career to the jump start she gave them.....

I loved Debbie.  We were about to become a team, on the road.  I had gotten Sacred Reich on a good footing.  They were a hot commodity in the '80's, and in demand.  Hanging with Debbie in San Francisco one evening,  I saw Forbidden in a small club,  and really loved their live show.  Majestic vocals, windmill hair flying, drums throbbing. I offered the European and the North American legs to her, for Forbidden.  It was on!

We both took our daughters, Christina and Julie, to sell merch.  That was one big gig and we needed people we could trust. I double-dutied many of the Sacred crew, I had been using.  Eventually, we all fit on one bus...and off we went.

In the '80's and '90's, I would enter a country with a band and play in as many cities as possible.  France and Germany were like monster size Texas's, with loads of popping' venues.  Sometimes, we would tour a country for 3 weeks or more. The standard tour we did was normally 2-3 months minimum.

Keep in mind, there were no computers, no wifi, no cell phones, no fax machines and not even a damn pager, in those early Metal years. There was a border at each country and they weren't fooling around. I would have to change money in each country, find a pay  phone and figure out how to dial and make a call. Some of the pay phones were in areas that seemed like a replay of Dusk to Dawn!   I raised my children like this.  I broke up their fights like this.  I dealt with the school and doctors like this.  I made tours, advanced gigs, dealt with lawyers, agents and labels on the pay phone.  And you know what?  You can do it!  You can do anything you want to do.  Piece of cake!

Class dismissed......