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20 Questions with Billy Rowe, 3/16/04



Jetboy’s Guitarist Billy Rowe


This week we’re talking to a band that Tracii Guns recently said he couldn’t believe they never became huge. Jetboy influenced a variety of bands on the Sunset Strip but never got the big break that so many others did. Well recently we were told that their guitarist Billy Rowe was down for doing 20 Questions so we sent them off and here’s what we got back. Enjoy!

Here ya go ….. sorry for laggin’ but i lost track of the days …… – i’d love to follow Mr Monroe – that one was funny ….. you guys have some hilarious shit going on with this website ……. i just love it – keep it up.


1. What are you currently up to?

This is your only chance to promote your shit!

I’ve been playing with American Heartbreak for about 7 years and right now we are finishing up our new album which will be out we hope by summer with a tour of Japan & Europe to follow. For all info on AH enter the "Church Of Rock n’ Roll" at- www.americanheartbreak.com – you can check out a new song (rough mix) along with studio footage from the first half of the recording of the new album as well as mp3s from our past releases and check out the merch !!!

2. Jetboy was on Electra and MCA, yet despite being on 2 major labels, you guys never went to that next level. Now would be a good time to point fingers and blame somebody for that, so who would you like to blame?

Who really knows ?? i guess the label & managers … but now who really cares – i had a great time back then and it’s no use trying to figure out what happened , it’ll make ya nuts trying to figure it out – if you can’t change it , move on – which is what i did and i’m more into what i’m doing now anyway.

3. It seems endless bands got deals off the Sunset Strip, yet even more didn’t. Who in your eyes got really lucky by getting signed, and who got overlooked and shafted by the industry? Unfortunately most of the lucky ones should have never been a band in the first place – it’s quite easy to figure out which ones on your own by just looking back – all the ones that made you laugh then and make you laugh more now are the ones …… the ones that got overlooked seemed to be the bands that were the real deal and paid their dues – but it’s only rock n’ roll – Oh well.

4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?

Hmmm name that Poison "A" ??? quite a few i’d say …. to many to type.

5. Rate the following guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who plays with broken fingers and 10 being a virtuoso.

Slash =

CC DeVille = 4

Steve Stevens = 10

Fernie Rod = 8

August Warchell = 6

Tracii Guns = 9

Jon E. Love = ???? who’s he ???

Andy McCoy = 10

Warren DeMartini = 9

Ginger from The Wildhearts = 10 + ….He’s the best thing in Rock n’ Roll for me right now and has been for the last 8 years or more – the re-inventor of ROCK !!

6. Jetboy was based out of San Francisco but made the move to Hollywood. It seems like many of the LA based bands made regular trips to the bay area anyway as the scene was pretty good of itself. Why did the band relocate instead of staying home and embracing the Haight Ashbury scene, the Stone, and so on?

We moved to LA because our manager & label were there as well as it was really the place to be at that time – and i guess we wanted to ….. San Francisco is great city and my home town but it was something we all felt was the right thing to do- i had blast in good ol’ tinseltown.

7. Tell us about the group Mindzone which formed from the remains of Jetboy in 1992?

That was a wannabe Pantera band and it was just being lost on what to do musically or i guess playing the what was IN music at the time – even though i love metal – it really was Micky that was into that direction and i just wanted to play – it was fun though but i was not being true to what i am really into which is just good ol’ catchy rock n’ roll – riff after riff !

8. Why did Jetboy singer Mickey Finn change his name to (or back to) Michael Demeter in Mindzone?

He was running from his past like most of were doing in the NOW what was grunge era – now he goes by Milo ??

9. Of all the bands Jetboy toured with who were the biggest dicks and who treated you guys the best?

The DICKS were Stryper ( i hate to admit we even toured with such a clown act but we did ) Cheap Trick were the best !!!! go figure …….. i remember we did "He’s A Whore" with them and on the last night of the tour and we found a hot stripper and had one of our techs put on the speedo and they both came out humpin’ on the guys in Cheap Trick during the song …… it was hilarious – i keep in touch with them and they still remember that night.

10. Tell us a memory about the following clubs and venues:

The Cathouse =
pussy pussy and more pussy

The Rainbow = Never went in much ……most of the time i hung outside.

Gazzarris = Never saw a show there.

Troubadour = The club where Izzy & i meet and became pals in 1983 at a WASP show …. but we stayed outside listening to Accept, Girl & Hanoi Rocks on his boom box! and we did that at most shows we hung out at together back then.

The Whisky = had some great shows there, i saw Angel City play there in 1988 to about 50 people and Angry Anderson from Rose Tattoo got up and they did "Rock n’ Roll Outlaw" me being a huge fan of both bands that is one great memory & show.

The Central (Viperoom) = Never played there maybe saw one show there – not sure who ???

Rajis = Pigmy Love Circus – one of the only shows i remember seeing there.

Coconut Teaser = Stronzo shows were a blast there ……. too much hay on the floor.

Bordello = old dike club gone rock ??? stunk in there like rotten fish, i did not go there much since that was when we were touring alot.

X-Poseur 54 = ??? went there very little ??? I think i saw Kix there once.

11. What rock star deserves a big smack in the mouth and why?

Fred Jerk – is that his name ??

12. What was your biggest royalty check for and what did you buy with it?

Hmmm …. what’s that ??? were we suppose to get paid or something ????

13. Which do you prefer and why:

Hanoi Rocks or Guns n’ Roses =
Hanoi Rocks – Why … they were the real deal !

Gibson or Strat = Gretsch – Why …. because Malcolm Young plays one.

Crazy Girls or 7th Veil = Mitchell Brothers SF – Why ….. it’s a whore house not just a topless bar/strip club.

The Stone or One Step Beyond = On Broadway – Why … the punk rock side of the street was more fun.

Winger or Warrant = Bobby Brown – Why … because she had the talent

Hats or Headbands = Mohawks – Why …. our singer had one.

Tuff or Trixter = Hanson – Why … well they at least wrote one catchy song.

Drinking or Smoking = Bong Hits – Why ….. i love em’

Metallica or Motorhead = Nazareth – Why – one of my all time favorite bands ever.

Mandy Moore or Mandy Lion = Shania Twain – Why ….. She’s hot !

14. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?

come on guys ….. you already asked me this in question number 11 ???

(Sludge: Just seeing if you’re paying attention.)

15. The Last of Billy Rowe:

Last gig you played with Jetboy =
Hmmm ??? i think 1991 at a club in Marin ?? the crash landing.

Last rock star you shook hands with = Last year with Steven Tyler.

Last CD you purchased = The Darkness, Backyard Babies, & The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed.

Last fast food you ate = Mexican

Last time you felt ripped off = ??

Last movie you saw = Twisted

Last time you talked to Sam Yaffa = March 2003 – he came to SF with Joan Jett and we hung out all night laughin’ it up about the old days, we keep in touch regularly.

Last time you heard Jetboy on the radio = I think 1988 ??? maybe never.

Last car accident you experienced = 1987 that was fun … i broke my arm in half ….. whoohoo good times ….

Last time you threw up = I think today.

16. Who’s the most overrated band today and why?

The White Stripes, because there awfull.

17. Here is your math question. If Jetboy splits their record deal advance five ways after some standard deductions including $60,000.00 for the recording studio and the advance is $180,000.00. In addition your manager takes 20%, your lawyer takes 10% and the band pays the Rainbow $2,000.00 for a party out of the big check. How much does Billy Rowe take home? (Remember, the manager and lawyer take their % out of the whole deal before expenses)

A. $12,000.00

B. $16,400.00

C. $12,800.00

D. $16,800.00

None of the above ……. i took home "ZERO" i probably owe.

18. Going back in time now, what took place with the original Jetboy bassist Todd Crew being let go and replaced with Sam Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks). And do you think this played a part in Todd?s death?

Nah ….. Todd was just as bad if not worse before he was fired – this is such a sad story and it’s still hard to believe – i just wonder how SOME people see thru their sober eyes now in their big houses today ????

19. You guys released your American Heartbreak CD on Perris Records. Don?t you think just driving around in a car and throwing them out the window at people would be just as effective?

Absolutely !! you want one ….. think fast !!!!

20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.

Axl Rose =
Dan McCafferty

Bill Gazzarri = old man in a White pimp hat.

Davy Vain = Put some shoes on.

Nikki Sixx = We should write some songs together.

Sebastian Bach = Great singer.

Taime Downe = Gus

Jani Lane = Jimmy Lame

Lars Ulrich = napster

Tom Mathers = Cherry St.

Metal Shop = Hilarious & brilliant


For more info on Billy’s band, you can visit www.americanheartbreak.com!

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