20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Wildside bassist MARC SIMON!
This past July, we did 20 Questions with Wildside frontman Drew Hannah. We’d been wanting to do 20 Questions with someone from Wildside for years, and it finally happened this year! Well, you’re in luck because not only did that happen, but now we’re talking to Wildside bassist Marc Simon!
Right after Drew’s 20 Questions went up, he and Marc got into somewhat of a spirited debate on our very own Metal Sludge Gossip Boards. What happened with that and how was it resolved? We’ll let Marc tell you all about that and much, much more in this week’s 20 Questions. Enjoy!
1. What are you currently up to? This is the only chance to plug whatever it is you have to plug.
What am I up to? I?m answering these questions?Oh, you mean what other stuff am I up to? Well, I pretty much retired from playing about 7 or so years ago and I work with my dad at Good Time Tickets in Hollywood, a ticket agency that sells tickets to concerts, sports, and whatever you need to ticket to get into?Kobe wanted me to ask you guys reading this to buy some Lakers tickets from me, he need to buy his wife an 8 million dollar diamond ring so she doesn?t divorce him or at least to pay off the whore in Colorado (whichever comes first). So here you go: www.goodtime-tickets.com. I have worked there since like 1984 when I got out of High School, then took time off here and there to do band stuff and record and tour etc? So, now it?s full time. As a hobby/side business, I collect old Hot Wheels, pre-1977, I have done that on and off for about 10 years, the prices on these things have gone thru the roof and it?s fun to try to find things that are 25 + years old.
2. Wildside has recently reformed to do some shows and has released "The Wasted Years," a CD of previously unreleased material. How did all of this come about?
At the end of July, Brent & Jim called me and asked if I wanted to go and play a couple shows and since there were people selling Wildside stuff on ebay, after all these years, there?s still some people that are interested, we should dig out some of our old tapes and videos and release a couple things ourselves, and we could do a couple shows in the meanwhile, to promote it and have some fun. At that time I hadn?t spoken to Drew in about 5 years, coincidentally, a day or two after that conversation, Drew did the 20 Questions on Metal Sludge and said some stuff about me, so I posted on the message board for him to call me, and he did, we worked everything out and started rehearsing to do a couple shows. In the meanwhile, we decided that it would be better to release a CD on RLS Records instead of doing it ourselves because we knew Stevie would do a good job, and he did.
3. Before there was Wildside, there was Young Gunns, and before that, all of you had appeared in various other Hollywood Sunset Strip bands. You just happened to play in St. Valentine. How close was that band to getting the "big deal" and taking the world by storm?
We did the usual showcases for record company people and had industry people come out to see us play live, we definitely had a buzz going. Gene Simmons showed some interest and I spoke to him about some stuff, but it just never happened, we weren?t any better or worse than a lot of the bands that got signed, I guess it just wasn?t in the cards?
Marc Simon (bottom left) in St. Valentine, looking like a combination of The Joker from Batman and a trannie version of Simon LeBon!
4. Speaking of the Hollywood Sunset Strip bands, the band St. Valentine was around during the rise of Guns n’ Roses, Poison, LA Guns, Warrant, and several others. Did you ever share a stage with any of them, and if so, any good or bad experiences with them?
I think we shared a stage with all of those bands. The second show we played, we headlined the Roxy, there was a band before us and opening the show, was Gunds N Roses, I think it was their first show ever. We got ready at Steven Adlers girlfriends house before the show. I remember Axl was late (imagine that) and they ended up having to cut their set a little and it pushed the whole show schedule back. We played many shows with Warrant too, depending on who was doing better at the time determined who was the headliner for each show, I guess we all know who did better in the end, oh well? We played with Poison a couple times and countless other bands that went on to be signed.
5. Rate the following bass players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who sucks balls and 10 being a bass god.
Gene Simmons =
Nikki Sixx =
Rachel Bolan =
Jerry Dixon =
Duff McKagan =
Michael Anthony =
Dana Strum =
Bobby Dall =
Kelly Nickels =
Chip Z’Nuff =
Not gonna do it. They are all great at their style of music, some are great writers, some are great performers (plus I know some of them and I don?t want to piss them off) and anyone that is as well known as most of these guys deserves a 10.
6. Please tell us all about your experience in filming Heavy Metal Thunder & Mud w/ Nuclear Assault, Tuff, Jessica Hahn, and of course, the mud wrestlers?
Tuff where a bunch of jerks? Just kidding? No really, it was fun! It was our film debut, that went straight to video at best. It was pretty much written to be corny, and it was, of course the producer/director Penelope (Decline of Western Civilization) went on to do much bigger and better things. But we did hang out with her and a few of the ?stars? of the show here and there after we finished shooting. Oh, the mud wrestlers, I?m not sure who?s idea it was to have mud wrestlers fighting for a band, but hey, it was better than looking at the Nuclear Assault guys.
7. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
I?m taking the 5th on this one. Too many to list, we?ll leave it at that.
8. Speaking of calling it a day, it seems that Wildside lost both of your guitar players after the first record. Bruce Draper stepped in as the sole new axe slinger, along with Drew, Jimmy and yourself to record the follow up. Let’s face it: the self titled release was night and day from "Under the Influence." How come it was such a drastic change?
One of the main reasons was Bruce, he had a totally different playing and writing style than the other guys. I don?t think he liked having to play our older songs when we were on the road? That and the songs from Under The Influence were written between 1987 and 1990 or so, so our musical tastes had changed, the late 80?s early 90?s sound seemed to be fading and we didn?t want to come out with an album that sounded like it was from 1988, in 1995. I guess that?s it.
9. Time for a walk down Memory Lane! What do you remember most about the following years?
1975 = my dad was taking me to see Kiss, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, etc.
1979 =I think that?s about when I started playing bass. I wanted to be Geddy Lee so I tried to play keyboards also.
1983 = hanging out at the Rainbow (with a fake ID, don?t tell anyone) playing in local Thousand Oaks bands, playing in the garage or my mom?s dining room.
1986 = Playing in St. Valentine trying to get a record deal, passing out flyers on Friday and Saturday nights on the strip and putting up flyers on all the buildings in Hollywood.
1989 =Playing in Young Gunns, playing all the LA clubs, doing showcases for the record labels and working on a record deal.
1992 = The first Wildside album came out, touring around the US and Canada. Lot?s of partying going on around that time.
1995 = Still touring, the second Wildside album came out, still partying.
1998 = Retired from playing, just working at Good Time Tickets and working on computer stuff and collecting Hot Wheels.
2000 = Working.
2002 =Met my wife Dominique.
10. Word on the street was that you had a friendship with the band Enuff Z’nuff. How did you become friends with these guys since they were from Chicago, and you hailed from southern California?
I don?t remember exactly how we met? I think Billy McCarthy introduced us or maybe it was Happenin? Harry, or both?? Anyway, every time they came to LA, we would hang out and every time I went to Chicago, we hung out, and partied of course, Imagine that.
11. Drew confirmed your sessions at Eddie’s studio 5150 in his 20 Questions. What was it like for you to meet him and record your debut on his legendary landscape?
It was really cool! We couldn?t tell anyone though, but we did anyway, we just couldn?t make it official. We actually went up to Eddie?s house before we even started recording the first part of the album at A & M Studios. Our producer Andy Johns was finishing the ?For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge? album with VH and he ran over on time which was suppose to be our time to do pre-production for our album. So he thought that if he brought us up to Ed?s house we wouldn?t be so mad. I think it worked? I went up there with Andy and Jim one day, Eddie was really cool to us, then I was playing a video driving game in his studio lounge and Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen came over with Eddie and started playing the game with me. I looked to my left and there was Van Halen playing a video game with me (Sammy not included). The next time we went up there, they were mixing Poundcake, no not cooking, the song and Sammy was suppose to be coming up there to pick up a tape of the mix, they told me he was going to come and get his tape and leave, I don?t think they liked him much at that time? He drove up with Ted Templeman, in that red Ferrari that?s in the ?I can?t drive 55? video, and he stayed for a couple hours and was very cool! He invited us to Mexico (we never went). I could go on for days, but the bottom line, it was a good time.
12. Let’s also get your opinion of Wildside touring with Roxy Blue and Babylon A.D. Who had the egos in your eyes?
That was our second tour, tons of fun! Us and Roxy Blue and both our crews shared a big bad ass tour bus and Babylon had an old crappy bus. I think from the second we pulled up in that bus, they didn?t like us, not to mention the fact that us and Roxy Blue had most of the crowd and when Babylon came on stage, half or more of the people in the venue would be gone. We didn?t fight or anything, we just didn?t hang out or go out to dinner on our off nights or anything.
13. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
I just can?t think of any off the top of my head. I know this one?s been said before but, Courtney Love could use a smack, but she?s too busy going (or not going) to court.
14. We all miss the following guys dearly. How did they personally affect or influence your life?
Derek Frigo / Enuff Z’Nuff = Derek was crazy, I did lot?s of partying with that guy
Eric Carr / KISS = Never met him but he was a great drummer
Frank E. Starr / Four Hoursemen = Frank was a great frontman, our first tour ever was with the Four Horsemen I?ll never forget it. I also saw Frank at every drag race, he loved cars.
Layne Staley / Alice in Chains =One of my favorite bands, great singer, did too many drugs though.
Lynn Strait / Snot = I had some snot in my nose last night but I can?t say I?ve ever heard of this guy or heard a Snot song.
Randy Castillo / OZZY = Great drummer
Ray Gillan / Badlands = Didn?t know he was dead, what happened? In any case I thought he was a good singer.
Robin Crosby / RATT =I use to go to the Troubadour and all the other Hollywood clubs and see Ratt play, I thought they were a great band.
Steve Clark / Def Leppard =I remember the first time I heard of Def Leppard I thought it was a weird name, but their first record was a great record.
Tim Kelly / Slaughter = I knew Tim way back when, way before he was in Slaughter, he was a really nice guy.
15. What was the biggest musical related check you received and what did you buy with it?
Check, what check, if I got one the postman must have forgot to deliver it. No really, I don?t remember the amounts of my checks because there were none big enough to remember.
16. What were the 3 highest and the 3 lowest points of your musical career to date?
Some high points would be, of course, getting a record deal on Capitol Records, going out on our first tour, actually most of the tours were high points, recording at Eddie?s house and at A & M Studios hanging out with Gene and Paul. Some low points, on our first tour, Capitol wanted us to ?pay our dues? and wouldn?t get us a bus, so we went out in a motorhome, our first show on the Four Horsemen tour was in Toronto Canada, we left from LA, by the time we got to Toronto, we broke down, 5 times and had to get replacement motorhomes each time. We missed the first show. After the first (actually 2nd) show, that motorhome broke down, we couldn?t get a new motohome in Canada so we had to pile in the back of the Ryder truck with our gear in 20 below weather and go like 800 miles to the nearest motorhome place. We couldn?t get another motorhome so we ended up in a 15 passenger van, with 5 band members, the soundman and 4 crew guys, all or luggage and then some, and although that?s pretty common now a day, it wasn?t back then, at least for a band on Capitol Records with a big budget. Or maybe I?m just a pussy? There weren?t many other lows, although a couple honorable mentions would be when Benny just about OD?d in Dallas (he hasn?t touch drugs since that day) and another low, although I didn?t know it was a low until long after it was over, was Wildside asking to be off of Capitol Records for a guaranteed second record. Who the fuck does that? Oh, we did. STUPID!!!
17. Name your 3 favorite Hollywood clubs from back in the day, and tell us why you liked them best.
Hollywood clubs, well, I don?t know if this qualifies as a ?club? but The Rainbow, I spent many, many nights there, eating, drinking and promoting the band, passing out flyers in the parking lot, etc? The Roxy and the Whiskey because I played there so many times, and of course the Troubadour, although not my favorite, I have to mention it.
Marc looking more like Pete Willis from the early Def Leppard days!
18. Fuck, Kill or Marry! Of the following names, which one would you fuck, which one would you kill, and with which one would you want to enter into Holy Matrimony?
(Scotti Hill, Hillary Duff, Duff McKagan)
Scotti who, I don?t know who that is, so I?ll kill him, let?s continue that thought and Kill Hilary Duff as well, stick to acting, you?re not a singer ok? I?d fuck Duff if I was a girl, so since I?m not, I?ll have to kill him too. I love GNR and Velvet Revolver but I can?t marry him so as the Metallica song says? Kill ?em all?
10. The Last of Marc Simon:
Last fast food you ate = I ate sushi fast (does that count?)
Last movie you saw =Saw (that?s a movie)
Last concert you watched = Van Halen
Last Hollywood club you walked into = The Roxy
Last rock star you shook hands with = I don?t really hang out at places with rock stars anymore, but if you want me to name a real big name guy, The Edge, at a U2 show in Anaheim
Last 80s hairband CD you listened to =I don?t know if you can call them hair bands, but Judas Priest & Iron Maiden. I saw Whitesnake not too long ago. I guess the real answer would be Wildside, since we get labeled as a hair band on ebay, so we must be, or we use to be. Now, if you put together all the hair from all the Wildside members, it wouldn?t even equal half of my hair from the 80?s
Last time you boiled bass strings = when I was 14
Last time you handed out a flyer =1987
Last time Wildside played a gig = a month ago, before that 7 years ago
Last time you signed an autograph =about 5 minutes ago
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Benny Rhynedance =Wildside guitarist, now permanently retired guitarist.
Dito Godwin =Great producer, produced the demos that got us signed and our 2nd album
Barry Levine =Borrowed from the band to pay Peter, borrowed from Paul (Not Stanley) to pay Peter back, then borrowed more from the band, then never paid it back. Where?s all our money Barry?
Brent Woods =Great guitarist! But don?t let his guitars go out in weather below 50 degrees wirhout a blanket on them?
Paul Stanley =Rock Star! Wrote the lyrics to our song Clock Strikes. Almost got into a fight with Andy Johns at Barry Levine?s birthday party.
Rueben Blue = Haven?t heard that name in years Rock City News, right?
Bill Gazzarri =The Godfather of Rock N Roll, He had ?the foxiest guys on his stage?, looked like he was dead about 10 years before he actually was.
Drew Hannah = Great Singer
Riki Rachtman = Use to book bands in the 80?s then started the Cathouse, then MTV/ Headbangers Ball, DJ, VJ, what else. I saw him at the Nascar race in Indy but I didn?t say hi because I didn?t think he?d remember me.
Ozzy Osbourne = Sick fuck, has fat disgusting kids that if their dad wasn?t? Ozzy, would be doing Weight Watchers commercials, If they are lucky. Sharon let poor Ozzy retire in peace, don?t you have enough money already?
Well there you go! That was a little bit like walking into a time warp, but then again, most of our 20 Questions are like walking into a time warp, so Marc knew just what to do to give us a good interview. Yeah, he pussed out on the rate-a-bassist, but we feel he made up for it with many of his other answers, so there you have it.
Wildside doesn’t have their own Web site yet, but to check out "The Wasted Years," their new release of previously unreleased material, head on over to RLSRecords.com. For more information on Wildside, feel free to e-mail the band directly at [email protected]!