"MSEX was great, but Donnie Vie needs help!"
by Stevie Rachelle
Hey Everyone. I’ve been back in Los Angeles for about a week now after spending a long New Years weekend in Cleveland Ohio. I was there to celebrate MSEX (Metal Sludge Extravaganza Ten) at the ?Hi-Fi.? The 3 day event was a great time and there is some stuff that I wanted to talk about ? 95% all good and 5% was fucking pathetic!
Note: Donnie ?Junkie? Vie was there and that 5% surrounds his name. What a surprise, huh? I?ll get to that later though.
First off I?d like to personally thank Billy, Jimmy & the entire staff at the ?Hi-Fi? for helping make it a great time for all. I?d also like to thank Nate S. Axel (SOTM April 2004) who flew in from Minneapolis to help host the event. The thanks continue with Wendell Neeley & Chris Akin from the Classic Metal Radio Show who co-hosted and broadcast the entire event live via the Internet. These guys are a wealth of musical knowledge, and I thank you both.
Over the weekend we had a great crowd in attendance all 3 nights, and there were a few thousand more who tuned in on the Internet from Tokyo to Tulsa. Thanks to all.
A huge props goes out to all the bands especially those who made long ass hauls to get there. Mad Margritt from Atlanta, Evick from Washington D.C., The Cherry Pops from Milwaukee, Motortramp from Rochester, New York and Bombshell Crush from Nashville. There were also several local and regional Ohio bands who played & slayed the stage for the crowds. Thanks to American Dog, Amps 2 Eleven, Aftershock, The Subtones, Ground Zero and of course the Billy Morris Band. I also would like to say thanks to Jimi Bleacher of Salty Dog and Drew Hannah from Wildside who both showed up to jam a few tunes as well. Who would?ve thought that we would be standing in the same room taking turns on stage on New Years 2004 ? a full 15+ years after we all walked the Sunset Strip handing out flyers? Very cool indeed, and I?m a big fan of both of their bands. Thanks guys.
A super huge thanks to the Sludgeaholics who traveled from all over to attend. I met people from Rochester & Buffalo New York, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Of course the majority were die hard Ohio rock, metal & music fans who came from Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, and of course Cleveland. I met Jason Satterfield (SOTM Sept. 2001) and his crew of hard-core Sludgeaholics, I met Monty610 from the boards, and several hundred others. Including 4 girls who all loved going to shows, loved Metal Sludge and oddly enough, all four were from different cities and states. They all met and became friends thru their love of music. How fucking cool is that? Very cool, and I thank all of you for your support.
I got the chance to get up on stage with the Billy Morris Band on New Years Eve, and again on Saturday with Mad Margritt. The guys in BMB worked up a couple of Tuff tunes and even though we (myself included) train wrecked a bit, it was a blast. I also did some various covers with both bands including Motley Crue, Judas Priest, Van Halen, and even Warrant. Yes, in honor of Billy?s stint as a part-time Down Boy we paid tribute.
Well as many of you know when I get the chance to talk, sing or speak my mind – I do. And it usually ends up going on forever, in circles and eventually comes back around to where I started, or meant to go with it. Even if it?s a full 30 minutes later. Well I?ll try to cut to the chase on this one. I did one of my infamous long winded intros. About stealing as a kid, and when I learned as an adult that it was lame, I thought twice about doing it. I also talked to the crowd and asked ?who smoked pot?? and ?who in anyway had ever broken the law.? At one point I even jokingly asked ?where is Donnie Vie?? knowing he was due up right after my short set. Within a minute or two he was sitting at the end of the stage smoking a cigarette and waiting for his cue. More of my babble followed which led us right into playing ?Breakin? The Law? by Judas Priest. The irony of this section will come to life as you read on.
After my set Donnie took the stage played some Enuff Z?nuff, some Beatles and I?m pretty sure some solo stuff as well. Good for him, his voice sounded great and he?s a musical talent levels above and beyond the vast majority of musicians (not just 80s bands either) in the rock n? roll industry. I listen to the first few Enuff Z?Nuff CDs often and think the band was great and, in some ways, too good for the era, or at least too good for the category in which their group was labeled. But what allegedly happened after his set had me fuming when I heard about it the following night.
Here?s what I heard took place, and we have yet to hear Donnie?s side, but if he has one, we?re here to give him a forum to speak his mind as well.
I was meeting people after the New Years Eve show, signing CDs and just hanging out when some guy walks up and says: ?Stevie, where is Donnie Vie?? I motioned towards the little VIP area. Donnie had just finished his set and I was fairly sure he was there. The guy says: ?Hey I wanna burn one with him, do you wanna come?? I declined as that has never been my thing. He replied: ?Cool, I?m a huge fan of his and I came from West Virginia to see him. I like Sludge as well, but I am a HUGE fan of his.? I shook his hand and he bolted. Roughly an hour later he walks up all smiles, and thanks me for the lead to Donnie?s whereabouts. He was elated to have hung out, talked music shop and, I assume, smoked out a little. It was well after 3:AM when the club herded out the last of the crowd, so we packed up and headed to the Days Inn after a great night.
Saturday came and went with everyone having a great time. Bands played; people drank and shared their usual rock n? roll stories again. Towards the end of the night I was doing the same thing, signing CDs, hanging out, and some guy comes up and says: ?Hey Stevie, what?s up, cool shows.? I answered but didn?t know his face for sure. He said something else implying I should know him. I replied: ?Do I know you?? He says? ?Yeah I?m the guy who asked you where Donnie was last night.? I replied: ?Oh, okay, I didn?t recognize you after a 3 day run of events, etc…? He nodded and said no sweat. So he hangs out a minute explains he wants a Tuff CD and a DVD. He asked how much and I totaled it up, cut a few bucks off, he said cool headed to the club ATM and returned with some cash. I signed his stuff, and thanked him for coming all the way from West Virginia and supporting the site, my band, and so on. He then turns to me with a less than happy looks and says: ?I?m totally bummed about last night.? I asked what happened and he then explained how his time with Donnie unfolded.
This is probably not word for word, but a close account of what he told me. He said: ?Well, I asked you where he was, and I went off to find him. When I located him, I introduced myself, offered to burn one with him, and he happily agreed. So we hung out for quite awhile.?
He also said to me: ?I carry my stash in a little tin, a lighter, pipe and the goods. I handed it to Donnie and he accepted. We then spent a good while talking about music, Enuff Z?nuff and general stuff. I was SUPER happy as I have always been a VERY BIG fan of his.?
He then told me something like: ?I like Metal Sludge, and you?re cool, but I mainly came here for Donnie Vie.?
I told him that?s cool, and again thanked him for coming to the MSEX events all the way from West Virginia. I?m not sure where he lived exactly, but I?m guessing it was more than a couple hours of a drive.
So, as his story continued he explained to me this: ?I gave him my tin, we smoked, talked, and spent a while hanging out. As the night neared the end, people left and I said my goodbyes to him and he handed me my tin back. I put it in my pocket and headed back to my room to get some sleep.? He was from what I could tell really excited to have spent this time with Donnie, someone who he really admired, and was a HUGE fan of. If my memory is correct, he was wearing an Enuff Z?nuff shirt that night as well.
Then he said this (or something like it) several times, at one point he even gestured to me with his hand (fist) on his heart, and said: ?Man, it really hurts; his music is really here for me.? He indicated that, on that very day (the day after his late night meeting with Donnie), he opened his tin to find the lighter, pipe and NO stash! It was not there, who had it, who kept it, who stole it? I?ll give you all one guess, and I?m thinking he was giving me that same guess when he told me all of this. Now to be factual, I, or we, do not have video, a witness, or any hard proof that Donnie Vie actually stole this die hard fans ?stash? but I think we as people in general can put two and two together and figure it all out on our own. Innocent until proven guilty or some bullshit like that is what keeps the scum of the earth still on the move.
After I heard this I was mad, really mad. I thought to myself about how our era (the 80s/glam rock/hair bands) of groups get a lot of shit, and how the fan base is getting smaller and smaller but they are still VERY dedicated.
I thought about the people who drove from a half a dozen states, some hundreds of miles to watch these relic band names make a short appearance.
People who came with Salty Dog pictures looking to get Jimi Bleacher to sign them, WildSide CD covers for Drew to sign, Tuff stuff for myself, and of course Enuff Z?nuff stuff for Donnie to do the same. Theses fans drove to get our pictures hear our songs and apparently even to get some of the guys stoned ? if they wanted it.
We all played short quick sets, and gave Donnie the headline slot. I saw Jimi signing stuff for fans, taking pictures and Drew did the same. These guys played 6-8 songs between the two of them and looked to have had a great time, and showed what I thought to be a great appreciation for the small group of hardcore fans that still exist.
However, Donnie took the stage and when the crowd thinned (like my hair ? I inserted the joke for you in traditional Sludge style) after he was a few songs in, he bitched about it. After show downstairs he bitched to more than a few fans and ?Hi-Fi? staff how he deserved better than this and the people didn?t know talent or something along those lines. How he should be in bigger places and more of the bitter bullshit that we?ve all heard before. I was actually surprised to see that even Nate made mention of this in his re-cap as well.
Now is there anything wrong with that? Not at all, Donnie is entitled to his opinion, and this is not the reason I am mad.
The fact that the MSEX event had catered to the Enuff Z?nuff/Donnie Vie plans to be there, and worked with them when they changed their plans on different nights, and who would play, and requests of more money, all which were agreed to even as late as Wednesday, December 29th, and then on the 30th – the day they (Chip & Donnie) were supposed to appear together – we were told it would NOT happen. Oh well, no biggie. A sign at the door read as such and there were some fans who expressed their anger that they read only a day earlier that they would be there.
So far, so good, and theses events as well, are NOT the reason I am mad.
Why am I mad you might ask? Because a die hard fan drove for hours, bought tickets to get in, stayed in a hotel, bought merchandise, and even offered his ?stash? to certain people. And at the end of the day Donnie Vie in my eyes is a scumbag who took advantage of a super nice guy, betrayed a die hard fan, and ultimately (and allegedly) stole from this guy. Or at least all accounts point to Donnie as being the culprit here. It?s not about whether it was a little or a lot, not the value; it?s the principle that this even took place. How disgusting.
I thought to myself, is this right to talk about and post for tens of thousands to read? And I answered to myself, yes it is, because someone has to take a stand here and hold people accountable for their actions. In this life I?ll be accounted for mine as well, and I?ll do my part to see to it that this type of shit will not be swept under a rug and ignored.
What else can be said but shame on you Donnie Vie if in fact you did do this. But I don?t have to think about it, assume, or wait for Donnie?s reply, because I know the truth.
I also played enabler to an addict in Tuff for many years and I heard the lies, and watched the darting eyes of a deceitful user, a user of drugs and a user of people.
I knew a guy who would ask for a cigarette, and when the pack was offered ? he?d take 5 instead of 1. I was always lied to by this helpless ass and listened to the bitter anger of someone who always felt he deserved better. In reality, he didn?t, and neither does Donnie Vie. Sure you?re talented Donnie, and so is Jani Lane (yeah I?m bringing him into this as well) but both of you in my opinion are a fucking mess. Both of you have always been respected as great song writers, but as people, you have little of my respect. Standing on stage asking for smokes, lighters and pot ? yet if a fan stood at your merchandise table and asked for a CD or t-shirt they?d be denied! Along with many of your peers and a dwindling fan base as well, they too have saw the writing on the wall when it comes to the silly shit you so called ?stars? have been pulling. The fact is your bands, the image, and sound was pure hair band, yet you both have run from that tag like it?s a disease. It?s not a bad thing, its fact, you are who you are.
Since the inception of Sludge and even before, I personally have heard first hand from countless fans how let down they were to see Jani Lane on stage shunning his own music. The fact that he gained weight, sported a mo-hawk, or any of the other nonsense is all his choice ? but when you can?t perform the full set, or even make it to the venue, then should the fans only pay half price? My question is, should the promoters even be paying Warrant $ 5,000.00 and fulfilling their ridiculous rider and request of alcohol? Only to see the band performing fully shit faced, and a hired gun on guitar filling in as vocalist midset cause Jani Lane is barfing all over the backstage area?
And for the record: Metal Sludge nor myself, nor any other contributor made Jani Lane fat, Vince Neil fat, or either of them drunk and belligerent. They did all of their stupid moves one by one on their own. Metal Sludge just reported it, talked about it and had a laugh or two along the way. The same way VH1 has aired the recent ?Re-making? of Vince Neil. Who can?t help but smile, laugh and feel sorry for him all in the same hour. All I can say is what the hell happened to my idol? You all make your own beds, and sleep in them as well. If you wake up miserable, or have an addiction, then maybe you should confront these things and get help. I?m actually being serious and not making fun of any of you. If you were in my band, I?d take to using some tough love (no pun intended) and slap the fuck out of you. You?re affecting other people?s lives around you, friends, families and employees. Not to mention the fans, the very people who support you and helped create your bank accounts. What gives?
Not that my opinion counts for everyone?s, but I firmly believe that the people who surround some of you (lower echelon rock stars) need to stop catering to your selfish needs and kick you in the ass and to the curb to fend for yourself. Drive your own van, load your own gear, buy your own chemicals, book your own flight and try to get your lives in order so they don?t fuck with other peoples. I know the drill, your band members, hired guns and fly by night managers are bending over backwards, going the extra mile for you, and in the end they?ll get shit on time after time.
The name Mike Fasano comes to mind here. He?s been shit on more times than he could count I?m sure. You in turn, will be shit on along the way as well, because you get what you give.
Fact is you Donnie, and Jani and Warrant could be doing bigger places, selling more music, and making a better living for yourself, but both of your situations are seriously hampered by stupidity, drugs, drinking, selfishness, greed and the lack of reality in your outlook as to where you stand in the big picture. We all get one life, and having the advantages that some of you have had ? you should all be smiling while you sleep. If I get the chance to play for a half full club you can?t get me off the stage, I enjoy my profession (if you want to call it that) and seriously if you don?t enjoy yours (Mr. I Quit Tours) then go sell some shoes and leave the bookings to the artists who will take it seriously and make it worthwhile for the people who put hard earned dollars down for that night out.
Am I bitter and jealous of any of you? Not for a moment, and fact is ? I wouldn?t trade a day of my life for anyone?s.
I?m happy as hell to have experienced the levels of acceptance and small success that have been awarded to me and my band. Any rung up or down the ladder will be appreciated knowing full well I worked for and earned it ? on my own. And if there was others involved, I was leading the way taking the good with the bad. The stories I hear about these miserable stars who sold millions, bought houses and cars and now drag themselves on stage in shame makes me ill. I?ve had my fair share of a beef (personal) with Bret Michaels over the years but I don?t take anything away from him as a performer. He?s the consummate professional. The guy does 5-15,000 seat amphitheaters all summer long with Poison, then heads out with his solo band and plays 200-300 seat clubs in the fall. He also stands behind what he has done over the years and that?s why Poison, Kiss & Aerosmith are at the level they are. I remember Dee Snider?s comment about multiple RATT?s on tour. Now we have a few Warrants too, and that incident when Don Dokken ran up onstage in Arizona a few years back. The one where he takes the microphone away from Jani Lane during Warrants set and starts screaming: ?Your set is done; you?re over the time limit, etc?? Then the place stands there in awe of what a bunch of jackasses these 80s bands make of themselves over and over. And Don Dokken is an artist who perceives himself as above the ?hair band? tag, and likely feels he deserves another level of respect than Pretty Boy Floyd, Tuff or Warrant. Picture this: a fifty year old man throwing a temper tantrum, and tossing down the microphone in front of a few thousand people because he wants his turn on stage. Ask yourself this? Could anyone for the life of them see Stephen Tyler, James Hetfield, Paul Stanley or Bret Michaels doing this to the openers? The answer is NO! Because they?re not fucking morons, and that Dokken incident is the exact reason why the industry has little respect for our era of music.
Let this be a message to anyone and everyone out there, you?re on notice. If you fuck your fans, fuck your employees or fuck up period ? Metal Sludge is here to expose you, and tell the truth. It?s not for me, it?s not about me, it?s about what?s right and not right. The rest of Internet and music Industry can exercise these same rules on me as well, feel free. I?m not going anywhere.
Metal Sludge is reality Internet – Thanks for tuning in.
Stevie Rachelle ?From Hell?
Are you a disgruntled musician or industry person with a big chip on their shoulder? Has your manager just imbezzled 20k from your record company advance? Did you just catch your guitar player nailing your chick? Are you bald, bitter, bloated and broke? Has someone pissed you off so bad that you can’t see straight, but you just don’t know what to do about it? Then why not blow off some steam and take out someone in the press!! Send your rant to [email protected] and we’ll post it here for all the world to see. Trust us, it will make you feel better.