20 QUESTIONS WITH…
Ratt Bass Player Robbie Crane
To kick off the 1st day of the year 2002, we thought we’d put up an indepth 20 Questions! We think these are pretty good, even though we know some of you will say, "that sucked." Save your fucking emails if you feel that way cause we don’t give a shit! We like these and that’s that.
These 20 Questions were conducted in person in Hartford, CT., on November 30th by Jeff Fishman. Jeff is friends with Robbie and was able to get him to do 20 Questions with us via audio.
To your left is a washed out photo of Robbie with the tape that contains this interview! We would show you a picture of Jeff and Robbie, but Jeff’s head was cropped out of the photo so that sucks for him.
These 20 Questions took place on the back of Ratt’s bus before the show and there is a lot of detail here, so pay attention!
1. What are you currently up to? This is your only chance to plug your shit.
Plug my shit, I don’t know if I wanna plug my shit. I pleasantly enjoy taking craps. But, uh, I’m up to Ratt. I’m touring with Ratt. I’ve been touring with Ratt for the last 5 years. And other than that, just enjoying my life. I just got married, so…enjoying that.
Jeff:What’s your wife’s name?
2. Before we start, do you have a valid green card or some proof of U.S. Citizenship?
3. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
Robbie and his greencard…er, green passport
4. Name the 3 highlights and the 3 lowlights of your career?
My musical career? Uh…..the highlight of my musical career was meeting my wife in 1994.
Joining Vince Neil’s band in 92.
And uh, playing with Steve Stevens in 92.
Low lights in my career….
Um…leaving Vince Neil’s band the way I left it.
(Long pause) Discovering what back stabbers most musicians can be. Especially the ones you try and help out.
And uh, number 3 would be……..you know I’ve never really had any lowlights fortunately. The past 10 years have been good to me. The 3rd one would have to be….I don’t know….I don’t have a 3rd one.
5. Rate the following bass players on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who sucks and 10 being a bass god.
Juan Croucier = Croucier is one of my heroes when I was a kid. I obviously grew up on him, so I would have to rate him at least an 8 1/2.
Nikki Sixx = Another person I grew up on, who I hail his songwriting, he’s amazing looking, had the coolest basses ever, always. He’s like the pioneer of like cool. So I would give him an 8 1/2 as well.
Jamie Hunting = Jamie Hunting is a great bass player. I mean, not a lot of people know who he is, but he’s a really great player. As a matter of fact I just saw him play recently with Union and enjoyed his playing even more. He would at least get an 8
Phil Soussan = You know I’ve never really heard Soussan play bass other than when he played bass in Vince Neil’s band and uh, he’s not my style of bass player, so I would give him a 7.
Jerry Dixon = Dixon is awesome. Dixon never gets his just due. He’s a better bass player than people think he is. So I give Jerry an 8.
Dana Strum = Strum’s a great bass player. 8
Jizzy Pearl walks in: What’s your name again?
Jeff: Jeff Fishman.
Jizzy:I actually met you the other night.
Crane: Ladies and gentlement, Mr. Jizzy Pearl
Bobby Dall = Now most people don’t give him credit, because he, uh, he’s a pocket player, and he plays more for the songs. And I’m not kissing anybodys ass here, so….but I’ve known Bob for a long time and just merely on his stage presence and he’s a great pocket player, and he’s an amazing business man, you have to give the guy at least an 8.
Muddy = Oh, Muddy, from L.A. Guns, he’s great. Uh, give ‘em a 7.
Billy Sheenan = I’m not really into that style of bass playing, so, I don’t know, a 5.
Gene Simmons = King, dude. Gene Simmons is like, you know what I mean, he gets an 8 and a half. No, he gets a 10. He gets a 10, and let me change my first two. Because, you know what, now that you’ve gone through it….can I change my first two? I better be able too. I’m going to give Croucier a 10 and Nikki Sixx a 10. And give Gene Simmons a 10.Jeff: Cause they were pioneers?
Fuck dude, are you kidding me?
Jeff: You mentioned Steve Harris before, so we’ll add that one on.
Oh yea, Steve Harris is my hero dude. Steve Harris is my hero so he gets a 50!Jeff: I love Jeff Pilson, so what would you give him?
Jeff Pilson, you know, is a great songwriter. And I’d definitely at least give him an 8. He’s a great songwriter, great singer.
6. Tell us the story about you punching Vince Neil. How did that go down?
Vince Neil and I were really good friends for a long time. And may I say on the record, I’m extremely appreciative for everything Vince did for me, you know what I mean? Vince was one of those people, was actually one of the only people, him and Steve Stevens, that actually HELPED me in my life. They gave me an opportunity. I was 22 years old, and uh, Vince helped me. He gave me my first opportunity to do anything in my life. And give me the opportunity to play guitar, I’d played guitar in his band at the time, I never…..I didn’t play bass until the end of the Exposed record….the Van Halen tour is when I first started playing bass with him. Although I played bass my whole career up to that point. And uh, Vince and I were very close at one time.
Toward the end of our…..my 4 and a half, 5 years in the band, he and I grew apart, because of some things that happened with Vikki Foxx stealing a whole bunch of our equipment. And Vince got very….what’s the word I’m looking for, very untrusting of everybody. So he, um, he had a lot of people in his ear, including Brent Woods, who’s his guitar player now, telling him things which I don’t really know the reality of.
And what happened was we played a gig in South Carolina and our next gig was in Elmira, New York, the next day, and it was a long drive. And we had 2 buses. Vince left on his bus with Larry Morand our tour manager at the time. They left early and we ended up leaving late. And the next morning when we woke up, the crew truck, the gear truck broke down behind us. And I didn’t know this, we were all asleep on the bus, and that morning…I didn’t wake up till 4 or 5 hours later, our production manager Ragman held the bus. So our band bus, with all the band….the only people that were up there was Larry Morand and Vince Neil, they went to Elmira, New York, we were on tour with Slaughter and Warrant at the time in 96. To make a long story short, we missed the gig, ok? We didn’t get there until late that night and Vince did the gig with some of the guys in Slaughter, some of the guys in Warrant, whatnot, and we got there, everybody told us Vince was pissed at us. And I didn’t see why he would be pissed at any of us. It wasn’t my fault, it was more of a production call. So he was angry with us that night. And I made the mistake of going onto his bus when he was drunk. And I walked up onto his bus in front of all the guys in Slaughter, and a few Warrant guys, he tried to uh, he tried to make me look like an idiot in front of people and I got pissed. We got into a verbal argument and I walked off the bus. It was no big deal. And after he had almost gotten into a couple fights with a few crew guys that night, I went off and actually smoked a joint with my crew guy at the time, and I was in the crew truck, in the cab of the crew truck, and he walked over with Brent Woods, who I had heard, and I don’t know if it’s true or not, riled him up on me, and he brought him over to the truck, and Vince wanted to fight. He asked me what my problem was, and I told him "nothing." He came over to my side of the truck and opened the door and tried to drag me out and I just, you know, hit him a couple of times. It’s no big deal to be honest with you. I mean, it wasn’t like I kicked his ass. It wasn’t anything like that. It was more of a, you know, two guys fighting with each other and it was no big deal. And he hit his head on like a spike or something, cut his head. You know to be honest with you, at the time I felt bad. You know what I mean? Cause he was my friend. And I didn’t want it to end that way.
You know, sometimes man….and everyone, including Vince, and everyone that knew me at that time, I was a very different person. A very violent fucking punk. And had no fear of anybody. As you grow older, you obviously do. And he wanted to fight with me so he started a fight and I ended it. And that was it. And that’s all that happened and I quit. The Warrant guys actually helped me get my gear home. You know what I mean? And I was like "Thank god!" That night we stopped at a truck stop and I unloaded my gear onto their truck and Warrant was ending the tour that night, so they put my gear on their truck for me and took it home for me. And that was it.
Jeff: Have you reconsiled with him?
No, I have not reconciled with Vince at all. I’ve seen him once or twice since then and every time I’ve seen him he’s avoided me and then, you know, he’s obviously talked some shit about me. Which is so completely untrue. Anything from I owe him thousands of dollars to that I stole stuff from him, which is unfortunate, you know what I mean? It’s just, just, stupid drunk talk. It’s unfortunate that it ended the way it did because we were good friends. At least I considered us good friends. And I’m extremely appreciative, and he’s told people that I’m an unappreciative person, because I’m not, I’m extremely appreciative of everything he’s done for me. And there really is no beef between him and I. He probably thinks there is for whatever reason. He’s told people, once again, that I’ve stole equipment, which I didn’t, Vikki Foxx did, everybody knows that. I have police reports, and Vince has signed a few things, knowing that Vikki Foxx stole our gear and whatnot. You know, it’s just crap.
Jeff: It’s unfortunate.
It is unfortunate because Vince is a good guy, when he’s…..he’s a good guy.Jeff: When he’s sober.
When he’s sober he’s great, and when he’s drunk he’s funnier than hell.
7. Other than punching Vince Neil, what’s the most violent thing you’ve done on tour?
Well, anybody that has toured with me knows that I’ve kicked at least everyone’s ass in my band. So uh, excluding Ratt, but….I’ve taken my $3,000 Spector bass off in Reno, Nevada, in 1994 on tour…some guy was flipping me off and I took my bass off and fucking knocked a whole row out, of people in front of me.Jeff: In the crowd?
In the crowd. Just swinging at this one guy. In Reno, Nevada, in the middle of "Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It To," I took my bass off and this guy was flipping me off and spit on me so I swung at him and he swung at me. And his two buddies swung at me so I took my bass off and just broke the bass on people’s heads. Like 6 people.Jeff: Where you sober when you did this?
Completely. I used to be a violent little kid. Look at my knife wounds from when I was a kid. That’s why everyone always asks me questions, you know what I mean? I grew up little punk in Hollywood. And I come from the area, you know, if you talk shit…..Jeff: You pay the price?
No, it’s not even that. I’m the type of person when somebody is talking shit with me I just punch ‘em. I don’t even….you know what I mean? I use to have a saying, and our old told manager Larry Morand use to know this, "Verbal confrontation only gets a certain person’s attention for so long." A good punch in the fucking mouth gets a person’s attention! You can tell somebody, "Dude, Shut up" only a couple time but if you just walk up to ‘em and punch ‘em in the fucking mouth, then they know what you mean. People have come up to me, I’ve heard a lot of people talking shit, it’s like ok…..I’m not like this anymore obviously because I’ve grown up, but I use to be the kind of person that would…..and I’m not a bad ass, you see me, I’m a small guy. I was a little bigger in my day, but I’m a small guy. I’m not a bad ass at all. I’ve never had my ass kicked ever in my whole life. And I’ve probably needed it kicked. But I’m known for somebody talking shit, talk and say it to my face, and I’ll gladly punch you in the fucking mouth.
8. Tell us about your days as a roadie and who did you work for before "Robbie Crane" the rock star was revealed?
Obviously, people who know me, and any Metal Sludge person would write in and agree with me, that I’m not a rock star. You know what I mean? People like Scott Weiland are rock stars. Nikki Sixx is a rock star. I’m a working class musician. I always have been. I’ve always been just a hired musician. I’ve never gotten rich off what I do. I’ve always just made a living at it. A steady living for 10 years. And I’m very thankful for that. But I’m not a rock star, nor will I ever be. But Robbie Crane the musician, prior to that, I grew up in Hollywood… and I met Jerry Dixon when I was 15. And I worked for Jerry Dixon for about 6 months or something. Me and Jerry swapped gear and stuff and I’d loan him my gear and he’d loan me his. And I worked for Jerry Dixon on and off when I was 14 or 15…15, for maybe a year. And at that time Poison, and this is like 1984, and Poison was just hitting at that time. They were just starting to be a pretty popular band. And I met Poison because I had an SVT head that I think Bobby Dall borrowed for a gig. And my first gig with them was at the Stardust Ballroom in Hollywood, on Hollywood Boulevard, I was like 15 and it was Guns N’ Roses first gig ever. They opened for them. It was a 7-11 sponsored gig at the Stardust Ballroom and all these bands were playing.Jeff: Poison opened for Guns N’ Roses?
No, no, no, Poison headlined. And Guns N’ Roses was the first band on. They opened. It was the first gig ever for Guns N’ Roses. And uh, I remember well because I grew up in Hollywood and Slash grew up in my area and I use to go see his band and Roadcrew, and Hollywood Rose, and all these bands he was in. Actually, Slash wasn’t in Roadcrew, Adler was, but uh, I use to go see his bands, you know, when I was a kid. My sister went to high school with him and she’s like, "Oh, Slash’s band is playing, he’s got a band called Guns N’ Roses now. And they’re playing with Poison." And I’m like, "Oh cool. I’ll go to the gig." And I was going to go to the gig anyway, but I ended up being a roadie for Bobby that night. You know, being his bass tech, and it’s the first time I ever did it. And I’ll never forget being a 15 year old kid, just wanting so bad, I hadn’t gigged yet but I’d been playing bass, just wanting so badly to play and stuff. But I just found myself being able to hang out and get more chicks being a crew guy! LOL Kind of getting the left overs from the band. LOL It was cool. There was such a plethora of women in those days. It was a great upbringing! I saw that movie "Almost Famous" and I was like, "Jeez, that was my lifestyle. That was my life." And working for Poison for a couple of yeas, I think I worked with them from 15 till I was 17.Jeff: You were on tour with them at 15 years old?
Well yea. See, tours back then for Poison before they were signed were they would go to San Diego, they would go to Phoenix, and we would go for the weekends and stuff. And then I actually went out on the first bus tour they ever did which was with Loudness and Cinderella. It was Loudness, Poison, and Cinderella. It was before Cinderella went out with Roth and with Bon Jovi and all them, it was there first tour ever too. And that was my first, you know, tour on a tour bus. I was 16 or 17. It was right when they finished Cat Dragged In and it was their first real tour. And it was amazing. It was the greatest feeling in the world. I remember standing on the side of the stage at the Santa Monica Civic looking at Bobby Dall, and I love Bob, Bob’s a great guy. He gave me a lot of opportunities too and helped me a lot as a musician. You know, to kind of get me to wanna do it. I would see him on stage and the first thing I would think was, "I can do this. I’m gonna do this. This is what I’m gonna do." And I remember when they were going out on the….it might have been the Ratt tour. It was either the Ratt tour or some tour like that and they called me and were like, "Ya gonna go?" and I said, "No, I’m gonna try and do this music thing on my own." And I’m glad that we parted as friends because Bob Dall and I are still good friends and stuff. He’s a cool dude. But for me, that was like where I started. I’ve been playing since I was 15 in bands but nothing to speak of. I think the first band I joined after the Poison thing was, I played in a band called Dreamsweap, was my first band ever, and the next band I ever played in was, uh, was Hot Wheelz, which I think is one of the questions I’m going to have to answer. LOL
9. What was the largest music related check you received and what did you spend it on?
One dollar and I bought some Twinkies.
10. Rate the following chicks on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being a chick that is a mess and 10 being a total hottie.
Josie Pearl = Josie Pearl is a sweetheart. She’s the singer of my wife, excuse me, let me rephrase that, she’s my singer’s wife, and uh, I, I, I don’t look at my friends girls, unfortunately, but uh as a person and a friend I’d give her a 10.
Sharise Neil = Sharise Neil is my old singer’s wife, and once again I don’t look at my friends’ wives, as well as one of my best friend Gary Ruddell’s older sisters….who actually got me into the Vince’s band. So Sharise is great, I’d give her an 8.Pamela Anderson = I think her stock has gone way down. I give her a 5.
Layla Corabi = Again, my guitar player and one of my best friend’s wife. I don’t look at her. She’s a sweatheart, I’ll give her a 10.
Amy Weber = Um, I give her a minus 0 and she’s a prostitute. Joking.
Alyssa Milano = She’s cool, 6.
Shakira = I don’t know who that is.
Bobbie Brown = Bobbie’s cool, I mean, she’s not my speed, but…..I don’t know, a 7.
Donna D’Errico = I don’t know who that is.
Jeff: Nikki Sixx’s wife.
I’ve never even seen her.
11. What are your thoughts about Stephen Pearcy touring right now using the name Ratt?
Stephen Pearcy put 20 years of his life into the name and into the band, as well as Bob, Warren, Juan, and Robbin. I don’t have an opinion on it cause it’s none of my business really. I think Stephen’s a great guy and a very talented musician. And a…funnier than hell. And I wish him the best at anything he wants to do. And that’s really between Warren and Bobby and Stephen.
12. Which Rockstar deserves a big Smack in the mouth and why?
I don’t know any rock stars. I know John Corabi, he’s my closet thing to a rock star. He’s like king rock star. In my eyes….he’s cooler than hell.
Jeff: So smack him?
No, no, no, no, he’s rad, dude. I’d never smack Corabi. If anybody smacked Corabi I’d break all their hands. Uh….I don’t really have an opinion on that.
13. Hypothetically speaking, if Bobby Blotzer & Warren DeMartini were to get in a fist fight who would win and why?
I don’t think Bobby and Warren would ever get into a fist fight. I don’t know man, Bobby’s pretty big, Warren’s pretty lanky, it would be a good fight although they would never fight.
14. What do you remember about the following years:
1977 = I was actually 8. ’77 was rad! That was a rad year because my cousin Richard and I just got, I believe, was it Kiss Alive II….no, it was Love Gun. It was Love Gun. And, uh, in ’77 I remember two things. I remember Elvis Presley dying, which was a very sad part of my life because my family was a total Elvis family. And I remember my cousin Richard and I jammin to Kiss. Yeah!
1980 = Moving to LA. The greatest experience of my whole life.
1983 = Motley Crue "Shout At The Devil!" Yeah! It was the raddest concert ever! I remember me and my bros in 9th grade, we went to the concert at the Santa Monica Civic. I bought my gray Motley Crue shirt with the red pentagram. It was awesome. I wore it every day until I wore a hole in it.
1986 = 86…….a good moment about it?
Jeff: What do you remember about those years. Got into pot heavily and forgot it all? LOL
No, no, no, actually, I never drank or smoked weed in that era. Because I, uh, I was so into chicks, you know what I mean. I was into the glam, the strip was happening, you know. Just Sunset Strip on fire, plethora of women, fun, lots of friends, no backstabbing, all good.
1989 = Moscow Music Peace Festival parties. I went to 3 parties for it in one day. That era was rad for me. Going on the road with Tuff. I think I went out on the road with Tuff at that time as a….I think I helped them out as a crew guy, too. I’m such a helpful little bastard. Jesus Christ. I’m brown, what can I do? I’m either picking strawberries or lugging gear.
1993 = Touring with Van Halen with Vince Neil. Thank you Van Halen, thank you Steve Stevens, and thank you Vince Neil.
1997 = My wife moving out here and here and I moving in together, and joining Ratt.
Jeff: She’s from where?
She’s from Denver. She moved out to LA on April 6 and I joined Ratt on April 5th.
2001 = Marrying my wife. Getting married to her. It was rad.
15. Finish the following sentences:Playing in Hot Wheelz with Adam Shore was…. awesome. It was funner than hell. Innocent, fun. My hairdo was about 12 feet high. I was…in.New Haven really makes me… cringe! But actually it was fun because I got to play with Tim Kelly. He’s a rad guitar player. God bless him.Playing in the Sunset Strip super group Lancia was… (pause)I don’t know man, that was a trip. Um…see, I’m still friends with Paul and a…well not….you know….Bart and Scott you know, it’s….you know….GAY!!!
Punching Vince Neil in the face made me feel... sad
Opening for Poison with Ratt on the reunion tour kind of… amazing.
Playing shit holes with Angel City Outlaws for beer money will....Beer money, God! We make more than beer money. Um, let me think here. Will allow me to play bass and keep a smile on my face. I sound like a fucking glam queer. Hang on a second, let me think of a fucking better one than that.
Jeff: Nah, stick to your original. Always stick with the original.
Nah, fuck that, fuck that. (pause) God….I like playing in the Angel City Outlaws. I like playing, period, you know what I mean? Playing shit holes with Angel City Outlaws for beer money will….(long pause) I don’t know, pay my bills?
|16. Yes or no, has Robbie Crane ever…
Had sexual thoughts about Layla Corabi = I don’t think about my wives friends ever. They’re men to me as far as I’m concerned.
Masturbated thinking about Josie Pearl = never would happen
Tasted a girls piss = never
Considered suicide = no, never
Tag teamed a girl with bandmates = oh, of course. When I was in Vince’s band, definitely. Not in Ratt, ever! I’ve never….never. Not in Ratt. Ratt’s not that type of band. They’re all mellow. Vince’s band was just like fucking debauchery by the moment.
Ratt with Jizzy & Corabi, 2001
Cried with a member of Ratt or The Vince Neil band = I cried with Vince Neil when his daughter died.
Touched another man’s penis = fuck dude, no. Wait, let me rephrase that…I’ve tried to. Everyone on our bus. I chase them around daily.
Lied about your income in order to impress people = doesn’t everybody?
Been nice to somebody’s face and then shit talked them when they left = Everyday! When you leave I’m going to talk shit about you. LOL Everyday, anybody, anybody who talks to me, guaranteed I’m going to talk shit about you because you’re going to walk away and talk shit about me.
17. After riding various bands coat tails for over a decade is there a chance we’ll ever see a Robbie Crane solo effort?
18. Do you think they chose you for the Ratt gig because you and Juan had come from a similar south of the border background?
19. Have you or anybody you known ever stolen a hubcap?
Crane talks into our tape recorder
20. Time for Metal Sludge’s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Keri Kelli = My bro. He’s funnier than hell and I respect him tremendously.
John Corabi = He’s…..one of the most talented people I’ve ever met in my life.
Riki Rachtmen = I don’t know who he is.
Jeff: He use to do the Headbangers Ball, and had the Cathouse. You don’t know who Riki Rachtman is?
I know who he is, but I don’t know him personally.
Jani Lane = Extremely talented.
Steve Stevens = Remember when I said John Corabi was of the…Steve Stevens in the other one. Steve Stevens is the most talented musician I’ve ever played with in my life. Steve Stevens gave me my musical opportunity. Vince gave me the opportunity to play in the band, and Steve Stevens gave me the opportunity to stay in the band. As a guitar player initially, because I was horrible. But he allowed me to grow as a guitar player. And he taught me to be a better bass player.When I joined Vince’s band, and not a lot of people know this so you guys can add this on if you want, I joined in 92 and I played rhythm guitar. The band was Vikki Foxx, Steve Stevens, Phil Soussan was playing bass, and I was playing rhythm guitar until we finished the Exposed record. And then, Steve Stevens and Ron Nevison wanted to do away with Phil Soussan so they got rid of him, and we looked for a bass player for a while, and I just ended up becoming the bass player. And we hired Dave Marshall for the Van Halen tour.
Bret Michaels = Old friend, cool guy.
Jizzy Pearl = (pause) Eclectic madman.
Vikki Foxx = Thief. Straight out thief. Capital THIEF!
Brent Woods = Um, I don’t really have an opinion on Brent Woods.
Dave Marshall = Dave Marshall….um……Dave Marshall’s cool. He’s cool.
Erik Turner = One of my best friends. Love him.
Ralph Saenz = Killer, killer, killer frontman. I hope to see him do something on his own.
That’s it? What a gip. That was nothing!
Hey, do me a favor, you guys listening to this, leave me on the Pussy List. I wear in like a badge of honor. LOL
Sorry Robbie, you did 20 Questions so you’re off the Pussy List. You’re a man now! Sort of.
For more info on Robbie and Ratt, you can go to www.therattpack.com!